Book Review of Shadows: Astrology for Real Relationships by Jessica Lanyadoo & T. Greenaway


A modern, inclusive guide to astrology that will illuminate your love life as well as your relationships with your family, your friends, and yourself.

When it comes to friendship, family, and romance, we all want the same things: to love and be loved, to communicate, to fight fair, and to feel okay in our own skin. Astrology for Real Relationships is a modern, practical guide to life’s least practical matters–relationships of all kinds and matters of the heart–that will help you understand your blind spots, blocks, and fears so you can make choices that leave you happy and fulfilled. Full of real talk about attraction, dating, sex, frenemies, self-love, and how to deal with family, this book will help you build and maintain strong connections–with your crushes, your spouse, your boss, or your mom–and uncover and get what you really want in relationships, not what you think you should want. –

Y’ALL KNOW I GODDAMN LOVE JESSICA LANYADOO. I am so excited to have this book. I heard about it while listening to Jessica’s weekly podcast Ghost of a Podcast, which comes out on sundays. It’s become my regular sunday ritual to listen to ghost of a podcast with my personalized astro planner by honeycomb collective and make notes next to the transits she mentions in the weekly astrology segment. She’s a fellow capricorn and one of the few astrologers that never seems to dig their heels into bad stereotypes about my sign, and I’ve had people of other signs say the same thing. Astrology for Real Relationships really is what it sounds like – the astrology of your entire birth chart and how it manifests in your relationships with others. I loved it. I enjoyed every page – not just the ones where my sign was mentioned haha. This book totally earned it’s 5 🔮 rating, and here’s why:

🔮 – She covers all the planets in signs and houses – not just sun sign, or even sun venus and mars signs, but all of them. So you have your sun sign, which is your sense of self – but then we have the Moon which is your feelings; Mercury which is how you think and communicate; Venus is how you romantically express yourself and your concept of value; Mars is what you do – action; Jupiter is how you intend to grow; Saturn is what you think is possible or realistic; Uranus is how you seek to break away and be free; Neptune is where you’re escapist or idealistic; and Pluto is your relationship to trauma, healing, destruction, and rebirth. Not only do you get a more detailed look at yourself, but you rarely see kind of heavy planets like pluto mentioned in books on relationships – but trauma and healing are a big part of the entire process.

🔮 – She covers 3 different types of relationships – friends and chosen family, hanging out and dating, and long-term relationships. She then goes into how each planet in each sign and house works for each kind of relationship. Talk about extensive! I love this because often the word ‘relationships’ just means romantic but there are tons of different kinds of relationships that matter to us. This also makes it more accessible to those who don’t have romantic or sexual relationships but still want to connect with others in a deep and intimate way. I liked seeing how each placement worked just a little differently in each type of relationship. So the information about my sun in Capricorn was different in every section because astrology is so much more multi-dimensional than people think.

🔮 – Jessica’s open-minded attitude toward relationships extends further by including queer and non-binary people, and a feminist perspective in every section of the book. If you follow Jessica’s work this is something that’s ever-present – her beliefs in a more progressive view of sex, gender, and love. She shies away from saying “women do this, men do this” and instead writes with everyone in mind. She also mentions polyamorous and non-monogamous relationships! All of this just frames the kind of advice you’re going to get in a different way. Cheating means something else, loyalty, sex, love, desire they’ve all changed a little and Astro advice has to change with it.

from @jessicalanyadoo on

🔮 – Her voice is fun. Jessica Lanyadoo has a very distinct voice and personality and it comes through in spades throughout the book. It was, in all honesty, a very FUN book to read. Sometimes when it comes to astrology I get so self-centered haha and just read the stuff that applies to me, but I found myself reading all of it. She’s funny! She makes jokes and uses fun silly slang, and I heard at least half this book in her voice rather than my own. It can be hard to be funny and silly and still present yourself as an authority on the subject. It really can be! But it’s clear throughout the book that she has been doing this a long time and really is an expert. Capricorns aren’t as stuffy and uptight as people think! They’re absolutely just as boss.

🔮 – My absolute favourite thing about the book though, is that at it’s core it’s about self-love. It’s about learning more about yourself and who you are and what you want and how you can be yourself. She also makes it clear that loving yourself perfectly and completely isn’t some sort of admission price for sex and love and human connection. we’re worthy of love at any point through our soul’s journey. The concept of losing oneself in a relationship, or in the personality of the other person in that relationship comes up many times, and this is a really important lesson. This is why I thought the book worked so well with the story of Psyche and Eris (even though the asteroids aren’t mentioned in this book). It’s about what you put into and get out of a relationship, it’s who you are inside and out of a relationship, and it’s about knowing the difference.

All of those things make this book more than a fun romp through sexy astrology, though that stuff is also in here, it’s a book about understanding yourself, healing, and finding ways to connect with others that enrich our life and the journey of our soul.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn about love astrology, or astrology in general. You don’t need to be well-versed in the subject to read and love this book. If you know nothing beyond your sun sign you’ll know a lot more by the end of the book, but it was in no way daunting. If you are queer or gender non-conforming, or in relationships outside of the 1 man + 1 woman + sex = babies paradigm, this is a book I highly recommend so you can see yourself and your partners better represented.

You can hear this review in episode 66 of The Fat Feminist Witch Podcast

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