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ASTROLOGY, A LANGUAGE OF LIFE vol. 3: A Handbook for the Self-Employed Astrologer - Robert Blaschke, $21.95

Synopsis: Did you ever want to live the glamorous life of a professional astrologer, read charts for a living? This book will tell you everything you need to know - and then some!

Contents, comment.

Earthwalk School of Astrology, 166 pages.

ASTROLOGY A PLACE IN CHAOS - Bernadette Brady, $28.00

1. Two worlds - Cosmos & chaos
2. The war of the worlds
3. The stirring of Tiamat
4. Where chaos meets astrology
5. Living inside a Fractal
6. Working with chaotic astrology


Comment: As neither the title of the book, nor the chapter headings, are very helpful, let's go through this book chapter by chapter:

1. Two Worlds - Cosmos & Chaos. A survey of creation myths, starting with the one in Genesis, which the author learned at an early age & how Darwinian theory impacted it. Brady briefly describes her Celtic ancestry & the various rituals common to her family, culminating in her introduction to astrology. Then we have Aboriginal & Chinese creation myths, a glance at the Egyptian & Greek & some others. These are contrasted and compared. Serious analysis is not attempted, in fact, I don't think it ever occurred to the author.

2. The War of the Worlds. What it's like in the cursed, chaotic region beyond the walled world of order, the denial of that world, as related in the Babylonian creation myth of Enuma Elish. This is the story of Marduk & Tiamat. This is related, in a general sense, to other myths, including Ridley Scott's 1979 movie, Alien. Brady writes,

As we have already discussed, cosmic thinking requires a causal logic, a linear simplicity & a series of events that can be used to build further knowledge. In contrast, chaos thinking is based in seemingly non-causal links between patterns reliant on repeating themes with no regard to size, time or nature. (pg. 33)
You may forgive me if I say this does not make sense. Things are related, or they are not. If chaotic items can be related, by any means whatever, then they are not chaotic. She continues,
In Eastern philosophy these differences are allowed to stand side by side. (pg. 33)
She then goes on to conclude that the categories of cosmos & chaos are distinctly western, Christian ideas. As Cosmos vs: Chaos is underlying principle of the book, this would seem to reduce the overall size of the book to a Western squabble. She then goes into a brief history of how the West reduced pre-Greek chaos to the clock-work order of the late 19th century. She then relates how astrology has managed chaos vs: cosmos, but as she has not studied ancient astrology (Ptolemy is the only one, and as we now know, he was not typical of his day) she concludes that astrology can be either purely mechanical (Cosmobiology) or mystical/religious.

3. Chaos for beginners - The stirrings of Tiamat. This starts with the story of how fractals & chaos theory were invented by Edward Lorentz at MIT in 1961. I will cut to the chase & say that Brady supplies much more analysis, much more detail here, with computers & programs & such, than she ever mustered in the sections on mythology. This is understandable. Computers, fractals, chaos, are products of the modern world, in which Brady lives. It is everyone's home turf. Suffice to say that Lorenz found chaos late one night by means of a malfunctioning computer program (one intended to simulate weather). Chaos turns out to be a product of number manipulation. (This is my conclusion, not the author's.)

Personally, I found it hard to follow the book past this point. It seems to say that because a program to predict the weather failed when input was rounded to the third decimal point (from the sixth), therefore the world is a weird & strange place. Brady does not tell us how this conclusion was derived.

Numbers are strange things. How you look at numbers determines what the numbers really are. As a quantity, the number 5.345634 will always be a subset of the number 5.345. As an address (perhaps as in a computer's memory array), 5.345634 has no relationship whatever to 5.345, except as we, human beings, may give to it. So far as virtual addresses are concerned, they may be miles apart. Brady writes,

Lorenz decided to focus on this phenomenon of making one small change to a variable creating unpredictable results. In 1963, he presented a paper [Deterministic nonperiodical flow, in the Journal of Atmospheric Science] on this work and eventually it became entitled, "Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly's wings set off a tornado in Texas?" He had discovered what was later defined as Sensitive Dependent to Initial Conditions and this became reduced to its initials SDIC. What SDIC indicates is that the smallest change in a complex interrelated system at the beginning of a process gives rise to disproportional differences at the end. (pg. 57)
With all due respect, this is what happens when you manipulate numbers. Multiply $4.24 times $7.67 and you will get an answer that does not exist in real finance (ten-thousandths of a dollar, or hundredths of a cent). It will also, by the way, be an answer that is not valid in terms of pure mathematics. If the result ($32.5208) is multiplied & divided further (by numbers themselves derived by such means, perhaps), the results becomes increasingly worthless. But as a basis for pretty pictures? Sure. Simply because a result is invalid as a quantity does not make it devoid of other uses. The mistake is the interpretation, not the result itself.

At this point Brady says how Lorenz's program proved the weather was not a linear system and that, therefore, it must be a chaotic one. I looked in her Bibliography but did not find C.C. Zain's book on Weather Predicting, nor Kris Brandt Riske's Astrometeorology. This omission may make her book an effort in circular logic, but let's be patient & see what she does with her materials.

Tiamat stirs about to page 81. It tells how the world can be described as a series of numerical calculations and how this is done without the hand of man being visible. I'm sorry, but I didn't buy it. Two-point perspective did exactly the same for Renaissance artists, and they were just as excited as Brady is now. (Myself, I mastered two point, one point, three point, and, eventually, four, five & six point perspectives.) This is technique, nothing more. The tubes of paint you buy from the store determines the colors of your canvas. The numbers you feed into your fractal generator determine the outcome. Are scientists & mathematicians too shy to claim the title of "artist"?

4. Where Chaos Meets Astrology. How the story of Leonardo's Mona Lisa can be described as phase portraits, attractors, saddle points, bifurcations & topological characteristics, the nomenclature of chaos theory. How horoscopes can be described in Chaotic terms. This is a reductionist approach & has been attempted many times, as Brady herself notes on pg. 107. She says, correctly, that in the past astrology has been resistant to reductionist approaches. This book is evidence that Brady believes that this time she's the one who finally got it right. She says,

Nor, chaotically thinking, can it [astrology] seek a place within artisan god-based religions, steered by some divine external hand, for the spontaneous emergence of patterns and order from the void does not require, nor have any place for a cosmic order. (pg. 107)
This is where the problem lies, with a Sunday-school understanding of religion & ritual. A century ago considerable effort was made to show what religion really was, but it was rejected & today is known & understood by only a few. The resulting self-imposed scarcity of knowledge does not change the greater reality of the actual world, even if that awareness is limited to a few.

5. Living inside a Fractal. Fate & freewill, that old chestnut. Life described in chaos theory. New patterns emerging on the edge of chaos. Telos - the idea that a block of marble wants to be a sculpture by Michelango.

6. Working with Chaotic Astrology. Here are the main points to chaotic astrological counseling:

Find, using predictive astrological techniques, the times of bifurcation or tipping points - this is when change will come into the person's life, the time when they will be visiting "the edge of chaos."

Suggest that the person in this time period change their daily routine in some way in a repetitive manner. This is iteration which helps to produce a new order. [We used to call that making a new habit.]

Define the quality of the nature of the potential new patterns that want to emerge at this time through the use of normal astrological predictive techniques. [To the extent that you, as counselor, understand them.]

Encourage the person to watch for the first new patterns via coincidence, serendipity or even synchronicity, of the new opportunities they wish to harvest.

Once the person sees the new patterns, they need to have the courage and the trust to act on the small fragments of opportunities presented to them. [Good luck!] (pg. 156)

A few pages later,
Thus the astrologer would know that if they can help the client create a small change in their attitude at the right time of their life, then this will lead to huge changes... (pg. 161, emphasis in original)
This is, sad to say, the usual "astrologer as god" stuff that gets so many of us into trouble.

Conclusion: If you agree with the philosophy, you will like this book. If you do not have a philosophy, you might like this one. It seems I fit in neither category.

Wessex Astrologer, 178 pages.

ASTROLOGY: 30 YEARS RESEARCH - Doris Chase Doane, $24.95



1. Astrological combinations
2. Astrology vs: fortune-telling
3. Astrological research reports
4. Preliminary astrological research
5. Stellar Dynamics
6. Case history studies



Doris Chase Doane, 1913-2005, was for many years the president of the American Federation of Astrologers (AFA), who published all the many books she wrote. Before that, she was a bright eager young thing at CC Zain's Brotherhood of Light. While she was there she & the rest of the gang got up to all manner of astrological research, some of which was published in this book, which originally appeared in 1956. It has now been reset & reprinted.

The book starts poorly. The first chapter, Astrological combinations is a single page long. It tells us there are 5.3937075 x 10 to the 68th power number of possible astrological combinations. This is a number many, many orders of magnitude greater than the total US debt.

The second chapter, Astrology vs. Fortune Telling goes on about "thought cells". This was CC Zain's attempt to "explain astrology". Thought cells are supposed to be an astral something or other. It's defined in the glossary, which isn't much help.

The third chapter is Astrological Research Reports, gets us into actual research. Starting in 1924, CC Zain & the Brotherhood of Light started collecting charts with certain factors in common. This was hard on the heels of Charles Carter's Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology which was published that year by the Theosophists & as such would have come immediately to CC Zain's attention. (In his turn Carter was reacting to Robson's Student's Text-Book of 1922, in which was published hundreds of aphorisms that were begging for refutation or confirmation. Robson's book made a buzz in London, but Carter's impact was world-wide, due to the international distribution the Theosophists had at the time. It sometimes helps to know a bit of the backstory.)

There are a total of 80 traits, diseases & occupations that are analyzed. To give an idea, here are the first twenty:

  • Movie actor
  • Marriage
  • Death of individual
  • Death of individual & relatives
  • Death of father
  • Death of mother
  • Death of husband or wife
  • Death of brother or sister
  • Death of offspring
  • Divorce
  • Aviator
  • Long journeys
  • Short journey
  • Gain money
  • Lose money
  • Accident
  • Typhoid fever
  • Pneumonia
  • Long life to men
  • Long life to women
For each of these, appropriate criteria (pretty much the criteria you would expect) have been chosen, and tabulated. For Long Life to Men 80 charts of men who lived to be at least 70 were selected. Criteria examined included Sun aspecting Mars; Sun in harmonious aspect to Jupiter; Sun in an angle; Moon aspecting Mars; Moon in an angle; Moon in harmonious aspect with Jupiter. Percentages are given for each. For example, 74% of long-lived men have Sun in aspect to Mars, whereas only 23 percent had their Moons in harmonious aspect with Jupiter. Regrettably, the nature of the aspects is unspecified. There was also a tabulation by Sun & ascendant signs. The Leo Sun/Leo rising combination beat all others & by a wide margin. Sagittarius Suns did very poorly, as did Capricorn rising, but the author draws no conclusions.

Chapter 4 is Preliminary Astrological Research. This gives the underlying traits of 141 diseases. These are not done well, as excerpts will show:

Abscess: Prominent & usually afflicted Neptune or Pluto
Acidosis: Prominent Jupiter or Saturn, afflicted
Acne: Venus discordant
Adenoids: Affliction in Libra or Scorpio, or the rulers afflicted
Adhesions: Discordant Saturn
Alcoholism: Heavily afflicted Mars, Mars/Moon, sometimes Neptune
Amnesia: Afflicted Mercury & Moon
Anemia: Neptune & Saturn afflicted, sometimes Mars
Apoplexy: Afflictions in Libra or Scorpio, or their rulers
Arteriosclerosis: Jupiter and upper octave planets afflicted
Arthritus: Saturn & Uranus afflicted
Asthma: Mercury & upper octave planets afflicted, or afflictions in Gemini
Atrophy: Saturn afflicted
It doesn't take much to see that an afflicted Saturn can cause all manner of grief, which makes the tabulation a bit of a muddle. There is the feeling that with a bit more work CC Zain & Doane could have produced a rival to Carter's fabulous green book.

Over at Doris Chase Doane's memorial page is the fantastic story that shortly before he died, CC Zain, aka Elbert Benjamine, received a message from the Inner Plane Brotherhood that Doane was to be his successor. Whereupon he left everything to her & three months later, died. She did keep the organization going, as the The Church of Light exists to this day. But despite the prediction of the Inner Plane, Doane did not make CC Zain, nor his church, widely popular. Moral: Don't listen to inner plane rubbish! Seize the day & act on your own behalf!

For readers who will make a bit of effort, this is a fabulous book.

AFA, 198 pages.

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

Foreword by J. Allen Hynek; Confession in the form of a prologue

1. Is the universe astrological? Man in isolation; Man in infinity; Cosmic clocks; An old subject of scientific study; A difficult crossing

2. The return of the planets: Pirate emissions; The planetary tides; Radio disturbances; Magnetic tails

First Interlude: Louis XIV, the Sun King

3. The gold nugget: Stellar movements; An astrological roulette wheel; The roulette wheel deviates

4. The stars & success: The pursuit of birth records; The busy hours; The slack hours; The "ideal" curve; Proof from unknown persons; The structure of the results

5. Success & character: The two factors behind success; A questionnaire containing one hundred traits; Psychological portrait of the professions; Professional families

Second interlude: Four portraits of men of the theater: Jean-Louis Barrault; Jean Vilar; Marcel Achard; Gustav Nadaud; A planet for every temperament

6. Planets & character: Need for biographical studies; Character traits: the basis of the investigation; Alfred Nakache

7. The Mars temperament & sports champions: Sport examined microscopically; Evidence; The motivations of sportsmen; The sportsman & life; Champions with an "iron will"; A good picture of the Mars temperament; "Weak-willed" champions; A picture contrary to the Mars temperament

8. The Jupiter temperament & actors: Psychology of the actor; Two types of actor; The typical "modest" actor's temperament; Vocation & temperament

9. The Saturn temperament & scientists: Portrait of the "classical" scientist; Portrait of the "original" scientist; The theater & mushrooms; A saturnine football player

10. The lunar temperament & writers: A chameleon satellite; Countless moons; The moon & Saturn: a poor combination

11. The diagnosis of temperament: Four psychological continents; Planetary typology; A language problem

12. The planet with a thousand faces: Jupiter & entertainers; The immoderate; The conquerors; The tyrants; When two Jupiters meet

13. Planetary types & modern psychology: Introversion & extroversion; Body build & cosmic types; The biochemistry of behavior: an explanation?; Body & facial language

Third interlude: "Like father, like son": Lucien & Sacha Guitry

14. Cosmic genetics: The wolves & the lambs; Hereditary sensitivity to the cosmos; 25,000 births of parents & children; The planetary effect heredity; Concurrence with genetic laws; The father's strange role

15. The baby's role in timing birth: The brake; A hormone "out of circulation"; The fetus gives the signal; "Consumption" by the fetus; The accelerator; A schedule for births; Parturition during office hours; A china shop

16. Planetary effect & parturition by appointment: Planetary effect & caesarean births; The action of medications; When the planet is fast; An accumulation of false evidence
17. The sun: heart of planetary influences: The earth's magnetism; Planetary heredity & terrestrial magnetism; Rocks in a stream; The chick embryo's "intuition"; The brain, a cosmic control center?

Fourth interlude: The woman in the moone, an astrological comedy

18. Neo-astrology? Planets & gods; Stars & humors; Planets & professions according to astrology; Twentieth-century symbolism; Our observations: neo-astrology?; A question of degree

19. The three astrological roulette wheels: First roulette wheel: the zodiac; Second roulette wheel: the aspects; Third roulette wheel: the houses; These roulette wheels are not hereditary

20. The scientific shock: Allergic to the planets

Epilogue: Pilgrimage to Sumer; Appendix: Questionnaire: What would your planetary type be?; Notes & comments; Afterword: Planetary factors in personality.

Comment: Don't read about Gauquelin, read him yourself. From the back cover:

Astrological theory implies a relationship between vocation & birth horoscopes. Dr. Gauquelin discovered in studying the births of 25,000 European professionals listed in Who's Who, that certain planets were found more frequently at the rising or culminating positions in the horoscope. For example, Mars ascended or culminated in the case of athletes with the probability against chance distribution ranging from 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 1,000,000. This work has been internationally recognized as the most important scientific support that astrology has ever received. Dr. Gauquelin has validated the existence of a correlation between the state of the solar system & human experience.

Aurora Press, 319 pages, paper.

PLANETARY HEREDITY - Michel Gauquelin, $12.95
Acknowledgements; Foreword by Prof. Giorgio Piccardi; Publisher's foreword; Preface to the English edition

1. The puzzle of childbirth: Delivery description; Causes & mechanisms of delivery; Extraterrestrial factors & diurnal rhythms; Modern deliveries

2. Birthtimes of famous people: The sky & the diurnal movement; Astrological houses vs: Gauquelin 36 sectors; Celebrities & the planets; Timing the destiny

3. The planetary heredity hypothesis: Birth data of parents & children; Astronomical conditions of the hypothesis

4. Planetary heredity results: The distance factor; Profession & heredity

5. Childbirth conditions: Surgical intervention; Drugs during the delivery; Shift of the effect in recent years; Irreversible evolution

6. Planetary heredity in the family: Effect of sex; Plus-plus parents vs: minus-minus parents; Siblings: effect of birth order

7. Other times of the life: The onset of labor; The time of death

8. Astrology & heredity: Heredity in the signs of the zodiac; Heredity in aspects; Heredity in houses

9. Is there a physical explanation? In search of an explanation; Geomagnetism & planetary heredity; Cosmic anthropology?

Postscript: The 1998 status of planetary heredity: Exploring new directions of research (1966-70); Replicating planetary heredity (1972-77); Computer re-analysis of the data (1979-84); The puzzling 1984 planetary heredity experiment.

Appendix: Methodology & raw results: 1. The gathering of birthdata; 2. Astronomical problems; 3. Statistical results; 4. Table of raw results

Bibliography; Index.

Comment: Published by Neil Michelsen at ACS, the two were close friends. From the back cover:

Over one hundred years ago, Gregor Mendel discovered the fundamental laws of genetic heredity. His work was too revolutionary for the authorities of that time to accept. But, today, Nobel prizes are numerous in the science of genetics. Michael Gauquelin may have made a discovery of the same nature. Through extremely hard work (gathering the birth data of more than 100,000 deliveries) he has demonstrated that we were born under similar cosmic conditions as prevailed at the birth of our parents. Thus, he is the founder of a new genetic science. Mendel, an obscure monk working with plants, discovered patterns of human heredity. Gauquelin graphs a relationship between human heredity & the stars.... This American edition covers both the original studies discussed in the French edition (1966) and updated material from continuous research on this subject.

ACS, 95 pages, paper.

PSYCHOLOGY OF THE PLANETS - Francoise Gauquelin, $12.95
Foreword, by Michel Gauquelin

1. The Planets & Personality? Why this study? High peaks after rise & culmination; The trait catalogs; The character traits method; The typical traits lists; The most significant traits

2. The Problems of the Houses: Astrologers expect results in houses 1 & 10; Results actually appear in houses 12 & 9; Nevertheless, the astrologer's keywords achieve results

3. Computers to the Rescue! The ten selected textbooks; Two examples of the procedure; The body of data; The statistical treatment of data

4. Testing the Astrologer's Keywords: Ptolemy's results; On the diagonal; Outside the diagonal; The modern astrologer's results; Clusters of consistent results

5. The Psychology of the Planets: Moon clusters of results; Venus clusters of results; Mars clusters of results; Jupiter clusters of results; Saturn clusters of results; More tests needed

6. Around the Planetary Day: Keyword results synthesized from the ten astrologers; The five previously significant bodies; The five bodies previously not significant; Sun is not significant; The smallest & most distant planets remain a puzzle

7. How Right Are Astrologers? Coherencies from ten selected textbooks

8. Comparing Ancient & Modern Authorities

9. The Most Common Trait Words: How the isolated traits scored; Synthesis of typical & opposed traits for each planet

10. Jupiter's Real Nature: The ill-aspected Jupiter; Test your own Jupiter Image

11. Conclusion

Appendix: Introduction; Sun keywords; Moon keywords; Mercury keywords; Venus keywords; Mars keywords; Jupiter keywords; Saturn keywords; Uranus keywords; Neptune keywords; Pluto keywords; References

References; Gauquelin publications

Comment: This book seeks to answer the question, do traditional astrological keywords stand up to Gauquelin sector analysis? If Jeff Mayo says the Sun is "powerful", do the charts of powerful men have the Sun in Gauquelin sectors? (In the case of the Sun, no.) Keywords from ten classic books were analyzed: Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos (translations: French-Bourdin, English-Robbins), Carter's The Principles of Astrology, Hone's The Modern Textbook of Astrology, Barbault's Defense et Illustration de l'Astrologie, Hall's Astrological Keywords, Mayo's Teach Yourself Astrology, Dal Lee's Dictionary of Astrology, Grell's Keywords, Weingarten's The Study of Astrology, and, finally, Mann's The Round Art. (Note: the English language books are all out of print except for Robbins's Ptolemy & Hall's Astrological Keywords.) How the study was done & the results they got form the basis of this book.

ACS, 113 pages.

Contents: General considerations; Methods Employed; Assets and liabilities; The personality analysis; The astrological analysis; Midheaven and ascendant statistics; Planetary statistics; Evaluated the aspects; Additional observations; Example horoscopes of survivors; Example horoscopes of murder victims; Corroborative evidence; The culprits. 250 pages. Davis Research Reports.

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