Stars & The City: an exclusive talk with Susan Miller who unveils her life and our future

One of the many perks of living in the constant bustle of New York City is the ability to access a multitude of cultural experiences and the inspirational people who create them. Recently, I had the chance to meet star astrologer Susan Miller, a world-renowned published author and columnist for many internationally acclaimed fashion publications. 

Susan is also the founder of website Astrology Zone, which she started in 1995 and now serves 300 million-page views a year and is read enthusiastically by 11 million unique readers annually. All of them eagerly await the 1st of each month when Susan will publish her in-depth comprehensive astrological forecasts for the month ahead in a very stylish and informative manner. 

Susan suggested the date after consulting her astrological wall calendar for the year (The Year Ahead). That day featured a conjunction of Sun and Venus, which she kindly explained simply meant a wonderful day for any communication and collaboration. 

I could not be more excited to have such a respected astrologer pick a perfect date for our interview!

That day I was energized about the million possible answers I would get to my many questions. She is a wonderful conversationalist and splendid person to spend a few hours getting to know. Here is this exclusive interview about her life and work and a sneak peek forecast for the months ahead, but coming soon we will release her MANINTOWN Special Forecast for 2020.  

So, we were wondering: when did you feel this passion for astrology rising in you? 

I wanted to learn astrology but, I never wanted anyone to know I knew astrology. It was going to be my secret because astrology was not accepted.  I was 14 years old and I had just spent a full year in the hospital. I had been through a harrowing surgery to fix a birth defect but unfortunately, I had a different problem when I woke up: I was paralyzed from the knee down. There was no guarantee I would be able to walk normally again. I did pray to my saints, but being 14 years old at the time, I wanted to know if I would ever be able to walk again. The plan was that I never tell anyone I knew astrology. My mother, you see, did not want to teach me because she feared I would study too little and then give advice to a friend. She refused to teach me, and this went on for a year, but she finally relented when I promised to study for 12 years and never read a chart from anyone outside the family until she said I was ready. People think they just learn astrology in a few months, she said you need 12 years, or you would not be any good.

If you could travel back in time which historical character/personality would you be and why?

SM: Thomas Jefferson!

She states and with much passion, she explains that at that moment in history in 1776, though she would need to be dressed as a man she would want to be part of the brave group that were the Founding Fathers of United States willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom.

MT: I thought you’d be saying maybe, Cleopatra…

SM: I like Egypt! Egypt put astrology on the map.  You know what would be fun? If she was getting her chart read. 

Tell us about your typical day as an astrologer. Let’s say we follow Susan for 24 hours in NY. What do you do?

I am afraid that you may find my day quite normal. I get up at 6 AM, and I first call the bank’s service line, to pay my staff as I want to be sure they received their checks and cashed them. While I am checking with the bank, I first wash my face and apply a mask. Then I take my vitamins, and after my shower, I apply my serums and my moisturizers.  At 9 AM I do an international interview in Europe (if the reporter is in Asia, I do those interviews at midnight New York time). By 10 AM, I’m outside. I pick up one cup of coffee and maybe a croissant, and I start writing at the coffee shop. I may stay there for three or four hours and then change locations. I stay up until 2 AM, so I don’t need a lot of sleep.

@Photo courtesy of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, New York

Do you work locally? 

SM: You may find this funny; I go to Dunkin Donuts. Everybody makes fun of me because it is a fun, orange and pink shop with very friendly people working there. It’s not like Starbucks. Starbucks is too dark. I like the vibe better in Dunkin’ Donuts. I only drink one cup of coffee a day.

When I leave, I find somewhere else to write, I write all day, for when I am writing my website, Astrology Zone, each sign takes me at least 7 hours to finish. Aries and Taurus are the first two signs so those two may take the whole day to write because I am still doing calculations and memorizing the aspects of the month.

“Here I can show you…,” Susan says while handing me a folder of 40 something pages of charts and calculations for transits and eclipses coming up, which she reveals will play a big part for all of us in December,” Christmas Day to be precise. It will be a nice one!”

Susan says she goes to Los Angeles once a month, for that is where she several members of her website team.

Some of your favorite spots around the city

Everyone who comes here should go to Ellis Island. It’s my favorite spot to show friends around the city.

Also, I love seeing Brooklyn Bridge from the Soho House terrace—it is so beautiful.  If I were taking a child to New York, I would take them to the carousel in Central Park because that’s where my mother would take me when I was five years old and also to the small boat basin on 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue. 

New York has also so many great restaurants it’s almost impossible to pick one either. For a gorgeous view, I like Top of the Rock-it is a far better view than on the top of the Empire State Building. I like the Carlyle Hotel for tea and go there all the time. —that is the hotel President Kennedy and Jackie used to stay when in New York. New York, she adds with a glowing look in her eyes is “glamorous” and “no other city is quite like New York on Christmas. The entire city is lit up – New York knows how to celebrate the holiday, plus if often snows in December. I belong to the National Arts Club, and at Christmas, it makes you feel like you are in a time machine, going back in time to the historical days of early New York, which is charming.

Please explain the influence of Mercury retrograde on our lives

This is one astrological aspect that affects everyone uniformly, although it does affect Gemini and Virgo a bit more because those signs are ruled by Mercury. Mercury rules publishing, broadcasting, and the digital world so it affects people who work in those industries quite hard too.  

You will have miscommunications, machine breakdowns, software problems, computer problems. It is a frustrating time. Mercury doesn’t actually go retrograde, but it appears to go backward to other planets.  it goes retrograde. And it’s the proportion between the two planets, Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for three-and-a-half weeks. I travel during Mercury retrograde, even though Mercury rules travel—you just have to be a little bit more deliberate. 

 MT: And for business people that may be reading, you should not sign any contracts, right?  

Do not sign a contract during Mercury retrograde because you’d just have to redo it later—things would be missing, confusing or otherwise not to your liking. Check addresses. I once went to Detroit to see an advertising agency and it was the address, I had was wrong for they had moved to the other side of town. If you are mailing a package or letter, it also is important to check addresses, for Mercury rules the mail. 

“The worst days for Mercury retrograde period are at the start and end dates of the retrograde.” – she gives us the advice to be extra careful to allow a space of a week before and after the dates of the retrograde. Susan has a clear description of Mercury retrograde on her home page of Astrology Zone. Scroll down and you will see a list of her pieces, including that one, on the left side of her homepage screen.

This is a funny question but what do you think an influencer should not do on social media during mercury retrograde?

Oh! the answer to this is not to overshare. It is like a scene out of the show “Gossip Girl” –an influencer should not share too much. They would end up regretting what they wrote.  Talking too much during Mercury retrograde gets you in trouble.

You’ve been the first to understand the importance of the Internet and you launched your website astrologyzone.com in 1995. How is the web evolving today? 

The internet has more features now. It was 1995 when I started, they didn’t even have color—everything was black and white, and when you saw a film, the window was as big as a postage stamp and soon crashed your computer.

E-commerce was so hard at the start, the internet switches information all over the globe at the speed of light, such as sending the information from Alabama to Denmark, then to Alaska to Texas—you get the idea. E-commerce was hard for, in the movement, information was lost. information. I thought the engineers would never get this right, but they did. Then I launched the Astrology Zone app in 2002 but changed app developers in 2012 and have redone it several times. The official name is “Daily Horoscopes Astrology Zone + More by Susan Miller” (http://apple.co/2gcVDnn  Android.  http://bit.ly/2y7pHaT

When I started on the internet, during the first six years, and when I’d do a TV appearance, the producers would not let me give the viewers the URL of my website. They would say that the audience doesn’t know what a URL is, but I would say, they will never know if we don’t tell them. It seemed forever for the world to catch up with technology.

How can you best use astrology?

Susan said that astrology can be a beneficial tool for those who are willing to seize an opportunity. Like she mentioned “It is like getting options”, it is up to readers to know what they want, recognize opportunity when they see it and act upon it when it comes.

What do you think of the rise of social media like Instagram?  

I love Twitter because people discuss ideas. I like Twitter better because you can put in a link easily and the photos are far larger than on Instagram. Whereas Instagram doesn’t let you post a link—it has to go on your profile which is backward. 

I like both. I’m on both and in each case, my name is the same, @AstrologyZone. There are too many Susan Miller’s in the world!  The problem on Instagram is 12 people are pretending to be me. Well, I would like to see people sharing opinions and ideas. Not just photos wearing a new coat or holding a designer bag. I do love fashion but for that, I prefer magazines to keep me up to date.  Magazines choose their editors carefully and those experienced editors will put a designer’s collection in context to his or her past collections and how each current collection differs from the others. On Instagram, you can see work by Versace or Valentino, but you cannot get an explanation of the direction the designer decided to take this year. Magazines give you much more information.

        I start to lighten up and almost want to reach out for a hug when she states: 

“Editors are brilliant. And I want their advice. Thank you.”

Susan writes for Amica in Italy as well as Vogue (Japan), W (S. Korea) and Claudia (Brazil), SModa (Spain), Vogue (China), Vogue (Greece), and frequently writes cover stories for Grazia (France) and Elle (Australia) to name a few. Her connection with the fashion world has always been strong.

She tells us she wanted to be a fashion designer when she was growing up and would like to work more with designers, so our next question is a must:

 In fashion who are the designers and the styles you love more and why?

Ha! Dolce & Gabbana- she sighs in awe; you can tell she loves the brand. 

 Valentino, she says with a determined voice. I just spotted this dress and I am contemplating getting it. It is red, my favorite color. It has ruffles. I love feminine touches and Valentino (as well as Dolce & Gabbana) understand women. In America, I love Oscar de la Renta, though his cuts don’t quite line up with my body. I love Akris, the Swiss designer. But I love Dolce & Gabbana best—all those flowers!

Susan’s tone takes a higher pitch, her enthusiasm about fashion and design is taking form and her answers flow with confidence and passion.

“I love flowers. I love anything that is quite feminine. 

I also like a slightly more formal design. New York is formal. Los Angeles is far more casual, even in business meetings, which takes me a little time to get used to every time I go.”

Brands have soon enough realized the value of teaming up with your expertise as an astrologer. Which are the brands you have collaborated with?

Oh, so many! Dior (Lady Dior handbags), Apple, Furla, Veuve Clicquot, Chanel, Guerlain, Clarins, Lancôme, Chopard, Mac Cosmetics, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, to name a few. You will note many French brands—I would love to work with more Italian brands! I am half Italian—my father’s side is Sicilian. (Susan’s mother’s side of the family is German.)

From fashion to beauty and beyond: she has also been the ambassador for beauty company Fresh, owned by LVMH since 2015 and the Edition Hotel in Miami.

Blending astrology in brand collaborations is a very unique and effective way to reach the audience and it can be extremely creative. 

From January to March 2020, for instance, Bloomingdale’s flagship store in New York City will feature an Astrology Zone boutique curated by Susan that will offer selected unique items from menswear to women’s apparel to jewelry, tech, and design to even baby clothing with astrological theme, signs, and symbols. These collaborations are curated in detail by Susan as well as Bloomingdale’s fashion directors. It is massive branding operations that can involve at times the talent of 30 people! 

Favorite cities?

I love Kyoto, I want to go to Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil, I want to go to Sicily, and I am dying to go to Milan as I have never been. I love Rome and have spent a good amount of time there. It’s time to see Milan!

Must have when you travel?

My jewelry. Moisturizers and my masks. I love La Mer and all the masks from Fresh part of LVMH. I’ll use some other company brands too but Fresh has the most amazing masks. I love the Black Tea mask, the one called Rose Hydration, the Honey mask, and the Lotus Youth Preserve mask and Vitamin Nectar mask. They are all superb.

Favorite Fragrance? 

Alien by Thierry Mugler, it is all flowers. I also like Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez, it is a gorgeously soft and powdery scent with some hint of vanilla. It is an old French perfume.

We then dove into the specifics that you all have been wondering about:

What lies ahead for all of us for the rest of the year? And in 2020? 

The news is: according to Susanit looks pretty good! 

Make sure to follow us as we are planning a big story and a stylish horoscope 2020 in collaboration with Susan, which we will announce the end of the fall. 

But let us read Susan’s forecast for the upcoming months: 

Best dates for business in the remaining part of 2019? And for Love?

With no hesitation almost without me being able to complete the sentence she states December!

 SM: December. December is phenomenal. It starts with Dec 15thJupiter trines Uranus. A trine aspect is one of pure harmony. Also, mark the date! I love Dec 27: Jupiter conjuncts the Sun: the luckiest day of the year. It will not happen again in a different sign until 2021.  

What should we do in those lucky days, if you could give us advice.

 Plant a seed. Start a relationship or a business. Take an important trip for Taurus for instance. Cancer? Decide about a relationship, and if you are in love, commit to marriage. Every sign will be affected in different ways. I am writing a large book on the Year Ahead 2020, and there is too much to say here!

 We are planning on a story for the what is in store for each sign in 2020 as well as talk in-depth about signs and styles, I would like to give our readers a preview of what we have in mind:

 Which is the most stylish of signs?  

Leo and Pisces, although Libra is the arbiter of taste. Leo, you see they want to make a grand entrance, while Pisces like to mix vintage with new designs as they do not want to look like the next person next to them

 Which one the trendiest? 

Gemini, definitely and they do brilliant things with accessories.

 The more classic?

That’s definitely Capricorn. Think, for instance, Princess Kate…

Scorpios love black. They like simple, classic lines so that they can mix and match and feel almost as if they have a daily uniform that they need not spend too much time thinking about.

 Aries doesn’t like frou-frou, they want sleek lines, striking but beautifully cut

Virgos are perfectionists, so for Virgo, God is in the details. Virgos understand excellent fit and have long ago made friends with their tailor.

Pisces and Cancers are romantic. Sagittarius is on the move, and they demand comfort.

Taurus loves classic things made of beautiful, tactile fabrics.

Libra is the arbiter of taste and they love being up to date on the latest styles.

Aquarius, they do not need social approval—they don’t follow trends, they start them.

With so many eclipses and one remaining due in December and while we wait for your wonderful year ahead of publication and our 2020 astrology story in Manintown January, can we give some brief but very juicy forecast for our readers for the last months of 2019? If you had to give one word of advice/caution which one would it be? 

December will show us what 2020 will be like.

Aries: You can look forward to a major career breakthrough.

Taurus: Travel. Long-distance travel or the decision to go back to the university for an advanced degree

Gemini: Gemini will be the recipient of plenty of money and it will not emanate from a paycheck but rather from a bonus, commission, royalty or outside cash, like venture capital. 

Cancer: Marriage! Or Cancer may get extraordinary help from a business partner, agent, manager, publicist, accountant, and similar type collaborations. 

Leo: fine, enviable work assignments also advances in health and fitness

Virgo: Virgo has the finest romance aspects in 2020. If Virgo wants a baby, she can have one this year. Her creativity will also reach new heights. 

Libra: Home and real estate shines for her.

Scorpio: Contracts and luck with clients with some short distance away. The key to Scorpio’s success will be in how well they communicate with others.

Sagittarius: Finally—2020 will be a huge year of financial reward. 

Capricorn: This sign is the celestial favorite this year and will get a cornucopia of goodies. They are entering their once-in-12-year Emerald Year, where one grand wish comes true. 

Aquarius: Aquarius will get help from VIPs behind the scenes. Aquarius will prepare for 2021 this coming year, their Emerald Year. They must start to detach from obligations or associations they no longer find useful or interesting. 2021 is their big year.

Pisces: Friends and joy from groups to which they belong. This also includes work on a charity or humanitarian effort—this is where so much of Pisces happiness lies. 

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