This is the 4th edition of a book originally titled “The Liquid Light of Sex” that was published in 1991. The current edition has had some updating based on twenty years of feedback from the author’s clients and workshops. There’s a new preface, and Chapters 8 through 10 are rewritten. Clow is also the author of Chiron: Rainbow Bridge (1987)

Astrology and the Rising of Kundalini is focused on the midlife crisis period that occurs for everyone from ages 38 to 42. The book is written for a general audience (not just for astrologers) with the intention of alerting people approaching this life passage to what may happen and how it should be managed to best effect. Clow provides some astrology basics for general readers by explaining the general meaning of the twelve houses.

Chapter 3 spotlights the Saturn cycle and its effect on life structures and aging. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 focus on Uranus, the planet that Clow associates with the kundalini forces that emerge and rise during the midlife crisis. The purpose of the seven chakhras is explored, along with the various life-problems that might be associated with blockages in each chakhra.

Chiron is the topic of Chapter 7. Chiron has an erratic 50 to 52 year orbit around the Sun. Squares and oppositions to the birth placement occur at different times for different generations. The Chiron return that occurs around age 50 can evoke another series of midlife crisis-type problems and, in Clow’s view, a great opportunity to address mental, emotional, physical and spiritual issues that linger from the earlier midlife crisis from ages 38 to 42.

Chapters 8 and 9 delve into other key life passages and more tips on Saturn transits. The book ends with Chapter 10: Toward a Global Shamanic Paradigm. Clow discusses the clash between different world views and the potential evolution of humanity toward a more holistic type of existence that’s in harmony with sexuality, the body’s natural rhythms of growth and aging, and with the Earth in general.

End matter contents include the Key Life Passages Tables that allow the reader to look up personal planetary data to find out when Saturn, Uranus, and Chiron cycles will have an impact. Data is provided for people born from 1940 to 2000. There are endnotes and an index.

This book isn’t geared specifically toward astrologers but to a more general public. General readers with some background in spiritual topics will find this book accessible. Astrologers who have clients approaching their midlife crisis years may be interested in this text.

That said, the book’s contents and strong point-of-view are somewhat dated. The writing has a strong New Age flavor with buzz words and phrases that were common in the early 1990s. Some readers may find the association of kundalini with the planet Uranus to be somewhat shaky theory. Newer thinking on the body’s energetic and magnetic principles has been integrated into the book to provide more support for Clow’s theory. The description of possible problems that may occur during the midlife crisis years focuses on a worst-case scenario that not all people will experience.

Since the topic deals with a specific age group and promotes a very specific theory of what happens during those years, the book will appeal to a focused group of readers. General readers and astrologers that enjoy a New Age-style view point, are conversant with energy-healing techniques and holistic spirituality will find this book quite enlightening.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Author: Barbara Hand Clow
Bear and Co, 2013, 4th Edition
320 pages, $20.00