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The General Principles of Astrology Hardcover – November 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), who claimed to be the re-incarnation of Dr. John Dee among others, lived in England from 1875 through 1947. He is the author of several Weiser Books titles, including Book of Thoth, Diary of a Drug Fiend, Magick, Book of Lies, Book of the Law and 777 & Other Qabalistic Writings. He was a poet, mountaineer, secret agent, magus, libertine, and prophet - was dubbed by the tabloids "The Wickedest Man in the World."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877289085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877289081
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This new tome from notorious occultist Crowley was originally two books with Evangeline Adams as its author. According to the introduction by H. Beta, Crowley was in New York for sometime and met with Adams whom they were to write a book on astrology together. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Adams took the material that Crowley wrote, reworked, omitted and added her own material and eventually became an authority on the subject. The two books by Adams, "Your Place in the Sun" and "Your Place Among the Stars" (written 1927 and 1930 respectively) are essentially the works of Aleister Crowley. This edition by Samuel Weiser brings back Crowley's original writings in their original form and in one book. In a similar format as Magick Book 4, 'The General Principles of Astrology' is bound in a nice maroon hardcover cloth book with a sigil embossed on the cloth cover in metallic gold (looks like a modified Mercury symbol). Crowley's writing at many times is elusive even for the most astute occultist, however, as in Magick 4, he is making great efforts to be clear to a larger audience. The text was written in 1915 before the discovery of Pluto, so for some astrologers that may be your only set back.
In my opinion and from what I know of Crowley, the work is largely unfinished, however, what is presented is entirely a workable system. Crowley probably had the least amount of faith in astrology as a science among all the occult arts, but because he was so verse in many subjects, he is not one to let it be unexplored. Astrology seems as vast a subject as Kabbalah, as so much is written about it, that it seems that no one person can legitimately claim authority. My preference is Alan Leo's work even though much of his work is before Pluto as well.
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An excellent book, though more for the intermediate and advanced astrological student than the beginner. The reason for this is because many of the explanations for basic Astrological information offered here are of a more classical nature than most of the modern "New Age" oriented books. Also of great interest is the collection of natal charts of notable individuals from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. This is because the best way to learn how to read a chart comes from studying charts, and what better way to do that than analyzing the natal map of a famous person whose deeds before the public have revealed much of their personality. The refreshing aspect here is that one will get to see the charts of individuals like Sir Issac Newton, Mozart, and Shelley rather than the likes of Madonna or Britney Spears.

For this reader, a further plus regarding the book is that its author, Aleister Crowley, is revealed not only as the ghost writer for the famous American Astrologer Evangeline Adams, but also for the truly important thinker he was rather than the distorted and dark charlatan he is often portrayed as by those who are ignorant of his serious scholarly work.

All in all I would rate this as an excellent addition to the library of anyone interested in Spirituality, Metaphysics, or the Occult as well as for those who are passionate about Astrology.

Review by abramelin21@yahoo.com
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Format: Hardcover
First, like all Crowley books, this one starts on about chapter 20. Crowley never addressed beginner issues and initial details. He never was writing to beginners. This book is no exception. Instead he jumps straight to interpretation of some elements of a chart, omits others, and so forth. The book is quite different from many more recently written on the subject, however, and provides a great deal of food for thought.

This book will not teach you how to draw up a birth chart. It will not teach you much about aspects. Crowley assumes you know astrology before turning to his work. Instead he offers a some meaty of theory and some impressive insights into some (narrow) areas of interpretation.

The part of the book I liked the most was the discussion of rising signs. To Crowley, the rising sign was the defining sign of the chart, much more than the sun sign. He spends more time discussing rising signs than most other books do discussing sun signs, and his insight is profound in this area.

One area I would have liked to see a great deal more discussion is in the area of aspects and angles. Crowley seems to have clearly seen these as important. However, we get at best a cursory discussion of aspects, and nothing on angles aside from the ascendant.

This is definitely a book though that will remain in my library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book painstakingly covers the planets and the signs, however, it is in no way a complete text book like Parker's. The material is dated like we would expect from a book published in 1927, and contains the usual offenses. Crowley praises racists like Howard Spencer.

I do not mean to be needlessly critical, but I did not find Crowley's method of communication engaging. A lot of the book is unnecessarily technical--explaining very little, but using many examples. An average page of writing contains perhaps a paragraph that is actually useful information. This is an early book, and his understanding of many of the signs tends to be extremely shallow and negative. He is also lopsided in his praise for some placements while seemingly despising others.
The book is written in with a religious fervor that is fanatical and off the topic. Crowley occasionally goes off in tangents in which he writes in an almost crazed religious euphoria. He is extremely fatalistic and overvalues public accomplishment creating a type of astrologically based caste system.

The nice thing about this book is that his presentation of astrology is very seriously, and it is written in a professional manner. His writing is intelligent and the reflection of someone who is extremely well read. Had astrologers modeled his presentation, we can assume, the profession would be looked upon with greater respect than it is currently viewed. If you want a book that is going to give you a lot of information that can quickly be applied, I would recommend one of the books by Bill Tierney or Steven Forrest. If you want to improve your astrological erudition, than this book is appropriate.
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