A Bit About Abigail
I love astrology and herbalism deeply, and I relate to both of them as helping fields. In my opinion, Compassion is the most important character trait for a practitioner in the helping fields to have. The heavens and the herbs have proven themselves beautiful friends for me. They have strengthened, comforted, relieved, and supported me during times of need. And I love introducing these friends to others who need them as well!
My primary goal in practice is to help you find joy. The world is a difficult place. I get that... to my bones! And I know that joy comes in surprising places. It can seep through the cracks, touching our hearts gently and quietly, giving us strength to take the next small step before us. I refuse to blab platitudes at my clients, and I refuse to engage in the Just World Fallacy or victim-blaming. I aim to empower, educate, inspire, and support.
My approach is trauma-informed, neurodivergent-friendly, weight-neutral, anti-racist, and queer-friendly. I also have great sensitivity for people who are low in money. I'm not going to recommend extreme techniques or expensive interventions. My recommendations will be as simple, cheap, and approachable as possible for the average person. And I will refer out when something gets beyond my scope of knowledge.
There is no standard of perfection, only individual points of meaning and paths to joy. I believe in letting you, the client, set your own goals. I'm not here to dictate what "health" or "success" means for you. Joy presents itself differently to different people. Maybe sometimes "success" means waking up with a pain level of 3 instead of 7. Or being able to walk around the block twice a week. Or learning to love a new vegetable. Or finding yourself laughing more often. The possibilities are endless! Progress, autonomy, and individual context are more important than supposedly "objective" standards or markers someone else may impose on you.
I am not a licensed medical or mental healthcare provider. It is unethical (and, indeed, illegal in the United States) for anyone without a medical degree to make medical claims, such as the ability to diagnose or treat any disease. I wholeheartedly agree with these laws and injunctions. They are meant to protect people. I will not pretend to be something I'm not. I am here to support, educate, encourage, and empower you in your unique journey of health. I am not here to prescribe, medicate, diagnose, or make claims about any health intervention that crosses the line into medical advice.
I hold the health and safety of my clients in the highest regard, and I recognize the dangers of wading in the waters of the world of health. One reckless word can create anxiety or panic; one misinformed recommendation can lead the client to an intervention that causes physical damage. This is terrifying and awe-inspiring, and I do not approach this field lightly. If in doubt, I err on the side of caution.
I enthusiastically believe in the power of lifestyle, diet, herbs, and other natural health modalities to create positive change in people's lives. However, I also know that natural interventions have their limits, and there is a place for modern medicine as well. I try to be as clear as possible about both the power and the limitations of natural health interventions. I will refer out when something is out of my scope of practice, and I enjoy working alongside other practitioners, whether they be medical doctors, mental health therapists, body workers, or other specialized professionals.
I strive to learn as much as possible about traditional health practices and also stay current with modern research. I love science, and I also love delving into the long lineage of traditional practitioners of the past. Obviously, I am human, and there are gaps in my understanding. But my efforts are always to be as thorough as possible, and as careful as possible.
Another important facet of my ethics is patient empowerment. YOU are in charge of your own body. YOU know what your own experience is like. YOU know what you can handle and what you can't. While much of life is out of our control, and I won't sugarcoat that fact, I find it an exciting challenge to discover what we CAN control, where the boundaries of possibility lie, and where jewels of joy may be hidden. I will never shame, manipulate, or hassle my clients about any aspect of their health. I gently encourage everyone to find their own way, their own solutions, and their own paths to joy.
Astrological Techniques and Approach
Most astrology books are focused on technique— on getting the "right" answer. And that is understandable, since astrology is a highly technical discipline. However, I believe the heavens speak to us for greater reasons than to be a jukebox for answers we ask at a whim. I don't believe the ancients used it that way, even if the technical emphasis may seem so. I use traditional techniques passed down from generation to generation, as faithfully as I can; however, I approach the chart with the understanding that my clients are not simply externally-motivated askers of questions, but complex psychological beings.
Astrological charts will answer our questions, yes, but they will also show us the question behind the question if we know how to look. When I read astrological charts, that's what I'm looking for--the question behind the question. What drives us to be asking in the first place? Seeing this can reveal the opportunity for spiritual growth.
Sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear. The heavens will be honest with us, and if the future looks bleak the skies will say so. However, I don't believe the skies simply dispense answers "just because." I believe the reason the heavens call us to ask a divinatory question in the first place is to invite us to touch the transcendent... a transcendence which sees us and wants our growth and well-being. There is always hope. We may need to do some spiritual work to achieve that hope; the hope may be in an area we aren't expecting it, but the hope can always be found.
The Nerdy Stuff
For those interested in my astrological techniques!
I follow methods of interpreting astrological charts which have been passed down for centuries. There are too many techniques to list here fully, so I'm just listing the more unusual ones, in case you may have received a reading from a different astrologer who used different techniques. I hold no judgment on any astrologer who uses other techniques! These are just the ones I've chosen, for reasons I try to explain briefly.
I use only bodies that are visible from our planet without telescopes, and points derived from these. Thus, I do not use Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, or asteroids. If I am using ancient techniques, it seems logical that the techniques would work more coherently when using only the bodies that were originally available to the ancients. Additionally, I hold the philosophical opinion that our ancestors were neither better nor worse, spiritually, than we are; they simply lived at a different point in history. Thus I see no need to change our spiritual tools drastically by introducing new symbols, just because technology has changed. (Again, I hold no judgment for any astrologer who uses these points in their own practice or who hold different philosophical opinions!)
I use the Regiomantanus house system for horary questions. My first reason for choosing a quadrant-based house system is that I like to consider aspects to house cusps in delineating answers. I find the cusps provide nuance and important insights. The next question is which quadrant-based system to use. Since the ascendant is calculated using the celestial equator (because we need it to determine what "East" means), it makes sense to me to continue using the celestial equator to create the houses. (I feel the need to repeat, a third time, that I do not judge people who use other systems. There are reasons to use other systems, and everyone can pick which systems resonate with them.)
When I need to use genders to describe planets, I make Saturn feminine. Admittedly, this is a deviation from the Tradition as practiced for at least the past millennium. However, I believe the planet we now call Saturn was originally understood as feminine, but this knowledge was either lost or suppressed, over the ages. I recognize that there is little evidence for this, since it was so long ago, so I am perfectly fine stating this as conjecture rather than being a solid fact. However, there are theoretical reasons for holding this conjecture. Saturn being feminine affords a perfectly balanced esoteric system. (See the tables below.) Saturn being masculine creates a serious imbalance that all the feminine asteroids in the galaxy can't fix (because asteroids do not rule signs). Sometimes I use "it" as the pronoun for the planets, but in some contexts this feels disrespectful, depending on what I'm talking about. So when it comes to Saturn, if I need a gender, I use "she."
However, gender must be understood very loosely in astrology. It's extremely common for a so-called "masculine" planet (e.g, Mars) to symbolize a woman in a chart reading, or for a so-called "feminine" planet (e.g. Venus) to symbolize a man. The heavens are not, apparently, gender essentialists, and neither am I. (Someday I hope to publish an essay on this topic.)
Observe the balance when Saturn is feminine versus masculine, by comparing the highlights in the systems below.