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‘It’s time to go within’: Astrologer Alice Bell on getting started with astrology, retrogrades, and what’s in store for the rest of the year

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent hours doom-scrolling astrology apps like Co-Star, just to be left with swirling thoughts of: “What does mercury in retrograde *really* mean? Why do I always date people with the same star sign as me? Is there I can never make it work with leos?” Luckily, here to answer all of our sun, moon, rising, and retrograde questions is astrologer, author, and British Vogue’s resident horoscope writer Alice Bell.

Despite being introduced to birth charts by a therapist in 2016, Alice first became captivated with astrology while working as a Fashion Assistant for British Vogue in 2018. “It just shows that like you're meant to find stuff like this when the timing's right, you can't force astrology on anyone,” she tells MIRROR WATER, explaining how her entrance to astrology was using horoscopes to predict her relationships. “I became obsessed with looking at my horoscope.” Fast forward through ten months of in-depth astrological research, and Alice had dropped from her fashion journalism career to launch a full-time astrology business.

Today, the astrologer has launched her first-ever book, titled Trust Your Timing – an explorative guidebook on using your birth chart to navigate your love life and find your authentic self. “I went back to what had gotten me into astrology in the first place, which was understanding why I was so crazy with dating and like why I got super obsessed with guys,” she explains with a laugh. “Career has always come more easily for me than my love life, so that was always like a difficulty that astrology really helped me to understand better.” She adds: “It’s about building more self awareness there so you could go about your love life differently.”

Now, speaking to MIRROR WATER, Alice tells us how the stars affect our love pairings, tips on getting started in astrology, what mercury in retrograde really means, and what’s in store for the rest of the year. Read more below.

MIRROR WATER: First, can you please walk me through astrology’s relationship with love pairings? In a technical sense, why are some star signs better matches than others?

Alice Bell: If you're trying to understand your approach to dating or why you may have certain behaviours or patterns in your love life, there are specific parts of the chart to look at and the planets revolve around that are the moon, Venus and Mars, and then certain houses of your birth chart too. You also have 12 houses and the seventh, the fifth, and the eighth tend to refer back to more relationship-oriented themes. It gets complex, but if you look at all those different aspects, you get a picture of, “Okay, this is why I may date a certain way.”

MIRROR WATER: Are there better love pairings than others? Is there any truth to people who say things like “I can’t date Virgos!” or Leos or Aries, etc.? 

Alice Bell: I would not look at it like, “My sign is not compatible with that person.” It's so much more complex than that. You have to [compare] your whole chart with someone else's whole chart and look at how all the planets line up with theirs. Instead, there are certain aspects I see a lot with long term couples, like someone having the same moon sign as someone's air sign or someone's sun sign. But, it's not as black and white as, “This sign doesn't work with this one.”

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WRITTEN BY: Emma Gibbins