The second volume from TASCHEN’S Library of Esoterica: Astrology is a compelling visual journey through our intimate relationship with the cosmos
Text by: Chetna Chopra
Through the evolution of human history, individuals across cultures have looked to the sky for meaning and guidance. The movement of celestial bodies, a catalyst of changing cycles, has a direct effect on our lives. The relationship of stars to human lives has been the central tenant of astrology since we know it. Vibrating to the frequencies of the universe, our beings mirror the macrocosm. The clairvoyant practice of gazing at the sky has both inspired reverence and deepened our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. While modern-day horoscopes serve as our everyday dose for astrological stimulations, their lineage dates back to ancient Mesopotamia.
As author Andrea Richards recounts in Astrology, the second volume of TASCHEN’s Library of Esoterica series, astronomy and astrology were once sister sciences: the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza was built to align with constellations, Persian scholars oversaw some of the first observatories, and even Galileo cast horoscopes for the Medicis. “From carved stone of ancient temples to vibrant contemporary artworks, we seek inspiration and meaning in the spin of the planets and the wheel of the zodiac”. Through the book, Richards has explored pseudoscience not as an astrologist, but as a journalist equipped with a team of astrologists, historians, art specialists, and NASA scientists.
Edited by Jessica Hundley, the book works as a visual field guide, making ancient traditions more accessible – even to those who are ignorant about the subject. It exhibits a vivid collection of over 400 images – maneuvering the reader to decipher the symbology within each of the representations – making ancient astrology more accessible. Egyptian temples, illuminated manuscripts, and contemporary art from across the globe. A visual delight for Instagram witches and nihilists alike, Astrology, brings out a piece of astonishing artwork on every page. The volume tackles the revelatory, and forgotten secrets of the cosmos.
It is divided into parts; Galaxy in Motion, The Wisdom of the Wheel, Meaning in Motion, Sacred Geometry, For the Seekers, and others based on zodiacs. Striking works of artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Hilma AF Klint, Arpita Singh, and Manzel Bowman are sequenced to mirror the spin of the planets and the wheel of the zodiac. The book’s foreword is penned by legendary astrologer Susan Miller. It also features interviews with other astrologers, Robert Hand, Jessica Lanyadoo, and Mecca Woods. Astrology is the celebration of the stars and their mysterious influence on our everyday lives. It inculcates an understanding of astrology’s place in history, pop culture, art, mythology, and psychology. The volume is available in English, French, German and Spanish editions.
About the series:
A book series from TASCHEN exploring the art of esoteric traditions. Each subject is showcased through both modern and archival imagery culled from private collectors, libraries, and museums around the globe. The result forms an inclusive visual history, a study of our primal pull to dream and nightmare, and the creative ways we strive to connect to the divine.