Book review: Essays on Astrology

essays on astrology

Published by Whitford Press in 1982, the book contains 13 essays who are, in fact, former published articles, some among his first writings.

1. The Moon, the Four Phases of the Feminine

Here is some theory about the Moon symbolism. Among many ideas I would like to point out that the Moon does not represent necessarily the women but the archetypal feminine, yin, in Chinese philosophy. And this energies can be found in men too.

Then he writes about one of his theories (presented also in Horoscope Symbols) who tells that nowadays the feminine archetypal is repressed and some functions like moods, feelings, unconscious drives are underestimated.

Also you can found here the four phases of the Moon. The first phase is like a young female, a virgin, not ready yet to encounter the masculine principle. The second phase (Full Moon) is the female ready for the confrontation with the masculine and means fertility, abundance. The third phase (last quarter) is like an old and wise woman, the feminine past her peak of sexual activity. The last phase (the New Moon) means a total union of the masculine and feminine archetypes and a new beginning.

My evaluation: 8

In chapter 2. The Wave Theory of Astrology are some hypotheses about the way planets send their energies. There are many technical points of view here, so I will pass to the next part where he writes about harmonics. I found an idea here that need to be tested:

“The five harmonic has to do with healing”.

I didn’t understand very well everything but I think this essay has consistence and the hypotheses are interesting.

My evaluation: 8,5

3. Mercury, the Modulator

Here is a nice presentation about Mercury‘s symbolism based on mythology, history or practical observations.

My evaluation: 9

4. Handling the Malefics

The author is trying to say that if one know how to manage the energies of the malefics (Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) he will not have problems with these planets. It gives us some advices, for example, if you respect the rules of this world you won’t have problems with Saturn. Mars is not a malefic energy but one that defends and promote us! So, if we understand what those energies means and how to use them we will not suffer, that is the main idea.

My evaluation: 8,5

In chapter 5 Geocentric Latitude: Some Second Thoughts are explained some astronomical terms used in astrology like: the apparent and geocentric horizon, the geographic and astronomical latitude etc. It is good to know these things…

My evaluation: 8,7

In chapter 6. On Creating a Science of Astrology are some thoughts about the astrology versus science, about the metaphysical bases of astrology and the practical side. Robert Hand advices astrologers to test it and to move toward practical astrology:

“It is unfortunate that most astrologers are out of touch with the basic research aspect of astrology, and of those who are in touch with it, many feel threatened by it. The serious journals of astrology contain a mixture of articles relating to the craft of astrology and a very few relating to astrology truly like a science. Possibly the reason for “scientific” astrology’s unpopularity is that it seems irrelevant to practical, everyday concerns of the average counseling astrologer: the mind is only willing to endure a limited amount of distraction from its main object of interest. Moreover, if research come up with results that are contrary to the techniques by which astrologers have been working, the cognitive dissonance that arises is painful, disrupting, and inconvenient. It is quite possible that some of the ideas we cherish may turn out to be wrong. The only thing that we feel sure of is that the basic idea of astrology is sound – that there are cyclical correlations between the various levels of reality (microcosmos and macrocosmos) which can be used to increase our understanding of humanity and nature conjointly”.

My evaluation: 8

7. A new Approach to Transits

Here is presented a rare technique named parans which mainly means planets that transits simultaneous the horizon or meridian circle. The whole explanation and the way one can use this is more complex, you will find it in the book. Personally I tested these technique but did not get relevant results.

My evaluation: 8,7

8. Crisis of Human Growth

It is again an essay about the malefics but this time he analyzes the periods when those planets make hard aspects. You will find here: the first Saturn square (occurs at 7 years age), first Saturn opposition (14 years), second Saturn square and Uranus transit square Uranus natal (21 years), the Saturn return (28-29 years), Pluto square Pluto (about 50 years old) etc. Very nice explanations that are useful for everyone.

My evaluation: 8,5

9. Declination and Latitude

The author tries to prove that we should take in account the latitude when analyzing a chart. Usually we are looking only at longitude, leaving out the latitude. But the latitude shows the distance a planet has from the ecliptic and influences her position in house and, probably, the power of her energies. You will find an example there, the chart of Jimmy Carter inauguration. I think the latitude is really important and definitely should be analyzed. I am using this value and, surely, has some beneficial effects on chart interpretation.

My evaluation: 9

10. Symbols of the Father Complex

This is a very good essay who shows where to look if you want to find the parenting processes in a chart. First of all we don’t have to look for a father but for fathering (who can be played by the father or not) who means social initiation, rules to be respected, challenges to pass, tests and is symbolized by Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and the tenth house.  The second process, mothering, means nurturing, dependency and is symbolized by Moon, Venus and the fourth house.

Obviously, in some charts one of the two processes is emphasized and the author analyzes how people are acting in these situations.

This is a very good written essay and I believe marks some very important points to be taken in account. Personally I tested this and I saw, for example, that for me the fathering process is accomplished by my mother (symbolized very well by the tenth house) and the mothering process by my father (symbolized by the fourth house). So, I am really impressed by this article.

My evaluation: 10

11. Dodekatemoria: An Ancient Technique Reexamined

There are three types of dodekatemoria. The third type is used by Hand and can be computed in this way (in the book you will find a more difficult method, I found this much simple way): add to the position of the planet a sum equal with 12x (degrees in sign for the planet).

For example, you have the Moon at 7 degrees in Sagittarius. Calculate:

7(degrees in sign)x12 =84 and add this value (84) to the initial position (7 in Sagittarius) and 247+84=331 = 1 degree in Pisces (this dodekatemoria for the Moon).

Attention! Convert all degrees and minutes to decimal degrees , for example, 7 degrees and 30 minutes will become 7,5.

I think this theory has some bases, I calculated for my chart and each planet dodekatemoria is in a point that I remarked for a long time to have special energies. This surprised me! It seems to work…

My evaluation: 9

In chapter 12 The Ascendant, Midheaven and Vertex in Extreme Latitudes we can see what problems appear when one computes a chart for polar or tropical areas.

My evaluation: 8

13. The Age and Constellations of Pisces

Do you know what morphomata is? Well, you will find that zodiac noeta is the constellations that we use and morphomata means the unequal constellations forming pictures of forms in the heaven (what we see on the sky).  Then is analyzed the precession of the vernal point through the morphomaton of Pisces and the conjunctions with important fixed stars are assigned with historical events, giving an extraordinary result. It is a travel through history from the birth of Jesus to the church schism, French revolution, Marx or communism, all this events being marked by important astrological events (conjunctions of the vernal point with fixed stars). Very interesting article!

My evaluation: 9,5


Conclusion. A very good book, a lot of challenging hypotheses and brave ideas launched to be judged by the reader. Because, for this book, the reader has the final word. The final evaluation is the arithmetic mean of the essays. A well deserved 8,72!