MBG: How did you first become interested in astrology?
AT: In college, a friend bought Ophira a bound copy of her birth chart as a present -- the zodiac wheel based on the time, date and place a person is born. It was fascinatingly and weirdly accurate, so we figured there must be something to it. Shortly after that, someone gave us a piece of software to cast charts, so we began to do all of our friends', reading interpretations for each planet from a little guidebook as we learned. Anytime a friend came over worried about her love life or another problem, we'd just boot up the computer and run charts...it became this fun AND helpful hobby that's now turned into a career!
For people who are new to astrology -- can you explain what you do and how you do it?
Sure thing. For our private readings, we can go very deep because we cast a person's chart and talk to them about it for 60-90 minutes, looking at how all the parts interplay. You end up with a really rich, complex portrait of a human soul, kind of like your own user's manual. Funny enough, nobody's ever been *surprised* by their chart, per se. If anything, our clients express this palpable feeling of relief. A lot of "Yes!" and "Oh my God, that's so true!" moments...like FINALLY they're being gotten. It's incredibly important to feel that validated, and astrology has a special way of doing that.
Professionally, we write daily, weekly and monthly horoscope columns (as well as love, career and other scopes) for media outlets like Elle, myLifetime, CrazySexyLife and TV Guide. Our interpretations are based on people's Sun signs (that's what your zodiac sign really is). The entire 21st century's planetary movements are already mapped out in a guide (called an ephemeris). We track the movement of each planet through different signs and interpret from there. For example, Jupiter is the planet of luck and expansion, and it moves into a new sign once a year. So we can suggest ways that people can find opportunity through Jupiter. On the flip side, Saturn, the planet of maturity and tough lessons, switches signs every 2-3 years. So we let people know that wherever Saturn is affecting their sign might not be easy, but with planning and patience, they can still grow. We keep it positive, because people have tons of free will, and it's just about working WITH the energy of the planets, rather than against them. You're never doomed.
Love and money -- how can we use astrology as a tool to have a better love life and more money?
Understanding your chart is the first step, because you can learn your unconscious and automatic patterns. Once you know how you're wired, you can actually make conscious shifts. You may not be able to change your nature, but you don't have to be a victim of it. You can do a free chart on our website to see where each planet is in your chart.
For love, we look at Venus in a person's chart. We look what sign Venus was in when they were born, and if it's forming an angle (either favorable or challenging) to another planet. For example, we are outgoing and shameless Sagittarians, but we have Venus in Scorpio, which is a very intimate and private sign. So we have to honor how that all works together. Our Sag side might be flirty and talk a bit of smack, but at the end of the day, the Scorpio part craves a deeper bond. It's the mark of someone who ends up falling in love with their one-night-stand. (Oops -- good thing we learned astrology young.)
The distance between signs has a lot to do with compatibility. There's an energetic vibration formed between two signs based on that. In fact, we're written a mini compatibility guide that's free on our site when you sign up for our newsletter called "How To Get Along with Anyone (*yes, even that person)." There are no hard-and-fast rules for a perfect signmate, because sometimes we need someone to challenge us a little! Easy isn't always better.
For money and career, we look at a few things. We look at the midheaven, which is the sign on the cusp of the 10th house, as well as which sign rules the 2nd and 8th houses (associated with work and money). We're also really into the north and south nodes, which are about karmic destiny and past lives. We all come into this lifetime having mastered a way of being from past lives (the south node)--and sometimes we end up pursuing a career in this comfort zone. We're good at it, it comes naturally, so we think: oh, that's what I should do! Yet, there's this unsatisfying feeling. That's because we're being pushed to learn about our north node, which is the opposite sign of the south node. In Kabbalah, the north node is called the "tikkun" (karmic correction). It's a new learning curve, a new soul language, the true destiny that's calling us. We have to actively pull away from relying too heavily on the past-life goodies and learn this new way, which can be hard at first, like speaking a foreign language we're not yet fluent in. Yet, the more we practice, the more we elevate our karma, which is a big part of why we're here (in our opinion). A great book on this is Jan Spiller's Astrology for the Soul.
I've read that you believe that we're all psychic to some degree -- how can we all do a better job of tapping into our intuition/psychic abilities? Any tips?
It's a process of taking away, not adding. Removing fixed beliefs. Distinguishing the "noise" in our heads, that monkey chatter, as a separate voice from the higher Self. Thanking it for sharing, then listening through it until we find the true guide. As Sagittarians, we're constantly seeking wisdom and new perspectives, reading books like The Power of Now, doing a gazillion workshops (everything from the Landmark Forum to Marie Forleo's B-School to a shamanism training), and even therapy (hey, we're Jews)...it's been a long adventure of UN-learning. As people remove these barriers, we can all tap into one-ness with others. That's what being psychic really is -- having zero distance between you and another person, or being radically present in life.
You're both 'regular' people who have regular lives -- what's one misconception around astrology that you'd like to clear up?
Yeah, we've tucked our muumuus and crystal balls away just for this interview...ha ha. But it's true that we've hit the conventional markers. We both have degrees from the University of Michigan and a solid pre-astro background in publishing, design and journalism. We're married, and Ophira has a 12-year-old stepdaughter (Clementine, a budding astrologer) and a 1-year-old daughter Cybele. We are by nature practical, left-brained achievement addicts. This career was accidental, but came from our pure love and passion for giving people helpful tools and shortcuts. We're problem-solvers, and astrology is all about patterns. It really can create miracles for people by giving insight and guidance.
So the misconception that it's this woo-woo bullshit is a bummer. Unfortunately, there are 900-number-wielding predators out there, or storefront pseudo-psychics, and that's the image people have of this industry. But it couldn't be further from the truth. Many of our clients are high-level executives in finance, fashion, publishing and business -- these are serious six-and seven-figure rock stars. JP Morgan said it best: "Millionaires don't use astrology. Billionaires do."
Anything particularly interesting/exciting going in in the universe right now that we should be aware of?
Always. On 11-11-11, Mars (planet of ambition) is going to spend an unusually long time in Virgo (until next July), which we touch on in our monthly horoscopes. Neptune the healer, which only changes signs every 12-13 years, is going into its home sign of Pisces in February until 2025. The last time this happened, slavery was abolished. And of course, there's 2012. No, we don't believe the world is ending...but we're definitely reaching a tipping point in the need for unity and conscious living. The Occupy movement is definitely a sign of the times.
What are you working on? What's next? Where can our readers find you?
Our home base is our website Astrostyle.com. We also have a book called Love Zodiac, a 450-page guide to understanding the men of every sign! Our latest project is an astrology parenting site called Momstrology, being developed at momstrology.com.
And on a personal note, my birthday is today (November 4th) -- any thoughts on what's in store for me?
Well, happy birthday to ya! In store for Scorpios...expansive Jupiter is in your relationship house, so new partnerships (business or love) are on the horizon between now and June 2012. You could link up with someone long-distance or from another culture, since Jupiter is all about global connections. There's also going to be a Sagittarius solar eclipse on November 25th, and Sag rules your money house. So there could be some surprising work news and opportunity there. Mars in Virgo from 11/11/11-7/3/12 is an important time to get involved in a group--give up that secretive Scorpio thing and push yourself to do more teamwork. Also, do some slow and steady work around closure and forgiveness (hard for a Scorpio who never forgets anything) while Saturn is in your 12th house of endings for another year. And get ready for Saturn to visit Scorpio for 2 years next October, a time when you can really establish yourself as a leader in the world!
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