Books, books, and more books

Most recently, I’ve been reading astrology books since The History of the Horoscope re-kindled my interest in the “ancient study of the stars”. After some searching I settled on buying a book called Aspects in Astrology by Sue Tompkins. It’s quite informative and provides a decent guideline of interpreting various aspects in a horoscope – always good to have a starting point. Another good astrology book is Robert Hand’s Planets in Transit. Like Tompkins’ book, Planets in Transit is a good guideline for interpretation, except for transits. Both these books describe the basic idea and theories behind interpretation and then give you interpretations with the caveat that you will always need to custom your interpretations to the individual horoscope.

Spending so much time studying (Western) astrology, I decided to study Chinese astrology in more depth. Years ago, I read Peter Shen’s The Traditional Art of Chinese Fortune Telling, which is quite amusing and practical. Recently, I picked up Derek Walters book, The Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology, which is about the best book on Chinese astrology you can get in the English language. Sadly though, I noted a few things in the book that were either incorrect or dubious. Most of the book was informative though. (I will recommend that you acquire the the 1992 edition of the book by Aquarian Press if you can as the appendices in the later editions of the book have been changed and instructions for their use are not clear. I also note that the missing line on page 64 reads “…the I Ching (see table opposite). Of the eight creatures allotted…” since the author has not cared to note this misprint in his own book.) I shall note also that this book by Derek Walters is lacking any real instructions on how to cast a Chinese horoscope. Of course that’s what his other books are for – you will want to read The Chinese Astrology Workbook and Ming Shu.

Chinese astrology is interesting because there are actually different branches of it – all of which are based on your birth time and date (according to the Chinese calendar, solar or lunar birth date – see my previous blogs about the complexities of the Chinese lunisolar calendar). One branch of Chinese astrology uses the I Ching. The Astrology of I Ching is the book that introduces this branch of Chinese astrology. The book consists of a translation of the “Ho Map Lo Map Rational Number” manuscript by W. K. Chu along with commentaries by W. A. Sherrill. It includes instructions for this branch of Chinese astrology along with the predictions. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in deepening their understanding of the I Ching and wanting to learn something of Chinese astrology.

After reading The Astrology of I Ching, I found a copy of The Numerology of the I Ching by Master Alfred Huang at the city library. It is an informative book and provides some interesting insights into the I Ching probably not found in other books. Based on this book, I would recommend getting his translation of the I Ching as I’m sure his insights have helped in translating the meanings of the I Ching hexagrams into English.

Then, after all the studying I decided to take a break. A change of reading material was in order and I was in need of something fun. I recently finished reading two children’s novels.

The first was a little book by Tolkien called Roverandom. The book is an amusing fantasy tale of a little dog who is turned into a toy by an impulsive (and perhaps thoughtless) wizard. The journey the little dog takes while a toy should bring you some cheer on a dismal day. Of course, the ending is a good one.

The second children’s novel was the first book in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old millionaire genius and “criminal mastermind”. In this first book in the series, Artemis Fowl challenges the minds of none other than… fairies! Of course, we mean fairies of all sorts, goblins, trolls, and elves included. Fowl’s devious plan unwittingly involves a spit-fire of a fairy called Holly Short. What happens when you’ve got these two together, you will just have to find out. The first book in Artemis Fowl is definitely an imaginative introduction to the series.

Now, I have set myself the task of finishing book six (Lord of Chaos) of The Wheel of Time and book one of The View from the Mirror. Three other novels I started reading as well are Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake, and Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon – all of which are well-written. Titus Groan and Gravity’s Rainbow are classic novels, and I’m betting Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell will become a classic in the years to come.

Okay, back to some fun reading…

Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

2 Responses to “Books, books, and more books”

  1. Pneumatised! » Winter Solstice, Calendars, Upcoming Important Dates Says:

    […] once again (the other equinox being the autumn equinox). According to the Astrology of I Ching (mentioned in a previous blog), the winter solstice is considered the beginning of the next yearly cycle. The winter solstice […]

  2. David Says:

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