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Aliza Kelly of ‘This Is Your Destiny’: “Burnout Is Real”

Burnout Is Real. I genuinely believed that I was impervious to burnout because I’m a hardworking Capricorn Rising, which was really dumb. Last year, my schedule was so ridiculous that I was averaging about 4-hours of sleep per night. With so much going on in the world, I wanted to be there for people and offer support but overextending myself really took a toll on my mental health. Burnout is not glamorous, it’s not aspiration, and it’s definitely not worth it.

As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Aliza Kelly.

Over the last decade, national bestselling author, producer, entrepreneur, thought leader, and television personality Aliza Kelly has emerged as a rising star in contemporary spirituality, recognized for her practical approach to astrology and building a dedicated international following.

This year, Aliza is slated to release her third book This Is Your Destiny: Using Astrology to Manifest Your Best Life (St. Martins Publishing) which is currently ranked on Amazon’s bestseller lists based on preorders alone. Now more than ever, millions of people want to connect with something greater than themselves. They need a guide. Elevating astrology from horoscopes to self-actualization, This Is Your Destiny goes beyond the zodiac, illuminating the universe within. Aliza shares the wisdom of her extensive private practice, synthesizing thousands of one-on-one client sessions to inspire readers through hands-on exercises, radical techniques, and groundbreaking insight. This Is Your Destiny: Using Astrology to Manifest Your Best Life will be available in the US on September 28, 2021.

Born and raised in New York City, Aliza graduated from Carleton College where she received a joint Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Studio Art. While working as an art gallery owner and technology co-founder, she found herself struggling with mental health, addiction, and finances. It was at this time that Aliza found astrology and immersed herself in the cosmos, studying space and mythology, researching the history of esotericism and eventually opening a private practice. Over the next 10 years, Aliza’s one-on-one practice exploded, as she provided sessions to thousands of people from around the world. What Aliza extracted from her sessions — the universal truths and astrology’s ability to guide self-actualization — has manifested into her books, podcast, speaking engagements, online community, and more.

Aliza’s debut book The Mixology of Astrology: Cosmic Cocktails for Every Sign (Simon & Schuster) was released in 2018 and featured over 190 cocktail recipes for every zodiac sign. In 2019 she released her sophomore book Starring You: A Guided Journey Through Astrology (BuzzPop) which marked her first foray into writing for teens/young adults. Aliza notes she wrote Starring You for her younger self, hoping it would provide YA readers with an additional tool for navigating a complex world with reflection, individuality, and hope.

Over the years Aliza has been featured in high-profile media outlets including Cosmopolitan, Allure, Girlboss, BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Vogue, The New Yorker, The Cut, Self Magazine, The Today Show, and many more. She is currently a recurring guest on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” and has worked with celebrities including: Sarah Hyland, Yara Shahidi, Aidy Bryant, and Lana Condor (to name a few). In 2019, Aliza launched her weekly podcast Stars Like Us, which has been recognized as one of the best astrology podcasts by Newsweek and Bustle and recently celebrated over 100 episodes.

Aliza launched “The Constellation Club” in 2019, a robust virtual community for people to connect on their shared interest in astrology, spirituality, magic, and self-discovery. Rooted in compassion and curiosity, Aliza founded the Constellation Club after reflecting on her personal journey into astrology, which was oftentimes very isolated. Building the club has been one of her greatest passions, making astrology accessible, applicable, and fun in a community that sparks meaningful conversations all over the world.

Aliza currently lives in New York City with her fiancé and rescue pup. She is currently working on new online courses and programming her 2022 workshops and in-person retreats.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thank you so much for having me! My childhood was complicated. It was extremely playful and imaginative — I grew up in New York City with musician parents, so my day-to-day was filled with art and song and culture — and extraordinarily challenging: My parents went through a really vicious divorce when I was seven and, just a few years later, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. These experiences shaped me tremendously, but I struggled to integrate all of these truths into a cohesive narrative. Weaving my childhood together was, actually, one of the first ways astrology changed my life, which is exactly why I share my personal stories in This Is Your Destiny.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

So many books and writers transformed my life, but I’m always brought back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Blending extremely innovative concepts like technology and medicine with free will and mortality, Shelley was a trailblazer in the horror genre. I’m really inspired by the way Frankenstein combines both allegory and narrative, and it was definitely one of the books that prompted me to strengthen my storytelling abilities.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

I would love to live in a world where people feel comfortable sharing their truths. Living authenticity. Being fearlessly honest. After years of working as a consulting astrologer, I believe that there’s nothing more healing than veracity. Astrology offers perspective, and it enables you to see yourself from a satellite eye-view. As I shared in This Is Your Destiny, astrology gives you enough space — quite literally — to spread out and be complex, multidimensional, and limitless. My hope is that This Is Your Destiny can inspire readers to feel more comfortable being their full, 360º selves, and — with that self-awareness — can inspire others to find wholeness, too.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

I share a lot of extremely personal stories in This Is Your Destiny — but this wasn’t always the case. I was really afraid to share many of these experiences because I was worried that readers would judge me: What if sharing my past shitty behavior and bad decisions could somehow damage my reputation? My editor, however, really pushed me to go deeper, and I’m grateful she did: Through writing these narratives, I realized that it would be a disservice to the book to omit my thorny parts. After all, I believe that people are extremely multidimensional and that we are magick because of our unique, complicated nuances. So that’s what I offer, as well. Very raw, very vulnerable truths.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

TANC is a little catchphrase I coined, which stands for “There Are No Coincidences.” When you’re a metaphysical practitioner, you start to notice synchronicities in your one-on-one sessions very quickly. On a certain day, all of your clients may have the same Moon sign, or will be asking similar questions about their “life purpose,” or will have endured similar losses or life-changing milestones. All of these TANC occurrences really point to the interconnectivity of us all, so I wanted to write a book that combined soulful narratives with practical advice, empowering readers to transform their realities through this collective wisdom.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

After three years in Los Angeles, I moved back to New York in 2016. My dating app failed, I had no money, no direction, no sense of who I was or where I was going. My mentor invited me to her Brooklyn apartment for tea, listened attentively as I told her what I was going through, and graciously invited me to join her in-person astrology classes. Through this generosity, I cultivated my skills as a practitioner, established a new community of like-minded stargazers, and found the courage to embrace my path as an astrologer. I’m forever grateful.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

1. Find Compassion

2. Take Accountability

3. Change Something

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

To me, leadership is encouraging others to embrace the best version of themselves. A leader is someone who uplifts, inspires, and empowers others to harness their own leadership capabilities. Leadership is about community, generosity, and a strong ethical compass.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Burnout Is Real. I genuinely believed that I was impervious to burnout because I’m a hardworking Capricorn Rising, which was really dumb. Last year, my schedule was so ridiculous that I was averaging about 4-hours of sleep per night. With so much going on in the world, I wanted to be there for people and offer support but overextending myself really took a toll on my mental health. Burnout is not glamorous, it’s not aspiration, and it’s definitely not worth it.

2. Nothing Is That Precious. I can get really caught up in the minutia of things — I want everything I create to be as close to perfect as possible. But, at the end of the day, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. You build a legacy slowly and incrementally, so not every detail needs to be perfect. It’s really about keeping things moving and trusting the process.

3. Be Patient. If someone told me this a few years ago, I would have told them to fuck off. I still don’t want to accept this as truth — but, alas, it is. Things don’t always happen when you think they should, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. It’s important to trust the diving timing of our opportunities, and sometimes, that requires us to manage our expectations. But, yeah, it’s still very annoying.

4. Focus On What You Love. I’m a very sensitive, intuitive person — it’s what makes me good at what I do, but it also means that, if I don’t feel emotionally connected to my work, I become extremely energetically drained. Likewise, I’ve discovered that doubling-down on what I love (as opposed to the things I “think” I should do) is not only fulfilling, but it’s also strategic: This helps align my passions with my opportunity, so rather than waste my time sending mixed signals to the universe, I can focus my attention on projects that light up my soul.

5. Have Fun. Life is really short, really precious, and really bizarre. There’s a lot of pain and trauma and tragedy, but there’s also a lot of miracles and magic and joy. It’s easy for me to get bogged down by the tough stuff, but I’m beginning to prioritize having more fun. And that feels really good.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It’s definitely not a typical “life lesson quote,” but the last chapter of This Is Your Destiny is titled “More Than This” — an homage to one of my favorite songs by Roxy Music. I spend a few paragraphs unpacking the song’s chorus (“More than this / there is nothing”), sharing my thoughts on its dual interpretation: It is simultaneously an end, as well as a beginning. I think this really captures the essence of transitional, liminal spaces — those are the thresholds that generate magick. Life is a collection of edges and betweens, and my hope is that songs like “More Than This” and books like This Is Your Destiny can help people see the beauty in the

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Lady Gaga. I deeply admire her artistry and courage and am deeply inspired by her tenacity. I would love to look at her chart and discuss her journey from an astrological perspective.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can follow me on @alizakelly on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. I’m excited to connect!

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!