So you know how a bunch of you have said you want to learn astrology?
Your wish is my command!
I am so, so excited to introduce you to Tabby – an astrologer-activist-all-round-wonder-woman from Wellington, New Zealand. She’s going to be 100% in charge of the new astrology series on Little Red Tarot, sharing lessons, tips, ideas and how-tos to get you started.
I’m hoping that these posts will be fortnightly – the plan is to publish an astrology ‘lesson’ every Monday (because, you know, I’m a serious blogger these days and I Have A Plan, right?) – look out for the first one in two weeks’ time on 24th November!
For now, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy Tabby’s story, below, as she introduces herself and her journey with astrology so far.
Where to begin…. I’m Tabby – a queer femme, a vegetarian, a polka dot enthusiast, a feminist, a Taurus with a Cancer Rising, an Aries Moon and lots of planets in the 10th house.
Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry, we’ll get there!
Most of the time I’m busy running a national charity that supports the creation of safer schools and environments for queer and trans youth, hanging with my live-in nephew Blueberry, swooning over polka dots, adventuring with my girlfriend, drinking herbal teas and a whole lot more.
And when I get a moment, I like to indulge my time in astrology.
I’m no expert, though. I think writing this blog is just a way to share my learning journey and walk it alongside people, and I feel really honoured that Beth is giving me the opportunity to do that on Little Red Tarot!
I’m not really sure where my fascination with astrology began. It’s just something I always found intriguing. As a teenager I would go through stages of getting excited about it and getting piles of astrology books out of the library to pore over. I’ve had horoscopes delivered to my inbox for years. At my high school I got to study Psychology for two years and one assessment was to create a personality profile using all sorts of personality tests and so on (I’m an INFP incase you were wondering). Astrology was a strong feature in mine.
One big influence on the allure astrology had over me was my friend, Laressa.
I met her through a queer youth gathering and every time I saw her I admired the way she talked about astrology and used it to help explain people and their behaviours. She’d ask me questions like ‘What sign is your Mercury in again?’ and I wouldn’t remember (now it’s the same but more advanced – ‘What degree is your Moon?’ uhh….) but desperately wanted to know and speak this language.
I remember buying my first astrology book.
It was on a trip to Wellington, before I lived here. Lots were tempting but I didn’t have much money and I wanted something broad, so I ended up with ‘The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need’. While I’m sure I didn’t believe that title at the time, now I absolutely know it’s not the only astrology book you’ll ever need!
I think it cost about $40, which was a lot for a poor and frugal Taurus, so I guess it signified a serious commitment to my wanting to learn astrology. I was already doing tarot, analysing my dreams and compulsively adding to a crystal collection at this point, so it seemed to fit.
Another significant moment came when I had to spend 5 hours in an airport, after seeing my little sister off before she flew half way across the world to stay with our family in England. I spent those hours interpreting and handwriting out the natal chart of my then girlfriend. I remember it felt really good to have used my knowledge to produce this thing, and for her to read it and completely identify with it. I wanted to keep going.
Like lots of things, astrology was exciting for a while… and then I got busy and forgot about it.
At the start of 2012 I moved to Wellington with my partner at the time – a long journey driving and via ferry with our entire lives and two cats packed into a little car and a show (where I played the part of a psychic in a travelling circus) opening in the Fringe Festival the next day. I had moved there ready for a new start in the capital and I decided one thing I wanted to do that year was to really start learning astrology. One problem – I lived in New Zealand and couldn’t exactly go to astrology school – luckily the internet is a thing.
The cast of our Fringe play ‘The Show Must Go On’
I knew a bit, but it was all too easy to forget
…especially if the times I was reading about it were few and far between. So I started reading and talking about it more. Last year I took a beginner’s course in astrology through the Wellington Astrology Centre. I found that I already knew most of what we discussed, but it was really useful to be able to talk about it with other people and have a regular time each week to focus on it. When my flat mates huddled in the lounge studying for university, I would bring out a pile of astrology books and join them. Every time (too many times!) that we had to find a new flat mate my go-to question in interviews was ‘What’s your star sign?’.
In the last year or so my astrology book collection has grown rapidly, but even more so has my database of people’s birth details. Most new people I meet won’t last long before I’m asking or guessing their star sign, or if I already know that then it’s ‘Do you know what time you were born? Can you give me your birth details so I can look up your astrology?!’
I love discovering the other important influences in someone’s chart other than their star (sun!) sign, satisfying that curiosity of whether they have a bit of Leo going on somewhere, or if they’re currently experiencing some epic transit that will explain what they’re going through.
Now astrology is definitely just part of my life and there’s no way it could get forgotten.
I find it’s always there to explain, or even justify things to me. When I’m experiencing something a bit out of the ordinary I often think ‘Hmm, I wonder what’s going on in the stars…’ and what I’m feeling is usually reflected back at me. It’s helped me understand my personality and my path in life better, and that of those around me. I don’t find astrology limiting, or something that tells me how I am, should and will be as a person. For example I’m a Taurus so I can be quite resistant to change. Knowing and accepting that about myself makes it easier for me to understand it and to be aware of when I am just stuck in my Taurean ways, or if there’s a real reason why I don’t want things to change. Astrology can be a really powerful way to get to know yourself.
I want to clarify a few things before we get started on learning astrology.
One is that different cultures have different kinds of astrology – as someone born in England, now living in New Zealand, I use Western astrology, but there’s other exciting kinds of astrology out there, like Vedic or Chinese astrology.
Now for confession time: I’m not a scientific person. In science class I was usually daydreaming, listening to my iPod or distracting people. I ended up convincing my school to give me a free period in what was a compulsory Year 11 science class for my peers.
So what I’m saying is – I don’t really understand how it is astrology works, I don’t have a rebuttal for people who say scientifically it couldn’t possibly be real, and to be honest, I’m not that fussed. In my experience, it just does work. It’s a lot of fun and it’s incredibly fascinating. I use it as a tool to better understand myself and others, our personalities, our strengths, our challenges, what planetary influences will always affect us and what’s passing by at the moment. I see astrology as this incredible way of learning about people and the world, and there’s always another layer to uncover, always more to learn and discover.
So that’s me, over to you! What has your relationship to astrology been? Are you ready to learn more?
Things to get you started with astrology
- Find out your birth time (hopefully you already know the date and place!). If you don’t already know what time you were born, see if you can find out. Often your parents will know, or it will be recorded in a baby book, sometimes if you were born in a hospital they will even have it on record. Obviously not everyone still, if ever, has their birth parents around so this can be tricky. If there’s nobody you can ask and no record anywhere, then that’s okay! Astrologers usually use 12pm as a standard time for those who don’t know their birth time. The more exact the time, the more accurate your chart will be, but a roundabout time of day is still really good.
- Create an account at astro.com – this website is an awesome resource for astrologers, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Enter the birth details of yourself and people you know and you’re away with lots of free horoscopes, interactive charts and astrology stuff galore!
- Find out the birth details of people close to you. Your partner, your friends, your family – other people who you want to understand on that next level. This will mean you can have a lot more fun with astrology, compare charts and all sorts of stuff. You need to know their birth date, time and place. You can add their details onto your Astrodienst (astro.com) account for easy access to their charts and horoscopes, or just write them down somewhere.
- Get a notebook, journal, folder, exciting pen – whatever it is that’s going to help you learn and record your findings with astrology. I have a folder, a few notebooks for various writings, a special little book of people’s planets and houses colour-coded.
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