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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.
Click on the title links for more information, user reviews, and/or to buy the book. Links go to Amazon Canada, where there is not only a vast selection of books available for purchase, prices are in Canadian dollars.
General Natal Chart Interpretation
Chart Interpretation Handbook:… 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+
Astrology, Karma and Transformation: The… 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.
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.
Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to… 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.
Planets in Aspect: Understanding Your… 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.
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+
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.
Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the… 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
Predictive Astrology: A Practical Guide 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.
Alive & Well with Pluto by Bil Tierney
Cafe Astrology Recommends: This book is both enlightening and practical written in clear language. Excellent!
Identifying Planetary Triggers:… 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 informationa goldmine for those students of Astrology who can’t get enough information to help them hone their predicting skills. Very recommended!
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.
Relationship Astrology: Synastry, Composite Charts, and More:
Skymates: Love, Sex and Evolutionary… 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.
Mapping Your Romantic Relationships 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.
Love Relationship Formula: Predicting… 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.
Planets in Composite: Analyzing Human… 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.
Composite Charts: The Astrology of… 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 wellinstead 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).
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.
Astrology & Relationships: Techniques… 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.
The American Ephemeris for the 21st… 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.
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.
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. Our Rating: B-
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.
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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