The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 230, titled:
With Chris Brennan and astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo
Episode originally released on November 18, 2019
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Felicia Romano
Transcription released October 13th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Saturday, November 16th 2019 starting at 3:53pm in Denver Colorado, and this is the 230th episode of the show. In this episode I am going to be talking with astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo about adapting relationship astrology to modern times.
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Hey Jessica, thanks for joining me today.
JESSICA LANYADOO: Thanks for having me on episode 230. What an accomplishment.
CB: Thank you, thank you. Yes, I’m excited. This is actually your second appearance. I don’t remember what episode number it was, but it was probably like a hundred episodes ago when we talked about the sudden rise in popularity of astrology like a year or two ago, right?
JL: Yeah, absolutely. And I think you’re right, it was in the one hundreds somewhere.
JL: What a great problem to have to be like, “Was it in the 100s or the 150s?” [Laughing] That’s exciting.
CB: Yeah, right. Well, what I also love about that is now with you coming back, you’re back and part of the occasion for this, is you have a new– you’re one of several major younger generations of astrologers that has a new book coming out by a major publisher this time. And it’s actually on relationship astrology, so I wanted to talk with you a little bit about that today and first just say congratulations for that, because that’s kind of a big deal.
JL: Thank you so much. I also want to thank you for referring to me as a younger generation as I sit here in middle age.
JL: [Laughing] I still appreciate being counted as one of the younger generations of astrologers.
CB: Yeah, I love that that’s still the case. That’s been the burden for, like, a generation or two–like a Pluto generation or two, basically like anybody under Pluto in Leo.
JL: [Laughing] Yeah.
CB: They’re still considered, like, a young astrologer.
CB: If you’re under your 60s or 70s or 80s at this point.
JL: Yeah, well I mean, and honestly that’s fair. I mean, astrology is nothing if it’s not the study of time and age. So I think, I mean, I’ll take it. I’ll be a young astrologer in my mid-40s. That’s cool. I’m down.
CB: Sure, right.
JL: Yeah, totally. [Laughing]
CB: Alright, excellent. So you are the host of the popular “Ghost of a Podcast.”
CB: Which has become super popular over the course of the past year. When did you start it? It was not that long ago, right?
JL: Not that long ago. It’s a weekly show, and I think I’m on episode 73. So it’s maybe a year and a couple months old now? It’s still pretty, still in its early years hopefully, yeah.
CB: Brilliant, alright. And one of my first exposures to your work was several years ago. And I talked about it, I believe it was in episode 83, when I did an episode with Ian Waisler about the Queer Astrology Conference, where you did a talk with Barry Perlman about, it was titled in the paper at least, “Queer Talk on Client Work.” And that was one of my favorite papers in that compilation, when they published the compilation of papers afterwards.
And it seemed to be part of an ongoing theme in your work which is adapting relationship astrology, and adapting astrology in general, to the sort of sensibilities of modern times, right?
JL: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and thank you also. [Laughing]
CB: So that I think is going to be the central sort of question and premise of this discussion, or this episode. We’ll get into a little bit of a Q & A about relationship astrology where people have sent in some questions later. But first I wanted to talk a bit about this as the central sort of proposition.
Which is, I think that astrology is always a reflection of the culture, the social sensibilities, and the time period in which it’s practiced. So then one of my questions that I want to address today is in what ways, then, did relationship astrology need to change recently in order to adapt it to the sensibilities of practitioners living in modern western times? And I feel like you’re a really good person to talk to about that, because I get a sense that that’s something that you’ve been doing and that’s a large part of what your work has been about.
And I was curious to what extent is that a conscious thing that you’re doing, or to what extent is that just a thing that comes naturally to you because you’re working with real life individuals and doing consultations all the time? And so you have to make the astrology adapt to what is appropriate to them rather than, you know, what was appropriate to clients like 2,000 years ago or something like that.
JL: Yeah. You know, it’s both. It’s very conscious and it’s also very organic to who I am and my take on the world. And my work as an astrologer is very much like a counseling session. And I’m really interested in using astrology as a way to provide tools for individuals that are usable and that start with people from wherever they’re starting at.
And so my– you know, and this is something I’ve said in public before. But like, when I first started studying astrology in the early 1990s, I would take a pen to all of my books. And I would write, it would be like, “He this, he that,” and I would just put a little “S” in front of it because it was driving me nuts. Because I was like, you’re not talking about me.
JL: And I, you know, as a queer person I discovered astrology around the same time where I realized I was gay. And I was really just deeply disheartened by the lack of flexibility in everything I was reading, or most everything I should say, that I was reading. And the idea of gender, the idea of sexuality, but also of race and class and ability, all of these things have not been effectively reflected in astrology, unfortunately. And that’s, I think, for a lot of reasons.
But for me, taking a step back from what the kind of like old school people tell me to think about the planets or the signs or the aspects, or whatever I’m working with, and using very intentionally the data around the energy of what any of these things mean and adapting it to a situation, like a real life situation, is really how I use astrology. And so the way that I use astrology is not, I’m not the most technical astrologer. I think in terms of technical know-how, I’m not the best astrologer. But in terms of translating it into human terms and meeting people where they’re at and counseling them in such a way that I can give them tools that are actionable, that’s where I’m really excellent.
JL: And that is something I’ve trained myself in doing over the course of many years. And I should say, you know, it’s not specific to my book at all. But for me, looking at immigration patterns, race, ethnicity, class, those things are as integral as any of this relationship, gender, sexuality stuff because it’s about looking at the whole human and understanding the social context that a human is relating to themselves from, relating to others from.
So maybe that was a long answer to your question, but hopefully it answered your question. [Laughing]
CB: No, that was perfect. And part of the context is you’re from Montreal, Canada right?
JL: Yes indeed, the “N Sur,” as we say.
CB: But you live in San Francisco?
JL: I’m in Oakland now but I was in San Francisco for like 20 years, yeah.
CB: 20 years, okay. So that was sort of like the culture sort of context in which you came up as an astrologer for the most part?
JL: Absolutely, and I should also say that I’m from refugees on both sides. So you know, my mom was a first born to Holocaust survivors like a year after they ended up in Canada. And then my dad, he himself is a refugee. So having this perspective on looking at the culture and the need to adapt to a dominant culture is something that was a big part of my consciousness before I discovered feminism or came out as gay, or any of that sort of stuff. And again, I think that’s where a lot of these kind of intersectionalities become really important to me and are a big part of how I taught myself astrology.
CB: Sure, yeah because what you were talking about earlier in terms of going through your books and like crossing out when it’s always addressed to the male in the delineations, I mean, that’s something that goes back when you’re reading most ancient texts like from the second century and they’re giving delineations for stuff. It usually is presented with the assumption that the reader is a male or that you’re doing the consultation for a male. And then at the end there will just be a digression and it’ll say you know, “And similarly for women,” if you’re doing the interpretations for women. It’s sort of an afterthought in some of those older texts.
You get to modern times in like the 20th century, and eventually we start seeing female astrologers and the consultations and clientele of astrologers certainly becomes more clearly defined as women in the 20th century. And female astrologers start becoming more dominant voices in the community in general. But even in the 1970s and stuff where you start seeing books, they’re clearly pushing some of the boundaries and changing astrology and adapting it to the cultural sensibilities of the 1970s, but there’s still a lot of voices there that got left out and were not included. And things look very dated if you read, like, a synastry book from the 1970s or something I think.
JL: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, and even within that it was mainly white astrologers when they were women, and they were mainly straight. And in order to get published by an actual publisher, you had to appeal to a male ear and a male perspective. And the great democratizer of the internet has changed that. And you know, I think it’s so wonderful. I think it’s so dynamic.
And you know, also there are some things we can speak very critically about when it comes to the internet and how it’s democratized astrology. But in the context of giving more diverse voices kind of a mic, it’s really valuable. It’s really valuable, yeah.
CB: Definitely. Alright, so with that in mind, that’s kind of how you approached– your book is coming out and the title is, what is the title of the book again?
JL: Sure, it’s Astrology for Real Relationships: Understanding You, Me, and How We All Get Along. But you have to say it in that tone, otherwise you can’t read the book, sorry. [Laughing]
CB: Yeah, okay I’m going to have to work on that.
JL: [Laughing] You’re gonna have to work on your delivery for sure, yeah.
CB: Right, so that was– was that kind of the perspective that you approached this book from? In terms of, you know, it’s time to write a book about relationships but to make it relevant in 2019?
JL: Mhm. I mean, listen. I really do believe that relationships are an opportunity to show up and so in order to be in a healthy and effective relationship, you need to show up. And people love to focus on, like, “Their Venus is in this, and their Mercury is that.” You know, and that’s– there’s a value to it. But really what I’m interested in is addressing the nuance of relationships and the nuance of one’s relationship to ourselves so that we can understand that we are the foundation of all of our relationships. And all of your relationships are found in your birth chart. You don’t have to look at your crush’s birth chart or your lover’s birth chart to know what’s going on in your relationship. You have to look at your own! Because what you consent to, what you participate in, is your chart.
And so for me, the book is hopefully an opportunity to teach some of my perspective and how I use astrology. And again, the way I use astrology is very simple. It’s a lot of repetition of fundamentals and a deepening, deepening, and deepening of those fundamentals because I think that is what’s most effective. Also I’m a triple Capricorn, so of course I think that.
But I have the hope to have this book as a resource for a kind of wide array of relationships, and for both a deepening of an individual reader’s relationship to themselves as well as to others. So that– I just dropped something, sorry.
CB: That’s okay.
JL: So that they can have more effective relationships. That’s really, that’s my goal. And the book itself is feminist, absolutely, in its approach. Which is to say it does not center maleness, it doesn’t center femaleness. It centers humanity. And it is queer inclusive.
You know, I understand in writing the book that when I’m looking at long term relationships, not all relationships are monogamous. Not all relationships are straight. Some people are ace. Some people are queer. Not all people are men and women, there are many many genders. So there’s like, a lot of that stuff is at the forefront of my mind when I was writing this book and whenever I work with astrology. So, yeah.
CB: Yeah, and that’s just completely different from where somebody in like 1970 was coming from when they were writing a book on relationships.
JL: Absolutely yeah, even the 1990s. I mean, this is a really– I think that again, the internet can be credited for a lot in terms of our ability to be intersectional and develop language. Because in the 1990s when I was living in San Francisco in a very queer community, the language that we used to define ourselves, to identify our gender, stuff like that, you had to either live in that community or read the books that were published by people in that community in order to have access to our language.
Now people can use hashtags, they can post stuff on social, and it has a global impact. And that is so interesting to see how we can self-define in new ways and then share it in a global way instantly. So small movements can become global movements kind of organically and quickly. So that is a really new thing, and I think it is reflected in certainly my work. And I think it’s reflected in a lot of astrologers’ works, new up and coming astrologers.
And I have had older astrologers consult with me to ask me questions about gender issues and sexuality issues and feminism. And I love that. I respect that. I want us all to kind of be interested in the evolution of language and of what equality means, you know? So yeah, I’m going on a tangent, but there it is. That’s some stuff I’m excited about.
CB: Yeah, I love that. And to take it back to a point you were making earlier where, you know, relationship astrology is not just all about looking at synastry or comparing charts, and there’s many different types of relationships. And I love that that’s sort of a fundamental point that you approach the book from, because you divided the book up into three sections where you’re dealing with different types of relationships, basically, right?
JL: Absolutely, yeah. The first section is friends and chosen family, because for a lot of us our family of origin isn’t our family. It’s like our community of chosen people. And also, I think platonic love is incredibly important and platonic relationships are incredibly important.
And this kind of like old school heteronormative idea that like, you have friends until you get married, and then you get married and you drop your friends or your friends are just like, this supportive thing to your primary relationship. It’s an outdated way of living. I don’t think it’s–I mean, if that’s how you choose to live that’s cool. But I’m happy to support, through astrology, people in choosing to focus on their friendships.
And then the second section is hooking up and early stages of dating, like the first three months. Because so many astrology books are just like, you just open the book and it’s like, “This is how you will be in a relationship.”
JL: And it’s like, well what is a relationship? Is it six months? Three months? A year?
JL: And so this is kind of like the TBD, what’s actually happening here? Are we dating? Are we not dating? Like, “Is it going to work out” stage, and also the “Netflix and chill” stage. It’s the like, “I’m not trying to date this person but I’m also not trying to ruin my life. What’s astrology have to say?”
JL: And then the third section is long-term relationships, like, the more conventional love stuff. So I tried to cover it all.
CB: Brilliant, yeah. I mean that’s covering like a huge swath of ground of just about everything because astrology is so broad, and that sometimes one of the difficult things is it can almost be overly broad and hard to deal with, especially for newer students sometimes.
JL: I agree, yeah.
CB: So having something that’s giving you a cross-section of all of those different types of relationships in your life is very, like, useful.
JL: That’s my hope. Yeah, I’m really into the utility of astrology. And again, this is where in my kind of use and approach with astrology, I’m a– and this is something that is not what I see a lot of young, new astrologers doing. When you start learning astrology you get so excited. And you’re like, “I wanna learn all the things. I wanna learn progressed this,” and you wanna just learn all these tools.
JL: Because all these tools are so exciting. And you hear someone else using it and you’re jealous. You want to be able to do that magic. But the reality is, if you can’t do the basics then you’re going to have all these gaps in your ability to actually make sense and synthesize and utilize the astrology that you’re learning.
And so I am really focused on planets, because I really believe the repetition of fundamentals. Understanding on a really deep level what the planets do and what they don’t do, what they govern and what they don’t govern in practical terms, that will tell you everything you need to know. And then the general nature of astrology becomes a lot less general, because it is– I guess essentially it’s just energy and being able to understand that, you know, certain kind of energy runs in certain directions and other energy runs in a different direction. It actually gets much more specific when you have a clear question, which is maybe a whole other topic, that “Clear question” topic.
But yeah, my hope with this book is to give people tools that are flexible so that they recognize that I’m talking about the same thing in all the sections. Venus from let’s say friendship or hooking up or long term relationship, but how can you just adjust your viewfinder to understand Venus in these different contexts? And that will allow not only for a good astrology reading and self understanding, but also for deepened practical utility of astrology, which is super my jam.
CB: Right, so it’s sort of like that understanding the archetype more clearly of the planet, then that’s going to make it easier to apply it in a multitude of different manifestations or like, social contexts, or regardless of gender or age or other things like that?
JL: Hundred percent, yes exactly. Yes, that’s exactly it, yeah. And I– this little thing that we’re talking about here is at the center of how I use astrology. And I think it’s at the center of astrology being humanistic, honestly, because I think astrology can be a lot of things that are not humanistic. It can be used that way because you can use astrology from any angle you want, you know? It’s just a tool. It’s inert.
And so I’m really interested in the kind of social and humanitarian considerations of how I do everything, but in particular how I practice astrology and talk about it in public, yeah.
CB: Sure. So how– I’m trying to think if I’ve discussed that or really gone into like, what do you mean when you say, “Humanistic astrologer”? How does humanistic astrology as you define it, how is that different from let’s say whatever other approach that’s not humanistic?
JL: Mm. My– and I don’t know if there’s like a definition or if there’s an actual kind of astrologer. It’s only when I started speaking at the larger conferences that people were like, “What kind of astrologer are you?” And I’d always be like, “A Jessica one? I don’t know.”
JL: Like it never even occurred to me to have to choose a side. I was like, “I’m just an astrologer.” Obviously that’s not reality, but that was my take. So my understanding, and I guess what I mean when I say humanistic is I am interested–
CB: Yeah, I don’t mean to put you on the spot or anything like that.
JL: No, I love being put on the spot. It’s my fave.
CB: It’s just I love defining terms when we use them, because sometimes we take for granted. But then if somebody was listening to this episode for the first time, their first episode about astrology in general, it’s always helpful sometimes just to try to attempt to at least define what we mean. And sometimes that can lead to fruitful discussions.
JL: Yeah, I like that. I like that a lot. So before I was– I mean, I was practicing astrology but before I went full-time I worked with developmentally disabled children and adults, and seniors actually. And my kind of experience doing social work, social services, social work I guess it is, was one of the most instructive things I’ve ever done and what it taught me was the practice of humanity is not a cerebral practice. It involves the mind. It involves the analyzer. But it is about being emotionally present for what your body is doing, emotionally present for your thoughts, and making sure that your actions are consistent with being able to see the humanity in others and to engage with the humanity in others. And I, as a practicing astrologer having a humanistic approach, which is absolutely my approach, it’s– I am not looking at gay people and straight people. That’s not how I’m doing it. I’m looking at people in their lives at this time, and I’m meeting them where they are. And that is essentially like a harm-reduction approach to things.
And harm-reduction is like, you know, if you’re a junkie and you stop doing heroin and you start smoking weed all day every day, thumbs up, harm reduction. So maybe ideally one day you want to stop smoking weed and you want to be sober, cool. But you’ve reduced the harm you were causing. And so for me, meeting people where they are and supporting them in elevating or evolving from that place is meeting them in their humanity.
And that is my primary objective with astrology. I’m not interested in being the smartest or the best. I don’t care about being right. I mean, it’s awesome to be right, but I don’t care about being right. What I care about is using the tool of astrology to stimulate thought, stimulate growth, and kind of expose choice. Because when we feel like we have a choice, then we start to kind of go bigger. And when we go bigger we can embody more of ourselves.
JL: When we feel trapped, when we feel victimized or whatever it is, we stop seeing that we have other options and other choices. And that kind of inhibits the greatest embodiment of our birth charts. And I really believe in life being an opportunity to embody the best of our birth charts. That’s really what I understand.
So humanism is really, it is really about honoring the humanity in all of us and in our choices, essentially. I mean, I don’t know if I thought about it more if I would have a better answer to that, but that’s where I start from.
CB: Sure, yeah one of the things that I like that you said that might be worth talking about more is, it almost is like you don’t– it sounds like you’re trying not to come at sitting with a client with a pre-defined sense of like, moral expectations that you’re putting on them. That your sort of moral, whatever your moral situation is doesn’t necessarily count and you’re not trying to guilt somebody in a consultation, or tell them what they should be doing or what’s best from some sort of exalted moral standpoint or something like that.
JL: Absolutely, absolutely. Can I share some anecdotes about that?
JL: Okay, so there’s two things that come to mind around that. One is that when I do consultations with people and they tell me they want to get married– not when they’re like, in love with someone and they’re engaged. But when they’re like, “Oh yeah, I want to get married.” I always ask them, “Why? Why do you want to get married?”
And I’ll tell you, probably like 70% of people, especially women, are shocked by that question. And their first response is often, “Why, do you think I shouldn’t?” Like, they’re always terrified. But then it comes to pass that I’m the first person to ever ask these adult women why they want this thing that is a huge responsibility.
CB: Because they just think that they should?
JL: They just think that they should.
JL: It’s also, it’s just there’s certain assumptions we make about adulthood, and we don’t question them. Like we question, “Do I want a big wedding? Do I care about a white dress?” But it’s different than, “Is that actually something that I need in order to be whole?”
JL: “Is, you know, like a legally binding agreement actually important to me? Is a party important to me?” These are really important questions. And as a starting point I like to question these things. I don’t assume that everyone’s straight or everyone’s gay. I ask everyone, do you date, you know, “What’s the gender of what you date?” And that unnerves a lot of straight people. [Laughing]
And I think it’s great to have our assumptions questioned because when we question Saturn, Saturn as our baseline concept of reality, when we engage that part of ourselves and we question it, there’s more room for us to embody our truths. And maybe your truth is you’re super straight and you want to get married and you want to have the whitest of all the dresses, and like you want the most conventional things. Cool!
JL: But choose it. Choose it by knowing that you don’t have to choose it. And, you know, so that’s one anecdote. And then the other one is something that actually came up in an astrology conference where I gave a talk about this topic. And I shared a story about a particular client that I had who was cheating on her husband with this, her lover, and cheating on her lover with this other lover.
And half of the room was horrified. They were just offended. And they were just like, “I hope you kicked her out of your office.” And they were very offended by it. And that kind of moralistic judgmentalness is not humanistic.
JL: It’s not my job to decide what someone else’s morality should be.
JL: It is my job in supporting people to recognize the choices they’re making, the impact of those choices on others, but also on their own soul. And not from a judging place, but from a place of understanding. Like, this person was like Jupiter, Jupiter, Sag, Sag. They were like, “I want, I want, I want.”
I’m all Capricorn. So that’s, I’m like, “I want, but consequence.” And so I’m not going to project my take on someone else. Instead, it was supporting that person in seeing how by choosing everything all at once she was actually limiting what she’d have long term. And so how could she look at that? And so by supporting her in seeing things from her own perspective, in alignment with her own values and morality instead of my own, I was actually able to help her and hopefully her kind of like, many many loves.
And I think that that’s really important, because when we as astrologers, or therapists, or doctors– well, doctors are separate. The astrologers, therapists, when we bring too much of our own morality into the conversation, then it’s about you. And I don’t know, why would you want that? I want somebody to read a damn chart. I want somebody to tell me, based on my chart, you know, not based on their chart.
JL: And I think when astrologers, and we all do this when we’re first learning astrology, we think about signs or planets or aspects in relationship to our own experiences. What we need to accept is that we are actually doing that through the lens of our birth chart instead of through the objective lens of astrology. And that becomes very problematic and I think it kind of brings us back to that original thing that you’re referring to when, you know, straight white men of class privilege are the only ones writing a book, then of course we’re only going to see astrology that reflects those things.
JL: And I think that that’s something we all need to get away from, regardless of where we’re starting from. So it takes effort and it takes practice to do so.
CB: Yeah, and it’s important as an exercise in flexibility as an astrologer to be able to have. Like let’s say somebody comes into you and their background is that they’re a Catholic. And then the next consultation you have the next day is they come in and they’re like a Hindu and that’s their religious preferences. And those are just religious examples, but those would be two really obvious examples where if you’re projecting your own morality onto them it may not align with what they’re sort of relative moral standpoint is.
CB: And how inappropriate that can be in some instances, just obviously for you to do that as an astrologer.
JL: Mhm, yeah absolutely. I mean, I have clients who are Trump supporters. I personally very vocally am not. I stand in resistance to everything he stands for. And that is not a conflict for me because I am not there to proselytize. I have a podcast, I can do it there. I can write, I can tweet, I can do whatever I want. But when I’m counseling someone, I’m counseling them based on their needs and not my needs.
JL: Because it’s not the Jessica hour, it’s the hour of my client. And I think that for me as a consulting astrologer that is incredibly important, and it is in integrity with me. And because of social media and because I have a podcast now I think my clients are really clear on what my politics and my values are, but they weren’t for the bulk of my career because I wasn’t– I didn’t have a platform on which to publicly discuss these things, so.
But you know, I over the years have worked with many people who I don’t per se agree with but it’s not, that’s not my role. I think it’s not the role of the astrologer to agree. And you know, different strokes for different folks. So different astrologers are gonna practice in different ways, but that’s certainly how I practice. And again, it is wound up in this idea of being a humanist about it, so.
CB: Yeah, but I mean it goes back to another point which is just this idea that astrology is relativistic. And I can’t think of anything else that’s more showing you, like, how relative that life is than astrology does. And there’s something really useful and insightful about that as a core principle of what it’s even all about.
JL: Agree, yeah. Strong agree, yeah.
CB: Sure, alright. So let’s see, I’m trying to think of any points that we wanted to touch on first before we jump into the Q & A. Are there any other points we should have talked about? We talked about the like friends and chosen family part of your book, the hanging out and dating part, and then there’s also the long term relationships part. Is there anything else you wanted to touch on that I skipped over?
JL: I mean, I think there’s something really interesting in talking about sex and sexuality from an astrological standpoint. I think it’s not something that I’ve seen explored enough by astrologers. And again, when I have it’s been almost exclusively straight white men who have been the ones talking about it, which is just great for them and not great for everyone else necessarily.
JL: And not to say that I– well, I’ll just say that. And so I think that there is a value in talking about that. In writing the book I wanted to be able to speak to sex a lot more than I could because of the structure of the book, and the word count of the book I guess.
But I definitely, I think that through– kind of within all the stuff we’re talking about being willing and interested in looking at sexuality. And not like, “I like girls, I like boys,” but how one’s sexuality functions and how one embraces or negates their own sexuality. How one experiences shame or duty around sexuality. These things are really important, and they’re important for us to be able to talk about as astrologers because when we relegate the body away from the spirit and the mind and the heart, we’re doing a disservice to wholeness.
And this is why I am a medical astrologer. I do talk about sex and sexuality a lot, because I don’t see any of these things as separate. They’re all different shoots off of the same branch, you know?
JL: And I think that this is again back to my kind of really simplistic, kind of almost like essentialist approach to astrology – I’m maybe using the word essentialist wrong, but anyways – because I really see all of these things as deeply connected. And I think talking about sex and sexuality is a really important part of talking about a person’s psyche and a person’s heart, and certainly about relationships that aren’t platonic in nature, which is a lot of relationships.
So yeah, I don’t know if there’s a lot more to unpack from there. Maybe some questions will kind of trigger this more, but.
CB: No, I like that. And I like the idea that you’re also addressing short term relationships or just, you know, purely sexual relationships as well as platonic relationships, or just like short term hookups because there’s a whole age part of many people’s lives where that’s kind of what relationships are for a while but like, most older astrology books don’t necessarily address because best case scenario they’re often addressing larger, broader questions of like, “When will I find my soulmate?”
CB: Or, “Is this the person I’m meant to be with for the rest of my life,” or something like that. And that leaves out this whole other sort of area of relationships.
JL: Yeah. And to add to that, you know, a big part of why astrology books historically haven’t kind of encompassed that is because men are allowed to fuck lots of people. What is that, “Soil your royal oats, spread your seed,” you know, all this stuff.
JL: Men are encouraged to have activated sexualities, but women are only supposed to have sex with their male life partner.
JL: So it’s really confusing because men aren’t supposed– these are straight men who are supposed to have sex with women, but they’re not supposed to have sex with their wives. You have sex with women, and then you find a wife, but you want her to be a virgin. Like, that’s the history of how it goes down.
JL: And as women become more financially autonomous, you know, as we have birth control, as we have the kind of greater freedoms to be as queer as we please, all these things expand what’s possible. And it expands the conversation around sex and sexuality, because now there’s a reason to talk about “Netflix and chill.”
JL: Because hella people want that, right? Lots of people want to have sex with someone and they don’t want to date them. Or they want to date them but they don’t want to partner with them. And that’s new. It’s not new that people want this, it’s new that people can do this. You know, we don’t have to get married, we don’t have to partner up, and we don’t have to be monogamous.
And so I think it’s exciting. And I think it’s exciting to be able to reference astrology, to see these things. And it’s all there. I mean, it’s not– it’s all there, I guess is just the important thing to say. None of it is like, “Oh snap, we have to reinvent the wheel, literally.”
JL: Instead, it’s just we have to look for it. And it’s like, on the surface waiting for us to talk about it and waiting for us to use it as a reference point. But you have to, you know, you have to know again about humans in order to understand astrology thoroughly imo, so yeah.
CB: Yeah, and to remove– like there’s not this sense of shame like there was like let’s say 20 or 30 years ago surrounding so many of those things, or surrounding the idea that people do obviously have sex before marriage and that’s just like a common thing.
CB: Yeah, just removing some of those things. And even when you’re an astrologer doing consultations, and I’m sure this has always been the case and you would only see traces of it. But when you’re doing consultations with people there’s like this whole range of different variations in people’s lives and people’s morality and ethics and sexual orientation, and all these different things.
And I’m sure astrologers have always been exposed to, you know, a multitude of different ways that those things manifest. But it’s just not often, until recently, talked about openly.
CB: Instead, it would often just be talked about very closely following whatever the current societal norms were, or what have you.
JL: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s so wonderful. You know, one of the things I train myself to learn, and this actually I talked about in the 2013 talk with Barry, is I trained myself very early in my career to look at who has safer sex. Who uses condoms and who doesn’t, and why? And that is, you know, nobody taught me how to do it. I taught myself how to do it because I thought it was important. And you know what? It is, because I talk to so many people who do not have safer sex. And the reasons why they do it are varied. And the reason is really important, because we must understand that the need for sexual boundaries are really important because it protects your physical body and your emotional body. And because, you know, you can get STIs and sometimes you can get pregnant unintentionally. Like, there’s physical consequences, but I’m interested in the energetic consequences, you know?
And understanding that stuff is so useful. It’s so practically useful for people! And I’m, again, really passionate about what is useful for people. So yeah, these are things I’m really excited about. And my book doesn’t, you know, it’s not like a sex book.
JL: But I hope that more and more astrologers are brave enough to kind of bridge that gap and talk more about body in the context of sex, in the context of health, and all that kind of stuff. You know, this is something that comes up in my practice a lot and I’m super passionate about. [Laughing]
CB: Yeah, and I think it’s important. There’s been a bit of a revival of traditional astrology over the past few decades, but one of the things that I don’t always like that gets revived as part of that– It’s not been revived philosophically but one of the baggages of first century astrology that was also part of Christianity is this real divide between spirit and body. And often like a sense of shame or guilt surrounding the body, and seeing it as something negative or something problematic in some ways.
JL: Yeah, yeah.
CB: And it’s one of the sort of issues then that sometimes gets stuck with astrology, but that I feel like is being shed and sort of pushed away a little bit as too moralistic or too philosophically divorced from the reality of, like, what our lives are actually like in the early 21st century.
JL: Absolutely. Yeah and I think also scholars of all things, we tend to get in our head, right? We get in theory, and that divorces us from the body.
JL: And when we talk about something like intimacy it is physical. It’s visceral and it’s also emotional. And I really do believe that being able to be present for the wholeness of our birth chart requires that we are spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically present. And it doesn’t all have to be equal, because some people are more one than the other or whatever.
But they all have to evolve. And when we try to evolve the spirit without evolving the body, or evolve the mind and keep on going with the mind, the mind, the mind, and not evolve the heart, then eventually we topple over and we have real problems, and those problems will often manifest through the body. And so yeah, there’s just a wide open highway on this topic. Like it’s just, there’s so much to say about it. So yeah, it’s something that I’m really excited about.
CB: Sure. One of the things that I love about astrology and I always loved about doing consultations and sitting down and looking at somebody’s chart, and something we talked about on the last episode, is that like a big secret in astrology is that every consultation that an astrologer does, they learn something new. Because there’s always, like, a unique birth chart and a unique manifestation in that person’s life of those placements. Even if there’s repetition, or even if symbolically you can sort of say ahead of time how this should manifest archetypally, you learn something new.
And one of the things I love is it’s a lot of fun just to see how different people’s lives actually work out in practice in all of these different areas of their life that we’re talking about. Is that something that’s fun to you? Do you enjoy that process still, in doing consultations?
JL: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
JL: I mean, I’ve been full-time consulting since ‘99.
JL: And I have never, and I’ve counseled twins and triplets, and I have never seen the same chart twice. Even for triplets who have technically identical charts, because we have a soul. And our soul is this pesky little free will bunny that just runs around making choices. And I think that’s just delicious and exciting, and I love it. And so yeah, I mean I love reading birth charts so much.
JL: And yeah, it’s constant learning and it’s constant engagement with not just what a person is made of, but how a person chooses to be. I mean like, forgive me for this like too on-the-nose metaphor. But like, we both may have a Blue Yeti microphone, but you know how to use it and I don’t. Real talk, right?
JL: And I just think like, we can all have the same equipment but that doesn’t mean we’re going to use it equally.
JL: It doesn’t mean we’re going to use it the same way, or for the same reasons. And that is just really exciting to me as a counseling astrologer! Because I want to talk to people about the choices they’re making and empower them to see what options they have within those choices, because that is where the soul evolves. And that soul evolution kind of drags the mind and the body and the heart with it in a really beautiful way, so yeah.
CB: Sure, definitely. Alright, brilliant. Well why don’t we transition into– we put out a call for questions about astrology and relationships, and different things, different discussion topics. And we got a bunch of questions from listeners, so why don’t we transition into taking a look at some of those, if you’re up for it.
JL: I’m always up for question and answer.
CB: Okay, brilliant. So let me see, this is a good one. So this is from Catherine Urban, who actually has a book coming out very soon. What day is your book being released, by the way?
JL: New Years eve 2019, so 12/31/2019.
CB: Brilliant, okay. New Years, perfect.
JL: Thank you, yeah. So if you pre-order it you’ll have it in your paws for New Years eve, yeah.
CB: Good idea. I’ll put a link to it in the pre-order page on the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com.
JL: Thank you.
CB: So this is from Catherine Urban, who has a book coming out. And her twitter is @astrocatherine. She says, “Sometimes couples think it would be fun to get a reading together. Do you have any thoughts on this?”
CB: So this is something that comes up because, you know, most people don’t know this if you’re not an astrologer but astrologers have discussions about this, because sometimes that, even though it just sounds okay in theory, like sometimes that doesn’t work out. Or it sometimes is actually not a good idea or can be super awkward.
JL: Yeah, I discourage people from getting couples readings from me.
CB: Do you? Okay, so you actively discourage it at this point?
JL: I actively discourage it.
JL: Unless the needs of a child are involved, they are in a long-term committed relationship, or they have something, like, real that they are working with. Because relationships are like blowing glass, you know? You don’t want to fuck with them. You don’t want to be constantly futzing with them, you know? I think that when we as individuals take responsibility for how we participate, what we participate in, what we consent to, we often don’t need a relationship reading.
JL: Now, couples counseling is a different thing.
JL: Because everybody has to show up and self-define. When you meet with an astrologer, we do all the talking, you know what I mean?
JL: Like, we tell you. And that’s not always helpful, especially when the problem is one person doesn’t want to listen and the other person’s doing all the heavy lifting. Well then, what’s an astrology reading going to do for you? You know what I mean?
JL: And I do couples counseling a fair amount. I have once had someone throw something at me. [Laughing] I have had a lot of tears. I’ve helped a lot of couples, for sure. But it is only for relationships that are ready for it, you know?
CB: Yeah, and in terms of this and the reasons why it’s problematic is you get the same issue if you have, like, a parent and a child that come in, as well. Where like, the parent is bringing their child to get an astrology reading, but then they sit in on it. And that can create a not-helpful dynamic.
CB: Where the child doesn’t feel like they can be open and honest with you necessarily, because they have, like, their parent looking over their shoulder.
JL: Yeah, I don’t let parents. I mean, when I read for children, which I do very rarely, I do not let parents in the room. And I only will do it under the commitment from the parent that everything I talk about with the child is completely confidential.
JL: And I clarify for them that I’m not a therapist, which means it is not my responsibility to report anything. And if the child tells me they’re doing anything, that’s a confidential thing they’re telling me and I’m going to be good to their trust.
JL: And if they don’t want that, they should see a therapist. [Laughing]
JL: But I am not– I actually just yesterday went to Berkeley High School, and I got to speak to a class of high school students in their last year of high school about my job, and how I got it and all that kind of stuff.
JL: And they asked me a million questions. It was so awesome. It’s my second year of doing it.
CB: Yeah that’s cool.
JL: Thank you, yeah. It was really really fun. And you know, inevitably they always ask like, “Will you tell me about myself? What about my chart?” And I always say the same thing to children, which is, until you’re at the age where you can say to me, an adult, “I disagree with you,” and feel totally clean about it, then I’m not gonna give you a reading because with children, we have a power differential. And that power differential is, “I’m the adult, and I’m telling you something.” And children, you know, you can be– I was a very precocious, very opinionated, very strong-willed child. Shocking, I know. I was and still when an adult said something to me it was an adult saying something to me. So that power differential cannot be negotiated around. It doesn’t matter how cool or down the adult is.
JL: And so I’m really mindful of that. And the kind of consultations I give to young people are different than the ones I give to older people.
JL: Even people under the age of 25, I will reframe things in a different way, or under the age of yeah, 23, 25. Under that age I will frame things in a slightly different way, because you know, all of your adult experiences are mainly like, when you’re a teenager still. So I really, I am a big, you know, I’m such a Capricorn that I think like, until you hit your Saturn return you’re in your childhood.
And so I try to be really respectful of that. And to me that’s not like, minimizing someone because they’re young. It’s respecting where they are. And I think that’s our job as responsible astrologers, to recognize that not all ages are the same. Of course they’re not. We’re astrologers. [Laughing]
CB: So is your concern then more like the “Do no harm” dictum? That you feel like you might say something to a younger person that they’re gonna take in a way that might not be healthy compared to somebody that’s older?
JL: Yeah. If I’m talking to let’s say a 38 year old…
JL: They will know who they are through lived experience. Now let’s say I’m talking to a 23 year old. They know who they are through feeling, through theory, but not yet lived experience in the same way. So at 23 you have, you know, how many years of kind of adult-ish lived experience? Depending on your circumstances maybe it started at 16, maybe it started at 18.
But really, this is a different thing. And I think it’s really important to recognize that when an astrologer says, “This is who you are” or “This is what’s going to happen,” it’s scary to people, you know? We have a power and with that power comes a responsibility. And my kind of sense of how to manage that responsibility is to really hold– make sure I spare more words, to free will and choice.
JL: And potential, when I’m talking to younger people. Because the 20s are a time when you’re beating your head against your childhood, or not being who you used to be, or not being who your parents are, whatever it is.
JL: And in your 30s, in your 50s, in your 70s, that’s not what you’re doing anymore.
JL: And as astrologers I feel that, you know, we have a responsibility to counsel people based on what we understand of astrology, right? Which is that time does change you. It does mature you. And there are generational transits that happen at specific ages, and they mark different levels of individuation. So I kind of work in respect to that. I don’t hide things from people. I’m very direct, but I try to be respectful around that stuff.
CB: So it’s not that you wouldn’t do a consultation with somebody younger.
JL: Oh no.
CB: It’s just that you’re going to frame it differently and be more careful about making, like, overly deterministic statements with a younger person?
JL: One hundred percent, yeah. I work with a lot of younger people, yes, yeah.
CB: Got it, okay that makes sense.
JL: And I’ve worked with teens and young people as well like that, yeah.
CB: I do want to say going back to the question, there was one instance I that remember that I did do a consultation with a couple where it actually worked out well. Where it was this older couple, and they were both in their 70s or 80s. And I had done like a newspaper interview, and they saw it and just thought the idea of astrology was novel, and contacted me and asked if I could read both of their charts in the consultation.
And when we were doing the half– when we were reading the older gentleman’s chart, I was making some delineations about Saturn in the second house, and issues surrounding money, or apprehensions or fears surrounding it. And it wasn’t really connecting. He was like, “No I don’t really, that doesn’t really connect at all.” Or he was saying like, it didn’t make any sense.
And then his wife spoke up, and she was like, “No, that’s exactly you. You grew up in the Great Depression, and your family was in poverty for like the first entire chapter of your life. And that has carried through psychologically, and affected every decision that you’ve made subsequently as long as I’ve known you for the last 60 years.”
JL: [Laughing] That’s amazing.
CB: And so, yeah. Well and it’s– cause it’s like the person sitting next to him was, like, the one person who knew him the best and the longest, and had the most objective perspective with which to view his life. As opposed to the person whose chart it was, where oftentimes it’s hard to step outside of your own life and look at it objectively.
CB: So I will say that was one of the few exceptions where there was a value, or there was something that was brought to the table, instead of something that was problematic about doing a consultation with a couple.
JL: Mhm, yeah. I mean, I should say, I’ve done a lot of consultations with couples. I love it. I think it can bring a lot of value. But the couple has to be ready for it.
JL: And there has to be a reason. I think the mistake people make is they come in because they think it’ll be interesting, or they want to know their “Past life connection.” And it’s just like, that’s a fool’s errand. You’re gonna be disappointed with what happens.
JL: I really think as direct and kind of realistic as my one-on-one readings are, my couples readings are much more direct and much more realistic. [Laughing] So it’s kind of like a buyer beware moment, as far as I’m concerned.
But when you do couple’s readings, personally me what I do is I study both of the individual’s charts and then I pull up a composite chart. I work with composites. And so I counsel based on all three of those charts. That’s what I tend to work with. What do you work with?
CB: Yeah, like the natal charts and like, looking at their seventh houses and things like that. And then their synastry. I heard actually that you prefer composite charts over synastry, and don’t look at synastry that much, is that true?
JL: I hate synastry. Yeah, I hate synastry. Hate it.
CB: You’d go so far as to say you hate synastry.
JL: I hate it! And I hate Whole Sign houses, let me just be provocative!
CB: [Laughing] Okay.
JL: Yeah, I do. I hate both those things, yeah. Thank you, thank you very much. [Laughing]
CB: That’s fine, that’s cool. But you, so you focus on composite charts, and just before we started recording said that you have a preference in terms of the two variations. There’s the Midpoint Composite chart, and then there’s the Davison chart. And you are on team Composite, not team Davison?
JL: Correct, yes, correct, correct yes.
JL: Yeah, and I am a big believer in: You are who you are. I am who I am. But when we come together in a relationship, that relationship is a third animal.
JL: It has its own chart.
JL: And when we look at just synastry it’s, I don’t think it’s comprehensive.
JL: I don’t find it to be as accurate myself. And I have a lot of friends who are astrologers who strongly disagree with me. And that’s chill for me, I don’t mind.
JL: But I, like I’m not attached to it. It’s just how I work. I definitely, I also will say I don’t fixate on the seventh house.
JL: Because I don’t know that the seventh house is actually the most important thing because I’m like, first of all, I’m planet obsessed. And second of all, I think every house in the birth chart is a relationship house when we’re looking at relationships.
JL: Every house in the birth chart is a health house when we’re looking at your health. Of course some are going to be more than others, but that tends to be my kind of take on it. And you know, when I’m looking at relationships I’m looking at power dynamics. I’m looking at relationship communication, and I’m looking at how we share responsibility. Because those are the things that break people up, and therefore they’re the things that can hold you together if they’re done right.
JL: So those are kind of like big places that I focus. But you know, maybe we can get more into that as the questions progress.
CB: Sure, definitely. Yeah, I think actually this next question might sort of address that, or might lead into that. So this question from Diana Rose, @ddamascenaa–I’ll put it in the description page.
JL: It’s hard to say handles.
CB: Twitter handles, yeah.
JL: Yeah it’s hard. Hey girl, hi.
CB: Yeah, Diana’s awesome. So her question is, “When is it actually beneficial to look at a beloved’s birth chart, synastry, composite, etc.? I feel like a lot of people will preemptively investigate these things, like before the first date, and end up making wildly incorrect assumptions before they’ve even met.
JL: Yeah, I love that question.
JL: I’ve been with my current partner, we’re about to have our eight year anniversary. And I couldn’t tell you where anything is in his chart.
CB: Really? You don’t know?
JL: I mean, he’s a Gemini.
CB: Did you ask the birth data or anything? Like, how soon? Or was that just not a priority for you at all?
JL: Months into the relationship I asked for it, and–
CB: Okay, I think that I’m going to say right from the start though, that’s atypical. That’s slightly atypical I think you would say, for an astrologer.
JL: Totally, yes. Yes it’s highly atypical.
JL: I’m also–but I stand by it.
CB: Yeah, no that’s fine.
JL: And I’m so passionate about it.
JL: Because here’s the thing, if you’re an astrologer, let’s say you’re a good astrologer too. Okay?
JL: Then you, even if you don’t know nothing about their birth chart, you’re going to know way more about that person than a normal person would.
JL: I mean, if you’re not a muggle, you already have an advantage, right? And on top of it, I’m psychic, right? So I have like a real advantage in relationships. And it’s a disadvantage in practical terms. And the reason why I say that is because if you have data about a person–
JL: Then if you are telling yourself that that data’s just data, and you just want to know about that person, you are lying to yourself. Because you’re only doing it to satiate your own birth chart, imo. And I really believe that we should know a person through practical terms before we start pairing that emotional, physical, mental knowing with the analytic ideas about astrology.
JL: You are not objective when you are a subject. And the second you have sex with someone or you have a crush on someone, you are part of their birth chart. You are a subject in their birth chart, which means you are not going to see anything, anything, objectively. I don’t care how genius you think you are. You are not going to see it objectively. And I think I’m a damn genius! And I still, I really stand by this.
So I want to say that, you know, if somebody’s asking me (and I’m so glad you are, thank you very much) if somebody’s asking me, don’t look at your partner’s chart. Don’t look at your crush’s chart. Don’t do it until you’ve already made an assessment for yourself based on your felt experience, based on the evidence you are being shown about the person. Because seeing someone’s potential will get in your way. Why don’t you just see who the person chooses to be in front of you, and how compatible it is in your felt experience?
Astrology’s not meant to allow us to evade intimacy. And when we use astrology to evade intimacy, it backfires on us. It backfires on us. There’s a lot of astrologers who’ve been practicing for many years who can tell you that they’re not happy in their love lives. That astrology has not facilitated greater intimacy, right? And the reason why is because we’re not the great and powerful Oz. We’re not just heads. And astrology is mental. It’s just, it’s a mental practice.
So if you want emotional connection, sexual connection, if you want vulnerability and if you want presence, then don’t function primarily out of your brain.
CB: Sure, and there’s just a danger of making assumptions, like, going into the relationship with assumptions. No matter how good of an astrologer you are, you might start making assumptions about the person before you’ve even gotten to know them. Or before, let’s say even the best case scenario, before you’ve gotten to know the specific ways that the archetypal placements in their chart actually play out or manifest in their life, or in their personality, or in their actions. Or how they choose to manifest that, when there’s parts of their chart that they manifest as a result of their free will, or what have you.
JL: Absolutely. And also, different relationships do different things. Again, if we come back to the concept of the composite, my composite chart with my best friend is not going to be the same as my composite chart with my partner. My partner experiences me in a completely different way. My Moon, my Mars, my Sun is a completely different Mars, Moon, and Sun with a romantic partner and a platonic partner and a colleague, right?
And when you’re vulnerable and you’re excited about someone, you’re not going to be able to read that effectively. Of course not.
JL: So it’s a great question. I wish more people would be careful. And reading the horoscope of your crush, it’s a fool’s errand. And you know, we’re all fools. No judgment, but it’s not super wise.
CB: Okay. And yeah, to put… I mean, I do think it is important to…. I still engage in it, and do read charts, or have read charts. But I do think it’s important for astrologers, even as a cautionary thing just to go along with that, to develop the ability to on the one hand like, read a person, and look at a chart, and be able to make an assessment to some extent about their life and their personality and different aspects of their life, and to be relatively accurate when it comes to that.
But then on the other hand also, to hold off on making judgments about people. Especially new people that come into your life, that are going to be a part of your life, until they’ve made those actions or done those things.
CB: And to avoid like, typecasting a person or projecting previous experiences with certain planetary placements, or zodiac signs or whatever, onto future relationships, and assume that it’s going to be the exact same thing, no matter how close the placements are, to past instances that you’ve seen.
CB: To allow or give some room to see how things go and how people act before sort of jumping to conclusions almost.
JL: Yeah, energy is energy. But not all energy fits into a different container in the same way.
JL: And I think, you know, I’m a big fan of looking at exes. Ex-friends, ex-colleagues, ex-lovers, looking at their charts. Really studying them, because I have the gift– the kind of like, perspective of retrospect. Like, I saw the whole damn thing happen and now I can understand it.
JL: That’s a great way of using astrology. But to imagine that, you know, if I say to you, “Oh, you know, I’m dating a Sun, Moon, and Rising Gemini,” you already had a million thoughts. You already had a million opinions about, “Uh oh, Sun, Moon, and Rising in Gemini, shit.” Right? Like, most people would have ideas.
And so, you know, when we are subject we cannot be object, and to take responsibility for that I think is really important. And again, I am coming from the perspective of being a counselor type, and so I’m interested in helping people to have more whole and embodied lives and birth charts. And you cannot do that if you’re scanning for danger and reading someone else’s chart so that you know what to expect.
JL: That’s not– there’s no cheat for life, honestly. Like, it doesn’t work. But it’s a great question. Thank you for asking.
CB: Yeah. And just to back up what you’re saying: in my own personal experience about a decade ago, I was in this relationship that just went really bad. And like, it turned into a stalker situation where I was being harassed for like a year after leaving the relationship. And it was very abusive and bad, and just a very dark part of my life.
And I tried to move forward, and like a few months after that I met this new person. And sort of this relationship came out of nowhere, even though I had sworn off relationships after that previous one which had just sort of ended a few months earlier. And one day we’re talking, and it’s one of our first sort of quasi-dates, and she drops her birth chart placements. And the chart is just extremely similar. Like, same rising sign and a few other placements as the ex who had just been stalking and harassing me for a year.
And it just like, my initial reaction was just one of immediate fear and trepidation and all these other things of like, “Oh my god, I’m about to walk into the exact same relationship.” But luckily as an astrologer I sort of cautioned myself not to just immediately jump to conclusions, and just to let things sort of play out and just see how they went before making all sorts of assumptions about exactly how things would go based on the similarity or the repetition of certain placements that I had just experienced.
And that maybe I would experience different variations of some of those placements than how they acted out in the other person’s life, you know, previously. And then that turned into like a ten year, you know, relatively successful, happy relationship that I’m still in. Yeah, and that was a really important lesson for me as an astrologer. That’s one of the–
JL: That’s massive.
CB: That is one of the cautionary tales that I would tell people in general, is just to be careful, and why you should be careful. Because sometimes you might run into situations like that, where pre-judging people could be a major mistake.
JL: Yeah, absolutely. And also, you know, when we have to learn how to have boundaries, we’ll learn it whether we want to or not. Like, you know? And if that’s how the universe, Jesus, whoever you want to blame astrology on, is trying to get you to learn it is through these particular aspects in somebody else’s chart, then who are you to stand in the way?
I think it’s really important that we focus on our own birth charts. I think that’s where our greatest growth occurs, is when we focus on our own birth charts. And understand that if I have an issue to learn around boundaries or around direct communication or around emotionally showing up when things get messy, then I will attract no one but people who force me to embody those things. Like, that’s just how the birth chart runs.
And so if we look for answers in other people, we lose the thread. And the birth chart tells you everything you need to know about yourself. Everything you need to know. And so it’s about being brave and not seeking shortcuts, you know? I think it really is. And it requires bravery to have feelings for someone and to date someone, and let someone into your life. And you know, I think using astrology as a tool for being brave, instead of looking for a shortcut around having to be brave, is a really good approach.
CB: And also, you’re going to see if you’re dating different people for a long enough time period, you’re going to see repetitions in certain placements. Or certain things that come up over and over again and may represent either relationship dynamics that you’re playing out in different variations of. Or may just represent, because of how your birth chart is playing out, certain types of energies that you tend to attract for whatever reason whether that’s healthy ones or unhealthy ones, or what have you.
You know, you may have a predisposition towards certain rising signs, or certain Venus signs, or Mars signs, or what have you. And experiencing the different variations of some of the same placements becomes one of the great joys and sort of, like, educational things that you get to do as an astrologer.
CB: To whatever extent if you are sort of paying attention as you go.
JL: Yeah. I agree with that completely, yes.
CB: What was your experiencing, though, once you actually did see your partner’s chart? I mean that’s like several months into the relationship. That’s so interesting.
CB: Like, what was your reaction?
JL: I was– so there was a couple reactions. One is I mainly only looked at it because he had something going on and I was like, answering a question. That’s really, I’ve never studied his birth chart.
JL: I’ve never sat down with his birth chart because I don’t need to, because I’m experiencing him and I’m showing up. And when he bugs me, which he does, I deal with it. And when he pleases me, which he does, I deal with that and like all the things in between. And so I mainly just–if he’s like, going through a time I’ll look at his chart and be like, “Oh snap, okay so now let’s look at what’s going on here,” and we’ll talk about it that way. So I’ll try to be supportive.
JL: So there’s that. The one thing that I did notice is that I was in a relationship for almost a decade before getting into this one. Not immediately, but like my last major relationship was with a person who had like a million planets in Scorpio with a Gemini rising. And my current partner is a Gemini with a Scorpio rising. So I was like–
JL: That’s not what I ever would have picked. Like, I wouldn’t have thought that my triple Capricorn ass would be like, Gemini-Scorpio.
JL: But I apparently adore it. Who knew? So that’s a fun thing. And you know what? I’ve never done any kind of astrological investigation into why I like that pairing or why I like that combination.
JL: Because it’s just data collection. It’s not going to help me be more whole. It’s not gonna serve my evolution, so I don’t fuck with it.
CB: Yeah, I mean and sometimes I have seen repetitions. Like, every relationship I’ve had has always been with another fixed sign rising. And I have Aquarius rising, so I have a fixed sign rising. So it’s just some random– you’ll notice random pieces of data that may or may not, like, mean something in the long term.
CB: They probably do. But sometimes it just becomes data that is one of the mysteries of life or what have you.
JL: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, and it’s like how much– I mean, the more practiced of an astrologer one becomes, the more it’s like well you can have just a chamber of secrets full of data. But who’s gonna use it?
JL: I’m such a Capricorn in this way, where I’m just like really interested in utility. I’m really interested; if it’s useful I want it. If it serves the work I want it. And if it doesn’t then I’m just gonna kind of lose track of it, and that’s just what works for me. And you know, let’s hold space for different birth charts are gonna have different priorities, right? So that’s just what works for me.
CB: Sure, definitely.
CB: Alright, let’s see, we already touched on this one but it was a good one from Advice Astrologer (@AdvAstrologer). They asked, “I would like to know if you guys prefer to use Davison or composites.” And your answer was a strong composite. And I also use composites. I never thought Davisons made sense because a composite is like a midpoint between planetary positions.
So if one person’s Venus is at 14 degrees of a sign and the other person is at 16 degrees, then the composite chart will put Venus at 15 degrees of that sign as like a midpoint in space. But the Davison composite does a midpoint in time where it’s like if one person’s born on November 1st and another person’s born on November 3rd, then it’ll create a chart for November 2nd.
CB: Yeah, and then that’s the sort of composite chart. So I always liked the original composite, it’s more of like an abstraction of the idea of midpoint theories. And midpoints is like a technical thing rather than creating, you know, some other chart in time.
JL: Yeah, I’m with you a hundred percent, although I couldn’t have said it as well as you did. But yes, agree. [Laughing]
CB: Okay. Let’s see, here’s a good one. I think you’ll like this. So how do–and this is tied in with one that we talked about. Yeah actually, this is by the same person actually, Advice Astrologer. They said, “I’m curious what you think about ‘twin flames.’” Are you a big fan of twin flames?
JL: Hard no. I do not like twin flames. The concept of twin flames I am not a huge fan of in general.
JL: I won’t say I don’t believe in it. It’s not for me to believe in. I mean, I don’t know, is twin flames a belief system? I can’t really, I don’t fully understand that part of it.
CB: I mean, to me it’s a new thing.
JL: It is.
CB: I feel like people have only started talking about this in the past few years maybe, tops.
CB: And it’s just like out there that this is a concept that exists. But astrologically, it’s like this didn’t, wasn’t a thing until very recently.
JL: No, it’s ridic– I mean, listen. There’s no perfect person, which means there’s no perfect partnership.
JL: And my concern about the concept of a twin flame is when people come into my office and they’re like, “I have met my twin flame,” what they’re really saying is, “I’m in a Plutonian relationship where I’m not getting my needs met and everything is chaotic. And I’m not happy, but I want it to work so badly because I feel a soul connection.”
JL: That’s what I hear. And to me that’s not something that I’m really– I don’t think that’s great. I think it’s ideal for us to seek functional, healthy relationships in the here-and-now. And I am of the mind that we have a soul connection and a spiritual connection with every person we have contact with, and it’s not enough.
We need functionality. We need compatibility in real time, otherwise it’s destructive and it’s not the best of our birth charts. And if you’re not embodying your birth chart to the best of your ability, then you’re going to have to go back and fix it. So you might as well do it right the first time.
CB: Sure, yeah. And this is tied to actually another question by Richelle Steyn (@roshbon), where she says, “How to identify and navigate ‘soulmates’ and karmic relationships?” And this is all sort of part of the same category. And it’s something that I feel like clients often come to astrologers wanting to know. And I think one of my early motivations for astrology was wanting to know things like that, of identifying if a person is your soulmate.
But I don’t feel like astrologers can tell you that. I feel like that’s something that a client wants to know, abstractly, but it’s one of those things that in some instances is beyond the scope of what astrologers can say with one hundred percent certainty.
CB: Do you feel the same way? Or am I– what do you feel about that?
JL: Yeah, no, I agree with that. But maybe even more like, “Grandpa telling you to get off my porch,” kind of vibes, I would say that [Laughing] if I may own it.
CB: For sure, yeah. Please.
JL: Thank you very much. The idea of a soulmate is complicated to me because to have a soul connection is inevitable.
CB: So you’re rejecting the idea in general that there is such a thing as a soulmate?
JL: I’m rejecting the idea that not everyone is a soulmate. I think that the idea– this is kind of back to something we were talking about in a different context before.
JL: The soul union is– every relationship is meant to be a soul union. Your relationship to your cat, to your bestie, to your mail person, if you’re not doing it with your soul you’re not doing it right. You know?
JL: We are meant to show up with our soul. And I think that the kind of misuse of the concept of soulmate is conflictual. And I feel a yearning and I’m pulled to it, but it isn’t working. It isn’t functioning. And when it isn’t functioning in practical terms effectively, that doesn’t make it more spiritual. Let me speak more astrologically.
JL: When we have strong Neptune connections with someone, or when we are very Neptunian ourselves, we seek spiritual union but we have a tendency to orient ourselves towards potential instead of evidence. When we are deeply Plutonian or in a Plutonian relationship, we tend to go for the most powerful feeling instead of the healthiest and best adjusted feeling. And when we have a relationship that is deeply Plutionan, it can be conflictual and it makes you feel like you’re pulled by a magnet, but it doesn’t necessarily work in a healthy way.
And so from my perspective, these kinds of relationships are often called “soul unions” or “twin flame unions,” but that doesn’t mean that they’re actually better. Because you have a deep yearning for someone and it’s not functioning well is not actually what I would characterize as something I want to support.
So when we unpack the idea of a twin flame or a soul union, it’s often very hard for people to explain what they mean other than, “I really want this person, and I really want it to work, and it isn’t working.” And that’s where I, as grandpa Capricorn astrologer and just like, “That’s not what I’m here to support.” I’m here to support someone’s best interest and not best idea.
CB: Okay. Yeah, and I mean–
JL: Sorry if that’s offensive or sad to people.
CB: No, that’s fine. And I mean part of it is it seems like just a presumption that there is, like, one relationship. And everybody wants to find that one–
CB: –relationship like the movies. That they’ll fall in love and be swept off their feet. And then they’ll live the rest of their lives together for decades and decades and eventually grow old and like, die holding hands.
JL: [Laughing] Right, that’s exactly it.
CB: Right, and it’s like well sometimes that does happen. I mean, there are relationships. That one earlier I was talking about of that couple that came to me for that consultation that was in their 80s, they had spent like 60 years together of their life and had a relatively successful and happy marriage. And they met when they were like 18.
And I feel on some level, to the extent that they lived their entire lives in that one relationship, that they met very early on and it ended up being happy and fulfilling. And they had children and grandchildren and what have you, that you could say like yeah, sure that was the case maybe in that instance that they had met the love of their life and there was this one person and they lived their entire life with them.
You know, I don’t know if that’s necessarily always the case with everybody. Like, you might meet a few people in your life that you end up having like a karmic relationship with or that end up being very defining relationships in your life that you learn something from and grow from as a person, and that you love and care for that person very intensely during that part of your life.
But there’s just many different scenarios. And that one sort of ideal– not Cinderella story, but sort of fairytale story is not gonna be the case for everybody necessarily, which is why it’s kind of awkward when a person comes to you as an astrologer and asks to tell you if this person is that person, because in most instances that’s not usually gonna be the case.
JL: And it’s not useful to know that, honestly, because if I say to you– I cannot tell you how many clients have come to me. And some astrologer or some psychic was like, “This person’s supposed to be your soulmate. They’re your twin flame. You’re gonna end up with this person.”
JL: And then inevitably the relationship doesn’t work.
JL: And then the client struggles. They’re like, “How did I mess up my one chance at love?”
JL: Like, the most important thing is dealing in the here-and-now with the relationships you have, to the best of your ability. And if someone isn’t healthy or compatible for you, if they’re not showing up, walk away!
JL: Have faith in yourself. Have faith in your capacity to love and to manifest more experiences. And don’t become attached to the idea or the potential with someone. Instead, deal with the reality of what exists between you and that person. I think that’s just so important, yeah.
CB: Yeah definitely. And also just looking at things like synastry or composite charts or the birth charts or the transits that a person is having in terms of relationships, you know, there’s gonna be, in any relationship, there’s gonna be things that work out well and areas where your relationship goes relatively smoothly. And there’s gonna be areas where you guys have tensions for whatever reason.
And in some relationships, those tensions and the downsides are gonna be negotiable or there are gonna be things that you can push through and get over and don’t, you know, destroy the relationship or make it non-viable. Whereas there’s gonna be other situations where those downsides end up outweighing things and the relationship. You end up having to walk away at some point for whatever reason as a result of that.
And while it’s sometimes useful with astrology to identify that ahead of time, and the astrologer can do that to some extent, it’s not always gonna be the case that they can say one hundred percent if those difficulties are gonna be surmountable or not. And often that ends up being a choice that you end up having to make at some point during the course of the relationship, which is my main reason why I kind of– It sounds weird if somebody does come to me and say another astrologer told them that, “This person is my soulmate or that we were twin flames.” That I almost feel like that’s almost unethical to some extent because it’s just completely removed the element of free will.
CB: And it’s also, the astrologer’s going out on a limb by saying that this is definitely, like, the love of your life and the one relationship that you’re meant to be with for the rest of your life. And I think astrology has limitations that need to be recognized in terms of that.
JL: Absolutely I agree. And I’ll just kind of add to that, if you’re listening to this and you’re a practicing astrologer at whatever stage of your development, there are two kinds of problems in relationships. There’s the problems that are your problems no matter who you’re dating. No matter who you’re with, they’re the problems that you’re gonna find in your birth chart that you need to come into embodiment around.
And then there’s the problems in your birth chart that you’ve already outgrown, or that are actually not things that you need to be dealing with in your life. They’re destructive problems. They’re not problems that help you come to wholeness. And if you can determine that the problems between you and the person you’re dating, or are friends with or whatever, are destructive and they’re not calling you to be a more embodied healthy part of your life, get the hell out of the relationship.
That’s the lesson. The lesson is: Don’t consent to things that are unhealthy. Embody your best potential. And if that breaks the relationship then the relationship was already broken. And if that makes the relationship stronger then you can’t help but continue to be together, right? And so don’t worry so much about predicting what comes next. Instead, concern yourself with enacting what is best. And then the best case scenario can’t help but unfold. It works. I know it sounds overly simple, but it works.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense.
CB: And back to something you were saying earlier, one of the things that annoys me about people trying to identify the pieces, and saying that certain pieces are karmic or certain relationships are karmic, is I really agree with the point that I think you were making earlier, which is, everything in the chart is karmic to a certain extent. And if you’re gonna adopt karmic philosophy, like Indian astrology for example where they came from, they just consider every part of the chart to be karmic or every result of past actions, whatever you mean by that. And every relationship in your life is gonna have some broader karmic meaning or is gonna be the result of something if you’re framing things in that sort of philosophical context. So it’s almost, like, weird to kind of say that one relationship is more karmic than another on some level.
JL: I agree. I think it’s a misunderstanding of what karma and karmic relationships are. All connections that we have are karmic because we are karmic beings. If you resonate with the concept of karma, it’s not just my hard relationships are karmic or my long-term relationships are karmic.
JL: Your karma is your karma. It’s, you know, it’s you.
JL: So yeah, I agree with that completely.
JL: Yeah, there’s a great book called The Greatness of Saturn. Have you ever read it?
CB: Yes, I love that book. I read it at Kepler. It was recommended to me by Dennis Harness. And it’s really intense.
CB: But it’s a good book.
JL: It is, it is. It’s something called “A living myth.” So you’re supposed to kind of approach reading it in a really spiritually present way. And if you are somebody who’s interested in the concept of a karmic relationship it’s a great book to check out. It’s called The Greatness of Saturn. And you know, when you read it you’re supposed to read it with reverence of like a, you know, it’s a spiritual text. So read it with intention. But it is a really great book for this topic I think.
CB: Yeah, and it is intense. I do want to warn people ahead of time.
JL: Yeah, oh yeah.
CB: It’s an intense read and process.
JL: It’ll mess you up! It’ll mess you up in a really great way.
JL: If you’re in a Saturn transit, read it. If you’re not in a Saturn transit and you’ve just recovered from one, maybe wait, maybe wait. You’re right about that. [Laughing]
CB: Yeah, sure. So, alright so let’s keep going down the list here. So this is from Rob Bailey (@oldschoolastro on Twitter). He says, “How do you feel about the concept of ‘sister signs’ as it pertains to relationship astrology or synastry?” And yeah, so let’s leave it at that. So this is another one of those concepts where I feel like this has come out of nowhere in the past few years where lots of people are talking about sister signs but it doesn’t seem clearly defined. It seems like one person will be talking about it, and they think it means one thing and then I’ll see another person talking about it and they think sister signs are another thing.
CB: And it seems kind of all over the place because it’s not like a traditional concept necessarily. Like I don’t remember seeing it until relatively recently.
JL: I’ve never heard of it.
JL: I’ve only heard of it on Twitter.
CB: So it’s funny there’s concepts like that. Like twin flames and sister signs and other things like that that are sort of being generated almost spontaneously. Like on some level cusps is kind of like that but it goes back further.
CB: Anyway, go ahead.
JL: Yeah, I mean I think, you know, I think twin flames comes out of– it’s not from astrology. So I don’t know its origins but it’s not like an astrology concept. But it’s that thing when you tell someone you’re an astrologer they show you their palm and they ask you to read their tarot cards, and they ask you to talk to your dead relative. Like people kind of conflate all these things even though they’re completely separate things.
JL: But I do– I have never heard of it outside of Twitter. And this is the danger that I kind of referred to much earlier in the conversation about the democratization of astrology is that, who is vetting what?
JL: Like where are the sources of this? You know, there’s so much. There’s so much to be done with astrology. There’s so much data about astrology. The concept of a sister sign, I don’t know how that’s necessary? [Laughing] I mean, I don’t know. Am I being too much of a grandpa right now? I don’t know. But I, I just don’t, I don’t know what that means.
CB: Yeah, I don’t know.
JL: It’s not necessary.
CB: And people like, let me read. I don’t know what definitions you’ve heard. I’ve heard a couple. Like one of them I’ve heard somebody say that it’s signs that are opposite. But I don’t know if that makes sense, just conceptually from an ancient standpoint I guess is how I approach these things, because they’re signs of the opposite polarity. So that’s one definition I’ve seen. I’ve seen other people theorize that maybe it’s supposed to refer to planets or signs of the zodiac that are ruled by the same planet.
CB: If you follow that rulership scheme at all, I don’t know.
JL: I do, I do.
CB: Okay. So like maybe Libra and Taurus might be sister signs because they’re both ruled by Venus?
JL: I like that. I think that’s cute.
JL: I don’t think it’s necessary.
JL: I don’t see how it improves anybody’s life. But I think, you know, I mean listen, you know, I think as a person in middle age I’m really open to learning new things and new astrologers coming up with new ways of looking at things. And you know, I’m down for that. I have not heard anything compelling about the sister signs concept myself.
I could see, I mean I have ancient nothing, I’m not an ancient-oriented person. But I definitely think I could, you know, I could extrapolate based on the, you know, Libra-Taurus ideal. Or even opposite signs being sister signs.
JL: Like how it’s essentially you know, two sides of the same energy field. Sure, sure. But is it necessary? Like how does that– I don’t know. It seems to me like a distraction from the central issue, which is how can you show up in your relationships in a way that is really engaging and present and whole? So that you can get the most out of your relationships.
And if that means that you’re just trying to show up engaging and present whole for the fact that all you’re doing is boning with someone, cool, do that. Or if it’s about being in a long-term monogamous relationship, chill, do that. But I don’t know if the sister signs thing, or so many other, like, theories of basically pulling yourself back from the data and theorizing about the data, I don’t know that that helps with this topic. The topic of relationships and relating with other humans in a successful way.
CB: And I would just say that it’s not well defined. And nobody has a– there’s no consistent definitions. So if somebody wants to come up with a consistent definition and everybody wants to vote on it, and get on board with saying that sister signs is like this one technical concept, then we can talk about it. But right now it’s not even something I feel like we can talk about, because it’s so poorly defined. Because it’s not a concept that anybody seems to have used until relatively recently.
JL: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Alright, next question. So this is from Allyse on twitter (@ayyy_lease) who says, “What is the biggest mistake that most people make with relationship astrology? What are the commonplace myths that too many people fall for?” So we already kind of talked about some of those–
CB: – when it comes to karmic relationships and twin flames. I’m trying to think if there’s any other common things. Are there, like, timing things for example, that have become myths or cliches or things that people take too far? Like I’m trying to think of…
JL: For me, I see that when [Laughing] people have this idea like, “Oh I’m going through a Venus transit. I’m gonna fall in love.”
JL: Venus is not that strong, honey. No. A transit to your natal Venus, maybe. A transit from Venus in the sky is generally not strong enough.
JL: The thing about relationships and a big misunderstanding that I see is that people think that relationships happen to you. Relationships don’t happen to you. You are an active participant in your relationships. And so there’s a way that I think first of all we need to count ourselves into the conversation. And second of all, I think that kind of waiting for the right time is problematic. Not only because it’s passive, but because different relationships are good for different things.
JL: You know, not all relationships need to end in marriage. You know, when I was looking through some of the Twitter questions, which I didn’t see all of them unfortunately, I noticed a lot of the questions were about marriage and like, “When will I find the one?” And you know, not all relationships are meant to end in marriage. A relationship is not a failure if you end up breaking up. A relationship is only a failure if you don’t learn from it, if you don’t grow.
And the work of being a human– and you know, we live really long now. We really live a long time. And through the magic and gift of divorce (I’m a very big divorce advocate) we don’t have to stay with people we don’t like! You know what I mean?
JL: And I just think being able to recognize that you have free will, and that you have choice. And that you want to keep on growing and evolving ideally with someone who’s your best friend, who you wanna bone forever. But you know, if that doesn’t happen you can change your mind and change your life.
And to be open to that instead of being like, “When am I gonna find the person and when am I gonna get there?” it’s kind of a very– when I say an old school way of looking at things I mean old school in that life used to be much shorter. And we used to have a lot less options.
JL: And a lot less potential of, you know, kind of self discovery. And so it’s old school in that way, because it’s not acknowledging that we have more stimulation distracting us from our relationships and compelling us to grow and outgrow our relationships. It’s a new world. And our kind of assumptions haven’t caught up with that new world yet. You know?
So I’ll be really interested in the kids who are in high school today, what kind of relationships they choose to have when they’re, you know, in our age group. Because I think they will better reflect the kind of hyper-stimulation of the world today. You know? And we just haven’t caught up yet.
CB: Yeah, one of the things I’m really looking forward to, and I may not get to see, but it’s like this generation is– things have changed very rapidly I feel like, in society in the past couple of decades. And different things that have been either taboo or that have been vilified or marginalized in different ways have become less so. And certain battles have been fought and kind of won in terms of the culture wars, or what have you. And I’m curious what things that are taboo or seen as bad or for whatever reason marginalized today, with the generation that’s still young now, what are the things that will be… the battles that will be fought like, 40 years from now or something like that. Like what will become something that’s a point of contention that becomes commonplace or becomes normalized at some point in the future?
That’s one of the things I sometimes think about that’ll be interesting, like, when we’re old and outdated and like, there’s concepts that we can’t get on board with. Like, what would that be, you know, 30 or 40 years from now?
JL: Mhm. Yeah, well I think it is really interesting to think about. And I also think it’s hard to even conceptualize that without talking about climate change. And you know, acknowledging that people who are being born now are being born with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. They’re being born with Neptune in Pisces. You know, they are going to live through scarcity that we have not yet experienced.
And I think, you know, this veers us away from our center topic so I won’t push us too far down this path.
JL: But I do think that the children being born now are going to inherit an earth that will reshape priorities around intimacy, around partnering, and around community in a really meaningful way.
And I just realized that you and I are basically wearing the same outfit, and it’s really cute. I want to get you a pair of red glasses immediately.
JL: [Laughing] Sorry! I just saw it and I was incredibly charmed. I know it’s not that shocking, but still it’s cute. It’s cute we did it.
CB: I need a gold necklace as well.
JL: Yeah, you do. I was gonna say something.
JL: I was like, where’s your gold chain?
CB: I know, I’m slacking.
JL: [Laughing] You are slacking.
CB: And I meant to say at the beginning, like I am surprised, and I asked you at the beginning of this if anybody had ever called you J-Lan because that’s just the immediate nickname I want to give you. Because there’s J-Law, J-Lo, and I think J-Lan would be a great nickname. But you said nobody’s done that? Nobody’s come up with that?
JL: It’s because I’m in an abusive relationship with the world.
JL: And that’s really the only reason why. And you’re the only person who sees me clearly, obviously. I’ve always wanted a nickname, but I don’t get one! Nobody, you know, I’m like a three syllable name girl. You know what I mean?
JL: I’m like, my name has like 700 syllables in it. So I want everyone to learn from you, and call me J-Lan.
CB: Well, and people – and I made this mistake and I apologize – sometimes mispronounce your name. Which is also unfortunate, right, occasionally?
JL: I don’t mind.
JL: People always mispronounce it. But see, I came up with the name for my website, lovelanyadoo.com, before the internet was really a thing. Like I didn’t, I certainly didn’t use it. I was still using my 1989 Packard Bell laptop where I just ran my solar fire.
JL: That’s all I did with it. So I created a webpage and I called it lovelanyadoo.com. In my mind it was like “Love comma Lanyadoo,” but you couldn’t put a comma in the web address. Anyways, and so I kept it. Big mistake, because now people have to actually say and spell my fricken last name which is a nightmare.
JL: Yeah, so nobody can pronounce my name. It’s not phonetic. I’m not offended, but also it’s “Lan-yah-doe,” for those who are curious.
CB: That is slightly better, though. My situation was I got beat to my domain name, chrisbrennan.com, by the other Chris Brennan who preceded me, who’s a MMA fighter.
CB: Whose name is, “Chris Brennan, the West Side Strangler.”
JL: [Laughing] Oh my god!
CB: So my friends have always gotten a kick out of that for the past ten years. And I’ve been fighting the West Side Strangler in the search rankings in Google.
JL: That is amazing.
CB: Thank you.
JL: And I feel almost sad that that’s not your nickname.
CB: [Laughing] Right.
JL: I mean, you could be the East Side Strangler and see how it goes?
JL: I feel like, I feel like that’s pretty good. [Laughing] It’s a good story.
CB: I’ll work on that. So back to the point you were just making, one thing I want to say before we move on about that topic. But one of the things I wonder about sometimes, and I have a strong suspicion it may come up at some point in the future. And I don’t know if this is too weird or futuristic, but there’s all these discussions about and predictions by futurists about if artificial intelligence is possible. And if so, these projections for like, well in the next like three to four decades if it is possible it may be discovered. And what that would mean for humanity, and all these different things. And I just want to put this out there, that at some point in the future there could be a scenario if that’s even theoretically possible, where there is questions about, like, human-AI relationships. And different moral conundrums and different things that would come up surrounding that.
And then astrologers having to deal with that topic. And I could see that as being an issue from, like, a sci-fi perspective of something that people would wrestle with if it ever did become an actual issue.
JL: You know, I think on some level the future is now.
JL: And I think on some level we are having like, the beginnings of that as we have virtual relationships.
JL: We never have any face-to-face, let alone in-person, contact.
JL: And on the other side of a screen may be somebody completely different than the person you think you’re engaging with. And as we see that, we see more and more what I would characterize as a Neptunian dynamic, where your interpersonal relationships are largely based on projection and fantasy. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we were moving in that direction, because it certainly seems like we are moving in that direction.
And I think, you know, within that it is important to recognize that AI can be racist, it can be heterosexist and misogynist, it can be ableist. I mean, it can be all kinds of things because AI is programmed by people. And the people who have the highest ranking roles in technology are by-and-large white straight men. And there is a real need for us to democratize who makes technology, who programs. And you know, if you’re listening and you’re like, “I was thinking about becoming an engineer, and I’m not a dude,” I wanna say please do it. Take one for the team and just do it. Because we need more people who are creating these algorithms to be diverse. We need more of a diverse team doing these things. Because otherwise, we’re gonna have much bigger problems than the ones you’re kind of like, speaking at. You know? This is something I think about a fair amount.
JL: I don’t really consider myself a futurist, but I consider myself somebody who can see the near-death experience in just about everything, so yeah. [Laughing]
CB: Okay, sure. And then finally, just one last thing about the main question about what mistakes people make in relationship astrology, I did want to say there’s one generalization that non-astrologers, by people who maybe just know sun-sign astrology, maybe sometimes make. And the idea that maybe there is just one sign that’s compatible with your sign, or something like that. Like, just assumptions that certain signs only get along with or can have romantic or long lasting partnerships with certain signs.
And that’s just objectively not the case. Like, once you get into astrology long enough you’ll see variations of people having long and satisfying relationships with all sorts of different combinations of signs and placements and planets and what have you.
JL: Absolutely. Ab-so-lutely. Strong, strong agree. And also I’ll just say for my book, it’s predicated on the idea that we do not date out of our sun. The sun is your identity and your will, and that’s a part of where we partner from or we date from, but really there’s so much more. Saturn is your sense of longevity and commitment and normalcy. It’s all that kind of stuff.
JL: We date out of Venus, which is, like, intimate and social connection. Mars, which is, like, sexual compatibility but also how you do things, like, the pace at which you live. We need compatibility on all the levels. Or at least we need our compatibility to kind of be somewhat equal on all the levels in order to have enough tension to keep it interesting and enough ease to make it sustainable.
And that you cannot find out through your sun sign. You know, people– I was actually just at the high school, as I said, yesterday. And one of the kids I was talking to, she was like, “Oh thank god I don’t have any Cancer in my chart.” And I was like, “I bet just because you said that you have a bunch of planets in the fourth house.” And she was like, “I don’t think so.”
And she pulled up her chart because it’s 2019 and teenagers can pull up their birth charts, and lo and behold, four planets in the fourth house.
JL: The thing that you hate, the thing that you think is a difficult thing, is probably what you have in your chart, and you just don’t realize it. That’s what I’ve come to learn. We only have strong feelings about certain signs when we have them prominent in our chart or we have them easily triggering our chart. So, strong agree, plus plus plus.
CB: Brilliant, I love that.
JL: Thank you.
CB: And so could we do a breakdown like that? Because I’m curious if your breakdown is the same as mine. And I know you go into this a little bit in the book.
But I would say, like, you look for sometimes Mercury and their relationship, let’s say synastry-wise or connections in relationships, in terms of how the people communicate and maybe get along intellectually. Maybe Venus and Mars for how they get along physically or sexually in some instances. Sun and Moon for how they might relate and get along on a more core, especially emotional level on some level.
That’s usually how I do the breakdown. But how would you do that breakdown in terms of all of those different, how do you categorize those?
JL: Sure, yeah and that is the whole book basically for me.
JL: Like, that is what the book does.
JL: And it does it through all the sections, right? So each of the topics. But for me it’s the Sun wants us to be seen. Where we have the Sun we want to be seen as a whole being, and we want to be recognized. You know what I mean? In the nature of our Sun. The Moon, of course, is your feelings and your needs, how we want to be nurtured and how we seek to nurture others.
Mercury is not just how we verbally communicate, it’s how we process data. It’s how we listen. And you know, the way that someone is listening to me has everything to do with whether or not I feel cared for and respected. Venus is our relationship to money and what we own, which is a huge part of long-term committed relationships. What often breaks people up is disagreements around money and values around that sort of thing. It’s also around sensual connections. So it’s not like athletic doing it, but it’s like the sensual part of hooking up.
Mars is about straight up fornicating. It’s your pacing through the world, and it’s also how you fight. And whenever couples tell me that they don’t fight, I get very nervous because Mars needs an outlet. You need to fight with someone now and again. Obviously the way we fight needs to be healthy and fair in order for it to lead to a successful relationship. But everyone’s annoying and everyone messes up. So you need Mars.
Then I don’t stop there, because I’m obsessed with the outer planets. It is one of my deepest passions. I’m obsessed with the outer planets. So for me, Jupiter is our sense of resiliency, but also our sense of how we grow through life. Saturn as I mentioned is related to themes around monogamy and loyalty, sustainability, but also our relationship to fear and our relationship to shoulds. And kind of like, I’m responsible to you, you’re responsible to me. It’s also what other people think.
Finally, we have Uranus which is my sense of freedom and autonomy, my ability to individuate away from you or to change my life. Neptune is anxiety, and it’s also a sense of romance and potential and spiritual connection.
And then finally, Pluto. Pluto is shame. Pluto is compulsion. If I hate myself, eventually I’m gonna hate you. Pluto! Pluto is intensity. It’s another planet that has to do with sex, but it’s much more oriented around like, the shame we hold around sex and the deep and driving compulsions we have.
I would also say Saturn has to do with sex. It’s more to do with repression and kinks, kinks that come from repression specifically. And so I could keep on going, but I’m just like cliff notes-ing it. Cliff notes.
CB: Yeah, no, this is great.
JL: Thank you.
CB: So this is what if people want to learn more about that, this is in your book.
JL: This is, yeah. The whole premise of the book is, so there’s an intro to each of the sections we talked about. About the different topics of friends, lovers, relationships, and there’s an intro on that topic. And then for each planet there’s an intro that explains that planet in the context of the topic. And then it goes that planet in a house, that planet in each sign.
JL: So it really breaks it down. And it empowers the reader to see, let’s say we’re talking about Venus, Venus from every angle. The angle of a platonic relationship, the angle of a new TBD-style relationship, and from a long-term committed relationship whether it’s monogamous or not.
And being able to kind of, like, look at a thing from multiple angles to me is being able to have a more flexible and nuanced use of astrology, which is of course my whole shtick. I’m super into it. So yeah, that’s all in the book.
CB: Awesome. And that right there is great motivation for everybody to go out and buy the book and preorder the book right away.
JL: My book! That’s it right there. It’s really cute.
CB: Oh, it’s right there on your back shelf, awesome.
JL: Yeah it’s right there on my little wall. Yeah it’s– hold on, can I pull it? I don’t know if I–
CB: Yeah, grab it. Careful there, headphones.
JL: Hold on.
JL: Wait for it. I have exactly one copy of this book. But look at that!
CB: Awesome, nice.
JL: Thank you, it’s got a little gold to match my tooth.
CB: Beautiful. I love it.
JL: Thank you.
CB: And the layout’s great, and you actually had a co-author on the book, right?
JL: Yes. Yeah, I have a co-author because I don’t enjoy writing believe it or not.
JL: I write all the live-long day, and I do not enjoy it. So this woman T. Greenaway, who’s amazing, she did the amazing task of writing what I spoke. So I spoke the book and she wrote it. And then we collaborated on the edit of it. And she helped me so much, because I have all this data in this head of mine, you know?
JL: I’m just a big data machine, and I’m not a scholar so I don’t take notes on my data. I just have it. And what has been really wonderful is, you know, she helped me to structure the data in a way that people could actually use.
JL: So it was a really interesting process because there really wasn’t research to be done. It was just like, you know, pulling out the data and organizing it effectively.
CB: Right, yeah. And that’s common. So many astrologers, like, that’s one of the things that’s so hard. You’ll do tons of consultations and you’ll learn a bunch of really interesting things in every consultation. But then afterwards we don’t turn around and immediately write it down. It just sticks in your brain in some instances as a piece of collected knowledge that you sort of have somewhere in the background. But it’s not usually written down right away.
JL: Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve experienced, in teaching or lecturing to other astrologers at astrology conferences, I’ve been in situations – luckily not too often – but I’ve been in situations over the years where people are like, “Well, how do you know that from looking at that aspect?” And I’m like, “Because I do?”
JL: Like I can’t– It’s hard to break down the methodology. So my co-author was instrumental in being like, “No, no. You actually have to explain this.”
JL: And she slowed me down, because I may be a triple Capricorn but I’m very Uranian. So I have a hard time with the slowing down sometimes. So she, yeah, so that was a really wonderful process. And if you’re a person who doesn’t like pictures, you’ll hate this book because it’s got very cute pictures in there sometimes.
JL: So yeah. Buy it, love it, hug it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll hug the book because it’s very huggable.
CB: Yeah, it looks comfortable I would say.
JL: Yeah, thank you! That’s exactly what the goal was.
JL: You know, when we designed it we were thinking something that you could put in a tote bag and bring with you to the park.
JL: And write along the margins. I mean, if you want to get it for Kindle I respect you. But this is the kind of book I hope that people take notes in.
JL: You know what I mean? And like bring and– because like I said, the way I use the fundamentals of astrology is, like, you can return to it over and over again. And when you have a deeper sense of a kind of assimilated synthesized knowledge, then you can build and the same data becomes a whole new piece of information. So, okay that was it. [Displays book] I did it. It was meant to be a rainbow, I don’t know if you saw that.
JL: Thank you! [Laughing]
CB: I love it. How are we? We’re at one hour and 47 minutes, how are you for time and when do we need to wrap this up? Do you want to do a few more questions, or should we start to wind down?
JL: I haven’t gotten any angry messages. Let me, do you mind if I just send a quick text? Because let me make sure.
CB: Yeah, go ahead. And while you’re doing that, I forgot to mention, I wanted to mention a few other episodes if anybody wants to learn more about relationship stuff from past podcast episodes, I’ve done a few good ones.
We were just talking about outer planets so I wanted to mention Episode 67 I did with Kay Taylor, who I think is also a San Francisco-based astrologer, where we talked about the outer planets in relationships and that was one of my favorite sort of back catalog episodes I’d recommend. Episode 128 was on composite charts with the originator of the technique, John Townley.
CB: Yeah, that was a big one. I was so glad I got to do that. I’ve been wanting to for years, and then we actually did with the guy that came up with the technique. So that’s a good one.
And then finally, Episode 165 was with John Green on the topic of synastry, and some of the work he’s done on the astrology of relationships by looking at synastry. So we’ve sort of covered it. This is my final relationship episode.
CB: Where we’re really rounding it out.
JL: That’s awesome. Okay, I can keep going.
CB: Oh perfect, okay.
JL: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So here’s a question from Twitter from @astrogrlz. They say, “I would love to hear more about relationships in astrology specifically looking at queer relationships! This is more of a topic than a question but I hope they are able to touch a bit on it.”
And so I know we touched on this a little bit but I was wondering, is there anything that’s relevant that you can say to speak to that, that is different or unique or important to keep in mind? Or is really your approach to create an astrology that’s broad enough and archetypal enough that it can be applied to any context?
CB: Regardless of one’s, you know, orientation or anything else.
JL: Yeah, so there’s the queering of astrology, and then there’s queer people. Right?
JL: And the queering of astrology is not making assumptions. It’s holding space for sexuality being a continuum. It’s holding space for a greater sense of agency within each individual in a relationship. That is, to me, the queering of relationships, of relationship astrology.
And so that’s partially asking a client, like, “Why do you want to get married?” You know? “Do you want kids? Why? Why do you want kids? Are you sure you want kids?”
JL: That to me is what queering astrology is. It’s simply being more inquisitive and holding space for individuation. Now in terms of looking at gay astrology, I don’t know. Astrology is astrology. Gay shit is totally different than straight shit, and gay shit and straight shit’s the same exact thing. They’re both true.
And I think for me, as a queer person who has counseled thousands and thousands and thousands of straight people as well as queer people, the astrology is the same. Intimacy issues are the same. What’s different is the world, you know? What’s different is the world will respond to queer partnership differently than a straight one. And that, and you know our rights and entitlements and safety around love and intimacy is totally different.
What we have to consider as queer people around how family will respond to our relationships is utterly different than what straight people experience. Having to justify your life choices is something that gay people have to do and straight people do not. And so, you know, I mean what straight person has been asked, “When did you know you were straight? How did you know you were straight?”
JL: But every gay person has been asked that shit. So being able to understand the cultural differences impact our charts and are reflected in our charts. But they are not our charts. Those are cultural differences that are projected onto us and not our innate nature. Does that make sense, what I’m saying is the difference?
CB: Yeah, definitely. And I mean, it raises a question that I’ve had, which is, to what extent– like when you read some of the 1970s relationship delineations in books, there will be occasional throw-away lines about queer relationships.
But it will usually be something like, because for example the planet Uranus is usually associated with that which is– or has become in modern astrology associated with that which is out of the ordinary or is not normal in some way or is unique or can sometimes be labeled as, like, weird in some way. Oftentimes queer relationships would get sort of dumped under Uranus in like 1970s–
CB: –astrology books of like, oh if you’ve got a Venus-Uranus conjunction or something like that. And I was wondering to what extent, like over the past couple of decades as gay relationships have become more normalized in society and we’ve had the legalization of gay marriage, for example. How long does stuff like that continue to be even true or relevant?
JL: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Versus does the normalization of it take it outside of that realm of being something that should be seen by astrologers as Uranian in some way?
CB: If you understand that.
JL: Yeah, yeah I do.
JL: I think it’s still Uranian to be. So there’s a couple parts of this. So one is, let’s talk about the word ‘queer’ for a moment.
JL: Because I’m 45 years old, and when I was coming up in the 1990s in San Francisco, we used the term ‘queer’ to mean not just gay, but counterculture.
JL: It’s like queer as in anti-capitalist, queer as in anti-establishment. So it wasn’t just homosexual. It was homosexual and counterculture.
Now I’ve noticed, and this is like a cultural shift in language, queer is not so much about values. It’s about not straight. It’s different– it’s not necessarily homosexual. It’s about not being heterosexual. It’s holding space. A lot of people are queer-identified that don’t necessarily live a gay life at all, they just, you know, have had gay experiences or they have queerness in their sexual nature, or within their gender identity.
And that’s a shift in the culture and in the language. And I think it’s Uranian on its own, right? That shift in language.
CB: So are you defining it– would it be accurate to say then that you’re defining queer as that which is outside of the social norm? Or is that not okay framing it in that– is that how you’re trying to frame it, or?
JL: I think that’s how it was used.
JL: I don’t know that that’s exactly how it is used anymore. And this is why I mention my age because I notice different generations use that word, lots of words, but that word in different ways, you know?
JL: And I now know lots of people who are much younger than me who use the term queer. And what they mean is actually something very different from what I’ve meant when I’ve used the word queer.
JL: But it’s all queer, man. And that’s kind of cool too. It’s all very Uranian. It’s like, hard to pin down many– a multitude of identities and definitions is so Uranian.
JL: So there’s that. Now, the other thing is, yes gay marriage is legal. But barely, right?
JL: And not for very long.
JL: And I don’t have a great deal of confidence, if we keep a republican government, that it’s going to stay legal.
CB: Well, and not in every part of the world.
CB: Just because it has been for a few years here, that’s not necessarily the case worldwide.
JL: Mhm, absolutely. And kind of associated with that, you know, within the “umbrella” of queer are trans people. And trans people are under attack, both in terms of their physical safety but also in terms of legality. Like, the government comes for them in a particular way that they don’t currently come for binary gendered gay people.
And so that’s really important. When we’re talking about queerness we’re not talking about gayness exclusively.
JL: We are talking about gender identities. And so essentially my experience of Uranus is that it is about the eccentricities. And it’s about what is outside of that Saturnian, “The clock says it’s 4:05 and 27 seconds, and that’s what it is,” right?
JL: Like, it’s outside of that. And Uranus, I think in that way, yes it wins a lot of queer points. You know, however we define queer. Whether we do it in that homo-way, or we do it in that anything under the LGBTQI umbrella. And I might be even missing letters, forgive me if I am. And so queerness is Uranian in nature.
I think it is also Neptunian in nature, in that it is– queerness encompasses being outside of binary and outside of rigid structure and expectations. And in that way it is deeply Neptunian. I could make an argument for Pluto, although I don’t think it is necessarily that, I could make an argument for Pluto. But I think Neptune and Uranus are good planets to seek when looking at queerness.
And I think that it’s interesting. Because, you know, from personal experience as a person– I don’t know how old I was when I came out. I must have come out in like, ‘91 or something like that. I had lived through a lot of changes.
JL: And I’m still quite young. I’ve lived through a lot of changes around gay rights and gay culture itself, but also how straight culture responds to gay culture. I can speak to a room of majoritively or exclusively straight people and out myself as queer, and people don’t blink anymore.
JL: They used to blink! They used to blink rapidly. And now, you know, there’s that difference. And you know, I can be very comfortably out about the fact that my partner is trans. And it doesn’t, you know, there’s conversation that can happen. Some of that’s because if someone’s like, “Wait a minute, what does that mean?” they can Google it! And that’s new, right? In the culture, that’s new.
I will say, though, I am partnered with a very “passing” trans man. And he’s white, and he has beautiful blue eyes. And I am experiencing what I didn’t know existed. I mean, I knew, but I never experienced it before. Straight privilege. It is divine. It is so easy to be a straight person. OMG, I had no idea. Like, I technically knew. But as a person who’s like, lived my whole life as a queer person and been with visibly gay women, even though I’m not necessarily a visibly queer person just by looking at this.
Yeah, we go to the county fair. It’s just sunshine and candies and, like, invitations to the ball. It’s really different.
JL: So in that way, I will say as a person who’s, like, all of a sudden experiencing a lot of straight privilege from within my incredibly queer relationship, it’s still very much not the same. You know? And so I’m not sure @astrogrlz if we’re fully answering your question. But I think with astrology it’s more about queering astrology as opposed to seeing planets as gay or straight. It’s more about queering your viewfinder as you approach astrology and how to use it.
CB: Sure, yeah. And some of this has happened so recently in society. Like, you know, gay rights just in the past couple of decades, like two or three decades tops. Or now the conversation surrounding trans rights has been actually in the past decade.
And I just wonder in a century or two when we’re just long past and let’s just assume that the trajectory that things are on continues and there’s just further normalization and everything else. If, I don’t know, at any point that will be outside of the scope of that which is deemed as Uranian, if it’s been normalized to such an extent. Or if it will still always be associated in that way. It’s just one of the questions I’ve had.
CB: But do you feel, like, in a century or two when we’re long past some of the battles that are happening now, that we’ll still be in that way?
JL: I don’t think we’re gonna be long past those battles.
JL: I don’t think– I wish I had that kind of optimism.
JL: I think for as long as we have institutionalized religion and a vested interest in, “Family is between one man and one woman making 2.3 babies,” or whatever. For as long as we have that, it is tricky for gay rights. I mean religion is not an encompassing, enveloping place for queers for the most part. And not exclusively. There’s lots of, you know, religions that are embracing. But it’s more like sex, as opposed to the whole damn thing.
I think also queer rights are wrapped up in women’s rights, because a lot of homophobia is essentially hatred of women, and not wanting women to have space and rights within the world. And I don’t see us making great strides in that way, per se.
And again, not to be that boner killer, but I do have concerns about what climate change will do. And, you know, water insecurity. And like, you know, the continued refugee crises. I don’t know that we are moving into a more progressive time in human history. I will do my utmost to be a part of the effort for it to be more of a progressive time. But I don’t– I like your vision of in a century we’ll be beyond all this gender binary bullshit.
JL: And we’ll all be about free will. But I fear we will be living on a charred earth. And there will be, like, 13 of us. And we’ll be trying to rebuild with a horse and a buggy, or something.
JL: So [Laughing] I’m not the one to talk to.
CB: And hopefully like a copy of your book.
JL: That’s right!
CB: Like we were talking, we were joking earlier–
JL: [Holding up book] Just this and the breeze, this and the breeze [Laughing].
CB: Right. If one astrology book survives hopefully it is your relationship book.
JL: Very kind, so kind. Way too kind.
CB: Thank you, thank you.
JL: Thank you [Laughing].
CB: And I wanted to mention really quick, I forgot to mention there was one other relationship episode that’s actually relevant in my back catalog to this, which is one that was important. I did a discussion with Christopher Renstrom.
JL: Oh, I love him.
CB: Yeah, Christopher is amazing. He’s been on the show I think two or three times, but this is Episode 79 that was on sexual orientation in astrology. And the question and debate that sometimes comes up in the astrological community over whether an astrological chart can tell you or say anything about sexual orientation.
And people have very strong opinions on either side of that. And the purpose of that discussion was kind of to explore both sides of that sort of debate, in that episode.
JL: Mhm, that’s a– yeah, very important debate.
CB: Sure. Do you have any strong– do you want to go there, or?
JL: I mean I think, you know, Venus-Uranus, Mars-Uranus, Moon-Uranus, they’re all hella queer. And that doesn’t mean they’re gay. And again, we’re back to gender roles more than we are about sexuality.
JL: So there’s that. The other thing I think is there is no value or merit in using the birth chart to predict homosexuality or heterosexuality. And you know nobody is trying to predict heterosexuality.
JL: It can be too easily used as kind of– used poorly, and used unethically by people who are not necessarily very gay positive or, you know, trans positive.
JL: And I think as astrologers, there’s nothing wrong with a little humanity and a little common sense. Ask a person who they like. And if something in their chart gives you a little inkling that maybe they are queer-er than they think they are, than they said they are, say, “Have you ever considered people of a different gender or the same gender?”
And the answer is often, “Yeah, but…,” you know? A lot of people know that they’re gay. A lot of people know that they’re queer, and are choosing to not live that way because of what other people will say or think or do. And that’s just fear, and fear can be traced in the chart to Saturn or Neptune.
CB: Yeah, one area that came up in my discussion with Christopher that was kind of relevant in terms of sometimes terminology that might be used in the gay community that might be relevant, and have an astrological context, is terms like, ‘Bottoming’ versus being a ‘Top’.
CB: And do you think those are relevant things that could be integrated successfully into astrology?
JL: Hugely. I mean, a huge part of what comes up in my sessions with straight people is, you know, with queer sex, with gay sex, not just queer, like, gay sex. We often use the term ‘top’ and ‘bottom’. And there is this questioning of everything, there is a talking about everything. Whereas in heterosexual dynamics historically, it’s like men do sex to women. [Chuckling]
JL: And that’s not modern. That’s not a consensual, fun thing to do in general for people. So when we talk about topping and bottoming, it’s so freeing. Because you know, women come in and they’re like, “Yeah, my boyfriend never initiates sex. And I don’t know, maybe he doesn’t like me. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
And I’m often like, “Well, maybe he’s just a bottom. Maybe he just needs you to initiate sex.” And more often than not, that’s the issue. It’s that not all men are tops and not all women are bottoms. Not all men want to have to initiate sexual contact, or things in life in general. And that is not a bad thing, that’s not unmasculine. It’s just, we are all wired in whatever ways.
And this is what I am talking about with queering astrology and queering the conversation. It’s about recognizing that it’s not just gay people that are tops or bottoms, it’s people.
JL: It’s just that gay people have language for it.
JL: And what I was actually, I spoke on a panel about sex and sex positivity recently for HBO in LA with a couple of women. And this was something that we talked about there is that, you know, queer people have had to come up with language, our own language, to explain gender and sexuality in a different way. Outside of the heterosexual, or like the heterotypical limited model.
And what I’m seeing within the world of sex positivity at this time, and the greater accessibility and acceptance of queerness, is that straight people and straight culture are using more of that languaging and having access to more of that wisdom, which I think is really wonderful.
The only kind of risky part of it is, when there’s two people and they’re of the same gender, then there’s a baseline of power that is shared. And when there is a boy-girl dynamic, there is a power inequity straight out the gate, regardless of everything else. Because men have a different kind of power in the world, and that is an undeniable thing. We can look at men’s wages, men’s safety, violence from men to women versus from women to men.
And so being able to recognize that we want to be able to use the wisdom and the languaging of queer stuff for straight people, but without losing track of the differences because the differences are real and worth acknowledging and honoring.
CB: Yeah, or another differentiation that comes to mind is, like, interracial relationships and how that could create inequities as well. Or you could–
JL: Absolutely. And so when we look at race, when we look at class, when we look at age differentials, you know, we can trace this down a lot of different kind of inequities.
JL: Or, it’s not really inequities, it’s differences.
JL: And those differences within the context of a society become inequities.
JL: They’re not inherent inequities.
JL: And I think looking at nature versus nurture is really essential when using the birth chart as a guide, you know? And I think, hopefully again @astrogrlz we’ve touched on what you’re asking a bit, because we’ve kind of taken it in directions.
JL: But I think they’re good directions.
CB: Yeah, no, that’s great. And I think one of the points you brought up is just that in some of the language that’s been developed surrounding discussions about queer sexuality, there’s a lot more nuance. And there’s integration of languages that allows for more of a spectrum in terms of sexuality and different things. And that completely and totally could be useful and contextualized within the context of astrology and integrated and used in very positive and very constructive ways.
JL: Absolutely, yeah.
CB: Awesome. Alright, there’s a bunch of other questions. And I’m actually really enjoying this, so I would keep going all day but I don’t want to hold you. So where are you at? We’re at two hours and eight minutes.
JL: Oh snap. I can go up to 30 minutes more.
CB: Okay, if theoretically…
JL: Yeah, yeah.
JL: Yeah, and I’ll let you know if something changes. And it’s just that I’m also having fun is the tragedy. One sec, oh yeah, no I think we’re in good shape. I think we’re in good shape! Let’s try it.
CB: Alright, let’s do it. Let’s hit some rapid-fire questions.
CB: This one, I don’t know if this is a good one–
JL: Oh wait, really quickly can I just ask you?
JL: It’s darkening in California very briefly. Do you want me to turn on a light or is this okay?
CB: I mean, this is really cool because you have the sign in the background and it’s just creating this awesome ambiance.
JL: Okay great, I’m fine with it too. I like the darkness. I’m just trying to be considerate to the people, you know? So okay, great, let’s do rapid fire.
CB: Alright, here we go. So I don’t know if this is a good one. This is from Ash Bash (@astro_ashley11). She asks about marriage elections. I don’t know if you do this. Do you do electional astrology for marriages at all?
JL: [Shaking head no].
CB: Do you do electional in general, no?
JL: I mean, I’ll mess with it a teeny bit but certainly not for marriages, no.
CB: Sure, okay.
CB: So let’s skip that one.
JL: Wait, let me just say really briefly why, if I may.
CB: Okay, please.
JL: Listen, the wedding is usually what people are asking about.
JL: But the decision to get married is when the marriage begins. It’s not the wedding.
CB: Oh, okay.
JL: Yeah, it’s not the wedding.
CB: You think that when the “Proposal,” if there’s like a formal proposal?
JL: Yeah, the agreement.
JL: That’s what– let’s say you and I are getting married. We got engaged, we’re fiancéd, we’re getting married.
CB: Interesting, okay.
JL: Okay, so now we’ve decided we’re getting married.
JL: And now we’re in the beginning of our marriage, essentially.
JL: So I don’t believe the church does it, I don’t believe the government does it.
JL: I think those are parts of it, and we can cast charts for those things. But the marriage begins with the decision to be partnered. So it’s already happened.
CB: Okay, what about this, cause I know this was another question. I can’t remember, I can’t find who asked it. If I can find it later I’ll mention it. Oh no, here it is. It was from Astro Academic (@academicastro on Twitter), who asks, “Do you also consider the first meeting election if you have it when doing a synastry reading? Do you look at first meeting charts?”
JL: I don’t do synastry readings. And no, absolutely no.
CB: No first meeting, okay.
JL: No. I mean, to what end? Again, this is just more information. But what is this information doing? How is this information helping you to be present and to get to know the person, and let them reveal themselves to you? And to make sure you’re showing up not so that they like you, so that you’re being authentic.
Like, how do all these charts help that? In my view, they don’t. So I don’t do any of those things.
JL: And when people ask for that, I say, “No.”
CB: I was just thinking because you could conceptually make an argument there that the chart of the relationship, maybe arguing along the lines that you were saying, that if you’ve already proposed then you’re symbolically already pretty much there. If you’ve accepted that maybe even going further back, once you started the relationship itself, you’re already in a relationship.
CB: So maybe that inception chart already has the greater authority. Plenty of things we could talk about, but let’s move on.
JL: Yeah, okay.
CB: So let’s see the next question. This is from @ayanatheoracle, sorry if I’m butchering that – I’ll put it in the description – who asked, “Could you talk about the history of whoever decided that astrological compatibility was strictly based on the element of the sun sign?” Do you have any strong feelings about that in terms of sun sign astrology for, I don’t know, synastry, or as this sole basis of relationship compatibility?
JL: Mm, I don’t know anything about the history of it.
JL: I am not a fan of it. I mean, I bet Annabelle Gat, who just wrote a great sun sign compatibility book, would probably have stuff to say about that. But I don’t know a damn thing about that. And honestly, I don’t pay attention to sun signs but at all.
I mean, you’ll hear me talk about being a Capricorn because I’m Sun, Moon, and Rising in Capricorn. It’s a little bit of a badge I wear. But I don’t…
CB: Yeah I mean if the person has, like, a stellium I feel like they have more of a right to represent and identify with that sign.
JL: Yeah, totally yeah.
JL: I definitely agree with that.
CB: Wait you have, it’s not only a stellium, you have Sun, Moon, and Rising? Is that what you just said?
JL: Yes, yeah.
CB: Oh my god, okay. So you’re like a super Capricorn.
JL: I’m like a Capricorn on crack, if that crack was Saturn.
CB: And where, what sign is Saturn in?
JL: Saturn is in Cancer, opposite my Sun and Moon.
CB: Oh, the opposite sign. Okay, nice.
CB: Nice, okay, good times.
JL: I’m what they call super easy going and chill. That’s sarcastic. It’s not true at all. I’m just very Capricorn.
CB: Is Saturn in the seventh in your Placidus chart?
JL: Sixth, yeah.
CB: It’s in your sixth in Placidus, okay.
JL: I’m a twelfth house triple Cap.
CB: Alright, I’m just gonna put this out there. I know you said this at the beginning of the show that it’s not your preference, but in the Whole Sign house system your Saturn would be in the seventh house of relationships, and you just published what I believe is your first book on relationships. I’m just gonna put that out there.
JL: All those things are true. All those things are true.
CB: Okay [Puts hands up], alright, okay.
JL: But let me put out there, I also have a grand trine between Saturn, my Midheaven, and Jupiter.
JL: Which would do that anyways.
CB: Sure, okay I’ll take that.
JL: I mean, you know, and this is a little off topic but let me just share.
JL: I have only ever had one astrology teacher, Mr. Mike Boyle. He taught me in Montreal, Quebec when I was in this alternative college for, you know, whatever. It’s how I learned astrology at first. And he said, “These are all the house systems. Run your chart in all the house systems.” He was also a Capricorn. He’s like, “Run your chart in all the house systems. Study your chart in all the house systems and decide which one is true, and then stick with it forever.”
CB: Just stick with it, yeah.
JL: And by god, I’ve done that. So for me it’s Campanus houses, which is the furthest from Whole Sign houses you can get, literally.
JL: Because what Campanus does is it gives you a lot of interceptions. It gives you the most wonky of all the house shapes. I’m really passionate about interceptions. I think they’re incredibly nuanced, detailed data. Especially around prenatal conditions, which is one of my other specialties.
And so for me, the Campanus house system is the only one that puts Mars in my twelfth house versus Mars in my eleventh. I am nobody’s idea of Mars in the eleventh house. I am a goddamn hermit.
CB: Your Mars is in Scorpio?
CB: It’s in Sag? Okay, got it.
JL: Yeah, my Mars is in Sag and in all house systems it’s in the eleventh house except for Campanus, where it’s in the twelfth. And I am very much a textbook Mars in the twelfth house person.
JL: So I have other planets in the eleventh. But in any case, so for me I just went with Campanus, stuck with Campanus, and have even a beautiful gift from the astrologer Tony Howard sitting right here on my desk, and it says, “Intercepting a house near you.” I am obsessed with interceptions.
JL: So yeah, so I’m very pro Campanus houses.
CB: Brilliant, okay.
JL: Thank you, thank you very much.
CB: Campanus, and that was– I think Campanus was also the system that Rudhyar used, I want to say, if I’m not…
JL: Was it?
CB: I think so. I could be totally off-base there. And I’m sure listeners will let me know if I was.
JL: I’m sure they will [Laughing].
CB: Yeah, so let’s see. Before we move on from that point, you mentioned Annabelle’s book, who was going to join us but couldn’t make it today. And her book is another amazing book along similar lines. It’s titled The Astrology of Love and Sex: A Modern Compatibility Guide, so people can also check that out if they’re looking for more of a relationship-oriented type of astrology book.
JL: Yeah, it’s a Sun sign compatibility book. And it is pure Annabelle, so it’s excellent.
CB: Definitely, alright.
JL: And also very cute, if you’re in the market for cute things as well as high quality things. It’s both.
CB: Also well illustrated and also, like yours, a book that you would probably want to cuddle up with.
CB: Which is what I was actually saying earlier, and then, yeah.
JL: Yeah, yeah absolutely agree, agree, agree.
CB: Brilliant. Alright, so let’s see, next question. No, that’s another karmic soul-relationship type question, another one about synastry and composites. “What do you look for in a casual relationship versus long term?” from @learningtaurus. I guess you’ve sort of touched on this already, like things like Saturn for example, or?
JL: I mean, for a short term relationship or a casual relationship it depends on what your goal is.
CB: Right. So let’s say you’re hypoth– no, I’m not going to go there. Go ahead, continue, sorry.
JL: Well I would say this: If your ambition is to like, you know, have some dates, have some sex, and not let it get too far, I’m not going to focus on the astrology compatibility. Why would I do that? Instead, I’m going to focus on your birth chart.
If you’re not trying to be in a serious relationship with someone, don’t treat them like your best friend. Don’t text them every day. Don’t have sleepover parties. Don’t snuggle and go for groceries. Like, don’t drink coffee with them. That’s what you do with your partner.
Instead, you know, if you want someone to be a trick, treat them respectfully, joyfully, like a trick. You know? And there’s nothing– I hope that doesn’t sound like a negative. To me that’s a positive. It’s about, you know, not every friend is your best friend. Some friends you just go out to, like, concerts with.
JL: And not every lover is meant to be your partner. And so don’t treat someone who is a lover like a partner. And that’s on you in your birth chart. You don’t need to worry about someone else’s birth chart if they’re not your best friend or your partner.
JL: Friends, listen to that. If someone is casual, don’t focus on their damn chart, because as soon as you focus on someone else’s chart, you’re treating them as something more than casual. So it’s all on you and your chart if you’re wanting things to be caszh, is my attitude.
CB: Okay, got it. That makes sense.
JL: Yeah, I have very strict rules around this sort of thing. [Laughing]
CB: And I guess I would say in some instances, like sometimes really good, casual, purely sexual relationships might have really good or at least really intense Venus-Mars synastry. And maybe that describes that relationship. But if sometimes you– there might be other things that might be important in a long term relationship that you might need in order to give it permanent sort of long term stability beyond just Venus and Mars, in some instances.
JL: Mhm, yeah I would, sorry to interrupt. But I’ll add to that, I don’t think everyone fucks out of Venus and Mars.
JL: And I think that this is an old school astrology concept.
JL: Mars is the athletic part of sex. You know, and people who are in their bodies will have sex out of their bodies. But a lot of times, you know, sexual relationships or casual relationships are predicated on a kink. And kinks aren’t per se Mars or Venus, certainly not Venus.
Kinks are the outer planets. I’m always looking to the outer planets for sexual perversion. And when I say sexual perversion, it is a positive, not a negative. And so I think, you know, some people have sex out of their Moon. They just want to be loved. They just don’t want to be alone.
JL: And that’s not a Mars form of sex. It’s a form of sex of like, “I don’t want to be lonely.” And some people just want to be adored, you know? And I want to look more to Venus for that. Like, you know, if it’s just like having sex with the mirror I want to know what Jupiter’s doing. I’m interested.
And so I think it’s also when we fixate too much on the Venus-Mars for sex, we miss out on a lot of data because again, we are complicated, messy, traumatized beings. And being complicated, messy, and traumatized means we are dealing with planets that technically shouldn’t be the planets that govern a thing, but they happen to govern a thing.
It’s like if you– I was just boxing the other day. And it’s like if you throw a punch just out of your arm but not out of your core muscles, your abdominal muscles, you’re gonna throw the punch wrong. You have to use, sometimes you have to use muscle groups that you wouldn’t think are responsible for a movement in order to do the movement properly.
And the same thing is true with a birth chart. You think you’re moving with Mars, but really you’re pulling out of your Saturn. And that’s cool. It’s interesting. So don’t limit kind of like, what you think is possible based on the rulerships. Like, look at the more complicated nuance of your human condition is my advice.
CB: I love that, that’s an amazing point. And you mentioned Saturn in particular earlier in terms of, like, when certain kinks are coming from an area of shame or other things like that, as kind of contributing?
JL: Yes, absolutely. I mean, you know, different ethnic or religious backgrounds give you different kinds of kinks.
JL: Different kinds of trauma or abuse give you different kinds of kinks. Different kinds of kinks give you different kinds of kinks. Like, not all kinks come out of trauma or repression or isolation, or any of that kind of stuff. Some people are just damn kinky!
And what is kinky? Like, kinky is sex that is not, you know, P and V sex? What? I don’t know. I mean, that seems really boring too. Like, we have to expand what we even conceive of as perversion or kinky. And I think that as we do that, we don’t stop using that language, we more change the value and the meaning behind that language, you know? I mean, when I say kinky, when I say perverted, when I say filthy, there’s no negative connotation. But I feel like I always have to clarify that, because most people use those words as negative. My queer ass does not.
So, you know, it’s about being able to expand our value around sex and sexuality, and to understand also that a lot of times what an individual desires sexually is not what they’re doing, right? Because their partner doesn’t want to do it, because they think it’s bad, because they’re inhibited in whatever way. And I think that’s also really an important part of being able to look at the chart.
Now, I want to say to people who are listening: Do not listen to this and start looking at your crush’s chart or your partner’s chart trying to divinewhat they secretly want in bed. That is not right.
JL: That is when you use your mouth and you talk to someone. Say, “Hey, what do you like? What do you want?” And you listen to their answer. And if they say they like or they want something that you don’t like, don’t say, “Ew,” just be like, “Okay, cool, I’m not sure about that,” or whatever. And then, you know, explore from there.
CB: Yes, or doing that just like, show up and start doing something assuming from somebody’s chart. Yeah, have that conversation ahead of time verbally. You’ll have to come back and we have to do an episode at some point. I don’t know if this will work, and this could go terribly wrong, but an episode of the astrology of kinks would be a great discussion topic if dealt with properly.
JL: Agreed. Tap me in, coach.
JL: Tap me in! I’m in, I’m in, I’m in. It would be interesting to bring a bunch of different kinds of astrologers, or different kinds of humans who happen to be astrologers, in for that too.
JL: But it’s something I’m really passionate about, because working with queer people, being somebody who I am, myself, very sex positive. And I’m very open and non-judgmental around sex and sexuality. I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of people about sex over the past couple of decades of me being a practicing astrologer. And I have a lot to say about it.
And I have not really explored this topic in astrology chat groups, and stuff like that because I’m not really interested in having– I mean honestly, anytime sex comes up and women start to have a part in the conversation, you open yourself up to men attacking you or shaming you, or getting weird and turned on by it.
JL: And so I’m not interested in that. But I’d be interested in having that conversation, and kind of giving information to people. And I would want to say that if you have strong opinions or strong feelings in response, do not attack the astrologer you are hearing speak. Just disagree.
JL: You can disagree in your own mind, guys. Doesn’t always have to be on Twitter. It can just be in your thoughts. [Laughing]
CB: Yeah, I like that recommendation in theory. But in terms of whether we could pull that off, let’s talk about it.
JL: Sure, sure, yes. [Laughing]
CB: See what we can do, okay. Let’s do one last question really quick and then wrap it up. This is tied in actually to some extent with the last episode I did, which was this big debate about whether it was okay to practice astrology prior to your Saturn return. This is almost vaguely sort of in the same vein, so I wanted to put it out there.
It’s from somebody on Twitter named Chelsea (complicated twitter username: @aeslecothtrae), and she says “I’m curious about what is in store for those folks entering their Saturn return single, in regards to relationships. Should we avoid dating? Or do you have any tips/suggestions for dating during your Saturn return?”
JL: Great questions. And I have to just ask, is their Twitter handle “Complicated Twitter name?” Or are you just saying it was a complicated Twitter name?
CB: I don’t know how to pronounce it because it’s a few different words. But it’s aeslehcothtrae.
JL: I was just hoping that their actual handle was @complicatedTwittername.
CB: Well yeah, that would be a really good handle, actually.
JL: If somebody hasn’t already taken that handle I hope one of you listeners do that right now, because you will be my hero.
Okay, so two parts to this question. The first one is about practicing as an astrologer before your Saturn return. Historically, it was–
CB: You’re going to go there?
JL: Am I not allowed to?
CB: No, you can go there. I just remember, because we almost did this discussion before.
CB: But it almost sounded like you didn’t want to get into it.
JL: Oh no, I’ll get into it.
JL: Oh yeah, I was a practicing astrologer when I was 20. You know?
CB: Okay, so you started seeing clients already like seven, eight years before your Saturn return.
JL: Oh yeah.
CB: How young were you when you started studying astrology in general?
JL: I was 17 when I was studying under a teacher.
JL: Yeah, I was young. And you know, I should also say as a Sun, Moon and Rising all in one sign, I have my Part of Fortune conjunct my Sun and Moon, so I came to my calling really young. And I came with all the heaviness of Saturn, right? So it’s not surprising that I would have started young.
JL: But this is what I did. And I actually was just on a panel, a different panel two nights ago, talking about this. But what I did was I put myself in what I called a self-appointed apprenticeship. And for the years leading up to my Saturn return, I would tell every client before I met with them that I was in a self-appointed apprenticeship, I was in the first decade of my practice as an astrologer. And that they should know that, you know, I was competent and I wanted to help them, and also I was in the first decade of my practice.
And I did that because I felt like it was in integrity for me to do. And I did that because I wanted to create the room for me as a practitioner to grow into, because I knew as an astrologer that before your Saturn return you haven’t done it yet. You know, there’s a lot of things you haven’t done yet.
And I don’t think there’s any problem with being an astrologer before the Saturn return. I think there is a problem in posturing as though it doesn’t matter that you haven’t been through your first Saturn return, because the Saturn return marks the beginning of your adulthood. And before your Saturn return, those years in your twenties leading up to it, it is the kind of like elder years of your youth, but it’s your youth.
And the Saturn return marks the first adult cycle. And so there is a certain amount of maturity and integration and embodiment that can only happen through the transit of the Saturn return. And that doesn’t mean don’t practice. It means own it. Let your clients know that you’re in the first decade of practice.
Because you know, it is a very, very new thing that astrologers can just like, boop boop boop, go on the internet and find a birth chart.
JL: You used to have to learn how to do that shit yourself.
CB: Right, you used to calculate it by hand.
JL: Right, that’s how I was taught.
JL: Because I didn’t have access to a computer at the time, you know? I mean, there were computers in the early 1990s but I didn’t have them. [Laughing] You know?
CB: Right, they were like the size of houses, yeah.
JL: They were the size of houses! And like, the first astrologer I met that had a computer I ended up, I have it still actually. It’s this big yellow box. And it could only, it was a dos prompt machine, and it could only hold the solar fire program in it, you know?
JL: And I used it for many years past when I should, but that’s another subject. But in any case, what I did was I told my clients that I was, you know, I was in the early stages. And I priced myself accordingly. I didn’t price myself in the same way as I would have if I was, you know, deep into my practice.
And I also am so grateful that I did that. Because now, you know, having been practicing for a couple decades, some of my clients are still with me from those early years. And I never feel embarrassed by what I did. I never feel like I did something that was out of integrity, because if I made mistakes, if I have evolved in my thinking, my clients knew that that’s where I was coming from at the early stages of my work as an astrologer.
And I think as astrologers who are both counseling people who are vulnerable, but also we are like stewards of time and maturity and development. It is a responsibility we hold to be transparent. Not about our age, but about where we are at in relationship to Saturn.
JL: Because Saturn is the one. So that’s my take on that, if I may hot take it.
CB: Brilliant. That was like, way better and more concise. It took me two hours to say the same thing in the last episode, so you’re lightyears ahead of me.
JL: [Laughing] Thank you very much.
CB: Your main answer is really, it’s okay to practice prior to your Saturn return, but just be open and honest and forthcoming about it.
JL: Yeah, hundred percent. And also, may I ask how old you are? I don’t know. You just had a birthday.
CB: I just turned 35.
JL: Happy birthday!
CB: Thank you. It’s a twelfth house profection year, it’s a little rocky so far.
JL: Yeah, it’ll be rocky, yeah.
CB: Yeah, good times.
JL: But 35 for me was when I felt like my life truly began. It was at my 35th birthday, I was like, “Oh shit, okay. This is life.” And you know, I’m a decade older than you and that’s why I can say it more concisely. That’s the only reason why, is because time matters.
And I think that this is like, I have dear friends who are much younger than me who are astrologers and I’m excited about it. And like I said, I was a practicing astrologer. I went full-time during my Saturn return. And so I say, everybody jump in. Just hold space for older you. Don’t act like you’re a master of something that you’re in your beginning stages with.
JL: Now, to the questioner who had complicatedtwitterhandle.com, www slash no one can pronounce it, this is what I think about Saturn return in dating. You know, I’m a triple Capricorn, so I got into a relationship that lasted almost a decade during my Saturn return. That was awesome.
JL: Most people don’t. Saturn is endings. Saturn is restriction. Saturn is heaviness. And so if you’re looking to just get laid and have someone tell you you’re pretty, that is not likely to happen.
JL: But if you’re open to being in, you’re in your Saturn return, in your Saturn lessons, and you want to experiment with that in relationship to others, do your best. If you find that you’re too easily demoralized or there’s no flow, then maybe redirect your energies. But there’s not a you should, you shouldn’t. There’s a locate yourself.
If you have Saturn in Capricorn, if you’re going through a Saturn return now, you have Saturn in Capricorn. If you have Saturn in Capricorn, it’s about embodiment of your kind of, your own wisdom. So use astrology as a guide, but also use common sense and life experience as a guide too. You know? Try it, and if it doesn’t work, redirect.
Have authority over your own experience. That’s what Saturn in Capricorn wants from you. Now, house and aspect depending I might say many other things. But that’s my hot take on that question.
CB: I love it, that’s great. And yeah, it’s like you said, it’s hard because there’s no one answer that’s gonna fit all for this question because it’s really gonna depend on how your birth chart is set up.
And you know, like if you have Saturn in your seventh house then being in a relationship may play a major role of your Saturn return, or starting a relationship during that time. And you shouldn’t just avoid that or turn that down just because of some abstract idea that you have a transit and therefore you shouldn’t start anything during that time, because that could be really an important, life-defining turning point for you.
And you know, for people who have Saturn connected to their seventh house, it often is during their Saturn return whether they’re going into it in a relationship, and maybe get out of a relationship during their Saturn return or lose a relationship. Or whether they’re single, going into it, and then start a major relationship. I mean, it’s just an important turning point.
JL: Yeah, and I would also kind of add to that, you know, people get so fixated on the Saturn return just like they get fixated on Mercury retrograde, because they know what it is.
JL: But the truth is, you could be going through the Saturn return and, like, five other transits. So you also want to pay attention to the other transits that you’re going through at the time to see if there are things indicating one way or another what’s gonna happen. And I would also say, well, I guess I’ll shut up. That’s what I’ll say.
CB: No, go ahead.
JL: I mean, you know, I was gonna say all kinds of things actually about the Saturn return, because I’m obsessed with the Saturn return because I’m so Saturnian.
JL: But I really, I will say the first Saturn return is really about coming into your own. And you know, my experience as a Saturn in the sixth house person, you know, in my house system. And I was incredibly sick my whole Saturn return. I was very, very sick. My work life was a really big deal. But because relationships weren’t the lesson of my Saturn return I was able to manifest a relationship. And that person supported me in my work, and she supported me in my health issues. And that was, you know, I was ready for that and that’s what happened.
And I think that, you know, it really does depend on what your lesson is. I have a slightly different take on it than you do, because I’m always looking at what is the primary lesson that Saturn is trying to beat you over the head with, because whatever it is you’re not gonna avoid it. But if relationships aren’t the primary lesson of your Saturn return or one of those primary lessons, then it will be much easier for a relationship to come in if you’re doing the work of embodiment and maturity. And ownership of self, because that’s what Saturn wants.
Again, we’re back to The Greatness of Saturn, that book. Saturn wants you to take responsibility for yourself. You seek a shortcut, and Saturn’s like, “Ha! I’m gonna catch you at that shortcut,” because Saturn is a jerk.
CB: Right. And there’s such a wide range of manifestations of like, constructive Saturn return experiences versus just like, really painful heartbreaking or traumatic Saturn return experiences. And where you’re gonna fall in that could be anywhere on either of those extremes, or somewhere closer to the middle.
JL: Yeah, absolutely. Man, Saturn return was really rough for me. How about you?
CB: Was it?
CB: Yeah, it could have been worse. I have a day chart and I’m kind of like you, where my Saturn is very prominent in my chart, and had some rough stuff. But there was also some constructive stuff at the same time. I definitely did not get, like, the worst case scenario of the Saturn return.
I actually lost my hair. That was the point at which I realized I was losing all of my hair, and had to start shaving it. So part of my Saturn return experience was redefining my sense of self because Saturn is squaring my Ascendent.
JL: I was gonna ask.
CB: Like, my appearance to the world. And even though that sounds kind of stupid or minor, was a major ongoing process for a couple of years for me.
JL: Oh, it’s massive.
JL: Yeah, that’s massive. I mean, Saturn on the Ascendent will generally thin the hair or make there be less hair so it’s not surprising to me that that was coinciding. But it’s so huge because it’s how people see you, and it’s a marker of age and time, which is Saturn, you know?
JL: I definitely see with Saturn transits for women who are, you know, in their mid- to late-thirties and older, that kind of hormonal thing that normally happens of thinning or loss of hair comes with those hard Saturn transits. I haven’t tracked it as effectively with men, with cis men specifically. But with women I’ve seen that, like, just the hair thinning that happens that we don’t talk about as much.
Because, you know, Saturn will thin your hair. It will give you hair loss. That’s what– Saturn’s such a jerk!
JL: I mean, you know, I love Saturn but man, what a damn jerk.
CB: Yeah, and there’s lots of other stuff that happened during my Saturn return but that was just one of the funny little things, that was like a Saturn transit of, yeah, the greatness of Saturn. I could write my own book about that with that theme.
JL: With that theme, I would love to read that book.
JL: Yeah. [Laughing]
CB: Alright, J Lan, I think this is it. I think we did it. This is an amazing episode. Thank you so much for joining me for this.
JL: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so glad we made it happen.
CB: Yeah, I really– you actually saved me because I needed to do this episode. I was having some rough transits with like a dental surgery a week ago and I think we rescheduled twice. But you bailed me out by coming on and doing this episode today at the last minute, so I really appreciate it.
JL: Oh, it’s so my pleasure.
CB: And it actually turned into a really amazing episode.
JL: Yeah, it did. I feel really good about it.
CB: Yeah, so thank you. And congratulations on the book. I’m really excited for when it’s gonna come out, which is gonna be, you said New Year’s Eve?
JL: Yeah, New Year’s Eve 2019.
JL: So if you preorder it now you’ll have it New Year’s Eve, or you can just buy it afterwards. But then you won’t have it on New Year’s Eve and you’ll cry because your friends have it.
CB: Yeah, exactly. And so everybody should just go out and preorder it right now if you enjoyed this episode and enjoyed this discussion. Additionally if you enjoyed this discussion, Jessica has an amazing podcast. Where can people find that?
JL: Sure, Ghost of a Podcast can be heard everywhere that podcasts are heard, and it’s called Ghost of a Podcast so you don’t have to spell my name. And on the show every week I answer a listener question, sometimes I actually do readings for people live. And in the second half of the show I do the horoscope for the week ahead.
So it’s not a Sun sign horoscope. I break down the astrology of that week, and I talk about the transits. And through my kind of methodology with it all, I kind of essentially model and teach astrology and how I use it. So hopefully you will listen to it and like it. And yeah, thanks so much for having me! This was so fun.
CB: Brilliant, yeah. And you’ve been killing it with the podcast, you’ve been killing it with, you had a Facebook show, and is that going to come back for a second season? Or how is that going?
JL: No, it was a TLC show in partnership with Facebook and they just did the one season. I don’t know what their plans were, because it was like the mysterious world of the discovery channel. But yeah, we just did the one season. And that was, you know, it’s kind of hard to find. I think you can find it on TLC’s Youtube page and then I have episodes on my website as well, if you go to my website, lovelanyadoo.com under the “Watch” tab.
And you can see, yeah, episodes of the show there. It was called “Stargazing.” And while you’re there you can see Buzzfeed videos I’ve done and a couple of other things, like TV-ish stuff. So yeah, there’s lots of content to consume upon my website if you’re in the market.
CB: Brilliant. And then finally, do you have any upcoming speaking things or conferences that people should know about?
JL: Ooh, good question. Oh, I wish I could remember.
JL: I do. I do and I don’t remember. I mean, I’m going to take my book on the road. I’m gonna take the podcast on the road. I’m gonna go to LA, Seattle, Portland, I’m gonna go to New York. And if you want me to go to your city, email me.
I also feel like there was something else. I have a few other things. I’m going to be speaking at NORWAC, my favorite astrology conference.
CB: You are, so if people want to see you speak they can go to the Northwest Astrology Conference, which is actually one of our sponsors, which I’ll mention and plug at the end of this show.
CB: Once we’re done talking. So you’ll be speaking there in Seattle at the end of May 2020?
JL: Yes. And in San Francisco at the International Astrology event I will be speaking, that’s in March of 2020. I will be speaking on this topic, actually. So if you’re in San Francisco and you like to celebrate international astrology then come around. And I can’t remember other things.
But if you’re interested in more me, which would be so nice thank you, I hope to be doing more AMAs, ask me anythings, live AMAs where I can give more people more answers to questions and stuff like that. So get on my mailing list, follow me on social media @JessicaLanyadoo, and I’m assuming you’re going to leave it there for people to copy and paste because no one can spell my damn name.
CB: Yeah, I will put links to everything either on the description page for this episode on TheAstrologyPodcast.com, or below the video on Youtube in the description, to your website. So people can go and check everything out, and preorder the book, and listen to the podcast, and pretty much everything.
JL: Yay, thank you!
CB: Brilliant, alright. Thank you so much for joining me today. And thanks everyone for listening to this, of course. We appreciate it. Yeah, and good luck with the book launch in about a month and a half from now.
JL: Thank you, I need it. [Laughing]
CB: No, I don’t think you’re gonna need it, honestly. But yeah, thank you for what you’re doing for astrology and, like, being on the front lines in so many different ways in terms of promoting good astrology. And like, having conversations that are important to have while at the same time making it accessible to people. Like, I really appreciate and respect that.
JL: Thank you so much. Thank you! Wow, this is making me cry, that’s very sweet. Thank you, it means a lot coming from you.
CB: Thanks. Alright, thanks everyone for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we will see you next time.
JL: Bye, thank you.
CB: Thanks to the patrons and sponsors who helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on patreon.com, including patrons Christine Stone and Nate Craddock, as well as the AstroGold astrology app available at astrogold.io, the Portland School of Astrology at portlandastrology.org, the Honeycomb Collective personal astrological almanacs at honeycomb.co, and also the International Society for Astrological Research, which is hosting an astrology conference in Denver, Colorado, September 10th – 14th, 2020, and you can find out more information about that at isar2020.org, and the Northwest Astrological Conference which is happening in Seattle, May 21st – 25th, 2020, and you can find out more information about that at norwac.net. For more information about how to sign up to become a patron of the podcast go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast.