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survey-buttonKepler College is investigating creating a series of workshops for professional development for astrologers. We would like to know which topics are most interesting and useful to you. Please take a moment to fill out our survey.

As a thank you and an introduction to our professional development offerings, please CLICK HERE to enjoy Donna Woodwell's marketing workshop on how astrologers can use the internet to attract clients and promote products. 

  • professionalism
  • professional development
  • professional astrologer
  • marketing
    kepler@kepler.edu (Kepler) Professional Development Fri, 16 Aug 2013 05:58:37 +0000
    How to Create Your Holistic Market Niche http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/professional-development/item/448-holistic-market-niche http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/professional-development/item/448-holistic-market-niche How to Create Your Holistic Market Niche

    We know there are millions of customers searching in the holistic marketplace for ideas, products and services to make their lives healthier, more meaningful and purposeful.  Now let’s start to explore how we as holistic practitioners can tap into this marketplace to build successful and prosperous businesses.

    I’ve recently finished reading “The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill. Written in 1925, this groundbreaking work is the forerunner to all of today’s popular books on entrepreneurship and the law of attraction. Hill conducted extensive research and interviews with business and industry leaders of his day in order to distill their common traits into 16 key ingredients for success. “Singleness of purpose,” what he also called a “definite chief aim,” tops his list. Hill explains why:

    [Each person] acts always in harmony with the dominating thoughts of his or her mind. Any definite chief aim that is deliberately fixed in the mind and held there, with the determination to realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious mind until it automatically influences the physical action of the body toward the attainment of the purpose. … The subconscious mind may be likened to a magnet, and when it has been vitalized and thoroughly saturated with any definite purpose it has a decided tendency to attract all that is necessary for the fulfillment of that purpose.

    Hill made it his own definite chief aim to help others uncover their purpose in life and fulfill their potential. He believed our best chance for success in life comes from the pursuit of what we love to do. Consequently, he interviewed thousands of people to help them discover their definite chief aim, asking questions like:

    • What do you love to do?
    • What can do better than anyone else?
    • What makes you unique?
    • Remember a time in your life when you were happy and satisfied. What were you doing?
    • Visualize your ideal life in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. What inspires you most?

    For a holistic business, having a “definite chief aim” goes hand-in-hand with identifying your particular niche market. Says Peter Geisheker in Niche Marketing Strategy: “A niche market is group of consumers or businesses that all have a very specific need or want.” By providing exactly what customers are looking for, demand for products and services naturally follows.

    Laura Lake in Defining Your Niche Market suggests some questions for better understanding your own niche:

    • What is it that your current clients have in common?
    • How do you set yourself apart from the competition?
    • What is different about the services or products that you offer?
    • What are the “extras” that you bring to the market?

    Also consider your geographic area — if your services are hands-on, your niche may be more local. But even if your business can sell worldwide, don’t be afraid to focus narrowly. It gives you a way to concentrate your efforts and meet the maximum number of true potential clients — the ones who are looking for exactly what you offer.

    And now it’s time to write down your niche statement. Your niche statement needs to communicate how what you offer will help improve your clients’ quality of life. It speaks not about what you do, rather about what your clients’ need and how you can help. The distinction may seem subtle, but it makes all the difference in the world to your eventual success.

    Susan Reid in How to Define Your Niche for Your New Business shared a fabulous formula for writing a niche statement.“There are just four things you need to include in your niche statement: your niche, their problem, your solution, your promise. Stated simply, the niche statement formula: niche + problem + solution + promise = success. Here’s what it looks like in more detail:

    I/we work with __________________________(your niche),
    who haven’t/need to ____________________ (their problem).
    If you’re ready to/it’s time to _____________ (your solution),
    I/we can/will ___________________________ (your promise).

    In going through this process, you may discover that you have several market niches for different aspects of your business. That’s normal. But for purposes of this Adventure, I suggest you start with just one.  It will help you harness your power of concentration if you focus your energy on a single, “definite chief aim.” Once you’ve mastered the principles on one aim, you can confidently move on to another.

    Once you’ve written down your clear and concise statement, place it where you can see it. Look at it every night before you go to sleep and every morning when you awaken.  Since your subconscious is more open to suggestion at the threshold between sleep and wakefulness, these two times of the day are the magic moments for impressing your desires deeply into your mind.  Do this every day, and in just a few weeks you’ll begin to see shifts occurring in your life.

    In upcoming articles we’ll begin to formulate a plan to bring your “definite chief aim” into reality, so stay tuned!

    Questions to Consider

    • What is your definite chief aim in life? In business?
    • What is your niche marketing statement for your holistic business?
    • How has focusing on your niche marketing statement  changed your daily routines?
    • professionalism
    • marketplace
    • business success
    • business development
    • holistic business
      donna@fourmoonsastrology.com (Donna Woodwell) Building Your Business Wed, 17 Apr 2013 20:56:35 +0000
      Seeking the Seekers - Discovering the New Age Marketplace http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/professional-development/item/446-discover-marketplace http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/professional-development/item/446-discover-marketplace Seeking the Seekers - Discovering the New Age Marketplace

      A few weeks ago I attended a social gathering of holistic practitioners. The conversation drifted (as it often does in such groups) to how to “get more clients” and make a sustainable living.

      My companions were compassionate souls who truly want to make a difference in the world. But as I listened, I could hear echoes of the shadow projections and fears of the business. Things like:

      • Holistic services are considered too “woo-woo” and people aren’t interested
      • Practitioners feel like there’s a scarcity of clients, and are afraid to work with other practitioners because they might lose business

      As we embark on the adventure of building a business, let’s start by scouting the terrain. By looking at the latest demographics and psychographics on the people we seek to serve, maybe we can begin to dispel these myths and begin our journey unafraid.

      Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability

      Clients for our holistic businesses fall into what marketers call the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) demographic. LOHAS consumers are searching for alternatives that focus on health and personal development, the environment and social justice. In 2008, the US LOHAS market accounted for 41 million adults (19%), with a total market value of goods and services of approximately $209 billion in 2007.

      LOHAS consumers, called “cultural creatives,” by author Paul H. Ray, tend to see the interconnectedness of life and world events and “demand products of equal quality that are also virtuous.” According to a website dedicated to the LOHAS market:

      [LOHAS Consumers] believe there is commonality that transcends any operational and structural differences. The interconnections between global economies, cultures, environments, and political systems play a large role in the holistic worldview of the typical LOHAS Consumer, but equally important are the interconnections of mind, body and spirit within individuals. This focus on Personal Development, with the ultimate goal of achieving his or her full human potential, is of utmost concern to the LOHAS consumer. The current growth in this market group strongly supports the notion that spirituality is no longer relegated to the New Age periphery but is undeniably migrating to the center of mainstream cultural awareness.

      New Vision of Health

      Members of this demographic are willing to spend their time and money on solutions to increase their quality of life. The Center for Disease control released a study on the use of “complementary and alternative medicine.” In 2002, it found that of American adults:

      • 18.9% have bought natural products
      • 11.6% practice deep breathing exercises
      • 7.6% meditate
      • 7.5% use chiropractic care
      • 5.1% practice yoga
      • 5.0% have had a massage
      • 3.5% use diet-based therapies

      Overall, more than 62% of Americans in 2002 used some “alternative” approach to health, including those who employed prayer and/or positive thinking to improve their personal health.

      Spiritual Seeking

      Cultural creatives are also actively seeking alternative worldviews that reflect their holistic vision and search for meaning. In his book Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion, author Wade Clark Roof, found that approximately 14 percent of baby boomers were in the process of making a dramatic break with traditional American religions. According to the Journal of Religion and Society:

      [Who Roof calls] Metaphysical Believers and Seekers place a radical stress on bodily experiences in their spirituality… Although the majority … were raised as conservative Protestants, they have morphed into a grab bag of religious identities – neo-pagans, Wiccans, goddess worshippers, Zen Buddhists, Theosophists, nature-lovers and New Agers. Many have hyphenated identities, such as eco-spiritualists or vegetarian-Unitarians.

      Studies have also shown that the market for “new age” and “metaphysical” subjects is increasing, especially among younger demographics. According to a 2003 Harris poll:

      • 51% of the public, including 58% of women, and 65% of those aged 25 to 29 but only 27% of those aged 65 and over believe in ghosts.
      • 31% of the public believes in astrology including 36% of women and 43% of those aged 25 to 29 but only 17% of people aged 65 and over, and 25% of men.
      • 27% believe in reincarnation, that they were once another person. This includes 40% of people aged 25 to 29 but only 14% of people aged 65 and over.

      Another study from Religious Tolerance (2006) found that identification with Wicca and other neo-pagan religions is doubling about every 18 months. Growth is particularly obvious among some teenagers, who are rejecting what they feel is autocracy, paternalism, sexism, homophobia, and insensitivity to the environment

      Questions for Consideration

      Look around you…If one in five adults is actively seeking ways to make their lives healthier and more meaningful, why are holistic practitioners afraid to talk about what we do?

      If the market for our products and services totals more than $200 billion and growing, why do we fear that there aren’t enough clients to go around?

      If new age consumers are looking for ways to transform their lives and the world, how can holistic practitioners explain what we do in ways that are meaningful and compelling?

      • professionalism
      • business
        donna@fourmoonsastrology.com (Donna Woodwell) Building Your Business Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:56:26 +0000
        Professionalism in Astrology: 2008 Survey Results http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/232-professionalism-in-astrology-survey-results http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/232-professionalism-in-astrology-survey-results Professionalism in Astrology: 2008 Survey Results

        by Jacqueline Menkes, Senior Project, Class of 2008


        Jacqui Menkes 2008 graduation picture

        I know that it seems like a daunting task that looms at the end of the senior year, the senior project but it need not be. All that is really needed planning and the help of our great teachers. In the article below is the rough sketch of what my senior project idea became. I was curious to know how astrologers fared professionally in comparison to other established professions, including the one that I had been practicing for 40 years. I thought that the best people to ask the question to be the professional astrologers and the place would be United Astrology Conference in Denver. The rest of this article is the outcome of the survey that would morph into my final senior project and go on to be published in the ISAR journal The International Astrologer.


        Skeptics have often leveled criticism on the lack of professional standards in astrology and/or professionalism of the astrologers who practice it. The purpose of this research is to follow up on a survey distributed fourteen years ago on the state of professionalism in the practice of astrology among practicing astrologers and to note any change of findings from the prior study. This new survey was conducted at the United Astrology Conference (UAC) in Denver, Colorado in May of 2008.


        Upon reviewing the Tunney survey of 1994 that was called Project Focus and the synopsis of the 6-page Tunney survey, it was possible to recognize how the two surveys findings dovetail. The original survey results were presented at the United Astrology Conference in Monterey California in 1995. Of the approximate 5000, surveys sent out across the country the results were based on the 1000 that were returned to them and of that group, 657 were actually analyzed.[1] Though these surveys were taken 14 years apart, it was interesting to note that the same issues on professionalism especially wages and remunerations for services surfaced.

        Of the questions that were revisited in the 2008 survey, one related to the proficiency of the astrologers who practice today. Today’s astrologers are taking advantage of the astrological specialty schools that were not availed to them in 1994, to better prepare themselves for a career shift or to enable them to make a living wage in the field. The core curriculum for astrological schools suggested in the synopsis of the Tunney survey has in fact become a reality. The various schools where this core curriculum is practiced currently are Kepler College, Avalon School of Astrology, the International Academy of Astrology (formerly the Online College of Astrology) along with the American College of Vedic Astrology. In the current survey (2008), 11% responded that they were utilizing an authorized college and 6% were utilizing an astrology trade school. More than half of the respondents (47 out of 87) have tested and passed the various professional certifications on proficiency. Still of the majority of the participants who answered the new survey, 80% utilized conferences for continuing education and educational purposes. In addition to this, the second largest group, 62%, used local organizations and guest lecture workshops to meet their educational needs.


        The astrologers answering the current survey are just as educated as were the population found responding to Tunney’s survey. Thirty-one people out of the 87 held Bachelor’s degrees and 27 people held Masters Degrees. Many astrologers hold these degrees in other aligned fields such as social work, psychology and computer sciences. Compared to the Tunney survey, the 2008 survey is about the same in relation to the levels of academic education held by astrologers overall.[2]


        Many astrologers teach astrology, yet they are not mentoring new astrologers. I find this to be an interesting juxtaposition since in the Eastern region of the globe the astrology teachers are also expected to act as mentor to their student once that student has graduated. This is seen as an integral part of the Teacher/Student relationship.


        Another similarity in both of the surveys that surfaced was the question addressing the dilemma of “are we able to support ourselves or a family with an astrological practice”?

        The majority of people who answered the current survey cannot and do not work fulltime in astrology nor support themselves adequately. In the Tunney survey 37% of the part-time astrologers reported making one to ten percent of their gross yearly incomes from their work in astrology. Only 46% reported making a 100% of their salaries from their practice. In that survey, they did not ask a range of yearly incomes. The results of the 2008 survey, which did list yearly income amounts, the majority, did not feel that they could make nor made an adequate salary from their practice. Their practice was only a part-time business venture. This fact was also evident in the Tunney survey results and has not changed significantly.[3][4] The Tunney survey demonstrated the fact that regular wages from an astrology practice were not necessarily important to the participants of that survey.[5][6]


        As a group, we are highly educated people who do not seem to be compensated adequately for our skills, knowledge and expertise. This lack of compensation can become a negative for any industry, therefore not attracting or maintaining new, younger and more educated practitioners to carry on the profession.


        According to Tunney’s survey, the majority of Astrologers were women, which is true today. However, the younger astrologers it seems are more evenly divided as evidenced by the United Astrologers Conference in Denver. However mostly women were reflected in the respondents to the survey of 2008.


        After the first survey’s results presented in April of 1995 at United Astrologers Conference in Monterey California, the same issues are still evident after 14 years. Astrologers work day jobs while conducting part-time practices. Astrologers considered themselves professional once we were paid for our first consultation and/or after a one to five year period.

        The overall population surveyed was members of professional organizations with only 1% of the replying as being non members. This would mean that all of the respondents received professional publications except for that one percent. In addition to the professional journals, the majority of the astrologers surveyed subscribe to other astrological magazines.


        In conclusion, in light of the findings in the UAC survey of 2008, it is my opinion that the status of astrology as a profession in the United States would profit from an intensive public relations campaign educating astrologers to take themselves more professionally. Additionally this would also consist of educating of the public to the fact that there is more to astrology than just your sun sign or entertainment found in the back of the newspaper on the comic page. The astrological community might be able to demonstrate how astrology can serve an individual to live a fuller, more rewarding and conscious life than they might be living now.


        The astrological community might be able to accomplish this through the education of the wider public as to the historical background of astrology through the ages, illustrating the validity and usage of astrology over the centuries. Possibly, if the general population was made aware of the deep philosophical and intellectual origins of astrology rooted in the beginnings of the Eastern and Western civilizations, this might add to its credibility.


        Additionally, it could be demonstrated through the works of credible scholars such as Richard Tarnas, Ph.D. of Pacifica University, the works of the late David Pingree of Brown University and the research contained at Warburg Institute of London, astrology’s critical role in the formation and growth of the other mainstream sciences of today. The restoration of the history of astrology might allow and lead to a better understanding of the ability of astrology, demonstrated as a useful tool. This tool was utilized by multiple previous generations for guidance in worldly affairs, for the explanations of the cycles of the planets in relationship to their impact on humanity, the seasons and Earth.[7]


        A change in the public’s perception could lead to challenging various laws against astrology. That may mean laws against astrology some, written in the Seventeenth Century, would need to be revisited and updated in light of the reality of astrology as practiced today, which is emerging as a adjunct to the helper professions. The establishment of credentialed and certified practitioners adhering to a code of ethics, with strong mentorship development, would go a long way toward improving the public perception in this country on the subject of astrology and astrologers.


        It may serve us well to be the advocates for required standards of professionalism, not just for our own standing in the community, but also for the future of the profession.

        [1] Ibid. pg 1
        [2] Ibid Pg.3
        [3] Ibid Pg.4
        [4] In my opinion, this could be influenced by the public’s perception of astrologers. We may be perceived as a “fortune teller or gypsy”, and therefore not viewed as capable extensions of other helping professions
        [5] Ibid Pg.3
        [6] In the astrology profession of today, this may not and is not necessarily true for the newer batch of upcoming astrologers.
        [7] Personally, I have had the experience of explaining to individuals in my work place the actual basis and history of astrology and they then in turn achieved a different perception of the subject.

        • business of astrology
        • professionalism
        • professional astrologer
          jacqmenks1@verizon.net (Jacqueline Menkes) Editorials Mon, 08 Dec 2008 05:17:44 +0000
          Is Astrology a Profession or a Vocation? http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/207-is-astrology-a-profession-or-a-vocation http://kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/editorials-opinions/item/207-is-astrology-a-profession-or-a-vocation Is Astrology a Profession or a Vocation?

          The definition of a professional has changed over time, particularly since WWII. Beginning in the 1950's, fields that required significant education and were practiced primarily by upper middle class individuals, began developing educational standards and increasingly sophisticated certification programs. In those fields (for example, law, medicine or psychology) only those individuals who had passed both the educational and certification requirement could call themselves a professional.

          In fields like plumbing, education and certification still apply, but the education is geared primarily toward a practical application of knowledge and so is called vocational.

          As astrology became more popular in the 1960's and 1970's, individuals who charged for charts began to call themselves professionals and considered astrology to be a profession. But this is a different definition than that held by the mainstream culture.

          In the 1990's and later, astrological organizations developed voluntary certification programs. Although these programs are receiving increasing interest, astrologers today do not have to go through the same level of extensive professional education and certification required by other professions. Without this, astrology remains a vocation that calls itself a profession. The cultural terminology has shifted, but astrology has not yet caught up with that shift.

          The trend toward a stricter definition of professional continues, and more fields are developing education and certification programs. Will this trend affect astrologers and their practice?

          Video Editorial by Lee Lehman, PhD: Part 1: Profession or Vocation?; Part 2: Profession vs. Vocation

          • professionalism
          • professional astrologer
            llehman@kepler.edu (Lee Lehman) Editorials Mon, 29 Sep 2008 04:13:28 +0000