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What Professional Astrologers

Must Consider

 by Meira B. Epstein, C.A. NCGR-PAA

This article was first published in the NCGR Member Letter.


All of us have our personal stories of how we came to astrology, what motivated us and how it changed our view of life and of ourselves. This experience, plus our professional, educational and philosophical background are the things that we bring to our practice of astrology when we begin to read for other people/clients.

Some practitioners come to astrology from the field of psychology and therapy, which primarily deals with people’s inner life, their emotional issues, and how it helps or hinders them in their response to situations. The discussions, therefore, tend to focus on helping the client resolve such issues and achieve awareness, self-growth and a better attitude and balance in life.

Yet, many, if not most astrologers, practice astrology from a different angle. Some call it spiritual, others practice good old-fashioned event-oriented astrology, and some even practice financial and business-related astrology.

The psychological approach is represented in Bernard Rosenblum book The Astrologer’s Guide To Counseling, where he discusses the role of the professional astrologer as a counselor, addressing some of these situations that are specific to astrology, resorting to the long-studied field of patient-therapist relationship, its methods and its potential pitfalls.

Rosenblum makes a useful distinction between providing education, counseling or therapy for the client. Education is mostly imparting information to the client where the astrologer does most of the talking with minimum client’s participation; counseling is working with the client to resolve specific issues in a dialogue mode which allows the client to take more responsibility in the process, while the purpose of therapy is to engender lasting behavioral changes through a longer process established according to the psychoanalytical model.

Yet, another term must be considered here and that is the astrological ‘consultant’, as many of us prefer to call ourselves. This word implies some level of professional objectivity and personal detachment. At the risk of over-simplification, I will summarize it as: “Here are the facts and your alternatives. You decide what you want to do about them”.

The types of astrology described above cater to the model of the Conscious and the Subconscious Mind only, yet personally, I believe in the model of the Soul and its Agenda, as can be seen in the chart. In my model, what is usually referred to as the Subconscious is actually the Soul, and the Mind is the external conscious reflection of it. Therefore, above all, we are Metaphysicians, and our role as astrologers is to nurture and guide the Soul in its journey, as it is fulfilling its Agenda this time around on earth. It’s not about dysfunction but about destiny and purpose.

When we begin our journey into professional astrology, at first it seems that what we need most is technical astrological skills, in order to achieve and recreate the ‘wow’ experience that we first had. Very quickly we discover that there is a whole layer of people’s skills that is needed, such as observation and good listening and compassion, as well as awareness of a whole range of situations we may encounter when dealing with people who come to us for advice, whether we are astrological ‘educators’, ‘counselors’, ‘therapists’, ‘metaphysicians’ or simply ‘consultants’.

Regardless of the style of astrology practiced, we must always remember that the person sitting in front of us in the consultation room is at a vulnerable or low point in their life. That’s why they come to us for a reading. At such a moment we are dealing with their raw emotions, their crisis situation, their dilemmas and their expectations from us. As in any situation, where one person is the advisor, the helper and the all-knowing “savior” while the other is on the receiving end, in the more vulnerable and weaker position, certain dynamics may arise which can be productive on the one hand, or counter-productive, and even destructive on the other, if the astrologer is not aware of these things. Astrology is akin to psychology in that they both deal with people’s lives and interaction with their environment on many levels. It is possible to approach these two fields both from the point of view of similarity or differences. Dr. Rosenblum aptly points out the similarities in terms of the counseling process, it’s techniques and its pitfalls in the specific context of astrology.

In my experience, not all astrological clients seek “hand holding” and emotional help. Some are looking for business advice or how to approach a current circumstantial crisis, or even simply don’t wish to share their innermost world with a stranger. The astrologer must be aware of that too and honor it. The chart on the one hand, and the immediate encounter with the client on the other, can tell the astute astrologer what the person is seeking and which role to cast oneself in. As professionals, we provide a service, and we need to “read the map” (pun intended) correctly.

Many situations can arise between two people when one appears to have the key to the other’s innermost world, as well as the future. The counseling astrologer must be prepared to handle clients’ exaggerated or unrealistic expectation, anger management, depression, a sense of hopelessness, dependency, emotional transference, or simply trying to get close on a personal basis. The astrologer must also know oneself, one’s own motivation, ego needs and interaction patterns. All these may come up as issues even in a short-term relationship between astrologer and client.


In addition, the practicing astrologer must also be clear on a number of other issues, 

which are unique to astrology:

- The purpose of the astrological reading in general, and how it can help the client.


- Why the client is seeking help.


- How to establish trust and openness with the client, even if it’s a one-time consultation.


- What the client expect to hear or is ready to hear, even when they say they “want to know everything”.


- The specific issues at hand and the best way to approach them.


- Which topics to avoid (if any) or work around.


- The kind of astrological period the client is in right now, or is about to face in the near future.


- How to (or should we) impart “bad news” and whether it can be “fixed”, or turned around.


- What to say when the client inevitably asks “Can I change it?”

- How to empower the client and help them find their own strength and sense of purposefulness.


- What the totality of all this mean - philosophically and metaphysically.


These questions and issues will come to haunt us and take us by surprise, right there in the consultation room, if we don’t prepare for them ahead of time, whatever the type of astrology that is being practiced.

A topic that is not sufficiently addressed in general, is the role of astrological technique and how this knowledge can help the astrologer help the client.  Obviously, technical skills are at the foundation of every profession, but in the case of astrology, I believe this can be taken one step further. Incidentally, a while back I attended a demo of a live client reading at a gathering of professional astrologers. The reader was very intent on the inner psychology of the client and focused primarily on her childhood and past relationship with her father, while the chart was “screaming” for other relevant, external and concrete manifestation for the ‘here and now’. Identifying such situation is just as much a responsibility of the astrologer, and this comes from the technical skills.

The need for identifying the client’s potentials or determining whether something desirable will come to pass (i.e. forecast), requires the astrologer to resort to and integrate a number of reliable skills and techniques. By striving to acquire such knowledge and use it, the astrologer is better able to uncover this information, even when far into the future, thus giving the client hope, assurance, empowering them on their way towards their own personal destiny and setting up a foundation for healing. 

The Astrological Consultation Must Always End on a High Note.

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