388 Debra Silverman: What’s In Your Stars?
What if all the answers to grow your business were in the stars? What if you knew exactly what day to launch a new product or sign a contract – or who best to hire and how best to manage them? Fact is, we entrepreneurs need all the help we can get – and astrology can provide many answers.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who is also a
gifted astrologer with more than 40 years of professional experience helping thousands of individuals achieve emotional health and wisdom based on their unique personalities.
Debra Silverman has worked with thousands of families, individuals, couples and business owners – to give them clarity and direction that saves a lot of time and trouble. Through her online school and YouTube Channel, now with 8 million views, Debra shares a unique psychological-spiritual model, combining her expertise in Esoteric (soul-centered) Astrology with her extensive education in Psychology to help those going through major life changes, especially crisis and the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
When Debra was just 20 years old, she met an astrologer who she says “blew her mind” and changed her world forever. It was then that she realized the stars in her own world had aligned just right, and she had found her life’s purpose.
Debra went on to study the mind and body, and in more than 40 years of professional experience, academic study, and private practice, she’s helped thousands of individuals achieve emotional health and wisdom based on their unique personality and the four elements: water, air earth, and fire. Her work with entrepreneurs, families, individuals, and couples has her standing out in a sea of therapists and coaches.
Today she’s going to share how astrology – especially when leveraged with psychology – applies to business leadership. She says her goal is to connect with you on a deeper level and help you heal, while making you laugh and accepting you just as you are.
You may have heard Debra on the radio where her show Tell Me A Story airs each Tuesday online or on her YouTube channel. She has also taught at the internationally renowned Esalen Institute. Her work has taken her around the globe, practicing and lecturing in places like New York, Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, Seattle and Boulder, Colorado, where she now lives.
Melinda Wittstock: Debra, welcome to wings.
Debra Silverman: Thank you. Welcome to you having me on Wings.
Melinda Wittstock: I'm fascinated by astrology and how business owners can use it. I want to start there. What are some of the ways that business owners can really leverage astrology best in their businesses to advance and grow?
Debra Silverman: Well, I'd start with the business owner understanding their own rhythm. The gift of astrology is understanding what cycle you're in. For example, 29 to 30, 58 to 60, in those two windows, radical change happens. If you're a business owner to know that and be prepared. That's a very large example. But then there's a million smaller ones like there's years when you're going to find yourself super into details and then all of a sudden you're like, “I don't want to do that anymore.” But you don't know why it's changed. And so one of the gifts of strategy is being able to assess assist someone to one, understand the cycle that they're in as I'm describing, and then two, understand their superpowers. Like based on the chart, what is your strength, where's your weakness and how do you make sure that you can say out loud, I'm not good at this, can you help me?
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Wouldn't it be nice to know that because often we're so blind and we were already blind cause we have all these subconscious drivers driving us. They aren't even our own beliefs. There are so many different things we're sort of up against. But just to have that knowledge takes the guesswork out of so much of it. Just even the time of day you should be working, or like what you're best at doing, or just explaining all of this stuff. What are some of the other areas where astrology can be helpful?
Debra Silverman: I think understanding your employee, like you want to be able to facilitate your employees to like to come to work, and if they're in the wrong position doing the wrong job, you're going to suffer and they're going to suffer. So not only do you want to know your chart and understand your personality in your cycles, but you want to have your employees understandable.
If someone is a very detailed person, yeah, personality type doesn't always have a great sense of humor. They're very, they're all caught in how it should be and so they're really into the whole protocol and making sure everything's nailed down. If someone else is really good at being social and may have this crazy skill of tickling everyone and making sure you feel so good, they're great for PR. You put somebody in the right seat based on their personality type and then you flourish and so do they.
Melinda Wittstock: Mm. It just makes so much sense. How did you come to get interested in astrology to begin with? Take me way back. What was the spark?
Debra Silverman: Well, it originally started when I was very, very young. I was drawn to it. I think it was kind of a soul calling. That would be the best way to say it. I always asked people deep questions. My nickname when I was a kid was Debbie Deep and everyone would always say, “Why do you keep asking these questions?” I was just ridiculously inquisitive. And then I ended up going to graduate school. I have a degree in clinical psychology. So that was my fascination with the human psyche that never let me go. I just couldn't imagine that people didn't want to ask all those questions.
And then before I knew it because I was an astrologer on the side and it was kind of a skeptical fascination I had, I didn't really believe in it, but I found it a very profound way to help therapy go much quicker. I then turned it into a business. Unbeknownst to me, I had a magnetic force field. People seem to be drawn to me. My career kept on growing just as an astrologer psychologist doing that, and then it got so big that I started training other people, and the next thing I knew I had a whole bunch of little Debra's.
So it started off with a genuine, and continues to be a genuine fascination with human nature, and why we are also different, and how to support the differences without trying to make somebody be different… Like how do you let your kids, your husband, your best friend be who they are without wishing they were different?
Melinda Wittstock: This is so important. I think so many of us fall into judgment, and judgment's a really intriguing thing for me because when more judging somebody else or there's, we're triggered in some way, it's usually a sign that there's something going on within us. Like it's just a great.. Other people are kind of a mirror to what's going on within ourselves.
Debra Silverman: Yep.
Melinda Wittstock: And so that judgment piece is fascinating because it can really get in the way of business growth. You were talking about applying astrology to hiring, and a lot of entrepreneurs, especially in the startup stage, struggle with really creating diverse teams. They tend to hire people, or bring in, or attract people that are like them because like attracts like, and yet the best teams are really diverse.
Debra Silverman: Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: And so this lack of kind of understanding… So I can see how astrology could work in getting people past their judgment and actually accepting people for their differences.
Debra Silverman: I had so much fun. Lululemon hired me and they had 190 people in a room. I had all of their charts. We put them in the right categories of water, air, earth and fire, which is how I work by describing the different personality types and all in the earth… It was so funny. All these people sitting in the earth room were all about the finances, the earth people, obviously the practical people, [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:12:37"] making sure all the numbers were right. And all of the air people who were the ones that were a little bit funny and guilt, silly and giddy were the ones that were sitting in the air circle.
So it became very clear because the numbers, I'm doing that again at the LA Summit in November where there'll be hundreds of people in a room. I get to put them in their right category, and very quickly you see how their personalities fit their job.
Melinda Wittstock: That's hilarious. And so if someone is a, okay, so we know what the earthy people are like, we know what the air people are like, what about some of the other elements? What about water?
Debra Silverman: Water people are more the dreamers and their gift is being able to hold down the fort. They're kind of internal. They can be introverted, internal, nurturers. They're the ones that want to be the ones behind the scenes holding down the fort as compared to fire, who are the unbelievable visionaries that are externalizing,, and calling attention and making sure everything is really going on full swing. So there's no one particular category for each person. We are supposed to be all four. I always describe it as four wheels in the car. You can't live without water, air, earth or fire. You need all four elements, but there's usually one or two, and this is a book that I've written called The Missing Element that is in the middle of the book you take the test. And you find out what is my missing element and then how do I grow that one?
Because typically as you described, we're drawn to the ones who are just like us, and we love them. We lean in on that wheel, and then there's this other wheel to the left that didn't get any attention and suddenly the vehicle's not running smoothly. So my job is always helping people with the four elements. The four… Making sure you can do all four.
Water is the sensitive ones who are behind the scenes, can be quiet. Air is the one that loves to talk, communicate, put words to things, socialize. Earth wants the numbers nailed down and everything in order. And then fire are the inspirational ones that just get you super jacked up and excited, and they're going to travel, and they're going to dream big, and you can't really live without one of them. But certainly you will be more comfortable in one or two of them.
Melinda Wittstock: That's so interesting. So do you do things like location astrology as well? Are some people better off in other time zones or other parts of the world than others? Should you look at that in terms of where you live?
Debra Silverman: I don't really do that. I know there are plenty of astrologers and we have references for in our school for people that do that. I believe that you're instinctively and intuitively being drawn, and when it doesn't work, you know it doesn't work.
Melinda Wittstock: So what can we divine from… I guess some people call it mundane astrology, right? Like what's going on in the world? Relative to what's going on with us personally and perhaps the relationship between the two. So say you know, it gets to the point where it's September and companies start, you know, you're starting to really come to think about, okay where are we for this year? But you know, let's plan for 2020. What's going to make 2020 like a great year? Is there something that we have to know about specific years and specific months in the year? Can we use astrology that way?
Debra Silverman: Definitely. But I would say it's less about the world's chart. It's more about yours. So the business of order, you can definitely tell when you look at their chart what the cycle is for the upcoming year, what the seasons are, that they're going to find themselves more introverted, more extroverted, when they should take a break, when the company needs a break. And we have another astrologer that specifically she does business and timing. The other one does more hiring and firing. There's, there's definitely a range of use in business and certainly for the business owner. Speaking from experience, knowing what cycle I'm in, and the rhythm I'm in, and making sure I'm in flow with it makes it so much easier. So I would not want to go uphill when I know I can go downhill by letting spirit or life from timing import me.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. Okay. When people work with you, Debra, like what actually happens? You do their whole chart and all of that. I mean, so there's a lot, you know, you can learn about, say you get your chart and you look backwards and suddenly you're like, “Oh, I see why that went wrong, or I see how that happened or whatever.” And then moving forward, do you literally give people, okay, this is a good date for you to sign a contract, but don't, don't do this at this time after [spp-timestamp time="4:00"]? I mean, does it get that specific?
Debra Silverman: It certainly can. And we do have two, as I mentioned, people on the team that are specializing in that. But what my gift is I teach business owners how to look at their own chart. I have a school. The predominant part of my business is people from around the world, all over the world are taking this online course that's six weeks long. And they study their own chart in depth.
I think it always starts with know thyself. You really, as a business owner, the clearer you are about your values, your purpose, your lessons, your strengths, your weaknesses, it all starts there. We have a six week class. It's just once a week for an hour and a half. You are in a small group with just 10 women, and up comes your chart, and they're all studying you. It's so fascinating.
And because of that, what I've heard from business owners and certainly for me, you suddenly go, “Oh my God, now I get it. I'm the one that's supposed to be talking.” That's certainly true for me. But I know that my gift is not the details because I'm a spontaneous character. So then I hire someone knowing that about my chart. I always tell everyone, start with you, start with you getting to know you and really taking a deep dive, and that's what the course does.
It's a very simple pride. It's so much fun. People's lives change. They fall in love with their husbands, they get divorced from their husbands, they lose weight, they come back to themselves and their senses, which is part of my highest values of the elemental person. I want people to feel their passion again. I want them to be excited. I want them to take off their shoes, and go for a walk, and slow it down, and smell the flowers. If they forgot that part where they're not enjoying this life and they're just working, we're missing a whole element. That's called the element of water, the pleasure factor.
There are different pieces that I get to see very quickly by looking at someone's chart. And I have a bunch of certified astrologers on my team who specialize as I look at your chart and I would refer you to one of them and say, “Look, this person fits you perfectly. They're going to explain it.” Or in your case, if you're really interested in business, we have these two people to refer you to that will help you buy your hire, distinguish the business role, understand when to sign a contract. Yes. All that's described by astrology. It's ancient. This is the oldest science and every king, every court, every high-end official used to have an astrologer to help them make sure they were in sync with the powers that be.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. How did we lose this? I mean, because somewhere along the line it became, you know, out there, weird, or whatever. And then, and then you had the horoscopes in the newspaper, right? Which were pretty much useless. So what happened historically? [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:20:00"]
Debra Silverman: It's the church. So because this gives so much free will because it really gives you back to you. You can't follow. Once you're an astrology student you say, “Uh-oh, I cannot not be me.” It's really hard. But when you're in religion and they want you to follow and do what's being asked of you, they don't want to hear about your uniqueness. They don't want you to have an individual path. They don't want you to go off the street. So it was all an attempt when astrology was banned, put out in the back room because in the Bible it called it the say seers and the black magic. And it was really poo-pooed. So we have re brought it back, we've revised it, we've returned it. And suddenly it's like becoming a rate. I mean, New York Times just wrote an article that the Millenials are really, and it's true, my disas reflects it. The Millenials are coming back to astrology because it was left behind, because church came in and now the church is gone, and we're back to astrology.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. How does it relate to numerology?
Debra Silverman: Best friends. They're best friends, so numerology and astrology work, but all based on this ancient system. Numerology is everything from the Hebrew language to the Vedic system. They use numbers every single… In all of astrology, all of the Touro, everything is based on a very simple system. The Pythagorean in based in Greece back in the olden days, numbers from one to nine carried very specific powers. So that's simple. In astrology we do one to 12. But yes, they're best friends and they really hook up. So if you've been studying numerology, it's very easy to learn astrology and vice versa.
Melinda Wittstock: It's funny though because when I look at my chart, and it's so complicated to me, I get this book, it's like, “Oh my God, I have to understand all this.” Like, “Oh man, it's so complicated.” All I want is someone to interpret it.
Debra Silverman: It's so funny. That's why I've made it so easy. So part of why my school, we have thousands flying I. It's crazy what's going on with my school. I've made it so simple. I speak English, I don't speak woo woo. [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:21:55"]
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, right. I've spoken to so many astrologers who just like blind me with science, and I'm like, “Oh my God, I just, oh, I don't have time.” I want to know. Just tell me what to do.
Debra Silverman: Well, Neptune's on your Venus and the third house opposite ours. You're like, let me find another guy. Like don't make it so weird.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:22:13"]
Debra Silverman: I get all of that jargon out, and when you get a reading from any of the people in my school, on my team, all of the certified astrologers, they will speak English. That's how I train them. Do Not Talk gibberish or jargon, just answer the question. When is a good time for the business to run?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that's music to my ears. This is wonderful. So you know, when we think about women in business and some of the challenges women have. So many, and depending on the generation, right? But certainly in my generation got used to being the only woman in the room. Right? It was hard. We were pioneers and many of us kind of felt, I don't know, kind of leaned a bit too much into our masculine. Denied some of the feminine. Now as we step into our feminine powers, I see this amazing flowering of, you know, women really, really understanding some of the power that we actually have when we're really in our feminine. Is this something that is seen overall in a lot of women's charts now? If we looked at your customers in aggregate, do you see trends or patterns where women are finally, I don't know, claiming their power a little bit more? Is that seen in people's charts?
Debra Silverman: 100%. My whole school's 98% women. My entire company is women. It is what the Dalai Lama said. He said that the revolution, I think his words were women going to change the future. It was North American women.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. [crosstalk [spp-timestamp time="00:23:48"]
Debra Silverman: It's not rocket science. It's every… From Oprah, to every yoga class you take, to every health food, to all the juice bars, everything you see there's women. We are leading the way. The pendulum has swung, and certainly for me as a therapist and having a master's in clinical psychology, when they heard I was an astrologer that went over like a lead balloon. But as the years have gone by and my credibility has increased in my exposure, I have millions. If you see on the, on YouTube, I have videos that come out every day. And so I am sharing this language and it is pretty much, I mean, I love when the men show up, and I love men, and I have boys, and I am a very strong proponent of men being able to have some voice because I think women are kind of taking over. It's a bit funny.
And it's not a question that if this is the time the feminine is becoming very loud about saying, “Hey, hey, hey. I have some wisdom to share. And it comes to the intuition.” And I've certainly noticed in my life's work that while I am a good business woman and I am loving the fact that I've nailed down my business in a very male way, so everything's concrete. I love the fact that at every one of our meetings, we do prayers, we do meditation, we make sure that everyone's taken care of. We hear stories. On every meeting we do. Tell us something going on in your heart. Tell us about your family. I'm not leading a business that was represented by men in the past. I'm leading a feminine-run business and it is the new way. It's the trend.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, it certainly is. So Debra, this is so fascinating. I think this is something that every business owner should look at doing. So how can people find you and work with you?
Debra Silverman: It's so funny. My fantasy is that everybody will look up to the stars and remember that there's a design. God is not playing with dice. This is a very orchestrated and well-organized system that is existing here. Just that our minds are so confused and distracted. I have all the stimulation. But when you close your eyes, and reach into your heart, and think about the moon, the stars, the power of the influence of the elements of being outside the wind, the water, the sun, we forget.
We're so caught in our heads, these funny little machines, like look at us right now. You and I, we are inside of our heads. Hearing each other's voice, we've lost the touch. How do you get ahold of me? Come hold my hand and let's look at the stars together. You go to my website, DebraSilvermanAstrology. It's D-E-B-R-A. DebraSilvermanAstrology.com and you will see the exciting, it's so exciting amount of business, and women, and opportunity for you. Any of you that are wanting to add a business to your life or you're wanting, you always knew you had a gift in being able to help people, but you didn't know what to do. I train astrologers and it doesn't take very long.
Melinda Wittstock: How wonderful. Well that's great. Well, Debra, I just want to thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Debra Silverman: No, that's my specialty. I'm an air sign. I can fly.
Melinda Wittstock: I can see that. How wonderful. Thank you again.
Debra Silverman: You're so welcome. Thank you for the work that you're doing and sharing your wisdom and giving us a chance to actually put our voice into this circle.