Thursday, April 5, 2012

Is Your Life Path Written in the Stars?

The guy on the left is John Dee...
when he talked, the Queen listened!
At the Lucky 13s, we’re all about luck, superstition, and beliefs. However, I’ve had reason to learn more about one particular form of belief system recently, astrology. Why? In my upcoming novel, MAID OF SECRETS, one of my spy girls is the niece of Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, John Dee.

Who is John Dee? I’m glad you asked! Now for the bio (ahem): “John Dee (13 July 1527–1608 or 1609) was an English mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination and Hermetic philosophy. In his lifetime Dee amassed one of the largest libraries in England. His high status as a scholar also allowed him to play a role in Elizabethan politics. He served as an occasional adviser and tutor to Elizabeth I and nurtured relationships with her ministers Francis Walsingham and William Cecil.”

So Dee was a pretty cool guy (and in my story his niece, Sophia, is pretty awesome herself!), and when he talked, Queen Elizabeth listened—she even changed the date of her coronation to coincide with an astrologically ideal date, based on his recommendation. And, arguably, that worked out for her. :)

But astrology isn’t just an old and fusty arcane art—it’s still being practiced today. For example, if any of you have had computer issues, phone issues (raises hand), conversational hang-ups, issues with contracts or agreements, or just plain old cases of ‘things-not-going-right’ in the past few weeks, take heart:  --> Mercury has been retrograde.  But as of April 4, 2012, we’ve pulled out of that retrograde period and things should be going smoothly again.

Is our future written in the stars?
I had the chance to get my astrological chart done this year, not only to understand more about Astrology for MAID OF SECRETS, but also for another writing project I’m working on. I learned all sorts of fun things about the planets and how they may be impacting me, about what I might learn in this lifetime and what my future may hold. I even was given a few of those ‘astrologically ideal dates’ that had Queen Elizabeth so intrigued.

But as with so many other divination systems, the reason I believe astrology isn’t an official tool of the U.S. Government (as far as we know), is that it merely gives you a map of possibilities and influences… you have to take action to make things work. Whether your woo tool of choice is astrology, Tarot readings, fortune cookies, manifesting, channeling/spirit mediums, rune stones, tea leaves or pick up sticks, you have to DO something with the information you’re given… and then you have to have the patience to keep on the path until you reach your goals. Even the immensely popular manifesting book --> The Secret didn’t give folks a no-work-required solution to health, wealth, and happiness… you still had to ACT to set things in motion.

It's STILL all about the ride.
Which brings us back to our own lives. Am I superstitious? Well, not exactly. A superstition is the belief that one event leads to another without any process in the physical world linking the two events. For example, I walk under a ladder equals I have bad luck. To that I would say, not at all. But if I walk under a ladder and I think that’s going to bring me bad luck, then it’s entirely possible that I’ll take an action or make a decision that isn’t ideal for me, and hence: bad luck cometh. In the end, it’s what I do with the energies around me that matter.

On a more positive side, let’s consider those ‘astrologically ideal dates.’ If I believe that I will achieve greater success by tying an important decision/action to a given date, and I proceed with positive expectation to that launch date… well, what is the outcome? I’m taking action. I’m proceeding with a high level of harmony about the present and future. I’m excited and full of goodwill and gratitude.  Truly, with all of that on my side, can the future be in any doubt?

Well, I guess we’ll see!

What about you? Do you have any superstitions that guide your life—whether in writing or in day-to-day activities?

Jennifer McGowan has been writing fiction since well before she knew any better. A past Romance Writers of America Golden Heart winner and 2011 Golden Heart finalist, Jenn is represented by agent extraordinaire Alexandra Machinist, of Janklow & Nesbit.

Jenn's debut novel, MAID OF SECRETS, will be published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in Spring, 2013. You can find Jenn online and on twitter.


  1. Cool post, Jenn! One of these days, remind me to tell you the story of the tarot reading I had done while visiting New Orleans. What happened was so eerie and accurate it still gives me chills when I think about it.

  2. Hey, Melissa! Thanks for saying hello. And you're on about that Tarot reading... I look forward to it!