Chris Brennan has recently completed his long awaited book on Hellenistic astrology. The full book title is “Hellenistic Astrology. The Study Of Fate & Fortune.” I had the pleasure of being given a copy to review. Hellenistic Astrology is a comprehensive study of the development of traditional astrology from the very beginning. The history section opens the book and is wonderfully detailed. This for me was my favorite part of the book as Chris does a great job of bringing the evolution of astrology to life.
The book continues with how the techniques of Hellenistic astrology developed and which astrologers brought them into use. This section of the book is also very detailed so you know exactly which astrology brought in what technique. There is also reference to where gaps in translating ancient texts have left us guessing about certain traditional astrological rules. It also shows us where some astrologers disagreed. This is useful because it reminds us we shouldn’t be too dogmatic when it comes to astrological rules and regulations.
This book is not one for beginners, I would say it falls into the intermediate to advanced category. If you come from a modern astrology background there will be many unfamiliar terms, but still easier to digest than ye olden language of William Lily or other dry translations of ancient astrologers. If you have already dipped your feet into horary astrology or traditional astrology generally, then this book brings it all together. Later chapters do a splendid job of putting the techniques into practice using charts of prominent people.
All in all I would recommend this book in tandem with some others. Many of you come to this site for the decans and the fixed stars, which alas Chris does not cover in his book. For that side of things I would go to Austin Coppock for his book “36 Faces” on the decans and get a copy of “On The Heavenly Spheres. A treatise on Traditional Astrology” which is a great beginners book which does include some fixed stars material. Modern astrologers who would like to make the transition towards tradition techniques should read Demetra George “Astrology for the Authentic self”.
I use a technique in my Astrology readings called zodiacal releasing, which looks at peak periods in ones life. The chapter in Chris’s book that deals with the zodiacal releasing explains the technique very well using real life examples. Overall ‘Hellenistic Astrology’ is a book you will probably refer back to as you grow as an astrologer. It serves as both an invaluable reference guide and a great instructional book. This book makes Hellenistic techniques extremely accessible as part of your astrological tool kit.