Believe in the Chart
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.