Finding an Astrologer 101

You’ve been bit by the astro bug and now you want to take the plunge to get a reading, but how do you know if it’s a good fit?  Kind of like online dating, there are a lot of different profiles and it can be a bit overwhelming.  But let me help you navigate swiping left or right on the options, because finding the right astrologer can be a match made in heaven.

Picking your flavor

The first thing you need to know is what kind of a consult you’d like.  You wouldn’t go to a kidney doctor when you needed your heart to get looked at!  The same is true for astrologers.

Most people start with a natal reading.  It is the most popular type of astrology out there.  During a natal consultation the astrologer looks at the sky the time you took your first breath, and is able to interpret the placements.  Your natal horoscope can describe everything from your personality traits, your current challenges, and your incredible talents.  It is a great place to start.  My clients will typically start here and will come back every 6 – 12 months to learn what transits, timing, and themes will be coming up for them.  It’s like getting a roadmap through time.  

Other consults involve elections which is like picking the birthday for a special event.  Most typical of these are for weddings, signing documents, or launching a new business.  

Horary astrology is great for answering questions.  This is a tradition that gained traction in the medieval times and it takes a specialized practitioner.  This used to be the most popular type of astrology before the turn of the century.  I’ve seen everything answered from lost objects to guidance on buying a house.  

Other specialties include medical (for things like surgeries or wellness), mundane (for political, world events and weather trends), or even financial (for picking stocks and forecasting).  

Content Vs. Quality

In this day and age of social media, influencers are very busy people.  The same is true for astrologers online.  Be aware that frequency of posts don’t always equal valuable information.  It is very entertaining, but ask if their skill set is really astrology or just producing content.  Those are very different abilities!  If an influencer catches your eye, do a bit more digging.  See if their bio leads to their website to get a deeper understanding of who they are and how they approach the craft.  

Those astrologers with a thriving client practice will probably have a newsletter you can subscribe to or a blog.  Check those things out and get a feel for their style.  Are they conversational or formal?  Is their information valuable and applicable to you?  It’s all about finding goodness of fit.

Presence or Essence?

When you find their website, check out their qualifications.  See what education they’ve had.  Have they done self study, gone to a program, or did an apprenticeship?  Do they belong to a national organization for astrology and are known by their peers.  Have they presented at conferences or other educational events?  Do they teach?  How long have they been practicing?  

You wouldn’t go get a physical from someone who happened to read a text book.  You check out their degree, their program of training, where they did their residency, and which hospital or insurance they are affiliated and endorsed.  

Lastly, check out their online presence.  I like good old fashioned google for this.  See if they have any reviews.  If you do follow them in social media, check out how they treat others.  Are they professional or are they keeping receipts and fanning debates?  Do they credit their peers or cite sources for using any of their material or are they stealing content?  All of these things matter. 

Ethics

Client confidentiality is a must.  When you have an astrology consultation, you should have the faith that everything you discuss remains private (unless there is a concern of safety).  If an astrologer expresses interest in using your chart for teaching purposes, they need to get your consent and protect any identifying information.  

While we are at it, let’s talk about a few red flags.  If an astrologer tells you that you will get cancer, will never have a baby, or will never get married, these are all RED FLAGS.  A chart cannot foretell any of these and it is an abuse of power if an astrologer says any of these things.  That is foolish and irresponsible.  You can’t confuse fate and free will.  

In some traditions in other parts of the world, remedying a problematic planet is a discussed.  There are stories of people getting lured into a reading and then charged to fix it.  An ethical astrologer will not charge you money to “remedy” your chart.  Furthermore, in the west it is very unlikely you will find a practitioner that will do so, but it’s good to be aware.

Setting up the first date

So let’s say you’ve done your research and you are ready to set up that first date.  Check out their pricing.  A good astrologer should be charging somewhere around $200 for a consultation, but it all depends on their experience.  Some will charge up to $400 if they’ve been practicing for decades and are the leading experts and authors in the field.  There are others who are just beginning and will charge under a hundred.  If their price seems too expensive or not a worthy investment, trust your gut and keep looking for the right fit.  

Keep in mind you are not just paying for their direct time, but all of the prep work and post-session work as well.  Take a look at their cancelation policy and booking process.  These days most astrologers will book directly online and take your billing information through a secure process like PayPal.  

Most sessions last between 60-90 minutes and in this day and age will be held online.  If so, you should get copies of your charts and your recordings.  There are other astrologers who do not like direct consultations and you will just receive a written report.  Know what you are getting for your investment.

If you are good, hit that booking button and wait for the stellar magic to unfold!  

IN THE BEGINNING…URANUS AS A BIG BANG TO SOMETHING NEW

When can you officially call oneself a “professional astrologer”?  It’s a good question.  I went from that 10 year old kid scrounging up her nickels and quarters of my allowance every month to buy the little scrolls in the grocery store checkout.  I would pour over the dates wondering if my crush would finally notice me on the auspicious dates listed in that orange rolled up sacred writing.  I went into junior high and high school worried that my best friend (a Libra) and I (a Virgo) would have a falling out because she was air and I was water.  Every fight I had with my puppy love, I’d consult my Mom’s tattered book of astrology looking for ways to communicate.   I officially started learned about rising signs and gained interest in 1998, but the math was daunting so I dimmed the light for about 14 years as my clinical social work career took off.  But then my little candlelight for planets and motion and influence had a big bang around 2014.  All of a sudden it dawned on me, it was a legit thing to turn an interest into a profession.  I could do this with astrology.  I began to devour more books, talk to other astrologers, get readings to see what I could gain from their style (every time I realize I could do a better job on a professional presentation way), I found mentors.  And I even signed up for UAC, the biggest astrology conference that just *by coincidence* is being held 90 minutes away from me.  I even did this with the giant support of my husband.

A few months ago, I had a private “coming out” announcement at one of my book groups.  It is strangely daunting to announce to others that you are pursuing astrology. Calling oneself an “astrologer” is a big deal.  Its like a suit that you haven’t quite grown into.  And the reactions are pretty black and white:  either people start spilling their birth info for a free reading or you watch them mentally check the “weirdo” box in their head and place you in it.
Astrology is an art of blending the technical and the intuitive into a narrative and then connecting that with the individual’s experience.  You look at a piece of paper; a graph; a damn circle and you devine the knowledge of what makes that person unique, what makes them tick, and if you are truly skillful you can do this with timing for forecasting.In May,  my Uranus opposition occurred.  This only happens once in a life time around 44 years.  It is traditionally part of the midlife crisis trio of transits.  The others  are the Pluto square, the Neptune square, and the Saturn opposition.  It happened right before the big United Astrology Conference (UAC) in Chicago where I met mentors, colleagues, authors, from all over the world.  I had found my tribe.My natal Uranus sits right on my 9th/10th house cusps the top of my chart at 29 degrees Libra. The 10th house is the one who governs career and moving forward in the world. The top of a chart is the highest point in the wheel so any planets there have a unique role in making that individual seen in their public life.  Uranus is the planet of unexpected change or sudden shifts.   Uranus is also the planet that governs astrology.  Astrology career?  Yes, please with sugar on top.