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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Substantial visionary overview by a modern master!, 9 Oct 2003
Tim Burness (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Horoscope Symbols (Paperback)
Although I discovered this after many years of involvement with astrology, I was immediately impressed by how much high quality information is packed into this one volume. There is a deep understanding and wisdom here that goes way beyond many other first class introductory texts. In fact it is as much for advanced astrologers as it is for beginners.
The very first chapter, "The Horoscope: A Map of the Psyche" lays some philosophical foundations that every astrologer could do well to take on board, especially in the area of personal choice and how we create our reality. From then on it's an inspired journey through all the features of a birth chart. Scientific, historical and psychological perspectives are all considered as Hand works his way through the planets, aspects, mid-points and signs of the zodiac, all in depth. The section on the houses is one of the most complete summaries I have ever seen in print, each house being assessed on internal, relational and external levels.
Like Hand's classic "Planets In Transit", "Horoscope Symbols" will continue to make its mark for many years to come. I highly recommend it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best and most comprehensive introductions to astrology there is, 8 Dec 2008
This review is from: Horoscope Symbols (Paperback)
The book cover still looks a little unassuming and dry, so that it may be possible to underestimate what a wealth of information there is for someone looking for a comprehensive introduction on how to interpret a natal chart (for predictive information, there is Robert Hand's compendium on transits - not actually possessing this, I do not know if it looks at progressions or not.)

It looks at the basics of the natal chart, which Hand calls 'a symbolic map of the psyche' - the Planets, Signs and houses, the major aspects and recommended orbs, but also introduces the reader to midpoints, the research findings of the Gauquelins, as well as discussing the possible relevance of the asteroids and fixed stars.

It might be deduced that this is not, then, a 'fuzzy' sort of a book - whilst not proclaiming that astrology is a 'science' as we know it, it does also wryly point out that the horoscope is rather more than just an inkblot, or sandbox, or crystal ball that simply allows the psychic impressions to flow. It does not decry the value of intuition, but points out that as astrology is more than just divination, then insights about character and telling of future should be gleaned from the horoscope, not from intuition.

Everything in the book is very reasoned, therefore. Perhaps, one of the things I also appreciated most about the book was the even-handed way it described the planets - in looking at the Sun and the Moon, for example, Hand borrowed from 'yin-yang' concepts - and genuinely does justice to both these celestial principles.

The book was written in the 70's, so there is nothing yet on Chiron and other centars, on Eris, Sedna and/or other newly-discovered planetary bodies. However, Hand does point out even from this vantage point that whilst asteroids, for example, may expand our understanding of the chart with newly-discovered factors, there is such a thing as 'information overload.' Therefore, there may be a need to ascertain which chart factors can be deemed as essential, and which not, as in fact he does in his suggestions for 'weighing' midpoints.

These points aside, this book still has to be a must-have for any new student to natal chart analysis.
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10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A REFURBISHED OUT-LOOK, 7 Aug 2002
This review is from: Horoscope Symbols (Paperback)
Here comes a new era that every thing in astrology can be viewed in new angle and gone are the days that they can not be touched.In the latest scientific analysis of Astrology ROBERT HAND stands atop in bringing out fresh approach to the most price-less subject. He deals with a renewed analysis of all well known topics. His works are highly valuable and one of the gems is this book. It is a focus on ASTROLOGY and one can develop his own way of approach in analysing the horoscope. Nothing goes waste and through out the book he takes every reader without any thing tiresomeness. It is a must and one with experience can elevate his analysis and a fresher can be equipped from the start itself.
ROBERT HAND needs all my accolades in bringing out such useful work and I personally appreciate his devouted adherance to the subject ASTROLOGY.
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Horoscope Symbols
Horoscope Symbols by Robert Hand (Paperback - 6 Jan 1997)
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