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Astrological Education: Options for Serious Study

Astrological Education: Options for Serious Study

Episode 124 of the podcast features a discussion about different options for getting a well-rounded education in astrology, and the pros and cons associated with the four major educational paths that a student can take if they want to study astrology within the context of a school or certification program.

The episode was prompted by some questions Chris received from a student of astrology named Amaya Rourke, who was looking for some advice about the best path to take in terms of some of the different educational programs that are available.

This episode is a recording of what was essentially a pretty candid discussion between Chris and Amaya about some of the different options that are available to students of astrology today.

Below you will find the show notes with an outline of some of the points we touched on in the discussion, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast at the bottom of the page.

Questions About Astrological Education

Here are some of the questions that Amaya had that we touched on at different points in the episode:

  • What method would you recommend for someone to decide if a formal astrology program was right for them?
  • Are online courses an equal alternative to taking a formal astrology program in person? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe the money spent on attending a formal astrology program pays off for the student of astrology?
  • What are the benefits to taking a formal astrology program?
  • Is it necessary to attend a formal astrology program, in order to become an effective professional astrologer? If not, what do you think IS necessary?
  • What would you consider to be the top 3 astrology programs a student could take right now? Why do you consider these the best?
  • Would you consider a student finding a direct astrological mentor to be as valuable/on par with taking a formal astrology course?
  • What is the difference between the major organizations (AFA, ISAR, and NCGR)?
  • What is the difference between being a member of one of these organizations, and being certified by one of these organizations?
  • What are the benefits of becoming members?
  • What are the benefits of receiving astrology certifications from these organizations?


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 124 transcript

Listen to This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

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  • Hi, Chris! Very nice Q&A. Toward the end, you began touching on the area that most interested me: If one is forced ( or chooses to) keep astrology to the side as a self-study, what academic courses would you recommend to strengthen areas of particular interest? I have in mind such topics as history, archeology, anthropology, psychology, statistics and statistics-gathering? Are there, to your knowledge, any particular Universities that offer excellent or exclusive courses of study? I think of this as , ‘What could Kepler College have offered if it had been able?’ with the astrology part one’s one responsibility on one’s own time.


    • Ancient Languages. Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit, even old English. Then you can read the originals, and not just astrological books. You can also read books on philosophy, theology, alchemy etc related to the astrological ‘family’ you are interested in. This immerses you in the ‘world view’ much deeper than reading translations can.

    • It depends on what area you want to specialize in specifically, but I would echo Kali Dasha’s comment above about learning ancient languages, or developing other foreign language skills in general. For the history route there can be some instances where things like paleography can be useful. Archeology probably not so much, but maybe to the extent that it is important that a person understands how we know what we know about history, and how to evaluate historical evidence, that could help in terms of not falling victim to weird alternative history schemes and outlandish conspiracy theories and stuff like that.

      Classes on psychology and especially counseling would be useful if you want to be a consulting astrology, especially if your interests are more psychological in nature. This is actually one point that I meant to touch on in this podcast but I didn’t, as I know a story of one astrologer who went back to school at one point for counseling after he had a really traumatic client session and realized that he needed to have more training to deal with situations like that in counseling setting.

      Courses on philosophy and religion if your interests lie in the philosophical or spiritual aspects of astrology, or to some extent if you want to deal with the broader philosophical issues that astrology raises and have a way to situate them within the broader context of other philosophical systems in the past and present. In some instances it may not be necessary to completely reinvent the wheel when it comes to developing a philosophical or metaphysical framework for astrology, but so often astrologers are operating without a lot of background in the long philosophical and religious traditions that have existed in the past.

      Science is kind of broad field and it is kind of tricky to make recommendations here, but some history and philosophy of science classes would be really useful in some instances, as well as statistics classes, even if ultimately it is not clear to what extent statistics models can be applied to astrology successfully. In some instances with a lot of these things it is more about developing working knowledge of several different areas, even if you do not necessarily end up specializing in each of those areas.

  • I’m doing a sort of makeshift astrology degree as well with my Bachelor’s program. My major is interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in social welfare and religious studies.

  • I really enjoyed this podcast, thankyou! I had all these questions two years and it was so satisfying to hear you giving comprehensive and candid answers to her specific questions. As with all your podcasts Chris, I feel as tho I learn a lot. Amaya was also very eloquent in her remarks so it was a pleasure to listen to your conversation. Now if someone were to ask me the best way to obtain a good foundational education in astrology … I can direct them to your podcast!

  • Okayyy whew! She lays it out how my mind works (Mercury in Capricorn). And basically , I have to listen to this a couple more times, do more research, and not jump in to anything, but continue what I was doing with autodidact over drive. Being on that path and finding you feels right. I feel like I’m on the right track, especially since you recommended these fantastic books. Just to let you know where I’m at… I mean she is talking about her Saturn Return which is going to be huge for her., I have a lot going on with me, but quickly, I have Aquarius Sun and Moon, and we just had this eclipse that has been huge for me, stating back in August of 2017 (I have a stellium in my 5th house with FOUR major personal planets in one sign, Sagittarius which is teaching and philosophy. I like to say I have four know it all Planets in my house of Big Mouth. That’s one way of over simplifying it. Anyway, I started listening to this and messaging you on the Full New Moon in Virgo, which is supposedly about finding out purpose. I feel like these little conversations right now are huge for me. I think I’m doing this, man. I have had a lifetime interest in this that never went away, even when I found myself in a very strict religion with a “True Believer” mindset. Astrology was still how I looked at people, even when it was taboo. I would think, “I think sister so and so has a lot of Aquarius in her chart… ” As a child, being a double Aquarius, I was through the moon when I learned there was a framework like this we could file people in to. Anyway, I’m intuitively good at this, so I should pursue it. It’s just seemed irresponsible in the past. Oh my gosh I am going on and on, but like this young lady in the podcast, I feel like this is big for me right now.

  • This episode (and so many others) has been very helpful in learning more about the different options available for more official studies. I have a question about one point in the episode when there were some remarks about certain astrological organizations possibly not being friendly to each other in the way they recognize certifications and/or diplomas, I think specifically this had to do with the faculty of astrological studies. I am really curious about their program and would like to take it because it looks strong and they seem to have a strong representation as an org., but is it a legitimate reality that a diploma from FAS would not be recognized internationally? Or that a diploma from NCGR wouldn’t be recognized by FAS or vice versa? If so, are there issues with that in terms of one’s reputation as an astrologer, or if by going through one organization’s education program would preclude one from studying another because of internal politics? I was left with more questions on this… as this topic seemed to have an air of ambiguity around it in the episode. Any clarification would be helpful! Also chris- planning on doing your Hellenistic and professional astrologer course early 2019, very much looking forward to that. Thanks for all you do!

    • There is just a lack of standardization in the field in general, which means that most organizations don’t really have much of a protocol set up for determining how the certificate of one program should apply to another. This isn’t necessarily due to different organizations not being friendly to each other though, but just a result of different programs sprouting up in different places and largely functioning independently of each other. While there are sometimes more instances of overlap or working together within the same country, some of the issues of lack of coordination are exacerbated across international borders. I don’t think that any of this necessarily has much impact on one’s reputation as an astrologer though, and it wouldn’t have anything to do with internal politics. It is just lack of coordination in the community, that’s all.

  • Still a very relevant episode. In 2023, a new student of formal astrology education will have similar experiences when discerning the many options out there.

  • Thank you so much for this podcast.

    I am listening to this in mid 2023 from Australia, and it was extremely useful and relevant for helping me navigate how to decide what the best approach would be in choosing a study/ practice pathway.

    I am in a similar scenario to your guest, coming from the architectural profession, moving into Astrological study to become a practitioner.

    After listening to this podcast for several years, it has become a very reliable resource to understand the community and the multi-faceted approaches to education and practice – which is empowering for new students of astrology to be able to glean candid insights from some of the leaders in the astro world.