Choosing An Astrologer: The How and Why

Choosing An Astrologer: The How and Why
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General interest in astrology has increased dramatically over the past decades. No longer relegated to the dusty back rooms of occult bookstores, this ancient science has taken its place in the "Information Age". With the use of computers, calculating a horoscope has become quick and relatively inexpensive. Computer services, as well as books and magazine columns, continue to proliferate.

Why Go To An Astrologer? 

There is no particular type of person who seeks astrological guidance and insight. People from all walks of life, including heads of state, actors, business people, and yoga students consult astrologers. Often people act on the recommendation of a friend or acquaintance who has benefited from a reading. They may also act out of curiosity, sensing the validity of a study that has endured for thousands of years.

Frequently, people seek astrologers when they are undergoing a personal crisis and are looking for a larger context within which to interpret their circumstances. Faced with obstacles, those who consult astrologers are trying to discover why they are confronting a particular situation, what lessons can be learned, and when a change for the better can be expected. Many people find that astrology also helps them to get in touch with their own higher purpose and opens the door to a healthier emotional and spiritual life.

What You Can Ask

The range of appropriate questions is almost limitless. You may want to know the best time to make a change in your life, or whether a particular decision is likely to turn out well. You may ask whether what you are doing with your life is consistent with who you are, and whether you are utilizing your "hidden talents". You may also request a character analysis to better understand yourself. People have also benefited enormously from the insight that an astrologer can give regarding past events.

When You Want To Call An Astrologer

* Do ask your friends if they know of an astrologer they can recommend. Personal references are still the best means of referral. Otherwise, contact a local astrological society or metaphysical bookstore for recommendations. While membership in a professional society does not necessarily insure quality, at least the person cares enough to be associated with professionals in the field.

* When calling for an appointment, get a basic profile of the astrologer. You can tell something about their level of professionalism from the way they answer the phone. Feel free to ask how many years they have been in practice, with whom they have studied, and what their professional affiliations are. Ask about their basic orientation to astrology, or if they have an area of specialization. Get a sense of their basic values, and be sure to ask what you can expect from the reading.

-* Ask what the cost is. While high fees do not necessarily guarantee quality, minimal fees or free readings are usually an indication of someone who does not have professional skills. It varies from community to community, but you can expect to pay from $75 to $200 for a good astrological consultation in an urban area.


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How To Evaluate A Reading

* Did you feel that the setting for the reading was professional and that your privacy was insured?

* Did the astrologer seem prepared for your consultation?

* Did the astrologer communicate to you in basic English? Were you able to understand?

* Did the astrologer listen?

* Did the astrologer speak in an extremely pessimistic or optimistic manner? (Examples: "With Jupiter crossing your Ascendant, you will have fabulous luck for the next three months," or, conversely, "I can see that nothing you do will turn out well because of that nasty Mars-Pluto conjunction.") This indicates an amateurish lack of knowledge.

* Along the same lines as above, if the astrologer's attitude and affect are not resonating to your experience, it's an indication of an amateur (e.g., "You should be so creative, loving, and adventurous at this time," when, in fact, you are experiencing an entirely different range of emotions).

* Were your major questions and concerns addressed in a meaningful way?

* Were you given specific instruction or guidance to further maximize your life potential?

How To Maximize Your Results

* Obtain a copy of your birth certificate or birth registration in order to provide the astrologer with an accurate birth time -- it matters!

* Ask the astrologer to provide you with a copy of your birth chart. Also, do inquire beforehand if you may tape the reading. In that way, you can refer to it later. However, please note that some astrologers, like some therapists, believe that each session is a unique experience for that moment in time, and so discourage taping.

* Be prepared for the reading with questions. The more specific, the better. Instead of, "Tell me everything about myself," phrase the question more precisely. If possible, give your questions to the astrologer in advance of the reading so that he or she may prepare for and focus the session accordingly.

* If the astrologer is describing things that are of no interest to you, or cannot be applied to your life, say so, and direct him or her to what you want to know.

* While it is foolish to assume that whatever an astrologer says is the gospel, do keep an open mind. Conversely, be critical, as often you may be receiving a combination of good and bad advice.

* Don't test the astrologer. If you omit or misrepresent your purpose or interests, you are merely cheating yourself.

People consult astrologers because they are interested in how this study can serve them in their own search for growth, development, and self-understanding. An astrological reading can be an informative, inspiring opportunity to increase self-awareness. I highly recommend you have the experience.

Copyright Debra Burrell - all rights reserved
Reprinted from The Mountain Astrologer

Related book: 

Spiritual Astrology: A Path to Divine Awakening
by Karen McCoy and Jan Spiller.

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Info/Order book (newer edition). Also available as a Kindle edition.

About The Author

Debra Burrell, C.S.WDebra Burrell, C.S.W., is a nationally certified clinical social worker and professional astrologer practicing in New York City. She is a graduate of the New York School of Astrology and combines her knowledge of astrology and professional expertise to offer consultations with a unique and healing perspective. Website www.debraburrell.com.

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