Need some ideas for deepening and improving your self-study of astrology? In this post, I give several tips on getting the most out of the abundant supply of study resources.


on Studying Astrology Using Online Resources



I’ve found it very easy to get distracted and buffetted around by the enormous amount of resources available to study astrology. And, at the same time, be drawn to even MORE resources that I’d like to have! Then I reel myself in, remembering that, as gramma Saturn reminds me constantly:


“Less is better, and Structure is your friend!”
-Gramma Saturn
Now, I struggle with this myself, as I like to have freedom, and move on to learning right now what seems to be most exciting! But when I hunker down, I’m always amazed by what I can achieve, and I hazard that there are many more out there who are the same way.
Sometimes, just a bit of structure is all I need, such as the following inspiration list of things I can consistently do that  are interesting and that will grow my astrological skill.


Take notes – especially for audio or video resources!
I often feel like I’m taking in a lot when listening to a podcast at 2x, but when I later try to recall specific details, or practice a technique, I have gaps in my memory. When I slow down and take my own notes while listening, pausing and rewinding as necessary, I absorb a LOT more, and can also later reference my own notes.
Review– Read or listen through multiple times, at least 2x! Especially coming back to a video or lecture months later, I find I’m absorbing and learning more and more, as other ideas I’ve thought with and concepts I’ve encountered and experiences I’ve have unlocked more and more understandings.
This is especially true for older texts, which are often more terse and even poetic, and which can have bottomless depths of meaning and symbolism. And I think this applies even to something like a funny meme made by a good astrologer.
Remember, reviewing is really great for retrogrades, especially Mercury, though astrology has also been specifically associated with Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, so their retrograde periods may be good ones to review astrological learning as well.

Flashcard astro-brainstorm!

  • Turn your notes into flashcards
  • Make a master keyword and phrase list for each planet, turn into a flashcard
Make flashcards for:
  • signs
  • elements
  • fixed stars
  • decans
  • lunar mansions
  • specific configurations and their effects
  • outer planet transit dates
  • traditional correspondences
  • medical astrology
  • horary rules
  • zodiacal releasing rules and concepts
  • the years of the planets
  • the triplicity rulers of the houses
  • degree symbols

Turn notes into flashcards. Me, I’ve always loved flashcards. But I’m sure that to others, they are a relic of school age, so I’m always happy to remind folks about them.


Rote learning gets a bad rap, but when you have a list of information chunks to learn, using flashcards on a regular basis is quite helpful for me. And once you know the memorized bit of information, it’s part of you, and you can more easily access it when a reading calls for it.
Try keeping a few separate piles of flash cards, which are reviewed on different time schedules. Every time you go through a pile, reassign each card based on how easy it was for you to answer:
Pile 1 : No Idea. Review this pile until you remember each card, then move the card to Pile 2.
Pile 2 : Pretty Good. Review this pile after about an hour or so. Once you feel fairly confident, move the card to the next pile.
Pile 3 : I Got This. Review this pile once a day. Once you feel the card is part of your psyche, move to the next pile.
Pile 4 : Long-term Review. Review this pile occasionally. 


I recommend using several different meditation and imaginal techniques to deepen astrological learning and connect to the stars.
One great one to get started with right away is discursive meditation– a western occultism technique, very simply described as focusing your concentration intently upon a meditation theme or topic.
This theme could be a concept, word or phrase or an image (such as the decanic images) that you would like to explore intensively and connect with.
You are utilizing your thought process consciously for a set period of time, while maintaining a comfortable but erect and poised meditation posture.
For example:

you could meditate in this chair
I sit down into a folding chair, with my feet flat on the floor, my hands resting on my thighs, my spine comfortably erect and not resting on the back of the chair, and my head resting as if a string was pulling the back of my scalp straight up.
I’m breathing deeply, 4 seconds in, 4 seconds held, 4 seconds release, 4 seconds hold. I repeat this for several minutes, then return to normal, deep breathing.
Then, I recall my theme: “Mars is the night sect malefic.” I repeat this to myself three times, slowly and intentfully.  I then consider what this might mean, what I know about the theme and the topics relating to the theme, and questions or unknowns I have about the theme. I choose one thread, one sub topic for exploration, and follow it, step my step, as best as I can.
(I’m not writing a beautiful mental essay, or testing myself, I’m just exploring the theme using my intellect or rational mind, and my storytelling capability.)
Perhaps I choose to think about how: Mars is excessively and destructively hot and dry, and his harmful tendencies are reduced somewhat in the dark, cool and moist night. Thus Mars is more actionable at night, more positive for a native born at night.”
“And in psychological astrology, Mars represents drives, motivations, and passions. Combined with the Moon, which is associated with the emotions, changeability, and the unconscious, and Venus, which is associated with bodily pleasures and beauty, the night sect then begins to take form as primal, primordial, ecstatic, always changing, orgy of the flesh, of pain and pleasure and instinct,  a manic pack of coyotes yelping and keening under the delerious gibbous moon.”
Whew, that went a bit Lovecraftian. As you can see, I started on a specific phrase, and yes, my topic drifted. This happens, and that’s fine. I try to keep on topic more and more. I’ll be sharing in the future on other tips and tricks on improving and exploring discursive meditation.
If I got distracted or off topic, I mentally reversed the the thread of thoughts until I came back to the theme again. Same thing if I noticed that I zoned out completely, just gently restart.
Try meditating for 5 minutes on the topic to start with, then expand to 10, 15, even 30 minutes if you’re up for it.
Once you’re done, take notes on your meditation.
This process, if done daily, will connect you deeply with astrological concepts, and additionally provide most of the benefits of other forms of meditation, such as increased relaxation, focus, feeling of well-being, etc, PLUS a sharper thinking mind.

For more, check out author John Michael Greer’s blog series on how to learn discusive meditation: Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4, Useful Tips.


Organize your astrological files and charts with Google Drive or another cloud software. With this, you can create a filing system (Mine, I’m always expanding upon and adjusting) to more easily access your pdf learning materials, spreadsheets, charts of elections, friends and family, celebrities, each root natal chart also with a whole host of sub charts and tables of lot positions, fixed star parans, firdaria, decennials, ZR, etc.


Try using a free note-taking software such as Evernote or OneNote for note taking and saving useful learning material all in one place.


Create rubrics and worksheets for your chart exploration, and use them repeatedly until the process you’re learning is second-nature. Check out my post on using rubrics and worksheets for an exploration of this practice technique.

Set Goals! (and meet them)

Especially if you’re learning outside the context of a course, either before eventually taking a course, after or in-between taking courses, or maybe you just learn best on your own, you’d likely benefit from organizing your astrological studies around your learning goals. Here we can learn from our Virgoan friends.

Map out the landscape of your current study
Maybe you’re starting fresh, focusing on planets, then signs, then houses, then aspects. You can stucture a kind of syllabus, following this sequence.
you are the fish, naked man is your karma



Or maybe you’re getting your head around how firdaria, annual and monthly revolutions, and profections of various kinds fit together in the medieval Islamicate timing stack.
OR maybe you’re like me, and you’re doing both of the above, deepening your understanding of each of the signs, while also actively learning the early medieval timing system.
I like to think of it as self-study classes. In the above example, you could say I’m taking FOUNDATIONS Z-201 Intermediate Zodiac, and TIMING I-350 Abu Ma’shar’s Annual Timing System in Theory & Practice. (Nerd Note: FOUNDATIONS and TIMING are departments of my imaginary astro-animist forest school, Z stands for Zodiacal Studies, and I Stands for Islamicate.)
You may think of your studies differently. You can also consider explicitly tracking not only new learnings, but also what you’re reviewing, such as reviewing lunar mansions, and using flashcards and meditation to deepen your understanding of the mansions or caravanserai of the Moon.
Make a Syllabus
Once you’ve laid out what you’re studying or you would like to study, you can then organize the material into a self-study syllabus!
Speaking of reviewing and practicing…


Chart reading practice

This may seem obvious, but reading charts is essential to learning astrology! Obvious, yes, however I find I can get sucked in to social media astrology, reading books and online articles, and listening to podcasts, and never get around to actually looking at a chart! So, I’ve made it a constant reminder to myself to look at chart causally at the very least, every single day.
More importantly, I’ve also noted that I need to push myself to regularly read charts in a structured way, both through using rubrics and worksheets, and through asking questions. Doing this exercises the astrological mind, and solidifies the learning and understanding of the process.
This lays the foundations to eventually be able to read a chart and do a consultation without any preparation, which many skilled astrologers have the ability to do. And I find I enjoy systematically working through a technique, and the satisfaction of seeing my progress, though the frustrations are enlightening experiences as well.
Use the rubrics and worksheets mentioned above, run them through your friends and family charts, favorite celebrity and historical figure charts.

Aim for 200 charts as a goal for your growth as an astrologer. I got this number from Robert Zoller’s work on learning medieval astrology, and I like the round, yet arbitrary number. It’s a large enough amount that it will take asignificant time investment to complete, but it’s attainable. And attaining this number of 200 charts systematically and thoroughly delineated will provide considerable skill and understanding, especially when practiced alongside or preceding (for those more hesitant): live chart reading practice.

Consultation Practice
a typical astrological consultation
Astrology really begins coming alive when sacred space is created between the astrologer and a client. So, I highly suggest practicing giving readings/consultations live.

Now, I’ve only recently begun giving readings myself, so I’ll be writing a lot more on this in the coming months, which I’ll link back here. For now, I’ll note that even at this very beginning, giving a practice reading to my sister, my notion of certain chart features instantly morphed and expanded in a really notable way.

For the near future, in hopes to improve my consultation skills, here’s a bit of what I’m planning, in case this can serve as inspiration for someone else:
  • Many short Q&A’s about specific chart features with close, understanding, and patient friends and family members = mini readings
  • Regular sessions with one or a few willing subjects
  • Chart studies, where I offer free consults to folks willing to explore specific chart features with me live
Delineation Drills
Besides looking at actual charts, I also recommend systematically practicing delineations and interpretations. This could be structured, like working through worksheets or following a preset list, like interpreting Mars through the signs. Or it could be more loose, such as mentally working through possible interpretations of a chart configuration that comes to mind.
This may be more relevant for those earlier in their learning, however I do find it enjoyable, kind of like working on a puzzle.
Take a moment. Take out a blank sheet of paper, or open a new document.
Choose a planet in your birthchart. Reflect on its meanings, as a planet in your specific chart. Include as much material as you can remember or find interesting, such as houses it rules, aspects to other planets, essential and accidental dignity, etc.
What topics in your life does it affect or influence?
What images or scenes come to mind when you reflect on this planet’s meanings in your life?
What gods and myths could be connected to the symbolism of this planet in your chart?
What films, novels, or TV series?
What are the worst possible manifestations of this planet?
The best?
The weirdest?


If you did this exercise, you might have learned a lot more about the planet that you just now explored through journaling!
Try using journaling to explore your natal chart in depth.
Try art journaling! 
Journal about your current Timelords.
Journal about the current and upcoming:
  • ZR
  • Firdaria
  • Profections
  • Lunations
  • Transits
  • Eclipses
  • Revolutions
  • Progressions
  • Apocalypse

Take it Easy!

We’ve all been there. After an intense, excited period of study or practice, we get exhausted, or burntout.
Or maybe instead, fortune brings a whirlwind into your life, and you’re left with little time for learning.
For these times, it’s been helpful for me to have a low-key version of staying in touch with the astrology.
Just listen, maybe forecasts – While doing household chores, or in in-between moments, listen to your favorite podcasts or YouTube astrology content. I tend to bounce between a few types of content: forecasts, lectures, chart example-heavy material, mythological/historical/philosophical, and spiritual/magical. Maybe you have a similar list that you can conjure up. I’ve found that for me, organizing my content into the various “moods” that I know I’ll have will keep me engaged and growing into my astrology much more smoothly.
Keep looking at charts-Even if you’re not digging deeply or techinically into chart studies, at least keep looking at and thinking about charts. Maybe check the chart of the day once a day, or look at a family member’s or friend’s chart and mentally fill in the current transits. Use it or lose it!
Follow the moon– in some way or fashion or manner.

Look at the sky– embodied, phenomenological, animist. Take a Babylonian approach.


As you can see, there’s a lot more to studying beyond learning the facts, though that is part of it. There’s the entire journey of imbiding the information through memorization, making a soul connection with what you’re learning through meditation and journeying, and practicing what you’ve learnt, bringing it into the world through enactment, and ideally benefiting people. Even if you’ve just scraps to learn from, approaching learning deeply and with full consciousness can take you far.


I hope you can benefit from this exploration of learning using online, or any, resources. Got other ideas for learning? Please share in the comments below, or send me an email at!


Yours amongst the trees and under the stars,






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