Book Review: Fixed Stars in the Chart
FIXED STARS IN THE CHART: Constellations, Lunar Mansions and Mythology by Oscal Hoffman. The Wessex Astrologer, PO Box 9307, Swanage BH19 9BF, England. Trade Paper. 237 Pages. Bibliography. £18.50, $27.75.
This is a wonderful book that you will need to read many times. There’s no way that you will get everything in it from just one reading. I’ve only read it once and I know there is much I’ve missed. I plan to read it again and I hope the author will forgive me if I’ve left some things out.
This is not a work for beginners. This is for serious and advanced students. The beginner will be totally lost. It is juicy and meaty. There is much to think about here, not just in terms of forecasting or the practical side of astrology, but also on the philosophical side. We get a whole new perspective on the philosophy of astrology.
The main part of the book deals with the influence of the Fixed Stars and how they influence a horoscope. These Fixed Stars move very slowly – approximately one degree every 72 years. So basically if there is a prominent fixed star influencing your chart you have it all (or most) of your life.
But the Fixed Stars are not only powerful in the Natal Chart, but also by Solar Return and Progression. And this is a great tool for forecasting.
When you get into the Fixed Stars you get into mythology. Each one has a mythology around it and this is part and parcel of the interpretation. The myths could be seen as the Bible of the ancient world. A bible written in the sky – “the heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1. Every star relates to a scripture, which is open ended and can be read in different ways. A good intuition is all important in the interpretation. The Fixed stars are giving spiritual lessons for the person.
Chapter 3 is devoted to explaining the mythology behind each of the Fixed Stars that are used in a horoscope. By the way, this chapter would be interesting for anyone interested in mythology – not just astrologers.
In Chapter 4 he gives a list of the positions of the important Fixed Stars so that you can locate them in your own chart or the chart of a client. In Appendix A there is a list of keywords for each of the stars, but best to find the story in Chapter 3 and relate it from there.)
Most people don’t know that there is a Lunar Horoscope as well as a Solar One. These Lunar Mansions as they are called are based on the Moon’s daily motion (13 degrees approx) and thus gives 27 or 28 Lunar Mansions (depending on the system you use). These he states are really “star houses” as they related to the fixed stars. Each Lunar Mansion Is related to a fixed star and its mythology. This gives more nuance to a chart reading. (A fixed star can be influencing a planet even if it is not exactly on the planet – it will influence it because the planet is a guest in its mansion.)
Most interesting are the numerous case studies of prominent people and events presented in Chapter 6. He interprets by the classical system. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not used. (He does mention in the beginning of the book that these are considered “like” fixed stars – an interesting perspective.)
What I especially liked about this book was his attention to, and explanation of, the philosophy – the spiritual rationale – behind his methods – both with the Fixed Stars and the Lunar Mansions. Too often we read books about some new technique or method and the philosophical rationale is not explained.
Well written, well researched and well organized. A true service to the Astrological community. This book will be read and studied for many years to come. Highly recommended for the serious student.