• Search
  • Lost Password?
The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 208 Transcript: Live Astrology Q&A Session at NORWAC 2019

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 208, titled:

Live Astrology Q&A Session at NORWAC 2019

With Chris Brennan, Kelly Surtees, and Austin Coppock

Episode originally released on June 3, 2019


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 March 1st, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

ANNOUNCER: All right, ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to begin. So on the count of three, can you guys give a big round of applause for Austin, Kelly, and Chris? One, two, three!

CHRIS BRENNAN: All right. Hello, everyone. My name is Chris Brennan, and this is episode 208 of The Astrology Podcast. So today is Thursday, May 23rd, 2019, starting at exactly 8:30 p.m. in Seattle, Washington. As I said, this is the 208th episode of the show, and for those who are watching the recording afterwards, we are doing a live podcast event at the 35th annual Northwest Astrological Conference. So we’re recording this podcast in front of an audience of astrologers live, and this is our second time doing a live event. We actually did our first one at the United Astrology Conference in May of last year, and we had such a good time and it was so much fun that we decided to do it again this time at NORWAC. So, NORWAC – this is actually, most people don’t know this, but this is the first time that NORWAC has ever sold out in its 35 plus year history. And part of that, I think, demonstrates – that’s like, a really physical and tangible manifestation of the sudden rise in popularity of astrology over the course of the past year or two that so many like, newspapers and magazines and blogs have been reporting on. But I think this is one of the first times where you can actually point to something really tangibly and say, “Astrology really is getting more popular for some reason at this point in time.”

CB: So what are we doing here? We’re gonna do a Q & A tonight where we’ve accepted a bunch of questions that have been sent in by listeners over the course of the past few weeks through the podcast website, through YouTube, through Twitter, through Instagram, and a bunch of different places, and we’re gonna be answering some listener questions and trying to have some interesting discussions about what’s really happening in the community at this point in time. So joining me today are my two co-hosts, Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock. So welcome, guys. You guys —


CB: — excited to be here?

AUSTIN COPPOCK: Thanks, Chris! It’s nice to be here.

KS: It’s nice to be in person. You’re not in my computer screen right now, so this is an improvement.

AC: We will be later.

KS: That’s true.

CB: Right. So it seems like a new generation of astrologers has really come into the field over the past few years, and that’s something that’s been really evident for us because we’re all roughly in the same generation, roughly speaking, right?

KS: Roughly speaking, Chris. Austin and I are definitely in the same generation.

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.

AC: You’re honorary old like us.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Yes.

AC: If not biologically.

CB: Right.

KS: Yes.

CB: So one of the themes tonight, one of the themes that we talked about in trying to prepare for this is the idea of lineage and passing on the tradition through having sort of in-person contacts with different astrologers or astrologers of different generations. And that’s actually gonna be a recurring theme and it’s one of the themes that was asked several times in some of the listener questions, right? Was the idea – one of the questions was, “Why do you guys think it’s so important for people to attend live events and conferences?”

KS: Well, I mean, I have a little answer; I’m gonna talk about this a bit more tomorrow. But you want to come to the conferences so you can meet people that a couple of years later you can actually start a podcast with, because that’s how this podcast came about. We met through going to conferences together —

CB: Right.

KS: — and decided to just have a go. So I mean, that’s not the only reason to come and hang out in person, but you never know where it can lead. There’s a spontaneity and a randomness but also an excitement when you connect with people in the flesh that you can’t really recreate online, I don’t think.

CB: Yeah. Well, and it’s that thing about astrology that you don’t know what you don’t know —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — or you can’t know, and that’s one of the things that especially happens in person and meeting other astrologers is there’s a very instantaneous realization that they sometimes can provide you with information or a perspective that you’re not familiar with and not used to.

KS: Yeah, and I think the idea of “You don’t know what you don’t know,” and then when it hits you in the face, you might actually be really inspired by what you didn’t know you didn’t know. But the hallway collisions that can happen at conferences or the, you know, discussions over drinks in the bar, or just – there was two random people that I was like, “Oh, have you met this person? Oh, we need to go for dinner.” And off they wandered, and I’m not sure those two people would have necessarily connected otherwise, but they happened to have a need at the same time here in person. So just that melting pot of connecting with people you wouldn’t normally get to interact with.

CB: Yeah. And that’s how you and I met, of course, at UAC —

KS: A hundred percent. Because I was never on MySpace, so —

CB: Right.

KS: I’m a bit of a tech like, you know, idiot, and so I was never on MySpace. So I wouldn’t have met you guys other than doing something like this.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So we met at UAC in 2012 —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — and then Austin, you and I met at —

KS: You guys have known each other longer.

CB: — Project Hindsight Conclave —

AC: Yeah —

CB: — in 2006.

AC: — we were pals on MySpace.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

AC: You invited me, you were like, “You gotta come down to Project Hindsight.”

CB: Yeah.

AC: That was 2006. I would like to add one more benefit of —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — meeting offline and, you know, coming to a conference is that at least you have an experience of two or three days of community and family or tribe with other astrologers that you can use to contextualize hating people online. You’re like, you know what? And you can say, you know what? In person, they’re really pretty great.

KS: Yeah.

AC: I know that they’re awful on Twitter —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — but like, just so you have that context.

KS: That is – because how people appear online versus how they might be in person can be quite different.

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Sure. Well, yeah, and famously, that’s how I met Mark Jones —

KS: Yeah!

CB: — was Mark and I met at a conference and he leaned across the table and he said, “You know, you’re doing great damage to the astrological community.”

AC: I was at that table, actually.

CB: Yeah, you were sitting there at the time.

KS: But when else, in what other universe, would you and Mark Jones have sat down and had a beer together, which you’ve —

CB: Right.

KS: — now done more than once?

CB: Yeah, and we’ve had many podcasts together and gotten together many times. He’s not in the room, is he? Embarrassing.

KS: No.

CB: Okay. I can keep saying whatever.

AC: He couldn’t bear to witness you savage astrology —

KS: No.

AC: — once again, Chris.

CB: Right! But no, but then I shot back with like, a really witty response that I can’t remember right now. I impressed him that I was more thoughtful in what I was doing with my astrology and was at least making the attempt to be ethical and conscientious about it than he assumed from —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — never having met me in person, and that exchange then built up like a, you know, mutual respect between the two of us so that even if we don’t have the same type of astrology or the same approach or even if we disagree, meeting in person that one time created a sort of friendship and a level of respect that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

KS: Yeah, the professional respect, courtesy, and then, I mean, yeah, and then you guys have had late night chats.

CB: Right.

KS: Which would just never have happened online, because online you tend to seek out what you like or what you know. You tend to go looking for something specifically that you wanna find out about and yeah, that’s one of the beauty. So the Chris Brennan-Mark Jones story —

CB: Right.

KS: — is a good in-person.

CB: Yeah.

KS: And then I love the origin story of our podcast, which is definitely an in-person conference thing.

CB: Meeting at UAC and then starting the forecast episodes.

KS: Yeah!

CB: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Where we came home from a NORWAC and just said, let’s —

KS: We literally started the month after NORWAC 2013.

CB: Yeah.

KS: We’re like, this sounds like a good idea – oh no, 2015, I think. I beg your pardon. And we tried it. Apparently a few people were interested.

CB: Sure. That’s actually a good question – how many people in the audience —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — is this your first time attending a conference ever? Wow.

AC: Wow.

KS: Wow.

CB: Awesome. Well, that’s really heartening and really exciting, because one of the things we talked about is for several years, there was always this question of like, when are the younger generations of astrologers, or where are the newer astrologers and when are they gonna show up into the community? And I think we can definitely say finally that they’ve arrived. And there’s a real —

KS: Yes.

CB: — sort of palpable sense of one generation of astrologers coming into the community at this time with some of the Pluto in Scorpio and Pluto in —

KS: Sag.

CB: — Sag generation —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — which is weird to say.

KS: Yes.

AC: When you remember people’s birthdays as transits —

KS: Yep.

CB: Right.

AC: — you’re like, oh yeah, I remember when that hit; that opposed my Moon. Right? Like that’s, you were not born yet.

CB: Right.

AC: Right?

CB: Yeah, when you remember what you had lunch one day and that’s somebody’s birth chart.

KS: Yes.

AC: Yeah.

CB: So there’s that piece of it and seeing that, but there’s also this real sense that we’re also in the process slowly – and sometimes more rapidly than we would like – losing a generation of astrologers as some major figures in the community have passed away recently, so. One of them was Donna Van Toen —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — who organized the SOTA astrology conference.

KS: Yeah.

CB: We’ve also [lost] Robert Schmidt, who was one of the leaders of the translation project and the sort of movement to revive traditional astrology also passed away in the past year. So there’s also this greater sense of urgency with the conferences of bringing together astrologers and trying to connect some of those generations to have that transmission of not just knowledge, but just lived experience while there’s still a chance to and while we still have some time. And that’s part of what happens sometimes at these conferences where you can actually meet a famous astrologer, an older astrologer, and sometimes even just shaking somebody’s hand or attending a lecture can be part of that transmission. Like, imagine if you could say that, you know, you had attended a lecture by Dane Rudhyar, for example, there’s some older astrologers like my friend Demetra George who met Dane Rudhyar in person, and while they never talked, just being able to like, have attended a lecture like that is kind of interesting in and of itself and means something.

KS: Yeah, I think you get more of a sense of a person in the flesh. You know, most of our communication is nonverbal, and so you will get more of the essence of whatever is being presented to you if you’re in the room when the lecture is being delivered versus if you are on a webinar. And there are certain circumstances of course where you can’t get together in person and what have you, but when there is an opportunity to be in person – Austin, you made a beautiful comment, I think, at our last live recording about something, and I’m paraphrasing so correct me, something about Uranus in Taurus and like, a radical act is to show up in person.

AC: Yeah, yeah.

KS: That’s a beautiful quote.

AC: Thank you.

KS: And I really agree with that; I think that’s a huge part of what we’re doing and seeing.

AC: Yeah, since I said that, and you know, I’ve had a year to watch, I’m pretty sure that was right.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Like, that seems to be the site of resistance is in person.

KS: Yeah.

AC: I wanted to add something. Something I don’t know, both of you said about people from different generations talking in the context of lineage. I think it’s very easy to think about lineage primarily in terms of technical, material, and experience with how to do astrology – like, that being passed down as being what lineage is. And that certainly is true, but there’s also just the experience of being an astrologer —

CB: Right.

AC: — like not that many people just spend all of their time looking at charts and talking to people about —

CB: Right.

AC: — it’s a very unusual job. You know, I didn’t know anybody who was an astrologer before I went full time.

KS: No.

AC: And so there are things to learn about just living that way, what it’s like to do that, as well as understanding what is unique about being an astrologer in this day and age, and what’s not unique, right? What is shared with somebody who was doing it in 1967, and what’s really honestly quite different from doing it back then.

CB: Right.

AC: Just wanted to add that.

CB: That’s a great point. All right. So before we get too far afield, let’s start jumping into some of our questions, or jumping into more questions —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — so we can keep going. So even though normally sometimes we might end up talking for like, three or four hours, we actually have a time limit on this episode.

KS: We have a hard stop tonight.

CB: So we’re gonna try to get through about 15 questions. We’ve had to summarize some of them because some of them were great questions but they were kind of long or kind of —

KS: That’s true.

CB: — lengthy, so we did shorten some of them.

KS: And there were some questions we were able to put together because they were on similar topics.

CB: Yeah, exactly.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Okay. So the first one was kind of a series of a few questions that people had, and it has to do with this debate that’s happening or at least discussions that are happening in the astrological community right now about who is an astrologer and who qualifies as an astrologer. So one of the questions came in from Twitter @alachite – they said, “How do you define different levels of knowledge/competency in engaging with astrology: like astrologers versus astrology students versus astrology enthusiasts?” Yeah, so that’s one of our first major questions —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — is how do we define an astrologer and how do you distinguish somebody who is like, let’s say, a professional astrologer versus just a student or an enthusiast, and can you?

KS: Okay.

AC: Okay, well I’ll start. That’s a toughie.

KS: That’s a big one.

AC: Right? And it’s tough because – okay, so I’ll just start. One of the ways that I was thinking about this is if we take a profession that is less rare and mysterious, like a chemist, somebody who has a PhD in chemistry who does chemistry regularly is definitely a chemist. Somebody who has a bachelor’s in chemistry and does chemistry regularly is also a chemist, but most people would probably agree that the person who’s at the PhD level is like, chemist-y-er, right?

KS: More chemist-y?

AC: But we wouldn’t say that the person who, you know —

KS: Had the bachelor’s.

AC: — who’s got their bachelor’s and performs the act of chemistry is not a chemist —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — and so this is an issue to a certain degree with any word that means “somebody who does something.”

KS: Yeah.

AC: And so there are differentiations to make, but it’s hard to – you know, it’s like, who owns that one word? Like, you know, who’s an astrologer? I think there’s a big difference between somebody who does that every day and has done that for 30 years —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — versus like, somebody who’s kind of gotten into it over the last year.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Right? You know, they might both be doing astrology, but there is a difference.

KS: There’s a huge difference. I know one of the delicate components of discussing this question about who might be an astrology student versus who might be an astrology enthusiast and who might be an actual astrologer is that, you know, the time factor. You know, do you have to notch up a certain amount of years? And I don’t know that that’s necessarily the answer, that, you know, you have to study for five years, because there’s studying for five years and then there’s studying for five years.

KS: So there is time component, but there’s also a quality component in terms of an astrology enthusiast could be someone who’s watching some videos on YouTube or following some channels on Instagram and wants a little more than their horoscope, but maybe not a lot more. And then there could be, you know, an astrology student who might be taking a set training program with a particular astrologer, almost like a mentorship but not quite, it could be like a dedicated style program, and that person may be really interested in pursuing work as an astrologer.

KS: But the other thing, you know, that comes to my mind when thinking about this, to your point about chemists, when I was doing my counseling training and what is very common in the counseling field is you do your formal study – so you would be a counseling student – and then you have a period where you’re very closely supervised, where you are actually doing counseling in the field where you are working with real-life clients and real-life problems, but you’re very closely supervised by a much more senior practitioner. And you have to do a certain amount of these supervision hours before they will unleash you, if you like, onto the unsuspecting public. And we don’t have necessarily anything built like that into astrology, especially if we’re talking about astrology from a consulting perspective. And I know that there are a number of other ways to use astrology. You might be a research astrologer or more of a magical practitioner astrologer. But there is a transition period between learning the theory, practicing it, and then feeling or having or developing some level of competency. And of course, there’s a different level of competency between someone who’s just finished their supervision versus the person who was actually doing the supervision who’s presumably got more experience, whether that’s more years or just a greater number of clients or training under their belt. So it’s very nuanced. But it is an important conversation to have, because we do have so many more people coming into our field right now.

CB: Right. Yeah. And I always get nervous when people start trying to make hard distinctions about who’s not an astrologer, saying that somebody’s not an astrologer because the certification is so all over the place in the astrological community that that’s not like, a sufficient litmus test for who’s an astrologer, because many of the most famous and influential astrologers in the 20th century have no certification at all whatsoever, and nobody would question their expertise in the field. Similarly, though, there’s also people that have been studying astrology on a low level for many decades but still may not be really experts in a particular area, or may never have made the jump to being professional, full-time astrologers. Whereas there’s other astrologers that have mainly only been doing it for a relatively short span of time, but due to dedication and genuine interest and maybe even some sort of inherent aptitude, could be even better at it or more impressive in what they’re able to do with clients, even than somebody that’s been studying for 30 years. And that’s one of the things that makes me nervous about sort of critiques of people that have only been doing it for a relatively short span of time.

AC: Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff there. One thing that occurred to me while both of y’all were talking was – so one criteria that’s implied by a lot of what’s being said is not just length of time, but depth of immersion, and then from there where my mind went was for some people, I’d include myself in this, astrology is a way of exploring reality itself and an absolutely key framework for understanding experience and life. And so when somebody experiences and treats astrology as their way, that there’s a depth there that, you know, deserves a nod or, I don’t know, a word. And I’m not sure if – you know, we could say that that’s a capital-A Astrologer or we could use a different word, but that’s also a different thing. You know, if it’s your thing, right? And then it’s sort of crucial and mixed into the concrete with which you build your reality. That’s, you know, that’s a thing, and that’s worth noting. It’s different than like, someone who’s like, “Yeah, astrology’s super helpful, I love getting astrology’s point of view on something, like for timing when to open my business or throw a party or whatever.” When there’s nothing wrong with that, but those are different relationships to astrology.

KS: Yeah. So you’re kind of saying, Austin, that the more immersed in it, the more connected to the subject matter and the material a person is gonna be and the deeper their understanding perhaps?

AC: Hopefully.

KS: Yeah. No, I agree wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly.

AC: It’s just a parameter that struck me as relevant.

KS: Yeah.

CB: All right. So yeah, that’s a really hard one. So when we discussed this question, we realized that part of the answer is there’s no simple answer, and to sort of be a little bit careful about trying to make hard and fast distinctions because you get into some really tricky areas with it, but there’s a whole interesting discussion about this that’s happening recently. I know Kaitlin Coppock has written an interesting article about it, right? So Kaitlin’s written an interesting article; I know Jo Gleason, you did a long video on YouTube on your channel recently that was really good and an article on that topic. And there was also like, a really not famous, but noteworthy media article recently by a reporter who’s kind of almost singled out a younger astrologer saying that this person wasn’t maybe competent at what they were doing because they weren’t aware of what an ephemeris was even though they were seeing clients. Which on the one hand, many astrologers took as a valid critique and perhaps was on some level, but on the other hand, then it really comes to the broader question of, you know, we don’t have a specific answer of what it takes to be an astrologer, and what one person thinks is like a litmus test and is something you have to know to be an astrologer another astrologer may say, well no, that’s not that important at all.

AC: I think that if we were to come up with criteria for what would qualify someone to be an expert in astrology, then —

KS: Or like master astrology.

AC: — yeah, we’re not going to agree on everything, but we’ll probably have a pretty firm solid ground. You know, to be an expert is different than just being an astrologer, right? Part of the difficulty with that word —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — is that, you know, it’s a noun that means someone verbs.

KS: Yes.

CB: Yeah, well, so this actually leads into our next question; why don’t we move onto that, which is: Jason on Twitter @jaysunkei – did I get that right, Jason? Are you in the audience? Hey. Thanks for joining us. One of your questions that you asked is you said, “This is probably gonna become increasingly common, but what role could professional organizations play in protecting astrologers and their content?” And there was a follow up question, a different question that was in the same vein from Shakirah @thestrology – she said, “Do you have” – is Shakirah in the audience?

KS: She is.

CB: Hey!


CB: She said, “Do you have any ideas on how the community could go about solidifying and popularizing a unified code of ethics? I understand there have been many published by various orgs, but how can we make one that’s widely agreed upon and then make it well-known amongst the community?” So both of these are great questions because they both tie into what I think is a bit of a crisis that’s come up recently in the past decade, which is what is the purpose or what purpose do the astrological organizations serve, and to what extent can they adapt themselves to the changing times? In my opinion, like, some of the things that the organizations used to be really good for or that astrologers used to depend on them for have suddenly become if not completely irrelevant, sometimes less relevant. So for example, publishing astrological journals, for example, now that like, every astrologer has a private blog and you can read online articles so easily, the astrological publications and newsletters have suddenly almost fallen by the wayside and are much less important or crucial in terms of the broader overall community. So the question is, what can the astrological orgs do to stay relevant? And these are actually two things that might actually be relevant things in the future. So one of them is the question of protecting astrologers and their content – I mean, is that a relevant thing that orgs should be doing or should be enforcing in any way? And then similarly, ethics. Like, are ethics something that the orgs should be charged with? And if they should be, like, how can they even enforce ethical guidelines or should they even try to?

KS: Well, part of the challenge – I was laughing at one of the points in these questions, which is how can we make one that’s widely agreed upon?

CB: Right.

KS: And I was like, well, then we’ve gotta get all the astrologers to agree on something, and we all know how tricky that can be if we bring up some of the more contentious things that we massively disagree on. But you know, what happens in a lot of other industries is there is a regulating or a licensing body that creates some type of code of ethics or code of conduct, if you will, and people who are licensed or registered through that organization have to kind of confirm that they’ll follow their code of conduct. And because we don’t have any, you know, global or central licensing or regulation in astrology – and I’m not necessarily saying we should, but – it’s like, even if we all could agree on a code of conduct, who’s gonna manage that process? Like, there are some issues with, I guess, just getting everyone on the same page. I think each of the orgs do have a code of conduct that they probably encourage or enforce with their members because there’s been a couple of issues in the past with that. But yeah, some of the issues with this are trying to get everyone to agree on something, and I’m not saying that just because it’s hard we shouldn’t do it, but it’s just a little bit like herding cats at times.

CB: Yeah, and it’s become more of an issue in the past 20 years. Because most of the ethical guidelines were established in the late ‘90s and early 2000s when the community of like, Western astrologers was a little bit more monolithic because it was largely modern Western —

KS: Psychological.

CB: — psychological astrology, and —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — so most of the ethic guidelines just copied things from counseling and sort of psychologist guidelines of codes of conduct with clients, or with patients. But in the past 20 years, we’ve had a revival of all of these different older forms of astrology, like first with horary astrology becoming very popular with some of the renaissance astrologers and the popularization of William Lilly’s work. Then you had medieval astrology become more popular and Hellenistic astrology. There was also a revival of Indian astrology, which has many of its own ethical sort of guidelines and sort of history and lineage that went along with it. So now there’s so many different forms of astrology that clearly the ethical guidelines that were developed 20 years ago when it was just paying attention to largely one tradition are no longer entirely suitable for all of those different traditions.

KS: They’re not, because I suspect the guidelines that emerge from the modern Western psychological style of astrology would have had maybe limits or conditions around forecasting or predictive astrology. But some of the other forms of astrology that have become more popular – horary, for instance – are quite explicitly predictive or about, you know, identifying certain outcomes. So there’s —

CB: Right.

KS: — a clash right there, even though, you know, they’re not doing a bad thing by doing a horary astrologer session, but it would technically be against one particular style’s code of conduct.

AC: Right. And so you have to ask, what am I doing? And then what is the ethical way to do that?

KS: That’s a beautiful way.

AC: There’s an ethical and unethical way to do horary —

KS: Of course!

AC: — which is going to be very different than using astrology to assist psychotherapeutic work, which is going to be very different from ethical electional work, right? Like, the idea that we could have a code of conduct that would cover depth psychology practice and use those same guidelines for someone whose primary work is doing elections for a real estate company.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Like, those are really different.

KS: Totally different.

AC: The ethical versions of those is gonna look really different. And so, I mean, I think we can – I don’t think it’s at all an impossible project. And if we sort what we’re doing into the not that many branches, right —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — because we’ve got natal, and there are a couple different approaches to natal. And then there’s horary, and then there’s electional, and you know, we don’t have 70 different types of astrology as far as ethical categories. So I think it’s a doable project.

KS: It is. I’m like, anyone wanna take it on?

KENNETH MILLER: It has been done. Like, ISAR has specific ethics for horary and all these different topics. In the last few years, it has been done by one of the orgs.

CB: Okay. We have a board member from ISAR who’s defending his organization.

KS: Yes. I feel like he’s trying to protect ISAR here.

CB: So Kenneth Miller is saying that ISAR has attempted to adopt broader ethical guidelines that cover different approaches like horary, to cover like, Indian astrology, for example.

KM: I don’t know. I don’t think so, because there were no Indian astrologers involved, but …

CB: Sure. But the other —

KM: I think Sam was actually on the committee. Reynolds. He’s gonna be here this weekend. But they really tried to cover all the traditional stuff and wrestle with those the ethics —

KS: Yeah.

KM: — of those different styles.

KS: So this is then almost bringing it to the next point, is people don’t obviously know about the ISAR guidelines, so. Part of it is, okay, apparently there are some guidelines in our community. How do we let more people know that they’re there, and what they are? So that’s also one of the issues. Not just agreeing on it.

CB: Yeah, well, and part of it is that the individual leaders and the individual people – practitioners within individual communities need to develop their own guidelines internally first. Like, what does Hellenistic astrologer – what is ethical or unethical within the context of that tradition? Or for evolutionary astrologers, for example. Like, I know there’s some evolutionary practitioners; is there any sort of standardized code of ethics within the evolutionary schools? Like Sabrina?

SABRINA: I think there’s some debate around the levels of consciousness and if it’s ethical to label people as being …

CB: Okay.

S: I think that’s one of them.

CB: Sure, yeah. So debates within the evolutionary community about whether it’s ethical to label different levels of spiritual evolution. Yeah, so there’s a lot of debates within the individual communities like that that have to be worked out, and it may not be fully resolvable but at least have to be done internally before those communities could then come to a larger discussion about what’s ethical sort of universally within the astrological community as a whole. And I still think that that’s part of what we have to work on at this point because it’s only in the past 10 or 15 years that some of these traditions have really come into their own and started being practiced by more than just like, one generation of astrologers.

KS: Yeah, and just as you’re talking, it’s reminding me of some of the letter to student info in the front of Lilly’s Christian Astrology and even back as far as Maternus. He writes a letter to, you know, the practitioner. So it’s not as though astrologers historically have not grappled with how to do this well, because they try to tell you, this is the way you should conduct yourself, not just in your practice, but as a person. This is the way you should make yourself available. This is the way you should communicate information that might be difficult for your client to hear. I mean, we’re not the first astrologers to grapple with this, but the struggle I think has been going on since our origins.

CB: Yeah. I mean, the ethical guidelines that astrologers always develop is always relative to the cultural sensibilities of the time, so like, Firmicus Maternus says it’s not ethical to read the chart of the emperor, for example.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Because it will get you killed.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah. And Lilly talks about, you know, let them know their hard fate by degrees, kind of thing. Like, kind of let them down easy when you have to give them an answer.

CB: Yeah.

KS: They don’t want – but he’s like, you still have to be honest. But that’s a cultural and a contextual thing.

CB: Well, and that’s a genuine potential debate —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — with like, for example, Indian astrologers tend to be much more stark in their delineations, and that’s something that culturally at least that’s just how Indian astrology is for the most part, whereas sometimes when that’s imported into a Western context it looks overly harsh or sometimes people can make accusations of being unethical.

KS: Yeah.

CB: And questions about whether there’s like, a universal truth to that or whether there’s a sort of relativism culturally that you can’t like, impress on the practice of astrology in different cultures.

AC: Well, there’s certainly expectations of the person who booked the reading. You know, there are a lot of – you know, if I book a reading with a certain astrologer, I might go to them because I want them to just tell me what they think is most likely to happen at a given point in time, and I would like the hard facts, and then I’ll work from there, right? But if there are certain practitioners where that’s not what I would expect at all, and I think part of that, I mean, that’s a mismatch primarily I think of clients’ expectations with what service a person offers. And so that’s, you know, maybe a thing about just being really clear about, “Here’s what I do,” or “Here’s the range of things that I do. Tell me what you want to do and we’ll do that.”

KS: Yeah.

AC: Right?

KS: And that almost puts the onus back on the individual astrologers to a certain extent to be really clear about communicating what they’re offering and what they will and won’t do, basically.

AC: Right. Like, if you show up, you know, if you’re like, you know, “I came here to discuss my soul’s evolution,” and the astrologer is like, “Okay, so, I’ve got some great dates for you over the next three months.”

KS: Yeah.

AC: So like, you know, really —

KS: To buy a house, or to meet someone special.

AC: — really auspicious times, right? And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just like, not a good match.

KS: Not a good match at all.

CB: Sure. So yeah, so individual communities developing their own ethical guidelines but then also starting to interact with each other in respectful or as respectful fashion as you can – I think that’s really the most difficult part I think that historically astrologers have already run into in the ‘90s and 2000s, which is when different traditions that have wildly different approaches start interacting, they often see other as practicing astrology in a way that’s unethical from their individual subjective standpoints. And the danger is that oftentimes when those debates happen, one side or both sides will immediately leap to labeling the other side as like, doing harm to their clients or almost being evil in some sense, and resisting the tendency to do that when you start interacting with different traditions because it’s not … Like even if you think that, like, still just being able to —

AC: Just keep it to yourself.

KS: Don’t have to say everything we think!

CB: I guess I’m thinking back to the interaction I had with Mark Jones for example —

KS: Right.

CB: — where it’s like, he was saying that very genuinely to me that he —

KS: That’s true, that you were damaging – he meant it.

CB: Well, he had a genuine —

KS: He had a genuine concern.

CB: — concern based on his perception, which was partially a misperception —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — about his assumptions about what I did when I saw clients.

KS: Right.

CB: There were genuine concerns for him because he didn’t want other astrologers to be like, hurting people. And that was then like, a viable concern on his part, but the important part was just the ability to dialogue about it, and that opened up room for growth on both sides because of the ability to dialogue despite having like, major reservations about what the other was doing.

KS: And that’s, I mean, to go back to one of our earlier questions today, that’s the whole – you could never have had that conversation over email or over messenger. Like, that’s a conversation to have in person, in the flesh, to nut out you know, whatever’s working and not working.

AC: What about really dramatic handwritten letters?

CB: No, I mean —

KS: What are you secretly referencing here, Austin?

AC: No, I’m just imagining what medium. It definitely wouldn’t have worked in email or over social media, but I think maybe like —

KS: A handwritten letter?

AC: Late 19th century era —

KS: Like when Freud and Jung were going back and forward about arguing, they did that through letters.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: No, it’s so easy to just flame each other on like, a forum or over Twitter —

KS: Like Twitter?

CB: — Facebook or something, for people to get into —

AC: It was empty.

CB: — major debates and just sort of dehumanize the other person in a sense —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — and see them as doing wrong or evil or what have you. Whereas if you’re in person talking with somebody, it’s easier to see the humanity and the genuineness and the earnestness of another astrologer, and that’s why sometimes meeting up in person is so important to build that human connection.

KS: A hundred percent.

CB: All right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So I think that’s part of the answer. We kind of skipped over Jason’s question, but sorry about that. Part of it is just that yeah, the organizations – helping with content management or being able to exert some sort of social pressure if there’s another astrologer that is just ripping off other people’s work clearly and plagiarism is an issue, the organizations at least play some role where they could exert some pressure on people not to do things that are unethical like that. And I think that’s still a valid role that the organizations could play potentially in the future.

KS: For sure.

AC: Well —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — one thing: when I read “What role could professional organizations play in protecting astrologers” – so astrology is having sort of a happy moment of intersection with the larger host culture. That happens from time to time. There’s also a divergence that is just as much the historical norm. I don’t know why that’s funny.

KS: It’s like the alien reference in your description, basically, like —

AC: Okay.

KS: — the host population and the astrology —

AC: Well, it is – it’s a host culture. This is not – our culture didn’t generate astrology.

KS: No, that’s true. It’s a nice, it’s just —

AC: Well, right, it does sound —

KS: — alien.

AC : — parasitic, right —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — okay.

KS: I’m like, this is vintage Austin here. This is what we’ve all come for.

AC: It’s a parasite that enriches the host. But anyway.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s exactly what a parasite would say!

AC: All right, well that’s all of us, so. Enjoy your …

KS: Oh my gosh.

AC: All right, I had a real point.

KS: You did have a real —

AC: Should I just quit?

KS: No, no, no! We wanna hear it! It was just —

AC: Okay.

KS: — you were entertaining as always.

AC: Okay.

KS: Yeah. But there’s some rich commentary to come. We wanna hear that. No pressure.

AC: “Rich.” Okay, here’s my rich commentary. So sometimes the “host culture” isn’t so friendly towards astrology —

KS: Got it. Yeah.

AC: — and, I don’t know, I’m gonna be alive for a while. I’m probably gonna live to see that. There are a lot of fortune telling laws on the books in a lot of states that if they were enforced  as they were written —

KS: Yes.

AC: — could bring most of us up on charges. And so I would like, you know, one thing – and I know some of the organizations have some of this in place, but – being there to support astrologers legally if and when things, you know, the tide turns against us and we need help.

KS: Yes. I think AFAN has a little bit on that legal support and certainly historically has provided a fair amount on that legal side. But it’s true – there are laws that make the type of work we do illegal in many parts in the U.S.

AC: Yeah, and they’re not enforced right now because that’s not the mood.

KS: It’s not, yeah.

AC: But they’re on the books.

KS: Yeah. Someone could wake up tomorrow and decide, “Enforce.”

CB: Yeah. I mean, those are battles that previous generations of astrologers had to fight that we’re not dealing with now because of their efforts and their labor. So the Association for Astrological Networking, that was the role that they played – or that’s one of the roles they played is fighting legal battles for astrologers and getting lawyers together in order to fight anti-astrology laws that were not valid and that were basically like, charging astrologers or attempting to throw them in jail. And while that’s not been an issue for the past decade or two, there’s no necessary guarantee that that will always not be an issue. And there’s still kind of absurd laws on the books, like in New York for example, where you have to say that astrology is for entertainment purposes only and getting in trouble if you don’t say that what you do is just entertainment. So we’ll see if that becomes an issue again in the future or if other —

KS: I mean, we should certainly enjoy our time in the spotlight with astrology being so popular and warmly received —

CB: Yeah, well —

KS: — right now.

CB: — that’s when historically, one of the things I’m a little nervous about is that historically when it does get really popular, sometimes there is pushback eventually. And the question is, if it’s getting this popular, what does the pushback look like? And we don’t know what the answer to that is yet because we haven’t really seen it.

KS: We haven’t got it yet.

CB: Yeah. So we’ll find out.

KS: Stay tuned!

CB: All right. So let’s move on to the next question. So @AcademicAstro asks, “How do you explain your job to people you don’t know well and likely don’t understand astrology?”

KS: So we had a bit of a discussion about this one. It depends if I feel like they actually care or if they really don’t care. And if I feel like they really don’t care, or I’m like, “I don’t really care to sort of connect with this person,” I just go with, “I’m a consultant.” And then they try to be like, “What are you consulting?” I’m like, “Wellness. What do you do?” You know, and just turn the conversation around. But if I feel that they genuinely care, then I’m gonna try and come up with, you know, the elevator pitch sort of simple summary of, “Well, I’m an astrologer,” which usually gets a really weird response because as you were saying earlier, you know, you didn’t know anyone who did this full time until you did. So when you meet people, you’re an oddity when you confess this. But usually I’ll just say something simple like, “We use the movement of the planets in the sky to determine information about your personality or about the cycles that you might be going through.” So just to keep it very simple, very top level, kind of like how you’d describe it almost to a brand new client that’s like, “I don’t really know what this is about, but I’m just really interested and open.” Because you do get clients like that. I know it’s tricky, like – well, not tricky, but there’s so many clients that will come in now that know a lot about astrology, but you do still get their friends or their friends of friends that may not really know what you’re doing. So that’s kind of how I’d approach it. But Austin, how do you go about this?

AC: So, “writer” or “consultant.”

KS: That’s it?

AC: Right. Let’s see, yesterday somebody asked me what I did —

KS: Yeah?

AC: — and I think I told them that I was like, a consultant. And they’re like, “Oh, what do you do?” I was like, “Oh, I help people with timing. Help people pick good times for things.” And they were like, “Yeah, timing’s super important. That’s great.”

KS: That’s brilliant! That’s really brilliant. What do you say to this, Chris?

CB: I mean, for years, I would avoid it and I would just say it. Because when you’re an astrologer, one of the nice things is you have to wear so many different hats —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — that you have to learn things like web design or like, shooting video or doing a podcast —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — or what have you. There’s so many things you could refer to which are genuinely part of what you do but are sort of not your actual primary —

KS: Thing.

CB: — thing. So for many years, I would just say something like that, like, “I do a podcast” or “I blog” or something, and they would just be like, “Oh, okay, that’s not very interesting,” and then sort of ignore me —

KS: So you would use the podcaster as your kind of brush-off answer?

CB: Yeah —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — but in more recent years, I’ve sort of gotten more comfortable and started to feel like it’s more important to just say, “I’m an astrologer,” because I think that’s one of the only ways that we’re going to change the culture is by more astrologers, regardless of what their background or their comfort level is with acknowledging that and some of the blowback. Because part of the reason that you guys don’t say that —

KS: Of course. You don’t wanna deal with the blowback at the moment.

AC: I just don’t wanna deal with like, giving an hour-long lecture in like —

KS: Or when somebody then tries to challenge you on it. It’s like, I don’t really care to defend what I do to you. I mean, you said you were a banker; I didn’t wanna fight you on the fact that you’re a banker.

AC: Right.

KS: Or whatever they said they do, yeah.

AC: Or like, explaining how finance works…

KS: Yeah.

AC: Because like, nobody knows what – like, if nobody knew you were a banker, they’re like, “What’s that?”

KS: What’s that?

AC: And you’re like, “Okay, so, here’s the structure of lending institutions,” and you know, you have to explain lending with interest, and they might think that seems ethically weird, and you’re like, “Well, you know, I didn’t design it, but” you know.

KS: Yeah. I didn’t design the subprime mortgages; I just sold them or whatever.

AC: So Chris, have you ever gone with “writer” as the like, quick version?

KS: Yeah, I think that’s a good one for you.

CB: Yeah, I’ve said like, blogger.

KS: Blogger, yeah.

AC: Well, okay, so when I’ve said “writer,” they’re like, “Okay, what have you written?”

KS: What do you write?

AC: “Have I read anything?” Have you gotten that?

CB: Have you read it, what?

AC: Yeah, if you’re like, “I write books.” You’ve written a book.

KS: It’s like, yeah, what books have you read – what have you written that I —

AC: Have you been in that situation? Have you had to explain what book or books?

CB: I’ve said I wrote a book on ancient astronomy.

KS: You say astronomy? Wow.

CB: Well, sometimes one of the problems is sometimes even I say, “I wrote a book on” —

KS: No, this does happen, yeah.

CB: — “ancient astrology,” they think you mean astronomy —

KS: Correct.

CB: — so it almost doesn’t matter, but yeah.

KS: That happens all the time, actually. And like, the customs guys at the airport, “Do you do astrology? So that’s like, telescopes and astronomy” —

CB: Yeah.

KS: — I’m like, “Sure. Just let me into the country.” Or whatever it happens to be. Yeah. But so, have you had that, Austin?

AC: Yeah.

KS: Like, “What have you written?” And how do you respond?

AC: Well, so sometimes people are really interested when I don’t want them to be.

KS: Of course.

AC: And so I try to give the most boring – I have like, a stock, super boring description of 36 Faces.

KS: What? What’s the boring description of this fascinating book?

AC: Well, I just start telling them about an old, like a defunct calendrical system that was used by the Egyptians and was preserved in various texts but not used as a calendar but it was preserved with images, blah. And I just go on.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: This makes parties so awkward.

KS: I was gonna say – you would lose people after “calendrical system!”

AC: Right. That’s what this is designed to do. This is when I don’t want them to look it up because I don’t want to talk to them.

KS: Oh my god. That’s brilliant.

CB: Yeah, but – so we’ve all avoided that question in different ways for different reasons, but —

KS: We’re in good company, because I know Steven Forrest has avoided this question over the years, too.

CB: Yeah. I think it’s something astrologers, despite it being uncomfortable, need to start pushing themselves to do more, because the only way that – astrologers commonly complain about like, the perception of astrology in culture and not being taken seriously or it not being seen as a legitimate career field, but the only way to change that is by more people just putting themselves out there and saying, “I’m an astrologer, and that’s my primary profession.” And you might get some pushback on that and it might be awkward or uncomfortable, but it might be necessary to start changing perceptions about what astrology is and what it is that we do.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So that’s what I would encourage people —

AC: I told the bank I was an astrologer the other day. I was opening a new account, and they’re like, I was like, “Ah, I’m a consultant,” and they’re like, “What kind?” I was like, “Astrologer.” And they were just kind of like, “Okay.” Okay.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah. And I did that on like, a rent application recently, and I was actually terrified, because I thought they might reject it —

KS: Decline.

CB: — just because of that reason, but I still did it, partially just because of that underlying sort of idea or conviction that it’s important to start doing more often, regardless of the consequences.

KS: That’s a really good point, Chris.

AC: I figured the bank would be excited to host my money either way.

CB: Right.

AC: Right? Like —

KS: I mean, I —

AC: — they’re not really —

KS: — I’m pretty sure the banks don’t care where the money comes from.


AC: Well, to some degree.

KS: I mean, that’s true. I’m like —

AC: There are limits.

KS: — I didn’t think about the under the table business.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Money laundering scheme, they’re gonna have issues with that.

AC: Right.

CB: All right, so —

KS: So —

CB: — let’s move on —

KS: Yes.

CB: So the next question was by Drew Levanti. You’re here, right, Drew? Hey.

KS: Hey, Drew!

CB: Thanks for joining us.


CB: Drew asks, “How would you advise students of traditional astrology who are interested in making content? What kinds of making have been part of your growth as astrologers?” And then there’s a sub-question from another astrologer, Melanie Gurley. Are you here, Melanie?


CB: Hey in the back. There she is.

KS: Hey!

CB: Of The Beautiful Astrology Podcast, which I’d recommend checking out. And that’s the name; I’m just not calling it “beautiful astrology,” that’s… Okay.

KS: Oh, it’s called The Beautiful Astrology Podcast?

CB: That’s literally the name.

KS: Okay, I thought you were being descriptive.

CB: No, no.

KS: Like, that’s an unusual adjective for Chris to use! Usually I have like, the flowers part.

CB: So, Melanie asks —

KS: Yes.

CB: — “What was the single most effective thing you did to gain enough clients to be self-employed, and how do you see this reflected in your chart?” So that’s a good question because it’s like, a broader question, but it also ties into Drew’s, which is one of the things that I think we all did successfully is at some point, we made the transition to doing astrology full time. And we were able to be successful doing that. And so, we always want to try to help and try to encourage other astrologers who are interested in making that transition and give them as much advice and encouragement as possible. So what was like, the one thing – was there one thing or the most effective thing that you did in order to make that transition and start seeing more clients?

KS: Yeah. It’s hard to sort of pick one specific thing – sorry to give you a not direct answer – because it’s a lot of hard work over an extended period of time. In terms of getting enough clients, I’m like, where do they come from? I would offer discount rates. Like, I’m trying – because in the beginning, it was like, how can I connect with people? Because I knew the best form of marketing would be a happy client. So the goal was to, how can I get some clients in the beginning? So offering, you know, reduced rates or promo specials, you know, end of year things, or birthday discounts. One of the things I found really effective in the beginning to get my name out as an astrologer was to go into esoteric bookstores when they were actually in, you know, the flesh, rather than just online, and just give free talks or talks that were very affordable so that you could get in front of a group of – it only had to be 10 or 20 people to let them know that you weren’t a crazy person, that you were doing this weird thing, but you had a level of groundedness or solidness about you. So that was one of the things in terms of getting clients. But I know in the first few years of my business, I was still working as a massage therapist, so I was kind of having clients for two different services, because massage clients would come more often – once a month or once every couple of weeks. One of the downsides or the challenges in terms of why it takes a while to build an astrology client practice is your repeat business tends to be annually. And that’s a really long lead time. You need to then build up your client levels to much higher levels to be able to sustain the turnover from one year to the next. So that’s how I’d answer that part of the question. I’ll come back to the other one later, but what did you do, Austin?

AC: I just did the same thing I’m doing now.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Like, I did —

KS: It doesn’t feel like anything different.

AC:  — yeah, I did readings. I wrote about astrology. And I talked about astrology.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And I wrote things.

KS: And you wrote things.

AC: Yeah. And you just kind of do that grind.

KS: You just keep doing that. And you use that word “grind” when we’re doing our prep. Just keep doing it, and all of a sudden it starts working.

AC: I would also add – so Chris, you were saying, you know, wanting to encourage people to make that transition. So one thing, just being contrarian, I would also like to point out – and I pointed this out to people – you can spend a lot of time with astrology and you can get really good and not everybody who loves astrology and wants to get great at and wants to do it has to be full time. Like, astrology is very modular. Like, you can expand or squeeze your practice so that it’s a part time or on the side or maybe it’s bigger, you know, when you don’t have, you know, if you’re between other jobs or whatever. Like, it doesn’t – you don’t have to be a full time astrologer to be a real astrologer, and that, you know, some people, there’s a calling to do it full time, and you know, by all means, answer that. But not everybody has to do that. I think it makes a great side gig. I think in some ways I’ve been envious of people where it fit really well as like, one of their things, because I don’t know, I found it kind of awkward and difficult to build like, a “this is my whole thing” out of astrology.

KS: Yeah, and I think being, you know, in the like, the performing world they talk about being like, a triple threat, where someone might sing and dance and act or something like that. And I think to be successful with astrology in terms of making a living, you do have to have multiple income sources. So if you’re talking about astrology, presumably you’re teaching it or maybe you’re running a podcast of some kind or a YouTube channel, but you could be writing about astrology too, and I did a lot of writing of horoscope columns in magazines in the early part of my career, because that was a paycheck. That was a way to get started, and I don’t know that it necessarily got me a lot of clients, but I was getting paid to do astrology, so I was just happy basically at that point. So it’s having that multi-pronged approach, I guess.

CB: Yeah. And I would just say for anybody that does want to make it their full time thing, either in the short term or the long term, just to pick some platform or some way of generating content and sharing either your research if you’re a student of astrology or your observations or your work, and just doing it consistently. Like generating things consistently. Like picking something and then just keep focusing on that one thing. Everybody that’s been successful that I’ve seen has been so because they kept doing whatever they were doing consistently for a long enough span of time that eventually it took off. And I’ve seen astrologers do that with writing books. So like my friend Ben Dykes, for example, he started with admittedly a rather large book, which is a translation of the 12th century astrologer Guido Bonatti, but that book came out in like 2005 or 2006, and now it’s 2019 and he has like, two dozen books under his belt and that publishing books, I believe, is his primary source of income. There’s other astrologers who I’ve seen them start a blog and just through writing one post a week consistently, it built up over the years ’till eventually they had enough clients to become full time. You know, there’s other astrologers that are doing the same thing on YouTube right now, or on Twitter, even. And for myself, obviously, doing the podcast – I started the podcast in 2012 and was putting out episodes sporadically but I sort of kept at it, and now it’s, you know, we just passed episode 200 recently, and we’re doing this, like, live podcast event at NORWAC just because it was something that initially was like, a blowoff thing, but I just kept doing it, and eventually it sort of gained a life on its own. And I think to some extent both of you and generating content on astrology, that’s something that you did as well, is you kept doing it consistently, right?

KS: Yeah, that’s a really core point, is you just have to keep doing it. You have to, I mean, one of my sort of points for this question is you have to keep going beyond the point that it becomes hard or difficult. You have to move through the frustration and that fear of “I’m not getting the results I wanted in the time frame I wanted,” and you just have to keep showing up and keep doing it anyway. The blogging – the consistency is really important. And sometimes it’s like, you just outlast all the people that come up and then pop down. The consistency’s really key.

CB: Yeah, because sometimes  —

AC: Absolutely.

CB:  — it could take a year or two of not seeing any results and not seeing growth, or a few years —

KS: Yeah.

CB:  — and then one day, due to luck or circumstance, sometimes that can change, and one of your posts goes viral for some really stupid reason, and then suddenly you have like, thousands of people that are aware of your work rather than just like  —

KS: A few hundred.

CB:  — yeah, or like, five.

KS: I mean, on the topic of – “like, five!” On the topic of content and making, I wanted to speak to that a little bit because we talk, you know, the idea of traditional astrology – I think there’s a lot of really good content. The key with any content you make, there’s a couple of points. One, you have to try and create content that solves a problem or provides a piece of insight for the people that are reading it. People don’t necessarily want to learn – like, your general readers out in the public, they won’t necessarily want to learn some really complex technique, but if you can simplify something and show them how it will help them with a problem they’re dealing with, that’s how you’re gonna get more engagement. But I also think there’s something here around the idea of if you’re really interested in a topic, you’re allowed to write about things that you’re interested in. It’s not just about what you think the marketplace will go viral. If you have a passion for something, like I’m really interested in relationship astrology or whatever it happens to be, don’t be afraid to specialize or to streamline around that interest that you have, because that will really help – it’ll help you act from an authentic place, which I do think is then gonna help attract people to – you know, because you can’t serve every client. You can’t serve everyone who’s interested in astrology. And in the beginning, you often take, you know, whatever client will come your way, but as you get a little bit more established and confident, you start to realize that there are some – they call it like, declining sales, where you’re like, actually I’m not the right person to work with you, because this is the way I wanna go about it and you’re really looking for that. But you can avoid that by just continuing to put out things that are really authentic to the practice or the techniques that are meaningful for you.

CB: Definitely.

AC: Absolutely.

CB: All right. So let’s move on. So  —

KS: Oh, is this the fun question?

CB: This is the one you guys really liked, or that you two really liked, so this is from @Luna_Aquarius on Twitter – is she in the room?

KS: Is Scarlet here?

CB: Oh, it’s Scarlet – hey!

KS: Oh, she’s right here!

CB: Yeah.

KS: A fellow Australian! So I’m very excited to answer this question, but I know Austin’s real excited to answer this question too.

AC: Well, I’m really excited about the Australians here.

KS: Yeah?

AC: I want to take all of the people visiting from Australia to the Outback Steakhouse.

KS: I mean  —

AC: And I want —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We put plan to work.

AC:  — okay, excellent. And I just wanna watch the server deal with everybody  —

KS: Actual Australian accents.

AC:  — and I, if y’all can all order things that don’t exist here by names that the server wouldn’t recognize and then be honestly upset because you thought you were gonna find a little bit of home at the  —

KS: Yes.

AC: — Outback Steakhouse?

KS: And then I’d be like, “This isn’t how we do it in Australia!” One of those annoying tourists  —

AC: Anyway.

KS:  Potato scallops! Nobody knows what we’re talking about!

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Is that a scalloped potato?

KS: No! It’s not scalloped potatoes. It’s a round piece of potato that is deep-fried in batter, so like a gigantic chip, I guess? But you would get them after school when you’re walking home and they’re dripping in – at the fish and chip shop. Yeah. So we’re really talking Australian now.

AC: Yeah. So we’ll order that.

KS: We’re having a bit of a chin wag. Nobody knows what that means either! It’s just a chit-chat in Australian. But anyway, this is – sorry? Okay. So Austin, or Chris, do you have a funny story?

CB: Let’s read her question.

AC: Yeah.

KS: Ah, read the question. I’m sorry! I’m just so excited for the funny stories.

CB: So Scarlet asks, “I wanna hear a fun astrology stories where the symbolism was ridiculously spot on.” So which one of you has a good  —

KS: I like yours.

CB: Do yours first.

KS: Okay, okay, I’ll do mine first.

CB: Okay.

KS: So this is a Saturn story. On my Saturn return, I went to an astrology conference, and I met an older man who’s now my husband. Now the  —

AC: What house is your Saturn in?

KS: The Saturn is in the 7th house. I always forget that detail. And what I didn’t know ‘til after the fact is that I actually had a Saturn astrocartography line through the town where the conference was where I went to meet the older man who has become my husband while I was on my Saturn return in my 7th house. So that’s a very literal, can’t-make-that-up, very basic. And then what did you ask – like, it’s in Virgo.

AC: Well, we were talking about the ruler and how that  —

KS: The ruler.

AC:  — actually described the profession of the older man.

KS: The older man, who’s an expert in education, basically. Partly because he’s bilingual.

AC: The ruler is Mercury.

KS: The ruler of all this is Mercury, because I have Saturn in Virgo. So that’s my story of like, really simple symbolism for you, Scarlet. Good.

AC: All right. So we were thinking about this, and I have a good one from yesterday.

KS: Yeah!

AC: So we flew during the Moon’s monthly conjunction with that Saturn-South Node-Pluto trio of delight, and so I was extra cranky and like, travel hateful, which wasn’t surprising, but whatever. I always bring basically a suitcase of books, because I’m like, “Yeah, but I might wanna read that.” And so what I ended up reading was a collection of case files of children who appear to have remembered past lives or past incarnations. So I was reading that, I wasn’t thinking about the transit. In thinking about it, now I’m like, oh, I was literally – people remembering through death while the Moon was conjunct with Saturn-Pluto. And then the kicker was that when I got off the plane, I turned my phone back on. A friend of mine who’s got, I don’t know, five, six, 12 kids?

KS: Yeah.

AC: There’s another one every week or so. Anyway, a friend of mine who’s a father had texted me. We go back and forth, and he’s like, “Oh, the kid’s bunny died today.” And so his day was just talking to the kids about their dead bunny.

KS: Yeah. Which is a big thing for kids.

AC: Yeah. He’s like, “I wasn’t that bummed out, but it was hard to like”  —

KS: Talk to a five-year-old about  —

AC:  — you know, he was like, “But I was sad for them.”

KS: Yeah.

AC: But so that was pretty good, like, you know, a monthly Moon over Saturn-Pluto-South Node is like, me reading about memories through death  —

KS: Yes.

AC:  — and then bunny death  —

KS: Bunny death.

AC:  — and children dealing with death, or  —

KS: Children, yes.

AC:  — engaging with death.

KS: I like that.

AC: Yeah.

KS: But didn’t you have a different story too?

AC: Yeah, I’ve got lots of stories. That was just yesterday.

KS: There was another one, though!

AC: Chris, do you wanna tell your story?

KS: Yeah, I like your story, Chris.

CB: Sure. So I had one that happened recently. It was the first thing that came to mind when I read your question. And it’s kind of a weird story, but it was an interesting one that I’m still like, trying to grapple with the what it means. But so, not that long ago, Leisa and I hosted a meeting of our local astrology group, and we saw that the start of the meeting was gonna be really close to when the Ascendant would change signs. And as soon as it would change signs, it would put Mars in the 10th whole sign house. And we were really a little nervous about that and wanted to avoid that, so we were gonna start the meeting early to avoid putting Mars in the 10th house in a day chart, because we were concerned about some sort of martian significations of like, strife or something coming up in the meeting, even though we didn’t really know what that would look like, because it was hosting an astrology lecture from a guest who was flying in from out of town. So we were rushing to like, launch the meeting and start it just a few minutes early, but then something came up that delayed us, and by the time we started and the time the lecturer started giving his presentation, the Ascendant had changed signs and Mars was in the 10th whole sign house. So we were like, “Oh well,” like, you know, hopefully hope for the best. And at some point about halfway through this guy’s lecture, somebody in the audience who we’d never met before at the meeting started heckling the speaker, and like, really grilling him on this question that seemed a little bit weird and really antagonistic and it almost derailed the entire lecture. And Leisa, of course, like, pulls out her phone and looks at the chart, and Mars had just the exact degree of the Midheaven at that exact moment when the lecture was like, interrupted by this really kind of aggressive and awkward question. And to me, that was like, a great, very literal manifestation of astrology, and that would actually be the end of the story, but then a week later, we went out to – there was an astrologer who came through from out of town. Actually, I think he’s in the audience. Cameron? There he is. Yeah, he came in from out of town, and we went out to lunch about a week later, and we ordered our food and we’re talking with him and his girlfriend and having a good time, and then our food starts being delivered, and then we hear this voice that says, “Oh, it’s you guys!” And I turn and look, and it’s the person who started heckling our speaker a week ago turns out to be our waitress. And we say hi, and we sort of talk with her a little bit and try to understand a little bit of where she was coming from, but then immediately afterwards we both pull out our phones and look at it, and Mars was exactly on the Midheaven once again. So —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Did you get her chart?

CB: No, no. And I don’t know, I’m still like, trying to understand what the meaning of that was, but it was a really like, weird sort of literal astrological correlation that probably has some like, deeper significance of some sort. But those are the types of things that sometimes happen in astrology, and if you’re paying attention you’ll see them. But if you’re not paying attention, you know, it’s easy to like, never have known that Mars was on the Midheaven both of those times. So I don’t know what to take from that, but it was an interesting example.

KS: I feel like that’s Mars in action  —

CB: Yeah.

KS:  — really. Yeah.

CB: It was a very literal Mars example.

KS: Yeah. And then the fact that it happened twice? I think that’s brilliant.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah, so that’s it. Should we move on to the next question, since we’re running out of time?

AC: I think we’ve got like, an hour left.

CB: We have about 50 minutes.

AC: 53 minutes. Okay. I mean, we can move on.

CB: Okay.

KS: Okay. You don’t wanna tell your dentist story?

CB: No, that’s all right.

KS: No? Okay.

CB: Okay.

KS: It’s your thing. Okay. So you’ve got your next question?

CB: Yeah. Do you wanna read it?

KS: Yeah, because you’re gonna answer this.

CB: Sure.

KS: So this is from Melinda St. Clair – “What were the untranslated works found that have recently been translated?”

AC: “Where were.”

KS: Oh, “where” were they!

AC: Yeah.

KS: Oh my god, sorry, what? Where were the untranslated works found that have been recently translated? Tell us, Chris. Where?

CB: Right. So there’s a really quick answer to that. One of them is that there’s a lot of texts that are in libraries where scholars have gone back and like, found these ancient texts and then they’ve edited them and printed them in like, modern critical editions, and they’re just sitting in libraries for the past century and nobody was translating them. So over the past 20 years, part of what astrologers have been translating were just these books sitting in libraries waiting to be translated. Part of the other answer to that question is there’s also libraries around the world where there’s manuscripts that are handwritten and some astrologers, like Ben Dykes, are actually going to those libraries or have contacts in those libraries and they’re getting, like, photocopies of some of those texts and then translating them. So they’re basically just sitting in libraries and private collections around the world waiting to be translated, but you have to learn the ancient language first before they can be translated.

AC: Yeah. And part of that also is when, for example, if you read Bonatti, which has been translated for us courtesy of Ben Dykes, he will refer to a variety of sources. And so one of the ways this has happened and somebody’s like, oh, well, Bonatti’s referencing Mashallah here. And then if you’re interested in investigating, you’re like, oh, is there a translation of Mashallah? Oh, nobody’s done that. And that’s also part of how it happens  —

KS: Yeah.

AC:  — first they’re found in those collections, but…

KS: Yeah. But they’re there. People know they’re there, they just haven’t been all translated yet.

CB: Yeah, exactly.

KS: Yeah.

CB: All right. So that’s the quick answer to that question. You guys really liked this question, right? Did you wanna read it, the next question?

KS: Sure!

CB: Okay.

KS: So this is from Leslie Cohen; let’s try not to stuff this one up, via email – “Can you clarify how it is determined which planet is separating or applying?” There was more to this question, but this is basically the gist of it in terms of movement with aspects. Do you wanna answer?

AC: Sure.

KS: Yeah. We both teach on this, so you probably have a beautiful analogy —

AC: Right. So okay, it would be – all right. I don’t know why this is a hilarious interaction. Maybe it is, I don’t know. Anyway. So we have aspects —

KS: Yes.

AC: — and then we have an orb, right? So the trine is, in an ideal world, 120 degrees. Most trines are not ideal. It might be five off in one direction or another, or seven, or however far you allow. And so if the aspect would have been perfect, you know, several days before, then oh, then it’s departing or it’s separating. The aspect has already become perfect, and now it’s decaying, or it’s moving on.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And if it’s, you know, let’s say the Moon is at four degrees Sagittarius and Jupiter’s at 10 degrees Sagittarius, then that’s an applying aspect, because the Moon is moving into a conjunction with Jupiter.

KS: Because the Moon always moves faster than Jupiter.

AC: Right.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And so if it’s, you know, if in a given chart, that aspect is going to be complete in the future, after the chart, it’s applying. And then if it already happened, but you still got some love from whatever that angle is, that’s separating.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And that’s a sort of a fundamental piece of aspects that I think is sort of becoming part of the new curriculum, but it wasn’t emphasized in any of the books that I had sort of growing up in astrology. I know I teach that, and you teach that, and —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — Chris, I know you teach that as well. But it didn’t used to be standard —

KS: No.

AC: — for whatever reason.

KS: When I was taught astrology, I did not get taught in the modern Western applying and separating. I mean, I think the tricky thing with figuring out whether which planet is separating or applying, it’s the faster moving planet will either be doing the separating or the applying. The challenge is to work out, of the two planets in the aspect, which one is faster at the time. And there’s a general guideline, like the Moon will always be faster than —

AC: Everything.

KS: — everything. If you have like, a Moon-Venus aspect, normally the Moon would be – sorry, I beg your pardon, hang on. We need a different example.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Mercury anything.

KS: Yeah, Mercury-anything, because Mercury’s normally quicker except when it’s stationing.

AC: Except when it’s not.

KS: When it’s not, yeah. And that’s the challenge is you have to double check the actual speed of the planet on the day. And then yeah, the degree factor. If the faster moving planet has a lower degree than the one it’s applying to or moving to, yeah.

AC: Yeah, I mean, and so the interpretive value is – is this something that’s building?

KS: Yeah.

AC: Or is it something that’s just occurred that we’re, you know, processing, right? And so we talked about this and whether I should use my teaching analogy.

KS: Yes.

AC: So, for those of you who’ve taken my classes, you’ll remember this —

KS: I’m waiting for it!

AC: — from the video.

KS: Yeah.

AC: So I use “punch in the face” as my teaching metaphor. So an applying aspect is someone says, “I’m gonna punch you in the face in five minutes.” Right? So you’re like, “Oh, shit,” like, and you’re thinking about it and you know, you’re like, oh, is this gonna, you know, how do I take this best? Right? Is this gonna damage me? And then the aspect completing is you get punched in the face. And then the separating aspect is, “Oh my – holy shit, I just got punched in the face.”

KS: Need some ice?

AC: But it’s separating, right? And so now you have a chance to process that. You’re like, “Wow, that was way worse than I thought,” or like, “I think I’m gonna be okay,” or “Now I hate them,” or “Now I’m gonna punch them back.” Right? But it’s whatever’s next, or —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — you know, it’s the – I’ve also used the somewhat less martial analogy of mail. Like, the you know —

KS: Oh, the letter coming in the post?

AC: — yeah, the letter’s like, is the letter coming or is the letter been delivered? You see someone walking towards you to have an interaction, or are they walking away after an interaction? The focus of both situations when it’s in orb is the event itself. Right? It’s still the punch, whether it’s coming in five minutes or it happened five minutes ago. That’s still your center of, you know, your thinking about that.

KS: Yeah.

AC: But there’s a before and after and a different relationship between those two.

KS: To the event. And in horary and electional work, the applying aspect sort of indicates something is going to happen or it helps the thing happen, horary and electional work. But if it’s a separating aspect, it indicates something that’s typically happened in the past or we’re dealing with this recent event that’s just happened. Do you wanna add anything, Chris?

CB: No, I think that’s a pretty clear explanation of what applying and separating aspects is —

KS: Cool.

CB: — or are.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Okay.

KS: Brilliant.

CB: Should we keep going?

KS: Yeah.

CB: 45 minutes —

KS: We’re like, on a roll today.

CB: — left, according to Leisa. Okay.

KS: Maybe we will get through 15!

CB: All right. So the next question is from @CircleUnity on Twitter. They ask, “What areas of astrology are begging for research projects?”

KS: Well, I had one, which may not be super research-y, I’m not sure, but I would like to see more books written by consulting astrologers about the experience of being a consulting astrologer. Almost like, from inside the consulting room. If I had all this extra time, I would just sit down and write it myself. So maybe I’ll do that in a few years. But I think, you know, we have a lot of books on beautiful techniques and historical approaches, but that idea of the lived application in the one-on-one astrologer-client setting, I’d definitely love to read more, have more on that. And of course, that’s again the therapy background in me coming through where I know there are a lot of books and mainstream books from different types of psychotherapists, practitioners, that write about client experiences or client case studies. Not in a boring, dry way, but just in like, a teaching way, partly from technique but partly from what is it like to be inside a person and explore that. And I’d love to see that in astrology more. What would you guys like to see more of?

AC: I could think of a lot of things, which again are probably just the things that I wanna work on.

KS: Well, that’s – it’s like, personal, but people —

AC: Right, but let’s say in general. I guess I would like to see more material from the Byzantine era. Because there’s a lot of like, jumping from what it is in astrology the Hellenistic period, but which is really ends with the fall of the Western Roman empire, and then jumping to, you know, Baghdad 500 years later, and then picking up the story there and then, you know, jumping to Bonatti in Italy. But only the Western half of the Roman empire fell, and there are a lot of astrological treatises and astro-magical treatises from the Byzantine era that exist. And I feel like, that’s just like, that’s a piece of the story that would be nice to have a lot of research done on.

KS: Yeah.

AC: It’s not like, well, and also, and this has been done, but a lot of the Persian contribution to astrology – there’s a lot of pieces, we’ve got a lot of landmarks, so I don’t think we’re mapping the trajectory wrong, but there are some very interesting stops along the way that I’d like to see more work done on.

CB: Yeah. And I think that’s one of the biggest areas of research right now is over the past 20 years, 20 years ago or 25 years ago, a lot of translation projects started because there were hardly any translations of astrological texts. But now, almost three decades later, there’s dozens and dozens of translations and the majority of the ancient traditions have been recovered at this point and you can read most of them in translations. And now a lot of the work that needs to be done is there needs to be more of an effort to study individual techniques and how they’re used and defined in different astrological traditions and comparisons between, you know, for example, the void of course Moon. Even though that has a very specific definition in modern times, there’s at least three or four different definitions of it in other traditions over the past 2,000 years, and most astrologers don’t know that because it hasn’t been studied very much. So just defining some of those things, but then also comparisons between astrological traditions and like, astrologers getting together and getting like, an evolutionary astrologer and a Hellenistic astrologer and having both of them delineate the same chart. Or getting a, you know, renaissance astrologer and an Indian astrologer and having them delineate the same chart, because sometimes through comparisons like that, you get a better sense of where each tradition is and how they approach things. Those are some of the most interesting research projects to me from my standpoint.

AC: Yeah, I think the comparative stuff is really rich.

CB: Yeah.

AC: And I also like the kind of longitudinal like, let’s take profections and follow profections around the world for 2,000 years.

CB: Right. Okay.

AC: I have a really boring idea of vacation.

KS: We’d like to hear the results of that vacation —

AC: All right.

KS: — once you get around to it. Yeah.

CB: All right. So the next question again from Jason, actually – he says, “I’ve read that horary was a traditional first entry for new astrologers. From a learning standpoint, does this make sense? Can learning to read horary help you with delineating a birth chart or are the skill sets and orientations very different?”

KS: You guys wanna put some historical context?

CB: Yeah. I don’t think that’s true, and the only people that say that are people whose primary practice is horary astrology. And there are some traditions like in the renaissance tradition, for example, horary in Lilly’s text, he teaches horary first before he teaches natal, because horary was clearly his primary approach. But in other traditions, like in Hellenistic astrology, for the first like, thousand years of the practice of Western astrology, it’s largely just natal with some electional, so they didn’t even hardly have horary, so you couldn’t say that that’s true for that tradition. And even in modern times, in 20th century astrology, natal was always dominant over horary. So it’s not necessarily historically true that that’s always been the case, that horary has been taught first.

AC: Well, I also think from a pedagogical or just approach to learning perspective like, probably you should start with the thing you wanna get good at. Right? Like, if you wanna be awesome at electional astrology, like, start with a —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — curriculum focused on electional. If you wanna be awesome at natal, start with that.

KS: Yeah.

AC: I think that once you, you know, kind of get your feet under you in any individual branch, there’s a huge richness to, you know, going from natal to horary or taking what you understand from natal and seeing how it’s the same and different in electional. But I mean, on a basic level, like, start with the branch you wanna get good at.

CB: Yeah, because even if you start with one then you can sometimes develop a weakness in others. You really wanna start with the one that you really wanna develop the most.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Sure.

KS: Yeah, for sure.

CB: Okay. Is that good enough of an answer?

KS: I think so.

CB: Okay.

KS: Yeah, I think if your training in astrology was like, modern, learning horary would definitely add something, but I don’t know that I would say start with the horary.

CB: Well, and one of the points that should be made is that most of the techniques of Western astrologer were originally developed in the natal context, and that would be my other primary argument from both a historical and a practical perspective is like, the idea of houses, the signs of the zodiac, the significations of the planets, and the other pieces of Western astrology were originally developed in the natal context, so it makes more sense to learn them in that context first, and then expand that to include horary and electional and medical or what have you.

AC: So that’s interesting. I would agree with that statement, but I think that we can add – I would agree that the significations of the houses and all that were developed and come out of a natal context, but I think that if we’re looking at what’s the oldest using the configuration of planets and stars to determine when to do things or to comment on human life, I think electional is older. But all of the equipment that we have was developed in the context of natal.

CB: Right. Yeah, and that’s my only point —

AC: Yeah.

CB: — is just that four-fold system which characterizes Western astrology developed in a natal context. All right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So let’s move onto the next question. So the next one was from YouTube, somebody named SS – they say, “How do you determine how much to charge for a reading?” How did you guys first determine that?

KS: That’s a really good question, isn’t it? What did I charge out of the gate? Maybe 70 dollars an hour, Australian.

CB: Okay.

KS: Which is probably about 50 dollars American because of the currency conversion. But how did – I think I looked around, you know, what were people charging for about an hour of their time, you know, that I felt comfortable just as a starting point, factoring in that with an astrology consult, the client is gonna pay you for the hour you spend together, but they’re also paying you for the prep time that you do. And if it’s an hour consult, there’s potentially an hour of prep in there as well, certainly in the beginning. So trying to factor that in and sort of work out some type of hourly rate that was sustainable in the sense that it might cover, you know, two hours of your time if you have to rent a room to meet someone in if you’re not working from home – this was when I started back in the day before it was all online. If you’re doing it online, internet’s pretty cheap, relatively speaking. How did you guys determine this in the beginning?

AC: Let’s see. The first two readings I can remember being compensated for, one I was bought an order of General Tso’s chicken —

KS: Right.

AC: — and then the other, somebody made me a mixtape.

KS: A mix tape!

AC: Yeah.

KS: Wow.

AC: Both were similarly meaningful.

KS: I like it. And then when you decided to put a price on it, how did you go about that?

AC: I don’t know. It was not methodical. I don’t have like, a brilliant set of thoughts that would help anyone. Like, it was very difficult for me to figure out what to charge and if to charge and feeling, you know, conflicted about that. But then like, being like, oh I do have to pay for food and this is what I wanna do all the time, and so yeah.

KS: So I have to charge something.

AC: Yeah.

KS: More than chicken.

AC: So I don’t know. Be anxious and conflicted about it, and eventually be like, “Okay, I guess I’ll do that.” Like, not advice. That was my process.

KS: Well, but that’s – people will relate to that, because I’m sure many people have struggled about should they charge and when should they start charging, for instance, which is a tricky one.

CB: Yeah. And I think everybody at some point once you’ve been studying for a while just needs to start charging some very small amount even if it is only like, five dollars or 10 dollars, so that there’s some sort of exchange for your time and exchange for something of value, and then eventually slowly work your way up from there. But then eventually once you get comfortable, usually pricing within the astrological community is determined by what other people in your peer group are charging, and comparing that. Basically, people that have been studying astrology for a similar amount of time, that have a similar amount of exposure, like reputation and a similar amount of training, looking and seeing what they’re charging and getting an idea for like, what the lower end of the market is and the higher end of the market and trying to price yourself accordingly based on that.

AC: Yeah. I’d like to reinforce what you said about making sure that it’s an exchange, rather than you’re just kind of doing a favor for someone or putting yourself out there. Even if it’s a symbolic offering on their part, I think that completes – it makes the interaction what it needs to be in order to facilitate a good reading. So I think that’s really important. Again, even if it’s just an order of General Tso’s chicken. That’s actually, you know, the like, “I don’t know, what do other people charge who are kind of like me?” was literally what’s determined my prices for the last five years.

CB: Yeah.

AC: Because I was like, I don’t know what’s the intrinsic value of this? What’s the market value of this? What am I comfortable with? I don’t know. This is what people around me are changing; I’ll do that.

CB: Yeah, and it’s good to be careful about it. I mean, I notice sometimes, there are some people that are too quick to charge more than maybe they should versus there’s other people that sometimes are more reticent than they should be to raise their prices to a more appropriate level. I remember a few years ago, I was actually here at a NORWAC, you guys sat me down and had like, an intervention —

KS: About your pricing?

CB: Yeah, and said, “You’re not” —

KS: Sorry everyone who’s paid more.

CB: — “charging enough.”

KS: Yeah.

CB: Because you felt like I wasn’t charging enough for what I was giving in consultations.

AC: You were doing like, an entire life’s worth of zodiacal releasing, as I remember. Yeah.

CB: Like an entire life reading of like —

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yeah. All the points.

CB: Yeah.

AC: 20 bucks, come get it.

KS: Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t quite that low, but.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.

CB: But certainly relative to what you guys were charging at the time, it was much less —

KS: It was less. Yeah.

CB: — and you felt like what I was offering that I needed to sort of bring it up to a more average level.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah.

KS: For sure. I mean, there’s so much, like this question on paper sounds simple – how do you determine? Do these three steps. But as Austin said, grapple with your internal stuff, and just try and figure it out.

AC: Or don’t.

KS: Or don’t, but part of it is, though, there’s a unique thing when you go into business for yourself, which is what you’re doing as an astrologer. We forget that component. There are other people in other industries doing something similar. You go from having a job when you work in, say, sort of an office, or maybe you work in a coffee shop or a bar. I’m not quite sure. But just to make up an example, you get your job, you sign a contract, you supply some bank details, and you show up to work, and money magically appears in your bank account every week or every month. You don’t directly interact with that money until you go to take it out of your account. It’s very different to then say to someone, “I’m gonna do this thing for you, and in return, I would like to receive something from you.” And this is why I think we give the same advice to our students, Austin, which is in the beginning, get something. Make it a barter. If you’re more comfortable with the chicken or you want a bouquet of flowers, are they gonna bake you a flourless chocolate cake, ask them to do something for you, because that is a way of you honoring that what you’re offering them has value, and them participating in that exchange is their understanding and respect of the value of what you’re providing for them. And you then move up from that. You move up from the “Bake me a chocolate cake,” which is what I would go for, to “I’m gonna charge 20 dollars.” And that’s totally different. Again, you’re actually putting your hand out and saying, “I would like you to give me some money.” Now, you may not actually do it in cash in the session, but you’re gonna send them a PayPal link or you’re gonna get them to Venmo you the money. That’s a very different way of relating to money, and that is why I think people get very stuck on what to charge and how to charge, because the process of receiving the money is new – it’s different and unfamiliar, and then we’re a little bit like, how do we actually go about that?

AC: I think that’s absolutely right. You know, money is everywhere and nowhere —

KS: That’s – yes.

AC: — in our world. Like you said, you know, there were – we’re ironically, if we’re working for let’s say a corporation, we are ironically somewhat alienated from money because we don’t have to you know, deal with the you know, the people that the corporation sells its widgets to and say, you know, “You need to give me this money.”

KS: Yeah, you don’t go to the client meeting and say, “I’ll need to take a check home today.”

AC: Yeah, it’s a much more personal – it makes you deal much more personally with money. That’s absolutely – there’s a weird intimacy with it.

KS: There’s a weird intimacy —

AC: That’s not necessarily why you got into astrology —

KS: Exactly.

AC: — was to get intimate with —

KS: Money.

AC: — capital.

KS: Yeah. It’s usually like, the last thing on your mind. And I personally still don’t necessarily love it today; I always like to do the payment you know, before or after the live session itself, because I like in the session to be able to focus on just doing the reading.

AC: Yeah.

KS: But it’s very important to have the exchange because I think it enhances the quality of the experience.

AC: Oh, and I would also just add like, deal with whatever payment or exchange before the reading, like —

KS: That’s my preferred way.

AC: Don’t leave yourself where, you know, you feel like you’re dancing for your supper.

KS: Yeah.

AC: And then like, at the end, you’re like, “That was good, right? And now you’re gonna give me money?”

KS: Yeah. Because then that creates a nervousness.

AC: Yeah.

KS: Yeah. Because there is a lot of energy, obviously, in the work we do. I’m not sure if you know that. Hopefully you do.

CB: And the last thing that’s good is to start charging something, even something very small like five dollars —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — because for new students of astrology, it creates a pressure on you to perform and do your best.

KS: Yeah.

CB: I think that’s an often overlooked aspect of charging for astrology that people should charge for because it will force them to sort of do better than they might otherwise and to be more like, on their toes.

KS: Yeah. Being a little bit afraid of not doing a good job can put a bit of pressure. You don’t wanna be so afraid that you get paralyzed. Then there’s another way of figuring out how much to charge for a reading, and that is, “These are my monthly expenses, and I’m gonna try and do five clients a week, so I’m gonna need to try and charge X” —

AC: Right.

KS: — and if you think the market won’t support that based on your experience level, then you’ll need to get another job in the beginning. Like, you can be very – you can, what is that? Reverse engineering? Where you figure out what you need and go backwards? And then you’ve got to put the pressure on of like, “How will I find that many clients at that price?”

AC: Yeah. Survival simplifies some things.

KS: It totally does. But it’s also about what the market charges, because if you’d like to charge 300 dollars an hour but nobody knows who you are, it’s unlikely that you’re gonna be able to get that, so. Yeah. If you’re not getting as many clients as you want, that may be a clue you might need to drop your prices at least temporarily.

CB: Sure.

KS: Anyway. I could talk about this for hours.

CB: All right. Let’s —

KS: We’ve got more to go through!

CB: — plow through our last few questions.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So the next one is by @goldysparkles and he says, “A discussion topic should be memes and the Damage Done.”

AC: Notice that “Damage Done” is capitalized.

CB: Right.

KS: Yes.

CB: And he’s actually saying – this is our friend Nicholas Polimenakos – are you in the room?

KS: He was, but he might’ve —

CB: He was, but he left? Okay.

KS: He’s running somewhere.

CB: He’s actually not being – he’s saying this unironically, because he really hates astrology memes. And I think that’s funny because it’s an interesting discussion where sometimes I see pushback from older generations of astrologers who see the prevalence of astrology memes as almost like, the decline of astrology amongst the younger generations of astrologers, which is a funny sort of extreme reaction to have.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Do you have that reaction?

KS: No, I don’t. I feel like I just watch them pass by and funny haha and onto the next thing. I mean, I don’t, I’m like, is it —

CB: Hey Nicholas, you just —

KS: Hey Nicholas!

CB: — came back in time for your question.

KS: For your question! How magic that you appeared now.

NICHOLAS POLIMENAKOS: What was the question?

KS: What was the question?

CB: Memes and the Damage Done.

NP: Do you like that?

CB: Yeah, it’s a —

NP: It’s taken from “The Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young.

CB: Okay. You were being poetic, okay.

KS: Ah, you’re being poetic!

NP: Yeah.

KS: Okay. Yeah.

NP: It’s pretty extreme, but thanks for taking the question.

CB: Yeah yeah. So Kelly was just disagreeing with you, I think, and saying that she loves astrology memes.

KS: I mean, I just feel like, I don’t even know what a good analogy for this is. I understand that it’s not real astrology. It’s funny. You know, like, what does your sign, what will make your sign leave a party or something. It’s like, oh, haha. Onto the next thing. So I don’t know. I don’t have a strong opinion, so maybe I’m not the best one to answer. I don’t know – do you have a strong opinion on this?

AC: No.

KS: Okay.

AC: I mean, I like them when they’re funny.

KS: When they’re funny, sometimes they’re —

AC: And I don’t like them when they’re not funny. I made an astrology meme once.

KS: Did you?

AC: Yeah, I —

KS: So you’re part of this problem, is what you’re confessing to us.

AC: Yeah. So I —

KS: If it’s a problem, you’re part of it.

AC: Let’s see, I took the “What If I Told You” meme, like Morpheus’s face from The Matrix, and it was “What if I told you there was a 37th face?” It was, you know, just for a conversation.

KS: Was this when your book came out?

AC: Yeah, I don’t know, there was a thread that people – we were joking about it. So yeah. What if I – so clearly, I’m part of the problem, Nicholas.

KS: Is it like, comic books for reading or something? Like, I’m trying to think of what a – some sort of analogy might be.

CB: Yeah, I mean, well, that was one of the points we were talking about was that astrology memes, even though it looks like a recent phenomenon, if you go back to like, The Mountain Astrologer magazine —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — from the early ‘90s, they have astrology comics.

KS: Virgo’s worst nightmare, a swimming pool.

CB: Yeah. Like, a little like, comic that’s written out —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — so on the one hand, it’s like, something that is funny but also sometimes conveys some sort of deeper meaning that astrologers take for granted. I don’t have any issue with astrology memes just because it’s another way in which astrology is existing in the popular consciousness and is being spread around. And I know there’s astrologers that have been objecting to popularized forms of astrology for decades if not centuries. Like, the development of like, the Sun sign column, for example, is something where some astrologers legitimately thought that that was like, the end of astrology because it was being popularized to the masses and simplified to such an extent that they were sure that it was gonna destroy the art as we know it. And while there’s some level where maybe in the popular consciousness it did make astrology look much more simple and much more basic and open it up to more criticisms than it already was, it some ways, that also helped it because Sun sign columns were the bridge for many people for thousands, hundreds of thousands of, maybe even millions of people to develop some inkling that astrology exists, whereas they might not know it otherwise. And I’m sure that’s the same thing for memes today. So at the very least, you would have to, I feel like, concede that even if you think they’re evil, it’s like a necessary evil of some sort. Would you – no? You don’t wanna concede that? Okay.

KS: Nicholas wants to challenge.

NP: Yeah, you know, first of all, the system that’s being used – the internet – its range and what’s happened, there’s nothing like it in history, you know. So the reach is instant and huge. To me, the problem is, is people who call themselves astrologers who are not, let’s say, who are just starting to study, knowing that people will click on a funny image and are cashing in on something and that’s all it is. And it becomes the norm. It becomes normal because it’s funny, and then people supposedly are getting clients and teaching that way, and they don’t know anything about astrology.

AC: So Nick, you’re saying that the memes are symptomatic rather of a larger —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — problem rather than —

KS: The problem themselves.

AC: — being the flower, they’re the flowers, not the roots, of evil?

NP: Yeah. Now, I know some astrologers that use like, maybe a version of a meme, right? And their practice has quality and integrity. They’re not just doing memes, right? They got a blog, they got a website, they got a YouTube channel, whatever else. There’s something behind it all that supports it. To me, I see a danger with anybody who’s not an astrologer clicking on a meme and they’re going off with a funny meme but they’re taking it seriously to a point because it’s normal and they’re judging like, who they’re gonna date because of it, you know?

KS: Or who their flatmate should be.

NP: Yeah. We all laugh, but it becomes normal after a while. That to me is the part where – besides people calling themselves, you know, certain people on Twitter who just do memes are cashing in, they’re not even astrologers. They’re not even there. And that’s the – those two things are the thing that kind of gets me, you know? And I don’t know is that gonna go away. You guys mentioned some parts in history in the past with certain things, and I’m like, this is a whole ‘nother beast with the internet. You know? Does it go away? You know?

CB: Sure.

NP: So I’m concerned about it. It’s coming from a place of concern about the intention that somebody who’s into astrology, who wants to become an astrologer, what’s their intention behind it all? You know? Why are they really doing it? Because there’s people out there, they’re only doing it to get the clicks and the cash in. They don’t give a shit about the effect they might have on somebody else.

CB: Sure.

NP: I’m not saying everybody does memes, but it’s a big part of what’s going on.

CB: Yeah, well, one of the things – I had Christopher Renstrom on the show in the last episode, and one of the things he talked about recently in a lecture for Astrology University his talk, Trash Astrology, is that there’s always been like, a high astrology and always been a low-level astrology and that’s been constant throughout astrology’s history. And that’s always gonna be the case, and there’s always gonna be that tension between you know, the astrology that appeals to the public and the mass marketization of astrology, and the higher level or more advanced astrological studies and where those two meet in between. So we’ll have to see in a few decades if astrology is still around or if, you know, it’s been completely destroyed by astrology memes. But —

NP: One more thing about this. And this goes back to what you guys talked about earlier about like, having organizations support you and so on and so forth. And what I’m saying about this is at some point there’s always a backlash. Just as we’re talking about history, there’s always a backlash. And if someone who’s – however young they are in their study of astrology, I’m not talking about their actual age, but certain things are gonna come back around. And so we have to be ready for that. You know, we could have a laugh with a meme, though in the end on the deeper level culturally, you know, like, we gotta be —

KS: Yeah.

NP: — ready; we gotta support each other.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Sure. We’ll see what happens.

KS: Yeah.

AC: Well, I would also just add that astrology’s in an incredibly strong place right now —

KS: It is.

AC: — relative to the last several centuries. So I think that we’re probably in a good place to withstand the fury of memes.

CB: We’ll see.

KS: Because as you mentioned earlier, the host culture is favorable right now.

AC: Yes, for right now. Right now.

KS: Right now. So we can —

AC: And that won’t last.

KS: No. So we should —

AC: But that’s fine.

KS: — like, enjoy it while we can.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Are we gonna go to —

CB: All right. Last couple of questions – so one really quick from @KingPlutoAT on Twitter. He says, he wanted to ask a question about symbolic degree systems – “The general consensus regarding this fringe technique. I hear a lot about it but I’m not sold on its effectiveness.” And by this, he’s talking about different degree symbol systems like the Sabian symbols or the Kozminsky symbols and other things like that that assign meanings to each single degree of the zodiac, all 360 degrees.

KS: Yeah.

CB: Do you guys have any opinion on these? Do you use them?

KS: I don’t use them personally. And that’s —

CB: Why not?

KS: Well, that’s a really good question. I don’t know if I have a thoughtful answer.

CB: You don’t necessarily have to.

KS: Yeah, I know. I was like, my training was in modern Western, so I did learn a little bit about Sabian symbols in the beginning. I just didn’t really vibe with them, so I went in a different direction.

CB: Sure.

KS: But I think Austin has a much more interesting answer.

AC: Maybe.

KS: Yeah.

AC: I think that as a project, it is entirely consistent with everything we’re doing with astrology, that increasingly small increments or divisions of the circle would yield a coherent and consistent symbolic meaning. Right? The signs are the circle divided by 12. The decans are the circle divided by 36. And there are lots of other divisions which yield, you know, that are symbolically coherent. And so if we just follow this logic to the degrees, that makes perfect sense. Most of our techniques don’t necessarily depend as much on a single degree as they do within that wedge of 30 or 10 or you know, three point —

KS: Two point five, or —

AC: — three or whatever.

KS: Yeah.

AC: But it’s definitely part of astrology, and you know, one of the things that I really like from the Picatrix, which I’ve quoted on the podcast multiple times, is that the anonymous author basically says – and I’m paraphrasing – well, if you wanna, you know, be really good at this, you need to be able to generate, you know, a proper image for every planet in every degree of the zodiac. Like, if you really wanna say that you understand this, you need to be capable of generating all of those images. And then they go to say, “And an image for the conjunction of any two planets in every degree of the zodiac and every three,” et cetera, et cetera.

KS: Wow.

AC: And I think that that’s a beautiful project and it speaks to the validity of that project. As far as the Sabian symbols as a specific stab at that, I don’t love them. I don’t use them. That’s a whole conversation about how they were created. But the project itself I think is valid and intertwined with the basis of what we’re doing.

KS: It’s almost like, part of a conceptual lineage, given the division by 12, the division by 36.

AC: Right. And —

KS: All the way down.

AC: Yeah. And we can, you know, if you look at Hellenistic texts, we then divide each sign by 12. Or we have the navamsa, right, where we’re dividing each —

KS: That’s what I was just thinking. I was like, I don’t know the word —

AC: — by, yeah, like the “this means something when we subdivide” is just part of astrology.

KS: Yeah.

AC: So again, the project – valid.

KS: That specific iteration —

AC: That specific iteration? Not a big fan.

KS: Yeah. What about you, Chris?

CB: Yeah. I don’t really use the Sabian symbols, especially partially because my approach to astrology tends to be more, I’m more interested in astrology that’s more empirical in, for example, that like, story of us looking at the charts right after we had that weird event happening and seeing Mars on the Midheaven was like, learning something from a specific event in our lives and trying to gain something from it. And that’s like, a way of learning astrology and developing meanings in astrology that it’s, like, as a specific approach. And to me, with like, the Sabian symbols, they tried to develop them I think by like, writing stuff on pieces of paper and putting them in a hat and then pulling them out of a hat one day, and that’s not like, empirical or symbolic to me in terms of applying symbolic thinking to actual astronomical movements, so it’s just not an approach to developing astrological techniques that I’m necessarily interested in. But I don’t know; maybe there’s other people that are, and I’ll leave that up to them.

AC: So I just want to mention one thing. If anyone wants to look up, you know, a degree system that’s 500 years older, look up – was it the Astrolabium Planum? – and you’ll see illustrations for each degree of the zodiac, and they are more bizarre than the Sabian symbols. The one that comes to mind is one I think in early Aries that’s a man with a dog head with a crossbow. And so I don’t know what that mean – I think I remember that because that’s where my Mercury is, is crossbow-wielding dog head guy.

KS: A man with a crossbow, hmm!

AC: And a dog head. Anyway.

KS: And a dog head! I’m surprised there’s not like, some kicking creature.

AC: That’s where my Mars is.

KS: Right, the Mars is in the kicking animal, got it.

AC: Yes, the Mercury is crossbow dog head —

KS: Cross – I like it! Yeah.

CB: So with that, I think that brings us to our final question.

KS: Yeah! I like it.

CB: So the final one – was this the last one, more or less, we were gonna do?

KS: Yes, this one – there’s two that lead into the conclusion here.

CB: Okay.

KS: Read that one?

CB: Do you wanna —

KS: Yeah, that one —

CB: — read Erica’s?

KS: — and the one on here.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Sorry, what were you saying?

CB: Do you wanna read Erica’s?

KS: Sure. I’ll read it. So this question came in from Erica Jones, who was here and —

CB: Are you here, Erica?

KS: — is no longer.

CB: Okay.

KS: So, “It could be interesting to hear some thoughts on the role of embodied mentors in the serious study of astrology, if we take astrology to be a discipline that provides a sort of initiation or a rite of passage into a larger sense of self and being.” The question was a little longer, we just kind of cut it down to one of the core components. So it’s really about mentorship, I think, in astrology. Was there more we wanted to say on the question?

AC: Well, and Erica had a —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — part of what was cut so we could meme-ify the question was, she went on to explain what she meant by “embodied mentors,” contrasting that with dead mentors. Like, you know, being really influenced by Valens or Lilly or whoever, which I thought was valid and Kelly didn’t.

CB: Right, we were —

KS: Yeah, we had a disagreement.

CB: You really objected to that idea, Kelly, that —

KS: Yeah, I —

CB: — people —

KS: — had a strong reaction!

CB: — that reading a book, that doesn’t count. You were very strong in saying that doesn’t count as a mentor relationship.

KS: No. And I wanted to be really clear that I obviously think reading books by people who are dead is a fantastic way to get their ideas. I’m not saying we shouldn’t read old books by people who have predeceased us. But I felt the terminology was a little, it didn’t sit well with me in that my understanding of a mentor or a mentorship is where you’re having a back-and-forth dialogue with someone who you are sharing your experiences, and you’re getting some commentary or some input or some feedback. The challenge with reading books by dead people – this is where we went on for a disagreement – was it’s a one-way feedback. You’re taking their ideas and just, you don’t get to ask them exactly what they meant or the context. You know, and this is the problem we have with some of our traditional texts is what were they actually meaning by what they said? And so I found it really difficult – I think mentorship is incredibly important and I think it’s one thing that’s lacking in astrology at the moment. And if you can pair up with someone whose style or approach to astrology that you really respect or are interested in, I think it’s a fantastic way to really apprenticeship yourself and develop your own technique. But I just don’t think you can do it with dead people who wrote great books that we still should read. But Austin had a different point of view. Austin told me!

AC: Well, I thought that your opinion was a symptom of your insufficient necromancy.

KS: That’s right.


KS: So I basically, I was like, “Okay, I guess I’m doing something wrong because I’m not getting the feedback loop from the dead guy’s books!”

AC: Yeah, and I mean that as a joke, and I actually —

KS: I know, yeah, of course.

AC: — mean that. No, but like —

KS: But you kind of meant it a little.

AC: No, I do kind of mean it.

KS: Yeah.

AC: I like, 64 percent mean it.

KS: To be specific.

AC: Like, if you are really connected to an astrologer who’s not alive, you know, like, let’s just take Valens – Valens is a huge influence on you, Chris.

CB: Right.

AC: You know, if somebody told me that, and they wanted my advice, I would probably encourage like, honoring them when you do your ancestor stuff once a month or once a week. I would actually ritualize that connection. And a lot of people will get an experience of rapport and back and forth. Not the same as with a living person —

KS: Yeah.

AC: — but there are ways to lean into a connection with somebody who’s not here.

KS: Beautiful.

AC: So. Yeah.

KS: That’s nice.

AC: That’s what I meant. But yeah —

KS: I liked it.

AC: — living people are pretty accessible.

KS: Yeah. Could feel like a more fulfilling back and forth.

CB: Yeah, and what —

AC: Depends on what you want.

CB: — you were saying —

KS: Yeah, that’s true. Less subtle.

AC: What you’re looking for.

KS: Yeah.

CB: There’s something important about that, though, because even though we have revived like, the skeleton of traditional astrology in the past two or three decades by going back and rereading first William Lilly, then medieval texts like Bonatti and —

KS: It’s like we’ve gone back in time, haven’t we?

CB: — yeah, the traditionalist revival happened in reverse, where it started with like, the Renaissance texts —

KS: The more recent.

CB: — with the 17th century, then it went to the 12th century texts, and then more recently it’s gone to the first century texts, which has been weird and had some weird side effects as a result of it going backwards —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — like that. But that’s what it took, for example, me and Demetra have just finally released our books in the past couple of years where some of the first modern works on Hellenistic astrology have been published. It took us 10 years of practicing the techniques and talking with each other and finding out once you learn the techniques from the ancient texts and start putting them into practice, you immediately start running into issues that the ancient texts don’t tell you how to deal with.

KS: Correct.

CB: And it’s only through having that lived experience of doing it for a certain amount of years and putting the techniques into practice that you start figuring out answers to some of the things that the texts don’t tell you how to deal with.

KS: Yeah.

CB: And that’s actually part of the benefit of having a lived tradition. And it’s something that the Indian tradition still has today that we lost —

KS: They never lost it.

CB: — in the West was that continued transmission of handing down from student to teacher directly, through a direct in-person transmission from generation to generation for centuries. So we’re rebuilding that with traditional astrology. It already exists to some extent with modern Western astrology because there are some lineages to some extent of like, modern astrologers, where you have like, Alan Leo and then students of Alan Leo, and then you go on to people like Marc Edmund Jones and Dane Rudhyar and some of the astrologers that came in in the ‘70s and ‘80s and what have you, but that lineage itself is only maybe a hundred years or so. So reviving those lineages is important, but I agree with you, Kelly, that there’s something about having a personal connection with a teacher and a mentorship relationship that is unique and is different than textual analysis of like, a 2,000-year-old text.

KS: Yeah. I think they both have their place, but I do think the depth and the richness comes from – I liked how you described that, the lived experience, and then discussing. I mean, I was gonna say “chewing the fat,” but that’s an Australian term for talking about things.

AC: We say that here.

KS: You do? Okay cool.

AC: We did in like, the, I don’t know, the late ‘50s, maybe?

KS: Yeah. I’m like, you’re gonna just like, throw shade on my country here, but it’s true. You probably did talk about it in the ‘50s and we just got it last week in Australia. But anyway. That was our thoughts on mentors and …

AC: It’s important.

KS: Mentors?

AC: Yeah! I mean, those are the links that form a chain.

KS: A hundred percent!

AC: Right? You know, we’re talking about like, the getting the, you know, mentorship is getting those two links to fit.

KS: To actually be connected physically in some capacity, yeah.

AC: Well, that’s inappropriate, Kelly. But psychically and intellectually.

KS: Yes. I love it. I was gonna say, no, I meant in the flesh, and that’s not gonna make that any better.

AC: I don’t know what you’re doing with your students.

KS: I was referring to earlier in our conversation where we talked about the importance of meeting in person, but.

AC: Yeah.

KS: We had a little donkey moment, Chris, sorry.

CB: Yeah. And I think that was actually how we were gonna round this out —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — gonna bring things full circle by saying that that’s really what we’re doing here and that’s the most important thing —

KS: Austin’s out!

AC: Sorry. I’ll stop ruining things.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think you got the inappropriate jokes bingo.

KS: There ya go.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah, we didn’t have any bingo cards here tonight.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’m never going to recover from disappointment.

KS: Oh no, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine! Just bring them to ISAR next year. No, you’ll be fine. So what were you gonna – we were gonna finish on something G-rated.

CB: Yeah, this is where we insert the like, riveting conclusion to this, which is the importance of astrology conferences and being —

KS: Yeah!

CB: — in person in order to revive a living tradition that passes knowledge on not just through books but through conversations that happen in person in the same room together. And literally remembering as a tradition why that’s important, especially in an age in which being in person and talking to each other has almost like, fallen out of style. So that’s part of what we’re doing here this week.

KS: Yeah. Did you have a – talk to us on Sunday night and Monday about how fun it was to be together in person?

AC: Well, okay, so we were gonna read this question.

KS: Oh, you had a question!

AC: Which was, “Why are you so enthusiastic about astrologers meeting each other?” And then —

KS: Who’s it from?

AC: — and then my – and it’s from Nathan @NFennel88. And my clever answer was, to the people in this room who’ve never been to an astrology conference before, is why don’t you tell us after the weekend?

KS: Yeah. Right?

AC: So, but I had to explain the joke.

KS: We just didn’t set you up properly.

AC: No, it’s fine.

KS: We’re still recovering.

AC: But no, but seriously. Like, tell us what it’s like. Tell the internet.

KS: Tweet us on Sunday night —

AC: Well, tweet Chris.

KS: Tweet the podcast.

CB: Yeah.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So we —

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Or you could tell somebody face to face!

AC: No, but you gotta promote the FOMO and you know, you gotta make people feel bad for not doing this.

CB: Yeah, but one of the things —

AC: And by which, I mean, you know. Emphasize the value.

KS: It sold out, yeah. So people will have FOMO by definition because we cannot accommodate everybody.

CB: One of the things that we did genuinely wanna do is it’s very hard to, once you leave a conference, to articulate like, why it was a good experience, and sometimes people don’t do a great job of doing that. And so most people, if you haven’t been to an astrology conference before, they don’t really understand why it would be a big deal or why you would spend so much time or effort or money to attend one. So we were hoping that everybody in this room could go home and use whatever medium you prefer, whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or a blog or like, a YouTube video or something, and explain your actual experience of being at this conference and why – if you would recommend it first. Maybe you won’t, but —

KS: Maybe you didn’t like it.

CB: Well, yeah, and that’s fine in and of itself, but explain what your experience was to other people, and hopefully we can create some sort of library of that in order to explain to other people who weren’t here what that was like, and help to sort of make some not just excitement about that but help to explain what the purpose of meeting up in person is.

KS: One of the reasons I think it is hard to articulate is, it’s not necessarily a logical thing. Like, oh, I went to this conference and I learned some things or I met a person or I went to a webinar. For me, one of the biggest takeaways is a feeling of belonging and community and being part of something that is larger than me and larger than my regular practice. And that feeling is very hard to put into words, but it is so much about connecting with other people who do this weird-ass thing that we all love, that there’s more of us now, which is great. But I think the fact that so many of us do work typically in isolation, we’re solo-preneurs, kind of thing, where we’re just working one-on-one and we don’t even have anyone to talk to over at the water cooler. And so you get that feeling of not being alone and of being with likeminded people who share an interest or a passion that you do. So that feeling is hard to articulate; it feels a little different for everyone. But I think that’s a big reason why coming together in person is so important. But then, I am all about the feelings, being the Pisces on the podcast. Well, one of them.

CB: Right.

KS: Yeah.

CB: So, and again, that just brings us back to this idea of like, one generation coming into the community and one leaving, and the important transmission that we hope takes place during this time. And so there’s some like, things that those two different groups I think should do.

CB: So one of them is we’re hoping that the older generation can be a little bit more active in passing things on by interacting with the younger generations of astrologers and trying to connect with them, because there’s a lot of new astrologers at this conference. We had what, like, over a hundred people that raised their hand maybe in this room. And hopefully some of the older astrologers can connect with some of the younger astrologers and make that personal connection and even if it’s not a significant or like, long-lasting one, it’s something.

CB: So similarly, younger astrologers engaging with the older generation of astrologers, part of that is coming to a conference like this. But you don’t necessarily just have to come to conferences in order to do that. Sometimes attending a local astrology group in your city is a big part of that. And one of the things I wanna encourage younger and newer astrologers to do is to stick with that because sometimes when you attend a local astrology group, it can be kind of weird or kind of alienating, and sometimes people will attend one group meeting and then just like, never come back, and as a result of that, some of the local astrology groups are dying out. Because people are so used to meeting up online and being able to just talk with other astrologers that have the same approach, that when you walk into a group where everyone’s not on the same page, it feels a little bit uncomfortable. But the local astrology groups are an important and critical piece of the astrological community, and they’re the things that feed into the larger astrological conferences and things like that. And if the younger generation of astrologers don’t at least continue to develop and cultivate local astrology groups, then it’s not going – the community won’t have the same vibrancy that it has had over the past few decades. Yeah. So help, attend local astrology groups.

CB: And finally, one of the themes that came up in this discussion is I think older astrologers should be careful about rejecting newer trends and themes, because oftentimes whatever the new generation of astrologers is, they have something that’s unique and different about how they’re talking about astrology with each other and how they’re promoting it. And sometimes it’s easier for the established tradition to reject that out of hand as being like, dumb or stupid in some way, not realizing that that’s just a new development in the way that astrology’s being communicated.

KS: Yeah. Yeah, not rejecting things that they may not be familiar with or interested in personally.

AC: I remember some interactions with some older astrologers not too many years ago where – and this isn’t a paraphrase, it was literally, “You kids and your traditional.”

KS: Yeah.

AC: He didn’t ask me to get off his lawn, though.

KS: He didn’t – and he didn’t tell you you were destroying astrology?

AC: No!

KS: Okay.

AC: No. I mean, I was clearly doing it wrong, but.

KS: You were doing it wrong. Right. Yeah.

AC: But we, you know, just to speak to in person, like, we had dinner together and continued to talk about it.

KS: Yes.

AC: Right?

KS: Which is beautiful, because then you can work through it.

AC: Yeah, and I was able to convince him that he was doing it wrong. No, I’m kidding.

CB: Yeah, so, and that —

KS: So there are your points.

CB: Yeah, that’s —

KS: Yeah.

CB: — pretty much it in terms of this overall theme of continuing the astrological tradition and creating more meetings in person in order to develop a greater sense of community. So thanks everybody who attended tonight, because you now, even if inadvertently, now you’ve participated in that process by showing up here in person. And I hope, especially at this conference, that you will go up and introduce yourself to like, especially other people in this room once we get done here, and just say hi. Introduce yourself, create that personal connection, and hopefully if enough of you do that, you’ll end up creating some connections that will last for the rest of perhaps your career or your lifetime just by happening to show up here tonight and then meeting in person.

KS: Yeah. We’re all part of the future of astrology, so your contribution and your participation just helps us grow.

CB: Right. All right guys.

KS: Cool! Thank you!