cover image Learning Astrology: An Astrology Book for Beginners

Learning Astrology: An Astrology Book for Beginners

Damian Sharp, . . Red Wheel/Weiser, $18.95 (276pp) ISBN 978-1-57863-298-5

Astrologers are much like psychologists, says Sharp, author of Simple Chinese Astrology and Simple Feng Shui . According to Sharp, the subjective always influences an astrologer in much the same way that personality and theoretical preference will influence a psychologist's method. Following a substantial first section, which includes history as well as explanations of the Zodiac, the planets and in particular the importance of the sun (not to mention a detailed and somewhat humorous reading of each house in relation to Marlon Brando, based entirely from his natal chart), the bulk of Sharp's book is devoted to the planetary effects on each house. Beginners will need to exercise their minds to get the hang of how dimensions essential to astrology—Earth, houses, sun, the planets—relate to each other. Reading and rereading the introductory chapters is essential to get a clear understanding of Sharp's basics, as even beginning astrology is very complicated. Aficionados of monthly horoscopes, beware: essential to good astrology is the particularity of the individual—exact time of birth in addition to upbringing. Learning this takes some fun out of the sweeping generalizations about Libras and Leos standard in monthly magazines. Perhaps a better subtitle for Sharp would be "An Astrology Book for Serious Beginners." (Nov.)