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Book Review
- Astrologik -

ASTROLOGIK "The Oracular Art of Astrology" by Antero Alli (Vertical Pool, 1999; 224 pages; illustrated by Sylvie Pickering. $16.95).

Welcome to the world of "Astrologik", where houses, planets and signs morph into states, forces and styles. Originally written in 1990, and revised in 1999, this timely new edition draws upon tumultuous lessons learned, providing an absorbing lesson in history, while preparing us for the challenges ahead.

Since my personal orientation as a practicing consulting astrologer is that forces (planets) have an entire range of expression, I was heartened to see that approach mirrored in the book, especially in three phases of Saturn. Presented as a continuum we can place ourselves on, we may progress at our own pace, free of judgement. The north and south nodes are addressed with the "point of inertia" added to the dynamic, giving permission to the very human path of least resistance. Free will and an active part in co-creation are championed throughout "Astrologik". Clearly a breath of fresh air as we head towards the millenium.

For professional astrologers, the information on interpretation, (especially on what NOT to do), and the popular debate on whether astrology should be regulated provides contemplative food for thought. Even the much-maligned Mercury retrograde cycles are rebirthed into positive opportunities for reflection. And contrary to popular belief, "Astrologik" emphatically states that you were NOT born into a particular sun sign because it comes naturally to you. (In other words, perhaps you incarnated this life as a Virgo because last life you were possibly lazy and unorganized.)

The theme taken throughout "Astrologik" is an empowering and supportive approach in expressing our true planetary potentials. Astrology is viewed as an archetypal language, releasing it from the dark claws of the occult, and ceasing to do battle with proving itself a science. There's even information squeezed into the book on transits--current planetary cycles. "Astrologik" suggests going back in time to deepen ones understanding. As the philosopher Kierkegaard once said, "life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards." Alli pleads not to blame transits as causes for our success or problems. Rather, transits are more of a map for the timing of changes. If you know its going to rain, you can bring your raincoat, but don 't blame the rain on your current transit map!

There are plenty of evocative pictures peppered throughout, courtesy of Silvie Pickering. I particularly enjoyed the reality check collage, a natural for those trying to connect to the essence of Saturn. In "What Makes Your Moon Smile" pithy proclamations describe what makes each moon sign bask in its comfort zone. Clearly a beginner will fathom, and a seasoned pro will relish the tongue in cheek clarity.

Determinedly written in plain English instead of astrologese, "Astrologik" would make great required reading for teenagers, or anyone else previously turned off to astrology because of jargon and phraseology. Since attention spans seem to be getting shorter, Alli anticipated this need by providing clever sound bites known as "Bottom Lines". This assessable jumble of key words and phrases for each planetary force and state is found at the bottom of a page, providing a convenient trailer of notes at the end of lengthier descriptions.

If you are in the market for an engagingly informative astrology book to take you into the new millenium-- shaking up the status quo as you go! -- this inventive book is for you. Part of the appeal of "Astrologik'" is that it teaches you to fish rather than throwing you a fish. So, put on your free thinking cap, and leave assumptions at the door. Get ready to embrace a visionary new astrology for the new millennium.

Andrea Mallis reading Astrology for Yourself

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