Q+A Interview with Nadiya Shah

Nadiya is an internationally syndicated astrologer, author, and television, media and internet personality, and she is one of the few people in the world to hold an MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination from the University of Kent, UK. Nadiya is the author of Astrology Realized: Your Journey to Understanding Astrology  and is the producer and host of“Synchronicity WebTV” and “AstroFabulous,” celebrating astrology and the New Age.   

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Q:  How did you get introduced to astrology?

A: My journey in astrology is interesting but I do think that astrology is one of those things that chooses you; it's not so much that you choose it, at least that's been my experience. When I was 14 years old I was hired to read palms at a summer fair that takes place in the last three weeks of summer in Toronto. I was given a sheet of paper with the drawing of a hand and all these arrows pointing to it, with planets denoting the different areas of the hands. Over that three-week period, I read hundred of hands, and I kept getting very positive feedback. People kept telling me I had a knack for it. After that, my family members started giving me astrology books, and I learned about the history in my family of practical spirituality, which includes astrology. I was fortunate to grow up in a supportive atmosphere that encouraged me to strengthen my intuition.

Astrology was something that was always there, always an interesting hobby. I remember before I attended university, I worked at Walmart, and I would read the charts of my coworkers behind the registers. Eventually, people started offering to pay me. Years later, my friend, who was starting a website, kept asking me to write horoscopes for him. At the time I was in a job I hated. I saw it as a lifeline and I grabbed it. I decided to go all-in or nothing, so I went into astrology full time with the launch of those horoscopes and my own website. It's been a wonderful journey since then, which is over nine years ago now as a full-time astrologer.

 

Q: Do you have any advice on how to study astrology?

A: Practice. Through the practice of astrology the student will naturally be curious about more because there is so much to explore, learn, and grow from. Every astrologer I’ve known starts with their own birth chart. Look at your chart and let your intuition guide you towards the books and teachers that intrigue you and inspire you in what answers you seek next. Experimenting with different schools of astrology, different chart calculation methods, and what resonates with you is what spurs you forward. It is a spiritual journey of self­discovery that starts within.

Once you are comfortable with your own chart, then you can start looking at the charts of others, such as people you know, family, and friends, as well as celebrities. In this way, you can start to see how the chart is reflected in the personality of those people so you can make connections. As you do this, and try different techniques, eventually you will get to the place where you feel like you are able to read charts of people you don’t know as well.

Astrology is a lifetime practice and I am of the belief that one lifetime is not enough. It starts with putting in the time. Anything that you put 10,000 hours towards, you can consider yourself an expert in that subject. Ultimately, it is about getting comfortable with what you know and exposing yourself to different writers and sources of knowledge that is part of awakening that knowledge already within you. To be called to the practice of astrology is already revealing that you are someone that is committed to trusting your own truth and committed to going where your soul is asking you to go. Just continue to trust that. It will lead you towards the knowledge and techniques that you need. There is always more to learn and your intuition will guide you to where you are meant to go in your practice. Like other modern New Age spiritual practices, there is a “cafeteria” element to our practice. Part of the fun of being an astrologer is that there is always more to learn. We are in some way always a student. There are never­ending interpretations and techniques to explore, apply, test, and consider.

 

Q: Can you tell us about your teachers?

A: In the early 2000s, there was a move to bring astrology back into western universities. That eventually led to the launch of four M.A. programs in 2006—two in the U.S., and two in the U.K. I attended the M.A. in Cultural Cosmology and Divination program at the University of Kent in the U.K. That program is now taught at Christ Church University. Both schools are in the famous town of Canterbury.

At the University of Kent, U.K., I had the chance to delve into astrology and consider it from many perspectives, historically and academically. I learned from some of the most brilliant and respected astrologers on the planet, including Geoffrey Cornelius, Angela Voss, Maggie Hyde, and Patrick Curry. It was during that time that my commitment to astrology really took root in a sense of respect and reverence for what I do. It helped me know why I do what I do, and the importance of this tradition throughout cultures, in every era of history, and to our world today.

Given the immersive atmosphere and the extensive lectures and workshops, they were certainly imperative in my development as an astrologer.

With my show, Synchronicity WebTV, I’ve been able to interview and feature most of these past teachers who have been so important to my work as an astrologer, and as a person. It has meant a lot to me to share their achievements in our field, and to be some small part of celebrating their legacy.

I do believe that there have been many teachers, especially those who have written books, who have made me better as an astrologer in some way, who have made an impact on my astrological and personal journey. I’m grateful to all those who take that step and share what they know. They make all of us better, stronger, more a force of an integrated universe, together.

 

Q:  Do you have any thoughts about the interaction of astrology and culture? Astrology and science? Astrology and entertainment? Astrology and politics?

A: There is no consensus of values among astrologers. We run the gamut of political beliefs, religious affiliations, and worldview. The practice of astrology essentially makes us rebels to the mass consensus and puts us on the fringes. Regardless of the system we use, our status as eccentrics unites us. An astrologer’s personal values, religious and political beliefs, their experience, and indeed their entire philosophical orientation will determine how a specific aspect is interpreted. Even in science the role of the observer is understandably called into question. Whether you understand what we do as a science or a practice in divination, as Carl Jung’s experiments proved long ago, the role of the observer is paramount to judgment.

 

Q:  Can you give us a preview of your presentation?

A: Astrology Realized: What Makes A Reading ‘Good’?

Astrology is, at its heart, a practice of allegory. It involves looking at the sky with a poetic mind. Within that, there is a lot of room. Astrologers have, at various points in history, considered a successful reading in very different terms, aiming for different outcomes, from their own processes to the experience of the client. This talk explores that definition of a ‘good’ reading by considering the historical developments, philosophical orientation, and personal clarity we bring to our practice as astrologers.

We will begin with a historical overview of astrology, from its origins in divination, it’s re-­invention within monotheism, to its modern, psychological emphasis. We will also explore the phenomenon of worldview and how it lends to astrological interpretation.

We will then more fully explore what it means to experience a “Realized Reading” by defining the term, as coined by Geoffrey Cornelius, and what elements a realized reading entails, including the role of self­-awareness, intuition, symbolic vision, purpose, and technical knowledge.

As you can tell by my chosen topic, I enjoy exploring our practice from a philosophical perspective. My educational background (and my Sag Moon) encouraged this enthusiasm. Presentations focused on learning techniques are great, but I have found that historical and abstract considerations can root our practice and provide a sense of reverence for the importance of what we do to our world today. I want to be part of contributing to that often overlooked but incredible voice that encourages us to know that what we do has great value, throughout history and to the present day.

NADIYA AT THE MANY FACES OF ASTROLOGY CONFERENCE

Nadiya is giving a lecture entitled Astrology Realized: What Makes A Reading "Good"? . In describing her lecture, she notes:

"Astrology is, at heart, a practice of allegory.  It involves looking at the sky with a poetic mind.  Astrologers have, at various points in history, considered a successful reading in very different terms, aiming for different outcomes, from their own processes to the experience of the client.  This presentation explores that definition of a “good” reading by considering the historical developments, philosophical orientation, and personal clarity that we bring to our practice as astrologers."

Her lecture will take place on Friday, 02/17/17.

ABOUT NADIYA SHAH

Nadiya is an internationally syndicated astrologer, author, and television, media and internet personality, and she is one of the few people in the world to hold an MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination from the University of Kent, UK.  Nadiya is the author of Astrology Realized: Your Journey to Understanding Astrology  and is the producer and host of“Synchronicity WebTV” and “AstroFabulous,” celebrating astrology and the New Age.

 

NCGR Conference2017