4 Ways Astrology and Therapy Can (and Should) Work Together, According to a Psychological Astrologer

Photo: Getty Images/ Iryna Khabliuk / EyeEm

If you've ever had a birth chart reading, you know that it can affirm and illuminate a lot about yourself, which in and of itself can be quite healing and paradigm-shifting. Well, when you add therapy into the mix—as in viewing your chart through a therapeutic lens—it can take things to another level.

Psychologist and astrologer Jennifer Freed, PhD, explains that your birth chart can help identify patterns and challenges you are meant to navigate in this lifetime, or as she puts it, your "cosmic lesson plan." To blend the two practices of astrology and therapy, Dr. Freed recommends working with someone with a therapy license and astrological knowledge. But as a starting point, below she shares four ways astrology and therapy can work together. 

1. Identifying short-term and long-term challenges

Dr. Freed says one of the many cool things about astrology is that it can help pinpoint the chronic, long-standing challenges that you’ve dealt with since birth (for instance, maybe you've always had a hard time expressing your feelings), as well as acute issues that come up for a period of time and relate to a particular transit or cycle you're going through, such as your Saturn return, for example. So looking at your natal chart as a whole—plus what's happening currently in the cosmos at any given moment—can help pinpoint what issues would be helpful to work through in therapy. 

2. Reflecting on your inner and outer realities

Unpacking your sun, moon, and rising signs (aka your big three) is another great way to mix astrology and therapy, as they reveal important aspects of who you are. As a refresher, your sun sign represents your identity. Your rising sign, Dr. Freed says, is your persona, kind of the role you are given in your family, while your moon sign is your non-negotiable emotional needs.

So as a starting point in therapy, Dr. Freed recommends discussing these different parts to understand yourself better. Who do you think you are? (sun sign) What do you need to feel emotionally satisfied? (moon sign) What face do you show the world? (rising sign) Your moon sign, in particular, she says, is very important as it represents your inner world and can reveal a lot about what you need to work through in therapy. 

If you're a Pisces moon, for instance, "it means that you need to be able to say how sensitively you feel about things, how hurt you are, and also to learn to take a step back and not personalize everything," Dr. Freed says. So in therapy, a Pisces moon would benefit from working on discerning what they’re feeling. 

3. Decoding the subconscious

If you don't already keep a dream journal, start one ASAP. "Dream work is very powerful for all signs," Dr. Freed says. "It requires some discipline because you have to write down or record your dreams, but dream work can be an extraordinary opportunity to marry astrology with psychology." 

If you pay close attention, Dr. Freed adds, themes of whatever astrology cycle you're going through will pop up in your dreams that can help decode what's going on in the unconscious mind. To help with this, she suggests noting the general theme of your dreams and looking to what planet rules that theme. Mercury, for example, rules communication, and Pluto rules death and rebirth. Then reflect on what that planetary energy wants you to become aware of in your conscious state. 

4. Choosing what type of therapy tools work best for you

There is no shortage of therapy types available. There's reparenting therapy, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and hypnotherapy, to name a few. However, not all styles will work for everyone, and astrology can help find a type of therapy that would work best for you. To do so, Dr. Freed recommends noting the elements of your sun, moon, and rising signs. 

For instance, if you're heavily an air person (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), Dr. Freed suggests grounded, slow-moving therapies that will help bring you more into your body, such as CBT which focuses on how to be more mindful and aware.

Folks with a lot of earth energy in their natal chart (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) will benefit from cathartic and expressive therapy "so you can get out of the mud," Dr. Freed says. Think rebirthing therapy or breathwork, which can help move stuck energy. 

If you're a fiery person (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), on the other hand, "work with therapies that help you be more contemplative, mindful, and reflective, and actually slow your roll [and] not be so tempestuous, impulsive, and easy to anger," Dr. Freed says. "You want to work with therapies that help you actually organize and mature and be more intentional." Examples include self-object therapy and attachment therapy. 

Lastly, Dr. Freed says water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) need therapy that helps them assert themselves, establish strong boundaries, and help manage their flood of emotions. For this, she suggests highly structured therapies, such as brief or goal-oriented therapy, where you choose a goal and the therapist helps keep you accountable.

Whether you choose to use all of Dr. Freed’s advice, or focus on just one tool at a time, figuring out a way to combine astrology and therapy can help you deepen your understanding of both practices and how to apply them to your personal growth journey.

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