The Astrology Center of America, 207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

ASTROLOGY, A LANGUAGE OF LIFE vol. 3: A Handbook for the Self-Employed Astrologer
by Robert Blaschke

Synopsis: Did you ever want to be a professional astrologer, read charts for a living? This book will tell you everything you need to know - and then some!

Earthwalk School of Astrology, 166 pages. Continued below.

Price: $21.95
Acknowledgements, Forward by Steven Forrest, Introduction.

1. Making the transition from Student to Professional. 2. Establishing Your Professional Practice. 3. Handling Income, Expenses & Taxes. 4. Marketing & Advertising. 5. Navigating the Client Relationship. 6. Teaching Astrology & Public Speaking. 7. Writing, Publishing & Lecture Travel. 8. Participating in the Astrological Community. 9. Overcoming Occupational Hazards. 10. Fostering Personal & Spiritual Growth.

11. Notes for Astrologers in the UK & Australia. 12. Epilogue.

Appendix 1: Contact Information for Local Astrology Groups. Appendix 2: Audio tapes for sale by the author. Appendix 4: Astrology software offered for sale by the author. Appendix 4: The author's chart calculation services. Appendix 5: Contacting the author. Bibliography.

Comment: This is an excellent nuts & bolts guide to how to be a counseling astrologer. (The author sent us a review copy, he wants something he can quote for the next edition.) In many places, the book reads like a memoir: Thirteen years of toil in the gardens of astrology. In this book, Blaschke will tell you how to secure a lease for commercial office space, what furniture you should put in it, how much you should charge, where to get the exact equipment to tape-record telephone readings (Radio Shack), how much to spend for yellow page advertising, the precise fields you should have on your computerized database & much more. Far more than you may imagine.

Blaschke prints his chart on page v of this book. (He printed it in his other two books, but this is the first of his books to be about Blaschke himself.) He has Virgo rising, the ruler, Mercury, in Scorpio in the third house. This is the signature of someone who appears (ascendant) to have an intense (Scorpio), detailed (Virgo) attitude towards the everyday (3rd house) world. It's all over this book. The detail is useful, his experiences similar to that of many small businessmen. (As I know only too well.) Perhaps influenced by Jeff Green, Blaschke uses Porphry houses, which is unusual but fine. In the whole sign house method of chart reading, the cusp becomes, not the entry to the house, but its most powerful degree. The entire sign is the house. In this light, Libra is Blaschke's second house, Scorpio his third. I am immediately struck by the mutual reception between his 3rd house Venus & his second house Mars, which are the final dispositors in the chart. They bind these two houses together, their final dispositorship makes them (the 2nd & 3rd houses) the focal point of Blaschke's existence. So we may say that Blaschke makes money (2nd house) by being intensely (Scorpio) busy (3rd house) with the mundane (3rd house again) details (Virgo ascendant/ruler in 3rd) of life. (Emphasis for the sake of clarity.)

As a memoir, what has been Blaschke's life as a professional astrologer, you may ask? It's not been easy, nor has it been a path to riches (he states his income for 1994 & 1999: it's better than the average pro, but still sobering). Blaschke gives one of the great secrets of the trade: Unless you're lucky, no astrologer can make a living from natal readings alone. So the seriously committed self-employed astrologer invariably turns to selling software, peddling computerized astrological reports, writing articles & books, teaching (either at home, at the local community college, or both) and, if possible, joins the national astrological lecture circuit (eg, speaks at annual astro conventions). Blaschke has done all this & more. This requires both constant work & a fair degree of raw talent, which not all would-be professional astrologers have. But, regardless of work or talent, the result is often another (sadder) secret of the trade: Burnout is high, and often rapid. In reality, most would-be professional astrologers turn tail after a year or two & get a real job, even if often unpleasant & lowly paid. This isn't in Blaschke's book, by the way. It's my own observation. The road to riches in astrology - if there is such a road - is via horary astrology, not natal chart reading. But horary astrology, like writing & teaching & a stomach that can stand 2 weeks on a lecture tour, require talents that are not given to everyone.

Blaschke's various astrological burnouts eventually propelled him into authorship. Publishing & selling his own books gave him enough income to drop computerized interps. Selling interps by mail had got him a slim income, but around 45% of it went for advertising. The more he spent for advertising, the more he made, but the percentage of gross revenues to advertising expenses remained about the same, year after year, while the overall workload became staggering. So now it's books. This book is the third in a series of seven.

Another of the secrets of the trade that Blaschke reveals: Page 9: "I would hate to think that any potential consultant astrologer would delay the start of their professional practice because they felt that they were lacking in [astrological] technique. My experience is that your command of a variety of techniques arises out of the laws of client supply & demand." Contrast to page 11, on psychic fairs, where he writes, "I have dozens of hilarious stories I could tell you about palmists or card readers who sat next to me for ten hours on a Saturday, saying the exact same thing to every $15 client who sat down for a reading." It would appear that it's okay for a hack astrologer to practice on the unwitting as those clients are his due, but that psychics are to be condemned for doing the same thing (maybe psychics have more deserving clients?). So here it is: You don't need to know anything about astrology to be a professional astrologer. I've been criticized lately (rightly, I confess) for being too negative in my remarks, but this needs to be said about Blaschke's book. I regret to confirm these astrological "secrets" (no training, no income, quick burnout) are all too true. Astrology is not the profession of choice for those that have a choice.

From time to time in the book, Blaschke gives us the astrological factors he believes are necessary for success as a professional astrologer (pgs. 76 & 127 among them). For the most part, these seem to be taken from his own chart. According to Blaschke, you need a chart like Blaschke's to be a successful self-employed astrologer - like Blaschke. Fortunately, this is not true.

But you don't buy this book for Blaschke's astrological asides. You buy it to get Blaschke's first hand, hard-won experiences as a self-employed professional astrologer, his gold-mind of very specific tips & techniques. And for that, his book is first-rate.

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The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272