To paraphrase the proverbial question, which do you want first, the good news or the bad? There's enough of both, which is why this book earns my strawberry curl award.

It is a book on astrology, granted. But the title leaves you wondering exactly where this is going to go and how serious a work it will be. There is some solid astrology but just as it begins to feel like you don't have to proceed with caution, it turns into a biography with a few charts thrown in.

The book has a major identity crisis. It can't makeup its mind what it wants to be. It rambles and swings back and forth between personal and professional. Explaining through astrology is one thing. Interjecting it with your personal opinion is another. Inserting his own chart, the author made sure to describe it thoroughly rather than use an anonymous chart or one of a celebrity.

I thought the author's use of sun, soil, wind and rain to be aptly descriptive of fire, earth, air and water. And intuition, sensation, thinking and feeling for the four quadrants. The highlight was a section illustrating honing your analytical skills by going back to basics. Using former president Barack Obama's chart, the author showed Obama's Leo Sun in the 6th house and his Gemini Moon in the 4th house. Then he illustrated how the fixed fire sign (Leo) functioned in a cadent earth house (6th) and the mutable air sign (Gemini) functioned in a cardinal water house. These were thoroughly explained. "A  sign is an inner aspect that shows essential character and its house shows how it acts in the world." Reading that inspired me to look at my chart again using those principals.

That was mostly the good news. Here's the bad. It also shows the folly in promoting your own agenda. This faux pas was committed several decades ago but evidently the author repeated the mistake. The book was A Time for Astrology and the author was Jess Stearn. Stearn was a journalist and ghost hunter who fancied himself an astrologer. He was teaching a class on astrology and the person's chart  the class was delineating was then-president Richard Nixon. A student would point out an aspect that showed Nixon to be questionable, and Stearn, who obviously favored Nixon, would tell the student he was wrong. Then another student would point out the reason that Nixon was called "Tricky Dicky" by his detractors. And again, Stearn would pooh-pooh it and stand up for Nixon. This went on for most of the book. Stearn is extolling the virtues of Nixon while the class is collectively gagging. However, history proved them right.

This author comes close to doing that with former president Donald Trump. Only he goes one further by urging us to take a serious look at Ophiucus, while pointing out that it's not a planet. Worth taking a look at is the planetary line-up when the first woman in the United Kingdom got the first covid-19 vaccination.

~review by Judy Blackstone

Author: Barry Goddard
Moon Books, 2022