• alicesmithastrolog

Bad Astrology Readings


Even though I'm a professional astrologer and Tarot reader, I still get readings for myself and, wow, I got a bad one yesterday. It was disappointing because they were an established reader with over a decade of experience and definitely a known reader in the area. It wasn't the worst, but let's just say that they made me feel completely justified in charging what I charge by comparison. So while it's fresh on my mind, let's talk about what makes a subpar reading experience.


  1. Didn't ask why I was seeking a reading. They focused the reading on my relationship even though I sought a reading more for myself and my career. But they assumed that since I'm female, I must want love advice. I found myself checking out halfway through because I was not engaged in the topic, and that could have been completely avoided if they had just gotten to know why on Earth I was there to begin with.

  2. Talked "at" me. As a result of not asking about my motivations, I was a passive participant and just felt like I was being spoken "at" rather than "to." I don't want my clients take over our readings, but I want them to feel involved. I’m the tour guide of their chart, but it doesn't mean that I just drive them around wherever I want. I'm there to make sure they see the sights they were hoping to see, along with some that I know they would really benefit from seeing.

  3. Did not provide clarity. Whenever the reader hit on something (they claim to be clairvoyant) and asked for confirmation, they would just move onto the next topic. Is there a Leo in your life? Yes? Okay. Is there a Taurus in your life? Yes? Okay. Things flitted quickly from one thing to another without staying on any particular topic long enough to make me feel like I received actual workable advice. They did hit on the fact that I'm a writer, but aside from telling me that if my novel isn't pitching successfully that maybe I should switch to writing screenplays, they just focused on my relationship instead (which is fine and doesn't need help at the moment 🤞). There were also no predictions. I left the session the same as I arrived--no new clarity, no new insights.

  4. Unprofessional. I got there about 4-5 minutes early. I entered, they didn't look up from their phone, so I said "hi." The first thing they said to me was, "you're early" in a tone that was not friendly, followed by "but that's okay this time, I'll take you" because they had an event to be at later in the evening. They got friendlier as the reading went on, but...not the best way to greet a first-time customer. I've worked 1:1 with clients in service my entire professional life, and there's no reason for not being welcoming, regardless of how long you've been doing a job. They went on to talk about their position on the Covid vaccine and whether or not I should get the shot/boosters, which is supremely unprofessional regardless of whichever side of the fence you fall on regarding that issue.


My advice to anybody seeking a reading is to remember that it is a privilege to read for you. You trust us with your past, present, and future. You trust us with your secrets and your vulnerabilities. Your trust is more valuable than your money.


Any reader, regardless of psychic ability (to which I do not claim to have any--astrology is profound and powerful enough on its own), should make you feel heard, listened to and welcome your involvement. I feel like this reader forgot about the human connection and perhaps had been doing this so long that they were just going through the motions.


I've been very lucky to train under engaging, caring, and humanistic astrologers who've always drilled the fact that I'm working with human beings. They've emphasized that most people don't get readings for fun and they come to you when they are confused and need help. They've hammered into my training the importance of listening and delivering on real help.


And that's what you should also hope to receive when you get a reading. It's not just about the stars and their aspects, it's not just about the cards and the reversals and spreads, it's about YOU. YOU are the star of the show, and you are the focal point of any reading. Any reading that doesn't make you feel that you were the main focus has failed.


And here's an astrologer's insider tip: It's really easy for a trained and experience astrologer to hit accurately on your life. That's called descriptive astrology, where we describe you to you. The real benefit of astrology, however, is what we do with that information and how we can take it deeper. For example, instead of just talking about how you tend to date a certain type, let's talk about how that pattern is rooted in your early childhood experience of rejection and conditional love from an absent father figure that we can see in your chart, and, most importantly, what we can do about it NOW using the strengths we also see in your chart to heal the old hurt.


When you're researching an astrologer, check out their reviews and see if there's a pattern in both the negative and the positive. For this astrologer, they have great reviews but very few say that they make their clients feel seen and heard. I've also received enough readings to know that tenure doesn't guarantee a good reading. I've had just as many mediocre readings from supposedly established readers as I've had mind-blowing readings from not-so-established readers.


Other things you can do is to see how they describe themselves as an astrologer. I consider myself an evolutionary astrologer with strong humanistic leanings. This means that I believe our charts tell us where we are at with our soul's evolutionary journey and where we ought to go. I believe it tells us our lessons that we've yet to learn, and it's my job to translate that for you. Evolutionary astrologers don't stop at "what" your chart is, but also "why" you have the chart you have. And since my main mentor is a humanistic astrologer, I've been trained in her "human-focused" (as opposed to event-focused) approach, so I also view the chart as a guide to helping people achieve their full human potential. (Therefore, if I see Mars in your 7th house, I'm less likely to tell you that you'll fight a lot in your marriage and will tend to attract lawsuits and I'm more likely to tell you that you will learn the art of conflict through your partnerships, that it's your partner who will teach you how to stand up for yourself. Then, we'll talk about what to look for in a partner who can help you achieve that goal.)


Ask them if they have a code of ethics. I've got one and if any client asks for a copy, I have it ready. The summary of my code of ethics is that 1) I don't give legal advice, 2) I don't give medical diagnoses, 3) I don't read for people who aren't present without their consent, 4) I don't predict marriages or divorces, and 5) I will be honest if I don't know something. There's more and I explain each point, but you get the gist. I personally believe that every reader should subscribe to a code of conduct and an ethical code.


You should feel heard. You should feel seen. You shouldn't be just waiting for the clock to run out.

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