Review: Aspects in Astrology

Aspects in Astrology

Sue Tompkins


Second year student to professional.


Modern Psychological/ Contemporary but absolutely something here for every astrologer.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I’ve had my head in an interesting, but very niche astrology book for a couple of weeks with the intention to write it up here on the Astrology Book Review blog. I’ve taken copious notes, there are at least two dozen tabs sticking out of it all over the place and it’s getting rather worn from being carted around with me everywhere. But one night recently I had a random desire to deep dive into an aspect that runs in my family, ya know, for fun and a lil light bedtime reading. I grabbed this book off the shelf and here we are…

…reviewing another astrology classic. Sue Tompkins’ ‘Aspects in Astrology‘ is so well written and easy to read it’s like chatting with an astro friend who knows everything about aspects that there is to know. And then some. I recently read an interview with Sue Tompkins in the August/September 2020 issue of The Mountain Astrologer (TMA) journal and she comes across exactly as I would imagine from her writing- down to earth, amiable and bursting with astrological insight and knowledge. OK, maybe not bursting but definitely a fount of knowledge that runs deep and flows steady. I’d love to sit and listen to her talk one day, if opportunity arises. Check out the article at the link below. If you aren’t already subscribed to TMA and you are serious about astrology, you really need to get this sorted asap!

Aspects in Astrology‘ concisely covers everything you need to know about aspects, just like the title says. From interpreting the aspects, weighting the chart, aspect orbs (a guaranteed conversation starter at your next astrology conference or meeting, preferably after everyone has has a tipple for maximum impact), applying and separating aspects and a super brief but informative paragraph on declination which explains just enough to inspire you to find out more. If you are so inclined (boom tish, tyvm, tyvm!), check out the brilliant astrology resource that is Astro-Seek at the link below –

There is a brief but detailed chapter on the planets, you could write a basic but believable newspaper horoscope from the information contained in this chapter. Not saying you should, but you could. The chapter on calculating the aspects is aimed at beginner astrologers, but I’ve given this a second year student up rating and Libran or not, I’m sticking to my guns there. Newbies are going to have questions here. So. Many. Questions. In my mind (and experience) the first year of astrology studies is for the basics – signs, planets, houses, hours spent chatting about your chart, your family charts, your friend’s charts, your love life, your work life, your new classmates charts, your chart because you just discovered another new Very Important Things….aah the good old days! Then after exhausting yourself, and your teacher, you get to learning how to calculate charts by hand, before diving into aspects. I certainly gained a new respect for both the quintile aspect and every math teacher I’ve ever had after learning calculations. It also brought our little class together, bonding after hours and on weekends in study groups/whinge sessions about how much we loathed the quintile and mathematics teachers.

The chapter on Qualities, Elements and Signs is brilliantly detailed, and perfect for getting a handle on configurations. It will also probably motivate you to have another look at your beloved’s and your own chart to look for ‘hereditary’ patterns. And this is what I want out of a ‘classic’ astrology text, inspiration and ‘oooh let me have a look’ moments. If you’re reading this blog, I’m gonna assume that’s what you want too, yeah? The meaning of the aspects covers exactly that, from the standards – conjunction, opposition, trine, square, sextile, quincunx – to what I like to think of as the awkwards – semi-square, semi-sextile, sesquiquadrate and quintile. You know what they say – awkward by nature, awkward by calculation. Or something like that.

So, to the selling point – aspect interpretations. This section is titled ” A Planetary Cookbook” but it really isn’t compared to many other popular astrology books written in the latter half of last century. In many cases the cookbook style of astro writing is so black and white it can be frustrating and the interps are often so damn final you’re left feeling doomed for life, especially if your chart is rife with hard aspects. With the ‘Aspects in Astrology‘ cookbook you can go easy on the salty. Sue Tompkins writing style is open, for want of a better word. She pulls no punches but also no alarms and no surprises (ear worm for those of a certain age, you’re welcome). Each planetary aspect is discussed in a conversational overview with example charts and keywords. You truly get the whole vibe of that particular aspect between those particular planets. It’s terrific. Whether you are inclined to traditional, contemporary, sidereal or any other astrological bent, here you will get the gist of the aspect. No judgement, no excuses. Wonderful.

Aspects in Astrology‘ is available at the usuals – paperback version from Book Depository and Amazon, digital at Amazon, and lo and behold – it may also be available at your local bookstore, it is that popular. This is definitely and definitively another Must Own for any astrology library.

Happy astro reading!

Find out more about Sue Tompkins work in Astrology & Homeopathy here-

Check out the TMA interview with Sue Tompkins mentioned above, and while you are there get a subscription! It is an immense and credible resource for all astrologers and astrology enthusiasts. And cheap as chips for the digital version, even if you live on the other side of the world and you haven’t had a great currency exchange rate since last century…

  • Douglas Adams
  • John Addey
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Maya Angelou
  • Jane Austen
  • Lucille Ball
  • Geoffrey Boycott
  • Marlon Brando
  • Vera Brittain
  • Pearl Buck
  • Agatha Christie
  • Coronation Street (TV Show)
  • Aleister Crowley
  • Bob Dylan
  • Edward VII
  • Albert Einstein
  • Jane Fonda
  • France
  • Anne Frank
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Mohanda (Mahatma) Gandhi
  • June & Jennifer Gibbons
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Germaine Greer
  • Dag Hammarskjold
  • Katherine Hepburn
  • Herald of Free Enterprise (Ship)
  • Thor heyerdahl
  • Adolf Hitler
  • C.G. Jung
  • J.F. Kennedy
  • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  • R.D. Laing
  • Franz Liszt
  • Ken Livingstone
  • Shirley Maclaine
  • Princess Margaret
  • Karl Marx
  • Bette Midler
  • Spike Milligan
  • Patrick Moore
  • Eric Morecambe
  • W.A. Mozart
  • Richard Nixon
  • Enoch Powell
  • Vanessa Redgrave
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Bertrand Russell
  • Arthur Scargill
  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Ringo Starr
  • Tom Stoppard
  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Townsend Thoresen
  • United Kingdom
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Raquel Welch
  • Duchess of York

Part One: The Principles of Aspect Interpretation


Dividing the Circle & Calculating Aspects

The Meaning of Aspects

Interpreting Aspects in Practice

Qualities, Elements & Signs in Aspect

Part Two: A Planetary Cookbook

Sun Aspects

Moon Aspects

Mercury Aspects

Venus Aspects

Mars Aspects

Jupiter Aspects

Saturn Aspects

Aspects between the Outer Planets

Part Three: The Angles

The Ascendant – Midheaven Complex

Planets & Angles






Destiny Books

Rochester, Vermont

1989, 2001, 2002

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