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THE DIAL OF HOUSES

Dane Rudhyar

At the beginning it may be well to try to clear up a point which has puzzled students of astrology. If we look at an ordinary birth-chart, at its simplest stage, we find a wheel divided by twelve spokes into twelve geometrically equal sections of 30 degrees of arc. Then we see that, on the circumference, where the spokes end, signs and degrees of the zodiac are written giving the longitude of these spokes i.e., their ecliptical or zodiacal position. The question is then: What is to be considered exactly as a house?

We said that the houses referred to the individual factor and yet every chart has these same twelve angular divisions, the same obvious framework. The astrologer may consider the question as one of little meaning; but it has a philosophical aspect which deepens the significance of the term: "individual." Briefly stated, all human beings are as variations upon one theme, MAN. The generic structure of all human individuals is fundamentally the same. This is what is implied in the fact that, although the structure of houses is the symbol of individual selfhood, this structure is geometrically the same for all individuals. What brings a relative uniqueness to an individual is the way this twelve-fold framework is correlated to the zodiac. And this correlation is indicated by the degrees and signs of the zodiac written at the beginning (or cusp) of each house. The inclination of the Earth-axis on the plane of the Earth's orbit introduces greater variations according to the latitude of the birth-place. As a result, usually more or less than 30 degrees of the zodiac are inscribed within each house.

Even so, there are obviously a limited number of possibilities, and therefore every individual is not unique in his so-called individual house-characteristics. This again refers to the fact that there are a limited number of individual pattern-types. But the point is that every pattern-type operates as an individualizing factor. When we speak of "individual" we do not mean the "absolutely unique"; we refer to that which assumes the position and significance of uniqueness. There might conceivably be another entity exactly alike; but in the houses we shall still see that which, in each of these identical "uniques," forces upon them the consciousness and inner realization of their own, to them, unique "I am:" And this is what matters, psychologically.

 

The Significance of the Twelve Houses

Considering now the twelve-fold structure of the houses, we shall recall what was written in the last chapter as to the significance of the horizontal and vertical axes of the birth-chart horizon and meridian. What is below the horizontal axis is made invisible by the Earth. Whatever there is below the Earth must reach us through the Earth. It is the interior subjective realm. What is above, reaches us through the air. It is the outer, objective realm. If emanations there be, in the former case they reach us through the feet; in the latter, largely through the head (an occultly important fact). This explains why the zodiacal sign symbolizing the head, Aries, deals with the beginning of objectivity; whereas Pisces, symbolizing the feet, refers to subjective interior consciousness.

One can understand the genesis of the meanings of the houses in two ways. In the first, the whole wheel is considered as a static structure operating all at once. The two axes mentioned above represent the structure of space, of the particular space of the newborn entity. They form his cross of incarnation. He is universal Life quartered in Space and thus taking form as a particular being. Within and through this framework collective human nature operates in a particular way which characterizes man as an individual being. The two axes divide the chart into four quarters, traditionally called East-North, North-West, West-South, South-East quarters. These work out respectively the meaning of the Ascendant, the Imum Coeli (Nadir), Descendant and Mid-Heaven; because in astrology every division of space or time carries the significance of its point of origin. So the East-North quarter (first three houses) carries out the significance of the Ascendant, the South-East quarter that of the Mid-Heaven, etc. Each quarter is divided into three secondary "houses," for each operation of life is basically threefold, including action, reaction, and the result of both (either consciousness or disintegration) also, self, not-self and the relation-between. The cross of particular selfhood for man generates four basic modes of being, four fundamental operations in the process of living as an individual. These can be described (using C. G. Jung's nomenclature) as: Intuition, Feeling, Sensation, Thinking.

But one should more logically consider the houses as the dial of a watch, a mere projection in space of a set of pointers (or numerals) recording a periodical motion which occurs really in time. In this case we must imagine the line of horizon moving counterclockwise, as the hand of a clock. The cusps of the first and seventh houses represent the position of the horizon as it actually is at the time of the first breath. The line of the cusps of the second and eighth houses represents the position of the horizon two hours afterward; the line of the cusps of the third and ninth houses, the position of the horizon four hours afterward. Each house represents a two-hour interval. The house-cusps give the successive positions of the Ascendant (the Eastern half of the horizon) every two hours; just as one can see from the figures on a watch the points to which the small hand will point successively during a 12-hour period. The astrological "dial of houses" is a 24-hour dial with only one hand.

We shall see the significance of this conception presently as we come to study the 28-year cycle of unfoldment of the individual self. For the time being, it will be simpler to consider the houses as a segmentation of the space around the new-born child into twelve sections of 30 degrees generated by two fundamental axes, horizon and meridian. The emphasis in this case must be put upon these two axes. The cusps of the intermediary houses may be calculated in several ways, but with horizon and meridian we have two basic factors of individual being from which every other secondary element derives. The two axes represent then what can be named the space-quadrature the cross of individual existence.

The horizon is the line of awareness. It is so according to the most obvious logic of symbolical significance; for it differentiates the two most fundamental types of awareness. Above the horizon is everything that can be perceived by the senses; below the horizon is the realm of this interior awareness, which Jung rightly calls "intuition." Intuition is the faculty of awareness through which we perceive inner facts. Sensation is awareness of the not-self, of others. As the Ascendant is the seed-point of the lower hemisphere, it takes on necessarily the meaning of pure self-awareness; the Descendant, being the seed-point of the upper hemisphere, is the symbol of awareness of others. Thus intuition and sensation are seen as two complementary factors, related respectively to East and West.

One becomes aware of one's own existence as an "I" by an interior process which is intuition, whereas sensation is the result of an awareness of outer causes attributed to sense-impressions. A true sensation is not a mere impression, but is rather the result of the combination of a sense-impression and of our particular sense of self. A photographic plate receives impressions similar to those received by our retina; but the visual sensations which correspond to these impressions contain, besides the latter, our own particular capacity to react to stimuli. All sensations involve, therefore, a relationship between object and subject. Thus sensation is truly ascribable to the Descendant, which, traditionally, rules over matters of relationship, partnership, marriage, etc.

Through intuition we become aware of that which we essentially are. On the basis of that awareness "I am this and this" we begin to pass immediate judgments on those changes which we experience within our psyche. We feel for or against these changes spontaneously, instinctively. Thus a new mode of operation arises: feeling. Likewise from sensations and their correlations is born a new process: thinking. Thought is the result of sensation, just as feeling is the result of intuition. What was abstract as intuitive awareness becomes concrete as feeling. What was vague, fugitive, impermanent as sensation, becomes established, relatively permanent as thought. More than this, what was a mere matter of awareness becomes an actual concrete experience, having form and purpose thus significance. Feeling involves experience, and experience manifests either as feeling (if the basis of it is subjective) or as thought (if the basis of it is objective). To experience is not merely to receive an impression or be aware of something. It is to go out into the thing (or the self) and establish the significance thereof, through feeling or through thinking.

Thus we grasp the significance of the vertical axis, which refers to concrete experience. Horizontal awareness becomes focalized at the vertical points as concrete experience. The receptive becomes the active, as horizon becomes meridian. The horizontal axis referring to awareness is, to use Jung's term, the irrational axis; whereas the vertical axis relates to the rational operations of the self. Awareness, whether of self or of others, involves no rationalization. It is a direct fact of life. An impression is not rational of itself. It just is. Then we begin rationalizing it. If it is an inner experience we pass immediate judgment upon it at first by feeling. Feeling is not rational in the same way as thinking is; yet both have a value as judgments, on the basis of which we act subsequently as bestowers of significance. Thus we may call them rational because of the particular operation in consciousness which they involve. We must emphasize, however, the fact that these terms are used according to their strict psychological sense, and not as commonly used in everyday language.

If, then, we wish to interpret psychologically a birth-chart in which we find Scorpio ascending, Taurus descending, Leo in the Mid-Heaven and Aquarius at the Imum Coeli, we shall begin drawing our conclusions as follows: The intuition operates on a Scorpio basis. The native will "find himself" naturally, by using methods fitting the characteristics of Scorpio. These Scorpio characteristics will provide him with the best, because to him most natural, path toward a full awareness of what he essentially is. Through sex, through the use and control of life-energies, through a steady release of power, he will reach full self-awareness. The same type of reasoning would apply to the four angles.

The goal of Harmonic Astrology is to lead men to the fulfillment of their whole nature and being; fulfillment, correlation, integration and thus sublimation. What is necessary, then, is to enable the person whose chart is analyzed to do the things which, if his instinct had not been frustrated by family and society, he would have done in pure spontaneity. The sign (and degree) of the zodiac at the four angles indicate thus the natural path toward the fulfillment of the activity symbolized, the best way to function intuitively or through feelings or thoughts as the case may be. It represents what essentially is but in many cases what has been obliterated by social and intellectual living; thus it indicates how to go, underneath the superficial and acquired characteristics, to the basic qualities which are really our own.

The signs of the zodiac provide us with a set of twelve characteristic life-substances, or qualities of being, or attitudes to life, as we may wish to consider them. Where they appear in the framework of the selfhood of any particular person shows the qualities which are to be attributed congenitally to the various faculties and modes of activities of the person. They indicate, to use an Oriental term, the dharma of this person. The dharma of the fire is to burn, of the tiger to be ferocious, of a man born with an artistic nature it is to create, etc. Reading the angles of a chart is thus to read the total dharma of the native.

This will be supplemented by an interpretation of the signs on the cusps of the other houses. The "succedent" houses (second, fifth, eighth, eleventh) signify the reaction to the action expressed in the "angular" houses (first, fourth, seventh, tenth). This can refer to either a positive or a negative reaction. If the reaction is positive, what is signified in the "angular" house becomes consolidated and focalized by means of limitations and contrasts. If the first house means awareness of self, this awareness becomes consolidated by the limitations imposed upon it by past inheritance (physiological and psychical); or at a later stage, by possessions of all sorts. But if the reaction is negative, then this inheritance or these possessions stifle the awareness of self, weigh upon the intuition of the "spiritual" I with all the inertia of materialism.

Likewise, the fifth house may either consolidate the experiences and feelings represented by the fourth house, as for instance home (fourth house); or else, its contents may mean the loss of the fourth house matters, as pleasure and speculation may lead to the loss of the home. Too much pleasure and foolish self-assertion dulls the feelings; but teaching and art-expression enhance and focalize these feelings by forcing them to face and to give form to the materials involved (children or esthetic materials fifth house). The same line of thought applies to the interpretation of the eighth house (consolidation or loss of the power of relationship) and the eleventh house (consolidation or loss of professional and public life; friends or chimerical hopes which take one away from reality).

With the "cadent" houses we face either the result of the loss implied in the succedent houses or the workings and expression of the psychological mode of operation (angular) after it has been focalized (succedent). Thus the third house symbolizes matters dealing with the workings out of an integrated psycho-physiological inheritance. The substance of our body becomes really our own through the nervous system relating the abstract self to the racially inherited cells. These atavistic influences of the second house manifest in the third as brothers and sisters, or rather as our mode of relation to them. Every possible type of intimate connections (in one's own body, or one's family circle, or the area reached by small journeys) is here characterized. On the other hand, if the second house meant the loss of self in one's atavistic nature (or in acquired possessions, in the latter cycles of life), then the third means neuroses, family jealousy, envy and perhaps insanity.

In the sixth house we reap from others as service the consequences of a constructive fifth house, or else illness and the obligation to serve others follow our wastefulness and self-indulgence in matters of self-expression, home education, etc. In the ninth house the loss of sensations or the power of relationship (death, bankruptcy, etc.) forces us to take a "long journey" over the border . . . of our country or of this plane of existence. But if the house of relationship and marriage has proven positive, the new power we get from the consolidation of the opportunities accruing from human contacts enables us to extend our operations, whether through physical trips or mental expansion of consciousness. At the descendant we find the index of our power of sensation. Sensations focalized and consolidated through the power that flows upward through the spine (Scorpio Kundalini) become ultimately abstract thoughts and religious at-one-ment with universal ideas (Sagittarius ninth house).

The twelfth house signifies negatively the vanishing of our social ideals and our hopes self-questioning as to the meaning of life. The prison of our dreams and illusions keeps us confined until we emerge with a new vision, or are forced back unenlightened into a new cycle of bondage. Or else it signifies the closing chapter of a period well lived and the transition to a new birth at a higher level of selfhood whose foundations will have been our altruistic work for society and our friends, inspired as it was by noble and magnanimous ideals.

In order to make the foregoing more graphic the following diagram may be useful to the student, paralleling the conventional and the psychological-philosophical meanings of the houses:

 

DIAGRAM

HOUSE I

Traditional Interpretation

Bodily form; personal appearance and outlook on life.

Philosophical Interpretation

Awareness of self; subjective viewpoint. "The Sower." 

Form-principle. The particular destiny.

 

HOUSE II

Traditional Interpretation

Health; possessions; gain or loss. 

Philosophical Interpretation

The life-substance to be used by the self; the material to be redeemed. "The Soil." The heredity. The social substance disposable to work out the destiny (wealth, possession). The chemical substance of the body. Food. Metabolism.

 

HOUSE III

Traditional Interpretation

Brethren, neighbors, short journeys, 

Philosophical Interpretation

Relationship of personal self to physical substance, of Letters; lower mind. Sower to Soil: the Seed. The formative intellect synthesizing sense-impressions and bringing together individual destiny and social elements. The environment.

 

HOUSE IV

Traditional Interpretation

Home and the parents; the father; end of life. Affairs regarding land and estates. 

Philosophical Interpretation

Concretization of self; the Soul. Its base of operation. The father whose seed carries the astral pattern, the plan of the body.

 

HOUSE V

Traditional Interpretation

Offspring, children, artistic creations; speculation, amusements.

Philosophical Interpretation

Exteriorization of self. Creative and procreative  activity. Recreations.

 

HOUSE VI

Traditional Interpretation

Sickness. Servants and dependents. Private enemies.

Philosophical Interpretation

Conflicts resulting from exteriorization of self. Enmity of other personal selves, including the cells of one's own body. Sickness. Relation between master and slave, employer and employees.

 

HOUSE VII

Traditional Interpretation

Marriage and partnership. 

Philosophical Interpretation

The sense of human relationship on a basis of giving and taking. Interchange of vital energies and of ideas.

 

HOUSE VIII

Traditional Interpretation

Death and legacies. 

Philosophical Interpretation

Destruction of personal limitations as a result of human interchange. Enlargement of viewpoint. Regeneration and death. Practical occultism, also modern business based on contract and installment buying.

 

HOUSE IX

Traditional Interpretation

Religion, philosophy. Science, writings, distant travels.

Philosophical Interpretation

The abstract mind and the sense of relationship between  relations. Worldwide contacts; mental adjustment to racial ideas and collective needs.

 

HOUSE X

Traditional Interpretation

Honor, preferment, fame; public position; also the mother.

Philosophical Interpretation

Concretization of relationships. Base of operation in human  society. Business, state affairs. The mother in whom racial consciousness and the national Soul are concretized.

 

HOUSE XI

Traditional Interpretation

Friends; wishes and hopes. Flatterers.

Philosophical Interpretation

Exteriorization of social position. The circle of acquaintances  and friends. New ideals of human and social relationship. The Reformer's dreams and efforts.

 

HOUSE XII

Traditional Interpretation

Hidden enemies. Fate. Imprisonment. 

Philosophical Interpretation

Conflict with the inertial forces of society. The limiting power of the race's level of consciousness; and the rising above it by individual efforts of will occultly exerted. Karma, and the fatality of rebirth in a limited form of selfhood, either to neutralize failures, or in compassionate sacrifice. Forces which brought the self into incarnation. The overcoming of Karma. Liberation.

Such a charting of the meanings of the houses does not, however, exhaust the possibilities of significance. These possibilities are in fact infinite, just as the possibilities of applications of any complex algebraic formula are practically infinite. Every one who really understands the meaning of charting the twelve basic operations of selfhood will readily see that new sets of meanings will arise each time we consider a new level of selfhood. The wheel of houses is a universal formula. Wherever the polar oppositions of self and not-self, of awareness and experience, of abstract and concrete, apply there the wheel of houses can be used most efficiently in bringing a pattern of order to the apparent confusion of phenomena, whatever they be. Wherever any agglomeration of substantial elements can be considered as an organic entity, as a relatively closed circuit of life-energies, there the wheel of houses and its fourfold and twelve-fold differentiation of viewpoints apply. This is so because the fact that life-energies move in a closed circuit (metabolic action) makes of the collectivity of cells which these energies vitalize an organism. Every organism is, to some extent, an individual entity. Inasmuch as it is an individual entity, there will arise in it a certain type of awareness (of self and of other selves) and a certain type of concrete experience (subjective as feeling or instinct; objective as acquired groupings of sensations, or thoughts).

It is true that in all kingdoms below man there is very little awareness of self, if any; and very little sense of a particular formed ego as a basis for individual self-expression. In other words, the subjective, below-the-horizon realm of selfhood is not developed in the separate individual entity. But we may be willing to say that such a realm is developed in the vegetable or animal species as a whole constituting what Bergson calls the "Genius of the Species."

In man only, as far as we know, every specimen of the human species is, potentially at least, a complete individual. The "Genius of the Species," that is, the archetypal reality of MAN (what the Hindu calls the "Manu"), can become the center of the personality when the latter is duly "individuated." As it does so it becomes the living Christ, the God-within. In other words, a man ceases to be a creature of the Earth-surface an animal. He begins to live both above and below the horizon, objectively and subjectively. His own center becomes identified with the center of the Earth. He thus becomes a planetary being a microcosm.

The lower hemisphere of the birth-chart refers therefore to the potential formation and expression of the God-within. There, at the nadir point (the "Midnight Sun" of Masonry), man's conscious ego is born in the manger of the "feelings." Then, after having been regenerated by the trials involved in all human relationship and in social living, this ego eventually becomes more and more inclusive. The center of collective being, which is symbolized by the zenith and the noon-point, is assimilated by the individual ego! This in turn gives food for a deeper awareness of self and others. Ultimately the four "angles" of the chart become integrated at the center of the chart or in another sense in a third dimension, as the apex of a pyramid built upon these four "angles." The point of integration or individuation is what Jung calls: the Self.

In Rosicrucian symbology, the Self is the Rose that blooms at the center of the cross. It is also the fire that surges from the whirling center of the Swastika. It is the apex of the Egyptian pyramid which was a chamber of initiation.

 

The Unfolding of the Individual Self

From the foregoing it will be evident to the student of astrology that the wheel of houses is inherently to be interpreted in terms of becoming rather than of static being. It is a time-pattern; a pattern of unfoldment, recording essentially a process. And this process is the great psychological process of individuation: the alchemical "Great Work" the Biblical "building of the Temple." MAN the universal Archetype or "Manu" is crucified into the physiological entity (the perfected human animal) and after three days arises as the Christ the perfected human "Individual."

The symbolism of these "three days" is susceptible of an infinite number of applications just as is the symbolism of the "seven days" of creation. The latter refers to the building of the physiological entity; and in a larger sense to that of the planetary Being (thus the sevenfold division of the Great Polar Cycle). The former refers to the building of the human "individual," as a psycho-mental being. Astrologically speaking, we can use the wheel of houses to chart this building of the human individual. We shall see that each "day" is in reality a cycle of 28 years. Thus the entire process will last theoretically 84 years which is the cycle of revolution of Uranus around the sun, a significant fact which will take on added meaning as we study presently the Uranus-symbol.

The two processes (physiological and psycho-mental; or generic and individual) are closely related; and this is curiously apparent when one studies "kabbalistically" the number 7. If one adds all the digits that come up to this number (Kabbalistic addition process) one gets the number 28; for 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28. But if one carries the process to each number up to 7 we have as a sum-total the number 84. That is to say we get the following figuration:

1 which gives Kabbalistically   "   "   1

2 " " "                                     1 + 2 = 3

3 " " "                              1 + 2 + 3 = 6

4 " " "                     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10

5 " " "              1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15

6 " " "       1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 21

7 " " " 1 + 2+ 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 = 28

28                                                      84

The meaning of the "Kabbalistic addition" can be intuited perhaps from a geometrical illustration of the process, which has a particular significance in this case.

From this figure made up of 28 equal and tangent circles, it is clear that the number 28 reveals by such an analysis that it refers to three realms of being.

The outer realm is marked by the 18 outer circles; the middle realm, by the 9 middle circles; and the inner realm by the 1 central circle.

 

 

The only preceding number to give a symmetrical figure centered around one circle is the number 4; kabbalistically equal to 10. The number 10 refers to the cosmic; but number 28 is the number of triune Man: Man as spirit, soul and body. Spirit is 1; Soul is 4; Body is 7. The number of the perfected individual is therefore 28. But the fully worked out process of individuation requires that each component factor (or number) be also fully developed; and thus the duration of it is 84 years. By developing only the basic numbers (1, 4 and 7) we have a total of 39; that is, 1 + 10 + 28. At the age of 39 man reaches a condition of particular significance in his spiritual development the fortieth year being also the seed year of the decade 40 to 50, which is the fifth decade. MAN is also symbolized as a five-pointed star. The fifth section of the star is the head the organ of the creative. During this fifth decade a man finds his work of destiny. Indeed, in this sense, "life begins at forty"!(1) After this brief excursion into the realm of numerical or Kabbalistic symbolism, we return now to the astrological analysis of the 28-year cycle. Such a cycle, then, is one of the "days" of which Jesus spoke when he said: "Destroy this temple and I shall raise it again in three days." Each day represents, not a literal cycle of rotation of the Earth around its axis, but a cycle of rotation of man's individual self around its spiritual axis, its real "I am" overshadowed by the spiritual Pole Star the monad or "Father in Heaven" watching over every human being.

 

 

A Symbolic Interpretation of The Dial of Houses

This 28-year cycle can be plotted out on the birth-chart. In other words, the birth-chart is not only to be used as a space-pattern revealing the blue-print of the completed selfhood, but the time sequence of the operations of the building can be discovered also by starting from the Ascendant, the beginning of the building, and following along the circumference of the chart in counterclockwise motion. When the Ascendant is reached again the first cycle of twenty-eight years is closed, and the second begins, ending with the 56th year; the third 28th year cycle follows, coming to a close at the age of 84, which marks the theoretical and symbolical completion of man's inner temple. This is the end of the process of Individuation.

However, the temple may never be completed, and in almost every case at present is not completed. Just the same, whether fulfilled or not, the curve of unfolding is there as a potentiality. Together with the blueprints, the Great Architect (the God that dwells in the Pole Star, according to the Chinese) gives man a time-schedule of operation. The space structure is to be completed within a certain span of time, and the building operations are to proceed in a definite order; this part of the blueprint first, then that one, then the next, etc. The foundation, the first story and the second story including the great Dome covering all. Thus three periods: from physical birth to the age of twenty-eight; then from what ought to be the psycho-mental birth (28) to 56; finally, from this potential third or spiritual birth to the end (84).

This again corresponds to the age-old tradition that the nature of man is threefold: body, soul, spirit. Moreover the three great 28-year cycles form the true basis for the ancient idea of first-born, twice-born and thrice-born. But popular Brahmanism accelerated the occasion of the second birth for easily understandable, practical purposes. During the first 28 years, man perfects (always theoretically) his physio-psychological body, or better, his race-self. He fulfills his ancestry and the past of his family and race. Then he emerges as a newborn individual self. Having discriminated, selected, rejected and chosen, out of what the past of mankind offered to him, the foundation for his own individuality, he builds on the foundation of this past (for every temple must have a foundation) the structure of his individual selfhood.

Finally, if this structure is at all completed, he reaches at the age of fifty-six the point where the universal Spirit is born within him the third or spiritual birth. This is symbolized by the building of the dome of the temple a replica of the vault of the sky, itself a symbol of the Universal Self, or God. When that also is completed man passes to other spheres; consciously and without loss of personal identity, if he has built for himself a "vehicle of immortality." The first cycle sees potentially the completion of the body of earth; the second cycle, that of the body of sound; the third, that of the body of light. Out of the physical mother's womb an organism of flesh and bones is born. At the second birth, a Tone sounds forth, the Ishwara or Logos, the Voice of the God Within. At the third birth, Light pours upon the consecrated Self as Wagner symbolizes it in the Grail consecration of the last act of Parsifal.

Each cycle represents a complete revolution of the entire "pattern of selfhood," i.e., of the axis of the birth-chart. This symbolical revolution is timed in such a manner that every seven years one arm of the cross comes to the position which the succeeding one occupied originally. In other words, at the age of seven, the Ascendant comes to the position occupied at birth by the Imum Coeli, the latter to that of the natal Descendant, etc. At fourteen, the Ascendant comes to the birth-position of the Descendant; at twenty-one, of the Mid-Heaven. At twenty-eight it reaches its own natal position; and a second cycle begins, in the same way.

Theoretically, it is the entire axial cross which rotates in 28 years. For practical purposes, the revolution of the Ascendant is usually the most valuable to study. For the Ascendant symbolizes the very essence of self, man's attitude and path toward himself. It represents that particular viewpoint on life, that particular quality of life of which the man, as an individual identity, is to be the representative. It is man's standard of values as an individual self. Thus it is the very center of the whole consciousness. As it is seen to revolve throughout the 28-year cycle, one gets a most valuable graph of the sequential unfoldment of man's original or central attitude toward life.

In the same manner, one can trace also with a great deal of value the successive transformations of the three other basic points of consciousness. The change in man's attitude toward others, toward the outer world in general, will be plotted out by the revolution of the Descendant. His fundamental attitude in thinking and feeling can be deduced from the symbolic motion of the vertical axis of the birth-chart. Extremely valuable indications will be given in each case, provided one does not expect to find exact accuracy in terms of the occurrence of concrete events. In this entire discussion we do not deal with the mapping of outer life-happenings, but with changes in the inner operation of the individual self; that is, with changes of psychological points of view and of inner attitudes toward the whole of life, subjective and objective. These may be related to outer events; but, even then, what matters is the direction of the subjective changes rather than any exact date to which one might "pin it down." The type of approach befitting an analysis of these cycles of unfolding is purely psychological.

Such an analysis serves also to check up and interpret mathematically the general findings of psychology concerning the progressive development of the human psyche and of its functions or modes of activity. It also verifies the ancient "occult" idea of the division of human life into 7-year cycles, each of which marks the unfolding of one particular aspect of the individual's character and means of self-expression. The first seven years see the development of the power of self-awareness, or intuition as understood by C. G. Jung. The young child sees everything in terms of personality. It is hard for him to differentiate between objective and subjective, inanimate and animate, because he lives so completely in a subjective world. He has an "intuition" of things rather than objective perceptions. He has not yet succumbed to the "heresy of separateness" which creates a chasm between subject and object (or other subjects), between I and Thou. Thus the mystic, who strives to reach complete at-one-ment with the All, is urged to become again "as a little child" a stage which is related theoretically to the period after the third birth, between fifty-six and sixty-three. This first septenate corresponds also to the infancy of mankind, when man saw in every object a psychic entity or "spirit," when the wall between the unseen (subjective) and the seen (objective) was almost non-existent. In a general sense it represents the type of approach to life called animism.

From the age of seven to that of fourteen, the feelings mature. By "feelings" is meant, we must repeat once more, the direct judgments placed upon experiences on the basis of the previously unfolded awareness of self. The abstract self, intuitively apprehended, becomes around seven a concrete soul, or ego. This ego enables the child to have strongly subjective experiences. It is the age of creative self-expression, as every progressive educator will say (the fifth house period around the ages of nine and ten). The result of this is often illness, the crisis of puberty, at any rate (sixth house period).

At fourteen, true contacts with the outer world begin. The objective world becomes definitely separated from the subjective. This means sexual development: facing the other sex, the enemy and the mate. This means fear, not knowing how to "fit in," not feeling secure in a world that confronts one dangerously and with which somehow but how? one must become adjusted. At twenty-one, mind, which had been maturing out of the play (or drama) of objective relationship, becomes consolidated by public life, by outer experience on the basis of social responsibility. Man comes of age.

Then mind has to prove itself and to find its own ideals, its own friends. This is the twelfth house stage. At the middle point of this 7-year cycle, that is, at the age of twenty-four and a half (theoretically at least), man faces the great crisis of discrimination between various types of ideals and companions. He has to "make up his mind" about what he is going to be. Usually this determines the nature and character of the "second birth" at twenty-eight; not, however, before a period of readjustment is passed through, perhaps at the cost of deep suffering, the twelfth house stage (around twenty-six and twenty-seven).

What this second birth is to be depends on the results of the entire first 28-year cycle. The new cycle will see, like its predecessor, a progressive differentiation and development of the four basic faculties of the Self and their subdivisions; but now at the level of truly individual selfhood if such level can at all be reached; which of course depends on what occurred during the first cycle (that of racial selfhood). Racial, individual, universal selfhood three cycles; one certainty, and two potentialities. If the level of individual selfhood is not reached, at least in seed, at twenty-eight, then the human being merely conforms to the race-pattern of consciousness, and goes on living as one among countless thousands. He is one of the thousands of seeds which drop to the ground, yet do not take root.

This does not mean that a youth of twenty-eight will become a real individual, but that he then begins the stage of truly individual development. Before, he fulfilled the past (of his race, and of his own Self, if reincarnation is accepted). Now, he is building the present. After fifty-six, he will mature and become the seeds of the future (of his race and of his own Self) . . . if he can. The year thirty-five sees the revolving Ascendant at the Imum Coeli. This corresponds at a higher level (if the second birth is a success) to what occurred at the age of seven. From about thirty-seven to forty is again the stage of self-expression (fifth house stage) at this psycho-mental level. New ideas are born, new departures initiated; the truly individual work of the Destiny becomes clear. It will manifest objectively around the year forty-two, when man again faces the outer world and his work. This is a turning point again: a new type of adjustment is demanded. often very hard to make. The psychoanalyst recruits most of his patients from this period of life, because a definite mental psychological reorientation is then imperative. It is the "change of life." the second puberty a most interesting time, at least for the psychologist!

Then comes forty-nine, often the time of greatest social activity. Man becomes a power in human society, on the basis of whatever individual accomplishment he can produce. At fifty-six, the third cycle begins. It is the time for man to face the Spirit, and perhaps to become transfigured by the Spirit or by his Work. Man becomes orientated toward death or immortality. Death, if he has been unsuccessful. Immortality, if successful. In what, successful? In building his own vehicle of immortality. Which means one or more of three things:

1) Success in building a family and having become an "ancestor" whom his posterity will physically and psychologically perpetuate. For instance, the direct descendant to Confucius, by male descent, is now living, a young man after close to eighty generations, if we are not mistaken. This is physio-psychological immortality.

2) Success in building a Work, which will be remembered generation after generation. This is the case of all great geniuses in religion, art, literature, science, politics.

3) Success in building a "spiritual body" in which the Self may continue to function consciously after death. This is spiritual immortality.

At sixty-three we see the combined culmination of the cycles of 7 and of 9 years. In one sense at least spirit and matter, or individual and collective (7 and 9) can then be fully harmonized. At seven, thirty-five and sixty-three the conscious ego is stirred to its depth by a new life. Then seventy sees the "third puberty" with the entrance into the new relationship which often means death. And so tradition speaks of the life of man as being normally "three score and ten:" What is meant is that at the age of seventy the last stage begins, when man relates himself to a new life. Usually the body cannot stand the strain of this new type of relationship, and this means death. But if the organism (physiological and psychological) can repolarize itself according to a new rhythm of life-contacts, then the real inner world may open; and man learns to be familiar with the rhythm of the "other world:" with entities or energies of the "beyond" whatever may be meant exactly by the term. He becomes the wise old Sage in whom the collective acts in a new way, bringing to earth visions of a world of pure and serene significance. If this happens, a further change of magnetism occurs at seventy-seven (7 times 11) because 11 is the number of the Sun and of the circulation of solar energy throughout the solar system. Then, at eighty-four, a "fourth birth" occurs, which takes man altogether into a new realm of significance and destiny: which means disintegration of the personality or (relative) immortality.

Thus the cycle of individual destiny as it archetypally is. Every personality weaves its particular patterns within this framework, often obliterating outwardly the big structural outlines. But the more significant the destiny, the more true to the essential cycle as outlined here: likewise the more significant the individual, the more true he is to the archetypal form of Man within a particular planetary era. This is the great paradox. The supremely individuated personality reveals the most perfectly in its outline of character, consciousness and destiny the form of generic Man. The most individual becomes the most universal, just because of being the most individual. This is because he becomes an absolute manifestation of the creative. He becomes a "solar Hero" an Exemplar or Avatar, whose deeds and whose personality are universally significant.

1. The attribution of father to the fourth house, and of mother to the tenth house has been very strongly disputed. In medieval times the son followed nearly always his father's profession, therefore as the profession is always related to the tenth house the idea of father seemed also connected with the tenth house, especially where sons were concerned. Also many astrologers relate the signs of the zodiac to the houses thus: Aries corresponds to the first house, Cancer to the fourth, Capricorn to the tenth. As Cancer is "ruled" by the Moon (which symbolizes the mother) and Capricorn by Saturn (which symbolizes the father) it has seemed logical to relate the mother to the fourth house and the father to the tenth house. We would be inclined to believe that these co-relations are interchangeable, according to the level of being at which one establishes itself. A correlation which is true physiologically may have to be reversed at the psychological level. The mother may dominate the physical home (fourth house), but the father may form the psychological home, the soul.

2. The formula implied in these paragraphs can be used to determine the archetypal significance of all the main turning points in the cycle of human life; but it needs to be applied with care and understanding. We might give more instances to clarify the matter.

If we consider 15 circles arranged in the way above described we see that they constitute two series an outer triangle of 12, an inner triangle of 3. The number 15 is the "kabbalistic sum" of 5; but if this sum is fully developed, following the above procedure, it gives the number 35. As we shall see presently, 35 is the point in life which brings symbolically the Marriage of Heaven and Earth. It is the working out of number 5 the number of the Great Initiator. The 15-circle figure is symmetrical, but contains only two series: the inner spiritual circle is still missing. This inner circle will appear in the figure developed from the number 6, giving the years 22 and 56 (cf. left and right columns of figures above). These are years of spiritual arousal; but the figure lacks foundation with only 22 circles. It will acquire this foundation and become symmetrical with 28 circles the full number of individuation.

 

The Astrology of Personality

 

Mindfire