I finished Traditional Astrology for Today last week, and it was exactly the book I’ve been looking for. As an overview of the field, a primer on the philosophical background of the tradition, and an intro to a few techniques one can use to begin to interpret a chart, it’s invaluable. I also really appreciated his examples, which made the interpretive process less intimidating.
Books can speak to people for various reasons, and I found this one struck the right chord in my brain at this moment in time. For anyone else who may have a similar personality or mindset, or similar difficulties in their astrological studies, I’ll describe why I think it might be an especially good choice.
My perspective is that of a person newer to traditional methods and who is not well trained in technical astrology of any sort. I’m just a lifelong student and natural researcher. I often feel I “can’t see the forest for the trees” when I immerse myself in too much detail without getting a broad overview first. I love knowing and understanding the details, especially as a perfectionist who desires to know “the right (or best) way” to do everything, but this can mean that I never feel I know enough to actually begin.* Getting to the point of putting the multitude of traditional methods to practical use seemed so far off!
I was reading On The Heavenly Spheres before, and it’s great, but I stalled out after feeling again that I was continuing to collect information without a clear plan for how to use it. Traditional Astrology for Today gave me a practical starting point to get up and running, and now I’m eager to apply some of it and then get back to finish Spheres. So yes, it’s a slim little guide, and one may wonder if it’s worth getting or if you should just dive right into something meatier and more complete. I say that depending on your learning style and personal quirks it might be just the perfect thing.
I also think Ben strikes the right tone in educating the modern astrologer or student about the traditional mindset without badmouthing the modern practitioners. He demonstrates that the traditional perspective can still be compassionate and constructive, and isn’t incompatible with a counseling approach. He also doesn’t make one feel guilty if one still wants to incorporate the outer planets in one's work.
Sorry if this gushes a bit – it’s just that I’m high on this feeling of “NOW I’m ready to go!”