PSM-4: Professionalism/Ethics in Astrology

Please contact for further information on this course.

Prerequisite: This course is open to the general public. This course is mandatory for IAA Diploma Program students to graduate and may be taken any time after completing the Natal Studies Module.

Course Description: Ethics and ethical habits are an integral part of any professional practice, including astrology. In fact, we could say that one cannot be a professional without adhering to ethical standards. The two go hand in glove.

This course is geared for astrologers in all phases and types of practice, whether they are students, consult with clients, are research astrologers, astrological writers, administrators, attend conferences, participate in collegial relationships, or talk to the public about astrology.

Every profession has unique situations pertaining to the nature of its business and practice, but there is a basic foundation of ethical adherence that is common to all professions. A complete course in ethics for astrologers requires critical thinking and a willingness to successfully dismantle complex ethical dilemmas that will inevitably arise in the course of your astrological journey or career.

The course is divided into two main parts:

1. A review of various codes of ethics from some of the major astrological organizations to determine the common denominators among the various codes.

2. Application of ethical practice for astrologers. We will define the core ethical principles and seek to understand the situations and ethical dilemmas that might arise.

Required Class Reference Materials:

Classes are held weekly.

Class Meeting 1: Introduction. The What and Why of Ethics. Responsibility for Ethical Practice.

Read: Ethics, Responsibility and Astrological Conscience, and More on Ethics and Conscience in Astrology by Dorothy Oja (from IAA website)

Read: IAA Ethics Code. – (Sent to students).

Class Meeting 2: ISAR Ethics Standards and Guidelines.

This is the longest code of ethics in the astrological community and the one that caused the most furor at its inception. Some history of ethics evolution within the astrological community.

Read: ISAR Ethics Standards and Guidelines.

Read: Donna Cunningham article: A Responsible Approach to Clients’ Tough Transits.

Read: Barry Frieder article: Professionalism in Astrology – (PDF).

Class Meeting 3: NCGR , AFA and AFAN Ethics Codes

Read: Regina Gerstman article: Nineteen Ethical Situations and Practice Lessons – (PDF).

Read: Donna Cunningham article: Counseling Principles For Astrologers – (Sent to students).

Class Meeting 4: Do No Harm, Power and Dependence Issues – Boundaries

Read: Robert Mulligan article: Astrological Ethics. Ray Grasse article: On the Perils of Telling People What to Do (Both articles sent to students)

Class Meeting 5: Confidentiality

Read: David Arner article, “Ethics in Shades of Grey” – (PDF)

Class Meeting 6: Sexual Issues with Clients

Read: Donna Cunningham article: Sexual harassment And How It Applies to Astrological Practice – (PDF).

ISAR Non-Discrimination Policy (Sent to students).

Class Meeting 7: Counseling, Collegial Relationships

Read: Christina Becker article: The Archetypal Basis for the Astrological Counseling Relationship – (PDF).

Brad Kochunas article: Empowering People, Not Planets: The Ethics Of Helping — (Sent to students).

Class Meeting 8: Intellectual Property

Read: Comments in ISAR NL re: Intellectual Property (Sent to students).

Class Meeting 9: Prediction/Accuracy, Continuing Education

Read: Ray Merriman article: Forecasting Events in a Professional Manner (Sent to students)

Required materials:

The following required materials are NOT available through the IAA online shopping areas, but may be available elsewhere:

Ethics Articles Compiled by Dorothy Oja (Available from the instructor)

Additional Resources recommended:

The Heart of the Matter by Christina Becker (Order from her website:

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