BOOK REVIEW -- THE ORDERS OF LIGHT
By Martha Lang-Wescott, 1993, Paper -- 313 pp -- $25.00 U.S.
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The third in a series of ground-breaking books on asteroid delineations, this book picks up where the other two left off. Detailed and rather technical in places, it is not for beginners, but highly
recommended for those of you with a strong interest in asteroids and their specific interactions with planets, angles and the eight transneptunians, as well as other sensitive points. Since none of the delineations from her previous book, Mechanics of the Future: Asteroids (reviewed in TMA July, 1992), are repeated here, it is well advised, says the author, to get a copy of that book first before attempting to purchase this one. I heartily agree.
From its glossy (and classy) black-embossed-with-gold cover to the very last page, it is, like her previous books, crammed full of so much new, thought-provoking astrological material that it will keep even the most advanced astrologer totally engrossed for hours. In fact, if there's a single complaint to be made, it may be that there is almost TOO MUCH information to absorb at one time. A truly invaluable reference on asteroids, this is the kind of book one can only read and digest in bits and pieces. Plan a block of quiet time alone before sitting down with this book as you will become so engrossed that you will hate to put it down!
You'll find yourself checking the asteroids in your own chart and the charts of those near and dear to see how they match up to the meanings presented in this book, and match up they will -- in blazing, living color! Even if, to simplify things, you only employ those asteroids that are tightly angular, closely conjunct planets, or being transited by a 'heavy' (e.g. Saturn through Pluto), your clients will be totally amazed. In the several years that I have been using the author's asteroid meanings in my readings, I've seen more jaws drop and faces drain of color than ever before in over 20 years of astrological counseling.
Although some of the information derived from a close look at asteroids will be mundane and silly, albeit very true, an equal amount of very heavy psychological truisms also emerge, such as in incidents of rape, abuse, or other types of traumas. A brief example taken from this latest book will illustrate both points. I have a client, who, when his pain is triggered, always tends to 'take off' and wander. This client has an exact conjunction of Psyche (mental health, the head area including brain, and emotional pain) and Odysseus (wandering or roaming; feeling 'exiled'). Transiting Hades (the past, including past lives, investigation and depression) is sitting right on this conjunction. Currently, he is getting counseling for depression linked to past unresolved pain and crises, and is seeing a neurologist to investigate possible physical causes for these problems. Furthermore, a psychic recently suggested that he explore past life regression as a means of resolving his conflicts! Had I been looking only at the natal chart, I would have seen Uranus and Neptune transiting within a few degrees of the 12th house cusp, at times in an inconjunct with Pluto. Those are major planets an could signal a number of general issues, but these asteroids (along with others) helped me pinpoint things much more exactly.
The first chapter of 38 pages presents a theory on which compound aspect delineations are based. The theory is then explored in natal and predictive techniques for both conventional and dial-based systems. Detailed examples of well-known personalities such as Elvis Presley, and even Jeffrey Dahmer, are used so it is easy to see where the author is coming from in her delineations. Charts, graphs, tables and dials and included. This is by far the most technical part of the book. A word of warning: don't expect to see any 'cute' name asteroids here. Like all of Ms. Lang-Wescott's books, this one deals primarily with the psychological ramifications of asteroids and transneptunians as they affect one's life and personality.
Chapter Two, which runs from pages 39-128, contains detailed and very specific delineations for combinations of the luminaries, planets, angles and transneptunian points (and includes references to asteroids). I simply loved this chapter as well as the following chapter (pages 129-272) which is devoted to the in-depth interpretation of the 48 asteroids (yes, 48 -- there are 9 new asteroids included here: Aesculapia, Atropos, Hybris, Klotho, Lachesis, Odysseus, Panacea, Siwa and Sphinx -- with an ephemeris listing dates for these new asteroids from 1925-1999 at the back of the book).
Both the second and third chapters are set up in the same general format as Ebertin's Combination of Stellar Influences, in which the asteroids are paired with various planets, points and transneptunians and the meanings defined. Unlike Ebertin, however, some of the the meanings for various run well over 200 words apiece. Inexpensive but accurate ephemerides of the rest of the asteroids used in this book, as well as an excellent monthly newsletter in which the charts of current newsworthy individuals are often profiled can be obtained by writing the author directly.
My feelings about this book remain the same as for the author's previous book. I just can't say enough about it, whether for natal or predictive work. Buy it. Try it. Then try and convince yourself that it doesn't work. Time consuming? Yes, Worth it? Absolutely.
Reviewed in the Dec/Jan 1994 issue of TMA by
Valerie Irving (AstroVal@aol.com)