Daily Archives: July 22, 2022

Esoteric Systems

Zodiac symbol with sun in the center

I bought my first deck of Tarot cards in 2000 or so at, of all places, The Vermont Country Store. It was in the toy and game section and was a fun version with Jack and Jill looking comic characters. Twenty plus years later, I own multiple decks and use the cards on a daily basis as part of my own self-reflection and writing practice.

I have begun to explore astrology and its connection to Tarot. I haven’t done much with astrology beyond reading a daily horoscope but am enjoying diving deeper into this system. I choose that word–system–carefully as I don’t like the popular alternative: pseudo-science. Systems like Tarot and astrology provide insight and guidance into connecting with the material and spiritual worlds.

I happened to catch this Newsy segment on the rising popularity of astrology that has led to it being a billion dollar industry. In the business world, these systems are called “mystical services.” It included a reference to Chani Nicholas, an astrologer I have followed for some time. Her book, You Were Born For This, is a popular book about astrology. I like her style and approach to integrating astrology and tarot and her approach to running her business:

We’re a queer, feminist-led tech and media company on a mission to make astrology and its wisdom accessible to everyone as a tool for self-discovery, mindfulness, and healing. Folks who are queer, trans, non-binary, Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, parents, are/have been system-impacted, are immigrants, and anyone who has experienced systemic oppression and/or gender-based violence are encouraged to apply.


I was disappointed that Chani was just mentioned. The Newsy segment relies on Kay Taylor, the president of the Organization of Professional Astrology, for commentary. She remarked that some people, including her, have always made money with astrology:

I have supported myself and my family as a single mother since the very beginning. So, it was possible to make a living, and many astrologers made a living, but most of us… we were operating out of the back bedroom of our house or doing readings at the kitchen table. 


I was immediately reminded of the Owens family in Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic series. Their magic took place around the kitchen table, helping other women with physical and spiritual healing, welcoming those who had to sneak away from their homes to find the light in the darkness. Taylor worries that with growing popularity and big money will come exploitation and the loss of that kitchen table connection. I wonder if the mindfulness movement might be in danger of the same thing.

My advice for finding a path if you are interested in these esoteric systems? Give yourself time to consider what you are looking for and use that as a guide to find your teacher. I wanted to learn *about* astrology in a formal way as well as connecting with its real-life application so Chani was the perfect guide for me. I also touch base with Chris Corsini, from time to time as he does Tarot readings and New Moon and Full Moon workshops and hearing his interpretations of Tarot cards and astrology have helped me deepen my understanding.* Corsini, who does not identify as deaf, has made accessibility a hallmark of his work. This interview provides insight into his work as an artist, astrologer and tarot reader.

*Warning: Chris uses what my mother would call “salty” language. As a practitioner of the art myself, I am not bothered but he may not be the right fit for everyone.