Known for her relevant astrology and self-care posts on social media—psychic, medium, and astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo’s labor of love Ghost of a Podcast aims to help others reclaim their power and heal through self-care and the stars. BUST sat down with the famed stargazer to discuss her career—and, it was no surprise that this triple Capricorn has created a brand of her own, serving generations of individuals to mend their hearts and gain clarity on themselves.
When did you start practicing astrology?
I started practicing in late 1994 and quit my day job in 1999 to do it full time. It took me a couple of years, but by 2003 I'd quit my side hustles and was able to devote myself to the work completely. Astrology is my BFF.
What else do you include in your practice?
I'm a psychic, a medium, and an animal communicator (like Dr. Doolittle, but with lipstick and better hair). I also am a podcaster, tarot reader, writer and a teacher.
How do you find inspiration to make your podcast, tweets, astrology posts and columns relevant?
I care deeply about people as individuals, as well as a society, and that care inspires me to try really hard. I don't think of myself as a content creator; I'm a healer, using modern tools as my medium.
You’re known on social media for your inspirational tweets and Instagram posts. How do you always find the right words to say? Do you base your advice on the current cosmic transits?
I look at the current astrological transits, yes, but I also let my Guides direct me on what to put into the world. I feel that it's a great responsibility, and I try to treat it with intention.
People so often think they need justification to explain their feelings. You don’t.— jessica lanyadoo (@jessicalanyadoo) April 11, 2019
You also engage politics in your tweets. Your fearless approach to speaking your mind on social media has inspired a movement within the community to address many current issues. Have you always been engaged with politics or what drives you to speak your mind on politics? When did you become politically active?
As a child, my father and his family were expelled from Iraq for being Jewish, and my mother is the first born to Holocaust survivors. I was raised hearing stories every single week about my grandparents’ experiences in the concentration camps. That, plus being a queer person, gave me a deeply personal understanding of the tenuous nature of safety in society for any person who is not white, Christian, and straight. I know that people can be cruel because they're evil, but also so much cruelty is simply the result of fear. I feel called to help people develop emotional intelligence and empathy because I believe that this will inevitably lead to social and political action. I am grateful to have a platform where I can speak truth to power. i believe that there is no separation between spiritual integrity and social justice. None. You don't have to be an activist in order to participate, and the upcoming astrology demands that we all take personal risks and do our part.
Ghost of a Podcast is one of the BEST astrology and self-care podcasts out there! What is your favorite episode? What can we expect next?
Yay! Thank you!! The podcast is a labor of love. I can't tell you how much I enjoy making it! I really love Episode 4, "How to Heal a Broken Heart." I've been counseling people for more than twenty years, and I've witnessed heartbreak as a universal pain that changes a person permanently. My one-on-one appointment calendar is booked out a year ahead, so this episode was incredibly rewarding and showed me the potential of the podcast as a way to disseminate concrete tools for these types of deep traumas and challenges. In Episode 13, I interpreted the Kavanaugh hearing and how that event will impact society. I was devastated by the outcome of the hearing, and the episode was an effort to offer a different lens on this event and illustrate the astrological and spiritual connection to our political and social system.
How would you describe your podcast to those who haven’t tuned in to it before?
Ghost of a Podcast is a labour of love. It's where I'm able to share my work with in my favorite way – by talking about it! In the listener Q&A section, I teach astrology by demonstrating how I read birth charts. I then interpret the weekly transits in the horoscope segment. I unpack the most useful approaches to working with astrology and give advice on all manner of things. Answering listener questions is my favorite part of the podcast; I've given readings on topics as varied as abortion, gossip, suicidal thoughts, twin flames, and parenting. I believe that spirituality is intricately interwoven with how we choose to live each day. Sharing my views on the real-life practice of love, issues of social justice, and spiritual embodiment is the best way that I know how to be in these deeply crazy times.
Your horoscope columns are amongst the most read horoscopes in the industry. Where does your strength, fearless approach to writing and speaking your mind, and passion come from—or what makes you passionate about your work?
I really care. I want every horoscope to be useful to as many people as possible. I want to take the lifetime of healing and energy work that I've done on myself, and with others in my astrology practice, and share it with as much of the world as possible.
Your past events at the Golden Gate Spiritualist Church, where you connected with dead spirits, was off the chains! When will you be there again?
That was such an awe-inspiring, life-changing experience! Also – who knew that there's a whole church of Mediums? The Spiritualist Church is amazing. It was my first time delivering messages from the Spirit world in a group setting, and even though the individual readings were shorter, in a way it was more intimate than anything I've ever done. The dates for the next one are TBD, but I'll be back...I can't wait!
The buzz around the astrology world is that you have a book coming out — we are all super excited! When is the release date? What’s the topics you will be focusing on in your book?
YES! It's different from your typical astrology book, and I'm so excited about it! It's a planetary guide through intimacy issues and is broken down into three sections: friends and chosen family, hook-ups and early stages dating, and long-term relationships. It's an intersectional feminist, queer, and modern look at the astrology of what drives us, and how to make it work in all kinds of relationships. It will be an excellent self-care resource, in addition to being an invaluable tool for learning the astrology of relationships! I'm super excited—can you tell?? It's due to be out in the autumn of 2019.
If there’s any advice you can give to someone beginning to study astrology, what would it be?
BE PATIENT! Don't be in such a rush to get to the predictive or the deep psychological stuff that you skip over the fundamentals.
top photo courtesy of Jessica Lanyadoo
More from BUST
Lisa Stardust is a NYC based astrologer. Known for her pop culture horoscopes, Stardust adds humor and cultural events to aide others in understanding the stars. Stardust acts a guide for clients to help navigate them through finances, relationships, and other facets of life. Follow her on Instagram @lisastardustastro, on Twitter @lisastardust_, and at listastardust.com.