Chirotica | Recommended Reading for Astrology Students



This is a reading list for astrologers that I developed for a workshop in Manchester last year. It could use some work; I will revise it when I get a chance. But it gets the basic points across. --ef

I suggest that astrologers be as widely-read and as self-educated as possible. We need to be able to speak to our clients about everything, be able to accept what they say about their experiences at face value, and not be intimidated by any issue or theme that shows up. Human beings have the hardest time discussing sexuality, which is usually the underlying reason most people come in for counselling in the first place, so right away I recommend Sex for One by Betty Dodson (, who puts the cards right on the table and teaches you to do the same. I also highly recommend Brad Blanton's Radical Honesty, which will get you loving the truth and nothing more ( Deborah Anapol's Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits ( is an excellent exploration of the wide variety of lovestyles, relationship models and sexual, affectual and emotional preferences. I recommend it highly so that we can be clear that the models we were given (compulsory heterosexuality and mandatory monogamy) are just that -- models someone else gave us. There are many ways to love. Many people will talk to you about their episodes of cheating and affairs, their bisexual leanings, etc., and it's crucial to have a context in which to take this other than ones officially sponsored by one of the Big Three religions or the U.S. Government.

One of the most important subjects we need to be up on is health and the environment. The best resource in the world is created by RACHEL, the Remote Access Chemical Hazard Electronic Library. It's free for Internet users by e-mailing: The editor, Peter Montague, publishes a weekly essay on some vital environmental, scientific or political subject that's in-depth enough for graduate research and easy enough to understand for a 6th grader to use in her homework. If you don't have e-mail, write to: Environmental Research Foundation, PO Box 5036, Annapolis, MD 21403-7036 USA for subscription information. It's about US $50 a year international. Send them money. They deserve it.

The two most important books on the environment are Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and Our Stolen Future by Theadora Colborn. Between them, you will fully understand what is happening. The master world list of chemicals is called The Merck Index. It's expensive and very useful. Good libraries will carry it. A homeopathic materia medica is a good book to keep in the counseling room to look up peoples' remedies.

The best astrology books I have ever come across are the Karmic Astrology series by Martin Schulman. They include: The Moon's Nodes and Reincarnation, Retrogrades and Reincarnation, Joy and the Part of Fortune, The Karma of the Now, and The Astrology of Sexuality. They are clear, easy to understand, modern in their approach and very, very intelligent. And they are inexpensive.



Most titles available at The Astrology Center of America

Chiron and the Healing Journey by Melanie Reinhart. This is a detailed, psychological and in-depth look at Chiron from a more scholarly and Saturnian perspective than anything in else currently print. Melanie also has a new booked called To the Edge and Beyond, which covers two additional Centaur planets, Nessus and Pholus and gives a 110 year ephemeris for both. It's not a mass market book, but available, according to Melanie, from CPA Press Agents, Midheaven Bookshop, 0171-607-4133, or fax 0171-700-6717, or e-mail, It is absolutely excellent and works for boh new students and advanced students.

Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow. A more Uranian, shamanic, New Age approach. Its a great book as far as it goes; it's an excellent counterpoint to Melanie's. I've checked just about every interpretation against real people many times over, and they are all insightful.

Chiron, the New Planet in Your Horoscope by Richard Noelle. Very basic, short, insightful, and early, though every comment counts with Chiron.

There's a hard-to-find book I have not seen called The Continuing Discovery of Chiron. If you find an extra, please e-mail me. Zane Stein also has a book called A View From Chiron, which is worth reading. It's usually available from The Astrology Center of America in Ventura, California.

Ephemerides for the Centaur planets are available from Robert von Heeren in Munich. Email:



It's important for astrologers to understand the reaches of what is actually possible in the universe, and these books fill in a few blanks and are really interesting and powerful.

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. An excellent, indispensable and very important book that presents a cosmology totally grounded in history and science that, while never mentioning astrology, explains it nicely.

Gifts of Unknown Things by Lyall Watson. A first-hand report of numerous healings performed by a young girl on the Indonesian island of Nus Tarian, this book is a modern report by a gifted biologist that backs up much of what Talbot is presenting.



The Moment of Astrology by Geoffrey Cornelius is the best book I have ever read on astrology. Allegedly a study in horary, it's a great overview of the subject and a fantastic introduction to William Lilly, but it takes all of astrology to a whole new level, explaining clearly why most astrologers don't understand their own craft and helping get it straight. The Chiron connection is that Cornelius makes the case that astrology is essentially a divinitory art rather than a reading of destiny or scientific practice of some kind.

Prometheus the Awakener by Richard Tarnas. An amazing essay about Uranus, which Tarnas argues was misnamed and should be called Prometheus. It's an excellent historical overview of Uranus cycles (Uranus-Pluto, Uranus-Neptune, Uranus-Jupiter and others) as well as a great compendium of natal analyses of Uranian folks.

Pluto: Evolutionary Journey of the Soul by Jeff Green. It's going out of print, to be replaced by Jeff's newer book on Pluto and relationships. Like Pluto, Jeff's style is dense, difficult and really has impact.

The American Ephemeris by Michaelson lists Chiron's position monthly, is meticulous and done with incredible love for people and love of math. I also find Raphael's Ephemeris indispensable.

An Astrological Mandala by Dane Rudhyar is an excellent book on the Sabian Symbols -- really the only worthwhile one -- and I have worn my copy thin. What I like about this is its essentially symbolist approach to astrology that gets us thinking like poets and dowsers, and gets us out of the machine of destiny model that plagues astrologers through the centuries.

I have found the Arkana Dictionary of Astrology to be really helpful; everything put out by that publisher is coherent, sane and informative. I leave The Timetables of History close at hand to research birth years, as well as The Secret Language of Birthdays by Evers et al to research birthdays. Debbi Kempton Smith's Secrets From a Stargazer's Notebook is the best, funniest and most accurate (out of print, too) book on pop astrology that will really get you going on Venus, Mars and the Moon. The best general astrology text I've seen is Isabel Hickey, Astrology: A Cosmic Science.



Tarot is very a very useful and important language for astrologers. Read the cards a few thousand times and you will start to believe the Universe makes sense (hmmmmm). It contains fundamental archetypal ideas for the mind to mull over, and gets us used to trusting the void and using our intuition. A while ago, I discovered that books written about the Aleister Crowley deck were the best ones around, and then I discovered the deck itself. I really like the work of Gerd Zeigler, a humanist therapist from Germany. He has two translated books that I know of: Tarot: Mirror of the Soul and Tarot: Mirror of Your Relationships. The second one I find more concise and to the point, especially since just about all people want to now about are love affairs. I think the best book on the cards, with many comments on astrology, is The Book of Thoth by the man himself. Crowley (big surprise) was onto Pluto in the '40s, long before anyone else had the vaguest clue. His deck is loaded with astrological and elemental symbolism as well, drawn right into each card.

If you're going to use the Waite deck, I suggest any coloring except the Rider and Albano versions. Everybody who gets hold of those illustrations re-colors them. There's a great coloring called the Universal Waite, painted by Mary Hansen-Williams. Books by and about Waite tend to be obscure and are often pointless. I think the deck has some real merits. A few other important decks are: Motherpeace, the Post-Modern (Po-Mo), and any really old one from Europe (Swiss, Fwench, etc.)

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