I've been absolutely devouring Constance Stellas' How To Be An Astrologer since it arrived in my mailbox. This is a serious book for people with a good, deep, knowledge of astrology who want to go to the next level. This is not a book for beginners in any way shape or form. As an example, I've been working with birth charts and getting professional readings since my college years, decades ago. For the past 20 years I've taught a month-long class on the basics of astrology designed to help students feel comfortable with reading their own chart. I am familiar with the basics.

I found How To Be An Astrologer almost overwhelmingly informative.

Chapter One goes over what we might call the basics: identifying the placement of the luminaries and planets in houses and zodiac signs. Chapter Two looks at the math of calculating degrees of relationships between the chart elements. The depth Stellas goes to about the aspects is superb. Chapter Three steps back a bit to track the "personal" planets and Moon through your chart. Here we look at the moon's movement through the houses, void-of-course and retrograde periods. Chapter Four delves into the "transpersonal" planets and the generational role of Pluto's placement at your birth.

All of the above is often found in a good astrology book, although not all authors are as thorough as Stellas is in the explanation. With Chapter Five we go off the deep end (in a good way!) as the reader is shown how to do predictive astrology using progressions of various styles (e.g., Solar Arc, Progressed Moon, Saturn Wheel, etc.). Chapter Six takes us to synastry, the art of looking at compatibility between two (or more) charts. Synastry is good for all kinds of relationships: friendship, parents and children, coworkers and bosses, marriage. Chapter Seven unveils the hidden aspects of the natal chart, with a look at karmic ties and links, past lives, and soul mates. Chapter Eight explores some of the more unusual or esoteric ways to read a chart. This was a particularly fun chapter, as Stellas discusses fixed stars, Arabic parts, decanates, various House Systems, cusps, asteroids, medical astrology, national events, and even the astrology of Feng Shui.

The book ends with two more chapters on the process of reading a chart, including how to tell if you are accurate (!) and training yourself to think like a (professional) astrologer.

I could make a tiny quibble and beg for a few more illustrations, but given how much complicated information is presented so concisely and thoroughly it is a truly tiny quibble. The book itself is bound in such a way that you'll be opening it for years without damaging it. Which is good, because most readers will be digesting it in small quantities at a time. Astrology is a topic that often takes years to master. Keeping that fact in mind when reading will help readers not get discouraged.

Highly recommended!

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Constance Stellas
Adams Media, 2020
pp. 276 $18.99