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AP - Should we reveal our birth charts?

 
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Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:37 pm    Post subject: AP - Should we reveal our birth charts? Reply with quote

27 Sept 2003

Deb:
When I was at the Faculty summer school I got into conversation one morning over whether it was wise for astrologers to release details of their own horoscopes. I find it hugely frustrating that we don’t have accurate and reliable birth charts for people such as William Lilly, who are of great interest to us and clearly in a position to leave the information behind for the benefit of future students. I’ve never hesitated to let my details be known. I don’t see it as revealing the ‘private me’ just the astrological factors I was born under.

But the view I was confronted with was that when we expose our horoscope we make it possible for other people to ‘take from our power’ and negatively affect our energies. I don’t go along with this at all. I see my birth chart as a graphic representation of an astronomical moment, which I alone animate. Even so, I know many astrologers who take great pains to keep their birth details private.

I thought I’d ask forum readers for their views on this; and if you are one of those people who doesn’t want others to know the details of your birth chart – why is this? (Of course, you might not want me to know that either )

Also, if you were working on an issue for a client, and s/he brought along another person's data without his/her knowledge or consent - hoping that it will help you place them in a more informed position to take advantage of a situation - is there any reason why you'd consider this unethical?

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Sue:

This secrecy of charts really annoys me. There are some well known astrologers who are famous for going to great lengths to keep their charts a secret while spending their lives talking about the charts of others. I think it is a real double standard. I don't believe for a moment that making my chart public is giving away my power. I can't expect people to share their details with me and then refuse to give in return. It is very unlikely that I will ever be famous enough for anyone to be the slightest bit interested in my birth details but they are certainly welcome to them and they are free to interpret my chart in any way they choose.

As for the other matter, I suppose it depends on what is meant by taking advantage of the situation. I would probably do it in a way that might help the client make sense of the situation and their place in it rather than to take advantage of it over another person.

----------------------

Deb:

I mention this second point because when I was a member of the APA they had a big debate running about whether it was ethical to make use of someone else's horoscope in a client reading without that person's permission. It's often done in relationship matters, but to make this more black and white, let's say it's done in a situation where your client wants advice on how to get the best timing for a legal dispute with another person - and brings that other person's chart along. Obviously, they are wanting to make the situation astrologically advantageous for them, and disadvantageous for the other person.


-----------------------------

Sue:

Okay, I see what you are asking now. I probably wouldn't use the other person's chart without their permission. I also wouldn't see it as necessary. I would see my role as working with the client and helping them to see what they can do to strengthen or understand their own position regardless of what the other person has in their chart.

----------------------------------

Deb:

I feel like I'm messing with your head

Say it was necessary, or at least useful to use that information, and say it was your sister you were looking to help out, and she was extremely distraught, so you were anxious to use every last drop of useful information that you could to help her out and find a good time to act. Would you use it then?

--------------------------

Sue:

Geez Deb. Give me a break. It's after 1am here. It's been a long day

To be honest I'm not sure how I would answer that. It would be pretty hard to refuse a distraught sister. I would probably do it as long as I didn't feel as though I was compromising my own integrity. It reminds me of a case that Barbara Watters talks about in her Horary Astrology. Her long term client had been accused of sexual assault and she used every bit of information she could to make sure the accuser was put into a difficult position and her client would be found innocent. She was convinced he was innocent. But what if she knew him to be guilty. Would she still do it? In those sorts of cases you often won't know.
I think there are certain circumstances where I would do it but I don't know that it would be that clear cut as to what those circumstances might be.

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Tom:

Hello Deb and Sue and all,

I may have told this anecdote before, and if I did, I'm sorry but it is appropriate. Several years ago I participated in an astrology newsgroup and the topic of giving out one's birth information came up. There were some who had no problem with i,t and others who did as a matter of privacy. One comment I'll never forget came from a young woman from Europe, possibly the UK I don't recall.

She was annoyed at people who gave out such personal information without regard to any sense of propriety. She was particularly annoyed at Americans who in her words, thought nothing of giving out their birth data to any one who asked but who would never get undressed on a public beach.

I would have said the opposite.

I am not terribly concerned about what anyone thinks of my chart. I'm too subjective to give myself an honest reading, so I might get insight from others. However giving out my birthdate, and place is helpful to the unscrupulous who might use that to swipe my identity or perhaps obtain a false social security card in order to adopt my identity to escape the law or a jealous lover.

I've given out my birth data online and even on this list, but I am increasingly reluctant to do so unless I know the person.

As for using the chart of a third party who has no knowledge of the request, I'm queasy on that, too. Circumstances should dictate. A parent having problems with a child, even an adult child, might be looking for legitimate insight, andI would probably use the information then.

Someone venturing a chart of a person they dislike and want to gain advantage over would make me reluctant to help unless the thrid party was a known criminal or threat to the individual who is seeking help (how often does that happen?). I would stay out of divorce messes. Been there; done that; got the T-shirt and don't wish to revisit even vicariuously.

I guess there are too many variables to give a concrete all-purpose answer.

Tom

-----------------------------------

Viola:

As for the birth information, I don't have a problem with showing mine. Nobody can criticize me the way I can. Nobody can harm me the way I can, as well.
Astrology as one of the best tools for self searching journeys should actually reduce the need to hide to a necessary minimum. If it is not doing so, if a person is involved in power games, then the things have gone the oposite way of what they should have. I was much much more secretive before studying astrology than I'm now. Of course this doesn't mean I'm doing the blabla all the time. Many acquaintances of mine, especially the nodding ones, even don't know I'm in astrology, and the reason is simple - I'm not particularly interested in their opinion.

As for the second - life can make all sorts of messy situations, but there's one thing I've learnt - two or three times in my present job I went against the rules (by rules I mean the sensible ones), thinking this would do some good in the situation given. However it didn't turn out that way. I regreted it later. Mind you, this is not the recipe - this is just a personal experience. Maybe it was me who was bound to learn such a lesson.

---------------------------

Lulu:

On 2003-09-26 17:19, Tom Callanan wrote:

Quote:
I've given out my birth data online and even on this list, but I am increasingly reluctant to do so unless I know the person.


A couple of years ago on panplanet, we had a site for members charts so that when they discussed personal issues, others ( members) could access the chart. I received a warning from my server, that there are people around who seek out birth data for the sole purpose of creating identities possibly for criminal intentions. My server cited the fact the I gave not only my date and place of birth, thus enabling someone to obtain my birth certificate but also a bio, which many of us have if we have websites. I outlined several anecdotal items that could help to build a 'profile' is someone was so inclined. Not wanting to be overly Piscean about this, but the chart is fine - I suggest not posting your actual data. That way it would take an astrologer to figure out the date and even time, but unlikely the place. Don;t know too many astrologers who would want to adopt a new identity, except Lulu!

----------------------------

Deb:

Thanks for bringing that up, I’d never even considered that angle. I think Tom and I are the only ones who have offered birth data online, along with full names and locations, so I’ve edited the post where you gave your birth data Tom, to show only co-ordinates and not birth place.

As for this issue of using data without permission, I don’t think there is a black and white answer and the only thing I don’t like is when people try to turn it into one. As an astrologer I see it as my God-given right to use any astrological data I can that might be useful to me. If the information is available, then I don’t regard it as anyone’s intellectual property. The deeper issue is, not whether we give advice that might benefit one person to the detriment of another, using data with or without their permission, but whether we do that at all. We frequently have to make judgment calls, I’m sure we do it all the time – even in horary if we are trying to steer someone through a profitable course in a legal matter, we are doing it. You could say that Barbara Watters was serving the interests of her client as an astrologer very well. I’d certainly want her to take that approach if she was working on a situation that mattered to me. So we either get involved or we don’t and if we do, we have to believe in what we are doing, be consciously ware of how our involvement might affect things, and aim to make the best job of it that we can.

--------------------------

Sue:

On 2003-09-27 10:42, dhoulding wrote:

Quote:
So we either get involved or we don’t and if we do, we have to believe in what we are doing, be consciously ware of how our involvement might affect things, and aim to make the best job of it that we can.




Well, to me that is the whole crux of the issue. It starts with whether to get involved or not in the first place. I agree that Barbara Watters was doing the best for her client and under those circumstances I would use every chart available whether I had permission or not. But one wonders whether she would have done the same thing if she had known her client was guilty. I would not have gotten involved at all. So the dilemma is not about whether it is right to use astrology in this way but whether to get involved. Once I'd made the decision to get involved then yes, I would use every skill I had. It's no different from a lawyer using their skills and information available to win a case.
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Hekate



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
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Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, what we're talking about is sensitive information. Information that in malicious hands might be a problem.

Would you give out your health record? It is up to you to do so, knowing the pros and cons. But if you visit a doctor, should this doctor protect your health record and not give it away to anyone? What if you become a public person? Should everyone know your health record? Please don't hasten to say "no" because there is another side to this. Should a politician that runs for presidency for example, but has a severe medical problem or psychological problems hide this information from his voters? Tough one, eh?

On the astrology issue, I know for a fact, that insurance companies hire "astrologers" to do charts of their clients. To discover life expectancy or to investigate on the possibility of an accident therefore to decide whether they should offer insurance to this person or not. Also large companies have developed a habit for hiring "astrologers" that will study the natalities of the job applicants and decide whether they should be hired or not.

Most of these actions are unethical indeed. Furthermore a natality could be interpreted in a wrong way, especially since Astrology is not yet a science (i.e. no standards, background studies, ethics, scientific research and scientific approach). Certainly if I applied for a job I wouldn't want any upstart so-called astrologer to influence such a desicion. If I had to give my chart, then I would want the right also to chose a serious astrologer, someone with ethics and judgement I trust. In the same way that I wouldn't trust any doctor, or any lawyer, same applies for the astrologer.

Personally I do not give my chart data publically. I do give it to an astrologer that I respect (I gave it once to a hindu astrologer I liked a lot to check something for me since I don't know vedic astrology). But generally I wouldn't give it to anyone because I consider it sensitive information that could be used irresponsibly. I would share it though among other astrologers I respect.

As for the client matter, I always ask a legally signed paper that gives consent - otherwise I refuse to read a chart. I lose clients this way, but this is my choice. Sometimes I do synastries for couples or parent/children but only if both parties consent. For children under 16 I do read their charts to their parent (without the child's consent), but I reveal only the information that will help the parent make better and more suitable choices for their children (like discover tendencies to proffessions, talents etc) and always spend a lot of time talking to the parent that the reading is about tendencies and potentials and should not be viewed too strictly - then I hope for the best.

Irresponsible people will handle sensitive information irresponsibly, this is expected of them.

In medical science, ethics have been established for doctors. In Astrology not yet. Probably it will take decades for such arrangements to take place eventually. The least an astrologer can do, is develop some sort of proffessional ethics. And if they are astrology teachers they should try to give at least some ethics to their students.

In the polytheistic world of antiquity, astrology required a lot of maths and geometry, a lot of philosophy and a lot of theology. So some ethics were developed, through the study of philosophy and through the theological frame of reference. There was some respect for the gods back then. Today most often it is either the low christian "ethics" or the lack of them, in christian atheism. For ethics...who cares? Gods? What is that? Who cares? Sad
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Margit Roosileht



Joined: 10 Dec 2003
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Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's often done in relationship matters, but to make this more black and white, let's say it's done in a situation where your client wants advice on how to get the best timing for a legal dispute with another person - and brings that other person's chart along. Obviously, they are wanting to make the situation astrologically advantageous for them, and disadvantageous for the other person.




Good question. Yes, it’s unethical. It’s a violation of another person’s rights. And it’s theft.

To put it another way, would you be open to someone you don’t know penetrating your home, your body, your mind, your soul without your permission, for their own (or another’s) personal gain?

Boundaries. Where they begin & where they end. Why they begin and why they end.

It’s no different to infringing copyright on a book. A book contains information much the same way that a chart does. If it wasn’t something that got abused there wouldn’t be an issue as to copyright on the information contained in books.

Knowledge is power, and power is easily abused.
The wealth of information at one’s disposal calls upon one to be discerning in terms of what they use and how they use it.

In unskilled hands, little will come from such information.
In skilled hands where the intent is personal gain, it’s very easy to push certain buttons to achieve certain reactions toward one’s desired objective (not without the inherent consequences of course). Doctors push certain buttons, psychologists do too, as do astrologers, for better or worse. If someone’s not aware of or hasn’t mastered these “buttons”, they’re more easily pushed and manipulated.

It comes back to intent - intent and purpose is important.

If a client comes seeking this sort of advice, the focus is on them, the best moment in time for them. If, even at the moment identified as being “best’ they don’t prevail over the opposition, then there’s more to this than meets the eye.

And here is a choice.
Does one advise - objectively- to the best of their ability, the time most advantageous for that individual in accordance with that person’s question, chart and the multiple tools at their disposal?

Or does one conspire with that client using information they do not have permission to use to bring another person undone?

It’s a choice as to personal involvement.

Is the astrologer in it personally to “win it” , or are they there to serve their client’s interests best as they can, even if that means advising to “rally the forces, you’re in for a rocky ride”?

Everyone loves good news, when it’s not-so-good news they love to shoot the messenger. Messenger’s are couriers ... gets dangerous when couriers open the envelope and attempt to not only read but to rewrite the contents.

Each person’s chart has a Copyright clause attached to it, until such time as that person chooses to share the information contained. It’s their moment in time.

And when they do share this sort of information it’s shared with a bond of trust to either help another person, or to help themselves - to further understanding so as to make informed decisions that enable them in their own life.

People with their wits about them don’t consciously share their information with someone whose intentions are to work against them, for the information contained therein to be abused. But it happens.

There’s a bond of respect and trust that comes with investigating any individual’s chart, regardless of who they are.

It may be one’s God-given right to gather as much information as they can in both public and private domains - it is one’s right to feed the mind just as it is one’s right to feed the body.

But it’s also one’s God-given responsibility in how they transform that information via knowledge and wisdom and offer it back to others in the form of something of value. How one does so impacts their own soul as well as others.

Who does one intend to serve by sharing this transformed information? And who will it harm?

“an’ it harm none” ... which includes oneself. So in order to avoid harm to self, one takes ‘self’ out of the picture, ie. calls upon objectivity.

Judgement is to be suspended until objective, compassionate, wisdom can take the throne.
Or at least that’s what it appears to say here on this little dial I’m looking at, also known as the ‘Wheel (or Book) of Life’.
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###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
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Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Knowledge is power, and power is easily abused.
The wealth of information at one’s disposal calls upon one to be discerning in terms of what they use and how they use it.

Quote:
People with their wits about them don’t consciously share their information with someone whose intentions are to work against them, for the information contained therein to be abused. But it happens.


Knowledge begins with the more fundamental powers of observation and memory. We see another person and take note of how he or she dresses, walks, and talks. We observe his bearing and composure. We see that she is shy and fearful when a stranger speaks to her. We see who is interacting with whom, and who is barely interacting at all. As we get to know these people we start acquiring a base of knowledge about them: what makes them angry, what makes them happy, what surprises them. Through observation and memory we learn how to please them, how to convince them to do something, how to take advantage of them. There is no need here for astrology. You are being read as you walk down the street.

Astrology can be very accurate and can tell much about the person. Ethical considerations are important and must be part of learning and practicing astrology. But the ethical considerations are also required in the non-astrological world where our daily contacts with others give us so much knowledge of them, along with the potential power to manipulate or dominate them. All knowledge that we have of others requires ethical treatment. It seems to me that we are giving too much power to astrology. It is a handy tool, but it is secondary to what is in front of our eyes. We don’t really need it if we are fully using our ability to observe and remember. Perhaps a belief that ‘knowledge is power’ leads us to place our focus on astrological charts and the books that explain them. The centuries of practice and tradition might give us a sense of legitimacy. The biggest danger lies in natal interpretation—we give ourselves the power to understand and explain another person in a detached way. Often (usually?) that person is not even present. Horary may be safer territory.
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
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Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ethical considerations are important and must be part of learning and practicing astrology. But the ethical considerations are also required in the non-astrological world where our daily contacts with others give us so much knowledge of them ...


Very true.
And in the pace of the daily world much of this knowledge is employed in a ‘re-active’ way ... with the practice of astrology (as with the practice of any discipline) it becomes ‘pro-active’ as one consciously pauses to consider what they’re doing. That pause brings to light choice.

The ethical standards a person maintains are a choice, and upholding them requires self-discipline.
How’s self-discipline faring in today’s world? An indication can be found in society’s national debt, or at a more local level in the use of the plastique fantastique. If someone chooses to relax ethical standards for a quick gain at someone else’s expense, inevitably they end up paying for it down the track.

Knowledge is half the equation, putting it into practice the other half, the application being a true test of one’s mettle.

Yes, astrology is a tool ... but then so’s a power-drill ... and there’s a process of education involved where one learns to use it wisely, safely and well. A pencil is also a weapon if one knows what they’re doing and chooses to use it in such a way.


Quote:
“It seems to me that we are giving too much power to astrology.”


?
The power resides in the person who uses it, how they choose to apply the knowledge and insights it offers.

Knowledge is power - whether one gains that knowledge through accumulating information via observation, the study of astrology or anything else. It empowers the ability to raise a child, to construct houses through to developments in nuclear physics.

Quote:
“Perhaps a belief that ‘knowledge is power’ leads us to place our focus on astrological charts and the books that explain them.”


Yes, I’d tend to agree - astrologers generally start from a position of seeking to ‘empower’ their own insights and understandings about life, then seek to empower others through sharing these understandings.

Part of the learning process involves coming to an understanding of the nature of power, which walks hand-in-hand with control, and arrival at the realisation that the only person one has true power and control over is oneself.

Quote:
“We don’t really need it if we are fully using our ability to observe and remember.”


True. But this requires the highest level of trust, honesty, integrity, compassion and total recall amongst all beings. The more remote or out-of-touch with nature and the greater the divide and the ego projections have become.

Quote:
“The centuries of practice and tradition might give us a sense of legitimacy.”


Astrology is a study of life. It’s based on the observance of nature’s energies which run through us and around us. I’d suggest that’s legitimate, and astrologer’s have a legitimate role to play for as long as people struggle with life.
If one wants to ground it in reality, look to nature. The centuries of practice and tradition provide a framework that includes respect for the natural environment, a respect and understanding for the fact there are energies at play greater than the individual that also engenders a respect for oneself and others in the environment. The tradition also offers a framework for handling astrological tools legitimately.

I don’t think the biggest danger lies in natal interpretation ... the biggest danger lies in one’s own desires. The ability to be objective does not necessitate a lack of compassion, actually the reverse. A level of detachment is required if someone is going to offer advice, any sort of advice, that’s of real benefit ... otherwise interpretations get misconstrued and things get missed. And that’s where the art of communication comes in.

The ethics a person brings to Horary will also usually be brought to other areas of practice ... the discipline & objectivity learned through studying Horary lays a foundation for this.
There’s wisdom for why Horary was the traditional place to start. Stepping stones, each one building upon the other as understanding and ability blossomed.

Should someone decide to plunge in mid-stream, inevitably they’ll seek out some secure foundation where they can rest awhile, take a breath and gain a new perspective, before using this foundation to propel themselves forward again.

Within astrology, many different paths lead to the same destination.
Though it is helpful to have a sense of where one’s coming from and where one’s going to so’s they don’t get stuck mid-stream ... and even if they do get stuck, well, experience has taught me there’s normally a friendly astrologer with just a little more wisdom and a little more expertise about to give a helping hand.
On the whole, astrologers are a mighty fine bunch of generous souls ... but as with every bunch, there's the occasional banana who delights in throwing a curve-ball.
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