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Studies in Astrology
So much favorable comment has come to us concerning the astrological articles by Elman Bacher which appeared in our Rays from the Rose Cross magazine during past years that we feel sure this volume will be cordially welcomed by all students of spiritual astrology.
Mr. Bacher's profound knowledge of and devotion to the stellar science, along with an uncanny understanding of human nature, made it possible for him to present material which undoubtedly places him among the best of modern esoteric astrologers. As the truth and value of astrology become more and more generally accepted, his presentations will serve increasingly to help people know themselves and fulfill their highest destiny.
Before his passing in 1951, Mr. Bacher expressed a keen desire to have us publish his articles in book form, and although we deeply regret that he is not here to see the culmination of his desire, we are happy in knowing that his wish is now being fulfilled.
To the Rosicrucian student astrology is a phase of religion, basically a spiritual science. More than any other study it reveals man to himself. No other science is so sublime, so profound, and so all- embracing. It portrays the relation between God, the macrocosm, and man, the microcosm, showing them to be fundamentally one.
Esoteric science, investigating the subtler forces that impinge upon man, the Spirit, and his vehicles, has charted their effects with no less definiteness than has academic science the reactions of sea and soil, plant and animal to the solar and lunar rays.
With this knowledge we may determine the astrological pattern of each individual and know the relative strength and weakness of the various forces operating in each life. To the degree that we are in possession of such knowledge we can begin systematic, scientific character building—and character is destiny! We note times and seasons cosmically advantageous to unfolding undeveloped qualities, correcting faulty traits, and eliminating destructive propensities.
The divine science of astrology reveals the hidden causes at work in our lives. It counsels the adult in regard to vocation, the parent in the guidance of children, the teacher in management of pupils, the physician in diagnosing diseases, thus lending aid to each and all in whatever position they may find themselves.
No other subject within the range of human knowledge appears to hold for this day and age the possibilities open to astrologers for helping people to their own dignity as gods-in-the-making, to a greater grasp of universal law, and to a realization that we are eternally secure within the caressing fold of Infinite and Boundless Being.
The Accuracy of Astrology
Millions of words, both printed and verbal, have been used in argument as to whether or not astrology is "accurate" and "scientific." The anti-astrology group (the non-students, the uninformed, the exoterically religious and mentally unadventurous) hold forth with arguments that serve, in the long run, only as disparaging reflections on the personal abilities of those who "read horoscopes." They argue that, if astrology is scientifically accurate, it should be proved so by the perfect agreement of all astrologers on any given point of the subject. All such argument is spurious and a waste of time since it does not pertain to the basic essence of the subject at all.
(A brief pause to inquire of these "antis" if all Christians agree as to the meaning of their Teacher's message; all musicians as to the "correct" interpretation of a Brahms symphony; all doctors as to the "right" treatment of infantile paralysis; all parents as to the "perfect" way of raising children.)
Every protagonist of astrology varies in ability to interpret a horoscope from every other astrologer. Each differs from his colleagues in "approach," in ability to comprehend symbology, in exactitude of mathematical calculation, in ability to sense the dynamic essence of the horoscope, in ability to understand the psychological problems represented and their potentials for solution. This is the "human variant."
Astrology is an exact science because: Every factor in a correctly calculated horoscope is a symbolic representation of an exact and impartial effect of a specific cause. It represents the cosmic and immutable law of cause and effect operating in the conditions and experiences of a human being on his progress of many incarnations.
Nothing in a correctly calculated horoscope is there by chance, accident, heredity, or whim of blind fate. Every planetary position and aspect is one factor of the subject's soul body, one phase of his consciousness, one milestone on his spiritual path.
To the degree that the astrologer identifies his horoscopical findings with the law of "as ye sow, so shall ye reap" will he be able to synthesize correctly the chart in its entirety, will he be able to reduce past causes of present conditions, will he be able to determine the potential solutions of difficulties.
The term astro-dynamics is used to indicate the study of a horoscope from the standpoint of the planetary influences being diminished or intensified by the native's reactions to his experiences during a given incarnation. The cyclic functions of life forces create a periodic emphasis on each planetary influence and aspect and to the degree that each emphasis is utilized constructively is the alchemical transmutation made. To the degree that the negatives are expressed will the positives be depleted and made less effectual for growth. This is easily understood when we consider that no human being is ever "cut off" from any part of his horoscope. There is no such thing as a "stoppage" of planetary influence. Even the inhibitive and restrictive ray of a heavily afflicted Saturn is still "expressing" in the consciousness of the person who is expiating such a form of karma.
A practical application of astro-dynamics may be stated thus: any person who consults an astropsychologist does so because he is "in trouble." He is in trouble because he has been "living with his negatives." Without a dynamic approach to interpretation, the reader can easily fall into confusion if he interprets the trines and sextiles of his client's chart as "statically good." A trine or sextile is "good" only if it is put into concrete expression as a counteractive to that which is destructive or retrogressive in the person's nature. Poverty, sickness, unfulfilled or distorted love-impulses, fears, and the like are evidences that the client has not applied the urge to fulfill the promises of his sextiles or the benefits of his trines, but has expressed his energies in terms of his squares and oppositions, thus depleting his possibilities for good as life goes on. A continual expression of negatives will result in depletion of the regenerative urges and a tighter bondage to the Wheel of Life is created.
In musical parlance, the term "modulation" is used to indicate a chord or passage which serves as a bridge from one section to another in a different key or tonality. This term may also be used, in the astro-dynamic terminology, to describe the purposes of the sextile and opposition aspects. These aspects, in a given chart, may be considered the "points of transmutation" when the two planets of an opposition receive the trine and sextile from a third planet, and when one planet of a sextile is squared by a third planet. In either of these cases, the planet making the good aspect to the affliction represents the agency by which the person finds his "redemption from evil." Thus, through the exercise of that planetary energy transmutation is made and the power of the square and opposition to express discord is diminished and neutralized.
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The aspects described above represent the "easiest" form of alchemy. However, others must be considered: In all probability, the transmutation of an unrelieved square is more difficult than any other experience in life. This term indicates two planets in square aspect to each other with no trines or sextiles to other planets. Superficially it represents an aspect of "heavy karma," indicative of a serious problem through which the native must learn a much needed lesson. Since each of the two planets concerned will be activated from time to time by favorable aspects of lunations and progressed Moon, etc., there is a certain amount of "assistance" assured. But, because such an aspect indicates the possibility of great sorrow or difficulty, the native must be instructed as to the basic, positive qualities of both planets. When the aspect is activated recognizably, the native must do his utmost to express, to some degree at least, the positive expression of the two planets, or at least the one that is most directly being expressed. Since the two planets of the square are continually "hand-in-hand" they are constantly affecting each other—the negatives of one intensify the negatives of the other, and the resultant evil breeds more evil in the future. However if, by spiritual discipline and/or corrective psychology the native allows only a constructive vibration of each planet to be expressed, then the good of each stimulates the other, transmutation is made and, in time, destiny is transcended.
Much the same approach can be made to the unrelieved opposition, with the exception that the function of fusing the two at once would apply more practically and more possibly than in the case of the square. There is such an element of "seesaw" about the opposition aspect that if one planet is emphasized at the expense of the other, a condition of lopsidedness could result—hardly a manifestation of harmony or balance! In other words, the alchemical transmutation demanded by this type of aspect is "expressing the affairs of each in terms of the other" or "in cooperation with the other."
The most important thing for the astro-psychologist to bear in mind with reference to adult clients is that, in most cases, negative aspects have been expressed and experienced for many years of life, and that many people are not really aware of the best good that they are capable of expressing and realizing. Humanity becomes so accustomed to its troubles, fears, bad habits, frustrations, and sordidness that the majority become reconciled to the attitude, "That's the way I am and I can't do anything about it." All of which is very foolish and wrong. There is a solution to be found for every human problem, in so far as a "problem" is only the result of some form of misdirected energy. But, with the horoscope as the way-shower, the agencies of solution can be found in all of the benefic aspects of the chart.
The dynamic approach to astrological interpretation finds its master-work as a guide for children. The newly incarnated Ego, boy or girl, comes to parents who have undertaken the sacred responsibility of guidance. They may have preconceived ideas of what they would like their child to be, but if they wish to be real parents, they will guide that child along the lines that are best for him. Such guidance includes much more than vocational guidance, important as that is. It means that they themselves must act as neutralizing agencies for the negatives indicated in the child's chart. No woman whose child has Mars afflicting Moon should allow herself to indulge in "temper" in the child's presence. Why? Because every time she does, she emphasizes that discordant vibration in the child's subconscious, his instinctive irritability becomes intensified, and a "picture of cruelty" is etched more deeply into the child's vibration-pattern. However, because a little child reacts to everything that goes on around it, every manifestation of calmness, poise, kindness and consideration neutralizes, to a small degree, the harsh impulse of Mars square Moon and makes it possible for the child to deal with those impulses much more easily as he grows up. In other words, the mother, in right conduct, emphasizes something that is harmonious and constructive in the child. She then represents something that is good, not evil, in its chart—and in its life.
This material is presented for the consideration of advanced students and astrological practitioners. It correlates the dynamic factors of alchemical transmutation with the mathematical calculation and tabulation of progressed aspects.
The title derives from the approach that at no time does a horoscope "stop functioning." Nature, they tell us, abhors a vacuum; there is no such thing as "nothing" in manifestation. Correspondingly, there is no such thing as "nothing," "emptiness," or "cessation of activity" in a horoscope. There are, to be sure, periods of apparent quiescence, routine activity, and a general smoothness or monotony of function. These, however, in their own good time, build to peaks of climax, intense experience, drastic change fulfillments, and/or seeming descents.
It is the purpose of the astro-dynamic approach to study the progressed aspects, or cycles, from the standpoint of their representing a stimulation of not just one planet at a time, but of an entire "area" of the horoscope.
The nature of planetary vibration allows a "field of extension" which we call the "orb." This extension of either side of a planet's exact position allows it to "reach out and take hands" with the other planets that it aspects. Thus, the "life" of the horoscope is activated.
Ordinarily, in the preparation of an astro-analysis we list the progressed aspects in order for the current year or two for the purpose of determining the principal sources of experience in the person's life at the present time. In astro-dynamics we do the same, except that we list the progressed aspects by "groups" or "areas." It is this approach which most clearly indicates the possibilities for alchemical processes. We contrast the positives and the negatives that are being stimulated simultaneously or in sequence and thereby determine which factors are available for regeneration of emotion and redirection of reactions.
Whatever extra mathematical calculations may be involved for this kind of "treatment" is more than compensated for in the vivid and vitalized presentation of the progressed aspects concerned. The whole horoscope takes on added "dimension"—from a picture on a flat piece of paper it becomes a galvanic representation of a living thing. Attention!
A man requests your assistance concerning a marital problem. You calculate both his and his wife's charts, tabulate the aspects pertaining to each and pay particular attention to the mutual conjunctions. These mutual conjunctions form the basis for your problem-analysis.
In his chart you find Pisces on the Ascendant; Mercury, ruler of the seventh, is in 9 Aquarius, in the eleventh house. Mars is in 12 Scorpio, eighth house, square Mercury. You find one mutual conjunction uniting the two charts. Her Mars is in 10 Aquarius—conjunct his Mercury—square Moon in Taurus, which is opposition his Mars in Scorpio. The conjunction of her Mars to his seventh house ruler is the key to a difficult marital situation, characterized by the vibration of unregenerate Mars. His alchemical agency is his unafflicted Venus sextile to Mercury. (Get the picture by putting these positions on a blank chart.)
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In tabulating his current progressions, you find that from the previous Adjusted Calculation Date to the next Adjusted Calculation Date the Moon travels 13 degrees 38 minutes. By division of twelve the monthly travel of the progressed Moon is shown to be one degree and eight minutes. The ACD is the fifteenth of the month. There are thirty-four minutes of Moon- travel each half month.
Tabulating the monthly positions of the progressed Moon for this year-period—from the fifteenth of each month—reveals that during the last two weeks of March, 1947, the progressed Moon makes the exact conjunction of his Mercury. In early June it makes the exact square of his Mars. In early August it makes the exact sextile of his Venus. (On the outside of your practice chart indicate these Moon positions. Tabulate these aspects and dates, at the bottom of the page. Bracket them so as to impress your mind with the fact that you are dealing with a "field of stimulation.")
The Mercury-Mars square shows that from late March to early June the marital problem is going to be stimulated in a very decided way. (Since you are, in this hypothetical case, dealing only with the man, it is not particularly necessary to concentrate further on the wife's chart. It is his reactions that you are concerned with. Whatever the wife may do during those months will tie in with his aspect.) However, with the conjunction to Mercury, the sextile to Venus begins to vibrate simultaneously with the square to Mars, because Venus is in orb of sextile in the native chart. Therefore, Venus is the alchemical agency for this man to use during this period of a little over four months. He must counteract the Mars vibration (which in Scorpio is very strong) with the principle of the Venus vibration It is his panacea at this time. Using it persistently during this troublesome time will result in great soul growth and as his marital experience progresses he will be much better able to direct his part constructively.
A short elaboration on the above: Suppose that both the man and his wife consult you jointly. Both are eager to learn more clearly how to harmonize their marriage experience. You then combine the factors of both charts and find that she has Saturn unafflicted in Gemini trine to her Aquarius Mars and sextile to his unafflicted Venus. In this case, tabulate her progressed aspects—by "area" for the same months. Each person provides a negative stimulation of Mars for the other. But each one has an alchemical agency to work with. In mutual understanding that each must use a certain constructive vibration to neutralize and harmonize discord they then can face the coming period with greater assurance of mutual help and consequently greater marital happiness. She must counteract a violent disposition (Mars square Moon) with the patience and poise of Saturn in Gemini He must transmute the tendency to mental discord through ever deepening affection and outpouring of love. Each has his own pattern to deal with, but, since they are, together, a partnership, mutuality of growth and alchemy can be achieved.
The above is a very simple, direct illustration of this approach. However, the procedure is the same for any complexity of progressed aspects. The principles of alchemy and transmutation demand that we look for the solution of the problem, but if we consider each progressed aspect as "a thing in itself" the solutions may not be so evident. Tie up the areas in your tabulations and causes. Effects and solutions will be so much more "livingly" manifested.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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