This week Mystic Mag talked with Dena DeCastro, an astrologer based in Portland (United States). Dena offers readings, mentorship and is also a writer and a podcaster. Know more about her story and work in the interview below.
How did you discover your gift?
I discovered Astrology and Tarot when I was a kid. My parents were into Astrology and Tarot in the 70’s: my dad did Tarot readings around the house and my mom practiced Astrology as a hobby.
I went deeper into that interest in High School and College and would practice with friends and family by drawing charts and doing readings. Eventually, when I became an adult, I started a career as an English teacher and had my professional Astrology business as a side-focus. Astrology is now my main career.
In your website, you mention using Astrology as a tool. On the other hand, many people use it as a crutch to explain behaviors. Why did you choose that perspective?
I think it can be used as a crutch in terms of wanting to fit into a certain type, in order for Astrology to be much like the Myers-Briggs Test, for instance, and try to put us in a category. That categorization can be used helpfully or not helpfully. It can be sometimes used to grow or to limit ourselves. Astrology is not different from that; it really depends on intention.
I use Astrology as a personal development tool for my clients and for myself. I use it to describe potential ways to use our strengths and to be aware of our shadow material, the things we can do that are not helpful to ourselves. But the chart can be helpful to become more self-aware and conscious of what generally is the Unconscious. Therefore, we can make more informed choices in our lives, better knowing who we really are.
Also on your website, you mention forecast readings and they should not be used to foretell the future. Please elaborate on this subject from your perspective.
I really like the word ‘forecast’ instead of ‘predictive reading’ because it implies something like the weather forecast: metaphorically speaking, I can tell you what the Astrological weather is for you, but it is up to you to take your umbrella, to choose to prepare for the forecast.
Astrological forecast operates in that way: it’s a warning of challenging times, which might be coming up, so that you can prepare for them. But the attitude of moving into a more evolved set of actions in response to those outside forces at play is up to you.
Also, I can tap into opportunity periods – sunnier days, so to speak – coming up for the person, so that they can maximize the benefit of times that are more peaceful and fortunate.
What are the Stars showing for the next couple of weeks?
Right now, we’ve just had Mercury stationing directly. We’ve had Mercury retrograde and it has been stationing this week. We’ve also justhad Jupiter stationing direct. When planets are stationing, their influence is very strong. So, I’m foreseeing for this week a lot of helpful influence from Jupiter’s stationing direct – it is a planet of good luck and opportunity.
With Mercury, we’re seeing things more able to move forward in our lives than we’ve had in the last three and half weeks. Because periods under Mercury retrograde are often time to step back and take a pause, when more things get slowed down or we run down against obstacles in our path in order to find better ways to work with what is going on in our lives.
I do see in this month, especially in the next couple of weeks, more forward momentum available for people in general and, of course, with anything happening to the collective, it is important to notice where it is happening in your chart. For example, finding where the Mercury retrograde and Jupiter station is in your personal chart. That is what I do in individual readings.
What is the difference between Evolutionary Astrology and other types of Astrology?
Evolutionary Astrology began with Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green, two Astrologers who came up with a system based on the idea of free-will as opposed to fate and prediction. It is a Philosophy of Astrology that embraces the idea that we get to make choices based on what we know about ourselves through our chart.
It is really not about prediction, but it also tapped into the idea of using the nodes in regard to understanding our past lives and Karmic patterns. You will not necessarily hear about reincarnation or past lives or Karma in other branches of Astrology.
Evolutionary Astrology is very much embracing that idea, that we live multiple lifetimes and that we are here evolving from lifetime to lifetime – that’s where the name “Evolutionary Astrology” came from. The chart is used as a tool for evolution and growth in that context.
One of the things we look at in Evolutionary Astrology is the South node, which is the Karmic point in the chart, to understand what is the likely shadow path, the traps we can fall into in life. You can also look at forecast as an Evolutionary tool to help understand why we are going through certain lessons in life at a moment and to learn how to better work with those lessons rather than fighting the forces at play.
Please share a special message with our readers for these challenging times!
I think we’ve come through one of the most dynamic Astrological years, which was 2020. It was very tough on people and pushed us through great changes in our lives. My hope is that we are on the other side of those major transits and that, as we move forward, that we have integrated many of those lessons and can operate from an even wiser place within ourselves.