I am so freaking delighted to have interviewed Wayman Stewart! I have been following his astrology blog for just over a year now, and he’s very quickly become one of my favourite bloggers AND astrologers on the interwebz. As you may know, I’ve studied astrology since I was 11 – and by now I think I’ve developed a strong sense of what really good astrological material is (and is not). I just know it when I see it. A couple months ago I couldn’t hold it in, and I just had to email Wayman to say how fantastic his work is (in the most non-creepy way I could). Now we’ve become friends in the blogosphere, and I’m just brimming with pleasure to have him over on my blog!
Anyone reading your blog can tell that you’re really passionate about astrology and that your knowledge of astrology is pretty deep. If I woke you up in the middle of the night and asked for a talk on say, Mercury in the signs, I feel you’d be able to just start churning out information! When did you begin to study astrology, and how did you learn it? What’s the story of your affair with astrology?
Wayman: Thank you! That’s really funny. I’m glad it all sounds so knowledgeable and deep and well-researched because I’m convinced, sometimes, that I’m just rambling on and on in my blog posts. So, thankfully, it makes me sound like I have a fine-tuned brain and not just word vomiting all over the place.
But, yes, that’s a good question. I began studying astrology around the time I was 19 and first had my birth chart done. I’m 26 now, so it’s been a good seven years. I’ve heard even quite a few astrologers say that they didn’t really believe in it before they got “converted” or didn’t take it too seriously. But, I’ve never doubted astrology. For some reason, it’s always something that’s made sense to me. I think it’s because I’m such a Leo. My Sun in Leo’s conjunct my Leo South Node, so those traits go deep down into my soul, pretty much, since your North Node/South Node say a lot about your soul (along with the Moon). I never cared about daily horoscopes but I’d read the personality profile of a Leo and everything would check off. “Yeah, I am super-creative! Yeah, I am loving and dramatic and loyal and a leader!” So, I was never one of those people who never felt like their Sun sign.
However, I got my birth chart first done when I was browsing Café Astrology for info on Leos and they had different descriptions for Sun in Leo, Moon in Leo, etc. And I wondered which one I was, and I saw you could get your birth chart done to figure it out. I knew my exact time of birth, so I was able to get it right away. And I was amazed at the fact that, even though I really identified with my Leo side, there were so many different elements to my astrological makeup and different placements that explained the other, non-Leo sides to me so well.
So, yeah, that was when I turned 19, back in about 2008. And I’ve been totally self-taught since then. Google’s been my best friend. To this day, I’m always doing searches on aspects and placements. That’s been a big way I’ve learned. Also, joining astrology message boards to talk to people about their charts, reading many different books on astrology, and sneakily (or not-so-sneakily) finding out people’s birth charts and then observing their behavior and how it reflects their placements. It’s just been all about observation and research for me.
I know there are many approaches to the art of astrology. Some people approach it from a decidedly “psychological” perspective, and some people bring a more “esoteric” approach to the subject. How would you characterize your approach to astrology?
Wayman: Well, astrology’s an amazing way to psychoanalyze yourself or others, in my opinion. And I think that whenever someone gets their birth chart done for the first time, there’s always an “oh!” moment about something in their chart. Like, say, they have their Moon in Virgo. Suddenly, they realize why they have a habit of being overly critical and not being able to break from their routines. Something like that. Some sort of light bulb always turns on when you get your chart done and that leads to greater self-awareness.
That’s the standpoint I like to approach astrology from. I think it’s just about becoming more aware of all the different parts of yourself, whether they’re good or bad, and figuring out what to do with them. I can’t stand it when people talk like they’re doomed because of certain placements in their chart.
Trust me, I have many placements in my chart that have been traditionally considered, by doomsday astrologers, to be terrible or tragic. But, I make the most of them and all of those “horrible” placements are like my greatest gifts now. Free will is the key thing. Your birth chart tells you your flaws and your difficulties but also your strengths, your talents, and your greatest potential. You can either take advantage of the good things in your chart and focus on that or wallow in the bad things like some cursed victim. I prefer the first option.
You not only blog, but work with clients. What do you try to accomplish when doing a reading for a client? What’s the goal? What would you say is the unique signature of a reading by Wayman Stewart?
Wayman: I think it’s a lot of what I just said about free will. One of the things that I would hate when I talked online to people on astrology boards were those conversations that went, “I have Venus in Scorpio and I’m just never going to have a happy love life!” And even when people would try to point out the good things about a Scorpio Venus, the person would say, “Yeah, yeah, but it’s still just so hard and I just can’t trust anyone!” But, I’d think, “No, you’re choosing not to trust people and using those descriptions of Scorpio Venus being paranoid and destructive as a free pass to be unhappy and to have trust issues.”
So, when I do my readings, I find something constructive in every single placement. In fact, the worse of a rap that placement gets, the more I look at the positives of it. I don’t sugarcoat things. But, I think astrologers can hold a certain power over people, whether they realize it or not. Astrology speaks to people so deeply and whatever you point out about a person’s chart can have a powerful effect on them. If you confirm their fear that they’ll never find love because they have a more challenging Venus, then people can get really shaken up by that. But, if you awaken them to the hidden or untapped potential of that placement, it can seriously transform them.
Also, my readings (birth charts, in particular) are really in-depth. Again, it might just be a symptom of me being able to go on and on (which I’m sure you’re noticing now). But, I go into detail about every placement. It’s a written report and they’re all totally personalized and from scratch. Nothing’s copied and pasted. If you’re going to make someone pay for something they can get online for free, you need it make it something unique.
Just from a cursory look online, in general, it seems there are less people of colour in the field. Do you feel you’re unique in this respect? How might being an astrologer of colour impact your practice and outlook?
Wayman: It’s not something I’ve really sat around and thought too much about, to be honest. There may be less examples but it doesn’t feel like a drought. I’ve watched wonderful videos and read great work from many astrologers of color, including yourself! I think The Peace Dealer, who has his own astrology channel on YouTube, is really great at what he does. KRS Astrology is also excellent. He’s more on the Vedic side (which I just personally don’t connect to) but his videos relate really well to Western astrology. So, yeah, there is so much room for diversity in astrology, especially since it’s such a New Age territory and not one “group” has a monopoly over it. You can’t fit people who study astrology into a demographic and that’s the beautiful thing about it.
It’s funny, though, to even lump myself into a group of other astrologers, whether they’re of color or not, and compare myself to them. So, I don’t even know how to answer that question! I just feel like a guy with an obsessive hobby who’s lucky enough to support himself off of it and help other people with it.
Tell us your vital stats: (Sun, Moon, Ascendant), and any placements in your chart that you feel are interesting/unique. Is there anything in your chart which you feel signals that you would have become an astrologer?
Wayman: Oh, I get to talk about my chart now! Great! No, I’m just kidding. Sort of. Well, as I’ve said before, I have a Leo Sun and it’s in the 7th House of my chart. I also have a Scorpio Moon (which is conjunct Pluto, lucky me) in my 9th House which is square my Aquarius Ascendant. I have my Aquarius North Node in the 1st House, as well.
It’s taken me a long time to realize that all of that Aquarius energy is another reason why I gravitated toward astrology so much, even back when I didn’t know the whole scope of what astrology was about. Aquarius people often feel a deep, natural connection to astrology. I discovered it and had my birth chart done for the first time when I was having my North Node Return. So, it all felt very fateful in that way. My higher calling in life (North Node) is to represent myself as this New Age thinker (Aquarius in the 1st).
Since I’m an Aquarius Rising, Uranus is my chart ruler (along with Saturn, Aquarius’ co-ruler) and it’s in my 11th House, its own house. So, that gives me an even further affinity with astrology and the New Age realm. Uranus is also trine my Mercury and my Mars, which really affects how I think (Mercury) and how I act on those thoughts (Mars). I’ve always just been a free-spirited, free-thinking sort of person (or a weirdo; however you want to see it).
I also have both Saturn and Neptune located in my 12th House. The 12th House is such a spiritual house and Neptune is right at home in it. Saturn in the 12th also means that your purpose in life is to do something that is more spiritually enriching and fulfilling than anything else. Astrology does serve as a spiritual anchor for me in many ways and I am glad to be able to help other people find their purpose and their strength through this study.
What suggestions would you make to anyone just beginning to study astrology? What suggestions would you make to someone looking to make the jump into reading for clients?
Wayman: If you’re just beginning to study astrology, know that the message will almost never be the same. Whatever you read or hear about astrology is a reflection of the person. So, you have to be able to use your own filter. If you read something really awful or one-sided or dramatic about a placement, that’s definitely not the whole story. It’s just their bias or bad experiences with that energy. Also, I’d say find ways to talk to people who also study it because you’ll often get confirmations about things or even new perspectives you never thought of before.
If you’re starting to do readings, make sure that you really want to connect to what’s unique about this person’s chart. Don’t just treat them like another Aries Sun or just another Venus in the 3rd or whatever. Take the time to really synthesize things and figure out what makes their chart special. Like I said before, if you’re just telling them the same clichéd thing that they could’ve just found online for nothing, what’s the point of that?
You can find Wayman’s blog here: astroarena12.blogspot.com
To see his reading options and purchase a juicy, in-depth astrological interpretation, click here.