“Is there anything else that you have any lingering questions about?” the older woman sitting across from me asked. I replied hesitantly. "Yes," I said. "I’m torn on whether or not I should break up with my boyfriend.”
We were sitting in a makeshift office in this woman Charlotte's living room on a cold, gloomy day in the middle of February. Her cozy home was overloaded with tiny trinkets and knitted blankets, and she still had her Christmas decorations up. Charlotte had spent the last hour creating and reading my astrological chart, accurately describing events of my past right down to the month and year, and informing me of what my future might hold. But she was strangely silent on the topic that brought me to her in the first place: my relationship.
I came to Charlotte on the recommendation of my therapist. I began therapy because I was feeling stuck, questioning everything in my life, including my loving, supportive, happy relationship with my boyfriend of nearly four years. We met during college in Austin and survived two years of long distance before work brought him back to the city. He was a loyal friend, a thoughtful listener, and honestly, the best roommate I had ever had. He was charming and could make a friend out of anyone. He once made small talk with the guy installing our internet, and by the time the job was done, the maintenance man actually offered to help us finish moving, a task so large and awful that not even our parents or closest friends had volunteered. He checked every box. He was everything I thought I wanted. But why did I feel so unsure about our relationship?
I quickly realized the problem wasn’t with him — it was with me. I threw myself into therapy hoping for an answer and a quick fix for my obviously malfunctioning brain. When a great guy loves you unconditionally and you question if you feel the same, you should clearly seek professional help, right? I found a therapist, explained my issue, and naïvely expected to be presented with a solution within the first few sessions. But I soon learned that therapy isn't like a doctor's appointment. You don’t walk in with a list of your complaints and walk out with a prescription that will magically undo your past and rewrite your future.
After two months of weekly sessions, I felt like I knew myself better than before, but I was still no closer to knowing what I wanted. Therapy was beneficial in many ways, but I eventually got tired of talking myself in circles around the issue. My therapist wouldn't tell me what to do. But when I mentioned that maybe I couldn't make up my mind because I'm a Gemini, her ears perked up.
“If you’re into astrology, I know this incredible woman that reads your chart and can give you extremely accurate predictions about your future. I saw her years ago and she knew exactly when I would end up getting married,” my therapist said.
Coming from a woman whose typical dialogue in our sessions was limited to, “Where do you feel that emotion in your body?” and, "Tell me what's coming up for you right now," this new information was positively thrilling. If therapy couldn’t give me the clear answers I wanted, this astrologer would be my next step. I didn't know if I really believed in astrology all that much, but I was willing to try anything. I called Charlotte the next day.
A month later (a telltale sign of her abilities — she had a waitlist), I met with Charlotte, who told me she had been practicing Vedic astrology since 1991. Vedic astrology is based on ancient Hindu spiritual texts; its followers believe that the position of the planets and stars at the moment of your birth can guide or predict your personality and the timeline of your life. Charlotte explained that Western astrology is based on the Earth’s relationship to the sun, but due to a phenomenon called “precession of the equinoxes,” in which we lose an entire day in Earth’s revolution every 72 years, Western astrology’s math is off by around 25 days. Vedic astrologers are known for their precisely accurate predictions, which was enough to convince me. I forked over $180 and the exact time and date of my birth.
Unlike in therapy, I didn’t tell Charlotte why I was there right away, and I didn’t tell her who sent me. This was my sneaky way of testing how well she knew her stuff. Over our 90-minute reading, she gave me extremely accurate retellings about my birth, my childhood, and several major events in my life. She then used my chart to tell me about my future and my career. She noted that the placement of Mercury in my chart suggests I would be great at working with my hands. She also said I would spend the next few years establishing my network, building my skills, and preparing for huge life changes likely to come in 2022 and 2023.
Throughout her reading, I kept waiting for her to bring up my current romantic relationship, seeing as it was such a big part of my life the last four years, but she never did. He didn’t appear in my past, and any references she made to a romantic partner in the future didn’t fit my current boyfriend. I was so enthralled by her reading and so excited by what my future might hold that I almost forgot why I was there in the first place. At the end of the session, I asked what she thought I should do about my relationship. I braced myself for her answer.
“I can tell it’s been a push and pull for quite some time," she observed. "Right now is a time of easily letting go. You’ve already started, haven’t you?”
I nodded silently. She was right. This was the reason I began therapy.
“If that’s the case, you need to trust yourself," she said. "You’re completely prepared to logically explain why this relationship isn’t working for you." I thought about the past three months of therapy and I knew she as right. She continued, "Expect to have some tough conversations around March through May. You’re stable. You have everything you need, and trust that come May, you’ll be on a new path.”
The reading reinforced what I was already feeling. It felt oddly reassuring to hear that the problem that had taken so much real estate in my brain over the past few months was just a tiny blip of my chart's radar.
Following Charlotte's advice, I spent the next few weeks working up the courage to have The Talk with my boyfriend. I felt guilty keeping such a big secret from him, but I needed the time to prepare a thoughtful answer to what I knew would be his inevitable question: why end such an overwhelmingly loving relationship? I felt I owed him that much.
The night and days following the breakup were hard, but necessary. It was a heartbreaking yet amicable ending to what was the most significant relationship in my life. Our time together had given us both support, but now, it was time for me to focus on everything else the constellations had in store for me.
Charlotte's predictions came true in more ways than one. Her observation that I would be great at working with my hands encouraged me to follow my passion of becoming a makeup artist.
My meeting with an astrologer made me realize I had the answers all along. I knew what I needed to do. I still don't know if I believe in astrology, but I believe in myself.