5.0 out of 5 stars
An opportunity to learn so much more about our own patterns
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 12, 2016
The Family Legacy reviewed by Cate Whelan
The Family Legacy is not a book you just read. You have to absorb it slowly, allow it to trickle into your veins. Serendipitously, it arrived on my doorstep exactly as my Progressed Moon was passing over my IC, beginning its journey through my packed Fourth House.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to review this book, because Brian Clark is a renowned for his research and insight in this field. He is an experienced teacher and counsellor as well as a gifted communicator. We in Australia are fortunate to have had the benefit of his influence and inspiration for many years. The book does not disappoint.
It is a book that feels beautiful in the hand; satin to the touch and with a weight that indicates the subject is explored deeply but not overwhelmingly. The beautiful cover image is from the façade of the Ara Pacis in Rome, a panel named Tellus, after the Roman Earth mother. It sets the tone for the book.
Brian states in chapter 1:‘The family is a system moving through time. It is the container that holds one’s genesis and beginnings. It is where we are deeply rooted, hopefully secure enough in our origins to grow and adapt to life. In a way, a family unit is a microcosm of society, providing continuity throughout life and a place in which to belong.’ And this is the way he explores the family, whether through houses, planets, signs, aspects or cycles– he links these to inheritance, to early experiences, to rites of passage, and he examines the family and personal outcomes in a myriad of subtly different ways.
The book is structured into three main parts:
Part 1; Behind the Front Door –the Houses of Family
In this section Brian develops the theme of ‘the two fibres of humanness, the sense of belonging and the sense of separateness’. Using the symbolism of Air and Water, he examines in depth patterns of relationship in the Air houses – 3rd, 7th and 11th – and the familial legacy in the following Water houses – 4th, 8th and 12th. As well as delving into the nature of these houses, he looks at planets in the 3rd and 4th houses from the perspective of how they define the family experience – the horizontal relationships of siblings, cousins and early friends, and the vertical relationships within family structures.
Part 2: Solar and Family systems: Exploring the Planets
Here, Brian explores parental and sibling dynamics through house placement and planetary aspects, describing the literal figures in the family landscape as well as the way these energies interact in our own charts – as without, so within. He emphasises the importance of the Moon by devoting two chapters to the lunar experience– the Moon represents our first love and hence our template for security and relationship. He reflects on the nature of the Moon in the different signs with insight and empathy, and without judgement, which is refreshing.
Part 3: Intrinsic Family Blueprints and Rites of Passage
What are some of the major things that define our family experience? Birth order and the sibling experience loom large. Various forms of family dysfunction – parenting styles, family secrets, unexpressed anger, forms of abuse and abandonment – are explored through astrology, psychology and mythology. Brian shows us ways of plotting family cycles – family time patterns, planetary themes through families, family life cycles, from both a sociological perspective and through planetary cycles – in fact, family passages from birth to death. Finally, we are introduced to the genogram – a graphic way of showing not only family relatedness but also inherited traits, family traumas and defining events – and absolute gold for anyone studying family patterns.
The Family Legacy is an important study of family dynamics, but it is also an opportunity to learn so much more about our own patterns. We are all products of, and members of a family, of whatever form. By decoding the symbols in the chart, Brian invites us to explore the soul of our family as it has developed over generations, and thus to more deeply understand ourselves.
16 people found this helpful