MEET ROYA ZANGOUI
Join us for a dialogue with Brooklyn-based Life Coach and Astrologer, Roya, as she shares with us a unique upbringing between a mix of cultures, how she was drawn to astrology through unification, and why she yearns to be unapologetic.
You grew up as a first generation Iranian in Miami, tell us about a notable memory from your upbringing, relating to anything, maybe something that continues to shape the way you think today?
My upbringing was very, very colorful, as I come from an Iranian family that lives in Miami. Not only is my culture so bold and fun, but the city of Miami, with it’s latin influence, helped me fully embrace who I am. It was such a solid upbringing- I’d wake up and grab a cafe con leche and croquetas with my baba in the morning and head over to my aunt’s house for a plate of ghorme sabzi (best iranian dish) at night. My life is so flavorful.
Did you grow up in a spiritual household?
Luckily, my parents gave me the freedom to choose my own path as far as spirituality goes. Iran is an extremely religious country, but my parents are free-thinkers and don’t practice any religion. I do feel very lucky for that. There were small practices of spirituality, like when my ame (aunt) would go around with an esfand- which is a type of incense used to burn to fight against the evil eye. That type of stuff makes my heart flutter.
What initiated your interest in Astrology?
My interest in astrology came from the way I’d see people's eyes light up. There was always a lightbulb moment when I’d read their horoscopes or talk about some characteristics of their sign that they connected to. astrology unites everyone, whatever your background, race, religion- it’s such a beautiful thing to see.
How do you use astrology as a form of self-improvement, self-actualization, growth, and healing?
I use astrology as an easier way to help someone feel more comfortable being vulnerable. It’s easier for some people when you read their birth chart and discover some parts of themselves that need healing vs something like “let’s talk about your problems.” Astrology is a door to opening people up.
Do you feel that astrology is a form of spirituality?
In some sense, not completely, but it’s a fun tool to better yourself. It doesn’t make you feel like things are SO serious. At least for me!
You mentioned that astrology has been instrumental in overcoming your personal struggle with anxiety. How did you use astrology as a tool in confronting anxiety?
Not sure how to answer this, as I overcame anxiety with mostly coaching/therapy. Astrology is mainly to open people up, then I use my coaching skills and tools to help people with their anxieties.
Do you yourself practice any rituals relating to wellness and self-care if so which?
I teach cycling and TRX at SyncStudio in Brooklyn. This all ties in with my form of self-care. Teaching makes me feel powerful. I can have a horrible day, but when I step into the studio, all my anxieties dissipate. Helping others, helps me.
What is something you have loved for a long time?
Something I’ve loved for a long time, honestly, is my dog. I should probably have some other type of answer, but this is what my brain jumped to. She brightens my days and clears my worries.
What is something you are yearning to experience?
I am yearning to experience to be myself unapologetically. it’s hard growing up in a culture where you are expected to be something, something so specific, otherwise you’re not taken seriously. i yearn for this type of peace.
Maimoun comes from the Persian language word meaning to welcome guests into your home. If you could invite anyone to dinner in your home, who would it be?
If I could invite one guest into my home, it would be Frida Kahlo. There is something about my soul that has been drawn to her since I was a little girl. A woman decades ahead of her time, a woman pushing gender identity and sexuality at a time where those topics weren’t even up for discussion, a woman who channeled her pain into art. A bad ass bitch.