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Cookbook Astrology

The astrological “cookbook” is something that every person who wants to learn about astrology encounters. These are books that provide interpretation for various factors in a horoscope. The typical Sun sign book is an elementary example of this, but there are cookbooks on sign positions, house positions, aspects and more. There are also cookbooks dealing with specific approaches of astrology, such as Vedic astrology or Traditional astrology.

Cookbooks are a necessary part of every astrologer’s educations. They are how we learn the basics. They are also handy references for more experienced astrologers. I keep several on my bookshelf and refer to them periodically, usually when I’m stumped by a particular configuration. But cookbooks have limitations, limitations that no student of astrology should forget.

The first problem with astrological cookbooks is that they only give you one possible interpretation of a sign placement, aspect, etc. The fact is that every piece of a horoscope tells not just one story, but several. No two astrologers are going to exactly concur on which story to tell or how to tell it. That’s why it’s important for students to consult different references and different teachers.

The authors of astrological cookbooks sometimes try account for this first problem by making their interpretations for specific factors in the chart as broad as possible, but this just leads up to another problem with cookbooks. Cookbook interpretations that are too full of information and potentials can be confusing to a student. They describe too many possible behaviors for each piece of the horoscope, and when they are all combined you end up describing a personality that is both everything and nothing.

The best way to read (and to write) an astrological cookbook is not to take the information it provides too seriously. On this website I offer “Your Mars Venus Playbook,” a cookbook I wrote several years ago. Even though I based each entry in that book on research into the sex lives of various celebrities and historical figures, I make no claims that the story I tell about Venus in Virgo with Mars in Libra is the only possible story for that combination. I accept that limitation, and hope that the reader does so as well.

I had thought I would end this article by recommending some astrological cookbooks, but there are so many out there, and so much stuff available on line that I decided opt for a more general recommendation.

When choosing astrological cookbooks (and every astrologers should have several) you should aim for variety. Wordy texts full of psychological terminology should be coupled with succinct and deterministic traditional works. It is also important that you have texts, on online sources, that you enjoy reading. The task of learning astrology is long and arduous. You should make sure that you are having as much fun as possible along the way.

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