ASTROLOGER & AUTHOR
M.A., Cultural Cosmology & Divination, UKC
Astrologer & Author of Astrology Realized
Founder of Synchronicity University 2015
Host of Synchronicity WebTV 2011-2014
Sun Sign – Aquarius
She’s the first Canadian to hold an M.A. in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination, from the University of Kent, United Kingdom. With more than 40,000 subscribers and over 11 million views, Nadiya Shah is one of the most-watched astrologers on YouTube.
Author of Astrology Realized – Your Journey to Understanding Astrology, she is also the producer and host of Synchronicity WebTV [2011-2014] where you can see her interviews with many of the world’s most renowned astrologers. Karuna Worldwide is honoured to introduce our readers to the Fabulous Nadiya Shah!
Q&A WITH NADIYA SHAH
Sheena (Founder, Karuna Worldwide): Hi Nadiya! I am so happy to make this interview a reality. As you well know, it has been my intention for quite some time, now.
So, most of your fans know you’re a native of Canada, but you also spend a lot of time in Mexico. Out of all the countries in the world, what drew you to Mexico and how long have you been there?
Nadiya: I arrived in Cancun for the end of the Mayan calendar celebrations in December 2012. I felt an instant connection with this place and knew I wanted to be here. Cancun is one of those places that people come to reboot their lives and live more in alignment with their spirit, and Cancun meets them where they are. I love to travel and for the last two years Mexico has been a favourite. I love to be here and spend lots of time at the beach on the Caribbean Sea. I also love the archeological zones of the ancient cities, especially the ruins of the ancient temples. I love these power places.
Sheena: Now, I want to talk about your YouTube channel. Your videos have been a blessing to me on countless occasions. Congratulations by the way - over 11 million views! That says something! You’ve been at this for more than 6 years now, is that right? Can you tell us how you got into Astrology and what made you decide to start sharing videos?
Nadiya: How I got into astrology is a long story! I do feel that astrology is something that chooses you, as it did me. I was drawn to it at a young age, just 14 years old. I kept attracting information and opportunity, and really, found myself through it. It truly is a blessing that affirms to me how we are all connected to everyone and everything.
I went into astrology full time 9 years ago. My dream was to write a daily column and have my core group of clients, but as I have come to see, the Universe can dream a bigger dream than we can dream for ourselves. I started the YouTube channel in late 2008. In my early videos, I look terrified! People kept encouraging me to share more, but I resisted, until I had the realization that I had to get my fears and ego out of the way and expand the YouTube channel. That was in 2011. That single clarity, and the action that followed it, has brought me more of every great thing imaginable, far beyond anything I could have hoped for myself.
My YouTube channel has several types of offerings. One is the Astrofabulous Horoscopes which I offer in weekly and monthly installments where I share an overview of what’s happening in astrology and focus on interpretations for each sign. Another is my WebTV show "Synchronicity." I’m really proud of my show because I get to interview and celebrate some of the most amazing astrologers on the planet, as well as visit some astrologically significant places. There are also FAQ videos where I answer viewer questions on my technical approach to astrology. Synchronicity University is my latest offering which is where my book comes to life. I teach lessons on astrology for enthusiasts to learn and apply the astrological symbols to their lives by understanding their own charts.
Sheena: “The Universe is Wise and Loving” - I noticed very early on you would mention that all the time, whenever you wrote and spoke. And then one day I heard you explain why. I have to admit, it’s a hard thing to believe sometimes and some days I’d listen to you and think, “No, Nadiya! It’s not!” But I still always appreciate that you really believe it, every single day. Your confidence in the universe can be reassuring during tough times. When did that phrase in particular start to resonate with you?
Nadiya: My own experience has shown this to be true to me, again and again. And I am someone who has experienced many Pluto conjunctions and tough Saturn transits too! But as I’ve seen in my life and so many others, the toughest of times have their way of leading us to greater love. We can always choose love in challenging times, and it does make everything better.
This phrase has a deeper significance for me. I believe that we are here to more fully embody that energy that some people call divinity, God, creation - I like to call it the energy of “love and wisdom”. This idea comes from Ibn’ Arabi, who called it ‘the divine breath’. Essentially, he said that we are like the lungs of God, and our life is the new ways in which God grows, expands and knows itself in ways it never would have had we not lived and experienced all the complex yet unifying emotions that make us human. We are here to move towards a more fuller embodiment of this energy, this energy that evolves the entire Universe, that I call Love and Wisdom. I believe this is the nature of all things and that includes each one of us.
Sheena: Let’s talk about your book, Astrology Realized – Your Journey to Understanding Astrology, which is now available in paperback! I was really excited about that. I bought the digital version before it was available in print, but I love to hold actual books and flip through them, so I have to get hard copy for myself! Astrology Realized is so much more than just a book on Astrology. You’ve poured such a wealth of knowledge into it. It’s so informative, and beautifully written and I learn so much when I read it. It’s like striking Astrology gold. How long did it take you to write and what was your intention for writing the book?
Nadiya: My book started as an online course through the Symbolic Living forum to teach astrology enthusiasts more about how to understand the sky. It really was a labor of love for me. I worked closely with my editor and graphic designer to ensure we were presenting the information in an easy to understand manner with accompanying diagrams of birth charts and examples of transits.
Astrology Realized became available in early 2013 as an ebook on Amazon and it’s now available through smashwords, google play and will soon be available through Apple iBooks. We also now have it available as a paperback. I know people still love to hold physical copies of books in their hands so it was exciting to work on it and present it to the world.
In the book I share why I chose the name Astrology Realized. I was particularly influenced by a distinction articulated by my professor, Geoffrey Cornelius, that there is a difference between a speculative reading and a realized reading. A speculative reading is when you are learning the textbook techniques, interpretations, and specific details illustrated by other astrologers and authors. All the information you learn and apply step by step is part of a speculative reading. This is usually how students learning astrology will approach the subject. It’s a systematic, cookbook type of approach to understanding and working with the information of astrology.
Geoffrey believed that in order to do a reading that touches on truth and provides a glimpse into the mystery we’re all a part of, it involves an aspect of forgetting all you’ve learned. The best readings occur when you let your rational, intellectual self relax so your unconscious knowledge can take over. That’s when all that learning pays off because you have exposed yourself to the language you will need, but those exact words need to come up spontaneously. Geoffrey articulated a realized reading as an experience in truth, a bodily sensation that lets you know you’ve hit on the message this person is meant to hear.
You know a part of you is riding with magic, fueled by inspiration, guided by kind spirits towards uncovering the omen that you are meant to deliver. Getting to this space, this “high” of opening yourself to that electric, divine, buzzing energy, involves releasing attachments to a specific outcome. Just get out of the way and let the message come forward. Do enough readings long enough, and you’ll become passionately captivated by these moments of a realized reading.
The intention of the book is to introduce astrology enthusiasts to the foundational knowledge of astrology to ensure a solid understanding for a lifetime practice. I believe that developing a personal relationship to the cosmos is a vital step to significantly enriching your astrological journey. So, I have designed the book to invite readers to look above and within to inspire them to develop their own special connection with the sky. The book includes a historical and philosophical look at astrology encouraging readers to explore ideas and concepts of important astrological thinkers as well as critics so they can better articulate and understand their own reasons for connecting with the sky.
The bulk of the book is about exploring the birth chart to help readers personalize astrology and bring the cosmos to life. I want readers to feel like they have a good grasp on how to read their own charts so they can be confident interpreting what’s happening in the sky and what their birth chart reveals to them. I love to learn, and I know how valuable books have been in my life, so my intention with this book has been to help others feel like they are getting a solid foundation to help them grow in their understanding of astrology. I know many people who watch my horoscope videos have purchased the book and I love that they understand the interpretive aspect to what I’m sharing in the videos. Knowing that many of my friends and fans are looking at their own charts and that they understand what’s going on astrologically means a lot to me. Being a part of people’s journey in astrology really makes the time and effort I put into the book worth it. I’m really proud of Astrology Realized and I’m so glad I chose to manifest it. I put a lot of love into that book.
Sheena: And an exciting spin-off from the book is Synchronicity University which you launched recently! What exactly is Synchronicity University?
Nadiya: This is such a big, exciting moment for me. This is a dream and vision come true, and it really came about very organically through my friends and fans, like you Sheena :)
I thought it would be great if I found a way to teach the lessons that I present in my book to friends and fans online. So this is an illustration of my book coming to life online and on YouTube that viewers can refer to whenever they like as they are learning more about Astrology and Synchronicity. Synchronicity University will provide lessons that are available as enthusiasts are inspired to learn, guided by their intuition to find the pace that is right for them.
Synchronicity is a term coined by Carl Jung which means “meaningful coincidence”.
A lot of the time, especially in astrology, we like to look at one of his quotes, essentially paraphrasing where he says that, “Whatever begins in a moment, holds the essence of that moment." That’s how he understood natal charts, birth chart readings and astrology in general. But the interesting thing is, as he learned more, as he evolved and grew, he came to replace that theory with his theory of synchronicity, which essentially says that there is something that happens in that moment of interpretation.
It is in that moment of understanding better what it is that your chart is saying, what is happening in the sky and how it connects to your life. There is something that happens in that moment of interpretation of the omen that can only be relevant if it is meaningful. And he called that synchronicity - when some truth, some omen, presents itself to you that speaks to your experience. That is a meaningful coincidence that can be realized in a moment of astrology, and countless other moments our life presents to us.
Synchronicity University has to do with astrology of course. I love astrology, and so many of my friends and fans out there also love astrology. To be some small part of their sacred journey, especially as they are learning about astrology, is just such a privilege and an honor. This university is going to feature all kinds of astrology lessons, taken informally as viewers are inspired to watch and apply them to their life experiences. This university will cover the wider umbrella term of synchronicity as well. It covers astrology, but it will also cover a lot of the different explorations that synchronicity provides. I do hope that every single video presented as part of Synchronicity University provides viewers with an omen at the exact moment that it is needed. You know, I often say that absolutely everything I do - as part of my work, as part of what I present to the world, as part of the things that I offer, as part of the things that I share - it really just comes down to my mission, which I believe is to affirm, that the universe is wise and loving.
That’s what it comes down to. The universe is wise and loving. Life has shown this to me again and again, and in the moments where that seems to be the last thing the universe is demonstrating, it is in those moments especially that as part of the mystery, we are being moved towards greater love and greater wisdom. My intention with every single one of these videos that is produced, and even every single interaction that I have with friends and fans online, is, that in some way, every one of these affirms that the universe is wise and loving. My hope is that these videos provide and omen that a viewer needs in that exact moment, whether as part of their learning, or whether as a reminder of this truth. My hope is that these videos infuse people’s life with more hope and more inspiration than they knew before.
Sheena: While I’m always interested and intrigued by everything you offer in the way of information and the general horoscopes, I’m still an amateur. For the majority of people who are like me, how can they get in touch with you to read their chart and get a personalized horoscope?
Nadiya: I offer Personalized Horoscopes by video format through my website at NadiyaShah.com. These are customized videos based on a person’s unique birth chart. So, they are like a video horoscope but only for that person, based on what they want me to talk about. When people order a reading, they are redirected to a submission form where they can enter the full details of their question along with their birth data, including time, date and location, so I can have a look at their unique birth chart. I also do a lot of readings for relationships and love, so I will often look at how two charts interact with one another.
What I love about the Personalized Horoscopes is that it becomes something that people can refer to again and again when they need inspiration or to remember what was shared. I often have people tell me that horoscopes they ordered years before are still cherished. That is especially rewarding for me.
Sheena: What exactly would a personalized horoscope be able to help someone with? And what kind of readings do people usually ask for the most?
Nadiya: The focus of the readings is varied and can depend on the individual situation of a person and where they are in their journey of life. Some will ask for Love or Career/ Money. These are popular topics to bring to an astrologer. But many will ask for life purpose, clarity, guidance, about maximizing luck, or just wanting to learn more about themselves. So much depends on the interests and place in life the client is, and I always meet them where they are. So, I can do the literal interpretations using classical techniques, or make it about the spiritual path and exploration of choices. Astrology meets people where they are and responds to where it finds itself. I am a conduit for astrology to speak and always honour where people are in their needs of astrology.
Sheena: Life circumstances change, we grow emotionally and the planets are always moving about the sky. I imagine a reading I get today would be very different from one a few years from now. Would you say there’s a benefit to getting personalized horoscopes over the course of your life, or is one detailed reading enough?
Nadiya: What a great question! I absolutely agree that people change, evolve, and hopefully grow better. As I said earlier, some people will get one reading and cherish it for years, and it will continue to speak to them. Others will come back every few months for an update. It really depends on what kind of omen you are seeking, what questions you might have, and what specific time frame you are interested in considering. If astrology has served you, if it makes your life better, it will be something that you come back to again and again. And the great thing about astrology is that it is always there; ready to meet you wherever you are.
I know for me, my practice keeps evolving and changing. I can see new things, or consider my chart in new ways, even after all these years. In astrology, you are always a student, so it’s comforting and humbling to know that, just like any life journey, there is always more to learn about yourself. Astrology provides a powerful tool that serves as a symbolic way to consider one’s life. Just like the planets always move and speak to each other in new ways, we too are always finding new ways to look at ourselves, new ways to demonstrate who we are and what more we could be.
Sheena: O.K., so we’ve touched on Astrology Realized, Synchronicity University, the YouTube videos and then personalized horoscopes. You’re a very busy woman! What else are you up to that we haven’t touched on, and how can we find out more?
Nadiya: I love giving talks at live events! My next one is at the prestigious Lily Dale Assembly in New York state, USA. I’ll be speaking on the topic of “Making the Best Choices with Astrology”. I do believe that astrology is at its best when it empowers people to make our choices more consciously. You can find out more about this and other events through the events page on my website. I am also available to give talks and presentations to groups wherever they will welcome me, and can customize talks to meet people where they are in their astrological journey. I can be contacted through my website nadiyashah.com to make this happen.
Sheena: Nadiya, thank you so very much for being a part of Karuna Worldwide! And thank you for sharing so much with us; your knowledge, your positivity, your kindness and your faith in the learning process that is life. The journey can be a whirlwind at times, and what you bring to the table is priceless - clarity, peace of mind, inspiration and a sense of hope. You’re a guiding light and you have my deepest gratitude.
Nadiya: Thank you Sheena! You put a lot of love in the world! It’s such an honour to be part of your website. Thank you for sharing me with your audience and for all the positive energy you bring. I am grateful for it!
Published August 5, 2015