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Zodiac illustration of Aries

What astrology has taught me

I first discovered astrology at a time in my life when I was stuck.
For one, my obsessive desire to be a successful artist seemed to have run aground and I wondered was the Universe working against me? Was I just unlucky? Or just plain ‘not good enough’? Was it a sign that this wasn’t meant to be?

Can you relate to that kind of situation where it feels like an uphill battle and things we have no control over keep blocking the path?

Ah, such a human dilemma! As a species we’ve been chasing that elusive control over our fate since the time before time. Whether it involved inspecting the entrails of chickens, or visiting the priestesses at Delphi for some incomprehensible gibberish, we’ve pursued this hope that if we could just unravel the signs they would reveal the secrets of what the gods had in store for us.

Astrology provided fuel for my obsession to decode the mystery of who I am. (Notice this theme of obsession running through my oeuvre?? And yep, it can be seen in my astro-chart). I’ve always felt different – you know, the weird kid at school, the oddball who didn’t know how to do things right – and I desperately wanted that difference to make me distinctive, instead of a victim of ‘not good enough’.

So initially, like many others, I was drawn by astrology’s promise to reveal destiny.
And I had really high hopes of what I would find – although I confess I was a bit disappointed. It felt like Alice’s rabbit hole and I could keep digging forever without finding definitive ‘answers’…

Now, 20 years later, and with the comforting retrospection that only time affords, I recognise that astrology doesn’t hold all the answers, but it does give us the ability to develop tremendously useful wisdom of the most practical kind.

In fact, there are 4 very useful things that astrology has taught me.

1. Perspective.

Or what I like to think is ‘the God’s-eye view’ – that view from a great height or depth or distance.

What the soul knows that the brain doesn’t.

When we understand how certain qualities we possess create our expectations of what we’ll meet in the world, we can cultivate the ability to ‘step outside’ of the frame and get that ‘big picture’ view.

Astrology gives me perspective on how I ‘operate’ – not only my character traits, but also what my soul is learning in this lifetime.

Ironically, I only developed perspective after I stopped relying on astrology for all the answers to even the little things. Because astrology’s greatest promise is to be a map for the soul, and maps give us a perspective we don’t have when we’re on the ground with the road in front of us. That’s why I refer to the astrology sessions I offer as soul-mapping.

If we start to believe astrology offers all the answers we lose the ability to access the truth it really does offer.

So now I think of our charts as our own personal sacred geometry, a map we can use to navigate life.

Capricorn and Sagittarius
from: Constellations of the Zodiac, Atlas Maritimus by John Seller, 1679

2. Compassion.

With perspective comes compassion. Too often in the age of psychiatry we’re fond of blaming others (especially mum or dad) for our foibles and failings.

Astrology shows me I’m not a victim, and what I’ve experienced is what my soul expected to experience.

It also shows what’s to be learned through having that experience.

I can’t tell you how huge a leap this enables. It helps move me move through resentment and blame, even in the most challenging experiences.
And so perspective has helped me cultivate compassion – for myself, for my parents, or for anyone who’s presented me with challenges  – in way that is completely natural, not forced or obliged.

3. What to do when things get challenging.

Perspective and compassion underpin the ability to know when to act and when to wait patiently. (Or in my case, as a rampant Aries, how to learn patience!)

Astrology not only reveals where I need to be paying attention when the proverbial hits the fan, but also the nature of a challenge – and it’s ‘reason’.

It provides the shortest route to the heart of the matter.
And shows how this challenge fits into the much larger play of time, and my own personal mythology unfolding over a lifespan. It’s even possible to see where it fits the collective challenge of a generation or an era.

4. Repetition is necessary

And in respect to the ‘play of time’ – do you find yourself still doing things that you think you should be over by now? Like perhaps you’re always ‘choosing the wrong man’. Or you could be in a work situation and suddenly feel like you’re reacting in a way that takes you straight back to some high-school horror story…

We think we should be past that by now, but repetition doesn’t mean you’re stupid and you’ve learned nothing.

Astrology has helped me to be OK with repetition because I recognise that when I’m repeating myself it just shows where I’m not really awake yet to what I’m supposed to be learning about this particular theme that keeps recurring in my life.

So that means I really know I’ve ‘got it’ when I don’t repeat it anymore. And maybe that’ll be never!!


Aries the ram
from: Constellations of the Zodiac, Atlas Maritimus by John Seller, 1679


Essentially, astrology shows me a more wholistic picture of who I am, and how to be more of me – to accept myself as I am.
It helps me get comfortable with being both the shadows and the light.

I don’t need to ‘overcome’ some bits of me in order to be a better human.
Because in every quality there is an advantage and a hindrance.

Of course developing the above skills doesn’t mean life is easy… but it sure makes it easier to deal with.

(P.S. If you want to know more about my astrology technique check out the Body + Soul Code sessions.)

Jewels tell stories

When I was about 10, I wrote my first novel, an epic adventure about a warrior princess. Painstakingly hand written in book format, I drew the cover design (on her chariot leading the troops – I think I’d just heard about Boadicea), stapled it together and presented it to my parents for their reading pleasure.

Needless to say I didn’t get the rave reviews that help one to top the New York Times bestseller list. But, for a while there I was quite convinced that I was going to be a novelist (this was after I was going to be an actress, and before I was going to be an architect).

And then I ended up being a jeweller, and I could never work out why cos it was never on the list.
Except I always enjoy telling the tale that I saw ‘gold & silversmithing’ in the art college prospectus and had visions of lost ancient worlds (at some point archaeologist was on the list too).


Now I realise that jewellery is storytelling.
Making jewellery involves stories, not just the ideas, but the materials – gems, metals, feathers, etc, all have tales to tell. Then there’s their life once they leave the maker’s bench, and begin to inhabit bodies and jewellery boxes and shoeboxes under the bed. They get lost, or stolen, they end up in the middle of someone else’s story.

I was fascinated to learn that gold never breaks down, and the vast majority of gold in circulation, even in new pieces of jewellery, has been out of the ground for many centuries.

Molecules of time, crossing centuries and passing through many lives.
A ring made from antelope horn found in a market in Marrakech, my grandmother’s engagement ring, a pair of sparkly crystal earrings my mother wore dancing at Cloudland (it’s a Brisbane thang…).

One of the things that I love about having made jewellery for more than 20 years is now so many pieces have stories to tell about all that time they’ve spent with their peeps.
Some are still being worn daily, others wait quietly for their moment in the spotlight again.

Not so long ago I got an email from someone who’d felt the urge to bring one of her SKjewels (circa 1991) out of the closet again.
“I gave my piece an outing last week” she said “and the old magic was definitely there with many compliments.”
How fantastic that the necklace had a chance to work its glamour again, that jewel and wearer could work it together!

A while back I thought about compiling all the stories that people have told me about their pieces of jewellery. But I never did, and now I can’t remember most of the tales.

Do you have a piece of SKJ ancient history? Or perhaps it’s more recent history? Or do you have a fantastic story about a piece of jewellery you inherited, you found somewhere, or that you lost and is out there still travelling? If you do have a tale to tell please tell me by leaving a comment below…