by Alison Price
If you are an aspiring astrologer or even a full-blown astrologer for that matter, these five items you need to have in order to read charts effectively.
You may be attracted to a different branch of astrology than the next astrologer, but the basics to need are the same.
I am going to share with you the five essential things every aspiring astrologer requires to read a chart.
These items are distilled from many years of experience in my practice where I have cast and read charts for people.
Although you can have tons more books and goodies that can help with the process, I have trimmed the list down to the five basic necessities that you require to read a chart.
1) An Ephemeris
This is the best book you can have on your desk. An ephemeris contains the planet’s positions, retrogrades, eclipses, lunations and many other interesting facts about what the solar system is actually doing.
Back in the day (before we all had a computer to cast charts) you would need your ephemeris to calculate the chart in the first place.
Now you will reach for your ephemeris to quickly find when Pluto will enter your client’s eighth house for the second time, retrograde in a five-hit transit or to discover if it is going to be an appulse or total eclipse next autumn as you write you horoscopes for the following year.
If you never refer to your ephemeris for charts and forecasting it makes a great spot for your cat to sleep.
2) A Computer with Solar Fire
Where would we be without a professional astrology software program?
Still casting charts by hand I suppose. You do need some way to draw charts quickly and correctly if you read charts for a living.
I use Solar Fire and it is really powerful software and to be honest I don’t use all the features all the time, or even many of the features most of the time, but
I do use the powerful chart processing ability and its calculations for secondary progressions, solar arcs, solar returns, and transits. These are for client work and the chart for right-here right-now to plan my day.
You can get chart calculation apps for your iPhone like Astro Gold and this is wonderful for casting charts on-the-go. I use Astro Gold for pondering the charts of my clients as I always load their birth data into my phone, as well as Solar Fire, before the consultation so I can consider all the ideas I may have about their chart wherever I am in my day.
I can do this because I book clients usually one week ahead because I like to cast their chart and then mull over it for a few days so it can “speak” to me.
If you work differently (and you should follow your path) or work ahead of time as I do then, either way, you need powerful astrology software.
3) The Chart
You need the chart to do the interpretation. Usually, you will print the chart from your computer or draw it by hand.
But just having a plain chart is no good and you have to make notes on it, highlight special planets, draw attention to grand trines or yods and the like. This extra jotting on the chart is best done in color.
Emphasize the ruling planet in yellow wherever it appears on the page even in the aspectarian.
Color the grand trines and mini-grand trines in blue along with the normal blue trines for ease the T-squares in red (red is for squares in general), Thor’s hammers in tangerine (sesquiquadrates are always orange), emerald for yods (quincunxes are green).
You do this in color because after a time when you have looked at hundreds of charts they can easily blend into one in your mind. If you have each chart highlighted in color and the main features, planets, houses and major aspect patterns enhanced it is quicker to scan and immediately get up to speed on that particular chart.
It is a way to streamline your readings and stop you ploughing through all the myriad of details that each chart contains. By adding primary and secondary shades, as a component to clarity, you become more effective and just glancing at the wheel hues can become almost as a mandala when you contemplate many charts.
4) Your Astrology Journal
An astrology journal is every aspiring astrologer’s friend. You will always be learning new interpretations for charts. When you read astrology articles online, blogs or pieces in trade publications there is always something to learn.
It could be a technique or another way to remember planetary placement meanings, if you write them down you don’t have to remember everything.
You may not ever use these tidbits of information but then again you might. Points you find that may not make much sense today may be just what you are looking for in the next chart you read or maybe next year when you tackle another method that is new to you.
Astrologers are always learning and this is what the journal is for.
I use mine when I planning my horoscopes for next year or other writing projects that I may be developing.
5) Herb Tea
As you sit at your desk for a few hours each day working on charts and chatting to people it is nice to have a soothing cup of herb tea at your elbow.
Personally, I enjoy green tea, jasmine tea and now and then a refreshing Earl Grey. If you are not a tea drinker it doesn’t matter but you do need your favorite drink to hand.
Taking a beverage break lets you sit back, ease your shoulders that have become tense leaning in, drawing notes on your charts and making case notes for your charts.
Pausing for a drink gives you a time to breathe and make a moment of stillness in your day.
These are the five basics that should be on your desk. There is room for many more reference books (oh the books), but to cast a chart and read it you only need five things.
Start with these items on your desk and develop your aspiring astrology chart reading skills as you immerse yourself in the magical world of astrology.