One thing that I realized was that my hearing loss has made me a better astrologer.
The irony is I never planned to become an astrologer. My early jobs included stints in retail, restaurants, and later, teaching elementary school. But in my early 20s, I met a very special person who was an astrologer and herbalist. Over the years, my friend and mentor taught me everything she knew about the cosmos, plants, and healing. After a while, people began to ask me to read their charts. Before I knew it, I had become a professional astrologer.
My mentor told me many times that she thought my hearing loss was one of the key factors contributing to my skill as an astrologer. She felt that my loss had made me develop parts of myself that I might not have if I had been born hearing. As I’ve reflected on what it means to be a hard of hearing astrologer, I’ve identified five qualities that I feel have been key to my astrological practice.
I’m a person who is hungry for information. Because my sense of hearing is compromised, I’ve had to get that information through other means. To compensate, I have developed keen observational skills. I watch body language, facial expressions, eye contact, and pretty much everything that can be seen and noticed visually. When working with a client, I put these skills to the test by noting what my client’s body seems to be saying in response to the information I’m providing. I then check in with them to confirm.
I can’t hear well, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a good listener. In fact, I’ve been told by many people that I’m one of the best listeners they know. That’s because I really want to connect with my clients. I’m interested in them. If I think I haven’t heard what they’ve said correctly, I repeat back to them what I think I heard and ask for confirmation. I also try to listen to what is not being said, to hear the meaning beneath the words and to hear what they might want to say, but don’t know how.
Intuition has sometimes been referred to as the sixth sense. This sense, just like the other five, helps us receive information. But unlike the others, intuition helps us gather information from within ourselves. It allows us to listen at a deeper, more internal level. I feel I developed a strong sixth sense because I didn’t have full access to my hearing. I was forced to find other ways of gathering information.
It’s not easy being different in a world that values being “normal.” There have been so many times in my life where I’ve had to work feeling left out, like an “other,” or less than because of my hearing loss. So when I encounter a client who feels badly about having a difference of some kind, I know how to walk them through the lonely landscape of otherness and back towards a feeling of connection. I think my clients come to me because they know I can see and appreciate their innate humanity. My intention when doing an astrology reading is to connect my clients to their own beauty, value, and reason for being alive. I can only do this if I first honor their suffering and pain.
Even though astrology has been popular for thousands of years, in the modern era astrology has acquired a reputation as being kind of weird and outside the box. I probably gravitated to it for exactly this reason, because I grew up feeling weird and outside the box. What could be more perfect for me than an ancient science that perceives the world from a completely different perspective than the one I had been taught was “normal?” I was a square peg trying to fit into the round hole of hearing culture. Astrology gave me the means to understand all of my differences and strangeness. My hearing loss has truly made me a better astrologer.