We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!
Please enjoy this excerpt from “Open for Interpretation” by Alicia Blando, MD.
There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE hard copy:
- Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
- Email us at KOMWriting@gmail.com with the Subject: Open for Interpretation giveaway entry
The winner will be randomly selected on 6/26/23 and announced on our website and social media. *
Early in her medical career Dr. Alicia Blando was faced with the reality that American medical practices fail to holistically support patients. Seeing a gap in medical care, Dr. Blando set out to supplement her Western medical training with careful study and practice of astrology. This book follows Dr. Blando’s journey through professional medicine and astrology to reveal how readers can apply this ancient practice to their own path to self discovery.
Her expedition off the beaten path leads to true self-exploration and connection with the world around her, as well as a desire to share her knowledge and experiences with those who are seeking a more holistic approach to health and well-being.
In addition to her Western medical practices, Dr. Blando leans into the foundations of astrology to support the patient as a whole. She believes that the sacred practice can support a person’s health, well-being, self-understanding and can even offer insight into a person’s predispositions for certain medical conditions. Dr. Blando takes the reader on a journey of self discovery spanning from Manhattan, the Peruvian Amazon, Belize and Bolivia. Through these personal experiences she discovers comprehensive methods of healing and finally finds the guide she’s been seeking. Through sharing her personal and intimate relationship with astrological practices, she explains how we can all use the ancient art to access our higher selves and untapped potential.
Excerpt: Self-Awareness & Self-Confidence Through Astrology
When I was a child, there were big family gatherings. My mother always invited family to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. My dad had seven brothers and sisters and my mother had eight. My parents had five children. I loved playing and interacting with my family and cousins. When I was eighteen years old, I made a promise to myself. I declared, “By the time I’m 25 years old, I will have five children and I will be in medical school.” It was a given that I would be married as well. I wanted a big family. The statement went along with the general idea that my family and society had deemed was my future.
I reached one of my goals at age twenty-five. I was already in medical school and the goal of having children and marriage was forgotten. I had time. In the 1990’s, I moved to New York City to start residency training during the early days of the HIV pandemic. With the stress of all the changes, I felt so much uncertainty in life. This period was when I first started looking for some sort of direction, a guidebook for life to help me understand my circumstances. I reassured myself that marriage and children could wait.
As I wandered the streets of New York City, sightseeing, I became aware that Manhattan offered pedestrian counselors, such as psychics, tarot card, and palm readers who had make-shift offices in the street. Surely, they had different perspectives on life. I would ask them about my direction in life. New York City was where I became a doctor, but continued to look for something more.
In 1997, after several moves and job changes, I ended up in Miami, Florida. I had not forgotten about my handbook for life and was constantly on the look out for information. One day, while discussing her budding business venture, my yoga friend, Fiona told me, “I go to Iris every year to get business advice and ask about people I know.” She asked about different job and investment prospects, whether business and personal relationships were viable or not, and even about the timing of certain activities. Fiona described Iris as an astrologer who seemed to be able to answer practical and specific questions on a regular basis.
What Fiona described was like an annual health exam with a family doctor to ensure a healthy and productive life, but with an intuitive. As a physician, a yearly checkup made sense to me, but with regard to a psychic who was an astrologer? This, I had to check out.
I made an appointment with Iris to see what adventure she saw for my future and I wasn’t thinking about marriage or children. Iris looked to be in her mid to late sixties, with shoulder-length jet-black hair and bulging eyes. If she’d had a pointed hat and broom to go with her black top and pants, she could’ve passed for a caricature of a witch. As she greeted me, her ready smile and friendly manner dispelled my image of a sorcerer.
During my reading Iris interpretated my chart stating, “Astrology is the map of your potential. Your chart is like a road map in time with the starting point being the date, time, and place of your birth. And the planets in the sky don’t just stay in one place. As they move in their orbits, the planets evolve in a progressed horoscope that will reflect the changes in your life. They will continue to describe how you are changing, how you are maturing in your relationships, work, and even in your home life.”
Iris used the language of the stars to explain my life. “Your Sun and Mercury are strong in the ninth house of higher education. You would’ve pursued higher education whatever you chose for your career. You’re a doctor, but you could’ve been a professor or gone into religious studies. The ninth house also signifies spirituality and foreign travel. You’re gonna travel more. Astrology helps you to become aware of your strengths, weaknesses, and options, so you can make better choices. All the planets contribute to your character. Your Moon and Venus in the tenth house shows that you have a pleasant demeanor, but you also have an aggressive nature with ambitious Mars in its own sign of Aries, living in the eighth house of transformation. You’re flexible and can be accommodating, but you’re not a pushover. You have Saturn in your fifth house of children, creativity, and intellect. Your Saturn gives you a strong sense of discipline to overcome obstacles, to learn the lessons that he presents to you. It was hard, but didn’t you finish medical school?”
She continued. “You couldn’t have traveled to foreign countries before. You had to prepare. You needed to learn to be a doctor so you can have a perspective about different healing techniques. Plus, you needed to be able to make a living so you can afford to travel. You can’t just show up and expect people to take care of you. You’re in a good position now.”
She was right. I yearned to travel and now I could afford it. I was in a good position.
Then, Iris stressed these next lessons, “There’s a give and take in life; you can’t have everything. Saturn also represents limitations and is living in the fifth house, which also represents children. Children are a kind of creativity. It’ll be hard for you to have kids. It’s not that you can’t have children, but there would be obstacles. Are you in a relationship now? Are you interested in pursuing one? How you live your life also depends on your environment. Not just location but who you surround yourself with. You’re learning about astrology. You’re here now. You’re asking questions. This is where you’re putting your efforts. Not everybody is supposed to have kids. Not everyone can be a doctor.”
The reading with Iris was like an analytic psychotherapy session using the shortcut of astrology to get to the point in one visit. She homed in on an internal struggle that caused me anxiety, but that I had successfully deflected from my consciousness. I never mentioned it to her. I never mentioned it to anyone.
My parents realized that through education all their children would achieve a better life than they themselves had. They still held onto the traditional ideals and wanted their children to get married and have children. I held that ideal also, so much so that when I was eighteen, I had the unrealistic expectation that by the age of twenty-five I would have five children, be in medical school, and be married.
Reality kept getting in the way. After getting established with my career, my attention kept getting sidetracked to more interesting topics, such as seeing the world, and learning about indigenous healing techniques. During the reading with Iris, I became aware of a part of myself I had not been conscious of. I told myself, it’s okay. I had time. My biological clock was not ticking yet.
Iris’s seemingly innocent comment, “Not everybody is supposed to have kids,” hit a chord with me. Later that afternoon, I thought about what she said. All throughout my life, up until then, I had been fooling myself into thinking that my life’s goal included marriage and children. The family life that I laid out as an eighteen-year-old was never going to get off the back burner, but a part of me didn’t want to let it go. I still held onto the convictions of my younger self. Unconsciously, I was trying to keep a promise to my eighteen-year-old self whose worldview I had outgrown.
For me, marriage and a family weren’t the answer to the question of “What was next?”
The study of astrology has guided me well. It gave me another perspective to view myself beyond society’s standards. I was less anxious when my friends and family chided me for not settling down with a home and family, telling me that my biological clock was ticking. I deflected some of my colleagues’ and friends’ opinions that I was flaky for flying off to study with Indigenous healers and believing in astrology. They would tell me, “You’re already a doctor. What more do you want?”
Learning about myself, through the lens of astrology, I saw my strengths more objectively and was more comfortable with choices I’d made to pursue my interests in learning and traveling. My chart confirmed what I knew: with hard work, I could take care of myself and explore my ongoing interests.
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NOTE: You can pre-order Dr. Blando‘s book on Amazon.