Willow’s Web Astrology lends empowering readings to support you in the successful navigation of your life, offering intuition, insight, and inspiration for the road ahead. In this interview, Willow shares her approach, and enlightening points in the connection of astrology and finding personal significance.
What drew you to astrology and why did you choose it as your profession?
I first started learning astrology in my mid-20s because I didn’t have the kind of life that went from Point A to Point B to Point C in a relatively logical line like many people do, and astrology was a framework that helped me make sense of my often-turbulent life. This sounds cliched, but I didn’t consciously choose to be an astrologer. I’m a writer and was trained as a journalist but realized early on (after some experiences with censorship and news filtration) that I couldn’t work in the media. Astrology came into my life at that time, and shortly after, I became aware that I was meant to do astrology as a spiritual vocation and profession. It came into my life as a lifeline, and I just followed along. That’s still what I’m doing to this day.
What does intuitive astrology entail?
It’s hard to sum that up, but I will do my best. Intuitive astrology basically reads the astrological symbols to draw insights out of those symbols that can help with the navigation of life. Intuitive astrology, in particular, draws on the intuitive function or the sense of inner knowing, so intuition is combined with the concrete astrological symbols and data. Intuitive astrology is a bit more fluid and less systematic than other forms of astrology. In more concrete terms, I read astrological charts (natal, transits, Secondary Progressed, etc.) that are basically snapshots of the planets, bodies, and points in the sky at a particular time, and I let my intuition guide me as far as what is the most pertinent information in those charts at that time. When I’m doing a reading, the intention is to provide that person with the information that will be most helpful to them at that point in their lives, and intuition helps me to pinpoint that through the astrological symbols.
What is the one thing about astrology that intrigues you the most?
I think the most intriguing thing to me (and there are many intriguing things) is the validating context astrology can provide for us. This context is invaluable at times. It shows us that life is not just one big random, chaotic mess. There is a beautiful cosmic latticework at play at all times, even in our most difficult moments, and astrology helps us to see this. It helps us to see how different times in our lives, different experiences, different relationships, different dynamics, are all, ultimately, connected and interwoven. The accuracy of astrology regularly astounds me, even after 15 years of professional practice.
What can astrology teach us about self-acceptance and self-improvement?
That’s a really good question. Astrology can teach us about the dynamics and themes we were born with and that we were born into, and it can also give us tips about how we are meant to develop those things over the course of our lifetimes. The birth chart is a static chart, meaning that your natal placements are yours for life. But the important thing to know is that each planet and sign has many different possible expressions. There are pleasant and less pleasant elements of every planet, body, and sign. There is a mature expression and a less mature expression for each of these, as well. With diligence and awareness, aided by astrology (and other tools), we can develop productively over the years. Things that challenged us tremendously in our younger years can actually become points of strength and prowess as we meet and overcome these challenges over time. It’s important to accept ourselves as we are because our birth chart is our birth chart. It’s with us for life. But this doesn’t mean we’re trapped in a certain fate or in certain patterns (or that we can use our astrology to make excuses!). We can progress and shift things over time, and astrology provides a framework to help us do that. Astrology shows us the cards we were dealt, to a certain extent, but it’s up to us how we play those cards. It’s a balance between loving and accepting ourselves, even our most brutally difficult themes or personality traits, and working hard to improve the things that are within our power to improve.
Why is the time of birth so important?
The time of birth is important to make the birth chart more accurate. If a person does not have a birth time, all is not lost because most of the placements can still be determined without one. The houses of the chart are set according to the birth time, so without a birth time, we can’t accurately use the houses. Certain points like the Ascendant, Descendant, Nadir, and Midheaven can’t be calculated without a birth time. There are also certain bodies and points that are time sensitive, and those placements could shift quite a bit over the course of a day. If a planet, body, or point changes signs on the day of your birth, we might not be able to determine the sign with 100% certainty. There are astrologers trained in birth chart rectification (I’m not one of them!), and these astrologers have techniques to make a “best guess” at the birth time. If a person is really bothered by not having the birth time, this might be a service that is of interest. Astrology is so rich and complex, though, that a person can absolutely work with a chart that has no accurate birth time.
Do you have a spiritual or self-care practice that you follow?
I think my whole life is a spiritual survival practice! Ha. Again, the intuitive function is crucial. I firmly but gently follow my own spiritual guidance, intuition, and conscience even when this creates waves with people, society, or the world around me. I’ve learned that when I go against these things, there are harsh consequences that I’m not willing to bring upon myself. I live as simple and streamlined a life as possible, and I shut out as much “psychic noise” as I can. I try to follow my own natural rhythms, connected to the cycles of nature, and I refuse the go-go-go frenetic pace of modern-day life. Luckily for me, I appreciate the simple things in life and see beauty in the everyday. Creative pursuits are a key element, of course. Time spent in nature is very important. I love spending time around animals. I like to observe the Sun and Moon in their cycles. I firmly believe that gazing at the Moon is good for our health. (Gazing directly into the Sun, not so much!) Even something as simple as burning a candle keeps me in touch with the elements. Overall, I try my best to keep my eyes on my own test paper and avoid comparing myself to other people. I think this social media era sort of sets us up to compare ourselves to others. The ‘Cult of Image’ creates a lot of illusion, envy, and bad feelings, which I don’t like. I avoid mainstream media and a lot of social media, and I think that has helped with psychic/emotional/mental health considerably!
Any lifestyle recommendations or tips you want to offer to the world?
My tips are generally related to the protection and maintenance of health. I’m a pharmaceutical-injured person, and I have to filter out a lot of the toxins we’re exposed to every day, or I get sick. I’m a canary in the coal mine, so to speak, as far as hidden hazards. So I would suggest a good quality water filter (Brita is not enough!). I would suggest eating mostly whole foods and buying the highest quality food you can afford. It doesn’t necessarily have to be certified organic, which can be quite expensive. You can find food that is natural and up to organic standards (or close to it) directly from farmers and ranchers or from farmers markets. I would suggest growing a garden at least once in your life or even just a pot of herbs on your windowsill to keep the connection with food and the natural world. These days, I think protection from electromagnetic radiation is very important, so getting rid of WiFi in favour of ethernet cables if possible, limiting cell phone usage (never carrying a cell phone on your body or sleeping next to it, only using it on speakerphone), and using EMF protection products. Regular connection with nature/the outdoors is important for overall health, and these days, we sometimes have to fight to keep that connection. Rest when you’re tired, and don’t feel guilty about it. Do what makes you feel happy and satisfied, and don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses. Don’t spend too much time worrying about what other people think or how they perceive you. I think just getting simpler and quieter, more meditative, more grounded, is a good antidote to the unnatural rhythms and energies we’re being bombarded with these days.