Getting To The Heart Of Your Chart by Frank C. Clifford

Quality and quantity for anyone interested in modern astrology, beginners or advanced

Over the last twenty years or so, Frank Clifford has breathed new life into modern Western astrology in a number of ways, and this book demonstrates why. His direct, enthusiastic and straightforward Aries approach runs throughout this carefully presented, professional and well written volume. It has been recently re-published after an original 2012 release. There is an astonishing amount of information and there are countless examples of astrology in action, which both beginners and experienced astrologers can benefit from.

This is very much a 21st century book – now that astrology charts can be quickly generated by computer, the whole process of presenting and interpreting them has speeded up since many of the classic 20th century astrology texts (Derek and Julia Parker, Liz Greene, Hand, Arroyo, Cunningham, Elwell and so on) were written. According to the cover, there are over 150 charts here. Drawing on his many years of experience, the author expertly zips through sometimes brief and sometimes in-depth analysis of a huge range of the horoscopes of characters from all walks of life. Frank Clifford is often meticulous in his attention to detail, including the accuracy of birth data, which he is well known for in the astrological community.

Overall, an excellent book, packed full of insights and information for anyone interested in contemporary astrology.

Cosmos And Psyche by Richard Tarnas

An academically rigorous, complete, presentation of the case for modern Western astrology. Outstanding

Author and respected academic Richard Tarnas had already established a name for himself with “The Passion of the Western Mind” before the publication of this extraordinary book in 2006. “Cosmos And Psyche” is a substantial volume, masterfully written and the culmination of many years extensive research. It fully lives up to reviews that have described it as “groundbreaking” and “breathtaking”.

Tarnas has cleverly chosen to not use the signs of the zodiac or even use the word “horoscope”, and instead puts the focus entirely on the planets and their archetypes. Early on, he recounts his own journey from sceptic to astrological practitioner and researcher, made through repeated and extensive first-hand observation. gradually overcoming resistance along the way. He has thoroughly absorbed the best of late 20th century astrology (from the likes of Charles Harvey, Liz Greene, Robert Hand and others) and applied it to an extraordinarily thorough analysis of history and culture.

Whether the reader is familiar with deeper astrology or not, there is a ton of high quality work here. I found the analysis of Nietzsche’s life and the correlation with subsequent Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Pluto cycles particularly excellent. Apart from having to overcome huge cultural prejudice, astrologers also have to be pretty on the ball when explaining the often complicated nuances and subtleties of astrological symbolism applied to human affairs – Tarnas is masterful and precise with his use of language. Using his background as a cultural historian, and with hundreds of international examples, light is shone on historical cycles and their repetitive nature. Chapters are given to specific planetary cycles: Uranus-Pluto, Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune.

For the open and educated mind, still sceptical but aware of the possibility that there might be something seriously going on with astrology, this is the book to seriously shift your paradigm! For established astrologers who have been frustrated for many years that astrology does not get the intelligent treatment or respect it deserves, this substantial volume is deeply satisfying. Tarnas re-unites the human and the cosmic, restoring transcendent meaning to both. Surely just what the alienated Western mind needs right now.

Astrology, Karma & Transformation by Stephen Arroyo

40 years later, still a modern classic, great for beginners or advanced

More than any other astrological text over the last thirty years, this book has continued to provide me with astrological wisdom and insights that no other book can match. The depth of Stephen Arroyo’s writing here is extraordinary, with perhaps the only criticism being that so much is packed into one single book, sometimes in the form of very long sentences. But this is hardly a complaint!

The outer planets are covered extensively with many examples of aspects and transits to the birth charts of people with relatively “ordinary” lives. This makes a refreshing change from much astrological literature that deals only with famous people, or people with severe problems of one kind or another. The chapter on Saturn is excellent, particularly the journey of Saturn through the twelve houses. Show any 29-year old (with a bit of self-awareness) the section featuring the Saturn return, and watch their reaction as they read!

This book is not only full of essential contemporary astrology; Arroyo also draws on his considerable experience of other tools for spiritual and psychological growth. He has a background in marriage and family counselling (chapter on “Karma and relationships”), and his many references to various spiritual teachers, Eastern religions, Western psychology and the Edgar Cayce psychic readings add to the spiritual power of Arroyo’s writing. Like nearly all of his books, still a modern classic.

Astrologer Tim Burness

TimBurness

Brief astrological biography

Tim Burness has run a busy astrological consultation and teaching practice at several points over the last 28 years, working with people from all walks of life. After being surprised by the extraordinary accuracy of a computer forecast in 1986, Tim began intensive study, drawing on a very wide range of sources. These included seminars by the respected psychological astrologers Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas in London, coursework with the Faculty of Astrological Studies and the books of internationally acclaimed American astrologer Stephen Arroyo.

Donald Trump's birth chart

Donald Trump’s birth chart, above

After interpreting many charts of friends, family and the famous, Tim gained massive experience in a short time from several years spent working regularly at psychic fairs and Mind-Body-Spirit festivals. Hundreds of face-to-face astrological consultations and personal feedback gave Tim a great opportunity to further refine what works and what doesn’t.

Since his teens, Tim has also explored a wide number of other related spiritual interests. These have included courses in Shamanic Consciousness and Therapeutic Intervention at the University of Sussex, a large number of intensive self-awareness courses and involvement with various forms of Buddhism.

As a sample of Tim’s work, here is a brief interpretation of Donald Trump’s birth chart.

Astrology is a huge subject. Tim believes it really comes into its own when natal astrology (from the time, date and place of birth) is used as a guide to help us understand our life choices, psychological patterns and ongoing changes. This goes a lot, lot deeper than newspaper Sun sign horoscopes.

Bowie Astrological Assocaition article

Astrological Journal 2016, major article on David Bowie

Tim has been featured in The Independent newspaper and on several local radio stations. More recently he has written articles for the magazine of the UK Astrological Association, including a major article on David Bowie’s birth chart. A further piece explored the astrology of old friend Sir Harry Kroto, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who helped discover C60, a new carbon molecule. Tim is interested in raising the profile of accessible and intelligent astrology as a tool for personal, social and spiritual transformation. For a brief period, he was Vice-Chairman of the Brighton Astrology Circle and is also a musician and care worker. He was born with a Gemini Sun, Virgo Moon, Aquarius Ascendant and a rather tricky Mars-Jupiter-Neptune T-square, amongst other things.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk or please e-mail me tim@timburness.com.

 

An introduction to the astrological birth chart

Russell Brand's chart

Russell Brand’s chart

The birth chart (different to newspaper horoscopes) of a person or event can be described as a kind of road map or blueprint. For an individual, it shows the soul’s possible journey and the types of experiences and patterns that you are going to encounter along the way. In one sense, it shows your destiny and fate, your unique possible contribution to life. What it does not show, is how you deal with these patterns. In this way, we are each responsible for creating our own reality by our choices.

A person’s individuality is of course also influenced by their genetic make-up, the society/culture/religion they were born into, the social and economic circumstances, and so on. Two people may have very similar charts, both showing enormous possibility but only one may fulfil this for the reasons above.

Jimi Hendrix's cahrt

Jimi Hendrix’s chart

Looking at the chart, the familiar Sun sign of the zodiac is represented by a circle with a dot in the middle. This may or may not be very important in the whole of the chart, one of several reasons why people are often not typical examples of their Sun sign. Each of the other planets are shown on the chart by symbols with numbers next to them. Using the chart as a psychological map, each planet represents a different part of the personality. Due to their position in the chart, we may be more or less comfortable with some parts of our personality than others – I know I am! In fact it is the challenging relationships between planets (such as 90 degree angles, known as square aspects) that give us the greatest opportunity for achievement. People with “easy” charts may struggle more to find purpose and meaning in life than those with more obvious problems.

At its best, a balanced interpretation of the astrological birth chart can be a healing experience, giving one a sense of belonging to life – a sense that it is actually okay to be who one is, and a sense that however often it may appear otherwise, life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to.

Many people know that astrology is of course irrational pseudoscientific nonsense and not to be taken seriously. Having studied and worked with it extensively for over 25 years, I came to a very different conclusion a long long time ago!

One of the best astrology sites on the web is www.astro.com, another good one is www.cafeastrology.com. Thanks to www.astrotheme for the images here and elsewhere on this blog.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

Astrology For Dummies by Rae Orion

AstrologyDummies
Good introduction to astrology 
If you have heard or suspected that there is a great deal more to astrology than the newspaper columns, this book is a good place to begin finding out more. Rae Orion explains the basics and complexities of the birth chart (a proper horoscope is based on the exact time, date and place of birth) in a clear, straightforward manner. In “The Cosmic Cookbook” section, Orion takes the reader through the basics of birth chart interpretation. Sun signs, Moon signs, the positions of all the planets in the various signs and houses e.g. Mars in Aquarius, Uranus in the sixth house and so on. Real life examples are scattered throughout the book. Other sections cover basic compatibility, both Sun sign combinations and more complex relationship astrology. The revised second edition has an entertaining section on using astrology in everyday life and various other bits and pieces. A great overall introduction to real astrology.

Cosmic Loom by Denis Elwell

Cosmic_Loom

Astonishingly creative and intelligent astrology

The quality of astrology in Cosmic Loom is quite extraordinary by any standards, one reviewer having understandably described it as “The most important astrology book in 100 years”.

Most astrology books written over the last 50 years or so, including many classics which I and many others rate very highly, interpret astrology primarily as the map of an individual’s psychology. While this approach is not dismissed by Elwell, his perspective is much broader, and simultaneously more simple and more complicated. Astrology as a whole benefits hugely from the kind of vision and intelligence that are eloquently expressed here.

At the beginning of the book Elwell suggests that “we have mistaken the nature of our reality”. This is a theme that runs throughout Cosmic Loom. An astrology chart is not only an accurate map of the psychology of an individual human being, it is much, much more. Rather, it is more a set of instructions, revealing what the cosmos is up to at a precise moment in time. We are treated to fascinating chart interpretations of the birth of the United States, the publication of Darwin’s “Origin Of Species”, and all manner of events from the most contemporary and mundane, to important moments in history.

DennisElwellElwell expands the cosmic science and language of astrology in its own terms. His imaginative but also absolutely literal interpretation of the chart opens up a whole new reality. Internal and external events in our lives are linked as Elwell plugs directly into a universe where everything is connected to everything else, where the observer is inseparable from what he or she is observing, where everything has a part to play in the great plan of life.

I came across the first hardback edition of Cosmic Loom sometime around 1990 and I am not surprised that it has come to be regarded as a modern classic. Even experienced astrologers can be taken by surprise with this book – expect the unexpected!