Are Astrologers Born Or Made?
Well now that’s a good question! My first instinct was to answer that astrologers are most definitely made rather than born, as astrology is a skill which can be learned like any other. But, looking into it further, there are certain planetary aspects and positions which seem to be shared by many astrologers (although by no means all), which would seem to indicate a predisposed ‘affinity’ with the subject.
On the face of it, however, this question is a lot like asking ‘Are Engineers, or Lawyers, or Doctors (or any other profession) born or made?’
As anyone who has ever studied vocational astrology will know, it is notoriously difficult to pinpoint precisely someone’s profession from looking at their natal chart alone. It is relatively simple to narrow it down to an industry – for instance, a Midheaven in Taurus, backed up by other factors, might suggest a career in the building industry – but discovering precisely how that person uses their various skills within that industry is a different matter. It might by physical building work, or architectural design, or manufacture of building materials, or anything else in-between. Often planetary positions will give us clues that can rule out or in something specific such as work with the hands as opposed to mental work – but not always.
Likewise with the ‘caring professions’ which include all forms of counselling. Although it is relatively straightforward to ascertain that someone may be involved in some form of counselling, it is much harder to see whether that might be traditional psycho-analysis, or re-birthing, or astrological counselling, or marriage guidance, or anything else in between.
However, it is possible to judge from a natal chart whether or not someone has a strong interest in or affinity with a particular subject such as astrology – although whether or not they have been able to take that interest further is not always clear, and depends a great deal upon the free will of the person involved. Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at which astrological factors might indicate this strong interest.
Astrology is traditionally thought to be ruled by Uranus. Clearly, then, a strong Uranus in a chart would help to provide an immediate background affinity with this type of subject. Uranus may be strong in a chart that has an Aquarius Ascendant, Sun or Moon, or where Uranus is conjunct the Ascendant. Uranus conjunct the Midheaven (the point that deals with career aspirations, among other things) is a very helpful sign for the budding astrologer – but it might also indicate a career in a highly technical or scientific field, or simply that this person’s career will be rather ‘off-the-wall’ in some way. Aquarius on the cusp of the 10th house is another ‘typical’ place for an interest in astrology that may go far enough to develop into a career. However, so is Uranus or Aquarius in/on the cusp of the 9th house, which would usually indicate a more spiritual interest in the subject.
Apart from Aquarius, I personally feel that Scorpio is also often prominent in the chart of an astrologer. Scorpio likes to dig deep, beyond the superficial, and has a probing interest in the mysteries of life.
I also feel that Libra provides just the right amount of sympathy and empathy whilst retaining an objective, rational outlook on client’s problems.
Quite apart from the initial interest in astrology, however, an astrologer needs various skills in order to take that interest to the stage of practising. S/he needs to be a good communicator both orally and in writing, in order to explain complicated concepts to clients in lay-person’s terms. A strong Mercury, Gemini or Virgo help here. Astrologers often have to deal with distressed clients and listen to upsetting tales, so a good deal of understanding and compassion are also required – a well placed or aspected Moon or Venus are helpful here, and an emphasis on Libra is useful for keeping a balanced, objective view.
Tact and diplomacy are also important, and again, it is to the Moon, Venus and Libra that we look for support in that area. Although one might think that a strong Cancer or Pisces would be helpful for the ‘caring/counselling’ aspect of an astrologer’s work, I personally think that the person with very strong water signs dominating the chart would tend to become too emotionally involved with a client’s problems – not good for either. I think air signs are more important, in order to maintain that little bit of distance and objectivity. However, a good smattering of intuition does help when dealing with a chart that seems to offer too many options – Neptune in a water sign, or in positive aspect to the Sun or Moon provides this intuition without necessarily getting swept away emotionally.
The astrologer also needs to be rather open-minded, and certainly non-judgmental of people and their problems. A well aspected Mercury or Jupiter, again in air signs, is essential for that. They also need a good eye for detail, for which Virgo and Scorpio are best, and, as for any self-employed person, plenty of business sense, for which we usually look towards a strong Leo or Capricorn. Plus, of course, there has to be the intellectual capacity within the chart to study a complicated, wide-ranging subject – but then that is true of very many professions.
So much for the ‘ideal’ astrologer. Not everyone has all of the above, of course – I certainly haven’t, although it is interesting to note that the ‘astrologically-inclined’ type of positions I do have are very strong in my chart compared to other things, and this has also been the case with the birth charts of other astrologers I have been able to study.
To sum up, I feel that the answer to the original question of ‘Are astrologers born or made’ is ‘BOTH!’. The initial interest in astrology, the open-mindedness to study it, and the motives for wanting to get involved with it – these are things that we are born with, that are offered to us by our natal charts, and can relatively easily be pinpointed within the chart.
However, just as any other skill can be taught, so can astrology – with varying degrees of success, as with anything. There has to be an initial spark of fascination in order to make the teaching worthwhile, but anyone who wants to can study astrology and become reasonable adept at the mathematics and technicalities of it.
As one gets more and more used to working with astrology, that is when the intuition you were born with starts to kick in – although astrology is not a ‘psychic’ thing, but a science, I do find that my own intuition often helps me through issues where a particular chart is not clear. Again, that intuition is something that I was born with – other people have the same intuition, but use it in different fields.
In conclusion – it seems to me that an average astrologer can be ‘made’, by the will to study and to work hard. A really good astrologer, however, is ‘born’ in the sense that they will have had a life-long fascination for the subject, and will have felt, much as I did, that it was something they just ‘had to’ get involved in. As with so many other professions, it is the people who’s hearts are in the profession who do best – those who enter it for material or other reasons may well be reasonably successful, but there is that special ‘something’ missing.