The number of books available in and out of print on astrology is mind-boggling and continuing to grow. Unfortunately, there is a lot of “static noise” in the overall stream of information, which can make finding the best books on the subject a daunting task. This book review will focus on the best books for beginners, serious students, and professionals.
Choosing the Book
For this review process, I am looking at three main factors: the knowledge and wisdom of the author, the readability and delivery of the knowledge, and the usefulness of the book. The book this month is targeted at advanced students and professionals. Kaldera’s book is a must-have for a practicing professional astrologer.
The Book This Month – Moon Phase Astrology: The Lunar Key to your Destiny by Raven Kaldera
The ISBN 13 number for this book is 978-159477401 and it can be purchased on Amazon for $19.95. You can find used copies on Alibris for $12.07 at the time this article was written.
Published in 2011, “Moon Phase Astrology is a valuable resource on a neglected topic. Through the use of descriptive and poetic titles, insightful text, and inspiring historic quotes, Raven Kaldera illuminates the subtle differences of the often-forgotten Moon phases through the twelve zodiac signs. A must-read for those walking the path of the Moon” (Christopher Penczak, back cover).
The book is well-edited, with a useful table of contents at the beginning of the book, an introduction, a “How to Use this Book: For the Complete Beginner” section, and detailed descriptions for each phase of the Moon in all twelve signs.
Kaldera writes, “The Moon’s ever-changing phases offer a way to deepen our understanding of our natal Moon sign as well as the Moon’s day-to-day influence on our emotional tides. Through its 8 phases and its wandering dance through of the 12 signs of the Zodiac – from the Infant’s Moon (the New Moon in Aries) to the Storyteller’s Moon (the Full Moon in Gemini) to the Prophet’s Moon (the waning Balsamic Moon in Aquarius) – the Moon shares its story in 96 different ways” (back cover).
The book contains chapters on the 8 phases: In the Beginning: the New Moon, Call to Action: the Crescent Moon, Internal Crisis: the Waxing Quarter Moon, Soul’s Redemption: the Gibbous Moon, Consummation: the Full Moon, the Greater Good: the Disseminating Moon, The Wound on the Outside: the Waning Quarter Moon, and Into the Embers: the Balsamic Moon.
Even though he offers a section “For the Complete Beginner”, this book is better suited for advanced students or professional astrologers. Without a good foundation in Astrology, reading this book can feel like jumping in the deep end of a pool, never having learned to swim.
Novice students would easily struggle to understand the Moon Phase of their birth in the larger context of their fully realized chart. That said, the information in the book is invaluable to anyone seeking to understand the most powerful aspects of astrological practice. However, it is not the first or even second book you should own, but it is definitely one you want in your library after you have established your foundation.
Focus on the Gibbous Moon in Gemini – the Mercenary’s Moon
Kaldera writes, “As we move into the Gibbous Moon in Gemini, the focus changes. The Liar becomes a Mercenary, a duelist who will fight with anyone so long as there is pay. However, this period of time will teach the Gemini Moon a great deal. The Mercenary starts out with the flexible ethics of the Liar but quickly discovers that untruths about one’s abilities, in this job anyway, can be fatal. He learns about an argument that is based on reality rather than fiction, and most important, he learns about discernment.” (155)
Focus on the Disseminating Moon in Libra – Ambassador’s Moon
“On the Libra Disseminating Moon, the Lover decides to spread the message of love and harmony to a wider audience, doing her part to make life easier for people. The Ambassador’s Moon is a time of swinging from beauty and peace back toward justice, but the Ambassador, like the Lover, is still trying to find a balance. If people would just listen to each other, she reasons, then there would be neither conflict nor disharmony. Perhaps I can help them to do just that! She sets out to resolve the complaints of warring factions and bridge the gap between groups of people.” (252)
Focus on the Waning Quarter Moon in Leo – Usurper’s Moon
“The Waning Quarter Moon attacks Leo like a shark from out of the depths. This is the moment of external betrayal, and the Leo Moon has built its entire reputation and happiness around outside approval. In one fell swoop, everything he has built falls down. The people rebel against him, rise up to tear him from his throne and cast him down and put another in his place. The Usurper triumphs over the Fallen King, and he crawls away into the wilderness with his last faithful servant, wondering what will become of him.
Knowing the Reviewer
I have an academic background; my PhD is in English (1996) and my concentration was rhetoric and composition. Astrologically speaking, I am an Aries Sun with Mercury, my point of communication, also in Aries. These two facts about my background and astrological identity are the two main “lenses” for how I pick and interpret books. I want them to be well-written, researched, and presented (my academic lens), and I want them to be useful, direct, and pithy (my Aries Mercury lens).
I do recommend this book because it is a treasure trove of information. It is a modern text that should stand up to the tests of time. Kaldera is a prolific writer, and most of his books are not about astrology. This book hits home and contains extremely helpful information that a professional can give a client. For any serious student or professional in the craft, this is a must-own book.