Is astrology too cis- and hetero- normative?

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Chani Nicholas is an astrologer, writer, and workshop facilitator. We spoke with Nicholas about queer identity, the commodification of astrology, and intentionally creating inclusive spaces on social media.

Astrology is foundational to many LGBTQ communities. Why do you think queer people are drawn to astrology?

Since the dawn of colonial white-supremacist patriarchy, queer people have been vilified—in part through [the] enforcing [of] the gender binary.

[Astrology has a] more inclusive and holistic look at human life. That isn’t to say homophobia and transphobia aren’t prevalent in astrological communities, but the practice [of astrology] itself is fairly accepting of us. [While] astrology isn’t a religion, it connects us with something larger than ourselves without the politics that come with institutionalized religion. ... We need accurate reflections of ourselves in order to heal and grow. When you grow up and out of a society that tells you that you are wrong, astrology becomes a system that affirms your essential nature.

What can queer people, in particular, learn from astrology?

[Astrology] is a tradition that judges the quality of our life but doesn’t judge us from a moralistic standpoint [about who we’re attracted to]. Astrology radically pronounces who we were born to be and offers infinite options for articulating our needs and accessing our gifts.

You’ve created a safe space on Instagram for people who are often marginalized by society. What steps have you taken to foster intentionally inclusive and intersectional online spaces?

I do my best to be thoughtful [about] how I communicate and am always considering how my privilege impacts how I frame things, but making mistakes and taking public accountability is an important part of creating spaces that are less harmful. ... I am a really flawed human who has grown up and lives in white-supremacist, cishet, colonial patriarchy that I mostly benefit from. If I’m not always considering that fact, I’m most likely making big mistakes.

Astrology seems to be experiencing a resurgence within pop culture. Why do you think that is?

The political, economic, and environmental climate we’re in today is causing many of us stress, anxiety, and terror. The uncertainty of the moment, combined with the virality of social media, has been the storm that’s washed astrology back ashore.

How can astrology be used to reckon with and heal from our current political climate?

In order to heal the wounds created by our current political leaders, we must find ways toward long-term, sustainable justice. ... Understanding what we are called to do, what we were born for—through the lens of our birth chart—allows us to focus our efforts on where we can do the greatest good.

Like most things, astrology has frequently been commodified and warped by capitalism. Do you think that affects the general public’s understanding of astrology?

Although I’m excited that more people are being introduced to astrology, I don’t love the reduction of [a complex practice] into a sales tactic. You can’t fake depth, and astrology, as a tool, demands it. [When people cashing in on astrology] move on to the next fad, astrologers will still be here working, studying, and sharing what we have learned with those that need it.


Edit: Umm the swear filter has censored the url. :rofl: It's a feminist publication called ***** media, the ***** rhymes with stitch.
Last edited by AngeryPenguin; 2 months ago

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