One week into January, I got laid off. Two days later, I was sued by an actual state after paying my taxes in the wrong one. My in-progress novel—which had been “for real, almost finished” for a couple of years—was still (and possibly forever) in progress. My 10-year-old niece took over my Tinder and got better responses pretending to be me than I got on my own.
Basically, 2019 was looking very much like a dumpster fire.
I tried everything to turn it around: meditation, stress eating, yoga, swimming, catatonically sitting through three seasons of Prison Break. I was even sleeping with crystals (citrine and malachite, for healing and positive transformation) under my pillow. And...nothing. I was burned out from all the attempted self-improvement. Wasn’t there something—or someone—that could just do it for me? Oh, right: astrology.
For 30 days, I decided to actually follow my horoscope—not just read it. The universe would be my life coach.
For help, I reached out to quite possibly the most famous astrologer in the world: Susan Miller of Astrology Zone. Her fans include Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Katy Perry. At least 1.3 million readers visit her site every month to pore over her epically detailed horoscopes. Who else would I ask?
When I told my friend Katie about this plan over drinks, she put down her wine and slapped my hand: “Stop it,” she said. “You can’t.” Here’s the thing about Miller’s horoscopes: Sometimes they’re terrifying. Like vague-but-ominous-warning-about-a-parent’s-health terrifying.
“I can be brave,” I told Katie.
“You literally cannot be that brave,” she responded.
Still, I emailed Miller. The first thing she told me is that she’d help. The second is that my premise was all wrong.
“Astrologers work much further out than a month—we think in terms of many months or years,” she explained in a tone that was glamorously scolding, like a mom reminding you to polish a candelabra. (Fitting for the woman the New York Times describes as a “Chanel-clad Upper East Side mother of two.”) “Six months would make more sense.” Cool, cool—but because I’m not a quitter, I decided to start small and see what happened.
Some tasks were easier than others: One of my daily horoscopes on Miller’s Astrology Zone app suggested I “focus on rest and retreat”—a direction I followed wholeheartedly and with snacks. Then there was the day that I could expect “a swell of kindness and compassion” from friends, so I preemptively told my closest ones how grateful I was for their help. (This resulted in an actual swell of kindness and compassion—a self-fulfilling prophecy but also a win. Astrology: 1. Whatever the opposite of astrology is: 0.)
Two weeks in, I learned that I had “energy to focus on finances.” So I set up a payment plan for those overdue taxes and used an app to identify all the autopays I always forget to cancel. Then came what Miller described as a “golden opportunity to fine-tune a business venture,” so I gave my Etsy store, where I sell vintage paintings and housewares, an overdue refresh. (Spoiler: I had my most successful month ever.)
Miller also offered to interpret my birth chart. The reading was equal parts magic, mind reading, and therapy—so on point that I genuinely forgot she didn’t actually know me.
According to her, I love my family and travel almost equally—yes, it’s a key conflict of mine (I have been to 70 countries and counting but also always feel the pull toward home.) Had my dad experienced a reversal of fortune? (Yes! Long story.) Did I have any health concerns related to my throat “and that includes your thyroid”? YES. (I know, thyroid issues are common, but this is the dominant medical issue in my life. Just ask my thyroid
surgeon!) There was also the exciting news that I might marry a man with “an old soul” I’d meet sometime soon.
One of the final ‘scopes from my 30-day experiment: “You’re coming alive in exciting ways.” In a word: Yes (again!). The month had forced me to tend to all aspects of my life—as in all the themes of the 12 astrological houses, including love, family, and self-care—rather than keep defaulting to work and more work.
Doing that on the daily is hard though, so now I think more about larger astrological themes and seasons, and I do monthly check-ins to track my personal progress. Oh, and for the record, I did meet someone, several someones, in fact. Nothing gets you out of the house like a famous astrologer saying you’re about to meet your true love.
My horoscopes promised that if I tried, something good would happen—which can sometimes be easy to forget. Until then, there are always more episodes of Prison Break.
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