Writer/astrologer,Virginia Bell, on a visit to Pt. Reyes, CA, photo: Irene Young

Writer/astrologer,Virginia Bell, on a visit to Pt. Reyes, CA, photo: Irene Young

I grew up on the North Shore of Long Island. I began modeling in high school and when I graduated I moved into NYC where I studied acting and worked as a dancer. At 19 I left for Europe with a one-way ticket and a few hundred dollars. Because I needed to work I headed to Rome where the film business had exploded. I found plenty of work (first as an actress and later in production), was able to travel, meet fabulous people, and have lots of adventures. By my later twenties I was ready to return to the States.

Back in NYC I worked as a story editor and screenwriter for a major film company. Then, at my Saturn Return (age 29) I had a strong urge to create something on my own (as opposed to working for others).
Typical of Saturn (the planet of reality, discipline, and hard work) it was time to take on more responsibility. I had always been passionate about health and food (hey, I’m a double Taurus, the sign of warm scones and crème fraiche) so in 1974 I opened one of the first natural food restaurants in New York City, Whole Wheat ‘N Wild Berrys. The concept of health food was gaining popularity but the food itself was mostly boring and heavy (soy bean loafs and bread that could sink a ship). I had a vision of food that was healthy but also lush and delicious. The concept took off (in spite of the fact that I had no experience) and the restaurant was a success. Until…..

In the late Eighties I opened a second restaurant in the Berkshires. Unfortunately it turned out to be too seasonal and I lost a lot of money. It was during this period that a friend lent me a book by Steven Forrest entitled The Inner Sky. That was a major turning point for me. I had always been interested in astrology but never knew it could be so deep and rich. At the time Pluto (the planet of death and rebirth) was opposing my Sun and Moon and my life was falling apart or coming together, depending how you look at it. There were major endings as well as powerful new beginnings; astrology helped me understand these changes and gave me a way to navigate them. I closed the restaurant in the Berkshires and a few years later sold the one in NYC. I discovered NCGR, began going to astrology conferences, and studied with Elieen McCabe. I also studied with Wendy Ashley. I have been in Steven Forrest’s Apprenticeship Program since 2000, and in 2011 I had the honor of writing the forward to his book, The Book of The Moon, Discovering Astrology’s Lost Dimensions.

I have been a full time writer and astrologer since 1995. I am the co-author of The Manhattan Health Pages and have written and lectured on health and wellness. I have also created sun sign columns for magazines such as US WEEKLY, TV Guide, The Fashion Mini, The Daily Front Row, City magazine, and Tennis Week. I currently write an astrology column for Watch! the CBS magazine and blog on the Huffington Post. I have lectured on astrology to corporations in and around New York, including Viacom, MTV, Comedy Central, and Bovis Construction. I also lecture occasionally in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I came to astrology fairly late in life. I used to wish that I had started earlier but perhaps the single most important thing astrology has taught me is that we all have our own individual timing; a rose is no less than a daffodil because it blooms later in the season. What’s essential is to honor that timing and trust the process no matter how long it takes.