Our Suiheart Club book of the month, "Astrology of Love and Sex", is truly like no other Astro book we’ve read before! It speaks to the way we currently date, express our sexuality, gender and intimacy. It’s refreshing to hear tips for things like group sex, or online dating in relation to astrology! We got to ask author Annabel Gat about some juicy details of writing her book, dating and what it means to be spiritually aware in 2019.
Your writing is geared towards our generation, both in your subject matter and language! What’s it like being an astrologer in 2019? Do you face a new-school vs old-school mentality with those in the Astro community?
I received so much support from the astrology community for this book, and in general, astrologers are excited about connecting with people in other generations, which is really cool. In my astrology practice, I use a lot of techniques from traditional astrology (for example, my specialty is Horary, an ancient branch of astrology that uses the time a question is asked as a sort of “birth chart” to derive an answer) and it seems like people have been excited to read my horoscopes on Astro Guide and my book because it’s a take on “sun sign astrology” from a “serious” astrologer (although, I do contend that sun signs are serious!), which I'm grateful that people are receptive to.
You make it clear that it doesn’t matter if someone believes in astrology or not, it’s simply a tool or a lens to see human dynamics through. Are you sick of defending astrology or is that just part of the job?
I love astrology, but I have total respect that it’s not for everyone. Luckily, i don’t get asked to defend it very frequently since I’m in such an astrology loving bubble, but whenever I am asked, I’m glad to talk to skeptics -- not to defend astrology per se but to connect with them about what their beliefs and experiences are. It’s interesting to me!
This book is focuses on compatibility in dating, but could you use this book to check on the compatibility of friendships, even biz relationships?
The book is definitely a sexy book, but yes, you could extrapolate the info to apply to any relationship. Astro Guide has compatibility sections for friends and also for collaborators in addition to love, so definitely check it out-- the first seven days are free!
We always hear about how men and women of the same sign can be wildly different, but you don’t address gender in this book when it comes to breaking down the Zodiac signs. Tell us more!
Most astrology books place gender in such a rigid binary, and I knew I didn’t want to do that in my book. Gender is a critical part of the human experience; however, the zodiac sign’s archetypes are really what they are regardless of gender in so many ways!
You mention getting consent to have someone’s birth chart read with yours in a professional reading, which we agree with! (This applies to tarot readings too- we always want to ask questions in relationship to ourselves, not delve into someone else’s chart or energy if they’re unaware). That being said! What are the ethics around asking someone their sign when you first start dating, especially in online dating?
Consent is crucial whether you’re asking for birth data or hooking up. I personally don’t ask for someone’s birth data, and only look at their chart if they request we do it together. If they’re not interested, i don’t bring it up; however, i don’t think it’s wrong for someone else to ask their crush or lover for their birth info-- just be sure to drop it, and no pouting, or defending astrology, if they say no! Once you have the birth data, don’t use it to manipulate your relationship. In Astro Guide, we have horoscopes for friends and crushes, and it can serve as a really helpful guide for navigating the planetary weather; however, beyond that, you have to be careful, and my rule of thumb is: Would you be embarrassed if the object of your affection knew what you were doing with their birth data? If the answer is yes, then chill and step away from the birth chart!
What is it like for you to date/be in relationships personally? Are you able to ‘turn off’ this information or does it really inform your choices?
I don’t focus on my partner’s chart, because the truth is, it’s not about them, it’s about me- and I don’t mean that in a selfish way at all. I need to focus on if i’m being my best self, communicating effectively and not taking out my shit on someone else. If we can keep our own side of the street clean, so to say, it’s all good! I’m not saying never look at another person’s chart-- just do it with them present and have it be a tool for connecting, not for pulling strings or pushing buttons.
Because you know so much about all of the signs, have you ever found yourself avoiding dating someone because they’re a specific sign, or really pursued someone because they’re a sign you’re more compatible with?
No, in fact, in the past, i loved hooking up with “incompatible” signs because the sex was awesome! Too much compatibility in a chart can actually be quite boring -- there is no “spark!” This isn’t to say that drama is attractive, it’s not about that. It’s about intrigue!
Do you Taylor-Swift the people you date? Meaning, are there scenarios that you write about where someone could clearly say, ‘Oh shit, that was me!?”
I don’t think there is! If there is, it’s definitely unconscious. I used to fantasize about doing things like that, for sure, but once you get an opportunity to write a book, you’re like “oh shit, i better give this my 100% all,” and in an astrology book (unlike a music album or poetry or memoir), you really want to write for your readers, not for yourself, even though obviously, my past experiences with all the signs have colored my interpretations-- there’s just no deliberate references to past lovers! The same is true when I write the horoscopes for Astro Guide: I never include secret messages for people in the horoscopes. Horoscopes only have integrity when they’re true to the astrological transits, not your own ego. Of course, there are times when I’m teaching or writing about astrology where I will make references to my own life to make it relatable, but I’ll always be clear that that’s what I’m doing.
We’ve LOL’d before when you’ve defended internet witches, because their work is just as real as any. What’s your take on internet spirituality and mysticism right now?
You know… it’s lit. I love it. I’m proud. I love watching people do their thing. Some people think it’s a fad. Sure… some people might grow tired of it, but it’s not going anywhere. The internet lives in our pocket now, and that means we’ll post about what we’re doing… and a lot of us are witchy. I love it!
What is your advice to someone who’s interested in learning more about astrology? Any major Do’s and Don’ts?
Two big do’s: Make it a daily habit, and connect with people. Connecting with a community by attending astrology circles (or live by webinar where you really get a chance to interact and not just watch) is fantastic. So much of astrology, in my opinion, is learned through interaction, but of course, private study is important, too. I suggest using Astro Guide daily to learn what the planetary transits mean, and as a tool for self-reflection. For example, take note of how you feel each time the moon is in Taurus-- after a few months, you’ll have some pretty interesting insight!
Find Annabel on Instagram and Twitter @annabelgat
Read an Excerpt below of Annabel's Book courtesy of Chronicle Books!
Astrology is a very deep subject, and because I know you’re lovesick and want to cut to the chase, we’ll keep this brief: there are twelve signs on the zodiac wheel, and the distance between two signs speaks to the kind of lessons that couple will experience.
The sign before you on the wheel teaches you to trust your intuition and to explore your shadow side, while the sign ahead of you teaches you about self-worth and security. The sign two ahead of yours teaches you all about communication, while you teach the sign two signs back about friendship and community (although as we teach lessons, we learn them, too!). The sign three signs ahead teaches you about building a home, and the sign three signs before yours teaches you about building an empire. Creativity and celebration are lessons learned with the sign four places ahead, and the sign four behind encourages you to break free of your limitations and explore the world. The sign five signs ahead teaches you how to develop healthier habits, and the sign five signs before yours teaches deep lessons about intimacy and sharing, both emotionally and materially—these relationships push both parties to adjust in order to make things work. The opposite sign on the wheel, six places away, teaches us to compromise— opposites certainly attract, and they have a lot to learn from each other, as do couples who have the same zodiac sign and learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.
Examining these relationships between the signs relative to each other on the zodiac wheel was part of the process I took to write this book. The other part? Speaking with my friends, lovers, students, and teachers of different backgrounds, gender identities, sexualities, and relationship types.
Astrology is a tool, and it is also a language. An astrologer who doesn’t practice this language by talking with others can’t possibly speak to compatibility, no matter how many theoretical texts they read on the subject. I spent years learning about others’ experiences, which was a crucial part of writing this book. On that note, I want to remind you: anything you read in any astrology book is just a theory—until you test it out and find out for yourself. Your lived experience will teach you everything you need to know about compatibility.
Have you heard that you’re most compatible with people whose signs are the same element as you? Or that you should never date a certain sign? These ideas aren’t entertained in this book. I hope that you’ll never read some other compatibility book, or some write-up online, that screams, “Incompatible!,” leaving you deflated and hopeless—ignore them! A person wrote that, not the creator of the heavens. You are not your Sun sign. You’re a person; the person you are dating is also a person. People can choose to work through their issues, so believe me, any two signs can get along if they want to. There is no “star” rating in this book for signs, summing up how well two signs will get along.
If you visit a competent, qualified astrologer with copies of your and your love’s birth charts (with your lover’s consent, of course), the astrologer would read that information in more you. This book is a first step to understanding astrological compatibility—it’s a fine last step, too, but don’t confuse this book for being all that astrology has to offer. An astrologer would consider many other planetary placements, the angles between the planets, and the houses, and would combine your charts in different ways to examine the energy of the relationship. Indeed, compatibility is far more complex than just Sun signs, but it’s a fun place to start, and we may not want to rush to an astrologer with each crush we encounter!