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  #1  
Unread 01-31-2014, 05:56 PM
Niambi Niambi is offline
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Professional Astrology

Hi,

How does one become a "professional" astrologer? How many years must be devoted before achieving this title? Or....if you chose to provide readings as a services/business...does that make you a professional?

Thanks,
Niambi

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  #2  
Unread 01-31-2014, 08:39 PM
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waybread waybread is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

I think anybody can call himself a professional astrologer, even someone with no credentials at all. Which probably explains astrology's dubious status in much of the world.

I am an amateur and happily so, but if I ever thought seriously about going pro, I think I would need a thorough knowledge of electional and horary astrology, in addition to natal chart interpretation and its derivatives (like synastry.)

I would read a lot of charts for people as an amateur (have already done so, for natal!) and pay attention to the feedback people gave me on my work.

There are major professional associations for astrologers that give coursework through distance education, as well as exams. If you pass them, you are entitled to list their credential . See: the American Federation of Astrologers http://www.astrologers.com/about/afa-exams/, National Center for Geocosmic Research http://www.geocosmic.org/educ/ , the Faculty of Astrological Studies (London) http://www.astrology.org.uk/ , and the International Society for Astrological Research http://www.isarastrology.com/certification . Also some well-known astrologers offer their own certifications in a kind of apprenticeship program.

While such exams are not required for professional astrologers, they do indicate the type of knowledge and chart-reading ability that a lot of pros think you should have in order to call yourself a professional.
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  #3  
Unread 01-31-2014, 09:09 PM
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mdinaz mdinaz is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

I'm never impressed by someone's certifications or credentials and more impressed by actual examples of their work that I can see. Regurgitating a bunch of keywords on demand means absolutely nothing to me - it's what you produce as an interpretation, the meaning you draw from it and helping the client apply that information that is important, and that can only be seen in an example of their work (and this goes for any line of work). In my industry people have certifications out the wazoo and half of them still are incompetent as he11. As for the rest, personally, I think someone should specialize in a particular field of astrology and be the best possible at that, not a jack of all trades in every discipline. I do relationship/karmic astrology, as well as natals and potentials. I do not do horary. If I advertise my services, I indicate that. I'm not interested in horary, I don't want to do horary. But that's just me.
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  #4  
Unread 01-31-2014, 09:15 PM
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mdinaz mdinaz is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

But sorry, to answer the initial question - a "professional" is anyone who makes a living at whatever they do. Some people here are "professionals" - astrology is all they do to pay the bills. Some of us like me are "semi-professional" - I have a regular day job, and do paid astrology clients on the side. Some are simply amateurs or hobbyists and help people here for free or just study. Most pros are at it for 20 years or more, some here have been doing it for over 40 years. I probably was doing it for over 10 years before I had paid clients, but it depends on how much study and time you put into it. It's no different than learning to play an instrument or being a wood craftsman - it depends on how much time and effort you put into it, along with natural talent.
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  #5  
Unread 01-31-2014, 09:33 PM
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Re: Professional Astrology

mdinaz, are you a professional, meaning that you charge for your services?

Note that i didn't say that a professional astrologer would need to pass a certificate exam. But these would be an important way to determine whether you knew what a lot of professional astrologers believe you should know in order to advertise yourself as a professional.

I am sure you are super at what you do, but I've been shocked, on astrology internet forums, sometimes to find out how little some self-styled professionals actually know about astrology.
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  #6  
Unread 01-31-2014, 09:51 PM
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Re: Professional Astrology

I'm a "semi-professional" in that I often charge for my services (and sometimes I don't, such as here on the forum), but I don't do it full time and have a regular day job to pay the bills. I've been paid as a musician as well but I'm not a professional there either - I don't support myself with either astrology or music. I could I'm sure if I wanted to, but then I'd likely be making a heck of a lot less money and I have a funny thing about eating every day and wanting my own bathroom.

I don't think certification exams demonstrate a darn thing except that at one point you studied long enough to pass one. I work in an industry dominated with certification exams and everyone here has them yet I find that less than 30% of the people here are actually skilled, competent and trustworthy at what they do, and probably equally that many are completely incompetent and I wouldn't trust to sign up for a Facebook account, much less fix my network issues - yet certified they are. The only way for someone to prove to me their worth in their field is a demonstration of their skills. This is why an 8th-grade dropout can be the top mechanic in town and a doctor with an alphabet after his name can be malpractice-sued out of existence.

As for being shocked at some people - I'm not shocked at all. Some people talk a good game but when you really delve into what they are saying, there's not a lot of there, there. This goes for many skills and industries. This is why I'd rather see a demonstration of work rather than rely on some certification or claim of certification. I get mechanics and tradesmen based on referral or seeing examples of their work. I would never hire a band without seeing and hearing them first. I don't buy any book based on some nebulous paid review. I'm from Missouri - show me.
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  #7  
Unread 01-31-2014, 09:59 PM
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Re: Professional Astrology

We can use our own charts to help us determine whether we are likely to be gung ho and overly confident, or hold back after we are ready. And we can see the biases with which we approach our work and the biases with which we perceive the client's needs.

Its probably best to work for a reduced rate at first so that there's proportionately less expectation and pressure.

If you don't do an 'official' astrology course, you could still do something like a counselling qualification. Or you could do a mixture of courses. I agree that the purely self-styled approach can yield poor results, in terms of services offered, and in terms of the personal development of the astrologer along the way.
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  #8  
Unread 01-31-2014, 10:22 PM
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Re: Professional Astrology

Quote:
Originally Posted by miquar View Post
Its probably best to work for a reduced rate at first so that there's proportionately less expectation and pressure.
Better yet you can work here for free with absolutely no expectations and get valuable feedback.


Quote:
If you don't do an 'official' astrology course, you could still do something like a counselling qualification. Or you could do a mixture of courses. I agree that the purely self-styled approach can yield poor results, in terms of services offered, and in terms of the personal development of the astrologer along the way.
A purely course-certification approach can also yield poor results. The poor results aren't a result of the lack of courses or the quality of the courses, they are the result of lack of effort and application, in whatever way the knowledge was acquired and applied. I don't care how you acquired the knowledge - can you do the job? Again, this goes for many things. My mechanic is a Mexican immigrant who barely speaks English but that guy can take apart a car blindfolded and put it back together again. I don't give a rat's patootie where he went to school, IF he went to school. On the other hand I've worked with many technicians and engineers who were edu-ma-cated all over and couldn't engineer their way out of a wet paper bag. You value sanctioned book learning and pieces of paper. I value skill and results.
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  #9  
Unread 01-31-2014, 10:30 PM
Alice McDermott Alice McDermott is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

In Australia, and I imagine the rest of the world, there were many people calling themselves astrologers who barely knew Sun Sign astrology. When we set up the Federation of Australian Astrologers and its exam system the goal was to produce astrologers who were reasonably competent in our craft and could prove it through their exams. This isn't any different to most other professions. We did quite a bit of publicity to inform people that the study of astrology took a number of years and mentioned the schools which provided a good astrological education and qualifications so people would know that at least they were receiving a reasonable level of competence.

Astrological qualifications are a good option for anyone wanting to become professional but it doesn't end there. An astrologer must let go of all preconceptions, prejudices and judgement so she or he can be of proper service to the client - and believe me this can be very testing indeed because an astrologer regularly deals with great traumas in the life of clients. An astrologer can't try to make the client fit the chart but needs to observe how the client is using the energies provided by that birth moment. This is all gained through experience and the only way a person can get experience is by doing lots and lots of the charts of real life people with real life problems.

So part of the process of becoming professional is to get some qualification from a reputable astrologer or astrological school and then offer to do the charts of people for a reduced rate, explaining that you are a beginner and want to practice - and then actually discuss the chart with the client rather than pontificate. When I taught this is was part of the curriculum for the 4th year of study and interestingly, generated quite a few clients for the pupil; they started with friends and then the word went around.

The ability to be able to accurately forecast, choose good times for starting something (electional astrology) and answer questions accurately and clearly, is essential.

There are exceptions to the rule. For example, a colleague and I had the same teacher but she never received any qualifications (basically because she hates being told what to do), however she developed a good level of competence and has became quite well known. Currently she has her own very popular radio program. She has kept up her astrological education and, because of her years of experience, is certainly better than many of her juniors. I suppose she is semi-professional as she had a high profile profession in another field but continued to see clients, write articles and give talks in our field.

So overall I agree with mdinaz - it boils down to 'show me'; one chooses the astrologer who will be able to give you what you require. If you develop skill clients will come, but most people need a back-up job for hard times as running your own business, particularly astrology, is very hard with considerable fluctuations. If you are lucky enough to write a book or books that catch the imagination of the public or fellow astrologers you can make money through workshops, talks etc., and the client base increases as well, but this doesn't happen to most of us.

Alice
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  #10  
Unread 01-31-2014, 10:42 PM
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ashriia ashriia is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

I think if you're a aspiring professional astrologer. This is probably the best place to acquire your astro "credentials". You learn, put your skills to use, get feedback and feel humbled time and time again until you improve your skills. And it helps that there is constant learning and application so that what you learn really sinks in. Also if you get kicked out of the forum by your 50th post your probably not going to be able to offer any type of astrological consultation to anyone. Since being kicked out would involve not knowing how to work with others and being volatile to a large extent.

just my short and sweet opinion on the matter.
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  #11  
Unread 01-31-2014, 11:08 PM
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Re: Professional Astrology

I also agree with Miquar in that some type of counseling background is good to have as well.

For those that prefer less traditional routes of obtaining this.. Alot of helplines and human rights non profit organizations offer intense free training in different types of counseling if you work or volunteer for them. The most common is crisis counseling. Which seems like it would be good to have for anyone considering being a professional astrologer.

Last edited by ashriia; 01-31-2014 at 11:33 PM.
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  #12  
Unread 01-31-2014, 11:10 PM
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mdinaz mdinaz is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

Thanks Alice - I'm not saying there is anything wrong with professional courses or certifications - I'm just saying all that doesn't indicate whether you are worth a hill of beans or not. Some people learn better in academic surroundings, others learn better on their own, or through the school of Hard Knocks, or various combinations thereof. I don't care how you get there, only the results you provide when you do. And if you have a website or some place where you offer services, you should be able to offer an example or two of your work, as well as some real client feedback. I, and many other people, want to see real results, not claimed results (and a certification is a claimed result - it by itself proves nothing other than you indeed at one time took some classes and passed - but do you remember any of it and know how to apply that knowledge still?)

Ashriia - you provide another good point - communication. You can indeed have all the skills in astrology and delineation - but if you can't communicate them to the client, what good is it? There are a few people here who demonstrate great knowledge but I'll be dammmed if I know what they are talking about 1 time out of 10 - not because I don't understand the terms or concepts, but because their communication skills are abysmal. And these are native or fluent English speakers. Communication is critical here because you ARE dealing with highly specific jargon that a layman is simply not going to understand - not because they are stupid - but because they simply haven't been exposed to it. It is up to the astrologer to be able to communicate what they find in terms the client can understand. No easy task sometimes. Doctors are often notoriously bad at this too.
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  #13  
Unread 02-01-2014, 04:29 AM
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Re: Professional Astrology

mdinaz, it occurs to me that if I were to ask you to itemize some of the skills or knowledge that you think a professional astrologer should have, they might just be the items showing up on an astrological association's certificate exam!

My point was never that a pro absolutely should get this credential. Rather, if a novice looks at a sample exam and couldn't answer any of it, probably more study is recommended.

We've all seen credentialized professionals who know diddly-squat, and truly competent professionals without certificates, diplomas, or degrees. I don't know what line of work you are in, but it would seem that the problems are greater in your field than in many others. To me, acquiring sufficient knowledge to pass an exam (whether or not one actually sits for it) would be only an early step in the journey.

(p. s. I wouldn't go to a doctor who hadn't passed his board exams!)
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I thought we went along paths--but it seems there are no paths. The going itself is the path.
C.S. Lewis, Perelandra.

Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. Message on a refrigerator magnet.
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  #14  
Unread 02-01-2014, 07:14 AM
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Re: Professional Astrology

Hi mdinaz. Yes you can learn and get feedback by doing charts for free, but the op asked about becoming a professional, so the reduced rate is like a half-way house.

Hi ashriia. I think that the forum is a good way to practice and develop skills, but as mdinaz points out, some posts are [edit:un]intelligible, and until we try face-to-face interpretation, we can't see the puzzled look on the native's face. So part of the prep for professional practise is to do free and then cheap readings in person. You probably already are aware of this, but I just wanted to clarify.

Last edited by miquar; 02-01-2014 at 07:36 AM.
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  #15  
Unread 02-02-2014, 02:48 AM
Niambi Niambi is offline
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Re: Professional Astrology

Thanks. All the answers were very helpful. I'm glad I joined the forum. I agree with many of the posts. I have studied astrology for about 10 years, but recently decided that I want to combine my counseling background with the field. I may pursue a certification in the future. Thank you again...

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Originally Posted by Niambi View Post
Hi,

How does one become a "professional" astrologer? How many years must be devoted before achieving this title? Or....if you chose to provide readings as a services/business...does that make you a professional?

Thanks,
Niambi
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