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How I Accidentally Became an Astrologer

It’s 2015 and I’m 20 years old. I’ve suddenly found myself bedridden, in constant excruciating pain, and unable to eat anything. I have multiple ER trips under my belt in which doctors told me my pain and suffering was “all in my head.” I’m forced to go on medical leave from my university after a semester spent hobbling around to lectures, hunched over in agony.

I come from an immigrant family from India, who have no experience with accommodating disability, and were raised with the cultural mentality that inability to overcome bodily limitations is a personal failure.

So while I’m navigating the sudden and terrifying inability to function on a basic level due to devastating levels of chronic pain, my doctors are telling me my illness is all in my head, and my parents are telling me that I’ll never be successful if I don't get over my complaints.

I have no awareness about health and wellness at that age–let alone any knowledge about illness and disability–but there I am, 94 pounds, trapped in my bed, unable to eat, and absolutely petrified I would be stuck forever.

Photo of 20 year old Shruti smiling sitting at a dining table, eating a dinner of a small piece of fish and some cauliflower soup.
Me in 2015, about 6 months into being mostly bedridden and barely able to eat anything.

If you had told 20-year-old me that astrology was going to be the ticket out of these hopeless circumstances into a healthy, fulfilling life, I’d have told you that you were out of your mind. At the time I thought astrology was limited to the horoscopes I saw in magazines and newspapers and didn’t believe some stars or planets had anything meaningful to say about my life.

After a few months stuck in bed, unable to work, unable to study, barely even able to eat without severe brain fog, fatigue and excruciating muscle cramps constantly radiating through my body–I knew something had to change.

One of the primary ways I passed my time was by scrolling on tumblr, a micro-blogging website. In my dazed, foggy scrolling, I started to notice that the astrology related posts were resonating a lot more deeply than anything I had seen before. I was surprised and intrigued to learn that there was more to astrology than just “your sign,” and all the jokes and memes about these more detailed elements of astrology were resonating at a creepily accurate level.

Why did these random astrology posts on tumblr know so much personal information about me and my friends just based on things like our Venus or Mercury sign?

I set out to learn more about astrology, purely because I wanted to understand how something so “made up” and irrelevant to my life could be so accurate. My skeptical curiosity was fueled even further as I began to learn more about the different planets, houses, and signs in astrology, as well as what they mean and how they applied to me and my friends’ charts. This research was the only thing that kept me going during a period of my life where I had literally nothing else going for me.

Learning about my chart helped me understand why my transition to suddenly being bedridden destroyed my sense of self (Leo Mars, 9th house Libra Sun). It helped me put words to why others often had polarizing, shocking reactions to me when I would express myself authentically (Scorpio stellium across my mid-heaven). Astrology clarified why people’s first impression of me that I was aloof and unapproachable diverged so greatly from my warm and engaging personality (Aquarius rising vs Libra Sun, 7th house Leo Mars).

18 year old Shruti standing under a waterfall in Costa Rica, smiling with her arms outstretched
Me in 2012 after a strenuous hike in Costa Rica, before I became disabled.

Before my chronic illness disabled me, I was an energetic, active, optimistic, and social person who had a deep passion for studying, working, and experiencing everything the world around me had to offer. Being bedridden in excruciating pain for years without support or meaningful healthcare disrupted every single thing I thought I knew about myself and my life. Even though I was steadfast about being a skeptic, I leaned harder into learning more about astrology because it was the only thing in my life that made any sense anymore.

As 2015 bled into 2016, from my bed I learned more about endometriosis—the illness I was sure I had, but that many doctors refused to diagnose me with because few were qualified to perform the diagnostic surgery. Doctors told me everything from “your symptoms are not that severe” to “try yoga and Aleve” despite the fact that I was still bedridden, malnourished, and in constant excruciating pain, with no end in sight.

By 2016, I began to pursue holistic, alternative and naturopathic practitioners for help managing the debilitating pain. I was forced onto a restrictive anti-inflammatory diet of no sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, seed oils or additives/preservatives. While this diet marginally improved my symptoms, it further isolated me from my friends and family because I could no longer eat at restaurants or share meals with anyone socially. I had never felt so hopeless or alone in my life.

By 2017, I was barely well enough to return to university—with hefty disability accommodations that I struggled to accept I needed. I resumed my coursework on international political economy. My plan after graduation was to work in policy research and lobbying around labor and international trade issues. My passion for socioeconomic and labor rights motivated me to put in extra effort to research beyond my university curriculum and learn about the inter-connectivity of our world from an ecofeminist and labor rights perspective.

Because the state of the world was so bleak in regards to ecofeminist labor rights, my schoolwork was routinely exhausting and emotionally draining to pursue. There were multiple instances in many of my classes where I knew more about the nuances of a subject (like the Syrian Civil War and global trade relations) than my professors and TA’s, and was asked to teach what I knew to the class. I felt overworked and under-compensated for the knowledge I had to offer, and exhausted from fighting so hard to maintain my good grades despite my severe health struggles. I leaned on exploring astrology as a lighthearted, fun reprieve from the stress of both my fragile health and my studies. It was a thought experiment to me and my friends, nothing more serious.

In 2018, the ground was pulled out from underneath me again and I could no longer consider astrology a silly and unimportant exercise.

Uranus, the planet ruling unexpected upsets, breakdowns, and breakthroughs, moves into a new sign every 7 years (with about a year of retrograding back and forth between 2 signs during that transition). When Uranus moved from Aries to Taurus for the first time, my grandfather back in India passed away.

His passing rocked the core of my giant, internationally scattered family and because of my final exams, I wasn’t able to attend his funeral proceedings in India. This was the first major loss in my family that I had experienced and because of the stress of navigating my health and exams, there wasn’t time or space for me to process my grief. I needed to be able to focus on my intensive health regimen, as well as my finals—which felt next to impossible in the face of the undertow that grief kept sucking me into. I felt even lonelier than before because I was carrying this grief by myself, with no way to cope, while my family gathered half a world away.

During that process, I desperately searched for something to anchor me so I could get through my finals. I noticed the astrologers I followed on social media sharing that Uranus had moved into Taurus, and that it was common for people to pass away suddenly during this type of transit. Intrigued, I researched everything I could about this phenomenon and applied it to my own birth chart. I realized that this astrological transit in the sky activated the sections of my chart associated with family and ancestors, and that even though I was losing a family member—I was gaining an ancestor.

This framing of my grandfather’s passing empowered me to successfully navigate the stress and isolation of final exams, and while I was extremely grateful, I was still willing to remain skeptical and write this experience off as a coincidence.

At the end of 2018, Uranus retrograded back into Aries—and I kid you not—my other grandfather passed away! Once again, I was preparing for exams and was unable to go to India for the funeral rites! This time around, I already had the framework of how this transit in the sky affected my chart. After further reflection, I was able to understand that this experience was no coincidence, rather an extremely pivotal and meaningful moment that would shape the trajectory of my life if I chose to let it.

Grief takes us to strange, non-rational places, and my astrological self-reflection provided a way to process and make meaning out of losing elders that I loved dearly but rarely got to see. Since I am an Aquarius rising, under the modern system of astrology, my chart is ruled by Uranus. My chart's Uranus is located in Capricorn—the sign of forefathers—in the 12th house representing our spiritual connection to our ancestors. Once is a coincidence, but both of my grandfathers passing during the transit of my ruling planet that represents my patriarchal ancestors is a tough thing to deny the significance of!

I began to engage with astrology from a much more self-reflective perspective. Since I was studying history and human inter-connectivity at university, I began to notice that through a unique form of astrological interpretation that I developed myself, I could trace histories of wounds and wisdom passed down within birth charts. I was so excited at the incredible insights I was finding in my own birth chart analysis, I started to experiment with reading my friends’ charts, astonishing us all with my findings.

In one session with a friend, I asked her if she had an ancestor whose judgements restricted the freedoms of others and she mentioned one of her great-grandfathers had been a judge! We were able to contextualize her skittish relationship to judgements and craft her a mindset that allowed her to release the pressure she didn’t realize she felt around this topic.

My vast knowledge on history, global socioeconomic dynamics, queerness, and disability brought a wealth of specialized understanding to my astrological interpretations. I no longer cared whether I “believed in” astrology because I was so busy uncovering this expansive well of self-reflective resources that astrology offers for processing and making meaning of deep and heavy human experiences!

By 2019, my first and oldest client insisted that she had to pay me because my astrological interpretations through the readings I was giving her changed her life and reconnected her to parts of herself she thought she lost access to. In my head, astrology was still only a cool hobby—a break I was taking from the intensity of the coursework I was doing to prepare for a job in policy research. I had no intentions of pursuing astrology professionally. 

Shruti.... I've been seeing therapists for years +I don't think any of them have given me advice as succinct and accurate and *deeply* understanding of me as a person as the self care advice u gave me in my reading. You didn't know me as a little kid but for some reason you managed to make an exact bullet point list of everything that once made me happy (deadass ask [redacted] about when we used to sit down at lunch together in elementary school n just share our dreams in exact detail Imao. The way you read me was like ... shockingly accurate- it moved me to whole tears n I'm cherishing this forever. I did NOT expect you to send me so much info about my subconscious, or for that info to resonate SOOOO deeply!!! when u told me u were gonna tell me bout some lil asteroid called Chiron. I’m so grateful for this (+ for my next readings to come!) you have an unbelievable talent.
The 2019 testimonial from my first astrology client–whose insistence on paying me for this session inspired me to start Shrutrees.

I had entered my final year of university, and while researching my post-grad job options, I realized that my debilitated health put me in no position to work the number of consistent hours a job in my desired field would require. I was researching what options were available in my field that would also include disability accommodations and I was encouraged by someone in the industry with my illness to try for a job in Europe. My dreams of being of service to the world via policy research seemed unattainable.

Instead of being devastated at yet another aspect of life that was robbed by my untreated illness, I grew curious.

What could it look like to leverage my self-reflective, historically, and socially informed approach to astrology to help other people build self trust and make meaning out of big life moments?

What if I said yes to my friend who wanted to pay me, and offered this professionally as a service?

By April 2019, I became an astrologer and Shrutrees was born. In these 5 years, self-reflective astrology has empowered me to move across the country twice, get that coveted endometriosis diagnosis/excision surgery, build out a support system best suited for my needs, make sense of the ebbs and flows of my health capacity, and navigate every unexpected twist and turn of my life while staying rooted in my purpose.

My health is better than it has ever been and I am using the knowledge from my studies on international history and political economy every single day in client work to help people feel empowered by their connections to their histories and place in the world.

April 2024 marks 5 years of being in business as a self-reflective Astrologer and Transition Coach. Through self-reflective astrology, I built a 5-figure business that has helped hundreds of people reconnect to their authentic sense of self and build systems of internal and external support that create self-trust in their abilities to carry themselves through whatever life throws at them.

Just like I used astrology to navigate the grief of losing my grandfathers from such a great distance, I leverage self-reflective astrology to equip people with customized mindset shifts and practical strategies that help others learn how to wield their agency to carve out fulfilling lives. I teach people how to use the nuances of astrology to cultivate a language to describe their complex, interlocking, contradictory expressions, emotions and experiences.

Self reflective astrology has given my clients an empowering framework to move through deep life transitions with courage and clarity of purpose, These big life transitions have looked like: breaking generational patterns, releasing people pleasing, leaving abusers, losing loved ones, becoming first time parents, coping with disability, starting/growing businesses, switching careers later in life, surviving and transitioning out of rigorous environments like medical or graduate school, etc.

My sessions regularly yield fascinating connections between my clients, their astrology, and the larger worlds they belong to–like when I warned a client that in March 2023, new technological advances would disrupt information systems in their industry and to pay attention to the resulting institutional shifts. They followed up last month, letting me know that was the month chatGPT blasted open their understandings around research and authorship and that their industry is still dealing with the ramifications of that disruption today. They felt more equipped to handle that shift and understand their place in the middle of it all because of the work we had done together.

I also host monthly workshops that leverage the power of moon manifestation rituals to provide a safe space for anyone navigating transitions, but especially for survivors of abuse and trauma to nurture their belief in the possibility of cultivating safety within themselves and in community.

I have created and facilitated multiple astrology and history based workshops that develop clarity around self-worth and self-abandonment wounds in the context of the international histories and cultures that shaped us.

I offer private coaching for high achievers to reconnect with the complexity of themselves and their human experience in the midst of their fast paced, demanding lives. My high achieving clients walk away from each session feeling energized and empowered to take control of their ability to live fulfilling, 3-dimensional lives beyond their work and familial obligations.

Photo of smiling 29 year old Shruti, standing at the trunk of a large tree
Me in 2023, thriving as a professional Astrologer and Transition Coach.

And that’s how I accidentally became an astrologer :)

Work with me! 

In recurring Zoom sessions spanning 6 months, Roadmap to Reclamation teaches you how to build systems within the confines of your existing life that make space for the wholeness of your human experience. Leave each session feeling energized and grounded after attaining clarity on what is happening to you in the greater context of your life and what options you have to navigate it. Create a life for yourself that centers your agency, healing, and fulfillment at the forefront.

Are you ready to build a life, not just a career?

Find more information and book a discovery call today!


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