• Search
  • Lost Password?
The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 151 Transcript: Astrology Podcasters Q&A Trialogue

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 151, titled:

Astrology Podcasters Q&A Trialogue

With Chris Brennan and guests Eugenia Krok and Adam Sommer

Episode originally released on April 10, 2018


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 Andrea Johnson

Transcription released January 4th, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Today is—what is the date today? Do you guys know?


CB: 6th? Okay, so today is Saturday—no, Friday, April 6, 2018. It’s 4:04 PM in Boulder, Colorado, and this is the 151st episode of The Astrology Podcast. So joining me today is Adam Sommer and Eugenia Krok, and we’re gonna be doing a Q&A episode for the three of us who all do podcasts. So, Adam and Eugenia, welcome to the show.

ADAM SOMMER: Thanks. Welcome to my house.

CB: Yeah, I’m enjoying your living room. And, Eugenia, you drove in from the mountains.

EK: Yes, on a very snowy Friday afternoon.

CB: Snowy day. But we scheduled this like a month, month-and-a-half ago or something like that, and we were determined to pull it off and we did. I’m really excited. So we’re here in Adam’s living room; I lugged a bunch of equipment over. For some reason the three of us all do successful astrology podcasts at this point, and we all happen to live in the same state. But this is the first time I think the three of us have all gotten together to record something, right?

AS: Mm-hmm, the three of us at the same time.

EK: Yeah, yeah.

AS: We’ve recorded in different ways.

CB: Right. Yeah, we’ve each been on each other’s shows, but it’s the first time we’re all together, and the occasion is, Eugenia, you’re actually getting ready potentially to move out of the country. So we thought we could scramble and do something like this just in case you decide to stay abroad permanently.

EK: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I’m thrilled to be here with you guys in person because of that.

CB: So where are you going? You’re going to Egypt?

EK: Cairo, Egypt.

CB: So you fell in love last year—

EK: I did.

CB: —while traveling abroad and are now actually going to live in Egypt.

EK: Yeah, well, actually I fell in love. He’s British, my partner, and he’s an astrologer. We met through the great ‘worldwide web’ of astrology, and, yeah, we just had a really great opportunity to go to Egypt and learn things. And I’m a Sun Aquarius 9th house, so I’m all about it.

CB: Totally.

EK: I can’t wait.

CB: All right, and my show is The Astrology Podcast. What is the name of your podcast?

EK: Bridging Realities: An Accessible Astrology Podcast.

CB: Okay. And where can people find it?

EK: Yeah, Google ‘Bridging Realities’ or ‘accessibleastrology.com’. On iTunes, SoundCloud, the usuals.

CB: Accessibleastrology.com?

EK: Yeah.

CB: And what’s yours, Adam?

AS: Exploring Astrology is wherever podcasts are found.

CB: Okay.

AS: Yeah, I think it’s on all of them, like Stitcher, Podcast Addict.

CB: And what’s your main website URL?

AS: Holestoheavens.com.

CB: Okay, awesome. All right, so what we did today is we put out a call to all of our listeners for some questions and some interesting discussion topics and we actually got a bunch of them in. So we’re gonna break this up in an interesting, unique way. We’ll see if it works. I don’t know, this is a bit of an experiment, but we’re gonna take some of the questions from my listeners and answer them in the next hour for an episode on my podcast, then we’re gonna do a 1-hour-45 minutes or something of questions from Adam’s listeners, and we’re gonna release that episode on your podcast, and then we’re gonna do another hour and we’re gonna take questions from some of your listeners, Eugenia, and release those on your podcast.

EK: Yeah.

CB: All right, well, let’s jump into it then. So the first set of questions, or the first discussion topic that’s really kind of obvious and a few people asked us about is just our podcast origins stories and what it’s like to be podcasters in this new kind of weird field within astrology that’s kind of growing. So, Adam, I think you were the one that got into it out of the three of us before anyone else, or the soonest, right? When did you start your podcast?

AS: April of 2009.

CB: April 2009. Okay, so you’ve been doing it for nearly a decade now.

AS: Yeah.

CB: Okay, cool. So how did you get into it? Or what was your origin story? What prompted it?

AS: So I actually have been listening to podcasts since the very beginning. So podcasts began I think in 2004 or 2005, and I remember when I was at Naropa going to college, I had one of those Nanos—like the little podcast Nanos—and I would fill it up through my iTunes with podcasts that I liked. And one of my favorite shows back when was—it still exists—from the Upaya Zen Center and Joan Halifax Roshi. She’s a Zen Buddhist teacher who just recorded Dharma talks, and I would listen to them biking around town or listening to them at work; and there were a few other really interesting shows and I knew then that if I ever had anything interesting to talk about I would start a podcast. And so, 2007-ish is when I started studying astrology, and so by this spring of 2009 I started it. I was becoming aware that there was a vacancy of astrology podcasts that I wanted to listen to in the world. There were a couple; I don’t remember which ones there were.

CB: Gary Caton had one.

AS: He started one, that’s right, in 2008.

CB: Okay.

AS: And then I don’t know what the others were. But it was just ‘this week in astrology’ or something like that where it wasn’t that interesting to me. So the whole intention of me starting the show was to have conversations with astrologers that I wanted to talk to, so my first 10 guests were Steven Forrest, and Maurice, who was my neighbor, and Ari, who was a huge influence in my beginning of astrology; and I forget the first time ‘cause those are missing episodes now.

EK: Oh, no.

CB: Oh, yeah, you lost a bunch of them. I heard you and Gary talking about that on a recent episode.

AS: Yeah.

CB: You moved to a new website or a new host for hosting your podcast.

AS: Libsyn.

CB: Libsyn. And you weren’t able to transfer over a big chunk of your early episodes.

AS: Like a hundred of them.

CB: Oh, my God.

EK: What?

AS: Yeah. But I’m cool with that. I mean, it was the early days. I was on—what do they call it—the Snowflake mic; I was not that privy to levels.

CB: Sure.

AS: I wasn’t preparing a lot. My whole strategy was pressing the red button and then kind of improving.

CB: Right.

AS: There were a lot of solo shows. I used to give readings to dead people, like celebrities that are dead.

EK: Why don’t you still do that?

AS: I could. Those episodes were fun. And when I made the transition to be a little bit more professional about it and, I don’t know, just be more prepared with all of it, people noticed the difference, and a lot of people didn’t like the transition.

EK: Yeah.

AS: And so, I think at this point, almost 10 years in, I’m slowly going back into that and exercising the same part of my brain to not have notes and then just see what comes out of me, because that’s the best test.

CB: Right.

AS: That’s the best test to see what you’ve got.

CB: Yeah, it’s interesting going full-circle like that in terms of preparedness versus not.

AS: Yeah.

EK: And it’s an interesting process—when we transition as podcasters, as we shift how we do the episodes—how the audience really does respond to it. They’re really affected by our changes.

AS: Yeah, yeah, even my intro, ’cause I change my intro every year.

EK: Yeah.

AS: People get jarred by it.

EK: Jarred, absolutely.

CB: Oh, yeah, I’ve seen that in other podcasts where they’ll change the intro music, and people will be really up in arms about it.

AS: Yeah, I do it every year just to keep people on their toes.

CB: Okay.

AS: And I get bored with it, too, because I feel like I’m constantly changing.

EK: Right.

AS: A huge thing, I want to say, about my journey with podcasting at least is that when I got into it I was very, very clear that I couldn’t stand behind ‘The Astrology Podcast’ as a name because that was definitely on the whiteboard. But ‘Exploring Astrology’ was something that I could stand behind because I was just getting into it, I just started seeing clients, all of that, and I just wanted to make sure I was in a position I was comfortable with. Now, as we all know, when you commit to this and you get to have conversations—deep and meaningful conversations with astrologers, and of course with the clients that we attract through it—it’s a tremendous learning experience. And so, I’ve learned so much just by having conversation with astrologers in the years doing this to where I have to mutate because it changes all the time what I’m doing and what I really think astrology is, in other words. And so, yeah, that’s my story, I guess.

CB: Yeah, well, I think that’s good. One of my biggest pieces of advice for new astrologers is that you should start a blog or a YouTube channel or a podcast or something like that. Even if you’re still a new student and you’re still getting a sense of what astrology is for you, just documenting that process and talking about it with other people and sharing what you know at that current stage in you’re learning—even if you’re only a few years into it—is it really useful and acceptable process. And it’s good to start that sooner rather than later if you think you are gonna turn this into a career or a profession; or if it’s something that’s gonna be a lifelong thing that you’re devoted to, it’s usually better to start getting some of those skills earlier rather than delaying them until you think you’re a ‘master of astrology’ and you’ll never have anything else to learn, ‘cause that day will never come. Even astrologers that have been doing it for 50 years—like Rob Hand or somebody—still are learning things, or every new client, they learn something new and unique from. You’re never gonna get to a point where you feel like you’ve mastered everything.

AS: No way. And I just want to add that tracking a person’s progress, it’s a very organic thing, but also I think it’s a way of connecting to the heart of your audience. When they’re watching you learn and they’re watching you grow and they’re seeing your voice develop and everything that you do with your writing or podcasting, whatever it might be, that, too, creates genuine fanship, like a thousand true fans, like what Tim Ferriss often talks about. It’s a journey. It’s absolutely a journey. When people witness that then they’re with you for life.

CB: And maybe you can speak to that as well, Eugenia. For me, podcasting has created more of a genuine connection. I’ve found there’s more of a connection with the audience and the listenership than any other medium that I’ve used so far compared to writing a blog post or a newsletter or anything else. For some reason when people listen to a podcast, it seems like they’re much more engaged. And I think you’ve mentioned something similar to that to me before. Have you had that experience?

EK: Yeah, absolutely, especially because of the way I do my podcast; I use my personal experience so frequently. And of course I had a co-host at the beginning, so we went back and forth with our personal—like we would just talk about what was going on today.

CB: And that was Danielle.

EK: Danielle Polgar, yeah.

CB: Okay.

EK: And I guess I’m kind of skipping ahead of the origin a bit to say that you’re right. I think that I naively went into this thinking, “Okay, I’m gonna do this with the podcast and that’s what’s gonna happen.” And the problem is life happens all—we get transits, we have progressions, we have profections, and so we, too, change, right? We will never be a constant. We are more in flow with our charts, right? We shift and we change and we grow with them. And some listeners are, for some reason, compelled to be on that journey with us, and some aren’t.

CB: Sure.

EK: And my podcast is going through a pretty big shift right now. It’s almost been painful to lose some listeners because you do kind of develop a relationship with them, and some of them just aren’t wanting to stay on the journey with me right now. And so, that’s been a really interesting thing, but I’m getting new listeners that are adapting to that new place I’m in.

CB: Sure. Part of it was you and Danielle started the podcast together, and then she recently had a child and that’s taking up most of her attention.

EK: Right.

CB: So you’ve gone solo with the podcast?

EK: Yeah. And so, we started our podcast over two years ago, so I’m the newest. We have talked about it for about five years or something—‘cause we went to graduate school together, and we both earned our master’s in counseling and psychology—and learned and utilized astrology throughout that master’s program. Both of us went on the path to become therapists, that was our thing. I became an art therapist. I had an art therapy studio for quite a few years actually, working with teenagers and a lot of grief work and death and dying work. And at some point I was going to the art therapy studio, and I was starting to get more astrology clients, and I would get really bummed out when I had to go see my art therapy clients. My energy dropped and I was like, “Uh, I’m gonna have to get into that.” But then when I knew I was gonna read a chart for someone, my energy went up.

CB: Sure.

EK: And that was a clear message to me that my therapeutic practice was crying for astrology to be the primary modality to work with clients. And so, I think at one point Danielle and I had talked about it. We called each other, I don’t know, a couple times a week to talk on the phone about astrology ‘cause we couldn’t talk to anybody else.

CB: Right.

EK: As we know, astrology has really shifted in the last six months, I would say, and there’s more and more people who are interested. But I’d been practicing for 10 years myself, and for those 10 years I really had no one to talk to and it was a really isolating journey, and Danielle was someone I could talk to. And we said, “Why don’t we just start recording our conversations, and hopefully we’ll find more people to talk to, and of course find clients this way,” and so we did that. And then of course life took her into becoming a mother. She had her Sun progress into Cancer and some other ‘crazy baby’ transit and her energy wasn’t able to be as focused on the podcast. And of course that has changed how I do the podcast. It’s really different to have a co-host; as an individual, it’s a lot scarier to do a podcast on your own. I had no idea that it would frighten me as much as it has. And it’s tested me, it’s really challenged me. And of course it’s reflecting what’s happening in my chart, ’cause I’ve got a lot of Leo stuff happening in my chart right now; so I’m noticing that fear of judgment, putting my voice out there in the world and working with it. So that’s kind of like a brief summary of my journey into podcasting.

CB: Sure. But even just doing it for two years, it’s been successful. Would you say that most of your clients in your astrological practice come from people that have listened to your podcast at this point?

EK: Yeah.

CB: Easily? Definitely?

EK: Like all of them.

CB: Okay.

EK: Obviously, I practiced for almost eight years before I did the podcast and that was always referral. So I built a pretty large referral-based network, and I didn’t do any marketing or anything like that. And so, the podcast wasn’t so much to even get clients as much as it was to just be able to build this community—and this is how we’ve all connected, too. So we’ve then built upon each other’s communities, which has been really powerful as well. Ultimately the goal of having a podcast was to build a community of people so we don’t feel like weirdos in our little dorky, geeky astrology world.

CB: Yeah.

EK: Because we were weirdos, but now we’re pretty cool.

CB: I mean, that’s the biggest thing, all astrologers have that experience that astrology can be a very isolating study just because not a lot of people do. It’s kind of like a fringe study, it’s not well-recognized or -received by science or academia or religion for the most part, so most astrologers have that experience of it being this thing that they do on their own in isolation. And then occasionally you’ll find a group online, or you’ll go to a local astrology group or go to an astrological conference and suddenly you find that there’s a whole group of other people that are doing the same thing, that you can actually talk to and have conversations with. And I think probably one of the things that people are interested in and enjoy about listening to an astrology podcast is just that you can kind of have that experience or take part in some of those discussions or eavesdrop on some of them on a regular basis without necessarily having to go to an astrology conference or go to a local astrology group or what have you. Has that been your experience?

EK: Mm-hmm.

AS: I just love podcasts in general. I mean, like I said, I’ve been with it as a medium since the beginning.

CB: Sure.

AS: YouTube started around the same time as well. It was like 2003-2004 or something like that.

CB: Right.

AS: So it was around the same time, and I had no relationship to YouTube until 2009 or ‘10 or something like that. But podcasting, on the other hand, I’ve always been into because there is something about conversation—it’s an art form. And for people that, like you were saying, don’t have community or friends to talk to about a given topic, well, there you are, a fly on the wall, and you feel like you know them as well. And this is a really important thing and it touches on—I don’t know if we’re gonna go off in that direction—a different media and the capacity for learning and how much can be computed. In my opinion, there’s no comparison to how much I remember and comprehend when I listen to something to when I watch and listen. Marshall McLuhan talks a lot about this, ‘the medium is the message’ kind of idea. There’s too much coming in, and there’s also a separation when you’re watching video for comprehension to occur. And so, when I’m listening it’s almost as deep as reading for me or like being with a person and talking to them. And so, I think there’s that component, but also it remedies isolation, and you feel like all of a sudden you’re a part of something; that’s also where it gets weird, too.

CB: Right. We’ll get into that later. We were having a pre-show discussion about people that are a little bit too into your work or take it in a weird direction, so we’ll do that later. So some of the connected questions with this were how we got started, the logistics of running a successful astrology podcast from a listener named Serena. A listener named Maria asked, “In which way running a podcast affects your consultation practice?” And another listener named Belinda asked, “Do any of you schedule your podcasts, articles, etc., using astrological techniques?” So using electional astrology, I think she means. “And if so, what do you do, and what have been some of the things that you learned from that?”

AS: That’s a lot of questions, Chris.

CB: Yeah, there’s a lot of questions. I just wanted to throw them out.

EK: But you didn’t share your journey into podcasting.

AS: Yeah, that’s true.

CB: Sure. So my origin story is there was a podcast around 2009-2010. That website BlogTalkRadio was really popular and a lot of people were using that as a free podcasting platform, and there was an astrologer named David Hernandez who started a podcast called Traditional Astrology Radio. And it was interesting because it was a podcast on traditional astrology. There were a few others—like you said, around that time, a few other general podcasts—but it was the first one I had seen that was a little bit more focused on a specific approach or a specific tradition. And he did that show for not very long, for maybe less than a year, I feel, and then he handed it over to a Kepler college student named Jacqui Menkes, and she did a ton of episodes. She really expanded it, and she was interviewing just everybody, it didn’t matter if they were traditional or modern or Vedic or what have you. And I listened to her show and I was actually really interested in it and engaged in it, and we were friends. And eventually she was gonna go off to grad school and work on a master’s degree—Nick Campion’s program in the UK—and she asked me if I wanted to take over.

So I think it was actually on my birthday, on November 1, 2010, that I took over the show from her and we did sort of like a handing over of the baton, and I just sort of randomly started doing this podcast, and I did it for maybe 10 episodes very sporadically. But then at some point, I think around 2012, Jeffrey Kirshner—the astrologer from New York—got rid of the domain ‘theastrologypodcast.com’ and I happened to come across it. And I emailed him, and I said, “Did you mean to give that up?” and he said, “Yeah, I’m not gonna use it. So if you want to take it, go ahead,” so I bought it. I immediately decided to start a new podcast, ‘cause now that I got some experience, I knew how to do it correctly. It’s kind of like your ‘lost’ episodes, Adam. If you go back and listen to that, it does not sound very good, and it was very impromptu and things like that, but it gave me the necessary experience. So I launched The Astrology Podcast, and I just had this idea—so many times when I go to a local astrology group and somebody gives a lecture, I always want to ask them questions, or I’ll see the person struggling to connect with the audience and sometimes there’s questions that the audience has that the person giving the lecture doesn’t address, and I always wished that I could just stop that person and ask them to clarify that point or ask them to just go into a little bit further that specific thing that they’re kind of glossing over or that they were taking for granted. So my idea with the podcast was that I could do that and we could have a platform for having astrology lectures, but having them in more of a dialogue format where I could help the person to draw out some of the things that the audience might want to know about what they’re saying.

AS: That’s a great story.

EK: And actually that’s partly why I got involved in astrology. I had gone to lectures throughout the years, and I watched so many people just bewildered at the end of these lectures. I think with astrology when you get it, you get it.

CB: Right.

EK: And there’s some people who are really drawn to it, but it takes some extra time, right? There’s levels of competency as it comes quickly or less quickly for other people. And I found that I was thinking there was maybe a lack of translation for a lot of people, and that’s why we called the podcast Bridging Realities. How can I take the vocabulary of astrology and put it into layman’s terms, so to speak, so anybody can understand it? I was just talking to Adam just before about how I use figurines in my practice, to actually give people that visualization of the archetypes and try to bridge it. And so, I love that you’re saying that you took the lecture form and you tried to distill it down to this conversation, ’cause that’s exactly what I was trying to do. When people would walk away just feeling like, “I don’t know what to do with this information,” what inspired me was, how can I translate this better for people to really digest it in a more broad perspective or a more broad audience?

CB: Sure.

EK: ‘Cause I think people get intimidated by astrology.

CB: Right. Yeah, it’s definitely a very intimidating field when you first get into it.

EK: Right, yeah. And I think people are scared to say, “I don’t know this,” or “I want to know this, but this just isn’t making sense.” Even as an astrologer there were certain aspects that took forever for me to get. It took me a good five years to really get Neptune, for example; it just did; it just took a long time for me to get Neptune. And one time I asked one of my mentors, “Why can’t I get Neptune?” And he was like, “That’s so Neptunian.”

AS: Well, it’s true. It’s a common symptom, I suppose.

EK: Right. Like we were saying here, we don’t know everything, that’s not even close to the truth. There’s always this constant learning experience with astrology to help alleviate some of that intimidation I think people have.

CB: Yeah, yeah, and I think just making it clear that astrologers are real people.

EK: Totally.

CB: I think one of the things that comes through and all three of our podcasts is that we’re just normal people that happen to be into this super weird thing, and we’re all sort of exploring it in different ways and coming at it from different directions. But there’s this common sort of earnestness about trying to figure it out and trying to talk with other people in order to develop our own understanding of it as well as our audiences. Yeah, so ‘exploring astrology’, ‘bridging astrology’, and my just generic search engine title, The Astrology Podcast.

AS: Well, I almost entitled my show yours.

CB: Okay.

AS: Like that was the thing. And I had to sit with it for a long time, Chris, because I just did not feel I could hold up that title with where I was at with my studies, you know what I mean?

CB: Yeah, I thought it would make it easier to find in search results, like when people go to iTunes and they search for ‘astrology podcast’.

AS: They find you first. If you put ‘astrology’ in, they don’t find me, or you I don’t think either because of our titles.

EK: Yeah. But it’s interesting ‘cause we have really distinctive audiences. I think that a lot of people listen to all three of our podcasts.

AS: There are a good amount of them.

EK: Yeah, but I think ultimately we really appeal to three very different types of people as well, which is so awesome. That’s why this conversation is so cool ’cause we’re cross-pollinating our different strengths.

AS: There’s a point I wanted to bring up about that when you guys were just talking. If there’s anybody listening that is thinking about starting a podcast or a vlog or whatever it might be, there is something to niche creations, at least for starting. Because if you’re trying to get into something and then it’s so general and you’re trying to cover everything, it’s like that kind of has been done and it may not be as interesting to a given audience. And it’s really good advice that comes from other directions, too—a thing that you’re really passionate about and then allow that to grow from that place. And I didn’t have a business plan, I didn’t know what my niche was in the beginning. but it was just always me being as authentic as possible and not being influenced by criticism, by my surroundings, just knowing that I had to do it my way the whole time. And that’s a tough thing when you’re putting yourself out there because you’re gonna get trolls, and you’re gonna get criticism and that’s all gonna come; but we need it, and failure is very important.

EK: Well, it’s fascinating ‘cause now that I’ve gone from having a co-host to being a single host, I’ve faced a new challenge that I didn’t realize existed, and it’s when you’re putting yourself out there how do you metabolize the criticism. How do you deal with that criticism? And how do you find your niche? Mine was, before, a conversation with another female astrologer, so it was all about female empowerment; it was right before the MeToo movement and that was the whole theme of our podcast. We were on the edge of that wave; we were riding it before it really took over. And then once she left—it’s something to be said about that patience if someone is wanting to put themselves out there, not just a podcast but any type of art. This is just an expression of ourselves, it’s art. How do we put ourselves out there and learn to navigate the criticism and finding our path? For you, Chris, I’m actually quite curious, when do you feel like you got your stride? ‘Cause for you it sounds like it happened after a hundred episodes or so.

AS: Maybe.

EK: Somewhere around there?

AS: Yeah, that’s about right. The way I mark it is with Uranus actually. When Uranus really got situated in Aries, which was in March of 2011, there were just so many circumstances in my life that pressed me into this position where it was like, “Now or never. You need to take this very seriously now.” And I did. I upgraded my microphone. Every time I’ve upgraded a microphone has been like a notch in me taking it more and more seriously. And so, yeah, I think it was about a hundred episodes at that point, and I was also able to have a pretty good idea of who I was talking to. And so, for you, maybe this could be helpful. I have a practice before I press record.

EK: Right, right.

AS: I play my guitar to massage those parts of my brain, opening up that creative center, but then there’s images of who I’m talking to, right? Hermes is always there; I’m talking to him directly in the form of all astrologers that I look up to. There’s me—10,000 versions of me in the audience—and I need to be interesting enough for myself to listen to. And then there are those that really resonate with what I’m putting out. And specifically, as of lately, I’m trying to balance out my audience, and also my clientele, by having more men in the circle. I always joke about this, but it’s really helpful for me—I think about the boyfriend on a road trip where the girlfriend’s like, “I want to listen to Adam,” and he’s like, “I don’t want to listen to this astrology podcast.” But then she’s like, “No, no, he’s into all the things you’re into, trust me. Listen to him.” And, man, like after five minutes I have his attention.

EK: Yeah.

AS: I speak to these people, and it really helps me to know that I’m doing good astrology. I’m impressing myself, hopefully, if I’m listening to it in like 20 years, or if it was 20 years ago, and then get the attention of the guy. Because one thing that has been a conversation that’s come up in a few podcasts I’ve done lately is, one, it’s an incredibly strange balance that the majority of I know your listeners, my listeners—I’m not sure about yours—are women. We’re talking like 90%.

EK: I think for most astrologers, it’s more women.

AS: It’s the feeling. But yet a lot of the voices—I haven’t been to UAC.

CB: I think it was like two-thirds. I did a survey recently, it was just of patrons—so it was only paying supporters—but it was either two-thirds or three-quarters of mine were women.

AS: Yeah.

EK: And mine are 100% women.

AS: 100%. And I do attract men, which is good. I think it’s because of that mental exercise and because of just me being me. The thing is I know—because I’ve experienced it with my guy friend—and I know because I’m a guy who was against astrology for a very long time but still into consciousness and still into all of these wonderful ideas that experienced it properly. And so, I know that there’s men out there that when they hear it in the right way, it’s going to turn something for them and then they’ll get into it. And so, it’s so important for me to create an even field of listeners, clients, just a whole community, basically.

CB: Yeah, and that’s something I think that ties together all three of our podcasts. ‘Cause that’s part of my focus as well every single episode when we’re presenting a new concept or doing an interview. Not taking anything for granted and just imagining that the listener doesn’t know anything about the subject that you’re talking about is often the approach that I try to take, even with more complicated things. Kelly Surtees and I did an episode on secondary progressions a few months ago, and we just tried to start from the very beginning and say, “What are the things that are being taken for granted? Is it conceptual or philosophical or technical principles when we’re talking about this topic?” and then start from the basics there and then go through the intermediate all the way to the advanced concepts; but always cover your bases first by getting the basics down.

EK: So when did you feel like you hit your stride?

CB: I think it took a few years. And I was doing it sporadically. I would go months without doing another episode, but it took a few years after I started it in 2012. And then at some point, by like 2014 or 2015, I realized that the majority of my clients and my students that were signing up for my courses came from listening to me on the podcast, listening to my episodes, and getting a familiarity with who I am and how I think and what my approach to astrology was and then feeling comfortable, wanting to get a consultation or take a class with me, and so I started ramping it up a little bit then. And then I was told about Patreon by Kent Bye who does the—I’m spacing out the name of his podcast right now, but he has a great astrology podcast he was doing for a few years sporadically.

AS: Radiant?

CB: No, it’s not Radiant. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. I’ll remember it and I’ll circle back around and mention it later, but he mentioned Patreon, which had just started as a concept, and he was one of the first early-adopters. He told me about it at a Northwest Astrology Conference two or three years ago, and I went home and immediately set up a page and that really was a game-changer for me. My listeners wanted to have me do more episodes, and I said, “This is what it’s gonna take. I would do this full-time if I could, but I need to make an income or a living from it if I devote that much time to it.” And pretty quickly people started pledging support and that made a huge difference; and just the past two or three years of my life have been completely different, and I started doing four episodes a month plus two bonus episodes just for patrons. And now that’s kind of like my primary thing, in addition to just teaching and sometimes doing other websites or blog articles or something like that. The podcast has become, more or less, my primary focus or vocation on some level. So that’s all in the past few years. It’s been kind of a wild, crazy ride and I never expected it to be this successful. I thought it would be a nice thing and maybe I’d do it on the side every once in a while and it would be a good platform for getting my voice out there, but not that it would take off in that way.

AS: And here’s how we cross-pollinate because I was about to quit the podcast at my ‘seven-year itch’ cycle, which was 2015, when you started the Patreon. And I was kind of watching your Patreon, seeing if it was a legitimate venture.

CB: Right.

AS: And then I just had this moment where I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna try it,” and then it was a game-changer once I realized that, okay, there’s a way of monetizing this. Because people don’t understand it is a lot of energy doing a good podcast.

EK: Incredible amounts.

AS: Scheduling the interview, doing it, editing the audio, making it perfect, getting it all together, posting it—the whole thing is hours and hours and hours, and it’s free.

CB: Right.

EK: Right.

AS: And people don’t get that.

EK: Right, they don’t.

AS: Like so many people don’t understand that this is free what you’re listening to. And so, starting Patreon was huge for me. It basically saved the podcast from being buried.

CB: Sure.

AS: I was really very seriously about to quit it.

CB: Yeah, and it was pretty early episodes. It was in the less than 50 or 30 range or something like that, and now I’ve just passed 150. This is Episode 151. So I’ve done over a hundred episodes or a hundred-something episodes just over the past couple of years since I got the patrons, and then suddenly this became a full-time job doing four episodes a month. So how do you guys deal with topics? ‘Cause one of the things that’s been challenging is coming up with good topics every month that are persuasive or compelling discussions can sometimes be a little bit challenging. I don’t know if you guys ever run into that.

AS: Sure.

EK: For me, originally, the podcast was a conversation with Danielle. So it wasn’t necessarily astrology-driven, it was ‘astrology-bridging’. It was just talking about what’s happening in our lives and just using astrology within that conversation, so it didn’t mean anything. But it’s interesting, now that I am solo, it has brought up, “Oh, gosh, where do I go?” I think the big evolution I’m going through within the podcast right now, around topics especially, is I’ve been really questioning ethical issues with astrology; that’s been really at the forefront of my mind really since the beginning of 2018. I know we’ve all had this conversation on our podcasts around ethics within astrology ‘cause there is no governing board, there is no master’s degree program or licensing board or government agency kind of keeping tabs on things that we do. And so, I found that I’ve been wondering about topics about how much we give knowing that there’s ethics behind us doing that, right? Because we’re giving people tools that are actually really, really powerful and they can be misused, these tools. And so, how do we give this information in a way that we feel ethically good about that? And so, I’ve been going through that kind of internal questioning; because I do have the background in therapy, I’ve really had that at the forefront of my thinking.

So when it comes to the topics, I’ve done a couple of solo podcasts, which is really intense. I’d be curious how you guys feel about those as opposed to conversational podcast episodes. But I’ve been really trying to make them more organic where I’m just walking around and thinking and kind of talking out loud to myself, which helps me learn, right? These conversations help us learn. It’s the campfire, right? This is how humans process, this is how humans learn, it’s within these conversations in our heads and then outside of them. And so, I think that I’ve tried to do topics in alignment with what’s happening in the sky. I’ve tried to do topics on what’s happening in the culture. I think that’s a big one for me, what’s happening in pop culture. I’m fascinated by pop culture, fascinated by it, and so I try to integrate that into the shows as well. But I do think that the topic for me—because I’m in this big transition—is how do I help people, guide people with astrology and also be aware of the power of what I’m doing. That’s the thing—I don’t think I realized how many people were listening, and then I started finding out, ‘cause we don’t really have clear numbers.

CB: Right.

EK: I don’t know if you’ve mastered that yet.

AS: Well, Libsyn’s pretty good.

EK: Are they?

AS: Don’t you guys use Libsyn?

EK: Mm-hmm.

CB: No.

AS: Yeah, Libsyn tells you everything, and where they’re listening from.

EK: Oh, interesting. Yeah, I don’t have a solid thing, but I started going to these conferences last year during my 11th house profected year and I was shocked by how much I was influencing people. And that was a really humbling call to reality that, oh, I am affecting lives here.

AS: Which relates to my first question, doesn’t it?

CB: Which one?

EK: Which one?

AS: The podcast star.

EK: Right, the podcast star. So I think that in choosing talk topics right now I’m trying to be very, very conscious of the impact that that has on my listeners.

AS: Sure.

CB: Yeah, I mean, when you go to conferences—have you been to one? Austin Coppock and Kelly Surtees and I do the monthly forecast episodes and we have for two or three years now. When we go to conferences now we just have people coming up to us over and over again saying they listen to whatever episode and they really liked it; that’s when you actually really fully realized that there are people out there listening; because otherwise for all of us it’s just something we record and we put out there and you don’t always connect with how that’s influencing people.

EK: And not just listening but becoming astrologers.

CB: Right.

EK: That’s been the most shocking. Like, whoa, people who have been listening to us are now taking some of our information—and of course from all the other astrologers—and starting their own practice. And, whoa, that’s a huge responsibility when you think about that.

CB: Yeah, or that there’s new astrologers that are just coming into the field in the past few years and they’re like your podcast is the main thing they’re listening to; that’s a surprising thing. And, Adam, you’ve actually done some events, like little mini conferences yourself, or intensives with listeners recently, right?

AS: Yeah.

CB: So that’s been part of that experience for you in terms of really connecting with people that listen to you on a regular basis.

AS: For sure. For me, having that realization—because I actually haven’t been to an astrology conference yet—in the early years, I used to do a lot of festivals and what not, and I would lecture and give readings and stuff, which isn’t that different within one of the subcultures that I’m involved with, so I have the experience there. But also, just being in Boulder, it is not uncommon for someone to come up to me when I’m out and about and talk about something that I’m creating. And so, it’s kind of been a byproduct the whole way through of what I do in that sense. So, yes, ethics—being very aware of what we’re saying—I’m into the task at hand, I think it’s really important because. For myself, it’s always been a mega treat to meet astrologers who think in a way and act like I would want to myself. A lot of the misinformation that I had—or at least the bits I was getting from pop culture, just from the peripheral world of astrology before I actually knew what was going on with astrology—it turns people off, it really does, until they come in contact with an astrologer that really changes their mind about it; for me, it was Rick Tarnas.

CB: Right. So Tarnas’ book, Cosmos and Psyche, was your first book?

AS: Yeah.

CB: That’s actually a really interesting point, ’cause I just published an article the other day that was like my top six recommendations for beginner astrology books and actually recommended Tarnas.

AS: Nice.

CB: And a couple people were like that’s way too advanced or dense of a book for beginners.

AS: That was my first book.

CB: I’ve met a bunch of males who are into philosophy or cosmology or things like that where that was their first book and that got them into astrology by showing them that there was an intellectual, not just an emotional- or character-based take on it, but that there were was something tangible there. So you’re actually a good example of why I have that as one of my recommended beginner books just because I think there’s a certain type of person that that book would appeal to.

AS: It’s true.

CB: And it worked for you as your first book, right?

AS: It really did.

CB: Okay.

AS: It was kind of like a ‘Trojan horse’ experience, too, because when I purchased it, I didn’t even know it was a book on astrology.

CB: Right. Yeah, it’s in the philosophy section.

AS: I had no idea.

CB: In Barnes & Noble, I think it’s in the philosophy section most of the time.

AS: Yeah. And also, the first 60 to 80 pages there’s really no mention.

CB: Well, he does this extended story about Galileo, I think it was.

AS: Or just the changing of the worldview.

CB: No, it was Copernicus, and the idea that the Sun was the center of the solar system and that the planets revolved around the Sun’ the idea that he was privy to this knowledge and he knew this amazing thing but nobody believed him and everyone thought he was crazy. And it was even against religious and scientific standards at the time, but somehow he knew that there was something to the theory. The first 50 pages of the book was him drawing an analogy obviously with astrology in present times.

AS: Yeah, how that’s happening. And it worked. I mean, I did honestly read that whole book with great fascination, without ever casting my chart. I still hadn’t had a reading and I never even cast my chart because there’s no information about natal chart astrology or anything in the book, right? It’s like planetary complexes and cycles throughout history.

CB: Sure.

AS: There’s a little bit of a mention in the beginning of it, but that’s about it. And so, I did that much and then I started meeting astrologers because that’s what happens—ideas become us, and we become beacons or magnets for other ideas around it. And so, I started meeting astrologers everywhere, and, yeah, that’s really the origin of it. And then finally I got a reading that really opened me up and then so it began.

CB: Okay.

AS: Feels like a tangent.

CB: No, it’s funny just ’cause I was thinking about that recently. Okay, so why don’t we start getting through some other questions? Before we move on from this topic, the last one that we didn’t address—and I might be long that does this—she asked, “Do you schedule any of your podcasts using electional astrology?” And I actually do try, to whatever extent I can, to schedule both the interviews—when I record the original podcast—as well as to some extent releasing the podcast; I do try to pick a good electional chart each time. And there have been ones where I don’t, but I often feel like it doesn’t quite go as well when I don’t make an effort to at least see if there’s some decent rising sign or something at the time. Do you guys do that? I feel like I might do that more than might be typical, but I’m not sure if other astrologers do it at all.

AS: I can answer real quick.

CB: Okay.

AS: It depends. As far as the interviews, no.

CB: Okay.

AS: But the last two I have done with Gary Caton and Ryhan Butler, they wanted to.

CB: Okay.

AS: So with Gary, we did it with Mercury at maximum elongation and that went really well, people seem to really like that conversation. And then with Ryhan, I forget what it was, but he was avoiding a particular transit; I think it was the Mars-Saturn conjunction. He wanted to avoid that, and then we did it in the aftermath of that, and that also went really well. But I usually don’t do it with the interview. As far as me posting it, I would say ‘sloppy’ electional astrology is what I do, and it’s mainly with the Moon. So I’ll pay attention to where the Moon’s at in my own transits and chart. And I’m so sensitive to what I am, wherever the Moon is, and so I’ll avoid posting a podcast when the Moon’s in Scorpio because I don’t want that energy to get out to the world; this is like a very internal time for me.

CB: Sure.

AS: It might be taken differently, so that’s my answer.

CB: What about you, Eugenia?

EK: No, not even. Remotely, a little bit.

CB: ‘Cause electional is not something you focus on.

EK: No.

CB: You mainly focus on psychological.

EK: Yeah, I’m much more of psych.

CB: Okay.

EK: I think ultimately I’m a therapist/sociologist who uses astrology as a tool, and I have and implementing electional astrology in my own life has been detrimental. It’s really messed with my mind, for me. So whether it’s a flight I’m gonna take or an event I’m going to host or something of that nature, I find I get really heady when I look at the electional side of it. I freak myself out. I have a lot of really important things coming up in the next few years, including a move to Cairo, right? It’s not a little deal, it’s a big deal. And so, signing my papers to get out of my home happened to be on the day Mercury went retrograde, and there was no way I could really change that. The paper had to be signed, it had to be done that day. And I had an internal conflict within myself—the heady part of it—of “Don’t do this, don’t do this.” And I’ve done things on Mercury retrograde that have been negative—I’ve had adverse responses or reactions to it—but I’ve had to learn to follow my heart a little bit more. That’s that more intuitive, felt experience of my life because I tend to be more heady. I’m very Aquarius and very Gemini and very Libra; I have a very massive air trine in my chart. And my journey with astrology has been how do I take the heady side of astrology and for a moment just place it aside.

Adam, you and I talked about this on one of our podcasts together about how I just also come back to the breath, the moment. It’s bigger than astrology, it’s bigger than the cosmos, and I’ve been trying to learn how can I do both. So when I’m releasing podcasts, it’s very much organic. If I want to—especially as a solo host right now—do an episode, I’m gonna do it, if I don’t want to, I’m not going to do it. That has to be in flow with where I’m at, and some people can do that with me and some people can’t. I think eventually if I’m actually settled somewhere—and I have a studio where I can purchase the better equipment and have a really steady experience with my life—maybe I might think about it a little bit more. But for now it’s just totally in flow with what feels right.

CB: Sure. Yeah, well, I mean, that raises a bigger question that I often wonder about, which is to what extent is foreknowledge of the future useful versus to what extent does attempting to even control the future using something like electional astrology just end up making you neurotic rather than just going with the flow or dealing with things that you have to deal with and letting things be. There’s a tension there that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone fully resolve and that I still am often trying to resolve myself, and I’m always curious how different astrologers deal with that tension.

EK: Well, and it’s interesting, one of the big conversations we had on the podcast when Danielle was pregnant was what is her baby gonna have, what was the baby’s chart gonna be.

CB: Okay.

EK: Now that’s a whole different wormhole. It can get scary.

CB: Yeah, ‘cause so many people induce at this point, or you have to sometimes.

EK: Right. And it’s amazing—I don’t want to speak on behalf of Danielle—but all the things she didn’t want her kid to have, her kid has. It’s amazing how that works out. And of course I’m kind of moving into that place in my life of marriage chart, babies, things like that, and it’s not healthy for me to be so focused on the future (a), and (b) on what can go wrong.

CB: Right.

EK: And I think an element of that—that is the best part about astrology—is we can use it to make wiser decisions. But at the end of the day, there has to be some development of trust in our own chart, why it’s unfolding the way it’s unfolding, and then what will come and what has come before. So many clients come to me looking to—what’s the word? ‘Dodge’ pain.

CB: Right. Or to avoid bad experiences.

EK: Right. And it’s so important that we remember that that’s the juice of life, right? It’s our challenges that make life what it is. So all three of us have podcasts because there was something we thought was broken, right? So you’ve talked about wanting to reach out to more men, Adam, like you, and that’s because you didn’t have that reflection for yourself as someone seeking it. I was seeking out a podcast that helped me feel less intimidated by other male astrologers. No offense, but you guys are very smart, right? And and here I am and I’m kind of just a little bit more feminine and goofy, right? And so, I created that podcast to fill that hole within myself.

AS: The niches.

EK: The niches. And those are the parts of our charts that we have challenges with, but ultimately become the medicine that we produce for the world.

AS: A seed of Chiron for future podcasters.

EK: Totally. I was actually thinking we should bring that to mind in my episode. I’m super into Chiron, too.

CB: Yeah, and that’s a question I think several people asked.

EK: That will be on my episode.

CB: Okay. All right, well, let’s crush some more questions for mine really quickly. Let’s just get through some.

AS: Are we at the hour? We should be careful.

CB: Oh, God, you’re right. We’re 56 minutes in. So we spent like 30 or 40 minutes just talking about that.

AS: But that was pretty thorough as a subject matter, talking about podcasting, the whole experience of doing that. I’d listen to that podcast. Maybe I will.

CB: I mean, I hope it wasn’t a little too ‘navel-gazing’ or not relatable if you’re not planning on starting a podcast or something like that.

AS: Well, starting anything I think it might be relatable.

CB: Sure.

EK: Right, a business.

AS: Yes.

EK: Anything we put anything we create. This is kind of a conversation about creation really.

AS: And becoming a voice in the collective, which has been one of the most interesting journeys of my life.

EK: Surely.

CB: Sure.

EK: Very up and down.

AS: Yeah.

EK: It can be a very emotional experience.

AS: Yeah, you can do one more.

CB: One more. I have one more really good one actually. This was a larger discussion, but it was from Christina Caudill who says, “I know the history of astrology and astrologers is long, but I’m curious if ancient astrologers earned a living as professionals in their work with astrology? I asked because in some astrology and New Age circles there seems to be shame around earning a living as an astrologer because it’s considered a ‘spiritual practice’ by many. We know that people monetize anything and everything these days, but the history would be interesting to look at. Weren’t ancient astrologers advisors to kings and emperors? Were they ever aligned with the Church or in a position such as priest?” Yeah, so she’s asking specifically about ancient astrologers, but it’s an interesting broader question that I do see occasionally, especially in some New Age circles—oftentimes by people that are not practicing astrologers or professional astrologers—some reluctance or shame or some other emotion I have a hard time understanding exactly about doing astrology and accepting money from people for doing astrology.

That’s sort of an interesting discussion topic because it’s something that everybody struggles with in different ways on some level or another. The most common one is what to charge for consultation. What’s an appropriate fee to charge to sit down and read somebody’s birth chart? Occasionally, you do see extremists on both sides. There’s an extreme side—there’s not a lot of people that honestly take this position but occasionally you’ll hear them—like Christina was saying, that just say you should never accept money for astrology because it’s a spiritual practice and it’s wrong to exchange currency for that because of whatever the reasons are. But then there’s also an opposite extreme which is also not good. Occasionally, you will run into somebody who is clearly charging what a lot of practicing astrologers would consider to be too much for a consultation, where it almost seems like they’re going too far, or they might be not giving people as much value as they’re getting money for in a way that strikes some astrologers as weird and sort of wondering if that’s appropriate or if there’s something inappropriate about how much they’re charging. So that’s kind of an interesting broader question. How do you guys feel about that? Have you ever thought about that, or have you ever struggled with that?

AS: A little bit, yeah. I mean, also in the comment thread, she gave a specific example of it, which I think is absolutely absurd. The woman that came down on her and refused to pay her.

CB: Well, it was a client. They did the consultation, and at the end of the consultation the client was like, “You shouldn’t charge people money for astrology,” as a general principle. I don’t think she was even saying that it was because the consultation was bad; it was that she didn’t think in general that astrologers should charge for what they do.

AS: Yeah, absurd.

EK: That’s absurd.

AS: I was gonna say something that would get me in trouble. But it’s been a huge journey for me because I started out doing donation-based readings, and that was hellish.

EK: Yeah.

AS: That was hellish, because in the beginning, as most of us know, you prepare a lot.

CB: Right.

AS: I mean, there’s a lot of energy and just stress and worry that goes into your first readings you ever do.

CB: Especially when you’re new, you tend to prepare way more than you do later once you get more experience.

AS: Absolutely. And so, there were a couple experiences actually in my early years—and also you go longer. So I had a two-hour session with this one woman, and I over-prepared the whole thing, and it was a donation-based thing. All the energy I thought was fine during the session and then she literally sent me $2.50 through PayPal afterwards, and that was a game-changer for me. I was like, “Wait, hold on,” and I couldn’t say anything ‘cause it’s a donation thing. And so, that was the moment of ‘change donation into a set fee’.

CB: Okay, so before that you had a suggested range of 45.

AS: Yeah, it was like in between 50 and 100. You know what, this was like early days where it was just donation probably, where I wasn’t even listed, when I didn’t even have a site.

CB: So you didn’t even say what it was, it was just whatever, and somebody actually did just give you $2.50.

AS: $2.50, yeah. So that was the most insulting thing that’s probably ever happened to me.

CB: ‘Cause even at the very least, even if it was just a consultation itself, you just spent like an hour-and-a-half talking with this person and taking that time out of your day to do that, and they paid you less than even a portion of what minimum wage would be if you were doing that at a fast-food joint.

AS: Exactly. And that’s why I used the word ‘absurd’ in response to Christina’s question ‘cause whoever the woman was that she gave a reading to is obviously not fully here in reality; ‘cause what it comes down to is energy exchange. When you’re sitting down with someone for an hour, and you are holding space—sacred space in my opinion—and doing this work with someone, it really does depend on what you would charge for that. I’ve just learned from the field, and I had Maurice as a teacher that was constantly pushing me into charging what professionals charge. If I didn’t have that I probably would still, who knows. But I was charging $108 for the longest time, and I got to this point where I was like, “Okay, I can’t do this because I’m just gonna be booked forever,” and it doesn’t feel like it’s an equal energy exchange. And so, would you both agree that the set rate for most professional readings is over 200 bucks?

EK: Say, 150-200.

CB: 175.

EK: Probably average.

CB: I remember when I went up to 175 a few years ago, and I had major trepidation; people had to talk me into it.

AS: For sure. That’s how I was the whole way through, man.

CB: And I think that’s typical of most conscientious astrologers that care about what they’re doing. Sometimes they do have reservations raising their prices, or not wanting to price out clients ‘cause you want to make your services available; or you want to make sure that it’s worth it.

AS: Right.

EK: And I think, too, it’s an evolution, like you said. I started at $50.

AS: Yeah.

EK: I’m sure you boys are at this—but I’m not at many thousands of clients now, I haven’t read a couple hundred charts, I’ve read many thousands of charts at this point.

CB: Yeah, and that’s not exaggeration, ‘cause you were telling me over lunch that you’re doing at least three consultations a day now. But two years ago, in 2016, you did 600 readings?

EK: In one year.

CB: Okay.

EK: I did 600 chart readings in one year.

CB: That’s insane to me.

EK: It’s wrong, it’s sick.

AS: I think I’ve done this.

CB: Have you?

EK: It’s bad for the soul. And that was just to make ends meet. I wasn’t charging like a little; I was charging a pretty normal average rate. But again, when you run a business, or we run a podcast, a lot of the money we make goes back into the business; it goes back into the podcast, right?

AS: Which is free.

EK: Which is free. It’s an incredible thing. So when you’re reading a chart, you’re not just holding the space and doing the energy exchange, you’re coming with thousands of hours of experience—I mean, thousands of hours of experience—and that should be, not rewarded, but appreciated.

AS: Yeah.

EK: And when I hear this conversation, all I think of is the Pisces/Virgo axis, right? Pisces, so spiritual, the spiritual side of astrology, and then Virgo to me is the actual service, which can bring up shame and guilt, which is money. In our culture, we have a very strong belief that wealthy people are bad or evil, but the truth is the more money we have the more people we can serve. So here we are sitting here in this beautiful living room today, using beautiful microphones. Because you have been able to afford the opportunity to buy better equipment, more people are gonna listen to this episode because it sounds good, it feels good, and there’s hours of experience behind it. So we’re actually serving more people through having more money. And so, the attachment of shame and guilt to money to me is all the ‘Virgo/Pisces’ stuff. My hope in our culture is that we don’t see money as evil, but we see it as ‘godlike’. Every single cent we earn or spend has a creation and a destruction aspect to it. So major corporations create a lot and they destroy a lot. When we don’t have money we can’t create as much, and we also therefore can’t destroy as much, and so we aren’t having as big of an impact on society.

It’s funny, I first learned about this from one of my great teachers, which is this guy named Dr. John Demartini; I talk about him all the time on the podcast. And I came here to The Integral Center about five years ago and I saw him talk in Boulder on spirituality and money, and it was a brilliant thing, and I loved his approach to it. But he really changed my feeling of having shame and guilt around having money in just really seeing that if I value myself, the world values me. So if I’m only charging $50, that’s how much my clients are gonna value me. They’re not gonna value that session, they just won’t. But if they’re spending $200 on it, they’re gonna take it more seriously and I’m gonna take it more seriously because there’s a higher exchange rate at that point. I think that people wanting to get a reading can get intimidated by the high price of it. Keep in mind you don’t see us every week like in a therapist session. You might see us only once a year, and that is coming with, again, thousands of hours of blood, sweat, and tears that we’ve put into becoming successful astrologers. There’s more to it than just that session; there’s a whole world behind it. And remembering that the more we hold on to that money the less things are allowed to flow in this world—those are some of my thoughts on it. But to me it’s all Virgo/Pisces. I think the more money you have, the more people who can serve, and I think that’s something that we shouldn’t feel shameful or guiltful about.

CB: Sure. And just from a historical perspective, the original question was is there any historical context for that, and I think the answer is ‘no’ because astrologers have always had to get by. It takes a real devotion and it takes a lot of time to develop a solid understanding of astrology and to become good at it, and you really do have to devote as much focus as you can to doing so and it becomes a lifelong study.

EK: A full, full-time job.

CB: Yeah, and if you’re doing that that then becomes your job. Typically, astrologers have always made money either from clients and doing consultations or reading charts for people, whatever type of chart that is—whether it’s a natal chart or doing electional charts or horary charts or mundane charts, synastry or what have you—or through teaching astrology, or occasionally through publishing or something like that; like writing a column of some sort, like a horoscope column. But I don’t think there’s been a time period—or I can’t think of a time period. Even in ancient Egypt—not ancient Egypt, but Greco-Roman Egypt, where there were astrologers in the Egyptian temples and people could go and get a consultation about their birth chart—they were still accepting money for that. So it’s not like there was this mythical period where astrologers just lived without any—

EK: Any expenses, any bills.

AS: And there would still be patronage.

EK: Yeah, totally.

AS: And there would still be something to be given so that they can live and keep doing their work.

CB: Yeah, I mean, occasionally, you will get those astrologers that have a wealthy patron who covers all the astrologer’s expenses, and then the astrologer has the free time to do whatever, but that’s because they have somebody supporting them financially.

AS: Yeah.

CB: So that element has always been there and that’s always been certainly a tension to some extent, but it’s a necessary one, and it’s one that I think helps to further the practice of astrology. One of the things that I’ve had over the past few years is—as the podcast has taken more time and has become more successful—I stopped doing consultations in order to write my book. Now that the book went out last year and I’ve gotten back to doing the podcast, I have this real question about whether I should just focus, as I have been, on doing the podcast full-time and teaching and doing courses and stuff full-time—which can be a full-time job—or if I should go back to doing consultations just because I don’t want to lose that edge, because the best way to learn astrology is by reading charts for other people in some instances. There is something about that exchange that’s really important—whether I would be really harming my progression and evolution as an astrologer not having that client component, or whether I can still get that by doing the research on the side that I’m doing for the purpose of teaching.

AS: Well, you could charge the polarity of what you brought up, charging nothing or charging close to a thousand dollars for reading, one a week.

EK: Totally.

AS: You guys were taking that seriously. I was completely joking.

CB: Okay, you were joking. I was gonna say some people do that.

AS: Yeah, there’s a YouTube astrologer that charges that much.

CB: Right. But it almost would take something like that for me to go back to doing it and be worthwhile. But then at the same time there’d be a lot of pressure doing a $1,000 reading. You’re gonna have to tell that person the secrets of the universe for that to be worth it.

AS: A happy ending.

EK: I think this is a great, great conversation to leave listeners to contemplate because if we don’t change our approach around money in astrology, I don’t think that’s great for our field, ‘cause, again, that doesn’t keep people accountable. If you’re not paying somebody for a reading, or you’re giving advice without asking for money there’s a lack of accountability that can take place. At NORWAC, Maurice had asked people at the beginning of the conference last year—there were 500 people there at the conference.

CB: 3-or-400, yeah.

EK: Something like that. And we were all in the room, and he said, “Who here does astrology?” Every hand was up. “How many people read charts for clients?” And about half of the hands went down. “How many get paid?” And another half went down. “How many do it part-time?” And by the time he said how many people full-time do this professionally, I think there were five hands left up.

CB: Right.

AS: Wow. That’s amazing.

EK: I was shocked.

CB: The definition of astrologer—the actual working definition of astrologer in the astrological community—is somebody that believes that astrology is a legitimate phenomenon and uses it in their life on a regular basis and studies the subject on a regular basis. But most of those people that fall under that definition, astrology is still not necessarily their primary vocation. It’s so hard to make it as a professional astrologer with that as your primary vocation that most people actually have side jobs or their primary vocation is something else.

EK: I think for us who do it full-time, we’re leading the way by saying this is a valuable profession. This is a profession; there is no way around it. This helps people so much; it helps us as individuals. I value that and I am going to charge for it, period. And if we keep this kind of bartering system with giving it away, then it does harm to the profession. I think saying ‘this is a profession’ is good for everyone involved. As a full-time professional astrologer, we have—I’m not joking—sweat, blood, and tears to get to where we are because we’ve had to learn to value our work that much to be able to make a living off of it.

CB: Sure. And to be that passionate about just the subject in order to make the necessary sacrifices to get to that point.

EK: Huge sacrifices.

CB: And not necessarily knowing if there’s gonna be success at the end of that or if it’s just failure. So there’s one last thing.

AS: Are you kidding?

CB: It’s just one last question that ties into this whole discussion, and I thought you guys would have great answers for it.

AS: Okay, cool, do it.

CB: And then we’ll wrap this up. It’s from a listener named Maren Altman. She says, “Do you have any advice for newer astrologers on mistakes made earlier in your astrological career, you look back on now?”

EK: That’s a big one.

CB: Have you had any mistakes that you think about from back in the day, that if you could go back and do it over again, you would do things differently?

AS: Yeah.

EK: Yeah.

AS: It’s pretty easy, we already mentioned it—over-preparing for a reading. I think that over-preparation for readings is detrimental to allowing room and openness and also a heart connection to occur with the consultation. And so, yeah, in the early years I would have pages of notes going into a reading. And it was the same experience I would have in school and in college giving reports. I’d have all my notes in front of me and then I’d have this panic moment looking down; I would have blurry eyes, I couldn’t see anything. I remember one lecture I gave in college, tossing the paper to the side and being like, “Fuck it. I can do this without the notes. I know how to access that part of who I am.” And the same is true with astrology. As long as you have the intention of helping someone, as long as you’re coming from the heart, as long as you know the chart and what you’ve already looked at, then there’s certain things that emerge in the session. And so, at this point—‘cause I’ve done thousands of them myself—it’s like truly riding a bike.

CB: Right.

AS: I can allow that space to occur, and then there’s all of this interesting back-and-forth that happens. And that, to me, is the whole point to get to in consultations, and so over-preparation is my mistake.

CB: But that’s still something where you almost have to still do that in order to get to that point. It’s only after doing a ton of consultations that eventually you could transition into that stage where things come more intuitively. Or maybe it’s not even intuitive. Maybe it’s just that you know the primary things that you need to look at, whereas if you’re brand-new, maybe you still need to learn those basic steps or have that practice. And that pressure of feeling the need to prepare a lot ahead of time is maybe sometimes helpful or—

AS: A necessary step.

CB: —a necessary thing. I mean, I understand your point. I think it’s a good point ‘cause eventually everyone has to make that transition where you stop spending a week preparing for a consultation. And then you have to force yourself out of that eventually, but it’s still a process that I think it’s good for people to go through to some extent as they get more comfortable doing consultations.

AS: Right.

EK: You know, I never have ever prepared for a reading ever, not once in my entire career because I was trained as a therapist. So it’s a client-driven session; they tell me where they want to go with the chart. And I think it’s true, after doing it thousands of times, your access points grow.

AS: Right.

EK: So maybe at the beginning you don’t know where to access that concern or that question. And of course I have no Virgo in my chart, so the Virgo rising aspect, I don’t prepare for much in life in general. I’m very Piscean and airy, so I just go with it. So I think there’s all kinds of ways we can approach those readings, but I will say the big mistake I made at the beginning was, again, I didn’t realize the impact I had. I, again, had trained as a therapist and that’s what you learn, you learn boundaries over and over. You get it drilled into your head ‘boundaries’. What you spend all that money on is how to learn transference and countertransference. This is your story, this is my story. How am I influencing your story? And so, I think that when people go into a therapy session, there’s a boundary just by the paperwork you sign, right? So with my clients, they fill out legal documents. It is a legal contract I have with my clients because I learned that through therapy, and so it winds up becoming something that they can lead. But when I first started and I wasn’t doing that, I was saying things not realizing the dramatic implication, ‘cause as a therapist you can’t affect someone that deeply. But when you bring in the stars, when you bring in the cosmos, it brings in a whole other element that is almost uncontrollable or divine or something to that effect.

So one of my first clients, I said something—and this was 10 years ago—and she came back to me. She wasn’t really a client, she was like a friend at the time, and still a friend. Many months after the reading I gave her, she said, “I had to go to therapy for six months because of what you told me.” And I was like, “What?” And she was like, “Yeah, you said that I probably was this type of person in a past life,” and she said, “That triggered something so deep in me, brought up stuff from my past that I had forgotten about.” And that’s when I was like, whoa, this is so affecting and powerful, this tool. And so, now I let the client lead, right? And so, I mirror their experience with the chart, and I never assume anything anymore. I’m very, very conscientious with the words I use. I mean, the first time an astrologer looked at my chart—we talked about this—they said I would never have a partner based on my chart.

CB: Wow.

EK: I will never have a partner in life.

AS: And then we did a podcast. I was like, “Oh, Eugenia, wait. It’s coming.”

EK: And it did.

AS: Yeah.

CB: Right.

EK: But they told me that. They said, “That won’t happen for you.” That is a really detrimental thing to say, especially to a 26-year-old fertile woman. Do what I mean?

CB: Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of things about what is ethical to say in astrology and what would other astrologers find unethical or inappropriate or just not correct, especially when making statements like that, such hard-edged statements.

EK: Like absolutes.

CB: Yeah, absolutes.

EK: So it’s up to all of us to really fall on our faces as astrologers and have support from one another. I do supervision groups with my Accessible Astrology, so I’ve been training astrologers. They’ve been going out, seeing clients, and then they come back and do supervision to kind of help keep everybody intact, keep everybody ethical or held accountable for the fact that the words we say penetrate deeply; deeper than I think other professionals. We’re kind of like doctors. We can get deep into people’s psyche. I think, again, you learn by messing up, you learn by falling on your face. And I’m sure all of us have said something to a few clients that have had a negative reaction, and we’ve had to learn through that to be better astrologers ultimately.

CB: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I’ve had a few things like that. Sometimes it can be misinterpretations, like a client doesn’t understand or take something you said wildly out of context. I had another astrologer telling me once they had a consultation with somebody, and the person said they had a consultation with me and that I had said when they were gonna die or something like that, and I just knew immediately that’s not something I would ever predict or state in a consultation.

EK: Right.

CB: So there’s no way I said that, but I’m actually now really curious what it was I did say that they took that way. Another time I made a more general statement to a co-worker. I worked at a coffee shop and I looked at her chart once, and I saw that she was having some difficult transit in the 3rd house. Saturn was going into a 3rd house where it was gonna hit some planets, and I said, “It looks like you might have some difficulty with siblings over the next few years,” because I knew she had siblings and they were pretty important in her life. And years later, I was working in another coffee shop and she came up to me, and she just had this look. And she was like, “That reading you did for me years ago always stuck in my mind because about a year later my sibling died,” and then she always thought about that statement I had made. And when she came up, I vaguely remembered the conversation. It wasn’t something that was a big impact on me at the time, but to her she took it really seriously because that ended up being sort of an important foreshadowing.

EK: We have to realize we have a very, very large impact on people. It’s just part of this profession, it just is. Our words land and they can land for years in people’s souls. They can land for a lifetime.

CB: So maybe that’s the answer then. Be careful what you say.

EK: Absolutely.

CB: Choose your words carefully and take it seriously.

EK: This is a serious profession. It’s not a joke. This is a very serious profession.

CB: Sure. All right, well, that might be a good note. That’s actually kind of a depressing note to wrap up on.

EK: Part one of three.

CB: So we’re gonna wrap up part one, so thanks everyone for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast.

AS: And how do we find you?

CB: How to find the other episodes?

AS: Well, that, yeah, for sure, and then how to find us.

CB: Yeah, so we’re going to now stop this, and we’re gonna record another discussion for Adam’s podcast. What is your URL, Adam?

AS: Holestoheavens.com or just type in ‘Exploring Astrology’.

CB: Google ‘Exploring Astrology Podcast’, and you’ll find it. Do you know what episode? Do you have episode numbers?

AS: No, I stopped with the missing ones.

EK: Oh, wow.

AS: But I think I’m past 300.

CB: Okay, so it’ll be up sometime in the next few weeks for the Q&A. So part two of this Q&A, you’ll find it on Adam’s podcast, Exploring Astrology. And then for Eugenia, part three is going to be on the Bridging Realities Podcast.

EK: Bridging Realities and Accessible Astrology. Same thing, Google it, ‘iTunes’ it.

CB: All right, awesome.

AS: Yeah, and just as a teaser, the next parts are not as much about the logistics of us as professionally in podcasting, but we’re gonna cover questions like Uranus in Taurus, Chiron in Aries, and some other odd questions in there too.

CB: Yeah, we broke up the questions, and we’re gonna do some interesting themed ones on Adam’s and then on Eugenia’s, and I might answer some of these on a separate podcast. There’s a bunch we didn’t get to just because that’s what always happens on the Q&A episodes.

EK: Yeah, thanks for all the good questions.

CB: Thanks everyone for sending in those questions, and thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.