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Do you keep up with your horoscope every month? Well, you’re not alone. A recent online study shows that one third of Canadians believe in astrology too, and although it hasn’t been scientifically proven, it’s popularity cannot be denied as a sign of the times. Astrologer Chani Nicholas joins our hosts to talk about her new book ‘You Were Born for This’ and unpacks everything there is to know about the zodiac.

WHAT IS ASTROLOGY?

Many people that read their horoscopes don’t realize that their weekly sun sign is merely the tip of astrology’s iceberg and horoscopes are a generalized way of introducing astrology to the masses. The practice of astrology goes back thousands of years, whereas horoscopes are only about 150 years old. In a nutshell, astrology studies the quality of light as it appears in the sky in relation to the moment someone is conceived or takes their first breath. Astrologers observe the night sky for a series of marks and create meaning out of them, using it to chart our lives and remind us that we are who we are on purpose. Practicing astrology can help with self-reflection as well as put the chaos of everyday life into perspective.

WHY IT’S POPULAR

Astrology’s resurgence is not only due to the amazing meme content it provides, but on a deeper level many people are looking to it for hope and assurance amidst this current era and news cycle. Although it’s not therapy it is therapeutic and can help provide validation within oneself rather than seeking it externally. The personalized nature of astrology allows people to connect with one another in terms of traits they might share, and living in such a social media moment makes astrology the perfect fit for reflection and humor.

RELIGION AND ASTROLOGY

Although it is argued that astrology is replacing religion for younger generations, the two are actually connected and both stem from the pursuit of structural meaning and context in our lives. Seeking out something beyond us and our everyday lives is actually the essence of what many religions hold, and astrology is a part of that search for many millennials who find answers to big questions they have about life.

ASTROLOGY AND PSEUDOSCIENCE

Until the 17th century astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was combined with astronomy. Historically humans have always been in relationship with the sky, and the ability to make sense of it as well as its workings were crucial. Astrology studies the movements of planetary bodies over time and comes up with facts about them, so it’s not to say that there is nothing scientific about astrology, but it clearly speaks in symbolic language which makes it less quantifiable compared to other studies. Astrology is not used for making scientific decisions for people, but rather gives advice and creates a space where they can connect with their own wisdom and ability to think critically for themselves.

MERCURY RETROGRADE

Blaming unfortunate situations on mercury retrograde has become a popular trend, but few people understand what it is and how it works. It happens three times a year, and if one considers the shadow phases of Mercury as well as the retrograde itself, it is two entire months for each retrograde which amounts to six months of the year. During this time things will get tricky, testy and tedious, and it’s not wise to make major plans or sign big contracts. When in retrograde, Mercury, like any planet appears to be going backward from Earths perspective but in actuality it does more of a loopy motion. Retrogrades tend to bring issues, people and opportunities back around that the planet represents in the style of the sign it occupies. Mercury represents communication, learning, thinking, reasoning and moving about. Retrogrades have a way of forcing us to review what we most likely had to skip over and bring us back to what we could not see, understand or digest the first time round.

BIRTH CHARTS

A birth chart is a snapshot of the sky at the moment you are born, and reveals your unique talents, challenges, and opportunities. With this knowledge astrologists believe that it’s possible to live out the life you are born to live. The positions of the planets reveal the nature of your life without any judgement attached and is a neutral reflection of your life, much like a mirror. There are three simple keys in every chart that fundamentally explain your life purpose (sun), physical and emotional needs (moon), as well as your motivation for living (ascendant and its ruler).

RADICAL SELF ACCEPTANCE

Most people have a buried desire to be themselves that they feel they need permission to accept. Radical self-acceptance is the ability to accept our hopes and dreams and desires and talents as they are, so that we can work on perfecting them, making them better, and getting more integrated with our skills so that we can apply them to the world and be of use in the best way possible.

NEW YEAR AHEAD

If you’re interested in incorporating astrology into your everyday life, this new year try putting yourself in a space that will open your mind to astrology and finding yourself. You can use it to feel a little bit healed and motivated to get on with day to day life. Use your skills, talents, and definitive marks to go forth with confidence and invest energy in creating the world you wish to live in.