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Astrology, A Language of Life vol. 5: HOLOGRAPHIC TRANSITS - Robert P. Blaschke, $21.95
Contents: Acknowledgements; Introduction;

1. Holographic transit theory & technique
2. Sun-Moon phase angle returns
3. Sun-Mercury phase angle returns
4. Sun-Venus phase angle returns
5. Sun-Mars phase angle returns
6. Sun-Jupiter phase angle returns
7. Sun-Saturn phase angle returns
8. Outer planet phase angle returns

Epilogue
Appendices 1-5 (lectures & tapes by the author, astrology software, computer chart services, correspondence course, contacting the author)
Bibliography
Footnotes

Comment: A most astonishing book.

The essential premise of the book is that, during those awful outer planet transits to your natal chart, you can find moments of tranquil reflection when the Sun & planet return to their original natal angle. (You can, of course, meditate upon the planet any time the Sun returns to the same angle, but you're likely to forget that until a major transit brings it to your attention.) For example:

Suppose transiting Saturn is conjunct your natal Mercury. If, after the first direct hit, it then retrogrades & stations over it, you could have Saturn in your life for half a year. Blaschke's theory is that the best times to come to terms with this energy is when the transiting Sun & Mercury have the same angular separation as your natal Sun & Mercury. Blaschke says this works. But there's more.

Building on the premise in his Sabian Aspect Orbs (book 2), Blaschke says we can identify basic planetary energies in our charts by finding the angular separation between the Sun & each of the planets, applying or separating as the case may be, projecting the resulting number of degrees from 0 degrees Aries, determining the sign & degree that results, and then consulting a book of degree symbols for its interpretation. In addition to the raw angle thus obtained, Blaschke also suggests finding its reflection from 180 degrees. The change, between Book 5 and the earlier Book 2 is that Blaschke now suggests consulting Sepharial's La Volasfera, which forms the second half of Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolized. The substitution of Sepharial for Jones, which is unexplained, produces the most amazing results.

The most fundamental of the various Sun-planet angles is that between the Sun & Moon, which reoccurs monthly. Underlying that, of course, is the prenatal eclipse. Referencing the prenatal eclipse degree to Sepharial's degree symbols produced this result for George W. Bush, who has his prenatal eclipse at 7 degrees of Cancer:

An iron gauntlet, a sword, and a scourge lying together upon the stump of a tree. It indicates a person of strong personality, but of a tyrannous nature, who, by force of arms & aggression generally, will press forward regardless of the merits of others & insensible of their feelings. His hand, though strong, is frequently unjust & cruel in its action, impelled by the motive that "might is right"; and, when opposed, is capable of extreme cruelty & selfishness. In certain natures the influence of this degree generates the common-place "bully". It is a degree of SELF-ASSERTION. (Sepharial, pg. 69; Blaschke, pg. 36)
This is not a fluke, as you will discover when you find your own prenatal degree. Blaschke suggests Charubel's degree symbols as a back-up, perhaps in part as Sepharial & Charubel have long been paired together.

Building upon this, Blaschke also suggests finding the last time the Sun conjuncted the various planets in your chart, before your birth. He provides tables for solar eclipses, as well as Sun-planet conjunctions, from 1920 to 2020.

Blaschke also notes if a planet rises ahead of, or sets after, the Sun (morning or evening stars). Planets rising ahead of the Sun are interested in future affairs, or perhaps give the gift of prophecy. Planets setting after the Sun tend to deal with matters at hand. He also compares all of this to the progressed positions.

There is also a great deal of metaphysical justification & theorizing to support these ideas. I was impressed by his Time / Space diagram, where Time is the horizontal axis, Space the vertical. As you rise up in "space" (consciousness) you become less restricted in "time". When you descend you can become "trapped" in time. This is actually how time appears to work, as anyone who has wasted a fleeting hour in daydreams, or sat staring at a clock, waiting for the hands to move, can confirm. It's also an apt metaphor for the endless cycle of birth & rebirth, although here he gives us the story of Hansel & Gretel, when Jack & Jill would have been more appropriate. (Some day I might tell you why.)

There is much more in the book, but only one other item needs to be mentioned. Blaschke is intensely Christian. He talks about The Light of God, he urges us onto a spiritual path, he admonishes us to find our Higher Self, he is concerned for our very souls. I found this pleasant, but I have dragged myself through similar material, again & again, for the last forty years. In Blaschke I recognize a fellow traveler. You don't need to agree with this part of Blaschke's book in order to find it of use. Sometimes a bank robber's biggest problem (to give a silly example) isn't that he's not in touch with his higher self, but that he's not a good enough bank robber.

A couple of years ago Blaschke told me he had a series of seven books planned. Get this fifth book, and join me in eagerly awaiting the next two.

Earthwalk School of Astrology, 256 pages.


PREDICTIVE ASTROLOGY: Cycles of change, seasons of meaning - Michele Adler, $21.95

Contents:

Acknowledgements
Introduction
How to use this book

1. Cycles & seasons
2. Transits
3. Progressions
4. Solar arc directions
5. Return charts
6. Eclipses & lunations
7. Other directing methods
8. Predicting with degrees
9. General forecasting
10. Putting it together
11. Important ages
12. Conclusion

Appendices:
1. Modes & triplicities
2. Midpoints
3. Decanates & dwadashamsas
4. Parallels, contraparallels & out of bounds declinations
5. Solstice points
6. Saros cycles & eclipses

Bibliography

Comment: Practicing astrologers who compile their experiences into books always produce exceptional books. Adler has more than 30 years experience. As she writes in How to use this book

This book has been written for intermediate & advanced astrologers. Its purpose is two-fold.

First, its premise is that predictive astrology is not so much forecasting events, as it is understanding cycles & themes in our lives.

Second, it provides a wide spectrum of predictive techniques, more than are usually contained in a single book on the topic. This is not an encouragement to use as many techniques as possible. It is an attempt to show that themes in a life can be seen & reinforced in a wide variety of forecasting tools. It also hopefully serves as a reminder that significant life changes coincide with many astrological signatures.

I have made it a point to provide the basics of the major predictive techniques at the start of the appropriate chapter, so beginning students with a grasp of signs, planets, houses & especially aspects can also find it useful. I have provided additional information on some of the basics - midpoints, parallels, for example - in the appendices.

There is also a drawing in Chapter 10 that can assist in compiling & viewing the many predictive factors that are operating in a chart at a given time.

It is sincerely wished that, through the use of astrology's prediction techniques, you will have a greater understanding of the themes of your own life, knowing that they manifest in a timing unique to your personal journey.

MCA

So how well does she do? The introductory notes in the second chapter, on Transits, will keep beginners on their toes. It's also a useful refresher for the more advanced. It's followed by notes on transiting aspects, transiting planets, houses that are transited. It concludes with derivative houses, ie, the midheaven wheel, the Part of Fortune wheel, the solar or 5th house wheel (useful if the birth time is unknown), the instant horary, and a note on solstice points. Adler is skilled with declinations & in this chapter & elsewhere gives many techniques for them.

Chapter 3 is on Progressions. After brief opening remarks, she defines both minors & tertiaries, which is rarely ever done. Michele then heads into a discussion of converse progressions (ie, counting backwards from the moment of birth) & usefully observes that when a converse progression lands on your prenatal eclipse, it indicates a significant year of your life. I had not previously seen these two (converse & prenatal) brought together in this fashion. The chapter ends with the only detailed instructions I have ever seen for minor & tertiary progressions.

The book is full of surprises like these. Well-worth study.

Hidden Water Publishing, 292 pages.


THE ART OF FORECASTING USING SOLAR RETURNS - Anthony Louis, $40.00

Contents:

Preface
Acknowledgements

1. Some basic ideas
2. Many happy returns - The technique of Alexander Volguine
3. The annual ascendant & midheaven, the superimposition of houses, and the dignities of the planets
4. A look at the Holy See, the precessed solar return & a crisis in the life of Salvador Dali
5. To precess or not to precess - that is the question
6. The importance of the ascendant - a personal example
7. Issues of timing & Emmerson's point of death
8. The contributions of Jean-Baptiste Morin
9. The death of Jean-Baptiste Morin
10. Morin's 31 aphorisms for judging revolutions
11. Tales of two musicians
12. Some influential modern writers
13. Solar returns when the birth time is unknown
14. A cookbook of aspects in solar returns
15. Pulling it all together

Appendices:
A. Table to determine the time interval by which to progress the solar return chart
B. Sample firdaria for day & night births
C. William Lilly on solar returns

Recommended reading
Index

Comment: I was especially pleased to see this book, as it incorporates Volguine's technique of solar returns. The English translation of Volguine's book has been out of print for many years, and will likely stay that way. Not only does Louis give us Volguine's technique, and in detail, he also contrasts him with others.

Volguine read solar returns as subsets of the natal chart. Not as stand-alones. He progressed solar returns using the day-for-a-year concept. In practice, this means that each two hours after the moment of the return equals one month in the life. Additionally, he took One year = 360 degrees as a means of timing events. The solar return ascendant, relocated to the natal chart, shows the natal house in which events of the year will focus. When the solar return ascendant is the same as the natal ascendant, it triggers the natal chart as a whole, for better or worse. By extension, solar return houses are to be superimposed on the natal chart. For example, the solar return second house cusp, falling in the natal 5th, would imply that children will be a financial burden for that year. Planets in the first house of the solar return show the major forces at work for the year. Volguine based his work partly on Jean-Baptiste Morin, and partly on decades of close observation.

Louis then takes up precessed vs: non-precessed, using Marc Penfield's Solar Returns in Your Face, a book of precessed solar returns. Louis reports that Penfield, finding no consistency in standard, non-precessed returns, found precessed returns of great use. Louis calculated Penfield's examples as non-precessed & discovered that, with Volguine's technique, the non-precessed charts were even more informative than Penfield's precessed ones. Louis concludes with a summary of Penfield's technique.

Louis explores Charles Emmerson's (1923-1992) Point of Death, which is the Midheaven plus Saturn minus Mars (pg. 94), placing it in the charts & returns of Peter Jennings, JonBenet Ramsey, William Rehnquist, Princess Di, Rachel Corrie & Ken Lay. Just as he examines Volguine in detail, he also examines Morin at length, as found in his Book 23. In discussing Morin's death (which Morin himself forecast), Louis makes use of lunar returns. He also makes use of progressed lunar returns & in the process make innovate use of lunar mansions. Louis says this is presented for the obsessive among us (pg. 158). I don't know why lunar returns and lunar mansions have not been linked before, it is brilliant.

Louis restates, in modern English, Morin's 31 aphorisms for judging solar returns, pgs. 170-180. (Direct translations of Morin's Latin tend to be ponderous.) These are a textbook unto themselves, and also a major revelation.

In chapter 11, Louis has a look at Bob Dylan's motorcycle accident of July 29, 1966. This is the same event which Lynn Bell wrote of in her Cycles of Light. Unlike Bell, Louis took the time to find out where Dylan was on his birthday that year (giving a concert in Paris), and, unlike Bell, Louis found an interview Dylan did in 1984 with the Rolling Stone where he gave an account of the accident itself. Not surprisingly, Louis, not Bell, has the right solar return and Louis, not Bell, makes the better use of it. (Conclusion: Books that are researched & written are better than books made of lectures.)

In chapter 12, Louis surveys the techniques of Mary Shea, James Eshelman, and Raymond Merriman. Eshelman's book has been out of print for many years. In researching him just now, I find he has become a ceremonial magician in the Crowley school, but I digress.

This is a work of great scholarship & many insights. Of it, Bruce Scofield has said, To my knowledge, nothing this complete has ever been published and a serious reader will find the work to be all they need to guide them through the interpretation of solar & lunar returns, as well as their progression through time.... (as quoted by Louis on pg. i)

As noted above, Louis uses Tropical, non-precessed solar returns, as well as Tropical precessed returns, as he finds both methods of value.

Wessex Astrologer, 314 pages.


SOLAR RETURNS - Formulas & Analyses - Nance McCullough, $13.95

Synopsis: One of the best of the many solar return books. Not the easiest, not the simplest.

McCullough uses non-precessed, Tropical solar returns, and equal houses based on the rising degree. In other words, if your Sun is at 15 degrees of Aries in the Tropical zodiac, your solar return happens when the sun returns to 15 degrees of Aires in the Tropical zodiac.

Contents, comment.

Namac Publishing, 174 pages.


MODERN TRANSITS - Lois Rodden, $23.95

Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. Transit Sun; 3. Transit Mercury; 4. Transit Venus; 5. Transit Mars; 6. Transit Jupiter; 7. Transit Saturn; 8. Transit Uranus; 9. Transit Neptune; 10. Transit Pluto; Quick reference glossary.

Comment: A complete, compact & inexpensive guide to transiting planets. Full text with subjective/objective notes on transiting effects, plus a Quick Reference Glossary of pithy aphorisms (Sun square Sun: Don't make a fool of yourself). In addition to the standard Ptolemaic aspects, also includes semisquares (45) & sesquisquares (135), but not transits to angles or transits through houses. Originally written for a computer program in 1974, this book has been in print since 1978.

AFA, 193 pages.


MOON TIDES, SOUL PASSAGES: Your astrological cycles for personal & spiritual development - Maria Kay Simms, $22.95
Contents: Acknowledgments; Introduction: A look at the sky; 1. Moon & the constancy of change; 2. Your moon through sign, element & mode; 3. The houses of your birth moon; 4. New moon & the waxing phases; 5. Full moon & the waning phases; 6. From obscurity to enlightenment - eclipses; 7. Lunar life stories: seeing the theory in the flow of life; 8. Living with the moon in daily life; 9. Experiencing your moon in spiritual ritual; Concluding reflections;

Appendices: 1. Getting started with Soul Tides software; 2. Solar & lunar eclipse tables, 1950-2030 (in GMT); 3. Public figure list; Bibliography & resources; Index.

Inside back cover: Moon Tides, Soul Passages Software, by Rique Pottenger.

Comment: Introductory chapters deal with the eight lunar phases, the eight lunar-based Sabats, delineations of the natal moon through signs, houses & mode. With the preliminaries out of the way, Simms gets to the heart of her book, the natal lunar phase, combined with your current progressed lunar phase. Simms's progressed new & full moons (etc.) are in new, full (etc.) aspects to the natal sun, not the natal moon, which is important to remember. She then goes on to chapters on prenatal solar & lunar eclipses, followed by Lunar Life Stories, which retell life stories of real people in terms of their natal lunar phase & progressed lunar phases. Among the people featured: Eleanor Roosevelt & Lucille Ball. Chapter 8 is a primer on how to use the daily moon sign & phase to your advantage (eg, Moon in Libra: being with others, shop to improve appearance, try a gourmet meal, etc.). The final chapter is on using the moon in ritual (the author is a practicing Wiccan).

In the back of the book is a CD-Rom of Moon Tides Software, which runs on IBM & Mac (with Virtual PC installed). I did not review it. A note on pg. 284 hints that it may have the full ACS US & International Atlases, which elsewhere sell for $195. There are some 17 full-color illustrations, paintings by the author & her friends.

Starcrafts Publishing, 308 pages.


PREDICTIVE ASTROLOGY: The Eagle & the Lark - Bernadette Brady, $24.95
Contents:
List of charts; The fable of the eagle & the lark;

1. The alphabet: Planets in predictive work; Angles in predictive work; Planetary cycles; Dynamic aspects; Houses in predictive astrology

2. Working with transits: Principles of transits; A case study of transits; Grading transits; Retrograde motion of transits; Orbs for transits; Feedback on failure

3. Secondary progressions: Unique features of progressions; Non-chart-related progressions; Chart-related progressions; Orbs for progressions; Interpreting progressed planets

4. Time maps: Setting up a time map; The art of storytelling; Case studies of time maps; A quick guide for using time maps

5. Eclipses & the Saros cycle: Eclipses; The nodes; Eclipse orbs for new or full moons; Frequency of eclipses & eclipse seasons; The Saros Cycles; The nature of an individual series; Working with the Saros Series; Practical questions about eclipses; Born on an eclipse

6. Older systems: Predictive systems; The failed Eagle; Returns (planets or luminaries); Personal planet returns; Outer planet returns; Luminary & planetary arcs

7. Conclusion: Once the lark sings.

Appendices: 1. Calculating secondary progressions; 2. Calculating of returns; 3. Planetary arcs; 4. Planetary conjunctions (1900-2050); 5. Outer planet conjunctions (1900-2048); 6. The Saros cycles; 7. Eclipses (1900-2050); 8. Eclipses in zodiac order (1900-2050);
Bibliography; Index.

Comment: The mighty eagle is powerful predictive techniques. The beautiful lark is intuitive synthesis. Good predictive work requires both. To do that, you need not only raw data, but techniques to use them. How to grade transits, also aspect grids, house system for charts, the zone of climax for progressions, development cycle for the progressed moon, time maps to show everything at a glance, eclipses in predictive work, notes on return charts & more. Her work with eclipses is innovative. One new technique involves the Saros cycle. She sets a chart for the initial eclipse in the series & reads it as indicative of the series as a whole. In the appendices you will find the Saros number for solar eclipses, but not for lunars (find both in deVore's Encyclopedia of Astrology.

Weiser, 367 pages.


YOUR SOLAR RETURN - Cynthia Bohannon, $15.00

Contents:

Your solar return
Erecting the solar return chart
The ascendant sign
Intercepted signs
Aspecting the chart
The solar return calendar
Health.

Planets in the houses:
Sun, the great luminary
Venus, the charming socializer
Mercury, the communicator
Moon, the illuminator of the soul
Mars, the great energizer
Jupiter, provider of abundance & knowledge
Saturn, the character builder
Uranus, unique creativity
Neptune, the great illusion
Pluto, the great power
Lilith, the deceptor
Part of Fortune, Jupiter's little sister
South node, negative attitudes
North node, positive attitudes
Persephone, sweetness & light
Vulcan (Chiron), the great healer
Solar return graph, a chronology of the annual solar returns.

Comment: In this text, Lilith refers to the asteroid. Persephone is an inner planet, never more than 60 degrees from the sun, which, while still awaiting discovery, is nonetheless the ruler of Libra. Vulcan & Chiron are conflated & said to orbit the Earth's Moon. Books by Bohannon, Ted George (her editor), published originally by Arthur Publications, were channeled. The dedication in this book reads,

This book is dedicated to the Guides of the Solar Return & the twin spirits Ovensy & Lester who in concert with one another have brought forth to the world with patience & devotion this masterful work. It is a gift of love for humankind as they enter the threshold of the New Age. (pg. iii)
Bohanon uses the Tropical zodiac and does not precess. In other words, if your Sun is at 15 degrees of Aries in the Tropical zodaic, the solar return happens when the sun returns to 15 degrees Aries in the Tropical zodiac.

AFA, 85 pages.


TRANSITS - Clara Darr, $21.95

Contents:

Preface

Pluto transits houses
Neptune transits houses
Uranus transits houses
Saturn transits houses
Jupiter transits houses
Mars transits houses
Sun transits houses
Venus transits houses
Mercury transits houses
Moon transits houses

Lunations in houses
Eclipses in aspect to planets
North node transits
South node transits
Planets in aspect to the Part of Fortune

Moon aspects
Mercury aspects
Venus aspects
Sun aspects
Mars aspects
Jupiter aspects
Saturn aspects
Uranus aspects
Neptune aspects
Pluto aspects

The houses
The planets

Comment: From the back cover:

This volume contains definitions of each planet as it transits through each house in the horoscope. Major aspects to the planets are discussed, including the parallel, which is so important but an often overlooked key to basic interpretation.

This book is unjustly overlooked. The delineations, while brief, are solid, well-written and often surprising. To me, these read as the results of hard-won experience from an astrologer with considerable expertise.

AFA, 136 pages.


THE KEY CYCLE - Wynn, $11.00
Contents:
Part 1: The Key Cycle: How to use the sun motion table; How to set up the Key Cycle; The solar return; Place of residence; Cusps & planets.

Part 2: Interpretation; Conditions & attractions; KC chart of entire year; An actual case; The Key Cycle ascendant; Interpretation of planets; Time-Zodiac ratio; Log-splitting; Transits.

Comment: Once upon a time, Wynn was a guy like you or me, living his life via transits & progressions. Unexpectedly, he was nearly killed by a car not shown by any of his forecasts. Angry & upset, he set out to discover how & why. He found a method of progressing solar returns (day by day) that quickly became his most accurate predictive method: The Key Cycle, a variation on the solar return. Wynn observed the sidereal time (used to calculate house cusps) for two consecutive solar returns, set for the same location, advances 5 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds from year to year. Dividing 5:48:46 by half & adding it to the ST of the previous solar return gave him house cusps for a point in time midway between the two birth days. (The chart is completed by copying, from the ephemeris, the planetary positions for the date halfway between the two birthdays.) The result is the Key Cycle Chart for the date in question. We now call this chart a demi-solar return, but Wynn takes the idea much further. Using proportional tables, Wynn constructs Key Cycle Charts for every day of the year. This enables him to discover when transiting planets will hit angles on the daily KC chart & when these angles will be in close aspect to the underlying natal chart, thus triggering significant events in life.

"Wynn" was the pen-name of Sydney K. Bennett (1892-1958), an astrologer & magazine publisher. His near-fatal accident occurred in 1926, the subsequent book, The Key Cycle, appeared in the 1930's. Complete calculation instructions are given in the book, but those of you with the Solar Fire program have a short-cut, as Wynn's technique can be found there.

Wynn's system uses the Tropical zodiac and does not precess. The instructions used to calculate the cycle make this clear. If the charts were precessed, the annual interval (5:48:46) would increase year by year.

AFA, 50 pages.


UNVEILING YOUR FUTURE: Progressions made easy - Maritha Pottenger, Zipporah Dobyns, $16.95

Contents:

1. Basics
2. Long-term aspects
3. Major cycle changes
4. Progressed new & full moons
5. Conjunctions, rulerships
6. Conjunctions: planet/planet
7. Hard aspects to the angles
8. Aspect configurations
9. Moon changing houses or signs
10. Progressed aspects by Sun, Mercury, Venus & Mars, plus the big four asteroids
11. Aspects of the progressed moon
12. Examples.

Comment: The best part of this book is chapter 9, on the Moon changing house. It has a strong sense of reality to it. Otherwise, I wanted to like this book as there's not a lot of good books on progressions. Regrettably, the authors scramble houses & signs together (a trait of mother Dobyns, as this is a mother-daughter pair). Many of the planet-to-planet, planet-to-angle delineations are formulaic & repetitious.

Astro Communications, 310 pages.


Forecasting Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6


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