Postcolonial Astrology: Reading the Planets Through Capital, Power, and Labor

North Atlantic. May 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781623175306. pap. $17.95. PARAPSYCH
In this third book, astrologer Sparkly Kat (Zodiac Signs: Cancer; A Sign-by-Sign Guide) writes that their aim is to “cut into the idea that Western cosmology is universal, interrogating the seven traditional planets in Western astrology through etymology.” Here the author is focused not on personal brand-building but on building a revolution in modern astrological thought, exploring racism, anti-Blackness, gender violence, colonization, climate violence, and other forms of social violence. In 10 chapters, Sparkly Kat breaks down the astrological roles of the sun, moon, and ruler planets (Saturn, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter) with a dense deep dive into the histories of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the United States, among other nations, examined through a modern philosophical lens. They investigate concepts like fate, fortune, utopia, enlightenment, performative neoliberalism, identification of empires with the sun, nationalism, imperialism, colonialism, neoclassicism, orientations and projections of power, fetishes, land ownership, commerce, capital, labor, ethnic consumption, rape culture, silver mining, industrialized slavery, whiteness, social Darwinism, and Orientalist archetypes, to name a few. Sparkly Kat’s motive is to make the field of astrology more socially responsible, and to understand how astrological meaning has been constructed within political economic history.
VERDICT The audience for this book encompasses academics and anyone (particularly queer people and people of color) who’s interested in recontextualizing their astrological belief systems.
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