Perhaps its my skepticism in the nebulous thing called the Universe—where all things that are meant to happen, happen—that leads me to seek more concrete knowledge of my uncertain future. As such, I'm always in the market for a good astrologer. I've been following Susan Miller's horoscopes in Elle (and I actually shelled out $50 for the deluxe edition of her free AstrologyZone app) for years, and while, for me, their accuracy can be described as hit-and-miss at best, I still get some comfort from knowing what my day, week, month, year could potentially have in store. Needless to say, there's no app in the world that could replace a personal reading. So when the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur came out with their Astro-K package, I jumped at the chance to check it out.
I'll admit that Ventana itself was the primary draw, and I didn't need to be lured with the promise of an energy-balancing cranial-sacral massage at the spa or a dip in the new clothing-optional Japanese-inspired pool or the fully loaded wine-and-cheese hour (take heed: the countless bottles, cheese options galore, and tapenades aplenty make this activity a dinner-ruining prospect, so pace yourself). Let it be said—as it has been said many, many times before—that the property is stunning, surrounded by lush forest and such expansive views that you think the ocean is much closer than it actually is—if you've ever had breakfast on the restaurant's patio, you know exactly what I mean. So yes, I was definitely looking forward to the experience of just being there.
The astrologer that came to my room for the private reading wasn't at all what I had expected—she didn't, for example, come dressed in a caftan with a scarf whipped around her head. Silvia is a little lady from Brazil (by way of Russia), casually dressed in a sweater and jeans. She was fairly no nonsense as far as what you might expect from someone you trustingly invite into your room without so much as a single proof of credentials. I had given her my details—date of birth, place of birth, time of birth—ahead of time. As we sat down in a pair of cushy club chairs around the fireplace, she brandished my natal chart, mandala-like in geometry with a complex matrix of neon lines that go from constellation to constellation and mean god knows what.
Over the course of 80 minutes, I discovered the following: My sun is around 27 degrees in Virgo, which, according to Silvia, means that I am here on this Earth to find wholeness (really, who isn't searching for this in some way?). Saturn is in my house of self-esteem, which means I have low self-esteem (you heard it here first). My sun is in the fourth house of the father, which means I'd like to differentiate myself from the family structure (always). Mars is in Gemini, which means I excel in talking, writing, being feisty and even combative (I think any of my editors or boyfriends, past and present, would willingly attest). My moon is in Aries, which means I operate behind a veil of independence (translation: I'm not really an independent woman, I just play one on TV). I have Gemini rising, which means that I'm good at communication (I better be, considering the industry I'm in).
I held tightly onto my dubiety until Silvia unraveled it completely with the following information about 30 minutes into the reading: “You have a lot of Leo in your 'shadow parts,'" she began. “You're self conscious. Vain. Arrogant. Domineering. You're like a self-centered queen." Strike one, two, three. I'm out.