Today on Catching Stars, we bring you Sally Kirkman.
Sally is a full-time astrologer based in the UK with over 25 years experience writing quality horoscopes for the media and undertaking powerful personal astrology consultations.
Her media clients in the UK have included the TVTimes, BBCi, Chat It’s Fate and the Sunday Express magazine. Sally also helped create and write astrological predictions and texts for a major Japanese website alongside two other well-known UK astrologers.
Four years ago Sally launched her online astrology business offering astrological advice, up-to-date articles and two subscriber newsletters. Her accurate and insightful monthly horoscopes have helped her website become hugely popular and her easy-to-read and accessible style of astrological interpretation has attracted fans and clients from around the world.
You can now purchase her horoscopes for 2016 (£10 for all 12 star signs): www.sallykirkman.com/2016-horoscopes
Have you always been interested in astrology?
Actually no, although there were seeds sown along the way when I reflect on my childhood and younger adult life. I loved stargazing with my Dad when I was small, I read the obligatory Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs book at university and my graduate thesis was on the sexual nature of fairytales (perfect for a Scorpio!). So my love of the night sky, symbolism and an enquiring mind about human nature was already in place.
Discovering astrology was a Saturn Return turning point for me in my late 20’s (Saturn is in Aquarius, one of the signs linked to astrology, and Saturn rules my career/vocation). After years of travelling and temping in media companies and an abortive trip into the corporate world I knew I wanted to work for myself in a creative role and astrology found me.
Astrology foud you? I love that. Did you study formally or are you self-taught? Or, perhaps, a combination of the two?
I had an unusual invitation into the world of astrology at a dinner party in the late 80’s. At the table was a journalist from a local paper who mentioned they were looking for an astrologer.
The wine was flowing so me and a good friend said we’d do it. There might have been some blagging about my level of astrological experience but either way we won the pitch (!) and the next few weeks were spent in a blur of astrology textbooks and late-night horoscope writing.
I learnt the trade on the job and quickly realised I required formal training. I tried out various astrology schools in London until I found the Company of Astrologers. It was a match made in heaven and my love of astrology grew from there.
Do you have a particular philosophy or interest in a specific area of astrology?
I’m a traditional astrologer and I love the simplicity of the traditional patterns in the planets and signs. Keep astrology simple and you can use it as a divining tool- and that’s where the magic of astrology comes in.
Even though there are many different techniques in astrology and a lot of people now work with the asteroids, for example, personally I find that if you make things too complex, you lose out on the basic powerful symbolism within astrology.
I always wanted to be a consulting astrologer and I had already taken a certificate in counselling before astrology found me. I love 1-to-1 work- which isn’t surprising if you see my chart which has a packed 7th house ruling 1-to-1 relationships.
Again keeping things simple can have the most powerful effect with clients and they love seeing the symbolism of their astrological chart come to life.
What do you think sun sign astrology can tell us- and why should we pay it more attention?
I have always been a media astrologer, that’s how my career in astrology began. Sun signs are an incredibly useful tool to enhance self-understanding and they are invaluable in helping you understand the people in your life. Self-insight and better relationships are two valid goals for starters.
In addition sun sign astrology appeals to many people- and without it astrology would be more niche. Plus a well-written horoscope can act as a touchstone that brings you back to yourself. We all need to make sense of our lives, and daily life is enriched when you add meaning to it. That’s what a good horoscope can offer you.
I use the language of astrology in my horoscopes as well, so readers get a sense of the importance of the wider mythology and history in which astrology is steeped. Knowing that you’re part of something bigger can be incredibly comforting and sun sign astrology at its best and most profound provides that experience. Being in flow, in tune with the universe.
Your annual guides are a humungous piece of work- 3000 words per sign, 150 pages. I’m in awe. How long does that take you to put together each year?
I love writing them (and hopefully readers love reading them!) It is a humungous piece of work so I now devote the month of September to the next year ahead eBook. I’m incredibly grateful that I earn my living as an astrologer which means I don’t have to juggle full-time work with my writing.
I have absolutely no interest in tennis (it’s about how there’s no end time to a game – although as a Pisces, I probably should like that about it), but love reading these predictions. You seem to get it right most of the time (although I also enjoy your recaps when you don’t). Any secret you’d care to divulge?
The tennis predictions began for Wimbledon 2012 when I predicted that Roger Federer would win- which he did- and they have subsequently taken on a life of their own. They are by far the most popular blog posts on my website, aside from the monthly horoscopes, and I’m not sure I can ever stop writing them as I have so many people enquire when the next prediction is coming out.
I write the prediction for the four men’s Grand Slams each year and my aim is to use the predictions to show how astrology plays out in real life.
There’s no secret as such. I interpret the chart for the start of the tournament and I check out each individual player’s main astrological transits to make my prediction, e.g. success planet Jupiter was exactly conjunct Roger Federer’s Midheaven ruling his career on the day of the Wimbledon final 2012.
More times than not it works but not always. As any sports astrologer will tell you, we’re not dealing with 100% certainty here. If we were, we’d all be millionaires by now.
I think it is going to change moving forward because one of the challenges to an astrologer is gaining an accurate birth time for the players involved and I don’t have that information for many of the emerging tennis players.
What astrologers have influenced you most over the years?
Maggie Hyde and Geoffrey Cornelius from the Company of Astrologers have been and remain a huge inspiration to me. They are both brilliant astrologers and they were the first people to show me how magical and wonderful astrology can be.
I’ve enjoyed reading astrology over the years and I am in awe of writers who tap into a mythic or archetypal theme with astrology, e.g. Liz Greene and Caroline Casey.
More recently since being involved with astrology on-line, I’ve come across lots of astrologers I admire who are doing amazing work in promoting astrology. I love astrologers who write in a way that’s beautiful and lyrical or know how to bring the stars down-to-earth and make astrology real. That’s how I discovered your work, Jo, and other astrologers I like reading are The Oxford Astrologer (Christina Rodenbeck), Jessica Adams and Joanna Watters. I’m sure there are many more I could mention but the internet is a fabulous tool for discovering great astrology.
What can clients expect from a reading with you?
I like to bring the astrology alive for clients. I reveal how your birth chart shows your natal potential and tells you about you, your strengths and weaknesses, your character, your essence, your purpose.
Yet the chart also indicates important events in your life and the people you meet so it is about making the astrology real. I use the birth chart to help you understand your own life from a different perspective so you can decide the best course of action to take.
You never know what a reading is going to reveal or how it’s going to help and that’s what’s so wonderful about astrology. Each individual has their own story to tell and I want my clients to go away feeling empowered and more knowledgeable about their choices. I like to build up a warm and caring relationship with my clients too and many of them return for guidance and astrological advice.
What do you most like to do when you’re not doing astro related things?
I was a traveller in my younger days and hope to travel again more in the future. For now I have a loving family and I’m enjoying being a partner and a mother. The older I get the more I love nature, walks in the countryside, being by the sea, spending time outdoors, all of which are a welcome balance to my work on the computer. Spirituality goes hand-in-hand with being an astrologer and my own spiritual development has grown over the last 30 years. I moved on from personal development work into yoga and meditation- both of which have both become a regular part of my routine.
What’s next for Sally Kirkman?
I set up my astrology website when Uranus, the planet which rules technology & the New Age, was conjunct my Ascendant. This was a necessary move for me, and the best thing I could have done.
It was the end result of a major shift in my astrological career that began late in 2008 when Pluto was conjunct my Midheaven (Pluto is the wipe-out planet and the Midheaven rules the career). I lost 2 big media contracts back-to-back and it was time for a reinvention. I retrained in web design and computer languages before braving the world of the internet – all Uranus symbolism.
I love the ease of global interaction and having access to clients all over the world, I hope that my internet presence will continue to grow and influence many more people.
At some stage, I would like to get back into teaching astrology which- I gave up when my daughter was born 15 years ago. If I can combine passing on my knowledge of astrology with my love of travel, I would be extremely happy. An astrologer’s world tour would be the ultimate goal. Plus I still have a dream to write an astrology book. It will happen one day.
Any tips for budding astrologers?
I know astrologers who are self-taught and learn astrology from reading books but I would recommend that any budding astrologer finds a teacher they can learn from.
Attending courses and talks deepens your knowledge of astrology plus you begin to build up a community of like-minded friends and it’s through your interactions with others that you will learn the most.