Earlier this year, astrologer Susan Miller publicly predicted 2020’s wedding season would be, in a word, doomed. Venus, the planet of love, goes retrograde from May 13 to June 25, she pointed out at the time. Mars, which governs sex, is in retrograde from September 9 to November 13. Getting hitched while either of these planets is tracking backwards is a surefire way to end up in a loveless, sexless union, according to Miller, founder of Astrology Zone.
Unfortunately, those are peak dates for tying the knot. But the astrological movements were so dire, Miller insisted, that if your wedding was scheduled to take place during either retrograde, it would be better to get legally married at City Hall beforehand, during a “safer” astrological window. “You’re not going to tell your mother, you’re not going to tell your friends, and you’re going to celebrate it on the big day, the day you walk down the aisle,” Miller advised.
Naturally, people who planned to get married during those time periods felt like Miller’s statements were a little insensitive, to say the least. “I think that this is deeply unkind,” one Refinery29 commenter wrote. “Most people don't plan their weddings around astrology, and even if they think it is nonsense, being told that your relationship is doomed at what is often a stressful time (dealing with families, etc.) is just not helpful.”
Of course, back when Miller (who once incorrectly projected that Trump wouldn’t “make it” to the 2016 election) made her prediction, it was a totally different time in America. The coronavirus had already begun to spread around the globe, but we didn’t yet know how bad things would get. It advanced across the world so quickly, and caused such a large number of fatalities, that everything was put on hold. School graduations. The 2020 Olympic Games. Presidential primaries. And — yes — weddings.
Many people who planned to get married this year are delaying their nuptials until their loved ones can gather again. This was a difficult, heartbreaking decision for couples who had been looking forward to saying “I do.” But according to Miller, these folks may have dodged a bullet.
We caught back up with the self-described “philosopher who uses astrology to get at life’s mysteries” last week while she was waiting in line for a coronavirus antibody test. I asked her what she thought of the wave of wedding cancellations occurring due to COVID-19. She stuck by her original prediction — and urged affected couples to feel grateful.
“When I looked at the calendar for this year, I said, don’t you dare get married,” Miller says, emphasizing that she believes that most of 2020 is less than auspicious for marriage. “This whole year was like a question mark,” she says. “When planets go retrograde, you have to reexamine everything you’ve done before and make it better. You reexamine relationships, sometimes you change your mind. Sometimes you say I’m not going to get married until I’m 30… It’s okay, we have to be flexible.”
Ultimately, she says, couples who had to cancel their weddings may be better off in the long run. “The universe protected you, and it’s the best thing that you didn’t get married [during the pandemic],” she tells me. “I believe the universe will intervene and take care of you — if you're a good person, everything will be fine.”
Many couples, though, don’t see the pandemic as some sort of divine intervention that saved them from a doomed wedding date, including Dan Dolan and Meera Kirpekar, 30 and 34. They’re both healthcare workers who had to postpone their March wedding to December 5 due to coronavirus. They made the decision just a week and a half before they were due to walk down the aisle in front of nearly 200 friends and loved ones.
“Because we work in medicine, all of our friends are so scattered across the country,” Dolan says. “Even if it was only for a couple seconds or minutes, I was looking forward to seeing all the people that have shaped my life.” But, adds Kipekar, “It seemed irresponsible to go forward, and we knew we’d just feel horrible if someone got sick.”
When I told them about Miller’s prediction and asked if they thought it was possible that having to postpone their wedding may have been a blessing in disguise from some higher power, Kirpekar was quick to say “no.” Then she paused and added: “This is not about us — this is a global pandemic. We’re not the only ones affected, we're not special.”
Ultimately, they believe that although their wedding may have been “doomed,” their love isn’t.
Dolan and Kirpekar feel that going through this together has only made them stronger. They spent their wedding day in their apartment with a cheese board and Champagne, “toasting to the pandemic situation changing soon, and to our friends and family remaining safe during this time,” she says.
“This incident, unfortunate as it is, brought us closer,” Kirpekar says of her relationship with Dolan. “It solidified for us what we’re both marrying into.”