May Sim
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Feature: The Soothe – 14 Oct 2020

Mercury is in retrograde. So what?

Singapore astrologer May Sim explains what’s going on up there and whether this planetary period is as ominous as we think

Text: May Sim

Don’t buy a laptop during Mercury retrograde. Don’t buy a car during Mercury retrograde.  Don’t buy phones during Mercury retrograde. And while you’re at it, don’t go signing contracts during Mercury retrograde, either.

These are just some of the superstitious warnings that make the rounds on social media when the planet Mercury goes into retrograde motion, around three times every year. Indeed, this major astrological event was being written about in astrology circles as far back as the mid-18th century. The event was noted in British agricultural almanacs of the time, which farmers would read to sync their planting schedules to the patterns of the stars.

Seeing as it’s happening again on 14 October, and lasting unto 4 November 2020, we thought you might like to know just how legit these beliefs are, and what you can do to get through this spiritually significant and powerful period.

What actually is Mercury retrograde?

In a nutshell, as planets orbit the Sun in the solar system, there are specific planet positions that create an illusion that Mercury is moving backwards relative to Earth’s motion. This seemingly backward motion is termed ‘retrograde’. The effect of a retrograde tends to slow things down, sometimes even resulting in situations ‘going in the opposite direction’.

Despite all planets from Mercury all the way to Pluto (which, FYI, is most definitely a planet astrologically) are capable of going retrograde, interestingly it is Mercury retrograde that always seems to get itself in the limelight, bringing the most attention, and generally being a bit of a show-off.

Since the planet Mercury governs matters concerning communication, connections and paperwork, the backwards-and-forwards motion of the planet has some people associating this period as being bad for purchases involving communication and connectivity equipment such as phones and cars. Many people even go as far as to avoid signing important contracts.

While adopting this strategy can be a better-safe-than-sorry tactic, ideal for the nervy and apprehensive among us, there are practical issues to consider: each time Mercury goes into retrograde, it does so for three weeks.

What this means is that if we adhered to this avoidance strategy, given that Mercury goes retrograde at least three times a year, for nine out of 52 weeks we have to steer clear of the likes of technical buys, not to mention blocking important business transactions. If you’re in dire need of a laptop, waiting three weeks to pass in order to buy one is probably not the best situation.

Something that most of us aren’t aware of, is that a retrograde also has ‘shadow’ periods that occur directly before and after the actual retrograde. These essentially extend the effect of Mercury retrograde to about eight weeks rather than three weeks.

Shadow periods cause slow decisions due to a general feeling of uncertainty for up to one month before the retrograde begins. In the case of the current one, the shadow period already kicked in on 23 September 2020. While the official retrograde ends on 4 November 2020, the shadow period will extend its effects until up to 20 November 2020.

How does retrograde affect us personally?

While Mercury retrogrades happen frequently, I believe most — but not all — of these incidents will affect you directly. When applied to your personal astrology chart, the period will influence specific areas of your life, be it a career decision, or a delay in an application to a government body. The planetary shift may even be felt in a difficult conversation you want to have with a specific person in your life.

Since the retrograde motion curtails thinking and decision-making, one major positive result of the period is that when issues occur, we tend to consider more factors and do more research. We may also be more present to potential outcomes of our decisions, and yes, notice more problems.

When the shadow period first hits, your attention is likely to be drawn to an area of life in which a decision needs to be made, or a conversation or connection that must be established. Typically, as the actual retrograde period looms, the decision gets delayed. This is mainly because you want to think through a situation or just let an idea ‘sit’. Once the retrograde passes and Mercury goes direct, chances are you’ll have stronger confidence to proceed with a decision.

Despite its terrible reputation, in my years of practice I have seen very positive uses of Mercury retrograde: difficult business proposals push through; couples work out marital issues; individuals abandon ideas that they didn’t think through properly.

During this month’s Mercury retrograde, I urge you to allow yourself to slow down and be present to where you feel mentally stuck.

It’s likely that your instincts are telling you not to be impulsive, and that there are factors you haven’t fully thought through. My advice would be to explore alternative options. Just talking it through with somebody else will help clarify your mind.

Above all, don’t beat yourself up. Some things are important enough for you to devote time to allow the answer to come to you. And as a happily-married professional astrologer who signed her marriage contract during a Mercury retrograde, I can vouch that it is possible to ignore the stars every now and then without the world crashing down on you.

About the Author

May Sim is a professional astrologer with 16 years’ experience. She is the founder of Selfstrology Academy based in Singapore and a subject matter expert on psychological astrology.

For the original article, see: https://www.thesoothe.co/connect/astrology/mercury-in-retrograde-so-what

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Feature: The Soothe – 1 Oct 2020

‘The planets told me 2020 would be a rubbish year’

Local astrologer May Sim reveals why planetary power isn’t just woo-woo business

Text: Charissa G

Co-star. The Pattern. Sanctuary. They may not have the most creative names, but these astrology apps have received millions of downloads and even more in VC funding in the last few years, so does that mean the stars are finally aligned for astrometry’s reputation?

Back in the 90’s and 00’s, astrometry was reduced to the back pages of women’s magazines where you’d find the (Western) horoscope pages. Here, you’d discover who you were going to ‘snog’ that weekend, and why wearing blue eyeshadow would bring you luck on the basis of your birth month. Today, modern apps like the ones above are trying to counter this rudimentary understanding of astrology by proliferating the knowledge of birth charts that broaden your ‘personality’ to a sun sign, moon sign, and rising sign. But is this causing more harm than good? And can the information be trusted?

May Sim, Asia’s premier astrologer and owner of Selfstrology Academy in Singapore, discusses how astrology has had “very bad PR for a few hundred years” and why the millennial and Gen-Z generations seem inclined towards what some have dubbed a ‘psuedoscience’.

May Sim is Singapore’s premier astrologer

Seeking an explanation

“Having grown up in Singapore with a strict education system, we’ve seen generations of ‘cookie cutter’ success — if you got an A, you were good, and anything else meant that you were subpar.

People are drawn to astrology because it’s a way of understanding the actual person. It’s a system that respects individuals, energy of the universe. You’re not defined by where you studied and what type of family you come from. Many start to realise that what they’re doing with their lives does not vibrate with who they are on the inside. When someone downloads an app like Co-star or The Pattern, it’s like a desperation to find this incongruence that they feel. They’re trying to seek an explanation.

As an astrologer, I’ve seen professionals for the last 16 years. I used to be a business manager and dabbled in astrometry as a personal interest, and eventually was fascinated enough by the field that I decided to pursue it full-time.

Many of my clientele, both male and female, are between 28–29 years old which suggests a ‘coming of age’ life stage, and coincides with the Saturn Return. There are certain life stages that can attract people at any specific time, like the ‘career switch age’ of early to mid-30’s or the so-called ‘mid-life crisis age’ of 40–45. It’s very common to have outwardly successful people — lawyers, doctors, accountants — whose CVs look great. But inside there’s a lost child. They work for big companies and have a slew of accolades, but they feel stuck when they don’t feel they can present an alternative view.   

Astrometry allows people to find some level of relief: to give them a ‘sign’ that the decision they want to make is okay. But I find it’s the nature of astrology itself, which tends to draw people when they have problems. So, there’s some logic to it and it’s not entirely astrological.

Astrology for confidence

Most people who object to astrology know nothing about it. For a long time, a large part of society was about conformity, but now we’re in a funny spot where we seem to have been given a new level of freedom. People are looking for answers from other sources.

Take one of my clients who was a doctor in a hospital focused on research. She couldn’t shake the feeling that her work could have more meaning. She wanted to go to a less privileged country and do humanitarian work, but everyone told her she was crazy. Astrology gave her the confirmation that she was a humanitarian inside. This the confidence boost she needed, because the rest of the world was telling her not to be her authentic self.

Seeing an astrologer is like seeing a doctor — but if there’s nothing wrong, can you still go? Consider it a check-up, but don’t expect a ground-breaking discovery.

It’s similar to psychology. You can hop online and you can do a personality profile test, but other than satisfying a curiosity, it’s not really useful. You need your therapist to dig deep and impart tools for understanding yourself and managing behaviour.

Predictive work is what we do

Traditionally, astrologers have always been associated with prediction. To an extent, a lot have tried to distance themselves from it, because the general consensus is that if other astrologers see you as prominently utilising predictive techniques, your credibility dips immediately, since it perpetuates the bad PR we get as fortune-tellers. For me, predictive work is part of what we do.

Popular astrologers have had a lot of courage to draw attention to themselves. Many famous ones have built their career on generic ‘horoscopes’ *, but I think that leads you into many problems; you can’t divide the human population into 12 different star signs and say that ‘November will be romantic’. That makes no sense to me.

For more ‘serious’ astrologers, there are reasons we don’t often make our predictions widely known. Chiefly because we can’t prevent situations from happening. Just like with Covid-19, I personally knew from reading the planets about 4–5 years ago that 2020 was going to be a rubbish year. Yet, up to December 2019 when I was publicly saying next year wouldn’t be great, I got hate mail.

The thing is, as an astrologer, do I necessarily know exactly what’s going to happen? I did not predict a pandemic. The chart doesn’t have a planet that says ‘Covid-19’ so I couldn’t know exactly what was coming. I did know, however, that the industries were going to fail. During a live event, I specifically named a few industries such as the mining, fuel, aviation and construction industries that were going to suffer. Even as I explained this to the audience, they were saying, ‘How can it be? This is a multi-billion-dollar industry.’

And yet, here we are in a rubbish year. Did I make it all up? That’s for you to decide.”

* The word ‘horoscope’ has actually been misused by popular media for decades. A horoscope is actually the entire round ‘wheel’ that astrologers read, and all the symbols and planets within it, what is commonly known as a ‘chart’.

For the original article, see: https://www.thesoothe.co/connect/astrology/the-planets-predicted-a-rubbish-year

Articles, Consultations & Readings, Work & Career

Why Open-Mindedness Is a Terrible Approach to Finding a Career Direction

Why Open-Mindedness Is a Terrible Approach to Finding a Career Direction

Lots of people are currently in the midst of deciding what kind of career direction that you want to go into. You might relate to this especially if you are thinking of setting up a business, or if you intend to go freelance.

This is May, I’m an astrologer with 16 years of experience seeing clients in consultations. Most of what I do is literally speaking with hundreds if not thousands of people about their careers. And in this article, what I am about to share are some insights to a phrase which come up very commonly during client consultations when people are thinking about their career direction. And this phrase is;

“I’m open minded”

When my clients share this during consultations, immediately it flags up several issues and it is probably one of the worst approaches that we can take when you are trying to select a career direction. To start things off, these are 3 things you’ll want to take note of;

#1: It tends to generate too many options

Most people turn to their friends and peers when trying to find a direction, saying that they are “open minded”, open to any suggestions. And friends being friends, typically with the keenness to help, can provide many suggestions. Faster than you know it, it is quite easy for you to very quickly accumulate a few hundred options of paths or options that you could take.

And then now you probably face an opposite problem, which is that you confuse yourself and then you end up coming back potentially to an astrologer saying; “Well, I don’t know which path to take, there are just too many options”.

#2: Outsourcing the responsibility

The second issue with the behaviour and mentality of being “open minded”, is that it puts the responsibility on other people to help you generate ideas.

This can potentially suggest that you might be too lazy or too tired to come up with your own ideas. Often motivated by the need to gather as many suggestions from others as possible and then to select the best option from those suggestions. This might not seem very much like a problem, but I’ll like to share an analogy to help illustrate the point.

Imagine that you are a consumer and that getting your needs served and catered to, is probably of the most important criteria that a business should provide or meet. And if the business owner started the business out of just purely based on the suggestions of other people and much less of understanding what the consumer needs and requires, you’ll find that meeting and providing what the consumer expects out of the product or service, may not be the top priority of the business. Hence for this reason, starting a business based on suggestions from your friends is probably not the best way or to lay a good foundation for the business.

#3: Means of avoiding the commitment

Lastly in my opinion, this may be one of the most difficult issue among the 3 to deal with. When you seek suggestions, the percentage chance of you implementing and following through to set up a business based on the suggestion is extremely low.

Why this is so is because, there isn’t a penalty of NOT implementing and carrying out the idea. It stems from the mindset of ONLY doing the idea which you consider it to be a good idea. This then form a norm for not following through and the lack of accountability, which results in you not executing what might have been actually a good idea. Consider that there might have been many ideas which might have been very good ideas but because of the lack of accountability ended up becoming just “good ideas”.

Power of committing to one

So if for those of you who are looking for a direction to go, whether you are setting up a freelance venture or a business, consider that you can only be successful if you commit to one idea, one business and preferably should be something that you select powerfully by yourself. The motivation should be preferably driven by a desire to improve the lives of the people that you are going to serve. With a strong personal reason or purpose, this fuels the commitment to follow through on making that business successful.

And for those of you who are perhaps still confused, or still have a lot of options, possibly one of the best things that you could do for yourself is to decide today that you no longer want to be open minded. Select the business for yourself with the intention of making a commitment instead of wanting to explore multiple options and suggestions. I’ll like to end this off with a simple scenario;

If you are shopping for a shoe, and you find something that fits, its time to commit and bring it to the cashier and pay for it. Immediately, you are the proud owner of a new pair of shoes. Otherwise, being open-minded and wanting to explore other options, you will find yourself going from shopping mall to shopping mall and still not getting a pair of shoes – not getting a satisfactory result or a desired outcome.

With that, I thank you very much for getting to the end of this article and I hoped that I have provided you some insights to helping you define a career direction that fulfils your true purpose. I wish you all the best in the journey of self-discovery and transformation.

May

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Feature: The Asian Entrepreneur – 31 Aug 2020

May Empowers People to Create & Embrace the Life They Are Meant to Live

 

What’s your story?
I knew I wanted to make astrology my career so I searched the world for mentors and good educational institutions. I ended up enrolling in and being the first Asian to graduate from the International Academy of Astrology in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2014, I began Selfstrology Academy, a western astrology consultancy and academy — one of very few in Asia. The existence of Selfstrology means others in the region will have the education and guidance I didn’t have.

What excites you most about your industry?
Being classified as an “unusual” industry, we have a lot of room to achieve success by exploring themes outside the boundaries of other similar industries such as MBTI, DISC profiling, traditional, Chinese, and Indian astrology, psychology, counselling, and coaching. Our courses are never about learning astrology, but about personal transformation. It goes way beyond just extracting information about people, it’s about empowerment and creating a life of meaning and purpose.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and raised in Singapore. I believe my Asian background allows me to bring a new perspective to western astrology that’s unique from those of my peers in the west. Given that the nature of Psychological Astrology produces an astrology chart assessed on its own merits rather than on conventional biases, such as education level, nationality, or age, I like to think I am an ambassador for genuine global individualism: respecting people for who they are, without bias.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Kuala Lumpur. There are many cultural similarities between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but Malaysians have resilience and hunger that few Singaporeans can boast.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Stop trying to get there. The day you arrive, it goes downhill thereafter.” As a young entrepreneur desperate for success, I was highly self-critical about not being “there.” The realisation that the process of “each step leads to the next” was ground-breaking for me when I realised that our achievements are only truly assessed at the end of our lives, and we do best by simply planning for the next step rather than for what is only a superficial and temporary definition of “success.”

Who inspires you?
Lee Kuan Yew. He is already known for his immense resilience, dedication and foresight that he has contributed to Singapore, but what impressed me most about him was that he always had a wry smile and often acknowledged that he could never rest on his laurels. I think it requires a massive character to maintain humility when you have achieved so much.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I have learned that true entrepreneurship is about solving the world’s problems. It takes a big heart and decades of effort to get anywhere close to tackling many underlying issues in the human world. The potential outcome has to be big enough to justify a lifelong dedication to a cause.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have learnt kindness sooner. I was always very results focussed, so I have been guilty of bull-dozing people in my quest to get things done quickly. I think it will be a lifelong learning lesson for me, but I do wish I had learnt to appreciate people sooner.

How do you unwind?
I really like mobile games, especially those adapted from board games. It allows me to switch off from being in a constant “on” mode, and, as in my work, I am always learning from the endless strategies in each game. I also really like chatting with my husband. I think a good conversation with a spouse is severely underrated in society.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I really liked Bohol, Philippines when I was there more than 10 years ago. As a city-born Singaporean, I really appreciated their small-town hospitality and genuine eagerness to show me the best of what their homeland had to offer. It’s a pity that Southeast Asian charm is sometimes ruined by tourism and commercialism.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card. It might be unusual to recommend a work of fiction, but I think this book explores out-of-the-box thinking, as well as deeper themes of the consequences of leadership decisions, in ways that non-fiction cannot accomplish.

Shameless plug for your business:
Astrology is no longer mindless horoscopes and ridiculous “sun sign compatibility.” Reaching far beyond conventional profiling techniques to uncover crucial information about behaviour, mindset and life purpose, our programmes are never about astrology but about living your life to fulfil a meaningful purpose. Our students and clients include judges, C-level executives, engineers, architects, and participants from many other professions who have called our programmes “transformative,” “insightful,” and even “life-changing.”

How can people connect with you?
For insightful astrological analysis on economies, psychology and behaviour, check out my Youtube channel and our Psychological Astrology programmes can be accessed at www.selfstrology.com.

To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects’ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.

Connect with Callum on Twitter and LinkedIn
Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com

For the original article, see: https://www.asianentrepreneur.org/may-sim-founder-of-selfstrology-academy/

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Feature: New York Time Style Magazine – 7 Dec 2018

In Singapore, Astrology’s Resurgence Amongst Millennials

By Kames Narayanan, 7 Dec 2018

Credit: The Devil Saint/ Flickr

“We are born at a given moment, in a given place, and like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born,” once said prominent Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung on the topic of astrology. To the uninitiated, the vast universe of astrology can be condensed thus: an understanding of planetary alignment at the time of birth that influences an individual’s inherent character traits, abilities and short comings.

Barely the tip of a convoluted conundrum dating centuries back, the practice of astrology, beyond its overarching principle, further diffuses into Western and Eastern practices. The first organised system of the former dates back more than 4,000 years ago in Babylon. Its Eastern equivalent, Chinese Bazi, directly translated as “Eight Characters” (better known as “Four Pillars of Destiny”), was founded in the Song dynasty and further developed more than 200 years ago in the Ming dynasty.

While the influence of celestial bodies has been developed throughout generations, by human experience and in-depth study, its modern day influence is largely stripped down to mere frivolous indulgence. Growing up, quiet reading sessions at the school assembly meant poring over the day’s horoscope readings parked under the entertainment section of the local newspaper. The habit continued into my early teenage years when visits to the magazine stands also meant sieving through the various monthly publications’ horoscope projections and cross-referencing to “fact” check. My juvenile self was not so much in search for a sign from the universe but rather a pursuit of self-amusement. When I progressed into adulthood, along with adolescent naivety, the routine of looking up horoscopes weaned off.

Astrology, on the whole, has been subjected to the ebb and flow of the times. When the cast of “Hair”, a widely popular American musical, proclaimed the 1960s as the Age of Aquarius (the 2,000- year period after the Earth is said to move into the Aquarius sign), the audiences were sold. The lifestyles in the ’60s and ’70s then echoed the astrological signifiers of the Aquarius: freedom, non-conformity and democracy. In the subsequent years, the conversation on the topic subsequently fell into the background, its presence, dismissed to the last few pages of a newspaper or magazine. What it never lacked, however, was a following. French queen Catherine de’ Medici had Nostradamus as her astrologer, Queen Elizabeth I was advised by John Dee and other prominent figures like Napoleon, George Washington, J.P. Morgan, Ronald Reagan and Christian Dior are also famously known to have also turned to astrology for guidance.

Today, the dormant practice finds itself in the limelight again and its resurgence, displayed on the forefront of social media. #Astrology has been tagged in more than two million posts, a bulk of which are tongue-in-cheek memes riffing off horoscopic character traits and forecasting planetary shifts: Mercury is in retrograde; Saturn is looming over all of your personal planets; full moon is in Cancer. A marker of the cultural zeitgeist, the content shared on the internet is a reflection of millennial interests, amongst which, astrology ranks high.

Skimming the surface, the inherent appeal of astrology can be pointed to its universal appeal. Believer or non, it resonates with most. And its purveyance in the recent years has been inescapable. Beyond the digital sphere, the fashion industry, most notably, has developed a keen interest in the celestial planets. At Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer ’17 haute couture presentation, the signs of the zodiac was incorporated into the maison’s dreamy gowns; Peter Dundas littered his swan song at Emilio Pucci with astrological motifs; and arbiters of downtown New York cool, Opening Ceremony, produced T-shirts and sweaters inspired by zodiac signs. Jewellery brands like Tiffany & Co. have also long ago jumped onto the bandwagon with zodiac-inspired charms and pendants.

These observations, however, run the risk of oversimplification. The contemporary appeal of astrology amongst the millennial generation runs deeper. Astrological readings have come to be understood with a sense of seriousness and greater insight rather than a generic regurgitation of human traits. This burgeoning interest can be parked under the general millennial pursuit of a lifestyle steeped in holistic wellness: healing crystals, salt cave tours, yogic escapades, and more, are all the rage.

It also presents an antidote to instances of personal grievances and discomforting uncertainty. When life gives us lemons, rather than make lemonade, millennials seek a higher order for conviction on dealing with bumps along the road. Interestingly, according to survey data by the American Psychological Association, millennials have been the most stressed generation since 2014, and also the generation most inclined to say that their stresses have increased in the past year since 2010.

Locally, Singaporeans have earned a name for weathering pressure cooker conditions to the extent that an entire generation has come to be known as ‘Generation Stress’.

Living in the thick of political upheaval, global unrest and a future that spells more gloom and doom than rainbows and butterflies, astrology is looked upon as an avenue of hope. To some, it is a navigational tool and an avenue for self-betterment. What begins as a flippant gratification or search for hope deepens, at times, blossoming into a burgeoning interest that eventually prompts individuals to delve deeper into the topic. The result: a new crop of millennial practitioners who side-step the age old conventions of an astrologer.

Jeremy Tan, who is mentored by May Sim (below) has recently co-founded an astrological and tarot reading consultancy, Sacred Saturn.

Credit: Tung Pham
Jeremy Tan, who is mentored by May Sim (below) has recently co-founded an astrological and tarot reading consultancy, Sacred Saturn.

Jeremy Tan, who is mentored by May Sim (below) has recently co-founded an astrological and tarot reading consultancy, Sacred Saturn.
“My interest in metaphysics started from when I was a kid, my mother introduced me to numerology. Later, I began learning astrology on my own when I was about 13 or 14 years old all the way until I was about 18 years old. Then, I found my teacher and started taking classes about three years ago,” says Jeremy Tan, a 26-year-old astrology practitioner.

Tan’s teacher, 33-year-old May Sim, the first Asian to graduate from the International Academy of Astrology (IAA), first picked up astrology as a hobby when she was a student. This later developed into a full on career path as she pursued a second degree — her first was an English Literature degree from the National University of Singapore — in the field and began her own astrology academy and consultancy firm, Selfstrology.

May Sim, an English literature graduate from the National University of Singapore, made the bold decision to pursue her interest in astrology full-time.

Credit: Tung Pham

May Sim, an English literature graduate from the National University of Singapore, made the bold decision to pursue her interest in astrology full-time.

May Sim, an English literature graduate from the National University of Singapore, made the bold decision to pursue her interest in astrology full-time.

A far cry from the stereotypical astrologer who is expected to be a wrinkled elderly in a flowing robe and sporting a head full of greying hair, and meditating within sacred grounds, these young masters are indistinguishable from the pedestrian. The modern sensibilities do not end there. Echoed in the practice itself, cumbersome mathematical calculations formulated on paper in the past are now navigated with the aid of modern-day mobile applications.

“All I need is my iPad, there is an app that generates the chart. There is a formula to it but I don’t think any modern-day practitioner plots the chart by hand. Typically, we use the app to generate the chart and then interpret it from there,” shares 32-year-old self-taught Chinese metaphysics consultant Sean Chan.

A self-made man, Chinese meta-physics consultant Sean Chan has to-date offered his services to more than 700 people. Additionally, he also runs an online blog where he shares his insight into various topics pertaining to his field of expertise.

Credit: Tung Pham

A self-made man, Chinese meta-physics consultant Sean Chan has to-date offered his services to more than 700 people. Additionally, he also runs an online blog where he shares his insight into various topics pertaining to his field of expertise.

A self-made man, Chinese meta-physics consultant Sean Chan has to-date offered his services to more than 700 people. Additionally, he also runs an online blog where he shares his insight into various topics pertaining to his field of expertise.
What ensues in the days after is the practitioner’s interpretation of an individual’s elemental or natal chart. Conducting most of his consultations online (mainly to aid efficiency), Chan then develops an in-depth report that explains the workings of the chart and its formulated reading relative to the individual. Tan, too adopts a similar method of presenting his analysis into words, which he later shares with his clients.

To sticklers for the old-fashioned, the legitimacy of generating charts using technology, is often called to question. Can anyone and everyone then foretell the rest of their lives with the click of a button? The answer is a flat-out no. Years of study and practical experience are amassed by these practitioners, albeit young, to accurately interpret charts.

“You need to know how to interpret the charts. I studied books on Chinese philosophy and metaphysics intensely for two years. Every night, I would grab a can of beer, head over to Bishan Park and spend the night reading,” says Chan. “I had to read books that were written in classical Chinese from the Qing and Ming dynasties and digest whatever I could.”

The accuracy in mapping one’s life’s trajectories through the medium of astrology is generally agreed to be subjective to the prowess of the practitioners themselves. In a conversation on astrology, reliability is a tricky subject to approach. Astrology, is after all, pseudo science.

“I would relate the question of whether astrology is an art or a science to architecture. Is architecture an art or science?” asks Sim. “I would think that in order to construct the building, you do need to know structure. You need to know how to build a wall but once the building stands on its own, you then start talking about expression, about how the building can be made to represent something else. You have to have both.”

Discussions on astrology more often than not are skewed towards the argument of whether it bears truth or otherwise. As the medium picks up speed on mass media, so do the efforts to perpetuate and debunk myths. The riposte remains largely split. Believers, largely fueled by ancient scriptures and anecdotal evidence — Chan once accurately charted a car accident down to the date, month and year of occurrence and Sim predicted the arrest of a suspect — have forged the practice forward.

On the other hand, it remains arbitrary to naysayers. By way of approaching astrology through a contemporary lens, the seeds of a newfound perspective have been sown. The millennial astrologers approach their expertise as a life coach who have found leverage through understanding celestial patterns.

“To me, astrology is about practicality. I hope to value add to my clients and I hope to provide some sort of a healing to the people who I encounter. When they open up to me and have a vulnerable conversation, that is when I believe they are befitting from my services,” says Tan.

Sharing similar sentiment, “The motivation is never about the money. It is always about helping clients transcend the chart and do better for themselves than what might be projected in it,” says Chan.

Equipped with this understanding, the topic morphs into a more palatable debate. Sought out not as an oracle crystal ball in peeking into the future but rather a tool for deeper contemplation, the consumption of astrology leans towards the objective. Where fate remains open-ended, the lights may guide you home but where you call home, entirely resides in the choices that you make.

Aquarius, Aries, Articles, Cancer, Capricorn, Consultations & Readings, Houses, Leo, Libra, Mars, Media Features, Mercury, Planets, Saturn, Scorpio, Signs, Taurus, Uranus

Feature: Crowdfunders Magazine – Mar 2017

Women’s Day Special: Meet May Sim, Founder Of Selfstrology

 

She may be petite, but Miss May Sim has big dreams and ambitions beyond the horizon. The founder of Selfstrology is the first Asian to graduate from the International Academy of Astrology (IAA) and might be the only western practicing astrologer in Singapore. May is a lady of sincerity; just as how she would like to tell people that Astrology is all about guiding one’s true personality in the right direction.

As much as Astrology might seem like a niche area of professionalism in Singapore, May felt that the biggest challenge is not in pursuing her Astrology degree, but rather in people’s perception and misunderstanding of this ancient art.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, I’m May. I’m a professional astrologer and I’ve practiced Astrology for about 14 years now. Last year, we’ve set up our own astrology academy at Bussorah Street, which is somewhere in the Bugis area.

 

You started practicing Astrology way before you took it up as a full-time profession. Astrology is an ‘ancient art’. What sparked you to be so intrigued by Astrology and taking it up seriously?

Well as you’ve mentioned that Astrology is very ancient, I think it easily has about 5 to 6000 years’ worth of history. And I figure if humans have bothered to study that long, through our history, then there has to be some merit in it. I think I was personally very intrigued by how the birth charts unerringly tell us so much about a person’s personality, and also where the inclinations lie.

 

How can Astrology improve lives?

Often, when most people think of Astrology, they think of it as fortune telling, and that’s how, quite frankly, it has been used traditionally. I think in modern context you find that modern western astrologers are more interested in psychological counseling, we’re interested to see how some of these behavioral patterns either can help us or they can get in our way. So it’s a great way to identify repeated patterns in our lives and also how to use these energies constructively.

 

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You’re the first Asian to graduate from the IAA (International Academy of Astrology) What are some of the challenges you’ve faced thus far whilst pursuing this career?

Actually, pursuing my degree at International Academy of Astrology was the easy part. It’s true that I was the first Asian, but being Singaporean, because we speak English well, it’s not difficult for us to connect with the westerners. Generally speaking, the study part was easy. I think the setting up business part is a little bit different. Astrology is just like any other business, and the challenges I faced, I think, are very similar to what other entrepreneurs faced. So it’s really about defining your target audience, figuring out how to get to them, and also most importantly, how to deliver value to the customers. So I think some of the difficulties that I might have faced specifically with Astrology is that, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about Astrology, many people think it’s religious, or that it’s purely fortune telling, which I can tell you none of my students or my clients will tell you that this is the case. I think the penetration that we can get into a person’s psyche; why do some people decide to become entrepreneurs like me, and why do some people never become entrepreneurs, why some people want to be parents and some people should never be parents. So, it’s actually very deep rooted into a person’s personality.

 

Any piece of advice to budding female entrepreneurs?

I don’t think the situation is very much more different for women. Especially in Singapore, where I don’t think there’s any prejudice against female entrepreneurs, I think the opportunities given to us are exactly the same as for male entrepreneurs. The kind of foundation work that we need to do for our business is exactly the same as with the men. I would say for most women, don’t let gender be an issue when it comes to starting a business. If you believe strongly in what you want to do, just do it. I don’t think anyone cares if you’re a woman or a man.

 

Can you share with us what your first consultation was like?

There’s actually quite a story that comes with it. Because I’ve actually been studying Astrology for many many years, and I never dared to see a client. Because I wasn’t convinced that I was good enough at doing this. So it was actually a friend who had covered a bit of the cost for me for an overseas trip (so basically I owed him money) He didn’t want his money back, and in fact, he said, “I want you to be seeing clients, and I want you to be collecting money from them. That money that you owed me? Never mind, forget about it, take it as if I’ve just paid for your first three clients. So, essentially he sent three of his friends to me, people who he thought needed such a consultation. I saw them, and in my mind, it’s very important because I think there is a barrier between doing something for free, and actually charging for it. And that’s when you make the transition into professional work. So, that was how I saw my first three clients. As you can expect, well, in the first place I didn’t see clients because I wasn’t confident yet. So, you get a lot of second guessing yourself, trying to see if some of your techniques work, whether your interpretations are on track. But, I think it was a very valuable experience. Definitely, I didn’t deliver to those customers what I do for my clients today. But, they are a very big part of my business – because had it not been for these 3 people who gave me a chance, when I wasn’t quite on a professional level, I wouldn’t be where I was today.

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Photo Credits: Selfstrology

Any inspirational quote to live by?

I think most people should just make a clear decision about what you want to do with your life, and be very very good at it.

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Selfstrology Moving Forward:

I think some of the organizations that we’d really like to work with, Number one, dating agencies. We’ve actually done very well with dating agencies. Especially when we have access to a group of people who are motivated to improve themselves because they are preparing for the next stage of their life, which is to commit to a partner. And the same thing also applies to companies who are doing corporate training, or individuals who are looking to develop themselves for the next level of professional development. I would say, some of the groups that we are interested in are people dealing with families, even families who may be dealing with conflict or certain difficulties, or just family members who are looking to connect better with each other. Of course, our academy is always open to people who loved to learn Astrology, you don’t need any special psychic abilities, you don’t have to be the “chosen one” to learn this. It’s a language, and anyone can learn this.

 

For more information, visit www.selfstrology.com

May Sim Bio Portfolio

 

For the original article, see: https://magazine.coassets.com/2017/03/08/womens-day-special-meet-may-sim-founder-of-selfstrology/

Aquarius, Aries, Articles, Cancer, Capricorn, Consultations & Readings, Houses, Leo, Libra, Mars, Media Features, Mercury, Planets, Saturn, Scorpio, Signs, Taurus, Uranus

Feature: Zula.sg – Sep 2019

May Sim: Astrologer In Singapore Explains Why Millennials Are So Obsessed With Astrology

 

Credit: Zula.sg

 

For most of my life, astrology was a fun read, consulted only when I needed to “Click Here To Find Out If Your Star Sign Is Compatible With Your Crush!”

But in the past year, I joined the increasing ranks of millennials who have taken to astrology faster than the PSI rose over the weekend. I found my attraction to reading horoscopes puzzling because I’m that person who needs receipts for everything.

Though there is no evidence that astrology influences your personality, the new age practice does have its own reasoning.

For the uninitiated, you have to factor where the sun, moon and planets are positioned at the moment of your birth to generate your unique chart. Astrologers then interpret the interactions between the celestial orbs to determine how they influence your life.

To get a better understanding of astrology and the growing millennial interest in it, I decided to pay astrologer May Sim a visit.

Selfstrology Academy office

Saturn Return and why your late twenties is a #struggle

One of the first things May says to me is, “You are not an adult yet.”

 

The International Academy of Astrology graduate explains it’s because I’ve not completed my Saturn Return.

Astrologers believe your first Saturn Return is your astrological coming of age. The planet takes 29.5 years to return to its original position at the time of your birth. With its return, Saturn allegedly brings a period of transition and (often painful) changes, which causes you to examine if your life, career and relationships are going as you wished they would.

For the 34-year-old, the period leading to her Saturn Return saw her quitting her high-paying height safety consultancy management job. In turn, May decided to pursue her interest in teaching and doing astrology consultations.

Unbeknown to her then, she set up Selfstrology Academy—her career transformation astrology firm—on the exact day of her Saturn Return.

What a birth chart looks like

Why astrology can be like therapy

Since she started reading charts at 18, May has seen more than 2,000 people. Now, her clients range from those in their early 20s to late 60s. There is an even male-female divide. Their jobs range from a special needs education teacher to CEOs in the finance sectors.

“If you want to know if it’s accurate, we never have complaints,” May says.

A consultation involves May analysing her clients’ chart to “see what’s causing, and be aware of, their problems.” Subsequently, she introduces new thought patterns to shift their perspectives.

In some sense, May likens the job of an astrology consultant to a therapist’s; she helps clients make peace with their decisions but does not advise them.

“One of my clients, a young lady, asked me if [she] should marry her boyfriend [who had been cheating on her]. From the chart, I could tell she has a thing of equating a relationship to monetary benefits.”

Upon further probing, the client revealed a willingness to turn a blind eye to her boyfriend’s philandering because his family was giving her a monthly clothing stipend of $1,500. The client was also promised an apartment in Shanghai if they were to marry.

 

The client’s chart suggested she had learnt these values from her parents. True enough, the client disclosed that her father had been caught cheating years ago. Her grandparents had moved her parents into a landed property and gave her mother a mahjong allowance to keep mum about the affair.

“I was able to show her that she was not happy with how her parents conducted the marriage. Now, she has a choice: [does she] want to sell [herself] into a marriage or demand for a committed relationship?”

 

Role of astrology in everyday life

I ask May what she thinks is astrology’s role in everyday life, as well as her thoughts on the renewed interest in astrology amongst millennials.

She stresses astrology is merely a framework to understanding life. Astrology should only be consulted when you run into problems and need clarity to improve a situation.

“What I like about modern astrology is that it gives free will back to a person. We don’t care about things like fate and destiny anymore because we believe if we can make our [own] decisions, the world is your oyster.”

“If you are born in the generation where there are a lot of outer planets in Aquarius, Aquarius is a sign that naturally relates to new age interest, something that is unconventional.”

“Young people are looking for a way to understand the world, because they have realised that conventional wisdom doesn’t work for them anymore. The alternatives are what they are looking for, and astrology gives [them] that.”

For the next two hours, May and I continue to discuss astrology’s role in religion, love and work. Leaving her office, I come to an understanding that it doesn’t matter if astrology is ‘real’ or has scientific backing; what matters is that it’s meaningful to the people who use it.

May featured in a previous newspaper interview

Astrology As Language To Understand Life

Through astrology, May gives her clients the language to express and organise the human experience. With terms like “Mercury in retrograde” and “your moon is in the fifth house,’” they can make sense of life’s randomness and formulate a plan to achieve what they want.

The proliferation of Instagram horoscope meme accounts and new astrology apps like Co-Star has done the same. With astrology presented in an easy-to-digest, structured and relatable way, it has become more accessible than ever.

I understand now that astrology can be a tool for self-introspection and is a medium for the social media generation to engage and understand the world they live in.

In our heart of hearts, we are all storytellers. We look for narratives to explain our lives, share our hopes and dreams, and form communities.

The people who go to May or subscribe to astrology are neither stupid nor take astrology as 100% fact.

Like the sailors of old, I believe they’re trying to pluck meaning from the stars to more easily navigate the sea of life.

For the original article, see: https://zula.sg/astrologer-singapore/

Events & Happenings, Student Meetups

STUDENTS-ONLY MEETUP: Guess A Stranger (20 Nov 2019)

20 Nov 2019 (WED), 7pm @ Selfstrology Academy, 15A Bussorah St

 

GUESS A STRANGER

Have you always wanted to practice your chart-reading skills, but with “real-life” clients? Do you also want have a different sense and perspective of day-to-day concerns and issues as opposed to reading mystery charts of famous people? This series of Students’-only Meetups will give you the opportunity to experience chart-reading practice on regular average people, while also picking up real practical skills on client-management in a potential consultation-type setting.

Title: Guess A Stranger
Date: 20 Nov 2019 (Wed)
Time: 7pm – 10pm
Fee: $20
Venue: Selfstrology Academy

Students to come prepared with:
– Full chart preparations
Elements / Modality Table
Overall Chart Impression
Career Profile
3 Themes

*Jeremy will send out the mystery charts on the Fridays (8 Nov & 15 Nov) leading up to the Student Meetup for you to prepare for the session. So do purchase the tickets on time for him to send you the charts.

What You Can Expect From The Session:
– Practice your chart-reading skills
– “Real-life” clients
– Opportunity to experience chart-reading practice on regular average people
– Real practical skills on client-management

 

To RSVP: via Eventbrite Link Here

Website: https://selfstrology.com/events/

Articles, Work & Career

Is There Such A Thing As A Dream Job?

So is there such a thing as a dream job? In my 16 years of experience as a professional consulting astrologer, I get asked about dream jobs in consultations all the time. What usually comes up when we talk about dream jobs is that, people conjure up images of fast sports cars, travelling to multiple countries, having lots of time off AND making bucket loads of money at the same time! Now, doesn’t that sound like what you have in mind too?

However, you see… there is fundamentally a BIG problem here…

The problem lies with the word ‘DREAM’.

When it’s a dream, it’s not real! It is probably something somewhere out there which the possibility of it happening is frankly close to impossible. And you’ll find for most people, they’re thinking; “Oh, you know, that was a great dream – that was a great idea. But you know, it’s not happening today, it’s not happening tomorrow, it’s not happening next year – maybe not in this lifetime”

And this is the big kicker that people get easily discouraged or disappointed, thinking that it is overly ambitious and they know that it’s relatively impossible to get there immediately.  It’s kind of sad if you think about it makes people feel resigned to the current situation and not do anything about it.

There’s a way around this.

Recently I had attended a course conducted by my coach, Melvin Soh (Yes, we all need a coach in our lives to achieve what’s beyond ourselves), he introduced a concept called the “PREFERRED” job. Before you jump in to say that it’s just a different wordplay, but this actually shifts psychologically the way you would view the job.

When we start talking in the realm of the “PREFERRED” job, you start to realised that the conditions are much more realistic and attainable, such as; shorter working hours, modifications to current job scopes, doing work which is more aligned with what you wanted to do, etc. Suddenly, these factors are a lot more do-able and actionable.

Even if it feels like you’re just talking baby steps to make changes to your work environment, you’re actually shifting closer to attaining your preferred job which would give you the right kind of satisfaction you want.

If you found that a simple tip like this would put you closer to achieve the career satisfaction you seek, consider that in the Career Transformation Weekend Programme, we get participants to consider similar concepts like these and apply to the activities. Through the programme, participants start to design a new career which leaves them aligned with their purpose, work with people they like, while getting paid well for what they do. For more information about the programme, click here

Events & Happenings, Student Meetups

STUDENTS-ONLY MEETUP: Chiron: The Healing Tool In Our Charts (16 Oct 2019)

16 Oct 2019 (WED), 7pm @ Selfstrology Academy, 15A Bussorah St

CHIRON: THE HEALING TOOL IN OUR CHARTS

Wherever we see Chiron in the charts is where we know that there are themes of Rejection, Abandonment & Inadequacy. However, Chiron can also be used as an amazing transformation healing tool when it is projected in a positive context to help and benefit others! Discover the different ways in which Chiron can be used and applied positively.

In this event, we”ll examine:
– Identifying the effects & impact of Chiron in your charts
– Sharing session on the various Sign & House combinations of Chiron
– How to apply Chiron in our lives: transform from ‘wounded’ to ‘healer’

Students To Come Prepared With:
– Keywords for Sign & House combinations
– Prepared to share the effects & impact of Chiron in your charts

Title: Chiron: The Healing Tool In Our Charts
Date: 16 Oct 2019 (Wed)
Time: 7pm – 10pm
Fee: $20
Venue: Selfstrology Academy

To RSVP: via Eventbrite Link Here

Website: https://selfstrology.com/events/

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