Meet woo’s resident astrologer Marissa Malik

The astrologist and tarot reader will be consulting the stars and bringing monthly horoscopes to our community

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The astrologist and tarot reader will be consulting the stars and bringing monthly horoscopes to our community

By Megan Wallace26 Jun 2023
9 mins read time
9 mins read time

“The past three years I’ve predicted the winners of Love Island just by using astrology,” says tarot reader and astrologer Marissa Malik. “Obviously I don't want to be like, ‘I know who's gonna win,’ but…” While she comes out with plenty of other quotable quips during our Zoom call, this reality TV titbit seems emblematic of Malik’s infectiously accessible, yet intricate, practice.

Rave-heads will likely recognise Malik from her nocturnal activities under the artist name Manuka Honey. A producer and DJ, they’ve ruled the decks at nightlife institutions like Fabric, spinning a high-energy blend of reggaetón and dembow (though she’s been known to drop the hypnotic strains of Benny Benassi’s Satisfaction into the mix), and is the co-organiser of Latinx-centred club night Suzio. Esoteric girlies, however, will probably have come across her long-running horoscopes column in the influential, sadly now defunct, media platform gal-dem. Or maybe her viral tarot selfies which, shared on her IG feed every month, ring in the new astrological season with celebratory displays of bikinis, body hair and a tarot card channelling the mood of the universe. She’s got range, that’s for sure - but what else would you expect from a Gemini rising?

First encountering horoscopes during a teenage Tumblr deep-dive, Malik interprets the ancient knowledge system of astrology via a distinctly 2023 lens. Focussed on showing a more relatable side of the medium, she’s part of a new wave of very online mystics grounding their esoteric intuition via pop culture and Gen Z references. What makes Malik unique, however, is her leftist perspective. Resisting individualist calls to self-care at the expense of community, she leverages the power of spirituality to help us to better connect with one another.

Now, the mystic is bringing this engaging, egalitarian approach to the wooniverse as she begins a new chapter as our resident astrologer. From July, she will be penning a regular astrology column and will break down the major happenings for each star sign on the first of every month. Alongside these readings, she’ll also be dropping video content across our social media channels exploring everything from Mercury retrogrades to how astrology factors into major pop culture moments.

To celebrate Malik joining the woo community, we caught up with them to talk about their spiritual journey, calling out Scorpios in the group chat and what they have in store for our readers at home.

First thing’s first: drop the birth chart.

I'm a Pisces sun, Aries moon and Gemini rising

Were you always interested in spirituality growing up?

I came from a very spiritual household: my grandmother was a tarot reader and I had a very religious, Mexican-Catholic mother. I remember reading about astrology when I was in my early teens, and just being like, what is this system of knowledge that thinks I can be encapsulated into just one sign, that’s dumb. But then I did some research and realised it’s actually so nuanced. Astrology isn’t trying to put you in a box, it helps you understand your expansiveness. So I went from being a total sceptic to a diehard astrology girl in the space of a year: I did online courses and tutorials, followed my favourite astrologers, read a lot of books on astrology and learned to trust my mystic intuition.

After all of this self-discovery, what was your journey towards becoming a professional astrologer?

Turning into a full-blown astrologer happened when I moved to the UK in my early twenties. I would do astrology for my friends and myself. I’d be like, “Okay, what's this eclipse gonna do to me?” Then I’d do a reading that would come up with something like, “You're gonna have a break up” and I'd be like, “Period, he sucks anyway.” Eventually, one of my best friends said I should do it for real and I thought, “I’m pretty broke. I guess I could do some birth chart readings for people.”

Then there was an opening for a horoscopes writer at a magazine in New York called Kajal. I wrote for them for a year and then I started working at gal-dem. It was really great working with gal-dem because of their ethos and the creative freedom they gave me. Since then, I’ve since gone on to do consulting and ad hoc assignments for platforms like Teen Vogue and was one of the unofficial residents for the astrology app Sanctuary.

"Astrology isn’t trying to put you in a box, it helps you understand your expansiveness"
Marissa Malik

What would you say your perspective is as an astrologer?

My perspective as an astrologer is built on my leftist sociological ethos and a desire for people to be able to empower themselves on a journey of self-actualisation, understanding and self compassion. I also help people connect more to community. One thing I don't like about astrology sometimes is that it can turn into a facet of the neoliberal rat race that’s like: go to an aerobics class, read a self-help book and you can do it all yourself, you don't need your community. But, actually, astrology is a way to not only understand yourself but also understand others around you.

How do you think astrology can make people more connected to others?

I want people to use astrology as a way to connect with themselves and also to feel less alone and connected with other people.The more you know about yourself, the better a person you can be to other people. So, if you know you have a tendency to be a little controlling and astrology reminds you of that, then you can be considerate of that aspect of yourself.

Astrology can also provide a laugh for people or help ease tension. Say someone's causing some shit in the group chat, you can just be like, “stop being such a Scorpio”. Talking to archetype really helps people, because it feels less personal.

And for you, personally, how does spirituality help you in your day-to-day life?

Seeing what you lack in your chart can really help you focus on cultivating what your energy doesn't naturally support. I lack a lot of Earth in my chart and I have a chart that tends to be over-intellectualised and over-professionalised. Those are the two wolves inside me. So I try really hard to let myself feel my feels and to just enjoy things and not over-professionalise them. I also work on my grounding rituals and techniques, to help me stay in my body because I'm a Pisces and I can easily just float away. Especially because I travel so much as a DJ and an artist, I do salt cleanses where I rub Epsom salt all over my body, and I have certain herbs that I mix in to get all the energies and recycled plain air off of me. I keep my home like a sacred space with smoke cleanses and keeping it tidy - I used to be a messy room girl but I'm not anymore.

You’ve just joined the woo community as our resident astrologist: what do you hope to bring to our readers?

I'm really excited to bring a fresh perspective on astrology to woo’s audience. I think your audience is already asking so many unconventional questions about the self and wellness and really probing at norms in a way that I love. I want to have fun with it and do everything from celebrity chart breakdowns on the latest celebrity couple everyone’s obsessed with, to the transits coming up that might cause even more drama on Love Island. I also want to explore the serious stuff, the major events that are happening in the world and what mundane astrology says about that.

You’re also a tarot reader - how does this complement your work as an astrologer?

Tarot is a completely different entity, but they're both different languages and sides of the same coin for connecting to the spiritual realm and communicating with it. With tarot, each deck is like a person and when my deck isn't happy, there’s not a lot I can do other than give it the care it needs. Sometimes with my tarot practice, but even my astrology practice, part of my responsibility as a reader is not extending my services if I don't feel like I'm in the right place to. So I haven't been doing as many readings in the last few years because I've been touring so much. It takes a while for your spirit to land back after you fly and if I'm not fully connected to myself, or I'm too exhausted, or I'm having a bad mental health day, I don't want to put that energy into the reading and onto someone else.

Have you had any moments where you’ve been like “astrology is real”?

I dated three people consecutively who all had the exact same birthday. Isn't that crazy? I was obviously a believer before then but the older you get, the more experiences you have that reaffirms it to you. That was a moment where I was like, I really am having a Gemini moment and there was a huge astrological transit I was going through in Gemini at the time. It was like I was being taught lessons about myself through the people I was dating.

What was their birthday? I’m also a Gemini.

June 11.

No way! That’s my birthday.

That’s crazy, don’t date me!

Noted, let’s keep it professional. So, as a final question, what would you say to people who are sceptical about astrology and tarot?

I'm not here to convince anyone. I like to focus my energy on the people who are primed and ready for it. When people are open to receiving it, that’s when I step in. A lot of people say to me, “I want a Tarot reading but I'm scared.” And in those situations, I say that they’ll know when it’s time to have a tarot reading, they have to listen to their own intuition. Everyone's on their own journey and we all connect to a sense of the macro, the higher power, that exists in different ways. They're all valid, so long as you're not harming others or yourself.