The connotations of all this
This is the first article I wrote on this subject which is referred to in the previous essay. It was published in the BD newsletter at the time.
Approximately 2000 years ago around the time of the incarnation,of the Christ the tropical and the sidereal zodiacs both started at the same point in the sky at 0 degree of the constellation of Aries. Ptolemy was the earliest philosopher to officially mention the separate influences of these zodiacs. Prior to this time it seems the sidereal zodiac was all that was used. The early astronomers of the Chaeldean and Babylonian cultures developed their knowledge exclusively around the constellations. The stars Alderbaren and Antares where used to mark the middle of the constellations of Taurus and Scorpio respectively and from here a 30 degree division was made. Ptolemy established that the two zodiacs where together at the time of Christ.
The philosophy of Rudolf Steiner illustrates clearly that the appearance of Christ marks an intensification and central point for humans, developing as a spiritually independent ego conscious beings. Eventually this will allow us to raise up to the level of the creative angelic beings at the end of this period of Earth evolution. ( Stage 1 evolution cycle ) Prior to the Christ's initiation, man relied strongly on the guidance and assistance of the various levels of spiritual beings. This can be seen in the Myths and legends of early civilisations of our planet. In the Indian scriptures the spiritual beings came and went from the Earth with ease. Their presence was part of the common reality to all the inhabitants at the time. As Mankind began to incarnate onto the Earth more firmly, he began to loose contact with the Gods and by the Egyptian period he was trying to develop methods of preserving this knowledge for later Mankind. The Egyptian- Chaldean culture marks the last period of direct atavistic spiritual communicaton.
The battle of Troy also contains images suggesting a time Humans were awakening to an individual life separate from the Gods. After this period the Greek gods retreated more and more away from the humans, who during Hellenistic Greece began to develop rationalism.
In subsequent cultures the study, of Man and the physical Earth becomes more important. The Christ's appearance was at that changing point when the Greco-Roman period was gaining prominence marking the end of the Egyptian-Chaldean period .
RS points out the Christ was a being of the "Sun sphere" and that the development of Man as a spiritually independent being was an activity connected intimately to the Christ as messenger from this sphere. The Sun, being the life producing star of our system is seen as an image of pure spirit. On the "Biodynamics Decoded" chart this is Level 1, the point where all existence merges into the spirit.
So the Christ is the messenger of this sphere. His teachings encourage us to find a direct relationship with the Godhead, a relationship that goes beyond all class, race or financial barriers. We are all worthy of the spirit. Indeed the incarnation of the spirit will lead to the awakening of our individuality and objective consciousness, with positive and negative influences, depending on the morality of the individual.
It is interesting to note that the Sun oriented tropical zodiac began to appear around this time. As the Human has continued on his path of individuality it has increased in importance especially for Western cultures, where the Ego incarnation has been the greatest.
The development of the Ego in the Human is a quality or spiritual member that is unique to the Human and something that they do not share with the plants and animals . The plants and animals have an Ego impulse, however this works on a group rather than on an individual level. It does not incarnate but remains outside the physical form of these kingdoms. This leaves the plants and animals in a direct spiritual connection with the environment and their larger environment the Cosmos. Their Ego influence continues to stream to them from the Fixed Stars directly. Humans by developing their Ego consciousness loosen their connection to the immediate cosmic environment. By internalising the Fixed Star influences we have the potential to become liberated from many of the direct impacts of the Fixed Stars.
On a unconscious physical level I am sure the constellations still have an impact on Humans. Current Indian astrologers still use them to good effect. The cosmic connections of our organic structure can still be seen in their impact on menstruation as one example. On the objective conscious and psychological levels though, we have the potential to exert individual decisions over these influences. On a gross level the manifestation of genetic engineering highlights how the archetypal forces sourced from the Fixed Stars can now be consciously manipulated to our ends on Earth.
Cosmic rhythms and movements remain in an archetypal form within man. If this freedom of will is not recognised consciously the cosmic events still have a strong influence on Human destiny. Elizabeth Vreede points out in her Astronomical letters that the Human journey through the spiritual world is under the influences of the constellations until one incarnates on Earth when the Human again comes under the influence of the Tropical Zodiac. The Earth is the only sphere where Humans can work through past karma and develop further on the present path of spiritual growth. This process requires Humans to incarnate through the sphere of Saturn. While one is travelling through the varying planetary spheres on the way to incarnation, the various spiritual entities which inhabit the planetary spheres organise the necessary energies for the tasks they feel need to be undertaken in the coming lifetime.
So during this journey between death and rebirth the Human is free of the Earth and its destiny and once again is a cosmic being. This allows one to come in direct contact with the spiritual hierarchies and the cosmos. Therefore it places the Human in clear connection with the Sidereal zodiac during this period. Since the Christ's appearance on Earth the destiny of Humans has been more strongly connected to the Sun and the spiritual beings of that sphere. The Human however must now ascend to them, rather than them to us, as the Christ did.
So when dealing with Human destiny in the course of our existence on the Earth during this period of "Ego consciousness", we should use the Sun oriented tropical zodiac. The Human is striving for ( or has reached ) the point of guiding his own destiny and is therefore freeing himself of the direct cosmic impulses. It has been my experience, during 14 years of Astrological consulting, that the tropical zodiac ( and a further division, the houses ) indicate clearly the events and growth stages an individual experiences while on the Earth. The constellational chart may well assess the more unconscious or spiritual destiny of the individual. A Sun centred or Heliocentric birth chart works in this area as well, indicating the spiritual qualities available to an individual while here on Earth.
Using this thesis then, the constellations are best employed when working on the spheres of life strongly connected with the cosmos.
As we have seen Plants are embedded in the body of the cosmos. While they embody an Etheric body their Astral and Ego aspects are still external. As such the planets and fixed stars act directly as these 'organs' of the plant kingdom, so their movements affect plants in a direct manner.
The Human on the other hand is in the process of internalising the Ego, and in doing so can exercise a degree of liberation from the exact movements of the cosmos. In so doing we have become an individualised microcosmic double of the macrocosmic universe.