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The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology

Alpha/Penguin 2011, republished 2016 by Two Moon Publishing

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


(March 2019) When a list of astrology book recommendations ends up in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, you know astrology is having A Moment. And it was beyond exciting that The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology made the list! Thanks to my colleague Janelle Belgrave for recommending it as one of the 10 Best Astrology Books for Anyone Who Can’t Get Enough of the Zodiac!

(February 2019) The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology was named one of the 14 Best Books on Astrology by a panel of astrologers in New York Magazine! Pretty fast company, too – other picks included some of my favorites: Steven Forrest’s The Inner Sky, Robert Hand’s Planets in Transit, Bernadette Brady’s The Eagle and the Lark, and Chris Brennan’s Hellenistic Astrology. A delightful surprise, but one of those things that makes you feel a bit like an imposter!

(July 2017) 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:


More kind words

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

The Essential Guide to Practical Astrology
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