by Alison Price
Humans are group oriented individuals. It is natural for us to congregate together even if it means simply sitting in a coffee shop or alone at a busy bar. The nature of people is to flock together. Did I hear “baaaa!”
Like minded people often gather to discuss their favored subject, support each other, bounce ideas off each other and explore theories amongst themselves.
A study group is created when several people join forces to work, read or study something of mutual interest. As I have said many times before, astrology can be an isolating interest.
It makes sense to go where you are understood and (dare I say it) everyone knows your name. Perhaps you have been thinking of getting some people together to mull over charts if so here are some ideas to help you formulate that plan.
When to Start a Study Group
Consult your chart to find the best time to begin building your astro group. Or any group for that matter. Bear in mind the planet that signifies the subject of the groups should be prominent. In our case Uranus rules astrology and astrologers.
Here are some times to look out for when creating a group:
- Transits to your eleventh house. (For example, Mars is good to get things going.)
- When the ruler of your eleventh house is aspected.
- During transits to your North node. In astrology the North node suggests future people who may come into your life and the nodes are hubs and indicate get-togethers.
- Conjunctions to your Vertex show new people entering your life.
Who to Invite
It is my belief that the people who will benefit from your group will make themselves known to you. It is natural for strong fire and air types to get together and the same for earth and water signs.
If you give it some thought, you will probably be able to come up with one or two people who live nearby and maybe interested.
Perhaps you have a busier astrologer in your area. Send them an invite. All astrologers have the same problem as in not having many others to talk to about the ins and outs of charts. This suggests why astrology conferences, retreats and seminars are so prolific and most astrology organizations are going from strength to strength.
When to Host
You may meet once a month, perhaps every third Wednesday, from 10:00am to noon or 7:00pm to 9:00pm. If you establish a firm day and time it makes it easier for attendees to juggle their schedule and make more appearances during the year.
What to Do
- Astrology book clubs are often the first step. One new book is chosen each month and the attendees read it beforehand to arrive prepared and ready to discuss it at the meeting. You can explore the philosophies of the author compare your views on the techniques presented or even compare the “professional” book reviews found in the trade magazines.
- Astrology transit groups usually discuss the current Moon placements and any major transits or planets changing signs happening during the month. This is a good method to support general first level forecasting techniques.
- Astrology interpretation groups will often discuss each others charts comparing Jupiter placements or work through one planet each meeting going over, for instance, Jupiter in all the houses and learning by hearing how other members of the groups experience their Jupiter placement. this type of get together supports natal chart analysis and better interpretation skills.
These are just some ideas for bringing your astrology cronies together in meaningful discussion.
If you feel like hosting a group similar to one of these in your home you can benefit by offering to do all the three type of meeting suggested above.
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by Alison Price
Those of us brave enough to step into the world of helping others carry a special burden.
As counseling astrologers we can sometimes be reticent to tell the story in the chart as it is, as opposed to how we would like it to be.
Life paths and motivations indicated in a chart may not sit well with us and we could easily think scenarios suggested in the nativity are unsuitable to mention to the client.
Thoughts run through our minds and we wonder if people do in fact live like this. This colouration of issues and facts all stems from the internals of our own charts.
What we choose to come into this world with is suggested by our natal chart and the planets, houses, signs and aspects that make each one of us unique.
Consider correlating your natal chart, and so the one that you are living with, to a stained glass window made from a variety of colours, shapes and textures some little panes transparent, some not perhaps some even rose tinted.
Looking out we still see the world as others do (a tree is still a tree) but our view is filtered by the combinations of planetary complexes from our own charts. It is almost as if we are standing behind a magnificent kaleidoscope and the light is shining in.
Other people will see different shapes, patterns and emphases as they perceive the world via their own vantage point.
A while back I sent a preliminary astrological interpretation to my dearest friend. She is not my oldest friend in age, but I have known her for the longest time.
We were at school together. Over the years we had not kept in touch until one day last spring when, thanks to the miracle of the internet and social networking, we caught up with each other again.
There are many things in her life that she has experienced which I know nothing about and there are no doubt innumerable adventures she has taken and people she has met in the missing thirty-five years since we last spoke face to face.
In my initial interpretation of her nativity there were the usual standard clues of astrological information. You know the sort of thing, planets in signs, houses and aspects. Some features more prominent than others but generally a regular birth chart.
Her chart suggested she had a life spent going down roads of the type that had never opened up for me.
Not having first hand experience I was hesitant to delicately express the situations shown by her natal chart. Deciding to bite the bullet, and as calmly as possible, I began to broach the subjects showing her darker side.
There is much wrangling in astrological circles about who to charge and how much usually depending on your competence and experience. My recent policy is to provide complimentary astrological services for family and friends.
That really means doing free work for family and friends. Who are my friends? Well they are those people who I met before they knew I was an astrologer.
At this stage in my career I thought I had all my family and friend’s charts nailed down, but suddenly here was a new chart for an old friend and in a way it was very exciting indeed because I knew her.
She had expressed an interest in my craft on several occasions in our tentative emails so I thought it was time to take the plunge and send her one of my fabulous interpretations.
With her given time on the hour (which we know is not really correct) and a totally unexpected birth place (one always has to check these things) I constructed a birth chart for her.
My approach for her interpretation was to stick to the bones and use broad strokes by focussing on outlining quadrants, modes and elemental balances. I felt my report was solid astrology without excessive detail.
Some may even say I suffer from TMI (too much information). I clicked ‘send’ and off it went to her living on another continent.
That night I couldn’t sleep. What gave me the right to mention her problems, bring up her internal angst, expose issues with her demons, dragons, life situations and experiences not suitable for dinner party conversations?
I was mortified by what I had said in my report and wished to have it all undone in the blink of an eye.
The next morning her return email was flashing in my inbox. I was sweating. It was one thing to lose contact with someone for thirty-five years and another to lose that same person within six months of getting back in touch.
But there it was positive feedback showing the beauty of astrology.
“Wow, thank you so much this is more than I had hoped for. You are so correct I am amazed. I shall re-read it all again and then get back to you. Thank you” she gushed.
The chart never lies only we do. I had talked myself into a funk about her reaction and had forgotten that the nativity speaks for itself. We as students of astrology have to listen and bring the story to life for the client by taking the role of interpreter.
This has been a learning experience to me. Clients with tricky areas in their charts often know about them already and have taken them on board.
Although I found myself feeling uncomfortable about many things that my friend’s astrology was saying, to her it was all old news.
Looking at life through my strongly Virgo stained glass window this has been a lesson in being self-critical with a need to openly embrace the possibilities and potentials that others experience as a matter of course.
by Alison Price
Astrology is a fascinating subject which draws in individuals from many walks of life. As a professional you meet numerous varied and interesting people.
Perceptions that clients have of an astrologer’s abilities are clearly shown in the wide range of remarks that are heard in a consulting room.
These comments simply highlight the point of view held by the average person. Take a look through the list below and see if anything rings true for you.
1 “If I hadn’t already paid I would have cancelled.”
This is a classic comment. The client is wary and apprehensive. Had he or she not made the payment they would have not have arrived at the appointment.
The solution may be to take a deposit at the booking. The hard truth here is, if you do not accept remuneration upfront, you will probably experience many no-shows.
2 “I have brought a friend to sit in on the reading.”
This happens with brand new clients. If he or she has not already met you they could have a vision that a consultation includes the slaughter of a chicken and writing in blood.
They are apprehensive of what is to come. It may seem crazy that anyone would think this. It is your job to ensure you present a professional countenance at all times.
3 “I thought you may say I am a bad person.”
This stems from the view that astrologers are in some way able to criticize or judge their customer’s character, actions or lifestyle choices.
We all feel we could be better in many ways and your client thinks that you can see his or her flaws and will comment about them. Everyone is acutely aware of his or her shortcomings. Perhaps you need to emanate an impression of kindness and understanding.
Being an astrologer places you in a strong position over others or so it seems to them.
4 “I was wary about what you could tell me.”
They are not sure of the reach and depth that an astrology consultation can take. It is natural to be unsure of being exposed in some way. It is the astrologer’s job to make their client comfortable.
Reaching out to people can take many forms. Discuss the obvious chart indicators before delving into the darker realms of their chart.
5 “I was worried you would not like me.”
Often the client thinks you will make personal comments about their life or way of living.
He or she may have old ideas brought forward over the past two thousand years when astrology has been brought from the dark ages into the twenty-first century.
6 “I thought you were going to tell me I am going to die.”
There is a common misconception that the general public thinks the natal chart automatically says when someone will die.
Your customers generally do not want to know this type of information. Even if you believe you can predict death it is not advisable to discuss your thoughts on the matter.
Probably the best way to quash their fears is to state at the booking that you will not be considering their demise.
7 “You have the power today which concerns me.”
Many people fear giving up their personal power or control and this can show up in a client’s resistance to a reading. It is only natural and comes under the title of “letting others in.” Astrology is tantalizing to many.
The thought of someone seeing into their very being is very self-centered and which is what we offer in readings. One hour to discuss the individual and only them is intoxicating for some but daunting to others.
8 “I don’t believe in astrology.”
A section of people do not believe in astrology but at the same time they are curious.
This is an opportunity for an astrologer to explore the chart in a way, which the client is comfortable. Focusing on the main message of the squares in a chart will give the client something to immediately relate.
The best outcome for this person is that they leave the consulting room with a positive image of the modern astrologer.
9 “I am anxious about this.”
Many people are indeed anxious about laying their soul bare to the intense scrutiny of an astrologer. Your very presence can make some individuals twitchy.
We are in a counseling profession. Your customers need to feel safe. This can be achieved by allowing them to work through their issues in a supportive environment.
10 “Will you tell my wife?”
There is only one correct answer here. “No, you won’t tell his wife.”
Whatever comes out during an appointment, the good, the bad and the ugly, remember that discretion is everything. You have to be confidential with your customer’s disclosures.
No doubt you will hear things you wished you had not but that goes with the territory. Astrologers who do not hold their client consultations private will soon have a reputation as such.
It is up to you as an astrologer to be prepared for your client’s general apprehensions and worries about astrology.
Much of these misconceptions can be allayed by the professionalism that you bring to your work. The public needs to discover that modern astrology is both relevant and useful.
First prize is for your clients to go forward speaking your praises and those of our profession.
Make sure you not only have excellent interpretation skills so you can correctly delineate a chart but also ensure you bring your human side and add to astrology’s reputation in a positive way.
by Alison Price
1. Cleanse the space.
I don’t mean sweep the floor what I do mean is open a window, burn some incense or light a fragranced candle.
Clean the whiteboard and wipe the slate.
Past clients leave emotional residue and it is important to purge the atmosphere and yourself from any negative emotional buildup.
This practice clears your working space and helps you prepare psychologically for the next person.
2. File charts away
Seems obvious but it starts slowly with a few files on the corner of you desk and before you know it has grown into a quivering heap of papers.
Even if you only have two clients a week keep their chart notes and files neat and in a filing cabinet.
You will need to refer to them later if your customer contacts you or there is a question about the reading where more clarity is needed and the following year.
3. Close out comments.
I like to send a thank you note or email. It may be old fashioned but it is a way of having closure on the session.
Some clients will come back within a day or two with queries and questions and if I can remember the chart I will dash off an email spelling out the explanation.
Other clients will contact me two months after the reading with questions but by this time, if I have to look at the chart again, then there will be a perusal fee.
4. Follow up reminders.
If you diarize their birth date you can issue consultation reminders the month before their birthday.
Most astrologers’ offer a discount for all those with the same Sun sign as the transiting Sun. By this method all Virgo’s will receive a discount on astrology services during late August and early September every year.
Having follow-up consultations near their Solar Return charts helps so you don’t have to cast two.
5. Reinforce your weaknesses.
How did it go? Did you encounter a difficult part? Do you need to read up on a particular area of interpretation? Do you want to engage in a peer review with another astrologer?
Are you exhausted, drained, elated or a combination of all three? Complete your consultation review form.
Learn from each and every reading.
Don’t become complacent.
It is amazing what you can do.