IMHO, The planets are the most important part of Astrology. They are afterall the only astronomical moving parts we use, apart from the moving horizon line of the Earth. The Galaxy from our viewpoint and time scale is essentially stable while the Atmosphere when left to itself would be essentially stable too. It is the continual movement of the planets and their 'interruption' of the electro magnetic radiation from the stars and magnetic fields within the Solar System which influences the electro magnetic reality of the Earth and hence movements in the Atmosphere and us.
My thanks to Tony Nelson-Smith for the following excerpt from the BDNOW email list
" .. A fascinating article ("The planet that hums") in "New Scientist", 11th Sept. '99, unwittingly suggests that conventional science may be a little closer to discovering an 'acceptable' basis for astrology.
A group of Japanese geophysicists studying data collected by a superconducting gravimeter sited in Antarctica carefully subtracted all known sources of vibration (earthquakes etc.) and discovered a residue with no known cause - a pattern of 'free oscillations' which are thought to be due to buffeting by changes in atmospheric pressure (there is a pattern of seasonal variation which cannot be explained by movements within solid Earth).
These results have since been confirmed by other workers. It is believed that any other planet with even a very thin atmosphere will have a similar but characteristic 'hum'. So, most elements of our solar system emit a specific pattern of, admittedly, very weak vibrations !"
With the Planets being the 'only moving part', it is well worthwhile watching them to see what is going on. Each planet has a specific quality however this quality has many different ways of manifesting according to the other planets , signs and houses it is associated with. Imagine a set of ten , ten sided dice. As they relate to each other, different sides of each dice keep showing according to which planets are relating to each other. One minute Mars is sporty and playful, another seething with sexuality and another rushing off inspired to an new task. All are Mars, just different bits emphasised by its combination with another planet.
To understand these different sides of each planet there are a few planetary patterns which indicate their primary interrelationships. The key is to remember each pattern is right and govern or relate to different spheres of life. As long as we stay within that particular pattern for the application we wish to use, it will remain right. A real problem is when we try and mix up systems of patternings and hope they will work together. Often that practice just leads to confusion.
In all of the following patterns the Sun is the potentially conscious Spiritual Individual. One game that can be played on all these patternings is to relate each stage a seven year period of development and see how that phase of growth is imaged in the particular planet.
All of the following patterns are built off the placing of the planets in their astronomical orbit length as seen from the Earth.
The first pattern as we saw in "BDD" relates to the physical manifest universe in nature and especially the physical body formation.
Pattern 1 - Archetypal creation
The astronomical basis of this patterning is the polarity created between the planets as seen from the Earth. Three inner planets and three outer planets forming a polarity to each other.
Bones Flesh Blood Moon Mercury Venus Calcium Fluids Copper | | | Silica/Phosphorus Muscle Iron Saturn Jupiter Mars
While it is the pattern of the primary polarities within physical manifestation and therefore used extensively in the natural sciences, it also has applications to human psychology as well.
Saturn Father Laws Past Life Moon Mother Murture New life Jupiter Society Beliefs Philosophies Mercury Friends Ideas Conversations Mars Sexuality Competitors Passion Venus Sensuality Allies Creativity
Pattern 2 - Humans social path in the world
This astronomical pattern describes the polarities developed between the planets as they run in a straight line according to the length of their cycle as experienced from the Earth. In this patterning we see the expansion of ones social environment. From the immediate home environment outward on our journey to becoming the responsible politician setting the laws by which material social life will run.
Family Friends Culture Moon Venus Jupiter Parents Friends Culture | | | Siblings Outward actions Government Mercury Mars Saturn
The Moon is the home and quality of parenting, which we are born into. Mercury governs the brothers and sisters and neighbourhood you grow up around, Venus are the friends and supporters we grow up with. The next phase indicates the movement into the outer world. Mars governs this outward movement but more so the initiatives impact into the world, which is met with acceptance or aggressive response. Jupiter is the condition of the society and culture in which one lives, while Saturn is the legal structure that society is based upon.
Each of these planets can be interpreted in a broader context developed along these basic themes.
Pattern 3 - 7 fold Human psychological development
This patterning has less astronomical reality however it does have a powerful reality within the Astrological theorem. This patterning is built upon the essential polarities existing within the inner and outer planetary groupings. For example the inner planets are Moon, Mercury and Venus. Within this grouping we can apply the 3 fold law of the Modes. This devides the planets into:
So here we see the polarity between the poles of the inner planets and those of the outer planets, with the Mutable planets Mercury and Jupiter forming their own polarity. In keeping with the rules, the further away from the astronomical reality we go, the further we move away from physical reality. It appears this patterning describes the functioning of the inner human soul traits of thinking, feeling and willing.
We will meet this patterning again later as the basis of the Twelvefold planets. The Moon here is ones personal subjective emotional state while Venus is when these emotions begin to be expressed our into the world. This is through friendships and creative expression.
Mercury is our own personal thoughts and ideas as well as ideas coming towards us. Jupiter is the stage when we bring our soul activity into action onto both these sources of ideas. in this process we comprehend them, make them our own as well as see where our ideas fit into a great whole of world philosophies.
Feeling Thinking Willing Moon Mercury Mars Emotions Communication Action | | | Relationship Wisdom Manifestation Venus Jupiter Saturn
Mars is the initial impulsive stirrings to action. Left to itself it will soon loose interest and go and start another activity. It is the soul states of Saturn, of perseverance, persistence and determination which coax this Mars impulse into eventual manifestation.
Pattern 4 - Steiner evolution
Saturn Sun Moon Mars | | | | Vulcan Venus Jupiter Mercury
This pattern is a rather abstract one. It is usually described as a sevenfold division however in some circumstances it includes the planet Vulcan and can therefore be seen in an 8 fold manner. The best approach I have seen to understanding the reality basis for this patterning is by W. Peliken in his "The Secrets of Metals" chapter 2., were he explores the atomic weights of the metals associated to each planet placed around a circle. If a seven sided heptagon is drawn between the parts, it provides us with a patterning which is used in such everyday things as the days of our week. Saturn's-day, Sunday, Moons-day, Tuesday is Mars-day, Wednesday is Woden or Mercury's day, Thursday is Thor or Jupiter's Day, Freyas day is Venus day . RS uses this same patterning in the outlining of his evolutionary theory upon which many of the archetypes of life he describes are based, especially in the social development work, when outlining life stages and psychological development. This is a very abstract patterning which I do not use in my human astrological work. It will however appear from time to time and does have very useful applications.
Most of these patternings work on basic sustenance levels of life. They are associated with the personal unconscious and the personal conscious spheres. Once we bring in the distant planets of Uranus , Neptune and Pluto and beyond we are moving into the sphere of the collective unconscious and then the collective conscious. See Layers of Creation diagram.
The Ten fold Planets
This 10 fold planets diagram is the one I use mostly for Human psychology and it brings up many interesting insights, however I also use a more astronomically correct 12 fold patterning which provides many more archetypal insights.
Pattern 5 - 10 fold Human development - psychological
This pattern is the development of the pattern 3 presented earlier. It is built upon the thinking, feeling and willing model presented by RS. Here we can follow the metamorphosis of the three stages of human activity from the personal through the soul and to the collective unconscious. The fourth layer is the purely spiritual plane. In the ten planets system this is the Sun, however when we extend beyond Pluto and explore the next layers of the lower spiritual spheres we come to three further stages that can be identified as the Collective Conscious.
The Personal Unconscious is a sphere where activities and events are taken for granted. They are so basic and essential to your survival that much of it goes on unnoticed.
Mars is the realm of impulsive actions were we take instinctive steps to maintain our essential survival. The 0-7 year age is governed by Mars and indicates our time of gaining control of our physical body. Initially we push around selfishly going for what we want with whatever noise and aggression we believe is necessary to achieve our goals.
The Moon governs our personal emotional needs. It is whatever we need to do to feel safe, comfortable and emotionally nurtured. This is the home of our personal emotional responses to everything. In many ways the seat of our inner emotional life. A happy Moon is necessary to feel safe and in good health. In developmental terms this is the age between 7-14 and is the period the etheric body is incarnating more strongly with the physical. This is a significant period when the future health of the individual is laid down. Overly active mind activity at this time will inhibit the proper binding of the etheric with physical and in later life this loose bonding leads to an early separation of the two, which in turn manifests as illness.
Mercury is the initial phase of thinking. It governs personal opinion and the sharing of your uncensored personal ideas with others. It is also rote thinking. This is the ability to learn something parrot fashion and be able to repeat it back without any comprehension of the true meaning of the information. Somewhat like at primary school. Developmentally this is the 14-21 year period. The mind is developing, the astral body is incarnating, puberty occurs and one tends to be impelled somewhat aimlessly into activities which hold the attention the longest. The Astral body also needs to bind successfully with the organs of the body and not be too emotionally shocked or rationalised through this period. If this binding is not successful then at a later age this loosened Astral body can express as any number of psychic and psychotic inbalances.
At this Mercury phase we learn to communicate with others, share ideas, move about more freely and express our own opinions.
The Personal Conscious comes into play when we engage our soul activities. This lifts these basic traits of the personal unconscious to a higher level of perception and activity. All the planets of this phase can be seen as an octave of the ones below them.
Jupiter is the octave of Mercury. The information that Mercury has provided to the individual is processed by Jupiter's soul activity. It is thought about, contemplated, analysed, researched and ultimately seen for what it is. Once the new information has gone through this process it becomes the property of the individual. It is upon this process that we develop our philosophic morality. Jupiter by its very nature is a planet of optimistic expansion. It is through the ages of 21 -28 which we feel most bullet proof. Many people take on new careers, mortgages, children and life in general. Anything is possible. It is during this period that the Ego/Spirit works upon the Astral body laid down between 14 -21 to refine it further. Here a clarity of our desires is reached and this Jupiter period can be seen as a time of rushing to fulfil all your desires for life. It has been my observation that relationships formed during this time have a very strong past life karmic debt quality about them. It is very easy to attract your opposite during this phase.
Venus is the soul octave development of the Moon. The Moon is our personal emotions and at Venus we attempt to find ways we can communicate these inner emotions with others. For some - those with good aspects between their Venus and Moon - this can be through supportive, playful emotional trusting friendships. For others the pathway is not so clear and they turn to some form of artistic expression as a mode of non verbal communication. The developmental age this supports is between 28-35. Here serious questions about the true nature of meaningful partnership and the role of relationships develops. The Saturn return at 28 is one of the classic relationship breakdown points as life is reoriented towards our own need. Relationships formed during this period , while still filled with past life karma, can be more of your own making and essentially more supportive than those of the earlier phase. Being essentially an emotional phase of development one becomes aware of what is needed to create a supportive emotional caring home and social environment in which to live.
Saturn is the wilful octave of Mars. As pointed out in an earlier section the impulsive urges of Mars are taken hold of by Saturn and focused towards final manifestation. Soul forces of wilful determination and patience are implied in making things permanent. This age period is between 35 and 45. The question of right relationship is replaced with the realisation that if one is to complete the purpose of ones incarnation then time is drawing short. A tremendous focus develops on getting the job done and scaling the heights of one profession.
At the end of this Saturn phase it could be said you have reached a particular peak of worldly success. This brings us to the doorway period called the mid-life crisis. This period actually runs from about 37 or so through till 45ish and is characterised by several major planetary transits back to their birth place. It often starts with Uranus opposing birth Uranus, which asks the question" I have been doing all these things for all these other people all my life, now it is time for me to focus on my life and on what I find important."
At present the Pluto opposite to its birth place is now taking place before the Uranus aspect. Mathematically and therefore archetypally this opposition should not take place until 63 years old, but due to Plutos extreme elliptical path, its speed varies dramatically. At present it is close to the Sun and therefore moving quickly. Hence this event is occurring sooner to us than to our parents. Pluto the planet governing ultimate power presents us with the possibility that " You are as powerful as any other person on the planet!" Others may have material positions of power but internally you have every right to a say and be heard as anyone else. This is why our politician are becoming younger.
The Neptune square Neptune around 40 integrates all this and allows you to dream your desired changes are possible. The Jupiter opposes its birth place around 42 has you adjusting your social position to accommodate your decisions, while the Saturn oppose Saturn at 45 brings all your past and the changes of this period back into a concrete form for you to move onwards with.
The mid life crisis acts as a doorway event, often awakening the material human to the possibility of there being a life beyond matter. Be it personal growth, psychism or the true life of the spirit, the individual gains a glimmer of the beyond.
This is the stage where the journey through the Collective Unconscious begins. The Collective Unconscious is a special realm that comes into being because of its interplay between the Astral forces of the Solar system and the Galactic spiritual forces intermingling. We can imagine that as the two great spheres of the Astrality and Spirit meet, a grey area, a mixture of both is created. As a result of this meeting a responsive back wave shoots back into the sprit sphere, setting up a similar lower spiritual sphere 3 fold patterning. The spirit sphere is pure consciousness and undifferentiated. There is no separation of its parts only an innate awareness of the collective unity of all things. The Astral body is the place of Maya , deception and ultimately unconsciousness, Hence the grey area is one of Collective Unconsciousness. The realm beyond it in the spirit sphere is the sphere of Collective Consciousness.
The collective unconsciousness is a sphere of shared Human experience. It is where all thoughts, feelings and actions that occur for any one single Human becomes available for all other Humans.
With Uranus it is the collective thinking which is available. Here anyone else's thoughts can flash into your mind. Flashes of insight and genius and a sense of seeing the big picture of things are very common. Innovation is a key word for the new possibilities that open up. Independence to follow the unconventional is paramount as the individual becomes empowered by the spirit (unconsciously) into a world of endless possibilities. Here the Occultist begins to think about the spiritual, coming up with schemes, diagrams, philosophies and theologies in an attempt to grasp oneness with the mind. This is pretty much what we are doing here in this book. This is an occult document. It is a mental construct of the spiritual manifestation behind creation. It is important though to realise that as well as this work may present the spirit, life and spirit are an experience and not a mind trip. So ultimately all the Uranian mind constructs will need to be dissolved into the direct experience of the spirit. Best not hold onto them too tightly if they do not fit your experience.
The first real experience of the spirit comes through Neptune. As the emotional octave of Venus this is were we experience the emotional oneness of all creation. The nature of the Collective Unconsciousness though is that we are initially unconscious of its ways and methods. It is through the practice of being in it, that we develop consciousness. The Neptune path is that of the mystic. The thinking needs to recede so the emotions and psychic realm become the modus operandi. A sense of boundarilessness develops as one becomes flooded by the emotional currents running through the unconsciousness of Humanity. A great empathy for others experiences develops. Pitfalls of this stage are an inability to maintain any individuality in the midst of humanities sufferings and needs, which has lead to the development of many a social worker. For some, contact with material life becomes more difficult as the realms of spirit seem so much more appealing, while for others this barrage of psychic impressions and experiences becomes overpowering and they will do anything to turn it off. This is an initial phase of unconditional love to all humanity and the beginning of an awareness of the power of imagination in creating the things you want. To have them you must first dream them.
Pluto is the stage where the spiritual forces make themselves felt physically. Here the individual can no longer delegate the spirit to the mind or to an emotional fantasy. Here the spirit is present in every living thing and every breath of wind. This is the stage of the Shaman and we are challenged to live consciously with the spirit on Earth. At the early stages we are still unconscious of its ways, but as we move through the journey we gain more awareness and mastery over the way the spirit works behind Manifestation, and begin to move with it. The central lesson of Pluto is the correct use of creative force and power in all its forms. Its process is to take an existing form (Saturn) and move it to a new stage of material manifestation more fitting for the needs of the time. So it takes what Saturn has achieved and breaks it down to the lowest common denominator, between the old and the new and then rebuilds the new manifestation. Empowerment is really the key word for Pluto. Any transformation it brings into life is done for the ultimate empowerment of the individual. This is an empowerment of the individual to the true responsibility and control of their life as a creative spirit being on Earth. The end of the Pluto journey is enlightenment. Full consciousness of the powers that lie behind all created matter and how to use them creatively and responsibly.
Spirit - The Sun
At this stage of development the Sun is the indicator of the Spirit. In Astrology as generally practised today, this is as far as it goes. The Suns placement and condition indicates where the spirit has evolved to, and through its relationships to other planets indicates how the spirit can easily interact with the astral body.
The 12 fold Planets-The Spiritual Journey
The Planets - Picture
This pattern is an extension of the number one archetypal patterning. It is based initially on the Astronomical length of the planetary cycles. Due to its close association to reality it is used to look into some very fundamental aspects of manifestation. It uses the Cancer to Leo Equinoctial zodiac however to bring the zodiac onto the planets appropriately it is necessary to use the middle stage of the zodiacal metamorphosis - the lemniscate. This middle stage as we saw earlier has been used by RS in describing the Human 12 senses and appears appropriate when describing the 12 fold spiritual path of Human development.
While RS uses the lemniscate for the Twelve senses, it is interesting to note he uses a Libra starting zodiac to describe a psychological process.
While this twelve fold planets patterning builds on what has been said for pattern 1 and what was said for the Collective Unconscious planets, we can add to what has already been said by tracing more thoroughly the process of spiritual development rather than just the psychological as done in the last section.
Bernard Lievegoed has produced a wonderful book entitled "Man on the Threshold" which acts as an excellent primer and overview of RS picture of Human development. I will only cover this quickly and as is appropriate for the present discussion.
Moon - Physical Body
In this context the Moon phase corresponds to the period of extremely active physical growth from birth to 7 years. During this period the child is in the womb of the family and particularly bonded to the mother. They are taking hold of their physical bodies again and through the childhood fever illnesses are breaking their body spiritually free from the hereditary influences they received from their parents. During this period the individuals physical constitution becomes obvious. This is the time the child takes a piece of the Earth and incorporates it into themselves.
Due to the birthing, nurture and family support of this time it is appropriate Cancer is the constellational influence of this period.
Mercury - Etheric Body
The second phase from 7-14 sees the more intense incorporation of the etheric body into the physical. It is during this period that the temperament of the child becomes more obvious. The four temperaments of Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic and Melancholic arise through the dominance of a particular etheric force, be it Warmth, Light, Chemical or life ethers. As mentioned earlier it is important not to draw in the mind related Ego forces too strongly during this time as it uses up etheric forces which need to be bound firmly into the physical body during this period, in a sense in storage for later in life. During this period the child takes into themselves a piece of the world Etheric forces from the Atmosphere of the Earth. Mercury governs the free streaming of the etheric forces and is responsible for the health of the fluids in the lympathic and glandular system. One characteristic of this age period is the child still needs outside direction. They seem to flow between experiences without clear direction. It appears that the real individual being is clothed in a 'cloud'.
Between 7 -14 the child lives more in the immediate community, of brothers and sisters, and other relatives, neighbours and store keepers etc. Their communicative talents are developed and this is the period for reading and writing to really develop. In this way we can see Gemini as the appropriate sign of this period.
Venus - Astral Body
The third stage between 14-21 is the period the Astral body becomes more incorporated into the physical body. Puberty is the result and can be seen like a flowering of a plant. The fruitfulness which now appears as the child becomes of child bearing age indicates the incorporation of Taurian goddess Demeter.
Something that was buried deep within and hidden behind the cloud emerges to create a completely different picture of the possibilities of the individual. The real personality or character of an individual develops during this period. With the astral body comes sensation and desire. The child becomes more orientated to their friends (Venus) and wishes to choose them for themselves. Physical experience become most important for them rather than what an adult will say, which provides us with the images of Taurus as the appropriate ruler of this period. The planets of the birth chart become more apparent now as the child incorporates the world astrality of the solar system into their own Astral body.
The period between Venus and Mars is significant in that this is the period an individual truly takes on their responsibility for their own life. They begin to determine where they want to go and want they want. This is a significant step on the spiritual journey and the further direction it takes. This is one of the doorway periods as whether an individual adopts the faith and beliefs of the parents or moves on to form a world view and experience more appropriate to themselves.
From 21 to 42 each Human moves through the period of making a life for themselves. RS indicates that this period is marked by the Ego/spirit reworking the previous three periods and liberating the forces they have bound into themselves and using them for more spiritual activities.
Mars - Sentient Soul
The 21 to 28 year phase sees the Ego/spirit reworking the Astral body and the individual is challenged to refine the desires and instincts to a stage RS called Sentient Soul. At this stage it is more of an exploration and journey than to fully be liberated from them. In the 10 fold planets, I characterised this as the Jupiter phase. In many ways this exploration of that can be seen as the time an individual pushes into the work, exploring their strengths and weaknesses to find their psychological and emotional limits. The animalistic level of desires active in the Venus phase must be transformed into a more cultural impulse as we move into the world. This leads to the development of conscious concepts by which we meet the world. It also heralds the beginning of greater clarity within our psychic life.Intuition rather than dreams can become of great help from now on.
This transformation of desires into cultural concepts, dreamlife into psychic intuition and teenager into full adult, through developing trust and building functional relationships with others provides the base for the sign of Scorpio to rule this period.
Jupiter - Intellectual Soul
Between 28-35 the Ego/spirit works upon liberating forces from the etheric body . Earlier I characterised this as the Venus phase. Relationships come under review and from this standpoint it is because the feelings, emotions and memories of the etheric body are being revisited to develop what RS called the intellectual or mind soul..
The Jupiter aspect of this period arises as the individual strives to rise above the etheric fluidity of the emotions and the mercurial etheric forces outlined earlier. Here the response to the immediate needs of the time, need to be tempered by the perception of a larger plan which allows for a degree of 'certainty to the thinking'. It is in finding the balance between the free flow of the feelings and the clear thinking that this period finds its success. It is the balance between the rational scientist and the mystic which needs to be achieved here.
It is in the finding of this balance between heaven and earth and the lifting of consciousness to the right conceptual approach to life that we see the sign of Sagittarius imaged .
Saturn - Consciousness Soul
What in the Jupiter phase can be said to be an emotional psychic struggle, in Saturn becomes a physical balance. It is here in the consciousness soul period that all the many aspects of an individuals physical and spiritual life need to be harmonised in the reality of day to day life. There comes a need to balance the responsibilities of the spiritual life, the business life and ones social life into something that can be sustainable as our physical forces diminish. In many ways this is the period of the individual realising the only way forward is that of the artist. That all things need to be attended to and that only by turning them into an enjoyable experience of being creative within the bounds of possibilities, can life be successful. We need to be realistic but not earthbound and imaginative without being unproductive.
While physically this period is often a time of great focus on achieving worldly success, it is also the time we realise there is more to life than just the physical. Friends begin to die, physical fitness begins to wane and the spirit begins to strive for more than what it has done for the last twenty years. A life of the spirit becomes possible once a certain tiredness towards the physical arises. The need to bring the physical life to a certain level of achievement and fulfilment indicates the relationship of Capricorn to this phase of life.
Chiron - First Guardian of the Threshold
Chiron has been mentioned earlier, however seen in the context the of Twelve planets diagram Chiron stands at the threshold between Saturn and Uranus. Here is the moment of awakening to life beyond the physical. Here the spirit begins the true spiritual journey into life beyond the physical with the Ah ha awakening of Chiron. This guardian reflects to us the results of our thoughts , feelings and actions so far. In many ways he is the reflection of the true nature of our Etheric and Astral bodies and what it will take to bring them into a more purified form.
I have already outlined the next the planets in some detail. All that remains to be said about these planets is RS view of these phases of development.
Uranus - Spirit Self
Uranus is the octave ruler of Aquarius and indicates the influx of the collective unconscious into the thinking realm. This leads to the characteristic flashes of innovative insight Aquarians are known for. As an expression of the Spirit self phase of development the astral body and sentient soul phase of development are raised another step. At this phase we are asked to raise above the feelings of sympathy and antipathy and live in the first stage spiritual experience. This is equivalent to the clear circle phase of the 10 fold Zen path mentioned earlier. Here there is an experience of moving beyond the pull of the Astral body and seeing it for what it is, a stream of impulses which comes and go according to their own needs and the movement of the planets. The spirit experiences the first possibility of a life separate from the ebb and flow of the Astral body.
Uranus has long been associated with the sign of Aquarius. The spiritualised thinking process of Uranus provides Aquarius with the characteristic innovative, rebellious attitude so commonly associated with this sign.
Neptune - Life Spirit
As we saw with the etheric body, it was this phase where the temperament comes into fuller expression. It is the Neptune phase where the Ego works upon the basic temperament to liberate itself from the temperaments hold. RS suggests "the impulses that work most strongly in this direction are those of religion. .......... the religious emotions.... impress a kind of unity on all his thinking, feeling and willing".
Through the identification with the spirit one gains an ability to not identify so strongly with the comings and goings of emotions. As mentioned in the earlier section, Neptune allows us the meditate, contemplate and 'float' in the collective unconscious emotions. Through this process we can become aware of the ebbs a flows both of our personal personal emotional and psychic experiences and those shared collectively by Humanity. The first stage of Neptune holds a trap in that our new psychic sensitivity opens us to endless insights about almost anything as we enter the boundariless realm of Neptune. There are no personal boundaries anymore and all one needs do is ask a question and the psychic channel opens to the answer or person involved. This is all very well, however the collective psychic realm is as much an illusion and trap as the personal emotional life. It is a much larger stage to play upon and full of endless intrigue, suffering and opportunities for egotism . The Ego/spirit residing in our consciousness now has the opportunity to remain with itself in this sea of endless clairvoyance. In our Christian society these feelings and experiences can only be categorised as religious and in the delving to their depths we enter the sphere were our etheric body exists. The watery realms of our deep seated emotions. It is these personal emotional reactions which influence our ability to perceive and believe the intuitive insights we receive from Neptune. As we clear our fears, emotions and psychic dramas, so we become clearer psychics. It is like the clearing of our emotional life wipes the mirror clean, so we can see Neptune's reflection more clearly. This clarity of relationship with the collective unconscious emotional life, RS calls "Life Spirit" due to the spiritualisation of the life body. RS also suggests that through investigating and deeply entering into art, both in theory and practice, we enter into the realm of the etheric body. This is the heightening of the process which began in the Jupiter (Venus) phase outlined under the tenfold planets where the individual uses art as a way of communicating feelings which are essentially unspeakable. We are asked to enter in our own and other peoples deeply personal experiences.
Neptune has long been associated with the sign of Pisces, The spiritualised feeling life described above images the empathetic, compassionate selfish traits of Pisces.
Pluto - Spirit Man
At Pluto the Ego/spirit begins to work upon the spiritual forces which stand directly behind the maintenance of the physical body.
Here the spirit makes itself felt in ones every day life. In recent times the rise in Shamanism, as Pluto passed through Scorpio in the mid 1980s, is an expression of the individual needing to come to grips with how the spirit impacts through direct physical experiences. Initially this is a very unconscious process but through bringing the Neptune experiences one step further we can experience how behind every physical manifestation there stands a spiritual activity or spiritual being. With Pluto we are learning to be part of the process of creation. With Neptune we experience it, however at Pluto we are empowered to take part and be the transformative conduit of the spirit on Earth. Involved in this process is the correct use of power in all its forms. The correct use of insight, admiration, sympathies, emotions and physical strengths. Ones integrity of action for the benefit of life becomes the continuing test of this phase to become the "Spirit Man" .
In this system Pluto is ruled by Aries. This can at first appear to be an anomaly however if we are to use the traditional imagery of Aries, what greater point of transformation is there than the beginning. However in this context it compels us to look at Aries as the ninth sign in the process rather than the first. It is here that we must identify the impulsive risk taking aspects of Aries as not so much based on neivete, as on the willingness to be moved fully by the spirit, with little thought of the consequences. In many senses Pluto makes us one of gods madmen, who act in a manner incomprehensible to material eyes.
Charon - The Greater Guardian of the Threshold
Charon is the moon or dual planet circling around Pluto. At the end of Pluto we reach awakeness or enlightenment and are ready for the next phase, that of Persephone. Charon stands between these two planes. Just as Chiron offers us an image of all we can become and what we need to do to get there, Charon offers us a picture of all Humanity can become, and offers us the chance, now we have liberated ourselves, to help in the liberation of others. This is the ninth panel of the Zen 10 fold path. The awakening of the enlightened beings need to rejoin the world and help in its collective development.
Persephone - Solid land
Beyond Pluto there are two hypothetical planets, Persephone and Vulcan. Uranus Neptune and Pluto are the planets of the Collective Unconscious and beyond these we enter the spiritlands proper with our consciousness fully awake. The three planets of the spiritlands are Persephone , Vulcan and the Sun and they form further octaves of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These three planets are the last panel of the Zen 10 fold path. The awake 'fool' has returned to the marketplace to facilitate development of all humanity.
Persephone is the octave of Pluto and so is the collective conscious will. This is where awakeness allows the individual to take conscious spiritual action. RS outlines this phase as being able to see the forces behind matter and work to bring them together so that manifestation can easily come about. At Persephone we are acting as angels moulding the spiritual form for the matter to accumulate within.
Persephone does not see any boundaries based on colour, race or creed. All things are equal spiritual beings and as such she brings a true international flavour with an unconditionally loving attitude to all beings she touches.
In this way we see the highest aspects of the sign of Libra manifest. Libra has this ability to 'be above' life and in a mundane sense meter out equal justice to all due to an intellectual rational standpoint. However seen from this aspect this equanimity is coming from a true spiritual perception of the unity of all things, with the best unconditional loving intention of all concerned. Interestingly there is only one human species and while Pluto governs the seven sub races of Humanity (and so often is involved in nationalistic wars), Persephone only sees one humanity. She has become more active in the consciousness of humanity since 1939 (Pluto conjunct Persephone at 0 Leo) and in more recent times in 1993 ( Pluto square Persephone). These moments are allowing more and more humans to access this state of full enlightenment for longer periods of time. Her influence brings an international, world citizen sense to the individual.
Vulcan - Region of Oceans and Rivers
Vulcan is the Roman god who lives upon Olympus and manufactures all the tools used by the gods, as well as living beings such as Pandora. Astronomically Vulcan is said to circle the Sun within its corona. He is the ultimate craftsperson who manifests directly from the spirit into the physical. On Earth, Sai Baba is the greatest known manifestation of this stage of consciousness. He has the ability to directly manifest objects from his hands and elsewhere. This is hands on control of the fabric of creation. By the patterning we can see Vulcan is an octave of Neptune and so indicates the next stage in the transformation and control of the etheric forces which support life. RS describes this region as if one experiences the flowing life of "living spiritual sound". Much in the same way as blood flows through the body, so the spiritual life flows through creation. At Vulcan it is the conscious directing of these flows of life force which lead to physical manifestations. Here we see the ultimate in Virgonian efficiency of creativity and function. Vulcan allows the individual to utilise matter at the service of spirit. If the spiritual intention is pure then anything can be manifested effortlessly. Alan Oken in "Soul Centred Astrology" says Vulcan "provides the link between Humanity and the plan."
Sun - The Atmosphere
If Vulcan is the link between Humanity and the Plan then the Sun phase is the plan. This is the "Word" talked about in the bible. This is the essential seed thought of God which stands behind all of creation.
In keeping with the evolution of the astral body of this stream, RS outlines how all the sensations and feelings of life on Earth flow through this realm as if they were great thunderstorms in the Earth atmosphere. We can say that it is from the perception of these flows of sensation and feelings that the spirit responds and sets in train a series of impulses back into manifestation, which works back down the flow of the planets to final manifestation in the structuring of the DNA within a particular cell at the Moon. Here the highest aspect of Leo, as the crowning centre of a beneficent ruler is achieved, responding consciously and unconditionally back to the needs of the mortals in his/her care. This is ultimately the finest state of individual creativity, with appropriate unconditional actions for the needs of all creation.
North Node - Destiny
If we look at this journey as a circle/spiral, we now come back to the axis point of Cancer and Leo. The North Node is an astronomical point determined by the crossing of the moons path and that of the Sun. Here we find the point which indicates the direction an individuals destiny can take if they choose. It seems appropriate that if we look to see where the North Node fits on this spiritual path, it would be the mid point of the Sun and the Moon. Which places it at the cusp of Leo and Cancer.
We can see the ultimate human destiny as the reason for beginning the journey and also as the result of the journey. Once one has travelled the spiritual journey of the 12 planets they are then ready to fulfil the ultimate destiny, as a fully awake being in the service of creation.
In summary :
The Twelve planets
The Planets - Picture
While I have outlined these stages of development as taking place at particular ages through one human life, there is no finite limitation. Any individual can make the whole journey in a second or over many lifetimes. It is however apparent that in each life time we have the opportunity to make the whole journey as part of our natural human growth.
The Collective Unconscious planets onwards are often out of reach of the more basic model human. In this case they work as a collective impulse upon these people. Much the same way as the Ego works as a collective influence over a species of animals. Humans do however have the potential to make all of the facilities outlined from Uranus > Sun, conscious in this lifetime.
The positions of these planets in relation to the personal planets and the angles in the birth chart indicate the ease by which one can wake up to any particular planets potential. If there are contacts between planets then waking up to that planetary energy is relatively easy. However, contact does not mean it is active. It means it has been active in a past life and can be activated again very easily. Where outer planets are not active in the birth chart, the transits and progressions of these planets offer the opportunity for the individual to catch on to them, bringing them to consciousness and use them.
We can be twelve planet beings if we wish. In fact we are. All we have to do is wake up to it. Often all this takes is to relax and let it happen. We have all these energies available to us all the time, while we are in physical manifestation. We are at the bottom of the soup, with all of them just streaming through us and our environment. There is no where to go and very little to do, other than to identify what an actual energy is and how it feels and get on with it.
From the following Twelve Planets diagram we can use the same laws of polarity that were used in "Biodynamics Decoded" to determine the functional polarities standing behind nature, to establish the polarity relationships between the planets in the twelve fold system. Already we have established relationships between the planets associated to the bodies.
Moon - Saturn - Pluto - Persephone.
Mercury - Jupiter - Neptune - Vulcan
Venus - Mars - Uranus - Sun
With these relationships we have developed an understanding of how these planets work together and what affinities one planet has with another.
Another series of polarity relationships develop from this diagram which are not yet indicated
Moon - Sun
Mercury - Vulcan
Venus - Persephone
Mars - Pluto
Jupiter - Neptune
Saturn - Uranus
The last three and the first pair of these polarities are well known and appreciated in traditional astrology. This process therefore outlines the completion of the octave polarities within Astrology. Venus' octave is Persephone and imaged in Demeters' Taurian relationship to Persephones Libra in Greek myth, while Vulcan is the Virgo octave of Mercury's Gemini.
It is upon one or other of the planetary patterns outlined in this section that you will find the interpretations and interactive relationships of any planet to the other. If it is not one of these relationships then the planets do no get on very easily.
The nodes are the one point RS did talk about and suggest could be used.
There are two nodes the north node or dragons head and the south node called the dragons tail. These nodes are determined from the direction the moon is travelling. Generally they are listed for the northern hemisphere and by rights should be reversed when seen from the southern hemisphere. They are reversed in the BD calendar, however in Astrological circles they are used as seen from the northern hemisphere. In my experience the Astrological perspective does seem to be valid for people. This gives rise to the question of why? Do we Humans orientated according to the Electro magnetic poles ( North ) irrespective of the hemisphere we are in.
The nodes are indications of ones destiny. This is not fate, it is possible destiny. It is our choice as to whether we take it up or not. The house position and sign the north node is placed in, indicates what is needed to be developed. The North node is where you are heading. The South node is where you are coming from. This is a symbol of the past. It is the talents of the south node which need to be used in the attainment of the north nodes destiny.
Often the nodes are indicating a totally different direction of development to the rest of the chart. Remember, the rest of the chart is where you have come from. The north node is where you are heading. Often this life is a balance to that of the past. The talents and skills from the south node act as the source energy that needs to be refined and used through the north node. One builds upon the other.
As the node moves through the chart in time as a transiting point, important doorways of destiny can be identified. There is no compulsion here. You must choose to pick up the opportunity offered by the Node. Hence there is much value to be gained by maintaining an awareness of the Nodes movements and relationships to the rest of your chart.
Another way the nodes work, are as an indication of your sociability. When it is happy you generally get on well with people and crowds. When tense there is a marked shyness and reserve.
The vertex is the only fated point in the chart. The vertex is the point where the prime vertical crosses the ecliptic. It is a rather abstract point somewhat like the mid heaven. It is one of the indicators of direction, however this is often manifests as people or situations which are fated. You have no choice with this point. This is an event ,situation or area you must deal with. There is no predestined always good or bad here, it appears neutral mostly. It is either good or bad fate determined by your fate at the time.
The angles of the chart are Earth based. The Ascendant Descendant axis are the Eastern Horizon and western horizon points respectively. The Ascendant is a point indicating how you are seen by others. This is a point of personal expression. Jung called it the persona. The Descendant is where you meet others in contractual agreements generally. This is the point of you and the other. Descendant relationships are characterised as the ones where you take other people into consideration, when making a decision. As the persona, the Ascendant has often been identified as an indicator of the personality. Differing opinions exist within the Astrological community about the importance of the Ascendant. While it certainly does describe how a person presents themselves, their physical body etc., the debate is whether one should grow towards your Ascendant or your Sun. I am a Sun person. The Sun is the spirit, the Ascendant the persona, the mask. Persona possession is very evident these days - especially in urban cultures - where individuals believe the image presented is what matters. Rural communities tend to look deeper and over a longer period of time hence ultimately discovering the deeper individual. To evolve towards the Ascendant means to evolve towards the body. To evolve towards the Sun is the path to the Spirit.
The Mid heaven and Inum coeli are the mid day and mid night points of the chart. The midnight point indicates the physical and psychological base of the individual ( Astral body ), hence governs their home, family and tribal connections. The MC or midheaven indicates the impact one has on the world, hence is often seen as a point of personal career. In married women's charts it is not uncommon to see their MC /tenth house to be played out by their husbands.
The asteroids are placed inbetween Mars and Jupiter. They are the remains of a planet - Malduk - which fits into the Bodes Law series and was destroyed at some point in the past. ( The two most popular theories say it was destroyed by a massive meteorite or during a Solar System based Galactic war. ) There are many asteroids, however there are four main ones commonly used. In the Astrological panthenon there are male and female planets. Sun Mars and Saturn are the male planets while Moon Venus and Malduk were the three female planets. Malduk was destroyed as a planet, however the sphere is still present, even though all the mass is scattered about the sphere.
These asteroids are female in nature and embody pivotal aspects of the female psyche. They are of particular use when predicting the psychological issue effecting woman at any particular period. As these asteroids relate through harmony or discord, so the main issues women are dealing with at the time become expressed. This is a most fascinating ebb and flow to observe, especially as a male responding to their action.
The four major asteroids are Pallas Athene, Ceres, Vesta and Juno. These relate generally to the four angles. Pallas Athene to the Mid heaven. She is the career woman, the strategist and the warrior. Ceres is the mother and protector of family and children and relates to the I.C. Vesta is the Ascendant and indicates the single woman with a spiritual focus. The nun, priestess or vestal virgin. Juno is the woman in partnership and relates to the Descendant.
It appears these asteroids are more intense than the planets or angles they can be associated with. It is like they combine also with an outer planetary energy. e.g. Juno is Pluto/Venus/descendant with issues of abuse and power often involved, Vesta is Neptune/Ascendant where there is an extreme level of selfish and selfless service expressed. Ceres is a Pluto/ Moon/I.C. obsessive parental tendency, Pallas Athene is Pluto or Uranus MC like. She is an all or nothing, no mucking around lady who does whatever it takes to get the job done.
These asteroids have shown themselves to be active archetypes within the personality, especially where they conjunct a major planet or point. While I experience the planets as general energies rather than specific spiritual beings, with the Asteroids my experience is more of the spirit beings becoming directly active in the personality. It is as if these beings come and sit close to the person and whisper in their ear or take them by the arm. With the planets they feel part of me as a general archetypal energy rather than a companion along for the ride.
In Astrological circles there is one movement that has come up with a series of theoretical planets, called the Uranian planets after the German school who developed them. These planet/points are situated outside of Pluto. I have seen them being used with remarkable results. Interestingly they are all male archetypes. Certainly worth investigating if you can fit them in. Watching their very slow change of relationship offers interesting insights into the male evolution process in the same way as the asteroids outline the female.