Astrology Books/Media

Book Review: The Stars Within You A Modern Guide to Astrology

Photo taken by 3o’Clock Occultis

For today’s review, if your into Astrology, I highly recommend this book: The Stars Within You A Modern Guide to Astrology by Juliana McCarthy. Wanting to get into astrology, I needed a book that was going to break down the basics so I can read my friends and my very own natal chart. Reading this book, I really enjoyed how the author, Juliana McCarthy explains what some of the stories are behind each zodiac sign and how each of them made it to the zodiac wheel. By the end of the book, I was able to read my own natal chart, I even gave advice on Reddit about someone else’s natal chart and I felt really comfortable with the information that I provided to them.

Retail Price

I purchased this book for $12.59 on Amazon

  • Amazon: $15.39 (the price went up)
  • Barns and Noble: $14.99
  • Thrift books: $16.92 (I’m surprised by this price)
  • Or you can borrow it from your local library through the Libby app

First Impressions

When I first saw this book I thought it was one of those Young Adult books and I almost didn’t buy it but my intuition told me to read the description. After reading what it was about and looking up reviews on goodreads, I was pretty convinced that the book was a good starting point for me. On good reads it has a 4.27 star rating and everyone was talking about how much information they learned. When the book arrived to my home, I just couldn’t wait to start reading it. 260 pages which includes a glossary, a mythology background for each zodiac sign, planet and house descriptions, and the last section where she provides an example natal chart to practice reading. Major and minor aspect break down and in the very back the author recommends other books to further your knowledge in astrology.

This book has all the essentials to get started in understand astrology. My favorite part of the book was the break down of the outer planets. I had no idea that they were the slowest moving planets and because of this, most people have the same outer placements because it takes such a long time for them to go through each zodiac sign; Uranus 84 years, Neptune 164 years, and Pluto 248 years.

I forgot where I saw this book or what made me want to buy it but it’s helped me along my astrology journey so much. This book took me long to finish but only because I was referring to my own natal chart a lot. Wanting to make sure that I understood what I was reading and being able to see if it were relevant to me or not (and a lot of the times, the descriptions were relevant), I did a lot of going back and forth while attempting to take notes. After about 6 months of going back and forth between the book and my natal chart, I was able to test out my skills on Reddit. When I was there, I mainly answered the easy questions such as explaining how sometimes people don’t identify with their sun sign, or what it means to have a stellium in Gemini. Of course this is just a starting point and I’ll definitely be recommending other books to help further these skills because my goals are to be able to help others who may be interested in astrology, read and understand natal charts, and be more involved in predictions.


Juliana McCarthy is the author of this book and when I looked her up, I found her website and about page. She states that she’s been practicing astrology for more than 20 years, is an energy healer using a mixture of reiki and shamanism, and was also a longtime student of Tibetan Buddhism. She also loves working with others and helping them find their most authentic selves.



The book starts out with a quote, “Astrology is a language. If you understand this language, the sky speaks to you. – Dane Rudhyar”. The next page then provides a basic chart of your sun, moon, mercury and so on. If your someone who know’s absolutely nothing about astrology, this book is definitely a great starting point. I really liked the fact that the author mentions that astrology was introduced to Greece and then the knowledge continued and grow from there. I actually had no idea that the Egyptians and Babylonians merged their methods together which is now known as Hellenistic Astrology, which is what we know now as the twelve celestial houses and an ascendant, while interpreting the planetary positions at the time of birth. Later down the line, the twentieth century, Dane Ruhyar (who the quote is from earlier) and Charles Carter, began to shift and pioneering a new way to study astrology by seeing how helpful it was on the way we think. The beginning of the book has so much information and although I can dissect the whole intro, I definitely want you to read it. Most important thing about the intro is, besides everything, our lives are governed by our own free will.


The chapters are good lengths, sometimes their a little long but that’s only because I wanted to get to the parts where my natal placements were, but not wanting to be bias, I always went back to read the other placements. Sometimes I would refer to an app on my phone but I actually found it easier to print out my natal chart to follow along with the chapters, because sometimes I wouldn’t understand something and ended up googling terms, when I should’ve just kept reading.

Chapters 9 and 10 are the best chapters to me because 9 is all about major aspects like conjuctions, trine, opposition, sextile, and squares and goes further in explaining how they effect or what they say about your natal chart. Minor aspects such as Quincunx, Semisquare, Sesquisquare, and Semisextile, and all aspect patterns. Chapter 10 Juliana gives you an example natal chart to read, Leonard Cohen and she gives a really good detailed information on how to properly read his chart. The only thing I don’t like about this book is Juliana didn’t use a whole sign chart. When I looked at the chart, Juliana mentions that Lenoard’s sun is in the 1st house but to me, it looks like the sun maybe in the 12th house. Other than that, this book is perfect for beginners.

Reading this book, completely, allowed me to start reading natal charts within 6 months, granted, I was kind of skipping around and trying to take notes at the same time. Another great fact about this book is there’s more continued reading in chapter 10. I’m definitely going to check those books out because learning astrology is so much fun. There’s always something new to learn and I think that’s the most exciting part, aside from getting to know yourself and the people around you. Before I picked up this book, I knew some astrology terms and how to somewhat read my chart, but this book just helped me understand it even more

Last Thoughts

I really don’t remember what made me even look at this book, because like I mentioned earlier, I thought this was a young adult book. I’m so happy that I did purchase this book because it ended up being exactly what I was looking for. Not only that, but I got this book during the pandemic so I had nothing but time to really read, highlight, and take notes.

Feeling so comfortable after reading this book, I took a test drive on Reddit to see how well I learned the information. So comfortable, the information just flowed right out of me. I’m definitely going to check out the recommended books in the back because I definitely want to give natal chart readings for affordable prices

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