Introduction to the Astrology Books blog

Hi! I’m Philip Graves, your host at the Astrology Books blog. Over the coming months and years, I shall be posting about many different books and magazines on astrology and their place in the intellectual history of the subject. But first, a little background on my interest in astrology.

I began my serious study of astrology in 1995, purchasing Parkers’ Astrology by Derek and Julia Parker in a bookstore in Shrewsbury, England, and using it to learn the basic techniques of manually casting and interpreting birth charts, as well as forecasting using transits and progressions, and plotting synastric aspect grids. I followed this up by purchasing and ordering a host of further books starting in the early summer of 1996; and by the summer of 1997, I had some sixty carefully chosen modern books on astrology and had studied them all with great enthusiasm and interest.

Towards the end of 2001, I became involved in managing an online astrology community, an involvement that would retain me for five busy years. This responsibility encouraged me to seek out further literature on specific astrological topics, and during these years my interest in traditional astrology was strongly awakened and fostered by purchases of reprints by Ballantrae and Ascella, as well as modern works on classical astrology by Robert Hand, J. Lee Lehman, Joseph Crane and others. I also began to collect Project Hindsight’s translations second-hand. By the summer of 2004, I had 300 astrology books.

Towards the end of 2004, my collecting accelerated, and I delved more and more into second-hand material and ultimately journals as well as just books. Over the eight years since, my collection has expanded from the several hundreds of books and pamphlets to the thousands, including numerous academic studies and critical editions in Greek and Latin, as well as modern translations of ancient and medieval sources, and 20th century original books and journals in English, French and German. But I am far from finished, and envisage continuing to collect, slowly but surely, until approximately 2025, or until such time as a responsible and stable university research library makes me an offer I cannot refuse.

My vision is to reconstruct the literary history of astrology in recent centuries by accumulating printed material into a single collection, in the interest of preserving astrology’s rich intellectual history as well as opening the way to excellent research centered on the resources provided by my collection. In the latter respect, I have already enjoyed assisting several well-known astrologers with their own research by providing sources and references.

I am a friend of the Sophia Centre for the study of cosmology in culture, and have attended two of their last three conferences. I have also been a contributor to the Books forum at Deborah Houlding’s astrological website Skyscript since the mid-2000s. I support all astrological translators by buying their work, including Benjamin N. Dykes, Robert Schmidt, Robert Hand, Robert Zoller, James Herschel Holden, Meira B. Epstein, Shlomo Sela and Andrea Gehrz.

While I am decidedly pro-astrology, I also recognise the value of a dispassionate and critical approach to astrological research. For this reason, I strongly support statistical research into astrology, and am a subscriber to Correlation magazine, in addition to occasionally conducting my own statistical research projects.

Through the vehicle of this blog, I hope to stimulate wider interest in and support for my collecting goals, as well as interest in the literature itself.

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