Trying to get over astrology trauma
January 29, 2020 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I have asked a professional astrologist to do my chart for the year and am now really traumatized and worried about what I've heard. What should I do?

This is the second year I do an astral map with the same professional astrologist. Since he "predicted", or saw in my chart all the things that actually happened last year really accurately, I did it again. But this time, the predictions were really dark - for example, he said that in the second half of the year, I would deal with really profound changes (which could be a chronic disease) that will be completely destabilizing. Plus a load of other stuff that was really worrying.

This may not seem something to worry about, but until I did this last year and got these spookily accurate predictions I didn't think this would actually work, but now I have all these negative forecasts and am not sure how to deal with that, or to stop worrying about that. What can I do?
posted by longjump to Human Relations (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Consider the foreknowledge as a blessed chance to strengthen your strengths? Because I don't think you can go back on your buy-in now.

Profound changes could mean anything ... changes to environments, circumstances, all of it beyond our control.

I've gone through the past few years where I'm continually blindsided at work, just when I think no new awful thing can come up.

And the only thing it's taught me is to focus on maintaining health—physical, mental, and spiritual. This shit is going to keep happening regardless of my effort and actions; the best I can do is cultivate resiliency and hope to bouyantly pop over these waves of disaster, rather than getting sucked under.

Since you already believe these predictions have credence, is there anything you can do now to mitigate the consequences? Any change of course or mindset to move around the obstacle? Doing so may make you feel more actualized. You're writing this story; predictions are sort of like dreams, subject to the wrong interpretation.

posted by Rube R. Nekker at 6:56 PM on January 29, 2020 [15 favorites]

Get another chart from another professional charlatan astrologer.

Since astrology is based on the facts about your birthdate and your stars, it should be the same set of predictions.

It will not be the same set of predictions.

Perhaps the dissonance will help your brain let this go as the coincidence it truly is.
posted by phunniemee at 6:57 PM on January 29, 2020 [135 favorites]

Did the astrologer offer any services to guard against these predicted profound changes?
posted by zamboni at 6:57 PM on January 29, 2020 [13 favorites]

You'll probably get a lot of "astrology is bunk" answers here, but I would like to say that one of the purported purposes of divination is to get a heads-up about potential future opportunities and challenges so that you can prepare for them. So, you would look at the predictions and figure out what positive steps you could take to help you be in a better position to weather any challenges that might be presented to you in the near future. Things like taking steps to improve your health, finances, updating your resume, etc. and maybe this isn't the year you'll want to take risks or overbook yourself. Most astrologers I know of say some version of "your chart shows you what could potentially happen, but nothing is set in stone." (The trick is to make your preparations be ones that will benefit you whether the predictions come true or not.)

Now, the astrology is bunk people do have some good points, one of which being that most predictions are just vague enough that there will very often be some events in your life that kinda-sorta fit the predictions, and you'll ascribe those as having come true, and be rather astonished; whereas it is very easy to dismiss the predictions that don't come true, because that isn't nearly as fun plus we're not super-interested in disproving the divination system that seems to hold so much promise.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:01 PM on January 29, 2020 [22 favorites]

I would post this question (and your chart - use to r/askastrologers on Reddit. There are some professional astrologers there, and usually when people post things like, "I have a terrible chart" the commenters are very reassuring.
posted by foxjacket at 7:02 PM on January 29, 2020 [18 favorites]

Chani Nicholas’s new book talks a little about how her own chart has a lot of aspects that are usually seen as negative, and how she has changed her perspective on those aspects over the years. It may be helpful to check out, she tends to write about using astrology for growth and understanding and less about specific predictions. There are a lot of approaches and I think that just because this one astrologer was very specifically right once, it doesn’t mean that they will be again.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 7:02 PM on January 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

A really profound change that will be completely destabilizing doesn't have to be negative. Like winning the lottery would be a profound and destabilizing change. Or meeting your future spouse (if you're not married) or getting pregnant, etc. etc.
posted by muddgirl at 7:03 PM on January 29, 2020 [14 favorites]

IANAA but a friend is one. According to her, this year is going to be a big, intense year because of the positions of the planets. Different astrologers will probably interpret that differently.

(Personally I think that astrological predictive success is a result of confirmation bias and the patterns our brains love to make, but that might not be helpful to you.)
posted by inexorably_forward at 7:06 PM on January 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Since you can't unring this particular bell you are left with a few options:

1) If the reading is correct then you have some forewarning. Perhaps you can spend part of this year preparing for things. Use this as an excuse to do some things that, even if calamity doesn't strike, will aid you in the longterm. Some things might be putting money aside in a savings account for a rainy day, making sure that you have a will and other legal matters organized, returning any outstanding favours in your life, and connecting with your loved ones. Identify the things you are worried might happen, determine which you can control, and then focus on those things. In other words, if you fear that you might become chronically sick what steps can you take to prevent that? Perhaps eating healthier and getting more exercise or scheduling that visit with the doctor for a health checkup that you have been putting off. These are meaningful things that you can start working on today that, even if you don't get sick, will leave you healthier. And if you do get sick you will be in a better condition to recover.

2) Since you believe in astrology you must believe in predestination. People have struggled for as long as there have been people with the anxieties related to this. Perhaps doing a little reading on this will bring you peace and there is an awful lot to read on this. Everything from Christian interpretations to karmic destiny in Buddhism.

3) You could also approach this from the position of a skeptic. Perhaps if you familiarize yourself with the techniques from a skeptical point of view that will help distance yourself from the anxiety that belief is bringing you. I'd personally recommend Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World as a good introduction to skeptical thinking that isn't particularly judgemental.

If all else fails, I should point out that if your live in the US there is a very important event happening in November that, whatever the result, is going to have a profound effect on everyone in the country. Perhaps it would be best to assume that is what the astrologer is reading and not something like chronic illness.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 7:27 PM on January 29, 2020 [10 favorites]

I mean, there's a very serious election - whether you're American or not - in the second half of this year. One way or the other it's likely to be profound in its effects.

I think you dishonor the purpose of having your chart done by deciding you know for sure what it means in advance instead of using the information you get as fuel, basically, for your own plans. Last year I got a detailed month-over-month tarot reading (that synchronized eerily with a three-card pull I did for myself New Year's Eve) that came with a LOT of "you gotta watch your mental health, get your support structures in place, plan for this, know what you'll need" and it wasn't wrong. I needed to use the lists I made, the notes to self, the plan for when X shit reached Y intensity. I use divination mostly as a clarity tool, but it's worth bouncing your plans for the year off this information and making some decisions about how to productively get your shit together for some kind of big deal later in the year, which will either be a thing or it won't but you will have learned something in the preparation, and might even experience a big-deal event in an entirely mitigated way because you did some up-front work.

We all have terrible years now and then, that is entirely unavoidable and uncontrollable. This may be one for you, or maybe not, but getting your ducks in a row in case of emergency isn't a bad idea because if it's not this year, it'll be another year pretty soon.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:28 PM on January 29, 2020 [9 favorites]

Let me guess: Uranus is going through your sixth house? I didn't have health crap come up, but like was said below, I kept having insane work changes (sadly, still having that though, but not quite as bad since it went into my seventh).

"I've gone through the past few years where I'm continually blindsided at work, just when I think no new awful thing can come up.
And the only thing it's taught me is to focus on maintaining health—physical, mental, and spiritual. This shit is going to keep happening regardless of my effort and actions; the best I can do is cultivate resiliency and hope to bouyantly pop over these waves of disaster, rather than getting sucked under."

I'm with Rube R. Nekker on this: use this information to plan ahead. Do things right now that you wanted to do that you might not be able to do later if you lose your strength. Try to live healthier if you can, whatever that entails for you. Also, 2020 will be nuts for everybody no matter what--go look for that podcast by the Nagoski sisters that was mentioned on the blue a few days back since that's designed to help you with that.

Also, I've had it explained to me that most astrological predictions that aren't horary are along the lines of "these are the energies going around right now, and this potential list of stuff could happen along these lines." So who the hell knows exactly. Guard your health, do some prepping, hope it doesn't come out as bad as you're thinking right now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:37 PM on January 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

Also, I've had it explained to me that most astrological predictions that aren't horary are along the lines of "these are the energies going around right now, and this potential list of stuff could happen along these lines."

I've also heard it explained that "when these particular configurations of heavenly bodies occur in the sky, it has been observed that X type of events tend to happen."
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 7:45 PM on January 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Life is about change. I met the love of my life a few days after I was dumped then my dad died. A few weeks later my cat died really unexpectedly.

I don't regret any of these things. So if I'd feared them, that wouldn't have helped me at all. Letting go of a fear of death and change has reduced my anxiety. It has for a lot of people.

And you know what? I can't think of many times where A PROFOUND CHANGE wouldn't have fit in my life for... half a year...??? Half a year is a long time.'

For a more grounded in reality look, consider The Four Uncertainties that we experience. Death, Isolation, Freedom, Meaningless. Consider each of these and how the fear of them is in your life. Perhaps this resonated with you because it twinged on one or more of these. They are essential human fears.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:59 PM on January 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

Said as gently as possible, astrologists that give readings of "your year will be more or less the same as previous ones and will be unremarkable when viewed twenty years from now" tend not to have jobs fairly quickly.
posted by saeculorum at 9:34 PM on January 29, 2020 [24 favorites]

To my mind, the essential piece of the question is just "how ... to stop worrying about that." Maybe try reading Peace is Every Step or related work. Personally, I sort of skip over the parts that aren't super grounded in ordinary realities, but I think it's still full of useful reminders of how to appreciate the present rather than dwell on the future.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:26 PM on January 29, 2020

I follow a bunch of occult subreddits. And one thing that happens on them (some more than others) is that people make posts that say, essentially, "My spidey sense is tingling like crazy, is it just me?"

Sometimes they don't get many replies. It really is just them. Sometimes they get a lot of people saying they're feeling like Something Is Coming.

And, well, they've been routinely getting a lot of replies lately. Theories vary - there's the Chinese coronavirus, the impeachment is bumbling along, the US election's probably gonna be a mess, Brexit is probably gonna be a mess, the aliens are gonna come by and harvest a new crop of Enlightened Souls who are ready to move on to the next level, etc, etc. I don't really see any strong consensus coming out of people's Spidey Senses and not much in the way of more specific stuff people say they're getting from spirit guides/contacts/etc.

If your astrologer is at all open to follow-up questions, I would strongly suggest asking them if they are seeing Big Shit coming this year for a lot more people than usual. Also possibly triangulate on what's coming up with other divination methods, whether DIY or via other professionals with a good reputation for reading the cards/coins/bones/stones/whatevs.

Also if you're living in the reality tunnel where divination works, you're also living in the one where magic works, use this to your advantage. Do some fuck'n magic of your own! Cast some spells to try and effect whether these are the good kind of disruptions or the bad!
posted by egypturnash at 10:29 PM on January 29, 2020 [10 favorites]

Do your own magic to regain your sense of autonomy.
posted by Sterros at 10:32 PM on January 29, 2020 [8 favorites]

Hey longjump, the profound change could be a chronic disease. It could also be a new job opportunity, or it could be discovering an existing condition and a way to improve your life as you treat a problem you didn't realise was holding you back. A profound change does not have to be a negative.
posted by MattWPBS at 4:03 AM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

If you believe the year ahead will be full of challenges, build your immune systems. Be super-sensible about money and build your emergency fund. Take really good care of your health by exercising, getting good nutrition, getting enough sleep. Be diligent at work to protect your job. Reach out to friends and make sure your support network is strong.

Use the magic of confidence to know that life *is* full of challenges, bad and good things happen, but that you will be able to respond. If you want to do affirmations as well, sure, but you don't need crystals or expensive candles or charms to be safe. You need preparation, diligence, persistence, friends.
posted by theora55 at 6:03 AM on January 30, 2020 [3 favorites]

Also, please don't pay this person more for ways to respond to this. There are people who share your belief in astronomy and practice in good faith, and there are others who abuse your faith.
posted by theora55 at 6:08 AM on January 30, 2020 [4 favorites]

Do you have a record of what was predicted last year? If so, I'd suggest going through it very carefully and seeing if it's really true that every single thing that was predicted happened. Also, were there things that happened that were not predicted? Did the things that happened occur exactly as you expected them to?
I say this because my mom used to see a psychic who was sometimes accurate in ways I really can't explain but was also sometimes wrong. People do tend to remember the more accurate predictions.
My understanding of astrology is that it's not meant to tell you exactly what's going to happen (I had a chart done years ago). Seeing another astrologer might give you some additional insights.
posted by FencingGal at 6:41 AM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

The rules just kind of got there. They don't make any kind of sense except in terms of themselves. But when you start to exercise those rules, all sorts of processes start to happen and you start to find out all sorts of stuff about people. In astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the difference it would make. It's just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology's nothing to do with astronomy. It's just to do with people thinking about people.
Douglas Adams in Mostly Harmless

The posters asking you to examine your underlying anxieties are spot-on. You are telegraphing things and practitioners are reading you whether they consciously believe it or not, and whether or not they are acting in good faith.
posted by fountainofdoubt at 7:51 AM on January 30, 2020 [7 favorites]

I would try The Pattern app, which is very thorough and gives several year long patterns in your life. I don't trust astrologers who view things negatively because that's not up for them to decide, the only thing they can do is show you what trajectories are happening and explain more clearly what could happen. Like I would never let a therapist tell me I'm doomed because of my history, you know? Same thing here.
posted by yueliang at 9:24 AM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Did the astrologer merely point out possibilities or did they say "X will happen". Because no one can know if "X will happen". I would put the reading aside for a week or two and then re-read it when you're feeling balanced to see if you are only paying attention to the potential negatives. They should have also let you know what these transits or aspects occuring are and you can google them and find both positive and negative interpretations of the same aspects.

I am an amateur astrology student and I've lived through several "profound" big doozy transits. What's important to remember is you can always choose how you react to events and it's your perception or attitude that will be the difference between having a really hard time and having a bummer time but finding humor in it or a higher perspective etc. Would I have chosen these things to happen? No, but am I learning and growing? Absolutely.

If you are living a lifestyle that puts you more at risk of chronic disease, and you're worried about it, you can use this information to mitigate the risk. Forewarned is forearmed. Again you should be able to access suggestions for how to prepare for these big transits in your chart as well as others' stories which can be comforting, for some people a transit triggers drastic changes, for others it's like a hiccup.
posted by lafemma at 2:35 PM on January 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much for all your answers to far. I am a bit calmer now and have accepted that I can't un-ring this bell anymore and that the things that cam from the reading could be warning signs to help me prepare. Also that many things in the reading are related to my anxieties and how indeed, I might be telegraphing messages.

I guess things that were mentioned, like the possibiliity of the chronic disease, the impact this will have on my relationship, and also the fact I am about to lose a family member (my granny who is 96 and a major pillar of the family, particularly to my mom) that were mentioned in the reading are really hard for me to deal with because they are things I can't control. Perhaps people who have control issues shouldn't see astrologers.
posted by longjump at 4:56 PM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

I had a tarot reading at the end of the summer that was dark card after dark card, and it caused me a lot of anxiety. Sure enough, a number of extremely stressful events came crashing down, and it was one of the most difficult periods I've been through in years. However, I did feel somewhat prepared for them when they started happening, and I was able to keep some of the advice in my head to help me through. Mainly, one of the cards said that I will go through this difficulty and failure, and it's how I face that difficulty that will help to shape my future. Will I let it crush me and bring out my worst, or will I face them with grace and take in the lessons they have to offer me? I'm grateful I had the warning, as stressful as it was to get it. Now that I feel I'm on the other side of it, I see that I survived. It was bad, but life is moving on, I've grown and learned. I am grateful for that warning and believe I handled things differently because of it. There's no avoiding bad shit in life. It will happen.

This with your grandma in particular could be a beautiful push to, I don't know, spend more time with her? Ask her questions, tell her something. Be truly present with her in silence and just enjoy her herness. I'm sure you do all these things already, but maybe your time with her will feel a bit more precious now. Perhaps it's the push you need to have conversations with your mom, or discussions about how she wants her life to be celebrated and remembered when she's gone.

This is an opportunity to start preparing yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It can be a reminder to enjoy the hell out of the good moments while they're here, and to start setting up support mechanisms to be in place when destabilizing things happen so you're able to deal with them more effectively. You don't know what will happen, so try to stay in the present and focus on what you can be doing for yourself now that will put you in the best position possible to face the inevitable difficulties of life.
posted by hannahelastic at 2:07 AM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Maybe you can logic yourself out of the fear. If astrology is real, then that means that future events can be foretold. If future events can be foretold, then that implies that there is no free will. If there is no free will, then doctors and police are irrelevant because what's going to happen is going to happen regardless. Since we know that doctors and police are not irrelevant, that implies that there is free will. Since there is free will, then the stars can have no effect on your future.
posted by ambulocetus at 5:54 AM on February 1, 2020

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