full-time job as a professional oracle was working for the Jackie Stallone
Psychic Hotline. One night, the phone rang, and it was a very young woman,
probably under the legal age to be calling. She was shaken up, and said
she'd just gotten off the phone with another operator who had told her
that she was pregnant with a space alien's child. Now, you might think
that's ridiculous, but regardless, I was confronted with a scared person
whose faith had been abused by an authority she had trusted.
It was not
a difficult situation to straighten out. For one thing, her own intuition
had told her to pick up the phone and call for a second opinion, so she
was seeking reassurance of what she probably knew. I saw no suggestion of pregnancy in her chart, much less from some extraterrestrial
being. In fact, I saw nothing amiss. I told her this, plain and professional,
and then checked in with her on here-and-now matters of regular pregnancy
(i.e., test kits and birth control).
At the end
of our session, I added that no one had the right to scare her like that.
But astrologers, horoscope writers and psychics have bad days. Their personal
stuff can get in the way of their interpretations. Some are not trained
very well, and, though most astrologers lean toward the tolerant and loving
side, a few are just a little too old-fashioned to be functioning well
in today's speed-of-light world.
We live in
an information-based society. It's true that most of what's called information
is really advertising, and most of the rest is not especially enlightened.
But every day we spend money to find things out, whether it's from cable
television, an insurance agent or a professional astrologer. We must continually
evaluate this information and decide what it's worth, and whether we want
If we come
across information that goes against our better judgment, we need to make
a conscious choice not to take it on, and then do more research. If you
get an astrological reading (or read something in a book) that seems hopeless,
unusually negative or involves a prediction of death or disease, it's
a good idea to get a second opinion. You can also ask the astrologer exactly
what transit they saw that caused them to reach their opinion, and spend
some time in a bookstore looking up different interpretations of that
not always easy to stay cool and calm. People generally seek out an astrologer
when they hit rough water. There are deep questions, or trouble is brewing.
Or there are high expectations, like thinking you've met your soulmate.
Most people get around to calling the astrologer after they become convinced
that their therapist doesn't comprehend them, when talking to the minister
is out of the question, when their friends bail out of the issue and if
they can't talk with their spouse, mate or lover about the situation (an
affair, for example).
us real problems as well as their genuine trust, because they have nowhere
else to place it. They do so with some level of expectation that astrologers
are practiced in the ways of wisdom and can use their tools to see the
greater picture or the deeper levels of reality. Often this is true, but
that expectation puts astrologers in a position of even greater responsibility.
More important, it puts the burden on the client to consciously select
a good practitioner—in a phrase, one who will teach the client to trust
is the Best Medicine
to start out right. Whether you are seeking an astrologer for a first
opinion or a second, doing it well is not as mysterious as it seems. Most
astrologers have homepages, and others have written books or articles
which will give you an opportunity to read their ideas and get a sense
of their philosophy on life.
Go for a
sense of affinity. You may not understand astrology, but if their ideas
resonate, that's a good sign. Astrology is a highly interpretive art,
and the person you're working with will have everything to do with the
results that you get. This is especially true under more difficult circumstances,
when their creativity, insight, optimism and, more than anything, open-mindedness
will be especially valuable tools.
How did you find out about the person? Do they come recommended, and by
whom? How long have they been in practice? Who are their clients? How
did they learn their craft? Do they rely on "credentials" or on experience?
What else do they do in life (relatively few astrologers practice full
time)? What is their religious background?
I know are happy to let prospective clients interview them. Astrologers
love to talk. The questions you ask give them insight into who you are,
and astrologers don't usually have time to waste on clients who are going
to drive them nuts. They should want to know about you, too. So you don't
need to feel like you're wasting their time by asking questions, including
explaining your basic situation, and getting their general sense of things.
to remember that astrologers are people, even if they tend to have mystical
or spiritual leanings. They cannot solve your problems, and the best you
can hope for is to have a real discussion from which you draw some insights
about your life. The more insight you give the astrologer about what you
think, the better they can serve you.
I think it's
best to consider yourself the captain and the astrologer the navigator.
A navigator won't say whether the ship is going to sink, but he can plot
the best course through a storm. But the captain has the final say.