WHAT SHOULD WE USE?
If everything is right. Then the question is more when and why do we use a particular combination of parts, than what is THE chart we use?
'Normal' Natal Chart
Tropical (Signs) & Seasonal Zodiacs, Geocentric, Houses.
From the previous chapters it is apparent that every aspect of this combination is orientated towards practical manifest life on Earth. This chart shows us the state of our Astral body at the time of the spirits incarnation on Earth. The spirit has chosen to return to life and has established a task and experiences necessary to fulfil this task. These decisions were made due to the state of the Astral bodies development so far, and a desire to 'clean up' any messy Earthly karmic connections.
All of the steps we have taken to come up with this chart have taken us away from Astronomical reality and use either an application of an archetypal law or an Earth based orientation. These steps are made so we can gain an accurate picture of our material lives on Earth. This chart indicates the spirits destined life on Earth, while it is 'captured' by the Astral body. In short this chart tells us what events in this life are coming to us from our past life.
This chart shows events, people and psychological states which come "at" us from outside ourselves . They are highly predictable and regardless of ones state of consciousness they remain ongoing till we die.
What we do not have in this chart is the state of an individuals spiritual consciousness. It is this objective consciousness seated in the Ego/Spirit/Sun which determines how one will respond to these events coming at them from the astral body.
This response can be determined to some degree by the situation the Sun is in, in the birth chart. If the Sun is predominate, well aspected and strongly placed in relations to Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto there is a high probability a degree of conscious choice can be easily exercised in responding to these in-coming karmas. If the Sun is weak, being unaspected, or not aspected to the Moon or outer planets, then the individual will find it very difficult to gain objectivity with the astral ebbs and flows. There are many variations on this theme which need to be addressed on an individual basis.
'Spirits' Natal Chart
Constellational ( Sidereal ), Heliocentric, Equinoxtial.
All of these considerations are oriented towards the spirit. The constellations bring in the collective spiritual sphere. The Heliocentric orientation provides the localised world spirit which can be internalised as the individualised Ego. While the Equinoctial zodiac provides a picture of the unfoldment of the spirit in its process of cosmic evolution.
This chart therefore indicates the spirits divine purpose, while in the Solar system. As such, it is the chart of what the spirit wishes brings into life. As one becomes aware of the spiritual dimension of life - which is as freely available to all humans as the Astral reality most people believe to be their reality - then this chart becomes the indicator of the nature of the spirit and the events the spirit brings into play. This is the chart of the spirits gifts to life.
There are many in between charts using a combination of these two poles. The next most common chart is the Sidereal, Geocentric, Seasonal zodiac chart. This is used by the Hindu Astrologers. Hence we have a chart of how the Unconscious spirit will play out in relation to the Astral bodies karma on Earth.
Another in between is the chart promoted by Robert Powell. Called the Hermetic chart it is made up of a Heliocentric, Sidereal, Seasonal zodiac, with the Geocentric Sun, Moon and Node placed in it. In this chart he is attempting to identify the spirits life on Earth, without the Astral karmas of the Geocentric planets.
The Natal Chart -a practical guide
Tropical (Signs)& Seasonal Zodiacs, Geocentric, Houses.
The first stage of investigating the Birth chart is to ask What is there?.
In the centre of the chart is the Earth. From here we look out and see the placements of the planets. Between the planets are often drawn lines which indicate the relationships between the planets - the aspects.
The planets tell what the particular energy is, while the Aspects outline the dynamic between the Planets. Beyond the planets sit the Signs or the constellations. In both cases these condition the influence and quality of the planets.
The elements (4 fold) and modes (3 fold) of a chart are determined from the number of planets placed in the related sign. Be it a Earth, Water, Air or Fire sign for the Elements or a Cardinal, Mutable or Fixed sign for the modes. These levels of activity find their emphasis from the planetary positions mostly.
In short the whole chart is based on the Planets. The Planets as we saw before, are the manifestations of the Astral sphere and act as indicators of our Astral bodys condition. In this chart, the Sun is the indicator of the Spirit/Ego, which as we saw earlier is 'subservient' in this chart to the condition of the Astral body.
These are the impulses coming from outside the Earth.
The Etheric body and the physical are 'the mud pond' the Astral and Ego forces work with and bring into form. The Etheric forces are bound up with the Earth and its Atmosphere. The Etheric body lifts the physical substance into movement. Left to themselves, the Etheric body especially would turn each of us into perfect Greek Human forms. It is the inflowing impact of the Astral body and the state of the Ego which form and harden this Etheric \ Physical being we call the body, into the individual shape we each manifest.
The Birth chart is then the image, mandala or map of the state our Astral body had evolved to at our birth.
It does not contain a direct picture of the Egos state of self consciousness. Hence it can be difficult to ascertain how any particular stimulation of the Astral body by planetary transits will manifest, until ones Ego/spirit stage is determined. This has to be done in part by studying the condition of the Suns position and relationships. However it can best be observed by studying the individuals way of reacting to similar stimuli in the past. The overall structure of the chart and the way the planets are arranged also give a strong indication of the state of the spirits consciousness. Messy Astral bodies are usually a symbol of an unconscious spirit, however not always. Let me try and clarify this further by suggesting self consciousness development can be seen as a process of spiralling upward within an egg shaped astrality. Initially the spirit is small in relation to the dominating Astrality, but as the individual finds and lives in the spirit more, self consciousness begins to move up the spiral. From one layer to the next. The Astral body keeps presenting its constant stream of similar experiences and situations, yet the higher one moves up the Spirit spiral, so one experiences the same experience from a different point of view. With a different view so a different response can be put into effected.
The Ego/spirit generally begins life by being unconscious of itself as a different dimensional reality to the Astral body. In short we generally think we are our Astral bodies. The Astral body manifests in all those parts of us we call 'our personality'. This is a rather large term which includes most of our feelings, instincts, desires, fears, psychic impressions, dreams, delusions etc. Hence it is what many people believe to be themselves.
At first the Astral body does not incarnate fully. In the first seven years the Etheric body continues to work strongly holding off the Astral and Ego. The child gains control over the physical during this first 7 years. Naturally if a child is exposed to Nitrogen and Hydrogen dominated substances, or their counterparts such as lead, the incarnation of the Astral and Ego can be bought forward. In this situation the Etheric body can not build up and bind into the physical body sufficiently to carry it through the whole life in a healthy way. This easily leads to physical illness in older age. Nervous system ailments often find their cause here too. The Astral grows in influence throughout childhood, hence bits of the personality arise, however the astrality starts to enter more strongly from the time of Puberty. From this point the details of the psychology of the individual start to really become manifest.
After 21 the Ego starts to work upon the Astral body. Some objective self consciousness of the Astral bodies activities then becomes more possible. From this point on the Ego/spirit has the chance to gain some control and finally liberation from the astral bodies control. This process is commonly called spiritual development. During spiritual development the Astral body becomes the servant of the spirit, in contrast to the spirit being the captive of the Astral body.
So the birth chart indicates your Astral Maya. This is the delusion most Humans believe to be real and who they are. YOU the eternal spirit are not your birth chart. You the astrally possessed spirit, is your birth chart and may be controlled by it. Luckily you are the Sun of your birth chart, the question is , do you know it.
There is a wonderful series of paintings the Zen people have. It outlines a ten fold Buddhist path. You may have heard of Cat Steven's song "Catch Bull At Four". That statement of 'catch bull at four', is the fourth painting in the series of ten paintings. The bull is a symbol of our lower selves or the beast in our personality.
The Angel and the Beast
There are positive aspects (blue lines) and tense relationships (red lines) between the planets in the birth chart. The 360 degree circle can be devided by 2 and it's multiples to get the tensions and devided by three and its multiples to get the positives. So the twos are the oppositions (180) and squares (90) the semisquare (45), they are all the 2,4,8 division of the 360 degree circle. Or you have the semisextile, sextile or trine. That's your 30, 60 and 120 degrees.
All your trines etc., the positive aspects, are actually the indication of the nature of the angel within you. While all the tensions, the squares, oppositions and so on are the beast in your personality. It is that beast part in you that is generating energy, generally negative, which often acts as a stimulating force in your life, as a response to the tension. It is also the part that needs to be harnessed and used in a positive way. This does seem to take place naturally through life. As a natural process of growth, after about 35 years old, all the tensions in your chart can start working in a positive way for you. It can take place earlier, if you wish to bring self consciousness into the whole equation.
The 10 fold path tells us of the relationship between the Angel and the beast. The following address will take you to a site with pictures and more dialogue on this process.
The first picture is like the fool in the Tarot pack. The guy is just cruising along having a good time in his innocence. In the second, he sees the tracks in the snow. He becomes interested in these and follows where they lead. In the third one its where he sees the beast running and he's is holding on to the tail, being pulled by the beast. In the fourth one he catches the bull and so he's leading the bull. In the fifth one, he is ploughing the field. He is starting to see the beast can have use in doing something. In the sixth one he is actually riding on the beasts back so he feels quite in control of the beast and able to move with it. I would say that this is like being 35 years old, where you can start to feel like you can harness this Astral body. The sort of impulses and aspects of your personality that have in the past run you round can now be controlled through objective decisions and mostly experience. The seventh one is a picture of temple gates. So he has been able to use the beast to get himself to a place where he can begin to explore the spirit and harmony. With the eighth picture there is just a clear circle. So here is his enlightenment and oneness with all things. Then in the ninth one he's heading back into the village. The tenth one: he is in the market place , fully in the world taking part as an enlightened person.
What we-the Ego/spirit - are concerned with is catching the bull - the Astral - and riding it and becoming liberated from it.
This orientation is generally not very clearly made, even in a lot of Astrological understanding. I experience people saying "this is my birth chart and I will be it". In fact this is your beast and you can actually be apart from it. This awareness and experience is spiritual development or ore rightly spiritual awakening. Awakening from our astral delusion to the spirit. This spiritual awakening is when you separate yourself from the birth chart. This is an important role of the Sun in your birth chart . It is you , the spiritual individual clothed in your Astral body.
I do not wish to infer that the astral body does not have its uses. The above is aimed at providing us with the right orientation towards it. The Astral body is present , we have it all our lives and it is like a cosmic motor. It brings people, situations and karmic events into our lives with predictable consistency. Therefore it brings a constant stream of energy moving past us. The trick is how we relate to it, respond to it, and ultimately how we steer the energy we have available to us. The planets movement provide the cosmic time table of when any particular thing is going to occur.
RS has made a comment that as Humans have developed in self consciousness, the gods have needed to withdraw from direct intervention and retreat to the planetary sphere. They can now only work into earthly life through the planetary movements. Which makes it all the more relevant for us to maintain a clear awareness of the planetary movement. They provide us with the timing significant astral events occur. This is the timing of the energy surges. The real magic is our conscious orientation to them and how we respond and move with regard to them. Much like a Tai Chi dance, the spirit dance can focus and bend energy to a more harmonious or graceful outcome than when we function from a standpoint of believing this new influx of planetary energy is a 'real' and 100% consuming reality, rather than just one more stage change in the film of life on Earth.
Good planetary aspects in a birth chart are usually talents and skills you have and can redevelop without alot of effort. This is good karma from the past.
Tense aspects come in a two forms. Either energy producing or energy depleting. Both tense sets of aspects usually need a degree of consciousness to make them work in a positive way. The energy depleting ones usually revolve around fear, indecision, paranoia, dreaminess etc., while the energy producing ones come from over enthusiasm, obsession, power drives, big visionary insights etc. These aspects as character traits have many reasons for coming into manifestation, but are again an indication of past life karma and events.
All the planetary aspects exist in one chart and so exist within one persons reality. If the various tensions are too great and can not be harmonised between themselves, and are not balanced or alleviated by some strong easy aspects, then the individual will most likely self destruct relatively early in life. Most likely prior to 30 years old, without outside intervention. If an individual makes it past 30, there is a high probability their are no extreme imbalances in the birth chart. In looking at highly dysfunctional people past 30, we need also to be taking into account diet and lifestyle considerations as a big proportion of their continued dysfunction.
As these planetary aspects are all within one person, they must be able to find some degree of harmonisation. Generally all the negatives can be clumped together to provide a picture of the beasts workings,and all the positives can be seen together to have a sense of the angels work and talents. It seems for most people, that seeing as though they are coming to earth to tidy up the beast, they may as well do some angelic good while they are here. One of the traps, so many of us fall into though, is using the talents of the angel as the excuse for the beast to run riot. The prima donna phenomenan.
As this is a 360 degree reality it is very difficult to be born at a time without tension in your chart, In fact be glad you have it. Tension is the basis for movement. Without it you will not become active. In fact it is a well known phenomena, people with 'good' charts are often hopelessly bored and lack any real challenge in their life. Everything seems to fall in their lap, with boredom leading to addictions which are sure to create some negatives for them to spice up their next lives with.
The trick is to be conscious of what you have and how it can work in your favour. Most of all remember you made up your birth chart before you got here. It is a reflection of your past. You did it to yourself and you can make it into something else. That is what this life is for, to remodel your astral body and redefine its relationship to the Ego/spirit.
There is of course another way to approach this. As this chart is the astral body, one has the option of moving directly to spirit consciousness. At this stage of being one achieves complete objectivity with the astral bodies comings and goings, Astrology and the birth chart become less and influence but can be used as a tool to be aware of when various astral attacks are likely, and when opportunities are arising for astral karma release, which can be achieved with as much as a thought awareness.
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