An astrologer’s job description…

Every so often, someone asks me what I think my job as an astrologer is. It’s a good question – it makes me ‘return to base’, as it were, and set out the basics again, both for the questioner – and for my own benefit.

Here goes!

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My  job as an astrologer is to help other people understand themselves more clearly. I don’t know what the balance is between fate and free will any more than any one else does. But the Birth Chart or Horoscope suggests strongly that we come into this world, not as tabulae rasae ( blank slates)  but with certain characters on the stage poised to live out a complex drama as the process of our life unfolds from birth to death. 

What astrologers cannot do is describe the whole range of possibilities of expression which arise from each core character on the stage.

There appears to be a dynamic relationship between what you have been given through family physical and psychological inheritance ( the Old Norse word for fate also means genitals!), location, social status, and your own choices in what you do with those givens.

I think that effective astrologers in consultation are poised on the interface between fate and free will – on the one hand helping clients to confirm who they are, which they probably already know, if they are honest with themselves; but on the other hand helping them to see, and to broaden, the range of possible expression of the energies with which they have been born.

The astrologer’s ego should have a minimal influence on the process of reading another person’s horoscope. It’s impossible to keep ego completely out of it. It’s impossible to be completely objective, to avoid making mistakes; but what the person takes away should be as much theirs, and as little the astrologers, as is possible.

To maximise this outcome I feel it is very important to have my work regularly supervised by an experienced and well-qualified colleague. I am fortunate in this to have the support of a very experienced astrologer who is also a psychodynamic psychotherapist and writer. She has known me, my foibles, my weaknesses and my strengths over a very long period of time.

I  look at the relationship between the patterns present in clients’ natal horoscopes and how that relates to the here-and-now patterns of the planets in the heavens. I’m also very interested in setting clients’ lives in the context of the unfolding stages of the 11-12 year Jupiter cycles and the 29-30 year Saturn cycles, as well as the progressed New Moons, which also occur in thirty-year periods. My experience is that setting their lives in the context of the bigger pictures, and taking guidance from that, is both comforting, supportive and helpful to people who consult me.

I’m only interested in working with clients who are prepared to take responsibility for themselves in relation to the way in which their inner world is connected to the unfolding of their outer life. Astrology appropriately used should enhance the sense of personal responsibility – not take it away and hang it on the planets, or even worse, on the astrologer !

In my view it is important for people not to become too dependent on a symbolic context – astrology and astrologers like relationships, drugs, sex, alcohol or the national lottery can become highly addictive. The great symbolic arts, eg astrology, tarot, palmistry , I Ching, should be consulted with deep respect, and with considerable restraint.

                    In sum – I think it is my job is to send people away feeling more able to operate constructively and honestly in their world than when they came in, by supporting their courage and confidence to lead their own lives – using their own judgement. 

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650 words © Anne Whitaker 2019

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page of Writing from the Twelfth House

14 responses to “An astrologer’s job description…

  1. I’ve read this a couple of times, Anne, and really enjoyed it. I don’t know the reason, but this seems to me one of the best you’ve written for the non-professional. It was engaging, interesting, and appealing — all the very best qualities for an article or an astrologer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Linda. Yes, I think it’s important to write about an astrologer’s job every so often in ways which are fully accessible to the open-minded general public – and who may at some point be thinking of consulting an ethically practising, qualified and responsible astrologer themselves…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really enjoyed the read Anne, really agree with you especially about working with clients that are ready to take responsibility and also aiming for the client to leave the consultation feeling empowered. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for dropping by, Fernanda. Yes, I think it’s important every so often to remind people that many astrologers practice in an ethical and responsible way…and perhaps to deliver a prod to those who do not! I’m enjoying following your developing path as I read your blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Via Facebook:
    23.5.19:
    Gavin Carruthers:
    Well said Anne, I completely agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Gavin, that’s appreciated.

    Like

  5. Via Facebook:
    23.5.19:
    Leslie Hoffman:
    Thanks for reposting, Anne. I agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s good to hear, Leslie!

    Like

  7. Dear Anne, Well said and I can only underline what you described of being a good astrologer ! Kind regards

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Many thanks, Sabine!

    Like

  9. It’s always great to glimpse into the life of another and marvel at how unique we all are – yet how connected we are as well. Then there are people like you who can peer into what is truly magical to someone like me – and find clarity and order in how everything aligns – or doesn’t!

    Are there times when you see huge red flags or have premonitions of extreme challenges – and are torn with sharing that information or holding it closer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a really good, challenging question, Lisa. I have had occasion far more than once to offer up thanks for my long years of psychiatric social work, and work as a counsellor and therapist. I hope I have good instincts and experience re handling that difficult boundary between being as honest and open as possible with clients and students, and withholding information or perspectives with which I consider they may not be able to cope. What does help is knowing that astrological symbolism, paraphrasing the words of eminent astrologer Dr Richard Tarnas, is archetypally predictable, ie predictable in terms of the core meaning of an alignment of planets, but not specifically predictable. There are many branches of possible manifestation arising from an archetypal, symbolic planetary pattern. So we have to be humble in the face of that, knowing that picking a specific outcome – especially one which could be psychologically harmful to the client if offered – is a risky and often inaccurate business. I try to hold fast to ‘at least do no harm’ and I always ask for guidance from the Unseen before embarking on readings. And give thanks afterwards, if the encounter appears as far as I can determine, to have been helpful. Off the top of my head, that’s my answer – and thank you for asking it, Lisa.

      Like

  10. Your reply was SO appreciated; how nice of you to write an entire post in behalf of my question – and how rude of me to remain mute! Suffice to know that I enjoyed your replies, and this page will remain on the screen until I get home (in an hour) and I’ll enjoy it again when off line and in the proper post-reading format!

    Thank you Anne!

    Like

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