If astrology is infallible, sadly astrologers are not.
This discipline, in fact, require a strong mental clarity to understand what the stars are telling us and to think objectively, without being influenced by the desire of giving good news, by the feelings of the moment and the thousands of distractions of our daily life.
A planet in exactly the same situation can, in different cases, tell us exactly what we wanted to know or give us a bad news and so we must develop as much as possible our logical thinking and the understanding the links with the context in which we are working.
As if this were not enough, astrology is not a subject clearly defined like could be mathematics. It knows a wide variety of approaches, we can say that we can’t find two astrologers working exactly in the same manner. Also you, with time, will probably develop your personal method re elaborating what you learned with your studies.
So I invite every aspiring astrologer to develop to the most their critical sense, avoiding of taking as the word of God what they read in the book of the moment or is being taught at the course they are attending to. Soon or later they will surely find another source that, on certain things, works in a different way, sometimes to the point of being incompatible with that you followed, but that can be more correct of that you became fond of. So it is necessary to be open minded and full of critical sense at the same time in order to evaluate its real worth.
My path has been mainly self-taught, so I will mainly recommend some readings.
The world is complex and contradictory, so it is not a surprise discovering that, notwithstanding no astrologer works exactly like another, many books seem in fact repeating or even copying each other, but there are often points that maybe are explained in a better way or are a characteristic of that author.
Despite my adoption of traditional astrology, I still advise beginning with modern astrology books (nearly everybody do this way) because, being written in our time, the explanations are given with an organization and a mindset easier to understand, so they are simpler and more pleasing to read, besides they are easier to find (few traditional astrologers of today write books and these are less diffused).
These represent a good introduction to form an idea of what you are approaching to and understanding if you like it or no. Then, if you are interested but modern astrology doesn’t satisfy you, for example you find it too vague, you can try traditional astrology books.
Sadly I do not have modern astrology titles to recommend that could represent a “first reading” I have not found a book that is remarkably better than the others, they seem more or less equivalent to me. But I advise against Lisa Morpurgo, an Italian astrologer rather esteemed in Italy (I do not know how much she is known abroad) but in my opinion rather overvalued; besides her critiques on traditional astrology are worthy like those of the skeptics about astrology in general.
If you will read books of traditional astrology written by ancient authors you will be surprised by the general fashion, when explaining how to examine a matter of the chart (for example the type of spouse met by the querent, the type of death, his work etc), of giving a list of conditions that you will very rarely see present in the chart totally as described.
This because it must be kept in mind that at the time people thought with the analogy principle, so the authors of these books are simply giving examples to make understood which type of influence brings certain results. If you find a situation in any way similar in your chart, this means that the influx of the stars will be similar to that of the given examples; it will be up to you evaluating the differences that characterize the configuration that you are examining.
The main trick is seeking the logic behind the given examples, not forgetting of using critical sense to understand if it is correct or not.
USEFUL SOURCES LIST (the list may be updated in the future)
I would advise of looking for a book that can explain the astronomical basis of our art, to understand what is behind all this and develop a better understanding of the matter since the books readily avalaible start immediatly with the “interesting” part because the softwares take are of the calculations. But the books I know are in italian, so I can’t recommend you a title on this matter, still I remind you that studying this is worthy the effort. If you do not find something “for astrologers” you can simply buy a book of astronomy.
Deborah HOULDING, “The houses – temples of the sky”, Bournemouth UK, The Wessex astrologer, 2006
A book that explains very well the astrological houses and their origin, so allowing to orientate oneself and to avoid the errors in which some astrologers fall.
Vivian ROBSON, “The fixed stars and constellations in astrology”, Abingdon MD, Astrology classics, 2005
A book on the fixed stars, an elemend not used by all the astrologers, but that I think rather interesting and worthy of notice.
Modern texts worthy or attention:
Sophia MASON, “Delineation of progressions”, Tempe AR, American Federation of Astrologers, 2005
A book on progressions, a technique of previsional astrology, by a modern astrologer.
The book is rather useful to examine this system, it also contains various example charts, if you do not agree with her approach you can try to seeing if you can reach the same conclusions using your system.
Traditional astrology books:
John FRAWLEY, “The horary textbook”, Warsaw, Apprentice books, 2014
One of the best astrology books ever read. Tha author not only is one of the greatest expert in traditional horary astrology, but he is also very good in explaining it; the text is easy to understand even to those that never read anything of astrology in their whole life.
A famous XVII century French astrologer, Jean-Baptiste Morin, wrote a huge book “Astrologia gallica”, this is a theoretical work with very detailed reasonings, some of them not much interesting to the people of our time. The author wanted to write also a book about the practice of astrology, but he died before completing it.
Still, some parts of “Astrologia gallica” are interesting also from a practical point of view, mainly:
Jean-Baptiste MORIN, “Astrologia Gallica book 21 – The Morinus system of horoscope interpretation”, Tempe AZ, American Federation of Astrologers, 2008
Naturally this is not about what we today call “horoscopes”, it talks instead about the interpretation of birth charts. Since the possible combinations are nearly infinite it is good having a general approach with which to analyze the chart and in this Morin gives a nice help.
Jean-Baptiste MORIN, “Astrologia Gallica book 22 – Directions”, Tempe AZ, American Federation of Astrologers, 2005
The text talks about the direction, a complex but useful system for making predictions, but it contains also an interesting appendix that, among other things, has parts from other books of the author, the most interesting are about the interpetation of solar and lunar returns (the book about the returns has also been published, but it is less easy to find).
Please note that Morin is not to be considered a real traditional astrologer. This because he rearranged many traditional ideas according to personal criterias, to the point of being often classified as pre-modern.
Very interesting books are published by Benjamin Dykes: http://www.bendykes.com/
An American traditional astrologer and college professor that translated many traditional texts, these can be bought directly from his website or from normal online sellers.
Judith HILL, “Vocational astrology”, Tempe AZ, American Federation of Astrologers, 2015
Maybe a book excessively “quick”, but still very useful on vocational astrology.
Faye COSSAR, “Using astrology to create a vocational profile”, Flare publications, London, 2012
Besides being an astrologer, Faye Cossar is also a therapist and a business consultant. In this book she explains how to integrate astrology with various techniques used to give advices on the developing of your personal career.
These websites have useful free (legal) texts, maily on traditional astrology:
http://far.orgfree.com/ In this website are present authors ancient and modern (like Alan Leo); here you can find the best digital version of "Christian astrology" of William Lilly, an important text of traditional astrology (the one of 1647, the book can be found also elsewhere, but the other version I found have some pages illegible or other errors)
http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/vettius%20valens%20entire.pdf English translaction of the work of Vettius Valens, an important latin author
Very useful material is available in the website: http://www.johnfrawley.com/
In which the owner publishes free issues of his, now discontinued, magazine (humour inside!) and the audio of some of his lecture (others are avalaible on payment).
Notes on texts availability:
Keep in mind that, besides Amazon, Book depository sells books all over the world with good prices and with no shipping costs (it is owned by the Amazon group though, it is not a real alternative).
Notes on courses:
Some of you may feel more confident attending a course. There are many, I attended only the “Horary apprenticeship” of John Frawley and I had been very satisfied. The only critique I have to move is that on his book “The horary textbook” you can find the answer to many questions, this trains more memory than logic, however, for the most important questions, you will be on your own.
Notes on softwares:
Before or later you will need a software to creating the charts.
The programs are many and usually costly. At the moment I use Planetdance: http://www.jcremers.com/?id=Home&lan=en, an excellent free software created by a single person and constantly updated by the author, a man passionate with the subject since years.
The website www.astro.com allows the calculation of charts choosing many settings, but you are working on a website so all is slower (but at least the data are saved online, so they will remain available even when your pc crashes).
I conclude with a quotation of Oscar Wilde: “Hate blinds. Love knows how to read what is written on the farthest of the stars”.
- The Cat