The Esoteric Astrological System is intimately related to the essentials of esoteric occult philosophy, upon which it is founded. Concepts such as the unity of all things, the existence of lesser lives within greater lives, the triplicity, and the septenary appear abundantly in the esoteric astrological system, just as they do in esoteric occult philosophy.
Before considering the specific components which constitute this system, it is helpful to have in mind certain general principles that describe the orientation of the esoteric approach to astrology. These general principles fall roughly into three categories:
1. Principles of Causation, explaining the origin of astrological energies
2. Principles of Influence Dissemination, describing the distribution of energies throughout creation, and
3. Principles of Spiritual Guidance, pointing toward use of esoteric astrological information as a counseling approach.
Principles of Causation
All energies and astrological influences have their origin, according to the esoteric occult teaching, in the fact that the sum total of creation is but the garment worn by a great Creator who holds all within the folds of its robe. Thus, “space is an entity. In other words, infinite cosmic space is the body of a purposeful, knowing identity. This identity, one with its creation, pervades it all. Any quality of energy rises out of this context. Thus, the esoteric astrological doctrine holds that all astrological influence has its ultimate genesis in the life processes of an underlying synthesis or oneness.
Contained within this great body of cosmic space are lives lesser to it but far greater than the human dimension. All specific astrological influences emanate from these Greater Livees which like all things are constituted of a triplicity of life, quality, and appearance.According to the esoteric astrological doctrine, astrological influences are constituted of the spiritual purposes, psychic qualities, and activities of Great Lives. These radiate outward as surging waves of energies and qualities, which impact all the lesser lives within the spheres of influence of Greater Lives Such considerations form the domain of esoteric astrological inquiry, which concerns itself with the conditioning and governing energies issuing forth from the Greater Lives in which our solar system and globe find their places..
As is evident, the esoteric astrological doctrine is a specific instance of the general occult proposition that all lives exist within greater lives and therefore carry out not only their own objectives, but equally those of a greater ordeer This arrangement is the basis of the occult dictum that correct esoteric astrological analysis must always proceed from universals to particulars In other words, when considering astrological influence, a grasp of the whole situation requires perception of the most inclusive or universal source from which such influence might be found to arise, if truth is to be known and revealed.
The Tibetan spoke of this notion when he dictated to Alice Bailey that the pouring forth of energies and vibrations by cosmic, solar, and planetary entities awakens units of consciousness indwelling lesser forms. Ultimately, the lesser are brought into alignment and close relation with the greater in this fashion. This exciting perspective on astrological energies emphasizes the potential for upward alignment to be made by any lesser unit with its greater inspiring sources. It also distinguishes the esoteric approach from its exoteric counterpart, which is less concerned with acknowledging the consciousnesses behind impinging astrological energies, and more concerned with the resulting impact of those influencing energies.
Given the wide horizon that the esoteric discipline concerns, it is in keeping that its central focus is the workings of the seven rays, themselves the psychic emanations of the seven centers in the body of a great Cosmic Logos called The One About Whom Naught May Be Said In fact, the true nature of all astrological influence is understood to be the seven rays themselves which originate in the seven centers of The One About Whom Naught May Be Said and then pass through the seven stars of the Great Beaon their way to our solar system. These seven rays then flow through the twelve zodiacal constellations (or visible star groupings in deep space), which are represented by the twelve zodiacal signs as defined by the Tropical System
The rays also flow through the solar system itself, the scheme in which our globe finds place, a scheme of opposite polarity to ours, a globe of opposite polarity to ours, and an unspecified planetary triangle all of which have an effect on our planet. In sum, the rays flow through constellations, signs, our own solar system, our scheme and other schemes, and various planets ultimately to reach and influence the individual.
More generally, the esoteric astrological system posits that astrological influence emanates from three levels:
1. sources outside of the zodiac (or the realm of the fixed stars)
2. zodiacal constellations (or visible star groupings near the ecliptic)
3. planets in our solar system
These three levels correspond to and carry especial influence to the monad, soul, and personality, operating as causative forces for the respective levels concerned. Thus, the influence of the fixed stars pertains to and stimulates monadic functioning, the influence of the zodiacal constellations awakens and nurtures soul consciousness, and that of the planets
Principles of Influence Dissemination
Whatever the sources, all astrological and ray energies begin in the vibrational fields of Great Beings and then filter downward through the solar systemic planes to reach our planet, the three planes of normal human endeavor, and the other kingdoms in nature. Thus, in this descent of energies, astrological and ray influences first impact the mental plane, then the astral, and finally the physical. As a result, in the human being astrological and ray influences first register in the mind, then the emotions, and finally the etheric-physical body. This gradual and eventual registration is part of the bigger picture encompassing the universal circulation of energies to and through all.
The coursing of energies through a vast system of interlocking pathways which pass throughout the various dimensions and regions of creation is, according to esoteric astrology, a fundamental fact of existence. It is because of this underlying fact that emanation, reception, and transmutation of energies can occur.
The medium of transmission througt a web of light substance linking all of creation, from the greatest and most abstract to the least and most concrete. This web of transmission contacts all bodies including the human through the seven major
During transmission through the etheric web linking all units within creation, energies emanating from greater sources are transformed into forces when they merge with and are qualified by the vibrational fields of lesser lives On this point the Tibetan stated, “I would ask you to bear in mind that these energies are transmitted from one point to another, or pass through with transmuting effect from one centre to another, thus bearing their own vibratory quality but carrying also that of the centre of transmission. Hence, energies are being altered or “qualified” into forces all the time by various lives. This truism applied to the human level is the central concern of ethical occultism, which maintains that it is the part of responsible humanity to practice a conscientious (and not aggressive, self-centered) reception, transmutation, and distribution of energy and force.
When circulating energies and forces reach the human unit, they enter the mental, astral, and etheric-physical fields through the agency of the permanent atoms, which discharge astrological influence onto the three planes of human endeavor. At this point, the circulating energies and forces have entered fully into the experience of average humanity.
Energies and forces, then, pass through a vast network of interconnected lives. A specific example of this fact is to be seen in the Science of Triangles, an integral part of esoteric astrology. In fact, esoteric astrology is said to be founded upon the notion of the Science of Triangles, a study of the infinite connectedness of all things through endless series of triangular configurations uniting stars, constellations, signs, planets, and kingdoms. (A full explanation of the Science of Triangles will be found in a following section.) It is important to keep in mind that these circulating energies and forces are essentially the seven rays, which come from cosmic sources and work their way through stars, star groupings, planets, and the various kingdoms within evolution.
In particular, the rays flow into, merge with, and are distributed by cwchich should be distinguished from zodiacal signs, or mathematical divisions of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is essentially the plane of our solar system as seen from planet Earth. It is that part of the sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets are seen to travel. This belt has been divided mathematically into twelve sectors. It is these sectors which constitute the familiar twelve signs of the zodiac. They are not the same as the visible star groupings of the same names, which are farther out in space.
However, the esoteric astrological teaching holds that the zodiacal signs receive energies from the zodiacal constellations of the same names. Hence, ray energies flow into, merge with, and are distributed by the constellations and then the divisions of the ecliptic (or the astrological signs) which represent them. It can therefore be said that the rays are distributed through the constellations far out in space and then through the eponymous signs of the zodiac, with which western astrologers are familiar.
Planets, too, play a role in the distribution of rays as energies and forces. Each of the planets distributes a number of rays – the one with which it is primarily associated plus others linked to it in various ways. Further, the planets are segregated into two groups – the sacred and non-sacred, the qualities of which differ. Thus, though ray energies come through non-sacred and sacred planets alike, the qualities of such energies are fundamentally affected by the nature of the distributing planet.
Thus, from abstract cosmic sources to the tangible and visible planets, energies and forces make their ways through the vast and interlinking system of influence dissemination. This they do through the ubiquitous etheric web, which provides the medium of transmission for energies throughout space.
Principles of Spiritual Guidance
After great energies have been sent forth from their emanating sources and carried through the universal medium of distribution to all parts of creation, lesser units such as the Human Kingdom are suffused with the resulting influences. The esoteric astrological approach addresses itself to the right reception and further distribution of such energies through a particular orientation to spiritual guidance. This unique form of spiritual guidance rests upon a number of propositions, all of which further define the nature of esoteric astrology.
According to the information dictated by the Tibetan to Alice Bailey, the true esoteric astrology makes a clear distinction between the astrology of the ephemeral personality and the astrology of the reincarnating soul. It is the evolution of the soul, also called the solar angel in the Bailey writings, with which the true esoteric astrology is concerned. To this end, the esoteric astrology penned by Bailey emphasizes consciousness, which is an attribute of the soul, instead of fixating upon the likes and dislikes of the always fluctuating personality. In this way, the esoteric approach to astrological interpretation attempts to get behind outer appearances and events to penetrate into the dimension of meaning and ultimately into the dimension of significance, dimensions associated with the levels of the soul and the monad, respectively. Thus, esoteric astrology does not deal with the delineation of personality traits, as does mainstream astrology, the personality and event oriented approach of which the Tibetan nevertheless deemed entirely sufficient for mass Humanity. Instead, esoteric astrology directs its gaze to other matters, such as the tests to be encountered during any particular incarnation while in preparation for initiation. Hence, the management of impinging energies must take place in the context of the requirements for initiations and soul growth, not in the context of the demands of the outer form or personality. Here is a key difference in orientation which distinguishes the esoteric astrological approach from its exoteric brother.
Consequently, the type of guidance or counseling to be found in the true esoteric astrological approach addresses matters wholly different from those usually covered in popular astrological discussions. Instead, esoteric astrology concerns itself with the nature of impinging energies rather than with the relatively small affairs of individual interests and events. Even more radically, esoteric astrology is founded upon the recognition that all persons eventually evolve toward Hierarchy and beyond by a series of initiations. The type of spiritual guidance thus offered by esoteric astrology deals with right management of energies and forces as a part of certain initiatory tests. Thus, esoteric astrological guidance has relevance only for those members of the Human Kingdom who have willed to tread the Path of Return, which begins with integration into Hierarchy and continues toward the emanating sources from which all has come.
On the practical level, this means that esoteric astrology seeks to help individuals enhance their contributions to the greater good, particularly through the development of group consciousness, or awareness of the greater groups to which they belong. The means by which this is done is a consideration of the right use of ray energies, which according to esoteric astrology, are the most fundamental influences upon the soul. In fact, the right use of energies is a central ethical concern of esoteric astrology, the purpose of which is in part the establishment of a method for effective living based on a recognition of the reality of impinging energies.
In terms of the technical indications that an astrologer can extract from an individual’s chart, the matter can be stated as follows. Determination of how astrological energies may be rightly used results from consideration of two classes of astrological influence. These two classes are first, the energies of the planets, and second, the energies of the signs. Specifically, those on the earlier stages of the path leading to Hierarchy are held responsible for learning to recognize and rightly use the ray energies distributed by the planets in our solar system, while those in the more advanced stages of integration into Hierarchy are charged with recognizing and wisely using ray energies coming from outside the solar system altogetherThis distinction between those on earlier and later stages of the spiritual path is characteristic of esoteric astrology, which is built upon the notion that response to astrological energies varies according to evolutionary (or initiatory) status.
The degree and type of response to astrological influence is largely determined, according to the Tibetan, by the condition of the individual’s etheric centers, commonly referred to as the chakras by those in the fields of metaphysics and holistic healing. These seven inlets for cosmic, systemic, and planetary energies and forces are the gateways by which Humanity enters into rapport with its greater environment. Because of the relatively undeveloped nature of the average human etheric centers, many astrological influences are simply out of range of human perception, according to the TibetanHowever, as might be expected, this circumstance is in process of change, for the general trend of human evolution is rendering Humanity more and more capable of enhanced receptivity to astrological energies. It can be anticipated that this new circumstance will bring as much difficulty as advantage initially, as newly awakened Humanity is knocked somewhat off balance by energy impacts with which it is hardly accustomed.
According to the Tibetan, constellational energies (which are of course ray energies in the final analysis) affect individual persons in one of two ways. Such energies can either accelerate or retard evolutionary striving. The difference in how such energies ultimately affect the individual arises from the level of spiritual progress made before such an activation occurs. Depending upon the degree of spiritual realization reached by the individual, he or she may respond by becoming either more fluid and interactive with the greater environment, or more rigid and closed to identification with all that exists. Similar distinctions have long been noticed by mainstream astrologers, who well know from repeated experience that the response of individuals to astrological influences such as transits and progression can vary widely, from magnificent flowerings of innate spiritual genius on one hand, to irresponsible and unethical behavior on the other, and this from the same type of influence. Hence, the principle of variable response to identical energy influences is essentially present and recognized in both the exoteric and esoteric approaches to astrology.
The type of analysis and spiritual guidance which esoteric astrology has to offer on this matter of variable response once more points to the central role played by the etheric centers in the reception of astrological energies. According to the esoteric position, activation by impinging astrological energies produces effects either above or below the solar plexusThis is simply because energies go where the individual has his or her focus of attention. If the focus is upon the evolution of consciousness, universal love distributed to Humanity and all creation, and an intent to exert a constructive influence on the surroundings, astrological activation will mainly enhance the vitality and radiance of the crown, ajna, throat, and heart centers. By contrast, if the individual has most of his or her attention trained on fluctuating emotional responses, desires, and physical comforts, such an activation will head downward to the solar plexus, sacral, and base of spine centers.
The bias of Bailey’s presentation of the esoteric doctrine is toward the higher centers in general, for it is from these centers which emanate the potencies which enable an individual to help lift Humanity out of its obsessive focus upon the form nature. Hence, esoteric astrological spiritual guidance includes a definite attempt to assist individuals in centering their attention upon the issues and abilities connected with the etheric centers located “above the diaphragm,” as the Tibetan called them. This is not to say that needs for emotional linkages, sex, food and the instinct to preserve one’s physical body (all connected with the solar plexus, sacral, and base of spine) are inherently wrong. As is obvious, these drives play critical roles in the type of physical evolution taking place on our planet. The esoteric position simply adds that another level of functioning is needed for the progressive transformations of consciousness which lead the individual and the collective along the initiatory path and toward integration with Hierarchy.
The differences between those whose life interests center above the solar plexus and those whose interests center at the solar plexus and below is symbolized in the esoteric astrological system by a three tiered rulership system. In this system, each sign is associated with three planets, or “planetary rulers,” which really do not control or “rule” the sign but instead reveal something about the experience and spiritual knowledge to be gained under the influence of that sign. These three rulers of a sign are denominated the exoteric, esoteric, and hierarchical rulers. They refer respectively to the purpose and nature of experience in a given zodiacal sign for those focused in the form or personality (the exoteric ruler), the soul (the esoteric ruler), or the monad (the hierarchical ruler). Though complete information regarding the triple rulership system follows later, the point to be gathered here is that the triple rulership system is the formal and technical way in which the esoteric astrological system embodies the principle of variable response. In other words, an individual can respond to the energies of any given sign at the level of the personality, the soul, or the monad, and these three levels are represented by the three tiered multiple rulership system.
Hence, in the type of spiritual guidance offered by the esoteric astrological approach, the attempt to move from a lower to a higher state of functioning is aided by knowledge of the esoteric and hierarchical planetary rulers of a given sign, for these additional rulers represent characteristics and ray energies which should be cultivated in the effort to gain release from the constraints of the form nature and to function more regularly in the universal love consciousness of the soul or the pure spiritual will of the monad.
For example, the esoteric ruler of Aries is Mercury. The implication is that if one is to move from the aggressive personality centered expression of Aries as symbolized by Mars ( the exoteric ruler of Aries), one should follow the path of Mercury which leads to meditation, the development of the mind, and contact with the love-wisdom of the soul. Next, one would strive toward those things esoterically indicated by Uranus, the hierarchical ruler of Aries. This is a matter to be fully explicated in a later section, for the esoteric characterization of the planets is not always identical with the familiar mainstream characterizations of the planets. Nonetheless, this example makes clear the fact that the individual has a broad range of choices in regard to the way he or she will integrate and express the energies of this sign.
Thus, it can be said that the esoteric position allows for the individual to respond differently to the energies of any given sign. Here is a specific instance of the general principle of variable response, which in its more general form points to the necessary realization and rather obvious fact that individuals respond to astrological energies differently, according to their level of spiritual development.
As can now be seen, the principles of spiritual guidance embraced by the esoteric astrological system emphasize that this type of guidance refers to the life and objectives of the soul, not to those of the temporary personality. Such guidance concerns preparation for initiation and eventual integration into hierarchy through the development of increasingly inclusive group consciousness and the right management of ray, planetary, and constellational energies.
This approach to astrological counseling acknowledges the critical role played by the etheric centers in the reception and distribution of energies. Furthermore, the type of guidance offered by the esoteric astrological system contains an intrinsic encouragement to direct incoming astrological energies toward the centers above the diaphragm as much as possible. Finally, this system recognizes that persons respond to the same energy impacts differently. It therefore contains a multiple rulership system designed to capitalize on this fact by providing the individual with a sequence of steps to follow in creating the highest type of response possible.
These are the practical end results of the general principles of the esoteric astrological system. As has been shown, these principles begin with the identification of the source of astrological causation in greater orders of being. They then progress through an articulation of the medium of transmission by which the life flows of greater beings reach the lesser beings within their bodies of manifestation. Finally, the general principles of the esoteric astrological system conclude in the form of a type of spiritual guidance designed specifically to enhance and accelerate the progress of spiritual seekers toward initiation and integration into Hierarchy.
Ray Analysis and the Horoscope
Ray analysis should be done in conjunction
with a study of the horoscope. (Esoteric Psychology II, p. 102)
The matter of ray analysis is of importance to all students of the Tibetan’s teachings. We are given to understand that knowledge of one’s ray constitution is a key to enhanced progress on the way of discipleship evolution, hence more effective co-working relationships with Hierarchy and more effective service. (See Esoteric Psychology I, ) Certainly this is because once we know our occult strengths and weaknesses, we can direct ourselves all the better toward an unencumbered reception and distribution of higher energies, avoiding the gross misuses of energies and typical glamours characteristic of the various rays.
As all students of the Bailey material know, the Tibetan presented ray analyses to the disciples who were members of the international discipleship group, the letters to which are recorded in Alice Bailey’s Discipleship in the New Age I and II. The method by which the Tibetan obtained the information he required in order to assess individual ray characteristics was of course remote clairvoyant viewing. ( See Discipleship in the New Age I, ) As an adept and initiate of the Fifth Degree, he was able to tune in on and view the energy field and past lives of any individual for whom it was necessary that he retrieve this information. It is probable that until one possesses the type of clairvoyance DK did, no iron-clad certainty can be had in matters of ray analysis.
However, it would appear that the Tibetan intended to encourage efforts toward assessment of individual ray constitution. He made a very strong case for the importance of knowing the rays conditioning the soul, personality, mental body, astral body, and the etheric-physical body. For example, in Glamour: A World Problem , he stated, “…the ascertaining (by the aspirant) of his ray influence is one of the first steps towards understanding the nature of his problems and the method of release. The psychology of the future will direct attention to the discovery of the two rays which govern the soul and personality.” In Esoteric Psychology I , he indicated that knowledge of one’s rays is even connected with the ability to take initiation. Healers in particular are singled out as those in especial need of such information in Esoteric Healing .
Why is knowledge of one’s rays of such consequence on the occult path? It is because this knowledge is part and parcel of a science of energies forming the core curriculum of discipleship training. In particular, such knowledge is important because it informs the striving disciple of what effect he or she may unwittingly have upon others and the environment. This is exactly what DK was driving at when he stated, “The impact of ray force upon people embodying different aspects of ray energy will be one of the coming developments in the field of esoteric psychology….” (From Discipleship in the New Age I, ) The same point is made a few pages later in the same work when DK explained, “…when I speak of the rays of the various bodies, I am referring to the dominant force which conditions them in any particular life, to the possible effect that the impact of that force – regulated or unregulated – may have upon surrounding people….”
Wise management of effects produced on others in the environment is a critical consideration for the emerging occultist. He or she first and foremost is pledged to a practice of ethical harmlessness (a good statement of which principle is to be found on p. 320 of A Treatise on White Magic). Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know and understand one’s own forces well enough to avoid accidental detriment to others. However, this consideration is only part of the picture.
The Tibetan explained that one’s ray constitution has relevance in three different ways over the course of one’s evolutionary path. These he detailed in Discipleship in the New Age I , where he stated, “Upon the probationary path, the forces of man’s lower nature and their interior interplay is of paramount importance:
he must learn to know himself. On the path of discipleship, these same forces must be studied in relation to those with whom destiny, karma and vocational choice has thrown the disciple. On the path of initiation, these same forces are used in conscious cooperation with the Plan, and with adequate skill in action, due to lessons learnt on the earlier stages of the path.” Thus, knowledge of one’s ray constitution is in the first instance necessary for wise guidance and self control. In the second instance, knowledge of one’s ray constitution enhances a more conscious and considered interaction with others. In the third, knowledge of one’s ray constitution is called into play as a specific set of instruments with which to work in the scientific service of the Plan.
With these considerations in mind, it comes as somewhat of a disappointment to read in A Treatise on White Magic that accurate assessment of the soul ray is not a capacity given to humanity during the present race, the fifth or Aryan race. Yet, astoundingly, we find in the later volume Esoteric Healing an entirely different view of the matter, for there the Tibetan declared that ray analysis will in fact be feasible in the Age of Aquarius, which occurs a great deal sooner than does the advent of the Sixth Race. On p. 383 of Esoteric Healing, the Tibetan went on to say, “…men will learn some day to determine with ease their ray type, and the rays which govern their three-fold personality.” Is that some day at hand? That determination depends upon when the Age of Aquarius may be said to begin.
The date for the beginning of the Age of Aquarius is indeed a matter of contention and debate amongst astrologers and esotericists. However, there are two statements made by the Tibetan which allow us to situate the probable onset of the Age of Aquarius in the first half of the twentieth century. In Problems of Humanity , the Tibetan stated unequivocally, “The release of the energy of the atom is definitely the inauguration of the New Age.” In The Reappearance of the Christ , the Tibetan all but states flatly that the Age of Aquarius began in June 1945 with the assumption by the Christ of his Aquarian role. Thus, let us look briefly at the history of nuclear power and the significance of the year 1945 in particular.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the structure of the atom was discovered progressively by a number of researchers throughout the world scientific community. Yet, it was not until 1938 that the atom was first split by German physicist Otto Hahn. Hahn’s achievement demonstrated the possibility of sustained nuclear reaction, which ultimately was first achieved in the United States at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942. The world’s first operational nuclear reactor was activated at Oak Ridge, TN, USA, in 1943. Finally, the first experimental atomic bomb was exploded at Alamogordo, NM, USA, on July 16, 1945. Barely three weeks later, the first nuclear weapons were detonated over Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945.
Thus, key developments in the unleashing of the power of the atom occurred in 1938, 1942, 1943, and 1945. The last of these coincides dramatically with the Tibetan’s specific identification of June 1945 as the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Thus, the Christ assumed what D.K. referred to as his “Aquarian role,” in June 1945 and about one month later, the first massive release of nuclear power occurred, to be followed by even more titanic releases about two months after the Christ’s accession. Bearing all this in mind, together with the facts that the Tibetan has stated that the onset of the Age of Aquarius is signified by the release of the energy of the atom and by the accession of the Christ to his current status, it is well nigh impossible to conclude anything other than that the Age of Aquarius is now under way and has been so for a good half century.
To all this might be added the fact that the current form of the Great Invocation was given in 1945. The Tibetan called the Invocation an “inaugurating mantram” of the Seventh Ray, which is of course the ray associated with the Age of Aquarius. (See Esoteric Psychology II,) The planet Uranus, exoteric ruler of Aquarius, distributes the Seventh Ray and is the source of the strong Ray Seven energies expected and predicted to come forth during the Age of Aquarius. Thus, the Tibetan in as much as stated that the Great Invocation is designed to jump start the Aquarian Age.
It is of consequence to note also that the Tibetan predicted that the incoming Ray Seven energies would cause great destruction of present animal forms (Esoteric Psychology I,), and this we are given to understand, not for some arbitrary reason, but because the present forms are attuned to the departing Age of Pisces, and hence must give way to new configurations. In this vein, consider that fact that the number of persons deceased in World War II, leading up to and overlapping the likely onset of strong Ray Seven influence, was 45 million. If the human form can be considered a heritage from its animal past, then the end of World War II and the putative onset of the Aquarian Age contain demonstrated world events that reflect the Tibetan’s characterization of Ray Seven influence.
Here indeed is a gripping argument for the validity of the Tibetan’s claims and likewise for the fact that the Seventh Ray Age of Aquarius has already begun. This contention is further supported by the fact that destruction of animal forms continued almost unabated throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first century, with extinction of animal species progressing at what is to many an alarming rate. Though no esotericist can justify environmental degradation for the purposes of corporate selfishness, we can however adjust the sadness consequent upon loss of animal species with the insight at hand regarding the inherent effect of the Seventh Ray. Further, we can advisedly know that this destruction of form will eventually make way for a liberation of the animal kingdom into higher grades of evolution.
As has been shown in regard to the advent of nuclear power, the work of the Christ, and the expected effect of the Seventh Ray upon animal form, there exists compelling evidence that the Age of Aquarius began right before the middle of the twentieth century. The implications of this claim are many, but among them is the fact that capacity for ray analysis should now be upon us.
Those who would argue with this contention might with considerable justification point to the Tibetan’s statement in A Treatise on White Magic to the effect that ray analysis will not be possible until the advent of the Sixth Race, a point in time many thousands of years hence. To this argument the response might be made that the passage from TWM was dictated by the Tibetan some time between April 1928 and April 1933, according to James Stephenson in his Prophecy on Trial . By contrast, the Tibetan’s other claim about the feasibility of ray analysis in the Age of Aquarius was dictated much later, some time after May 1942 .
Prudence might well allow that the later of these two statements better reflected what the Tibetan saw for the course of Humanity. Why so? Because conditions change within the human family, and as they do, new formulations of its expected future must be made.
The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that the ability to perform ray analysis is indeed accessible to today’s esotericist, given that she or he develops the necessary spiritual and technical skills. Acquisition of the necessary technical skills has been hampered during the last part of the twentieth century by lack of an appropriate and reliable technical basis from which to work. But bear in mind the simple fact that the Tibetan stated that ray analysis SHOULD BE DONE IN CONJUNCTION WITH A STUDY OF THE HOROSCOPE
In other words, any attempt to deduce the ray constitution of an individual that does not take into account the indications of the astrological birth chart fails to conform to the standard plainly set forth by the Tibetan in this passage. Those of us with the astrological bias can take from this injunction the notion that we should start with the indications given in the chart and work forward from there. In simplest terms, this means that we should generate out of the indications in the birth chart options for the ray nature of the soul, personality, mental, astral, and physical bodies and then choose from these possibilities on the basis of what intuition and common sense have to add. This might constitute an appropriate technical basis from which to develop capacity for accurate ray analysis. The spiritual basis also needed must come from life-long dedication to the spiritual principles enunciated throughout the writings of Alice Bailey and other reputable sources.
The Current World Terrorism Crisis:
Astrological Causes, Economic and Travel Constraints,
and the Role of Sixth Ray Religiosis.
The dominant astrological cause which has brought all these matters so forcefully to world attention is the transit of Pluto through the sign of Sagittarius, which takes place (in the tropical zodiac) from approximately 1995 through 2008. This entire 14 year period is affected by this transit. In order to understand its implications, let us break the transit down into its components, according to both exoteric and esoteric astrological perspectives.
When any outer planet, such as Pluto, Neptune, or Uranus, moves through a sign in the zodiac, it brings the nature of that sign and all its issues (good and bad) into the forefront of experience. Thus, from 1995 – 2008, Humanity is having a confrontation with the Sagittarius archetype. This archetype is symbolically represented in several ways. Frequently this sign is portrayed as an archer, other times as an archer on a white horse. It can even be shown as a half horse, half human (satyr) figure intently drawing a bow with arrow poised. As is clear, the bow and arrow theme is prominent in all these portrayals of Sagittarius. Thus, the shorthand representation of the sign is simply a bow and arrow, or even more directly to the point, an arrow.
When an arrow is aimed in flight, it seeks a distant horizon. This is the essence of Sagittarius – the seeking of a distant horizon. This distant horizon may be a literal one, such as the shores of a distant continent, or a figurative one, such as higher dimensions of consciousness and the greater intelligence which informs those higher dimensions. Getting to those distant horizons is the concern of Sagittarius. The traditional methods by which Humanity has transported itself to distant horizons are of course, travel and religious philosophies with their associated codes of morality and rectitude. Thus, from 1995 – 2008, matters of religious belief and travel are brought to our attention, and as we have seen, not only that but also intimately intertwined with one another in complex and now danger-ridden ways.
According to the esoteric astrological teaching given by the Tibetan Master through Alice Bailey, Sagittarius distributes Rays 4, 5, and 6. This being the case, it is evident that the activity of all these rays on our planet is intensified while transiting Pluto moves through Sagittarius, for the presence of a great outer planet in a sign serves to draw down and focus the forces of the sign in which it transits. Thus, Rays 4, 5, and 6 are more than usually evident in world affairs 1995 – 2008. As all Bailey students know, the Sixth Ray (that of Devotion and Abstract Idealism) is linked with religion and spirituality. Thus, the sign Sagittarius is not only the archetype of spiritual seeking, but also a distributor of a ray which inclines in this direction as well. On two counts, Sagittarius is a sign which promotes a focus upon religious and spiritual formulations as vehicles to reach that distant horizon, the Godhead itself.
Let us now turn to a consideration of the nature of Pluto, the planet now conducting the energies of Sagittarius in our direction. Exoterically, Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth. Likewise, it is the regent of the underworld, thought by the ancients to have been the place where the souls of the dead went for purification. Hence, Pluto signifies great catharses, cleansings, and dramatic transformations.
Esoterically it is much the same, with the added consideration that it distributes Ray One, the Ray of Will and Power. This ray concerns leadership and its right exercise, as well as the ability to penetrate to the essence of Deity, identify essentials, and set aside what is secondary. Hence Pluto, distributor of Ray 1, concerns many important matters. Amongst these is the test of how the power to rule shall be used – partially, for the advantage of a select group, or impartially, for the good of all. Since Pluto is a non-sacred planet, this test is particularly severe, for the energies of a non-sacred planet fall much more easily into the hands of separative influences than do those of the sacred planets. Thus, it is all too easy for the power of Pluto to be brought down to its lowest possible levels of expression.
When Pluto and its Ray 1 qualities are misused, domination, coercion, and imposition of various forms of control upon others are the result. Further, because of its link with the underworld, Pluto is comfortable acting unseen, from the dark. Thus, when at its most base, the power of Pluto manifests as deviousness, deceit, distortion of the facts, secrecy, covert action, and ulterior motives. Add to this the fact that in the individual and in the collective, Pluto symbolizes repressed psychological contents, which under pressure can spew forth as spite, hatred, and enmity, and it is obvious that personality-driven expressions of Pluto present a dangerous threat to all.
This being said, it is not surprising to find that Pluto’s potency when present in a sign thus greatly intensifies the potential for the originally pure archetype of that sign to be twisted, distorted, perverted to unwholesome aims, and in general reduced to its worst levels of expression. Thus, from 1995 – 2008, as Pluto transits the sign Sagittarius, all the potentially problematic indications of Sagittarius are activated. What are these potentially problematic issues? Well, simply stated, they are the beautiful and uplifting facets of Sagittarius reflected as in a mirror darkly, contorted and deformed nearly beyond recognition.
As all good students of astrology know, fiery Sagittarius aims high, reaching not only for one goal, and then another, but for the very sky of being itself. Further, the presence of Ray Six in this sign adds to it an aspirational tone, a longing for contact with higher dimensions of consciousness or with Deity itself. Thus, concern with the higher things in life, such as relationship to God (and therefore religion) is intensified throughout our planetary life while Pluto is in this sign, 1995 - 2008. And not only are these matters intensified, but also under the influence of non-sacred Pluto, they are overdone, made excessive, and brought to a fever pitch. In short, Pluto in Sagittarius fans the flames of religious fanaticism
As current world events have demonstrated all too graphically, this religious fanaticism has been stewing, brewing, and brought to a boil in the first half of Pluto’s transit through the sign Sagittarius. As all the world knows, on September 11, 2001, this toxic potion boiled over as representatives of an organization claiming to be based in a narrow interpretation of Islam took to the skies and incinerated themselves with thousands of others in a grotesque gesture of so-called religious devotion. The Sagittarius themes are all present: an arrow in the sky, as embodied by a jetliner in flight; seeking distant horizons (union with the Godhead itself); a so-called religious basis; the scene of action being world travel and world trade; and with the Pluto twist – the coercion of thousands of others into their “holy conflagration.”
What astrological factors have brought this situation into manifestation at just this particular time? Radical Islamic factions have been issuing statements of intent to inflict ravaging harm on the U.S. for several years now, especially since transiting Pluto entered Sagittarius. Why just now is the world gripped by the threat of barbarous violence in any conceivable location?
There are several astrological indicators which specify the current time as one of great concern. Perhaps most conspicuous among these is the opposition between transiting Saturn and Pluto. This opposition made its first exactitude for the current Saturn-Pluto cycle on August 5, 2001. The second exactitude, with Saturn in retrograde motion, will occur on November 2, 2001. The final exactitude will take place on May 25, 2002. During this entire period, from August 2001 until May 2002, transiting Saturn and Pluto never really leave orb of opposition to one another. Thus, the transiting Saturn-Pluto opposition is in effect from at least August 2001 through May 2002. However, since the Saturn-Pluto cycle is a long one (with 33 years elapsing between conjunctions of the two bodies), the opposition phase of the cycle probably should be allowed a broader range of influence in time. Hence, it might be conservatively suggested that the Saturn-Pluto opposition is in effect from approximately June 2001 through July 2002, with points of greatest intensity around late July – early August 2001, late October – early November 2001, and late May – early June 2002. The most difficult of these is likely to be the one in which Saturn is retrograde (late October – early November 2001). But all are potent.
It is at these times that the issues associated with the transit of Pluto through Sagittarius are most brought to focus, this because the direct opposition from Saturn gives specific shape and form to the general atmosphere resulting from Pluto’s movement through Sagittarius. Thus, it is the current Saturn-Pluto opposition which has located the current crisis particularly within the time frame of 2001 – 2002. As a result, it is likely that the grave threat of terrorist action will hang over all heads from mid 2001 through mid 2002.
After that, for one reason or another, the concern about world terrorism shall be very much reduced. For now, however, every caution is merited. This includes a voluntary curtailing of optional international travel, a definite manifestation of Saturn acting in opposition to the sign Sagittarius. For as all good students of astrology know, Saturn reduces, limits, slows, and severely impedes. Acting against Sagittarius, the sign of travel, shipping, and trade, Saturn inhibits these matters.
Fortunately, this situation is relatively temporary, and will not generate the same utterly cataclysmic economic reactions as did the Saturn-Pluto opposition of the Great Depression Era. This is due to the fact that back then, the Uranus-Pluto and Neptune-Pluto cycles were proceeding toward conjunction. Hence, those cycles were in a waning phase, indicative of general slowdown and implosion. The Uranus-Pluto cycle rebegan with a conjunction of these two bodies in the mid 60s; and the Uranus-Neptune cycle rebegan in the early 90s with its conjunction. These two cycles are therefore now in the early portions of their waxing phases, which imparts continued vitality, enthusiasm, and innovation to all human enterprise. Thus, the current Saturn-Pluto opposition is certainly a marker of acute challenge, but its general context is not as ominous as was that of the Saturn-Pluto opposition of the early 1930s.
Beyond the current Saturn-Pluto opposition, there are additional astrological factors which determined the month and days within which the world terrorism crisis would thrust itself into view. Important among these is the way in which the Summer Solstice/Eclipse chart of June 21, 2001 has been recently affected. As many readers may know, solstice charts and eclipse charts have been used for many centuries by astrologers whose specialty is the prediction of world events. Once the chart is known, transits to the various points within the chart can be noted.
The most recent summer solstice, and its resultant chart, is quite notable. It just so happened that at this past solstice there occurred simultaneously a solar eclipse. Hence, the Summer Solstice 2001 chart is also an eclipse chart. In this chart unusual for the simultaneous presence of these two phenomena, the Sun and Moon are positioned at 0 degrees of Cancer. Only a few days before the attacks on New York and D.C., transiting Mars in 0 degrees Capricorn had opposed the solstice/eclipse chart Sun and Moon, thus indicating that a state of danger and urgency (Mars ruled matters) could come to the attention of the public at about that time.
Further, transiting Mars and the transiting true lunar south node were in conjunction during and after the attacks, with the exact conjunction occurring on September 13, 2001. This influence, too, indicates that conditions of danger, emergency, high anxiety, and a sense of urgency would likely prevail throughout the world at that point. It might be added that the abundant involvement of activations by Mars, a distributor of Ray Six, certainly bespeaks the underlying and so-called “religious fervor” which fueled the early September attacks.
Yet another factor of importance concerns transiting Mercury. This planet was at 14 degrees Libra on the day of the New York and D.C. attacks. The 14th degree of Libra is important for a number of reasons. First, it is the position held by the planet Saturn for the day upon which the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed. Hence, transiting Mercury was conjunct the U.S. Saturn on the day of the attacks. This influence occurs at least once each year, and so in and of itself is not powerful enough to indicate the type of events that transpired. But in combination with the other influences specified above, it does appear that this Mercury position acted as a specific timing indicator of significant occurrences. Further, the Ascendant at the time of the first crash into one of the World Trade Center Towers was 14 degrees Libra. Thus, Mercury was conjunct the Ascendant in the 14th degree of Libra as the world terrorism crisis took definite shape.
But the 14th degree of Libra is important for another reason as well, which has to do with the condition of Mercury, as shall be shown. Consider the following. Mercury would go retrograde in early October 2001 after the attacks, to eventually turn direct in late October at 14 degrees Libra. Hence, the attacks on New York and D.C. occurred on the day in which Mercury was in the degree where it would eventually make a direct station in late October 2001.
This situation demonstrates a principle important to predictive astrology. This principle holds that retrograde Mercury periods are composed of two types of potentially disturbing influence. The first is the primary or strongest effect, which takes place during the approximately three week period of Mercury’s actual retrograde motion. The other might be termed the secondary effect, which takes place when Mercury is actually in direct motion, but passing through those degrees which shall have been affected by retrograde motion for the retrograde period in question. Accounting for this secondary period adds about a month to the total period of time in which trouble from retrograde Mercury may manifest. September 11, 2001, was the first day of such a period for the current retrograde period, because that was the day that Mercury first moved into the degrees of the sign of Libra which would ultimately be influenced by the current retrograde motion of Mercury. The full horror of the events of September 11, 2001 clearly demonstrate how important it is to keep the secondary retrograde period of Mercury in mind when assessing air safety and public security in general.
Two more influences contributing to the timing of the events should be mentioned. First, it should be noted that on the day of the hijacked jetliner attacks, transiting Mars was almost exactly opposite the U.S. Venus position (which is 2 degrees Cancer). Second, transiting Jupiter was approaching a conjunction to the U.S. Sun degree, a protective influence that no doubt played into the facts that the vast majority of the World Trade Center workers escaped and that the Pentagon losses were not what they could have been. Transiting Jupiter made its first of three exact conjunctions for the present Jupiter cycle to the U.S. Sun degree in late September. True to Jupiter’s nature as the well-liked diplomat of the ecliptic, the U.S. was active in successfully organizing the world anti-terrorism coalition under the influence of this planet. Fortunately, Jupiter will again make conjunctions to the U.S. Sun in December 2001 and May 2002. Critics of U.S. policy might complain that transiting Jupiter acting on the U.S. Cancerian Sun has made for nationalistic adventurism, which indeed can come from the expansionist nature of Jupiter and the patriotic nature of Cancer. But such voices of criticism are likely to be eventually droned out by the urgent necessity to stop world terrorism before it destroys the free, civil world as we know it.
As has been shown, a multitude of astrological forces all came into play at the time of the terrorist attacks on New York and D.C. Some of these forces are short term and have already passed. Others are long term and indicate, just as the coalition leaders have been saying, that many years will be required to completely resolve this problem. To that perspective can be added the somewhat encouraging note that the worst of this crisis is likely to be defined and delimited in time to the approximately year long period in which transiting Saturn opposes transiting Pluto, which is mid 2001 through mid 2002. It is during this year long period that the greatest efforts toward halting global terrorism are likely to materialize, and also during this same time frame that significant constraints to world travel and trade may develop. These constraints may (at best) be nothing more than delays consequent upon the implementation of greater security measures.
At any rate, it is likely that numerous conditions of great concern will occupy the world during the period mid 2001 through mid 2002. The symbolism of the planets involved in the dominant astrological influence during this period suggests that this period of profound contemplation and re-evaluation is unavoidable, for certain choices and determinations always must be made under the influence of Saturn. As often happens with an individual, the apparently untoward circumstances which are taking shape under the current transiting Saturn aspect are now forcing Humanity to halt frivolous activity and focus on the essential. A clear distinction (the province of Saturn) must now be made. That which subdues and depresses the human spirit must be recognized for what it is and contained behind “the door where evil dwells.” This sort of sharp distinction and decisive action can’t be taken from a muddled mind state. Thus, the whole of Humanity is being jolted into the stark clarity needed for right judgment, again Saturn’s jurisdiction.
Among the many important realizations which must come to our planet during the current challenge, one stands out as pre-eminent. Long overdue is a global recognition that claims of superiority and privilege made by any group on the basis of religious persuasion can not fail to produce a climate of social enmity and political tension. Any group which claims that it alone has status as God’s chosen people has set itself against all others and has laid the ground-work needed to justify abuses which might be visited on others as some sort of divinely sanctioned mission. Whether claims like this come from Jews, fundamentalist Christians, or Islamic extremists, such claims are one and all serious distortions of truth. Worse, they are juvenile attempts to appropriate and commandeer the nature of Deity to separative purposes, an outright subversion by the human, self-important ego of great metaphysical concepts which are the special province of none, but instead inherently a gift to all
Today’s World Terrorism Crisis has this mixture of religious prejudice and self importance at its very root. Islamic extremists who insist that their version of religiosity is the only correct approach to God feel justified in hating and seeking the extermination of Jews, who in turn have historically maintained that they alone are especially singled out by God as those chosen to enact Divine Will and to be absorbed in Deity at the end of earthly life. Here we have two groups with mutually exclusive claims that God loves them best. It reminds one of children on the street corner jeering at one another, “Mom loves me best.” “No, Mom loves ME best!”
Just recently, the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, continuing in this vein, has simply presented the current crisis as an attack on Islam. (Never mind the fact that his terrorist network initiated the recent round of violence.) His words plainly reveal that he perceives the current crisis as a war to be waged for the protection and advancement of Islam. Furthermore, documents from bin Laden’s organization, obtained by British and American intelligence, graphically divulge methods of torture, execution, and mass murder which are allegedly approved by Allah for the advancement of Islam. Inhuman in its fury, this “religious” ferocity belies the presence of tragically misdirected Sixth Ray force, much the same as did the Spanish Inquisition. Then as now, fiendish infliction of agony on others was seen as justified for the purpose of asserting the assumed superiority and purity of one particular (and narrow) religious formulation.
In that the signature of misused Ray Six force is undeniably present in the current World Terrorism Crisis, oddly this may offer an ironic note of optimism. As we know from study of the Ageless Wisdom as given by the Tibetan through Alice Bailey, the power of the sixth ray is due to vastly decrease as the Age of Pisces recedes and the Age of Aquarius unfolds. Thus, the current insane insistence upon a religiously based privilege to inflict punishment and pain on others may well signify the last desperate gasps of the departing Piscean Era. In other words, we may be witnessing the stubborn death dance of a departing paradigm. The demise of this outmoded, sixth ray, astral way of response can not come an hour too soon.