The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology


“It’s not because April Elliott Kent is a friend of mine that I start this review by saying this is the best book for beginners that I have ever read. April has written a wonderful book that simplifies astrological concepts without dumbing it down to a point where it is unrecognizable.” – Lynn Hayes,

“Highly recommended. While this is not the only book a beginning student will ever need, it’s one of the best introductions I’ve seen in a long, long time, and it should serve the beginner well for their first year of study and possibly beyond. It’s clear, easy to use, and fun to read. Teachers take note!” – Donna Van Toen, NCGR Memberletter

“A highly readable tour through the astrological fundamentals for beginning and intermediate astrology students.” – Donna Cunningham, author of Healing Pluto Problems

“This book is disguised as a fun, informative, and easy-to-read basic book on astrology, but it is really a Pandora’s box of giggly “aha” moments and profound “wow” realizations. April Elliott Kent has a unique way of teaching by analogy and imagery, leaving plenty of room to relate to the material in a personal way, either as a casual observer or a serious student. I have a feeling this book will not end up on the shelf anytime soon. I’m having way too much fun reading it to put it away. I haven’t even finished it, and I am already re-reading portions of it. Kudos and Thanks, Ms. Kent, for such a good time!” – jennifer dimartino, amazon review

“Like good lasagna, there are many layers to astrology, and as with lasagna, the noodles can either hang together with the cheese and the sauce and spices or not. Kent gives the reader all the ingredients and suggests possibilities for layering; it will be up to the astute reader to make his or her own delicious pasta dish of well-married flavors and self-understanding from reading and very likely re-reading in depth the varied sections of the book. Some of these sections become deeply resonant with meaning the more they are read.” – Natori Moore, amazon review

“As a practicing astrologer for twenty years, I’ve often been asked to recommend a good beginner’s book on this subject. And while there are plenty of basic astrology titles available, I haven’t felt enthusiastic about any of them… until now. Ms. Kent’s book is clear, comprehensive, and engaging. It’s exactly what the title claims it is: an essential guide to practical astrology!” –  michelle j, amazon review

“This is one book which really should not be gracing your bookshelf, but rather be sitting beside the bed, beside the couch, beside the bath- wherever it is you do your reading. This is a book that should be read and book marked and corner turned- or whatever the equivalent is in the digital world… Astrology for real people living real lives and having real situations– and filled with tips, alerts and take-aways…all written in April’s fun and irreverent style.” – Jo Tracey, Jo Tracey Astrology


Back in print!

The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology is now available for Kindle  and in a bright new paperback format!

A down-to-earth guide about the message of the stars.

For astrology to be useful there’s no need to have a crystal ball, incense, meditation, or faith. Learn the practical language of astrology in this clear, easy-to-understand exploration that goes way beyond daily horoscopes and zodiac. With it, the reader will be able to calculate and read their own and others’ birth charts; tell signs and planets from houses; create daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly planners- even make predictions for the future. With a glossary and further resources, this guide explores:

• Why horoscopes and descriptions of “sun signs” are usually wrong.

• Why many astrologers use the “wrong” zodiac.

• An introduction to planets, signs, and houses.

• The cycles that determine an astrological forecast.

The Author

aekent2016April Elliott Kent has been a professional astrologer since 1990. A regular contributor to Llewellyn’s Moon Sign Book and The Mountain Astrologer magazine, she has also contributed articles to Llewellyn’s Sun Sign Book, Dell Horoscope magazine, and the websites and Beliefnet. April is also the author of Astrological Transits (Fair Winds Press 2015) and Star Guide to Weddings (Llewellyn 2008). A member of the International Society for Astrological Research and the Authors Guild, April lives in San Diego with her husband and their two cats.  April’s author page at


I’m proud that my colleague, Chris Brennan (author of Hellenistic Astrology), named The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology his top pick Astrology book for beginners! See his review here:

Anyone who wants to take a big, enjoyable step toward understanding (and using) astrology will learn a lot from this book. April Elliott Kent has plenty of new ideas for teaching the venerable art of astrology. Think about this, for instance: Among her answers to the question, ‘Why should you go to the trouble to learn to calculate charts by hand?’ she writes that it will ‘come in handy in the event of some post-apocalyptic, Mad Max future when we’re all wearing tattered clothes and using an abacus for simple math.’ And where else in your astrological education will you find thoughts regarding the True Node versus the Mean Node, such as: ‘The two are usually only a degree or two apart, so it doesn’t matter too much which you use – though why be mean when you can be true?'”  ~ Mary Plumb, The Mountain Astrologer magazine

“There’s no fluff, esoteric mumbo jumbo, fringe techniques, or confusing psychobabble. The author’s writing style is clear, friendly, and intriguing in the sense that the more you read, the more you want to learn. So beware – if you pick up this book, you will most likely be irrevocably drawn into the world of astrology.” – Dell Horoscope

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