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Tips for Learning Astrology and Becoming an Astrologer

Tips for Learning Astrology and Becoming an Astrologer

In this episode astrologer Kelly Surtees joins the show to talk about some tips for how to learn astrology and eventually become an astrologer.

The discussion is partially based on an article I wrote years ago on my blog titled 10 tips for learning astrology. (Update 8/18/2018: also see my video on five quick beginner tips for learning astrology) I wanted to return to the topic again in order to delve a little deeper into some of the different tips, as well as add a few new ones.

During the course of the show Kelly and I take you from the very first steps that you need to take in order to begin your studies of astrology, assuming you know nothing or next to nothing about it, and then we walk you all the way through the intermediate and advanced phases of learning about the subject.

The end result is basically a 3-5 year outline for how to become an astrologer, and by the end of the show we bring the listener right to the point where they should be able to transition into practicing astrology professionally.

Below I have an outline of some of the topics covered in the show, although for a full writeup with all of the links please see the original blog post linked to at the top of the page.

Studying Astrology: Episode Outline

Kelly’s three main overarching tips for learning astrology:

  1. Read – books/blogs/websites/journals.
  2. Talk – to other people interested in astrology. Meetups/local astrology groups/online groups
  3. Study – undertake formal training. Pick someone you can meet with in person, or find a course you like online.

Specific tips for learning astrology:

  1. Get a copy of your birth chart from www.astro.com.
    • Make sure your birth time is correct, if possible.
  2. Learn the symbols for the signs of the zodiac, planets, aspects, etc.
  3. Make use of free resources online. Blogs, websites, podcasts, YouTube, reddit, etc.
  4. Get some astrology books. Here are some good beginner books:
    • The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology by April Elliott Kent
    • Parker’s Astrology by Derek and Julia Parker
    • On The Heavenly Spheres by Helena Avelar and Luis Ribeiro
    • Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas.
    • Chart Interpretation Handbook by Stephen Arroyo
    • Kevin Burk’s latest book titled Principles of Practical Natal Astrology
  5. Subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer magazine.
  6. Get an ephemeris and learn to read it.
  7. Start following your transits with Astro.com’s personal daily horoscope.
    • Start by following the Moon through your houses or making aspects to planets in your natal chart.
  8. Study the charts of friends, family, and famous people.
    • You can get birth data for many celebrities from AstroDatabank.
  9. Connect with other astrologers online through forums.
  10. Meet up with local astrologers. Check Meetup.com, the NCGR, Google search.
    • If there is no group then start your own meetup.
  11. Take a course on astrology, either online or locally.
  12. Join an astrological organization.
    • NCGR, ISAR, AFA, AFAN, OPA, AAGB, ACVA, AYA, FAA (in Australlia), etc.
  13. Attend an astrology conference.
  14. Get certified (?)
    • Pros and cons of certification.


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 31 transcript

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  • Hi, Chris:
    Just though you’d like to know that April’s book (that you recommended 1st on your list) now costs $149 new and $134 used on Amazon. It must have been a sell-out that went out of print quickly. Hopefully, she’ll have it reprinted soon.

    • Ah, that’s too bad. Thanks for the heads up though. It is a good book, but not 100+ dollars good. Hopefully they reprint it soon. In the meantime, people should probably go with one of the other recommendations on the list.

  • Thanks for letting us know Karen! I checked in with April and it’s possible there will be a new edition released. Stay tuned! xo

  • Hey! I want to study astrology. Is there an age limit? I’m only twelve. Well, almost thirteen. No offense, but I kind of think fortunes and horoscopes are a bunch of stuff and nonsense, but I still think it sounds interesting. Do libraries carry some of the books you mentioned? Thanks!

    • No, there’s no age limit. I started studying it at 14/15. Yes, some libraries have astrology books, although the selection can be kind of limited. Checking out local used book stores can also sometimes be helpful.

      • Hello, I was just curious about what astrology should cover for a high school class because currently the only thing my teacher has talked about is a mission to get to mars and we haven’t really learned anything about space except there are a lot of things in space. Please explain to me what I should expect to learn from this class

        • I think you are confusing astrology and astronomy, and they are pretty different fields. You should ask someone who specializes in astronomy, which is the class you are taking, not astrology.

  • Hello Chris.

    I have been studying from books and have found many cook books of little use as I have 5 planets in 9th house and cannot work out or make sense of the aspects etc.
    Is their a book out there that goes into real detail about the planets and affects of multiple conjunctions in houses by both conjunctions in the normal sense and also deleanation.
    I hope you can help. Also where is the go to astrology school in UK or do we go on line to USA. I am particularly drawn to Evolutionary Astrology.

    • Sorry, I also have a stellium, and haven’t really found any delineation texts that deal with them very well. I think Donna Cunningham may have a book on stelliums, although I have not read it.

  • I had severe pushback on the “study a bunch of different astrological branches” point. I was quite attached to transiting Saturn in Sag and the effect it had on my ability to focus on one thing at a time.

    As soon attached Saturn entered Cap, though… Hah, wasn’t that when I signed up for your course?

    As is often the case, what I resisted is what I needed most. I cannot get enough of the different traditions of astrology, and I realize how important it is to “take the lay of the land” before (or, in my belated case, as) one moves forward.

  • Hello Chris Brennan,
    And thank you for all the informations you provide !
    I was wondering if there are any other magazines you’d recommend besides TMA ?
    And also if you have any indications on good european/french schools ? I just started listening to the podcast, so I apologize if you already covered this subject in another episode ! Haven’t listened to all of them yet !
    Wishing you a good day !

    • TMA is really the only one that I feel is consistently good. The astrological organizations each have their own journals, but they tend to be done by unpaid volunteers, and the quality isn’t usually as good. The only exception to this lately is the Career Astrologer Magazine that is put out quarterly by the Organization for Professional Astrologers:


      I’m not very familiar with the different European schools, especially the French ones, so unfortunately I can’t make any recommendations there. I know that the Faculty of Astrological Studies is very well regarded in the UK, and I also recently had John Green from London on the podcast who runs the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology. Beyond that, I don’t have enough familiarity to give other recommendations.