We’ll admit it. We’re straight up obsessed with all things mystical, magical and spiritual. We live and breathe our horoscopes and with 2020 being the absolute rollercoaster that is it, we reckon we could all do with a bit more guidance in our lives right now.
Which is why we’re launching our very own astro hub led by astrologer, mindfulness meditation teacher and co-founder of The Wayward, Emma Vidgen. Every month Emma will be slinging those good vibes your way offering you a helpful slice of guidance and clarity.
We caught up with this absolute gem to chat about what you can really learn from your horoscopes and her journey to becoming a modern mystic.
Let’s backtrack a little bit, what were you up to before becoming a qualified astrologer?
I studied journalism and law at uni, but before I finished my degrees I got an entry-level position at Cosmopolitan magazine and fell in love with publishing. I spent the next 15 years working in magazines, writing for a raft of different publications, eventually becoming an editor. It was the most exciting, glamorous, fabulous time really.
You went on to launch your online publication THE Wayward in 2018, what triggered that?
My co-founder (and best mate) Sarah and I wanted to create a brand that filled the hole that we were looking for in the media—a space where we could talk about astrology and tarot, meditation and yoga in a really fresh, modern way that didn't feel old-fashioned or dated.
How did you make the jump from loving astrology to making it your permanent gig?
Astrology grew from a healthy interest into a full-blown obsession. From what I hear from other astrologers, that's how it usually strikes. I was devouring everything I could, to learn more—reading books, listening to podcasts and watching astrologers on YouTube. I interviewed an astrologer for a profile story before we launched The Wayward and she mentioned the course she studied. I enquired about that same course that afternoon to see when the next intake was and it was closing that day. I felt like that was a sign and I just decided to follow the breadcrumbs and commit to some formal training. I’m so glad I did! The course changed my life.
How amazing, what was the course and what did it involve?
I studied online for a Certificate in astrology at the Sydney Astrology School. There were a couple of hours of lectures every week and in addition to that there was a homework assignment every week. It was quite intense and took a year to finish the course but I loved it.
From there, the Federation of Australian Astrologers offer professional accreditation with a Diploma of Astrology, which involves four, very intense, formal exams. It’s a qualification you don't have to get to practice, but I'm a stickler for the rules (that’s my Capricorn ascendant right there). They really put you through your paces but it maintains a level of professionalism and credibility which I love.
I’ve also continued to take more advanced classes through Sydney Astrology School and with Kelly Surtees—an amazing astrologer and a co-host of The Astrology Podcast. I’ve also trained as an internationally certified Mindfulness Meditation teacher which helps me bring a different perspective to the way I read charts and write about astrology, I’m all about awareness and curiousity without judgement.
What’s a hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
I would say straddling the two worlds initially. If you’re thinking of career change or moving into a different realm, that transitional period between being a magazine editor and being a full time woo-woo mystic person was quite tricky because you can't really just cut the cord and throw yourself wholeheartedly into the next chapter.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, what’s been your biggest ‘fuck yeah’ moment?
Every time a client sends me a note six or 12 months after we've had a reading saying that it has helped them so much or they’ve been able to navigate something because they’re now aware of their pattern… to hear that is so amazing, it's the reason why I do it.
What can people learn from their horoscopes?
A horoscope is essentially a weather forecast for what the astrological weather will be like for a certain period in time. So just like checking an app to see what the weather forecast will be and knowing whether or not you should be packing an umbrella that day, that's really what a horoscope can help you anticipate. Are communications going to flow easily today? Am I going to feel a bit of low energy? These are all things we can tell from the astrological weather. So, having an awareness of what the energy will be like in a broader context means you can go into things with a little bit more foresight as to what to expect. It can also make you a bit more patient when things don't go to plan because you know there are bigger things at play.
It's gained popularity a lot recently with loads of people sharing their horoscopes on Instagram, why do you think we're all so interested in it?
I think the more dependent we become on technology and the more we live our lives glued to screens there's a deep yearning—whether it's conscious or subconscious—to connect with something beyond that digital world and feel like you're part of something bigger.
I also think as a generation we're really interested in any kind of self-development and astrology is really good for that in terms of learning and understanding what makes you tick and improving your relationships and communication skills. It's really a tool to empower you to know yourself better and deepen your sense of self-learning. Also, it’s just really fun!
What's one of the biggest misconceptions about astrology?
That there is nothing more to astrology other than your sun sign—which is the sign you associate with your birth date. A lot of people disregard astrology if they don't feel a connection with their sun sign, but in actual fact, you have every sun sign in your chart. If you've been going through life thinking, for example, that you don't like Virgos very much well guess what? Somewhere in your chart, you've got some Virgo.
There's also a misconception that all astrology is set in stone and that it's a divination tool to find a preordained outcome to everything. And while I think that it does definitely convey very specific flavours to your personality and life experience, what you do with that energy is really up to you.
What’s the difference between your sun, moon and rising signs?
Your sun sign is the one you associate with your birth date and your moon sign is more about your inner emotional landscape. So your sun sign is about ego, identity and what lights you up, whereas your moon sign is about your emotional landscape, what you need in relationships to feel nourished, how you express love and how you like to have love shown to you.
Then the rising sign is the mask that you wear in the world. So that's when you're at a party or in an office and everyone sits around and tries to guess each other's signs and they never get it right. It’s because what they're actually guessing is your rising sign because it's the sign that you show to other people—it's how they perceive you.
And finally what are you hoping to bring to Urban List with your monthly guides?
I’m really hoping that I can offer some guidance and clarity in what is probably the gnarliest year any of us have experienced. And hopefully, I'll turn some people on to astrology who were on the fence and show them that horoscopes can be a really practical, useful and supportive part of your self-care regime.
Urban List's horoscope hub will be launch Monday 7 September so stay tuned.
Image Credit: Mathew Coyte, The Wayward