Astrology resurgence— Aquarius, herbalism and Pluto
- Published: August 20, 2022
This Aquarius full moon is power-packed, and may feel uncomfortable. However, that feeling also allows things to move forward. Consider events that occurred around Aug. 1 as they will be highlighted at this full moon.
—Astrologer Heather Horton referring to the Aug. 11 supermoon
This is the dawning
A lazy Google search for a simple definition of astrology is easy to obtain:“The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.” Many people also have a cursory understanding of what their sun sign is, which is determined by the exact location of the sun the moment a person is born. ‘I’m a Capricorn’, or ‘I’m a Gemini’ are bandied about in casual conversations all the time.
Visit many sites throughout the world — from ancient Egyptian temples to medieval churches across Europe to older Catholic Churches in the United States, and even monuments and buildings in the nation’s capital, and you will see evidence of the historical influence of astrology in society.
More recently, demographics collected about people’s belief in astrology in the United States for over the last decade, reflect that almost 30% of the population has some belief in astrology, as reported in The Washington Post and Mother Jones and by The National Science Foundation.
Notable within the demographic of astrology believers is that 37% are people 30 and under.
Yellow Springs has always been a community that welcomes different faiths, philosophies and spiritual centering, and has usually been more accepting of alternative beliefs. This bears out when it comes to astrology. For decades, professional astrologers have worked and lived in the village. Each year, they work with hundreds of clients who visit the village from all over the region contributing to the local economy. Astrologers also work with many more clients via video and over the phone.
Heather Horton, M.S.
According to psychotherapist and astrologer Heather Horton, astrology is more complex. It is a language, and like English, has rules that govern how it is written and spoken.
“The issue with it is, if you are not properly educated on how a language works, then you end up speaking it incorrectly, and it can become greatly misunderstood or misdirected. So that’s the hiccup with astrology,” Horton said.
Horton described a recent resurgence of interest in astronomy as a “beautiful dilemma,” noting that the resurgence was “predicted for the last 20 to 30 years, especially as we cross into the age of Aquarius, because Aquarius is the sign that rules astrology.”
Horton has been a licensed professional counselor for eight years and is in private practice that includes offering astrology sessions. Her website states that she counsels people “experiencing anxiety, depression, domestic issues, personality disorders, mood disorders, sexuality concerns and couples counseling.”
“I’m fascinated by the psyche of human beings,” she said.
Horton is a self-taught astrologist, “which is inclusive of a mentor and attending all the international astrology conferences. And really that’s college level education going to those conferences. I have clients around the world,” she said.
She also is comfortable engaging astrology in her practice. “We’re like sprinkled throughout the nation. It’s not a large population of practitioners,” Horton said.
Horton would like to see less skepticism about the use of astrology among mental health counselors, whom she said associate the practice with divination.
“Jung is a great example. You can use it in therapy without divination. … People understand it through the myths and archetypes that Jung developed so brilliantly. … So, if you’ve ever taken a Myers Briggs [personality assessments] — you’re playing in the world of astrology,” she said.
Pluto’s return U.S. birth chart
One of the hot topics in the astrology world is the United States Pluto return. Pluto, a very slow-moving dwarf planet, last visited the United States about 249 years ago — at the start of the American Revolution. Horton refers to Pluto as a “generational planet.” Given the current polarization occurring in the U.S., discussions among astrologers gravitate to what that may portend for the nation’s future.
Horton explained that Pluto’s archetype is Hades, whose domain is the underworld. “And what’s in the underworld? I think everyone’s first thought is sin. But this is where gems and jewels are dug up. Pluto is about transformation, process, life, death and rebirth,” she said.
“When I think of Pluto, I think of volcanic eruption, I think everything that’s bubbling is lava. … But here’s the beautiful thing about Pluto. This is the rebirth part of it. It destroys everything in its path, but once it has its cooling period, it rebuilds and then we have the Hawaiian islands,” Horton said.
Path to astrology
Horton uses her own personal experience with astrology to convey her point that interpretation is important. Interested in astrology at an early age, Horton remembers buying her first book about her sun sign, which is Sagittarius, in the fifth grade. A series of life challenges and hard life transitions caused her to believe that astrology was a hoax when she was in her late 20s.
“The birth of two young kids, a failing marriage and divorce, a failed mortgage company right around the economic crash of 2008, parents getting a divorce, all these really heavy, hard, emotional traumas happening. … I felt like I was walking through hell and my horoscope was awesome,” Horton said. “So now I’m trying to debunk astrology, I’m young, I’m trying to get it removed from the papers.”
However, as Horton researched astrology further, she discovered more to the language than sun signs, and called it “spiraling down the new level of astrological experience and then leveling up — going from ‘astrology is bogus’ to ‘Oh my God, astrology is the most beautiful language I’ve ever heard and witnessed.’”
According to Horton, the key to interpreting astrology lies with an individual’s birth chart.
“The chart is basically the blueprint of the moment you were born, it’s where the planets were placed along the ecliptic plane,” Horton said.
What Horton discovered at the age of 29, was her Saturn return.
“A coming-of-age crisis is what we call it in psychology and that happens at 29 for everyone — no one gets out of it,” she said. “There’s a handful that say, ‘29 was great for me,’ but for most people, it’s the grieving of the loss of your childhood, and all these hardships seem to manifest before you to mature you. Saturn does a lot of maturing, as the father of time.”
According to Horton, individuals who book sessions with her are in search of greater personal understanding, that the overarching process allows for greater self-acceptance. She said a birth chart is like a map of an individual’s fate.
“They are here to experience and understand the interpretation of their celestial birth blueprint. And therefore, accept themselves for who they are. And that’s probably the biggest thing that people leaving a session with me say. That’s why I accept myself more. Now I am exactly who I’m supposed to be,’” she said.
After scheduling a session with Horton through her website, hrhorton.com, Horton says key information is needed — time, date and location of birth, to properly set up the celestial chart.
“Somebody born in India on the same day, same time as you, but on the other side of the planet, yes, they have planets in the same location, but that location changes the way the chart is set up,” she said.
However, Horton will not make decisions for anyone, and is not a psychic. She does feel responsibility to be a good interpreter; people’s lives depend on it.
“My purpose statement is to illuminate the straight path for those that become lost in the dark wood,” she said.
Bee Hollyn and Astrobee
“Happy Leo Season! The Sun is shining bright through our lionhearts and I’m enjoying infusing herbal tinctures with Leonurus cardiaca, the lion hearted one, also known as Motherwort: a tonic for the courageous heart,” wrote astrologer and herbalist Bailey Hollyn Bermond, or Bee Hollyn, in an email to the News in recognition of the super full moon occurring in Aquarius.
Hollyn also suggested readers place an emphasis on looking for creative solutions in the face of unexpected headwinds.
“Every full moon, the moon is opposite to the sSun. We have a super full moon in Aquarius conjunct Saturn square Uranus which means — deep breath — a wrench may be thrown at the status quo of our lives, our great plans may feel restricted by our responsibilities, and the pressure will be on to innovate our way through unforeseen challenges.”
Adding a call for courage in the face of obstacles, Hollyn offers spiritual support.
“My moon message to you, is to call in the spirit of Motherwort: call on your courage, your core values, and your ability to stand rooted in a storm: call upon your wisest self to perform, and they will. By staying in integrity with what we hold most dear: we can create the world that ought to be.”
And this message is a glimpse into how Hollyn combines herbalism with astrology practice.
Hollyn, whose pronouns are she/they, is also an artist and Wellness Center yoga instructor. A 2019 graduate of Antioch College, they earned a BA in Ecoperformance, a self-designed degree intersecting race, gender and ecology centered around performance-based art, “the fruits of my studies,” Hollyn said in a recent interview with the News.
Through their company Astrobee, Hollyn offers astrology sessions and the occasional herbal tincture to her clients. Hollyn started their business after attending an academy focused on teaching holistic business practices.
According to Hollyn, their interest in astrology became a serious endeavor during the pandemic.
“Astrology emerged from me in a more serious way. I knew horoscopes just like everyone else, but didn’t take it that deep. It emerged for me over the pandemic — at first to connect with my own purpose,” they said.
Hollyn attended two schools established by two prominent, nationally recognized astrologers: Debra Silverman’s Applied Astrology program and intuitive astrologer Virginia Rosenberg’s Sky Scholar program.
“These two astrologers helped me unpack the layers of astrological meanings, significance and history throughout time because astrology has been around for a very long time,” they said.
Hollyn also works as an organic gardener during the growing season for the nonprofit Heartbeat Gardens —an organization that works to alleviate food insecurity in the area. Although Heartbeat’s mission is markedly different from their own, Hollyn credits the nonprofit for providing an entry point into folk herbalism — which began with a gardening co-op while in college. They learned about the growth cycles of plants — lessons that guided their own evolving herbalism practice.
“Clinical herbalism has more of an emphasis on the scientific process of proving that specific compounds do certain things. Folk herbalism is more of the acknowledgement of the holistic experience — not only the constituents of medicine,” Hollyn said. “Folk herbalists consider the spirit of the plants, and the medicine in the wisdom of the relationship [that humans have] with plants. There are no set measurements, it’s more general.”
Hollyn regards plants as ancestors and was drawn to herbalism as a preventative against illness — “being empowered with my health before something happens,” they said.
According to Hollyn, there is also a reciprocal relationship that occurs among plants, humans and astrology that isn’t just about human healthcare.
“Not just using plants for my wellness, but contributing to caring for plants, my oldest ancestors, learning from their wisdom, and collaborating with them, and the stars, and the cycles of the moon,” they said.
Hollyn said humans can learn a lot about relationships from plants.
“Plants have been around longer than humans have, and they have found ways to thrive together in this environment for much longer than we have been attempting to do, and each plant has its own personality and gifts,” they said.
As a tracker of cycles, Hollyn views the relationship between plants and astrology as complementary.
“Astrology has been around a long time, like music and dance,” they said.
Hollyn views their work through the lens of service with, perhaps, a sprinkling of self-care added to the mix.
“Whatever I do in life, I want to fill my own cup so it can overflow. I know that’s really cliché, but I want to make sure that I am putting myself in fertile soil, so that my basic vitality is intact, and I have integrity so I can help assist others to tune into their inner wisdom and purpose through the framework of astrology, which is another tool for reflection and introspection,” they said.
A menu of Hollyn’s services including information on how to book an astrology session can be found on the Astrobee website, astrobee.us.