We had the good fortune of connecting with Mildred Murillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mildred, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
As the daughter of a Guatemalan immigrant, my upbringing had a tremendous impact on who I am today. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by a single mother who worked two jobs for most of my childhood and adolescent years just to get by. At the age of nine, I became my mother’s right-hand by making sure my younger brother and I ate, got to school safely and soundly, did our homework, and stayed out of trouble and alive. Sometimes we had food to eat and sometimes we didn’t. Sometimes we knew we had a roof over our heads, and others we were evicted because mom couldn’t make rent. That type of upbringing will have you looking at the world from a perspective of survival, which can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I learned the meaning of hard-work self-reliance at a very young age. On the other, there was very little room to just be a child.
In my early 20’s, hard-work and self-reliance got me a steady job as a Paralegal, and I did that for ten years. It was a great job, I learned a lot, made a good living, and I, seemingly, had my life in order. But, a string of failed romantic relationships, a difficult relationship with my mother, and a severe case of anxiety proved otherwise. By the time I was 28, I was unhappy, anxious and with no sense of direction for anything greater. My entire life was based on the premise of survival. I knew I needed to change something about the way I was living my life. At the time, my best friend told me about an astrologer in the San Fernando who taught astrology out of his apartment and we both signed up. That’s where everything changed for me.
One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that my mother had an uncle who was a Shaman in Guatemala. He taught my mother a lot of esoteric practices. So, as a child, I grew up seeing a lot of what is now considered popular. I grew up doing New and Full moon rituals in front of our homemade, candle-lit altars. But, more importantly, I grew up watching Walter Mercado. If you don’t know who Walter Mercado is, I suggest you Google him. Walter Mercado was a Puerto Rican astrologer who had a 5-minute segment in the evening Spanish-speaking news. Every single evening he came on and gave horoscopes for each sign and they were filled with so much optimism and love, that you couldn’t help but believe, even if your reality told you otherwise. My mother and I looked forward to that segment every day and it tugged on our witchy hearts that believed that there was something greater than the harsh reality we were experiencing.
So, when my best friend came to me with the idea that we should take astrology classes together, it was a no-brainer and I dove right in. I learned that astrology is far more than just horoscopes; it is the study of philosophy, symbolism, psychology, mathematics, and a language that validates our existence and everything we are because we realize that everything we have experienced was meant to be experienced all along. I delved deeply into the study and practice because it taught me compassion for myself, my experience, and where I was in my life at 28-years old. All of a sudden the hard-work and self-reliance I learned when I was a kid, turned into something beautiful again because I had found a subject so fascinating, that I could pour all that energy into it, but from a more constructive place within myself.
I could say that my study and practice as an astrologer began in 2014 with my first astrology class, but really it began the moment I build my first esoteric altar with my mother as a kid. The understanding that there is something greater than us and that, eventually, everything makes sense because we are evolving all along, was knowledge my mother instilled in me long before I picked up my first astrology book.
Being an astrologer and being fortunate enough to make a living out of it is something I am grateful for every single day. Not just because I get to call myself an “entrepreneur,” but because through my great-uncle’s and mother’s practices, I learned that when you have the capacity to share this knowledge with others, that capacity is meant to be respected because I am sharing sacred wisdom put together by many others before me. I am by no means saying that I am sacred! I’m just a messenger of a Universal language that exists for all of us to learn from. I just happen to be a nerd who is fascinated by all this knowledge and wants to share it with the world. My upbringing taught me to have grit in a world that can be harsh, but it also taught me that grit can be beautiful in its rawness. Hard-work and self-reliance are definitely qualities that will help you build a business, but I learned that compassion and Love and far more powerful. Astrology allowed me to see that.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart? My approach to astrology isn’t one that comes from explaining technicalities to my clients. I am an astrology teacher and teach online courses, in which case, I can be very technical. But, when working with coaching clients or doing readings, it’s an intuitive exchange with another human being. A place in which we’re just two adults talking about how life can be a jerk sometimes. But, with our combined innate wisdom, we can come out of the other side of that conversation with an appreciation for life’s “jerkiness” because together we discover that there’s beauty in that. When I speak to my clients, I am, first and foremost, a person who has experienced struggle and understands that if someone is going through a breakup, for instance, the last thing they need to hear from me is that this is all happening their Sun is in a particular sign. Astrology allows us to understand the greater message behind our circumstances, but it doesn’t dissolve us from dealing with those circumstances in a practical and responsible way.
Astro Consciousness started when I was still working in a law firm. I started writing a blog, doing a few readings a month, while saving money to quit that job and dedicate myself to being a full-time astrologer and coach. I saved money for almost 3 years in order to comfortably quit my job to do what I am doing now. That took a lot of patience and discipline and I am very proud of that. I learned that I can work really hard for something I really want and that I can set aside short-term gratification for something much greater in the long run. That didn’t come easily. I had to do a lot of internal work and healing in order to appreciate astrology and coaching in the way that I do. The more I’ve worked on myself, the more Astro Consciousness has evolved because I learned to not be ashamed of my story. In fact, I learned to embrace it and not take for granted the strength it has given me to dream big. Dreaming big didn’t come easy to me, but with everything I’ve studied and learned, dreaming big looks a lot different than I thought it would. It’s much more fulfilling.
I am excited to launch a membership subscription, Consciousness Circle, in April 2021, in which I give a ton of astrological and coaching content to help others get in touch with themselves. Also, Introductory and Intermediate Astrology courses are coming in May 2021, which I will teach live via Zoom.
Astro Consciousness is a space in which I write about astrology from experience and simply living life. Astrology isn’t just conceptual to me, it’s a daily visceral experience that I consider myself fortunate enough to comprehend. Therefore, I feel it is my responsibility to express that experience, in very digestible terms, to anyone who is willing to listen. My hope, always, is that people feel seen, validated, and understood by their natal chart. Resulting in full and loving acceptance of themselves.
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?
Being born and raised in Los Angeles, it makes me proud to show people awesome places in this beautiful city. First, I would let them know to check out Downtown. I love Downtown. I love the grittiness and fast-paced of it all. Also, I worked in a few law firms there, so I’ve had a lot of fun Happy Hours around the area. La Cita is one of my favorite bars (which is closed right now due to COVID). Grand Central Market is also packed with an amazing mix of foods from different parts of the world. Of course, I’d tell them to check out The Broad and The Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue. If they wanted a taste of authentic Mexican food, I would suggest Olvera Street, and even farther East, to El Mercadito. El Mercadito is a marketplace in Boyle Heights, similar to Grand Central Market, but not as gentrified. They have great Mexican food and Mariachi music. I feel that when people visit Los Angeles, they miss the part of the Latinx culture that is so foundational to the spirit of this city. If they’re visiting during the Spring and Summer I would definitely suggest catching a Dodger game. We Angelinos love our home teams very much, and the Dodgers are simply the best.
You definitely have to visit the beach if you’re in L.A., and Venice and Santa Monica are great places to go to. But, I would advise learning the history and culture of those beach towns, especially that of Venice beach. Those beach towns have very humble beginnings and those stories deserve to be remembered.
Being vegan for 5 years now, I have tried a lot of vegan food around Los Angeles, so I would suggest Grain Cafe on Pico and Crenshaw, Rakkan Ramen in Little Tokyo (hands-down, my favorite ramen in LA), Gracias Madre in West L.A., diner-style breakfast pancakes at Green Leaves in Silverlake, the deep-dish pizza from Masa in Echo Park (both vegan and non-vegan options), a vegan Mexican food truck called Tacos Sin Karma, and of course, In-N-Out – I know it’s not vegan, but it’s In-N-Out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, my mom! That little lady is the most hard-working person I have ever known. She taught me that if she can get through life in a country that isn’t her own, raising two kids by herself with very little resources and money, anyone can do anything. Regardless of the ups-and-downs our relationship has endured, I am who I am today because of her and I will be forever grateful.
Second, my astrology teacher, Jim Sher. He has been a therapist and astrologer longer than I have been alive, so his wisdom is immense. Through his school, Sher Institute of Astrology and Metaphysics, he has been teaching people for many years to look at astrology with respect because of what it shows us about ourselves and the world.
Finally, John Kim (known as The Angry Therapist on social media). John gave me the opportunity to be a coach and astrologer on his wellness platform, TAT Lab. That’s when my business took off. He shared his success with me, and many other therapists and coaches, to make the world a kinder place. We all teach on subjects we love and (hopefully) provide people with a wider and brighter perspective on life.
Other: email: firstname.lastname@example.org