It surprises me when I am asked, “Where did you learn astrology?” or “Are you professionally accredited?” It’s surprising because so few people ask! Generally, clients find me through word-of-mouth recommended by a previous client who felt happy with the reading given and I accept this as a compliment and confirmation that the client attached good value to what they paid for. A potential client should inquire about what credentials a professional in any industry may have. Here are 7 things to ask a professional astrologer.
1. What astrology or other professional accreditation have you earned?
For the record, I studied astrology at the now defunct Institute for Astrological Studies based in Toronto, Canada which was able to offer classes in astrology through George Brown College back in the 1970s. They offered a 4-year practical astrology curriculum at that time which was rather extensive but covered the basics only, i.e. we did not learn about asteroids, solar arc returns, Arabic points, etc., but I earned my diploma while often being in the top 10 percent of my class. What we learned back then was a thorough understanding of the primary basics of the horoscope including how to cast a horoscope and interpretation of a nativity and transits. By the beginning of my second year I asked to be a substitute teacher for level 1 and as I had excellent marks and reviews from my teachers I began teaching astrology before finishing my 4 levels. Eventually, I went on to teach the first 3 levels at the Institute over a few years and I have conducted many classes and seminars in astrology at a variety of community colleges and at special events.
Before studying astrology I learned (and eventually also taught) meditation using chakras and creative visualisation and also became fairly adept at interpreting dreams, psychometry, reading tarot cards, and more as I developed my intuition. Although I have never claimed to be a “psychic” I know that my intuition is being used when reading horoscopes, as well as using traditional interpretive methods.
Some astrologers (like me!) may choose to not join associations or groups but they should be able to prove their credentials and education. Testimonials may also support the astrologer’s claims. I didn’t mean for this article to become a resume but thought this was a good place to give a bit more of my own background and credentials given the article topic.
Let’s get back to the topic at hand; what kind of questions should you ask a professional astrologer (or any self-proclaimed psychic, tarot or tea leaf reader, etc.) before getting a reading?
2. How do you market your astrology business?
Take a good look at any advertising or marketing they may do, including self-promotion on social media. If they are making very bold claims about their abilities or making statements that have you question their veracity then work a little harder to discover how or what they are doing to back up their claims. Some self-proclaimed professional astrologers (or psychics) have stated they are “the best in Canada” or “the best on the internet” but says who? Them? Self-praise is not a reliable recommendation generally. Review any recommendations by others carefully to ensure they are not making bold claims that may be deceptive. Be on the lookout for misleading or fantastic claims such as, “removal of curses”, “can bring back lost loves”, “healing of ailments” and the like. Those that make authoritative statements on social media such as, “I don’t know which Gemini or Libra this is for but $5000 is trying to find its way to you.” or, “Leos are the best sign of the zodiac” or “don’t trust any Virgos while the Moon is in Taurus today” are trolling for people to “bite” at these kinds of pithy statements. This belies their lack of experience or negative intentions perhaps if they are trying to shock or frighten a response from you. That is obvious manipulation but they hope you will believe that it sounds miraculous or horoscope-y.
Check out astrological groups that sanction professional astrology such as the CAAE or Canadian Association for Astrological Education (Canada), the AFA or American Federation of Astrologers (USA), the Faculty of Astrological Studies (UK), or the FAA, the Federation of Australian Astrologers (Oceania). Many astrologers have other credentials and education that may help them be a superb astrologer, such as professional experience or degrees in family therapy, psychology, or the million and one other philosophies or practices that seek to enhance one’s life and well-being. Don’t forget to ask how long they have practised astrology specifically and where they were educated in astrology.
Although I have worked in the fields of advertising, marketing and media for decades I have chosen to do very little to no marketing of my own astrology services except for the information I put out via my own websites, social media or YouTube channel. My reasons for this are personal but I believe that the Universe “sends” clients my way or clients “find me” when they are in need. I’ve never desired to get rich or otherwise exploit an art that I love and resonate with so much. The joy I feel when learning I helped a client is reward enough—but in this pandemic economy astrology readings are a professional service that I can provide and so a fee is charged. It’s a human reality that advice or information freely given is rarely followed by anyone; guidance that is paid for is more likely to have impact and be heard or followed.
3. What is your communication style when doing a reading?
Are they speaking from the heart, from experience or with knowledge? Are they preaching or talking down to you to sound smarter? If they are using f-bombs or other curse words in their readings, postings or marketing one has to ask why. Generally, using expletives in common conversation or on the internet reveals insecurity on their part and they consciously or unconsciously believe that using curse words give their statements impact or have them appear powerful. Swearing is associated with anger or frustration and I wonder why someone feels the need to use vulgar discourse in their readings or marketing. Direct communication should be the goal without a need to appear “edgy” or anything but authentic. Most professional astrologers will post or advertise their ability to provide insight or enhance your life skills, give horoscope interpretations, or to help you make better decisions. Avoid those that make paintbrush style prognostications that they hope will “stick” with somebody and get them a new client. Miracles can happen but usually through your own self-healing and self-realisation that you have immense innate power to grow and change. A good astrologer may guide you to this knowledge, but no practitioner should use language that is offensive or that takes your own healing experience away from you. Bold claims should not be trusted without evidence, and neither should anyone making audacious or unfounded claims.
4. What is the nature of your astrology business?
Some psychics and astrologers may use theatrical sounding names or marketing and you should ask them why. This may be intended to falsely inflate their abilities or disguise their lack of credentials. Madame Hoosiepoo, Father Fitzwilly, AstroAndy, and other stage names may be used to deceive potential clients into thinking they have “magical” powers or can perform miracles. Some may specialise in using astrology with tarot, or herbal remedies, crystal balls, etc., and their business name may reflect that and that’s okay. A professional astrologer rarely needs a “stage name” or props as they should not be putting on an amateur sideshow, they should just be reading your horoscope and offering advice.
Astrology is separate from witchcraft, herbalism, crystals, etc., but may be practised in tandem with other mantic arts. Just ensure you’re clear on whether you’re getting a horoscope reading or something else. If I had a reading from an astrologer who was waving their arms about like Endora on “Bewitched” (I just dated myself), or were moaning incantations, or they use other “special effects” such as candles, crystals, music or other accoutrements then I might ask why. Astrology readings do not need any of these and white witchcraft or other mystical practices that may be otherwise acceptable are not a part of professional astrology which is a distinct language and art form in its own right. Keep in mind, an astrologer may choose to utilise candles or other things to set a calming atmosphere as some clients may be nervous about their reading. Also, they may have a business name for their astrology practice separate from their own name for a good reason and there may be nothing wrong with that but any theatricality should be questioned.
5. What is the cost of your services?
I’ve nearly been knocked off my feet when I hear that some astrologers charge $250 CAD per hour and more for a regular horoscope reading. Having said this, any businessperson has the right to charge whatever they feel their education, experience or abilities warrant and that a client may be willing to pay, but I would bet that a really good astrologer could be found in 2020 for a reasonable hourly rate around $200 and likely less. They may spend an hour or few preparing your horoscope reading and after taxes are not actually earning exactly $200 per hour. Most astrologers charge fees that are approximately in line with the same or similar services of others and will clearly state their fees. There is also a horde of specialties that some astrologers may focus on such as medical astrology, horary, electional or mundane astrology. Be sure you understand what you are paying for. E.g. a horary astrologer may charge a fee per question and only one question per fee; extra questions may cost more. Other astrologers will allow you to ask several questions during or after a reading and answers should be freely given for your clarification. If the fee is per hour then going over that one hour may cost you extra.
6. What kind of astrology do you practice?
Ask the astrologer what type of astrology they practice to be sure you get the kind of reading you are looking for. There are 3 primary branches: Western Astrology, Chinese Astrology and Vedic or Sidereal Astrology and these are very distinct practices. Usually a consultation fee is charged for astrology based on a particular type of reading or an hourly rate. Beware of any practitioner offering extra services or asking for fees beyond the previously agreed upon cost and service for astrology. Fakes and charlatans (in every field!) hide behind all kinds of theatrics or bait and switch marketing. Astrology is not really that magical, just little understood. Some astrologers may also offer readings separately that include tarot, palmistry, etc. Passing along information or a brochure for other services they may provide is perfectly acceptable. Watch out for any hard sell tactics or attempts to mislead or avoid answering common questions about their level of education and experience. Astrologers have no need to wear special clothing or hats, or have certain tattoos but due to personal reasons they may enjoy certain fashion choices, marketing or décor that include celestial images but don’t be taken in by theatrics.
7. Do I ask questions or provide information?
An astrologer may ask questions during a reading for clarification or to better understand how certain astrological traits are manifesting for you. Generally, the only information an astrologer needs from you is your month/day/time and place of birth and your gender assigned at birth. It is best to not volunteer information unless asked.
Beware of the many email/web schemes that commonly send or post a message that includes “important information just for you”. Usually, for a certain fee you can get all this “special personal” information but only if you buy the full reading of course which may just be a computerised generic file. That’s not a personal reading. Most professional astrologers will provide for a method of recording your reading digitally or in print.
Never forget, an astrologer is not a magician and has no special powers beyond their learned ability to interpret a horoscope chart which is in some ways similar to a weather forecast. They read the “weather” of your horoscope and like a meteorologist they do not create any conditions; they just give you the weather forecast and it’s up to you to decide whether to use an umbrella as advised or not. No psychic or astrologer should claim to be able to make anything happen for you beyond guiding you to making better decisions in specific areas of life.
An astrologer or any other practitioner of a mantic art (divination) should be practising as an advisor; they should not try to make decisions for you and it is not wise to ask them to take this power from you. Many people seek the advice of a practitioner in fear of making their own decisions but unscrupulous people will prey upon the fears of others, whether they are astrologers or not. A good practitioner does not take the decision-making process away from you as they know you should be self-responsible and make your own decisions in life. Seeking guidance in life is something we all do and a reputable astrologer may be able to help and then send you on your way.
If someone is urging you to become dependent on them for enlightenment, information or healing then they may be trying to take advantage of you and your finances. Astrologers should also stay away from your sex life unless there is a good reason to bring it up, such as if they believe you may be or have been at risk of harm affecting the present. Romance and love is often what brings someone to an astrologer and commenting on this is perfectly fine. Like any other profession, although personal life issues may arise during a horoscope reading, every astrologer should keep your information private and clearly state how they do so. They should also not interfere in your personal life in any way except during the reading when issues may come up or you have asked specifically for guidance.
No astrologer should state that one sign or planet is the “best” or the “worst” although some signs or planets may have more positive or negative influences for you in a general sense. Lastly, no astrologer or psychic should ever predict a death and if they do they may be trying to convince you they have “special powers” to deceive you, and they may be “playing God” which is an attempt to control you for some reason; perhaps just to flex their own ego. Sometimes, a loss of a loved one may be seen in a horoscope but even then a good astrologer would present this information in a way that is sensitive and as a “possibility” not a certainty or an attempt to frighten you, appear gifted, or wield power over you.
Now that you know how to choose a professional astrologer over an amateur or egotist I highly recommend you consider having your horoscope read at least once in your lifetime to discover insights and information that an astrologer may be able to discern for you. Armed with greater information about your latent skills, talents and problem issues should be able to help you build greater faith in yourself and your Higher Power and bring about a better life. Good luck!