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Getting Started in Astrology

Getting Started in Astrology

Getting Started in Learning Astrology

How It All Begins

In this post we’re going to give you some tips on how to get started in astrology.

This was a question from one of our super fans and I believe it will be of value to you as well.

Usually you read your Sun sign column.

Next you begin to dig a little deeper into chart readings.

Perhaps you have a friend who has had an astrology consultation and they say you should too.

The next step is usually to go and have a reading and suddenly you are hooked.

Astrology starts to creep into your mind at all times and you want to know more.

Let’s look at some steps you can take to learn astrology for yourself.


Podcast Episode

Listen to the full conversation at the Starzology Astrology Podcast around Getting Started in Astrology with Alison and Arwynne.


Listen now >>> Getting Started in Astrology


Get Your Chart

First of all you need a good copy of your birth chart.

This means that:

  • The house system should be Placidus.
  • The aspect orbs should be standard.
  • The planets should be the usual ones – Sun to Pluto.
  • The lunar nodes should be true.
  • The zodiac should be Tropical.

If you start with a different house system you can still read the chart.

Be aware of the actual house system for which the chart is set.


Next check the aspect orbs. 

Standard orbs are 8 for conjunctions, oppositions, trines and squares and 4 for sextiles.

Then 2 degrees for lesser used aspects of semi-square, sesquiquadrate, semi-sextile and quincunx.


You need the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. 

I also add Chiron and sometimes Eris but not the asteroids.

You can add more planets later. But we are just starting out.

You can cast a chart with online astrology sites but I don’t recommend them.


Pin this to read later.

Astrology Software

If you are serious about learning astrology you need some chart calculation software.

To my mind there are two options

Solar Fire for PC and Astro Gold for Apple.

Astro Gold

Astro Gold is an iOS app that works on iPhone and iPad and separately Mac computers.

Personally, I have the app and use it on my iPhone and iPad.

I’ve not got to the stage of having Astro Gold on my MacBook Pro. There doesn’t seem to be a good reason.

Solar Fire

Probably the most robust astrology program is Solar Fire for PC it has been around for about twenty years and does it all.

I use Solar Fire for Graphic Ephemeris calculations, harmonic charts and forecasting date generation.

It is excellent if a bit clunky. 

You do not need Solar Fire when you start out.

Astrology Books to Start

Here I’m going to recommend five astrology books to start your astrology bookshelf.

These books are solid and have reliable content.

You can get other books at a later stage and in fact you will probably continue to buy astrology books for the rest of your life like I do.


The first book I’m recommending is an Ephemeris.

Get The American Ephemeris at midnight by Neil Pottenger and Rique Pottenger. it’s the one with the purple cover.

You will use this book to track the transiting planets movements and get information on retrograde cycles, eclipses, ingresses. and much more.

I use my Ephemeris every day as a consulting astrologer.

The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook

The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook by Sue Tompkins is the best astrology book in my opinion to get you started.

It contains lots about each planet, sign, house and aspect.

Practical Astrology

Practical Astrology by Priscilla Costello is a slim volume but contains core information about signs, planets and house systems.

It is a cook book style astrology book.

Meaning it has Jupiter in the signs and Jupiter in the houses and for all planets.

Aspects in Astrology

Aspects in Astrology by Sue Tompkins.

This book is a window into where many of the modern astrological techniques come from.

6th Book: Tetrabiblos

Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy.

This book was written over two thousand years ago and shines a light onto the priciples that modern astrology is based.

Back then, before telescopes, they only knew of the seven visible planets.

7th Book: The Aspiring Astrologer

If you want to get a feel for the classes I teach then I recommend getting The Aspiring Astrologer: 52 Self-paced Astrology Classes

This book has all the class notes I give to my private one-on-one students. 

It does not go deep into signs, planets, houses or aspects, but rather covers what to do with the information in a chart.

I mention this book because it is at the core of my astrology business.

Classes, Conferences and Retreats

Local Astrology Groups

Join your local astrology group in your city.

If there is not one then start one.

Invite a couple of people around to your place for coffee and start an astrology group.

Astrology Retreats

An astrology retreat is a treat in itself.

There are several ones around which are regional.

I have heard great reviews from attendees of Stephen Forrest’s Astrology Retreat in Sedona Arizona, USA.

This is a week-long immersion event where you get to mix and mingle with people on their own astrological journey.

To help you decide if this is for you, I’ve put the link right here.

Please note, this retreat focusses on evolutionary astrology.

Astrology Conferences

The best conference to attend is the annual Summer School from the Faculty of Astrological Studies in Oxford, England.

Each year they offer a ten day long program at Summer School at Oxford University, England.

World Class Astrological Diploma

The Faculty of Astrological Studies Diploma.

The Faculty Diploma contains 9 Modules.

Each module can take up to six months to complete.


You complete Modules 1, 2 and 3 then take the Certificate exam.

Intermediate Diploma

Then you complete Modules 4, 5 and 6 and then take the Intermediate Diploma Exam.

Final Diploma

Then you take Modules 7, 8 and 9 and then take the Final Diploma exam.

This is rigorous astrological training but it is, I believe, the best in the world at the moment.

Who This Is For

This full diploma course is not for everyone.

However, if you are serious about astrology then do consider the amazing training you will get at the Faculty of Astrological Studies.

So this is my advice for anyone wanting to get started in astrology.

More on this topic

Read more >>> Your Astrology Business

Read more >>>  When to go Professional as an Astrologer

Author Bio

Alison Price: Astrology Coach

Alison specializes in guiding Aspiring Astrologers. Her aim is to help you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart, often sprinkled with a touch of humor.

To learn more about Alison’s journey, visit this page.

If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at

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What to Pack for an Astrology Conference

What to Pack for an Astrology Conference

What to Pack for an Astrology Conference

Now and then you may manage to get to an Astrology Conference. What you pack and take with you can make or break your experience.

These events are typically three-day weekends but sometimes they have a day before (Thursday) and a day after (Monday) for special classes.

This weekend I’m off to Norwac the North West Astrology Conference in Seattle, WA, USA which has prompted this piece. I have attended this conference before and you can read about that trip here.

Short trips and weekends away are shown in your third house. Longer trips, overseas journeys, and extended stays from home of a week to ten days are shown in your ninth house.

So, is a weekend in another country (the USA) third or ninth? To my mind, the answer is ninth because it is further than a horse can travel in one day which they tell me is 50km and yes, I got that from the horse’s mouth. The trip to Seattle is 230km and that definitely falls into the ninth house.

Art of Packing

The time before last when I went to the Faculty of Astrological Studies Summer School in Oxford for a week I took a massive suitcase full to bursting.

I was overweight at Vancouver before I had even boarded the plane. Coming back I had to buy another suitcase in England for all the stuff (gifts, books and clothes) I had bought whilst I was there.

When the driver of the coach from London to Oxford tried to lift my 60lb suitcase into his hold under the coach he turned to me and asked, “Why is this so heavy? Have you got a body is here?”

Packing is an art. You need to learn how to pack and haul less stuff around.  I now use a small Rimowa cabin sized suitcase on wheels and if something cannot fit in that it doesn’t go. The cabin size means it can be stowed in the overhead cabin on an aeroplane because it is small enough. I never check luggage to the hold when flying anymore.

Don’t take too much stuff.

Three-Day Weekend

I am going to share my tips and tricks about packing stuff for a three-day weekend astrology conference. This assumes you go on Friday morning and leave on Sunday evening, and so spend two nights in the hotel.

The Plan

You will be wearing your Friday outfit as your leave home. There is a new top for the Friday evening dinner.

Saturday sees you in a simple ensemble for the day and a change into your evening top for the banquet.

On Sunday morning your will again wear casual clothes as you will be traveling home in them later that day.

Tech stuff

Tech stuff is essential and you need the cables as well. If you are going to Europe you will need an adaptor to connect your tech stuff to the electricity supply.

  • Smartphone – To take photos, chat with the family at home, post to social media (I currently like Instagram) and to keep up with friends at the hotel with texts if you plan to meet up for breakfast etc.
  • I take my MacBook Air which I’ve had it since 2009 and it’s still going strong. I use this in my hotel room to continue my work but I don’t take it into the lecture rooms. The conference organizers don’t like that.
  • iPad with Astro Gold for casting charts at the conference. I usually offer readings at a reduced rate and currently do this through the featured charts and my Jupiter patron program.
  • Chargers for all equipment.


These suggestions are for women. I expect men do something similar and may need a tie and jacket for the dinner and banquet.

  • Black pants.
  • Leggings.
  • Light tunic x 2.
  • Light knit top.
  • Light jacket.
  • Evening top, coloured – For the Friday night dinner.
  • Evening top, jazzy – This can have a little twinkle as it is for the banquet on Saturday night. This is where most of the photos are taken.
  • Running shoes.
  • Booties (ankle boots).
  • Socks – Always wear socks in a hotel and avoid walking barefoot on the carpet or in the bathroom and shower).
  • Camisoles or bras and panties (knickers) x 3 (the camis and panties double as pajamas).
  • Pashmina in a solid colour. I like rose pink or cream.
  • Scarf – Light cotton or silk in bright tones. Wrap twice around the neck with both ends hanging at the front.
  • Jewelry – regular daytime and statement jewelry for Saturday night.
  • Handbag/tote bag for the daily lectures, for notes, your journal and lecture handouts. Watch out that this particular bag is not massive or you will haul more stuff around all weekend.
  • Evening bag black, small – For your phone, credit cards, business cards, lipstick, cash and room key.

What to Wear When

Friday in the day – Leggings, tunic, light jacket, socks and booties.

You will be travelling and need stretch pants thus the leggings. The jacket could have pockets for your phone and cash. The tunic hangs lower at the back to cover your bottom and can be shorter in the front for ease when sitting in a car or on a plane for hours.

Friday evening – Replace the tunic for a nice coloured evening top and lose the jacket. Booties and socks. Evening bag. Photos may be taken.

Saturday in the day – Black pants, top (tunic or knit top) and scarf. Running shoes and socks.


Saturday evening – Black pants, jazzy evening top, pashmina, booties, socks, statement jewellery and evening bag.

Sunday in the day – Leggings, another coloured tunic, and the light jacket. Running shoes and socks.


With the leggings, you can wear them on Friday and Sunday. If you like you can wash them on Friday night so they will be dry and fresh for Sunday. It is up to you. If you do decide to do washing in your hotel room squirt some shampoo into the basin and wash your leggings a by hand. Hang them up in the shower to dry.

Makeup and Hair

  • Your usual makeup.
  • Earbuds.
  • Hairbrush.
  • Toothbrush and toiletries.
  • Medicines and Imodium. You never know.
  • Usual vitamins and supplements


  • Promotional material – For instance a workshop you are presenting soon or another event that is coming up.
  • Ephemeris – I always travel with my big paperback Ephemeris.
  • Astrology journal – This is your daily astrology journal and contains all the information you like on astrology.
  • Business cards – To give to those who want. Never push your business card. Have them with you or out in front of you at the lecture table and people who need one will take one.
  • Awareness cards – I’ve started using these special postcard sized “awareness cards” and will give them out if someone is interested.
  • Pencils – These are my promotional pencils with my website details printed on. You may have other freebies to give.
  • Coloured crayons – This is for the astrology journal. After I have attended a lecture I like to colour the pages perhaps immediately or later that night as I unwind in my room before bed.
  • Pens – Take about three in case you lose one and then you can share with others


  • Your passport and Nexus card.
  • A copy of the proof of your conference payment. I once arrived at an astrology conference in Toronto and they did not have a record of my having paid. Fortunately, I did have my credit card receipt in my bag so all was good. But these things do happen.
  • A copy of the hotel booking. This can be in your wallet app to the hotel’s chain app, for instance, the Hilton app is used for Norwac.
  • Small denomination cash. This is so you will be ready to give something to any charities the conference supports, raffles at the banquet, a Tarot card or palm reading, the cash bar for your wine and tips for the waiters and chambermaid.

Sometimes there is a “Free stuff” table in the conference gathering area. This is the place to put your business cards, awareness cards, promotional materials like in my case my pencils and the flyer for our summer workshop in Vancouver in July.

What Not to Take

There are some things that you will use at home but don’t need to carry on trips. After all, you are hauling the bag around. If you free up your life and lighten your travels you will enjoy them so much more.

  • Pyjamas.
  • Robe or gown.
  • Slippers.
  • Extra shoes.
  • Extra bags.
  • Too many clothes just in case…
  • Regular shampoo and conditioner bottles. Always decant into 100mm bottles, take travel sizes or use the hotel’s products.
  • Alarm clock – Use your phone.
  • Big coat unless you are going north of the 60th parallel.
  • Other junk.
  • Your dog.

Astrology conferences can be so much fun. If you plan your trip carefully and only take the minimum of stuff you will enjoy the event all the more.

I have more on how to have fun at an astrology conference if you need some ideas.