“Astrology is a language. If you understand this language, the sky speaks to you” Dane Rudhyar
I’ve briefly mentioned living and working in Shanghai in previous blog posts, but as this was the most important phase in my life for so many reasons, I think I wouldn’t be doing Shanghai justice if I didn’t dedicate more time to this period of my life
But before I get into the story allow me to go back a little in time, to the events that led me to Shanghai.
I’ve already described the period in my life where I went in and out of deep depression in the Visions and Depressions post…. Well, during this period, I was also made redundant from my work as a fabric-sourcing manager.
It took me a whole year to get another job in the fashion industry, naturally adding to my depression.
Finally, in 2001, I found a job as fabric sourcing manager for a garment manufacturer and dedicated supplier to Marks and Spencer—a well-known brand in the UK.
This would be my comeback job and I felt so excited about getting back into the industry I loved.
Unfortunately, it quickly became obvious that this job was perhaps not going to be the comeback I had hoped for…there was a problem…The design director who had been filling in this position was unwilling to give up the role.
Life became hellish for me at work.
I had to play second fiddle to the design director during our fabric meetings. My opinion was frequently rubbished and my creativity quashed.
I felt like an eagle with its wings tied—there was no way I could fly.
Within a short time, I started to feel desperate. I complained to my bosses but it made no difference…The situation only worsened. After a year it started to wear me down. Going to work became a chore and I soon started turning up late. I could find neither the enthusiasm nor the energy for my workday.
I started frantically searching for a new job.
During the time of my depression something strange and inexplicable also happened to me. I felt an eerie sense that something had changed, but this change was not physical it was more ethereal.
Although nothing in my material world was different that I could put my finger on, I nevertheless felt something had tangibly altered in my life.
Whatever this change was—it happened overnight.
How can I better put it into words… it felt like everything in life was going well for me on Monday, but by Tuesday it suddenly turned for the worst. It transformed to the point that I could literally feel a black cloud hovering and raining over my head—A cloud that had not been there on Monday!
Am I making any sense at all?
So it was this backdrop that prompted my friend… I’ll call him Gilles to offer me a solution. One day he said “Jacqueline why don’t you go and see Sebastian, he’s an astrologer. Maybe he can help you”
I was quite surprised because I had no idea Gilles believed in such things and being very sceptical myself at the time, I asked
“ What do you think an astrologer can tell me about my life, how is he going to help me?”
“I don’t know—but why don’t you just try Jacqueline. I’ve been to see him and well…I think he was quite good,” he said.
“I don’t believe in such mumbo jumbo, I replied impatiently, I’m not going to see him”
Another year went by with no improvement in my situation. After listening to my constant complaining, Gilles reminded me about Sebastian once again.
This time I agreed to see him.
It was a Sunday afternoon in June 2002. I was full of cold, feeling run down and more than a little bit sorry for myself, but I was determined to go ahead with my appointment.
I was surprised by just how “normal” Sebastian appeared—But he proved to be far from normal.
His stubby stature, thickset features and knobby nose reminded me of a garden gnome. He was in his late 70s, wearing a shabby pair of shorts and greying white vest. He could have been anyone’s granddad.
The reading took place at his home, a one bedroomed flat in a tower block off the Edgware road. In the centre of the living room was a low wooden table covered with a white cloth. Two chairs were placed either side of the table facing each other. Two decks of tarot cards sat neatly in the middle of the table.
I eyed everything with caution mixed with fascination.
When I arranged my appointment, Sebastian asked for my time and date of birth, so he could prepare my charts, he also asked me to bring two 90-minute tapes.
Standing in the doorway of his little flat, I have to say I was intrigued.
What secrets would Sebastian reveal about my life, would he be able to shed some light on my on going problems and give sound advice, or would he turn out to be a charlatan?
“Please take off your shoes and take a seat,” Sebastian said as I entered the living room. He sounded well educated and spoke in a clear London accent, tinged with subtle undertones of a Scottish accent
“Oh right ok,” I said.
Seeing how visibly uncomfortable I was by his request Sebastian added
“It’s a precaution I take with every client in case they decide to leave without paying”
“Oh ok I see,” I said
Once my shoes were safely stored away Sebastian joined me, sitting in the opposite chair.
He had an easy manner, obviously very comfortable with his craft. He spoke quickly and deviated frequently from his point.
“Who did you say recommended me?” He asked
“Who? Speak up dear I’m a trifle deaf”
“Gilles Renault” I repeated more slowly
“The clients remember me, but I don’t always remember them,” He said chuckling.
“As this is our first meeting you may be here for two hours or more ok? We have a lot to get through” He said
“I don’t want you to give me any information, just answer Yes or No to any questions I ask you. I will record everything on those tapes, so you can take them home and listen in your own time, ok dear?”
He then leaned back in his chair and said, “I’m very excited by what I saw in your charts, there are some very interesting points that I want to get across to you”
I handed over the two tapes and he started the reading, working with his pre-prepared charts, and the tarot cards.
After the preliminary information, which focused on my personality, he Looked up and said,
“Mmm…from your charts I can see that you’re going through a very difficult period at this present moment in time, and this difficulty may have been going on for some time is that correct?”
“Yes” I replied
“Ah, yes…this is because you have a nasty Pluto square, squaring your sun” He replied while scrutinising my charts.
“Can you explain what this means?” I questioned
“Yes, it means you’re being blocked, your being blocked in your career, your emotional life and in this that and the other”
Sebastian offered this information so matter of factly, as he checked my charts, but I felt so grateful that finally, someone understood what I was going through, that I almost burst into tears.
”Now let me ask you—are you thinking of changing jobs or making a change within a job?”
“Yes, I’m thinking of change…. ” Before I could finish my sentence Sebastian interjected with an urgent tone. Leaning forward and looking me squarely in the eyes, he said
“Now, I want you to be careful here… because it’s possible to walk away from good things as well as from the bad. Now I can see that if you walk away from your current situation, it may not be so good for you in the future”
This piece of information really caught my attention. How could Sebastian know what was happening at work?
I began to listen closely
Next Sebastian asked, “Does your career have an overseas connection associated with it? Does it cause you to travel overseas because I have a funny feeling your destiny lies across water”
“Can I tell you what I do for a living?” I asked excitedly
“You can tell me later, you’re paying good money for this, I don’t want you to give me any information,” He said seriously.
The reading continued in this vein for a full three hours and during this time Sebastian shared insights and gave advice regarding all aspects of my life.
He was amazingly accurate in his assessment of my character and I was both shocked and grateful that I made the appointment to see him.
Before we closed our session a smile spread across Sebastian’s face as he asked
”Do you know you’re psychic? I could see it the moment you walked in the room. You have a glow all around you like the shimmer that comes off a new tarmacadam road. I’ve seen it before in some of my other clients but with you, it’s very pronounced, very much on the surface”
I sat wide-eyed listening
Then he asked, ”Have you had any out of body experiences, or visitations?”
“Err…what???” I was lost, but he wasn’t deterred, he just continued his train of thought.
“Have you had any visitations from beings from other realms?”
“Erm no…no I haven’t!!”
At this point, I actually wondered if I was still sitting in London on the Edgware road or if I’d accidentally drifted into another parallel universe.
“Well don’t be afraid if you do” He continued
“If you see a silver cord coming from their bodies, you’ll know they are living, if you don’t see this cord you can be sure they are not of this world”
Sebastian was perfectly serious as he told me this.
I burst out laughing, partly out of nervousness and partly because I was certain he was definitely mad.
“You have to use your intuition because it’s very sharp” He continued “It may save you one day and don’t be surprised if you have some profound psychic experiences throughout the course of your life. Your psychic awakening could start in about five years from now.”
I listened silently, captivated by all Sebastian was saying.
“You will have a choice to go down this path or incorporate it into your current work life, either way, you may have a choice to make regarding this in the near future” He advised
“Have you had any experiences thus far?” he asked looking me squarely in the face.
“Erm… well… I….I’m scared” I blurted out
No need to be fearful of your gift dear—it’s the two-legged creatures in this world who give me the jitters” he said cheerily, as he showed me out.
This first meeting with Sebastian proved to be life-changing for me. In the course of the next three years, I would see Sebastian on two more occasions.
The information he gave me that day helped get me through the difficult times at work, so instead of continuing my search for a new joy, I decided to listen to his advice and stay put.
In 2002 Sebastian said my destiny lay overseas. In 2005 this destiny materialised.