I want to venture back into how different astrologers prioritize different ways of astrology. The book I chose to uncover in last Saturday’s post had a lot to do with astrology in the psychology realm. It was published in 1995; it’s called Communicating The Horoscope, and eight astrologers have their say:
- The Magic of the Consultation Time — Christian Borup
- Creative Listening and Empathy — Haloli Q. Richter
- A Communication Model for Astrologers — Diana Stone
- Solving Problems: Key Questions to Ask Your Client — Donna Cunningham
- When the Client Avoids the Issue — Karen M. Hamaker-Zondag
- Bottom-Line Astrology — Susie Cox
- Telling Stories To Make Your Point — Jeff Jawer
- Working with Measurement, Memory, and Myth — Wendy Z. Ashley
Diana Stone’s chapter is as good a place to start as any. She developed a model to interpret charts that’s she developed over the preceding couple of decades. It’s a communication model based on the objective to “increase awareness and affect positive changes in the lives of clients.” The model is
“The first premise of the model is that an individual’s outer life circumstances in every respect reflect an inner life pattern. The outer situation mirrors the inner workings of the psyche. The inner pattern comes from experiences of this life, can be identified, can be traced to current behaviors, and can be brought to conscious awareness, thereby facilitating changes in both behaviors and the life situation.”
From there, this astrologer chooses to listen to the client, with the express goal that she wants to listen for the story. The story is “what is really happening, or, what is the real storyline in the particular situation being communicated. The story is not what the client wants to happen, or what she thinks is happening; it is precisely and exactly what actually is happening.”
The first client she relates the story of is that the client “hates her job and wants to make a career change. The story is not the career change. That is what the client wants. The story is that the client hates her job.” She was a career counselor who enjoyed the counseling aspect but hated the bureaucracy, politics, and red tape.
The astrologer needs to identify the inner process. The astrologer does not need to, as our author puts it, “use whatever vocational indicators the astrologer favors and look for some likely vocational choices.” The astrologer’s role is to question judiciously.
“The story equals reality, and the reality equals a choice. The issue of choices is the next step .. Where did the patterns in the psyche come from, these inner forces that wield so much power as to create outer life realities, even those we don’t like?”
“If the client is stuck in a painful situation, it comes from a choice; an unconscious choice. A part of the client has chosen to have things exactly the way they are. The astrologer must confidently maintain this stance, even in the face of clients’ disbelief.”
The astrologer must operate in great care “handling when communicating with clients around this matter of choice. It must not be used to accuse the client of wanting painful situations because of some neurotic need to suffer or get attention. It must not be used to blame the client. We do not judge the client, blame the client, or put the client on the defensive. Such behaviors and attitudes toward clients are beyond the pale and inexcusable. Besides, they aren’t helpful.”
This author then discusses the client’s astrological chart. The first thing Stone notices Uranus conjunct the Ascendant in Gemini to within just over 4 degrees. (Uranus is in the 12th house). The woman hates the bureaucracy, “is a free spirit, independent, likes to work alone, needs lots of space to express creativity, needs variety, is good at many different things, communicates well, is good working with people, is nontraditional and oriented toward the future, is not interested in material things, is a natural counselor and teacher,” and hates red tape, politicking et. al.
(I would add here that if the client moved a significant distance, her Uranus may well be not conjunct the Ascendant, and that is worth considering; but it should also be mentioned that you never completely lose the birth chart, and, in any case, I’m more concerned with what the author’s approach to psychology and helping clients using astrology is. This will be obvious toward the end of this essay.)
If Uranus conjunct the Ascendant in Gemini was the only thing going on in her chart, then her job would be different to reflect that. That is not the only thing going on.
The client has a stellium in Taurus — Sun, Mercury, and Moon. Stone begins to explore some Taurus themes — Taurus is traditional, conservative, needs stability and financial security. She asks,
“From what reality [did] those powerful Taurus needs ended up in such an unhappy situation” ?
The obvious choice is to ask about the identical sphere in the parents’ lives that is creating a problem for Eve in her life. Stone asks about the work history of the father and mother. “Her father wanted to be a priest or musician. His own father said that neither of these careers was acceptable so he became a lawyer instead, a bad lawyer. When he was 52 years old, he had a heart attack. After that, he was limited in his capacity to work, so held clerk jobs and the like.” Her mother said “He was never able to follow his heart.” He was 59 when he died.
Mother was the practical one, so she went to work to support the family, although she had to “give up herself” in the process.
This is what the client learned. “We have a father who learned that you cannot do what you want. You must have a job that you hate. In fact, you must hate it so much that it kills you. We have mother, on the other hand, who is practical and provides survival and security, but chooses to sell herself out to do it. Ugh! It is a wonder (the client) is doing as well as she is! You can see that the astrologer does not have to play guessing games with the horoscope to discover what happened in the person’s past.”
I would take a step back here and attest that a good astrologer is going to be interested in the lives of their clients and exhibit empathy, which is generally helped along by having a strong 17 harmonic. The author was interested enough to find the life pattern in the client. It’s a totally salient life pattern, too. How many of us have taken jobs we hate? How many of us have figured out why?
The client fulfilled her dueling Taurus and Gemini needs by reducing her work at the counseling job to part time, and taking two additional jobs, one of which was a teaching position. She did wonder why this pattern did not show up until her mid-thirties, and was able to be a “free spirit” until then.
Probably what happened was the client’s appreciating the sacrifices her mother made for security and stability, and her own father’s experience. Sometime in her thirties an astrological transit came along and activated her Taurus planets, placing the emphasis on security, retirement income, investments, etc. and all that entailed.
Some of us have similar life patterns with similar reasons as the client that Stone went into details on that I’m drawing forth in today’s essay. Some of us do not. In her chapter she discusses a client who tends to always take on the role of parenting his partners, being the one who does all the giving and takes all the responsibility.
Another client favors his Moon in Capricorn, with the role of being mother and father in relationships, like his is wife, while he acts out his Uranus by having a clandestine affair of the heart, representing the spontaneity and equality that is missing in his life. Another client came from a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic and was a recovering alcoholic who had received her big break and was about to turn it down mostly because of her sacrifices for her mother.
She describes how many of her clients were “stunned by some of the insights that came to them in her sessions” with her. They had “never heard of anything like this before, and sudden insights are accompanied by some startling energy releases. This is not just an intellectual affair. These can be thought of as miracles.
The process of this astrologer, to summarize, is:
- (1) active communication with a client to
- (2) elicit a history
- (3) from which a storyline is identified that is
- (4) assumed to represent an inner pattern
- (5) formed in reaction to an earlier life experience and
- (6) manifested as a present-life situation
- (7) the counterpart of which is identifiable in the horoscope
- (8) setting up the interaction whereby the astrologer can work with the client to connect the relationship between the inner and outer life.
This is one way of doing things.