Author: Hedley England
Abstract: Aviation makes a good subject for astrological enquiry, precisely recorded and accurately timed events allow the casting of reliable horoscopes. The author has used this foundation to great effect in ways that will in all likelihood, surprise, intrigue and stimulate the reader.
The breadth of this work is impressive; it not only examines the hypothesis that the fifth degree of Sagittarius has special significance in aviation but also links astrologically different facets of human flight, such as the growth of commercial flights, in a convincing and enlightening way. He postulates, and I think convincingly, a special importance for the black Moon in aviation; following a thread that runs throughout the book the reader is left with a tangible sense of this significance.
This is not just a book solely for what must admittedly be a small number of astrological practioners interested in the history and development of aviation; rather it is also a fine and useful example of contemporary astrological practice. The author’s approach and methods could as easily be applied to natal, mundane or other groups of event charts. England lucidly demonstrates the thinking and processes used by a modern astrologer at work. He weaves astrological connections using a wide variety of techniques including eclipses, solar return, new moons and astro-carto-graphical maps.
Tracing the astrologically significant events connected with the ill fated Comet jet airliner. England explores the nativities of pilots, designer, company, test flights, and connects progressed charts, maps and more besides to produce a commendably rich and vivid picture of a series of events that had both sometimes tragic individual consequences well as national import. I found this chapter particularly riveting.
Clear charts, interesting colour and black and white photographs coupled with a clean and intelligible layout invite the reader to explore the enormous amount of astrology going on within. However, it is the writing style that really aids the reader in absorbing so much astrology and makes this book refreshingly unusual. The narrative is presented in a “fictional style” that draws the reader in and brings the subject matter alive. He suggests feelings and emotions for the major characters involved which serves to give a sense of meaning and consequence to the unfolding events he describes. He places himself, and therefore us, as astrologers, at the heart of the action; this approach, both fascinating and stimulating, serves to impart a sense of drama and relevance that otherwise might be missing. By imagining himself as a consultant astrologer actively working with key characters as events unfold he conveys a vivid significance and contemporary relevance that in places has the sort of pace and excitation more commonly associated with thrillers.
Degrees of Flight is a multifaceted work, it is an interesting commentary of the development of aviation, a well balanced exposition of astrological practices, a reliable and well sourced collection of astrological data and perhaps surprisingly, if one were to consider the title alone, a thoroughly good and commendably rewarding read.
Reviewed by Sean Lovatt
Keywords: aviation,flight, eclipses, solar returns, new moons, astro-cartography
Publication: Correlation Journal of Research in Astrology
Issue: Volume 23 Number 2