Vocational Astrology: A way to discover your life’s calling It’s through our success in handling our practical affairs that we demonstrate the ability to apply astrology in a grounded way, in real life. Vocational astrology guides us in what Hazrat Inayat Khan called the path of mastery through accomplishment. Oct 03, 2017 Vocational Astrology: How To Find Your Perfect Job or Career A beautiful client in east Texas requested I write of how you would determine what job or career would be suitable for a person using the natal chart. It was stated in a book once that only about 3% to 5% of the world population do work they love. They actually live to work! Jan 27, 2016 That is the art and the science of it, all based on the perspective and level of understanding of the astrologer. In this article, the focus will be on vocational astrology, the indicators that reveal your ideal career, purpose, and work in this lifetime. I write from the perspective of the Occult Astrologer. Faye’s book “Vocational Astrology: Finding the Right Career Direction” was published in 2012 and updated in 2017. It is a practical guide that shows how to combine astrology with techniques used by career counsellors. For reviews and to order (also as E-book) see www.fayesbook.co.uk.
With Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto transiting in Capricorn in2020 this is an appropriate time to focus on vocational astrology—the artof skillfully guiding ourselves and our clients in the world of work, toaid career decision making, but also to cope with career setbacks anddefeats, workplace stress, burnout, unemployment, changes of occupation,and retirement. The field of vocation is one of the key areas of oursocietal life where the services of astrologers can be most impactful andwill probably be in greatest future demand. This knowledge is especiallyvaluable in times of crisis when astrology can help us understand what’s happening to us.
In the past several months, our world has been greatly changed by theCoronavirus. 2020 features immensely powerful, stressful transits—notablythe March conjunction of Mars-Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn, andlater in the year, Mars retrograde in Aries square Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto.The transit of Mars conjunct Pluto and Saturn transit marked theinception of the pandemic. Pluto signifies viruses and infectiousdisease. Mars can be an inflammatory influence. The Mars-Plutoconjunction initiated the spread of this nasty infection. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction represents imposition of strict controls, ourneed to endure difficult circumstances, to simplify and strip down to thebasics.
As I write this, Saturn has just entered Aquarius for a few months, sowe’re suddenly faced with developing a new consciousness thatdemands we think and act as a collective, as cooperative groups. I viewthis transit as a signal to engage in intelligent group organizing, andcommitted social activism. Right now, we have to bear down and accomplishwhatever we can at home. I have faith that good can come out of this ifwe’re able to stay healthy and respond with calm, poise, andequanimity. Jupiter will be conjunct Pluto in Capricorn throughout 2020,which denotes the emergence of strong personalities capable of taking onbig tasks of management, organization, and positive leadership.
During this time of great uncertainty, clients will likely call usasking for guidance, and some of them are likely to be in a state ofanxiety and fear, so that our ability to help depends on our havingachieved a calm center. This equanimity comes from understanding inrealistic terms the current transiting situation affecting all of us andalso the implications and possibilities of one’s personal transits and what they’re asking each of us to do here and now. I won’tpretend to have all the answers regarding how to cope with thiscrisis.
Many of us astrologers are in the fortunate position of being able tocontinue doing our work by phone, Skype, and Facetime; our workdoesn’t require meeting with someone in person. But the tensionsare enormous for those who are unemployed, whose businesses are closed orfailing, and people who aren’t positioned to work from home. Thus,we’re faced with new challenges regarding what to tell people abouthow to cope with this situation.
Right now, we see the results of our prior actions andworks, which determine whether or not we’ve developed a seaworthyship, with sufficient structure and security to weather this stormytransition. To a large extent, our situation is conditioned by what we’ve already done and set in place. Specifically, have weestablished an occupational identity that can be adapted and sustained inour current conditions, and if not, have we saved enough money to pull usthrough this shutdown period? Have we cultivated friendship and family,and established a relatively stable, comfortable, nourishing homeenvironment? If not, this is a difficult time to quickly play catch up onthese building blocks of material and social adaptation. TheSaturn-Pluto conjunction represents enduring a period ofadversity, and it either brings out our strengths or it exposes weak points in our systems.
In my opinion, our best leverage to move forward is to focus on wherever there’s the most energy by transit, especially the currenttransiting position of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn. This iswhere we can do something constructive to advance in our enterprises.Right now, each of us faces the task of cultivating maturity in responseto adversity and challenge.
My wife, Diana, owns a business that involves daily contact with customers, and they’ve been forced to close down during thepandemic. Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto are transiting in her 6th house. She haseight people who work for her as employees and contractors, and she hasbeen working tirelessly to locate emergency small business funding to paythem while the business is shut down. She is working hard out of a senseof responsibility for the employees (Saturn-Pluto in the 6th house).
From July2020 on, in particular, with Saturn retrograde in Capricornconjunct Jupiter and Pluto, it’s a time to give seriousconsideration to the kind of practical decisions we may require in orderto secure our safety and survival. In the chart of Tara(chart 1), a young social activist andenvironmentalist, we see a conjunction of Mercury-Neptune in Sagittariusin the 11th house. She has tremendous social idealism with many visionsof the future; but right now Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn in her1st house shows that she needs to do something practical for herprofessional advancement, specifically to get focused on passing the examfor her acupuncture license, which she has been putting off for twoyears. This is the credential she needs for her material sustenance, to support being an activist. She needs to complete the construction of her professional persona and identity. She already went to school to studyChinese medicine; now she needs to prove her competency and be awardedthe license to practice. With the outer planets in Capricorn, thisisn’t the time for procrastination.
In offering occupational guidance during this crisis, the basics ofvocational astrology still apply as always, and we can find orientationby examining:
Three brief examples of aspects to the midheaven and ascendantshould suffice..
Saxophonist and genius jazz improviser John Coltrane(September 23, 1926 @ 5pm, Hamlet, North Carolina) hadVenus in Virgo square his midheaven. Microsoft founder Bill Gates (Oct 28, 1955 @ 10pm,Bellevue, WA) has Uranus, planet of science, technology, innovation,computers, and media, conjunct his Ascendant. NBA basketball superstarStephen Curry (March 14, 1988 @ 1:51pm. Akron,Ohio)has Mars square his Aries Midheaven, symbolof a warrior and competitor. In addition, Curry has Sun conjunct northnode, Ascendant ruler Saturn in Capricorn squaring the lunar nodes, andUranus conjunct the south node, signifying his great self-discipline andself-control and his unique, zany style as an athlete and person, all ofwhich contribute to his great popular appeal.
Now let’s consider the 6th house / 10th housedistinction. The 6th house, its dispositor, and planets placed in the 6th house concern the place and conditions of employment, therelationship between employer and employee, regardless of which side ofthe equation a person is on. The 6th house concerns the workplace andsituations of training where skills are developed, whereas the 10th housedefines or influences our calling or ambitions, a sought-after socialrank, status, or achievement. An example of this is “Eddie,”whose chart features Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Saturn in his6th house. He’s always at work, supervising a staff of over 120employees.
An unemployed man named David (chart 2)consulted me just before his second Saturn return. He’d been out ofwork for several years and was quite discouraged. Natally, he had Neptuneand Saturn in the 6th house and transiting Saturn was currently conjunctnatal Neptune, passing over it several times. He said his situation felthopeless. It seemed that no one was interested in hiring a 58-year-old man without a college education. A recovering drug addict and alcoholic, soberfor more than a decade, he was struggling with loss of faith (natalSaturn conjunct Neptune).
For someone with Saturn in the 6th house, being employed is veryimportant to a sense of stability and security; it’s a necessarycomponent of the life structure. David had been working since age 15 (hisfirst Saturn opposition) and had held innumerable jobs. I contemplatedthe meaning of natal Saturn in Scorpio in the 6th and asked if he’dever done any work involving energy, chemistry or chemical reactions,given that Scorpio symbolizes transforming energies. I was just guessinghere, using the symbolism to stimulate my intuition.1 He said he’donce worked for several years in a chemical factory. Keying onSaturn’s conjunction with Neptune, I suggested that he apply towork at the local electrical and water utility companies, where the focuswas on energy generation.
I counseled him that during the remaining months of Saturn retrogradeand its station near natal Neptune his situation might continue to beambiguous, unclear, formless; it might take some time for things toclarify and take form, but nonetheless he could apply for positions.Astrologers understand that Neptune symbolizes uncertainty and we cancounsel clients, when appropriate, to anticipate it, to yield to it andallow it.
Referencing David’s Taurus Sun in the 1st house, I believed hecould project the identity of a reliable person, solidly built, withpractical skills, a man who could be counted on. I suggested that he turnto the universe in an attitude of humility and spiritual devotion andapproach the job search with a commitment to prayer, service, anddiscipleship, asking the universe to provide the sustenance he needed sohe could be of service. This last comment, keyed on Saturn conjunctNeptune, was crucial, he told me, because it helped him surrender inwardly and maintain inner calm during several subsequent months of uncertainty.
After Saturn turned direct in Libra and made its final pass overNeptune, he applied with the local electric and water utilities, got someinterviews, but they kept him on hold for several months while nothinghappened. When Saturn entered Scorpio and passed over natal Saturn forthe first time he started working on a temporary basis. After Saturnturned direct in Scorpio, he was hired permanently by the water utilitydistrict, and within two years he was promoted three times. Recently, asSaturn entered Capricorn, he was promoted to a management position withincreased salary and retirement benefits. David tells me that he has never forgotten the precise insights that astrology provided to guide his jobsearch at a critical phase of life.
It’s helpful to establish a lifespan perspective on career development. For astrologers, attunement to the cycles of Saturn is a keyto our analysis of life cycles, which is essential for career counseling. Vocational psychologistDonald Supersaid that careers develop in five stages across the lifespan:growth (of capacities and interests in childhood andadolescence; typically at our first Saturn opposition),exploration (of possibilities, information-seeking about variousjobs, job-hunting—typically in early adulthood at our Saturn ¾ square,our Saturn return, or at later stages), establishment (gettingstarted and established in an occupation), maintenance(sustaining a job or career path over time), and disengagement(retirement or unemployment, when you must let go and move forward).All of these phases can be linked to important phases of the Saturn cycleinsofar as it governs slow establishment and maintenance of life structures.
Doris, chancellor of a large city’s Public Schoolsdistrict, told me, “I don’t want to do that jobanymore.” She was burned out, exhausted, wanted to test the watersand see about finding a new job. Noting that she was 54 years old andthat transiting Saturn was in her 2nd house, opposing her Sun in the8th house, I recommended that she makes the most practical, realisticdecision possible, and I asked what might that be. Doris informed me thather pension would be fully vested in just two more years. I asked,“Wouldn’t your overall financial position be stronger ifyou stay on the job until you reach that point of earning your fullpension? Then you can do whatever you want!” That fit themeaning of transiting Saturn opposite Sun—making a pragmatic decision,supporting career maintenance, but also planning for the upcoming stageof disengagement.
I can see that our present situation would be a very difficult momentfor young adults trying to enter the job market or for unemployed peopletrying to reenter the market. But the advice I would now give someone inthe exploratory information-gathering phase is no different thanI’d offer during so-called normal times—which is that we must actfrom within our natal pattern and the tendencies and potentials itindicates, to the best of our abilities.
Another factor that has been affecting people’s vocationallives even prior to the pandemic is the nature of how organizations havechanged. To reduce costs, they cut full-time jobs and add part-timerswith no benefits and lower salaries. They target workers over 45 or 50and try to get them to leave so younger, cheaper workers can take theirplace. This is a challenge for people in the career maintenancephase, as it interrupts the natural career cycle. Many working peopletoday find themselves in a precarious environment defined by anew corporate culture utilizing ruthless management strategies reflectingthe recent Uranus-Pluto square.
Astrology can help us come to terms with this situation because we have an archetype that explains it—Pluto, the impersonal power principle. During Pluto transits it’s not uncommon to encounter corruption, theassertion or abuse of power, and reptilian, cold-blooded actions orpolicies. Pluto brings the awareness that it’s a rough world outthere; we have to be tough and resilient, to be survivors. Reflection onastrological symbolism can help us navigate major career transitions,recognizing that our secure life structures sometimes need to change, andpredictably do so under the influence of transits of Pluto,Neptune, and Uranus to natal Saturn, which are some of the key transitsfor career crisis and transitions.
A crisisis a sudden, disorienting situation that’s disruptive and causesconsternation for the individual, and requires finding new ways of adapting to respond to a problem that arises suddenly. Transits such asUranus, Neptune, or Pluto aspecting natal Saturn are common indicators ofcareer crisis because these transits challenge our structural security.Bradley, age 62, (chart 3) is a highly skilled corporateconsultant and trainer. His chart features Saturn in Scorpio square Plutoin the 4th house. Brad had rough experiences growing up with a violent,tyrannical father, and in his adult life with several of his bosses, withwhom he had vehement disagreements and power struggles.
When he consulted me, Brad had been unemployed for three years since atraumatic event during his second Saturn return in the 6th house (houseof employment). At that time, he presented a report to the CEO and theBoard of Directors of a Fortune 500 company but his recommendations fororganizational changes were rejected, he was fired by the Board, and helost standing (reputation) and a great deal of money. His reputation tooka hit. During this Saturn return, square Pluto, Brad met inflexibleauthority, the archetype of the dictator. And he needed me to hear thatstory.
I noted that at the time of that crisis, his progressed Sun wasconjunct his midheaven, and I asked him, “Did you do your beston that report and in the way you stood behind your findings andrecommendations? Did you give that CEO and board of directors the bestprofessional advice you could give them at that moment?” Bradaffirmed this. I said, “Then I think you’ve alreadyachieved success, you did your job well. So why don’t you stopbeating yourself up about getting fired. It happens to everyone at somepoint. It has certainly happened to me. One of the lessons of Pluto isthat sometimes situations come to an end and we need to disengage andmove on.” That was a crucial moment, when Brad felt empathically seen and validated. This interchange set in motion theemotional release he needed to return to work, to get established again.Sometimes assignments come to an end and we need to disengage and moveon. This is a spiritual perspective that emerges from consideration ofastrological symbolism. Brad started a new job a few months later, whentransiting Jupiter conjoined natal Saturn in his 6th house.
Most of the examples in this article were written before the pandemic,but the operating principles remain the same; all the stories illustratecoping with change and transition. What I hope these examples show isthat vocational astrology not only involves technical analysis of a chartto guide occupational choices. It’s also a process of counseling people and being able to spontaneously elicit meaning from theirsituations at moments of heightened intensity and urgency.
A pandemic makes us aware of death, and this makes us reflect on whatwe need to do now, while we’re alive. We have to strive to fulfillour birth pattern despite difficult circumstances. Venus compatibility cafe astrology. If we’re true tothe law of our own nature, so we’re in harmony with nature, andwe’ll flow on the right path. The impersonal perspective of Plutobrings realization that some of us, and some of those we know and love, will be swept into death, so we need acceptance of that inevitability andfrom that recognition we savor each breath, each ray of light, eachday’s freedom to exist. We have an opportunity to try to dosomething useful with our lives, actions, and commitments.
As a final example, here are the charts ofAllen and his wife Cathy (charts 4&5), who was just named apartner in a big, fancy law firm. The three planets in Capricorn are inAllen’s 12th house, which of course is the house of spirituality,inner life, solitude, and being momentarily cloaked, invisible, behindthe scenes. It’s also the 6th house from the wife or spouse7th house, so the 12th house signifies the partner’s work,workplace, and health. Cathy is gone at the office every day and bringswork home with her at night and on weekends. She is totally focused oncompleting her work on significant cases. She is meeting the Capricorntests of accomplishment, career mastery, and advancement, with flying colors. Transiting Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto are in her 10th house, and afterseveral years of feverish, nonstop work and much aggressive intra-officepolitics, in-fighting, and power struggles (while transiting Plutosquared her natal Mars-Saturn-Pluto in Libra), she was finally elected apartner, right as transiting Saturn reached conjunction to natal Venus inher 10th house.
Cathy’s health has been severely strained during the Saturn and Pluto squares to her natal Mars, Saturn and Pluto. She suffers from inflammation of joints, lower back pain (Mars-Saturn-Pluto in Libra, which rules the lumbar spine), and headaches—symptoms of the pressureshe’s under in the workplace and the toll her stressful lifestyleis taking on her. Vocational counseling emphasizes her need for betterwork/home balance and a pressing need for more exercise and leisure time.She’s continuing her work from home during the pandemic.
While all of this is happening for Cathy, Allen is spending all of histime at home, caring for their infant and now toddler daughter. He’s working behind the scenes supporting his wife’s occupationalsuccess. With the three planets near her MC, Cathy’s career is at apeak, while Allen’s career in the music business is at a lull, alow ebb. The 12th house is the house of karma and its results, and Allencontinues to earn money from royalties for past works completed, and he’s learning to trust the universe to provide. Cathy is succeedingas the main breadwinner and he is the nurturing dad, and family cook,dishwasher, handyman, and gardener (Sun conjunct Moon). He doesn’thave a big outer world career right now, but through the wisdom ofastrology he has learned to be okay with that, knowing that part of themeaning of the moment is that it’s okay to be the selfless servant.He’s meditating daily, trying to hold the peace for the householdand for the good of the world.
To close regarding this couple, I’ll comment on the fact thatupon first glance at Cathy’s chart I might not have guessedshe’d be drawn to the legal profession, other than interpretingnatal Neptune in Sagittarius in her 9th house as a symbol of idealismabout ethical and legal principles. Deeper insight emerges by followingthe Tyl Midheaven extension. Cathy’s Ascendant ruler Mars isconjunct Saturn, which rules her MC and is disposed by Venus in Aquarius,whose dispositor Uranus is in the legal sign of Sagittarius, in the8th house of business and financial partnership. Uranus is disposed byJupiter in Scorpio, disposed by Pluto, which is at the Descendant,signifying her alliance with several influential senior lawyers in theirwork representing powerful individuals and corporations. Pluto isconjunct Saturn, ruler of the 10th house, signifying her tireless work investigating the facts and her poised demeanor in court and conference.
In this crisis period, we’ve enrolled in the advanced graduatecourse of life. This isn’t the time to be weak. It’s time totake charge of ourselves. Sometimes change is forced on us; the outerplanets indicate this. As astrologers we strive to initiate a reactionfrom within our own natal pattern. Wise astrologers choose how to sound atone in the universe—to be an emanating source, a creator. The current 2020 Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn and early Aquarius isan opportunity to take significant steps toward accomplishment in ourpersonal enterprises and participation in progressive socialevolution.
1 This is an important point. Sometimes we don’t know exactly whatsomething in a chart means, but we have to contemplative the symbolismand try to imagine what it means. We’re not expected to know everythingin advance. The meaning of chart symbols is a mystery to be discovered.
Published in: The Career Astrologer, June 2020.
Greg Bogart, PhD, MFT, has practicedastrology professionally since 1981 and is a licensed Marriage and FamilyTherapist. Greg is also a lecturer in psychology at Sonoma State University where he teaches courses on adult development, myth, dreams,Jungian depth psychology, and the psychology of yoga. In October 2020,Ibis Press will publish his newest work, Astrology’s Higher Octaves. Greg is also the author of Astrology and Spiritual Awakening; TherapeuticAstrology; Planets in Therapy: Predictive Technique and the Art ofCounseling; and Astrology and Meditation: The Fearless Contemplation ofChange. You can contact Greg at 510.594.4329 or [email protected] Website:www.dawnmountain.com.
Boulder: Image by gentlegiant27153 from Pixabay
Builder: Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
Burnout: Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash
© 2020 - Greg Bogart - The Career Astrologer