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Answering Astrology Questions from Twitter

Astrology Podcast Questions and Answers

In episode 185 astrologers Kelly Surtees, Austin Coppock, and Chris Brennan take questions from listeners about various astrological topics, ranging from practicing astrology professionally to conceptual issues involving the houses and the zodiac.

We start out the episode by catching up on what has been going on for the three of us and in the astrological community since our last chat together in mid-November, and then we move on to taking some questions.

Most of the questions were submitted to us by astrologers on Twitter, where a pretty active and vibrant community surrounding astrology has developed lately.

You can follow each of us on Twitter at:

Below you will find an outline with the questions we dealt with in this episode, followed by links to download the audio or video versions of this episode.

News and Notable Events

We start out with a 45-minute warm-up chat, since it has been a month since the three of us last talked, and we had a lot to catch up on.

  • Austin’s successful trip to Australia.
  • Kelly is doing a workshop in Seattle in January.
  • Chris launched his 2019 astrology calendar posters.
  • The podcast feed now lists all episodes rather than just the latest 50.
  • Recent deaths in the community:
    • Robert Schmidt (December 22, 1950 – December 6, 2018)
    • Donna Van Toen (March 5, 1949 – December 8, 2018)

Questions Answered in This Episode

Here are the questions we touched on in this episode, starting with the username of each person who asked one from Twitter. The original thread on Twitter has all of the questions, including a bunch of great ones we didn’t get to.

Saturn & the Sun Astrology‏ @saturnsunastro

“I’ve always wanted to know how other astrologers approach consultations where the client is deliberately unwilling to participate in a dialogue exchange. What, then, is your method of approach? Working in metaphysical shops, this was often the case.”

maren altman Ⓥ‏ @marenaltman

Business question: do you all make most of your income directly from consultations or is it through teaching & other passive sources?

The Strology‏ @thestrology_

“How did each of you discover *your way* of doing readings? How’d you come down to figuring out your method / system of prioritizing what to look at when presented with a client’s chart? How long did it take to solidify your method?”

  • (Sidenote from Chris: Shakirah Tabourn just released the NFLUX astrology magazine, and it is awesome! Would highly recommend checking it out.)

Christina Mariae‏ @chmariae

Is it rude to ask what house system an astrologer uses when inquiring about a session?

Ashley Bober‏ @astro_ashley11

I’m curious when you get a first time client natal reading, what do start with when talking to the client?

Old School Astrology‏ @oldschoolastro

In a reading, to what extent do each of you explain the techniques? Do you just deliver the information to the client, or do you reference the placements and configurations that you’re getting the information from? And if you do explain, how much time do you spend explaining?

BIG WITCH ENERGY‏ @millymichelle

Proper use of the Draconic chart if any of y’all use it, and how to properly integrate it into the expression of self up against the natal chart. What purpose does it serve besides the knee jerk magic of it being a rendering of ‘soul’ purpose. 😬✨

Kipp‏ @EudaimoniaAstro

I’d love to hear the three of you compare and contrast your views and application of the lunar nodes.

Catherine Urban‏ @AstroCatherine

When clients ask you if they should leave their partner… obviously we cannot make that choice for them. What are some of the ways you’ve helped people navigate this situation?

Arthur Lipp-Bonewits ✨⚡️💘‏ @lipandbone

Where do the three of you disagree the most?

ElementalCosmos‏ @ElementalCosmos

Is there any merit/value to 12-Letter astrology?

charm torres – astrologer‏ @charm_astrology

Can one of you run us down on your preps? How much time does it actually take you now compared to when you were first starting. Can be for a natal reading and/or an annual update. TY!

Watch the Video Version of This Episode

Here is the video version of this episode from our page on YouTube:



A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 185 transcript

Listen to the Audio Version of 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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  • Can there be some relation between the concept of the ‘alphabet’ approach to houses and that the zodiac has been seen as beginning with Aries and therefore equating that with the Ascendant as the beginning of the chart?

    • These timestamps from the YouTube version are more or less accurate for the audio version as well:
      46:22 Client skepticism in consultations
      56:23 Primary sources of income within field
      1:11:15 Methodologies and personal style in chart analysis
      1:25:39 Inquiring about astrologer’s preferred house system
      1:31:28 Where to start with first-timers
      1:33:42 Adequacy in elaborating techniques and configurations
      1:41:35 Proper use of the Draconic chart
      1:45:29 Applications of the lunar nodes (Rahu and Ketu)
      1:52:16 Navigating major life choices in readings
      2:23:17 Merits of the 12 Letter Alphabet as opposed to traditional Joys
      2:52:24 Areas of disagreement between Chris, Austin and Kelly
      3:09:05 Preparation time and routines prior to natal delineation

  • This was great- I listened to the contentious parts near the end twice- ha- it’s valuable to hear the back and forth-! Thank you all.

  • Biggest take-away – “Don’t answer questions that are not asked”. Secondly, Alan Elenbaas gives an excellent explanation of the reason the Alphabet method of assigning meaning to the places (the houses) is not valid. See YouTube for his videos on a variety of topics. In the video I refer to he shows how yes, sometimes there is an overlap in meaning, kind of like a happy accident, but the Alphabet method cannot be substantiated from traditional texts. Also, there is more meaning to the houses than that method describes even for those houses where the two systems seem to fit. For example, the 7th House is about relationship but also about activity that is done after the setting of the Sun. Subscribing to an understanding of the house significations that is substantiated by historical text and validiated by practice then and now should not be waffled. Either you believe in the texts or you do not. Either you see your own astrologer being better because you use that system is either true or it is not. A system with no substantiation IMO is weak. Virgo is about far more than 6th house matters. The 6th house is far more than and different from Virgo, just as an example. Yes, not good to be dogmatic and not open to further meaning, but also not good to confuse oneself with thinking other influences negate the validity of the underlying system being used..

  • YIN YANG – really? Is this a concept that is so hard to understand? Gender bias? a simple explanation as Kelly uses is all that is needed. If one prefers another language go ahead, use it, but how much more enriching it is to use any cultural terminology if ist fully describes meaning. An LBGTQ etc individual understands, dark/light, up/down, inward/outward etc. A hetero woman or man can also understand these concepts as being more than physiology. It is a matter of what language you prefer using – I personally love the visual of the Tao – the dark and the light as part of the circle of life. Negative space having every bit of impact as what is brought to light. Appropriate whatever you want – just be ready to explain it if need be.

  • Hi Chris,
    Where should I look to find out when you will be doing another question and answer podcast? I have question about how you, Kelly, and Austin (sdf define the concept of a planet being Cazimi. Do you all use the 1 degree rule (as Vic DiCara does) or the 17 minute rule? What is the justification for your criterion for Cazimi (whether 1 degree or 17 minute)? Does latitude/declination play a role in the determination of a planet being Cazimi?

    • I usually announce the Q&A episodes to patrons through my page on Patreon first, although this time I also announced it on my Twitter account. So, those are the two primary places.

      I use one degree, as that was the original version in the late Hellenistic and early Medieval tradition, based on Rhetorius and Sahl. No, I don’t pay attention to declination, because I think it has more to do with the synodic cycle between the Sun and Mercury.

  • Hi Chris, towards the end of this podcast Austin mentioned the main books he has on his book shelf, at hand. Could you please tell me what they were? Him and Kelly were referencing one quite a bit during on of the questions. Thanks!

    • James Holden’s translation of Firmicus Maternus was the translation that both of them pulled out at one point. You would have to give me a timestamp for the segment of the show where others were discussed if that isn’t it, as I don’t remember otherwise.

  • I’m very curious about the other planetary “miseries” that Austin mentions from the Parashara. Is there a resource for this topic specifically. I’m not a student of Vedic astrology, but this concept is intriguing and resonates.

  • Also, doesn’t Demetra George talk about the signification of communication tied to the third come from the moon having her joy there and making the rounds/communicating (making aspects) with all of the other planets?