My book on ancient astrology, titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, was released on February 10, 2017.
Since the book has been out for a few months now reviews are starting to come in, and I wanted to highlight some of those here, as well as provide some links to some interviews I’ve done where I explain what the book is about.
You can read the full book description or find out where you can order a copy of the book here: Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune
Interviews About the Book
Various podcast interviews I’ve done to talk about the book and explain what it is about:
As of early July of 2017, there are 17 reviews of the book on Amazon. One was by the eminent traditional astrologer Christopher Warnock, who wrote:
“Chris says that this book took him a decade to write, and the immense time and effort he has put into this book shows. It’s almost 600 pages long and accomplishes his goal of providing what is now the definitive overview of the philosophy, history and techniques of the astrology of the Greeks and Romans. … In releasing his magnum opus, Chris has propelled himself to the forefront of contemporary Hellenistic astrologers. Hellenistic Astrology is now the primary secondary source for the study and teaching of Hellenistic astrology. It is my fond hope, as a member of the school of European medieval and Renaissance astrology, that the publication of Chris’ book will accelerate the rise of Hellenistic astrology as a distinctive practice, such that it takes its rightful place as one of the major schools of astrology.”
Another review was by the astrologer Anthony Louis, the author of the book Horary Astrology, Plain and Simple, who wrote:
“A definitive guide to Hellenistic astrology. The writing is clear, and the presentation is logical and understandable. Chris has done a great service to the field of astrology by gathering together and clearly explaining the original ideas and texts that form the foundation of the celestial craft. His approach is evidence-based. When there are controversies in the literature, he presents the various arguments and their supporting evidence and leaves it for the reader to decide. In addition to the theoretical and historical material, he offers a wealth of chart examples which illustrate the various hellenistic techniques. I have no doubt that this will become an essential text in the library of every serious astrologer. If I were permitted to buy just one book on astrology in 2017, it would be this one..”
Since February a number of reviews have started to be published in journals and magazines as well. Here are some of the highlights:
Mary Plumb, from her review in June/July 2017 issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine:
“Chris Brennan’s much-anticipated book is a superb and comprehensive introduction to the vast subject of the roots of Western astrology. This is surely the book (at least, the first) that he was born to write. His diligence, formidable intellectual curiosity, and thoughtful exploration have resulted in a work that fills and enormous gap between those dedicated aficionados who are doing the translations from the earliest sources of the texts (in Greek, Latin, and Arabic) and practicing astrologers with a keen interest in applying techniques that have been unearthed thus far from our history.”
Michael Munkasey, from his review in the NCGR Memberletter, March/April 2017:
“If I provided only one word to describe this book, I would use: comprehensive. To add to that I must attach: organized, well written, clearly presented, and thorough. It is the type of book to which any author should be proud to attach his or her name. Congratulations, Mr. Brennan. Highly recommended.”
Tania Daniels, from her review in the German astrological journal Meridian:
“Chris Brennan’s book is a masterpiece in many respects. He understands how to explain difficult facts clearly and comprehensibly and builds the knowledge necessary for understanding step by step, which makes the book readable and recommendable for beginners. It is challenging and not a “by-the-bye”, or astrological cookbook, but a meticulously created and with many cross-references created reference work which justify the somewhat high acquisition cost.”
Sharon Knight, from her review in the July/August 2017 issue of The Astrological Journal:
This is not a book for those with weak wrists as it weighs just under 3lbs. It runs to 670 pages and is the result of ten years’ labour. It is not a page-turner, rather a page-ponderer. It is not a cookbook of Hellenistic techniques from which one can simply parrot phrases: it is a scholarly, studious compendium of astrological history. And if you read it carefully, it should lead to a mastery of certain predictive techniques.
Arlan Wise, from her review in the June 2017 issue of The Career Astrologer, a quarterly by the Organization for Professional Astrology:
This book equals any college textbook. Chris’s writing is clear, full of details but no excess. He documents his work with footnotes on every page. Chris is a good teacher and this shows in the book when you read “…the important part here is…” or “In summary….”. Chris never assumes that the reader knows any of this information and takes the time to explain every term, clearly and precisely. He illustrates the techniques with many charts so that the reader can get a visual understanding of the text. This is a serious book. It is a scholarly work with a sophisticated vocabulary. It is a big book, 600 pages, and well worth the effort to read since by the end of the book you will understand Hellenistic astrology and be able to try out some of the concepts. It is rich in information and written from a place of true love for the topic. It’s thrilling to hear that he’s not finished, that there will be more books on Hellenistic astrology to look forward to and more techniques to learn.
Ed Tamplin, from his review in the Federation of Australian Astrologers journal, June 2017 (vol. 47, no. 3):
Techniques are laid out with working examples provided in the latter half of the work. Throughout, Brennan works at keeping the interest through weaving his multiple threads of information into a coherent schematic. I did not find this dry and distant. I found it eminently readable. I would recommend it, even to beginning students. Hellenistic Astrology lays a congruent foundational framework. The cliché is always that a book will become the ‘go to’ textbook on the subject. Chris’s work richly deserves such a recommendation as the standard bearer. It is not only a very thorough introduction to essential concepts of western astrology from the first to seventh centuries – but intelligently deals with the reasoning behind them. If you want to immerse yourself in the study of Hellenistic astrology, make this your launching pad.
Being familiar with most of the concepts by searching, analyzing and compiling information from various sources over time, I understood from the first glance the added value that Chris brings to the Hellenistic tradition, which is that for the first time in modern times the fundamental concepts of Hellenistic Astrology are bound together in an unitary and coherent vision, accessible to the general public.
Chris Lorenz, in a review that appeared in the October 2017 issue of Dell Horoscope magazine (pp. 23-25):
Any serious astrologer will want to get Brennan’s Hellenistic Astrology for both a reference and for a starting point in synthesizing the ancient and modern practices of astrology. Unlike many classical astrologers who believe the practice reached a pinnacle in the seventeenth century, Brennan doesn’t idealize ancient systems. He knows that the astrological community will need to merge contemporary and ancient systems. He concludes, “By looking back into the past we can and will create a better astrology for the future.”
Alan Annand, in a review that appeared in the Vedic AstroLogic Magazine, and was republished on his website in March 2018:
Who is this book for? Quite simply, everyone who calls themselves an astrologer, or who wants to be one. Whether or not you intend to practice Hellenistic astrology is beside the point. If you’re a western astrologer, this is core material for your tradition, alongside the Persian/Arabic thread that became interwoven with the Hellenistic material into Medieval astrology and its subsequent evolution/devolution into modern western astrology. Vedic astrologers will profit from reading this too, not that it will challenge their allegiances, but because it will demonstrate so much common ground. Chris has done an admirable job in presenting a large body of core material that does more to unite astrologers than divide us. And in this day and age, that’s a spirit worth nurturing.
Kenneth Irving, in a review that appeared in the June 2018 issue of Horoscope Guide magazine:
Chris Brennan’s Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune is a masterwork that combines history, philosophy, and technique in one very large, extraordinarily detailed, and very readable book. Whether you are a student of astrology, a practitioner of astrology, or just someone interested in the way astrology near its origin point was applied in the lives of real people, you should get this book and study it from page 1 to page 670. The time you spend on it will be well worth your while.
An extensive review of the book was posted on the two year anniversary of its publication by Anthony of Seven Stars Astrology:
I cannot recommend Brennan’s book more highly. It is an essential reference which you need in your library. His book makes accessible to a general public the origins of the symbols and techniques that astrologers take for granted. It is especially essential for those who would like to explore early astrology.
I’ll update this list and post snippets from other reviews as they come in.