Ethics: Is It An Invasion Of Privacy To Get Person’s Birth Data?

astrology-chart-stained-glass.jpgPixieDust asks:

“Do you think you have an unfair advantage by knowing someone’s chart? I have no fear asking people’s birth data and check them out all the time. Every single guy I’ve dated has to give that info up from the start. Co-workers, family members, too. I get a good idea of what makes them tick. What does everybody think”

When I was actively studying astrology, I would get everyone’s data I could. Matter of fact I would go out to bars (my laboratory) and sit with my ephemeris in hand, chatting, reading charts, telling jokes and just in general doing what I do.  But as years passed I quit doing this completely. These days I almost never ask someone for their birth data because I do feel it is an invasion of their privacy.

That is not meant to judge another person, this is just my own feeling which is personal and I’ll explain it.

For one thing, I’m keen with chart in hand and really, I just don’t want to know. I am not that interested is having another person’s psyche revealed to me. I feel I should work on my own.

Secondly, I do this for a living.  Does a mechanic want to work on a car after work? Probably not.

I’ve come to a point where I’d rather interact with people with their clothes ON.  In the gym or something, for example it is actually more interesting to me to wonder if someone is a Virgo than it is to ask them and find out for sure if something like that happens to cross my mind. I don’t ask because really, I don’t care. What difference does it make to me if the person is a Virgo or not?

I think I am a point where I am a (specialized) surgeon and astrology is a pure tool.  If you show up in my office, I will have to get your chart so I can do my job and help you but beyond that the whole business is put on a shelf in my day to day life.

Thing is, I have been looking at charts for going on FORTY years so if you want me to look at another one I am going to need a pretty good reason and finding out how your this is strung to your that does not qualify.

Anyone else with an opinion?

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Ethics: Is It An Invasion Of Privacy To Get Person’s Birth Data? — 16 Comments

  1. I get peoples birth date when I can, and if they ask I tell’em why. But I’m not vociferous about it. I can live without it. If I felt like I was invading someone’s privacy, or getting some kind of edge, I’d pobably have to stop, but I don’t think I have that high a level of skill yet. Its more like I look at the chart and then as I live the relationship or get to know the person I see traits that correlate to aspects I know they have.

  2. I don’t ask generally…not right away anyway. I like to test myself and see if I’m off the mark or not.
    I didn’t know for the first year what my SO’s details were (he didn’t know and I had to ask his mother). I remember at the time I was having all kinds of angst with Scorpio energy and then to see his Venus/Moon conjunction staring me in the face..well I just had to laugh.

    Not sure about the invasion of privacy thing because I consider myself acutely aware of others’ need for it.

    I’ve been way more interested in studying my own psychology as well. I’ve been super into digging in the recesses of my psyche (Pluto has finally exited my 12th House. For good).

    But I think with Pluto in Cap (and my 1st) I’m going to try to go “external.” However astrology is still such a personal thing for me. I can look at other people’s charts but they still don’t interest me as much as my own.

  3. I have always wondered this myself. Personally I feel like its an invasion of privacy but I guess it depends how you use the information. As a learning tool I think its wonderful knowing that info and seeing how someones chart relates to their life and better yet yourself. I do ask people eventually after trying to guess to see if Im studying or learning and picking up on things. Its a great way to learn about astrology and yourself in relation to other people and energy

    However I do feel incredibly guiltly knowing someones info when they dont know how much they are really giving away especially when Im crushing or dating someone. Its like knowing a secret about them and them not knowing you know. I once fell head of heels for this guy and I was dying to know his info but I couldnt dare ask…I didnt find out til a year later and Im glad for that but sometimes I cant help self.

    I think it really depends why and how you plan to use that information. I think it ultimately comes down to what you motive is for wanting to know, if you know what I mean?

    Signed a Scorpio!

  4. Skye I hear what you’re saying, but something that’s always given me pause is: that person may carry the energy of those aspects, but not express it.

    A TV watching, chronic pot smoking ex who was always late for work and never exercised comes to mind. He was a Capricorn with Moon in Sagittarius.

  5. kashmiri– you let him go??? 😉

    I think I’m still in the wow isn’t this amazing stage–because it’s always right. I just like the confirmation, and I do find it handy for romantic compatibility. It’s like a game.

    Although, the other week I met this couple at a bbq with my BF sister, and they wanted me to look at their charts. I didn’t think anything was so terrible, but I could tell it was striking some nerves. After, the sister told me it was dead on. Ooops. So maybe that’s why I’ve been wondering about this. They asked me, so I think it was OK, but it might not be the dog trick to pull out for strangers.

  6. I’m really glad that you asked this question and opened it up for discussion. I think ethics and professional conduct are vitally important issues for astrologers, therapists, health care providers, etc. and are too often given short shrift.

    That said, I think Skye hit the nail on the head. All too often people have NO idea how much they are giving away about themselves when they provide their data. They don’t know what you know, and that feels slimy to me, and yes I’ve been on the guilty side of that situation.

    Yes, it’s very helpful as a student to have friends’ and family members’ charts, to file them away mentally, and then learn astrology by seeing it in action. And if you tell people that’s what you are about, they can choose to share their data or not.

    But now unless someone specifically wants a consultation I feel like a voyeur. It’s like you say Elsa, I’d rather see them with their clothes on. I’d rather not know. I don’t even like to look at current and future trends for friends and family unless I’m asked because I don’t necessarily want to know what’s coming up even if it’s a rocky road.

    On the other hand, if I were going to get romantically involved with someone or go into business with a person, I’d want to see the synastry and composite and even get a second astrological opinion. There’s a point beyond which I wouldn’t go in a relationship without being able to use astrology as a tool to help me make a decision.

    Also, a long time ago I read something that Tracy Marks said about not using astrology in a way that weakens your intuitive muscles. She was referring to micromanaging one’s daily life with astrology as I recall, but it could equally apply to having the charts of people you interact with at hand. It can become a crutch.

    As for what I would like to see more of in this blog? More of this kind of discussion for astrologers and students.

    Great topic. -D

  7. I used to get everyone’s birth info that I could, and I’d collect it in a binder, and flip through them and look up stuff in books and study them. That was during my initial learning phase.

    I always did synastry charts for people I was dating or working with, and talked with my girlfriends about relationships through astrology talk, and made decisions based on transits.

    But I stopped collecting astrology info because it unfolded the relationship too quickly; it lacked boundaries (I knew too much about them), and it didn’t honor the natural flow of getting to know someone. It wasn’t mutual too; they knew less about me. So I thought the power dynamics were off in the relationship because of the astrology knowledge.

    I really stopped when I got into my 4-year relationship and was told by 2-3 astrologers that he and I are totally mismatched and not meant to last. But we’re still together and I don’t believe in astrology as much any more as a “deciding factor”, but take it as “symbolism”, like a story to learn from.

    I still LOVE astrology but I believe in the power of the mind, of free will, of consciousness/physical practices that burn away certain “karmic fates”, of intention, now more than astrology. I put my eggs in the basket of “not-knowing” more than “needing to know ahead of time due to fear” now.

    I still read everything though ’cause I love it, esp this blog!

    I just realized I’m done giving away my birth info moving forward, too.

  8. I do agree that it can be an unfair advantage to check a person’s chart, but with Venus in Scorpio I am compelled to know, all of it, everything! Sometimes it feels like cheating but I also wonder: won’t I be making pre-judgements that will influence the way I deal with people afterwards? And the answer is: of course!

    I do understand that if one deals with charts everyday, it stops being as fun, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to resist it, especially when it comes to men I’m checking out. hihi

  9. You can make a lot of mistakes reading a cookbook and trying to make a person fit it.

    As a consulting astrologer, I am often surprised by how a specific aspect actually plays out in a life, and how rarely cookbooks tell much more than a very basic story.

    Is it ethical to collect data? Is it ethical to read a newspaper? The information is freely given and is available for use.

    Is it ethical to snoop? A better question would be is it wise to snoop? What preconceptions do you set yourself up for, what prophecies do you proclaim, and therefore fulfill?

    In prying on others unbeknown to them you really only damage your own perceptions, and your relationship with them will be affected by what you see.

    I don’t think its a question of ethics, I think its a question of wisdom.

  10. I don’t ask for everyone’s. Just the ones that spark my energy field.

    Do I use it unethically? I really don’t believe I do. I know that a person will follow their own course no matter what, and that seeing a blueprint of their birth energies does not allow me to see their future. I know a good astrologer can see energies and “ask” me if I am having this or that as issues now or in the past. But can they see the all of me and know exactly what my choices I will make or have made in the past? No, they can’t. They have a lot of knowledge about the potentials, but I don’t believe anyone has the full ability to say this or that is a definite.

    My first love was Tarot, and I always told people I read for, nothing is set in stone. Every thought you have every second can open up a myriad of choices or paths in the future. What I am doing is telling you what I see at this time as being the most prevalent. I believe that a person’s birth chart is quite the same really.

    I have read many times in books, “here was an example of amazing synastry, yet it did not unfold into a lasting relationship.”

    Analyzing a birth chart in retrospect, i.e. Hitler or Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer is truly fascinating, however how many other people with twin charts or extremely close, turned out to have lives like these people? I hope I am being half assed clear on what I am trying to convey 🙂

  11. sometimes it’s better to watch someone reveal themselves to you… there’s nuances in individuals that never show up in a chart (at least, not to me.)

  12. Not pro astrologer here – just passionate about the heavens….It’s like I know a woman in Spain who is having a baby by cesarian this week. Via my daighter and facebook we ended up bringing this woman’s dog to live with us. I was immediately compelled to write to her and ask her to please try to wait until next week to have her child, but then I looked at next week and everyday there was something and I just realised that this mom and her new baby have their contracts and so I let the data go.

  13. I like to know, I like to see how things play out, if I guessed the aspect of a person’s personality or not, how this works for them. If someone says something very Venus Saturn (example: Tim Gunn), I’m going to go look for their birthday and see if I can find it. If someone’s obsessed with travel (Elizabeth Gilbert), I want to know what they have in Sag. I like to confirm my guesses. It’s fun.

    Another friend of mine was going on last week about how he wants “freedom, yet devotion” in a relationship. Monogamy, yet she won’t mind if he disappears for a few days at a time. He’s a Capricorn with Virgo moon, but a lot of planets in Sag and Aquarius. Well, there you go. I have that issue, but in my chart it plays out differently. (You’d think we should date, but…no.)

  14. Can’t help it, I need that info. I pushed my boyfriends into getting their BC AND their families who concluded that I’m weird 🙂

  15. This fascinating thread seems to have petered out? …
    The first time I properly analyzed a chart was to find out why a recent relationship, that seemed so perfect, had fizzled out. As I checked out the synastry, I began feeling increasingly sneaky and slimed with guilt. I felt that i was seeing stuff that was not for my eyes … that was the last time I looked at someone’s chart without their express permission.
    Since then, when someone asks me to read their chart, I warn them before they give me their details: that I will be able to see much more about them than they will be comfortable with – sometimes I might see something they don’t even know about themselves …
    Well, the response to that surprises me over & over again! My statement, 99% of the time, spurs the person on the practically BEG for a reading. It seems that many people are longing for someone to really KNOW them?

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