The Marriage of Intuition & Astrology - Part I
(the following articles were published by OPA (Organization for Professional Astrology) in May & June 2008)
For some, the word “psychic” still evokes images of fortune tellers and gypsy frauds, even though in the midst of our Neptune/Aquarius mutual reception there is in fact a radical awakening of consciousness and a growing interest in psychic phenomena.
A psychic or intuitive capacity is available to all of us; we are all using these capabilities whether we know it and understand it or not, much as the cycles of planetary transits can be seen clearly in the lives of people who don’t believe in astrology. For some people it is natural to use and trust their intuitive insights while for intellectually centered and naturally skeptical people it can be challenging to trust subtle impressions and precognitions that have no basis in hard, observable facts. How do our natural intuitive gifts impact astrological counseling? If we deepen and refine our abilities can we develop a clearer and more accurate consultation and greater empathic resonance with our clients? Or will we possibly taint the reading with our own biased feelings and thoughts that we imagine to be helpful? Or worse, will we be lumped in with psychic charlatans and lose whatever hard won credibility astrology has been gaining in recent years?
I believe there are three important aspects to a good astrological consultation: the accuracy of the data, the skill of the interpretation, and the connection between the astrologer and the client. This connection, which could also be called chemistry, is often a natural component between astrologers and particular clients. When the chemistry does not so easily exist, it can be created through an empathic link--a well developed intuition on the part of the astrologer that will allow him to “see” and “feel” the client more accurately in a multi-faceted, intuitive way. When a client feels seen at a deep level, she may open her heart to the experience and thus experience a deeper awakening and healing than from a simple recital of dates and facts, however accurate these may be. This is the type of intuition I feel is most easily cultivated and applied to astrological counseling.
We can compare this need for intuitive chemistry to the need for more human skill than is available in a computer generated reading. Most of us will agree that although computer horoscope reports are fundamentally accurate, the computer cannot possibly synthesize the information with the precision and holistic viewpoint of a gifted astrologer. However, even the gifted astrologer might be missing the full viewpoint if not connected intuitively with the person. The intuition of the astrologer allows him to know where to begin the session, to use words skillfully in difficult territory, to perceive accurately the emotional reaction to the information purveyed, to know which questions to ask, and perhaps to know when to change course from the planned structure of the session and go into another area that holds more energy for the client. Moreover, intuition allows us to perceive the consciousness of the client, which will help us understand how this particular being is operating through the chart and thus know more easily how to focus our interpretations of some chart features that hold a wide range of possibilities.
To do an astrological reading while staying clear and open intuitively can be challenging initially because we must be open in the right and left brain simultaneously. Most of us tend to naturally favor one side or the other. It takes some practice to remain open intuitively and also stay clear mentally with the details of an astrological analysis. It is worthwhile though to expand this capacity, which will allows us to function more effectively in our own lives as well. We might receive intuitive guidance and process a course of action simultaneously, or channel creative ideas and write them succinctly at the same time.
When we do astrological counseling we use wisdom passed through the ages that we have studied. We are backed by the authority of the chart, where there at least some agreed upon qualities: “the chart indicates you are likely to feel good about yourself when you have opportunities to be solid and dependable” (Sun in Taurus). However, when we have an intuitive feel or psychic “hit” about something we need to be extra cautious that we offer the information openly and without rigid rightness. (I would propose this is a good idea for astrological insight as well!). To be heard without resistance, and offering respect to the inner truth of each client, we might say: I’m wondering if….” Or “the word “X” comes to mind. What does that evoke for you, if anything”. Client centered, open communication is always more healing than edicts and pronouncements, but it is particularly important when we are in the intuitive flow and there could be a chance we are biased in some way--or the client simply isn’t ready to hear what we are getting. If we are integrating definite intuitive insights with astrological counseling it is also ethically important that we let the client know how we are coming to our conclusions.
We clarify our intuitive capacity and develop trust in our sixth sense in a number of ways I will discuss more thoroughly in Part II of this article. We begin by developing and trusting our own personal intuition through meditation, emotional clearing, practice and other levels of purification and healing. With time it becomes easier to connect intuitively with charts and with clients in a way that is grounded and clear, adding a new and rewarding dimension to the astrological consulting practice.
The Marriage of Intuition and Astrology
- Part II
Part I of this article discussed some of the ways in which grounded intuition benefits astrological counseling, as well as some of the cautions designed to keep the consultation clear and ethical.
The philosophies and techniques discussed below for developing intuition are also tools for cultivating a clear vibration. A clear, grounded and open sense of self serves any occupation, but especially a healing, serving profession. Intuitive awareness is a fundamental human trait that is developed and clarified through meditation, personal healing and practice. It is not necessarily a substitute for a spiritual path, and yet some of the techniques for clarifying one’s vibration are spiritual in nature. And, a desire for a spiritual path perhaps might flow from that inner healing.
If you would like to develop your intuitive abilities to integrate this skill into your consultations, consider my five cornerstones for psychic development and clarity:
- Spiritual Clarity. Most would agree that meditation is essential to clear the mind of chatter and this is probably the most important step in attaining clarity. Our ego driven thoughts and fears can create a mental clutter that confuses us. We are unable to hear our inner voices or trust our insights. Meditation can be traditional spiritual styles designed to create a clear mind and nonattachment, including physical styles such as Tai Chi, yoga or even meditative walking. Guided visualization to visually clear our personal energy field, described traditionally as the aura and chakras, is also beneficial. It is helpful to meditate before the first client of the day as well as in between sessions, even if just for a few minutes. The simple act of a few conscious breaths to be grounded and centered allows us to approach the chart with a fresh perspective.
- Emotional Clarity. In order to be intuitively clear, it is helpful to observe, understand and maintain the cleanest emotional state possible. It is challenging to receive clear information when we are stressed, angry or filled with any strong emotion such as grief. Our empathic receptors might be clogged with our own feelings or the feelings of others, including the previous client. Regular inner examination and emotional processing either alone or with a therapist, healer or support group is recommended so that we are not filled with unexpressed emotion that will bias our intuitive, receptive sense of the client.
- Physical Clarity. We will be clearer when our bodies are strong and healthy. Poor health creates a fogginess that spreads into our personal psychic realm. Each person has a unique constitution so there is no one recipe for health. It is beneficial to observe and modify our personal physical needs: diet, exercise regime, supplements, alcohol and other substances (including sugar and caffeine), as well as sleep. We know these factors affect our health and they also affect our ability to be a clear channel for information and healing energies.
- Spirit Connection. I believe we all have spirit guides--usually at least three or more. They give us information that we sometimes perceive as our own thoughts. With meditation and practice, a more specific connection with spirit guides or one’s Higher Self can be developed to receive accurate and clear information. It may be helpful to have guidance and support from a spiritual teacher or training to learn to connect with high level spirits safely and clearly.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. We can use opportunities in our daily lives to ask questions of our spirit guides. We can also make a habit of checking in with our kinesthetic intuition or “gut feel” as often as we can. “How do I really feel emotionally now?” “How is my body feeling now?” “What do I most truly need right now?” We can also ask simple, mundane questions of our guides for practice. Our spirit guides are much like loving friends and are willing to help with simple issues so we can ultimately focus on deeper and more complex choices. It is easier to receive and learn to trust the answers to these simple daily questions so that when we have a real crisis or emergency for which trusted guidance is essential, we will have a sense of what an accurate answer feels like and be able to trust the insight. A practice example question might be “Will my friend actually follow through on lunch plans this week?” Keeping a journal of questions and answers, noting the sense of connection or clarity and getting to know the difference between when we are accurate and clear and when our thoughts and emotions affect accuracy will refine our skill.
By developing and trusting our personal intuition over time, we purify ourselves and embody a greater sense of clarity, peace and inner harmony. We become responsible and professional guides in our clients’ journey. And we will find it easier to connect intuitively with charts, to hold an empathic connection with our clients, thus refining and deepening our consultation skills.