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What do you say to people with bad and difficult charts?
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
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Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:37 am    Post subject: What do you say to people with bad and difficult charts? Reply with quote

I think this greatly depends on what one's views on fate is, so it probably fits the Philosophy section. Also, I am asking this question in the context of traditional astrology.

Sometimes I see a really difficult chart (e.g. many planets in the 12th), and being the straightforward person that I am, I simply blurt out the bad things that I believe will happen in the native's life. Sometimes the native just end up being depressed, and sometimes they ignore my interpretation. Due to this I've been accused of being fatalistic, which I am not exactly ashamed of, but...it just makes me wonder, what can one say when the chart really shows terrible events? And sometimes the native agrees that it happens!

So I wonder, what do you guys say to your clients or people you do readings for, when you see prominent bad stuff in the chart? Cover it with euphemisms?
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Deb
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Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you are thinking of natal analysis but I think this connects to one of the points I make about horary - it is actually very easy to learn how to interpret a chart - the more delicate and demanding art, which calls for a lot more sensitivity, experience and wisdom, lies in knowing how to interpret what you see to the client. We should never communicate anything in a way that is likely to intensify their fears or compound their problems. We don't have to resort to euphemisms but I think there is always something positive to be gained out of an astrological consultation, even when we have to identify the situations which are likely to cause grief or unhappiness.
Ptolemy's view was that foreknowledge allows the soul to be fortified because it can more calmly accept what it must inevitably bear, but we have to be able to identify how much someone is ready, willing and able to explore the more problematic aspects of their life, and lead them towards that understanding gently, and with positive encouragement about the value that lies behind every experience. The objective is to free them from fear rather than create it.
This is one of the reasons why I think astrologers ought to have an interest and understanding of psychology, and should have some kind of training or acquired awareness of the principles of counselling. Working with horary, which often involves identifying issues that are leading towards disappointment, I always keep in mind what William Lilly says in the address 'to the student:
    afflict not the miserable with terror of a harsh judgement; in such cases let them know their hard fate by degrees.

Also, I think we have to be careful to point out what is probable rather than inevitable; only the latter takes a fatalistic approach and it rarely brings benefit to an astrological consultation. Even if an astrologer believes in the fatalistic argument, they would have to be supremely confident (deluded?) about their astrological abilities to assume that they can predict everything with absolute security and never be wrong, or miss something that might be really positive in what generally looks like a really difficult chart.
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Geoffrey



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Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the difference between horary and natal astrology is that a horary chart deals with a particular situation in which the querent happens to find themselves at a particular time, and so the scenario is pretty much set by circumstance. In that sense, horary is pretty one-dimensional.

Natal astrology, on the other hand, is much more multi-layered in that the native is able in large degree to choose the circumstance in which the astrological significance is being expressed. Taking a lot of planets in the 12th house, for example, could mean a tendency to alcohol or substance abuse, mental problems or inability to interact with the real world. But this could also have a positive expression in giving service to others in, say, hospitals or prisons or mental institutions. Astrological significances in a natal chart have to be expressed, but they can be harnessed in a positive way or in a destructive way. "As above, so below." The skill of the astrologer (I would submit) is to accentuate the positive of any signification, and guide away from the negative.
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james_m



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Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi larxene,

i think it is a very good question and a question everyone involved in astrology has to answer in some way at some point. i very much like what deb and geoffrey have shared with you here. i think much depends on you..

Larxene wrote:
...and being the straightforward person that I am, I simply blurt out the bad things that I believe will happen in the native's life.


one can believe a lot of things, but to be guided by our beliefs is a dangerous thing as one can just as easily be blinded by their beliefs too.. i think a degree of sensitivity and empathy for others is essential.. i see no need to cause harm and i would think that in fact that is exactly opposite of what one involved in astrology in an empathetic way would do.. we can't know the future and how it will unfold. we might be able to get a glimpse of it, but to think we know how things are going to unfold is a dangerous belief.. i think it will interfere with their ability and the real potential of astrology to offer much benefit to others.
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: What do you say to people with bad and difficult charts? Reply with quote

Larxene

I think the answer to your questions lies in addressing another one first: what is the role of the astrologer and what is the purpose of an astrological consultation?

If it is to merely get a list of things, good and bad, dryly reported to the querent/client with no necessity for dialogue and no interest in guidance and compassion, then your approach seems sound.

If however you think that people come to astrologers to gain guidance, understanding, self awareness or insight into difficult life situations, with compassion and understanding, then I think the "blurt it right out" approach quickly falls flat.

So really I think you need to ask, what kind of astrologer do I want to be, and what do I think the purpose of an astrological consultation is?
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Larxene



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Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the replies. I didn't expect so many at once Smile


Deb,

Indeed, it seems that people have different ranges of preparedness when it comes to astrological advice. What would you do if the person is really depressed and probably cannot take any more negativity, but you see little hope of recovery? I usually suggest seeking medical advice, which I think is logically sound, because I am no expert...but some people may disagree!

I had an interest in psychology, and I actually studied it in a Pre-U course (though on my own). But I am not very interested in counselling...I am more of the impersonal, misanthropic kind of person (due to the various negative experiences with people).

I suppose I should be more aware of my vulnerability as a flawed human being, and not communicate my interpretation in too definite terms to them...my understanding of fate is partly probabilistic too, but I don't know how to convey that to people, without making the interpretation redundant.



Geoffrey,

Hmm, maybe? Sometimes it is one-dimensional in my opinion, though maybe that is simply my inexperience. For instance, I still can't see how my retrograde Jupiter making me overweight and eat a lot is good for me, body-wise. On the other hand, I can see how my dominant Saturn, although it causes depression and sluggishness, also gives me the ability to organise information neatly...but that's when it affects my personality.

If we are talking about a person involved in magic and the occult...then I think there is a greater possibility of change, with regards to the truly negative parts...



james_m,

It is true that sometimes our beliefs are false...but I don't mean 'belief' in that sense. When I say 'believe', and I mean I 'think' this will happen according to the techniques I learned.



Paul,

I interpret charts for the first reason. However, I am increasingly finding it the case that people seek astrological advice for the same reason they seek medical/financial advice: to make their situation in life better.

This is indeed an interesting question. I want to study astrology, but studying celebrity charts and charts made public can only give me so many information...to get more information, I need to engage with real, ordinary people.

I suppose despite my misanthropy, for the sake of knowledge, I will learn to communicate more compassionately. It's a matter of balance.



Note that I am not charging anyone for readings. This is all from my experience with the online free readings I gave. I don't believe I am good enough to charge for readings.
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RodJM



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Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a nutshell, it doesn't matter what perceived difficult or challenging aspects an astrologer sees in a natal chart interpretation. In my opinion that old saying "The stars foretell, not compel" is one of the most powerful philosophical statements that astrology can provide to all clients.
As astrologers, we should always remind ourselves and of course our clients, that no matter what, you always have "free will" or however you want to describe that concept.
"Free Will" should only be taken within the framework of the time in history the person is born into and the current Political/Economic/Culture that pervades it.
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Mjacob



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Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
or "Free Will" should only be taken within the framework of the time in history the person is born into and the current Political/Economic/Culture that pervades it.


Just thought worth repeating. Mundane astrology is seen as a separate subject to natal but it ain't
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james_m



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Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

larxene,
this is just a passing thought that might have some relevance.. i tend to view our belief systems as connecting to the 12th house. i am sure they connect to the 9th house too in a more obvious way. whether people or astrologers believe more in fate or free will might be a relatively conscious thing in itself, but i continue to believe that we are often not fully in touch with the beliefs that guide us. in this sense, i think their is a 12th house, or hidden aspect to the thoughts and values we hold too that is often unconscious, or semi-conscious whereby the saying 'know thyself' is of utmost importance. this is especially true if you want to offer something of value to others without letting your own self get in the way.. we all have a 12th house. just how does it play a role in our approach to life and others is an open question that one could consider here.
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RodJM



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to look at natal chart interpretations based on the WHOLE chart and not just focus on one house because it has a lot of planets in it. We are the composite sum of our total chart, not bits and pieces. Everything has to be taken in context. This will reflect the competence of the interpreting astrologer.

If an individual has a lot of planets in the 12th house as the OP stated, then what kind of planets are they?, how are they aspected?, or not, as the case may be. The 12th house is not a cursed house, its just a continuation of the whole cycle of the zodiac. Its the house that represents an area of life whereby one can understand or perceive the totality of Life, the Universe and everything in it. How can that be such a negative thing is beyond me..
and this is coming from someone with the SN in Sagittarius in the 12th house! Smile
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RodJM wrote:
Its the house (12th) that represents an area of life whereby one can understand or perceive the totality of Life, the Universe and everything in it.


and how many people on the planet do we know who have reached that level of understanding? lol.. no need to answer this question and fwiw - sent you a private message in response to your reply to me on the sidereal thread. cheers james
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Larxene



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Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geez, it seems that everyone is still bothered by that 12th house statement.

For what it's worth, that native was having some kind of depression and was asking whether it is temporary or not...she had Mercury in the 12th, being maltreated by Mars in the same house (contrary of sect and ill-placed) and one more planet. There are some other maltreating conditions, the other planets were not particularly well-placed to counter depression.

I told her it is probably something that is long-term and innate, so she will have to deal with it for a long time...except in a more elaborate manner. In the end I recommend that she consult a therapist if the matter persists, simply because I cannot see anything in the chart that can help. I think it is reasonable, given that it is a form of chronic depression.

I have somewhat chronic depression too, but my planets are more well-placed, and I know how to counter it. I didn't see how in the native's case.

There were other issues that were causing her distress, and using natal and timing techniques, indeed she seems to be in a very difficult time of her life.

I also did note that I am a novice at traditional astrology before giving any readings...is that too subtle? I think not.



But that is beside the point. What I wanted to know was, if you cannot see anything that can help the person improve his life, what do you say to them?

But perhaps it is a matter of perspective. Maybe for some of you, you can always see something good in a person's chart. I don't know...maybe my natural pessimism clouds my ability to see the good things. But anyway, I have a vague approach on how to solve this problem.
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RodJM



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Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:

What I wanted to know was, if you cannot see anything that can help the person improve his life, what do you say to them?


I would rise above astrology and take the "higher" plane of viewing it all from a spiritual perspective, as astrologers we should always remember that God or "The creator" (however you want to put it), gave birth to the Universe and thus astrology in general. I'm not going to get into philosophical arguments about it, just stating my views at present.

No matter what we see or don't see in any astrological chart to help or aid a client can always be overthrown by spiritual philosophies which of course can encompass established religions etc..

Larxene wrote:

But perhaps it is a matter of perspective.


Exactly! I've been through depressive times but came out in one piece. In the end of that phase, I realised its truly about perspectives and the relevance of it to pressing on in life. Smile

No matter how dark you feel your depression, all things must pass, nothing lasts forever, except maybe parts of the Universe, but that's another topic altogether.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously, with a lot of sensitivity (as others have said.)

However, I think the astrologer can distinguish between empowering and disempowering interpretations of a given horoscopic placement. This doesn't mean pasting a happy smiley face button on a heap of bad news. It does mean using the horoscope as a tool kit rather than a weather report.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote: Apr 24, 2014 3:32 am
Quote:
It does mean using the horoscope as a tool kit rather than a weather report.


Thumbs up (Like)

Hey Waybread

Welcome back to the real world (=virtual reality)! Smile

Michael
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