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"Don't worry," this woman, an astrologist who I'd met only once before at a cosmic sex and astrology lecture, assured me. "Each person's soul chose to be born at exactly the place and time on earth so they'd have the perfect 'recipe' for their soul's awakening." That's astrology speak for "there's nothing you can't overcome with the help of your natal chart."
Your natal chart looks like something the Mayans scribbled on rocks centuries ago and requires the trained eye of someone who understands the stars– an astrologist. They read and break apart your soul and its chosen purpose in this lifetime via an astrological blueprint– your natal chart– in order to turn fate into destiny.
In this case case, my spiritual guru was Alison Lessard, a Miami-based astrologer and intuitive advisor who, prior to becoming a guide for hundreds (including Madonna's personal trainer), was administering underground readings during her nine to five in the luxury hospitality industry.
"I had a Buddha in my office and people were constantly coming to me with questions I somehow had answers to until I finally asked myself 'what are you doing here?"
So she ditched her life in corporate America as Owner Relations Manager at Trump International to look for the answer and subsequently found that her life purpose wasn't just written in the stars, it was the stars all along.
"Astrology was like a second language to me," she coolly says of the pseudoscience (dubbed this by the same people who also think UFOs don't exist) that dates back to the 2nd millennium BCE.
Unlike a psychic who divulges information from spirit guides to make sense of the past and predict the future, with no evidence beyond the paranormal, an astrologer will show you what's been written for you by the stars via your natal chart and explains, through planetary evidence, why you are the way you are. They'll explain to you the lessons you have been incarnated to learn, background information about your karmic patterns, the reasons behind specific relationships, and your behavior.
But your natal chart isn't so easy to read. Symbols that represent orbits and planets fill up a 360-degree sphere that's split by 12. Each of those wedges embodies one of the 12 houses of the zodiac at 30 degrees and each of those degrees equals 60 minutes, which in this case is a unit of measurement, not time. The inner ring of the chart, with all its symbols and numbers (or, rather, degrees), is the person's fixed natal chart from the moment of birth while the inner wheel, with lines pointing all over the place, shows transits- the positioning of the sun, moon, and planets at any point after your birth (i.e. right now, this year, or immediate future). Confused much? Join the club. Even I, the offspring of a witch (my mother studied astrology for eight years and is a born medium) can't read a natal chart if my love life depended on it and, apparently, it does.
"I speak a different language than most astrologers," says Lessard. Indeed, her approach stems from a karmic perspective, which goes deep into karma, past lives, and soul memories. "One of my mentors, Robert Ottoho, practices Soul Contract astrology," she explains, a form of astrology that helps change your fears into your greatest potential.
Change is indeed the only constant, and if I've learned anything at all from all my cosmic and astrological revelations, it's that to be in complete alignment with the ebb and flow of the universe and attract things that are meant for you, one must get to the essence of their being, which is what your natal chart painstakingly shows.
Cough up $150 and you too can get to the depths of your being and answers to the questions you've always had in a private sixty minute Intuitive Advising Session. (Usually, these are done via Skype or phone call and each session is recorded and sent via email afterwards.)
She kicks every astrological reading off with an automatic writing straight from your Akashic records. Think of your Akashic records as your non-physical plane of existence where all of your consciousness is stored. Lessard taps into it via a deep meditation prior to any session in order pass the message(s) of your higher self along so that hopefully you pay attention.
This can get pretty heavy. Heavy like, "Your issues with men stem from an unresolved issue with a man from your childhood" and "How can you expect to heal others if you can't heal yourself?"
At least that answered a few of my questions: "Why do I get bored and can't commit to anything? Should I say "F" it to everything? Go down the spiritual rabbit hole just to see where it leads me?" You know when a friend gives you advice you sometimes don't totally want to hear but it's right? This is like that, except this is the universe talking so you'd better listen up.
As we moved on to my natal chart reading, she continued to divulge information about my astrological psyche.
"Though Pisces is the most emotional yet reasonable sign of the zodiac, its Achilles heel is self-denial. Your moon in Pisces represents your emotional core while your rising in Pisces represents what you were born to work on and overcome in this life."
In other words, I was born to be emotionally open, which means I need to get over my self-denial of not being emotionally open. The universe sure has a sense of humor.
As much as I would love to say Lessard is wrong, anyone who really knows me knows that I've very much been living within the confines of my own emotional walls. I've basically been in denial my entire life because, as much I've always felt the need to be in control, having subsequently fooled myself into thinking and believing that I am, the only thing I've controlled is my inability to let go completely. I haven't let myself feel, thus failing to be the innately emotional person my sun sign of Cancer, moon (and rising) in Pisces, and rest of the planets evidently made me out to be. #deep
"No more hiding," she tells me. "It's time to speak your truth."
Of course that's easier said than done, but just knowing what needs to be done is half the battle. The other half is accepting and embracing the person you've been so scared and meant to be, something made a little easier when a cosmic chart written by the fates points it out.
Just when I think Lessard is done ripping me apart, she embarks on a post-astrology reading to close out the session, which varies from person to person and deck to deck. She has everything from oracle cards to wisdom cards to tarot cards of different kinds. This is the part where you get to ask specific questions that you might have regarding recent and current situations– what's on your conscious and subconscious mind right now? What's coming in the near future? What steps you need to take to get to the final outcome in your life? Or, maybe just anything else that comes up. My reading lead me to a tarot deck that resembled a David Bowie (RIP) video.
"Sometimes a specific person will call a specific deck and sometimes the astral chart and automatic writing is enough and their guides don't want me to throw cards or give them any more information."
Even astrologers must oblige to the laws of the universe.
"You came to have depth of emotion and you're going to be put through challenges to test that," Lessard tells me. "Whatever isn't in alignment won't last. We tend to want to merge with another person and figure ourselves out in the dynamic of two, but that's exactly what you need to move away from. This is your time to be alone and put in the spiritual work to figure out what you really want and who you are."
In the wise words of Lewis Carroll, "Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great big puzzle." I left with one take back: there's still more I need to know.
Good thing I have an astrologer (and my inner Alice) to push me down the spiritual rabbit hole. Hopefully I'll find wonderland.