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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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Home » astrological techniques and concepts

Advice for Astrologers: Document Your Lives

Posted by on June 7, 2010 at 8:03 am21 Comments

One of the best pieces of advice that I could give to people who are just getting into the field of astrology, or to astrologers who are already in the field, is to document your lives.   Document your lives as extensively as possible.

Usually this means keeping a journal of some sort in which you record daily events in your life as they unfold.  The traditional method is obviously just to write it out on paper, although some might prefer to type it out on a computer, or perhaps record audio journals.

It doesn’t really matter what the format is, as long as you are keeping track of various developments that are occurring in your life on a regular basis.

The reason that this is important is because one of the greatest truisms in astrology is that the best case study that you will ever have is your own life and birth chart.  This is because you will never know anyone else’s life, in all of its subtleties and complexities, as well as you know your own.

Sure, most of the time you see astrologers using celebrity birth charts as examples in case studies, but a large part of the reason for this is that the lives of celebrities are often so well documented, whereas this isn’t the case for most average people.

Celebrity charts are not a sufficient source for all case studies though, because in using them there are often issues surrounding public perceptions of the celebrity being disconnected from who they really are as a person.

When it comes down to it you can only really have an outsider’s perspective on the life of a celebrity, no matter how well-documented their life is, and many of the details get lost when your subject is at that much of a distance.  In my opinion the loss of the details outweighs many of the benefits gained by the (questionable) sense of objectivity one gets from studying a public figure.

Contrast that with the alternate option.  All possible issues of bias and subjectivity aside, you have the unique ability to record on any given date the exact events, emotions and circumstances that are present in your life.   This is exactly the type of data that astrologers need when they are studying the application of various astrological techniques – techniques that are used to study the events, circumstances and internal states that individuals encounter during the course of their lives.

There is one catch though – you have to record everything, because most of the time the full significance of events is only apparent in retrospect, and sometimes seemingly minor events can have great astrological importance.  The chance meeting of some stranger, missing a bus that caused you to be late for work, suddenly having an idea about some concept, etc.  Even the smallest things can turn out to be very important, especially within the broader perspective of one’s chronology.

So, that is my exhortation to astrologers for the day:  document your lives, and do it as carefully as possible.  This is the single best thing that you can do in the long term for testing the techniques of astrology and coming to a better understanding of how it works in practice.

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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


  • june says:

    Amen, great advice. Keeping good records of oneself is also really helpful for beginners to “unlearn” cheap and/or fear-mongering astrology.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    How so June?

  • june says:

    Well, typically beginners read about specific astrology before they see it work. Early on I thought Mercury retrograde was some sort of death kiss given all of the hype, more so for Geminis, and after reviewing my history of living through Mercury retrogrades pre-astrology knowledge, it was apparent that the time was relatively minor for me.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Ah, ok. Good point.

  • Veritas says:

    Making somesort of a diary wouldn´t be a problem , but , as we´re talking about astrology, what kind of events should be documented with date/time/location ?(the largest number possible or really important events)

  • Veritas says:

    “The chance meeting of some stranger” I dont really see this important as I dont know the other persons chart..

  • Chris Brennan says:

    What constitutes a ‘really important event’ in a person’s life is often only apparent in retrospect, and so the best approach is to document as many events as possible.

    First meeting charts don’t require the other person’s nativity in order to be useful.

  • Cindy says:

    Thank you! Really good idea. Due to life being so horrible right now, with no job…. I can’t study Astrology like I’d like to…..but I CAN make daily notes so that later I can go back and check myself once I do learn.

    Very good idea.

    I think it will probably be best to write short bullet points and not be too wordy too.

    Thanks for that!

  • Kristina says:

    Just write, don’t worry about if it’s significant or not, everything is. You may learn something one day then decide to look back on your journals and all of a sudden something insignificant at the time becomes significant:) and EVERY meeting with a felow human being is “significant”.

  • Kristina says:

    One day, years ago, I went for a walk with the goal of sitting by the river and writing in my journal. Well, I got to the riverside, sat down, took out my journal and discover I had no writing tool!! I could not find my pen. At that Moment mercury was quintile my Neptune:) hmm…

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Here is a video I found on YouTube yesterday that kind of explains one of the reasons why it is good to document everything, and how the relevance of certain events sometimes only becomes apparently later on:

  • Kristina says:

    And at the time I was learning a numerical system to aspects. Conjunction would be 1, a single point, opposition 2, back and forth movement, trine 3, flowing movement represented with a triangle, square 4, stuttered like movement represented by a box with hard corners, and a quintile 5, abox with a point outside of it, which expresses itself as a desire or passion for something just out of reach. like a pen:)

  • Kristina says:

    Thanks Chris. That video made me smile:)

  • I agree that you can never really know what is going on inside the head of a celebrity. It must be really hard to always be in the spotlight, and having every little thing you do put in the papers. That has got to mess with you after a time. If you gain five pounds all of a sudden you are on the cover of a magazine, “Look how fat he got! What happened to his career?” You just loose site of who you are as a person, and just become some object of entertainment. Money is nice, but not having any freedom is not worth it to me. I kept a journal for 2 months when I lived in Italy and whenever I read it over, it takes me back to the exact same mindset I had during the trip. It is like living it all over again.

  • r.ganesan says:

    this is a good advice.different subjects can be recorded.
    preferably, one can start record on their health point of view
    for future evaluation.

  • Hallo sir……
    This is a good advise & I agree that you can never really know what is going on inside the head of a celebrity. It must be really hard to always be in the spotlight, and having every little thing you do put in the papers. That has a got to a miss with after a time. Thanks……

  • […] Astrologer Chris Brennan has an important piece of advice for astrologers: Document your lives! […]

  • John says:

    Hi Chris,

    I have not written anything down on paper of certain planetary aspects and how they have affected me. But today I am alive and well in the full moon in Aquarius, and reading an astrology blog, of course. I suppose it would be worth much more if I were not Sun sign Aquarius.
    I wondered how much time you spend looking at your own chart, and if interests are expanded into other areas such as numerology.

    – John

  • Lady D. says:

    Hi Chris,

    This is my first time visiting this site. It’s really cool! So, of course I just had to subscribe! Great job Chris! Now, for everyone who wants to use Chris’ advice and start writing down events in your life. Let me help you all out. . . First, it seems from reading everyone’s response that some of you are having trouble. So, let’s start by saying “write down your Experiences” instead of “write down your Events”. This should make things easier right away. Next, don’t just write down your Experiences, but also categorize them. That means, write down the areas of your life that the experience either (1) occurs in, and/or (2) directly influences. Examples: (1) An argument with your teenage child = A 5th House (Children; Parenting as the ultimate act of creative self-expression) Experience. (2) You’ve met someone at the Barnes&Noble Bookstore… Oh, in the Astrology/New Age section! = A 7th House (One-on-one relationships; Other people) Experience. Finally, look at your astrological birth chart, and I bet you will find some transit of a cosmic body — luminary (Sun or Moon), planet (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Etc.), asteroid (Ceres, Juno, Etc.), nodal point (North Node or South Node)– to these houses. You can use The 12 Houses of Astrology to categorize your experiences. This is a great way to both observe your life and study astrology. And it also enhances your intuition or “psychic perception”; because as you notice the patterns, you are learning what the transits mean. Oh, I almost forgot: ALWAYS pay great attention to a stellium of cosmic bodies all transiting a house! When this happens, something major is going on in this area of your life. But of course, if you try out these tips I’m giving you, you’ll discover this soon enough!… Luv u all in the field of Astrology! –Lady D.

  • Hi, Chris, it’s too bad more teachers don’t stress the idea of keeping an astrologically enhanced journal, because you’re absolutely right. We do learn astrology best by experiencing it first hand…and then keeping a record of it so we can say, “Hmm, what happened to me last time Saturn made an aspect to my (whatever?) That was back in March, whenever–let me go look at my journal.”

    I kept journals for years and years. But at one point I went back and read a bunch of them and got disgusted–despite all my work on self-improvement, it was the same old stuff that kept coming up. So I tossed them out. Now, I wish I’d kept them because I can see how I’ve changed from the old days. It just takes longer than we think, but it does eventually get better.

    Congrats on a terrific blog, Chris. Donna Cunningham

  • Chris Brennan says:

    I agree Donna. Hopefully it will become a more standard practice in the future though, especially now that it is so easy to record different facets of one’s life with different types of media.

    Thanks for your compliments on my blog! I’m a fan of yours as well, so it is an honor.