Astrology 101 with Alice Bell

She’s a Vogue assistant turned full-time astrologer. Alice Bell tells Katie Devlin how understanding her birth chart has helped with anxiety – and guy trouble

“My change of life plan started from guys I like not texting me back,” laughs Alice Bell. “I was bored at my job, so I started looking up if we were compatible or not, and then I discovered how to read my own birth chart, and it made so much sense.”

The 26-year-old redhead, who has a photogenic personal style straight out of the 1960s – all mod cuts and cute dresses – quit her job in January as a fashion assistant at Vogue in New York. Although she loved Vogue, she had been spending rather too much of her worktime analysing her co-workers’ charts in the fashion closet and answering questions from her Instagram followers. The day job of calling in samples didn’t have quite the same allure.

So now she’s a full-time astrologer, giving in-depth chart readings and personal consultations from her website. Among those friends who know the restless, obsessive Bell well, there’s general agreement – this girl has found her mojo. And she hasn’t quite left Conde Nast: Bell has just been commissioned to write horoscopes for British Vogue.

Alice Bell

Through Instagram DM, she started giving birth chart readings – an analysis of an individual’s character traits based on the position of the planets and astrological houses at the time and place of birth. “When I discovered astrology I never really thought it could be a viable career path, because no one does that,” says Bell, who is originally from Tennessee and has spent time studying both in Italy and in the UK (she was on the prestigious MA Fashion Journalism pathway at Central Saint Martins). “After a few months I noticed, wait, I think I could quit my job and do this.”

Now free from the restraints of her 9-5, Bell is her own boss, and is finally doing a job she cares about. “I hated coming in to work at a certain hour, doing the same thing every day, and taking orders that didn’t make sense to me,” she reflects. “Bosses at work didn’t believe me when I said I’m quitting to be an astrologer.”

Compatibility is less of an obsession in her approach to dating. “I try not to look at compatibility too much, I don’t think that matters. You need to listen to your intuition if someone’s right for you,” she says. “Astrology does feed my obsessive personality, but it helps me because it shows when I need to be focusing on work and myself rather than dating. Why put the energy in when it’s not going to happen?”

Alice Bell

She has the water elements in her chart to blame for that. Her sun sign (the key sign you look for in your horoscope) is the air sign Aquarius, but she also has a watery Pisces moon, making her susceptible to these types of preoccupations. The difference now however, is that she has achieved ownership and an acceptance of her obsessive tendencies (her website is named Stalk, after all).

“Astrology helps me accept myself for who I am. I was always trying to act a certain way, or try to supress some of that, and now I’m just more myself,” Bell explains. “I’ve learned how to release control over people and situations, and to trust that the universe will work it out. I had so much anxiety – and that’s calmed down a lot.”

This trust in the natural order of things motivates Bell to help others through astrology. “I think people want to know more about themselves,” she says of the ever-growing interest in astrology among young people. “The stigma around going to therapy has gone away, and people aren’t afraid to look at their more negative traits in addition to their positive traits.”

During her time at Vogue, she correctly foreshadowed the engagements, break-ups and job changes of numerous colleagues based on their charts. She always keeps her readings constructive, especially if the answer isn’t what the person is hoping for. “I’ll give them an alternative of what they should do instead of focusing on the negative. So I’ll be like, ‘you’re not going to have a successful dating life, I think you should focus on yourself more. You need to gain more confidence in yourself and then apply it to dating the next year.”

Alice Bell

But not all of her followers’ worries necessarily require advice, and her openness sometimes leads people to confide heavily in her. “I feel like people kind of treat astrologers and psychics as therapists. I’m not licensed to be a therapist. It’s just important to be there and listen, and maybe not always assert what you think they should do. Sometimes people just need to get stuff off their chest.”

Looking to the future, Bell studies her chart to figure out where she should be focusing her energy. “This year is definitely going to be more career focused,” she muses. “The universe is throwing me criticism, so it’s about developing thicker skin and a bigger belief in myself, because my whole life I’ve been so concerned with what other people think of me, and I cannot give other people my power.”

Maybe the universe, especially one that can transform a jaded Vogue assistant into an in-demand astrologer, does have a plan for everyone. And maybe in the case of Alice Bell, the universe has bestowed her with the self-assurance, the self-awareness, and just the right birth chart to make that plan turn out just fine.

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