We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Cunningham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
There are two sides to the astrology industry and neither side seems to understand the other. The first is the side most people are familiar with: the monthly horoscopes and Buzzfeed quizzes, or Tiktoks that begin like, “This is how the signs react to getting dumped…” This corner of the astrology market is super fun, but it gets a reputation for being superficial, and I tend to agree to an extent. There can sometimes be a lack of research, and many astrologers fear that things like “sun-sign columns” actually give astrology a bad name. But it’s this same corner of the market that’s the most accessible and, more importantly, the most easily-digestible to people interested in learning about astrology who otherwise know nothing about the zodiac. On the opposite end, are the older, more serious astrologers. These people are really smart, and they’ve certainly put their time in. Learning astrology in a deep and complete way takes many years of observation and practice. And many of these astrologers have advanced knowledge in Psychology or even Ancient Mythology…so you can imagine how their content appears to people who aren’t interested in sitting down and reading a textbook. Most of the quality astrology books I’ve read are rich with insight, but they can also be dense as hell. I think astrology should be fun, mostly because I’ve always had fun with it! I think it is fun to imagine how all the signs would react to getting dumped, but I agree that it keeps people at the surface. The problem is that astrology is more complex and nuanced than people realize. I would like my place within the industry to act as a sort of bridge between these two opposites. I hope to lure people in with fun and engaging material, but expand their knowledge with thoughtful insights. It’s been difficult finding the right balance, but I still think making it comprehensive for everyone is important. Everyone should have the tools to properly understand astrology! And to understand it in a deep way!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think Real Life Astrology is different from other astrology resources because the emphasis is always on learning through real-life examples. Most websites and articles I come across have lots of detailed information on the signs or the planets, but I find that none of that means much without context. Astrology is a very nuanced lens and I strongly feel that the best way to grasp it is through observation. So I use a lot of nonfiction story-telling as a method to describe the energies. Reading about characteristics on a page is never as exciting as experiencing the astrological qualities alive in another human. That’s what I try to bring to my writing. My biggest challenge in business and in life has been my issues with articulation. My background is in theatre, so I’m used to expressing myself through art, but the act of verbally articulating ideas has never come easily to me. And practicing astrologers have to articulate ideas constantly. Recently, though, I’ve gained a lot more confidence. Since the pandemic began, I started receiving way more Reading Requests, which has forced me to establish my own rhythm and process. Mentoring with Dana Gerhardt has also helped tremendously. I feel much more comfortable now and I’m feeling motivated to explore other mediums. I’ve always loved writing my blogs, but now I’m working on a YouTube Series as well!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite restaurant in Los Angeles is definitely Daikokuya. It’s a ramen place in Little Tokyo and their ramen is to die for. The first time I had it, I couldn’t believe something could taste so good. I also love Malibu Beach. I thought I hated beaches while growing up in Florida, but now I realize I just hate the Florida beaches. Malibu is so peaceful and beautiful in comparison. And I almost always spot sea-lions or dolphins! As far as night time spots go, I just love HEAV3N’s events so much. I can’t wait till we can all experience live music again.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would have never even opened my mind to astrology if it weren’t for my mom. She was interested in it long before I was and my path to success would be much harder if I didn’t have the foundation she gave me, both knowledge-wise and in terms of confidence. She helped me through my first bunch of chart readings and has continued to support me in any way she can. She introduced me to our favorite astrologer and author, Liz Greene, who also deserves a shoutout. If I didn’t love reading her books so much, I probably would’ve stopped studying astrology a long time ago. If I could sit down and have a conversation with anyone in the world, it would probably be Liz Greene–an absolute expert in her field. Recently, I also had the pleasure of mentoring with Dana Gerhardt. I was a huge fan of her writing, and learning from her felt surreal. She helped me fine-tune my chart reading process and inspired me to stop over-thinking things so much. I also have heaps of gratitude for my best friends and boyfriend who have embraced my obsession with open arms!