Our Healing Artist in Residency, the gifted and guided Leslie Galbraith, has a distinct approach to astrology, focusing on how to use the insights of our own natal charts and karmic energies to navigate our world. Read on for more on how a study of mechanical engineering led Leslie to a deep love for this geometric art form.
How did you get into astrology? What is your background?
I wasn’t interested in Astrology growing up as my family was very religious and there wasn’t exposure to that kind of language. I did read my sun sign horoscope in magazines. Many different religions refer to God as something or someone outside of our selves. That was the Age of Pisces, which is over. Astrology teaches us we are God, co-creating with life force energy at every moment.
My passion for Astrology started in 2009 after I had a reading of my own natal birth chart. It was so accurate in the description of me I was fascinated that a stranger was telling me these intimate personal details about the inner working of my mind, behavior patterns, talents and challenges I had to face. After that I went deep into exploration of my own chart. It was astrology all the time, reading friend’s charts, family charts, famous peoples charts, event charts, studying books, listening to lectures, podcasts and videos. I am always tracking the movement of the planets daily and relating it to current events in the news. Looking back to major life events that occurred, I could see how they related to the configuration of the chart on that day. Graduation, deaths, births, marriage all held a correlation to the relationship of planets in my birth chart. I decided to study further with Rebecca Gordon of MyPath Astrology and that’s when many things clicked for me. In 2013 I started my own practice and have been working with clients all over the world and teaching workshops in NYC and LA. I also work with corporate clients and their employees teaching an interactive workshop that helps people to understand their charts and then use the information to flow the relationships in the workplace more smoothly.
I know you’re really interested in math. Is the mathematical aspect of astrology what drew you in? Could you expand on that?
I was always good at math in school. Prior to graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a Fine Art degree I had studied mechanical engineering. When I started to investigate my own chart in depth it was fun to see how all the geometry connected and the numbers lined up. When you meet someone and that intense chemistry ignites, I can guarantee that the two parties involved have similar number alignments in their charts.
But I would say that the psychology of the chart is what really got me excited. Certain planetary placements within the chart confirm similar patterns and structures of energy. I look at Astrology as a symbolic language. It is derived from Greek astron (star) and logos (wisdom). It is a study of individuality and also of the collective. A birth chart is a portrait of the heavens at the moment of one’s birth. Each person has a unique birth chart not to be replicated for over 25,000 years. It is a map for our soul’s purpose on earth.
The basic principle is that the planets have a fundamental, cosmically based connection to specific archetypal forces or principles which influence human existence, and that the patterns formed by the planets in the heavens bear a meaningful correspondence to the patterns of human affairs on Earth. Carl Jung thought of archetypes as the basic constituents of the human psyche, shared cross-culturally by all human beings, and he regarded them as universal expressions of a collective unconscious. Astrology supports the ancient idea of an anima mundi (world soul) in which every human psyche participates.
What was it like for you to start your own practice? How was the switch from a more “conventional” career?
Incredibly exciting and absolutely terrifying. A lot of the lessons and soul growth in my chart revolve around taking care of other people’s affairs, I’m really good at that. So starting my own business gave me a great opportunity to heal those patterns and to focus on myself. Astrology is inching in from the fringe. Its presence in the mainstream is more noticeable in the last few years. There has always been what we call pop astrology, the horoscopes. But an in depth analysis of your chart is unforgettable. I believe people are ready to experience their truth now more than ever, not what someone else tells them to do or be. That is different for each and every soul. Astrology helps us get clear on what that feels like.
There is a paradigm shift happening. The collective is waking up to a different way of relating to this planet and each other. People are more interested in understanding their own cycles so as they live through the cycles of the season each year, they are more in tune with their own nature. We are all here right now to rebuild this connection to Mother Earth. I used to get a lot of blank stares when I told people about my practice of Astrology but now I get a lot of tell me more!
What’s something you’ve learned from your clients?
Every session I learn something new about human nature. I can decode the energy patterns and relate them to the client’s life but the stories are unique to them. It’s quite remarkable to witness how things manifest. The timing is precise but the choice is yours. A transit of a planet triggering a chart for one person might be a divorce and the same transit for another a marriage.
I also learn a lot about fear. Fear is a big thing in our culture right now. The violence in the media and Hollywood has drastically increased. We are really being pushed to be fearful. Fear is an emotion to help propel us into action, it’s not a state to be in. During a session I discuss with people about their fears so we can name them and make sure we know them very well. Then when we get triggered in our environment or from other people we have tools to move through our fears because we have the awareness.
I can imagine that you are especially affected by the stars, since you’re so in tune with how they’re moving. What practices do you do to keep you grounded?
Every morning I study the chart of the day- where is the moon and what major aspects are happening. This helps to understand the emotional weather of the collective energies. I visualize a grounding and shielding meditation connecting to love and light at the center of the Earth and out to the cosmos. I commit to being responsible for my energy, living love and peace by practicing harmlessness and kindness to self and others. I think it is very important to develop your own ceremony for caring for your energy field/aura.
I spend a lot of time in nature. I love going to Montauk, Fire Island and camping in the Catskills. The last few years I have been spending time in Tulum and connecting to the rich Mayan culture. We all know nature is some of the best medicine for our soul. Walking barefoot instantly recharges you. While I’m in nature I like to do meditations for imprinting the serene landscapes into my psyche so later I can recall the peace and tranquility when I need to ground.
Copal, sage, and palo santo are always burning at my place. I regularly clear my space by starting at the front entrance and then move through the apartment going clockwise around each room. I stop at each corner to clear energies accumulated there. After all the rooms I end back at the front door and blow out everything collected, sealing in protection.
What would you say to someone who is skeptical of astrology?
Come to CAP for a reading! I can say that after a few minutes of talking there is rarely any more skepticism. Only truth. Astrology is about understanding the patterns of human nature. I tell my clients in a session that I don’t really say anything that the soul does not already know about itself. I can’t look at a chart and tell the gender, class, race but rather I can see if the soul has mother issues to heal, communication blocks to work through or empathy skills to learn.
There have been different attempts through the years to produce more scientific based studies confirming or disproving astrology. But it’s important to understand that the art of astrology lies within the person’s interpretation of the birth chart. Yes there is science involved but it’s not separate from the art. For thousands and thousands of years we have looked to the movement of the planets in the heavens and the correlation to the cycles of time.
Astrology and Astronomy were the same thing for a long time and each has a symbiotic relationship with each other. Many different civilizations have created their own system and calendars to interpret the movement of the planets in relation to the cycles.
If we study the periods of time when certain planets form relationships with other planets, we can notice in the collective patterns that are related to those archetypes which each planet involved represents. We have been able to sustain our species by following a rhythm of timing in the heavens in relationship to our planet.
How do you think everyone can benefit from understanding their chart?
James Hillman, author of The Soul’s Code states “the energies that were active in the atmosphere at the exact moment of your birth were stamped on the cellular level of your very being and remain a part of you during this lifetime. Your birth chart is actually a schematic: a graph that shows this “inner wiring” you were born with, but what you do with that wiring is up to you. Astrology is a tool to gain objective awareness of your own patterns of behavior. We all have tendencies that lead to inappropriate actions and feelings of isolation and unhappiness. The trick is to discover our own “glitches” and empower ourselves to avoid them. With this objective knowledge we can choose to make adjustments that result in our life operating more smoothly.”
Who doesn’t want life to operate more smoothly?
What does beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty mean to you?
Both are love. When we have love for the self there is real beauty and wellness. Loving is taking a great interest and pleasure in the self. The art of loving lies in the choices we make each moment. Either we move towards love or away from love. One can’t pretend love, you are either it or not. No matter how beautiful we may look on the outside if we don’t have love for the self we will not appear well. Our aura will project that for us. We can’t do or be anything but the vibration we hold toward ourselves. Often when we have negative beliefs about how we look it is difficult to feel beautiful. If we hold positive beliefs about our self we feel well. The mind/body connection is a serious thing to pay attention to. Sometimes when I feel unwell I like to repeat to myself that I am love and I am light. Just these words over and over create a pretty amazing shift in a short amount of time. Beauty and wellness is loving the unique self you chose to express in patterns of energy that take physical form held together by infinite cosmic light while operating within universal laws.
What are your top 5 picks from CAP?
Henné Organic Lip Balm: this is the best lip balm I have used, ever.
Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask: my hair looks so healthy and is incredibly soft after this mask.
Matcha Green Tea Stick: matcha on the move.
Palo Santo: burning this sweet scent helps to clear unwanted energies in your aura and living spaces.
But my top pick is all the lovely and inspiring ladies who work at CAP!
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