Shakespeare and the Stars


Shakespeare and the Stars

Shakespeare and the Stars
The Hidden Astrological Keys to Understanding the World’s Greatest Playwright

Priscilla Costello

CLICK HERE TO ORDER from Red Wheel/Weiser. $29.95

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this book offers fresh and exciting insights into the ever-popular works of the world’s greatest playwright. It specifically highlights Shakespeare’s use of the archetypal language of astrological symbolism in both obvious and subtle ways. The deeper significance of such references is often lost to modern-day playgoers and readers.

The author demonstrates that many of Shakespeare’s plays are entirely keyed to a specific zodiacal sign and its associated (or ruling) planet. Shakespeare’s audience would have grasped their significance in revealing character, foreshadowing plot, and establishing key themes for each play.
The first half of the book provides the necessary background for understanding the plays by describing the synthesis of both classical and Christian ideas at the time. The seven planets were considered an integral part of the cosmos—instrumental in shaping human character. The Elizabethan worldview also explains the use of music, images, and symbols in the plays.

The second half of this study examines six of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays in the light of astrological symbolism. These include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, The Tempest, and King Lear. Each chapter incorporates related and relevant information from astrological tradition, classical and Renaissance philosophy, Greek and Roman mythology, esoteric wisdom, modern psychology (especially that of C. G. Jung), and great literature.

Thoroughly researched and well illustrated with many examples from the plays, this book offers a brilliant synthesis that challenges conventional literary criticism of Shakespeare’s works. By grounding its analysis in verifiable historical information and conveying it in clear and accessible prose, modern readers will find the plays illuminated from a fresh perspective with profound understanding.

Priscilla Costello, M.A., Dipl. CAAE, is a teacher, writer, speaker, and counseling astrologer. An enthusiastic lover of Shakespeare’s work, she taught English language and literature for over 30 years. As a professional astrologer, she has the unique ability to synthesize Shakespeare’s literary and astrological themes. Founder and Director of The New Alexandria, a center for religious, spiritual, and esoteric studies, she is also the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Practical Astrology.

April 2016
Ibis Press
Literature, Astrology, Psychology
Paperback with black & white illustrations
ISBN 978-0-89254-216-1
Ebook: ISBN 978-0-89254-631-2
536 pp. • 6 x 9
CLICK HERE TO ORDER from Red Wheel/Weiser.

Product Description


Shakespeare and the Stars


  1. :

    on May 30, 2016

  2. :

    “The truth is now obvious: Shakespeare’s worldview was essentially identical with the occult philosophy of the Renaissance. Anyone who doubts this fact should read this exciting, revelatory, and authoritative new book. It will help you understand Shakespeare in a totally fresh
    and insightful way.”
    —Richard Smoley, author of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition

  3. :

    A book that will carry you beyond the stars into the heart of the cosmos. In Shakespeare and the Stars, Priscilla Costello recreates the ancient cosmological view of the heavens, infuses it with elements of the western mystery tradition that pose the interconnectedness of above and below where the mythic attributes of planetary deities are the archetypes for human personality.
    Then through this profound philosophical lens, she looks at six of Shakespeare’s plays with meticulous precision, offering the secret key to unlock the deeper significance of his work.
    This book is much more than a new analysis of Shakespeare’s work; it is an illumination of the cosmic vision that informed his creative outpouring.
    —Demetra George, M.A., author of Astrology for Yourself

  4. :

    In this extraordinary book Priscilla Costello brings a new and surprising perspective to our reading of Shakespeare. We discover the eternal symbols and archetypes in his characters and plays seen through the lens of astrological signs and planets. In turn, astrology is similarly enriched by the master of Western literature where his creative genius gives life, story and character to the planets and signs.
    —Ami Ronnberg, Director and Head Curator, Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) at the C. G. Jung Center in New York City

  5. :

    This wonderful book brings together everything I have ever held dear in life. Priscilla Costello’s profound study is a substantial, scholarly work that is also completely accessible. The author knows her subject inside out and—even more importantly—she has the ability to convey her knowledge in a way that is constantly stimulating for her readers. We are both educated and entertained.
    This book inspires me to re-visit the plays, especially the ones she has analysed in depth. Having absorbed this superb study of Shakespeare’s world, I feel armed with fresh insights, and will experience his plays in an entirely new way. Riches lie in store. Four hundred years on, Shakespeare himself would be applauding.
    —Lindsay Radermacher, MA Oxon (English), MPhil,
    professional astrologer (DFAstrol S.), Trustee of the Sophia and Urania Trusts

  6. :

    Priscilla Costello’s groundbreaking book Shakespeare and the Stars will finally put to rest the question as to whether the greatest playwright who ever lived consciously alluded to astrology throughout his writings. The detailed and thoroughly researched examples that Costello provides will leave no doubt that the Bard utilized astrology to show how the fate of humankind is left less to chance than we would like to believe.
    Costello’s knowledge and love of both astrology and Shakespeare make this book a classic which, like the Bard’s plays, will be read and re-read for years to come.
    —Ronnie Gale Dreyer, M.A., author of Vedic Astrology and Venus

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *