During the twenty five years that I've practiced astrology, I've learned a lot about the use and misuse of astrology. Most astrologers forget, at times, how impressionable clients are, how strongly and harmfully negative predictions and absolute statements can impact people, and that they -- the astrologer -- are effectively in the role of playing God.
One well-known astrologer told a client of mine, "because you have Saturn in your 7th house, relationships will never work for you, so don't even try." This is absolutely horrible astrology, and cruel advice.
And it was even astrologically incompetent, both because Saturn in the 7th can mean a serious relationship, or a delayed marriage, or a disparity between the ages of partners and the person, or any number of things, and in addition, in my client's chart, the Saturn was very well aspected and ensured actual success in relationship.
Astrologers also act as if the chart were "written in stone". As if the person can't grow, change, or learn how to navigate the waters of their charts successfully. In fact, just the opposite is true. As people mature, they do handle themselves, and their predispositions, much more effectively. One of my friends has Sun squared Pluto, exact, and in early years got into clashes of will, but as she grew older and wiser, these completely stopped and she never had problems again with issues like these.
One doesn't "transcend one's chart" but instead learns how to be the best person one can be. Period. And that requires facing oneself and one's patterns and working to improve. And all efforts do pay off.
Any astrologer who looks at a chart and shakes their head needs to look in the mirror and question what effect they are having on others. Whether we like it or not, every astrologer is a therapist, minister, teacher, and authority figure, and needs to take full responsibility for their impact on their clients and readers.
The wise astrologer leaves each client more awakened, in touch with themselves, more in love with who they are, and hopeful about and empowered to pursue their unfoldment.
What Doesn't Happen
In keeping with the above section, I would like to point out the most important trait that needs to be utilized by every astrologer: common sense.
For example, people have challenging Mars transits to every planet in their charts every year, and usually during any given month, there is a least one Mars square or opposition going on. But people don't have fevers, car accidents, deaths, or explosions in their lives every month. Most don't have events like these for years at a time.
In other words, don't predict something that is unlikely to occur. Look at how frequently things happen in peoples' lives and don't predict them more often than that. Or for example, Stephen Arroyo states that "all people with Saturn in a fixed sign are selfish." Hello? Is anybody home? Doesn't he realize that he is condemning 1/3 of the population? This is simply bad, and stupid, astrology.
(Stephen Arroyo has many excellent insights, too, in his early works, but fell into a trap of negative and illogical thinking here.)
What is lacking in so much of astrological writing is actual field testing. If an astrologer believes that a particular configuration means something, they owe it to both themselves and their clients or reading audience to test the belief and see if it holds true over many people who have the specific configuration. For example, does Saturn in the second house mean the person will be poor? A look at those famous people's chart with Saturn in the second house will quickly dispel that mis-belief.
In fact, no single factor like this is going to be accurate in indicating poverty, or disease, or intelligence, or fame. It takes looking at the whole chart, and all of the interactions, to really get an accurate sense of the qualities of a person's life.
Only the best astrologers really test their own notions, and the notions that they've been taught, but that is what makes them the best astrologers, after all.
I've spent years trying to discover what each factor means (for example Mercury in Virgo), not by using formulas or by looking at a couple of people's charts, but by seeing what is true for all people with that factor present. This is how astrological truths are found.
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