"In these days of expanding inquiry into every facet of human experience and functioning it is really not surprising that many people all over the world are opening their minds to clearer realizations of the nature of the esoteric art-science called 'astrology.' "
En-Light-en-ment is always an act of revelation. It does not mean, as some suppose, to give something new to the thing under consideration or even to give something new to the person who is considering the thing. It is always an act by which, in relative degree, the truth of the thing under consideration may be more clearly realized. Such realization can never be "given" by one person to another because realization is always a subjective experience; the person who experiences it can only do so when he is suitably conditioned and timed for it. His suitable conditioning and timing — synchronization of desire for Truth with capacity to utilize that which is realized — makes it possible for him to react to the stimulus of another person or an experience in such a way that his consciousness of the thing considered opens to a relatively higher degree of Truth. We may say that at that moment he has "gained more wisdom about the thing" — his awareness of the nature of the thing is then "wise-er" than it was.
In these days of expanding inquiry into every facet of human experience and functioning it is really not surprising that many people all over the world are opening their minds to clearer realizations of the nature of the esoteric art-science called "astrology." This series of articles under the general heading of light, of which this is the first discourse, is presented to these inquirers in the expectation that those who are now "suitably conditioned and timed" will find, upon perusal, the experience of realizing clearer pictures of what astrology really is and how knowledge of its nature may be more constructively and philosophically utilized. Its purpose is completely consistent with its nature — its purpose is to en-light-en and its nature is the symbolic presentation of the evolving consciousness of Humanity, "en masse" or individually.
Sometimes we become more vividly aware of a thing by consideration of what it is not. Basically and essentially, astrology is not a study of events; in terms of one person's horoscope it is not a study of "the people in his life;" it is not a superstition, though many people have used it in such ways as to give evidence of their superstitious fear of life and experience; it is most certainly not a study of "good and bad luck;" its primary purpose is not to delineate the timing of events, past or future; and — give this considerable reflection — it is not a "study of the stars."
The "nots" of astrology mentioned above could well be referred to as the "knots" in most people's concepts of astrology. Two of them are based on un-truth, the others contain sufficient content of knowledge or wisdom to make astrology of constructive utility — but only when the practitioner is motivated by high ideals of helpfulness to others, and when he is the kind of person who is ever ready to consider new revealments of astrological truth. No person now incarnate who is able to use astrological knowledge is "new to the subject;" all such people are recapitulating knowledge of the subject gained in former lives and, in justice to that past effort, effort is now being required to unravel the "knots" of congested concepts, superstitions, and half-truths by expanding the mind and enlarging the "will-to-Truth." The name of this art-science contains the clue to what it truth-fully is; let us analyze it for continual use during the perusal of this series.
The "astr" of astrology is one of many hundreds of root-words derived from ancient languages which has both esoteric and exoteric meaning. Exoterically it refers to "star," and in this connotation astrology is understood to be a study of the influence on human character and destiny exerted by the stars in the heavens, as though we humans "have to do what the stars tell us to do — or be or think — or develop. Such an irrational concept of "starry influence" has the disintegrating effect of intensifying man's fears concerning "fate" as well as of his own weaknesses and ignorance. On the plane of intellectual exercise even the most exoteric approaches can be helpful in so far as people can become acquainted with a particular set of symbols, and the study of the interpretative key-words of these symbols does result in training the faculty of abstract thought. But, because knowledge without use is not astrology's reason-for-being, we must look more deeply into the word itself to realize the truths of its purpose.
Esoterically the "astr" of astrology refers to light. Man has, for countless ages, looked upon the stars in the heavens as symbols of purest light. The astronomer studies the heavenly bodies in terms of their distance from us, their size, weight, density, and spatial inter- relationships. The astrologer studies what they symbolize as lights of consciousness.
Again esoterically, there are two connotations to the word "light." One is that form of light that makes visual perception possible to those who are incarnate. In terms of manifested life, light is a creative power, an attribute of all manifested things which possess a creative or manifestive potential. But, before such light can "be" there must be that which creates the visual light and that is the light of consciousness. The creative consciousness of that which we call "life" (for lack of a more specific word) through the "stepped down," creative consciousness of galactic and solar logoi — all of which are evolving — originates any and all forms and degrees of light that can be perceived throughout the manifested universe. In other words, perceptible light is the negative polarity, the manifested reflection of the positive creative attribute-consciousness. The opening statements of the book of Genesis contain this one: "God said, "Let there be light and there was light". Whether one believes that the word "God" refers to cosmic creative essence or to the creative will and mind of a solar logos does not matter in this connection; what is to be considered is that consciousness of creative power was established and that light was the first gesture of the creative act. The "darkness" referred to refers to the state of unformed life which we call "chaos." "Chaos" does not mean, as some think, "nothing;" it is the one life essence which is to be utilized by creative wills and minds for manifestivity. Manifested light is the projection into manifestivity of creative intelligence. Consciousness is that degree of awareness — en-light-en-ment of power that is the prime requisite of creative action. A solar logos is aware of the power to create-manifest — through the establishment of a central body — "sun" — and an emanation of other bodies — "planets" which, in toto, comprise its field of evolution. The logos evolves through the evolution of its myriads of life-waves and forms inhabiting the planetary bodies; macrocosm and microcosm are inter-dependent — the evolution of each serves, and is coincidental with, the evolution of the other. By the attribute of consciousness and the faculty of choice, humans exert their creative potential to further their evolution. We humans are not "creators" but, having the power of conscious regeneration, we reveal the potential for creativity. As our solar logos — God — is, so we are destined to become through the unfolding of awareness-consciousness — of our true identity and, correspondingly, powers. If, then, astrology is not a "study of the stars" but a study, in archetypal symbols, of consciousness we may shed our accrued misconceptions of the subject and look at horoscopes — our own particularly! — for what they really are and for what they really are for.
The statement that astrology is a study of the influence of Sun, Moon, and planets upon us — as individual or collective humans — is not untruthful but, for our purpose, there is another approach to the subject which goes deeper and must therefore be considered. As far as "effect of planets on humans" is concerned let us say that astrology is the study of the correspondences between planetary vibratory powers and our actual or potential powers. We, as humans, are fraternally related to all other humans as expressions of the same archetype on this planet. We are also — but more indirectly — fraternal to all expressions of life on this planet. Our habitation — Earth — is the manifested body of a Being which, in its octave of functioning, is fraternal to the planetary Regents of our solar system; therefore, in myriads of levels of correspondences, all on this system are inter-related. And, all are the manifested ideas of our Creator — our Solar Logos, "Father-Mother God." Since the planets of our system are the embodiments of Beings whose consciousness of life qualifies them for that office, and each one has its particular evolutionary function and effect on the total system or any factor of it, we, as humans and students of astrology, study our horoscopes to become aware of higher levels of consciousness of life through knowledge or awareness of our potentials in correspondence to the qualities and significance of those beings whose consciousness provides structure and pattern to our system. The astrological symbols of Sun, Moon, and planets designate what we call "rulership" of parts of our bodies, qualities of personality and character, the principles inherent in our capacities for expression and reaction, the vibratory qualifications of our experiences and relationships. All of these factors are, together or individually considered, for the one purpose of enlarging and purifying consciousness — "en-light-en-ing ourselves," or serving to make the self more aware of the light of the Self-and the Self is the Spirit which identifies man's kinship and unity with his Creator.
In order more firmly to establish a new approach or understanding, it has been found to be very helpful to stop speaking of the subject under consideration in the habit-patterns which one has used for perhaps a long time. There are several "clichés" which astrological students have learned and used and, in order to open more extensively to an awareness of "Astro-Light," we may have to practice some new terms and references. For example:
We find it very easy and natural to say, in reference to a person's horoscope: "This person has a bad Uranus." Look at that statement for a moment from the standpoint of becoming more aware of what it says. In the first place no one can "have" any planet; in the second place no planet is "bad." How can it be, being a divine creation? Let's revise this a little: "This person's consciousness of the principles symbolized by Uranus is congested, unorganized, disorganized, immature or unevolved." We do not say that the person, therefore, is a bad person or an unlucky one or an evil one or an unfortunate one. We simply mean that the person's development — through no one knows how long a time — has not included very much regenerative attention to the aspects of the Spirit which are characterized by the planetary symbol of Uranus; we mean that he has in store considerable experience in growth and development and integration to make on that point. But that does not make him bad, or evil, or even unfortunate — it simply means that he has development to make of a specialized kind in his evolutionary becoming. The horoscope is a symbolic registration of consciousness — it is not a picture of static darkness but its great value lies in picturing the essences of the person 's life-assignments and relative evolutionary status.
We say — often (oh, and so often!): "This position of Saturn and this aspect to Saturn makes this person a miser." Hold on a moment! All the heavenly host together cannot "make anyone a miser." The Saturn-registration in the horoscope pictures an action of the person's consciousness — or lack of consciousness — regarding possession of material goods. Miserliness is an unbalance in consciousness — it is over-attention to acquisition to counter-balance a deeply-rooted fear of loss. Stop this unjust attitude toward Saturn — he tries so hard to teach us important lessons and one of them is intelligent utility of material means. He says: "My nature corresponds to your potential for learning — among other things — to use material substance and means intelligently." Until you take into your consciousness the awareness of this principle for your own up-going, I shall have to speak to you through your fear of loss; when you learn to use; in a balanced way, the particular power of consciousness which I symbolize you will know that I have always been your friend and your teacher. Agree with what I represent as a power and quality of consciousness and your approach to your own Masterhood will be furthered in freedom and joy; you will then know that you do not have to blame me further for your fears and insecurities." We say — sometimes with a little smouldering of envy: "What a lucky guy! he has something-or-other trine Jupiter." Jupiter smiles back at us in his kindly, understanding way and says to us — perhaps a little sad that we are envious: "I have so often been called the planet of abundance and good fortune — may I remind you that I simply symbolize your own consciousness of your own power to improve, enlarge, expand your nature and conditions; you do not 'get anything from me' — you express my principle of enlargement and expansion through optimism, kindliness, generosity, and fearlessness; what you give out, in expression, you attract back; if your consciousness of one is revealed through unbalances of extravagance, over-indulgence, false pride, or greediness I cannot register regeneratively in your chart because you, in your consciousness of me, have not qualified for such a registration as this man has. You need not envy his development. My principle serves all. Take it into your consciousness of life, make it your own by good action and your consciousness will, sooner or later, unfold awareness and manifestation of that particular form of Light which I represent."
And so on — with each of the other planetary points In conclusion we must consider one other for its special significance in our horoscope — the symbol of the Sun itself.
The author suggests that each student of astrology who feels so inclined inaugurate the practice of placing the traditional symbol for the Sun — the point circumscribed by a circle — at the center of each horoscope; this symbol, by correspondence, is that of our Creator, our own spiritual essence, our seed-atom and the eternal, indestructible will-to-live which characterizes consciousness throughout all time and space. This is the most simply constructed, the most perfectly focused and the most purely archetypal of all astrological symbols — it is fitting that it should be used to designate the Human's consciousness of Divine Source, Identity, and Attribute. Another symbol — the author suggests a half-circle surmounting a horizontal line — may be legitimately and effectively used as the Sun in the horoscope, as a "planetary factor" — ruler of the fixed fire-sign Leo. Since this symbol is subject to patterning and aspects, qualifications and movement as is any other planetary symbol, it may be studied to represent the evolution of the person's consciousness of his Sun-nature. The appearance of the circular Sun-symbol (the "Spirit-symbol") corresponds to the appearance of the horoscopical circle — both centered by the same point. The "planetary Sun-symbol" corresponds in appearance with the upper semi-circle of the horoscope, the horizontal line corresponds to the horizontal diameter of the horoscope — the "I AM" of the individual's consciousness and the counterparting of the Ascendant by the cusp of the seventh house. Also as a picture this symbol suggests the sunrise at dawn — and its use in the horoscope is to keep us reminded of our consciousness of solar attributes which we are seeking to unfold through our evolutionary experience.