Well, I was convinced I’d already written this! But apparently not…
When I started learning about astrology I was overwhelmed by the number of books out of there that claim to be a complete guide. Obviously I didn’t expect any of them to be the entire encyclopedia of the subject but I also didn’t know if they would be right for me.
There are different types of astrology out there and people who practice in different ways and as a beginner it’s hard to know where to start. Thankfully the internet does make this easier as you can generally get a feel for an author before you invest in their book. In my case, my main resources have been:
- In The Stars, Hali Karla’s year long astrology course which will soon be available as a self guided programme. I chose this course because I loved Hali’s approach to astrology and because it was art based as well. I had followed her for a year of monthly reflections before and knew that she would provide a lot of space for reflection and drawing your own conclusions. It isn’t prescriptive and it isn’t about learning signs and positions by rote. She is a guide and a steering hand. Her way with words and images really helped me to understand things in a way I know but can’t always put to words.
- She is also doing courses which focus on signs and planets so you can just learn about your sun and rising sign and also see how you get on with her teaching style.
- Astro.com is great for pulling up birth charts and is also full of articles and stuff but it is a bit overwhelming if you are completely new to astrology.
- Cafe Astrology has a lot of pages on specific placements and I used it to ‘check’ my thinking about my chart.
- Chani Nicholas has a great newsletter filled with beautifully written horoscopes and whatever your feeling about astrology, she’ll give you some food for thought! She also has courses but I’ve not yet done one although I would think they’d be of a high standard.
- Alyssa Trahan (previously Sharpe) has a website and youtube channel which is fully of fantastic, biting sarcasm and accurate, informed information.
But I started this post talking about books. I love holding information in my hands. I love being able to flick and return and underline and pick up again. And so I did want astrology books and I didn’t feel that the complete ultimate wonderfully jam packed guide to astrology would be for me. Instead I was patient and started out with just one, recommended by Hali Karla. She had a few recommendations but this one stood out because of a quote she included on the course:
“This, then, is the real purpose of astrology: to hold a mirror before the evolving self, to tell us what we already know deep within ourselves.”
– Steven Forrest
The Inner Sky by Steven Forrest is the closest I have come to a bible for astrology. He breaks things down into signs, planets and houses but never oversimplifies. He talks about the archetypes of the planets, what potential they have and what pits they could fall into. He takes some very complicated information and, without dumbing it down, makes it readable, and enjoyable.
The Chart Interpretation Handbook by Stephen Arroyo is a bit more prescriptive and a lot less detailed than The Inner Sky but is a good introductory text. I’ve also found the section about aspects useful.
Dynamics of the Unconscious is a series of seminars in psychological astrology by Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas. It isn’t for beginners and in places it’s quite dense as it’s packing in a lot, but if you want to explore your Mars and Pluto in more depth, or get a more myth based feel for the outer planets then this is the book for you.
Liz Greene also unpicks some of the related mythology around the zodiac signs in The Astrology of Fate. I’ve not read it all yet but knowing more about the symbols and the myth behind the signs is an enlightening way to feel into their meanings.