DECODING THE WHEEL SERIES: In this series, we orient ourselves with Astrology by giving a background and history, interviewing local Astrologer Melissa LaFara of Energetic Principles, and through our Decoding the Wheel Beginner Astrology Event on June 21st!
As Part of our LOCALS ONLY SERIES
A series Thread + Seed created to introduce you to San Diego's most passionate and inspiring experts in the clean beauty, wellness and health industries.
Interviewer: Jaclyn Najjar, Thread + Seed
Interviewee: Melissa LaFara
Find Her At: energeticprinciples.com
Melissa is a serious practioner and teacher of both tarot and astrology, but imbues it with a sense of groundedness and a touch of fun. As a board member of the San Diego Astrological Society, and podcast founder of Energetic Principles, we are excited to have her at our upcoming events, Graffiti Beach REIMAGINED Party and DECODING THE WHEEL.
Jaclyn Najjar: Do you feel that San Diegans are open to Tarot and Astrology as well as other energy-based spirituality concepts?
Melissa LaFara: Yes, I feel that people out here are very open to spiritual disciplines. In fact, the astrological and new age community here has been very vibrant through the 20th (and now 21st) century. Some of the most prominent organizations for these disciplines took root in San Diego county, making this a hotbed for spiritual related activity. In fact, there is a well known symbol system in astrology called Sabian Symbols and they were elicited and intuited by Mark Edmund Jones and Elsie Wheeler in our very own Balboa Park in 1925! I am currently serving on the board of the San Diego Astrological Society which has also been hosting world famous astrologers since 1974. So yes, I’d say that San Diego has actually been quite integral to the growth of these concepts over the years!
JN: How did you originally become introduced to Astrology and Tarot?
ML: It’s kind of a funny story when I think back on it. As a kid I was fascinated with the planets and by the time I was in high school I began learning the tarot. I put it down for a number of years until about 2009 when I had a synchronistic moment on a walk to our downtown library. I was not doing very well financially at the time, and as I was heading down to the library a $20 bill floated past my feet like a rolling tumbleweed. I quickly stamped down on it with a big smile on my face and put it in my pocket. When I made it down to the library, they were having one of their book sales and I came across Fred Gettings’ “The Book of the Hand: An Illustrated History of Palmistry.” I was became fascinated with the subject, and had I not found that floating Jackson, I would not have been able to purchase it. From that day forth, I dived deeper into palmistry which then led me back to Tarot and eventually to Astrology. Since that day, I’ve never looked back!
JN: How did you come to create Energetic Principles?
ML: I came up with Energetic Principles back in 2012 while I was pursuing music - playing in The Lumps and Wild Honey - and working at a local record store called Thirsty Moon Records. I knew that at some point in my life that I was going to pursue this course and wanted to create an umbrella to talk about all the fascinating disciplines that I had been drawn to. I envisioned creating a community around these teachings and helping others through all that I’ve learned. That day when it came to me, I bought all the domains and secured the social media accounts - holding space for the future. It wasn’t until late 2015 that I started to work under the name… and in the beginning of 2017 I decided to take it seriously and go full time with my vision.
JN: What types of services do you offer?
ML: Currently I offer one-on-one consultations, with the most popular being my ‘Tarot meets Astro’ service. Here I look at a client’s chart and determine the current astrological factors that are influencing the energy of the person’s life and combine those findings with an in-depth card spread that helps get to the bottom of the changes a person may be going through in life. It’s rare that people come to you when all is well and good… it’s when our lives feel out of control that we usually seek some greater awareness into the situation. So that is a rewarding (and usually quite fun!) aspect of what I do. I keep an updated Astroblog on my website, writing about each New Moon and Full Moon while also working via a crowdfunding platform called Patreon where I offer bi-monthly moon horoscopes and a weekly custom spread tarot subscription for those that want to learn tarot and engage with the energy of the week. My patreon endeavor is still in it’s infancy, so I’m excited to watch it twist and turn with it’s own life as time goes on. My IG stories feed is active with daily “astro alerts” where I create a ticker tape that gives you a sentence of energy for the day and readers have reached out on several occasions to express how helpful and accurate these simple messages have been for them. I am also very dedicated to education and teaching, so I foresee more workshops and online courses coming in the future. As they say… The more you know! :::Insert NBC public service message here:::
JN: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about energy-based spirituality?
ML: I think people take the idea of energy for granted. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, which is a basic physics principle. It can only be transformed from one form to another. So for those who do not believe in the impact energy can have, or think that talk of it is too new age or hoity toity, they are essentially ignoring a key component of what drives the universe. When we are not aware of our own energy, especially that which is more negative, this energy has to go somewhere. A lot of times, if it is not worked with and transmuted or transformed in some way, it has nowhere to go but to attach itself to somewhere in our own bodies. This is where dis-ease comes from. Being consciously aware of the energy and more willing to understand it, can greatly help keep our lives - and bodies - in balance.
JN: What would you suggest to a beginner who wants to become more knowledgeable about Astrology and Tarot?
ML: This is a wonderful time in history for people who want to learn more about astrology! The astrological community is increasingly growing and in the last handful of years, the interest and coverage of the discipline has been gaining great traction. I just came back from Chicago where we had our week long United Astrology Conference - aka UAC - and the amount of attendees grew by the hundreds since the previous conference in 2012. There were attendees from all across the globe ranging from newbies to practitioners with decades of experience. So as the community grows, there are more and more opportunities and resources for beginners to learn. I certainly recommend that anyone interested join their local organizations - such as SDAS - where you’ll be introduced to a wealth of resources while also having the support of a community of like minded people.
JN: What about for beginner Tarot practitioners?
ML: I guess I would repeat the same advice as above for learning tarot as well. It’s always good to have people to discuss the symbols with and that is primarily the reason I created my Tarot Subscription on Patreon. The best way to learn tarot is practice on a regular basis. There are many fabulous books out there, as well as online resources, that help you get a good idea of each card’s meaning. Plus, since tarot is based on visuals, your intuition can tell you quite a great deal just by looking at the art on the cards. By keeping a journal of each spread you do, as well as writing down your thoughts on each card, you begin to incorporate the knowledge through practice. People always ask, “how can you remember what all these cards mean?!” … and it’s as simple as devoting yourself to a regular practice where over time the symbols embed themselves into your psyche. Both Astrology and Tarot are based off of archetypal principles, so every one of us already has the ingrained knowledge of these ancient representations in our souls.
JN: You have had a few podcasts, and Energetic Principles is your most recent launch. Tell us more about that and how podcasting jives with astrology and tarot as subjects.
ML: I love podcasting! It’s funny because before I started one I never listened to them. Now I’m hooked! I love sharing knowledge via these mediums because a lot of people work long days and may not always have the time to watch a video or read an article. But with podcasting, you can multi-task while you listen. With the EP podcast, the first half of the show is me giving an astro report with the energy of the week, along with 2 tarot cards and an “animal ambassador” - side note: I’m very into animal spirits. The second half of the show features a special guest of the week where we rap about different subjects. Sometimes astrological, sometimes not… but always in reference to the energy that is happening during the week. I love hearing different people’s perspectives, sharing stories, and just having a good ‘ol laugh with those who join me. So, yes, I find that podcasting jives very well with the dissemination of these subjects and also gives my listeners something to look forward to each week. It’s always good to know what is in store!
JN: What else do you have coming down the pipeline that we can get excited about?
ML: As I stated previously, I am in the process of creating more educational material that will be an offer via online courses. I’ve also been working on an oracle deck that I hope to release in 2019. It’s a bit of a ways off, but through astrology I can see publishing in my stars! An excellent reminder that it is very helpful to have an inkling of what the future holds in store.
Meet Melissa at our upcoming event! Decoding the Wheel is a beginner astrology class on June 21st from 6-9pm.
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