OPA Ethical Guidelines
The practice of Astrology is vastly diverse in its application, which covers personal use, collective societal trends, projecting economic and geophysical shifts, and more. Its practitioners are equally diverse, integrating into their astrological practice a variety of additional skills and educational backgrounds.
Astrologers recognize the apparent synchronicity between life on planet earth with that of the cosmos. Astrologers can identify and apply the rich interpretation of planetary symbols and their intricate positioning to each other. They are committed to work that improves and enhances life, while protecting human dignity.
Astrologers need education to meet acceptable standards of practice. Astrologers realize that a personal ongoing study program is essential to increasing their own proficiency. The sharing of ideas and supporting other astrologers is encouraged whenever possible.
The Ethical Guidelines described in this document address astrological conduct personally, publicly and professionally, which must lend dignity to its profession, without stifling creativity, individuality and future growth. Astrology does not lend itself to a rigid set of rules outlining all of its functions and procedures, but a guide of acceptable conduct is paramount to its respectability.
Since the growth and acceptance of astrology is moving forward at a rapid rate, it will be necessary to make amendments to this document from time to time. As of 2021, these are the OPA Ethical Guidelines for all members, faculty and board members.
Definition Of A Professional Astrologer
A Professional Astrologer, for the purpose of this code, is one who is able to accurately calculate a horoscope and interpret it by commonly accepted standards of procedure, receives payment for their astrological services, and/or sells astrological information via a publisher or media presentation, and/or who teaches astrology for a fee.
OPA Members are not necessarily professional astrologers. OPA also includes and serves astrology students, enthusiasts and hobbyists, some of whom aspire to become professional astrologers and who find such a support system helpful.
OPA is an organization devoted to the development of astrology an accessible, credible, sustainable study and practice.
It is the responsibility of each OPA member who is practicing astrology to endeavor to maintain the integrity of their profession in every way possible by upholding the following principles:
1. Responsibility To Client:
a. Never bring harm to a client. This is a primary directive. Astrologers must always act in the best interest of the client (with the exception of circumstances of self-defense).
b. Confidentiality of client/astrologer communication and data is to be maintained. This eliminates the use of client charts for lectures, articles, or in sharing a database with other astrologers that contains such confidential material unless prior permission has been obtained in writing and/or names have been eliminated.
c. Accurate Data: All horoscopes must be calculated using standard methods of procedure based on accurate data. It is critical to have a recorded time, date, and place of birth that is as precise as possible. If a rectified time or an alternative method such as a Johndro Locality, Solar Chart or Natural Chart is used, this should be stated along with and its limitations, if any, described.
d. Certification: Astrologers must use reasonably verified and credible astrological knowledge in their interpretation and test their competence through regular practice and objective feedback by their peers or a reputable school or organization. For this purpose, OPA recommends that every astrologer becomes certified through a reputable educational program offered by a mentor or an organization.
e. Diversity & Inclusion: The client must feel respected and heard. The dignity of the client shall be upheld regardless of any personal beliefs or biases the astrologer or client may have.
- These beliefs or biases include but are not limited to:
Sexual orientation, gender, gender-identification, culture, religion, ethnicity, morality (other than illegal acts), spirituality, politics, dietary beliefs, nationalism, socio-economic or other status, age, race, marital status or other.
- In the event of an ideological conflict with the lifestyle choices of the client, the astrologer should refer the client to another practitioner.
g. Sexual, Financial & Other Boundaries: Clients or students may not be exploited in any way, including sexually, romantically, or financially. There is an inherent power imbalance in an astrology/client or student relationship; it is the responsibility of the astrologer to maintain boundaries and not attempt to initiate sexual advances and to discourage advances from the student/client, especially when there is a significant age difference. Sexual/romantic manipulation includes verbal and non-verbal solicitation for sexual favors. Sexual harassment is defined as a single advance or multiple advances of unwelcome or offensive verbal or non-verbal conduct. Financial exploitation involves using the power imbalance between astrologer and client to manipulate the client into giving sums of money outside the normal realm of payment for service rendered.
h. Romantic Exclusion: A client/astrologer professional relationship must be immediately terminated if a romantic or other personal, intimate relationship, is desired equally by both the astrologer and client/student. Ideally both should engage a psychotherapist or professional mentor to be sure the relationship could proceed in an ethical way.
i. Integrity of Services Offered: The terms of client consultation need to be stated and understood prior to the appointed time. This includes fee, duration, style and what the client has a right to expect.
j. Fatalistic Statements: Astrologers shall take full responsibility for the information they impart and acknowledge the autonomy and authority the client has over their life decisions. No astrology system of interpretation or prediction can promise 100% accuracy. The astrologer cannot take absolute authority in making absolute statements but must speak of higher or lower probabilities for certain outcomes. Every client needs to be treated in a thoughtful manner. This includes refraining from making statements that are rigidly deterministic, such as telling someone they will never marry, or that their success is guaranteed for certain endeavors.
k. Charts of Others: If a client wants to discuss their relationship to another person not present at the reading, the third person should have a direct familial, romantic, or business relationship with the client. It is strongly recommended to have the permission of that third person. The information imparted about the third person’s chart should strictly address the question about their relationship with the client, and not beyond that.
l. Clarity about Non-Astrological Tools : Interpretation and assessment is to be made using astrological significance and credibility, unless otherwise stated. This does not preclude the use of other procedures and disciplines (such as Tarot cards, or Palmistry), but it does mean that if these are used, it is stated. If a client is expecting an astrological reading, and the parameters are enlarged, both client and astrologer must agree to this. If modalities and disciplines other than astrology are used in an astrology consultation, they must be mentioned and agreed upon prior to the meeting.
2. Responsibility To The General Public:
a. Integrity & Competence: All astrological work is expected to be performed with the highest standard of integrity and personal competence.
b. Good Citizenship: Astrologers are expected to practice good citizenship, and not use their skills to take advantage of others or work against the common good.
c. Mundane Predictions: When making predictions about mundane events, astrologers should mention that these are high probabilities and refrain from absolute statements. Astrologers should not mislead by making unfounded promises or exaggerated claims.
d. Objectivity: Astrologers should remain as objective as possible when using astrology. It is not professionally sound to use astrology to promote personal political preferences or ideologies.
e. Truth in Advertising: Any advertisement about the professional practice must be truthful and factual. This means the astrologer must be honest in stating proficiency and scholastic degrees and must deliver what is advertised. Non astrological degrees must be defined so the client isn’t misled to believe they are astrological degrees.
f. Scope of Practice: Astrologers are expected to practice only in areas of their competence and qualifications and avoid making unfounded claims or assessments in the name of astrology. This includes but is not limited to medical, psychological, financial or legal advice. The astrologer may make suggestions, but openly state that he or she is not a professional in those fields. When a client’s needs are beyond the capability of the astrologer, the client must be referred to appropriate agencies or other professional services.
g. Integrity with Public Figures’ Charts: When dealing with horoscopes of public figures using commonly published data, reference to the accuracy of the birth time should be stated along with the Rodden Rating reference. Any observations about the public figure’s chart should be made in a way that is educational and refrain from gossip and unfounded assumptions.
h. Reporting to OPA: If unethical conduct by an OPA member is noted, we encourage the individual to try first to resolve the issue amicably with the person concerned. If the matter remains unresolved, it can be reported to OPA’s Board of Directors with adequate documentation and description of the concerns. OPA’s Board of Directors will subsequently evaluate the circumstances and address the issue in a timely manner in a way deemed most appropriate and logistically and morally possible within the parameters of its available resources and authority. Please report any ethics violations here.
i. Public Image: Astrologers are expected to maintain a personal image of competence and social respect when representing astrology. In this way the astrologer sets the standard for the consultation. This includes cleanliness and refraining from sexually suggestive mannerisms and attire when presenting astrology content.
j. Communication: Astrologers are expected to act professionally in all written and verbal communications: in articles, on websites, and in social media. This includes refraining from slurs, verbal bullying, name-calling, or unfounded accusations.
k. Triggering Topics: Astrologers are expected to consider how their presentations, articles and especially graphics might be triggering to sensitive individuals or communities. Ask for guidance, tone down the presentation or offer a trigger warning.
3. Responsibility To Other Astrologers And The Profession Of Astrology:
a. Ongoing Education: Astrologers are expected to make a conscious effort to continue their professional growth and education. This can be done by taking courses, reading literature, attending conferences and seminars, conducting research, and other professional learning activities.
b. Acceptance of Astrological Philosophies: Astrology is a vast and multi-layered system. Astrologers must remain tolerant to personal, professional differences, and the variety of technical approaches to the practice of astrology where there is no breach of ethics. Astrologers are invited to share their personal preferences and opinions but should not claim absolute authority on what constitutes “true” astrology, giving other approaches the benefit of doubt.
c. False Claims: Astrologers do not file ethical complaints that are irrelevant or inconsequential intended to harm clients or colleagues. If unethical behavior is suspected about a professional astrologer, refer to paragraph (h) in Responsibility to the General Public.
d. Supporting Community: Astrologers are encouraged to support other astrologers and foster cooperation, so that everyone benefits from our collective knowledge, experience, and insights.
e. Research Integrity: Research and any related presentations are to be conducted in a rigorous manner with objective references, always maintaining strict professional integrity. It is appropriate to take credit for scholarly work and ethical to give credit to contributions made by others.
f. Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws: Copyright rules and ethics must be honored. Astrologers may write similar things when analyzing the same astrology configuration, so similarities in content are expected. However, when using other astrologers’ work, there must be permission and appropriate credit and/or compensation offered.
If you believe someone within the OPA community is not upholding our Ethical Guidelines, please fill out this form.