What do you expect from a horoscope reading? After all, you have a right to know since in-depth professional readings are not cheap, especially when compared to those computer-read so-called "bargain" printouts seen for sale just about everywhere -- especially on the internet. Why are they relatively but only apparently inexpensive? Simply because those operators who sell them likely will not have to spend more than a maximum of 10 minutes on each one -- start to finish. Their computer, loaded with a "horoscope reading" program which is an electronic machine with no thought processes necessary or even possible, rapidly selects from stored pre-written words, sentences, paragraphs, blocks of text (often advertised as written by "famous" astrologers), organizes them all into pages and then spits out a "horoscope reading."
Most likely these so-called "indidualized," "personalized" horoscopes/reports then are emailed or printed and mailed to the customer (that's correct customer not client) by the computer owner/operator who more likely than not knows very little if anything about Astrology or horoscopes, and probably cares little about you except for the payment you sent with the order. That's it.
What do you actually get? Normally about 20 to 25 pages of large-print text -- plus a few astrological symbols. Reality check: On average you are paying about $1.00 or in some cases much more per page -- especially a rip-off if the pages are emailed and you then have to bear the cost for paper, ink and your time to see what you bought. (At this unrealistic cost-per-page, any 200 page book would cost some $200.00 per copy!). Then what's the "bargain" with these quickie so-called horoscopes? And when you take into account that the "canned" information you receive is so generalized, convoluted, contradictory -- and certainly not synthesized -- it's all but totally useless -- but most likely you will get it fast. (After finishing this page you may wish to scroll back here for the following links: Astrology and the Computer -- Blessing or Curse?, and Keyboard Astrologers: Horoscopes for Sale (Assembly Required!).)
Why do consultant astrologers charge more than a few dollars? Because they offer a useful and valuable, but time-consuming, completely personal (one-on-one), service. They are not selling a product(s) like the internet "keyboard astrologers" offer. What they are selling is their time for which they normally charge what they deem their experience and expertise is worth. Compare the some 10 minutes necessary to prepare a computer "reading" with the time (see example details below) a consultant (live reading) astrologer must invest for each client in order to give a meaningful, synthesized (all things "put together"), worthwhile natal horoscope reading (delineation).
While I (Elbert Wade) certainly can't speak for other consultant/professional astrologers, I have listed below an estimate of the typical time I spend in preparation for and the reading of a live in-depth natal horoscope.
- (20 minutes): Calculating and promptly emailing to the client her/his "sample" natal chart 'wheel' for verification of submitted birth data, which actually saves time for me so I don't prepare the whole reading work-up for a chart with birth data errors (the client's -- most likely -- or mine). For example, a few times in the past the client has mis-typed the birth date and/or time. It can save time for the client as well because if an inaccurate natal chart is completed and an appointment set, but then an error is discovered by the client, everything has to be re-done and a second and delayed reset-appointment has to be worked out. (And even if the client did not catch the birth data error I would after just a few minutes into the reading because the horoscope would not "fit" the client, based on the client's lack of positive feedback, or my sensing they are not agreeing when I ask something like: "Can you identify with this?" ("This" means whatever was just explained or said.)
- (60 minutes): Calculate and print the (verified by client) birth data natal horoscope 'wheel,' progressed horoscope 'wheel,' composite chart 'wheel'; make the hand-drawn horoscope
- (15 minutes): Assemble, package, address and prepare for mailing the four pages above plus a 2-page general explanation of the parts of the hand-drawn natal horoscope 'wheel' (total: 6 to 8 pages)
- (20 minutes): Email preparation and necessary (often numerous) exchanges with client required for verifying birth data, setting the telephone appointment, etc.
- (30 minutes) Review, research, mentally refresh myself concerning details of the client's unique horoscope chart shortly before appointment time
- (90 minutes -- often MORE): This is the "average" time for the real-time telephone consultation (natal reading). If additional time is required, normally because I include so much detailed information -- after all I am a Virgo with Gemini rising, plus Mercury trine Uranus!, time is given gladly as needed with no additional charge.
- (20 minutes: Test tape(s) or CD(s) to assure everything is recorded, label, package (wrapping tapes in aluminum foil to protect from moisture, heat and postal scanners) and address for next business day Priority mail (US only, non-US first-class) shipping.
This is some 5+ hours of intense, tedious and challenging hands-on and mind-on work. Plus, I pay for all mailing costs of high-quality Sony cassette tape(s) -- or CD(s), the entire long-distance phone call charges, printing and paper (see explanation of only exception). You could look at it this way -- if you paid the approximately $1.00 per-page/per-minute charged for most computer-read "horoscope" reports, their fee would be some $255.00. Somehow I don't feel I overcharge clients when I ask $120.00 for everything (in-depth unique natal horoscope reading) -- start to finish. Hmmm, after putting all I offer in writing it makes me wonder how soon should I double my fees -- and I would if I were as money-hungry as many other "astrologers" (self-proclaimed astrologers, counterfeit astrologers, astrologer-psychics -- or whatever, keyboard astrologer, etc.) apparently are. [See the Elbert Wade professional horoscope services available and current prices HERE --- Go to SECURE Order Form (prices also listed on this page) by clicking HERE]