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10 Tips For Learning Astrology
October 19, 2007 – 3:23 am | 62 Comments

So you want to learn about astrology? Not the generalized Sun-sign stuff that you find in newspapers and magazines, but serious astrology. The advanced type where you can actually determine specific information about a person’s life through the observation of the planets and other celestial phenomena. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Deborah Houlding’s Tough Interview Questions For Astrologers

Posted by on December 21, 2008 at 5:51 am5 Comments

By ‘tough’ I mean questions that involve Deborah Houlding sneaking up on astrologers at conferences and asking them a series of quickfire questions in rapid succession, sometimes only after alcohol has been consumed.  The results can be kind of hilarious though.

A few months ago she conducted a bunch of these ‘interviews’ in the U.S. while she was at the Blast Astrology Conference.   The interviews were just published on Skycript today, and you can read them on this page of her site.

I only got 3 out of 5 questions correct according to Deb, although I still stand by my response about Mars’ sect status, for reasons outlined in my article on the astrology of sect. Here is the question:

Q1: So Chris, is Mars more powerful in a diurnal chart or a nocturnal chart?

[Me:] More powerful? It’s neither, because day and night doesn’t change the power of Mars, only the quality of being benefic or malefic. It’s a faulty question.

[Deb:] I see ..! Well I’m going to call that a faulty answer and keep the point all to myself.

I’m still somewhat annoyed that I couldn’t remember the name of the fixed star cluster that I was thinking of of at the tip of the arrow in Sagittarius, which is Spiculum.

I also think that I should have gotten a point for question number 6, although I totally lied about that one.  Vettius Valens’ Anthology is way better than William Lilly’s Christian Astrology.  Followed in close second my Deb’s own marvelous book on the houses, of course.

There are a number of other interviews on that page from Rob Hand, Demetra George, Nina Gryphon, Ben Dykes, Dorian Greenbaum, Joseph Crane, Linea van Horn, and Meira Epstein as well.  So, check them out if you are up for a good laugh.  My favorite question/response was this one from Ben Dykes:

Q3: Who founded the Mayo school?

[Ben:]  John Addey?

[Deb:] The clue was in the question Ben. The answer was Jeff Mayo.

Ha.  Medieval astrologers…

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About Chris Brennan

Chris is a practicing astrologer from Denver, Colorado, USA. He is the former President of the Association for Young Astrologers, as well as the former Research Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. He offers personal consultations and teaches online classes through his website at

Hellenistic Astrology Course


  • We address even more tough interview questions and how to answer them in a podcast on our blog. Thanks for this valuable post to the web community!

  • Yo, how did the Scorpio miss the sect question on Mars? LOL! (Okay, I’ll look at the article, I know, but Mars has sect authority at night as a nocturnal planet. Hence, I would think, it is, indeed, more powerful.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    In the Hellenistic tradition sect doesn’t ‘indicate’ power or ‘strength’, it indicates quality. Its the difference between saying that a person is really good at making lots of pizzas (quantity), vs a person that can make a really good pizza (quality). This is a really important distinction, and without it sect is just another useless ‘dignity’ to tally up.

  • An important distinction, but more of a nuanced one. Quality of expression is power! Mars is more high definition at night than during the day. I just think you’re sore that Deb gotcha. (And I am really joking with you, mostly.)

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Yeah, I am still kind of sore about it.