Guest Blog Post: Astrology- The Magic of the Collective by Rachel Howe

"We fall in love with each other, we give birth to each other, we help each other—a human even interacts with a plant in loving exchange, trading breaths."

Make sure you catch Rachel's upcoming workshop, The Basics of Astrology on August 21th, 2021!


I began paying closer attention to astrology and how it affected me personally about 8 years ago, at a time when my life felt very hectic, and I wanted to know why things were happening the way they were.  I wondered how I could gain some sort of better understanding, and therefore some more control, over my life, and just paying attention to both the daily astrology transits and my own natal chart gave me that understanding. Through my out-loud processing, written in posts on Instagram, I realized that a lot of the wisdom I was accessing for myself also resonated for other people. Even very specific feelings about my own life seemed to echo in the lives of others, and this made me aware of how much astrology is simultaneously a unique guidebook for the individual and a map of shared human experience. 


And so, what are we really doing when we use astrology as a tool in our lives? Why do we look for answers about ourselves in our natal charts, and what is the best way to use astrology as a mirror?


There is an origin story that makes most sense to me, that answers the questions of how did we get here? and, what are we doing here? This story is that Source energy, although existing as a complete totality and sustaining itself on its own loving energy, desired to become form, and not just a complete form, but one that could see itself, feel itself, experience itself, communicate with itself, in order to love itself. To do this, the singular had to separate into multiples. This separation and ultimate re-connection forms the cycles of our lives, the patterns of our lives, the purpose of our lives. The one separates from itself, and leaves home in order to see home from a different perspective. The one experiences life in order to see itself in another, through the communication and exchange of loving energy. We fall in love with each other, we give birth to each other, we help each other — a human even interacts with a plant in loving exchange, trading breaths. Cycling through each other. This is the framework that makes things start to make sense to me. It doesn’t explain everything and I am not looking to explain everything. Since we are all parts of the one, it is our collective knowledge and experience together that starts to explain everything. We are each needed, and no single one of us has to know and explain everything. We know together, not as individuals. 


Astrology is a device that allows us to step back and look objectively at ourselves, similar to how Source wanted to step back and see itself, and found joy in being able to see itself, a joy that could not exist when it was just one. The Zodiac as a full cycle represents all human experience, similar to how Tarot cards represents all human experience. Becoming aligned with the patterns of the planets, the environment around us, connecting to their energies, is a way to allow deeper connection with all human experience. Opening up to seeing yourself as a part of a whole, whose existence is dependent on and influenced by the energetic environment of you and around you, and learning how to offer yourself to it, through seeing, communicating and loving, can change how you live, how you love, how you perceive, how you engage and participate.


We can practice becoming more aligned with our energetic surroundings by finding the connections between us and the stars.


  • When you are experiencing anything tumultuous or confusing, check out the daily map of the current astrology. Is Venus in retrograde, causing romantic obstacles? Is the moon in a water sign, leading to heightened mood swings? Is an eclipse happening, bringing up old traumas to be processed and released? 


  • You can also match the daily astrology to your own natal chart. Is Mars square your natal Mercury, causing you to pick a fight and bicker? Is the sun conjunct your natal Venus, shining a light on you and attracting attention? 


  • As you start to learn the traits and patterns of each planet (how long they stay in a sign, how often they go retrograde in a year), you can even start to anticipate how their movements will affect you, if they do. For instance, if you have many, or strong, Gemini placements in your natal chart, a Mercury retrograde may affect you a lot, whereas it might have less effect on those who don’t have Gemini prominent in their chart. Mercury and Gemini (and Virgo) go hand in hand, as do Mars and Aries, Venus and Taurus (and Libra), the sun and Leo, the moon and Cancer, Jupiter and Sagittarius, Saturn and Capricorn, Uranus and Aquarius, Neptune and Pisces, and Pluto and Scorpio. 


Each of the Zodiac signs, each of the planets, and each of the houses, tell us about different aspects of life, of experience, of feeling. They congeal together in our specific natal charts, forming layers of meaning and creating dynamics of relationships, piecing together an incredibly specific and nuanced portrait of each of us. We can use these charts to discover why we like the things, or people, or activities that we like. Why we find certain parts of life hard and certain parts easy. Why we dress the way we do, why we collect what we do, why we have the relationships that we do. We can find out what our natural strengths are, how we can best use them, and what we can gain if we follow our strengths. We can see what our inherent wounds are, what lessons we need to learn in this lifetime, and what tools we might have access to in order to best learn these lessons and heal the wounds. Whatever questions we have about our lives, we can look at our chart for an entry point into learning the answers. In my workshops, I try to bring to life the personalities and life experiences that astrology illustrates, so that each person can find their own unique understanding of how it affects them and other people. 


Our chart can be a mirror for ourselves, a way to observe the self from a distance, in order to learn, understand and love ourselves.

We can offer ourselves a stronger foundation to rest on, which enables us to participate in life more fully. Checking in with the self via the natal chart can be healing — it can help process and close chapters in one’s life, and to move forward with clarity and confidence. This action of choosing to observe the self from outside, with loving curiosity and acceptance, is the same action that Source originally desired to take.


Make sure you catch Rachel's upcoming workshop, The Basics of Astrology on August 21th, 2021!



Rachel Howe is an artist and healer, who created her multi-dimensional brand Small Spells in 2013. She currently works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and illustrator, as well as producing objects, garments and books that incorporate her designs, and her interest and experience with mysticism, psychology and spirituality. In 2016 she illustrated, designed, wrote and released the Small Spells tarot deck and guidebook. Over the last five years she has enjoyed connecting with people through giving readings and hand-poked tattoos, and teaching numerous in-person and online workshops on intuition, tarot, astrology and other esoteric topics. Find Rachel on instagram here.

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