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In this inspiring guide to achieving happiness and wellness in life, work, and relationships, a “go-to life coach for those in the know” (InStyle) reveals how to use astrology as a roadmap to success. For thousands of years, people have looked to the night sky for guidance. Yet these days it’s so easy to lose touch with the universe and the important direction it can provide. In The Signs, astrologer and life coach Carolyne Faulkner reveals how the ancient wisdom of the stars can empower you to get the most out of life. Faulkner’s method is not about nebulous predictions or fate. It’s about discovering the qualities, good and bad, associated with your natal chart—the position of the planets at the time of your birth—and using that knowledge to inform your decisions and relationships. Easy to use and designed as both an introduction for the cosmically curious and a deep dive for experienced spiritual seekers, this guide shows you how to interpret your chart, find balance, and reconnect with yourself.
Consult The Signs to learn what to do when:
• You’re an inflexible Taurus, resistant to change. (Create things. Even a home-cooked meal will heal you in wondrous ways.) • You live with an argumentative Aries. (Never fight fire with fire. Wait till your partner calms down to discuss your feelings.) • You have Capricorn influence. (Shed the need to conform. Structure is important, but it needs to be flexible enough to change as we grow.)
Under the Cover
An excerpt from The Signs
If you, like so many people I know, find astrology interesting but are put off by confusing technical terms or esoteric trivialities, such as orders not to leave your house until Mercury moves out of its retrograde phase, I hope you will find this book refreshing, perhaps even enlightening, and, above all, useful. I wrote it for people like us (I include myself), who were looking for a book that made astrology accessible and fun, as well as practical. I believe astrology can be a powerful life-coaching tool, which everyone can learn to use for themselves. In fact, I’m on a mission to place its power in your hands. (I am Aquarius, after all, and Aquarians have a job to do here on Earth, in raising awareness and promoting equality.) Let’s clear something up right from the start. It cannot be possible, nor is it logical, to split the whole of humanity into twelve star signs and expect them all to be the same types of people experiencing the same things at the same time. Neither does it make sense to over-generalize. Assuming that all Leos are funny and out- going or Scorpios are sexy but prone to jealousy is not realistic. Human beings are way more complex than that and our star sign (also known in astrology as the Sun sign) is only ever a rough guide to our personality and potential. As you’ll see, learning the helpful and harmful traits of your sign and putting the former into practice will indeed enable you to shine with the brilliance of the Sun. Even so, astrology can never tell the whole story about who you are. After all, assessing anyone’s character (including your own) solely on the basis of their star sign is like judging them on their looks. Sometimes we get lucky and nail them accurately, but very often we are mistaken – and this can lead to trouble! And one more mistaken belief to get out of the way at the beginning: it’s not set in stone that certain signs do or do not gel with others. The only way to make any kind of assessment of a relation- ship’s durability is to assess both individuals’ charts and study them alongside one another. Many of the successful couples I know have one person with the Sun in one sign and the other with the same sign as their Moon or rising sign. Traditional astrology would say that they wouldn’t work out but, in my experience, it’s rather like a game of snap: you just need to match signs with a potential part- ner (or friend or colleague) somewhere along the line. Two of my oldest friends are Leo and, as an Aquarius, they are my direct oppo- site. My other closest friend’s star sign matches my rising sign. Astrology can yield fascinating insights, when you have the desire to dig a little deeper. I have been studying astrology for more than eleven years. For the last nine I have also been using it to coach people to deepen their understanding of themselves and others, as well as to signpost ways for them to experience more honest and intimate relation- ships and enjoy professional success. The method I use, which I call Dynamic Astrology, helps to improve emotional, spiritual and physical health, and to increase overall well-being. You will notice that I use the word ‘karma’ frequently. Karma is cause and effect: for every action there is a reaction. Seeds planted in fertile soil are likely to yield a healthy crop; the opposite is also true. Try to think of karma as seeds that you plant. You cannot change past karma, but you can become more aware of every choice you make in the pres- ent and indeed alter the future.
I know that when Dynamic Astrology is used as a tool to enhance self-awareness, it helps us to navigate a much smoother path through our lives. It can bring about an empowering transformation and a deeper connection with the more authentic part of ourselves. This is vital because, as I see it, only our truest vibe attracts our real tribe. My experience of working with people from all over the globe and all walks of life has taught me that astrology is essentially a framework for tuning in to the rhythms of your own life, a tool for managing human behaviour – your own and others’. I like to think of it as the scaffolding for a renovation only in this case the building being sympathetically restored is you! Astrology has been practised by societies all over the world for thousands of years. It’s a bit like the ancient world’s forerunner to the modern science of psychology. And when you start to think of it in these terms then its incredible stoicism, even in our sceptical modern world, where most people have lost faith in anything other than what they see with their eyes (as opposed to what they feel with their hearts) begins to make sense. I believe that our own minds shape and then create our reality. Neuroscience has proved it. Nobody’s future is written in the stars, it is ours to create. So, as far as I’m concerned, astrology has nothing to do with fortune-telling or two-line daily horoscopes and everything to do with boosting your ability to grow personally, which increases happiness and enhances positive interactions with others. It also helps us to become more mindful, to make better-informed judgements about our abilities and limitations, and those of other people. And bear in mind that even a basic knowledge of astrology provides us with the opportunity to master our sense of timing. The best chefs will testify that timing is indeed everything!
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT DYNAMIC ASTROLOGY?
Dynamic Astrology combines spiritual and astrological teachings with research into contemporary human behaviour from a life coach’s perspective. In this framework, your chart is not a rigid description of who you are, or a set prescription for how you should live your life. Astrology becomes a tool for interpretation that puts you at the centre of the decision-making. Knowledge of the stars empowers you to work in harmony with their energy. For me, astrology has become as much a part of everyday life as the electricity that powers our homes. As with electricity, I use it because it gives power and light when I need them. And I share it because I believe that this star language is one that transcends class, race, status and, most importantly, ego. Anyone can use it, and I like that. With Dynamic Astrology, I wanted to create a method to show you how to use astrology yourself, with no need for an astrologer on a retainer to chart your every decision. I have a mission to empower other people’s intuition. We are all intuitive to a greater or lesser degree, but our intuition is often so tightly wrapped up in logic that we end up being limited to a one-dimensional perspective. Astrology is sometimes made to seem more complex than it needs to be. It’s true that, at first glance, a full birth chart can look very complicated and even daunting, and some of the terminology takes a bit of getting used to, but I have simplified the process to make it fully accessible, and I know from coaching my clients that astrology doesn’t have to be so difficult. In fact it is just like learning a foreign language: you pick up bits and pieces, a few words and phrases here and there, you weave the conversation together and then, with practice and patience, you begin to speak the language. Or in this case you learn to ‘astrochat’, as I like to call it. Dynamic Astrology offers clues and turns you into the detective in charge of your own case. It realigns you with your soul (or mind, if you prefer) as opposed to the seductive but harmful snare of our ego. I believe that the soul (or mind) is infinite: it never dies. In fact, it goes on to create future lives, which is why our birth chart indicates strengths to embrace and issues that we need to resolve in this lifetime so that we can graduate to the next level. Nothing is fixed and everything is changeable. With awareness and an honest approach to your own patterns of behaviour, choice is always available and a better future is yours to create.
‘GONE RIGHT’ VS ‘GONE WRONG’
Years of working with my intelligent, successful and oh-so-demanding clients, and observing the way that particular star patterns correlate to their experiences, behaviour and characteristics, have made it clear to me that any trait associated with any aspect of astrology has the potential to be either helpful or harmful. I call this ‘gone right’ versus ‘gone wrong’, and we see these dualities over and over again. At its heart, Dynamic Astrology is the practice of applying astrological know-how in strategic ways to increase the helpful traits (‘gone right’) and reduce the impact of the harmful ones (‘gone wrong’). You can change things that fail to serve you or that you simply don’t like. With awareness and greater self- knowledge come the power to bring more acceptance, happiness and soul contentment into your life. When you master new ways to handle traits that have previously been the bane of your life, you’ll feel like giving yourself a fist bump. It’s such a liberating feeling. A word of advice: don’t be frightened of your ‘gone wrong’ side, also known as the dreaded ‘shadow’. After all, everyone has one. Time after time, when people read their ‘gone right’ sections for the first time I see them nodding or smiling, and then I wait for it: they suddenly go quiet. I know they’re reading their ‘gone wrong’ traits and pennies are dropping all over the place. But this opening up to self-awareness is the first step towards any kind of real self-improvement. In my own experience as a student, the most compassionate teachers I ever had rarely handed me sweets, treats or easy truths. So, to paint a picture of ‘gone right’ characteristics versus ‘gone wrong’, let’s use Taurus as an example. A positive trait for Taurus is talent. Many Taureans love to cultivate their own talents, as well as other people’s. A ‘gone wrong’ Taurus trait is jealousy (one they share with their opposite sign, Scorpio). It isn’t that every Taurus is necessarily suffering with the green-eyed monster, but it is likely to be showing up somewhere in a Taurus’s life because jealousy is a trait that Taurus people are here on Earth to learn to overcome. And to contextualize the ‘gone right’ versus ‘gone wrong’ further, I’ve observed that a Taurus who is genuinely working with his or her own talents rarely suffers with personal jealousy. If they attract it from others, they must strive harder to work with grace and humility (which are both words associated with Taurus).
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
I wrote The Signs with the aim of making a complex subject accessible to everyone by focusing on three main areas of astrology: planets, signs and houses. Inevitably this means that there are lots of things I can’t hope to cover, but astrology is so powerful that even a little knowledge goes a long way. I hope the book will serve as your guide to using astrology in practical ways to make real, positive change in your life. And then when you ‘crack the code’ you can help others who may be struggling to get on the surfboard and ride the waves of life. You can read the book in one of two ways. Either flip straight to the section on your star sign and read all about your sign’s helpful and harmful traits – its ‘gone right’ and ‘gone wrong’ – then use the ‘Fix’ of practical suggestions to reduce the ‘gone wrong’ and increase the ‘gone right’. (By the way, you can, of course, do the same thing to deepen your understanding of other people’s behaviour. It’s fun and often uncannily accurate. Try looking up your partner’s sign, or your colleague’s, and see if its characteristics shed some light on anything that baffles or annoys you!) The second way, if you prefer, is to delve a bit deeper and use the book to learn how to read birth charts and make your own interpretations. A birth (or natal) chart is a snapshot of the alignment of the stars and planets at the time of your birth. Learning how to decode your chart by reading about the role of your star sign, your Moon and rising sign, as well as the alignment of the planets and placements of the houses, is enlightening and empowering. For example, identifying your rising sign (the sign in your first house at the moment you were born) helps you to understand how you are perceived by others, and opens the door towards self-discovery. When you know your Moon sign (the sign the Moon was in when you were born), you can figure out how to take more care of your emotional well- being, which will in turn improve your emotional intelligence. Knowing your partner’s or child’s Moon sign helps you to nourish them on an emotional level. (My son has Moon in Taurus, and Taurus is associated with a healthy appetite for good food, so I always feed him before addressing any emotional issues I may have with him!) I will never get tired of watching as my clients experience the mental click when some aspect of their personality or personal experience comes into focus. Those ‘aha’ moments are deeply satisfying to them, and they can be for you, too. When you under- stand your chart and those of the key people in your life, you gain an invaluable perspective. You become more compassionate; personal and professional goals are easier to achieve and everyday life becomes less of a din and more of a tune. You stop fighting against the tides and go with the flow and the rhythms of life. Everything from physical and emotional well-being to career goals and previously tense relationships can suddenly feel much easier. I am not saying that everything will change overnight. It takes a little work and, let’s face it, some people will always annoy us, but we can take control of how we react by hitting the pause button and analysing the root cause of their behaviour and, indeed, our reactions. Imagine that you are now standing in an airport with only your passport and a map in your hand. A private jet is waiting. You’re not quite sure where you’re going but you intuitively know that something life-enhancing awaits. I am showing you the door to self-discovery. The map will provide the clues to help you find your personal treasure chest, but you have to navigate your own journey and take responsibility for your own decisions.I know from my own experience of learning through astrology, and from the successes of my clients, that great things are possible. Remember, your birth chart is only ever sketched in pencil: it really is down to you whether you want to take the pen and make your mark. Forget how you were in the past. Be in this very moment and tune into your highest potential. The future is in your hands.
Carolyne Faulkner is the in-house astrologer at the Soho House Group and regularly holds events around the world. She has more than two hundred regular one-on-one clients, and has been practicing astrology for more than decade.