PEOPLE OF INTEREST
I t’s been a whirlwind fall for Leslie McGuirk, published author,
astrologer, corporate speaker and TED Talk speaker. On
Sept. 13, her new book, The Power of Mercury, was published
by HarperCollins. Two days later on Sept. 15, McGuirk gave
a TED Talk in Hollywood, Calif. on The Importance of Being Wrong
and got a standing ovation.
7(' is a nonSroÀt organiation tKat is deYoted to sSreading
ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. It began in 1984
as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design
converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to
business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.
6Ke adds tKat giYing tKat 7(' 7alN was one of tKe most dicult
things she’s ever done.
´7Ke instant , ÀnisKed sSeaNing , ran oͿ stageµ 0c*uirN sa\s.
“I missed the standing ovation. More than 50 people came up to
me afterward, saying my talk was a life-changer. But, I was so
nerYous , KaYe no memor\ of an\tKing , said.µ
At midnight, she gave George Noory, host of Coast-to-Coast
Radio Show, a live two-hour interview. Their talk circled around
all things McGuirk: Why it’s time for an astrology book about the
planet Mercury; what it’s like giving a TED Talk to 600 Hollywood
sophisticates; and her 28 years as a children’s book author and
illustrator with international sales of more than 2 million books.
3lus 0c*uirN regularl\ giYes creatiYit\ seminars for organiations
such as AARP and Rancho La Puerta, a premier spa destination
While life isn’t always this hectic, McGuirk is known for her
perpetual motion, always immersed in multiple projects.
So it’s surprising that someone so successful takes her inspiration
from the most unlikely of sources – failure – years of it. Yet,
that was the subject of McGuirk’s TED Talk.
´, neYer tKougKt , Kad an\ talent wKen , was growing uSµ 0c-
Guirk says. “I didn’t know I was creative. I was 19 before anyone
recognied , was a creatiYe Serson.µ
6adl\ 0c*uirN suͿocated Ker natural talent as an artist and
writer when she was still in elementary school. In The Power of
Mercury, McGuirk writes, “In my heart I always knew that I was
creative, but a series of cruel grade-school teachers made me think
7Ke Àrst Serson to tell 0c*uirN sKe was etremel\ creatiYe
was an astrologer in New York City’s Greenwich Village. It was a
meeting that would set the course for the rest of her life. McGuirk,
who was 19 at the time, was skeptical but went at her mother’s
“This astrologer was, surprisingly, the daughter of an elegant
older couple who lived in our WASP-y hometown of Bronxville,
1.<µ sKe wrote.
Once McGuirk reassured herself that this astrologer was trustworthy,
McGuirk says the astrologer redirected her life in a 90-minute
reading. 7Kis eSert guidance saYed Ker from man\ dicult
times. McGuirk notes that when each of us does what we’re meant
to do our liYes are mucK easier. 6Ke realies tKat man\ SeoSle
equate horoscopes with tarot cards and tea-leaf readings. While
we can never fully understand it, McGuirk says astrology >>
Leslie McGuirk’s mercurial talent takes many forms. The author/illustrator,
astrologer/speaker breaks all the rules and exceeds traditional boundaries.
BY L. L. ANGELL