Have you ever sat down in a doctors office and picked up a fashion magazine? As you flip through, you come across the horoscope column. Like most people, you can't help but go straight to your sign and read what it says about your future. Will you find love? Money? Travel? Even if the magazine is two years old, your curiosity will tend to convince you to read it over anyway. We can't help but be drawn to knowing what the stars say about us!
As a professional astrologer for over ten years, I often notice that many who are not terribly familiar with astrology have been preconditioned by pop culture to think that horoscope columns are all there are to astrology. For many, if not all professional astrologers, this can be particularly challenging when trying to explain how our services are a valuable investment in understanding yourself and your life path. I would like to help shed some light on the key differences between a simple horoscope column and a fully developed, professional astrological consultation.
At its most basic level, a horoscope column focuses on what is called the Sun sign. Whenever someone says, "I'm a Leo," what they are really saying is that at the moment of their birth, the sun was located in the tropical sign of Leo. What you have always identified as your sign is actually just the position of the Sun against the backdrop of the zodiac. While this is a relatively good way to communicate horoscopic predictions on a mass scale, it falls short when applying it to a specific individual. Sometimes those horoscopes are dead on, and sometimes they are totally off. At best they capture the general feel of the people born under a certain sun sign, and at worst they totally discredit the field of astrology. What you may or may not know, is that there are many other celestial bodies that travel through the zodiac, and they can be in any one of the twelve signs. For example, a person who is a Leo (Sun in Leo) could have their Moon in Pisces, Venus in Cancer, Mercury in Virgo, and so on. The different positions of the planets allow for an infinite combination of energies, which result in the infinite variations in human personality, psychology, and karma.
In a professional astrological consultation, the astrologer will examine all of the planets and their positions in the zodiac. Each planet has a different set of subjects it governs. For example, Venus rules relationships, money, and balance. Jupiter rules wisdom, growth, and alliances, and those are just to name of few of these two planets' significations! The placements give the astrologer a much deeper understanding of who you are and why you are here. One criticism of astrology is that all humankind cannot be broken down into 12 basic groups, and that is exactly right. We as professionals do not boil everyone down to just their Sun sign. We take all the planetary positions at the moment of your birth and calculate a natal chart. This chart gives us four important components: zodiac signs, planets, houses, and aspects. These four components provide us with a wellspring of information about your personality, family, career, money, relationships, creativity, even psychic/intuitive abilities.
There are also many different types of consultations, and looking at a natal chart is just one. There are charts that can be erected to answer specific questions, such as "where is my lost watch?" This is known as horary astrology. We even can look at charts for specific events or to find the best date to take on a big commitment such as a business contract, purchase property, or getting married. This is known as electional astrology. There are also astrologers who study large societal trends and shifts, known as mundane astrology. I offer horary and electional astrology in my consultations and provide mundane astrological forecasts in my Astral Articles.
There is something to be said for a horoscope column, however. It can give you a broad view into what you might expect in your day to day life, and an introduction to the subject of astrology. But it is no substitute for the profound and pinpointed information you receive from a professional consultation. Astrologers practice and study for years to be able to read a chart accurately. Many of us have taken courses and received certification from national organizations. I am a member of the oldest astrological organization in the US, the American Federation of Astrologers. These organizations set ethical guidelines and require that its members abide by them. These guidelines include proper use and respect for the personal information we are provided by our clients, the ethical means by which we communicate sensitive information seen in the chart with our clients, as well as the techniques we use to delineate/interpret the astrology chart. These are just a few of the many guidelines a respectable astrologer follows when he or she is a member of one of these organizations.
In short, when examining the differences, we can see that a horoscope column can never provide as much detailed and tailored information for a person as a professional consultation. If you are interested in a consultation with me, click here to see the options I have available. If it is your first time doing a reading with me, I suggest the Natal Chart reading. It is a great place to start!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the link at the top of the page :)
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