Astrology Books For Beginners & Instructions How To Use Them

Let’s say you’re read enough online to know you want to learn astrology and you’re ready to invest in some books.  Since you can calculate a chart online you can start with 3-5 books.  You need a book on planets in signs, and eventually a book on planets in houses. You need a book on aspects and you need a book on transits.

I wouldn’t suggest beginners mess with synastry right away. It’s very important you understand how one person is strung together before you try to read charts in tandem so there is your structure.

As a disclaimer, I have not kept up with astrology writing in the last 10 years.  I can tell you what the standards are and which books I like on these basics (called “cookbooks”) but it is possible there is something great out there I don’t know of.

These books are chosen for their accessibility. We’re not trying to prove how smart we are, we’re trying to get the basics down with the understanding you can go very deep into this subject. Matter of fact, you are sure to find it inexhaustible but this right here is meant to provide you with a foundation.

No if you’re super serious and money is not a problem, I would buy all these books and I will explain why when I explain how to use them below.

First, planets in signs:

I don’t think I read this book personally, but it is part of a series that is very reliable and highly rated on Amazon. I think it is safe to say this book would be standard on this topic. Planets in Signs (The Planet Series)

Also on the aspects, there is, Secrets from a Stargazer’s Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You, a favorite of many.  The interpretations are short and pithy, this book through whimsical, has also become a standard.

As for books on aspects, here is a standard, Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope and here is the extra-credit book… that I love and would probably buy first, How to Be a Great Astrologer: The Planetary Aspects Explained

Here is a standard on interpreting planets in houses, Planets in Houses: Experiencing Your Environment Planets

And this is a fantastic book on the houses themselves which you are going to have to become familiar with eventually, The Twelve Houses

As for transits, this is the standard,  Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living and this is a secondary offering (and book I love) Transits of the West Dasas of the East: How to Predict Your Future

Now lets say you have all these books. What you do is take your chart, your boyfriend’s chart, you sister’s chart, your friend’s chart and you look everything up.

Venus in Leo – Look it up.
Venus sextile Neptune – Look it up.
Mars in the 8th house. Look it up.

If you have come this far, you will likely get yourself very interested very quickly so it you have two books on each thing, you can check both your books. He said this about Mars in Taurus, she said that. Things will start to gel. They WILL start to gel if you keep at it, you’re committed, right?

In regards to your transits, you need a list of the transits to your chart which you can get online, free.  With that in hand, look things up in your books.

Don’t bother with minor aspects (inconjunct or quincunx) at first. Those aspects aren’t in these books anyway. The idea is to get your mind around this and to do that you want to see a forest not every bump on every tree. I mentions this because a computer can spit out a very long lists.

Only concern yourself with transits from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto at first. The other planets move quickly and their effects are fleeting.  This is a frame we’re after here, something you can build on for the rest of your life so you want to get this down and then learn up or out or down from there, as you please.

You are ready to move on, when someone can say, “Mecury in Pisces” and you can say something about the placement. Even if you are quoting an author verbatim, you can feel pretty confident you are getting somewhere when you have an answer for that. Just that you know where to find the information in your books is something.

Of course there will be some things more intriguing than others and that is fine. Eventually it will all come together so most definitely take a break from the books and hit Google when you come across something that grabs your attention.

Now… please do me a favor and spread this post far and wide. Link it for me, would you?

Thanks and happy learning!

22 thoughts on “Astrology Books For Beginners & Instructions How To Use Them”

  1. I’m going to have to check those out. I’ve only seen the Planets in Transit by Robert Hand.

    Side note- Why’d you choose that first particular graphic and where did you find it?

  2. Shakti, I chose it for the color(s) which appeal to me and I am pretty sure it came from google non-copyrighted images if memory serves (and it probably does). As for how to find that collection of pics, I have forgotten, LOL. I have collected the pics on this blog over 10 years time.

  3. @Shakti – that is (I believe) the World card from the Motherpeace Tarot deck.

    Elsa thanks for this great, super-informative post – printing it out for future use, linking it to family/friends, and bookmarking it for future sharing! Some of the books I’ve heard of, but I haven’t read any of them so have much to look forward to.

  4. Brilliant! Thanks so much! I don’t have any extra money, so that’s exactly the kind of information I need – what’s essential. I can always get more books later on when I can afford them but right now, I need the basics. And I already got the aspects part right, got the book you mentioned.

  5. Thank you for this list so much Elsa! I’m super excited because I’ll be able to get some books (via Amazon) next week and I’ve been trying to figure out what I should get. I currently only have ‘Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Astrology’ but the descriptions aren’t as thorough as I would like so this is great!

  6. Here is what my software spits out, so it comes with a cookbook interpretation. 1 year, $10?? Fast delivery, unless you can get this free somewhere, I don’t know.

    Dec 2, 2010 (Dec 2, 2010 to Dec 3, 2010) Mars Sqr Plu

    Your drive for personal power, achievement, or control over your life is very strong at this time. The tyrant in you emerges, and you can be excessively
    willful, domineering, or compulsive about doing what you want to. You battle anyone or anything that is an obstacle to your individual freedom of action, and
    ego conflicts or a furious power struggle may ensue. Also, you can be unmerciful with yourself and your own weaknesses. You are likely to push yourself
    much too hard.

  7. Wow Elsa !!!! This is great of you!! Their are so many books and it’s gold to get a go to list!!! I have mostly used the liberary’s election , because the astrology bookshop is just too overwhelming, but the quality is not the best Thank you !! Def going to order some of them before christmas:)

  8. Secrets From A Stergazer’s Notebook, was the first in depth astrology book I purchased.I wrote a letter to the author back in the 80’s.She was kind enough to write back.I had My first reading w/Debbi Kempton-Smith in 2008.Thank You for the list Elsa.

  9. Thank you for this list. I am, and always will be, in love with books. I love the feel of holding them, the weight in my hands, the ease of going back and forth between one page and another. Technology is too cold for me. Having this list will quicken my learning curve. Again, thank you.

  10. Avatar

    For those who want to read and study but can’t afford it, may I offer a suggestion:

    1. Check your local library.
    2. If the library does NOT have one, some or all the books, ask about ILL – Inter-library loans. Thanks to this wonderful tool, I was able to get books from across the U.S.

    If you’re in Canada, you may not be as lucky, but it’s worth a try, ESPECIALLY if you have access to / are a member of an academic (i.e university or college) library

  11. Already have some of those… the rest and others are either coming or in my wish list…

    I have learned/studied exactly in the way u described.


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