As a young girl, FOF Joanna Martine Woolfolk wanted to be an astronomer or an actress. She didn’t end up a star in the traditional sense, but she certainly spends a lot of time studying them. “My love for astronomy translated into a career in astrology,” says Joanna. “What the stars and planets have to say about us, our relationships and how we react to life’s events is much more interesting to me then figuring out where to find Jupiter in the sky.”Joanna has been practicing astrology for over forty years. She’s written multiple books on the topic, including The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, a 20-year bestseller, and Sexual Astrology, now in it’s 50th printing in the U.S., where it has sold over a million copies. She’s been interviewed by Barbara Walters, Regis Philbin and Sally Jessy Raphael.
Joanna is also a contributing editor for Marie Claire where she has written the monthly horoscope column for eight years. But astrology isn’t just for teenagers who want to know the fate of their crushes, she insists. Here, she explains how FOFs can find answers by looking to the stars….
What got you into astrology?
I was interested in the stars and the planets since I was young. As an adult, I began to study astrology on my own. I started doing an astrology column in the 70s for Viva, Bob Guccione’s [publisher of Penthouse] magazine for women, and things took off from there. I enrolled in the American Federation of Astrologers program to become certified. It was sort of a long, circuitous route, but when you talk to women over 50, that’s what our lives are. We’ve taken this side path or married this man and even in our careers, very few of us start out at the age of 15 and say I’m going to be a brain surgeon and then continue on that path.
Very true. Do you think being a Libra has affected your destiny?
I believe our lives play out in the way they were destined to, but, within that we have choices. As I said before, I know a lot of women over 50 who have taken many different side paths. Our destiny is two-fold–it arrives, and then we make a choice. Your choices are based on what you need and who you are.
How is our zodiac sign determined?
Your astrological sign is the sign in the zodiac that the sun was traveling through at the time of your birth. Our zodiac is divided into 12 signs (i.e. Aries, Taurus, Gemini) and the sun spends approximately one month in each sign.
What’s the correct terminology–sun sign or zodiac sign?
In astrology, it is called your ‘sun sign,’ but in ordinary conversation is usually referred to as just your ‘sign’ or ‘zodiac sign.’ However, everyone is born with a whole chart. The moon was somewhere when you were born; Venus was somewhere, and Mars, etc. Your sun sign (the position of the sun when you were born) represents what Freud would call the Ego — your role in life and your drive. Your moon sign (the position of the moon when you were born), represents the Id, your inner life, secrets and longings. The ascendant, or the rising sign, is what Freud would call your super-ego or how you want the world to see you.
How can an FOF find out where the sun, the moon and the planets were when she was born?
My book, The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, covers everything–your sun sign, your moon sign, your ascendant, where the planets were when you were born. It goes through piece by piece so you can create an entire chart.
What else are you working on?
I’ve just come out with my new Sun Signs series, one book for each sign of the Zodiac.
Tell me about your beautiful astrology scarves.
Years ago I saw a fabulous Hermes scarf based around the ’12 Days of Christmas.’ I thought ‘what a wonderful idea.’ I worked with an artist on a design for a scarf based around the sun signs.
Is astrology a viable career for someone over 50?
Yes. I would say the person would have to be interested in psychology–what makes people tick–that is key. If they wanted to write an astrology column, it’s not as easy. There aren’t that many magazines that need a horoscope columnist. It’s about as competitive as breaking into show business.
Are there astrology skeptics? What do you say to them?
People who say astrology is a bunch of whatever–that’s fine. I’ve noticed that many of them still read their horoscopes. What’s fascinating about astrology is it’s about you, and as human beings we find that irresistible.
What can we expect for next year?
Saturn is the great disciplinarian of astrology. It represents your lessons, hardships, your struggles, and, in the end, the reward you get for putting in that kind of work. Next year Saturn is going to move out of Libra and into Scorpio, so I can say the struggle that Saturn has been bringing to each of our lives is going to culminate early in the year and will be finished with by autumn. If we are wise, we will learn from what we have been through and move into the next cycle with greater knowledge. Jupiter, the planet of abundance and expansion, has recently entered Taurus, the sign of getting and gaining. Depending on an individual’s chart, this may mean gaining financially or in learning or expertise. It may mean one experiences an addition to the family (such as a new child), or even the gain of weight!