Karina Lafayette – November 2021
“I moved back to Minneapolis where I’m from, and have just been kind of making my way the last couple years, performing around town and having some performances in other cities as well,” Mayyadda told me over the phone.
The songstress has been playing music her entire life, and taught herself the guitar at 14 years old. She’s a Cancer sun, Sagittarius moon, with Libra Rising. Her songs are in a league of their own, reminiscent of the likes of India Arie and Sade. There’s a spiritual element to Mayyadda’s voice that lets you know, she’s done this before. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that something as elusive as astrology would make its way into her music.
Following the footsteps of artists like SZA and Kehlani, Mayyadda was drawn toward working with an astrologer to decide a release date for her most recent album, Try&Remember. In August 2021, singer SZA promptly released three new songs under the guide of an astrologer by the name of Jaadee, who also works with Kelhani. In an article for Vulture, SZA shared a screenshot on social media from a text exchange between her Jaadee, where Jaadee stated, “Tomorrow is the day for you. At the time I said moon will be in the last degree of your sign.” As an astrologer myself, I can definitely see why, whenever the moon is conjunct our sun, this is when the moon is shining a light on the vulnerabilities of our ego, our expression of self.
Mayyadda: “I just thought that’s what I’m supposed to do in this life, that’s kind of one of the biggest ways that I can put good healing energy into the world. And so that’s what I’m doing.”
Karina: “Well, at least you went for it because I know a lot of people, they want to do things, and then they end up having regrets because they never went for it.”
Of course, it takes a lot more than just a moon transit when trying to decide a project release. Depending on the mood of the project, if the main topic is about love, you’ll want to consider Venus. If you plan on releasing a work that’s a little more controversial and may even ruffle a few feathers, pay attention to where Uranus and Saturn are transiting. Having Uranus on your side means people are more likely to give a positive response, than if one of the planets is currently squaring or opposing Saturn. Just last year, when Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B released “W.A.P.”, Venus was making a conjunction to North Node, sparking conversations around female sexuality in the music industry.
Another thing to factor in for event charts, is to look at which houses the planets are currently transiting your own natal chart. For someone creative like myself, having the sun, Venus, or Mars in the third is a good time to focus on writing, inspiration, and networking. Jupiter is also key, and you’ll want the planet of expansion to be in the first, third, fifth, sixth, and tenth house when making big career moves. When it comes to Saturn, transits in the sixth and tenth house mark a period focused on hard work and dedication that lead to more longterm results, and maybe even fame. In Mayyadda’s case, it’s her Saturn Return, which is a perfect transit for anyone looking to propel their career forward.
Karina: “What made you choose to involve astrology in the release?”
Mayyadda: “So I am relatively new to the whole astrology game. I was raised in a pretty traditional type Christian household. I practiced that for a long time. And then in the last couple of years, I’ve been kind of like, figuring out my way out of that religious system. Part of me, part of me figuring my way out of it was genuinely trying a bunch of stuff that I was told my entire life, was bad or demonic or something, including but not limited to astrology and tarot, and all these different things. As I started getting more interested in astrology and a lot of my friends are getting more interested in astrology. […] And I started following a lot of astrologers on Twitter. Some people were talking about transits and stuff. And I was like, okay, ‘So basically I’m supposed to be paying attention also to how my chart is interacting with the existing chart of the day.’ But I got a recommendation from a friend for an astrologer and I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s see if I can do this. Let me just try this out.’ ”
In recent years, astrology has become more and more a part of the mainstream, drawing both curiosity from those eager to learn, as well as criticism from those who claim there isn’t enough proof of its validity. While a good number of people are still mostly familiar with only their sun, it’s getting common to overhear conversations in public where people are talking about their rising and moon signs. At work, in shopping malls, and just about anywhere, you’ll often overhear chats that mention this curious subject. Most recently, the new Italian Netflix series An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts, based on the novel of the same name, released its first season, give a boost of interest into the esoteric subject.
Even just last month, with the upcoming release of her album 30, British singer Adele revealed the title was inspired by her Saturn Return, which she stated was a rather challenging time in her life, sparking further public interest in astrology. A simple search of “Adele + Saturn Return”, and you now have dozens of articles elaborating on it. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Adele said her Saturn Return was “a lot of sound baths. It was a lot of meditation. It was a lot of therapy. And a lot of time spent on my own.”
And for anyone who’s been aware of their Saturn Return, you know exactly what she’s talking about. For those who don’t, this transit is basically a time period in which Saturn returns to the same position it was in your birth chart. Some argue that the SR lasts for the whole three years that it’s in the same sign, while other astrologers only count the few months that Saturn is within orb (a.k.a. close degrees) to your natal Saturn.
Mayyadda: “When I decided to make it like one big album, I used the other two dates [my astrologer] came up with, as my single release dates, and then the third date is the actual album release date. […] This was the first year that I ever had somebody do a Solar Return chart for me. And that’s the same astrologer who actually picked these dates. I had her do a Solar Return chart for me and I was like, ‘Okay, this is really just interesting to see, what energy is coming up for this year of my life and like, how I want to play with my career.’ I wanted to play with the music that I’m already making. I’m trying to move with the energy as opposed to act like it’s not there.”
Contrary to what astrology enthusiasts and those against might believe, astrology isn’t meant to control your life. Like Mayyadda, points out, the goal is to move with the energy, not let it move you. Yes, there are patterns, and there’s no doubt that certain transits can bring up specific things, but with enough awareness, it’s that much easier to work these transits in our favour. And that’s why regardless of whatever fears are attached with the Saturn Return, it doesn’t have to be all bad. Miracles happen when faith meets hard work.
Mayyadda: “I get the feeling it’s getting more popular in general, and quite a bit of what I’ve written on this project is like pretty much in the season of my Saturn’s return, but it was reflecting on a lot of stuff that’s been happening for me for the last three years. And I think that people are looking for answers. Like there’s a lot of just really chaotic stuff happening in the world right now. People are looking for answers and systems to like, help them make sense of what we’re all experiencing collectively. And I think that astrology being something that maybe has less of a charge that a lot of religious systems do, like a lot less of a traumatic charge that a lot of religious systems do. Artists, musicians, are just people and it’s like, well, this is a system that’s helping me make sense of what’s going on, and what I’m experiencing and what I’m writing about. So like, why not use it to also give my work the best chance in a really saturated market.”
Karina: “So you feel like astrology is making you a lot more self-aware as a person, too?”
Mayyadda: “I do actually. What was interesting is that like, I think a lot of that self-awareness didn’t even really start. It didn’t start with astrology for me. Do you know what the Enneagram system is?”
Mayyadda: “Okay, well it’s a Personality Typing system. And that was something I kind of encountered when I was about 24. And that was kind of one of the first things that really would illuminate a lot of the things that were subconscious for me. And then, as I started getting more into that, a lot of my close friends were getting into astrology and like, telling me about my chart and stuff. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is reading me.’ I didn’t even really realize that it could read me like this because I, like a lot of people, grew up with just knowing what your sun sign was and was saying, ‘Oh, you read the horoscope in the newspaper.’ And it was very illuminating on stuff that I had not realized about myself, and I would go back to my own chart quite often. Because… I don’t know, it has been so helpful. This is a helpful system to, to like, actually look at my own wounds and feel kind of equipped to be, ‘Okay, you know what, it makes sense for me to like be thinking about this experience that I’ve had or the ways, why I am the way I am in this area. Because my chart reflects that, and not feeling that it’s controlling me or anything, but that it’s, ‘Oh, there’s explanations for this and like, now I’m aware of these patterns.”
Karina: “So what do you have to say to people who don’t believe in astrology?”
Mayyadda: “I come from a family of people who don’t believe in astrology! But I think one thing that is just becoming more and more apparent to me is that like, whether or not you want to acknowledge something, doesn’t mean that the energy isn’t real. And that it isn’t affecting you. I think that, for a lot of different reasons, one of them is religious systems’ reasons. People want to feel like they’re really logical and really rational and science based, and whatever. People do not like to interact with how much energy is moving around us, and the ways that it’s moving around us, the ways that it’s affecting us, and it’s moving through us as well. And I think one thing that I would like to tell people is that you don’t have to give up your religious system or like, really your system of belief in any way really to benefit and have a better self-understanding based on the energy that you carry. All it can do is just help you understand yourself better and then if you take on the system, you can understand other people better. But also that’s your choice. You’re absolutely allowed to be like, ‘I don’t want to mess with that,’ that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have merit or accuracy.”
Karina: “Or usually it’s because either they just don’t understand, or it’s because they feel like there’s just not enough proof towards it, but for a lot of religions, you can’t really prove any of that either.”
Mayyadda: “That’s a fact. That’s an absolute fact. And then what’s also crazy is that I’m like, ‘Do you all realize astrological systems that people are using today, have been in play in some way, shape, or form for like, hundreds- if not over a 1000 years? What are you talking about?’ Astrological systems are actually older than a lot of the world religions. So like, what are we talking about?”
Karina: “I really think it’s just about being more open-minded instead of like, assuming that we know everything, really.”
Mayyadda: “Exactly. And I think it’s also, there’s something really humbling about being like, you know what, I have these particular energies that I have, and they’re reflected in the stars. But they can make you feel really special and also it’s like, this is also the case for literally everybody. I’m special, but I’m also not that special, you know, and it’s affirming but also humbling at the same time.”
Karina: “If you’re in your Saturn Return, it actually is a good time to focus more on career, because that’s what Saturn is about. And I even noticed too, a lot of artists, they already had big projects come out during their Return, and I think some of them didn’t really even know astrology back then.”
Mayyadda: “Yeah, so that is true, I think because it just feels like a natural thing. But there’s just some things that you learn about yourself, especially as an artist, around this time in your life that make you want to put out work, so that makes sense to me.”
But Adele isn’t the only singer who made strives during her Saturn Return. Lizzo almost quit music when she released her now major hit “Truth Hurts”, after turning 30. Jesy Nelson, former member of Little Mix, recently released her first single as a solo artist, after celebrating her 30th birthday this past June. Actor Sylvester Stallone was 30 when he wrote, starred, and directed the classic movie Rocky. That’s because Saturn is the planet of work, discipline, karma, and maturity, so naturally, anyone who’s been working on a goal is bound to see some type of success once their Return rolls in.
Mayyadda: “And that’s the thing, that is so similar to me. I almost quit music, like a year or two ago and then have spent the last two years trying to be like, ‘Okay, am I actually going to do this, because this feels like this feels like a dub? I don’t know, this is this is it and now, I feel like this is probably the best project that I’ve ever put out. And I have this really strong feeling. Always darkest before the dawn or whatever.”
Karina: “Even me, like last year I lived in a shelter for a little bit and then I got my own place, and I started focusing a lot more on my writing. I just feel like already wherever you have Saturn in your chart, that’s where you have to put in lots of work. Because it’s also the planet of karma and reaping whatever you sow. So it’s important to just continue working.”
Mayyadda: “Yeah. I’m glad that you’re good. I’m glad that you’re safe now.”
When it comes to the Saturn Return, it’s important to take into account the house that Saturn is in, since it’s usually an area where a lot of effort is needed. It can also be an area that lacks discipline. For example, someone who has Saturn in the third may enjoy writing, but struggles with finding the time and momentum to focus on writing. My own natal Saturn is in the sixth, and I’ve struggled with consistent routine and often bounced from one job to the next, before focusing on my writing full-time. In Mayyadda’s case, as a Libra rising, that would put Saturn in her fifth house, which puts an emphasis on creativity, romance, and self-love: All themes reflected on the album, especially with the track “Unapologetically”, where she sings about finally accepting herself for who she is and not dimming her light for anyone. In “Summer Bodies”, she sings about a longing for more flirtation, all while encompassing that uncertainty that often comes with new love.
Mayyadda: “I think you’ll be able to like hear what I’m talking about [on the album]. I don’t know what the period before a Saturn Return is for somebody. But I kind of feel like I already went through my Saturn Return!”
Karina: “That would probably have been like your Nodal Opposition. I don’t know if you read about the North Node yet. The North Node is the type of lessons and the things that you came here to master. And basically, the opposition is when the North Node is transiting its exact opposite sign. So like if your North Node is, let’s say, I don’t know if it’s in Capricorn?”
Mayyadda: “My North Node is in Sagittarius. You’re right.”
Karina: “Yeah, because the North Node right now it’s in Gemini, but it’s going in Taurus and like a few months. Yeah, that was your Nodal Opposition.”
Similar to the Saturn Return, the Nodal Opposition brings about its own set of challenges. During this transit, we’re confronted with everything from our past that’s holding us back, and are asked to finally pick the path that resonates on a soul deep level. Since the South Node, is where you’ve been, the North Node is where you’re heading.
Mayyadda: “Well it kicked my ass. That is basically what the album is like, documenting. I mean, it’s very obvious. I had to look at a lot of things and look at all these different parts of myself that I hadn’t really realized and kind of like, feel all the feelings around it and grow from that. So that’s what the project is about and I feel you can really hear that.”
For Mayyadda’s new album and to follow her on social media, click here.
To check out my books, social media and more, scroll to the main menu above, where you can also get a reading.Also be sure to watch my new short documentary series on the Saturn Return!
*This article was originally published on Medium.
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