10 Things You Should Know Before Hiring An Astrologer

Photo: Getty 
How To Find A Good Astrologer
Zodiac

So, you’re having some difficult issues and you think you might want to have your natal birth chart read?

You have no idea how extremely helpful this kind of astrology reading can be.

I had a tough situation with a love triangle a few years ago and I found astrology so helpful that I began studying birth chart astrology myself.

While I’m not experienced enough yet to nail up a shingle outside my door with the words "P.D. Reader, Astrologer", I do know enough to help you save time and money in finding a professional astrologer who’s right for you.

RELATED: 5 Core Facts About Astrology You Should Know (Other Than Zodiac Signs & Horoscopes)

Here are on 10 tips on how to find a good astrologer.

1. Do you want to consult a professional who practices Western astrology or Vedic astrology?

The two systems are different.

Western Astrology: This is said to provide a psychological profile of the individual and hints as to how the person may grow and avoid some trouble on his emotional journey through life. This astrology reading will provide you with a hint or two about why you decided to incarnate into this life and what you're here to experience and to learn, but its main focus is to tell you what kind of childhood you had, what kind of person you are, and significant events you are likely to experience in this life. Current transits to your natal chart tell you what kind of time you are going through now and give you advice about how to handle it. Western astrology tends to assume that the heavens only describe your life; they do not rule or determine what happens to you.

Vedic astrology: This originated in India and purports to tell the individual mainly about their soul, what your purpose was in coming here, and what your soul expects to gain from this life. Vedic astrologers tend to be deterministic. That is, they believe more so than Western astrologers that what’s in the heavens causes the events in your life. Often they will prescribe actions you should do to help a situation go more the way you would wish. I have been on internet boards with a lot of Vedic astrologers and found those boards had an almost superstitious feel to them, which may or may not appeal to you.

A third branch also exists, which is Chinese astrology. I do not study Vedic or Chinese, only Western, so the rest of this article pertains to Western astrologers only.

2. Be prepared with your accurate birth time, date, and place.

Astrology can be wildly inaccurate if the birth time is far off. The same goes for the date and place. You don’t want to spend money for a natal chart reading that may not be accurate and your prospective astrologer should tell you this upfront.

If you don’t have a birth time, but want to know something anyway, try a computerized natal chart interpretation on the internet. Just know to take your results with a grain of salt. These websites can be uncannily accurate if you use a reputable one, and they are much cheaper.

3. Be aware that each astrologer has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Before I began trying to learn astrology on my own, I had hired two astrologers and found them to be very different.

The two astrology chart readings varied quite widely in quality and usefulness. Some astrologers do a lot with relating aspects in your birth chart to decades in the past when those aspects were prominent in global events. Personally, I don't find this approach helpful, but some people do. If I am on the phone with an astrologer and I find them nattering on and on about the 1960's rather than my life, I start to find that a little bizarre and not a bit helpful.

Other astrologers are "the dog pile" type" — they find every little thing of significance in your chart and give you a thumbnail sketch of what each aspect commonly means. My astrologer, Alice Portman of Adelaide, Australia, is this type of astrologer and I’ve found her astrology reading to be extremely accurate.

Some others will give you deep psychological profiles of what your aspects mean, which can also be very helpful. Astrologer Liz Greene comes to mind as the best example here.

4. Compare their rates.

If you hire a professional astrologer on the net, you will be spending a good bit of cash. Most pros who advertise on the net will charge you around $200 for 60 to 90-minute reading, which is how long you need for a good thorough look at your natal birth chart or for a decent comparison of your natal chart with another person's.

Some of these people have read literally hundreds of natal charts a year for the past 20 years so they know what all the aspects mean in the same way you know what your office looks like.

But some may be crazy and charge you too much for questionable readings. You don't need to drop $200-$250 on one of these folks. Professional astrology organizations exist to train and certify astrologers, but be aware that just because a person is making their living in the field in an expensive area such as New York City or has a certification after their name, doesn't automatically make them legit.

A student or someone less experienced may charge less but be aware that although they are very good in the areas they've studied intensely but they might also miss information of an aspect they barely read up on. Or they may take a lot longer to give the same quality reading a 20-year veteran in the field can do in one hour.

5. Do some background research.

Ideally, if your prospective astrologer is a little strange and comes across as untrustworthy, you want to find that out before you hire them. How do you do that?

You can do a simple internet search. Surf around and read their blogs and articles, if they have any. 

Before I found my astrologer Alice, I had an unfortunate experience with an astrologer who told me I had six yods and a Thor’s Hammer in my chart, because the person I was involved with was "in my yod" — meaning, the relationship would never work. That’s when I started to wonder what a "yod" was and began looking up information for myself.

When I discovered it was highly unlikely that anyone would have six yods and a Thor’s Hammer, I suspected I’d been had. I looked up more articles on yods, found a very interesting one by Alice and that's the one that convinced me she should look at my astro chart. I also found some articles by people who made me wonder if they might have been smoking something.

If you're uncomfortable being read by someone you deem untrustworthy, skip that professional and move on.

RELATED: Zodiac Hijack: How Astrology Ended My Otherwise-Happy Relationship

6. Know the specific issue you want their insight into.

As you surf around the net, reading what different astrologers write, make sure to concentrate on your specific issue. For example, Google something like "the astrology of relationship triangles" or "heartbreak astrology", see what comes up, and go from there.

When you find someone who seems to "get" your issue and whose style you like, that's a person you might consider hiring. Generally, any article they write will point you to their website, which should tell you how to hire them, how payment arrangements are handled, and how much they charge.

7. Check out their website.

It's not to say that untrustworthy and fake astrology websites have a lot of stars, pentagons, and flying unicorns definitely mean that an astrologer can't really read your astrological chart.

However, wouldn't you rather feel safer with someone whose website is more professional and business-like? I know, I do.

8. Find out who they trained under.

Check out the person's bio and see who they trained under.

Look out for famous names in astrology like Liz Greene, Robert Hand, Barbara Hand Clow, and Noel Tyl. Anyone who's trained under someone well known is generally a good bet.

9. Visit a New Age bookstore.

If your community is large enough, you may have a New Age bookstore. Go there and browse the astrology section. The staff should be knowledgeable enough to tell you which astrology books are considered classics in the field and which are the best for beginners.

Note down the names of those authors. Anybody who mentions training under these people is probably a good bet. Pick up some of the books and leaf through them.

If the writing style is accessible to you, they're writing about something you care about, and you find that the writing draws you in, explains something interesting to you, and makes you want to know more in just a few pages, jot down that person's name and look up their website. This may be someone you want to hire.

10. Make sure that they are unbiased.

Before you hire anyone, make sure the person is not biased in any way about your issue. I originally consulted an astrologer for my involvement in a love triangle with a married man and was told that the person was "in my yod" and the relationship would never work. I was also told I’d meet someone else and be married again by October 2017!

As I began to study and learn astrology myself, I saw the aspects for that date and began suspecting that I would actually hear from my married man again at that time. When I hired Alice, she looked at our astro charts and said the same thing. This was exactly what happened. In class, my teacher and my more experienced classmates pulled my charts up and found more aspects than I had, indicating that this would happen.

Astrologer Number One looked at all the same data but told me something wildly different. If I had believed her, I would not have looked at the natal chart report anymore, not have read articles, not have found Alice, not have learned any more about the situation, and been tempted to make a serious mistake when the guy appeared on the scene again.

Since I didn’t buy what Astrologer Number One told me, I did my homework and knew, by October, not only what was the best course of action but also a whole lot more about why.

I later posted a blog about my unhappy experience, which found its way to Astrologer Number One’s Facebook page. I lurked on her comments there and discovered why I had been so badly misled: This person had a married man experience in her 20's and wrote that she was very prejudiced against this situation and hated reading charts if an affair was involved!

Keep this in mind, and, like a trial lawyer, dismiss your prospective astrologer from the jury if you ask and discover that the person isn't happy or comfortable reading your situation.

11. See if they have a specialty.

When I encountered Alice's website, I knew she knew something about yods and was probably the person for me.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

Medical astrology is a branch of Western astrology, although Chinese and Vedics may also specialize in medical questions. So, if you have a health issue, try to find a medical astrologer. That field is tricky and requires in-depth study to achieve real expertise.

When in doubt, look for testimonials. See if the astrologer will give you references.

12. Look for a website with a psychological tone and feel.

Although I've never hired him, Hiroki Niizato's lovely professional website echoes so much of what I already know from all my reading about psychology and relationships that I know this guy would be a terrific fit for me.

He has an archive about a mile long, filled with articles and posts on psychology, relationships, and the growth of the personality that resonate with me, whether I know anything about the astrological aspect he's relating it to or not.

An astrologer with a website like this is always a good bet.

13. Attend a class.

New Age bookstores may have a few local astrologers who frequent, offer readings, or even teach about zodiac signs and horoscopes there. This is a great opportunity to get an impression of someone in person before you plunk down any hard-earned Benjamins.

If they offer astrology classes, attend one session just to hear the person lecture. In just an hour-long lecture, you can get a sense if someone is fit to read your birth chart.

Some of them write for local papers or magazines, which is another way to check someone out prior to hiring them. Astrologers who only practice locally may be a lot cheaper than those who solicit clients on the internet.

14. Ask questions about how they read charts.

If you're asking a general question like, "How significant is this person in my life?" or "Will I ever see him or her again?", asking a dogpile-type astrologer like Alice is a good bet for you — they know how to pick out every little thing of interest.

The interpretations you get may not be all that in depth, but every connection you have with that person will be discussed, so you get the most accurate opinion.

If you're more concerned with what's affecting the outcome of a troubling situation, a Liz Greene-type astrologer, someone who will give you interpretations that are very in-depth and psychological in nature, is what you should look for.

15. Check reviews to learn more about how they treat their clients. 

Pay attention to the tone the person uses with you.

You should always be treated with dignity and respect.

16. Be honest with yourself.

When receiving an astrology reading, the key thing to ask yourself is, "Does this sound like me or not?" And be very, very honest in your answer.

Some of the aspects that came up in my research had ugly things to say about my character. Some interpretations of those contained some advice about what in my childhood was making me behave this way and that I really ought to investigate this possibility. These readings helped shape the psychotherapy I was in.

I've made incredible breakthroughs I might never have otherwise without them and without this affair that drove me to the astrology in the first place.

Think of astrology, horoscopes, and zodiac signs not so much as a prediction, but as tools to guide your growth, together with some warnings about what could happen should you not achieve that growth.

RELATED: The Surprising Way Astrology Solved My Relationship Problems

P.D. Reader, a student astrologer, blogs as The Thinking Other Woman. On the blog, she shares advice about affairs, relationship problems, astrology and more.

This article was originally published at The Thinking Other Woman. Reprinted with permission from the author.