| December 30, 2011



Reviewed By:
Reiki Master Teacher Courtney DeWinter, Delphine Healing Arts, Denver, Colorado

A Magical Tour of the Night Sky

As we humans enter a new calendar year, there’s more interest in astrology than at any other time of the year – as people seek answers on what the next 12 months will bring for them. Will I be more prosperous?  Will I conceive?  Where is my true love?  Should I take that new job?  Astrology charts will unveil the answers to these questions (and more) once you know critical information such as the placement of the sun, moon, and planets at the time of your birth.

These days, people often take for granted how quickly and accurately an astrological chart can be developed using computer programs.  And even though one’s chart is based on the placement of the sun, moon, and planets, it’s ironic that most people can immediately name their Sun Sign…yet they can’t gaze up at a night sky and point out the constellations affecting their personal fortunes.

Renna Shesso’s new book, “A Magical Tour of the Night Sky”, bridges this knowledge gap by talking about the astronomy behind astrology, and providing some handy tools for identifying planets and astrological constellations. She’s clearly written this book to bring the astronomy back into astrology, and laments the fact that: “Astrology in our times has little to do with actual observation of the heavens.”

Shaman & Author Renna Shesso

To that end, she provides practical information on how to identify specific constellations: first, by navigating to well-known star groupings such as the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and Orion’s Belt; and second, by using certain bright stars in astrological constellations as major landmarks to locate other groupings of stars.  The book also is chock full of illustrations that map out the heavens and show the positions of key star clusters, and how to then find your own Sun Sign constellation – plus advice on what time of year it’s most easily viewed.

She adds color and flavor to what could be a dry subject by telling the mythical stories associated with each constellation as well as fascinating stories about how the heavens were used by for navigation by many different peoples.  For example, did you know that escaping slaves literally used the North Star (known as “Polaris”) to navigate toward freedom in the free northern states of United States?

She talks about the movement of the sun, moon, and planets in nice grounded terms.  For the record, her simple explanation of the “Precession of the Equinoxes” (which figures prominently in the planetary alignments associated with the coming solstice of 2012) is one of the clearest and cleanest I’ve read in a good, long time.

The book also is a tool for personal growth and discovery related to the various energies associated with the Sun, Moon, and specific planets.  At the end of each chapter on the planets that are visible to us in the night sky, there are interesting assignments to complete that help you get in touch with the attributes of that planet in creative ways.

This is one of those books that ties together practical, scientific knowledge with myths, legends, and cultural lore.  Perhaps best of all, it encourages us to get off the sofa, put on a jacket, and go outside to re-discover the magnificence of the universe, and the magic of watching the sun, moon, planets, and stars wheeling overhead in their unending celestial dance.

Courtney DeWinter

This soft cover book is available at Shining Lotus Bookstore in Denver, Colorado for $19.95.  For more information, visit Shining Lotus Book Store in Denver, Colorado at:, or call 303.758.9113.

About The Reviewer:
Courtney DeWinter is a Reiki Master Teacher, and founder of Delphine Healing Arts, – offering comprehensive &   training classes in Denver, Colorado; Reiki healing sessions for people & animals; and monthly specialty workshops on energy protection, energy clearing, spirit guides, and more.  Courtney has 24 YEARS of experience in the Reiki energy healing system.  She also is a veteran journalist with 25 years of experience in reporting and feature writing.

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About Tim Johnson: Tim is a co-owner of Shining Lotus. View author profile.

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