Astrology came to me in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Yes, I know it sounds nutty (and maybe a tad dramatic), but when the world you thought you knew ceases to make sense, you end up looking for any and every resource that can offer guidance. Dipping my toes into the practice helped me to make sense of myself, which then allowed me to start making sense of the events happening around me.
Like several thousand others, I discovered Chani Nicholas through social media and quickly became a fan of her New Moon Horoscopes. I found her writing to be affirming and enlightening but also entirely approachable and grounded in the social and cultural context in which many of us in the West live our lives. Nicholas’s online presence doesn’t shy away from politics and social justice struggles. In fact, she often uses her astrology work to inform her activism in fresh—arguably revolutionary—ways.
Nicholas’s first book, You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance takes this same approach, using a choose-your-own-adventure format to guide you through your journey. She also provides a handy natal chart tool on her website to get you started, in case you don’t have it already. (Get ready to text your mom, ‘cause you’re gonna need your birth time!)
I came to the book thinking I was an Aries/Pisces cusp—but apparently there’s no such thing! That said, it turns out that while my Sun is definitely in Aries, I do have several Pisces placements in my chart, and my Moon and Rising are both in Cancer. Reading this book made me recognize the friction caused by this fire versus water dichotomy, though with the Moon as my Ascendant Ruler (the direction your life is steered), cycles are a continuous theme of my chart as well. Further, my chart shows that my purpose in life is to be seen for my work, and my motivation is to help people reflect and see themselves; this revelation resonated deeply with me, since my work as a costume designer deals directly with these matters.
Nicholas structures the book to allow for all levels of interest, whether you’re simply curious about what your Sun, Moon, and Rising signs can tell you about yourself, or if you’re committed to doing a full deep dive into sextiles, trines, and planetary placements. Sure, it sounds a lil’ new-age-hippy-dippy, but remember that astrology is a guide, a tool, a practice. It isn’t meant to be a Book of Fate. In noting what resonated with me while reading about my chart, I came away with a better understanding of different facets of myself, particularly those that feel in conflict or deal with renewal.
But if you’re still hellbent on knocking it before you try it, that’s too bad—Chani really doesn’t care.