Review from Réalta (Journal of the Irish Astrological Association)

I read Garry's book over a weekend and found it very thought provoking. It's been a long time since I have been so engrossed in any astrological book. I expect to read it again and to continually dip into it in the years ahead. Everyone interested in our art/science, including non-astrologers should read it.

Between the years 1996 and 2000, Garry recorded 33 interviews with some of the most notable and interesting astrologers, mainly in the English speaking world. His purpose was to show what it is they do and why they do it, using their own words. He also recorded the views of a number of scientific researchers who presented evidence that 'nothing has been proved, that all conclusions are either partial or just plain wrong'. Thankfully these same researchers have shown a willingness to persevere with their efforts if new methods or techniques can be presented for testing. Only astrologers can do this and it is up to them to ensure that the search for the truth of astrology continues. A number of these interviews were published in British astrological magazines at various times. This book is not a collection of these interviews but rather excerpts. It presents various issues and a whole range of opinions so that the readers can arrive at their own conclusions. Among these issues are Sun-sign astrology, counselling and therapy, health, varieties of experience and doubts about astrology, to mention but a few.

There are chapters on research into astrology. Here the researchers criticise astrologers for not being careful and disciplined enough. When asked, 'How might this be addressed?' they replied 'The single most important factor in helping astrologers be careful might be an improvement in their general education. This would be a necessary first step in correcting the five harmful influences on astrology's credibility that we talked about.

This is what is so fascinating about it, it makes the reader think about astrology.

Hopefully the topics raised will lead to some kind of conference where astrologers and others will debate these pressing issues. Hopefully decisions would eventually be made on what it is that astrologers really believe in, in the area of techniques for instance. Perhaps if someone were to present some new aspect or technique for instance they should be able to submit arguments in its defence as if in a court of law. They should be able to convince the judge and jury so to speak, not by anecdotes but factual astrology/astronomy. Personally I doubt if such a conference would ever take place, but we can always live in hope.

Reviewed by Maurice McCann