Discovering Astrology: A Chat With Sally Kirkman

Thursday, 18 April 2019

I'm a Gemini. Before you all gasp in shock horror and run a mile, I promise we're not all that bad! Being a Gemini has become a bit of a meme in recent years, with our negative traits being blasted all over the internet. While i'd say I was a pretty accurate Gemini in a lot of situations, I take the insults with a pinch of salt and know that some of the best people in my life are in fact also Gemini's.

While I have always had an interest in my star sign, I never really heavily took the time to understand the reasoning and science behind it all. However, recently, I have learnt there is a lot more to astrology than just being a Gemini; I have discovered my Moon and Rising Sign and have found the whole concept of being suited to more than one sign extremely interesting.

If you were like me a few weeks ago and oblivious to anything other than your Star Sign, here's a brief rundown on what they all are:

Sun Sign: Otherwise known as your 'Star Sign' and the most direct sign for you. Your Sun Sign describes the centre of your personality, what motivates and drives you, and who you are are learning to become. 
Moon Sign: Your Moon Sign describes your instinctive and emotional nature. Whilst your Sun Sign describes qualities you are learning to develop and become, your Moon describes who you already are.
Rising Sign: Your Rising (or Ascendant) Sign shows the way you project yourself, how others see you, and the kind of experiences needed to make your life meaningful. 

Your Moon and Rising sign is calculated by your time, date and place of birth, similar to your Sun (Star) Sign. My Moon Sign is Leo, and my Rising Sign is Sagittarius. There are various birth chart calculators online where you can find out your Moon and Rising Sign (example here, here and here).

© Birth Chart created on Astro Seek
Since regaining this new information about myself, I have spent hours researching and reading about my Sun, Moon and Rising signs, and even more excitingly I got to speak to Astrologer Sally Kirkman. Popularly known as the author of the astrology books you can find on the shelves of Urban Outfitters, Sally has 30 years experience writing quality horoscopes and delivering astrology consultations. I spoke to Sally about how astrology can teach you a lot about yourself, and potentially better your lifestyle.

How and when did you first realise you were interested in astrology, and how did it become your career? 

'My first memory of being interested in the stars was walking with my Dad at night when I was a little girl. He loved telling me about the constellations. It was my first glimpse into the mysteries of the night sky. Then, at university, I discovered Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, which was a classic astrology book. It’s still a great read and a good way into astrology. I was also fascinated by symbolism in mythology, literature, art. My thesis at university was entitled ‘The Sexual Nature of Grimm’s Fairytales’. It was in my late 20’s when astrology found me.

I worked in travel and lived abroad during my 20’s. During my Saturn Return - age 29, the astrological coming of age - I wanted to be more settled. I felt lost during that period of my life, became interested in personal development and was searching for a meaningful career. At a dinner party one night, a journalist for a local paper asked if anyone knew an astrologer who could write their horoscope column. I told him I knew some astrology and I got the job. It meant a lot of late nights reading & learning about astrology but I was hooked. I signed up to study with the Company of Astrologers in London and passed their Advanced Certificate over two years.  The media work developed from there and I’ve been lucky enough to have remained in self-employment as an astrologer ever since.'

As an Astrologer what does a typical day look like for you? 

'I think one of the joys of being an astrologer is that there is no typical day. I discovered in my 20’s that I wasn’t cut out for the 9-to-5. I had one corporate job and left it to go travelling in India. So, I knew early on that I wanted to be self-employed and work in a creative field that was helpful and meaningful. Also, my career as an astrologer has taken many twists and turns. I used to write horoscopes for the media, e.g. TVTimes, Sunday Express, Company magazine, so that was a major part of my work for many years.

These days, I do a lot more astrology readings, which I absolutely love. One of the joys of the internet is that I can work with clients globally. The best part of being an astrologer is helping clients look deeper into their birth chart. Astrology offers amazing insights for self-awareness, reveals new insights about all areas of your life and can be a brilliant tool in helping you decide the right course of action. Other than readings, I write a lot - monthly horoscopes, my weekly astrology newsletter which goes out to paid subscribers and astrology articles. The articles get posted on my website and on social media. Plus, I do a monthly astrology podcast with my Pisces friend, Christina, which is a bridge between star signs and astrology. It’s called ‘Christina & Sally Talk Astrology’. We give you a lot of information about star signs and the astrology of the month ahead.

I also get approached by the media to comment on events from an astrological perspective, usually the Royals, I network and give talks on astrology. Plus, I’m constantly on the look-out for new innovations in internet marketing to promote my services and products. So, it’s very diverse which I love. I work hard too, sometimes too hard, so time out and retreats are vital to recharge.'

One of the things you're keen on doing is reaching a younger audience to show how astrology can benefit them, but beginning an interest in astrology can be super daunting as there is a lot of information out there! What advice do you have to anyone starting to look into their sign(s)?

'My Sun Sign books are a brilliant introduction to astrology, which is how I met you, as I saw you’d been reading them. They are available on Amazon and sold in bookshops, Anthropologie & Urban Outfitters. An understanding of the twelve Sun Signs is incredibly helpful in relationships. It can explain why people do what they do and help you interact better with the people in your life.

Find an astrologer you like and follow them - reading your monthly horoscope is a great introduction. I would advise reading your Sun sign first, then your Ascendant sign. Know the big events happening when and follow the cycle of the Moon. There are a lot of websites where you can draw up your birth chart for free when you input your date, time and place of birth. Without your time of birth, you won’t know your Ascendant sign but you can still find out where the the planets were on the day you were born.

Consider taking a beginner’s course in astrology - I’m planning to offer an online course later this year. Or buy a beginner’s book on astrology or sign up to one of the many apps that are around. Keep an eye on my website too as my podcast pal, Christina & I, will be offering workshops for beginners later this year in London. Most importantly, go look at the stars. If you’re in the city, take a trip to the sea or into the country. Go and lie flat on your back and marvel at the wonder of the night sky, the universe - it can really help put things into perspective.'

© Image Source: Urban Outfitters

My stronger interest in astrology has stemmed from discovering my Moon and Rising Signs, something I knew very little about until recently. What are your signs and what do they mean to you? 

'My Sun sign is Scorpio, and the Sun is your essence, who you are becoming. I love being a Scorpio, a deeply emotional water sign and I am interested in all things hidden and esoteric. Ultimately, Scorpio is about transformation which is why I’m drawn to astrology as it’s a great self-analytical tool and can help change peoples lives too. My Moon sign is Libra, and the Moon rules your inner needs, what nurtures and comforts you. Libra is the sign of 1-to-1 relationships, so I love my close connections and my work with clients. I also need peace & harmony in my surroundings. My Ascendant sign is Aries, and the Ascendant is the cover on your book, how you come across to other people. Yes, I tend to be speedy and do things quickly. I need to be physical too and walk every day.'

Astrology often interlinks with mental health which is something I am very passionate about. As someone who suffers with anxiety and depression like many others, how do you believe astrology can benefit me?

'I was in a similar place when I was in my mid-to-late 20’s. Life seemed meaningless at times and that’s one reason why astrology was brilliant for me. It gave me a sense of meaning and I loved the idea that the movement of the planets mirrors our lives on earth, both collectively and personally. Astrology connects you to something greater than yourself which I found reassuring and made complete sense. It was like a missing piece of the jigsaw which I’d been searching for.

At the same time, astrology can help reveal hidden aspects of yourself. Knowing more about my birth chart helped me understand what I was struggling with. One of the benefits of working with astrology is that you discover how to channel the more difficult aspects of yourself in a way that’s helpful and productive. That can be invaluable. Also, using the timing of astrology, you know when life’s likely to be more difficult and when to prioritise self-care. It can reveal your positive trends too, enabling you to plan ahead for the good times. I feel my life has definitely been enriched thanks to my knowledge of astrology. It gives you a completely different way of looking at yourself and understanding life’s events.'

You can buy Sally Kirkman's 'Art of Living' series from Amazon and Urban Outfitters. Sally also offers discounts for bulk buys for parties, weddings and events. All the info on the books, herself, newsletters, and astrology readings, can be found on her website.

What is your Sun, Moon and Rising Sign? How into astrology are you? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Disclaimer: 'Gemini: The Art of Living Well and Finding Happiness According to Your Star Sign' was gifted by Sally Kirkman.

© Image Source: Sally Kirkman

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