Astrology has been studied and practised by ancient civilizations, races and religions for centuries. The ancient Mayans, western & eastern cultures and the Hindu religion have all, at one time or another, adopted their own forms of astrology.
In western culture, astrology was once considered an academic area of study, as important as other sciences such as astronomy, meteorology and medicine. However, the scientific community have since concluded that there is no evidence to support the principles of astrology and astrologists.
Astrology is now classified as a pseudo-science and, because of this, western universities no longer teach it. Nevertheless, astrology continues to thrive outside of academia, and has a keen following among its practitioners. There are federations in several countries, offering certifications. Furthermore, astrology has its roots in mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. An understanding of these subjects will benefit any budding astrologist.
Learning Astrology Online
While it is not possible to study astrology at university, there is an abundance of courses available on the Internet. So much so, the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming, especially if you are just beginning.
As with anything on the Internet, there is as much noise pollution as there is useful information.
If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of any subject, I would always recommend a paid course. Paid courses provide structure to the learning process and they often provide a certificate upon completion. Paid courses needn’t be expensive. Many of the best courses are taught by individuals, for whom astrology is their passion.
These courses, often created on a budget, might not be as polished as an academic course, but this doesn’t detract from the knowledge of the tutor and the quality of the information being taught.
Considering the above, I have compiled the following list of courses with all budgets in mind, including those who wish to start learning for free. I hope you find the list useful!
If you are particularly looking for free tutorials, then there are plenty on YouTube. The videos I’ve watched vary widely, not only in the quality of the audio and video, but also in the quality of the information being provided. The most thorough introduction to astrology I found on YouTube is a three-part series by Richard Fidler.
Richard’s Advanced Astrology for Beginners is a comprehensive tutorial in Astrology. Richard clearly a keen interest in astrology and is very knowledgeable. His style of presenting is not for everyone - he thinks about what he is saying before saying it, which some commented makes his lecture feel slow and drawn-out. This is unfair. Richard simply chooses his words wisely, explaining concepts clearly and concisely. The quality of the audio is quite poor, with a fair bit of background noise. However, it isn’t bad enough to become distracting or annoying.
If you are specifically interested in learning Vedic astrology for free, then a two-part lecture given by Pandit Sanjay Rath is an excellent introduction.
Online, Classroom Based Courses
The Sydney Astrology School - Australia
If you prefer to learn in a class environment, then the Sydney Astrology School offers a 10-week course in Beginner Astrology. The course focuses on the components of a birth chart - the planets, zodiac signs, and different houses. The course is online with ten, 90 minute live classes, where students can interact, ask questions of the tutor and contribute to group discussions. The classes are recorded so that you can re-visit them after the course has finished. Depending on your timezone, the live classes might not be at a time that's convenient.
There is also a monthly Google Meets discussion where classmates can discuss what they are learning. Each week the instructor provides readings and a small homework assignment. Feedback on the assignments is provided.
Students receive a certificate on completion of the course. The tutor, Marc Laurenson, is a member of the Federation of Australian Astrologers.
There are 5 separate courses, based on the students level of expertise. Classes are held throughout the year. Students must enrol before commencing the course.
The Faculty of Astrological Studies, based in the UK, offers three courses - Foundation, Diploma Level 1 and Diploma Level 2. Students must complete each course to be credited with the diploma. Classes are held in the Faculty’s London office, or students can opt to take the course via email correspondence. Stage one of the course is also available online.
The online and in-class courses have a set schedule, while the correspondence course is self-paced. The online course is interactive, requiring students to log into classes once a week for the semester. This allows students to engage with the teacher and fellow students.
There is an exam after each stage of the course and a certificate. The exam is not included in the price of the course.
The Foundation course starts with the basics of astrology, understanding the language and a basic understanding of birth charts. The other two courses progressively get more advanced. There is one required reading that students are required to purchase - Raphael’s Year Ephemeris.
The foundation is 325 GBP, plus a 35 GBP registration fee. The exam is an additional 245 GBP
Diploma Level 1 and 2 are each 355 GBP, with no registration fee. The exam for Diploma Level 1 is 275 GBP, and Level 2 is 325 GBP.
Online, Self-Paced Courses...
The American Federation of Astrologers (AFA) Superstar Course is self-paced and available either in a printed, ring-binder format or online. It costs $449 USD.
After taking the course, you will be able to chart your own horoscopes gaining insights into your personality, career direction and goals.
The course is made up of 22 written lessons and includes a final examination. Lesson one can be viewed here.
Students are assigned an instructor, accredited by the AFA. It is estimated to take 6 months to complete but can take longer. At the end of the course and upon passing the exam, students will receive an AFA certification.
Sarah Varcas clearly has made Astrology her life’s work, and it shows. There are a few fortunate people in the world that can turn their passion into their work, and Sarah has done that. Her astrology blog continues to win awards consistently. You can learn more about Sarah and Awakenings here.
Sarah’s course consists of nine units, including 12 hours of MP3 audio lectures, a course textbook and teaching notes, both in PDF format. Together, the course text and notes total over 300 pages. Each student will receive their own natal chart, which is used as a teaching aid throughout the course.
The course doesn’t teach how to or calculate or create natal charts from scratch. Instead, it focuses on interpreting chart meanings and using charts to understand the essence of who we are. Sarah refers to this as Intuitive Astrology.
The course is a one-off payment of 50 GBP and is accessed through her Awakenings website.
Sarah also provides individual tutored courses, which you can find more about here.
If you have a yearning to learn how to create charts from scratch, then this might be the course for you.
Creating natal charts is challenging, and therefore, many classes don’t teach it and, subsequently, many students of astrology are only able to interpret charts.
Alexander’s course is an in-depth study into creating and understanding natal charts. You will learn all the main concepts of astrology - planets, houses and the zodiac and how to develop long and short term forecasts.
There are 52 lessons, totalling 7.5 hours of video. Each lesson comes with a full transcript, and most lessons finish with a quiz to test your knowledge. The course also includes downloadable PDF readings such as a glossary of terms and chart templates.
The course is accessed via the Udemy website, the Udemy mobile phone app or on your TV using the app for Chromecast and Apple TV.
To date, over 1000 students have enrolled in the course, which has a rating of 4.6 out of 5. One reviewer writing:
“THIS is the astrology course I've wanted for soooooo long!! It is difficult to find information about how to do your own horoscope/forecast and I've struggled with a good understanding because the information I find in different books or websites is random and limited. Astrologers don't easily give up their work flow. In just the first few lectures I knew I had what I needed to finally commit this process to memory. THANK YOU! ”
Learn Vedic Astrology - Part 1
Janet M Perez - Udemy
The first of a 3 part course into the study of Vedic or Jyotish Astrology. This course consists of 60 lectures, totally 7.5 hrs of video content. You will learn the difference between Vidic and western astrology, how to interpret north Indian charts and Rahu & Ketu mythology. The course also discusses the four goals in life, according to Vedic astrology.
To date, 1700 students have enrolled in the course with an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. As with all Udemy courses, you have lifetime access to the material, which can be accessed via the Udemy website, the Udemy mobile phone app or on your TV using the app for Chromecast and Apple TV.One student wrote,
“Great teacher! Very engaging. This teacher is excellent. Not only does she know her stuff, but she delivers it in such a way that I was glued to every minute of this course. I reached out to her personally, and the response was so warm and kind that I'm just overwhelmed with how awesome she is. I'll definitely take more classes from her. This is the best Udemy class I've taken yet."
Featured image by Alex Andrews from Pexels