How long did it take you to learn astrology
I had an odd contact today, from someone who wants to be taught astrology.
If you are proficient in the subject, how did you to get this way?
How did you learn?
How hard was it?
Over 30 years, but only seriously in the last 12.
I learnt primarily from books and people like you. I'm learning vast amounts from people on this forum, too. I've never been to a single Astrology class in my entire life.
I find it's like learning a language. It's hard in the initial stages but, eventually, it gels and starts to flow, just as languages do.
However good I get, I will always consider myself a novice. The subject is far too in depth and vast to get an expert grip on the entire subject, even if we had the mental capacity to be able to contain all of that information. It's as broad in depth and scope as physics, and this is coming from someone qualified in a scientific discipline. 🤗
Wow. Big question. A good one.
I have been studying since early 2004 (16 years) and have done it this way:
- in-person workshops in London astrology schools (at CPA with Liz Greene, Darby Costello, Melanie Reinhart, etc. and at LSA with Frank Clifford, Faye Cossar, Bernadette Brady, etc.) and online courses/workshops (many here on EE - yey -, replayed courses with Kelly Surtees, some of Chris Brennan's classes...)
- CPA (Centre for Psychological Astrology) DVDs
- lots and lots of reading and re-reading astrology books (better to start with ones that makes the study meaningful and easier - Arroyo, both Forrests, Sasportas, Idemon, Costello, March and McEvers, Sue Tompkins, Clare Martin.)
- learnings from key blogs like EE
- Donna Cunningham's website (still up after her passing) was a well of knowledge (still is) and I loved it when she invited astrologers and did Q&As sessions on a specific topic.
- I've learned the most via getting astrology readings with astrologers (the astrologers here at EE; Noel Tyl back in the day, Reinhart, Kent Elliot, Clifford, Cossar, Fearrington...) after following their work or reading their books, and via closely following my chart and those of close ones. Sometimes loved ones ask for a brief forecast report (general or specific) and I try my best - a way of learning/practising.
- in this forum there are plenty of insightful astrological sharings and views.
I must say that after writing the above I think studying astrology takes a lifetime if one remains an amateur/hobbyist astrologer and doesn't become a professional one. Working with clients professionally hones the skill and I'm sure that after 3-5 years the skills and methodology of an astrologer get really refined and strong. Many professional ones specialise and that helps their focus and their services to clients.
The study of astrology also requires, in my opinion, a serious commitment of time, effort and lots of lots of patience as with all learning there are moments when learning slows down massively, one gets in a rut, one gets desperate/confused/one wants to give up, one gets bored...but at one point one gets the gist of a level and suddenly one moves to the next level.
It's like learning a language like Justin said (Justin you'remore succint than I.) I've learned a few languages and the phases described above are experienced. It takes time.
I got rid of lots of astrology books about 12 years ago after a crisis and stuck phase in my learning. After almost a year of break/pause I slowly returned to the study. I have had to purchase them again slowly in the last years 🙁 - a lesson there as a Scorpio rising to not throw the baby with the bath water/burn educational bridges. Never throw your astro books.
Then early 2019 after modern astrology felt limiting as it didn't explain at all an area of my life I studied traditional and Hellenistic astrology - what a breath of fresh air. A key missing piece in my studies and to the interpretation of that area of my life.
Two girlfriends have attempted to study astrology in the last years. One gave it up after 4 months (I think half a year to almost a year of real and varied study is key to getting the evidence that it really works.) She is receptive to it yet decided she couldn't invest the time needed.
The other friend took a break after 4 or so months at a previous time of reading about astrology (she found it overwhelming then) yet with encouragement she returned to it eventually after having readings with astrologers: she listens to podcasts and reads Arroyo and goes through beginners level learning before going intermediate. Pacing helps her.
Professional astrology courses or designed study programmes focus/hone students' study of the matter...so 2 or 3 years of intense study and tutoring to get a lot from astrology I'd say.
Depth and commitment is going to be required to study astrology consistently and perhaps understanding one's weaknesses is key. I can't, for the life of me, retain extensive and detailed historical astrological information, I struggle with number calculations and the geometricaly side of astrology, Composites and Davison charts are not my strentgh, and apart from knowing how to work with Chiron I'm mega sketchy with asteroids, planetoids, centaurs (although Nessus and Pholus are so accurate natally and in predictive work)...
So I stay away from those subjects 🙂
In time mundane, financial and horary astrology will be on my study list. The Centaurs too. There are hopefully many decades ahead for me.
One tip: I wouldn't touch a Liz Greene, Robert Blaschke or a Robert Hand book if one is in the beginners stage. These authors are amongst the best but they are advanced material so reading them too early on can really discourage and overwhelm some of the most willing students.
Greene's CPA books with Sasportas and Arroyo are more intermediate level and easier than the ones Greene authors alone. Just saying!
Long answer. Astrology is worth it all!
I plateaued in about 2014. I started in 2006. So it took me 8 years to feel like I knew everything or at least everything I wanted to know about it. It only took me about 6 mos to be what I would consider intermediate at it, as in able to interpret and understand a chart.
Now-a-days I get answers/advice/understanding more though Tarot than astrology.
The person who wants to learn astrology needs, first, to know their own learning style. My guess - from the context of the question - maybe they best learn by one-on-one guided tutoring. Maybe.
There is nothing better than pen and a paper notebook (I prefer a half size - half of a standard large sheet of paper, size... easier to keep everything concise, aka thumbnail). When we write, pen in hand, on paper, making notes we intend to reread, our learning function lights up. Ignites. There's something about using a pen (Mercury), writing by hand (Mercury), that helps (Mercury) us learn (Mercury). So, first section, Aries: what it is, keywords, and so on for all 12 signs. A second, similar notebook for the planets. Planets "do" - act, operate - in the context of signs. For that reason, establishing (learning) the settings (signs) first, helps to better understand, quicker. Same is true in fiction: the setting is key in describing what is happening.
I have a quirky brain. The function called synthesis needs a convoluted path, for me to get there. Stories, the way Elsa illustrates astrology, are my best path to grasping the keys to understanding. So, I stuggled for years, feeling mentally crippled, until discovering Elsa's website. Slowly, reading and reading, everything untangled for me. Note, everything I'd previously read, began to fall into place, as well. I'd read a lot, and gradually, I had a framework for understanding it - the previous lack of which had been handicapping my brain. Disclaimer: highly easily distractable brain.
The beginner lessons on this site are excellent. Take notes, pen on paper. Then explore other websites... writing down, even before really understanding gels, helps understanding happen. Before you know it, sudden flashes of insight (Uranus) will sometimes happen (Uranus also).