Whether you’re a devoted astrology enthusiast, a casual horoscope reader, or an all-out skeptic or non-believer, you will learn something from this professional astrologer. Native Louisivillian Marilyn Gaddie is a professional astrologer, psychic, Reiki master, teacher, lecturer and writer. Her 40+ years in astrology have cultivated a profound understanding of signs and planets, and she has honed a career giving meaningful interpretations of individuals’ charts. The whole conversation with Marilyn couldn’t possibly have fit within the walls of one article. It was magical, meandering, and honestly piqued this astrology skeptic’s interest. Marilyn’s demeanor is calming but mysterious; her knowledge endless and impressive. I hope you find her as fascinating as we did!
11 Questions With a Professional Astrologer
How did you become interested in … and eventually learn … astrology?
I started studying in the ’70s. I was a bored young housewife, so I went to the bookstore all the time. I noticed a book on sun sign astrology. I took it home. The first chapter said that knowing your sun sign is only the beginning. Everything down to the minute of your birth means something. So I went back and got a book on how to learn; I got hooked. I learned the math to create the charts by hand — this was before computers, and it was very time-consuming. I eventually started taking private lessons from another astrologer in Louisville that I was lucky enough to find in the classified ads. The more I delved in, the more excited I got and the more convinced I was in the thousands of different meanings. I even started an astrology club that’s been going strong for 32 years!
Assuming a reader is a total novice, can you explain astrology in your own words?
Astrology is the study of the planets and the stars overhead at the exact moment of your birth. There are 12 imaginary lines called houses that an astrologer superimposes onto the night sky, then the planets and stars fall in different houses, and that’s what we look at. At different geographic locations, it will shift quite a bit. They keep finding all these new facets that play into the charts. Every four minutes, the chart changes. While astronomers simply view and study the stars and planets, we find deeper meaning.
If two people are born on the same day at the same time in the same location, their charts will be the same, but the outcomes will differ. Say, for example, two people in Chicago are born — one poor and one rich — within four minutes, they will experience their highs together (maybe the poor finally gets a great job and the rich one inherits his dad’s company) and their lows together.
As a sort of part two of the previous question, can you explain what each planet rules in your own words?
Sun is the most important of the chart, and it rules expressions of will power and important men in your life. Moon rules the female side of yourself, your emotions, and the most important women in your life. Mercury is how you think and communicate … it’s the conscious mind. Venus is love, money, possessions and self-worth. Mars is energy and how it’s used; work, sex, anger, war. Jupiter is how you expand, good luck, education, where you could over-do things like overspend, drive too fast, etc. Saturn is the teacher — it’s karma, structure, both of the body and of the home. Uranus brings freedom above everything, unique brilliance, the idea of know-it-all and differentiation. Neptune is about dreaming, psychic intuitive abilities, spirituality, drugs, disease, alcohol, addiction. Pluto is money, power, death, sex, endings, beginnings. And now we have a new one, Eris, striving to get ahead or competition, “I can’t take any more of this, and I am going to make a change”-type of thinking — but not always in a careful way as things could get out of hand. So all of these planets fall somewhere on your chart. Planets are like the actors, and the signs are like the clothing they put on — how they act it out.
What are a few common misconceptions you hear about astrology?
- Some people worry that I’m into witchcraft, and they say that what I do is “of the devil.”
- So many have read generalized information about their sun sign, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. Most people are novices and have no understanding of astrology aside from their sun sign. That’s changed a little bit since now so much is discoverable on the internet.
- People think that astrologers think everything is fate, but we don’t believe that! It’s a cycle, and it’s about the time of the cycle, but not an outcome, necessarily.
How much of life do you believe is fate vs. free will?
Earth is the planet of free will, and I believe in free will. The birth chart is the blueprint of your life, but there are so many variations that would be accurate. I can see the progressions and transits through the stages of your life, and they will tell you what time it is, but they don’t tell you how exactly to work that information. I think there are so many ways that your chart can work out, and it can be so very different for each person.
What is the most powerful or beneficial thing about astrology?
I believe it gives you a better understanding of yourself and others, and it immediately makes you more tolerant of people. It shows you how different we all are. We all have different qualities and skills. An Aries won’t sit still. But maybe a Pisces will sit there and listen. We are all differently equipped to handle what comes our way. Some detach, some make you think they’re doing the right thing but then don’t, others will dive in and meddle, and others will be stubborn. Your equipment is different from others’. It doesn’t make one bad. Astrology is also such a good timing device to know when to do something and when not to do something. Like a green light or red light.
Do you have a favorite sign?
Not really. Every aspect, house, and planet has good and bad meanings. It’s up to us to use our own free will to bring out the good qualities of our sign. I like that fire and air signs are fun and good times. A Saggitarius is fun to be around, and a Gemini tells great stories. Your own individual sign is so much more pinpointed than people realize.
What credentials or characteristics make a strong and reputable astrologer?
The best astrologer gleans deeper information from looking at your chart. A confident one will not say that you will for sure die on a certain day. In India, Vedic astrologers can do that, but I don’t think it’s in your best interest to be too pinpointed. You want to be open to what could possibly be. So I might predict the death of something, but it might not be the person, or the birth of something, but it might not be a baby. And a really good astrologer will inspire you and get the best out of your tendencies, talents, and aspects of your birth chart. They will inspire you to make better choices with the dynamics of the chart or what’s happening in the cycle of your chart.
Describe a success and a struggle that occurred during a session.
One time a reading didn’t go so well. I thought that a chart was really telling me the woman did not understand her father. The more I delved into this, the angrier and madder she got. She got up and left. If people don’t want to see something, if they back away from it that strongly, it’s time to shut it down and start on a different path. Ninety percent of the time, they leave thrilled with the information I uncover. That was a good lesson for me to read people better.
As for success stories, there have been several times I’ve seen a health crisis, and I told them to perhaps see a doctor. They’d later tell me that I might have saved their lives. I hesitate to say this because I don’t want people coming to me for health reasons only. A young person told me that I gave her a perspective on something that happened with her father that put it in a new light and transformed her relationship with him. Those stories really make me happy.
One more story shows how differently our predictions can play out. One woman who just had twins came in. She had planet Uranus bringing something big and unexpected, but I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t predict the exact event. I found out later that one night when her twins were six or seven weeks old, she went out to a bar, met a guy from Australia, and never went back to her twins.
Do you believe that religion and astrology can coexist?
I absolutely do. My study of astrology has made me a more spiritual person. It gives you an order to the universe. Everyone I have met through this profession says the same thing. There is a rhyme and a reason for everything. I have priests, bishops and nuns who come to me often! They believe in it, and it doesn’t interfere with their religion.
What are the stars telling us about what is happening in the world right now?
I am thinking there is going to be a change come the Spring of 2021, and I think it’s going to be rocky until then. We are all going through something else, too. The Dwarf planet Eris — the one who caused quite the stir when she was discovered because Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet — is squaring Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Aspects are the connections the planets make to each other in the sky now Saturn (older people, government leaders, CEOs, the status quo) is conjunct (beside) Pluto (power, plutocrats, transformation, deaths and endings, births and rebirths). Eris in Aries represents the disenfranchised people who are angry (Aries) and seek changes to the establishment.
The planet Neptune that has to do with disease and viruses is in its own sign of Pisces making a new virus but it also has the means to discover a cure or vaccine. This is manifesting in the world at large with government upheaval and major crisis, but it is also manifesting in our individual lives as major crises such as divorce, deaths, loss of jobs, illness are rising to record highs. We are being asked to transform to a higher level on which to operate our lives by claiming our personal power without demeaning others. It is interesting that Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn represent older people, and older people are the ones most dying from COVID-19 and, in the United States, we have two older men battling for the highest office but one now has a younger woman on his team representing the energy of Eris who puts up quite a battle. We all need to find a way to reclaim ourselves by making much-needed change. We are being tested on what role we play in our own life. Are we victim, villain or hero?
Thanks, Marilyn, for schooling us! To learn more about astrology, Marilyn suggests Heaven Knows What by Grant Louis and The Only Way To Learn Astrology by Joan McEvers and Marion D. March. Marilyn is reachable at marilyngaddie.com.
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