Astrology: What's Up With It?

PHOTO: EMANUEL WALLACE 

PHOTO: EMANUEL WALLACE 

Interviewed by Lauren Ash

I've gotten really interested in astrology over the past two years. (Seriously: ask my friends who I text weekly as soon as the latest Chani Nicholas reading goes live!) For me, learning about weekly and monthly shifts in energy has not forced me to make different decisions or live my life by the stars, but rather has provided interesting perspectives and modes of awareness that I have found useful. When I met Ashleigh D. Johnson several months ago, I was so intrigued. A business astrologist? And a black woman, at that? I hope that my conversation with Ashleigh illuminates some of your questions about astrology! Tweet Ashleigh any questions that remain! 

Lauren Ash: On your site, you share the following: "You need to be clear on your next steps. You need be confident in the decisions you make because they affect you—financially and spiritually. You need a reason to trust your intuition. A way to prove to yourself that you’re not just following some crazy dream." Ashleigh, I’m really big on manifesting. These words resonate a lot with me because they speak to the power of what it means to get in touch with our inner most desires and intuition and making things happen. Why do you believe that astrology is one way to achieve this?

Ashleigh D. Johnson: I believe [astrology is] a great way to manifest your desires because it's done exactly that for me and my clients. Astrology gives you a tangible blueprint to your innermost self. In order to do that, you have to be able to commit and surrender to serving your highest self. Astrology gives language to those things you feel but have never told a soul.

I love self-help and personal development books, but the hard part is that you’re limited by the author giving tips & tricks that hopefully work for as many readers as possible. You’re relegated to taking this person’s advice with a grain of salt. With astrology, the answers you seek are unique to you. Every part of solving any issues through astrology is dedicated to crafting an individualized response for you. Astrology is the most customized form of personal development there is.

Lauren Ash: Why did you choose astrology as a career path, and a life calling? What motivated you to get into astrology?

Ashleigh D. Johnson: I’ve been interested in astrology since childhood, and I wasn’t aware of just how much until I became an astrologer. I’d ask for astrology books whenever my Mom took me to the bookstore. I found horoscopes about Aquarius (my Sun sign) to be scarily accurate for me. Then I began reading about my Capricorn Mom, Aries Dad, and other members of my family, amazed and how these books had them pegged. As I got older, I wanted to know more.

According to my chart, I’m simply picking up where I left off in the last life. Astrology has always made sense to me. My zodiac sign, Aquarius, rules astrology. It has a lot of moving parts, but reading someone’s chart is all about making connections to create the big picture. I chose astrology because it made sense. I feel this sense of ease and flow when I read people’s charts. It’s like the constant noise in my head goes quiet and I can use the placements in your chart to paint a clear picture for you.

Lauren Ash: That sounds amazing! So: you’re a business astrologer. Before meeting you a few months back, I didn’t know what this meant. What does astrology have to do with business?

Astrology has everything to do with business. Saturn, the planet that rules astrology, also rules the concept of corporations and big business. Throughout history kings have consulted astrologers in order to seize lands, rule their kingdoms, and amass wealth.

Business astrology involves looking at a person’s chart from a vocational standpoint. What are they equipped to do? What do they want to do? How can they get there? Another part of business astrology is interpreting a company’s chart and interpreting it as if the company is an entity or being. Yes, your business has a birthday, and we can use its chart to guide the company to success. I honestly believe our business has its own wants, needs, goals, and ways of operation.

Consulting an astrologer for business matters is not looked down upon in the East as it is in the Western world. In India and China, some leaders won’t do business deals without talking to an astrologer. In India, having an astrologer read the charts of the couple to pick an auspicious date and time for the wedding is a longstanding tradition.

Quietly, a lot of financial analysts or consultants on Wall Street use astrology to track planetary cycles to predict stock crashes and conduct trades. Walt Disney was an avid fan of astrology and used it to time releases and openings. There are more people that use astrology than you think.

Lauren Ash: Thank you for noting this cultural difference! What astrologers do you appreciate?

Ashleigh D. Johnson: Jason Fleming-El (Sagittarian Mind), Anne Ortelee, Kelley Rosano, Mecca Woods, and Susan Miller.

Lauren Ash: In the black community, particularly the black Christian community, there’s a general disapproval of astrology. Do you believe that these two belief systems have to be in opposition? Have you supported Christian clients?

Astrology and Christianity are not in opposition. In fact, they complement one another. I don’t believe astrology is a belief system; it is a science and an art.

Astrology is a tool given to us by God to interpret His glory or will. It says so right on the first page of the Bible in Genesis 1:14.

The Three Wise Men followed the stars to find baby Jesus—how did they know where to look and when to search? They were astrologers.

It’s brought up in the New Testament in Luke 21:25, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars…"

We also have to remember that the Bible has been remixed over the years by kings, priests, and clergy who wanted its contents to reflect the status quo of their era. The beloved King James Version of the Bible is one of the most popular examples of this kind of editing.

I'm a baptized Catholic, and I have supported Christian clients. I believe astrology can support your faith. Knowing your chart can give you insight on how to get closer to yourself, and thus to God. Astrology provides an opportunity to co-create with God.

Lauren Ash: What mantra do you live your astrology practice, and perhaps even life, by?

Ashleigh D. Johnson: As long as you work hard and stay trill, God will grant you the desires of your heart, even if you change your mind a few times.

PHOTO: EMANUEL WALLACE

PHOTO: EMANUEL WALLACE

Ashleigh D. Johnson is a Chicago-born business astrologer who helps entrepreneurs and professionals gain clarity, confidence, and cash through intentional observation of their natal and business chart. Through her private readings, blog, and workshops, she’s here to show her clients the logic behind their instincts and dispel the many myths about astrology. Ashleigh has been featured in Black Enterprise and currently writes a monthly business horoscope for Businessweek Magazine. You can find out more about Ashleigh (and yourself!) at ashleighdjohnson.com.