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Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn in Astrology

Books about planets are among the most common books in astrology. Here are books about Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter & everyone's favorite, Saturn.

Planets: The Moon Mercury-Saturn Uranus-Pluto Leftovers!

Indicates a book on our Top Ten list. If you would like to find more books like it, click on the star.


THE IMPORTANCE OF MERCURY IN THE HOROSCOPE - Frances Sakoian & Louis Acker, $7.00


The importance of Mercury in the horoscope
Mercury in the element air
Mercury in the element fire
Mercury in the element earth
Mercury in the element water
Retrograde Mercury
Mercury in the houses


"It is generally agreed that the fundamental characteristic that distinguishes man from all other species is his ability to think, to reason, to plan, and to use tools. All of these characteristics are under the rulership of the planet Mercury." (page 1)

A small book. Sakoian & Acker write well & express themselves clearly. Their books, even small ones like this, are always worthy of study.

CSA Printing & Bindery, 41 pages

THE MERCURY RETROGRADE BOOK - Therese Francis, $12.95

1. Do planets really move backwards? Direct. Stationing. Retrograde. Shadow.

2. Introducing Mercury. Heeerre's Mercury. What not to do.

3. Change your perceptions, change your world: Mercury perceived as enemy; Mercury perceived as teacher; Mercury perceived as friend.

4. To everything there is a season: Breathe deep: Mercury stations; Get ready: Mercury retrograde; Get set: Mercury's shadow; Go: Mercury direct.

5. What to do.

6. Survival tactics: Before Mercury goes retrograde; While Mercury is retrograde; While Mercury is in shadow.

7. Getting more specific: At home; In the news.

8. Transiting houses.

9. Transiting aspects.

10. Putting it all together.

12. Keys to thriving during Mercury retrograde: More stories. The five keys.

A. Mercury stations & positions, 2000-2014
B. Determining true local time
C. Are you the exception?
D. Using polar coordinates to determine aspects
E. Glyphs
F. Quick aspect table
G. 50 things to do during a Mercury retrograde



Useful. Here's the book we all need but won't admit it. Get this book & during the next Mercury retrograde, don't just hide for 3 weeks, do the useful things suggested in this book: What to do before it retros, what to do while it's retro (by sign & by house), what to look out for afterwards, in the 2 week "shadow" (eg, the time it takes to catch up to where it was before it went retrograde). Intended for the novice, but packed with helpful hints. My favorite book on Mercury retrograde.

Crossquarter Breeze, 112 pages

MERCURY RETROGRADE: Your survival guide to astrology's most precarious time of the year - Chrissie Blaze, $19.95



1. Mercury retrograde: a look back
2. MR: What in heaven's name is going on?
3. The many meanings of Mercury
4. Mercury & the signs of the zodiac
5. The MR effect through the signs
6. The MR effect & the houses
7. The MR effect: A survival guide

1. Mercury's place in the heavens: 100 year ephemeris, 1920-2020
2. Mercury retrograde periods, 2001-2050

About the author


I confess I didn't have much "sense" of this book. Perhaps you will. Here is Mercury retrograde in the 12th:

MR in the Twelfth House
When MR moves through this House, you have an opportunity to achieve closure. You are in a good position to reassess the way you communicate with yourself & others. You can examine the good & bad qualities of your communication style & prepare to change what needs changing.

Exploring the realm of the inner self is not always a pleasant affair. We may encounter parts of our being that we fear or loathe. Still many people seem to cling to these negative parts of themselves simply because they are so familiar. The fear of the unknown often prevents us from moving on to a new level. But when Mercury runs retro in the Twelfth House, the time has come to confront our sub-conscious motivations, with honesty & openness. Only by doing so will we discover our deepest motivations, our most basic gifts. (pgs. 110-111)

In other words, the author takes the traditional interpretation of house or sign & presumes that when Mercury retrograde is in it, that the house or sign functions badly for the duration. So, for example, when Mercury is retrograde in Taurus, watch your finances. This is logical, and supported by astrological theory, but does it actually happen that way in practice? That's what I don't quite know.

O Books, 215 pages.

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VENUS: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths - Anne Massey, $17.95
Contents: List of figures & charts; Foreword by Donna Van Toen; Introduction

1. The essence of Venus
2. The beauty of Venus
3. The sacred geometry of Venus
4. Venus stations
5. The cycle of harmony
6. Where does Venus hold court?
7. Venus in aspect
8. Charming costumes
9. Venus retrograde: the magnifying glass
10. Venus in love
11. Venus & marriage
12. Venus & societal change
13. Other feminine archetypes: Ceres, Vesta, Juno, Pallas Athena, Lilith

Appendices: 1. Astrological data; 2. Venus cycles data; 3. New & full Venus listings; 4. Four pentagrams

Comment: Books like this keep me on my toes. I had been disappointed by several of the previous titles in Llewellyn's "Special Topics" series, so when Llewellyn applied it to a book about a planet (generally the least-well written books in astrology), I simply passed it by. A customer brought it back to my attention, and I am grateful.

Chapter 1 is an introduction to the subject (pg 15: Marilyn died in 1962, not 1961). Chapter 2, an introduction to the cycles of Venus. Chapter 3, Sacred Geometry, which is to say that, viewed from the Earth, Venus appears to describe a pentagram, or five-petaled rose, in its highly regular cycle of retrogrades & stations. Starting with any Venus-Sun conjunction, successive conjunctions will describe a 5 pointed star, and in exactly the same fashion as if you were to draw it with a pencil on paper, which I must confess suprised me. Massey defines these five points by element (fire, earth, air, water). For the fifth, she uses "spirit" (pg. 34). The Chinese would have used Metal, and I would be interested to hear Massey on this point.

Chapter 4, Stations, retrogrades, the "new Venus", fertility, Hollywood stories. Chapter 5, The Covenants of Venus (the original title to this book). New & full Venus, your Venus phase. Chapter 6, Venus through the houses.

Chapter 7,, Venus in aspect. In this chapter, the focus is primarily on conjunctions, but have a look at this:

The wiring in our old house provides quite an interesting perspective. When we turn on the dishwasher, one of the three spotlights in a track light turns on & off until the dishwasher has finished its cycle - perhaps akin to a "loose" or minor aspect. We also have one switch that turns on the light in a bedroom while simultaneously shutting down a power outlet in another (this went unnoticed for about a decade) - perhaps akin to the subtle aspects, which are ours to discover? (pg. 93)
Chapter 8, Venus through the signs (surprisingly weak writing). Chapter 9, an astrological overview of retrograde Venus. Chapter 10, delineations, by sign, of Venus & love. Unlike the once-over in chapter 8, the writing here is quite good, some of the best I've seen. Venus herself comes through strongly. Chapter 11, Venus & marriage, starts off with Venus & suffrage. The ascendant as a marriage indicator, Part of Marriage, marriage & second (Venusian) thoughts.

Chapter 12,, occultations of Venus (its transit across the disk of the sun) as indicators of societal change. For nearly a thousand years, and for more than 800 to come, all such occultations have occurred in either Gemini or Sagittarius. Chapter 13, notes on Ceres, Pallas Athena, Juno, Vesta & Lilith, the secondary moon of the Earth.

For what it covers, this is an excellent book. It is notably short on mythology, which is okay with me, as I think mythology gets far too much play in astrology. I wish she had spent more time on the twelve houses, and I wish she would have taken a pile of Venus's aphorisms (such as those in the back of Robson's Astrology & Sex and analyzed them, as her methods are very good & I expect her results would have been illuminating. I am most impressed with her understanding of orbital mechanics, as this is fundamental to a good grasp of the planet (of any planet) and is all too often lacking.

Llewellyn, 201 pages.

VENUS STAR RISING, a new cosmology for the 21st century - Ariel Guttman, $25.00


Introduction: A new cosmology for the 21st century

Part 1: Background of the Venus star point theory
1. The astronomy and geometry of the Venus star
2. The mythology and astrology of Venus

Part 2: Working with the Venus star points
3. Discovering the Venus star points
4. The Taurus Venus star point (1823 to 1934)
5. The Sagittarius Venus star point (1830 to 1923)
6. The Cancer Venus star point (1852 to 1961)
7. The Virgo Venus star point (1875 to 191984)
8. The Aquarius Venus star point (1890 to 191982)
9. The Scorpio Venus star point (1926 to 2027)
10. The Aries Venus star point (1929 to 2038)
11. The Gemini Venus star point (1964 to 2073)
12. The Capricorn Venus star point (1986 to 2078)
13. The Leo Venus star point (1987 to 2100)
14. The Libra Venus star point (2022 to 2131)
15. The Pisces Venus star point (2041 to 2133)

Part 3: Relationships on the Venus star
16. How the Venus star defines relationships
17. Marriage and partnership on the Venus star
18. Taurus Venus star relationships
19. Sagittarius Venus star relationships
20. Cancer Venus star relationships
21. Virgo Venus star relationships
22. Aquarius Venus star relationships
23. Scorpio Venus star relationships
24. Aries Venus star relationships
25. Gemini Venus star relationships
26. Capricorn Venus star relationships
27. Leo Venus star relationships
28. Libra Venus star relationships
29. Pisces Venus star relationships
30. Groupings on the Venus star

1. The Venus star program: Mantra, mudra, period, environment, song
2. Venus star dates and signs, 1750 to 2050
3. Houses of the Venus star point

Glossary of terms
Selected bibliography
List of references for celebrity birth data



In the Earth's and Venus's ceaseless travels about the Sun, Venus conjuncts the Sun every ten months or so. If you plot the degrees of the conjunctions, you find they form a pentagram, more or less in the order of the signs given above. This has long been noted. Every other conjunction is a retrograde, by the way. Note the sequence: Inconjunct - inconjunct - sextile - inconjunct - square - inconjunct - sextile - inconjunct, inconjunct, etc.

Guttman organizes this by the first appearance of a Venus-Sun conjunction in a given sign, which she calls a Venus star point. Such that, in the current scheme of things, we are presently under the influence of the various points of the pentagram, as shown above, which is to say, Scorpio, Aries, Gemini, Capricorn and Leo. The procession is retrograde, so after Aquarius ended in 1982, Capricorn started in 1986. These signs, in the present sequence, are shown in the star illustrated on the cover.

This is further broken down, and made personal, by noting the Venus-Sun conjunction ("Venus star point") before your birth. And with this we can give personal delineations, which Guttman does.

So we go to Appendix 2, a list of Venus-Sun conjunctions from 1750 to 2050, to find which one is ours, and then look up its delineation in the text. This is the same proceedure as with the prenatal eclipse, but with one important difference: For normal 9 and 7 month terms, the prenatal eclipse always falls during gestation itself. Unless you were a luckless 4 or 5 month preemie, you were in mummy's belly when the prenatal eclipse occurred - and many 4 and 5 month babies will still have a prenatal eclipse while in utero. With ten months between Venus star points, it's possible the date in question preceded your conception. Which I think is a valid point. So far as I am aware, nothing prior to conception has ever been used before in astrology. Guttman goes straight past this. She notes,

The only exception is if you are born within a week of the next star date, which gives you increased qualities of that star as well. Both Star Points will influence you, but in this case the influence of the star date following one's birth will be more pronounced (especially if the birth occurs just a few days before the next star date). An example is Winston Churchill. Though he was born in the Pisces Star period, his birth a mere nine days prior to the Sagittarius Star period, gives the latter star a great deal of inflluence. (pg. 79)
So let's have a look. Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874. His Venus star point was February 23, 1874. Which by my count is 280 days prior. A normal 9 month term is 270 days. But at Churchill's Wiki page, I learn he was born two months premature. Which means Churchill was conceived around 70 days after his Venus Star Point. Two menstrual cycles. Churchill is an unfortunate choice as an example. I hate blowing holes in an author's work, but what am I to think?

Aside from a faulty conceptualization, delineations are where the book starts to break down. What we find are ordinary Sun-sign delineations, now labeled as a Venus Star Points. Mine is in Virgo, so I am told all about my Virgo nature. Regrettably, I am an Aquarian Sun, Leo Moon, Gemini rising with only the south node in Virgo (which is not angular), so the Venus Star delineation in Virgo, for me, fails. Which is not unexpected, since the delieations do not seem to be based on observation of any kind.

It would be hard to base natal Venus Star point delineations on observation, since ten straight months of people are lumped into one big batch. The Chinese do a better job with the animal of the year, which, for driving power, has the solar cycle behind it and is further conditioned by the element of the annual animal (air, earth, fire, water, metal), which ties it to Jupiter, actually. Since Venus can represent many things - money, for example - delineations based on observation would pick up many nuances. Which I regret are lacking.

Which makes this book suitable for browsers in a store. Pick up the book, figure out who you are, look up the relevant section, and read all about you. And if you like it, you buy the book. There are many people who like this sort of casual story-telling and identify with it. This is - literally - what the author is hoping for. In a mail order setting, browsing is of course impossible, and I, a mail order merchant, am left grasping. How do I persuade you to buy the book when it is, in the end, another sun-sign book, only your sun sign is not the one you think it is?

In the relationship section, we are told that we naturally relate to those born with VSPs in complimentary signs, which is to say, the other four signs in the pentagram. While mine include Scorpio, Gemini, Aquarius and Aries, delineations are given only for Aries, Cancer and Gemini. Of that, I find I've had signficant relationships with Gemini, Cancer, Scorpio and Aquarius, but of these, Gemini - my daughter - is out of synch, since the Gemini phase ended long before she was born.

I would like to say I got something out of the relationship section, but I really did not. An old girlfriend - a Cancer VSP - had an interest in growing food? She never touched a garden and avoided cooking whenever she could. I compulsively over-analyzed her? Well, yes. I made an exception to a fixed rule, but it was a very intense relationship. I helped her heal her family wounds? No, I did not. She had a small family and refused to introduce me. Which was, in the end, why she was an also-ran. My wife is an undelineated Scorpio, which is a frustrating omission. Another girlfriend was an Aquarian VSP. She and I were into medicine, science and technology, except that we were not. She was spacy and adrift in the masses, except that she was a highly nervous Gemini type and unable to detach at all. Or it could be that we've all been, well, resisting. Learn to read a book, and you will see when the author is writing formalistic theory. Gee, let me see. . . Virgo and Aquarius, how would they get on?

To help you in your quest, the author has included all manner of things. Lavish details, illustrations, fancy charts, lots and lots and lots of introductory and explanatory notes, etc. She does not want to leave anything out, but the result is a fat book: Four hundred pages, two pounds in weight, 8 x 10 inches in size, for a concept that could have been done well in fewer than 200 pages, in a smaller format. There have been a glut of fat books lately.

Sophia Venus Productions, 404 pages.

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THE MARS BOOK: A guide to your personal energy and motivation - Donna Van Toen, $24.95


Introduction to the revised edition

1. Everyday Mars
2. Mars and your love life
3. Occupational Mars
4. Energy from your envirionment
5. Mars and your luck
6. Special cases
7. Progressed Mars
8. Transits of Mars
9. The Mars return chart
10. Mars and your inner motivation
11. Esoteric house positions
12. Esoteric aspects
13. Sample Mars analysis


1. Mars affinities
2. Sun-Mars quickie synastries
3. Mars positions for various cities


First published by Samuel Weiser in 1988 and now (2012) reprinted in a revised edition by the AFA. I like the new edition better than the old, even though the author says she has not changed much.

The first chapter, Everyday Mars, delineates Mars by sign and house. The aspect section includes separate entries for trines and sextiles, and also includes semi-sextiles (30) and inconjuncts (150). The section on Mars conjunct Venus delineates all twelve signs, as well as aspects to the angles. The writing is clear and crisp and mercifully, brief.

Chapter 2, Mars and Your Love Life delineates Venus by sign, and then delineates Mars by sign, both with an emphasis on relationships. Next comes Venus-Mars natal aspects delineated in terms of relationships. This is followed by another look at Venus and Mars by house, with an emphasis on relationship needs.

Chapter 3 is on occupations. Mars is delineated through the signs with a view to occupation and career. It is followed by Mars-Saturn aspects in terms of career.

Chapter 4 is a tabulation of Mars from roughly 120 cities in the US and Canada. Most of them are from Marc Penfield's Horoscopes of the USA and Canada, but the author has also included her own files, as well as the work of her associates. It is followed by delineations of city Mars in your various houses, and then, aspects from city Mars to your natal planets, which are somewhat abbreviated. The alphabetical listing is in Appendix 3.

Chapter 5 is Mars and Your Luck. In it, we get delineations for Jupiter, by sign and house, with an emphasis on growth and improvement. It is followed by delineations for Mars by sign and house, for opportunity and lucky breaks. Which is followed by Jupiter-Mars aspects, again, with an emphasis on lucky breaks.

Chapter 6 is Special Cases. Starting with interceptions. Van Toen has a good grasp of interceptions as areas where there was no adequate outlet for . . . development (pg. 82). Interceptions are given both by sign, and by house. Throughout the book, Van Toen makes good use of her own casework. The book is free of theoretical guesswork.

This is followed by Mars retrograde, again by sign and house. Again, the author has a good grasp of the subject. Chapter 6 concludes with Mars under stress in a stellium, which I thought too short and too vague. The author combines Mars as part of a larger stellium, with Mars receiving stressful aspect from a stellium, which was confusing.

Chapter 7 is progressed Mars. There are delineations for progressed Mars by sign, by house, and in aspect to natal planets. By "progressed", she really means, solar arc directions, as secondary progressed Mars will make few aspects over a normal lifetime.

Chapter 8, transits of Mars, by house, in aspect to the natal planets, nodes and angles.

Chapter 9 is on the Mars return, which is a two year cycle. The author delineates the house the return Mars falls in.

Chapter 10 is Mars and Your Inner Motivation, which is Mars and past lives, delineated by sign. Since I know a bit of my own past life, I found Van Toen's delineation to be disarming. She surely can't have just guessed that? Curiously enough, Mars was in the same sign in my most recent past life, which gives a new slant on it as well. Will she do as well with the other eleven signs? I have no idea, but if she can get one right, she has a good start on the other eleven. I see the author has her Mars in Pisces, conjunct the Sun in the first.

Chapter 11 is Esoteric House Placements. In this chapter we learn that although the author does not recommend one house system over another, she did work with Koch for many years before giving it up for Placidus. And while she does not want to draw conclusions, my observation has been that astrologers who actually use houses use Placidus rather than Koch. In this chapter is another set of Mars in the houses delineation, this time focusing on metaphysics, with particular emphasis on Mars in the 7th. Donna gives her unloved lecture on soulmates. Which is to say that a soulmate is first and foremost a mature and responsible partner - and probably not much more, and that if you're stuck in an abusive relationship because you think the guy is your "soulmate", you're an idiot (my word, not Van Toen's).

Chapter 12 is on esoteric aspects. These are divided into conjunctions, trines/sextiles, and squares/oppositions, all with an emphasis on past life carryovers.

Chapter 13 is a sample Mars analysis. This is Ruth, a woman born in London in 1930 and who grew up during the Blitz in World War II.

In the Afterword, Van Toen mentions that what she has done with Mars could just as easily be done with any other planet. If that's a hint for a sequel, count me in!

Appendix 2, Sun-Mars quickie synastries: Your Mars, his/her Sun, or vice-versa, by sign, 144 snapshots.

Appendix 3, City Mars, given in alphabetical order by city, both Penfield's and Dodson's listings, which are often different. About twice as many entries as in chapter 4.

Overall, a well-written, tightly focused book that incorporates a good variety of detail. It does not have medieval or Hellenistic topics, nor does it include aphorisms. It is a book of its era (mid-1980's), but it is excellent all the same.

AFA, 187 pages.

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EXPLORING JUPITER, The Astrological Key to Progress, Prosperity & Potential - Stephen Arroyo, $17.95


1. A framework for understanding Jupiter: Jupiter, learning & the rulers of the mutable signs; The Jupiter sign as a mode of learning; The Gemini/Sagittarius polarity; Sagittarius/Virgo contrasts; Jupiter & Neptune; Sagittarius/Pisces similarites & contrasts

2. Jupiter in the birth chart: key concepts & interpretive guidelines: Balancing Jupiter with Saturn; Jupiter, gambling & "pushing your luck"; Jupiter/Venus contrasts; Jupiter & "success"; Jupiter & emotions; Jupiter's positive & negative expressions; General guidelines for interpreting Jupiter

3. Exploring the Jupiterian personality: The Jupiterian as cultural icon

4. Jupiter in the fire signs: interpretive guidelines
5. Jupiter in the earth signs: interpretive guidelines
6. Jupiter in the air signs: interpretive guidelines
7. Jupiter in the water signs: interpretive guidelines
8. Jupiter in the houses: Interpretive guidelines for Jupiter's house placement

9. Ruled by Jupiter: Sagittarius & Pisces rising: Parallels in the expression of Jupiter's rising signs; Sagittarius rising; Pisces rising

10. Jupiter's aspects in the birth chart

11. Transits involving Jupiter: Guidelines for interpreting Jupiter transits: Jupiter transits to the Ascendant, Midheaven, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the outer planets; Guidelines for interpreting transits to Jupiter



My favorite book on Jupiter, in large part because Arroyo put so much into it. In the Prologue he says he started this book on a whim (it interrupted some other project), but quickly became enamored of the planet. He then did what all good authors should always do: He researched his subject. He studied Charles Carter, David Hamblin, Isabel Hickey, Paul Wright, Dane Rudhyar, Grant Lewi, Jeff Mayo, Ronald Davison, Marcia Moore & Mark Douglas & many others. The bibliography is one of the longest & most impressive I have ever seen, and, to my further delight, not merely a list of books in the authhor's library, but rather, a list tightly focused on astrology itself.

The result is a richly detailed, multi-layered book. Arroyo interweaves his own ideas with those of others, almost always producing dazzling insights. He freely quotes from his sources. Arroyo gives a choice quote from, say, Charles Carter (a favored author, and a good one, as my customers should know by now) and then illuminates it. There are many sidebars (essays in boxes) that give supporting details and provide case studies. For example, at one point Amelia Earhart is paired with John Glenn, both being examples of a particular Jupiterian manifestation.

A truly great book. I am at fault for overlooking it for too long.

CRCS, 299 pages.

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THE BOOK OF JUPITER - Marilyn Waram, $15.95



1. All the possibilities
2. From Zeus to Peter Pan
3. The power of paradigm shifts
4. Bigger, brighter, better
5. Common problems with Jupiter
6. Jupiter in the houses
7. Jupiter in the signs
8. Jupiter in aspect
9. All the possibilities
1. Herman Hesse
2. Examples of Jupiter in houses, signs, aspects & stella



First published in 1993, there are a few remaining copies from the ACS of long, long ago. Waram's fundamental approach to Jupiter is as Letter Nine of Zip Dobyns' famous letter system, wherein Jupiter represents Absolute Truth, ultimate values & beliefs, as well as the search for all of these. Dobyn's system conflated houses with signs with planets, which is fine for beginners. Waram, who now goes by her real name of Marelon Bjorkaes, was a student of Zip's. Zipporah Pottenger Dobyns passed away in 2003.

I confess I didn't relate that well to the first five chapters, I thought them dated. There is an amusing dialogue between Jupiter & the author in chapter 5, pgs. 75-79. Here's sample:

Astrologer: Why? Why are mistakes so intolerable?

Jupiter: (getting louder) Well, what is the search for Truth all about? Every mistake is a step away from Truth, not toward it! Think about it. There no mistakes in Truth.

Astrologer: Okay. But you treat it as a one-shot deal, as if you are supposed to get it all right on the very first try.

Jupiter: You are.

Astrologer: But you are a mutable planet. You are supposed to be flexible. [That dang 9th Letter strikes again. - Dave]

Jupiter: I'm also a fire planet & I'm going to get darned angry when I'm thwarted or proven wrong. I'm supposed to be right! I represent Truth.

Astrologer: Or maybe the search for Truth?

Jupiter: That doesn't feel... worthy enough. For me. I think I'm too big to be a mere "search".

And to think in the years since this was published, Google has done wonderfully as a mere "search".

Chapter 6, Jupiter in Houses, is meaty, as is chapter 7, Jupiter in signs. Waram continues to conflate houses with signs, but that is her system. When I read Jupiter in the first, and then, Jupiter in Aries, I am not reading the same text twice, but I do get a strong sense the author feels the two values (first house with the first sign of the zodiac) to be extensions of each other. Waram says that Jupiter, when he's crossed, can lash out rather nastily. Which I haven't seen myself, though if some other planet lashes out & Jupiter happens to be nearby, he is always happy to pour gasoline on the fire. Which is simply Jupiter being Jupiter. Jupiter is like a lens. It magnifies everything, good & bad. In 1994, a comet hit Jupiter. In the weeks leading up to the event, scientists wondered if it would even be visible. Jupiter is a very big planet after all, and the comet was very small by comparison. But as any astrologer could have predicted, Jupiter makes everything bigger, and it was a spectacular event.

Chapter 8, Jupiter in aspect, is not as good. Individual planetary pairs, Jupiter-Mars, Jupiter-Venus, Jupiter-Pluto, etc., are a ramble. We want clean delineations. Jupiter-Venus square is like this. Jupiter-Saturn opposition is like that. Which we do not get. Chapters like this are where editors need to hold the author's feet to the fire. Make them hammer out what they know. Make the author make the hard choices, not slide around them.

The concluding essays are nice, as well as the first appendix, a delineation of Herman Hesse's chart (author of Steppenwolf, which was once quite popular). Appendix 2 gives lists of people with Jupiter in each house, as well as in each sign (by degree). It concludes with lists of people with specific Jupiter aspects, and the precise orbs. This might be worth the price of the book. In it, we learn that Cheiro, the palmist, had Jupiter & Mars in exact opposition. Bobby Fisher, the famous chess player, had Jupiter & Venus in exact square, as did Alice Cooper, John Denver & Erwin Rommel. This section, as well as chapter 8, on aspects, include the four major asteroids.

ACS, 292 pages.

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JUPITER'S DANCE - Martin Goldsmith, $24.95


Preface: Jupiter's dance

1. Introduction: The failings of mythology & the advantages of empirical research; What is a planet?

2. Jupiter re-envisoned: The dancing god; social, sexual & occupational adventurousness; Jupiter's role in the development of a coherent world-view; the dance of creation: materializing a personal vision; the dance of destruction: puncturing false mythologies; Jupiter & religion; Jupiter & the Chariot card of the tarot; Jupiter & the arts; The World card & the tarot

3. Jupiter in the twelve signs
4. Jupiter in the twelve houses
5. Jupiter in aspect
6. Bibliography for the history of astrology


Here's how it works sometimes: -

This site went on-line back in 1996 as barely more than book titles & cover images. These basic listings were "ramped up" in early 2000 with truncated tables of contents. Meanwhile, more recent books got much more extensive treatment. At one time I set myself the goal of writing proper notes for the many forgotten books & did finish a few pages before other projects crowded out the remainder. You can still find a lot of these titles on this site. I tell myself that someday . . .

So it's now November, 2010. Martin's new book on Jupiter got a rave review in the December-January Mountain Astrologer, so of course I will carry it. So I get a copy & look at it & find it's not very good, for reasons I will get to in a moment. But first, I can't simply write notes on Martin's book & stick them here, when Stephen Arroyo's masterpiece on Jupiter (above) got such short shrift so long ago. Before I can write notes on Martin's book, I first have to write proper notes on Stephen's. I have to correct my oversight of years ago. Now that that's done,

Martin Goldsmith is the pen name of Steven E------. I knew him when I lived in Santa Fe in the late 1990's. He used to visit & trash his way through the Beethoven piano sonatas on my Kawai digital, as he is a keen pianist (which I, alas, am not). He is in the music trade. To Steven I owe the insight that not every note that Ludwig wrote was blessed by God himself. I have high regard for him.

But, regrettably, not his books. Goldsmith carefully researched this book. As he explains in the Preface, in the belief that no previous research had ever been done concerning Jupiter, Goldsmith threw out astrology altogether & started over from scratch. What is Jupiter? What does it do? How does it do it, etc. Instead of consulting the best of the existing literature on the subject (see Arroyo, above), Goldsmith substitutes unrelated metaphysics. Wholesale. He makes a long & laborious study of famous persons with a Jupiter this or a Jupiter that, which merely underscores the sad fact that Goldsmith, unlike Charles Carter, isn't very good at research. One of the many mistakes he makes is to over-reach his subject. Some examples:

Did you know that Jupiter is the planet of sex?

Since Jupiterians are socially confident & take a bold, experimental approach to life, they mature very quickly. By most standards they would be considered sexually promiscuous (in keeping with Zeus' behavoir, I supppose). Still they are not sleazy. If they are out for uncomplicated sex, they communicate these intentions to their partners. As young adults, Jupiterians tend to play the field, yet once they have gotten a number of romantic experiences under their belts, they start to think about settling down. (pgs. 20-21)
Read that again & look for the structure. Goldsmith starts with an image of Jupiter (confident & bold) and then presumes such people will mature quickly and that therefore they will become compulsively sexual as a result. Confidence = bold = mature = promiscuous. This is specious.

This isn't the only original observation. Goldsmith notes, correctly, I think, that a stationary Jupiter makes for dancers, though fails to note that stationary Jupiters are, by definition, in trine to the Sun. Somehow these two bits of information remained unrelated.

Goldsmith says that Jupiter in Aries people, like me, engage in hatchet jobs to destroy their opponents (pg. 41). Jupiter in Aries excels at verbal arguments, cannot write, and are natural actors (pg. 42).

People with the Jupiter-Saturn opposition [me, for example] are greedy for worldly experience - especially sexual experience. This can make their lives rather messy. Many have a rather passive attitude towards their own desires, and make little effort to contain them. This can lead to three-somes, bisexual experimentation, etcetera. The sexual bohemianism of the aspect can be seen in James Dean, Bob Guccione [publisher of Penthouse magazine], Paul Bowles [gay American expatriot composer], and Victoria Sackville-West [bisexual English poet] (pg. 247)
Most people who have Jupiter & Saturn opposed will agree with me, and many others, that the aspect is grindingly hard & not at all sexy. Four individuals are not a significant sample. Once we learn how to read a chart (!!!) we discover there are many ways to the same result. Charts that share the same character traits must do so with astrological factors that are compatible with declared results. This is an absolute rule. Here is my analysis of Goldsmith's examples:
James Dean, February 8, 1931, 2:11 am, Marion, IN: Sag rising, all angles mutable (can you say, "confused"?), Jupiter/Saturn 7.5 degrees from exact (8 to 2), with both planets moving out of orb. Chart ruler Jupiter, retrograde in Cancer in 8, widely conjunct Pluto, Dean was a daredevil (aka rebel) who acted out. Sex is a minor dare. Death is a major one. The day he died (September 30, 1955, the transits were ominous), he was enroute to a road race, where he, and the car he was driving when he was killed, were entered as participants. His 5th is empty. Mars, its ruler, was in the 8th in Leo, retrograde. Which points to difficulty in asserting himself, which results, especially when young, in acting out. In Dean's chart, Jupiter/Saturn has to do with resources. He is needy. He takes from others.

Bob Guccione, December 17, 1930, 2:30 am, Brooklyn: Less than two months older than Dean. Jupiter/Saturn six degrees from exact and, again, both moving out of orb. Powerful Jupiter/Pluto conjunction (2 degrees) in the 9th. Which makes for a preacher, which is to say, an ideologue. Libra rising, chart ruler Venus tightly conjunct the Moon (1 degree, applying), both debilitated in Scorpio, and both trine Jupiter/Pluto. Both Venus & Jupiter have rights in the unoccupied 5th house, which has Pisces on the cusp. Both the Moon & Venus, debilitated, have an interest in the 8th, which has a late degree of Taurus on the cusp. Sun in Sag on the 3rd house cusp, which is publishing. Both Jupiter & Pluto first oppose Mercury, and only after that, Saturn. You can make an argument that Moon/Venus conjunct & debilitated led to frustrations which found an outlet in the pair of houses which they ruled or had a strong interest in. You could also say that Saturn/Mercury in Capricorn opposing Jupiter/Pluto in Cancer gives nice/naughty results, which was certainly the style of Penthouse magazine. But, again, you must know how to read a chart to get reliable information from it.

Victoria Sackville-West, March 9, 1892, 4:15 am, Knole, which is a manor house near Sevenoaks, Kent: Classic homosexual chart: Capricorn rising, Gemini on 5, Virgo on 8, Mercury conjunct the Sun in Pisces in 2, Saturn in Virgo in 8. Moon is void in the last ten minutes of Cancer in 7, which makes the men in her life desperately effeminate. Mercury-ruled mutable signs on the houses of sexual expression (5 & 8), with Mercury in a female sign (Pisces) surrounded by Sun & Jupiter, bisexuality is the likely result. (Work it out!) This chart has a powerful Neptune/Pluto conjunction (6 degrees Gemini) smack on the 5th house cusp. The reverse of Dean's chart, the Jupiter/Saturn opposition falls in 2 & 8 and is less than a degree from exact. I would interpret it as freely giving resources to a needy partner.

Paul Bowles I frankly don't know enough about. As the astrological interpretation of homosexuals is contradicted by popular beliefs, it is best to refrain.

Get this book if you've read & studied Arroyo & want something more on the subject. From time to time Goldsmith is refreshing & direct. Otherwise I think Martin has missed his calling. He is far more shrewd with music than astrology. Hey, Steven E! Let's do a knock-'em dead study on Ludwig. Did you know the Ode to Joy is based on Yankee Doodle Dandy? The last ten years of his life, Beethoven was overshadowed by his one-time friend & associate, Ferdinand Ries, which is why virtually all Beethoven's late period works concern Ries, one way or another. As soon as Ludwig was dead the situation reversed & Ferd was overshadowed by Ludwig for the remaining ten years of his life. Ferdinand Ries gave us the first good biographical sketch of Ludwig van Beethoven, but knowing the circumstances we might wonder just how accurate that portrait was. There's some great stuff, hiding in the shadows.

Sothis Press, 317 pages.

Read the book? Want to tell the world? How many stars (1-5) would you give this book?

JUPITER MEETS URANUS: From erotic bathing to star gazing - Anne Whitaker, $23.95



1. Presenting Jupiter & Uranus
2. An historical perspective
3. Exploration & innovation: 15th to 20th century
4. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aquarius
5. 1997-1998: Collective life
6. 1997-1998: Individual experiences
7. Postscript from Neptune

1. Charts: Their provenance
2. Mundane charts, 1609-1997
3. Seventeen lives 1997-1998
4. Additional research material
5. Mary, Dolly and Andi "O Brave New World?"
6. Participants' feedback



This book tells how Jupiter Uranus conjunctions, which occur every 14 years, and in particular, the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aquarius of 1997-1998, lead to the recreation of the world as we know it today. That should be enough for anyone to judge the book, but here is an excerpt to further help you:

Objectives, Expectations & Problems:
There was a definite problem with researching the observational band in these individual cases. As has just been demonstrated, in the collective examples major developments of a "boldly going where humanity has not gone before" nature occurred as Neptune transited 4-7 Aquarius, with distinct peaks at the four Hot Spot crossings. This effect was not coloured by the presence of another planet or planets on those degrees, thereby adding further credence to the theory that powerful planetary meetings imbue the degree areas of their meeting with their quality. This theory, which has long intrigued me, was previously supported in the summer & autumn of 1997, with Uranus' return to 4-7 Aquarius reactivating the "Jupiter-Uranus effect" of the February 16 conjunction in both collective & individual life.

However, participants were initially chosen bcause they were born when a planet, angle, or the Moon's Node was located between 4 & 7 degrees of Aquarius. The problem with researching Neptune's transit was that Neptune in conjunction with any planet, angle or Node, at any degree of the zodiac, in anyone's horoscope, constituted a major symbolic event in their lives which might express itself on a number of different levels. This being the case, and the sign in question being Aquarius (which in any event is ruled by Uranus) would it be possible to fulfil my objective of detecting a specifically "Jupiter-Uranus effect" underlying the personal feedback for the Neptune transit? (pgs 94-5)

So the premise, if I understand it, is that Uranus fascinates us & we want to know more & keep track of it. Aquarius is the ideal sign of the zodiac. It never does anything wrong & we must give it everything it asks. Therefore, when Jupiter meets up with Uranus in Aquarius, it's obviously a big special event that merits a book, which first appeared in 2003.

There is some good stuff in here, but you have to wade through a lot that isn't.

Well, then! Lemme see.... We can do better still! Pluto, the Ultimate Planet, enters Aquarius, the Ultimate Sign, on March 24, 2023. Tbere's no need to wait. We can start cranking out Pluto-Aquarius books right now. Doesn't make any difference what the premise is. The more fanciful the better, espeically if there's heavy dose of mythology to it all. Lots of money to be made...

AFA, 166 pages.

Read the book? Want to tell the world? How many stars (1-5) would you give this book?


SATURN: A new look at an old devil - Liz Greene, $18.95

Foreword, by Robert Hand (April 2011)

1. In the water signs & houses
2. In the earthy signs & houses
3. In the airy signs & houses
4. In the fiery signs & houses
5. Aspects in the birth chart
6. In synastry
7. Conclusion.

Comment: This is the book that launched Liz Greene's literary career. Written shortly after she moved to London in the mid-1970's, first published in 1976.

As of October, 2011, the book has a new cover as well as a Foreword by Robert Hand.

Here is what it used to say on the back cover, the text of the book is of course the same as the old:

Saturn symbolizes a psychic process as well as a quality or kind of experience. He is not merely a representative of pain, restriction and discipline; he is also a symbol of the psychic process, natural to all human beings, by which an individual may utilize the experience of pain, restriction, and discipline, as a means for greater consciousness and fulfillment.
With this book, Liz Greene has taken a major step in the unveiling of the light of reason, so long obscured by those who have interpreted Saturn as a 'malefic' planet and, in doing so, presents a remarkably rich study of the unconscious mind, shedding light on that mysterious, elusive entity that psychology calls the self.

Saturn's darker persona is recognized universally in myth and fairytale. Here, Dr. Greene traces his character through sign, house, aspect and synastry in a brilliant analysis which reveals his other face: that of the Initiator who, for the price of our honesty, offers us greater consciousness, self-understanding and, eventually, freedom.

Weiser, 196 pages.

Read the book? Want to tell the world? How many stars (1-5) would you give this book?
May 15, 2011:

I give this book 5 stars!

I use this book as one of my main references helping me interpret clients' charts in my work as an astrologer. It has allowed me to see the enormous weight Saturn has in the personality, and has never failed at accurately assessing the meaning of Saturn's placement in sign, house, and aspect.

I have just begun utilizing her book on Neptune, and I greatly anticipate acquiring Ms. Greene's book on Uranus as well if I may do so from here in the states.

Thank you for your immense contribution to the world of astrological counseling.

Warm regards,

E.... Q.....
Los Angeles

SATURN CYCLES: Mapping changes in your life - Wendell C. Perry, $27.95



Part 1: The Saints: People who made good use of their Saturn transits
1. The Dali Lama
2. Oprah Winfrey
3. Thomas Merton
4. Bruce Lee
5. Albert Einstein
6. Malcolm X
7. Bono (Paul Hewson)
8. Jimmy Carter
9. Michael J. Fox
10. Ralph Nader
11. Gloria Steinem
12. Carl Gustav Jung

Part 2: The Sinners: People who made poor use of their Saturn transits:
13. Britney Spears
14. O.J. Simpson
15. Mata Hari (Margaretha Zelle MacLeod)
16. Hermann Goring
17. Janis Joplin
18. Paul Gauguin
19. Lee Harvey Oswald
20. Bill Clinton
21. Andrew Cunanan
22. Jerry Siegel
23. Jim Bakker
24. Jayne Mansfield

Part 3: Saturn at work for you:
25. Saturn at work on the midheaven
26. Saturn at work on the ascendant
27. Saturn at work on the Imum Coeli
28. Saturn at work on the descendant
29. Saturn conjunct natal Saturn
30. Saturn opposed natal Saturn
31. Saturn square natal Saturn

Appendix: Abbreviated ephemeris for Saturn, 1990-2020


Comment: In this book, 24 biographies of notable people, as they experienced Saturn in their lives, in particular as it aspects itself & the angles of the chart. Amplifying this is Part 3, a guide to Saturn's effects in the natal chart generally. It describes the Saturn return in these words:

What these examples show is that during your first Saturn return you can expect the call to grow up, take on the work or the role that will occupy your adult life, and face the limitations and problems that will define you as a person. It is a transit that is generally characterized by hard work, hard choices & fateful decisions. Doors may be opened for you during this return, but these opportunities always come with heavy responsibilities and far-reaching implications. No Saturn transit should be taken lightly, but this one is particularly weighty. Missteps here almost always have major ramifications later on in life. Bad ideas take on an energy and momentum that is very hard to correct. At the same time, you have to be willing & ready to take advantage of opportunities that come to you during this transit, even the ones that at first glance don't seem at all that promising or attractive. Small starts and incremental changes made during this transit have a way of becoming extremely significant as your life moves forward. (pgs. 284-5)
This is sage advice, and based directly on the author's investigations of his 24 subjects. The problem with famous people is they have famous lives & these lives are in many ways not typical of those of average individuals. It would help, I think, to temper these conclusions with the experiences of average clients, with their average lives and average results. The Saturn return is never fun, but it does not always result in lasting fame or eventual self-destruction. Sometimes you just have to endure it. Ask your family & friends how they spent the year after their 29th birthday & you will get all kinds of stories.

Llewellyn, 308 pages.

Planets: The Moon Mercury-Saturn Uranus-Pluto Leftovers!

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