I first met Aurora at a New Year’s Eve party a few years ago. When she told me she was an astrologer, naturally I had a million questions for her. Over the years I have had the pleasure of getting to know Aurora, soak up some of her wisdom and watch her give birth to her new platform, Vibrational Astrology. Astrology has become much more of a mainstream focus over the past few years. More and more we are becoming open to how we can apply this ancient understanding to our everyday lives. I sat down with Aurora to ask her some (more) questions about astrology as a career, and what we should know entering into 2020.
Carson: What made you want to embark on the journey of astrology as a profession and what kind of education did you pursue in order to gain an understanding of this work?
A: I started reading astrology books and studying magazine horoscope columns when I was 10 years old! As an undergraduate at Brown I created two independent studies where I compared the history of astrology in various cultures. I went to my first astrology conference in 2004 and attended lots of conferences and workshops, learning from people who have been astrologers for decades. The depth of expertise in certain areas and the variety of subtopics in astrology is enormous. I am learning everyday, and that's part of what I love about it. Some of my recent interests are out-of-bounds planets, planetary nodes and The Great Attractor. Astrology has been a lifelong study and passion for me. When I was getting ready to graduate from college in 2005 there weren't very many people in the field speaking to a younger audience. I was really excited to take that on, and have loved watching the explosion of interest in astrology in the last decade.
C: Tell us more about Vibrational Astrology and the inspiration behind it? How do you see astrology as a positive force in the evolution of our existence as humans?
A: Vibrational Astrology is a style of astrology that is focused on the energetic frequencies behind the signs and the planets. For example, "Moon in Virgo" doesn't mean any one thing. Instead it is describing an energetic spectrum. On the higher end of the spectrum we could see behaviors like thoughtfulness and organization, on the lower end of the spectrum are fussy and critical behaviors. It's my job to help people see the highest energetic possibilities of a chart, or any given planetary alignment taking place today, next month, etc., so they can make higher vibrational choices. High vibrational choices feel better in our heart and in our bodies! They also create a positive energetic ripple effect. That's what pushes our evolution, personally and collectively, in a positive direction.
C: What is the difference between a sun sign, moon sign and rising sign? How can we find out what ours are?
A: Fortunately there are plenty of apps and websites that can calculate our exact charts. But in order to know the rising sign, an accurate birth time is necessary.
Our sun sign represents our inherent gifts and skills, things that come effortlessly and naturally to us. It also describes our core motivations. For example, Geminis are naturally skilled communicators, and one of their core motivations is to share their ideas and be heard.
Our moon sign describes our emotional nature and what our needs and desires are in intimacy and relationships. So we often act accordingly with our moon sign in the context of our relationships.
The rising sign is the lens through which we view the world and the world views us. Another example: a Leo rising person would view the world as a place where people are free to express their individuality, and others would see them as someone who makes brave and authentic choices in personal self-expression.
C: Looking at 2020, what are some major themes ahead? From your perspective, is there a cosmic explanation for the chaos we are living through?
A: This is an important year of change and transformation. We are at the end of several long planetary cycles, so we are being forced to come to terms with situations, “clean up” and move on. Saturn and Pluto are major players this year, and both are in Capricorn - the sign of government, business and authority. It's been centuries since both of these planets were in this sign together. We are coming to terms with abuse of power (a Pluto theme) in many major institutions (the Saturn arena).This can feel disruptive, but it's important to remain confident that these changes will lead to eventual improvements, and not to let any collective instability derail us. A higher vibrational manifestation of this energy is about truly owning our own personal power (Pluto) so that we can create effective and practical strategies (Capricorn) for our own lives, and the long-term impact (Saturn) we want to make in the world.
C: Being in my twenties I am interested in the Saturn Return! Can you tell us a bit about how our Saturn return can impact our twenties?
A: Saturn takes roughly 29 years to cycle through the zodiac. What that means is that for every person, when they are roughly 28/29 years old (and again at 58!), Saturn returns to the same place it was when they were born. This is known as a Saturn Return. Because Saturn is associated with karma and the effects of our choices, this time period often feels like we are getting our report car, and, just like getting a report card at school, it is usually a mixed bag. In areas of our life where we have really put in work and effort and been conscientious, wonderful things can happen (A+), but in other areas where we might not have been making an effort or taking responsibility, issues will surface to be dealt with. It's nature's way of showing us where we are doing a great job, and where we can benefit from course correction.
C: Can you tell us a bit about the history of astrology?
A: The oldest written documents in the world, which originated in Babylon and Sumer, are astrology texts! Astrology has been practiced in all cultures around the world since “always.” The current Western paradigm, which was established during the Enlightenment, is the Materialist paradigm. This paradigm posits that everything that happens in life is the result of tangible and measurable interactions between different states of matter. Because the tangible energy of planets cannot be measured at this time through formalized scientific inquiry, it was and continues to be dismissed. But presently, science is finding ways to measure things it had hitherto claimed as impossible each week, so I am not very moved by the argument that astrology is unscientific. Rather, like our ancestors, I believe that we live in an energetic universe where everything above, below and within is interconnected in mysterious ways, and that maybe/hopefully/eventually over time science will develop more sophisticated methods for measuring and understanding this.
C: Mercury retrograde is perhaps the greatest cliche of the decade. Can you tell us what it really means and why it might not always be to blame?
A: You might be right about that! Even though Mercury retrograde has been fussed over way more than necessary, it still brought astrology into mainstream consciousness in a big way, so I'm grateful for that. Mercury is the planet connected to communication, the logistics of travel and the sharing of ideas and information. All planets go retrograde from time to time. What that means is that from the perspective of earth they appear to be moving backwards (although it’s important to note that no planets ever actually move backwards). There are usually three Mercury retrograde periods in a given year, and they each last about three weeks. This is a moment for us to pause and review things in all areas of life connected to Mercury. We tend to have an attitude in the modern age that we want to push and expand and accelerate at all times, but that is not only not realistic, it is also not how nature works. As the seasons and the retrograde of planets remind us, there are times when it's best to watch, wait, see, review and improve before moving forward. If we don't, things can go a bit haywire, which is why we hear about snafus happening during Mercury retrograde in particular. Of course we all need to carry on with life as normal, but maybe we can strive to be a little bit more patient during those times. Hopefully in the next decade people will learn about Venus retrograde and Mars retrograde too! Both of those planets have retrogrades in 2020.
C: What's next for you and Vibrational Astrology?
A: I am really having fun with the new platform, and am focused mostly on the blog, and creating monthly videos for my YouTube channel, but I'm excited to keep growing. A key part of Vibrational Astrology that I like to emphasize is that we are always at choice. It's important for people to understand that free will and astrology co-exist. The combination of self-awareness, up-to-date information and choice is a game changer. When we understand our own energetic makeup and the astrological dynamics of the moment - when we know that we are empowered to choose and respond wisely and thoughtfully - that is when we are at our strongest. I am also looking forward to teaching more. I am developing a course on Conscious Manifesting using the tools of Vibrational Astrology where I will get really specific about how self-understanding can help us improve our focus so we can deliberately co-create. At the end of the day, my goal is to give people practical information and techniques so that astrology can be used as a tool for empowerment.
Photo by Kathy Sherman Suder @kathysuder