I arbitrarily assigned 5 stars because my submitted remarks are essentially a response by the author, Robert Sachs, to a review by someone identified as Anderdog. (I have not read the book. I merely pointed out Anderdog's review to Mr. Sachs, who sent me a reply.) Following is the author's comment regarding Anderdog's perceived contradiction in Mr. Sach's description of yin and yang:
Perhaps whoever made the comment will eventually contact me. To explain, all phenomena have yin and yang aspects and these aspects differ even at the level at which one is perceiving phenomona. Thus, something that has a yang structure can have a yin function or energetic pattern. When I studied with Michio Kushi, indeed Japanese, the emphasis was more on function rather than structure. The result:a seeming contraditiction with how things are identified in more static systems. Thus, at the level I am addressing in the book, reflect on the accuracy,not based on classic static description, but by the movement implied.
This book is well-organized. The reader can jump right in and almost immediately begin analyzing their nine star ki chart. In terms of clarity and accesibility I would give it five stars. For a newcomer to oriental astrology who wants a fun and largely insightful introduction, this book may fit the bill. The potential reader should note that the author approaches the subject with somewhat of a "Japanese" bias. My background is in Chinese philosophy and traditional Chinese medicine. Most of the concepts the author discusses agree with the philosophy of the Chinese systems but there are a few peculiar deviations which troubled me. One of the most basic elements of eastern philosophy is the theory of yin and yang but the natures the author attributes to these forces are sometimes the exact opposite of what is accepted in Chinese philosophy. The author describes yin as 'expansive' and yang as 'contracting'. This is the opposite of what is widely accepted in Chinese philsophy. This may seem like a minor thing but since these basic forces shape the rest of the reading, having it backwards could have a significant impact on a reading. Some of the information in the appendix appears to be reversed as well - absolutely backwards in terms of Chinese philosophy as well as all the contemporary Japanese medical texts I've studied. The system may be accurate and revealing but until I see an explanation for these seeming contradictions, I am afraid to invest too much time in the book. It may all be a matter of semantics.