THE young gentleman on the phone sounded typical of the many who call requesting information about my astrological services. I gave him a full report including fees and how to order. Then came a question I've not heard anyone ask an astrologer before.
"Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?"
Somewhat puzzled, I asked, "What do you mean? If you ask do I offer a satisfaction-guaranteed-or money-back proposition, the answer is no."
"Well, though it has never happened, all one would need do after my hours of hard work would be to say, 'I'm not satisfied.' This would tend to defeat the purpose for having a chart done. Suppose I need to say something about you that's not especially flattering. I would be somewhat reluctant to say it for fear that you'd say later that you weren't satisfied."
"Well, what do you guarantee?"
"I never found a need to guarantee anything past the mathematical accuracy of my work. For example, should I make any technical or calculation error, I would be most happy to re-do the chart and a part or all of the delineation (reading) as necessary to rectify any such error -- as I have done on a few occasions. I found long ago that I'm not perfect."
"What about the predictions; do you guarantee them?"
"Let's get something straight. First of all, I don't make 'predictions' in the sense you suggest. I can outline the planetary influences as they relate to you personally (based on your birth chart) for a specific period in the future, but I cannot and will not guarantee how you will respond to these individual influences any more than I can be certain that you won't ignore a given stop sign. I can inform you the stop sign is there but I will not pay your traffic ticket if you run it and get caught."
By this time my common sense was telling me that this conversation was leading absolutely nowhere, but I held my natal Saqittarius moon back -- at least for the moment.
"But why can't you guarantee that what you say about the future will come true? After all, I will be paying you my good money."
After briefly gnashing my teeth in a fitful silence, I replied, "Yes, you might pay me 'good money,' but not nearly the amount you might pay your physician who certainly won't guarantee a cure or the precise moment you will improve or get worse; nor the amount you might pay your attorney who won't guarantee the outcome of any legal matter, especially where human nature (such as that of people on a jury) has to be dealt with. Do you demand or get guarantees from your doctor or attorney?"
"No, but they are professionals and you can't expect them to guarantee anything."
"Well, I'll tell you, sir, that I will guarantee you something, and that guarantee is that I will not prepare nor read your chart. You obviously aren't serious or are not thinking very clearly. If indeed you want your chart done -- which I doubt, I suggest you contact another astrologer and not ask anything about guarantees if you don't want to get off on the wrong foot. No experienced practitioner would touch your chart with your present misunderstanding and confusion about what you should expect from astrological counseling. You seem to want a major miracle with perhaps a double your money back guarantee. No astrologer I know pretends to be God."
"But you don't understand. I just don't want to be had."
"What makes you think you'll be 'had'? Have you ever been 'had' by an astrologer?"
"No, I haven't."
"Have you ever had your horoscope done by an astrologer?"
"No, but I had it done about a year ago by a computer, and it had a money back guarantee."
"Interesting. What did the computer have to say about you?"
"It said I was too suspicious and too frugal."
"Are you kidding me? It actually said that?"
"Why would this Scorpio lie to you about that!"
"Did you think that was a fair evaluation?"
"No, I certainly did not!"
The next question couldn't wait. "Did you send for your money back?"
"Yes, I sure did. And I got it, too."
"Congratulations! Point made; case closed. Don't call me, I'll call you. Goodbye and good luck."