Some Have Replaced Religion with Astrology—But Are We Just Putting Ourselves in New Boxes?

Photo: Nadine Jane / W+G Creative
When I discovered my birth chart for the first time, I was blown away. It was as if everything I knew about myself, but was too afraid to embrace, was being mirrored back to me. It was the type of acknowledgment I had craved my entire life—recognition of my uniqueness and rebellion via my large number of personal planets in Aquarius, recognition of my artistic abilities and romantic fantasies via my Venus in Pisces, and recognition of my intelligence and self-criticism via my Virgo Rising. It was a revelation, and I was in love.

I was so in love, in fact, that I feverishly learned how to read the charts of others and interpret transits, all from the ease of my computer. And eventually, I was lucky enough to turn this passion for astrology into a full-time job. But one day, in the midst of the 2020 lockdown, when I sat down at my desk and attempted to write my monthly horoscopes, I found myself unable to type. I was bewildered, but I thought, eh, let's just give it a couple of days. Days turned into weeks which turned into months and I couldn't even bring myself to follow the transits for my own personal use, let alone for public consumption.

It was devastating, and frightening, as it wasn't just my career that was on the line, it felt as though this practice that I had fallen so deeply in love with had abruptly broken up with me, with no closure. After months of tears and anger, I had no choice but to move on. I stopped attempting to write horoscopes, closed my booking site for readings, and mourned my relationship with astrology and the planets I thought I knew so well.

But something unexpected happened. I found myself noticing the changing phases of the moon on my walks with my dog, feeling into whatever emotion came up, without fixating on what sign it was in. It was so profound to just feel the sun on my face, open to whatever joy it had in store for me, rather than analyzing what the transits had to say about making the most of the day. I would experience a profound emotional breakthrough within my personal therapeutic work, only later to be told by a friend in passing that there was an eclipse that very day.

I slowly came to understand that the planets had not broken up with me, they just wanted me to experience them rather than just study them. They were talking to me all the time, ready to share their wisdom with me, if I could only just slow down enough to hear them. They were with me every step of the way, even if I stopped tracking them on an app. And I discovered what it’s like to just be in the present moment with the planets, in the right here, right now, of my mystical journey, observing their magic in awe and wonder, rather than just look towards them to predict the future.

I have no idea what all of this means for my astrology practice moving forward, I just know that it will never be the same. I can’t wrap this experience in a neat and tidy bow as I once hoped that I could, and I hope I never will. But if I have learned one thing it is this—rather than looking down at my phone demanding immediate answers, I will choose to look up at the sky and ask infinite questions instead.

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