Finally: An Astrology Guide for Modern Times
Shewolfe and Beatrix Gravesguard are the authors of The Astrological Grimoire: Timeless Horoscopes, Modern Rituals, and Creative Altars for Self-Discovery. They tell us how astrology is relevant today, what they didn’t want to put in their book, and what they found when they visited an occult book vault.
When we sat down to conjure The Astrological Grimoire, we thought about all the things we didn’t want it to be in addition to what we did want. Astrology is an ancient system that has fallen in and out of popularity for centuries. It tends to return during times of collective uncertainty, when people seek stability and meaningful interpretations of events. In 2019, astrology has expanded beyond the esoteric into a pop cultural language for self-identifying and relating to others.
Astrology books of the past often seem formulaic and dated; you might skip straight to the chapter about your sun sign and ignore the rest, or buy a book focused on one sign. Older astrology books often present signs as static and unchangeable aspects of self. In truth, we are constantly shifting and evolving. We experience time linearly and cyclically. As we progress through our lives, we are also revisited by our past selves and confronted by familiar patterns while learning and growing from them. How are you different than you were a month ago? How are you the same? We want the book to help you access and examine the malleable, transformative quality of being human. What if we uncovered pertinent information for everyone in every sign, an entire book you could explore in a non-linear way?
We are constantly shifting and evolving.
While writing the book, we visited the occult books vault collection at the Philosophical Research Library in Los Angeles. We’re not sure what we expected to find: magical secrets held under lock and key? Instead, we found dusty tomes full of patriarchal constructs, racist stereotypes, gendered and classist language, and ties to pseudoscientific practices like physiognomy (the judging of character or destiny based on physical appearance).
We realized there was space for something new, something interactive and evergreen, less this is who you are and more here are some possibilities for who you can be. This version of astrology embraces uncertainty, favors perception over judgment, invites a multifaceted perspective to self-discovery, and honors the mysteries of life within the vastness of the cosmos.
The Astrological Grimoire uses astrology as a tool, a lens, an organizing framework, an archetypal system, and a narrative cycle. Astrology can be like fiction: it reveals deep truths on intuitive and emotional levels, without needing to be true itself. We read novels and watch movies to relate to other characters and ways of being. Likewise, astrology offers us different selves to try on, questions to ask, and structures to use toward our understanding of the world.
Astrology can be like fiction: it reveals deep truths on intuitive and emotional levels, without needing to be true itself.
We wrote The Astrological Grimoire to give you a sense of agency and a choose-your-own-adventure spirit, and the option to discard what doesn’t work for you. We can’t (and won’t) tell you who you are or what will become of you, but we give you experiments to help you decide that for yourself.
We often want answers that we cannot have, but we can identify the questions that help us navigate uncertainty on psychological, practical, and spiritual levels. The Astrological Grimoire is a tool for expanding your ideas of self and community, and your sense of place and responsibility in the world.
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Shewolfe and Beatrix Gravesguard (also known as Helen Tseng and Melissa Graeber) are the witches behind the Astral Projection Radio Hour. They live in San Francisco.
Find The Astrological Grimoire here.
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