June 1, 2018 marked Monarch Astrology’s three year anniversary, so I want to celebrate by sharing with you some things I’ve learned by having an astrology practice.
But how it all began – the website on June 1, 2015 officially opened as an astrology blog with daily, weekly and monthly sun sign horoscopes available by paid subscription. It was my first storefront, with the subscription service to last only a year, when I realized I wanted to write forecasts for the collective as a whole (and not individual sun signs – though now I admire my favorite horoscope writers all the more, knowing what that takes!) and when I realized I wanted to share my writing publicly free of cost and be able to share my forecasts with more people.
When I graduated from undergrad in 2015, my parents offered to send me basically anywhere in the world for a travel graduation gift. But the vision for turning my blog into a website was closer to my heart at that time than travel, so I asked my parents for help funding the website instead. They said yes. I’m now in graduate school, but I took two years off to focus on astrology full time, which meant learning how to write about astrology and how to communicate my offerings and get busy doing readings. I continued studying astrology and complementing fields like psychology and philosophy, and have been learning the ins and outs of what it takes to build an internet platform.
I have been tuning into the transits each week for three years. I set things up for myself at first that because people were paying for a subscription, I couldn’t miss a week. But once I technically had the freedom to skip a week, I didn’t. Three years have gone by, and I’ve never tuned out of the weekly transits. A deep drive in me emerged to show up consistently, even when it was the hardest to. It has taught me a lot about astrology and astrology as a practice, and about myself. Some things I’ve reflected on are:
I write really detailed and in-depth forecasts for a reason. When I first started getting Monarch Astrology underway, a good few well-meaning people advised me to write simpler pieces in the spirit of being more relatable. But I wanted to continue to write in my own style because it was that way I would communicate the vast potential of detail that astrology can offer (and I’m Jupiter in Virgo, so!).
When I was in undergrad, I studied poetics and spent a few years anticipating a career in writing somehow. My favorite type of writing was when an author put experience in language that I had never heard words put to before. I lived to hear writers render the ineffable. In my own astrology research later on, the more laser-specific and spot on the interpretation, the more I felt alive – the more bright the page appeared before me, the more I felt contact with my soul.
So while people meant well when they told me to write more simply, I refused to. From studying Uranus and Aquarius, I instead felt a faith that the people who resonated with my ideas and communication style would find my broadcast and it would resonate with them – that I didn’t have to direct myself toward conformity in the places I was really meaning to individuate.
It was evident to me how many people thought astrology was superficial, and I wanted to help change the public perception of that by example.
It’s been so much better for my mind and my heart to actually share authentically and to have people resonate with it. I love my readers & when readers have come to me for readings, that resonance is there between us. I write the way I write to signal to people my consciousness and depth – qualities which I identify with and which I’ve totally had anxiety throughout my life that it would alienate me but have found are actually portals for authentic connection. It’s been better to be visible in that way than to hide. I don’t think I should have to hide those parts of myself to be relatable. I’ve met so many incredible people as a result.
I’m still growing as a writer and a communicator, and I am learning how to reach a bigger audience, such as people who might even be skeptical about astrology. But for me, communicating more effectively isn’t about watering down the astrology, but creating a sturdier bridge. For the last three years, I’ve gotten where I have by focusing on writing for the people who already tend to resonate with these themes.
You can be aware of the transits, but you never escape them.
Early on, I thought my awareness of the transits would separate me from them, and I could avoid the less favorable transits (or so I thought them to be). But even if I managed to be aware enough to not tread unconsciously into a pitfall I had correlated to the transit, another experience would pop up to confront me with the archetypal nature of the transit. I realized pretty quickly that astrological transits are never to be escaped. Rather, you can interact with co-creatively. Since transits manifest across a whole spectrum of possible vibrations, if you will, you can always aspire to more revelatory or heightened transit experiences. And conflict and difficulty comes up no matter what – we’re growing beings. A question might become then how our conflicts shape and evolve us, rather than how we might best try to avoid all battles. (Just pick them 🙂 )
Intuition and synchronicity exist for anyone – I think astrology can accelerate it. But still, even without the map of the planets, an individual might tune into the way life is speaking to them. Are we listening and cooperating with life or resisting it? For me, astrology has become a symbolic language to learn how to be increasingly intimate with life.
Quickly, it became a moral responsibility for me to not judge the planets or signs.
Because I was offering perspective on the transits, I realized I had a responsibility to have compassionate and loving relationships with the archetypes I was writing about – as well as to not project my stuff onto my writing that I could be working out instead. Every astrologer is going to have a perspective, but I wanted to find ways to clear and enhance my filter. So if I had an issue with certain signs (and I did!) I had to work that out. While I focused my consciousness intentionally on resolving my judgements and seeing the signs and planets in their best light, I actually felt layers of hard-heartedness crack off, and felt these waves of love for everything and everyone. I think astrology is a language that equips us to see reality from others’ point of view – now in general, instead of judging others or experiences that are foreign to me through my own lens, I have this amazing archetypal language to help me see things from the perspectives of others, better than I used to without studying astrology in depth.
I also realized that some of my judgements were inherited, like through culture. The process of seeking to understand and discover, rather than judge, deeply changed my life in more than just astrology. Continually transforming and releasing my judgements is part of my spiritual path.
No matter how knowledgable you are on the astro, some transits are still hard.
Similar to not being able to escape transits, some transits are still hard even if you know the planets really well and are great at problem solving. Instead you learn to love and embrace the challenge. Astrology is a map, and life is our direct experience. The map can alter and even enhance our experience, but we still have to experience.
However, on this note it is such a gift to have a familiarity with the meaning of Saturn and the complexities of Saturn. (More continue to unfold… you never arrive at a full understanding the archetypes just like you never fully know the numinous mysteries of another person) One of the possible effects of a Saturn transit for example, is to feel like a hardship will never end. I’ve had the gift now to be self-aware of difficult transits and to access some equanimity within that.
A recent insight on Saturn has perhaps transformed me forever (that’s what it feels like!). I learned from the work of Stanislav Grof and Rick Tarnas, that Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto transits have archetypal resonance with four different stages of the birth process. Saturn resonates with the phase where the contractions have started, but the cervix is not fully dilated. So it feels like a no exit situation, and there’s all of this pressure, and the bliss of the womb is gone. When I then looked backward at my life, I realized that all of my most difficult experiences seemed to narrow my path and squeeze me into a new life. Difficulties actually transition and birth us.
I’m so grateful to have images like this, and any other astrological associations, to come to when life is hard. Not only is it nourishing, but often it gives me ideas for now to meet the situation skillfully.
Not all magic is equal, and magic will meet function where function is at.
The transits ARE magical. I have to not let myself lose the basic sense of awe that our personal and spiritual lives are interconnected with the rhythms of the cosmos. It’s such a part of my reality that sometimes I get used to it, and it’s definitely not a place I want to grow dull to.
When I first was tracking the transits regularly, I lived with a partner and we fought a lot. I always knew what the Moon was doing or what Mars was doing when we were fighting – I could always find the transit that like clockwork, correlated with our explosions. But that didn’t mean that the fight was just about the transit, like oh, it’s just the Moon and Mars being conjunct! There were underlying issues between us that the transits just co-emerged with.
In many regards, I realized that making excuses for “oh it’s just that transit” didn’t cut it for me. The transit was open to a variety of my experiences and wasn’t exactly causing them – magic meets function where function is at. If a life change needs to be made, it needs to be made.
I soon started to realize that even transits that appeared like they should be difficult by first appraisal could be blissful. Any transit could be the epicenter of a peak experience. Especially because I’m also so into consciousness and manifestation practices like law of attraction, I started to realize that all the transits had gradients of potential expressions that were actually in interaction with one’s consciousness and free will.
As soon as I got the hang of this, all of the transits became future adventures to me. I was always wanting to tune into their exciting possibilities, in addition to workshopping some of the feasible issues those transits might bring to the surface.
I realized I met the transits totally differently too depending on the state of my Moon. Was I emotionally nourished? It affected my perception. I realized all of my planets, and ultimately myself — were filtering my unique experience of the cosmos. So the more I did to increase positivity and function in my life, the more I might enjoy the transits’ high end of manifestation.
Good times and hard times come for everyone, on their own timing.
Some transits are across the board rough for many – like that Saturn-Neptune square of 2016 was rough! But the transits interface with people’s unique natal charts, karmas and people’s free will and dispositions. My work as a forecaster is less about the goodness and badness of the transits (judging them) and more about getting a sense of their personality and some ideas on how that personality manifests across a spectrum of potentialities.
When I ran astrology reading sales, my readers helped me to refine my craft at reading and I got to do the work I loved to do!
In 2016 and 2017 especially, I had some multi-month periods where I was just booked up. The process of moving from being a writer to a speaker in dialogue with my readers taught me so much. I learned so much from the people I read for and I consistently got good feedback from them. My confidence raised and I felt and still feel so lucky for the engagement that I have. It energizes me and has helped me grow so much as a person. I’ve moved closer to astrology communities in these last few years and have had more chances to speak (and not just write) about astrology, and to be in dialogue with others. I think this is important for any aspiring astrologers out there – find your way to be in dialogue with people because astrology is a language and fluency increases with practice.
I can feel the transits more dramatically on psychedelics – I feel the transits all the time, but it’s a thing.
That one, I learned from the realm of Archetypal Astrology – an astrology that combined research of altered states of consciousness (LSD psychotherapy) and planetary transits to the journeyer’s chart. Then in my own plant journeys, I felt the planets even more vividly than I do in normal states. It’s also given me perspective for the times that life gets really vivid in its archetypal patterning, when synchronicity is wild or when life is just LUSH and WILD — I can feel the theater of the cosmos up close, right in front of my nose, and it’s exhilarating.
Theoretically, one of the reasons transits are intensified with psychedelics is that normal ego barriers lesson. Even without substances, focusing on astrology can change the rigidity of one’s ego. When I was nineteen I had an experience (in a non-altered state of mind) where a friend told me I could guess his sign. I told him I would as soon as I got a hunch. He began to play a guitar song for me that he described as ” the most depressing song” first. Midway, he coughed, and I spontaneously saw what I can only describe as an auric goatee come out of his cough. “Capricorn! You’re a Capricorn!” I said. He looked at me surprised, “December 27. How did you know?”
There is the veil, and sometimes it flutters.
My wish for more people to get, or connect to astrology, deeply motivates me. I feel like it is such a life-enhancing practice and system of knowledge, and I am dedicated to sharing it by teaching it and writing these forecasts.
I love teaching astrology, and I’m grateful that my excitement about it is something I can share. I’m also glad I have something I care about so much. I think I’m naturally a devotional person, and I’m glad to resonate with having a sense of purpose. I think that astrology and other spiritual practices can help people find their purpose, too – like remembering our dreams more because we write them down, engaging the soul and the higher self increases lucidity as well.
Destiny speaks to us by our inclinations, and fortune favors as we follow them.
I never imagined I would be a young professional astrologer when I was a kid and teenager really – I read a ton of Liz Greene’s work and it got me through having so much Pisces in my chart! I felt so understood, and Pisceans are inclined to feel misunderstood. But I thought I might study astrology in my old age, and do something more normal first.
Meanwhile, I poured myself into years of studying how to write. Starting at the age of 11, on the internet, on an online writing community. I didn’t have more than a few friends my age at any given time but had tons of adult friends across the world who critiqued and edited my writing – and I critiqued the writing of many on that website too, eventually up to some thousand works of writing. That was my playground. It’s kind of miraculous how that worked out. But then also studying creative writing in college, I’ve always had this draw and compulsion toward writing but these days I am so thankful that I had that training because astrology is complex and I think all of my writing training has led up to this. I used to actually cry as a teenager, because I knew how to write but had nothing to write about, I thought.
However, astrology came for me in a really big way, and the breadcrumbs toward it had been there all along.
Astrology is not a substitute for the intuition.
Astrology elecritifes the intuition. If we gain the habit of comparing symbolic language like astrology to our inner-felt experience, we will feel the part of ourselves that gets sparked – the part of us that feels like a bell has been rung. Astrological ideas can be in conversation with this deeply resonant part of ourselves. But when any system of knowledge is used to replace that inner-compass, something is lost. I think the art lies in learning how to have both the system of knowledge (like astrology) and the intuition, without favoring one at an extreme over the other.
Astrology is a language of resonance.
Each week I pray that those who might benefit from reading my forecast will find it. I remember what it was like for me to find glimmers of astrology wisdom on the internet that sparked me – I hope to do the same for others, especially in articles about placements like my Moon-Mars article, or Mars in the 12th house article. When it comes down to it, astrology can really spark and electrify one’s consciousness. When something resonates and rings a bell, it gives us a certain lucidity that can help us align with our destiny better.
I used to worry about getting it all (like every possibility of how the transits would play out, or at least the best angle!) and realized pretty soon that’s now how this craft goes. I’m offering a reflection of what is happening via the planetary alignments. I hope that when what I say rings a bell for people, it helps them get to know themselves better.
Thank you for reading! Connecting with you about astrology brings me so much happiness, thank you for being here and for all the support and encouragement you’ve shared with me along the way!
Jenny ZeppJune 15, 2018 at 9:07 am
Yay!!! I love this post! I’ve been following you since you started, I was one of your early subscribers & I also support you on Patreon because you have a real talent & furthermore, you work hard. I am also Jupiter in Virgo so I very much appreciate your in depth analysis of the planets – you’ve helped me a lot these last 3 years with your writings and I’m so happy you are continuing to be a conduit for universal flow. ✨