On The Heavenly Spheres

Helena Avelar
Luis Ribeiro
Publishing House: 
American Federation of Astrologers
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This is a highly recommended book for everyone who wants to study traditional Astrology and obtain a good structure. It is centred around the Hellenistic period till the Medieval Period reaching William Lilly. It is basically a book that explains in a perfect way, the western Medieval Astrology

It is not an easy read, as we can expect from a book that tries to teach traditional Astrology to beginners. It is also good for intermediate practitioners of Astrology who want to do a revision or study traditional Astrology. There are many graphs that help to understand the theory and two examples in every case. The illustrations are very good and they are many.

This is a distillate product of a lot of effort from the writers. So, instead of reading Dorotheos, Valens, Ptolemy, Manilus and the other gang of Medieval philosophers, one could start with this book and built a good basis and then move to the sources. You won't find the usual structure of zodiac sign characteristics, planets, houses and aspects you see in many modern books on Astrology. There are many astrological books for beginners that write the same things on a slightly different way and in the end they do not provide detailed explanations, leading to confusion. This is not such a book. It is for the serious magickian or the Astrologer who wants to open the doors of Medieval Astrology. There is a detailed presentation of all practical information, of the basic theory from traditional Astrology. Each chapter takes one day to fully read and understand and some chapters need to be read two times. The way that the theory is presented is Aristotelic. Each piece of the puzzle is linked and combined in later chapters.

We read about the four elements, the four temperaments, the planetary energies (not the new ones), the zodiac signs related with the temperaments and the elements, the dignities with a well-explained scoring system, the almuten, the houses, the aspects including orbs, antiscia and the lunar aspects, the lunar cycle, the lunar mansions (very important for magick), the planetary hours (including the day and the night hours), the nodes of the moon and the eclipses, the lots or parts (this section needs better explanation). The book ends with many good appendixes on the new planets, the astrological symbols, the calculation of the temperament through the natal chart, the minor dignities (if anyone uses them), an example of chart calculations etc.

This is a book that it is not read once, but when it is studied, it provides a good basis for practising traditional Astrology. It is a good buy. I would like to thank Chris Brennan for suggesting this book to me.

Theurgy and Philosophy are two different methods which lead to the union with God.


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