Six things to consider if you are thinking of having an Astrological reading.
- Are you clear about why you want a reading? Do you really want one or is someone telling you that you should? Do not be pressurized, for you the time may not be right.
- Could you communicate to the reader in the form of specific questions what it is you wish to know? If possible, check out with the reader in advance of the reading that s/he will be able to deal with these questions. Astrologers work in many different ways, across a range of specialisms.
- Have you got space to hear that something you would very much like to happen may not manifest? It is unwise to use a reading to have confirmed things with which we are identified. If we are so certain that something should come to pass, then it is best to simply leave it to goodness to deliver (if it can) It is nothing an Astrologer can fix.
- Has the reader you intend to approach come via personal recommendation or through something you have read or heard from that reader? These are the more reliable routes. Formal advertisements interfere with a subtle but highly significant process involving the individuals’ magnetic centres which draw the right kind of people to each other.
- Will the reading be recorded? We can only take in so much and the things that we can immediately relate to will get most of our attention; the rest may not show its relevance until later in the life. A reading should be listened to again and again down the years.
Until 50 years ago, Astrology simply dealt with the future. The only time to which Astrologers looked back was the time of birth, and based upon it, predictions were made about the coming years. It was considered a mysterious and somewhat scary process: Indeed, the testimony they bore to an impressive process beyond our ken and control was probably most of the value of the experience. Predictions were delivered without discussion or explanation because they were nothing we could negotiate, manage, or avoid; we could only meet with them. As potential clients, we had to decide whether it was better to know or not to know what fate had in store for us. If we went ahead and what we were told pleased us, we would call it Destiny and feel rather proud of ourselves; if what we were told was not good, we could call the astrologer a charlatan and try to forget it.
In the days when it was about prediction and fortune telling, Western Astrology, even at its best never came close to matching the skill and accuracy of the highly trained, professional Hindu astrologers, and never earned the respect given in the East. Our Astrologers were likely to be either charlatans who made up what they saw to earn money or competent mathematicians who knew how to work with aspects and trigonometry to establish the nature of the events and their timing, and mostly did this as a side-line. There was no middle ground because before computers everything was either calculated manually, or not calculated at all.
Then, in the 1970s with the growth of interest in Psychology, Astrology shifted its assemblage point. It was no longer about what was going to happen to us but who were and what kept us from happiness and creative fulfillment. Invariably, the causes are traced back to childhood situations and family relationships and we are encouraged to understand ourselves as products of them. When we grasp this and dealt with the dysfunctions arising from conditioning, then we are able to say that our future is what we will make it. There is be no further need for prediction. This is the theory anyway.
The Jungian Psychologist - Astrologers brought a structure and professionalism into a sector defined in Europe by amateurism, and which; to this day, remains very largely unregulated.
In the hands of trained psychologists and counsellors, Astrology can be made a useful resource which benefits from the focus provided by the psychologist’s process of inquiry. Understanding what the past has made us is an important aspect of life management, but this takes us only so far; it does not tell us what our purpose is and how to manage what remains of the time of our lives.
In the course of my work, I have listened in on innumerable readings, and I realise that many would-be practitioners do not know where they are trying to go with Astrology or what they are trying to achieve for their clients. Often, they are simply sharing an enthusiasm for the language and mystique of Astrology. Having no context, no real understanding of their discipline, and a repertoire of routines too basic to see the individual and give sound guidance, their product is merely a sampler to wet the appetite. Yet, as a form of communication, this enthusiastic sharing may not be without value, especially as an introduction to Astrology when dealing with very young people who, as yet, have no major decisions to make.
Since the appearance of what calls itself Intuitional Astrology, I have observed practitioners putting touching amounts of energy into reassuring their clients of their uniqueness and gifts, and how if they think positively and believe in themselves ‘all they wish will come to pass.’. It may call itself Intuitional Astrology to distinguish it from pre-deterministic, mathematically based expressions, and it may be a well-intentioned sharing of humanity which lifts it above the level of charlatanism, but instant readings given in a public place without preparation, careful consideration, or time available for the intuition to align with the intellect, will be bland, flattering and uncontroversial and pointless, If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing properly.
The exchange below between a young man and his female companion was overheard by me whilst walking passed our town hall where the annual Psychic Fare was in full swing:
She: What was your reading like then?
He: Don’t know what to make of it. If I’m as great as that astrologer says then why is my life so shit? She didn’t explain that!
Astrology is one of Esotericism Seven Keys
The point of Astrology which is one of esoterism’s seven Keys to the Mysteries is to help us manage the time of our lives. We are told that before the time of the Patriarchs, the Astrological key, was given to the Chaldeans by the Archangel Uriel. In Hebrew, the name Uriel in means Light of God or God is my Light, and that key has been passed down to us in the West.
Astrology proceeds from the fact of our being here in the material world, governed by time, and influenced, as is all organic life on Earth, from higher worlds. according to our quality. We may be the only species to systemize this process to help us deal with the human condition.
The central concern of Astrology is the use of time, of which all of us have only so much. It answers no existential question, but it may serve thought and belief systems that do, because whatever we believe, espouse and work at, whether it is our personal future through spirituality or that of the planet through activism, the beings that we are in time and space have choices and decisions to make; we have to manage the time of our lives. We know the importance of right timing. Our clients come to us for this kind of guidance because if Astrology cannot provide it what else can?
Yet time working, the centrepiece of true Astrology is becoming reduced to transits, a degeneration with which I have been at war for decades. On a regular basis I need to remind my own students that adequate time working skills are not the optional extra they would like to think they are. They are an essential part of a practicing astrologer’s tool kit.
Transits may be easy to grasp and work with, but the limitation of transits is that they do not and cannot pick up on our evolution since birth. They confine us to the static natal chart, like hamsters on a wheel. Consider the irony of this if we are offering Astrology to a spiritual aspirant
Transits play their part in time working, but on their own they are not enough. The most profound experiences we will undergo in a lifetime are brought by progressions of Pluto to the Ascendant, the Moon and Saturn, and the movement of the progressed Moon through H12 I cannot respect or accept a handling of Astrology which does not know how to recognize these conditions, which I know from 30 years in practice, make so many people turn to Astrologers for help.
Directions and Progressions
The two basic time working techniques are: Primary Directions and Secondary Progressions which capture the changes in the natal configuration which is a still of the moment that independent breathing is established. The still, the natal chart, remains the blueprint of the life, but against this backdrop, the pattern changes ceaselessly until death, creating new opportunities and challenges.
The Day for a Year basis of Primary Directions and Secondary Progressions assumes that a day in the ephemeris i.e., 24 hours + adjustment for sidereal time serves as a template for a given year.
There is in existence an old video of Robert Hand addressing – I think- the AFA in which he says, disarmingly, that he does not know why this process works but it does. I am sure he knows perfectly well why it works and it is because a day is a lower correspondent of a year, turning on its axis once in twenty-four hours to engage with each of the twelve signs, as does the sun in its annual orbit of the ecliptic. There is a range of other progression techniques based on other correspondences, which are interesting but which I would not list as basic discipline.
As above so below, Astrology deals with the wheels within wheels which express this principle; and finds us room for manoeuvre. The poor hamster in his cage usually has only one – and we are similarly confined by many contemporary Astrologers.
Primary Directions were the basis of predictions made in the pre-Psychology era and they require a knowledge of aspects, the way they manifest and the means of working out when they will manifest. Primary directions can be handled in a way which places them in chronological order and thereby gets round the need to use trigonometry. That frame is provided by Secondary Progressions which advance the Ascendant and MC.
I have reproduced below the natal chart of a woman plagued by health issues and her chart at age 24 years old, her age next birthday. Look at the important movements out of H6 into H5. The time has never looked better for her being able to prove to herself that her poor health is a place of retreat from uncongenial working situation and bullying personalities, and until she grasps the connection and puts these things right, her health will remain poor.
The connection between work and health is significant in all those born with Sun in H6 but their opportunities to deal with this are variable depending upon the opportunities brought by time. When this woman whom I have called Julia is 24 years old, a major opportunity is brought by progressing Sun at Scorpio 18 degrees in trine progressed Jupiter at Pisces 19 degrees. Transits in that year make a useful contribution to this situation, but the opportunity is created from progressions slow and powerful enough to create a space for her to change her level of awareness about her own life and encourage a willingness to take what for her are big risks.
For sure, to be more thorough takes more time, but these are people’s lives and opportunities with which we are dealing. Consider how it would be if we engage a workman, for example, a plumber to fix our boiler, who arrives prepared only look only at the obvious and accessible bits. We would be outraged, but we Astrologers, in our unregulated sector, are able to get away with shoddiness and corner cutting.
Yet the absence of regulation has its salutary aspects too: the intuition is allowed to breathe which a standardized focus can kill off, and when practitioners are not dependent upon client work for their livelihoods it may encourage a higher standard. The future of sound Astrological practice may well lay with people working with it part time. When the motive is simply money the result can be very compromised. Based just upon the trash that I have read put out by professionals who wish to advertise on our website or seek DKF-K approval, I see that charlatanism is alive and kicking. Dedicated telephone lines are the worst medium for pure fabrication and I have flushed out several Astrology practitioners who take their own readings with me, but for a significantly higher amount of money, flog to their own clients a product which clearly, they themselves do not find adequate or useful. To me, this cynical selling of second-rate product is the worst offense of all because these professionals know the value of good astrology and seek it out for themselves Yet their clients who may be quite unaware of the variable standards of practice across the sector, may be forever lost to Astrology because what they were told did not help them.
Where good astrology exists, it is because good astrologers understand they have to work at it to be good. Our Letter of the Month is written by a Maja Lazic, a young Astrologer working in Serbia who knows what good Astrology gives and takes from a practitioner. But if a thing is worth doing it is worth doing properly.
After Christmas, we will be closing the on-line Workshop to run a series of main site articles called Raising the Game for those learning Astrology or preparing to go into practice. They will not be of appealing to all our readers, many of whom are interested in the ideas behind Astrology and not their practical application, but I hope those readers will understand the importance of the gesture we are making. We do not live in a world where we have time to waste.