Frequently Asked Questions
is Ask Astro-Coach?
Astro-Coach is a column written
by Nicki Michaels, astrological consultant
and life coach. It was originally published
Mountain Astrologer magazine
beginning in June 2003. It's an agony
(Dear Abby type) column using astrological
insights combined with life coaching
wisdom to answer reader's most pressing
questions about life, love, career,
spiritual dilemmas, life challenges
is The Mountain
Mountain Astrologer magazine
is a popular and highly regarded international
English language bi-monthly publication.
It has articles and columns for everyone
interested in astrology, from the horoscope
reader to the seasoned astrological
is this column written for?
Astro-Coach is aimed at intermediate
to advanced astrology students. While
those with little or no astrology background
can certainly skim the
"astro-jargon" to enjoy the
interpretation of a real life drama
unfolding, along with the advice offered
from a trained life coach and astrologer.
type of astrology is this?
Astrology is the main orientation
of this column. This term
was coined by Dane Rudhyar in 1935 in
his ground breaking book The
Astrology of Personality.
Rather than predicting the
humanistic astrology delves into the
deeper meaning of events and the context
within which they occur. This perspective
enables us to learn from the past,
break outmoded patterns and be at
choice in the future. In his later
Astrology of Transformation,
Rudhyar defines Transpersonal
Astrology, where he describes
the role of the astrologer as "one
who advocates treading the path of
radical transformation [as] he or she
speaks for or represents to the client
the promptings of the client's higher
being and potentialities for transformation.
This responsibility is not merely a
'horizontal' one confined to the person-to-person
astrologer-client relationship. It
is also a 'vertical' or
transpersonal one in which the astrologer
accepts being the 'agent' or
higher powers urging the client to
transform himself or herself, to open
the closed center of the mandala of
his or her personality to an influx
of transcendent power and light."
is Dane Rudhyar?
Rudhyar is considered by many to
be the most important astrological
innovator of the 20th century.
(See answer above.) Aside from his
ground breaking work in astrology,
Rudhyar was a philosopher, poet,
artist, and composer of some note. Read
more about the astrological
contributions of this inspirational
20th century renaissance man.
is Nicki Michaels?
Michaels, Ask Astro-Coach columnist is
Professional Co-Active Coach, and
has been a practicing astrological
professional since 1974. She was Senior
Staff Astrologer for Astro-Phone, the
first national astrological telephone
consulting service. She received
her BA in Astro-Psychology
and was on the Adjunct Faculty at Antioch
University for six years, teaching
undergraduate courses in psychological
astrology based on the books of Dane
Rudhyar. Nicki is a certified Master
holds a diploma in the Classical
Studies in Horary Course,
She began writing Ask Astro-Coach for
The Mountain Astrologer in 2003.
Nicki maintains a private practice, working with her
astrology and coaching clients from all over
North America, Europe and beyond. Read more about
background and her life
coaching and astrology
are the questions chosen for Ask
60 questions are submitted for each
column of which only 3 can be chosen
for inclusion. All questions that do
not comply with our submission
immediately eliminated. Aside from
that, questions are chosen because
they are about compelling situations,
they give adequate background without
being lengthy, and they would be of
interest to readers of the column,
and they go well together with the
other questions for that month's column.
soon after I submit my question will
it be answered?
will receive an automatic email response
to let you know that your question has
been received. Should
your question by chosen, it may not be
answered for several months. You will
be notified if it is decided that your
question will not be included in a column.
If your question is answered, the answer
will be emailed to you as soon as it
is submitted to The
Mountain Astrologer. It will
be published approximately four months
later in the magazine.
my question be published online?
question that is published in The
Mountain Astrologer will be
posted online in the Ask Astro-Coach
Archives two months after the original
you answer my question even if it's not
chosen for the column?
due to the time involved in calculation
and interpretation for each answer, only
questions which are included in the column
are actually answered. You'll be notified
if and when it's decided that your question
will not be included in a column. It
is recommended that you hire a professional
local astrologer to help you with the
issue if you still wish to pursue a resolution,
or you can schedule an appointment with
Nicki Michaels for a personal
you offer specific predictions?
The astrological interpretation in this
column is to help you
to understand the underlying themes that
may be surfacing, to enable you to shift
longstanding patterns by offering alternate
perspectives and support, to better
utilize the opportunities of the time
period, and to
seek help from other professionals such
as a therapist, life coach, financial
advisor, etc if appropriate.
if I don't know my birth time and I want
to submit a question?
your question is of a general nature—one
which could be answered without calculating
your birth chart,(such as "What does
it mean to be born on a cusp?") the accurate
birth time is mandatory. It is also important
to include the source of your birth data
if you want your question to be chosen.
is an accurate birth time so important?
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birth chart is a map that shows the placement
of the planets in the sky, above and
below the horizon, at the moment of your
birth, as seen from the place that you
Due to the earth's rotation, this sky
map shifts approximately every 4 minutes
of time. If the birth time you supply
is off by even several minutes, it can
change the timing of situations of your
life by a year or more. All information
derived by an astrologer if based on
this birth chart, and current planetary
positions in relation to it. Therefore,
the accurate birth time is mandatory
for an accurate interpretation.
house system do you use?
charts are calculated in the Placidus
system. Any charts created for the
timing of events (electional charts)
are calculated in the Regiomantanus
are the charts calculated?
progressed and transit charts are
calculated by SolarFire,
while transit search (for both transits
and secondary progressions) are calculated
program do you use for interpretation?
interpretation program is used in delineating
answers for the Ask Astro-Coach column.
Nicki Michaels uses her 31 years of
experience as an astrological teacher,
writer, consultant and columnist to
interpret the meaning and to explain
the answer to the querent's situation.
techniques do you use to understand the
current time period?
transits of the outer planets (Jupiter
through Pluto), the secondary progressions
of the inner planets (Sun through Mars).
Solar Arc Midheaven and Ascendant are
used, rather than secondary progressed
notice that you don't include Chiron
or other asteroids. Why?
to Dane Rudhyar, the
meaning of each planet is derived from
it's placement within the solar system
as a whole. The asteroid belt represents
a certain type of undifferentiated energy,
and therefore from this perspective,
no particular asteroid holds the significance
of a planet. In chapter 6 of The
Astrology of Transformation, Rudhyar said, "I pay
very little attention to 'new discoveries'
which do not fill an evident place in
the basic structure of the solar system — for
example, the few asteroids now often
used simply because some astronomer took
the trouble to calculate their orbits.
Similarly, in the Occult astrology to
which H. P. Blavatsky refers in The
Secret Doctrine only 'sacred
said to be considered, though over a
hundred other planets are in existence
at one level of physicality or another."
Read more about this online in Rudhyar's The
Practice of Astrology, The 6th Step.
are the natal, transit and progressed
orbs are used in the column?
the Ask Astro-Coach column natal
aspect orbs are:
conjunction, opposition, trine square,
orb 10°; sextile orb
5°; semi-square and sesqui-square
orb 2°; semi-sextile and inconjunct
For major transits (Jupiter through Pluto)
a 2° orb applying and separating.
The time span given for the duration
of each transit period begins when the
transiting planet enters a 2° orb
for the first time and leaves a 2° orb
for the final time. Progressed planets
to natal—orb is also 2° applying