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I Why a Soul-Centered Astrology?
Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all.
—H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine
There is a new awakening which is expanding and transforming the minds and hearts of a great multitude of humanity. Those of you reading these words are part of this evolutionary current of our collective experience. You are finding that your needs, perspectives, and approach to life are taking a radical turn in their orientation. This is bringing about certain new crises and tensions, joys and victories, in your life. Yet, just a short time ago, these transformational circumstances were not part of your frame of reference, or at best, were mere mental abstractions.
You may be finding, as individual students of astrology or as professional practitioners, that you are being confronted with certain dynamics of human psychology and relationships that current trends in astrological interpretation and counseling no longer satisfy. The nature of your aspirations, as well as those of your friends or clients, has changed and continues to change remarkably. In recent years, the speed and pervasive quality of this reorientation of life values and perspective have been increasing systematically. Furthermore, you are also discovering that neither you nor your associates are being sup-ported in your individual spiritual quests by a personality-centered, "Mommy and Daddy did it to me" approach to the horoscope and your lives. In other words, you are discovering that your urges for self-fulfillment, and the blockages and tests that occur as part of this process, can no longer be attributed to your early behavioral conditioning and family background.
Where at one time it was enough to know that you were a Libra and could define yourself by Libran characteristics, you are now asking yourself an entirely different quality of question. You are now seeking to apply your Libra attunement of balance and harmony as an energy within the larger framework of social contribution. You are seeking an essential experience of yourself which goes beyond personality characteristics and enters into the realm of the purpose for being. In this respect, you are also finding that your experience of planetary and other astrological influences is no longer easily substantiated by traditional—even "modern" traditional—methods of horoscope de- lineation and interpretation. And yet, you know and trust the validity of astrological symbolism and its scientific and practical expressions. You recognize the ability of astrology to serve as a mirror of the continual expression of cosmic reality. And you are right to hold such trust and belief in this beautiful and ancient art.
Those of you drawn to this book because of its title are finding that you are turning more and more to the reality of yourself as a Soul. This means that you are part of that increasing number of people who are developing the vision and the experience of the physical world and the physical body as vehicles for the expression of a transcendental existence. This existence is one in which the orientation and the exigencies of the inner life of the Soul—the "vertical" life, rather than the "horizontal" life of the personality—are becoming a predominating theme in your daily experience of the world around and within you. (See chapter 3 for a detailed discussion of this most important point.)
What has been the major focus of life for the few initiates and mystics down through the ages will shortly become—is, indeed, becoming—an integrated facet of life for many. The Waters of the Man with the Urn are indeed being distributed, and Aquarius is most certainly the ruler—not just of the coming age, but of astrology and its practitioners.
The aspiration to Soul alignment—the endeavor to merge the personality life of external, material existence with the increasing inner experience of Soul perceptions and the Life Force—creates a very different life perspective. In this respect, we are exploring and confronting those changes, transformations, and crises which are part of this natural path of union. There is a structure, rhythm, and series of Laws which are universal and intrinsic to the joining of the lower and Higher selves. These struggles and victories are different to each one of us in their outer forms, but absolutely united in their inner, essential energies and cyclic unfoldment. This is the nature of the relationship between the inner and the outer, the essence and the form, the esoteric and the exoteric. We are One Essential Whole, expressing Itself through a limitless number of forms and varieties. Astrology—especially esoteric astrology, and the Soul Force Itself—seeks to give a structure and focus to this process of Self-realization.
Astrology is a system of thought and a vehicle of interpreting daily life through the unfolding of meaning contained within its symbolism. Such symbology is representative of the very fabric of human experience. As symbology is transcendental by its very nature, astrology is quite a flexible system. This highly developed system has evolved over the course of thousands of years, and its methods, techniques, and applications are constantly in the process of being expanded, developed, and synthesized. The symbols of astrology give a structure to the rational mind so that a relationship between external events and their more subtle factors of causality may be perceived, predicted and appreciated. It can thus be a successful interpreter of human evolution and events, even as the quality of human consciousness, and the forms of those events, change. Astrology is, after all, a system that seeks to interpret the nature of the Universal Life Force as It moves, shapes, and creates human life and all events. The planets, signs, and houses, in any case, are not the causal elements of manifestation. They are, rather, the reflections of a transcendental synchronicity manifesting through the rhythms and timing of a cosmic clock.
In this respect, astrology permits several things to occur, and it is in the following that we may appreciate the gifts of this wonderful invention:
1. Astrology allows the astrologer to attune himself to the essential qualities of the energies embodied in the planets, signs, houses, and other astrological factors.
2. Because of its flexibility, astrology engenders many levels of perception of the rhythms of the "celestial and terrestrial dancing partners" as they interface within the Being of the Life Force. It is important to note, however, and this will be a very important theme throughout the book, that such perceptions of the essential Life Force on the part of the student are totally relative to the level of his consciousness. This level of perceptive awareness expands or con-tracts according to his evolutionary path.
3. The relationship between cause and effect is at the very core of metaphysics and is the reason why, of all the occult sciences and methods of investigation, astrology is the most refined revealer of occult laws and principles.
4. Astrology allows, on a social level, a growing group of men and women to speak a common language of perception, no matter what their differences may be in personal life-style. Astrology is thus not only a tool for the viewing of an increasingly unifying humanity, but a vehicle for the gathering of those people who seek to know and share what they have discovered. This approach, in terms of group endeavor and unanimity (not to be confused with uniformity)—is a major principle of contemporary life and is explored in much greater detail in chapter 3.
5. Astrology adds to the appreciation of the basic unifying principle of life. This we continue to discover both within the study of astrology itself, and without, in our daily life experiences. Astrology teaches that everything moves in cycles and circles:
Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.
—Black Elk,Oglala Sioux
This unifying rhythm is called the Law of Attraction—the Law of Love in Action. If astrology brings the astrologer into attunement with these two Laws (actually, one and the same), it has then accomplished for the individual its greatest gift of all.
The present cycling and circling of events, the current ticking of the cosmic clock, is revealing a quantum transmutation of human consciousness. This is resulting in a rapidly shifting (although essentially predictable) direction in both our inner life experience and our outer life-styles and events. Individually and collectively, we are at the threshold of an incredible reorientation of our life directions. This is indicated by the movement from one World Age (Pisces) of some 2,160 years, to another (Aquarius), within a unit of time known as a "Great Year" (equaling 25,920 Earth years). This transitional point in the universal rhythm for our planet creates vastly increased tensions for each of us. It also offers great opportunities to consciously co-create the dynamics of both our inner and outer lives through the right use of will. If astrology is to remain a useful tool for healing and service in the present era, as well as in the future, certain techniques of horoscope delineation must be developed to answer the special needs of these times. Such a system has to possess a framework for delineation and counseling which can meet the challenging problems (as well as the special joys and victories) inherent in our evolving individual and collective destinies. There also has to be a group of astrologers equal to the task of creating, developing, and applying such a system.
The astrologer for the New Age must be thoroughly trained and intellectually centered in the science of astrology in order to be able to measure and interpret celestial movements. But he or she must be equally heart-centered and intuitively focused in order to apply such data to the level of consciousness through which others are functioning. This will require of the astrologer, as well as give the opportunity for, great personal, mental, and spiritual growth. Fortunately, both the seeds for this kind of astrology, and the presence of this initial seed group of astrologers, already exists. (See Bibliography for further information on esoteric astrology and its related field of esoteric psychology.)
Soul-centered astrology is part of a larger exteriorization of esoteric astrology, the many principles of which are currently being unfolded and synthesized into the collective body of astrological studies. My present effort lies within the body of a much larger work now being created by an international group of esoteric astrologers. It is hoped that this entire collection of work will be utilized to perceive the structure, quality, and meaning of these evolving crises of transformation and the energies which they embody. In this respect, a service may be rendered both to astrology and to humanity.
Our struggles and victories as we progress—and regress—along the Path are very special. What makes them so extraordinary is that we are consciously aware that these transformations are currently taking place. We are witnesses to a very incredible kind of growth process! The magic of our Self is alive and well and living in Pittsburgh (or Atlanta, or even Los Angeles!). What's more, these changes are occur/ring to millions of people simultaneously. The expressions "soul brother/soul sister," "soul mate," "group soul," "New Age brothers and sisters," "companions along the Way," etc., have begun to take on new and profoundly loving meanings among a huge number of people, and with good reason! There is an affinity of experience that seems to be uniting people from every social stratum and human experience. But that is indeed the very essence of the Soul of Humanity at work. The Soul is a unifying, collectivizing energy whose power of attraction and magnetism is Love. Our task both individually and collectively is to create those necessary channels for the Soul's expression in our daily lives. This is our great challenge, and it is to this process of unfoldment that Soul-Centered Astrology will address it-self. As we create the avenues for the outer expression of the inner life, we, in effect, consciously co-create our own destiny. This type of creative spiritual responsibility is at the center of the current course of human evolution.
In the process of reorienting yourself to these collective changes, you may experience the following:
1. You are consistently seeking those methods of self-improvement which give you a feeling of greater wholeness.
2. You are interested in methods and processes which serve to heal other people from addictive and negative behavior patterns.
3. You are becoming increasingly aware of others outside of your immediate family and social circle.
4. You are finding it often easier to relate with people connected to you through similar ideological or belief systems than through simple biological or other social ties.
5. You are exhausted and undernourished (either emotionally or mentally) by those civic, social, or spiritual activities which at one time used to be enjoyable, or at least tolerable. Now, such activities represent a distinct drain on your vitality.
6. You are finding yourself increasingly more attracted to love, and less attracted by desire. At the very least, you are finding a distinct conflict between the two and are trying somehow to unite them. This is resulting in a reorientation of your sexual attitudes (it's not just a symptom of growing older—wiser, maybe, but not necessarily older!).
7. You are finding that you are growing increasingly dispassionate, detached, and discriminating. Sometimes this makes you feel guilty; sometimes, fearful of loss.
8. You are definitely searching (and even finding!) a greater purpose for the use of your life energies. Service is becoming a very important factor in your life, and the need to create a field of service through which you may express yourself is becoming a very dominant theme to your life.
9. You are seeing through and are clearly dissatisfied with the "game structures" of nonregenerative, egocentric habit patterns! You would like to have a clearer understanding of how to become more detached from these magnetic traps which block the proper use of your energy. (Understanding the Ray qualities of the planets and the signs will do much to help you sort this one out.)
10. You are sensing, perceiving, and experiencing another aspect of Love in your life—one which has a more impersonal and detached quality to it. It is very different from the more personal kind of love. It is unconditionally supportive, demands nothing in return, and may be experienced by you as a "nurturing presence." You find yourself radiating it, and being drawn to others who also express this non-demanding quality of the heart. This attraction goes beyond all differences in gender, and in ethnic, religious, and social orientations.
11. You feel a growing need to be part of a group of people who are working toward these same inward and outward goals.
12. Perhaps most important, you are finding that you are becoming increasingly impersonal to all things that are personal, and increasingly personal to all that is impersonal. As the Tibetan Master, D. K., would advise at this point: "Ponder on this."
Excerpted from SOUL CENTERED ASTROLOGY by Alan Oken. Copyright © 2008 Alan Oken. Excerpted by permission of Nicolas Hays, Inc..
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Index of Diagrams.................... xii
Index of Tabulations, Charts, and Mantra.................... xiii
Foreword by Sir John R. Sinclair, Bt.................... xv
PART ONE: SOUL-CENTERED ASTROLOGY: A KEY TO YOUR EXPANDING SELF............
1 Why a Soul-Centered Astrology?.................... 3
2 The Soul, the Personality, and the Rainbow Bridge.................... 15
3 The Evolution of Consciousness in the New Age.................... 40
4 The Laws and Principles of the New Age.................... 48
5 Ten Postulates of the Ancient Wisdom Teachings.................... 80
PART TWO: A SOUL-CENTERED ALPHABET: THE ASTROLOGICAL BUILDING BLOCKS.......
6 The Nature and Influence of the Seven Rays.................... 95
7 The Path of Incarnation and the Three Crosses.................... 141
8 An Initial View of the Chakras.................... 152
9 The Twelve Astrological Signs and Their Soul-Centered Planetary Rulers... 161
10 The Esoteric Significance of the Planets in the Signs................... 333
12 Soul-Centered Planetary Relationships, the Rays, and the Aspects........ 349
PART THREE: A GUIDE TO THE SOUL-CENTERED DELINEATION OF THE NATAL CHART....
13 Points to Ponder.................... 385
14 The Delineation of the Soul-Centered Horoscope of Mahatma Gandhi........ 390