If you’re anything like us, you worship Astrology Queen Susan Miller. I mean, how else would we make informed decisions? Touted as one of the most talented Zodiac masters of our time, Miller is adored by the fashion and art industries – as well as us Potatoheads. We learned that this horoscope guru loves the Madison Avenue Salad at Freds, and is absolutely enchanted by Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel (that’s two for two on our list of identical likes). Miller also advised us on horoscope compatibility, and explained why you should take her readings seriously…
The New Potato: From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Susan Miller: Oh my gosh! No one’s ever asked me that! Well, I would like to start with an egg white omelette with vegetables and tea…and seven-grain toast. Lunches are hard. I love salad niçoise, but not with the real fish. I like the Italian canned tuna because it’s easier on my stomach — so that would be perfect for lunch. I love the Madison Avenue Salad at Freds at Barneys. Then for dinner, I would like something with chicken —some kind of nice chicken, some string beans, and maybe some carrots too – and maybe a little ice cream. I get the little baby ones, like the cookie dough one by Ben & Jerry’s.
TNP: Why do you always pick The Carlyle for interviews? Why is it your spot?
SM: It’s nice and quiet. It’s elegant. I just feel so comfortable here. I grew up in the 70s on the Eastside. If you go downtown — say, to The Palace, or one of the other hotels — they’re busier and they’re noisier. They’re so nice to me here. They know my schedule!
TNP: Why do you think you’ve had such a resonance in the fashion industry specifically?
SM: People ask me that. I had no idea I did. I don’t know fashion designers, although I’d probably be more excited about meeting a fashion designer than even a movie star, because they’re running businesses. Their heart is on the runway and I just love them. I’ve always written for fashion magazines. I was with InStyle for four years, and now I’m at Elle. I’ve been at Elle six years. Before that I was with Self for nine years — that’s where I really started. I guess people got to know my column from the fashion magazines.
Creative people want to push the boundaries of their lives further apart. They’re creative in everything that they do, whether they’re cooking, painting, or making a dress design, or the way they live – and in the way they approach life. There’s a way of thinking, like, ‘Perhaps I shouldn’t follow the tradition totally. There might be a better way to do this.’ I think that’s why the fashion people like astrology. And they’re dealing with a lot of variables — There are a lot of uncontrollables, and astrology is great for pointing out things.
TNP: So how does the way that content is distributed online right now affect what you do?
SM: Well I don’t syndicate. I write for Vogue Japan, W Korea, Tempo in Turkey, Claudia Brazil, Amica Italy, S Moda Spain, Vogue China, and I’m talking to Vogue Germany. I find that just having a computer and being able to wire in your work is a wonderful thing. I could never have written for so many magazines if I had to go to the post office each time.
TNP: Do you feel like the fact that there’s so much content online disrupts what you do at all? Does it disrupt your expertise?
SM: No. Nobody’s writing 48,000 words a month like I am. I need my medication changed (laughs). I really gave myself a hard task when I started out. But see, astrology needs to be flushed out. You need to explain. Anything I write can be looked up in a book, and it will match. I’m very transparent, and you really should show the providence of where you’re getting things from. I feel the reader is saying, “So what? Why is this important?” and I really need to show them how important it is. I’m even going to say you probably think, ‘Oh this happens every day.’ No, not at all! This is a very rare aspect that you can really take advantage of. It may not be in the area that you’re thinking about right now, but it’s such a great opportunity to take a minute to think about this, and how you can use it. Also, when a sign is having a hard time, I won’t just say it’s terrible and leave; I have to give them ideas. I also go backwards and forwards in time. I’m not aware if other people do that or not. I don’t think they do. Because you’re not born a newborn baby in the new year or the new month – You’re bringing with you disappointments or victories or dreams, and I would like to acknowledge that and show the person where they’ve been.
TNP: How seriously do you think people should take your readings?
SM: Oh, very! But the word control worries me. I don’t want to have control, because the readers have free will. Also, I don’t know what their list of priorities is. I might say, “Okay, this month is about work. But next month I promise you’re going to be happy with the love aspect. So just focus [on work].” We are all are busy and we don’t want to use our time trying to circulate if there’s really nothing there. So I’ll be honest with them that the chances of meeting someone are small.
TNP: People are really dependent on your writing, which is amazing, but do you think that’s healthy?
SM: I don’t think it’s so much dependent; I think it’s a piece of chocolate. It’s a little different. They’re not depending but they love the ideas that I’m giving them. It just sparks some creative thought. A lot of us don’t live near our families anymore, and I want to be their best friend. I want to be there for them. Life is hard; it’s not supposed to be easy. And actually through the hard times is probably when you gain the most – and you learn the most. My mother would always say, “Man learns through pain.” I said, “Very quickly, right Mom?” We had such a great relationship. I don’t want people to be dependent, but I don’t sense that they are.
I think most people are trying as hard as they can and they blame themselves too much for the difficulties. That’s why I love to do appearances where I can hear the stories. I don’t want them to blame themselves. Sometimes things just happen, and the universe throws things to us to see what we will do. It’s in that flexibility and resourcefulness that we develop — there’s a value in that. You talk to your grandmother and you say, “Oh, Grandma, my boyfriend just broke up with me, my professors are being terrible in college, too much work, too many essays, my landlord raised the rent, and I’m not getting paid enough.” Your grandmother will laugh. She’ll say, “That happened to me in 1946.” I said the same thing to my mother, only different examples. And she looked at me with her soulful blueberry eyes, and she said, “Sometimes that happens.”
TNP: Is there a specific memory you have of the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that made them avoid a huge error in their career?
SM: Well my own editor, when she left Time Warner, I noticed every time she took a job it was when there was a new moon in the sixth house, and I kept saying to myself, “Not the right time.” She finally came to me and she said, “Why am I not liking any of the jobs that I’m moving to?” I said, “Because you’re moving with the new moon in the sixth house.” The new moon in the sixth house will give you an opportunity for a job similar to the one you have now. What will be brought to you is a new project but it will not be a new status. My competitors say, “Oh, career is great.” No it’s not. It’s a project. It’s not honors, awards, achievement, fame, which is the tenth house. So I said, “You’re never changing jobs when the sun and moon are in the tenth house.” There are times when you should change.
TNP: Can you give any sort of forecast about something that you think is going to happen in popular culture?
SM: People ask me all the time about the election, and I always say, “You have candidates with different sets of talent, and we as the American public are going to hire that President. It all comes down to what qualities you yourself feel are important in the individual.” Trump for instance is totally untraditional. He’s a Gemini – They’re colorful speakers, but you can’t judge a Gemini based on The Donald. I always tell my girlfriends, when they say, “I’m never dating a Virgo again,” I say, “You can’t racial profile. That’s not fair. Just because you had trouble with one…” Everybody’s chart in this world is different.
TNP: Do you believe certain signs shouldn’t date each other?
SM: It is true that like elements get along better (specifically fire, air, earth and water) and are capable of diving to the bottom of the sea of love. You’re a Libra, so you get along with Gemini and Aquarius so easily you could finish each other’s sentences – and you have an intellectual approach to life. A Pisces, a Cancer, or a Scorpio go so far down in an endless sea of love that you may find they’re too emotional.
There’s a new theory that I’m interested in that says if you’re born at night, after the sun goes down — and that can be just minutes after it goes down — the moon takes on special importance. My daughter is a Pisces with the moon in Aquarius, and she seems more Aquarius to me, in all the decisions she makes and in many of her personality traits.
TNP: Is there a specific person that you would love to meet, that you never have?
SM: Martha Stewart. She’s a strong woman and has created a lot. I admire that. I have always wanted to meet her. When you’re running a business, you have hard days — and I always straighten up, and say, “I’m sure Martha has had a day like this. I’m sure she faced this and she did well and she moved on.”
*Susan Miller, photographed at The Carlyle Hotel in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann