Llewellyn's Complete Book of Astrology: the Easy Way to Learn Astrology, by Kris Brandt Riske, MA. Llewellyn Publications, September 2007, 360 pp. Paperback, $18.95.
Kris Brandt Riske has written a concise, complete beginner's text for the newcomer to "the divine science." She takes the new student through the basics with ease and confidence. If you are going into this study for your own pleasure or with the intent of making it a possible career choice, this is a good starting place.
In the introduction Kris explains how she got started in the study of astrology and how the teacher appears when the student is ready. She has a gentle but firm approach from the beginning and is always encouraging the reader to experiment with interpretations and not to take the word of any expert for the final one.
Basically, she is saying that we must all find our own style and method. I remember my own introduction to this fascinating study and how I was afraid to deviate from the written authority for many years. Eventually, after reading a great number of texts, I finally realized that they all had a slightly different take on the same basic aspects and that I was free to take my own path, too. How wonderful it would have been to have this understanding from the beginning!
Kris goes through the meaning of the signs, planets, houses, aspects between planets, and what an ephemeris is and how to use it. She uses the charts of famous people like Al Gore, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, etc. to demonstrate how to synthesize and interpret the information. She goes through the reading of the chart to look for indications of love, success, and moneythe concerns that bring most people to an astrologerand shows the student how to find the answers to these questions. She also demonstrates how to read the combined charts of a couple (called synastry), using the charts of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. She goes through the compatibilities and differences and how the two resolve these to create an enduring relationship.
Kris does this all with such style and grace that even though it is a textbook, it is a pleasure to read.