Creating Your Library: Astrology Books

Wednesday February 12th 2014
The Green Dress. Elanor Colburn.

“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.

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  1. Great idea! The one book I would recommend is Caroline Casey’s “Making the Gods Work For You”, it is inspiring, entertaining and although I have read it several times I keep finding something new to ponder.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  2. p.s….am waiting for your astrology book??

  3. Mary Fortier Shea’s “Planets in Solar Returns” deserves a good read every birthday!

  4. You are welcome Christina and glad to find something you have not read! 🙂 I also have to agree with Pauline, another one of my “go to” books!

  5. Louise VL says:

    I am very nostalgic about Astrology, Karma and Transformation, by Stephen Arroyo – that was one of the early ones that hooked me. Gods of Change by Howard Sasportas is a favourite 🙂

    • Jamma says:

      I LOVED Arroyo’s book! Even with the dorky cover art. I think perhaps it was transcribed from lectures and notes (without the benefit of a persnickety copy editor). But reading it always felt like mining for hidden veins of ore.

    • Christina says:

      Yes. Tierney’s a good example of an astrologer who’s brilliant at most stuff but has one lacuna – I agree about the Neptune book. Prefer Greene on that, but there’s actually a third one somewhere on my shelves which is better than both. Must dig it out.

    • Leslee says:

      First book I thought of was Arroyo’s – mine’s all yellowed and dog-eared and underlined from when I was first learning astrology. Definitely weirdly organized! I also have Gods of Change. Bil Tierney has a nice series of books on Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The Neptune one I think wasn’t as good – maybe the god wasn’t happy with attempts to pin him down. But I liked Tierney’s relatively positive spin where many astrology writers seem to focus on all the nastier sides of certain placements.

    • Christina says:

      Yes to both these. Even though the Arroyo one is weirdly organised.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have read and studied quite a few books about astrology in my life – some I kept and some I threw away and some I found in the library.

    I made notes (easy, thanks to my shorthand) of the ones I found in libraries and I will never part of these notes – amongst others for instance : the one by Robert Hand about the planets and their aspects (can’t remember the exact title). It gave me great insight in the way energies work, especially when they go retrograde and then direct again (so they pass at a certain point in the horoscope 3 times). It’s things like this that are eye-openers.


    • Christina says:

      I have been using Donna Cunningham’s book on stelliums which is an e-book, and it works brilliantly as one. I’ll do a review of it later. It’s the first e-book I’ve come across that really takes advantage of the format.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funny – I’m listening to the radio as I write this – there is a discussion going on now if people will only read books via apps and e-readers in the future and how will writers be able to make a living then ??

      Mercury retrogade !!


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  8. I could not live without Reinhold Ebertin’s “The Combination of Stellar Influences, it is the one book I take with me when I travel and I always consult it when writing my daily blog. Great idea!

  9. Hi Christina,
    I find this book is very useful:
    Planetary Aspects – From Conflict to Cooperation – How to Handle your T-Square by Tracy Marks

  10. Jassi J says:

    `the time probably arrived in my life to read, Relating by Liz Green because I had to
    re-read immediately.

  11. Howard Sasportas’ THE GODS OF CHANGE. Mercilessly perused and marked up.

  12. Hi!! I’ve found the Saturn book to be of immense value. I’ve always said that I wanted all of my Astrology books “in one place” so to speak, so I created this a while ago:

  13. M.L. Maize says:

    Any of Marion D. March and Joan McIvers in their series of “How to Learn Astrology.” Think there are about 14 of them.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I love Tracy Marks’ The Astrology of Self-Discovery. Robert Hand is much-referenced in my library,particularly his Essays on Astrology and Planets in Youth (indispensable for anyone who works with children).


  15. Anonymous says:

    Another vote for Howard Sasportas – The Gods of Change is sublime! Also very fond of Liz Greene and Bil Tierney. Erin Sullivan’s Saturn in Transit is nice… But it was Linda Goodman who kickstarted my interest long, long ago… (:

  16. M.L. Maize says:

    Also “Planetary Cycles: Astrological Indicators of Crisis and Change” by Betty Lundsted.

  17. Vanessa says:

    And how could I forget “Gods of Change” by Howard Sasportas! Love this book.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Given my interest in astrology for over 30 years I have read many books on the subject and at one time had a vast library. There was a Yes! moment when I started to read Synthesis and Counselling in Astrology by Noel Tyl, Astrology of the Famed is another good one if your interested in the history and many more books by Noel was to follow. I’d fallen out with Astrology many times over the years because of how astrology is so descriptive and what I call backwards astrology. You won’t go wrong by reading Noel’s work.

    • Christina says:

      Never looked at the Sepharial books. Love the Merriman blog though.

    • P says:

      I kinda disagree on the backwards slant. Yeah, sure, it is possible to look at an event, compare it to the chart for the transits, etc and say ‘Aha! See, this happened *because* of this’. But it’s equally possible to project forward, with the ‘accuracy’ of an educated guess. Remember what Keynes said: ‘The object of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable’. Also see: Ray Merriman. Whose very expensive books I would love to read but can’t afford…..

      Anyone want to do Sepharial’s financial astrology books with me and see if we make a buck?

    • Christina says:

      Dear Anon – if you come back I would love to hear more about backwards astrology. I like Tyl on Solar Arcs.

  19. P says:

    I would like to give a tiny nudge for David Anrias ‘Man and the Zodiac’. This book talks about ascendants. The best part is his *beautiful* drawings of various ascendants. That combined with 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 :D. I once managed (to my own surprise) to pin down someone’s birth time based on the Anrias book – One really does resemble one’s ascendant!

  20. Liz R says:

    A shout out for Sue Tompkins on aspects from me as well as those already mentioned.

  21. Lynn Holt says:

    Sasportas’ The Twelve Houses as well as his other books already mentioned

  22. Leslee says:

    I thought of another: Amy Herring has a lovely book focused on the Moon: Astrology of the Moon. I have it on Kindle, with lots of highlights (mainly related to my own Moon and aspects).

  23. Anything by Liz Greene. Anything by Melanie Reinhardt. Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas. Anything which takes your fancy.

  24. ‘A spiritual approach to astrology’ by Myrna Lofthus

  25. Polly 15th February 2014 says:

    This is a fantastic discussion! Many of the books already mentioned are favourites of mine – those I haven’t read are now on my ‘to read’ list.
    I’d like to suggest one more – The Magic Thread by 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.

  26. C. King says:

    “The Astrology of Beliefs” by Rollan Mccleary is an incredible book and a must read, and every time it is reread, you learn more. I feel it is an astrology book for those seeking after the truth and are drawn to astrology. And, I love Linda Goodman’s “Love Signs” too.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful selection! For beginners I would recommend Clare Martin’s Mapping the Psyche 1 & 2. And for those interested in Vocation, Faye cossar’s latest book, Using Astrology to create a vocational profile, is a gold mine of information and easy to read.

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  29. “Astrology decoded” by Sue Merlyn Fairbrother is probably the best Beginner-intermediate book available.