Astrologer, wellness and nutrition coach, and co-host of the podcast So Divine Stephanie Gailing is a pioneer in the field of wellness astrology. Gailing recently released The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care: A Holistic Approach to Wellness for Every Sign in the Zodiac, a modern-day resource on how the field of astrology can benefit us in creating personalized wellness routines, and we had the opportunity to discuss the implications astrology has in terms of self-care, common misconceptions about astrology, how to use her book, and more.
And that's right, your self-care routine is basically written in the stars.
[bf_image id="thxnbw9cnwwggj3hgqjprnxp"] Combining astrology and health and wellness
Gailing started her career wearing two different hats, as both a wellness and nutrition coach and as an astrologer. Years ago she found a way to bridge the two, and she now helps individuals meet their health and wellness needs in a personalized manner, basing her recommendations on their astrological charts. She also takes into consideration the stage of life they’re in, lunar cycles, and planetary retrogrades. “Astrology is a tool to help you understand yourself and the unique being you are. It’s a language for self-awareness,” Gailing explains.
When asked, “What’s your sign?” most people respond with one of the 12 zodiac signs, typically saying their sun sign. However, full astrological charts go far more in-depth, varying from person to person based on the exact minute, date, and location someone was born.
Entering the world of astrology can be extremely daunting for newbies such as myself. Thankfully, The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care breaks down the three most important signs you should know in an easily digestible manner, giving you practical advice on how you can apply this knowledge in your everyday life. The three signs include your sun, moon, and ascendant.
The signs & self-care
Your sun sign is associated with your inner vitality, or “the essence of who you are and what lights you up.” It’s the zodiac sign that most of us are familiar with. Gailing recommends looking through the chapter on your Sun sign before looking through the chapters of your ascendant or moon signs. She also notes that you don’t have to try or like every self-care practice mentioned. “Take the information in, filter it through what you already know, and see what resonates with you,” she says.
Your moon sign represents your emotional being. “It’s what feeds you and nurtures you,” Gailing shares. “It explains what feels like ‘home’ and how you emotionally orient.” That being said, your moon sign is particularly important in terms of emotional self-care.
“We all have a persona, or a way in which we carry ourselves,” she says. Your ascendant, or rising, is how you present yourself and orient in the world. “You can think of it as how someone might describe you if they had just met you for five minutes.” Your ascendant is associated with decision-making, physical characteristics, and how you interact with your environment.
Every sign has at least one planetary ruler, element, and modality. Gailing explains the significance of each of these associations, as well as how they are related to health and wellness. Planetary rulers (for example, Mars and Pluto for Scorpio) provide archetypal qualities of each sign. Elemental qualities (fire, earth, air, and water) give insight as to what our natural temperament is, and modalities (cardinal, fixed, or mutale) further express personality traits.
Explaining it all
Gailing's guide includes a chapter on each of the 12 zodiac signs. These chapters give a more in-depth review of each of the sign’s general characteristics and features 11 subsections relevant to health and wellness. These include personal health profile, areas of health to focus on, healthy eating tips, specific food recommendations, wellness therapies, relaxation practices, natural remedies, essential oils, flower essences, yoga poses, and healthy sleep tips.
As a Scorpio sun myself, they’re known to be emotional, reflective, and sensitive by nature. Gailing explains that our deep, powerful regenerative capabilities give Scorpios a tendency to want to submerge deeply into their feelings. Thought to traditionally rule the reproductive organs, Gailing shares it’s important they learn to embrace their sexual nature. She says, “[Scorpios] relax when they feel safe to express their uniquely deep nature,” and they’re known as being masters for change. They also have a fond love for “the darkness.”
As part of their self-care practice, Gailing encourages Scorpios to embrace all stages of life, practice moderation, and use their drive in the healthiest ways possible. She shares, “[Scorpios] love to discover hidden truths.” They benefit from practices including sexual neo-tantra, yoga for mental and physical flexibility, reading mystery novels, and using holly flower essence to enhance feelings of connectedness, amongst many other things listed in her book.
The stages & phases of your life
The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care also includes a section on stellar life stages, or the general phases of life that individuals experience throughout their 20s–80s. These different periods of time present us with various opportunities for personal growth. For example, between the ages of 20–22, we go through an astrological passage known as the Uranus Square. "[During this period of time,] we are called to find more freedom, look into what makes us tick, and how we want to claim our individuality,” Gailing explains. “It may also be a time when we feel a bit more rebellious… things might feel like they are shaken up, or we may want to shake things up.” To help with these life transitions, Gailing includes reflection questions and highlights the opportunities these bring. She inspires us to be the most empowered, embodied versions of ourselves.
The third section of Gailing’s book focuses on the phases of the moon. She breaks down each of the 24 lunar cycles and includes information on opportunities each stage brings. She explains potential challenges we might be facing, provides reflection questions, and gives us ideas for affirmations and self-care rituals.
The final section of the book is on planetary retrogrades. These are periods of time in which planets appear to be moving “backwards” in the skyline. Gailing explains each of the planetary retrogrades and gives examples of opportunities each one brings. Although they tend to have a negative connotation in society, these periods of time are full of gifts. They give us an opportunity to revisit, rethink, and reflect on life, inspiring change as we learn to pause and slow down.
Misconceptions about astrology
As someone relatively new to astrology, I was curious about the most common misconceptions Gailing sees in people’s understanding of it. “Many people wonder how astrology works if there are more than 12 different kinds of people,” she says. With astrological charts varying based on the exact location, time, and date we were born, we can see that the field of astrology is nearly infinitely complex. It goes far beyond our sun, moon, and ascendant signs, as well.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits astrology brings is that it gives us a language to express how we view the world. With a heightened sense of self-awareness, we can see where our strengths lie, and the unique place we have in the world. This also helps dissolve external comparison and competition between individuals. We can appreciate who other people are because we can more clearly understand how they view the world, what fills them up, and why they show up the way they do.
If you don’t feel like your sun is an accurate representation of who you are, Gailing encourages people to look more deeply into their ascendant or moon signs. “It could be that you feel more closely aligned with one of those. Understanding them will help you fill in the bigger picture of who you are as a dynamic being.”
Gailing’s take on astrology is one that is blissfully empowering. “I don’t see astrology as being predictive,” she shares, “To me, it’s more of a ‘this is where an opportunity lies,’ and then you have the free will to do as you wish.”
The Complete Guide to Astrological Self-Care provides a plethora of ideas for creating personalized wellness routines that touch on all elements of our identity. The book also serves as an educational resource for those looking to expand their understanding of astrology itself and serves as an interactive guide to return to throughout different periods and phases of life.
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