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Resident Advisor: Chelsea astrologer Kim Butteriss

As new images from Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope reignite our fascination with the stars, we asked local astrologer Kim Butteriss to tell us how an astrological reading can change your life.

5 August 2022

Photography: Rahul Pandit
Kim Butteriss

There is so much more to astrology than the forecasts seen in newspapers and magazines. Since ancient times, people have harnessed the insights available through astrology and its study of how the cycles of stars and planets can influence events on Earth. 

In the past, any monarch worth their throne consulted their personal astrologer in matters of state and personal importance. For King Henry VII that was William Parron, Henry VIII had Nicholas Kratzer, and Queen Elizabeth I sought the services of Tudor polymath John Dee. More recently, Princess Diana regularly called on the insights offered by astrologer Debbie Frank. 

As Butteriss explains, you can use astrology to gain an insight into your true talents and direction in life, as well as using it to find the most auspicious dates for big life events like weddings and home purchases, or spot the possible friction points in your relationships. 

Read on for more…


What is the benefit of seeing an astrologer? 

Astrology is just one of many tools that can shed light on talents, anxieties, and life direction. Knowing these things about yourself can bring a greater sense of clarity and self-acceptance. Most astrologers are not psychologists, and would not make such claims, but I might add that Jung used astrology, finding it a useful way into a client’s concerns.


How can astrology be used to help plan for life? 

Astrology can assist in the timing of life events. Whether to seize the moment or to defer decisions. Also, if an event such as a wedding is planned, a separate chart for the occasion can be created, so that the timing can be fine-tuned to accentuate the positives and encourage the best possible results.


What’s the difference between a sun sign, a rising sign and a moon sign? As in, what do they all mean?

Your sun sign is the sign that we all know as it is dependent on the day of the year. It represents our potential, our conscious self, and our heroic possibilities. 

The rising sign is the sign that is on the eastern horizon at the time of birth, so can be entirely different from the sun sign. It describes our approach to life, the way we interact, and often our appearance too. 

The moon travels through all 12 signs in the circle of the zodiac in a month, so it changes signs more rapidly than the other luminary. Its sign, house and aspects show our more emotional and unconscious needs. 


What if an accurate birth time isn’t available?

Looking at a chart that has been created without an accurate birth time is like looking at a recognisable but blurry photograph! However, it is possible to rectify a chart by using important episodes in life to ascertain the angles and get the birth time. 

An accurate time of birth is important for future timings of planetary transits [through your chart], which show how you will be affected by the planets at a point in time. 

Also, without an accurate birth time, we cannot be certain of your Midheaven (which represents your public self and what you want to project), nor your ascendant (also known as your rising sign).


Can you make predictions with astrology?

Astrology doesn’t predict but can point out trends and possibilities. There is free will in everything, and astrology can show how to minimise the tricky and maximise the potential. If the client is willing to do so, naturally. Sometimes a possibility becomes a probability. For example, it was clear to me when my father was likely to die. 


Astrology is just one of many tools that can shed light on talents, anxieties, and life direction


How useful is astrology in working out the compatibility of a relationship?

The astrology of relationships is called synastry and it’s very useful. It shows you where the possible areas of ease or friction might be in your relationship. Again, both parties need to be involved if real chasms are to be bridged… but I have seen it work. 


What’s the big deal with Mercury retrograde? People seem to get rather concerned. Do we need to be worried?

Mercury retrogrades several times a year. This means that the planet appears to be travelling backwards from our Earthly point of view. It tends to affect some signs more than others. Communication, short-term travel, and electronic things like phones, computers and tills can hiccup. But it is, primarily, a time to reflect and possibly to plan. Other planets have their retrograde periods too.


What are the astrological houses and are they the same for everyone?

The houses are determined by the time and place of birth. So there are effectively two circles: one of the zodiac signs and one of the astrological houses. Each stands for an area of life, such as values, money earning potential, relationships and relating patterns, or what you attract and are drawn to. 


How accurate are the daily horoscopes that we see in media? Are they worth reading or should someone just go and see an astrologer?

Magazine astrology works on the premise that everyone is born around dawn. It’s fun rather than a tool for life. See an astrologer and do it properly!


How should someone choose which astrologer to work with? 

Most of my clients come from personal referrals. But if you are looking for a reputable astrologer, a good starting point is to go to the Faculty of Astrological Studies website, as they have a list of accredited practitioners. Even then there is the matter of personality and personal preference. Keep looking for your astrologer until you feel it gels.


What generally happens in a reading with you? 

Before a reading, I would have drawn the birth chart and looked at the themes before the client’s arrival; I prefer to do readings in person but can also work over Zoom. 

I usually start by outlining what I see as most significant in the chart and then focusing on what is being activated at the present time.  

But, ideally, a reading is a dialogue, with the client asking questions or explaining how certain issues have played out. Many come back periodically, when they hit a crisis or just feel the need to refocus. 

In second, third, and subsequent meetings the emphasis is generally on the present issues rather than the delineation of their personality, but one always hopes that each session adds to self-knowledge and acceptance, and brings enthusiasm for what will happen next. 


Kim Butteriss can be reached at

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