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If you are a beginner to astrology Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols, and Myths is not a book for you. Although the style and tone are pleasant and Massey offers good reviews and summaries at the end of chapters and sections, she often digresses into astrological jargon to the point where a beginner would be unable to understand her point. As well, she rarely defines astrological terms, so the reader is left to refer to another source or book. (A glossary would have solved this problem, but there isn’t one.) The author uses many analogies and stories about real people and their charts which serves to make the book more personal and less analytical. But this is hampered by so many astrological terms and jargon in those analogies that the point being made is lost on anyone but an advanced astrologer.

For example: At one point she says she is going to give an easy way to find out what phase Venus is in at a particular point in time, then she doesn’t give a step by step way process to finding the information. Another time she discusses how the phases of Venus are similar to those of the moon, but doesn’t make the specific linkage between the two. It would have been nice to have a simple chart to correlate these phases or a bulleted list to give a name to each. Massey discusses the phenomena of Venus retrograde in depth, but doesn’t tell you when it has been or when it will be in retrograde. The entire discussion seems pointless if the reader can’t look and determine if her points are valid for them or not.

There are some good points in this book. In the opening, Massey outlines what Venus represents and shows the symbols as well as discussing what the symbols represent. For the newcomer to astrology this was quite enlightening. She also discusses the evolution of how Venus has been viewed throughout time as a goddess. 

While she makes a good start in the first couple of chapters, Massey seems to get so wrapped up in her topic she forgets that the audience may not have the advanced knowledge and experience she has.  Massey’s tendency towards astrological jargon and undefined terminology makes the book a hard read for the beginner astrologer.

 

~review by Eileen Troemel

Author: Anne Massey

Llewellyn Publications, 2006
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