Maureen Ambrose – What Does It Take?


Where do astrologers come from? Does the ground open up at full moon and we emerge into the light of night? That is probably some people’s feeling about us. However, wouldn’t you agree that for the most part, astrology takes us by surprise? It calls us without our realizing it. It is that urge to purchase a book or that magazine article one reads or someone comes into our life and the connection is made, the seed is sown. It roots, sprouts and blooms. Many are called but few take up the challenge of being a professional career astrologer. That is no easy task no matter how much one loves astrology. So what does it take? We will examine a chart of someone who has done just that.

In September 2010, I was attending a conference the Astrological Association of Great Britain hosted in Wyboston, U.K. By chance, I met up with Dan Ciubotaru mistaking him for someone else I had not seen in some time. Dan is from Romania and was a speaker on the faculty. Since I was scouting for a transit tale or two at the time, I later caught up with him and asked him if he would volunteer a story. He obliged, giving me his email address. Eureka, a tale was in the making.

Dan Ciubotaru was born January 3, 1978, at 3:15 PM in Piatra Neamt, Romania. His chart will show 25 degrees Gemini ascending with Jupiter conjoined his Ascendant. Dan’s a 7th house Capricorn with Venus 4 degrees ahead of his Sun. He has Moon in Libra conjoined Pluto and N.Node. Aquarius, the sign most associated with astrology is on Dan’s Midheaven with its ruler Uranus in Scorpio in the 6th house of work. Aquarius on the MC is also associated with a preference for freedom and independence in one’s profession.

When I first encountered Dan’s chart, I immediately focused on the Moon-Pluto conjunction and his 4th house Saturn in Virgo. Upon questioning, Dan told me that as a young person his Moon-Pluto combination was reflected in his somewhat difficult relationship with his mother. “We both have strong personalities,” he said, “and I wasn’t the easiest kid in town. There were many debates during those years. It took time and maturity on my part, and greater understanding from my mother before we reconciled our differences.”

Another scan of Dan’s chart and I could fully agree with his statement. While the Moon-Pluto conjunction is extremely wide, the square of Sun-Pluto was close.

Having Pluto challenging one’s Sun can suggest a very driven, purposeful—even willful person. However, it also suggests the possibility of a huge (Pluto) personal transformational period in life whereby change takes place and self-development kicks in. This was true for Dan. The part about not being the easiest kid in town is probably also part of the Sun square Pluto situation.

Yes, that can produce some rebellious scenes at times for a young person but this aspect can be quite a strength. Once brought under control, there is a decisive ability and talent for management. It takes management skills to be an independent, self-employed person. After all, a Libra Moon has a certain emotional refinement about it. Early life can be about trial and error (especially error), but those are life’s greatest and most enduring lessons.

“Today,” Dan told me, “things are O.K. between us and I really appreciate my parents. Once transit Pluto entered its journey of my 7th house, my perspective on relationships changed in a big way.” However, he conceded, there were certain years of difficulty in his home life that Saturn in the 4th house can also symbolize.

Saturn, ruler of Dan’s Capricorn Sun being placed in Virgo, can be quite a complementary energy. Both signs tend to be hardworking and practical. Both Sun and Saturn are angular. His Saturn works with him rather than against him shown by the sextiles to Jupiter and Moon. With both his Sun and Moon in Cardinal signs, and Gemini on the Ascendant, he is an initiator and can be quite socially aware—probably a practical intellectual with the confidence, curiosity and broad range of interests that a rising Jupiter in Gemini seems to bestow. He has a deep sense of the importance of communication. Another part of Dan’s chart reveal sercury in Sagittarius conjoined Neptune. Intuitive flashes are likely but also the occasional “foot in mouth” scenario. With Neptune also in his Mercury picture, there is ample, imagination, sensitivity and idealization.

Does Dan’s chart illustrate what it takes to be a professional astrologer, even in difficult times? I think so. Persistence is one necessary quality and it is where Capricorn excels. His chart reveals some very positive, integrating aspects and yet it has the challenging planetary energy needed to get life moving forward: a few squares plus a grand trine of a strong and creative 5th house Moon to Ascendant and Midheaven. The opportunity of Sun sextile Uranus, ruler of his Midheaven and the provocative square of Mars to Uranus in the 6th house can suggest the push needed to work in a career that allows freedom and independence.

Let us see how Dan’s astrological life began. He did not seek it; actually….it seemed to seek him. Being a very intuitive person with eight planets below the horizon, somehow in 1992 or ’93 when he was in high school, for some very unexplained reason he spent all his money on an astrology book even though he had no idea what it was all about. From then on, astrology became a part of Dan’s life. During ’91 and ’92, transit Uranus and Neptune were on Dan’s Sun. In 1993 transit Saturn crossed his Midheaven and transit Jupiter glided over his natal N.Node, Pluto and Moon. “No internet, no computers. For several years, I drew charts by hand. The learning curve was long,” Dan added.

There are life-changing situations waiting in the wings for Dan. There was the transformation that was bound to take place in his life concerning his parents but not without a bit of stress. A big blowout with them as transit Uranus hits his Midheaven helped clear the air and establish his independence. However, the important transformation came by the end of 2006 and into 2007 when transit Pluto entered Dan’s 7th house of relationships. Pluto can work very positively when an area of life needs a complete makeover. Nothing quite revamps like the energy of Pluto. Pluto can gut a house and redecorate in remarkable ways. Dan gradually changes his perspective on relationships. When you consider his 7th house Sun and 5th house Libra Moon, his chart is all about relationship.

Now on to the business of astrology career. In the spring of 2003, Dan is experiencing transit Saturn as it enters his 1st house of self. It is time to redefine “Dan.” Here is where that wonderful grand trine and Ascendant-Moon-Midheaven goes to work. This is the year he creates a Romanian internet astrology forum. Transit Pluto is hovering over his natal 6th house Neptune-Mercury.

Workaholic tendencies maybe evident for Dan. It takes almost a year to get some active people working with this forum. Dan also starts a separate business in parallel with his daily job. If you draw up a 3-wheel chart for June 1, 2003, you will notice his progressed Moon in the creative 5th house has just entered Libra ready to travel over his N.Node-Pluto-Moon combination. Dan opens his parallel business—a business call center. Transit Saturn is sitting on his 1st house Geminian Jupiter. He is the technical arm of the business. His partner who handled the sales arm, however, was not as committed as Dan. Jupiter rules his 7th house of partnership. The business did not endure. Despite some setbacks, Dan is an astrologer on the move. He joins the Romanian Astrologers Association and two years later, he is elected vice-president.

Late 2006, Dan launches another business running parallel with his current day job. He begins professionally working as an astrologer. In February 2007, he quits his day job and becomes a full time astrologer. Transit Jupiter is transiting his 6th house joining with natal Mercury-Neptune. “Not so fast!” transit Saturn screams. I am not going to make it that easy for you—you are having a Saturn return as I cross over your 4th house cusp! Even a friendly natal Saturn can make one work hard especially in the sign Virgo. Dan’s progressed Mars opposes progressed Mercury, his chart ruler. This is the year Dan creates Configuration Hunter software.

Here is where Capricorn patience and perseverance pay off. Tightening financial times call for adjustments. August 2008, Dan gets his old daytime job back. However, he continues his astrology practice. His client base continues to grow. In September, he is elected president of the Romanian Astrologers Association.

Let there be no doubt about it: the day comes when Dan is back being a full-time professional astrologer. That is April 2010. His progressed Moon now above the horizon conjoins his 7th house natal Venus in Capricorn and transit Pluto it right there on top of P.Moon and Venus, ready to march over his Sun. Mercury, his chart ruler, has progressed into Aquarius. Transit Uranus is conjoined his progressed MC —new career. Transit Neptune sits on his natal MC. A dream comes true. That grand trine no doubt helps.

Dan undergoes many life-changing experiences while the progressed Moon was below the horizon. In 2001, he marries the love of his life when progressed Sun and progressed Venus conjunct. As life and maturity unfolds, he reconnects with his parents and establishes the harmony previously missing in their relationship. Through patience and hard work, Dan establishes a career in astrology. For many years, he has written extensively in English. If you go to you will be connected with his Living Astrology Blog. However, his website for clientele is in Romanian.

What kind of consulting practices does Dan have? He tells me he has his own office separate from his home. Typically, his main clients are women around those magical years of ages 30-45 and his business is focused on personal consulting services. He utilizes Skype in his work when necessary. Client sessions are 75 minutes in length after which time he provides clients with an mp3 on a CD. Most clients come from referrals. Dan also teaches and gives workshops.

So here, we have an example of a creative 5th house N.Node, Pluto, and Moon in Libra conjunction. My impression is that Dan serves as a transformative energy for his clients—especially women. In addition, after all, there is that grand trine in air signs with Moon, Midheaven and Ascendant: that is a gift.

Does Dan have what it takes to be a professional astrologer? You bet he does. Consider what Yeats once said: “Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” That is what astrology is about… trying to solve and manage those many little mysteries in life. Thanks Dan Ciubotaru for sharing your story with us. May you inspire others not to let a few obstacles get in the way of a rewarding career in astrology.


Maureen Ambrose is a C.A.P. ISAR and NCGR Level IV astrologer living in Florida. She is Recording Secretary for ISAR. Maureen has a consulting practice, teaches, writes and has lectured internationally. She is a contributing author of “How to Start, Maintain and Expand an Astrological Practice” published by the Organization for Professional Astrology. She can be contacted at



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