As Different as Night and Day

The most fundamental division in cosmology is the division between Day and Night. The division between Day and Night is so important that it tends to be one of the first, if not the first, division in Creation Mythos.

Judeo-Christian written tradition begins as follows:

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light;” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Genesis 1:1-5, New Revised Standard Version

Deanic/Filianic tradition tells the story of the Snake who “had not been shaped by [the Mother], and that was not Her daughter, nor a creature of Spirit.” The Snake “hated all the things that had become.”  The Snake tempted the first Daughters of Creation saying:

First of the daughters of creation, you have lived for a time that cannot be counted, and have run for all that time in the footsteps of the Mother, and have never taken rest among the things that are.  Only embrace me and you shall have that rest.

The tradition tells how the Daughters of Creation were enticed by the Snake and asked the Mother to darken the world so that they might rest.  While the Daughters of Creation were resting, the Snake attempted to destroy creation in a Great Flood.  The Mistress of All Things rescued Creation; however, manifestation was permanently changed as a result.

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

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

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.  But I shall keep watch in the heavens by night, and there shall be silver light that there may never be complete darkness.  By this shall I govern the movements of the waters, that the earth may never again be flooded.  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.

The Mythos of God the Mother, The Gospel of Our Mother God.

vlcsnap-2016-05-06-00h32m41s851The division between Day and Night is the most fundamental division in manifestation, and in Classical Astrology, there are many calculations that are different during the day and during the night. The division between Day and Night is hierarchical, with Day being superior to Night. In the Deanic/Filianic tradition the golden light that is “too bright for [our] eyes” governs the Day, and the silver light that we “may look upon” governs the Night. According to the Judeo-Christian written tradition, “God made two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night, to separate the light from the darkness.”

In Classical Astrology, in addition to the Sun belonging to the Day and the Moon belonging to the Night, Jupiter and Saturn, the Greater Benefic and the Greater Malefic, belong to the Day, and Venus and Mars, the Lesser Benefic and the Lesser Malefic, belong to the Night.

Day

The Day is bright and lively and golden. The Sun is the Ruler and Luminary of the Day.  The Day is the Realm of the Spirit.   Fundamental to the concept of Sect (Day/Night) is the temperamental quality of heat.  The Day is Hot, which means that activity is sped up during the Day.  The day is when most of us engage in the primary activity of our life. This is when we go to work, go to school, or take part in what we see as our role or our life purpose. The day is when the Queen is on parade. It is busy, exciting, wonderful and important; on the other hand, most other activities are suspended during this time. For people who were born during the day, the primary focus of their life is their “day job,” and their dominant Luminary is the Sun.

vlcsnap-2016-01-17-00h49m26s454Night

The Night is soft and quiet and gentle. The Moon is the Ruler and Luminary of the Night.  The Night is the Realm of the Soul.  While the Day is Hot, the Night is Cold.  Activity slows during the Night. During the night, the primary activities of the day slow down so that we can engage in the other aspects of our lives, such as eating, sleeping, spending time with those we love, and engaging in leisure activities.  For people born during the Night, the primary focus of their lives is not on their “day job,” but upon the other aspects of life, and their dominant Luminary is the Moon.

Gender and the Division Between Day and Night

For quite a long time, astrology has taught that Day is masculine and Night is feminine. This is belief is so deeply ingrained that most people would likely accept this as a truism, whether or not they “believe in astrology.” For reasons I discuss in this article, despite the longevity and stability of this association, I believe it to be dubious.

In the Modern West, discussion concerning gender is tricky and debates about gender are often heated and painful. There are those that believe that gender is strictly biological and qualities of masculinity and femininity are merely “social constructs.” I believe this line of thought to be dubious as well.

My view is in the middle of these extremes. I do believe that masculinity and femininity are real metaphysical principles, and that the differences between masculinity and femininity rise beyond the merely physical or societal. On the other hand, I do not believe that this division rises to the level of the fundamental division between Day and Night. I believe that it is a real, but lower level, metaphysical division.

Masculine Earth and a Feminine Sky: Challenging Assumptions about Gender and the Elements

Starting with the most basic Sun Sign books for non-astrologers, we learn that some signs are considered “masculine” and some signs are considered “feminine.” If we later decide to study astrology, the most basic astrology textbooks teach that signs of the elements Air and Fire are “masculine” and signs of the elements Earth and Water are “feminine.” This idea is so pervasive that even people who know nothing about astrology and would swear that they thought astrology was a silly superstition would likely assume that Earth was feminine.

Through many changes and disagreements in astrology, this basic concept has remained remarkably stable for over 2,000 years. So stable that few people would think to challenge it, even those who would otherwise consider themselves ardent feminists. Those who do challenge it generally suggest doing away with the entire system of gender with respect to the zodiac.

Ma'atI believe in Tradition, and in most cases, I would say that such stability in a concept over time is strong evidence for its validity. In this case, however, I believe that this concept must be challenged, because it is one of the bases for the belief that the masculine is superior to the feminine. In the current system, the active day signs are assigned to the masucline, and the passive night signs are assigned to the feminine. Furthermore, Air is the Element of the intellectual and priestly caste, and so this concept can and has been used to exclude women from this caste.

While I understand the temptation to remove gender from the entire system of classification of the zodiac, I think that in one sense this goes too far, and in another, it does not go far enough.

Most of Western Astrology has been transmitted to us through the Greeks. Western Astrology is believed to have originated in Egypt and Chaldea, which is likely the case; however, the system we use was originally recorded and systematized by Greek cosmologists. The Hellenistic influence is so strong that it has even found its way into Vedic astrology.

Greek culture was severely patriarchal, even for its time.  In Athens, women were excluded from all intellectual discourse and were restricted to the home unless they were accompanied by their husband or other male relative. It stands to reason that their cosmology would also be severely patriarchal.

I am about to enter into a rather technical discussion; however, I believe that this matter is important to everyone, not just astrologers. On my astrology blog, there is an article explaining the humors, temperament, and their relationship to the elements, which may be helpful to read before continuing if you are not an astrologer. For the purposes of this discussion, however, the most important thing to know is that the signs are classified along two axes: hot and cold, and wet and dry. I explained in the above article that:

The hot/cold axis relates to both literal heat and to activity level. Hot is fast, busy, and active; cold is slow-moving and calm. The wet/dry axis is a little more abstract. This axis relates to boundaries and distinctions. Moisture blends and softens boundaries and distinctions; dryness hardens them. Without wet there would be no growth; without dry there would be no form.

The elements are also divided into four elements, Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. Air is Hot and Wet, Fire is Hot and Dry, Earth is Cold and Dry, and Water is Cold and Wet. The Hot elements of Air and Fire are day signs, and the Cold elements of Earth and Water are the night signs. The signs alternate between hot and cold around the zodiac, as per this diagram.

Elements and Gender Chart

The Tetrabiblios, by Claudius Ptolemy, is arguably the most important Ancient textbook on Western Astrology. In the Tetrabiblios, the classification of signs and gender is explained as follows:

…they assigned six of the signs to the masculine and diurnal and an equal number to the feminine and nocturnal. An alternating order was assigned to them because day is always yoked to night and close to it, and female to male. Now as Aries is taken as the starting point…and as the male likewise rules and holds first place, since also the active is always superior to the passive in power, the signs of Aries and Libra were thought to be masculine and diurnal,…

After this, Ptolemy continues to describe at least three other systems for dividing masculine and feminine signs, but all of them assume that masculine and diurnal are equivalent and that feminine and nocturnal are equivalent.

Now why does Ptolemy make that assumption?

In the section concerning diurnal and nocturnal planets, he writes:

…the two most obvious intervals of those which make up time, the day is the more masculine because of its heat and active force, and night more feminine because of its moisture and gift of rest…

This passage does not seem to make much sense. The opposite of heat is not moisture, it is cold. Heat and moisture are on separate axes. Also, the night is not moist, the night is cold. The only part of night that is moist is the period between midnight and sunrise, the part of night between sunset and midnight is dry.

To further add to the confusion, in another section, Ptolemy says:

…because two of the four humours are fertile and active, the hot and the moist (for all things are brought together and increased by them), and two are destructive and passive, the dry and the cold, through which all things, again are separated and destroyed,….

What a minute? Here moist is “fertile and active,” yet in the first passage moisture is associated with the “gift of rest.”

I believe that these inconsistencies may be explained by an earlier alteration in the tradition, and the reason for this alteration can be inferred from second passage. The hot and the moist correspond to the element of Air, and the dry and the cold correspond to the element of Earth.  I believe that the original division between masculine and feminine was along the dry and moist axis, not the hot and cold one.

In the section concerning masculine and feminine planets, Ptolemy states,

…there are two primary kinds of natures, male and females, and the forces already mentioned that of the moist is especially feminine….

This would mean that the feminine elements would be the moist ones, Air and Water, and of course, the dry one, Fire and Earth, would be masculine. Yet, Air was considered the highest element, and the element associated with the intellectual classes, from which women were forceably excluded.

Further evidence for the assocation of moisture for feminine and dryness for masculine can be seen in the Egyptian pantheon in which there were several male and female god pairs with the male god associated with dryness and the female god associated with moisture.

Technical Considerations

This is all well and good on a theoretical level; however, astrology is a craft. How would this impact the craft of astrology? Would this change the entire system?

Actually, I think it would improve the craft and make it more useful and harmonious.

To begin with, it would reflect what are arguably the real differences between the feminine and and the masculine, at least with respect to human beings. The association of masculine with active and feminine with passive is dubious at best. Women have always worked as hard, if not harder, than men. Even to this day, when women are in the workforce, they often still have responsibility for the maintenance of the home and are still often the primary caretakers for children. Also, if women were truly passive, there would not have been the need for all of the social and legal restrictions to keep them subservient. Even with all of the restrictions, throughout history, women have found ways to gain power and triumph over patriarchy, even if they have been quiet ways.

On the other hand, when one looks at the actual differences between women and men, they do seem to be along the wet/dry division. Women’s bodies tend to be softer and plumper than those of men. Babies grow in the body of women, and moisture is necessary for growth. All other things being equal, men tend to be more analytical and women tend to be better at making connections. While men tend to be physically stronger, women tend to be more flexible. All of these differences are consistent with a wet/dry division.

What about the neat symmetry of alternating masculine and feminine that Ptolemy described above, and that is shown in the diagram below?

Elements and Gender Chart - Hot and Cold

This may not be of much concern to Modern Astrologers, but it is a very important concern to Traditional/Classical Astrologers. A symmetrical system is consistent with an orderly and harmonious cosmos, and this is essential to why astrology “works” from a Traditional or Classical perspective.

I believe that this system is actually more symmetrical than the current one, not less. Here is a diagram of a gender classification along the wet/dry axis:

Elements and Gender Chart - Wet and Dry

In the first diagram, the gender classification is redundant with the classification between day and night. It does not add anything to the system. Indeed, the hot/cold axis is given two distinct groupings, and the wet/dry axis has none.

Furthermore, in the first diagram, even though signs next to each other have different genders, the signs opposite and across from each other have the same gender. The adage that “opposites attract” holds true in astrology, and signs opposite each other in the zodiac form equal and opposite pairs. Signs next to each other do not and are said to be unable to “see” each other. It is much more harmonious to the overall system for opposite pairs to be of opposite gender that it is for them to be the same gender.

With respect to individual signs:

Libra

This change would make Libra feminine rather than masculine. Libra as a masculine sign always felt counter-intuitive to me. Libra is the sign of the hostess and the diplomat. Libra is motivated by beauty and balance. The most common fault of Libra is indecisiveness. All of these seem to be stereotypical traits of the feminine.

Aquarius

Aquarius, the Water Bearer, would also be feminine. It is true that Aquarius is generally depicted as a young man pouring water, and there are Greek and Egyptian myths that support the masculine association with the constellation. That being said, there is nothing inherently masculine about symbol of a water bearer. On the contrary, one could argue that this symbol is inherently feminine.

Actually, in one Greek myth, the constellation of Aquarius is occupied by one of Zeus’ favorites, Ganymede. Ganymede incurred the wrath of Zeus’ wife, Hera. Hera was jealous of Ganymede in part because of Zeus’ attention and affections for him, but also in part because he usurped the place of her daughter, Hebe, the goddess of youth. To me, this myth seems strangely fitting to the topic of this article.

Taurus and Virgo

This change would make Virgo the Virgin masculine rather than feminine. Admitted, this is counter-intuitive. On the other hand, Taurus the Bull would become masculine rather than feminine.

Summary

In this article, I have proposed an alteration to the present system of gender classification with respect to the signs. I have argued that the current classification along the hot/cold axis is likely a patriarchal alteration to justify subjugation of the feminine and to bar women from the priestly and intellectual classes. I have also argued that it is likely the original classification was along the wet/dry axis, and that this classification would be consistent with real differences between the feminine and the masculine in human beings. Furthermore, this system of classification would be more symmetrical and harmonious than the current one.

The Illusion of “Thinking for Yourself”

In the 1960’s, the world changed drastically, at least in the West.  For the most part, I believe that this change has been downhill.  In the The Feminine Universe, Miss Alice Lucy Trent calls this change “the Eclipse.”  I can imagine that at least some readers will protest and talk about all the horrors of cruelty, unkindness, violence, and oppression from the past.  I am not denying that this was so.  The past of this world has been violent and cruel for at least as long as we have recorded history.  This is one of the more compelling arguments for the changes in society since the Eclipse. Despite this, I think that much more has been lost than has been gained.

One of the things that has been lost is any sense that authority can be trusted, or really that anyone can be trusted.  We are taught to “think for ourselves” and engage in “critical thinking” of everything.  Instead of being a contributing part of a community, or seeking a higher purpose, people see it as their (and everyone else’s) duty to keep “informed,” which really means to keep track of all of the bad things that everyone is doing or may do.

The reality is that none of us truly “think for ourselves.”  We all rely on other people.  For example, when choosing a service or a product, we look up “reviews,” which are the thoughts of other people.  When deciding our opinions on “issues,” we rely on others to tell us what these “issues” are and how we should think about them.  We are shaped by others in almost everything we do, and often when we think we are “thinking for ourselves,” we are really just choosing between ideas that have we been told.

The same is true of “critical thinking.”  I think that there is a place for that; however, it is often the case that the “critical” part is overemphasized.  People criticize everything, all of the time.  It is almost impossible to discuss any public figure without hearing about something the terrible the person has done. Yes, I understand that there are times when truly terrible things ought to be exposed, but most of the time, the matters are rather superficial and petty.

The reality is that it is hard to truly engage in “critical thinking” in this day and age, because we have lost the idea of an objective right or wrong.  One of the big differences between pre-Eclipse and post-Eclipse movies is the idea that there are things that are right and things that are wrong.  Yes, there is plenty of immorality shown in pre-Eclipse media, but it is not justified like it is in post-Eclipse media.  Good was good and bad was bad.  Shows might depict people being bad, but they, and everyone else, knew they were being bad.  These days, good and bad are so muddled and twisted that no one really knows what they are anymore.

One may ask, well what about circumstances?  An example of which would be the case of a person who steals or engages in criminal business ventures because she can not afford the basic necessities of life for herself and her family.  My answer to that is that none of us are perfect, and there are times people make compromises out of necessity in a difficult, and often rather harsh, world.  That does not change the fact that what they may be doing is wrong.

It is a funny society where one is supposed to “think for yourself” and “think critically,” but one is also supposed to be non-judgmental.  So, upon what does one base one’s critical thinking?  Well, in practice, I think that people tend to become part of a group and accept that group’s judgments, often without question.  In the United States, there is a liberal “team” and a conservative “team” that is fueled by a 24-hour news cycle.  People will support ideas and positions proposed by their “team” no matter how absurd and outrageous they may be, and they will oppose ideas and positions proposed by the other “team” no matter how reasonable and sensible they are.

The Metamorph 2So, what can one do?  I am a long time Star Trek fan, and I think that for the most part Star Trek is rather wholesome, at least to the extent of the Original Series and the Next Generation.  One of my favorite episodes in Star Trek: the Next Generation is the episode, “the Perfect Mate.”  In this episode, there is a woman who is a metamorph, which means she naturally becomes the person that perfectly suits her mate.  In this show, she makes the choice to bond with Captain Picard, even though she is promised to marry someone else in an arranged political marriage.  She does this because she likes who she is when she is with Captain Picard.  In molding to Captain Picard, she understands the importance of duty, and she goes through with the arranged marriage to fulfill her duty.

I think this is a rather good metaphor for us.  All of us are influenced and molded by our social groups, the media we watch, and to what we expose ourselves.  None of us really thinks for ourselves.  What we can do is to decide who we are going to listen to and who we are going to trust.  We can decide who is it who will mold and shape our opinions.  We can also make that choice consciously, bearing in mind that this will largely determine the type of person that we will become.

Fate, Free Will, the Cross, and Wa

During and after the “Enlightenment,” predictive astrology lost favor as a respected craft.  One of the reasons for this is that predictive astrology contradicted Enlightenment notions of Free Will.  How can one predict anything, particularly in a Nativity chart, when we all have Free Will to be whatever we want to be?  This is likely a particularly popular argument in the United States, where children are taught things like, “America is the land of opportunity,” and “every kid can grow up to be the President.”

The CrossThe problem is that in the West, the traditional concept of Free Will has been misunderstood for some time.  The crux of the difficulty is mistaking freedom of choice for freedom of action.  We may not always have freedom of action, but we always have freedom of choice.

In order to explain the traditional concept of Free Will, it becomes helpful to look at the symbol of the Cross.  While Christianity has adopted the Cross as its symbol, the symbol of the Cross long predates Christianity, and is a primordial symbol.  On one level, the Cross is the symbol of the material world.  It is one of the three symbols that are used in the glyphs for the planets.  The other two are the Circle and the Crescent.  Actually, the symbol of the Cross makes sense for Christianity, in the belief that the Divine became incarnate in a living human being.

If one looks deeper into the symbolism of the Cross, one will see that it is made up of a horizontal line with a vertical line intersecting.  The horizontal line represents our life on the material plane.  This is our day to day physical existence.  The vertical intercepting line represents an upward or downward path.  Humans are Axial Beings.  This means that we are at the center or the axis of the cross.  As Axial Beings, we have the choice to live at the level of physical existence.  Animals live at this level of existence.  This is not our only choice though.  We can choose to live at a higher level of existence.  This level has nothing to do with physical wealth or success.  This level is choosing a higher spiritual life, or listening to our “higher angels.”  We can also choose to live at a lower level of existence.  We can succumb to our “demons,” as it were (humans are capable of evil that animals – literally – cannot dream of).  In popular culture, there is the image of a little angel and a little devil sitting on our shoulders, both whispering in our ears.

This is the essence of the traditional notion of Free Will, the day to day choice between the purely material, our “higher angels,” and our “demons.”  The traditional notion of Free Will was not freedom to do what one wants on the material plane.  The notion of individual freedom of action, in this sense, is quite out of place.  There is no real word in English to really explain this concept, so I will borrow a word from Japanese.  The word is wa.  The rough translation of wa is harmony, but a harmony beyond music.  This is the harmony of the heavens that is transmitted to Earth and governs everything from day to day routines to social relationships to spiritual rituals.  Wa governs everything.  The opposite of wa is fuwa, which is disruption of the celestial harmony.

The concept of wa is quite similar to the doctrine of the Music of the Spheres in astrology.  In a sense, astrology is being able to read and listen to this celestial music.  We are born with a particular part to play in the Music of the Spheres.  In a traditional society, we would generally know our part and be raised to sing or play that part.  Few of us reading this will have ever lived in a traditional society, so we can use all of the help we can get to learn to play or sing our part.  A good guide (who could be an astrologer) could help one find her natural wa, can point the way to the path of learning to excel at her part in the Celestial Music, and can warn her of temptations that may lead her to the lower path, or to fuwa.  So, in a large sense, such guidance not only does not negate Free Will, but it helps one to exercise her Free Will.

A good astrologer should be able to predict with reasonable accuracy events on the material plane.  Most people, most of the time, will operate on the horizontal plane of existence.  In other words, we tend to do what comes naturally to us.  With a Nativity Chart, one can also predict with reasonable accuracy the areas of one’s life where she is most open to the guidance of the angels, and where she is more likely to be tempted by her “demons.”  What can not be predicted, though, is whether a person will actually listen to the angel or the devil on her shoulder.  That choice can sometimes be a day by day choice.  This is really what is meant by Free Will.

Here is a concrete example.  One can predict that a person is likely to be quite irritable on a given day.  One can even predict that it would be likely she would have a fight with her spouse.  If she is aware of the celestial influence, she might be wise enough to go to bed early or go out to the gym to work off her excess martial energy.  If she is unaware, or does not manage to avoid the conflict, and a conflict ensues, there are still choices.  She could choose to apologize quickly and reconcile with her spouse, she could keep the fight going for days, or she could let the fight escalate to the point of a divorce with her spouse.  One can predict the potential for conflict, but one can not predict the actual choice she (or her spouse) will make in response to it.

Interestingly enough, as I mentioned above, the modern scientific world view in many ways negates this Free Will.  One example of this is the scientific notion that we are merely animals, or that we are on the same level of existence as animals, that our actions and behaviors are governed by chemicals and biology. This would mean that, like animals, we are not able to rise above or fall below than our horizontal, physical existence.*  Another example of a modern theory that seems to deny Free Will is the concept of “infinite universes.”  In this theory, every time anyone makes a choice, a new universe is created.  In the above example of the potential fight with the spouse, each of those choices has been made, with each of these choices creating a different universe.  If you think about this, this would mean that we really do not have choice.  For every choice that we make, an alternate of us has made every other choice possible.  This does not seem consistent with the doctrine of Free Will or with our place as Axial Beings.

If one thinks about it, the traditional doctrine of Free Will does allow for far more freedom than the materialistic notion of being able to “do whatever we want.”  Most of us are limited in many ways, by financial status, by health, by class, by education, by natural ability, by age, or by many other factors, in our means to do “what we want.”  Yet, no matter our circumstances, we can always choose the purely material, our higher angels, or our demons at any time and at any point in our lives.  No matter how limited our freedom of action is, we always have freedom of choice.

See also:

Nativity Charts and Free Will

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*Actually animals *can* rise above or fall below their horizontal physical existence as well, but it is rare. An example that has been passed down to this author from a respected teacher is that of a dog. A dog can rise above her horizontal physical existence by performing an act such as saving the life of her owner, or can fall below by going rogue. Still most of the time, a dog is going to just be a dog and will do what comes naturally to her.

Original Forms/Archetypes

One of the fundamental concepts in the practice of astrology as a traditional sacred science is that of Original Form. The Japanese word for this concept is 元型, genkei, which is literally “original form/type.” This is the true and first meaning of the term, “archetype.”

The reason that I started with the phrase Original Form and the Japanese word is that when one says the word “archetype,” it is often immediately placed in the context of Jungian psychology. The concept of the Archetype is far deeper and older. Plato wrote about this concept, but he was explaining Traditional Wisdom that was already starting to become lost in his time. It has been said that astronomical “discoveries” such as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun have been a challenge for astrology; however, it is the Darwinian Pseudomythos of Evolution which has been far more devastating.

egyptian-catIt is not the Theory of Evolution itself that is devastating for astrology, but the Pseudomythos that has been built up around it, particularly in popular culture. There is nothing metaphysically untenable about more complicated forms coming from simpler forms.* An entire tree grows out of an acorn. What is metaphysically untenable, and unprovable, is that this came about by random “mutations” of which some survived and some did not. Even more untenable and unprovable is the extension of this Pseudomythos of random chaotic chance to the workings of the entire physical Universe.

Archetypes in the original and truest sense of the word are the Original Forms in the mind of the Creator. The Archetypes themselves are not manifest in the physical world, but everything in the physical world is a reflection of an Archetype. Cats are cats because they are reflections of the Cat Archetype, which originated in the mind of the Creator. While there are some Archetypes, such as the Princess or the Wheel, which can come about through Axial Beings (“humans”), they originated with the Creator, who is far above physical manifestation.

Jungian psychological “archetypes” are said to come about through the “collective unconscious” of the human psyche, which does exist in Traditional metaphysical thought, but at a level below physical manifestation, not above. Jungian “archetypes” are limited to that which can be found in the human psyche and are derived from the Darwinian Pseudomythos. The Archetype of the Cat can not exist in the Jungian or Darwinian world.

This distinction is quite important. Everything depends upon it. Our astrological forebears can not be truly understood without a Traditional understanding of Archetypes, or 元型 “Genkei” Original Forms.

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*The “evidence” for this is not so iron-clad as the Modern “scientific world view” would have us believe; however, the debate is so heated in our current culture that I really wish to avoid the mare’s nest that a discussion of the “evidence” would bring, particularly surrounding “transitional forms,” as it is unnecessary for the premise of this article.

Our Stars, Our Selves

How we see the stars is how we see ourselves. Every culture in history has told stories about the stars. According to these stories, the sky is filled with heroes, magical creatures, and gods who watch over us. For our ancestors, the sky reflected a larger harmony that ordered the heavens, all life, and human society. The discipline that studied this  harmony was cosmology.

Cosmology has become lost to the modern Western world. Cosmology included astronomy, astrology, metaphysics, and religion. While divination and personal consultation (what many people think of when they think of astrology) were undoubtedly the lowest, if most practical, aspect of the discipline, astrology in general was the lynchpin of cosmology. Astrology is the study of how the harmony of the heavens interacts with the earth, the study of where we belong in the cosmic order.

The MoonIn the modern West, cosmology has become reduced to mere astronomy. Metaphysics and religion became stripped from cosmology as cosmologists found ways to safely practice in the Middle Ages under the watchful eyes of a Christian Church keen to purge the world of anything that remotely resembled paganism. Astrology and astronomy parted ways in the so-called “Enlightenment.” Astronomy became an accepted science, and astrology was relegated to the backwaters.

Yet, without religion, metaphysics, and astrology, all we have is the study of the mechanics of the physical universe. This has led to a widespread belief that this is all that there is.  How we view the stars is how we view ourselves, and we have learned to see ourselves as merely physical beings, just another animal on a remote planet.

Rather than an orderly cosmos, we now see a chaotic and dangerous universe, filled with hazards such as black holes, quasars, and pulsars. Rather than gods or heroes placed in the heavens, we see balls of gas that are born, explode, and collapse in a seemingly random fashion. Stars are given numbers rather than names and are classified by physical characteristics, such as brightness.

Yes, there is wonder to be found in the physical universe. There have been many reports of deep spiritual awakening coming from a study of the beauty and majesty of the heavenly bodies.  It would take a hardened person to be able to look at the night sky without awe and humility.

That being said, to me, the beauty and wonder of the physical universe pales in comparison to the magnificent Harmony of the Spheres that can be heard in the cycles within cycles that are revealed in astrology. Modern science textbooks teach that cosmology gave way to modern astronomy when great scientists “discovered” that the Traditional Model of the Cosmos was false, and that there was a larger universe outside of our Solar System. This teaching is based on a misunderstanding of what the Traditional Model of the Cosmos represents.

The Traditional Model of the Cosmos does not represent the physical Solar System, but the Higher Planes of existence. Our Solar System, and presumably any solar system, is a microcosm of the full cosmos, as is every human being. Our Solar System, and indeed, the entire universe that can be “discovered,” exists entirely on the “earthly” or sublunary plane. Modern science can not disprove the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, because the scope of modern science is limited to the physical plane of existence. Ironically, rather than expanding our horizons beyond the solar system, modern science has limited our horizons to that which we can measure and observe with our senses and our machines. It is little wonder that the universe has become such a chaotic place to the modern world.

Astrology, if understood in its true form, can be the antidote to this modern limitation. Astrology does not “work” because there are “rays” from the planets and stars controlling our lives. Astrology “works” because Solar System is a microcosm of the larger cosmos, as are we. Astrology is not an outdated discipline that was cast aside because we now “know better”; astrology, even in its current debilitated state, is one of the few remnants of a time in which the true nature of the cosmos was known and understood.

 

The World Illusion, Truth, and Literal Facts

Traditional Wisdom teaches that the material world is an illusion from which we will all someday awaken. What does this mean?

I have not reached Enlightenment, and anyone reading this who has reached Enlightenment already knows the answer(s) to this. From an Unenlightened state, we can not fully understand this. The World Illusion seems very real to us, and indeed, it should. In the Late Iron Age, we are firmly entrenched in the material world, so the material world is more real to us than ever before.

Yet, every Tradition teaches that there are worlds other than the material world. There are worlds that are higher and those that are lower than that which we live in. The Christian Tradition simplifies this greatly by calling everything higher than the material world Heaven and everything lower than it Hell. From a Traditionalist perspective, there are many Heavens (places above the material world) and many Hells (places below the material world). All of these worlds are a part of manifestation and Creation, and all will eventually return to the One at the inbreathing at the end of time. Any state other than reunion with the One is temporary, even Paradise.

From an Unenlightened state, however, our understanding of this can only be a theoretical understanding. Even to talk about the inbreathing at the end of time is not really accurate, as time itself is a part of the World Illusion. Because we are bound in space and time, we really can not understand that which is not bound in space and time. For this reason, we have been given Mythos and stories. These Mythos and stories are told as if they were in space and time, so that we can understand them, but the Truth is beyond space and time. That is the meaning behind the statement, “The Tao that can be spoken is not the True Tao.”

Literal facts are details about the material world. History tells what happened in space and time in the context of physicality. Literal facts can be true or false within the context of the World Illusion, but they are not Truth so far as the Reality that exists beyond the material world. Filianist Scripture contains a Creation Mythos, which we believe to be True, or more accurately, we believe it to tell the story of Truth in a way that we can understand it in this day and age. We believe it to be the Only Truth, which means that we believe it tells us enough for us to live our lives and attain Liberation; however, we also believe that other True Creation Mythos exist, and are also the Only Truth which can lead to Liberation. We do not believe that this story itself as it is told in our Scripture happened in space and time in the material world, nor do we believe that any True Creation Mythos could have happened in space and time.

GuanYin4This being said, the material world is a reflection of the spiritual world, and what happens in physicality is a reverberation of the Truth. An example of this is the Mythos of the Sacrifice of the Daughter, which is found in almost all Traditions in one form or another. Filianst Scripture tells a version of this Mythos. The Sacrifice of Quan Yin is a different telling of the story, but it is the same story. The Daughter descending to Hell and dying and the vow of the bodhisattva to remain in the physical world until the “last blade of grass” is redeemed is the same sacrifice told of in a different way.

Modern Christianity teaches that a person by the name of Jesus lived and died at a specific place and time and was resurrected. It has been noted, and rightfully so, that this story is not new to Christianity and that the God Sacrifice is found everywhere in many different Traditions. From a Traditionalist perspective, if the historical story has relevance, it is because it is a reflection of the True Story, which happened outside of space and time. It may have happened in the material world or it may not have, but if it only happened in the material world in time and space, than it would not be a story of Truth, but merely one of historical fact. From this perspective, the question is not whether or not the actual events happened in history, but whether the Story itself rises to the level of Mythos, and thus able to lead to Liberation and Truth.

What does this mean for our lives within the physical world as time and space bound creatures? Does this mean that what we do in the physical world does not matter? Filianism teaches that there is a balance. It is neither world affirming nor world denying. We believe that the material world is a beautiful gift from Our Mother, the Creator God, and our relation to it should be that of humble appreciation and gratitude. We should enjoy what we have been given, and do our best to live the life that we have been given striving to manifest our True Selves, which in the context of manifestation, are our best selves. On the other hand, we try to remember that this world is not all that there is, and to avoid excessive entanglement within it.

Our thoughts and actions in the material world do have an effect on our souls, which we believe are eternal. We can not be permanently separated from Our Mother, but we can experience separation. Within manifestation, there is Light and Dark, and Good and Evil. On one hand, even Evil is a necessary part of Creation and will return to the Mother in the inbreathing at the end of time; on the other hand, Evil also represents profound separation from Our Mother, and from a Filianist perspective, as well as a general Traditionalist perspective, is something to be avoided. This is a paradox and cannot be understood from an Unenlightened state.