I am bewildered about the previously reviewer's personal comments regarding the author, especially his remarks regarding Mr. Meyer's conviction and understanding of the subject. Perhaps the reviewer has not kept current with Michael R. Meyer's work and contribution to the field of serious astrology. Anyone who takes moment to visit Meyer's very large website - www.khaldea.com - will see for themselves the author's true depth of understand and conviction.
A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer is one of the outstanding astrological books of the 20th century and had an important impact on many of today's leading astrologers. It is even more important today because it is one of the few books which gives the novice a comprehensive introduction to the subject.
The first half of this book - the sections dealing with the theory behind Meyer's ideas about 'humanistic astrology' - is pretty much a distillation of much of what Dane Rudhyar wrote earlier in the twentieth century, especially in 'The astrology of personality'. Now, if anyone needs a bit of tidying up, Dane Rudhyar certainly does, so this was not unwelcome in itself. However, as I read on, increasingly I got the impression that Meyer's idealogical borrowings were also a symptom of a lack of discernment and ultimately, originality and conviction in his general thinking.
Meyer's astrological techniques are really quite mathematical, and his reluctance to use the first person - he prefers to state matters in the third person in categorical fashion, often without qualification or doubt - makes me in turn doubt how much of his own personal judgement he would take credit for in a consultation setting.
This book is however, quite useful as a potted reference, especially re: planets, signs, houses, lunation cycle, retrogrades, etc, but even so I wouldn't recommend it for the beginner because it's so laden down with unnecessary jargon and vague terms and ideas.
Have a look at books by Tracy Marks, Liz Greene, Stephen Arroyo: these people have acquired experience and conviction, and are confident enough in their understanding to be able to put it into truthful and accessible form.