by April Elliott Kent Astrologers are in a strange business — and so are therapists, doctors, and nannies. By nature, we’re caretakers, healers, and helpers, not moguls. In another age, we’d have been retained by the king or by wealthy patrons and wouldn’t have needed to charge for our services. But the modern day astrologer has got overhead to meet and no benefactor to write hefty monthly checks for electric bills and for (scarily high, ever more Everest-ian) health insurance premiums.
So, I charge for my astrology services. It took a long time for me to make peace with the business side – the Capricorn side – of my gig as a freelance spiritual caretaker. Wasn’t it somehow immoral to take money from people who were suffering, or in need? Was I cruel and uncaring for demanding payment in advance, or for becoming annoyed when people didn’t pay what they owed me, or when they expected me to answer questions for free?
Paying Homage to Capricorn
When I began practicing astrology professionally, I had no experience being in business for myself. Aside from the occasional paid singing, housecleaning, or typing gig that passed crisp cash across my palm, my working years had been spent in sterile office jobs where my paychecks were deposited directly into my bank account. I went into business with almost no experience negotiating prices, payment schedules, or terms of service.
Between my inexperience with business and my existential guilt about being paid for helping people, my first few years in professional practice were a disaster. I felt like a little girl, playing store; uncomfortable taking people’s money and too insecure to charge enough for my work or to draft reasonable terms.
Eventually, through trial and error, I figured out how to handle the financial side of my work with clear boundaries and expectations. With my heart in my throat each time, I gradually raised my consultation rates until they were in keeping with what my colleagues were charging and my experience merited. The Internet age simplified the process even more; thanks to Pay Pal, I’m even back to receiving payments by discreet automatic deposits directly into my bank account!
Looking back, I see this process as a Capricorn rite of passage. In learning to charge a decent wage for my work, I learned to value my training and efforts. In setting boundaries around payment and scheduling matters, I eliminated those considerations as a potential barrier between my clients and me. Now, I never feel anxious or resentful about payments that haven’t been received, or clients who don’t show up. Having paid homage to the Capricorn side of my business, I’m able to relax and be completely available to my clients on a nurturing, Cancer level.
In a perfect world, money wouldn’t be necessary, and neither would limits or boundaries. The whole village would look after the children, and nannies would be joyfully unnecessary. We’d all be one big, loving Cancerian family. But it ain’t a perfect world. Our doors have locks, our ATMs have secret codes, and parents have to make a living, even if some would be happier at home with the kids. Luckily, Capricorn stands off to one side in dignified pinstripes, poised and at the ready to install locks, reset passwords, and interview nannies to find the most qualified candidate.
Capricorn fences make Cancerian Neighbors
Like neighbors whose picket fence strikes a happy compromise between privacy and sociability, we all feel safer and more relaxed when we know where the boundaries are. Capricorn is a master surveyor, with a keen eye for fairness and a strong back for building a good fence. At this Full Moon in his sign, consider where you might benefit from enlisting his services. Are unchecked emotions and flimsy boundaries interfering with your ability to form good relationships with others? Are you giving too much energy to caretaking, leaving you feeling exhausted and resentful? And remember, good fences benefit both sets of neighbors: Are you disrespecting other people’s boundaries by smothering them with more nurturing than they need or want?
To function as truly caring and nurturing people, we need to respect limits – both our own, and those of the people we hope to care for. So at this Full Moon, hand over the business of setting boundaries and building fences to the Capricorn side of your nature. And within his wise and sturdy limits you’ll find yourself energized, free to devote yourself fully to the Cancer business of taking care.
© 2006, 2013 April Elliott Kent. All rights reserved