Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation
In Association with

MAY 2005

by Maya del Mar

I have two terrific astrology books in hand. Neither one is a typical astrology book, and both are fascinating reading. They are also both enriching for anyone with an interest in astrology—from the casual student to the professional astrologer. They are also both suitable for leaving by your bedside, or in your car or purse, and picking up when you have some spare moments. Every page is interesting, and they both provide a series of fascinating adventures connecting people, countries, and events with the planets.

These two books are very different, however, in style and focus. In that sense, they compliment one another.

True As the Stars Above by Neil Spencer, Orion Books Ltd., London, 2000. PB $18.95 Canada.

Neil is a British television personality, on a familiar footing with many famous Britons. He is filled with information about them, along with fresh new looks at astrology. His style is dry, breezy, and humorous—very British. Included is much astrological history, along with photos of historically important astrologers.

Neil loves astrology, history, wisdom, and people, and his loving and penetrating look at the world shines through on every page. Simply reading any page of this book makes me FEEL good—perhaps because I have those loves as well. Like many “Americans,” I also have a special fondness for Great Britain.

Here is what he says at the beginning about the central purpose of astrology through the centuries: Over the centuries, the central purpose of astrology has been “to establish a meaningful relationship between humanity and the universe, to uncover the cosmic order which philosophers and artists have sensed exists.”

I often think about those days when astronomy and astrology were one. And as I read my astronomy magazine, I feel how barren it is as it leaves out the whole idea of meaning. Meaning is what gives our lives MEANING!

Did Hitler consult an astrologer? Spencer lays to rest this myth. Nazis were connected with esotericism and occultism, and a couple of them had a minor interest in astrology, but it was not Hitler’s thing. (I’ve read this in other places as well.) Hitler was dismissive of astrology, which was prevalent in Germany in the 20’s (e.g. E. Ebertin), and when he took power in 1933, he banned it.

Neil goes quite thoroughly into this situation, and his chapter on the Third Reich, like every other chapter in the book, is fascinating.

Neil’s book is EXCITING, as well as erudite and super well written. Look for it! You’ll be well rewarded.

The other book focuses on Britain’s arrogant child, the U.S.

The Astrological Karma of the U.S. by Steffan Vanel, Spiritual Company Press, Curlew, WA 2004. $19.95 PB.

It is serious and penetrating. Steffan looks at the U.S. chart, U.S. history, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. In this new edition he includes chapters on Bush and Kerry, and 2012 and the end of the Mayan Calendar. All of his subjects are topical and relevant.

Steffan uses information from the channel, Hilarion. I tend to be skeptical of channels, but much of what Hilarion says does resonate with me. I regularly use his little astrology book for clues to meanings of planetary positions.

The chapter titles in Steffan’s book invite us to explore what he is saying. E.g., The Planet Pluto and the Self-Image of the United States. (How many times have you read me talking about this?) Very vital. Steffan quotes Hilarion: “The planet Pluto is the great bringer of change. It designates a department of life in which the soul has agreed to undergo pressures promoting a deep-seated alteration in its attitudes, habits, or understanding. If the personality resists these pressures, then much stress and difficulty will be felt. Pluto is like the irresistible force….”

In my philosopher’s mind, however, everything merits discussion. This is the traditional view of Pluto. But applying it to the U.S. now—are we simply to go along with the Administration’s exercise of plutonic power? It is morally wrong, and resistance seems important to me. Although I do know that Pluto will not be resisted. And the fact that we all know this down deep probably has much to do with the apathy prevalent in the U.S.

An astrology book which makes one think—and this is such a book—is a huge gift.

In the chapter on the Birth of the U.S., Steffan discusses both the Masons and Native Americans, both of whom had huge, relatively unacknowledged influences on this nation.

Particularly relevant now is the chapter on Causes for Material Success and Obsession in the U.S. This chapter is absolutely fascinating, and very illuminating. One of the qualities of the second house (U.S. Pluto), Steffan reminds me, is insecurity. The insecurity of the plutocracy in the U.S. is enormous. This is exacerbated by the reputation of U.S. bankers to abuse the trust of their depositors in the pursuit of profit.

Steffan does not pull punches. He discusses issues of death and sex honestly, including homosexuality. Why are men so insecure in their identity? Steffan has something to say about this.

Steffan’s book is very well written, provocative, timely, and astrologically sound. It is a treat to have an astrology book that is something more than the beaten track—reminds me of the exciting 70’s.

Buy Steffan’s book, and read it. Enjoyment guaranteed.