Billy Branson, a student of astrology for more than forty years, wrote How Astrology Saved My Life to share both her many personal stories about the value of using astrology in every aspect of one’s life and her well honed tricks of the trade.
Branson’s well-written book opens with her account of a Frankensteinlike incident in which she was about to be attacked by a maniacal client when she remembered that his astrological chart suggested he could be soothed by music. It worked, and she retreated to safety.
In chapters two through five, she shares the details of her life, from an odd and overly long story of the somewhat sadistic method her mother used to discern whether a potential suitor was worthy of her daughter to the fascinating synchronicities that surrounded her growing interest in and study of astrology. For example, after finishing her first chart, Branson was visited by a voice in her sleep that led her to correct an integral miscalculation she’d made in the math that determined the Ascendant. Subsequently, the voice often visited her as she slept; it became the teacher she’d been hard-pressed to find in conservative Kansas of the late 1960s.
By the early 1980s, Branson had received her master’s degree in counseling. Once in private practice, she asked clients for their birth information, so she could use her expertise in astrology to help them gain a deeper understanding of their psyches. Highlights of this unusual approach are shared in chapters four and five, as is the story of how Branson used astrology to avoid an untimely death.
These introductory chapters segue nicely into the meat of How Astrology Saved My Life: an anecdote-laced primer into the complex world of calculating and interpreting an astrological chart. Branson begins with the basics of drawing and labeling a wheel with the twelve houses, and expertly expands from there into myriad aspects of creating an accurate chart using the time and place of a person’s birth to reveal life-enhancing and sometimes life-saving information.
How Astrology Saved My Life is not for the curious dilettante. Though Branson claims in the subtitle that her method is simple, it will feel like anything but to the average newcomer to astrology. From Transits, Aspects, and Eclipses to Solar Returns, the overwhelming complexities of getting a proper reading can be wildly confusing, if not off-putting. That said, Branson’s interesting life and entertaining stories make a good read. One can skip the headache-inducing portions of the book and still be satisfied by Branson’s obvious expertise and wisdom, if not by the subtle aspects of the moon’s nodes.