Astrology Questions: Ask the Astrologer Seven

Astrology Questions: Ask the Astrologer Seven

Letters to a young astrologer

Letters to a young astrologer? Not original, not at all, but valid questions and points, now.

What was immensely gratifying for me, chatting with you once, was to hear that I was so much better than a “big name astrologer” who charges a ton of money and only seems to recite what’s the rote material. Not the first time I’ve heard this kind of message.

With me, in person, there’s a joy and exuberance that — apparently — I portray. Yes, well, I do enjoy my day job, such as it is. However, in the astrological analysis of the problem I think what’s missing is a bigger picture view.

You met me at the rock shop in Austin, where I’ve been in an occasional but steady performer for several years.

Amusing to me, the number of “professional psychics” who rely upon astrology to help foretell the future.

I joke about this, as I call places like the rock shop and various other new age, metaphysical outlets “head shops,” as they all seem to carry the same vibe, sort of incense, some crystals, a wind chime, perhaps Tibetan bells and bowls, maybe statue of Buddha and some mediation CDs.

At one point, I would suggest something about rolling papers, and I used to get ceremonial tobacco with rolling papers at one place. Different story. But it sets a tone. “Head shops,” either based in historical perspective or more current standards, the idea is the same. Most commonly, these establishments are labors of love, rather than financial successes — nature of the business.

Astrology Questions: Ask the Astrologer Seven

At the bottom of this page, at the top of the site, in various other locations, I tend to push my books. The texts themselves are lightweight, easily digestible and brought in tens of dollars in sales. Not hundreds, no, not a big ticket item at all, but I let the material loose up on the world, and it’s referral point. That’s part of what I do.

The website itself — currently — is based upon a paid-subscription format, or, as I like to think of it, “Pay per view.” That, basically, just barely covers the cost of hosting, but that’s start. It also puts value upon what I do.

It’s a golden age for astrology with calculations and observations readily available at our fingertips. What takes me two hours and a couple of books to do, a chart by hand, I can accomplish on my phone in the same amount time it takes to ask the questions — but that’s just the technical stuff, what it means?

Years of observation and time spent interacting with people. Where? For starters, at head shops. The old “New Age Books” that was located on South Lamar, in old South Austin, back in the day.

Last time I stumbled through Austin’s flagship bookstore, Book People, they had an impromptu reader there, as well. Considering the abysmal treatment of local authors, one has to wonder about the flagship store’s claim to be the largest independent bookstore in Texas.

Just a little tilt at a windmill, there.

The store keepers at “New Age Books” used to provide valuable research and reference for Book People. Weird how that worked. Much of these observations are mired in old Austin history.

Writing books, in and of itself, doesn’t pay much, but it’s a part of the puzzle. Writing a column, in and of itself, doesn’t pay much, but it’s part of the puzzle.

My original editor had a long conversation with Rob Brezsny, some decades passed, and the story I heard, the column itself was free, but the weekly audio horoscopes were a gold mine.

So that’s where I started, the idea was to do horoscopes on the new medium called the “World Wide Web,” and the horoscopes were going to sell astrology chart reports. Briefly, Jupiter influence of note, that did work, albeit later and less reliable than was originally projected.

I do toy with the chart report sales, but anymore, it’s less of a serious business, although, I’m sure, it could be worked out. I did pioneer the original “e-mail delivery,” but that’s old news, now.

However, the reports — like books — does add to the bottom line. So I covered books, written column, podcast, and chart reports for sale, online.

Astrology Questions: Ask the Astrologer Seven

However, as a letter to young astrologer, what I’ve seen, people come and go, trying to make a living at this without the full understanding that it takes more than one tool. In helping put together a package for psychic coaching success, or something like that, pulling the materials together, I realized that many of the events that I work at, while I was lead to believe that this is how I would land long-term clients with deep pockets, what has happened, instead is that the events, the various new age, metaphysical wholistic events I work at, those are destination events.

One buddy, she was $35 at the psychic fair, for about ten or fifteen minutes, or $40 for an hour at her home office. For an extra $5, client could get 45 minutes more. What I noticed, though, most of her work? Folks wanted to see her in a destination setting, at an event.

Apparently, with my gregarious outward attitude, I can have carny, huckster appeal. I have to watch that, but if my nature does offend, then, what I’ve learned, perhaps I am not the correct reader for a particular person.

If they don’t get it, then they don’t get it.

As a letter to a young astrologer though, what I was reminded of, when I set out on this adventure, I was a just starting to get stabilized with my life, and I wanted something that mattered, and I wanted more value in my own life.

There are no quick fixes and there are no shortcuts to success.

Find a store front, a new age “head shop,” that offers a space for readers. Over the years, the fair split is 50/50, with half of whatever is made going to the promoter, and means we, as readers only see half. The places that do this for much less? Most of them are no longer in business.

There are numerous psychic fairs and metaphysical expos. Look around at one, then figure out your own angle. I started with tarot cards because I didn’t want to lug a desktop computer around with me — I started before laptops were ubiquitous.

Offer a recording of the reading — preferably at no extra charge. One of my buddies does not offer this, and keeps them coming back, every three months, since the human memory is such an impermanent device.

Operate with integrity, a personal code that understands right and wrong, or higher moral imperatives, or something.

Keep in mind, thought, this is just one area.

Private readings are good, but it can take several years to build up a clientele, and even then there are those who never return.

Think it’s still a signature line on one of my older machines, but the line reads, “A lot of work goes into making this look easy…”

It’s true. There are a lot of moving parts. I spent years honing and working my systems so that they work for me.

One of the greatest joys I have is sitting down, or standing, as I tend to work at a standing desk, but getting saddled up to write my horoscopes. I dearly love that part of the job. It’s part technical, as I have to have a hand in web-works, it’s part pure science, the placement of the planets, and part art form, the interpretation and meaning of those planets. Grabbing the meaning each week and trying to make sense of it all? That’s the starting point. Everything else is side hustle.

There also has to be a single, distinguishing characteristic for your work. In the loud web, what’s going to make your work stand out? I know there are not too many fishing, redneck, Shakespeare quoting, Wagner-opera, techno/conjunto people — kind of sets me apart. Texan, too, unabashedly Texan, mostly old Austin, now San Antonio. Remember the Alamo?

Writing as Fishing Guide to the Stars, over the years, I found a niche that I was supremely comfortable with, and that’s the big clue.

In separate material, I’ve noted that I want my work to be “sustainable” and not in the earth-friendly way, but in a way I am comfortable with the work, it amuses me, and it is goal I can reach — each week — without fail — simply put.

Astrology Questions: Ask the Astrologer Seven

I tend to write a blog post every day. Have been doing this for years, in one form or another, since November 1998 — that’s the first inception of, in its variegated forms. However, I am under no legal or moral obligation to write something coherent, every day in my blog. I just do it as exercise, and it tends to gather some attention.

Then, too, I found that there was some astrological material that deserved longer form coverage, and I’ve been able to drop that in the blog.

As you know with a certain Scorpio influence, the internal moral imperative wins out, but that’s what makes this good, for me, I can do as much, or as little as I want. What I feel like is a moral contract between me and the rest of the work? I have to write a weekly horoscope. That much is required; the rest is for fun.

Some years back I was asked if I would consider writing a daily horoscope. I could do it, but the output required was too much.

Have to keep it all sustainable — has to be amusing for me — otherwise?

Why bother?

Astrology Questions: Ask the Astrologer Seven

Portable Mercury Retrograde

Portable Mercury Retrograde

Books are available at Nature’s Treasures in Austin, use the code phrase: Sparkle Faerie at check out for applicable discounts.

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