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Guide to Astrology Books


Astrologers' Book Shelf

Here is our hand-picked selection of superior Astrology books for building and expanding upon your knowledge of Astrology from the ground up.

Links to buy go to Amazon, where there is a vast selection of books available. While a small commission that helps keep the site going is earned for referring customers through these links, I only include items that I truly recommend.

General Natal Chart Interpretation

Chart Interpretation Handbook: Guidelines for Understanding the Essentials of the Birth Chart by Stephen Arroyo

Cafe Astrology Note: This excellent manual by Stephen Arroyo is a classic, must-have book for the Astrology student. Arroyo explores the signs, elements, the planets, planets in the elements, the planets in the signs, the Ascendant, the Midheaven, the Ascendant's ruler, the houses, aspects, and more. Valuable tips on chart synthesis are offered by this highly-respected author. Rating: A+

Thousands of readers worldwide have found personal meaning in Arroyo's bestselling books. Here, he shows how to develop reliable, in-depth interpretations for any birth chart.

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coverAstrology, Karma & Transformation: The Inner Dimensions of the Birth Chart by Stephen Arroyo 

Cafe Astrology Note: An excellent work that explores elements, transits and cycles, planetary aspects, karmic relationships, the Ascendant, Midheaven, and more. 

This work helps open the mind to deeper meanings of the different "dimensions" of the natal chart, and offers plenty of valuable information for those who want to study Astrology a little more deeply. The approach here is both psychological and spiritual, with plenty of practical interpretations as well.

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Astrology for the Light Side of the Brain by Kim Rogers-Gallagher 

Cafe Astrology Note: This astrology primer is not to be taken lightly, although readers will absorb its information happily and easily. It's jam-packed with introductions to valuable astrology concepts and terms. This is one of the best books for beginning astrology students who are ready to take their knowledge above and beyond the sun signs. If I could turn back time, I'd make sure I read this book when I was learning astrology basics. Outstanding!

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The Inner Sky: How to Make Wiser Choices for a More Fulfilling Life   by Steven Forrest 

Cafe Astrology Note: This beautiful work helps astrology students grasp the meanings behind the planets, aspects, signs, and houses. Steven Forrest's books are intuitive and even poetic. This manual is excellent.

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The Twelve Houses by Howard Sasportas 

Cafe Astrology Note: This comprehensive work focuses on the meanings of the houses. It explores the inherent meanings of the houses in general before moving on to detailed descriptions of the planets through the houses, plus the Moon's Nodes and Chiron. The author takes a psychological approach to the subject. Very recommended.

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Planetary Aspects

coverAspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope by Sue Tompkins 

This is an excellent guide devoted to the interpretation of planetary aspects. Very readable and insightful. The author explores aspects between planets with the format of Sun-Mercury aspects, Venus-Uranus aspects, and so forth, rather than separate paragraphs for specific aspects. However, she discerns between hard and soft aspects in each interpretation, and most interpretations are lengthy.

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coverPlanets in Aspect: Understanding Your Inner Dynamics (The Planet Series) by Robert Pelletier 

This detailed book includes interpretations of each major aspect between the planets: the conjunct, sextile, square, trine, inconjunct, and opposition. The interpretations are practical and easy to understand. Note that at Astrodienst's web site, the alternative interpretations in the free natal chart reports are culled from this work.

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The Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin 

Although it is a classic Midpoints (cosmobiology) book, this is also an excellent reference text for keywords that help jumpstart astrology students' thinking processes. Keywords for combinations of planets and points. It can be used for natal aspects (example, read the Sun/Moon interpretation), transits (example, read Uranus=Sun/Moon if transiting Uranus is activating a natal Sun-Moon aspect), and, of course, for midpoint combinations. Excellent!

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Key Words for Astrology by Hajo Banzhaf & Anna Haebler

This is an excellent book that offers key words and key phrases for planets in signs, houses, aspects, and more. Includes aspects for the Sun through Pluto, the Ascendant, Midheaven, and Nodes of the Moon. The interpretations are excellent. Highly recommended.

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Specialized Topics

Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil by Liz Greene

Cafe Astrology Review: Saturn has received a bum rap for centuries. This classic work begins with a discussion of the black-or-white viewpoint of "good" and "bad" planets, and the reasons for discarding this approach. The most maligned planet of all time, Saturn, is explored in depth and satisfying detail in this 200+ page book. 

Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil is an immensely insightful and satisfying read. I first read this book as a teenager, and was stunned (in a good way!) at the interpretations of Saturn in both natal charts and synastry. 

Liz Greene, in her inimitable style, presents the study of Saturn in Astrology as a means for self-discovery, growth, and, eventually, freedom! The meat of the book is broken down into chapters on Saturn in each of the elements (in watery signs and houses, and so forth). A later chapter explores Saturn in aspect to other planets in the birth chart. As with Saturn itself, Greene avoids labeling specific types of aspects as "good" or "bad". Saturn in synastry is also explored. Greene discusses how Saturn is necessary for long-standing relationships; Saturn's role in projection in relationships; as well as the concept of overcompensation

Not only is this a thorough and insightful exploration of Saturn, it offers an excellent lesson about the signs, houses, and planets as well! For example, Greene suggests that Saturn is "the individual's point of greatest vulnerability". We encounter fear wherever we find Saturn in the chart. By reading up on Saturn in Aries, we uncover the essence of Aries at the same time. 

If you prefer a psychological approach to Astrology, or simply enjoy probing into the why's and how's of human behavior, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It is particularly recommended for those with a prominent or strong Saturn in their own charts, who will find the interpretations immediately recognizable. This book will help "unblock" the blocks in your own personality and your relationships. Rating: A+

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Astrology for the Soul by Jan Spiller

Cafe Astrology Review: This is an invaluable work, both for those new to Astrology and advanced students of the subject. The positions of the Nodes of the Moon by sign are interpreted in detail. The approach is both spiritual and practical. Jan Spiller offers advice for how to best work with the individual issues we face as a result of the placement of the highly sensitive nodal axis of the Moon.   

Each chapter is dedicated to extensive interpretations of the position of the Moon's North Node through each zodiac sign, and is broken down into sections: "Overview" offers specific attributes to develop, tendencies to leave behind, and the basic desires of the group; "Personality" describes the general traits and issues peculiar to the position; "Needs" reveals the basic needs of the individual along with practical suggestions for how to go about satisfying them; "Relationships" reveals some patterns of relating to significant others; "Goals" offers the strengths and weaknesses of each position's tendency to seek what they want; and "Healing Theme Song" presents lyrics to the author's songs designed to help heal the lessons for each group.

The author often writes of past lives, but keep in mind that the book is useful to those who don't subscribe to past life theories as well. "Astrology for the Soul" is beautifully written and offers valuable insights into the lessons and issues that face each position (by sign) of the North Node. The chapters can be read just as easily using the house placement of the North Node--if your North Node is in the first house, for example, the North Node in Aries chapter will apply. Our Rating: A

This is a thorough and insightful treatment of the Nodal Axis of the Moon. 

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Predictive Astrology/Transits/Cycles/Progressions

coverPredictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark by Bernadette Brady

Cafe Astrology Review: This outstanding book by Bernadette Brady, author of Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, offers practical tools for astrologers embarking along the road of predictive astrology. Transits, progressions, and lesser-known predictive techniques (such as Saros cycles and Return charts) are explored. 

In Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark, an illuminating chapter dedicated to transits offers students of astrology tools to help personalize the meanings of transits in individual lives. The author suggests drawing a grid that helps organize the basic data involved with the transit, and it's surprisingly useful. This grid incorporates the transiting planet's natal and transit house positions, the natal planet's house position, and the houses ruled by both planets involved. 

Another chapter is dedicated to secondary progressions. She not only offers interpretations for specific progressions, she points out especially significant progressions, and discusses orbs, waxing/waning aspects, secondary progressed lunar phases, and more. 

Brady devotes a chapter to Time Maps, a tool that helps astrologers put the pieces of predictive work together. Saros cycles and eclipses are the subject of another chapter, and "older systems" (planetary returns, luminary and planetary arcs, mundane astrology) are discussed as tools to use when the "eagle fails" (the book opens with a meaningful fable of the eagle and the lark, and the author equates the eagle with technique and the lark with insight/intuition). 

This book is outstanding for its clarity. It offers practical tools for organizing predictive astrology work, and offers satisfying interpretations of key details.

Our Rating: A
Bernadette Brady has a gift for expressing the mathematically complex in poetic terms that turn angles and orbits into a celestial ballet. Predictive Astrology covers all the basics--transits, progressions, and houses--while unlocking the bewildering secrets of eclipses. In a seamless dialogue of logic and intuition, Brady encourages us to look beyond the basic blueprint of the natal chart and peek into the future. Her view of fate doesn't condemn a person to a set path in life, allowing the astrologer who carefully balances logic and intuition to better prepare her clients for the challenges fate has in store. --Brian Patterson

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The Gods of Change: Pain, Crisis and the Transits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (Arkana's Contemporary Astrology Series) by Howard Sasportas. 

Cafe Astrology Review: The Gods of Change: Pain, Crisis, and the Transits of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto is a rich psychological study of the outer planet transits by the late Howard Sasportas. 

Sasportas offers some "practical guidelines" to interpreting transits—and handling them as well! He suggests that we should anticipate the outer planet transits, prepare for them, and "cooperate" with them. This way, we need not be taken off guard. And, more importantly, we can work with the transits in a conscious manner in order to feel more in control of our lives.

Sasportas pays much attention to our inner battlefield—the psychological underpinnings that transits, effectively, trigger.

Each outer planet--Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto—is discussed in a general sense before interpretations of their transits by house and aspect are offered. Some illuminating case studies are presented at the end of the book, and these are pulled from the astrologer's files instead of celebrity examples. I appreciate the "regular people" case studies, simply because they are easier to relate to.

This book is one of the most valuable Astrology books on my book shelf. It's insightful, useful, and inspirational. You won't find any dire predictions here. Instead, you'll get truly empowering suggestions on how to better prepare for—and manage—those sometimes daunting outer planet transits.

Our Rating: A+

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coverPredictive Astrology by Christine Shaw

Cafe Astrology Recommends: This book is both enlightening and practical — written in clear language — and is entirely devoted to interpreting secondary progressions. Included are descriptions of planetary progressions, including those to the Ascendant and Midheaven.

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The Changing Sky by Steven Forrest 

Cafe Astrology Recommends: Steven Forrest's books don't just offer delineations of particular aspects and positions, they help readers to truly understand the meaning behind these astrological signatures. This book explores transits. 

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Identifying Planetary Triggers: Astrological Techniques for Prediction by Celeste Teal 

Cafe Astrology Recommends: The bulk of this book is devoted to the study of Solar Returns and planetary Returns in forecasting, with chapters discussing transits and progressions. The book is unique in its presentation of very valuable information about the subject of planetary returns. This book is truly packed with information—a goldmine for those students of Astrology who can't get enough information to help them hone their predicting skills. Very recommended!

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The Art of Predictive Astrology by Carol Rushman 

Cafe Astrology Recommends: In this compelling book, Carol Rushman shares with readers some very valuable predictive techniques, culled from over 30 years of experience. This is a fascinating read for intermediate students of Astrology. The book contains quite a bit of information about progressions in addition to other techniques, such as transits and eclipses.

This to-the-point book is devoted to giving straight answers about the future. Real-life examples are offered and real-world concerns about the future are addressed.

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coverAlive and Well With Pluto by Bil Tierney

Cafe Astrology Recommends: This book is both enlightening and practical — written in clear language. Excellent! 

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How to Predict Your Future: Secrets of Eastern and Western Astrology by James Braha

Cafe Astrology Recommends: I am a Western astrologer, but have found the transit interpretations (Jupiter through Pluto) in this book extremely insightful. These western interpretations make up the bulk of the book, and are more than worth the price of the book. Outstanding! 

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Planets in Transits: Life Cycles for Living by Robert Hand 

Cafe Astrology Recommends: This is a cookbook-style, thick book that many consider a transit bible. All planetary transits to planets as well as the Ascendant and Midheaven are covered. 

Meanings of each transit include both emotional and circumstantial possibilities. This is a great reference.

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Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles of Transformation & Growth by Mary Fortier Shea 

Cafe Astrology Recommends: This is a wonderful book devoted to interpreting the Solar Return chart. Planets in houses and in aspect, as well as cycles, are delineated. 

Excellent work that focuses on self-development through Solar Return analysis.

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Relationship Astrology: Synastry, Composite Charts, and More:

Relationships, Astrology and Karma: How to Understand, Transform and Heal Your Relationships Through Astrology by Pauline Stone

Cafe Astrology Notes: This gem of a book is now back in print. Essential for understanding the outer planets' role in synastry. Examples are abundant.

Synastry: Understanding Human Relations Through Astrology
by Ronald Davison 

This is an older text that students of relationship astrology should enjoy. Davison interprets house overlays and interaspects. He is the astrologer who invented the Davison Time & Space Relationship charts, and he devotes a chapter to this subject. 

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Relationship Analysis by Robert P. Blaschke

Cafe Astrology Review: This relatively new book is perhaps the most extensive and organized book on Relationship Astrology. This book is outstanding. For anyone interested in exploring relationship astrology more deeply, this is a must-have book. It's not a cookbook in that it doesn't offer interpretations of each synastry aspect or composite position, for example, but it explores the topic of relationship astrology in depth. 

Used in conjunction with other cookbook-style books (such as Planets in Composite: Analyzing Human Relationships (The Planet Series) by Robert Hand, Planets in Synastry: Astrological Patterns of Relationships (The Planet Series) by EW Neville, and Synastry Techniques (The Only Way to Learn About Relationships, Volume 5) by March and McEvers), this book is invaluable. 

Relationship Analysis is Volume IV in Blaschke's Astrology a Language of Life series of books. This gem of a book has only recently been published. Although I haven't read it from cover to cover just yet, I've read enough of it to know it is truly a wonderful work. The author discusses the theory of relationship astrology, interchart aspects, the composite chart, the Davison chart, and future considerations. He covers broad subject matter, including such things as midpoints, progressed composite and Davison charts, synastric progressions, Solar Returns, the Part of Marriage, Sabian symbols, and more. He goes into detail on the topic of electing a date of marriage, the concept of the "shadow", and a topic that isn't covered frequently: "mirror degree synastry" or antiscia synastry. There are more topics covered than I can list here. The author also helps readers prepare for a consultation and offers a Relationship Analysis Worksheet that serves as an excellent means for organizing one's findings. Outstanding, and a must-own book for those with a serious interest in relationship astrology.

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Love Formulas-2 by Nance McCullough 

Cafe Astrology Review: This is the type of book that packs a lot of practical, to-the-point tips about relationship astrology into its pages. 

There are times when you just want to find useful guidelines when making your compatibility analyses. Love Formulas-2 lists such things as good and very good synastry, as well as bad and very bad synastry. 

The author explores such topics as the role of elements and quadruplicities in relationships, composites and progressed composites, choosing a good day to marry, Arabic parts and relationships, and a whole lot more. She even throws in some numerology. This is not a cookbook-style synastry book. Rather, Love Formulas-2 offers plenty of guidelines and tips for analyzing compatibility. The author shows what works and what doesn't, and supports her theories with numerous examples (intriguing ones!).

There are plenty of interesting tidbits and examples to be found in the book. At times it's a little hard to follow, simply because there's a lot of information to digest, so it is probably not ideal for those who prefer to focus on the basics only. However, I love this book.  It's full of interesting and practical information, and explores topics that other books don't cover. This book is best for those who have a firm grasp on synastry basics, and who want to learn more. 

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Planets in Composite: Analyzing Human Relationships (The Planet Series) by Robert Hand

Cafe Astrology Review: This slightly older book, dedicated to interpreting the composite chart, is a useful reference. Besides introductory chapters that give an overview of the whole process of casting and reading the composite chart (the chart of a relationship), the book offers case studies as well as delineations of each luminary and planet in the houses and in aspect. The Moon's Nodes, and their special meaning in the composite chart, get a whole chapter to themselves, too.  

If you frequent the Astrodienst site, you'll find that their interpretations of the composite chart are pulled from this excellent work. 

The interpretations given in Planets in Composite are insightful; they're also decidedly realistic and practical. Some of them can even sting, which is probably a good thing.

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coverComposite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships by John Townley

Cafe Astrology Note: Composite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships is another comprehensive composite chart manual. This book is written by John Townley who is credited with the invention of the wonderful "composite" technique. 

This book interprets the composite planets and nodes in aspect, house, and sign. Both this book and Robert Hand's Planets in Composite (left) are excellent reads, and they complement each other well—instead of overlapping. Townley's writing style is a little more conversational then Hand's. Composite planets in the signs is covered in this work and not in Planets in Composite. I find both books quite useful. If I had to make a choice between these two books when recommending a composite chart manual to a student of astrology, however, I would choose Planets in Composite (left). 

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Love Planets by M.J. Abadie & Claudia Bader

Cafe Astrology Notes: The cover of this book originally made me think it was a commercialized offering. Don't judge a book by its cover! There is some valuable information in Love Planets, which offers readers a deeper look at what the natal chart promises in terms of love potential and needs. The authors use the term "Astroscripts" to describe the different positions of planets and points in the natal chart.

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Astrological Compatibility by Lynne Palmer

Cafe Astrology Notes: This book covers many important elements in relationship Astrology, including interplanetary aspects, house overlays, and natal chart potential. Progressions are even explored, with regards to marriage and divorce. Suggestions for handling difficult (inharmonious) combinations are also offered. A detailed analysis of a horoscope comparison between Jackie and J.F. Kennedy rounds off the discussion and shows the principles laid out in the book in action.

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Astrology & Relationships by David Pond

Cafe Astrology Notes: Excellent descriptions of the planets in the signs, written from a relationship point of view. Gives tips on how to better understand your loved one. This is not a synastry manual. Rather, it explores the individual love potential and needs, as read through the natal chart.


Skymates: Love, Sex and Evolutionary Astrology by Steven and Jodie Forrest

The intuitive, warm, and personable style of Steven Forrest's writing is here in Skymates, an updated and expanded version of this classic synastry book. Readers will come away with a more clear and deeper understanding of synastry.


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coverMapping Your Romantic Relationships (Astrology Made Easy CD-ROM Series) by David Pond

Cafe Astrology Review: Part of Llewellyn's Astrology Made Easy CD-ROM Series, Mapping Your Romantic Relationships: Discover Your Love Potential is an easy-to-read and insightful contribution to the field of relationship astrology. 

Besides 240+ pages of traditional text, this book offers a CD-ROM that calculates astrological positions for your birth data, along with that of your significant other. A personal report is generated based on this data. Users can enter data for their own relationships as well as any others they may be interested in. Although they can find the paragraphs that pertain to their situation in the book, the personal computer report is a wonderful touch that will be appreciated by those who are new to Astrology studies. 

The book begins with an exploration of basic Astrology principles, including interpretations of the planets, signs, houses, and aspects. Part Two is the most meaty section of the book, and is devoted to individuals' relationship "profiles". In other words, this section analyzes the relationship potential in an individual's chart. Each person involved in a relationship should be considered in this way, before embarking on Synastry methods found in the final section of the book, Part Three. Part Three is dedicated to chart comparison (inter-aspects and house overlays). Finally, an example relationship is delineated: that of Bill and Hillary Clinton. This example is not only an interesting read, it helps readers understand how to put everything together.

I love reading David Pond's work. I enjoyed his earlier book, Astrology & Relationships, as well.

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The Love Relationship Formula: Predicting Romantic Success With Astrology (with CD-ROM)  by Christine Makela

Cafe Astrology Review: Part of Llewellyn's Astrology Made Easy CD-ROM Series, The Love Relationship Formula takes a quantitative approach to evaluating whether or not a relationship will be successful. The author shares her knowledge, culled from years of experience and research, with regards to indicators of relationship success.

Besides 298 pages of traditional text, this book offers a CD-ROM that calculates astrological positions for your birth data, along with that of your significant other. A personal report is generated based on this data. Users can enter data for their own relationships as well as any others they may be interested in. Although they can find the paragraphs that pertain to their situation in the book, the personal computer report is a wonderful touch that will be appreciated by those who are new to Astrology studies. 

The book lists and discusses fifteen synastry aspects that are said to be significant indicators of success in romantic relationships. Other chapters explore the Moon in synastry, Mercury exchanges, extra combinations that help a relationship, karmic relationship connections, the part of marriage, especially challenging synastric aspects, and more.

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coverThe American Ephemeris for the 21st Century 2000-2050 at Midnight by Neil F. Michelsen 

Very easy to use and handy. Although online ephemerides are available, this hardcopy version truly simplifies the process of looking into the future.


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Beginners/General Interest

Linda Goodman's Sun Signs by Linda Goodman

Cafe Astrology Note: This is the classic Sun Sign manual written in a warm style that makes you appreciate each and every idiosyncrasy of the 12 signs of the zodiac. 

Descriptions for each sign in general terms, plus for the female, male, business person, and child. 

Excellent and fun read for learning the basic meanings of the signs. The writing style is quirky, rich in imagery, and will certainly make you smile. Because the book is so readable and enjoyable, this book offers a great way to become acquainted with the personality traits associated with each zodiac sign.

The Boston Globe
"What makes SUN SIGNS different is that much of the writing is done with humor." --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

The New York Times
"...tells us Taureans and Capricorns exactly what's what - with none of this 'Mars is in your ninth house stuff.'" --This text refers to the
Hardcover edition.

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The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need by Johanna Wolfolk

Cafe Astrology Review: The title of this book is a mite ambitious. In fact, it almost invites criticism right off the top. However, the author's direct and simple style is commendable, making this book a decent choice for beginners. While it's not a thorough exploration of Astrology (the subject is so vast that no book could possibly be the "only" book you'll need), this book gives a decent foundation from which to begin a study of Astrology. 

Interpretations of the sun signs, moon signs, and the Ascendant, as well as health and love topics are some of the book's stronger points. Each Sun Sign is delineated in a general sense, and then in terms of love and relationship. Sun Sign compatibility is also explored (that is, how an Aries relates to a Taurus, and so forth). The author breaks down the signs into decanates before moving onto an exploration of the Moon signs, Ascendants, and the positions of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto by sign. Interpretations of the placement of the planets in the natal chart by house are given. The rather basic descriptions of the planetary aspects are somewhat disappointing -- we find them to be oversimplified. 

The author offers a "simplified" method of casting a birth chart -- although rather accurate, we recommend using a free chart service on the web for an even easier, and more professional, method of obtaining your birth chart. Synastry, the study of relationships, is touched upon, and a lot of attention is given to Astrology in history and legend.

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The Secret Language of Birthdays: Personology Profiles for Each Day of the Year  

Cafe Astrology Note: Each day of the year is analyzed and assigned a personality sketch. This is an excellent "coffee table" book to have on hand. 

About the Author
Gary Goldschneider is an astrologer and coauthor of each of the books in the Secret Language series. Joost Ellfers is a book packager specializing in highly illustrated books.

Book Description
Combining astrology, numerology, and pure psychic intuition, The Secret Language of Birthdays is a wholly unique compilation that reveals one's strengths, weaknesses, and major issues while providing practical advice on spiritual guidance. It is a must have for every library and anyone even remotely interested in the dynamics of personality.

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