Cheray from Tree of Stars is a forever muse for us. This is a woman I feel blessed to know. Cheray is an incredibly pure and spiritual being. She’s also totally grounded, very real, and laid-back in an Australian girl kinda way. Her personalised star charts are something Ness and I both own and treasure, it’s a flawless insight into our own personalities and testament to Cheray’s gift as an astrologist. We sat down with this amazing woman to find out more about her life and her spiritual gifts ...
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Cheray. I am 34 years old and have lived no more than 30 minutes from my birth town of Murwillumbah my entire life. The Northern Rivers has always been home to me, and the culture and lifestyle is where I’ve chosen to put my roots down with my love of 10 years and our 8 year old fur baby, Ziggy. I know these roads like the back of my hand, and give thanks to the lands and the people for this blessed life. It hasn’t always been easy though – early in my life, I suffered from depression and social anxiety, but these emotional trials really set a solid foundation for what I have come into this world to do – to feel supported in my work as an astrologist and healer, and carry an empathy for others that no other experience could have taught me.
Spirituality runs in your family. Tell us about your mum's magical talents and how you came to learn you had them too?
I grew up with my Mum telling me “be careful what you wish for”. She always told me I had magical powers, and to this day, I have never doubted that. Mum was born in Minnesota, U.S.A in December (the winter time) and anyone who’s been to Minnesota in December knows how mind-blowingly cold it gets. So, every year on her birthday, whilst snow blanketed the town outside, she’d blow out her candles on her cake and wish her birthday was in the summer. In 1982, my Mum moved to Tomewin mountain, on the NSW/QLD border with my Father. That year, when she blew her candles out, she realised a life-long wish had finally come true. She’s been an advocate for the power of manifestation for as long as I have known her, with her life’s motto being “believe beyond a shadow of a doubt”. Through the law of attraction, I have learned that what I think, I become. What I feel, I attract. And what I imagine, I create. One might say, Mum and I love ourselves a little practical magic! Something we all have within us.
Was there a pivotal moment in your life that pushed you into the direction of astrology?
It was the Christmas holidays. I was 14 years old. A budding teenager, curious and investigative. I needed more than bike races down the street in my swimmers with the neighbours. I felt myself withdrawing from the world. I spent a lot of time in bedroom burning incense and listening to The Cranberries. I consulted my Father’s extensive library that year and took interest in several books on the cosmos and astrology. From what I was reading, I was inspired to start writing a book, documenting the way I comprehended everything in my own words. I cut out pictures from magazines and pasted them beside all the relevant content. I still use the book I wrote to this day as a regular reference. Sometimes the pages stick together because I used nail polish to paint borders around some of the pages! After those Christmas holidays, I never stopped searching for more, and have always had my head tilted back toward the sky.
Tell us about your current spiritual direction/career and why you are moving away from palm readings?
I had a profound revelation earlier on in the year, and decided it was time to refine and simplify for the first time in my life. I was doing way too much. Excited and enthusiastic about it all, but spreading myself so thin. I was playing out the saying, “a jack of all trades and a master at nothing”. I had to take a step back and reflect on what was meaningful to me. I heard my heart saying, “of everything you’re doing, just pick one thing, and stick to it. Everything will fall into place”. I didn’t have to think about that for too long at all – astrology is undoubtedly my life’s greatest passion, so that’s what I’ve decided to channel my energy into and continue with. I suppose I have learned that there’s a noticeable difference between liking what you’re doing, and loving what you’re doing. I gave the Universe a succinct message when I chose astrology over everything else. Quality not quantity really does reap its rewards.
In your eyes, what are the most interesting things about astrology?
So many of us are on the search for an answer to something. A quest to discover more about who we are, where we came from, and why we are here. Our existence is often an unrealised miracle. We are just as effectual, if not more so, than the Universe itself. It’s easy to get swept away in a cacophony of potentialities and influences in this big, wide world when we haven’t yet aligned with our truth and our power. Astrology holds the keys to discovering where these inherited gifts and strengths reside within us. We were all born with our own unique set of qualities – the entire spectrum of who we are is simply phenomenal. I believe it’s our soul mission to find and reclaim our gifts, and utilise them well. What I find most interesting about astrology, is that in our search for the answer, it never fails to deliver exactly what we need to hear to guide us in the direction of our destiny. Astrology is also fascinating in that it’s packed full of history, myth, stories and legends. The archetypes are one of my favourite ways to awaken the elements within and explore representational magic.
When it comes to your powers to act as a medium, which you possess but do not like to work with as much anymore, do you have the ability to see past, present and future? How are these messages delivered to you and how do you translate them to someone?
I believe we all have the gift of foresight, we’ve just forgotten how to use it. There’s too many distractions in today’s world. Many of us are totally desensitised. We only hear what we want to hear. See what we want to see. When we strip life right back to its bare bones, our primal nature emerges and the pulse of life returns. This is where I spend all of my time – thriving in simplicity. Nature is my teacher. Patterns, rhythms and cycles are the foundation for conversation on past, present and future, and when you have become familiar with nature’s repeated sequences (seasons, phases, and stages of development) it all appears quite elementary. Everything is vibrational – this is what I tap into when I’m channelling. I pick up on frequencies like an antennae or barometer. I’ve spent a lifetime learning to harness and master energy. The art lies in communicating what I’m feeling effectively and delivering a message that awakens the soul to its current state, then transforming the pattern to suit the desired outcome and facilitate healing.
What was the first experience you remember that showed you have a spiritual gift? How have you honed these powers since then?
This is a true story. I got right into witchcraft at age 16. With my Mum’s defining words in the back of my head (“never forget how powerful you are”), I decided to start testing this out with spells and rituals. This one night, I lit two candles on top of my bookcase and two candles on my alter. I cast a spell to heal my younger brother’s broken collar bone. At the end of the spell, when I said “and so it is”, all four candles blew out simultaneously. All the windows in my bedroom were closed. There was no wind. I stood there in the dark half scared to death and half in awe of what I had just done. A few days later, my brother went to the hospital to have a check up with the doctor. He was able to take his sling off earlier than expected. Since then, I have always been very mindful of the intention behind my spells. Words are magical. Be careful what you wish for!
What's your wildest memory/story that shows just how in touch you are with the spiritual world?
It was 10:30 at night. I had just switched the light off and closed my eyes when a faint female voice sounded in my ear saying, “Elsea. Aunty. Elsea. Aunty”. I turned the light back on and contemplated the message, writing it down in my journal of mystical messages from beyond the veil. I went back to sleep and forgot all about it. Two years later, on Easter Sunday morning, my brother called to say that my niece had been born. I was an Aunty to the first child born in our family since my brother and I. “What did you name her”, I asked. “Elsea”, he said. Spelled exactly how I had written it in my journal 2 years before.
For someone wanting to open the realms to their own spiritual powers, what's the best place to start?
Get a natal chart reading! No, seriously.
As much as you have your head in the stars, your feet are firmly grounded in the sense that you have a great understanding of Mother Earth and her natural medicinal offerings of herbs and plants. Tell us your top 5 herbal remedies and why you work these into your diet?
The only plants that I take into my body or receive into my life are the ones that grow around me. For me, it’s important that I have an intimate relationship with them. I allow the plant to seek me out when need be. They always come at the perfect time. They provide medicine on more levels than one. My Dad taught me a lot about plants. He was always tending to the garden when I was younger, singing to them and getting me to help replant them when they outgrew their pots.
I have Pennywort tattooed on the back of my right arm, because this plant ally, hands down, saved me. Pennywort (otherwise known as Gotu Kola) is an excellent remedy for the mind, helping to alleviate stress, anxiety and mental fog. It’s also excellent for circulation and memory. I eat it every day. It grows everywhere on our property. It accompanied me on a soul level a few years back, and still does today, but in a different way.
Mugwort wove itself into my life many years ago. I have a huge hedge of it growing outside my front door. This plant friend is an amazing detoxifier, liver tonic and sedative, but more importantly, she is the ultimate dream ally. Through Mugwort, I came to find my power animal (the Crow), and connect with my menstrual cycle in profound ways.
Others that have a special place in my heart are Creeping Mallow, Lemon Myrtle, Mulberry Leaf, Wild Asparagus, Rosemary and Morning Glory. I visit all of these, every day.
Being as in touch as you are with the spiritual world, what do you personally believe happens to us when we die?
We return to the Great Spirit, and we take on another form.
You have always had incredible, very unique style.
Tell us about the beautiful clothes that lurk in your wardrobe? What is it about vintage clothes that excites you so much?
I was taught to OP shop from a very young age, for a number of reasons. The first was – what a place to grab a bargain and look great without burning a hole in your wallet. The second - you don’t want to walk into a room with someone else wearing the same thing as you. Get creative and express your individuality. The third - there’s something magical about the past. It intrigues me to no end. The history, the music, the events that took place before I was here. The story a piece of well-worn, second-hand clothing tells. Who walked in these shoes before me? Who wore this jacket, and where did it take them? The forth – the lines and fabrics in vintage fashion are to die for. And lastly – what a way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. When I’m done with one thing, I can pass it on without remorse and collect another to suit the new chapter.
You make incredible star charts for people via your Instagram page, Tree of Stars. Tell us about how you put these together and what they say about a person?
I put my natal charts together using the absolute essentials - a person’s date, time and place of birth. From this, I create a circular map that shows the positions of the planets in the twelve houses, the ascendant, the midheaven and planetary aspects (angles of the planets) from the perspective of the Earth at a person’s time of birth. My area of specialisation is natal chart astrology, or genethliacal astrology, which is based on the idea that our personality, demeanour, character, behaviour, and life path can be determined by the very first breath we take. Even our appearance, our talents, our health and compatibility with others can be discovered through astrology. I’ve always described these sacred maps as a way to find our way back home to who we are. All of our innate qualities and instincts are hidden in this unique cosmic map. What better way to come to know ourselves, as individuals and as part of the whole - to navigate the Universe within and identify with who we were born to be. A natal chart works astropsychologically, in that through the stars, our natural way of thinking, acting, and being is illuminated. Through the reading, we uncover our true nature. The perfect tool for self-empowerment and self-mastery. We are miraculous expressions of the Universe. A natal chart reading really showcases that principle.
What's your favourite thing in the sky?
So many beautiful celestial bodies for so many different reasons! The Sun. The Moon. The star, Antares – the heart of the Scorpio constellation. The star, Aldebaran – the eye of Taurus. The Pleiades cluster, visible in the warmer months of the year. The luminosity of Venus and the red glow of Mars are always a sight to be seen.