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SOCIETY - ASTROLOGY

 

Susan Miller & the art of astrology

When astrology chose Susan Miller, she was an American teenager recuperating from a nerve injury which had debilitated her.  After a dozen years of exploring astrology in secret, she had an academic background in business and a great job in publishing. Today, Susan Miller is one of Web's most  popular star-gazers. Dancewithshadows.com traces Susan Miller's life and times.

 

 

BY A CORRESPONDENT

Susan Miller"Venus and Neptune will waltz across a star-studded sky on February 14, 2005, and it will be a sight to behold! Venus will wear her most shimmering, glamorous gown and glitter brightly in the evening sky! Surely, this will be night for candlelight, for walking under the honeysuckle and for exchanging rings and promises.

Astrology for the masses. A personalsed, human, way of looking at the stars and predicting future trends. A warm, caring way of writing. A non-technical way of presenting technical astrological information. Guarding you from evil, edging you to better days. Here is Susan Miller for you, eminent astrologer and columnist, author of several books on astrology and owner of the immensely popular website Astrologyzone.com. Any reader of pop astrology would be immediately able to recognise Susan Miller's style in the passage above. One of the early-day tech-savvy astrologers to venture into cyberspace, today, Susan Miller's Astrologyzone receives about 15 million page views and 6 million visitors per month. 

The success of both her website and her books has made Susan Miller a regular TV guest on such shows as 20/20 with John Stossel, The View with Barbara Walters, CBS' The Early Show, and The Other Half with Dick Clark and CNN's American Morning with Paula Zahn. Susan also teaches a free, eight-lesson astrology course on the Barnes & Noble University online.

Given the astounding success of Astrology Zone and her own career in astrology, one would that astrology was the career of choice for Susan Miller. But Susan laughs it away. "For my life's path, astrology chose me rather than me choosing astrology," says she.

Susan Miller's books

Susan Miller's books

Susan Miller's books

Susan Miller as a babyNo one in her family wanted Susan Miller to venture into astrology. Susan Miller (who currently lives in Manhattan, US) came to be born in a family of Italian descent. Her grand father came to New York City from Sicily in 1898 and set up a shop selling Italian delicacies. Later, he acquired a building to house his store and his apartments. His family and relatives moved into the building.

The Italian grandfather had passed away before Susan Miller was born. Long before Susan Miller was born, her mother took to astrology with the encouragement of her elder sister. She initially read her sister's books to see if she could find something to disprove. However, the more she studied, the more fascinated she became. In turn, Susan's mother passed her on her interest to Susan. But the mother was against Susan taking up a career in astrology, and would always discourage her in this regard.

Susan Miller was born with a defect in her left leg, which became worse by the time she was into her teens. She was hospitalised and during a surgery, a nerve was broken, paralyzing her left leg knee-downwards. In an attempt to solve one problem, the physicians had created another problem! She was advised to recto for over a year, during which electric stimulation treatments would be attempted. Doctors could not guarantee that Susan Miller would be cured with this treatment, but it was apparently the only possible solution.

"I could tell that he didn't know whether the treatment would fully restore my ability to walk. I was terribly disappointed to have to wear a brace on my leg after the operation. I was only 14, and wanted to look like everyone else," says Susan Miller.

A year after the operation, Susan wrote to Dell's Horoscope Magazine to find out what her horoscope chart said about her recovery chances. The editor of the magazine printed her letter and answered that she would walk normally again.

Susan Miller's motherSays Susan: "I'm not sure if my mother would have told me I would never walk again. She is the most optimistic person on the planet. Probably she would have said that my chart showed I would need extensive treatment and that to get well I needed to focus my energies with great determination and dedication. Astrology, she taught me, was not destiny."

After Dell magazine published her letter, Susan Miller developed a serious fascination for learning astrology. She wanted to know more about the aspects the editor described in her chart. By now, Susan was 15. Her mother discouraged her, saying astrology requires an initial study of 12 years before she could scratch the surface. But Susan was insistent. Since she was recovering from the operations, she could not go to school any way. Susan Miller was determined to learn astrology.

Finally, Susan's mother relented and offered to teach her astrology, though with tough conditions: Susan Miller could read horoscopes for the family only until her mother thought Susan was ready. She was told that constant research and empirical observation was imperative and could not be rushed. Also, she was not to reveal her studies in astrology to anyone outside the family for 12 years.

So the studies started, and as the Dell editor predicted, Susan Miller recovered and started walking again. After graduating with a business degree, Susan started representing some commercial artists and photographers. She enjoyed her work tremendously, but on the secret side, Susan Miller continued to study astrology. It was only after a study of 20 years or so that she felt proficient enough in her career.

Now, Susan Miller started doing charts for many friends, with her mother's blessing. Like her mother, Susan never charged for those charts. With each passing year, Susan learned more and more...

One of Susan's friends at Warner Books used to praise her often on her knowledge in astrology. Soon, Susan Miler was writing her first book, The Astrology Book of Days: An Illustrated Perpetual Calendar, which was published by Warner Books in early 1996.

Susan Miller's astrologyzone website

The same friend also helped Susan Miller to get an interview with the webmaster of the former Time Warner website Pathfinder, to write a predictive column on astrology. In December 1995, in the early days of the Net, Susan Miller launched her website, Astrology Zone, with every article penned by Susan. Later, in April 1999, she moved Astrology Zone to Disney's GO.com. Later, the site was moved to her own servers.

Given her hectic work and writing schedule, Susan Miller works on a tight schedule. She wakes at 5 AM, and goes to the gym to work out every alternate day for three hours. For the days in between, she does one hour of cardio. After that, she is at her desk, constantly writing. Susan Miller ends her day at midnight and often later.

There are two engineers, a designer, a publicist, a first and second editor and two assistants working full time on Astrologyzone,com. There are also several caring reader support people who can read and sort the reader mail.

Astrology, says Susan, "is not an end in itself, but a wonderfully creative tool to shape a happier, more productive life, to use your talents to the fullest, and to consider some of life's many rich and varied options. Until you delve into the subject, you may never know how perceptive and proactive it can make you."

"When I see difficulties coming up, I feel it is not OK for me to simply flag those adverse trends. I feel I should suggest specific ways the reader might want to deal with those problems. In that sense, I look for the key areas of benefit in the chart that will help the reader out of the brier patch, so to speak. If the chart is really spectacular, I want to coax readers to expand their horizons!"

Carry on Susan!

BY A CORRESPONDENT

 

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