During stressful times of the pandemic, it appears people have been finding ways to dive deeper into their cosmic selves.
Alternative therapy methods, astrology in particular, have been helping people to cope with their stress.
“People are looking for what I call that cosmic hug, this reminder that you’re not alone in what you’re going through,” Alternative Therapist Faye Northgrave said.
Northgrave is based in Toronto, and one of her specialities is in astrological counselling.
Astrological counselling uses birth charts to bring context and meaning to issues people are going through. A birth chart shows the placement of different planets and celestial beings in the sky the moment you were born. Everyone’s birth chart is unique.
“I’m basically like a therapist who uses the subjective outside view to help guide,” Northgrave said.
Astrologers like Northgrave are becoming increasingly popular as the pandemic continues.
“It [astrology] is something to help take your mind off the pandemic,” said Milena Deviatkina, a second-year Business Management student at Humber College. She became interested in astrology over the past year because of the increase in information becoming available online and through social media.
“It’s interesting to learn how astrology connects people in different ways. It helps explain why we behave in different manners and experience situations,” said Deviatkina.
Social media is not the only way to learn about astrology. There are many services in Toronto that specialize in the practice.
Jennifer Fukushima is a Toronto astrologer and president of Astrology Toronto, a non-profit organization created to help promote the education of astrology.
“I think even prior to [the pandemic], there was definitely…younger people getting into astrology, becoming astrologers and astrology becoming more mainstream,” Fukushima said.
She said turning to astrology can help people to regain power in times of uncertainty.
“I think that in times when people feel so out of control they’re looking to regain control and be empowered in some way,” Fukushima said.
“I think it can bring a little more certainty, in terms of what’s coming up,” she said. “And just give some clarity and some answers.”
Alternative therapy can be a way for people to find, as Northgrave puts it, “meaning in chaos.”
“The biggest line that I hear after sessions is, ‘I feel so validated in what I’m feeling.’ And so often, we just need to feel that support,” she said.
“People [should] know that there are different alternative support systems out there,” Northgrave said. “And if astrology does, [resonate with you] it’s incredible.”
It is difficult to know who and what to trust with so much information about astrology online.
“I think that [general horoscopes] can really only go so far,” Fukushima said.
“Working with someone who has experience like a professional astrologer can allow you to harness it for all of the power that it has, and not just basic general information,” she said.
Fukushima and Northgrave are both offering services and courses online during the pandemic. This allows them to be accessible to everyone when they need it most.
“Finding an astrologer that you resonate with, finding resources, podcasts, those types of things… [you have to] weed out the poppy stuff if you are wanting to explore that more,” Northgrave said.
“It’s never-ending and that’s one of my favorite things about it,” she said. “I’m always learning, I will never stop learning about astrology.”