Stephen Arroyo is in my opinion the best astrologer of our time. He is able to combine impeccable technique with a deep understanding of the human being and its psyche. His astrology is a reflection of his humanistic orientation and his keen insight. All his books are an incredible worthwhile read for both the beginning and the veteran astrologer.
In his Chart Interpretation Handbook, Arroyo gives us a way of looking at the birth chart in terms of the energetic building blocks within it. Unlike more cookbook style texts, he does not provide just a list of planets, signs, houses but teaches the reader how to tune into the chart in a more subtle way. At first this text might seem a bit vague, but it is ultimately a text in which Arroyo shows us his particular way of sensing the subtle nuances of the astrological energies.
Arroyo also in this text is a master at showing us how to unravel the themes within the birth chart. I particularly loved his description of the sub-tones of planets that is something that I use to this day in my chart interpretations. Stephen Arroyo is a fantastic astrologer and writer. All his books are marvellous and this one is no exception. I cannot recommend it enough.
As a new student to astrology I appreciate Stephen Arroyo's straightforward style. Easy to read and easy to understand, Arroyo breaks down chart interpretation into the basic elements of astrology.
If you are familiar with Parker's Astrology, this book is totally different. While Parker's is very detailed, a sort of encyclopedia for astrology, this is a much smaller volume that gives general guidelines. Arroyo deliberately kept things general. Evidently he thinks it's best to think in broad terms and to only deal with the essentials of a chart when interpreting it. By teaching us the basics of astrology Arroyo helps us do that. I see Arroyo's book and the Parker book being very complementary--being a new student I appreciate what each has to offer.
This is a great place to start of you are serious about understanding the fundamentals of astrology.