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Reviews of the CPA Press

The CPA Press has met with universal critical acclaim. Here are the full reviews of the following titles:

Barriers and Boundaries The Horoscope and the Defences of the Personality by Liz Greene
The Astrologer, the Counsellor and the Priest by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke
The Family Inheritance: Parental Images in the Horoscope by Juliet Sharman-Burke
To the Edge and Beyond: Saturn, Chiron, Pholus and the Centaurs by Melanie Reinhart
Venus and Jupiter: Bridging the Ideal and the Real by Erin Sullivan
The Astrological Moon by Darby Costello
The Art of Stealing Fire Uranus in the Horoscope by Liz Greene
The Horoscope in Manifestation Prediction and Psychological Dynamics by Liz Greene
Water and Fire by Darby Costello
Where in the World? Astro*Carto*Graphy and Relocation by Erin Sullivan
 

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Barriers and Boundaries - The Horoscope and the Defences of the Personality

by Liz Greene

 Review by Robin Heath
Astrological Journal, July/August 1996

 "If you are one of those people who skips a review if the first sentence doesn't grab you, then let me immediately tell you that this book is the nearest thing to attending one of Liz's seminars without actually being there. A kind of virtual CPA reality, if you like.

The Centre for Psychological Astrology has boldly entered the publishing market with this first volume, and if one read Charles Harvey's Notes in the last Journal, one would understand immediately some of his prime reasons for wishing to see the standards of astrological publishing raised. I won't repeat these here, suffice to state that in-depth astrological debate within the current publishing scene is, in Charles' view, an endangered species. So, here is an alternative approach - a brave new venture from CPA Press about the work of one of the most widely read astrologers. An exciting challenge for any reviewer!

The book continues in the lineage of the earlier Development of the Personality series, begun under the earlier Sasportas/Greene CPA partnership and published by various concerns. The layout and style will therefore not surprise anyone who has copies of these earlier volumes. The contents page is much more comprehensive, enabling rapid location of quite specific material within the seminars covered. The book is split into two quite distinct halves; Part One, the Psychology of Defences and their Astrological Significators and Part Two, Saturn and Chiron as Defence Mechanisms. Both parts are based on two seminars given to CPA students in Autumn 1994, and thus represent very contemporary material.

As I began to read the book I became aware that something stylistically had changed from those earlier seminar-driven works. There was a more relaxed feel to the interchanges between tutor and students. There was far more humour and anecdotal material. There was a feeling that increased editorial freedom was allowing a more complete shape to emerge. There was much more contact between the described event, its atmosphere, its teacher and its purposes. Any reservations I had about the book looking too much like a textbook quickly evaporated as astrological expertise was seen intertwined with the psychological, mythological and historical material to weave an exciting and revealing texture. One really learns about human life from such a synthesis of disciplines and expertise and, whether you love or hate psychological astrology, here we have several real and previously unselected charts of ordinary people (if there is such a thing) being discussed in-depth and we are not dealing with abstracted concepts floating about in the air over the seminar - we are experiencing astrology in action. Such treatment clearly reveals the meaning and value of Liz Greene's approach because the owners of the charts, together with the rest of the student audience are clearly seen to respond to the interactive nature of the dialogue. The charts of popular figures are also used to prove the general validity of the material in question.

 The book begins with a concise and snappy account of the "Holy Trinity" of oral, anal and Oedipal stages of childhood. Freud's model is then integrated within Liz's unique style of delivery, complete with astrological and anecdotal examples about human defence mechanisms. Each of these stages will be projected into adult life and Liz discusses their likely manifestations, both useful and destructive, and how to recognise defenses presented to the outside world, and most usefully, the astrologer. The reader is then given a "defenses by element and sign" and then a "defenses by planet" treatment, with fine examples and some quite dynamic interchanges within the group.

 Part Two begins by identifying the quite different defense mechanisms represented by Saturn and Chiron on a birth chart. It was twenty years since the world first caught a glimpse of Liz's future role through Saturn, a New Look at an Old Devil and the work on Saturn presented here acts rather as an appendix chapter to this seminal work, also demonstrating that which has been achieved with psychological astrology since the heady 70's.

 The recent Bath Astrological Seminars included a day with Liz on the subject of Chiron, which I attended, and I was struck by the realisation that so much work has also been done with Chiron - another discovery of the 70's - in order to understand its astrological place within the scheme of things. The section on Chiron contained here collates this material and is presented in a most clear and illuminating manner. The example charts are well chosen and well discussed.

 I had some doubts concerning the style of the book and its text, which is relentless and rather too much like a galley proof for my taste. I would have liked some relief in the form of more spaces and, dare I say it, barriers and boundaries separating key areas of text and examples. At times, this type of book, resembling the script in a play, becomes visually monotonous and I would have preferred the "Liz" and "Audience" separating paragraphs highlighted in bold text. There are no "degree" signs superscripted within the text so one finds the clumsy and unit-less "The progressed Sun is at 20 Cancer". Perhaps this could be put right in future volumes, for although we all know what it means, it lays astrology open to criticism if we omit units from our numbers. Dr Greene also used to provide artwork for her books and, sadly, this too has disappeared.

It is too easy to criticise a book for what are, after all, essentially layout and not contextual faults. These days, image is frequently more important than content to many publishers and the content of Barriers and Boundaries is solid gold. CPA Press are to be congratulated for spreading this quality of astrological material to a much wider audience than CPA students. This book deserves a place on the shelf of all practising astrologers and any astrological student (which we all are) needs to read this material. Thoroughly recommended."

© Copyright 1996 The Astrological Association of Great Britain

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The Astrologer, the Counsellor, & the Priest

by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman-Burke

 Review by Anthony Owen
Astrological Journal, March/April 1998

 For a profession which spends so much time in trying to connect to the deeper meaning of actions - spiritual or psychological depending on one's viewpoint - it has always been a surprise to me how little literature there is analysing our own motives for becoming astrologers and how we relate to our clients. From the first time our own or another's chart suddenly 'comes alive' for us we know that we are playing with magic of some sort or another. We know that this is more than just marks on paper, and in stepping outside of the mundane we (hopefully) touch issues which can be of great import for both the client, the astrologer, and, maybe, the collective. This should not be taken lightly.

The latest CPA publication (though the numbering seems to have gone a little awry, this Vol. 2 and Vol. 9 have been published simultaneously, whilst the intervening volumes have been available for a year) brings to bear the considerable talents of two of the centre's tutors and their students, in a wide-ranging discussion on the practice, power and responsibilities of being a working astrologer. The format is, as usual for this series, a transcript of live seminars, with the disadvantage that there is no methodology in the astrological material covered (lovers of astrological cookbooks should stop here!) However this is far outweighed by the immediacy of real people obviously discussing issues which are important to them. Juliet Sharman-Burke's section on astrological counselling starts with the most basic of themes, the consultation room, advertising and referrals, charging fees, all so important and so often neglected. Even if you have found working practices which you are comfortable with, this section still contains much of value. Finding out that other astrologers have also had to dare to ask the same questions is both reassuring and challenging to a methodology which may have become a habit. ('What to do with a client whom we simply do not like?' 'What about friends' charts?' 'What to do when a client cries, or threatens me?) From there Ms Sharman-Burke moves on to communication skills and the internal dynamics of a consultation - transference and countertransference.

Which leads to Liz Greene's section, from which this volume takes its name. Her views on the training and responsibilities of astrologers are well known, and those who do not agree with her will find no comfort here, though she does at one stage admit she is being deliberately provocative. She does, however, give some reasons for her belief that astrologers should themselves go through a process of therapy or psychoanalysis, and links this with the position which we have been 'forced' to take by the collective, and hence by many of our clients.

Despite the fact that this seminar also apparently deals with the position of the astrologer both within the 'helping professions', society in general and in the consultation room, it still succeeds - in Ms Greene's customary style - in bringing up personal issues of deeper import. A fascinating consideration of the archetypal background of astrology leads to the analysis of several charts of astrologers - and a virulent 'non-astrologer'! Finally there is a group discussion on the issues which brought the participants to astrology in the first place and the suggestion that it is of value to study the transits and progressions in operation when any astrologer first begins to consider their art seriously - an exercise which is so blindingly obvious it is likely that few of us have done it; this book is worth getting simply for some of the comments in this section alone.

As an added bonus there are a number of footnotes for further reading, outside astrology but within psychology, which are well wroth following up. It seems churlish to have any complaints about such a valuable book, but there are two which would take so little time to rectify and would be so valuable. Whilst the style of astrology practised by the CPA is very much House-based, for those of us used to more Sign-based charts the 'American style' charts used by the CPA are nearly unreadable - please, please, there are so many attractive and easy-to-read computer-generated charts available now the reader surely deserves better. And secondly, as any half-way decent processor can now generate an index in but a few minutes I can see no reason why any book produced now should be without one. By virtue of their format the CPA volumes are books to dip into, and a good index would make that so much easier. These are but details, but when there is so much of value it is a shame that there are any shortcomings!

This is a book which should not just be recommended, but compulsory reading for all professional and semi-professional astrologers. Juliet Sharman-Burke's section contains advice which will stand anyone in good stead, and Ms Greene's section asks questions which, whether one agrees with her conclusions or not, should be considered by every astrologer. I would suggest that we risk failing both our clients and ourselves if we do not.

© Copyright 1998 The Astrological Journal

 
The Astrologer, the Counsellor, & the Priest
by Liz Greene and Juliet Sharman Burke

Review by Donna van Toen
The Mountain Astrologer, August/September 1998
 

This book consists of two transcribed seminars given as part of the Centre for Psychological Astrology curriculum. Part One, "Astrological Counselling," is by Juliet Sharman-Burke, a teacher and consultant in astrology who is also a qualified analytical psychotherapist. In this section, you'll find a discussion of everything you need to be aware of as a counsellor: boundaries (including time and fees); communication skills (including paraphrasing and the art of asking questions); projection; "splitting off" (and other forms of unconscious communication); and the difficulties caused by using too much jargon. You'll also find exercises in listening, hearing, and interpreting. The emphasis throughout this section is on practical issues that need to be considered when setting up an astrological practice - from your choice of room to the power of predictions.
The use of questions from an audience of astrologers who have experience seeing clients nearly guarantees that your own questions will be answered, e.g., "what about sliding fees? Do you charge for missed appointments? How do you handle consultations for friends?" These questions and more will be familiar to you, I'm sure. All are addressed thoughtfully and carefully. In fact, most, if not all, of the dilemmas faced by new astrologers are touched on with common sense and compassion. The material in this section is invaluable, and I would guarantee that even seasoned counsellors will learn something, or at least come away from this section with something to think about.
The audience also shares experiences that have not worked so well. There's the astrologer who went on for three hours with a needy client only to have the needy client still go away unhappy about "not enough time". There is also the inherent difficulty of not allowing oneself to be trapped into making the client's decisions for him/her. These are stories from the trenches that are a refreshing change from some fo the self-aggrandizing tales you hear at conferences and meetings. This audience deserves special thanks for making such important contributions to the book. This is must-read material and makes the book well worth acquiring, even before a peek at Part Two.
Liz Greene has written Part Two, "The Astrologer, the Counsellor, and the Priest". Greene begins with a brief discussion of Pluto in Sagittarius, which includes consideration of the importance for us in knowing why we are doing astrology, and what we are invoking by its practice. There is a discussion of the importance of looking at the transits and progressions you were having when you first became involved with astrology, in order to gain further insight into what you are doing.
The historical role of the astrologer is considered in great depth, along with the archetypal background underlying this role. The horoscopes of Dane Rudhyar, Alan Leo, and Pope John Paul II are discussed in depth as examples of what can motivate the astrologer.
Much time is spent on what actually happens in an astrological session, and charts from the group are used to elucidate principles. Problems surrounding money and power and the narcissistic wound of the helper are particularly well covered.
This book is a must-have. If you are a counselling astrologer, buy this book. If you buy only one book this year, make it this one. It is the most thought provoking book on counselling for astrologers you could ever want.

© Copyright 1998 The Mountain Astrologer

 
 
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The Family Inheritance - Parental Images in the Horoscope

by Juliet Sharman-Burke

 Review by Mary Plumb
The Mountain Astrologer, December 96/January 1997

 This volume is one of the first offerings from the newly formed Center for Psychological Astrology Press. The books are edited transcripts of seminars given recently at the Center, which was founded in London, in 1983 by Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas. The books of Greene, Sasportas, and other current teachers at the Center - particularly Charles Harvey ( the current Co-Director with Greene), Melanie Reinhart and Erin Sullivan - are well-known to American astrologers and this marks the first time that their lecture material is available to a wider audience.

 This is a very exciting development, particularly for those of us on this side of the pond, who have yearned for a glimpse of what transpires at the well-known school. To any reader who may be unfamiliar with their work, the CPA Press states that, "The volumes in the series are meant for serious astrological students who wish to develop a greater knowledge of the links between astrology and psychology in order to understand both the horoscope and the human being at a deeper and more insightful level."

 Juliet Sharman-Burke is an analytic psychotherapist as well as an astrologer. This book holds a basic premise the belief that one's individual destiny of problems are intricately linked with those of the parents and that one's unique person can develop only as those family patterns are discovered and faced.

 Sharman-Burke believes that psychological concepts, theory, and archetypes need to be absorbed into the psyche to have an effect and for change in an individual to begin to occur. I think this is a great strength of this book. Having originated as a live seminar, there is an animated tone throughout, and the author's rendering of mythic tales, as well as the vivid responses of those present, records a hint of this process of assimilation and, indeed, includes the reader as well. I was touched by the stories here, as well as visiting my own family inheritance yet again.

 In Part 1, "Images of Mother and Father in the Natal Horoscope", she gets us in the mood by telling the story of the bloody House of Atreus. Various acts of hubris, quarrels, madness, vengeance, and murder follow the family until Orestes, the grandson of Atreus, finds himself in the provocative situation where any act he takes promises dire consequences. But, act he must, and the Furies descend and begin their torture. Athene, goddess of wisdom, eventually decides that he has suffered enough for the sins of the family, grants him his sanity and frees his children from the curses which has been on his family for so many generations.

 The story is told as an example of the depth of the u unconscious family inheritance. Orestes, however, begins to change the narrative when he fully faces his family curse. Here we have an intersection of astrology and psychology: Sharman-Burke believes that we can help our clients extricate themselves a bit from the u unconscious elements of the family story by helping them to see their lives in a larger context. Like Bruno Bettelheim and many others, she believes that myth and fairy tale are fertile guides for this endeavor.

Part 1 covers the MC/IC and 4th and 10th houses as indicators of parents. After briefly explaining what seems to be her consistent use of the 4th cusp for father and 10th for mother, she places the Sun in those houses, and begins to explore. How might the self-awareness and search for identity, symbolized by the Sun, be tied to the respective parent and how would that manifest? She gives examples from her own clients and her listeners give their own, often touching, impressions. The format continues with the Moon and the other planets, all considered when placed in the 4th or 10th houses.

 Part 2 is entitled "Zodical Myths and their Correlation with Parent Images." With a mention of Liz Greene's Astrology of Fate, which she recommends to her audience, Sharman-Burke proceeds confidently through the mythic landscape. She tells stories of each of the twelve signs, including the origins of the constellations, and questions how they each might be experienced in a real parent when placed on the MC or IC. These are generous tales, told in some detail and with fresh insight. The most famous players are all here - Zeus, Hera, Prometheus, etc. - but we also meet the cloud maiden, Nephele, and Apollo's sister Eos, the goddess of the dawn, and many more. She listens to the response, the living stories from her audience, who give pictures of their own parents. Many, again, are quite moving and deeply felt, and some sweet and funny. God-like though we may be, we are continually brought into the fertile realm of the human story.

 Throughout the book there is a gracious flow between speaker and audience; she does a lovely job of probing, and yet is sympathetic to the responses, gently steering onward to cover all the material. She consistently and kindly guides her audience back to themselves and their own issues about their parents, regardless of how seemingly easy it is to project one's difficulties.

There is much enticing material woven alongside the announced topic i.e., Sharman-Burke's ideas about using astrology with parents for their children are particularly good. although it is a brief section in the book, her sensitivity to the unconscious patterns in a family is obviously born of an experienced practitioner.

 Sharman-Burke has a warm, inviting, light touch, and she is well at home with myths and their contemporary players. I would highly recommend this book to those beginning a serious investigation of psychological astrology. Being non-technical it is suitable for beginners as well as inter-mediate students, and to all of those who are attracted to an intuitive and imaginative approach to astrology. It is rich reading for all who would agree with the author that "for our own self-development we are well advised to look within".

 Although I read the book in manuscript form, the CPA Press books are hard cover, with sewn binding and acid-free paper. It is an elegant and simple presentation.

 © Copyright 1996 The Mountain Astrologer

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To the Edge and Beyond - Saturn, Chiron, Pholus and the Centaurs

by Melanie Reinhart

 Review by Jamie Macphail
Astrological Journal, January/February 1997

 Melanie Reinhart's new book consists of two transcribed seminars on Saturn and Chiron (including a study of two newly discovered Centaurs - Pholus and 1193 HA2 or Nessus).

 In the first section she explores the mythology and psychology of Saturn in a clear but deeply philosophical manner, showing how it represents, as the principle of manifestation, part of the creative process. It is the alchemical alembic within which we take responsibility for our ability to master the lessons of Time. Through such a positive approach we can avoid the FALSE CAUSALITIES which ensnare us within our fears and which (like Kronos) castrate our creative potential, swallowing down that which wishes to be expressed.

 Reinhart describes in detail the cycles of Saturn - in which we first acquiesce with the authority of our parents and society (well, some do!). The second is more about ourselves as carriers of authority, while the third is more about the kind of Higher Authority that we answer to. She then studies the planets which are in exaltation, fall, dignity and detriment in Capricorn, and where Saturn holds these positions, and this is followed by a group discussion of Saturn through the houses, before finishing with a guided meditation. Melanie has clearly grappled deeply with Saturn and her observations will enrich both the beginner and the adept.

 In the second section, Reinhart extrapolates on her recent research into Chiron. As its orbit is very elliptical, during one third it passes inside Saturn's orbit. She describes in depth how those with Chiron as an inner planet need to express to the world something of the spirit which they already feel anchored within, while those with Chiron as an outer planet need to grasp a sense of the spirit which has always been projected or seemed rather remote. She explores the Chiron cycle and describes how through this process we work on what has been spoiled in our lives and develop understanding through it.

 Reinhart introduces us to two new Centaurs and explores their mythology and likely astrological significance, concluding with three persuasive case studies and ephemerides for Pholus and Nessus. She describes these Centaurs as "bits of the Underworld (beyond Pluto) that are flung into the Solar System, to become part of our own Underworld, that we are being asked to integrate". The explosion of this new astronomical information can be seen as a metaphor for the expansion of consciousness taking place.

 Briefly, Pholus represents impulses of which we are only partly conscious. It is where we have to enter chaos and allow transformation to occur through the awakening of the quality of detachment that comes through compassionate self-enquiry - although the process may lead us down a self-destructive path until we become aware of it.

 1993HA2 (Nessus) seems to unlock the tomb from which the ghosts of our long past arise, and its process includes dealing with the power of lust and vengeance, showing where and how we develop integrity and character through power over ourselves.

 Reinhart sees the Centaurs as the emissaries of the Underworld, representing the consciousness that can help us integrate the high-voltage frequencies of the outer planets, which, without mediation, tend to destructively blow apart our Saturnian reality. The orbit-crossing characteristic of the Centaurs symbolises this, and she has linked Chiron, Pholus and Nessus as mediators of the energy of Saturn/Uranus, Saturn/Neptune and Saturn/Pluto respectively.

 On first reading, I thought Reinhart had gone beyond her senses (which she clearly has, in one way), but on re-reading the book and doing my own tentative research into the impact of these two Centaurs, I have to applaud her bravery and perspicacity in presenting this new material. Clearly, it will take a considerable period of time to develop and integrate Pholus and Nessus (after all, most of us have only recently integrated Chiron) But, once again, like a true Centaur, Reinhart is blazing a trail for the rest of us to follow.

 © Copyright 1997 The Astrological Association of Great Britain

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Venus and Jupiter

by Erin Sullivan

 Review by Robin Heath
Astrological Journal 1998

 

This is a wonderful book and holds together extremely well. It's origins, like the other titles in the CPA armoury, stem from CPA seminar sessions held at Regent's College. London. The Venus material (Part One: Venus Aphrodite - Dual Goddess) - was delivered on 27th February 1994, whilst the Jupiter session (Part Two: The Justice of Zeus and the Astrological Jupiter)took place on 13th June 1993. If the title of this latest CPA press offering suggests a saccharin and sickly look at the two great benefics, then the reader is due for a huge and pleasant surprise.

Erin Sullivan is one of our foremost astrologers, a woman of real depth and decades of experience as a practising astrologer. Although she is often jaunty and humorous in her approach, she always has access to a great depth of astrological wisdom and an often astonishing insight. She delivered a punchy and well received Charles Carter Memorial Lecture at the 1997 AA Conference together with workshop sessions. At this same conference one could pick up a background opinion of the view that psychological astrology had 'peaked' and now it was time to get back to the traditional astrology - the material of Messrs Zoller, Hand and company. Erin's book shows this viewpoint to be entirely myopic, showing that the two are irrevocably linked and always have been; beginning her treatment of these two planets with one of the best presentations of their ancient mythic pedigrees I have yet had the pleasure to read. For those astrologers who think the mythic material boring or irrelevant to astrology, I strongly commend this short, punchy treatment by Erin Sullivan. It grounds the history of astrology from its mythic roots of ancient Babylon, calling at all stations west via Troy and Greece.

Venus and Jupiter are the largest visible objects in the sky, after the two luminaries, and, surprisingly, they have never been paired in quite the way Erin treats their astrology. More normally, Mars and Venus are wheeled out as the 'sexy' duad whilst Jupiter gets a rather dull blind date with Saturn. Erin begins with the 'monomyth' of Venus and immediately connects her readers with the magic of astrology in enabling a student to "become privy to information that is not readily available through any other medium". So, right on page two, we are made aware of astrology's value as a tool to understanding human mythology, philosophy and the roots of culture. The author takes us through a journey of exploration with Venus's history - Chaos, Eros, Gaia, Ouranos, Aphrodite Urania and Aphrodite Pandemos. Erin equates this route as taking humans from the ideal to the specific; making valuable connections with the whole misunderstood process of creativity. Dotted within we get the nuggets of audience participation, where their providing of context information acts as the perfect foil for Erin's experience of how the astrological symbols behave in mundane lives.

And so this book begins its main thrust, involving the reader in a true educational process which is also fun. Erin's humour bursts out regularly in interactions with her audience, and this movbes the book along nicely and presents the heavy clogging 'religious' quality of many astrological texts. This reviewer found the treatment enchanting at times.

Venus does have something to do with our relationships, of course, and Erin takes this directly from the dual symbols of love as both healing and destructive. Erotic madness, erotomania and the direct consequences of possession by Eros are brought right within the modern stage as Erin looks at the manifestation of 'stalking' and the manner we deal with 'possession' by 'the other' with all its risks, dangers and sublime possibilities. A section on Love and Strife takes the reader right into the primordial scission and the big polarities of Heaven and Earth, Spirit and Matter. The modern portrayal of Eros as the wimpy anorak Cupid is used to demonstrate how far our modern culture is divorced from the depth inherent in Venus as a symbol.

From page 70 to page 125, planetary aspects to Venus are covered in depth. The astrological meat in the sandwich is generous and, once again, the audience's rapport with the author makes for solid examples and remarkable insights. No cook-book listing can ever embrace the depth found here and this reviewer wouldn't change a single word of Erin's account of Uranus-Venus as an aspect - having lived it out for half a century.

Page 128 begins a look at Jupiter - the Great Benefic. Erin presents a soul-bearing aperatif by way of introduction to Jupiter/9th house issues. She then cites 500 BC as the time when the separation of nature and culture led to our present world and the need for the gods to change form, from which she sees conscience and moral order becoming linked to Zeus and Jupiter, the 'moral arbiter'. She effectively mops up any confusion between shame and guilt during this run up to a potted history of Frued, Jung and the myriad souls who have contributed to our understanding of social and personal morality through myth.

Now the reader is entreated to an insightful look at the Zeus/Jupiter myths. The dionysian side of Jupiter is wheeled out via a shamanistic look at altered consciousness and transcendence. The moral hypocrisy angle is vividly pportrayed with examples of US presidents (surely not?), then Erin deals with the travelling and exploring side, followed by Jupiter as saviour with the examples, Jim Jones, David Koresh and David Icke. It would have been nice to have included the charts (or at least footnoted the birth-data) along the way here in order to allow readers to weigh Jupiter against other factors.

The aspects of Jupiter to other planets on the natal chart completes this major work. Again, I wouldn't change a word of Erin's account of Jupiter-Mars or Jupiter-Uranus, aspects strong on my own natal chart, and each of these fifty pages contains material of considerable worth.

The older texts on Venus and Jupiter often treat their combination as an excessive, sickly affair. Such a judgement cannot be placed on Erin's latest feast, which has to be essential reading for any serious student of astrology. This reviewer hasn't had so much fun with an astrology book, nor gleaned so much for many a year.
© Copyright 1998 The Astrological Association of Great Britain

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Venus and Jupiter

by Erin Sullivan

 Review by Mary Plumb
The Mountain Astrologer 1998

 

During her early mid-life years Erin Sullivan immersed herself in a study of classical myth, revivifying her thinking and her gifts to astrology. In this book she describes how her study was inspired by parallels she recognized between 5th century BCE Athens and our own time: "The culture at that time was separating so acutely from the gods of the times, and was so stressful, that there was then, as there is now, a renewed interest in the mythological past." If you have relegated The Iliad or Virgil to some frozen pocket of your high school brain, treat yourself to Erin's ideas on the ancient tales of Zeus and Aphrodite (the Greek names that became Venus and Jupiter to the Romans). The book is transcribed from two seminars - Venus Aphrodite: The Dual Goddess and The Justice of Zeus and the Astrological Jupiter - and she explores and brings back jewels of interpretation and relevance to the astrological glyphs.

A theme that also weaves throughout the present work is Erin's interest in the way we think and the kinds of concerns that occupy our minds. Since the classical mind has formed the back bone of Western thinking, her understanding of the period allows her to capture the dichotomies and duality's inherent in Western thought. She appreciates the necessity for "splitting" and has a question about contemporary ideas of "wholeness and integration", which she feels is a nearly impossible-to-achieve ideal, and that the "horoscope shows us there might be some validity to being split off, or compartmentalized, or living out segments of the life at certain times because we can only be so many things at once."

According to the early creation myth in Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite was born of the severed genitals of Ouranos and the Sea of Cyprus, midwifed by Kronos (Saturn), after the split between Heaven (Ouranos) and Earth (Gaia). This is Aphrodite Urania. In a later story Aphrodite is described as the divine daughter of Zeus and Dione; she is known as Aphrodite Pandemos ("of the people"). Thus her dual archetypes - the heavenly and the earthly.

Along with telling facets of many versions of the myths, Erin reflects on the parallels between conflict and creativity, and between conflict and love - the domains of Eris (strife) and Eros (love). She considers Aphrodite's relationship to Eros, a state where we experience "waiting to be quickened by Eros and facilitated to birth by Aphrodite." The astrological Venus becomes "the primary conduit for the erotic impulse to live, to be something of value and worth." Erin speaks of depression, inspiration, projection of the ideal and incubation of the creative seed (and much more) before describing Venus in aspect to the other planets. Here she excels at capturing a feeling for the planetary pairing; i.e., the passion and strife inherent in Venus/Mars aspects - Eris (strife) is Ares's sister. In her discussion on the relationship between the Moon and Venus and she writes: "Mothering and seducing are really one - they are two sides of the same experience.....the dual aspect of the feminine function." The split in Venus's function is a theme throughout, the Uranian ideal and the Pandemic reality, each with a voice and need.

In the section on Jupiter, Erin has opened an appropriately grand window into Zeus's world with a view of the strengths, paradoxes and subtleties therein. There are 60 pages on the background of mythology in the first section, including a synopsis of various ways that myths have been understood over time, leading into Mircea Eliade and Joseph Campbell's ideas as myth as rites of passage, "reawakening individuals to their own power, sense of timing, and place in the world." Freud and the myth of Oedipus; Zeus's birth and reign, his fathering of Dionysos, his guardianship of travellers and states of transition (temenos) are subjects in Erin's dialogue. She also investigates wisdom/dogma, shame/guilt, charisma and Zeus's ability to confuse one with the state of at) before beginning the section on Jupiter in aspect to the other planets. Erin's engagement with the Jupiter archetype is vivid in this workshop, and I (in the midst of a Jupiter return!) found it irresistible and wise.

Throughout the book, Erin offers Greek words and their etymology eg Chaos literally means "a gap, a 'yawn,' implying that there is something unbounded and open..." - and she dips in and out of many classical references. Audience participation is somewhat minimal, though always of interest as specific astrological comments are brought in. She easily moves from the abstract into chart configurations and questions from the participants.

I loved this book; it is wonderfully educational about questions of life, love and meaning and I highly recommend it to those curious about further insights into the nature of the benefics.
© Copyright 1998 The Mountain Astrologer

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The Astrological Moon

by Darby Costello

 Review by Suzi Harvey
Astrological Journal, May/June 1997

 "We imagine our destiny through the Sun, but we experience our destiny, our being in life, through the Moon."

 This book, Volume VI, is one of the latest productions of the new CPA Press. The price may seem high, but in fact once you read it you'll conclude otherwise, not just because of the inner content but also because this is a high quality, exquisitely produced hard-back which won't fall apart when it has become a well-loved and often thumbed-through favourite. The author of this book is a well-known London- based astrologer and lecturer/seminar facilitator who has been teaching for the Centre for Psychological Astrology and the Faculty of Astrological Studies, not to mention many other international venues, for many years. She is known for her widely-read, acutely intelligent and inspirational style, and this book, a transcript of two of her seminars, is eloquent testimony to her reputation. There is enough lunar knowledge, insight and experience in these pages to keep any astrology newcomer or experienced student going for quite a while. And the reason for this is Darby's gift of mingling a wide range of intellectual content with direct and spontaneous interchange with her audience, the result of which is a highly readable next-best-thing to being there. Thankfully for those who cannot attend seminars, Darby's quadruple Geminian wit, wisdom, and "warm thinking" (thinking from the heart) has now been captured in print.

Part One is entitled "The Moon as Source" and it explores the whole province of the Moon's mythology, psychology, and physiology. The seminar traversed a wide landscape: Lunar goddesses, the Moon and its connections with body, mind, and the dead, the Moon as significator of the mother/child bond, lunar and natural rhythms, the Moon in the elements, signs and houses, lunar aspects, and lunar transits and progressions.

In the section on Mother and Child, Darby introduces the work of physicist Danah Zohar, the author of The Quantum Self. Zohar wrote this book while she was pregnant and so was able to avail herself of a poignantly feminine, lunar lens. Darby shares Zohar's insights and maternal experience of herself as both 'particle and wave', which Darby, quite rightly in my view, suggests could be a metaphor for the Sun and the Moon. Moon consciousness as 'wave' caused Zohar to lose the "sense of myself as an individual, while at the same time gaining a sense of myself as part of some larger and ongoing process". Zohar's experience for me evoked the sense of lunar timing and lunar 'knowing', so different from the solar urge to supersede the slow, binding processes of nature. This was a very vivid and beautiful example (and typical of the stirring sketches throughout the book which demonstrate theory) of the way lunar experience connects us to a personal past as well to a wider historical past, to the rhythms of nature and of other bodies and 'selves'.

In the section on 'The Moon and Soulmaking' Darby brings in James Hillman's ideas, especially focussing on Hillman's crucial insight that "soul turns events into experiences" (Re-visioning Psychology). Darby writes: "Undigested, unreflected events do not become real experiences. this process of turning events into experiences happens through reflection on the images that rise out of the events in our lives.. reflection and digestion have to do with the Moon.. And experience has meaning, and leads to meaning". Darby is emphasising a very important facet of the Moon here, one that I have not seen stressed very often, and it is about making emotional connections - making a relationship - with one's life and the 'things' that happen in it; in doing so, the quality of 'thing-ness' becomes a 'thou-ness' - related, meaningful, the dots joined up to reveal a pattern. The fact of Jupiter's exaltation in Cancer, Darby shows, is a poignant validation of this event-into-experience lunar function. That we belong to a family is one of our first 'pattern recognition' experiences, and it is at the root of and leads to our continual urge throughout life to search for meaning.

 These ideas provide the basis for Darby's move into a study of the progressed Moon, for, as she points out, from the moment of birth we are moving further away, ever so slightly at first, from mother and "gathering the events of life into experiences which become more and more your own". Darby has a clear focus with the progressed Moon: "What I like looking at is that where 'the Moon begins' describes what you and your mother share, in terms of the heredity you have both come from. You incarnate through her, and you are the next possibility of that lunar heritage. That lunar heritage carries on, the heritage of that family habit pattern carries on one more step, but at the beginning she and you are so close- hardly a breath between you. But every breath you take, the progressed Moon moves away, and so you are moving away from her." Darby's words eloquently evoke the mysterious realm of lunar process, and reminded of various Brothers Grimm stories which weave images about lunar consciousness and activities such as baking and fermenting, which are bound to a specific flow of time. There is the story of the woman who must wait for some special event until the Moon is full once more, and until then she spends the time in some natural, rhythmic task, as do we all in our daily round, going over the same ground again and again, only each time a bit differently because we are in a different phase of the cycle. Darby's understanding amplified by example and audience participation weaves a similar matrix out of which the reader's comprehension can grow.

 Part Two is 'The Moon and its Cycles' which covers two main themes: the Moon in relationship to the sun, and the progressed Moon in relation to the natal Moon. Through a lively presentation and interaction with her audience, Darby stresses a crucial point - one which bears repeating (as I have done at the beginning of this review): "To achieve your purpose, to let your Sun shine, to fulfill your destiny, you have to do it through the Moon... the day-to-day activity and the daily rhythm of your emotional and physical life provide the ground with which you achieve your destiny." Darby then moves on to examine the lunation cycle based on Dane Rudhyar's work. This section is excellent for getting a real feel for working with lunar phases as they relate to lunar progressions. Each of the eight lunar phases is explored with care and attentitiveness, each coming alive with a colourful personality and psychological significance. The dovetailing of the progressed lunar cycle and the transiting Saturn cycle is also examined, and I found this part extremely informative and useful. the audience is fothcoming with many examples, and Darby responds with lucid humour. Darby also is very generous with her own experiences and anecdotes, and undoubtedly these personal stories and insights are the best 'teaching aid' one can ever have. The seminar then is rounded off with an in-depth case study, following the lunar progressions and events, experiences and achievements of a client/friend.

 The Astrological Moon is both an educative and enjoyable read. Whilst it is packed with plenty of principles and accuracy and knowledge, all the essentials for rigorous study, in fact it is its 'moistness' - a distinctly lunar quality - that wets the imaginative appetite and gets one reflecting again about ones' own Moon position and one's incarnational habits of a lifetime. Truly a 'must' for every astrological library.

 © Copyright 1997 The Astrological Association of Great Britain

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The Art of Stealing Fire - Uranus in the Horoscope

by Liz Greene

 Review by Dr Glenn Perry
Astrological Journal, July/August 1997

 "In the tradition of her Seminars in Psychological Astrology series, The Art of Stealing Fire is actually a transcription of two seminars given by Dr Greene at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. Here Greene serves up a stimulating and informative excursion into the mysteries of Uranus.

In Part One, she deftly covers the mythology of the planet by relating it to the figure of Prometheus, the Greek Titan who stole fire from the gods. This is in itself noteworthy, for unlike other treatments of Uranus that employ Procrustean arguments in relating its astrological significance exclusively to the Greek god, Ouranus, Greene supports Rick Tarnas' thesis that the archetype of Prometheus more fruitfully captures the planet's essential meaning. Greene goes on to explore Uranus' placement in houses and its aspects to the personal planets. In Part Two, she interprets the developmental significance of the 29-year Saturn cycle, the 84-year Uranus cycle, and the transits of both planets to other points in the horoscope. Thirty pages are devoted to Saturn and Uranus transits in the charts of audience members.

 Greene cuts to the chase when she pronounces that Uranus is not "a planet of individuality", as commonly claimed. Rather, Uranus symbolises a dimension of the psyche that can shatter one's sense of individuality if it is not integrated with an authentic sense of self. This is a recurrent theme throughout the book; the Uranian impulse must be monitored, contained, and grounded by common sense and a caring heart in order to prevent being swept away by unbridled revolutionary fervour, and end-justifies- the-means mentality, or the headlong pursuit of progress without regard for consequences. In other words, one has to be an individual before one can harness collective energies for constructive ends.

 Greene further develops the thesis of Tarnas' excellent Prometheus the Awakener (Spring Publications, 1995) by showing how the act of stealing fire symbolises the human potential for enlightenment. Prometheus, says Greene, signifies the capacity to awaken to our divine heritage and become fully conscious of our own god-like creative powers. Prometheus' punishment of being chained to a mountain-top while an eagle returns daily to pick away at his liver symbolises the price we pay for unactualised Uranian knowledge - loneliness, schizoid alienation, the despair of seeing one's unrealised potential. Again, the Promethean/Uranian individual has to come down from the mountain-top and implement his/her vision in a manner that brings about the greatest good for the greatest number, i.e. Uranian knowledge must serve in an altruistic, humanitarian end.

 After a thoroughgoing discussion of the meaning of Uranus and its various manifestations in human affairs - revelations of cosmic design, awareness of pattern, insights into nature's evolutionary intent, a valuing of reforms and revolutions, a detachment and revulsion against the body - she explores the incarnations of Uranus in the various houses. This is where we experience radical breakthroughs and "long to offer the world the gift of fire", says Greene. However, if we have not fully integrated the Uranian impulse for quantum leaps to a higher level, we may resist its promptings and become an enemy of progress. Then, Uranus will impose itself from the outside, disrupting our plans and shattering the flimsy defense we have erected against change.

While it is difficult to find fault with The Art of Stealing Fire, I would have liked more time spent on natal aspects of Uranus (only four pages). Even here, however, the author makes every word count and offers us more than the usual trait-heavy, event-laden descriptions. For example, Greene rightly points out that when Uranus is in aspect to the inner planets those functions are initially subjected to experiences which overwhelm. In childhood the individual is wrenched out of earth-based identifications and personal concerns and forced to develop the capacity of seeing and experiencing a broader universe.

Occasionally, Greene is a bit off with her historical references, claiming Uranus was first sighted in 1784 (it was 1781), and that its discovery corresponded with the dawn of the Enlightenment (it was the peak). Also, her treatment of charts of audience members is a bit sketchy. Paradoxically, these off the cuff interpretations are both the weakness and the strength of the book. While at times I found her conclusions somewhat premature (there is no time for adequate dialogue with the subject of the interpretation), one needn't read more than a few lines before she startles with a provocative comment, a penetrating insight, or a shocking revelation as to how Uranus may be operating. There are lots of pearls in this oyster.

In the section on transits of Uranus and Saturn (Seminar Two), I particularly liked her emphasis on the emotional impact of a transit rather than simply its psychological meaning. Greene rightly stresses that without a deep and caring empathy for the client's experience we cannot connect in a way that enables movement. If we cannot descend to the emotional depths to which the client may have sunk, we cannot lead them to a higher ground. We remain merely a faint and distant voice on the mountain top while the client sinks ever deeper into the pit of despair.

 The Art of Stealing Fire has a classy look, handsomely bound with large, clear type on acid- free paper. Anyone who desires a fuller understanding of Uranus will benefit from reading this book. Though Dr Greene necessarily sacrifices depth of thematic development for the conversational style that her seminar format requires, her insights seem to crystallize effortlessly out of her interaction with the audience, giving us a glimpse into her personal philosophy, thoughts, and feelings that might never have emerged without the creative stimulus of questions. Her deep and poetic style reminded me more than once of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet. Whatever her subject, Greene is herself a revelation, a gift of fire for the astrological community."

 © Copyright 1997 The Astrological Association of Great Britain

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The Art of Stealing Fire - Uranus in the Horoscope

by Liz Greene

 Review
Horoscope magazine, September 1997

 Many students of astrology, and even many professional astrologers, describe Uranus as the "planet of individuality". This phrase, according to Liz Greene, gives the wrong impression of Uranian impulses, which have nothing to do with personal unfoldment according to an internal blueprint. Uranus is an outer planet, and as such offers a worldview which may be transformative and revolutionary to the collective. Those dominated by Uranus often have little awareness of personal values and personal identity. Greene warns: "Please try to rid yourselves of the association of Uranus with individuality, because if you use this term when you read a chart, you may go badly wrong with it".

 The Art of Stealing Fire is the provocative title of Liz Greene's latest release, and grasping exactly what this expression means is the gateway to understanding Uranus in the natal chart. Briefly, the archetypal image of stealing fire comes from the myth of Prometheus, who risked the gods' wrath by giving the gift of fire to humanity. This inspires human beings to think of themselves as powerful, godlike beings. But Prometheus is punished for destroying the natural order; Zeus chains him to a mountaintop, and every day an eagle comes and eats away his liver. Then, every night the liver regenerates itself, so that Prometheus is in a state of perpetual physical and psychological torment. The myth has challenged the minds of Nietzsche, Jung, and other renowned intellects, who discuss the essential meaning of stealing fire. To Greene, this myth is central to Uranus, as much as the more ancient, analogous myth of Ouranos, the original sky god.

The very idea of stealing fire for humanity is so audacious, so bold, so revolutionary. Where does this notion originate? Prometheus tunes us into the mind of God, and into a new perspective of systems and how to perfect them. Those with Uranus strongly placed in their chart tend to view reality through this kind of wide-angle lens. Personal morality is often absent, and an urge to further some cosmic plan is all-consuming. Wherever Uranus is in your natal chart, and the planets aspecting it, this is where you have a window into a larger, more perfect world. Events and relationships with people symbolized by this house tend to be highly unstable, thereby forcing you into a more visionary, if unconventional, viewpoint.

The Art of Stealing Fire was transcribed from two seminars Liz Greene gave last year at the Centre for Psychological Astrology. This work, like her previous books, offers profound insights on the scope and nature of astrology. In this seminar, while she is explaining Uranus, Greene gives a clear conceptual framework for the twelve houses, which are delineated as six pairs of polarities. Uranus in the first house is described as the reflection of Uranus in the seventh house; then Uranus in the second and eighth houses, and so on. The genius of Greene in seeing and explaining the essence of astrological symbols is as deep and perceptive as the earlier master Dane Rudhyar, but without the convoluted phraseology. By investigating Greene's works, students and professional astrologers are guided through the inner workings of the horoscope, where psychological meaning and archetypal patterns reflect the various levels of consciousness.

 Since Greene refuses to follow such a strict, prescribed delineation path for each of the houses, she often gets sidetracked by questions or spontaneous elaborations of central concepts. This makes The Art of Stealing Fire an absorbing page-turner. Often, unexpected comments can throw the reader right off the printed word into a personal reverie, reflecting on the wisdom and truth of what was just said. School teachers, for example, might give pause over her insights on Uranus in the third or ninth houses. These positions give resistance to mental discipline and rebel against learning by rote. Such individuals might be branded as having "learning disabilities", but their intelligence is not deficient; they just learn in a different way. When considering that one out of six students has this position, the astrologer might see the advantage of redesigning the educational system into one that takes Uranian learning eccentricities into account.

Sprinkled throughout her exposition on Uranus are valuable interpretation techniques and clues. She discusses generational planetary combinations, such as the 1941-42 Uranus-Saturn conjunction, or the Uranus-Neptune square of the early 1950's. She describes the importance of singletons, the way magic works, how to find morality and the zeitgeist, and where and how hell will break loose in your horoscope. This is all in Part I of The Art of Stealing Fire, along with several explanations of natal horoscopes. Part II goes into the nature of transits, with the focus on Saturn and Uranus, how they are similar and how they are arch rivals.

 Saturn and Uranus are depicted as enemies because Greene sees these and all planets as actual gods, in the psychological sense. She describes planets as living energies with intent and volition, just like humans, only very much bigger. The main character of this book, Uranus, "is a force within the psyche that has access to knowledge and how the cosmic system works, and how to apply it to the everyday affairs of human beings". In Part II, Greene applies her analysis of transits to Carl Jung's horoscope, offering a fascinating glimpse into his controversial lifestyle. Jung's chart features a Moon-Uranus square, which undoubtedly was a major factor in his break with Freud, his own mental breakdown, and in his ménage-à-trois affair with his wife and mistress.

 The Art of Stealing Fire is teaching at its best. Greene's methodology is holistic in that by learning about Uranus, you're also learning how the part reflects the whole. Uranus in the houses, in aspect to other planets, by transit, and in comparison to Saturn is a mini-course in the art of astrology. her approach is mythological and psychological, and by grasping these underlying concepts of Uranus in the chart, you've got the means to transcend superficial analysis by keywords.

 © Copyright 1997 Horoscope magazine

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The Horoscope in Manifestation - Prediction and Psychological Dynamics

by Liz Greene

 Review by Robin Heath
Astrological Journal 1998

 

When I was at school - a curious mixture of traditional English public school colliding head-long with the drug induced surrealism of the late 1960's - I was continuously told:

"You are not here to learn facts. Facts are in books and libraries. The world is full of facts, you will have no trouble finding as many facts as you ever need."

"You are here to learn how to learn. If we can teach you to learn, then your education will never be finished, and you can put all the facts you come across to good use, instead of just regurgitating them mindlessly."

I don't know if my old school succeeded in its admirable aim, but I am reminded of their attitude whenever I read one of Ms. Greene's books. I am sure that being introduced to serious astrology by 'Relating - An Astrological Guide to Living with Others on a Small Planet' (her second book, still a classic) - moulded my practice and understanding of astrology for the rest of my days.

For Ms. Greene does not come with facts and more facts. She produces no cookbook guides (no doubt to the despair of her publishers), though the careful reader may glean some clues as to the meaning of some planetary patterns. Instead her books show a way of looking at and interpreting the horoscope wheel which, if it suits you, will teach you more than a shelf-full of more conventional tomes.

Her latest volume for the Centre for Psychological Astrology (CPA) 'The Horoscope in Manifestation' continues the remarkable contribution that she is making to modern astrology. Two of her seminars for the centre are presented, the first dealing with complexes (or 'fate' if you feel more comfortable with the term), the second with transits and progressions. The usual format is followed, a presentation of the basic themes by Ms. Greene followed by a discussion with the seminar participants, in the main using their horoscopes and experiences as examples.

The fated nature of (substitute '....the role of projections in......', or '....the influence of planetary patterns on......' if you prefer) some relationships, illness, artistic expression and even plain ordinary everyday behaviour is considered, and the text is full of useful pointers to how the practising astrologer can pick up clues as to which complexes in operation. I particularly liked "....the complex has a certain monotony of voice and vocabulary" and "the complex (has no) sense of humour". So true, so true, and something which we can, of course, hear in ourselves, as well as noticing in clients. And once a complex/chart pattern is noticed? Well then there is a chance to reclaim it, especially if it has been projected on another, and the energy it contains should become available to the self, instead of being buried in the unconscious. Or to put it another way, the client can begin to use their planetary patterns instead of being tossed around by the vagaries of the ephemeris.

But is it that simple? Surely not, or the world would be full of happy, smiling people living totally fulfilled lives (and what an inhuman hell that would surely be). Which leads nicely to the second seminar on transits and progressions. For what is it that causes a nicely behaved, comfortable and well-worn complex to suddenly rear up and create the havoc of an illness, a trauma, the loss of a partner or even a bicycle accident? If the astrological model is to be accepted, then the triggers for these events are the living horoscope of daily planetary movements - progressions and transits.

Ms. Greene presents a model of three levels of manifestation of these energies; the teleological (or 'deeper meaning'), the emotional and the material - as in a general election, one of the fascination examples she uses. Transits, secondary progressions, the progressed full and new moons and the solar arc are all discussed, as is the difference between applying and separating aspect. But the thread which runs through the text is that, due to the nature of mathematics and physics, the timing of these movements is fixed from the moment of birth, and it is these movements which trigger our growth.

This is deep stuff, and my own feeling is that the acceptance of this concept contains in itself some logical consequences which very few astrologers really care to take responsibility for, though it is the very basis of astrology, both of the psychological and 'traditional' type. Looked at trivially it is the endless 'fate versus free will argument' again, but presented in this way only adds to its value - and though this text does not solve the problem (and the argument has raged for several thousand years, so it is unlikely that there are any answers on the way yet), it is thought provoking and, as usual with CPA publications, full of good tips for those who dare to take on this kind of work in their daily life.

My usual complaints about CPA books - no index and nearly unreadable horoscope wheels (slight exaggeration, but only slight) - still hold, but these comments notwithstanding, rush out and buy 'Manifestation', or just plague the CPA to come with a subscription plan so you do not miss any of their publications.

So for those of you who haven't got the message yet: If you can only afford one astrology book in 1998, then make it one of these maroon, gold blocked, volumes (especially this one, though as the year is still young are there are hopefully more on the way). You will not be disappointed!

© Copyright 1998 The Astrological Association of Great Britain

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Water and Fire

by Darby Costello
reviewed by Mary Plumb
The Mountain Astrologer December 1999

I know I am in for a treat when books arrive from London's Centre for Psychological Astrology. The transcripts from seminars held at the Centre have been consistently rewarding, and Darby Costello's Water and Fire (Volume 11 in the series) is no exception.
Like other of her colleagues at CPA, Ms. Costello has a love of literature and etymology that makes her lectures an erudite experience. She quotes poets and writers and has a strong appreciation for Western literary tradition, but there is something else at work here - she is familiar with the imaginative realms, with astrology as a language of Soul and Spirit, and her teaching unabashedly conveys this view. Her thoughts will serve to fuel the imagination of any who may feel stuck in too literal a view of how the elements act in a human life.
Part One, "Water: The Womb, Death, and the Dream," begins by considering the levels of water. The author describes "terrestrial" water, then mythological, philosphical, alchemical, religious, and psychological water. The Section on "Astrological Water" explores the motifs of soul, emotionality, timelessness, separation and sin, and water healers. There is an appropriately meandering and yet orderly course through the water houses and a full look at each water sign. Water cusps are discussed, including fine distinctions between the natural houses of water's domain (4th, 8th, and 12th) and the houses that the water signs inhabit in any particular horoscope. She delineates the birth chart (four Cancer planets in the 4th house) of Marcel Proust, author of Remembrance of Things Past, as a quintessential water chart. Outer planets in water, water singletons, and the progressed Moon in water -  sign and house - take us through to the end of the section.
Ms. Costello writes that the "heart of fire is the Sun," and, in Part Two, she takes us into a spirited account of "Fire and the Imagination, The Heart of Our Story." The work is far too free-spirited to follow an identical outline to that in Part One, but is equally rich. After introducing the imaginal realm and fire as the "primary organ of perception," she investigates its levels, which include, again, terrestrial and mythological fire, the dangers of fire, fire divination, and celestial and imaginal fire. The fiery rulers,  Mars, the Sun, and Jupiter - have their own sections, along with focus on each of the fire signs. She also recounts the stories of two very fiery individuals: Heinrich Himmler, designer of Hitler's concentration camps, and William Blake, the mystical artist and poet. Finding a place for fire to express its powerful inner imagery is a theme throughout the work, and she also considers lack of fire, singleton fire, and fire healers. Throughout the book, there are wonderful contributions from the seminar participants, and examples from friends' and clients' lives.
Darby Costello knows the "currents and eddies" of the water signs, and the consuming and transforming nature of fire: About Saturn in Pisces, she writes: "That which is held too tightly melts like butter in one's hands." In discussing the effects of different amounts of water in individual horoscopes: "We are all little laboratories for Nature to play and experiment with as she evolves her way toward some mysterious sea." About fire, she writes: "Venus in the 9th gets educated by love. Venus in Sagittarius is an education in love." And, as advice for Pluto transiting Sagittarius: "Pay attention to the images that circle round your inner landscape. You may not be responsible for the images that arise, but you are responsible for how you attend and nurture them."
When I finished reading Darby Costello's book, I went for a swim in a cool pool in the blazing hot summer sun, always an inspiring combination. My mind was still humming with the words of Ms.Costello's equally inspiring tributes to the heat of fire and the mystery of water. If you are weak in water or fire, this book will give you insight into what others might be feeling. If water or fire are your strengths, reading this book will feel like a noble celebration of your essence.

© Copyright 1999 The Mountain Astrologer
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Where in the World?

Astro*Carto*Graphy and Relocation Charts
by Erin Sullivan
Review by Mike Harding
Astrological Journal 1999
 

As inhabitants of the so-called Global Village we live in a rapidly shrinking world. Many of us can routinely visit places our parents could only dream about, and as we are increasingly able to experience life in different parts of the world so do techniques such as Astro*Carto*Graphy become evermore relevant.

But where to start learning? Anyone whose mind has ever boggled at the sight of an ACG map now has a personal tutor to help make sense of it all. Starting with the natal chart itself, Erin Sullivan unravels the theory and practice of mapping our birth onto the surface of the world. And what an experience ti turns out to be, for Astro*Carto*Graphy is one of astrology's most challenging, and rewarding techniques. Using ACG with which we can located areas of the world which have particular affinities with our own chart, in fact those areas where -- at the moment of our birth -- planets were rising and setting, culminating or on the IC, all creating a picture which demonstrates (conclusively for this reviewer) that we and our world are one.

This book, like other CPA titles, is a transcript of a day's workshop, and herein lies much of its strength. The questions you would like to put to Erin are placed by members of her audience, and answered clearly in a non-technical and highly readable manner. The spontaneous observations and personal anecdotes of both Erin and her students strengthen the text with valuable every-day examples, all helping to cement one's understanding of the approach, and flesh out the ideas presented.

For many years Erin worked closely with Jim Lewis, the originator of the computer ACG map, and her experience is very much in evidence. Although her humour is very present on the page, she takes us methodically through interpretations of all the planets, and the issues of interpreting locations East or West of an ACG line, something many more experienced astrologers will welcome. We explore the significance of planets' latitude, and are given examples of working with progressed and transiting bodies, as well as charts for eclipses and ingresses.

Of course, the ACG map is also a way of looking at locational astrology. Here the birth chart is re-set for a new location, where the planets will invariably find themselves in different houses. With different interpretations now called for, Erin gives clear examples of this approach when used in addition to the overall ACG map. Many students provide telling examples which do help give a deeper understanding of how old and modern approaches overlap and reinforce their findings.

There seems little doubt that certain parts of our planets bring literal aspects of ourselves to life, and we may wish (or need!) to know where on Earth these might be. I have only fainted once in my life: within 15 minutes of arriving at the one point on the planet where my Uranus rose and my Neptune set (Ebertin gives "the elimination of the waking consciousness" for the UR/NE midpoint.) What more proof do you need?!

This book is rich and full of wisdom. When we finish the last page we recognise we have spent a day with a highly gifted astrologer, giving generously of her skills. This is a must for anyone new to Astro*Carto*Graphy, and probably a must for many others besides.
 
 

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