01 Nov Feature: Zula.sg – Sep 2019
May Sim: Astrologer In Singapore Explains Why Millennials Are So Obsessed With Astrology
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/