Reviewed by Maya del Mar
Soul Purpose Astrology by Margaret Koolman. Llewellyn Worldwide, St. Paul, MN, 1998, 2001. Available from Amazon.
This is one of the best basic astrology books I have seen. It is short, simple, delightfully written, and surprisingly inclusive. Margaret Koolman approaches astrology as a transformative tool to aid in spiritual development. As she says, "Every planet represents a spiritual quality."
Her spiritual vision is clear and true, and she brings astrology into our lives as a friend who can set guideposts along the way. She gives us much spiritual wisdom in the process.
One of the things I especially like about Margarets book is her use of simple, meditative exercises. For instance, at the end of the chapter on the planets she says, "Spend a little time sitting quietly with your eyes closed, pondering one of the planets, or the Sun or Moon. Ask inside yourself for a greater understanding of the chosen principle. Relax your body, open your mind, and allow ideas to flow. Afterward, make a note of what happened."
This exercise can, in fact, be productively applied to any facet of life. Its the principle which Crystal uses frequently in her lovely meditations.
Heres another one: "Practice wondering who people really are, especially when you think you know them."
An astrologer cannot be too steeped in basic astrology, for after all it is knowledge of the planets, signs, and houses that is essential to all astrological work. I highly recommend Soul Purpose Astrology to all astrologers, would-be astrologers, and readers simply interested in learning more about astrology. It is easy to read and understand, and, most valuable, provides a refreshing spiritual perspective.
If I were teaching a class, I would use Soul Purpose Astrology as a guide.
The Moon and Everyday Living by Daniel Pharr. Llewellyn Worldwide, St. Paul, MN. 2002. Available from Amazon.
This is a very practical book from which one can use the moons sign as a guide to daily activities. Its similar to gardening by the moon books, except that it applies to all of lifes activities. It also includes an extra: the effect of the transiting moon on each of the 12 moon signs. Thus it is personalized to the reader. An appendix at the end can help the reader find his/her own moon sign.
Following this guide would be good sensitivity training, as well as great help in understanding both oneself and astrology more deeply.
To use this book as suggested you need a calendar which includes the moon signs and phases. There are many, but my favorite is the Celestial Influences calendar published by Quicksilver Productions in Ashland, Oregon. I also use their Pocket Astrologer, a small calendar and ephemeris which I keep in my purse, and their Celestial Guide, a planner with space for appointments and brief notes.
You also need a notebook for journaling. And a bit of quiet time each day for writing.
Each day you note the sign and phase of the moon, as well as those activities which call to you, and your emotional reactions. This becomes your own personal Moon Journal.
This is a wonderful technique for helping us tune into the universal forces always streaming through us. The moon is right here, asking to be used. Let us take advantage of some of the information which she provides.
As the author says,
"Practice these concepts. With practice they will become natural. Tune into the moon and understand its changes. This attunement will foster self-awareness and in turn will open us to the feelings of others
.Over time this leads to fewer emotional ups and downs, and a richer, more complete life experience."
I know from experience and observation that the moon is the heavenly body which most corresponds with earthly activities. I think of it as a kind of transformer, stepping down the other vibrations into a form usable by us earthlings.
Hororary astrologers use the moons journey, and the aspects which the moon makes, as the primary description of the course of events. This same correspondence is true for all of us in our daily activities.
Using Daniels book can give that most basic moon groundinga sense of the rhythm and variations of the moons journey through the signs, and how we respond to that ever-changing cycle.
You do not need to be literate in astrology to use this book. I unreservedly recommend it to everyone as a do-it-yourself guide to more conscious living.