Astrology: How Much Is Too Much
As we approach the end of 2019, astro chat is inescapable. You can’t open your inbox in the morning, show up to a yoga class or even tell someone it’s your birthday without people mentioning signs or planetary movements. (Mercury retrograde, anyone?)
It’s not that we’ve all got super hippie and spiritual; looking to the stars is big business. Traffic to astrology content on women’s lifestyle websites is peaking, while Co-Star, the AI-driven app that generates your astrological chart based on the exact time, date and place of your birth - and, tantalisingly, enables you to compare them with those of friends and lovers - has gained 5.3 million users worldwide and secured investment of over $6 million.
So, er, how did we get here? Yasmin Boland, former TV journalist-turned-astrologer and author of The Mercury Retrograde Book (published by Hay House on 31st October), has some theories.
‘I think it’s accessibility; when I started, you couldn’t know what was in your birth chart unless you paid someone $150, as they’d have to do all the algorithms and maths by hand,’ she recalls. ‘But now you can view and analyse it in a matter of minutes.’
Are we switching on or switching off?
Yasmin rejects the current common thread that’s woven through much contemporary analysis of our astro-obsession. That, in times of confusion, we love the sense - or illusion - of control that astrology gives us, and the distraction of looking skyward.
‘It wouldn’t even occur to me that people would come to astrology from an unconscious place, ‘ she explains. ‘Astrology needs to go hand-in-hand with self-enquiry - and does.’
What’s more, Yasmin believes that astrology can be the catalyst that encourages the busy and spread-too-thinly to pause and self-reflect. ‘Even just reading your horoscope - is a
chance to go within, address where you're at, and pick up on any patterns in your life,’ she adds.
But, she cautions, for those of us whose knowledge comes via memes, mostly, it’s important to not jump on cosmic bandwagons (see: cancelling your meetings as soon as you find out Mercury is in retrograde), as planetary events will affect people in varying ways, depending on their charts.
The simple way to start
‘But you don’t even need to know about the planets - you can just work the two lights, the sun and the moon, whatever your sign,’ Yasmin explains. ‘ Surrender to the full moon, then set your intentions at the new moon, and your life will begin to change in amazing ways, as you start to get in rhythm with the planets.’
Sounds ‘woo’, sure, but when you strip out all that celestial stuff, you’re essentially taking the time, every month, to check in with yourself and your purpose - and focus on where you ultimately want to be. And that could be something straight out of the type of success manual that wouldn’t look out of place on your Dad’s bookshelf.
‘You are just taking the steps to create your life - and that’s what astrology is all about,’ Yasmin explains. ‘This isn’t about things being predestined, it’s about shaping the life that you want, and - with astrology - you have extra insight.’
How to move on with the help of the moon
On the full moon...‘Write a forgiveness list of the things you want to move on from. It could be someone who upset you, or you could offer forgiveness to yourself. This is important so you’re more energetically clear when it comes to setting intentions.’
On the new moon…’Set your intentions: what do you want to come into your life? While doing this might be new to you, women have been doing this for hundreds of years. So, remind yourself, as you connect to the energy of the moon, that you’re part of something bigger.’
by Claudia Canavan & Roisín Dervish-O’Kane, @allupinyourfeelings
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