This time, we get to speak with Britten LaRue and Angela George from In Case of Emergence. Together, they have designed and published a series of workbooks that help people to understand astrology and use the zodiac to frame a rich and uplifted take on the things that happen in daily life. Readers are encouraged to interact and write in the book, to help find a positive and personal focus for the historic wisdoms and storytelling offered in Britten's writing.
Tell us about the visual language you use - lustrous marbling in your books, and clever motion-activated superimpositions in your web design. We delight in a bit of marbling and handmade design here at Kinga - did you find pleasure in creating your look?
Thank you so much for noticing the handmade love we put into the marbelized artworks we've used as the base to establish our branded look and feel. Yes, we took so much pleasure in creating that!
Not many people know this, but the concept to create all of those gorgeous swirling art pieces for the book covers was inspired directly from the celestial imagery of our gaseous planets in the solar system. Each workbook serves as a window into the planetary archetype for that sign, so I was visualizing our cover imagery needed to be a big, bold (literal) window of swirling color inspired by each sign to draw the reader in. I used the suminagashi art technique of floating paint on water to create all of the swirling patterns you see. Britten and I spent a few days together in my studio creating hundreds of marbelized prints together, all to get the 12 book covers you see here.
It was so much fun to conceptuilaize the color and pattern for each sign. Sometimes leaning quite literally to the sign/ planet imagery like with Leo, I wanted that to look hot and fiery just like the sun's surface. Then some signs' imagery was a bit more conceptual, like Libra. I wanted to use that soft periwinkle blue to refrence the air sign, in a harmonious balance with the warm pinks, oranges, and yellows in the swirl pattern, which to me, felt very Venusian (Libra's plantary ruler).
What can we expect to notice around us now that Virgo Season is in full swing?
This year, Virgo season (Aug 22-Sept 22) has important work for us because a lot was churned up over Leo season and we will now be processing and integrating what we’ve been learning and experiencing. For many, this will feel like a relief from the intensity. When Virgo season begins, Mercury will moving toward a 3-week retrograde starting September 9 at 8 Libra. So this Virgo season will invite us to relate more consciously with our brain chemistry, thought processes, learning needs, and communication patterns. I love Mercury, and I’ve found that every Mercury retrograde teaches me so much. Mercury is the ruling planet of Virgo, so it’s wise to pay attention to this planet during Virgo season. Mercury is most impressed with curiosity and discernment. Mercury teaches us that words are spells, so watch what you say and think. A great goal for Virgo season would be to craft words as if all possibilities exist for new ways of being in the world.
Given that astrology can mean different practices according to different cultures - that Vedic astrology, for instance, is naturally going to be completely different from Jewish astrology or other originations - do you find that you learn a lot of interesting things about human culture in your research for these books?
Such a great question! The truth is that all the learning that went into the workbooks happened across my adult life and not specifically for the books: across two decades of academia studying and teaching cultural histories while also just being a curious human who loved to read about alternative healing disciplines across the world. As a Western astrologer, I respect that while the heart and spirit of astrology is - to me - the same across all timelines and origins, different forms of astrology comes from their own systems, and it doesn’t feel responsible to me to import something from another system into my own unless I’ve spent quite a bit of time feeling into the integrity of that. Nothing is in the books that hasn’t grown from my own journeys with self-healing and client care. That’s the research I care most about.
We'd like to know more about the concept of the Emergent self. What has been a valuable discovery for you personally, in defining and exploring the concept of the curious and outward-looking Emergent Self?
I am so taken with the idea of emergence that I call what I do Emergence Astrology. When anything is emergent, it suggests an aliveness, a willingness to adapt and grow from close listening. This is very different from what I see as the Aspirational Self or Best Self so often played to in wellness worlds. The Aspirational Self is “out there” like a destination, a version of us we want to get to if only we could be more clear, or disciplined, or organized, or healed. I never ever could get to my Aspirational Self, and astrology offered me this new template for self-care. The Emergent Self is always available and already here for us. The vibe is different to me because it’s not about grasping but rather listening and learning how to be more approachable to the self that is emerging. For me, what often emerges is the truth that it’s time to let something go that perhaps I had long invested in, or to look at something I maybe used to have good reason for avoiding, or to listen to my body rather than my head. Emergence insists on me being brave enough to receive what the Emergent Self wants to offer. And it’s worth it. I truly feel like I’m living a life now that my younger self wouldn’t have had the audacity to aspire to.
Occasionally your writing remarks on your position against fear-based astrology. What is this, and what's the best way to consider astrology without an attitude of fear?
Yes, please unsubscribe from fear-based astrology. You know you’re receiving fear-based astrology when the writing suggests that the cosmos is doing mean things to you, as if the planets don’t care about you deeply, and as if you have no agency in the unfolding of your life experiences. In the workbooks, I introduce the planets as your dear teachers, mentors, and guides. They walk with us. They dream with us. They challenge us when we’re avoiding responsibility. They coax us into naming our boundaries. They tease us when we’re being silly. And most important, they help us know in our bones what is next to emerge for us. They help us trust that knowing. Fear-based astrology doesn’t talk about the planets with love and respect. I am so excited to do a series on the planets so I can explore this through the workbook format!
The invitation to co-create and respond to prompts in your book, is something we don't often see. Do you get to see what others have co-created and written in your guides? What have been the most inspired outcomes?
Awwww I love that you see this. The reason Angela is the person I tapped to help me visualize my content is because she used to send me her drawings from the journaling prompts I offered her in readings and online courses, and I was so wildly inspired by the sight of my words made into design. Angela is what I call my First Reader. Workbook users are engaging with the dance between my content and Angela’s visualizations and designed spaces that encourage you to co-create with us. Usually when someone shares their experience, they send a photo of their workbook-inspired tarot spread or of their altar from one of the lunar rituals, and these truly bring tears to my eyes. I love love love it. It’s also so fun when I am quoted back to, and I can feel how my words have been transformed by someone living what I wrote and making the invitation their own. At the same time, I completely trust that readers are having their own deeply intimate relationship with their books, and I value that it’s not about me or Angela validating anyone’s process. When we created these, we were channeling our passions and wanting to impress ourselves more than anything!