Using the consultation chart

Use of the consultation chart combined with the birth chart radically improves the accuracy of the consultation, without you having to learn much more astrology than you already know. Whilst it can be difficult to answer specific questions using methods like transits, progressions, the solar return etc. when the horary chart for the consultation is used, everything suddenly gets much easier.

The consultation chart can be significant in different ways. Basically, it is a transit horoscope for the client, with all the planets placed in specific houses, indicating very exactly how current transits are affecting the client. This is very specific information, and this helps pinpoint events that are happening here and now in the client’s life. Instead of making a general interpretation of what a Saturn transit to Venus might be, the house position of the horary Saturn and its aspects will spell out what is happening.

The Past-Present Continuum
When clients focus on current events that are troubling them, these events resonate because there is something in the client’s psyche that evokes them or is sensitive to them. When they feel the powerful emotional energy connected with the event, this energy awakens a series of memories like pearls on a string, right back to key events in childhood, when important psychological complexes were created. This energy can be very transformational, and through awareness of how the original energy informs subsequent decisions, the client is motivated to make changes, and has through the consultation the mental ability to do so.

The sequence of events is:

  • 1. Identify a current event which is strongly emphasized in the consultation chart
  • 2. Connect the client with the emotional energy related to the aspect or planet combination
  • 3. Find the parallels in early experiences
  • 4. Evoke the insight that the past and present emotions are one and the same
  • 5. Identify any limiting decisions that were made in the past
  • 6. Brainstorm more empowering methods for dealing with the same kind of events
  • 7. Re-enact current and future events in the imagination and in real life (Homework)

It is not every planetary aspect that can be dealt with cognitively. Aspects related to Uranus often have an element of shock, and aspects related to Pluto an element of trauma, and they may have a potency that the rational mind cannot deal with. But identification of these influences is still helpful, and clients can deal with them through an appropriate therapeutic method. (Note 1.)

Exact Planetary Parallels
A high percentage of consultation horoscopes mirror to an extraordinary extent planetary placements and aspects in the birth horoscope. On occasions the horary chart will contain planetary phenomena that have only happened a handful of times since birth. With there is powerful mirroring in this way, the astrologer can be certain that a behavior indicated by the birth chart is being repeated right now, and that the concrete issues clients are currently dealing with in their lives are directly related to their psychology. This indicates a clear opportunity to work with and transform behavior using the current situation as a tool for self-awareness.

On one occasion, at a time when my home was a considerable distance from my office, I arrived at the station in a distracted state of mind, entered my credit card pin code incorrectly three times, had to return home for cash and arrived half an hour late for the consultation. This changed the consultation chart radically, so that the Mars opposition Pluto that day fell exactly on the Ascendant-Descendant axis.  This is an interesting example of how the astrologer is as equally receptive to universal forces as the client, and that both interact for optimal outcomes.

Birth Horoscope

Birth Chart: Sep 1976 Copenhagen AS 11.02 LI (Withheld data)

Consultation Chart

Consultation chart: 7 Mar 2008 10.30 Copenhagen AS 29.57 GE

The first thing this person did when the consultation started was to curse her family, which seemed very appropriate with the Ascendant conjoining Mars in Cancer and the Descendant conjoining Pluto with zero degrees of orb. How appropriately this mirrored her natal chart which had a stellium with Mars conjoining Pluto on the Ascendant! This kind of exact planetary parallel occurs often, and clearly provides a laser-like focus on the issue at hand. As the father drank, used drugs and molested her sexually, there was no love lost between her and her family, and she had amputated the connection to her mother and father, which is the kind of thing people do, when Pluto is powerfully involved with the personal planets.

Mars-Pluto aspects are especially receptive to positive transformation. In a female chart, they often result in choosing a partner who at first seems powerful, but subsequently becomes weak, which results in a growing contempt for the partner. This is as a result of psychological issues where the client resolves never to submit to another person’s power. This evokes power issues in the relationship, which the client uncompromisingly wins, which paradoxically increases her insecurity. When this mechanism is explained, clients are eager to change, because the last thing they want is to be like the person who originally was the cause of this mechanism.

In this consultation, the horary chart also shows an imminent new moon conjoining Uranus, and the client planned to get away from it all and travel to Australia to work with horses, which nicely reflects the Jupiter-Uranus sextile. Clearly this is what is going to happen, and a whole new and happier life will begin. She has after all a powerful chart, with Venus in Libra ruling the Ascendant and in trine to Jupiter. Note the repeat of the Mercury-Venus conjunction in Air signs in aspect to Neptune over and above the Mars-Pluto repeat. She is obviously a gifted communicator with a wonderful imagination.

Repeated Consultations
There are some clients who like to visit an astrologer regularly – I have had clients that have visited 30 times in 30 years. Others may come three times in a year. There is a point at which, if you have only the birth chart and its associated transits and progressions to work with, it is difficult to add to what you have already talked about. But, when you use the consultation chart, this is not a problem at all, because the chart itself will point to the talking points and help pinpoint the issues. It is often the case that when a client comes for the first one or two times, the parallels between the birth and horary charts are striking. But there are also cases when there is no obvious parallel, and the horary chart reflects a specific issue that the client is trying to solve.

Birth horoscope

Birth Chart: May 1963 Copenhagen AS 27.29 LI (Withheld data)

Consultation horoscope

Consultation Chart: 14 Mar 2008 10.00 Copenhagen AS 29.23 GE

In the following example, the client – a working mother married to a high-level police detective (the Mars-Saturn in the birth chart, and Mars-Pluto in the horary) – had had several earlier consultations. She was an extremely hard-working person, as shown by the Sun and Moon constellating with the Mars-Saturn opposition, and clearly something was going wrong because Neptune transit at this point was at 22 Aquarius – exactly on birth Saturn. She comes with a Mars-Saturn sextile, so the conscientious responsibility gene is still active, this time with Mars on the Ascendant opposing Pluto just as in the last consultation chart example. She was using her immense willpower to survive a difficult situation.

There are some parallels between both charts: The Sun and Moon are in square showing some form of emotional dissonance, Mars and Saturn aspect each other, and Venus and Mars are again in trine, which could indicate that a favorable love life sustains her. However, in the consultation chart, the Moon in Gemini in the 12th house is square Uranus, which is a clear indicator of emotional stress, and as a result of this stress she had been off sick for four months. The four-degree separation of the Moon from Uranus was probably the timer here.

When the Horoscope contradicts the Client
Now that she was at home, she had plenty of time to think, and she was working on a major new initiative selling a major health project to corporate clients. It was not going well. The horary chart clearly shows that this is not a good idea, and here is why.

  1. a) The health project for corporate clients is shown by the Mercury-Neptune conjunction in the 10th house of business. Mercury is the Ascendant ruler, and the problem is that Mercury has been retrograde in Aquarius and had just made the third conjunction with Neptune, which indicates that so far nothing concrete has emerged from her attempts.
  2. b) Mercury will imminently enter Pisces where it is in fall, and go on to oppose Saturn, mirroring her natal Mercury-Saturn square and the frustrations that can arise from this.
  3. c) The Ascendant is on the point of moving into Cancer, which shows something ending before anything else can start.

Quite apart from these factors in the consultation chart, the life-changing transit of Neptune activating Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars, clearly indicates that this is not a time for applying the old remedy of work, work, work but for taking time off and contemplating deeper aspects of her life, which can give it meaning.

The Consultation Strategy
When the client wants one thing (the medical contract) and the astrologer sees quite another, then the trick is to lay bare the dynamics of planetary movement so convincingly, that the client draws the right conclusion. It is no use just predicting; the client needs to be co-opted into the prediction process, because only the client really knows what is possible and realistic. In this case, a workable alternative focus needs to be found for the workaholic mother.

The consultation chart shows how things will develop, and therefore reveals the correct strategy. Mercury had conjoined Venus earlier, and now, gathering speed, it was about to conjoin Venus again, but this time a Venus exalted in Pisces. Venus rules intercepted Libra in the 5th house, which related to her daughter, who – now that she was home all the time – she was spending a lot of time with. In fact, she had started writing children books, which puts the Mercury-Neptune conjunction in another light. Mercury conjoining Venus in Pisces looks like a really creative and imaginative combination.

Neptune had awakened a writing talent, which she really wanted to continue with, so she naturally asked whether she would have success with this. Because Mercury and Venus will oppose Saturn, it is unlikely that success will arise immediately, but perhaps when Mercury and Venus activate the Uranus-Jupiter sextile, there will be more luck.

The psychological strategy was to get the client to realize that a tendency to overwork was a result of childhood conditioning and her experience of parents, particularly the mother (Moon-Saturn in 4th) who had high expectations of her whilst showing little love. The iron discipline exerted in childhood was replicated in her work ethic later on, giving little time for an emotionally nurturing relationship with her husband.

The horary strategy was to explain the current situation and likely outcomes, with a focus on the good things. For example, the ruler of the 7th house is Jupiter, and although it looks like Jupiter and Saturn are unrelated in this horoscope, Jupiter actually moves retrograde to trine Saturn in the coming months. In other words, the husband has a solid financial position and is happy to support the family. The repeated conjunction of Mercury with Venus shows the unconditional love she feels for her daughter, and the creative results that come from storytelling.

When using the consultation chart in this way, not only can the astrologer pinpoint the way transits and progressions are affecting the client, it is also possible to work proactively with the client – prediction in action. A good astrological consultation interweaves past, present and future into an integrated whole. Rediscovering the past is not enough in itself; the insights of the past have to be integrated in a plan for the future. The plan for the future is waiting to be discovered in the consultation chart and expanded upon with the combined resources of client and astrologer in an empowering act of co-creation.

Adrian Duncan
21st November 2018

  1. For example Somatic Experience (S .E. Therapy) developed by Peter Levine is a well-established therapy form for dealing with shock/trauma.