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Introduction to Astrology: Basic Concepts
Dear friend, we feel that it would be incomplete if only the mathematical side of Astrology were elucidated and the spiritual side neglected, for the latter part of Astrology is the kernel, the essence, while mathematics is only the terms of the outer expression.
The hands of the clock show the time of events in daily life, but they would remain inert and motionless were they not propelled onward by a force in the hidden spring. Their stoppage might cause us to miss an appointment. The visible planets also mark events of life like the hands of a clock; they also are propelled in their courses by an unseen force analogous to the spring in a clock, except that the Great Spirits whose bodies they are never stop, and therefore we never miss an appointment registered upon the clock of destiny, although we may cancel it-under certain circumstances-as we do engagements in ordinary life.
It is said of Edison that when he was night operator in a railway telegraph office, he put a pail upon a shelf, led a hose from a faucet into it, turned on a small stream of water calculated to fill the pail before the next train was due, placed his chair under the pail, and went to sleep. The overflowing water compelled him to waken and attend to business as no alarm could have done. We are all turning a constant stream of actions for good or ill into the reservoir of time, and the overflow is always coming back to us and impelling us to new deeds. It does not matter if we have gone to sleep as Edison; even the sleep of death cannot abrogate the deeds of the immortal spirit. A new birth brings each back exactly when his pail of time is full, so that he may reap what he has sown.
It is of the greatest importance that you should understand this viewpoint very thoroughly. We do not have a certain fate because we are born at a certain moment and impelled by stellar rays then prevailing. If so, we should then have a right to rail at fate for being born under an evil star without choice or prerogative. We should then hate God for making us subject to such a fate. Edison would have had a right to be provoked if any one had awakened him in the manner described, but knowing that his own act before going to sleep had caused the wetting and realizing the benefit of the heroic treatment, he probably felt well pleased. So with us, if we realize that our own past acts are the determinators of our conditions and that the stars simply mark the most favorable time for harvesting what we have sown, we shall be more contented and seek to learn the lessons of life instead of railing because of what we lack in faculty or fortune.
I hope that you will ponder over these important distinctions and always maintain that we were born at a certain time because the positions of the stars were then such as would bring us the fate we had earned and the lessons to be learned.
In commencing a course of instruction where the teacher has no means of knowing to what extent a pupil is informed upon the subject of study, the only safe method is to assume that he knows absolutely nothing thereof, otherwise the teacher may omit instruction upon rudimentary matters which he thinks are common knowledge, to find later that his neglect has given the pupil wrong ideas which may be difficult to eradicate. Therefore, we shall begin at the beginning of our subject and request students already informed upon matters treated at the outset be patient.
Basis of Calculation
A horoscope is simply a chart of the heavens calculated by the rules of astronomy. It shows certain positions of the planets and zodiacal signs in relation to the earth. These positions are not permanent, however. If they were, the location of the heavenly bodies could be determined once for all time without need of further calculation. The influence of the planets upon the Earth would then also remain constant, and there would be no use for astronomy or astrology. But as the Earth makes a complete revolution upon its axis each 24 hours, every point in the northern heavens may be seen once a day from any point in the northern half of the Earth, and every star in the southern heavens rises and sets each day in every part of the southern half of our globe.
The Earth and its sister planets revolve around the sun at such varying rates that their positions relative to the Earth and to one another are constantly changing. Every day the heavens are different from every other day. If a child were born now, while you are reading this, the positions of the planets at this moment will not be duplicated for about twenty-six thousand years, a period which the astronomers call a "Great Sidereal Year." In the meantime, the relations of the planets would undergo an infinite number of kaleidoscopic changes; consequently, their influence would be different in respect to every individual born in the interval, and thus Time becomes a prime factor in the science of astrology.
It is further evident, however, that time is not the same the world over. When the Sun rises at the place where you live, it is setting at another place; so that when it is morning in your home, it is evening for the people in another part of the world. This makes another difference in the horoscopes of children born at the same moment but in different parts of the world, as you will readily understand when you consider that the Sun's rays affect the Earth differently in the morning, at noon, and at midnight. The planets' places and influence would also differ in the case of children born at the same time but in opposite parts of the world, for if a planet were just above the birthplace of one, its rays would impinge upon that child with unimpeded force, but to reach the other, born in an opposite part, it would be necessary for the stellar ray to travel directly through the Earth-as radio waves cross mountains-and part of its force would thus be spent by the time it reached the child. Therefore planets under the Earth have less influence on a life than those above.
Thus you see that time and place are the basic factors in a horoscope, and the more accurately we are able to determine them, the better we shall be able to delineate the character and predict events for those whom we aim to help.
The Exact Time
In noting the time of birth of children it is advisable to have the clock set as accurately as possible. Mark that the time of birth in the astrological sense is not the moment of delivery but the instant when the infant gives its first cry, for that cry is the completion of its initial breath. After entering the lungs, the air, charged with the subtle stellar influences peculiar to that moment, is carried by the blood through every part of the sensitive little infant body and stamps every atom and memory center with its vibrations. This primal impression will prevail during life, though the atoms change again and again just as a scar perpetuates itself upon the flesh, because the memory center, also called the "seed-atom," located in the heart (see Cosmo-Conception), retains the first stellar impulse which acts as a blue-print on the etheric matrix that controls the various components of the atom rebuilt during this lifetime. Therefore, the stellar rays at the moment of birth exert a powerful influence all through life. They are impelling forces which sway us hither and thither as driftwood is propelled by currents of the sea.
It is the purpose of astrology to teach that these forces exist and that by exerting our will power we may steer the bark of our life as we wish, and bring ourselves to live better lives in harmony with the Laws of Nature and also teach how we may help others in the like endeavor.
Geographically, the Earth is divided by two sets of imaginary lines, one running from east to west, and the other from north to south. The circle running east-west halfway between the north and south poles, as shown in the above chart, is called the equator. Other circles, called parallels of latitude, are imagined running parallel to the equator, and their use is to measure the distance of any place north or south of the equator. Now get an atlas, and look at the map of North America. Along the right and left hand borders you will see certain numbers. Note that a curved line runs from number 50 on the right to number 50 on the left. This is the fiftieth degree of latitude. All cities along this line, in America, Europe, or Asia are equidistant from the equator, and are said to be located in "latitude 50 north."
Another line runs from number 40 on the left border to number 40 on the right. Let us note some of the principal cities on or near this line: San Francisco is a little further south, Denver right on the line; Chicago and New York a trifle north. Now turn to the map of Europe. There the right and left hand numbers with their connecting circles are also parallels of latitude. At the number 40 you will see Lisbon and Madrid. Proceeding eastward Rome and Constantinople appear a little to the north of our line. These places may be said, for the purpose of elementary instruction, to be in the same degree of latitude, and therefore another determinator must be used to differentiate the location of each place from all others.
This is accomplished by dividing the Earth from pole to pole by another set of imaginary circles called meridians of longitude, shown in the above chart running the north-south axis. They are so called because all places located along such a circle have noon at the same instant, regardless of how far they are from the equator or whether near the north or south pole. Now look again at your map of Europe. There you will see numbered lines running from the top of the map to the bottom. These are meridians of longitude. One is numbered 0. If you follow that line you will find London, and close thereto a place called Greenwich. That is the location of the world's greatest observatory, and for purposes of astronomical calculation all places on Earth are considered as being so many degrees west or east of Greenwich. Thus, by latitude we obtain the location of a certain place north or south of the equator. By longitude we designate its position east or west of Greenwich.
When the location of a place is stated in terms of latitude and
longitude, it marks a certain spot beyond all doubt or possibility
of confusion with any other place, and gives the astrologer the
second of the primal factors necessary to calculate a scientific
—Rays from the Rose Cross Magazine, March/April, 1996
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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