The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 273, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Leisa Schaim
Episode originally released on September 28, 2020
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released March 29, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to the Astrology Podcast. This is episode 173, and in this episode Leisa Schaim and I are going to be answering questions from listeners of the podcast that have been sent in over the past few days. Hey Leisa, welcome back to the show.
LEISA SCHAIM: Hey, Chris.
CB: I think this is your second episode this month.
LS: Yes, that’s true.
CB: Yeah. Well, it feels good to be back recording in the studio again. We’re trying to do more studio episodes lately. We’re also celebrating a little bit of an anniversary of some sort or milestone because the YouTube channel for The Astrology Podcast is about to hit 50,000 subscribers. That’s pretty exciting because when I started doing video just a few years ago, several years into the run of the podcast, I didn’t know if it would work or not or if people would subscribe to the channel or what have you.
LS: Right. And I know you’d wish that you had in retrospect moved it, you know, to YouTube even earlier. So it’s nice that it’s grown so much.
CB: Yeah. There’s a tonne of old episodes that I wish that I had video versions of and I’ve been slowly rolling out just audio only versions on YouTube. But like the interview with Geoffrey Cornelius, some of the early house division episodes, and some of the early episodes with Kelly and Austin, I definitely wish I had video of. But I’m sort of making up for lost time since then. Yeah, we got to have them out here last– what? November.
LS: Last November. Yeah. It doesn’t look like we’re gonna be able to this November but yeah, hopefully again.
CB: Hopefully next year?
CB: All right. So let’s get to some questions. These were questions that were submitted either on Twitter or on our private page on Patreon, or some of them came in through Facebook. I put out a call for questions a couple days ago and we got tonnes of questions. As usual we have more questions than we have time to answer, but we tried to pick out some of the best ones or also some that were good questions but we’d already answered in previous Q&As because I’ve been doing Q&As on the podcast for years. Just go to the podcast website and do a search and you’ll find some of those past Q&As or some of the past questions that are similar that we’ve already answered. But I think we’re able to find some good ones for today.
LS: Yes, I think so too.
CB: Okay, any other preliminaries before we get started?
LS: Um, no, I don’t think so.
CB: All right. Well, let’s jump into it.
CB: All right. First things first, a variation of this- And did you find the exact question about the Natal versus Horary thing?
LS: No. Someone did ask this, but we don’t have it attributed here as to who.
CB: Okay. So I see this come up a lot where sometimes it’s stated that– because most people learn Natal astrology first especially if you’re learning modern astrology, modern astrology is mainly directed towards Natal– but sometimes when people start learning traditional astrology especially if they’re studying Renaissance traditions or if they start studying Horary, one of the promotional statements that Horary astrologers sometimes say is they say, “Well, you are always supposed to learn Horary first in traditional astrology and then Natal afterwards.” And sometimes new students of Horary will repeat this statement, which is kind of like a propaganda statement on the part of the Horary astrologers. But it’s not necessarily true. It’s true maybe in some portions, for example, that William Lily in his book, Christian Astrology, is divided into three books. In the first part, he does basic concepts. Then the second part, he does Horary. Then in part three, he does Natal. So for Lily, that’s definitely true. But there were other astrologers even in his era that said that you should learn Natal first. And if you go back into prior eras, especially about 1000 years back into the Hellenistic tradition, it’s pretty much all Natal astrology. So Natal was, to me, one of the the main counter arguments. It’s that most of the basic concepts of traditional astrology were built up around Natal astrology in the Hellenistic period and that’s where we get most of the techniques from, including most of the significations the houses. And then later on, electional was part of that and eventually Horary developed as a fourth branch by the mediaeval period. But just historically, it’s not necessarily true. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning Horary first, but it’s not necessarily true to say that you have to or you should or that there’s an overriding traditional precedent.
LS: Right. There’s those historical arguments, you know, like “who did what” in the past? I think it’s also an interesting argument either way in that not all astrologers do both Natal and Horary. I’ve seen people who only do Horary, I’ve seen people who only do Natal. Electional is rarely mentioned in this mix but it’s another thing that some astrologers do. So there’s certainly transferable techniques and skills that can lend to each other when you know different approaches to astrology– not different approaches, but like different applications of astrology. But it’s not really something where you ever need to learn one of them first. I think each of them brings different sort of positive attributes; learning one first and then that transfers to the other, and they’re different depending on which order you do. So, I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t think that it’s a necessity thing.
CB: I guess there’s something to be said for it. Like, the scope of Horary is much more limited because it’s focused on a single specific question, typically. And the rules for approaching how to answer that question are somewhat limited to a certain extent, and that primary way that you’re answering questions is looking if the ruler of House A is applying to an aspect with the ruler of house B. And if it is, then the answer is yes. And if it’s not, the answer is no. So to that extent, that does introduce a bunch of traditional concept and make you get familiar with the idea of like rulers of houses and dignity and stability, and interpreting things in a very literal way, the symbolism in literal way that’s maybe a good bridge to traditional astrology and that it helps you to not immediately jump towards just interpreting things psychologically.
LS: For sure.
CB: So maybe in that way, there’s a good argument for learning Horary relatively early in one’s studies. But I don’t know. For me, I did Horary a lot in the latter part of the last decade like 10 years ago. But I really moved away from it just because I found Natal to be much more interesting and much deeper in its sort of significance and ability to speak to people’s lives because it’s something that applies to the entirety of a person’s life and not just a single question.
LS: Definitely. Yeah. I think Horary can be kind of exciting in terms of its literalness, in terms of its concreteness, in terms of its, you know, very narrow specificity in like, this means this. That’s probably a piece of where people can get really excited about, like, “You should definitely learn this first, and then you can go from there.” But they’re just different. There’s crossover in their differences. In Natal, there’s a broader spectrum of how different placements can play out because the scope, like you said, is someone’s whole life versus like a narrow question. Yeah, I don’t think either of them have to be sort of prioritised or… Yeah.
CB: Okay. Yeah. It’s definitely something you should learn and add to your toolbox at some point in your studies, and not something to stay away from. But yeah, it’s good to learn all of the branches and I think, for me, to the extent that most of Western astrology originally developed largely in the Natal context, that’s the best starting point especially if you have an accurate birth time for yourself since that’s most people’s starting point is studying Natal astrology.
LS: Right. You can definitely observe it more around you, you know, in yourself, in other people’s lives around you, your friends, your family, versus questions you do need to solicit and that kind of thing.
CB: Right. So speaking of Horary astrology, one of our questions was submitted by a brilliant Horary astrologer who I know you did a Horary chart from, which is Rob Bailey.
LS: Mm hmm.
CB: So he… What was that question again? Cuz I was actually-
LS: Let me find this.
CB: Well, I know that question but what was that Horary chart? Because that was a really good example of Horary working out in practice, right?
LS: Yeah. I had asked how things would go in the long term if– I’m trying to remember the specific wording of it– but how things would go in the long term if I decided to quit my day job to only do astrology for within the next six months or something like that. It was a couple years ago or something, give or take, it was almost two years ago I think. And the chart was actually really positive. It’s funny because I had asked time limited ones like that before and they weren’t good. And I was like, “That was not the right timing for that.” I didn’t ask them in quick succession, it was like a while would pass and I’d be like, “Okay, how about now?” And this one turned out to be really good. The specific symbolism was perfect and I was like okay, and that actually did help me get the confidence to kind of make that leap. I’d been doing it part time alongside another job. And yeah, it’s worked out well and matched the chart really well.
CB: Yeah. You quit your day job like literally last year to do astrology full time and it’s been going pretty well now?
CB: So Rob sent this question in on Twitter. His name is @oldschoolastro on Twitter, so people should definitely reach out for Horary questions because he did a good job of answering that one very specifically. He says, “I’m interested in your views on the importance of counselling skills when employing traditional predictive techniques. How do we deal with the seemingly deterministic nature of these techniques without robbing the client of hope or agency?” That’s really good question because it hits a few different points.
LS: Yeah, one piece of that is the seemingly deterministic nature of traditional techniques. Which it’s true, it does narrow down the possibilities. Rather than having a huge swath of possibilities, traditional techniques are known for being more specific.
CB: The other one it touches on in is counselling skills. This is a part that I’m actually nervous about and I’ve expressed this a few times in the past, where, you know, none of us that got into traditional astrology more than five or 10 years ago, we all had to start with modern for the most part, with very rare exceptions. I think one exception might be Ryan Butler who may have very quickly gotten into like William Lily. But for the most part, like me and Austin and Kelly and you, we all started with modern astrology. We were relatively well steeped in that at least for a few years. For me for at least four or five years before getting into traditional astrology and learning that, and learning some portions of modern astrology like reconstructing our understanding of astrology and then in the end basically coming out with some sort of hybrid approach.
But one of the things that’s good about that that makes me nervous for those who now are able to start learning astrology and jump right into it is not getting some of the sensibilities that come with the modern preoccupation with consulting skills, which was like a huge thing in the 70s and 80s and early 90s, and which you’ll get a heavy dose of if you’re reading especially authors like Stephen Arroyo or Howard Sasportas or Liz Greene, and this preoccupation especially with not harming the client and being conscientious of how some of the things that you could say could affect a client psychologically. And I think that got baked into a lot of our traditional astrology and it’s one of the things that carries over, even once we’ve picked up a bunch of modern or ancient techniques, is having that sensitivity to some extent as well.
LS: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point and it’s kind of an interesting thing to think about in terms of going forward, like people more people learning only traditional or traditional first.
CB: Right. That there will be advantages but there could be disadvantages as well, and this might be one area where there could be some.
LS: It could be. I think at least if you’re somewhat a sensitive person, you can kind of learn on the job. I mean, obviously, astrology as a whole isn’t certified in terms of having to take counselling classes, you know, and I feel like I’ve personally as I’ve done more and more consultations, I’ve just gotten kind of better at how to conduct a conversation around topics that could be sensitive. I don’t know if you want to get into specifics about things you might do around that.
CB: I mean, he was just asking in general the importance of counselling skills, and dealing with the seemingly deterministic nature of these techniques without robbing the client of hope or agency. I mean, one thing is wanting to, even as the astrologer no matter how sure you are about a specific outcome, having to acknowledge a range of possible outcomes and in that, there’s something still approaching freewill even for the most deterministic astrologer in that you don’t know the exact way, especially if you’re working with Natal astrology, where the possibilities and different manifestations of a transit or something are so broad. You want to leave a little bit of open endedness and in that, the client perhaps has greater choice or agency to hopefully aim for the better manifestation of that rather than the worse.
LS: I think there’s also something to be said for, you know, having something out there that shows your particular approach to astrology and that you are maybe using a little more traditional techniques so people know upfront that they’re coming to you, the people that are coming to you hopefully want some of that, you know? I think that makes a huge difference just to begin with.
CB: It’s interesting even in the past year or two, just seeing how many newer astrologers are putting Hellenistic astrology in their bio and that that’s become a catch thing, which is fine. It’s just really interesting to me as somebody who was into that for a long time it’s like nobody knew what that was or anything, but now it’s a catchy thing to denote. I’m still trying to understand what that denotes, I think it primarily denotes that they use like whole sign houses and-
LS: -using whole sign houses and traditional rulerships and maybe…
CB: -perfections or maybe Zodiacal releasing.
LS: Yeah. So yes, a label is helpful, but also not everyone knows what that means if they’re just a client and not fully into astrology. So having writings out there, having podcasts out there or something that shows how you talk about astrology, I think is really helpful in drawing the clients to you who want that particular approach. And that’s true in general, but also specific to this question I think. Like, I’ve had a surprising number of clients have come to me and said right off the bat like that they’re really into stoicism or things like that, or more often than that it’s like, “I don’t want things sugar coated.”
CB: Stoicism. Who says that? Like they’re really into stoicism.
LS: No, I’ve had people tell me that. [laughs] I’m not making that up.
CB: I’m not criticising that, I’m very into stoicism myself. But again, that’s very lone voice in the crowd for like a long time-
LS: For sure.
CB: -you know, 10 years ago, I cleared out a lot of rooms giving talks on that at astrology conferences.
LS: Like, “Yeah, stoicism!” And people are like, “Mmh, no.” [laughs]
CB: When I got in this Marc Jones talk.
LS: Right. So I do think that’s really important because then people actually want what you have to give, and you maybe can be a little more like, “This is what I see.” But I think you always have to be cautious about the range of potential manifestations ntaly anyway. The other piece that this reminds me of is that fairly often, something will already be in process around things. That if you’re talking about the next six months or the next year of someone’s life, some transits or things like that have already started– perfection years have started sometimes– and so it’s not always like you have to deliver all this information that’s completely unknown to the person. And it is often a conversation about, you know, what’s already going on so far and then what else could that lead to?
CB: Yeah, and learning what their current trajectory is. And then once you understand the trajectory better, you’re able to combine that with the astrology to then project forward what the likely outcome is going to be in certain areas. Obviously, one of the common things though that you deal with there is, it’s much harder than to do a consultation with like a young person versus an old person because an older person has already gone through it all, and both the good things as well as the bad things for the most part they already know pretty well some of the major themes of their life. And you just do the reading and go through the checklist of like, “Yeah, that happened, that happened. This happened, that was terrible. That was a good area of my life,” and so on and so forth. With a young person, though, that’s tricky, because there’s a lot that simply hasn’t happened yet, which can be frustrating. But that’s also where the consulting skills come in. But to circle back to that, it’s kind of important because a lot of astrologers just get that training on the job and they learn from doing, but there are different ways that you can get some consulting skills or counselling skills. And that is probably a good thing to add to your training as an astrologer, even if you learn it in a non-astrological context, but just learning some basic counselling skills.
LS: Right. Various certifications sometimes offer them.
CB: Yeah. I know ISAR has some consulting skills training, I think OPA has a little bit as well and some of those are a bit more geared to astrologers. And then Marc Jones, we’ve talked about that on the show before and he has some training although he’s more modern and less predictive. But it’s still good things to know in terms of that.
LS: What this also makes me think about specifically is one of the sort of concrete ways you can go about this in consultations is when you’re talking about the range of possibilities that might come from specific astrological configuration coming up for someone, you can kind of mention things that are kind of on the better or more neutral side or, you know, the kind of harder possibilities. You can mention several of them in passing. And I know that I’ve done that sometimes when I’m concerned about like a potential worst case scenario coming about. I will mention it in passing, usually, unless it’s something really dire, so that it’s clear that I haven’t glossed over it if something like that does come to pass. But I also try not to dwell on the worst possibilities.
CB: Right. Yeah, not dwelling on it. Although this year is funny because then of course, this year has been a lesson especially in terms of like the mundane astrology and what happens if you aren’t sometimes clear about what the astrology looks like, and that there’s like a lot of tough stuff coming up down the pipe.
LS: Yeah, for sure.
CB: Yeah. I remember we put out our horoscopes in January and in February there was somebody that wrote in an Instagram that complained– and I’ve talked about it before– that was like, “This seems really heavy and I wish I hadn’t seen this, because it seems like there’s a lot of difficult stuff and you didn’t really sugarcoat it enough for my tastes.” And then they actually just wrote me back a few days ago after a series of like, their wedding was cancelled and now there’s like health stuff coming up. And she’s kind of like, “Yeah, that was a good call. However, it wasn’t pleasant at the time or something.” And still this ongoing dialogue about realism and wanting to be clear when challenging stuff is coming up, and not lie to the client while at the same time not freaking out the client, not overly depressing them, and not creating a self-fulfilling prophecy by saying something that they then somehow create because they’re convinced that it’s inevitable.
LS: Yeah, definitely. You also have to gauge in conversation where your client is at in terms of anxiety and things like that. You can usually get a decent sense through some conversation talking with a client, you know, how grounded are they. And sometimes they’ll straight out say, like, “You know, I don’t want things sugarcoated or I’m not really worried about you telling me bad things,” or stuff like that. That can still not be 100% true just because we’re human, you know, we still don’t want to hear bad things. But you can kind of get a sense and gauge it a little bit from there as to how- I think it’s just proportional what you kind of land on, what you talk about for longer… Things like that.
CB: Right. Yeah. The other final thing that this brings up is just the necessity of being like a jack of all trades as an astrologer, and of having to get training in a bunch of different fields even if you don’t become an expert in that specific thing or in that specific subfield. You need to expose yourself to it a little bit and at least get some basic familiarity with some of the key things and counselling skills or consulting skills as part of that. So to whatever extent, you can try to educate yourself a little bit about that. Try to read some books, try to take some training or seminar or something on it that’s going to be advantageous to you as an astrologer because there may be things that you know, that you need to incorporate into your client work that you wouldn’t otherwise. And even if you don’t even conceptualise yourself or if you got into astrology to be like a badass predictive astrology or something crazy or something like that, and you’re like I’m not a psychologist. Well, if you’re sitting down with people for 75-minute consultations and you’re talking about the intimate details of their private life, helping them to make major decisions and helping them to process events that are going on, you know, congratulations you’re now at least partially to some extent dealing with some of that or some of the same issues that psychologists deal with. And you therefore need to have at least some passing familiarity with some of the areas that you need to be careful about and sensitive to.
CB: Yeah. All right, did we have answer that relatively decently?
LS: Yeah, I think so. We didn’t get into all the specifics of what you would do but I think that… Yeah.
CB: Okay, cool.
LS: That does remind me of another one, I don’t know if you want to jump to that one or not.
CB: What is that?
LS: The one about… Let me find it real quick. Here. It was the one about being happy for people when they’re doing important things during bad weather, and then how do you not be fearful? They were too kind of connected. Do you want to do those?
CB: As long as is it the same or is it sufficiently different? If you want to read one, go ahead.
LS: Sure. So the first one is, “I have so many friends having babies and getting married in this atrocious astro weather this year? How do you as an astrologer handle knowing how bad it is, while still trying to be happy for and supportive of people in these types of situations?” And then the second that seemed a little similar to me was, “How do you go from cowering in fear, to not doing that?” And I assume that meant seeing potentially scary-looking timing coming up for yourself or other people, that kind of thing.
CB: Yeah. And this does tie in nicely to his last one because I don’t know, I don’t have a good answer to that, because personally I still struggle with seeing really difficult transits and constellations of periods and transits coming together in the future, and then not being on some level somewhat apprehensive at the very least about that coming up. And I’ve never fully found a way around that. It’s almost built into astrology to some extent, itself, and I’ve been struggling with that for the past few years trying to figure out. There’s still a level where every time that happens and then I get to the event itself, oftentimes it’s more manageable or it makes sense or it’s terrible, but it’s like life goes on. And so there’s certainly a level where just focusing on that and being fearful of something that’s coming up wasn’t necessarily productive and I don’t think that’s the point of astrology, but it’s definitely one of the potential pitfalls that as an astrologer it becomes a lifelong thing to work through and not give into too much. But it’s not something that comes easy unless that’s just something I’m predisposed to myself. I know there’s other astrologers, especially with things like the magical tradition and the revival of astrological magic in the past few years, that’s come out of nowhere where they put their energy towards that. Towards trying to be offsetting things ahead of time in hopes or in the belief that they can change the influence of the planets or something like that so that maybe that sense of having some control or influence over it gives them a greater sense of something.
LS: Mhm, of agency. Yeah. I think there’s always some element, I agree, that if you know astrology, then you can see potentials for hard things as well as positive things coming up before they happen. That’s kind of one of the weird things that people get excited about in getting into astrology, is you can see things ahead of time, right? That’s one of the main things that people get into it for. So one piece of my response would be that you should know that that’s always a pitfall, always a potential pitfall, and you should have things that make it much more valuable to you that outweigh that, basically.
CB: Like what?
LS: I mean, being able to kind of have a sense of the contours of your upcoming life can be valuable, even if a piece of that naturally is some of the harder things as well as the good things. I think, also, you need to not hyperfocus on the negative things. And especially when people are earlier in their astrology, you tend to do that. You tend to kind of zone in on like, “Oh my god, that looks terrible,” and miss everything else. Which can be like 80% of the other stuff.
CB: Yeah, I had somebody do that. There was a student earlier this year and they were so convinced that terrible things were gonna happen to certain family members due to certain placements that they decided to quit astrology altogether, and I thought that was a bit extreme. And that is a tendency for some early students, having that cliche about having a little bit of knowledge being dangerous.
LS: For sure. And I think being involved with astrology longer similar to just being alive longer, you kind of see things come and go, and that most of the time things aren’t usually worst-case scenario. That worst-case scenarios certainly can happen, but they don’t happen most of the time.
CB: Yeah. That’s the biggest thing, I think, with most transits that eventually does help is realising. Because that’s the scariest part, it’s once you do know the worst-case scenarios for certain placements, you can have this tendency to assume it’s going to be the worst-case scenario. But oftentimes when you get to the appointed date, it’s much more mild and much more manageable and may still be, you know, rough or irritable or traumatic even, but it’s not as bad as it could be most of the time.
LS: Mmhm. Yeah, I remember once there was something going on that I was concerned about with my third house. I was worried about something happening to my sister, but instead my laptop died. Right? So I was like, “Well, that’s fine.” Whereas if I hadn’t known any of the astrology, I might have been more annoyed that my laptop died. But in this case I was like, “Oh, well, at least my sister’s fine,” you know? And they’re both kind of fitting into third house significations. You know, the communication aspect of using the computer and siblings going in the third house. So I think that’s an example of another piece of what would be my reply is, you need to also remember the scope of possible manifestations so that it’s not necessarily just going to be this one thing you’re worried about.
CB: Yeah. So continually pushing yourself not to jump to extreme conclusions and realising– which sometimes only comes through repeated experiences of this– that things tend to be more mild than they are, even though we mentioned stoicism in passing and kind of joked about it but I have found that to be useful philosophically even if you don’t adopt it entirely, to incorporate elements of that philosophy into your astrological practice in terms of adopting a even keel no matter whether positive events that are happening in your life or very negative events. But instead, viewing them through the lens of seeing it in the context of indicating greater sense of meaning and purpose in your life, the fact that the astrology is working at all and that it’s describing these events in your life, and there being something that’s more comforting about that rather than something that is just oppressive and negative and depressing about that.
LS: Yeah, definitely. That was something I was kind of half thinking about that question as well, which is that to be able to see the landscape of people’s lives, your life or other people around you, even future things, has to be more of a positive than a negative for you to continue with astrology or else you’re just gonna drive yourself crazy if it’s not.
CB: I mean, what is the positive? Because that’s the thing that sometimes bothers me about modern discussions, is this assumption that it is necessarily positive. Like, it could be negative, there could be negative things or side effects or, you know?
LS: That it’s inherently positive to be involved with astrology, do you mean? Or that astrology itself is inherently positive?
CB: Yeah. I guess we’re talking about one of the potential negative side effects in it of itself, which is people not being able to handle too much information or not being able to handle foreknowledge about certain things in their life, or it causing certain personality types to worry excessively and not being helpful in any way but instead somehow detracting from their mental state. It’s just a counter to one of the things that are like a truism that sometimes comes up in modern astrology, especially in like mid-20th century New Age and late 20th century New Age astrology was the idea that everybody’s gonna accept astrology sometime soon and it’s going to lead to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, and world peace is going to happen and it’s going to be this amazing thing… when maybe astrology is not for everybody, and maybe there are certain things that could be a drawback to that.
LS: Sure. Yeah. But I think most people who are involved with astrology do find more positives than negative in it. And I think for me if I were thinking about that question, because I do worry sometimes, you know, I can’t say I’m immune to it. But to me, just the fact that it works at all, the fact that you can see these symbols that are like planets in the sky doing different things and they somehow symbolise what’s going on in your life, and sometimes to startlingly small detail, that’s actually something to kind of be in awe about. And to me, that’s the greater positive, just kind of watching it work at all.
CB: Well. Okay. Well, let’s talk about that then because we used to disagree about this. Because to me, the fact that astrology works at all, often I used to take as an implication that there was some sort of sense of meaning and purpose in the cosmos, or maybe even some sort of broader meaning about… I don’t know. Like, if deity is the right word, I don’t remember how I framed it.
LS: Like there’s a plan or something.
CB: Yeah, that there’s a plan for people especially individuals’ lives, but as well as collectively like larger events, or even sometimes very small minor events. To me, that was often the implication of that but you often disagreed years ago and said, “Why would you come to that conclusion? That’s not necessarily a conclusion that you have to come to if astrology works. It could mean something else.” Have you come around on that?
LS: Yeah, I’ve come around in a lot of ways. And I think it’s funny actually that, you know, this kind of idea is so accepted in other subcultures, religion, different things like that but it’s just put in different words. I was thinking about that recently, you know, how people get excited about the idea of a destiny or you know, in many religions it’s like, “God has a plan for you,” or “This is God’s will or not.” You know, this kind of thing. But when we get into astrology, then it becomes like a weirder thing.
CB: Yeah. Your point was that people like the idea of destiny, like meeting your soulmate, like it’s your destiny to some ultimate end point for destiny, and it often being framed as a positive thing. But when people start using the term fate, it’s often cast in a negative or oppressive sense.
LS: Right. And I think fate is actually more of a neutral word but people often take the connotation that it’s more negative.
CB: Yeah, they’re kind of interchangeable to some extent, except with destiny it often has more of an implication of like an endpoint, which is given positive connotations. But astrology, one of the implications and one of the things that’s tied into is the idea that there is some notion of fate, which you could also tie into some notion of predetermination but then that hits the other end of the spectrum, which is a much more negative connotation of if things are predetermined then people take that to mean that our actions don’t mean anything if they’re not completely free, and therefore or not somehow anticipated ahead of time, and therefore our lives are less meaningful for some reason.
LS: Right. It’s often about what gives things meaning. Is it that you got to freely choose? Is it about the choice that makes things meaningful? Or is it the content itself of what you’re doing in your life? Is it the actions, you know, or the experiences? And I think that’s often an unquestioned piece. And certainly it was a piece of what I thought was inherently negative about that idea years back. I’ve kind of come around a bit on that. But in any case no matter where you fall on your fate freewill spectrum or what proportion of which, astrology itself– as I know you’ve said many times as well– astrology itself shows at least some piece of fatedness. Even if you just look at transits, they’re gonna happen in these certain areas of your life at very predetermined times, and that is all set up by the time you’re born. You know, like your next 100 years is all set up. So whatever you do with that, you can still kind of fall on different degrees of fatedness but it does imply at least some measure of that. You kind of have to think that there’s some part of that that’s positive, or else I don’t think astrology is maybe good for you.
CB: Yeah. I mean, that fate encompasses both positive and negative things?
LS: Right, exactly.
CB: That’s the biggest thing. It means that, yeah, you’re probably fated to meet that person at a certain point in your life and that becomes the love of your life, if that’s part of your fate. And sometimes I have client charts in my book, The Hellenistic Astrology, where it’s like there was this couple and they met them when they were 18. They both had Venus in the seventh house in the night chart and that was like the most positive part of their chart and then they were married for like 60 or 70 years. And they met at that point in their life. So it’s like there’s those positive things that might be fated and that people sometimes spin it’s like one’s destiny or something like that, which to me is just interchangeable with one’s fate. But then there’s also those negative things, like that person that was the love of your life might die tragically or something due to some incident at a certain point in time. And that’s tied in somehow with fate as well.
LS: Right. Yeah. I think that people rarely mind the good parts, they don’t mind good fatedness.
CB: Again, for me at least in the past, that’s more where some of the stoicism has come into play in terms of understanding that all of it, if it works, is tied into some greater matrix of meaning and purpose, even sometimes the bad events setting up things later and being part of a sequence of events, which is really what the term fate means; a sequence or a series of events that is interconnected and is arranged in a specific order so that certain things happen when they’re supposed to happen. That it’s all sort of necessary, and good things can come out of positive things and bad things out of and vice versa.
LS: Right, for sure. I really agree because as someone who I personally was not– I was interested in religion as a topic, but not apt to be very faith-based in terms of just taking things at faith, like you’re supposed to believe this is the way the world works. So in that sense when I got into astrology, this was actually kind of a revelation of like, “Okay, this is something that I can actually see working and therefore it is some proof that there’s some sort of plan going on,” you know? And you don’t know the details behind that, necessarily. So I think that you have to think that that’s a good piece. I think another piece of the not cowering in fear is, if you’re not already decided that everything is faded, there is a way in which seeing things ahead of time can be very beneficial as well because you can then try to work with it. I mean, many people do think of it that way especially in modern astrology. You think, “I see this transit coming up and I want to know about that transit ahead of time so that I can work with it to the best of my ability.” And some things maybe will definitely happen no matter what, but I think that I still feel that way in terms of internal reactions. Because upcoming movements in astrology can correlate with you feeling a certain way as well. And so even whether or not you can change events that are related to those things, I think you can to some degree work with it internally. I mean, some will be harder than others, obviously. But you can go, “I’m apt to feel really impatient right now. It’s good for me to know that, so that I can try to mitigate that to the best of my ability.” Doesn’t necessarily change everything in the world, but I think that’s still useful application as well in terms of looking ahead.
CB: Yeah. And internally you have some control over things even though you might have certain predispositions internally even, but also externally in terms of- There’s gonna be different types of events and some of them are going to be more negotiable and some of them are not in terms of if it’s a surmountable issue that you just need to put effort into and then you’ll overcome. Like, let’s say you’re having a Saturn transit in the day chart and Saturn is relatively well-placed in your chart and it’s like an area of struggle, but then through much effort and sacrifice or what have you, you eventually are able to overcome the difficulty and become stronger as a result of it. It’s like that is a class of possible outcomes for certain placements and then there’s like another class of outcomes, which are just like no matter how hard you try you can’t proceed further in that area, or you’re just sort of shut down or said No to in that area of your life regardless of how badly you want it. And sometimes figuring out which of those two, though, is tricky and you don’t always know even if there are markers for which way it should go astrologically in some instances.
LS: Right. That’s something to draw out explicitly as well, that even if you think there’s the idea of something’s being fated, it’s not necessarily so, that everything is the same amount of faded, you know? It’s another possibility. That would be another reason to look ahead.
CB: Okay. Maybe that’s it. And that’s something I’ve come to realize that maybe freewill lies in the astrologer’s inability to say for certain exactly what will take place in the future. And in that, there is a certain amount of freedom and there may still be guidelines there, you may still know the general scope or range of things, but your inability to ever fully know precisely in detail because we’re not looking at like a crystal ball here that shows like a movie of exactly what’s going to happen in the future, we’re looking at a set of symbols, sometimes complex and sometimes very specific overlapping symbolism, but symbolism, nonetheless, that has to be interpreted and could mean different things. And in that, a person should always have a certain amount of reservation about getting too hung up on knowing for sure that this exact outcome is definitely going to be the case. And there’s some freedom in that.
LS: I agree.
CB: Okay. Did we answer that question or the second one at least?
LS: I think we answered the second one. A lot of that touched on things involving the first one, although I did want to address something specifically about.
CB: About having friends that are having babies or getting married in the atrocious astrological weather. We used an analogy in the forecast episode about this, where Kelly used like a hurricane analogy and I sort of expanded that and said, you know, sometimes a hurricane will hit a neighbourhood and the entire neighbourhood will be flattened, but there’ll be that one house that’s just standing there with just a few scratches on it. Sometimes I kind of relate that to, you know, there can be bad weather astrologically like right now with the Mars retrograde square Saturn and Mercury is about to go retrograde opposite Uranus and just all sorts of crazy stuff going on, but for some people that’s hitting their chart in a certain way– their natal chart– where Jupiter is like trining all their stuff right now and none of their difficult placements are getting hit as badly. You know, there’s a certain level where all boats sort of rise in high tide or whatever the phrase is. There’s some individual people that are going to fare better even in what is difficult astrological weather for the masses.
LS: Definitely. Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. Also in terms of people getting married or something like that, I always think about, you know, that’s the general weather that you’re seeing with the transits that are going on for the macrocosm. And it will hit everyone’s chart in some place but in addition to it hitting some of them in more acute places than others or more obscure in contrast, everyone has their own timing going on. I’m thinking, like I look at someone’s Zodiacal releasing with a lot of eros for relationships, maybe this is like the best time of their life for relationships. And so they did indeed just meet someone and they want to get married, and it’s actually going to be great for them. So it’s not only the ongoing transits that have something to say about the experience. And I think that’s important to remember in not assuming that this wouldn’t necessarily be terrible for your friends or whoever you’re thinking about. There’s always everyone’s individual timing going on in addition to the macrocosmic weather, and there’s always multiple factors going on. That’s just one piece.
CB: Yeah. It’s tricky because part of the answer is like you shouldn’t be too judgmental or too jumpy into conclusions. Certainly, if somebody initiates something right now, it’s going to build in some of the quality of this moment in a way that’s challenging or potentially difficult in some sector of their chart, whether it’s a birth chart or whether it’s an electrical charge for a wedding or something like that. But that may not be something that’s fully structurally wrong if it’s not like placed in a certain way that’s prominent in the chart. It may be something that’s relegated to some relatively minor area of the life that comes up in the future that’s like a hassle, but is not a complete deal breaker necessarily and it may not mean that that thing shouldn’t have happened during that time. That’s one of the things we struggle with as electional astrologers and struggle with, is just have to be reminded of– and that we were reminded of this month– is just sometimes you have to do things, and you can’t just put your life on hold if everything is not optimal.
LS: Right. That also gets to the more core issue that is fundamental to astrology which is, are you trying to maximise all of the time and the best things in life? Or do you understand that sometimes things can be hard but still meaningful?
CB: But still worth it?
LS:Yeah, still worth it or still meaningful in some way? Or even if they’re things that befall you and you’re not happy about them, can there be something meaningful about that? I certainly don’t glorify suffering but, you know, there can still be meaning in things that are hard and things that you can’t avoid. And there are always things you can’t avoid, you can’t maximise everything. That’s the other important piece of this, is like not to get– and I’m definitely speaking to myself here as well, you know, because I would have some of the same thoughts if I heard someone was about to get married and it was terrible weather, you know, especially doing Electional astrology. But maybe someone gets married and maybe they’re married for eight years, and it’s a hard relationship but then they have a child out of it and that was actually the ultimate purpose. Or they learned something important about what not to do in relationships and then they have a very happy second marriage or, you know? There’s so many things like that. So, I’m not saying run full force towards the hardest things, but just remember that you can’t control everything in life through astrology.
CB: So you’re predicting anybody that gets married right now is going to be divorced in eight years?
LS: [laughs] No. No, I’m not. [laughs]
CB: I just want to make sure I’m clear, for the record.
LS: No, I’m definitely not. I’m speaking the different possibilities. The first one that I spoke about the Zodiacal releasing was that someone gets married and lives very happily for the next several decades together. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. There’s just different things in the Natal chart or in the Zodiac release. The timelord periods can be overriding factors, and sometimes that can be sufficient to override it and make that period great for them versus everyone else, which I’ve brought up on the forecast but just reminds me of how there’s so much difficulty and suffering this year if you’re just thinking of the masses and large groups of people having died, for example in the US due to COVID. But then there’s whatever wealthy investors that have become more rich this year because they, whoever the genius was that wasn’t me– I wish it was because I’ve been using it for several years– who’s been using Zoom, for example. I remember we’ve been using that for like five years now. It was referred to me, I think, at a NORWAC by the curious Sutherlin astrologer. That was like five years ago so I’ve been using it since then as an alternative to Skype, and then all of a sudden now everyone’s using Zoom this year and the stock just shot up. So occasionally, people that do very well not just despite negative circumstances but sometimes as a result of negative circumstances. And that’s actually a talk that I’m developing for the Northwest Astrological Conference next May. It’s going to be on malefics because there’s this recurring statement in some of the Hellenistic texts that [00:48:14]. He says that Saturn when it’s well placed in a chart signifies benefits to the native that occur as a result of the detriment of other people or something like that. And I thought that was a really interesting perspective on what it means for malefic to be well placed in a chart. It’s something I’ve been exploring for the past few years and want to go through and explore with more example charts, like the way that malefics can sometimes be beneficial in this highly specific way and how you can identify a scenario in a chart where something’s good for you even if it’s not good for somebody else.
CB: Yeah. Okay. Did we at all answer that question efficiently?
LS: I think so. Yeah. In terms of the having babies, I mean, that’s talking about whole new birth charts, right? I think that that really gets into fatedness for me. Like, how many people are just, for whatever reason, fated to be born with certain things in their charts?
CB: Yeah, definitely. It kind of reminds me. There’s one friend of ours earlier this year, who was born with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction and then interestingly had a baby with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction at the same time. Obviously, there’s been a lot of chaos this year surrounding that, but it’s interesting seeing some of those chart signatures passed down from generation to generation and maybe that happening in a certain context with what’s going on in society. But yeah, it doesn’t always necessarily have to be terrible for the native themselves. All right, let’s move on to some other questions.
LS: Okay. Who would you like to talk about next?
CB: Yeah, there was a lot of sect questions. I think you wanted to answer some of those, right?
LS: Yeah, there were several and so I thought that we should at least just touch on that. There were several questions regarding… Let me find them here. Do you have them in front of you?
CB: Yeah, one of them.
LS: Oh, here. “I’d love to hear y’all talk about charts with the Sun near the horizon, and best ways to determine whether the chart operates as a day or night chart. I keep seeing these in my practice and I’m curious how others handle them.”
CB: That was from Twitter from @corporealcancer.
LS: And then there were two others that were very similar.
CB: Right. So @lunargemini on Twitter says, “I’d love to hear your take on sect and sunrise/sunset charts.” Katie Deaton on Facebook says, “I saw some others mentioned this on Twitter but I thought I’d drop in here too. Strategies for determining night/day sect when somebody is born very close to dawn or dusk.” So the short version of this is most people will say it becomes a day chart as soon as the Sun hits the degree of the Ascendant wherever the degree of the Ascendant is, because that’s the horizon and as soon as the Sun hits the Ascendant it sort of breaks the horizon and moves upwards above the Ascendant. And the body of the Sun becomes visible and that’s definitely a day chart, versus it becomes a night chart when the Sun in the evening hits the degree of the Descendant and then moves fully below it. Because once it moves fully below it, the body of the Sun sets under the western horizon. But the history in that, there’s at some point five or six years ago– and you can probably listen back to this in certain episodes of the podcast when I started working on it– but I think it started with a chart of George Lucas, where I started noticing some charts with the Sun just barely below the horizon, especially when it was near the degree of the Ascendant that were behaving like the charts even though the Sun technically hadn’t risen over the horizon or over the degree of the Ascendant yet. And there were some of them– his was the most extreme case because I think it was slightly like five degrees off, five degrees below the degree of the Ascendant, but getting ready to rise basically in the morning. It still seemed like it was behaving like a day chart, and especially the Zodiacal releasing periods were working better when I used the day chart calculation for a lot of spirit.
There’s different complications and arguments surrounding that but the conclusion I ended up coming to was there was a range of several degrees where if the Sun was within that range, what happens is if you go out in the morning, and every astrologer should do this. They should go out, wake up early some day, which is harder for some like myself who are not morning people, but wake up super early, take Astrology app either on your phone or take your laptop outside about let’s say 30 minutes or an hour before sunrise and just sit out there for an hour or two during the course of sunrise and look at the chart. And keep animating or refreshing the chart every five minutes or so, and see what it looks like outside just visually in terms of how bright it is as the Sun is at different spots. What happens is, you’ll notice that once the Sun gets within five or six degrees of the Ascendant getting ready to rise from underneath the horizon, it gets really bright out even if the Sun hasn’t broken the horizon yet. And I think that’s why some charts in my experience start acting like day charts even if the Sun isn’t fully at the Ascendant yet. So I usually use a range of like, I don’t know, five or six degrees tops right now typically for that.
LS: You remember there was some really early flight we had to go on before we started deliberately choosing to avoid those to a conference or something. We’re sitting on a parking lot outside of a breakfast place near the airport watching the Sun come up and we’re like, “Okay, how many degrees is it? Look how bright it is out here.” [laughs] So, yeah. In practice, and I feel a lot more comfortable with this now since I’ve worked with many more people over the past several years with kind of questionable day/night chart status, and I think it’s about similar within five or six degrees. But I always test it within that range. And I think a couple other things are important to note. First, you can’t have a no sect chart, you can’t be in-between. I think this is something that sometimes people raise because it is-
CB: Sometimes they think it’s both or something?
LS: Yeah, or that they have some special liminal status. And I can understand that just from a common sense perspective, because it does seem kind of liminal. But in practice, it always does act more like a day chart or a night chart. And we’re going to talk in a minute about how you might test that but that’s important to note. The second thing I’ve noticed a lot and I think you’ve mentioned this as well is the Ascendant side seems to have more of a range below the Descendant. When you get to the descendant, it’s switch is much more quickly.
CB: Yeah. Definitely on the Ascendant side, like two to three degrees, it’s definitely typically acting like a day chart if it’s within two to three degrees below. And sometimes the range can extend up to five or six degrees in some instances. So the range is considerably somewhat wide, but then on the descendant when the Sun has set below the horizon, for some reason the range seems to be tighter and it’s more like up to three degrees or maybe two to three degrees.
LS: Yeah, I totally agree. And I’ll always test it on either side. But that’s just another important detail to note as well that there is a wider range on the Ascendant side.
CB: Yeah, that reminds me to look up a chart I meant to check that relates to that but go on.
LS: Okay. In terms of testing it, because I think that’s the first thing to note was just what is the kind of possible range where it could go one way or the other? Or it could technically look like a night chart but it’s actually a day chart with a Sun rising. That’s the first piece. The second is, how do you test that? Because you should always test it with the person to confirm whether it’s acting like a day or a night chart. That’s the second piece. And I primarily do that. You need to kind of be comfortable with the benefics and malefics. So basically, Jupiter will always be the most positive placement all other factors being equal in a day chart. Venus, conversely, in a night chart. And then Mars will always be the most challenging placement in a day chart, again, all other factors being equal. There are some mitigations that can change this, which is troublesome if you’re trying to check out the sect. And then Saturn is the more challenging one for night charts.
So you want to ask questions of the client of this as a client or of yourself if it’s your chart, particularly in terms of the houses those four are placed in, and which area between the Venus and the Jupiter placement the person has typically had the best experiences with, and conversely the hardest experiences with Mars versus Saturn. And then you also want to look at the houses that each of those rules. Usually if you keep asking questions about all of those possibilities, where the houses that those are placed in and rule, you get some sense of which it seems to be.
CB: Yeah, definitely. That’s one of our main rules for chart rectification, especially deciding between one rising sign or another if you just have two options is looking at where the most positive planet and the most negative planet is by house placement in those two different charts. And that’s a quick and easy way because it’s such a reliable thing typically that if you have a day chart, the most positive planet’s Jupiter and the most challenging planet is Mars. If you are a night chart the most positive planet is Venus and the most challenging planet is Saturn. And you can get a lot of mileage just out of that basic distinction.
LS: Do keep an eye out, though, for major mitigations. For instance, if someone has a probable night chart but Saturn is exalted in Libra and, you know, enclosed by Venus and Jupiter… Like, “Okay, that’s not going to be that hard,” and so you’re going to have to investigate other areas.
CB: Yeah, that was a major thing that you found, especially in your Saturn return- I’d found and you’d also found, and we’d talked about in some of the Saturn return work that it’s very relevant for people now that people with night charts tended to have typically more challenging Saturn returns. But one of the major mitigating factors is if the planet had Zodiacal dignity if Saturn was well placed by sign, either being in one of its domiciles and Capricorn or Aquarius, or being in the sign of its exultation which is Libra. And those cases would often come off as not like the worst-case scenario even if it was a challenging transit.
LS: Those who are having close aspects with the benefics or having reception with its ruler and things like that can definitely offset what you’re looking at. But by and large, that’s going to be an outlier anyway, that someone’s malefic sect effect is hugely mitigated. You can use these for and kind of start narrowing it down. It is very dependent on the person’s self assessment of their own life.
CB: Which is always completely objective.
LS: [laughs] Right. So there can be issues still because… Yeah, we’ve talked about that before, actually. But you can. Most of the time, you can figure it out.
CB: Yeah, you can. A person can.
LS: A person can.
CB: Yeah. That’s always one of my favourite things about doing astrology with client’s stuff is sometimes just people having a hard time looking at their life objectively and taking certain things for granted, both negative things sometimes they take for granted as well sometimes positive things, and universalizing those experiences and just assuming it’s the same for everybody. Fortunately, that may be an issue that we run into as blind spots that you have if you’re trying to rectify your chart using this technique, because you might not recognise how that area of your life has actually been more positive than it is for most people or that area of your life has been more challenging than it is for most people. In some instances, you might want to call a lifeline. Is Who’s a Millionaire callouts still relevant in 2020?
LS: [laughs] I’m not sure it is.
CB: You have never seen that show. Okay. So that’s definitely not relevant. So whatever the 2020 reference is to phoning a friend to get some objective advice, like another astrology, a friend that might be helpful in evaluating your life and evaluating some of those placements to see which ones are working more positively or negatively.
LS: There are so many benefits to talking through some of this with another person because they cannot only ask questions that you might not think of, but they might also hear you touch on something that’s important that you might not have like noticed yourself. And this will happen actually if you do try to talk through these placements with someone to try to figure out whether it’s a day or night chart or in rectification. I’ve had that experience where I’m trying to figure out if someone’s eighth house ruled by Jupiter is one of their best areas, and they’re like, “No, nothing really.” And then sometime later on in the conversation, they’ll be like, “Oh, but I did inherit five houses once.” [laughs]
CB: My grandmother died and left me $100,000, but that was just a thing that happens as one does. [laughs]
LS: Right. Yeah, I’ve had that happen with inheriting houses and things. It’s like, “Okay, well not everyone inherits houses, so that’s important.”
CB: Right. Lisa Marie Presley is my example for that with Jupiter in the day chart and the second house, the ruler of the second and the eighth and ruler of the eighth and the second and all that happened.
LS: I feel like she wouldn’t have noticed that inheritance was a positive thing.
CB: Yeah, that’s a good point. She wouldn’t have taken that for granted.
LS: Well, because that’s such an outlier.
CB: She inherited like $25 million or something in Elvis’s estate the day she turned 25.
LS: Right. And the problem is usually for most everyday people, it’s going to be more measured than that, even if it is still one of their most positive areas. Like you were just saying like inheriting $100,000, well, you know, maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal to someone, but it’s more than… Some people don’t inherit anything.
CB: That’s funny because there was a review of my book once that was a negative, it was one of the few negative reviews of my book. And one of the chart examples, he criticized one of the chart examples which was Lisa Marie Presley. Well, he used an example where this person turned 25 and they went into a second house profection year and they inherited $25 million. But everyone doesn’t do that and everybody has a second house profection year at the age of 25. But what they didn’t evidently understand about that entire chapter of the book was the whole premise was it depends on and how your natal chart is set up. And if you have certain placements that show a predisposition for that, then at that time at certain ages, those are going to be the opportunities where the potential or the natal promise can be unlocked and sort of awakened. But if you don’t have those placements, then that’s going to come and go and may not be a big thing for you. It’s sort of an integral whole piece of that how that system works.
LS: I feel like this is actually something that comes up a lot, people sort of negating or sort of blowing off one particular rule of astrology of traditional astrology in particular because it doesn’t work in isolation. There seems like this has come up with benefics and malefics, it’s come up with good and bad houses, it’s come up with profection. It’s come up with every single piece that I’ve seen actually. Because it’s always necessary to combine them all together, and they all kind of alter each other’s function and you have to be able to synthesize all those rules.
CB: Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the reasons despite everyone’s protest and saying I should break it up, I wanted to put everything in my book so that you had an overview of the entire system. Because I feel like it’s only once you have an overview of the entire system and all of those different pieces and see how they work together that you can really assess the system that was ancient astrology, especially Hellenistic astrology, which was the central core and the starting point of all subsequent traditions of Western astrology. You’ve gotta see the whole system laid out in front of you. And if you only have like parts of it, it’s kind of hard to assess.
LS: It’s hard to assess, and it’s also easier to dismiss. Like this doesn’t work because this example.
CB: Right. Which is what that person that was citing did. They were like, “Well, profections doesn’t work because everybody gets that at 25.”
LS: Right, right. I mean, that actually reminds me of one of the other questions here, I don’t know if you want to go into that one next.
LS: It was about the houses, about the sixth, eighth, 12th houses.
CB: Did we answer the other one sufficiently? Just there’s a range, it’s probably like five to six degrees by the Ascendant, two to three degrees give or take by the Descendant, still some research needs to be done there, but it does seem tighter and that it’s going to be one or the other. And unfortunately if you’re in that range, you’re going to have to rectify the chart basically, especially using the benefics and malefics and sect. And not just the natal placements, because sometimes that can be kind of subjective, but also look at the transits, whole sign transits through certain houses like Saturn transits that last two or three years through the whole sign houses and see if that was constructive, slow building, minor setback but ultimate success or was this major hurdles that you ran into and blockages that you couldn’t surmount, insurmountable difficulties versus if you were having that with certain Mars transits, especially a retrograde. Retrograde Mars periods are really great periods to know if you have a day chart because the people that have day charts sometimes the ones that run into like major issues sometimes in that area of their life of whatever house it’s transiting through.
LS: Yeah, that’s true. Although, don’t get derailed by sometimes it also being difficult for night chart people, which is not the same level of difficult in the end.
CB: Yeah. And that’s where needing objective other astrologer to talk to can be really useful in trying to get some objective feedback about that.
LS: Right. And on the flip side, this is actually like a pretty common truism. Jupiter transits are often disappointing for night chart people, because they’re actually not as amazing as people make them out to be. And maybe one little good thing will happen, but it’s not like people are just like, “Oh really? That’s supposed to be Jupiter transit that nothing happened,” versus day chart people, they usually do have something notable that happened if you draw their memory.
CB: Yeah. And the night chart people get the more positive Venus transits, and especially like Venus retrogrades, which last for like 40 days, even though it seems shorter than a Jupiter transit and people feel like they didn’t win out in that equation. It still actually ends up balancing out. Okay. So I think that’s good for sect. What was the next one you wanted to answer?
LS: So the difficult houses. There were a few about this. One was Kelly Holder on Facebook said, “Can you talk about the domicile lord of the Hour-Marker being in a difficult house. For example, Scorpio rising with Mars i the 12th. Amelia [Merick] said, “Also what if both benefics are in domicile, etc, but in shitty places like the sixth or eighth, in tangible terms, how does that make them show up much better situations for the house they’re in or just weaker benefics in general.” And Carly Lynn on Facebook also said, “How do exalted dignified planets function in difficult houses, 12th, sixth, and eighth?” And this has actually come up like a lot that I’ve seen. And I had actually mentioned it on Twitter recently, because I had seen some discussions around this as well.
CB: It’s come up a lot for you in client charts?
LS: No, in discussion, I feel like a lot of people are asking about this lately
CB: Of what to do with malefics when they’re dignified and in bad houses or what?
LS: Just about placements in the so-called bad houses in general. And are they always like… Do they always work out in a bad way or are there better ways they can work out? And kind of look, what do you do with those so-called bad houses?
CB: Okay, all right. Take it away.
LS: Okay. You said you didn’t feel as strongly about answering this one.
CB: It’s just a tricky question and don’t know if I have like final thoughts on this yet, because it’s still an area of further research as I bounce back and forth between and try to synthesize in my own practice the modern and ancient approaches with the modern approaches being like, “There’s good things that come out of every placement, and you can make the most out of everything and everybody,” is just has different strengths and weaknesses. There are strengths in different areas and everything can be a strength, whereas the ancient approach is just like, “No, there’s some things that are just really difficult and bad and problematic and you can’t get around that too much with some room for mitigations and things like that.”
LS: Yeah. I mean, I feel like in client charts as well I’ve seen a big range and so much, and this is kind of touching back on what we were talking about a few minutes ago. So much depends on synthesizing all of the different pieces of assessing quality because it does depend on whether it’s a benefic or even the benefic of the sect or something in a bad house. It does depend on whether there’s mitigation, it does depend on if something in one of those houses is exactly configured to the Midheaven degree.
CB: Yeah, that’s huge.
LS: It’s huge, yeah. So there’s still a big range, and it doesn’t have to be just Pollyannaish thinking about a big range possibility. Qualitatively and factually speaking, there is a big range of potential manifestations, and it depends a lot on these specifics. So I would say in terms of just things being placed, benefics, let’s talk about the benefics first, benefics being placed in those houses.
CB: So benefics in difficult houses, especially the sixth, eighth or 12th.
LS: Yes. So I think the sixth, the eighth and 12th and to some degree the second are all considered more difficult houses because they don’t have a whole sign aspect to the Ascendant. And so that’s considered kind of not as operative. And so that’s one piece. They all those still have a of things that are kind of harder. So they’re also, especially the sixth, eighth and 12th, they contain some of the objectively harder subjects in life. So for instance, the eighth contains death and sometimes traumas, the 12th contains suffering, sometimes mental health difficulties, sometimes long lasting physical health difficulties, estrangement, those fun topics.
CB: Right, loss, self undoing.
LS: Yeah, things where you’re separated from society. So hospitals go there, prisons go there.
CB: Yeah, isolation,
LS: Yeah, isolation, and the sixth can be illness. That’s probably one of the biggest problems with the sixth, as well as subordination. So sometimes having more of a subordinate role than you would like in life or in your work or things like that. So they objectively contain some of the harder topics of life. And I don’t think one should blow that off because hard topics do exist in life and they exist for some people more than others. But those three houses also contain some positive topics. And so this is I would say for the sixth, it can be hard work, people who really embrace hard work. Sixth can also be kind of, if it’s a better positioned sixth house can be gain through being the assistant to someone really important in the world or something like that. Also things involving like pets and animals, that sounds kind of a blow off topic, but that’s really important for some people. So I’ve seen like veterinarians or things like that in the sixth house. The eighth house, I’ve seen things like psychologists, psychotherapists can go there, people who also work in other ways besides psychology with helping people through hard things. So it’s not necessarily you going through the hard thing, sometimes it is someone who has gone through something hard who then makes their life work out of helping other people with that.
CB: Right. Yeah, like eighth, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sometimes not always, but some manifestations of people with important eighth and 12th house placements can be learning empathy through loss or through suffering or having personal experience with that, creating a sense of empathy and understanding within the person, which then allows them to go out and help other people that are dealing with loss or tragedy in a way that’s unique and that they never would’ve been able to do if they hadn’t had some personal exposure experience to that themselves.
LS: Definitely. Yeah, totally agree. Other eighth house positive topics, I’ve seen inheritance as we were just talking about.
CB: Inheritance like money from…
LS: Money from other people.
CB: From other people in general, that seems like such a broad statement, but the specific ways in which that works out are just… So there’s so many different ways that that can work out that are really entertaining to watch and interesting.
LS: No, I agree. I’ve seen people whose spouse makes a lot of money for instance.
CB: Yeah, spouse or just like I’ve seen people where other people just like throw money at that person. They go through life going from donor to donor or just people wanting to help them out. In some instances, it’s like the person is really good at like working other people and like extracting money from other people. In some other instances, it’s just like they’re lucky, and they continually find themselves at the right place at the right time with like patrons or just random people or relationships or whatever that ends up being financially beneficial to them for some reason.
LS: I’ve seen people like easily get investors for like little ideas they have and people are like, “Here, let me fund that for you, and then you can do the idea. So other people’s money is like a real positive when there’s positive stuff going on with the eighth house. Similar to that, people who work in banking or investments or things like that, they’re working with other people’s money, that can be a more neutral way of the eighth house expressing.
CB: Yeah, accountants.
LS: Accountants, yeah for sure. Accountants and banking have seen a lot with the eighth house. The 12th house, often it is the difficult topics appear in these houses. So sometimes it’s more like the topics that aren’t difficult, that fall in those houses, you get those if you have the benefics there are ruling it. Sometimes it’s simply that you still get the difficult topics, but you’re benefiting from it somehow rather than going through it yourself. So I’ve seen that a lot with the 12th house. So people who work in or volunteer in prisons rather than themselves being imprisoned. One of my favorite examples is someone who has one benefic in the 12th and the benefic of sect ruling the 12th and they were a doctor and they have hospital rounds. And so they’re getting benefit from the topic of hospital and ill health, but they themselves are not experiencing that most of the time. So that’s one of the ways in which benefics ruling those houses can work out.
CB: Yeah, that was one of my famous examples in my book of benefic ruler of the Ascendant like Jupiter ruling the Ascendant in the 10th, and it was placed in the sixth in a day chart and was also bonified by Venus. So it did like multiple stacking positive things, and the person was like a doctor and then became the head of a hospital and then became advocate for client or patient care and different things like that.
LS: Exactly. So it’s still the topic of ill health, but it’s something more positive that is expressing in that person’s life around that topic. So I think that’s one of the major ways that the benefics can play out, so those are kind of the two major ways, I guess. Yeah. So either getting more of the benefits from the difficult topics while not experiencing it most of the time yourself or the few topics that are the more positive ones that fall in those houses respectively having more focus on those. Now, I mean, that said, most people’s condition of most houses is going to be mixed to some degree or another.
CB: Yeah, and also important distinction, usually when you’re the one… When the native is themself the one actively playing a role in that house and is able to become the agent, it’s often when the ruler of the Ascendant is the one in that house versus if it’s just like things happening that aren’t necessarily the person taking it on themself to do good things in that area, that’s when it’s just some other planet like a benefic that’s there that’s not necessarily the ruler of the Ascendant.
LS: True. And then it can manifest more related to whatever house that’s ruling.
CB: Right. And the people sometimes associate with that house.
CB: Yeah. I wanted to mention one of the funny things about the 12th house that we keep continually seeing coming up in my chart is one of the issues of… Happens in the 12th house, it also happens to some extent in the fourth house, but things that are hidden that are not in the view of the native, that might be like an eighth house thing as well. I’m not fully sure. I’ve heard people say that, but it hasn’t come up as much, but definitely 12th house and 4th house things that aren’t immediately known and aren’t in the vantage point or hidden from the view of the native initially. And it can be like positive things that happen that affect your life that you don’t realize or it can be negative things that happen that affect your life that you don’t know about until later if ever. It can be important like 12th and fourth house topics.
LS: Definitely, yeah. And that reminds me actually, there’s one more positive signification of the 12th house that I didn’t mention that I see come up a lot when Jupiter or Venus are related to the 12th. And that is sort of positive experiential metaphysical things. So the 12th as kind of like a mystical house is really more of a modern signification of that house topic. And so I do see all of the difficult ones come up too in the 12th house. I would definitely not blow off that the 12th house contains lots of difficult topics. But when that signification comes out to me, I’ve seen that it is usually when a benefic and particularly a benefic of the sect is placed in or ruling the 12th house. And when that happens, I do see that really being a positive expression of the 12th house for that person is people who are really involved with meditation or Reiki or sort of even yoga if it’s more of a contemplative type of yoga. So basically the experiential things that kind of blur boundaries of like you and the universe I see being a positive thing. Even magic, I see sometimes come up with the 12th house and people with the positive 12th house. So it’s not always that the 12th house means that, but I do see it happen sometimes when there’s benefics involved.
CB: Okay, yeah. And it’s such a different, so much of the traditional take on the 12th house is largely like Saturnian and then the modern take is largely Neptunian with just a couple crossovers like Rhetorius calling the 12th the place, the house in between worlds, because the native is in the process of being born and moving from whatever’s on the other side of life into life at that time. Yeah.
LS: Yeah. And I mean, so I mean, neither of them have to negate each other, both do exist in the world. It’s just a matter of the specifics of your 12th house.
CB: Right. Yeah. I also have been thinking a lot, I forget who mentioned this, but I’ve been thinking about a lot of the past year, just the notion that in the 12th house, in addition, it’s the house that rose, it was the sign that rose prior to the birth. So it somehow indicates that which happens prior to birth, but also the notion that the stars when they rise over the horizon or once the Sun rises over the horizon, all of the stars that previously were visible when they rose before the Sun suddenly become invisible and sort of disappear and get hidden due to the Sun’s rays and due to the daylight sort of blocking everything out. And that potentially being part of where some of the hidden sort of significations of the 12th house come from.
LS: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
CB: Yeah, but that just thinks… I mentioned on the forecast, but I should reiterate it here since the forecast will have a shorter shelf life and this will be around for a while. But one of my examples of that 12th house thing was the Mars retrograde having transiting Mars go through my third house, a short distance travel, and then squaring the ruler of my third house, which is in my 12th house. And literally on that day, my car was towed and taken to impound, the plates were expired or something like that, just barely. But I didn’t know about it because of the coronavirus and everything and not using the car as much. We found out like a month later, three weeks later, something like that. And then laughed when we were able to look at the exact chart for the exact moment when the car was impounded, because it was written down electronically when they took it in. And that it was the exact day that transiting Mars squared the ruler of my third house at that time. So, again, just going back to that idea of sometimes something negative or challenging or the opposite, sometimes it’s something positive can happen, but with 12th house placements, you may not know about it until later on.
LS: Right, and that can be good or bad. It can be positive things happening in the background that you don’t know about. I mean, that is where the… I think one of the reasons the signification of called enemies goes in the 12th house, it’s often people kind of working against you, but you don’t always see it in your face right away. It’s like often in the background.
CB: Yeah, exactly, as opposed to people that are more obviously front and center opponents or something like that. Yeah, all right. Did we answer that sufficiently? There was like a few questions there.
LS: So we answered the benefics in the hard houses or exalted dignified planets. I think that extends to some degree to that. I mean, I do think once you start getting a mixed condition and it’s not just about the benefics, then you do get a mix of those topics. And that’s pretty common for most people, right? Most people can’t avoid all difficulty in life. And these are some of the places where you see it crop up. So if you have a mixed condition, you’ll probably get some of the good things out of those houses and some of the challenging things. And I think that would be true, even if you had exalted or dignified planets there, although that would give you the opportunity to have some of the better things come out in addition to the benefic ones. We didn’t address the domicile lord of the Hour-Marker being in a difficult house. Well, you did mention that in passing.
CB: Yeah, just the idea that sometimes that’s when the person takes on more of the agency of if it’s a benefic, sometimes doing good things in that area like the doctor that had the ruler of the Ascendant in the sixth, then they were helping people who were ill rather than it being something negative about the person themself becoming ill.
LS: Yeah, and I think if your Ascendant ruler is in one of those houses, those are just some of the topics that will come to the forefront a little bit more in your life versus maybe the average person. The focus of your life will be drawn a little bit more towards at least one if not more of those topics. It’s not necessarily all of the topics of that house.
CB: Yeah. And sometimes the significations either being internalized, is that something you deal with in some way internally or sometimes you become the agent and they’re somehow externalized and you become the agent in terms of carrying out something that matches or is in accord with the significations of that house in your life and in the lives of others.
LS: Yeah, definitely. And it is often a mix I would say in terms of the specifics, unless it’s like an extreme quality, either extreme negative or extreme positive. But I know that, for example, someone when I was talking about this on Twitter replied and says, “Yes, that’s dead on. My Ascendant ruler is in the 12th. And I have on the one hand had a lot of experience with both mental health and physical health challenges that keep me kind of isolated from people. But I also have a lot of positive experiences with those kind of metaphysical topics that are very meaningful to me. So it can be things like that.
CB: Yeah, definitely. All right. Anything else about those? Or what other question? Maybe we should move on.
LS: Yeah, I think we’re done with that one.
CB: Okay. What is the next one we should go to?
LS: Let see. There’s one about working with children’s charts, and there’s also one about why does the wrong chart work, that I kind of wanted to address at least briefly,
CB: Yeah, let’s do both of those. I know we both had more to say about the why does the wrong chart work one.
LS: Yeah. So the question was simply, why does the wrong chart work? From [Delano Strachin] on Facebook. I’m sorry if I mispronounced that. So there is an idea floating around in astrology, at least in some circles in astrology, that even if you get the wrong data and you’re sitting with a client, that for some reason that chart will still “work” and be symbolically significant in the way that you’re talking with a person at that moment. And I don’t think there are that many proponents. I think you’d mention Geoffrey Cornelius, for instance, as a big one for that.
CB: Yeah. I mean that entire idea comes almost entirely from Geoffrey Cornelius in his book The Moment of Astrology. And he builds a central point in his entire argument in his book. I think he dedicates like a chapter to this one instance where this thing that he reports as a phenomenon, that he says that other astrologers have reported because due to chart data issues is something that people will inevitably encounter at some point, where a client will give you like the wrong data or somehow you’ll end up calculating the wrong chart and then realizing later, let’s say, during the course of the consultation or after whatever, that you were working with the wrong chart. And then you end up recalculating it, and then what happens when you’re looking at the correct chart with the correct birth data, and he reported that the wrong chart, whatever the first chart is that’s presented itself can be symbolic significant. And he tried to argue… I don’t want to repeat it because it’s been years now, but I want to say that he tried to argue that it’s just as, if not more symbolically significant than whatever the correct chart data is. And that’s become this truism then that a lot of people repeat that the incorrect chart can be just as compelling as the correct chart. And I guess that’s like the premise underlying this question I’m guessing, right?
LS: Yeah, I think so. And when I saw this, I was like, “Well, at least personally, I have a quick answer to that which is that I have not seen that to be true in my personal experiences working with clients. And thankfully of course, most of the time I’ve had the correct data. But there have been a couple instances where someone accidentally typed in the wrong number, and I didn’t find out until halfway through the consultation. I remember one where they accidentally typed in the year wrong. And so it was one year off, was the right date and month but one year off. And the person indeed did not resonate with what I was talking about for the first half of the consultation, and was kind enough to clearly express that and be like, “No, that doesn’t ring a bell at all,” which is of course pretty unnerving as the astrologer to hear that.
CB: Well, just one of the things I love actually, as a side note, about the idea that skeptics put forward that astrology is entirely a confirmation bias and that whatever you tell a person, they’ll just go along with it. Which any practicing astrologer will know just immediately is not really necessarily always true because if something’s not lining up for a person, they will tell you sometimes, especially depending on the client type, depending on their personality, some will be more forthright about letting you know that than others. But sometimes you’ll know.
LS: Yeah. And especially also if you’re soliciting that actively, does this resonate? Or in what way just does this resonate or not resonate with you? So that person thankfully was flat out like, “This doesn’t resonate at all.” And I was worried like, “What am I doing wrong?” But so halfway through, I’m like, “Let’s check the data again, is this correct?” And she read it through and she’s like, “No, that’s the wrong year.” I was like, “Ugh.” And so that was actually a formative experience in changing my protocols for always checking the data and double checking it with the person first thing when I start consultations. Although, that said, I’ve had one where I’ve even done that and they say yes, but they’re still just like looking at it really quickly and it’s still not right. So anyway…
CB: What do you mean?
LS: They say yes, that’s the correct data, but then…
CB: Oh, and then later, so they can confirm it.
LS: Later they look at it and they’re like, “Oh, actually, no, that’s not…”
CB: It was wrong. Yeah, okay.
LS: So and that’s what they’ve typed in. So I’m depending on them to type it in correctly. Anyway, thankfully that hasn’t happened often, but when it has the person has not thought that the chart was just as good as the correct birth chart. Now, I know in that one where it was a year off, then we adjusted the chart, we’re like right, you have to of course change everything on the fly and start talking without preparation for this new chart. But then when I started talking about that, she was like, “Oh yes, yes, that fits now.” So I think it’s actually somewhat erroneous the somewhat popular idea that the wrong chart can work just as closely as well as the right chart. And I think that also depends on, are you saying specific things? Are you doing the type of astrology where you’re saying somewhat specific things about these placements? Where it’s not broad enough that this could apply to most people. And in that case, it’s either true or not true for that person at least up to this point in their life.
CB: Like this has been the most difficult area of your life, and this has been the most positive area of your life or what have you.
LS: Yeah. Or your Ascendant ruler in this house and these topics should have been more important in your life so far.
CB: Yeah, I remember years ago Rob Hand addressing this in a lecture at a Northwest Astrology Conference or something. And he said something similar, he was just like, “I’ve never had a instance where the correct chart didn’t match the person’s life more and wasn’t more applicable and relevant and accurate in describing the life than whatever the initial fake chart was.” And yeah, that’s always been my experience as well, that things fall into place more when you do have the correct one. So there might be some issue where maybe sometimes an incorrect chart and whatever you end up talking about, because you’ve also got all these other layers like the consultation chart at the time and other things, where something that was said to the native, the client or whatever at that moment could have been what they needed to hear or what they didn’t need to hear. So maybe there’s other overlapping reasons why sometimes a consultation could still have symbolically significant information that was presented at that time that could be relevant. There’s also more frequently than getting the entire birth year wrong and just being way off with a chart, there can just be… More frequently it’s just like time issues where it’s like an hour off. So you have an Ascendant that’s still in the same sign, but it’s much earlier or much later or it’s like switched one sign. And so some of the transits will still be the same, and there’ll still be things you’ll talk about that will still be accurate if not precisely. So there’s different overlapping reasons why on a minor or much more restrictive level that may be true that sometimes you can still end up saying correct things indirectly, but I also don’t fully agree with that premise and I wish that it wasn’t as common. I mean, it’s one of those things I’d been meaning for years to do sort of a critique of some of Geoffrey Cornelius’s arguments, because while I respect the core of it, and I think that the core part of what he argued about astrology being divination, to some extent, I think was very important and not just influential, but also reconnected us astrologically with a huge part of our tradition and how it was originally conceptualized 2000 years ago. There were parts of that that I didn’t agree with. And the complete rejection that there’s anything objectively true about astrology to a certain extent I think is one of those things that I wish didn’t get picked up as much. There’s certain parts of his argument that I think are weaker than others, and I think that’s one of them.
LS: Yeah. And I think it’s a piece of like that argument taken to an extreme all moments are symbolically significant in some fashion and so you can work with whatever’s in front of you kind of thing.
CB: Yeah, which is it really does come from like the horary area and the divination area or the area of astrology that’s more explicitly divinatory like other explicitly divinatory things like tarot or what have you.
LS: Right. And the horary chart or the chart of the moment or the consultation chart, all of those do speak to that. I wouldn’t reject any of that. It’s just more like when you take that to the extreme, you get something like, well, even if you have the wrong birth chart, it still works.
CB: Yeah. Or that it works better, it’s like more important somehow than the natal chart, but yeah. And then it’s like rectification and other things, I can’t get away, even if I do think there’s a divinatory element to astrology. And I think that’s actually an important and maybe even overlooked underlying principle for how to understand why astrology works and how it’s valid. And also some of the ways in which astrologers might struggle to be able to legitimize astrology in terms of statistics or things like that. I still can’t get away from the idea that there’s still some objective phenomenon that’s occurring out there that is not entirely subjective and not entirely that there’s some other piece to it.
LS: Absolutely. And at the very least the birth charts represent that symbolic moment in time. And you can’t just change that to any other moment. That might be the divinatory moment is when someone is born, but then you have that chart and you can’t exchange it for any other chart.
CB: Yeah, that was the moment of birth and the moment of birth itself reflected something about the future, the quality of the native’s life as well as their future and their fate. Yeah, so that’s a whole big topic, but anyways, so the basic answer to that question is there may be different reasons why the chart might work or still contain some compelling symbolism, including the consultation chart or things like transits that can be true, even if you don’t have the exact time right. But for the most part, in our opinion at least, the correct chart is always going to be more compelling and it’s going to work better than whatever incorrect chart you’re working with. And that’s also part of our fundamental premise of like rectification and things like that, that you can find the correct chart because there’s something true about that chart that does describe the native’s life better and more, not just adequately, but is more compelling than the incorrect chart.
LS: And that is based on specifics and concrete things in the chart and not just broad sweeping. You’re shy, but you’re also outgoing kind of things that skeptics often think about.
CB: Yeah. It’s like this part of your life has been particularly fortunate and this part of your life has been particularly unfortunate in some way, and then figuring out the specific details underlying that. Okay. What was the other question that you had?
LS: It was about, where did it go? Using astrology with children, is it helpful? Is it ethical? And this was I think from a Patreon listener.
LS: [Eilish Cress]
CB: So what is the answer to that? I mean, this is tricky because like, especially in our ages, I mean, in our various ages, which I may not say, that neither of us does that much work with children or have that many friends necessarily that we’re sort of observing raise children. So it’s not as sort of personal for us as a question necessarily, but it’s an interesting abstract philosophical question sometimes.
LS: Well, so it’s come up for me a little bit. I don’t specialize in children’s charts, some people do, more of like family astrology or synastry between parents and children, that kind of thing.
CB: Yeah, or like one astrologer like Alex Trenoweth is like teaching children and is a teacher and has done talks on that on educational ways that astrology works for children.
LS: Right. And for teenagers and age cohorts like Jupiter signs and Saturn signs and things like that. So that can be really interesting, I think. So I don’t specialize in those particular topics. What I’ve done so far anyway is I have on occasion talked with parents about their children’s charts, but for me it’s always been, so far at least, it may change in the future or not, but it’s been when I’ve already had one of those parents as a client and so I’ve already had a session with them and it’s gone well and they seem grounded as people. And at the end of the session, they’re like, “So what about children’s charts?” Because they have children and they want to… And so the instances in which I’ve done sessions with someone about their children’s charts have been when I’ve already done a consult with the person and they seem grounded enough and kind of like realistic enough about these things. And also that they have too, they have some particular thing coming up where they want to help their children with some challenge that’s coming up. So I don’t usually do it out of curiosity specifically, I don’t just like, “Oh, I’m curious about what my kids’ charts are like.” I also don’t do it for very, very young children or babies thus far.
CB: Okay, so that’s a limit for you.
LS: Yes. I mean, and maybe there would be an instance in which someone would bring that where I would say yes, but so far there has not been, because I do think there’s something to be said in terms of babies or children for the first couple years or so, where there’s something probably good about parents just getting to know them as people without like having preconceptions.
CB: Yeah, without projecting ideas about who they will be or should be based on their chart. And when I think, like doesn’t Astrodienst still have that? I know they used to have that as a restriction where they wouldn’t I think offer interpretations on charts if it was under a certain number of years like under seven or something like that, which I assumed was coming from one of the psychological schools like Liz Greene or something like that.
LS: Okay. Yeah, I haven’t checked back in a while on that, but that does kind of sound familiar. So I think there’s something to be said about that. And typically, the parents I’ve also done sessions about their children’s charts for have already clearly… And this is obviously kind of a subjective sense you get through talking with someone rather than a clear bar to say, but they sound like they already know their children. They know who they are, they know what kind of personalities they have, and they’re just trying to help them more. So those are the instances in which I’ve occasionally done children’s charts.
CB: Versus like they’re like a helicopter parent and they’re trying to figure out how to micromanage their child’s life or something like that.
LS: Right. And that’s why I try to make sure the person seems grounded to begin with, that they’re going to do good things with the information rather than it’s going to be like a negative thing. Because you can see potentials for either, right?
CB: Yeah. Well, I mean, and you hope. I mean, that’s one of the few experience I’ve had that gave me pause for this is I remember years ago a friend of mine had a child and it was like their first child and it had some aspect like Mercury Neptune. And years later, I must have given some general delineation about the chart. And years later they tried to say that I had said that their child would have a learning disability or something like that, which I don’t remember like whatever the specific delineation was that I gave, but I know like 99% sure that I would not have like predicted that your child would have a learning disability. And what that meant in my takeaway from that was sometimes what the parent hears, especially if you’re talking about possible challenges or something maybe different than what you actually say to them and what you think you’re saying as the astrologer, which is always an issue you run into anyways just having clients as an astrologer and what the astrologer says versus what the person hears.
CB: But it sometimes can have greater implications if you’re talking to parents about their child in like long-term implications. And so that really did give me pause about saying things about a child’s chart to parents in the future.
LS: Definitely. Yeah, and you don’t know, even if they do seem grounded and practical and all those good things, you don’t know if there’s still potentials for that.
CB: Yeah. Well, and also what is their orientation towards astrology? How much do they know about it? How much do they not know about it? How likely are they going to take that information with a grain of salt and apply it sensibly versus are they are going to get hung up on something? There’s just like a lot of variables there. It also runs into almost this question that sometimes comes up in astrology about reading like third person charts and how appropriate or inappropriate that is. And there’s some astrologers, especially lately, that have started taking much more extreme views on that about not or in some ethical guidelines for like ISAR and stuff, I believe they say that you’re supposed to get permission to read any charts. So when it comes to parents and their children, you do run into a question there about the ethicalness to some extent of like reading the child’s chart without their consent or something.
LS: For sure. And I would worry personally about that if they were like a little older. But either way they’re going to grow up, and then at some point they may know that their parent has had a consultation about their chart. So yeah, I mean, I do remember someone, it’s kind of in the distant past, but I do remember someone saying it was a negative thing for them because their parent had done consultations or knew astrology. Not knew it well, but knew enough to go to astrologers to do consultations about her chart, about the daughter’s chart. And then the mom was kind of like neurotic about it. So I could see that potential, hopefully that doesn’t happen most of the time. But yeah, you’re not in control of that as the astrologer, what they do with that information later.
CB: Yeah. I mean, they could go either way. And I was presenting like the negative side, some astrologers take a strong negative point of view on that, but then there’s also a positive way in which it could be helpful and it could give the parent ideally in the best case scenario greater insight into the child and some of the areas of strength or challenge to help the parent better anticipate and raise the child in a way that’s conducive and helpful and nurturing to the child that they might not know or have otherwise.
LS: Right, yeah. And that’s the same premise as… What is that school, the water schools and things like that? Same kind of premise, where like different kids are different temperaments, and we want to help them in the very specific ways that they learn and grow compared to another child. Right. So it’s like there can be positives to knowing the specifics of how this child is unique or their particular tendencies or whatever. And I think in the ones that I’ve talked to, they’ve said it has been helpful in that respect. I mean, I think one caveat is that if you’re talking about children’s charts, you want to talk about everything that’s like age appropriate and sort of disregard everything that isn’t.
CB: Like what?
LS: Well, things involving perhaps like learning styles or personality traits that might be generally helpful for a parent to like work with rather than against. So maybe like their basic Ascendant, Sun, Moon. I think you get to basics oftentimes when you’re doing children’s charts and kind of interpreting them broadly so that the parent can then kind of look out for that, but not like a specific one thing. Mercury type of placements, I think for learning or communication.
CB: So maybe it’s more personality oriented rather than like predicting X will happen when the child is 45 years old or something like that.
LS: Yes, exactly. So more focused on personality, sometimes transits though, I would say. And I even had one interesting one where someone had one child who was doing really, really well in school and the other who was like exhibiting major learning difficulties and doing the opposite. And in addition to some of the basic house placements, I noticed their zodiacal releasing from spirit, this has actually been kind of fascinating looking at a few select like children’s charts with zodiac releasing, exact opposite in the ways that you would expect in terms of one child was born into the best possible one and that child was doing very, very well and excelling in school. And the other one was born into the hardest one, and I think that’s one of the places you have to obviously have more conversation before you get to that point to bring in something like that if it’s appropriate. But in this case, it was helpful to the parent who said, “Oh, okay, that’s actually really good to know, because then I can make sure to get this child more support,” more learning support, maybe some extra tutoring and things like that, because it didn’t look like it was going to suddenly become like way easier soon.
LS: So I think that was actually like a really good example of how that can be helpful.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it’s so complicated. And I feel like every answer to every question that we’ve given so far is that, and you and I probably overdo it to a certain extent and being like nuanced about everything and trying to outline both sides and seeing both sides, even if we come down on one, because there’s so many other parts of this, like what happens when you sit down to read the child’s chart and then you’re seeing like major parent stuff placements, where it’s describing the parent and their relationship with the parent and that being an area of difficulty and then questions about why is that an area of difficulty and is that an ongoing thing or describing the relationship or describing the parent themself or describing some circumstance with the parent at some point in the native’s life.
LS: Yeah. Well, and I think that is one of the reasons why for children’s charts in particular I’m much more circumscribed about what I will say and feel much more fine than I would in other consultations about leaving lots of things out. Because some of the things are not relevant yet in terms of age appropriate things. Some of them are just like that’s not what’s going to be helpful out of this consultation, even if it’s something you can see as a potential.
CB: Yeah. What is going to be useful and what’s the person like actually going to do with that information versus what is not necessarily useful?
CB: And that being a recurring issue for the astrologer not just in this situation, but in others as well.
LS: Yeah. And I always think about that with consultations, but that is definitely the area in which I feel most fine about like not saying everything that I could possibly see. Because it’s not always relevant, that’s not what they’re there for. It’s not what’s going to be actionable, those sorts of things.
CB: Yeah. I mean, I feel that way as well. I often lean more in that case when it comes to clients and stuff, and I know every time we mention this on the podcast, there’s always somebody inevitably that’s just like you should always tell the truth and say 100% of everything you see. And I just don’t feel like that’s the case all the time.
LS: No, and especially like in this kind of thing you’re talking about. What if you see like, “Okay, there’s a decent chance of like the parents getting divorced because you see that in the kid’s chart or something.” Well, that’s not helpful right now. That’s not helpful for the parent helping to guide their children in growing. It may be something that may happen down the road, it may also happen 15 years down the road. So that’s not helpful to talk about now. So, yeah.
CB: Yeah, and not wanting to create like a self-fulfilling prophecy and all sorts of complicated things.
LS: Yeah, for sure. So it is about the purpose. You don’t always have to talk about everything.
CB: So how was the question framed again?
LS: Using astrology with children, is it helpful? Is it ethical? I think you have to make sure that it’s ethical in terms of like being more careful.
CB: Yeah. You have to maybe exercise more care and caution and restraint than you might otherwise. I wonder if that’s an age thing, because I’ve already established earlier that just by experience, it’s easier to read a chart for somebody that’s older and is much further through their life because they’ve already experienced the highs and lows and they already kind of you’re just sort of confirming some things that they’re already aware of for the most part about the areas that are difficult or are more easy or fortunate for them, whereas it’s more challenging to read a chart for somebody that’s like a teenager, in their twenties or something because so much of the major events in their life may not have had happened yet in terms of like career or marriage or things like that. But maybe this is just a continued extension of that about it being more difficult in some ways reading the chart of somebody that’s even younger in their first few years of life, but also needing to exercise even more restraint because you have the potential to alter the trajectory much more depending on what you say and what you go into.
LS: Yeah, exactly. And I feel like I should throw in one more thing which I’ve been asked by a few parents to look at like the synastry between parents and children. But I really like to do that only in the same vein as we’ve been talking about recently here if they already have kind of observed what the dynamics are and then you’re just sort of like confirming it. Like okay, yes, this is a strong-willed personality who is also running up against you and is up to feel like you’re more of like a major… You’re always going to think parents are authority figures, but in some cases more than others, there’s going to be like synastry aspects where that’s going to exacerbate that a little bit more. And so yeah, and I’ve had some conversations where I’m like, “Yeah, I see that potential being kind of like an ongoing dynamic.” But it’s really tough because those were people I knew personally, where I’m like, “Okay, this is not going to make or break their relationship,” where they’re going to take this as sort of a useful confirmation. I have to be careful about this piece of our dynamic rather than use it against them or something. So it’s tough. I mean, those are some of the reasons why I don’t like to specialize in this, but I do think in select instances it can be actually helpful rather than not helpful.
CB: Yeah, definitely. If you well and carefully and like, I don’t know, judiciously, there’s positive things that you can get out of it. And what’s funny about something like this is there’s going to be people that come down on extreme sides either way, and there’s different approaches to astrology and different practices and different people put value in different things. And so more power to them. We’re trying to sort of cover both sides here and inclined towards one side or another saying, “It’s probably more helpful,” and we do this. But certainly there’s a range of different views in the astrological community.
LS: Right. And there’s one more thing, I guess, with children’s charts is you can talk about temporary influences. Usually everybody assumes you’re talking about just the birth chart itself, but you can actually say, “Okay, yeah, this kid is going to be stressed in this particular area this year and then it’ll probably lessen after this year.” And those can be helpful things to know too in terms of the transits for the parents.
CB: Yeah, definitely. Also goes back to just a principle, to me, astrology is still so much primarily like a passive spectator sport. And it’s something that’s interesting to go through life and like live life and experience, and then just sort of in parallel in the back of your mind, watching the transits and like showing how it’s lining up at certain events and how your birth chart and those indications play out in a certain ways. But you’re not necessarily always doing things differently as a result of that. And I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s useful to be an astrologer at least to give yourself some training in astrology if you’re going to try to incorporate astrology into your life because of developing more of that observational sort of mindset as well versus always attempting to control it and sort of manipulate things, using that information. Maybe that also is more just going back to my own temperament and philosophical outlook and inclining more towards Stoicism and things like that as well versus other practitioners. But that’s one of the reasons, it’s one of the ways that I think you can be more careful with astrology, is just observing the correlations and finding that fascinating and giving you insight into life as you’re living it instead of it being something that interrupts or is used to dictate one’s life or in some instances is misapplied in a way that’s problematic or dangerous.
LS: Definitely. Yeah, or just knowing timeframes for things and just going, “Okay, this is when I can expect this.” Sometimes my sister, who is not an astrologer but kind of thinks it’s interesting, will message me and be like, “Okay, are the planet’s doing bad things right now?” And I’ll be like, “Yes, yes, indeed they are.” And like, “So when is that one over?” Be like, “End of the year.” Like, “Okay, cool.”
CB: Yeah, just giving you some possible timeframes maybe sufficient and useful in and of itself and setting some low level expectations. Saturn went into Capricorn in December of 2017, and it’s been transiting this area of my chart and there’s been some challenges in this area and knowing that Saturn leaves Capricorn and that transit’s over in December of 2020. So you’ve got that three-year period and you’ve got this much more time until it’s up.
CB: Yeah, okay. So were there… I think there were other questions, right?
LS: I mean, there are other possible questions. How are we on time? How long have we been talking?
CB: We’re at one hour and 56 minutes, we’re coming up on two hours. So we might be able to fit in one or two more questions really quick.
LS: Okay. Let’s see.
CB: One of them was like the role that bias plays in astrology.
LS: Yeah. That could either be a really short or a really long answer I feel like. Let’s give our short answers.
CB: Are there good ones that have short answers? Because if not, I’ll want to come back to that one.
LS: Oh yeah, no, I meant we could give our short answer for that one. Let me see any of the other ones.
CB: The role that astrology has made a difference in people’s lives.
LS: Oh yeah. There are a couple of really meaty questions in here about the difference it’s made in people’s lives or, how has it affected or informed how you think about other things, but those are long answer questions.
CB: Yeah, let’s do the bias one because it’s actually relevant with the current election season. So the question was from Twitter at….
CB: @JsaysyayAstro, okay. Thank you. They say the role bias plays in astrology from experience with sign/placements to one’s experience with a personal transit versus someone else general transit generally just looking at the difference/separation between the astrologer versus astrology or just however you view it.
LS: Yeah. So I think that’s speaking to not just bias in terms of like your politics or things like more overt like that, but also more subtle potential biases. Like if you personally have certain placements in your chart and you’ve experienced them a certain way or had certain transits versus not had other transits or have friends versus enemies with different placements.
CB: Yeah. If you’ve been in like a relationship with somebody that has certain placement and it like went bad and therefore you don’t like that placement or you associate that placement with some negative experience you had or something like that.
LS: Right, as one example.
CB: Yeah. But the election thing, I think, this is a really pertinent question right now because it’s one of those times when it becomes really evident when you start seeing all over social media and especially blogs and YouTube channels, you start seeing astrologers issue like predictions about the outcome of things like presidential elections. And sometimes it becomes clear that the astrologer’s personal politics are interfering with in some way or influencing in some way, let’s say, what their prediction is. And we’ve also noticed this just become an issue over the past few years, especially with political astrology, but just with the news in general, where like astrologers need context in order to interpret a chart and in order to interpret planetary alignments, and their range of possible predictions of possible outcomes is entirely predicated on the context of their starting point and what they’re taking into account as possible outcomes. So from a practical standpoint, they have a range of possible scenarios that will happen when you’re talking about a specific event. And then they try to use the astrology to narrow down based on the range of scenarios that they think are plausible or within their field of view what the most likely outcome will be. But the problem is that– it’s almost like an unreliable narrator problem that you have in stories or movies and stuff, which is the range of possible outcomes and scenarios entirely depends on what news and information you’re taking into account and therefore, what your expected outcomes might be, like what range of scenarios is limited by the news and information that you regularly are taking into account, and what scenarios are being outlined as a result of that. But if there’s any bias that goes into that, which there often is in terms of the news and information that a person takes into account, then that’s going to affect the range of scenarios that you can attempt to anticipate as an astrologer.
All right, so I was saying that– we took a little bit of a break there– I was saying that the news and information that a person takes in affects and directly outlines the range of possibilities that they consider when they’re looking at the astrology, just like in the same way that when you’re looking at a chart, you need to know if it’s the chart of a human or a turtle, or if it’s the chart of an event, like a city or a marriage or what, to provide you the context with which you’re going to try to interpret the chart and make specific statements about possible outcomes in different parts of the life of whatever that entity is. Anyways, in the same way, obviously especially in the US, every four years it becomes very obvious and it’s become increasingly obvious over the past decade that the media that a person consumes affects the range of possibilities that they’re going to consider for making political predictions based on what what options they even think are possibilities, basically. Yeah, that starts becoming really obvious in this other non political context in which I’m sure it’s relevant as well. I mean, it’s one of the areas where, I guess from a social standpoint, where it’s become more important about different groups wanting to broaden the nature of the discourse in the astrological community when it comes to things like sexual orientation, for example, where so many of the delineations, let’s say 30 or 40 years ago, were written specifically assuming that the readers are heterosexual or something like that, versus not necessarily being able to take that for granted obviously in 2020, and needing to adapt the astrology to remove, to some extent, that level of bias or at least take into account that potential bias on the part of the person. That’s an obvious example of where bias comes into play. Politics is another and we’ll see a lot of that soon.
LS: Yeah, I’ve definitely seen that jump out lately, probably even more so than four years ago. You could see it some four years ago, I’m not sure before that. I’m sure it’s always been an issue but it seems like it is an increasing issue, like you said, because of kind of people are taking as factual information wherever they’re getting their news. And sometimes it’s not reporting all the same things.
CB: Yeah. And the news itself has become much more polarised. It used to be a little bit more, let’s say, homogenous if that’s the right word.
LS: Yeah. Well, on things specifically at least in the US, like the fairness doctrine that got knocked down at some point– I forget what year that was. News channels used to have to report people on different sides of a spectrum or things like that, or there were specific rules that aren’t there anymore. And so people can sort of say more of what they want and that might be straight news and that might actually be more editorialising than one might realise if they’re watching it over the course of a long time. Anyway, yeah, that hugely matters because then people take that as their starting point for interpreting the symbology of astrology, interpreting what’s going on now or what’s going on for the election or that kind of thing? And I think, to some extent, I mean, the question is always around this kind of thing like, “Is it possible to remove that? Is it possible to be completely objective?” I think it’s not as possible if people aren’t getting all of the same information, or aren’t believing the same information. I think that’s one piece. Beyond that, some people are going to be either more intentional about trying to step outside of what they personally want to happen. And some people are going to be also- The intention is one piece, and then some people are actually going to be better at enacting that than other people.
CB: Yeah. I mean, being free of bias is definitely something to strive for and to attempt to accomplish to some extent, because presumably your ability to delineate the astrology- And I always bring up this quote from Zoller because it was one of the few things that he said to me that always really stuck with me when I lived in the same houses him in the mid 2000s. But Robert Zoller said– he had this thing that always sounded like… I was considered it to be extremist astrology at the time and found it distasteful– but he said that the astrology was the only true measure of reality, and the astrology was always reflecting the truth about what was going on in reality. And that you had to just say what the astrology said even if it didn’t seem to be the case or something like that, because it was everything else that would get in the way. Or something like that, I’m actually not repeating it very correctly now. But his point of view was just that the astrology is always correct. And yeah, I found I’ve become more amicable to that point of view over the past decade and a half than I was at the time, because of seeing the way that our own biases act as a lens through which we view everything including the astrology, and how sometimes that can work against us in terms of accurately making correct predictions about what will happen in the future.
LS: Yeah. I think that’s all true. There’s a certain extent, though, in terms of that like, multiplicities of manifestations kind of thing, where even if you’re trying to very clearly see the astrology, there’s still some different shades of what that might mean, or different specifics of what that might mean. I see this a lot, for instance, when people are talking about political events and they say, like, they see a Neptune thing. And Neptune thing is either to one person, there’s delusion going on with this person, you know? Or to someone else, it’s like this person is really idealist and wants to work for the good of everyone with fewer sort of ego-driven motivations. You could back either of those up probably with whatever you want to. So those are just some of the ways I see that it’s not always 100% free of bias even when you want to be.
CB: Right. Bias is context. What your bias is is the context with which you’re approaching the chart and everybody’s gonna approach a chart with some kind of bias or some kind of context, that’s gonna incline you in a certain direction. As the astrologer, of course, ideally you’re going to work as much as you can to counteract that and I do think that is possible to a certain extent. And it’s important sometimes to step outside of yourself and consider possibilities that are possible astrologically, but that for some reason, you might be limiting yourself due to your own biases in seeing or considering as possible outcomes. Yeah. 2016 election was a great example of that where the whole election was so crazy in the way that everything happened relatively quickly and unexpectedly with Trump’s rise, you know, caught a lot of people off guard and there were some astrologers that were just like, that’s just not plausible that Trump would be president was some people’s blind spot or something, both Republicans as well as Democrat astrologers in the US. A lot of people were surprised that actually did become the case, and therefore anybody that was ruling that out on any conscious level or even subconscious level, that level of bias was factoring into their ability to make a correct prediction. So, yeah. That’s something relevant here as well, just understanding the full range of possibilities and not being limited by by things that are influencing you from a practical standpoint.
LS: Yeah. Different people are going to be better or worse about that than others and more intentional about it than others. But that said, I do want to kind of push back a little bit on- It’s kind of become a little bit popular to sort of dismiss the whole thing and be like, “All astrologers have their own bias and they’re all expressing that through their astrology.”
LS: And I do think that’s actually overstated. I think some astrologers do that more markedly and you can clearly see these are their personal inclinations, and that is always their political predictions through astrology or something like that. But that’s not true for everyone. You know?
CB: Yeah. There are people that do a better job at striving to make statements that are more free of bias than others, and there’s some people that instead almost do the opposite and kind of revel in the bias and their personal perspective, and speaking to a certain audience who has a similar perspective on life or political affiliation or what-have-you as them. And maybe there’s a place for that either way of the attempts to be free of bias versus the sometimes desire to lean into one’s worldview. Yeah.
LS: Yeah. Aside from politics, I think there’s also more subtle but common ways that this question is speaking to in terms of, “Do you have experience with certain placements and charts, and what that has meant in the past that you’ve seen.” I think that is another one of the things that gets better with time especially if you’re consulting astrologer, because you talk to more and more people and see many more instances of specific manifestations than you would ever get just studying. So I think that’s actually really important and one of the best reasons to talk with other people about their charts even when you’re not fully sure that you’re there yet because you’re you just have to get that experience. And it’s getting experience doing the consultations, but it’s also getting experience with what these things can mean in real life outside of your personal sphere.
CB: Yeah. Well, because one of the biggest pieces of bias is actually your own birth chart in the way that you’ve experienced certain transits and noticed the correlations may subtly and imperceptibly bias you and how you read that for other people. Like if Saturn transits have often been more constructive for you, let’s say you have Saturn in a day chart and it’s relatively well placed. And your Saturn return was a period of hard work but ultimately success or something like that, you may sit down with somebody at the consultation who is actually going through great challenges and great trauma or great setbacks and loss or other things during their Saturn return. If you sit down– I mean, this is usually your hobbyhorse–
LS: It is. [laughs]
CB: But if you sit down and start telling them, you know, “You just have to put hard work into it and be optimistic and then everything will turn out fine,” that may be just completely disconnected from what their actual reality is because your bias based on your own birth chart is giving you a blind spot for what some other people’s experiences like.
LS: Yeah, definitely. That is one of the best reasons to talk with lots of people about their chart experiences and transit experiences and things like that. Because then you know, it’s not just about what you’ve experienced or people close to you, you have a much wider pool of real-life manifestations to draw on. That’s really important. Because also, everyone’s gonna have different shades of those things, you know, not just like day-chart Saturn versus night-chart Saturn, but like really well-placed versus really poorly-placed versus symbolising in sort of more inherently positive or negative topics, things like that. Yeah, that is important to draw a wider pool of experience, and I think that’s true both in terms of talking with people about their chart placements and timing manifestations, but also about life in general. Actually, I have like a pinned tweet about this on my Twitter page. It’s about, you know, we only kind of have more experience with the slices of life that we’ve personally been privy to, but the world is very big and the range of what people can experience in life is very large. And you’re probably not without seeking it out, you know, you won’t have seen all of it. So even things like reading broadly about different things that go on in different countries and different cultures and different subcultures, getting to know lots of different kinds of people from different walks of life, I think this is all very important because astrology is actually about life, you know, and life is very large.
CB: Yeah, it’s one of the other areas calling back to a previous question about just needing to be a jack of all trades is that astrology is such a broad subject that you’re going to have to train yourself in like many, many, or at least become familiar with many, many different areas of life and specialties and specialty areas in order to be good as an astrologer.
LS: Right. And each astrologer might choose to specifically specialise in certain things, and that’s completely fine. Then you’ll probably be better at those things because you pay attention to it more frequently. But to some extent, the way to work against potential bias in influencing your astrology is to just make yourself more familiar with many more things, many more subjects, but also many more people’s lives.
CB: Yeah, being open to seeing perspectives and lives and people approaching things that are different from you, and to as neutrally as you can sort of assess what’s going on, and try to free yourself of your own blind spots and biases as much as possible especially when presented with something that is out of the ordinary or seems to contradict or stand out from some presumption that you were making up to that point, and try to understand what happened and why that was.
LS: Right. And if you’re actually in like a consulting context, also another anti bias tool is simply making sure you’re listening enough rather than being too quick to be like, “This is what this means.” Listen a little bit first and see what this person is saying about their experience of this piece of their chart. Probably don’t tell them they’re wrong. This could be like a larger tangent, but yeah. Listen as much as you speak, to make sure that you’re hearing the person’s actual life experience and not what you assume this should play out as, because oftentimes that’s actually the way you will gain greater experience with what different manifestations can come about is hearing other people tell you that.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s definitely true. The other side is also true that sometimes people don’t have a very objective grasp on their life in certain areas and might have blind spots and therefore the astrologer telling them something, they may or may not hear the right way, depending on what their blind spots are.
LS: Right. That’s what I was saying, that could be a whole tangent.
CB: All right. So going back to bias, bias also extends to- One of the things you have to do as an astrologer is find this balance, and it’s a very difficult balance to find your footing of and it’s something I think people go back and forth with at different points between learning what a placement means and taking it into account and applying it in the future as a possible outcome when you see a similar placement or constellation of placements are alignment in the future, and going into it having learned something and having a sort of presumption about that placement in the future versus sometimes the downside of that being having a bias towards certain placements or– blind spot isn’t the right word– but have almost like a prejudice against a certain placement, which in the worst or most extreme cases is like, “X placement is always like this,” or “I hate all X zodiac signs because they’re all like this or what have you,” and sometimes that can translate into there can be more complex versions of that that’s still the same thing, which is like let’s say getting into a relationship with somebody that had this rising sign with the ruler of the Ascendant and this sign in like, two or three other placements and then meeting somebody else, let’s say a few years later, that has half of the same placements and therefore having bias or prejudice and expecting similar things from them and needing to, on the one hand being open to seeing the repetition of similar themes, but on the other hand not prejudging somebody or prejudging how a relationship will happen before it’s actually played out.
CB: That’s another area of potential bias that I feel like it’s a struggle as an astrologer because you have to find a middle ground between those two extremes.
LS: Definitely. And I think people always have the experience of synastry with certain placements being better for them personally than others. And you actually, at least if you’re trying to do this more professionally or even using astrology in your own life, you should ideally try to acknowledge that but also push a little bit past it, certainly if you’re going to be consulting astrologers because you’re going to be talking to lots of people. And while it is true that you do tend to often draw people who have interesting synastry with your own chart, that’s not always going to be the case.
CB: Yeah, that’s a good point. That it’s based on there may be certain signs in your chart or certain placements that you get into conflict with more often just based on how that hits your chart or hits certain placements in your chart. And you may therefore develop a sort of bias against certain placements or certain signs of the zodiac as a result of that but it could be something that’s unique to you. Even that’s tricky though because sometimes what you develop is a unique sensitivity to the negative manifestations of that, which can sometimes make you better at being able to articulate what the problem is with that. On the other hand, it could also be a blind spot where you could apply that inappropriately to people that are able to manifest a more constructive version of that.
LS: Yeah, definitely. And I think that’s actually one of those things that you should actually be very conscious about with yourself. Like, yes, I don’t always like expressions of this particular sign and that’s probably because I have certain placements that either have negative synastry with that, or I mean, I can actually throw out a few examples that are kind of common. Like, sometimes when someone else has placements that land in your sixth or 12th, or someone has placements conjunct your sign of your Saturn or things like that, or your Mars.
CB: Yeah, certain placements that were in like your parents charts and then you run into them again later, and parental dynamics are triggered in your head.
LS: Yeah, exactly. So there’s lots of kind of things where it’s actually really good to be conscious of those. Because I don’t think you can actually 100% eradicate your feelings around that, but you can try to set them aside temporarily, and be more conscious and try to more consciously deliberately counteract them a little bit if you’re working with people.
CB: Right. I guess then the conclusion and the answer we come to there is bias is a potential threat or challenge that is ever present for astrologers, but it can also sometimes be an advantage because it’s the context that you’ve developed surrounding certain placements and the point of view that you’re coming from. But it’s something that you need to constantly try and offset to whatever extent you can in order to achieve true neutrality, which is probably what the astrology ultimately is. Unfortunately, no one will ever probably achieve true neutrality, but it’s at least something that’s worth striving to for the sake of being accurate.
LS: Yeah, I would agree.
CB: Yeah. Okay, good. All right. Well, this has been fun. I think we could keep talking all day. There were other questions that were interesting. We actually got like hundreds of questions so we really grabbed a small like a handful of some of the best ones that we found. So I apologize that we didn’t get to all of them. I may do like a Casual Astrology Podcast or something for patrons talking about some of the other ones here before too long. Any other things you want to touch on or questions that you want to do before we wrap up this episode?
LS: I would love to give an honorable mention to two really good questions. One was by @ethericastro on Twitter– that’s Giulio Pellegrini, “I would love to hear stories of how astrology has made a difference in people’s lives; how it has impacted you, changed you, or been useful, either through study, being a part of a community or through consultation or some other encounter.” I thought that was a great broad question. Do you have thoughts you’d like to share on that at all?
CB: It’s kind of tied into the other one that was submitted by @morrismichaelj on Twitter– which is Michael Morris on Twitter, who says, “How does practicing astrology affect or inform how you think about things other than astrology, and how has the actual practice affected your worldviews, plus how to think about experiences/phenomenon beyond the field of astrology?”
LS: I think those are two really rich questions that aren’t really quick-answer questions, but I wanted to at least give them acknowledgement for asking really good questions and then we could see if we had anything briefly to say in response to those.
CB: Sure. Yeah, I would just say for me, getting into astrology in high school and originally not having any academic aspirations for college or something like that or life after high school, when I got into astrology, astrology became the reason to study all of these other fields and suddenly having a reason to study history and philosophy and science and mathematics and so many different fields that were then applicable to astrology and that you needed to have some exposure to, to understand astrology better and to enhance your skills with astrology and that’s been part of my personal odyssey over the course of I guess the last 20 years now since I started learning astrology in 1999/2000. Yeah, astrology becomes the reason to study a bunch of different things. At least for me, it became that. Because again, circling around for like the third time now, the idea that you need to be like a jack of all trades in order to do astrology well. Is there a better catchphrase for that? Because I keep saying-
LS: Yeah, because a jack of all trades, it does make sense. Yeah.
CB: Swiss army knife of astrology. Polymath, that’s a much more eloquent way of saying it. Well, that’s what somebody like Ptolemy for example was in the second century. I always like to refer to Ptolemy as he was a polymath because he wrote texts on several different fields. It wasn’t just astrology, but also astronomy and harmonics like music theory and geography and a bunch of different stuff. There’s a lot of astrologers in the history that if they were not outright polymaths in that way, they had to learn a bunch of different things in order to do astrology, even just like mathematics for example in order to calculate charts by hand.
LS: Yeah. In terms of the first question, how it’s made a difference in people’s lives. Certainly, the part about being part of a community has been very big for me and I think that’s been really enriching even when many people are often at a distance geographically in the community of astrology, which is often true, having a sense of people not just sharing a worldview, but being able to pick a part and understand the world in these ways. It’s a language I think many people agree.
CB: Yeah, it becomes a shared language between practitioners.
LS: Exactly. So that’s pretty unique to have a community around, and I think that’s been very gratifying to me. Also, I had a lot of experience with organizations and community and so that was something I explicitly involved myself in. There’s something, and this isn’t of course unique to astrology, but there’s something to be said for feeling that sense of connection over time with people who used to be around who are not anymore but have set the groundwork for whatever exists around astrology in the community today. And then being around long enough, I feel like even so far, I’ve been able to see being around long enough to see new people coming into the community and seeing that they will in turn pass this down when you’re not around and so forth. I think there’s something really valuable about that.
CB: Yeah. Ironically, Giulio, the one that asked the question, is the presiding officer which is AFAN’s euphemism for the president of AFAN, which was the organization that you were previously the presiding officer of and so he took over the organization from you.
LS: Yeah. So I mean community is a big piece.
CB: Yeah. So community lineage, greater sense of connectedness to people. For me, it circles back to the philosophy thing from earlier in the faith discussion. I guess the biggest thing with astrology is giving me a greater sense of meaning and purpose within the context of my life in general and the world in general and seeing the meaning and purpose in other people’s lives, and I think there’s something tremendously beneficial and useful and not gratifying, but something beautiful about that and elegant about astrology that shows a system of meaning that exists in the world in general that’s objectively out there. I know that gets into like philosophical and religious realms, which maybe is part of the reason that astrology is historically sometimes gotten into conflict with different religions, but it does provide a system for seeing the meaning and purpose in the universe that you might not otherwise see that’s not otherwise evident there just objectively unless you do follow some specific religion or some specific sect or doctrine that tells you that there is this meaning that exists.
LS: Yeah, that’s been huge for me as well. I was touching on that earlier a little bit as well. I’ve always been the person where like, what is the big picture, asking why about everything or what’s behind everything. That had always been my orientation towards life. But I also am not particularly one to take things at face value or to take things just because someone says, “This is the way this works.” Or to be faith-based, be like, “I just believe that this is the way that it is.” So it really did fill a huge hole for me in terms of wanting to see a bigger picture but not seeing it for a while or not seeing one that worked for me for a while, being interested in religions and things like that, but not feeling like a huge adherent of any one of them. And astrology for me became a way to see that there was something bigger happening in life, even if you don’t know the ultimate whys behind it, I would still like to know the why. But that’s still something rather than nothing. I feel like I had another thought about that. But basically, it was a framework of meaning that I was missing before and that was huge, and continues to be.
CB: Yeah, definitely. Definitely for me it gave me something to strive towards as I wanted to be good as an astrologer and do whatever it took to be better as an astrologer and part of it was learning different things, and how they integrated into astrology.
LS: Yeah, I think I actually remembered my last thought was I see religions, they have complex roles in life, but one of them is ideas about how the world works. And for me, finding astrology, and I know this wouldn’t be the same for everyone, but for me personally, it was like, “Oh, okay, this isn’t actually an idea about how this works. This is actually a piece of how it’s working.” And that felt solid enough for me to be like, “Okay, there is a big picture and I can see it. I don’t have to either believe it or disbelieve it. I just see it in front of me.”
CB: Yeah. It’s like this source code that’s like happening underlying reality and suddenly you’ve stumbled across it and you can see the green like matrix letters that are moving in the background when people are like meeting the love of their life, or they’re starting their most important work, or they’re moving into a new home, or having a child or what have you and suddenly, you can see at least even just like a glimpse into what’s going on and there’s things that are obscuring it, including your own biases and different issues like that. But there’s something there that’s tangible, that’s much more tangible that you can actually glimpse into without having to have some intermediary through like a book or a scripture or a priest or what have you. It’s there and accessible for you. And maybe in that way, astrology is one of the most accessible forms of developing and seeing a broader philosophy or philosophical system because of that tangibility or that accessibility.
Although is it accessible? Maybe it’s… It’s tricky because it actually takes a long time to learn, it becomes a lifelong study and a lifelong mystery that nobody ever completely unravels or answers that you’re always learning that’s so broad and all-encompassing that it can’t be fully mastered by any one person in any one lifetime. So maybe there’s still a level of inaccessibility to it, but it’s the glimpse into it and the ability to do that on your own that maybe makes it so appealing.
LS: For sure. I think I wanted to add that this isn’t necessarily saying that this is the only thing going on in the universe. This shows you a lot. It may or may still not show you everything, there may be other things that we don’t see that are still happening. So I don’t want to privilege that and make it into like a fundamentalism or something like now I know the answer, but some of the answer at the very least, and some pretty gratifying pieces of the answer.
CB: Yeah, definitely. All right. Michael says, “How does practicing astrology affect or inform how you think about things other than astrology, just that everything often then gets placed in astrological context?” It’s like we’ll read history books or something and we’ll be interested because you read about, let’s say, the American Revolution or something like that and you’re like, “Oh, I’d like to see what was going on the chart at that time.” And you’re like, “Oh, Uranus was discovered within a decade of the American Revolution.” And so, you start filtering things through that lens astrologically and maybe, I don’t think it’s just me, maybe I do it even more than some astrologers. But I think most astrologers start filtering everything in their life through the lens of astrology, which I hesitate to say, because that sounds a little bit not good, that it could potentially be not good. It could potentially be problematic in a wide variety of different ways. But there’s also ways in which that can be really interesting, really fascinating,
LS: Right. Yeah. I wish I had a contrasting answer, but I do think of it in many of the same ways. I do use astrology as a major framework through which I understand things or other topics in life. I definitely agree with the history. I actually wasn’t inherently interested in history before. It was one of those topics I was less interested than average until I learned astrology. And then that actually made it really interesting because you can go back and see the different trends at different points in time and pivot points and what was happening at pivotal points in history, and so that made it a lot more fascinating than it seemed to be inherently before.
CB: Yeah. There’s literally like any discipline or any area of life, any study you could get into and then try to approach or look at through an astrological lens and combine those studies. There’s like history for example in historical cycles, like other planet cycles, and the rise and falls of different empires or the foundations of charts of different cities, different mundane astrology or things that were happening. There’s music, people applied astrology to music like the birth charts of famous musicians or when famous musicians wrote their most important pieces or compositions or things like that when certain compositions like the debut of that and the chart for that, so music. Medicine, I know you’re reading a book on medical astrology recently.
LS: Yeah, yeah. There’s literally anything that you can think about can have an astrological piece to it or framework. I think about like… Go ahead.
CB: I want to run through like a few more. I mean, what are the other ones? Like economics studies, like mundane trends and economics or businesses and studying like incorporation charts, stock market like bitcoin and people doing bitcoin astrology or stock market astrology. Philosophy is a huge field and obviously the philosophical implications which we keep going back into at different points.
LS: Philosophical implications of astrology itself, but also the astrology of different philosophers is actually really interesting. And you can see like of course they thought this because this was the person they were. That’s actually really cool.
CB: Yeah, how the birth chart influenced their philosophy or maybe even the development of different periods in philosophy and mundane astrology as well as just like core issues like fate and free will was an issue already before astrology came along and then the way that that becomes an issue or the other issue about like, are people born with a blank slate versus how much are they conditioned by events and circumstances or the context of their life. What else? What other fields are there?
LS: All the social sciences?
CB: Yeah. So like?
LS: Psychology, sociology, anthropology, all of those things. That actually was my undergrad area, but it’s interesting I’d actually thought about this specifically because of getting into astrology after having degrees in that because my undergrad degree, I went to a weird college and they were all interdisciplinary degrees. My degree was actually called self-society and culture, which is basically you took courses in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. And so, you saw that there were different spheres of influence, overlapping spheres of influence going on within the personality within one’s culture and within the sociology or how your society was arranged. And so, when I learned astrology, I was like, “Yeah, of course, there’s just another layer and there’s all these different layers. It’s not just one thing.”
CB: Yeah. Or like religious studies in the history of different religions and they’re sometimes intertwining or are convergence and divergence with astrology. I know when I got into ancient Greek astrology, I started learning Greek and one of the ways I did that was using a textbook called the Basics of Biblical Greek, by William Mounce I think is the name and you learn Biblical Greek from like New Testament Greek and you realize that many of the same Greek terms that are used in the Christian New Testament, the Bible are used by astrologers as like technical terms and then you see the interesting like interchange interplay between the two. So it becomes a reason to learn languages and stuff, so both ancient languages as well as like other languages because like if you only know English, but you don’t know French, if you learned French, then all of a sudden, you unlock hundreds of years of other astrological texts that were written in other languages that may contain observations and thoughts and research by astrologers that were otherwise inaccessible to you up to that point. So it’s like a reason to learn other languages.
LS: I think a lot of what we’ve said so far is that it gives you another layer of understanding of these different subjects. Would you agree?
CB: Yeah, a different layer of understanding those subjects and also a reason to learn other subjects to become a better astrologer in the service of being the best astrologer you can be, which then circles back to some of the earlier questions about like counseling skills and things like that and just how many different or learning horary in addition to natal astrology and all the different things that you want to try and learn to be well rounded as an astrologer, even if you end up going into a specific specialty or specialty field. All right. Well, I think we’ve covered quite a few questions. We’ve had some good discussions, very far-ranging discussions as we typically do. Any final thoughts as we’re wrapping up?
LS: I don’t know about final thoughts that sum up all the different questions we were addressing. Thank you, everyone, for sending in your questions because lots of people did. And of course, we can only get to a select few of them. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, thanks everyone for sending in questions through Twitter and Facebook and Patreon. I’ll think about doing like another maybe Casual Podcast to answer some more questions since there’s always tons of leftovers or a lot of great ones that we just didn’t have time to do because we already made this like almost three hours just going through a handful of them. But it’s always fun. Yeah, thanks a lot for joining me and doing this with me today.
LS: Okay, welcome.
CB: All right. I guess that’s it for this episode of The Astrology Podcast so let me switch there. Thanks everybody for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Thanks to you again to celebrating 50,000 subscribers on YouTube. We appreciate you. I guess this is the last episode for September of 2020, so I’ll be back again next month with more episodes in October. Let me know if there’s any topics you’d like to see me cover in the next set of episodes. I guess we’re nearing- I’ve been saying 170, it’s 273. Episode 273.
LS: Is it 273? I think you were saying 173. Okay.
CB: I’ve done way too many episodes, so actually it’s 273 because we celebrated last year, episode 200 so we’re actually coming up on episode 300 here before too long so we’re going to have to think about what to do for that to celebrate that one.
LS: Yeah. [laughs]
CB: Okay, we’ll see. All right. Thanks everyone for listening to The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.
LS: Thanks for listening.
CB: Special thanks to the patrons who support The Astrology Podcast through our page on patreon.com. In particular, shout out to the patrons that are on our producer’s tier such as Christine Stone, Nate Craddock, Maren Altman, Thomas Miller, Bear Ryver, Catherine Conroy, Michelle Merillat, Kristi Moe, and Sumo Coppock. Find out more about how to become a patron on patreon.com/astrologypodcast. Also, thanks also to our sponsors this month which include the Astro Gold Astrology App available at astrogold.io, the Portland School of Astrology at portlandastrology.org, the Honeycomb Collective Personal Astrological Almanacs available at honeycomb.co, and also the International Society for Astrological Research, which is hosting an online conference September 12th through the 13th, 2020. Find out more information at isar2020.org. As well as the Northwest Astrological Conference which is happening May 27th through the 31st, 2021 and you can find out more information about that at norwac.net. Finally, the software we use here on The Astrology Podcast is called Solar Fire Astrology Software and it’s available through alabe.com, and you can get a 15% discount with the promo code AP15.