Bridging Business and Woo
an Interview with astrologer Kira Ryberg
This newsletter is the first in my new ~Interview Series~ where I talk to my favorite astrologers, artists and mystics about their practices, their loves and what lights them up. It’s an opportunity to not only showcase the brilliance in my community, but also demonstrate how much wisdom is created together. By being in dialogue with another, we can reveal ourselves in new and magical ways for the benefit of all.
In this interview, I am talking to fellow astrologer Kira Ryberg about zodiacal releasing, purpose and profession in astrology and how the decans bring our stories alive. Stay tuned for part II, which is a deep dive on pop culture and astrology
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity
Hi Kira. Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I'm an astrologer but I think what I really try to do is re-enchant people with the Cosmos and help them see that we're connected to more than what is necessarily visible or tangible; that there's a whole world out there that is really inspiring and beautiful and filled with magic. I help people see that in whatever way I can, whether that's in a consultation setting, whether that's through writing, a guidebook or any different type of thing that I do. I think that's what's the core of it.
So I know you have a very popular Baby Astro Guidebook but you are also branching into more complex techniques and teachings in your work. What was that transition like?
I think a lot of that was through our fixed star reading, actually. I was at a big Crossroads about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to focus on doing next. I think even when I write, I write in a way that's more educational, or in a way that someone can take something out of it. And we talked about it a lot in the consultation. After that I thought, what do I really want to do? Instead of what do I think I should do.
What am I good at if I could pick and I can pick, right? And I think that’s my video lectures now and having fun things coming out like writing content for my patron page. It's geared more in the direction of going beyond the beginner stuff and looking at different topics that are really interesting to me. That's been such a cool experience. I like to stay stimulated and interested. I don't ever want to lose that juice.
So what is one of the things that you're doing now that you're really excited about?
I’m really into the purpose and profession stuff right now. I have a video lecture on it that came out on August 3. I also wrote a long patron post about it. I think I might also start offering that as a reading. With my Saturn in the 10th house, I am a very career-oriented person and I like to be able to dive into that subject with people, but I'm also a 9th house person, so there has to be meaning there. I like the business stuff, but I also like the woo-woo stuff. How can we make those two things combine? It makes me feel alive.
I find using astrology for purpose and profession to be one of the most difficult things to delineate for people because it's such a personal thing. Sometimes even more than relationship readings.
Yeah, it is a slippery topic. I think it's always about being ethical. The client knows more about themselves than I know about them. And before we even start the session, I asked them what they do, what they're interested in, what their current career path is. This all has to be adjusted to the person sitting in front of you.
Next I ask, is this aligning with what I see in the chart? I would think it would be this thing, but then you dig a little deeper. And it's actually completely this other thing. And so I think that's really fun to talk about with people. Because sometimes you bring that up and say it could be this, but it could also be this other thing. And they're like, ‘that other thing is something I've thought about the last five years, I've been too scared to take a jump’. And also helping people see that there is a difference between the two; you don't always do your purpose for your profession. There isn't always alignment, and you're allowed to have a calling that has nothing to do with how productive you are as a person or what you're doing for capitalism.
Have you found anything really interesting in your research so far?
I think the one thing that really comes through time and time again is the decans1 and I know that you love the decans as well. What really struck me as I was thinking about James Hillman, and his acorn theory2, and he has this quote, where he's talking about the image. The image is in the acorn and when we talk specifically about how we all have this image, it really strikes me that the image is like the decan of your lot of spirit, or your MC. It just feels so resonant to my experience and to what I've been seeing in example charts with clients. And I feel like it's such a beautiful access point.
I think [the decans] are the only form of dignity that is more descriptive than necessarily about power or strength. You need the decan to fill in what story that planet is actually fulfilling, regardless of how well it can fulfill that story.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it paints the picture. You have all the information, but then you get the scene. You have the script, and then you have the set. And then you can put it together a lot more accurately than if you just had one or the other. And when you have the whole thing down, it's like watching a movie.
Oh, I like that. Just imagining how the different decans of one chart blends together.
I had one client who, for all of their placements, it was either Leo and the crown of laurels decan or the throne decan of Capricorn. There was all this royal imagery that was associated with their major planets and they didn't necessarily have anything in their chart that would have made you think that otherwise
And like we said, it just opens up, or I think gives permission for feelings that are probably already there. Is there a certain decan that you've been particularly interested in that you’re seeing a lot lately?
For me personally, Aquarius II comes up a lot. It's where my chart ruler is and my Sun, so I spend a lot of time thinking about Aquarius II, and what that is and feels like and how it manifests, not just my life and in my career. So that one's always a little near and dear.
I'm curious what your take on that one is or how you embody that.
It's really interesting because it's the Heaven and Earth decan. Austin Coppock says it speaks a lot to people trying to bring those two kind of topics together and merging them in some way. I think to have my Mercury there3, it feels like so much of my life is about bridging that gap between heaven and earth for people in consultations, like someone coming in and speaking to me about what's tangible, what's happening in their life. And me saying, this is what's happening in the cosmos, and this is how it's related. It reflects that situation. Also, there's stuff about being on a journey with this decan. I also moved abroad, and I took a journey where I didn't know where it was gonna lead, and that informed everything that I've done since that point. I think about the risk associated with Aquarius, too.
This being your ruling decan makes this purpose and profession focus make so much sense because it really is about marrying individual will to commerce. As a double Mercury decan, I don't think that's something that's really talked about with the planet, but Mercury rules commerce.
I've actually started saying commerce every time I describe Mercury. I'm on a bit about this, how everyone forgets Mercury is commerce and trade. That's such a core Mercury signification that we do forget about.
Maybe we should start seeing Mercury as the business bitch or maybe that should come up more in professional endeavors. It's part of this decan’s whole thing is it’s not just the woo going off into outer space. It's like, how do I make money off of that?
Especially in that decan, where Mercury does have that special strength. Or a lot of people who maybe don’t have it in their ninth house, that superpower probably is a lot more related to commerce, trade, being able to sell and having the gift of the gab and being able to be that kind of promo person that we don't always associate with Mercury, but more with the Sun. But it's the ability to market yourself, the act of it might be solar, but you writing the tweet, you sending it, that's very mercurial.
I love that you incorporate elections into your purpose and professions reading (to help plan important career moments) and you use Zodiacal Releasing, which is obviously one of the most complex, but also extremely pragmatic, predictive tools that have been given to us.
I just feel like even that shows the magic of astrology. It might seem like a really practical thing, but that’s an incredibly powerful moment when you realize it works. It changes your whole conceptualization of how the world works. When you start realizing every moment that you do something has a chart and that chart is gonna tell you how it's gonna go and everything, every word, every tweet, every blog, post, whatever it may be, has a birth chart. Like when you start really thinking about what that means, I feel like there's no way that you can't feel so linked to the cosmos. I think that's how we bridge it.
So obviously you do elections as part of this purpose and profession [reading]. But you also do ZR.4 How did you go down that rabbit hole?
ZR was my first thing, where I knew there's juice here. This is magical for me. I kept a ZR journal for a year and a half. I was tracking everything and I was using it in every single consultation. Eventually, people started knowing me for ZR and coming to me for that specifically.
And so I started doing a lot of ZR-specific readings and then taking some of Robert Schmidt’s courses after staring with Chris Brennan’s and diving a bit deeper into Zodiacal Releasing from a different lens. With ZR, you can see all the ways that you can chart someone's lot of spirit, which is heavily related to their purpose and their profession. And you can see the timeline for that. So then you have the script, you have the setting and now you have the timeline. And so you've got all of these different pieces to really paint this picture for you.
With ZR you can also time when someone is likely to find their purpose and that really plays a huge role in the consultations too, specifically being able to find that moment, and say, ‘Hey, maybe you haven't had that yet,’ and that's okay. You don't need to feel like you've got it figured out yet, cuz you're not gonna figure it out for maybe 20 more years. And that's your individual journey and there's no judgment attached there. You can use ZR to narrow down moments where people are having more active times in their career where you can see forward momentum and implementing that with the electional process to time it.
Of course I've heard this metaphor so many times, but when I watched your lecture and saw the way you talked about it like a book, with level two like a chapter and level three like a page in the book. I love that and now whenever I practice with ZR I keep coming up with a fantasy book, like it’s an epic quest.
It is like a hero's journey and what book are you in, even? And then what chapter are you on? Is there help in that chapter? Do you feel lonely? Do you feel supported? I think one of the best things that ZR does is it validates people's experiences. And I think so many people, they think that they're making it all up in their head and it can't possibly be this bad but no, it actually might be that bad. Sometimes that's confronting information. Sometimes that's really validating too. I did [my mom’s] ZR once. You could see that her happiest moments were when she like had me and my brother and that was a really beautiful moment. She's like, “that was when I felt the happiest in my life was when I just had you guys and I was a new mom”. That was a really beautiful experience too. So there's a lot of illumination there.
**Stay tuned for Part II**
the division of each zodiac sign into three 10º sections, totaling 36 altogether. Originating in Ancient Egypt, the decans each have an assigned planetary rulers and images often used in magical and talismanic workings.
The theory “that all people already hold the potential for the unique possibilities inside themselves, much as an acorn holds the pattern for an oak tree”. (source)
which is the ruling planet of this decan in both of the most popular decanic systems