In my last blog post, I talked about the technical reasons why even highly skilled astrologers’ readings can be inaccurate. In short, my point was that Vedic astrology is a huge science (covering the whole of life), though it uses only 9 planets (loosely calling the sun, moon, and eclipse points, “planets”), 12 signs, and 12 houses, to catalog everything the astrologer might need to talk about in a reading. This means that the astrologer is usually drawing from vast categories of information, and broad kinds of energy, to pinpoint specific things to say about your world. Although experience and intuition go a long way to help the astrologer zero-in on the concrete details of your past, present, and future, we astrologers often try to venture too far into specifics with the generalized information your chart gives us.
So, are we therefore left merely to choose between, on the one hand, accurate but vague and overly general readings, and on the other hand, inaccurate readings with potentially useful but unreliable specifics?
Fortunately, no…and in this blog post I will explain what we astrologers can do to make our readings more specific, without sacrificing accuracy.
There are three main things that astrologers need to do in order to optimize accuracy and specificity in readings:
- Collaborate with the client, by asking questions, rather than trying to impress the client by stoically making predictions and interpretations without client input.
- Let go of the common misconception that accuracy is only about specifics. We commonly assume that the only way astrology can be useful is by providing the client with specific information. Often, a general sense of what is going on now, or coming up in the future, is enough to both reassure clients and prepare them to act knowledgeably during their astrology. Going out on a limb with concrete details isn’t the astrologer’s only opportunity to give the client helpful information. General information can be accurate too, and just as helpful as specifics.
- Use discretion about when to unveil specific details in a reading. We astrologers all too often overlook the virtue of tact. If it was a good idea for everyone to know everything about their future, then we all would be omniscient from birth.
I’ll briefly go over each of these three points in order.
1) Collaborating with the client
Collaboration with clients is the second most useful tool an astrologer has. Client collaboration can be almost as useful as the astrological data in the client’s chart itself. In fact, arguably, the astrological information in the chart is incomplete without input from the client.
Here’s what I mean by “collaboration with clients”:
Before offering specifics in a reading, the astrologer should gather all the information needed for constructing the actual context for those specifics. That is to say, collaborating with the client to determine the backdrop of their astrology is the best way to zero-in on specifics that will be more accurate and in accordance with the actual features of the client’s life. Whether difficult transits to the 7th Lord in a rough astrological period will result in divorce or just strain the marriage will depend largely on how the existing marriage has fared already in any previous periods of affliction to the 7th Lord. Similarly, whether an upcoming transit might indicate that the client will be moving to a new home will depend largely on whether the client has moved during previous such transits.
So, the astrologer should be very inquisitive about the details of the client’s life. This is not cheating! We need to forget the idea that a good astrologer will know everything about you just by silently examining your chart. In truth, a good astrologer will ask everything about you in order to make your chart most useful to you.
2) Letting go of the common misconception that accuracy is only about specifics
Even general and vague information can be appropriate to offer in readings. For a good illustration, let’s reconsider the example of the strained marriage above: in this case, the astrologer could say something like, “Your marriage is due for another spell of turbulence, but if you persevere like you have before, then I don’t think you have to be worried about divorce.” Here, the astrologer is clarifying that the marriage will come under some strain again, without specifically predicting whether it will end in divorce or not. Yet, the astrologer is still offering very helpful information, based on the input provided by the client, which is to link the similar relationship-straining astrology of the past (which the marriage survived) with the similar upcoming astrology (which, by inductive reasoning, the marriage is also likely to survive). In this case, the astrologer didn’t need to make a specific prediction in order to be helpful. Painting a general picture and connecting it with familiar past events was enough.
In a prior Facebook post, I referred to “surfing” one’s astrology. Providing a client with general information about the astrological tide, or “surf conditions,” can greatly help the client to orient properly, and thus more productively, towards a given time period. In a Ketu sub-period, for instance, with both Saturn and Jupiter aspecting the 3rd or 9th Lord, say, the astrologer could inform the client of many possible pursuits that are astrologically supported during that time. The astrologer could say something like, “In general, it is difficult to manifest our intentions during Ketu periods. However, this period does support writing or teaching in a cyber environment, or undertaking a teaching or apprenticeship role for a charity, or doing hospice work, or…(naming other such things that are supported by that astrology). In fact, advising a client on how to surf their astrology is so important, in my view, that I will be dedicating my entire next blog post to the subject.
3) Using discretion, or exercising “tact”
Tact is a virtue that astrologers often overlook, or may completely lack altogether. Just because someone masters the ability to interpret your chart, doesn’t mean they will exercise discretion in delivering their interpretations to you.
Yet, tact and discretion are often vital to the success of a reading. Alerting a client to an impending difficult planetary period, without also providing constructive suggestions on how to navigate that period, can be a disservice to the client in at least the two following ways:
- It can darken the client’s mind. The client may spend a lot of time thereafter worrying about the upcoming astrology. Rather than serving the client, dropping a bomb on the client about difficult future astrology will degrade their quality of life during the intervening period when their astrology isn’t actually difficult yet. Moreover, worry makes difficult things even more difficult. Worry is also an unhealthy form of stress, which is both physically and emotionally damaging.
- The client can only visualize the difficult predicted future events, and is likely to overestimate their gravity. People often envision the worst-case scenario when alerted to some likely future difficulty. Remember how people worried about the Y2K computer issues as the new millennium approached? The issues that actually arose were ultimately quite manageable. Our own astrological issues are often like that.
In short, it’s not a good idea to mention negative astrology if the astrologer cannot frame that astrology within a larger context of something positive, and if the astrologer cannot provide some guidance or suggestions to make the client’s life experience better somehow. A little tact and discretion on the astrologer’s part can save the client a lot of suffering.
To summarize this article, then, collaborating with clients is a good way to increase accuracy and zero-in on specific information that will be helpful to the client. Meanwhile, general information can be just as helpful, and sometimes even more helpful, than specific information. So, we should drop the idea that astrologers aren’t living up to their job description if they are being general, or even vague, since astrology is a science of generalized categories and energies after all. Finally, restraint is the rule of thumb when it comes to delivering the news about difficult upcoming astrology. Tact and discrimination are the velvet gloves that can keep the client’s thoughts flowing smoothly, in a positive upward direction.
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