When you close your eyes and conjure an image of an astrologist, what do you picture? Long gone are jokey (read: offensive) tropes of kooky old ladies with faux crystal balls on telephone hotlines. Today, powerhouse business owners make major decisions based on readings, thoughtful lovers choose wedding dates by the moon calendar, and life’s challenges are made easier with the help of a birth chart.
Prime example: Alice Bell. “I have been a full-time astrologer for the past three years. Before astrology entered my life, I worked as a fashion assistant at Vogue,” she explains. “I taught myself how to read astrology charts on the side and picked it up very quickly. Once I realized that there was more to astrology beyond sun signs and horoscopes and I figured out how to read my whole birth chart, I was completely hooked.”
Over the course of a year, Bell began to build her astrology business before quitting her fashion job in January 2019. Now, a full circle moment, Bell is the astrologer for British Vogue. She writes weekly horoscopes, gives readings to people regularly, and has just launched two astrology courses. Here, the Nashville native shares what’s next to her bed.
What's the most fascinating thing you can tell us about the intersection of astrology and sleep?
I’ve noticed that the moon affects sleep a lot. Usually, people tend to be more anxious around the time of a new moon or a full moon each month, and they may have a more difficult time falling asleep or their dreams tend to be a lot more vivid. It’s interesting to pay attention to what lunar phase is happening when you feel the most restless.
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The side closest to the door.
What can you not sleep without?
A shower and a melatonin. I’m obsessed with taking showers, and I like to think of a nightly shower as cleansing my energy before I get into bed. Taking melatonin just helps me get into sleep mode a lot more quickly.
What is currently next to your bed?
My clothing dresser. I live in a small New York apartment, so unfortunately I don’t have room for a night stand! On it, is whatever book I’m currently reading, a journal because I journal right when I wake up after meditating, a bouquet of dried flowers, candles, and my jewelry box.
What is the strangest thing that's next to your bed?
I have a random feather, which I use to blow smoke around my room when I burn Palo Santo or sage.
What would you not be able to sleep without being next to your bed?
In the winter I need a space heater next to my bed because I hate being cold. I wouldn’t say there’s anything I absolutely have to have next to me before going to sleep though.
Do you keep any electronics next to your bed?
My computer, because I have a bad habit of watching tv in bed. I keep my phone in a separate room at night though.
What is your nighttime routine in 5 steps or less?
I take a melatonin about an hour before I get in bed. I shower and then do a nighttime skincare routine which consists of: Retinol, Eye Cream, and a thick moisturizer or a moisturizing mask. Then, if my skin is extra dry I’ll put on Lush Sleepy lavender lotion on my body or spritz Mario Badescu facial spray.