Astrologer Katrina Brady gives insight into her work with healing, moon cycles and life as an entrepreneur
© Photo Pádraig Conaty
Spirituality and astrology come in many different shapes. While that is very alluring, it can also make things a little hard to grasp. I talked to astrologer Katrina Brady to find out about what being a spiritual person can look like, entrepreneurship, moon circles, healing work, charts, community building, fear of judgement and much more.
Katrina Brady is an astrologer, based in Dublin, Ireland, mainly focusing on healing work and a grounded approach to working with natural cycles. I first met her at one of her full moon circles. My experience when it comes to spirituality, astrology and working with the moon cycle was and still is very limited but „invest[ing] in [my] soulful growth“ seemed intriguing and I decided to give it a try. Turned out it was worth every second. The short guided meditation shut up the buzzing thoughts of a stressful day and reflecting on the past as well as setting intentions for the future is what I took away from it. Whether you believe in spirituality or not, someone asking questions that get you thinking about yourself and where you need to be is helpful for all of us. (By the way, there are online moon circles as well in case you want to give it a try).
Spirituality, to many, is a very abstract phenomenon. What are concrete ways of practicing it, especially for beginners?
There are a lot of things one can do to start their own spiritual journey. Lighting a candle with a simple intention is one of them. It seems basic but it can be very impactful. If you want to release something, let go of something – attachment to a person, a bad habit or something else – hold the candle and put that intention into it by saying it out loud, light it and let it burn until it goes out. It also works the other way around, for example, if you want to bring something into your life. It’s not a very time-consuming practice and you don’t have to acquire any skills to be able to do it. Also, one of the first things people associate spirituality with seems to be meditation. And while meditating on a regular basis seems to be helpful for a lot of people, it doesn’t have to be part of your journey if you don’t want it to. Do I have a specific meditation practice? No. Do I do short meditations? Yeah. Or do I space out and meditate in some way unconsciously? Possibly. But I think it can be almost painful to think that, to manifest a spiritual practice into your life, you have to dedicate 20 minutes twice a day for meditation. Instead, you can start where you’re at and do something really simple with mindfulness and intention. In my opinion, that’s the best place to start and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Simply, find your own way of doing things. It’s the same thing with the moon cycles. Not everyone needs to be an astrologer to use them. My approach is to make it as simple as possible and show people there are energetic opportunities ever present that can help grow changes that we would like to see in our lives. Using the moon cycles is about tuning into a system of building growth that is natural and always available. My agenda is to make that lunar system accessible to everyone and easily understandable. I always start teaching with a very grounded approach and encourage others to develop their own practice from there.
On your website, you mention how entrepreneurs can benefit from the moon circles or one on one sessions with you. Would you say that they are your main target audience?
Not necessarily, I work with people at different stages of their spiritual journey and sometimes that includes entrepreneurship. I tend to draw in people who are mostly starting their journey with spirituality or astrology, sometimes they are experiencing a crossroads or would like to deepen their spiritual/self-awareness and are looking for healing/astrological guidance and insight, and sometimes I work with spiritually-focused entrepreneurs who are interested in syncing their lives and work with the natural cycles of the moon. It’s really cool because with the help of astrology and healing work you are able to develop a language to put a meaningful framework around a person’s individual experience.
You mentioned the chart. What exactly is a chart and how does it enable you to help people?
The birth chart is a visual representation of your moment of incarnation, as it is the moment of your first breath, when the Soul and body become one. It is essentially a tool to understand the energetics of our Soul and our journey through this lifetime. As we are in a constant state of growth, the study of our charts helps give insight and perspective to the different layerings of that growth at any given time. The chart acts as a mirror of our Souls, though does not influence it. Similarly, the current astrology doesn’t ‘make’ things happen, but rather mirrors us. Like, mercury retrograde doesn’t make our phones break, but rather reflects a time for reflective communication. Of course, it’s always nice to point the finger at something, but it doesn’t work that way from (my) astrological perspective and experience.
Another misconception about astrology is that our specific life purpose is ‘written in the stars’, but really you could say every part of the chart has a soulful purpose. One can’t simply look at an astrology chart and be like: „You’re meant to be a zoologist.“ There’s no cosmic math equation for that. But what you can do is to look at it together, see what traits are there and work on figuring out what kind of job might nurture different (and hopefully all) aspects of yourself. It’s a holistic approach. You don’t look at one part of the chart that is solely dedicated to career, you basically want to bring all of yourself into the work. It would be the difference between going to a job or seeing your work as part of who you are. It has been my experience that a greater since of nourishment comes from feeling at home with oneself and whatever one’s doing even if it is work-related. Astrology is really about coming home to and accepting ourselves – one that often requires healing and deep introspection, this is one of the ways I help people through my work.
That sounds like an active process. For a long time, I had the notion that astrology rather puts people into fixed categories, like the star signs. And then the box you’re in gives you definite answers about yourself and what you should or shouldn’t do. You’re website states something contrary to that: „You’ve got something that no one else does.“ Can you share what you mean by that?
Sure! I think that everybody is a unique person and has something unique to offer. However, that can get lost in a society that puts so many different expectations on us. Like, you have to acquire all the academic degrees, get married at a certain age, etc. Especially when you’re educated in degrees that might deviate from the norm, people tend to be like: „What are you gonna do with that?“ So we can get kind of lost in worrying about what we ‘should’ be doing rather than what we ‘feel’ we would like to do. That is always going to be different person to person, much like how we each process emotions differently. Some people need to go into a room, close the door and think about how they’re feeling or just sit with it. Whereas maybe other people need to basically talk to a wall or talk it out with someone. Everybody is designed to do things differently, as our astrology charts mirror. I think there’s magic in knowing that we are all unique and learning how to nourish ourselves from that perspective.
How does that reflect your own journey to being a self-employed astrologer?
I majored in visual anthropology and minored in religion at university. Long story short, I found myself in India to study abroad for a while where I found religion and spirituality to be interconnected. I was working with astrologers and healers during my time there as part of my studies. I had kind of a Harry Potter experience there and started learning Reiki and other energy healing modalities for myself. I went down the healing route for a good few years and then met my astrology teachers, Andrew Smith and Karen Morgan when I moved to Ireland half a decade ago. After a couple of years here, I went from almost ten years of doing my healing and astrology work part-time to fulltime. Which was a relief! I always knew I was going to work for myself since I was small, but I never knew what that would look like. I never went to a school or university with the idea that they would get me a job, instead I just studied what interested me because I knew that if I didn’t find something I was really passionate about I would probably drop out. I would always have jobs on the side like teaching English, working for restaurants and so on. And then I started studying astrology at Blue Rose School in Dublin that I’m now teaching with. Though, I suppose the turning point for me was developing my self-awareness through my astrological studies. I went from tiptoeing in and out of what I love to just doing it eventually.
India seems to be an essential part of your journey. Would you say it is important to have people in your life who function as mentors? And do you feel like there is some distance necessary to those figures as well?
Having mentors is certainly a wonderful gift and they can aide us so much on our spiritual journeys. I don’t think travelling to a ‘spiritual place’ is required either, sometimes those mentors come in unexpected places or when we least expect it. In the end, we are working to become our own teachers, and people come into our lives to support us on our path. It has been my own experience to be weary of thinking any practice or mentor has all the answers as well. I believe what we seek what lies within us, and sometimes external experiences and wisdom help us access what we already know but are in the process of remembering. We are all spiritual creatures by nature, but part of our journey is simply remembering that.
© Photo Molly Landergan
You said you always knew you’d end up working for yourself. How was it finally taking that step and what has changed since then?
I suppose it was a gradual transition. I was always doing things on the side but it wasn’t until I moved to Dublin really when I started the transition to do my own work full time just over a year ago. It’s nice having all my energy and creativity to focus on my own work. Up to that point, it was always fragmented as I was pulled towards different directions and commitments. I simply did not have the energy to give life to my ideas outside of client sessions. Stepping into that creative flow this past year and taking my time with it has been a fascinating process. So has learning how to be constructive with my time, which is still an ongoing learning!
Can you talk a little bit more about your work with the moon cycle and healing? Do you follow a specific concept or practice?
There’s a feeling of interconnection that becomes apparent when you start working with natural cycles like the moon cycle. From that perspective, you’re looking into the past to understand the present that reverberates into the future. You’re growing your awareness through a natural flow of energy where bigger cycles and smaller cycles are working together. That awareness also offers a deep healing experience as we become more aware of who we are on all levels – physically, mentally, spiritually, soulfully, etc. The essence of my work, whether through group work or with clients individually, is to help them remember the cycles and patterns within them and what they are moving through as a way to live a life of deeper fulfillment. My work evolves as I evolve, though at the moment I work primarily with transpersonal astrology and sometimes ThetaHealing®, which is a type of talking energy healing where we do belief work. An example would be if a person has a crisis of confidence that could also be reflected within their astrology, we would investigate what underlying beliefs might uphold that experience like not having the belief “I’m enough.” We energetically clear the unsupportive beliefs and then bring in new ones to help facilitate the healing and moving on from that experience for the individual.
You once mentioned to me that Dublin is a great city for spiritual work. Why is that?
There is such a dynamic spiritual community in Ireland. There are so many different things that you can learn and it’s a great place to open up to different spiritual experiences. If you go to Newgrange, the guides speak of there that Meath was an area of great spiritual significance during the megalithic era within Northern Europe. It seems the natural spiritual connection to the land has persisted and has provided the fertile atmosphere for the spiritual community that exists today. Here I also find people of all ages are spiritually curious. During my trainings over the years in various countries, I tended to be the youngest person by a decade or so normally – it’s lovely connecting in with like-minded souls at all different stages of life.
You were using the word community before. Is the moon circle a way for you to build a community?
Yes! At the moment, I’m building a community through the circles, doing online work and teaching. I’ve always been interested in community building and how we use communities to share knowledge. Even within astrology, for me, it’s interesting to translate cosmic information to make it approachable and understandable for others benefit. There is also something so beautiful about being in community with other people who have common interests. The internet can be a great place to find like-minded individuals if you don’t have such a community where you live. That is why I facilitate in-person and online gatherings (I have a moon-related facebook group), to enable space for those connections for others close and afar.
You already mentioned a new website and the Facebook group. What else is coming up for you?
I’m writing a booklet, a journal for 2019. It will be partly a guide to help the reader in their journey of intuitively using the moon cycle and partly a place to keep track of moon intentions/reflections. When you look at the past it’s sometimes hard to recall what was going on for you a certain day and that reflection is necessary within moon cycle work. In the booklet, on each New Moon and Full Moon page there is space to write reflections and also lists any dates that need to be referenced back to. So, moon magic made easy! I’m also teaching a workshop in February called Moon Craft where we will explore the ritual and ceremonial aspects of working with the lunar cycle. Think crystals, candle magic, and herbal spells! I think having a physical aspect in your spiritual lunar practice helps to ground that energy that is otherwise ethereal.
Where can people find you?
I post most regularly on Instagram and then that connects to everything else.
Your Instagram also adds a very aesthetic dimension to the idea of the practice. Is that an intentional part of your concept?
I do have a Masters in Textual and Visual Studies, so Instagram is a very appealing medium for me! I love picking a photograph that visually reflects my written musings. I use images that appeal to my own aesthetic or are from my own life. I suppose part of my mission is to normalise astrology and spiritual practice, so I prefer to use a visual aesthetic that mirrors my practice from my own little Dublin world.
Any last tips for someone just starting out?
One thing I always say to people is: there is more to astrology than your sun sign. As you start to learn and practise astrology, the idea that we are all limited to twelve different signs becomes offensive. It’s useful if you go into it with an open mind as you’re not just one sign, you’re a multitude of various planetary layerings. Looking at other aspects of the chart, even just the moon sign, can be very helpful. My sun sign is Pisces and a lot of the writing is based on Neptune, it’s traditional ruler. That kind of writing tends to characterise the person as being very spacey, floaty, the dreamer, etc. In a way, I can resonate with some of that but also absolutely not. When I realized there was a chart, not just one sign, it was a game changer. Still, every time I look at my chart there’s something new that I see, reflecting a part of my consciousness yet to be explored.
Also, being just generally open to spirituality is a great start. In my experience, people can have great resistance to spirituality for various reasons like it’s ‘weird’. I recommend to just explore and have fun looking at different modalities or forms of spirituality that resonate with you. Some people might be more earthy and resonate more with working with land or body work, some people might be interested more in ceremonial work, energy work or mindfulness. Ya never know, you might experience something you might love!