Come join NWS and Alice Sparkly Kat tomorrow to begin this 101 course on astrology. Alice’s event Astrology and Storytelling, will encompass learning the history of astrology to understanding how astrological meanings are generated. The course will respond to and challenge the giant body of work that white astrologists have produced and will help you use astrological methods of telling time to innovate personal story telling. Whether you want to drop by one class or participate in the 7- week course, it will take place every Sunday starting May 20th at 1- 3 pm. One class is $50 and the whole course is $300. Please read below to learn more about Alice’s perspective on astrology!
- How long have you been living in NYC?
7 years and still trying to figure out the best way to exist here. I moved here because I grew up in Iowa and was looking for more people of color. I went to live in China after high school but that didn’t feel right so I came to New York. When I moved, however, I didn’t know I’d be displacing people of color by coming here. I feel a little stuck because I don’t want to keep doing this but also don’t want to live in more rural areas of America.
2. What inspired you to begin your project?
I was stuck in a relationship and life situations where there was a lot of gas lighting going on. I reached a low point in my life. Astrology helped me realize that I can make my own truth.
3. Why do you think Astrology is so popular right now? *
Being cynical me, I think it’s partly because astrology is very useful for marketers. Also, queer subcultures like astrology are now mainstream. This is why we need to bring the DIY quality of astrology back, where you make your own meanings. You don’t just believe things that a website or an astrologer tells you. It’s a process of negotiation and trying to understand each other.
4. How long have you been practicing Astrology?
5. What are some of the common misconceptions and myths about Astrology that you wish to dispel?
That it’s mystical or operates at a level beyond race/class/gender. Every meaning we have comes from our history and geography. Astrology isn’t here to offer you an out from talking about systemic oppression — it’s here to describe your relationship to that oppression. And once you’re aware of meaning, you can warp it.
6. Can you explain a little bit more about what you mean by the ‘zodiac as the western matris of control?’
I think there’s a feeling that only people of color know — it’s this frustration that no matter how you choose to represent yourself, your image can and already has been taken from you to serve other people’s agendas. You can represent yourself as strong, authentic, or even politically disobedient — that image will be taken from you and used in ways that don’t benefit you.
So, the problem isn’t with the choices we have or the ways people are choosing but with the meanings themselves. How can you make someone choose between positivity and negativity when neither of these meanings benefit them? One upholds expectations of optimism despite everyday violence and the other takes the negative person and isolates them from “good” society.
To see someone’s chart, you need a time and place, or a history and geography. So what is the history and geography of astrology? It developed with patriarchy, with racism, with capitalism. And the importation of the western zodiac onto places where it doesn’t make ecological sense, including North America, is globalization. By looking at this zodiac with critical distance, we suddenly have a pictorial language of how these meanings were shaped and shape us. That’s not the power of astrology — it’s the power of us reacting to astrology.
7. Who is this seven-week course ideally for and could benefit the most from learning?
This course is for marginalized people. I designed it for those who want to learn the language of astrology and, at the same time, figure out together how to move it so that we have control over the meanings in our lives.
8. What kind of effects have you seen in your community through your work?
I hear back from clients sometimes who have made decisions about their lives and benefit from those decisions. I love it when I hear those stories. I usually ask people to make decisions or commit to actions in the readings because this makes the session worth it.
People have also made friends in the workshops. I love that too! I hope to bring people together during my work.
9. How can other people get involved?
I’m super open to collaboration. You can book a reading with me on my website (www.alicesparklykat.com), sign up for my seven week course at NWS, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved in other ways.
10. As a space that uplifts the voices of self-identified women, femme, queer, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, we’d love to know: what kind of space do you need to be your whole self?
I honestly just need a place with queer people of color present. I have social anxiety around white, straight people so I don’t show up when there’s too many present.