I really did not want to be so obvious, but, Essential Astrology by Amy Herring truly is essential.  From the way she breaks things down to simply how she phrases things, this is an incredible book that can really help any person of any educational level understand astrology.  The one thing that really impressed me was how she begins the book with a basic introduction and history of astrology, and then begins to explain things from the ground up; the first circle in the natal chart.  She breaks all of this down, explaining what each line means, even using graphics on the page to show each line, adding them in one by one which can really help a beginner, or someone intimidated by all of the lines on a natal chart, understand what each one is and why they are needed in a natal chart.

Essential Astrology is organized in three sections and further into 18 chapters.  Section one is the history of astrology and also has sections about how astronomy and astrology intersect.  Section two gets into the meat of astrological meanings and section three is all about chart interpretation.  Herring ends the book with a conclusion, a glossary and a section with further reading suggestions.  Here I must say that it is best to read this book in order.  Herring has organized this book so that each section, chapter and part builds on one another, beginning with the aforementioned lines and circles, going into the signs and houses and then in the third section she does into more detail on understanding aspects, orbs and exactly how to interpret a natal chart.

For me what really makes this book something special is that while she does go into detail, it's about the basics of astrology.  What the signs are, how the houses work, what exactly is a cusp or an aspect, things like this.  And while she briefly mentions things such as your moon sign or your rising, or ascendant sign, she does not go into any detail about things like that.  This is just scratching the surface on what exactly is astrology, how to use a chart and so forth.  I have to say I really appreciated this because many other books try to put so much information in, about all aspects of astrology.  In her Essential Astrology Herring only skims the surface, giving her readers the information necessary to have a good grasp of the basics, while allowing the reader to pick and choose which subjects in astrology they wish further, more in depth study on.

All in all, I cannot possibly recommend this book enough for anyone interested in astrology.  Whether you are a long time student of it, or this is the first book you have picked up on it, everyone will learn something from this book.

~review by: Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Amy Herring
LLewellyn Worldwide; 2016
382ppg; $24.99

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