A Consumer’s Guide to Astrology – Part I: Differences between Astrology, Psychic Ability, and Other Forms of Divination

Currently, there is much more information available about astrology than there has been in the past.  Many astrologers have blogs or YouTube channels, and a quick internet search will yield a great deal of information. While this is a good thing, it can also be quite overwhelming. There are various branches of astrology, and there are many other types of practitioners such as psychics and tarot card readers. If you are looking for guidance, how do you even know where to begin?

In this article, I will explain what astrology is and how it is different from psychic ability and other divination practices such as reading Tarot cards. I will also talk about the role of intuition in these various forms of guidance.


What is Astrology?

Astrology is the study of the movements of planets and the impact they have on our life on Earth. These movements are determined through mathematical calculations, and it is possible to know planetary placements for millennia in the past and in the future. For this reason, an astrologer can determine the astrological influences for a person’s entire life.

An astrologer works by casting charts, which are maps of the sky for a particular time and place. Often charts are cast for the time and place of a person’s birth, and these are called Natal Charts or Nativity Charts, but they can also be cast for events and even for the time and place of a question. It is by analyzing these charts that an astrologer will be able to give you guidance.

The Difference Between Astrologers and Psychics

One of the common misconceptions is that astrologers and psychics are the same, but they are very different. A psychic is gaining information through a connection with the Lunary Sphere.  Different psychics work in different ways, but they do not have access to the same breadth of information that astrologers do. They tune into a specific issue based on a question that you ask or information they receive psychically.


While psychics do not have access to the same breadth of information, they are often able to answer more specific questions than astrologers can. The reason for this is that an astrologer is looking at the movements of the planets, which have been set in place since long before you were born. Because of this, an astrologer does not have access to the choices you have made in your life up to the present. The astrologer can see a range of information about what is possible for your life and can even make educated guesses as to your most likely response to the astrological influences. What they cannot see, however, is what your actual response has been, unless you tell them.

For this reason, astrologers will usually ask you more questions and will need a lot more information from you than psychics will. If a psychic asks you for information, this could be a sign that they are fraudulent and that they are trying to do a “cold reading,” which means that they are using what you tell them and your body language to guess rather than gaining information by psychic means. If an astrologer asks you for information, however, they are using that information to either test the chart they are using or to sort through what the chart is telling them in order to give you the most useful advice they can.

More information about psychic readings can be found on the site Numerology Sign.

The Difference Between Astrology and Other Divination Techniques Such as Tarot

Astrology is one form of divination, but it works differently than many other types, such as Tarot or runes. Tarot readers work with a specific question that you ask or with your general state at a particular point in time using cards. Runes, I Ching, and other divination forms using objects work in a similar way. Most forms of astrology, however, are looking at larger patterns than those that can be determined with divination forms using objects.


There is one form of astrology known as Horary Astrology that works in a similar fashion as Tarot. In Horary Astrology, you will ask a question, and the astrologer will cast a chart for the exact moment that they fully understand your question. They will use that chart to give you advice. A Horary chart can be used when you have a very specific question about what is happening right now or in the near future, and it is the only form of astrology in which it is not necessary to know your time and place of birth. I do offer Horary services, which you can order as one of the “Other Services” by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

As compared to Tarot and other forms of divination using objects, Horary charts are less flexible. While you should not ask the same question twice of any form of divination, with objects you can do a new reading during the same session, either for clarification or for truly separate, but related questions. In contrast, with Horary Astrology, the chart will generally not change very much during a session, so you are limited to one chart. If you are asking completely unrelated questions, the chart will yield different answers, but if the questions are too similar to each other, you will need to wait for the planetary positions to change before asking your new question. For this reason, Horary charts are best reserved for larger questions that have been on your mind for a long time.

Also, Horary charts are not always readable. There are rules that are known as “Considerations before Judgment” which are planetary configurations that tell you that there is something wrong with the question or that it is not answerable at this time. The most common consideration is when the Moon is “void of course,” or will not make an aspect with any other planet before she changes signs. No matter what else the chart shows, a void of course Moon generally means “nothing will come of it.” This is both an advantage and a disadvantage to Horary over other divination forms. It is good to know if a chart is unreadable or if there is something wrong with the question. On the other hand, if that is the case, there is nothing that can be done within the session, whereas with other forms of divination, one could potentially revise the question and try again.

The Role of Intuition in Astrology

One of the biggest differences between astrology and other forms of guidance is the role of intuition in the course of the reading. In this context, I am using the term intuition in the way that is most commonly used in modern times, which is the Lunar capacity to receive information by means other than the senses. The word intuition can also be used to refer to Solar Intellect, which is what allows us to know and recognize Truth without the need to be taught.


Astrology is primarily based on the calculation of the planetary positions at a particular place and time, and so, technically, intuition does not have to play any role at all.  Solar Intellect is quite helpful in understanding the principles of astrology when studying them, but in an actual reading, the astrologer is interpreting the chart based on reason and logic. That being said, reading an astrological chart is not like reading a spreadsheet. Charts contain a lot of information, and the symbolism can be read in many different ways depending on context. Also, the information and symbolism in astrological charts are often contradictory.

In a way, an astrologer can be likened to a judge presiding over a trial. The planetary positions will give testimony, and it is up to the astrologer to synthesize and weigh this testimony to determine the best advice to give you. In doing this, an astrologer will often rely on their intuition, as well as their experience and common sense. My personal practice is to follow a checklist of techniques but to also allow space for the chart to tell me what it wants to say through my intuition.

In contrast, psychics rely almost entirely upon their intuition. They may use other tools such as astrology or divination as well, but if someone is advertising psychic services, they are telling you that they are primarily using their intuition. Tarot readers and other diviners are in between psychics and astrologers in this way. They do learn the meanings of the cards (or other objects), but they usually need to use at least some intuition to interpret the results. Also, they must be able to create the appropriate atmosphere in order for the cards or runes to give accurate readings. They do this by focusing their mind and by guiding you in focusing your own when you are handling the objects and asking your question.

In contrast, astrology, even Horary Astrology, is not dependent upon creating an appropriate atmosphere. The planets move in their courses without any influence from us. The job of the Horary Astrologer is simply to help you define your question and to understand what you are asking. The moment this happens is considered the “birth” of the question, and the planets will be where they will be in that moment.


We have discussed astrology and how astrologers differ from psychics or other practitioners of divination. In later articles, I will talk about the various branches of astrology, the types of astrological readings that are available, and what to look for when choosing an astrologer, an astrological teacher, or a course of study.

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