Tag Archives: donna van toen

Mutual Reception: Book review by Donna Van Toen, ISAR

2 Apr

Mutual Reception by Alan Annand, Sextile.com, 2016. Paper 339 pp. Price: $6.99 digital, $19.95 paper.

Mutual reception has been around for 2000 years or so, and yet very little has been written about it. Sure, you’ll see mention of the fact that two planets in mutual reception will “help one another out,” but that’s about the extent of what most books tell you. So this book is a welcome addition to our literature. However, before you dash out to buy it, you might want to know how Annand works with them. Specifically, you need to know that he does not include the outer planets. He also uses the sidereal zodiac and a whole sign house system. Aspects are not taken into account in mutual reception. All you need to see is what signs and houses the planets occupy.

Now, you can try this in the tropical zodiac, but Annand cautions you that his experience leads him to believe the information here works better when you’re using the sidereal zodiac. I tried the interpretations in both systems and also with traditional and modern rulers. I had hit-and-miss success with the modern rulers and with the tropical zodiac. I had good results using Annand’s system, though I have to say that in many respects I have trouble relating to my sidereal chart as a whole. Whether this is simply my conditioning (I am a tropical astrologer though I have studied sidereal) or because my tropical chart fits better is a moot point and not necessarily relevant to this review. Suffice to say, I got results in both systems, possibly a bit more with the sidereal, though. And I would note that you get different results – and different receptions – in both systems.

And what is this information I was playing with? Pages and pages of interpretations for each mutual reception by house [66 in all], along with a case study for each position. Oh, and an opening interpretation from Parashara, just to put things in perspective (Annand is a Vedic astrologer.) And from what I can see, these are very good interpretations, no matter which way you use them.

There is also a glossary. Numerous useful tables are scattered throughout. I found these particularly helpful in regard to the jyotish material Annand includes at the end. This, by the way, lists some other types of receptions that are relevant in Vedic astrology.

Regardless of what flavor of astrology you practice, this book could be a very good addition to your library. And if, like me, you’re a Western, tropical astrologer, there’s a good chance you’ll pick up some new knowledge even if you aren’t ready to fully embrace sidereal or give up the outer planets as sign rulers just yet.

– Reviewed by Donna Van Toen, ISAR Journal, Volume 45, Issue #3.

FELONIOUS MONK: the NCGR book review

2 Jan

FM ebook thumbThis book review, written by Donna Van Toen, first appeared in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of the NCGR Memberletter.

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Axel Crowe is back! And who is Axel Crowe? He’s the astrologer-detective who solves murders while throwing out snippets of Vedic astrology, amazing his friends and irritating his enemies in what Alan Annand calls his NEW AGE NOIR series.

While Felonious Monk is the second book in the series, it won’t take you long to get to know Axel, so don’t think you have to read the first book in the series (Scorpio Rising) before reading this one. Just jump right in – you can go back to the first book later.

The story opens at an ashram in Vermont where a retreat is in progress. However, not all of the participants are exactly peaceful. There’s a reporter there hot on the trail of a story. There’s also an ex-CIA agent who specializes in smuggling antiquities in and out of countries. We first meet them as the smuggler is slugging the reporter. Fortunately, they are observed by the head of the ashram. The smuggler is sent on his way; the reporter is taken back to the retreat house to deal with the damage to his head. Later, the reporter is found dead.

Crowe is called in by the head of the ashram, who knows him from time spent in India, where they had studied Vedanta together. In fact, Crowe chose the electional chart for the ashram. So of course he’s going to help. But before he can do much, the police arrest his friend for the murder.

The plot twists and turns like a winding road – from Montreal to Vermont and New York, to Thailand, to Maine and back again. Along the way, there is the NYC Riverside rapist, sex trafficking, heroin smuggling, and of course all those antiquities being smuggled in and out of countries. And Crowe who, with the aid of astrology, manages to solve a number of mysteries and close some cases.

Annand writes well. His descriptions of people and places are vivid. The plot grabs you and refuses to let you put the book down. And Guruji’s pithy sayings show up at regular intervals, providing wisdom and lead-ins to astrology and Vedic metaphysics. The mix is good – intense and dark in spots, with enough levity and irony to keep it from being too dark.

If you like crime fiction as well as astrology, come and hang out with Axel Crowe. If you’re like me, you’ll never settle for Alex Cross again. In fact, I’m anxiously awaiting the third book in this series, which is due out in 2015. By the time you finish this book, you may be too.

ncgr
The National Council for Geocosmic Research, Inc, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, education and research organization dedicated to raising the standards of astrological education and research. For more info, visit their site at http://geocosmic.org/

Donna Van Toen is a Canadian astrologer and organizer of the annual SOTA Conference that brings together Canadian and American astrologers, typically on the cusp of the Ontario/New York state border. For more info, visit her site at http://donnavantoen.com/

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Alan Annand is a Canadian astrologer and palmist with an education spanning both eastern and western astrology. He has diplomas from the American College of Vedic Astrology, as well as the British Faculty of Astrological Studies for whom he was their North American correspondence tutor for several years.

He is also a writer of crime fiction, including his NEW AGE NOIR series (Scorpio RisingFelonious MonkSoma County) featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com

Read the highlighted reviews of Scorpio Rising on Pinterest.

Buy Annand’s New Age Noir series and other crime fiction on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Flipkart, Kobo and Smashwords.

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