May 25, 20137 Comments

“Astrology for the astrologically challenged” by Deborah Smith Parker

ABOVE BELOWI tell this tale as a reminder to astrologers everywhere that the practice of our profession can be as much or more a ministry as it is a business.

My story begins thus. . .

One very L-O-N-G day a while ago I was one of two board members of the San Diego Astrological Society staffing our group’s booth at a poorly advertised and sparsely attended new age faire. As we walked through the nearly empty Del Mar Fairgrounds parking lot to the exhibit area we noticed the absence of cars. This was not a good sign.

There were so few in attendance that those who staffed booths at times seemed to outnumber attendees. To make matters worse our booth was stuck at the end of the far aisle next to unlighted empty space. We felt as if we would be sucked into a black hole before the afternoon was over. We decided to make the best of it—what else would an Aries and Sagittarius do?

Not surprisingly we hardly got any of what potential business there was. Those who were paying clients- all two of them – I directed to my booth partner since he was temporarily a tad financially challenged. In addition to my astrological earnings I also had a decent paying day job.

That left me to handle the astrological tire kickers and those with questionable psychological and psychical stability that disproportionately frequent such places, all claiming poverty, of course. But that was OK with me. After many years in 12 step programs I was at home in that environment. These were my people and they provided ample opportunity for the ministry arm of my astrological business.

After long stretches of boredom during which I periodically visited booths staffed by equally bored exhibitors, “my people” started showing up led by a trio of three women college students. They told me they didn’t have any money but were really curious about astrology. I believed them on both counts. The two who did all the talking giggled a lot. We chatted for a few minutes and I told them they were in luck, that I’d do a quick free chart analysis for each of them if they wanted.

I took the gigglers first, giving them quick readings. They were impressed. But my radar was increasingly tuning in on the third girl who stood a little apart, watching intently and saying nothing.

Her energy was Scorpionic, an energy I happen to like and understand. Her two friends kept looking over at her. Finally one of them said to me, “Do her,” at the same time looking hopefully at their silent friend.

I looked at her too, feeling an out-pouring through her eyes of unspoken emotions, also typical of Scorpio. I said, “Why don’t we take a peek? The price is right.”

There was, as they say, a long pregnant pause during which none of the four of us moved or spoke.

She finally nodded and gave me her birth information. I was grateful she had the three magic pieces of astrological data: birth date, time and place.

I saw why her friends were concerned about her as soon as her chart came up on my computer. Among other aspects she had double Pluto-Moon aspects by both transit and progression focused on her eighth house. To astro-muggles that’s the chart environment in which you don’t just change, you are changed, often through deep loss or threat of loss of something dear. (I’m treading softly here) And we all know how much we enjoy that!

To those without knowledge of the temporary influence of  “difficult” astrological transits and progressions it can feel like a descent into a permanently scary state. When the planets involved are Pluto and the Moon, the Moon can pull you backward in time while Pluto simply pulls you under which often results in a theft of feeling any sense of future. Astrology can identify the time these conditions will begin to ease and then pass.

I paused before saying anything, praying for the best way to talk with her. I decided on the direct approach.

I led with, “You’ve been getting increasingly depressed, and this month you moved into feeling hopeless. It won’t last.”

Her eyes widened but she didn’t say anything. I went on. “I can tell you when it started,” and I named that time which she confirmed. Now she looked interested.

“It’s going to end in less than two months and you’ll feel it lift pretty quickly,” explaining at some length about her Pluto Moon influence.

The young woman was no longer frozen. She finally spoke, saying, “Thank you very much. I thought it was here to stay. I really didn’t think I was going to survive it.”

Her friends looked relieved. She and I then chatted privately for several minutes and by the time the trio left her demeanor had changed noticeably.

No sooner did they depart than a woman with fluttering hands, fluttering clothes and wild hair arrived. She told me she only had a few dollars in cash, she’d forgotten her check book and then she started to cry. In spite of her physical and emotional disarray there was something in her I liked. You know—my people.

“Take a box seat,” I said, pointing to a chair which she collapsed into continuing to sob. Her husband of 30 some years had just left her for someone else, someone younger. She wanted an astrologer to tell her why he didn’t love her anymore.

We astrologers get this question a lot and the starting (and ending) place for the answer is always hard for the person to hear and begin to process. That’s because while planetary chart significators of these situations do indicate outer events they more importantly indicate the person’s evolving inner environments and the necessity of these shifts to occur in the outer. Discussions about this conducted with an open heart and two receptive ears can lead to productive understandings. She and I talked for about an hour and a half and she left me not crying.

In spite of the day being disastrous from a business perspective, the ministerial part of me felt good. It had been a good day. It was about to get better.

After I got home a woman called who introduced herself as an astrologer who was a friend of my last “customer” who gave her my card wanting to know if we knew each other. We didn’t.

This astrologer said she wanted to first thank me for being kind to her friend, that she came back in much better shape than when she went to that faire looking for answers. Also the astrologer wanted to complement me on my astrological abilities from what her friend had told her that I had interpreted for her.

Yes, it was a good day indeed- another example of the richness of coinage tendered and redeemable only in consciousness.

Deborah Smith Parker is the author of “Humanus Astrologicus”  and “The Horse That Haunts My Heart,” available both on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats. To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter (@astro_logicus) and Facebook click to the right of this post.

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Dear Deborah:

    So many of those faires are like that, aren’t they? You’d best get your satisfaction from helping others at those things. Also, is it consistent that the astrologers are put in the worst location possible? But, making a difference in others’ lives is clearly why we do what we do…and you, my dear, write in such a way that is as life-changing as your readings. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Thanks for your kind words about my writing, Debbie.

      Only one other time did we get a really great location–UCSD Whale Day–and I think I might tell that tale next. Whale’s tales, or something like that.

  2. Jill Estensen says:

    I relate to your experience. Those days, where the business experience is out the window and sincere generosity opens a door for another, are priceless. You are a good soul and have a great heart. Thank you for being you!

  3. I just LOVE this story Deborah! Tweeted your opening line because it is brilliant! And I want to tell you I can SO relate to this story, as I have been in rather similar situations hehe!

  4. Inez says:


    I loved the reminder that astrology is also ministry. Enjoyed your storytelling as usual. I can relate to the “paycheck of the heart.” Thanks.

    By the way, this sounds like an event I went to in Pasadena as a Mary Kay consultant. The organizer did not advertise either. It was basically a scam. I’m glad it worked out for those who were blessed to be drawn to you.

  5. Melinda says:

    Dear Deborah,
    Wonderful story! Still honored to be called your pal!

  6. Deborah – I’ve been living “without an imaginable future” for many months. Must be the Pluto/Moon conjunction in my natal chart doing something or other. The fog may be starting to lift now, hopefully.

    Great piece, as always

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