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Philosophic Encyclopedia

Questions Concerning Astrology

Question: Is it possible that astrology and palmistry can be true, inasmuch as we could avert coming disaster by being forewarned in that manner? And would this not interfere with our destiny?

Answer: The destiny which we generate under the law of causation by our own acts may be divided into three kinds. In the first place, there is the destiny which from the very nature of the case we cannot expiate in the present life; for instance, when a man commits murder, whether he suffers the penalty for it here or not, the prison life usually does not have the effect of making him more mellow and kind. Sometimes it does the reverse; it makes him bitter and turns his hand against all. Before nature will be satisfied, he must learn that he may not deprive a fellow being of his form; he must learn to serve. Thus the case is not satisfied until he has had the opportunity at a future time to render service of importance to his previous victim.

A second kind of destiny we reap from day to day; it is, we might say, as a cash transaction, we pay as we go. If we overeat, we have indigestion; if we go out without sufficient clothing, we take cold, etc.

A third kind is called "ripe" or "mature" destiny. It is the result of our actions in past lives or in our early years, which has matured into effect so far that it is embodied in the pictures shown a spirit as the panorama of its coming life when starting toward rebirth. Once the spirit has chosen a certain life with the 'ripe" destiny allotted for liquidation by the Recording Angels, it is bound by its choice. The tendencies to act in a manner conducive to adjustment of this mature destiny are inherent in the body and inscribed in the stars, for the stellar influences are the source of man's activity, and therefore this mature destiny may be seen from the horoscope at birth, standing out with exceeding clearness, so that it is very plain and patent to the spiritually minded astrologer or palmist. He can also see the other kinds of destiny and may sometimes mistake one kind for the other and hence be wrong in his view as to whether an event can be avoided or not. If it is "ripe" destiny, it will be impossible to avoid it despite all warnings, as perhaps the following instance may serve to show:

In 1906 the writer gave some lessons in astrology to Mr. L., a well known lecturer, in Los Angeles, using the gentleman's own horoscope for purposes of instruction, as that enables the pupil to check the truth of the interpretations of the symbols so far as the past is concerned, and lends more interest than when using the horoscope of a stranger. It was found that Mr. L. has had a number of accidents; these were figured to the day when they happened. An impending accident, due to occur at the time of the new moon, July 21, 1906, was also noted. Mr. L. was, therefore, warned to stay in the house on that day and the seventh day after, the latter date being regarded as the more dangerous. He was told that there would be danger of an accident to the lower part of the head, the neck, breast and arms, in consequence of a short journey by bicycle, buggy or electric car.

Mr. L. was much impressed and promised to stay at home on the dates named. The writer went North and from there wrote reminding Mr. L. of his danger just before the time it was due. He received a letter assuring him that Mr. L. would be careful.

The next communication regarding the matter came from a mutual friend and stated that Mr. L. had gone to Sierra Madre to lecture on the twenty-eighth of July and had been hurt in the places mentioned in the prediction by a collision with a locomotive. The writer wondered why his instructions had been so disregarded, and the answer came three months later when Mr. L. thanked him for the information which had been very valuable to him, as he said, in proving the truth of astrology. The reason for the accident was that he had forgotten the date. He wrote "I thought the 28th was the 29th."

This case, in the estimation of the writer, shows that mature destiny cannot be interfered with and that we may safely do anything we can to avoid impending danger without fear of interfering with the law of causation. There are invisible agencies around us to counteract any move upon our part which would interfere, and in the opinion of the writer they were responsible for Mr. L.'s confusion of dates.

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Question: Is it wrong to use palmistry, astrology or phrenology as a means of livelihood?

Answer: Some people today look upon astrology as merely a matter of calculation and upon palmistry and phrenology as material sciences, without any spiritual significance. Who thus views these sciences would be blameless if he used them as a means of livelihood, while anyone who had obtained an idea of the spiritual side of these sciences would, in the estimation of the writer, be prostituting his knowledge. Besides, no one who thus belittles these spiritual sciences can ever give the highest and best advice to his clients, for the glimmer of gold will always obscure the judgment. Such has been the experience of the writer and many others who hold the same views. The inquirer, at any rate, would do wrong to use his knowledge of these spiritual sciences for a livelihood, for his question shows that he must have misgivings; and then he is already judged from within if he prostitutes his talent.

There is a reward that is much more than gold. If we use our knowledge to heal and to help we shall never lack means of living and we shall be laying up treasure in heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupt. Greater and better opportunities for service will be ours if we devote our talents to unselfish service.

Question: Are Mars, Jupiter and other planets inhabited; if so, are those people superior to the people on the earth; do the souls from the earth ever reincarnate on other planets and vice versa?

Answer: All the planets in the solar system are inhabited and are fields of evolution for different classes of spirits at various stages of development. The planets nearest to the sun support the beings which are most evolved. Jupiter forms an exception to this rule; it is peopled by a humanity slightly higher than that of the earth.

The principle is this: The highest vibrations exist in the central sun, which at one time contained all the beings now dwelling upon the different planets. But not all were able to sustain the terrific vibrations of that central firemist; therefore, a crystallization took place at the poles; gradually the crystallized matter gravitated toward the equator and was expelled, with the spirits dwelling thereon. That first emanation became Uranus. Later on other classes of spirits have crystallized a part of the sun and been expelled to move in orbits at varying distances from the central source, according to the rate of vibration necessary for the unfoldment of the spirits upon them, forming eventually the solar system as we know it now.

Each class of spirits stays in its environment, being under the direct tutelage and guidance of one of the Planetary Spirits whose body is the planet where they dwell. As the spirits have been incarnated on different planets because they are at widely different stages of spiritual unfoldment, they do not usually incarnate upon the other planets, save that at times some from the inner planets are sent as teachers' to the outer spheres. This, at least, was the case when our humanity needed teachers, embodied and visible. Then some of the beings from Venus and Mercury were brought to the earth to guide nascent humanity. They were known as messengers of the Gods and these Lords from Venus were the first kings and rulers over the human race. Later on the most precocious among human beings were turned over to the Lords of Mercury who initiated them into the mysteries and these, in turn, became the rulers over their brethren. They were then truly kings by the grace of God, ruling the people for their upliftment and good, regardless of power and self aggrandizement.

Question: Does not the Nebular Theory account for the existence of the universe in a much more scientific manner than the creation stories of the Bible?

Answer: The Nebular Theory was rejected by Herbert Spencer because, like the Bible, it postulates a first cause.

Viewed briefly, the theory is this, that at one time there appeared in space a firemist, spontaneously. Within that firemist, currents started, also spontaneously, and that under the impact of these currents, the firemist took a spherical shape, revolving with intense rapidity. The centrifugal force caused it to throw off a ring which disintegrated, the fragments coalesced and became a planet revolving in an orbit around the central mass. Thus different planets were brought into existence one after another. They cooled gradually, and at last the solar system was complete. Upon one of these planets at least, there appeared, spontaneously, Life, or protoplasm, which gradually evolved through the different classes of Radiates, Mollusks, Articulates and Vertebrates, finally flowering in man, who is the highest Intelligence in the Cosmos, lord of all he surveys.

This the scientist says, with a wise mien, and may also add: "Don't you see how simple and reasonable this is? If not, let me show you by a demonstration." He may then take a basin full of water and pour a little oil upon the surface, the water to represent space and the oil the firemist. He may then take a needle and commence to stir the oil in imitation of the currents generated in the firemist, and under his stirring the oil will take a spherical shape. Gradually the sphere will bulge at the equator, a ring will be thrown off and shape itself into a planet which will revolve around its primary and the scientist will then triumphantly say: "There, don't you see how natural it is, not the slightest need for your God!"

We only wonder that the men who have a mind capable of conceiving this splendid demonstration can at the same time be so dull that they do not see that they, themselves, take the place of God, who thought out and brought into being the universe as the scientists conceived their demonstration, and carried it into execution. God by his power preserves our universe and moves the planets as the scientist moves his oil-planet, and were God to cease his activity for a single moment, cosmos would instantly resolve itself into a conglomerate chaos as the oil-sun and planet cease to be the moment the scientist discontinues his operation.

Therefore, so far from refuting the assertion of the Bible that God is the Creator and sustainer of the cosmos, the nebular theory demonstrates the necessity for divine interference most thoroughly, and when properly understood, there is no essential difference between the scientific and religion conception.

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Question: What are comets?

Answer: Contemplating the wisdom of the Great Creative Hierarchies as compared with our own, we would naturally feel inclined to think that they are above mistakes; but upon second thought it appears reasonable that as they are yet evolving, though learning lessons far beyond us, they must at times make mistakes. They are active in the Macrocosm, the "Great World," the Body of God, as we are working in the Microcosm, the "Little World," composed of our different vehicles, and just as we make mistakes in handling our affairs and in learning the lessons we are learning, so also the Great Creative hierarchies at times fail in their labors.

We know that when bringing a child to birth there may be a miscarriage. The fetus is then expelled from the system and at once commences to decay. There is a similar risk when a world is in the making, namely, that it crystallizes or sets before it has completed the period of gestation in the Desire World. Then it has not been properly molded, and may be likened to plaster of Paris mixed by a sculptor to form a beautiful statue, but set before it was molded—a shapeless, useless mass. When this happens in the making of the world, we have what is known as a comet, and the elliptic orbit which it travels is the path of a current in the Desire World. We have something similar to the comets in the appearance of the Ego before it enters the womb of the mother. Then that is also such a bell-shaped thing with a nucleus at the top and a great deal of material flowing behind it similar to the tail of the comet. And these bell shaped reincarnating Egos also traverse elliptic orbits around the earth, until it is necessary for them to enter the womb of the future mother.

Question: Does the movement of a planet through space create a noise?

Answer: Pythagoras spoke of the harmony of the spheres, and he did not use that expression simply as a poetical allusion. There is such a harmony. We are told by John that in the beginning was the word . . . and without it was nothing made that was made. That was the creative fiat which first started the world into being. The familiar experiment of placing sand upon a glass plate and creating geometrical figures by bowing the edge with a violin bow, illustrates the creative ability of sound. And we hear of celestial music, for from the point of the heaven World, everything is first created in terms of sound, which then molds concrete matter into the multitudinous forms which we see around us.

In the esotericist's sphere of vision, the whole solar system is one vast musical instrument, spoken of in the Greek mythology as "the seven-stringed lyre of Apollo, the radiant Sun God." As there are twelve semi-tones in the chromatic scale, so we have in the heavens, twelve signs of the zodiac, and as we have the seven white keys or whole tones on the keyboard of the piano, we have seven planets. The signs of the zodiac may be said to be the sounding-board of the cosmic harp and the seven planets are the strings; they emit different sounds as they pass through the various signs, and therefore they influence mankind in diverse manner. Should the harmony fail for one single moment, should there be the slightest discord in that heavenly band, this whole universe as such must crumble. For music can destroy as well as build. This has been well proven by great musicians. For instance, the grandson of the immortal Felix Mendelssohn has for several years been experimenting with the power of sound in that direction. He has come to the conclusion that once we find the keynote of a building, bridge or other structure, we may raze that structure to the ground by sounding that note sufficiently loud and long. An illustration in point occurs to the writer:

"A few years ago a band of musicians were rehearsing near an old ruin outside the city of Heidelberg, Germany. At one point in their exercises they came to an extremely high pitched and long continued note, and as they sounded it the massive wall of the nearby ruin tumbled to the ground with a tremendous crash. They had struck the keynote of that wall and it fell." In view of these facts, our supercilious smiles of bygone days when listening to the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho are no longer in place. The sound of the ram's horn undoubtedly struck the keynote of those walls which had been much sensitized by the rhythmic tramp of his army in preparation for this final climax. The rhythmic tramp of many feet will destroy any bridge, and therefore soldiers are instructed to break step when crossing a bridge. So that we may say in answer to the question that every planet gives out a certain keynote which is the sum total of all the noises upon it, blended and harmonized by the indwelling Planetary Spirit. That sound can be heard by the spirit ear. As Goethe says:

"The sun intones his ancient song
Mid rival chant of brother spheres;
His prescribed course he speeds along
In thunderous way, throughout the years."

This, from the first part of Faust, the prologue in heaven. And also in the second part of Faust, spirits of air greet the rising Sun with the words:

"Sound unto the spirit ear proclaims the new born day is here;
Rocky gates are creaking, rattling,
Phoebus' wheels are rolling, singing—
What sound intense the light is bringing."

Question: What is the esoteric significance of the use of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob in connection with the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and are these used in connection with the Earth's zodiac or the Sun's zodiac, or both?

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Answer: There is only one zodiac, the twelve constellations which we call Aries, Taurus, etc. These are the stars, located in a narrow belt about eight degrees each side of the ecliptic, or the sun's path, as viewed from the earth. The twelve sons and one daughter of Jacob are identified with the twelve constellations, because Josephus mentions that the Israelites wandering in the wilderness carried emblems of these twelve groups of stars on their banner. In the 49th chapter of Genesis and the 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy, are pronounced blessings upon his twelve sons in such a manner that it is impossible to one who knows astronomy not to see a resemblance between the description of these sons and the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Also, if we regard the manner of pitching the camp of the Israelites—grouping the twelve tribes around the tabernacle where the seven branched candlestick was—we see again a reference to the astronomical disposition of the twelve signs of the zodiac outside of the seven planets, which are the lights of the solar system, the House of God.

The spiritual reason of the analogy between Jacob, his wives, their children and the cosmos, may be found in the hermetic axiom, as above, so below. Jacob, with his four wives, symbolize the sun and the four phases of the moon, which are the givers of life to all that live upon earth; the twelve sons and one daughter symbolize the Creative Hierarchies, which have been active in the evolution of our solar system and have brought not only humanity but also all the various other kingdoms to their present stage of evolutionary attainment, and are working with them now in order to still further develop them into spiritual beings. It was they who made man in their likeness. Even to this day humanity is stamped with the characteristics of the twelve celestial signs. Therefore the original Semites, who were to be the progenitors of a new race, were divided into twelve classes by their leader, each class representing one of the constellations.

Question: Can you give an idea of the difference between heliocentric and geocentric astrology? Is the geocentric concerned only with the affairs of this earth the material life, and the heliocentric with the soul or the spiritual side? The Sun, being the spiritual planet and the ruler of our solar system, would lead to this conclusion, inasmuch as we use the Sun's zodiac in heliocentric astrology and the Earth's zodiac in geocentric. Can predictions in this life ever be made by the Sun's zodiac, or is the latter simply concerned with the spiritual side of a person's nature?

Answer: One of the objections raised to the ancient system of astrology is that it regards the earth as the consul of the solar system in the same manner as the ancients did, and that since Copernicus showed us that the planets move around the sun, many people regard astrology as "an exploded science," a palpably proven fallacy, and in order to overcome this objection, certain astrologers in modern times have invented what is called "heliocentric Astrology," which regards the sun as the consul of our solar system and the planets as moving about it.

It is perfectly true that, scientifically speaking, the geocentric system of astrology, which regards the earth as a consul, is incorrect. And it is wrong when we say that the sun is in Cancer when it is really the earth traveling in its orbit that has come to the sign Capricorn and, therefore, it appears to us here upon the earth as if the sun were in Cancer. But that is not the crux; it really does not matter which of the two bodies has moved, the astrologer judges by the positions of the planets relative to the Earth. And it is much more convenient to regard the planets as moving round the earth as the center than it is to use the opposite system, for in the geocentric system we note the relationships of the planets as they appear from our earth and note the effects upon various people at the time when such planetary influences were felt, and so, by experience, we have come to our present system of judgment, which is, therefore, as true today as it ever was. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," says the homely old proverb. The proof of astrology is in the truth of its predictions, and no one who has honestly studied this science and has tried to test it for himself can fail to find this truth.

Predictions sometimes fail because the astrologer misinterprets, but even allowing for the fallibility of the astrologer, there is, nevertheless, such a mass of predictions which come true that it is quite beyond explanation as a coincidence.

The geocentric system is correct and takes in all sides of man's nature, not only the material manifestation but also the spiritual side. The heliocentric system, on the other hand, has been trumped up by people who aim to conform to science and have no concern with the spiritual side of nature, therefore that is the least satisfactory. Besides, while those who have used the geocentric astrology for many centuries have recorded their observations of the effects of the planets from that standpoint, there is very little of such empirical knowledge from the standpoint of the heliocentric system, which we would advise the inquirer to leave alone.

Question: How is it possible to get on good terms with Saturn? The inquirer has been under his influence all his life. Sickness, poverty, loss of inheritance and accidents are bad enough, but can Saturn also cause us trouble spiritually; can he put barriers up for our unfoldment when our spirit is struggling for the good, and are we liberated from his influence when we pass out at death?

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Answer: Materialistic astrologers speak of Uranus, Saturn, and Mars as evil, while Venus and Jupiter are called good. In God's kingdom there is nothing evil. That which appears so is only good in the making. Neither must it be imagined that the influences from any of the planets operate to harass men. We have come into this world in order to get certain experiences necessary to our spiritual unfoldment, and when we seek to understand the stellar influences we shall find that they are potent factors in helping us to gain just that experience. Saturn is the chastener. When we have gone astray from the path of righteousness, willfully or unwittingly, we are not allowed to continue in evil, for Saturn comes to stop us. Perhaps we have gained an inheritance; we misuse and squander it in every direction. In doing so, we usually abuse our body as well. Then comes an aspect to Saturn, a sickness ensues and we are laid low. We are forced to diet and to give our system a rest, and as a result we arise from our sick-bed a new man or a new woman. But the question is, have we learned our lesson? During our repose upon the sick-bed, we have had time to think over the life we have been leading. Have we analyzed our life, so that we understand the causes that brought us low? If so, we have profited. For then we shall know how to do better and avoid the pitfalls that caused our sickness in the future. Or, our inheritance being altogether squandered we stand with empty pockets upon the street. Perhaps we can turn nowhere for help; we are then forced to think and to break a way for ourselves. Our talents were useless while we were squandering our money. In poverty they are turned to account, we are forced to use them in doing our share of the world's work. We have lost our inheritance, but the world has gained a worker, and if we have learned our lesson in that way, then the influence of Saturn has been a blessing in disguise.

And so it is with everything in the horoscope that may appear evil. Besides, the more spiritual we grow the less will these so-called evil planets or evil aspects affect us adversely. They are transmuted to good. Saturn will not give disaster to the spiritual man, but persistence; not sickness, but strength; and thus, by conforming to the laws of nature, by living our lives in harmony with the stars, we rule them and change our lives as we desire.

The greater part of humanity drifts with the tide and acts according to the tendencies implanted by the stellar influences. Therefore, the astrologer can predict what they will do with wonderful accuracy. But the more a man or woman lives the spiritual life the more he becomes a factor to be taken into consideration, and the predictions of the astrologer will fail as far as he is concerned in a measure corresponding to his attainment.

The stars are our helpers in evolution. They are not dead bodies of matter but the living, throbbing and vibrating bodies of great spiritual intelligences called in the Christian religion the Seven Spirits before the Throne. As we change, their influence upon us changes, but we do not escape from that influence by the mere incident of death. When the morning of a new life dawns for us, we shall arise with a new horoscope, and if we have aimed to grow spiritually, to learn the lessons that the Star Angels have aimed to teach us in the past life, we shall have new aspects and new positions of the planets to help us further along the path of evolution. On the other hand, if we have "kicked against the pricks" in a previous life, we shall find that the screws will have been put on a little harder, that we will have been placed under influences a little stronger, so that in the end we must learn the lessons. And the quicker we do so, the better for us.

Question: How may we pray to or address Saturn when he is in the ruling star causing us trouble and sorrow?

Answer: To understand what prayer is, let us use the illustration of an electric power house with wires to the different houses in the city. In each house there is a switch and when we turn that, the power which was hitherto outside in the wires and in the power house, enters our dwelling, illuminates it or runs motors, according to the laws of its manifestation. We may say that God primarily and the Seven planetary Spirits secondarily correspond to the power house which is wired to everyone of us, and prayer may be said to be the switch whereby we put ourselves in touch with the divine light and life, allowing it to flow into us and illuminate us for our spiritual uplifting.

It is a law that electricity will flow readily along copper or other metals, but is barred by glass, and before we can get the electricity into our houses we must have a switch made in conformity with this law, a copper switch. If we used a glass switch we would obtain no electricity; the glass switch would be a most effective way of altogether barring the electric fluid from our dwelling. In similar manner, if our prayers (which correspond to the switch) are in conformity with the laws of God, the divine purpose can manifest through us and our prayers are answered, but if we pray contrary to the will of God, naturally, such a prayer would operate in a similar manner to a glass switch in an electric circuit.

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As a great nation sends its ambassador and plenipotentiaries to other nations, so there are also ambassadors from each one of the great Star Angels present upon our earth. Their names are as follows:

Ithuriel is the ambassador from Uranus.
Cassiel is the ambassador from Saturn.
Zachariel is the ambassador from Jupiter.
Samael is the ambassador from Mars.
Anael is the ambassador from Venus.
Raphael is the ambassador from Mercury.
Michael is the ambassador from the Sun.
Gabriel is the ambassador from the Moon.

The moon is our satellite and is not in the same position as those of the other planets. The ambassadors from those planets are Archangels, while Gabriel is an Angel.

Ordinarily humanity prays to God. These prayers are at the present time mostly selfish and ignorant. The prayers of such people cannot receive attention from the ambassadors who have charge over the different departments of life, but are generally attended to, as far as may be, by the Invisible Helpers who work for the upliftment of their brethren. The spiritual astrologer, however, who knows what he wants and is able to work in harmony with the stellar forces, addresses the ambassadors of the Star Angels directly and obtains his desire more easily in that way. He studies the planetary hours when those stars have rule and at that time proffers his request which is usually for someone else, or for spiritual illumination concerning certain matters to be used for the common good.




Contemporary Mystic Christianity



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