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Fortunately, the Official Uniform is now optional.

I’ve written here before about how someone can learn astrology, and I’ve written about the personal path that I took to become an astrologer. But I’ve had a few people recently ask me about becoming an astrologer, and I realize that there are some keys to it that I haven’t written about before… and in fact those keys don’t seem to get much coverage at all.

So above and beyond the basics that I linked to in the previous paragraph, I’d like to present what I think of as some “secret ingredients” that can take you from being someone who is knowledgeable about astrology to being an actual astrologer — someone who does readings for people — and to be good at it.

Apply your experience

Learning a subject out of a bunch of books is great, but it’s no substitute for paying attention and learning how things operate in the real world. The more charts and transits you look at it, the more you will learn things that either aren’t in the books or that qualify as obscure (but still accurate) knowledge.

Some observations from my own years as an astrologer include the idea that Geminis really enjoy kitchen gadgets, even if they don’t cook that much. Virgos, more than any other Sign, seemed to enjoy soup. People with a close Moon-Pluto conjunction in their birth chart have a talent for surviving accidents or illnesses that would have otherwise killed them. And curiously, people with the ruler of their 12th House in the 12th House tend to have a real talent for making themselves physically healthier through sheer force of will.

Don’t always apply your experience

Being an astrologer can sometimes put you in a position where your own prejudices might get in the way of a fair and proper reading. If your father had Moon in Aquarius and he was a complete jerk, and if your high school sweetheart had Moon in Aquarius and broke your heart, and if your accountant has Moon in Aquarius and screwed up your taxes, then guess what? That does not mean that everyone with Moon in Aquarius is a bad, hurtful, or incompetent person.

You know that uncle of yours who is always loudly and embarrassingly complaining about people of a certain ethnic group or political persuasion? You aren’t being the least bit less obnoxious than him when you are griping about people with Venus in Virgo, or the Neptune in Sagittarius generation, or whatever. Cut it out.

Get a reading

You can read all the medical texts you want, but you wouldn’t want to perform surgery unless you had actually seen it done in person a few times. Likewise, consider getting readings from a few different professionals who are already making a living at it. This will give you a good idea of how it’s done, even though everyone does it differently.

Which reminds me: there are a number of places on the internet where people who are learning astrology (but aren’t astrologers) sit around and comment on each other’s birth charts and transits. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but that doesn’t really count as “getting a reading.” Ask yourself this: suppose you need a root canal. Are you going to let a committee of amateurs do it because you’re saving a few bucks?

Understand you real place in the Grand Scheme Of Things

Finally, if you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve done a few readings for people and gotten good results and folks seem happy with your work, don’t let it go to your head. If you maintain some humility (and even doubt) about your skills with astrology, that will drive you to double-check your work and to learn more. If you start acting like you’re Nostradamus, you’re almost certainly suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Look it up, know the symptoms, and avoid it.

You are not God’s gift to Astrology. Astrology is God’s gift to you. Know the difference.

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