Review by Victor Olliver
Now here’s a book the world of astrology will welcome. Compiled by no less an august body than the Organization for Professional Astrology in the US, it fizzes with the kind of go-getting positivity not always overly abundant in Britannia. Yes, you too have the capability to succeed as a business class astro pro – and how can you doubt this message given the tribe of stellar contributors on show? Among them are Ray Merriman, Melanie Reinhart, Frank C. Clifford, Maurice Fernandez (OPA President), Donna Young, Wendy Stacey, Hakan Kirkoglu, Chris McRae, Chris Brennan, Arlan Wise, and so many, many more, each focusing on an area of expertise.
Topics (in Part 2) include marketing strategies, writing and publishing, business plans and payment practices, compartmentalisation of income streams (‘active’ and ‘passive’), counselling, ethical considerations, networking, professional bodies, etc. Fernandez foresees that “Astrology is destined to become an essential resource and a prominent profession in modern society”, provided that competent practice is maintained and encouraged. But if the prognosis is all bright Jupiter, there’s a 2015 OPA astrologers’ survey first to digest in Saturn-like Part 1. It tends to confirm what could have been guessed. The majority of astrologers are aged “57 or wiser” and a great many rely on an additional source of income, though I was favourably surprised that nearly one-third already live on astrology alone. Few began their careers as astrologers, veering towards the horoscope as a hobby or part of a ‘retirement’ plan in later life.
A lack of professional status may explain why astro males are thin on the ground. In other words, astrology has a lot of ground to cover before it’s likely to feature as a career option in our schools. So what? Cultural attitudes and practices alter with rapidity, a point made in Wendy Stacey’s piece, ‘The Times are a-Changin’’. She observes that an astrologer’s constituency used to be local. Now it is potentially global, thanks to the internet. Electronic payments are made in seconds and ‘virtual consultations’ bring immediacy. The Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in Air in 2020, and Pluto’s entry of Aquarius in 2024, will, she thinks, help to open minds to much broader concerns beyond the mundane, in relation to the self; and to astrology’s advantage.
In Part 3, notable professional astrologers share what they have learnt “from life experience”.
Financial astrologer Ray Merriman, for instance, began studying astrology at 20 and was practising by 22. For his living he relies “100%” on astrology.
The Professional Astrologer is the next best thing to a good friend who has made it big in our field. Its upbeat message is inspiring while its readable and priceless insights offer credible routes to astro success.”