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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 448 Transcript: How to Give an Astrological Consultation

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 448, titled:

How to Give an Astrological Consultation

With Chris Brennan and Isa Nakazawa

Episode originally released on May 14, 2024


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

Transcribed by Teresa “Peri” Lardo

Transcription released May 19th, 2024

Copyright © 2024 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Joining me today is Isa Nakazawa, and we’re gonna be talking about how to give an astrological consultation. So Isa is the host of a new podcast called Stars and Stars with Isa where she interviews different celebrities and notable figures and reads their birth chart. So hey Isa – welcome to the show.

ISA NAKAZAWA: Thank you so much for having me, Chris. It’s like, honestly, it’s such a true honor and joy to be here.

CB: Yeah. This is a really good topic. I listened to the first episode of your podcast, and I was really excited about it because I’ve been waiting for somebody to do something like that for years, and I’m surprised that nobody has. But to, you know, sit down with notable figures and to read their birth chart in more of like, an intimate podcast setting I think is such a brilliant idea, and it seems like, yeah, it has a lot of promise to really take off. So I’m excited to see where you go with it.

IN: Yeah, thank you so much. Today we just released our 8th episode, so we’re still fresh, but it did feel like an easeful transition from client work to this show, although obviously there’s really different considerations when you’re reading someone’s chart that will be witnessed, which we maybe can get into, but yeah. Thank you. I’m surprised no one has done it either, so I’m glad that, you know, so much of the luck of things is timing, so. And thank you so much for listening.

CB: Yeah, for sure. So one of the things it made me think of since, you know, you’re literally doing the job of an astrologer in a live reading is just how to give an astrological consultation. And I know there’s many students of astrology who they’ll study astrology for years, but they’ll have a hard time making the transition to actually reading charts for clients or doing it professionally, just because they’re not sure how to take that step and how to approach the whole subject of reading charts for clients, because it can be kind of intimidating. So I thought we would talk about that and give kind of a guide here today and discuss some of the different issues surrounding that as sort of an intro for people that might be interested.

IN: Yeah, I think that’s really well said, and I think there is – I think it’s helpful to just name for people that it can be intimidating, but also I think really putting things into practice strengthens and hones your craft so much. And I think if you can maintain both like, a seriousness of the role and prepare, it helps you trust yourself, right? And it really grows your practice, so. And I will just offer up some additional context to my background is that I was an arts educator here in the Bay area for eight to 10 years teaching poetry in public schools, middle and high school. So I think my background as an educator also helped shape and inform my own client work, even though obviously it’s different. But I think it helps if you can kind of lean on other experiences and expertise you have and just remember that, yeah, with intention and practice you can do it, and you should! So yeah, let’s get into it.

CB: Yeah. Well, and just about everything is intimidating, you know, before you do it. But sometimes, like, once you actually start doing something and you get a hang for it, you sort of realize very quickly that it’s not as intimidating as it might seem at first. So and one of the biggest things with giving consultations, one of the things I’ve said for many years now is about – only about 50% of learning astrology is book learning and learning like, the techniques and how they work. But the other 50% of learning astrology doesn’t happen until you start actually sitting down with strangers or with clients, basically, and reading their charts, because then you’re forced to put the principles in practice. And even though that may be nerve-wracking at first, you very quickly see that the techniques of astrology actually do work, and you start seeing the unique manifestations of how they show up in different people’s lives.

IN: Yeah, absolutely. And I don’t know how this was for your journey, but I think for me – I’m a pretty verbal process-oriented person, so I’ll say that, but I think the dialogic and the dialectic of learning with also kind of reinforces and it’s a check for your comprehension. So if there’s things that, you know, and we’ll get into this, like, allowing yourself space to be wrong or whatever, but I think that that space also allows you to become really aware of, you know, your implicit biases, of the way that you read. And I think, honestly, before my client work, mostly it’s in my head, and that can be a problem because it’s just you and the text, or you and your own chart, and I think while that’s important, it’s like the embryonic phase of skill-building and learning. I think there’s something really beautiful about the confrontation of your own approach that, yeah, really like you’re saying illuminates your practice.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And just, you know, it’s one thing to read what a placement means in a book or even to see somebody in a teaching context give a chart example of a placement and see what that one example is. But it’s another thing to sit down and actually have a dialogue with a person about specific placements in their chart and how that actually manifests in many different ways in the person’s life. When you’re actually in dialogue with somebody about their life, the chart placements come alive in a way that’s impossible to recreate in book form or even, you know, in a teaching setting. Like, there’s something really powerful about the dynamic of talking to a person about their chart that’s unique and can’t be replicated anywhere else.

IN: Yeah, one of the joys of the show so far, I will say, is that I’m reading for people who have a very, you know, by their own admission, like, elementary understanding of these concepts of astrology and a lot of them I would say were only familiar with their Sun sign and mostly like, the kind of obvious or popular archetypes and associations.

And what’s most exciting and fascinating is that when I’m kind of reading their chart and we’re slowly revealing certain placements and I’m prompting them or using them as a generative prompt, I find that they have the most like, exquisite interpretations that expand my own vocabulary, my own thinking. Sometimes they even slip out like, poet Saeed Jones – there was an upcoming episode with him. He’s a poet and a writer, right? So great with language. And describes Sagitarians as “party hermits.” And so silly things like that, and I’m like, “Oh, I love that!” You know? Like, it captures so much complexity in something short and sweet.

Or I had a client early on in my practice who would just like, kind of riff poetically about the 12th house, and had never read or researched about the 12th, and I just provided very kind of, like, you know, you always advise like, just starting kind of general so that you allow the querent or the client to kind of bring their own lens to bear. That process is amazing to me. Like, just giving them a couple keywords for the 12th, and then they just expound, and I – yeah, my practice is now it’s like a tree where all the rings are my clients and it’s so enriched by their own lens and their own background, so. Yeah, I just really encourage folks to accept and work with the fear and anxiety of it, but just know that it’s a journey and it’s a process, and it’s a really enriching one, so.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And then those things become part of you and part of your knowledge of astrology as you move forward, because you always remember that example. You remember that sentence or that client that you had that had this placement that was so striking in their life. So let’s see. Where should we start?

Like, first things first – I think one of the first things is just everybody at some point in their studies should push themself to do a consultation with somebody where there’s an exchange of usually funds or something between both parties, even if it’s just a tiny bit, like five dollars or something like that. You have to start somewhere. And the purpose of that is not primarily monetary, obviously, if you’re just doing it for like, five dollars or even one dollar or what have you. It’s just that the minute, you know, there’s money on the line or that there’s something of value on the line, it’s gonna push you to want to perform better, and to do a good job giving that reading. And early on, that’s gonna create actually a lot of pressure while you’re first getting used to it and you’re nervous about your performance and how well you’ll do as an astrologer and different things like that. But that pressure is actually good because it’ll push you to grow and develop as an astrologer.

But I think that’s a good starting point is everybody, you know, at some point – especially there’s like, a certain point, certainly by like, four years into a person’s studies. I’ve seen people who… Sometimes the most conscientious and thoughtful and like, smartest and most self-reflective astrologers will tend to put off doing consultations much longer than they should. And I think those are the people that sometimes I try to encourage to do it, you know, sooner rather than later just because they don’t realize they’re missing that additional learning that they could be doing and additional wisdom and knowledge they could be gaining just because they’re waiting until there’s this like, ideal moment where they’ll know everything about astrology before they start reading charts for people. But it’s kind of a catch-22 or something, because you can’t actually get to that point where you’re sort of like, a full-blown astrologer until you start reading charts for people. So it’s a weird sort of like, paradox.

IN: Yeah, I’m just laughing because I’m relating as like, a Taurus rising and Scorpio stellium with an Aqua Mars. Like, there’s just a lot of fixity, and so sometimes there is that desire to like, level to this expertise, you know, that makes you feel like there’s some sense of security that I think we just have to remember is a little bit illusory. And to your point, I think you’re saying it in a really generous way that expertise is actually made in the fire of a practice. So the more you procrastinate it, the more you’re actually kind of creating your own self-sabotage. And I think for me early on, to your other point, there’s this delicate dance between being really transparent with where you’re at in your journey, so whether it’s doing exchanges and trades and just being honest and telling people, “I’m at the very beginning; can I have feedback?” Really not fearing feedback, viewing it as your friend even if it’s scary, but that just always allows you to strengthen, and I think sometimes we can be a little bit… Delusion sounds like a harsh word, but it’s hard sometimes to be self-aware about everything, because we’re ourselves, and so we need that feedback to understand what we can improve on, what we’re already doing well if we’re someone who harbors or – what’s the word? Like – we fixate too much on what we think we’re not doing enough of. So that positive feedback can kind of free us.

And I think it’s really important to hold your role well. And if you’re gonna give someone a reading, give them a reading. Do the preparation that makes sense for you. And create the conditions for you to be able to hold the space well. Because I think that’s what I learned as a classroom teacher is that when I wasn’t – if I wasn’t holding the space and the role that was expected of me well, then the student doesn’t feel safe. And you’re guiding them through some very intimate and vulnerable placements and like, revelations, and so I think even early on in your practice, just try your best to be prepared in the ways that make you feel like you can be present and own, you know, the space that you feel that you can own. And then own the space that is still emerging, or is, you know, still uncovered for you. And I think that’s a delicate dance that you’re not always gonna, you know, do perfectly, but I think it’s an important dynamic.

CB: Definitely. Definitely, I agree. And you mentioned preparation, and that would be a good topic, because that’s, you know, an important part of doing a consultation, especially when you’re first getting started, is preparing for the consultation and prep time. And usually like, newer astrologers will spend a lot of time preparing for charts or preparing for a consultation and, you know, researching the chart, researching the person’s transits or other timing techniques and really just thinking about what they wanna say in the consultation. And I think that’s good and that’s an okay thing to do to do the amount of prep that you feel is necessary or sufficient in order to feel somewhat ready to talk about the person’s chart and knowing what you wanna say ahead of time to some extent. But of course, the more consultations you do, eventually you’ll be able to get your prep time down to probably going from somewhat unreasonable level of prep time to a more reasonable level of prep time, whatever that means for you.

IN: Yeah. I’d actually love to hear your journey with that, but yeah, I feel seen. Because I definitely put in hours upon hours of pre-materials, and I think that was my way of – it was my own self-process of feeling like I was preparing for the reading. And I think one thing that is probably discussed is that I would say it’s equally important to find the rituals to be present for the reading, because I find that if you’re feeling hyperactive or distracted or any emotions that are gonna make it hard for you to be present, I find it’s difficult to respond to the unsaid cues that your client’s giving you throughout the reading of when they’re feeling overwhelmed, when you need to slow down or potentially reiterate a concept, or when you’re potentially relying too much on technical language and jargon. And so I think presence and preparation for me is the sweet spot, because if you’re not present, sometimes you know, the reading might be going well for you and the client is actually struggling to understand or relate or connect to the material. So that’s just something I’ve learned in my journey. But I’m curious for you, like, how – yeah, how that kind of preparation journey looked as you became more and more comfortable and experienced. Like, was it a really significant change?

CB: Sure, I mean, I started out doing written reports, and I was doing these like, 40 page long like, written reports. It was like, way too excessive, and it was taking huge amounts of time, so that, you know, whatever the time – whatever I was charging for it, I was spending just like, way too – like, days and days and days actually working on it so that eventually I realized it didn’t make any sense, the like, cost exchange analysis of how much I was actually charging didn’t make an sense.

And as I got more comfortable doing written reports and then eventually, you know, transitioning into not doing as extensive of written reports but then eventually doing consultations where I was preparing for like, I don’t know, at least three or four hours before the consultation, that was probably another stage. And then eventually getting it down to one hour of prep time, and then I think eventually maybe 30 minutes of prep time, which you know, I could’ve gone to the no-prep consultation, but – which is a thing that some astrologers do, and different people have different styles, but – for me, I was doing a lot of zodiacal releasing still in my consultations where I would usually do the person’s zodiacal releasing from the Lot of Spirit and Fortune and Eros periods, and I would write out some notes next to the periods so that it was clear that some of the things that I wanted to say about the chart or would say were things that I already said, that I emailed them with that write-up right before the consultation began. So it was sort of a little point I was making for myself that I wasn’t just like, cold-reading people, but that this was how I interpreted the technique, and then we would go through it and it would kind of come alive hearing it in their own words, but that there was something already there, you know, that was evident just from what I had already sent them.

IN: And then what’s your advice or kind of like, even just speaking to your own journey around doing research on the pricing and kind of the experience of other astrologers? Because I know I did do that just to understand where I would be sitting in the field, like, price-wise in terms of like – or time length. Like, what’s an average time length to read a chart? You know, just kind of looking without getting so comparative that A) then you’re kind of replicating, or it turns into you outsourcing your own wisdom and intuition, but I do think there is – it’s nice to do some research so that you’re also informed around the field and other astrologers and, you know, even making those relationships and networking with other practicing astrologers. You know, therapists do that. They have like, accountability partners, so. I don’t know what your take on that is, but I think it’s tricky, because some people get way too comparative especially with social media. So I think that can actually hinder your process, but I think it can be helpful to just know, yeah, how much is an advanced astrologer charging, how much experience have they put in and kind of making sure that you feel like you’re part of a broader conversation as opposed to just you doing this work in obscurity or in your own little silo.

CB: Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, a standard astrological consultation lasts for about 75 minutes, maybe even 90 minutes, an hour and a half. That can vary. It could in some instances be as short as one hour, or in other instances, it could go up to two hours. I think right now, like, the 75 to 90 minutes is the approximate average or like, sweet spot for most astrologers. And, you know, in some instances, you might go longer if you feel like the consultation hasn’t come to a good stopping point or that you’re in a really interesting point and you wanna go a little bit further; sometimes you can. Other times, you know, having the discipline to stick to that boundary, especially if a large part of the structure of the exchange is like, that you’re paying for your time in the consultation. And sometimes different astrologers have different positions about then being a little bit more strict with that, especially if they have something scheduled afterwards. But I think, you know, about 75 to 90 minutes is a good target for a consultation, to think about as a template.

And then when you’re getting started, I think it is good to look at what your contemporaries are charging just to get a sense for the market and just what the average is in order to give you a good idea of where you might set your own prices or at least what you might aspire to set your prices to at some point, even if you’re gonna start out let’s say far below that and sort of like, work your way up to a more average price.

IN: I think two mistakes that I made early on were my early days of practice were only in person, and I really struggled with boundaries in terms of the time. So we had an agreed upon – all the agreements were already decided before the consultation, but they would kind of be really into the reading and then sometimes I would have a hard time, you know, sticking to the agreed upon time in the beginning, and I felt a sense of awkwardness imposing a boundary. And so that was something that was difficult.

And then I really wish that I had figured out a payment method that wasn’t me at the end like, awkwardly reminding, because I was still on my journey of asking for payment as something that was uncomfortable for me, whereas, you know, for other people, that might not create discomfort. So I think those are some things – lessons – that I would offer up. Just figuring out that boundary-setting, which I think is a process; I don’t think you’re gonna get that perfect. But that took me months.

And then also the awkwardness around payment, which I think has deeper emotional implications of, you know, not being used to feeling worthy of a kind of exchange of value for your services, and so growing into that took me a little bit, because most of my background is in activism and organizing work and a lot of it was unpaid. So I think it was – yeah, it just took me a while to switch into feeling worthy and confident and clear in those processes.

CB: Yeah. I think, you know, every astrologer eventually grows into that, but certainly, you know, to the extent that if you’re becoming a professional astrologer, then your primary income is usually gonna be – especially early on – from doing consultations, and that’s what allows you to – one, you just have to establish that you are giving a useful and valuable service to people, to your clients, and that that’s worth having that sort of like, monetary exchange for in addition to the fact that it’s also your job. It happens to be a particularly cool job where you’re actually doing something that you love and really enjoy and are very much passionate about and that you feel is helpful to people and to the world in general, but it’s also, you know, the way that you will come to survive in the world and sort of like, get by and pay your bills so that it’s okay to have an exchange for that.

There’s like, very occasionally in the astrological community some wacky discussion will come up of somebody will say like, from a spiritual perspective, like, you shouldn’t charge for astrology or for spiritual services or something like that. But those are usually people that are not practicing astrologers, that are not making this their primary vocation, and I think once you make it your primary vocation, you understand that it’s okay to have an exchange for that, because you’re providing a valid service to people.

IN: Yeah. I’m glad you touched on that. I think for a long time, I was hesitant to post about astrology online at all, because I had my own kind of wariness and skepticism of the ways in which astrology and spirituality had become this kind of currency online, and that did feel like starting to get, like, taint. Not that like, spirituality’s —

CB: Right.

IN: — some like, pure force, but it started to make me uncomfortable. So I think that’s a great point to bring up, because if I’m honest, I did struggle with that, and thinking that, you know, maybe there was something sacred and how to navigate that, and so my client work ran on referrals, you know, for a long time. And referrals became this like, really unexpected source of just kind of non-stop client work, because – and to me, that’s an interesting source of feedback is like, if someone’s leaving your service, and they go tell 10 friends and now you have six more people in your queue, to me there was something that worked about that for me, because I still was uncomfortable in the promotional marketing aspect of my business. So I do think that was a journey for me.

CB: Yeah. And I mean, you know, look, there are sketchy people out there that will use let’s say spirituality or even sometimes astrology in a way that’s like, inappropriate as just like, a money-making scheme, and that does exist as a small segment of our community or something like, connected to our community. And so that’s one of the reasons why more conscientious or moral astrologers do have trepidation going into it, because they don’t wanna be seen or perceived like that, and because they wanna do everything and make sure it’s on the up and up.

But I think, you know, at some point, you just have to push through that and find the right balance of doing the best you can to present yourself and also your services and your knowledge that you’ve learned of astrology over the years in a way that’s accurate and respectable. And as long as you make that effort, yeah, I think that’ll differentiate you and so people don’t have to have that sense of shame surrounding it. That’s something Britten LaRue and I discussed a little bit on that episode on unshaming the signs of the zodiac is how sometimes just the profession of astrology, because of the place that it has in academia or in science or society sometimes in general as like a pseudoscience or as something that’s not valid, astrologers often have shame surrounding it, including in terms of becoming professional astrologers or being open about being professional. But that’s something, you know, that we just have to kind of like, push through and like, get over to some extent as much as we can, because that’s the only way to continue to pursue and do this thing that we’re all so passionate about that we have discovered and is this really incredible thing. And having good people doing that out in the open I think is the best thing for astrology, so that’s one of the reasons I try to be somewhat encouraging about that and encourage people just to push through some of those feelings.

IN: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, this podcast and platform was a big reason and push of encouragement for me to strike out on my own. And I think something I’ve learned – I’m 37 now, and I think something, an important lesson I’ve learned is that it’s actually through commitment that we hone where we sit and our position and that texture and nuance is so needed right now. And I think when I was younger, I would have a higher tolerance for purgatory where I would be as like, a very obvious Scorpio stellium, like, I would be doing such intense research about astrology for years, and my closest people knew, and a lot of people knew and there was still like, Du Bois talks about like, the politics or ethics of hesitation, and I felt like I was embodying this like, hesitancy to claim it. And it was actually in claiming it and taking up the proper space that I could then really find my voice and my position. And even the podcast was really scary for me, because astrology is in a very particular moment in its history where, yes, there’s shame around it still, but there’s also points that you get for it, and it’s also trending and there’s opportunities to cross over now that were not available to a lot of our astrology ancestors who were actually paying quite a high price to practice. And so for me sometimes, I can get stuck in wanting to pay homage to the countless astrologers whose names we’ll never know because they had to practice in obscurity. And so sometimes I feel a little bit paralyzed by that, or it’s like, I’m given an opportunity where my name and face can be proudly, you know, promoting an astrology podcast, and if I’m being honest, I still get a lot of reactions that are like, you know, disappointment, confusion from friends of mine who know me more as an academic and a scholar, and it creates some confounding emotions for them. Like, “Isa believes in astrology?” You know. And I’ve had to really navigate that and not really internalize it, and I wish I could say it’s, you know, gone easy, but it’s been difficult like, seeing that confusion across people’s faces who I admire and respect and also allowing them to compute without me taking on that shame. And I’m in a good place with it now, but I think people like you, Alice Sparkly Kat, Demetra, like, there’s just so many people I feel indebted to whose work really made me feel like I can step into my own voice, which is unique and different, you know, and I think that that’s what pushes the field and the work hopefully.

CB: Definitely. Yeah. That’s definitely part of the process. You mention – I keep hearing when you like, talk about different things and the way that you reflect on things, I keep hearing your Scorpio stellium, which you’ve mentioned a few times. Do you feel comfortable sharing your chart?

IN: Yeah, sure.

CB: Okay. I hear it because I’m like, resonating with it, but then all of a sudden, I realize I’m resonating with it because of our shared placements. So what’s your birth data?

IN: So I am November 13th, 1986, 5:40 PM in Charlotte, North Carolina.

CB: Okay, awesome. So here’s the chart. And for those listening to the audio version, we have a chart with Taurus rising. It’s a night chart. And actually, you know, maybe – well, maybe we can circle back to that, but I was gonna say, you know, maybe we could use your chart as like, some of the first like, technical steps. And maybe we could do that right now, which is just – okay, you’re preparing for the consultation or okay, you’ve just sat down with your client. Like, what are some of the first things that you’re gonna do and look for in order to start talking about the chart and talking about the person’s life?

So just for the audio listeners in terms of what we’re looking at, we’re looking at a chart with Taurus rising – 28 Taurus rising – the Sun is just below the degree of the Descendant by seven degrees, so it’s a night chart. And you have a stellium in Scorpio that consists of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Pluto, which are all in the 7th whole sign house. Saturn and Uranus are in Sagittarius in the 8th. Neptune in Capricorn in the 9th. Mars and the degree of the Midheaven in Aquarius in the 10th. Jupiter in Pisces in the 11th, and the Moon and the North Node in Aries in the 12th.

IN: A lot’s —

CB: Yeah.

IN: — going on! I always start with the Ascendant ruler, and yeah, the Ascendant and then the like, conditions of her, of the Ascendant, before I got into the luminaries. So that’s always where I start. And then I do like to start with night chart – day chart/night chart – and it really is context driven, honestly. Like, who am I speaking to? Do they have – what is their knowledge, their base knowledge of astrology? Because if I’m being honest, like, even for a lot of people I’m reading for the show, like, they don’t know Ascendant. They don’t know rising sign. So I start there, yeah.

CB: That’s a great thing, actually, to establish before you do the consultation or right at the beginning, which is one – what’s your background in astrology? Like, are you talking to somebody that has absolutely no background and therefore, you know, is not gonna understand any of the jargon or even the symbols of what they’re looking at in the chart? Or alternatively, are you talking to like, an intermediate level astrologer or an advanced level astrologer. You know, establishing what the background is of the client is really important because then you’ll have to adjust how you talk about things based on that. And if they have very little background, that’s gonna mean you can use less jargon and, you know, you’ll have to try to explain things more simply versus if a person’s an advanced astrologer, that’s gonna allow you to use more technical jargon and to maybe go into some more advanced things. But establishing that’s really important at the beginning.

So that’s like, point one, and then point two is the context, which is why is the client coming to see you today, and what do they wanna talk about is another really important thing to establish right at the start.

IN: Yeah, and just to be clear, like, from the very beginning of my practice, I did questionnaires and pre-calls. That’s very important for me. I’m such a context-driven person, and I wanna know how they self-describe their relationship to astrology. I wanna know if they’ve gotten a reading before. I wanna know if there’s like, an urgent question on their heart. If they’re general. Like, I really try and create the offering that I feel like fits them, because it’s just such a wide net, you know? And I found that to be such helpful pre-work for me in particular. And I do it for the show, too, because I wanna know who I’m talking to, right? Who’s my audience? So that’s where I start or how I start – to be clear, where I start is always the same. But to your point, how I start is different. So I might do a nautical metaphor. If I talk to a musician, I like talking about musical notation or the clef as certain – you know, I try and draw some parallels. I have a lot of practicing therapists as clients, so I try and draw on psychological frameworks or leave room for them to, so it really depends, but I feel like that pre-work has been very critical for my practice.

CB: So you send out a questionnaire, like a pre-existing questionnaire, and then what’s a pre-call? You do a pre-call?

IN: That’s my preference, like, a 15 minute free call. I’m very good at boundaries with that; it’s never more than 15 minutes, and I just have a set of questions. I take notes. If, for example, they’re a celebrity or someone who’s not gonna make or have time, then I do a questionnaire – a survey – online, but it’s just really helpful for me to make sure that when I’m meeting them and starting – it doesn’t mean that I can’t do it, but it means if it’s a paid service, I’d like it to be as customized as possible to their… Even like, thinking about when I do a lot of my readings in my early practice were in person. So like, accessibility questions, how I set up the space, if they have allergies, like, you know, there’s just a lot of things I wanna know before I create a space that’s comforting and inviting for them to learn best.

CB: Yeah. And that’s a big thing is in-person consultations where you’re sitting with the person, the client, in person versus ones that are online. Those are very different dynamics where you have to consider different things. And one of them is that if you’re in person, you know, you have to be more present and you have to be a little bit more careful with your body language, because like, if you are like, fidgeting with your hands or something like that, or if you have like, a nervous tic, or if – you know, sometimes it’s easier to read if you have a reaction, like an internal reaction, to something that the client says, it may be easier to notice if you’re like, sitting there in person versus if you’re online talking through Zoom, which is what most astrologers use for consultations online at this point, then you’re just in a sort of webcam sort of like we are now, and there’s a little bit less that you have to pay attention to in terms of that.

IN: Yeah. And I would love to know your kind of tips for that. I think I’m way more comfortable doing consultations online now, but I will say, there’s a lot of differences. Like, you know, online for example, when I share my screen, the box becomes even smaller. So my ability to read body language or feel into the querent’s emotional state becomes more challenging. So I think even things like that, then, the way that I deal with that is by making sure I’m asking a lot of questions and checking in. Right? So there might be more communication differences if I’m doing something online versus in person when like, I’m really reading somebody. And all of the nonverbal – not that you should overdo that. I did several sound healing courses, and one of the things that I learned from that is sometimes when you’re delivering a sound healing offering, everyone responds to sound differently. So some people might be walking around, other people might be still, but you shouldn’t actually value judge how someone’s body is receiving information. So someone who might look distracted is actually – they’re the type of person who moves their body to connect with information. So I think it’s good to be aware, but try not to be so vigilant that you’re reacting too much and changing your tone based on, right, that kind of psychic transference can actually be another boundary. But yeah, in person versus online are quite different, and I think you have to explore.

CB: Yeah. And there’s also just different client types, basically, and there’s certain like, broad categories of different like, types of clients that over a long enough period of time, like, you’ll recognize different approaches that people have to getting an astrological consultation.

I actually did an episode on this way back in episode 168; it was titled, “Dennis Harness on Astrological Counseling Styles.” He was one of my teachers at Kepler, and his background was as a psychologist and in Vedic astrology. But you know, one of the things that we talked about and that was really useful that I learned early on from him is that sometimes there’s like, a spectrum – one of the spectrums for different types of clients is there’s a certain type of client that will be extremely close-lipped and will give you little to no feedback so that the consultation becomes just you looking at the chart and kind of like, talking at them for the entire time versus on the other extreme end of the spectrum, sometimes you might have a client who themself talks like, the entire time so that you can’t even necessarily get a word in or that there’s more of them talking than you talking in terms of the extreme sides of the spectrum. And you’ll encounter both of those types of clients, but ideally an astrological consultation in an ideal context is a dialogue between the astrologer and the client, and that’s actually a really important part of it is that an astrological consultation is reciprocal where the astrologer is looking at the chart and they say some of the possibilities, because they’re looking at an archetypal symbolic system that deals in symbolism and then the astrologer is attempting to interpret the symbolism. But then when they do that, when they make their statements, they then open it up for feedback from the client where the client can either confirm or they can deny what was said, or they can explain how that applies to them and give additional context about their life and how that placement has actually worked out for them. And then once that happens, once the client explains how the placement has worked out for them and how the symbolism actually manifests in their life, then that helps the astrologer to then go back to the chart and understand certain things that they’re seeing better so that they can then recalibrate and then sharpen some of their interpretations in the sense that astrology always works better with some context. So it doesn’t mean that you can’t just do no context astrology and make some statements that are still accurate; that’s definitely possible and you can do that. But it’s just that astrology always works better if you have at least some context, and that even includes things like predictions where, you know, a prediction about the future is that you’re trying to go from the present and say based on the current trajectory, this is where things are gonna end up with this topic or this area of your life in the future, and the astrology helps you figure out what the end point is of where things are gonna end up. But if you’re trying to determine trajectory, then knowing the past trajectory up to the present is just gonna help you to calibrate the future trajectory even better than you would if you don’t know anything about the past. So that’s part of why context is important.

IN: Absolutely. And I think for me early on, I used to pre-calls or, you know, whatever we’re calling it, to also context-set my own reading style, because I was getting so many questions from clients – “Do I move to Mexico City? Should I break up with this person?” So I became aware that people were coming to the readings with the expectation that maybe we would find answers that were very finite and specific, and so I started to be really clear about my expectation that reading or consultations are also like, a collaborative meaning-making process. And I know this is where it’s very specific to how I read, but I’m someone who is very into like, activating the mythic imagination and understanding placements as openings. I’m not someone who’s really driven by answers and predictions or like, fixed fates. I’m someone who’s really interested in providing multiple expressions and allowing the reader and inviting them to really do the work of like, bringing their own kind of reality and sense of self-trust into the process, because I just don’t feel like people – information doesn’t really stick unless you’re inviting other people to bring their own understanding into it. I feel like they might be into it in the moment, but I don’t think it’s a successful reading if someone leaves being like, “Chris is really smart” as opposed to leaving and saying, “I learned this – I’m learning something new or having a little revelation about my own self-understanding that Chris guided.” Like, to me, it’s not – my goal is never to impress. It’s like – and I think I realized recently that a lot of like, education in the United States encourages us to wield our knowledge, and it kind of becomes a performance, right? And I think that’s super normal for all of us. But I think in these readings, it’s really important to become aware of that dynamic and make sure that you’re stopping and trying to find ways to connect if they’re really quiet, without forcing it. Like, allowing – you know, astrologers are trying to do something quite difficult. If you don’t have a repeating client and you’re seeing someone for a one-off, you have to build trust. You have to set things up. Like, it’s a lot to do, so I think being really – giving yourself that grace and understanding, you’re gonna finetune the process. But I really hope that we also take accountability for what we can control, which is being really mindful of how much you’re talking, are you speaking in the language they understand, are you trying your best to like, pick up on the nonverbal? You know, I think just checking in and moving at the speed of the client is important, because if it’s not, then you’re not listening, and you’re not really doing your job which is hopefully meaning-making and connecting, instead of just running through what you have to run through to get it over with. Right? Hopefully that’s not the point of what we do.

CB: Yeah, for sure. There’s so much there; I was writing down some notes – there’s like, 10 different topics I will wanna go into —

IN: Sorry!

CB: — further. No, it’s great. I love it. It’s making me think of things I hadn’t even thought of that I didn’t even think of to go into, but that we absolutely should. But one of the things you said that’s important is something that I always say – or is connected with that – where I always say, “It’s more important to be helpful than it is to be right.” And that one of your – for me, one of my underlying goals as an astrologer is to follow that sort of medical maxim, which is to do no harm. And I think that’s a good goal for astrologers as well. And I think if you follow that, then sometimes it dictates certain things that you might do or not do in a consultation, and one of those is that sometimes just because you can say something about a person’s life or perhaps about a person’s future doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. And I think, you know, that could be a little controversial because different astrologers have different positions on like, what’s appropriate to say or what’s not appropriate to say or whether it’s ever appropriate to withhold saying something that you see in the chart out of a fear of it being potentially damaging to the person psychologically.

But for me at least, where I always fall on that is that it’s more important to be helpful than to be right, and therefore… You know, one of the things you have to do relatively early on with each client is kind of gauge the client’s knowledge of astrology but also their ability to handle different types of information and where they’re sort of like, coming from psychologically and if they’re in kind of a delicate place when it comes to certain things. And you might, you know, that might make you more careful about going into certain things than you might with other clients. Let’s say if you’re talking to a professional astrologer who you’re reading their chart and where they’re more comfortable talking about difficult things in their life or in their chart, and also understanding that astrology itself, you know, is interpretive and is based on interpreting symbolism and therefore there’s a level of not knowing 100% what’s gonna happen in the future until the future arrives because ultimately astrologers when you’re reading a chart you’re not looking into a crystal ball that shows you like, a movie of exactly what’s gonna happen in the future. But instead, you’re looking at this, you know, two-dimensional representation of the cosmos at the moment a person was born, and you’re attempting to infer or deduce things about the future through the symbolism that arises from the planetary alignments at that time. So yeah, that’s one of the things is just do no harm and to gauge the client’s like, level of ability to hear certain things.

IN: I love that. And a lot of your work and one of your recent videos around the planetary mythologies is something I would offer, because when I use folklore or archetypes, I’ve noticed it creates kind of a safe prompt, right? So if I’m talking about the duality of Venus, not just – or Ishtar and Persephone, not just as goddesses of love but also how maybe the underworld also adds depth, right? So it’s also how do we use mythology or other reference points first so that we create like, a safe third example instead of saying “you,” right? Because that’s a little bit intense, right, to start with. “Oh, Isa, you know, your Ascendant ruler is in Venus in Scorpio; it’s in its detriment. It was in retrograde; it’s conjunct Pltuo; are you super intense?” Right? Like, making me confront my intensity if that’s been a lifelong journey for me – I might close up or I might feel accused, right? Or it might feel so true that it brings up some tough memories for me.

And so I think when I heard, when I really lean into learning more about Venus, what ended up happening for me was I started to kind of unshame it. And I started to get really interested in the duality and the dualistic registers of Venus. And I started to identify with the archetype and understand how Persephone’s descent into the underworld adds depth to her like, siren, you know, kind of commitment to desire. And so that helps me kind of take some of the shame away, and through folklore, it gives me like, an approach that adds – again, it activates the mythic imagination, which doesn’t make me feel so doomed like it used to. Right? So I think a lot of your work has really helped me too, of like, oh wow, this kind of third reference point is giving me space to see this thing that feels so visceral and so personal and oftentimes scary. It gives me an ability to create a connection that feels really interesting and generative, and it lightens it a bit. So I think having those in your wheelhouse – that’s a such a good use of the time when you’re in between clients is how are you working on bolstering your kind of toolkit so that with different clients you have these things to, you know, reference that I think are a little more generous than just being like, “Okay, Chris – what I’m seeing here is Saturn is in the 8th and Uranus is in the 8th, and that could mean an unexpected death” or whatever. You know, it’s like, this is too much! You know, so, just remember on the other side of you is a human who probably came to you because they’re feeling a level of confusion or openness or vulnerability and just yeah, keeping that in mind I think goes a long way.

CB: Yeah. That’s a really good point that to approach it with a level of like, seriousness and respect as well as compassion for the person and you know, not wanting to say something ultimately that could be harmful or damaging. And you know, on the other side of that, something I learned at a certain point, which is that sometimes what you say as an astrologer different people are gonna receive it different ways, and they may or may not fully receive certain things like, the way that you intended it, for example, which is something you’ll have to sort of learn as well is just… Yeah. And to some extent, there’s nothing you can do about that as a thing. So but I liked your point about mythology, and I think mythology and also even just analogy are really great access points for explaining things or connecting it with contemporary pop culture, which can sometimes be people’s like, shared experience of the world or having a shared reference point.

For me, when I was delineating like, a placement, I sort of developed a structure that I think worked out relatively well where if you’re delineating a placement, it’s a good idea to first interpret the archetype broadly, to try to like, look at the placement, interpret the archetype as broadly as you can, and then give three specific examples, and give one positive manifestation of that placement as a possible scenario that you’re drawing on, either based on the symbolism or based on maybe you’ve seen that in another chart before, either in another client chart or like, a celebrity chart. So give one possible positive manifestation. Give one possible challenging manifestation. And then give one that’s kind of like, neutral. So you get like, let’s say three different options as possibilities as you’re trying to describe the archetype or the symbolism of the placement. And then after you’ve done that, then you turn it around and you ask the client, you know, “How has that worked out for you?” And either the client’s gonna say, it’s gonna like, resonate with the client and it’s gonna actually make them think of the specific way that it does manifest in their life, which is either gonna be close to one of those three or even if it’s not, will – at least they’ll recognize the symbolism of what you’re saying enough that they’ll be able to connect it with that thing in their life. Or alternatively, if it just doesn’t, if it doesn’t land for the client, then they’ll tell you that as well, which is also good information and can help you to recalibrate.

IN: Yeah. I mean, so many examples are coming to mind. Like, I did – in my first reading, I was, you know, thinking of all these cool like, Babylonian significations for a Virgo rising who’s a really amazing writer and orator, and she ended up resonating most with the virgin, right? So creating that opportunity for her to actually not disagree, but be like, “Actually, this one speaks more to me.” Right? So you did your homework, but then you open it up, and then they actually might surprise you what resonates with them. And then I’ve had a couple of clients recently who have a really strange allergic reaction to Aquarius, and they think of Aquarius in this very specific way from lived experience with Aquarius Suns, and they end up having Aquarius rising or a dominant Aquarius placement they never knew. And so there is a lot of resistance that I can pick up on, because they have a negative association with Aquarius. And so it’s interesting in that scenario trying to create spaciousness for them to be surprised. So that’s an interesting one, too, where what you just said kind of works, where I approach it with more neutrality and positive expressions of Aquarius they never knew about so that they can start to gently unclench the fist. And it’s a slow process and I’ve learned to just be patient with it, because I’m definitely picking up on, you know, their hesitation to identify with it. And I just try and make that okay, and then my job is also to share what Aquarius – all the different significations of Aquarius they don’t know. But just, that’s an example where it’s an unexpected challenge in the moment. I think we’re at a time where there’s a lot of discourse in astrology, but unfortunately for me, sometimes I feel like it’s an uphill battle against a lot of misinformation or selective information about signs, and I’ve been using that to my advantage on the show where a lot of Scorpios don’t actually resonate with astrology because Scorpio is such a misunderstood, flattened sign in the popular discourse where Scorpios are seen as manipulative and sex-addicted when in fact, as many astrologers know, Scorpios can be the sign of refusal where they’re actually withholding. And so I try and use it to my advantage by speaking to people who are skeptical of astrology by sharing the lesser-known archetypes or the archetypal narrative kind of stages of transformation that I’ve found every client is relating to. So I think I’m trying to use it to my advantage that there’s such limited, specific stereotypes with each sign right now that actually turn quite a lot of people off. So I don’t know if that is related, but I am trying to also kind of – instead of viewing it as a stopping point, I’m like, maybe this is an opportunity for how I can actually get people to be more open and curious.

CB: Yeah. I mean, I think one piece of doing consultations for every astrologer is gonna be – especially if you’re dealing with somebody coming from the public that doesn’t have as much background in astrology is you’re always gonna be trying to redirect and clarify what astrology is and trying to dispel some myths that they may have surrounding what it is coming into the consultation that maybe different, you know, in terms of your view on it or in terms of how you see things. So that’s a big part of doing a consultation, especially with a novice or somebody who is a non-astrologer is not just clarifying things that they may have as wrong based on pop astrology, but also, you know, they may have different expectations about what happens in a consultation or what an astrologer is able to see about the future, about a person’s life or different things like that or how astrology works. And so a part of your process is gonna be establishing during the course of the consultation what you think astrology actually is, what it’s capable of in your opinion, and different things like that in order to partially not just manage expectations but also to adjust the client’s expectations to what is actually realistic from your standpoint as an astrologer.

IN: Yeah, I really recommend your interview or your episode around how to talk to skeptics. I think that’s a great one. There are so many Instagram reels that people send me about Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ophiuchus, and I’m like, I can’t field another one of these. But that’s just a funny example, but everyone always sends me like, “But what about Neil deGrasse Tyson?” And like, his thoughts on, you know, retrogrades as like, illusory, you know, whatever. And I think sometimes I can get frustrated because I feel like there’s so many incredible astrologers that are just so thoughtful and have so much in-depth work on this. Even – yeah, I love all the Carls. Like, Carl Sagan, Karl Marx, I just – all of the Carls. But Carl Sagan, for me, even though he wasn’t necessarily like, a believer, I think did such a good job in saying, “I’m not gonna sign like, a petition against astrology.” Like, I can have questions and still understand that actually, astrophysics and science carries similar kind of wonderment where you have a hypothesis that might take a hundred plus years to prove. So where – like, it’s not necessarily my place, right, but I feel like as an astrologer giving consultations, you might get some of that skepticism depending on where their position is, and it might come up in the reading. So I think it is kind of great to have done some of that thinking before and feel comfortable in your answer, because I think it can be a little uncomfortable for a client to see that you’re still very much in conflict with your own understanding with what astrology is. So I think it would probably be great to have that conversation with yourself before you start your practice.

CB: Yeah. Well, and you know, one of the things is different astrologers – each astrologer has their own personal views on astrology and what it is and how it works and the difference, you know, the tension between fate and free will and like, how deterministic they think things are. So part of it is establishing in the consultation what your views are and based on that also what you offer or what you think is possible and what you can do for the client. And that’s something that’s sometimes good to establish ahead of time, because it’s not good if there’s a complete disconnect between what the client wants versus what the astrologer actually offers. Like, the client may want you to use a technique or a system that you don’t even use, and if you don’t know that until you get to the consultation, then, you know, it could be somewhat disappointing for the client. So that’s another reason why establishing very early on like, what the client wants and if the astrologer can actually meet those expectations is really good. Or alternatively in some instances, if you need to refer that client out to somebody else if they’re looking for something that you don’t offer. I know rectification is one that’s come up for you a lot, right?

IN: Yeah. That one has come up quite a bit when I’m doing my pre-work, and it comes up if they don’t have a birth time, and I really am trying, like, whenever I speak publicly to just in my own very personal Isa perspective from where I sit, I think that having a birth time can feel like a privilege to a lot of people and there’s a lot of people who don’t know their birth time or location for a lot of reasons. And so I try and just expectation-set what I can read and be honest about that. But I also offer – and I’m currently looking for – Bay area rectification services if people have any recommendations, but I’m trying to also I feel like it’s my job to educate them on what resources are available for that, and they’ve been so excited and like, relieved to know there’s something. And I know you have – I think you have a course on it, right? On how to even kind of walk through your own process of rectification, so. Is that right, that you have, yeah, your own?

CB: Yeah. Just because you know, I think different astrologers do rectifications, but I think the best rectification is ultimately gonna be the one that a person does for themself, because nobody is gonna know your life as well as you know your own life, and therefore no one’s gonna have the greatest insight and ability then to reverse engineer what the correct chart is than you. So Patrick Watson and I set up a course on rectification a couple of years ago so that people can learn our actual process of what we do in consultations and replicate it in their own life or replicate it for clients, because that is an issue is, and that’s another reason why one of your pre-consultation things is to get the birth data of the client and also always to ask what the source of the birth data is and what the source of the birth time is so that you know ahead of time is this a reliable birth time? Does this come from the birth certificate? Does it come from the memory of a parent? Or in some instances it’s actually really important because sometimes what will happen is you’ll end up with a rectified birth time that’s been rectified by like, another astrologer or even by the client themself, and if you don’t know that ahead of time, that can be really tricky because you might not agree with that rectification or it may not be a very solid rectification in some instances. And if you don’t realize that you’re working with, you know, a speculative birth time, which all rectifications ultimately are, that can be really problematic. So always ask what the source of the birth time is right from the start.

IN: What is your recommendation for someone whose source is a memory of, you know, let’s say the mother, and she remembers between six and seven AM. Like, what would your approach be with a client?

CB: I mean, what that would mean is that you’ll have to probably do – you’ll wanna cast the chart, and you’ll wanna cast one chart for like, six and one chart for seven and see if the Ascendant changes signs. If the Ascendant doesn’t change signs anywhere in that range or even just slightly outside of it, then you’re probably in pretty good shape and you might use like, an average chart of 6:30 in that instance. And since I use whole sign houses, it’s not a huge issue for me, because all of the house placements will still be, you know, pretty accurate as long as the rising sign doesn’t change in that time frame.

However, if the Ascendant is close to a cusp or if it does change rising signs during the potential time frame, then it means at the very least at the beginning of the consultation and for a good chunk of it, you’re gonna have to try to do a quick rectification in order to see which chart seems to be matching the person’s life experience better. And that can be really tricky early on, but it’s something that you’ll have to kind of learn how to do in instances where that comes up. Or, you know, sometimes some astrologers if they don’t feel comfortable doing that yet and if a client says, “This is, you know, my birth time is speculative,” or “I don’t know,” or “It’s in this range,” it’s okay if you don’t feel comfortable doing that just saying that and saying, “That’s a little bit outside of my ability right now. You know, in order for me to do a consultation, I need to have an accurate, exact birth time,” and that’s okay too if that’s what you chose to do. Different astrologers have different levels of comfort in terms of that.

IN: Yeah, that’s a great answer. I think another reason I ask if someone has gotten a reading before is to this point that sometimes people have gotten a reader by a Vedic astrologer or if you didn’t know, if you didn’t ask the question and you start revealing their chart, they’re like, “Wait, what? I thought I -” right? So sometimes depending on the house system and the tradition, you might be presenting them with like, a very different chart than they’ve received before. And so I try and preempt that moment of shock if I can by asking so that I kind of already know that I can just provide context for people who don’t know that astrology’s extremely vast and dynamic and comprehensive, because I don’t think people really understand the extent of it, you know? I think for a lot of people, like, “What’s Placidus? What’s whole sign?” They don’t know a lot of that, so it’s just creating confusion in them that you’re telling them a different chart. And I have, I think something that I don’t love that I hear some astrologers do is saying, “This is correct and everything else is incorrect. So I’m giving you the correct, objective chart, and every other reading you’ve received isn’t.” Like, I think that type of – I don’t know your take on it, but I think those types of statements I really struggle with. Like, I think that to me starts to feel unethical where you’re putting someone in a position where there’s like, facts and truths and I don’t know. I think for me, that can be a little bit too authoritative, and it’s definitely not my style.

CB: Yeah, I think it’s always a delicate balance between… Because on the one hand, each professional astrologer who’s been doing astrology for a certain number of years develops a system that works for them and that they think works best and is most effective in practice for them subjectively, and they’ve gone through some process over the years of trying different techniques and sort of deciding which ones work the best for them or seem the most compelling, and maybe either not using certain techniques or not emphasizing certain techniques that they either haven’t been able to get to work for them or just haven’t seemed as compelling to them for some reason or that they just haven’t specialized in. So it’s a delicate balance on the one hand where you want to talk about whatever your approach is authoritatively while also not completing just diminishing other approaches, since astrology’s a really wide field, but that’s one of the reasons why just establishing what your system is relatively early on and if that’s what the client is looking for or if there’s a disconnect where they’re looking for somebody that does, let’s say, like, uses the sidereal zodiac whereas if you use the tropical zodiac that may be a disconnect. And so one of the questions is, is that okay? Is that a negotiable disconnect where the client’s gonna be okay looking at the chart from your perspective and seeing what you bring to the consultation and have to offer using your approach, or is that kind of a dealbreaker for the client where they’re looking for somebody to interpret a specific placement in a specific approach and therefore if the astrologer doesn’t use that approach then it’s gonna lead to disappointment. Figuring that out is a good, usually pre-consultation thing, although sometimes it’s something you still have to deal with and negotiate in the consultation itself, because sometimes it might naturally arise just during the course of the consultation.

IN: Yeah, absolutely. I love what you said about making sure that you’re, you know, owning your own system that you’ve honed and the craft, especially if you’re, you know, you’ve been a practicing astrologer for two decades. I think for me just always leaving room to make sure we’re not imposing, you know, interpretations on the client. Like, for me, I really resonate with my Scorpio stellium in the 7th, and then in Placidus, all of those planets are in the 6th. So if you’re like, telling me, you know, it is in the 6th, then you could be unintentionally making things uncomfortable for me, because it’s like, I don’t have room to self-identify where the house placement is. You know, it feels like there’s less curiosity about me, and there’s more like, “You are this,” which I think is, maybe just astrologer to astrologer, it’s a difference in style and approach.

CB: Yeah, and I think ultimately it’s more on the side of the client where if you come to an astrologer, like, you kind of need to follow their approach where it would be inappropriate to ask, just —

IN: Right.

CB: — to use that example of like, you know, an astrologer who doesn’t use whole sign houses to tell them that they have to use whole sign houses —

IN: Yeah.

CB: — you know, in a consultation. That would be inappropriate, and vice versa. That goes for zodiacs and aspects and like, all sorts of different things where there’s divisions or differences in the astrological tradition and different practitioners have different approaches. But ultimately, that’s why, you know, some clients – or some astrologers – are pretty clear as part of their bio where they’ll say, “I do,” you know, “tropical whole sign, Hellenistic astrology,” or something like that. Or somebody will say, “I do modern, Western psychological astrology and that’s what I specialize in.” That’s a little bit, you know, that’s very good as an astrologer, I think, to some extent, if you put out there what you specialize in and what your approach is, because then it’ll lead to less disconnects between you and the client if they know what to expect going into it, at least for clients that have some basic understanding or orientation of what those things mean, even though many might not. And then it’s also something that’s kind of on the part of the client as well that they have to, if they have specific preferences or systems that they’re looking for, to seek out the astrologer that offers that. That’s a little bit on, you know, the onus is on the client to some extent there as well.

IN: Yeah, that’s really well said. And I think that’s – my point was, yeah, that’s very inappropriate, and I think my point is more that I do encourage folks to do their own kind of self-learning. So for someone who’s really on the, you know, their beginning path with astrology, I try and encourage them to view it as like, an exciting opportunity for them to chart in different, you know, in Placidus and whole sign and just kind of give themselves the opportunity to develop their own intuition. And so I think that’s more what it is, because it’s absolutely on your, you know, whether you’re the client or the astrologer, to context build, which I think is a big point that we’ve made so far in this episode.

CB: Definitely. Alright. We’re at an hour, so why don’t we take a little break?

IN: Yeah.

CB: The astrology software that we use and recommend here on the podcast is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available for the PC at Alabe.com. Use the promo code ‘AP15’ to get a 15% discount. For Mac users, we recommend a software program called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is from the creators of Solar Fire for PC, and it includes both modern and traditional techniques. You can find out more information at AstroGold.io, and you can use the promo code ‘ASTROPODCAST15’ to get a 15% discount.

All right, so we’re back. So let’s talk a little bit more about – let’s get into some practical stuff again. We almost went there, but we got on a track where there’s so many other adjacent things. Let’s talk a little bit about, you know, you’re sitting down to give an astrological consultation. You cast the chart for the first time. What are some of the first things that you’re gonna talk about and look at in order to start talking about a person’s life? And for me, some of the things that I’ll look at – and maybe we can glance at your chart just to like, give a —

IN: Yeah.

CB: — reference point. So here’s your chart again. All right. So one of the first things I’ll look at is like, what is the sect of the chart? Is it a day chart or is it a night chart? In your case, that’s actually an interesting, because the Sun had just set under the horizon relatively recently. It’s only like, seven degrees below the horizon. Usually by the time it gets about six, seven degrees below the horizon, it’s dark out, so I would probably treat this as a night chart. So right away we know if it’s a night chart that the most positive planet in the chart based on sect is gonna be the planet Venus. And so we look at Venus’s house placement in the 7th house. And then we know that the most challenging planet is probably gonna be Saturn in a night chart, and we would look at its house placement in the 8th house. So those are two starting points. The other thing I would look at is what is the ruler of the Ascendent in the chart? So in your chart, you have Taurus rising; Venus is the ruler of the Ascendant, and Venus is in the 7th house. So we know right away that that’s going to indicate that 7th house topics are gonna be more important for you and more important for your overall life direction than they might be for other people, both in terms of other people who maybe don’t have 7th house placements or people that have 7th house placements but just not very important planets in their chart. The ruler of the Ascendant always indicates a major overall focus in some specific area for the native.

And then backing up with the most positive and most challenging planet, that’s also gonna give us some information about where the client might have some of their things that tend to come a little bit more easily or some of their experiences that will tend to be a little bit more positive, versus where some of their more challenging experiences come from that they might struggle with a little bit more. So there’s exceptions to that and there’s mitigating factors, of course, but these are just broad general things that you might use as a starting point to start looking.

Yeah. What else do you look at, or what are some other things that we might look at first?

IN: Yeah, I love that. I mean, I think when it comes to my client work, which is primarily what we’re pulling from, that’s the same order for me. I will say what typically happens, though, is that along the way, there’s a lot of tangents and interludes that are driven by the client having questions or, you know, even just starting with the Ascendant. Like, there might associations they have with the sign or the modality, and so that can – I also try and be really flexible, because one of my favorite things about consultations is actually it’s an opportunity to make a lot of different connections that I think it’s helpful to have a structure, and then it’s also I find it generative to kind of allow myself fluidity with where the client feels more interested. So I also try and create room for them to be, you know, I can sometimes sense with Saturn, for example, or Pluto, there might be some hesitation to go really in depth on that, and so I try and also just respond in real time to what I’m receiving, the feedback. But I also do —

CB: Yeah.

IN: — yeah. I would look at night chart, then I would look at my, I’m Taurus rising, then I would look at Venus. I would also go to my Moon, check out my Moon, and then I would – if they are newer, I would talk a lot about in my chart a stellium. What does that mean? What are the things to look out for? I’ve been reading for a lot of stelliums, and so I’ve been trying to get them to understand that like, there might be an over like, a pronunciation or amplification of that energy in their chart, and so how do they find balance? What’s their relationship to that energy? And what’s their relationship to that house, the themes of that house? So I really look at like, where – like, look at my chart. It’s so crazy.

CB: Yeah, for sure. I mean —

IN: Look at the 7th!

CB: Those are really great points that it’s like, because it’s a night chart, you know you’re gonna pay more attention to the Moon as having a more dominant role in the personality —

IN: Yeah.

CB: — than the Sun would, whereas that’s reversed in a day chart and the Sun’s gonna take a more dominant role in terms of personality traits. And then, yeah, that’s the next thing is what – are there any chart patterns or are there any clusters of planets in a certain sector of the chart? That’s gonna draw your attention towards that house or that area of the chart as being an area where there’s gonna be more focus and more activity for multiple reasons, both because there’s many planets in that house, so they’re gonna be manifesting in that part of the life, but also it brings in, it ties together like, the rulers of the houses all in that house of the chart so that it becomes like, a nexus for several different house topics where they’re manifesting. And also when, you know, major transits happen and go through that sign, they’re all gonna hit all of those planets in order —

IN: Yes.

CB: — so that’s another reason why, you know, if there’s a stellium of like three or four or more planets in a certain sign, then that’s something you definitely wanna pay attention to and talk about relatively early on.

IN: Absolutely. And I feel like clients, if you’re showing them their chart, they’ll naturally be drawn to those visuals, right? So you can see in my chart, my North Node and my Moon are two degrees apart. So that’s also interesting; that’s another like, cluster that jumps out. And I find that it’s really, I always try and leave room – I love aspects; I think they really like, excite people and they’re more specific. And I think when you’re working with people who are maybe beginner to intermediate, it’s exciting to think of more particularities to their chart than just like, the signs. But I also love the IC and the MC and helping – I feel like I’ve had a lot of luck with helping people think about the axes in astrology as well as like, dualistic pairings or this conversation between signs and axes where we’re understanding different expressions of shared energy. I think people find that stuff really fascinating. Musicians kind of relate in the terms of music theory. You know, there’s just a lot of ways that people understand that – same with nature. So I think understanding how something that’s dualistic isn’t necessarily in contradiction, if that makes sense. And I think astrology has some really amazing opportunities for us to have those conversations, and I like thinking about when I’m reading scale. That’s another one I’m really into lately is what is a way this might show up literally, and what is a way this might show up more symbolically? Especially with houses. So if someone’s going through a lot of 4th house transits, what if nothing’s happening to their residence or their family, and then they’re like, “That doesn’t resonate.” But then they’re in the middle of gestating an entire album that’s like, keeping the stories alive of their, you know, ancestry through song? And so —

CB: Right.

IN: — if you open up that symbolic realm, they’re like, “Oh, whoa!” Or my favorite thing with Cancer lately is talking about Cancers as memory keepers and emotional historians. And they’ve never resonated with the crybaby, you know, memes or certain things like that, but then when you talk about emotional memory keeping, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, my entire life is, you know, being an emotional archivist for my family and my people.” So I think that also helps a lot, just giving people different examples of their expressions in the tangible, and also keep it grounded and tangible for people, but then also don’t fear giving something more symbolic.

CB: Yeah. I mean, usually, like, your success as an astrologer is gonna be based on how well you’re able to articulate and describe the overarching like, umbrella concept or the archetype or symbolism itself, and then you can give some specific manifestations of that. But oftentimes, there can be a disconnect where if you go too specific, some clients instead of connecting that, you know, well, it wasn’t that specific thing, but it was this that actually still fits the symbolism, there will be some clients that don’t make the connection. And if you go too specific, then they’ll say, “No, that’s not true,” but then like, later in the consultation, you’ll find out that it actually was true, it was just like, a slightly different manifestation of that.

IN: Totally. I think that’s why I also love the IC and the MC because I think of the ways that some clients will be blown away by how literally it shows up in their career, and then some clients it’s like more of a, like, the MC can be more like this zenith point of becoming where they maybe feel like the sign and the house, like, resonates more with like, their soul journey or who they’re trying to become as opposed to the literal, “This is about your career,” or “This is the public-facing,” right? So like, I try and be specific, but also like, you know, again, it’s like you’re responding to the client. If they’re like, “That’s not my career,” you know, they might lose trust, because it’s like you’re being so prescriptive, and it’s not sitting with them. So I think just trying to – I don’t know how you do it, but it’s a delicate balance for me sometimes.

CB: And you’re talking about instances where like, the degree of the Midheaven falls outside of the 10th whole sign house, right?

IN: Yeah.

CB: Okay, yeah.

IN: Or if it falls within it, but just like, how do you discuss, you know, those concepts without being so prescriptive but also not holding it so loosely that what you’re saying is too generic, if that makes sense.

CB: Yeah. Well, and that’s a good point. And then also related to what you said is an issue you’ll run into – it’s probably my greatest frustration in consultations and reading people’s charts has always been that, sort of connected to what I said earlier, that sometimes you can make a statement about something that is actually true about a person’s life, but the person may not recognize it as such, partially because each of us, despite our best efforts, like, we don’t have an objective viewpoint on our own lives. We only have our subjective experience of it. And oftentimes, we have blindspots in our life about things that we take for granted that are not true for everybody else, but it’s only when an astrologer comes in and looks at a person’s life externally that you can see some of the things that are different in like, the client’s life that are not true for everybody else. But oftentimes, people take for granted certain things, like, especially the good parts of our chart we’ll often tend to take for granted that everybody experiences, you know, the same good fortune in that area of the chart or that area of life. Like if let’s say the most positive benefic in the chart is in the 2nd house, they may take for granted that, you know, that everybody has financial success or that money comes easy to everybody, or they may actually just not recognize that money does come easy to them, even if you’re sitting there objectively realizing like, this person does really well financially and this has always been an area of great ease for the person or good luck where they’ve been incredibly fortunate, they may not recognize that because they’ve never been able to like, step outside of themself and see, whereas an astrologer – it’s like, you’re seeing clients back to back that have the whole range of like, super positive to moderate to super negative experiences of that house, so therefore you’re more used to seeing, and you can identify where this specific client falls in the spectrum of experience. One of the things you have to negotiate is the client’s perception may not be as objective as you might like, which can sometimes lead to rejecting certain statements, even though they’re otherwise objectively true.

IN: Yeah, that’s really well said. I mean, there are moments of like, quiet humor in readings where like, you’re reading for someone with a lot of 12th house or 8th house, and the nature of those planets is trickster, right? So it’s like, the nature of those planets is there is like, a hide and seek, or there is a subconscious dynamic afoot. So sometimes it’s also just like, yeah, me kind of acknowledging that there is a layer of… I don’t know, my new – I’m like, obsessed with the tricker right now, because I feel like that really, I just really resonate with that as an astrologer because I feel like there is ways that you’re reading for placements that are hiding. And so it is kind of a lot to ask someone to be always self-aware, right? Because the whole encounter of the chart reading, one of their intentions of getting their chart read is to work on that, is to work on how they can create an awareness practice. And so maybe they’re at the very beginning of that journey, right? And so even if you’re rejected in the moment, you could be part of a lifelong process of that person trying to better confront the parts of themselves they’ve had a hard time accepting. And so I think sometimes our role is to like, take the L in the moment and understand that that’s part of the work, right? It’s like, that’s what I learned as a teacher. Sometimes a student would take three years to like, earn their trust, and others it would take one hour. And my role is not to overseek validation; I think my role is to do my job well. And I think when I start to want all that validation, I would say the practice kind of suffers, because I’m trying to be liked in the process.

CB: Yeah. I mean, you just gotta do the best you can and just, there’s gonna be curveballs and there’s gonna be some occupational hazards that come along with that, you know. There’s certain things that, especially for younger clients, one of the greater challenges with younger clients is you may see something in a person’s chart and you may delineate it, but it may be something that hasn’t happened yet. Like, not all placements in the chart are actually things that are true for the entirety of it, but sometimes certain placements actually just speak to a singular definitive event that will happen at some point in that person’s life that makes up part of the tapestry of their fate, but it may not be something that’s happened yet. And so that can actually be sometimes that’s more challenging dealing with like, having a consultation with a 20-year-old versus some of the most enjoyable consultations are ones with older people, like, let’s say somebody in their 70s or 80s where they’re more towards the end of their life, and many of the things that are indicated by the chart they’ve already experienced. So in talking with them, they already have a more definitive sense of what’s happened in their life or what’s not happened, and there’s not a lot of like, surprises, necessarily, in terms of what their overall life narrative is gonna be.

IN: So what are some of the variables in real time that you’re calculating for like, when it feels ethical to kind of get into some of those more predictive aspects with a younger person?

CB: Yeah, I mean, it just depends on the person, it depends on —

IN: Right.

CB: — you know, one of the things we talked about, or we touched on briefly but I meant to circle back on is you really need to establish at the beginning, you know, there’s two different approaches of clients. And you need to establish early on is the client coming to you because they have some specific topics that they wanna talk about and things that they wanna look at in their chart? If true, that’s really important to know at the beginning, because then in your preparation or when you start looking at the chart at the beginning of the consultation, there may be certain techniques that you apply that you wouldn’t apply if you weren’t realizing that that was a topic that they wanted to look at. Or if you don’t know that, you could spend the first 30 minutes of the consultation talking about, you know, this planet in their 10th house or this transit through their 10th house of career, but really what they wanna talk about is their 7th house and something that’s going on there at this point in time. So establishing that early on, because the other alternative is sometimes there are clients that don’t have a specific reason that they’re coming to see you, but they just want a general chart reading, and if that’s true, then of course, you know, you might approach things a little bit more generally like we were doing earlier where we were looking at like, you know, what is the ruler of the Ascendant, what is the most challenging or most positive planet, etc., because that’s more approaching it from like, a general chart delineation standpoint, whereas if a person’s wanting to talk about, like, an event that’s happening in their life right now, you might wanna be applying certain like, transits or time lord techniques or things like that.

IN: Yeah. I ask because I’ve recently been getting an influx of requests from younger people, either who haven’t yet undergone Saturn’s return or are in like, the very beginning of it. And I do sense this like, desire to know what exactly is gonna happen so that they can either control it or prepare, and I always laugh, because the role of Saturn in our lives is kind of to take the opposite approach of like – Saturn to me is one of the greatest teachers of surrendering control. And like, so sometimes there’s moments like that where like, in my head, I take the consultation, but I always find that throughout the reading together and the process of getting to know each other, there’s always this like, humbling kind of lesson from both of us around like, astrology for me is not actually about like, protecting and control. And so I think that’s just specific to my practice, but sometimes I find that a lot of my younger clients are like, “What’s about to happen in the next two years to me, and how can I, you know, prepare for it?” And I think my personal take on that is like, I can and also just try and bring them a sense of their own capacity and competence, and leave them with a feeling that they’re not beholden to the whims of fate. I think it’s important for me no matter what I’m predicting that I leave the client feeling fortified.

CB: Yeah. That would go back to that like, “Do no harm,” and —

IN: Yes.

CB: — ultimately that you want the consultation to be helpful for the client, whatever that means to the individual client, ideally.

IN: Yeah, absolutely.

CB: So let’s see. Other things I wrote down… Sometimes something that comes us is a client – you may make a statement about a person’s chart, but a client may reject that or say that it’s wrong or just even like, tense up or something due to it being a sensitive area that maybe they don’t wanna go into or they don’t wanna acknowledge, which is another scenario both in terms of just from a practical standpoint as a professional astrologer something that you’ll encounter occasionally and you might not know until later, or you might not ever know why it went that way. But it’s good to be aware of as a potential possibility, and also just in terms of approaching some things sensitively sometimes as well when you’re talking about the more challenging placements.

IN: Yeah, I love that you brought this up, because I think it can be really scary when you’re starting out. You don’t wanna be wrong, right? Because then you worry that it creates an impasse in the relationship. Right? So I think it’s also about allowing that to happen, because if you don’t, then you could lose your confidence in the moment, and then the rest of the reading is responding to this feeling like you just did something wrong. And I think that part of it is just like, allowing the person to respond, and you don’t have to – I think maybe be more, I don’t love the word “neutral,” I don’t really believe in neutrality, but yeah, just trying to hold the space as opposed to like, becoming defensive or deflating your own authority. Which is hard, right? I don’t know if you can give an example from your own practice, but yeah, I think it helps for people to anticipate it and just know that it’s part of the process.

CB: Yeah. I mean, I just remember I had this event where there was like, an astrology conference; it was for professional astrologers, and they organized a thing where like, several astrologers would do a chart reading of like, a live person and like, see who did a better job. And like, a few of the astrologers were focusing in on a specific area of the person’s chart and saying some things that it was an area where there was like, a stellium and there’s a lot of activity in that area of the life. And the person got up at the end and they were supposed to, we assumed, like, acknowledge what was right and what was wrong, but they just, you know, didn’t really go into anything, so it was a bit of a mystery. And then it turned out later they just weren’t comfortable like, going into that specific area and like, talking about it publicly, which was understandable, but it was a little bit of a curveball and it was like, an interesting lesson in that context just in terms of different scenarios that can sometimes happen.

But ultimately, all of that’s just like, precursors to saying these are different, like, curveballs that you may have that can indicate instances where you can still be correct even if it seems like you’re not in the moment. But ultimately, the final point is just it’s also okay to be wrong. And I think that’s part of what you were saying and that that’s something you have to get used to in different contexts and just doing that gracefully and then continuing the reading, even if there’s certain parts that aren’t hitting or aren’t resonating for some reason. Because sometimes that can be telling you something valuable if something that you’re saying or some approach that you’re taking isn’t working out as well as you expect; that can be valuable to have that sort of feedback and then to adjust accordingly. Yeah, so I think that’s important. It’s also important because, you know, many skeptics of astrology, they will just say that all astrologers are just cold reading and, you know —

IN: Oh wow.

CB: Anybody who – to whatever extent astrology seems to be correct is just because people will tend to agree with statements that are supposed to be, that are said or put in the context of their personality, and people will just take things for granted if it’s said to be part of their personality. But anybody that’s done an astrological consultation will know that no, actually, that’s not true, that clients – if you say something that’s not accurate about their life will tend to most of the time be very open and just say like, “No, that doesn’t resonate,” or “No, that hasn’t happened,” so that the sort of presumption of cold reading that most skeptics claim is going on with astrology consultations is actually not really happening at all or is not this, like, prevalent thing that they assume it to be.

IN: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. That’s in your – you were talking about confirmation bias in the episode with skeptics. And I do think that’s why I love transits and aspects, because again, it gets more and more personal. And something I resonated with that you say in that episode is like, “You’re assuming that I want this to work all the time,” because I do often say that doubt is part of my practice, which is more in the sense that I’m also always trying to do my own observational research. And the clients also create a database for me, especially also working with celebrities and people who have a lot more public information. You know, I’m not gonna lie; it’s like, pretty enriching to my practice, because there are a lot of things that we know about them that we don’t know about strangers, and so you can start to see patterns emerge that help like, develop your own vocabulary.

And it really – another thing that, this is a tangent but related, is one of the things that made me really intrigued and kind of like, start transitioning more to like, a believer in astrology is when I did my sister’s charts, my parents’ charts, and my grandparents’ charts. And it was all these different permutations of similar energy and aspects, and me and my sisters all have our Moon in the 12th house. And I’ve done a lot of charts for siblings, and I haven’t found that to be super common that siblings always have the same house placement, and my mother was pregnant and birthing very, very far from her home country, and also like, grieving and dealing with survivor’s guilt around things that she had just experienced that were part of her condition of having to leave her home country. And so there are certain things like that where, you know, as an astrologer, I’m like, “This isn’t just like, cold reading confirmation bias,” you know? Like, this is me actively being skeptical, doing the work and researching and finding these patterns that emerge, and I just share that because you know, I feel like it’s also frustrating when people assume that practicing astrologers didn’t go through their own journey of skepticism and what brought them to this place of kind of, I don’t know whatever word we wanna use, but like, belief enough to have their own practice.

CB: Yeah, for sure.

IN: So that’s a tangent, but yeah, I just wanted to share.

CB: No, that’s a great point. And that, you know, each astrologer – everybody that’s become a professional astrologer has had experience of like, seeing that this thing works, that the phenomenon of astrology exists in the universe, that there is this correlation between celestial movements and earthly events for some reason. But that’s the core of astrology. And once you start noticing that and noticing that that works and that it’s as pervasive as it is, it becomes something that most astrologers are just fascinated by and want to sometimes dedicate their life to studying and unraveling the mystery of that. And I think that’s the core motivation for all of us is just this sense of like, wonderment that that actually works and that that’s a thing which we’re often told that it’s not, you know, in contemporary society or in terms of science or even religion. But once you discover that it is a legitimate phenomenon, it’s hard to sort of turn away from that or to ignore that.

IN: It was —

CB: Or forget that it exists.

IN: Yeah, it was very hard for me to turn away from. And I think it’s interesting, the things that we selectively accept and legitimize, like, “Okay, yeah, the Moon has, you know, an effect on mating and like, farming and cycles,” but then that’s the only, like, isolated example, right? So I think it also goes into kind of like, notions of what is a legitimate form of knowledge versus what gets cast as… It’s also gendered often, that like, spiritual systems are feminine, or, right? There’s like, all these kinds of ways that these things are very politicized. And I will say also, I don’t know your take on this is, but actually in part of my context-building with clients to just bring it back to our original point is that I do try and welcome that from the beginning, so that if I am wrong, it doesn’t also feel like this big shock to me. Like, I kind of from the beginning am inviting them to like, trust their intuition. And like, if something’s not resonating, please don’t feel any pressure to force that, like, for my sake or your sake. Like, I really early on in the context-setting encourage that so that it’s also like, I’m setting the environment so it’s not so precious and pressurized. Because honestly, I think it’s very pressurizing for the client, too, to feel like they do need to – what if you’re with someone who deals with people pleasing and mirroring? And they’re trying to like, mirror and people please the entire time, so they’re not even doing the work to like, attune with their own sense of things. So I try and establish early on that I’m actually encouraging you to, you know, have agency in the reading. And if something does not resonate, you don’t need to protect my feelings. So I don’t know if that’s like, helpful, but I think that’s been really important in my practice of just like, honestly welcoming that from the beginning so it’s not a surprise for either of us.

CB: Yeah, for sure. I think that’s a really good thing to establish early on and just that they can always gently like, give feedback and speak up, and that that’s actually helpful for you because sometimes when a person says that that’s not true or they haven’t experienced that yet, sometimes it can help you recalibrate something that you might not be taking into account in the chart. Like, sometimes you’ll look at a placement, and you’ll just read it in terms of its sign and house placement and assume it’s a good placement, but you’ll be overlooking that it’s actually like, afflicted by let’s say like, an opposition from Saturn or a superior square from Mars in a day chart that’s throwing off the interpretation. But sometimes when the client starts giving the feedback, like, you’ll pick up on or you’ll realize that there’s something that you’re overlooking and that you’ve missed in some way.

IN: Yeah, and something that I’m really passionate about that’s specific to my practice is like, I read for a lot of people who already feel frustrated by the ways their life is limited by like, inherited identities and like, systems of oppression and power, and so a lot of my clients have come to me because they like that my style of reading includes and considers also like, identify and culture. And so that’s – again, I’m not saying that’s the right way to do it, that’s just my specific reading, and I think those things can also make people feel a bit defensive or shut off if like, the astrology feels like it’s not really – like, it’s asserting a certain kind of neutrality or if it’s not in conversation with these forces in the earthly plane that they’ve, you know, been very much confronted with, whether they’ve been in and out of systems or they’ve been, you know, in foster care, adoption, or they lost a parent from gun – you know, there’s so many different things that you might not realize you’re making them feel like, invisible in these ways that I’m not saying are any one, like, any astrologer’s like, intention. But I think those things are important to just remember that sometimes you’re accidentally making someone feel like these other factors are not maybe compounding for them. Like, they want you to think about how maybe they’re not fully bought into astrology, so these other factors are something that’s more, takes greater priority if that makes sense. So yeah, those —

CB: Yeah.

IN: — things are really important to me. And you do a really good job, too, in the show of like, how a lot of the canon of astrology is highly gendered, and there is a lot of, you know, language in there that I think can also – those are oftentimes the things that are setting people off than the actual prediction itself. So sometimes just being aware that maybe the thing you’re getting energy about or rejection about isn’t that it’s wrong. It’s like, these other things that you might not be aware of.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And that’s one of the things that’s been great over the past decade is there’s just been, with the rising popularity of astrology, there’s just been this explosion of astrologers that are coming from all different backgrounds that are bringing a lot that is new and a lot of different perspectives that weren’t as well represented prior to like, 10 years in the astrological community, if you sort of went back in time. And one of the reasons that that’s great is now there’s so many different astrologers that have different perspectives in terms of seeing clients, so that clients have a much greater ability to seek out and find astrologers that maybe have a background or an approach or certain sensitivities that match more what the client is looking for and what would actually be helpful to them than at any other time, and that’s been a really great shift in the community over the past decade.

IN: Yeah, exactly. I try and remind myself that that’s like, one of the most exciting things about the moment that we’re in in astrology and I would say therapy, too. Like, right? You can look up so many specific things now in therapy, whereas when I was growing up, you couldn’t do that, right? Like, that wasn’t even encouraged. But now you can be more specific to your needs, and so I think that – to me, that’s exciting. That was like, a bit of a turn-off for a while is I didn’t feel like I was really represented in the field or community racially, politically, or in gender contexts. So I think now it’s like, exciting to see a lot of the, honestly, the people that guest on your show that I feel like bring also like, an academic lens, which is something that, again, like, is not race, class, or cultural, but is something that just really spoke to me. And I felt like it really excited me and I felt seen seeing like, scholars on here. And some of your guests just have the most like, poetic, incredible ways of thinking about astrology, and so I was like, “Oh, we get to go deeper!” So I think for the nerds, too, right, just feeling like I wanted that representation to deepen my practice, so I’m very grateful for that.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And it’s just astrologers bring whatever their unique perspective is into their work and into the community, and they bring whatever their background is into it. And that’s been really interesting to see, because it’s not that, like, 10 years ago, it’s not that astrologers were necessarily being exclusionary. There just wasn’t as many people from different backgrounds that were interested in astrology as there has been in the past decade with this explosion and just the overall popularity of it through social media and other things like that and whatever – maybe it was partially also generational in terms of whatever caused that is still, you know, something that’s debated. But I know, you know, there was work by certain astrologers like Sam Reynolds, for example, did a lot of work to try to open things up and to try to make bridges between the established community, especially at like, conferences, and bringing in more people in order to have greater not just diversity but also representation in the field. And once that happened, it was like, one of the cool things that happened is just different people, because they have different interests, different professional astrologers will use certain types of chart examples like, in their work that’s gonna be based on their interests. And so even seeing a shift in the dialogue of like, what chart examples are being used these days has been an amazing just representation of some of that shift lately.

IN: Absolutely. I’m so excited most by bridging, instead of saying one is better. Like, I started with Demetra George’s Ancient Astrology book, just like, nerding out on the homework assignments and just trying to make sure that I was doing my due diligence and being rigorous about things. And I think of Alice Sparkly Kat’s Post-Colonial Astrology and the way that like, you can merge, you know, these kinds of lenses with the same – not that I’m pitting these things against each other, but like, the bridging of like, that kind of rigor of an OG with a younger astrologer who someone from the field might be like, skeptical of like, how wise can you be at 21? It’s like, well, sometimes when I look at – you know, I’m not on TikTok; I’m not really on Tumblr, but when I do go there, I’m really impressed. And so I try and keep an open mind about all of these things, and instead of value-judging, “This is the way we should do it,” you know, or rejecting, I try and just, I like the heterogeneity of where things are at right now and I hope we can, each of us can kind of honor all of the different threads in our lineage instead of saying, “We have to be purists,” or you know, “We have to like, completely overall astrology.” I think those feel a little too extreme for me, and I just try and weave.

CB: Yeah, for sure. And there’s some kind of balance, you know, there between, you know, there’s a wide variety of astrologers so different clients can do their due diligence as much as they can to try to find an astrologer these days that is more in alignment with the type of reading that they wanna have and the type of focus that they have in life. And an astrologer to what extent can try to adjust to that to a certain extent, but also, you know, different astrologers just have different technical approaches, they have different world views, they have different politics and things like that, and so there’s some kind of balance there. But I think it’s been a really good thing over the past decade that now clients just have more options than they’ve ever had before in terms of finding somebody that’s right for them.

IN: Can I actually ask a question that’s related to that? Something that I’m always curious about is for someone like you, like, what are your thoughts on quality control? Because on the one hand, I think it’s incredible that we’re in this like, era where people can create their own businesses and there can be kind of this, like, there’s not as much of the gatekeeping, you know? But then on the other side, what if you’re a client or someone who really has only been studying astrology for six months, and you’re like, okay, you watched this video and then you start your practice and in fact, you haven’t really put in the work. Like, what is your kind of sense on quality control, and what are some recommendations you have for people who are gonna make the leap to have a practice around accountability or like, finding other people to check their work, like, peer check? Like, do you have any kind of recommendations for those steps before they even start their practice?

CB: Yeah, that’s really tricky, and that’s been a long-standing issue in the astrological community, which is just that because it’s an unregulated field, you know, because especially in academia, it’s not viewed as a legitimate field, so there’s no way academically that was part of the attempt in the 1990s to create certain schools that had accreditation, but then it didn’t really work out for the most part because it was eventually the ways were changed so that astrology couldn’t be taught in schools.

So that was one of the debates, though, in like, the 1990s where there was that idea of certification became a major thing where a lot of the astrologers tried to create different certification exams within the astrological organizations in order to establish, you know, who was actually a legitimate professional astrologer that had a certain base level of knowledge and wasn’t just pretending or wasn’t just kind of trying to scam people or something like that, versus who are the people that didn’t have that. There was all sorts of debates around that in terms of, you know, what should be included in certain tests or what shouldn’t be, whether that was accessible or whether it created a barrier to practice and sort of exclusionary model. You know, the end result of all of that is that it’s still kind of like the wild west, basically, in terms of the astrological community and in terms of the lack of standardization so that I think that is really tricky from a client standpoint. If they’re coming into the astrological community, you don’t really know, and all you can do is research the astrological that you’re thinking about getting a consultation with and research a wide variety of other astrologers as much as you can so you have different reference points.

But ultimately, you know, the main thing you have to go off of oftentimes these days is just a person’s social media presence, whether they’ve published books, whether they have a long-standing, you know, YouTube channel or podcast or if they do have certifications of some sort, like sometimes people will take a certification exam with ISAR, the International Society of Astrological Research, or the NCGR or AFA or one of those other schools, and sometimes that can be an indication that a person’s been around for a little while.

Or, you know, over the past decades, things have shifted away so that lately it’s been less about going to one of these national organizations or the big schools to get certification in astrology and instead with the rise of online learning, a lot of astrologers have set up their own certification programs in terms of just saying, you know, a person has passed this course where I taught my approach, for example. So like, you know, I have my Hellenistic astrology course, and if a person goes through the entire course, studies everything thoroughly and then passes the final test, then they have a certificate of completion that they have some basic competency in my approach to astrology. And sometimes people will put that in their bios as a way to sort of signal not just what their background is, but also that they’re a serious either student or practitioner of astrology, and that can be another like, factor that clients can take into account in order to try to find somebody legitimate.

But all that being said, ultimately, you know, it’s tough because there are – even though one of the things I like to say and like to really emphasize, especially to skeptics where skeptics just assume that 100% of astrologers are like, scam artists and are cold reading people and making things up, and in reality, like, it only takes about, you know, a week of being in the astrological community or going to an astrological conference and meeting astrologers in person and talking to them to realize that 99% of astrologers are actually genuine people who think that astrology’s a legitimate phenomenon and are doing their best to apply it in an accurate and ethical and like, moral manner. But there is still this like, one percent where – especially with the rise of like, social media and other things like that – where people can become famous, you know, just writing about zodiac signs or doing types of astrology that you might think are either – in some instances, can be actually unethical —

IN: Yeah.

CB: — and that is a problem. And unfortunately, there’s not like, a good way of dealing with that in the community at this point in time, because it just goes back to the whole certification issue and the whole lack of legitimacy issue in an academic context. And I’m sure there’ll be like, ways that astrologers deal with that, and that might become a more pressing issue in the near future, especially with the Saturn-Neptune conjunction and with Neptune moving out of Pisces. I think astrologers will see a rise in greater  opposition against astrology and pushback against it after this period of it becoming so trendy, which is natural to happen any time something becomes trendy. So that conversation may come up again in terms of standards within the community, especially when you’re dealing with more people who obviously are doing some things that are unethical, which I think we’ve seen some of in recent times.

IN: Yeah, that was such a comprehensive, useful, like, yeah, beautiful answer. I think I was just thinking about because there was some really great – and I’m escaping the names of them, so I don’t wanna get too into it, but I saw some really like, powerful reflections from astrologers around that I thought were just, like, really caring about like, hey, younger astrologers who are blowing up on social media or like, using TikTok and suddenly going from zero followers to like, a million followers – try and just think about what that might do to a person. Like, you might be trying to pretend you know more than you do, kind of thinking about the speed of learning is actually quite slow, right? Like, when we’re trying to learn something, there was a period with tarot where I would, you know, do one month minimum of one card, right? And then do that for years. So I actually find that learning can be quite slow, even though we – even if in a moment, you feel like, “Wow, I’m picking this up so fast!” It’s like, yeah, sure, but there can be that rushed work, and then something that feels like a new dimension is like, the pressure of an audience who’s like, “Give me the goods. Give me the content.” So I think on the one hand, I love that astrology is cracking open. I think astrology’s the perfect thing to crack open hierarchy and the canon and like, ways of doing things that have gate kept folks out. But I’m also – and I don’t have like, an answer. I think your answer was better than anything I could have provided, but I think I do have questions around social agreements, community gatherings, like just ways whether it’s the certification, just things that we can as a field come together and say, “These are some of our agreements,” or “These are the ways we feel accountable to each other and accountable to the work that we do.” Just because I think that it strengthens it, and even if when we’re in conflict or in disagreement, I think that’s generative. Like, I actually think the conflict itself is helping the field, as long as there’s like, a robust conversation happening that’s not pointing figures or saying like, “This is the one right way.” But I do worry with the rise of social media that there is a lot of honestly, there is a lot of misinformation that I find that I have to combat a lot in my own work where it’s like, things that just get a lot of traction and are really popular. And so, yeah, I just wanted to ask, because I feel like it does show up in client work and in giving a consultation, whether you’re the astrologer or the client. Just like, being mindful that it is a little bit of the wild west, so try and encourage yourself to do the research. And this is like, a tangible thing, but I really try and put testimonials on my website and try and give like, strangers sources of like, legitimacy that aren’t you. Because you can invent your personality. You can like, just create your own legitimacy. So like, what are other sources of kind of cosigning that you can provide clients to build trust?

CB: Yeah. For sure. I mean, that’s the other side of the coin of the phenomenon that I mentioned earlier where I’ve always observed that the more conscientious, often let’s say deeper thinking or like, more serious students of astrology will tend to put off doing consultations longer than they should because they’re so conscientious around wanting to do a good job that they’ll often delay that process far beyond what’s actually necessary.

The other flip side of that is there is a tendency sometimes for less conscientious or less ethical types to jump into doing consultations sooner than they should when they know less or like, teaching astrology sooner than they should, and that’s sometimes a sign of something that’s not good, of something not good that’s going on. But it’s tricky, because there’s an ambiguity somewhere in between those two extremes where occasionally, you know, sometimes there can be somebody that’s really bright or somebody that’s really young that jumps into the field and really takes to it, and then really pursues it and talks about it on social media, even if they’re still learning.

But that’s part of the process, and sometimes there needs to be like, a wait and see thing because it’s like, you know, sometimes people do that and they’ll jump into the field and they’ll start doing consultations or teaching like, way too soon, and then it turns out that they’re like, a scam artist. And later at some point, things blow up spectacularly or they repeat – that ends up becoming like, the first sign of them later doing like, problematic things over and over again in the future. But in other instances, you know, sometimes there can be a younger astrologer that gets into the field and starts moving relatively fast, at least seemingly from certain people’s perspectives or opinions, but then sometimes you have to wait and see, because sometimes that person actually sticks with it, and even if it seems like they were jumping into things relatively early or prematurely or moving fast, sometimes that person in the long term, you know, does end up sticking with it and becoming like, a good part of the community and like, an ethical astrologer, and it turns out that that was not like, a red flag for that person, but it was just somebody really diving into the field. And they ended up in the long term establishing themselves and becoming a reputable astrologer. I’ve seen instances of that where, you know, somebody was called out for moving too fast early on, but it turned out that in the long term, they ended up being I think relatively decent, so as a result of that, it’s tricky to make some of those distinctions sometimes, and you have to be kind of careful.

IN: I love that. I think that’s so true. I think one of my issues in my life has been definitely delaying and I feel like I’ve always admired people who have – even though I have an Aries Moon, but I have always like, learned from people who understand that it is actually in the like, fire, like I said earlier, of the praxis that you kind of understand your own commitments and clarify them. So I think that’s right. And I did wanna mention something that is also coming to mind is that there are different competencies when giving a consultation, so if you’re thinking about the technical astrological side of the practice and then also the more eductor hat side of the practice of like, the soft skills that go into teaching and holding space, and so I think those are like, different competencies and giving consultations I think invites a ripening on both. And some people might start their practice feeling stronger in one than the other. And I think that’s okay, but I do think that’s something that comes to mind in this topic is that it is a different expectation that you grow into both. Whereas when you’re just learning and studying on your own, you know, the teaching competency or listening or all those other parts of, you know, the practice aren’t really at play as much. And so that’s just another kind of tangible thing that was coming to mind as you were talking.

CB: Yeah, for sure. So I think we’re getting towards the end of our time. We need to wrap up in about I think 10 minutes, right?

IN: Yes.

CB: Okay. So given that, so I wanted to quickly scan through and see if there’s any like, major points in our outline that we meant to mention, and then also maybe just do a summary of how to give an astrological consultation in terms of bringing, tying together everything that we’ve said here. So do you see anything that we completely missed or like, meant to mention but didn’t? Oh yeah, software. Everybody start —

IN: Oh, yeah, say something about software, yeah.

CB: Just very briefly, everybody starts with free websites, but eventually it’s a good idea to get some professional software that runs natively on your computer just because primarily it’s good for building a database which is like, searchable if you ever wanna go back and research your charts. It’s also more private if you have the data like, locally on your own machine rather than like, in the cloud. That can go either way, but it’s just a good idea to get professional software is a nice stepping stone at some point in your career as an astrologer.

IN: Yeah, I love that point. And then you do have an interesting bullet here around energetics that you didn’t get to that I find really fascinating.

CB: Oh yeah. Some people find doing consultations to be really energetically draining, and they can only do like, a certain amount of consultations, like, let’s say in a single day. Versus there’s other astrologers that feel really energized by it, and they can do a lot of consultations back to back without it really affecting them. I know I think like, Rick Levine, for example, is somebody with his Aries stellium where he can just do a ton of consultations in a day back-to-back and he just feels super energetic. For me, I always found consultations to be pretty draining, because I was just like, very intensely focused on first the preparation and then doing the consultation and being fully present and like, your brain is working at 100% trying to do all the calculations and everything as you go, so that I would tend to be kind of, you know, tired by that at the end so that I think I only ever did one or two consultations in a day was kind of like, my max. So figuring out how you feel and what your place is in terms of that and also seeing how it grows and develops in terms of maybe you find it more draining early on, because you’re doing so much preparing or you’re so nervous, but maybe you get more comfortable and confident as time goes on and maybe it becomes less draining. But figuring out where you are in terms of that is a good idea, because it will affect things like scheduling and also just wanting to be present for each person as fully as you can to do a good job, therefore you don’t wanna like, wear yourself out too much.

IN: Yeah, and I think in the spirit of not rushing, I think going slow and figuring that out’s important if you’re trying to potentially take the leap to be a full-time astrologer. So, you know, maybe you know, for me, I went down part-time and just being more like, thoughtful around the money that you’re gonna be allocating for rent or for things like that. Like, just giving yourself some time to play with the energetics I think is really great. Because you’ll be surprised. Maybe you think you’re someone who can do a bunch a day, and then you realize that you feel drained. So allowing yourself that room to be surprised or to not know until you actually give it a shot.

CB: Yeah, for sure. One of the things you mentioned is establishing boundaries, and I know you touched on that briefly. Was there anything else about that to mention?

IN: Yeah, I think one thing I’m still, if I’m being honest, working on is that astrologers occupy a very interesting space in people’s mind and lives, and sometimes they reveal things to us or they have revelations that then stick with them in this certain register of intimacy. And so you might be called upon by clients, and it starts to blur in this line between like, spiritual guide, friend, confidante, and I still sometimes struggle with that boundary. Not only keeping the boundary, but setting it, and how do you find that balance? And I’m not by any means like, resolved or reconciled in that work. I think it’s just I’m observing that astrologers almost occupy the role of therapist, but I do think sometimes it’s harder for us to boundary set because we exist in people’s mind in this otherworldly spiritual space, even if we don’t identify as that. So even if we’re – like, I’m a Taurus rising. I’m like, this is, you know, earthly, mundane things, you know. I don’t really – I’m not someone who’s viewing myself as this like, otherworldly wizard figure, right? So for me, it can be a little bit of a confrontation with how I’m being viewed as like, someone who might have, I don’t know, like, special powers or like, I can somehow see into their lives. And so it creates some blurred boundaries. Or they become almost like, dependent on me, like, symbolically or something. So I don’t have any like, clarified wisdom on that; it’s just something I was curious about your own – if you have any recommendations or if you’ve dealt with that, but I do think it could be my personality or how I read, but I definitely think there is moments where I feel like it’s not personal to me. It’s like, I’m existing as an astrologer, and that in people’s minds occupies a very mystical space.

CB: Yeah. Finding, establishing those boundaries and establishing a realistic sense of what you can and cannot do and can and cannot say I think is really important, and that’s part of what you’ll negotiate during the course of the consultation for sure.

This brings up – you brought up one point, which reminded me – client confidentiality is extremely important. Whatever is said in the consultation stays there, aside from usually doing a recording and sending it to the client afterwards. Everything said is confidential, and that’s part of being an ethical astrologer and is highly unethical to otherwise talk about things outside of that. That’s part of, like I said, the different astrological organizations established ethical guidelines and codes of ethics in the 1990s, so you can look some of those up. The one I always thought was the best was the ISAR code of ethics. So they’re like, redesigning their website, so I’m having a hard time finding it right now, but if I can find a link to it, I’ll include it in the show notes, because that includes some really helpful guidelines for consulting astrologers about things like client confidentiality that might seem obvious to some people, but maybe if you’re relatively new to the field might not be obvious at first glance. It also brings up adjacent things like consulting skills. If you’re gonna be a consulting astrologer, then sometimes it can be helpful to do some sort of courses in consulting skills, and there are different astrological courses that are available by organizations including ISAR or other organizations on consulting skills, and sometimes that can be really helpful for learning things that you might not otherwise know.

IN: Yeah, we’re not going over all the brass tacks stuff. I know you have one too about like, how to take an amateur to professional, but I think those are really helpful for all of the brass tacks we’re not gonna cover in this episode around pricing and, you know, all of the systems that seem boring but are really important because they help set you up for success. So all of those kind of like, seemingly just like, yeah, the bureaucratic side or the administrative side are actually really important to allowing you to be as creative as possible. So I encourage people to seek out those resources, because that really helped.

And I’m big on pre- and post-materials, and so spending the time before taking on too many readings to create a structure for myself was really helpful because those things, again, allow me to be as free and present as possible when I am doing the reading. So even though it can be kind of like, tedious in the beginning, also having people review those materials, getting feedback on them from clients, and I know for me in the beginning I was too technical in the post-materials, and I started to do a hybrid of like, narrative and technical, and then I also did prompts for further discussion after the major signatures so that there could be breaks where clients could like, go back to the materials and think about the questions and the guiding questions that we asked in the session.

You said something that was really powerful – a tweet around how like, our birth charts are not these static things, which is why they live on when we die, because they’re, you know, ever-evolving, and our relationship to them is. And so I like leaving people and post-materials with questions that they can come back to in 10 years, in five years. I had an older client who was 80 who had kept his birth charts, all of the readings that he’s done throughout his life – he laminates them, and he keeps them. So you also never know what your client’s gonna do with the materials that you provide. They can be like, these kind of time capsules for people. So I don’t know, I like to think about it that way and put the proper effort into it so that it can allow me to be as creative as possible.

CB: Yeah, that’s a good point, that most consultations will be one-off consultations, but in some instances, you may be able to build relationships with people that span years, and it’s always cool to have a followup consultation with somebody where you check in with them and you hear how things went and how the specific transits worked out and things like that, and that can be really interesting having an ongoing sort of client-astrologer relationship with people.

Let’s see. Sometimes part of ethics is like, referring people out if there’s something that’s above your pay grade. Like, if somebody is dealing with mental health issues or other things like that. If it’s, you know, something that’s outside of the scope of what you can really do or address or talk about, like, it’s really important to refer people to professionals or to people that can help them with things like that. And adjacent to that is also, you know, if somebody wants a technique or something that you can’t do or you don’t feel comfortable with, then refer them to an astrologer who can, whether that’s rectification if you don’t specialize in that, if that’s like, synastry if you don’t specialize in that. You know, having a list of different astrologers that you think are good, reputable astrologers to refer people to when that’s necessary is a really good idea as, you know, follow up as well.

IN: I love that. That would be an exciting companion piece to this or a different episode is the same kind of theme, but for synastry and composite charts. Because it’s pretty different, I think. Or like, the place you start, or – it’s similar but distinct, and so it’s something I actually learned through my practice that I love to do, but it was actually a moment where I had to retool my materials and take a pause and think about the new way that I would approach it, so that could be a fun second one down the road.

CB: Totally. That’s a great idea. And yeah, and you had mentioned earlier my course in that a lot of this I do expand on more in my professional astrologer course, you know, each of those points in terms of putting people in a position to like, start seeing clients and things that go along with that including ethics, but also just building up a practice and stuff for people that are curious like, how to go about doing that.

So let’s see, final thoughts. This has been amazing. Thank you so much for joining me for this discussion today. I feel like we’ve covered so much. You know, it’s gonna be like, a two-hour episode, so it’s gonna be a conspicuously short episode compared to my usual ones —

IN: Yeah!

CB: — but I think it actually, we packed about four hours of material into the discussion despite the length.

IN: Okay, I’m so glad, yeah. I know, and I’m the person who watches the entire thing, so I know you’re out there and you’ll watch and this one’s short for – yeah. But I’m glad that it was condensed and I learned so much from you today, so thanks for having me on, Chris.

CB: Yeah. Thank you for joining me. I’m super excited about your podcast, which is titled Stars and Stars with Isa, and you are doing this – you’ve got a bunch of episodes lined up. You said you’ve already released eight episodes, but you actually have a release schedule every week, right?

IN: Yes. Like, yeah, we release episodes every Tuesday, midnight PST, but yeah, so Tuesdays. And we have eight episodes and so many more to go, and it’s just picking up a lot. I feel like I’m getting really comfortable, and the guests are all so different and unique and they bring their own lens and they have their own personalities and their own charts. Although there has been a lot of Aquarius and a lot of Scorpio, so I’m seeing a lot of patterns already – a lot of Scorpio Moons and a lot of Aquarius risings. It’s been fun, and I hope you all can listen and provide feedback or yeah, just continue to grow connections in the astrology community for sure.

CB: Definitely. And you’ve already had eight episodes. Who are some of the people that you’ve had on the podcast so far?

IN: So I started with Aja Monet, who is an incredible poet. She was actually up for the Grammy for the spoken word category, which is a new category. And W. Kamau Bell, who’s —

CB: The first one was an amazing episode, by the way, just like, talking with her and her chart and just how her chart came alive in the way that she talked about her life, and then you could really understand the placements. That was a brilliant episode.

IN: Thank you so much, Chris. Yeah, and then the second one that followed that is one of my favorites with W. Kamau Bell, who’s, you know, a little – he’s like, an icon here in the Bay area, but he does so many things. He’s a stand-up comedian, he’s an activist, he’s been on CNN, but it’s also really great to read for someone who like, is so generous with being open to it, and he really rides a register of humor and depth, which is my personal favorite. I had Jia Tolentino on, who’s a writer for The New Yorker, who is a fellow Scorpio, Leo rising, and Aries Moon. So it was just like, such a treat for me, because I haven’t really met a lot of Scorpio Sun, Aries Moons, and it was just like, a deep moment of recognition for me, and then we were different in really key ways; that was cool. And then I have some really – yeah, sorry, go.

CB: I love that thing where astrologers will sometimes tend to attract like, certain clients to them that have either similar placements to themself or sometimes you’ll have a string of like, clients out of nowhere that’ll have the same or like, a similar placement so that you’ll see different manifestations or similar manifestations of the same placement. That’s a phenomenon that every astrologer will experience once they start seeing clients.

IN: I know, it’s like this mirroring in my love life and my professional life where I’m like, “Oh, there’s so many patterns!” There are so many Leo Venus, Leo Mars for me and like, Aquarius and Scorpio or Taurus, so it’s always the same cycle, but… That’s been also really cool is that I’ve had three Taurus risings on the show, and so to your point about client work being really like, a deepening experience, it’s really mind-blowing because I’ve had Taurus risings with Cap Venus, Aquarius Venus, and Pisces, and so it’s like, wow, it’s so different. Like, our experience and the house placements, it just shows the nuance and the specificity, right?

And so Kamau’s a Taurus rising, and then I just did Jahad, who’s the creator of Hopeless Romantic Society, which is like a New York style street interview show on Instagram that’s blown up. And I will say it’s been really, really eye-opening and cool to read for very young people and just be very open to all ages, all experiences, all relationships to astrology, and I think it’s really honing my craft. And I’m still at the beginning of this podcast, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity, and I really hope that I’m doing right by like, you and all of the astrologers who I just feel like, yeah, I’m in conversation with this like, very very comprehensive history, and I’m so grateful to be even like, a dot in this vast web. So yeah, definitely listen and check it out. We have some really, like, heavy hitter guests in the next couple months, so it should be cool.

CB: Yeah, I’m really impressed with it so far, and I’m super excited to see how it goes in the future. And I think, yeah, I think it’s gonna be a big thing. So people can check it out by searching for Stars and Stars with Isa wherever they listen to podcasts, either on Spotify or iTunes or just Googling it or whatever, and they’ll find your podcast pretty much everywhere, right?

IN: Yeah, it’s a wide release, so a lot of people listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Writing reviews is really helpful. You can be honest, but yeah, that’s really helpful. I definitely check those out. And you can subscribe so that every time you just get the episode. But yeah, it’s everywhere. And it’s even on, it’s a collaboration between Futuro Studios and Stitcher Studios, which is now under SiriusXM, so that’s kind of the tree of the production of it, so you can find it on SiriusXM and Futuro as well.

CB: Cool. Awesome. I’ll put a link to it in the description below this episode on YouTube or on the podcast website. So everybody, you know, search for Isa’s podcast and let’s blow it up and subscribe to it, and then yeah, we’ll see all the great guests you have lined up for the rest of the year.

IN: Thank you so much, Chris. Yeah, I really appreciate it.

CB: Cool. All right. Thanks for joining me today.

IN: Thanks for having me.

CB: All right. Thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.


If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it, then consider becoming a patron through my page on Patreon.com. In exchange, you’ll get access to some great subscriber benefits, including early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the forecast each month, our monthly Auspicious Elections Podcast, which is only available to patrons, a whole exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast, or you can even get your name listed in the credits. You can find out more information at Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.

Special thanks to all the patrons that helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including patrons Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Jeanne Marie Kaplan, Melissa DeLano, Sonny Bazbaz, and Kwatsi Alibaruho.

If you’re looking for a reliable astrologer to get an astrological consultation with, then we have a new list of astrologers on the podcast website that we recommend for readings. Most of the astrologers specialize in birth chart readings, although some also offer synastry, rectification, electional astrology, horary questions and more. Find out more information at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/Consultations.

If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology, then I’d recommend checking out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, where I go over the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts.

If you’re really looking to expand your studies of astrology, then I would recommend my Hellenistic Astrology course, which is an online course on ancient astrology, where I take people through basic concepts up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. There’s over a hundred hours of video lectures, as well as guided readings of ancient texts, and by the time you finish the course you will have a strong foundation in how to read birth charts, as well as make predictions. You can find out more information at Courses.TheAstrologySchool.com.

And finally, thanks to our sponsors, including The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, which is a quarterly astrology magazine which you can read in print or online at MountainAstrologer.com.