Thursday Thirteen Vol. 2

Thirteen Things about Being an Astrologer
1. It’s exhausting. As in any career as a self-employed person, you spend half of your time doing the work and the other half finding the work.2. I’ve developed the most amazing skills in my job as an astrologer. But if I applied for a conventional job, I probably would not list any of my astrology experience on my resume. To some people, “astrologer” is as respectable a job title as “pole dancer in strip club.”3. I don’t always tell the truth when people ask what I do for a living. Just in case burning at the stake comes back into fashion – which actually wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

4. Most of my readings are done by mail, because I’m only human, and some days I just don’t feel like listening to other people’s problems. Especially when I’m having Saturn transits of my own. This way, I can do my work when I have the emotional fortitude – which seems the nicer way to do things.

5. Especially since I always attract clients whose situation in some way mirrors my own. Twice the Saturn in one room is not twice the fun!

6. It’s really, really challenging for most people to make a living in astrology. My own weird little career has been heavily subsidized by an indulgent husband and by sideline gigs as a website designer and freelance writer.

7. I don’t read that many astrology books anymore. I started to compile a list of my essential 13 astrology books for today (maybe I’ll use that for a future Thursday Thirteen), and I realized that list hadn’t changed in about five years.

It’s not all bad, though….

8. It’s exhilarating to feel you’ve helped someone understand something about his or her life. Gratifying, and humbling.

9. It’s fun to write down my occupation on my IRS forms.

10. I enjoy about 90% of the people I’ve met through astrology. That’s a much higher percentage than when I worked at an engineering firm, for instance.

11. I love the eloquence of astrology as a language. I’d rather write about astrology than anything else. And astrology has made me a better writer than anything else!

12. I once asked my teacher why she became an astrologer, and she said it was because she found people endlessly fascinating. I know exactly what she meant!

13. But basically, I do it because I can’t NOT do it. Astrology sank its claws into me at an early age and it will not let me go.

 

5 comments to " Thursday Thirteen Vol. 2 "

  • Alexander

    Hey April. Thats a cool blog entry. I like hearing about your profession. I’ve still got a long way to go until Im an astrologer… I’ve only been at it for a year.

    I was curious (Im a Gemini… Collect those bits of info!) to know why you woul’dnt be surprised if people started to burn astrologers at the stake. Thats a scary thought. Could you imbellish a little?

    Alexander

  • April

    Hi Alexander. As a Gemini yourself, you are no doubt familiar with the concept of glibbness – of which I am guilty here, to some extent. 🙂

    No, I don’t think astrologers will literally burn at the stake. That vivid metaphor was just my way of referencing the troubling. increasingly authoritarian and restrictive atmosphere in the U.S. (perhaps worldwide) toward anything that isn’t in line with the bottom line, the scientific method, or, in particular, religious zealotry.

    I am not an alarmist. But the truth is, the U.S. (and the rest of the world, of course) has an ignoble history of rounding up people who are perceived as a threat or a nuisance and treating them unfairly and even inhumanely. The treatment of Native Americans, the Salem witch trials, African-American slavery, internment of Japanese and Italian Americans during WWII, and McCarthyism are examples that spring to mind. None of those extreme measures are necessary to make life difficult for practitioners of belief systems that are out of the mainstream; usually peer pressure and public opinion formed by ignorance are sufficient to keep people who are different in line. Look at the difficulties faced by Muslim Americans post-9/11.

    My own example of not always telling the truth about being an astrologer is a case in point; I have had too many ugly run-ins with scientists and religious zealots about my profession not to be a little wary in certain situations. I am a pretty confident person, but no one has had to lock me up or threaten to burn me in order to influence me to censor myself. (Although I suppose my blog and website, published under my own name, have pretty much let the cat out of the bag!)

    So don’t let the scary old astrology give you nightmares about pursuing your profession. 🙂 Chances are you won’t face anything more than the usual derision for your interest in astrology; but I do think that the current climate makes some people feel a lot more entitled to openly berate people who don’t think as they do. Many thanks for your comment!

  • Happy belated birthday, dear April!

    Like you, I’ve been burned out on astrology books for a long time, but I did find a new one I really like: Carol Rushman’s “The Art of Predictive Astrology.” Try to check it out, I think you’ll like it.

  • Thanks April,

    That makes sense what you say about America keeping people in line even though its not through direct action. Whenever I talk about astrology o people I know, most of the time the most I get is a little curiousity, but almost noone takes it seriously. That doesn’t bother me too much, but I would like to have some local folks to talk with. My brother asks me questions about it, which helps my enthusiasm, but not many people know how powerful astrology can be. Im still learning of course, and enjoying myself alot. So, thank you for your response. I dont know if its realistic to say that maybe one day people will open up to astrology, and it will be taught in schools, known by the general public, etc; but I do enjoy it and believe I can help myself and others with it. Cheers!

    Alexander

  • April

    Hey, Susie! Thanks for your well-wishes, darlin’. Will definitely check out the Carol Rushman book, since it’s pretty hard for me to find anything about prediction that I’m really keen to read. Bernadette Brady’s “The Eagle and the Lark” is a great one too, if you haven’t run across it before now.

    Alexander: I hope you can find some kindred spirits in your community to share your enthusiasm for astrology. I envy you, just starting out – it’s a great place to be; everything is brand new and sort of intoxicating. I hate to plug MySpace too much, since I actually think it’s a horrible interface, too many connection problems, etc. – but they do have a few very lively and interesting astrology discussion groups over there, like the Horoscopic Astrology group and some others. Maybe a community like that would help tide you over until you connect with some astro-minded people in your area? All the best to you!