HEREYOUARE-Astrological-babes

If You Can’t Access Therapy in L.A., Astrology Might Help

Astrology is way more than a trend in Los Angeles. Not only does it provide guidance, but it also allows people to connect with each other, in the ways the planets do. We interview three people in LA who use astrology as a means of therapy.

I am a fresh seed to Los Angeles, landing here in the summer/fall of 2018. This versatile landscape piqued the curiosity of my Gemini nature – I felt myself finding synchronicities, support and joy in ways that were new to me. This solidified my decision to explore this city in-depth by becoming a resident.

I was born and raised up North in Sacramento to Punjabi, Sikh immigrant parents. My mother is extremely devout. While folks find binaural healing beats and attuned hertz to mellow out via Youtube and Spotify playlists, I was raised trailing out of this world and into my dreams through the chants and prayers elicited by my mother’s Gurmukhi tongue.  She weaved the oneness within our Sikh religion and superstitions from Punjabi culture into my upbringing. This foundation provided me the support for my exploration into astrology, tarot, numerology and the vast universe of spirituality. I have been pleased to see my peers turn to astrology for guidance too.

Sukhpreet

A portrait of Sukhpreet by James Stanciell @rocket.homme

Astrology requires trust. In a way that expands beyond rationality, logic, the left brain, and how we’ve been taught to validate truth from a Western lens. Astrology requires an intuitive understanding. Many of the spaces in Los Angeles where folks share astrology at this current time is fostered within community — whether that be at get-togethers, social outings, nightlife, or even through Instagram.

I traveled through different parts of Los Angeles to get an understanding of what astrology looks like for the QTPOC community in this metropolis. Many of the folks that have been interviewed in this series are QTPOC. We focused on this community to get an understanding of people who generally do not have access to traditional forms of therapy.

NYALLAH

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Nyallah © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

How has astrology aided you in your personal journey of healing? 

I’ve learned a lot about myself thru astrology. I don’t take things as personally anymore, sometimes you don’t get along with someone and it’s simply because you’re not compatible. I don’t feel like anything is “wrong” with me; there used to be parts of myself that I viewed as “problems” or “flaws,” but in reality, they’re all just me. It’s okay if I don’t think or react the same way as someone else, my reaction is me and mine alone.

Are there community spaces where you share astrology with others?

I’d say 90% of my friends discuss astrology and share astrology with each other. I don’t really have any specific groups, but it’s a topic of discussion often.

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Nyallah © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

Do these spaces and connecting with others through astrology provide a sense of belonging and community for you?
Definitely!

Do you attend therapy? If yes, how do you access it? If no, is access a limitation?

Not now! In the process of getting some.

Do you have any tangible representations or astrological paraphernalia that you hold dear and use in your practice?

I have tarot cards and a lot of crystals related to my Capricorn/Cancer placements. I had some Capricorn jewelry but it broke, need another choker.

Follow Nyallah on Instagram.

 

SAMAR SAIF

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Samar © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

Has your chart provided you with the ability to reflect, explore and understand who you are?

Yes, especially honing in on my Pisces sun. My chart is Pisces dominant and I do feel that this is a reflection of myself because I am sensitive, soft, and dreamy. I have been reading costar again and it is a helpful reflection of things that I need to work through or process.

How has astrology aided you in your personal journey of healing?

Astrology has mostly helped me find community and process my own pain in the context of others. It is a way of bridging people and creating dialogue and common bonds. My own healing journey has been turbulent. I continually go in phases of learning to be okay and then moving toward self-destructiveness as a means of coping. I want to continue harnessing astrology as a mode of healing because listening to the universe and how it relates to my own body, mind, and spirit is something that I want to continue to get more in touch with.

Samar

Samar © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

What spaces in LA help you with your healing?

QTPOC Spaces! Definitely the LGBTCRC on campus and mostly just spaces with other queer friends of color, like could just be their apartment. Word on Wednesday at Kerckhoff as well.

Do you attend therapy? If yes, how do you access it? If no, is access a limitation?

I just started CBT Therapy and it is through a research program so I am also being studied in the process. I have to fill out surveys and keep an app running on my phone and it has not been a comforting or grounding experience but I am hoping that as I continue it will become more helpful and supportive.

Follow Samar on Instagram.

 

JOSEPHINE

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Josephine © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

Has your chart provided you with the ability to reflect, explore and understand who you are?

Definitely! It is such an empowering exercise to name parts of my personality. Even though I know some people who don’t immediately resonate with their chart, I think reviewing one’s chart is a great practice in self-awareness. Engaging in activities that encourage us to learn about ourselves can help us act with greater care and intention. I also think it can help us practice honesty with ourselves, which I believe is a really important skill to build. If we aren’t true to ourselves, we won’t make genuine progress in our endeavors and relationships. Our lives could turn into a web of false solutions. I think naming who we are is the first step in learning our genuine needs, desires, goals, etc. and thus building a truly healthy and happy life.

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Josephine © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

How has astrology aided you in your personal journey of healing?

As I said previously, I really believe that being honest with myself is one of my greatest values and journeys. Giving names and descriptions to my character, as in astrology, has empowered me to name and describe deep wounds, name and describe complex needs, name and describe magnificent goals, and so on. Learning about ourselves is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves in this conscious lifetime.

Are there community spaces where you share astrology with others?

There are a lot of spaces in Los Angeles where I’ve engaged with astrology, but none that I know of that are specifically dedicated to the practice. At the moment, my friends and the environments we collectively create are the most potent conduits of astrological conversation.

Follow Josephine on Instagram.

Josephine

Josephine © Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal/HEREYOUARE

It is only natural that this city – with it’s illusory nature, magic, promise of stardom and fame is also deeply spiritual. Los Angeles propelled yoga and many other teachings into the masses – turning unknown yogis into household names alongside silver screen stars. The desire to develop one’s inner self is akin to the emphasis on appearance and reputation in this city, both dichotomies exist simultaneously. Los Angeles is a city with people full of ambition and drive, who are willing to put their energy into achieving their goals. People come here to make their wildest dreams a reality. Because of this, it can become stressful, and therefore requires time for healing, processing and making tangible sense of internal workings.

On a communal level, there is a longing to connect and create that courses through the various landscapes that encompass Los Angeles. The drive to achieve in LA is on a different frequency than the drive to achieve in other parts of the world. This city lives as a backdrop for worlds created through film, television and the vast forms of world-making that art inspires. There is always a new world being made here, and utilizing astrology to create and partake in the worlds that best align with you is a helpful way to navigate this multitude.

The queer community here, in particular, provides a space for others to utilize this tool and engage with others, mainly folks who do not have access to traditional forms of therapy or other modalities of healing. Astrology is a way to practice autonomy in one’s healing, growth and transformation. Astrology is a way to imagine new worlds by seeing oneself deeply embedded in nature – through the planets, stars and myths that have transcended time.

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Your natal chart is a blueprint of your innate qualities that you can then shape, expand and learn from. Autonomy is one of the most significant features of astrology. You do not require academia or inaccessible and expensive forms of knowledge to understand it.

Even though it is occult, which literally translates to, that which is hidden, astrology has become a concept that many can grasp now. This accessibility has been propelled by the Internet (daresay the age of Aquarius), through books and even memes; all of the resources at our fingertips and word-of-mouth. The most important factor of this learning is that you have to trust. Practice belief, and within this system of belief, create a level of consciousness and awareness that allows you to see yourself in an abstract form.

To truly demonstrate that astrology can be used as a therapeutic tool, it must be used in a mindful and transformative way. If astrology is used in a way that is constructive, it can provide clarity on the qualities one is naturally born with. After this point is reached, it is up to you how you want to take control of those qualities and manifest who it is that you are.

 

 

All portraits taken by Suhkpreet, you can check out their work via their Website and Instagram. Tune in to her next piece in their Astrology in Los Angeles series. 

Mohave Stars photo taken by Robb Hannawacker (courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)

Sukhpreet Kaur Purewal gives a voice to the silenced through their writing, photography and other forms of expression. You can find them reading tarot cards, photosynethisizing, studying the moon and searching for the best Punjabi food in LA, or on her website.
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