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Ep. 236 Transcript: Answering Astrology Questions with Kelly Surtees, Austin Coppock, and Chris Brennan

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 236, titled:

Answering Astrology Questions with Kelly Surtees, Austin Coppock, and Chris Brennan

With Chris Brennan and guests Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock

Episode originally released on December 31, 2019

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Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at astrologue@gmail.com.

Transcription by Arien Dijkstra

Transcription released May 2nd, 2021

Copyright © 2019 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, which is being recorded on Monday November 25th, 2019, starting at 4:56 PM in Denver, Colorado. I’m going to be talking with Austin Coppock and Kelly Surtees, and we’re going to be answering questions that were sent in by listeners over the course of the last day or two. Welcome guys.

KELLY SURTEES: Hi! 

AUSTIN COPPOCK: Hey!

CB: So this is our final episode in our week-long marathon of recording back-to-back podcast episodes. I think this is number 5 or 6 depending on how you’re counting, right?

AC: 6 for us.

KS: 6 for Austin, 5 for me. 

CB: Kelly took off for vacation yesterday..

KS: (laughs)

CB: ..when you taught like a 6 hour workshop in Boulder.

KS: Which was great.

CB: Yeah. So it’s been the end of a long week but we’ve got a lot of good questions that were sent in by listeners in our private Facebook group as well as through Twitter, so we’re gonna be going through some of the best ones there and looking for some good discussion topics. Alright, should we jump right into it?

KS: Sure, I think so.

AC: Let’s do it.

CB: Alright.

KS: Let’s do this.

CB: So, do you wanna read question number one Kelly?

KS: Sure. ‘oldschoolastro’ via Twitter: “What was the role of transits in ancient astrology and how do each of you employ transits in your current practice in contrast to other predictive techniques?”

CB: Okay. 

KS: Okay, so this question does come up a lot because people sort of wonder, you know, how transits fit into the ancient model.. So.

AC: Well, Chris would you like to start?

CB: Sure, so transits typically were the last line in terms of timing techniques. Where typically in most forms of ancient astrology, especially in Hellenistic astrology, they would start with various Time Lord techniques that break up the entire life into different chapters and subsections as if the life was a book. And those give you like the broad chapters as well as some of the paragraphs, but then eventually at the last line and sort of the predictive techniques to look at the triggers and events would be the transits, which some of which are much more fast-moving especially compared to like a Time Lord period that lasts for 20 or 30 years or what have you. There’s not really many transits that last that long that I can think of.

AC: Um.. Sedna?

CB: Yeah, right. Maybe a Sedna or like an Eris transit. Yeah, so is that the same in Indian astrology, Austin?

AC: Yep, it’s the same way they’re used in Jyotish, and it’s not just ancient. I think if we look at Arabic texts or Renaissance texts, you have a very similar role of transits coming in to confirm or deny or exacerbate or moderate..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..what is otherwise suggested from the unfolding of the birth chart.

KS: Yes. 

AC: And that’s how I use them in practice.

KS: Yeah. I will do the same actually, look at all the other timing techniques that are longer or more period oriented and then add the transits in, just for like a little bit of spice at the end. Is this gonna be quite as hot as we think, or maybe not quite, or is that just gonna refine the timing from this, you know, special six month period to a particularly intense three months within that for instance?

CB: Yeah. And also using things like annual profections to filter out which transits you’re looking at in a given year, so you’re not driving yourself crazy look-trying to track all of them but instead you have some sort of prioritization about which ones should be more important or less important.

AC: Yeah, um once you get to an intermediate level with your technical knowledge of astrology, prioritization and good filters is absolutely necessary or else you go insane.

KS: Yes.

AC: And your astrology ends up being a, you know, an alphabet soup..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..where you’re like everything’s happening all the time. Which is not true in a young life 

KS: It’s not I mean and that’s one of the key things to understand is that not everything is active at every time not everything is important in every year and I mean to kind of keep coming back to the good old kitchen analogies that are always like you can’t put every spice into the one dish.

AC: Oooh that’s- that’s choice.

KS: Because it really becomes like a spice soup. When you used that alphabet soup, it reminded me.

CB: You should write a like.. a book of like kitchen based astrology aphorisms,

KS: Yes, I could definitely do that.. might throw it a garden one.

AC: Sort of reframing the cookbook astrology book.

KS: Yes.

AC: Right.

KS: Yes.

CB: The actual cookbook astrology cookbook.

KS: Yes.

AC: Where, you know, you build the flavor profile carefully and it in layers on purpose.

KS: Yes, and part of the reason I know that you can’t put all the spices in one dish is that I was guilty of that when I started cooking in my 20s for myself as I just try bung everything in, and it never works and you have this thing that tastes like nothing. Or it tastes like too many things and if you try and do the same with timing techniques you will dilute anything is of significance.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Um, so that being said, because that’s like the stock answer that honestly has probably been stated on the podcast and any of our classes or anywhere else like a million times. But I still pay attention to my transits on a semi regular basis, in terms of if I am paying attention to the transits in the sky on any given day which I normally am, like I automatically know what relation they’re going to have to my natal chart and still am paying attention to ones that are going exact or ones that look more important or more tense for various reasons. Although then I’m just adding additional filtering on top of maybe paying attention to certain ones more knowing that they’re activated as Time as Time Lords in the given year or thinking about others might not be as important if they’re not activated as Time Lords.

AC: Yeah so. There I keep-I similarly keep track of a lot-pretty much all of my transits all the time. And those, well I can realistically expect those to affect my daily or weekly experience like whether, you know, this was, you know, a given day is like a little extra annoying or whatever. But I keep that separate or there’s a boundary between what is going to carry a larger narrative forward like the story of the year or the story of the decade what is relevant to longer term longer term longer lasting effects versus like yes that told the story of that really annoying five minutes. 

KS: Mhm.

AC: Right and it’s not that that five minutes or an hour a week isn’t real, it’s just of less import than something which is moving a much bigger story forward.

CS: Yeah.

KS: Yeah and I think the place where we get the biggest story would potentially not always come from transits but the transits can, you know, factor in there.

AC: Mm-hmm well Chris said at the beginning ‘triggers’..

KS: Yes. 

AC: ..which I see a lot where it’s like that that transit ignites or catalyzes what’s promised by a technique with a longer perspective.

CB: Yeah. Although one of the things I think it’s important that I took from ancient astrology but they incorporate it into how I was already doing and how modern astrologers are already doing transits is just paying attention to this sign ingress as the beginning of the transit and then the planet – transiting planet departing from the sign as the end of transit, and then the exact transit itself often being the peak or the most pivotal moment during the course of the transit but realizing that most transits actually are much longer-term affairs then you realize when you take into that account. And when you are paying attention to that especially some of the outer planets they almost do take on a most almost more like Time Lord like quality when you’re paying attention to like let’s say a long Saturn transit that’s taking three years to move through a sign and like you’re hitting pivotal turning points at various points during the course of that like when it goes exact but that doesn’t mean that the overall trends and the overall experiences associated with that time in your life aren’t still active long before or long after the transit has has got exact.

KS: Yeah and that, you know, if you’re looking at the sign based Saturn return for instance.. that could potentially cover three years or three birthdays, so three different profected years right and you may in one of those profected years go into a house that’s ruled by Saturn which can then further emphasize..

CB: Mhm.

AC: Mhm.

KS: ..their transit for part of that, so there is often- there’s a lot layering and then a lot of prioritizing I guess.

CB: Yeah and one of the things also is just that’s such an important word prioritization because it doesn’t necessarily mean that some of the transits it’s just about what part of your life they will manifest in and using the profections especially advanced profections to figure that out. So sometimes it’s not that a transit won’t do anything, it’s just going to do it in a part of your life that might not be as important or crucial in like a global sense at that time..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..but still can be important to pay attention to it because it could be affecting some person in your life.. activated relative to a perfected house or something like that there very well could still produce an event or something notable that’s worth observing..

AC: Mm-hmm.

CB: ..and that’s when things actually get a little bit complicated because even though we have the boiler points statement of Time Lords are used to tell you which transits are going to be active and which are not, when you get into the more advanced methods of like profections and stuff it gets a little bit more complicated than that.

AC: Yeah well every sign in the house is profected for one month every year..

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..or even that means that oh the sign in which Saturn is currently transiting that’s profected for one month of the year as opposed to being perfected for the whole year, so the the these techniques get they they literally tell you how much of the time to worry about that or how much of the time to be excited about that.

KS: Yes. Yeah.

AC: The time frames are built in. 

CB: Yeah. But in terms of techniques I think transits are one of my three timing techniques at this point I use Zodiacal releasing, profections and transits and I don’t- even though I know there’s other timing techniques that do things and can be useful like secondary progressions for example I don’t have it incorporated into my regular approach that much at this point..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..but I know you do well like what’s your what’s your deck of timing techniques?

KS: Yeah, this is a good piece for this. I use secretary progressions annual profections Firdaria and transits..

CB: Okay.

KS: ..and then there is a component that I do of working with annual profections where I’ll also bring in the solar return chart.

CB: Solar returns, okay.

KS: Yeah, yeah. What about you Austin?

AC: Um, so let’s see I use Zodiacal Releasing, profections, transits, natural years of the planets Vimshottari Dasha and more and more Narayana Dasha, and then there are few very topic specific timing techniques it’ll use.

KS: Yeah. So it’s good for people to understand that even between the three of us there is quite a variety in the types of techniques that we- and we all use a different number of techniques as well. So we know it’s not like there’s one way to do this basically.

AC: Yeah, well and even within the same technique you can weight it differently like I will look at a solar return and I will grab- and I will filter that usually through profections..

KS: That’s.. Yes. That’s how I do it.

AC: ..and I will come out of a solar return with like one or two things that I treat as relevant whereas some people will do a lot of work with the solar return bring a lot more factors out of that.

KS: Yeah. Yes. So I use the solar return similarly in like a qualifying way to get some extra detail about the annual profections, so they’re very much a paired up piece.

AC: Yeah.

CB: Yeah, sure. So that’s just a process every astrologer goes to where there’s different techniques that speak to you or different techniques that you found more compelling or have been able to integrate in your overall approach more or less successfully and everybody ends up developing a unique overall approach as a result of that.

KS: Absolutely, yeah absolutely. 

CB: But I think transits is like- nobody swears off transits..

KS: Nobody doesn’t use transits basically.

CB: Yeah.

AC: There’s probably a contrarian out there but..

CB: There’s like some anti transit contingent.

KS: But it would be safe to say it’s one of the most common and most widely used timing techniques today. 

CB: Yeah today well because it’s literally where the planets in the sky right now and how does that relate to..

KS: Conceptually it’s like the easiest timing technique for students to often pick up because it’s like it’s just where they are now and how is that expecting your natal chart.

AC: Mmhmm.

CB: Right and I want to say it’s the one that requires the least like technical or philosophical abstraction, although it’s- technically if you think about that’s not even fully true because it’s the primary approach with transits is you’re looking at where the planets let’s say now where they used to be like 20 or 30 or 40 years ago when the person was born, so there’s still like a level of conceptual or philosophical abstraction that’s happening even there. Although maybe it’s not quite as much as let’s say Zodiacal Releasing or..

KS: But there is with transits and I think people don’t actually realize that- is that, you know, the birth chart it’s like a statement of energetically sensitive points if you like them are sensitive to you Chris or to you Austin or to me, but it’s not as though we’re saying, you know, Saturn is square your Venus, transiting Saturn square your natal Venus. Your natal Venus is not actually in the sky where it was when you were born..

CB: Right.

KS: ..but the impact into the natal chart comes through. Yeah you can you can twist your head a little bit thinking about transits if you actually stop to think about it.

CB: Yeah, well I remember when we were trying to- in our secondary progressions episode, like define secondary progressions and that was like a fun exercise to come up with a concise conceptual definition. Just like Austin and I yesterday we’re trying to define magic.. more or less successfully.

AC: I think we did a good job.

KS: I’m so excited for that episode it was a good wait like everyone else ‘cause I wasn’t here.

CB: Yeah. Early access that’s- I’ll just put that out there.

KS: Right. And apparently I need to do that to get into the group

CB: Right, alright so I think that’s good for that question.

KS: Thanks ‘oldschoolastro’ for your question. 

CB: Do you want to read the next one Austin?

AC: Sure, ‘occultproblems’ or at ‘occultproblems’ asks..

CB: On Twitter.

AC: ..yes on Twitter. Um, what do you think your role is as a group of astrologers who are now a Tier older than the youngest generation of professional astrologers? And should I read part two of that question or should we wait?

CB: Is it directly connected?

AC: Sure. 

KS: Yeah.

AC: “Like, what is the role of mentorship and role modeling in the community and what are your favorite ways to enact that. What would you like to see more of?”

CB: Okay so I think this is a good question because it raises something we’re talking about last night but I personally.. 

AC: About how old we are now?

CB: Yeah. Well I personally don’t I feel like I’m doing exactly what I was doing like years ago but now all of a sudden because I’m older and I’m not in my 20s I’m somehow seen as like more respectful, or people are taking more my statements more seriously than I was when I was making them like five or ten years ago for various reasons. I’m still getting adjusted to that in Austin you mentioned something last night about having to maybe behave differently at conferences..

AC: Pfft.

KS: I can’t believe you’re bringing this up.

CB: Well I mean, I’m not going in detail. I’ll leave that to Austin to like..

KS: To share or not share.

CB: Sure.

KS: Cheeky.

AC: Well, and that- no, it’s true and it’s the- what is the role of mentorship and role modeling and your favorite ways to enact that?

KS: Right.

AC: Like when more people are watching you and, you know, you are an example of what- of an astrologer, because I am an astrologer. So I’m an example of that.

KS: Correct.

AC: ..you know, there- you think more about what you say publicly and all that. I don’t love it..

KS: Sits a little uncomfortably?

AC: ..I like it that people take- I like it that people take what I say more seriously when I’m being serious.

KS: Yeah. 

AC: But it’s a different role, you know, and it happened really all of a sudden because we were the kids for I don’t know eight and a half yeah and it was- it wasn’t that we stopped becoming the kids or we stopped being the kids at age thirty 37.5. It was literally when the next generation all jumped into astrology in a very short, maybe two-year window.

KS: Yeah.

AC: You know, you become not young when there are people younger than you.

KS: Yes.

CB: Right.

AC: It’s not about how old you are it’s about whether there’s somebody younger than you.

KS: Relative.

CB: But then also there was a slight- also happened like we finally got some of our stuff together by that point simultaneously as well. Like you published your book like..

AC: I published that in 2014.

CB: Yeah but that was just right only what like a couple years before like the influx of like all of these other astrologers.. or I got my book out in 2017.. I started the podcast in 2012 but I didn’t get serious about it until a few years later.. So that a lot of the people that came into the field over the past couple of years suddenly find, you know, 100, 200 episodes that are available to listen to for free which are just like a bunch of classes.

KS: Yeah. I had someone say they listened to all of the back catalogue in the last three months.

AC: Wow.

CB: Wow.

KS: I was like WOW, and they’re just commenting on the development of our show like how that has grown over the time.. anyway.

CB: Yeah, but it’s like if you’re just doing anything, but you put it on a long enough timeline then all of a sudden it really adds up and builds up to something over time.

KS: Yeah I think I mean it can from that perspective people can think oh it’s sort of like, you know, that overnight success thing that’s a long time coming because you’re doing it, you know, 10 or 12 years and then all of a sudden just the dynamics around it become different. But as you said Chris you don’t feel like you’re doing anything that differently.

CB: Sure.

KS: But as- and it’s- but it’s been progressive. So I don’t know I guess I see part of our role or my role I guess to provide support or guidance to the extent that we can this is what worked for us, you know, give it a shot but how are you finding it because the environment has changed the way social media and the Internet has like exploded, the way YouTube is really creating and offering both for new astrologers to learn but also to share their material. So I think, you know, this was something I talked a bit about in a keynote that I gave at the SOTA conference like in 2014 or 2015 about the idea of like we’re all walking down the same path we’re just at different places along the path. We’re sort of following the footsteps of the people who’ve been down the path before us and we can share, you know, look back and point out how there’s a pothole over there don’t try that kind of thing or actually there’s a shortcut if you take if you go right here instead of straight, you know, so just being able to provide that support.

AC: Yeah, I went the long way. You don’t have to do that.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Yeah I think that- that’s part of how I see our role and part of for me is just leading by example and like doing what I would naturally do and we’re all doing it sort of publicly but trying to do our best in that, and put our best foot forward to whatever extent we can while occasionally paying it forward. Because I definitely got a leg up by getting help at various points by certain older astrologers like Demetra or some of my friends at Project Hindsight or even having Alan Oken on and telling the story about how he just like handed my $40 once at a conference that I showed up to when I was broke and destitute and that being something that meant a lot to me at the time even though it was sort of a blow off thing for him. But thinking of that and thinking of ways that I can do that to pay forward the sort of goodwill that was shown to me by some of the older previous generation when I was coming in.

AC: Absolutely.

KS: Yeah 100%.

AC: Yeah I think of what- what would I have appreciated 10 years ago.

CB: Mm-hmm.

KS: Yes. Yeah.. What would have helped us? Or even the things that did help us.. I mean for me I was really lucky to receive a scholarship at a certain point in time. So, you know, promoting or even offering scholarships where and when I’m able to but letting other people know where the scholarships can come from in the industry.. 

CB: Right. 

KS: I know AFAN offers some and Norwac has a scholarship program.

CB: So letting people know things that they might not know about and trying to let them know quicker and earlier in their studies rather than later. Especially if it’s something that took you awhile to figure out, I feel like it is one of the common themes that crosses a lot of different boards.

KS: Absolutely, 

AC: Yeah. And I would say that my style of teaching has changed- for the- over the last couple years.

KS: Yes.

AC: Um. I used to be more focused on just communicating technical material and I would do that in a more modular form, and, you know, I’ve shifted to primarily doing like year one and staying with the same people the whole year or year two..

KS: Like shepherding.

AC: ..yeah and much more pathfinding with them rather than ‘here’s the technique you do what you want’..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..you know, I I did my job in teaching it, you go off and practice etc etc.

KS: But I think that’s actually one of the pieces, as you’re talking that through Austin, it’s sort of coming together for me that it’s not just about putting the material of the technique out there I think one thing that is part of the changing dynamics in astrology today is offering more of that guide type approach where you’re teaching but there is also that shepherding or mentoring with it. And I notice I’m getting a lot more inquiries about mentorship type offerings where people can be guided not just through the material but also how to work with the material to work with astrology. That type of thing, so yeah. Anything you want to say more of? 

CB: Yeah I guess that’s our final question. Is there anything you’d like to see more of? Um, I’m trying to think.

AC: Yeah, more good, less bad.

KS: I mean I’m really liking what’s coming through conferences like NorwaC for instances- for instance.. where there’s a lot more diversity in the speakers both from an age but also a whole wide variety of voices are being more represented,

CB: Right.

KS: And I really like seeing younger astrologers or newer astrologers getting into the speaking kind of pathway because then their voices start to be contributed they get amplified into the community.

CB: Yeah and there being a greater sense of like diversity in the community rather than just being more of a like homogenous thing.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yep absolutely.

CB: All right that’s good for that question. Let’s see, so the next question which came through on Twitter from @theblogwitch says what are y’all’s hopes slash fears for the coming years RE: Astrology? Are there certain discussions or conversations you can see needing to happen within the community as a whole? Are there any upcoming configurations that bode positively slash negatively for the rise of astrology? So this is something we talked about a little bit on the last episode on magic, Austin. But I sometimes wonder because I’ve studied the history of astrology and if you study the history of astrology over a long enough time line you see I have during different periods like a meteoric rise and sometimes stay in popularity for a while but then eventually there’s usually like a down- downfall..

AC: Yeah.

CB: ..and then it goes out of style for a while then eventually it comes back and it keeps like doing this sort of wave of going up and down over the course of thousands of years now in the Western astrological tradition. So with the sudden popular rise in popularity of astrology over the past two years I do wonder if there will be any sort of resistance to that or like up swelling at some point like skeptical sentiment or even, you know, as certain concepts move more into the public consciousness like Mercury Retrograde or Saturn return if people if there’s any backlash to that.. like I have actually heard somebody in like a barber shop once I talked about a few years ago sort of like mocking the concept of the Mercury retrograde and how they’re dumb roommate was always freaking out about this planet changing directions and how they were annoyed by that. So I do wonder either that, or if any astrologers as astrology gets more popular if anybody’s sort of messed something up if it could enact any sort of either political or religious opposition which is another thing that astrologers periodically have to deal with.

AC: Yeah I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit.. I think my expectation for the medium term, so next five years..

CB: Mm-hm.

AC: ..I think that I think that there’s- so there’s been a wave of interest the last couple years. And I think that we’re nearing the crest, or just past that crest of people getting into it, you know, what we saw was basically a whole generation, which the Millennials in the United States is the largest generation since the baby boomers, kind of all finding out about astrology at the same time. And I think that we’re approaching a plateau of interest which isn’t like, you know, hugely contrary backlash or another giant rise. I think the result of the pro and con forces will be that it will be, you know, will be at that plateau level for five years or so. And that that plateau level is higher than it’s been for a while. But yeah that’s that those are my expectations for that medium term.

KS: Yeah and Austin I had talked a little bit about this last night just around their large influx of new people and new voices coming into astrology. And I guess yeah for me I think part of me just does want to have like okay let’s kind of gather everyone together, everyone just to find their place within astrology. And that people that the new people that have come in are able to settle into it and and to get their training under their belt. And I’m kind of excited to see, you know, five years from now once the big influx we’ve had in the last couple of years, once those astrologers come into their maturity with the material and start to teach and build their own client practices. I’m excited to see how they’re going to help bring the industry forward.

AC: Yeah. One thing that we talked about at dinner last night that I think is worth repeating is I think we’re all very.. should we say pleased with the next generation of astrologers or the next aged tier. Like.. There are plenty of people who are doing good work and they’re only going to get better..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..I know there were if you talk to folks who are maybe in their 70s now or astrologers, there are periods where they were worried they’re like ‘who’s going to replace us?’..

CB: Right. There was a conversation at conferences for years and years which is that where young people?

KS: What’s coming next..

AC: Chris you and I both served as the president of the AYA for a while and, so I know that when I was in that I was at a conference in that capacity, I would have people who have been leading a group for 30 years or conference organizers come up to me and be like where are the kids?

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..what are we gonna do?..

KS: Yeah. How do we get them like how do we support them, how do we make it easier for them to come in and..

AC: Yeah. 

CB: Yeah, so that’s definitely hopeful and positive. One issue we did talk about also last night, just to keep bringing up all the dinner conversations we’ve been having this week..

AC: We forgot to bring the mic, sorry.

CB: Yeah.. next time. Although that might be problematic in it of itself.

KS: Yeah, no mics at dinner! (laughs).

CB: Okay, so one of the problems that’s a potential issue, and I’ve talked about it before, is just the revitalize- need to revitalize local astrology groups and the local astrology scene. Which I feel like in some cities has been withering for years now and sometimes the current local groups are not as welcoming or easy to join and and get integrated into as they could be. And I hope especially with the rise of the internet with so many people connecting online. And just having entire friendships, and learning astrology entirely online, that some of those people do sort of still see the value of meeting up in person and that the especially the local astrology group scene doesn’t completely die out over the next generation. But I think in order for that to happen, where the young people are going to have to take it into their own hands, either to get involved in the current existing groups, which can sometimes be good but sometimes can be difficult. It’s harder to like to move into an established power structure and attempt to like change and revitalize things then it is sometimes to just start your own group and like start doing your own thing. Like start a group on meetup and start meeting up informally or formally with a group of other astrologers and see what you can get started.

KS: Yeah and that’s actually something- not to answer the piece about what we’d like to see more of.. one thing I’d like to see more of is that resurgence at the local group level.. if you like. And I think the way that’s going to happen is independently from the astrological organizations.

CB: Right. 

KS: And that might be a little bit of a controversial opinion. But I actually think.. things like Facebook groups, Facebook pages. Meetup.. there are so many ways that.. I mean we- I’m in a stage in my life where we’re moving around a lot for various reasons but if- I have thought many times in the past few years if we knew we were going to be somewhere for five years I’d start a local group just to create that community in that connection because getting together in person is so invaluable.

CB: Sure. 

AC: Yeah, one thing I would just add to that is that even though, you know, people of different ages and from different places can all relate to astrology, and astrology can tell all sorts of people interesting things, there is such a thing as generational culture or subculture. And that there, you know, for a lot of the people who got into astrology during the previous peak in the 60s and 70s have different priorities as far as what they’re interested in doing with their astrology.. 

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..then people who maybe got into astrology, you know, 26 months ago..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..and that I’ve seen there be issues with those sort of- the conflicting priorities of different generational subcultures where you put, you know, twenty 27 year old into a group or the median age is 56 and it’s not it’s not necessarily that the older people are mean and unwelcoming. but they’re- they’re focused on doing something different than astrology then somebody, you know, who just got into it or he’s, you know.. or who’s been in over five years but is of a different generation. They might have a different priority in it, you know, if..

KS: Different flavor profiles you come back to the cooking and food. They use different spices.

AC: ..Yeah and you know, some groups will change and include those and then in some cases there may be a necessity to start new groups.

KS: Yeah.

AC: It’s not the technology. The tools are there to start groups pretty easily.

KS: Super easy, yeah.

CB: Yeah. Like Meetup or Instagram. I mean I started my own group here in Denver in 2008 and there was already two other existing groups but wanted to do some things a little differently and wanted to inject a new direction in terms of just what I thought would be interesting and what I thought would draw in like younger people..

KS: Yeah.

CB: .. So using something like Meetup, using new technology was one of the things which at the time was like new coming thing and helped us set us apart I’ve seen other people like Kelsey Rose in Chicago using like Instagram to create a new local astrology group there and there’s like a they’re sort of revitalizing the local astrology scene in Chicago through that and that’s been exciting to see over the past year or so. And I think there’s a Facebook page for like astrology Brooklyn for instance yeah to create a group outside Manhattan and like Shakirah’s..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..meetup groups where she does dinners.

KS: That’s right.. you know, so- because we did get a question.. I think about local groups.. I think. 

CB: What was that about?

KS: It was about how to- someone is looking to start a local group- a local in real life astrology group any tips to help but be successful. So.

CB: Okay, so this is from on the patron Facebook group.. 

KS: Facebook page for Martina.

CB: ..Martinez Segovia. Yeah, I would just say.. Any tips to be successful like Meetup is invaluable. Like using meetup.com, because then if you start a group and it has the subject of astrology, it’ll send out an email to everybody in the area who has astrology listed an interest saying there’s a new group with that theme in your area. Takes away the need to know website design and programming and you can have a website and they’ll show up in Google search results as well as a mailing list and a discussion forum and all of that.

KS: So it’s got all that built in?

CB: Yeah and it’s like $20 a month. Which at first can be like an expense for you if you’re just starting out. but sometimes there’s just things you got to do and eventually once you do it for long enough you’ll gain enough steam and it’ll make it easier. 

KS: Yeah, because you can charge people a small fee to attend or you couldn’t do it more casually I guess.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah. Do you have any ideas? 

KS: I mean.. I guess I think if you’re going to start a local group you would also have to think about.. it’s a commitment that you’ll want to be consistent with..

CB: Yeah.

KS: ..that what will help it grow is knowing that it’s, you know, the second Saturday of the month and you’re just really committed to being there for that.

CB: Yeah.

AC: Yeah. Consistency.

KS: Because., the consistency is key because there’s so many things that pop up and then die off and you might have more some- more people come some months and less the other months. But you just I guess in the first year or two you’ve got to be really committed to trying to make it trying to be consistent so that that will create some solidity around it and that will grow over time.

CB: Yeah definitely. Any consistency that’s the biggest thing. Because you might struggle early on or you might have great success early on but there may be like sort of peaks and dips..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..but over a long enough time line it’ll sort of build up and eventually sort of start to handle itself a little bit more than it might early on.

AC: Yeah. Last note, start the low group with an election with a strong eleventh house.

KS: Yeah, sure. That’s great.

CB: Yeah. I had a good election alert for our group. It was an electrical truck I had seen like two years earlier and I knew I wanted to do something with and then it just sort of happened that I was ready to start a group around that time and instead of using it in Denver in like May of 2008.

KS: Fantastic. Yeah.

CB: Yeah, I think it was likely arising with the Sun and Taurus with Venus in the tenth hole sign house and Mercury was in Gemini in the eleventh house, as the ruler of the eleventh house.

AC: That’s a good’n.

KS: That’s a nice one. 

CB: Good election.

KS: Yeah.

CB: All right. Is that good for that question?

KS: Yeah I think so. I think we’re up to Adina’s question. 

CB: Do you want to read the next one?

KS: Sure. Adina Hertzel.. by Twitter ‘how do you maintain and honor your boundaries slash the privacy of others when friends like acquaintances, co-workers or whoever asked you about their charts or about themselves when they learned that you’re an astrologer?’ I’m sure you guys have both had that? 

CB: Because there’s different versions of that. There is the- sometimes if like new people in the astrological community can come up to you in person at like a conference and like hand you their chart and ask you to read it not know that that’s not really normally something that’s done..

KS: It’s good to have a little bit of something like.. The word that comes to my mind is foreplay, which is not appropriate.

AC: No, that’s appropriate. You wouldn’t just walk up to somebody at a conference and begin foreplay..

KS: Right, there would be some sort of dance, so connection or opening that really lead to that..

AC: At the very least extremely really rude and possibly illegal.

KS: Illegal, yeah.

CB: Handing somebody your chart is like the french-kissing of astrology?

AC: Yeah. 

KS: It’s a little- it’s a little forward.

CB: A little intimate.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So.. but in terms they’re talking about like other acquaintances..

KS: Like the scenario that comes to my mind when I hear these question is you know.. you’re out at a social event that’s not astrological like maybe in your real life.. and somebody hears that you’re an astrologer, usually my husband’s told them and I’m like ‘why?’ ..and then I’ve got to- you’ve got to go through the peace about ‘oh my god tell me more about that’ or ‘I’m this’ and ‘what can you say?” I mean I had this very weird experience recently where I’m booking a room for a workshop next year and the gentleman that I’m working to book the room through obviously knows what I’m doing. It’s on my email signature and the title of the workshop and what have you. So we’ve had the business emails and then he sends me an email telling me he’s turning X age and he’s Y sign and do I have any insight for him?

CB: Wow. 

AC: Yeah.

KS: And I just thought..

CB: I mean and usually it’s more they’ll just say their Sun sign or something like that and and there’s not much you can do with that if you’re used to like reading full-on birth charts. So that’s the more common scenario, which is just annoying, there’s not much you can say. 

KS: Yeah. 

AC: Smile and nod.

KS: Okay. I mean, I guess the question is like how do we handle that? So what would you guys do, and then what do you guys do in these instances and what have you done in the past?

AC: Well. I don’t have co-workers. I guess you all are my coworkers.

KS: Yeah.

AC: I don’t- I don’t know it doesn’t come up very often.

KS: Okay.

AC: ..and for the- I don’t know.. you know, we were talking about the questions earlier..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..and I remember there used to be boundary problems where people were always trying to get me to do stuff. And I don’t remember what I did, or what if you hate your patterns I shift it into but for I don’t know the last five years. Like people are very respectful about my boundaries. 

KS: Yeah.

CB: I mean they probably just assume that you’re really busy. Like I get that a lot.. which is true, that I’m actually extremely busy and if you email me a question about your chart, like out of the blue, I don’t really have the time. And that would also be like.. knowing that that’s your job and that you charge by the hour. So people pay you for your time in order to look at things.

KS: Mm-hmm.

CB: So that’s like a related sort of side question which is like.. sometimes if let’s say a client has a follow up question like a year later.. I heard somebody asking about this recently and if they should set aside time for that or if they need to book a separate consultation? And I think it’s pretty universally agreed on amongst like consulting astrologers that you would need to book like a separate consultation or a follow-up for something like that right?

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah, so it’s kind of the same principle here, which is like here.. most of the time you’re not going to just immediately like break out your ephemeris and start delineating their chart. But that’s something that you would need to prepare for. Because I was asking you guys the other night, but both of you still have prep time for consultations right?

AC: Mm-hmm.

KS: Absolutely, yeah.

CB: So that’s part of the answer to that is like if you wanted to sit down and do this then we would need to book a consultation so that I could schedule time and sit down and actually review your chart properly in order to make any statements about it. Whereas just making some statements off-the-cuff might not be good for either of us.

KS: Totally and I think sometimes when this sort of situation happens there is a real curiosity and a real innocence that the person sort of asking doesn’t always realize through what they’ve actually asked. So some of the responses that I’ve tried to sort of put something together that’s very gentle but still very clear in terms of. yeah that’s the kind of thing that I cover with my clients, you know, I’m looking X months in advance and if you’d like to look at that I’d love to go into it with you and why don’t I give you my card and you can email me we can set up an appointment? Just to kind of very gently let them know or sort of steer them towards this is part of my professional offering and more than happy to do that with you. Here’s how we would go about that. Because the other piece for me, now that I have built my consulting practice up to the point where I am booked, you know, a few months in advance, it also becomes a little bit disrespectful for clients that are on the waitlist or waiting to get an appointment, which is sort of just, you know, be doing this off the car for answering the questions by emails like if I take the time to do that I really should actually grab the person who’s at the top of my waitlist to do that because they’ve been waiting for a few months type of thing.

AC: So then. yeah that reminds me. I guess one of the things that I do, that’ll come up at conferences is I don’t- I don’t mind talking about a chart with a person.. but that’s different than making predictions or coming to a judgement.. like that’s reading..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..and that requires the whole chart and, you know, in reference to all the Time Lord systems and, you know, careful thought. Um and that’s when someone was like ‘yeah, you know, oh I’ve got Sun in the ninth and in Virgo’. And I’m like oh do you have Mercury in Libra or Virgo..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..you know, like we can talk about a chart.. but that’s that’s different than the like..

KS: That’s a great distinction actually. Yeah. That there is a way to talk about the track ‘cause particularly at conferences this does happen and there’s sort of the casual encounter or interaction around it. But there are some subtle differences between ‘can you tell me about this thing in my chart?’ or ‘can you tell me about me?’ 

CB: Yeah, especially in terms of level of familiarity with that person whether it’s like a stranger versus a friend. But maybe that’s worth talking about since that was part of her question. Because the first part was about friends..

KS: Like friends ask you.

CB: .. So if we’re talking about like friends and we’re talking about like each other’s so maybe it would be worth talking briefly about the extent to which professional astrologers.. professional astrologers don’t usually like thrust their charts on other professional astrologers. But, so that’s one part of that the answer to that. The other piece though is that amongst relatively close friends or professional astrologers they do usually have like some familiarity with each other’s charts and that will come up in conversation at different points, especially as you’re just like catching up on your lives, or getting to know more about each other. And sometimes that can be okay depending on the level of comfort that the other astrologer has was sharing their chart details.

KS: And I think in that scenario what you’re talking about where there’s a level of like social friendship intimacy. I mean.. I know I’ve got two dear friends, you know, Cassandra and Alicia who I do The Water Trio podcast with. The three of us have a really good friends in addition to being all being astrologers so, it’s not uncommon for one of us to be babbling about something in our life and for the other one to jump in and say oh but that’s going to be because this thing is happening in your chart or what have you.

CB: Right. But then you’ll be like oh yeah that’s actually a really good point, I haven’t thought of it that way.

KS: Exactly. But that’s- that’s it like that’s a really good friendship where there would be more of an openness or an exchange.

CB: Right. Versus if it was like another professional astrologer, but you weren’t on super-close terms and they started invoking your chart placements like that could be kind of weird.

KS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I was just thinking and now- I mean I had an instance recently where I was teaching and and a student asked me to give them my chart and I was like oh no I’m sorry that’s not available for you..

CB: Right.

KS: .. So that- I mean that’s sort of the reverse of this. But I think there’s a lot of pieces here around you got to go in carefully and you’ve got to know where you can go in. And it’s better to be invited in then to try and push the door open.

CB: To like err on the side of caution.

KS: I think so. Yeah.

AC: Yeah. I would just say the thing about if you’re asking the person to do work and if another person is asking you to do work. If somebody is like ‘yeah I’ve got Mercury and Libra in the tenth’..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..’it’s like this, this and this’. I’d be like oh that’s fun.

KS: Yeah. 

AC: You know, versus like somebody’s like ‘yeah I have, you know, my Sun sign is Scorpio’.. am I going to die in six months? Like well that’s a really serious topic. I’m not just gonna be like, you know, when, you know, definitely.

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..right? You know.. like that’s, you know.. and that I’m giving a hyperbolic thing. But somebody’s like ‘oh I’m going to launch this project in approximately six months. You know, do you think that’s going to be a blah blah blah?” Or like.. here’s a.. Leisa probably gets this. So we’re like, ‘oh what’s the best election in June to do this thing?’ Yeah. That’s my job.

KS: Yeah. That will take me some time to figure out.

AC: And maybe, you know, that, and maybe you want to share that but you’re like asking the person to do work. And I would say for moderating your own boundaries, you know, is the person asking you to like give serious consideration and judgement and look at all the stuff and hem and haw and come to a conclusion? Because that’s- that’s work.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Um and if you are comfortable doing, that that’s fine. But, you know.. just gauge how much you’re how much you’re being asked to do. And whether that’s something you can do for everyone? Is that just like light and fun? Is that just conversation? Or are they.. are they giving you a project?

KS: Yeah. That’s a great distinction.

CB: Definitely.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Alright.

KS: And this sort of segues a little bit to the next question I think.

CB: Do you want to read it Austin? I think it’s your turn.

AC: Yeah.. all right. So on Twitter @mercuryprashant writes: Do you charge your regular fees for relatives? Is your approach different from as compared to unknown clients? So it basically is there a family and friends rate?

KS: Yeah.

AC: And so that’s- we’re talking about this earlier. That’s changed for me. I used to do a family and friends rate. Now.. my family and friends it’s always free if I’m reading. Um, they- my family friends do not get to call me up and demand chart readings for free..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..whenever..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..um part of the reason it’s free is everybody’s really respectful of my time and energy. And so it’s very- my pricing is very different and my.. you know, my relationship to whether like.. they don’t have to wait in the seven-month queue if like my cousin’s having an extremely hard time and something’s going on.. like yes, I’ll read for you next week..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..which is different than, you know, a rando.

KS: Yeah.

CB: In terms of friends, there’s probably different layers of friends where.. that are like in that circle. Versus that might be like outside of that where they would have to just like sign up for a normal consultation or something. 

AC: Yeah. The “friendlies”.

KS: Yes.. it’s I mean.. What this question in the previous question are really speaking to is about boundaries and how we hold our practice of astrology within the context of our normal social interactions and relationships. 

AC: I don’t have normal social interactions, Kelly. Tell me- tell me of this.

CB: Well, and also like what happens when astrology is your hobby versus when it becomes your full-time job.

KS: Yeah because I can see instances where if you’re if it’s more of a hobby or you’re trying to maybe build a practice you might be willing to do a little bit free to allow people to get a sense of you as a practitioner or what have you.

AC: Yeah when you need to get practice in. I um..

KS: Yeah, when you need practice or you’re trying to, you know, build clients or what have you..

AC: Yeah for me..

CB: Like early on that’s like all you’re doing if you’re doing like friends and family and work.

AC: 100%. I kind of returned to that in a certain way over the last two years like doing the Vedic Astrology class. I was like oh is all this new stuff and I think I need data on this and practice on this and so yeah I was like back to 26 year old Austin like trying to read everybody’s chart.

KS: Yeah. Yeah.. so I have- I do have a friends and family rate. And it’s really a friend’s rate because my relatives I would- like my siblings.. I would, you know, give them all sessions free. And I do read for some of my family members, you know, annually or what have you. They’re curious and they’re just interested to see what astrology has to say about their chart for the year ahead or what they’re dealing with. I remember a gorgeous um just- and this is where the casualness is appropriate when there’s a level of intimacy. My sister-in-law and my brother and I was sitting around probably two or three years ago now.. and they sort of- you know, they’re talking about having their second baby. And, you know, every now and then my brother- my brother’s not super into it. He gets a little bit sort of ‘I don’t want to, you know, hear things that might make me, you know, go into weird spaces’ but his his partner’s really into it. And they sort of said ‘look, you know, when would be a good time for us to have a second baby?’ And because I know that both their charts I sort of said well the last two weeks would have been fantastic for you guys to conceive because they have Moons in the same sign and there was a Jupiter activation going on and they just chuckled. And I said why? They said we’re very newly pregnant type of thing..

AC: Oh, cute!

KS: ..so and that’s my niece who’s now she’s just turned 2. So there’s a casualness there. But I do- so I don’t charge my siblings. Um I tried to do a reading- I tried to give my sister-in-law a free session but she insisted on paying, so I set a lower rate for her. And there’s a few people in my family or my sort of close friend network that are not siblings that I would charge that friends and family rate for. And in terms of like, is the approach different? I always find I want- I sort of feel- not that I don’t ever not want to be on my game, but I feel a little bit more pressure when I’m reading for people that I’m really close to I don’t know why that is but I’ve spoken to other practitioners and they say, you know, when there’s that sort of arm’s length distance of I don’t know you just kind of sink into the astrology. But when, you know, them it- I don’t know, it just feels a little different.

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.. yeah. I put a little more pressure on myself which I don’t know why.

AC: Well, that you have multiple layers- you have multiple levels of relationship..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..and, so you know, you are a friend.. maybe you’re a friend and a sibling in-law..

KS: Yes. 

AC: ..and, you know, you’re gonna go on vacation together in three weeks..

KS: So.. that yeah, there’s more dynamics. 

AC: Yeah, there’s more pressure, you know, like in a million years ago when I worked in the psychological field one of the things that we talked about a lot, as far as professional development, was dual relationships and how it’s very difficult to be- have a therapeutic relationship with someone and a friend relationship at the same time.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And so.. the more layers you have, the more complicated it becomes, the more the more you have to navigate.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Right um and it’s also tricky obviously because with family members, you know, a lot more about that person’s life going into it and you’ve already studied their chart probably pretty extensively up to that point and have some like specific opinions already about how certain parts of their chart play into their life and various events or various like characteristics they have as a result of that. And certainly attempting to maintain some level of objectivity when dealing with people that you’ve had close relationships with your entire life can be a little bit tricky. It’s not impossible but certainly being conscientious of that dynamic and your own relationship with them or even synastry with them can be kind of important.

KS: It’s a delicate situation. 

AC: Yeah. Well and also, you know, I think for the entire time we’ve been together I do a birthday reading for Kate every year..

KS: Yes. 

AC: ..and so I am more attached to things going well for her than I am for anybody else.

CB: Right.

KS: Yes.

AC: And I am, you know, I am more concerned for difficult things for her than I am for anybody else. And so.. there’s a stronger emotional pole both ways. Which isn’t impossible to navigate.. but it’s something that you have to navigate.. they just, you know, it’s- it’s a challenge.

KS: Yes.

CB: Sure. I mean your partner’s chart or anybody you living close with on a daily basis is going to be one of your primary study tools on some level as an astrologer.. just because you’re aware of- I mean this actually came up with the episode with Jessica and she had a very unique- somebody asked this question about looking at her partner’s chart and how often do you do it? And she said she doesn’t ever it never did and only first looked at her partner’s chart.. like five months into the relationship, which is fine and that’s her specific approach. But I did note at the time that that was extremely unique relative to what I’d know about most astrologers I feel like in the astrological community..

AC: Well, so.. one thing I just want to throw in. The closer you are to someone the greater the chances that you show up in the chart.

KS: That’s true.

AC: ..if I’m lookin’ at Kate’s chart, it’s like.. well you got all this stuff in seventh house happening 

KS: Yeah. ‘that’s me..’ (Laughs)

CB: Right.

AC: ..I guess there will be benefits from partnership or ‘wow that looks like a really hard time for you and your partner’ right? Like.. you know, or if it’s a friend like ‘Oh, the eleventh house/.. It looks like um’ ..you know, anyway.. like you can literally be one of the transits..

KS: That you’re trying to describe. That’s so good. I mean Chris I don’t know how I feel about this. We did get a question actually directly to this which Austin is starting to answer..

CB: Sure.

KS: ..from Joey Wapello via Twitter. I’m not sure if I pronounced that correctly. I apologize. 

CB: I have mangled names far worse than that.

KS: Ok cool. Um.. asking ‘I’m curious how astrologers handle doing readings for their spouses or significant others, where everyone stands on the ethics of that etc I’m sure astrologers don’t want a counseling relationship with their partner but you would probably want, you know, to talk to them about specific things that are in their chart’.

AC: Well and I think that’s one of the places where your approach to astrology matters a lot..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..because I- although I think astrology often will have therapeutic benefit. I don’t- I don’t come in with that as the primary objective. Um and so, you know, when I’m reading for Kate it’ll be like yeah, looks like, you know, February there’s going to be some pains in the ass with this like. It’s literally just looking at the terrain yeah and it’s not I’m not talking about, you know, we’re not focusing on like, you know, childhood experiences or whatever, you know, if it’s not specifically pointed..

KS: And relevant.

AC: ..yeah yeah, you know, there’s a Mercury retrograde here it’s in your tenth, you know, she does- her business involved shipping right.. So, you know, you’re gonna want to keep an eye on shipping stuff during this period of time, it’s also profected, you know, like that- it’s practical, so that’s not a counseling relationship..

KS: Yes.

AC: ..that’s like a field report or like a lay of the land.

KS: Yeah and similarly.. actually my husband and I, we used to do- he’s very good with reading tarot and for the first few years of our relationship he would often give me a tarot reading for my birthday and I’d often do some astrology for him. But we have fallen out of that habit. You’re inspiring me for us to get back into that but..

AC: It’s fun.

KS: It is fun. And it’s an opportunity, because I think we’re all lucky in that sense that we all have partners where they are, if not, you know, also practicing astrologers, my husband’s not but he’s definitely familiar with the terrain, and that creates like a sense of curiosity like what what is going to come up and when is this going to be dealing with? And we obviously- many of, you know, we move countries in the summer. And we had this really intense you day period where it was just high stress and there was a small car accident and I realized that Mars was doing something quite annoying in my husband’s chart at the time. So.. that was helpful for both of us to sort of be like oh just a couple more days and then this very aggravating energy is kind of gone. So.. it’s very much about managing the day-to-day type of thing.

CB: Yeah.

KS: How do you guys handle that?

CB: Well.. and definitely being- having another- being in a relationship with somebody else that is an astrologer creates more of a level playing field, compared to like if you were the astrologer..

KS: And your partner’s not.

CB: Yeah and that can lead to some imbalances if you’re like constantly talking about their chart or if you’re like reading their chart or like acting as their astrologer in some way like I could see some problems with that.

KS: That would be problematic for many reasons other than just the fact that you were reading the astrology.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Yeah. Could indicate some stuff.

CB: That being said though, being in a relationship with another astrologer, Leisa often knows more about what’s going on in my chart than I know what’s going on on a day-to-day basis sometimes. Because I go through different periods of like paying attention versus like not paying attention especially to some of the Time Lord periods that are going on. And every once in a while she’ll like remind me that I’m going through sets in such a period and that’s actually a really useful reminder..

KS: Yes.. like living with your own ephemeris or something.

CB: Yeah the human ephemeris the non Nick Dagan Best version. 

KS: Yeah. A much prettier version.

AC: How dare you?

KS: (Laughs).

CB: Nick Dagan Best is very pretty. Yeah.. so.. that.. does that answer the question?

KS: I think so.. yeah. I don’t think it’s healthy, and from a counseling sort of perspective, there are actual strictures or rules against, you know, working with people that, you know, for instance. So.. if you were doing deep counseling or therapeutic style work, so.

CB: And I do think like if you’re an astrology and you’re in a relationship with a non-astrologer, you should be careful about how you’re bringing astrology into that relationship, and that you’re not doing in a way that’s like obnoxious or inappropriate or disempowering. Those sorts of ways that that could go wrong, and I’m often nervous about it because then your acting is like the representative of the astrological community to this person and if you’re playing out weird relationship dynamics and bringing astrology into it and appropriately it could create a bad situation.

AC: I think a really good rule of thumb is: ask the person what they want to know. Do you want me to like give you these little updates, they’re like ‘oh I’m having a hard day’.. yeah well the Moon is on your Mars for the next three hours..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..it’ll probably mellow out in a little bit. Like do you want things like that? Like.. you know, or..

KS: The communication is really critical.

AC: ..the couples that I know where one is an astrologer and one isn’t.. it seems to work really well. The non astrologer is just like yeah they tell me useful things. It’s not, you know, those are the things that I want to know and they tell me that and they don’t bother me with the rest of their astrology.

KS: Yeah. The other thing that I’ve noticed.. I’ve had the privilege of doing- is doing astrology readings for partners or children or stepchildren of people who are astrologers where they’re- there the individual is interested in astrology but the person who’s the astrologer is like I may not be the best person to talk with you about this. So.. if they do want to know you can tell them if they want to hear it from you. But if they’re curious sometimes- supporting them to connect with someone to keep just a little bit of space in the relationship can be helpful too.

AC: Mm-hmm.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Sure. Yeah that’s a whole whole discussion in and of itself.

AC: You did an episode on that right?

CB: Yeah, yeah I mean I did one earlier this year with Eugenia and Leisa. And we talked about some of the dynamics that come up in being in a relationship with another astrologer. So people can go back and listen to that. I have no idea what episode number it is but 200 something, I’m guessing.

KS: And if they just google you and Leisa and Eugenia.

CB: Yeah.. so.. moving along this question came in from Twitter. And this is from @fortunatefire on Twitter says ‘Kelly talked about the importance of astrologers quote unquote cross pollinating in her Keynote at Norwac what do you cross pollinate your astrology with? Or are there other folks cross pollinating their astrologys in ways that you’d like to see more of?’

AC: Kelly, what did you mean by this?

KS: So.. what I meant in the keynote speech was that.. I think if you’re really interested in something that’s not astrology, it’s appropriate to bring that into your astrology, you know, within certain parameters. And some of the examples I used were, you know, people who are very interested in finance and stock markets. Then bring that- let that spark of passion that you have for the markets come into your astrology, and you may find an intersection where you can work with the two together. For me personally I have had an interest in, you know, to do with the body and health and healing via my interest with massage therapy, but also with food and a little bit too with Ayurveda. I’m not an expert in any of those areas ,but having an interest in the body has really guided me towards some of the health and medical astrology material and that just allows a little bit more of my own essence if you like to come through in the work that I’m doing.

CB: So you’re talking about cross pollinating with astrology and like other fields?

KS: Yeah disciplines outside astrology that may not be astrology, but that can be complementary to astrology. You know, if you guys- I think Austin with magic which is, you know, it’s a distinctly different discipline. but it has a beautiful crossover with astrology.

AC: Yeah, well astrology has well cataloged and organized intersections with a lot of other fields. The type of medicine that was practiced in the West for 1500 years shares some language with astrology..

KS: Absolutely does.

AC: ..You have that elemental language and that’s the people getting interested in temperament, which is an astrological calculation, is part of the point of intersection..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..and, excuse me, and Vedic Astrology or Jyotish, there’s a very carefully organized intersection with Ayurveda..

KS: Mm-hm.

AC: ..and with Vastu which is like..

KS: Indian Feng Shui.

AC: ..and, you know, there there are a number- you know, if you look at- you could say Oh geology. because if you look at books it’s like well these kind of stones are ruled by this and these kind of stones are ruled by that, you know, the connections.. or I would say the 20th century spent a lot of time with what cross-pollination is possible between a depth psychology approach..

KS: Yes, you mentioned that.

AC: Um and the chart.

KS: Yeah. Yeah and it’s the symbolic point that I was making with this was around.. almost like the keeping it fertile, allowing it to grow, and having these sort of extra pieces coming in and adding to the experience. And yeah the 20th century, you know, the psychology crossover, if you like. Chris I know you’re interested in things like the stoic ideas and philosophy and even history have kind of being a part of how you’ve explored astrology.

CB: Yeah. I mean for me astrology became the reason why you would want to start- it became a motivating factor for studying other fields.. like for studying ancient history or for studying philosophy or different philosophies. And they’re either overlap, or their relevance to astrology. I mean there’s so many different.. Go ahead. 

KS: There’s so many different ways and that’s sort of the piece about cross-pollination is that as you got further into astrology you realized if you knew about these other things then your astrology would be enhanced.

CB: Yeah. Well it- on some level you also that’s one of the drawbacks is that you- in order to be able to talk about something in astrology like you need to have some familiarity with those other areas in order to speak about them most effectively.

AC: Yeah, yeah astrology is, you know, it’s born by a great wind and it touches many many many things.

KS: Many things.

AC: ..you know, you can do the astrology of just about anything.

CB: Yeah, well I mean let’s talk about some of those other fields. So.. just like that are other fields like psychology is obviously.. is one of them.

KS: Yeah.

CB: But also like let’s say geopolitics and mundane astrology..

KS: Of course. Yeah.

CB: ..or finance like studying stock markets and like stock market cycles and financial astrology.

KS: Absolutely. 

CB: Art or art history and some of the crossover with like Venus or other astrological placements – it might be tied into that either in signatures of artists or in terms of different eras in art history that might be indicated by like longer range cycles..

KS: Absolutely.

CB: There’s a ton of those.

AC: Yeah you do history of science.. You could do the astrology of..

KD: Dynasties, royal families..

AC: ..Yeah. What type of hats are popular at different points in..

KS: It’s very specific, but yeah you absolutely can.

AC: Yeah, you can do the astrology of..

CB: And that’s one of the reasons why sometimes when people ask me if I’ve had occasionally- like somebody write in saying that they’re in college right now but they want to pursue astrology as a career and they don’t think they’re going to stay in college because they don’t think they can. I sometimes do recommend that they actually stay in college and finish their degree or even specialize in something while they continue to study astrology because there’s plenty of fields where having that overlap and having that level of knowledge in other fields can be incredibly useful, even if you decide to primarily pursue a career as an astrologer.

KS: Absolutely.

AC: If you’re not going into debt for 30 years to finish the degree.. um, you know, stay in school kids.

CB: Sure.

KS: But it’s but it’s true. And when we think about some of the kind of living legends in our field they have returned to study like languages or history. I mean Rob hands gone back and done religion- religious studies or..

CB: You can get like a PhD in classics and did a dissertation on Guido Bonatti like rules for war in the 13th century.

KS: There you go. And Demetra’s gone back and done Greek- you learn languages. So there are these other fields that I think it’s, yeah, I think both of you made great points. Don’t obviously rack up a lot of debt necessarily to be in school, but if you are going to be in school things like philosophy in ancient history or some of these languages, whether it’s Latin or ain’t or ancient Greek, they will be so helpful to you in the future if astrology is where you want to go.

CB: Yeah. Because I mean the best astrologers oftentimes are people that also are knowledgeable in other fields outside of astrology, because that really comes in handy. Otherwise if you’re looking at an astrology chart you may not know, except aside from like a vague sense, how it might relate to some other fields.

KS: Yeah.

CB: I mean but that’s always been one of my issues with getting into some subsets of astrology, like financial astrology, is I feel like it’s not enough just to know astrology. You actually have to have a strong background in finance and in like stock market trends and things like that. You can’t just start applying astrology out of nowhere and suddenly be wildly successful. You actually have to be good at both, and it’s the combination of good work in both areas together they create something that’s truly useful.

KS: And that’s- I think that’s the essence here of the point that I was making, and certainly was a question is that astrology combines well plays well with other disciplines and, so it will reward you doubly so if you have another discipline. And it doesn’t have to be stock markets if you don’t care about money, but if you care about psychology or the body or history then bring that in.

AC: That’s remarkably combinatory.

KS: Yes. Is it a word?

AC: It is a word.

KS: Okay.

AC: It’s a big word.

KS: It is the big word.

CB: Yeah definitely. That doesn’t mean that you can’t you have to have like a college degree and something in order to still do good work in that area but it might take you extra work and focus and self discipline to do self study in different areas that you want to become knowledgeable about and in order to enhance your ability to do astrology.

AC: Yeah. Well it requires effective study yet can be done in a university setting and outside of a university setting.

CB: Right.

KS: Absolutely.

CB: Definitely. All right. Did we answer that question?

KS: I think we did.

AC: I think we did. I should probably take this next one..

KS: I think- shall I ask you this question?

AC: Yeah. Ask it to me.

KS: Okay so, Austin. Alicia Pashire from Twitter would like to know.. she says ‘this is our whole Pandora’s box you may want to leave closed..’ no never done that but ‘I want to hear more about how Austin has incorporated his Jyotish studies into his Western approach and the utility of looking at someone’s chart in both Zodiacs and what can be gained from that / how to reconcile?’ A lot of pieces in there.

AC: Yeah, so this is actually not a Pandora’s box. The answer is that they’re separate approaches. And you can look at what each you can look at the chart through the lens of each approach and see what it says but you don’t try to make it all one thing. There are some natural points of intersection where the logic being used is identical but that just because there are touch points doesn’t mean that it’s all one soup. And so- and like I’ve said before, you know, you learn one at a time you don’t, you know, you don’t take a Hellenistic course and a Jyotish course at the same time by the way. 

CB: Which is what I did, by the way.

KS: That’s what you did?

CB: Yeah.

AC: And it’s very difficult to effectively learn. Yeah and, so yeah.. you just, you know, you have both and you can value both and and there are- yeah.. So yeah don’t try to mush it all into the same, that’s how you avoid a Pandora’s mess. And then what is the utility of looking at someone’s chart? Sometimes they will tell me exactly the same thing, which is really helpful, even though they’re- you know, you’re Sidereal Zodiacs here with like a Vimshottari Dasha here and we’re using a Tropical Zodiac with Zodiacal Releasing here, if they both tell me the same thing, I can say that.. I can say that with a greater level of surety. Also, you know, if I’m looking at things that are already known within a person’s life.. like this thing is happening how long will this thing last? or, you know, is there anything I can do about this thing while it is happening? Sometimes that will show up much more clearly and be timed much more clearly by one set of techniques than another. Sometimes it’s like oh so that began 22 months ago.. that’s exactly when you entered this Zodiacal Releasing period. And at this state now, and it tracks perfectly to that technique, and then at other times it might be oh you just entered this Antardasha and that’s exactly what that suggests. So I will focus on the technique that both describes and connects with the timeline of whatever is happening. 

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..so that.. that is utile.

KS: That is. Yeah. That’s beautiful. Chris you were saying you studied both at the same time?

AC: Yeah I mean at Kepler that was the unique experiment that they did where in year two, the second term of the year, the second of three terms, was an introduction to Hellenistic and Vedic Astrology simultaneously that was co taught by Demetra George and Dennis Harness. It was the first time that had ever been done before.. but it created this really brilliant experience of being introduced to two of the oldest traditions of astrology of Horoscopic astrology, of natal astrology in the world, and seeing many of this the crossovers and many of the similarities between those two ancient systems, like using whole sign houses, or using the traditional rulership scheme or using Time Lord and dasha systems which work extremely similarly in some areas and..

AC: Same logic.

CB: ..yeah. Seeing the overlap between those was really useful but then at the same time you also saw many of the differences in many of the areas where they diverged.. sometimes radically.. or where our time and distance from them 2,000 years later caused them to diverge radically like through things like the slow shift of one degree per century of like per seventy two years of the tropical and say degree Zodiacs, which creates such a major difference, and a real issue sometimes in terms of looking at charts.

KS: Yeah and it is interesting I think. I think the point that you’re both making is that they’re really quite distinct systems, that they sort of have a different framework and they operate in different ways. And you can end up with similar interpretations but I think what you were saying Austin is not to try and mash them into each other.

AC: Yeah. I think you could study.. you could study them from a historical perspective from a history of astrology perspective at the same time. But if you’re trying to train yourself to be able to do effectively, one at a time.

CB: Yeah. I mean at the end of that- doing that introduction and then continuing some Vedic studies with Dennis Harness, but then also moving to Project Hindsight at the same time I had a choice to decide which one I wanted to specialize in and realizing I needed to focus on one or the other because it was going to take a long time to achieve any sort of mastery of either of them. And I decided to focus on the Hellenistic because I felt like more of the core concepts were emanating from that tradition than from the Vedic tradition, even though I still maintained a long like interest in Vedic Astrology occasionally and thought that it still preserves many of the core principles in practice that the Hellenistic astrologers used 2,000 years ago but that were lost to the techn in the textual transmission.

KS: Yeah.. it’s really interesting I think just as a general comment, I haven’t studied Indian astrology so I can’t comment in the way that you both have, but I have had a couple of Indian astrology chart reads. And they are really interesting if you’ve not looked at your chart in that way and that can be a great way to get a sense of how they’re different. some of the different frameworks do and some of the different techniques.. just if, you know, I would love to learn about it. But like both of you have said I still think it’s a tutor sort of five-year project to take on and that’s not something that I can give that time to now, but the- just getting a taste of it through personal client experience has been really interesting.

CB: Sure, yeah.. I mean one of the concerns I have is that it can- ‘cause it’s coming up even just as a concern in purely Western astrology, but attempts to use the sidereal and tropical Zodiac at same time can sometimes become incredibly mushy and not well formed and poorly executed. And I do think that that is especially an issue for students that are earlier on, that that could end up being more detrimental than it is helpful in the same way that trying to integrate like two hundred asteroids or other chart components into something instead of increasing your precision at some point there’s diminishing returns. And in fact it just becomes less distinct and less useful from a technical standpoint.

AC: Yeah. The more- the more factors you’re going to consider, the more crucial it becomes for you to understand exactly what everything does and what its specific role is. And, you know, you have to if you want to- if you want to have a thousand things you have to be extremely organized in your thinking you can’t just throw a thousand things out.

KS: Yeah. I mean that’s almost a theme that you’ve mentioned the alphabet soup today you mentioned mushy just now, so that’s uh one of the themes, you’re trying to do too many things at once basically. 

AC: It’s like the alphabet soup that you let sit all day and so all the little alphabet noodles just kind of turn to goo..

KS: They’re not letters anymore..

AC: ..yeah 

CB: Well and that’s one of the- that’s the crisis of contemporary astrology is there’s so many different approaches and so many different techniques now, whereas there wasn’t in Western astrology like 40 years ago. It was much more homogenous, but the revival of all of these different ancient traditions and the importing of some of the Eastern traditions from India or other places and all this stuff gives such a great amount of diversity and and the challenge is going to be basically remaining open-minded and still looking at and entertaining and sometimes taking pieces from different traditions at different points, while at the same time not just using attempting to use everything at the same time in creating a hodgepodge that doesn’t really mean anything or isn’t really effective.

KS: Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with saying that’s not a technique I use, or the scope around the practice that I’m doing is this. It’s actually a very professional way to approach it, which is to say I’m working with these particular techniques, and I’m not working with those. In the same way that a doctor most doctors do not specialize in all things. If you need to get your knees looked at you’ve got to see a knee specialist. I go to the I person for my glasses. I don’t want the dentist to have a look at my eyes. They’re not gonna be the right person.. so I think there’s something need to be said for, you know..

AC: They get out the drill and the pick..

KS: Yeah, like do not bring the drill near my eyes. Chris, I know you’re very familiar with dentists right now.

CB: Yeah. 

KS: Yeah. But I think just, you know, being clear.. it’s okay to say I don’t work with that technique or I don’t use this, you know. The antidote to hodgepodge and mushy is clear boundaries.

CB: Well, it’s the same thing when we’re talking about our different timing techniques that we each employ earlier, which each of us has gravitated towards certain a certain set of core timing techniques that we use, even though if we have some familiarity with or even recognize some value in other timing techniques, there’s still only so much time you have any either a single consultation or just in terms of your day to day practice to use what either you’ve really refined, in terms of your approach, or what you feel like has been most effective for you in practice for what reason.

AC: Yeah, there’s a difference between knowing about something and knowing how to use it..

KS: How to use it, yeah. I mean and that’s where you guys both mentioned Zodiacal Releasing, and that’s I’m not where you guys are with that technique I know about it but I’m not at a place where I feel that I’ve had enough time to really learn about it and get the examples up so I really feel like I’ve got it. So it does come up, but particularly after you guys did your beautiful Z.R. episode, I had a bunch of clients say oh I want you to do this, you know, and look I just said I’m not up to working it with that technique with clients right now. So you know, if you want that technique this is who I’d recommend you see. But if you’re happy for me to use the techniques that I’m most comfortable with and experienced with at this point and, you know, we can jump in and do that. 

CB: Sure.

AC: And likewise I wouldn’t- I wouldn’t do a whole reading based on someone’s progressions.. like I just can’t get that much out of it..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..I’d be like well we’re going to take these two things and that’s relevant to these other layers, but, you know, you have more depth with that and could do more with that.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And so that’s that’s a thing.. is like knowing how good you are, how much you can do with a given technique and not trying to do what you can’t.

KS: Yeah. So that’s the question answered with a few extras.

AC: Mm-hmm.

CB: Yeah. Did we answer it? I mean I- there is a risk of Pandora’s Box being opened though. I mean.. 

AC: Well that’s it.. and that’s what I said, you know, don’t mush it all together..

KS: Yeah. 

AC: ..That’s where you get all of the evils that afflict humanity.

KS: Yeah.

CB: All right. What’s the next question?

KS: So we’ve got a fun one here. And then I don’t know if at some point you want to switch to some of the Facebook group questions, or if you’re happy with how we’re set up at this point?

CB: Yeah, I mean let’s keep pushing through what we have.. In order.

KS: Okay. So Napa T Anne from Twitter: “Do you have other astrologers radio charts for you? How often do you look at your own chart? and then as an extra part to this question what are some good questions to ask when having your first astrology reading?” 

CB: I mean we kind of answered some of that already in terms of looking at our own charts, right? Or did we? 

KS: Yeah, I don’t know if we did. Um.. we talked about this before, I mean the tricky thing is that one part of my brain has, you know, current information like transits and certainly understands profections and have a sense of what’s happening in my secondary progress chart and another part of my brain has my birth chart in it so there’s a piece there’s almost like a background program running and where there’s an awareness of what’s going on in my chart almost all the time..

CB: Right.

KS: ..it’s not in the front of my focus. And it’s not like I sit down every Sunday and do twenty five techniques on my own chart for the week ahead, but there is a background level of awareness that’s ongoing.

CB: Sure.

KS: Just because of the fact that this is what I spend every day..

AC: Yeah, same-same.

CB: I mean.. especially in terms of transits like it’s really easy to know..

KS: Absolutely.

CB: ..you know, where the planets are right now.. one of your first reference points is how that relates to your birth chart so that was your initial chart that you started with with your studies..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..but, and you also might know some of the broader let’s say timing technique patterns are like Time Lord periods that you’re in at any given time, because that’s something that’s fixed and relatively long in duration..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..but you might not know like some of your like sub period or most minut things..

KS: Absolutely.

AC: Yeah. I have what I think of is just sort of.. I know where I am.. like I know that I know what my level 1 & 2 ZR are, I know for Spirit and Fortune, I know what profection I’m in..

CB: Right.

AC: ..I know my Antardasha, I know my Narayana Dasha, I know my natural years of the planets, and I know the transits. And, you know, I don’t look at anything- generally I know all my Time Lord periods that I actually use down to level 2. And so if I have a specific concern related to that technique then I’ll like look up what level 3 or 4 are but generally it’s sort of just a locational..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..that’s where I am and that’s where the planets are and that’s just in the background if I need, you know, that I will, you know, check for navigational reference..

KS: That’s a great way of describing it. Check in with the compass.

AC: Yeah. Three more months.

KS: Three more months. And the one time of, you know, that I might be a little more inclined just to pause and think would be around my birthday when annual profections resetting and the Timelords changing and that type of thing.

CB: Sure, that makes sense.

KS: Yeah. Is this sort of similar for you Chris, or?

CB: Yeah, like I’ll know what the transits are because I’m always- I’m often paying attention to the electional charts on a day-to-day basis. And I sort of know if, you know, tomorrow the Moon’s applying to a square with Mars versus like in a few days it’s applying to a trine with Jupiter or something like that and that always gives me a background knowledge of what the transits are in the sky at the time so.. I’m naturally also going to know what my own personal transits are more or less on a daily or weekly basis. And I know my level one of course Zodiac Releasing periods. And I know my level of twos because those lasts for a year or two or sometimes three and I know that I’m like in a level two peak period right now but that’ll run out in a few months. But I might not otherwise know what level three or especially level four period is.. like Leisa just reminded me, told me actually, didn’t remind me, told me that I’m in a like level four loosing of the bond in Fortune today that was jumping to a mixed sign for me over the past few days..

KS: Okay.

CB: So.. that was good background information where it’s like oh yeah that makes sense. But I wasn’t otherwise- like I think I feel like one of the things I’ve noticed as new astrologers.. because your own birth chart is often your primary interest and it’s your first reference a case study, new astrologers go through this process for a few years of being super obsessed with their own chart and applying every technique to it and knowing everything about it often down to a minut level for quite a while, like early in your studies, and that’s relatively normal. But there is some like leveling out of that I feel like that occurs yeah at some point and especially when I occasionally would talk to some some much older astrologers like when I talked to Demetra George or Rob Hand.. they were not like obsessed with their chart constantly like every day and while they did have some background knowledge of larger trends it wasn’t the same level of focus there was in some instances even a greater level of just like acceptance of just I need to go about living a life. And that’s my primary concern at a certain point.

KS: Yeah. I think part of what happens there is that in the beginning you’re in an intake phase, where you’re taking in the wisdom of astrology, the techniques of astrology, the practice of astrology. It’s natural to apply that to your own chart, maybe your partners or children’s or family’s chart.. so there’s a massive intake. But there comes a time where- it starts like for me there was the shift.. the shift happened partly when I started seeing more clients. And then I was doing the work, but it wasn’t all about me anymore, and that was when you started to have that shift of well.. let’s see.. how these things work, or how can we take them out into the world, and the focus is less on, you know, yourself, if you like.

AC: Yeah. I think that’s a very real thing. I would also say for me, and probably not just for me, you do all your thinking about not just the period you’re in, but the next couple of periods, and then when you get there you’ve already thought about it.

KS: Yes, that’s true.

AC: Yes, you know, in two years I will enter a new level one Z.R. period. I’ve thought about that and thought of it considered the parameters of that for I don’t know 12 years yeah like I have a set of expectations that’s based on technical analysis and so, you know, it’s I’ve already got that. I can just reference all the work that I’ve done on that or like, you know, with profections you’re like oh it’s another sixth house profection.. 

KS: I remember what happened last time.

AC: ..Yeah, I not only remember what happened last time, but I sat down two years ago and looked at all my sixth house profections and looked at the difference by transits and like I can just open that file and I have a set of reasonable expectations based on that.

KS: Yeah I think just as you’re saying that Austin, it makes me realize that when you first get into astrology in some ways you’re playing catch up too because you’re doing that intensive period in those first few years of learning about yourself, what’s happening currently, but also how the timing techniques relate to everything that’s happened in your past.

CB: Yeah, and when you’re looking at everyone else’s birth chart, anyone else’s transits in your life.

KS: Yeah, absolutely. But then once you’ve been in it for a while you’ve got more time to let things breathe and you have more time to get your head around what’s coming up next and you’re not doing as much background catch up, if you like. So it does- I think the plateau is very relevant, very real.

CB: And there’s probably.. there’s something related to that, which is that many people’s primary motivation and getting into astrology and studying natal astrology especially becomes an interest in learning about the self and like Who am I and what am I here to do?

KS: Yeah.

CB: Whereas, like if you- the longer and longer you’ve been in astrology- oftentimes the more well defined like your sense of who you are and what you’re doing here maybe is at that point.. so.. that the almost obsession with it, or that the searching for that question might be lessened because you might have more of those answers on some level.

KS: Mhm, yeah. That’s a beautiful point.

AC: Mm-hmm.

KS: Yeah. There was a part to this question about what are some good questions to ask when having your first astrology consult? 

AC: Yeah.

KS: Any tips?

AC: For any astrology consult, ask questions that are important to you.

KS: Yes.

AC: Right? Just ask. And especially like.. if, you know, what- which you probably do.. like what kind of astrology the person you’re consulting with practices..

KS: Yes.

AC: And what kind of questions they answer.. like.. what is important to you that you think they probably have answers to? Just ask.

CB: I mean.. that raises a good point though, which is if you ask a person a question or a technical question or even a philosophical question that they don’t specialize in or aren’t like the right person to ask, you’re not going to necessarily get a good answer.

AC: Yeah.

CB: So.. having familiarity with what kind of types of questions can this astrologer answer or did they claim to be able to answer ahead of time is actually really important. Because if somebody came in and like asked me about their past lives I would say that’s not what I do..

KS: Yeah.

CB: ..and they could be incredibly disappointed if they go in just assuming that all astrologers deal with past lives or deal with karma or deal with any other number of things. I mean sometimes that can be clarified just by asking ahead of time.. these are the range of questions I’d like to ask, do you feel confident or comfortable addressing all these issues?

KS: Yeah, yeah and there are sometimes yet today, you know, the style of my practice has changed over the years where, you know, in the beginning when I first started seeing clients more than 50 years ago there was more modern spin and that’s really evolved. So there are certain things that clients will ask about.. look I’m not really working with that or that’s not a technique I offer. So I think there are questions to ask even before you book the reading in terms of making sure that this person can answer the things you want to know at that point in time. But I think one of the larger questions I wanted to say here or larger points is that it is good to ask questions. That when you come into any type of reading like this having a sense of a theme or a topic or an issue that you would like some insight around, the more clear- and maybe this is a layover from my Horary days.. if you have a sense of what you want to know it’s gonna be easier for someone to try and give you insight around that.

CB: Yeah as opposed to..

AC: Can’t agree more.

CB: ..the opposite scenario is just somebody like a client come in and handing you the chart and then sitting back and folding their arms and saying ‘tell me everything about my life’ without any real question..

KS: Or any context. And you can do that, and I have done that. And I have had clients over the years that are just like ‘I’m just curious about astrology.. what does..’ And really what they’re saying- and I’ll say so.. you just kinda wanna know about yourself through the chart?’ And that that’s at least that is a way in if you like. It’s not essential, like your astrologer can do the chart read without that but it will help focus your time together. And from the client perspective it will help you give you a sense of that really met my need, or I really got something that I can identify out of it.

CB: Yeah, because there’s some technical- there’s some questions that I would use certain techniques for and there’s other techniques that I would use for other types of questions.

KS: Absolutely, absolutely. So.. letting your practitioner know what you’re after allows them to most adequately prepare to meet your needs for the day, so asking questions is good.

AC: Yeah, and, you know, even if you do ask someone- you ask a practitioner question that’s not one that they answer, they’ll probably just tell you that..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..And that’ll be- that’ll take up 20 seconds of the reading.

KS: Yeah. That’s okay.

CB: Yeah.

AC: And like Kelly what mantras should I practice during, you know, during the fifty second year of my life yeah it’s not really what I study?

KS: I don’t work with mantras Austin, but I refer you to someone who does.

AC: Yeah um.

CB: It’s just too bad if that’s sometimes like something that client comes into just assuming you do, and then are disappointed if they didn’t ask that question ahead of time to make sure that that’s something that you specialize in or or do. So it’s important sometimes to ask those questions.

AC: Yeah, I feel like mmm it’s pretty clear- I don’t know right maybe this is just my perspective it seems like it’s pretty clear what everybody does.. like everybody’s website is like ‘I do this’ if you look at my work I deal with this kind of thing.

KS: Totally. And I think there is a little bit of onus on the client to ensure that if they’re going to take the time and spend the money of having a session with someone, that you look into a little bit of what they offer. And most practitioners will have a description of what their sessions cover or include, so a little bit of research before you go ahead can definitely ensure that your experience is more fulfilling.

CB: Yeah. I just think if you don’t have any background in astrology sometimes clients come in not realizing that there’s differences between astrologers or different specializations or different techniques.

KS: Yeah.

CB: And that’s where the issue can come from.

KS: Totally. I guess it’s just- yeah it’s tricky. Yeah, it can come from- and I don’t know that there’s a solve for that basically. 

CB: Yeah.. just greater awareness of us saying that on this podcast, so that the people listening to it will know to do that whereas they may not otherwise.

KS: Yeah. Yeah.

CB: All right, let’s see. Next question?

AC: Um alright at Grace Rolek on Twitter asks ‘if you have the malefic contrary to sect in the sign of its rulership or exaltation, would you interpret that as having more power to cause trouble or would you say that it’s less troublesome because of its dignity?’ 

CB: And then there was like a related sub-question from somebody else.

CB: At, on Twitter.. at Brian E Cline writes ‘is it more subjectively positive for native to have strongly positioned malefics or weakly positioned malefics, example: would angular Saturn in Capricorn a night chart be better worst for the native than an angular Saturn in Aries in a night chart?”

CB: So.. when we read this before I think we were all essentially on the same page about the answer to this?

KS: Yes.

AC: I think so.

CB: What was the answer?

KS: Saturn in Cap. We could take Saturn in Capricorn on any day of the week over Saturn in Aries. 

CB: So.. the dignified malefic even if contrary to sect is going to be more preferable than a poorly placed malefic by Zodiacal sign.

KS: Yes.

AC: Yeah, generally speaking um and another big part of this is the planets the planets in your chart will tend to do all the things that it suggested they do um if if there’s a planet let’s say the malefic contrary to sect is in a strong position, it will do some good things for you, and it will also do the difficult things that it being the malefic contrary to sect suggests. It’ll do all of the things.

KS: Yes, yeah.. and this question- part of the reason it I was kind of happy to take this question today is that it just came up in a workshop I taught yesterday and one of the example charts that I used as a response was the chart of Meghan Markle, the American who married Prince Harry. And she has a Cancer rising chart, so a Capricorn descendant. It’s a nighttime chart with Saturn ruling the seventh and Saturn is in Libra in the fourth. And that’s, you know, this is her second marriage to Harry in a night chart. 

CB: In a night chart.

KS: Yes.

CB: Okay.

KS: So we’ve got the outer sector malefic is exalted and it’s the ruler of the seventh ..

CB: Right.

KS: ..and so we can see she’s had one marriage that obviously didn’t work out super well. And she’s now on her second marriage, which sounds good on paper, married a prince gonna be financial stability for life I imagine.

AC: There’s certain advantages.

KS: Yeah. So there is an exaltation factor there.

CB: Yeah, I mean that’s a really literal exaltation delineation.

KS: Right.. like she has raised up admitting..

AC: And from the fourth someone who comes from an exalted family.

KS: Family, yes that was in liberating the fourth. But the out of sect malefic factor is.. to go into this marriage she had to change her nationality to become British. She’s had to change her religion, she had to become, you know, into the Church of England, I believe. She’s also had to move thousands of miles away from where she actually lives, so.. there is a sense of some of that restriction or that heavy if you like now she’s presuming she’s gone willingly into this marriage but it comes with conditions and criteria.

AC: Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of limitations on her behavior for the rest of her life.

KS: Absolutely. 

AC: So a heavy weight.

KS: It’s a heavy burden, yeah. Things she can and can’t wear, things she can and can’t say in public, the scrutiny, you know, of having, you know, paparazzi around you all the time. So..

CB: Yeah, that’s interesting because we were talking about that as a fourth house topic when we did our houses series, just about fourth house as being the area where it’s the most private, no sense of your private life, as opposed the tenth house which is your public life.

KS: Absolutely. And the scrutiny that she’s under is perfectly because of her private life, her family and more. So now that they have a child.

CB: Yeah.

KS: So really we see both we see the exaltation factor but we also see the out of sect malefic factors.

CB: Yeah. In the way I usually answer this- because it comes up especially in Saturn returns- and this is something Leisa and I found over and over again in doing Saturn returns stories was that the.. if you have add a chart, Mars is the most difficult malefic due to sect and if you have a night chart, Saturn is the most difficult malefic due to sect. And when a person has a Saturn return, oftentimes or an act activation of Saturn by transit, that can be challenging and a night chart. But they tended always to be offset, or they tended to be a little bit better than they should have been otherwise if Saturn was dignified by being in its own sign or it’s an exaltation. So it’s always a factor where the dignity of Saturn takes the edge off of and sometimes adds a sort of silver lining rather than the opposite scenario that the questioner was asking about of making it worse somehow because Saturn is perceived as stronger.

KS: Mmhmm. Yeah absolutely.

CB: So that’s true just in general. And also of Mars that Mars, while it’s true it will still be the more difficult planet, if it’s in a day chart if it’s also dignified somehow Zodiacally, then you’re gonna get some more positive things coming from it as well and it’s going to not tend to be as bad as it could be otherwise. 

AC: Mm-hmm.

KS: Absolutely.

CB: Yeah. Anything else? 

KS: Yeah I guess we..

CB: Oh just that um.. when you see contradictions be like ‘Oh..’ which you always will.. you’re like ‘oh this planet’s got a great essential dignity, but it’s in a bad house’ or..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ‘..this planet’s in this great position in the tenth but it’s meh here and it rules this really good house, and it rules this really difficult house’ ..that planet over time will do all of the things.

KS: Yes.

AC: Instead of, you know, I think earlier.. I.. in my practice I would look for things to.. everything to cancel everything out.

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..and that that’s not really how it does all the things and you can come to an overall opinion based on all of the things but all of those things will tend to happen..

KS: Yeah. And so.. you can have a mixed experience where you can have a good thing and a difficult thing happen in different parts of your life around the same time.

AC: Right, like with Saturn return, it’s like ‘oh my my favorite grandpa passed away and that was really hard for me but I really came into my own here..’

KS: ‘I got this great promotion at work at the same time.’ 

AC: ..right. And like, you know, getting a promotion and Grandpa passing away like there you can’t just.. those are two separate things and that was that time in your life.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Where there’s this and this.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah definitely.

KS: Cool.

CB: All right. So I think that answers both of those questions.

AC: Mhm.

KS: Yes.

CB: So let’s see.. next question. 

KS: Are we good with this? Um.

CB: I don’t really have much to say about that..

AC: I mean I’ve got a I’ve got a quick thing to say about it.

KS: Okay, here we go so, Renee Marcellus: ‘I have a nodal return coming up, I’m having a hard time finding info about it, I’d love to know what one should expect during a nodal return.’

 AC: So.. the quick answer is that nodal returns are really important for really nodal charts. If you- the more planets you have on that axis the much bigger a deal that’s going to be. If you don’t have any planets on that axis, just look at that pair of houses, there’ll be a lot of action on that pair of houses. But if you have- the more planets you have on that axis, the much bigger deal it’s going to be. Like I have a very nodal chart so the- my returns were a huge deal..

KS: Yeah.

AC: ..I have the sect light on the nodal access. Some people have zero planets on the nodal axis. So.. Kelly I taught.. I have a four week class on nodes which includes nodal return, do you have any teachings on that?

KS: I don’t have any specific, no. And I do get questions like this occasionally so I have to put something together, but I don’t at this time. But I.. I mean I agree with all the points you’re saying in terms of the more nodal that your chart is I think, you know, the nodal returns happening in an angular house that can charge it up a bit. But it’s more about if it is triggering other planets at the same time or activating co-present planets.

AC: Yeah. Not every chart is equally nodal.

KS: Exactly.

CB: Yeah. And I’m still trying to decide, after coming out of modern astrology, where there’s.. became in the late 20th century this obsession with the nodes, and this over emphasis on the nodes, where some astrologers can’t literally can’t read a chart without the nodes being in it. And I decided to remove that from my astrology more than 10 years ago and then just slowly start reintroducing the nodes. I’m still trying to understand to what extent the nodes themselves are important versus the nodes are only important because of their connection with eclipses.. and sometimes I still go back and forth about that.

KS: Yeah I think I have got some better understanding about the nodes from the little that I have learned through the Indian traditions of astrology. I’ve got some better metaphors if you like, or better understanding. From a natal perspective I think when there’s a planet conjunct either the North or the South node that can be part of a factor of kind of qualifying how that planet operates in the chart. Yeah.. but it’s something that I did find similarly was over emphasized in the modern approach. And I had to pare it back and then bring it in in the ways that I felt it was actually gonna be effective. What I was seeing it be effective.

AC: Mm-hmm yeah.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah. Okay, what’s our next question?

KS: Uh just doing a bit of a time check and how we’re traveling.. and we want to keep going with this list?

AC: There’s six minutes to our proposed end time.

CB: I thought we were doing two hours. My recording says 1:45 in.

KS: Okay, so we got about 15 minutes.

AC: Because we started late.

KS: Yeah. So do we want to keep going on this current question list or do we wanna look elsewhere?

CB: Yeah, we can bring in some of the questions from Facebook.

KS: Yeah. Okay one of the questions, that I think you read out earlier, I’m assuming you want to take it but tell me if it’s wrong, what are the best and worst things about doing the podcast for so long?

CB: Well let’s do some first that we can all discuss. Do you guys have an opinion on like.. how do you- one of the questions from Facebook by Aaron V. was ‘how do you communicate really extremely nasty aspects to a client?’

AC: Kelly, didn’t you teach a workshop on this?

KS: I love this question. I did. I actually just taught a four part class called ‘Counseling skills for challenging aspects’. And it’s basically.. first of all how to identify difficult aspects, and configurations in the natal chart. And then how to talk about it. One of the components we looked at was to build our vocabulary about words that we might use to describe things that from a technical perspective we might think of as malefic or dysfunctional, but how would we actually use that? And part of the inspiration that I took, that I held inside me as I was delivering this program, was from Lily’s letter to the student. Where he talks about letting people know their hard fate by degrees. So there’s a piece of that.. of maybe not being unnecessarily brutal.. but I also think there’s a component about being clear. That if something does look difficult in the birth chart we would be remiss not to express that to the client. Now we may not want to say this part of your life is crap and it will never work. I don’t know that that’s necessarily helpful. But we might say that this part of the chart looks quite limited, there may be some delays, it might be a part of the chart that is going to have limitation, it might be that a particular planet’s condition indicates that great effort is going to be required to activate that topic. And then the individual can sort of decide whether that topic is worth the effort for instance. So part of it is first of all for you to be clear in your mind about what the difficult aspect is. And I think the extra piece that traditional astrology does very well is.. to what topics in the life does that difficult aspect to speak? So that you can be very clear that this problem in the chart if your technical issue is directly connected to X Y or Z topics. And one of the special interest areas that I’ve got like a research project running on is about when the lord of the first is in quite a difficult condition and how that can indicate some health concerns for instance. And when you’re dealing with a client in that situation you don’t beat around the bush you just go in and you talk about, you know, this can indicate that the vitality in the body doesn’t work well, that your body doesn’t function the way it should, and that there can be an ongoing or a lifelong health concern for instance.

CB: What if they say ‘I have not have not experienced that so far’?

KS: So.. I had one client say no my health’s really good. And I was like ok fair enough, that factor.. I’m misinterpreting it, or it’s not relevant for your chart in some way.. and we went on with the session and about 15 or 20 minutes later from a different perspective the client then revealed that they were born with this heart condition they had two or three surgeries for as a child and it’s.. you know, it’s been fixed but it was there in the beginning.

CB: Right. Like oh yeah yeah.. with the heart thing.. the thing where I was born with a major heart defect and had to have like 20 surgeries.

KS: I was like ohhh, ok that’s probably the major health piece that I was talking about. And they’re like ‘oh i didn’t realize, because it’s not active anymore.’ 

CB: Yeah.

KS: ..for instance. So of course, that can be tricky because is it relevant the whole life..? is it some.. that was one of the better instances of this type of thing where it was treatable and it was a solved problem, if you like, but there are instances, Chris, I know we’ve talked about this where the client may not be at a point where that issue has kicked in yet.

CB: Right. Yeah and that’s the biggest issue especially when you’re dealing with a younger client, is like maybe they haven’t experienced that yet.

KS: Yeah and you don’t want to scare them, but from.. you know, just to use that example, with the health or the the Lord one body piece is okay fair enough if it hasn’t kicked in that’s great, if things come up for you in the future, maybe jump on them more quickly, you know, don’t delay doing a test or getting it, you know, checking things out if something comes up that’s a little off.

AC: Mm-hmm.

KS: But how would you guys answer this question?

AC: Well a couple things.. so one.. there’s so much you can say about a life with a chart right? And so that inherently limits the amount of things that can be discussed in a third meaningful manner yeah in any consultation right? So if you see in a chart that during the 56th year.. it looks like there.. like there are likely to be heart problems, and this person is 24, and they’re asking you about professional development. You’re not like ‘oh hold on, you know, in about 29 years, you know, you’re really gonna want to pay attention to your heart’..

KS: That’s fair, yeah.

AC: You know.. you know, don’t go out of your way to find a problem that’s not relevant.

KS: Yeah.

AC: If somebody asked me specifically about a topic, and there is something negative, then it is my job to relay it in an accurate but tactful manner.

KS: Beautifully said.

AC: Um and in general I also think that it’s important to balance.. do what you can to balance your communication or your messaging about a chart. You know, if we’re.. if we end up talking about something that’s very difficult for a while I think it’s important, but there’s all- there’s a bunch of great stuff in the chart.. but just that hasn’t come up so far.. I think it’s important to, you know, leave the person with the impression that, you know, their chart has good things too.

KS: There’s a mix.. Of a nasty thing potentially mixed in it.

AC: Right. It’s not.. You asked about the problems. So we focused on that but that’s not the entirety of what your chart says.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And again, within the bounds of honesty and integrity and like..

KS: Yeah, you don’t make up things and pretend something’s better than what it is.

AC: ..yeah but.

KS: No.. it’s funny when you said that, because.. So I taught the four part class on counseling skills for challenging aspects. And then the next thing that I taught was a three part course on benefits and blessings looking at all the Venus Jupiter things in this chart. So there was a real count- the teaching model took the model that are often used which cut with clients, which is.. happy to talk about, you know, what’s problematic or difficult because that’s where, you know, the- I remember Demetra George has spoken about this when she talks about in some ways it really validates a client’s experience when we can acknowledge that there is an indication or a signature in the chart that describes a problem that the client already knows they’re dealing with.

AC: Yeah.

KS: It won’t be a surprise to the client to hear that X Y Zed. Look, I know Chris, and you were sort of ‘what if the client hasn’t got there yet?’

CB: Right. ‘Cause that’s true of all older clients but sometimes of younger clients they just haven’t had that happen to them yet.

KS: Yeah, um and most of the clients that I have worked with they’re like ‘I was curious about why or yet that part of my life does concern me I feel like I failed there for some reason or what am I doing wrong that that part of my chart or my life doesn’t function the way other people’s do?’ So there is an opportunity to create some insight or context around that.

CB: Sure.

AC: Well yeah and there are, you know, one function of a lot of techniques is you can.. you can very often figure out if a difficult.. or if a blessing or a curse like something really favorable. or unfavorable is like scheduled for delivery later or whether that probably happened yet..

KS: Yeah there are some ways you can get that timing.

AC: ..that’s um of the things when I look at a chart, I’m like oh that promises that and like has that happened yet? Is that unfolding right now? or is that like 4 years from now?

KS: Is that in the future?

AC: I also won’t talk about something amazing that’s gonna happen when there’s 75 if they’re 20.

KS: Yeah they don’t need.. Yeah.

CB: And one issue that comes up and doing predictive astrology like this though is there’s always ultimately going to be some ambiguity surrounding the extent and the severity, even of the most negative indications. So that you have to be careful because astrology and the birth chart is not a crystal ball that you look into like you’re watching a movie about the future. You’re looking at symbols and symbolism, and you’re in tempting to interpret them to the best of your abilities, but there’s still a level of speculation and a level of not complete precision that’s available and that’s true even in terms of astrologers looking at their own charts.. that sometimes we can and we can see a difficult transit coming up, we can have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to relate to, or how bad it might be but there might still be a range of ‘oh this wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be’ or ‘oh this actually was worse than I even anticipated’ within a range or a bounds of certain probabilities. Um and I think it’s important for astrologers to acknowledge that, because it brings a level of what’s the term like humbleness when approaching the prediction of especially difficult events for other people and the ability to leave open room for maybe it won’t be ‘even if I think this is going to be worst-case scenario maybe it won’t be as bad as it could be’ for this person and giving them some room to breathe in terms of that. Not framing it, even if you do think in your personal opinion that it’s going to be the worst case scenario, I’m not sure that it’s always helpful to the client to lay that on them. Especially if they’re not prepared for that information.

KS: Mm-hmm.. absolutely. One of the approaches that I often take when we run looking at something that from a technical perspective is indicated to be quite difficult is I might say ‘look there’s a is a spectrum of possible manifestations here’.. that we’re definitely talking about the topic of maybe career or relationships because getting the topic can be an easier piece, and then you’ve got the timing with whatever timing technique you’re using. But I might say, you know, A B C or D could happen. And, you know, with A being a relatively mild version of this challenge and, you know, D or E being one of the more difficult versions that there could be.. something within that space, if you like.

CB: Yeah.. I mean there’s always going to be a tension between the astrologers desire to be open and honest with the client and tell them exactly what you see and what you think versus also the desire not to harm the client with knowledge that they may not be prepared to handle or deal with. And not wanting yourself as the astrologer especially to have somebody come back and say like ‘why didn’t you tell me about this thing coming up?’.

KS: It’s a fine line.. yeah. It’s a very fine line.

CB: Sure. Yeah so.. that that’s tricky.. that.. I mean because what if in some techniques like if a person starting extremely like a thirty year period that is their most difficult what I would think in their life for a certain topic but that’s not something that they’re inquiring about, yeah.. I mean I don’t know that it’s always necessarily to go into that or to emphasize that.. and somebody.. sometimes emphasizing the more positive or constructive parts of the charter of the person’s life to me is more important than laying on them if some super heavy stuff is going to last for the greater portion of the rest of their life or something like that. I mean yeah.. how do you guys feel about that?

AC: Yeah.. like I said earlier I won’t give information that I’m not asked about. Especially if it’s negative.

CB: But you also said that you feel like you- it’s your duty to be..

AC: If they ask me about it.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So you’ll just lay on them, and say ‘yes this is the worst 30 period of your life.”

AC: Well I wouldn’t I wouldn’t say ‘worst’.. I would.. It depends on what the question was. Yeah.. I would describe it in a tactful and at best I could accurate manner if I was asked directly about that as the person’s astrologer.

KS: Yeah.

CB: But what is the line between moderate versus tactful?

AC: Well, there’s so much other stuff going on. Like there’s no thirty year period that’s uniform.. you might be going, you know, for this topic or for the peak peak most difficult parts of that period like there might be a few years that are, you know, really brutal but they’re still going to be high points within that and, you know..

CB: It’s finding ways though to hedge..

AC: It’s not hedging..

CB: ..or to silver lining within what is overall like a super negative.. potentially period let’s say in the worst worst case scenario. Like if you’re still looking for a wool within this you’ll have these positive sub periods that will punctuate an overall, you know, extremely difficult period for this topic where some very traumatic or tough stuff might happen or be removed from your life. There’s still a tension there in terms of wanting to be brutally honest about that, versus on the other hand wanting to be compassionate and not laying something completely on somebody that they may not be prepared to hear or may not be actually even healthy for them to hear. I’m not sure that foreknowledge of things is always necessarily helpful; there might be instances where it might not be helpful or it could be a burden for the person.

AC: Sure. Well I also.. I don’t see any one technique as being able to say everything.. and so.. there are always contradiction.. there there’s confluences and contradictions at different points in the life and that’s only, you know, the Zodiacal Releasing from Spirit might be difficult but, you know, I see the.. for example the Vimshottari Dasha being very accurate. And so let’s say for half of that 30 years they’re also in a really rough um Vimshottari Dasha period, whereas in the other half they’re in their best sixteen years. And so you know, I look at all the things that I look at and weigh them against each other.

KS: Mm-hmm yeah. I mean.. I tend to focus on the next 12 to 18 months with clients from a timing perspective. So that’s a comfort place for me, and it tends to be something that clients are.. it’s a sort of a manageable forward-looking time frame that they can reasonably or practically work with. I don’t.. I guess I think there is a way to be honest without being brutal if that makes sense.. that you can be compassionate and still talk about things that are difficult. I also know that when clients are in the thick, of or about to start something that’s quite difficult, it does them a disservice to ignore the challenges of whatever they might be dealing with. 

AC: Yeah.

CB: Right.

KS: It’s more helpful to say look this particular cycle or profection or transit or what have you began three months ago and it lasts for eighteen months perhaps.. and they’ll often say oh this horrible thing happened three months ago they will actually take comfort from knowing there is an endpoint to that even if it is, you know, six or twelve months ahead. So.. yeah I think.. I think there is a way to be honest without being brutal basically.

AC: Yeah, and different people respond to information and use foreknowledge or, you know, sketches of the future in different ways, you know, some, you know, there’s a good portion of clients who come in with worst case. And you’re like ‘actually it’s only pretty bad’.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And they’re like’ oh thank god..’

CB: Right.

AC: ..’I was assuming, you know, nightmare etc’.

KS: Yeah, it’s not what you think.. Yeah.

AC: And then some people like.. are assuming the best possible case and, you know, you might need to have a dialogue about ratcheting down expectations.. managing expectations. Like people come in with very different psychologies. Some people are really comfortable with the idea that everything is terrible.. like that’s their baseline. And people.. you know, but they’re just, you know..

KS: All varieties.

AC: ..all the different people and so you’re always reading for.. your consulting for the person you’re consulting for. And there are some good principles of consultation and rules of thumb but just like with charts like each chart has its own dynamic.

KS: That’s true, yeah. that’s a good point. 

CB: Sure, but there’s some.. so there’s some level though.. of adaptation to each client and where they’re at and what their psychology is in terms of how you’re presenting the information.

AC: Yeah.. Just like it’s like a more in.. like a more intense version of having a conversation with anybody.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Absolutely. And it.. I mean.. for my practice, which has run for many years now, it will depend on whether the client is brand new, or whether they’re a client that I have worked with annually for 15 years. There’s a different level of dynamic, there’s a different level of trust between the client and the practitioner. And there’s also a different level of understanding of the chart. So if I’ve got if I’m privileged enough to have a client that I’ve worked with for a number of years we will have gone through many highs and lows together already, but we will both have an understanding of how their chart works based on different timing factors, which allows more of an open dialogue, because that trust.. but that that’s something that builds over time. 

AC: Yeah.

CB: Yeah and negotiating that dynamic is one of the important skills that you start learning as a consulting astrologer, and that’s one of the reasons it’s important to start getting that experience because getting experience negotiating those things and feeling out where a person is at and what they’re maybe capable of hearing on some level is something that you can’t necessarily read in a book.. that you have to learn how to do partially by practice. 

KS: Yeah, and you have to learn what your part of responsibility around that is as the practitioner, and then also to talk with the client about what are the kinds of things you want to hear about not just in terms of career or money, but to to.. for the two of you to talk together about what is an appropriate style of languaging around what what might be quote unquote good versus quote unquote bad for instance.

CB: Sure.

KS: Yeah there’s a lot that comes in and these are what we’re really talking about here I think our sort of client practice skills which are separate to but are very like in addition to the Astro.. actual astrological technique skills if you like.

CB: Right, definitely. Alright.. well I think that’s good for that question. It looks like we’re at 2 hours. I think you guys wanted to cut it off here, or do you want to do one other question?

AC: Is there one particularly juicy question we can end on or is it time to wrap it up?

KS: I mean.. I’m yeah.. if there’s a juicy question.. for sure. Do you have one in mind Chris? There’s kind of a fun question, but I don’t know if you guys want to take that, it came through before.

CB: Okay.

AC: It might be nice to end on a fun note.

KS: Okay.

AC: We were just talking about how to communicate the worst possible scenario.

KS: So this is.. and this is a little bit more somebody was asking us, the three of us, about chart swaps basically. Want me to read the question now? 

CB: Mhm.

KS: So Bernal Orbit from Twitter asks ‘if you could trade placements with each other from your chart charts which ones would you take on and why?”

AC: So what would you steal?

KS: Well, because we did get the questions earlier, I have prepared my answer for this.

AC: Oh why don’t you start?

KS: (to Austin) I would steal your Gemini Moon.

AC: Oh.

KS: Because.. I know that’s not.. I mean.. maybe I should steal something else in your chart but..

AC: Thieves choice.

KS: Thieves choice.. yeah. I mean but the reason I thought about your Gemini Moon is that I do always admire your wittiness and your way with words, and I’m always impressed by that. So, I’d like to have a bit of that.

AC: Well, that would fit well in your chart because you have an angular Mercury and that would put the Moon in the fourth, also angular. So.. that would be a good fit.

KS: I mean.. I feel like.. as I’m saying that I’m like shit.. you have something really good in your chart that I probably should have like traded for instead but Chris I thought about what I would take from your chart too. And there’s a theme here.. So.. obviously people will learn about what’s of interest to me… I would.. this is my.. I don’t know.. like I’m assuming I can sort of, I don’t know if I would put all these things in the same chart, but I would steal your Mercury Saturn conjunction.

CB: Okay.

KS: Because I like the thoroughness and the diligence of that. I do not have a Mercury Saturn conjunction in my chart. So I really appreciate that sort of structure and that dips that you have so… that’s what I would steal. And I didn’t even steal any dignified planets or anything like that.

AC: That was very kind of.. For you to leave those untouched.

KS: (Laughs). I left those alone.

CB: It’s like an astrology trading game.

KS: Yeah. Basically, let’s just pretend it’s like Settlers of Catan, and we’re like.. instead of wooden-shapen bricks, we’re trading planets. So I don’t know if you have thought about this.

AC: Let’s see.. um.. I don’t know.. I think Chris’s eleventh house Venus would solve some of my problems. 

KS: Probably. (Laughs). 

AC: I have an eighth house Venus, and it rules my eleventh but from the eighth..

KS: Yeah, that’s different.

AC: ..and ugh eleventh. A lot of eleventh house stuff is really draining for me. And you know, what I like, what I think is beautiful.. all these Venus topics, tends to be more private and, you know, work better in a one-on-one or, you know, or a more private context. So I don’t know it seems like it would be useful to have an eleventh house Venus for, you know, as much podcasting and talking as I do.

KS: As you do. 

CB: One of the things that’s really funny is as we’re sitting here recording this episode. 

KS: Yeah, what’s happening in the sky?

CB: Well I don’t think I can pull it up right.. I can show it but literally when we started this episode.. the recording.. Venus was still in Sagittarius separating from Jupiter and it just slipped into..

KS: Into Capricorn. 

CB: ..into Capricorn, so..

AC: I’d also steal Kelly’s eleventh house Venus. 

KS: (Laughs).

CB: Okay.

KS: So that’s like you’re taking two eleventh house Venus.

AC: Yeah so now I have two eleventh house Venus. That’ll solve a lot of my uh social problems.

KS: I kind of.. until.. actually like.. not just this moment, but earlier on this trip, I didn’t make that connection, Chris, that you and I both have an eleventh house Venus.

CB: Okay. 

AC: And Venus rules my eleventh.

KS: Different signs and stuff. Yeah and you have- so we all have a different Venus connection to the eleventh, you would just like the more.. the placement version of ours rather than the rulership version of yours.

AC: Mhm.

KS: Okay, that’s fair, that’s fair.

AC: So I’m just takin’ all the Venus’s. 

KS: Yeah.. Greedy Venus over here.

CB: Uhh I think I would steal both of the Jupiter emphasis in both of your charts. There’s like so much Saturn in my chart, it’s the ruler of the ascendant and my Moon’s in a Saturn ruled sign. And Saturn’s up to there with all of the Scorpio planets like the Sun and Mercury, that I think I would take.. Kelly, you just have that stellium and then you have a very exuberant Jupiter in Leo that’s like ruling the Pisces planets.

KS: Yeah.

CB: And Austin, you have that exalted Jupiter in Cancer in the first house. So both of you have the off setting like Jupiter influence, which I otherwise normally just import by getting you to come out here and balance it out. 

KS: You would like to keep it permanently.

CB: Yeah.

AC: Now I feel bad about stealing your eleventh house Venus because that’s one of your few reverential..

KS: That’s his joy. That’s his joy piece. Oh gosh, that’s too funny.

AC: Yeah. 

KS: (to Chris) So you would steal Jupiter’s? 

CB: I think it’s Jupiter’s.. yeah. 

KS: I like how you both had a theme.. I mean I kind of had a theme. I took a Moon in Gemini and Mercury placement so..

AC: Yeah.

KS: ..we all had themes. Um that’s cool, I like that. And so.. also like just to circle back to I think where we started today we obviously all know each other’s chart. So, you know, in our sort of dynamic it’s okay to talk about this kind of thing, and then we can poke fun at each other’s charts too. Which we do. 

CB: Yeah, well notice that we’ve talked this week.. we’ve mentioned stuff in passing or gotten to know each other even more than we did previously because usually we meet up at conferences..

KS: Yeah.

CB: But uh yeah and occasionally like a chart placement or whatever will become relevant and will be mentioned in passing.

KS: Of course. Oh we have definitely had chart-charts this week.

AC: Yeah. 

CB: Yeah.

KS: You have a cup of tea or, you know..

CB: That’s part of the fun of meeting up with other astrologers.

KS: Absolutely. And making them friends, getting all this eleventh house Venus action going.

CB: Right. Alright, well I guess that’s it for this episode.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Alright.

KS: Thanks everyone for sending in all your questions.

AC: Thank you for your Q’s, I hope you liked our A’s.

CB: Yeah thanks for sending your questions. Sorry if we didn’t get to everybody, we got to as many as we could today, I think we did a pretty good job actually of getting through quite a few.

KS: We did because there are a few we’re able to kind of bring in just because they were complimentary to others.

AC: Mhm.

CB: Right. Cool. Well thanks everyone for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Thanks to the patrons who supported the production of the episode and we’ll see you again next time.

AC: Bye.

KS: Bye.

CB: Thanks to the patrons and sponsors who helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through a page on Patreon.com, including patrons: Christine Stone and Nate Craddock, as well as the Astro Gold Astrology App, available at Astrogold.io, The Portland School of Astrology at Portland Astrology.org, The Honeycomb Collective, personal astrological almanacs at Honeycomb.co, and also the International Society for Astrological Research which is hosting an astrology conference in Denver, Colorado September 10th through the 14th, 2020. And you can find out more information about that at East’s our 2020 org and the Northwest Astrological Conference which is happening in Seattle May 21st through 25th, 2020. And you can find out more information about that at Norwac.net for more information about how to sign up to become a patron of the podcast go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast.