Trust inspires faith and reliance. Likewise, it imposes a custodial duty of care.
Ethics is a hot topic of conversation amongst astrologers. Everyone needs a code of professional ethics. Yet does everyone really know what that means?
A code of professional ‘ethics’ is meant to affect, if not to assure, trust. The dictionary advises that ethics are a set of moral (i.e. good vs. bad) principles governing one’s duties and obligations towards others. Something is ‘moral’ if it conforms to ‘right’ behaviour.
According to Winston Churchill, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was the last word in ethics. Righteousness thus becomes essential to ethical behaviour bringing with it concepts of divine law and sin. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for righteousness is the same as for justice, thus bringing impartiality and fairness to the table as well.
The best time to stick your head into the lion’s’ mouth is when he yawns. Accountancy is a highly regulated profession with strict ‘ethical standards’ upon which the world economy turns. The newspapers illustrate how this works. What is ‘good’ corporate behaviour in a ‘bull’ market becomes ‘bad’ corporate behaviour when the market turns sour. The accountants attest both. Flip sides of the same coin with a dollop of righteousness.
What does this mean for astrologers? Discussions within the community are alarming. ‘Commerciality’ is decried; money is incompatible with ‘healing’. Sun sign columns are on parity with original sin. Morality and righteousness lie like a thick fog as we shoulder responsibility for our clients’ prognosis. ‘Do unto others as you’d have done unto yourself’ is the mantra of choice.
As an accountant, I subscribe to the ‘efficient markets’ hypothesis. This means investors already have all necessary investment information available ‘on the street’. While this doesn’t allow for accountants’ egregious professional behaviour, it does place both the risks and rewards of investing firmly in the same pair of hands.
Likewise astrology clients are responsible for their lives and decisions. I don’t want my client’s trust. I want his or her cooperation in a joint exploration of human psychology. Likewise I suggest that my astrological colleagues tread carefully where other ‘angels’ fear to tread.
Ethics provide an easy way to shift both responsibility and blame.
- Ethics and the Challenges of Scale (businessethicsblog.com)