Ethics and Privacy
“It is not possible that particular forms of events should be declared by any person … it is necessary for [astrologers] to adopt inference. Only God can predict particulars.” ~ Ptolemy
We as astrologers would certainly be wise to adopt inference about our readings especially in regard to our clients. Here we will discuss some ethical predicaments in which an astrologer, or student, can easily find themselves.
The privacy laws of Canada are always in effect and you need to be aware that they affect your work as an astrologer. You cannot discuss the chart details of one person with another – even another astrologer.
If you want to use an individual’s chart details and personal storyline you may not do so without first obtaining their written permission and clearly stating whether the data will be used for research, teaching or for publication.
The public cannot know the breadth and depth that an astrological interpretation can entail and how chart analysis will reveal features and motivations in someone’s life. As an astrologer you need to tread carefully here.
A new mother comes to you and wants her baby’s chart read. What do you do? Obviously parents make decisions for their offspring all the time. Perhaps one way of dealing with interpreting children’s charts is to be found in the transits. Prior to the first Jupiter return (age 12) the parents may request a child’s chart to be read and after the Jupiter return the child should agree to you doing the reading.
“Is he the one?”
A woman arrives at your office clutching the birth details of Mr. “Fifth Boyfriend this Year” and demands “Is he the One?” What do you do? This really is an ethical situation where you are being asked to interpret charts for those who are not there and are unaware that it is happening. There may be justification in some instances but you will have to decide where to draw the line.
We often select famous people who are dead for chart interpretation practice such as Alexander Graham Bell, Einstein or Michael Jackson. If a private person has died and you wish to work with their chart details this usually is acceptable unless the death has occurred recently and the family is still working through their grief. You have to decide what type of astrologer you are and again you have to make the call.
You have just left an energetic astrology meeting and are standing at the door casually chatting about the weather and someone thrusts their chart into your face and says breathlessly “I have no planets in the seventh house, I was told it means I won’t get married, what do you think?”
Well, what do you think? For a start you can’t stand there discussing her chart in front of other people. What gets me about this scene is that during some point in her past someone told her the grim news and she has been carrying the baggage with her up until now.
There is no point to respond with another hit-and-run consultation as you stand at the door. The way to handle this situation is to explain that many factors influence marriage and invite her to make an appointment to meet with you at a more appropriate time where you can gently go over how it all works and put her straight on this matter.
You are the Authority
Remember, as an astrologer (and as a student) you are deemed the authority in all matters of an astrological nature. From the point of view of your clients and the general public you are the wizard and as such you need to be careful to do no harm.
Look at your chart to see what your Saturn (respect and boundaries), Uranus (astrology) and Pluto (secrets) reveal about you and your approach to ethics and privacy. Give some thought to the issues discussed above and it should help you decide where you stand.