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  < BACK TO BOOK REVIEWS January 2008  

SunShines: The Astrology of Being Happy
by Michael Lutin

SunShines: The Astrology of Being Happy by Michael Lutin, Fireside Books, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, 2007. Paper—480 pp.—$16.95 (Canada: $21.99) (ISBN 978-0-7432-7726-6).

Michael Lutin holds a singular place in contemporary astrology. An astrologer who is acutely perceptive about human psychology, Lutin is one of the funniest guys around. He is unparalleled in applying high-spirited humor to the human condition.

The author has compassion and respect for what we’re all going through and trying to figure out in this world, and he is always animated and entertaining. “Never at a loss for words” is an understatement when describing Michael Lutin — funny phrases, images, and ideas tumble out of him and hook the reader with striking, discerning, clear-minded observations that disclose the gifts, abilities, and vulnerabilities that are at the crux of our human experience.

Part One: Your SunShines has twelve chapters, with a rollicking description of each sign of the zodiac followed by twelve subsections that indicate further distinctions within that sign. (Except for naming the Sun sign, the text is free of astrological method, although astrologers may recognize what the author is up to.) Each specific type within a given sun sign is directed to two different sections of Part Two: Going Deeper. This part is comprised of another twelve chapters, each on a key theme — independence, money, religion, etc. Each theme is covered by such subcategories as: what gives you great pleasure; what you tell yourself, your shrink, your guardian angel, but nobody else; where you go South; a key relationship issue; finding your True North; how to get your power back; and your past life (if there is such a thing).

The author does explain his astrological method at the end of the book, but I had fun figuring it out, so I won’t spoil that for you; essentially, however, the astrology used herein is Sun signs and the relationship of the lunar nodes to each sign. Although the book can be most clearly applied to solar (or timed birth) charts, using the transiting nodes in relationship to one’s Sun sign makes the book’s insightful fun and games useable for a long time. As Lutin says at the close of his book: “Enjoy this book forever.”

Lutin’s gift for hilarity belies the serious intent that underpins this book, as articulated in his Conclusion: “You are going to be happiest when you move away from ferocious attachments and needy longing, and let yourself be guided toward a more enlightened awareness of how damned stupid it is to wrap your whole life around things, relationships, even ideas and beliefs that bring little lasting satisfaction in the end.”

SunShines is a charming guide for all of us who are trying to reach “that shining, thrilling, blissful light that blazes from the heart of the Universe.” Although Lutin is unabashedly on close terms with humanity’s depravities and sabotages (and worse), he is an irreverently reverent optimist: “Sooner or later, we are all going to get there, each at our own pace.”

Thank you, Michael Lutin, for so cheerfully keeping track of True North for us all.

— reviewed by Mary Plumb





© 2007 The Mountain Astrologer. All rights reserved.