I feel like every astrologer has their “story” when it comes to just how they got into it and how they’ve learned about it. This has been a question posed to me more than a few times but I’ve never made an official post about it. So, if this is something that interests you, here we go!
First off, my story of how I got into astrology is somewhat different than some other astrologers’. I’ve heard a few astrologers say they were skeptical of it all until they got into it and had their birth chart done. This is pretty much what happens to the majority of skeptics. I’ve never talked about people who criticize and doubt astrology because I basically see no point. Nine times out of ten, someone who is a skeptic of astrology doesn’t know what it really is. They are just criticizing it based off them only knowing about Sun signs, and not agreeing with the very broad, general picture they paint, or because they confuse astrology with astronomy (don’t even get me started on that 13th sign ridiculousness) or some other reason based on a real ignorance of what astrology is.
Regardless, knowing about birth charts is usually the moment when a skeptic changes their tune. Sit someone down and do their birth chart for them if they keep doubting it. Even in the chance they don’t know their birth time, figure out their Moon sign and aspects or what’s going on with their Mars or something. They will almost always be amazed and want to know more and this likely begins a love affair with this thing that we are all fascinated and guided and inspired by.
But, I was actually never an astrology skeptic. Even when all I knew was that I was a Leo because I was born on August 8th, it still always rang true. The reason I constantly give for this is my Nodal axis. First off, as an Aquarius Ascendant and North Node, it is my destiny in life to become deeply connected with all things unconventional, like astrology. Aquarius is highly associated with astrology. So, if the North Node is deep down within you, I think that something about astrology has always spoken deeply to me and just made a lot of sense to me.
Also, you’re going to feel your South Node so deeply and my Leo South Node is conjunct my Sun. I have always felt like such a Leo. Growing up, I did go through a phase of being more reserved and even shy, which I definitely grew out of once I got into my twenties. So, I didn’t always act like the typical Leo for everyone to see. But, my Leo energy is in the 7th House. Therefore, people who knew me well and who I was comfortable with, particularly good friends, were very familiar with my Leo traits. It’s a side to me that would come out strongly in my close relationships.
I also was highly aware of being a Leo just through my own self-knowing. Being born with Sun conjunct South Node gives you a very powerful self-awareness and, as you evolve, it means that the ego is already complete and fully formed, in this lifetime. So, I have always known, deep down, who I am. Before I did my birth chart for the first time, I got into the habit of looking up profiles and descriptions of Leo online. And everything that was there fit the real me very well: highly creative and artistic, big-hearted and generous, eager to shine and make an impression, very willing to take the lead, and always feeling like the protagonist in the middle of big drama.
So, when it came to astrology, I always thought, “Yes! This is on point.” I’m such a Leo, deep down in my soul, thanks to the South Node, that what they had to say about me was very accurate. I have also noticed that Sun in Leo people tend to be big supporters of astrology, even when they only know Sun sign astrology. A big part of it might be getting told by these personality profiles just how awesome we are. So, as a teenager, I developed quite a habit of looking up stuff about Leos in order to hear how regal and amazing I was, how I was born to be a star.
However, for some reason, I never took the actual daily horoscopes that seriously. I never have and, to this day, I am not sure what they base those on. I’m guessing it’s like a super-condensed version of a transit reading, based on your Sun sign. But, that cannot be accurate without the person’s birth chart. Anyway, I digress! All that is to say that, again, I feel like my Aquarius North Node/Ascendant and Uranus trine Mercury/Mars were speaking to me, without me even knowing it. Reading those daily horoscopes always made me feel like there was something more to the equation and like astrology was more meaningful and profound that what that little column could tell me.
That led to me getting my birth chart read for the first time. I don’t remember the exact date but I do know it was around April or May 2008 (there’s my Scorpio Moon memory at work). I was doing my regular thing of just reading things about how awesome Leos are and I wound up on Café Astrology. As you probably know, Café Astrology has a page for every sign divided up into sections, based on the planet. So, I saw Sun in Leo, Moon in Leo, Mercury in Leo, etc. I sensed that there was a difference and I wanted to find out what it was. Then, after doing some more reading and searching, I saw that you could get your birth chart done for free on this site.I placed in all of my information and, voila, the birth chart pops up! I remember being struck by seeing all of the Virgo action in a row – Mercury, Venus, and Mars – and, no lie, I also literally said, “Oh my God”, when I saw the Scorpio Moon-Midheaven-Pluto lineup in my chart. Although I had a super-basic and self-absorbed knowledge of astrology at that point, only knowing what it means to be a Leo, I knew enough about Scorpio to understand how intense that was. Basically, it opened up a whole new door for me. Yes, my Sun sign described me very well. But, all of these other placements described me really well, also. I understood why I’d always been health-conscious and organized, with these three planets in Virgo, and why my inner emotional life, thanks to all that Scorpio Moon energy, felt like this turbulent Universe unto itself.
So, the love affair began. Mind you, this was during my North Node Return in Aquarius in the 1st. The North Node Return is the time when the Universe provides you with a major opportunity to become aligned with your Nodal purpose. The first one, at the age of 18 to 19, which is when all of this happened for me, hands you the key to your North Node. You won’t be able to fully unlock it yet as the North Node requires ever-growing maturity to master. But, you are being shown your greater potential, in many ways, and it sets the stage for you. I think that I really took the opportunity and ran with it. Astrology (Aquarius) has been such a major part of my outlook (1st House) ever since I first began studying it. It’s something that has gradually shaped my behavior and approach to life in a manner that my North Node combination wants. I know I talk a lot about my North Node! But, I do think that getting into astrology has been such a major part of my personal growth toward my North Node that it’s a recurring, unavoidable topic.
Eventually, I would move away from just studying my birth chart to astrology as a whole. I do think the lower Leo habits and yearnings took over, early on. But, in a way, it needed to. I think I needed to learn everything about myself in the beginning in order to widen my scope. I started off studying more about the Sun signs, in the early stages of my astrological journey. I remember being very fascinated by the combination of Sun and Moon signs. So, that was a phase I went through: what does it mean to specifically be a Leo Sun with a Scorpio Moon, especially compared to a Leo Sun with a Gemini or Aries or Capricorn Moon? There used to be this wonderful site, back in 2008 – 2009, which I forgot the name of, that had extensive pages for every Sun sign: articles for a man, woman, child, boss with that Sun sign, as well as descriptions of the Sun/Moon combinations. I used to live on that site, in these days. Google has always been my best friend in terms of learning astrology. Books are very helpful, too, of course. But, Internet searches and explorations of websites and blogs have consistently been my go-to way of figuring out this whole thing.
The obsessiveness of my brain just needed to fully understand my own chart first. I learned about my chart through distinct phases. First, I was obsessed with what it means to be a Leo. Then, I was really into what it means to be a Scorpio Moon. I mean, really into it. I am actually struck, looking back, by how focused I was on my Moon in Scorpio for a while. The more I learned about it, the more I loved it. I don’t know if I ever once complained about my Moon sign. The way I’ve understood it now is that it’s because the Moon is conjunct my Midheaven. I want to be a Scorpio Moon. This is how I want to be seen by everyone. So, learning about how deep, mysterious, complicated, and passionate I naturally am on the inside made me unconsciously cultivate that feeling of “I have to show the world my soul, my deepest and most natural self” that Moon conjunct Midheaven people have. I put a lot of effort, then, into being aware of and proud of my Scorpio side, to a degree that started slightly overshadowing that Leo pride I once was overwhelmed by.
There used to be this awesome board called Tribe and there were two Scorpio Moon groups that I was active on. This only fed my obsession with being Scorpio-like and it was very comforting to talk to other Scorpio Moon people (and also Moon-Pluto people) about our shared experiences. Also, this was the first time I ever talked to other people about astrology, even if it wasn’t face-to-face. I loved the experience of just sharing ideas and perspectives with people about this study that had really changed my life. This went on from about 2010 to late 2011. It was another phase: me just going on these message boards. It was highlighted an important truth to me: astrology cannot be fully understood unless it is a discussion. When you just rigidly stick to what everyone says about astrological placements without any kind of sounding board, you never learn how to think more broadly about it. I also joined Lindaland in early 2012 for a hunger for the same thing.
You have to observe people in real-life, as well. You have to people watch. Once I began broadening my view of astrology, beyond myself, I was continually amazed at how accurate it was for other people. It became my habit of secretly, slyly finding out someone’s birthday (which I still do, of course) and, even if I didn’t have the birth time, knowing just enough about their birth chart to then observe them and compare the info. Then, of course, you have to think a bit more critically about what’s being told to you by these astrological texts. This is when I began figuring out how fatalistic certain astrological info can be, especially more archaic stuff or the Vedic profiles. Clearly, being born with a certain placement won’t mean you’ll end up childless, diseased, imprisoned, or that you’ll die next Wednesday. Observing people made me realize this very quickly.
Now, there came a time when I stopped focusing so much on my Scorpio energy. I think that I had a lot of issues to work out in regards to those placements, including my 8th House, which is why it was so cathartic to hone in on them like I did. I was in quite a dark mentality. But, I soon felt like I had exhausted that route. Then, I became interested in the aspects. I have about a million aspects in my chart. It seriously took me a few years to remember all the trines, sextiles, and conjunctions I have (I know them by heart now). I had always been interested in my aspects, since I first had my chart done. But, I think that it wasn’t until a few years after that where I stopped isolating the aspects from my planets and realized just how much they influenced how the planets were expressed. My Moon, for instance, has a ton of aspects and I’m a different flavor of a Scorpio Moon thanks to it being sextile Mercury and Saturn and Neptune, trine Jupiter, etc.
So, that caught my interest and then that was my main focus for a while. Since I have so many aspects, I had a lot to study. Eventually, I became interested in the aspects of others. Why does his Venus square Saturn make him behave like that? Inevitably, it has been my path to use astrology to help other people. I didn’t realize that until I started this blog. Now, you may or may not know this but even though the first post on here is dated 2014, I first began this blog in 2012 (which is why it’s called astroarena12). Astrology had become such a hobby for me that I just needed an outlet. But, of course, you can’t just write a blog about yourself! Well, you could but it’d easily be self-indulgent and pointless. I challenged myself to actually discover more about other people’s placements and energies, hugely helped by my time spent observing others and on message boards. My approach to astrology started shifting more off of me and onto other people.
I am glad I restarted the blog, as I deleted the old posts sometime in 2013. They weren’t as frequent or extensive as these, so you weren’t missing out on much, although I did do a whole series of articles on Sun/Moon combinations that I put a lot of work into. I was just being a true Plutonian by “killing” the blog and rebirthing it, as well as myself as an astrologer. I continued to use astrology as a tool to make myself better and to also figure out other people, during that break. By the time I revamped Astrology Arena in 2014, I felt like I had grown a lot and my understanding of astrology was more unique. By this time, I’d been studying astrology for six years and I knew all the stereotypes and clichés of the study, which I used this blog to help avoid, something I felt like I started through the first aspect articles on here: Sun-Pluto and Moon-Pluto.
People have asked me about mentors and I have had none. I have been entirely self-taught in terms of astrology and that is something I have definitely preferred. However, I do really admire Dana Gerhardt, who has been a respected astrologer for decades. Reading her series on Astrodienst on the planets, houses, and signs (which were actually originally published in The Mountain Astrologer back in the 90’s or so) was a transformative experience. She is my favorite astrologer and I highly recommend those articles if you haven’t read them. She has a witty, nuanced, fresh, and interesting take on astrological energies that avoids and deconstructs clichés. I got into her before I restarted this blog and I think that she was a significant influence in that way, as far as my current approach.
I also restarted Astrology Arena because I was unemployed and going through a really tough time. So, it was a hobby that kept me productive. Eventually, my need for money turned into me doing readings, which I started in late 2014/early 2015 and never expected would take off like it has. It’s why I charged so ridiculously cheap, in the beginning, because I didn’t even think it could be my actual day job. I’m very thankful that it’s still going (thanks to my current situation, it keeps me fed and taken care of for now) and that you clients, as well as you readers, are still interested in my services. I don’t get to say it enough so thank you! And here we are, at almost 300 blog posts!
So, my journey through astrology has been through phases and stages. I understand what people mean when they say “consider the whole chart.” But, it can be hard to do so without your head exploding, especially in the beginning. Even after studying this for eight years, I still take everything piece by piece. It’s how I learned: the Sun, the Moon, aspects, houses, Midheaven’s, Saturn, Nodes, etc. People can easily feel overwhelmed by the complexity and vastness of astrology when they are first starting out. But, I learned it in a piecemeal way and that’s the way I still look at it. And the more experienced you are with it, the more you can synthesize all of that knowledge together.