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Meet the Author: Jordannah Elizabeth of Astrology for Black Girls, Interviewed by Nyasha Williams of Black Tarot

RP Mystic’s offering of books for young mystics welcomes a wonderful new addition: Astrology for Black Girls by Jordannah Elizabeth, illustrated by Chellie Carroll – on sale today! To celebrate, we are sharing an insightful Q+A with the author, conducted by Nyasha Williams, creator of the forthcoming Black Tarot: An Ancestral Awakening Deck and Guidebook and accompanying Ancestral Illumination guided journal, both on sale December 6th, and available for pre-order now.

You may remember seeing Astrology for Black Girls in BuzzFeed’s fantastic round-up “Black Girl Magic: 15 Books By Black Women That Explore The Supernatural” (sneak a peek at the shout-out for another upcoming title, Signs & Skymates by Dossé-Via Trenou)! This middle-grade read provides a thorough introduction to astrology with advice on starting a conversation about the topic with family and friends. Read on to learn more! And watch this space for part two when Jordannah interviews Nyasha about Black Tarot, in November!

Nyasha Williams: While you hint at it briefly at the back of the book, Jordannah, when did you become involved in astrology and spiritual studies? What drew you to follow this path?

Jordannah Elizabeth: I began studying astrology at about 12 years old. My mother would take me to bookstores and I would sit in the aisles for hours and study. I don’t remember when I was introduced to astrology, it may have just been a discovery, maybe a book about birthdays. I’ve always been interested in famous people’s (writers and philosophers mainly) birthdays and how it attributed to their personalities and talents. I believe “The Secret Book of Birthdays” by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers was probably the book that caught my eye. It’s a very large book so it’s easy to spot.

After that, I just went deeper and continued to study for many years. Once I was confident enough with the sun sign personalities, I became interested in synastry or the astrology of relationships. That’s how I learned about my chart. I would log in my birthday along with the other party’s birthday and I began to study how the aspects correlated.

I just reread Liz Greene’s “Astrology for Lovers”. As a Libra would be, I’m fascinated by relationships. I, of course, also studied my chart, karma and personality traits in depth by studying my own chart.

NW: Have you ever identified and solved a problem through astrology?

JE: Of course. I’ve been a freelance professional since the very beginning of my career 17 years ago. It was and still is vitally important that I understand my colleagues and their general nature as quickly as possible. Though I don’t ask my colleagues signs as often (it would usually come up organically, but the question certainly sat in my mind), I’ve learned the signs that I typically attract and have long professional relationships with.

I typically attract Scorpios, Geminis and Capricorns. Sagittarians and Aquarians tend to be good professional matches as well.  Because I’ve learned this through experience, it solves a lot of communication issues.

I mainly study astrology to create healthy relationships because longevity is something that’s really important to me as I get busier. A year or longer contract is much more desirable than a one-off article assignment.

NW: Your book is a beautiful beginners leap for Black Girls interested in Astrology. The illustrations alone are affirming and energizing! What do you hope readers will get from reading and working with your book?

JE: I hope young Black girls who are interested in mysticism don’t feel as alone as I did. I like being alone and self-study, but I always felt different. It’s amazing to be different but not when it comes to race. Modern and Hellenistic Astrology has been marketed as a very white practice. That’s not ok, particularly when astrology was used in Egypt, Middle Eastern and Eastern cultures. It’s not enough to say, “Ok, we’re going to call it Western Astrology so we don’t have to acknowledge ancient and current practitioners of color.”

I wrote the book I would have loved when I was a girl. I don’t think it would have kept me from studying other sources from white practitioners, it just would have been a part of my collection, my library. I would not have discriminated as a student, so I don’t think the mainstream astrology educational realm should discriminate by not being intentionally inclusive.

I would like girls to feel safe and have fun! Astrology is fun and fascinating. I don’t know what I would have done with my spare time if I wasn’t studying. Maybe I would have gone down an unhealthy path if my attention wasn’t so engaged in my practice. Astrology is a healthy outlet for kids. I can keep Black girls from doing drugs or spending time with the wrong crowd. It supports strong cognitive skills and requires the student has a good memory, intuition and empathy as they begin to read for other people.

Meet The Author: Nyasha Williams

Nyasha Williams grew up living intermittently between the United States and South Africa. As a kindergarten teacher, she was inspired to write her first book when one of her Black students told her that mermaids could not be Black. Williams kickstarted her first picture book, What’s the Commotion in the Ocean, starring a Black mermaid who spreads a message of marine conservation. The beautiful illustrations and diverse representation caught the attention of many, and her Kickstarter was publicized on Pantsuit Nation before becoming fully funded.

Williams began I Affirm Me in 2020, inspired by a mantra she and her students recited together at the beginning of each day: I am confident and capable / I learn at my own pace / I am loved / I believe in me / I believe in us. I Affirm Me was born of her desire to spread a similar positive message to Black children as well as celebrate the beauty of the Black community. “As BIPOCs, we are operating and navigating a world that wasn’t made for us and is actively working against us,” says Williams. “My efforts as a creator, author, and activist are to combat the systems of White supremacy, colonization, and the patriarchy, working towards decolonizing, liberating, and indigenizing our minds and world.”

Nyasha Williams now pursues social justice, decolonizing work, and creating for her community full-time. Her current projects range from educator-created anti-racist conversation decks, to an all-Black tarot deck, to a coaching course for anyone wishing to decolonize, liberate, and Indigenize. You can find her on Instagram at @writingtochangethenarrative. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

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Meet The Author: Jordannah Elizabeth

Jordannah Elizabeth is a music journalist and author of the forthcoming She Raised Her Voice! by RP Kids. She’s written on a number of topics for Ms. MagazinePOPSUGAR, Bitch Media, O Magazine, and Cosmopolitan. She lives and writes in Baltimore, Maryland.

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