Jeffery Kishner is multi-dimensional: he’s a trained counselor, an astrologer and the editor of one of the Internet’s most popular astrology sites, Sasstrology. If you want the truth, go to Jeff: he tells it like it is. And in this guest post, he shares the trials and rewards of being an astrologer.
I don’t know about you, but I have an image of the ideal professional astrologer, and how she prepares for readings. She prepares a complex graph that includes transits, eclipses, stations, secondary progressions and solar arc directions, noting the “key dates” in which important events are likely to occur in a client’s life. Then she meditates on the natal chart, allowing the “themes” to speak to her on an intuitive level, and then looks for “testimony” to support her gut feelings. Then, at the start of the actual consultation, she invokes a few spirits and lights a candle to create a “sacred space” so that the goddess can guide her and her client to wisdom.
Me? I hate preparing for readings. I cannot think of a more boring task, other than reading each and every item posted by people I don’t know in my Facebook news feed. However, I enjoy the actual counseling work when I’m conversing with my client about her chart. If only I could just waltz into a session without doing any preparation I would, but I know that I’d do a half-ass job and do my client a disservice.
So what do I do? I force myself to look at every delineation in the natal chart – at least the Ptolemaic aspects and the ten planets – and look at transiting hard aspects from Saturn through Pluto. And then I’ll throw in a few eclipses for good measure, and just check to see if there’s something really important going on in the progressed chart.
That alone is torture, yet I still feel that it is not enough. But guess what? I don’t honestly think I need more than that for my purposes – because the astrologer I want to be is one who focuses on what really matters.
What really matters is, of course, a matter of opinion. For me, it’s that my client leaves the session feeling she has a deeper understanding of some of her core issues, and that she feels she has some tools to help her navigate upcoming changes in her life. And possibly even more important, that she feels heard and understood – because I’m an astrological counselor, not just an astrologer.
Perhaps I will always be hard on myself, comparing myself to some idealized version of the perfect astrologer. However, I also know that going through some punishing preparation routine so that I can feel over-prepared will only lead to resentment, which may rub off on my client. Therefore, I do what I feel is necessary, and no more.
Which is probably just the right amount.
About the Author: Jeffrey Kishner is editor/publisher of Sasstrology. He is a regular contributor at AOL Horoscopes, and occasionally does consultations. You can learn more about him at jeffreykishner.com.