This is part of a series of interviews I am conducting with practitioners of holistic medicine with the aim of answering this question: "How can we increase our quality of life?”
I find that people who are drawn to help others tend to be ignited with a deep passion and purpose. These interviews delve into that drive and aim to discover insight and supply tips for living life to its fullest.
Tara Vogel is an Astrologer practicing at Village Wellness on the Main Line, Philadelphia. She also specializes in Astrology specifically for parents.
Enjoy the interview!
Q: Tara, what does an Astrology session involve and how does it help a person go forward?
TARA: When a person books a session with me, I ask for their birth date, time and place. I enter this information into my astrology software and what I see is a flattened out map of where all the planets were in the sky at the moment of their birth. We call this the natal chart. It’s basically the blueprint of their soul, or the soul’s lesson plan in this lifetime, you could say. On this lesson plan, there are lots of symbols which stand for the planets which are in signs and houses and they’re making different aspects to other planets. I interpret that, and what I’m looking at is potential. I’m seeing potential of what the soul wants to learn and explore. I’ll spend some time before the session in the energy of that person. As I look at their chart, things start to jump out at me. I start to get a “feel” for them.
A first-time client session lasts about 90 minutes. We sit down together and have we a conversation about what I see in their chart and how that shows up in their lives.
Clients come to me for several reasons.
They’re curious and open to learning more about themselves.
They’re wondering about astrology and how it really works. They’ve been reading their horoscope and want to understand it more.
They’re pretty aware and awake and are always looking for a way to up-level their life and they use astrology as a tool to do that.
Which is the most common. They're struggling in some area of their life and could use some guidance and a little direction or clarity. Having an astrologer read your natal chart is great for that!
Much of my session with a person is conversation back and forth. I I kind of have the cheat sheet for their soul plan in this lifetime. “This is what your soul is here to experience. How is this showing up for you? How is that working for you?” A lot of times it’s one of those bigger, harder lessons, they might be struggling with it, especially if they’re having a transit. A transit is a cycle of growth that someone is going through in their life based on where the planets are in the sky right now, and how that’s stimulating their natal chart or their soul’s blueprint in this lifetime.
Q: How does astrology integrate with shamanism, acupuncture, and other services at Village Wellness?
TARA: Astrology is about connecting to something bigger than us, some greater intelligence that we’re all a part of. Astrology is about remembering our connection. Long ago, when we needed answers, we looked to the sky.
With shamanism, It’s very much the same. Connecting with the earth, sky, plants, ancestors. There is no separation. There’s magic happening in both. If we think about acupuncture, the intent of acupuncture is to bring your body back into your wholeness.
When I’m looking at a natal chart, my goal is to bring that client back to themselves, to the whole picture or wholeness of who they’ve come to be in this lifetime. In my opinion, acupuncture is a part of a healthy and holistic lifestyle and so is astrology.
Astrology is one way to deeply and intimately get to know ourselves and our “soul’s plan”. I see acupuncture as giving you access to a healthy relationship to your body, mind, and spirit. A good astrologer will help you have access to that body, mind, and spirit connection as well, because your body, mind, and spirit is shown in your natal chart. I guide you towards the highest expression.
Holistic psychotherapy and past life regression (which are also offered at VW) are also other ways to deeply understand yourself. When I look at someone’s natal chart, I can also see about past lives that they’ve had. More importantly, what they’re bringing from those lifetimes, into this lifetime, and what they’re here to really learn and to kind of “get right” and really master in this lifetime.
Q: Tara did you end up helping people in this way? What drew you to astrology? Why did you choose it as your profession?
TARA: My middle daughter was born with special needs, but we didn’t really know what was going on with her for a while, so I spent many years of her life, especially in the beginning, trying to heal her. I had her astrological natal chart read by an astrologer when she was five, and he was able to explain to me how she was emotionally, how her mind worked, the challenges she came to experience, what she needs, and where her gifts are.
He described her so accurately! It was then that I realized that she was living her life according to her soul’s plan, even though it was a very different life than I had imagined for her. It brought me a lot of peace to think there wasn’t anything I needed to fix, I just needed to support her in the highest expression of that plan. And the natal chart shined a light on that plan! When this astrologer was able to explain her by looking at these symbols on a circular map of where the planets were in the sky when she was born, it really blew my mind and I became a crazy woman and a little obsessed with learning everything I could about astrology. I have a lot of Scorpio in my chart, so I love to dive deeply into things, and I really did the deep dive into astrology. That’s when my passion really ignited. It really went from a passion to a profession for me.
Q: What are you most passionate about in your work?
TARA: I’m really passionate about connection. Intimate connection with ourselves and others. If you know a little bit about astrology, I have my Jupitar, Mars, and Venus in Scorpio in the eighth house. This house is about intimate connection. Not only am I here to explore that, but I want to help other people experience it.
We’re so connected to the cosmos, especially the moon, which is our closest celestial body. We know that the moon influences the waters of Mother Earth and our our moods. Humans are made up of mostly water so of course the moon is going to have a strong effect on our body. A child’s body is even made up of more water than an adults, which is why we see it even more in them!
The more we can stay intimately connected with our soul’s plan, shown by the natal chart, the more things will feel “right” in our world. We’ll be more at peace on the inside, because we’re on our path. When I say peace, it doesn’t mean that life is always going to be easy. Of course we all have heartbreaks, hard times, and challenges, as well as the ecstatic times in our life, the success, and the expansion. We have both the expansion and contraction….the in-breath and out-breath.
When we go with our soul plan, then we have the energy at our back guiding us along rather than getting beat up because we’ve been fighting it and human beings can really fight to keep themselves small. There is a deep knowing inside of us when we’re on the right track. You’re unfolding into a more evolved version of yourself.
Q: What are 1-5 healthy habits or lifestyle recommendations you want to offer to the world?
TARA: It’s hard to pick a few, because I have a lot.
My first one is to join a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) so you can actually connect to the plants and food that are being grown and harvested around you. You connect to the vital life force inherent in all living things when you eat things that are local and in season. That life force is so strong because the food was just harvested and it actually vitalizes YOU. We need more vibrant beings on the earth! We’re so used to eating old vegetables or dead, over-processed food that we lose our vitality and get grouchy. Go pick some dandelion flowers and put them in your salad (Yes, you can eat them!)
The second recommendation is to walk barefoot on the Earth on a regular basis. If it’s too cold to be barefoot, just get yourself outside because nature heals. Go out and talk to the moon. Let her listen to all of your worries and dreams. Give them all to her. Tap into her wisdom. She has wisdom from the ages that she’s here to offer us. As I said, she’s our closest celestial body and the moon is really our archetype of the mother. A good mother can hold it all. She’s able to hold all of our emotional stuff and give us reassurance that it’s going to be okay. She really does tell you that if you’re truly listening to her. :-)
My third recommendation is to connect to your body on an everyday basis. However it feels good and it doesn’t have to be a workout. It can be yoga, dance, stretching, walking, running, giving yourself a massage, or getting a massage, acupuncture, shiatsu. We’ve all come to experience this plan, that’s mapped out in our astrological natal chart, through the vehicle of this body we have while we’re on the earth. The more we can take care of our body, the more we’re able to do our spiritual work, serve and grow. We, in our society, abuse our bodies a lot and we don’t pay enough attention to them, which is why it’s so critical to focus on keeping them vibrant every single day.
My last recommendation is to work with someone who can give you a broader perspective of yourself. That could be a coach, a holistic therapist, or some kind of healer that you see on a regular basis such as your acupuncturist, shaman or astrologer. Check in with someone, not for their opinion, but so they can remind you of who you are. Any good healer will remind you of that. They’ll mirror back your wholeness and it’s actually you’re wholeness that has the answers you’re looking for.
Q: Do you have a spiritual practice? If so, what is it?
TARA: I have a few spiritual practices. One is ecstatic dance. I find that it’s the most effective way to quiet my mind, connect to my body, feel ME, and express myself in a creative way. Our body knows how to heal itself and when we allow ourselves not to dance, but to be danced by Spirit, God or whatever the name is you give to the organizing intelligence of our Universe, we heal. My favorite ecstatic dance practices are: 5rhythms, Movement Medicine, Soul Motion Azul, and Open Floor. I dance in Philadelphia on a regular basis.
My second spiritual practice is walking our dog, Rosebud, because it forces me to get outside and connect with everything around me.
My third practice is working very closely with the cycles of the moon. Everytime the moon is new (every 29 days) we have the opportunity to begin again. The full moons give us a different kind of opportunity, as well as the first and last quarter moons. This is a really powerful practice and something I love to teach my clients.
Q: What book do you give away the most?
TARA: I love books! The two books that I find myself giving away the most are “Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead” by Tosha Silver and “Pussy: A Reclamation” by Regena Thomashauer.
“Outrageous Openness” is a funny, easy to read book. It’s very uplifting and has you connect to something bigger than yourself.
“Pussy: A Reclamation” is an important book for all of us to read, especially if the title offends you a little, then I would definitely read it! I did some work with Regena years ago and she is the one that taught me that pleasure is one of our biggest teachers, especially as women. She’s doing very important work in the world in this time of the divine feminine reawakening. She’s wild, crazy, and a lot of fun.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
TARA: I have many favorite quotes, but my current favorite is one by Matt Licata who says, “We are conditioned to find a problem where there is an invitation”.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time? What do I like to do for fun?
TARA: I have a strong Capricorn influence in my chart, so I work a lot and don’t have a lot of free time. I’m also a mom with three kids. Having more free time is one of the things that I’m trying to cultivate more of in my life right now.
Tara is an astrologer and coach. She’s passionate about helping people stay connected to their soul’s path through the wisdom of the cosmos. Each one of us has an astrological natal (birth) chart. It’s a picture of where the planets were in the sky at the moment of your birth and it’s essentially the blueprint of your soul in this lifetime. It can be used as a powerful vehicle for conscious healing. She believes that exploring and understanding the natal chart is one of the greatest tools we have for developing compassion for ourselves and others.
Tara believes in a holistic approach to living and weaves her knowledge of nutrition and herbalism into her sessions. She’s also trained in the Internal Family Systems method of psychotherapy. She writes daily on how to use the celestial bodies to support you in your everyday life. Tara also teaches Applied Astrology at an online school for her teacher, Debra Silverman. Astrology, cosmic contemplation, and ecstatic dance are her greatest spiritual tools. She’s a mom of three and is a Capricorn sun, Libra moon, and Pisces rising.