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On the Heavenly Spheres by Helena Avelar & Luis Ribeiro

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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: England

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: On the Heavenly Spheres by Helena Avelar & Luis Ribeiro Reply with quote

There has been some previous (very positive) discussion of ths book in other threads, but they are difficult to link to, so because this is currently the site's featured book - - I am starting a new thread and copying over two of the posts, where forum members have offered their own reviews. If anyone has any additional comments or questions about this book, feel free to add to this thread.
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Review from MattG (posted to the forum 6th Jan 2011):

Well I now have a copy of Avelar and Ribiero's "On the Heavenly Spheres"

With 278 full size pages there is a lot here. After an introduction and a history the book gives lists of planetary, sign and house meanings,elements and qualities. A range of other subjects are covered like latitude and inferior conjunctions among many.

They have kept up to date with some of the Hellenistic research and have made a table of essential and accidental dignities that includes Hayz.

Temperament calculations and planetary strength charts are given together with their use in some example charts.

There are lots of useful diagrams illustrating phase,moeties,aspects and so on but a few of them could do with being a little clearer.

Extensive footnotes are not included and it is emphatically not a cookbook. Readers are encouraged to fully understand the symbolism and interpret planets and houses for themselves.

The chapter on lots gives the calculations, advice on how to delineate them followed by a warning about using modern software. This is an example of how useful an up-to-date book on traditional astrology can be.

For the beginner who wants a modern english guide to the tradition this book provides plenty of good instruction and facts.

The more experienced might prefer looking at the translations of older texts but might well find some of the practical stuff helpful.

I have been looking forward to reading this for some time and am pleased to see the authors' work in book form.
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Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Review from jventura (posted to the forum 14th Jan 2011):

I'd like to take the chance of also reviewing this book here - "On the Heavenly Spheres", by Luis Ribeiro and Helena Avelar.

First of all, I must mention that this was the book (the portuguese original version) that is the responsible for me to start learning astrology more seriously. I come from computer science and engineering areas (currently PhD student), and so I never studied modern astrology because it never made enough sense to me, and I don't like to memorize things.
So, my entry point in astrology was horary, because it has rules, and the rules follow the same kind of patterns and sequences, so it is logical for me. In 2007, I saw this book in the bookstores and started to read it, and all the things started making even more sense to me, because Luis and Helena were carefull to put the things in different/logical places, and detail sufficiently each one of those things.

Now, for the book, I've still hadn't access to the English version, but I believe is an extension of the Portuguese one, so I can talk a little about that version. It is a book targeted for "real" beginners as well for students who are still not at ease reading the older texts, and as I said previously, the subjects are well placed and follows a logical flow, from the wider point of view to the particular.

It starts by presenting what is Astrology from a practical point of view, as well as the different variations that there is in the tradition, and history.

Then procedes to talk about the ptolomaic model, which in fact is behind the simbology of many things, like the elements. It presents the elements as they come from the ptolomaic model like, for instance, the moon is humid because is closer to earth (in the ptolomaic model), or saturn is cold because is further from earth. Then procedes to temperaments, talking about each combination.

Then talks about the different kind of astrology charts, following a timeline from antique egyptian charts to modern ones.

Then procedes to planets, talking about their symbology, always integrating their explanation with the ptolomaic model (like moon being humid by being closer to earth, but detailing it very much).

And then talks about the signs, again refering to the ptolomaic model, and knowing the temperaments of the planets, how do they express themselves in the signs. Like, for instance, a humid planet in a dry sign, loses its capacity of adaptation (my example). Again, it doesn't give the recipe, only the logical way of relating concepts.

It then procedes to talk about the essential dignities (again relating to the ptolomaic model) of the planets. Things like why does Saturn rule the colder signs (in northern hemisphere) are carefully detailed. Also, Lilly's weighting system of dignities is presented in a tabular form, which permits for beginners to have a point of start. Examples in this chapter are given, just like a school book.

The next chapter is about houses, how they are defined, and the logic here (at least for now memorizing things) is that the subjects of the house and of the oposing house are related by oposing subjects. This is the message that I've taken out of this chapter, because i try not to memorize the things. Of course, it details everything a beginner should know.

The following chapter is about the aspects, their interpretation and how they are derived. It also talks about orbs, and movements such as application or separation, concepts essential to horary astrology. It also talks about the friendly/unfriendly planets, and how to interpret their relations in the context of everything that was mentioned before.

Then, it starts to get into bigger details about the conditions of the planets, i.e., acidental dignities. Presents a logical flow to the relations of the planets with the sun, talks about the combustion (conjunction of the sun) which they consider very significant and give practical examples. Also, the relation of the planets with the moon is presented.

New last chapters are about fixed stars and arabic parts and how to integrate them with the previous information. Then it has several appendixes, of interesting information, like the protocol of temperament (which I've implemented on my software, see the, among others.

This is a short review, just to let people know about the contents of this book, which was a trigger for my deeper understanding of astrology, in particular, traditional. Again, I believe that it is a very good book for beginners and for the not-so-beginners, because all the information flows in a logic way, and with contemporary concepts.
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Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a copy of this book, but haven't finished it yet: summer is definitely my busy season!

As someone who studied modern astrology for about 20 years, one thing I note about this book is that much of the introductory material seems very familiar. For example, the quadruplicities link directly to modern astrologer Steven Arroyo's book, Psychology and the Four Elements! It is comforting to realize-- despite modern vs. traditional controversies-- that both "schools" of western astrology share extensive common foundations.

At least the first part of the book is written at a very elementary level in simple language, so it shouldn't scare off anyone who feared approaching traditional astrology via the original sources.
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Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a chance to browse through quite a few number of pages of this book in Amazon. And I think this is one of the best books for anybody venturing into traditional astrology. It covers most of the aspects of traditional astrology. Also included are quite a few worked-out examples of delineation which involves temperamental analysis and planetary scoring. This books provides excellent start. Highly recommended.
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Joined: 24 Jul 2005
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Location: Slovenia

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in the possession of this book by February and I reccomend it because it offers a lot of food for basic understanding of traditional astrology.
This boog accompanied with Dykes´ Traditional Astrology for Today is must have for a beginner and for an advanced student.

Reges Subjucent Legibus Stellarum
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