SKYMATES by Steven Forrest and Jodie Forrest
Reviewed by Jan Angel, AstrologyOnline.Info
How do you pick the very best material to begin your study of astrology? What approach can genuinely be the most helpful to yourself and others?
You are fortunate indeed if SKYMATES becomes one of your first ragged, dog-eared, and beloved astrology books. Jodie and Steven Forrest bring their gifts of wit and wisdom succinctly to the study of relationship astrology. Experienced astrologers will also discover SKYMATES ignites a fresh and openhearted inquisitiveness about their own approach to chart comparison. The Forrests initially discuss how astrology can enhance the quality of mutual understanding in relationships.
‘The gift astrology offers is simply one of clear seeing. It serves as a wise third party, mirroring each lover’s viewpoint, needs and nature with neutrality and evolutionary insight. Used sensitively, it does not pontificate and judge. That’s not how conscious, evolutionary astrology operates.’
Chapter 2 conveniently presents a compact and energized speed course called ‘Instant Astrology’. Illuminated descriptions of signs, planets, and houses are all thoroughly supplemented by easy reference graphs. The Forrests take readers on an up close and personal tour of the chart and the aspect grid.
A table of archetypes for each sign includes numerous images to reflect different levels of expression through the signs. These archetypical descriptions are referred to throughout the book and help readers develop their own ease of interpretive perceptivity about the symbols.
The ‘Instant Synastry’ chapter offers a basic technical explanation about the astrology of partnership. Technical basics covered; the reading journey begins a purposeful and clear-cut instruction on how astrology, applied wisely, can ‘serve as an ally in the process of loving’.
Wisdom and psychological insight are brightly interwoven throughout descriptions of the Sun, Moon and Ascendant sign by sign. The chart is presented as a tool to learn from past life experiences. SKYMATES provides rich instructive examples on how to extract this information from the horoscope and interpret it intelligently.
The next section introduces the dynamics of ‘Love and War’ namely, Venus and Mars. Each planet receives ample explanation through the signs. The ‘psychological dynamics of reincarnation’ are included within the descriptions of Mars and Venus including ‘evolutionary intent’ and ‘soul desire’.
Is it necessary to believe in reincarnation to benefit from this book?
The passages that examine soul evolution infuse a strong and steady dose of common sense. Valuable insight about personal psychology and healthy relationships makes this material significant far beyond any debate about reincarnation. SKYMATES is useful with or without a personal belief in past lives due to the enormity of self-help counsel and expert astrological technique presented.
The Forrests explain the ‘Arc of Intimacy,’ houses Four through Eight, as vital to understanding relationship dynamics. A chapter entitled ‘Your Planets My Sky’ is opulent with humor and empathy. This section skillfully explains how one person’s planets might be experienced by their partner and vice-versa.
New astrologers will appreciate Chapter 15 entitled ‘Putting it All Together’. This includes a section of six strategic guidelines to compare charts step by step.. (and how to avoid getting overwhelmed). There is even a section called ‘Time for Another Trip to the Teapot’. (!) Readers may feel they are working with Jodie and Steven as their personal coaches who steadily support and encourage them to ‘think astrologically’.
A real life comparison of two famous people follows. This is a superb astro-biographical sketch of a couple portrayed within the context of Evolutionary Astrology. The Forrests first introduced a step-by-step process. Now they skillfully demonstrate all these points working together in a symphony of meaning. Astrologers at all levels can easily understand this superb chart comparison.
The final chapter, ‘Border Wars’, offers a contemporary revelation about the effects of gender projection. The Forrests realistically examine why horoscope interpretation can comfortably exist outside the pressure of gender-based classification. This encourages a new wave of astrologers to be minimally influenced by outdated texts that use gender labels from past eras to define astrological symbols today. The balance of the masculine and feminine within each individual is discussed as key to evolving positively as a society. Astrology, from the Forrest’s perspective, can effectively play a potent role in this process.
The Principles of Evolutionary Astrology are defined and clarified in Appendix Two. Astrology students interested in past life dynamics will find this section particularly relevant to their own studies.
SKYMATES is a revolutionary signpost of wisdom for anyone who wants to uncover the secrets of successful relationships in the horoscope. It also responsibly demonstrates how astrology can be used with sensitivity and integrity. This book is invaluable to new students to astrology and experienced astrologers.
SKYMATES is a new edition of an enormously popular first version published in 1989. We can look forward to the companion volume, SKYMATES Volume Two: The Composite Chart. (Reviewed by Jan Angel, AstrologyOnline.Info)
REVIEWS OF THE ORIGINAL SKYMATES
Advanced Astrology Book of the Year award, January 2002, from HOROSKOPET magazine (formerly GALAXEN magazine), astrology center, publisher and museum, Denmark.
“…down to earth, beautifully written, with enough anecdotes and samples to make reading a pleasure and understanding easy. It’s great to know that some astrologers (too few) write erudite books without sounding stuffy, and impart good material without repeating themselves ten times.”
— Marion D. March, ASPECTS magazine
“…when two writers who don’t seem to know the meaning of “trite” take on love, the result can be quite interesting. Steven and Jodie Forrest have distinguished themselves — together and separately — as first-rate writers, and what they have to say would be interesting whether it was about astrology or not. When you combine those writing skills with an equally-fine knowledge of astrology, you have something that most people interested in astrology will want to read….a good read and good handbook.”
— Kenneth Irving, AMERICAN ASTROLOGY