7 Reasons to Book a Birth Chart Reading

I always ask new clients to book The Story of You, my 75-minute natal chart consultation. Why?

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This post is part of a series on astrology readings - different types of readings, who they’re for, and how they help you. Do you have a general question about my consultations (not about your individual chart)? Go ahead and ask! I might answer it in a future post.

  1. If you’ve never had an astrology reading, the birth chart (a.k.a. natal chart) is the best place to start.

    If you’re new to astrology, then you’ll definitely want to start with a natal chart consultation, because you’ll see how you have your own unique chart that tells a story about your personality, interests, gifts, challenges, and possibilities. If you’re already deep into astrology, you might have read descriptions of your placements online and interpreted your own chart with the help of some good books. However, even if you have intermediate to advanced knowledge, a comprehensive natal chart reading from an experienced astrologer will give you a more nuanced portrait than any set of cookbook interpretations. While reading for yourself can help you practice chart reading skills and generate powerful self-reflections, we all have blind spots. The insights from a consultation can surprise you, even when you know your chart well. That’s why astrologers get readings from other astrologers.

    For more on this, see my posts on what a consultation can tell you that your horoscope can’t, and what to expect from an astrology reading.

  2. Even if you have had a natal chart reading in the past, you can learn from another astrologer’s interpretation.

    Books come out in different translations from various translators, and people tend to have favorite translations, because every translator gives the same book a different flavor. It’s the same story, but the way it’s told changes. In the same way, every astrologer has their own voice when interpreting charts. The astrological symbols have basically the same meanings, but there are so many different ways to translate them into language and metaphor for you. In fact, you could go even deeper and get readings from astrologers of different astrological schools. I’m an Evolutionary astrologer. My chart reading philosophy and technique is different from that of a traditional Hellenistic astrologer, a Medieval astrologer, a Vedic astrologer, or a psychological astrologer. Getting more than one natal chart reading doesn’t have to mean repeating the same experience—more likely, it will open up some new areas for self-reflection. For those who think they’re too advanced to start with a natal chart reading, consider how going back to the basics can be an enlightening process. I often go back to basics to invigorate a stale practice, whether it’s astrology, meditation, or writing.

  3. A full, comprehensive natal chart reading from an experienced astrologer may offer more insight than previous readings.

    Sometimes new clients come to me having had a natal chart reading before, but it was a long time ago, or it was a 20-minute reading at an event. In the past, I have offered mini-readings for specific transits, like Venus retrograde, and clients who started with those special offers still need to book a Story of You reading to work with me long-term. Why? Because a mini reading barely scratches the surface of what we can discuss in a full consultation. If you have had readings before, The Story of You will refresh your memory, offer some new insights, and expand on previous consultations. Astrology readings are about you and your life, so 20, 30, 60, and even 75 minutes will never be enough to cover everything! There’s always more we can talk about.

  4. A natal chart reading lays the groundwork for a long-term relationship with your astrologer.

    This is the main reason why I ask new clients to start with The Story of You consultation. My practice is built on strong long-term relationships with clients who return for multiple consultations and sometimes for coaching. In order to build these relationships, we start with a foundational chart reading that covers who you are, what’s happened in the past, and some of the recurring patterns in your life. There are distinct advantages to working with an astrologer who gets to know you well over the course of multiple consultations. Over time, clients get comfortable talking about some of the more vulnerable aspects of life in confidential sessions, which opens those conversations up for relevant personal insights. I also get better at making predictions about possibilities in your life when I know you well and understand your patterns. For example, interpretations of the same fifth house transit will differ for one client who does not want children and another client who has three children. A fifth house transit interpretation will be even more on point if I know about a long-term client’s specific struggle with her youngest child. In that case, we can discuss astrology in a way that is most relevant to the client’s life. We might be on our 10th consultation, but it all started with The Story of You, and every reading after that returns to the same natal chart that we discussed in our first session together.

    For more on this, see my post on why you can (and should!) get multiple chart readings.

  5. I adapt my natal chart readings to fit clients’ needs.

    Sometimes people ask me if they can skip the Story of You consultation and go straight to a transit reading because they’ve had readings from other astrologers, or because they already know their natal charts. I think one impulse to “skip the line” comes from the notion that a natal chart reading is for beginners. However, my natal chart reading is not only for beginners. I am happy to adapt it for intermediate and advanced students of astrology. I can adjust the terminology that I use, include additional space objects that you care about, or address a specific question. Just let me know where you are and what you’re looking for, and we’ll go from there.

  6. Knowledge of the future is only as useful as self-knowledge.

    Sometimes people ask me if they can skip the Story of You consultation and go straight to a transit reading because at this moment they’re anxious to get answers to some questions about the future. I get it! All of this inner work that I have committed to on my path can make me feel impatient sometimes, because I just want someone to predict what’s coming. And yet, every major prediction I receive seems to come with a choice I need to make based on my intuitive knowledge of who I am and what I want. Ugh, free will, amiright? I think the impulse to skip the natal chart reading comes partly from the idea that a natal reading only tells clients about their personalities, saying nothing about the future—like there’s a distinct split between who you are and the choices you’ll make, when these things are interrelated. Actually, The Story of You covers past, present, and a little bit of the future. My view on astrology is that it’s about a lot more than your personality (whatever that collection of interests, preferences, and tendencies really is anyway). What the Story of You consultation does is invite some insights about your strengths, challenges, patterns, past experiences, and possibilities. From there, we have a better foundation for the discussion of your current and future choices. Your natal chart is a touchstone for all of these other discussions.

  7. The Story of You consultation includes time to answer some questions about the future.

    100% of the clients who book me for any type of session have questions about the future. The Story of You consultation is 75 minutes long so that we have time to discuss your natal chart and some of the transits that are coming up for you. You don’t have to skip the natal chart reading to get some information about what’s coming! You can have both.

Ready for your birth chart reading?

What a personal consultation can tell you that your horoscope can’t

Horoscope : Slice of Pie :: Personal Consultation : Whole Pie

This is the first post in a series I’ll be doing on my astrology practice and personal consultations. Do you have a general question about those topics (not about your individual chart)? Go ahead and ask! I might answer it in a future post.

You read your horoscope every week. You may even study the horoscopes for both your sun sign and your rising sign. On Sundays, you read last week’s horoscope again and reflect on how closely the themes matched your actual life. Crazy, right?

Astrology is uncanny like that. Every person with Sagittarius rising has an individual personality and life situation, and at the same time every Sagittarius rising is having a kind of “rebirth” moment right now, after some important endings.

Then again, maybe the horoscope you read this week doesn’t resonate with you. Maybe you’re a Sagittarius rising, and your horoscope looks rosy, but you feel like everything is still extremely hard—because what you don’t know is that you have natal Saturn in Capricorn, so you’re doing your Saturn return. Maybe you have the sun in Sagittarius, but Sagittarius horoscopes never seem to fit you—because what you don’t know is that you have Taurus rising and you would be better off reading horoscopes for Taurus.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about all of the other things that make up your personal natal chart. A horoscope only deals with one sign at a time – which means that even if your horoscope feels like it’s spot on, you’re still missing out on the thousands of variables involved in a personal astrological consultation.

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Horoscopes have value. They predict the general astrological weather for the week ahead. They can inspire you, guide you, and give you some insight to focus on throughout the week. But personal consultations have more value than weekly horoscopes. Because a personal consultation is a customized horoscope that is all about you and your specific chart.

Here’s another way to think about it: a horoscope is like a slice of pie. Yummy.

But a personal consultation is a whole pie that you get to take home with you. Yummier.

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So what can a personal consultation tell you that a horoscope can’t?

1. A personal consultation gives you a much more complete, complex portrait of your personality and life.

When I do personal consultations, I am reading your natal chart, based on your date, time, and place of birth.

Here’s what that looks like. Everyone has one of these, including you. Everyone’s chart is different (yes, even twins have slight differences between their charts).

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What is this thing? It’s a map of the sky at the time of actress Jennifer Lawrence’s birth, otherwise known as her natal chart. JLaw was born in August, when the sun was in Leo. But that sun sign is only one sliver of her natal chart’s pie. —————————->

She also has Sagittarius rising (with Black Moon Lilith on the ascendant), Moon in Gemini, and Mercury on the Midheaven, at the very top of her chart. I mean, just look at all the rest of the stuff in her chart up there, aside from the sun. It’s full of stuff and things.

If JLaw came in for a personal consultation, I wouldn’t use too much astrological jargon like “midheaven.” But based on this chart, we would talk about her natural enthusiasm, her role as a feminist and subversive woman, her unquenchable curiosity, the earthiness that keeps her grounded, and her secret, buried mother wound.

That’s just a small sample of what we could talk about based on this chart. You have your own personal, natal chart. Within your personal pie, you have a lifetime of stories about you. Not just stories about what it means that you’re a Leo or a Pisces. Not just cookbook interpretations that you could read online like “Moon square Mercury equals X.” Stories about you, as a whole individual, and the rich, complex flavors of your life.

2. A personal consultation uses astrological techniques to look at your specific history and provide context for both the future and the present.

Before a natal chart consultation with a new client (what I call The Story of You), I use an astrological technique called solar arcs to look at the years that have led that client to my door. Certain time periods stand out, and sometimes those time periods have to do with a cycle that is coming around again.

In preparation for a consultation with one middle-aged client, I noticed that the themes arising for her at the time of the session were similar to patterns that had occurred when she was about sixteen years old. “What’s coming up for you feels a lot like what was happening when you were sixteen,” I told her. She said, “Yes! I feel that. It’s very similar. In fact, this situation at work now makes me feel a lot like I did when I was sixteen and moved to a new country.”

The most significant moments in your life are written in the patterns of the chart.

For example, I can see from JLaw’s solar arcs that starting in 2006, and especially in 2009, when solar arc Pluto met her ascendant, she was undergoing a tremendous transformation that impacted her entire life. Her Wikipedia bio shows that she began acting with a minor role in the TV movie Company Town in 2006, and had quite a few roles before she had her breakthrough with Winter’s Bone, which premiered in January 2010 (meaning she probably filmed it in 2009).

This would be a useful piece of information to reference later when we talk about the upcoming year, in which Jupiter is transiting the same part of her chart. Pluto and Jupiter are two different planets interacting with her chart in different ways and at different times, but in the same place – indicating change, power, possible wealth, and a fair amount of attention for JLaw.

3. A personal consultation uses astrological techniques to identify important themes for your life right now and pinpoint important upcoming dates.

Your personal natal chart isn’t a static portrait of you. You’re always changing, and in a way so is your chart, as the ever-changing sky interacts with important points and planets from the day of your birth.

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When I look at the current transits to JLaw’s chart (above), I see that Jupiter is in her first house, helping her to expand her life, take risks, and remove obstacles. But I can also see that this is not an altogether rosy time for her, because Ruler of the Underworld Pluto is transiting Stern Saturn (retrograde) in her second house, bringing her down to her personal underworld to take a cold, hard look at her feelings of worthiness. She’s also doing her first Saturn Return, which means she’ll be tested for the first time as a true adult. Is she living her truest values? Is she building an inner sense of worthiness, or does she look outside of herself for her feelings of self-worth (to money, body image, or other people’s opinions)? Speaking of money, how is she handling it?

Given those transits, and the 2018 - 2020 Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle that will emphasize these even more, I would talk with this client about values, worth, body image, money stories, and the axis of security and freedom. I would ask her to tell me what comes up for her around these themes, and then we could talk about how it might play out this time. If she wanted me to, I could provide some suggestions for how best to work with this particular Saturn Return. I could also provide her with the specific dates when transiting Saturn will meet her natal Saturn: March 31st and May 29th, 2019. She could mark these dates in a calendar for future reference and pay attention to what happens at those times.

She wouldn’t get any of that just from reading her horoscope. A personal chart consultation includes customized predictions. And her chart shows me a lot more that we could talk about, too, given enough time.

I’ll get into more about each type of consultation in some future posts. For now, that sums up some of the most important things a consultation can do for you that a horoscope can’t.

Let’s recap.

Horoscopes:

  • Based on your sun sign or rising sign only

  • Predict the general astro-weather

  • Inspire and guide you

  • Give you some insight to focus on throughout the week

  • A slice of the pie

Personal Consultations:

  • Customized horoscope based on your full natal chart

  • A more complete, complex portrait of your personality and life

  • Uses astrological techniques to look at your specific history and provide context

  • Identifies important themes in your life right now

  • Pinpoints important upcoming dates for your specific chart

  • The whole pie


So are you ready to go beyond horoscopes and get a consultation based on your whole natal chart? Book a Story of You Reading here!