Annabel Gat is an Astrologer and writes the daily and monthly horoscope columns for Broadly. I first stumbled across her horoscopes on Twitter and have been a daily reader of them since. Naturally, I was curious to learn if astrology was Annabel's full-time gig and what the work of someone in such a unique role looks like. Talking with Annabel she's a straight-shooter and her practical approach to astrology is a large part of what I enjoy most in her work. She talks about how she got into astrology, how she landed her role at Broadly and what she loves the most about her work.
What does work look like for you and what does that involve?
I’m the Staff Astrologer at Vice for Broadly. I write both the daily and monthly horoscope columns there. I look at the Ephemeris, which is basically a list of where all the planets are going to be for the coming month or year and I plot them out. Then for each sign, I write about how the placements of the planets and their interactions with the other planets are going to affect what that person feels or experiences. For example, today is Thursday, September 8th and I can see that the moon is in Sagittarius, along with other things happening. So if I’m writing Sagittarius’ horoscope I might say something like, “the moon is in your sign today, so this is going to be an excellent time for you to reflect on your emotions. If you’re a Gemini, the moon is going to be in Sagittarius which is a sign opposite from you in the Zodiac wheel, so it’s going to be all about relationships today.” That’s my job at Broadly, as a horoscope writer.
My other main role is giving consultations to people. If someone’s birthday is coming up and they want to know how their next year is going to be, they come over and we look at their chart together. I call these consultations and not readings because I’m not intuitively “reading” anything, I’m not a psychic. It’s very plain and simple. If you’re a Gemini, certain things are going to be happening for you at certain times and I just relay what for hundreds of years people said these things would mean. I let people interpret that information themselves because someone’s intuition about their own life is going to be a million times stronger than whatever I could come up with.
Typically my workdays involve waking up and trying to write as much as possible in the early part of the day. That’s when my brain works the best. My writing involves a lot of decision-making so I try not to do that late into the evening when I’m tired. I never write the horoscopes at night because that reminds me of writing papers at school— I don’t want to have any homework vibes around the horoscopes! I don’t want them to feel rushed. If I have consultations I’ll usually do them around lunchtime because that’s when people have a break or usually, they are after work hours as well. So I take my breaks in the late afternoons to work around that.
What was your path to astrology like, how did you get started?
As a kid, I always loved Halloween, which meant I also loved witches, vampires, the Twilight Zone, and the X-Files. If it was really weird and creepy, I wanted to have it in my life. My parents are both Geminis, so we had hundreds of books in the house and they had books on everything, including astrology (Geminis love books!) I thought it was pretty cool. The summer before fifth grade I picked up my first astrology book which was a book on the Aries personality. I’m an Aries and as an 11-year-old it was about self-discovery and who I am. I was also constantly taking those personality quizzes in magazines, I just loved that discovery aspect. Throughout fifth grade, I put myself to task to memorize all the symbols for the signs and the planets. As I got older I still liked astrology but I didn’t take it very seriously at all.
Throughout high school, I was actually very skeptical and scientific. In college, I took a class with someone who was extremely religious, and it really annoyed me. I was so frustrated that someone could “believe” in heaven, or that Adam and Eve were the first people— it was preposterous to me. I absolutely couldn’t stand her— especially when she said things that were pro-life. But, I’m glad I had this experience, because I know first hand how frustrating it could be for someone to look at me, and think “how the f&*% could she believe in astrology!” To them I say— I don’t believe in it, I use it and have fun with it! (And I certainly don’t want anyone else to “believe” in astrology either!)
Anyway, it was around that same time in my college years that one of my friends and I got really into going to ghost hunting meetups on Meetup.com. There was such a dissidence there. I couldn’t stand someone coming in talking about Adam and Eve and abortion, but on Friday night after a few drinks, we’d go to ghost hunting meetups [laughs].
Around the age of 20, I was feeling really depressed, life felt kind of meaningless and I was in a very dark place. My mom saw that and took me to a Tibetan dream yoga workshop in upstate New York. I was so zen and so centered there. I picked up a book on chakras and realized that this was what my life needed to be about again, I felt like I could find meaning. When I came back to the city I started going to astrology circles and seeing that people did this stuff for a living. I left school to pursue astrology and just have fun and I always thought that once I figured out what I wanted to do, I’d go back to school. I never ended up going back.
Going back to that anger towards the girl in my history class, again, I’m really happy I experienced that because now, as an astrologer, I completely understand when people get furious about astrology and horoscopes. I completely understand the stupidity of astrology. I get it, but as someone who loved mythology growing up and loved weird things and history—astrology is just so rich with all of that. It’s our oldest science. It’s a science we totally have grown out of, but for hundreds of years, this was how people diagnosed diseases. It’s fascinating. I take it very seriously while I’m writing horoscopes, but once I hit publish I take that astrology hat off. That horoscope is a time capsule, maybe your horoscope isn’t going to come true but it’s a great way to escape your life for five minutes. It’s this amazing science that we’ve created over hundreds and hundreds of years, it’s incredible.