Book Review – Astrology for Real Life: A Workbook for Beginners-A No BS Guide for the Astro-Curious by Theresa Reed

Book Review

Astrology for Real Life

A Workbook for Beginners-A No BS Guide for the Astro-Curious

by Theresa Reed

288 Pages



Theresa Reed has given us a gift! Astrology for Real Life is a practical, funny and accessible guide to astrology for those who want to dip their toes into their relationship with the heavens.

Practical? Yes! The very first thing Reed teaches is how to create your own natal chart on-line! She walks us through it step by step. I have read many astrology books for beginners; this is the first one I have encountered where the author explains where and how to truly start learning about your chart – by creating it, then looking at it! In fact, the first step on her “Deep Interpretation Checklist” is

Scan the chart. Look for busy areas. Are the planets scattered about the chart or concentrated in one area? Are some houses larger than others? Is one hemisphere (half of the chart) dominant, or are they balanced…”

This is advice I give to my astrology clients before a reading takes place. No technical skills or astro-lingo required are required to feel into the nature and quality of planetary relationships, according to Reed, and I concur!

Reed then offers and explanation of “What Astrology is..and what it isn’t.” She provides her take on whether it’s “real,” examples of why it “works” and weighs in on the “free will v. fate” debate. I liked the direct, concise way she addresses skeptics right out of the gate, before forcing beginners through lots of technical details and jargon in order to decide if astrology is for them. Her “Fun-damentals” really are fun, and they cover the gamut of many basics that other beginner books don’t address, like house systems and how to read an ephemeris – so important and so often overlooked in introductory books!!

As Reed walks the student through the building blocks of the chart, she supplies “Astrocises” for each section. The student not only has the opportunity to work with the planetary placements in the birth chart, but to begin to get a sense of what they mean. For example, Reed has us look at how many planets are placed in earth signs, how many in fire signs, etc. Then she has us analyze, by number of planets in each element and overall distribution among the four elements, which elements are featured strongly in our natal charts and which are not. And from that, we can start to determine whether our natures are “balanced” and if not, how we can begin to address having “strong” air and “weak water,” for example.

After we work our way through these fundamentals, Reed begins ever so gently to introduce “the blend” – synthesizing the fundamentals into interpretation. Once again, the Astrocises break down into manageable steps what otherwise might seem overwhelming. The final section of the book focuses on interpretation; Reed’s checklist for approaching a chart is great. And there are celebrity charts to practice with! And for those who want to dig deeper, there are tips on how to practice and a good recommended reading/resources list.

I really liked this book. I wish I had had it when I was starting to learn astrology! It is a great accessible book for people interested in studying their natal charts for self – development or as a springboard into greater depth of study. I think you’ll like it and find it to be a handy basic reference!


Astrology for Real Life: A Workbook for Beginners (A No B.S. Guide for the Astro-Curious) on Amazon



About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanic Arts. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. Art, exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.


Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Susan Rossi

Open Channel Astrology

Flying to the Heart