It was the night of the lunar eclipse, June 24 2002.

I was alone, because I had just split up from someone who had abused me emotionally for more than a year.

I had been literally “madly” in love with this man, but he’d cheated on me every which way, at home, on holidays, everywhere, and with everyone he could. He drank too much, he taunted me … and he’d had me wrapped around his little finger.

My intuition had known on every single level that he was sleeping with other women and, as it turned out, other men.

I had even felt physically ill, at times, when I could sense he had come home to me after being with someone else. I could feel it, I could almost smell it, but I had buried my feelings and ignored my knowing.  He denied it, he lied about it, he sneered and he laughed at, I guess, the utter stupidity of my acceptance of his deceit.

Finally, though, it had all come to a head when a dear friend of mine, Lucy, had the courage to call me to tell me about his latest affair. It turned out he was having it off with a woman Lucy and I both knew. I had actually introduced him to this other woman at a party. I remembered the moment they met. As we had left the party that night, I had thought I’d seen her slip something into his hand. Now I realised; it was her business card with her phone number on it.

Finally, there was no more denying it. Thanks to Lucy’s brave phone call to me, he was caught out in his web of lies . He couldn’t pretend or lie his way out of it anymore.

I had the info and I kicked him out of the house.

At first I was in shock. But as the days past, the pain surfaced. The pain of being lied to, the pain of being such an idiot, the pain of having my trust not just broken but having the shards of it rubbed into my face and my heart. Here I was, another broken “love” affair to my name, humiliated, failed. I would lie awake in bed piecing together all those times he said said he was doing X when clearly now I realised he was doing Y. I cried. I was tormented.

Inside, I was freaking out. All my energy while we had been together had gone into trying to make things work with him.

I had neglected my friends, to the point that as I sat there alone that night, there really wasn’t anyone to call. I had hidden what was going on in my life because I was ashamed of what I was putting up with. I didn’t want people to know the truth of my shitty existence. I had pretended I was fine and let my friendships lapse. Most of my friends couldn’t stand my ex anyway and didn’t fight too hard to be around.

I also basically had no job. I was a former newspaper and magazine journalist turned freelance writer. But again, all my energies in the past year and a half had gone into the relationship. I had scraped by on as little money as I could, writing articles only when I had to, to make ends meet.

I had seen friends going in the opposite direction to me. I particularly remembered the afternoon, a few months before the break up, when two of my best friends (who by then I hardly ever saw) had come to my flat to visit me, dripping in designer labels. Both worked in different parts of advertising. One drove a BMW and the other a convertible something-or-other.

I remembered looking at their outer signs of financial success and comparing myself to them, in my cheap beach clothes, with my rust bucket car in the driveway.

I had made my choices.

I wanted to work for myself but I had allowed my career path to get mangled. I had rejected the corporate world and its high salaries because I loved to write. But for what? Where was I with that?

As I sat there in there that night of the eclipse, huddled up against a radiator, wrapped in a blanket, sobbing ans shivering at the cold which air seeped through the cracks of the doors and windows of my badly-insulated flat, I wondered; how had I allowed it come to this? What was I doing here, with the curtains drawn, using wine to down a sleeping pill so I could at least leave my life for a few hours while I slept, with no plans for tomorrow?

I had no money coming in, no idea of how to create it, and no ability to talk to people to ask them the way forwards because I didn’t want people to know about the mess I was in. I was defeated and I had lost my lust for life.

I didn’t want my ex to win…

When I got down to it, if I really dug deep, I knew that I still wanted to make something of myself if for no other reason than I didn’t want my ex to win.

In his most twisted moments, in our darkest times, he had joked cruelly that he would “break” me. I wanted to make sure this prediction Did Not Come True. I was nearly broken, but I would put myself back together and I would show myself and the world what was made of. I would recover.

I knew there was a path out of my situation, I just didn’t know how to get onto it.

Until I realised. Of course I had a way out.

I had astrology and moonology!

I had been practising astrology daily, more or less in secret for the past few years. I did it in secret while my ex was out at work because he hated it and said it was “for the feeble-minded”. If he ever caught me looking at a chart (probably trying to work out what kind of mood he might be in that day) it would lead to an argument.

But now I was free of him and free to pursue my passion for the ancient art whenever and however much I liked.

And so I did.

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I started by looking at the eclipses that were happening at around this time and which were triggering my chart.

I had had an eclipse on my Venus as Saturn rolled over the same planet. No wonder I had been reduced to this mess.

Eclipses put us where we need to be and Saturn is always old news; if you haven’t wised up and faced up, Saturn will make you. Just for good measure, I’d also had the eclipse on my Sun.

Looking at this astrology and moonology was painful. Textbook. But it also made sense. I could see exactly why I was where I was. Because I had allowed it to happened. The more off your path you are at the time of an eclipse, the harder it is to deal with. And I was WAY off path!

I felt ashamed at how poorly and unconsciously I had handled the transits. I could have lived more consciously and used them to turn my life around before I hit rock bottom.

But it wasn’t too late. I was still alive!

I made the decision there and then to use astrology and moonology as my navigation system to find my way back to ME. As soon as I did that, a whole lot of the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. It was as though the eclipse had set me free and suddenly It was all unfolding in front of me.

As a part of my recovery, I started writing Daily Moon Meditations on my blog. It became a life-saving ritual. Remember I was a freelance writer working from home so I had no structure to speak of. So I created structure.

Every morning, after my coffee, the first thing I would do as I sat at my computer, was look at the stars and write about the day’s energies. This was pre-Facebook, so I shared my morning findings via a Yahoo! list and quickly attracted hundreds and eventually thousands of people who were happy to get my Moon Meditations every day.

People said they loved them. And I loved writing them! I wrote them from the heart and used the Sun, Moon and stars to guide me and anyone else who was interested.

I truly believe that it was writing this Daily Moon Meditations saved and then transformed my life.

Paying attention to the skies in this way changed everything. Becoming hyper-aware of the energies, I started to do my New and Full Moon work in earnest. I started to feel excited about life and its possibilities again. The more I wrote my daily Moon Meditations, the more everything started feel better. Once I was clear on what I wanted, once I started to make my New Moon wishes and do my Full Moon release work, I became freer, happier and stronger.

Around this time, I started to tell people that I wanted to write more astrology and moonology. Whenever it came up, as an affirmation to the Universe, I would tell people “Yeah, I love journalism but what I really want to do is write astrology…”

Lo and behold, it worked!

Thanks to a series of events, I started writing for the late great Jonathan Cainer – I wrote his monthly stars under my name with my photo. The feedback I got from readers for my Daily Moon Meditations and the Cainer columns literally seemed to energetically prop me up and help me as I started all over again, only this time consciously and with the Sun, Moon and stars as my guide.

Very soon, I was offered my very first astrology column.

It was back in the day when print media was thriving. I was single with few expenses, so the fee for it was enough to live on. I was able to devote myself to writing that column and studying astrology.

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At this stage, I bought my very first professional astrology software – this was a major commitment from me as it was quite expensive by my standards at the time. But I knew that I needed to focus on using the Sun, Moon and stars to help me find my way out of the mess I had allowed myself to get sucked into. Astrology was no longer an option, it was an essential.

I was finally getting myself out of the hole…

I was studying my chart every day and using it to help me understand where I had gone wrong in the past, what to do now and which opportunities lay ahead. I was setting New Moon intentions and making wishes and they were coming true. I was starting to time things based on astrology and Moonology as I knew it worked better when I did. I felt empowered and – slowly but surely – happy to be alive.

My ex had given up and stopped bothering me, and summer was coming. I felt as though I had made it through.

Actually I was amazed at how my life was transforming.

I even started to get a little bit excited, in a good way, about the next round of eclipses due in December. I could see how the Sun, Moon and stars had – as foretold – wrenched me out of my past and into a much brighter future.

Everything was going well. I was loving the study, I even went to the UK and did a famous “astrology summer school” week and loved connecting with other astrologers and hearing lectures from some of the most famous astrologers alive.

The truth was, I was starting to get quite good at astrology, too. People at the conference kept telling me that I needed to go further with it, that I had some potential they could see. But from my perspective, actually the whole astrology and moonology thing was almost getting a bit out of hand.

I would spend hours and hours every day, looking at my chart, matching it up events in my past to understand the energies and as my teacher at the time said, testing it, testing it, testing it. I would look at celebrity charts and compare it with their dramas as featured in the tabloids, I did friends’ charts, and world charts and I finally started to breathe again… I wanted other people to understand how astrology and moonology had helped me and could help them too.

The trouble was…

My only conflict over all this was that apart from this one column, everything else I was doing astrologically, studying and writing, was completely unpaid.

I was doing it purely for love and while that was fine, I had got to the stage where I needed more cash. I was feeling good enough about life to want to live by myself for a while, rather than with a flatmate, which would mean more expensive rent. I wanted to go out with my loyal and long-suffering friends again, which meant dressing like a regular human being, and also paying for nights out/dinners/drinks. And I really wanted to travel more, too.

#obsessed 

I was worried that my interest in astrology, which in some ways had saved me, had become an obsession. I was barely writing any regular freelance articles anymore, because I was studying astrology all day and when I wasn’t doing that, I was giving people free readings and writing about it, when I should have been coming up with story ideas, pitching them to magazine and newspaper editors and writing articles, as a freelancer, as I had done for years before all this. What was this madness I was into?

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One afternoon, I discussed all this with a very rational Capricorn friend who acknowledged that perhaps my passion for astrology had indeed spiralled out of control and needed to reign it in.

She asked me what I planned to do about it. With a heavy heart, I decided, maybe I needed to act. I was better now. Astrology had got me through the roughest period of my life but maybe now it was time for me to return to “normal life”?

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Feeling very sad, (which actually should have been a red flag), I agreed with my friend that I would stop this astrology nonsense and get back to real life as a freelance writer.

My first step in this direction would be to take all my astrology books and put them in the garage downstairs so I wouldn’t be tempted to read them when I should be doing normal work. And we would do it now. And so we did. My friend and I filled up four milk crates of astrology books and together we marched them downstairs to the garage where I stacked them up against the wall.

That done, we returned to my flat for a cuppa, to talk about the new direction my life was going to take.

Enough of this astrology madness! It had helped me but I needed to stop now, right?

Wrong, apparently!

Not half an hour later, as we sat chatting, my flatmate of the time came home. He walked into us in the living room and I saw straight away HE HAD THE FOUR MILK CRATES OF ASTROLOGY BOOKS IN HIS HANDS.

I was completely astounded and more than a bit amused when he plonked them down in the middle of the living room and said “I found these in the garage? They’re yours, aren’t they? I thought I should bring them up.”

My friend and I looked at each other in amazement.

It was clear that the Universe was telling me NOT to give up astrology. I could hardly have had a louder message. And so with that, I did a 180 degree turn and instead of giving up astrology and moonology, quite the contrary, I threw myself into it with more gusto than ever.

I realised that we all need guidance, and the skies are the easiest place to find that – I wanted to help others to find their way after being lost too.

I told the Universe that I wanted to ditch my old life as a regular freelancer and from now on, all I wanted to write was astrology articles and columns. And before too long I had a second column, then a third and a fourth and more.

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And so my new journey as an astrologer took off. I was beyond happy doing something I loved. My life had taken a new direction and I finally understood why people said that “what happens at the time of an eclipse can be painful but it’s nearly always for the best”.

What I loved was getting to read about and study and “do” astrology all day every day AND GET PAID FOR IT!

I also absolutely LOVED all the feedback I had from readers every day who told me that my Daily Moon Meditations and growing list of horoscope columns helped them the way astrology had helped me. And that was my motivation. To help others get out of their rough patches with astrology as their guide,  just as I had done.

Along the way, I upped my moonology explorations and so eventually I ended up in Paris wishing for love under the Eiffel Tower. Which is how I finally met the two greatest loves of my life; my husband and our son.

But that’s a story for another time.

I am so glad I followed my heart and the Sun, Moon and stars.

And PS I am still writing the Daily Moon Meditations – you can sign up for them here.

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