Starting out with How to Learn Astrology

The introductory Book

Marc E. Jones published this and almost all of his with the Sabian Publishing Society, which under its charter can only publish his works. Typically this is called “How to Learn,.” but technically its title is “How to Learn Astrology” published in 1941. The cover of the book is our header image and my personal copy.

How to Learn is out of print and has been for a long time, but you can pick up the paperback version of the book from Shambala Press, rather cheaply on eBay for under $15.00.

Almost all the charts are from his Jones 1000 in the Sabian Symbols book, except for two — the first is for the Resourceful Lady and the second for his religious inspiration, Martin Luther , both of which were done solely for this book. His astrological invention of “Piano Keys” where the cusps, houses and signs are blacked out, and the interceptions, since he used only the Placidus house system, are “bumped” out, are the highlight of the book and his methodology.

Jones strongly urges astrologers to use the planetary setups or positions as their overall guide to the chart, and that way get a key to understanding how all the planets work together, and create this individual. His next book, The Guide to Horoscopic Interpretation, gives all his planetary types —Bowl, Bucket, Bundle, Locomotive, SeeSaw, Splash, Splay with the variations on each theme — which he calls “temperament types.” That term is out of vogue; this site does not use it at all.

The Piano Key System & 933

This is the hallmark of his approach, — breaking the chart up visually, first into hemispheres and then into quadrants so you can “see” the layout of the chart. Below example from the book of Queen Victoria’s chart. I wrote in the birth data, from the Sabian Symbols book, above the chart to compare it to fully delineated Placidus chart. All the charts in Sabian Symbols are alphabetized either by surname or first name when they are royalty, thus Queen Victoria is #933 on page 362.

The teardrops on the piano chart appear only on the angle to show the cardinal points. On the complete standard Placidus chart, left, the angles have red lines. I marked the planets that are intercepted with purple, the traditional colour associated with royalty, in the southern hemisphere, while the arrows marks the empty intercepted angles in the northern hemisphere.

A final thing to note, Jones does not use the Part of Fortune, either of the Nodes or any of the Cardinal Points in determining a planetary type — just the ten planets, so that is why none of them appear on either chart. And if you are wondering what planetary types the Queen is, she is a lipped bowl.

Questions? Drop me a line in the comments. Cheerio.

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