By Eric Einstein
Colin Bedell, astrologer for Cosmopolitan and of QueerCosmos.com, views astrology as a metaphysical medicine that can help heal wounds of the past and create more meaningful, fulfilling relationships.
His new book, “Queer Cosmos: The Astrology of Queer Identities and Relationships,” seeks to do just that, specifically for the LGBT community, who have too long have fallen subject to feelings of shame and unworthiness. Bedell believes that with astrology, anyone can begin a journey to improve themselves, their relationships and their lives.
What is it like being an astrologer?
It’s an honor and a tremendous responsibility. My clients don’t come to me because everything’s going well, right? Especially in today’s times. So to stand with others while they make some of the most difficult personal, relational and professional choices is hallowed. It’s also the only career path that integrates all my passions for mythology, social issues, metaphysics and personal development. So I’m deeply grateful to be able to have this wild dream become a career path.
What is a sun sign, and what can that tell people about themselves?
Your sun sign represents the archetype you’re becoming. It’s also where you’re meant to shine like the sun as the star of the solar system. So if you’re born with a sun in Libra, say, you’re meant to shine in interpersonal relationships, and the house of the chart where your sun is located is the environment for the relationships the Libra sun is in to shine even brighter. If your moon and sun sign are the same, you’re a lucky specialist to embody the best of the sign/archetype where they’re both in.
What do you find interests people most in astrology?
It’s no different than what interests anyone in theology, spirituality and personal growth. Human beings are meaning-making machines, and astrology is a school for meaning that helps people find greater personal insight, relational intelligence and the knowledge that they can align their life with the calendar of the universe.
So, astrology can be used for something more than just vague predictions about your life?
Absolutely! It can be used for comedy—hello, memes!—personal clarity, interpersonal understanding and spiritual considerations.
Your book, “Queer Cosmos,” focuses on improving relationships with oneself and with others and analyzing compatibility. Are there any combinations that work the best? Any signs that should avoid each other at all costs?
I intentionally made sure to explore compatibility without the binary of “good or bad” compatibility, because I would hope that queer people know it’s not either/or, it’s both/and. So I think every single zodiac sign can find compatibility with every single zodiac sign.
Why do you think that the LGBT community needed an astrology book just for them?
We haven’t read, seen or experienced queer stories in more mainstream astrology sources for decades. So I think it’s important for us to feel centered in astrological literature with our theories, histories, public figures, sensibilities and cultural nuances that let us know we matter.
And how can astrology be used as a tool for self-discovery and reflection, specifically for LGBT folks?
Astrology gives LGBT readers an opportunity to language ourselves outside of patriarchy and culture’s black/white, male/female, this/that. There are 1,400-plus combinations of astrology in the natal chart, and so queer people can use those 1,400-plus combinations for self-disvoery instead of the binary’s puny options of two.
What is the one message you hope everyone will take away from your book?
It would be what I tried to stress in the identity and relationship section, that the strongest indicator of life satisfaction and fulfillment is the quality of our relationships. So much of today’s “spirituality” focuses a bit too much for my liking on desires being fulfilled and dreams manifested as opposed to how we can lean on systems like astrology to improve the quality of our life by improving the quality of our relational intelligence and social support.
I am sure we have some skeptics out there. What advice would you offer to non-believers?
I’d say, “Don’t yuck my yum!” Honestly, I’m not trying to convert or recruit skeptics. I don’t need everyone to agree with me, and I hope they find whatever school of thought gives their life meaning. The fact of the matter is, astrology works in my life. It’s very useful. It doesn’t need to work for everyone, but it works for mine. And the only arbiter of that statement’s accuracy is my life experience, which I can’t give to anyone. But I can say that you might want to try it some time.