“Letters To NASA”: An Interview with Artist & Astrologer Debra Renee Jeter

Today my “Astrology & African Americans” series continues with an interview with Debra Renee Jeter, a good friend of mine. Debra is an amazing artist and astrologer based in Atlanta who has written letters to NASA demanding they seriously consider astrology in their space program! She also has much to share on how astrology can impact relationships, mothering and much more! Enjoy!

When did you first feel yourself drawn to in astrology? What happened?

I was living in Detroit, early 80’s. I was 22 or 23. I was creating graphic art for this man, who was an imam. I was sitting in his office when he was on the phone. He was talking to Khadaffi in Libya. When he got off of the phone he asked me if I wanted to go to Libya! He explained that it was an invitation by Khadaffi to bring a group of 30 African Americans to visit his country and see for ourselves what his country was about and not fall victim to press propaganda. Well, I went. It was free and it was for 3 weeks. It was phenomenal and came as a gift after I had experienced some loss and confusion.  I met a man on this journey who was a numerologist and Astrologer. He sat me down and told me so much. His name was Marvel Denson, a Sagittarius. He changed my life and put me on the lifelong path of personal study and learning.

Wow. What was it like to first learn about numerology and astrology? Were you afraid? Skeptical?

Oh, no not afraid… curious and open, and recognizing the magic of the universe. It felt good to understand the rhythm of the heavens and to realize that there is an order and tide to the experience we call life.

Has astrology and knowing your own specific chart helped you in your own life?

Yes, constantly. I see the seasons of my life with patience and understanding, knowing that some things are unavoidable. I recognize my talents and gifts. I see how I am drawn to certain people, events and places.

I also realize how I must experience certain things and it gives me strength to know that this is the life my soul has chosen. I can foresee a path or future and prepare for it. It gives me a wisdom to be my authentic self…

As an African American woman did you experience backlash for your interest in astrology from your family or your friends?

Well, I think I am blessed because my family is pretty cool. My friends are also. They are tolerant and curious. They love me and know that I will do my own thing.   They often call me for advice, insight and readings, which I readily share with them. Californians are more open to astrology than Georgians, for sure. But for me its not so important. The same tolerance that my family gave to me, I try to give to others.

You said that Californian’s are more tolerant than Georgians. Have you experienced prejudice when you mention you are an astrologer in Georgia?

Well, I don’t tell everyone that I study the metaphysical arts. My friends know, my family and their friends but that’s it. The Georgians are just more judgemental and church minded. They generally seem to see it as a circus act, but more and more are becoming interested and ask good questions. Georgians are changing.

Have you ever read a romantic interest’s chart, and been able to use that to help you in a relationship? How about with your kids in terms of determining their needs?

Yes! Hell yeah, man!!! That’s the stuff when you wanna figure out a new person or a person so close to you as your own child. And this is where I find it to be the most invaluable. It is the perfect tool to see compatibility and how to get along with anyone. I always check the chart and the numbers (numerology) always. Perhaps not right away, but I always check to see what I’m dealing with and how we could compliment each other.

For instance, my son has a strong chart. {His} Pluto, Sun, and rising  sign are all in Scorpio.  I nurtured him constantly, knowing how to talk to him, how to lead him, how to encourage him. I must say though… a major part of that was more natural

I did not think of his chart, I felt his heart and how he spoke to me and I responded to that. We have a natural bond that I wanted to rely on more than stars. But that’s in our charts as well.

“Roots” By Jeter

I believe their is a legacy of African American astrologers that is poorly documented. What do you think of this? Have you heard of historical black figures being astrologers?

I wonder about the astro-lovers of the past but it doesn’t bother me that there is not a lot of information. I wish I knew more, but I think for me my vision is set in the present and in the future. I cannot impact the past, but I can impact the present and tomorrow. I look forward to a day when society pays more respect to the potential of understanding the stars.  I’ve even written NASA several times telling them how foolish they are to study the stars and not take the lessons of the first stargazers into account.

You wrote NASA? What did you say to them exactly? And do you feel space research should at least understand astrology?

Yes! it was after the challenger accident. It occurred on a very bad day, squares and crosses, mercury retrograde. I had to tell them how understanding the stars as their forebearers did would expand and benefit their wisdom, and help them to make better decisions.   The Astrology of the day clearly told them it was going to be a very bad day. I told them that they would benefit from having astrologers visit and share insights. They sent a form letter back. I’ve sent other letters, saying the same thing. I believe in the space program. I love it. But their leadership is still stuck in 20th century paradigm.

Did you have elders in your community that were people of color who practiced astrology?

Not really, no. Most folks I knew only read their horoscope, if that.  Very few have actually taken the time to study and observe the stars.  I always appreciate meeting other astrologers, but for whatever reason, they did not become part of my close friend set. But I have a couple of friends who know a lot and we talk about the zodiac,  and I enjoy that.

A large part of my interest is looking into how race, gender and ability impact the expression of one’s zodiac energy. For instance, the different ways a heterosexual scorpio male may express himself versus a heterosexual  scorpio woman. Have you experienced any differences in the zodiac expression based on culture, gender, race, etc?

Of course… some signs more than others. and some cultures more than others. There are some signs that are ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’  and it’s interesting to watch people play out their lives when a man is born under a ‘fem’ sign or a woman born with ‘male’ energy. As a teacher, I watch my students and can tell which boys are gay… but so many of them run from it. They sag their pants and grab their package’s in front of each other. And then they dog out the gay boys who are aware of their nature.  Funny, the gay boys rarely sag their pants, they know what it means!


How do you feel that astrology can help people who are suffering in their lives? What are ways in which you have been able to help other people as an astrologer?

At one time I did a lot of readings and I helped many. I think of my sister, Michelle. She’s a Leo with Venus in Virgo. I helped her understand her demanding, critical nature toward her relationship and gave her some insight in how to handle it without driving her husband and herself crazy. I often remind her of her destiny when she occasionally worries about money. I wouldn’t stay with this enigmatic art if it did not provide some balm, some insight.

What contributions do you want to make to the field of astrology?

I just enjoy sharing with my family and friends. And as a teacher, I teach my students! I give them basic info about the signs, encourage them to study for themselves. I show them how to look up their charts, and how to figure out their family and friends. They appreciate it and ask a lot of questions. In this way I am helping to enlighten the dark…

What would you say is the summary of the bigger lesson you have learned from studying astrology?

One of my bigger lessons has been very personal,  being a good mother. I do feel that being a stargazer has separated me from many in the way that I see the world.  To a degree, I see the world through a lens that others do not use. I enjoy my time with my family and friends, but sometimes I  feel a bit of separation.  (Laughs) But then I do have Cancer rising!

Do you think it would help black people in particular, to seriously study astrology or seek astrological consult? How exactly do you think it could help us as a people see our circumstance?

Yes, I think knowledge of astrology can be helpful to anyone, particularly African Americans. Not only to understand the messages of forecasts but somehow having an understanding of the lessons of the moon’s cycles, the retrograde of venus and mercury and how they provide a clearing and testing of the metal… just knowing about that is like being able to look inside the great clock and see how it’s made. It’s like peeking into the “mind of god” and life is never the same…

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  1. It is so nice to know of an African American female Astrologer. I’m African American female and I’m on the path to becoming an Astrologer. I love it! Astrology is always right as well as being a magnificent spiritual and psychological science!

    As far as Astrology for NASA, I believe they already use Astrology in conjunction with Ancient Egyptian Stellar Religion. In particular the Apollo Space Missions–the first landing on the Moon. In addition, the Mercury and Gemini Programs’ dates of landing missions were all determined by Ancient Egyptian Stellar Religion and Astrology.

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