This month's guest is Emelie Archer Pickett, totemic shaman and intimacy alchemist. Her website, A Forbidden Life, is a radiant presence in the metaphysical community, offering grounded and uplifting advice from a shamanic perspective. After one of her wonderful Spirit Animal Discovery sessions, I knew I had to share her with you!
1. What's your favorite part of your birth chart (if you had to choose)?
I would have to say that my favorite part of my chart (even though it’s hard to look at just one aspect) is Uranus in Scorpio, which falls in my 7th house of partnership and major relationships… it helps me understand why I see my marriage as such a revolutionary act - a new way of being in committed partnership… We transcend social programming about what marriage can look and feel like. I especially resonate with this placement when combined with its trine to Mercury in my 11th house… To communicate about my way of loving is an act of service to my wider community: our love becomes a mission on behalf of everyone we touch! The fact that these energies dance between the archetypes of shaman and mystic (scorpio and pisces) support my life’s work so much… I feel like revolutionary transformation of love through shamanic work could not be a better description of who I am and why I exist. It’s so empowering to see this written in my stars...
2. Is there a part of your chart that you find particularly challenging? If so, how do you make it work it to your benefit?
I’ve always had a really hard time relating to my Aries sun sign… I never felt like an Aries growing up and would always resonate more with Taurus astrology readings because I knew I was due on April 22nd. Now, with a more thorough understanding of my chart, I can see why the Aries sun was such a challenge for me! As a child and young adult, I couldn’t yet see myself through my own eyes, I could only see what others reflected back to me about who I was… and to them, I seemed like a Taurus because that’s my rising sign! Even though this was NEVER communicated to me or even understood at a conscious level - I can see now that this was happening. Ahhhh…. it all makes so much more sense to me now! I think Aries was also an initial challenge for me because it’s in the 12th house of my unconscious; it was like my own self-identity was a hidden reality until I learned to explore the depths of my consciousness… And there, in shamanic work, I did indeed find myself. And now - I SEE and feel the Aries fire in myself. There are a lot of other influences that help balance out that energy so I still don’t feel like many other Aries I know… but that energy is definitely with me and helps spark a huge creative force.
3. You have a dynamic Grand Fire Trine with the Sun, Neptune, & a heavy-hitting Mars – Jupiter- North Node conjunction all in on the action. That's a lot of power! How do you see this alignment playing out in your life?
I am only now seeing the power of this alignment coming to fruition. When I was younger, I self-suppressed so much of my own vision because I didn’t feel safe being 100% myself. I now realize that the very uncomfortable process of awakening to this intuitive firepower was an incredibly important part of my journey… Being able to articulate my path from safety-seeking good girl to practicing contemporary shaman is one of the reasons so many modern women are drawn to me and my work. I also believe the placement of this trine in my chart is critical to how this power gets expressed through me… Mars is in Leo (4th house), bringing playfulness, assertiveness, and performance and helping call in my ancestral roots; Neptune is in Sagittarius (8th house), which encourages me to function intuitively and ditch logic as I explore the shamanic forces of sex and death as transformation agents; and Sun is in Aries (12th house), helping me feel at home and not lose myself in the unconscious and subconscious worlds. All of this speaks to the shamanic path I embarked upon four years ago… and now this power is expressed in my work - where I make shamanic practices safe, fun, and approachable for anyone in the modern world. We do not all need to go off the grid and disappear from society in order to find ourselves! It’s crucial to be able to function and thrive in our modern world if we want to change the dominant paradigms… I help facilitate the paradigm shift through play, nature connection (through animal totem discovery), and facilitating authentic communication so people can fully express themselves sexually, professionally, as caregivers, and in all aspects of their lives. To turn the tide, we must be the tide. It starts with one person living an authentic life and ripples outward from there.
4. In the Wild Playground, students have the opportunity to discover their twelve archetypal power totems as a way to move into deeper relationship with their wild soul. Do these twelve totems align with the astrological zodiac, and if so, how?
Yes! The twelve archetypal power totems correspond DIRECTLY with the 12 zodiac signs, which gives the chart a whole different level of depth and meaning! The zodiac is such an amazing tool for understanding our psyche, path of purpose and personality. But, for MANY people it feels like a foreign language, and they can’t get past predictive sun sign astrology… it’s like learning to say “hello, how are you? My name is…” in a new language. It’s a start, but it’s not going to bring you an immersive experience into another culture. This is what it’s like to say “If you’re an Aries, today will bring you…” You won’t be able to harness the self-discovery power of the Zodiac until you learn to connect with all of your chart. The animals bring fluency, groundedness, and soul-connection to astrology… by figuring out your personal Archetypal power totems and pairing them to your birth chart - you gain incredible insight into your soul, psyche, and energy field (because the chakras are intimately connected to all of this too…). I teach exactly how each animal is connected with the signs in your chart, your chakras, and personality archetypes in the Wild Playground. It’s such exciting, powerful, and FUN work. The emphasis is on play (part of that Leo energy, where my Fox totem lives). We connect with animal medicine because we ARE animals… it brings our stars back to earth. The zodiac then becomes a tool not just for self-discovery, but for re-establishing a healthy ecosystem in which humans are an integral part.
5. What role does astrology play in your spiritual practice?
As you can tell, it plays a huge part! It helps me understand the various initiatory experiences I’ve been through and reminds me to pay more attention to my personal rhythms. How do the planetary movements influence my body, mind, and soul? I’ve learned to watch for emotional fluxes and note patterns so that I’m not taken by complete surprise when a retrograde or lunar phase throws me for a loop. Astrology has helped me deepen into my totemic practices immensely and has provided me a platform on which to share this knowledge… which feels soooo spiritually nourishing. There is nothing that feels better than creating work and a lifestyle that supports and fuels spiritual growth! Thanks in part to my stars, I understand what authenticity is for me and how to live it.
Want to discover your 12 totems and connect with your soul tribe? Join the waiting list for the Wild Playground Totemic Arts Apprenticeship and get notified as soon as registration opens! I can't wait for this to go live.