Oh My Stars

Some forms of therapy are a lot safer than others…

A lot of people don’t really know what it is an astrologer can do for them. There’s a lot more to it than just “writing horoscopes.” Here’s what I do during a consultation… or as astrologers usually call it, “a reading.”

First (and most importantly) an astrologer can help you understand what resources you have at your disposal, and how you can use them. In some ways, being an astrologer is like being any other kind of counselor. I provide objective advice, perspective, and clarification. Using astrology gives a counselor a distinct advantage, in that it provides a level of insight not normally available to mainstream practitioners.

Life is a bit like playing poker: you’re not likely to win unless you know what’s in your own hand. Reading the birth chart is like that: it clarifies your strengths and potentials unlike any other form of counseling. I know — I came to astrology from a background in counseling myself. Although the mainstream counseling techniques I was trained in are tremendously useful, they don’t provide the symbolic language that acts as a framework for self-understanding that I use.

Unlike many other forms of counseling, astrology doesn’t involve spending months dancing around the issues — the details of the birth chart can be fairly specific about where a lot of problems are potentially coming from and where they might arise in future. What’s more… well, that brings us to the whole thorny issue of “predicting the future.”

Some astrologers shy away from the subject of prediction… and frankly, I can’t blame them. It’s complex, in large part because life itself is complex. Billions of dollars every year get poured into weather research and technology, and there’s still a limit as to how far ahead and how accurately the weatherman can make a forecast. Besides: smart people everywhere say that Economics is a “science,” but I’ll gladly stack my long-term accuracy up against that of any economist, any day.

(Someone, please pass this along to MSNBC, will you? I’d look great on TV, and I can shout and get as worked up about things as well as anyone who has their own show there.)

As Heracleitus said, “character is destiny.” And as that other great philosopher Kenny Rogers said “You’ve got to know when to fold ’em, know when to hold ’em.” Your birth chart delineates that character, but above and beyond that, astrology can also help you anticipate the external conditions you’ll be facing at any given time in the future. Put those two concepts together, and you’ve got some powerful self-knowledge there.

Even better: all this also applies to the birth chart of anyone else in your life, so a reading can also uncover what’s going on with your partner, your boss, your kids, your friends, o your dog. Don’t laugh: I’ve done readings about dogs too. The same astrological concepts that apply to you and me apply to dogs and cats and companies and countries as well.

As far as the specifics of a reading, we can cover pretty much any subject you’d care to imagine, but some come up a lot more than others. The state of people’s love lives are always a big draw: why is my mate acting this way? Should I be with this one, or that one? Why don’t I have any love life at all, and what can I do about it?

Money, material comfort, and career are also of great interest… and in my experience over the last couple of decades, people’s security issues around those things have only gone up. “Should I stick with my lousy job or make a risky leap… and if so, when?”  Is there more money coming in at some point?” (Funny thing though: no one ever asks “Hey, where did all my money go?” and that’s certainly one I ask myself all the time.

Love and Money may be The Big Two, but there’s a whole world of other subjects a reading can cover. Home life and moving, children, health, spritiual direction, when the best time is to start new projects… these are all things I can cover.

Now, having said all that… where did I leave my keys? Actually, an astrologer can even answer a question like that, using a technique called “horary astrology,” where the astrologer casts a chart for the moment a question is asked. I’ve used this technique a lot, and you’d be amazed how well it works… so perhaps instead, I should have asked “where did I leave my astrologer?


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