Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope Paperback – Sep 1 2002
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"An ideal guide for aspect analysis by the beginning student of astrology and an excellent resource for the advanced astrologer. Sue Tompkins clearly and incisively explains exactly what happens in the lives of people as a result of the aspects in their charts, and she offers many brilliant insights regarding how to use this energy constructively. A key text for all those using astrology." (Barbara Hand Clow, author of The Liquid Light of Sex and Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner an)
"In this 21st century where relationships are increasing in importance, volume, and complexity, Aspects of Astrology is especially meaningful and timely. This book is a wonderfully insightful and erudite map for managing our relations with others, and for understanding the many aspects within our own innerself." (James Wanless, Ph.D., author of Voyager Tarot)
"It's one of a handful among hundreds of astrology books that will remain a treasure for many years to come." (Dell Magazines, February 2003)
About the Author
Sue Tompkins has been a practicing consultant and teacher of astrology since 1981. She was Director of Schools for the prestigious Faculty of Astrological Studies in London for 15 years and now operates her own school, the London School of Astrology. In addition to her independent courses and workshop offerings, she is a practicing homeopath in central London.See all Product Description
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Most astrology books are either of the "cookbook" variety without information on synthesis or of the type that goes in-depth, but without instruction on application and synthesis. This book takes a unique approach in effectively combining the two. This book is not only great for beginning and intermediate students, but can also be useful for the professional.
It's too bad this author doesn't have any other titles to her name. I would buy everything else she wrote. She is a gifted writer, and through this book, a gifted teacher. At the very least, I hope she puts out a second edition of this book that includes Chiron.
1) Almost all of the book, more than 2/3 I would say, is a cookbook. Normally, I don't have a big problem with cookbooks. In this case, however, I take major issue. The cookbook gives about 3-pages worth on the connections between each of the planets. For example, 3-pages will be dedicated to sun/Saturn connections, 3-pages for sun/Jupiter connections, etc, until all combinations of all planets have been accounted for. The problem is that it doesn't differentiate between the ASPECTS that these planets have. There is only ONE description of sun/Saturn connections even though there are about 7-different aspects, or types of "relationship" that the sun and Saturn could have. In other words, it would have students interpret a sun/Saturn trine the same way as a sun/Saturn opposition or square. One description fits all in this book, but not so in real life.
2) Only 21 pages of the book actually go into detail describing the meanings of each aspect. And two of those descriptions are questionable. Here are the two that I take issue with and the reasons why:
At the beginning of this description, the author says, "Signs in quincunx [...] are coming from such completely different places and heading in such different directions that they don't even see each other, rather like two planes on unrelated flight-paths." This is in agreement with all respectable accounts of this aspect that I've run across. Other sources have demonstrated that this is not an aspect between planets that are working with or against each other. Its just that when one planet is working, the other is taking a break. They are never working the same shift. Yet this author goes on to describe the aspect as one of FRICTION between the two planets. How can you have friction between things that never meet?
She also says that the quincunx is a major aspect found in synastry charts, though she adds that it is mostly by whole sign, rather than actual 150 degree aspect. Her logic was that they have so little in common that they benefit each other. This made no sense. We all know that relationships don't work well between people that have nothing in common. Studies have proven this. So I did a study of my own. I collected a list of strong couples and studied their synastry aspects. The opposition and quincunx aspects are almost always the least found aspects in all synastry grids - bottom two. Trines and conjunctions are almost always the top two.
Although I didn't look for the quincunx aspect from a whole sign perspective, it should be remembered that the perfect world of "whole sign aspects" doesn't really exist. Bi-quintile and sesquiquadrate aspects can also fall in the same whole sign combinations as the otherwise perfect, whole-sign quincunx defines.
THE SEMI-SQUARE AND SESQUIQUADRATE
She acknowledges that she doesn't know the difference between these two aspects. (If you want a description from someone that does, check out "Predictive Astrolgy: The Eagle and the Lark"). She "suggests" that these aspects are the same as squares and are common in accidents (even though she also says she doesn't commonly find squares in accidents). For those reluctant to accept her theory, she gives an example intended to "banish any such doubts forever." Unfortunately, her example falls seriously short. She uses the example of a passenger ship that sank in 1987, but she only describes the transits that were happening in the sky at that moment. She doesn't compare it with the chart of the ship, which makes it too generalized to apply to anything or anyone specific. She does acknowldge that that same transiting chart will apply the world over at different times of the day. So she mentions the chart of the ships COMPANY at the top of page 59 but she neglects to meaningfully tie that chart in with the events of the day and her reasoning becomes muddled. The contacts between the important transiting planets and the angles of the company chart are not semi-square's or sesquiquadrates and the orbs she's using are very large. We're talking about an 8-degree orb for transiting Pluto. She definitely did not banish my doubts of her theories.
These are the things I would have wanted to know before buying this book - and I probably would've passed it up.