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A Beginner's Guide to Practical Astrology

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An improved beginner's guide to Astrology, by Vivian Robson.

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Most introductory astrology books, such as this one, are content to teach you the ABC's of astrology: Planets, signs, houses, aspects, pretty much in that order. You're then congratulated that, by the time you reach the end of the book, you can look up the individual pieces and spit out canned interpretations, by rote.

Vivian Robson (1890-1942, a man, by the way), expected better. Here is an example:

"Suppose Jupiter were chief significator of money and afflicted by Saturn. We should judge that money matters would be hampered by poor conditions, depressing surroundings, ill-health, or whatever Saturn signified in that horoscope. In other words, we should give Jupiter the chief consideration as significator of the matter enquired into, and interpret the action of Saturn in its relation to Jupiter, and not vice-versa. On the other hand if Saturn were the significator we should judge that fits of generosity or extravagance would affect the finances, because Jupiter is expansive in its action, and its afflicting aspect would cause trouble and loss. This general judgment is then refined by taking into account the sign and house occupied by the aspecting planet, and the houses it rules. Thus, suppose with Saturn as significator that Jupiter threw an adverse aspect from the 5th house. Then we should judge that the extravagance would arise from too much indulgence in pleasure, or from gambling, or other matters ruled by the 5th house.

"As a word of advice to the beginner I would say - Do not be afraid to let yourself go in this way. You will make many mistakes to start with, but it is the only way to make your Astrology of practical use. There is too great a tendency nowadays to float about in a comfortable haze of so-called esotericism. The first need of Astrology is accuracy and definition, not pseudo-religious speculation, and it is only by concentrating on the practical and scientific side that we can really make Astrology of service, and obtain for it the recognition it deserves." (pgs. 110-113: go have a look)

Someday a picture of the man will be found. Until then, read his books!

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