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  Posted January 2007

Aspiring to be an Astrologer

Question from an Aspiring Astrologer

I'm an Aries and I could use some help. I have been reading and studying astrology for the past 4 years. There are a lot of different chapters in astrology and I read everything I can get my hands on, and I'm looking for the next level of help, but its hard to do alone. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of offered work when it comes to this career. I know I want to work with this topic and itís hard to find people that even know a little bit about it. I was wondering if you have any advice or tips to help me along the way, especially when someone like yourself has experience with it.  I also read up on tarot cards, and palm reading and I just started reading about the Chakras. I love this field and really would like to pursue this in any way I can....

Thanks for your time

Susanís Answer:

Dear FireAries,

Aries is a great sign that gives you the energy to do things. Youíll always be looking for something new in astrology, and itís a great adventure for an Aries. Iím sure there are other points in your chart that give you the ability to stick with it since youíve been studying for 4 years and are still interested.

Iím not sure what level youíve reached, so this is rather general advice

The question of aspiring to astrology is near and dear to my heart. I want more people to be serious about astrology, and I agree, there are few guidelines for the serious astrologer. There are organizations such as NCGR and AFA, offering lectures, classes and guidance, and some accreditations, but not diplomas accredited by the governing bodies of education at the local or federal level.

If you want a diploma, the only school that I know of in the US that offers a bachelor or masters degree in Astrology is Kepler College in Washington State, which is accredited by the state of Washington. After four years, you receive a formal diploma. The other nice thing about Kepler is that you do much of your studying at home. I believe you are required to go to Kepler for a week at a time each semester. Go to the Kepler website for more information. http://www.kepler.edu/

If you do not plan to work professionally in areas that look for a diploma, there are online schools. The Online School of Astrology has reputable astrologers.  http://www.astrocollege.com/ Currently they are associated with Kepler College and there is a transfer allowed of 30 credits.

There are usually local schools or groups, if you want to find kindred spirits. Many coffee klatch or salon type groups exist that do give support and information. I offer several classes through the year at Heaven in Newburyport geared to all levels, and soon I will offer CDís of my classes, and eventually I will be offering a beginning course through CD. 

Chart interpretation

If you want to be a professional astrologer, it requires commitment. One of my early teachers told me that after I read 1,000 charts I might be able to consider myself an astrologer. Start reading charts for anyone and everyone. Doing readings is one of the most valuable things you can do. Consultations will get you into the rhythm of reading charts and working with all types of people. Even if you tell them you are new, and use your reference books during a consult, they will lap it up. People want to know as much as possible about their life, and are grateful for any help you can give them. Do the consults free or for a donation and youíll be surprised where it will lead you. If you charge, it may be too much responsibility in the beginning. If youíre good and love what you do, eventually people will offer to pay you.

If you arenít ready to do personal consults with friends and acquaintances, practice by doing the charts of famous people.

Organization is the key, especially in the beginning. Have a plan for reading charts and stick to it, adding on as time goes on. Get the keywords down in your mind and have your plan for reading a chart. You may start with the Sun, Moon, ascendant, and then the planets, or you may read house by house. Tracy Marks has a wonderful guide for chart interpretation. Itís out of pint, but there are a few used copies at Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

If you need help choosing books, go to www.astroamerica.com  or contact Dave. He knows his stuff. He can suggest a good chart interpretation guidebook.

Calculations

I suggest you learn the math. I know computers do the math, but it is a good idea to know how the computations are done. Sometimes I miss the psychic connection I used to get by calculating the chart myself. To do this you need an Ephemeris and a Table of Houses. I use the Rosicrucian Ephemeris for my daily readings, and The American Ephemeris by Neil F. Michelsen for dates in the 20th Century. I also have the Rosicrucian 100-year ephemeris. You will also need a book that gives you the longitude of cites worldwide. This is optional most longitudes are found online these days.

The books I have with chart calculation instruction are out of print. Dave at The Astrology Center of America should know whatís currently available. www.astroamerica.com

The price of these books adds up, I suggest that my students look for used books to start out.

Studies

Besides the natal planets, you need to learn how to read an ephemeris, and study transits, progressions, directions, solar returns, and eclipses, and thatís just the start. Next there are asteroids, galactic points, etc.

Astrology is a life-time study. Astrology is not a fluff science. Most qualified astrologers are well-educated. As one astrologer said, "I have studied more than most doctors. I probably have the equivalent of three PhD's."
 

Here are a few studies that I suggest besides astrology

Mythology
Astronomy
History
Psychology Ė as many different types as possible. Read books,  especially by Jung. Youíll be surprised to find how many psychologists follow astrological patterns. Also, it is important to understand enough to know when to guide a client to a professional for help.
Geometry
Algebra
Numerology
Symbols Ė dream books have great ideas.
Other intuitive and esoteric studies, tarot, kabala
Writing classes
Debate class if you want to be on air with debunkers
Bodywork or anatomy if you wish to study medical astrology
Languages especially Latin and Sanskrit
Research and statistics
Ancient classics especially the Greeks, Ptolemy, Hippocrates, Pythagoras
Arabic history and writers, they gave us our math and many astrology calculations
Egyptian history and symbolism
Maya symbolism and astrology
Voice or acting if you wish to do the lecture circuit (I'm half joking)

Develop your intuition


Eastern Astrology

Chinese signs will add another depth to your understanding. Get one of the simple books or go online and do a search.

I wouldnít advise learning Vedic astrology until you are sure of your techniques.

Local Ordinances

Some cities consider astrology fortune telling and itís not allowed. Check your local rules and regulations.

Aspiring to be an Astrologer Part 2

The beginning of your career may be natal chart interpretation, but eventually you will want to expand. You have to decide what type of astrology you want to do. Do you want to stay with psychological interpretation of natal charts only; do you want to do transits, medical,  horary, or political or mundane astrology? You may be fascinated by what is going on in the world, but there arenít too many political clients for a beginner. The best is a combination of modalities.

You may want to combine this with a career in something such as psychology. However, in the US, you may lose your license if you combine astrology with a psychology session. You must keep the two consultations separate.  Itís better to do astrology consultations and let your clients know you have a degree in psychology than to let your psychology clients know you are practicing astrology in their session.

Most people come to an astrologer the first time because they want to know why something is happening, or when something will happen. I get very few new clients who come out of curiosity, or when they are happy, or when they want to know about soul development.

The most repeated question I get in consultations is, "when will it happenĒ? There are two ways to answer this question. Some astrologers will say "oh sometime next year. If they are better, they will say next fall, spring, etc. Another astrologer may give the month. If they are good, they will peg it to within a day or two. 

If you spend several hours pouring over the chart, you may pin the event within an hour or even a few minutes. None of this is infallible, but you do your best. The better your accuracy, the better your reputation, and the more referrals youíll get.

Unless you have an established practice in tarot, channeling, or psychic readings, or are a psychologist, you need to learn how to forecast. If you want repeat clients, spiritual or evolutionary astrology should not be your only focus. Later you may become famous for your soul or psychological readings.

In the beginning, you won't make that much money. To do a forecast takes several hours. (If you have a photographic memory for dates, you may get the prep time down to an hour or less.) If you charge $75 for a one-hour reading and it takes four hours to prep, you make $15 an hour. This may sound better than your day job, but how many charts will you do in a week? Clients do not grow on trees; you have to build your business.

If you want to cut your time in half you must be organized. Have a sheet handy with planetary events for the year; new and full moons, eclipses, retrogrades, major transits and ingresses. Note the travel of the major planets month by month. Note any transiting planets conjunct fixed stars. The travel of the Sun is easy to remember in your head. Then all you have to look up is Mercury, Venus, Mars or the Moon. With this information, it will be easier to narrow down the date search. Once you start doing more charts and work with the ephemeris on a daily basis, it's much easier. An important thing to remember is that one transit alone is not a trigger for an event in the outer world.

Clients do not appreciate constant flipping through the ephemeris in a one-hour session. Therefore, it's best to determine the dates ahead of time. One of my favorite teachers used to spend quite a bit of time looking through the ephemeris in the session, but she did three-hour sessions for the price of a one-hour session. Most people don't have time for three hours sessions anymore. I've had clients ask if the session can be shortened, and they still pay for the full session.

Printouts of the dates of transits to natal planets are available in most astrology computer programs. Highlight the important dates or write them on the chart.

To be honest, a yearly update session with your client can be done in twenty minutes; the rest is filler, but often-necessary filler for the client.

A good method of practice is to take a list of birth dates of people you know, (day, month, and year). Look up the dates in the ephemeris and try to determine how the current transits will affect the planets on that birth date. For instance, start with the birth date such as 1/19/51. Look up this in this date in the ephemeris and note the current transits to the position of the planets on that date. Go to the next date on your list and do the same thing. Set a time for yourself. How many birth dates can you do in an hour? This gets you used to the rhythm of making connections between planets. Once you are able to do this in your head, it's even easier with a chart in front of you.

Next go back and write out an interpretation of the transits with a few keywords for each person. What will happen?

Most beginning astrology books have interpretations of transits and allowable orbs. Click here for a brief overview.

Jot down an interpretation on a notepad. Later talk with the people and see if any of your current or future forecasts are accurate. Don't worry about exact timing in the beginning.

Next, learn progressions. Calculations are easily available in a good computer program.

There is a lot of competition, but if you do a good job, you will build a clientele. There is no criteria to judge an astrologer. Most people have a friend who has taken a class or two, read a book or two, and then read the chart for free, or a token sum, and do a very superficial reading. It may sound great during the reading, but people go away unfulfilled. That's one of the reasons astrology does not have a better reputation.

Word of mouth is going to be your best recommendation. I have clients who had readings by astrologers who have written for popular magazines and were dissatisfied, and wouldn't think of going back. Basically all they did was have a conversation. These people did not need an astrology reading to get this information, even a beginner can do this.

Look at your chart to confirm your success. There have been many astounding astrologers who never made a success of their business, but they didn't care about the money so they were successful by their standards.

Copyright  July 2007 Susan Custer

www.theastrologypage.com