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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 303 Transcript: Astrology Consultations: Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Reading

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 303, titled:

Astrology Consultations: Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Reading

With Leisa Schaim and Chris Brennan

Episode originally released on May 13, 2021


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

Transcribed by Kate Hill

Transcription released October 22, 2021

Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This is episode 303, and we’re recording it today to talk about astrological consultations, and how you can get the most out of one. Joining me today is astrologer Leisa Schaim. Hey Lisa!


CB: We are recording on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021, starting at exactly 3:39 PM in Denver, Colorado. Let’s go ahead and jump into this. This was actually an episode idea that was sent in a question that was sent in by a listener of the podcast. I want to give a shout out to them, and also to just read the question that they sent in order to give the context for this discussion. Alright, so, this question was sent in on Instagram by an astrologer named Kayley Rae, @_kr_craft on Instagram, and she said: “Hey Chris! I’ve got a podcast episode suggestion. I think people would love to hear how to be a good client in a natal chart consultation; how to prepare, what questions to ask, how to assist the astrologer? I feel like you’ve discussed how to perform consultations, but I’m not sure if receiving a consultation has been covered.” Thanks to Kayley Rae for that question. Kayley makes custom collage art for people based on their sun, moon, and rising, or their entire natal chart, so you should definitely check out her Instagram, and we’re going to discuss that topic. You liked this idea, and you thought this would be a good topic right?

LS: Mhm, yeah! I thought it was a really great question. Y’know, both sort of how to go into consultations as a client, and kind of some specifics that you might not know about if you haven’t gotten consultations before, or if you’re not an astrologer, because I think it’s easy to go into it if you don’t have a lot of background in astrology, or in getting consultations, and just thinking it’s just this one thing: you go get a birth chart reading and then you’re done.

CB: Mhm.

LS: It’s actually more complex than that. Especially in terms of how you can actually get the most out of it, rather than just kind of going in blind.

CB: Yeah, for sure. Alright, so, it’ll be something where this episode and this discussion is mainly for clients; because there are different ways where you can get more, or you can do things that’ll actually undermine yourself, so that you’ll get less from an astrological consultation than you might otherwise. This episode and discussion is primarily about clients getting the most that you can get from a consultation, but also I wanted to talk about it, and give some insight into astrologers, and consulting astrologers, and things that they can do in order to improve their astrological practice in order to clarify what they offer, so that they’re attracting the type of clients that they- and connecting with the type of clients that they may be best suited for, or that are going to enjoy the consultation the most with them.

LS: Mhm, definitely.

CB: Alright. Any other preliminary stuff?

LS: Uhm, no, I think we can just jump into it.

CB: Okay. Choosing an astrologer. Is that the starting point? For a client how to choose an astrologer?

LS: Yeah, definitely, because not all astrologers are going to be able to offer all of the same things, and so there’s going to be a lot of differences to choose from. Not just in terms of personality, or, y’know, just who seems like they might mesh well with you personally, but also the specifics of what they can offer, or do offer, so different topic specialities. For instance, if you want to focus more on what’s going on with your career, or relationships, or medical, or financial astrologer, those are all different specialties that not every astrologer will be sort of equally well versed in giving a consultation around.

CB: Right. Yeah, so there are different astrologers, and astrologers come in all shapes and sizes. There’s different things as a client that you need to know that not all astrologers do, and not all astrologers either practice the same thing, or use the same approach. There’s also different branches within each of the approaches, or different applications of astrology that people specialize in.

LS: Mhm.

CB: And so understanding that there are differences, and that you need to actually research the subject ahead of time, so that you end up with an astrologer that does the type of thing that you’re looking for is actually pretty important.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and I don’t know if everyone really understands when they first come into the field, y’know, just as an enthusiast, how many different approaches there are. For instance, hellenistic, or medieval, or modern, or psychological, those are all going to be not just different takes on your chart, but will really be discussing different information in many ways.

CB: Mhm. Yeah, so, for some clients it’s like they may not know that there are different approaches, and it may not matter to them, but there are some clients where they may have an expectation that an astrologer should talk about these sort of things, or should do these sort of things, and some of those things that an astrologer is going to focus on could be tradition specific.

LS: Mhm.

CB: For example, there’s a difference sometimes between- modern astrology tends to be more psychological in orientation, whereas traditional astrology sometimes tends to be more predictive and concrete in its orientation.

LS: Mhm.

CB: That’s good to be aware of because sometimes if you’re, y’know, going into a consultation looking for a predictive orientation, but you’re seeing a psychological astrologer, then there might be a disconnect there, or vice verse, if you’re looking for more of a psychological discussion about some stuff that you’re going through at the time, and you go see some hardcore predictive medieval astrologer, then that’s also not exactly going to line up with what you’re looking for, or what your expectations are.

LS: Mhm, yeah definitely. I find sometimes that people can be a little bit surprised. I mean, one of the things that is good in this era is that there are so many things like podcasts, and Youtube videos, and blogs, and so you can kind of get a sense of what a specific astrologer’s orientation might be. Just by checking out things that they’ve done in the past, and just listening to them, and seeing what kind of things they talk about.

CB: Yeah, so, I guess that’s the first thing first, and that’s going to be an overarching thing this entire episode is that you- to get the most out of a consultation you actually need to do some research, and know what you’re getting into, and what you’re looking for, and also research the astrologers that you’re considering seeing. Part of that obviously involves something as simple as just reading their website thoroughly, making sure you’ve checked out all of their consultation pages, all of their bio, or their ‘about me’ page. Maybe read some blog posts, or y’know, Twitter, Instagram, or Youtube videos, or whatever; Wherever they produce content, and try to get a sense for what their approach is, and how they describe themselves, and what kind of techniques they’re using.

LS: Mhm, definitely. Yeah, so, that’s important to go in- and you can also get a sense of who people are personally, or their kind of personal style as well, which I think the astrological style is probably a bit more important going into it in terms of just the content of what you’re going to get, but, y’know, the personal style can be important too, so you can kind of get a sense of- especially with those kind of social media things you were mentioning, or videos of just what they’re like as a person.

CB: Yeah. I mean sometimes it’s funny if like- I’ve seen people that get a consultation with somebody whose public persona is very extravagant ‘n stuff, and then they’re surprised that that also carries forward somewhat into a consultation, and I always kind of wonder, what did you expect? That’s what their public-

LS: Presentation.

CB:  presentation was like as well.

LS: Yeah, definitely. I’m always surprised when people- when clients reference my Twitter posts in consultations. I’m like, alright, you do read this.

CB: Right. Alright, so what tradition does the person identify with, if any at all, or what traditions, what topic specialities; like there are some astrologers that really specialize in relationships, or synastry readings, which is comparing two peoples charts. There are some astrologers that specialize in career analysis. There are some astrologers that specialize in a bunch of different topics, like fertility astrology is like a technique or an approach that some people use. Knowing that there’s different things that an astrologer might- even if they don’t specialize in it, like they’ve written a book about it, which some astrologers will have done, but even if it’s just something that they excel at, or they tend to focus more attention on compared to other astrologers, that’s good to know.

LS: Mhm, definitely, because not everyone will really have equally as much to say about any given topic, and so usually any given astrologer will have something to say about the topic that you’re interested in, but you really want to go to one who has a lot to say about it, if you have a particular topic in mind.

CB: Yeah. That’s important. There’s also different branches of astrology within each of the traditions. There’s natal astrology, which is reading birth charts, which is what most consultations are focused on, but there’s also electional astrology, which is when you’re choosing auspicious dates in the future to launch new ventures, and undertakings, using the principles of astrology, and that’s not necessarily something that every astrologer specializes in. There’s also horary astrology, which is typically when the astrologer casts a chart for a single specific question. Typically that has a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, and tries to answer the question only based on that one chart.

LS: Mhm.

CB: That’s a somewhat specialized thing that not all astrologers do, and is good for certain types of questions, and not as good for other types of questions.

LS: Yeah, and I think that that’s actually an important piece because you might at different times as a client want a natal consultation vs. say a horary question. You have to actually be careful about what you’re actually looking for out of it, so do you want a discussion of your birth chart as a whole, and a particular area of your chart, or timing around it? Or, do you want a really pretty clear like, is this going to happen or not? Like what you can’t always get from natal. Sometimes it’s clearer than others, but you kind of have to be careful about what you’re looking for, and similarly with electional, that’s usually not something that’s going to be done on the fly during a face to face consultation. Maybe someone could, but the astrologers themselves have to look at the charts over and over, without necessarily interacting, and so that’s not usually what you’re going to do during a consultation either.

CB: Yeah, like if you go into a natal consultation, and suddenly ask for an electional thing that may or may not fly or may not work for the astrologer, and that may not be how they’re set up to do things.

LS: Mhm, exactly.

CB: Alright, so that’s an important thing. There’s also different techniques that different astrologers specialize in, or have strong preferences about. For example, knowing what zodiac an astrologer uses, whether they use the tropical zodiac, or the sidereal zodiac, sometimes different house systems, does the astrologer use quadrant house systems like placidus or porphyry, or did they use equal houses, or did they use whole sign houses, or what have you? This is something that mainly comes up if the client already has a strong preference for one or the other, or y’know, sometimes doesn’t know. It may not matter to them, but if the client is somebody who’s like a beginner or an intermediate astrologer, even an advanced astrologer, they may already have a preference about how they like to read their chart, and how they would like another astrologer to read it, and that kind of segways into one of our next topics I think, which is your expectations, and y’know, how much you should try to find an astrologer that matches the approach that you want to take technically, vs. how much you should leave that up to the astrologer.

LS: Mhm, yeah, and that can be different based on whether you want a different take on your chart, because y’know, that can be desirable at times. Verses if you want to stick with the kind of strain that you’re already familiar with, and you want to, y’know, keep hearing about it from that vantage point.

CB: Right. Important point there is that the astrologer already has preferences, and one really important thing to do is going into a consultation to get the most of it, and also- because the subtitle of this episode is like, how to be a good client for an astrology consultation, and not do stuff that’s either going to undermine the consultation, or make you get less out of it, or cause basically problems in the consultation in different ways. One of the things that you can do to be really annoying is to ask the astrologer to use an approach or a system that is different from what they would normally do.

LS: Yeah, mhm.

CB: For example, if you go and get a consultation with a tropical astrologer, and you ask them to use the sidereal zodiac that’s not really going to work, or if you go to the astrologer and they use, let’s say, whole sign houses, but you ask them to use placidus or quadrant houses, or vise versa, if you go to an astrologer who normally uses placidus and you ask them to use whole sign, that automatically creates a sort of conflict where the astrologer probably won’t go along with that. They’ll probably say no, that’s not how this works. I use the system that I use because I think that’s what works best, and if you’re coming to me then that’s the approach we’re going to use. There might be occasionally an astrologer that might do that under certain contexts, but not typically. You need to know that going into a consultation. You need to be prepared to use whatever system that astrologer uses, and therefore, if you have strong preferences, you should research that ahead of time to see if the astrologer uses the approach that you prefer, and if they don’t you need to- instead of trying to change the astrologers preferences, you need to find an astrologer who does what you’re looking for.

LS: Yeah, definitely, because it’s not just a matter or like, politeness or something like you might think, but it’s actually how you’re going to get the best out of a consultation, because the astrologer presumably is going to excel at whatever they’ve been practicing for a long time, right? And so asking them to sort of switch that up on the fly, it’s not just- even if there was someone who was willing to do that it’s not going to really play to their strengths nearly as much, and therefore you’re not going to get the best out of it, and you’re also not going to get a sense of what they do best, and what they could speak to best about your chart.

CB: Yeah, and that doesn’t just extend to preferences in terms of when there’s alternatives between things, but it also extends to just other techniques that the astrologer may or may not use, so if you go into a consultation and you ask the astrologer to use, y’know, certain asteroids, or tell you what certain asteroids mean, and they don’t use asteroids, then they’re not going to have anything to tell you, or even if it’s something where the astrologer kind of has a vague amount of knowledge about that. If it’s not something that they specialize in, and you try to slide in something that they’re not super strong on it’s not going to produce as good of a delineation or interpretation as you might hope.

LS: Exactly, because they’re just going to try to come up with something on the fly that’s sort of like what you’re asking about, but it’s not going to be their strength.

CB: Right. It’s like, if you’re looking for an asteroid reading, then find an astrologer that says that they specialize in asteroids. If you’re looking for the arabic parts, or the lots, find somebody that specializes in that, and so on and so forth when it comes to specific techniques instead of trying to get somebody that doesn’t really specialize in something, to do something that they’re either uncomfortable with, or weak on, or not particularly proficient at.

LS: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, and that’s kind of related to another sub point that I know we were going to talk about, which is, sometimes it can be better to lead with the life topics that you’re experiencing or are wondering about, vs. specific placements that you think are related to that in your chart. Because sometimes when people lead with the placements, they can have preconconceptions about where a certain issue is coming from in their chart, but if you just talk about: “this is what’s happening in my life, and i’m trying to figure out why that is based on my chart,” that usually goes a lot better, I find.

CB: Yeah. I mean it’s really tricky because there’s a certain level where it’s okay to have some specific questions about certain placements in your chart if they are sort of generic enough that your astrologer should be able to handle it, or something like that. Like, “what does the Moon in my first house mean?” Assuming whatever house system they use the Moon is in the first, y’know? There is a certain level where that’s okay, and you shouldn’t feel afraid to ask questions about specific placements, but you’re right that it does otherwise tend to go better if you come with a question about an area of the life, or a desire to focus on an area of life, or a topic that is topical and not astrological, and then let the astrologer apply whatever techniques they would apply in order to analyze that topic, and that may or may not be the same techniques that you’re expecting them to use, and that’s, y’know, positive and negative, but it’s mainly positive because it may expose you to techniques and approaches that you weren’t familiar with prior to that consultation. Honestly, that’s a huge part of getting an astrological consultation is learning things that are new that you don’t already know, and being exposed to new techniques and technical approaches and interpretive principles that you may not have learned before, even if you’re like, let’s say an intermediate or even an advanced student of astrology.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and so the astrologer may otherwise feel the need to then follow up with your line of thinking, and you may not actually get their full take if you lead with the placements.

CB: Yeah. Are we talking about what- what section are we on?

LS: Let the astrologer use the approach that they use.

CB: Okay. What’re the other subtopics of that?

LS: Yeah, that was pretty much it, and I mean you’ll find that some astrologers will be more flexible about that than others, or may even just be exposed to multiple different approaches than like someone else, and so, like for instance, y’know, I use use whole sign houses. I use traditional rulerships. I use sort of a blend of hellenistic and modern just as an example, and, but, I will kind of click on some of the major asteroids as like a different set, and click off when I’m preparing, and if I notice one that’s really prominent maybe I’ll talk about it. There are things like that. I mean there are astrologers that have- it’s not completely cut and dry in terms of, so, you can ask, it’s just not good to assume that you’ll dwell there.

CB: Yeah. It goes back to the traditions thing because the biggest thing that is a mistake I think most clients can do when they’re a beginner, or almost intermediate students of astrology, is go into a consultation with the expectation that every astrologer should be able to talk about certain techniques, or should put just as much emphasis on certain placements as other astrologers do, or whatever tradition you’ve been studying, and that really comes down to the issue of- somebody was asking recently on Youtube about the void of course Moon, and hearing a really bad thing where that was really being emphasized as a difficult placement, and part of my response was that, y’know, I’ve been doing this whole series on void of course Moon episodes over the past six months, but part of it is just that the void of course Moon is seriously over hyped in modern astrology in like late 20th and early 21st century astrology, and there are some traditions that do that where they’ll pick out one thing and then place undue emphasis on that one thing.

LS: Mhm, right.

CB: Like when I was early in my studies of astrology it was yods. I was super into yods, and I thought that was like a super important thing, and now I don’t think that that’s the most important thing in astrology, or some astrologers put all of the emphasis, or some schools of astrology put all the emphasis on the Nodes, and the Nodes of the Moon are the most important thing, or the Lot of Fortune, or what have you. Sometimes as a result of that, and having studied certain schools, or picked up certain books that focus on certain schools first, the client will come into the consultation with these expectations that the astrologer is going to focus on this one thing as like the most important thing, and is going to give similar emphasis to it as every other astrologer they’ve read has up to that point, and that may not be the case.

LS: Yeah, definitely. I find that happens a lot with the Nodes because evolutionary astrology focuses a lot more on the Nodes, and it’s just easily accessible online, and so a lot of people come into consultations thinking that all astrologers will speak to that, or put a lot of attention and time towards that in the consultation, and I don’t personally, so that is something that comes up a lot.

CB: Yeah. Somebody was asking me about like, the ‘lead planet’ in the locomotive pattern in their chart, and that being the most important planet, and she was confused because she didn’t understand then how that meshed with the ruler of the Ascendant, which some modern astrologers call the ‘ruler of the chart,’ and was creating a conflict, and I was like, well, I don’t really use the locomotive, or the lead planet concept, so that’s not really an issue for me.

LS: Right.

CB: So that’s a disconnect I think clients though- especially early in their studies in astrology will commonly run into whatever astrologer you approach may not have the same approach as you, unless you’re literally getting a consultation with the person that authored the book that you read. If you’re getting a consultation with Steven Forrest he’s going to focus on the Nodes, or if you’re getting a consultation with, y’know, somebody that wrote a book on void of course Moons, then yeah, they’re going to put a lot of emphasis on that, but somebody that is not that specific astrologer might not.

LS: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think it’s not quite the perfect analogy, but it’s kind of like in law, like different lawyers will specialize in different things, and I think there’s an idea that you can go to any lawyer, and be like, be my lawyer for whatever. That’s not actually how it works. There’s different ones for different things.

CB: Yeah. I had to learn that last fall for copywriting. There are copyright lawyers that specialize in copyright law, and because those are whole areas that have their own literature, and their own procedures and everything else.

LS: Yeah.

CB: Yeah, alright, so is there anything else in that subtopic?

LS: Mm, no I don’t really think so.

CB: Okay. Where do we go next? Let’s jump to signing up and scheduling?

LS: Yeah, signing up and scheduling.

CB: Okay.

LS: So, there will be different offerings that different astrologers have, and so you were mentioning- excuse me, go ahead.

CB: Okay, well what we have in the outline is different offerings. One consultation can cover everything, so you need to pay attention to the consultations section of an astrologer’s website because usually they’ll list different types of consultations. Not all astrologers do this. Some people will just have a blanket consultation, and a blanket fee, but there are some astrologers that will offer different types of consultations for different fees that are focused on different things. For example, on my website when I was still doing consultations a few years ago before this podcast took over, and ruined my life, I offered natal chart consultations, and electional consultations, and relationship analysis consultations, and birth time rectification consultations. Each of those were kind of different things, and some of those were conducted verbally either over, y’know, Skype, or in person, and some of those were just written reports, or some of those were just emails, and things I would prepare and send to you was a written thing, and they all also involved different levels of time expenditure on my part, so there were different fees for each of those.

LS: Mhm, yeah. Yes, so you need to know what you’re signing up for, and sign up for the most appropriate thing. It’s important to know that you can’t cover everything in one consultation, and so you do need to sign up for one specific thing, and not assume that you’re going to be able to cover all life topics in a single reading.

CB: Yeah, so managing expectations about how much can be covered is a whole separate topic in and of itself, but typically most, again- let’s just go back to natal astrology consultations because that’s the vast majority of what most astrologers do, and that’s the vast majority of what most clients are looking for is a birth chart interpretation. Those are typically only 75 minutes long give or take. Some are going to be an hour long. Some are going to be an hour and a half long. 75 minutes is pretty standard and is a good average. There’s only so much that can be said between two people during 75 minutes, and your life is a pretty long and detailed topic. You’re not going to be able to cover everything in that 75 minutes. You need to manage your expectations about how much you can cover right from the start going into it.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and that kind of connects to knowing what you want to get out of the consultation, so you kind of need to state clearly up front what you would like to talk about.

CB: Yeah. In your opening email, presumably, when the consultation is being scheduled and negotiated, you need to be clear about saying what you want to focus on. Partially to get your own expectations out there, and also for the astrologer to be able to respond and say that is something I can help you with, or no, that’s not something I can help you with, and so that there’s an agreement ahead of time to some extent about what you’re going to cover going into it.

LS: Mhm.

CB: That’s a little tricky because you need to be careful, and you need to strike a balance between not saying too much, like, do not, y’know- major mistake that some clients make, ah, do not write a 20 page essay about your life in your opening email to the astrologer. In your opening email to the astrologer because they’re not going to read all of that, and that’s’ just too much information to start out with.

LS: Definitely. Yeah, but you also, on the flip side, need to say kind of what you want to focus on- like you mentioned to make sure that you’re on the same page about whether the astrologer can fulfill that, and also to focus the consultation a little bit more. Some astrologers will just have a blanket like, this is a birth chart reading, and may not have a section to say what you would like to discuss beyond that, but some will.

CB: Right. I mean, I think there’s some negotiation in most consultations ahead of time.

LS: Yeah, some negotiation for sure, but some are more open ended than others. For instance, I don’t have birth chart readings. I have, what would you like to talk about? What would you like to most focus on? And then people have to write a few paragraphs, and I know that a number of people do have that.

CB: Yeah, and to balance out the other thing about don’t write a ten page essay, don’t do the other extreme and not state if it’s open to state in the initial email what you want to focus on, and what you’re looking for. Just try to keep it concise to a few short paragraphs, and I think if you do that then you’ll be able to state your expectations clearly so the astrologer can, if they can do that, know what techniques to apply in preparing, because some astrologers spend time preparing for the consultation ahead of time, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s important for some astrologers to know ahead of time what you want to focus on. For example, for me, I would always spend at least an hour of prep for each consultation, and I would apply certain techniques, and write out certain notes, and apply certain timing techniques, and I would write notes next to different periods, and send that to the client as a PDF ahead of time, so that they are looking at the same thing that I am, and we can go over it together. Some astrologers, if they do any prep, that’s actually a really important piece: to give them some context for what you want to focus on, otherwise they may focus on some completely different area of your life that has no relation to what you actually want to look into, or talk about, in that consultation.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and they may or may not be able to kind of pull it up on the fly if you sort of just ask within the consultation, but it probably won’t be as good if it’s something that they ordinarily have to put prep time into.

CB: Right. Yeah, I mean some astrologers can just pull it up on the fly, and to a certain extent each astrologer has to get used to being able to do that at will, and there are some astrologers I know- I think Rick Levine says he doesn’t do any prep, but he’s been doing consultations for 40 years at this point, and so, y’know, he knows how. There are some astrologers that have also had more training in that, so for example Nick Dagan Best, who has been on the podcast many times, used to work for one of those companies where it was a phone line, and clients would call up, and they were being charged by the minute, so they would just like go, and he would have to cast the chart immediately once they got on the call, and immediately start applying whatever techniques were necessary to answer the question. That’s different, and requires a little bit different training, and it’s something that all astrologers get used to, but there might be some that have more or less proficiency with working on the fly, vs. some who might prepare to have more prep time, and especially newer astrologers, or younger astrologers are ones that are still earlier in their career may take more prep time ahead of time than astrologers who’ve been around longer.

LS: Yeah, or depending on what people are asking. It just might require it, or you might get a better response if they do have prep time like asking about something five years from now. They may not have that off the top of their head, y’know, during the consult.

CB: Yeah. It takes like a few minutes to do the secondary progressions, or to calculate the profections, or the transits, and everything else. It’s a matter of if you want your astrologer to have that ready to go ahead of time, or if you, y’know, you want to waste several five minutes of that 75 minutes that you have having them to try to fumble to try to calculate it on the fly.

LS: Mhm, and something about asking, or explaining well enough too ahead of time what you’d like to focus on, which is a good few paragraphs, is like, you could say for instance the topic of relationships. You could just say relationships, but it’s probably going to be a little better if you say, my marriage is on the rocks, and I’m trying to decide what to do, or y’know, something a little more specific like that, or, I haven’t been in a relationship since seven years ago, and I’m wondering if I’m going to find another one, or y’know, a little more background, which still doesn’t need to take very many words, but just so the astrologer kind of knows a little bit more, or how to gear it. What they’re looking for.

CB: Yeah. I think that takes us into one of the things though in terms of one of the rules, or one of the good pieces of advice, and you don’t have to follow it, but don’t try to test the astrologer. Giving the astrologer information provides them with context about the chart that is going to allow them to do a better and more accurate job of both interpreting your chart, and making it relevant to your life, as well as making any predictions that they’re going to make, because part of the process of doing astrological predictions is the analysis of the chart and the transits, but also, the more you know about the trajectory of the life up to this point, the more you can then plot out where it’s going to go after the present time, and in the future. This came up recently with a student in my hellenistic course where there’s a discussion about Bill Gates, and his recent announcement of a divorce from Melinda Gates, from his wife of 27 years, and Saturn is going through his- because I’ve used that as a chart example in my course, and I think it’s in my book as well. Saturn is in his eighth house right now, but one of the things that I said, is that, I thought the marriage probably broke up while Saturn was transiting through his seventh house through Capricorn, because he’s a Cancer rising, over the past few years, and it’s just, they’re sort of making it public now that they’re going to actually go through the process of splitting up whatever assets are involved, and I think that was actually confirmed recently that there’s a report that came out that she first visited a lawyer in 2019, so one of the questions the student said was, y’know, is there a way that we could’ve told that that Saturn transit through his seventh house would coincide with divorce, as opposed to other scenarios like the death of a spouse, or something like that, and part of my answer is- especially because, we were just talking about looking at that one transit, the answer is no. It partially and very largely depends on the context of the life, and what the trajectory has been up to that point, because usually stuff doesn’t often come out of nowhere, but sometimes earlier versions of that transit where Saturn was in earlier versions of that cycle would’ve set up the trajectory. For example, I was reading a story about how in like 2013 they had a major fight about co-authoring a newsletter together, or it was like he was the primary author and she wanted to co-author it with him, and he said no, and they fought about it, and she said that they almost broke up or something, but then eventually there was some leeway, and she started writing a sub article, and then they co-authored it the next year, and that would’ve been that time frame that it said in the article was when Saturn was transiting through Scorpio, which would’ve been his Saturn return. When Saturn was returning back to its’ natal position, and also activating his Saturn, which is the ruler of his seventh house, and now we see, y’know, seven or eight years later, we see the waxing square of that now that Saturn is in Aquarius, the next fixed sign, and it’s them breaking up, so we can kind of tell if you’re looking at things like that. If we had taken that back even further seven years before that, there was probably some other issue that came up that tested their relationship, and made them question whether it was going to continue, or if they were going to stay in it, and seven years before that there may have been something similar. Part of astrological prediction is the astrologer sitting down with the client and going through their chronology, and figuring out the life trajectory, and once you do that, and you identify certain patterns, and certain planets that coincide with certain types of events over and over again, you can usually project that out, but it requires the context in order to be able to make an accurate prediction, or at least you’ll make a more accurate prediction with context, than you would without.

LS: Yeah, definitely, because there is an archetypal experience around certain transits, or certain different timing things with regard to astrology, and you might not be able to say nearly as specifically what it will be without the context. I always like to think of it as though you’re going into a doctors office, and they have a list of your lab results, but you refuse to tell them what you’re experiencing symptom wise. It’s kind of a similar thing.

CB: Yeah, you’re like, why don’t you guess?

LS: Right! It’s kind of similar.

CB: You’re the doctor. You went to medical school.

LS: Right, and it’s similar, like right? You have a list of values. You have a list of numbers. It’s kind of similar to having a chart and transits, and whatever timing you’re using. You can get a shape of things without hearing from the client, but it’s going to take you a lot longer, and you’re going to be less precise trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.

CB: Yeah, because you’re going to make them act like they’re Sherlock Holmes in order to track down and see by your facial, y’know, paleness or something like that, or you have track marks on your arm that you’re actually like- you’ve been struggling with drug addiction. You’re a heroin user. Instead of coming to them and being like, y’know, doc I’m a heroin user, and I’m struggling with addiction issues. Can you help me with that, or something like that, and the same with the astrologer as if they’re supposed to infer what the precise manifestations of each of the placements are when there’s a range of different manifestations for each one of them.

LS: Mhm, right, exactly. Because if you go into a doctor you could get a bunch of different diagnoses that would still have some of the same lab values, so it’s a bit similar to that.

CB: Yeah. I mean, the Bill Gates transit, it’s just Saturn transiting through the seventh house, and the most basic difficulties with relationships let’s say, as like the broad archetype of that transit, and under that rubric there could’ve been many different, y’know, types of difficulties with relationships, but evidently for them it was the dissolving of a relationship, and the end of a relationship.

LS: Mhm, or even say with zodiacal releasing with the loosing of the bond. That’s a major turning point, but whether that’s a turning point towards a separation of a relationship, vs if you’ve been single up until that point, it might be getting married. It can be a very different turning point depending on what the context is before that point.

CB: Right, yeah. Context is important. I understand that there are some people that might be skeptics of astrology, or even if you’re not fully skeptical you want to see what the astrologer can do, and you kind of- there’s a part of everyone that wants to be impressed by it, so I understand that. There’s a place for that, but just understand if that’s what you’re trying to do you’re probably, in the end, going to get less out of the consultation than you might have otherwise, and sometimes even if you give the person context you may still be able to accomplish what you’re seeking out to do, because if they have better context for your life, any predictions they do make are going to be much more grounded in the birth chart, and in actually realistic potential outcomes, so they may actually be able to make much more successful and much more precise and accurate predictions if they have the context of your life, which would actually serve the same purpose as a demonstration of astrology being valid and useful, and having predictive capabilities of some sort, vs y’know, the approach of just trying to get them to guess what your life and personality is like based on not telling them anything. That’s actually the worst case scenario. That’s probably the least productive thing is just sitting stone faced with no talking to them about your life, and no feedback, or anything else. Because one of the most important points is that an astrological consultation is primarily supposed to be a dialogue between you, the client, and the astrologer, and that back and forth, and that piece of dialogue is actually a really crucial part of the entire process.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and I think that’s something that’s easy to not fully understand earlier on when you’re getting into astrology. You sort of expect that more should be coming out of just the chart itself, but it really is a dialogue, and, yeah.

CB: Yeah. Don’t talk too little. Flip side of that spectrum is don’t talk too much because the other major stumbling block and major mistake that some clients can make is you’ve only got 75 minutes. Some people will just talk and talk and talk and talk about their life, and not give any time or room for the astrologer to actually say anything about it astrologically. This is actually a legitimate thing that sometimes happens is the client will talk so much about their life experience that they won’t sort of let the astrologer lead or- the astrologer doesn’t entirely have to lead, but ideally we’re talking about at least like a 50/50 thing here rather than, let’s say worst case scenario, the client talks 90% of the time, and then the astrologer gets just 10%, or a few minutes to say anything about the chart, and then the consultation is over, and the client is unhappy feeling like they didn’t get much from it, but the reason for that is that they ended up spending most of the time talking, and weren’t conscious about the fact that they were talking more than listening to an actual interpretation of their chart.

LS: Right, and that can be tricky because of course there’s some value in the client being able to just talk to someone about what’s going on, but the astrologer isn’t supposed to be only a counselor, or a sounding board.

CB: I mean if the client wants that, that’s fine. They just have to understand that they’re using the time for that, and not be disappointed when- sometimes then the astrologer can be put in an awkward position of like, the time is up, and we need to end this, and we can’t. Some astrologers can’t extend it or go long, or even if you pay them extra they may have another client lined up after that, so they have to end it at that point, so it’s fine if you do want to do that. You just have to understand that that’s what you’re using your time for then, and it’s not the astrologers fault if they aren’t able to get as much interpretation in as a result of that.

LS: Yeah, definitely. It can also put the astrologer in a little bit of an awkward position of like, well, should I interrupt to make sure that they hear the things that I actually can tell them? Or, is this what they want from the consultation? Yeah, so, and I have occasionally had people say afterwards, oh I wished I hadn’t talked as much when I listened back through the recording because it was mostly me talking.

CB: Yeah.

LS: Yeah, so just be conscious of that.

CB: Sometimes people do that just because they’re nervous. They’re talking to a stranger who- the astrologer, or the client is talking to the astrologer who is a stranger, or maybe they have a lot on their mind, and they just did need to process it with someone, and that’s fine. Just think about it going into it what you want to get, and y’know, ideally most of the time trying to find a balance between those two is the most effective thing between not talking too much, and not talking too little.

LS: Definitely.

CB: Alright. Testing the astrologer. Anything else?

LS: Uhm, no. I mean I think the only other piece about not testing the astrologer is that we all come from different backgrounds, and so it’s not just the immediate specific context of what you’re coming to the astrologer for, but it’s even like, what kind of background am I coming from? You could have something going on with someone’s ninth house, and they could be doing a postdoc, or they could be struggling to go to undergrad for the first time, y’know, and so you’re still going to be talking about ninth house things. I’ve had that also occasionally with job things where someone is living in an area that’s very isolated, and so there aren’t many jobs at all, and that’s a very different context to be talking about career timing, vs like someone living in a metropolitan city, and having advanced degrees and things like that, so it’s kind of like, the chart can be the chart for a turtle, or the chart for a person. Even if all the charts-

CB: Hey that’s my line.

LS: Haha, but even if all the charts are for people, we still all come from very different backgrounds and contexts growing up, and life experience wise. And so, haha-

CB: I’m really hurt. Get your own analogies. The turtle analogy is mine.

LS: The rock. Maybe a rock?

CB: That’s not an animated object. Obviously that’s a terrible analogy.

LS: A mouse. I’ll use a mouse. Yeah, so, but we all- I have, I mean, and that’s something you learn as an astrologer on the flip side that your own assumptions about where people are coming from on average, in terms of life opportunities and past experiences they already have on their belt and things like that, can be very different, and that will shape what you say about timing for the next year or two, or something like that

CB: Yeah, like let’s look at our diagram that shows the significations of the houses. So what are ninth house significations? Travel, foreign things, education, religion. So somebody may have placements in the ninth house, and that manifests as, let’s say they’re going through a Satrurn transit, and it manifests as education is like a major focus for them at the time. Another person may have a Saturn transit, and living in a foreign country is like a major focus for two or three years during that time. Another person may have that transit and they’re going through like a religious conversion or something like that at that time. There’s different ways that the same, or a similar transit, or chart placement, can manifest in a variety of different ways that all fall under the same archetypal rubric, or archetype as we say, but it really helps to know the context of that in order to be able to make more specific statements about it. Especially in terms of projecting that out into the future.

LS: Mhm, definitely.

CB: And that is what an astrological consultation is, and we need to really drill down on that. An astrological consultation is a dialogue, and a back and forth; a first house seventh house exchange between two parties where the client says something about their life, the astrologer looks at the chart and connects that with the chart, and that helps the astrologer understand better certain chart placements. Then the astrologer says something back to the client in interpreting that, that hits the client in a certain way, and may unlock certain things that they then remember, or think are relevant, which they then state to the astrologer, and then the astrologer looks at the chart again, and that further clarifies something that they’re seeing in the chart that they then state to the client, and that’s the process really ideally that’s happening that entire 75 minutes. The two of you are coming to understand your life better. The clients life better in getting an increasingly clearer and clearer picture and understanding of it based on the back and forth, and the dialogue in the exchange that’s occurring within the context of the consultation, and once you understand that as the client, and understand that that’s what’s actually supposed to be happening in the consultation, then it kind of clears up a lot of things, and you understand some of these pros and cons that we’re mentioning of the most optimal way to do that, and not, y’know, over emphasizing or under emphasizing certain parts of that because it needs to be pretty even in order to work the most optimally most of the time.

LS: Yeah, absolutely, and I think that’s something you only learn if you’ve had consultations, or if you’ve done consultations for a while on either side, as either party. The dialogue is actually where it’s at. It’s not just, here, let me give you information.

CB: Yeah, definitely. That being said it’s still one 75 minute thing. It’s just one consultation. You’re not going to be able to go over everything, so you have to moderate your own expectations about how much you can cover, and prioritize what’s important to you to cover. Maybe you do have a long list of ten different things, but it’d be best if you prioritize them from most to least important, and then just try to cover what you can in that time, and understand that you may only be able to get through let’s say five of those things.

LS: Mhm, and I think kind of related to that, it’s important to know that when you go and talk with an astrologer, even if you’re having a birth chart reading, and it’s just stated as a birth chart reading generically, it’s going to be one take on your chart. It’s not going to be the end all forever. There’s not a once and done, or a certain single meaning of your chart, or even a certain single meaning of a single chart placement, because your life evolves over time, y’know, and so different placements can manifest in different specific ways over time, or even multiple ways at a single time in your life. Also, you, haha-

CB: What do you- do you have any examples of that by chance?

LS: No, no no, haha.

CB: Not that we haven’t mentioned many times before on the podcast, but there was this younger astrologer once that I gave a reading to, and I talked about certain chart placements being relevant, and they were like, no that has absolutely no relevance in my life, and they didn’t exactly call me a terrible astrologer, but this young woman said in no uncertain terms that the delineation was not correct, and did not fit her life in any way.

LS: Mhm, right.

CB: Do you recall me talking about this?

LS: I do. I do recall.

CB: Okay,

LS: Yeah, so certain things can only manifest later in life, and so they may not make immediate sense at a certain time in your life. Especially earlier on.

CB: Right, but the astrologer ultimately could still be right.

LS: They could be.

CB: They could be if you’re talking to a really good astrologer like me. I had looked at your chart just in passing one day when we were hanging out. It wasn’t a consultation like a normal client astrologer thing, but more looking at each other’s charts as friends in passing or something like that, and I said the certain placement that would make sense in terms of getting involved in organizations, or leading an organization, or something like that, in an organizational capacity.

LS: Or groups of people. Doing something with groups of people.

CB: Ninth house and eleventh house stuff, and that had not been the case for you for the most part up to that point, but then later you became the president of an astrological organization for the better part of like a decade?

LS: Mhm, right.

CB: Yeah, so I was right.

LS: You were right, but in fairness it had not happened yet.

CB: Right. It was a placement that hadn’t manifested in your life yet, supposedly.

LS: Right, and so this is not only for you to recount the story again, but in terms of relevance to what we’re talking about today. You have to be open to things that may not have manifested yet in your particular chart. That is actually a thing, so an astrologer can be talking about a placement in your chart, or a collection of placements, and maybe you don’t relate to it, and it could just be that it hasn’t happened yet because particularly in traditional astrology, not everything in the chart is seen as constantly happening. It’s more like it can be turned on at different times, so that’s always a possibility. On the flip side-

CB: I mean that’s especially relevant for younger people, and that’s a real problem, and potential pitfall with doing consultations for younger people, is a lot of the stuff that may be indicated in the chart about their life may not have manifest, or may not have happened yet, and sometimes people grow and change as they get older, or their life goes in directions that they didn’t expect, or what have you, and that’s okay, but it’s just a potential thing to be aware of, but at the same time you should still also- it’s okay as a client to be open with the astrologer. You don’t want to be a jerk about it, but you can still be like, no, I’m sorry that doesn’t match my life at the present time, or that doesn’t quite jive, and sometimes that feedback is good and important because it can help the astrologer to look harder and sometimes modify what they’re saying. Not in that they’re like cold reading you, but there is a certain amount of calibration that goes into understanding how the chart placements are playing out, and some factors could be offsetting certain placements that they’re not going to be taking into account, or they’re not going to be realizing that that’s offsetting things until they hear that feedback from you.

LS: Mhm, definitely, or it could’ve manifested in a different specific that still falls in the same arena symbolically in the astrology, and so, but you haven’t mentioned that one yet maybe, and so if the client then says no, that hasn’t been the case for me with that particular topic, you might be like, oh okay, well it can also be related to this topic, which would maybe fall in the same house, or that kind of thing, and they may be like, oh yeah that actually does work.

CB: Yeah. It can be like- let’s just go back to our ninth house placements. The astrologer could say, this placement could manifest major focus on education, and you’re like, no the education isn’t that important to me, and they’re like okay. Well, other areas that it could be a major focus on is religion and spirituality, and you could be like, oh yeah I’m training to be a priest or something like that. That process of, y’know, hearing the initial delineation, and giving that feedback of no, that’s not connecting. That’s probably actually one we should add on, which is a common mistake that clients make is not seeing the way that the archetype of what the astrologer is delineating can fit their life. Sometimes they’re expecting the astrologer to say, if not the precise exact thing, like to use the exact phrase, and unless the astrologer uses the exact phrase in the way that the client themselves conceptualizes it, the client can sometimes reject that as being not relevant, or not true, even if it actually is. It’s just not phrased in the precise way that the client understands it themselves. Let’s say something about religion, or spirituality, or something like that. The astrologer could say religion and spirituality is an important topic for you, and the person’s like, no it’s not, but then the person is a professor of philosophy or something like that let’s say. In that way that delineation is still true of thinking about bigger picture things about existence, or philosophy, or meaning of life, rather things like that are somehow relevant in that person’s life. The astrologer just isn’t phrasing it in the exact way, and sometimes a lot of clients, especially if they’ve been around astrology for a while, they understand the multivalence of the archetypes, and can take in the delineation from the astrologer, and say no, that’s not precisely true, but that does relate to this part of my life. There are some clients who don’t realize that that’s what they’re supposed to be doing, and that can create a stumbling block if they’re not expecting or anticipating that.

LS: Yeah, definitely. I’ve had similar things where, a few times actually, I’ve had someone with their chart with career connected to the ninth house, but it won’t be a ninth house topic that they do for their career, but they actually travel all the time for work, and so it can be a totally different way that you’re not necessarily expecting it to show up in the connection, but it still fits one of the topics there, and so their career is not about travel, but they do travel for work. It can be things like that as well, which, y’know, astrology is a language, and what we’re doing is a translation, and translation is imperfect. Especially when you’re talking about multivalent things, and so it’s a little bit like a dialogue to try to get to those specifics that won’t always hit on the very first try.

CB: Yeah, and figuring out that middle ground between when it is that the astrologer’s really not saying something that’s right, or not giving an accurate delineation of the chart for some reason, vs when are they getting close enough in the neighborhood that they’re actually picking up on something that is a genuine portion of the person’s life, but just needs to be maybe rephrased or reframed in a certain way in order to clarify the exact particular manifestation of the archetype.

LS: Right, and related to that in terms of feedback, it is important if the consultation is kind of- if you’re really not relating to something, or if the consultation not really going in the direction that you were hoping, or it’s not focusing on the things you were wanting to, it is important to feel enough self possession to bring that up before the consultation is over.

CB: Yeah. It’s okay to redirect things.

LS: Yeah, and the astrologer sometimes won’t know if you need that unless you say that. Most of the time it seems like things are going fine, but if it’s not going fine for you, you need to kind of be like, actually, I hoped we would talk about this, and so there’s still time left to do that, and there’s time left for the course correction rather than just being disappointed after the fact. Because as we’ve been talking about, it is a dialogue. It is a two way interaction. It’s not supposed to be like a performance that you are judging, or a passive observer, or things like that, unless it’s like a pre-recorded, y’know, natal chart delineation, but most of the time with most consultations it is a dialogue. You do need to play that part in going, “this isn’t quite working for me,” or something like that.

CB: Right. There’s different angles or insights into a chart. You can go to different astrologers, and they’re going to read different placements differently. Some with more or less clarity. Some just from different angles. There may be some astrologers that have more of a psychological take on things. There might be some astrologers who have more of a spiritual take on things. There might be some astrologers that have more of a concrete predictive take on things. That’s one of the values of actually going to different astrologers both purely as a client, or as an astrology enthusiast, but also if you’re a student of astrology, or if you’re even a professional astrologer, and have aspirations to be a professional astrologer. One of the great things you can do is to go get your chart read by different astrologers because you’ll see how different astrologers approach things, and sometimes that can be useful or illustrative both in turning you on to different approaches to astrology that you might not know about anyways, and you might want to study after getting a consultation, but also if you become a professional astrologer at some point it’s important to have had that experience of getting your chart read with different astrologers so you can know, y’know, what are some of the things that I liked or didn’t like about those consultations, and that I would like to craft my own consultation style to be like, in order to, y’know, give people the best consultation that I can having had that experience with other astrologers. What can I take from those experiences in order to do good consultations myself in the future?

LS: Right, and different astrologers no matter what, like even if they have the same style, same approach to astrology, they’re going to have different insights on different placements, maybe even have different insights at different times on those placements, and that’s why I always feel like it’s really important that it’s not just a single take on your chart. You don’t just get your chart read once and that’s all there is to it, and that’s the only thing it can mean. Because there are so many different facets of even just a single placement, or house rulership, or something, and so different astrologers are going to have different insights you can take away from that that aren’t necessarily like, this one is true and therefore this one is false. It’s just a different facet of the truth.

CB: Yeah, and the chart itself- sometimes there’s so much going on in it, and there are so many different ways to look at it that sometimes…there are some astrologers that a consultation, especially a more psychological astrologer, where a consultation is something you can do more than once that you’re not expected to necessarily, but where you could talk about a certain number of things. Let’s say three to five topics in one consultation, but then if there are other topics that you didn’t get to that you still want to talk about, and the astrologer says that they could still address, you could just do another consultation at some other later date in order to explore other parts of the chart, and that’s okay as well.

LS: Yeah, for sure, and especially if you’re dealing with timing. Because, y’know, when you start talking about timing, and how different pieces of the chart are animated at different times. You can talk about that pretty much forever because the timing will always be changing.

CB: Yeah, and some astrologers, or some clients, will do an annual consultation on their birthday to look at their annual profections, or their solar returns, or what their transits are going to be for the coming year, or different things like that. There are some clients as a practicing astrologer that you’ll see periodically during the course of their life, and you’ll, y’know, do another followup consultation a year, or years later, and you’ll hear how things went, and how things ended up playing out, and where they’re at in their life now, and then that new context can help you to then project where things are going to go in the future.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and that can be really valuable on both sides, kind of seeing how those things change over time, and how the specifics kind of come into manifestation in certain years, and things like that.

CB: Right, yeah for sure. Alright, so, dialogue preparations. You can ask individual astrologers if any preparation would be useful ahead of time for the consultation, such as, for example, sometimes looking back at past dates in your life, or doing research into dates. Especially if you’re not that great at recalling specific dates on the fly from memory. Sometimes it can be useful to research past dates when important things happened in your life, so that if, for example- and to go into the consultation with that information, because in some instances there are some astrologers where that information might be useful where they might want to know the date when you got married, or you got your job, or you got a job promotion, or you got a divorce, or you left the country and moved abroad, or what have you. Knowing those dates could provide context by looking back at the transits, or what parts of your chart were activated at those times in order, again, to get that sort of trajectory of events in your life.

LS: Mhm, definitely, and different astrologers may want that more than others, but especially if you’re asking about a specific topic, or two topics, or something, then you might look back at past dates related to those topics just in case it comes up. Similarly, I’ve had a fair number of clients come to the consultation with a journal or a diary next to them, or their email up on the screen, so that they can quickly search for something if we’re talking about dates.

CB: Right. That can be useful, and can be, again, just depending on different types of consultations, can be useful if you’re looking for something more predictive, or more date oriented, and some astrologers may take that into account, and others may not.

LS: Mhm.

CB: It’s good to think about, or sometimes ask about if that would be helpful for the astrologer ahead of time, or alternatively if that’s not something they would normally take into account if it would not be.

LS: Right.

CB: Since you don’t necessarily force that issue if that’s not their approach as well.

LS: For sure.

CB: Right. Alright, we’re back from a break. Where should we start again?

LS: Uhm, let’s see…I think the next note was on expectations of specificity, and what is and isn’t possible.

CB: Okay.

LS: It’s good to have reasonable expectations, which I know can be a little bit hard if you’re coming in as a new person who doesn’t know a lot about astrology yet, or you don’t practice astrology yourself, but it’s good to have a reasonable expectation about what the astrologer can see in your chart, and that echoes a little bit back to what we were talking about in terms of providing context. For instance, the chart will not tell the specific context of your life. It will tell some of the outlines of different areas of your life, or some of the outlines of different pieces of your personality, and so forth, but it won’t get all the way down to the specifics necessarily. Now I want to sort of counter that. You can sometimes see surprisingly literal manifestations in the chart.

CB: Yeah, I mean there are some surprisingly specific things.

LS: Mhm, there are. It’s just a matter of kind of like we were talking about it at length a few moments ago. The multivalent nature of the symbols, and different archetypes, and so forth, so they may or may not latch onto the first one being this specific way that it plays out in your life, or has so far.

CB: Yeah. I mean it’s really tricky, but the main thing is just that there’s the consultation between any astrologer, when this is your first time seeing them, is going to be an ongoing process of managing the expectations between the astrologer and client, and getting in the clients expectations that they have going into it during the course of the consultation, getting appropriately adapted to what the astrologer actually has to offer. Which may be more specific, or may be less specific than what the client is actually looking for, depending on what their approach to astrology is.

LS: Right, definitely, and also that kind of harkens back to when I was mentioning, do you need a natal consultation? Do you need a horary reading? Because sometimes people are looking for a really specific answer to a ‘yes’ or ’no’ question from a natal chart, and sometimes you can kind of see pretty well, but you can’t always. Whereas that is a little bit more of the nature of a horary chart, as like just a chart for the question itself, whereas the natal has to encompass everything about your life, so it may or may not drill down into the very specifics of one question you have.

CB: Yeah, or also when should I start something? Which might be more of an electional thing, or, are me and this person compatible? Which might be more of a relationship analysis thing. Things like that.

LS: Right, definitely.

CB: Okay, so expectations- what are your expectations obviously as a new person to astrology, or new astrology you might not know what to expect, but figuring out how to modify that, and adapt it to- y’know, when I got into astrology I expected it to be highly specific, and entirely about past life stuff, and predictive, and when I started learning astrology I started learning it through Astrodienst, Astro.com, and through modern psychological astrology, where its not really predictive as much. Prediction is more of a side effect, or epiphenomena of psychological analysis, and the ability of astrology to study peoples’ psyche, and so I had to then sort of change and adapt my expectations of what I thought you should be able to do with astrology just coming in off the street to what astrology was actually like, and how it was designed. Then four or five years later I had to go through another transformation when I discovered hellenistic astrology, which was more predictive and concrete, and then again I started changing and adapting my expectations a little bit to what astrology could do in that context, and so I think every person who’s seeing a new astrologer, adapting your expectations to match what the astrologer actually has to offer is going to be a sort of ongoing process during the course of the consultation.

LS: Mhm, definitely. I think that’s a really good point because even if you kind of know what astrology can do, different astrologers, y’know, may offer different things, and so you do need to kind of on the fly adjust to what they’re offering you in particular.

CB: Yeah, and it’s better usually to adjust than it is to attempt to force the astrologer to meet whatever your expectation is of what they should be able to do, but instead figure out what it is that this person does offer, and what’s interesting or useful about it even if it’s different than what you’re expecting. For example, that was something that I commonly experienced when I was doing consultations when I would do zodiacal releasing, and zodiac releasing would always feature as a major component of pretty much all of my natal consultations, but it was such a different and a weird technique compared to what most astrologers were doing because it takes the entire life and breaks it up into different chapters, and subsections, as if the life is a book, and then we would spend time going through from the start of the person’s life mapping out how well it had matched up to their life up to the present, and then projecting that out into the future, and that was very different than what most people were expecting, but they still by the end of it tended to leave pretty impressed, and pretty interested in what I did actually have to offer, but it takes a little bit of being willing to let go of what your own expectations are to a certain extent in order to take in the unique perspective that that astrologer that you’ve signed up to get a consultation with has to offer you.

LS: Mhm, definitely. I have that experience a bit too where people are thinking occasionally- I mean, I think it’s helpful when people do hear you on podcasts, or blog posts, or things like that, they know kind of what you do compared to another astrologer.

CB: Which is why it’s good to research ahead of time if you’re a client for a prospective astrologer, like what their approach is.

LS: Right, but I usually, y’know, clients do more or less know what to expect with me, but occasionally I do get some people who are thinking I’m going to talk more about their spiritual purpose, or psychological tendencies, and y’know, it’s not that I can’t speak to some of those pieces, but it’s not where I usually focus. Yeah, people usually are pretty happy with what it can do, what the tools that I use can do, by the end. I think some of my misconceptions when I first got into astrology about what it could provide, and within the context of a consultation, I was really bad about not giving context, like in terms of giving feedback, or giving specifics about my own life. I sort of thought when I started out that I should be able to just sit back and listen more or less.

CB: Yeah you’re a terrible client.

LS: I would be a terrible client, yes, haha.

CB: You were a terrible client.

LS: Haha, so I know better- well I wasn’t your client just to be clear!

CB: No. You were not my client.

LS: Yeah, you’re speaking more casually.

CB: You were just a friend that was very annoying to read your chart.

LS: Well, okay, so anyway!

CB: I’m just messing with you a little bit.

LS: Yeah, haha. Uhm, so I know what some of those misconceptions early on feel like because I know I had some of them, so that was one of mine that- the astrologer should be able to just clearly say everything from the chart alone, and not need my feedback, or input, or context, as one thing. I know also I get, y’know, sometimes people sort of have a really vague idea of what astrology can provide, and that it’s sort of allied to spiritual topics, and so therefore you should be able to tell them: what is my purpose in life? What is my singular purpose in being alive? Things like that, that are just really broad. You start to get a little bit more sense if you learn a little more astrology, or you go to a consultation or two. You start to get a sense of what is possible to do, and what is sort of the best use of the time.

CB: Yeah, and I mean, there are some astrologers that do specialize in that, so, which is fine if that’s their thing.

LS: Mhm.

CB: Some of this discussion is covering a little bit similar ground, if people are interested in the discussion we’ve had today, I recommend checking out 168 of the Astrology Podcast, which was titled, ‘Dennis Harness on Astrological Counseling Styles,’ and there are some pieces of this discussion that we expanded on there, and that’s available both on the Astrology Podcast website page. If you go to the episodes page, and scroll down to episode 168, as well as if you search our Youtube channel under that title, there are some good additional discussions that’s relevant both to clients as well as astrologers.

LS: Mhm.

CB: Is there anything else on that specific topic?

LS: I don’t think so. I think we kind of covered it earlier.

CB: Okay. Followup questions in emails afterwards, and the extent to which followup questions are appropriate, vs when it becomes almost inappropriate.

LS: Mhm, so different astrologers can and do have different policies around this sometimes, and some of them will state them up front, or some of them will just have different ones if you ask, so if you are wanting to ask a followup question I think you might, y’know, it’s good to ask at the end of the consultation if that’s okay or not. I usually find that it’s most appropriate if it’s more of a clarification question, rather than a new topic question, like that you didn’t get to during the consultation. If you’re clarifying something that you didn’t fully understand after going back and listening to the recording or something. It’s also helpful though to do it like as soon as possible, if you are going to have a followup question because on the astrologers side they may have had five other consultations even in that week or something, by the time that your question comes in, and then they’re going to have to go back to your chart and refresh themselves and so forth. I think it’s always good to do it as soon as possible if it’s just a clarifying thing. It can be just good to sit with what you have already talked about, and just absorb it a little bit.

CB: Yeah.

LS: You know? Then if you have questions after that it might be appropriate to do another followup session later, but that gets back a little bit to the like you can’t cover everything in one session.

CB: Yeah, and we need to contrast that with what is the opposite extreme that would be inappropriate.

LS: Yeah, so sending lots of questions after the consultation.

CB: So sending an email to the astrologer after the consultation with a list of like 20 questions that’s like ten pages long. That would be inappropriate.

LS: That would be inappropriate. That would clearly be inappropriate. Thankfully that doesn’t normally happen to that extent. It’s just important to know that even if you send not 20 questions, but three questions or something, it’s still like, if it’s not what you talked about during the consult, then that’s not necessarily a great email thing to do.

CB: Yeah. There’s a little bit of an issue where in an astrological consultation you’re primarily paying for the astrologer’s time, and what the set time limit is in which that is the arena in which you have a certain amount of time to ask the questions that are important and pertinent to you. If you don’t ask those questions and prioritize the most important ones within that, and your time is up, then anything that you ask beyond that, you’re kind of going over time, and you’re kind of in a way- it can sometimes, if you ask like 20 questions, and the astrologer feels compelled to answer those, you’re kind of pushing it, and almost taking advantage of the astrologer to a certain extent if you’re asking them to do extra work outside of what you’ve already paid them for.

LS: Right.

CB: Is why that becomes an issue, and where it become a thing, where- on the the other side in terms of recommendations to astrologers to a certain point is if a person is asking too many questions, or follow up questions, the astrologer is within their right, and it’s okay to say, this is something that would probably require us to do a second consultation in order for me to be able to answer all these questions. It’s tricky because there’s a certain middle ground where if the person just has one or two clarifying questions that might be okay, and that might be- the astrologer might be fine with that. That’s going to differ from astrologer to astrologer. Differ in terms of how busy they are, y’know, many other things, but it’s something to be cognizant of and careful about potentially, because that is something that could be a mistake that you could make as a client, or as a new astrologer, if you expect or sort of demand the astrologer to answer 20 other questions that you didn’t bring up in the consultation, because that would really be kind of pushing it into a level of inappropriateness.

LS: Mhm, yeah, and some of that is a matter of boundaries, y’know, and having understood boundaries about this is the time that we’re taking. Some of that can be about a misunderstanding of what it takes to answer a question, y’know, even one question, which may take the astrologer going back to your chart after they’ve looked at a whole bunch of other ones, and reminding themselves of what it looks like, and then maybe having to do a timing technique depending on what you’re asking, so it is actually extra work. It’s usually not just an off the top of your head response, and so that’s something that’s good to know as well.

CB: Yeah. It takes work and preparation for each question, and that’s why sometimes even needing to know that going into the consultation so they can do any necessary prep is important.

LS: Mhm, yeah, and just prioritizing what you want to talk about to make sure that you do get to talk about it.

CB: Right. Different astrologers have different policies. Obviously sometimes when you’re getting towards the end of your time, some people might panic, and, y’know, you’re running out of time so you might try to cram some questions in, or there may be some things that were said earlier in the consultation that you forgot, or you’re not really clear on. One thing that I always remind people, and that’s really useful to remember if you’re in a consultation, is just to remember that for most astrologers once a consultation is over you’re going to get a recording of that consultation in some format usually either audio or maybe video. In which case just remember that you’re going to be able to go back and review the recording afterwards, assuming that comes with the consultation, and most astrologers will say on their consultations page what type of recording you’ll get, and whether you’ll get a recording. Most will offer that, and just remember that because it’s something that’s useful to know that you can go back and listen to things, and sometimes going back and relistening to the conversation can give you some clarity later on.

LS: Yeah, definitely, and especially if the astrologer is using tools or techniques that you’re not as accustomed to. Then it’s really extra helpful to listen through again, and fully absorb it maybe more than you did the first time.

CB: Well, because you may go off and study that technique, and then get more proficient at it, and then you’ll come back and listen to the consultation again, and understand better why the astrologer was saying that, or some of the additional nuances and details that maybe you missed at the time, but then once you have a better understanding of it it’ll be more clear to you.

LS: Mhm, for sure.

CB: That’s helpful because it helps take some of the pressure off of you, and I think that’s a really valuable thing about the consultation. It’s also one of the reasons why as an astrologer I would wake up with cold sweats, having a nightmare about losing a consultation recording.

LS: Yeah.

CB: Every astrologer occasionally has that one consultation where something happened, and you lost the recording, so that does happen. It doesn’t happen very often. I don’t know why i’m mentioning that because I’ll probably scare some people, but most of the time, like 99% of the time, you’re going to walk away with a recording, and that recording is kind of valuable, because it does give you the ability to go back to that for years, and sometimes gaining new insights from things many years in the future.

LS: Mhm, and if it’s not clear you can always ask at the beginning of the consultation, is this being recorded for me? Or, can I record this on my side? And usually, y’know, the small minority of astrologers who won’t record it for you are fine with you recording it on your own.

CB: Yeah, right, or if you don’t want it recorded I guess you could ask that.

LS: Yeah. I do ask that sometimes too. If people want to talk very confidentially.

CB: Right.

LS: Yeah.

CB: So many people are using Zoom at this point that its built-in audio and video recording capabilities are really handy in terms of being pretty reliable at this point.

LS: Yeah, definitely. I was thinking back as you were mentioning you losing recordings, and I think it’s only happened to me twice, and it was back when I was using Skype years ago, but I don’t think I’ve lost any since Zoom. You can forget to press record, but that’s pretty much it.

CB: Yeah. Don’t do that. I still have nightmares about losing the Dane Rudhyar podcast episode with Chet Zdrowski where we prepared for months for that episode. It was like a two hour recording, it was amazing, and then I looked at the file afterwards, and we only had like 20 minutes of audio, and we had to redo the entire thing a few days later.

LS: Yeah. That’s terrible!

CB: Yeah.

LS: That wasn’t over Zoom?

CB: I don’t know what that was over, but it was before or after that when I instituted doing backup recordings for everything, so I haven’t lost anything since then, and I’ve had to do fallback- I’ve had to rely on the fallback recordings a few times when one of my primary or secondary ones have failed, but now I’ve got a pretty good system going.

LS: Yes. You have many backups.

CB: Yeah. I’ve just jinxed myself as we’re going into a Mercury retrograde.

LS: We’re gonna lose this recording, haha.

CB: I’m actually backing up a bunch of stuff right now from my desktop in preparation for this Mercury retrograde, so I hope I didn’t jinx myself.

LS: Right.

CB: Alright. So you’ll get the recording. It’s really useful. You can always refer to it, and hopefully that takes a little of the pressure off of you not to have to remember and fully internalize everything because that’s something you can sit with afterwards, and may continue to be relevant for years.

LS: Mhm. Yeah, I love actually- it was just last week someone played back the recording and was like, paraphrased, or they typed out what I said at 45 minutes in, and it was right after they just got a new job that they didn’t expect to get, and I was like, well, I think this looks really good for some sort of new job! So it’s cool that you can have that too when things happen that you’re not expecting to happen.

CB: Right. I myself don’t have a recording of that other consultation that I referred to years ago. I always wish that I did. Not just audio, but video of your blank expression as I was reading your chart, and you were just like, no, that’s not relevant to my life in any way, and you’re a terrible astrologer.

LS: Haha! I did not say that for the record.

CB: You may not have used those exact words, but I still hold a grudge.

LS: Mm, yes.

CB: Alright. Followup questions by email, we got that. Remember you’ll have the recording.

LS: Yeah, so this is helpful for astrologers as well on your side, and not just the client’s side, to think about how specifically you present yourself on your about page. On your consultation offerings. Exactly what you write out. What you write out about your astrological style, and just how you include that in different things. Different pieces of the work that you do, so that future prospective clients can understand where you’re coming from already, and know whether or not you’re a good fit for them.

CB: Yeah, and it’s tough because there’s attention there that consulting astrologers might have on their description page to not want to be overly specific because they don’t want to turn away clients who might see something, and think, oh, this astrologer doesn’t do xyz, and therefore I shouldn’t consult with them, when there may be something valuable that they could offer, and so there’s sometimes a tendency that I think astrologers have to make things as broad or general as they can in order to not seem like they’re excluding or turning anyone away, but I would argue that sometimes greater specificity in being clear about what your approach is, and what you offer as a consulting astrologer, can help you attract more of the type of clients that you want to see, and want to see you, that it’s going to ensure that you’re giving better consultations that the client is walking away happier with, and in the end that’s going to be a greater, sort of net benefit than it is a loss.

LS: Yeah, I agree. People are going to seek you out for the things that you actually have to offer, rather than asking you to do things that are not your strengths, and therefore neither of you being super happy at the end.

CB: Right, exactly. Totally. What are some things about that, I mean, things like, y’know, I like seeing different astrologers’ bio pages and seeing how they describe themselves. Sometimes people say- it’s been wild for me in the past few years to see people describing themselves as a hellenistic astrologer or what have you. It’s kind of a new thing, but saying that, yeah, you have some fluency in hellenistic astrologer, or you do evolutionary astrology, or you focus on psychological astrology, saying that you specialize in secondary progressions, or y’know, different timing techniques like transits, or zodiacal releasing…what else?

LS: Yeah. The eclipses. Some people do solar arcs. Things like that.

CB: Yeah. Clarifying your offerings about what branches you offer, and maybe offering those for different prices in some instances, whether you offer y’know, natal astrology, or horary, or electional, or rectification, or other things like that. Some astrologers break things up into like- those are very broad categories by branches, but some astrologers break up their natal consultation offerings with, like, a natal chart reading vs a solar return reading, or an annual prediction reading, or there’s also some astrologers that do have a difference between their first time client fee, which is sometimes higher vs a followup consultation fee, which’ll be lower than their initial fee.

LS: Mhm, right, so that’s important to know going in too in terms of what the astrologer is going to be expecting to offer you. I’ve never broken it up that way in terms of, y’know, just a stand alone natal reading vs timing, and I think I have in my description currently that i focus a little more on timing than static natal placements unless requested otherwise, but it is certainly a common thing that people do break them up like that, and so you have to just sign up for one or the other, or both in order to get all of that.

CB: Yeah, and I never did that. I did break up the branches as offerings, but not the different consultation types within that, but it’s something that’s good to think about if that is something that you want to do just in terms of making your offerings clear on your description page, so that people know what they’re getting.

LS: Mhm, definitely.

CB: Yeah. Anything else about that in terms of consulting astrologers?

LS: Mmm, no. I think that’s all.

CB: Okay. Anything about clients- that it’s just a good idea to see different astrologers to be exposed to different approaches. Kind of covered that.

LS: Yeah, we kind of covered that.

CB: I guess all I’ve got, and I already said part of this earlier, is something I’ve been thinking about a lot about the hermetic nature of astrology, and astrology traditionally being ruled by the planet Mercury. It’s partially because astrologers were viewed as messengers, or translators of the stars and of fate. Astrological consultations have always, in its thousand year history, primarily been done verbally. This is actually from a historical standpoint. A really annoying part of studying the history of astrology is- especially in very early astrology, and in the Bableonian and Messopetamian period, and even in the Hellenistic period, we have a bunch of sometimes cuneiform tablets, like little clay tablets, or sometimes pieces of papyrus that contain birth chart placements, but we don’t actually have the interpretations that go with those placements, so we don’t necessarily always know how the astrologers would’ve interpreted a birth chart because that information probably would’ve been conveyed verbally. Just like it is still in modern times where the vast majority of astrological consultations are not written out, or even pre-recorded ahead of time. They are done through a verbal consultation that takes the form of a dialogue between the astrologer and the client. There’s something about the nature of the exchange between the client and the astrologer that draws something else out, and that you create during the course of the consultation through the negotiation of understand the person’s life, or birth chart, or fate, or what have you, whatever you want to call it, that is an important and unique experience that comes about as a part of an exchange, of like a first house self, and seventh house other type exchange between the two parties, and it’s very much a process instead of just something that goes all one way or the other.

LS: Mhm, right, and it’s kind of like negotiating the symbols themselves, and kind of teasing out the specifics in that dialogue, and almost, it’s not quite to the extent of this, but also like creating a third entity of the conversation itself.

CB: Yeah, and sometimes you can kind of see that and how well it’s going to go in the consultation itself, and sometimes you can see if you cast a chart for the start of the consultation to some extent, what the focus of the consultation is going to be, or just some of the things that are going to come up, and what the dynamic is between the astrologer and the client. This became kind of annoying for me back when I was doing consultations because I then would try to pick better electional charts sometimes because I would sometimes have a chart where I just scheduled it whenever, and it would end up being a bad electional chart, and then it wouldn’t go very well, and so then it sometimes made me more paranoid about wanting to pick a better chart for each consultation, but then that becomes, if not a hassle, somewhat impractical if you’re doing a certain amount of consultations each month.

LS: Yeah, definitely, and I still sort of do that, but also agree that it’s a hassle.

CB: Yeah. That’s tricky, and also to a certain extent you can’t really control the transits that the astrologer or the client are having on that day, which may be more positive or negative. Something I say a lot- especially when people are graduating my courses, like my hellenistic astrology course, or my electional course, and they’re asking where to go, one piece of advice that I often give is that astrology- learning astrology is about 50% book learning where you’re reading from books, or taking classes, or listening to lectures, or workshops, or what have you, but the other 50% of learning astrology only happens when you sit down with clients on a  regular basis, and you talk to them about their lives because that’s when through talking about their lives you start seeing how the principles, not just apply in practice, but you start seeing unique manifestations of certain placements that you would neve have seen otherwise, and that really sticks with you as a consulting astrologer, and becomes part of your memory bank as an astrologer to draw on in the future for understanding the symbolism of those placements, and how it can play out in practice.

LS: Mhm.

CB: You can get some of that from reading a book, but you cannot get all of it. There’s a huge part of that experience that is very- I always use the term visceral way too frequently. Is there a synonym that I could come up with?

LS: Embodied?

CB: Embodied. I guess. That sounds a little something else, but…

LS: Process oriented?

CB: I don’t know.

LS: I could just start listing some words, haha.

CB: Yeah, just, blank. There’s a blank there that you only get from sitting with a client, and hearing about their life first hand, and being able to ask them questions, and they give you feedback, and then you further refine and dial in the interpretation of that placement once you start understanding it more. Astrology really comes alive at that point, and it stops being this abstract thing that’s, y’know, just this two dimensional circle with a bunch of weird lines, and weird symbols on a piece of paper. It becomes something that is living, and yeah, embodied, because you see the person who’s living their chart, embodying it, and having successes and failures, and fortune, and misfortune, and highs and lows, and all sort of different things in a perfect manifestation of their chart in some unique way because each birth chart is unique. Each individual’s life is unique.

LS: Mhm.

CB: That’s why I always say it’s a good idea once you’ve learned the basic principles of astrology, and you’ve taken a course or two or something, to start giving consultations sooner rather than later, even if you’re only charging very little for them at first because you’re going to start racking up experience, and that experience becomes part of your learning as an astrologer because an astrological consultation- I always say one of the great secrets about astrology is an astrological consultation is not just a learning experience for the client. It’s also a learning experience for the astrologer, and the astrologer gains and grows from it as an astrologer. Kind of like if it was a video game, and you’re building up experience points. Every client you see you get a new experience point, and it adds to your overall score, and eventually you’ve leveled up as an astrologer once you do ten clients, or 50 clients, or a hundred clients. It’s a little tricky, and that was hard for me to accept at first as a 20 something astrologer that it does place younger astrologers at a disadvantage because you haven’t been able to see as many clients yet, and it is something that you do get better at the more and more experience you have. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t younger astrologers that can’t be great at astrology, or can’t excel at understanding it better than somebody maybe that’s been studying it for maybe thirty or forty years by having a better aptitude for it, or something like that, but it is the case that the more experience you get, even that young astrologer that has a lot of aptitude in it, they’re going to be way better at it ten years from now than they were when they first started.

LS: Mhm.

CB: Sometimes starting to get that experience is a really good idea, and can be very valuable.

LS: Mhm, yeah. I think we discussed that in one of the episodes about should you become an astrologer before your Saturn return? And that was one of the points is, y’know, that you have to get into practice in order to get better after a certain point, and you’ll just kind of stay almost at the same stage if you don’t do that because there’s so much you won’t read from books, and it’s not just meeting different people, and seeing how that works out in real life, but also, there’s so few symbols, y’know, in a chart. Even if you’re using a bunch of symbols, right? There are so few compared to representing the entirety of life, and life possibilities, and so, y’know, even in book learning you’re not even going to see all of the manifestations listed. I know I mentioned recently on Twitter that one of my current favorite 12th house manifestations is archives. I’ve talked with several people at this point who’ve worked in library archives, or some sort of specialized archives, and you don’t read that in a book that 12th houses are archives, right? It’s talking with lots of people from lots of different walks of life to see how this can play out in so many ways.

CB: Yeah, or like there was a student of the hellenistic course recently that was sharing an example of somebody where the chart was of a woman that had Venus as the ruler of the fifth house of children in the seventh house of relationships, and the marriage partner, and Venus was square Saturn, in a day chart, with reception, so what is that? That’s like six or seven different unique pieces of criteria, but the specific manifestation was that at this point in this person’s life, they were struggling to have children even though they wanted to because their partner was…

LS: Having fertility problems?

CB: Yeah, but do you use the same term when it’s the man that has the fertility issues?

LS: I think so.

CB: Infertile.

LS: Yeah.

CB: I thought there was another word, but anyways, but that was the specific or unique manifestation of that placement that perfectly fits the symbolism of ruler of fifth house of children, and seventh house of relationships, square Saturn in a day chart with reception, and in that you can also see the potential that because it’s a day chart, and it’s with reception, so there’s two mitigating factors, and there’s the potential for that to be a surmountable difficulty that the person might overcome through great striving. For example, like getting fertility treatments or something, or some other-

LS: Or adoption.

CB: Yeah, or some other mitigation where they’re able to overcome that vs if it was- if there are no mitigations, and it was worse case scenario, and so it becomes something where it just completely blocks that as an option, and the person is never able to do that thing at any point would be a different specific manifestation that you can see how that unique manifestation, that you may not have thought of before, is being is being a specific manifestation perfectly fits the symbolism, and then become added to your repertoire of if you see that again, y’know, this is how that could play out archetypally, and sometimes asking the client, and saying, the last time I saw this placement it worked out in this way, and then asking how has that worked out for you? Sometimes by doing that, that will spark something in the client that would connect, maybe it may not be that specific manifestation. It could be in some instances, but maybe it could be something very similar to that, and then the client will let you know, and then you’ll continue dialoguing about it.

LS: Definitely.

CB: Yeah. Fifty percent book learning. Fifty percent from doing consultations. Astrology is always a learning experience and always a first house and seventh house exchange between the two parties, so do what you can as the client to make the most of it because it’s your time, and you’re focusing on your life, and certainly you want to do your best to get the most out of it if you’re going to take the time to do it at all. Just try to be thoughtful about it, and go into it having considered some of those different things that we’ve talked about.

LS: Mhm, yeah. Just think about what you need, what you’re looking for at this time, even if it’s not what you need forever. Research different astrologers, different approaches, and see if that fits most what you need right now, and then prioritize your questions so that you get covered what you’re looking for during the time available.

CB: Yeah, and one of the things we didn’t talk about just where to find an astrologer, and I think that can be really tricky, but just doing searches online, doing searches for what you’re looking for, joining different social networks like Twitter, seeing who’s talking about astrology on Twitter, or see who’s talking about astrology on Facebook. In Facebook astrology groups, or other astrology forums.

LS: Who’s speaking at conferences, and what they specialize in, and what they’re talking about. Also asking friends or acquaintances within the astrology world, who have you really liked readings with?

CB: Yeah references. Y’know, astrologer’s different books, or you mentioned conferences or other workshops, or have given online webinars for different groups.

LS: Mhm, or have written articles in magazines, The Mountain Astrologer, or other magazines.

CB: Yeah there’s actually a professional directory in The Mountain Astrologer Magazine.

LS: I do like the audio or the video a little bit better because it gives you a little better sense of their manner of talking, y’know?

CB: Yeah, like a Youtube channel or something like that, or a podcast. I mean, it’s a little tricky because sometimes if the rankings of things like Youtube, and search results, can sometimes be manipulated, or the thing that the person sometimes is the most popular for some reason isn’t necessarily because they’re the best astrologer, so that’s one of the reasons why you want to research things, and sometimes getting referrals can be helpful, and different things like that. There are sometimes different directories like ‘find an astrologer’ or ‘find astrologer.’ There’s two sites that have almost the same name that are titled that, that give different directories for astrologers. There’s a lot of different options on my consulting site at ChrisBrennanAstrologer.com. I send out referrals. I have links up to some different astrologers that I send people to for consultations, and I’ve been refreshing that recently because I’ve been basically directing all my consultations to you, and Patrick Watson for the past few years, but now you guys are largely booked up, so I’m adding some other people to those lists recently like students and friends that have similar approaches. There’s lots of different places. You just need to do your research ahead of time so that way you can make a wise investment in getting a consultation.

LS: Mhm.

CB: Cool! Alright, well I think that’s it for this episode, so thanks for helping me to put together this discussion. Thanks to Kayley Rae on Instagram again @_kr_craft for that topic. It was a really good topic. If people have any other good topics you want to hear on The Astrology Podcast in the future feel free to let me know. I always like suggestions. I don’t particularly like if people try to hassle me, or pressure me into doing certain topics, or interview certain people, but feel free to give suggestions because I’m always open to that.

LS: Mhm.

CB: Cool!

LS: Alright!

CB: Well, that’s it. Thanks everyone for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we will see you again next time!

LS: See you next time!

CB: Special thanks to all the patrons that supported the production of this episode of The Astrology Podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, thanks to the patrons on our Producers tier, including: Nate Craddock, Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelique Nambo, Sumo Coppock, Nadia Habhab, Issa Sabah, Morgan MacKenzie, and Jake Otero. For more information about how to become a patron and get access to exclusive subscriber benefits, such as early access to new episodes, go to Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.

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