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Pray before reading
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waybread



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Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:10 pm    Post subject: Pray before reading Reply with quote

Several of the old astrologers urged their readers to pray or get their minds attuned to the divine prior to interpreting a horoscope: Firmicus Maternus and Lilly come to mind.

Geoffrey Cornelius argued that astrology is a form of divination. http://www.astrozero.co.uk/articles/DefiningtheMoment.pdf

In the esoteric practice of theurgy, the astrologer not only invoked the god or spirit, but in some sense became him and thereby was able to understand the heavens which the god, but not the fallible human, was able to interpret. (I cannot recommend theurgy, as its less noble purpose was to wreak harm on someone, as a type of black magic. I don't believe in magic, but obviously, for people who do, it can cause extreme fear and psychosomatic symptoms.)

Is prayer or an esoteric practice something you do prior to reading a chart? Or do you simply take a moment to clear your mind in a more secular way prior to reading a chart?

If so, how do you feel a moment of prayer or meditation affects your ability to read a horoscope?

If you've not attempted a mindful preliminary before now, maybe try one prior to reading your next horoscope, and report back!)

I'd love to hear from you.
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Paul
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread

This is a great question for this section.

I think, today, we have this connotation of what praying means - we might imagine reciting some lines of some structured prayer/poem with our hands held together sitting on our knees whilst we wonder what to have to breakfast. I think prayer today can fall into a trap of some kind of judeo-christian idea of reciting lists much like one does as penance in the catholic faith.

But whilst this kind of prayer always existed, I think really the ancient astrologers were much closer to your suggestion of trying to get their minds attuned to the divine. I want to highlight this distinction not because I think you don't already know this but to further make another distinction.I don't necessarily think that the ancient astrologers had Theurgy in mind per se when they made suggestions like this - though some surely did. Of course all forms of magical talismans and so on, which has a strong history in certain parts of traditional astrology for example, could be considered a form of theurgy of a sort, this is typically not what the authors lead us into when they discuss things like this - that is to say they're not mentioning this to then lead us into a narrative of magical talismans.

In terms of the ancients, there is no one answer to what they have in mind because their own philosophies dictated it - Valens for example, being a stoic, didn't see praying for something one way to be about bringing about your desired outcome like we might see from later arabic talisman magician astrologers. His outlook was almost more like saying, pray if you want, whether you do or don't the same thing will happen. Ptolemy is not too far from this and suggests, in a similar manner, that things will happen but it's our mind that we prepare for what's to come. And therefore for some praying is more like a magical ritual to get the outcome desired, for others it's more about readying the soul for a given outcome.

For many horary astrologers they urged prayer as much to ensure that no frivolous questions were asked - as if to include prayer here as another category which is to gain insight on a difficult problem weighing on our mind.

Today we might recognise practices like meditation as being similar.

In a weird way, the question you asked is actually a highly personal one, and perhaps not one I would expect many people to answer to be honest - it's something quite revealing about a person's philosophies about not only how they see astrology working, but perhaps about their own broader philosophies on life.

Irrespective of that, I will say that I do try to at least in a more secular way clear my mind before doing a chart, but never more so than when I'm reading my own. This isn't necessarily for some cryptic mystic way or from some pretence I entertain myself with but in some ways a more practical tool. Its easier to see a chart clear from your own troubles if you attempt to clear your mind and focus on the matter presented. There's a saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything seems like a nail. But in a similar way, when all you think about is the problem you yourself are facing, it's not hard to find and project into the chart a similar problem.

When I read a chart for someone I want to approach it with a good intention in my own mind to help navigate whatever problems or issues the other person is facing (be that horary, natal or anything else). As a result I tend to avoid the kinds of astrology which aren't about that problem solving dilemma - I'm interested in mundane astrology but tend not to predict anything mundane precisely because I'm not clear who it helps to do so for example. But even if it's just a moment to just almost practice even for a moment a kind of mindfulness meditation in which I allow and recognise my own stuff going on in my head and gently say to them "okay, we'll go back to all of you later, now let's try to see this chart and listen to this person and see how we can guide or find something insightful here to make the situation in this person's life a little more clear". This may only just take a second.
I don't know if you do mindfulness meditation, or ever have, but one of the things you'll find, if you do it, is that what seems like a simple task, think of nothing, becomes an impossible one - you realise that somewhere in your mind, perhaps all along without you knowing it, you've been humming the opening bars to this or that tv show or popular song, or you're replaying a conversation in your head, or you're wondering what will happen next week or when you meet this or that person. In fact our minds appear to be endlessly busy and there can be enormous benefit in sitting back for a moment and observing it all without getting too sucked into being of that concern or problem etc.

For me then, even if it takes less than second, there's a moment in which I do something similar - I try to bring my awareness to myself and my concerns and gently pay attention to them only to acknowledge them and put them to one side and then with the best of intentions, bring myself to look at the chart and listen to this person to see how my understanding of the chart can help.

If I can't do that, for example if there's something pressing or my mood is irritable, I'll more often than not just ask to reschedule or promise to have a look later when I've more time.

I'm curious what your own answer to the question is though?
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waybread



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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Paul, for your detailed and thoughtful reply.

I'll divide my response into two posts: one on my belief and practice and one on theurgy.

Maybe I was fortunate to have a very secular upbringing, although I had sufficient interest in religion to read the Bible in its entirety by the time I was 13. I converted to Judaism of a non-Orthodox denomination when I was 24, in order to marry my ex husband. I lapsed after about 18 years, and have not been active in any faith since then. I have a longstanding interest in comparative mythology, but mostly restricted to the West. I've not studied the kabbalah, which is also relevant to this discussion. I guess what I am saying is that my beliefs are eclectic, and more oriented towards ethics than they are towards anything ritualistic or formulaic.

The God of my personal experience is best apprehended as a kind of permeating divine Presence. Religion or spirituality doesn't work well for me from a state of petitionary prayer or anxiety. I'm not good at mind-clearing exercises: too easily distracted. I simply try to relax and tune into this Presence at times, and find it easier to do in a beautiful outdoor natural setting.

Having said that, the Bible-- despite its horrors-- teaches a decent code of personal ethics, with which I mostly agree and hope to practice in a modified sort of way.

As you know, I read a lot of charts for people as an amateur on two other forums: mostly via modern western astrology, but I have tried to teach myself the rudiments of traditional astrology, and to apply them to a more recent interest in horary readings. I see the natal horoscope as giving us a window into the soul's reasons for incarnation, as well as its assets and obstacles. I have no interest in fatalism, let alone past-lives karmic astrology. I view chart-reading as a service: in some of my natal chart constructions I have a strong 6th house emphasis. Lately I've been feeling increasing internal pressure to serve people in a more meaningful way.

Sometimes I notice in a chart reading that I come from a position of annoyance or superiority in reading somebody's horoscope; notably when I am coming from an annoyed place myself, or really think that the person is pretty brainless or hurtful to others. You can imagine the kind of feedback I get when the querent/chart native gets this vibe from me!

So the other day, I decided that prior to reading a chart, I would just sit for a moment to let go of my irritable background noise, and say one simple prayer:

"Dear God, help me to do Your work."

If one believes in any sort of divine presence that works historically, it is pretty clear that divinity works through imperfect people. (Since there are no perfect people, or agreement on how to define perfect people, perhaps we can take this as given.) Hopefully I could be imperfect yet useful.

In most of my subsequent big chart readings, I felt that I really needed to give the natives some tough love. Nevertheless, their response was gratifying. In one interaction, however, the native got angry with me, accusing me of being condescending and not reading his posts carefully enough. I don't know whether this means I was spiritually on-target nevertheless, or whether part of the process is my learning humility and better communication/listening skills from his feedback. Of course, maybe I lapsed from my program, or maybe my initial prayer would not help me serve people.

Then I started to think that if I were actually up to doing God's work in astrology, what was I doing in the rest of my life???

Confused

So "pray before reading" may have bigger implications than I imagined.
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waybread



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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit not to have studied Neo-Platonistm, hermeticism, kabbalah or theurgy in any depth. My understanding is garden-variety. Why I raised the question of more intensive occult divination practices was hopefully to stimulate discussion of the range of possible preparations prior to chart reading.

On one level, I could simply try to clear out my mental distractions prior to reading a horoscope. Nobody in emotional pain deserves a reading from an astrologer who is still focused on his/her own Rotten Day. We wouldn't want a medical exam by a doctor who couldn't let go of some recent grievance and give us her full attention. But in ancient times, astrologers were often priests, magicians, or deeply committed believers, so their preparatory practices were often more intensive, and more philosophically based than simply taking a quick head-clearing break prior to firing up the laptop.

Just a bit of introduction to anyone unfamiliar with a mystical approach to chart-reading:
http://www.astrolom.no/wp-content/uploads/1443_2451P2695439.pdf
(An interview with Robert Hand. See esp. pp. 45-47.)

Manilius, in Astronomica, attributes astrology to the god Mercury. He claims that astrology's basic principles were discovered by priests, and that humans can understand the divine cosmos specifically because we ourselves partake of divinity. (1:1-65, 2: 91-135.)

Firmicus Maternus (Matheseos Libril VIII) in a Polonius-style address to student astrologers (2:30,) says to "shape yourself in the image and likeness of divinity, so that you may always be a model of excellence. He who speaks daily about the gods or with the gods must shape his mind to approach the likeness of divinity."

In subsequent lines it is clear that FM, as did the Mesopotamian astrologers, understood the sun, moon, and planets to be gods. He warns against reading horoscopes when in a perverse frame of mind.

Anciently there were forms of astrological practice that were highly religious in nature that did not make it into our western astrological canon, such as Mithraism. For another example:

http://www.esotericarchives.com/oracle/iambl_th.htm

Clearly there is more to get to, in the matter of a spiritual or meditative approach to horoscope reading. While I am not proposing to go there, I find so little of the ancient emphasis on divinity to show up in subsequent texts that nevertheless partake of so many of their technical aspects.
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james_m



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Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi waybread and paul,

i think it is a good question too waybread, but didn't really have much to say other then that i think the headspace one is in when they do anything, is very critical to any outcomes..

doesn't really matter what it is, but it can be applied to astrology. i too note how this came up more in older astrology and isn't really talked about much today, so kudos for bringing it up and putting it on more people's radar. it is a good question that each person must answer in their own way..

what is prayer? that would be the first question a person who have to find an answer for. i like your line "Dear God, help me to do Your work." and to that i will echo pauls comment which i think is very relevant too "In a weird way, the question you asked is actually a highly personal one, and perhaps not one I would expect many people to answer to be honest - it's something quite revealing about a person's philosophies about not only how they see astrology working, but perhaps about their own broader philosophies on life. "

thanks for talking about this.
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread

I went a round-about way to get to the same sense of place you're conveying - I studied, never in depth, several religious ideas and philosophies, including Kabbalah, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism. I found myself more drawn in to the gnostic gospels in some ways than to the four canonical ones. I wanted to learn a bit more about neoplatonism and Plato himself, and via astrology found myself more intrigued by other philosophies like Stoicism and a better understanding of how fluid and trend-like that these ideas can be. For me, like a true Gemini, I flitted between many trying to understand the basic message and took from them all whatever I found to be useful or admirable. I all but ignore any moral messages from a lot of the old testament and even from parts of the acts of the apostles or some of the ideas or trends found in parts of the new testament as not feeling authentic or inspiring to me and was left more or less with the sermon on the mount.

It's interesting to me when you say you find a moral/ethical code in the bible, I actually believe for the most part we could probably reduce the entire thing to the sermon on the mount (or plain for Luke) and extract from that enough of a moral/ethical code. And when we do we find parallels with Buddhism and other philosophies and religions.

In some ways though the question you ask is quite revealing about what we do as astrologers or what we see ourselves doing. It's really interesting you talk of service. Before I ever read anyone's chart for anyone, I was reading Tarot, I think my first reading for a stranger was when I was 18 or maybe 19 at most and it took me a year or so to really work out what I was comfortable doing or not doing and had to address to myself what it was I was doing or how I would define it. Eventually, at the time, I settled on seeing myself more like a translator or messenger - the cards and the reading in some way was really nothing to do with me and kind of none of my business, any more than a translator translating a speech from one language to another is really none of their business. What I mean is, if the speech itself is praised or trashed, well what effect does that have on the translator - they're just translating, if you like the speech or don't like it well that's really nothing to do with the translator. Their job is to translate as best they can.

And so for a while I really saw myself in that role, and I was very careful to never give advice. If someone asked me about a marriage partner for example, I would carefully as I could, just explain how I understood the cards to describe the situation if they went or didn't go with this partner. Or if they took or didn't take that job. Or if they moved house or not. I found this enormously useful as I really took me out of it completely and when you find that you're not giving advice it seems less relevant to you as a person whether they choose this or that path. After all, I would say repeatedly, Tarot is not a substitute for decision making - it's just a tool to help provide greater insights on your decisions.

As I went on though, it seemed obvious that people were looking for advice too, and so I switched gears, I would give the tarot reading as I saw it, and then if they asked me for advice, I would give them the advice I thought best. But sometimes the two were interestingly contradictory. I remember a woman asking "will he leave his wife for me" - now forgetting the cards, the common sense advice here is that most husbands do not leave their wives for their mistresses. We can paint that whatever way we prefer to swallow it, but very often it boils down to that and normally the answer is no.

However, on one occasion the answer was yes, according to the cards - I could scarcely believe it myself. She was asking because she wanted to also know if she should move to the city he lived in etc. etc. I said the cards said it looked promising but also that she should be wary of making a big move and so on. Well the cards were right and she ignored my advice of taking things slowly and making sure first etc. and off she went to the city before anything materialised and he himself saw that act of her relocating as in turn her commitment to him which in turn spurned him on to finally end a toxic relationship with his wife with whom he was barely speaking to and were together more for financial reasons than anything.

My being wrong in my advice was the best thing to have happened.

I say this because when I later did astrology and I've all but abandoned tarot now, this lesson stays firmly in my mind, and still now I try to separate what I'm saying coming from my role as translator of this language that most people don't understand (astrology or tarot), I try to remember that I'm not the the architect of the speech, just the translator of it. I can translate it and once done I sort of take off my astrologer's hat and if they want my advice I'll give it. If they don't, that's okay too, I'm not particularly pushed to offer it.

With that in mind, it's easy for me to want to separate my own concerns because I'm not projecting them in later on into the reading - don't think I was accurate or that the astrology was wrong? That's okay. I will try to understand the symbolism as best as I can and translate it - if i stand by my interpretation of the symbolism and you say it didn't work, well okay. I can live with that, it's not really about me, I can try to get feedback and keep it in mind in the future.

This works both ways, praise is just as impersonal as criticism then. But it's enormously liberating.

But mostly the symbolism does work, what you see in the chart is indeed real - what may not work is how you convey it to someone, but more often they want validation of their decisions or of their life path or whatever else, and validation is not something I feel I need to provide. I will offer the reading as I understand it, offer advice only if you ask for it or seem open to it, and after that you're on your own.

Maybe this approach would work for you too? Going back to this experience you had, if you want to offer tough love, is that because you think it's the best way for the client/querent to learn? If so, you're sort of introducing yourself maybe too far into the reading - if they want advice or tough love they can ask for it, or you can tentatively test if they're open to it. If they're not, your job isn't to make their lives a better place - only they can do that, and some people are extremely resistant to it. Maybe you could try to adopt this attitude and test it out for yourself and see if it makes things easier? It's one thing to try to come from a good intention and to do God's work as it were (I really like this line too), but it's another if we think "and I know what that is". If instead we say "well look the chart suggest you don't have a hope and that he may not be interested in you at all anyway" well there's your tough love being honest to the chart, but you don't have to fix the problem or force them to see the light, all you can do i s offer them an opportunity to see it themselves. After that it's their life, they can take that guidance or not. If they ask what you think they should do, you can offer it and stop offering it the moment they disagree or make excuses - they're no longer looking for advice they're looking for validation.

This post is getting a little long, so I'll reply to your other points a little later.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, James and Paul!

James, as to what prayer is, I might leave that to the clergy to define, and they would probably come up with a list: petition, where the person asks for something; thanksgiving; a confession of wrong-doing; an attempt to experience God, or simply a conversation with God-- as that person understands the divine.

I suppose a prayer like, "Help me to do Your work" prior to chart-reading is a petitionary prayer, but it is fairly open-ended. (Cf. Jesus praying, "Not my will, but Thine be done.")

Paul, of course I take your points, but would stress that the astrologer's own personality, astrological ability, astrological knowledge, life experience and communication skills are always, always part of the reading. The chart doesn't read itself.

I don't think we can be neutral conduits or simple translators of information. But even if we were, I don't think we will channel the chart all that well if our mind is still focused on this morning's office gossip.

If we want to get all postmodern about it, the horoscope (or tarot card) can be seen as a specific type of text, albeit one in graphic form. The concept of intertextuality refers to how texts interact in the mind of an author and reader. So if I see a horary chart and analyse it out of my recall of Lilly and some modern horary astrology primers, in a sense, these texts interact inside my head. When I give a reading, my post becomes another text.

Obviously, the more widely read and more practiced the astrologer, the more facility s/he is likely to have with horoscope translation.

Then there is subjectivity, in which our own experiences bear on the reading, even when we try to keep them neutral. A query about fertility by a childless 40-year old woman will affect the astrologer differently, depending upon whether she's suffered 3 miscarriages herself, or whether he has no children and doesn't like them.

Also, if astrology means anything, an astrologer with Mercury in Taurus conjunct Saturn will process information differently than will an astrologer with Mercury in Gemini trine moon.

Then none of this is static, but we read more, learn more, and experience more through time.

Which sort of leads to my next point, about advice-giving.

I think you did the right thing to warn the "other woman" querent about moving in the hope that her lover would divorce his wife and marry her. To me, this is a matter of statistics, not imposing my personal opinion. I could hardly tell a grown woman not to move: simply indicate what I think the odds are. But if the chart looks good for what she wants, it probably isn't our job to ask, "What are you, a home-wrecker?" For one thing, we will have just lost the line of trust and communication with the querent.

There is also a tradition about not reading horary charts for people who want to engage in illegal activities, which seems like a moral judgement.

I come from the opposite end of the advice-giving spectrum, in that as an academic, I was constantly called upon to give to students, and then later in my career, to other faculty, advice and information on various matters-- independently of my competence. I took the concept of service seriously, and like most faculty, wound up chairing committees, taking on some administrative roles, and trying to assist faculty members in difficulty via our major professional association. (When I didn't know something I should have known or found out I was simply wrong, I would try to admit it, rectify my deficiency, and get back to the person.) When disputes were brought to me for some kind of resolution, I learned the hard way that there were two sides to every story, and often more.

I began studying astrology at around the age of 40, and didn't read charts for people on line until I was in my late 50s. By then I'd also read a lot, lived the majority of my life, and gone through multiple life experience in person or vicariously. Sometimes younger horoscope natives asked for career counseling or about university majors, which is exactly what I got paid to do for about 30 years.

And some of the astrological "tough love" advice is quite ordinary. A young woman becomes angry with an old friend for breaching a confidence, cuts off communication with the now-ex friend, and asks what is wrong with her ex-friend. She posts both charts, and while you can see why the ex-friend could be indiscreet, she doesn't seem like a troubled person; while the OPer has a "hard" chart that suggests how she is implicated in the dispute.

So what is "God's work" in such a case? Is it to simply to side with a biased narrative say what is wrong with the ex-friend? Or is it to suggest to the poster the merits of reconciliation and letting go of inner animosity?

But to come full circle to the OP, I don't think it is possible to give good advice that the person will accept if s/he senses the astrologer's disrespect or arrogance. Hence the desirability of some kind of mind-clearing or spiritual observance prior to contemplating a chart reading. In effect, we get into a 6th house space of service and humility.

To me, the issue isn't so much whether I should or shouldn't give advice, but if I think I actually have some to offer, how to do it in a supportive way. Step three is my post. Step two is my chart reading, and sometimes some preliminary interaction with the native for clarification purposes. Step one probably should be my own letting-go prior to the chart reading, whether in a secular or spiritual fashion.
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Paul
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Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:

Paul, of course I take your points, but would stress that the astrologer's own personality, astrological ability, astrological knowledge, life experience and communication skills are always, always part of the reading. The chart doesn't read itself.


Oh of course, I hope my post didn't come across like I had some pretence that my astrology reading is objective, rather that I don't necessarily focus on providing advice to the querent/client about what they should do or what decisions they should make, and instead try to simply inform upon the choices they have on front of them. In that sense I try to translate what the chart itself is saying rather than provide advice about what they should do based on that.

Returning to arrogance and disrespect then, if we're really focusing on what we think the chart is saying and listening to what the native is saying about their situation and we come at it from a place not to fix their life or even prescribe some course of action to treat their life, I think most people wouldn't find it arrogant.

Quote:
So what is "God's work" in such a case? Is it to simply to side with a biased narrative say what is wrong with the ex-friend? Or is it to suggest to the poster the merits of reconciliation and letting go of inner animosity?


I think the solution in this case is to not read the (ex) friend's chart at all. This is another example of what I was saying above about validation. It seems like in that case, what the querent wants is validation that the other person did something wrong. Even as you relate it back here, you refer to what she asks as being "what is wrong with her ex-friend" - it's like a "do you still hit your wife" scenario. There is an assumption there is something wrong with her ex-friend. Personally if I was presented with this situation I wouldn't even look at the ex-friend's chart and remind them that their locus of control rests with themselves and discuss why and how what their friend did bother them and explain this in their own chart. Why bother focusing on the ex-friend at all?

But maybe we may need to articulate what it is we hope to do or achieve by the chart reading. For me it's just to provide greater insight into the choices or problems they're facing so they're better armed to make whatever decision they feel is the best one.
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waybread



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Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, in the example I mentioned yesterday, I read both charts. I indicated that I thought the friend might be indiscreet but that there was nothing horrible about her. I suggested to the querent something along the lines of, "we all make mistakes," and that cutting off a 20-year friendship over one lapse in confidence might be a bit much, especially since the two seemed to be in the same social circles. The querent didn't need to confide in her friend anymore, but neither did it seem wise never to speak to her again. I believe she took my advice.

We cannot tell anybody what to do. But we can offer suggestions, in my universe. Then it's up to the individual whether to accept them or not.

But even a suggestion can come across as arrogant, depending upon both parties' frames of mind.

I actually do not think there are many neutral natal chart readings, notably where some moral issue is involved. Thinking that we should not make a moral judgement is its own type of moral judgement.

We've both seen really dire, gloomy chart readings by an astrologer who apparently thought he was giving an honest, objective reading. I don't think that even the Dr. Doom type of astrologer deliberately decides to hurt someone, and may be unaware of his own motives.

The hard part for the astrologer is having sufficient self-confidence, knowledge, or life experience to offer suggestions that are sound, whether or not the individual chooses to take them. But I don't think it is out of line to recommend that someone consult a MD for a serious health problem, not an astrologer, for example; or to phone the local suicide hot line.

Even without the wisdom of Solomon, sometimes we can give some encouragement to despondent people. Sometimes they just want to hear something good about themselves; or if their life reeks and we both know it, they would appreciate a sympathetic explanation.

Regardless, this all take us a long way from the sense of the divine that inspired Manilius, Firmicus Maternus, and Lilly. I wonder if it made them better astrologers (or poets, in the case ofManilius.)
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Autumn



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Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gave up reading charts a good few years ago.

I felt uncomfortable with the concepts. Who am i to think i know their purpose and lives to limit them with my advice ...according to my perception of it all? And am i certain i see things right? Or do i wreck that difficult lesson and resultant benefit they set up for their lives...spent decades preparing for....by interfering with do good spanner in works my rightous mind decides?

Even my kids dont get more out of me than generalities although one thankfully is independent enough to poo-poo the topic entirely. I am rather proud of that one....he lives his own life on his own terms and is unaffected by others.

I enjoy astrology of the moment..for fun and own use. I enjoy general high level more or less global astrology ...but otherwise.... i kind of think its too meddling and limiting.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autumn, I appreciate your sentiments. Ages ago, as a college student, I became interested in regional planning as a possible career. This was back in the days of controversial urban renewal (i. e., slum clearance) projects and massive Interstate highway development in the US. I gave up regional planning in horror the moment I realized that you could really screw up people's lives by doing this work. The last time I still had some acquaintance with this field, it retained its god-like, master plan (mastermind) quality, although planners have gotten a lot more receptive to listening to the people whose lives they propose to alter.

I see chart reading as different. 99% of my chart reading is on two Internet forums. People ask for astrological insights. They have a choice whether to accept the insights or not. If I try to be helpful to someone but royally tick her off instead due to my direct manner, well, we're both adults who can handle disagreements. The big exception here is with people who are extremely vulnerable in some way. I wouldn't do a death prediction, or attempt to substitute for a medical diagnosis or psychotherapy.

Sometimes it is beneficial to connect a suicidal person to a hot line, or just keep in communication with them. They may not be serious, but their cry for help seems genuine enough. Sometimes I see troubled people: even if I can't give a good reading or good advice, I think it helps them just to get some interaction with another person.

When I see people who define themselves as in emotional pain and seeking insights, if not advice, I would have a hard time giving them a cold shoulder. But that's just my personal take on chart reading.

Ultimately we each have to make our own personal and individual choices, so I do respect yours.

Having made the choice to read charts for people, my OP question is how best to approach the task.
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Autumn



Joined: 16 Dec 2016
Posts: 7

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread you say you are a well educated woman...? One might suppose you have a degree? I have an IT and mba myself and i am now retired ....and by virtue of our self exploration arrived somewhere in understanding our place in the universe. so we are both intelligent and somewhat equals. Not that this matters just that we should both be more responsible and more aware of consequences especially for younger questioning explorers.

To allow a person permission to consult in any country one needs to obtain some rather rigorous training and education to masters level if not phd. I dont know of any right minded country where a person can do this professionallly without intense qualifications and several years opersonal experiemce under supervision.

Yet...by virtue of knowing a few dozen concepts and stringing along some squiggles....nothing more....one can hang up a placard and charge $ which by some bizare trust from others opens a door to some serious privacy issues and some serious consequences.

I think the last US election where the astro experts displayed some rather amazing lack of prediction in a setting of 50/50 is enough to set out that there is some serious gap here to consider in this new tech world we are fast moving to. Perhaps our exposure in quantum physics ...by virtue of our studies....has caused some change?

Last night as if by coincidence I watched a documentary on the fellow who cracked the german secret code...Turing.... he was persecuted by the Brits for being gay. His last weekend he went to a market with his doctor and friend and they passed a fortune teller...he went in on impulse. He came out shocked and white faced....did not want to talk about it...and committed suicide days later.

I rest my case as to the rest of what i would say...intelligence should fit in the words.

Opening a thread to ask how to approach such sensitive sessions is beyond the scope here. It would take years to prepare you properly and no one has that capacity to fit it into 2500 words or less...

I know that i question the validity of the natal chart because personally i cant say i fit within the definitions. Now that i know myself so much more in my later life i see the cracks of round hole chart definitions square peg me. I could see them even at 20 when i first was introduced to astrology by chance and got my detail chart report. I tried hard then to fit within it but it felt strange. It has not ceased. I was a single mother and ran hard to make income studying part time...ran hard as a consultant .....i fought fear of not having enough to pay rent, schools, doctors etc ...i needed desperately the tool of astrology to quieten my mind and believe it was reliable. I based some large decisions on it at some stress times. I think it was the reason i was given it by my helpers and guides off world! My character needed a crutch and religion for me in a scientific world, would never suffice.

But now that i am passed all that and calm and boredom has arrived for the first time ever in my life...i see things differently.

Personally i have gone back to the point where i consider knowledge sacred. There is far more than charts but there is also the strictures of the Law of Secrets. Thats the one that says one should tske care one does not expose another soul to information one is not ready for lest it causes confusion or turbulance. All things in love! All things in time! Personally i think harder before i open my mouth to give council because i know so very little about the other soul. Knowledge about a tiny portion does not qualify. A chart is a temporary timeline of events. It is not the person. It is not the soul or the soul's purpose for this timeline incarnation.

And unless one has trained to take responsibility in assessing another and advising in sensitive areas which could erupt and cause serious consequences...one should be more responsible ...

or undergo the training.

Never forget that no one is alone here and that if knowledge is available for that soul....or help...or anything....they will be given it. As i and you were. Nothing we are to have is ever witheld ...ever....even if they have to do it themselves!
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pankajdubey



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Delhi

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think ,
Praying before a consult is a welcome distraction which takes away your mind from pre-conceptions you may have and start afresh. The god doesn't matter the pause and blank mind does help.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autumn, thank you for your thoughtful post! Cool

in my universe, people are equals on account of their essential humanity, regardless of their level of education. I am a retired academic, but have no psychology, psychiatry, counseling, pastoral care, or social work credentials.

Back in the 1970s and 80s, "modern psychological astrology" was the main form practiced in English-speaking countries. The psychology part was often very thin, and today, I don't think many modern astrologers see our work as particularly psychological. Advice given may have nothing to do with topics that clinical psychologists typically address.

I would point out that all kinds of people give advice without these credentials-- and get paid to do it. Newspaper (and now on-line) advice columnists have been advising people at least since the mid-1950s; and before that, you find advice showing up in old cookbooks. Few of these (mostly) women had any counseling credentials: you may be familiar with one of the current rock stars of advice columnists, "Sugar" (Cheryl Strayed,) whose background is English literature. Many of the popular advice columnists in print today started out as journalists.

When I was working, I was required as part of my job to advise undergrad students on their majors, and the informal name for a graduate thesis supervisor is "adviser." Near the end of my career, when I became active in my campus faculty association as a type of service commitment, I was called upon to advise professors appealing negative tenure or promotion decisions and the like.

In my work capacity, I could claim over 30 years of advice-giving, though none of it was related to astrology. But I certainly had students, who had asked for an appointment, in distress in my office-- and I kept a box of tissues handy for that purpose. Their distress could be about anything from failing grades, a recent death of a parent just prior to a major exam, to emotional issues-- where I did refer them to campus counseling services.

Other advising jobs that I can think of that require no counseling credentials would be: travel agent or the on-line trip advisor sites, a financial planner, stock broker, pension plan analyst, or labour union grievance officer. Really, it's none of a banker's business how you manage your money, but my husband gets calls once or twice a year from a banker who informs him of changing interest rates or offers that could save him some money, and than explains the options to him.

Not to mention my being a parent to two now-adult children whose lives (knock on wood) turned out OK.

I nickname what I do on an astrology forum (not so much here, but on two others) as giving "kitchen table advice." We've all given it on occasion, and most people will have asked for it, on occasion, from a friend or family member.

I have never charged money for a chart reading. I call myself an amateur. People know when they post on an an Internet forum that they are not paying for professional astrological services.

I do think it would benefit the profession of astrology if astrologers obtained some credentials in astrology-- as well as counseling. I don't think this is going to happen, but it is hard to think of any other profession that doesn't require some kind of credential from their state/province in order to practice.

(to be continued)


Last edited by waybread on Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autumn-- continued from my previous post.

There's an awful lot of astrology that I don't know, and some astrology that I am now trying to learn or hope to learn in the near future.

But sometimes if an individual claims that her chart doesn't fit her, I try to learn why. So often I see posts from newbies (at Astrodienst and Astrologer's Community) that say, "Why don't I feel like my sun sign?" Often they feel more like the adjacent sun sign. Well, if you probe a bit further and see their natal chart, it turns out that they have a slug of planets in the neighbouring sign, or some other chart factor that would explain it.

Moreover, a newbie often has a very limited, popular astrology basis for understanding his sun-sign; generally based upon stereotypical caricatures or a collection of static personality traits.

So I try to work with them. No: a Virgo sun doesn't necessarily mean that you are a neat-freak. Let's look at what a mutable earth sign means. Let's look at how Virgo's quest for excellence is likely to play out in an ordinary life. Then lets look at your second house, and see how that Jupiter-Uranus conjunction confounds the stereotype of Virgos as neat and tidy.

A lot of posts by me and others on Internet forums are not about some kind of God-like reading of newbies' charts. It is more about teaching them astrology basics so that they can read their own charts.

Then let's look at the work of advanced astrologers. When I feel that astrology cannot make certain claims yet the experts show how they would handle the issue, I recognize that merely because I am ignorant of a given technique or insight doesn't mean that astrology itself is deficient. The practitioner's level of expertise, coupled with an intuitive sense, makes a big difference.

By analogy, I could never ski a double black diamond ski run in the Rockies, but that doesn't mean that an expert skier couldn't do it.

Then we get into the big debate about which type of astrology works best: traditional western, modern western, or Vedic (jyotish.) Does horary work better for most issues than looking at a nativity plus transits? What about sidereal vs. tropical? Modern astrology does a whole lot less predictive work than traditional astrology, for example.

So I will assume that you have a lot of proficiency in chart reading, notably your own chart. But recently more modern western astrologers are picking up on new methods from the older practices-- finding that they work better-- or at least offer new insights. Just possibly, at this stage of life, you might enjoy exploring a different branch or type of astrology.

(To be continued)
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