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The Llewellyn Journal
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The Symbolic Science of Astrology

This article was written by Stephanie Jean Clement, Ph.D.
posted under Astrology

Your life is filled with all kinds of symbols. Some are so familiar you don't even have to think about them! We all recognize a stop sign, even if it says Alto!, because of the octagonal shape. You probably recognize the cross, five and six pointed stars, and other religious symbols. The skull and crossbones is a universal symbol for poison.

Astrology is an art and science built upon ancient symbols. Astronomers and astrologers, for example, use the same symbols and signs for the planets that were used centuries ago. The symbolic language of astrology translates into interpretations by the skilled practitioner. Let's look at three astrology books that will guide your study of the astrological alphabet of symbols and deepen your understanding of astrology’s rich language.

Basics
No modern astrology book has stood the test of time as well as Llewellyn's A to Z Horoscope Maker and Interpreter. This book includes a wide range of instruction concerning natal astrology, the study of the birth chart. If you are a beginner, it is a vital tool that contains information seldom included anywhere else. This volume continues to be a valuable resource for the seasoned astrologer, as it includes updated chapters on many of the modern techniques that you may wish to explore, plus an extensive glossary of astrological terminology.

There are two specific tools in the book that I have found to be especially useful. The first is an outline to follow when interpreting a birth chart. I used this extensive outline when I was learning astrology, and it helped me to remember all the factors to consider in a complete delineation. The second is the study guide, which is new to the recently revised edition. This guide helps you to self-test to see how well you are absorbing and understanding the material, and can be very useful for teachers or for study groups.

Myths of the Planets
Mythic Astrology Applied is another book that has stood the test of time. This volume presents the astrological myths in detail so that you can understand the meanings behind the astrological chart more fully. No more searching the Internet or library to find references. Now you can use this single book to understand the myths and deepen your awareness of how astrology works within the psyche.

You will find that exploration of the myths of each of the planets provides a rich portrayal of archetypal energy. You will also discover more information about each planet’s interaction with other planets, illuminating how chart aspects work on a deep psychological level, as well as on a practical level. Your ability to synthesize astrological factors will expand exponentially!

A Symbol for Just about Every Day
The Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis
is a book that begins with Marc Edmund Jones' material and takes it a step further. The symbols spring from a set of Twentieth Century images, and are thus much more contemporary than ancient astrological references. The book provides a symbol for each degree of the zodiac and pairs each degree with the opposite zodiacal degree.

Through this book, you learn how the 360 degrees of the zodiac portray just about every nuance of human temperament and character, including polarities. Read about the degrees in your own chart to understand your instinctive approach to life. You also gain insight into symbols that follow you in your dreams, your vision for the future, and your daily activities. The symbols supply a topic for conversation with clients too.


While it is possible to achieve a fair degree of skill in interpretation and prediction without considering the symbolic meanings in astrology, you can expand your sensitivity to the human condition by understanding the archetypal meanings embedded in astrological lore. The three books mentioned here provide a solid foundation in the basics of astrology and also deepen your appreciation for symbolic meaning. Choose one or get all three—they make excellent additions to your reference collection.


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