A friend introduced me to Jessica Lanyadoo's horoscopes about a year ago and Jessica's insight keeps drawing me back!
There's no doubt Jessica Lanyadoo is a force to be reckoned with. Her intuitive abilities have attracted clients from all over the world to her San Francisco-based practice. She's been featured on CBS 5 and worked as the Astrology columnist for Martha Stewart's Body and Soul Magazine Whole Living, and for The San Francisco Bay Guardian, which has over 100,000 weekly readers. Wow! (And she also has an adorable cat!)
Blending compassion with wisdom, it's no wonder Lanyadoo's work has garnered so much attention. And yet in spite of all this mainstream success, she's still approachable, humble and grounded. In our interview, Jessica talks success, feminism and how they intersect with the spirit world.
What role has being a woman played in your career journey?
JL: I’m from an old school family and I was not encouraged to go to college, only to ‘marry well’. For me, this was actually pretty convenient because I knew what I wanted to do and it couldn’t be done at a Uni, so I was free to create my own career path. Before I was able to make a full time living as an astrologer I did what is typically considered 'women’s work;' I worked with children, developmentally disabled adults and seniors, and on the business end of a phone sex company. These jobs helped me pay the bills in the early years of my career, but they also helped me to be more compassionate to people in all stages of development. Working in phone sex gave me invaluable tools for understanding and talking about the nitty gritty of people’s kinks.
When I was starting out in 1994 I was a card-carrying feminist (I mean that literally; I carried cards with me that said “you have just offended a woman”, with pre-written explanations detailing the common sexist offense that the guy was perpetrating), but most of the books I read in my studies were written from a white, straight, able-bodied and male perspective. I worked hard at deepening my lens to develop more inclusivity in astrology, which I believe has made me a better astrologer and counselor.
What role have astrology and reading tarot played in the history of female empowerment?
JL: Astrology and tarot have for centuries been a spiritual outlet for women that’s independent of the mainstream institutions which oppress women by design. As women we are taught young to question ourselves and not put our needs and drives first; through my work I’m able to help people align with what’s true for them. And living the life you want to live is a feminist issue.
Do you think female empowerment and psychic or spiritual work are still connected?
JL: They are irrevocably connected. Reading peoples’ charts allows me to see what is appropriate for them in terms of life choices, and their emotional and physical health. I’ve trained myself to psychically and astrologically envision safer sex habits that people have so that I can support them in having good sexual health.
I can bring to light areas of vulnerability around gender, sexuality and relationships. By working with family histories I help others help themselves by exposing the patterns that recur in their lives. My work allows me to talk to people of all demographics from an inclusive perspective. Everybody stands to benefit from being accepted as they are, and encouraged to be more accepting of their authentic selves.
In the wise words of Bey: GURLS (we run the world).
XO -Jessica Lanyadoo
Check out Jessica's website here!
Photos courtesy of lovelanyadoo.com. Illustration by Caroline Andrieu.