Dane Rudhyar  &  Leyla Rael


Growth Through Meaning and Conscious Progress

One of the main drawbacks in astrology is that there are too many things taken for granted, even by the most expert astrologers, without a sufficiently thorough enquiry into the principles or postulates underlying the various practices in everyday use. Why should only a few angular values - 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, (sometimes) 150°, and 180° - in most cases be honored as the only ones entitled to be called and considered aspects? If others, like the quintile (72°) or sesquiquadrate (135°), are considered, is there any reason for doing so and for either taking or not taking into account other angular values such as 36° or 40°? Is there no way of understanding the complete cyclic process within which all angular values find their place and meaning so that such questions can be answered consistently?

In order to do so, we must understand that the series of angular values based on multiples of 30° best describes the successive phases in the process of growth and decay characterizing the 'life' - cycle. We have seen that 'life' operates in its positive, anabolic, building mode during the first half of a process. This first hemicycle is best characterized as what we have called the involutionary process, and it refers to the realm of instinctual activity and nature-born impulsions. Life moves forward in the simplest kind of arithmetical progression, one step adding itself to the preceding one in sheer impulsiveness of being: one, one plus one, one plus one plus one, etc. It is a rhythm of expansion and conquest. It is the rhythm of solar progress through the year, which defines the limits of the zodiacal signs month after month.

With the opposition aspect, a new realm is potentially reached. On one hand, the rhythm of 'life' continues, but in its catabolic, devolutionary mode. On the other hand, a process of conscious evolution may begin, based upon but not exclusively limited by what has grown and developed during the first hemicycle involutionary process. We have previously referred to this twofold nature of the second hemicycle by likening it to what occurs in the vegetable kingdom when a plant has already flowered and gone to seed. The analogy is more apt and instructive at the level of involution and devolution than it is in terms of the evolutionary process, for while the evolution of consciousness in human beings can be generally likened to the development of a seed in - the second half of the yearly cycle of vegetation, it should be obvious that the disparity between the level at which plants operate and the realm in which human minds function is so great as to render the analogy useful only for very broad, structural or inspirational purposes.

The distinguishing characteristic of the human potential is that human beings have the capacity to go beyond merely biological functioning. This ability develops as human beings (1) become objectively aware of life-currents, (2) give conscious meaning to them, and therefore (3) assume responsibility for their actions and reactions. Yet so great is the difference between involution and evolution, between the realm of 'life' and realm of 'mind', that even these last-mentioned capacities, fully actualized, are only the first three phases of the evolutionary process which begins at the culmination of a cycle - its opposition or symbolical Full Moon. At all such symbolical culminations, birth in consciousness is theoretically reached, i.e., it becomes possible. It becomes actual if the kind of radical repolarization or reorientation we have spoken about previously is successful. When this does occur, the tide turns, the subjective impulsiveness of expanding life stops. The 'I' meets the 'Other.' The subject meets the object, and for the first time becomes fully aware of the relationship - of the fact of being inextricably related to the outer world and 'reality.'

It is on the basis of this awareness of relationship that 'mind' develops. Conscious objectivity is the foundation of intelligence, and it is rooted in duality and contrast. As the self consciously faces the world and other selves, the instinctual feeling of wholeness of being characterizing involution is superceded by an increasing feeling of 'dividedness' produced by an increasing involvement in a myriad of relationships involving ever more numerous facets of being.

Astrologically, this means that all progress, until the end of the cycle, will be symbolized by a process of division, not addition, of angular values, and the series of aspects thus derived is rooted in the opposition rather than in the conjunction. From the opposition, the half-way point of the cycle, the circle is divided into thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths, eighths, and so on. The sequence of aspects is thus: opposition, trine, square, quintile, sextile, septile, octile (or semi-square), novile (or nonagen), decile (or semi-quintile), etc.

Among the aspects of this series are the less-familiar, less often used and understood aspects. There are also some aspects which we have already encountered in our study of aspects formed by the additive process. Now, however, aspects have been obtained by a fundamentally different process, and they are no longer related solely to the conjunction beginning the cycle. They can be understood significantly only if they are related to their source, the opposition - that is, to the basic factor of awareness produced by the dualism inherent in all conscious perception of external reality.  

In order to understand the less-familiar aspects and the second hemicycle meaning of more generally used aspects also found in the first hemicycle, we have first to understand the opposition from which the new process proceeds - that is, to understand the nature of awareness, how it develops, and more specifically, how each of the aspects of the second hemicycle, in its own specialized way, refers to a particular stage in the evolution of awareness and consciousness. In order to do so, we can approach these aspects in two basic ways within the framework of a third, encompassing and unifying idea. (1) As we divide the circle (cycle) into successively smaller, symbolically more specialized arcs (phases), we can rely on our sense of the archetypal and qualitative meaning of number - numerology - to guide us in determining the meaning of each arc (phase) so derived. (2) We can look to the traditional, symbolic meanings of the geometric forms we would inscribe in a circle if we connected by lines the demarcations of the arcs obtained by the division process. But (3), underlying both these approaches, the numerological and the geometrical, we must retain the basic sense of process which we attribute to any whole cycle. Only within a whole cyclic process which the two-dimensional circle merely represents - can any phase (or arc), however derived, be given meaning.

The Opposition and the Quincunx

Dividing a circle into two parts creates a diameter and two points on the circumference separated by a 180° angle. Characteristic of this angular value (yet little attention is paid to it) is the fact that whether one starts from one of the two points or the other, there is the same distance between them - which is not the case with any other aspect. The opposition thus describes a type of relationship which is entirely unique, in a class-by-itself. This distinctive relationship is what underlies consciousness and the development of the thinking mind.

Consciousness, as we in the West understand the term today, implies and depends upon duality and separation - the division between an inner and an outer realm. Our thinking proceeds on the basis of such dualities - 'I' and the 'Other', 'in here' and 'out there' or other categories such as hot and cold, joy and pain, good and bad. Even more fundamentally, if there were no symbolic diameter separating 'I' from 'Other,' there could be no 'I' as the thinker, and there could be no 'Other' or categories to think about, because everything would be One, and One would not be conscious of itself or anything else.

Thus, the diameter represented by the opposition separates 'I' from the 'Other.' Only as 'I' sees the 'Other' can it distinguish and define itself. At the stage of mental development represented by the opposition aspect, only the bare fact of awareness - of 'I' as separate from some 'Other' - exists at first. The subject faces the object; separating them is a thin layer of skin or the organs of sensation and perception. A person awakens and sees wall, bed, chairs. He-we- takes this for granted and does not usually question what it means or how it happens. In a sense, all philosophy is a many-sided attempt to discover, or rather interpret, what is implied in this 'seeing,' through which are defined both the object seen and the 'I' that sees. Neither exists without the other, fundamentally speaking, on the plane where this 'seeing' occurs.

But 'seeing' is not understanding. It is a prerequisite for understanding, and if evolutionary progress is to occur, seeing must lead to understanding. Thus, the diameter represented by the opposition divides, but separation can be absolute and irreconcilable, or it can be an impetus compelling us to find a way of meaningfully relating two things or the subject and object that appear to be separate. Any opposition can therefore be approached in two ways or stages: from the point of view of unbridgeable differences leading to confrontation, or in terms of a separation that exists for the purpose of providing a foundation for a new level of relatedness to develop whether this relatedness is between persons, between a person and society, between two facets of a personality or two areas of a person's life. Thus, the quality of consciousness latent in the opposition aspect grows in acuity and precision at the first stage of its development by laying stress on contrasts and differences. At the next stage, it grows by trying to relate and integrate the two halves of the field of experience symbolically divided by the opposition aspect.

When the subject faces the object, one cannot be altered without the other also being changed. Any change of 'shape' on one side of a boundary line necessarily modifies the shape of the space on the other side of the line. No one can transform himself or herself without changing the universe. Does this sound abstract and metaphysical? It should not, for it deals with the most practical of all facts; there can be no change in the outer world and in society unless the individual's subjective being is altered, for better or for worse. This is the challenge of the opposition: to allow the 'seeing' of the 'Other' to alter one's subjective being, and therefore to alter the world in which one lives.

Such an alteration is 'progressive' (i.e., in the direction of universal or personal evolution) or 'regressive' - that is, degenerative. One can move toward a new experience or meeting in a positive, creative and open way, as in, "Let me see what this is, include it in my experience, give it a meaning." Or, one can recoil in fear: "I don't want to see or deal with that." In the first case, the opposition symbolically becomes a trine; the Two becomes Three. The duality is bridged, and we will see later on that the trine has geometrically the tendency to connect in a definite way the two sides of the circle differentiated by the opposition.

In the second case, the opposition symbolically regresses to a quincunx. Here, the quincunx carries the negative connotations of a fearfully or antagonistically met sixth-house experience: personal maladjustment, sickness, enforced labor, repairing the results of past mistakes, inefficiency or omissions. A similar process often operates at mid-life, during the early or middle forties-the symbolical opposition of the human life-span. If a person cannot meet whatever then confronts him or her, internally or externally, in a positive, progressive way, and feel secure about moving into the second half of life, some form of behavioral or emotional regression may occur. It can take the form of a quasi-adolescent love affair, perhaps with a much younger person, or an emotional and out-of-proportion sense of dissatisfaction with one's job, career or lot in life. In any case, behavior more appropriate to an earlier stage of development reveals a more or less unchangeable inability to move on to life's next phases. If the regressive behavior becomes a permanent feature of the personality, disillusionment, frustration and mal-adaption are almost sure to follow. Sometimes, however, such a regression is not only temporary but therapeutic: something missed can be picked up, and the cycle can afterward proceed to the kind of healthy conclusion it could not previously reach, owing to the developmental omission. Thus, while from this point of view the quincunx carries an unpleasant meaning, it need not be considered absolutely 'bad.' For whatever reason, some adjustments have to be made, some untaken step passed through at last.

When looking at any particular quincunx, however, an astrologer has no way of knowing whether it is functioning as a 'waxing' aspect following a trine in the first hemicycle, or as a symbolic falling back after an opposition. "Here we are not primarily discussing facts to be applied directly to chart delineation, but trying to understand an overall picture, a process-oriented context within which holistic life-interpretation and astrological guidance can intuitively occur., By understanding the archetypal possibilities and pitfalls of all the various stages of a process, we can understand not" only particular aspects when confronted by them - either in natal charts, progressions or transits - but more importantly, we can recognize their analogues in life, whether or not they come alongside the 'proper' or 'expectable' astrological configurations.

We should keep in mind that when speaking of the quincunx, we have now three basic ways or contexts within which we can understand such an aspect: in the involutionary series as a 1500 angular value beginning the sixth 300 step, in the devolutionary series as a 2100 angular value beginning the eighth 300 step, and in the evolutionary series as an opposition having fallen back 300.

The Trine

When the Two becomes Three, what does the trine add to the opposition? The first intuition or vision of a goal. The subject facing the object realizes that he or she can use the object for some purpose. In the opposition there is only awareness; conceivably, anything or nothing could happen. Either the subject or the object could transform itself and thus change the other forcibly. Under the pressure of fife or evolutionary growth, however, the state of perfectly even (albeit often tense) equilibrium represented by the opposition cannot last. The inner or the outer must win. We have seen that this essentially means that either the subject (you or I) will shrink from the outer object or person, in which case the object 'wins' and there is regression for the ego. Or, the subject will move toward the object in order to use it, to include it in his life-experience and make it serve a purpose-in which case both the ego and the object are victorious over fear and inertia, and the opposition becomes a trine.

In order to fulfill such a victory, the subject has actually transcended the battle; it has seen some purpose for a relationship with whatever is confronting it. The bare 'fact' of awareness (opposition) becomes transfigured into 'purpose' as the opposition leads to a trine. The total experience (the whole circle) is no longer merely divided into two opposite factors (hemi-circles); a third factor now links the two. This is the factor of purpose and, at a higher level, of meaning, for meaning always deals with referring something to a higher, more inclusive whole. The trine thus forces one to ask in regard to what one becomes aware of at the opposition: "Where does it fit in my life? How do I fit in with it? Where do we both fit into a larger view?

How can we most meaningfully use our relationship?" The trine always presents a challenge to have a vision of what is possible.

Geometrically, division by 3 produces the triangle. Triangles were probably at first sacred symbols, perhaps connected with the shape of volcanic mountains and thus with the mysterious spouting forth of fire - which is also symbolic, especially in relation to the myth of Prometheus, of the power of Mind. Two other kinds of triangles were sharply differentiated in archaic geometry as well: the descending equilateral triangle pointing down from its base (or standing on its apex) and the rectangular triangle, of which Pythagoras made a strongly mystical use, besides it being the subject of his famous theorem concerning the square of the hypoteneuse (5) being equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides (3 and 4).

The first kind of triangle can be, as we have mentioned above, associated with volcanic mountains, fire and Mind. It was exemplified in the American and Egyptian pyramids (pyr is the root of the term for fire, pyros, in Greek). The rectangular triangle is to be considered, on the other hand, the result of halving a square or rectangle - and as such is a symbol of polarization and of creative interplay, the hypoteneuse representing the divine power through which the integration of two polarities can be effected. In the Pythagorean formulation, the side number 3 represented Man, and that numbering 4 the material world or Fate. The hypoteneuse, 5, symbolized the creative power of Providence through which Man can overcome Fate and adjust the material world to his need.

This numerical symbolism, undoubtedly far older than Pythagoras, is most important. In astrology the trine aspect was introduced into the fate-oriented (because unalterable) fourfold time-pattern of cycles, such as the year or the lunation cycle. The trine represented Man as the constructive power able through the use of his intellect to bring purpose and meaning to the instinctual and seemingly purposeless 'wheel of life and death' - symbol of all natural processes and of fate in Buddhist philosophy and elsewhere. The number 3 is thus the symbol of active intelligence; multiplied by itself, 9, it represents, as we will see, the establishment of human consciousness in the realm of pure intelligence and the growth of the psychomental 'body' which, collectively speaking, is civilization, and in the spiritually victorious individual the 'Diamond-' or 'Christ-Body.' The down pointing equilateral triangle is what is specifically, geometrically produced at this point in our astrological series of aspects. Its base, from which it is suspended: joins the two sides of the circle differentiated by the opposition, and in so doing allows a new vision of the whole to incarnate.

As the self is able constructively to respond to this incarnation of purpose and meaning, one not only displays the faculty of vision and understanding (often-used keywords for the trine), but also experiences ideas. On this basis, the self actually begins to transform the outer world and all the relationships in which it has accepted to participate. Significant relationship can also be with one's own talents and capabilities, which one recognizes at the opposition. However, as the self seeks to meet the outer world (or its companion) in terms of ideas and mental vision, the inertia of the whole universe resists the transforming thoughts.

In other words, whenever we take a positive step toward embracing a new experience, vision or relationship (fulfilled evolutionary trine), we are changed. As we are changed and intend to use our new relationship or view of reality, so too is the world around us in some way changed. The natural process then is that everything in our environment, and everything in us, that is still inertial and fearful, that doesn't want to be changed, stands up and hollers: "Stop!"

In order to overcome this inertia, a further step must be taken:, the square. The circle must be further divided into four quarters, resulting in the cross of action. Vision must become action; purpose must carry the sword of decision; mind must summon will in order to fight for the triumph of creative thought over inner and outer inertia. The Three becomes Four; the trine leads to the square - otherwise it degenerates into the sesquidrate, a 'reactionary' aspect which we will discuss in both its positive and negative dimensions later on.

For now let us say that in relation to the challenge of moving from the trine to the square, the sesquiquadrate operates in much the same way as the quincunx did in relation to the transition from opposition to trine. At this stage, as at the opposition, one can also experience defeat - the defeat of the idealist or dreamer who fails to break through the 'shoulds' or taboos of past traditions and through discouragement, fears or a sense of futility. Ideally, the fully awakened consciousness (opposition) is so fascinated by its new vision or the 'incarnation' of meaning (trine) that sheer conviction or devotion carries it through the fear or inertia. If such a vision fails sufficiently to take hold of the consciousness, what results is a period in which one has to struggle - or re-struggle - through the inertia, inner or outer, blocking the transition between trine and square.

The Square

The next step leads to the square aspect. Geometrically, dividing by 4 produces the cross within the circle, a very potent symbol which has been used in all eras and by all religions or techniques for psycho-spiritual integration. It is a figure in which two oppositions mutually bisect each other at 90° angles, and similarly, the square can also be considered an opposition divided by 2.

More will be said later on concerning the astrological grand cross formed when two interplanetary oppositions mutually bisect each other producing four squares. For now let us say that the cross within the circle stands essentially for the focusing of universal energies through a particular bi-polar form. The circle represents the lens, and the cross drawn through it the means to focalize with extreme accuracy the image projected. We find such a figure on camera or telescope lenses, and it also constitutes the essential structure of a birth-chart.

In the birth-chart, the meridian is analagous to the spine of a human figure standing with open arms; the line of the arms symbolizes the horizon. Although much has recently been made of the rise of kundalini power from the base of the spine to a spiritual center at or above the crown of the head, the line of the spinal column can also be considered a channel through which spiritual energies descend into the human form. As they do, they are symbolically distributed through the figure's outstretched arms; through them the descending spiritual energies (meridian) are made to permeate in an individual way a particular field of being defined by the horizon.

The cross within the circle is thus a symbol of concrete incarnation, of the actual form given to what previously existed at the level of vision or archetypal Idea (trine). Likewise, the geometric square constructed by linking with straight lines the four arms of the cross has since time immemorial been a symbol of solidity, of actual, material form. In its negative aspect as a square inertially resting on its base, it may refer to the imprisonment of spirit in matter. A more positive meaning has traditionally been given to the swastika, a whirling cross (as indicated by small lines trailing from each arm) pictured poised in mid-motion, balanced on the tip of one arm. The incarnation of spiritual energies symbolized by the square aspect is thus not only concrete, but always moving from one stage of equilibrium to the next; it is a symbol of incarnation in action.

Such a meaning becomes more apparent when we consider the square as an opposition divided by 2. We have seen that the opposition is produced by dividing the whole circle by 2, and further division by 2 produces the square. Generally speaking, division by 2 establishes a contrast or rapport between subject and object, spirit and matter, self and not-self. Wherever this operation generates a new aspect, we will find that what was mostly subjective activity becomes a type of activity in which some objective factor is a strongly influential factor. At the level of the square, this objective factor is the heavy, inertial, and sometimes unworkable nature of matter, against which the subject must summon his will to impress upon it the vision conceived under the trine.

In the first or involutionary half of a cycle, the square precedes the trine. It represents the need to clear the ground of all obsolete structures before the building operation of an integrated, harmonious way of life can begin in earnest. At the level of involution, such integration can only be intellectual and compulsively or instinctually actional; and it can only be achieved after the severance or decision challenged by the square has been successfully accomplished. In the evolutionary series, the square follows and builds upon the trine - i.e., conscious, mental awakening. It represents the stage at which concretization of the ideal or idea envisioned at the trine is necessary and possible.

While it is possible and quite simple to differentiate between a waxing and waning square in a birth-chart, it is not possible to know from the chart if a particular waning square is evolutionary or devolutionary. For a 'last quarter' square to be interpreted as evolutionary, the person in whose chart it appears must be able in life to positively relate its meaning to the opposition (or Full Moon) that preceded it - that is, to the beginning of real awareness and individualized consciousness. Like all aspects in the evolutionary series, the square refers to a definite, differentiated stage or level of consciousness and potential achievement. By contrast, an aspect in the involutionary series is not to be considered a definite stage of consciousness or potential achievement per se. Rather than a set reality which is latent and which must be actualized, it represents the beginning of a new phase in the gradual focusing of power released in an initial act (the conjunction or New Moon). What counts most in the first hemicycle is what occurs between aspects, i.e., the continuous development of an impulse - thus the process of development itself, potentially leading to the successively differentiated stages of consciousness and achievement represented by the evolutionary series.

When, in the evolutionary second hemicycle, one considers aspects the results of dividing the circle - which is now seen as a whole - what is important is the station reached as the result of the dividing operation. It represents a set and definite category or level of human activity or realizations. What is significant during this hemicycle is the use to which are put the ability to understand ever more inclusively (trine) and the ability to act in an increasingly focalized and effective manner (square). What matters is the overall meaning one gives to a certain capacity (represented by the aspect) in one's life, what one makes of and produces with that capacity.

The trine thus symbolizes the capacity for an ideological or visionary type of activity; the square follows up with an architectural type of activity in which a concrete model is built - for example, the by-laws of an organization, the musical score of a symphony, the plaster model of a building, etc. Then comes the task of actually demonstrating the power to formulate the plan for others. The level of creative formulation is reached: the quintile.

Before proceeding to consider the quintile, we should first try to integrate for practice what has been said so far regarding the opposition, trine and square. To do so before leaving the sguare category is most appropriate, Insofar as the vision or purpose for action conceived or received under the trine should be anchored - at least in intent - to the physical world at the square.

When looking at the overall pattern of a natal chart, we should consider any oppositions in it as dividing the field of experience represented by the houses into two. An opposition also has a particular orientation within the angles of the chart, which are two 'oppositions' inherent in the framework of the chart itself - the Ascendant/Descendant axis (horizon) and the Midheaven/axis (Meridian). Aspects crossing an opposition and thus bridging the two hemicycles divided by it can reveal the best way a person could include and begin to integrate in life the basic relationship or confrontation (internal or external) represented by the opposition. When trines cross the opposition and link the two hemicircles thus divided, they indicate the capacity for including in understanding the two polarities of the opposition; squares indicate the necessity for an actional solution to the problem.

Although traditional delineations prize the presence and abundance of trines in a horoscope, from the overall, process-oriented and therefore cumulative point of view we are presenting here, it is not important whether or how many trines appear in a chart. Any evolutionary aspect other than an position or a trine itself implies the level of the trine having been reached some time in the past - although it is probably best not to consider this 'past' as merely personal history or even from a personal reincarnational point of view.* The primary significance of trines in a birth-chart lies far more in how they link hemispheres divided by oppositions or the natal horizon or meridian. When they are connected to squares, they may reveal the nature of the vision - thus what is possible - underlying a challenge to action in a person's life; or, for a person having difficulty meeting some life-challenge, they may reveal what - could be a source of strength and inspiration. Trines can also reveal how basic life-confrontations or relationships represented by an opposition can be most meaningfully and productively understood.

*Many people have had the experience that what they were living through was actually, though in some indefinable manner, the consequence of antecedent causes - i.e., of events long ago. One may of course interpret such a strange feeling by accepting the hypothesis of reincarnation. But the conception of reincarnation can be understood in several ways, and not only from the more or less popularized point of view current today. In any case, we can say that our present is at least partially conditioned by the past - by the past of our parents (what they have experienced and the way they have responded or reacted to it as well as their 'unlived lives'), by the ancestral traditions and prejudices which have been stamped upon our receptive minds in early childhood, and by. the evolutionary past of mankind.

From this point of view, we can see that what is usually called a 'kite' (Diagram 3-2) can be a particularly constructive configuration, and this will become clearer when we study the sextile from a geometric point of view later on. For now, we can see that the basic polarity AB is resolved in each hemisphere through C and D, while the relationship CD bridges and concretely links the two hemispheres divided by AB. If either C or D were to be in waning square to a fifth planet (E), or if a T-square were to be formed by a planet (F) squaring both A and B, a configuration particularly dynamic and potentially creative of concrete results is produced.

All configurations in birth-charts are not so neat and symmetrical, and yet all aspects in a chart - especially major and basic ones like oppositions, trines and squares - are related to one another, if not directly and geometrically, in terms of the actual interrelationship of functions and activities in a person's actual life-process. The reason an astrologer studies aspects from an overall, process-oriented perspective is to train the mind to respond to and think in terms of principles of universal and human development. As a result, the practitioner sees meaning not only in the geometric and symbolic aspects of a natal chart, but also in what becomes to him or her the transparent and also symbolic, dynamic aspects of the client's life and being.

The Quintile

The quintile (72° aspect) is the first aspect in the evolutionary series not also found in the involutionary/devolutionary sequence. It is produced by dividing the whole circle into five segments. This operation results in a pentagram, pentagon or five-pointed star. These stand as symbols of creative (or "five-limbed") Man. The five-pointed star is an expression of Man's 'starry' (the literal meaning of the term astral) being. In traditional symbolism, the star is considered in two aspects: one, the upward-pointing star, and the other down-pointing. The latter identifies the 'fifth limb' with the sex organ, through which the power of biological generation is expressed; the former identifies it with the spiritual power of the creative mind centered in the head - in a sense, the power of utterance, the power of the Word.

The upward-pointing star thus emphasizes the connection between human mentality and the function of imagination. In the down-pointing star, imagination arouses and sustains the generative functions in the realm of material production and pleasure. It symbolizes creation and building for their own sake, or under the spur of material goals - which ultimately leads to self-destruction. It leads to self-destruction because the generative power of life or material productivity belongs to the involutionary - not evolutionary process. What is important by the time the level of the quintiles is reached is not the 'mindless' proliferation of life-forms, but fulfillment of the truly human potential achieved by exercising the faculty of conscious mental creation. Thus, the upward-pointing star shows the whole human organism transformed into a dynamo generating power to sustain the creative will, indeed the 'light' of the 'starry' being. This star radiates light; similarly, the truly creative person emanates a world-transforming energy. He or she has not only had vision (trine) and given it definite form (square), but is also able to fecundate with it the substance of society, the collective mentality of fellow human beings.

When we approach quintiles in birth-charts and especially, as we will see in a moment, quintile-based patterns, we are not looking for literally upward or downward pointing star-patterns. We should instead realize that a quintile can operate - if it operates at all - in one of two basic directions or polarities. The polarization is similar to what we found at the opposition: the evolutionary process either progresses or regresses. Here progress is symbolically identified with the head, with the spiritual-mental or conscious aspect of man, with the activation of Vibration Five or Mind - which is a spirit- emanated power to be used in the context of a large evolutionary process. Mind at the level of the quintile or Vibration Five does not mean mere memory, or the simple (or even complex) association of sense perceptions into intellectual patterns - no matter how superficially satisfying or even exciting such activity may be. When fully developed, it leads to truly creative (not merely productive) activity that is, activity in terms of creative spirit, activity therefore transparent to individual purpose.

Regression, on the other hand, identifies creativity with an earlier process: the generation of 'life.' Such an emphasis is inappropriate at this phase of the process, because the power of 'life' coupled with some degree of individualization seeks only its own self-perpetuation and aggrandisement. Moreover, since the quintile is the first aspect of the evolutionary series not also found in the devolutionary sequence, it contains the potentiality of victory over nature or materiality, whose tendency at this stage of the devolutionary process is toward disintegration and uniformity (entropy). While the victory that must be won is a mental victory, the urge toward it may run amok if the consciousness has not completely realigned its 'allegiance' from the 'life' - and matter-bound involutionary/devolutionary process. Since the challenge of the square was to overcome inertia - the inner mental inertia of old, inherited assumptions of what can and cannot, should and should not be done - a dynamic momentum of conquest and overcoming had to be established. It in turn may develop its own inertia (resistance to change), and a pattern of activity for the sake of activity may develop. The consciousness may restlessly yearn for activity only for the sake of the excitement of the actor, and at the level of the quintile, this is most likely to be in terms of intellectual, rather than truly mental, excitement and activity.

Such a pattern reveals a temporary or permanent inability to function positively at the level of the quintile. Moreover, it can thwart the process of transition from the quintile to the sextile. As we will see later on, the level of activity represented by the sextile brings the individualized consciousness to a point at which it should feel the need to participate in self-encompassing processes of universal evolution by expressing its own essential genius in harmonious relation to these larger processes.

Thus, Vibration Five, Mind, can operate in one of two ways: in terms of purely material, intellectual or selfish desires (regression), or by expressing one's creative genius (progression or forward evolutionary motion). The expression of genius becomes possible only after what is represented by the square has been 'squarely' met, and a definite reorientation of consciousness and activity away from conquest and overcoming necessary at the level of the square has been accomplished. Something truly creative can be brought into being only after the inertia of the past that prevented it has been overcome (square) and the new possibility thus liberated is recognized as something that can indeed happen or be done, This recognition, moreover, must occur in a new context - the context of a truly evolutionary process in which human beings create in conscious, individualized and mental ways.

Practically speaking, this means that when two or more planets or the horizon and meridian) in a birth-chart form quintiles - and they should be no more than 20 or 30 over or short of exact, and preferably less - the types of activity the planets signify in the total life and personality can potentially open doors to the influx of creative spirit. But the potentiality may not be actualized if some stronger or more basic factor in the life or chart effectively blocks this influx or the expression of it, or if the person has not yet fully met the challenge to forceful, individualizing action presented by the square that is, if he or she has not yet emerged from the sea of collective activity and consciousness.

These last-mentioned considerations are the primary reasons why astrologers tend not to use the quintile aspect. The vast majority of their clients (and many astrologers themselves) have not, as yet, truly individualized out of the collective social and psychic matrix. Most human beings on the planet today can go no further than the level represented by the square. As we will see more clearly when we consider the sextile, they cannot respond positively to evolutionary processes of spiritual integration beyond the level represented by the Four.

Even if a person can function effectively at the level of the quintile or Five, it does not mean that the person will necessarily prove to be a 'genius' in the almost colloquial sense of the term. Conversely, all so-called geniuses do not have birth-charts with outstanding quintiles. This is simply because many (or most) of those whom we sometimes rather indiscriminately call geniuses are not real creative spirits, but merely 're-arrangers' of previous patterns of being, dispensing to society what satisfies its traditional desires and appetites. In other cases, a great Personage who truly transforms society can be said to operate in a manner transcending the realm of genius as we understand the term here, as for example, the mouthpiece of some cosmic or divine power (an Avatar).

Nevertheless, every person whose acts reveal the power and purpose of the 'star' which symbolizes his or her essential individuality can be considered a genius. The person may not produce great works of art or give birth to scientific theories. But in some way, he or she reveals spirit at work - and spirit can act as destroyer of obsolete structures as well as projector of new archetypes of living and new structures of social or esthetical organization. Such destruction and/or projection can also operate on a continuum of scales, from the very personal to the most public and world-wide. The quintile presents the challenge to actualize the innate potentiality of one's own creative genius - however brilliant or inconspicuous the flame of it may be.

Since the quintile is one of the less familiar and less often used aspects, a few examples might help to clarify its meaning. While we cannot go into great interpretive depth here, we can at least point to a few examples which the serious student is urged to follow up and examine more closely. We can begin by mentioning the chart of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which contains several quintile-based aspects as well as a number of other significant unfamiliar aspects. The basic quintile element here is the 71&1/2°  aspect between the 10th house Moon and the rising Uranus; Mercury is also nearly 690 away from Saturn, and the Sun/Moon and Uranus/Sun angles measure about 145°  (bi-quintile) each. These bi-quintiles mean that a five-pointed star is partially outlined by the Sun, Moon and Uranus. Two unmarked points are left, one of which (0° Sagittarius) is near the Moon's North Node (5°41' Sagittarius). The other is about 23° Aries - the exact degree of the New Moon of April 12, 1945, the day of Roosevelt's death.

Thus, at the death of this leader whose significance was worldwide, the New Moon completed the five-pointed star linking an elevated Moon, a rising Uranus, a third house North Node, a fifth house Sun (conjunct Venus and the Part of Fortune): this is indeed a most remarkable star! The Sun/Moon/Uranus configuration is a symbol of transformation potentially achieved through self-exertion and self conquest and by passing through a deep, personal crisis. We can thus see what the five-pointed star suggests in the life of a man who gained the power to lead humanity in a time of global crisis by virtue of the victory he had won over his own personal tragedy - and the additional quintile between Mercury and Saturn links the sixth house of personal crisis with the eighth house of personal transformation. This victory was the substance of F.D.R.' s 'genius'; through it he was able to let his 'star' shine forth and incorporate itself into a world-destiny.

Of course, no discussion of indications of 'genius,' especially the kind that expresses itself mentally, would be complete without Albert Einstein coming to mind. Here, as in F.D.R.'s chart, three points of a five-pointed star are outlined, and what is more, they link the two hemispheres of Einstein's chart divided by a Jupiter/Uranus opposition between the 3rd and 9th houses. The basic quintile is between Mars and Mercury/Saturn. Both Mars and Mercury/Saturn are bi-quintile Uranus, one 'end' of the basic opposition. Jupiter thus falls nearly, but not quite exactly, at the midpoint of the Mars, Mercury/Saturn quintile, and Jupiter is also quintile Neptune. The Mercury/Saturn conjunction is at the midpoint of the Jupiter/Neptune quintile, thus semi-quintile to both. (We will see later on how the division of the quintile into the semi-quintile - implying the division of the circle by 10 - releases in specific ways the creative power of mind represented by the quintile.) It should come as no surprise to find such a veritable array of quintile-based aspects in the chart of a scientist whose work stands at the threshold of the Atomic Age and whose very being has come to symbolize 'genius.'

We might mention one point as we become more involved with examples of less-familiar aspects in the lives of well-known persons. Very often students' responses to such examples as Roosevelt and Einstein is, "OK, that's fine, but what does something about their charts have to do with my chart or my next door neighbor's?" It is important to realize that when someone is born - with whatever aspects - there is no differentiation among babies as to any particular one 'having' a special destiny to fulfill. Old wives tales and birth omens notwithstanding, a baby is not born with a sign saying "This is the one who is going to be significant." In the next hospital delivery room or down the block from where just about anyone was born, there was also another baby being born with a very similar chart. Aspects between planets are rather long-lasting and appear in many horoscopes of babies born over a period of several days or even weeks. Granted, the house positions of the aspecting planets change, but even these change relatively slowly, considering the numbers of babies born every hour in large cities. When we realize what all these considerations imply, we should conclude that an astrologer must give to all clients the highest and most comprehensive vision of birth-potentialities possible. The more an astrologer or client sees and understands is possible, the more the person will be able to actually realize and accomplish. The more one settles for a limited point of view - "This in my or his life or chart could only mean this or that, and only on a personal level," or "It couldn't refer to anything truly significant in a large, humanitarian way" - the less one will be able actually to accomplish and fulfill. We use astrology most constructively and creatively when we gain from it a sense of what is indeed possible for us at the highest levels of our potentialities. Seeing that, the challenge is then to keep our eyes open to life itself, to be able to respond appropriately when some event or chain of circumstances seems to say, "Hey, remember that quintile - or septile? If you are able or want to do anything about it, here's an opportunity."

The Sextile

The next step in the series of evolutionary aspects is represented by the waning sextile or 60° aspect. This is a familiar aspect also belonging to the involutionary/devolutionary series. In the evolutionary series, the sextile is the level reached after the. quintile. It results when the circle is divided by six, and it can also be understood as a trine divided by two. Geometrically, division by six produces a six-pointed star made up two interlaced equilateral triangles.

In the six-pointed star or Solomon's Seal, one triangle points downward, the other up. Two trines, two kinds of understanding and vision-are potentially integrated here. On the one hand, the sextile therefore refers to the ability to offer integrative solutions to bi-polar problems sometimes necessitating the harmonization of different approaches to solving them. On the other hand, the down-pointing triangle refers to the descent or incarnation of spirit; the upward-pointing triangle refers to the ascent of matter, to its readiness to receive the spiritual descent. Interlaced together, they symbolize the very involutionary and evolutionary processes we are studying, and in this sense the sextile markes the completion of the process. What tried to 'incarnate' at the trine, and could then only manifest as vision and understanding; what had to overcome the inertia of habit and matter at the square, and the restlessness of the intellect at the quintile, can now, at the sextile be met and embraced by an ascending material form: a human organism (involutionary process), awakened consciousness (opposition) imbued with a sense of purpose (trine), a focused will (square) and mind (quintile) can now receive and work with the down flow. The level of consciousness and activity reached at the sextile is thus one at which spirit and matter can be integrated through adequate management and organizational genius.

As at previous stages in the evolutionary process, success in actualizing the potentialities represented by the sextile is not guaranteed. The manager or organizer can become so caught up in his own machinations and talents that he fails to recognize the workings of spirit behind and through his acts. This can lead to a fateful egocentrism or to a lazy, easy-going type of consciousness which seeks the line of least exertion and thus fails to integrate creative power with the material need that is calling forth the descent of spirit-released power. When this negative possibility operates, the polarities of spirit and matter become reversed: spirit that should have become incorporated and active as a solution to the need of an evolving material organism (a human being, a society), loses interest, as it were, in matter, and flies back to its 'heavenly' or purely subjective realm - while matter, which should keep evolving upward toward the spirit, falls back to the state of disintegration and chaos without enlightened management. Spirit then goes 'up'; matter falls 'down' and following this reversal of creative polarity, the two cannot again attempt integration in the present cycle. The 'marriage of heaven and earth' is broken; divorce ensues, often under the compulsion of hatred - which is just as binding as love and which therefore will of necessity call forth a new cycle in order to 'try again.' One can only hope that the karmic burden of the failure is not so heavy that it cannot be overcome in the opening phases of the following cycle, or that at least part of it may yet be dissipated in the closing phases of the now-ending cycle.

The sextile can also be considered as a trine divided in two. At the level of the square, we saw that bisection does not apply only to the division of the circle into two halves (opposition). We found its basic meaning reappearing in a somewhat modified form, and it will come up again when we consider the octile (semi-square) and decile (semi-quintile). Here we find that bisection again establishes a contrast, relationship and/or rapport between self and not-self, subject and object. Now, after the quintile, this rapport is established between the creative subject (the 'genius' expressing an individual destiny or universal truth) and society at large, or a receptive segment of it.

At the level of the quintile, there is no real working relationship between creator and public, leader and led, the fashioning of a spirit-energized mind and the racial organism of body and psyche subjected to the creative release, usually under some kind of strain. The motto of a creator operating strictly at the level of the quintile may be, "Art for art's sake." The individual who is entirely absorbed in being creative does not take into consideration what the creative expressions will bring to humanity - of if the person does, it is only insofar as the reactions of society will affect his or her ability to create further.

It was a great achievement for the individual Einstein to 'create' the formula upon which the controlled release of atomic energy depends, but humanity is now faced and must live with the reality of nuclear power in a variety of forms. If our world-civilization succumbs to an atomic disaster of one kind or another, or to the hysteria of fear and uncertainty the danger of one has produced, the genius of Einstein and his colleagues may indeed appear to future generations as catastrophically destructive - because of having come as a premature 'gift' to an immature society. Such a realization made Einstein and many other prominent atomic physicists of the post-War years take the lead in trying to educate people and governments into an awareness of the political and social changes which the scientists' genius made necessary, if humankind is to survive. What is necessary is a complete shift of the level of consciousness of modern men and women, especially of those who provide leadership and set examples of supposedly constructive behavior for their societies. This shift in level of consciousness can be symbolized astrologically as a change from an emphasized quintile-type of consciousness to one in which the characteristics of quintiles and sextiles are integrated.

What this means is that at the level of the sextile, not only sheer creativeness (quintile) is important, but also the effect of the creative expression upon the outer world and society. If the creative approach to life represented by the quintile is to be made truly spiritual and fully constructive at the sextile, it must take into consideration the need of the world. The essential nature of spirit is to act only in response to need. The spiritual action is always a necessary action free from all unnecessary elements - just as the truly great work of art or elegant solution to a problem is one which contains only necessary elements from which nothing can be subtracted without impairing the harmony and beauty of the whole. Truly spiritual activity at the level of the sextile must therefore be attuned to the purpose of the whole - to what some may call Tao or 'the flow,' others, 'God's will' - or at least to the purpose of a particular life-cycle.

Waning sextiles thus produce an unprecedented evolutionary challenge today. They are most apt to operate at first in their devolutionary mode, as the need for reorganization following a crisis in consciousness. This is because the vast majority of human beings actually have little to do with the level of consciousness represented by the quintile. They can go no further than the level of the square - or, to put it differently, they cannot respond to evolutionary processes of spiritual integration beyond the stage (or Vibration) Four. Only a mentally positive minority can respond to those creative processes symbolized by the five-fold differentiation of the circle, the five-pointed star or pentagram and the Vibration Five. It is this 'elite' which today must experience a 'change of gears' from a dominant, mentally restless Vibration Five to a vibration in which the principle of characteristic response to life's challenges represented by the Five and the Six will become integrated.

As consciousness truly progresses in the evolutionary series, it moves on by way of ever-greater inclusiveness - that is, when reaching the level Six it does not (or should not) abandon the powers of creativity gained at level Five. The problem is to integrate the new powers (Six) with the old ones (Five). Similarly, when humanity as a whole shifts from the level Four to the level Five, it does so only gradually, by stressing successive 'overtones' rather than by jumping from one 'fundamental' to the next. Today we are witnessing a twofold process: on one hand, the majority of humanity is slowly shifting the focus of its mass-consciousness from the level Four to the level Five (witness the extreme emphasis on 'individual rights'); on the other, the already mentally developed minority is hesitantly beginning to incorporate into its approach to experience features characteristic of the level Six.

These features are the ones which Jesus came to announce and to exemplify. His coming sounded the keynote of a new 26,000-year cycle of precession which began at the inception of both Christianity and the Roman Empire. These features are also expressed astrologically in the sextile - but the sextile considered as a step in the series of evolutionary aspects whose keynote can be best defined as creation in understanding.

In terms of involutionary (i.e., instinctual and unconscious) activity, the sextile represents balanced and practically effective action resulting from the ability to link two polar rhythms of masculine and feminine impulses. This is because the involutionary sextile includes two consecutive zodiacal signs of contrasting polarity, for example Aries and Taurus, from Aries 1° to Gemini 1°. It therefore represents a complete, bi-polar type of activity, which is nevertheless subjective, because it does not include a view of the whole circle. In terms of evolutionary (that is, conscious and integrative) responses to life, the sextile is also a symbol of practical effectiveness, but this effectiveness operates at the level of creative mental processes and is the result of the conscious integration of the will to create with the human need that made the creation necessary. It is fully effective because activity at the level of the evolutionary sextile includes a clear and compassionate understanding of that which called forth the creative act - thus of the human need, whether it be personal or collective.

Rarely, but occasionally, one sees a chart with a full pattern of six sextiles, two interlaced grand trines. Two are in our files. One is the chart of a young man (23 at the time of consultation) who had not at that time found his 'place' in life. He has apparently taken the line of least resistance and exertion, always managing to 'scrape by' on all levels, but little more. The other is the chart of a woman, now past mid-life. She has led a most varied and interesting life of accomplishment in terms of both social and spiritual values. It is interesting to note that at the root of the life-challenges faced by both people, has been the question of relatedness: two interlinked grand trines, six sextiles around the circle, automatically imply three oppositions. In the case of the young man, his relationship to his own diabetic body and to God has been focal. In the case of the woman, interpersonal relationship and relationship to a Teacher and a Work have been and continue to be significant.



The Septile

When we come to the aspect which follows the sextile in the evolutionary series, we find it based on a division of the circle of wholeness into seven equal parts. Such a division produces an angular value which cannot be measured exactly in degrees, minutes or seconds of arc: 51°25'42" plus. Converted into decimals it is 51.4285714285714. . . It is thus an 'irrational' value. If we inquire into the occult meaning of numbers we find out that the number Seven producing this value is a very special kind of number indeed.

Perhaps the simplest way to interpret the character of number Seven is to say that it represents what remains after the Six has operated fully. The meaning of such a remainder is clearly shown in the geometrical element pi, which measures the relationship between the circumference and diameter of a circle. This relationship is an 'irrational' one in that it does not measure to any whole number, being 3.14159 etc., and it is also a most 'occult' value.

If instead of the diameter we consider the radius of a circle in relation to its circumference, we readily see that more than six radii are necessary to make a circumference. This 'more' constitutes the 'remains' or 'leftover' after the sixth period of any cycle is completed. The Seven refers to the part of pi that goes on forever, to what is left over beyond three diameters or six radii - the indefinable plus required for a whole circle, which also gives it the opportunity to become a spiral.

In order to take care of that 'left over' a seventh period is necessary, and this seventh period is actually the seed-beginning of a new cycle. In the new cycle, the 'leftover' of the old cycle will be given a new chance to become integrated and to progress in the vast scheme of universal evolution. Besides the kind of leftovers that remain unintegrated from the preceding six phases - whatever has not as yet managed to become integrated - there are also leftovers that can't possibly be integrated because they are toxins or negative by-products of the cycle. Rather than being integrated, these have to be neutralized and eliminated so that they will not poison the succeeding cycle now beginning to seed.

Every cycle has its 'left over' - and materials which could not be assimilated to spirit, which the consciousness of the person operating under the Six could not understand or provide for creatively. At the close of the sixth period the actual cycle is ended, as far as outward and normally visible manifestations go; but to the need of the disintegrating remains (or 'manure') of the closed cycle, some new type of spirit-born realization answers - and this realization eventually leads to the birth of a new cycle.

What should be realized in full consciousness during this seventh period (reminiscent of the Biblical 'Seventh Day') is not essentially that everything was well with the work done, but that there is never an end to creative activity and that there are always ashes to take care of after the fire of life has subsided. What the Seven tells to human beings is that no account can be closed forever; that six radii do not make exactly the length of the circumference; that nature (human and otherwise) is not simply rational, and that it cannot fit into strictly rationalistic or mental patterns. There are fractional numbers ad infinitum to take care of-the never-ending decimals of the septile and the value pi.

To realize these things and to incorporate this realization into the structure of one's inner being is to operate at the level of the septile. It is to force oneself to be immortal - that is, to stride over the close of the cycle in order to become a seed ready to sacrifice itself in order to be the foundation of a new vegetation, when spring comes again. The number Seven is thus the key to personal immortality to identifying oneself with the entire cycle, with the eternal. In a negative sense, it can refer to identification with atomicization, with the process of disintegration inevitable at the close of the cycle.

In order to be at all significant, a septile aspect must be very close to exact. If we count it as a 51&1/2° angle, two planets form a septile only if they are from 50 to 53 degrees apart. A lesser distance should be considered a semi-square; a greater distance is a sextile.

In addition to its outstanding quintiles, Franklin D. Roosevelt's chart contains most significant septiles. Mars is just short of being 51 degrees ahead of Saturn; and the Moon which is in sextile to Saturn, forms a septile to Neptune (about 52°) and to Jupiter (if the time of birth was at the later hour recorded, it seems, in his father's diary).

As Jupiter and Neptune are very close and their conjunction of obvious importance in F.D.R.'s life, we can say that the Moon is in septile to this conjunction, whether the earlier or later birth-time is accepted.

According to Marc Jones, the key meaning of the septile is 'fatality,' and in the exact septile of Mars (retrograde) and Saturn we can see how fatality worked in its strange and mysterious ways to bring tragedy and fame to F.D.R. Mars and the Moon are in the tenth house, and the septiles they control clearly deal with Roosevelt's public life, his death in office, etc. But there is far more to these septiles than fatality - or this term has to be made to cover a greater depth of meaning than is usually the case. In the septile we find a potential gate to immortality, as well as the possible assumption of a collective and historical destiny - a potentiality only, we must stress.

Lenin's chart contains a septile of Jupiter (26°9' Taurus) to Uranus (Cancer 18°16'). He also died from overexertion in office. In the case of the composer and super-star archetype Franz Lizst, the septile of Sun and Moon did not produce tragedy, except if we consider the abuse of vital forces and the over-spending of self as one. In Henry Ford's chart Mars in Leo (conjunct Regulus) is septile Jupiter in Libra (20&1/2°). Under the circumstances, this could be considered a compelling destiny of wealth and social power. A similar remark could be made concerning Andrew Carnegie's septile between Mars (a symbol of iron and steel) and Neptune; the septile linking his Moon and Venus presumably refers to his fame as a prototype of the large-scale American philanthropist and culture-patron.

In the case of Evangeline Adams, Venus rising is in septile to Pluto in the second house, and we might even consider the almost 54° aspect of her Sun to Neptune a septile, especially in view of the obvious correlation between Neptune and what turned out to be her astrological 'mission.' Similarly, the 53&1/2° aspect between Uranus and Mercury in George Bernard Shaw's chart seems a valid septile indication of what became his world-wide influence as a writer and humorist. Another significant illustration is found in Edgar Allan Poe's septile between Neptune and his Sun/Mercury conjunction, for the Neptunian factor - often linked to fantasy, mysticism. . . and alcohol! - influenced his vitality and his literary work, bringing both tragedy and fame. The septile between Neptune and Jupiter in Walt Whitman's chart had what seems to be a happier outcome - an evident symbol of the expansive social vision that made the bard of American democracy forever great.

A more contemporary example is the chart of California's charismatic Governor Jerry Brown - who has been known to claim to have "an essence" rather than an "image." His horoscope displays the outline of four points of a seven-pointed star. The Sun is septile Jupiter, which in turn is tri-septile Neptune. Neptune in turn is septile Pluto. The chart of the spiritual teacher Krishnamurti is also an interesting example. Here the Moon and Saturn are septile as are the Sun and Mars. These septiles are made more interesting as they define the two ends of an overall see-saw configuration;* all the planets of the chart are contained within one septile or another. President Jimmy Carter's chart has also a prominent septile between Mercury and the first house Moon. Transiting Uranus was on the degree of this Moon during the (1979) Camp David meetings with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. The Moon rules the President's Midheaven, while Mercury, in the eleventh house (transformation of social structures), rules also the ninth (religious or philosophical ideology).

*cf. Person-Centered Astrology. "First Steps in the Study of Birth-Charts" (New York: ASI: 1980) by Dane Rudhyar for an in-depth discussion of overall chart shapes (Gestalt).

The chart of the contemporary 'consciousness movement' figure Ram Das also provides an example of an interesting, if obvious in meaning, septile. Rising Jupiter is 51&1/2° behind Neptune at the nadir - a quite clear-cut statement regarding social participation (Jupiter also rules the Midheaven) and drugs, meditation and altered states of consciousness. Since Jupiter also co-rules the sixth house (crises' of personal transformation), and Neptune is in the third (mental functioning), the issues of mystical experience and spiritual discipleship are highlighted (no pun intendedl).

These examples, however limited their scope, lead us to believe that it can be shown on good evidence that wherever a septile is found in a chart, and the individual is able to realize at least to some extent its positive implications, the septile indicates the direction in which the individual is led to his or her destiny by some outstanding achievement or compulsion - the former being dependent upon a typical kind of inner attitude. One can probably also say that the septile implies some kind of psychological complex or spiritual compulsion - and in that sense it may be called an expression of 'fate.' What seems to be fate or fatality to the living and striving or suffering personality may be differently interpreted in relation to spirit, which transcends (while including) the particular personality. Spirit compels the inclusion of whatever remains valuable in what has previously been devalued or denied. In a more mundane sense, the garbage has always to be taken out, and leftovers cooked into new meals. The longer they stay around, the more difficult it is to dispose of them pleasantly or creatively. In a larger view, there are deaths (large and small) that are sacrificial gifts, and not somber tragedies, simply because they are geared to the vast cycle of human evolution, and as such are tokens of immortality.

The Octile or Semi-Square and the Sesqiquadrate

If, instead of two interlaced triangles inscribed in a circle, we consider two squares with all corners equidistant from one another, we have an eight-pointed star and the foundation of the semisquare, which more rarely, but equally accurately is also called an octile.

The semi-square is to the square what the sex tile is to the trine, and there is no reason, whether theoretical or practical, to give less importance to the semi-square than to the sextile. The main reason why many students and practitioners of astrology pay less attention to the semi-square than to the sextile is that since the positions of the planets are expressed in terms of zodiacal degrees and signs, one can easily detect sextiles, whereas semi-squares are less obvious. This is, quite evidently, not at all a good reason, and it is hoped that the outstanding importance of semi-squares will be universally recognized and correctly interpreted. A semi-square is no more a 'lesser square' than a sextile is merely a 'lesser trine.'

Another reason for the lack of attention given to the semisquare is that while the sextile is found in both the involutionary and evolutionary series of aspects, the semi-square (or octile) occurs only in the latter. In the classical past, astrology has dealt almost exclusively with the involutionary series and thus ignored or undervalued the semi-square. But as a truly modern astrology should be occupied primarily with psychology and problems of consciousness, it is essential that it should give full significance to the evolutionary series-of which the semi-square is an integral part.

The significance of the semi-square may be derived from that of the square, in much the same way we derived that of the sextile from the trine. The vision and understanding of individuals (trine) become the gift of practical organization and management (sextile) when this vision (spiritual triangle) is related to the need of any material organism, body or collectivity (material triangle) in the midst of which this vision appears as an inspiration. The square, on the other hand, refers to the level of consciousness at which vision and understanding (trine) become transformed into the realization of the need to act, and by acting to make the ideal a concrete reality. It means, in a positive sense, a victory over inertia, fear and discouragement, because vision, in order to become reality, must overcome the ghosts of the past and the feeling of insurmountable difficulty which often accompanies the realization of a new idea.

However, this overcoming of inertia is only a potentiality at the level of the square. The need for it is felt, and if the individual takes and holds a positive attitude, the victory will eventually be won through the use of powers symbolized by the quintile and sextile. The precise blueprint, established at the level of the square, will be on the way to becoming an actual structure of earth-materials. We have seen that in any building operation there are always left-over materials, things that did not fit. They must be disposed of; they may be burnt or cleared away as sheer waste; or they may be kept for future use. It is to this type of operation that we have seen the septile refer.

The next step is the semi-square. The square, which referred to a realization of the need to act and to make the vision concrete, is now interlaced with a second square - much as the two triangles of spirit and matter are interlaced in the six-pointed star. The second square now represents the concrete, officially established organization or structure; but organization and structure are built in the midst of an already functioning society - that is, among people. What do the people think of it? How do they respond to what it offers them? Do they feel it meets their needs, or do they laugh at it and scorn its purpose? Do they try to destroy it, or ignore it and let it decay unused?

The semi-square refers to all such problems of exteriorization. The person of vision (trine) should not only formulate a set of ideals clearly and approach problems with creative initiative (quintile), a genius for organization (sextile) and the ability to use what is fit and to deal with what is unfit (septile); he or she should as well take into consideration the way in which others are likely (because of their past conditioning) to react. While such a person undoubtedly feels that the work will answer a real need of the people, the people must also feel that their need is being served. The semi-square thus refers to the level of consciousness and activity at which the response of the people must be integrated into the vision having become a concrete social reality - or, in another field, the reaction of the body and its organs must be integrated with a new technique of behavior based upon a new ideal of spiritual or more healthful living.

As in the case of the sextile, the semi-square must be considered from two points of view. It may mean integration, or a breakdown of policy. The new organization and its products are accepted by the people - the new apartment house finds tenants eager to move in or, the people ignore the products and perhaps even destroy their would-be benefactor. The key to success is effective dissemination, just. as, in the case of the sextile, success depended upon an effective schedule and policy of management. The most effective kind of dissemination is the kind where no propaganda is actually needed because the people's need is obviously satisfied by what is offered as an answer to it. When in time of social chaos a strong leader and his group tell the public the very words it wants to hear, or when a man like Henry Ford presents a new product which is an efficient answer to the evident need of the times, relatively little promotion is required. Yet some kind of adjustment between need and concrete answer to this need is always necessary.

The successful builder or leader is the one who plans in terms of such an adjustment, yet who does not sacrifice the integrity of the vision. The balance between opportunism and spiritual integrity is always a difficult one to reach, let alone maintain. In formulating and concretizing the ideal, it is easy for a creative person to rely too much or too little on what the people's desire (rather than need) may be. Many trines may make real communication with people (or whatever the vision is meant to serve) difficult, for the focus is on the vision itself, while semi-squares may mean practical success but also subservience to materialistic needs or changing fashions and a loss of long-range spiritual vision.

Through the semi-square spirit scatters itself into matter; or at least the energy of spirit is allowed to permeate an expectant, but usually not comprehending chaos. In order to convince the people (or any collection of material entities) of the value of a new organization, product or structure, the leader, inventor or author has to become 'sales manager' as well-and this is often a real crucifixion or self-sacrifice, far more crucial sometimes than the one implied in the process of making an ideal concrete in a definite structure or organization (square). The square means the concretization of ideas; the semi-square their dissemination.

These are two phases of one process. A third phase could be conceived in which the semi-square itself is divided into halves of  22&1/2° each. Such an aspect could be called a semi-octile, thus paralleling the semi-sextile. It would refer to the stage of vulgarization of the ideal or spiritual vision. When the latter is spread out among the many in order to meet their everyday needs, it often loses most of its purity and integrity - yet it has nevertheless become an active force in the world.

The absence of semi-squares in a birth-chart does not necessarily mean that an individual will not be able to disseminate his or her vision or ideals. The presence of strong semi-squares shows that a special stress should be laid upon this process of dissemination, that it has the potentiality of being especially effective or related in a purposeful way to personal or psychological crises through which the individual can discover an essential truth or destiny.

In Henry Ford's chart the Sun is in semi-square to both Venus and Uranus, at the nearly exact center of the square which these two planets make. Uranus is at Gemini 24° and Venus is at Virgo 23°, while the Sun is at Leo 8°. Mercury at 4° Leo could be said to participate in these semi-squares, yet it is usually advisable not to give to the semi-square more than a three-degree orb (thus allowing from 42° to 48°) . After concretizing (square) a new approach to manufacturing (form-building, aptly symbolized by Venus and Uranus), Ford sowed the idea of industrial mass-production into every corner of the modern world. In his chart, Pluto and Uranus also form a 41&1/2° aspect which can be considered as a distant semi-square, inasmuch as Pluto squares the Moon and adds to a chain of such aspects, linking Moon, Pluto, Uranus, Sun and Venus-which thus contribute five points to an eight-pointed star.

In Andrew Carnegie's chart we also find a square divided into two halves: the square of Saturn and Neptune is bisected by Venus. In such cases, the bisecting planet should be considered the focal factor in the disseminating process; on it rests the main burden for the spread of the vision or idea. Venus in the chart of the American steel magnate and philanthropist rules the seventh and twelfth houses, and Carnegie was noted for the manner in which he established partnerships (seventh house) and built hospitals and social institutions (twelfth house). He spread his vision via a Venusian kind of activity, while Ford, with his Sun bisecting the square of Venus and Uranus, worked on the basis of his own individual center - a paternalistic autocrat.

George Bernard Shaw is again another example of such a triple configuration. The Moon and Uranus bisect a square of Jupiter and Saturn. This square of the two planets of social consciousness indicates the potential release of new ideals of social organization. Uranus's semi-squares to these two planets focus the revolutionary and challenging character of the new ideals, and the Moon contributes to this dynamic pattern a keen mental power of intellectual adjustment to social situations. Neptune is also in exact semi-square to Pluto and at the same time in sextile to the Moon and trine to Mercury. It is also sesquiquadrate (135° aspect) to the conjunction of Sun and Venus.

The Sesquiquadrate or Tri-Octile

A sesquiquadrate may be understood in a variety of ways. In the above - mentioned case of George Bernard Shaw it may be considered the sum of three semi-squares, thus as linking two of the points of an implied eight-pointed star. This way of interpreting a sesquiquadrate (also called sesquisquare) stresses the positive implications of the aspect. We see it then as a semi-square added to a square - as an outreaching process of disseminating ideas. It can also be understood as an opposition from which a semi-square has been taken away - and thus defined, the sesquiquadrate is one of two aspects having a very special meaning, especially in psychological terms.

The first of these aspects, as we have already seen, is the quincunx. In the involutionary series, the quincunx begins the fifth stage of outward expression. It represents thus the 'works of life,' the 'work of the world,' the extension of spontaneous activity by means of effective, yet largely unconsciously acquired and applied technique. It shows instinctual life-activities at a stage of refinement through critical and objective subservience to standards of perfection. The involutionary quincunx is thus a symbol of self-improvement.

Yet this is only its positive aspect in terms of dynamic activity. It has as well a negative aspect which results from the failure to carry this dynamic activity to the level where cooperation with other centers of dynamic activity - other individuals, men and women, and also other living organisms of the less-evolved life-kingdoms - becomes essential, after the opposition. The quincunx is then a 'falling back' from the level of the opposition - thus, as we have seen, a regressive step. It then represents sickness and whatever personal neuroses and maladjustments come because the ego has been unable or unwilling to adjust itself successfully to the demands of relationship and cooperative activity.

Similarly, the 135° aspect is, in its negative connotations, a falling back from the step required between the waning trine and the square. It then refers to the inability to put over one's idea and vision. This essentially means a failure to include the needs of others (or the need of one's body and organs) in the plans one makes - a failure in compassion and in understanding the conditions which a new plan or organization will have to meet when becoming exteriorized and ready to operate in the environment whose needs it should serve. The project and blueprints may be wonderful in and of themselves. But if they do not take into account the character of the materials which they should organize and integrate for use, or the needs of the people expected to use what results from them, the outcome is an at least temporary failure - and means for the planner a more or less acute sense of disappointment, resentment, bitterness, or even a 'persecution complex.' His public outreaching may then become overstressed, and he may fruitlessly scatter his energies.

This does not mean that a person with natal sesquiquadrates will necessarily lack outer success. The sesquiquadrate may manifest in its positive aspect as a public outreaching - a square plus a semisquare. On the other hand, a person of vision may be so identified with what he feels as a mission to get his vision across to the public that he will do practically anything to achieve recognition. He may meet the superficial demands of the public and achieve outer success. But if success is built, not on the vision, but on some kind of compromise in which that vision is lost or disfigured, it may mean a sense of futility or a real inner failure in spite of success. In such a case, the old saying "Nothing fails like success" may well apply. Therefore, in order to be truly successful, the person whose chart includes significant sesquiquadrates should be careful always to be aligned with the essence of the inner vision, and to include the needs (not merely the wants and desires) of others and of the public.

One often encounters a significant aspect pattern involving an opposition divided by a sesquiquadrate and a semi-square. The line of least resistance in such cases is to take an ineffectual, confused or self-destructive approach to the problem of consciousness represented by the opposition. The meaning of the conflict and opportunity defined by the two poles of the opposition may not be clearly or sufficiently understood, and the nature of the possible failure is indicated by the planet forming the semi-square and sesquiquadrate with the opposition. The positive approach to such a configuration involves using the function represented by the planet aspecting the opposing planets to release the meaning of the opposition - regardless of how much personal struggle, persistence or courage would be necessary. This configuration can be considered analogous to - but also in a sense the reverse of - what happens when a planet is in exact sextile/trine relationship to two planets in opposition; for the focal planet in that case can be said to integrate what is represented by the two poles of the opposition through a practical vision or ability to manage people or resources.


An example in which the two ends of an opposition are linked by both a semi-square and sesquiquadrate and a sextile/trine is found in the chart of the Danish physicist Neils Bohr. A Venus/Neptune opposition defines the chart's overall hemispheric pattern. While Jupiter (the planet of social consciousness and participation) is square Neptune and sextile Venus, Saturn representing authority and formal organization) is also semi-square Neptune and sesquiquadrate Venus. At the focal point of the semi-square/sesquiquadrate configuration, Saturn is on a degree (9° Cancer) referring in the Sabian series to "the first naive quest for knowledge and for an ever elusive understanding of life." Bohr was, of course, at the forefront of vanguard research in theoretical physics during the most exciting period of that discipline's development early this century. Jupiter, at the focal point of the sextile/trine configuration, is on a degree (23° Virgo) stressing the need to "tame" powerful energies - a need Bohr recognized only too well, for he was among the first to realize the socio-political implications of the Allied effort to actually build an atomic bomb during World War II. The bomb was, of course, a great 'success,' and it was built largely through the application of ingenuity and imaginative innovation symbolized by Bohr's Venus/Neptune opposition. The failure of Bohr's (and others') efforts to have the use and regulation of atomic power internationally shared - which would have entailed the building of new social structures and authorities, astrologically represented by Jupiter and Saturn ultimately led to the global arms race still continuing today.


Another example of the opposition/semi-square/sesquiquadrate configuration can be found in the chart of Werner Erhard, the "wizard of est." Here the fifth-house Sun opposes Saturn, which is retrograde, elevated and rules the Midheaven; and Pluto in the second house of resources is sesquiquadrate Saturn and semi-square the Sun. Pluto is also sesquiquadrate the Moon on the Descendant, which is in turn square both Saturn and the Sun, thus at the 'short end' of a T-square. What results is an interesting connection between the two sides of the line of opposition: one side is released through two very basic squares (Sun/Moon and Moon/Saturn), the other through a semi-square (Sun/Pluto) and sesquiquadrate (Saturn/Pluto).

Equally interesting, however, is a pattern formed as a result of the fact that Pluto is actually at the inverse midpoint of the square between Saturn and the Moon. In relation to a square, this pattern is similar to what happens when a planet is at the inverse midpoint of a sextile, what is called a 'Yod' or 'Finger of God' configuration, resulting from two quincunxes linking two sextiling planets to a third. In this case, two sesquiquadrates rather than quincunxes 'point' to a third planet, and the 'base' of the configuration is a square instead of a sextile. If there is any meaning in calling the quincunx/sextile configuration a 'Finger of God,' one might consider calling the analogous sesquiquadrate/square configuration a 'Finger of the World' for it challenges one to concrete action (square) that must be well advertised and disseminated, but which at the same time should stand on its own as an almost self-evident answer to a pressing social or evolutionary need. In the case of Werner Erhard, whether or not his efforts fulfill such a challenge can only be left to the debate of his supporters and detractors - both categories having many vocal adherents.

Another contemporary 'consciousness movement' figure whose chart displays prominent sesquisquares is Ram Das. An almost exact conjunction of the Sun and Uranus in the eleventh house is sesquiquadrate Neptune, which in turn is sesquiquadrate Saturn. Since Saturn is also square the Sun/Uranus conjunction, what we have called a 'Finger of the World' results. This whole pattern is further integrated into the chart's overall configuration, for the Saturn/Neptune sesquiquadrate also links two oppositions, Saturn/Pluto (the latter being also conjunct Jupiter) and Venus/Neptune. Another sesquiquadrate between the elevated Venus (ruler of the twelfth house) and the first-house Pluto completes the rectangle structured by the two oppositions. This is a most significant pattern which we will study more fully in the next chapter. At this point, however, the pattern's repeated references to public life, social participation and organization, drugs and mystical experiences should help to illumine the challenges underlying Ram Das's early, seminal involvement with psychedelic drugs, altered states of consciousness, and his more recent emphasis on meditation and spiritual development.

In closing this condensed section on two interesting but usually ignored aspects, the complex chart of President Roosevelt again provides an excellent example. His fifth-house Sun is sesquiquadrate the dominant tenth-house and retrograde Mars; the eighth-house Saturn is in sesquiquadrate to rising Uranus. The two sesquiquadrates are linked by the septile between Mars and Saturn, the bi-quintile between Uranus and the Sun, and a bi-novile between Mars and Uranus. These aspects refer no doubt to the tragedy which nearly made physically impossible, and yet psychologically facilitated, his professional career. They also show how an aspect with the potentiality of defeat (the sesquiquadrate) can be made the very springboard to personal triumph and spiritual victory.

The Novile

By dividing the circumference of a circle into nine equal segments, we produce the rarely used aspect called novile or nonagen (40°). The geometrical figure that results combines three equilateral triangles. The number 9 is not a primary number like 3, 5, or 7, but neither is it divisible by 2. It can, however, be divided by 3, and the novile can also be considered the result of trisecting a trine. This combination of 'threeness' gives to the novile its basic significance.

When we think about division by 3, we realize that we might also consider the sextile the result of dividing an opposition or half the circle into three 60° segments. But in order to be truly significant, the division of aspects must always be related to the entire circle - that is, to the wholeness of being, experience or a situation. If only half of the circle is considered and divided by 3, the result is the negative meaning of the sextile: a kind of trine (vision, understanding, ideal) which affects only half of life and consciousness, and leaves the other half out of the picture. It then deals with the meaningless proliferations of material nature un-illumined by spirit, or with the subjective activity of a dream-like consciousness too weak or lazy to meet and fecundate the material realities of our world. The sextile is therefore not to be considered positively as a half circumference divided into 3 segments, but instead as the result of inscribing two interlaced triangles into the whole circle.

Since the novile results from inscribing three interlaced triangles in the circle, it can be considered a characteristic product of division by three - or, to be more exact, we should really say, of multiplying by three, for it implies the multiplication of the triangle (and thus the segments) within the circle. One or two triangles becomes three triangles; three or six segments become nine.

In the six-pointed star, we found two triangles, and we referred one to the descent of spirit and the other to the ascent of matter. Such a duality means opposition and contrast, and three oppositions are implied in any perfect six-pointed star. But as we saw, dualities and contrasts may lead either to the rhythmic integration of opposites, or to irreconcilable cleavage. The idea of trinity, on the other hand, begins with the principle of harmonic integration within an encompassing transcendent concept, pattern or image. The world of life, as we know it in the biosphere, is essentially a world of dualities and conflicts which mayor may not be resolved into love and into the organisms or organizations born of love. The world of mind is a world of trinities and threefold relationships - even the quintile based on the Five is the third aspect after the opposition in the evolutionary series. Life is based on power, mind on meaning; and the capacity to see meaning in whatever there is in the world of life is what is called intelligence - in the real and philosophical sense of the word, not in an artificial sense as in IQ or intelligence tests, etc. Meaning is envisioned or conceived by the mind when the dualities and conflicts of the world of life are related to and included within a third factor - God, the Universe, Self, man as a spiritual being - in reference to which these conflicts and contests for power become productive and acquire a purpose.

The nine-pointed star, as the result of the symmetrical interlacing of three equilateral triangles, raises the meaning of the Three to a higher level: 9 is the second power of 3, i.e., 3 multiplied by itself.* At the level of the Three, a human being discovers and envisions the meaning and purpose of what he or she experiences, and orients himself or herself toward the fulfillment of this meaning and purpose. At the level of the Nine, the individualized person discovers and envisions the meaning and purpose of what he or she is. The trine leads to planning for action; the novile (when at all operative in an individual's life) leads to personal rebirth - or 'Initiation' - to a basic identification of the self with the purpose this self is seen to have within the harmony of the universal Whole.

*We can also interpret the number 4 as 2 multiplied by itself. The awareness produced by the opposition is raised to a higher level of dynamic intensity by becoming a definite blueprint for action (square). All we build is originally born out of what we have carefully observed. Perception (2) leads to conception (3). then to constructive action (4).

The novile thus represents the level at which complete fulfillment of individual being is possible - either as an end in itself (negative approach) or as the condition for positive emergence into an altogether new and higher realm of being (beginning with number Ten). Thus number Nine is the number of a fulfilled period of gestation (e.g., nine months of pregnancy) followed by birth. This period also contains 40 weeks, and the number 40 has been the symbol for a period of preparation for rebirth: the forty-year wandering of the Jews in the desert, and in the recent Baha'i movement, Abdul Baha's forty years. of imprisonment in the town of Akka - a name meaning 'womb.' In terms of Hindu chronology, the Kali Yuga (Dark Age) lasts 400,000 years, or forty 10,000-year cycles.* Kali is the Great Mother in her dark, unconscious aspect. Kali Yuga is thus the period during which a new humanity is being carried within the collective 'womb' of the old humanity. According to Brahminical records, we have just completed the first 5,000 years of such a process having begun in February, 3,102 B.C.

*10,000 years is astrologically the Great Cycle of Uranus. Cf. Astrological Timing: The Transition to the New Age (Harper & Row, New York, 1969) by Dane Rudhyar.

We can bring the preceding ideas to the level of the interpretation of a birth-chart by seeing that the presence of noviles - or of one strongly emphasized novile - in a chart shows that the individual may come to realize, or will strive to realize, that the entire personality is a womb or matrix from which a 'higher' being - a spiritually conscious Self - should emerge. Christian mystics speak of the birth of the Christ-child within the heart as the central experience of the spiritual life. In a less exalted sense, every aspect based on 40° increments brings the possibility (not the certainty) of some 'birth out of captivity; some emergence into a Promised Land, whatever it be within the personality that is held captive, wandering in the 'desert' of unconsciousness and spiritual aridity. The two planets in novile aspect indicate the psychological functions which establish through their relationship the matrix-field from which the act of spiritual liberation or rebirth may occur.

For example, in the birth-chart of the Persian prophet Baha'u'llah, who claimed to be a manifestation of God, the Sun and Moon are 42 ° apart. This is, in a sense, a very wide novile, as in most cases no more than a degree and a half should be allowed for this aspect; but the Moon may be exactly 40° away from the Ascendant, and such an aspect would be characteristic. If a man is actually to be considered a physical incorporation of divinity, then it would be logical to expect the Sun and Moon-the two basic vital powers - to be in novile at the time of his birth. The fact that the Sun is rising (and that the Part of Fortune is thus conjunct the Moon) adds immensely to the significance of the configuration.

The complex chart of President Roosevelt again provides an example. Here, the Moon is 39° away from Pluto, and Mars is 81° thus bi-novile - from Uranus. The 'captivity' F.D.R. underwent was of course a physical one, a literal confinement to a wheelchair after he was stricken with polio. The level at which he mobilized his energies (Mars), as well as the one at which his capacity for adaptation (Moon) and public life (tenth house) functioned, had definitely to be transformed. He was indeed presented with the opportunity disguised as the direst of crises - to be 'reborn' out of adversity.

President Carter, whose experience of Christian rebirth in 1966 is a matter of public record, has a novile between Venus and Pluto in his chart. Both are significant, elevated planets - Pluto in the ninth house of religious and philosophical ideology, Venus in the tenth (public life and, in the deepest sense of the term, one's vocation or 'calling') and ruler of the Libra Ascendant. The experience followed Carter's first, unsuccessful attempt to become Governor of Georgia, and the symbolism is quite apropos in terms of Plutonian catharsis and regeneration.

A prominent novile also appears in the horoscope of Mohandas Gandhi. Straddling the Scorpio Ascendant, the twelfth-house Sun and first-house Mars are separated by 39&1/2° - an interesting configuration for the promoter of ahimsa (non-violent resistance). Mars is on a degree (24° Scorpio) stressing "the need to incorporate inspiring experiences and teachings into everyday living," which is exactly what the great Indian leader urged his countrymen to do. A moving testimony to the personal aspect of this challenge to rebirth is chronicled by the Mahatma himself in his autobiography, where he tells of his struggle to overcome the urges of his strong sexual nature. Equally poignant is the virtually exact novile between Albert Schweitzer's twelfth house Venus and his first-house Sun. Striking too is the novile between the Sun and Uranus in the chart of the theosophical amanuensis Alice Bailey.

The Decile or Semi-Quintile

Only two or three aspects of smaller angular value than the novile are worth mentioning. The first, the semi-quintile or decile (36°) is the result of inscribing two interlaced five-pointed stars - a ten-pointed star - within the circle. One star points upward, the other downward. These two stars have traditionally been understood as the symbols of 'white' and 'black' magic - of Man as a creator focusing through his mind and his right hand the creative power of spirit - and man, the adversary of spirit, working against the tide of evolution or the 'will of God,' and after more or less prolonged period of power, being himself destroyed by the relentless pressure of the universal tide.

This traditional interpretation of the two stars does not, however, exhaust the meaning of their relationship. Insofar as the semiquintile is concerned, we shall say that the upward pointing star represents true creativity, while the down-pointing star represents the 'art for art's sake' approach - creation, or rather mere production, for merely the sake of the producer's ego or of the formalistic approach of a disintegrating or crystallized culture. Formalism in all creative expressions means focusing on the outer pattern, the circumference - style without substance. Indeed, it is the negation of creativity, of the flow of spirit from a center - a flow conditioned by the need to bring more harmony and fuller living into the world. The true creative act is an act of compassion for whatever is chaotic and unintegrated.

The 'art for art's sake' type of attitude removes the creative act from its central source, the spirit within, and considers not the 'act' but the technical excellence or defects of a finished product or state of being, which must conform to some traditional or fashionable pattern of perfection. Technique as an end in itself is the death-song of creative activity, whether in the realm of the arts or in any field in life-for example in the building of a refined and intellectual ego which is also seen as an end in itself, or in politics when the importance of so-called public opinion polls and the advice of advertising and public relations specialists eclipse the real social and cultural issues at stake. Nevertheless, technique has great value and cannot be ignored. It is to the techniques of the old, disintegrating culture that people prophetically anticipating the release of a new creative impulse must go in order initially to acquire skill in focusing it.

The semi-quintile also refers to the relationship between a new creative impulse and old techniques or traditional 'know how' - just as the semi-square refers to the relationship between the new structure or organization and the public which will have to receive and use it. This relationship between a new creative impulse and an old technique is what is meant by 'talent' in the deepest sense of the word. To have talent is to be able to incorporate a creative impulse into a technique.

The problem here is how to prevent the old technique from perverting and deviating the new creative impulse, while not swinging to the other extreme and scorning technique altogether, under the pretense that any technique would pollute the anticipated and longed-for creative flow in its inspirational purity. Talent, however, has come most often in our society to mean mere technical skill - for our civilization worships technicians and specialists, whether what they make leads to a richer, spirit-oriented life or binds human beings to senseless, automated and indeed in the long-run counterproductive patterns.

In President Carter's chart, the Sun and Moon are semi-quintile, while Mars and Jupiter are quintile. Carter has, of course, a background in engineering, and is noted for his grasp of technical matters, particularly concerning the complexities of nuclear power and weapons systems. In contrast to the sweeping social vision of, say, a Roosevelt, Carter's approach to issues is more pragmatic and detail-oriented; he depends upon technique and technical solutions rather than on a more philosophical approach. Combining the two approaches in a more obvious way is R. Buckminster Fuller, the scientist-inventor who has become a leading figure in the 'New Age' movement. His Sun and Pluto are probably close to semi-quintile (we have only a solar chart with which to work), while the Sun is also at one point of a grand trine involving the Moon and Uranus.

In relation to the semi-quintile, we mention again a horoscope we previously pointed out in relation to the quintile. Albert Einstein's quintile between Jupiter and Neptune is bisected by a conjunction of Mercury and Saturn (and the Part of Fortune), and no doubt symbolizes, on the one hand, Einstein's capacity for the kind of painstaking, cautious work required during his fruitless search for a unified field theory. On the other hand, it may also refer to his essential conservatism, expressed both in his staunch resistance to accepting the cosmological implications of quantum mechanics, and in his speaking out against the use of atomic power after World War II.

The Semi-Sextile

Next after the semi-quintile comes the semi-sextile or 30° aspect the span of one zodiacal sign and thus the basic step in the involutionary/devolutionary series of aspects. The semi-sextile in the evolutionary series is, on the other hand, practically the last of these aspects. It is produced by inscribing a dodecagon (or twelve-sided figure) in the circle of wholeness. This operation, according to the Pythagoreans, was the key to the perfection of cosmic order.

The twelve-pointed star within the circle can be interpreted as the product of interlacing two hexagons (six-sided figures), three squares or four triangles. It has thus a threefold foundation in terms of vision and meaning (trine), concrete structure (square), and organizational activity (sextile). It is all these things brought to the level of everyday activity in all organisms. It is vision, meaning and purpose (3), expressed functionally and concretely through structures of all types (4). It is structure (4) discovering its functional meaning (3) in terms of experience. It is organization and management (6) all the way down the line to the foreman of the factory-the delegate of the top managers in the very midst of the workers, the 'materials' to be organized (2). In short, the semi-sextile can be said to refer to actual functional activity and to the everyday experience of the person who has to prove in terms of practical results all he or she envisioned, knew, built and organized.

The Smaller Angular Values

If we now try to understand the meaning of lesser angular values in the evolutionary series - aspects smaller than the semi-sextile - we should come to the conclusion that they refer to disintegrative or catabolic processes. We have already mentioned the semi-octile (or semi-semi-square, 22&1/2°) as referring to the vulgarization of an idea having been made a concrete structure for everyday common use that is, to the process following which a spirit-conditioned value, by indiscriminate common use, becomes materialized and abused. One could find similar meanings for other small angular values-for example, the semi-semi-sextile (15°), as referring to the automatism of habit and a consequent loss of meaning and value. On the other hand, although the series for all practical purposes ends with the semi-sextile, semi-octile or semi-semi-sextile, it can, theoretically be continued ad infinitum, the angular values always decreasing and approaching 0° but never actually reaching it. In terms of the old cycle, the next conjunction implies the final act of death, a release of the life-principle from a worn-out organism which is no longer useful. In this case, the end of the life-cycle corresponding to the very small aspects of the evolutionary series (18°, 15°, 10°, etc.) is not actually a preparation for rebirth, but the final phases of a disintegrative process.

On the other hand, increasingly smaller angular values can represent preparation for a new birth in individualized consciousness, especially if the ending cycle has been at least relatively successful. The smaller the aspect, the greater the number of sides have the inscribed polygons to which they correspond. The larger this number, the more closely the inscribed polygon comes to being a circle. The difference in area between an equilateral triangle or square and the circle within which they are inscribed is quite considerable. This difference decreases as the inscribed figure gains sides. It is very small if we think of a polygon with 360 sides, each representing a 1° angle.

No polygon, however numerous its sides, will ever equal the circle in area. But the circle is the mystic ideal, the ultimate goal rather than the present reality. A mysterious 'something' is needed for this goal to be realized in actuality, for the many-sided polygon (the end of the cycle) to become the whole circle (time fulfilled, eternity, personal immortality). This something is the gift of the Initiator, the God-spark, at the true Initiation. It is the gift of immortality, of identification with the eternal, thanks to which the end of a cycle becomes the conscious rebeginning of the next.

In the new cycle, the process of involution and progressive differentiation begins again. It does so on the basis of the success or relative failure of the preceeding evolutionary process. If this process has been at least somewhat successful, we see its continuation astrologically when we superimpose the geometrically-based, opposition - or awareness - rooted aspects of the evolutionary series on the addition based, conjunction - rooted aspects of the involutionary series. Figure 3-5 illustrates this superimposition.

In human terms, we can say that once a person's consciousness can resonate to and operate at the level represented by, say Number or vibration Five, the person can actualize a quintile-type of creativity in a new involutionary process stressing spontaneous activity. Such a 'waxing' quintile follows the sex tile in Phase 3 of the first hemicycle, and the type of creativity it symbolizes arises from and depends upon practical organizational abilities and the capacity to draw on and synthesize material from a number of sources. The waxing bi-quintile another point on the five-pointed star - falls in Phase 5 of the first hemicycle. It follows the waxing trine and sesquiquadrate, referring to a type of potential creative expression built upon idealistic vision and the capacity to persevere and be willing to stay with a problem or situation until a way of working it through can be found. The semi-quintile or decile occurs near the beginning of Phase 2, after the semi-sextile. It refers to an instinctive, perhaps automatic application of an old technique, carried forward or inherited from the previous, now-ending cycle, which may nevertheless prove valuable in focusing the new direction stabilizing during Phase 2.

Similar reasoning can shed light on the meaning of other evolutionary aspects in the 'waxing' hemicycle. The first aspect of the septile series (51&3/7°) falls after the semi-square and before the sextile, indicating the necessity to eliminate or neutralize whatever was left out of the resolution between the 'ghosts' of the past and potentialities of the future met at the semi-square before a new organizational capacity is allowed to operate. The second septile-based aspect (biseptile, 102&6/7°) follows the waxing square, also symbolizing a similar necessity in relation to the 'de-cision' made at the square. A tri-septile (154&2/7°) falls between the quincunx and an aspect of the novile series (quad-novile, 160°) near the beginning of Phase 6. It deals with the need to eliminate the leftovers from the process of adjustment and refinement begun at the waxing quincunx, and its 'fate-ordained' action can be a prelude to inner rebirth (novile) preceeding the cycle's outward culmination (opposition).

The novile series, too, interacts with involutionary aspects in a similar way. A novile follows the semi-sextile and semi-quintile or decile, and precedes the semi-square of Phase 2. The bi-novile comes between the quintile of Phase 3 and the square beginning Phase 4. The waxing tri-novile coincides with the waxing trine beginning Phase 5. And, as we have already seen, the quad-novile follows the tri-septile in Phase 6 and immediately precedes the new opposition beginning Phase 7 and, potentially, a new evolutionary process.

As there are always cycles within cycles within cycles-cycles so encompassing that what we human beings consider large processes are but sub-cycles within them - there are always new beginnings, potentially at least, at ever higher, more inclusive levels of activity and consciousness. A closed circle is not a fact of ever-surging life. It presupposes objectivity, the power to contemplate, as it were from above, a completed cycle - the power of Man to remember and give meaning to his experiences. The first condition of readiness to move to ever more inclusive levels is to envision the process as a possibility, for no one can ever consciously reach what has not been previously visualized as a possibility.


Astrological Aspects