The Moon お月さま

The Moon is by far the most important planet with respect to our day to day lives. She is the closest planet to Earth, and she governs all of our everyday affairs. She is a Luminary in her own right and is second in power only to the Sun. She is the dominant Luminary for those born at night.

The Janya of the Moon: Sai Candre

Sai Candre dollIn the Filianic Tradition, the Janya, or Great Angel, that is associated with the Moon is Sai Candre. In this Tradition, Sai Raya, the Janya of the Sun, Sai Candre, and Sai Rhavë, the Janya of Saturn are associated with the Feminine Trinity, respectively, the Mother, the Daughter, and the Dark Mother. The other four Janyati are associated with the material elements.

In the Filianic Creation Mythos, after the Fall and the separation of the world into the seven colors and Day and Night, we were no longer able to look upon the brightness of the Mother, so She gave birth to a Daughter “that was not separate from Her, but one with Her, and the child of Her Light.” The Mythos of God the Daughter 1:6, Authorised Version, The Gospel of Our Mother God. When the Daughter was fully grown,

…the Mother of All Things took Her to a high place upon the earth, saying: To You I give the governance of all of these things. You shall command the movements of the waters, and the wind shall be Your servant. The seasons of the earth shall you control, and all the times and seasons in the lives of My creatures. Every soul on earth and in the heavens shall be given into Your care, and the highest stars of the firmament shall know You as their Sovereign. For all of these things must be put from Me; for they can no longer look upon My brightness.

The Mythos of God the Daughter 3:1-5.

In the Filianic Tradition, it is the Daughter that is close to us and governs everything on Earth.

The Moon and Motherhood

The Moon is associated with motherhood and with mothers. While Sai Candre is associated with the Daughter in the Filianic Trinity, that association is with respect to the Solar Mother. As we are not able to look upon the Solar Mother, it is the Daughter that fulfills the role of the Mother for us on Earth. When we become mothers or mother figures, ideally, at least to a certain extent, we allow the Archetype of the Mother to flow through us, and this is a Divine Function.

The Lunary Sphere

In the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, the Lunary Sphere is the closest to the earthly or sublunary sphere and is the realm of dreams and images. Of the Heavenly Spheres, this is the one that has the most direct impact on our material existence. I believe that this is how our thoughts impact our world. Our thoughts and the images we see all become a part of the Lunary Sphere, which then impacts the sublunary sphere, where we live. In the Feminine Scripture, it is written,

Thoughts of the mind pass not away, nor vanish into air.

For every thought is a builder in the subtle world that lies about you.

Thoughts of beauty and things of the Spirit refine and purify the soul, making her fair to look upon and graceful in her movements,

Uniting her with the universal music of eternity and gathering about her the servants of the Janyati.

But harsh thoughts harden the soul; coarse thoughts coarsen the soul; thoughts bound only to the tings of clay burden the soul with heavy chains.

My children, I speak not in pictures, for truly these things are; and to be seen by all whose eyes may pierce the veil of illusion.

The Moon: Body and Soul

In popular astrology, it is said that the Sun represents our individuality, and from a mundane perspective it might look that way, but I think that this a misunderstanding of the true nature of the Solar. It is the Moon that represents our individual souls. The glyphs for each of the Traditional planets is a combination of one or more of three symbols, the Circle of Spirit, the Crescent of Soul, and the Cross of the Material World. The glyph for the Moon is a double crescent, and thus represents the soul in its pure form.

Lunar GlyphThe Moon also governs our physical bodies as they are the earthly houses for our souls. In Chinese characters, which are known as kanji in Japanese, many of the kanji for body parts contain the radical, or part, which represents the Moon, 月. Some examples are 胸, mune, chest, お腹, onaka, stomach, 背中, senaka, back, and 心臓, shinzou, the physical organ of the heart.

Astrological Associations of the Moon

Sect: Night

Rules Cancer

Water Cancer

Exalted in Taurus

In Detriment in Capricorn

In Fall in Scorpio

Nighttime Triplicity Ruler of Earth

Participating Triplicity Ruler of Water

In Joy in the 3rd House

Temperament:

New – Hot and Wet

1st Quarter – Hot and Dry

Full – Cold and Dry

3rd Quarter – Cold and Wet

Day of the Week: Monday

Orb: 12° (Moiety 6°)

Colors: White; violet; silver

Plants: Lettuce; cabbage; poppy; all trees or herbs with round, shady, great spreading leaves; mandrake; melon; onion

Animals: All animals that live in the water, such as frogs, otters, snails; weasels; all sea-fowl, such as ducks and geese; owls; tortoises

Metal: Silver

Stones: Selenite, moonstone, all soft stones; crystals

Lunar Reason and Intuition

Both the Sun and the Moon are Luminaries, and thus subsume all of the planetary powers, not just their own. The Sun is a reflection of the Supernal Sun, or the Creatrix, and thus all of the other planetary powers spring forth from Her. The Moon is the mediator between the Sun and the Earth, and thus is the mediator of all of the other planetary powers as well.

While Sai Mati (the Janya of Mercury) is Pure Intellect, which springs forth from the Solar Intellect, this is mediated to us through Lunar Reason. It is through Lunar Reason that we are able to sense and understand the material world. One of the fallacies of the so-called Enlightenment has been to elevate Reason above all else, which is elevating Lunar over Solar. Reason is good and important, but her proper role is that of servant rather than mistress.

Most Modern astrologers and astrological texts associate the Moon with intuition, but in Modern English, the word intuition is used in many different ways, which leads to a great deal of confusion. Pure Intuition, or tuition from within, is a function of our Solar Hearts and of Pure Intelligence, which is the Intelligence at the Center of all of Creation. At a very deep level, all of us can recognize the Truth in our Hearts. Yet, in the material world in the Late Iron Age, there is much that separates us from our Heart and from the Truth. Ideally, we would have a living Tradition to lead us to back to our True Heart and to the Truth, but that has largely been lost in the Modern West.

Just as the Moon mediates all other Solar Functions, the Moon also mediates our ability to connect with our Solar Intellect. At its highest level, this is the nature of Lunar intuition, and this can be used to help us navigate through the remnants of Tradition that are left to us in this day and age. The term is also used, however, for the faculties to sense subtle forces outside of the five senses as well as to sense the Lunary Sphere just above ours. As with Lunar Reason, these faculties are useful, but just as with Lunar Reason, it is best to use them cautiously and humbly, and as our servant, not our mistress.

Asteroids, Lilith, Eris and the Divine Feminine

In working with the Divine Feminine in astrology, many astrologers make use of bodies and points outside of the Traditional planets, such as Eris, Asteroids, or Lilith. I find this practice rather problematic on philosophical grounds, not just as an astrologer, but as a Filianist and devotee of Dea.

I can fully understand feeling the need to find more support for feminine expression within the framework of Western astrology. In the current system, the feminine is treated as synonymous with nocturnal, and in planetary expression is limited to the Moon and Venus.  Furthermore, in our modern patriarchal culture, the feminine associations for the Lunar and Venusian principles are devalued and tend to be considered solely in their relation to men. The Lunar principle is often seen as only representing the Mother role, specifically as the Mother of sons, and the Venusian principle is considered as representing the erotic. The Venusian concern for beauty is ridiculed and considered superficial by those who consider themselves feminists and is viewed solely as a way to attract boyfriends and husbands. Is it any wonder that those seeking the Divine Feminine would seek to look outside this system?

While I do understand why astrologers would look outside the system, I think that this practice concedes too much, and it leads to difficult symbolic and philosophical places.

Asteroids

Asteroids are bodies in the solar system too small to be considered planets. Most of them are found between Mars and Jupiter. Many of the larger asteroids are named for female deities, such as Vesta, Ceres, Juno, and Pallas Athena. Ceres is the largest, and she has been recently promoted to the new classification, dwarf planet. There are many theories for how asteroids formed. A common recent theory is that Jupiter prevented these bodies from coalescing into a planet.  This theory is interesting philosophically in that it seems very much in line with the Patriarchal Revolution.

From what I can tell, most of the associations for these asteroids are positive and affirming; however, all of these associations can be found within the traditional 7 planets, without the need to search for them floating in the asteroid belt.

asteroids

Vesta

The asteroid Vesta is said to be the significator of the hearth fire and our center. However, it is the Sun that is the true hearth fire. Every hearth fire in every home is a microcosm of the Supernal Sun. Our center or our True Heart is a microcosm of the Supernal Sun as well.

Ceres

Ceres is large enough that she is now considered a dwarf planet, and her name is the Romanization of the Greek deity, Demeter. The story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone is one of the Great Myths of the death and resurrection of God or Dea. This Mythos is shown in the Wheel of the Year and astrologically in the rhythm of the Solar/Lunar cycle, or the phases of the Moon.

Juno

Juno is seen to represent matters related to love, marriage, and commitment. Juno, or Hera in the Greek pantheon, is one of the many female deities that has been named “Queen of Heaven.” She had responsibility for the heavens, the earth, the seasons and the weather. These associations are far too important to be relegated to an asteroid, and they rightly belong to the Moon and Venus.

Pallas Athena

Pallas Athena is said to represent matters of wisdom, intellect, creativity, and skill. The goddess for whom she is named was seen as an agent of civilization in Greece. Yet, all of these associations are part of Mercury. Mercury represents Intellect on all levels. Even in the current Western system, Mercury is considered feminine as well as masculine.

As I have said, all of the traits that have been assigned to these asteroids are nice, but they all belong to the Seven Traditional Planets. I consider it a much better, and more empowering, practice to look for the Divine Feminine in the Seven Traditional Planets than in small bodies between Mars and Jupiter that may have been prevented from forming a planet by Jupiter.

Lilith

The qualities that have been assigned to the above four asteroids are positive, and my only issue with them is that I believe they belong to the Seven Traditional planets, not to asteroids. Lilith is an entirely different matter.

The folklore surrounding Lilith is dark and gruesome. In this folklore, she was Adam’s first wife before the creation of Eve. She was supposedly cast aside for failure to submit to Adam and then turned to a demon that killed children.

adam and eveThe story of Lilith does not appear to be true Mythos but a part of Midrash in the Judaic Tradition. Midrash are stories used to provide backstories or explain contradictory information in the official canon. It seems that the Midrash concerning Lilith was used to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the two Creation narratives. The first Creation narrative says:

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27 NRSV.

This seems to imply that men and women were created at the same time. In the second Creation narrative, Eve was created second from Adam’s rib. According to Midrash, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, and Eve was created after Lilith was cast aside.

There are feminists who have taken Lilith as an empowering symbol, but I think that is unnecessary and dangerous. Whether the demon Lilith exists or not, the symbols we use and imagine have real consequences. They become a part of our Image Sphere.

In astrology, there is an asteroid named Lilith, and Lilith is also used for a point that is called the Black Moon, which is the lunar apogee, or the point where the Moon is the furthest from Earth.

For me, if such an awful significator does exist as Lilith would represent, I think it would be best to stay far, far away from it. I certainly would not embrace it as a source of empowerment.

Eris

Eris was discovered on January 5, 2005, and is a little larger than Pluto. This created a great deal of controversy and eventually led to a new classification known as a dwarf planet. Pluto was demoted and the asteroid Ceres was promoted. Since that time, two other bodies have been added to this classification. The mythology surrounding the name Eris is unsavory in a manner similar to Lilith. She is the goddess of discord, and in some stories gave birth to demons such as Algos (pain and sorrow) and Dysnomia (lawlessness).

There are astrologers who are using Eris to represent the Female Warrior.  However, just as I would never embrace Lilith, I have no desire to embrace Eris. Mars is the Warrior and can represent Warriors of either gender.

Summary

In an effort to discover the Divine Feminine and find astrologically empowering symbols, astrologers have turned to asteroids, dwarf planets, and the apogee of the Moon. While the asteroids’ symbols are mostly benign, they are redundant with the associations found in the Traditional 7 Planets. The symbolism surrounding Lilith, either the asteroid or the Moon’s apogee, is dark and frightening and best avoided, and the same can be said for the dwarf planet, Eris.

I think that the Divine Feminine can be found within the regular Tradition and within the Seven Traditional Planets, not just in the Moon and Venus. I see no need to cede the realm of Tradition to patriarchy, and I think it is safer and more empowering to reclaim Tradition than it is to look for sources outside of Tradition.

Sleeping Beauty and the Three Faces of Saturn

Like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty is an iconic fairy tale. In the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Classification of Folk Tales, Sleeping Beauty stories are given the classification number 410 and there are at least twenty-two of them throughout the world. I found the French version, which was collected by Charles Perrault, of particular interest.

Saturn, the One Not Invited

In the Perrault version of Sleeping Beauty, seven fairies were invited to the christening of a long awaited princess so that they could give her gifts. As an astrologer, whenever I see the number seven in a story, I immediately look for symbolism with respect to the seven traditional planetary powers. Each of these fairies were given place settings of pure gold, set with diamonds and rubies.

There was also one old fairy who was not invited. According to this version of the story, “She had not left her tower for fifty years, and people believed that she was dead or under a spell.” This description is a classic representation of the planetary power of Saturn. In the material realm, Saturn is the Greater Malefic, and represents the passage of time, as well as isolation, death, and difficulties or curses. Saturn is rarely invited, yet comes into our lives whether we want her or not. While the King made her a place at the table, he did not have a gold place setting for her, and she was insulted.

sleeping beauty christening

When it came time to give the little princess her gifts, one of the fairies held back, suspecting that the older fairy would attempt some mischief. The rest of the fairies gave their gifts.

The youngest gave her the gift that she would be the most beautiful person in the world, the second that she would have the mind like an angel, the third that all of her actions would be admirable, the fourth that she would dance perfectly, the fifth that she would sing like a nightingale, and the sixth, that she would play every musical instrument to perfection.

I believe that the traditional planetary powers are the seven main aspects of the Divine, and that as microcosms of the Divine, humans as Axial Beings have reflections of these powers within ourselves.  I also believe that humans have Free Will, and thus, we can express these powers in an ordinary material fashion, and in their highest and lowest forms. I also believe that each human has a True and a False Self, and that we can manifest True and False versions of all of the planetary powers.

The gifts of the six fairies represent the highest or True versions of their respective planetary powers. Some of the gifts are quite clear. The “mind like an angel” is the gift from Mercury, the ability to “play every musical instrument to perfection” is the gift from Jupiter, and certainty “that all of her actions would be admirable” is the gift from Mars. The other three are a little less clear, however, I would say that the ability to “sing like a nightingale” is the gift from Venus, the ability to “dance perfectly” is the gift from the Moon, and that “she would be the most beautiful person in the world” is the gift from the Sun.

sleeping beauty spindle

Then it was the old fairy’s turn, and she “declared that the Princess would prick her hand on a spindle and die.” After that the fairy in hiding said,

Do not worry, King and Queen, that your daughter shall die: it is true that I do not have enough power to undo entirely what my elder has done. The Princess will prick her hand on a spindle; but instead of dying, she shall only fall into a deep sleep that will last one hundred years. In the end, a king’s son will awaken her.

This is the Saturn principle at its highest. In the material world, Saturn is indeed a malefic. Because we are mortal, in a sense, every life is a tragedy. Suffering and death are always with us. Yet, I believe that there is a higher reality, and True Saturn is the gift of transcendence and Enlightenment. Rather than dying, the princess will sleep and be awakened into a new and better reality.

The Ogress

In the next part of the story, the princess does succumb to the curse and sleeps for a hundred years, and a king’s son does undertake a bold adventure to find her. This represents the Soul’s search for the Spirit, and I may write about this at a later date. In the Perrault version, however, the waking of the princess is not the end of the story. There is a second part.

sleeping-beauty_ogressIn the second part of this version, the prince and the princess must marry in secret, because the prince’s mother was “descended from ogres” and seemed to have an appetite for children. They live together in secret for more than two years and have two children together, a daughter named Aurora, meaning “Dawn,” and a son named Jour, meaning “Day.”

After two years, the prince’s father dies, and he becomes the king. At this point, he discloses his marriage and his children. As the king, he is obliged to go to war, and he leaves his country and his family in the care of his mother.

His mother takes this opportunity to order that the children one by one and then the king’s wife be cooked and served to her with a mustard sauce. Rather than complying with this horrid order, the head waiter hides the children and the wife away and served the ogress other meat telling her that it was the children and the wife.  The ogress discovers the deception and attempts to kill them herself in a huge vat filled with toads, vipers, snakes, and serpents. The King returned just in time to see what was happening, and the ogress was so enraged that she threw herself in the vat and “was devoured in a moment by the loathsome creatures she had put there.” After that, the “King could not help but be grieved, since she was his mother, but it was not long until his beautiful wife and children brought him all the comfort he needed.

I think that the ogress mother in this part of the story signifies the third face of Saturn, or False Saturn. The old, uninvited fairy represented ordinary, material Saturn, or death, loss, and hardship. The ogress was intentionally cruel and vicious. In this version, after finding the princess, the prince turned king must fight one more battle before coming into his power and having a happy ending. This battle is against his False Self at its worst, False Saturn. Even though he knew about his mother’s potential for cruelty, he negligently leaves his family and his country in her care as he goes off to war. The False Self only has the power we give it. With the help of a kind soul in the form of the head waiter, his family is spared until he returns. False Saturn destroys herself when recognized for who she is, and they all live happily ever after.

A Feminine Sun? Gender and the Planets

In the current system of Western Astrology, the planets are assigned gender. The Moon and Venus are feminine, Mercury is both masculine and feminine, and the Sun and the rest of the planets are masculine. As with the case of the gender assignment of the elements, the gender assignment of the planets has a long pedigree, and is rarely, if ever, questioned.

Where did these gender assignments come from?

AmaterasuWhile many historical cultures assigned gods and goddesses to the planets, the gender of the planetary deities is far from uniform. The Norse Sun deity, Sunna or Sol, was feminine, as is the Sun deity in Japan, Amaterasu. In the German language, it is still common to refer to the luminaries as Frau Sunne and Herr Mond. In the Vedic tradition, all of the planetary deities are masculine.

The gender of the planets in the Modern Western system has been passed down to us in the seminal ancient astrological textbook, the Tetrobiblios and seems to be derived from the gender of the corresponding god or goddess in the Greco-Roman pantheon.

A Problematic System

I think that this planetary gender assignment is problematic in terms of its influence on popular culture with respect to ideas and beliefs about femininity, and about masculinity, for that matter. I do not think it adds much, if anything, to astrology on a practical level.

One of the first things that one notices is that the planetary gender assignments are not even. There are 4 masculine planets, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, with only 2 feminine planets, the Moon and Venus.  Furthermore, the dominant luminary is assigned to the masculine gender and the subordinate luminary to the feminine gender. This is clearly a system heavily influenced by patriarchy, which is understandable, as Greco-Roman culture was highly patriarchal.

I think that there is an even deeper problem, however, in that it codifies very rigid gender roles that are present to this very day. Not even ardent feminists question the gender assignment of the luminaries. Instead, many of them seem to try to elevate the Moon over the Sun, which is a much greater upset to astrology and metaphysics.

The truth of the matter is that all people, regardless of gender, have all of the seven traditional planets in their chart and in their psyche. There is no way to tell a person’s gender from her Nativity Chart. An astrologer may argue that the planetary gender is mere symbolism and that the symbolism does not apply to actual human gender. Perhaps that may be the perception of an experienced astrologer, but the symbolism most certainly influences lay perception of human gender, and I sincerely doubt that even experienced astrologers are immune.

20180518_173853The current system limits the feminine to the Moon and Venus. Even though Mercury is both masculine and feminine, popular imagery almost always uses a masculine form for Mercury. By the same token, this separates the Lunar and the Venusian from the masculine. One may say that everyone has both masculine and feminine parts, and this is sometimes taken as a truism in modern psychology. I do not believe this to be the case, however, and if there is any truth to it, I do not think it applies to the planets in our charts.

In all of the years that I have practiced astrology and studied my own Nativity Chart, I have never seen any of the planets in my chart as masculine, not even my Mars in Aries. When I personify my Arian Mars, I think of her as Helga the Viking. I do not think that when I am interpreting the chart of a man that his Moon or Venus represent his supposed feminine parts. I think that a man will express his Moon and Venus in a masculine manner, just as I express my Mars in Aries in a feminine manner.

A Proposed Solution

I am a Traditionalist, and for the most part, I believe that traditions, particularly long established ones, should be preserved. On the other hand, I do believe that it is sometimes necessary to adapt traditions to the Modern Age, and that it is often advisable to adapt traditions that are clearly rooted in patriarchy.

As a Filianist, I use feminine language and imagery for God or Dea, and I also use feminine language and imagery for the Janyati, the great angels or Divine Sources behind the Planetary Principles. This is because Filianists do not see the Janyati as separate from Dea, but as the seven main aspects of Her. I would imagine that this is the reason that the planetary deities in the Vedic tradition are all masculine. In the same way, the Judeo-Christian traditions assign each of the planets a masculine Archangel.

I think that planetary powers are actually beyond human gender, the luminaries in particular. I think that the physical planets are as well. One of the difficulties is that English has no neuter pronoun for humans or for Divine powers, so without gender, it is hard not to see the planets as remote or mechanical. For this reason, I think it makes sense to use all feminine language and imagery or all masculine language and imagery. This emphasizes the full range of planetary expression to both genders.

There are times in which it becomes necessary to differentiate genders in a chart, particularly in horary (question) charts. In those cases, I believe that it is appropriate to use Mars for the male gender and Venus for the female one. I do not agree with this use for the Sun and the Moon. I think that the Solar and Lunar Principles are too high to use for human gender. I do agree with the use of the Moon for the mother when it is appropriate. I think that the mother role, which may sometimes be performed by a man, is a reflection of a High Divine Archetype, and thus may be represented by a luminary. I think that the father role of guide and disciplinarian, which may be performed by a woman, is adequately represented by Saturn.

While I see the Divine Principles behind the planets as feminine, when working with Nativity Charts, I tend to view all of the planets as the gender of the native, unless I am looking specifically at a issue that relates to gender. I really think that this makes the most sense overall. It allows me to personify the planets and give them life, while at the same time it avoids creating confusing or limiting perceptions about gender on an internal or external level.

The Outer Planets: the Pseudomythos of “Higher Octaves” and “Transcendence”

A while back, I wrote an article about a theory that the Outer Planets represented the three poisons of the modern world, atomization, deracination, and deformation.  This article can be found here.

I have recently had the occasion to further consider the Outer Planets, and some of the pseudomythos that has arisen surrounding them.  In many ways, the pseudomythos* surrounding the Outer Planets is an outgrowth of the pseudomythos of Evolution.  Indeed, in New Age astrology, the Outer Planets seem to be almost the agents of evolution, with the belief that the Outer Planets are the “higher octaves” of traditional planets and that they bring about “transcendence,” which is, according to this pseudomythos, a better or higher state of being.

Higher Octaves

While there are many variations of the “higher octave” theory, the most common one is that Uranus is the “higher octave” of Mercury, Neptune is the “higher octave” of Venus, and Pluto is the “higher octave” of Mars.  The first and foremost problem with this theory is that all of the traditional planets are representatives of the Janyati, or aspects of the Divine.  The existence of a planet that is a “higher octave” robs these planets of their status as one of the Seven Great Planetary Janyati.  Indeed, the associations given to the Outer Planets have been robbed from the traditional planets.  For example, the association of genius with Uranus usurps Mercury’s place as the representative of Divine Intelligence.  Similarly, the association of Sacrificial Love to Neptune usurps Venus’ place as the representative of Divine Love, which includes Sacrificial Love.  Indeed, the associations for both Mercury and Venus have been severely watered down in Modern Astrology.

Interestingly, the associations for Pluto have not seemed to really take anything away from Mars, except of course, the rulership of Scorpio.  The associations for Pluto seem to be a combination of the worst Tamasic qualities of Mars and Saturn.  Actually, the associations of Pluto seem to be the most honest, in that they are about as malefic as one can get.   Yet, there is a strange notion that Pluto is “transformational,” but as Prof. Clark stated in his article, Into the Outer Darkness, “let’s just say that if Pluto is ‘transformational’ so is nuclear war and high levels of toxic radiation.”

Actually, assigning rulerships to the Outer Planets is problematic in and of itself.  In the article, Into the Outer Darkness, Prof. Clark explains the traditional system of rulership of the planets to the signs.  In this system, each of the non-luminary planets rules two signs, with a day sign and a night sign.  The malefics, Mars and Saturn are thought to be better in the signs that are the opposite of their nature.  Mars benefits by the coolness of night, and Saturn benefits by the warmth of day.  The night sign of Mars is Scorpio, and the day sign of Saturn is Aquarius.  In assigning the rulership of Scorpio to Pluto and Aquarius to Uranus, the malefics are stripped of the signs they are the strongest in.  There is much more to say about these rulership assignments, but that could be an article in and of itself.

Transcendence

The other main pseudomythos that has arisen surrounding the Outer Planets is the notion of “transcendence.”  The notion that transcendence is positive is a Tamasic notion.  Transcending means to go beyond the normal boundaries.  Yet, in Filianism, and I think in traditional thought in general, boundaries are positive.  As it states in the Clew of Love in the feminine Scripture,

And for the existence that has fallen from perfection; truly it is the music of Divine harmony that sustains it in the motion of its wholeness.

It is Love that holds the drop of dew pendent upon the blade of grass, neither flowing forth in watery profusion, but swelling within the unseen urn of its brief harmony.

It is love that holds the stars within their courses, and all of the worlds of the immeasurable cosmos within the harmony of the celestial music.

Truly, all the cycles of the times and the seasons; all the rhythms of the soul and of the mind and of the flesh; truly all these flow from the love of Our Lady, the Maid, that creation may not decompose, each several member flying away into black eternal chaos.

To go higher is to ascend.  In the Filianic Mythos of the Daughter, the Daughter ascends to Heaven.  Similarly, in the Christian narrative, Jesus ascends to heaven.  To go below is to descend.  To transcend is to go beyond the boundaries of Love, or to fly away into “black eternal chaos.”

Ordered Solar System

I think that this concept of “transcendence” is similar to the modern assertion of being “spiritual, but not religious.”  I do understand the frustration people experience with the overly literal and overly systematized state of modern religion, particularly Christianity.  I also understand that the separation of the religious and the secular is rather artificial.  On the other hand, what I have found that often when people say they are “spiritual, but not religious,” it is really a form of katte ni suru.  Katte ni suru is a Japanese phrase roughly meaning, do what you want, or do your own thing.  In Western thought, this is seen as positive, but in Japan, this is quite a scathing insult.  This implies that one no longer is a part of the group or the community.

We are also cautioned against this in The Sermon of the Apple Seed, “Dissonant and jarring with eternal Harmony, the little sphere is severed from the great.”

The Outer Planets are also at times called “transpersonal,” meaning that they are beyond or outside of the personal.**  Yet, the traditional and Filianic teaching is that maid in a microcosm of the entire Cosmos.  As it states in The Secret of the World, “And this is the secret of the world which the world would hide from you: that all things lie within the souls of maid, and only High Dea is without.”  Now, one could argue that the “transpersonal” planets are a part of High Dea.  The difficulty with that is that High Dea, or the Dark Mother, is by definition beyond anything we can understand from an un-Enlightened state.  If we have reached a level of Enlightenment whereby we could understand the Dark Mother, we would have no need of astrology to guide us in our lives.

The Luminaries and the Filianic Trinity

I think that the modern fascination with the Outer Planets and with “transcendence” is part of the phenomenon of Tamasic Dialectic Miss Alice Lucy Trent described in The Feminine Universe.  Tamasic (downward) forms take on a resemblance to Sattwic (upward) forms, in part because they both move away from the Rajastic (outward) forms.

I believe that there is a Sattwic form that the notions of “higher octaves” and “transcendence” invert.  To explain this, I think an understanding of the Filianic Trinity is helpful.  These concepts are certainly not unique to Filianism, and I believe that they are universal in Traditional thought; however, Filianism has a useful Mythos and vocabulary to explain the concept.

In the Filianic Creation Mythos, the Mistress of all Things created all of manifestation in joy and laughter.  During this time, Primodial Maid danced and laughed with the Mother and all was golden.  Each Maid and all of Creation “became the image of a golden fragment of Her Spirit.”  In the cosmos, this is loosely associated with Sai Raya, the Sun, or our Solar Spirit.

After a time that can not be counted, because there “were neither days nor nights, nor moons to tell the month,” Maid was tempted by the Snake, who “had not been shaped by Her, and that was not Her daughter, nor a creature of spirit. But this was the space between the fragments and the nothingness that had been before things were. It had not energy nor delight, but only weight. It had not shape, but could only coil and uncoil itself about the things that were.”  The Snake was “not golden, but black.”

In this Mythos, Maid was tempted to embrace rest and created Darkness.  Then the Snake tried to destroy Creation with a Flood, but Creation was rescued by the Mother.  The aftermath of this turning and Flood is described as follows:

1. And as the rain fell, the light came again, and a rainbow appeared in the sky, shedding its light upon all things. 2. And whereas all things had been golden, now they took on every hue and colour, and the world was beautiful; but it was not so beautiful as it had formerly been.

3. And She set Her seven Powers in the firmament, giving one to rule each colour of the earth.

4 And She said to Her daughter: what you have done may not be undone, for you have acted with My Spirit, and henceforth shall time be divided into day and night that you may rest. 4 But I shall keep watch in the heavens by night, and there shall be silver light that there may never be complete darkness. 6. By this shall I govern the movements of the waters, that the earth may never again be flooded. 7. The golden light of day will bring all goodness, but it will be too bright for your eyes. The silver light of night, that you may look upon.

8. The Snake shall keep the form that you have given it, and you shall be set in governance over it; but remember that it will ever attempt to beguile and destroy you as it has this night.

9. I shall not live as close to you as before, but still I shall pour blessings upon you, and you may give Me gifts — not in every moment as before, for you have learned to tire, but My light shall give you signs in this matter.

10. And the Mistress of All Things withdrew Herself into the sky, until She seemed but a slender crescent of light. 11. And the first daughter of creation fell to her knees and wept. And these were the first tears shed upon the whole of the earth.

As I stated before, in the Filianic Trinity, the Mother is loosely associated with Sai Raya, the Sun, or Solar principle.  That which was before and beyond the Mother Creatrix is the Dark Mother, who is the “Darkness beyond the Light, and the Light beyond the Darkness,” but who is also completely beyond our understanding.  The Dark Mother is loosely associated with Sai Rhavë, whose planetary representative is Saturn.

The bridge between the Mother and Creation, who has turned from the Mother, is the Daughter, who is loosely associated with Sai Candre, the Moon, or the Lunar principle.  She is the “silver light of night, that you may look upon.” The Daughter is also the aspect of the Filianic Trinity that sustains all of Creation.

My very humble attempt at an illustration of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos
My very humble attempt at an illustration of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos

Interestingly enough, in contemplating the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, one can see that the spheres between the Solar and the Lunar are the Spheres of Sai Mati/Mercury and Sai Sushuri/Venus.  These respectively represent the spiritual Way of Light and Way of Love.  Both the Matic and the Sushuric principles are seen in a lower form in the Lunar principle and in a higher form in the Solar Principle.  The lower form of the Matic principle is Lunar Reason, and the higher form is Solar Intellect.  See Mummies and Lunimaries.  Sadly, this article has already gotten quite long and involved, so I will have to leave the explanation of how this works with the Sushuric principle for another day.  The Way of Love and the Way of Light are intertwined, however.  As it says in Scripture, “perfect love is perfect knowledge and perfect knowledge is perfect love.”

Contemplating the Traditional Model of the Cosmos further, one can see that the Sun is in the center.  Just beyond the Solar Sphere is the Sphere of Sai Vikhë or Mars.  The highest form of the Vikhelic Principle is that of protection and rescue.  In the Filianic Mythos, it is the Mother that rescues and defends Creation from the Snake.  So, in some ways, I think that one can consider the Solar Principle as the highest form of the Vikhelic principle as well.

Interestingly enough, you can see the Solar Circle in the glyphs for Sai Mati/Mercury, Sai Sushuri/Venus, and Sai Vikhë/Mars.**

So, as you can see, there is no need to reach into “the Outer Darkness” with the Outer Planets for “transcendence.”

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*a pseudomyth is a story-picture that falsely replaces traditional myth as the fundamental story of “how things are”

**As explained in the article, the traditional planets are all representatives of Janyati.  Below is a quotation from the Chelouranyan explanation of the Janyati:

In the first place, let us be clear that the Janyati are not “forces” or “energies” conceived after the model of Newtonian physics (and dearly beloved of New Age movements). They are Intelligences. They are not people like us, it is true. But they are something more than people, not less than people. The greatest force in the universe is less than a person. It cannot think. We are speaking here of Intelligences immeasurably greater than ourselves. They have everything we people have, magnified a thousand times, and they have many qualities we cannot even conceive of. To picture them as something akin to people may not do them justice, but to picture them as something impersonal, like a force of nature, would do them infinitely less justice. They are everything we are and much more.

***if one truly contemplates the glyphs associated with the Outer Planets using the tradition meaning for the symbols of the Circle, the Crescent, and the Cross, the meanings for them are chillingly demonic.  One can clearly see how they can not be “higher octaves” of anything!

Who Am I? Spirit and Soul

Who am I?  This is an age old question that has dominated philosophy and spiritual thought for millenia.  In the Enlightenment, René Descartes made the well-known statement, “Cogito ergo sum,” or “I think, therefore, I am.”  This idea has dominated Western thought since that time, and it is the Rationalist approach to this question.

Traditional thought has a much different answer to this question, and this answer can be seen in the symbols of the glyphs for the Janyati and their planets.  Each of the Janyati/planetary glyphs are made up of three symbols, the circle, the crescent, and the cross.  In a recent article, I included a very humble drawing that I made showing the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, and I used the glyphs in that drawing.  If you look at the glyphs, you will see that each of these glyphs is made up of one, two, or three of these symbols in various combinations.

The cross is the symbol of the material world.  It is also the symbol of humans as Axial Beings with the capacity for Free Will.  I have spoken at length about the symbol of the cross in previous articles.  An introductory article regarding the symbol of the cross can be found here.  As you can see, the symbol of the cross is found in all of the non-luminary planetary glyphs.

The luminaries, the Sun (Sai Raya) and the Moon (Sai Candre), are the only glyphs that contain only one symbol.  The cross is  not contained in either of these glyphs.  This is because the principles that they represent are beyond and independent of the material world.  These are the pure solar and lunar principles, and these principles are the answer to the question, “Who am I?”

Sai RayaAt the very deepest level, we are One with the Divine and with all of existence.  This is stated in many places in feminine Scripture:

“For the Spirit is One, and I am the Spirit, and you are the Spirit also, in the innermost temple of your heart.” – The Temple of the Heart

“Raise not thy voice above a gentle tone except it be in song, nor seek to place thyself above another, for the spirit in each is a ray of the Spirit My Mother, and as thou render service unto them, so servest thou also Her.” – The Heart of Water

“If thou wouldst find union with our Mother, know that thou has never left Her.” – Cry Marya

This Mystery is not only found in the Deanic/Filianic tradition, but is found deep in the teachings of all legitimate traditions.  This is the Mystery of the Atman and the Spirit.  The circle is the symbol of this Mystery.  The glyph for the Sun is a point* surrounded by a large circle, which is the Mystery of the Spirit that is both deep within us and far outside of us.  The Mystery is explained (as well as it can be explained in words), in the Temple of the Heart:

Know your own heart and make examination thereof; for if you know not your own heart, there can be no true knowledge of anything.  But within the innermost temple of your heart shall you find the seas and the heavens and all the illimitable cosmos; For the space within this temple is as vast as the manifest universe.

The ignorant eye shall not see this temple from without, For it is smaller than the seed of an apple, and the seventh part of a seventh part divided again until what part remains can be seen nor touched nor tasted.

The ignorant eye shall not see this temple from within, for it is vast as the manifest universe.

Beyond life, beyond death is the temple, for it is a temple of the Spirit.

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Within this Mystery is a paradox.  We are One with the Divine, yet we are also separate from the Divine.  The Deanic/Filianic Mythos, as well as the Mythos of many religions, teach of our turning from the Divine, or our choosing separation from the Divine.  In the Temple of the Heart, it says, “About this temple and encompassing it round grows a garden rank with thorns, which are the thorns of khear.”  In the Deanic/Filianic tradition khear is that which keeps us separate from the Divine.  Khear is similar to sin in the Christian tradition, but it has slightly different connotations.  In the Creation Mythos of the Deanic/Filianic tradition, after Axial Beings choose separation, the Light of the Mother became too bright to look upon, and needed to be mediated by the softer reflected Lunar Light of the Daughter.

Our-Lady-of-GraceThe symbol of the crescent is the symbol of the softer Lunar Light.  This symbol is also the symbol for our individual souls, seen in the crescent within a crescent in the symbol for the Moon.  Our souls are the lesser reflection of the Solar Spirit within, and they are the part of us that is both eternal, but also experiences death and rebirth.  The Mystery of our soul is complex, and I have been told that one Eastern meditation exercise is to contemplate one’s own soul and the boundaries of one’s soul.  Any astrologer who has studied Nativity charts knows how complicated and intricate each individual is, filled with contradictions and twists and turns.  Even Modern psychology, as limited as it is, recognizes concepts such as our Inner Child.  Many of us function with multiple personae, such as our work persona, our parent persona (for those with children), and our persona with friends.  Do these personae represent who we are, are they functional, are they something in between?  The answers to these questions are not always all that clear, are they?

As stated before, the non-luminary planetary glyphs are symbolic of the way that each of these Janyatic/planetary principles mediate the Light of the Solar Spirit and the Lunar Crescent in the material world.

See also:

Mummies and Luminaries

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*Below is an excerpt from a comment from Cure Tadashiku regarding the point in the center of the Solar Glyph:

The center of the Solar glyph is…….the Point without extension:

2. Yet from the still point all movement comes; and Earth is the shadow of Heaven. 3. Space doth extend without limit, nor is there any boundary to the worlds, but the Point is without extension; yet from the Point alone all space proceedeth. 4. All manifest things are bound to the three times; of that which is, which was, which is to come; but the Moment is without time. It neither is nor was, nor ever will be.

……..

The Solar glyph is precisely the extension of manifestation with the non-extended, unmanifest Point at its Center.

Thank you for the information, Cure Tadashiku.

 

The Planets, the Cosmological Spheres, the Janyati, and the Almuten Figuris

One of the things that took me some time to understand when incorporating Classical Astrology into the Filianic Tradition was the relationship and the differences between the planets, the cosmological spheres, and the Janyati.  Western Medieval and Renaissance Astrology has been studied under the backdrop of the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judiasm, for almost two thousand years.  With the fierce monotheistic nature of these religions, I think that the role of the Janyati became minimized.  By the Hellenistic period, the planets became associated with Greco-Roman gods and goddesses.  All legitimate Traditions throughout history have recognized that there really is only One Divine Source.  On the other hand, that Divine Source may be seen through Her different Aspects, or the Janyati.  At certain points in history, Tradition deteriorated to the point where the Janyati were seen as separate goddesses and gods, but their true nature is that they are Aspects of the Divine Source.

There are other Janyati besides the planetary Janyati.  Some examples are Sai Werde, Sai Annya, and Sai Maia.  For purposes of this article, however, it is the planetary Janyati that are most relevant.

The planetary Janyati are Angels and Aspects of Dea.  They are unchanging and perfect.  According to the Sacred Mythos in feminine Scripture, they came about after Primordial Maid turned from the Mother and could no longer look upon Her brightness.  The Golden Light separated into seven colors, which represent the Janyati.  For a fuller description of the planetary Janyati, please see this article.

When we start entering the realm of Cosmology, we are entering into the realm of manifestation.  There is a mistaken Western notion that manifestation is limited to the sublunary sphere, the world that we can experience with our senses.  The sublunary sphere includes the earth, everything in the sky, and everything in what modern scientists would call the universe.  All of the planetary bodies and the fixed stars are part of the sublunary sphere of existence.

My very humble attempt at an illustration of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos
My very humble attempt at an illustration of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos

Between the sublunary sphere and the Highest Heaven are the Cosmological Spheres, as I discussed previously in this article.  The sphere of the Fixed Stars is already part of manifestation and has already moved from the Center.  That is why we can talk about evil fixed stars, like Algol.  The actual fixed stars are in the sublunary sphere of flux and change but they are also representations the higher spheres.  As above, so below.

While the Janyati are pure and perfect aspects of Dea, they cast light throughout the lower spheres of manifestation.  The light they cast becomes less and less perfect the further it moves from the Center.  Each person and each moment of time is a microcosm of the entire cosmos, which also includes each of the Janyatic principles.  This is written in the fabric of the sublunary sphere in the movements of the heavenly bodies.  This is also why we can talk about positive and negative expressions of the Janyatic and planetary principles.  The Janyati are perfect.  The expression of their light in individuals is not.

Here is an example that might help with understanding.  The Archetype of the Flower belongs to Sai Sushuri (Venus).  A flower is a flower because it is a reflection of the Divine Archetype of a Flower.  This is a perfect correlation.  When we start talking about individual physical flowers and types of flowers, the correlation becomes much less perfect.  Even though the Divine Archetype of Flower belongs to Sai Sushuri, different physical flowers might be associated with other Janyati for various reasons, such as their color, their physical properties, mythology surrounding the flower, and so on.  Sometimes, the associations are obvious, sometimes the reasons for the association have been obscured in a broken and fallen tradition.

Sri LakshmiThere is a concept contained in Classical Astrology that works well to illustrate and explain how this works.   This concept is the Almuten Figuris, or the Lady of the Soul.  A Filianist may also think of the Almuten Figuris as her Guardian Janya.  The calculation that I use for this is the one recorded by Ibn Ezra.  This point can be calculated by hand or through software.  There are, of course, other calculations used by other fine Classical Astrologers; however, I have found the Ibn Ezra calculation to be the most useful and accurate in my own practice.

The Almuten Figuris or Guardian Janya is the Janya that is a person’s strongest connection with her True Self and with Dea.  Please forgive me for discussing my own chart, but I think that one’s Guardian Janya is rather personal.  To me, it seems impolite to share such personal information about anyone other than oneself in public.  It does help to have a specific illustration, though; so for this purpose, I will use my own chart.

My Guardian Janya is Sai Sushuri (Venus).  This means that in following the path to my True Self, I need to connect with Sai Sushuri.  The Way of Love is my path to the Divine.  If I get lost, I need to look to Divine Mercy and to Divine Love and let them run through me.

On the other hand, my Guardian Janya being Sai Sushuri does not mean that I will seem Sushuric or even have many Sushuric traits.  Mars (Sai Vikhë) is actually stronger in my chart.  I also have Jupiter (Sai Thamë) and the Moon (Sai Candre) very close to my Ascendant.  If one were to be looking for a planet or a Janya that described my personality or how I would seem to act, those three planets would give a much better description of this.  Sometimes one’s Guardian Janya will seem to govern personal traits of the native; sometimes she will not.

The position and condition of the Guardian Janya in the Nativity Chart will show the extent to which a Native will manifest the traits of her Guardian Janya and will give clues and guidance as to how easy or hard it is for her Guardian Janya to guide her.  In my case, Venus has many dignities; however, she is Combust, or within 8 degrees of the Sun.  This represents the SAMSUNGmain barrier to Sai Sushuri’s ability to guide me.  The Sun in a Nativity in her low form represents the ego.  The Sun in my chart also rules my 10th House, the house of career and public recognition.  So, in my case, Sai Sushuri is inhibited by my tendency to hide, and by my ego and career.  Interestingly in my chart, Venus is separating from Combustion, so it is predictable that I would find it easier to come under Sai Sushuri’s guidance later in life.  Those of you who are following my current spiritual journey in my diary on my personal blog will likely see how this is manifesting as I have gotten older.

Filianists who know their Guardian Janya can also use symbolism related to their Guardian Janya on their home shrines to help them connect with their Guardian Janya.  On my own shrine, I have a pink doily with a pentacle that I made myself and a sand dollar given to me by a friend that shows Sai Sushuri’s signature in manifestation.

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See also:

Who’s in Charge? Disposition and the Almuten Figuris

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

Mummies and Luminaries

One of the biggest challenges to practitioners of traditional sciences, such as astrology, is that of setting aside the prejudices that have been instilled in us from modern education.  One of the prejudices is a pervasive form of arrogance, which can be summarized by the formula: “Primitive people believed ……., but now we know…….”  When metaphysical principles are taught at all, they are taught from this perspective.

Here is an example of this type of teaching from Grout’s History of Western Music (3rd Edition)

For some Greek thinkers music also had a close connection with astronomy, not only through the identity of mathematical laws that were thought to underlie both the system of musical intervals and the system of the heavenly bodies, but also through a particular correspondence of certain modes and even certain notes with the various planets.  Such magical connotations and extensions of music were common among all Eastern peoples.  The idea was given poetic form by Plato in the beautiful myth of the “music of the spheres”; it is echoed by writers on music throughout the Middle Ages, and appears also in Shakespeare and Milton.  Ptolemy, one of the most important of the ancient writers on music, was also the leading astronomer of antiquity–as, in our own day, many of the best amateurs of music are physical scientists.

Now, at first, one may not think that this statement is too bad, but, as it turned out it was the only reference to the metaphysics of music in one of the more important textbooks for the study of music theory.

MummyAnother such example is the modern interpretation of Egyptian mummification practices.  During the mummification process, the heart was careful preserved intact in the body and the brain was discarded as unimportant.  The modern interpretation of this is that the Egyptians did not understand anatomy, and they did not know what the brain did.  From even a pragmatic standpoint, this condescending interpretation is contrary to the available data.  The fact that mummies thousands of years old are available to us to study should be enough to convince us that this culture had a very sophisticated understanding of the human body.  If we let go of the prejudice that has been instilled in us, we can start to really think about what the Egyptians may have been doing.

Unlike the modern perspective, from a traditionalist perspective, it is axiomatic that our forebears were our superiors, and that they knew more than we do now.  So rather than presuming that the Egyptians did not know what they were doing, the presumption changes to being that they knew and understood something that we have lost.  As it turns out, from a metaphysical standpoint, this practice is quite fascinating, and is instructive to us in re-educating ourselves to understanding traditional science.

The starting point for this analysis is that the Egyptians carefully preserved the heart.  ImageWhile modern Western society associates the heart with love, specifically romantic love, traditionally, the Heart was always Solar.  From a traditionalist perspective, Solar does not refer to the physical Sun, but to the Solar principle (although the physical Sun is the cosmic representation of the Solar principle).  The Solar principle is the Creative Aspect of the Divine, or the Mother principle.  The Solar principle in humans, as microcosms of the cosmos, is that part of us which is always connected to and even One with the Divine.

Traditionalists speak of the Solar Intellect, which is the part inside of us that understands all things.  In this day and age in the West, we have lost our understanding of the Solar Intellect, but the concept is still present in Eastern thought.

Just as the physical Moon reflects the light of the physical Sun, the Lunar principle is a reflection of the Solar principle.  The Lunar principle governs all physicality.  The Lunar principle also represents our individual souls.  The reflection of Solar Intellect is Lunar Reason.  Lunar Reason is how we process information on the material plane.  We also use Lunar Reason to process information we receive from our senses and to intuit matters that lie beyond our senses. We also use Lunar Reason to make inferences and to synthesize information into a usable form.

In modern times, we tend to believe that the information we receive from our senses is the most reliable information; however, this was not the case in the Ancient world.  Although, the brain or head being governed by the Lunar principle is not nearly as universal as the heart being governed by the Solar principle, the anatomical function of the brain almost directly corresponds with the concept of Lunar Reason.   Interestingly enough, there has been research that has shown that recipients of heart transplants take on the characteristics of the heart donor, so it is possible that the heart may have an anatomical function that is congruent with its metaphysical function.

So, if we were to presume that the Egyptians knew exactly what they were doing, this becomes quite instructive to us.  The Egyptians careful preserved the heart, which symbolically represents the Solar Principle.  They discarded the brain, which is the anatomical seat of Lunar Reason.  This would mean that they believed that in the afterlife, we would need our Solar Intellect, but that we would no longer need our Lunar Reason.  From a Traditionalist perspective, this is exactly right.  Lunar Reason is necessary for us in the world of flux and change, but the Solar Intellect is what survives and what is eternal.  Lunar Reason is also necessarily subordinate to Solar Intellect.

This is a huge change in the schema most of us were raised with.  We have been taught that the sense-data plus Lunar Reason are all that exists and that all we can be sure of is what we can process with our senses or derive from our senses.  The Traditionalist perspective is exactly the opposite.  The symbolic and the metaphysical is what we can be sure of.  The information we receive from our senses is transitory, part of the world of flux and change.  In other words, from the perspective of the Eternal, our Hearts are of primary importance, but our brain is only important from the perspective of our physical, material existence.