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Cycles of Becoming: Introduction

 

 

Portrait of Alexander Ruperti 
(click to view image source)

Alexander Ruperti 

During the last fifty years, and especially since Einstein proposed that “everything is related to everything else in a space-time continuum,” the reality of time values has taken on an increasing importance in our explanations of reality. This means that, for the physical sciences, the reality of time values has become a fourth dimension added to the three dimensions of space in terms of which one seeks to explain the universe. For the scientist, therefore, time is still a part of an explanation of reality based on space values and an extension of them. “Space values,” when related to a human being, are those values which determine their place in the universe: first of all as a member of the human species, then of a particular race and physiological type. A human being, interpreted in terms of “space” values, has no individual characteristics; he is simply a member of a certain collectivity or group and is judged in terms of characteristics which are found predominant within that collectivity or group. Traditional astrology also explained man in terms of such space values. A person born on a given date was not seen as an individual but as an expression of the human qualities related to the zodiacal Sign in which the Sun, Moon and planets were found on their birthday. Space-bound astrology evolves through an expansion of the variety of relationships that can be established between our knowledge of human nature and astrological symbols. The establishment of statistical probabilities in may fields is also an expression of spatial, i.e., relational values, in which one predicts the behaviour of the parts in terms of the whole which contains them. This statistical technique is used, for example, in Gallup polls, in establishment of insurance or life-annuity premiums, and in every case where the individual is judged solely in terms of the overall behavior of the group to which they belong physically, socially, economically, and so on. As Bertrand Russell says (The Analysis of Matter, page 191): “Statistics, ideally, are accurate laws about large groups; they differ from other laws only in being about groups, not about individuals.” The time element in life is understood differently by the scientist, the philosopher and the psychologist. For the scientist, time has no creative meaning; it is mathematical and linear - past, present and future. But a philosopher like Bergson (Creative Evolution) understood time as “duration” and showed that our experience of time is subjective - a minute may seem like an hour or an hour like a minute, according to the nature of our experience at the time. And the psychologist Jung , when speaking of his “synchronicity principle,” attributed a particular quality to each moment of time. If we apply the time concepts of Bergson and Jung to a person’s life we can postulate that the moment of their birth can reveal much concerning the individual qualities they may be able to display during their life-span. Their heredity and environment will establish the “space” values through which they must manifest their individual “time” values. Astrologically, the birth-chart thus becomes the space-time structure which can reveal how and at what rhythm the individual potential contained in the birth-moment can become a spatial reality. A further distinction between the scientists’ understanding of time and that which progressive thinkers are trying to reinstate can be seen in the different ways in which one can explain evolution. For the scientists, evolution proceeds in a straight line, from the amoeba to man, whereas before the scientific era, the notion of cycle and of cyclic process predominated. We have to thank the Church for the unfortunate repudiation, for theological reasons, of the concept of a cyclic progression in evolution, at the council of Constantinople in the Fifth century A.D. Since the concept of cycle has been deemed heretical since that date, it is not surprising that leaders of academic thought have difficulty in accepting its importance today. However, biologists have been obliged to accept the fact that many phenomenon in the lives of animals, birds, sea creatures and plants recur in cycles. Studies in physiology reveal cyclic patterns in the functioning of the organs and the body systems, and research into human behaviour and development reveals set ages for the appearance of specific life crisis, both physical and psychological, common to all men and women. Even our economic growth is governed by the cyclic ups and downs of the stock market. Whereas occult traditions and what today is called the “humanistic” approach to astrology define a cycle as a structured sequence of phases in the development of some life process, most people think of a cycle simply as a repetitive eternal return to a same starting-point. If a cycle is reduced to a closed circle of repetitive events, it cannot have the creative, evolutionary meaning it possesses when understood to be the expression of a creative process. And yet, as a matter of fact, both interpretations of a cycle are correct. The structure of a cycle in time, i.e., its duration, repeats itself. A day repeats itself every twenty four hours; the lunation cycle, on which the month is based, repeats itself each New Moon; the year cycle repeats itself every twelve months. But those who limit their understanding of the significance of a cycle to such repetitive sequence of time values - days, months or years - forget that what happens during a given day, month or year, does not repeat itself exactly. The way we act and the meaning we find in a particular experience during a given cycle represent the creative, individual element; the nature of the cycle and the cycle’s phase which corresponds to the experience enable one to understand better the significance of what does and experience at the time. All our life activities are structured by the day, month and year cycles, but we forget that these cycles are founded on astronomical data used by astrologers since very ancient times. The great stumbling-block to the acceptance of the astrologer’s’ use of astronomical cycles to interpret what is happening on earth and in human nature is the fact that astrology uses the planet’s cycles as well as the day, month and year cycles. Scientists cannot understand how it is possible to relate planets to events in human lives because, for them, the planetary “cause” and the “human event effect” do not belong to the same order of phenomenon. They have left man out of the universe they study; they do not seek to give a human meaning to what they find by their measurements. They want to be “objective” so they detach themselves from the object of their study and come to believe that what they find in the universe is outside of them, an expression of absolutely valid and true “laws” beyond the human equation. They have forgotten that they are human beings and that therefore, whatever the source of their knowledge of the universe, this scientific knowledge was and will remain human knowledge. They do not seem to realize the degree to which their mental conditioning limits their methods of investigation; the answers they find - and have found - may be “true” in terms of and within the limits of the point of view they adopt, but they are certainly not “true” explanations of total reality because the scientific method is built upon the systematic exclusion of all that the method cannot cope with. So, if scientists are incapable of finding any connection between the solar system and both inner and outer events in a human life, this does not mean that there is no connection, but simply that the connection is of an order other than that which the scientific method can establish. Astrologers study the sky because it gives them an experience of universal order. They do not seek to detach themselves from the universe and its rhythms as the scientists do, but rather identify themselves with these rhythms. Ancient astrologers explained the relationship of Man to the universe in terms of the law of correspondences “as above, so below”; the medieval alchemist-astrologers explained the statement “man is made in the image of God” as meaning that the structural patterns of the manifested universe are expressions of an all-inclusive harmonic order operating within galaxies, solar systems, men and atoms alike. Thus, for the astrologer both the celestial bodies in our solar system and human nature follow the same law and rhythm of development; in order to live a spiritually significant life, therefore, human beings should try to live in harmony with the laws which govern the universe and the planets. Planets and human beings should be synchronous in their manifestation of the power and purpose of the whole universe. Because a human being is a constellation of the same powers that form the planets in the sky, we should try to live our lives according to the rhythmical cycle movement or the planets which,taken together, symbolize the basic functions of the total human being. But since these basic functions are common to all human beings, if we would individualize ourselves, we must use these common human functions, qualities and capacities in an individualized manner.

 

The astrological thesis is that the planetary picture found in our birth-charts, related to the particular moment and place or our birth, will enable us to get a perspective on the particular manner in which we should use these human functions in order to grow in an individually meaningful a significant way. The rhythm and the time-table of this potential development will be keyed to the rhythm of the planetary cycles from the birth moment onwards. This book is an attempt to help the reader to understand the significance of these cycles, so that he or she may live consciously according to this cyclic rhythm on the path toward personal maturity. These cycles will not reveal concrete events; there is not determinism involved; but their phases will reveal the types of experiences which should attract our conscious attention if we would get the maximum out of our lives. They enable us to under- stand better the meaning of what happens at any moment in relation to the overall purpose of our life. Today, many people have lost a sense order and the feeling that there is meaning and value in their lives. The psychologist Victor Frankl in his book Mans’s Search for Meaning: has shown that such a sense of order and meaning is more vital to both children and adults than food or clothing. Many people are haunted by the experience of their inner emptiness, of a void within themselves, caught in that situation which Frankl calls “the existential vacuum.” So it is important that something be done to restore this sense of meaning if we would curb the alarming growth of neurosis, frustration and boredom. Modern science is incapable of doing this since its methods are not adapted to our individual differences. But astrology, rightly understood and applied, is a sort of “counter-science” which can meet the demand for an objective under- standing of both the cycles of human experience and of the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment. In this way even tragedy, when seen as a phase within an overall pattern of growth, may be understood as a temporary crisis which can lead to self-transcendence and a more meaningful life. It is probably for this reason that astrology has today become more popular than ever, in spite of academic scorn and even occasional persecution. As a final word of introduction, I would like to state that there is nothing fated or predetermined in the suggested meanings that I have given to the to the phases of various planetary cycles. The reader is at all times free to make a choice between accepting or rejecting them, to fulfill the potentiality of else to forfeit it. But he or she must take the entire responsibility for the results of the choice; astrology is not responsible for them. I have presented the interpretations from the point of view which considers that men and women are beings whose main concern is trying to fulfill a meaning or purpose in life and to actualize values rather than to adapt happily and successfully to what our modern chaotic society and environment offers. A life without tension would be a meaningless life, a loss of self in boredom and emptiness. It is much more important to concentrate one’s energies toward the struggle to attain what one considers a worthwhile goal and to time one’s efforts according to the phases of the planetary cycles, so that one may do what life asks of them at the right moment however difficult it may be. As Frankl wrote in Mans’s Search for Meaning: “As each situation in life represents a challenge to, and presents a problem for one to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, one should not ask what the meaning of their life is, but rather must recognize that it is they who are asked. In a word, each individual is questioned by life; to life they can respond by being responsible . . . responsibleness is the very essence of human existence. So one should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has their own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein they cannot be re- placed, nor can their life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is their specific opportunity to implement it.” One can hardly present more clearly the spirit in which the reader is asked to approach the material presented in this book. I can only hope that what I say in the following pages may help each person toward a more meaningful use of his or her potentials - and of astrology, if so inclined.

 

 

Cycles of Becoming

 

 

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