Skip to the content

When the voice within is a nag.

I enjoyed Lynn’s post today about “trusting the voice within” and doing typed readings instead of working over the phone. I started taking almost exactly the same approach that Lynn describes after reading Jan Spiller’s “Astrology for the Soul.” It was something Spiller wrote about the Nodal placements in my chart – South Node in the 3rd, North Node in the 9th – that inspired me to take the leap of faith. Trusting one’s own instincts and knowledge seemed to be the gist of it, and it really spoke to the problems I’d always had with phone readings – that something about the interaction with the other person tends to throw me off. Perhaps it’s just my well-documented terror of the telephone.

But then again, a good percentage of astrology clients are a bit emotionally fragile by the time they book an appointment; and in a phone conversation (more so than face-to-face, in my experience) it’s easy for me to get lost in a client’s anxiety, scattered energy, or denial, and lose track of the astrology altogether. I sometimes think, too, that sensitive subjects must almost certainly be easier for a client to process while sitting alone in a room alone listening to a CD, rather than having to save face in the astrologer’s presence.

In any event, I always feel more satisfied with the typed/recorded readings that I send to people, and the feedback has been very positive. But it is an exhausting process to write out 80 minutes worth of text – about 23 double-spaced pages – then record it, burn it to CD, and package it all up. That’s why I’m currently taking another sabbatical from doing personal readings; I can only seem to do them for a couple of years or so before I burn out.

I probably shouldn’t fuss so much (Virgo Midheaven!). But speaking as a client of astrology readings as well as a purveyor, while I’ve had some readings that have really helped put things into focus for me, I’ve also had a few that seemed kind of random and stream of consciousness and not particularly helpful. And while I always appreciated the effort and good intentions that went into those readings, I haven’t always been inspired by the result. That’s why I want to give every reading my very best effort.

But I know there’s something deeply flawed in my approach, because giving these things my all takes way too much time and energy to make sense from a business point of view. I would either need to give myself a huge raise or let myself work in a looser, more improvisational way, and neither feels right to me. So I’ll take an intermission for a few months and work on some other projections, and plan my next move.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your comments. Have you been generally happy with astrology readings you’ve received? And if you give readings, what kind of preparation and experience does it take for you to walk away with the feeling that it’s been a good experience for both you and your client?

11 comments to " When the voice within is a nag. "

  • I had one chart reading maybe seven years ago and it was pretty disappointing. The astrologer looked at my Mars/Neptune conjunction in Scorp and decided I must be a drug addict or alcoholic. She’s not the first astrologer to totally misunderstand what addiction is and how to find it in a chart. (Hint: Neptune ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.) It was a phone reading, so I got to ask questions, which was nice. But as for the rest, she didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, which was a bummer. I find people tend to overlook PoF and Vertex placements, which have proven pretty key to my longterm happiness as a writer.

    I’ve had a few predictive readings from friends (you included) that have all been helpful. 😀

    As an astrologer, I’ve always done written reports, but they’re exhausting and time consuming. I do like that I can take my time and be diplomatic about sensitive things I find, though. I can also see how a phone consultation might have kept me out of trouble once when a guy told me he wanted me to do a chart for his mother for her birthday. He gave me her address and I mailed it to her. He then demanded a copy. When I refused, claiming client confidentiality, he exploded. It turned out he wanted the chart for himself so that he could use it to tear her apart. I did a couple more chart readings after that for money, but stopped for various reasons. I love reading charts, but hate dealing with people’s expectations — which can be problematic, to say the least.

  • Susie

    The reading I got from you was the best I ever had – and until then, the best one was from Michael Lutin. So you’re in good company!

    I’d had “cookbook” readings where the astrologer seemed emtionally detached from the specifics, and would argue when I pushed back on anything that seemed too far off the mark. I’ve also had rambling readings where the reader seemed to just want an audience for her life philosophies.

    Yours was a perfect blend of insight, humor and optimism, especially for someone with so much Scorp in her chart. (I’m really, really looking forward to my progressed sun going into Sag. Oy.)

  • Well, I have not given any readings. Maybe in the future. What I have done so far people have liked. But, I am such a baby in this field.

    I had an 80 minute reading done, last fall. It was the best ever. They put it on a CD and mailed it to me. They sent some supporting paperwork, but did not write anything out. With them doing 80 minutes and me not being there, they were able to do the whole chart. Which I have never had before. Usually, I get stuck on one or two things and then the hour is gone. This reading was a huge awakening and so many elements gone over that I could get a better handle on the whole picture.

    No wonder you suffer from burn out. That is a lot of work to do the reading and write it all out. And, to make it fun, educational and informative is tricky. I hope you figure out new ways to support yourself and your clients during your sabbatical.

  • Lynn

    I still prefer the phone readings for the personal interaction and so that the client can ask questions and expand on certain points. A 90 minute reading for me only results in about 7 single spaced pages and I feel that the client doesn’t get as much information; but it’s more pure in a way and can’t be filtered through their own assumptions.

    One particular client inspired this post but she reads my blog so I didn’t want to post the details about it. After she received her typed reading she sent me an email VERY angry about the content. It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, she didn’t want to know as much about her natal chart as she did about her relationships. But of course I had to write what I was given, and a few days ago she sent me an email that was more conciliatory but realized that the content of the reading was what was needed even though maybe not wanted.

  • Jeffrey Kishner

    My lengthy response.

  • Thanks, Jeff… I’ve left a long, draw-out response on your blog comments. 🙂

    Nancy, thanks for sharing your experience. Would you drop me a line by email at april (at) and let me know the name of that astrologer, so I can add him/her to my list of referrals? Thanks!

    Lynn, see what you started? 😉 It’s a fine line, isn’t it, between giving the client what she/he wants and giving them what you think is needed. That’s why I started asking clients to fill out a questionnaire before the reading that helps us both narrow the focus of what should be covered; you probably do something similar. That way, in the reading I can make sure I address what Jeff might call their “presenting problems,” but I also leave time to cover other things that the chart tells me are important, even if it’s not something they asked about. Anyway – thanks for initiating such a lively conversation!

    Susie, bless you. I’m flattered and touched (and I miss your blogging).

    Maria, I wonder if it’s peculiar to writers, this need to be able to edit what we say until it’s just so. As for readers not addressing particular points in the chart… this comes up for me a lot re: Chiron, which I don’t work with but which many people are very interested in. I try to be honest with people in advance about what I do and don’t use, because I’d rather help them find someone who uses the tools that speak to them than to try and make something up for them on the fly!

  • Funny, I have No. Node in the 3rd and So. Node in the 9th.

    For me, a good reading makes me feel understood and validated. I suspect many people who get into astrology do so because they feel abnormal by societal norms, and astrology is a relief when it says, this is who you are and this is normal and right for you. This is how you can work with what’s going on. But astrologers do all have their own point of view. I had one astrologer who’s pretty well known in the field who gave me good readings for awhile (she liked to give as many positives as she could find, so what’s not to love?!). But she seemed to hit a roadblock with me, got frustrated with my inability to live out these positive scenarios she saw, particularly in my relationship life (eg, I had broken up with psychiatrist who had intimacy phobia and told me that relationships made him “too sad”; she said I wasn’t giving him a chance, after 8 months of dating), and she thought sensitivity is something you have to just get over… I don’t need to spend a couple hundred bucks to feel misunderstood.

    What had been good about this astrologer’s readings were that she spent something like 3 hours in person, leaving plenty of time for discussion. I’ve had many others that were shorter and more to the point. The most helpful have been when I’ve had a specific question or set of questions in mind, rather than a general “where are things going” kind of reading. I’ve studied enough on my own to do a lot of the general stuff. The last reading I had was great – a psychotherapist who added astrology to her practice. She gave me back that relief of “yes, this is what I should be doing and there’s nothing wrong with me.”

  • I left this post at Jeff’s site but wanted to leave it here for you too, I enjoyed the posting and wanted to wanted to leave my thoughts too – Jef hit it on the head when he said that we as Astrologers attract clients right for us – vibrationally their “issues” are ours.
    I dedicate each Reading to the Higher Self of each person I read for, it gets “me” out of the way. It’s a lot of work as we know, but I usually end up feeling very excited, energized and that good-tired from sharing such an intense soul bond for a moment in time and helping someone navigate through it with clearer eyes.

    Just my thoughts – all is energy isn’t it, if we’re enjoying ourselves we’re on the right path! So great time to take a hiatus and get back to regrouping and re-energizing. Enjoy!

  • Aloha! At one time ( a long, long time ago), I used to give readings in person. I found it very time consuming and draining, and like you wrote in your post, the monies didn’t begin to make up for the time I spent working on the chart and giving the reading. I figured I was making less than a cent a second! :-0

    Now I just keep track of a few charts, and that’s more than enough for me. 🙂

    My experience receiving readings from other astrologers has been positive, and they have given me a lot: in time, energy, and expertise. Astrologers deserve way more money for their work!

    As for giving readings, I have lots of friends in the reading biz of all kinds (not only astrology), and many of them have switched over to giving readings by email for the reasons you listed.

  • Michelle

    I had to submit now rather than “sometime tomorrow” because my code name read Love”. How can one not respond to that?!

    Aside from responding to love, I related strongly to your concerns about giving readings. I’ve received many readings from Astrologers and at one time (almost 10 years ago now) used to give them myself.

    What I received from readings was almost always good — looking back. There were a few readings– at the time — where I felt some disappointment because I left wanting more or feeling I didn’t “get enough”, or was still was unclear. But now, looking back, remembering, I realize I got more than plenty. I got just what I needed at the time — though perhaps not what I wanted to hear at the time.

    And that leads me to the remembrance of giving readings. I almost always felt like I didn’t say enough, wasn’t clear enough, didn’t cover enough. Never enough! I burned myself out quickly (not unusual for an Aries however). I decided to pull away and stop (thank goodness) which was so wise because my psyche was really being overworked. So much of one’s soul goes into the process/language/exchange (etc) of astrology, I don’t see how a person can engage in it on a day to day basis – day after day — honestly — and not get soul-sick. I really don’t.

    And I guess it’s because I regard astrology now (after twenty short years of studying it) as an art/craft/language that is a process in making. A life-long, life-giving, life-enhancing journey. Not any one reading, conversation, book, etc., can begin to cover, capture, or least of all — clarify what astrology can offer any one person on any given day. I think one really has to live and reflect upon the symbols on a daily basis to even begin to experience the mystery.

    Having said all that, I think my point is this: whatever you can give about astrology (or receive for that matter) — any insight, humor, explanation, advise, etc. — in word, line, paragraph, email, or even in silent prayer — is enough for that day. For there will always be more to be said, more to be pondered, more to be experienced.

    Perhaps that’s why I’ve never grown bored with this wonderful, beautiful language of astrology!

    Enjoy your time embracing the language however your soul needs to experience it in the days ahead!!

  • Michele Lessirard

    One day as a newbie astrology student another seasoned astrologer grabbed my chart off the desk to read it. .I felt like my underwear was showing. I didn’t like it. That experience serves as a reminder that looking at another person’s chart is a sacred act.

    I am both a shamanic practitioner and astrologer… an astrology session is a form of shamanic journeying, I see my role as a sacred storyteller. I do sessions on the phone and in person. I don’t type out the notes, but there is an outline. I merge with the client’s chart. Since I added the SoulCollage process to the New Moon Journal, the collages started sharing their stories and before I know it, bam I am in the person’s life and chart. Intuitive, seat of the pants stuff for me that I wasn’t always so comfortable with. I had to learn how to surf the waves with the client. Today I like the client contact and interaction (it’s part of healing my issues with being seen that I had to work through**smile**).

    Before a session I do the chart research, write things down- dot my i’s and cross the t’s. Yet when I pick up the phone and merge with the energies (it’s a shamanic experience) I sense, feel, see into the person and the chart. I am comfortable with this now, the expansion, holding the energies, the joy, the pain, the soul loss…of course doing shamanic soul retrievals with for clients for 10 years, it’s part of my process.

    Through our shared journey the story moves into a soul remembering. I follow my notes and I follow the flow. It’s a process that at the beginning felt really strange. Strange because it wasn’t like any of the readings my astrologers gave me.

    I used to think “you’re doing it wrong” but there isn’t any right or wrong, it’s what works. We each share our gifts our own special way. That’s what I love about it all. Good for you in creating a dialog, knowing what is best and taking time off to regroup. You are following your life pulse.