“You must read this book,” said my friend G, handing me a skinny paperback. She was a full year older than me, an Aquarian, and at that age, a year really counted.
Well, I haven’t seen G in decades, but that skinny paperback has travelled with me from flat to house, from city to city. I haul it out sometimes to look something up. Scribbled in the front in various different inks are my early calculations: Jupiter in Gemini 21°, Saturn in Pisces… etcetera etcetera
Learning astrology from books is how most of us start. And one book leads to another, because this is a complex tree of knowledge and there are so many branches to explore. There’s a huge range of books on this subject — from Linda Goodman’s Love Signs to Manilius’ Astronomica. And there is no single source. There is no Bible or Encyclopedia Britannica. This can be daunting. And you can find yourself out on that tree of knowledge examining a manky twig instead of a lovely leafy little limb.
Just as it is with cookery books: there are astrology books that you read once and ones that you return to again and again, and those that you use just occasionally for a single recipe. Much depends on the quality of the writing, because some of these books, although filled with useful information, are just a chore to get through, and some are a good read in their own right.
Then you also find that an astrologer who has brilliant insight into say, the Moon, seems to have no understanding of Saturn or Capricorn; or someone who is marvellous at interpreting horary charts cannot understand even basic psychology. So you do need to read every book critically. The more you read, of course, the easier it is to make your own judgments.
That is why you need a library of astrology books.
Eventually, when it comes to the real moment of reading the chart, you put your books away, and allow inspiration to flow, of course.
I thought I’d spend this month, while Mercury, the book planet, goes retrograde through the sign of systems, Aquarius (starting February 13), looking at useful astrology books. I’m not interested in dissing books I don’t like, so I’ll just be including ones that I have used myself and found useful.
Oh, the skinny paperback? Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil by Liz Greene.
I’d also be interested in your recommendations this month. Are there any astrology books that you think are absolutely essential? I’ll be creating a page for these books at the end of the month as a ready reference for anyone creating an astrology library.