Last Friday I was interviewed for an upcoming telesummit. The interviewer had an astrological reading done in the past (not by me), and she said that what I do sounds very different than what she got. She asked what a person should look for in picking an astrologer. So, here are a few suggestions and frequently asked questions.
1 – Know the astrologer’s specialty.
Not all astrologers do the same thing. Many focus on predictions – what going to be happening in your life in the next few weeks to months. Some focus on events and will help you to pick the best day to get married or have surgery. There are those who look at relationships (synastry) and how compatible you are with partners (romantic, business, etc). You can often tell, by reading an astrologer’s website, where her focus lies.
My specialty: I focus on how all your different parts can harmonize. I start with your North Node (or, life purpose) and then, look to the rest of your chart – the planets, houses and aspects – to determine how they can work together towards this purpose. This is quite different from many astrologers, who will see various aspects of a chart as contradicting each other. I’ve often read that my Capricorn moon is “too cold” and that I should cultivate more compassion. My approach is that I have a Capricorn moon for a reason. I look at my whole chart to figure out what role it serves. So, instead of telling people to change basic parts of their personality, I explain how their parts can work in unison. (Think, well-oiled machine.)
2 – Why are horoscopes often wrong?
I find that chart readings, describing a person’s personality, are rarely wrong. But, when most people ask this question, they are referring to predictions, like the kind you see in the paper, or online. For one, these are not based on your unique birth chart. They are generic for all Aquarians, or Scorpios, or Tauruses. An Aquarian with a Scorpio rising sign, and the sun in the fourth house, is going to have a different forecast than an Aquarian with a Pisces rising sign and the sun in the 10th house. Some people say that if you read the horoscope for your sun sign AND for your rising sign, it’s more accurate. I avoid generic daily/weekly horoscopes all together. (Except for the joke ones in The Onion. Those are hilarious!)
Also, astrological predictions are much like weather predictions. If there’s a 60% chance of rain, you may get wet, or nothing may happen. A thunderstorm might be benign, or lightening may strike a tree in your yard. It’s very hard to be specific with these kinds of forecasts. But, sometimes, it is good to know whether or not you need an overcoat or umbrella, just in case!
My approach: I do include predictions in my readings but they are always based on the client’s individual chart. Also, my view is that if you understand all the parts of yourself well, you’ll be able to handle anything that happens in life.
3 – Much of this is now online for free. What’s the point of hiring someone to read my chart for me?
Depending on how complicated your chart is, you may be able to use online sources to do a reading for yourself. But, using my cake analogy (I compare a chart to a layered cake), the online sources will tell you the properties of each ingredient in your cake but not how they interact when cooked together.
You know that plain cocoa tastes nasty but when mixed with sugar and butter, it’s quite tasty. Same goes for cinnamon. Or, flour. An Aquarian sun with a Capricorn moon (that’s me!) is going to be very different than a Scorpio sun with a Capricorn moon. And, then, there’s the rising sign and the houses of the chart…they all combine to make you unique. A live person can see and understand those combinations.
4 – Is any of this stuff real? What do you say to skeptics?
I’m as skeptical as the next person! In fact, that’s why a lot of my clients like me. I have NO IDEA how astrology works, and that fascinates me even more. I’ve read articles trying to explain it, and nothing makes sense to me. But, when I had my first real reading (from a coworker), I was amazed at how accurately my chart depicted all my personality’s nooks and crannies. Then, I started reading the charts of acquaintances, friends and family. I never came across a chart that wasn’t accurate. The REAL TEST, though, was when I read the chart of a stranger. I mean, I already knew the personalities of the other people, and wondered if I wasn’t subconsciously skewing the reading to fit. But, so far, so good.
I did once have a person email me and say, “This does sound like me, but I’m really good with kids and am surprised that didn’t show up in my reading.” Well, it was there but wasn’t a prominent part of her chart, so I didn’t bring it up. If there is something specific you are looking for, definitely let the astrologer know. Which leads to question number five…
5 – How can I get the most out of a reading?
It helps if you tell the astrologer the kinds of things you are concerned about. I know some people avoid doing this because they are skeptical and don’t want to “feed” info to the astrologer. With my readings, I do an overview of a person’s personality and life purpose first, and then, I will specifically focus on questions and how they fit into the big picture. There is so much information in an astrological chart that you could study it for years and not find everything. Your questions help the astrologer to pick out the stuff that is most relevant to you.
Also, my personal intuition works in such a way that I often “read” a person based on the questions she asks. As a child, in school, I’d hear kids ask questions and know exactly why they didn’t understand something. In hearing your questions, I know better how to focus on your chart. In fact, I may intuitively pick up a concern that wasn’t expressed directly in your question.
6 – What’s the best way to get a reading – over the phone or in writing?
I type out my clients’ readings. There are certain parts of a chart that LEAP out at me, and that are extremely important. I want to make sure those are covered and that my clients understand them well. I am a “big picture” kind of person (my Jupiter is conjunct my ascendant!), and want to portray that big picture before diving into details. When I first started this, I read charts over the phone, but noticed people would get caught up on a sentence or phrase, without waiting for context. The written chart allows you to read the entire interpretation – repeatedly. (My readings tend to be 5-6 typed pages.)
7 – But, there are benefits to talking to your astrologer on the phone.
This is good for getting into details. I always want my clients to have an idea of the “big picture” first (with the written reading) but I love doing follow-ups on the phone!
My clients use the phone follow-up in different ways. Some have questions about a specific project, or a job change, or a life change, and want to know if it’s a good idea, or the best approach to dealing with it. Some people use the phone sessions as a form of therapy. I listen, often pick up patterns, and give suggestions for coping, based on their astrological chart. Some schedule these on an “as needed” basis, and others book several in advance, meeting once a week, or every two weeks (I do give discounts if a person buys sessions in bulk). Also, with these phone sessions, I am able to use my intuition (mentioned in number 5) in combination with the astrological chart.
Jennifer has been in the field of education for over twenty years, always with a focus on human rights. She is the founder of the website, FemCentral, the Virtual Institute for Women, where she works as editor, writer, and webmaster. She also teaches history, part-time, at the college, middle and high school levels.
A few years ago, she discovered an unexpected gift for astrology. She writes original astrology articles for FemCentral and provides a variety of astrological services, including individual readings and group classes.
In her “spare” time, she is researching the biography of the American Suffragist, Lucy Burns.
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