By Anne Ortelee
It started innocently enough ~ the way all things that change your life do. One of my students arrived in astrology class, began to eat her delicious smelling dinner and announced “TheCosmicPath.com is looking for a new writer for their Weekly Weather Column. It is a great site by Stephanie Azaria! I read it every week. You should apply for the spot.” Patrice was in that obsessed phase we each go through when first learning astrology. She surfed the internet, learning things, finding sites and showing up in class with excellent questions based on her mouse click travels.
So, I applied for the job. Stephanie said yes. I started to write a Weekly Weather column on June 7, 2004 for TheCosmicPath.com. And, innocently enough, 22 months later an email from Ingress Editor Stephen Fleming arrived asking all NCGR Associates to “send in reviews of your favorite websites for our internet issue.” Was it too self-promoting to write an article about TheCosmicPath? “Nope,” Stephen responded, “The purpose of the issue is to talk about how the internet changes your astrology practice and astrology has changed because of the internet.” So, here’s what I have learned while writing a weekly column on the internet.
1. Writing makes you a better astrologer. Nothing like sitting down and looking at the planetary energies every week to fine tune your personal understanding of cycles, rhythms, planets and astrology. Nothing like explaining or teaching (which is what internet writings do ~ publishing, teaching and Sagittarius are related!) others to make you learn it yourself. You figure out ways to explain things when you get a “Huh?” email.
2. Commit to regular, fresh content that people come to read. Kind of like fiber in the diet, it keeps you regular, flowing and in front of your clients and readers. It feeds the Virgo energy in your reader’s charts. They enjoy tasks.
3. You learn about your biases. Once while having transiting Saturn square my Venus, I, apparently, was being a bit dark and rather cranky in my column. A reader wrote in: “Where’s the love? Where’s the Christ Consciousness?” Jeez, Christ Consciousness? I am having a Saturn transit to my Venus and she is worrying about love? The next week, my column was lighter and included a bit more love. As astrologers, we have transits too! We bring our biases, as well as our transits, into our readings, writings and practice. Nothing like having anonymous people call you on your transits to make you aware of them!
4. Be aware of what you write and who may read it: As an ardent liberal New York City Blue Stater, my leftie politics caused consternation when interspersed throughout my column and stumbled upon by the righties who wanted to read about astrology not my politics. After several flaming emails from irate readers, I placed my politics into a Mundane section at the bottom of my column. Then, I received emails complaining that I took my politics out of my column. Ah well.
5. Remember the crazies. Fortunately, astrologers and astrology loving folks are “nice” crazy people. Realize people you do not know will read your words. Anyone can stop in, check you out, form an opinion and move along. Your words are out there for the entire world to see. The usual cautions apply about strangers and publishing contact information. Your phone WILL ring at 3:13 in the morning if you put your phone number on the internet.
6. The internet makes your clients happy. They know who, what, where, when, how and why about you. They feel warm and fuzzy. They get to decide if they like you. You are a ‘real’ astrologer because you are on the internet. Referrals happen. They think you are talking to them every week when they read your writings about the planets‘ dances. It’s a bonding thing.
7. Ready or Not, the internet moves you out into the world. When starting to read charts for others, I was anxious and scared ~ am I good enough, do I know what I am doing, etc. I have Saturn in Scorpio in the eighth house ~so astrology might be part of “my path” but was I even THINKING when I asked for THAT placement? I learned I know more than them and less than they do. The world goes around. No, I will never know it all. Yes, I will keep learning (for the rest of my life). And, Ready or Not, I am an astrologer out in the world, thanks to the internet.
8. You get more email. I hated the email part at first! More email, to me, was an unwelcome additional to-do on a very long to-do list. People EXPECT you to get back to them PROMPTLY when they write to you! Jeez. And, if they write to you asking questions about your services, emails can go back and forth for a while, sputter out and disappear. I even had a fight with a friend over my response (or lack thereof) time to emails ~ she‘s a bossy Aries ~ loves to pick fights. Frankly, I prefer calling cards ~ before phones, before email, before cell phones. Much more civilized ~ a handwritten, horse delivered, civilized invitation to do something, a week or so delay, a handwritten, horse delivered, civilized response saying “ok“, a week delay and a planned rendezvous. Works for me! However, I am living in the 21st century. I have learned to treat emails like internet dating ~ one or two and we pick up the phone. Otherwise, they are married and flirting.
9. Assume makes an Ass out of you and me. People make assumptions about you based on what you write and get mad at you! People make assumptions about you based on what you write and love you! Both are equally intimidating to me ~ yes, you ARE in there somewhere but they arrive with their beliefs and assumptions about you firmly in place. Moreover, be equally careful you do not make assumptions about them ~ I gave one reader a fairly woo-woo reading. She wrote an email complaining it was not predictive enough. Now I make sure to ask what type of reading the client wants.
10. People find you. This part continues to amaze me. I get emails from folks all over the world with all kinds information about all kinds of things. We live in a very connected, increasingly smaller world. The Age of Aquarius ~ featuring community, computers and connections ~ has dawned!
11. You find people. Your site reflects YOU, so people are drawn to your site that match your chart. People you like! People who like you. Interesting people you’ll have fascinating conversations with. Your world expands. Let’s see ~ lawyers, teachers, acupuncturists, reiki masters, homeopaths, nutritionists, therapists, business people, architects, directors, activists, artists, florists, play writers, actors, musicians, fund raisers, accountants, yogis, dancers, doctors, painters, illegal activity people, feng shui folks, controllers, principals, flower essencers, herbalists, nurses, business owners, hospice leaders, healers, students, clients, marketing, editors, web designers, assistants, teachers, angels, and publishers. Oh, and other neat astrologers!
12. Improves your client’s knowledge of astrology creating more interested clients. My clients actually read what I write! And come in with questions about stuff in their charts. And ask for book recommendations to learn more. And inquire about their children‘s, partner’s or friend’s aspects. And leave messages saying “Is Pluto on my Uranus or something?” And write long emails about their Yod as they travel the world exploring. It is quite satisfying to watch clients grow to love how cool and helpful astrology is.
So, two years, a progressed moon change, and numerous columns published on the internet, I give a “two thumbs up”review to the internet, it’s impact on this astrologer and astrology. We are ruled by Uranus!
Anne Ortelee writes a Weekly Weather and Moon columns for TheCosmicpath.com. She can be reached at AnneOrtelee@yahoo.com.
Nope, she still has not finished her NCGR level 4 certification!
Copyright © 2006 Anne C. Ortelee