'Timing is everything," insists Laura DesJardins.
Not timing as in a perfectly delivered comedy routine, and not timing as in a haphazard circumstance. Timing as in planets. And the sun and the moon. You know ... astrology.
"It's a very advanced system of predictions for timing," she says. "The planets are your timer. Everything relates back to them. They are the mathematical system I use to interpret. They give us direction to the future."
DesJardins is a professional astrologer whose business, Astro-Forecast in Costa Mesa, offers a variety of services from personalized readings for $135 to computerized reports, three-month forecasts and compatibility forecasts for $35.
Irrespective of what one may think of astrology, this is not a fly-by-night career for DesJardins. She's been making a living at it for 20 years.
Her interest in astrology began during a comparative religion course at Wayne County Community College, just outside Detroit. The class went on a field trip to a planetarium; it changed her life.
"They did the planetary positions for the day Christ was born. I thought it was fascinating," she says. "Afterward, the woman sponsoring the class invited me for tea. She asked me if I'd like to study with her, and I did. Eventually I began taking over a few of her beginning classes, and soon I was teaching at three colleges and a few high schools."
DesJardins, who left Michigan in 1985, is still teaching classes in her favorite subject. For do-it-yourselfers who want to learn more about astrology or their own charts, she offers beginning, intermediate and advanced classes. Each level costs $90 for six two-hour sessions.
The beginning classes involve the sun signs, planets, houses, rising signs, the elements and basic interpretations of an astrological chart; intermediate classes cover predictions. Advanced classes delve into more esoteric or specialized techniques such as medical or geographical astrology.
"In medical astrology, we cover the organs that affect particular signs," says DesJardins. "For example, Libras often have problems with sugar imbalances, Tauruses have problems with throat and tonsils, Scorpios with their reproductive systems, Cancer with their stomachs, Geminis with their lungs.
"Geographical astrology has to do with where you live or how things are arranged in your home. I had a client who was a seamstress. She had put her sewing machine on her Neptune line, and she kept falling asleep. But when she moved it to her Mercury line, she was fine."
Come on. Does this stuff really work?
"Oh sure it does," says DesJardins, who is a Scorpio with Cancer rising. "If you have knowledge ahead of time, you're forewarned. If you knew you were going to Detroit next week, wouldn't you want to look at the weather forecast? It's the same thing with astrology."
So does astrology dominate her life to the point she doesn't make a move without consulting her chart?
"I would never allow it to take over my life," she says emphatically. "If you can't have free will to decide your future, then who can?"