Astrology is so profound and diverse that teaching it is a complex art. Too many teachers surrender to the difficulties and end up repeating the stereotyped lore and methods that have come down to us from earlier and far different times.
Not so Marion March and Joan McEvers. This book is the result of several years of experimentation, paying special attention to the needs of the beginning student. These are by no means the same as the needs of the beginner studying a more conventional and less controversial subject. Each lesson is carefully worked out with test questions at the end to assure that the student really understands what has been covered. (Many texts tend to go too fast and too superficially.) It should therefore prove a boon to those who live in out-of-the-way places or cannot find a teacher and must therefore teach themselves from books.
An unusual feature of the March-McEvers method is that it postpones teaching chart casting until after the student learns the rudiments of interpretation. As the authors explain, it is all too common for the student to cast the charts of everyone he or she knows and to be far from modest in interpreting them, before learning the meanings of the signs, planets and aspects. And the beginner does indeed have a tendency to zero in on disaster, often with unfortunate psychological results.
There is no subject that demands more tolerance and patience of the practitioner than astrology. This book is a step forward because it strives to develop these difficult virtues from the beginning.
Barbara H. Watters Washington, D.C.
We have written this book because we believe that the teaching outline, which we have developed over the last ten years is easy, logical and the best. We have taught hundreds of students and over forty percent have either gone on to become professional astrologers or stayed with us through the intermediate and advanced courses. But more important than this unusually low dropout percentage is the fact that the ones who stayed with it are all excellent astrologers. We can't even say that this is because we are great teachers. Our group, under the auspices of Aquarius Workshops, Inc., has many other teachers who use this same teaching outline, and their results are as good as ours.
What really convinced us to write this book were the many students who came to us from other schools and/or teaching methods, who urged us repeatedly to put our course outline into book form so that others could benefit from it.
Now you know the why. Before we show you the how, here are a few important facts and suggestions. Astrology, like any new field, takes time and application. You might compare it to learning a new language. Only practice brings mastery.
For every lesson in this book (and they are truly "lessons" not chapters), you should spend at least two hours on review and homework. The more you practice, the quicker astrology will sink into your subconscious. At the end of the book you should be totally familiar with all of the new words and symbols. You will have learned about the signs of the zodiac, the planets, the houses and the relationships they all have to each other. In the first part of this book we give you keywords to help you remember the basic qualities assigned to each sign, planet and house. In the second part, we go into more detail.
It is quite normal, at first, to feel overwhelmed by this mass of new material, but don't get discouraged. Many others have felt the same way. Throughout the book we repeat and repeat and repeat again, until it all begins to sink in and becomes crystal clear. Because this book was adapted from our teaching material, we already know the questions new students will ask, the areas of frustration and the stumbling blocks, and we have learned how to handle them.
Everyone learns differently. Yet we know that if we use more than one approach, the learning process will be quicker. Reading is just one part of learning; therefore, it is very important that you do the assigned homework, which will involve writing, another approach.
Do try to read this book from beginning to end, rather than jumping from lesson to lesson and gleaning some information here and there without a proper foundation. The order of the lessons is based on a definite sequence, one that we've found leads to an easier and better understanding of basic astrology.
We hope that you will enjoy this book, but more than that, we hope that astrology will open up new horizons of understanding and broaden and enrich your scope of life.
We have each been actively involved with astrology for many years, and during this time we have had some marvelous teachers to whom we owe a lot. To mention a few: Ruth Hale
Oliver, Kiyo, Irma Norman and Zipporah Dobyns. Some of their thinking and philosophy is obviously incorporated into this book. To each of them our deepest thanks.
Joan McEvers and Marion March Los Angeles, California January 1980
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