Books

An evolving list of astrology books recommended by readers

“Live for a while in the books you love. Learn from them what is worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be returned to you a thousand times over. Whatever your life may become, these books – of this I am certain – will weave through the web of your unfolding. They will be among the strongest of all threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

gerrit-dou-astronomer-by-candlelight

The Astronomer by Gerrit Dou

Here is a list of astrology books recommended by readers of this blog and the Facebook page. I have not read all of them! But each book here has been used and loved by someone who loves astrology. I’ve included comments where possible.

This page is an on-going project so if you have any comments to make on these books or you would like to see a book included, leave them at the bottom and I’ll try to incorporate them. Doubtless you will find a book you cherish cruelly ignored, but this is not a comprehensive list, just the beginning of one. Please feel free to demand a book be added — just as long as you’re not the author’s agent.

If you are looking for essential books to start your astrological journey, get the * ones.

Beginner’s Books

Unknown*Parker’s Astrology — Derek and Julia Parker
Revamped, redesigned and reprinted many times since its first incarnation as The Compleat Astrologer in 1971, this book contains everything you need to get started making and interpreting charts. I taught myself to draw up charts by hand with this book.

Astrology, a Cosmic Science” —  Isabel M. Hickey
“A beginner’s guide, but with a slant toward karma and spiritualism with an interpretive style only Hickey can provide.” — Anon

Modern Textbook of Astrology — Margaret Hone
Very dry but reliable and in its day seminal.

Astrology Decoded — Sue Merlyn Farebrother
This is highly recommended by several readers as the best current beginner’s book. I haven’t read it myself but suspect it may deserve a *.

Donna Cunningham is a natural writer and a gifted astrologer. Kindness and keen insight imbue her writing. The books I especially like by her are Moon Signs, the Key to Your Inner Life and Healing Pluto Problems

Donna Cunningham is a natural writer and a gifted astrologer. Kindness and keen insight imbue her writing. The books I especially like by her are Moon Signs, the Key to Your Inner Life, An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness and Healing Pluto Problems

Chart Interpretation Handbook — Stephen Arroyo

Mapping the Psyche — Clare Martin
Highly recommended by several readers

Complete Astrology — Alan Oken

How To Read Your Astrology Chart– Donna Cunningham

Horoscope Maker and Delineator — Llewellyn-George

Astrologer’s Handbook — Sakoian and Acker

The Only Way to Learn Astrology (book series) — Marion D. March and Joan McIver
These excellent and engaging books are not beautiful but they are useful. I have three or four but there are about 12. Some are better than others.

Sun Signs — Linda Goodman
I recommend this because she writes so amusingly and enthusiastically. She does set some readers’ teeth on edge apparently.

General

*Astrology for the Millions — Grant Lewi
I love this book: it’s populist yet profound. At the recent, AA conference in England, Rick Levine also mentioned this book.

Steven Forrest writes really well, although some people find his style irritating (I don't). All his books are worth reading especially The Inner Sky, The Changing Sky, The Book of the Moon and The Book of Pluto

Steven Forrest writes really well, although some people find his style irritating (I don’t). All his books are worth reading especially The Inner Sky, The Changing Sky, The Book of the Moon and The Book of Pluto

It’s great for beginners, but also for old hands.

The Knot of Time: Astrology and Female Experience — Lindsey River & Sally Gillespie
Written in the 1980s (I think), this book has stood the test of time well. Although it’s aimed at women, it’s insightful enough to be useful for everyone.

The Inner Sky — Steven Forrest
A cosy read and good astrology.

Man and the Zodiac –– David Anrias
‘This book talks about ascendants. The best part is his *beautiful* drawings of various ascendants. That combined with astrofaces.com is a great way to ‘read’ a person’s Sun, Moon and ascendant – because they are literally as clear as the nose on one’s face.” — P

Get the 1970s edition
Get the 1970s edition

The Round Art — A T Mann
A seductive, beautiful book and a classic of 1970s publishing, although I think there is an updated version. One reader said this was the book that made him fall in love with astrology.

Moment of Astrology — Geoffrey Cornelius
Highly recommended by several readers. “Wise, profound, thought-provoking.”  You may not agree with everything Cornelius writes but he will make you think properly about what you are doing with astrology.

The Astrology of Self-Discovery — Tracy Marks

The Contemporary Astrologer’s Handbook – An In-depth Guide to Interpreting Your Horoscope – Sue Tompkins

Astrologik — Antero Alli

Astrology — Melz E McColgan

The Cosmic Loom — Dennis Elwell
“A classic” — Liz

Understanding the Planets

The Planets Within: The Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino – Thomas Moore
An exploration of the rediscovery of astrology in the Renaissance. I’m reading this book now so I’ll report back.

Planets in Youth — Rob Hand
Useful even if you’re old

Making the Gods Work For You — Caroline Casey
This book was highly recommended by several people, and I’ve read it since then. It’s an excellent exploration of planetary energy and astrology in action. Also very well written.

Stephen Arroyo - his books are favoured by readers -- especially Astrology, Karma and Transformation, Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements, and Relationships and Life Cycles.

Stephen Arroyo – his books are favoured by readers — especially Astrology, Karma and Transformation, Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements, and Relationships and Life Cycles.

Specific planets & nodes
I notice that there are more books about Pluto than any other planet!

Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul  — Jeffrey Wolf Green
You really need this book if you want to understand Pluto.

Healing Pluto Problems – Donna Cunningham
Maybe her best book… although…

Moon Signs, Keys to Inner Life — Donna Cunningham
…is also excellent

The Astrology of Fate — Liz Green
It seemed to speak so directly to my 12th house Pluto” Liz Greene writes about Pluto like an insider, very, very sound book.

Astrology of the Moon — Amy Herring
“A lovely book”

*Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil — Liz Greene
Probably still the best book on Saturn and a must-read for anyone going through a Return. This is the book that returned me to real astrology.

Astrology for the Soul — Jan Spiller
Thorough and illuminating discussion of the nodes.

Neptune, the 12th House and Pisces — Maurice Fernandez
My favourite book on this planet, but…the other one is good too.

Neptune — Liz Greene
Neptunian in scope. Dive in.

Bil Tierney’s whole series is excellent: Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
” I liked Tierney’s relatively positive spin where many astrology writers seem to focus on all the nastier sides of certain placements.” — Leslee

Steven Forrest has written a series of books on specific planets. I really love The Book of Pluto in particular (again!)

Aspects & Houses

*The 12 Houses — Howard Sasportas
A key text, covers much more than the houses.

Aspects in Astrology — Sue Tompkins

Stelliums Handbook — Donna Cunningham
This is an e-book and works rather brilliantly as one.

The Combination of Stellar Influences — Reinhold Ebertin
If you want to understand midpoints, this is the one.
“…the one book I take with me when I travel and I always consult it when writing my daily blog…” — Ainslie

Planetary Aspects – From Conflict to Cooperation – How to Handle your T-Square — Tracy Marks
Good book & T-squares are pretty common, so you’ll find yourself using it a lot.

Comparing charts

Relating — Liz Green

Liz Greene - the doyenne of Jungian astrology. All her books are worth reading -- in particular The Astrology of Fate, Saturn, Neptune, The Outer Planets and Their Cycles.

Liz Greene – the doyenne of Jungian astrology. All her books are worth reading — in particular The Astrology of Fate, Saturn, Neptune, The Outer Planets and Their Cycles.

Planets in Composite – Rob Hand
Damn useful…

Relationships and Life Cycles — Stephen Arroyo
As with all his books this is a jumble of ideas, but so true and useful. Also it’s refreshing sometimes to read a book that’s not orthodox in its organisation.

Transits, Progressions, Returns, Cycles

*Planets in Transit — Rob Hand
Exhaustive — but if you only get one book on transits., this is it.
“… gave me great insight in the way energies work, especially when they go retrograde and then direct again…” – Mimi

The Changing Sky — Steven Forrest
An engaging, positive and clear look at transits. Very good book

Cycles of Light: Exploring the Mysteries of Solar Returns — Lynn Bell
My favourite book on Solar Returns, but this one is also excellent…

Planets in Solar Returns — Mary Fortier Shea
“deserves a good read every birthday!” — Pauline

The Lunation Cycle. A Key to the Understanding of Personality — Dane Rudhyar
Such a prolific writer. Much of his work is wildly esoteric but this one is pure gold.

*Gods of Change: Transits of the Outer Planets– Howard Sasportas
Top book on the outer planets – Uranus, Pluto and Neptune. Recommended by more readers than any other. You really do need it if you’re interested in understanding these transits & understanding these transits is key to real applied astrology.
“Mercilessly perused and marked up.” — astrolass

Planetary Cycles: Astrological Indicators of Crisis and Change —  Betty Lundsted

Saturn Transits — Erin Sullivan

Transits of Mid-Life and Aging — Erin Sullivan
A thorough overview of all the transits that turn you into a crone/wizard/old bag…

Solar Arcs — Noel Tyl
The principals of Solar Arcs simply explained.  Some people swear by them.

New Age Career Cycles — John Townley
He has rehashed the same ideas in a couple of other books with similar names, so just get one of them. However, what he has to say about using the Saturn-Jupiter cycle is both practical and useful.

Other

Astrology, Karma and Transformation —Stephen Arroyo
This book is so wide-ranging, it could go under some of the other headings. It’s full of insight but rather an odd format. It’s highly recommended by many readers.

The Magic Thread — Richard Idemon
The blurb describes this book as a synthesis of depth psychology, myth, Jungian archetypal imagery, dreams and astrology. A rich mix indeed!
It is a fabulous book – complex ideas, beautifully explored.” — Polly
This is one of the books I’ve read this year because of this list. It’s wonderful and so is Through The Looking Glass, his other book. What a shame he died so young.

Cosmos and Psyche —  Richard Tarnas
A bit philosophical…

The Karmic Journey  — Judy Hall

Jungian Symbolism in Astrology — Alice Howell
This is quite heavy going, but it’s been recommended.

Soul Centered Astrology — Alan Oken

Karmic Astrology — Alan Oken

A Spiritual Approach to Astrology — Myrna Lofthus

Essays on Astrology — Rob Hand

The Astrology of Beliefs — Rollan Mccleary
“…an incredible book and a must read…” — C. King

Using Astrology to Create a Vocational Profile — Faye Cossar
“A gold mine of information and easy to read.”

Astronomica — Manilius
Easy reading considering it’s almost a couple of thousand years old. Loeb does a nice edition. Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos is also worth a read so you know where later astrologers got their ideas from.

Useful Reference Books

Encylopedia of Psychological Astrology — CEO Carter
This is full of useful information on specific degrees and character traits.. I recommend anything by Carter who was a promoter of the cause in early-to-mid 20th century. He has the perfect prose style of that generation which makes reading him tremendously soothing.

Book of World Horoscopes — Nicholas Campion
If you need a chart for a country, you will likely find it here. Slight bias towards colonial dating I feel.

Astrological Keywords — Manly P Hall
What it says on the tin.

Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars — Bernadette Brady
An excellent, thorough discussion of the fixed stars and their meanings. This is the one to get.

Astrology of the Famed — Noel Tyl

Guide to Astrological Counselling — Donna Cunningham

Synthesis and Counselling in Astrology –– Noel Tyl

Horary

Christian Astrology — William Lilley
Written by England’s most famous Renaissance astrologer, it’s a bright, light window into another time but at the same time the ur-book for most contemporary horary astrologers. Don’t be put off by it’s age, it’s a jolly romp. Recommended by several readers. Although it’s maybe not the best book to start out with, it really is an essential read since so much modern astrology is based on Lilley.

The Real Astrology — John Frawley
Rather proscriptive but people swear by it. Recommended by several readers.

Horary Astrology: Plain and Simple –– Anthony Louis
Ooo, the rival tome — personally, I can’t choose between the two.

Jason over at Sagittarian Mind has an astrology bookshelf on his site — natürlich he’s a Sag. Click here to go to it.

18 comments

Liz said:

Also The Cosmic Loom, by Dennis Elwell is a classic.

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Christina said:

OK. It’s going in.

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Caro said:

What a brilliantly useful list! – thank you so much for compiling and sharing

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Nina said:

Fantastic compilation, Christina! Thank you for this!! Can’t wait to jump into some of these. Am sure the Amazon #’s for these books will all be up today. Greetings from Houston.

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Sharon said:

Wow, yes, completely wonderful, thank you! Came across another gem here in India a while back: The Greatness of Saturn by Robert E Svoboda. And Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblios is still great backing.

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Christina said:

Yes, the Greatness of Saturn! It’s a translation by Svoboda. I really like his book on Vedic astrology too, called Light on Life.

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Cristina said:

There goes my disposable income! Thanks a lot for this list!!!

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Milton said:

To decipher a chart, all you really need is Sue Tompkins’ book on aspects.

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JOYCE said:

48 years a practicing astrologer and one little gem, so worn from use through the years it is falling part,
is Lois Haines Sargent’s, How To Handle Your Human Relations.(American Federation of Astrologers, Washington, DC.) Read most of the recommended books through the years. Being a Libra the little gem mentioned says it all concisely, clearly. Excellent for relationships between any couple, parent child, friendships.

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Christina said:

Thanks for this Joyce. I have never read it. Now going to track down a copy.

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Anthea Head said:

Yes, I agree that Lois Haines Sargent’s How to Handle Your Human Relations is really excellent, concise and insightful. A book on aspects I recommend is Bil Tierney “Dynamics of Aspect Analysis”. This is not a cookbook, but describes the dynamic principles behind the aspects, so that the reader can grasp why an aspect manifests as it does. It also covers uncommon aspects, unaspected and retrograde planets, Very interesting.

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JOYCE said:

In reply to Christina
The Human Relations book I mentioned, is a booklet, not a hard cover, but just loaded with valuable, relationship connections.
I turned my students through the years on to it. Hope you find it. Joyce

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Andries H. Cats said:

I rectified many horoscopes.

And published in 2012 (Kirjaboek.nl) my first book on the subject: Gecorrigeerde horoscopen Adolf Hitler en het Derde Duitse Rijk 1933.

Other books followed : J.F. Kennedy, the USA, Israel, princess Diana, Churchill, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein etc.

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Josi said:

Awesome compilation. I have to add Austin Coppock’s book on the decans. 36 Faces.

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Lynn said:

“Here and There in Astrology” Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson a bit old-style for some interpretations but nevertheless very useful!

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Marij Norden said:

All these books about Declinations:
“Declination, The Other Dimension” by Kate Boehrer
“Beyond the Solstice by Declination” by Leigh Westin
“Declination in Astrology – The Steps of the Sun” by Paul F. Newman
“Paralells: Their Hidden Meaning” by Charles Jayne
“Declinations” by Joseph Silveira deMello
“Geocosmic Magazine Spring 1998” by NCGR
“Planetary Pictures in Declination” by Roger Hutcheon
“The Powerful Declinations” by John Willner
“The Book of the Moon” by Steven Forrest

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Christina said:

Thank you!

Reply

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