When I was in kindergarten or first grade, we students (in a mimeographed publication called “Eager Beaver” were to write something about something we were passionate about. I chose to write about birthdays. I don’t have a record of this, but I ended the little essay by saying, “I love birthdays!”
I had no idea what astrology was and I doubt I had even heard the word “astrology” used until years later.
One thing that astrology offers is a myriad collection of birthday books. There are a lot of permutations, and they either start on March 21st (respecting the practice of astrology) or January 1st. I have eight in my possesion, as follows:
- The Secret Language of Birthdays (Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers, 1994)
- Birthdays, Stars and Numbers (Saffi Crawford and Geraldine Sullivan, 1998)
- The Hidden World of Birthdays (Judith Turner, 1999)
- The Ultimate Birthday Book: Revealing the Secrets of Each Day of the Year (Clare Gibson, 2003)
- 365 Birthdays Interpreted (Michele Knight, 2004)
- Fortune-Telling Birthday Book (unknown)
- The Hidden Power of Everyday Things (Julie Gillentine, Jonathan Sharp, and Constance Stellas, 2000)
- The Enchanted Birthday Book: Discover the Meaning and Magic of Your Birthday (Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, 2011)
These are listed in the approximate order that I obtained them. The obvious first book is the Secret Language one, originally published in 1997 alongside The Secret Language of Relationships. Like Relationships, it includes (on the second page of each 2-page entry) a list of strengths and weaknesses, usually, but not always three of each.
It includes a Numbers and Planets section, which is really about numerology — what the digits of the birthday add up to. The number 1 corresponds to the Sun (and Leo), the number 2 corresponds to the Moon (and Cancer), the number 3 corresponds to Jupiter (and Sagittarius), etc. (If you don’t know your numerology, 4 is Uranus, 5 is Mercury, 6 is Venus, 7 is Neptune, 8 is Saturn, and 9 is Mars.
It also includes a Tarot section, what the 2nd or 16th card of the Major Arcana is. I am not a tarot expert, but there is apparently 22 cards in the Major Arcana. There is a section on Health, advice, and a meditation (looking at April 26, the meditation is, “The act of annihilation is passionate. What keeps us from killing each other may be mere apathy.”)
I like how the book is consistent in ideology with the other books in the Secret Language series, even as each birthday itself, while it is within one of the 48 periods, is not one of the 48 periods itself. Oh, and it also gives a who’s who of famous people with the same birthday, and as always, lovely illustrations by Joost Elffers.
Birthdays, Stars, and Numbers is a bit different. For each two-page spread for each date, there is a section on numerology, with the characteristics of that particular date of the month, which is mostly consistent between months. But there are often big differences between dates that reduce to the same number: March 2, March 11, March 20, and March 29, are very different though they are all ruled by the number 2 (since the digits in each reduce to two).
Like, for October 19 the positives are, ‘dynamic, centered, creative, leader, lucky, progressive, optimistic, strong convictions, competitive, independent, gregarious’ while the negatives are, ‘self-centered, depressive, worry, fear of rejection, ups and downs, materialistic, egotistical, impatient.’
The nice thing about this book is that it offers very specific lists of compatibility with other birthdays in the categories of Love and Friendship, Beneficial, Fatal Attractions, Challenging, and Soul Mates. There are sections on, ‘Your Secret Self,’ and ‘Work & Vocation’. The book progresses the birth date so that for someone born on December 10, the Sun sign progresses into Capricorn at about age 11 and into Aquarius at about age 41, etc. There is an explanation as to what this means.
Finally, it highlights the star that rules that birthdate. For August 8, that star is Dubhe, which has a great deal of strength.
I picked up the book, The Hidden World of Birthdays, in 1999. It’s a physically smaller book and spends only one page on each date. It has several sections including Possessions and Desires, Harmonious Health and Nutrition, What’s Lucky, Spiritual Guides, and finally Judith’s Insight, which is generally only three paragraphs.
Except for the last section, each section has several subsections, like for Harmonious Health and Nutrition, there’s listings for ‘Health Scent’ and ‘Favorable Foods.’ When I got this book, the notable thing in my life was that I was in the early stages of recovery from a mental illness, so it was a particularly strong memory for me.
365 Birthdays Interpreted is great. It’s a small book, but it packs a LOT of punch. Each entry only gets a page, with sections on “Character,” “Life Path,” “Love,” “Best Present,” “Birthday Share” and “On This Day.” Like, for character for May 26, it says,
“You have a potent charisma and very firm views on everyone and everything, but you may have a tendency to be too single-minded and intense about specific topics or people. You also love to talk about your views and would make an excellent, if extreme, politician.”
Maybe the best thing about this book is that for each sign, it evaluates the compatibility with each sign in 8 different categories, including Fun, Romance, Loyalty, Adventure, Passion, Chilling Out, Spontaneity, and Attentiveness. This book finds a lot of categorical truth, fairly consistently.
The Ultimate Birthday Book has one page for each entry. I don’t look at this book a lot, but it is very intelligently written. It offers a new perspective for each day. It is nice to know that my day has ‘Objective and Balanced Intellect’ that ‘are able to make informed and soundly reasoned assessments when approaching major decisions and formulate effective plans.’ That is the basic tone of this book.
Fortune-telling Birthday Book is this tiny little book! It offers just one paragraph for each day, and two entries per page. For June 3,
“The easiest path is the one you pursue. You are independent and have originality and a fair amount of ambition, but your love of ease and comfort deters you from the greater success of which you are capable. You are moody and often depressed. You love deeply and faithfully.”
(That’s nice to know about my potential partner.)
The final two books in the list I got in 2016 just before I pulled up 28-year old roots from Pittsburgh. I felt that these books would help me in my new journey. The Enchanted Birthday Book has a karmic lesson on the very left of each 1-page entry for each day, and a secret. In the main page it includes entries on Personality, Life Path and Destiny. It’s a pretty perspicacious book — i.e. very astute, even if it says negative things at times.
Finally, the Hidden Power of Everyday Things does give a two-page spread, though the print is fairly large and there’s not as much content as the Secret Language Book or Birthdays, Stars and Numbers. This book does astrological, kabbalistic and numerological interpretations. Its kabbalistic interpretation incorporates the tarot, and notably, uses a different card for any given day than the Secret Language Book.
Its numerological interpretation reduces the month and day, not just the day. So December 10, instead of reducing to 1, reduces to 4, which is the number of planning, surveying, and order. This, at least the number 4, is consistent with the numerological interpretation of 4 in The Life You Were Born To Live, a book I read before I started learning about astrology (and a book that may have some special resonance as a result). In any case, it’s the basis of a completely different interpretation than the interpretations I’ve mentioned so far.
Well, that’s it. Hopefully what I’ve written here will allow you know which books to gravitate toward. If bookstores still exist, it’s difficult to narrow down what might be an entire section of astrology books, and may be even more difficult if the only stores are online.