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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 125 Transcript: How to Choose a Professional Astrologer

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 125, titled:

How to Choose a Professional Astrologer

With Chris Brennan, Cassandra Tyndall, and Tony Howard

Episode originally released on September 27, 2017


Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: theastrologypodcast@gmail.com

Transcribed by Teresa “Peri” Lardo

Transcription released June 12th, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode is recorded on Sunday, September 24th, 2017, starting just after 11:44 PM in Denver, Colorado, and this is the hundred and twenty-fifth episode of the show. For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron, please visit TheAstrologyPodcast.com/subscribe.

In this episode, I’m gonna be talking with astrologers Cassandra Tyndall and Tony Howard about how to choose a professional astrologer that is right for you when you’re looking for a consultation. So Cassandra and Tony, welcome to the show.

TONY HOWARD: Thanks, Chris.

CASSANDRA TYNDALL: Thank you, Chris.

CB: Hey. I’m excited to talk to you guys today, and thanks for joining me. This is a topic I’ve sort of been kicking around for a while, but it actually recently came up again and it seems like a number of astrologers have been discussing this specific topic or things related to it lately, so it seemed like a good time to talk about it. I know, Cassandra, you said that you’d seen a few discussions about it on forums and stuff recently as well, right?

CT: Yeah, I think just over the weekend, Chris, just say a few different comments about not only about people choosing an astrologer but I guess – and astrologers choosing astrologers, too, in a sense, and what sort of may be appropriate or not to be put online. And so I think it’s definitely, you know, a great discussion point to be discussing, because I think, you know, I guess one of the clear differences is what’s appropriate for astrologers but then what’s appropriate for the general public and, you know, promoting that image that people – “yes, I’d love to have an astrology consultation with that person.” Or even just choosing astrology as opposed to, perhaps, you know, a tarot card reading or a psychic medium or something like that. Even choosing astrology as an entry point for whether it’s predicting the future or whether it’s, you know, wanting to have a little bit of an idea about who they are from that natal perspective, too.

CB: Right, yeah. And it’s kind of difficult from an outsider’s perspective if you’re coming into the field without much background in it to, you know, know what to do or who might be best suited for you if you’re trying to get a consultation, or that there are different types of consultations that you could get with an astrologer and so on and so forth. So maybe let me actually back up for a second here, because both of you – I mean, I think all three of us are consulting astrologers who have seen clients and either are currently doing that or have done so in the past. And Tony, you are also this sort of like, manager of a number of different consulting astrologers in some sense, and you also run a website for people to help them connect with astrologers, right?

TH: Sure thing, yeah. Yeah, I built a website that was one of the first searchable databases of astrologers back in 2009.

CB: Okay. And you’re – I mean, I guess, since you guys, it’s your first time on the show, I probably should have introduced you first. And so Tony, you’re an astrologer currently based in Portland, right?

TH: That’s right. Portland, Oregon, for those of you in the other Portland – Portland, Maine.

CB: And what’s your website again?

TH: Well, my personal website is AstroRaven.com, so A S T R O raven dot com. And then I also run Astrology University, which is AstrologyUniversity.com, and the website I was talking about earlier where I was trying to help people find astrologers is called FindAnAstrologer.com.

CB: Okay. Perfect. And Cassandra, your website is CassandraTyndall.com, right?

CT: That’s correct, yes. And I’m based in Brisbane in Australia, hence the accent. And for those who don’t know, it’s about 1,000 kilometers north of Sydney, so a little bit hotter up here.

CB: And you’re like, a practicing or consulting astrologer, right?

CT: Totally, yeah. It’s a big part of what I do is consult, and media, teaching, bit of everything, really, yeah.

CB: Excellent. Okay. And I thought you guys would be great to talk to for that reason today. So this topic – it had originally come up, actually, I think, a year or two ago where on Reddit, for example, frequently there’s a lot of newer astrologers or people that don’t know much about astrology and are just getting into who will often ask to have their chart read, and an astrologer – one of the moderators of the astrology subreddit – Jo Gleason wrote a great post on Reddit that acted as sort of like, a guide for how to pick a professional astrologer if you’re looking for one, and I thought about doing a show on the topic about a year ago when that post was made. And then recently, the topic came up again when Sam Reynolds wrote a blog post titled, “How Do We Decipher Who Qualifies as a Real Astrologer?” And the context of that was a little bit different because he was kind of upset because he felt like a recent article on astrology that was published by Buzzfeed – that he didn’t, he sort of reacted to the fact that two of the people that were interviewed he didn’t feel like they were, or it seemed as if they weren’t like, regularly consulting astrologers. And as a regular consulting astrologer, he felt kind of annoyed that people who were not doing that as their full-time job in terms of seeing clients were being interviewed to represent the rest of the astrologers who were. And therefore, in his article, he outlines some tips for identifying like, actual, legitimate astrologers versus those who might not be, and some of those tips are kind of relevant here although that, of course, bring up a whole separate issue about how you define “astrologer” and other things like that that I’ve talked about before on the show.

TH: Yeah, and Chris, was that in response to the media basically picking somebody at random?

CB: Yeah, because that’s a reoccuring theme, I think, that all astrologers get used to eventually, which is that typically the media will either just randomly pick, you know, somebody —

TH: Whoever they can find online, like, easily, right?

CT: Totally.

CB: Yeah, it’s whoever they can find. And that for some reason, there’s a very high percentage of like, instances where the interview will actually end up being with somebody who is representing astrologers, supposedly, but that astrology is not actually their primary profession.

TH: Right.

CB: So I know that came up like, a year ago with like, the History Channel did a documentary or something on astrology that was an hour long and they interviewed —

TH: Right.

CB: — you know, like, two people, but like, one of them was primarily just like, I think she was a yoga instructor or something like that who did astrology on the side. And so, you know, Sam, I think, was reacting to a similar thing where there were two, you know, consulting astrologers who had careers in the field and accolades or who had done other work, but then there was like, one or two other people who were primarily just writers who had other professions and recently sort of got into astrology on the side but didn’t even necessarily identify as astrologers professionally, and yet they were being interviewed for this piece. So that was almost kind of like, a separate issue just in terms of like, you know, the battle between astrology and the media and sometimes mischaracterizations or how astrology is something poorly presented in the media. But Sam actually, you know, ended up raising some really good points about how, perhaps, you might find a legitimate astrologer that are actually relevant in this context as well in terms of if you’re a client who’s seeking an astrologer, what are some of the things that you might look for or that you might wanna take into account in that process?

TH: Right.

CB: So have you guys, did you guys when you were getting into astrology, did you get astrological consultations or have you had your charts read by other astrologers?

CT: Yeah. I remember, I think, it was actually probably when I was making that sort of fork-in-the-road decision, do I continue on the same sort of course of the astro study that I was doing, which was modern psychological, or sort of starting to veer towards more traditional astrology. And so I had a reading at that time with both a modern psychological astrologer and a more traditional to really kind of make that decision, you know, as a fairly new astrologer; I’d probably only been studying it for less than 12 months at the time. And you know, that’s sort of how I made my decision moving forward, which, you know, evolved professionally which I didn’t think would happen back then. So yeah, I love getting readings from other astrologers.

CB: Sure.

CT: How about you, Tony?

TH: I actually had my first astrology reading when I was 15. I used to… I lived in Houston, I used to drive down to this new age bookstore that turns out Marianne Williamson used to work there as well before her career took off, and I met an astrologer at that bookstore who was doing readings one day, and she gave me a reading in exchange for doing some babysitting for her. And that was how I got hooked, actually —

CT: Oh wow.

TH: — at a very early ago. So I didn’t really go through a process of choosing. And then after that, I basically chose astrologers based on referrals from other people. I think that’s how a lot of folks get readings is through referrals, and I think that’s a great way to definitely connect with somebody because obviously you’re usually getting referred by somebody that you know, a friend or a family member, who’s had a reading with that person and had a good experience. And I put that as maybe if we’re making a little chalkboard list of criteria here on how to choose an astrologer, I think that’s definitely something that should be on the list.

CB: Yeah, definitely referrals from other people. All right. So let’s then get into this. So the basis of this is basically how do you choose an astrologer, and I mentioned the article by Jo Gleason. I also mentioned the article by Sam Reynolds. If you just do like, a Google search for “how to choose an astrologer,” you’ll find a bunch of other great articles pretty quickly. Like, there was one I found by Enid Newberg, one by Theodore Naicker, and one by Wendy Guy that were all particularly good and well done and gave different perspectives on that topic. So here in this discussion, I just wanted to talk about some different tips and strategies that clients should think about when trying to find an astrologer for a consultation. And in terms of our initial starting point, I mean, the first thing, I guess, to mention is just that the primary job of most astrologers is seeing clients. And while astrologers also do other things like teaching and writing and other types of things like that or sometimes have other income streams, it seems like for the majority of astrologers that’s one of the primary things that they do as part of their job or part of their career is seeing clients, essentially. I mean, would you guys say that’s accurate, more or less?

CT: Totally.

TH: Yeah, I think so. I think that’s probably, you know, the most common way to work in astrology is to do readings.

CB: Sure. And so astrologers act then sort of as consultants who you have the option, if you want to, to pay them in order to talk to them and for them to use their skill or share some of their knowledge about astrology with you. And the sort of broad outlines of this really vary depending on what you’re looking for and what you’re trying to accomplish. Then there’s also a sort of wide range in terms of prices, in terms of how much that costs depending on things like who the astrologer is, how long they’ve been practicing, what their specialty is, and also sorts of other things like that. But in terms of why this is a question, one of the preliminary things might be, you know, some of the issues in terms of why this should be discussed. And I think one of the primary things is just that it would be kind of hard or it seems like it would be kind of hard if you’re coming in from outside of the astrological community and you don’t know much about astrology, it might be difficult to know, you know, who you should be consulting with or who would maybe be most suited for you if you weren’t able to get like, a referral from a friend or something like that, and that there is actually a lot of different options available. I mean, that’s probably one of the biggest challenges in terms of this, right? Is just there’s so many different options available – how do you narrow down which ones are correct?

TH: Yeah. I think it must be really challenging to not – I mean, it’s like you said at the beginning here, if they don’t know anything about astrology, how are they gonna know the right questions to ask? And so I think this podcast is great if people like that do stumble across this podcast or some of those articles you mentioned where they can find what the right questions are to be asking.

CB: Right. Yeah, definitely. And so I mean, additionally, in addition to just that issue of there being so many different options, there’s also a sort of lack of standardization in the field, which can sometimes make it feel like the Wild West or something in terms of a lot of people doing different things at different skill levels at different price points and there being some lack of clarity or lack of clear standards in terms of that. And then also, there can sometimes be pitfalls that you have to be aware of or be careful about. Like, you might expect or assume that there are certain things that the astrologer will do that maybe they don’t actually offer. And so if there’s like, miscommunication between the astrologer and the client, that can be problematic as well in terms of getting what you paid for or getting what you’re looking for. And then finally, also, there can be issue – some very rare instances where perhaps you might end up with somebody if you’re looking for an astrology reading but you don’t sort of pick the right person, you might end up with something where the person isn’t even using astrology at all or that’s really not their primary thing that they’re drawing on, which you might not realize if you weren’t paying sort of close attention.

TH: Right.

CB: I mean, have you guys come across – I think we’ve all come across instances like that where sometimes that can happen, right?

CT: Yeah, totally. I mean, I’ve had this happen to me a fair bit, actually, because from time to time, I align myself with different events around Brisbane, whether they’re sort of psychic markets or new age sort of festivals, and sometimes potential clients do come and approach me. And just either, you know, I guess on the lower end of things, think, “Oh, astrology – it’s just star signs. You know, if you don’t speak to dead people, then you can’t help me.” And then, you know, the other end of the spectrum where they just sort of assume that you’re a psychic, but may be using astrology as a tool. And I’m sure there’s plenty of astrologers that do that and can do that well, you know, no different to say a tarot reader who uses those cards to sort of insight some intuitive guidance. So I think even, you know, it helps as astrologers for us to be very clear about what we do and what we don’t. And then that just eliminates sort of potentially any confusion that a client who isn’t really sure what astrology is or what it can do and what it can offer in the first place, it just sort of eliminates all of that.

CB: Yeah, definitely. And so that might be the first thing that we start with here and really focus in on, which is the first, you know, question that a person might ask themself is, “What type of astrologer are you looking for?” And that the very first thing that you might want to be aware of is that there’s different types of astrology and there’s different traditions of astrology, and therefore there’s gonna be different ways that astrologers approach the subject based on their own background and interest and the tradition that they’ve been trained in. And then there’s also gonna be different types of astrology that might be relevant or might be applicable to different concerns. So, you know, what are some of the things – I mean, I think for the most part the main form of astrology that most astrologers use is natal astrology, essentially, right?

CT: Yeah, and I guess your average person isn’t really going to be able to sort of align with that language, and so I’ve just, you know, “What’s your question?” You know, what is it that you wanna know or what is it that you want help with? And so if that person turns around and says, “Oh, you know, I’d really like to connect with my husband who passed six months ago,” well, I’m not that person. But, you know, if they really have some maybe crossroads in their career or having trouble finding maybe a life path or some kind of direction – yeah, for sure, astrology can do that. So yeah, I guess it’s just being clear about what you can offer and then finding out what the client actually wants and if that aligns. How about you, Tony?

TH: Yeah, I think to your point, Chris, that even if someone who’s interested in getting a reading and hasn’t had a reading before doesn’t really know anything about astrology or what astrologers do, they’ll know something about themselves and their background, their spiritual beliefs, their approach to self-help and self-growth and to not be afraid to interview an astrologer. You know, obviously, they can search online and come up with a number of folks that they might contact, and then once they narrow down who to contact, not be afraid to say, “Hey, you know, I’m a Christian – is that in alignment with your philosophy or your approach?” Or, you know, “I’m really into psychology” or you know, just describing your background to them so that you can make a good match with somebody and feel in alignment with them.

CB: Sure. Yeah, definitely. I mean, defining expectations is a huge first thing, both first for yourself in terms of figuring out what you wanna get out of the consultation and why you’re going to see an astrologer, but then also once you have picked an astrologer or at least you’re thinking about consulting with them, you know, sending them a message or an email or talking to them and saying, “This is what I’m hoping to get out of a consultation. Do you think we’ll be able to do that if I had a consultation with you, or are my expectations maybe not in alignment with what you offer?” might be a good opening. I mean, I think clients often – at least clients that have some familiarity with astrology – often are pretty good about writing some of that out ahead of time typically. Do you feel like that’s the case, Cassandra?

CT: Yes and no.

CB: Or not so much?

CT: I guess it sort of depends in what environment I am. So if I get a random email from somebody, well, you can pretty much guarantee they’ve looked at my website, they’ve seen my social media profiles, and they’ve already got a bit of a feel for me already. However, if I am doing an event and someone just sort of comes up and approaches me, often I have to sell what astrology can offer them and then leave them that decision whether they would like to do a quick reading, give them a few insights for them. So it’s sort of like an introductory style, which I must say, the Hellenistic techniques are fantastic for just, you know, laser beaming in. But yeah, so sometimes people meander up to the table and, “Oh, wouldn’t mind a reading. What do you do?” And so I guess that’s where it really helps. I guess it’s sort of like, business 101 is being really clear about what service you offer and hey, that’s astrology, but we all know that’s really vast. But, you know, what is your own little niche within that, you know? Some people are really great at certain things within astrology and other people are not. So even consulting isn’t for all astrologers.

So I think just being really clear about who you are and what you have to offer and I guess you will, you know, I guess that law of attraction – once you’ve got that definition about who you are, then you’ll get those right people. I know earlier in my career when, you know, I was just sort of a young whipper snipper and really hungry for work and to grow and evolve as an astrologer, I probably missed that mark a little bit because I was just hungry for the business and hungry for the experience and hungry to learn, so I didn’t have that confidence to actually turn around and say, “Look, I don’t think you’re right for me or I’m right for you. Maybe you’re better off with, you know, a different astrologer or even a different modality.”

So yeah, I think just sort of maybe reflecting on who you are as well. You know, putting the fact that you do relationship astrology on your website and you don’t have a really sort of optimistic outlook about relationships may not be ideal, just as an example. You know, if you’re a bit bitter and twisted about them for example, it may not be your best go-to. So again, just being really clear, I think, and you know, that can take a bit of time and practice as well.

CB: Sure. Yeah, definitely it’s good, and that can be the mark, you know, since we’re definitely primarily talking from the perspective of clients approaching astrologers. But from that other perspective of, you know, what the astrologer’s putting out, that can be a good signal if the astrologer is really clear about what they offer and is very straightforward about saying like, what types of astrology they offer and what sort of areas of life maybe that they’re able to deal with or that they even specialize in. Sometimes that in and of itself can be a good indication that you’re working with somebody who is putting in a lot of effort into understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are and therefore what they’re trying to offer their clients.

CT: Totally.

TH: Yeah, and I think astrologers who blog might, you know, just to the question you asked a couple minutes ago about when people are contacting us, are they asking questions. I don’t actually get a lot of questions. Usually people contact me and they’re like, “When can I get a reading?” because they’ve read my blog, and it’s usually, the email starts something like, you know, “I read through your website and I really resonate with what you wrote, and I’d like to get a reading.” And I think that astrologers who do blog might have an easier time with this particular issue, because people can spend time reading your blog and get a sense of who you are, what you’re about, what your approach is, what your philosophy is, what your underpinning is, and even kind of a little example of what type of astrology you’re doing. And if they’re resonating with that, it’s easier for them to say, “Oh, yeah, I connect with that; I wanna get a reading from this person.”

CT: Yeah, I totally agree with that.

CB: Right, and it seems like that’s the primary way, it seems like, that people research astrologers at this point, and that’s the primary way that you normally would find out about an astrologer is that for some reason you’ve come across their website or like, their YouTube channel or their podcast or their horoscope column or whatever it is. And oftentimes that can be one of the ways in order to research different astrologers and see if they’re right for you is if you read whatever content they’re putting out into the world and if for some reason that speaks to you or it seems to have a similar philosophy or similar approach that you’re sort of looking for in terms of your astrology or in terms of how they see the world. And maybe that can oftentimes be the best jumping off point that people often naturally take is just coming across an astrologer’s writings or output and that speaking to them for some reason and therefore wanting to get a consultation with them.

TH: Right.

CT: Yeah. I think, yeah, I definitely agree with you, Chris – the blogging and the horoscopes definitely gives me a good, I guess, voice that helps people maybe make that decision to have a reading with me as opposed to, you know, maybe sort of like, more bite-sized chunks on social media, for example, so yeah. I think that’s something to consider, you know, even though —

CB: Right.

CT: — social media is a great sort of launchpad, I think when it’s something as deep and as involved as an astrology chart, people – and the price, you know, for the most part, we’re not cheap. So I think, yeah, just having maybe a bit more broader content on a website, for example, or a blog page is really beneficial too.

CB: Sure.

TH: Yeah, I mean, since – Cassandra, since you said that comment, “We’re not cheap,” I mean, this could be a good opportunity, because hopefully there will be people listening to this podcast that haven’t ever had a reading before and maybe they’re wondering why it’s so expensive. So maybe we can kind of illuminate that for them.

CB: Sure

TH: But yeah. I mean, astrologers basically do a lot of preparation for a reading, so there’s preparation time included in the reading time —

CT: Yeah.

TH: — and that specialized knowledge and attention that you’re getting.

CB: Sure. So yeah, I mean, so there’s gonna be – let’s talk about that a little bit, because there’s different price ranges for different astrologers. And so you’re paying the person primarily for their time like you would if you were consulting let’s say like, a psychologist or something like that is probably one analogy. Or you could say, like, a lawyer, where sometimes you’ll have a certain rate based on time or based on, you know, appointment length and things like that, and there are different things that are built into that as part of the price that sort of come along as a package deal. Like, you know, any preparation time that the astrologer takes to get ready for the consultation, which, you know, for some astrologers might be quite a while. For other astrologers, they might have smaller amount of prep time depending on what it is that they’re doing.

There’s other things like, you know, getting the recording, if there is a recording that comes along with the consultation, or perhaps in some instances there might be followup questions. I mean, I know different astrologers have different policies about whether they accept followup questions after the consultation or, you know, how many followup questions they’ll answer and things like that. Have you guys ever had to define that, or is that – I mean, oftentimes, it seems like something that’s kind of nebulous because people aren’t really sure, you know, how many followup questions might be okay versus when it’s like, excessive and maybe if you have this many questions we might need to do a whole separate consultation?

TH: I’ve been pretty lucky that way, Chris, just that I keep an open door and I let people know if they have questions after they re-listen to their recording that they’re welcome to email me and ask questions. And most people are very respectful of my time, so I’ve been very lucky that way, but I can understand how someone else might need to set a boundary there.

CB: Sure. How do you deal with follow up questions, Cassandra?

CT: I guess similar to Tony. I too have been fairly lucky. And I just keep that door open and even sometimes I’ll even, you know, send a followup email just to check up on them, depending I guess on how the session sort of turned out or, you know, like – not saying necessarily that it was good or bad, but if they did have an issue that was really concerning for them or if there was an outcome that, you know, perhaps was predicted or we were expecting, it’s great. You know, I love getting those check-ins where they said, “Oh, you know, you said this would happen in about six months’ time, and it happened in four months” or whatever the case may be.

So that follow up is really important, and I think, you know, astrology is sometimes – you see the client for an hour, hour and a half, however long your session is, and then sometimes they can just disappear in thin air and you may never ever see them again. So I think that follow up is vital. And also, not only for their care and concern, but also just to, you know, was I on track or did they get what they came for? Just that follow up – I often initiate that, so. Because sometimes people can leave on a high, but then they might sort of reflect on it and have maybe a different thought about it or, “Oh, I really wanted to know about my money, and she never mentioned that.” So, you know, it just gives that opportunity to check in and see what happens, yeah. Most of the time, they say, “Yeah, it was great; it was fine.” But yeah, I’m not shy to at least follow up if need be, yeah.

CB: Yeah, and I think most astrologers are okay with that. I just know that there’s very occasionally a certain point where I’ve heard of situations where maybe there’s been five or 10 follow up emails or something like that where maybe it might border on the case of being a little excessive and then maybe having to set up something else versus just a normal followup or a normal check-in that occurs later.

TH: Right. It also might have to do with the type of astrology you’re doing, Chris, because I can imagine somebody who’s… I mean, the kind of astrology that the teacher I learned from, the astrology’s called choice – I mean, it’s choice-centered astrology is kind of woven into the style. And so people are coming with psychological questions or questions about meaning in life and purpose, and those types of questions are a lot different from somebody who’s coming with very specific kind of Earth-based type questions about money, finances, when am I gonna get – I’m applying for this job. When’s a good time to apply for it? When’s a good time to ask for a raise? Those types of questions where I guess the answers are more concrete and practical, and I can just see there being more of those, I guess, than after —

CB: Yeah.

TH: — a psychological reading where we might have spoken about some lifelong issue that you’ve been thinking about that you’re gonna continue thinking about and that you’re gonna ruminate on for a while before you have another question.

CB: Right. Yeah, or, you know, another one is like, electional astrology, for example, is a type of consultation where it’s like, ahead of time, you tell the astrologer, “I wanna do this – I wanna launch this specific venture,” like, for example, “I wanna get married between,” you know, “March of next year and July of that same year. So here’s a three- or four-month time period – pick me a date during that time frame in order to get married that would be astrologically auspicious.” And then that becomes the astrologer’s job, and you negotiate what the rate is that you’re gonna pay the astrologer, and you pay them, and that’s it. So sometimes you can have more straightforward things like that in terms of what the specific application of astrology is or what you’re trying to get out of it.

TH: Right.

CB: So maybe that would be, then, a good segue to talk about some of those specific things that astrologers offer or different types of consultations or different types of astrology. So as I started to say earlier, on the one hand, you have different types or applications of astrology, like natal astrology or election astrology which I just mentioned. There’s also different applications like medical astrology or financial astrology. But then there’s also different – well, actually, before I mention that, let’s focus maybe just on different types. You know, we’ve said that natal astrology is the primary one, and I mentioned electional astrology as a certain branch as well. Another one, I think, that’s pretty common is relationship astrology and different things related to that are probably pretty common, right?

TH: Yeah, for sure. And I think that, you know, just if there are people brand new to astrology, they may not even know what natal astrology means, and so that’s just a reading that’s based on your birth chart based on the time that you were born where we’re gonna look at key signatures that are gonna impact or span or relate to your whole life, your life as a whole. And then electional is another word that people might not understand, and electional is a chart for a moment in time like the start of a business or a marriage, like you mentioned, where you’re looking at a time, a good time, or an auspicious time for something.

CB: Right. So picking a date, basically, to do something or to initiate something based on astrology. And then there’s relationship astrology, which is obviously when you’re looking at relationships between two people, either romantic but also sometimes other types of personal relationships like business relationships or friendships from an astrological perspective. There’s also horary astrology, which is when you have a single, specific question, especially about an event that will or will not take place in the future that you want to get the answer to. There’s some astrologers that specialize in casting a chart just for the moment of a question in order to attempt to answer that single question. You know, medical astrology is pretty straightforward, although there’s not a ton of astrologers that specialize in that in terms of dealing with different things related to health and wellness. Financial astrology is another one of those things where sometimes astrologers might be able to deal with finances as a general topic within the context of natal astrology; there’s other astrologers who maybe specialize in finance or sometimes in things like trading or business incorporations and things like that where you can find ones who are specifically have geared their practice towards that. Are there any other, like, major ones that you guys can think of that are like, applications of astrology that new people should be aware of?

CT: Guess there’s like, relocational astrology – you did a podcast —

TH: Right.

CT: — on that recently. So there’s that. You know, people might say, “Would I be better off in a different city?” for example, or even a different country, so.

CB: Right. Great point.

CT: I think you’ve covered most, yeah.

CB: Okay. And then the only other one that I know was on one of the lists that I saw was predictive astrology/forecasting, which sometimes is just folded into like, natal astrology or is part of natal astrology. Other times, sometimes you’ll see some astrologers offer that separately, like a yearly forecast or other things like that. So sometimes that can be treated differently, and that involves techniques like transits or progressions or other techniques like that that are used in order to predict things about the future or predict trends in certain parts of the person’s life if they’re less curious about just getting an overall general reading about their life and their character and things like that, which is more natal astrology, but instead they’re trying to get information about things coming up – that might be more of a forecast type consultation.

All right. So aside from different types and applications of astrology, the other thing that I thought might be relevant that we’ve already touched upon a few times is different traditions of astrology and different approaches. I mean, to what extent – do you guys think it’s, is it even possible to like, attempt to explain to newbies like, different traditions of astrology or is that like, getting too complicated or going too far if you don’t have any background in astrology?

TH: It’s definitely a big topic, right? I guess I would encourage people to… I mean, for that reason, it would be really good to be reading people’s blogs, but I guess if you’re… I mean, I can’t think of a really better way to get to know somebody on that level than familiarizing yourself with their work beforehand and seeing if you resonate with it or not, because, you know, we haven’t even named all the styles and approaches yet, but there are just so many. And there are so many ways to approach astrology, and you know, Cassandra mentioned Hellenistic techniques and even within a certain discipline, astrologers will disagree about which techniques to use and I’m not really sure if at that point you’d be wanting the person getting the reading to like, learn everything about astrology before they get the reading. So that doesn’t necessarily make sense. But just to know that there are as many techniques and approaches to astrology as there are to anything. I always tell people like, if you go to see a doctor, no two doctors who are – like, let’s say you’re going to see two podiatrists. No two podiatrists are gonna totally agree on the approach, the cure, the physical therapy that they might recommend, and that’s where we have that phrase, you know, get a second opinion – and it’s just the same with astrologers. You know, if you – I will say, if you do have your first reading with an astrologer and you don’t have a great experience, please try again, because that one person isn’t representative of all the forms of astrology that are out there, and you may not have just found the one that works best for you yet.

CT: And that’s a good point, Tony, because I’ve often said to people if you see a bad hairdresser, it doesn’t mean you don’t ever get your hair cut again.

TH: Right.

CT: So you know, whatever the service is, we’ve all had bad experiences, you know, bad mechanic or bad hairdresser. And unfortunately, astrology can be no different, and so whether it’s personality issues or the client didn’t get what they wanted out of the session, which basically just comes, you know, it’s not even a reflection of astrology, it might just be about personality dynamics, communication issues and things like that. So I guess, you know, even when it comes to different types of approaches to astrology, I know for myself personally I do tend to avoid, I guess, talking about whether it’s a Hellenistic technique or Medieval or evolutionary. I try not to kind of go there too much with a client, because they’re just not going to really probably understand the language. It’s like if I went to go to see a specialist about my health – I don’t want to be confused by their jargon. I just wanna know what’s in it for me; am I gonna get the result that I’m looking for? I guess like using the layman’s language and just leaving the jargon out of it, so guess just by asking questions with the client and presenting yourself in a way that is going to give, you know, so you make the right connections with the right people. So I think that gives benefit to everybody, gives benefit to the people who are interested in astrology readings and having, knowing more about their chart. It also benefits us as astrologers because, you know, we’re connect with people that we can really help, and that’s more rewarding professionally too, of course.

CB: Right, definitely. So —

TH: Yeah, and – sorry, Chris. I was just gonna add to that what you said, Cassandra. I think one of the reasons this is a great conversation, too – you know, we brought up the example of doctors and even hairdressers have licensing. And so there’s a base level of professionalism that we can kind of expect from somebody who’s —

CT: Yeah.

TH: — a practicing hairdresser or doctor because we know they’ve had to get licensing and they will usually have their license physical on their office, and there is no licensing for astrologers. I mean, there are organizations that will certify astrologers in their method or their technique or their school, but there’s no overarching one-size-fits-all certification or licensing for astrologers. And so that does make it even harder to choose a good astrologer and speaks to one of the points Chris brought up at the very beginning about sometimes you could very well come across somebody who says they’re doing astrology but they’re really not.

CT: They’re not, yeah.

CB: Sure. So that brings up the question of how do you know if someone is legitimate? How do you know if an astrologer is legitimate? And, you know, as in any field, you do have to be aware that sometimes there can be people out there that are frauds or who are not necessarily haven’t been doing or presenting themself in a way that’s maybe not correct or not in keeping with, I don’t know, what they’re trying to present. So how do you sort of figure that out for yourself as a consumer, let’s say, from like, a consumer standpoint, or identify somebody who is well-respected in their field versus someone who’s not. And one of those issues that you raised, Tony, that the astrological community periodically comes back to and has had some serious arguments about and something that we’ve actually had some, you know, discussions about recently that were sometimes tense was the issue of certification and just that there’s a lack of standardization in astrology as a field. And sometimes the answer to questions like this that people come up with is certification, but then that brings with it a lot of problems from a community standpoint, even if that would be more useful, perhaps, from a consumer standpoint and how to deal with that. I mean, where do you guys come down when it comes to that sort of question?

TH: Well I think – yeah, that’s a good one. I do wanna say that I think that I can kind of just skirt that issue a little bit by saying that even in fields where there is certification or there is licensing, we know very well that there are doctors out there who are licensed to practice medicine, but they’re terrible or, even worse, dangerous. Or they’re just motivated by money. I mean, we know from studies that have been done that – there was a study done in the ‘70s on a hospital that was suddenly doing more Cesarean sections than they had been doing previously, and they were trying to figure out why, and they found out that it was because the doctors got paid more for Cesareans. And so in the study, they just changed the pay structure so that all births were paid the same and the number went back down to the old average that it had been before they had increased the pay.

And so the point of that just being that I think that there are other ways to find out if you can connect with an astrologer, to find out if they’re legit – word you used, Chris. And one of those ways is to, you know, one of the great things about the internet now, and it’s a blessing and a curse, but we have reviews. And so if somebody does – if they’re on social media or if they’re on some platform that allows for reviews and you’re able to see the reviews, you can gauge it that way. You can look up people on social media and see if they have a fanbase or a following – do they have a Facebook page, do they have kind of social media currency, so to speak? And have they published books? I mean, that’s a great one. There are plenty of great, local astrologers who have not published books who just have a thriving practice. One way to know is if you call them and if they’re able to get you in today, that says something. If they have a wait, that says something too, right? So if they say, “I can’t,” you know, “I’m booked up for the next month,” that tells you, well, they’re booked up for a reason. They got booked up with a lot of referrals. And so there’s something about their business that’s working for some group of people at least.

CB: Sure. And that was a really good point that there’s a bunch of different like, data points that you could take into account that could help you in making a decision like this about which astrologer to see. But, you know, there’s not like, a single one that you can always rely on completely, so it’s like, you can’t – there are different forms of like, certification or educational programs that a person can get credentials from, but it’s like, you can’t rely on that. That can be used as like, one data point that you can take into account, but really you should be taking into account sort of a variety or multiple things if you can, I think, is one of the good pieces of advice, perhaps.

TH: Definitely.

CT: Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree with that. I mean, there is plenty of astrologers who, for example, have a healthy social media following. Maybe they don’t do consultations. Then people are, as you said, Chris, have thriving practices but maybe not very vocal on the internet. So I guess, yeah, sort of, you know, cross your T’s and dots your I’s, so to speak, you know, look at their website. Check their social media, and I guess it’ll give you a bit of a rounded sort of gauge as to sort of where they’re at and what you think about them or what you feel about them. And if all else fails, you know, send them a message online or email them. You know, make that first connection and then I think you’ll then be able to, you know, feel like it’s the right decision or not. Just that —

CB: Right.

CT: — approachability, yeah.

CB: Yeah, definitely. All right. So there’s a few things like that that you can take into account. So, you know, does the person say that they have certifications like, you know, the NCGR or ISAR, AFA? Do they say that they’ve gone to a school for astrology like, you know, the International Academy of Astrology or Kepler College or something like that? Do they say that they’re a member of any astrological organizations, like there’s the NCGR or ISAR or AFA, there’s the Astrological Association in Great Britain, there’s the Federation of Astrologers in Australia. And so all of those are things that you could take into account as being, you know, something or being data points. On the other hand, many astrologers are self-taught, so credentials or school affiliations are not always necessary nor obviously do they guarantee that an astrologer does good work, but it’s just a useful additional thing to take into account. Other things that we have mentioned are things like referrals or endorsements by other astrologers. Does the astrologer have any reviews or testimonials? You know, sometimes that can be a mixed bag since testimonials typically will be ones that are put on the astrologer’s website by the astrologer themself, but still sometimes that can be useful to take into account. What are some other things like that that sort of give you guys a greater sense that, you know, this is a professional practicing astrologer?

CT: I guess one of the things that I think about is when I am ready to do some more study or I want to, whether it’s purchase a course or a lecture or even have a reading of my own, what do I do when I choose that? And it’s basically all the points that we’ve covered, and what is their website like? What’s their social media like? What’s their sort of stance in our community? And that sort of helps me make those decisions as well. It’s not necessarily always based off who’s the most popular on social media or who’s got the loudest voice. Ultimately, it’s about making that connection. And, you know, I think a lot of clients too, they will watch us for a while before they make a choice. You know, they might think, “Oh, you know, I wouldn’t mind having a reading, and I saw an ad on Facebook for Tony’s lecture and,” you know, “then I saw him make a post about something else, and then I was like, ‘Oh, okay, well maybe I’ll have a reading with him.’” So I think clients probably do a bit of research before they select us.

TH: Yeah, definitely with social media, there’s more opportunities than ever to get to know an astrologer’s work on different levels. Like you said, if they’re on social media, there are plenty of great astrologers who aren’t on social media, and they’re getting their business from referrals. So unless you’re getting referred to them, you won’t hear about them usually. But, you know, one thing we haven’t mentioned is astrology conferences. And I think that if we just kind of name some of the conferences that this could be a way for someone trying to find even just a list of astrologers that are known to be professional. Most astrology conferences are organized by folks who have carefully curated the list of astrologers who are presenting, and so you could start out with that list and then visit those folk’s websites and learn more about them that way. But that’ wouldn’t be a bad starting point for somebody just kind of take a stab in the dark about, you know, how do I find a reputable astrologer, because there are people who are just being very vocal online, but they may not have the same level of professionalism as some other folks. I mean, that’s not necessarily – just because they are vocal doesn’t mean they have less substance, it’s just that, you know, we know it’s the same in any field that there are people out there who are vocal and have great integrity, and then the opposite. They’re very vocal and have no integrity. So, you know, in the end, the new astrology client does have to take somewhat of a leap of faith, but you know, some of the astrology conferences in the United States are the – we call it NORWAC, but that stands for the Northwest Astrology Conference. There’s a very, very large conference that happens just once every few years called UAC, the United Astrology Conference. There’s one in the Midwest – is that called Great Lakes, Chris?

CB: Yeah, there’s one called the Great Lakes Astrology Conference.

TH: There’s one called SOTA – S O T A – and that’s in, is that one in Buffalo, New York? Is that right?

CB: Yeah, usually.

TH: And then there’s the NCGR conference on the east coast usually. There’s ISAR conference every couple of years, and the location changes. That stands for…

CB: International Society for Astrological Research.

TH: I’m a member, and I just – and now that’s on a recording. It is late at night for me, so my brain is a little bit slow. But yeah, so you could visit any of these websites and these things you can just search by the acronym. So if you type, for instance, I S A R astrology, you’ll find the website for that organization. You can look up names of folks through the conference. Or, you know, I know that any of the orgs would be happy to refer you to folks, too, if you just email them. Any of the orgs. NCGR is one we listed, so you can type NCGR and google that. I S A R. OPA is the Organization for Professional Astrologers. They’d be happy to send you referrals, I know. So those would all be great places to start, I think.

CB: Yeah. And that’s a good – I mean, I don’t know if that’s the right term, but it makes me think of like, the term “social proof” and the idea that, you know, something like that where if you see an astrologer that’s speaking at an astrology conference, that that means that that’s who at least on some level has some acceptance within the field or at least is striving to have some level of success and teach other people within their field, so you can use that as one data point for that this might be somebody who you might wanna get a consultation from to the extent that they’ve been invited to a conference to speak and therefore must have been thought, I don’t wanna say like, “worthy” of that, because that’s not necessarily the right way to frame it. But at least the conference organizers invited them to speak, and so they are recognized as specializing in something to the extent that they’re actually teaching other astrologers and other astrology enthusiasts about it.

TH: That’s right. And what are some of the orgs in Australia, Cassandra?

CT: Oh, we only have one, and that —

TH: Okay.

CT: — yeah, that’s the Federation of Australian Astrologers or the FAA.

TH: The FAA, okay.

CT: Correct. And they are actually having a conference in Melbourne in January. We have one every second year, and so it changes locations. But each state I pretty much think – except for maybe Northern Territory and Western Australia – but every state at least on the east coast has their own like, chapter within the FAA. So up here where I am in Queensland, we’ve got the QFA. New South Wales is AA New South Wales, so they’ve got their one. There’s the Victorian bunch, and Tasmania, and I think South Australia – don’t quote me – I’m pretty sure they have one too. But we’re all affiliated. It’s all one and the same, so yeah. Just one.

TH: Cool.

CT: Yeah.

TH: And there’s some in the UK, and there are astrological organizations in most places around the world.

CB: Right. Definitely. And that can be definitely useful to know in terms of that and in terms of sometimes, you know, attending a lecture or attending a conference and sometimes meeting different astrologers in person or attending a talk as,you know, something you might do as well in order to try to research different astrologers that you might get a consultation with.

So one topic that comes up under this general area that might be worth talking about – because I don’t know, it’s kind of a touchy or it’s a difficult one to talk about or I’m not sure that there’s any like, clear answers to it, but one of the ones that I saw come up in some of the articles that I read is the question of, you know, how much does the astrologer charge and how much is too much? Or at what point is an astrologer charging too much or is there such a thing as that? And I think that comes up because sometimes occasionally you do see something where it seems like – I’ve seen instances where it seems like there is an average usually in terms of what most astrologers are charging, and that most astrologers generally tend to try to charge somewhere within that range of what their contemporaries are charging. And then of course sometimes you’ll have really notable astrologers who charge more than that, because they’re, you know, high in demand or because their time is limited and therefore they wanna do fewer consultations.

But then every once in a while, it’s like, you’ll sometimes find somebody who is not very well-known, but they’re still charging, like, what seems like an amount that’s way outside of what anyone else is charging. And sometimes that raises eyebrows in terms of is this person doing something legitimate, or are they overcharging perhaps for their services? Do you guys have any, like, feelings about that? Or I know this like, a difficult sort of topic. I hope I’m not like, wading into it in a weird way, but it’s one of those questions that comes up. Because I saw in some of the, one of the advice articles for this that one of the pieces of advice was make sure that the person isn’t charging too much, because sometimes that can be a tip-off that it might be not legitimate or something like that.

TH: Yeah. I mean, I think that I know and work with astrologers who have very, very busy practices, and that’s one of the reasons why they charge more for their services. But honestly, I mean, at least with the folks I work with, I mean, they’ve been doing astrology for years, so another thing that you’re paying for is experience. And it’s definitely, just like any field, you know, you wouldn’t expect a doctor to set their rate when they first get out of med school and then just keeping that same paycheck for the rest of your life. Just like in any field, you expect your income to increase over time commensurate with your experience. And when you’re in business for yourself, then that means you have to raise the rates yourself at different key moments.

I know that some folks that I’ve worked with for a long time, because they were afraid of sort of pricing certain people out of their market and they didn’t wanna do that, but they hadn’t raised their rates for like, 15 years, and it was like, sort of time for a raise so to speak. And then you know, they raised their rates a little bit, and then they get even more people, because there is this weird thing that, you know, you mentioned people who maybe they’re new at it but they’re charging a lot because they know a little something about marketing that there’s this sweet spot with the price of things that if a thing is priced too low, we don’t value it. And if it’s priced too high, we question it. But there’s a sweet spot where it’s like, if it’s not priced high enough, we won’t value it as much, and if we price it higher, we’ll value it more. And it’s tricky sometimes for people to find that sweet spot in their practice, I think, but you know, I think with pricing you’ll also have people who are new to the field who charge less because they’re just trying to get their feet wet, and I think that’s totally valid, and it’s a good way to start. But once you’re comfortable, I think that, like you said, there’s kind of an average price for readings that people charge. And I don’t know that there’s one, you know, simple way to answer this question or to approach the topic, but those are just some of my thoughts.

CB: Yeah. And I mean, it is difficult, because it’s all very relative, and there’s different factors that are gonna take things and really gonna alter things. Like, even something like geographical area of like, where a person lives in terms of like, a city or a country, and what the cost of living is. So for example, I know that, you know, astrologers in let’s say a smaller city might charge less than let’s say an astrologer from like, New York or San Francisco where the cost of living is much higher and therefore, you know, things just cost more in general.

TH: Right.

CB: So sometimes you have regional variations like that. You’ve also got variations for specialty and other things like that. I guess I was just thinking of the worst case or like, extreme scenarios, like if we are talking about a situation where there have been cases of like, if a scam artist for example is saying, you know, “I’ll lift a curse from you,” that you’re cursed and I’ll lift the curse if you give me like, 5,000 dollars. You know, that would be —

TH: That’s always a red flag, people. If the word “curse” is in there, that’s a red flag, right?

CB: Yeah. I mean, but just like, knowing what the general range of a consultation is compared to like, what other people are charging, and then seeing, okay, this person is asking for something that’s, you know, 10 times or a hundred times as much as what anyone else is charging. Like, that might be worth taking into account. Or if they’re making extravagant claims about something that they’re able to do, that might be another thing that you could take into account that might be problematic, you know, in terms of the extremes of not just like, shopping for legitimate astrologers, but also trying to weed out if you accidentally come across somebody who’s doing something weird like that.

TH: Yeah. Have you ever come across that, Cassandra?

CT: Not within astrology, but within other modalities, yes I have.

TH: Yeah.

CT: Yeah.

TH: Yeah.

CT: So I don’t know. I think because we have something to base our work on, which is the sky, it’s a bit more limiting. Not saying that it’s limiting in the sense that it’s – I probably should reword that. We’re working with the sky, so I guess we have, I guess, evidential based results. We can’t really make false claims without having some sort of astrological data to show or demonstrate or, you know, we’re saying this because of something in your birth chart. So I feel that if an astrologer, if you come across an astrologer that is making these sort of claims, lifting curses or what have you, well, they may be using astrology as a secondary modality or they may have some kind of psychic, planetary download and calling it astrology, but it’s not astrology.

CB: Sure.

TH: Right. And I mean, I’ve done clean up with that specific issue with somebody that actually knew that contacting me and the conversation started with, “You know, I’m really embarrassed to tell you this, but I actually fell for one of those things.” And this person had spent a ton of money because people, those types of folks who are kind of preying on gullible people or vulnerable people usually because they’re going through some kind of difficult life process – and let’s be honest, that’s what brings a lot of people to astrology is something difficult’s happening in your life, you’re looking for answers, you’re looking for guidance, and you’ve heard about astrology and you know, you think, “Why not? I’ll give it a try.” Unfortunately, sometimes people think, “Why not?” And they come across one of these people who don’t have integrity and who have ulterior motives and, you know, all we can say to you right now is if somebody is promising to lift a curse on you for 10,000 dollars, that’s definitely a red flag.

CB: Yeah. Definitely something – and, you know, also at the same time, I guess we should emphasis because I wanna be able to mention those things occasionally which are like, extreme bad scenarios that are possibilities that that’s, you know, typically very unlikely possibility that probably like, 95 percent of the time most of the people that you run into in the astrological community are gonna be genuine people that are actual astrologers who have differing levels or like, skillsets or maybe abilities in terms of astrology but are generally doing good work and are genuine about what they’re doing. And so it’s only a very small percentage of the instances where you might run into something where somebody’s doing something kind of sketchy. So it’s kind of worth mentioning as an aside, but I don’t wanna freak people out at the same time either.

TH: Oh, for sure. Yeah, and I think culturally as well, I think there’s – I mean, I may be wrong, but I think there might be less of that kind of thing in the United States. And in a lot of the instances I’ve come across were people who were either contacting folks in India or they were in India or visiting India. I had a story – I won’t share the details of what the person actually said, but I had a client contact me frantic. It was a new client who said, “I just was told by this Indian astrologer that I can’t leave the house for a week because this terrible thing will happen to me.” And the thing that she described was so outlandish that it’s like, it’s the type of thing that, I mean, it just doesn’t happen to anyone. But she was still – because this person was in the role of kind of an oracle type of person – she was really frightened by the information, so.

CT: Yeah, they tend to have a different approach. One of my clients, she’s Indian, and when she was a child, they did her astrology and then it was very different to the version that we do. So there’s definitely those cultural aspects to keep in mind as well, so yeah.

CB: Yeah. And that might bring us back to just the idea of just people being aware that there’s different traditions of astrology and sometimes when an astrologer identifies that they practice a specific approach, sometimes doing some research into that or some searches in order to see what exactly is the definition of that approach and how does it differentiate their paorach from another astrologer. If they say they do modern astrology, for example, how that’s different from traditional astrology, or if they say that they do traditional astrology, you know, how is that different from modern astrology? Other astrologers might say that they specialize in psychological astrology and, you know, what comes along with that, or there might be other astrologers that say that they specialize in like, evolutionary astrology or past lives or things like that. So and that brings with it a special set of considerations in terms of what your own belief system is and what the astrologer’s belief system is and what you’re looking for as a client if you’re approaching something like that. I mean, Tony, that’s something – because you work with a lot of evolutionary astrologers, so for example, that would be a different set of considerations in terms of what people are looking for for those types of consultations versus if they were just going to a different like, a purely psychological astrologer or something, right?

TH: Yeah. I mean, in my experience, most of us who practice astrology professionally have been exposed to a wide variety of teachings. And I don’t even know somebody who I could say is like, a purely psychological astrologer and what that would even mean. I think we all use a variety of techniques and we’ve been exposed to a variety of stuff. I mean, of course, some of us have our specialties, and we might call ourselves a psychological astrologer or an evolutionary astrologer, but yeah, that said, you know, that just brings me back to that earlier point I made, which is I think it’s important to remember that as the client looking for an astrologer that it’s okay for you to ask questions. That you should feel empowered to ask questions that if the astrologer says, “I’m an evolutionary astrologer,” and you don’t know what that means, ask them – “What does that mean to you?”

CB: Right.

TH: Because you know, even if you ask two evolutionary astrologers, “What is evolutionary astrology?” you’re gonna get two different answers. And so you wanna connect with the person who’s doing your reading, so you wanna connect with that answer. And if you don’t connect with that answer, just say, “Well, thanks, I really appreciate your time, and I’ll think about it and maybe I’ll give you a call,” or maybe you already know it’s a no and you feel comfortable saying, “You know what, it seems like maybe you’re not a good fit for me.” But definitely feel like you can be empowered to ask questions, to learn about what it is that you don’t know about them, and I think that’s true for any field.

CB: Yeah. Definitely. And that even if you’re writing somebody to ask questions like that, that doesn’t mean that you have to get a consultation. You’re just in the sort of negotiating phase, and there often is a sort of negotiating phase with most astrologers where you’re trying to see if the two of you line up and if the astrologer is offering what you’re looking for and if you’re on the same page about that, or if you’re not, then there’s not necessarily any obligation to book a consultation.

TH: Yeah. And you know, when you’re seeking an astrology reading, you’re usually at a point – you’re either at a point of crisis or you’re at a point of curiosity where, you know, it’s a point of crisis where something difficult has happened in your life and you’re seeking meaning, or maybe you’re in the midst of a very difficult decision, and you just can’t figure out what to do. Or maybe you’re on a kind of more spiritual quest for meaning. And all of those things are gonna kind of color your approach.

CB: Sure. Definitely. So I mean, one of the things we might suggest or I think that’s come up a few times is just the idea of doing a bunch of searches and creating like, a list of possibilities based on the different criteria that you’re looking for once you’ve done a little bit of sort of reflecting on your own to figure out, you know, why is it that you want to see an astrologer and what do you hope to get out of the consultation, and then starting to do a search and like, throw together some different possibilities or even like, a list of different astrologers that you’re considering. And then maybe, you know, move people up and down the list based on once you start narrowing down what your priorities are and once you start looking into them some more and getting a sense for what they specialize in or what they offer and to whatever extent that jives with what your own approach or views are and what you’re looking for.

TH: Yeah. And sorry, Chris, I lost the thread a little bit earlier when I was talking about, you know, when you’re approaching the question from a particular state, like you’re in a state of hope and despair. Remember that you’re vulnerable in that moment, and it’s like, you might want this astrologer to have the answers, so you’re gonna project onto them that they have the answer, and that puts you in a vulnerable position, and it’s at that moment that it’s even more important to ask questions and to listen to the response and to let it be okay if it’s a no, because you can look for someone else. So that was the point I was trying to make. Sorry I lost the thread.

CB: Sure. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Alright. So let’s see. One of the points that you guys brought up earlier I thought that was really good and perhaps important to talk about a little bit is what I sort of always think of as like, the wild card factor when it goes into this, which is that both on the astrologer’s side and on the client’s side, you can do a ton of preparation and a ton of research ahead of time, and everything could look really good on paper, but you know, sometimes things can still go wrong and you can have like, it not work out or have like, not a great consultation for variation reasons because of various wildcard factors that can sometimes happen. And sometimes it’s sort of – it’s good to be aware of that ahead of time just to sort of know what some of the possibilities are.

Like, you know, sometimes the astrologer’s just like, having a bad day or having an off day. Sometimes the client is having a bad day or an off day by the time the consultation comes around. Sometimes maybe their personalities like, once they actually start talking don’t mesh for some reason. Other times, there can be like, miscommunications between them that lead to, you know, unfulfilled expectations. There can be technological snafus happen from time to time. You know, there can be even like, getting the birth data wrong. So making sure that you give the astrologer the correct birth data for you if that’s what they’re requesting for the consultation, and that there’s not an error, because otherwise that can cause the consultation to go awry. Are there other like, things like that – I mean, Cassandra, have you had things like there where sometimes it’s like, despite sort of best efforts, like things just don’t quite line up the way that they could have ideally?

CT: It’s rare, but sometimes it does happen. And there has been times where even in my own self, I didn’t feel that I gave my best for whatever the reason was. Having a young child or you don’t always – sleep is a variable in my life now, so there’s been times where I just knew within myself that I didn’t hit the mark. And I’ve invited the client back. And —

CB: Right.

CT: — yeah, or at least to have a telephone call or an online call. You know, maybe there were some things I just didn’t feel I explained clearly enough to them, or I missed some key points I really wanted to speak of. Yes, there has been occasions of messed the birth data, I’ll admit that. Or I’ve prepared the wrong data. They’ve come to see me, and they’re like, “ah, no, my birthday is…” And this sometimes happens when I have American clients because of the way we numerically order the dates, you see, so —

CB: Yeah.

CT: — it’s the 25th of September, right? But you would say, “nine 25.” We say, “25 nine.” And so a couple of times that’s got me mixed up, but now that I’m aware that that, you know, if somebody does contact me from the States, I know that’s what they do, so then I might just, you know, whip a quick email back and say, “It was,” you know, “the month is August, not,” you know, “December,” for example. So yeah, so there’s just some little tricks I’ve learned the hard way over the years, yeah. How about you, Tony?

TH: I think the one that comes to mind is when people give readings as a gift.

CT: Ah, yeah, for sure.

CB: Yeah.

TH: Yeah, because —

CT: Yeah.

TH: — you’ve just had this really great astrology reading. You think, “The whole world needs to have an astrology reading!” And so you give a gift to your mom or your spouse —

CT: Yes.

TH: — and they might not be interested at all, but they might go just to humor you or because they know you’ve spent a lot of money on the reading. And you know, they’re sitting there with their arms crossed, and they’re like, “Okay.” You know, “What are you gonna do?” or “What’s this all about?” And you know, really, you should be coming to an astrology reading because you want one. And so that’s not always the best experience.

I don’t know if you mentioned expectations, Chris, or if I just thought about it, but I think that another question we can put on our chalkboard for folks is when you’re interviewing an astrologer to hire, “What can I expect from this reading?“ Just because —

CB: Right.

TH: — it’s important to get your expectations in order.

CB: Yeah. Defining expectations ahead of time, both for yourself and between you and the astrologer, is just a huge thing, because I think, you know, if you have certain expectations that you haven’t articulated to the astrologer, and then you go into the consultation expecting those to be met and they’re not, you know, you can leave feeling like you didn’t get your money’s worth. But if you had just, you know, articulated that ahead of time, sometimes that can either help the astrology to know that there’s something specific that you wanna get out of the reading and then making sure that they offer that. And in many instances, they very well might offer it, but otherwise might not, you know, do that specific thing if it’s not clear ahead of time that that’s something you wanna talk about. Or in other instances, the astrologer might not offer that at all, but they might be able to tell you ahead of time, as long as you let them know what you’re looking for, that that’s not something that they offer. And then you know, you might decide to go with somebody else based on that, or —

TH: Yeah.

CB: — you might decide to stick with that person and just understand that that specific thing isn’t something that they offer.

TH: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I mean, and it’s up to us as astrologers to be really clear about what we offer, but it’s also up to clients to ask for sure, just to make sure your expectations are in line. You know, if you just say, “I want a reading,” but you’re really wanting advice about your relationship, you could get a whole reading that’s not about your relationship if you haven’t told the astrologer that’s what you want. I always encourage people to, you know, let astrologers know what the topic is that’s bothering you, that’s bringing you in for the reading. Because they’ll be able to focus on what it is you really want, and you’ll be happier, right? So some people are like, they think about getting their first astrology reading and they’re like, “Oh, I kind of wanna be wowed by this like, magical experience I’ve heard about where the person’s gonna know all this stuff about me.” But really, if you’ve got something going on, you know, I would say just tell the astrologer that’s what you wanna talk about, because then you can get right down to business.

CB: Yeah, and that’s something to be aware of ahead of time that most astrological – there are different, like, astrologers. I remember when I took a class with Dennis Harness, he talked about different types of consultations that you as a consulting astrologer will have from time to time, and that was – it’s funny that you guys mentioned that, because that’s one of the ones he mentioned that he said, you know, most of the time you should really avoid doing which is gift consultations, because typically the person receiving the consultation as a gift is not usually gonna be really wanting to do it or as invested in doing it as a normal person, and it’s often times not the best consultation as a result of that. And so there’s that.

There’s also another consultation style is the sort of closed-lip client who sort of comes in and gives minimal feedback to the astrologer so the astrologer ends up having to sort of talk at them mostly, partially because the clients often times in those instances wants to be kind of wowed or wants to be kind of impressed by the sort of predictive or sort of divinatory skill of the astrologer. But typically, that type of consultation is much less productive because what clients need to understand going into most consultations is that modern or sort of contemporary astrologers, when they do a consultation, typically it’s designed to be more of a dialogue between the astrology and the client where you’re talking about what the specific issues are that you have or the specific things that you wanna talk about. And there’s this like, give and take during the course of it and this dialogue and this, you know, getting – the astrologer sort of making statements and getting immediate feedback, and then being able to adjust their understanding of the chart, and to focus their understanding of the chart and make it more clearer as they continuously talk with the client and get more feedback, not in the sense of like, cold reading them or something like that, which is not really what astrologers are doing or that’s rarely sort of the issue. It’s more just that modern contemporary astrologers have often almost patterned part of what they’re doing off of psychology where they’re trying to have more of a dialogue with a client rather than just sort of speaking at them. So that’s something maybe good to know going into it.

TH: Yeah.

CT: And I guess that brings me to a point. I can’t – I’ve been trying to remember where I’ve read this before, but nobody goes to the doctor and say, “Hey, guess what’s wrong with me!”

CB: Right.

CT: So we, you know, tell them what our signs and symptoms are, and then you have a discussion about a diagnosis, a treatment plan and so on and so on, and I guess the astrology consultation is a bit the same. You know, we need – or it’s helpful to have an area of focus, because there’s so much information to cover in a really short space of time. So if we can at least have, you know, answer a question or an area of concern or where you want some help or guidance with, well, that’s gonna be a lot more beneficial to you than us trying to find a needle in a haystack, so to speak. So again, just yeah, be open with us. Ask us questions – that’s what we’re there for.

CB: Yeah, definitely. And that, it’s like, with that analogy, like, a doctor knowing a patient’s history, you know, of illness or of like, let’s say, you know, when you’re allergic to something like a history of allergies or something like that is gonna help them to make a much better, clearer diagnosis or like, prognosis of what things they should be doing or give them better context or more context to understand where they’re at currently and be able to make statements about where things might head in the future. And it’s very similar when it comes to astrology.

CT: Yeah. I think so. And even, you know, for the astrologers that are out there, you know, whether they take… You know, I think most of us probably take many of our bookings online. You know, even have a little field where the client has that option of, you know, what is it that you wanna know about? Or, you know, rather than just sort of limiting it to birth data, you know, is there a particular area of focus in this reading that you’re looking for? And that gives us something that we can work with as well. No point talking about career if you just wanna know what your relationship traits are or when somebody special might come into your life. So yeah. Talk to us! Email us. Yeah. Sure.

CB: Sure. And it’s like, a client can, you know, you should – I guess you should know that as a client that it’s like, you can do that, and you can attempt to test the astrologer if you want to in order to see whatever, just what their skill is or to whatever extent they’re able to read your, let’s say your birth chart and accurately state things about your life without knowing anything about you. But the catch is just that your consultation is not going to be as good by far than if you had more of a dialogue with the astrologer about the chart and about your life, and that there’s gonna be a major component missing if, you know, that’s your goal just to test the astrologer rather than to have more of a sort of productive thing where you focus on exploring different parts of your life or getting answers to specific questions and talking about sort of past trajectories and where those might lead in the future and other things like that.

CT: Yeah. A hundred percent.

CB: All right. Well, I’m trying to think of if there’s anything else that we meant to cover here today before we start to wrap things up. I mean, we covered most of the major things, though. We talked about different types of astrology and different applications of astrology. We talked about defining expectations as a really important thing. We talked about legitimacy to some extent and the sort of murkiness surrounding that, but some different data points that you can take into account in order to try to make sure you’re talking to somebody who’s like, a legitimate professional astrologer. We’ve talked a little bit how to determine if an astrologer is right for you specifically and especially different things you can do to sort of see if their work speaks to you and if it seems to jive with your own personal views. And then we also finally talked about the sort of wild card factor where there’s just sometimes things outside of anybody’s control that can come up in a positive or negative way.

So, you know, the last thing that might be worth mentioning here is just even if you’re just an astrology student or even if you’re already a professional or practicing astrologer as a lot of people who listen to this podcast are, it’s actually a good idea to keep sometimes consulting with other astrologers, I would recommend, for research purposes and professional purposes in order to, you know, as a student of astrology, which most of us are for most of our lives or continuously to see different approaches to astrology in action, to research different schools of astrology, and also generally just to see what different professionals within the field are doing. That’s actually a legitimate way of doing research and getting exposure and things like that. So this doesn’t necessarily have to be a discussion that’s limited to, you know, only if you’re a newbie who’s coming into the field afresh, but also for people that are a little bit more established, it’s something that can be part of researching astrology and learning it as an ongoing process.

CT: For sure. That’s the best part about what we do, I think, is learning about all the different ways we approach the topic.

CB: Right. Exactly.

TH: Definitely.

CB: All right. Well, do you guys have any final parting words here then before we wrap up in terms of how to pick a professional astrologer?

TH: I just wanna say thanks for inviting me, Chris, and I shared some of the major points I wanted to cover, which were about feeling empowered to ask questions. I hope that reaches somebody that needed to hear that. And I also just wanted to say that I hope some of my anecdotal stories didn’t come across as prejudiced towards Vedic astrologers, because I could see that they might, and I have a lot of dear friends who practice Vedic, and I have friends in India, dear friends in India. And so I just wanted to say apologies if those – because those were just anecdotal stories from my practice that just happened to come out of that experience. And also, remember that there’s a great Vedic astrology conference that if people are interested in finding a Vedic astrologer that’s in a Western context, there’s a Vedic conference here in the States in Sedona, Arizona, in December in I think it’s the first weekend of December. And so you could definitely check that out.

CB: Yeah. And about, you know, Vedic astrology and stuff, I mean, there’s different – one of the things, the points that we sort of meant to emphasize there is just there’s different expectations and there’s a different cultural context sometimes with different types of astrology that come either from different eras or from different regions. And sometimes it’s just important to be aware of, you know, the context or sometimes the cultural context of different forms of astrology because sometimes astrologers in those traditions will practice astrology very differently or sometimes they’ll present the astrology very differently than an astrologer from another region or another era would.

TH: Right.

CB: And, you know, that’s just something that comes with the territory, and it’s something that different astrologers themselves as we as professionals talk about and exchange notes and sometimes try to work together within organizations sometimes working out those differences itself can become, you know, a challenge. But that’s just part of, you know, what comes with the field when you have such a diverse field as we have here with astrology.

TH: For sure.

CB: All right. Do you have any parting words or thoughts about the topic, Cassandra?

CT: I think we’ve covered everything that we wanted to discuss, so yeah, I don’t actually have anything really to add. But I guess, yeah, just I think my parting words would be just be clear about your expectations about what you’re prepared to deliver as an astrologer and what you’re not. And for clients who are potentially seeking some astrological guidance, don’t be afraid to ask questions and to get out of the session what you’re looking to get, whether it’s answers or life path directions or all sorts of things. Yeah, just be free to, you know, don’t be shy to ask.

TH: Right.

CB: Yeah. Definitely. I think that’s great advice. All right. Well, thank you guys for joining me tonight. I really appreciate it. I’m glad we got to have this discussion and cover as much as we did in it.

I’m gonna put some links for further reading to some of the different articles that I’ve found that are sort of relevant to this topic or that I read during the process of writing the outline for this. So people can check that out on the description page for this episode on TheAstrologyPodcast.com.

People should definitely check out Cassandra’s website at CassandraTyndall.com and Tony’s website at AstroRaven.com. And yeah, thank you guys both for coming on the show today.

TH: Yeah. Thank you, Chris. Really appreciate it. And it was great chatting with you, Cassandra.

CT: Yeah. Thanks for having me, Chris. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. And lovely to meet you online, Tony.

TH: You too.

CB: All right. Well, I think that does it for today’s show, then. So thanks everyone for listening, and we’ll see you next time.