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Horoscope Symbols Paperback – March, 1981
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Top Customer Reviews
As someone who has been very skeptical but also quite curious about Astrology, I realized I needed good reading material for a complex and confusing subject. In a sea of books with poor writing, grand assumptions, and a lack of self-evaluation I found Robert Hand's writing exquisite in its ability to connect with the reader and yet hauntingly beautiful in the sense that there are a lot of wise things said in this book. Though this is geared toward astrology and reading the birth chart, etc. the language and message of the words provided here could become valuable knowledge to anyone, even if you aren't drawn to the art of astrology.
I enjoy the non fatalistic approach. Too often I have found even the most 'modern' or contemporary astrologers to rely too much on the idea of fate or literalism in the horoscope, so much so that it becomes a detriment to the reader and the read. I enjoy the fact that Robert Hand sees the horoscope as a symbol. He suggests that one should not look to planets as being literal people or situations but, in a way, energy. He reminds of the fact that we are powerful as individuals, and that reality itself is quite subjective. He doesn't make grandiose claims of God or religion, and seems to be quite aware of society as a whole and the influence of culture vs. hereditary needs, so on and so forth.
I don't want to spoil this book too much. However, as someone who is usually thrown off by mysticism, fatalism, and throwing the life into the hands of invisible deities, I enjoyed the humanistic wisdom of this interesting man. It hasn't changed my personal opinion of astrology, but I do feel that maybe, if employed in a manner similar to Mr. Hand, where the horoscope does not define or determine the person but the person defines the horoscope, we can maybe achieve greater unity in our lives. Our world is severely lacking in voices which reach us on a human, individual level, and yet I feel profoundly moved and touched by Mr. Hand's insight. Lovely.
This book promotes the philosophy of going within; learning as an individual, what influences behavior, why you do the things you do and think the way you think. Coming from that stance makes astrology a palpable art and science - a "go to" for the deeper questions of life. I HIGHLY recommend this book!
Robert has an excellent understanding of the basics of Astrology and it is no wonder that he is a pre-eminent Astrologer of our day and age. He is also gifted with great writing skill. He communicates his very well thought out ideas in a very easy to understand form. Robert is as comfortable with the technical aspects of Astrology as with the non-techincial (Psychological, etc). And he is able to marry the two very well with his scholarship. This is evident throughout the book where he not only elucidates various technical points very clearly but also the underlying Psychological meanings.
Personally for me, I came across this volume a bit later after I started studying Astrology. And so I had read several introductory texts prior to this book and so as a bit skeptical as to what this book could add to my knowledge. But all my doubts were dispelled after reading the preface itself. I can confidently say that this is the best works I have read on introductory astrology. And given that it was written in the 1980's, this is a testament to the quality of the ideas and expression.
The fact that Robert is a skilled practitioner of Astrologer comes out through the myriad of observations he makes in the book. The beauty of this book is that when one reads any part of it one gets a very clear understanding of what that thing is and what it is not. This cannot be said about most books of astrology where everything can be everything and anything can be anything. Several times one reads a book and wonders what is it exactly that one learnt. Not here. Robert is confident of his scholarship, his work and his thought process and his brave enough to call a spade a spade.
Once I read this book, I went and purchased most of Robert's other works and he is a key teacher for me in my quest to learn this wonderful subject.