WHAT IS ASTROLOGY? Astrology is the science of the interplay between
all cosmic phenomena and their corresponding
significance for and influence on life on Earth.
Anything which comes under this format is Astrology. It is an extremely wide banner which surprisingly for some covers 80% of Rudolf Steiners (RS) work.
Behind its prostituted child, we find in magazines, Astrology is first and foremost a universal theorem, created from the very structure of our reality, the Galaxy, the Solar System and the Earth, this theorem outlines the laws of creation. The 'laws' it outlines form the energetic pathways and interplay's upon which the creative impulses come into and maintain form. They are exactly the same as those so eloquently described by RS. "Biodynamics Decoded" first outlined the basic theorem and how these relate to RS basic understanding patterns.
Being such an archetypal theorem it has many uses and applications. I believe RS was one of the greatest exponents of applying this theorem to life and his work is the one of the best examples of how the Astrological theorem can be used to understand and work with manifest life. Like it or not RS was an Astrologer. He may not have drawn up horoscopes that often ( see the Curative course for an example ) however he did think Astrologically and apply these universal principle as the basis of his understandings.
There are many many forms of 'Astrological' practice. Just as there are many forms of medical practice. The more obvious are magazine horoscopes, birth chart readings, predictive readings and relationship Astrology. Behind these obvious manifestations Astrology moves deeply into personal growth areas, past life therapies, medical applications, financial areas, evolution theory, spiritual growth, Alchemy and through RS now into Agriculture, movement, speech, art therapy and many other applications. Most importantly of all though is to appreciate it as a theorem in itself. This is a study unto itself. Like any work with a theorem at its base, it allows its student to not only learn all the rote understandings. but also to come up with truly innovative answers to any life situation one is presented with.
Just as Anthroposophy keeps coming back to 'Occult Science' for its evolutionary structural basis so ( for me ) Astrology keeps coming back to THE THEOREM. Exploration and use of this theorem lays the basis for any further study and answers to astrological problems.
In "Biodynamics Decoded" (BDD) I outlined how Astrology (and RS) needs to be organised according to the vortex or spiral form, to gain full appreciation of the form and inner relationships that exist between all its parts. Usually the parts of Astrology - the Polarity, Modes, Elements, Planets and Zodiac - are expressed as different parts we need to understand independantly of each other. It is suggested there are relationships between the parts however these are not always obvious. Rarely are the parts of Astrology described as a coherent interrelated whole. In "The Big Picture" (presented later in this work) this organised pattern is given its Astronomical and spiritual basis. In that chapter we can see the Galaxy is the macrocosmic basis for the zodiac and spirit, the Solar System is the basis for the planets and the Astal body, the Atmosphere the basis for the Elements and the Etheric body, the physical bodies of the Earth carries the basis of the modes , while the polarity remains as an external basis of life expressed in the dual nature of most species reproductive needs. This cosmic 'onion' can be seen to be an inwardly moving spiral within an egg shaped apple. These three forms need to be superimposed upon each other and imagined as a 3D form, to get the whole picture. One day soon I will get this on a moving video to do it justice.
The cosmic egg is actually very huge supposedly encompassing the 15 billion light years of space, since the big bang. However for our purposes we can concern ourselves with the smaller cosmic egg of our galaxy, which has a more moderate dimension of 100,000 light years diameter. All of the stars we can see with our eyes (and the Astrology we use) are within our Galaxy.
The spiral on the previous page is seen as if you are looking down into a vortex to the middle horizontal plane. The next picture is as if you are looking at a side view of the top half of the egg-apple. The Apple part of the egg form comes into play when we look into the inner structure of any organised cosmic form. Pictures taken by the Hubble telescope reveal
Galaxies such as our own which appear as a flat plane are actually large spheres (or eggs) which spin around a vertical axis upon which two vortexes form. The flat plane we see is the matter accumulating along its equator, due to cosmic forces and matter being sucked down the vortexes and being squirted out along the horizontal plane. We do not generally see the sphere as it is made up of invisible electro magnetic forces. This essential structure holds true for most electromagnetic beings from a galaxy to the atom.
So to look into the Cosmic Apple-Egg we can look down the formative vortex as presented on page 13 and see the (onion) layers inside. It is this vortex form which can then be used to investigate the inner elements of creation, we use in Astrology. Within vortexes there are inward and outward moving forces and Biodynamic Agriculture through Geothe and Lievegeod have shown how both forces are active in the incarnation and excarnation of life forms (8). With life forms, their growth begins with the joining of the male and female beings of their species. This is followed by the formation of the physical body (3 fold - modes) which provides us with our physical constitution, followed by the development of ones temperament (4fold etheric), character (7 fold astral) and spirit (12 fold). In keeping with this expansive manifestation phase of the creative process we can start at the bottom of vortex and follow the development of the parts of Astrology through their evolution from oneness to the 12 fold level of the zodiac.
This vortex image allows us to see each successive layer of the Astrological vortex as a development of the earlier one. From the polarity of the Sun and Earth we have the threefold developing through the creation of a middle zone. This provides us with a clear image of the mutable signs. They are what arises through the mediation of the Cardinal and Fixed modes. The fourfold stage develops through the further development of the mutable middle zone deviding into two to make the elements of Air and Water. The polarity relationship which was between the Sun and Earth is carried over into the Cardinal Fixed relationship and then onto the Fire and Earth relationship. A second polarity develops between Air and Water. These 'structural' polarities between Fire and Earth ,and Air and Water provide the basis for the spiritual, physical and electro magnetic polarity organisations found working at many levels in living organisms. (25)
For the planets the middle again divides to create the planets Mars and Venus. The polarity relationships as just described continue with the planets and zodiac. With the zodiac though each planet rules two signs, except the Sun and Moon which are in many ways a dynamic polarity within themselves.
Through this process of development this diagram provides us with the relationships between the parts of the various layers. Just start at the bottom and look upwards. Everything on the outsides are related and everything in the middle is related. They are the same energy just manifested at a different layer of the creative spiral.
BDD has more explanations of the internal workings of this patterning and how by placing information about anything upon this diagram, it is possible to find its r elationship to other pieces of known information.
When we look into the birth chart we are actually looking down this spiral. Each layer has a particular field of play. Any number of basic Astrology books will provide the details of these parts. Remember this patterning when reading them and your will understand Astrology very much faster.
Ultimately though Astrology is an experience. Once you have had a good one, you know it has relevance. A good place to start is to have your personal birth chart read by a competent Astrologer. Of which there are many. Go and do it.
It is ALL right
For some strange reason, we Humans seem to need to make things right and wrong. After looking at 'life' for some time I have come to see there is very little right or wrong. Most things are right, but within their own context and criteria. It is usually my understanding which is the weakest point, especially where cosmic questions are concerned. Whenever there is something that does not fit, or appears to be wrong from your present standpoint, consider that this could be an opportunity for another area for exploration.
So the question becomes - how and where does everything fit together, than what is right or wrong?
Astrology & Astronomy
One of the most long standing rights and wrongs and seemingly immovable misunderstandings, is the determination of a few to assert that Bio-Dynamics Planting Calendar and Anthroposophy's use of the cosmic influences is Astronomy and not Astrology.
Given the earlier premise (supported by encyclopaedia definition)
"Astrology is the science of the interplay between all cosmic phenomena and their corresponding significance for and influence of life on Earth."
it would appear fairly clear the BD calendar fits clearly in the boundaries of Astrology.
So what is the difference and where are they both right?
Astronomy is the science of celestial phenomena. It observes, measures, names describes, and theorises over the nature and evolution of all phenomena beyond the Earth. It does not investigate their impact on Earth other than the physical Electro-magnetic and possible collision impacts.
Astrology is the science of how these phenomena impact on all the life processes of Earth. The statement that "it is a Full Moon" is an Astronomical statement. Once one says "this is a good time to plant seeds". This is an Astrological statement.
Astrology is a big subject. It is possibly the oldest science known to Humans and has for most of our known history been the basis of many of life's activities, cultural affairs and philosophic world views.
Astrology is a true science, based on the reality of creations body. Its bones are the Stars of the Galaxy, its flesh is the planets of the Solar system, its circulatory system are the elements of the atmosphere while its blood stream is the three fold nature of all physical bodies. This is THE reality we live in. Through the study of this reality one has a good chance of coming up with the real laws of life based upon the environment out of which life has been created.
Astrology is the name given to the study of cosmic influences impact on life on Earth. Any study which pursues this process is part of Astrology, and there are many. Over the known history of some 10,000 years every culture has studied Astrology. There are many many methods, techniques, philosophies, games, processes and movements based upon it. Many aspects of Rudolf Steiners work come under this umbrella.
Astrology and Astrosophy
'Astrosophy' has developed out of the work of Rudolf Steiner and his followers notably, Elizabeth Vreede, Willi Sucher, Hazel Streicher and Robert Powell. This method has attempted to incorporate the world view of Anthroposophy into a 'renewal' of Astrology.
They have added some techniques to the Astrological repertoire and provided initiatives towards deepened its spiritual focus in the west. Many of their 'innovations' however are simply reviving methods and concepts from antiquity.
What they can not do though is stand apart from Astrology. This work is yet another sub culture of Astrology, just as there are many and have been many over its history.