Astrologer Mecca Woods is about as down to earth a person can be whose job it is to consult the stars. Through her website My Life Created, Woods teaches clients and readers to find and embrace their best lives through astrology. With appearances in the likes of Teen Vogue and Essence, plus a new book coming out this fall, Woods is seeing her own star rise as well. We chatted with the New York based astrologer about her spiritual influences, working with goddesses, and how the world of alternative spirituality is becoming more inclusive. 

What was your entry point into spirituality?

I like to say that I’ve always been spiritual. Growing up my parents exposed my brother and I to various practices, from Islam to Christianity to Buddhism. At the same time my parents were very anti-doctrine, especially my Sagittarius dad. They felt that my brother and I should follow the divine path that resonated with us the most and gave us the room to do so. Eventually, I stopped practicing religion entirely, though I still considered myself connected to this idea of a higher being or Source. I started working with a feminine based spiritual practice thanks to a goddess “bootcamp” I took back in 2013. I realized that a feminine based spiritual practice resonated with me most because I needed to see myself represented in the divine. Conjure and rituals from ancestral traditions became a part of my practice thanks to books like Jambalaya by Luisah Teish as well as books on conjure by Catherine Yronwode and the work of voodoo priestess Lilith Dorsey.

Where or how did you train in astrology? 

I started out with astrology back in 2009-2010, just reading everything I could get my hands on. Finally I stumbled on to two books—The Celestial Sexpot’s Handbook by Kiki T., and A Love Alchemist’s Notebook by Jessica Shepherd, both of which played pivotal roles in opening my eyes to the breadth and depth of astrology in terms of personal development. I loved the books so much that I ended up getting readings with each astrologer and the rest was pretty much history. I started friending and following astrologers on social media. I dated one briefly. As timing would have it, I ended up taking a class unrelated to astrology where I met my astrology mentor and friend, Rebecca Gordon, who was taking the class too. Rebecca took me under her wing and taught me the ins and out of astrology, as well as how to do it from a business standpoint.

What changes or movements have you noticed the most within space/community of alternative spirituality? (Can be over a longer period of time or just within the past decade or so)

I think we’re seeing more people of color (including queer folx) being centered in the alternative spiritual community, and it’s a good thing. While there have always been people of color that have been around doing this work, a lack of access to resources and acceptance thanks to racism, patriarchy, Christianity, etc. kept most of them underground. Thanks to things like the internet and an increase in interest in alternative spirituality, there are more of us emerging (both in and out of the spotlight) and reclaiming our connection to our ancestral spiritual traditions, while putting it into a language that feels fresh and modern. As a person of color, I think it’s important to have us doing this work because of the kind of socio-economic and political challenges that we face on a day to day basis. We need something that goes beyond “love and light”. We need to know how to stay positive and empowered in the face of systematic hatred, poverty, and in some cases, life threatening danger.

What is your approach to those who are wary or skeptical of mystical subjects?

I don’t take it personally. I know that the skepticism either comes from them genuinely not knowing about how astrology or divination works, or they were probably turned off from it due to religious beliefs, stereotyping, etc. If I see that they’re open to a dialogue, which oftentimes they are, then I do my best to explain things in a way that they can understand. For example, when I talk to people about astrology, I usually tell them its akin to planning by a calendar for the most part. I’m also quick to stress to them that to make the most of astrology or divination, a person has to be an active participant. It’s not about sitting around waiting for things to happen to us. I think that once people realize that there needs to be some action taken on their part when it comes to predictions and such, they realize that it has nothing to do with fortunetelling and everything to do with them – as it should be. To me, astrology is very personal. It’s about each person making the most of what they have available to them at any given time. Still, when it comes to skeptics overall, my mission is not to convert them. I don’t want to approach astrology or divination from a dogmatic perspective. It’s like you don’t believe in this? This is silly to you? OK. That’s fine. You do what works for you.

How has your spirituality developed or changed over time? 

Although I practiced Islam as a child, I think I was a little too young to fully grasp the meaning of it; the same with Buddhism. I was a die-hard Christian between the ages of 17-21, until I realized that there were fundamental things about me that Christianity seems to say is wrong – like being a woman or being a woman that’s also a sexual being. I don’t like the idea of spirituality being exclusive. That’s why years later, I was so attracted to a feminine based practice – working with goddesses, working with the earth and her elements. There’s a freedom and a sense of empowerment that comes from honoring my connection to feminine energy because it’s something that we’ve been taught to disassociate ourselves from.

What’s your favorite Tarot card?

Ooh. I’m caught between the Magician and the Queen of Wands. I love the Magician because she represents what magic and divination is all about – co-creating with the universe using what you have – using your gifts to make dope things happen. I love the Queen of Wands because she’s passionate and full of fire. She won’t let anything or anyone get in her way because she’s too fierce and too dope to even entertain it. I’m a Leo rising with a Sagittarius sun and when my confidence is feeling a bit shaky or when my fire feels low, I try to embody that Queen of Wands energy.

Who is your favorite pop culture witch/pop culture witch you identify the most with?

I love Angela Bassett’s portrayal of voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Badass.

How do you integrate ritual into your daily life?

I have a morning ritual that involves a combination of mantra, pelvic rocking exercises to charge up the root and sacral chakras and breathing techniques that I use to set the tone for the day. I find it important to have this ritual as an anchor, especially for those times when things get hectic or stressful.

What are you working on right now?

My book – Astrology For Happiness And Success: From Aries to Pisces, Create the Life You Want–Based on Your Astrological Sign. In it, I’m offering self-care tips and everyday rituals for women of each zodiac sign to help them improve their well-being and success. It’s scheduled to hit stores in October.

What’s your go-to spiritual tool?

Words. Maybe it’s because I’m a wordy, philosophical Sagittarius or maybe it’s because I’m a writer but I find words to be really powerful spiritual tools. Whether it’s by way of a mantra, an affirmation, or a quick protection spell on the go; we can speak, think, and write words that hold spiritual meaning for us at any time. Words don’t require an elaborate ritual for them to have meaning either. Sometimes reframing a negative thought into a positive one is the only thing we need to do.

What is your sign, and how do you embody it? 

As mentioned, I’m a Sagittarius. I’m a writer and an astrologer. In astrology, Sagittarius rules over publishing, education, religion, and the things we believe to be true. In many ways, I’m embodying my zodiac sign because I strive to educate people through astrology and my writing. Plus, it’s not uncommon to find a lot of Sagittarians or Sagittarius influenced people working in the field of spirituality because we’re always trying to explore and define the connection between humankind and the universe. Outside of that though, I’m really just big goofball with a need to come and go as I please and an affinity for anything bold, bawdy, and brainy. Also, I like wine. Lots of it.

Photographs by Carolyne Teston.

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