This is not an introductory astrology book, but it is an excellent book for intermediate-level astrologers. The reader should definitely have an idea of what planets, houses, signs, transits, progressions, etc. are before buying this book. Rushman explains these terms well, but not extensively because the book is not really aimed at beginners in astrology.
This book is excellent because Rushman presents her system for doing astrological readings in a lucid and well-organized manner. She has clearly been doing professional astrology for quite some time (30 years), and it shows.
She sums up the book well in the introduction when she writes, "This is my system, and it has served me well for three decades. I follow a logical order, which helps me feel organized and comfortable... While this system is not complicated, it is thorough, and a competent astrologer can get what is needed for a good astrological reading." As an intermediate-level astrologer myself, who has done readings for family and friends and is preparing to make the transition to professional astrologer, I appreciated her simple and well-presented system greatly.
In terms of the criticisms given under the "Another average astrology book" review, it has been several months since I read this book but I don't remember it being horribly edited. There may have been editing errors but I don't recall them getting in the way of understanding the text.
As to the "old twelve-letter astrological alphabet", that is certainly a valid criticism and an excellent observation by that reviewer. I think I missed it because I assumed she did it that way for the sake of brevity, rather than adherence to an over-simplified system that makes planets = signs = houses. The book is not meant to be a cookbook astrology text, but she does try to insert some of that material in order to help people who are more at the beginner end of the spectrum. An argument could be made that by simplifying things that way in those portions she made them inaccurate, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she did so for space reasons and to strike a balance between including enough cookbook material to help more novice astrologers and not so much that more experienced astrologers would be annoyed by a rehash of the basics. As I wrote above, this is another reason that this is an intermediate-level book, as moderately experienced astrologers will already know that planets, signs, and houses are different things and how to interpret things differently accordingly.
My only other criticisms, and these are minor, are that 1) there is no material on the solar arc direction method of prediction, and 2) there is too much material on progressed house cusps. Both of these are personal opinions of mine, however. I have read enough about solar arcs and used them enough to find them effective for predictions (and even just birth time verification). Similarly, I find progressing the house cusps to be excessive and tedious, generally not worth the extra work involved. However, this book isn't about what I like, it's about what Carol Rushman has found effective in her 30 years of astrological practice, and from that perspective the book achieves its stated goals admirably.
As I said, this is generally an excellent book. If you know the basics of astrology and would like one professional astrologer's time-tested system of doing readings, I highly recommend this book.
Carol Rushmans's book is full of little gems and tidbits from her 30 years as an astrologer. She brings everyting together regarding prediction. Critical degrees, progressed moon and other progressed aspects, eclipses and transits are highlighted along with true experiences from her practice. Her chaper on the "natal promice" is a must read for all astrologers! The idea of the squares and opositions in the a chart as a "driver" that creates the motivation to succeed is a good one!
This book was a delight to read!