Susan Miller Predicted One Of The Best Years Of My Life

In June 2014, I attended a dinner with Susan Miller, the brains behind Astrology Zone. Over 6 million people visit Miller’s site each month for their horoscopes, and I’m one of them. In fact, I pretty much live and die by Miller's monthly forecasts. Oh, Mercury’s in retrograde? You better believe I’m not buying any gadgets or trying to initiate any new, important relationships over email. What’s that about an eclipse, or bad times to travel? I take what she says with a proverbial grain of salt, but for the most part, she’s my unofficial life coach.

The dinner was an opportunity to learn about Miller's new partnership with Dreamcliq, a dating service for which she consults. Averse to the online dating world — but super-duper single — I was curious to hear what Miller had to say about my romantic prospects.

When Miller learned I was a Leo, she got excited. It was going to be an amazing year for anyone born between July 23 and August 22. She said that July 16, 2014, would mark the beginning of a planetary alignment the likes of which Leos hadn’t seen in 12 years.

Here’s a glimpse of the gassing up Miller gave me (and all other Leos) in our July 2014 horoscope on her website. “Your time has come, dear Leo! You are standing in the wings, the orchestra has arrived and [is] tuning up, and very shortly — on July 16 — you will be the reigning king or queen of the zodiac when Jupiter, giver of gifts and luck, enters Leo on that day.” It takes Jupiter 12 years to make its way through the zodiac. It was finally Leo’s turn to be the favorite, a period of grace that was predicted to last nearly 13 months until August 11, 2015.

The forecast went on. “Almost nothing will be impossible for you to achieve now, for you will have staunch support from very influential VIPs,” Miller wrote. “Dreams you have had on hold that you hoped someday to work can now be put into action.” And, the seal-the-deal statement: “Romantically, if single, you will have some of the best prospects you’ve ever had for finding your one true love.”

With so much hype built up around July 16, I would have been crazy to sit at home. So, I went out with my friend Gina. We sat at a bar, waiting for the universe to bestow its gifts upon us. (She’s a Leo, too.) And nothing happened. But, just three days later on July 19, everything changed.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
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July: The Wedding
One of my best friends, Christa, was marrying her longtime boyfriend, Andrew. Normally when I go to weddings alone, I latch onto another couple as my date. But in this case, my usual latching-on suspects weren’t going to be there, so I was flying solo.

The wedding was beautiful (it was the first time I actually cried during a ceremony). At the reception, Christa and Andrew had just finished their first dance as a married couple when the DJ did his smarmy DJ thing, and asked anyone who brought “that special someone with them tonight” to join Andrew and Christa on the dance floor.

That’s when Pat, Andrew’s brother and the best man, came up to me and asked me to dance. There, influenced by the magic of PBR and the musical stylings of Toto, we fell in love.
August: Drake
On August 1, Miller asked a question of her Leo readers, I assume with a knowing smirk. “How does it feel to be the king or queen of the zodiac?” Pretty damn good. Though, this was also a month when she gave Leos some homework. “Take time to decide what you want to accomplish in the coming 12 months,” she wrote. “You stand at the threshold of your golden age,” she warned. “Time goes by fast, so get busy!”

Admittedly, I didn’t do this. I never sat down and wrote down a list of things I wanted to try in my enchanted hour. I guess I was so distracted by all the glamour of my new #blessed life. At one point, Drake even floated above me — which ranks among the most important moments in my life. At R29, I’ve become kind of the Drake expert, if such a thing exists. I spend a lot of time fantasizing about my life with him. I asked one of our best designers to create Drake-themed Valentine’s Day cards. (My boyfriend didn’t even bother buying a Hallmark card. He just printed out one of the R29 Drake greetings.) I searched for signs of his mutual affection on his Instagram account here and here. Ultimately, I just want him to take me on a date where we eat snacks. So, with Drizzy within arm's reach on a stripper pole, telling us all how beautiful we looked, how was I supposed to focus on things like life goals?
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
October: Magic Mike XXL
If the planetary alignment sounded too good to be true, it’s because there’s an obvious, unavoidable snag any astrology enthusiast knows and dreads. Mercury was in retrograde for almost all of October. For anyone unfamiliar with its shenanigans, Mercury in retrograde is basically a shit show. Miller warned of “an array of delays, forgetfulness, and postponements.”

In my experience, Mercury retrograde usually means emails you thought you sent but are actually sitting in your draft folder, a lot of delayed subways to work, and a phone that’s never fully charged.

Miller also offered some pretty great advice for navigating the trying time. “You can view October as a ball of frustration and pull your hair out, or you can see October as a full-length, funny cartoon movie, too silly to take seriously.” I chose the latter.

And when October wasn’t busy being an absolute jerk, it did offer an eclipse. Miller said the eclipse “may trigger [an] amazing opportunity to enjoy love...have more fun; travel far and wide, possibly spontaneously.” No wonder, then, that I found myself on a last-minute trip to the set of Magic Mike XXL, where I got to interview the cast and watch some incredible, um, scene work. It involved Joe Manganiello in a sex swing. You can’t come back from that.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
November: New Apartment
The setting: the Upper West Side, a room with no windows. Yes, that is the fire hazard I inhabited for nine months. It began as a temporary, month-to-month measure. I lived with a 37-year-old man named Neil and his cat, Precious. They were both lovely, but I needed a place with, well, oxygen. And maybe other women. Anyone who’s tried finding a decent place to live at a reasonable price in NYC knows this can be quite the struggle. Somehow, I managed to find a perfect fit in Park Slope, Brooklyn: a huge room with a big window, a tree outside, plenty of natural light, and its own full bathroom — all for $200 less a month than I was paying on the UWS. Chalking my dumb luck up to celestial favoritism, I took it.
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January: My Promotion
The second half of 2014 had been really good to me, but it was mostly on a personal level. January was when my career got a real kick in the ass. Miller advised that January was the beginning of what would be a great time for my job and finances. “Opportunities will come to you from every corner,” she wrote. “You are unique, and your projects should be as unique as you.” So, imagine my delight when in January I was promoted from associate entertainment editor to features writer. Essentially, it was a blessing from Refinery29 to spread my editorial wings, get weird, and dream big.

February: My Love Affair
What’s important to remember about Miller’s forecasts is that they’re not always literal. If she references a relationship or a romance, it’s not necessarily about finally uniting with your soul mate. I came to this realization when February 2015 promised to be a majorly romantic time. Sure, there was Valentine’s Day, and I was quite happy with Pat. But this month was more about the love affair I began with stand-up comedy. After years of toying with the idea of actually being in a stand-up show, I worked up the courage to try out for a comedy night that, romantically enough, took place on February 13. This date night with hilarity served as a stepping stone for me to develop more comedy videos for Refinery29, take an improv class, and really elevate comedy from a hobby to a passion.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
July: Comic-Con, L.A. & An Anniversary
I was on a lot of planes in July. I flew to San Diego for R29’s first-ever Comic-Con coverage. Then I went to L.A. for the ESPYs and to interview Nick Jonas. By the time I got back, it was time to celebrate a year with Pat. We went to my favorite restaurant: Shake Shack.

So, yeah. I guess you could say that I had a pretty terrific year.

This isn’t to say the past 12 months weren’t without their frustrations. My credit card was hacked, I got very sick, I couldn’t see my family for long stretches, and at times, I began to doubt myself and my abilities. There were weeks at work where I wasn’t sure I would make it. But the security of knowing I was being guided along by some benevolent celestial phenomenon helped me, even when Miller couldn’t exactly warn me when those challenging times might be.

There’s a huge question looming, though. Did I have a great year because the stars were aligned? Or, was it because I believed they were aligned and, full of confidence, I was finally putting myself out there in a way I hadn’t before? Was I the result of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

When I posed that very question to Miller on the phone recently, she responded expertly. “You have to do something to make it happen,” she said. “You can’t just sit in the house and wait for someone to knock on your door. I’m giving you your best times to make that initiation, but if you do nothing, I can absolutely guarantee nothing will happen.” No wonder July 16 was a bust.

Miller's answer is that it’s a blend of both knowing when the stars are aligned for certain areas of your life, and taking action. “This is not a religion,” Miller reminded me. “It’s all based on mathematics. You wanna get in the cycle at the right time, and you might wanna get out of the cycle at the right time, too. Like when Mercury’s gonna retrograde, you wanna get things done.”
Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
The past year has been what Miller calls an Emerald Year. As it draws to a close, I feel afraid that the coming years won’t feel as special, or that I won’t accomplish as much. Miller wrote in one of her forecasts, "A darling Leo friend asked me, 'Do I turn into a pumpkin on August 11, 2015 when Jupiter exits Leo?'" My thoughts exactly.

But it’s important to remember that each year brings its own benefits. Miller told me over the phone a couple of weeks ago that next year will be my best money year, and the year after that will be best for communications. That’s when I may see a book sold or a screenplay optioned. And she reminded me that the fruits of my labor are exactly what they sound like. “When you have a good chart, it always refers back to what you’ve been doing before you got the good chart.”

So, what’s next? Saturn Return, which comes when you’re about 28-and-a-half years old. Miller said it’s an extremely important year because it’s when we mature and become ourselves. “Saturn takes about 29 years to go through every house of your horoscope and teach you something,” she explained. It often comes with a big commitment. “It’s something that forms one of the pillars of your life,” she said.

That is the moment I’m looking forward to the most. Yes, the stars have been aligned for me of late, and it’s been a time filled with exciting moments and a whirlwind of romance and success. But I can’t wait to see the final lesson Saturn has in store for me. As for the greatest lesson the ringed planet has taught me this past year? No matter the forecast, the great moments in my life ultimately come down to capitalizing on the timings Miller provides and being proactive. It’s my house. Saturn just lives in it.

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