The women who say their stellar careers are forged by the stars
One plans her business around the position of the planets. Another hires staff according to their birth signs (yes to Virgos and no to Leos!)...
CAROLYN CReeL is the first to admit that she leads a lovely life. Indeed the 57-yearold businesswoman lives in a beautiful home, drives a sports car and regularly takes holidays in New York, Las Vegas and the South of France. These are the spoils of a multi-million-pound cleaning business she’s built up over two decades. Her hard-won success is all the more impressive for the fact she started out with nothing.
‘I’d just got divorced and I was a single mother of one,’ she says. ‘I was working as a cleaner for a national cleaning company when a colleague and I decided to set up on our own: we started with no staff, doing everything ourselves and built up to a team of 450-plus employees.’
So far, so inspiring. You would imagine Carolyn attributes her success to sheer graft, natural business acumen and the odd stroke of luck. But she credits something far more unexpected: her astrological chart.
‘I don’t want anyone to think I’m crackers,’ she says. ‘ Working in the corporate world means I have to be careful when I tell people my business plan revolves around the positioning of the stars and planets.
‘But the truth is I won’t deal with any new contracts or major business decisions during what we call “Mercury Retrogrades”. Mercury is the sign of communication and when it retrogrades — or goes backwards — things can go wrong.
‘I always take stock of “eclipse Season” — that’s when I decide whether to end certain contracts. This happens twice a year and during each season there are two eclipses; one of the sun during a new moon and one of the full moon by the earth.
‘It signals a time of beginnings and endings. The sudden change of Prime Minister didn’t surprise me, for example, because it happened during this period.
‘ Making decisions based on astrology might sound surprising, but it really helps identify the right career moves or business opportunities for me. I’d go so far as to say it’s essential for managing and getting the best out of a team.’
Incredibly, Carolyn is far from alone in living her life according to astrology. Some 23 per cent of Britons have made an important life decision based on what’s written in the stars and 85 per cent of women agree that their star sign describes their personality.
It’s not entirely unknown in the business world either. American financier and investment banker JP Morgan believed there was more to the markets than timing.
He referred to an astrologer frequently, who advised him about the changing position of the planets and their probable effect on politics, business and the stock market.
A quick search on Amazon for ‘astrology and trading’ brings up more than 100 books.
even the likes of pop star Jennifer Lopez have been known to make decisions in this way. Last year, she was criticised for having apparently ditched dancers auditioning for her tour simply because they were Virgos.
Susannah Gill, 48, a fashion designer based in Manchester, who also lives according to astrology, believes Ms Lopez was right to give Virgos a wide birth.
‘Virgo’s find fault with just about anything, the nit-picking among the dancers and telling everyone how to do things all the time would just cause arguments. They have a tendency to be perfectionists, but expect others to be the same.’
Susannah has been studying astrology for more than 30 years and has used astrology for every aspect of her life since her teens.
‘ I refer to my chart for everything from when to place a bet to starting a diet, but also for demystifying romantic partners and, perhaps most importantly of all, for making business decisions,’ she says.
‘It goes without saying that the biggest impact astrology has had on my life is when it comes to my career.’
Susannah claims that financial traders, pop stars and athletes all use astrology to enhance their wealth and careers — yet not many are keen to admit it for fear of ridicule.
‘When Adele released her 30 album, certain planets in her chart were in favourable positions. Jupiter, a planet which represents luck was trine, that means in synchronicity with her Venus (this planet rules the voice).
‘It was also heading towards what we call her Midheaven — this is the highest point on someone’s chart — which rules her career. It’s too much of a coincidence that this date was chosen randomly.’
Adele is known to believe in astrology, in an interview in Vogue to promote her last album she referred to her ‘ Saturn Return’. That’s when the planet returns to the place it was when you were born. This astrological phenomenon is thought to be about big changes in one’s life and Adele referred to her divorce from her husband as a result of hers.
Susannah continues: ‘Twitter is full of financial traders referring to astrological charts, under the hashtag #financialastrology. Perhaps the trader most famous for using astrology was W.D. Gann.’
He believed there was a powerful connection between the movements of the stars and the movements of the markets and used geometry, astrology and astronomy to make millions in the American financial markets last century.’
So what exactly is your astrological birth chart? It can be calculated via astrological software on the internet — using the date, place and time of your birth.
This information determines exactly where the sun, moon and stars were on the precise moment
Astrology is essential for managing a team
of your birth. Their unique positions can be used to determine everything from career to family to future events.
It is a complicated-looking pie chart divided into 12 sections with planets dotted about in each. The sections refer to factors such as family, career, health, home and identity.
It can all seem unfathomable to beginners, which is why most people refer to a professional to decipher its meaning. Carolyn, who’s a Leo, first had hers done 15 years ago.
‘I was in my early 40s when I got my birth chart done. I’d always been interested in how the moon impacts on my emotions.
‘If I’m tired and feeling under the weather I’ll look to see what’s going on with the moon, what phase the moon is in — new, full or in its dark phase — and where it is in relation to my sun sign (Leo) moon sign (Scorpio) and rising sign (Virgo). I don’t just put such feelings down to stress or pop a pill for a headache. I’ll know the moon is playing a prominent part in my chart.’
It is why over the last two decades Carolyn has consulted astrology when buying out businesses and building her own empire.
‘I’ve successfully bought three office- cleaning businesses when the stars were aligned — in other words Mercury (communication) and Mars ( physical) weren’t retrograde. I have walked away from other deals because the energy didn’t feel right and neither did the astrology. We looked at one business, which wasn’t financially viable, and when I delved deeper into it there was a lot of things hidden.’
Meanwhile, Susannah says she first learned about astrology as a seven- year- old girl when her grandmother gave her a copy of the Old Moore’s Almanac, a book about astrology and the moon.
It’s why she came to believe that having the right mix of star signs in an office is as vital as having the right mix of skills and practical experience.
‘After studying contour fashion, lingerie and swimwear in my 20s, I started working in a design office as a garment technologist.
‘I found myself working for a company where everyone was full of ideas, but in truth there were only a couple of people who actually got things off the ground.
‘After sitting in countless creative brainstorms, I wondered why so little came to fruition. I decided I
needed to know as much as possible about my colleagues — so I offered to keep the birthday list to get familiar with everyone’s star signs.
‘From their signs alone, I could tell what the problem was. Almost everyone was an air sign, meaning they like to communicate ideas, but lacked the skills to complete them. They’re fantastic initiators but never finish anything because — boom! — they’re on to the next idea.
‘Yet fashion attracts forwardthinking Aquarians (an air sign) who might have off-the-wall ideas, but you know they’ll be on the high street before long — think designers Christian Dior, Paco Rabanne and Mary Quant — that’s why I knew our office needed Virgos. Detail- driven, they’re extremely analytical and a bit nerdy — in other words they get things done.
‘The other star sign that would have worked well in this situation was a Capricorn, I call them the CEOs of the zodiac because while they’re career orientated they’re solid and dependable, too.’
Today, Susannah works as a fashion designer to high street and online retailers. She says she made her move to her current role when Jupiter — the planet of luck — was in the career portion of her astrological chart.
‘In an ideal world I’d get to assess the skills — via birth charts — of everyone sitting with me in the office,’ she says.
‘Knowing what each person can bring to our next project would cut so many corners. Some people talk about reading a room in the workplace, be it body language or the vibes people give off. But I’m happiest knowing their astrological birth chart.
‘Nowadays, I know that every office needs to have a mix of the astrological star signs. Cancer signs are the nurturers — they’ll bring in the cake for leaving dos and birthdays. Aries start projects like excitable puppies then get bored and never finish anything. Taurus individuals are happiest doing the tea rota and won’t take offence. As for gossips? Scorpios always get to the bottom of stuff. They are great for getting the lowdown, but never confide in them.
‘As for the negatives? Where should I start … Leo is a fire sign and everything is all about them. If you embark on a project with a Leo then they will shout the loudest and strive to get their own way.
‘Taureans are stubborn, Cancers can be moody and are prone to attaching emotions to work when there needs to be a logical thought process. Librans cannot make decisions. They’re balanced and see both sides, but cannot pinpoint what option to choose in order to move forward. Hopeless!’
Carolyn agrees that star signs indicate which people will work well together: ‘My star sign is Leo and I’m just not compatible with a Scorpio.
‘ I attract Leos, even though they’re typically vain and want to be in charge. They’re challenging individuals and while they can be great fun and very loyal they are much more self-absorbed than I am.
‘I’d hire Virgos in a heartbeat to do admin and finances because they’re perfectionists who leave no stone unturned and have incredible attention to detail.’
Where possible, Susannah goes as far as looking into people’s charts before working together.
‘When I’m working with someone new I do mention what I do. People are usually intrigued and open to me looking at their chart — who doesn’t like hearing about themselves? As for me, their chart will tell me so much about their personality and whether we’re a good fit.
‘One guy at work does wind me up, showing me his palm and trying to get a rise out of me. I get it, it isn’t for everyone and I’m quite happy knowing not everyone embraces it.’
While Susannah accepts that her family thinks she is ‘nuts’ for her fascination with astrology, she now runs a sideline business as an astrologer for friends and clients. ‘I advised a friend not to invest in crypto because the astrology didn’t look good. She took my advice and it crashed soon after.
‘I very recently told a friend she would get the job she applied for and after two interviews, she got the role. That was down to the lucky planet of Jupiter making great aspects in her chart.
‘I’ve advised people what career they should look into based on their chart and many of them were looking into my suggestions at the time, unbeknown to me when I told them. Or, it was a career that they wanted to do but thought they weren’t good enough, so I confirmed they had the skillset to do it.
‘Recently I was at a weekend wellness festival talking to a stall
Capricorns are the CEOs of the zodiac
Ideally I’d assess the birth charts of the whole office
holder. A trained psychologist, she’d said goodbye to her career to follow her true calling.
‘In midlife she’d embraced her passion for making candles which were infused with reiki healing but she was having a wobble about whether she was doing the right thing.
‘I quickly did her astrological birth chart and immediately spotted that her chart indicated she had strong creative talents and her career zone was ruled by Libra which suits and supports artistic careers. I was able to reassure her not to return to the day job, encouraging her to stay on her new career path because I could see it was going to get better.
‘And, as for anyone who is cynical about even admitting to relying on astrology, I always remind them of what the famous investment banker JP Morgan once said: “Millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do.”’