The Gunas and Societal Choices

In the past articles, I have discussed the natural Unfolding of the Ages, and how we as Axial Beings moved through the Age of Gold to the current Age of Iron, and the impact of the Patriarchal Revolution.  I explained that the movement from the Age of Gold through the Age of Iron is a natural one, as natural as the changing of the seasons.  It is also likely that the Patriarchal Revolution was somewhat inevitable as humanity progressed through the Age of Iron, although, it is just as likely that humanity embraced patriarchy, with its overbalanced Martial/Vikhelic influence, beyond that which was inevitable.  That is a matter of speculation rather than doctrine, I think.

Now that we have been exposed to these ideas, however, I think it is time to discuss the gunas, which I believe do, to a large extent, represent choices of various societies.  One way to understand the gunas is to refer back to the discussion of the symbolism of the Cross, and how that relates to Free Will.  If you recall, humans have the choice day by day, minute by minute to make choices in an Upward, Outward (material), or Downward direction.  Just as individuals have that choice, so do societies.

Egyptian ladiesA society moving in an Upward direction is a Sattwic, or Traditional, society.  In a Traditional society, every aspect of life has a spiritual dimension.  For example, pottery making is as spiritual as the performance of sacred rituals.  In a Traditional society, there is no separation between the spiritual and the secular.  Everyone knows her place and her role in life in such a society, and these societies are generally Unanimous societies.  Everyone understands and agrees on what is right and what is wrong, and it is understood that if a decision is right, everyone will know that and agree.  If there is not agreement, then there is something amiss.  This would be analogous to a modern scientist getting an anomalous result in an experiment.  In the Age of Iron and after the Patriarchal Revolution, even Traditional societies did not fully function in the way that they may have in the past.  This is shown by the often cruel and warlike nature of even Traditional societies, such as Medieval Europe.   The presence of these cruelties is part of the Age of Iron and an overbalanced Martial/Vikhelic influence.  It is by no means intrinsic to Traditional societies, and it is likely that earlier Traditional societies were far gentler and largely harmonious.

Victorian dressA society moving in an Outward direction is a Rajastic, or Normal, society.  When a society moves in a Rajastic direction, its focus is on the material, outward side of life.  The Classical Hellenistic period and the Renaissance period in Europe were Rajastic societies.  It is in these societies that glorious works of art are created.  A person from a Traditional society would likely be disturbed by the focus on the material that exists in a Normal society.  Indeed, Plato criticized the Hellenistic art of his time as “making copies of copies.”  This was because our human and natural form is an imperfect reflection of the Divine Perfect Form, so art imitating the natural form was a poor substitute for art which attempted to imitate the Perfect Form, or the Archetypes.  Even so, in a Normal society, the connection to the Divine is not lost.  While true knowledge of the higher and spiritual is often lost in the main in a Rajastic society, there is still an unconscious connection with the Divine in the material forms.

An example of this can be seen in the ritual of eating at the table.  In addition to eating at a table, often plates are traditionally circles.*  Circles are symbolic of the Solar Spirit, or the Divine Creative Force which is both outside of us and deep within us.  While most of us do not ritually offer our food first to the Divine, as was done in Traditional societies, eating at the table, putting our food on a circular plate before eating it, and saying a form of thanks or grace, vestigially and unconsciously still invokes a ritual offering.

The connection with the higher Upward direction is quite powerful, and it remains solid as long as it is not severed.   We are spiritual, rather than material, beings, so as long as nothing severs our connection with the Upward path, even if we do not understand it, the Upward will still provide a connection and will still come through in an Outward or Rajastic society.

Once the connection with the Upward and the Divine is lost, Rajastic societies are in danger being pulled down into a Tamasic, or Inverted, society.  Until around the 1960’s, Western Europe and the United States were Normal societies.  They were certainly materialistic, and much understanding of the spiritual meanings behind various traditions were long lost.  However, the vestiges of tradition remained.  In the mid-1960’s, Western society began to cut itself off from all tradition.  Once the connection to the Upward Path was lost, it was only a matter of time before the Downward, Darker, and destructive forces began to take over.

In my WordPress inbox, I saw a picture that was part of a WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words.  This picture is a perfect illustration of our current Inverted society.  I previously discussed the poisons of our Modern Inverted Society, as explained in The Feminine Universe, in a previous article, The Outer Planets; A Theory.  In that article, I gave a brief explanation of these three poisons, atomization, deracination, and deformation.    This picture is a perfect illustration of all three of these poisons.

alone-on-the-playground

The girl is alone, which is the definition of atomization, or being cut off from other people and the community.  The girl’s clothing is deracinated.  It is sloppy, with little attention to any tradition or concept of beauty.  Compare her clothing to the simple beauty of the Sattwic Egyptian society in the first picture and the elaborate dresses of the Rajastic Victorian Era in the second picture.  See also the strange, frightening green creature on the merry-go-round the girl is sitting on.  This is an example of deformation.  The creature is not a natural form, like the other animals.  The creature is also not representative of a Traditional archetype created in a ritual, spiritual manner.  Instead, it is an inversion of True Form.

Our current society is not the first Tamasic, or Inverted, Society, and it is likely not the last.  For example, the Roman Empire seems to have undergone a Tamasic period, when its focus was on bread and circuses, with bloody gladiatorial fights to entertain the masses.  I do believe that individual societies have choices with respect to the gunas.  Certainly, in our current world, not every society has entered into the Tamasic period to the same extent or at the same rate.  The dominance of the West has spread the Tamasic poisons to the East.  It remains to be seen how deep this will spread.

Japan, for example, is an interesting case, in that it has been heavily influenced by the West, but it is also spreading its own influence to the West, particularly in the form of children’s media.  Almost all of the nice and sweet video games are made in Japan.  Japan is also producing some very healthy and metaphysically sound children’s shows in the form of Anime.  Actually, you can see this influence in the clothing worn by the girl in the above picture.  On her blue jeans, there is an image of Hello Kitty, which is a sweet and wholesome Japanese image that has spread to the West like wildfire and is quite popular with little girls.  Of course, the image is on sloppy and deracinated clothing, but from a feminine essentialist perspective, one can not help but hope that it is a step in the right direction.

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*In the East, there are circumstances where a rectangular plate is also used.  Examples of that are sushi plates and bento boxes.  Given that the East has in general retained tradition where it has been lost in the West, I think we can trust that there is a ritual significance to the rectangular form of sushi plates and bento boxes.

Pleasant Speech

Many of us have heard the phrase from our mothers and grandmothers, “If you can not say anything nice, do not say anything at all.”  I think that this is a time honored statement of good manners that has been largely forgotten in this day and age.

A couple of months ago, I took a trip to Mexico to visit a dear friend.  There were many things that struck me about Mexico in comparison to the United States.  One of the things that struck me was how little people complained in Mexico.  Of course, it could be that people were really complaining, and I did not catch it because I do not speak Spanish, but I rarely got the impression from people’s facial expressions or tone of voice that they were complaining.  In contrast, when I came back to the States, I was shocked by how much complaining I saw, even on my the first day back.

Another bad habit I have noticed all around me is the habit of swearing.  People nowadays seem to use swear words as if they were ordinary nouns and adjectives.  I will admit that there was a time in which I too had that bad habit, but I think that I have mostly stopped that now.  It is particularly disturbing to see how much swearing there is on the Internet in social media.  It is one thing to shout an expletive in a moment of emotion such as shock, pain, or anger.  It is still not good, but it seems like a more forgivable indiscretion.  Yet, when one posts in the Internet, one has the opportunity for reflection and thoughtful consideration before hitting the “post” or “send” button, and of course, anything we put on the Internet is available to be viewed forever by anyone in the world.  Why would one want to show oneself to be foulmouthed in this context?

As a contrast, I was thinking of a video education series I watched a few years ago, The Story of Human Language.  It seems that many traditional cultures have a High and a Low Language, and some even have a Middle Language.  According to the professor, it is a huge challenge for linguists to capture the Low Language, because the minute traditional people know that they are being recorded for study, they are too embarrassed to use Low Language, and they will switch to speaking in the High Language.

I think that some of the reason for the prevalence of complaining and swearing in the Modern West is part of a larger decline in civilization and because people have forgotten their nature as spiritual beings.  Very few people go to church or are involved in any spiritual community, and even the leaders of spiritual communities do not really understand the power of speech anymore.

In the New Age movement, and in modern psychology, there is the concept of “Positive Thinking,” which is basically using our thoughts to bring to us what we want out of life.  Despite this, there are many who subscribe to these notions, yet are still sloppy with their speech in terms of complaining and swearing.

As a Filianist, I do believe that our speech does matter.  Metaphysically, everything that we say, think, and imagine is real in the Lunary Sphere of existence.  While I think that the notion of “Positive Thinking” is rather oversimplistic, what we do in the Lunary Sphere can and does impact the physical world.  When we swear and complain, we are polluting the Lunary Sphere.  The pollution of the Lunary Sphere is far, far more damaging to our souls than the pollution of the physical air is to our bodies.

This concept is better expressed in the feminine Scriptures, in the Sutra, Thoughts of the Mind,

20.  Forget not the power of words, for a word has all the power of a thought and a thought has power to move the earth and the heavens.

21.  Therefore speak not evil in idleness, nor fall into the custom of ill speaking; but govern your words even as your actions.

22.  Speak words of love and innocence, of mildness and of hope, and you shall weave a raiment of peace about your soul, and a veil of gentle light.

There are those who might read this and think to themselves that this is all well and good, but should not one be honest about negative feelings and thoughts?  Is it not wrong to speak polite words, if one is thinking negative thoughts?  I think the answer to this is that I believe that our thoughts are more complicated than we think they are.  I know, for myself, I often have negative thoughts, but I do not know that these negative thoughts always represent my true thoughts and feelings.

In the Modern West, there is a culture that teaches that the negative parts of ourselves and of others are what is “real,” and that when people are being nice and good, they are hiding something.  My own belief is that this is reversed.  The Real part of us is the part that is good and kind, and the False part of us is the ugly part.  For more discussion of this, you can refer to a previous article, True and False Selves Through the Zodiac.

When I go through a day, many thoughts go through my head, like little birds.  Both negative and positive thoughts about situations and people flit past, sometimes at the same time about the same person or situation.  If I subscribe to the cultural belief that the negative thoughts are my “real feelings,” and the positive ones are “making excuses” or “holding back,” I will hold on to the negative thoughts and feelings and dismiss the positive ones.  Yet, why would my negative thoughts be any more “real” than my positive ones?  If I understand that often my negative thoughts and feelings are that of my False Self, and the positive, loving thoughts and feelings are those of my True Self, I can let the negative thoughts and feelings flit away, and I can hold on to the positive thoughts and feelings.  In doing so, I am being very honest when I speak kind and loving words to others, even as I am ignoring the whispers and complaints from my False Self.

Proud HorseAs I say this, I know that I am far from perfect.  As in the other areas of my life where I am making changes, I have a long way to go.  In another Sutra, The Clew of the Horse, it says:

58. Hard to govern is the mind, like to a proud horse that drinketh of the wind, filled with its own desires. 59. Fain would it draw the rain from thy hand and carry you where it will; fain will it take the body for its mistress. 60.  Like to a bird that doth hop from twig to twig, turning first to one fruit, then to another, without control or constancy.

Even so, I believe that it is a worthwhile endeavor to strive to control our words and our speech, or to follow the time honored quote I mentioned above, “if you can not say anything nice, do not say anything at all.”  If my thoughts are kind and loving, I can move them out into the world with my words.  If my thoughts are not kind and loving, I can let them pass as a flitting bird, without giving them more substance through my words.

 

The Patriarchal Revolution

Exploring tradition from a feminine perspective can be quite a challenge because most of the material that has been handed down to us is highly patriarchal. This can lead to the belief that patriarchy and tradition go hand in hand.

While this belief is understandable, it is not entirely accurate. This is because, historically, patriarchy itself was a revolt against the early feminine tradition.  I am assuming that anyone who has followed this weblog so far should understand that patriarchy and the masculine does not refer to biological males, nor does feminine refer to biological females.  Masculine and feminine are metaphysical principles in and of themselves, but they are not completely separate from biological gender.  Indeed, biological gender does find its roots in the metaphysical, as does everything else on the material plane.  On the other hand, just as everything on the material plane is an imperfect reflection of Perfect Form, so biological gender is an imperfect reflection of the higher principles.

The Primordial Tradition is indeed feminine.  We can find all over the world images of Dea, or the Feminine God, in Her various forms.  It was not until the Age of Iron that we see the Divine reflected in Masculine form.  At first, the Feminine God obtained Masculine Consorts, and in the West, there was a violent revolution in which the Masculine overtook and attempted to obliterate the Feminine.  The Masculine also took over in the East; however, the Divine Feminine survived in such traditions as the Japanese tradition and the Indian traditions.

Sabbath PrayerWhat was the world like prior to the Patriarchal Revolution?  It is hard to know.  Most of our historical, written records are from the Patriarchal period, and in the West, the Patriarchal Revolution was quite violent.   The Judeo-Christian written tradition chronicles the stamping out of the worship of Asharah and the Queen of Heaven.  Mundane archaeology has uncovered physical evidence to suggest that prior to around 500 B.C., Yahweh and Asharah were worshiped alongside each other as consorts.  It seems that the Canaanite Baal was also a consort to Asharah.  Interestingly enough traditions, such as Judaism, that can not be traced to a specific “founder” such as Jesus or Mohammed, tend to be the most fiercely Patriarchal.  This makes a great deal of sense if one understands that there was a revolt against the Feminine Tradition, and the unfounded traditions were reacting in keeping with this revolt.  Still one can see elements of the Primordial Feminine Tradition in Judaism, in such practices as the Mother of the House lighting the Shabbat candles and giving the Shabbat blessing.

Minoan Snake Goddess
Minoan Goddess

The Masculine Principle on a metaphysical level is associated with Mars, or Sai Vikhë in the Filianist tradition.  At its highest level, the Martial/Vikhelic Principle governs the Divine Conflict between Good and Evil, and is a protection against the Forces of Darkness.  In its lower form, the Martial/Vikhelic Principle is associated with conflicts of all kinds.  It is interesting that in cultures, such as Ancient Minos, which had a primarily Feminine spirituality, there does not appear to be evidence of weapons of war or a standing army.  Ancient Minos seems to have been a rather gentle culture in comparison with many other Ancient cultures that we know of.

Were women the dominant gender prior to the Patriarchal Revolution?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Again, we have few if any written records to refer to.  It is likely that women governed, because in Traditional cultures, societies tended to conform with their spirituality.  There is certainly no reason to presuppose that men were suppressed or oppressed during these times.  It is much more likely to presuppose that relations between women and men were rather harmonious, and that without the predominance of the Martial/Vikhelic Principle, there was little in the way of cruelty or oppression in general.

Why did the Patriarchal Revolution happen?  Again, there is no way to know the specifics from a fact based perspective.  Likely, it happened gradually over time.  As I discussed previously, in the natural unfolding of the Ages. We are in the Age of Iron, which, aside from being the Age most consolidated in matter, is also the harshest and most violent Age.  Iron is the metal of Mars/Sai Vikhë, so it stands to reason that the Age of Iron would be the most Martial/Vikhelic, and it would become more so as the Age progressed.  It is possible that as the Age progressed, the Martial/Vikhelic nature of patriarchy seemed to offer better protection.  It is likely that this was at least partially the impetus in the Hebrew tradition, with the pressure of the neighboring warlike states intent on conquest.  The Roman period was a particularly Martial/Vikhelic period in the West, and many of our current customs and cultures derive from the Roman period.  Indeed, Christianity, the dominant spiritual tradition of the West, has been transmitted to us through the Roman Empire.

MarsAs I stated earlier in this article, the Masculine and Feminine Principles are related to, but not synonymous with, biological males and females.  As evidence of that, one can see in our current times that the Masculine Principle has all but completely overtaken the Feminine Principle, particularly in the West.  Certainly, women have more “rights” than they ever had; however, these “rights” are bound up in the Masculine Principle.  Femininity itself became more and more devalued as the Feminist Movement progressed.  Lately, there seems to have been a resurgence of value given to the Feminine Principle; however, compared to sixty years ago, the Feminine Principle has been largely trampled.

One may ask what this has to do with a weblog devoted to philosophy, metaphysics, traditional science, and astrology?  A lot more than one might think.  To begin with, this weblog does not equate Tradition with patriarchy or the cruelties that have occurred during the Patriarchal Age.  Quite the contrary.  Patriarchy and the over-balanced Martial/Vikhelic influences that accompany it are seen as deviations from an earlier, gentler, and Feminine Tradition.  Also, one may notice that I rarely, if ever, quote from Classical, Medieval, or Renaissance philosophers or astrologers in this weblog.  I most certainly have studied many of these authors, and the astrology that I practice derives from the principles taught by these authors.  On the other hand, almost all written material that is available to us is from after and is colored by the Patriarchal period.

Part of the work of this weblog is to dig a bit deeper and retrieve the ideas and the principles from the older Feminine Tradition.  Many of these principles did and do survive even to this day.  Indeed, Classical Astrology is one of the few disciplines in the Modern West where these principles have been preserved, albeit in a masculinized and patriarchal form.  Classical Astrology is also one of the few disciplines that still functions as a true traditional science to a large extent, in that metaphysical principles are studied and applied to solve practical problems in the material world.

I am attempting to do the work of digging deeper, and replanting traditional metaphysics and practical astrology in its earlier Feminine Essentialist roots.  I am also making a humble attempt at working out how traditional Patriarchal metaphysics and Classical Astrology fit within the older Feminine Tradition.   Luckily, I am blessed with the able and kind assistance and teaching of friends and mentors.

See also:

Matriarchal History

The Philosophy of Beauty

On a spiritual level, humans are Axial Beings.  This is a large word to state that we have Free Will, and the ability to choose between Light and Dark, between Good and Evil.  I have written several articles that give a more detailed explanation our nature as Axial Beings.  If you are interested, you may refer to these articles as listed below:

Fate, Free Will, the Cross, and Wa

True and False Selves Through the Zodiac

Where We Come From and Why it Matters

I understand that this weblog is written for a different audience than the Apple Seed, so I will give a summary of the important point from these articles for our purposes here.  This point is that we have the power to choose, and we make choices every day, and sometimes every moment, that align us with Light and with Dark.

SparrowsThe choices we make in our material lives are not value neutral.  Everyday choices, such as our clothing, our furniture, our speech, and our manners, are choices between Light and Dark.  As it states in the feminine Scripture:

Truly, the world is a field of conflict between the powers of good and the legions of the Dark One.  In the cycles of civilization is the conflict manifest, and in the soul of every maid.

For the servants of the Dark One fasten upon the false self like to the bindweed upon a growing plan.  And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.

Truly, there is nothing in the world of clay that happens of itself, for the veil of matter is shot through with the light of the Real and the darkness of the false.

And not a sparrow lights upon a twig but it shows forth the conflict between evil and the Good, nor any grain of sand shifts in the desert reflecting not some spiritual truth;

neither does a star fall in the furthest corner of the firmament without an inward meaning.

Beauty of NatureAs our choices are not value neutral, if we want to serve the Light, what do we choose?  I am aware that some of the readers of this weblog are quite conscientious about where they purchase goods and services, paying attention to political, social, and humanitarian practices of the companies they support.  Without minimizing those considerations, I think it is also important to pay attention to beauty and workmaidship of the products themselves.  Beauty is a source of Light.  In choosing to adorn our bodies and our houses with beautiful things, we are choosing to surround ourselves with Light.

There is a popular phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” but I do not believe that this is true.  Beauty is an objective quality and is a reflection of the Beauty of the Divine.  The objectivity of beauty is even known by mundane physical scientists and mathematicians.  There is a number known as the Golden Ratio.  The closer anything reflects the proportions of the Golden Ratio, the more beautiful we perceive it to be.  Why would this SAMSUNGbe so?  I think that if material scientists were completely honest with themselves, they would have to admit that this pierces a huge hole in the Evolutionist world view that random chance and “survival of the fittest” are responsible for the world as we recognize it to be.  One must perform a lot of mental gymnastics to find a survival value to our recognition of beauty in the form of the Golden Ratio.

Similarly, what is the survival value to the beauty and multiplicity of flowers?  We are told that the beauty and multiplicity of flowers are to attract insects to spread pollen to propagate the species.  Yet, insects are just as attracted to soda cans as they are to brightly colored flowers.  Consider also the sand dollar.  As you can see, in each sand dollar there is a five petaled flower.  What is the survival value of that?  For those of my readers who are not familiar with astrology or metaphysics, the number five is the symbol for the Filianic Janya (Angel), Sai Sushuri, whose planetary representative on the physical plane is Venus.  Sai Sushuri in her pure form represents Divine Love and is also associated with Creation and Beauty.  It is also quite fascinating that Venus’ orbit over an 8 year span of time also produces a pentacle, or a five pointed star.  See below:

A modern scientist might say that primitive people observed these associations and “made up” the Divine as explanations for what they saw.  Yet, this theory does not explain why these things exist in the first place.  I think that it is far more likely that our foremothers understood things that we have forgotten in this day and age, and that they knew and understood exactly what they were talking about.

I thank my readers for their indulgence in this explanation, but I think it is important to understand that a choice of Beauty really is a choice of Light.  By the same token a choice of ugliness is a choice of Dark.  One may argue that there are practical and financial considerations, but is that really true?  Is it really that much more expensive to make something beautiful than it is to make something ugly?

In the header to this weblog, there is a quote from The Feminine Universe, by Miss Alice Lucy Trent.  Let me now share with my readers the passage from which I have taken this quote:

Much post-Eclipse design uses the excuse of ‘cheapness’ and ‘convenience’ for its hideousness, but this is nothing more than an excuse.  Given the same budgetary limitations, the same technics, and the same raw materials, the inspired designers of the Art-Neo period would have produced very different objects.  Objects that would uplift the soul rather than filling it with a sense of hollowness and worthlessness.  Design is, before all else, a language, expressing a thesis: and the thesis of the post-Eclipse design is the cheapness, ugliness, and worthlessness of life, and ultimately the chaos and the meaninglessness glare and babble of the inferior psychic regions.

Cheapness itself is a symptom.  The very willingness of the deracinated post-Eclipse person to fill her home with slick plastic in order to pay a little less money is symptomatic of a very terrible change.  An Art-Neo wireless set is, before all else, a piece of furniture in polished wood and gleaming metal or bakelite.  It cannot be anything else, because the home before the Eclipse–every home, from the greatest to the humblest–is still vestigally a Temple of Hestia, and its mistress still a Priestess of the Hearth Fire.  The remembrance of this Mysteria Domestica may be extremely remote, yet it is still a living thing that governs human actions at a very deep level.  Only that which is solid and good and worthy of the dignity of the Temple of the Home will be admitted within it.  A radiogram that is to occupy a prominent place within the home must be a noble and beautiful piece of furniture, else it cannot occupy that place.

This is quite a challenging passage for the modern reader, I believe.  Those readers who know me and who have been to my own home in the past will know that I have a long way to go towards the goal I am seeking.  On the other hand, I believe that my small efforts will be met with assistance of heaven, as in the above quoted passage of feminine Scripture, “And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.”

Thank you again for you indulgence with my philosophical discourse, and if by chance this discourse inspires any of readers of this weblog to begin to choose beauty, I wish you well with your own small efforts in that direction.

Where We Come From and Why It Matters

In our day and age in the West, modern science and Christianity are in fierce conflict over the subject of the origin of humanity.  In my last article, I gave a very brief and humble overview of the Feminine Essentialist teachings regarding the origins of Axial Beings, such as humans, and regarding the cycles of time, which does not hold with either Evolutionism or Creationism.   One may wonder, why this is such a fierce debate in the world, and why does it matter anyways?  What impact does this question have on our daily lives?

I think that the questions of where humans came from and what will happen to us when we pass from this earthly realm is of utmost importance, and in many ways it impacts every decision we make, including decisions on the mundane, day to day level.

In the Modern West, the dominant belief regarding these question is Evolutionism.   As I write this, I am cringing at imagined outcries from my readers.  Surely, Evolutionism is not a belief, it is a scientific theory!  What is more, it is a scientific theory that has been proven.  I understand that this is what we have all been taught from earliest childhood in the West; however, the very vehemence of the outcries is a sign that this is a belief system with its own dogma and doctrine.  Even on its own terms, this belief has holes in it.  For example, animals adapt to their environment far faster than can be accounted for by mutation and chance.  Another hole is that while there is much physical evidence for the adaption of species, there is still no proof or evidence of one species changing to another.

Yet, even if the physical evidence for the evolution of our bodies was incontrovertible, this still says nothing about our souls or when or how they came to inhabit the physical body.  Extreme Evolutionists would deny the existence of our souls and would instead reduce even our spiritual nature to biological processes.

I understand that what I have just said is challenging to many of my readers, but I ask anyone who is having difficulty to take a deep breath, have a cup of coffee or tea, and open your mind to this.  It does matter, and it is important.  I will let you digest this for a moment, while I discuss the opposition to Evolutionism, Creationism.

In the U.S., Creationism is the belief primarily held by Fundamentalist Christians.  I am not sure to what extent similar beliefs are still held by other religious groups; however, the vocal and public opposition to Evolutionism has come from Fundamentalist Christian Creationism.  The authority for the belief in creationism comes from a strict and literal reading of the Judeo-Christian Creation Mythos as if it was an accounting of factual historical events.  The group of people who believe this are a small, but very vocal, minority in the U.S.

Recently, there has been a new movement known as Intelligent Design.  Evolutionists fear the theory of Intelligent Design and decry that it represents a backdoor to teach Creationism in schools, but Intelligent Design is not Creationism.  It does not rest on any Biblical authority, nor does it really speak to the question of where we came from.  If I understand the Intelligent Design theory, it is the theory that the universe is too complex and beautiful for it to have happened by random chance, so there must be a Creator.  This is as far as the theory goes, as far as I can tell.  As an aside, as a Filianist, a Feminine Essentialist, and as an astrologer, who has studied the movements of the planets for meaning for decades, Intelligent Design seems to be an obvious truism, and I have trouble even imagining how Intelligent Design can be open for debate.  Of course, there may very well be complexities that I am not aware of, so I will not enter further into that discussion .

So, now that I have likely offended everyone reading this, except for my readers who are already Feminine Essentialists, I shall take a deep breath and summon up courage for a bit of a side by side analysis of Evolutionism, Creationism, and Feminine Essentialism.  Before I begin, though, I would like to refer the reader to the article, Fate, Free Will, the Cross, and Wa, to understand the metaphysical meaning of the symbolism of the Cross.  For more intrepid readers, you might want to read an article that I wrote for the ISCA, Nativity Charts and Free Will.  This article is a more technical astrological article about the application of the doctrine of the symbol of the Cross in Nativity readings.  For the purpose of the following analysis, what is important to understand from these articles is that the Cross incorporates two axes, the vertical and the horizontal.  The horizontal axis represents our material existence, and the vertical axis represents upward and downward movement or choices.

Now that the reader understands (or at least is aware of) the symbol of the Cross, let us all take a deep breath and delve into the analysis.  I will preface my analysis a disclaimer that it is very simplistic.  I am well aware that all of these belief systems are much, much more complex; however, I think that a basic analysis is helpful for purposes of this article.

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Theory of EvolutionEvolutionism

Origins of the Human Physical Form:  We evolved from lower forms, specifically from primates.  We share a common ancestor with chimpanzees and other apes, who are our closest relatives.  At some point in time, we became intelligent and eventually formed civilizations.

Origins of the Human Soul:  Completely unknown, if indeed there is really such a thing as the human soul.

Goal of HumanitySurvival

Fate of the Soul:  Completely unknown, if indeed there is really a human soul.  Our body will perish at some point.  After that, what happens to the soul is unknown.

Analysis using the Symbol of the Cross:  There is no cross.  There is only the horizontal axis.  Everything, including spirituality, is judged based on its relation to the horizontal or material axis.  This belief gives rise to such theologies as the Prosperity Gospel (the goal of spirituality is personal material success) and the Social Justice Gospel (the goal of spirituality is to promote and work for a better and more just world).  This is not to say that there is anything wrong with either material prosperity or working for a better and more just world.  The problem with both of these theologies is that they make the spiritual subordinate to the material, which is backwards from the Feminine Essentialist perspective, which is that the material is always subordinate to the spiritual.

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Creationism

GenesisOrigins of the Human Physical Form:  God formed the first man, Adam, from clay and his wife, Eve, was formed using Adam’s rib.  All humans descend from Adam and Eve.

Origins of the Human Soul:  This is a bit tricky and is different with different denominations of Christianity.  It seems that the human soul was created with the human body, and each of our individual souls only has one life in a physical body.

Goal of Humanity: Salvation

Analysis using the Symbol of the Cross:  Creationism recognizes both the horizontal and vertical axes; however, there is a belief that our place on the vertical axis becomes fixed at some point in time.  Different denominations have different beliefs as to the point that this happens, and how one is able to move along the vertical axis before one’s place becomes fixed.  According to this belief system, after we die, we will go either to Heaven or Hell, and we will stay there eternally.  The goal of spirituality is to help us go to Heaven, rather than Hell.   The biggest difficulty with this goal from the Feminine Essentialist perspective is that is it grossly simplistic, and eternal Hell is an impossibility.  Any Hell we may find ourselves in must be temporary, in that it is a state other than ultimate reunion with Dea.

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Queen of HeavenFeminine Essentialism

Origins of the Human Physical Form:  Our physical form is a reflection of the Essence of the Perfect Human Form in the Mind of Dea.  The mechanics of how this actually happened on the material level are not all that important.  We acknowledge that the “scientific proof” of evolution is not as solid as Evolutionists belief; however, it is not really a question worthy of debate or dispute.

Origins of the Human Soul: The Filianic Creed states, “I believe that I was created from before the dawn of time by the one eternal Dea.”

Goal of Humanity: Liberation.

Analysis using the Symbol of the Cross: Feminine Essentialism teaches that we have full movement up and down the vertical axis.  We can choose Light or Dark at any time, and we can and do choose between Light and Dark moment by moment.  As mentioned above, we believe that any state other than ultimate reunion with Dea is temporary.  The goal of spirituality is to hold on to our connection with our Source through the Unfolding of the Ages.  In the words of a dear friend and mentor in traditional metaphysics, “we don’t believe a soul can be eternally ****ed, but it can find itself in a Fine Mess.”   The way a soul finds herself in a Fine Mess to separate herself from the Divine.  Our connection becomes more and more attenuated as the Ages unfold from the Age of Gold to the Age of Iron, but in the later stages of time, simple efforts are enough, and Dea will make up for any deficiencies.  In the feminine Scripture, it says, “None shall call upon Me and be lost.”

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Why It Matters

I have just stated that in Feminine Essentialism, any state other than ultimate reunion with Dea is temporary, so a reader may ask, what does it matter what people believe?  In a sense, it doesn’t.  Sooner or later, all must come to the Truth, and it does not matter what name or image we have for our Source, whether God, Allah, Jesus, Dea, or any Name that has existed in history.  There is only One Source.  The true spiritual battle is not that which is between different religions but that which is between Light and Dark.  All we are doing is offering our knowledge of Truth for anyone who may be interested.

On the other hand, these beliefs have practical implications.  Evolutionism seems rather soul deadening, at least to me.  Evolutionism also promotes a rather arrogant view of our ancestors.  If we are descended form lower primates, then of course, we would know more than those who came before us.  It also seems to me that a pure belief in random chance and survival of the fittest promotes a rather cut throat and materialistic attitude towards life.  Because Evolutionism denies the vertical axis and teaches that we are animals (albeit intelligent animals), it negates true Free Will, reducing all human behavior to biological processes and survival mechanisms.

On one level, Creationism seems less soul deadening than Evolutionism, and from a Feminine Essentialist perspective is not exactly wrong like Evolutionism is.   It is grossly simplistic, to be sure, but it preserves the notion that we are descended from the Angels, rather than ascended from Apes.  While most forms of Creationism do not negate true Free Will, like Evolutionism does, they do severely limit it with the notion that there is a time that our souls can become fixed on the vertical axis  (before final reunion with Dea), and it leads to some rather unpleasant and rude behavior in the name of “saving” people, such as conversion attempts that range from mildly annoying to brutally violent.

I appreciate the patience and indulgence of my readers who may not share my philosophy and faith.  Please remember this is not intended to “convert” anyone, but merely to explain the thealogy and philosophy behind Feminine Essentialism.

See also:

The Theory of Evolution

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Unfolding of the Ages

The study of astrology is primarily a study of cycles of time from the Great Year, marked by the Precession of the Equinoxes, over a period of approximately 25,600 years to the daily cycle of 24 hours, and many cycles in between.  There is another cycle that we are much less aware of in the West, but which is still taught in Eastern traditions.

DawnThis is the cycle of the unfolding of the Ages.  This cycle is not necessarily marked by physical astrological signposts, but it is the cycle of our experience as Axial Beings.

Inherent in Filianist thealogy is the understanding that we are not our bodies.  We are not completely our souls either, but it is helpful to use the term soul as the individual Axial Being that undergoes the process of rebirth.  This concept is not as simple as it may seem, but the complexity of this gets into matters well beyond the scope of this article, and truly, it is a bit beyond what we can understand fully from a non-Enlightened state of being.

I have just introduced a term, Axial Being, and I believe that this term needs definition.  An Axial Being is one that has Free Will.  We must understand that Axial Beings are not necessarily the highest or most intelligent beings in manifestation.  Animals are non-Axial Beings, but so are angels.  Axial Beings are the souls that have the power to choose between good and evil and that can be something different than they were born to be.  A cat will always fundamentally be a cat and will act as it natural and normal for a cat.  There are a few very rare exceptions to this, but in general, this is true.  By the same token, an angel will always be an angel and will act the nature of an angel.  Axial Beings are the only beings that are capable of acting against their nature.

A fundamental belief of Deanism/Filianism is that we have been around since before the dawn of time.  The Filianic Creed begins: “I believe that I was created from before the dawn of time by the one eternal Dea.”  This does not mean we believe that we have inhabited physical bodies the entire time.  Indeed, the Filianic Creation Mythos speaks to an unmeasured period, after Creation and before time, where we lived in relative Union with Dea.  It is implicitly understood that at this time, we did not inhabit physical bodies, as we understand the concept today.

It is for this reason that the Creation/Evolution debate that so divides Modern Western culture is ridiculously literalistic from the perspective of Essentialist and Filianist teachings.  Where our actual bodies come from is really immaterial.  It may be interesting to ponder and study, but this study says nothing about us as Axial Beings.  At some point, Axial Beings began to inhabit the physical, human form.  How and when this happened is beyond the scope of what we can learn through physical science.

From tradition, we do have some teaching to inform us on this subject.  This teaching is that of the unfolding of the Cycles of Time.  There have likely been many full Cycles of Time since the beginning of time, but one Cycle of Time is the most that we are really capable of understanding from a state of non-Enlightenment.  The Cycle of Time is analogous to the yearly seasons we experience and is a cycle of consolidation into matter.

The first Age in the Cycle is the Age of Gold, or the Satya Yuga.  In this age, our souls barely inhabit physical form, if they do at all.  In the Age of Gold, we are mostly, if not completely, spirit.  With each subsequent Age, the Age of Silver, the Treta Yuga, the Age of Bronze, the Dvapara Yuga, and the Age of Iron, the Kali Yuga, we become increasingly consolidated into matter.  It is only in the Age of Iron that our souls are fully consolidated into matter, and the consolidation becomes heavier and stronger as the Age of Iron progresses.

Adam and EveThese Ages are not uniform in their length in terms of time.  Each of the Ages is far shorter than the subsequent Age.  The Age of Iron that we are currently in began around 5,000 or 6,000 years ago.  Interestingly enough, the Judeo-Christian written tradition gives the time of Creation and of Adam and Eve as around the beginning of the current Age of Iron.  While it is an overly simplistic interpretation to say that Creation began at this time, in a sense, there is some truth to it.  We really can not truly understand the lives of our ancentresses prior to the beginning of the Age of Iron with information we can obtain from our senses, either directly or through reason.  The reason for this is that we do not know the extent to which Axial Beings actually inhabited the physical human form in even the Age of Bronze, let alone in the Age of Silver or the Age of Gold.

Tradition tells us that we are currently in the final stages of the Age of Iron, and we will be next headed into a new Age of Gold.  For good reason, no legitimate tradition will tell us the exact time when this will happen, but will only give us clues and a general description of how long each Age lasts.

This understanding plays a huge role in our analysis of disciplines such as traditional medicine and classical astrology.  The Age of Iron is the age that we are the most consolidated into matter, and the consolidation increases as the Age progresses.  This is the reason that what we think of as magic “worked” early in the Age of Iron, and does not really “work” very well today.  As the Age of Iron progresses, we need more and more technology to accomplish what was accomplished through non-physical means at the beginning of the Age.  This is why it is not correct to say that our forebears were superstitious when they used non-physical means for healing, such as appeals to aspects of Dea known as “gods and goddesses.”  At the beginning of the Age of Iron, that likely still “worked.”  These things do not “work” in the same way in the very late Age of Iron that we are currently in, but instead, we need more and more physical methods of healing, such as surgery and medicine.

In my series, Astrology as a Traditional Science, I discussed that the seeds of the modern rationalist movement in the West started at around the time that Aristotle diverged from his teacher, Plato, on the subject of Perfect Form.  On one level, this divergence was somewhat false teaching, but on another level, there is some truth to what Aristotle and his contemporaries taught.  On a practical level, in applied sciences such as medicine and astrology, we must engage in observation in addition to study of traditional, metaphysical principles.  As our souls became more and more consolidated into matter, they became further away from their Perfect Form, and as that happened, pure metaphysical principles did not “work” in on a physical level in the same way as they did in earlier Ages, or even as they did at the beginning of the Iron Age.

So, for practical purposes, it might be useful to rely upon the information we derive from our senses in the late Iron Age, but we must still remember that Perfect Form exists, and we must also remember that in this late Age of Iron, we are as far away from Perfect Form as we can get in this current Cycle of Time.

While I have discussed the Cycle of Time as a movement of decline and a movement away from our Perfect Form, please understand that this Cycle is as natural as the cycle of the seasons of the year.  The Age of Iron will always follow the Age of Bronze, just as Winter will always follow Fall.  This decline will happen no matter what we as Axial Beings do or do not do.

There is another set of Ages that I believe that Axial Beings and societies do have a choice concerning, and that is the gunas, but that is a subject for another article.

See also:

Kali Yuga: the Patriarchal Dark Age

Cyclical Time or Spiral Time

True and False Selves Through the Zodiac

One of the doctrines of Deanism and Filianism is the doctrine of our True and False Selves.  I believe this doctrine is found in many religions; however, different religions have different terminology for the same concept.

The basic doctrine is that a person’s True Self is the part of her that is aligned with the Divine.  Her ultimate True Self is actually One with the Divine, but on a mundane level, her True Self is her best self.  Everyone has a True Self.  Opposed to a person’s True Self is her False Self.  Her False Self is aligned with the Dark and is opposed to the Light.  Often one’s False Self acts in a subtle way, whispering thoughts of fear, ego, and selfishness.  Our False Selves are always a twisted mirror of our True Selves.  Within this thealogy, it is our True Selves that are real.  We are our True Selves, not our False Selves.

Cure Moonlight and Dark Precure

Interestingly enough, a common theme in Japanese media shows this struggle between our True and our False Selves, and often the heroine must defeat her own False Self before she can continue to fight evil.

One of my personal stumbling blocks when studying Classical Astrology has been that many of our source teachers can be rather harsh and a bit negative, particularly about certain signs.  Water signs, in particular, tend to get rather harsh treatment.  As a Pisces Sun, with a Scorpio Moon and Ascendant, you can imagine that I am a bit sensitive about these things.  Aside from my personal feelings, though, I have noticed that when one applies axioms and rules directly from Medieval or Classical authors, one gets a rather negative reading.

In some ways, it is a bit refreshing to move away from the over-positive readings one can get with Modern Astrology, but I will admit that the harshness of Medieval and Classical Astrology sometimes made me quite uncomfortable.  I think that one of the difficulties may be a different philosophy.  I think that Medieval and Renaissance Western philosophy tended to be quite harsh as well, with a belief that human nature was intrinsically bad.   Modern New Age astrology tends to be a bit overly optimistic, assuming that everything about us is good.

I think that the doctrine of True and False Selves has been helpful for me in finding a balance between these two ways of looking at a chart.  Everyone one has a True Self, and everyone has a False Self.  Whether we operate out of our True Selves or our False Selves is a day by day, and sometimes even moment by moment decision on our parts.  The doctrine of our True Selves is part and parcel with the doctrine of Free Will and the Cross, which is discussed here.

Nativity Charts are quite valuable in discerning the True Self and the False Self of a native.  One can read a chart in its most positive light to see the person’s True Self and look at the chart in the most negative possible light to see her False Self.  Sometimes the native will let her True Self shine through, sometimes her False Self will take over.

One can apply the doctrine of True and False Self to the zodiac signs.  The zodiac signs are the 12 Archetypes of humankind.  None of us reflect any of these Archetypes purely.  We are all a mixture of these archetypes, and no two charts are exactly alike.  Yet, in each of these Archetypes, we can see the operation of the doctrine of True and False Selves.  We are often taught that the zodiac signs have positive and negative traits.  The negative traits of each of the signs are always a twisting of the positive traits, just as the False Self is always a twisting of the True Self.  With this thought, below I have made a humble attempt to show this doctrine in the 12 Archetypes or Signs.

Aries the Ram

The Warrior

Aries

True Aries:  Strong, courageous, optimistic, friendly, decisive

False Aries:  Impulsive, rude, brazen, foolhardy, selfish

Taurus the Bull  

The Farmer

Taurus

True Taurus:  Patient, stable, kind, pleasant-mannered

False Taurus:  Lazy, dull, stubborn, closed minded

Gemini the Twins

The Student

Gemini

True Gemini:  Open minded, friendly, curious, interested in almost anything

False Gemini:  Flighty, indecisive, duplicitous, inconstant

Cancer the Crab

The Mother

Cancer

True Cancer:  Nurturing, loving, attentive, caring

False Cancer:  Clutching, unforgiving, mean

Leo the Lion

The Queen

Leo

True Leo:  Generous, fun loving, confident, charming

False Leo:  Narcissistic, overbearing, attention seeking

Virgo the Virgin

The Secretary

Virgo

True Virgo:  Conscientious, detail-oriented, precise, intellectual

False Virgo:  Hypercritical, unkind, paralyzed by perfectionism

Libra the Scales

The Diplomat

Libra

True Libra:  Diplomatic, pleasant, artistic, strong interpersonal skills

False Libra:  Indecisive, manipulative, dishonest

Scorpio the Scorpion

The Martial Artist

Scorpio

True Scorpio:  Passionate, determined, perceptive, loyal

False Scorpio:  Possessive, jealous, stormy, vengeful

Sagittarius the Archer

The Explorer

Sagittarrius

True Sagittarius:  Optimistic, philosophical, enthusiastic, generous, friendly

False Sagittarius:  Pompous, over-confident, judgmental, ill-mannered

Capricorn the Goat

The Governess

Capricorn

True Capricorn:  Organized, efficient, practical, ambitious

False Capricorn:  Overly ambitious, cold, unfeeling, miserly

Aquarius the Water Bearer

The Truth Teller

Aquarius

True Aquarius:  Curious, intelligent, friendly, sociable

False Aquarius:  Defiant, eccentric, immovable

Pisces the Fish

The Dreamer

Pisces

True Pisces:  Gentle, kind, loving, compassionate, ethereal

False Pisces:  Gullible, overly sensitive, escapist, prone to addictions

Astrology as a Traditional Science, Part IV: Research and Observation

In the past three articles, we have explored the origins and roots of rationalism, the essential and metaphysical principles upon which astrology is based, and how astrological problems would be addressed under Essentialist (the traditional approach defended by Plato that was common to all civilizations and was first breached in Periclean Athens), Aristotelian, and nominalist philosophies.  I also suggested that the Essentialist philosophy is soundest of these three philosophies.  I also suggested that we approach astrology as a traditional science, rather than as a modern science.  What does this mean?

A simple explanation of the difference between traditional science and modern science is that a traditional science accepts what has been handed down from tradition as true when that tradition is long standing and relatively uniform.  Traditional science treats metaphysical principles as trustworthy and constant and treats information that we perceive with our senses as unreliable and fleeting.  Modern science takes the opposite approach.  In modern science, nothing is considered true or proven unless it can be observed with our senses (either directly or with technological enhancement) or can be derived from our sense data using rational analysis.  Traditional science still uses sense data and rational analysis; however, information obtained from these sources is given a secondary status to information that has been passed down from solid tradition (you may recall that tradition is that which has been passed down to us from the beginning of time, see What is Tradition?)

How can this be?  Can we not trust what we can observe with our senses?  This proposition is a difficult one for Westerners, I think.  We are taught to question everything and that “seeing is believing.”  Under a traditionalist approach, however, we understand that the only part of the cosmos that we can perceive with our senses is the sublunary sphere; all of the higher planes are beyond our senses.  What we know of the higher planes is that which has been passed down to us from tradition.  There is a certain arrogance to modern scientific reliance on our own observation and rational analysis, assuming that we know better than our forebears did.  The modern attitude can be likened to that of a teenager ignoring the advice and wisdom of her parents.  Traditional science presumes that our forebears knew more and understood more than we did, so we trust tradition over our current sense data.

Does this mean that current research and our sense data are to be ignored by traditional science?  Not at all.  First of all, in the West, our tradition has been broken, particularly in the traditional science of astrology.  There are many fine astrologers and researchers who are busy at work translating and analyzing texts from the past 2,000 years, but this is a poor substitute for an unbroken line of tradition passed down from teacher to student over millennia.  Because of this, we do not have a uniform or consistent tradition to guide us.  There are some principles and techniques that are uniform, such as the traditional planetary rulerships of the signs.  There are other principles and techniques that are confusing at best and chaotic at worse, such as the various House systems.

In cases where tradition is unclear or confusing, we do need to use research and observation to sift through inconsistencies.  In a modern scientific approach, one would sift through these inconsistencies using a purely empirical approach.  We would conduct research to see what “worked.”  Research and observation to determine what techniques “work” is perfectly acceptable in a traditional science as well, particularly when the there is inconsistency and apparent disharmony in the tradition available to us.  On the other hand, in a traditional science, one would first analyze metaphysical foundations for the different techniques, if such information was available.  If it is clear that the metaphysical basis behind a technique is unsound, it should be discarded, whether or not it appears to “work.”

Furthermore, even if we had a solid, unbroken tradition, we would still need research and observation.  This is because of the doctrine of the unfolding of the ages.  For a detailed description of this doctrine, I will refer the reader to this article; however, the summary of this doctrine is that Axial Beings become more and more consolidated in matter as the greater cycle progresses.  At present, we are in the Age of Iron, and we are highly consolidated in matter.  While the metaphysical principles remain consistent and true, the application of these principles changes and becomes less pure.  A technique that may have worked in the past may not work in the same way as this material age continues to unfold.  A concrete example of this concept is the prediction of fertility using techniques that have been passed down from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  In this day and age, we have reproductive technology to assist with such matters, so the techniques that “worked” in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to predict whether an individual would have children may not work now, or more likely, may work, but in a different way.

This approach to research and observation is not the same as the modern approach.  When we undertake this research, we are not attempting to innovate, nor do we have any notion that we will “discover” something unknown to our forebears.  What we are doing is acknowledging the unfolding of the ages and that the sublunary plane is the world of flux and change.  The principles remain the same, but the application of these principles changes over time.  This is where the Essentialist understanding of metaphysics provides more flexibility than the Aristotelian understanding does.  The Essentialist understanding  of metaphysics is that the material reflects the metaphysical; it does not necessarily mimic the metaphysical.  Our theories and hypotheses must be derived from sound metaphysics and tradition; however, a reasonable amount of variance is allowed and even expected.  We can adapt our methods and techniques to be more accurate in a different age without challenging or upsetting the underlying principles.

It may seem like this discussion has led us back to the methods that many astrologers already use in their practice and in application.  In a sense, that is absolutely correct.  Adopting an Essentialist philosophy does not necessarily change what we do on a practical level.  What does change is how we think about what we do, and how we analyze and explain our craft.  One of the areas of discomfort and disharmony for and between  Traditional/Classical Astrologers concerns how strictly we adhere to the lessons of astrologers of the past, and whatever approach we take, it is a source of criticism from modern astrologers.  This makes for some rather uncomfortable conversations in our attempts to explain whether and how we can adhere to tradition in a world that is very different from the world in which our predecessors lived.  As I have also demonstrated, there are flaws in the Aristotelian approach, and these flaws require mental gymnastics to explain and reconcile when we are confronted by the findings of modern science.

While the modern criticisms of Aristotelian philosophy have merit, the modern answer to these criticisms does not.  The error in the Aristotelian approach is not a lack of understanding of modern scientific principles; the error is in the departure from tradition.  Essentialist philosophy provides us with flexibility and gives us the guidance we need to adapt and adjust our practice to a changing world.  This philosophy expects and can accommodate variations between our tradition and our sense data in a way that Aristotelian philosophy cannot. Essentialist philosophy also sets the  parameters for adjustments to our practice.  The first parameter is that our adaptions derive from our tradition and do not disrupt tradition.  The second parameter is that we only adapt when it is necessary to obtain accurate readings in a more material and consolidated time, and these adaptations are vigorously tested.  We adapt and adjust, we do not innovate.

I understand that this series of articles may be a bit challenging.  The ideas that have been presented have been the result of a long dialogue and struggle that I have had in adapting my practice to an Essentialist understanding of the cosmos.  This struggle was reminiscent of the struggle I had several years ago when I was converted to Classical Astrology from Modern Astrology.  Like that struggle, this one was difficult and painful, but the end result was well worth the struggle.  For me, it has given me a new and richer understanding of our craft, and on a practical level, I believe it has allowed me to give more accurate and helpful readings to others.

Astrology as a Traditional Science, Part III: Application

We have discussed the origins of rationalist thought, and the 7 Divine Principles and the 12 Archetypes.  So, what does this all mean, and why does this matter to astrology as an applied science?

Let us go back to the disagreement between Plato and Aristotle on the issue of Perfect Form, and the later introduction of nominalism.  If you recall, Plato taught that Perfect Forms exist at the level of the Divine.  This teaching was not unique to Plato, and this is one of the basic precepts of essentialism.  Aristotle taught that all Perfect Forms must manifest in the material world, and any Perfect Form that does not manifest in the material world does not exist.  The later philosophy of nominalism teaches that only the manifest world exists.  Why do these differences matter?

In astrology, the Perfect Forms would be the Divine Principles and the 12 Archetypes.  According to Plato, and prior Traditional teachings, while the physical manifestation of these Forms derive from the Perfect Form, they are not necessarily perfect representations of these forms.  Also, Perfect Forms may exist without ever becoming manifest in physical form.  According to Aristotelian thought, all Perfect Forms must be manifest in physical form.  Nominalist thought would not acknowledge any Forms beyond manifest forms.

Ptolemy Model of CosmosWhile nominalist thought would state that the cosmos is the manifest universe, in the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, the manifest universe is the sublunary plane, and only the sublunary plane.  Plato and Aristotle would agree that the Traditional Model of the Cosmos is true and that the Solar System is a microcosm of the full cosmos.  Under this Model, the stars and planets that we can see are a visual model of the larger cosmos that we can not see.  The disagreement between the philosophers is over the question of whether what we can see is an exact replica of the cosmos we can not see.  According to Platonic thought, it does not have to be.  If what is seen in the physical sky does not match the Model of the Cosmos, it is interesting, but it does not change the metaphysical principles involved.  According to Aristotelian thought, if what is seen in the physical sky does not match our teachings regarding the Model of the Cosmos, this calls into question these teachings.

One may ask, if we accept the axiom, “As above, so below,” does this not mean that it is Aristotelian thought that must be true?  Should not what we see on the material plane match the metaphysical principles we can not see?  Not necessarily.  There is another axiom we can use to explain discrepancies between the physical and the metaphysical: “Earth moves, but Heaven is still.”  If one understands this axiom, one can see that it is not possible for a Perfect Form to manifest on the physical level.  Perfect Forms only exist at the level of the Highest Heaven.  Even at the level of the Sphere of the Fixed Stars, manifestation becomes imperfect.  This is why there can be evil fixed stars, such as Algol.  By the time we get to the level of the sublunary plane, forms become quite imperfect.  Forms we can see are reflections of the Perfect Form, but just as the reflection of the Moon does not look exactly like the physical Moon in the sky, the reflections of Perfect Forms do not look exactly like the Perfect Forms in the Highest Heaven.  Combining the axiom, “As above, so below,” with the axiom, “Earth moves, Heaven is still,” one can see how Platonic and Traditional Essentialist thought would be the soundest philosophy and doctrine.

Again, why does this matter?  Let us apply the three different philosophies to the 2 crises in astrology, the “discovery” of a heliocentric solar system, and the “discovery” of the Outer Planets.

The “discovery” of a heliocentric solar system is only a difficulty if one adheres to nominalism.  According to both Platonic and Aristotelian thought, an observation that the physical Sun is the center of the physical solar system is consistent with the metaphysical principle of the Solar Heart being central, see Mummies and Luminaries.  The manifest solar system exists in the sublunary plane, so an observation that the physical Sun is central to the physical solar system does not challenge the Traditional Model of the Cosmos in any way, and in fact, this observation supports generally accepted metaphysical teachings.  The only way that the “discovery” of a heliocentric solar system can challenge the Traditional Model of the Cosmos is if one believes that this model is describing the physical, manifest universe.LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

The “discovery” of the Outer Planets is a bit more complicated.  If one adheres to nonimalism, then the discovery of the Outer Planets becomes of utmost importance.  According to this philosophy, it is the physical planets themselves that impact us, so any new planets that are discovered must be incorporated into practice.  In fact, we may even need to include bodies such as asteroids, comets, and the moons of other planets into our practice.  If we decide to include some, but not all bodies, we must have a good reason for doing so.  The burden of proof is on the exclusion of these planets under this analysis.

The “discovery” of the Outer Planets is even more problematic for Aristotelian thought.  According to this philosophy, the physical universe must be a replica of the metaphysical cosmos.  The “discovery” of extra planets is inconsistent with the doctrines of the 7 Divine Principles and the Traditional Model of the Cosmos.  This creates a huge crisis. Do the 3 extra planets mean that there are 3 extra spheres to the cosmos?  Are there 3 more Divine Principles?  If the physical solar system must be an exact replica of the full cosmos, this would seem to be the case.  The “discovery” of extra planets calls into question past metaphysical teachings, and if these teachings are to be preserved, there must be an explanation.  History has born this out.  The “discovery” of the heliocentric model of the solar system did not disrupt the practice of astrology; the “discovery” of the Outer Planets did.

The “discovery” of the Outer Planets is not a problem for Platonic and Traditional Essentialist thought.  Under this philosophy, one does not expect the physical universe to be the exact replica of the entire cosmos.  The physical universe reflects the entire cosmos, but there can be and probably are, variations.  The fact that there are more physical planets than are accounted for in the Traditional Model of the Cosmos or in the 7 Divine Principles does not change anything.  The traditional teachings are preserved.  The system that has been passed down for millennia does not need to be revised or changed.  The Outer Planets can not represent Divine Principles, because tradition teaches us that there are Seven Divine Principles and the Archetypes that these Principles rule.  We treat the tradition that has been passed down to us as sacrosanct.

Under Platonic and Essentialist philosophy, the movements of the Outer Planets may have meaning for us.  This does not disrupt tradition.  In astrology, there are other points that are traditionally recognized as meaningful that are not equated with Divine Principles.  Some examples are the Lunar Nodes and Arabic Parts.   On the other hand, the Outer Planets do not have to have meaning just because they exist, have physical properties similar to the Traditional Planets, and can now be perceived with instruments.  The burden of proof is placed on assigning them meaning, rather than on not assigning them meaning.

On the other hand, under Platonic thought, even if the Outer Planets have meaning, they can not rule signs, and they do not represent extra cosmological spheres.   There are Seven Divine Principles, not nine or ten, and their relationship to the Archetypes is a matter of well established tradition.  Assigning rulerships to the Outer Planets disrupts the system in a way that attributing meaning to them does not.

As you can see, returning to Platonic and Traditional Essentialist thought frees us to observe the physical universe and to adjust our practice accordingly.  At the same time, it also anchors us and gives us boundaries for these observations and adjustments.

I intended this to be the final article in these series, but this explanation ended up being longer than I expected.  Part IV of this series will explore the role of research and observation and its relationship to traditional teachings.

Astrology as a Traditional Science, Part IV: Research and Observation

Astrology as a Traditional Science, Part II: Angels and Archetypes

Now that I have addressed the rationalist/substantialist intrusion into Western thought and some of its impact on the practice of astrology, it is time to discuss the essentialist basis from which astrology draws its tools and methods.  This is the answer to the recurring and age-old question as to why astrology “works.”

Astrology is one of the few traditional sciences that is still being practiced.  As I discussed in my previous article, in the past, all sciences were traditional sciences, but over the centuries, traditional science was replaced by modern science.  While rationalism and modern science have invaded astrology, and many astrologers may not be aware of the traditional principles upon which this craft is based, these principles are deeply entwined in the tools and methods that astrologers use.

The most basic tools that astrologers use are the planets and the zodiac.  The physical planets and the zodiac are physical representations of deeper metaphysical principles.  They are not the principles themselves.  A metaphor I have been taught to explain this concept is that of the reflection of the Moon on the water.  The reflection may not look exactly like the Moon that it reflects, but the Moon is still the source of that reflection.  In the same way, the planets and the zodiac that we can see reflect principles that we can not see.

The planets reflect aspects of the Divine, whatever name we may use for the Divine.  My present spiritual tradition is Filianism so I will be primarily using that spiritual language, although I will also incorporate language from other traditions to the extent I am able to speak knowledgeably about the tradition.  These principles are not tied to any specific religion, however, and they are part of universal traditional wisdom.  Readers from other spiritual traditions, please feel free to translate these principles into your own spiritual lexicon.

The Seven Divine Principles

Below are the descriptions of the Seven Divine Principles.  I will include the Roman planetary name, the name of the Filianic Janya (or Angel), and the Eastern element (for the non-luminary principles) in my description.  I understand that there is also an association with the Judeo-Christian archangels, but in doing a brief internet search on the subject, I did not find agreement or consensus, and I do not have enough personal knowledge to sift through the differences.  So, please forgive that omission.

Solar MotherThe Sun, Sol, Sai Raya – The Solar/Creative Principle.  In the Filianic tradition, this principle is associated with (but not synonymous with) the Mother.  In the Christian tradition, this principle is loosely associated with the Risen Christ, and in the Roman Catholic tradition, with Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The Solar Principle is the source of all life and energy.  The Solar Principle is also the principle that links us with the One Spirit, and we each carry a microcosm of that principle in our own Heart.

The Moon, Luna, Sai Candre – The Lunar/Sustaining Principle.  In the Filianic tradition, this principle is associated with (but not synonymous with) the Daughter.  This is the principle that sustains our life in the material plane.  This principle is also the Redeeming Principle and the bridge between our human existence and our Solar Heart connection with the Divine.  Just as the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, the Lunar Principle reflects the Solar Principle.  Just as we can not look directly at the Sun, but can look directly at the Moon, the Lunar principle is the principle that we can understand.  The Lunar Principle is also the principle of Divine Sacrifice, which is of course found in the Christian tradition, but the principle is as old as time itself and is found in every religion.  Mary, in her aspect as the Queen of Heaven, is a symbol of the Lunar Principle in the Roman Catholic tradition, and Quan Yin is a symbol of the Lunar Principle in the Eastern tradition.

Saturn, Sai Rhavë, Earth – the Destructive Principle.  In the Filianic tradition, this principle is associated with (but not synonymous with) the Dark Mother, the Light beyond the Darkness and the Darkness beyond the Light.  This principle is the hardest to explain and understand, and in practical application, this principle is seen as malefic but is an aspect of the Divine as well.  Paradoxically, the Rhavic Principle is the principle that both binds us to the material plane and releases us from it.  This principle tends to be quite severe in application and is associated with time.  While we can acknowledge that the Rhavic Principle is Divine, it is not a principle that one would invoke or embrace.  One can not truly understand this principle without having reached a very high level of Enlightenment.

Mercury, Sai Mati, Water – Divine Intelligence.  In the Eastern tradition, this principle is seen as the “Little Sun” and is very close to the Solar Principle.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Matic Principle can be seen in Sophia, Divine Wisdom.  This is the principle from which Enlightenment comes, and indeed, the name Buddha (“the Enlightened One”) and the Bodhi tree (“the Tree of Wisdom”), are derived from one of the names for the Matic Principle.

Venus, Sai Sushuri, Metal – Divine Love.  Even though in the West, unfortunately, this principle has been associated with only romantic love, this principle encompasses all forms of love and is the principle from which all Love and Beauty flow.  The Sushuric Principle is gentle and is also related to Divine Mercy.  One could argue that Jesus taught the Sushuric principle.   The Sushuric Principle is also associated with the beauty of manifestation.

Mars, Sai Vikhë, Fire – Divine Protection.  The Vikhelic Principle is both easy to understand and difficult to explain.  The Vikhelic Principle is the principle of conflict.  In order for there to be manifestation, there must be separation from the Divine.  Once this separation takes place, conflict becomes inevitable.  On a spiritual level, the Vikhelic Principle is the struggle between Good and Evil.  In the history of this world, the Vikhelic Principle is overbalanced to an extreme, but in its balanced form, it is a protective principle.  When the Vikhelic Principle is balanced, the conflict is against demons, including one’s own internal demons, and not against other human beings.  The Vihkelic Principle is also the principle of Free Will and is the ability to choose between Good and Evil.

Jupiter, Sai Thamë, Wood.  Divine Harmony.  The Thamic Principle is the principle of order and harmony.  This is the principle of the Music of the Spheres and governs the rhythms of all life.  The Thamic Principle also governs societal structures and relationships.  Axial Beings, such as humans, have the choice to either join with the harmony of the Thamic principle or to set themselves against it.  Non-Axial Beings, such as animals and angels, do not have such a choice and will naturally take their proper place in the Celestial Harmony.

For a fuller description of these Principles, I will refer you to this article.

The Twelve ArchetypesZodiac Image

On the human level, the Seven Divine Principles are mediated through the Twelve Fundamental Archetypes of humankind, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.  Just as the planets are the reflections of the Seven Divine Principles, the constellations of the zodiac are the physical reflections of the Twelve Fundamental Archetypes.  When the Divine Principles are mediated through the Archetypes, they may be enhanced or hindered through that mediation, depending on the Archetype.

The mediation of the Principles through the Archetypes is the essentialist basis for astrology.  It is also the basis for all other traditional sciences, such as alchemy and traditional medicine.  Sadly, this knowledge and understanding has largely been lost in the West.  Astrology is one of the few disciplines that still actively studies and applies these principles.

Understanding astrology in this manner changes nothing and changes everything.  If nothing else, this understanding gives us a foundation to stand on when we are faced with substantialist criticisms of our craft.  I think that many of us, including myself, feel pressure to “justify” our craft in light of “scientific evidence,” but I think that this is ultimately a mistake and a cheapening of the great heritage that we have been given by our forerunners.  Of course, we need to use observation and research to refine our accuracy and our skills at application (which will be the subject of my next article), but we do not have to “justify” ourselves based on the “scientific worldview” of rationalism.  Girded with an essentialist understanding of the underlying principles, we can avoid the trap of insecurely practicing our craft as a modern pseudo-science, and instead, we can boldly practice our craft in the manner of our forerunners, as a respectable and useful traditional science.

Astrology as a Traditional Science, Part III: Application