(This is a part of the “Ask An Astrologer” series.)
VM writes: I have been obsessively reading about astrology on the internet recently, and feel that I would enjoy a broader understanding of the many factors at play. Do you have any guidance for an aspiring astrology student? A place to begin, via reading materials or other forms of study?
First of all, believe me: “obsessively” is the right way to go about it. Although the basics of astrology can be easy to learn and can be surprisingly useful, there is an incredible depth of information available about the ancient art once you get into it. And that’s just Western Astrology… brace yourself for another three lifetimes worth of learning if you get into Vedic Astrology.
But, let’s start out small. First of all, since you’re on the Internet, there are all sorts of resources available there. Not just my blog (thanks for dropping by!) but many others. You’ll soon develop a sense for which ones are of more use to you and are more educational.
There are also plenty of books out there on the subject. My first astrology book, which I laid my hands on early in life, was The Compleat Astrologer (yes that’s how it’s spelled). It’s still available out there, and if you don’t let all the tables and calculations intimidate you, it’s still an excellent source of information. And speaking of calculations: that’s one of the huge advantages you have learning astrology now as opposed to even 25 years ago: there’s no need to do the painful calculations. There are plenty of software packages and websites out there that will do all the mathematical heavy lifting for you.
I’ve read a few books in my time that offer advice on how to become a writer, and the most common and sensible piece of writing advice is: “if you wants to be a writer… write.” Very much the same principle holds true for learning astrology. If you want to learn astrology… do astrology. Learn your own chart. Get charts for your friends and loved ones and people close to you, and look at those too. It’s one thing entirely to read in a book that if someone’s Mars squares your Moon, they might drive you crazy sometimes. It’s another thing entirely though when you realize that’s the big problem with your relationship with Uncle Fred, or whatever.
If you ever watch TV or movies or read books or enjoy following celebrity news, that can be highly educational too. What actors or actresses, musicians, or authors do you really enjoy? Which ones really annoy you? Which ones do you like despite the fact that you should know better, and which ones do everyone else call “sexy” but you just simply can’t see it? Most of today’s famous people have birth charts out there in a couple of websites on the Internet, and studying how their charts interact with yours can be really educational too. The basic rules of astrological compatibility can work even with people you’ve never met.
Finding a group of other people with an interest in astrology to network with can be helpful too sometimes. Facebook is loaded with them.
Getting a reading for yourself from an experienced astrologer can also be very educational, or even just hiring an experienced astrologer for an hour to answer all of those questions that you can’t seem to find an answer for. I do that sort of thing for clients myself, by the way…
And if you want to learn how prediction is done with astrology? My one “desert island astrology book” is, no question, “Planets In Transit” by Robert Hand.
Life, in all its richness and wonder, can be incredibly complex; yet often as not, it usually breaks down to a few simple rules. Astrology is just like that.
Have fun learning astrology. It’s a big Universe, and it’s yours to play with! You don’t even need perfect pitch…