OPAS Code of Ethics and By-Laws
Astrology has diverse uses, among them using the birth chart to analyze personal development, timing procedures and events, projecting economic, political and societal trends, and understanding the meaning of cycles and time as a whole. Astrology consists of analyzing the apparent synchronicity between life cycles on the earth and cycles of the celestial bodies. It is based on the study of cycles of planets and other celestial bodies projected on the zodiacal band. The interpretation of these cycles derives from astronomical references, mythological associations, and ongoing research about the correspondences between planets and life on earth.
Astrologers use this body of knowledge to provide a higher perspective on life, a holistic view that our lives are part of a greater order and cycle. They guide individuals or the collective in better understanding themselves and the times we are in. Astrologers should strive to enrich and enhance people’s lives, and in their service, be mindful to protect human dignity and choice. They can contribute to the ongoing evolutionary process of astrology by providing quality service and continually increasing their own proficiency and mastery of the practice through ongoing studies, research, and the support of other astrologers.
The Ethical Guidelines governing personal, public, and professional conduct in the practice of astrology must lend dignity to the profession, without stifling creativity, individuality and future growth. Astrology does not lend itself to a rigid set of rules outlining all of its functions and procedures. However, a guide of recommended conduct is paramount to its function and respectability.
DEFINITION OF A PROFESSIONAL ASTROLOGER:
A Professional Astrologer, for the purpose of this code, is one who is able to accurately generate a horoscope and interpret it by verified and generally accepted standards of procedures, and one who adequately performs any of the following functions to generate an income:
- Using astrological interpretive skills to consult with clients.
- Organizing, researching, or developing verified astrological information and presenting this knowledge in print, in speech, or on the internet.
- Teaching astrology.
It is the responsibility of each OPA member who is practicing astrology to endeavor to maintain the dignity of their profession in every way possible by upholding the following principles:
1. RESPONSIBILITY TO CLIENT:
a. All horoscopes must be calculated using standard methods of procedure based on accurate data. It is critical to have a recorded time, date, and place of birth that is as precise as possible. If a rectified time or an alternative method such as a Johndro Locality, Solar Chart or Natural Chart is used, this should be stated and its limitations, if any, described.
b. Astrologers must use reasonably verified and credible astrological knowledge in their interpretation and test their competence through regular practice and objective feedback by their peers or a reputable school or organization. For this purpose, OPA recommends that every astrologer becomes certified through a reputable educational program offered by a mentor or an organization.
c. The terms of client consultation need to be stated and understood prior to the appointed time. This would include fee, duration, style and what the client has a right to expect.
d. Astrologers respect the dignity of the client regardless of any personal belief, political affiliation, or bias the astrologer or client may have. In the event that they feel conflicted with their client’s beliefs in a way that would undermine their neutrality during a consultation, they must acknowledge that and suggest alternative options to the client.
e. Confidentiality regarding the exchange between the client and the astrologer must be maintained. There will be no use of client charts for lectures, articles, or in sharing a database with other astrologers unless prior permission has been obtained in writing and/or names have been removed to maintain anonymity.
f. Astrologers must take full responsibility for the information they impart, and acknowledge the autonomy the client has over their life decisions and processes. Every client needs to be treated in a thoughtful manner. This includes refraining from making statements that are rigidly deterministic, such as predicting someone will never marry, never have children, or die at a specific time.
g. Clients must not be taken advantage of in any way, including emotional, sexual or financial exploitation and harassment.
h. Astrologers shall not use the information they derive from their clients’ chart to exploit, harass, or intimidate the client.
i. If a client wants to discuss their relationship to a third person not present at the reading, the third person should have a direct familial, romantic, or business relationship with the client. It is strongly recommended to have the permission of that third person. The information imparted about the third person’s chart should strictly address the question about their relationship with the client, and not beyond that. The astrologer should not impart any information beyond what they would have told that third person had they been present at the reading.
j. If modalities and disciplines other than astrology are used in an astrology consultation, then it must be mentioned and agreed upon prior to the meeting.
2. RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC:
a. All astrological work is expected to be performed with the highest standard of integrity and personal competence.
b. Astrologers are expected to practice good citizenship, and not use their skills to take advantage of others or work against the common good.
c. Astrologers should not mislead by making unfounded promises or exaggerated claims.
d. When making predictions about mundane events, astrologers should mention that these are high probabilities and refrain from absolute statements.
e. Any advertisement about the professional practice must be truthful and factual. This means the astrologer must be honest in stating proficiency and scholastic degrees, and must deliver what is advertised.
f. Astrologers are expected to practice only in areas of their competence and qualifications and avoid making unfounded claims or assessments in the name of astrology. This includes but not limited to medical, psychological, financial or legal advice. The astrologer may make suggestions, but openly state that he or she is not a professional in those fields. When a client’s needs are beyond the capability of the astrologer, the client must be referred to appropriate agencies or other professional services.
g. When dealing with horoscopes of public figures using commonly published data, reference to the accuracy of the birth time should be stated along with the Rodden Rating reference. Any observations about the public figure’s chart should be made in a way that is educational, and in such, refrain from gossip and unfounded assumptions.
3. RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHER ASTROLOGERS AND THE PROFESSION OF ASTROLOGY:
a. Astrologers are expected to make a conscious effort to continue their professional growth and education. This can be done by taking courses, reading literature, attending conferences and seminars, conducting research, etc.
b. Astrologers must remain tolerant to personal and professional differences where there is no breach of ethics.
c. If unethical conduct by an OPA member is noted, we encourage to try first to resolve the issue amicably with the person concerned. If the matter remains unresolved, it can be reported to OPA’s Board of Directors with adequate documentation and description of the concerns. OPA’s board of directors will subsequently evaluate the circumstances and address the issue in a timely manner in a way deemed most appropriate according to its conclusion.
d. Astrologers are encouraged to support other astrologers and foster cooperation, so that everyone benefits from our collective knowledge, experience, and insights.
e. Research and any related presentations are to be conducted in a rigorous manner with objective references, always maintaining strict professional integrity. It is appropriate to take credit for scholarly work and ethical to give credit to contributions made by others.
f. Intellectual Propriety and Copyright laws must be honored. This does not preclude the use of other astrologers’ work providing the law is upheld and/or appropriate credit is given.
a. Astrologers are expected to maintain a personal image of cleanliness, competence, and social respect when representing astrology. Astrologers are expected to act professionally in all written and verbal communications: in articles, on websites, and in social media. Verbal bullying, name-calling, obscene language and other expressions of violent, harmful language or triggering graphics are not tolerated as professional conduct by OPA general members, board members, or faculty.
Article I: Name and Purpose
Section 1 – The name of the corporation as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation shall be The Organization for Professional Astrology, Inc. (OPA). The purpose of this organization shall be educational, to help astrology students, amateurs, and professional astrologers with ethical guidelines, education, and support of career development in the field of astrology. Its main guiding principles are to make astrology stronger as a field, in promoting sustainability, credibility, and accessibility for astrology practice. The organization shall provide educational scholarship(s) for astrology students when it is in a financial position to do so.
Article II: Membership
Section 1 – Membership shall be accorded to persons participating in the activities of the corporation, and who abide by corporation policies, procedures and By-Laws.
Section 2 – A person may become a member in the corporation by payment of the annual dues. Membership certificates, cards, or other instruments, if issued, shall bear the signatures of an officer elected by the members of the organization.
Section 3 – The corporation reserves the right to unilaterally terminate membership for failure to uphold financial obligations or for conduct deemed to be inappropriate and which fails to promote the standards or the best interests of the corporation.
Section 4 – Standing: Each member in good standing, as reported by the membership Secretary and the Treasurer, shall be eligible to remain informed about and benefit from all the programs that the corporation is offering. Each member shall be eligible to vote for the board of directors.
Section 5 – Each member shall be informed and updated about the corporation’s programs, policies, and offerings through the email they provide upon registration. Their email and any other personal information provided by the member shall only be used for the purpose of the membership and shall not be shared with other parties outside the corporation’s leadership members.
Section 6 – No member shall have any right, title or interest in any of the property, assets, including earnings or investment income of this corporation, nor shall any of such property or assets be distributed to any member on its dissolution or winding up.
Section 7 – Resignation: Any member of the corporation may resign by notifying the Membership Secretary, but such resignation shall not qualify the member so resigning for compensation of any fees or dues.
Section 8 – The corporation reserves the right to refuse membership to a person whose behavior and actions are not aligned with the corporations codes of ethics, codes of conduct, values, and principles. Such a person may be excluded from the membership with a 2/3 majority board member vote.
Article III: Meetings of the Corporation and Fiscal Year
Section 1 – The annual meeting of the corporation will be held once a year at a time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors or by electronic conferencing. The purpose of this meeting shall be to report the work of the organization, to encourage and develop inspiration and fellowship among members, and to carry forward the program of the corporation.
Section 2 – Special meetings of the corporation may be called by the President or upon written or email request of three members of the Board of Directors, or upon the written
or email request of 10% of the voting members of the corporation. A call for a special meeting shall specify the purpose of the meeting. The special meeting should be scheduled within four business days and include the President and at least half of the board members, in addition to the person(s) requesting the meeting.
Section 3 – The corporation shall have a conference for the membership and others at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors every one or two years.
Section 4 – The fiscal year begins July 1 of each and every year and ends on June 30 of the year.
Section 5 – The Board of Directors may call for an independent audit of the corporation at its discretion.
Article IV: Board of Directors
Section 1 – The Board of Directors shall be members of the corporation, the number of which shall be no less than seven. No member of the Board shall receive any compensation from the corporation for duties performed as a member of the Board. No member of the Board can hold more than one elected office at any one time.
Section 2 – Directors shall minimillay include President, Vice-president, Membership Secretary, Meetings Secretary, Treasurer, Outreach Coordinator, and Director of Education.
Section 3 – The Directors shall be responsible to the members of the corporation. The Directors are responsible for determining policies, updating By-laws, managing the assets of the corporation, organizing events, and accounting for expenditures of all funds. The Board of Directors shall have the power to fill all vacancies on the Board for the duration of any unexpired term.
Section 4 – The Board of Directors may appoint delegates responsible for particular tasks or territories as they deem necessary and define their duties. These delegates may be Satellite leaders, responsible to represent the corporation in their respective countries, or officers responsible for specific departments and duties in the organization. These delegates shall report their actions, proceedings, and decisions to the Board of Directors.
Section 5 – A Director may attend no less than 80% of the Board meetings in any calendar year. A Director having attended fewer than 80% of the Board meetings in any calendar year shall be, upon a majority vote of the Board of Directors, dropped from the Board of Directors.
Section 6 – A Director shall be able to attend OPA events free of charge from three months after they take office, and up to three months after the termination of their duties as Directors.
Section 7 – Directors may resign from their duties at any time with advanced notice to the Board of Directors.
Section 8 – The Board of Directors can dismiss a Director from their duties upon two-thirds (2/3) majority vote if the Director is not fulfilling their duties as determined by their position, or as a result of behavior and action(s) deemed inappropriate by the Director.
Section 9 – The President may run for a maximum of four consecutive two-year terms. Subsequent to the conclusion of the fourth term, the President may run for any other position on the Board. The Vice-President may run for a maximum of four consecutive two-year terms, and at the conclusion of their term, may run for any other position.
Section 10 – Directors shall be elected every even-numbered year by a vote of confidence from the membership, or the highest vote if two candidates run for the same position.
Section 11- All Directors shall serve in their respective capacities until their successors have been appointed or elected. If unable to adequately fulfill their respective duties, as assessed by the majority of the remaining Board, Directors can resign or be subjected to removal from their duties (as stated in Article IV section 7 & 8). A replacing Director, appointed by the majority of the board, will serve the remaining term of the position until the next election.
Section 12 – Complaints about a Director: in the event that an official complaint is filed about a Director for a breach of ethical conduct, the remaining Board members must collect and assess the details of the accusations and subsequently receive a written account of the events by the Director themselves in a timely manner. The rest of the Board of Directors must vote for the most appropriate way to address the complaint: to dismiss it, to acknowledge and require an adjustment of conduct, or to dismiss the Director from their Board position. If there is a need to add another voter, a member of the corporation committee can be included in the deliberation and vote. If similar complaints are filed three times with reasonable credibility, the Director may be asked to resign from the Board of Directors and or the corporation’s membership.
Article V: Faculty and Staff
Section 1 – The President, Vice President, and Outreach directors shall decide who shall serve as faculty of OPA events. The whole Board of Directors must be informed of the faculty selection, and decide on the remuneration and terms for each event, whether the event takes place online or on location.
Section 2 – Complaints about a faculty member – In the event that an official complaint is filed about a faculty member for a breach of ethical conduct, Board members must assess the details of the accusations and then receive an oral or written account of the events by the faculty member themselves in a timely manner. Board members must vote for the most appropriate way to address the complaint: Dismiss it, acknowledge it and impose an adjustment of conduct, or dismiss the faculty member from their function. If similar accusations repeat for a third time with reasonable credibility, the faculty member may be banned from serving as faculty in any future OPA event.
Article VI: Annual Meeting, Nominating Committee, and Election of Directors
Section 1 – The annual meeting of the Directors shall be once per year.
Section 2 – At least 15 days prior to the election of Directors and no later than May 31, the slate of Directors shall be sent to all voting members of the organization.
Section 3 – OPA members are invited to submit their candidacy for one of the board positions, excluding the position of President and Vice-President which can only be filled by those who have served at least one year on the OPA board or as Directors or Appointees (within the last 5 years of the election date). Candidacy submissions must be sent to the serving President and Vice President no sooner than 30 days and no later than 15 days prior to the set election day. Submissions will be vetted for appropriate skills and profile required for the position they are interested in.
Section 4 – In the case when the position of President become vacant and no one on the board is willing or able to take on the position – the board needs to appoint a temporary president from the board – the board would then turn to the membership to recruit a new president. The designated person would join the board for 1 year in a different position – and after spending a year on the board, migrate to the position of Presidency – upon a final 2/3 majority board vote.
Section 5 – Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least two members in good standing selected by the Board of Directors who are not currently serving on the Board of Directors. The election must be held no later than June 30 and the results should be presented to the Board within one week of the election.
Article VII: Fiscal Matters
Section 1 – The fiscal year for each member shall be twelve months from the date of an individual’s enrollment.
Section 2 – The Board of Directors shall be responsible for all financial operations. It shall determine all charges for membership fees. No officer or member shall obligate the corporation for any indebtedness not provided for in the budget without specific authorization by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall review financial reports in writing as required and make annual financial reports to the members at the annual meeting.
Article VIII: Committee Organization
Section 1 – The Board of Directors may delegate responsibilities to committees, which shall at all times be responsible to the Board.
Section 2 – All committees shall be appointed for the two year term by the President and serve subject to the continued approval of the Board. Ad hoc committees shall be appointed by the President and shall be dissolved upon completion of the task for which the committee was established.
Article IX: Stocks, Assets and Dissolution of Organization
Section 1 – At no time shall this corporation have or issue shares in stock, and at no time shall dividends be paid or any part of the income of the corporation be distributed
to its members, directors or officers. All funds must be turned over to the charitable and educational uses and purposes of the corporation.
Section 2 – Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets remaining after payment of expenses and administration shall be turned over to such one or more organizations qualified for exemption under the Internal Revenue Code described in Section 170 (1) and 501 (c) (6) at the time when any property is to be distributed to it, each of which is engaged in activities compatible with the purposes of this organization. The Sections referred to are of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and shall be deemed to refer to corresponding provisions of subsequent Federal tax laws.
Section 3 – This corporation may not be dissolved except by two-thirds vote of the members present in a meeting called for the purpose of considering its dissolution, provided notice of such meeting shall have been sent to each member of the organization and a notice posted in the principal headquarters of the corporation at least 30 days prior to such meeting.
Article X: Amendments
These By-Laws may be amended, altered, or rescinded by a majority vote of those members of the Board of Directors present at any regular meeting or special meeting
called for that purpose, provided that 7 days advance notice of the proposed change is emailed or mailed to the Board and voting members.