Unmasking Uncertainty With Psychological Astrologist Dr. Jennifer Freed
For Jennifer Freed, Ph.D, M.F.T., practicing psychological astrology is far more than cosmic readings and horoscope leanings—it’s a pathway and guide to who you truly are. With more than 30 years of experience in her field, Dr. Jennifer Freed works with individuals all over the world, tapping into the mystical to cultivate a life lived well. As we eagerly await Dr. Jennifer Freed’s upcoming event at our Montecito store location (details to come) and continue to navigate our new reality of constant at-home living, we took this opportunity to ask the expert our own lineup of cosmic questions: from birth chart readings to astrologists’ stance on our current state, we’re looking to the stars for some light.
- Rip & Tan: Tell us about your journey with astrology. What pushed you to start studying all things cosmic?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: I was always drawn to the mystical side of life. My initiation into astrology began when I had a mind-blowing reading at age 19 from Alvina Manning. From then on, I diligently pursued my studies in astrology and psychology.
- Rip & Tan: From relationship woes to managing anxiety, how can we use astrology to navigate our daily lives?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: Astrology is a beautiful map of timing and meaning that allows us to peek into the divine orchestration of spiritual and psychological evolution. When we realize that each of us has a great part to play in the great unfolding of things, we can rest more deeply in a faith inspired by a sense of purpose and a fully alive universe.
- Rip & Tan: Walk us through the basics of a birth chart. How can we use it to unlock the blueprint to our lives?
Dr. Jennifer Freed: Your birth chart contains nine planetary archetypes that describe your inner world and therefore how you perceive and interact with the outer world:
-Your Sun sign is your basic identity reflection.
-Your Moon sign represents how you meet your innermost needs.
-Your Mercury describes how you communicate and think.
-Your Venus indicates what you value and who and what you are attracted to.
-Mars reflects how you get things done and how you move in life.
-Jupiter shows you your way of pursuing knowledge and how you construct your belief systems.
-Saturn reveals how you approach discipline and structure.
-Uranus describes where you seek originality and how approach change.
-Neptune shows you how to merge with the divine of your knowing and how to access the great artistic muses.
-Pluto represents your capacity to meet the crucibles of your life and be transformed by them.
The birth chart is highly complex. It takes a solid year of study—much like learning a foreign language—to even begin to understand the eloquence of your chart.
- Rip & Tan: What are some of the most common misconceptions about astrology?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: First: that your Sun sign fully describes you and predicts who you are. This is patently untrue, as the birth chart is vastly more detailed than this suggests. None of us can be reduced to stereotypes or fixed labels. Second: that people are only compatible with certain signs. Again, this is a silly notion based on shallow and misguided ideas about astrology. Third: that people can have “bad” signs or charts. What’s true is that people have various degrees of challenge in their lives as depicted by angles in their charts; however, from a spiritual and psychological perspective, we all have the exact grist for the mill we need. In fact, some teachers believe that the more adversity we learn to overcome, the luckier we are.
- Rip & Tan: How has the perception of astrology shifted over the years?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: When I started practicing, it was still a hidden art and was treated as a fool’s pursuit. Today, it is the most popular personality system on the internet. Astrology has re-emerged so strongly because the need for meaning is great, and folks want a meaning system that is not riddled by sexism, racism, homophobia, or corruption. Astrology offers a way to connect without the demands of an institution.
- Rip & Tan: Your work in psychological astrology extends far beyond birth charts and horoscopes. Why is it important to view astrology alongside psychology?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: My psychological training has helped me to see patterns and possibilities and to offer tools to deal with trauma and pain. My social and emotional expertise supports me to listen deeply to clients, instead of being the know-it-all. Both these bodies of knowledge also allow me to host my clients in going as deep as they want to go in terms of confidential sharing. Sometimes, astrology without psychology can go more toward a “fix-it” vibe, while the approach I take empowers the client instead of foster dependency on an outside source.
- Rip & Tan: What role does physical space play in astrology? How can we create a home that supports and empowers our cosmic leanings?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: That is the best question! For me, it is all about the elements, fire, earth, air, and water—the foundations of astrology. As an Aquarius, I’ve designed my house to hold plenty of air and light; I need a constant sense of breath. I believe the most inviting spaces do a beautiful job of representing the elements, and the element makeups of our charts can give us guidance there. Jenni Kayne interiors are reflective of this insight.
- Rip & Tan: What’s the best resource for those looking to better understand their personal astrology?
- Dr. Jennifer Freed: Go to Cafe Astrology online and enter in your birth date, time, and place, then use that printout to work with my book.
- Rip & Tan: Tell us about your book, Use Your Planets Wisely. What were the most important messages for you to get across in your writing?
Dr. Jennifer Freed: The most important offering of the book is that we all have three levels that we operate from:
-The primitive is when we are fear-based and reactive.
-The adaptive is when we are functioning fairly well.
-The evolving is when we have transformed our energies into great gifts of service and contributions for the collective.
The book helps readers discern what level they are operating from in each area of their personality and how to evolve their attitudes and behaviors.
- Rip & Tan: What does living well mean to you?
Dr. Jennifer Freed: It means being fully self-expressed and generous in my heart. Being in nature every day is a prerequisite to my happiness. Being surrounded by beauty, and people I love is everything to me. Having dear friends who “get me” and inspire me and make my days so joyful. Being able to assist people and groups in their full self-expression is my honor and fulfillment. My work as a psychological astrologer and my work as CCO of the nonprofit AHA! are the most meaningful and rewarding ways to spend time.
Realizing that every day is precious and sacred, including the most painful times, is what centers me in wellbeing. I also LOVE great food, luscious wine, copious amounts of cuddling, and writing every day. Authenticity thrills me.
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Photos by Arna Bajraktarevic