The study of the higher "Moons" and of the "functions of linkage" which they symbolize has prepared us for further considerations along the same line of thought. In this chapter we shall reinterpret traditional astrological elements which are known as "nodes" and "parts." The former have been used for ages in India, especially in reference to the Moon. The latter seem to have been the special feature of Arabian astrology. Both these factors serve to establish points of relationship between the planets and the Earth. They refer to the operation of personality as a unified whole and as a unit in the infinitely complex interweavings of social relationship.
The nodes of a planet are two opposite points where the plane of the orbit of the planet intersects the ecliptic. As the ecliptic is not only the apparent path described by the Sun on the celestial sphere (i.e., among the constellations), but "a plane through the center of the Sun through which the average orbit of the Earth lies," it follows that the planetary nodes represent the points where the line of intersection of the plane of a planet's orbit and the plane of the Earth's orbit meet the celestial sphere (i.e., the "dome of the skies"). The Sun is naturally at the midpoint of this line of intersection.
What is involved, therefore, in the idea of nodes is a type of relationship existing between the planes of the planetary orbits and the plane of the Earth's orbit. The sizes of the various angles of inclinations of the planets' orbits to the ecliptic might be taken as representations of these orbital relationships; but this would give us only numerical values as symbols — which could fit into a system of astro-numerical symbolism, but not into astrology; for all measurements of astrological relationship must always be referred to the factor of zodiacal position. The line of planetary nodes ends in two points on the celestial sphere which have zodiacal longitude; thus these points are taken as symbols of the relationship between the orbits of planet and Earth.
The reason why the orbits of planets are considered important is that, with the orbit, we are dealing with values of motion. The plane of an orbit is the plane of periodical motion. And, as we saw already, all true astrological factors can be abstracted into factors of motion. Astrology is an algebra using cyclic motions as its symbols. (Cf. the chapter: "A Key to Astrological Symbolism") Thus the planes of orbital motions can indeed be considered as significant, the significance being revealed to us by the zodiacal position of their line of intersection.
The orbit of a planet represents the total cycle of dynamic activity of this planet in relation to the Sun. The Sun stands there as the integrator of the whole system, that which holds it together and represents its ultimate total significance. The planet, of itself, symbolizes a particular and to some extent independent mode of life-activity. But its orbit is a representation of this characteristic activity, not as a thing in itself, but rather in relation to the Sun. The orbit signifies therefore the integrative aspect of the planetary activity, viz., this activity as it operates definitely within the organic whole and for the fulfillment of the central aim of integration of personality.
What the relationship of the planet's orbit to the Earth's orbit will indicate is the part which the life-activity represented by the planet occupies, at any time, in the scheme of development of Earth-born mankind. If Uranus symbolizes the regenerative force which tends to bring to humanity as a whole universal images that will supersede the Saturnian stereotyped formula of separative egoism, then the nodes of Uranus will tell us the manner in which this regenerative force is operating at present. The indication given will be broad, and it covers a large span of years or centuries, for the planetary nodes move very slowly along the zodiac, seemingly with alternately direct and retrograde motion. At present, Uranus' line of nodes extends from Gemini 13°40' to Sagittarius 13°40'; and what it thus stresses is the fact that the regenerative force of Uranus is operating, and has been operating for centuries, through the mind of man.
A closer analysis of the nodes' meaning will attribute opposite and complementary significances to the two terminals of the lines of nodes, the North Node and the South Node. This nodal dualism is logical, for every type of life-activity in relation to the center of integration of the organic system may take on a positive or a negative value. Integration and disintegration go ever hand in hand. Every life-element can operate as a destructive or as a constructive agency, such being the universal law of life.
The North Node is the positive pole of integration; the South Node the negative pole where disintegration of some sort (it may not be "evil," however) takes place. The former is a point of ingestion and assimilation; the latter, a point of release and evacuation. We shall study this polarization of life-activities in greater detail when we shall consider the Moon's nodes. In the meantime these brief remarks will suffice to indicate the general opposition of meanings manifest in the two nodes.
If, therefore, we refer again to the present position of Uranus' nodes, we shall see that its North Node, being in the fourteenth degree of Gemini, signifies that positive regeneration comes to mankind at present by the use of the concrete intellect, and through the establishment of spatial connections — which are two of the essential characteristics of Gemini; also that there is an integrative Uranian emphasis on the development of the nervous system, of postal communications, etc.
On the other hand, the Sagittarian qualities of religious idealism, of obedience to authority, etc. — even of metaphysical abstractedness — are seen as negative from the point of view of the planetary Uranus action. They constitute the "line of least resistance;" they result largely from past habits of integration, and thus constitute most often "mechanisms of escape," from the psychological standpoint. Nevertheless powerfully creative and Uranian releases may come along Sagittarian lines through individuals who act as the culmination of traditional impulses to activity, as the "last word" in a realm of achievement which, having been thoroughly developed for millennia, may have nothing compellingly vital to offer — yet is able to produce absolute formal perfection.
The symbol for the present degree position of Uranus' North Node is: "Two people, widely separated, are communicating telepathically."(1) This is most significant, if we are to believe the statement often repeated in Alice Bailey's books that the development of the telepathic faculty is the most important task now confronting the spiritual pioneers of the race. On the other hand, Uranus' South Node is on a degree symbolized by: "The Sphynx and the Pyramids are glorious vestiges of the past" — which emphasizes the fact that now all the glorious past of mankind is being synthesized, recorded, brought to a culmination through many types of human activities — from archaeology to occult metaphysics. Yet this suggests also that dependence upon these past glories, national or religious, is most often the result of shrinking from the task of the future, and is a form of escape based on fear.
The following table gives the zodiacal positions of the planets' nodes for 1935. The yearly variation is in every case less than a minute.
North Nodes South Nodes
Mercury Taurus 17° 33' Scorpio 17° 33'
Mars " 19° 3' " 19° 3'
Uranus Gemini 13° 40' Sagittarius 13° 40'
Venus " 16° 5' " 16° 5'
Jupiter Cancer 9° 47 ' Capricorn 9° 47'
Pluto " 19° 25' " 19° 25'
Saturn " 23° 5' " 23° 5'
Neptune Leo 11° 3' Aquarius 11° 3'
The way the nodes are distributed in the zodiac at present is most interesting, for they cover an area of less than 90 degrees North or South — in fact 84 degrees, which recalls the Uranus cycle and that of the "building of the Temple." It is especially interesting to see that the summer solstice is at present almost exactly at the center of the configuration. This solstice is the time of most intense solar manifestation (in Chinese philosophy, domination of the active principle Yang); while the winter solstice is the point of lowest solar vitality (domination of the passive principle Yin). The positions of the combined planetary nodes are thus correspondent with points of solar dynamism exactly analogical. This would tend to show that the integrative power of the solar system as a whole upon the Earth is at its apex now (or close to it); for the maximum of integrative activity of the planets is, as it were, synchronous with the maximum of activity of the Sun, the integrator. A study of the symbols of the degrees on which the planetary nodes are found, as outlined in our preceding example (Uranus), will be of deep interest to the student of contemporary planetary trends.
To the foregoing we must add that as planets, in their monthly or daily course, reach the degrees of the zodiac on which their nodes are located, a definite stressing of their positive or negative characteristics is apparent. When planets pass their North Node they operate positively, actively; while at their South Node point they are receptive and passive — that is, the quality or function they signify operates in a passive (yet strong) manner. In an individual chart, a planet situated over its North Node is very dominant psychologically; It’s effect is stirring up the consciousness, in the sense that all the integrating life-energy received by the native has a tendency to relate itself to the particular quality expressed by the planet. On the other hand, a planet situated over its South Node may refer to a definite type of psychological escape. The native may tend to evade the issue represented by the planet, or else to be passive and "let things happen" in the sphere of activity which the planet denotes.
A very definite result is also usually to be noticed (more definite probably in the more developed type of personality) when important planets in a chart are located on degrees which are the nodal points of other planets. The characteristics of the latter undertone as it were the activities of the former. The late King George V of England, for instance, had his Sun over Uranus' North Node. Undoubtedly his reign has been full of Uranian happenings. Franklin D. Roosevelt's chart is also characteristic in this respect. His Jupiter is on Mercury's North Node, and Uranus' North Node corresponds to his Mid-Heaven. Moreover his Sun is on Neptune's South Node. If Neptune represents the power of collectivities, Neptune's South Node would symbolize that power disintegrated and left to follow the line of least resistance. Roosevelt's Sun would then shine in the midst of such a condition, and add solar power to the Neptunian element. His own Neptune placed between Saturn and Jupiter (closer to the latter) is symbolically between, on one hand, darkness and Saturnian "rugged individualism" (to be regenerated, as it is in the eighth house), on the other, Jupiter and the power of expansion and circulation of energy.
An even stronger effect can be expected where the line of nodes of a planet coincides with the horizon or the meridian in a birthchart; or even with the line of the cusps of two opposite houses. In these cases the quality of the planet is strongly, yet subtly, influencing all the matters related to the two opposite (and complementary) houses.
The Moon's Nodes
While the Moon's nodes are also produced by the intersection of the lunar orbit and the ecliptic, and while, because of this basic fact, the significance of the line of nodes, and of the two nodes, follows the general principle already stated, nevertheless they differ from the planetary nodes in many ways. First of all they are purely geocentric, and not heliocentric — being the nodes of a satellite and not those of a fellow-planet of the Earth. The Moon's nodes are actually the points where the Moon, as a celestial body, is seen from the Earth, passing from a northern to a southern latitude, and vice versa. In other words, they are critical points in the relation of planet to satellite — as critical, let us say, as the equinoctial points on Earth, which — by analogy — might be called the "nodes of the Sun" (in relation to the celestial equator and not to the ecliptic) and which are definite moments of change in the relation Sun-to-Earth.
Other critical moments in the relation Moon-to-Earth are those which mark the Moon's entrance into and exit out of the realm of space figuratively bounded by the Earth's orbit; moments which correspond approximately to the last and first quarters of "the Moon. But these refer more particularly to the general subject of "aspects" between celestial bodies — a subject which we shall be able but barely to touch upon in this present work; or else to that of the "functions of linkage" integrating the activities of astrological factors inside and outside of the Earth's orbit — as mentioned in the preceding chapter.
As we study the Moon's nodes, we are considering a relationship established between the plane of the Moon's orbit and that of the Earth's orbit. The latter is centered around the Sun, like all planetary orbits. But the former is centered around the Earth. Thus the relation Moon-orbit to Earth-orbit translated in terms of the relation between these two orbits' centers becomes the relation Earth-to-Sun! But this is a new type of Earth-to-Sun relationship, one which refers to the innermost meaning of the possibility of adjustment between, on one hand, the Earth-centered ego and his will, on the other, the solar Self and His will.
What is seen therefore through the Moon's nodes is the relation between the "human" will and the "divine" will, between the conscious efforts at integrating an ego-centered personality and the super-conscious guidance or motivating urge which is working toward the realization of the total "cosmic" or divine Personality. The former is largely the result of the individual's conditioning by heredity and environment; the latter is the true factor of Destiny. By Destiny we mean the ordered plan by the actualization of which as perfect a personality can become a fact of life as was potentially contained in the seed-moment of the individual's birth — viz., in the "monad."
At the Moon's North Node we see Destiny at work; at the South Node, human will. The lines of nodes show us the directives of Destiny, the purpose of Destiny — and what is back of this purpose, in the past. More than anything else, it tells the "Why" of individual life. Why the particular ego was projected out of the ocean of universal Life — why we are born and what for. The line of nodes is a sort of "line of cleavage" which represents the first polarization of being. At one end of this line we see the past (South Node), at the other, the future; what the personality emerged from, what it is meant to accomplish; these things will not be determinable in terms of concrete events, but a general direction will be made clear — inasmuch as the line of nodes points at two houses in a chart and thus at two definite phases of selfhood. A positive and a negative pole of Destiny will be determined.
The way in which the individual will orient himself along this line of Destiny will largely determine whether his life will be a success or a failure; or, more correctly, whether his accomplishments can be tabulated as positive or negative ones. By negative accomplishments I mean those which really belong to the soul's past, which are either a repetition of things so learnt that they have become almost automatic, or the breaking down of psycho-mental crystallizations. Positive accomplishments, on the contrary, are things which constitute a constructive step forward, the birth of a new faculty.
This problem of orientation along lines of cleavage touches the very roots of astrological symbolism. We can never understand an astrological chart save on the basis of those diametrical relationships which link opposite houses, and, to a lesser extent, signs. The essential quadrature of a chart, the vertical and horizontal lines formed by horizon and meridian, is the key to all the deeper types of astrological interpretation; for here we deal with the most primordial process of cell-segmentation and multiplication. Every growth, every manifestation of life, takes place along certain axes; and while the conventional axes of space (North, South, East, West, Zenith, Nadir) form the structure of the development of individual selfhood, the nodal axes (or lines of nodes) give us the directional forces of Destiny.
This is true, above all, of the Moon nodes axis; but also, in a less obvious way, of all planetary nodes. Every planet represents a particular quality of the whole life-process, and thus a psychological function. The nodal axis of the planet stands for the main line of stress in the development of that quality. In more trivial terms, things will happen along that line — insofar as this quality is concerned. The characteristics of the two houses affected by this "line of stress" will indicate what departments of life, what phases of individual selfhood, will experience the strain.
The axis constituted by the Moon nodes deals most directly with the very process of individuation. Here we see at work the forces which try to integrate the particular "I" and the greater Self; the faculty of assimilating new substance of living and of rejecting the values which are no longer useful because they have been shorn of all that was of vital necessity for the individual personality. We may even go so far as to say that there we have a line of metabolic action, not unlike that tubular channel which stretches from mouth to anus. At the North Node life is being absorbed, the substance of experience is being ingested and reduced to assimilable material; at the South Node we assimilate the contents of life, automatically, effortlessly, and eliminate the refuse.
In this physiological illustration the Earth stands for the diaphragm. Above the diaphragm is the North Node realm, below, the South Node realm. The former represents the new foodstuffs and the active process of digestion; the latter the old food now digested and being assimilated, turned into automatic instinctual activity — plus the rejection of unassimilable residue. Marc Jones calls the Moon's nodes axis the "fate axis." But undoubtedly the digestive axis, including stomach, bowels, etc., is the "fate axis" of our body — a real fatality for most of us!
This illustration, however, is not altogether perfect. In a more general sense the North Node represents the point where a particular entity absorbs or receives the substance of life. It is the channel through which the power of integration (which is Life) enters the Earth and her inhabitants; for there the Moon becomes a vase into which this power is poured and from which it flows to all planets. The South Node is, on the contrary, the point where the Moon becomes the automatic distributor (and ejector) of the Earth-assimilated force that was once solar. At the South Node the Sun and the Moon are absolutely unrelated. The Moon scatters at the South Node, and focalizes at the North Node. Thus integration (at the North pole of the axis) and disintegration (at the South pole): or indrawing and distribution. Progress is made at the North Node through exertion. Habit is established at the South Node through automatism, based on repetition.
If we should lie along the nodal axis we would look into the future facing North, and accept the past facing South. The North Node deals, therefore, with the work to be done, the new accomplishment, the new faculty to be developed; and if we are willing to exert ourselves in that direction, from it we shall receive power in abundance. The South Node represents the work that has been done, the well-known accomplishment, the routine performance already gone through many times, perhaps — the easy way out. Thus the opposition between, on one hand, self-integration, individuation, effort, the line of greatest connection through exertion; and on the other, self-undoing, automatism, inertia, the line of least resistance.
The South Node is always in any chart a wonderful index of the line of least resistance, especially through its house-position. For what do we mean by the line of least resistance, if not that of easy performance? Ease, in turn, depends on prior repetition of similar performances, which repetition built as habit, or on instinct. What is easy to do is that which we, as reincarnating individual souls, or as the end-point of a long chain of hereditary transmission, have done before. It represents thus a past achievement. It indicates that an adequate and efficient instrumentality has been built in the past, that a faculty or tendency has been inherited at birth, for the acquirement of which we have not had to struggle consciously.
It must be clear that such an inherited gift or instinct is not evil, and therefore that the South Node in a chart does not have of itself an evil or destructive significance. If it has been called the point of "self-undoing" it is because we have so often a way of following the line of least resistance, that is of keeping to the thing already well known, to the performance in which we can display ourselves most advantageously. By so doing we refuse to progress, to move on to new achievements. We become slaves to our great natural gift. Instead of using this natural ability in terms of a new type of development, it "runs away with us " — and leads us to our own undoing. If we are controlled by our inborn abilities instead of controlling them, we miss the main purpose of our life.
If the North Node is a point of reception of spiritual power, the South Node is by no means a symbol of impotence. It is, however, a symbol of mal-adjustment to new conditions. It signifies inborn faculty, but usually we find that life to some extent forbids us the use of that faculty. It belongs to the past in some way, and unless we make it subservient to a new purpose and rather rigidly control it, it will hamper the correct growth of a new vital faculty, one which represents our next step.
On the other hand, when we consider the type of faculty characterized by the North Node's position, we find that life forces us in many ways constantly to develop it. Life calls for that power — and is willing to shower it upon us if we exert ourselves in this direction; if we open up a channel. Every effort made in that direction will be usually well repaid — unless we stick stubbornly all the while to the attitude represented by the South Node. We may do it unconsciously, if we take care not to do so consciously. If so, a psychological complex is bound to develop. The present will be hopelessly torn between past and future. Then impotence will be the result. And we shall experience the tragedy of "fate." The past will have to die before the future may live. And we shall find ourselves deprived of our inborn gift by some stroke of Destiny, because we had become identified with it, lost in it, "undone" by it. Thus truly our "self-undoing."(2)
One of the simplest examples we could give is that of the nodes in the fourth and tenth houses. Here we have an opposition between home and profession, private and public life. If the North Node is in the tenth, public life and the profession will be the channel to self-integration. The South Node in the fourth house will indicate that the native has a congenital pull toward the building of a home, and this may cause him to shrink from public life.
If he shrinks too much, his home life will turn destructive. It will disintegrate in his hands even though he runs back to it yearningly, hopelessly. If, on the contrary, he works intently on his professional ideal, he may be able to make of his home (in the largest sense of the term) and of his own concrete basis of selfhood the true foundation for his public life.
There is, however, another possible interpretation, according to which public activity and professional efforts are seen as generators of the energy which is then released into the sphere of the home or of the soul (fourth house) of the South Node. This second interpretation is the more positive or spiritual one. It explains for instance why a great genius like Wagner had the South Node in his tenth house. He released publicly through his creation the energy generated through his feelings and his home or inner life (fourth house).
The operation of the nodes is not always easy to detect by merely being acquainted with the native. Most of us hide carefully the fact that we are following the line of least resistance. We hide it mostly from ourselves. And the apparent ease with which we may perform certain types of actions may lead us to believe that we should keep on performing them. In some cases we should; but then the meaning we attribute to them would have to be different. Here, as in every case dealing with a spiritual appreciation of behavior, what counts is not the act itself, but the motive or will behind or within the act.
A study of the Moon's nodes helps us greatly to probe our own motives as well as those of others. For, confronted with many situations, we may put our actions and reactions to the acid test of nodal polarities. Did we follow in this situation the line of least resistance or the line of greatest integration? The nodes will tell us when we have the most chances of "fooling ourselves." Possibly even, in horary charts, we may be able to find quite accurately what is our true motivation in a particular instance. But the reading of horary charts in such a psychological way is a rare art indeed, which but a very few will ever be able to master.
The "Ascendants" of Planets
This often confusing subject, which introduces us to the still more general concept of "Parts," can be readily understood if we restate in a slightly different manner ideas often repeated in this book. We know that the Sun represents the individuating, integrating, vitalizing power, which makes man whole on every plane of being. As for the spatial cross formed by the line of horizon and the line Zenith-Nadir at birth, we saw that it constituted a symbolical framework for all operations of our individual being, within and through which human nature operates in a particular way which characterizes us as an individual being. This Cross represents, in other words, the exteriorization — in a structural, functional pattern — of that spiritual "quality" which is the supreme essence of man's individual selfhood. It defines the particular way in which the life-force of the Sun operates.
This is easily understood when once we realize that the zodiacal position of the Sun at the moment of the first breath represents the exact point of the Earth's orbit around the Sun where the native is born; whereas the Cross of the birth-chart determines the exact moment of the day at which the birth occurred; thus, the exact stage of the daily rotation of the Earth around its axis.
The Sun in a nativity represents the dynamic emanation of the essential quality of man's individual selfhood, because it is the motion of the Earth around the Sun, involving actual displacement in space, which, symbolically, generates such "essential qualities." Each of these "qualities" represents a particular aspect of life, a particular relationship between human nature and the source of all life in the solar system. The Earth's orbit (the zodiac) is the sum total of all such possible relationships, therefore of all the different types (or Rays) of human individualities.
But while the Earth moves about one degree on its orbit, it rotates around its axis, presenting successively all parts of its globe to the light of the Sun — in other words, vitalizing all parts of itself by bringing them to be fecundated by the significance of that particular Sun-Earth relationship. It will be seen thus that any point on the globe (unless too close to the poles) receives this fecundating impact from the Sun about 365 times in a year. This constitutes (with a slight discrepancy, the meaning of which will be discussed later) the spiritual reality of the degree as a division of the zodiac.
The point we wish to convey is that there are only 365 (or 360) basic types of individual selfhood on Earth, each the result of a particular and full relationship between the Earth and the Sun, symbolized by the zodiacal degree of the natal Sun. This full relationship is not instantaneous, because it requires, in order to be total, a complete rotation of the Earth around its axis. This rotation brings all parts of the Earth successively in direct contact with the Sun's emanation (at noon). The axial Cross in a birth-chart defines a particular phase of this motion which distributes the Sun's power through the whole being (psyche and body) of the native. In other words, it shows the hour and minute of the day at which birth occurred. Moreover, it determines the structure of this whole being; for what constitutes the particular individual being is the particular way in which this solar life-force is distributed through his entire organism. This "particular way" manifests as the structure of the organism.
The two axes of the chart — and especially the Ascendant, which symbolizes more precisely the "uniqueness" of the individual — determine thus the essential structure of body and psyche alike. Moreover, the relation Sun-to-Ascendant represents the relation of the vital, individuating force in man to the structural type of activity which characterizes his individual selfhood. This relation can be estimated not only by the position of the Sun in the houses, but also more precisely by the distance, measured in zodiacal longitude, between the Ascendant and the Sun. When this distance measures to especially significant values (as for instance the half, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth of the full 360 degrees of the circumference) astrology says that certain "aspects" are formed between the two factors considered — a matter which we shall discuss briefly in another chapter.
We can extend this principle of the relation Ascendant-to-Sun to other planets, because planets symbolize differentiated modes of life-activity. The planetary power is distributed by the axial rotation of the Earth to its entire surface, just as is the solar life-force. The house-position of the planets has reference to the manner in which this distribution is effected. But if we wish to know more precisely and significantly the unique character of this distribution as a factor of the native's individual selfhood, we shall have to determine points which bear to the planet under consideration the same relation as the Ascendant bears to the Sun. In other words, we shall have to determine, by analogical inference or by a sort of symbolization of the "second degree," the "Ascendants of the planets."
What this procedure leads to, when generalized, we shall see presently, but for the time being we shall take it for granted and see how it operates in the most important case: that of the Moon. Our aim will be to define the manner in which the Moon-power is distributed through the organism. In order to do that we shall then erect a symbolical "Cross," which will be in relation to the Moon's zodiacal place as the cross formed by horizon and meridian is in relation to the Sun. Especially, we shall calculate the point of the zodiac which stands in the relation to the Moon as the Ascendant is to the Sun. We may refer to such an abstract point as the "Ascendant of the Moon." This point has been used for a long time in astrology under the name Pars Fortuna: the Part of Fortune. It is found by adding the longitudes of Ascendant and Moon, and subtracting from the sum the longitude of the Sun.
If the Ascendant represents the characteristic activity of the individual selfhood, the Part of Fortune will thus symbolize the characteristic activity of the ordinary egocentric personality largely conditioned by feeling-reactions and "lunar" moods. In the "Sabian System," "the Part of Fortune indicates in any chart that department of life in which or through which the native either expresses himself to the best advantage, or is forced by life as a whole to express himself."(3) To the term "native" we would merely add, "as a conscious ego." The Part of Fortune represents a man's congenital activity, as a merely conscious ego — and discounting all his deeper intuitions and unconscious or super-conscious motives. It deals with his strictly personal reaction to life, the spontaneous reactions of the conscious personality which he has built, or which life has forced upon him.
In medieval astrology the Part of Fortune was said to represent the native's "wealth." According to E. Parker, where the Part is found, in such a department of life will the native find his happiness; this especially in terms of house position. The three interpretations are quite definitely related. For man is happy in functioning according to his spontaneous personal reactions, and both happiness and spontaneity of personal reactions are usually much involved in money, or at least in social cooperation and credit (of which money is the symbol).
The value of the Part of Fortune will become very clear for instance to anyone who has observed individuals having it in conjunction with Jupiter or with Saturn. Here you have two types of basic conscious reactions to life: optimism and pessimism — modified as they may be by other factors. Here also you have on one hand a tendency to get credit and social cooperation for any personal venture; on the other, a tendency for the native to be thrown back upon himself constantly, as if a foreigner in a strange land, whose natural conscious reactions to life are perhaps unfamiliar and bewildering to the collectivity in which he lives.
The same procedure, described in reference to the Moon, can be followed in reference to all planets. The "Ascendants" of all planets are significant and worth studying in a refined type of astrological analysis. One of the most valuable, practically speaking, is the "Ascendant" of Uranus, to which we have given the name "Part of Imaging." It indicates how the image-projecting power of the unconscious operates within the individual's being and Destiny. It symbolizes the creative genius of the individual, its mode of contact with the deepest sources of his being, and his reactions to such a contact. The Moon's "Ascendant" reveals conscious reactions to outer situations conditioned by heredity and environment. Uranus' "Ascendant" characterizes unconscious, creative reactions to situations affecting the entire field of consciousness.
The General Theory of Astrological "Parts"
The "Ascendants" of the planets are determined by calculating the "arcs" (or differences of longitude) between the Sun and the planets, and by adding the value of these arcs to the longitude of the actual Ascendant. This procedure can be followed in the case of any two planets — or even of any two astrological points previously determined. As the result of such a procedure, if carried out to its limits, we can locate on the zodiac an almost infinite number of symbolic points. These are the "Parts," used so extensively by Arabian astrologers.
The procedure involves two factors: First the factor of distance between two planets, measured in terms of zodiacal longitude. Such a distance is considered as establishing a significant relationship between two planets, or any two astrologically valid points of reference. This is the factor on which all astrological "aspects" are founded. However, "aspects" are constituted by only a few significant values of distance determined by dividing the whole circumference by the use of simple denominators (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 mostly) — such as 180°, 120°, 90°, 72°, 60°, etc. Yet theoretically, any distance is significant, and this distance-factor is made even more significant if it is connected with the Ascendant.(4)
This is just what constitutes the reality of the Parts. A Part is the distance between two planets, referred for its significance to the Ascendant. The Ascendant is the point of individual awareness. Therefore a Part gives significance to the relationship between two particular modes of life-activity (planets), in terms of the individual's intuitive perception of life and Destiny. Thus the Part of Fortune shows how the relation between solar and lunar energies operates in determining the individual's attitude to himself and to his Destiny. The Part of Imaging indicates the manner in which the integrative (Sun) and regenerative-transforming (Uranus) factors of his being cooperate in enhancing the creative individuality, the uniqueness, of the native.
Put any other planet in place of the Sun, and the same principle will be working out. Special meanings are released when the two planets considered form a positive-negative pair: Saturn-Moon, Jupiter-Mercury, Mars-Venus. Others, where antagonistic life-activities are concerned; the most significant being the case of Jupiter and Saturn. Not only planets, but such astrological points as the "New Moon before birth," can be paired, and their distance related to the Ascendant, thus constituting Parts. Parts reveal meanings in terms of their house, first and foremost, and also their sign and degree position, in terms of their conjunctions with other planets. They are "sensitive points" in a chart. Only, so many of them are possible that their number detracts from their significance.
This number is increased tremendously by the fact that the distance between two planets can be related (added) not only to the Ascendant, but also to the Mid-Heaven, Descendant and Nadir (or Imum Coeli). Each of these four points represents a function of selfhood, and therefore is entitled to become a center of reference for combinations of planetary activities. And this is not all! When considering the distance between two points of the zodiacal circumference, one can obviously get two arcs of measurement. Supposing that we measure the distance in the direction in which the signs of the zodiac increase (counter-clockwise), then we can measure the distance from the Sun to the Moon; but just as well that from the Moon to the Sun. In the following illustration we count 25 degrees from Sun to Moon, and therefore 335 degrees from Moon to Sun. If we add these 335 degrees to the longitude of the Ascendant (or, which is the same, if we subtract 25 degrees from its longitude), we get a new Part of Fortune as far above the horizon as the original Part was below the horizon. And if we operate likewise with regard to the four angles, we find eight symbolic points created by the relationship Sun-Moon!
The astrology of Parts is indeed a kind of "group-algebra" working out nearly endless correlations and permutations between the original elements of the birth-formula. Its complexity makes it, of course, most unwieldy; yet there is no doubt that it represents the ultimate and most abstract type of astrological thought — that by means of which we come most closely to life itself and its multifarious network of relationships. Think for a moment of the myriads of nerve-tracts in a human body, each one establishing a path of linkage between cells of various kinds. Sensations, reactions, volitions, feelings, instincts, thoughts, all travel along this unbelievably complex web of life-threads. Personality is the result. And if we are to approximate with our tools for analysis the infinite variety of the connections to be analyzed, it is obvious that nothing short of the multitudes of Parts can do the work. The vistas open are vast almost beyond comprehension, for personality is ubiquitous. Astrology studies the personality of every minute of life, of every situation; of nations as well as of individuals. It is indeed the algebra of multiudinous and protean Life.
1. Cf. the following chapter for a study of the significance of Degree-symbols.
2. The South Node may also refer to what Jung calls the "persona," which is the result of the efforts made by the individual to integrate his behavior in terms of a social pattern, or of some "image" which at best satisfies only a part of his total being. The individual crystallizes his behavior in the shape of this "image" and thus assumes a part, which he maintains either by egocentric will-force or under the compulsion of social traditions, or social necessity. This "persona" is a false personality, because the total Destiny of the individual cannot operate in and through it.
3. Marc Jones' Professional Astrology, Lesson XII.
4. Marc Jones has used this factor of distance in a most original manner in a system of interpretation studied under the name "Pythagorean Astrology" which deals partly with the degree of completeness or approximation of the "aspects." Cf. Chapter on "Form and the Pattern of Planetary Aspects," (p. 317).
The Astrology of Personality