Psychological astrologers such as Dr. Jennifer Freed, PhD, say that seeking this kind of help can give you a greater perspective on who you are, and why things are happening to you. Freed’s been practicing in the field for 30 years, and says we can all learn a lot from psychological astrologers — if they’re legitimately trained.
So... What exactly is a psychological astrologer?
Individuals who study “both the psyche and the cosmos, and how they intersect,” are considered psychological astrologers, Freed says. For example, she got her PhD in psychology in depth psychology, and studied under a master of astrology for years to perfect her craft.
“As a psychologist, I’m looking at biological, familial, and personality-driven patterns in human behaviour,” she says. “As an astrologer, I’m looking at your divine DNA, based on your birth cart. The confluence of those two disciplines lend themselves to be the most accurate, insightful picture of your psyche and cosmic possibilities that I know of.”
John Green, a psychological astrologer who teaches courses at The Center for Psychological Astrology, says that people in his field based their assessments and readings off of your birth chart, which is determined by your birth day and time, as well as where you were born. “It’s tailored precisely to who you are based on your birth chart,” he explains. “It’s not as simple as just being a “Cancer,” because that’s a 12th of the population.”
Freed says there are some well-known experts in the field, but there’s are also some fakes. “You want to make sure they really have their pedigree in psychology if they’re calling themselves a psychological astrologer,” Freed says. “Your armchair shrink can do more damage than good.”
How does it work?
Freed says psychological astrologers — which some people call astropsychologists — use your birth chart to understand personal dynamics that come from both your family and your interactions of the world. Green says this happens by figuring out where the sun, moon, and different planets fall on your birth chart, which is also sometimes referred to as your natal chart.
It’s more than just saying: “You’re a Cancer, so you’re nurturing,” Freed says. Instead of just saying you’re a nurturer, psychological astrologers help you figure out how that nurturing quality impacts your life.
Another example: If your rising sign is Libra, the astrology side of this would tell you that you might be worried about your image and superficial beauty. But if you get into the psychological dynamics, Freed would ask you questions about how worrying about your image changes the way you interact with the world. “I would ask: How is that struggle going for you?” she says. “And where in your life can you let go of image, in favour of being more authentic and vulnerable.”
Why should you go to a psychological astrologer?
Freed says people often seek out psychological astrology readings because they’re going through something confusing or painful, and they want to understand why it’s happening. They want to know: Is this something within me, or is it something happening to me?
“I can tell by the charts and the cycles, whether your problem is something within you — that’s your intrapsychic conflict,” Freed explains. “Or if it’s an external event that’s a part of a cycle that you’re being asked to learn from.”
Green says the cause of your problems could be the product of difficult configurations in the birth chart. “We look at where the planets are in the sky right now and compare them to the [person's] birth chart to get an idea of the astrological weather they are undergoing at a particular time,” Green says.
Freed expands on the idea that psychological astrologers will help you navigate whether you’re being impacted by a planet passing through a certain area in your birth chart. “An external event, such as a Uranus cycle, could mean you have a sudden car accident or someone will suddenly fall in love with you,” Freed says. “The key word is sudden. Change happens suddenly and your life changes dramatically. In that case, Uranus is making an aspect, a technical astrology term, to something in your natal birth chart.”
But if you always have Uranus in your moon in your natal chart, that means you'll always be going through sudden changes, Freed says. Your whole life will be this way, according to her analysis. “If you have the Uranus conjunct the moon, a psychological astrologer would help you learn how to make ‘change’ a friend,” Freed says. “This can help you remove the drama from major changes [in your life].”
What are the origins of psychological astrology?
Freed says that psychological astrology is based, in part, on the theories of Carl Jung, a famous psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.
Freed explains that much of psychological astrology is based on “archetypes” Jung studied, which are the universal themes that touch human experience, such as mother, father, love, and hate. For example, in psychological astrology, the moon represents the mother and mothering, she says.
Psychological astrologers look underneath at what’s motivating your behaviour. It’s not telling you what you are, it’s telling you why you are.
“If they’re not trained in psychology, some astrologers are basically just telling you who you are and what’s going to happen in your life,” Freed says. She says psychological astrologers don’t typecast and forecast like this, because it can be limiting and often feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“It’s like telling you you’re a cookie cutout personality,” Freed says. “It’s the most limiting kind of experience a person could have… We want to give you information that empowers you.”
So, should I switch to a psychological astrologer from a regular psychologist?
Not permanently. Unlike traditional therapy, which can last indefinitely, Freed says one psychological astrology reading can last you for about a year. So, you only need to go once a year, tops.
“I’m not a fan of people who create dependency on astrology for their clients,” Freed says. “You don’t need to do it every week. One reading should inspire you to take up the gifts of your life, and give you the ability to make the most of your opportunities.”