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.


See also:

Who’s in Charge? Disposition and the Almuten Figuris

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