From Publishers Weekly
According to Tarnas, acclaimed author of The Passion of the Western Mind
, history is on the verge of a major shift, comparable to the one wrought by Copernicus and Galileo, but a seemingly antiscientific one: an astrological turn that can only be understood thorough chronicling planetary alignments as they correlate to the rise of the modern mind over the last 500 years. Understanding planetary alignments, for Tarnas, is crucial to the world's future and requires "a genuine dialogue" with the cosmos, by "opening ourselves more fully" to "the other," to ancient and indigenous epistemologies, even "to other forms of life, other modes of the universe's self-disclosure." Filled with philosophical, religious, literary and scientific thinking ranging from Luther and Kepler through Hemingway and even Hitchcock and Dylan, Tarnas's book is not only sweeping in subject but dense and sometimes painfully slow going. It requires at once a strong background in the history of modern thought, an advanced knowledge of astrology, a willingness to withhold skepticism about the role of planetary alignments of the past in understanding life today and the avoidance of imminent world catastrophe. Tarnas's call to redefine what we consider as "legitimate knowledge" will resonate in some sectors, but it will be a tough sell with the more scientifically hardheaded. (Jan. 23)
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World history is vast and confusing. How to find coherence? Tarnas thinks the answer lies in astrology. Possessing a tremendous amount of historical knowledge, the author correlates human history's big events and personalities with the orbits of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Why only Pluto, but not Pluto-size objects (or, for that matter, extrasolar planets) recently discovered, should reign over us goes unexamined, but be that as it may, Tarnas discusses charts, planetary alignments, and archetypal personality traits embodied by the planets so aligned. Reaching into mythology and Jungian psychology, Tarnas associates history makers with, for example, a Neptune-Pluto conjunction. Averring an empirical basis to his research, Tarnas proves a determined writer whose fortress of connected dates, historical trends, and philosophical thought defies would-be challengers to his cosmic viewpoint. Casual astrology buffs and readers of the daily horoscope may find this volume heavy going. This is a book for those who are as intrigued by and as convinced of astrology's validity as Tarnas. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved