One of my astrology students asked me, after 6 months of study, whether she was on the path towards the right profession or whether she should do something else. But when does one become an astrologer? It is not that easy to put something on paper in this respect, but an attempt is made here. I wish to expressly state that my views are pretty European and based on my local experience. I cannot judge the culture and sentiments in this respect in America, where I encounter wholly different viewpoints, as there seems to be an idea that astrology needs to be controlled more, maybe based on a culture where the practice of astrology used to be prohibited in certain states, something that is not part and parcel of my upbringing.
To start with, I don't think that anybody chooses the profession of astrology, the profession chooses you instead. Since the dawn of humanity, astrologers were priests and was for initiates. But what does one mean with initiates? One could probably say : people who know themselves or rather people who know the Self. I do think it is true that no-one can help anybody else without understanding oneself, or even without realization of the Self. True, in reality this is so for all helping professions. In the book Pluto, the evolution of the Soul (Vol I) Jeff Green gives a useful structure of the development of human consciousness throughout certain lifetimes.
1) first we enter this planet as if new, and have to learn everything still (just like entering this life in an individual lifetime as a baby) Green states that in all cultures and all times 5% of the human souls have incarnated practically for the first time - there is no need for them yet to carry any responsibility, and they can enter the world full of love (yet unconsciously so) - in this respect one could think of a number of souls who need to be looked after by other people, because of a handicap maybe : souls who have no need yet to carry any worldly responsibility (just like babies, who can do nothing without the help and support of their parents).
2) then one 'enters the world' and acquires a position therein. This process takes maybe a coupe of lifetimes, and after a few of them some people know the worldly rules so well, that they are thorough experts in dealing with it, one could think of successful worldly politicians and managers in this respect. They are phases to go through to move on. Bringing it back to one lifetime, I think it equates with the phase between 20-29 years of age : the phase where one makes a worldly career. This fails ultimately at 29,6 (Saturn return), if all is well, or put otherwise: this ambition is not enough anymore around that time. Green says that 70% of the people on the planet are in this phase, and I suggest that 70% of the material within us belongs to this phase also: wants to make it in the world with worldly ambitions. Apparently 70% of the planet consists of water, which is an interesting analogy).
3) the next phase (roughly 20%) are those souls who individualize. Born in such a phase in a certain lifetime, Green equates this with being the black sheep in the family, the outcast somewhat even (Uranus)... - but between 30-35 years of age the chances are in each lifetime to individualize out of the herd state of worldly ambitions alone. And because this is the Uranian phase, I think astrology belongs to this phase and state of being.
4) the last phase is the spiritual one, consisting of roughly 5% of the people, where maybe 2% really do realize God, or as Rudhyar probably says: discover/realize the Godhead within.
This abstract view of development (or evolution) can be equated with one lifetime, but one can also realize that in each profession these phases are apparent. 70% of the astrologers will want to practice it on the status quo level has 'worldly ambitions' - needing diploma's and so on and so forth - naturally this is not consistent with the original priest/priestess concept of astrologers.
And in our own development in astrology, we also meet up with these phases:
1) encountering astrology for the first time, there is this incredible amazement, the discovery of a New World!
2) the next phase is getting a Diploma in astrology, Making it in the Astrological World, making a name for yourself, writing articles, giving consultations, and becoming important in organizations: i.e. in the outer world. A Worldy Career as it were in astrology.
3) next there is the Uranian phase and one decides to do things one's own way for a change.
4) and finally there possibly is a spiritual phase and one discovers that astrology itself is an initiatory path. And again, there is this incredible Amazement, discovering a New World , almost as if one is back at the beginning:-) but now no longer pure from the perspective of the sense world, and no longer unconsciously so.
Just like in 'ordinary life' (i.e. the non-astrology life) loads of people (70%) are stuck in this evolutionary path in that sense that worldly ambitions are sought, and not the inner path around and from 29,6 years onwards. This is just because no one can skip steps and indeed before leaving the worldly ambitions behind us, we must first go through them. There is no judgment here, it is not a matter of higher and lower - true, maybe it looks like it, but all the phases are within us ourselves, and as soon as we skip a phase, we have to return to it to redo it. Neptunian people (Moon in Pisces people for instance) have the inclination to skip phase 2 (i.e. enter the world and become grounded in it) and will not do so until they enter the phase of life of Neptune transit -90- Neptune. All the same, astrology is not something which belongs by nature to the worldly phase (I think anyway). It belongs to the phase of individualization, and thus the normal OUTER, external, worldly rules of legislation do not entirely belong to it, not ultimately. Outer regulation means the inner feeling of responsibility has not been developed as yet, as a child who needs parenting.
Yet there are astrologers on all levels and that probably is the idea of nature anyway, and in your own practice you need to go through all the phases.
To keep it simple: I don't think it is that easy to make a profession of astrology in such a way as to make a living out of it. If you do want to become a successful astrologer, I think it will happen only if you put aside all the other things in your life (which probably is true for success in all careers): one pointedly moving onwards towards your goal and skip everything else. In the entire field of these kind of freelance professions you are pretty dependent on your consultations: which is what astrologers make a living from. But a consultation practice grows only very slowly. Advertisements don't really work too well, because people come to you by referral of earlier clients, and they only do so if they benefited from the consultation. So things need TIME (in my experience 14 years... after 7 years of parttime work, 14 years equate with the Full Moon phase and literally with the possibility to start full time) Teaching is the most lucrative and so people do this quite quickly in astrology. But personally I think that teaching can only be so if one knows how to truly help people in consultations: it is the base material for one's teachings, and the test in true life of all of your theories and knowledge.
I don't know so many people who fully live of astrology in the (small) country which I inhabit. Those who do write many sunsigncolumns, because these even pay better than teaching.. Most people practice astrology parttime. I usually advise people who work fulltime in another profession, to slowly work somewhat less in the earlier career and start astrology on a parttime basis. Build things up, and feel being connected with the cosmos (or start feeling that for a change). A great story of one of my students who now has her diploma and is practicing parttime meantime, worrying herself silly over her retirement-pension and other securities if she were to become a fulltime astrologer, is when she had a computer crash not too long ago. She looked up to the sky and said: "God, if you want me to be an astrologer, don't take my computer away from me! " The telephone started to ring...................
and God immediately answered her call. That is to say: someone phoned her and said: "listen, I have won a computer in some kind of contest, but I don't need the thing, would you like to have it?" ..............................
In fact, worldly ambition has to go (and with it also all insecurities about external securities), but the fact is that we are part and parcel of the duality where if we want to be a professional astrologer, we need to pay our electric bills, rent and taxes, not to mention our personal upkeep. Yet in reality it is true that if one is called, this will happen. But maybe you need to make choices. In fact, you no longer work for yourself but for humanity, for spirit, for the cosmos, something like that. And this does not take place prior to the Neptune-t-90 Neptune phase. And before that time and on that path one is tested incredibly, for this initiation ultimately. But if you carry things through, it surely will work! And only those who really wish so, will carry on. Being interested in astrology and having a fire in your heart for astrology are in fact the most important requirements. And an open heart: well, this is necessary for all helping professions. A heart full of revenge, hatred and envy can never do anything worthwhile. The powers of the heartchakra are healing powers. A healer, an astrologer, with a heart that is closed will want to continuously improve on other persons (or even improve the world) and never accept another human being for who that other person simply is and can really do more harm than good. Then they use words, and words only. It is important that the connection between the heart and the words is felt . This is something that grows naturally, and speeds up with the amount of selfknowledge, the amount of selfacceptance, and forgiving oneself. When one feels the currents of (non sensual) love, then life itself streams exactly in the direction where it needs to go, in the right direction, and if that is becoming an astrologer, then an astrologer you will be.
There are plenty of astrologers doing it on ambition only, who just wish to want to make it in the world, and succeed (in the eyes of the world). But I find the heart the most important thing.
Next to the goal of becoming a professional astrologer, there are of course many people who find their answers in astrology and rebuild their life-philosophy with this language. Then astrology can almost be equated with philosophy. Can a philosopher make a living of philosophy? Or does it enrich your life? In any case, it is a natural law, that even in an overpopulated world, there is the space for each human being to earn his or her own living. And whatever it is that you do, even if it is office cleaning NYC, you can still do it from a certain philosophy, with love. In fact, in reality it doesn't matter an inch what you do in life (it only matters in the eyes of the world) , as long as you do that which you do with your entire heart. There are things in life which everybody has to do which are not considered being fun things to do, such as doing the dishes. The art is to make them nice, not to ignore them. Astrology can enrich your life incredibly so, and ...there are plenty of mediocre astrologers, but real good astrologers are always needed in any world, so become one!
© Joyce Hoen DF Astrol S, 2002-2011