January 29, 2020 at 01:00PM by CWC
Last year, the New York Times claimed therapists are now scrambling to learn astrology, and yeah, that checks out. We’re all on this big journey to Figure Ourselves Out, which may even explain why Dictionary.com’s word of the year for 2019 was “existential.” Now, many of us are taking the nooks and crannies of our natal chart about as seriously as we take the maintenance of our mental health. And that’s A-okay with psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed, PhD, who’s made a living from melding the two with her focus on psychological astrology reading.
Both psychology and astrology have informed Dr. Freed’s career for decades. In fact, the author of the star-sanctioned guidebook Use Your Planets Wisely says she’s always had an interest in astrology but was “born in New York City to a highly cynical, Jewish, intellectual family that would have nothing to do with astrology.” In college, she became acquainted with the field psychology, and spent a lot of her free time doing volunteer counseling. At the same time, she was having regular sessions with an astrologer named Elvina Manning, who she says, after a single session, knew her better than anyone had ever known her .
Dr. Freed passionately studied both psychology and astrology simultaneously, gaining her Master’s degree and doctorate along the way, and incorporating the stars into her work. And by her late twenties, she was training other therapists how to do astrology and use it in their sessions. Fast-forward to a frigid December day in 2019, when my path crossed hers (on purpose, with a scheduled meeting, it’s worth noting).
If you’re as curious about what a psychological astrology reading entails as I was before I met with Dr. Freed, keep reading.
What happens during a psychological astrology reading
Dr. Freed conceptualizes each reading as a “consultation of divine possibilities and divine timing,” and, more importantly, a dialogue. In a psychological astrology reading, you’re the expert on who you are because you know yourself best. This means Dr. Freed won’t tell you who you are. Rather, she shares what the chart suggests, and you share the relevant information that can help inform your best course of action.
“It’s really about what you know about yourself, and me helping you enrich that and create the possibility of more efficient or evolved strategy.” —psychological astrologer, Jennifer Freed, PhD
“It’s really about what you know about yourself, and me helping you enrich that and create the possibility of more efficient or evolved strategy,” she says. The goal is to be able to celebrate your life to its maximum potential, and she does it using the nitty-gritty details of your natal chart.
A psychological astrology reading is guided self-care, love advice, and career counseling in one
Looking at my chart, first Dr. Freed notes my sun sign is in Taurus, which is a very, very broad zodiac stroke. Then she elaborates that it’s in the astrological house of intense emotional connection. This means that during my lifetime I want to bond very, very closely with people. And, yep, that diagnoses tracks.
She then points out that my Virgo moon and Virgo rising make me an ideal journalist (oh, good!). Having an eye for detail and a desire to do things well reflects positively at work. But in my personal life, my challenge is practicing self-compassion, giving myself the benefit of the doubt, and “believing that your path is perfect, even with all the flaws,” she says. “That’s probably your biggest assignment this lifetime is learning to let go and have faith and divine timing.”
I tell her she’s right, and that living on an over-planned timeline was very much my M.O. until a rough breakup happened in [checks calendar] August. And as it turns out, my chart actually reflects that breakup, noting that a pattern ended around that time. To Dr. Freed, even if the breakup wasn’t completely on my terms, it points to a break that allows for freedom: No more holding out for almost-maybe people, because someone more balanced might even be on the way.
“So you want to be with somebody, I think, a little older than you who’s solid, established, and gets a kick out of you because you’re a handful,” she says, noting that there’s an “extremely auspicious” transit in April and May that might allow me to find that kind of person. To that, I say: Bring it on, universe.
Around now is when I realize that Dr. Freed really is using my chart while also listening to me and my nuances, effectively calling in both the backgrounds of astrology and psychology. She’s offering advice and insights based on my experiences, backed up by my celestial essence. As the reading went on, I was continually shocked by the true energy of a therapy session that persisted, down to me crying and addressing how to handle my natural caretaker tendencies.
Dr. Freed uses her craft to erase looking at the future with anxiety, and instead she’s extra discerning with her words to create a supportive, encouraging path filled with opportunities.
Dr. Freed tackled the next two years of my life, letting me know that I have potential to have professional success, so long as I don’t get distracted by anyone who could drain me. So one actionable takeaway from my session is to lean into my desire and ambition to be a boss at work, and less involved with emotional vampires. “No improving people,” she says. “Do it for your writing, not for your people.”
Her unique combination of high-level zodiac knowledge and psychological-counseling prowess make the astrology reading so unlike any daily-horoscope-reading experience I’ve had (which generally involve me freaking out about the bad day ahead). That’s because Dr. Freed uses her craft to erase looking at the future with anxiety, and instead she’s extra discerning with her words to create a supportive, encouraging path filled with opportunities.
So, to get back to existentialism, now is a very scary time to be alive, and it’s important to not feel so alone as you wrestle for your place in the world. Therapy is always an avenue for introspection and healing that I encourage, and an astrology reading is definitely enhanced when done through an accredited therapeutic lens. If you can’t book yourself a psychological astrology reading on the immediate, Dr. Freed’s book offers a DIY approach for using your chart to unlock positive personal learnings, supported by her guidance.
And it’s good guidance: After my sniffles-laden session ended, I felt brave and ready for my future, armed with meticulously outlined attack plan. (A Virgo Moon doesn’t wane overnight, after all.)