Bernadette Brady is an Australian astrologer who lives in Bristol, UK. She wrote Star and Planet Combinations (2008), Astrology – a Place of Chaos (2006), Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars (1998), Predictive Astrology (1992, 1999) and received the Charles Harvey Award (2006).
Part 1. In the beginning
In the beginning the author wrote about fixed stars from a philosophical point of view, seeing them as the fixed center of our world, the axis which never moves, an attribute which gives fixed stars great importance and make us to study them with more attention. She also wrote about precession, mythology and history.
It is presented the historical evolution of our knowledge in working with fixed stars which revealed an interesting discovery: before Ptolemy fixed stars were studied in a system similar with parans used today by some astrologers, but Ptolemy changed the method using a much simpler one, respectively a simple projection to the ecliptic which was good for astronomy, but bad for astrology. Unfortunately, astrologers took the new system as a good one, and we lost some valuable information.
Parans is presented in detail and also some advices for working with parans.
Part 2. The Constellations
In this chapter are presented the constellations and more than 60 fixed stars.
The constellations presented here are: Andromeda, Aquila, Ara, Argo, Auriga, Bootes, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Canes Venetici, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, Cepheus, Cetus, Coma Berenices, Corona Australis, Corona Borealis, Corvus, The Crater, Crux, Cygnus, Delphinus, Draco, Equuleus, Eridanus, Hercules, Hydra, Lepus, Lupus, Lyra, Ophiucus, Orion, Pegasus, Perseus, Piscis Australis, Sagitta, Triangulum, Triangulum Australe, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor.
Part 3. Zodiac, the ring of life
In this chapter are presented the constellations placed on the ecliptic and their most important fixed stars.
The constellations presented are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
Part 4. Star phases
In this chapter the author presents the phases of stars:
"its rising with the Sun on a particular calendar date, its period of visibility in the night sky and its period of invisibility when it was not present in the night sky".
There are detailed examples about star phases where is explained the meaning of a curtailed passage, heliacal rising or setting, acronychal rising or setting, arising and lying hidden, the period of a passage etc.
Part 5. Fixed stars and the natal chart
In this chapter the author gives a set of examples for how to work with fixed stars on a natal chart:
1. Create a list with the fixed stars which have a paran relationship to your chart.
2. Sort this into rising stars, culminating stars, setting stars and stars on the Nadir. The first three corresponds to the life periods (25 years for each), the fourth is after life.
3. Look what stars from the list are heliacal rising or have passage because those are the most important. Stars that never rises for your location should not be used at all.
MY EVALUATION: 8,3
Conclusion. The book is a comprehensive material on fixed stars, more that 350 pages written, but it doesn’t seem Bernadette Brady had a big experience in working with fixed stars, or at least in the book presents a lot of what was written by others, and not so much her experience with fixed stars.
Her personal examples on fixed stars are generally when working with parans and not so convincing in my opinion.
The parans technique is a central issue in the book, it is presented in detail and also used in all the examples, but this method has not a solid position in the astrologers world, some accepts it, some not.
Anyway, with her pluses and minuses, I can say that Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars is the best book on fixed stars until 1998, especially because it collects almost all what was written on fixed stars until that year. My evaluation is 8,3.