Reid begins with a brief history of astrology in general, as well as a brief look at both the beginnings of western and eastern astrology, compare and contrasting them and, in the process, finding more similarities than differences. Reid then moves into an overview of western astrology. She has two useful charts which show astrological symbols in one and the planetary connection to each sign with its symbolism in another. This allows the reader a quick reference when looking throughout the book for these items. Reid provides a page description for each of the Sun signs in western astrology. 

Moving from western astrology to eastern astrology, Reid gives an overview of the eastern practices. While she spends a bit more time on outlining eastern astrology, she incorporates similar tools in the form of charts of the elements and their symbols, an animal profiles chart, and an easy to follow chart for the Chinese Years. This allows the reader to quickly find their birth date so long as it falls between 1912 and 2019. Then she goes into a one page description of each animal in eastern astrology. 

Reid quickly sketches out a comparison of the two systems. She points out the differences found in how the stars are charted, the calendars used, time frame covered and elemental references. She does a nice job summarizing these differences along with the similarities in the systems. She utilizes clear charts effectively helping the reader to quickly note the differences. Although Reid covers how the reader can find their combined East/West astrology signs, she goes a step further by offering ways the reader can draw more depth from the combined astrology: each layer offers a more in depth analysis of the individual. 

Reid provides a wonderful reference to combining these two different types of astrology. For western astrology she provides a description of life drives, at work and play, love and relationships, health and wealth, personality keynotes, associations, and should/should-nots. For eastern astrology she has sections of essential nature, dreams and drives, in their habitat, in the world and as friends and lovers. A short general description based on western zodiac sign than is then split by each of the eastern animals, including key characteristics (work, health, hobbies, family and so on), compatible signs, and east/west fusion. Along the top there is a listing of zodiac dates, years of animal and hour of animal making for a quick reference. Finally Reid offers a look forward from 1999 to 2010. It's interesting to read the years which have already past to see how accurate they were and to ponder what is coming up.

This is an informative book providing a beautiful presentation which takes two complex systems and offers an organized look into how both affect the individual. It is a great reference book to have on the shelf to help with understanding these two zodiac systems.


~review by Eileen Troemel

Author: Lori Reid

Element, 1999

pp. 224, $24.95