Q+A Interview with Monica Escalante-Ochoa
Monica Escalante Ochoa is on the faculty of The Many Faces of Astrology Conference, where she will be presenting a lecture entitled Harmonic Age Chart.
Q: How did you get introduced to astrology?
A: Like the majority of Mexicans, I grew up in a very traditional Catholic family where no one knew about astrology. It was on my Saturn return when a friend told me about astrology, and he recommended that I make an appointment with an astrologer. So I made one with Ingrid Rosenbleuth, and during the appointment I was so happily impressed about how symbols could describe a person so well and even “predict” the future, that in that session I decided I wanted to learn astrology in a deep way. A few months later I was taking weekly classes with Ingrid.
I took astrology lessons with her once a week for almost six years, and a year after I started with her, I began taking weekly lessons with Luis Lesur. So for many years I got two weekly classes with two very good and different teachers. With Ingrid, I learned a lot of the basis of astrology, a practical way to put everything together, the ability to interpret a chart, as well as how to work with the predictive techniques. With Luis, I learned all the technical and math knowledge and the advanced concepts of astrology.
It is interesting that while I was studying astrology, I found out that Greek mythology is very connected to it. I did not know about astrology until I was 28, but I have been very fond of Greek mythology since I was nine years old!
Q: How did you start your practice? And do you have any advice for the student who wants to begin to practice?
A: I remember than one of the things that Ingrid told me in my first astrology appointment was that I was about to change careers, but I did not believe her. I even told her that I had already changed from being a chemical engineer to becoming a teacher, and she replied that this was one career change, but I was going to have another one in a few years. As time has proved it, she was right. Later I changed my career again to become a professional astrologer.
Most of my life I have had two professions: first I was a chemical engineer and a math teacher, and later I become a math teacher and an astrologer. I remember that when I finally decided to give up all my chemistry jobs to become only a teacher and an astrologer, my dad, upset with my decision, told me that I was too smart to believe in astrology and to give up my university degree. It was always impossible for him to think that astrology was a profession.
In the beginning of my sixth year of taking classes with Ingrid, she suddenly passed away. Losing her was so difficult for my astrology classmates and for me; we lost a wonderful person and a great teacher. So, a month after her death my classmates, knowing that I knew much more than them because I was also taking classes with Luis and going to astrology conferences with foreign astrologers, asked me to teach them. I told them that I would do it, but I would need some time to get ready. A few months later I began teaching them.
I started giving weekly astrology classes in 1996. First I only had one group per week, but little by little I started teaching more groups and giving more appointments. Now I teach every day, and some days I give more than four classes! I think students like my teaching because I am able to combine what I learned with Ingrid and Luis with my own practice as a consultant.
Q: Do you have any advice on how to study astrology?
A: Some important advice that I would give to whoever is willing to start a career in astrology is to do it in his/her right time. In my life as astrology teacher, I have found that, in general, people make two mistakes when starting to work as astrologers. Some like to start working as astrologers just after knowing the very basic astrology concepts. Others won’t ever feel that they will know enough, and they will never feel comfortable working with it, even if they say that they would love to work as astrologers.
I think that trying to work as an astrologer when someone does not understand how to interpret the whole chart and the predictive techniques, let’s say until they have NCGR-PAA Level 2 certificate, is very risky and they, without willing to do it, could damage the client as well as their possible future career in astrology. But also waiting to know everything, which by the way never happens, will not help the person to start working as an astrologer.
I think the best time and way to start working as an astrologer is after knowing all the chart elements and being able to put them together to read a chart (NCGR-PAA Level 1 certificate). A person should start reading charts for family and friends and let them know that he/she is still learning, charge them a little, but charge them—in this way both of you will know this this is a job and not a hobby. Little by little you, as a new astrologer, will start getting confident in your readings and learning your best way to do them and people will start talking about your work, so you will begin getting more clients. When you know how to use the predictive techniques, it could be the right time to announce yourself as a professional astrologer and increase your fee to a reasonable one—not too cheap, not too expensive. At this time you will be able to understand who is the person in front of you at the appointment and what he/she is going through at that time, and with astrology you will be able to really help them. If they leave the appointment better understanding themselves and knowing what is happening to them and which opportunities they have at that time, they will talk about your good work to more people. In this way, little by little, you will get more clients, and the old clients will keep coming back to you every year.
I also think is very important that even professional astrologers keep learning more astrology, going to different conferences, reading new books, talking with different colleagues, etc. There is always something new to add to our astrology practice, and clients love it if occasionally we add a new approach to their readings.
Q: Can you give us a preview of your presentation?
A: The title of my lecture is Harmonic Age Chart.
The Harmonic Age Chart is an age old astrological technique, which is very useful as a predictive and rectification tool, which unfortunately is almost unknown by most astrologers today. As a predictive technique, it is similar to The Solar Return but The Harmonic Age Chart is much more accurate and it can also be studied by month or even by day. This conference will have both a theoretical part as well as an experimental part.
Q: If you are an astrologer who works in various parts of the country or the world, do you notice any differences in your clients and their concerns?
A: Being a Mexican Astrologer and living in Mexico City, most of my clients are Mexicans, but I also have several clients from South America, North America, as well as from Europe, and what I find very interesting is that most people, no matter from which country they are (at least from Western countries) have similar concerns and worries; most people are looking for a deeper sense of their lives as well as for finding better ways to solve their conflicts.
Q: Do you find much of a difference between in-person readings and remote readings?
A: I find a big difference between in-person reading and a remote reading. For me, in most of the cases, an appointment, with the client sitting in the same room with the astrologer, goes easier because I feel it is a more human and personal relationship, and also because body language helps for a better understanding between the astrologer and the client. On another hand, a remote reading could also work, especially if is an actual connection with the client via internet, and even better if it is an audio-video conference.
Regarding this, I always recommend the client to come for an in-person reading, but as I do understand that many times this is just impossible; because the clients are in another town or country, I also do internet reading using always a video and audio system.
Monica at The Many Faces of Astrology Conference
Monica is giving a lecture entitled Society Harmonic Age Chart. In describing her lecture, she notes:
"The Harmonic Age Chart is an age-old astrological technique, which is very useful as a predictive and rectification tool, which unfortunately is almost unknown by most astrologers today. As a predictive technique, it is similar to the Solar Return, but the Harmonic Age Chart is much more accurate, and it can also be studied by month or even by day. This presentation will have a theoretical part as well as an experiential part."
Her lecture will take place on Saturday, February 18.
About Monica Escalante-Ochoa
Monica Escalante-Ochoa is a Mexican astrologer with a Level IV certification. She is president and founder of the AstroMexico Chapter. Monica has been a practicing astrologer since 1996, being a national and international lecturer and teacher. She has written astrological articles and books (in Spanish): Astrology, Path of Light; Astrological Predictive Techniques, Walking with Light; and Astrology III: Deepening into the Path of Light, and Advanced Astrology, Exploring Different Paths Towards Specialization.
Monica teaches astrology in Mexico City, sees clients, and performs the duties of AstroMexico president. She organizes periodic activities, as well as courses with international astrologers, promotes NCGR-PAA certification, and, since 2005, is part of International Academy of Astrology (IAA) instructor’s team. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Along with AstroMexico board, she promotes AstroMexico activities at the web page www.astromexico.com.