“The Gestalt of Chart Reading”
by Anne Beversdorf
1. It’s all about the client. Here are do’s and don’ts:
i. Consider the person’s age—their interests and self knowledge will change over
ii. Consider a person’s cultural background. Westerners are overly-primed to
believe we’re in charge of our destiny.
iii. Pay Attention to the biggest issue on the person’s mind. Sometimes the
Pluto transit is the ONLY thing you need to talk about.
i. Don’t put techniques above all the above
ii. Don’t try to prove your astrological skills if it doesn’t make the client feel good
iii. Don’t even think about using ALL your techniques.
iv. Don’t give bad news without providing remedies.
2. Astrological Principles
a. Planets are living beings, just as Gaia is a living being. We are in relationship with them
b. Pay attention to the nodes. Despite cultural differences between East and West in
defining which node is good or bad, they must be balanced or the entire chart is
c. Pay attention to dispositors and rulers of houses. If the second house ruler is in the 6 th
the person self-values or is paid by 6 th house activities, etc.
d. Transcendental planets—Uranus, Neptune, Pluto—are related to cultural
underpinnings. They provide understanding how we may transcend difficulties and rely
on our abilities to see beyond self. Those who have no expectation of self-destiny or
individuation will not be disturbed when they can’t do these things. Those who DO
understand this will freak out when they can’t, so this is when one must balance
oppositions. The fact is that self-destiny and individuation are useful and great
attributes but don’t overcome all obstacles.
e. A chart is just a chart until there’s a question. This principle we relate to horary
astrology, but it really relates to ALL astrology. If a stranger hands you a chart and says
“what do you think about this” you need to know, first of all, if it’s a person or a
building, and second, what is the person wanting to find out. (Lacking that, experience
will offer a bunch of one-liners that may get a laugh or a mouth hanging open, but
what’s the point of that.)
f. Astrological keywords work. Try stringing keywords together for planet, house, sign and
you’ll tell a story with a high chance of being exactly on target.
g. The practice of astrology is a braid of Intellect, Intuition, and Imagination.
3. Where to start.
a. Decide ahead of time what your starting point might be. Examples include but not
i. Sun Moon Ascendant (only recommended for very young clients)
ii. Pluto, Nodes, Chiron (Green et al)
iii. An astrological story
iv. Sabian Symbols (but not too many)
v. Anything about the chart or transits that totally catches your attention (but
know where to go after this subject).
The rest will develop from there.
b. Stick to a timeline: 30 minutes, 1 hour, 90 minutes. Don’t go on forever.
4. Smile and be gracious. This is good work we’re doing!