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Chani Nicholas Has the New Moon Ritual You Need

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She’s beauty, she’s grace, she’s reader of the stars Chani Nicholas. The internet’s favorite astrologer and activist joins Amy and Rebecca to drop some knowledge about what the new moon means, how astrology is a predictive tool that can guide our decisions, and what any of it has to do with celebrity breakups (TLDR: A LOT). Chani also reminds us that it’s OK to not know everything. Get your chart and let Chani inspire you to your sense of purpose and service.

A New Moon is a blank slate, you can’t see the moon. So if you can think of that symbolically with your life, like just hitting refresh, it’s like press refresh on your life. Like let’s just just go dark for a second. If you think about following the cycles, go dark, get quiet, listen, what wants to come forth next. And then as the moon starts to take shape in the sky and give us more light, then you kind of like come out with it. But I think letting ourselves kind of go back to neutral with that is really helpful.

Chani Nicholas

PS: For the new moon–curious, check out Chani’s new moon tool kit.

An Edited Transcript of Our Convo:

Amy S. Choi: You are listening to The Mash-up Americans.

Rebecca Lehrer: Hey, I’m Rebecca Lehrer, Aquarius Sun, Gemini Moon, Cancer Rising.

Amy S. Choi: And I’m Amy Choi, Taurus Sun, Taurus Moon, and Virgo Rising. And we are The Mash-up Americans. Oh, boy. I mean, some people really know what this means, is what I’m saying.

Well, so this week we are talking about the universe. The sun, the moon, the stars, and of course, how it all relates to the most important thing, which is me. I mean, us. Definitely us. Definitely all of us.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah. Because it’s hard sometimes in American culture, which is so individualistic and ambitious, and I’m going to say it, we’re all hearing it, pretty lonely, to kind of remember that we are part of something so much bigger than us. And it’s kind of as big as the whole universe.

Amy S. Choi: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: And many universes.

Amy S. Choi: All the universe. I mean, sometimes you look up at the stars and it’s like, “Holy shit. I’m so tiny. This is terrifying.”

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: And then you can also look up at the stars and think, “Holy shit. I’m so tiny and it’s so beautiful out there, how we’re all connected and we have these little spaces in this big, giant world.”

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh my God. Those web telescope images.

Amy S. Choi: Oh boy.

Rebecca Lehrer: My God.

Amy S. Choi: Really? Perspective, huh?

Rebecca Lehrer: Wow. Some big universe is making some beautiful artwork. So that’s what our guest today, the fabulous astrologer, Chani Nicholas, she does for us. She helps us see our place in the world and hear what the stars are telling us, not just us. She has a New York Times bestselling book called You Were Born For This and her Chani app has more than a million monthly users, and she’s going to tell us about how we refresh and regenerate ourselves with the new moon that is happening right now. Plus her readings are …

Amy S. Choi: So rude. They’re so rude in their accuracy. It was almost a problem. But we’re so excited. Here’s Chani.

Rebecca Lehrer: We are extremely thrilled to have you here because we’ve been following you for years, both as a thinker and a voice in the world and an astrologer, and also great at memes. Just so good at memes.

Chani Nicholas: I mean, I think I’m only good at re-posting memes. I don’t think I’m good at making them myself. I just want to clarify.

Rebecca Lehrer: Well-

Amy S. Choi: But you’re a curator of the worldwide web.

Rebecca Lehrer: Just to be clear also, we are elder millennials-

Amy S. Choi: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: Slash whatever that Generation Catalano.

Chani Nicholas: Oh, okay.

Rebecca Lehrer: And we don’t know how one would even make a meme. So I didn’t even know there was anything different. So-

Chani Nicholas: Okay, you’re going to get totally kicked out of the millennial club because y’all created memes. That’s your thing.

Rebecca Lehrer: No, no. Yeah. I just want you to show me what’s funny and then I slide through it.

Chani Nicholas: Okay.

Rebecca Lehrer: Between you and Adrienne Maree Brown, I don’t need …

Chani Nicholas: Yeah, we are meme siblings I feel like.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: We were lucky to have her on the show last season talking about grief. That was our whole season.

Rebecca Lehrer: And we were calling her our meme lord. But I feel that there’s meme queens, the two of you together. So.

Chani Nicholas: Meme Lord, meme queen. Love it. Extremely into it. Thank you, wow.

Rebecca Lehrer: What was your kind of pivotal moment, Chani, for looking at the stars? When did you know that this world was for you, that you could be a translator of it to other people?

Chani Nicholas: I mean, there’s a couple different stories. One is that I encountered astrology when I was 12 years old. An astrologer was reading my entire family, but it was a new family formation. My dad was on his third marriage and she had kids. And I had known them my whole life, but then all of a sudden, we were siblings. And my new stepmother’s mother was a Reiki master, and all of her friends were weirdos and psychics and tarot readers and blah, blah, blah. And astrologers. So she sent us to get an astrology reading and the astrologer started talking and I was like, “What is this? I know this.” Or, “This makes so much sense to me.” And everyone else was like, “Oh yeah. Whatever.” And I was just riveted. And she had written a book and my dad bought it for me. And that was the beginning.

Rebecca Lehrer: Wow.

Chani Nicholas: That was my gateway drug. And then I just was obsessed with it. Although I didn’t grow up on the internet, so I didn’t have access to … You had to find books on astrology, which wasn’t so easy. That grandmother figure person had a lot. So she eventually got me into classes and stuff like that. And I gave readings when I was a teenager and in my early twenties, but I didn’t have the confidence for it. And it took me a long time to say yes to it. I was very old when I finally was like, “Okay, fine. I’ll try this as a career.” Because nothing else was working out. And I just felt like a failure at life. And I just felt like I had this huge ambition and huge creative drive, and everywhere I put it, it just fell flat and it was so disorienting to me. And then when I finally said yes to astrology, it was like everything worked out. But I was at the end of my thirties.

Rebecca Lehrer: Well, first of all, now we know why the name of your book is You Were Born For This.

Chani Nicholas: Oh my God.

Rebecca Lehrer: It does feel that there was something you were born for. But also, one of the things that I always observe, even as I’m taking the details of what you’re saying is, she knows so much. The ability that you’re so knowledgeable. It clearly took a long time to learn the things that you know now and that maybe you had to be at that life stage to be able to do it in a way that people could receive it. Because I feel like, “Wow. How did she even connect those? I don’t know that I know anything that well.”

Chani Nicholas: You do.

Rebecca Lehrer: That’s one of my takeaways every time.

Chani Nicholas: I had a lot of teachers in my life from a really young age, and my greatest fortune, I think, in life is that I desire growth and I’m willing to be uncomfortable in ways that are necessary for growth to occur. And I always wanted to get out of the really dysfunctional situations that I was born into or grew up through. And so that part of me that was like, “Fuck this. I’m out. I got to go search for something,” is always seeking and it’s been the part that’s helped me the most. And it’s also the part that knew … I’m really grateful for my ability to know that this was a teacher and that I should sit at their feet and I should listen and shut up and get as much as I could from them. And so when I met that person, my stepmom’s mom, I just followed her wherever she went and I would do anything she let me do with her.

So the moment she let me take a Reiki course with her, I did. I was 14 years old. And every single course she let me take, I would take. And everywhere she invited me to, I would go. And I just needed the healing so badly. I just needed to be around an adult that had dedicated her life to her own healing, and then also, facilitating healing spaces for other people. And it just fit with me in such a profound way. And I think each of us has that and it gets turned on at some point. And so whatever we have to struggle with or whatever it is we have to carry, it’s our ability to, I think, locate the door out or the person that’s going to get you the bridge to the next thing. That’s what saves us. It’s that part of us. It’s not the person, but it’s the part of us that’s willing to do whatever it takes to learn, to grow, to develop, and to be uncomfortable in necessary ways.

Amy S. Choi: Oh, I love that so much, I’ll cry. I think that there’s also, what a lesson also to be humble, to have the humility to sit at a teacher’s feet. I think that’s part of the thing that makes people so uncomfortable is that we’re all expected to know everything all the time.

Rebecca Lehrer: Wait, that was one thing in your book about one of the readings.

Amy S. Choi: It’s okay not to know sometimes.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh, it was an Aquarius sun. And I wrote to another woman in our team who’s also an Aquarius sun and I was like, “She said it’s okay not to know the answers to everything.” And I’m like, “Is it? She’s a liar. I do need to know.”

Amy S. Choi: But I think that that idea … Okay, so You Were Born For This, which, this is the title of your book. Everybody should get it. It was published in 2020 and it came out alongside your app. The two of them go together. And I just think this idea of being born for something encapsulates the seeking that you’re talking about. We’re all, and I think the challenge is that so many people don’t know that they are. They just feel a gnawing …

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Hunger or dissatisfaction with something. But that-

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Being willing to surrender to the search is, I think, very difficult in the world that we live in.

Chani Nicholas: It’s difficult and it’s also so necessary. And sometimes I cringe at my own ideas or that title because also, there’s no pressure.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Chani Nicholas: The meaning of your life is to be of service, I think. The meaning of your life is to have some fun and understand yourself. And the meaning of life, I think, is to show up and help each other and to try to make meaning out of our suffering in some way. But also, no pressure with that. There’s a way in which there’s these really good ideas and then they get on the internet and then they get taken by storm and then they get co-opted in capitalism. And then everything feels just like another thing on our to-do list.

So I heard Liz Gilbert once say, “Maybe the meaning of my life was to go hold a ladder for a guy once who was fixing a sign and I felt like he might be on a faulty kind of … Maybe that was the entire meaning of my life.” And I get what she’s saying. I will push back against that. But I want people to grow and develop themselves and pursue their passions. But also, I think we get it twisted. And I think also sometimes younger folks, I hear them put such an emphasis on things and want it all to fit into a neat little box, and it just doesn’t. It’s messy and it’s got its own fucking timing. And you might not figure it out till you’re 72. So what are you going to do? You’re going to be depressed until … You’re going to feel like you’re not worth anything until then?

What if that happens? And I had to really struggle with that, being at the end of my thirties and being like, “It hasn’t hit yet, and maybe it won’t until I’m 60. So how am I going to live my life?” Or I think we just have this way of putting so much pressure on ourselves. And as an astrologer, there is a mark that you were born under. And it is, to me, essential that you find the ways that you need to go towards that and to let it express itself and let it show you what it wants to do. You’re the facilitator of this thing and that creative energy that moves through all things, that moves through you, wants to express itself in a very unique way. And that’s your job. I think that’s the sole meaning of your life.

Rebecca Lehrer: It is really interesting. Again, elder millennial, so apologies to the younger people too. But is this sort of main character energy thing that the internet has and feeling like you have to tell that story, right?

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: That it has to be ….

Chani Nicholas: Glorious.

Rebecca Lehrer: Concise and clear for everyone.

Chani Nicholas: And have an arc.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: And one of the joys that we’ve found, even, you think about even the jokes. “I can’t believe I survived that.” But you did. And it’s also, I don’t wish some of those things. Some are funny things and some I don’t wish on anyone or I’m worried that my children will experience or all those things.

Chani Nicholas: My god.

Rebecca Lehrer: But they’re also part of my fabric and the quilt of who I am. But there are many funny ones, where like, “My God. We just went to that party and what were we even doing? I just got on someone’s motorcycle? Who was that man?”

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: You know what I mean? What happened?

Chani Nicholas: Okay, so for your kind of chart, I will often in a reading be like, “So have you had any near death experiences? Or there’s a way in which your chart is kind of set up to edge towards a little catastrophe or just be on the precipice of, is this the place where it all goes dark now?”

Rebecca Lehrer: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. So also, once again, Chani is so rude because I’m like, “I have to pick up every phone call,” because I’m like, “Is this where it ends? Is this where it all goes down?”

Amy S. Choi: Wait. But I think this is actually the thing that, as literally we were all scream-texting each other being like, “Oh no. I understand myself. I am seen.” That’s the experience, I think, of reading your book, of just being like, “Oh. Oh, here. That’s right. That’s me.” Or that experience of being understood or that we are a puzzle piece that fits into the world.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: And for me, it feels like that’s the great appeal-

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Of an in-depth astrology … Rebecca and I were talking like, “When was the first time you ever saw a horoscope? Or even was introduced to the idea.” She was remembering reading it alongside the comics in the newspaper.

Rebecca Lehrer: I read it every day. That was the only thing I read in the newspaper. And I’m a very bright person who knows about the world.

Chani Nicholas: As an Aquarius.

Rebecca Lehrer: But at that time, yeah. For sure.

Amy S. Choi: But I was like, “Oh, I remember reading my horoscope, my monthly horoscope, in Sassy.”

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Or in Jane. That was what it was.

Rebecca Lehrer: “You’ll get your period in front of a boy, but it’s going to be okay.”

Amy S. Choi: “And you should definitely not talk to him that time.” But I was like, “Oh, I am seen by my chart.”

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: I understand what’s happening.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Rebecca actually got me a reading for my birthday last year, this year?

Rebecca Lehrer: This year.

Amy S. Choi: This year.

Rebecca Lehrer: From somebody you recommended. Somebody on your team recommended.

Chani Nicholas: Oh, how lovely.

Rebecca Lehrer: British lady.

Amy S. Choi: It was so wonderful. It really does. It repeated itself, right? Those ideas echoed again when reading your book-

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: About just like, “Oh, I’m here to build and fully enjoy a life of pleasure and productivity.”

Rebecca Lehrer: Okay.

Amy S. Choi: And I was like, “Thank you.”

Rebecca Lehrer: Wait, what about the cycle that you were in, Amy, that you’re in a different cycle now?

Amy S. Choi: Oh. That I am a something with my sun?

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: In the house that it’s in, I find myself and I need to express myself by traveling or exploring the world.

Chani Nicholas: Yes. In your ninth house. Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Mm-hmm. So I took 18 months, two years backpacking when I was 30. And then she was saying that now in this cycle, entering into 44, right when I actually did start traveling again, this is the first time this summer, the kids used their passport for the first time. We went to El Salvador. It’s the first international trip since the pandemic.

Chani Nicholas: Oh wow.

Amy S. Choi: And I was like, “Oh, but it’s starting. It’s happening again.”

Chani Nicholas: Yes.

Amy S. Choi: I’m back to my year.

Chani Nicholas: Oh, because you’re in a ninth house year. Yes. I see. You’re in a ninth house year. Then that would be … Good.

Amy S. Choi: Thank you.

Chani Nicholas: That’s fun. Because then you go-

Amy S. Choi: It feels really fun.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Yeah. You go from that to a 10th house year. You’re on the upswing right now.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh, I love an upswing. You deserve it. One of the things that we talk about being deeply rooted in traditions and then also looking forward. And we’re in a world of, what is AI? It’s just predictive information, predictive technologies. Something that we’re all sort of optimizing life or figuring out the future things. And I want to just have a conversation with us about what the tools we have in front of us, something like astrology, can do for us. What are the options it gives us or the framework that’s different than expecting it to tell us the future. And I think that’s something that, where in a societal stage, I don’t know, where the society keeps expecting like we’re going to know everything that comes because of technology or something-

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: When, in fact, there’s so much that’s not predictable. And also at the same time, humans do the same shit over and over and over again, so a lot is predictable about humanity.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: And just something that I’m wrestling with or I’m feeling that tension and I want to talk about that here. That’s sort of laying the groundwork for that.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: If you’ve been thinking about that or how you think about astrology as a tool or maybe sometimes as a framework versus a predictive.

Chani Nicholas: One of the ways in which we use astrology is to be predictive. So this is one of the things. It’s maybe one of the problems with it, as well. And so I do think a lot about that because on the app, every week I give a reading for each rising sign and talk about how to use the astrology of that week. And I, of course, try not to be too tight or too, “This is going to happen,” because I don’t know what’s going to happen to you. But this is what the sky is saying. And so a reflection of that might land like this in your life, and these might be some good things to do to either matrix out of it or work with it and make the most of what it is. So that’s how I approach it.

So it’s definitely a predictive tool, but I think what I notice as an astrologer and what, as a human being, is so important is to remember that there is a great mystery at work and that we are connected to it and we are vehicles for it and we can do all of this stuff to make our life convenient and to try to be in control of everything. But there is something so much more powerful than that that is always going to take us out at the knees when we get too big for our britches. And we are in this moment of massive environmental catastrophe. And we are actually in a moment where we’re grappling with if we’re going to let ourselves go extinct or not, I think. And that is something that is looming and ever present.

And I think we need to stay desperately, tenaciously in a place of solution and fighting for all the things that we can save. But we also have to grapple with this thing in which we’ve tried to control everything. Industry and capitalist consumerism and patriarchy and white supremacy, colonization has tried to extract and control nature to such a degree that now nature’s like, “Payback.”

Amy S. Choi: Get ready bitches. Get ready.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Coming home to roost now.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh, you want it to be 95 degrees and then also 40 degrees the next day? Good luck.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Yeah. So we’re really grappling with so much now. And I think it’s important to remember, we’re still in the mystery of it and that we could still choose life over the death machines that we are in, the systems that we’re in. But I think when I watch the astrology unfold, I can look at it and be like, “Oh, this is going to be a time where …” Say this summer, for example, we had the Venus retrograde. So Venus is a planet of love and connection, and also women and fems and LGBTQIA community and all of that. So we know things about gender are going to be up because we live in this situation. So-

Amy S. Choi: I love that. “We live in this situation.” This is where we are.

Chani Nicholas: Men create calendars that don’t make any sense and the whole world organizes itself around it. And so we knew, “Okay, so these are the themes.” So Barbie comes out the day Venus is stationing in retrograde. It makes the most money that a female director has ever made.It is bananas. Just like, everyone’s going back to the theater. Everyone’s dressing up. We’ve got Beyonce. We’ve got Taylor Swift. We’ve got just women just breaking boundaries and shattering molds and reviving the economy.

And then we’ve also got that Venus is art. And it was in Leo all summer. So that’s the sign of the performer. So then we’ve got the WGA SAG-AFTRA strikes, right? And Venus is the planet of union and connection. And so it’s literally talking about a union and groups of people and justice. It’s the planet that is connected to justice because it rules Libra. So anyways, so I didn’t know that all those things were going to happen. But then as they happened, you’re like, “Oh my God, this is so fucking wild.” And then there was all those breakups, the celebrity breakups.

Amy S. Choi: Yes.

Chani Nicholas: Bananas.

Rebecca Lehrer: Wait, who were all the breakups this summer?

Amy S. Choi: Rosalía.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh.

Amy S. Choi: And Rauw Alejandro.

Chani Nicholas: Natalie Portman.

Amy S. Choi: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh yeah.

Amy S. Choi: Joe Jonas and Sophie whosie-whatsies.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Tina Knowles even.

Rebecca Lehrer: No. We’re going to have to cut this out because we have not done the research.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: We can’t be chismeando here without details.

Chani Nicholas: It is an extensive list. If you look from June, especially July and August, things just got … I mean, it was just every week. The prime minister of Canada got a divorce.

Amy S. Choi: Oh, right.

Rebecca Lehrer: Justin Trudeau.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh, yes. They did get a … Oh my God. Tina.

Amy S. Choi: I do think that there’s something about allowing ourselves to have a relationship with the cosmos actually allows us to have better relationships here in our little, itty bitty … I don’t know what it is. Is it about giving ourselves context or just understanding better that we’re in relationship to all different kinds of things, and maybe we can understand them or maybe we don’t. But it makes me feel more open.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: To whatever may come.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah. I was watching the Indian Matchmaker Show on Netflix.

Chani Nicholas: Oh, love.

Rebecca Lehrer: And you know how they always go to the guy who’s like … He looks at the person’s face.

Chani Nicholas: Yes. The face reader.

Rebecca Lehrer: And he reads it and he’s like, “Absolutely not.”

Chani Nicholas: Yes. Love.

Rebecca Lehrer: “This is very, no.” Amy hasn’t seen it.

Chani Nicholas: Judge-y.

Rebecca Lehrer: And I was trying to explain it to her.

Chani Nicholas: Oh my God. It’s so good. You have to watch it.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh. He’s like, “This is very inauspicious.”

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: It’s always like, “Yeah. No, they cannot even talk to each other.”

Chani Nicholas: That’s right.

Rebecca Lehrer: “Got to go.”

Chani Nicholas: Yes. No nuance.

Rebecca Lehrer: Oh, and she’s always like, she’s like, “Correct.” Yeah, okay. She just rips up the headshot and throws it out.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: And I am curious, what makes sort of an American interest in astrology culturally different than, say, Indian matchmaking or a place where it’s more embedded in the culture?

Amy S. Choi: Or the Chinese Zodiac.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yeah.

Chani Nicholas: So Americans were very indoctrinated in, of course, rugged individualism. So we use it to develop ourselves and our own sense of self and life purpose and what we’re born for. My book is a very American-esque, North American take on astrology saying, “You’re an individual. You have a mark. You have a calling.” And hopefully my work is also like, “Please show up for the collective and be a good community member. And don’t be a selfish asshole.” That’s the underlying statement of everything.

Amy S. Choi: You did a good job.

Chani Nicholas: Thanks, thanks, thanks.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yes. It is. It is.

Chani Nicholas: But definitely, America’s obsession with it is to just have ever more reflections of self. And so we can use that for betterment collectively. We can use it to feel more affirmed. And that is important. But then it also tips over into being just incredibly obnoxious and self-absorbed. And so it’s how we use everything. We use it for ourselves, but hopefully that awakens something within us that reminds us that we have this great wealth of talent, energy, purpose, and we can then share it. So I’m always hoping for that kind of pendulum swing to happen, that if you have a purpose and a calling, then maybe you’ll move more quickly to be of service with it.

Because we all have service to do. We all have jobs in the world, but it’s better if we feel like, “Ooh, this is something that excites me. This is something that makes me feel alive.” Then people are also going to respond to it better. And then it can help make shifts and it can wake you up, wake hopefully other people up. So I do feel like it’s a domino effect. So to whatever end, we don’t use it only for our own self congratulatory or myopic need to focus on ourselves.

Rebecca Lehrer: You mean how we’re like, “Chani, so we need to talk about how I …”

Amy S. Choi: My sign. My sign.

Chani Nicholas: But we’re endlessly fascinating, too.

Amy S. Choi: Yes.

Chani Nicholas: To ourselves. Because it is self discovery. If you dig deep, you do find, I hope, some kind of god.

Amy S. Choi: Yes. Yeah.

Chani Nicholas: Some kind of universal truth, right? That’s what great art is. It’s specific, but it’s universal. And so that’s what astrology, I think, can help us get to if we’ve got that desire.

Amy S. Choi: I mean, any tool to help us get to ourselves.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Amy S. Choi: And organize the chaos. Right? Organizing the chaos is important. And also to be of service.

Rebecca Lehrer: Yes, that’s correct.

Chani Nicholas: I said the Virgo rising with Saturn on her ascendant. My God.

Amy S. Choi: Well, I think … Okay, so we are entering into the fall. There will be a new moon soon. How do we prepare? We love a new beginning.

Chani Nicholas: Love a new moon. One of the first things I started putting out was a new moon workshop. And so I wanted people to be like, if you wanted to celebrate or mark the new moons, because symbolically, they’re good times to begin things or to initiate something. They’re the beginning of a lunar cycle, and they’re small enough, 28 days, that you can work with it. And also, I’m Jewish. And every month, Jews mark the new moon. It’s a huge deal, the head of the month. And if a holiday or Shabbat falls on a new moon, it’s an even bigger deal. So I do feel like it’s baked into a lot of people’s … I feel like just as a human, we were always paying attention to these cycles because they also taught us where we were in time and space and calendars and math, and just what time of year it is.

So every week, I give a reading in the Chani app on new moons and full moons. They’re kind of special because we give a new moon ritual and we have journal prompts to work with. We have those every week. But I think setting an intention or just having a moment. A new moon is a blank slate. You can’t see the moon. So if you can think of that symbolically with your life, just hitting refresh. It’s like, press refresh on your life. Let’s just go dark for a second. If you think about following the cycles. Go dark. Get quiet. Listen. What wants to come forth next? And then as the moon starts to take shape in the sky and give us more light, then you come out with it.

But I think letting ourselves go back to neutral with that is really helpful. And then in the readings on the app, I tell you where that new moon is happening for you and what might be some good things to do with it. And I try to be excessively practical and very concise and not too complicated so that you can actually do it in your life. And I think the simpler things are and the more we can fold them into our life, the easier it is to do them and then the more meaning we can experience from them because we can get into a ritual with them and just be like, “Oh yeah, this new moon …” And then every month you’re like, “Oh yeah, this …”

Rebecca Lehrer: That’s what they say the science of habits is too.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: Or getting in good … It’s exactly that.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: Which is like, what are the things that you can just fold in and make happen with not too much thought, but some intention?

Chani Nicholas: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Not too much complication at all.

Amy S. Choi: I love that.

Rebecca Lehrer: Well, I already have thought, I need to buy a moon calendar just for my house, to have up.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: So I’m very just immediately aware of each cycle of the moon.

Chani Nicholas: Yeah.

Rebecca Lehrer: And it’s just such a joy to get to talk to you. It’s just, one of the great things for us as Mash-Ups is figuring out, like we said, wisdom traditions and ways that we can find to support making beauty and what we want a beautiful life to look at. And you’re doing such a wonderful, such a mitzvah.

Amy S. Choi: Such a service.

Rebecca Lehrer: You’re really sharing so much light and love to so many people in such a joyful, fun, exactly yourself way. It’s clear to me that’s why you found it. That’s why we found you. You found your flow, and now you flowed to us. So thank you.

Amy S. Choi: Chani, thank you so much.

Rebecca Lehrer: Thank you so, so much.

Chani Nicholas: Thank you for having me. What a joy.

Rebecca Lehrer: Thank you, Chani. We are seen and your rudeness in knowing us and your generosity in guiding us knows no bounds.

Amy S. Choi: Chani can be found on all the socials at @ChaniNicholas. Her book is You Were Born For This, and the Chani app is available everywhere. And next week we have one of the great American journalists: the fantastic, the brilliant, the beautiful Lisa Ling, ugh we love you, Lisa, talking about living with her Korean mother-in-law, and plant medicine.

Rebecca Lehrer: Make sure to catch the rest of The Ultimate Guide to a Mash-Up Life every week this fall. Like and follow The Mash-Up Americans wherever you get your pods, and tell your friends. And if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter, do it. Love you.


This podcast is a production of The Mash-Up Americans. It is executive produced by Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer. Senior editor and producer is Sara Pellegrini. Production manager is Shelby Sandlin. Thanks to DJ Rob Swift for our theme song, Salsa Scratch. Additional engineering support by Pedro Rafael Rosado. Please make sure to follow and share this show with your friends. Bye.

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