What Makes an Astrologer Successful?
There's a question I'm often asked and it's sort of a delicate one. People observe that many astrologers are starving — basically don't have many clients. And yet, I've been very successful. So, why is that true?
It's obviously a somewhat uncomfortable subject for me to explore, but I think that there is an important point to be made here. To say it very simply, as I compare the state of consciousness of my typical clients who are intelligent people, examining their lives in a psycho-spiritual way, and trying to grow and improve and make better choices in life – that's a typical profile of somebody who comes to me for a reading. And I compare that attitude with the mainstream conventions of astrology where we still might be hearing something like, "You're a Virgo so that's why you're picky." Or, "You're a Scorpio and that's why you're sexy but treacherous." This kind of descriptive stuff or rigidly predictive stuff. "You will get a divorce" – statements like that. And in essence, what I'm getting at is that I think the client base has gotten ahead of the astrologers as a group.
My own orientation to astrology is never predictive. And I tend to try to get beyond simply describing people, which is to say, pigeon-holing them, and instead coach people and talk about how to make better choices and how to be happier and putting the power and the responsibility for the shape of their lives right back in their hands. And I think people like that. I think it suits the philosophical tone of the times, the attitudinal values of the times. And that's important. And I also simply think that is a more accurate approach to astrology.
So, I suspect that much of my success, and the fact that I'm booked so far ahead, is really derived from that philosophical difference or even technical difference of approach to astrology where it's about questions, not about answers. And questions put the power right back in the hands of the individual who has come to me for a reading.
I'd add one more point about this. Sometimes I've heard the idea that my success is based upon the fact that I've written some popular books and I've been rather well-known through publication, having started out my publishing career with Bantam Books with The Inner Sky back in 1984. And certainly that helped and got my name out in the world and expanded my range of contacts. But I would also say that long before I had written a word of astrology, or published a word of astrology, my simple little practice in North Carolina, I was booked up eight months, ten months ahead. And that's purely because of this philosophical difference and had nothing to do with the star-maker machinery, so to speak, that I hooked into with publishing.
If you simply think about this yourself . . . let's imagine quite specifically, the planet Uranus, “Lord of Earthquakes and Lightning Bolts,” so to speak, is entering your seventh house, your house of marriage. And the conventional astrologer would look at that and predict “disruption in your intimate sphere.” If you're a married person, “you're gonna get a divorce.” And it's mechanical.
Well, let's imagine that you're committed to your marriage but you're struggling within it. And the astrologer, at least evolutionary astrologer, realizes that Uranus is not a planet that will simply destroy things. But it refers to a more subtle process of trying to figure out who you are as distinct from what people around you want you to be and have trained you to be. You need more freedom and space for what you want to become – space for your individuality within your marriage. And then the question becomes, “Can you work with yourself and work with your partner to try to bring that sense of updating the relationship?”
And again, space for who you have become in the relationship. And if you can do that, you can make your marriage work. And if you can't do that, then the marriage will fall apart – and will probably need to fall apart.
And if you just put yourself in the receiving position for this kind of counsel first: "Oh, your marriage is doomed," versus this more helpful kind of coaching advice, you can immediately feel, I suspect, in your heart, how the second approach leaves you with possibilities, leaves you empowered.
And really, the whole point I'm making is that people in the modern world, in the psychological age that we're living in, that's simply how they think. And if our astrological language is resonant with the actual realities of their experience, they're gonna come to you for readings and they're gonna tell their friends about it, and you're gonna have a very successful practice. But if you're simply telling fortunes and pronouncing doom on people, the opposite will happen.