During a show I worked on recently (previous article: “Arts in Education a la Kitty Hawk”), I had the pleasure of several extensive conversations with Amanda Raquel Martinez, a full-time yoga instructor and actor that currently lives in Chicago. Many of those conversations were about approaching life and relationships by means of astrology.
Astrology has always intrigued me. I’m amongst the “troublesome” Geminis that walk the Earth and it was always amusing (and sometimes a little creepy) how accurate horoscopes and zodiac descriptions could be. It was clear that Amanda is deeply guided by astrology so I thought it would be interesting to pick her brain about how it can be beneficial.
How do you use astrology in your everyday life?
“I use it to understand my clients and co-workers on a day to day basis, as well as family and friends. It’s one of the tools in my arsenal that I use to discern how to interact with and respond to them and their personal needs.”
Zodiac signs are determined by the time of year we are born and full astrological charts can be drawn from the exact moment and location your were born. These map out where the stars and planets were at your birth and that provides insight to how and why you act the ways you do. That doesn’t necessarily suggest that every Gemini is practically the same person as me but it does shed light on how we all communicate, seek our desires, and interpret the world.
“My interpretation of [a horoscope] invites self-inquiry and introspection that I may not otherwise seek. I find that, however ambiguous or vague my horoscope may be for the day/week/month, it offers an objective lens and calls forth reflection, so using it as a point of reference can be helpful for me, as long as it's in moderation.”
Horoscopes aren’t necessarily best for predicting the future but rather for keeping an open mind to particular ideas (retrogrades, transformations, surprises, etc.). Nothing is set in stone but the stars certainly can shine light on interesting or different ideas.
Do you think understanding zodiac signs can help people understand or relate to one another?
I’ve always been amused by looking up relationship compatibility by zodiac signs, especially with romantic interests. It was intriguing to see what correlations they would make and what unexpected characteristic clashes or matches it would suggest. Amongst romance, family, or friendships, these compatibility descriptions really can open your eyes to similar or differing communication styles and interpretation.
“I think understanding even just the elements themselves: Earth, Fire, Water, Air; and how they interact with one another on a fundamental level can be very insightful! Humans are complex in nature and you can't base your understanding of them simply off of their Sun signs - it's just one piece of the puzzle. However, if we take just the Sun sign into consideration for a quick assertion, it can help you understand people's different communication styles or why a certain relationship may be tense or feel very natural, etc.. For example, if someone in a friendship tends to be aggressively confrontational (typically Fire and Air signs) and the other person shuts down at the sight of confrontation (typically Earth and Water signs), that could lead to some serious complications along the way! It doesn't mean these two can't be friends, but that they can use this understanding of each other to communicate in a way that makes both parties feel heard and safe. It has the potential to grow them as individuals and the relationship itself.”
What would you say about astrology to skeptics?
“If you're skeptical of astrology - good! You should be. To think anything is infallible is to be naive. Nothing, in my mind, is 100% accurate because we as humans are imperfect, messy, awkward, destructive, and silly.”
I love how she said this because it’s easy to write things off because they’re intangible or can’t be proven on paper. Personalities and tendencies aren’t always down to a science but the study of stars certainly has shown some correlation between them and the natural world.
“Astrology may feel at times very hit or very miss. For that reason, it makes me trust astrology even more than I used to because now I understand that it isn't meant to be perfect. Sometimes I read my horoscope and I go ‘ehhhhh...?’ but when it does resonate with me, which is more often than not, I go ‘wow, I'm glad I took the time to digest this because it provided me with an understanding that I didn't have before.”
It seems like few things in this world are certain and consistent. Ways to understand one another and how we all interact is a constant web of confusion and searching. Astrology seems to be an eclectic and fascinating method of understanding ourselves and those around us.
Here are some references that Amanda uses regularly and recommends:
CafeAstrology.com: relationship compatibility and full charts (based on date, location, and time of your birth) Whew! This one described me practically to the T!
FreeWillAstrology.com: weekly horoscopes by Rob Brezny
ChaniNicholas.com: personalized horoscopes based off of the moon cycles by Chani Nicholas
AstrologyZone.com: monthly horoscope and relationship compatibility, daily horoscope app, essays explaining retrogrades, etc. by Susan Miller)
The Secret Language of Birthdays: book by Gary Goldschneider
The Secret Language of Relationships: book by Gary Goldschneider
“My parting words are: be sensible and have an awareness, it's easy to go down the rabbit hole that Astrology opens up and become addicted. It’s important to create awareness, pace yourself and not take everything too seriously. That being said, have fun with it and keep an open mind, we can learn a lot from the stars in relation to the world around us, our loved ones, our not-so-loved-ones, and ourselves.”
Happy star hunting!
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Cover Photo by PIRO4D