22 May 2017 0 Comments

Honesty in astrology

Professional practice

Honesty in Astrology Honesty in astrology is relevant to issues relating to prediction encountered by contemporary astrologers. It’s a relatively common experience for some astrologers to have a problem with clients whose expectation is strictly fortune-telling.
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These are astrologers who offer clients a general timing on the sorts of things that typically manifest from transits and can’t or won’t give clients concrete predictions. They take on clients wanting specific answers to questions. The client’s confusion is understandable:
“If the astrologer was able to provide me with an accurate time frame for when this or that was going to happen then why can’t the astrologer give me an exact prediction on something else?”
As the more educated party the onus is on the astrologer to provide clear communication about what is provided in a reading. The problem is not so much that the client only wants fortune-telling, but that the astrologer has not made it clear that this is not what is being offered. Honesty in astrology and general professional practice is very important.

The astrologer’s dilemma

The flip side of this situation is that the astrologer gets annoyed and sometimes indignant when clients call expecting only fortune-telling. Even more difficult is the situation where these expectations and subsequent disappointments only surface during a reading. What to do? Abort the reading?
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In this situation the client is often encouraged to recognize how their actions and attitude shape future events, and how more self-awareness will improve their capacity to achieve their goals/desires. This exercise can be quite draining for the astrologer, especially if the client is not really motivated towards self-development and simply just wants to know what is going to happen. At this unfortunate point both the astrologer and the client can be feeling a little frustrated.
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In the process of attempting to convince the sometimes unwilling or resistant client that self-awareness is the best path, many astrologers attempt to empower the client with statements about their potential and that anything is possible. Sometimes the astrologer wants to impose their own belief systems or therapies. And there are complicating diplomatic factors, such as the client’s desire to please the astrologer, and to agree to what is being proposed, at least until they are out the door; and when they get home they struggle to recall what predictions the astrologer actually made and generally forget suggestions relating to self-awareness.
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Personally I have no issue with self-development or empowerment. However if this is not what the client is seeking frustration can be experienced by both parties during a reading.
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Regarding issues relating to prediction, providing a general timing about likely developments is as much a prediction as anything else, even if referenced to concepts such as free will or similar ideas. I think it’s important that we uphold honesty in astrology in contemporary professional practice and speak plainly and clearly.

Walk the talk: The initial contract

Astrologers who offer only a general timing about future developments and encourage their clients to be responsible for what they attract yet experience problems themselves when they attract the wrong sort of clients, might need to be more congruent in their communications. To avoid misunderstandings and potential problems during a consultation these astrologers could be more responsible for the type of clients they attract. One way to do this is to be very clear first asks about a reading.
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Clearly there’s a need for the astrologer to make a clear statement when a reading is being organised about what is offered and what is not offered.
This is what I do and this is what I don’t do“.
Statements like this are like a contract and set the tone for what follows. This is the moment of opportunity to dispel any illusions about services are being offered, particularly around issues relating to future events, prediction, and whether the reading is focused on the clients’ empowerment through self-understanding, or something else.  Clarity at this point minimizes misunderstandings.

The astrologer’s temptation

Part of the compromise for astrologers whose training doesn’t equip them with the skills to provide clients with concrete answers is the need to make a living. Astrologers tend to draw their clients from the large pool of people wishing to know about future events as well as the smaller sub-group who are willing to examine how they attract certain events. The smaller sub-group offers less financial reward for the astrologer’s business and so the astrologer’s integrity can be tested.
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The point that such astrologers can offer excellent insights into how the future can be shaped according to the client’s personality as described by the horoscope is often lost on the client, and sometimes not wanted. True but unfortunate.
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It can be very tempting to be vague about what is offered in the hope of making more money. And it takes a certain courage and integrity to be very clear about what is being offered, even if such clarity means less income. The principle of honesty in astrology applies to all forms of astrology, including horary astrology and natal astrology, and in discussions of planets signs and houses.

Mismatched expectations 

When there’s a history of mismatches between clients’ expectations and the service provided it’s a sign that the astrologer might need to provide clearer communication about what is and is not offered. Mismatches in expectations also provide an opportunity for the astrologer to check their own intentions and honesty. Of course it might simply be a communication issue. The downside with direct honesty is that clients may be lost and less income received. There is the obvious temptation is to be a little vague in order to bring in more clients. The upside to honesty is a sense of integrity.

A 3rd option

Aside from the choice to be directly honest or somewhat vague, a third option for the astrologer who is only able to provide a general timing on likely events is to get training in astrological techniques that provide specific answers to most questions.
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