I have over 40 years’ experience as a professional astrologer and educator. My approach is to work with a basic natal chart, uncluttered with asteroids and planetoids. I focus upon the birth (natal) chart and transits. This has consistently provided the client with everything they wanted and then some. Astrologers love trivia as much as baseball enthusiasts but basic astrology is already so easily confusing that I stick with the basics but take them to a depth not always found.
Astrology is the study of a complete natal chart, based upon the time of the day and year the person was born. Sun sign astrology tosses everyone born during a period of thirty days (or so) into the same, generalized category. The differences this implies are great. With good natal chart interpretation the nature of the individual is brought to light. Someone born just after sunset (when the Sun falls in the sixth house in a natal chart) has a far different work ethic than the person born just before midnight, which would place a stronger emphasis on the fourth house, stimulating the potential for there being strong issues surrounding the person’s family values.
Would you want to be known only by your emotional nature? Would you not also want to be known for your creativity? Your work abilities? Working with the limited information of one’s Sun sign provides you with a small fraction of the information available to the astrologer. How small? By my estimate, much less than ten percent and possibly as little as 4% of a chart. No wonder, then, that exposure to Sun Sign popular astrology does so much to ‘prove’ to people that astrology is not to be believed.
Genuine natal astrology practiced by an experienced, ethical astrologer, is exceptionally accurate. In my many years as a professional, only upon very rare occasion has someone said “this is just not me” which, to the competent astrologer, means “this chart is wrong.” When a natal chart has ‘not fit’ a client I have always found that the error lay with the chart itself. Occasionally, the birth time I had been given was wrong, later to be corrected when the actual birth certificate was located. The birth time passed on from a relative may have proven to be wrong. In the first years a novice astrologer calculates charts manually, there is always the potential for error. With experience, it is possible to become quite accurate but rarely perfect. Fortunately, experience teaches one the ability to cast a (new, corrected) chart in less than ten minutes – doing it the traditional, manual way with complex formulas – when on the spot and a client is sitting and waiting. Today we have the advantage of accurate, computer-generated natal charts readily obtained, for a small fee, from a local store, through the mail, or from the astrologer’s personal computer.
[from Painless Astrology by Rev. Paul Beyerl]