The Barnes & Noble Review
The Power of Birthdays, Stars, & Numbers is to the average horoscope what The Encyclopedia Britannica is to a copy of Reader's Digest magazine. As the introduction states:
"This book goes far beyond the simple Sun sign astrology to provide insight into the unique characteristics of each day. We have drawn on our knowledge of astrology, psychology, numerology, and fixed stars, and only after synthesizing all these disciplines have we created these comprehensive daily profiles. No two days share identical cosmic forces; therefore, each day is uniquely special. Every daily profile provides intriguing information about yourself and your future and will also prove irresistible in checking up on birthdays of friends, lovers, family, and colleagues. You will gain a greater understanding of your own capabilities and potential as well as insight into the character and motivation of people around you."
Before getting to these hugely in-depth daily forecasts (which make up the bulk of this rather enormous book and reveal, among other things, your positive and negative personality traits, career strengths, tips on love and relationships, your secret self, your best days for romance and friendship, potential fatal attractions, and which days of the year carry special significance for you in these areas), the authors provide extensive information about their methodology. An introduction to astrology explains, more clearly and in better detail than I have seen before, each of the 12 zodiac signs, the ten planets, and how standard readings are made using decanatesandprogressions. Next comes a history of fixed stars and their interpretation, followed by a discussion of numerology that includes the formula for calculating your holistic number, explanations of the nine basic numbers and their significance, and interpretations of the 31 personal days (the personal-day number corresponds to the day of the month you were born).
If you believe that the cosmos holds the keys to self-knowledge and to better understanding your place in the world, and you want to learn more about how to interpret it, The Power of Birthdays, Stars, & Numbers is indispensible; if you're going to buy one book on the subject, this should absolutely be it. Because it is nicely arranged as a reference guide and lucidly written with humor and a minimum of flaky pretentiousness, this is a good bet even for someone with only a fanciful interest in the stars and their meaning.
Read an Excerpt
Since the earliest days of our civilizations we have observed the heavens to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between humanity and the universe. To early humans, the impermanence of existence on Earth brought uncertainty. The recurrence of celestial phenomena, however, such as the rising and setting Sun, in contrast brought reassurance. Our ancestors perceived this contrast as the fundamental distinction between celestial and terrestrial domains. Astrology is, therefore, a study of the meaningful interaction between the stars, planetary cycles, and events on Earth.
One of the few remaining philosophies to maintain a holistic perspective, astrology teaches us that everything is interconnected. Nothing stands as a law by itself. Everything is part of a constantly shifting and dynamic relationship with the cycles of the cosmos. We do not stand outside this living system. We affect it, and we are profoundly affected by it. All people are part of a changing and dynamic relationship with other people. The universe is a complex interplay of cycles and forces, as opposite polarities set each other in motion, themselves part of greater systems. Astrologers acknowledge this interplay and try to comprehend it through symbolism.
No person stands alone, for all people are part of shifting and dynamic relationships with other people, and each of these people is involved in shifting and dynamic relationships with the cycles of the cosmos.
All that is organic pulses, is distinguished by periodicity. This cyclic, rhythmic existence is captured by the astrological hypothesis. Astrology embraces complexity, the simultaneity of subjectivity and objectivity. Objectively, astrology measures time by the cycles of the planets, giving a unique perspective on the meaning of duration. Subjectively, astrology operates through deep symbolism and finds knowledge through the study of context.
Astrology maintains that the course of nature is a circle or mandala. In the 360 degrees of the circle we experience each moment of being individually and collectively. Each degree is a separate fragment of the circle, but only with each degree present does the circle exist. The mandala is a symbol of all creation, a self-contained and perfect form with no beginning, no end. The circle stands for both the universe and all human individuals, for the universe within. All of life's activities relate to this circle. Its structure also conveys the cycles of time. By exploring astrology, one can reveal the connections between the external and internal universes, gaining greater psychological and spiritual awareness.
The two major lights in astrology are the Sun and Moon, which correspond to the cycle of day and night. On the basis of this rhythm, solar and lunar calendars were established by early cultures and interpreted as hours, days, months, and years. In psychological terms, the symbolic union of the Sun and Moon is perceived as "the mystical marriage," representing the union of opposites within the individual. In Eastern philosophical terms this union is characterized by the yin/yang, or masculine and feminine, principles.
A personal horoscope is a "map" showing the precise position of the planets in our solar system in relation to Earth at the moment of an individual's birth. In its basic form the astrological birth chart consists of ten planets and twelve zodiac signs.
Fixed stars belong to the great cosmos rather than our solar system. Unlike the planets that orbit our Sun, fixed stars are suns in their own right; in fact, depending on their magnitude, some fixed stars are far larger and brighter than our own Sun. When we discuss fixed stars we use the term "light years" to describe the vast distances that are difficult to calculate or comprehend. Due to these stars' remoteness from Earth they appear to us as stationary, and are therefore called "fixed" stars. The influence of fixed stars is relevant to their strength, which is calculated by their brightness.
Although there are millions of fixed stars in the universe, in astrological practice relatively few are considered--namely, those that are located near the zodiacal ring.
The observation and relationship of fixed stars to world events began thousands of years ago. The naming of fixed stars is recorded in the Mesopotamian and Babylonian eras. Fixed stars are mentioned in the Epoch of Gilgamesch and, together with comets, eclipses, and planets, played an important role in the interpretation of weather phenomena. In addition to the Babylonians, the Egyptians believed in the powerful influence of the fixed stars. For example, aware of nature's power and dependent on the river Nile for their survival, Egyptians celebrated their agricultural calendar summer solstice with fertility rites and linked the rising of the star Sirius to the flooding of the river Nile. Recently there has been much evidence to suggest that the Egyptians aligned the majestic pyramids of Giza to the Orion Belt. Although many historians still claim that the great Pyramids are a testimony to the great kings of Egypt, many new archaeological findings reveal a clear connection between the design of the Che
ops Pyramids and the circumpolar stars.
In the story of the Nativity, a star guided the three wise men to the stable in Bethlehem. Catalogues of fixed stars were recorded in Greece around 250 b.c. The observation of fixed stars continued throughout history and was incorporated into the celestial understanding of the ancients. Fixed stars were associated with many different aspects of life, and the origin of their interpretation was derived from the symbols with which the constellations were associated. For example, in the constellation of Alpha leonis, or Leo, the brightest fixed star is Regulus (also called the Lion's Heart) and symbolizes strength, power, and authority. This star is one of the most important fixed stars in the sky, associated with royalty and honors. Usually this star appears in the charts of kings, queens, rulers, and high government officials. This star is also linked to people who are favored by the public; it bestows popularity.
The importance of fixed stars derives from the fact that all material bodies in the cosmos are in a state of electrical charge and have a magnetic field surrounding them. Even the weakest emissions can influence life on Earth. This is remarkably akin to the term "butterfly effect" in modern Chaos theory, which argues that even a butterfly's wing stirring the air can create a ripple effect that transforms the weather system at a later date in another part of the world. As the fixed stars are essentially the same as our own Sun, they have similar force fields. The effect of stars is measured by their magnitude or brightness.
Fixed stars offer a fascinating insight into the subconscious mind and the potential or problems an individual might have. This interpretation, however, must be carefully analyzed in relation to a complete natal horoscope; fixed stars are not interpreted separately, but always as a subinfluence on the planets' celestial qualities. Fixed stars must be understood as enhancing or detracting from the planets they are in contact with.
We have listed on the birthday pages the most influential fixed star for that day. Often, other fixed stars exert additional influences, and we have included readings for those stars in the fixed star appendix at the back of the book.
Please note that not all days in this book are associated with a fixed star. We are only discussing Sun-linked stars, and so if there are no major influential stars near the Sun on a particular day, then no fixed stars appear on your birthday's pages. There are, however, most likely other fixed stars associated with the positions of the planets on that day. With a natal chart, you will be able to use the appendix of this book to understand the influences on you of your planet-linked fixed stars. We encourage all our readers to have natal charts done. Our discussion of the fixed stars in this book is intended only as an introduction to their intricate and fascinating realm.
The belief that numbers possess sacred powers has been shared not just by archaic cultures and Greek philosophers, but also by Renaissance scholars and many present-day mathematicians.
Tallying marks and notches carved in groups of bones found in Zaire, dated to between 9000 and 7500 b.c., correspond to records of lunar (Moon) phases, and are one of the earliest signs of mathematical activity.
Numerology is as old as astrology and has its origins in Mesopotamian, Judaic, and ancient Greek civilizations. For example, in the Old Testament numbers and letters are thought to correspond to hidden meanings concerning messages, dreams, and the names of individuals. Each culture developed its own system of interpreting numbers to give meaning to the universe and human nature. The most reputable systems that contain numerology are the Pythagorean, Cabalistic, I Ching, and Mayan theories.
Many Greek philosophers were intrigued by the mystery of numbers. One of the most outstanding thinkers of the early Greek period was Pythagoras, who claimed that numbers were sacred and that "all things are numbers." He was a religious leader, a mystic, and a pure mathematician. Unlike many modern mathematicians, he united theology with rational thinking. Pythagoras provided a unique legacy for Western culture and a starting point for the identification of numbers. By discovering how important was the link between music and numbers, he established a harmonic connection between musical notes and mathematics. Realizing that numbers correspond to shapes, he was the first to describe the oblong, square, and triangle as a set of dots or numbers. His followers, the Pythagoreans, were also among the first to believe that the principles of mathematics were the basis of all existing things, and since, among these principles, numbers are by nature primary archetypes, they, above anything else, establish order in natu
re and the universe.
Some present-day mathematicians echo these beliefs and argue that the deeper one looks into the way our universe works, the more mathematical one finds the cosmos to be. Numbers and mathematics underline the very precise way in which the universe behaves.
There are three basic patterns to numbers. We can conceive of numbers through mathematical theories, philosophical defi-nitions, and number symbolism. In the early part of the twentieth century, Jung interpreted the number as an archetype of order that has become conscious, and maintained that numbers are instrumental to the creation of order. He believed that a number is both quantitative and qualitative. Indeed, even investigations in particle physics suggest that changes in atomic quantity result in perceptible qualitative differences in the macroscopic world.
Numerology, like astrology, is a symbolic system, one of the many tools we can use to understand ourselves and our life purpose better. Numbers possess a dual nature and can represent either a positive or a negative force. Exploring their meaning can help us discover and develop our personal potential and guide us on life's journey. In this book we will focus particularly on the qualitative interpretations of numbers in relation to a person's day and month of birth, and we show in the following pages how simple it is to discover your holistic number.
From the Trade Paperback edition.