by John Frawley
, ISBN 10: 0953977420 , 224 pages; 2007. £20 + P&P.
Reviewed by Siobhaugn Buckley
Sports Astrology is a textbook that guides the reader through the interpretation of over 60 horary charts using a variety of different sports; soccer, cricket, horse racing. The book is a narrative with two main characters; the author who is the Master Astrologer and who takes the 'gaudily clad' young student on a journey of astrological lessons. The setting for this astrological journey is in front of the Master Astrologer's cave, sitting on stones while using the flank of Britney, the bad tempered Yak, as a writing board. There is also the Master Astrologer's pet Raven, Sedna, whose key role is in supporting the light hearted derision of the student and fetching sticks for the Master Astrologer to give his student a whack at, it seems, every opportunity, so as to maintain his attention.
The book is humorous and light hearted in its approach yet it also fulfils its main aim which is to teach techniques in predicting the results of sports through the use of astrology. The author uses over 60 genuine charts to describe the techniques used for the different permutations depending on the type of sport i.e. one on one, team based or a champ fighting to maintain his status. In his instruction the author is direct and to the point, he leaves no ambiguity in the rules to be applied giving the reader clear checklists to follow and therefore providing easy reference for later use.
The dialogue between the Master Astrologer and the student is very effective in allowing the reader to witness the student's thought process and so having an insight into his journey in understanding the techniques. The dialogue enables the author to show the logical questions and assumptions a student of astrology may have, and the necessity of such questions in attaining the ultimate understanding of the astrological techniques being explained.
The author's enthusiasm for sport shines through which is shown through the sports horary examples he gives, his understanding and explanation of the differing types of games (one-to-one; team based) and how you would judge based on the change in focus was very helpful in understanding how one would pose a horary question. These were good examples of how the Asc/Des axis is used in horary and how, due to changes in the focus of the question and the nature of the game, the relevance of this axis changes.
Sports Astrology could be a good introductory book for someone with a penchant for sports and gambling and who was interested in finding out about what horary can do as the techniques are portrayed simply and the book is easy to read. However, the rules and techniques applied in Sports Astrology should be applied exclusively to sports as there are so many traditional rules that have been adapted or omitted for the sole purpose of the book's subject matter that any student would become more confused than not having read the book as a basis to their learning.
Sports Astrology is an enjoyable read, unlike the average astrology text book this book is a narrative and is funny. The master/student relationship between the author and reader is both descriptive and helpful as it enables the author to describe the thought processes of a student throughout the interpretations. The author states that his aim in Sports Astrology is to "answer all the puzzling questions that arise during chart judgement - the questions that can be asked of a teacher, but cannot, until now, be asked of a book" (www.johnfrawley.com/RA.html) and this I feel he does well.
As for the Raven and Yak? They are a nice interlude taking you away from the saturnian mindset of serious 'study', so the whole feel of the book is light-hearted while also being an educational source.
Siobhaugn Buckley: June, 2009.