I have always approached astrology with a heavy dose of scepticism. I have decided to seek out one such astrologer, and have an appointment with the hottest ticket in town – Linda Joyce, a meteoric force of an astrologer, life coach and personal counsellor.
I cut across town to Mayfair’s Savile Row to meet with Joyce, whose client list ranges from well-known celebrities to international business tycoons. Author of the bestselling The Day You Were Born and pioneer of a new 12-step method, which she presents in her book The Star Within, she is a big deal. Booking an appointment is no mean feat.
Once inside the mansion block, Joyce’s analysis of me begins in earnest. I am almost 15 minutes late for our session, and I attempt to explain my tardiness – the result of trying to leap through hoops for a bossy client. She interjects: “Two challenges for most women are their inability to say no and their need to please others.”
She sits me down, hands me a cup of chamomile tea and stares at me so intently, I almost feel naked. “My sessions are based around transformation, growth and finding one’s true path. Without an understanding of who you are and where you’re going, there is no way you can be happy.
“By working from the inside out, I can help clients understand their motivations and also unravel the habits they have formed as a child. Together we work to encourage positive change.” We speak for a little while about my childhood and how an experience with a tarot-card reader at Canyon Ranch unearthed some complex issues surrounding my formative years. She sighs, “When our role models don’t know how to manage and use their energy wisely, they pass their problems onto their children.”
We begin the session by examining a set of symbols: 10 planets and the 12 houses (or sun signs) that the planets rule (two planets rule two houses). “Each planet represents an area of one’s life,” she explains. “For instance, the Moon controls emotions and your sense of safety, Mars affects aggression, vision and the ability to take action and Saturn sets your boundaries and helps you keep out what doesn’t make you happy.”
She draws up a chart based on the time, date and place of my birth, which reveals my talents and the challenges I face as indicated by the position of the planets in the 12 houses.
She explains that each sun sign has a lesson they must learn. My sun is Taurus, so I must learn to channel my desires constructively. “The first thing I noticed about you was your passion,” Joyce says. “Your struggle is in deciding which desires you should follow; many Taureans want to follow everything they love, and hate to let go of things they believe in.”
We broach a subject that has been keeping me awake at night for months – where I should live. “California is too Neptunian, or illusionary for you, you’ll live in a fantasy – though you could be creative. New York is about hard work and getting things done. England is about transformation; your life is intense and it changes when you’re there.” I am unsure of what direction I should take. “My mission is to make you aware of the opportunities and the consequences of your choices, not make them for you,” she says, though she happily discusses the pros and cons of each place with me.
Later, we move onto my love life, which opens up a similar debate. Joyce says that when I am no longer afraid of my own power I will attract and appreciate the right man. “Two strong planets can find themselves battling each other unless their energy is suffused with wisdom and understanding,” she says. She doesn’t judge, rather she makes me aware of issues that are made evident in my chart or from my character, and we talk through my possible options.
Joyce has a glamorous, old-Hollywood charm. We weave back and forth between what the stars predict and some good, old-fashioned counsel. She talks me through some of her own childhood experiences and blends astrology with therapy to create a really special form of motivational counselling. I feel like I can tell her everything – which I do as I sprawl out on the sofa.
One interesting point she raises is about becoming better at setting boundaries and saying no, even if it means disappointing others. As a Taurean, I apparently have trouble forgoing pleasure – and too much of a good thing can interfere with creating what I really want.
I leave the session having got a lot off my chest, taking away some direction from the universe, and having gained some insight into my behaviour, plus a rare invitation to a swanky dinner party – now that’s a life coach with a difference!
The bottom line:
Linda is not your average astrologer – there’s a reason the Forbes power list flock to her for guidance. She is intelligent and intuitive, and she addressed my concerns with delicacy. Hers wasn’t so much a reading that predicted my future, but a therapy session that used the stars’ alignment to offer me guidance and confidence about how best to approach life.
Whether the dinner party she invited me to introduces me to a sensitive Cancer or a perfectly matched Capricorn, who knows, but Linda earns a place on my speed dial… We’re now in email contact and she encourages regular sessions to build on the insights gleaned from this first meeting.
Spa Junkie pays for all her own travel, therapies and accommodation.