Farewell Post

Hi everyone, this will be my final post for this blog Are You Astro. Unfortunately, I will not be continuing this blog in the future. It difficult it has been for me to find topics for my post as well as finding people that were related to my topic to interview.

The post I felt I did best on were the ones that involved comparing zodiac signs. I feel that the post were I was able to compare the four element signs was my favorite and best one. I found that it was easier to talk to students about astrology rather than professors and astrologists. Another post that I felt proud of was my audio post different perspectives from students on astrology. It was hard to find a relevant person to do the audio interview with because a lot of people either declined the interview or went out of business. My aggregation post was also one that I was proud of, I did get a few likes on it as well. I would say it was one of the best ones I did because I was able to inform my readers on more about astrology as well as teaching myself a lesson on it.

Another post that I enjoyed doing was the one where I compared a libra guy and a libra girl and if they were as similar as they are supposed to be. I found this one to be fun, because I had to find the same sign in both genders, but overall I felt that it was a successful first post. A recent post that I also felt proud of was the one where I interviewed a blogger who’s beat was similar to mine. I liked this post because I feel like I had a better chance of finding someone to interview. There were plenty of astrology bloggers and it was a relief to be able to find one so easily.

Overall I feel that having a blog was a way to learn more about online journalism. It shows that journalists still have the same requirements of going out in the world and reporting the facts. I did enjoy the experience of the learning about online journalism hands on by having a blog. The only thing I regret in this process was the beat I chose, I tried to stay away from mainstream topics, but it left me with having a hard time to do each post. My advice to a student who wants to do an astrology blog is to not do one because of all the stress it comes with trying to find someone relevant is too much. Also, time management is crucial with a blog, and trying to find anyone in a specific time frame makes it even more challenging. The process was an awesome experience and gave me a way to have myself published already.

Thanks for reading ūüôā

-Danielle LaSassa, Scorpio


Buy an Astrology Gift at East Meets West

East Meets West is a metaphysical new age store that has several locations in the United States. The store brings religions together by providing items for Buddhists, Christians, and others under the same roof. The chain store was brought into the Deptford Mall about four years ago, where it is run by manager Civia Stillman. Their store is located on the second floor of the mall, but not for long. “We’re going to be moving downstairs to where Zumiez used to be, the store will be three times bigger than it is now,” Stillman said. The metaphysical store contains a variety of items such as; crystals, tarot cards, incenses, oils, jewelry, and clothing. “I would say our most popular items that customers buy are the crystals and jewelry,” Stillman said.

Stillman doesn’t manage the store alone, she gets the help of one of her workers Edward who has been working there for a few years. “Another thing that customers tend to buy are the stones. They are meant for meditation, or you can keep them in your pocket,” Edward said. One of the new products they recently received were essential oil sprays. “The sprays are made in New Jersey and the different scents are for different purposes. Each oil is blessed with metaphysical properties,” Edward said.

The essential oils can be used is many different ways, and avid customer, Jim has some knowledge about it. “My wife has been looking for the oil of amber for awhile now, and I buy it here for her all the time. It’s really neat, you put some on the back of your hand and it leaves a soothing ¬†long lasting smell,” Jim said.

Not only does the store provide metaphysical products, it also contains many religious items. There are plenty of Buddha figurines that are in many shapes and sizes, as well at Native American traditions such as the dream catcher, and Christian themed figurines and candles. “The dream catchers are meant to catch the bad dreams, and were a Native American tradition,” Edward said. East Meets West provides an array of colors and sizes of dream catchers for their customers.

The versatile items that the store provides makes it unique to other metaphysical stores. The store also provides colorful clothing as well. “All of the clothing is handmade. The styles are very diverse and colorful. I would say the give off a hippie vibe,” Edward said. All of the different items are meant to help people meditate, there is an array of items to choose from in the store that is provided to the public.

Most importantly, East Meets West provides items of astrology for the public as well. There are; necklaces, key chains, and rings that are designated to the different zodiac signs. The store also contains tarot cards with an array of themes. “For astrology items, the most popular thing that sells is definitely the tarot cards. They are meant to predict future comings, and there are plenty of different themes. The themes are divided into religion, but the most popular theme sold is the traditional ones,” Edward said.

East Meets West provides many different items for their customers, as well as workers that are ready to help. The store brings many different cultures together under one roof as well as an array of metaphysical items to choose from.

East Meets West showcases the diverse items they sell in their front window. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

A close up of one of the astrology items. One of their most popular sells. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

The colorful stones that the store provides. “People buy these to meditate with or to put in their pocket. I always tell them to pick the one they feel drawn to buy,” Edward said. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

A singing bowl is another item used for meditation. “We provide a variety of singing bowls, because each bowl makes a different pitch,” Edward said. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Salt lamps are another big sell in the store. “Salt lamps are meant to cleanse the air. They release negative ions in the air to cleanse it from dust and other particles,” Edward said. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

The variety of clothing that East Meets West provides to their customers. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Behind the register at East Meets West there are plenty of other figurines to purchase. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

The variety of dream catchers customers can buy. “They vary in sizes in colors for customers preference,” Edward said. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

The varied astrology tarot cards that customers can buy. “People can use them on themselves and others for predicting the possibilities of the future,” Edward said. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

The varied scents of essential oils are what bring avid customers, like Jim, back to East Meets West. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Grab a Coffee and Read Through the Stars at The Book Asylum

Instead of getting a palm reading or reading a horoscope another way to get an understanding of astrology can be through books. Astrology books are considered as the genre metaphysics, which can be a large section in big bookstores like Barnes and Noble. If you are looking for a more condensed selection and the ability to buy out of print and rare books, then The Book Asylum is for you. Grab a cup of coffee and read an astrology book can be one of the best way to learn about astrology without an astrologist.

The Book Asylum is a used bookstore and cafe that contains a variety of books to buy. The bookstore carries rare and out of print books, it is located in Blackwood, New Jersey. The store opened six years ago, where Rosemary Moore and her husband decided to sell books in store instead of online. The metaphysical section in the store is their most popular genre that customers buy. Examples of some books that qualify as the metaphysical genre can be; astrology, witchcraft, and spiritual books. Moore was able to show in the video the popular books that sold in her store as well as sharing her views on astrology.

How Different the Four Element Signs Truly Are

The zodiac signs are divided into four separate groups known as the four elements. Each signs are grouped in a way that makes them most compatible. The fire signs are; Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. The air signs are; Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. The water signs are; Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio. The earth signs are; Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. I was able to find 3 different guys at Rowan that had zodiac signs from different elements who expressed different and similar traits.

(Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Dave ¬†Martinez 22, who’s attending Camden County College is a double sophomore majoring in Education and Psychology. Most importantly, Martinez is a ¬†Sagittarius, also known as a fire sign. When asked about his personality he responded, “I am adventurous, a risk taker, generous, patient when it comes to work, curious, and energetic,” he said. Fire signs are known to be “energetic, enthusiastic, competitive, changeable, expedient, and versatile,” according to Urban Astrology. Martinez demonstrates most of the qualities he is expected to have, which was an interesting finding.

(Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Tyler Diaz, 21, is a junior at Rowan University who majors in Health and Exercise Science with a concentration in in Health Promotion and Wellness Management. Diaz is also an Ambassador at Rowan and gives tours to incoming students, but most importantly he is a Pisces also known as a water sign. When asked about his personality he responds, “I would consider myself as; social butterfly, creative, trusting, having a good sense of humor, and I always keep myself busy,” he said. Water and Earth signs are considered to be more stable and dependable. Diaz demonstrates these qualities, sharing some personal ones with myself since I am a Scorpio, also known as a Water sign.


(Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Steve Gillis, 21, is also a junior at Rowan University and ¬†majors in Biology. He is a Virgo which is considered as an Earth sign. When asked about his personality he responds, “I am generous, caring, spontaneous, have a great sense of humor, musical, hardworking, intuitive, and loyal,” he said. There are similar traits that him and Diaz share since they are both part of the Water and Earth signs that share traits.

Overall, finding very different signs was a bit challenging, but it also shows how similar and different each of the signs can be to one another. Compatibility is  a big aspect in the zodiac signs, deciphering which will be lifelong friends or enemies based on their personalities. Although Fire and Water signs are supposed to be complete opposites from each other, it was interesting to find that there are still similarities between them.

Students of Rowan University Voice Their Opinions on Astrology


This audio recording is meant to share the views of astrology that some of the students at Rowan believe. Whether they read horoscopes and feel they can relate to it, or if the zodiac signs affect their relationships. Astrology can be a controversial topic, but luckily the audio provided very different opinions on it. Astrology can be as simple as avidly reading horoscopes in magazines or newspapers or as heavily into it as consultancy services that involve astrologists. Astrology can be vague at times, but it continuously evolving to the world around it.

Jaryd Leady (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Samantha Burke (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Orlando Rivera (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Bettina Soiustman (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Blue Light Lady, Genevieve Vierling, Discusses Her Astrology Blog

(Photo/Genevieve Vierling)

Recently, I have discussed with Genevieve Vierling, a 73 year old, from Nevada City, California  who owns the blog, Blue Light Lady that was created in January 2008. Her blog focuses on the planets, zodiac signs, and offers special spiritual sessions, lessons in Astrology, and help with relationships. She started as an Astrologist in 1976, and was exposed to the idea of creating a blog by her son. Genevieve was persuaded by her son to make one because of how interactive they are, and he set her up on WordPress. She loves the idea of being independent with the content that is posted on her blog, and being able to find other articles and illustrations to support her works. She loves the interaction she has with her readers and having the relationship  where they can learn from each other. 
Genevieve says that the challenging part about maintaining her blog is to find time be to able to write. When she writes her articles she will always research and make sure her facts are accurate before writing. Blogging may have its challenges, but Genevieve ¬†believes that blogging plays a huge role in journalism if they want feedback from their readers. Genevieve also shared some advice for beginner bloggers; getting an easy to read format and to be fully committed to your blog. She says that backgrounds with darker colors can be hard to follow and it is important for readers to be able to read the content. Genevieve also says that sporadic blogs don’t make it, blogs that release steady content will be more successful. Her blog now is worldwide and she handles clients all over the world, for example in Australia, Asia, and India.
Genevieve also feels that people tend to throw away cards and brochures, so her blog is the way to go for her business. She’s able to express her creativity through her blog and share the knowledge that she has of being an astrologist. She shares content about astrology for her audience in case they can’t afford private sessions with an astrologist. She offers many services on her website through skype, phone call, and in person for her various sessions.
I enjoyed learning from a fellow blogger with similar content. I feel that the advice she’s given throughout the interview was helpful and useful, and I plan to use it as I continue with my blog.

Astrology in Action

Astrology has sustained its popularity throughout the years indefinitely. Astrologers are all over, willing to give readings and other types of spiritual guidance to guide anyone.  After a little search to find an astrologist near Rowan, I found Psychic Astrology by Charlie in Blackwood, NJ.

Psychic Astrology by Charlie has been settled in Blackwood for 9 years and has been a psychic for 32 years.(Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Psychic Astrology by Charlie has variety of spiritual readings like; palm readings, tarot cards, and crystal readings. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Psychic Astrology by Charlie has a soothing atmosphere in the room. Psychic Charlie focuses on, “Helping others find their soulmate, remove bad habits, cleaning, and meditation,” (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

“Love is the most common thing my customer come in for,” Psychic Charlie said. “A lot of my customers tell me that what I’ve told them has happened,” (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

Psychic Charlie bases her palm readings on astrology, numerology, and being psychic. “It is important to know who we are” she said after discussing about palm readings. (Photo/Danielle LaSassa)

While I was at Psychic Astrology by Charlie I got a palm reading on Life, Love, and Family. As I sat in the chair when she read my palm, I felt like she was telling me about myself.

Ariana Grande Butera and Her Zodiac Sign

(Photo/Just Entertainment)

(Photo/Just Entertainment)

In honor of recently attending her Dangerous Woman Tour, ¬†I decided to compare Ariana Grande’s persona personality to the personality of her Zodiac sign.

First let’s start on some background information on Miss Grande-Butera. She started her career at age 13 by breezing through Broadway. Her most famous role was when she played the bubbly red-haired Cat in the Nickelodeon series ¬†Victorious. While acting, she released 3 albums and numerous singles to showcase her talented vocal range with a variety of R&B to Pop songs. Her birthday is June 26,1993 making her sign a Cancer.

Cancers are known to be creative and emotional, and this can easily be seen through one of the songs she performed at her Honeymoon Avenue Tour 2 years ago. She dedicated the song to her grandfather that recently passed away and sometimes cries while performing it. A big thing for them is to help out their loved ones. Grande definitely shows how much she cares about her family, friends, and fans through her social media accounts.

Unfortunately, I was not able to interview the famous pop singer, but she easily portrays a lot of her zodiac sign. The ruler of the Cancer sign is the moon, and she writes songs with lyrics about the moon and one called Moonlight. Even her Snap Chat username is Moonlightbae with a crescent moon emoji next to it. Through the cites that I linked, she has her good moments and her bad just like Cancers do too.

Interview with an Astronomer

Photo provided by Dr Steven Simmerman

Photo provided by Dr Steven Simmerman

Dr. Steven J Simmerman is a Astronomy professor at Rowan University and has been for 25 years. He recently retired from being an Optometrist, but continues his teaching in Astronomy because of his strong interest with it.

Q: What is your career background in Astronomy?

A: In middle school I was always fascinated by the stars. After a while, I bought my first telescope and took classes in astronomy. I ended up going to college to be an optometrist following the footsteps of my father and got my doctorate degree. Astrophotography was a strong hobby of mine, I taught classes at a county college on Astronomy then finally at Rowan where I’ve been for 25 years.

Q: What are your views on astrology?

A: I personally don’t believe in it. A few students in my classes usually ask about astrology too. Astrology and Astronomy are two different things. They both formed 5,000 years ago, but there aren’t much studies to prove astrology. It’s more of a pseudoscience.


Q: Why do you think astrology was created? How was it able to sustain its popularity?

A: Way back when it began, Astrology was based off of superstitions. Since it was during the Renaissance period, there wasn’t much known about it. Astrologers based everything off of predictions through the stars, where Astronomy is studying the positions of them. Astrology has been in publications like newspapers for awhile.

Q: Are there any other ways through history have people used the planets or the stars for predictive purposes?

A: Yes, there is the Christmas Star, that could have been worked over by astrologers. It was more based on what people would be interested in seeing like comets, anything occurring that was bright and optic. Like seeing Venus and Jupiter it was interpreted as a sign. There aren’t many occurrences dealing with celestial objects other than in the Bible.

Q: What do you wish that the average person knew more in terms of Astronomy?

A: How amazing the findings are, and that once there is one thing figured out, there’s more questions about it. There is so much to discover with the planets and stars. Astrology is heavily influenced by the findings in Astronomy. Everyday something new is going on in the sky.

Other points mentioned:

Astrology is part over past, there is no plausible reason for it in the future other than its historical value. It is a pseudoscience and its accuracy is about 17% correct. Astrology tries to predict off beat things, like celestial occurrences. Believing that different civilizations put different markings in the stars. Astrology has many different ideas and is constantly changing where astronomy is factual with discoveries going on to this day, but the findings from the past are still relevant to today.



Siblings of the Same Signs

After glancing over how the personalities of men and women were through the signs, I decided to kick it up a notch, and look into siblings of the same signs. Just because they share the same genes, does it mean they have to have the same personality? Or what about identical twins with the identical genes, would they have the same personality? After close examination, with the signs and each of the siblings it was easy to say that they have similarities and differences between each other.

After interviewing two sisters, Sara DeRose and Mary DeRose of Hammonton NJ, they showed similar and different traits throughout. Both sisters are Virgos and have a six year age difference.


(Left to Right) Sara DeRose and Mary DeRose. Personal Photograph by Stacey DeRose. 2015.

“I would say that I’m more of an introvert, determined, a good sense of humor, nice, loyal, creative, smart, conformist, and extremely organized,” Sara says. Her birthday is September 21st and she is a senior at Hammonton High School. Sara shows the full definition of being a Virgo by being kind, hard-working, and shy.

“I think I’m more shy, hardworking, athletic, loyal, nice, a good sense of humor, and I love to be around people,” Mary says. Her birthday is September 20th and she is a student at Hammonton Middle School.

Both sisters have their birthdays towards the end of the cycle of being a Virgo. and although they are 6 years apart, their personalities are almost identical. This could be because they’re always around each other and pick up the habits of one another. Although their personalities are mainly the same, they share different interests. Where Sara prefers to dance, Mary plays softball.

Another set of siblings, twins were interviewed as well. The twins John and Tyler are identical twins. Whom are both born on July 24th, making them Leos


(Far Left) John Simmons (Far Right)  Tyler Simmons. Personal Photograph by Brian Brown. 2016.

“I’m more of a leader, creative, stubborn, and logical,” Tyler states. He is a sophomore Marine Biology major at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. He is older by 4 minutes, and the birthday July 24th is in the beginning of the cycle of a Leo.

“I’m athletic, stubborn, a leader, and creative. But we both have different friend groups,” John says. He is a sophomore Civil Engineer major at Rowan University. The brothers both show some qualities of being a Leo. But overall they were also similar in their personalities.

Both sets of siblings defied the idea of siblings being very different. They shared more traits than I do with my own siblings. Either way, in the beginning or the ends of their cycles in the signs, both of them had traits of their zodiac sign.