In her Introduction, Maxine explains that once upon a time not so long ago, astrologers had to calculate charts by hand, a laborious process. I got it down to about 15 minutes. Maxine was teaching, and when her students had completed calculating, their question was invariably, "Now that I've cast it, what do I do with it?" She wrote this book in answer to that question.
As you can tell from the table of contents (above), Maxine has her head on straight. She reads from the houses, as all sane astrologers must. Delineations are refreshingly brief, focused, to the point. Here is Maxine on the second house. This is the complete text:
The 2nd house describes the basic need in all of us for fulfillment of our personal desires. It also describes the tangible possessions (people or things) which we often substitute when our personal desires go unfulfilled. Because of Taurus's rulership over this house, the 2nd house person's needs are often very practical, and deal with the basic needs of life: food, shelter, love, and the money to buy what he needs. Many people, however, have fulfilled their basic needs sufficiently so that they are working on fulfilling their secondary needs. For this reason, the 2nd house deals with our values, our priorities and all security-giving possessions. (pg. 5)
An outstanding description! Notice how she brings in Taurus and then immediately grounds it with concrete, to-the-point, examples. This is masterful.
The overview of aspects is drop-dead great. It involves cookies. If someone gives you cookies (you do nothing), that's a trine. If someone will give you cookies if you will get up to get them, that's a sextile. If someone will swap you cookies for your cake, that's an opposition. If someone steals your cookies, that's a square. If someone offers you cookies, but you're on a diet, that's an inconjunction.
The conjunction is a bit trickier. If someone plops down in your lap, that's a conjunction. How well the two of you get on will depend a lot on exactly who it is who has plopped down in your lap! Tellingly, if a friend sneers at the two of you, that's a conjunction with a square. If a friend gives the two of you a knowing wink, that's a conjunction with a trine. (Well, okay. I invented the wink. Maxine gives the same idea in different words.)
At this point, instead of writing explicit aspect delineations, Maxine gives lists of keywords for each of the planets. Taking her cookies and party scene as your model, you then apply the keywords as appropriate. Taking my Sun-Saturn trine as an example, positive keywords for Sun are, creativity, individuality, strength, etc. The trine says I need do nothing at all to get Saturn's responsibility, discipline, maturity, etc. Which would be creative discipline, responsible individuality, mature strength, etc.
So how about a Venus-Jupiter square? Negative Venus is lazy, self-indulgent, phony, etc. Negative Jupiter is overoptimism, overbearing, exaggeration, etc. Can you stammer out, Overoptimistic self-indulgent? (Well, no, neither can I!) A very good learning exercise. Perhaps aware that a lot of students won't do even this much work, Maxine then follows with very terse delineations: Venus-Jupiter: You can rationalize your self-indulgence. There. I feel better now. I feel rationalized.
In Linking Planets With Signs, Taylor shows how planets in one house influnce the house they rule, which makes the title of the chapter slightly misleading. Her instructions in this chapter are a bit convoluted, but only a bit, and will work brilliantly if you take the time to work through them once or twice. The brief delineations she gives will get you started with this essential technique: Ruler of the 2nd in the 4th: You spend money on your home and family. You spend money on what makes you feel secure. And then, precisely because this is a book that makes you work with keywords and BASIC SENTENCES, you will be inspired to use keywords for the planet in question, the ruler of the 2nd.
A well-crafted book, one with many insights.
118 pages. AFA, paper.