Four “must-read” Astrology books (and why you should do it)

One of the most F.A.Q. from my subscribers is: – Can you give me some advice about Astrology books to read? – 

That’s why I’m here today to give you that answer. 

Here are 4 “must-read” Astrology books that I suggest you expand your knowledge or even learn new useful things about astrological art.

I have to premise that this is not a Top 4. It isn’t a ranking, so the books are listed randomly.

To be precise, I made this list starting from the most recent book to the most ancient one. In any case, with this list I don’t want to declare who are the best authors or the best astrologers, neither that they are the best Astrology books of all times.

There are so many authors, contemporary or not, that I respect and honor greatly, like Arroyo, Greene, Al Biruni, Baldini, etc. But in this list, I selected those books that can enrich everybody, beginners or advanced students, and in different fields of Astrology: Birth Chart analysis or Horary Astrology.  

Each one of those 4 books, together with many others, has consistently contributed to my personal astrological studies and to my formation as astrosopher.

It could happen that you could find pieces of information that seem contradictory during the reading of those different books.

It’s perfectly normal because an astrologist is similar to a gold searcher, who uses a sieve to select and separate any single little piece of gold from the rest. 

Using your personal mental sieve, you can select the knowledge you need the most or that knowledge you feel inside of you it’s the most valuable, useful, and true.

In any case, you will not be disappointed reading those books.

You can get all of them, or maybe just one of them. The choice is yours, but I’ll help you by showing you one by one why you should read them.

So, let’s see them: 

 

Stephen Arroyo:

 – Chart interpretation handbook – guidelines for understanding the essentials of the Birth Chart • 1989 aC

This is a good entry-level book and it’s recommended especially for beginners.

However, even advanced students will find precious insights and useful teachings inside of it.

Arroyo is one of the best astrologers of our time. With this book he gives us especially a good synthesis between Astrology and psychology, and, above all, he makes it pretty accessible to everyone. 

The other value of this book is that it’s complete and it gives a good overview of Astrology.

It covers all the main subjects about the interpretation of the Natal Chart, from the zodiac signs to the Planets, or from the Houses to the Aspects.

Of course, it cannot go in-depth with all of those subjects, even because the quantity of information is huge and it would be overwhelming for the reader. 

But it will give you the right tools to stimulate your reasoning and to develop your intuition during your interpretations.

To be honest, I personally don’t agree with everything he claims. There are some concepts that I personally think he misunderstood a little or some of his personal interpretations that I see in a different way.

It’s normal because I suppose that Arroyo is a hyper-specialized astrologer and psychologist, while I’ve studied (and still studying) all the esoteric disciplines at 360°, so that gave me a different formation, more “holistic”, even if perhaps that isn’t the right term.

In any case, that doesn’t touch the unquestionable quality of the book as a whole.  

The book is rich in many great insights and it has the great valor of being one of the first that gives a true structure and organization to the astrological knowledge, making easier the learning process.   

Dane Rudhyar: 

 The practice of Astrology – as a technique in human understanding • 1968 aC

This book is very fascinating. Dane Rudhyar was one of the greatest astrologers and esotericists of the last century, and one of those who contributed the most to restore Astrology, redefining its role and its conception for the modern world.  

Rudhyar style of writing is more philosophical than practical, but in this case, it represents a great value. 

The great thing here is the fact that the author spends almost 70% of the book not just teaching something, but, above all, in shaping the mind, the character, and the spirit of the future astrologer (pro or not).

He shows to us how should be the real astrologer, which should be its tasks, what should be its attitude toward the astrological art and toward those who look for its help and advice.

He puts the intimate philosophical reason of Astrology before transmitting technical notions about it, and that’s important because Astrology is a tool, even a powerful tool, so it has to be used wisely and with the right reverence.

In many ways, Rudhyar represents the bridge between the old era and the new one

Of course, there are many practical teachings about asters’ interpretation, but they are largely diluted through the 3/4 of the book.

The last part of the book instead is really insightful for those who are looking for explanations and meanings about transits and progressions especially.

William Lilly: 

– Christian Astrology – 1 & 2 • 1647 aC

To be precise, the “series” of Christian Astrology by Lilly is composed of 3 books. However, I suggest getting at least the first 2.

That book is about what we would define today as “traditional astrology”, but I personally don’t like that net distinction between -traditional – and – modern – . I think that astrology is continuously developing, it’s a whole line, and we cannot break it into 2 different lines and choose which one we like the most.

It’s a mistake to forget the past, not giving it the right value.

Doing that kind of distinction would be like studying an apple tree, but focusing on the flowers and the apple fruits only, forgetting about the leaves, the branches, the bust, and the roots. 

Or vice-versa, focusing on studying the roots only because we think they are the only important thing, leaving all the rest.   

Astrology is the whole tree, and if we want to understand its intimate essence, and mastering it at its best, we need to study the whole tree and see it as one whole thing. 

William Lilly was the best and the most famous astrologer in London during 1600. In his book, he reports a distillate of almost all the knowledge from Ptolemy, but with a good influence from other authors like Guido Bonatti, Robert Fludd, Kepler, or Paracelsus

Furthermore, he gives us even many other personal intuitions derived from many years of practical experience as a professional astrologer.

You could have some issue with the archaic English writing style of the book (remember that it comes from 1600), but if you are able to postpone on that, it will be a great reading, especially because through this book you can see also how astrology had a process of vulgarisation and oversimplification during the last centuries (1900/2000s above all).

Some concepts about Houses and Aspects, for example, are pretty different from those that are usually diffused today. 

That happens, not because of the difference between traditional astrology and modern one, as someone could think, but because so many astrologers simply never studied that knowledge, or they don’t accept those concepts that are different from what they’ve believed for years.

I’ll never say enough that the task of today astrologers is expanding and integrating the astrological art, not throwing down or upsetting millennia of knowledge about it.

Furthermore, in Astrology is really important that golden rule: – you cannot really know where you’re going if you don’t know where you came from -. 

Closing, this book (the 2nd part above all) is useful especially for those who are looking for transits interpretations; Lilly was a specialist in horary astrology.  

Claudius Ptolemy:

 – Tetrabiblos • 100 aC (about)

It should be taken for granted, for an astrologer, having this book, especially for professionals, because it is the very fundamental source of all the astrological knowledge we have, yet almost nobody has actually read it.

Ptolemy is often considered the one who “invented” Astrology itself, but it isn’t correct.

Astrology was already an ancient knowledge at the time he wrote the book around 1800 years ago. The value of the book of Ptolemy is the fact that he reported, structured, and organized the whole astrological knowledge that came from Egyptians, Babylonians, and Chaldeans.

To be honest, Ptolemy disapproves Chaldean Astrology, he prefers the Egyptian one. However, he probably did ignore that most of the Egyptian knowledge derived from Chaldean astrology, even because we need to remember that all Astrology derives from a unique Sumerian matrix (almost 5000 years ago).

So, as I said before, Astrology was at least 2000 years old when Ptolemy wrote the Tetrabiblos.

Consequently, what Ptolemy did is putting together all the astrological knowledge available at his time, and then he developed it with his new discoveries and intuitions, integrating even all the “new” philosophical and metaphysical knowledge from Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and many others.    

Unfortunately, many people think that it’s not important to read this book, because it’s enough reading more recent authors, taken for granted that they report all the fundamental concepts illustrated in the Tetrabiblos, but the truth is that it happens rarely.

Furthermore, that process leads inevitably in losing authenticity and missing something important at any time we go too far from the original source.

In my opinion, especially in esoteric disciplines (and Astrology is an esoteric discipline), it’s the almost more important return to the source instead.

Astrology is like a river. The water of the river is pure and uncontaminated when it flows from the spring on the mountain highs, but every time it flows down through the valleys it becomes contaminated with mud, algae, and microorganisms, gradually losing its original purity. 

So, the more we get closer to the original source, the more we get closer to the perfect knowledge of the subject.

That’s why I think it’s important to read at least once in a lifetime this book from Ptolemy. Probably it’s the closest one to the source that we have today.  

Remember that not always what comes after is progress. It could be even degeneration.

Bonus:

Roberto Sicuteri: 

– Astrologia e Mito – simboli e miti dello zodiaco nella psicologia dell’inconscio. • 1978 aC

(translation: “Astrology and myth – symbols and myths of the zodiac into the psychology of the unconscious”)

There’s a 5th book that I have to list here as a bonus.

This book is a little shiny jewel. Unfortunately, I’ve never heard about an international release for it, so I think that it is available in the Italian language only, but I’m not updated about it, so you could try to look for an English language version of it.

However, I must mention it because the author treats in a straightforward and insightful way a theme too often neglected by many astrologers: the symbology hidden behind the mythology connected to Astrology.

Sicuteri was a great Italian psychologist and astrologer very active during the ’70s. His Junghian formation led him to study all the ancient archetypal figures, ancient greek-roman myths included.

If Planets are explicitly connected with the ancient Roman gods (we all know that their names are the same as the ancient Roman gods), almost nobody knows that even the 12 zodiac signs are connected with the ancient mythological tales and that studying the specific myth associated to a specific sign, can help us incredibly in understanding the energies and the meanings expressed by that zodiac sign.

Sicuteri did that job, he shows to us not the mythology behind the Planets only, but even the mythology behind each Sign.

Just some examples: 

Aries embodies the myth of Jason and the Argonauts and their quest to get the golden ram veil.

Taurus embodies the myth of Arianna, Teseus, and the Minotaur.

Gemini embodies the myth of the twin brothers Castor and Pollux.

Sagittarius embodies the myth of the centaur Chiron and Ixion.

Aquarius embodies the myth of Ganimede and the god Zeus turned into an eagle.

And so on.

This author did a fabulous job in covering all the mythology and how it can be translated into psychological meanings, and that is extremely helpful during our chart’s analysis.

So, if you have an opportunity to read this book, do it.

Conclusions.

5 books and 5 authors that are pretty different from each other, but just right for that they are truly helpful in building a solid knowledge in any different aspect of astrological art.

That list can be longer for sure, but this is a good start point. I’ll expand it in the future with a second part maybe.

I’ll say it once again: those books should not miss in the library of those who want to understand astrology intimately and practice it seriously and consistently. 

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