Despite incredible and previously undreamed-of advances in modern medicine, for many women the issue of infertility remains a heart-breaking reality. Using a combination of traditional and modern astrological techniques, the author has delved deeply into the charts of hundreds of infertile women, and in many cases has unravelled what might be at the root of the problem. Sometimes it’s a matter of location or timing, or it could be psychological issues in the relationship that are causing the block; whatever the reason, the author works closely with the couple – and often the medical profession – to produce results that are frequently positive where there has been no hope before.
Although this is an advanced textbook for astrologers, the human element of the case histories is nothing short of inspiring, and from that perspective can be enjoyed by readers with no knowledge of astrology.
Please note that in a few early copies of the book the table of Dorothean Triplicities on p.30 was incorrect. Here is the correct version:
FERTILITY ASTROLOGY, A Modern Medieval Textbook by Nicola Smuts-Alsop.
The Wessex Astrologer, England. www.wessexastrologer.com.
Trade Paper. 170 Pages. Bibliography. £15.99. $22.40.
This very well written, very well researched book is well worth studying (this is not something that you just read) for the advanced student or astrology professional. Definitely not for beginners – they will be lost.
This book is not just about fertility astrology. It is as much about the medieval systems as it is about fertility. In spiritual matters the medieval thinkers and philosophers are definitely ahead of us moderns. Those were different times. Everyone was pious in those days. Life centered around the church, synagogue, temple or ashram. There was a greater focus on theology than there is today. And, it seems to me they went deeper.
In Astrology though, the medievalists area mixed bag. They have some wonderful insights that are well worth incorporating into our thinking and practice. On the other hand, they didn’t use Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (which were not known in those days). Any practicing astrologer will attest to the power of these planets. They tended to be very fatalistic. Your fate is your fate and there is nothing you can do about it. (Not all the medievalists thought this way as the author shows, but most of them did.) Some of their terminology is also a bit objectionable. The use of the terms “malefic” and “benefic” are misleading. They imply a judgement of “good” or “bad”. Since each of the planets embodies – incarnates – a spiritual principle – each is essentially good – essentially Divine – a bringer of good. But some bring good though a “tough love” approach (Saturn, for example) and others bring good in a more pleasing kind of way. But they are all good. Terms such as pleasant or unpleasant, or easy and challenging are probably better.
The concept of the Almuten – a medieval concept – is most interesting and she explains it very well. It seems philosophically correct to me. In any area of life there is one planet that exerts the most force in that area – one planet which basically controls it – this is the Almuten. I also like the distinctions they make between a day chart and a night chart. This too seems philosophically correct. The use of the fixed stars and parans also ring true (but how much influence they have requires more study). By following the Almuten by transit and progression the astrologer can get a good handle on how the events of that area will go.
Her discussion involves many case histories and the charts are supplied. The reader should cast the charts and follow the discussion.
Her take on the healing virtues of the Horoscope was also very interesting – and true. The Horoscope will show the “personal myths” of the native. Unlike a medical diagnosis, it will show the meaning of the events that the native is facing. This in itself is a healing. This I have personally experienced many times. When the native understands the reasons for their difficulty they immediately get better (at least on the mental and emotional level).
I didn’t cast all the charts in her case histories – only a few. If I had more time I would have cast all of them. (It would have been nice to know where the natives were on the birthday prior to conception so that we can look at the Solar Return). It seems to me that we can see these things by modern methods (and philosophically correct methods). Why is it necessary to use profections, solar arcs, fidurias – which are of questionable philosophical underpinnings – when these same things can be seen in philosophically correct ways?
I also question the logic of the Dorothean Triplicity rulerships. Saturn as the ruler of Sagittarius, a fire sign? Mars as the ruler of Capricorn an earth sign? Probably there is some good reason for this, but I didn’t get it.
Having said all this, this is a very worthwhile book. The serious reader can apply her techniques not only to fertility astrology, but to many other areas of Astrology too – finance, love, health etc. It belongs in the book case of every practicing Astrologer.
Joe Polansky Diamond Fire Magazine