Astrology, Natal Charts, Destiny, OH MY!
So the story goes, Astrology has been an interest of mine most of my life. Walter Mercado was a Mystical King as far as my 10 year old self was concerned and when he spoke, he spoke of Truths with that capital T. I was aware of my star sign since I was a kid, what it meant and that of my family members. My interest in Astrology really started to take hold when I was a teenager. I started digging deeper into moon signs and rising signs and my interest peaked around the age of 20, when I was devouring anything and all things about the qualities of all 12 signs.
I was obsessed with knowing people's star signs because I wanted to know what made people click and have chemistry.
I wanted to see if there were patterns to what made certain friendships or relationships work. I became so obsessed that I literally couldn't be in a room full of people without, A: compulsively asking everyone what their birthday was and B: after finding out this information, getting stuck in an analysis vortex observing who had the best chemistry and if their interactions were being influenced by the compatibility of their star signs. I would be totally in my head, making calculations and conclusions that no one was aware of.
After some time though, I started to become self conscious about my obsession-- I didn't want to be annoying by always asking people I'd just met about their birthday and explain why I was so interested. Also, keep in mind this was over 10 years ago-- social media wasn't what it is today (we had Facebook and Myspace, that's about it). The sub-cultures that have grown in popularity because of social media weren't nearly as mainstream or cool or accepted back then; being into "woo-woo" stuff just made you weird, but weird in a way that didn't feel good most of the time. I started to keep my obsession more under wraps, and sadly fought against the urge to want to know everyone's birthday (or at least be so obvious about it). Over time, I put my interest in Astrology to rest (sort of). Fast forward to 2016/2017 when I found Ezzie Spencer on Instagram. At the time she was posting mainly about moon cycles and hosting monthly virtual New Moon meditations, which I loved and started doing regularly. I read her books, which I also love and recommend, and from there my love for the esoteric started to get stronger again. I was also listening to Jess Lively's podcast daily, which at the time was all about the law of attraction (anyone else watch The Secret [or read the book] or watch What the Bleep Do We Know?! back in the day? LOL) as well as meditating every day and reading Deepak Chopra and Dr. Joe Dispenza and Esther Hicks and all the stuff that makes me want to do happy dances. Although admittedly sometimes I'm still a bit apprehensive about being perceived as a weird "New Agey" or even"culty" person (like how many times is too many times to post about yoni eggs or talk about the enneagram? Hm...) these days, I give way less fucks about whether people think I'm weird for being into whatever the hell I'm into at any given time (as of late, rollerskating, surfing, the enneagram, meditation challenges, and natal charts. Yolo). Genuine and true self acceptance for me has been an uphill struggle, but I'm getting there. Alors. Through the rabbit hole of moon cycles, meditation, self care, and so on, I found Chani Nicholas on instagram. I loved her empowering messages and sense of humour but hadn't become a total fangirl... yet. When I found out she was releasing a book earlier this year, I became more interested ((books :) are :) my :) fav)) but still held off. Then one random February afternoon, I heard her interview on Debby Milman's Podcast Design Matters and I was HOOKED ON PHONICS. I soaked up every second of it-- every tale about her upbringing, how she felt lost and directionless as an adult, and how she found herself again through, you guessed it... astrology and her natal chart.
After the interview was over, I KNEW I had to get her book ASAP. And I did. The Natal Chart Breakdown
The way Chani explains it, your natal Chart is a picture of the sky the way it looked exactly at the moment you took your first breath. Let me clarify, natal charts do not predict the future-- they help you understand what was "written in the stars" for you, though that sounds wonky and dumb. More like... from this picture of how the sky looked the moment you were born, you can gather very powerful information about your life and your life's purpose. You can learn things about yourself that you may already know, but could use guidance and help with through the wisdom of Astrology. I fucking love this so much.
Learning about your natal chart is kind of like reading the results from a personality test except it's about a billion times more accurate and lot more complicated. They're both similar in the sense that they both tell you about yourself, except with natal charts there isn't any doubt about whether you answered the questions truthfully or if you're bullshitting yourself. The sky is the way it was when you were born no matter what and there is no changing it. I love that. I love that certainty and the idea that life dealt you a set of cards you have to come to terms with in order to grow into the person you are meant to be. I truly believe we are all here for a purpose and that we all possess gifts we're meant to share with others in order to help liberate ourselves from our own shackles and constraints. Natal charts can help you understand what those gifts may be for you.
Three Main Sections of the Book The book begins with a few chapters explaining what everything means within your chart: the signs, the planets, the houses, and the aspects. Then it moves into the three most important sections: your sun sign, your moon sign, and your ascendant and its ruler. THIS is where the gold is and where everything comes together. Your sun represents your life's purpose, your moon represents your physical and emotional needs and your ascendant and its ruler represent your motivation for life and the steers-person of your ship. You take your chart and your book and you start putting all the pieces together. In the end, you're left with a very lengthy and telling story of your life and it's up to you to make sense of it and decide how to implement the information into something actionable and fruitful for you.
First, you'll need your natal chart: https://chart.chaninicholas.com/ And then, you'll need her book:
The information in this book is dense because there are SO many elements that make up your natal chart. Breaking down your natal chart takes time and it can be very confronting. Confronting because it's usually eerily spot on and that can be challenging when you hear things about yourself that you know to be true but don't want to face, when you realise the way you've been taking care of yourself is not in your best interest, or if the chart helps you see the ways in which you've been living a life that isn't true for you. What makes these things even harder to hear is that usually you already know them to be true in your gut. It's weird like that-- natal charts are like a rediscovery of what you already know to be true for yourself. A bit like going to a great therapist-- they help you find answers that were already within you. Sometimes that can be liberating, other times it can feel like a punch to the gut.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take a deep look into their own life. The reflection questions prompt a lot of introspection. Be prepared to be rattled, because it is likely to happen. Be prepared to make changes, because you are likely to want to take action. Whatever happens, I hope you find joy in the rollercoaster journey of self discovery and that each high and low bring you closer to yourself. With love, Dre