After the publication in 1946 of the first version of the book now know in its expanded form as The Lunation Cycle, I had intended to write a book on astrological aspects. I had already outlined the sequence of the chapters when Marc Jones, who was then editor of the books on astrology published by McKay in Philadelphia, advise me that the publisher had decided to stop dealing with occultism and astrology and was disposing of his stock on hand. As, at that time, I could not find any American or English publisher interested in my writings, I gave up the project I had in mind. I nevertheless wrote series of articles dealing with aspects in a couple of astrological magazines.
Recently, having filed and indexed most of the many articles I had written since 1933 - when I began to write for Paul Clancy's new magazine American Astrology - Leyla mentioned to me some of these old articles on aspects. As she herself had successfully developed in a class she had just given in San Francisco, an approach to the subject which I had only barely suggested, she thought that her teachings, which had aroused a warm response in her students, could be significantly combined with my old articles, and this might produce a valuable book for people eager to have a practical basis for the interpretation of interplanetary aspects.
I have always taken the approach that no aspect between two celestial bodies moving at different speeds - as they all do - could be truly understood unless it was considered a particular phase of the cyclic process established by the successive conjunctions of the two bodies. The prototype of such cycles of relationship is the lunation cycle extending from new moon to new moon; but any two planets considered as a pair produce such a cycle. The actual meaning of the cyclic series of aspects, from conjunction to conjunction, depends on the character of the two related planets, but the basic pattern of all such cycles has the same abstract, or rather 'archetypal', character. If we understand the archetypal pattern of the cycle - that is, of any cycle of relationship between two interacting entities - we have in mind an instrument of universal validity. It can be applied at any level of existence of consciousness. It provides a remarkably useful tool for the understanding of the life-processes whose development is the warp and woof of all series of events.. We may think these events unrelated, as mere happenings, yet they are in fact outer symptoms of the manner in which a cyclic series of phases unfolds within a process that has a definite beginning, culmination and end. Any phase of that process can significantly be referred to the original impulse that started the process. It can also be understood in the light of the manner in which the process culminates, and of the way in which it is drawn to an inevitable end, out of which a new beginning may once more occur.
What I have just outlined in an abstract way will be found expressed in a multiplicity of concrete details in this book. By far the major portion of it has been actually written by Leyla who inspired the particular sequence of developments in a few chapters. My main contributions have been the chapters on the less familiar aspects and rectangular and triangular configurations in horoscopes, though evidently the basic approach is always in line with the type of astrological thinking I have used during the last 45 or more years. This is assuredly not the only legitimate of thinking astrologically; and the strictly empirical and event-oriented approach remains valid for those who can operate in terms of external occurrences and/or neatly classified psychological characteristics and types. But today, especially among the searching and restless youth wary of fashionable solutions and especially of traditional recipes, the demand for a deeper kind of understanding is still constantly increasing in intensity.
I feel that this book will fill an important place in the spectrum of astrological thinking and its study should amply repay the reader. Leyla has given much time and has, I believe, carefully and effectively nurtured its development, which is consistent and thorough. I trust it will be read in the same attitude of concentrated attention and openness to ever expanding mental vistas.
Leyla and I wish to thank our friend and assistant, Sandra Maiti, for going over the manuscript and offering valuable editorial suggestions. The example birth-charts found in Appendix I have been calculated with Campanus house cusps, and we also thank Nicki Michaels for assuring their accuracy by calculating them on her computer. We also extend our thanks to Tony Milner who has artfully calligraphed these example horoscopes.
March 23, 1979