When I first tried yoga in 2009, I was a clean slate. I knew nothing about it.
I was trying fitness classes at my new gym, and I saw “Forrest Yoga” on the schedule. The magazine-editor-in-me noticed they misspelled forest, and wondered: Maybe it’s all about looking like trees and tuning in with nature?
I chuckled years later when I found out that “Forrest Yoga” is a style founded by a woman named Ana Forrest.
I was the same way getting into Vedic Astrology. Sure I’d read my horoscope like every teenage girl... but I couldn’t list all the signs, nor could I tell you (with confidence) the order of the planets or anything about them.
And yet, here I am. Once I answered my calling to dive in, there was no turning back. Immersing in the archetypal wisdom of the cosmos is part of my yogic path. I’m here for it — and I completely respect that not everyone else is.
I’ve since discovered that some people insist astrology is anti-god, wonder if it’s against religion, or assume it’s on the same level as fortune-telling... all of which Vedic Astrology is not.
So, I set out to discover why we think astrology is weird.
*Note: I researched astrology’s reputation in the USA. Vedic Astrology is, and has been practiced in India for thousands of years.*
I learned that our ingrained assumptions in the west run deep.
There have been so many individuals over the past 2,000 years who have worked hard to uphold astrology’s place as a respectable method for organizing our place in the cosmos — from theologians like Italian priest Thomas Aquinas, to business tycoons like JP Morgan, and famous astrologers like Evangeline Adams:
Fun fact: In 1914, astrologers in the state of New York like Evangeline Adams were arrested for practicing astrology. She felt so strongly that what she was doing was not fortune telling, that she went to trial and won-over the judge, and thus, successfully overturned the ruling for good.
Evangeline gave astrology a mainstream respect it hadn’t had in a loooong time. She went on to lead one of the most prolific astrology practices in history with an office in Carnegie Hall, serving many high profile clients, stirring up curiosity and devotion to planetary influence during a time where uncertainty reigned.
The debate about whether astrology is “moral” and “just” has been happening for a long time. And from my view, it distills down to one crucial misunderstanding. Here's the truth:
Astrology is NOT predicting the future.
Although there have certainly been those who’ve tried, succeeded, and duped their clients, any decent astrologer will tell you that nothing in life, a reading, or in the cosmos is certain.
Sure, we can predict when the eclipses will happen, and the transits of the planets, etc. But when it comes to how those heavenly bodies influence life on Earth, the interpretation is largely influenced by the lineage of the astrologer, and the client. It’s all about archetypes, stories, symbols and learning to go with the flow of life.
I laugh, thinking if I’d had my birth chart read by a Vedic Astrologer even 15 years ago... Teaching yoga, living in the arctic, and studying Vedic astrology and reading people charts?
No one could've guessed that was my future! (Pun intended.)
All this to say, I hope today’s story can break up some cellular memory of the many many many years where astrology was weird, because it’s not. It’s just another way of explaining why we’re here — which resonates for some and not for others.
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.