My First Astrology Teacher: How I Got Started

I met Jaiann Machell sometime around 1998; she was my astrology teacher. She walked into my family’s bakery, where I was working,  and asked me if I was a Virgo (this because I had some of my handmade quilts on display). I saw her for a reading and felt so much radical self-acceptance after my first session I went back for more. Jaiann encouraged me to buy a secondhand paperback ephemeris and start reading charts using the free software at

Jaiann was born in 1943 and was part of the first wave of feminism; she was very brave to be an astrologer when she was, because there was very little respect, just a lot of derision, and she was often underemployed or simply not employed and she lived a lot of her life in poverty and dependent on others, because she was also a single mother. She made up her own name, and had it legally changed to something I believe she picked out of a phone book, this because of her father’s abuse. Jaiann worked for many years for one of those 1-800 astrology phone numbers popular in the 1980s and 1990s in southern California. She read a lot of charts, wrote about astrology prolifically and just knew so much about the field.   Jaiann died suddenly of a heart attack in 2016 at age 72. I miss her every day.



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