Welcome to a series about the Great Minds in Astrology. Each month this post will look at the key thinkers and practitioners in the field of astrology, from ancient to contemporary times. Numerous men and women have made significant contributions to the field of astrology. These Great Minds provide a large bibliography of writings worth reading and putting into your own astrology library.
This article will distill a thinker’s essential and many contributions and provide a book list of their key works. As with any thinkers who write extensively, some books stand out more than others, and these will be identified. Some works have practical application and others are theoretical, depending on whether or not you wish to practice astrology or just study it.
This article will talk about Demetra George.
Demetra George (July 25, 1946 –)
Demetra George is a contemporary astrologer who published her first book, Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess, in 1992. Since then she has published five other books:
- Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-Emerging Feminine (2003)
- Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand and Interpret Your Own Birth Chart – with Douglas Bloch (2006)
- Finding Our Way through the Dark (2008)
- Astrology and the Authentic Self: Integrating Traditional and Modern Astrology to Uncover the Essence of the Birth Chart (2008)
- Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice: A Manual of Traditional Techniques, Volume I: Assessing Planetary Condition
Encyclopedia.com offers a succinct biography.
Blending Classical and Modern Astrology
Interestingly, her early publications forge new thoughts about astrology by expanding the points used in a chart to include the Dark Moon Lilith and the asteroids, namely Ceres, Juno, Vesta, and Pallas Athena. Her two most recent works revive astrological theory and practice from Hellenistic (classical) astrology. Her latest book is not for the faint of heart, and as far away from a beginner’s book as a bicycle is from a Ferrari.
In my own personal journey as a professional astrologer Demetra George has been one of the most influential thinkers to impact my practice. After reading her book on the asteroids I began including them in the charts I cast and now they are a staple in every chart I work on with clients. Also, almost every Western astrologer studies and learns astrology using the Placidus house system.
After reading Astrology and the Authentic Self I decided to switch to the Whole Sign system, which is what I have been using since 2012, when I began my full-time practice. There are numerous house systems, none of them are “correct” and all of them work. If you choose to study astrology, you should spend some time looking at all the systems and then judge which one works best for you.
The Books to Read and In What Order
Since Demetra George has only written six books, I highly recommend you get all six and read them. Her beginner book with Douglas Bloch is excellent. Since it was written before Astrology and the Authentic Self, she and Bloch use the Placidus house system, so it is interesting to start with this book. It will provide you with an excellent foundation and is far superior to most beginning astrology books.
Next, I would recommend reading Astrology and the Authentic Self. This book will introduce you to the Hellenistic (classical) model for doing astrology. There are many practical applications covered in this text that will help you interpret a chart in very useful ways. And you will be able to see a direct comparison between the Placidus system used in her beginner book and the Whole Sign system.
After reading these two books I would recommend her book on the asteroids. They really do “fill out” a chart. I have found that asteroids, near or in tight aspect with the traditional points, but especially the Sun and Moon, add tremendous value to chart interpretation for my clients. Ceres reveals how we want to be nourished; Juno indicates how we commit and feel our sense of duty. Vesta represents our feelings about home, and Pallas Athena shapes how we think strategically and logically.
Mysteries of the Dark Moon and Finding Your Way through the Dark are both excellent books to read once you have a firm grasp on astrological principles. They will help you explore the shadow elements of astrological signs and points. Learning this material will help round out your astrological knowledge.
Finally, and what is clearly her opus magnum, Ancient Astrology in Theory and Practice is 662 pages of pure and serious scholarship. This is a must-own book for anyone who plans to practice astrology professionally. Whether you choose to use classical, modern, or a blend of classical and modern techniques interpreting charts, you need to read this book to understand the origins of the practice. Coupled with Chris Brennan’s Hellenistic astrology (698 pages), you can immerse yourself in 1300 pages of overlapping scholarship.