One of the delights of running a regular astrology site – especially one called Astrology: Questions and Answers ! – is the ensuing dialogue with emailers and commenters. Some of it can be quite testing, as this recent enquiry, from ‘Horoscope, revealed:
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?
Dear Ms/Mr/ X (I am assuming ‘Horoscope’ is not your real name)
this interesting question strongly suggests that you associate the practice of astrology 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. Before getting down to discussing the issue of payment of fees for any professional service, be that professional an experienced lawyer, doctor, accountant or astrologer, it might be useful for you to know, very broadly speaking, what astrology is.
Popular star sign or sun sign astrology is the most well-known kind. Perhaps that is the type you had in mind? This astrology functions largely 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.
However, popular astrology can only give a general picture; it’s like trying to tell the story of a complex play with reference to only one character on the stage, ie your Sun sign. To get a view of all the characters on the stage of your life, you need a map which an astrologer draws of the heavens for the particular time, and place as well as the day of your birth.This map, horoscope or birth chart can then be used, via the position of all the planets on that day, as a tool to describe, as lucidly as possible, the different characters on the stage of your life and how they interact with one another.
The key thing people gain from an astrology reading, in my view, is confirmation of who they actually are, along with their strengths and weaknesses, their difficulties – and their gifts. 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.
Regarding 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 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. We owe this to those who come looking for help and clarification, 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….
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, professional supervision and organisational memberships – as well as the many other expenses involved in running a professional practice. Ms/Mr X, are you suggesting that we should live in this world and practice our profession without charging realistic fees to cover our living costs like everyone else? I do hope not.
In conclusion, thank you very much for asking your question. It has provided me with an opportunity to give readers a window into how responsible, professional astrologers actually operate.
800 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2018