When an Aries meets a Sagittarius at a party, sparks fly - naturally, given that both are fire signs. Once the pair realize that they share a love of poetry and astrology, well, the rest is written in the stars: Alex Dimitrov (the Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (the Aries) became best friends and, in late 2016, launched @poetastrologers, a witty, pop culture-heavy Twitter account that dispenses such musings as which Britney Spears song describes which sign. It now has more than 500,000 followers.
The duo’s first book, “Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac,” is a snappy primer on astrology and how it can help make sense of modern-day life, work and love. Highlights include imagined text conversations (“Taurus: ‘I will never leave you.’ Scorpio: ‘I wish I could say the same.’”) and original poetry.
During a joint interview, New York-based Dimitrov and Lasky discussed the connection between poetry and astrology and why the star signs remain relevant.
Q: Have you both always been interested in the zodiac?
A; Lasky: I didn’t have a deep obsession with astrology until my early 20s. I didn’t distrust it, but as a little kid and teenager, I was very into traditional hard science, so I didn’t exactly want to accept it as part of reality.
A: Dimitrov: I’ve always believed in magic and other worlds and that there are many different realms of experience - we’re just plugged into one of them. I grew up an only child and didn’t have that many friends in school, so I felt in some ways that my existence was very insular, and in that insularity, I found poetry. Astrology and poetry are both very interested in connection and the human spirit. That can be comforting to people who feel they don’t exactly fit into the thing that we’re all in.
Q: You’re both published poets (Lasky’s most recent work is 2018’s “Milk,” and Dimitrov’s “Love and Other Poems” is slated for 2020). What’s it like to apply the craft to a platform like Twitter?
A: Dimitrov: We deeply believe that poetry is for everybody and want to bring it into the mainstream. You don’t have to have studied poetry; you don’t have to be sad or happy or anything else. Poetry has been this lifelong companion to both of us, and we really want to offer that to other people.
Q: How does astrology translate to our modern world?
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A; Lasky: People are scared and nervous, and we can feel persecuted in lots of ways about going to established forms of spiritual experience. I grew up Jewish, and I’m very frightened to go into a temple now or a synagogue. So I think that astrology and other forms of an individual, self-organizing occult experience can be empowering, because you can still be connected to the universe and the rest of humanity and your own experience as a spiritual being without being frightened. You can create the rules and rituals on your own, and that can be comforting.
Q: What do people who are new to astrology need to know to get started?
A; Dimitrov: You should know your birth date, birth place and the time you were born, which tells you the exact placement of the sun. But part of wanting to learn astrology is just being open to ideas you might not be thinking about right now.
A: Lasky: I think astrology gives credence to our natural instincts. If somebody is a fire sign, for example, there’s a literal fieriness to their personality; they’re passionate and impulsive and behave like fire. Astrology provides this amazing construct to give you support for thinking those things intuitively or instinctually.