When Laura Tadd was born, her clairvoyant parents hung her astrological birth chart above her crib. But it took awhile for the scholarly social scientist to get around to seriously addressing what the curious, symbolic glyphs displayed in her pie-shaped astrological birth map were all about.
Despite the early exposure, Tadd didn’t develop her seemingly fated passion for astrology until her mid-twenties while a student at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, Calif. At Antioch she joined a group of woman studying the subject and, after graduation, continued to study and earn certification as a professional psychological astrologer from Astrological Counseling Seminars (ACS).
She went on to earn a PhD in Human Science from Saybrook University. Her doctoral thesis explored the reasons why being an astrologer is such a challenge in today’s world.
“The good news is that, in the West, it’s easier to be an astrologer today than it was 100 years ago,“ she says.
Dr. Tadd claims her research indicates there is more mainstream acceptance of astrology today than at any time in recent history. And a growing number of astrologers are earning advanced degrees.
“This greater acceptance of astrology creates a domino effect where astrology enthusiasts feel a greater freedom to come out. This trend will continue to shift in the community’s favor as more and more people look at astrology as something more than entertainment,” she predicted.
“But this doesn’t mean that being an astrologer does not have its challenges,” she said.
Tadd says her research indicates that mainstream acceptance of practices such as yoga, acupuncture and meditation “has grown by leaps and bounds since the 1960’s counterculture movement. However, astrology has lagged behind and vocal critics continue to brand it as utter nonsense.”
She says the pace at which respect for astrology has grown, or not grown, has contributed to one of the key challenges for astrologers today – a pervasive poverty mentality.
“Many who might pursue astrology as a vocation today do not do so because they assume it’s not a viable fiscal option. For many practitioners astrology is not their sole source of income, not because they don’t want it to be but because they do not see this option as a real possibility.”
“From the client’s perspective, taking astrology seriously requires a change in worldview, an opening to the possibility of an interrelated, interconnected world. This is a big paradigm shift for people – a big ask.
“It requires being comfortable with the idea that just because you don’t understand something does not make it untrue,” she said.
Tadd says the pervasive Western worldview is one that is predicated on rationalist absolutism. Astrology does not fit neatly into that mold.
“In recent centuries astrology has been undervalued, misrepresented and diminished as a discipline. Predictably, it’s hard for people to see value in something they don’t understand.
“Astrologers often find themselves in a position where they feel they must defend their work – and sanity. A question that gets old quickly: you really don’t believe that stuff, do you?”
Tadd says many people have the idea that the sun sign columns published in newspapers and magazines is all there is to astrology. They know little about astrology’s rich history or the mathematical complexities and concepts that underpin it.
But it’s also true that some attracted to astrology more broadly do not understand the discipline’s limitations. “Some clients bring unrealistic expectations to their astrological session and are disappointed or frustrated by the fact that astrology cannot fix things in their life.
“Ideally, astrology provides clarity and context. And clients may be helped with timing and decision making. But no amount of astrological information can do something for them. The client must do the doing,” she opined.
“People are rarely comfortable with uncertainty so we seek to give meaning to the world around us. Anyone who has spent time with a two-year-old knows how often they will pepper you with the question why?
“As exhausting as this incessant question can be, such little ones are an exquisite example of how deeply humans are called to understand themselves and the world around us,” she said.
More information can be found on her website, www.mythicsky.com.