“There is nothing simple about astrology,” is the quote that begins the introduction of Astrology, Plain and Simple. I completely agree with the comment; 3000 years of material would tend to make things more complex. But this book does stand up to its name: It presents astrology in a plain and simple way, and distilling down many astrological concepts to their very essence is not an easy task!
 
The book is a small volume—less than 200 pages, measuring 8 inches by 5 ½ inches—and it provides a quick look at the building blocks of astrology: The planets, the signs, the houses, the aspects, and the rising sign each have a chapter of their own. There is also a chapter on Gender, Elements, and Qualities that is essential to understanding some of the basic astrological structures.
 
The descriptions and short, and there’s no doubt the others had a tall order to put something you could spend days talking about in “25 words or less”. Each sun sign gets maybe a page total of treatment, and the rising signs get a few sentences.
 
When I looked up my rising sign, Capricorn rising, it said: “Events in your childhood taught you the value of saving money, the value of hard work, and gave you a cautious attitude. You’re ambitious, but overnight success is not your goal. You’re a plodder, climbing slowly and steadily toward your goal.” This is definitely a solid explanation that hits all the main points.
 
My concern with this book is the price; I suspect that some folks may balk at $14.95 for what does not appear to be a lot of information. Let me assure you that there is a lot of useful information in here, and if you’re a reader with a short attention span—as many are—this book may be just the thing to launch you into the study of an amazing, life-changing discipline.
 
I liked this book, mainly because the title says it is “plain and simple”, and the content matches it well without losing the effectiveness of the message. I would recommend it to people who are beginning their study of astrology, or for those in complementary disciplines (tarot, runes, etc) that might need a quick look at a particular facet of astrology without too much fuss; I could see keeping this book with my tarot cards as a reference.
 
--Review by John Marani
Authors: Cass and Janie Jackson
Hampton Roads Publishing, 2005, 2016
pp. 196, $14.95 US

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