Note: The following is an excerpt from Donna Cunningham’s ebook, Counseling Principles for Astrologers, available for purchase from Moon Maven Publications. At the end of this article, you’ll find a 9-page download about working with teens.
As a profession, astrology is ruled by Uranus, the same planet most strongly connected with the adolescent period and its turmoil, so we naturally have something to offer this age group. Looking at the horoscope as a blueprint of the individual, we can help identify the young person’s true self, as opposed to peer, family, and societal pressures to conform. Thus, an astrology session given by a sensitive, supportive, positive, and constructive adult can be very helpful to teens in finding out who they are. No doubt, you and I could have used input like that when we were young.
First, it is important to confront your own attitudes about adolescence. Some astrologers are especially gifted with teenagers. These are often people who have raised teenagers and enjoyed them or who have worked with them in other contexts, like school or recreational settings.
On the other hand, if you are currently raising teenagers—or still dealing with the aftereffects of that typically tumultuous phase—conflicts, wishes and fears about your offspring may also interfere.
Other astrologers, because their own adolescence was difficult and remains green in their minds, have a special empathy for this age group. If you are uncomfortable with teens or dislike them, however, this will come through and contaminate the session. You are better off referring them to someone who just thinks teens are the best thing God ever made.
If you have unresolved issues from your own adolescence, be aware that working with this age group may trigger them. For instance, you may over-identify with the teen against the parent, thereby inflaming their conflicts. Or, you may be overeager to suppress their natural rebelliousness if you had to suppress your own in youth.
To discover what your personal issues might be, spend some time remembering those years, what you were like, and how you got along with your parents and peers. Your natal Uranus and its aspects may give you some clues, as well as transits and progressions for that period.
When Parents Ask You to Look at a Teen’s Chart
Sometimes parents ask you to look at teenagers’ charts during their own session. This is an instance where, to my way of thinking, astrology skates perilously close to being an invasion of privacy—kind of like prying open a teen’s padlocked diary.
That’s an interesting question, isn’t it? Could an astrologer be sued for violation of the constitutional right to privacy? If we were taken more seriously, we’d be enjoined from looking at a person’s chart without written consent. (If we were taken seriously as a profession, we’d probably need malpractice insurance!)
You are looking at the chart of an emerging individual, so be respectful of that young person’s search for an identity. Ask yourself, what if this teenager listens to the tape? (You can bet they probably will, somehow, some time. In their shoes, wouldn’t you have?) What would teens want you to tell the parent and what would they not? What would they want to hear about themselves? You might do well to act as though the young person were present.
Attention to the parent’s motivation in asking is merited. If it comes from a genuine and heartfelt wish to help, you will sense it and act accordingly. If you sense that control is a primary issue–and you might already know that from the parent’s horoscope and your interactions–caution is in order. Be circumspect and think about how your words would sound quoted out of context.
Parents may well use your pronouncements as ammunition against the young person. “You’d better watch you step, young lady. That astrologer said you’d probably get pregnant before you marry.”
Understanding the Parents’ Motivation and Expectations
Sometimes, especially after you’ve commented on a teenager’s chart, the parent will ask you to see their son or daughter. Since parents are usually paying for the session, attention to their motivation in sending the child is important.
Sometimes a parent asks out of a genuine belief that the consultations will help their son or daughter make the right choices in terms of schooling and vocation. When the young person is earnestly searching for a vocation, astrology can be an excellent tool. Or, parents may feel their teens who suffer from low self-esteem could discover their personal gifts and potentials, which the chart does so well.
Occasionally, however, clients who’ve been well impressed with your work will ask you to see their difficult teenager. This is tricky–really tricky.
You might start by talking with these parents about what they hope the session will accomplish. The intimate understanding astrology lends doubtlessly has given you an aura of divine wisdom. Consciously or unconsciously, they maybe saying, “Here, you fix my problem child.”
Suppose you discuss the expectations and conclude that the parent hopes you will talk some sense into Jared or Ashley. Where control is the motivation, caution is warranted. You need to clarify what astrology can and cannot do.
- You cannot sic Saturn onto a young person and straighten them out.
- An astrological consultation is not a substitute for therapy when there are serious conflicts or behavior problems.
- It cannot scare a young person out of a drug problem.
- It is not a birth control method.
You would do well to talk parents who are having serious problems with their kids into going for family counseling or to a parent group—for which you just happen to have the phone number. Otherwise you may be caught in the middle in a most unpleasant way.
For more tips about working with teenager’s charts, here is a 9-page download from Counseling Principles for Astrologers: Considerations in doing astrology consulations for teens1. ( It’s part of a longer chapter on working with children’s charts. The book is available for purchase from Moon Maven Publications.)
Want more tips on how to work with teens? See: 4 Great Articles on How to Introduce Astrology to Teenagers . Also see more articles for astrologers here: Pointers for Professionals.
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