The Birthchart as a Portal
To a Journey of Self-Reflection

May 2014

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It is standard practice for professional astrologers to receive requests from clients for “readings” of their birthchart, and then to proceed with an “interpretation.” The interpretation renders the birthchart understandable to a client, who may or may not be familiar with astrological symbolism. Different astrologers will approach this task differently, depending upon their training, experience, and philosophical worldview. But the intent is the same – to essentially decode the birthchart and translate its meaning into English, or whatever other language is spoken by the client.

This intent would seem to be so intrinsically a part of the practice of professional astrology that mentioning it at all might seem unnecessary to all but the most clueless of clients. While there are certainly varying levels of familiarity with astrology, and many alternate views about its true nature and its limitations, anyone who knows enough about astrology to have a copy of their birthchart would expect an astrologer to be able to “read” or “interpret” it. I would like to make the heretical suggestion in this blog series that this may not be the best use of a birthchart.

I formulate my views through 40+ years of interpreting birthcharts as a professional astrologer, and I continue on occasion to do this. But I have found over the years that it is far more useful to consider the birthchart to be a portal to ongoing self-reflection than it is to try to read it, or interpret, or translate it into English. For this reason, I have spent the last 20+ years focused on teaching astrology as an open-ended language of self-discovery, rather than a set of symbols to be decoded. In this blog series, I would like to outline what such an approach to astrology looks and feels like.

The next post in this series is The Mutability of Fate.

To read more blog posts, go here.