Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Cosmos & Psyche


June 30, 2006


Dear Friends, Far and Near:


It's not every day that a really exciting astrology book comes out. Sometimes you have to wait 30 years. As an astrology teacher, I have two main complaints: 1. There are nearly no good introductory astrology books, and by that I mean ones that cover the basic territory and don't fill your head with prejudices; and 2. Few are intellectually satisfying enough to be worth the time and effort reading. Usually it's just the same stuff over and over again.


Few people would call Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas an introductory work, but I do. In this brand new book, 30 years in the writing and which came out about two months go, Tarnas introduces us to the subject of astrology starting with the foundations of why it works, including exploring the phenomenon of "synchronicity" as documented (not theorized) by Carl Jung in the early 20th century. Synchronicity is when an event or personal experience in life is strikingly symbolic, and relates to some deep inner process we are going through at the time. From there, Tarnas moves onto archetypes, which are basically living symbols shared by much or all of the human race and which, together, form much of the psyche. Anyone who has seen a tarot deck has been introduced to archetypes.


Working from this very solid ground of 20th century psychology, Tarnas begins the discussion of astrology. I was expecting a book on planetary cycles and long phases of history. I was not surprised to see his excellent discussions of biographies and the ways people express their charts and, from these examples, change the world.


What DID surprise me is that at the beginning of this discussion, be gives a table of planetary symbols, and uses very simplified astrological charts with just two or three planets that you can figure out even if you've never seen or read a chart before. Then you get many excellent discussions of astrology working in the lives of notable people, including scientists and writers, as well as many examples of astrology in the historical process -- kind of like we do here at Astrology Secrets Revealed, only in Richard's distinctive style and with a heck of a lot more experience than any of us have.


Along the way, he does a few really beautiful things. One is he peels away the veneer of skepticism that has plagued astrology for centuries, showing in very plain language why it is that astrology is a perfectly functional idea; that is, demonstrating, despite the false claims of scientists, why and how it works. Few astrology books ever get into the philosophy underlying why astrology works so well, and the ones that do often go over everyone's head.


But more fun is that he reveals what science and modern philosophy has done to the world, which is take away all the magic of existence. He explains that astrology seems weird only in a "disenchanted" world, where everything is reduced to formula and we never look beneath the surface.


This all being said, I want to offer a couple of cautions that should not stop you from enjoying this book. One is that Richard's writing style is solid. He assumes nothing. You will definitely put your university education to work reading this work (it's about time, isn't it?). Second, you're not going to be able to "look yourself up" and "understand your chart" by looking up placements. But I can pretty much assure you that when you're done reading it, you'll know what to do with an astrology chart, you will see the world in a very different light, and most likely have the confidence start working with astrology on your own. Astrology will become real to you, it will make sense, and you may find yourself wondering why everyone else is not seeing the obvious.


The book is available in London at The Astrology Shop at 78 Neal Street, Covent Garden (perhaps call first, as it's selling fast).


You can also get it from for only $18, in a first edition.


This week we have two questions focusing on Neptune, one of which involves Saturn.