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Mick Frankel (London, UK)

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The Planets
The Planets
by Dava Sobel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 11 Dec. 2006
This review is from: The Planets (Paperback)
This book is not for me.

I can't get past the pompous style. It reads like W C Fields except that it's not funny.

Try this totally representative sentence from the chapter on Venus:

"These collisions eject copious debris, yet all the rubble hugs close around the crater margins in neat festoons, as though contained there by the heavy air."

Festoons? Is this a joke? I can't help reading it in a W C Fields voice.

For the chapter on Uranus and Neptune the author "assumed Maria Mitchell wrote of her 1847 find to ... Caroline Herschel.(1750 - 1848)." I can hardly tell the difference between the 19th century style and the rest of the book.

The chapter on Mars written from the point of view of a Martian rock doesn't work for me.

- - -

I really like the book "Understanding the Planetary Myths" by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma ISBN 0-572-03032-0


Understanding the Planetary Myths
Understanding the Planetary Myths
by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma
Edition: Paperback

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book, 5 Feb. 2005
I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm sure that it will be a reference book that I go back to again and again.
Lisa Tenzin-Dolma give us a clear, step-by-step description of the Greek and Roman mythology for the planets and asteroids. She then describes an approach to understanding how these archetypes can be interpreted in combination in an astrological horoscope.
After the introduction and a brief chapter which includes a family tree of the early Olympians, there's a 10-page chapter for each planet and asteroid.
As well as the Sun, the Moon and the planets, the book includes chapters on the asteroids Chiron, Ceres, Juno, Pallas Athene and Vesta.
I like the distinctions that Lisa makes between Greek and Roman mythology. For example, whilst Saturn was "dark and vengeful" for the Greeks, he had a "work hard and play hard" reputation for the Romans.
There are insightful details throughout the book. I thought of Mars as just the god of war, but Lisa describes him as a warrior and a dancer. This now makes me view the planet Mars slightly differently in a natal chart.
For each chapter on a planet or asteroid there are sections on their birth, their personality traits, their special qualities, their attitude to relationships and sibling rivalry.
Crucially, there's a section on archetypal resonance which I think could be especially useful to astrologers. At the end of each chapter, Lisa writes about the planet's possible meaning in a natal chart and the planet's astrological rulerships.
Two short chapters at the end of the book describe how you could use the planetary myths to help understand a horoscope. For exmaple, Lisa describes how a Mars/Jupiter square echoes the strained relationship between Zeus and Ares.
I love this practical application of mythology to astrology.


Tarot Decoded: Understanding and Using Dignities and Correspondences
Tarot Decoded: Understanding and Using Dignities and Correspondences
by Elizabeth Hazel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarot Decoded by Liz Hazel, 3 July 2004
Liz Hazel is a very experienced Tarot reader and astrologer. In her book "Tarot Decoded", Liz explains the use of dignities. Liz writes clearly and in plain English about how you can use correspondences with the elements, the planets and the signs of the Zodiac in your Tarot readings.
Liz also describes how important it is to pick up on numerical combinations and sequences in a Tarot reading.
This is a terrific book for anyone who's interested in Tarot and astrology. The theory is very patiently explained and the book is full of practical advice, presented in clearly written worked examples. I'd recommend it for any Tarot readers who want to get to know more about astrology.
It would also make an excellent introduction to Tarot for people who already know the basics of astrology. But if you're a beginner to both fields, then this is probably not the book for you.

On every page, you can hear the voice of the author speaking to you with knowledge and authority. You really feel that Liz wants you to become a better Tarot reader. She's trying to get us to deepen our understanding of the way that the elements interact with each other. This is a really superb reference book to go back to again and again.
Nothing is there for show and nothing is wasted in Liz's writing. Every image is well chosen and straightforward.
There's a wealth of information in this book but it will take work to get to grips with it. For example, all the sample readings use the astrological glyphs for the planets and signs. If you're a complete newcomer to astrology, you'll have to give yourself some time to get to know the glyphs. In my experience, this is time well spent.
Liz uses the Golden Dawn correspondences and although she's not dogmatic about using this system rather than any other, she does say that the Golden Dawn attributions represent, "a good starting point".
The book is all about attributions so there's no discussion of reversals. All the cards are shown as upright in the example readings.
The appendices contain tables of Major Arcana, Court Card and pip card attributions and throughout the book there are wonderful diagrams such as the horoscope diagram of Court Card attributions showing the Zodiac signs with their associated pip cards and Court Cards by decan.


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