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One reason for its popularity is its accessibility. From the utmost basics of the sun signs and planets to a more comprehensive guide for building and interpreting an astrological chart, this book is all you need to get...
One reason for its popularity is its accessibility. From the utmost basics of the sun signs and planets to a more comprehensive guide for building and interpreting an astrological chart, this book is all you need to get started in astrology. Oken introduces and reinforces the basics, while providing food for thought with different paths the more advanced practitioner may take. Extensively illustrated, Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology includes exercises, workbook sections, background material, appendices, a bibliography, and an index. Includes Oken’s introductory astrological trilogy: As Above, So Below; The Horoscope: The Road and Its Travelers; and Astrology: Evolution and Revolution. Out of print for more than two years, the author receives hundreds of requests for it each month.
ASTROLOGY AND ITS PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE OF MAN
Ever consider the Universe as One Living Being, with one material substance and one Spirit. Contemplate the fundamental causes, stripped of all disguise. Consider well the nature of things, distinguishing between matter, cause and purpose.
A child is the son of Man. Man is the son of the Earth. Earth is a child of the Sun. The Sun is a child of the Galaxy. The Galaxy is the son of its Supergalactic parent. And all is One in the consciousness of the Father-Universe. So you as a single inhabitant of our mother planet might well wonder at your infinite minuscularity. You may well look into a mirror and upon seeing your reflection remark: "Here I am, an entity of flesh and bones. I have legs and arms with which I may walk and work and a brain with which I may think." Yet your physical body does not represent your true dimensions. No, not all. It is the extent of your consciousness which determines your relative position in the scheme of the Universe.
Your physical body is but the anchor of your total being and has as its base, the Earth. As such, it is subject to all the influences of this planet just as our globe is, in effect, directly regulated by any motion of the Sun and it, in turn, is integrally linked to the fate of the Galaxy.
In his consciousness of himself, Man, like an infant, often forgets that he is a part of a greater plan of creation. In this desire to amass the material fruits of the Earth, Man has polluted her waters, brought extinction to other species of animals, and engaged in horrible genocidal wars. In spite of all this destruction, Man's memory is short and his awareness completely limited by the force of his ego's desire for power over his fellow man. And so Man continues to believe that he is a law unto himself and that his actions cause no reactions upon the lives of others and, of course, none upon his own. Man in his infantile consciousness is always attempting to rule the Universe from his egocentric playpen, completely unaware of the rules of the Universe; completely unaware that there are any rules at all other than the ones which he creates for his own particular game. And then he wonders: "Why am I suffering?"
The Cosmos is neither an amorphous mass of energy without a reason for being, nor is it without a structure and ultimate form. Your birth was not an accident of creation and your life does not consist of a series of coincidences and chance occurrences. The Universe and your existence are based on a set of laws which have been slowly revealed to Man since the beginning of Mankind. If he would only learn how to live according to these laws, Man's understanding would grow and his sufferings would lessen. The Human Kingdom has the ability to direct much of the course of its existence but it must do so only within the larger framework of a set, geometric pattern created by the Universal Mind of the God Force. The nature of occultism, of which the study and application of astrology is a branch, reveals some of this Divine Thought Network. Man has the ability to decipher a part of this great plan, for it is written for him to see, but he has yet to develop his eyesight well enough to read its fine print. As he evolves, the so-called "secrets" contained within the Laws of Creation will become available to him in relation to the level which his widening consciousness has reached.
Man has been endowed with many of the universal truths in order to guide his path safely through illusion to the ultimate Light of Illumination. He has been given some of the tools which can lead him to the wisdom which will allow him to see himself and the Universe in the proper perspective. Astrology is one such tool but it must be pointed out that the wisdom is greater than the vehicle which brings it. Denser matter always cloaks a more subtle type of energy just as the nature of words cloaks the essence of meaning.
It is the belief among many astrologers, occultists, theologians, and philosophers that all energy and life come from one Source. This primal life flow is filtered up and down from level of being to level of being, from plane of manifestation to plane of manifestation. Yet it is the same One Force expressing itself in an infinite multitude of forms and intensities. This is often called the process of "Involution and Evolution." It is also what we mean, in part, when we refer to the universal law of "As above, so below." Just as an atom is one unto itself, so is Man such a singular organism, so is a nation, so is the Earth, so is the solar system, so is the Galaxy, so is the ultimate Universe of Universes. In all of creation there appears to be a repetition of the same pattern in all structures from the physical properties of the tiniest atom to the greatest unit of the Cosmos. Thus the macrocosm (the greater world) is always seen as revealed in the microcosm (the lesser world). This is what is meant when it is said that "man was made in the image of God." It therefore follows that the atom was made in the image of the Universe.
As we study astrology, we will see how the energy embodied in a planet will manifest in the various kingdoms of creation: mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. We will establish how this one set of universal laws permeates and unifies all of the life-force in the Cosmos. No matter what the species of flower, it will always bloom in the sunshine of spring.
The pattern of the Universe is based on a system of cosmic physics which is gradually being revealed to Man as he develops the faculties to use this wisdom in his daily life. Sir Isaac Newton expressed one of the most important of these universal axioms when he stated his Third Law of Motion: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." This is a primary postulate of physics which every high-school student has had to learn in the course of his or her studies.
Some occultists call this same concept the Law of Karma. More fully expressed, it means that the creative force of life reveals itself through a continuum of events propelled through time and space by desire. This desire is for self-expression and results in actions which cause reactions of the same intensity and type as those of the original stimuli. In other words, when applied to Man, the Law of Karma is embodied in the biblical maxim, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." It is vital that Man, in order to reap abundantly of the harvests of his desires, be made more conscious of his methods of sowing. If his seeds are pure and he plants at the right time, he will have plenty for himself and others. If he tries to satisfy his hungers, no matter what form they may take, by going against the laws of the cosmos, the resulting Karma, the resulting crop, will be such that he will feed himself and others on the poisonous nature of his created negativity.
Karma, the law of action and reaction, applies to all the forms of creation and is not limited to the Human Kingdom. Let us cite some examples of Karmic relationships, human and otherwise, to further illustrate our point. The properties of a magnet express themselves through the attraction of iron filings or other metal to their indrawing vibrations. The desire which the oak tree possesses for life will cause the roots of that plant to penetrate deeper into the Earth so that the tree may grow higher into the air. The frog eats the insect in order to satisfy the stimulus of his hunger and is in turn eaten by the hawk. The stingy man suffers from anxiety over the possible loss of his material possessions and then is unable to enjoy them himself. In order for the Earth to fulfill its Karma, its reason for being in the Plan, it must maintain its own speed of rotation around its axis, building up its own force field so that it is not pulled out of orbit by the magnetism of the Sun's gravity.
The harmony of the Universe is maintained by balance. When any form of nature gets too far out of balance so that it endangers many other forms of creation, it is destroyed or reduced in numbers by natural forces. More precisely, it is annihilated by the results of its own inharmonious activities.
The horoscope of an individual's birth reveals the essential balances and imbalances of that person's life pattern; that person's Karma. We call the natal horoscope the "blueprint to life" for it reveals the seeds the individual must (re)plant in life and the methods by which he may or may not cultivate his fields. It will also show the potential extent of his subsequent harvests.
The botanist can tell us how plants have evolved over the course of millions of years. The biologist can speak of the evolution of the land mammals from the protozoans of the sea. The anthropologist and the physiologist can describe and document Man's physical evolution from his earliest pre-Neanderthal ancestors to Man of the present day. The occultist charts the evolution of the consciousness of the human race and from this platform can point to the corresponding physical and social characteristics associated with each "great leap forward." We must never forget that Man, like the plants and animals, is still evolving to an ultimate form of perfection. It has taken millions of our Earth years to bring the human race to its present imperfect condition and there are many aeons still to travel before humanity reaches its "final" physical, mental, and spiritual state of being. We enclose the word "final" in quotes, for the end of one evolutionary stage is but the beginning of another.
Let us go back a little bit in the history of Man's consciousness. When Man emerged out of the darkness of the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, he passed through a stage of his evolution which took him out from the shadows of the fearful, emotional superstitions of those enshrouded times. In place of blind faith, Man demanded intellectual explanations for the laws of creation. He severely questioned the dogmas and suppressions of the medieval Church and began to search for the answers to his inquiries through philosophy and the natural sciences.
Until the Reformation, the Catholic Church was omnipotent. It not only controlled the political and economic structure of the many nations under its influence, but had also captured the mind and spirit of the individual. Like the embryo in the uterus of its mother, the Church kept the consciousness of the masses locked up within the confines of its sanctified womb. The true power of the Church was not centered in the visible world of materialism—on the contrary—the outward manifestation of its power only represented its invisible psychic control over the people.
The Reformation of Martin Luther served as the first step to release the power centered in the Church and to return it to the people. With this energy, now at last more free to circulate, Man could begin to once again explore his Universe. In essence the Christ, i.e., God in the form of Man, was reborn (the meaning of "renaissance") and was given back to the people so that each could evolve independently of the canonical umbilical cord. The Church reacted through the establishment of the Inquisition (meaning "the question"). This was a process which attempted to crush opposition to its orthodoxy through a program which integrated the emotional power of the faith with the growing intellectuality of the period.
Since the Renaissance, Man has continued to investigate the world of the rational mind and has, as a result, developed a great technological civilization. The scientific community has dominated the consciousness of Man since it was released from the emotional fetters of the Church. But its hold is as strong as the Church's, for not only does present-day science demand a rational explanation for everything, it also blinds Mankind with the illusion that the conscious, rational mind is the highest product of the evolutionary process. The intellectual community has, in effect, put a false value on logic while minimizing the power of Man's intuitive and psychic faculties. In essence, all thoughts and/or phenomena which cannot be reduced, or more accurately, brought down to the level of the word are not considered as holding any proven truth. Fortunately this attitude is slowly changing as groups of scientists are now beginning to realize that certain ESP (extrasensory perception) phenomena have validity. Now the natural scientists will have to invent new machines and techniques to prove what occult scientists and workers have known and experienced for millennia—that so-called extrasensory communication is possible and furthermore, that there is a life-force existing in the invisible whose forms of expression are many times more numerous and infinitely more vast than those on Earth.
Mankind will not be in a position to accept these discoveries until the vestiges of medieval superstitions are totally erased from Man's subconscious. Even then the road will be a long one, for Man will then have to discover how to consciously use his intellect as a tool for his intuition. Most of Mankind has not as yet learned how to distinguish between the realms of the emotions, the rational mind, and the newest developing faculty, the intuitional process. The latter refers to the ability of being able to see truthful conclusions without the analytical methods involved in scientific deduction. Yet we must never discount the great value of the rational faculties, for they keep the balance between the known and the always existing unknown. The rational mind serves to help make one's intuitional understandings practical in light of one's actual living conditions. In this respect, the logical mind, i.e., the process of gathering data while analyzing and synthesizing it, is a tremendously important partner of Man's higher mental aspects. In addition, the logical mind serves in a capacity of checks and balances. It stabilizes the evolutionary process. This is one reason why the occult and natural aspects of science must work together for the future betterment of Mankind.
Astrology is one discipline which serves to link the intuitive mind to the rational mind, while serving Man in his everyday life situations. Yet it has met with tremendous resistance among both the ignorant and, not surprisingly, the highly intellectual segments of society. The former are afraid that what may be revealed to them may destroy the image they have created of themselves and their personal miniuniverse. The intellectual person, unaware that he is possessed by his mind, thinks of his intellect as the supreme force of his being, which of course it is not. The mind is but an instrument of the Spirit, but as most individuals are not in contact with this higher part of their being, they fool themselves into believing that what they think, or what they think they think, is really what they are. Limited minds, no matter how intelligent, lock out higher levels of consciousness. If an individual tries to understand through his rational processes that which is larger than his reason, he will limit himself by his own definition of infinity.
The study of astrology can help the intellectual, for it can give him the mental concepts which will expand his consciousness so that he may grow further along on the Path of Enlightenment. He must not, however, become confined by the limits of astrological thought but rather, once he has understood the principles of the astrological system, he should then continue to the next stage which is waiting for him.
And so we study astrology. We do so, so that we may be led to an objective understanding of what constitutes the human race. The principles of astrology transcend the notions of personal prejudices, of racial superiority, of the battle between good and evil. The devoted student will have the opportunity to rise above these regressive beliefs and become uplifted by the inner light of human brotherhood. This is one reason why we say that astrology falls under the rulership of Aquarius, for this is the sign of humanitarianism, of Man perfected through his understanding of the human condition.
Just as all breeds of horses can be traced from one common ancestor, all the races of Man have their roots in one primordial antecedent. In occult terminology, we refer to our united fathermother as the "seed-atom of Man." From the one comes the many and Mankind was divided into its various remaining species: the yellow, the red, the black, the white, and the brown. Each race would develop its own type of civilization and in its own respective way, worship the various forms of God. Thus the Spirit of Man reveals its beauty through its diversity. The evolutionary processes still continue today: some races grow stronger, others die out, and all change.
Excerpted from ALAN OKEN'S COMPLETE ASTROLOGY by Alan Oken. Copyright © 2006 Alan Oken. Excerpted by permission of Nicolas Hays, Inc..
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Foreword to the 2006 Edition
PART I AS ABOVE, SO BELOW: The Language of Astrology
I: Astrology, Astronomy, the Earth, and You
1. Astrology and Its Place in the Universe of Man
2. The Astrological Tree of Knowledge and Its Branches
3. The Horoscope and Natal Astrology
4. The Earth and Its Movements Through the Heavens
5. The Earth, the Elements, and the Triplicities
6. The Earth, the Seasons, the Sexes, and the Quadruplicities
II: The Cosmic Family of Man: The Signs of the Zodiac
7. Introduction: The Two Zodiacs
8. Aries—I Seek My Self
9. Taurus—I Seek My Self Through What I Have
10. Gemini—I Seek My Self Through What I Think
11. Cancer—I Seek My Self Through What I Feel
12. Leo—I Seek My Self Through What I Create
13. Virgo—I Seek My Self Through What I Learn
14. Libra—I Seek My Self Through What I Unite
15. Scorpio—I Seek My Self Through What I Desire
16. Sagittarius—I Seek Therefore I Am
17. Capricorn—I Seek My Self Through What I Use
18. Aquarius—I Seek My Self Through Humanity
19. Pisces—I Seek My Self and I Don't Seek My Self
III: The Cosmic Family of the Sun: The Planets
20. The Astronomical Nature of the Solar System
21. The Sun—Light of the Father
22. The Moon—Light of the Mother
23. Mercury—Light of the Messenger
24. Venus—Light of Beauty
25. Mars—Light of the Aggressor
26. Jupiter—Light of Wisdom
27. Saturn—Light of the Teacher
28. Uranus—Light of Illumination
29. Neptune—Light of Inspiration
30. Pluto—Light of Transcendence
PART 2 THE HOROSCOPE: Tool for Self-Awareness
IV: The Horoscope
Foreword to Part 2: Astrology: The Cosmic Tool
31. The Astrologer: Artist and Scientist
32. The Natal Chart and the Importance of Birth Data
33. The Tools of the Trade
Posted June 23, 2013