1. How did you get interested/started in astrology?
Born in 1960, I was at the perfect impressionable age so that when Beatlemaniac aunts turned to the literature of the Age of Aquarius I definitely got some good eavesdropping in. My grandmother, born 1914, Armenian emigrant parents was WAY into astrology. I don't think it's an Armenian thing so much as a need for my family to understand other people's motivations. Why do some people respond one way to stress or delight and others do not? Why are some people shy or self-doubting, and others need an audience? Coming from a large and sprawling family gave us plenty of data to work with, shall we say. My book, "The Astrological Elements" collects all my "wonderings" against the predictable and exciting tapestry of astrological archetypes.
2. What are some misconceptions people have about your field?
I can't say because I quickly disabuse folks at classes and workshops by saying, "okay, even if you don't know anything about astrology, can you tell me how you are EXACTLY like your sun sign?" Then we talk about the effect of the full moon which is prodigious and varied and absolutely cross cultural. Every small group of humans no matter where they are -- on a remote island, or a mountain ridge -- notices the moon has this craz-z-zy 29.5 or so day pattern. Which corresponds to shifts of behavior in all the mammals.
3. Where did you get the idea for the new book?
My husband, Chuck Warner suggested I write four books: one for each of the elements. My editor at Llewellyn thought it worked better as one volume and I have to agree because even one book takes a lot of time to write!
4. Were there any "surprises" in writing the book?
I wrote much of this book in December 2008. At the time, I was in my 2nd trimester with daughter Jet and on December 12, we had an ice storm in my part of Massachusetts that knocked out power for weeks. We were without power for 12 days, which was the time I had to finish the book. Chuck hooked us up a generator so I could run my PC and get most of it in shipshape and I finished in early January. I do not recommend writing a book while pregnant and without power in your house.
5. Can you give me an example of an interpersonal relationship where knowing people's signs helped work things out? I'm thinking of a teacher/student or boss/subordinate kind of thing. I think most people are already used to thinking "signs" with significant others; but if you have a great anecdote on that, please feel free to share.
I've worked in a variety of offices, which supplied a lot of interesting information for the "Working with sun signs" chapters. I've worked with smart, imaginative people who inspired you to do better and I've worked for slackers who don't know how to run a meeting, let alone conduct a business. I've noticed various patterns, depending on the element. Depending on the industry, with a fire sign boss (Aries, Sagittarius and Leo), they'll expect some initative from you and they may lack follow through or interest in how things turn out. But they'll always have new ideas. Earth sign bosses (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) can be great because they'll be consistent in expectation and keep an eye on the bottom line. I've had friends who've worked at places where they couldn't cash a check on time. That rarely happens with earth people at the helm (unless their chart is totally hinky). Air sign bosses (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra) generally don't stay in the same position for a long time, but it can happen. They can be imaginative, inconsistent and needing reminders as to what it is they decided. Water sign bosses (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) will, no matter HOW high up the food chain they are, always sympathize with the worker against "the man." They're amazingly emotionally flexible and I've known folks who have great loyalty towards their water (and earth) sign bosses.