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I've been developing my knowledge of astrology since the early 80s, and am a (very) part-time professional. Most astrology books are pretty formulaic – a basic history lesson (where did astrology come from?) is followed by descriptions of the planets and signs and their meanings as they roam through the houses. If the book has a particular focus – romance, for example – then some portion of time will focus on the ‘compatibility’ of the signs with one another, and the author will include information about ’harmonious’ and ‘dissonant’ aspect relationships.

 

A few, very few, authors have treated the topic of relationship readings with compassion, wisdom, and seriousness. In this modern age when our relationships are not just male-female, or with other Caucasians of the same economic class it is refreshing to see examples that blend old and new methods that address both the astrological and psychological issues that arise in relationship readings. I found the discussion about timing the start of a relationship and predicting its end particularly interesting, and not something I’ve seen before.

 

Newcomers to astrology should wait before purchasing this book. Being comfortable with the technical side of astrology – the houses, why the placement of specific planets in each can alter the information perceived, and the specific aspects – is a necessary foundation. A strong selling point is Appendix B: Relationship Analysis Worksheet which takes you systematically through the delineation and analysis described in the book. It acts as both a checklist and reminder of the priority of the information found in the charts. This is not a book the reader whizzes through in an afternoon. It requires careful study and practice to full assimilate.

 

Synastry is very well organized, making it easy to follow and to advance the level of your astrology without getting confused or left behind. It also shows you exactly which charts to use for a reading – it’s easy to drown in piles of data when you have two people and all their natal and progressed and synastry charts.

 

Finally, chapter nine frankly discusses the consultation itself. The ethics of privacy and revealing the ‘right’ amount of information is particularly apt to my mind – we don’t want to make self-fulfilling prophecies out of predicting the end of relationships, after all. Being aware of the role of the astrologer and the law is another necessary piece of knowledge to keep in mind. (Are we ‘fortune tellers’ or ‘counselors’?) This chapter will likely be completely new to many astrologers – and its vital information for us.

 

Five luminaries out of five.

 

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Rod Suskin

Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008

pp. 248, $21.95

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