Is it true that REAL astrologers do not charge for their services as it is against the code to take profit out of a gift from God to help people? I read this and saw a medium on tele say it. In these circles it is donations given based on good work.Is this true at all?
(Readers with some knowledge of astrology will know that the planet Mercury is currently in its retrograde phase, ie it appears from our standpoint on Earth to be travelling backwards in its orbit.They will also know that tricksterish Mercury can cause all kinds of communication disruptions during this time.
The question above, which I have just received, is a case in point! It came in this morning via an email from the webmaster of the local West End Website here in Glasgow UK where I write an occasional column. Despite being sent the link, I was unable to trace its location or the time it was left….the webmaster may be able to help out!
In the meantime, here is my answer to the anonymous writer’s question – one with which I am sure my fellow astrologers will be quite familiar….)
Dear Ms/Mr/ X (I am assuming ‘horoscope’ is not your real name)
thank you for raising this interesting question. Before getting down to discussing the issue of payment of fees for any professional service, whether the professional is for example a highly trained,well qualified and experienced astrologer, lawyer, or accountant, it is important to clarify a few points for you.
Your question strongly suggests that you associate the practice of astrology in some way with the practice of mediumship. They are two separate activities. Thus a comment on how mediums operate cannot usefully be applied to the practice of astrology.
Secondly, it would perhaps help you if I made clear that there are broadly speaking two main types of astrology. The first type, popular star sign or sun sign astrology, is the kind which most people know about. Perhaps that is the type of astrology you have in mind in asking your question?
This astrology functions as popular entertainment, in which the point of reference is the twelve Sun or Star signs under which individuals are born, depending upon the time of year, eg Scorpio, Aries, Leo, etc.
The predictions offered on the basis of this limited focus entertain millions of people across the world on a daily basis. No-one with any real intelligence seriously can believe that one-twelfth of the human race are all doing roughly the same range of things on any given day, month, or year. It’s entertainment!
Popular astrology as found in the media can only give a very general picture of one dimension of the person. It’s simply NOT possible for this astrology to describe in any detail who you are. It’s like trying to tell the story of a complex play with reference to only one character on the stage.
Using this analogy, you can only get a view of all the characters on the stage of your life from the map which an astrologer draws of the heavens at the particular TIME and PLACE, as well as DAY, of your birth.
This map or Horoscope or Birth Chart can then be used as a tool to mirror back to you, as lucidly as possible, with great care for your sensitivity and level of awareness, what the different characters are on the stage of your life and how they interact with one another.
click on image to enlarge
After many years of doing readings professionally – and keeping my hand in by occasional informal readings during my long sabbatical – I think the central thing that an individual gains from an astrology reading is confirmation of who they actually are: what their strengths and weaknesses are, what their gifts and their difficulties are. It gives them more confidence and courage to be themselves.
It is a very powerful and potentially spiritual experience to have a stranger, who knows nothing of you, describe your essential qualities accurately from a map drawn of the heavens for the moment you entered this world.. This helps you to see that we are all interconnected and part of the One, whatever name you choose to give that vast, indescribable Mystery.
Qualifications and Training
I have a university degree and three post-graduate diplomas, the third of which involved three years’ travel to and from London in order to meet the stringent requirements required to obtain my Diploma in Psychological Astrology in 1998. This included one year of mandatory personal therapy in order to have the experience of being a client myself .
I am not alone in having made considerable efforts and allocated a great deal of time and money to becoming skilled and competent at my profession.Whilst not wishing to speak for my colleagues, all the astrologers I know and with whom I associate are well-educated people of considerable intelligence and integrity who share the same core values as I do regarding the importance of treating our fellow human beings with sensitivity and compassion.
I consider that I owe this to the often vulnerable people who come looking for help and clarifiaction, often at turning points in their lives. Their experience, and mine, is that an astrology reading can be of considerable assistance.
And now, about money….
However, in the process of being useful people in the world, astrologers, like anyone else, need to eat, put a roof over their heads, and bring up their families. We also need to pay for our office rent, professional indemnity insurance and organisational memberships as well as the many other expenses involved in running a professional practice. For example, my work is regularly supervised by a highly skilled and experienced colleague whose fees are £60 per hour. Other astrologers will have similar arrangements.
Ms/Mr X, are you suggesting that we can live in this world and practice our profession with compassion and integrity, without charging realistic fees to cover our living costs?
I do hope this answer has adequately addressed your question, for which I thank you. It has given me an opportunity to offer to non-astrologers a clearer idea of what it is that professional astrologers actually DO…
1000 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
Thank you, Anne, on behalf of other professional astrologers, myself included, for your thorough and enlightening answer to this question. Many years ago, I did occasional mini-astrology readings at fairs sponsored by a local metaphysical store. One day a client appeared who spent nearly 5 of our limited 15 minutes together berating me for charging for my services. Her reference point, similarly, was a psychic or medium she knew who considered herself to be doing God’s work and never charged, apparently a woman of independent means or supported by spouse or other family. Not wanting to waste more of our time together with financial dialogue, I pressed on, thinking about many of the things you said in this response. What strikes me is that this occurred some 35 years ago in California. It is apparently a universal and, so far, timeless misconception and misunderstanding about astrologers and astrology. Not just our baseline education but our continuing education in this complex field is expensive and time-consuming. Thanks, again, for a brilliant response that other astrologers can emulate when this perennial question comes up.
Joyce, many thanks for your support here. I really did feel strongly that a rebuttal was necessary in response to this question, and I thank you for giving your own very clear example of the same kind of uninformed and prejudiced approach. California or Scotland, 1970s or 2013, it’s the same old issue! I think our best response is to inform and to clarify in as rational a way as possible.
I’m not an astrologer, but do dabble in the art in terms of meditating with the archetypes in my chart. However, I have consulted two or three astrologers in the past. Presently, I work with an astrologer, who provides significant guidance for navigating through this life. She told me that when she does a solar return chart, sometimes it takes 15 or more hours. It is a lot of time to spend for free, even for one client. To spend that much time on one chart, the astrologer must be dedicated, and/or love the process.
I have the highest respect for astrologers, who are devoted. There are some really good astrologers, who offer a valuable service with their gifts, and therefore, should be paid for their services.
thanks so much for taking the trouble to drop by and to add your very valuable perspective on this topic, as well as your affirmation of what I have said.
Do you know what tickles me about this, Anne? If you change the setting and adjust the vocabulary, it’s precisely the same discussion that takes place all the time in the churches. Especially in American Protestant traditions, where pastors established their own congregations and aren’t responsible to a central governing body, there’s a long tradition of “the preacher” making a living as a carpenter, salesman, teacher or whatever, and tending the flock on the side.
Especially in rural areas, there can be real resistance to paying the preacher – or, at least, to paying a comparable wage. Or perhaps it’s generational. In any event, there can be a strong if unspoken assumption that despite years of schooling, advanced degrees, training in counseling and pastoral care, pies, chickens and a place to live ought to be enough for one professing to love the Lord.
Similar situations developed as schools in this country moved from local control, where local boards hired and determined salary, to centralized systems, where local systems were told by “the state” what they were to provide. Of course the standarization of requirements played into it. Personally, I’d prefer to see more local control, but that’s a different issue.
Anyway – very interesting. “If you really love your work, you should do it for free” is quite a weird way of thinking, but it lurks in some surprising corners!
Many thanks, Linda, for broadening out this issue. The idea that somehow the integrity of one’s work is tarnished by the exchange of filthy lucre will take a long time to die out – if it ever does!
You posted a very important topic and it’s helped me very much because i am a student of Astrology. I have already visited many sites but here i found some different ideas. Thanks.
Glad this post was helpful to you. Enjoy your studies – astrology is a wonderful subject.
Hi, Anne, I stumbled across this excellent post while visiting your site, and what you said so well, you said for all of us who study for years and work so hard to do a good and professional job of answering client’s questions and needs.
I recall years ago that I thought of studying astrology with the Rosecrucians, but they prohibited their students from ever earning a dime from their clients. Donna Cunningham
Hi Donna, many thanks for dropping by and for your kind words about my post. I’m glad you think that I’ve managed adequately to convey what it is we do as astrologers, and why like all other highly skilled professionals, we need to charge adequate fees for our services.
One wonders how those Rosicrucians got by…probably by charging their students quite a tidy sum!