Issue 13 / Nadiya Shah: Globally Connecting The Power Of Astrology In Everyday Lives

Nadiya Shah: Globally Connecting The Power Of Astrology In Everyday Lives

Aug 28, 2015

As humans, our own curious drive to understand how we fit into the bigger picture has always intrigued us.

This search to understand how we attract the lives we lead and what's in store for the future led to the success of astrology as a very important practice in many cultures. ANOKHI Magazine speaks to Canada’s leading lady of astrology, Nadiya Shah, the host one of the top five most-watched astrology channels on YouTube, to discuss her journey and relationship with astrology and how to use the practice to lead a more fulfilling life.

Parul Pandya: In your words, what is astrology?

Nadiyah Shah: Astrology is a way of understanding the world, ourselves and our experiences. It is a way of finding meaning in our circumstances and in how we are interacting with everyone and everything, including our environment. It is a psychological, conscious, holistic approach to living in tune with the processes and experiences of life.

PP: What are the biggest misconceptions about astrology?

NS: I would say people think that astrologers claim to be psychic when [astrology] doesn't require that. It's a specific skill that can be learned by anyone. I am very passionate about this stance from a philosophical perspective. Astrologers are not any more gifted or special than anyone else. We have just spent the time to hone our craft and committed to that process of learning for as long as we are called to. I also think that many believe it removes free will as many believe it claims that these external forces impose upon us our experiences. I think of the planets as indicating. They are not having any effect on us. They are providing us with a mirror, another way to look at our lives, so that we can be more honest with ourselves and more consciously move towards fulfilling the highest intention of our incarnation.

PP: When did you first become curious about the cosmos and astrology, and what sparked this wonder?

NS: I remember looking up at the sky in wonder as a little girl. When I was 14 years old, I was hired to read palms at a summer fair. Family members started giving me astrology books and I learned about the history in my family of practical spirituality, which included astrology. I was fortunate to grow up in an atmosphere that encouraged me to strengthen my intuition.

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PP: At what point did you decide to pursue the vocation of becoming an astrologer, and how did you study to prepare?

NS: I think pursuing astrology as a vocation is something that chooses you. The love of astrology is a part of who I have always been. I’ve enjoyed studying astrology, learning the techniques and practicing with many charts since I was a child.

Everyone knew I loved astrology and would ask for readings. One day, someone offered to pay me, and it just grew organically from there. In 2006, I went into astrology full-time. In 2007, I was fortunate enough to pursue an astrology-related masters degree at the University of Kent in the U.K., making me the first Canadian astrologer with such an accreditation.

PP: What is your process for deriving the horoscopes (weekly, monthly, annually) that you present on

NS: General horoscopes use a variety of techniques, like considering the movement of the planets and how they are “speaking” to each other in specific, geometric patterns. Personalized horoscopes answer specific questions unique to a birth chart and consider specifically the movement of the planets in relation to the unique circumstances of an individual. Whether reading a personal chart or a general horoscope, there is always a grounding in techniques and skills that have been developed slowly over millennia by great astrologers of the past.

PP: Can you give a brief history of the importance and relevance of astrology in the South Asian culture?

NS: Astrology is an evident part of all cultures. I think it is more evident in South Asian culture because the understanding of the world as symbolic is deeply embedded in the culture. There is a deeply rooted history of a holistic approach to the external environment and great value placed on listening to life.  

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PP: You have recently launched the YouTube platform Synchronicity University. Can you please explain the intention behind this endeavour?

NS: The intention of Synchronicity University is to offer free online video classes so budding astrology novices, seasoned students and New Age explorers can learn astrology. The idea came as a way of bringing my book Astrology Realized: Your Journey To Understanding Astrology to life, where friends and fans can watch and listen to lessons as they are inspired to learn at their convenience. I love being a part of interpretations that advocate a world that supports us, loves us and is constantly conspiring to bring forward our best, most loving selves.

PP: How can we use astrology as a guide to better inform our everyday lives?

NS: What is happening in the sky and in the chart is a mirror to what is happening in our lives. By being aware of what’s happening around us in the cosmos, we become more connected to the sacred processes of life we are experiencing. Astrology is another lens to view the world allowing us to become more conscious of how life works, who we are, what our drives are and how we can act and react to life in a more conscious way.

PP: How do people most commonly misuse astrology?

NS: Misuse happens on both ends. The person looking for someone to solve their life and the person who says they can do that for you. To give someone the power to have your life go a certain way is to completely miss the opportunity that every moment grants us to be more than we were before. The other misuse is when people think that all is predetermined since you can see it in the stars. There is no predetermination. It is up to you how you will use the energies presenting themselves to you. You are active in creating [your] own life situation by engaging and participating in the direction you have the power to move in. You participate in the unfolding of the cosmos. A good astrologer enlightens and empowers. A good client takes ownership for their experience. An astrologer who encourages dependence ultimately promotes people being passive and waiting around for external happenings, which disempowers people to manifest their life according to their own choices.

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PP: What is the most gratifying aspect of your work?

NS: I live by a spiritual truth, hard won through my own struggles and celebrations. That is, “The Universe is Wise and Loving.” My work allows me to affirm this truth in absolutely everything I share. My intention is to do work that puts love and positive energy into the world. Knowing that I am living this intention is everything to me.

There’s another way for me to consider this question, as a woman of South Asian origin. There are many times when women message me and say it means so much to them as a person of South Asian descent that I am simply sharing who I am and my truth. The support and celebration have been empowering for them and for me. I especially love that I see across social media people from every cultural background, ethnicity, social identity and corner of the world interacting with my posts and with each other, in support of spirit on the surface, but demonstrating our inherent unity.

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