Episode 168 features an interview with Vedic astrologer Dennis Harness where we talk about different styles of conducting astrological consultations, and some potential challenges that new astrologers should watch out for when seeing clients.
We begin by talking about different styles that astrologers use in order to conduct natal consultations, which can range from informational presentations of the delineation to more of a conversational style.
We also talk about some potential pitfalls that consulting astrologers should watch out for, which includes the need to be mindful of elements of their own shadow.
At one point we focus on a list of six challenging client styles that Dennis has identified through his years of practice, which can occasionally be problematic when astrologers run into them during the course of doing consultations.
The discussion is based on an article on Dennis’ website titled Vedic Astrology and Transpersonal Counseling.
Dennis is organizing a conference on Vedic astrology in Sedona later this year (Nov. 30 – Dec 3. 2018), which you can find out more information about here:
This episode is available in both an audio and a video version, and you can find links to both below right after the show notes.
Here is an outline of some of the points covered in this episode:
- Introducing Dennis and talking about his background in astrology and counseling.
- Issues practicing Vedic astrology in a modern western context.
- Popularization of Vedic astrology in the west in 80s and 90s.
- More predictive form of astrology, different cultural norms.
- Debates about ethics and counseling in the west during this process.
- Power of prediction versus therapeutic and counseling concerns.
- Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should.
- Different ways of conducting and astrological consultation.
- Informational style
- Counseling style
- Psychotherapeutic style
- If someone was just starting to do consultations now, what advice would you give?
- Six challenging client styles astrologers sometimes run into:
- The Professional
- Sees diviners frequently, wants them to make decisions for them.
- The Skeptic / Confounder
- Does not believe astrology is legitimate
- Wants to stump or confound the astrologer.
- May deny accuracy of interpretation even if correct.
- Often happens when consultation is given as a gift.
- The Agreeable Client
- Over-idealizes the astrologer as infallible, or god-like.
- Potential to swing to opposite extreme.
- The Confessional
- Confesses misdeeds to seek absolution or approval.
- Rescue Me
- Expects the astrologer to magically make everything better/perfect.
- The Victim
- Believes negative aspects in chart mean they are being punished.
- Need help turning life around by becoming more active participant.
- The Professional
- The astrologer’s shadow
- Narcissism and grandiosity
- Need to acknowledge the limitations of astrology, and astrologers are fallible.
- Awareness of one’s own philosophical and religious assumptions.
- How those may or may not agree with the client’s beliefs.
- Importance of emphasizing self-determination.
- Should astrologers get some training in counseling or consulting skills?
- How should newer astrologers start seeing clients?
- How do you know when you are ready to start seeing clients?
- Older versus younger clients, things that are more or less challenging.
- Book learning has its limits, eventually must learn by doing consultations.
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