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  < BACK TO BOOK REVIEWS June 2008  

Finding Success in the Horoscope
by Jackie Slevin

Finding Success in the Horoscope, by Jackie Slevin, Ibis Press, P.O. Box 540206, Lake Worth, FL 33454, 2008. Softcover—198 pp.—$18.95 (ISBN 978-0-89254-141-6). Available from: www.redwheelweiser.com

Jackie Slevin, an experienced astrology teacher, has served as Co-Director of Education of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR). Her book describes “The Slevin System of Horoscope Analysis,” herein specifically related to the path to success shown by the Midheaven in the natal chart. The method as explained in this well-written book is clear and logical.

In the Introduction, Slevin describes the horoscope as simply a map. ”Successful navigation of a map is contingent upon determining direction. The most commonly known instrument used for the purpose is a compass, in which a magnetic needle is freely suspended so that the earth’s magnetic field turns to align itself with a specific point. To the navigator, this specific point is True North. To the astrologer, it is the Midheaven.” Slevin uses that image as an entryway to her approach.

She engagingly develops the navigational metaphor in her system for finding “success” in a horoscope. Parallel to the Midheaven’s obvious prominence in the natal chart, that point describes the area where we can most directly achieve visibility in our lives.

One page in the Introduction, “The 12-Step Slevin System” (a “step-by-step shorthand method”), lists what to look for. Most readers will have no trouble following this logical, precise method. (Complete beginners — or extreme Virgos — may be slightly flummoxed, however, because the book’s chapters don’t necessarily follow the steps the author mentions in the outline.)

Chapter One delineates each of the signs of the zodiac at the Midheaven, capturing the qualities of the signs in a lovely and lively way. These sign descriptions elucidate the characteristics of the Midheaven as one’s own “personal marketplace, where one travels to display their wares in high visibility for trade or merely to dress up and present themselves to the public at large.”

One particularly strong focus in the Slevin System is the Principal Planet, i.e., the planet that is in closest Ptolemaic aspect to the Midheaven (within 8 degrees of arc). That planet is seen as “the goods,” the gift that we can bring to our own personal marketplace, the Midheaven. The Principal Planet is further seen as “our vehicle of transport to success. Its aspect in tight orb to the Midheaven determines how we transfer our goods from raw materials to the finished product and public visibility. It describes the market-bound journey of the fisherman’s boat and the first object in our vision from the high point of our personal vista.”

Slevin’s development of the seafaring metaphor is original and highly useful. (At one point, I did find myself a bit confused about the metaphor of the goods versus the journey, but that’s a very minor issue in an otherwise imaginative and helpful depiction of the method.)

The author employs a creative mix in her approach. For example, she discusses the Cardinal Axis and the use of the Aries Point; the significance of the 29th degree; and the royal fixed stars, as they are connected to the Midheaven. Although the 12-Step System doesn’t mention the Ascendant, the chapter titled “Appearances Count” offers valuable observations about the Ascendant and its ruler. There is fairly extensive biographical data on each of the individuals whose charts are used as examples. Although the stories are interesting to read, they are far more detailed than the accompanying astrology. Presumably, this is intentional, since the life histories may hold the reader’s attention and keep the book from being too dry, while experienced astrologers can make their own further deductions and observations.

This is an outstanding book, both in content and presentation. It details an excellent method for students to follow, and astrologers at all levels will appreciate the author’s succinct yet sophisticated delineations. Jackie Slevin is a knowledgeable astrologer and an engaging writer. I look forward to her further contributions to the astrological library.

— reviewed by Mary Plumb










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