BOOK REVIEW- VENUS & JUPITER: BRIDGING THE IDEAL AND THE REAL
VENUS & JUPITER: Bridging the Ideal and the Real by Erin Sullivan. The Wessex Astrologer, PO Box 9307, BH19 9BF, England. www.wessexastrologer.com. Trade Paper. 236 Pages. £17.50. $24.50.
This book was originally published in 1996 and has long been out of print. It is now republished. It is excellent and good for both beginners and more advanced students. All can profit from this.
Really this is 3 books. It is a study of the Greek Myths, a book on astrology and a treatise on women’s studies.
I found the 1st two very interesting and informative. It is right and proper to study the Greek Myths – the origins for our understanding of the planets, since they are named after the Greek Gods.
Myth (as opposed to fable and legend) should be considered the bible of the ancient world. Homer, to the Greeks, was like Moses to the Judeo-Christians. I would also say that he was the Psalmist as well – though some of my Greek friends give that title to Hesiod. It is said that most of the books burned in the Library of Alexandria were commentaries on Homer. Very much like it is today. There are approximately 47 books in the Old and New Testaments (much depends on which are included) and the commentaries on these go into the tens of thousands – if not millions.
So when we study the Myths, we are studying the sacred scripture of the ancient world (at least the Western world). There are certain rules to this kind of study. One must penetrate the anthropomorphisms, allegories and contradictions in these myths. This is not easy. Underneath all of these blinds is some essential truth. You can’t just take them at face value. All in all she does a good job here.
If anyone wants to learn more about the Greek Myths, this is an excellent book to have on the shelf.
Then there is the book on Astrology – most notably Venus and Jupiter – the two benefics of the zodiac. What we get here is an honest (and deep) meditation on these two planets. Almost every facet of these planets are explored. She is doing, what every astrologer needs to do – take these planets into meditation and ruminate on them. Out of this, one will emerge with a deep understanding – and much knowledge that is not written in books. (Every astrologer needs to do this and eventually every person as well). The books are nice – they are guideposts – but nothing replaces the personal meditation.
The astrology here is superb. It is rare that I agree with everything in any book – but here I find myself mostly in agreement. I understand the rationale behind what she says. Is Jupiter the ruler of Psychology? I don’t think so, yet he is a definite force in that world. For philosophy is causal to psychology. Are the Greek Gods and the planets “nature forces”? Or are they celestial forces that operate through nature? It seems to me that the latter is more accurate.
So any student of astrology, beginner or advanced, should read this book.
Now lets deal with the 3rd book. Here she bemoans the fact that the ancient matriarchies were supplanted by the “sky gods” – the male gods. Life was so much simpler then. Nature was God. People were close to nature. There was harmony with nature. While this state of affairs was right and natural when Humanity was in infancy and childhood. It became pathological when Humanity started to mature. Seeing Mom as God and the sources of supply and protection is natural in an infant. But is pathological when the child is a teenager. The child needs to separate from Mom and start to become an adult – to exercise his or her powers. In infancy the child is subject to nature. But as the child reaches adulthood, her or she learns that it is in control of nature – that nature can be shaped to his or her will. Humanity is not subject to Nature, but has dominion over it. This is the Destiny of Humanity. Hence there was a need for the “sky gods” to come into the picture. Hence there was a need for the revelations of Monotheism to enter the picture. The human is not yet God, but is destined, eventually to be that – Sons and Daughters of God.
Growing up has many dangers. Parents feel much trepidation when they give the keys to the car to their teenage children. And, their trepidations are warranted. They know there will be many mistakes and abuses. Yet, they give the keys anyway. They know that is the next step to adulthood. If they didn’t do that, they would be remiss as parents.
To keep humanity in a state of infancy is a crime.
Having said all this, I hope this doesn’t deter the student from getting the book. It is well worth studying and absorbing.