BY TRISTA EDWARDS
Mecca Woods’ new book came into my life the exact moment I needed it. Astrology for Happiness and Success, with its calming blue cover, made it into my hands as a particularly hectic and deracinating summer was ending but not without wreaking havoc on my physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
This book helped put me back on course.
My husband and I were uprooted for about three months. We were fortune enough to purchase our first home and the build process was running behind due to some construction disruptions and set-backs. Unfortunately, we had to leave our current lease before our new home was complete and spent three months bouncing around visiting family to staying with an extremely generous friend to spending an extended period of time in an Airbnb.
We are entirely grateful for the support we received during our transition, and fully realize that this is a wholly privileged problem to have, however it wasn’t without its stresses and frustrations.
As the poster “too feeling” Moon Child of the astrological sign Cancer, I relish in being a homebody, nester, and all-around domestic goddess. More so than anything, this aspect of myself roots feeling like I have a hint of control in my life. I need a place to retreat into, a stable place. As a person who lives with anxiety and depression, having a space that I can control, feel protected, and take refuge helps me manage my mental health. That place has always been my home. The stress of the summer exacerbated my depression and anxiety. My rituals and routines were thrown off. My creativity was stifled. My anxiety amplified to the point that I would be quaking in the shower with uncontrollable sadness, anger, and frustration.
Some of the people I confided in struggled to understand.
You are building a house.
This is only temporary.
This is for something good.
You will have your house soon.
How can you be sad with so many good things happening?
What do you have to be anxious about?
Anybody with anxiety and depression knows the frustration of these statements and their kind. I grew frustrated as people thought my challenges with anxiety has solely to do with my impatience in waiting to move into my in house. Yes, the disruption of not having my own living space made life more stressful but that was not wholly the cause.
Anxiety and depression doesn’t care what you have or what’s going on in your life. It didn’t care about my house. My supportive partner. My good friends. My growing small business. My latest poetry publication.
I could (and did) tell myself all the above statements too. I knew their truth but that didn’t matter my anxiety no matter if I could objectively know that “life was good.”
Anxiety is something I can’t control, at least not 100% of the time. Yes, I take medication, go to therapy occasionally (I’m a habitual therapy drop-out but that a whole other story), and I strive to hit the gym daily to help keep my body in motion…but all this doesn’t just make anxiety go away.
It just is. It is there, always. I can’t fully control it.
I can, however, do small manageable tasks to tend to my mental health.
That’s what I love about Woods’ book…it gives you small, manageable approaches to tackling life.
She breaks things down for each sign into sub-categories with small actions to take daily like Wowing with Color, Scents for Power and Seduction, Making Your Home Your Castle, Riding the Wave: Tips for Relieving Stress, and more.
Woods provides journal prompts for each sign’s chapter so you can evaluate, sit with, and reflect on the things you may be dealing with, goals you want to accomplish, and obstacles you are experiencing in order to gain perspective.
I started with something as small as choosing my wardrobe with Woods’ tips for Wowing with Color. For watery Cancers, Woods notes that blue-green, silver, and white are helpful colors to highlight your intuitive and tenderhearted spirit. I wore shades of blue-green for a whole week. I started the week of early voting and, honestly, it did add to the power of the day.
Not only is voting powerful and necessary, but choosing to wear a certain outfit to the polls made me thing of personal power in a different way, it made me thing of the power of choice, even the smallest of choices, can positively affect us.
“Colors that represent your element (water), like seafood or aqua green, help boost your mood and make you feel good in your skin, allowing your true magnetism to shine through.
It was the tasks self-care I took that morning that got me to manage my anxiety in a different way.
It was something as small as: Wear some blues and greens.
As a person whose mental health struggles often make it a challenge to maintain basic selfcare like get up, brush my teeth, wash my face, and shower, a gentle urging to find the magic and power in something simple as wearing hues of blue-green all week can be a welcome errand.
I NEEDED this reminder. Sometimes I need it told to me again and again. Sometimes I need it when I don’t want to perform the task (and there are days I don’t and anxiety and depression have me down for the count) but, for me, it helps just to hear it told anyway.
The success truly lays in achieving the basic acts of self-care that don’t come easy to many of us and the empowering tones only aid in building routine and rituals and in gaining perspective about yourself, your actions, your choices, and what they mean.
Gaining perspective, possessing a better understanding of yourself, your surroundings, your struggles, your faults, your expectations, desires, and the whole world around you is the beauty being astrology—behind all magical things like tarot, witchcraft, and spells. I often feel that so many who reject or scoff at these things as pseudo-science or woo-woo are missing the point.
As Woods states in her introduction, “Astrology helps us to better identify our special qualities and teaches us how to marry them with auspicious timing to find the things in life that we’re searching for.”
Paying attention to the stars helps ground me. This book helped me really, really, pay attention to just how much maintaining my mental health finds stability in my immediate domestic space, how the disruption of my rituals and routines can fuel the flames of my anxiety and trigger depression, and how much I appreciate guided approaches and reminders to finding beauty, power, and success in accomplishing daily tasks with a bit of help from the stars.
Mecca Woods is a New York City-based astrologer and writer who works to help others create a life they truly want using their natural-born gifts. Here writing and horoscopes have appeared in Esseence, Bustle, xoNecole, and PopSugar. When she isn’t writing, Mecca teaches astrology classes around the city on love, compatibility, and personal development in addition to being an awesome mom to her daughter, Aries.
You can also catch up on her podcast, Stars on Fire, where she talks about new headlines, celebs, TV shows, and film through an astrological lens with her co-host, Janelle.
Trista Edwards is an associate editor at Luna Luna Magazine. She is also the curator and editor of the anthology, Till The Tide: An Anthology of Mermaid Poetry (Sundress Publications, 2015). You can read her poems at 32 Poems, Quail Bell Magazine, Moonchild Magazine, The Adroit Journal, The Boiler, Queen Mob's Tea House, Bad Pony, Occulum, and more. She creates magickal candles at her company, Marvel + Moon.