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  • Writer's pictureKori

Open for Interpretation ARC Review

Welcome to my first ever ARC review! If you follow us on social media, you might know that I am an astrology nerd. So when I was approached with the opportunity to get an ARC of an astrology book, I jumped.


Open For Interpretation Book Review Coffee Book and Candle


RATING: 2.5/5 Stars

 

CONS


I'm a "bad news first" kind of person, so let's jump right in and discuss the two big reasons I gave this one a low rating.


First, this book was not at all what I was expecting. When the book was pitched to me, it was described as a book that bridges the gap between western medicine and astrology for wellbeing. I was told that the author, Dr. Alicia Blando, "believes that the sacred practice can support a person’s health, wellbeing, self-understanding, and can even offer insight into a person’s predispositions for certain medical conditions."


From this, I was expecting a book of wisdom about the intersection of medicine and astrology. I assumed she would discuss the correspondence between the zodiac signs and the parts of human anatomy they ruled. I wanted information about how certain placements—especially in the houses dedicated to family, daily habits, inheritance, and physical and mental health—could reflect a person’s life experiences and guide them toward healthier lives.


This is not that. It's a memoir that follows a Filipino migrant in her journey through medical school and beyond, and how astrology helped guide her in her career, travel abroad, and learning about other forms of spirituality.



My second problem was with the editing. Sometimes the way the narrative jumps back and forth in the timeline made it hard to keep flowing and understand how everything worked together. There were several hiccups throughout, including typos, repetitive phrases, unnecessary in-depth descriptions of things that have nothing to do with what the book is supposed to be about, and over-explanation of things.


Some examples:

  • The author states that Saturn changed signs every 2.5 years, then added in parentheses that this meant it stayed in a sign for 2.5 years.

  • She also informs the reader that her rising sign is Virgo, but in a later story about an experience with an astrologer it says that her rising sign is Libra. There was no explanation for this difference, so I was left wondering if this was an editing error or if the astrologer was using a different mode of reading.

  • She said that the endocrine system is ruled by Pisces, then later claimed Libra to be the ruler.

  • She says that she considers astrology to be a great tool for consultation of preventative health measures...but never elaborates! This isn't discussed further at all!



PROS


Now onto things that helped cushion the blow––informative tidbits, fun facts and stories, philosophical ideas, and shining a light on harsh realities.


Dr. Blando's story touches on her experiences as a medical worker during the AIDS epidemic, struggles faced by immigrants and women (especially women of color) trying to penetrate a male-dominated field, and how brutal hospital work and relationships can be—how everyone working relies on each other and the importance of staying on everyone’s good side. I was actually brought to tears reading about one of her patients.


Later, she describes her spiritual journey and experiences with different spiritual practitioners—including astrologers, psychics, and mediums. Some were obviously hokey, while others seemed to be the real deal.


She also touches on the connection between religion, spirituality, and the early days of astrological study, as well as the evolution of astrology, its uses, and accessibility. I like that she includes a statement that just because she’d be given hope and information on her future, she (like everyone else) had to put in the work to get there.


There were aspects of her journey that gave me inspiration for my own life, especially because we had a few placements in common. And because I am an astrology nerd, I appreciated that this book was conceived during (or just after) her second Saturn Return (a time to prepare to share the wisdom you've gained in life), as well as how the natal placements she discussed were VERY in line with her career path. I wish she had included a copy of her natal chart, but alas.



IN CONCLUSION


Dr. Alicia Blando's Open for Interpretation: A Doctor's Journey into Astrology is part memoir, part astrology primer, part interpretation of her own natal chart. The memoir was fine, but my expectations about what this book would include lead me to feeling underwhelmed and not as excited to finish the book. That said, there were some interesting and emotional parts. I would recommend this book specifically to anyone in the medical field who may also have an interest in astrology, or people who are into medical and/or spiritual journey memoirs in general.


If this book sounds like your jam, you can preorder before its release with She Writes Press on June 27.




Thanks for tuning into another Coffee, Book, and Candle review! If you want more content like this, follow us bookstagram or Twitter so you never miss a post!


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