5 Warning Signs of Bad Astrology Reading
Going to an astrologer should be an experience that makes you feel understood. Whether or not an astrologer is right for you is such a personal decision, akin to finding a therapist – or even a hairdresser – that you trust. Bottom line, you want to feel seen.
As astrology has become more and more popular in recent years, those who are relatively new to the practice have begun to give readings to their friends… and maybe even strangers. While the fact that more and more people are turning to astrology as a practice is a really good thing, we all need to make sure that we are getting good information from reliable sources.
Sometimes, the assumptions we have about astrology, even as astrologers, can come between a good client-astrologer relationship. So, with that in mind, this article has been written for anyone who is thinking of getting their chart read as well as for those who are beginning to set up shop as astrologers
5 Warning Signs of a Bad Astrology Reading
1. They use ready-made formulas or buzzwords for aspects or signs.
We’ve all heard these ones before: Saturn = limitation, Jupiter = expansion, Pluto = transformation, etc.
It’s astrology, mad libs style! This is a sorry way to get a reading – especially if your astrologer packs these terms in without unpacking their meanings.
Transformation, for example, might mean gender transitioning for one person, but moving to a different city for another. Sure, Jupiter is about abundance but abundance as an abstract idea feels vastly different given perspectives from varying income brackets. Make sure your astrologer takes the time to understand where you are coming from.
Astrologers: A good way to avoid this problem is the avoid the terms that feel easiest to connect to each sign. This is tricky because those terms have so much to do with how we learn astrology – don’t worry if you do end up throwing an overused word like “power” or “accountability” in there, but expect that you should be asking yourself to define it in a way that makes sense to the client when you do.
2. They tell you what’s going to happen to you.
If you’re getting a reading, watch out if your astrologer acts like they know more about your life and you do. When it comes to your life, you are the expert, here – even when you’re looking for guidance. Anyone who doesn’t respect your ability to make decisions doesn’t deserve to be listened to.
A good astrologer will tell you when they lack the life experience to deal with what you’re going through. If an astrologer is not a medical doctor, for example, they shouldn’t be giving you medical advice. Same with real estate, financial advising, and some types of trauma. There are also different types of astrologers with different areas of expertise. If you are looking for financial guidance, for example, make sure you find someone with a background in finance.
Astrologers: An easy way to avoid this pitfall? Don’t make predictions or talk about what you don’t know about. When a client asks you to predict something, use that moment as an opportunity to reassure them of their power to make their own decisions.
3. They have no friends in their field.
This is actually a pretty big red flag. An astrologer who doesn’t have relationships with other astrologers is not getting peer-reviewed. And neither do they have the chance to support other people in their practice.
Astrologers: Find your peers! Doing so will always make your own practice better and more successful.
4. They don’t try to figure out why you came to them.
I used to worry that my readings were biased. For a few months, I tried to reach a more objective framework. Then, life sent me an entire month of clients all with some planet, point, or progression at three degrees Aries, exactly conjunct my natal Venus.
It was a wake-up call. Our clients are not just a random population sample. They choose to come to us specifically. This means that we all have biases and are only able to help people the way we can help them. This also means that we should embrace our biases but be upfront about our limitations and specificity. Astrologers can’t give objective feedback because we’re not objective people.
Astrologers: When you investigate the natal chart, make sure you try to see why the client came to you specifically out of all the other readers out there. It’s likely that there’s something you can give them and they can give you. However, you have to fess up on what you’re specifically good at to keep being good at that thing.
5. They don’t set good boundaries.
An astrologer-client relationship is pretty emotional. A lot of the stuff that gets processed through the readings are pretty emotional. This is why healthy boundaries always make the relationship grow.
A not-so-great astrologer can be a great friend, sibling, or confidant. However, not setting boundaries around the reading diminishes the hard emotional labor that reading is. An astrologer shouldn’t be killing themselves trying to do that kind of labor on an everyday scale. The labor involved should be an active and consensual choice.
Astrologers: Know when you’re emotionally tapped-out. Know your limits and take care of yourself first. Feel free to turn the phone off at a certain hour and ask anyone who DMs you at midnight for a reading right that second to schedule in advance. This will make your reading better quality wise and your life easier to manage.