I hope my students don't mind my sharing a few insights, chosen at random, from several of the Lessons in my Master's Degree Course (see Menu):
When a horoscope has no opposition and perhaps only one square; i.e., if the aspect action is not immediately revealing (dynamic), seek out a lesser aspect, e.g., the semisquare and/or aspects to Angles. Or seek out the closest aspect in the horoscope and build from there; if that aspect is a trine, treat it as a square! [Manifestations of the trine, the ease or routined, usually come from tensions that have been resolved or well exploited. Revive them. -Think about that!
The word-concept of "problem" carries with it a higher degree of insolubility than does the word-concept of "concern". -"We have a concern here …" is actually a refreshing, new-start orientation in comparison with "we have a problem here …", which may have been repeated over and over again for years.
A male client has had a difficult childhood; he felt/feels dramatically unloved. He has lived in many out-of-country, out-of-the-way places, changed religions, constantly seeking home/emotional security. "Bob, you look at all of this as lifelong rejection; but what if we looked at it now, especially with your adult perspective, understanding it as we have discussed it today, as strategic escape, escape to a safe new, knowing start?"
A client has a long history of being angry and expressing it disruptively. He knows it. Marriages were ended because of it. Jobs had been lost. -In our conversation, he kept saying over and over again, "I'm just terrible; I know." Or "Nobody wants me around any more."
It was clear he had identified his behavior as his Self. -I said, "From my point of view, it is not YOU who terrible; it is not YOU no one wants around … it's your behavior that is terrible, and you can change THAT." And we just stared at each other; what a deep self-recognition recovery … after so many years of self-deprecating habit. So simple. So powerful. What an opening for progressive discussion.
Clients are hypersensitive in the astrologer's presence and they can read the astrologer's inner thoughts. If the astrologer is bored with the client's talk or dislikes something about the client, it shows, it can be felt in an instant. This is equated with insincerity and even judgement, with which the client may be all too familiar, wary of, lost within.
Astrologers must listen earnestly, sincerely to what the client says and to what they the astrologers say as well. Why is the client saying what he or she is saying? --If the client begins to ramble, there may be an important avoidance mechanism at work; perhaps the client is gathering courage to say what's really important or is waiting to feel trust in the astrologer. The astrologer can say, "I'm trying to follow your thoughts, but please help me: where is this leading us?"
Perhaps the acceptance and understanding the client feels in the astrologer's presence is being felt for the first time!!! This is the way the client can begin to acknowledge their real self, who they really are, what they need, what strengths they have to get back on the track.
Notice that people with strong self-worth anxiety often ignore compliments; they mistrust them. This is because positive feedback from others creates a conflict between the clients' self-worth profile, his/her low self-regard. -Therefore these people can't give a compliment easily (since they would be diminishing themselves even further), and, as a result, relationships with others can't get started supportively.
The client whose life is totally absorbed by others, is given away to others, leaves his or her own identity behind. Perhaps this has been behavior learned upon demand by the mother (Uranus quindecile Node maybe) who usurped the child's identity by making the child do the maternal bidding. This can become a habit, a way of gaining approval(!). "Others" then substitute for mother [Western or Southern Hemisphere orientation.]
It is dramatic and helpful to begin a discussion, a line of inquiry, "I appreciate what you've been through, this pattern of doing so much for so many others. So, it's a fair question for us to ask, Where are YOU? Where are you NOW? What is needed to find you again? What needs to be got out of the way? There's quite a lot that can develop shortly." --Just watch your client shift position; open up; begin fresh channels of thought!
It is strongly suggested never to say to a client, "I understand how you feel." -This 'understanding' is an impossibility without an extraordinary amount of information and investigation time. What is reasonable is, "I appreciate how you feel."
It is strongly suggested never to say to a client, "If I were you, I would…" This is presumptively intrusive upon the client. There's a better way to begin the sharing of a new thought about an old theme or a difficult situation. For example, "There are alternatives, and we should talk about them. The horoscope can help us with the discussion."
It is strongly suggested to try never to ask a client a question answerable by "Yes" or "No." Such a question can bring the discussion to a sudden stop. The objective is to stimulate discussion, disclosure from the client. Sentences beginning with "How, What about, What if" are very helpful; so are questions in the form of gentle commands, like "Tell me, please, about…" or "Please discuss this from the point of view of your feelings, the difficult interaction with your sister when you were 10, how you may have brought those feelings forward to now …" [Please see pages 75-87 in "The Creative Astrologer."]
Next Update: July 30