Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Spiritual Astrology Courses

Junior Astrology Course
 (26 lessons)

The Junior Course covers the setting up of the chart and then advances to the reading of it, showing the student how to synthesize the horoscope as a whole and arrive at a point where the message contained therein may be read.
Our Spiritual Astrology Courses are now available in a new self-study format. Please download lessons 1 - 9 in the convenient .pdf format (if you need the free .pdf reader, then visit Adobe). This booklet will start you on your astrological journey. When you have sent us the chart asked for on page 42, correctly calculated and showing all your work, then we will provide you with the next booklet, lessons 10 - 19. If you need a blank horoscope wheel, then click here.
In order to realize the most benefit from our Spiritual Astrology Courses we suggest you study our Preliminary Philosophy Course consisting of twelve lessons. The Preliminary Philosophy Course must be completed one lesson at a time. We hope that the understanding of life and its problems offered by this course will bring you much comfort and joy. For more information on this course or to sign up, click here.
These lessons are not sold. The Rosicrucian Teaching is free, but the expenses incidental to their production and website distribution are met by free-will offerings from students "as the heart dictates and the means permit." 
Junior Astrology Course, lessons 1 - 9 
(right-click on above link, then left-click on SAVE TARGET AS) 

Junior Astrology Course, lessons 10 - 19 
(right-click on above link, then left-click on SAVE TARGET AS) 

Junior Astrology Course, lessons 20 - 26 
(right-click on above link, then left-click on SAVE TARGET AS)
Please visit and save this web page as it has important information
you can use for the Junior Astrology Course.

Senior Astrology Course
(12 lessons)

The Senior Course is devoted to the esoteric phases of spiritual astrology, particularly in connection with one's spiritual development.
Senior Astrology Course, lessons 1 - 12 
(right-click on above link, then left-click on SAVE TARGET AS)

Senior Extension Astrology Course
 (13 lessons)

The Senior Extension Course devotes its first 10 lessons to an in-depth reading of the horoscope, at the same time correlating astrological data with Rosicrucian Philosophy. The last three lessons are devoted to the progression of the horoscope, directions, and transits.
Senior Extension Astrology Course, lessons 1 - 13 
(right-click on above link, then left-click on SAVE TARGET AS)

Textbooks used in all three courses are "The Message of the Stars" (An esoteric exposition of Natal and Medical Astrology explaining the arts of reading and progressing the Horoscope and diagnosing diseases) and "Simplified Scientific Astrology" (Complete textbook on the art of erecting horoscopes, with dictionary of astrological terms).

These textbooks, and all of Max Heindel's books, are available in one e-book, which may be downloaded here or here or here (Simplified Scientific Astrology not yet available in .pdf or .epub format).

Source: http://www.rosicrucian.com/astr_crs.htm

Symbolism and Astrology - An Introduction to Esoteric Astrology

by Alan Leo

Contents List:

About the Author
Author's Preface
Branches of Astrology
I — The Simplicity of Astrology
II — The Cross and the Earth
III — The Semi-Circle and the Soul
IV — Zodiacal Symbology
V — The Planetary Symbols
VI — The Symbol of the Horoscope
VII — The Zodiac and the Horoscope
VIII — Symbolical House Divisions
IX — House Divisions Explained
X — The Nature of the Zodiacal Signs
XI — The Nature of the Planets
XII — A Symbolic Aspectarian
XIII — The Individual and the Personality
XIV — Fate and Free Will

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Tarot Birth Cards

The Tarot School's
Birth Card Notebook 

Birth Card notebook

What are Birth Cards?
Birth Card pairs are fields of energy that define a human life. When you know a person's birth date, you know their Birth Cards, and when you know their Birth Cards, you know the things about them that will never change from birth to death, no matter what happens in their lives.
There are only 12 Birth Card pairs to share among us all, so there will be billions of individuals, each with a unique personality, who share the same Birth Cards. You need to be aware that Birth Cards do not, by themselves, describe an entire human psyche. But they are the beginning, the foundation of a comprehensive understanding of identity. They are like twelve great rivers, each creating a defining environment for the particular beings who spend their whole lives in them.

How do I Calculate Birth Cards?
You can use our online Birth Card Calculator or follow this simple formula.

About these Notes:

What you are about to read are notes, not a finished work. They are an attempt to evoke the mysterious beginnings of human identity from the images and tradition of a single deck of tarot cards. It is doubtful if the originators of either the images or the tradition intended any such thing, but we've done it anyway.
The qualities and ideas contained in the Birth Card descriptions are only approximations. They are neither absolutely accurate nor absolutely true. They are not completely sure of themselves and they don't perfectly describe reality. Still, despite all the criticisms they surely deserve, they are not without merit or value.
The best way to use this notebook is to let it be suggestive. Here and there, its ideas will help solve a riddle or clear up a confusion about why you are the way you are. It can help to shed light on what is murky and unclear about the underlying reasons for the actions, thoughts and feelings of others. Best of all, it can be the basis for acceptance of others as they are, without guilt, blame or judgement.
Once again, remember that these are only notes. They have not been fully validated or explored, and they have not yet stood the test of time. But they are a very good beginning on a long and valuable journey of self-understanding.
In this, as in all things tarot, there is an approach to learning that students of modern tarot have come to honor. That approach applies here.
Take from these notes what you can. Use what is useful in them, and feel free to set aside the rest.

Directory of Birth Card Notes:

Determining Your Birth Cards 


Knowledge is Power
Whenever you're here at TarotSchool.com, you can use our handy online Birth Card Calculator to determine anyone's Birth Cards. Just enter their date of birth and click the "Calculate" button — it's easy!
But by learning how to do the calculations yourself, you can figure them out anytime whether you're near a computer or not. This is especially useful when you're conducting in-person or phone readings. Knowing a querent's Birth Cards can add a lot to the reading.
Understanding how to calculate Birth Cards can be a big hit at parties and other social gatherings, too!
When working with The Tarot School system of Birth Cards, please use the method described here even though you may have seen it done differently elsewhere. We have found that the difference between this method and others produces slightly different results, and that most people identify more closely with the results we get by using the formula below.

The Basic Formula:
You can determine your Birth Cards by doing a numerological reduction of your birth date in the following manner: MM + DD + 19* + YY.

* For people born from January 1, 2000 – December 31, 2099, the constant will be 20 instead of 19.
For example, let's say that your birthday is February 21, 1950. Add the numbers like this:

Then add 9 + 2 = 11.
Key 11 is Justice, the first Birth Card for this date. 11 reduces to 2 (The High Priestess), which is the second Birth Card.

Three-Digit Sums:
Here's how to handle a birth date that adds up to 3 digits. The first two digits of the three are considered as one number, which is added to the third digit. Let's look at August 20, 1969, for example. The formula would be 08 + 20 + 19 + 69 = 116.
Or you can look at it this way:


Then add 11 + 6 = 17.

Key 17 is The Star, the first Birth Card for this date. 17 reduces to 8 (Strength) which is the second Birth Card. If the three numbers are 103, for example, add 10 + 3 = 13 (Death) = 4 (Emperor).

Single-Digit Sums:
Almost everyone should have 2 birth cards. One of the cards will have a single digit and the other a double digit. If your birth date sum reduces to a single digit (e.g. 90 = 9 + 0 = 9) its pair is implied, in this case, 18 (The Moon) = 1 + 8 = 9 (Hermit). See the table below for a complete list of Birth Card Pairs.

The Exception to the Rule:

The one exception is if your birth date sum = 19. In that case, you will have 3 Birth Cards: The Sun (19), The Wheel of Fortune (10) and The Magician (1).


Confusion about calculating Birth Cards is very common. Even though the math is simple, the concept can be difficult to grasp. In case we've lost you, consider the following:
If a birthday adds up to a digit plus a zero, it reduces immediately to a single digit. But each single digit is paired with a double digit between 10 and 21, from which it is derived. The numbers 1 through 21, of course, are the complete universe of positive numbers that make up the Major Arcana. So all Birth Card pairs must be a combination of two of these numbers. 9, for instance, can only be arrived at, within the numbers of the Major Arcana, from the number 18 (1+8=9).
If you begin with a single digit and you search for the double digit that is its pair, you will find that there is only one possibility, with a single exception. If your birth date adds up to 30, it reduces to 3. Three can be arrived at by a reduction of either 12 (Hanged Man) or 21 (World), but we have found that where this choice exists, 12 works best.

Table of Birth Card Pairs:

Again, there is one exception where you will have three Birth Cards. If the birth date sum = 19, it will reduce first to (19), then to (10), and finally (1). Sun / Wheel / Magician

What About The Fool?

In most decks, The Fool is either un-numbered, or is assigned the digit 0. Since no sum of positive numbers ever equals 0, we do not consider The Fool as part of a Birth Card pair. Likewise, we do not accept the sometimes-used convention of assigning the number 22 to The Fool since there is no such trump. However, we do consider The Fool to be the universal birthright of us all.


Tarot Psychotherapy
with the Birth Cards

by Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D.
As a practicing psychologist for over thirty years, I am always on the lookout for accurate methods that will help me get to know my clients quickly. Often, the success of the therapy depends on how well I understand my client's approach to life. For the past three years I have been experimenting with Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone's "Tarot Psychology" methods; specifically the "Birth Cards Continuum," the "Elemental Array" and the "Hidden Face Spread." I have found them to be unusually useful ways to get a lot of accurate information quickly. Moreover, my clients have been fascinated and entertained by the things that I have been able to tell them about themselves based on these methods.
My goal is to integrate tarot with psychology in order to develop a new form of psychotherapy that is solidly based on the insights about us that tarot can offer. At its best, the tarot psychotherapy that I envision will place one's personal therapy in the larger context of one's spiritual evolution.
Today I will describe how I introduce my clients to tarot by calculating and explaining their Birth Cards to them. Of course, these methods can be adapted to enhance any tarot reading or to aid one's own personal growth.

 The Benefits of Working with Birth Cards
in Psychotherapy or Counseling

One of the major benefits of illustrating one's life issues with Birth Cards is that it decreases the sense of shame that many people feel about their perceived "flaws." The underlying assumption of Tarot Psychology is that everyone is struggling with the issues of their Birth Cards and that everyone is equal in this respect. In addition, because different sets of Birth Cards have different issues and personality styles associated with them, any system of Tarot Psychotherapy that evolves out of Tarot Psychology automatically recognizes that different people need different approaches.
Birth Card Continuum work assumes that we are reincarnated over and over again and that eventually each of will work on the issues of every Birth Card pair or triplet as we personally and spiritually evolve. This automatically adds a spiritual dimension to the psychotherapy work and allows us to view psychotherapy as only one aspect of our general evolution as spiritual beings. It is my view that we have to have a working ego before we can successfully transcend it. Or, as I might put it in Tarot Psychotherapy terms, we need to feel finished with the issues of this world (Malkuth in Kabalistic Tarot and the domain of pentacles or Earth), before we can commit to the journey of return to our divine source.

 Introducing Birth Cards to Clients
Most of my clients are unfamiliar with tarot and are initially surprised that the cards can be used for anything besides "fortune-telling." I introduce the tarot deck that I use in session, a giant Rider-Waite-Smith deck, as having evolved out of a pre-psychoanalytic system of personal growth that draws on a number of spiritual traditions. I then tell them that there is a way, based on their date of birth, to choose two major arcana cards that represent the kind of personal growth issues that they will be dealing with over and over again during this life-time. I tell them that there is no logical scientific reason that I know of why this numerical reduction to Birth Cards should apply to them (after all, the calendar is a relatively new human invention); however I have found these cards to be very useful none-the-less.

 How to Calculate Birth Cards
If my client expresses an interest, I go on to calculate his or her Birth Cards by adding the month, day, century and year of their birth together. In most cases the total can then be reduced to only two major arcana numbers which then become the Birth Cards. Once in a great while, one will get a birth date that reduces to three numbers, such as a Sun, Wheel, Magician (19 = 10 = 1). These people will have three important aspects to their life lessons instead of the usual two. For the purposes of Birth Card Continuum work the Fool (number 0 in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck) is not used as a Birth Card as it is assumed that we are all equally "Foolish."
For example, if my client was born on July 8, 1978; I add 7 + 8 + 19 + 78 together to get 112. I then add the first two digits, 11, to the third digit, 2, for a total of 13. Then I add 1 + 3 and get 4. This gives me the two major arcana cards that correspond to those key numbers: 13 = Death and 4 = the Emperor.
Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone are not the only tarot innovators who use one's birth date and other significant dates to calculate relevant major arcana cards, but they are the only ones that I know of who use two and sometimes three of them in this particular way that made them ideal for my purposes. There are also some differences in how various writers calculate Birth Cards. For those of you who would like more detailed information about Wald and Ruth Ann's Birth Card work, there are a set of tapes that can be purchased from the Tarot School. In this article I refer to Wald and Ruth Ann's Birth Cards system as "Birth Cards Continuum" work as a way of differentiating it from other systems.

 How I Use the Birth Card Continuum
in Psychotherapy

Once I have calculated my client's Birth Cards, I work with these two cards as if they represent two ends of a continuum. A person with "Death-Emperor" Birth Cards, for example, would presumably need to work on issues associated with both cards, but individuals would differ as to where on the continuum their major issues would be. Towards the Death card end of the continuum are all the issues that relate to letting go of the old and welcoming the new, accepting the inevitability of change and transformation, and making peace with death. Towards the Emperor side of the continuum are the issues that relate to a desire to take on responsibility for others and to control, stabilize, organize and fight for one's personal "kingdom." The Emperor resists any change that he does not personally plan and initiate, while Death represents an irresistible and uncontrollable force that transforms anything it touches.
People who have these Birth Cards are assumed to be working on life lessons having to do with this continuum. They may have achieved relative mastery over one end, the Emperor side, for example; while struggling with the other, the issues associated with Death; or issues relating to both Birth Cards may be equally relevant to them.

My client Mary came to me because she was depressed and angry all the time. She felt that she was there for other people when they needed her, but no one was there for her. Moreover, she felt compelled to step in and take charge of other people's lives and save them from making what she felt to be serious mistakes. This left her feeling exhausted and unappreciated. She wanted to know why she could not stop bossing all these ungrateful people. In addition, Mary also was perpetually sad about all the losses she had sustained in her life. She dreaded, yet remembered, all the upcoming anniversaries of the deaths of virtually anyone she had ever cared about who had died.
After hearing Mary's complaints, I did her Birth Cards and found out that she was a "Death-Emperor." I took those two cards out of my deck and put them face-up in front of her and told her a little bit about what each meant. Knowing that she was a "Death-Emperor" helped me understand that many of her issues were perfectly normal, if a bit extreme in her case, for someone with her Birth Cards. Like many Emperors, she was extremely competent and was convinced that her way was always the best, if not the only, approach to a situation. Luckily for me, she also had a sense of humor. When she said, "So how can I stop being so bossy and always wanting to take charge?" I said, "Never! You're always going to be bossy because you are naturally an Emperor type. Have you ever heard of a non-bossy Emperor? All you can do is work on becoming more discriminating about who you boss and when you should take charge." She laughed and agreed.
In addition, I pointed out that she seemed to be having difficulties with the lessons of the Death card. It was really hard for her to let go and move on. I suggested that since she seemed to have mastered the Emperor side of the spectrum and had no problem taking charge, the harder therapy work would probably occur around the issues of transformation, moving forward and accepting endings. In fact, as I got to know Mary better, it became clear to both of us that many of her attempts to control others came from her fear that they would die and she would lose them if she did not take charge of their health and help them out financially. She acted the Emperor so as not to have to deal with Death.
As Mary's therapy progressed, we returned again and again to her two Birth Cards. They became a short-hand way of talking about her issues and they gave a face to her fears and concerns. The Emperor card reframed the problems she had with taking charge and being bossy in such a way that instead of feeling ashamed of these characteristics, she was able to see them as potential strengths that she could be proud of once she had fine-tuned them.
Charles, another "Death-Emperor" client of mine, was weak on both ends of the continuum. He had had a traumatic and abusive childhood that left him afraid of confrontations. Unlike Mary, he was unassertive with other people and would let himself be bullied by friends and family. However, he expressed his need for control by becoming financially independent at a very early age and getting his own apartment. He only felt safe when he knew he could be entirely self-sufficient in his own little, private kingdom.
On the Death card side of the continuum, he dreaded every up-coming change in his life. He did not focus on past losses as Mary did, but he could not envision an easy and natural transformation either. Despite being very capable and successful, every new life transition, such as graduating college or moving to a new neighborhood, made him highly anxious. Like Mary, Charles was also very responsible and extremely reliable; traits that I have observed often go with Emperor types. Knowing that he was a "Death-Emperor" helped me understand his need to control his own domain and his difficulties with transitions that felt out of his control. It also helped me notice that even though he was unassertive with his friends, he was drawn to jobs that put him in control over a group of people with the authority to organize things as he liked.
Understanding that Charles was a "Death-Emperor" increased my awareness that his unassertiveness was more a result of the abuse he had suffered as a young boy, than a reflection of his natural temperament. As we worked on his reclaiming his Emperor side in the external world, he became more assertive in his personal life and he took a job that allowed him to take charge of his own space and set up his work kingdom as he chose.

 Does It Really Matter Whether You Are
Given the Right Set of Birth Cards?

When I first started working with Birth Cards, I wondered if any set of Birth Cards would work equally well in shaping a client's therapy. Don't we all have issues that relate to every major arcana card? I have come to believe that although we may all benefit from working with every Birth Card Continuum, our own set of Birth Cards describe us in some way that the others do not.

For example, what if Mary and Charles had been mistakenly given my set of Birth Cards, the "Lovers-Devil" continuum, the result of a birth date that reduces to 15 (the Devil) and 6 (the Lovers)? In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck these cards are drawn so as to emphasize their similarities. Both have a naked male and female figure with either an archangel or a devil looming over them. It is clear that both ends of the continuum deal with relationships. The Devil side relates to issues having to do with being tempted to be in a relationship for either the wrong reasons or in the wrong way. Selfishness, inappropriate sexuality, and an addiction to superficial fun (such as drinking and over-eating) can be issues. The Lovers side represents a spiritually blessed union where opposites can be reconciled through making appropriate choices and loving attention to each other's needs.
For "Lovers-Devil" types, almost all of their important life lessons occur in the context of relationship and relationship issues tend to play a prominent role in their psychotherapy. Those people whose major issues fall primarily on the Devil side of the continuum are generally motivated by the desire to have a good time. After all, according to the Golden Dawn tradition the esoteric function of the Devil is "mirth." Generally, Devil types are great to have at a party, but not so nice to be in a relationship with because they tend to put their own needs first. They may overlook or rationalize the negative effect that their endless search for a good time can have on their partner. People at the Lover's end of the continuum have their own issues as well. They may be too ready to merge with their mate, tend to overlook their own needs as an individual, or be confused about how much to give of themselves in the relationship.
If we look at Mary and Charles, the "Lovers-Devil" issues do not appear to be particularly relevant. Mary had had no serious romantic relationships in her life and, unlike most "Lovers-Devil" types, was disinterested in sex and marriage. Although she did have issues with other people, they were not the result of her selfishly giving into temptation and disregarding their welfare. Charles was married and did have some minor relationship problems; but did not have issues involving selfishness, sexual acting-out, merging with the other, or the inappropriate pursuit of superficial fun. He was moderate in his habits and was considerate of his wife without being clingy. As a psychotherapist, it is obvious to me that more of their important life issues are highlighted by working with their true Birth Cards, than by working with mine.

Tarot and psychotherapy seem to be natural partners. Many of the most experienced tarot readers are already using the cards to help their clients in ways that have more in common with psychotherapy than divination. Mary Greer's books are excellent examples of this trend; as are, of course, Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone's "Tarot Psychology" methods. As I have shared my interest in tarot with other psychotherapists, I have found that many of my colleagues have been quietly reading tarot cards as well and sometimes using them in session. This seems to me to be a good time for the two disciplines to officially meet and join forces. My personal goal is to legitimize the insights that tarot can offer and make them available to practicing psychotherapists and counselors. From the point of view of my Birth Cards, I am excited about bringing tarot and psychotherapy together because my "Lovers'" side loves to find ways to happily marry opposites and my "Devil" side thinks it would also be a lot of fun.

Elinor Greenberg, Ph.D.,CGP, CPTR has been a practicing psychotherapist for thirty years. Dr. Greenberg is a teaching member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy; former faculty member of The Masterson Institute for the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid Disorders; and psychology consultant to The Tarot School and is in the National Registry for Certified Group Psychotherapists. Dr. Greenberg has been studying tarot for the past ten years and holds a Third Degree in tarot from The Tarot School.

Source: http://www.tarotschool.com/BirthCards.html

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Evolutionary Astrology

by Gregory Ellison

 There is today an increasingly popular school of astrology called Evolutionary Astrology that sees astrology as a way of understanding not just the character and destiny of an individual human being, but of the progressive unfoldment (evolution) of the soul, in two distinct but closely related ways:
  1. The development of the individual soul through a progressive series of incarnations on the physical plane.
  2. The progressive development of the collective soul of humanity over the course of history.
Neither of these approaches is really “new” to astrology. The idea of reincarnation and soul development over many lifetimes has been a prominent feature of many religious and spiritual traditions through the ages, and has been reflected in astrology under various names: spiritual astrology, karmic astrology, esoteric astrology and so on.
Likewise, the idea that humanity as a whole progresses through various stages of soul development has been a longstanding element of astrological thought, reflected in the doctrine of astrological ages (like the Age of Aquarius that we are entering now).
Not until fairly recent times, however, have these ideas begun to seep into the mainstream of astrological thinking and gained any widespread attention. Even today, much of popular astrology concentrates exclusively on the individual’s day-to-day life experience: Will I find true love? Will I get a raise at work? Is next month a fortunate time to buy a new house — or take a vacation — or win the lottery?
As important as these more mundane concerns are to all of us, they do little to answer the bigger spiritual questions that have always guided our quest for wisdom and understanding: Who am I? What is the meaning of life? Where do I come from and where am I going? What is my cosmic destiny or purpose?
As an aspect of the ancient metaphysical wisdom tradition, these are the questions that astrology was originally formulated to answer. Observing that the cycles of movement in the skies correlated with the cycles of seasonal growth and human activity — “as above, so below” — the ancients sought to understand the underlying order and purpose of life itself through the movements of stars and planets.
With the rise of science and the triumph of materialism in the worldview of the “advanced” cultures of the world, this evolutionary/spiritual understanding of astrology gradually lost currency. Where astrological thinking survived at all, it took a turn from being a wisdom art to being at best a divinatory art — a way of predicting the future and discerning the “good” and “evil” influences that could affect the daily life of an individual. Although astrology’s spiritual roots were never completely lost, it was not until the coming Age of Aquarius began to make its changing values felt around the middle of the 20th century that serious astrologers began to turn their attentions once again to the understanding of cosmic meaning and purpose … and to merge these understandings into the new streams of “holistic” thinking about evolution and the nature of consciousness.

Evolutionary Astrology in Modern Times

Actually, this modern renaissance in astrological thinking had its roots in the late 19th century, in the writings of Madame H.P. Blavatsky, G.I. Gurdjieff, Rudolf Steiner, P.D. Ouspensky and others involved in the Theosophical movement, who re-presented to the modern world a great many teachings of the ancient spiritual traditions that had gone underground during the Dark Ages. Following on the heels of those pioneers, two outstanding figures of the mid-20th century took up the cause of spiritual astrology: Alice Bailey and Dane Rudhyar. Although adopting very different approaches, both writers presented astrology in its broader spiritual context and sought to bring the traditional teachings into harmony with the concept of evolution on both a personal and a cosmic scale.
Alice Bailey’s Esoteric Astrology presents this evolutionary understanding in the context of traditional metaphysics, as amplified by H.P. Blavatsky, and focuses on the “Seven Rays” or qualities of manifested energy in the universe:
  1. The ray of will/power
  2. The ray of love/wisdom
  3. The ray of active intelligence
  4. The ray of harmony through conflict
  5. The ray of concrete knowledge and science
  6. The ray of devotion and idealism
  7. The ray of ceremonial order and magic
Each individual’s “purpose” in life can be understood in terms of development along the paths outlined by the seven rays, and the birth chart is an indicator of the individual’s “soul family” … or more particularly his or her unique role in the great work of ultimately unifying these seven rays into the white light of pure spirit or God.
The complete text of Esoteric Astrology is available online athttp://beaskund.helloyou.ws/netnews/bk/astrology/toc.html.
Dane Rudhyar’s approach was less traditional, drawing more from the emerging holistic theories of biology and physics, and mapping these ideas to the framework of traditional astrology. Indeed, Rudhyar was a natural philosopher before he became a world-renowned astrologer. A good introduction to Rudhyar’s ideas can be found in my article Dane Rudhyar’s Astrology and Conscious Evolution, which appeared in the first issue of Metamorphosis, September 2002.
As different as these two approaches were, they were united in several important ways. Both presented evolution as a “journey of the Soul” through cycles of experience aimed at bridging the gap between the individual personality and the higher self of the Soul. The individual personality is seen as one’s limited identification with a single incarnation as a particular human being; the higher self of the Soul is seen as the spiritual being who goes through these experiences in various incarnations in order to gain experience. Both Bailey and Rudhyar presented the Soul as a particular expression of the underlying unity we call God. Both presented the idea that there is a natural order or structure to the process of existence, and that this structure has purpose and direction — that it moves always toward greater awareness of unity and harmony through the balancing of apparent opposites, and that the specific realizations and experiences needed are different for each individual. Both presented the idea that not only individuals but humanity as a whole is gradually evolving toward unity, and that each individual has a unique and specific role to play in the evolution of humanity … and that this role can be understood by studying the individual’s birth chart as a “map” describing his or her place in the grand scheme of spiritual evolution. And finally, both approaches were predicated on the awareness that life is not a rare and isolated exception in an otherwise purely material and mechanical Universe, but that in fact the Universe itself is alive, and that it unfolds in an orderly way because it expresses the qualities of will, purpose and intelligence, even in its apparently “material” aspects.

Evolutionary vs. Transpersonal Astrology

In contrasting the ideas of evolutionary astrology with the purely personal approach of predictive or personality-centered astrology, it is tempting to refer to it as Transpersonal astrology, and some astrologers have drawn this distinction. At one stage of his development, Dane Rudhyar described himself as a transpersonal astrologer. But this misses the real point, because spiritual evolution includes both the personal and transpersonal levels. If we consider the higher transpersonal levels as more “real” than the personality-centered awareness, then we will be afraid of “losing ourselves” as we gain greater awareness, as if we were merely drops of water that cease to exist as individual droplets when they join with the ocean. But this is a misunderstanding … our uniqueness is essential to the higher unity toward which we aspire.
When humanity as a whole has made the conscious evolutionary leap to the “global consciousness” of human unity — or even planetary unity, recognizing all life on earth as a single organism — this awareness will not exclude the personal, but will rather include it within a larger context. We will not lose our personal identities, we will simply no longer be trapped within them. Yet this fear — the fear of ego-death — is the strongest force that holds us back from reaching the higher levels of awareness that the Aquarian Age is pulling us toward, and which we can all see is a necessary step if we are to avoid the destruction in chaos that our competitive and ego-centered worldview is rapidly leading us toward. As astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green puts it:
… in reality most people do have this [global consciousness] level of awareness in varying degrees due to the media. The common person in all lands truly desires peace and an extension of goodwill toward all. Yet, the people who are in power in the dominant governments of this world are creating policies that lead in just the reverse directions, while paying lip service to the concerns of the people they lead.
— Jeffrey Wolf Green, Pluto, the Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume 1
These “people who are in power” are driven by this fear of loss, and thus they cling tenaciously to the old concepts of competition and dominance, even when these concepts are no longer viable as a way of structuring human society.

Evolutionary Astrology and Reincarnation

Evolutionary astrology depends on the concept of evolution in a larger context than the life of an individual human being, and much of it depends specifically on the idea of reincarnation. Like many spiritual concepts, however, reincarnation can be a limiting belief if it is taken too literally as a linear succession of physical embodiments by a single soul. There are actually many ways of conceiving the ideas of soul evolution that are not dependent on such a literal view of reincarnation. For example, Dane Rudhyar remained agnostic on the idea of sequential embodiment, and leaned toward a “genetic memory” view of reincarnation. Another approach holds that since time itself is not an absolute, it is quite possible that one’s “past life” is in the future … that incarnations can skip around freely in time, rather than following one after another. Yet another view is that since we are all connected at the deeper levels of being, our collective unconscious holds memories of all lifetimes of everyone — thus our valid “past life” memories can actually be memories of anyone who ever lived!
In the discussions that follow (especially in Parts 2 and 3 of this three-part series), we will speak of reincarnation as if the traditional view of successive embodiments were a fact, because it is the easiest way to understand many of the concepts. However, if your own view of reincarnation does not coincide with this, it does not follow that you cannot “believe” in evolutionary astrology.
As evolutionary astrologer Nikki Fay puts it:
If you do not hold a belief in … reincarnation, you may be able to translate the paradigm into the realm of genetic memory, God’s will or whatever works for you. There are no rules here, just an outlook of a “plan” and a “memory.”
— Nikki Fay, http://www.visualastrology.com/

Contemporary Schools of Thought

Following the writings of Dane Rudhyar and Alice Bailey, a number of astrological writers have contributed to the development of what we know today as evolutionary astrology (including Linda Goodman, who was one of the most influential writers to popularize the awareness of the Aquarian Age and the coming global shift in consciousness). Foremost among the contemporary astrologers who have developed the evolutionary astrology paradigm are Jeffrey Wolf Green, whose School of Evolutionary Astrology builds on the work of Dane Rudhyar, and Alan Oken, whose books and teachings expand and elaborate on the Esoteric Astrology of Alice Bailey.
After the publication in 1996 of Jeffrey Wolf Green’s enormously popular work, Pluto, The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume I, Green joined with astrologer Steven Forrest to write Measuring the Night: Evolutionary Astrology and the Keys to the Soul, and to create a network of students and teachers focused on evolutionary astrology. Their joint “definition” of evolutionary astrology is posted on Steven Forrest’s website:
What is Evolutionary Astrology?
Evolutionary Astrology embraces paradigms and methodologies which specifically measure the growth of the soul from life to life. These methods invariably focus on the planet Pluto and its relationship to the Nodal Axis. While it is composed of a set of specific formal methodologies, evolutionary astrology is ultimately characterized less by a technical approach than by a set of philosophical principles defined by natural law. Different evolutionary astrologers may use somewhat different interpretive methods, but they can always be recognized by a devotion to the following core perceptions:
  1. An acceptance of the fact that human beings incarnate in a succession of lifetimes.
  2. An acceptance of the fact that the birthchart reflects the evolutionary condition of the soul at the moment of incarnation.
  3. An acceptance of the fact that the birthchart reflects the evolutionary intentions of the soul for the present life.
  4. An acceptance of the fact that the circumstances of the present life, both materially and psychologically, do not arise randomly, but rather reflect the evolutionary intentions and necessities of the soul.
  5. An acceptance of the fact that human beings interact creatively and unpredictably with their birthcharts; that all astrological symbols are multi-dimensional and are modulated into material and psychic expression by the consciousness of the individual.
  6. An acceptance of the fact that human beings are responsible for the realities they experience, both internally and externally.
  7. A respectful intention to accept and support a person seeking astrological help, no matter the evolutionary state in which such an individual finds himself or herself.
Copyright ©2000, Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green
Again, coming from a very different framework of specific techniques, Alan Oken’s Esoteric Astrology expresses remarkably similar aims and basic principles. In Soul-Centered Astrology, Oken writes:
The soul is a life force inside every being that exists beyond the limitations of time and space. From it originates the deep need to know more of the Truth and harmonize completely with Life. The process of the evolution of the soul extends over numerous lifetimes. The soul enters time and space and incarnates, in order to work on its evolution, and learns more about life, each time from a different angle. In each incarnation it adopts an Ego, an identity, and through this identity it adapts to the current environment. In each incarnation there are conditions, stressful and supportive, that promote evolution. Nothing in life is random, every single experience and circumstance serves the soul’s purpose of evolution.
— Alan Oken, Soul-Centered Astrology

Interpretive Techniques of Evolutionary Astrology

While the basic ideas and philosophical framework of evolutionary astrology are consistent themes among all the astrologers we’ve discussed so far, the specific interpretive techniques they employ differ greatly. For example, Dane Rudhyar places great emphasis on the relationship between the Sun and the Moon in the birth chart, especially as reflected in the Part of Fortune, to determine the evolutionary state and direction of the individual. Jeffrey Wolf Green focuses on Pluto and its relationship with the Nodal Axis (North/South Lunar nodes) as representing the evolutionary intention of the soul in a given incarnation. Alan Oken has developed a set of interpretive techniques that combine the astrological signs and the Seven Ray energies to determine the level of evolutionary consciousness that acts through the traditional influences of the planets.

Coming …

The remaining articles in this series will discuss all of these specific techniques to provide some concrete approaches to using evolutionary astrology in practical chart interpretation. Part 2 will focus especially on the techniques of Dane Rudhyar and Jeffrey Wolf Green, while Part 3 will present the esoteric interpretive methods of Alice Bailey and Alan Oken.

Reading List

Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, by Jeffrey Wolf Green
Measuring the Night: Evolutionary Astrology and the Keys to the Soul, by Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green
Soul-Centered Astrology, by Alan Oken
Esoteric Astrology, by Alice Bailey

IPart 1 of this series we looked at the underpinnings of evolutionary astrology — the idea that the birth chart represents a map of the soul’s progressive development or evolution through a series of progressive incarnations on the physical plane, with the present lifetime being only one stage of an evolutionary process aimed ultimately at reunion with God. Seen from this perspective, the concepts of karma and destiny are seen not as external compulsions that override free will, but as expressions of a cosmic “lesson plan” that the soul has established in order to gain the experiences needed to grow spiritually in this lifetime.
As promised, the second and third articles will examine the specific astrological techniques of the two major schools of thought that have carried this evolutionary paradigm into modern astrology:
  1. The Evolutionary Astrology of Jeffrey Wolf Green (and later Steven Forrest), which builds on and extends the work of Dane Rudhyar
  2. The Esoteric Astrology popularized by theosophical writer Alice Baily and further developed by many others, most notably Alan Oken.
In drawing this distinction I do not mean to imply that these two directions are incompatible or at odds with one another. In fact, Dane Rudhyar was greatly influenced by the theosophical movement and considered himself a part of it, although his writings tended to express the Western astrological and philosophical tradition more than the Eastern tradition favored by the leading Theosophists of the day. Likewise, Jeffrey Wolf Green’s groundbreaking work “Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul” includes a foreword by Esoteric Astrologer Alan Oken that highly praises Jeffrey’s contributions to the astrological understanding of soul development.
Still, in terms of specific techniques the two approaches differ considerably. The Esoteric Astrology approach draws heavily on theosophical concepts like the Seven Rays and Twelve Creative Hierarchies, and uses a system of “esoteric” planetary rulers that are different from the familiar ruling planets of traditional astrology. (For example, the traditional ruling planet of Aries is Mars, while its esoteric ruler is said to be Mercury.) In contrast, the School of Evolutionary Astrology founded by Jeffrey Wolf Green and Steven Forrest stays within the familiar framework of traditional astrological symbolism while assigning unique evolutionary significance to the planet Pluto and the north and south Lunar nodes. As a result, it makes sense to examine the two approaches separately to avoid confusion.

Pluto and the Lunar nodes

The cornerstone of Jeffrey Wolf Green’s Evolutionary Astrology approach is the understanding that the planet Pluto represents the human Soul, and that its position in the natal chart represents the individual’s evolutionary intention for this lifetime. In this view, the planet Saturn represents the outer limits of the conscious individuality … thus the planets Mercury through Saturn, all that were known to the ancients, represent all that can be known about the life of a person considered as an isolated individual within a single lifespan. The outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, discovered in relatively recent times, represent transcendental aspects of the individual … those which begin to emerge as our consciousness expands beyond the limits of the observable physical plane. Uranus represents the unconscious “inner” reality of the individual, while Neptune represents the collective unconscious that is shared among all individuals, and Pluto represents the Soul itself — that aspect of the individual that survives physical death and grows continuously by incarnating successively into different lifetimes to gain the experiences needed to evolve spiritually.
Of coequal importance in assessing the evolutionary life plan of the individual is the nodal axis — the opposition between the North Node and the South Node in the horoscope. While the house and sign in which Pluto appears indicates the evolutionary intention of the soul for this lifetime, the North and South Nodes describe how the individual intends to actualize that intention, the specific modes of operation through which the soul’s intention will be pursued.

Evolutionary intention

Before going any further, it may be worthwhile to consider the idea of evolutionary intention and what it means. In common with most spiritual traditions, evolutionary astrology holds that there are just two basic drives in the Universe — the drive to separate from the original Unity (God) that is the Source of all, and the drive to return to the Source of creation. As unique individuals, we experience the interaction between these two basic drives or desires in many, many different ways, and the complexity of these interactions is what creates the drama of individual personality and the unique evolutionary journey of each soul. We exist as individuals because of our desire for separation — the desire to experience “the world” as unique points of consciousness, different from all others. And because the range of possible experience is infinite, we gradually differentiate ourselves more and more, until we come to experience ourselves as truly separate, knowing our original unity, if at all, only as an abstract idea. And yet, with each individual separative desire we pursue, we also experience the loss of that original unity and the desire to find our way back “home.” But precisely because we have become so differentiated, our desire for return to union with the Source takes many different forms, and these different forms gives rise to yet more experiences, which in turn result in more perceptions of what we “need.” This complex of desires, experiences and needs determine the actions we will take, and the actions have reactions that create new perceptions of what we need, and on and on. This complicated stream of desires, actions and reactions leading to new desires, actions and reactions is what we call karma. Karma is not something imposed on us, but is rather the result of our own desires acting in response to our experiences. We do have free will, but our will is conditioned by our desires, and our desires are conditioned by our experiences. As the old saying goes, “we can do what we please, but can we please what we please?” In most cases we cannot … our desires are experienced as a “given,” and result from a long history of previous choices and the experiences that resulted from those choices.
In the broadest sense, the evolutionary intention of every being is to return to union with the Source: involution is the process of separation, while evolution is the process of integration, of moving toward Oneness. But because our individual histories, experiences and desires are so varied, the experiences that each of us needs to gain in order to move closer to that goal are unique. Thus in any given lifetime, our evolutionary intention is to gain the specific experiences we most need to overcome the action-reaction desires and behaviors that keep us in a state of separation. Simply put the process of evolution is one of gradually eliminating the separative desires by understanding them.

The evolutionary astrology model

The practical idea behind evolutionary astrology is that by making us aware of our soul’s evolutionary intention in this lifetime (which may not be at all the same as our consciousgoals and intentions), we are far better able to cooperate with that intention and help it to succeed … thus consciously assisting our own spiritual evolution. The primary tools at our disposal for ferreting out this evolutionary intention from the birth chart include the position, by house and sign, of Pluto and the North Node, as well as the polarity point (180 degrees opposite) of Pluto. In terms of evolutionary intent, all the other factors of the chart can be gauged in terms of their relationship to Pluto and the nodal axis.
As a factor present in the chart at the moment of birth, Pluto represents the soul’s evolutionary intention arising from past-life experiences. That is, it shows not so much how the individual will develop in this lifetime, but rather what sHe brings into this life … what might be considered the “unfinished business” of the past, and the soul’s primary intention is to handle these unresolved issues before moving on. The polarity point of Pluto, on the other hand, is an indication of the resolution being aimed for. Typically the evolutionary drives shown by Pluto dominate the chart until the first Saturn Return, which occurs around age 29, at which point the individual who has successfully integrated these karmic lessons can bring some degree of resolution to the conflicts implied, with the nature of this integration shown in Pluto’s polarity point. At this point, the individual is able to relate to this area of experience in a way that supports the evolutionary movement toward union rather than separation. (Of course it is also possible that the individual will not successfully fulfill this karmic necessity by the first Saturn return, in which case it will continue to dominate the life path until it is handled.)
Precisely how this evolutionary imperative will be enacted is shown in the house and sign of the nodal axis. Here the South Node indicates the strategies and mode of operation the individual brings into this lifetime, while the North Node indicates the evolutionary imperative of lessons to be learned in the future. As such, the operating modes shown by the South Node are those that seem most “natural” to the individual … natural because they represent the very patterns used to deal with these issues in the past. Therefore they seem intuitively “right,” and the individual is comfortable in using them. The direction of evolutionary pressure, however, is toward the approaches shown by the North Node, and these will seem challenging and may in fact be strongly resisted. It is always more comfortable to deal with things in ways that are familiar and predictable, but it is precisely this challenge of letting go of the old and familiar to grow into new ways of understanding and acting that is the point of evolutionary growth.
Jeffrey Wolf Green
December 2, 1946, 4:52 AM PST
Hollywood, CA USA
To put these abstract notions into a concrete frame of reference, let’s take a look at their practical application in the chart of Jeffrey Wolf Green himself. (To my knowledge Jeffrey has not listed his birth data in any of his books, but since he freely shared it in teaching discussions with students, I’m sure he won’t mind my showing it here.)
Here we can see that Pluto is near the top of the chart, in the ninth house, while the North Node is in the seventh house and the South Node in the first. Incidentally, it’s worth noting here that we look primarily to the house position rather than the sign, although the sign is obviously significant as well. Pluto is a slow-moving generational planet, so that everyone born within a long period — anywhere from 12 to 32 years, depending on the point that Pluto is occupying in its elliptical orbit — will have Pluto in the same sign. Its house position, however, moves through all 12 signs each day, making this a more individual expression.
Looking first to the position of Pluto, its ninth house placement indicates an evolutionary intention focused on religious and philosophical issues, and on teaching. We can see that Jeffrey came into this life with a strong desire to comprehend and communicate the deepest philosophical understandings, a drive to resolve the unanswered questions relating to the meaning and purpose of life. With the South Node in the first house of self, his natural mode of operation in satisfying this intention, from a past-life point of view, would be to maintain his own independence in order to seek “objective” answers to his cosmological questions, putting stock in no one but himself and his own experiences. He would not have joined study groups or followed any teachers, but would have insisted on remaining free of external influences in order to take any actions or follow any lines of thought he deemed necessary in his quest for Truth. (In fact, he once told a questioner that “all the astrology that I have ‘learned’ has come thru either meditational states, or thru dreams.”)
However, as shown by the North Node in the seventh house of relationship, he would eventually become frustrated with this “loner” mode of seeking carried over from past-life experiences, and would increasingly seek to fulfill his evolutionary intention by taking the less comfortable and secure path of sharing and developing his ideas with a community(third house polarity point of Pluto) of seekers. He would also learn that to truly grow in understanding it was necessary to experience the life situations of others from their ownpoints of view, rather than from some theoretically objective perspective. (Not long after his first Saturn return, Jeffrey began teaching evolutionary astrology to small study groups, gradually expanding to giving workshops and classes at astrological conferences and eventually founding his own school … thus transforming himself from the lone seeker to the group teacher, and learning the value of relationship and community in the quest for Truth.)
Of course this is a vastly simplified analysis, but it shows the fundamental tenets of the evolutionary astrology model in chart analysis. In a thorough chart interpretation, an evolutionary astrologer would consider many other factors, but they would all relate to the Pluto/North Node relationship as the central determining factors of evolutionary intent.
To briefly outline the wider range of techniques used in this school of evolutionary astrology, here is a simplified “check-list” of steps that might be taken to analyze an individual chart:
  • Start with the house placement of Pluto to determine the primary evolutionary intention carried over from past lives.
  • Refine this understanding by looking at Pluto’s polarity point to determine the direction in which this carried-over intention will be developed.
  • Look at the house position of the North Node to determine the specific actions or modes of operation to be used in fulfilling the evolutionary intention.
  • Refine this general understanding by looking at the ruling planet of the house occupied by Pluto, its polarity point, and the North and South nodes. These influences facilitate the evolutionary intention and the modes of operation, supporting or challenging them and giving them the unique “flavor” of the ruling planets.
  • Look at the aspects made by other planets in the chart to the nodal axis. These planets have played a major role in shaping the individual’s karmic situation, and therefore help us to understand the past-life issues carried forward into the present lifetime.
  • Look at the aspects made by other planets in the chart to Pluto. The areas of life-expression represented by planets strongly aspecting Pluto are subject to an intensified evolutionary metamorphosis in this lifetime. In addition the number of planets in strong aspect to Pluto indicates the intensity of the evolutionary drive in this lifetime.
  • Look at the timing of Pluto transits to natal planets to determine when the areas of life-expression represented by those planets will undergo an impulse of evolutionary metamorphosis and transformation. Pluto transiting a natal planet will always result in a major transformation in the areas ruled by that planet, and this transformation can be a smooth transition if one is prepared for and cooperates with it — or a cataclysmic upheaval if one attempts to resist change and cling to the status quo.
Even this list is a great simplification of the process of interpreting a chart in terms of evolutionary astrology, and merely outlines the bare bones of the crucial factors. Of great importance, and entirely beyond the scope of a single article such as this, is the subject of counseling. To provide a client with meaningful insights requires not only a deep familiarity with the applicable archetypes and symbolism of the chart, but also a great deal of empathy as well as a fair amount of detective work to ferret out the individual’s current evolutionary condition. This is a facet of interpretation that cannot be revealed by the chart alone, but must be pieced together by looking at the individual’s life experiences, attitudes and other subjective factors. The same astrological configuration can mean something very different, for example, to an individual who is in a mass consciousness evolutionary state (that is, the comparatively unquestioning “follow the leader” mentality expressed by a majority of individuals), compared to one who is in a highly individuated state and consciously working on personal evolution with deliberate intention. Developing the ability to interpret and counsel at this level takes a lot of work and study, but for those whose own evolutionary imperative moves them in this direction it is an immensely fascinating and rewarding study.
For more information about Evolutionary Astrology as developed by Jeffrey Wolf Green and Steven Forrest, I heartily recommend Volumes 1 and 2 of Pluto, the Evolutionary Journey of the Soul as the best starting point. Although Jeffrey himself is not currently avaiable for public communication due to illness, his School of Evolutionary Astrology is actively operating under the direction of his senior student Kim Marie. You can get more information about the school and other Evolutionary Astrology learning materials, as well as a worldwide directory of practicing Evolutionary Astrologers, at http://www.evolutionaryastrology.net.

In this final article of the series, we’ll look at the system of evolutionary astrology whose most prominent contemporary teacher is Alan Oken. This system is more commonly referred to as Esoteric Astrology or Soul-Centered Astrology, but it certainly falls within the realm of what we have been calling Evolutionary Astrology in this series of articles, in that it focuses on the development of the soul over a succession of individual lifetimes, and on the relationship between the spiritual progress of the individual soul and the conscious evolution of humanity as a whole.
Esoteric or soul-centered astrology has its roots in the western metaphysical tradition known as Hermetic philosophy. While the original roots of the Hermetic wisdom are lost in the mists of time, it has been handed down through secret societies at least since the time of ancient Egypt, and is thought to have been the basis of the “Mystery Schools” of initiation that flourished in Egypt and pre-Christian Greece. Throughout much of recent history it was suppressed (in part by the Church, which branded it as heresy) and handed down from disciple to disciple through secret societies and occult schools. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it re-surfaced through such groups as the Rosicrucians, the Brotherhood of Light, and the writings of metaphysical teachers like Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Rudolf Steiner. At the center of this occult renaissance was Madame H. P. Blavatsky, whose monumental work The Secret Doctrine attracted spiritual thinkers and practitioners worldwide and served as the seed of the Theosophical movement.
The Rainbow BridgeTheosophist Alice Bailey provided the most complete presentation of the astrological system taught by this school in her book,Esoteric Astrology, channeling the Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul. One of its seed ideas is that the horoscope maps both the lower Personality and the higher Soul intentions of an individual, and that the key to personal spiritual evolution is the linking of these two aspects, allowing the Soul level to “exteriorize” into the Personality level, thus aligning the physical personality with the higher spiritual intentions of the soul. The process of linking these two aspects of the self is known as building the Rainbow bridge.

Personality and Soul Evolution

Like other schools of evolutionary astrology, esoteric astrology proceeds from the view that the Soul is the eternal being that incarnates into a body. While the physical body and its personality last for but a single lifetime, the Soul has many incarnations, learning from each lifetime the lessons needed to fulfill its unique purpose. It is the Soul’s evolutionary direction to manifest its spiritual nature on the physical plane; the evolutionary task of the individual is to integrate and harmonize the personality in order to align it to the Soul’s intention, thus becoming a vehicle for the expression of spirit. This is a two-step process that consists of:
  1. Integrating the lower self or personality
  2. Linking the integrated personality with the Soul
In order to accomplish this linkage, it is necessary to understand both the personality and the soul intentions. Both are revealed in the natal chart, by interpreting its symbols in different ways. The personality is interpreted according to the familiar rules of exoteric astrology, while the soul level uses modified interpretations and different astrological rulers for the zodiac signs, as shown in the diagram above.
In addition, esoteric astrology uses another set of symbols known as the Seven Rays to amplify and shed additional light on the astrological signs, planets and houses. A thorough discussion of the Seven Rays is entirely beyond the scope of this article, as it is a detailed and highly developed metaphysical system in its own right, about which hundreds of books have been written. A good starting point for further investigation is Alan Oken’s Soul-Centered Astrology. For those not easily daunted, a complete presentation of the system is contained in Alice Bailey’s five-volume Treatise on the Seven Rays, of which Esoteric Astrology is the middle volume. The complete text of these books is available online at this link: Works by Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul. A simplified listing of the rays with some of their important attributes is shown below:
1Will/PowerVulcan, PlutoCrown
2Love/WisdomJupiter, SunHeart
3Active IntelligenceSaturn, EarthThroat
4Harmony Through ConflictMercury, MoonRoot
5Concrete KnowledgeVenusBrow (third eye)
6Devotion/IdealismNeptune, MarsSolar Plexus
7Ceremonial OrderUranusSacral
The rays also express through the 12 signs of the zodiac, with each ray specifically influencing three signs, both exoterically and in soul-centered terms. The following table shows these influences and relates them to the traditional and esoteric rulers of each sign:
SignRayTraditional RulerRayEsoteric RulerRay
Scorpio4Pluto, Mars1, 6Mars6
Aquarius5Uranus, Saturn7,3Jupiter2
Pisces2,6Neptune, Jupiter6,2Pluto1


On the personality level, the rays and esoteric rulers can be used to enhance and deepen the understanding of each placement in the horoscope by house. For example, if Gemini is on the cusp of the 6th house, the Second Ray of Love/Wisdom (the personality-centered ray that expresses through Gemini) can be understood to be working through the intellectual and communication-oriented qualities of Gemini in all matters related to the 6th house in that chart. You could therefore expect that blending and harmonizing opposites through communication would be a prominent goal of all 6th-house activities in that person’s life.
On the soul-centered level, you would look at the esoteric ruler and ray. For Gemini, this would be the planet Venus and the Fifth Ray of Concrete Knowledge. As mentioned earlier, the esoteric meanings of the planets are somewhat different from the traditional personality-centered interpretations, although related in essence. In the case of Venus, for example, the planet of love and beauty in traditional astrology, its esoteric significance is the emergence of the principle of Divine Love through the focused spiritual Will. Its function is to link the higher and lower mental faculties, thus turning knowledge into wisdom.
We can carry this farther by examining the Ray-quality of the ruling planet of the house, both exoteric and esoteric. For example, if the Sun is in the 10th house with Leo on the cusp, then it is in the house ruled by itself, and the ray-qualities One and Seven will strongly color the personality expressed through the Sun. Esoterically, the ruler of the Leo 10th house is also the Sun, so this placement would show the karmic influences on 10th-house matters to also be aligned with First- and Seventh-Ray intentions.
Here is where a comparison can be made between the outer personality drives and the karmic conditions that reflect the soul intentions. Simplistically, we could say that our soul’s “reason for being here” in this particular incarnation is to express the intentions shown by the ray of the esoteric ruler, while our physical personality is pursuing the agenda signified by the ray of the exoteric ruler! These agendas can be aligned, as in the example of the Sun in a Leo-ruled 10th house above, or out of step with each other, as for example a Fourth-Ray Harmony Through Conflict karmic intention and a Sixth-RayDevotion/Idealism personality expression.
In this second case, the individual might consciously seek to pursue a path of passive discipleship or contemplation, but find that it fails to lead to the inner peace desired. By becoming aware of the Fourth-Ray soul intention, the individual might be empowered to align the personality and soul intentions in any number of ways ... perhaps by realizing that the expectations one had for the peace that would follow from devotion to a particular path or guru were unrealistic, and that only by experiencing and accepting the “conflict” between expectations and results would it be possible to detach from expectations and thus arrive at the peace and harmony that were the original goals.
Of course, the intuition is of paramount importance in drawing such inferences, and the development of such intuition with regard to soul intentions is at least as important as the formal rules and attributions. Esoteric astrology is an enormously large and detailed study (the Alice Bailey volumes on the subect alone comprise well over 5,000 pages of densely packed information!) To present even the most abbreviated listing of all the esoteric interpretations of signs, planets, houses and rays is far beyond the scope of this brief article, and developing the mindset and intuition to combine these factors in meaningful interpretations is a major study in itself. The “big picture” view of esoteric chart interpretation, however, can be summarized in a few points:
  1. First interpret the chart according to traditional astrology, with the addition of the influences of the Seven Rays. This provides an understanding of the individual at the personality level — that is, the physical personality in this particular incarnation. In general, the less evolved the consciousness, the more important the position of the planets by houses will be, since the houses relate specifically the “departments” of life that express in the outer world.
  2. The Sun sign and its exoteric rulers show the major themes of the personality for the present incarnation. The primary ray of the Sun sign reveals much about the nature of the personality.
  3. The rising sign and the esoteric rulers of the signs and houses show the spiritual goals of this incarnation.
  4. Compare and contrast the horoscope of the Sun sign and the exoteric planetary rulers with that of the Ascendant and the esoteric planetary rulers to see the relationship of the soul and the personality. Analyzing the relationships between the exoteric and esoteric factors shows whether the outer personality is aligned with the karmic life purposes of the soul, and the kinds of thoughts and actions needed to bring them into closer alignment.

The Goal of Esoteric Astrology

The goal of esoteric astrology is to provide insight into the relationship between the soul and the personality, in order to integrate the personality and align it with the soul intentions. Contained in this is the implication of a transformation of consciousness that involves shifting one’s primary sense of identity from the primarily ego-centered and separative personality to the spiritually-centered and integrative soul. In the understanding of esoteric astrology, as in other approaches to evolutionary astrology, this step, while available to extraordinary souls throughout human history, is one that is of important to all of humankind at this moment of unfolding consciousness, for humanity as a whole is at a stage of evolution in which the emergence of a spiritual consciousness on Earth is critical to the survival and continued growth of the human species.
And, we are indeed at a stage where more and more people are rapidly evolving, integrating, and seeing the birth of a global spiritual consciousness. It is our destiny to bring spirit into manifestation on the physical plane. In a collective sense, that is the “reason for being here” of all of us incarnated at this time. As with all major shifts in consciousness, it is not an easy process, as the conflicts and crises of this time amply demonstrate. As Linda Goodman was fond of saying, sadness rhymes with gladness, and light attracts darkness.
This is a universal phenomenon, and times of transition are always difficult, but in the present situation there is a particular danger that is worth noting for all of us who aspire to spiritual transformation, and that is that the greatest danger to the the peaceful emergence of spiritual consciousness in the world does not come from those with unevolved souls who have not achieved any degree of personal integration, but rather from those who have advanced significantly along the path ... but have not yet linked the integrated personality to the soul. Such individuals have the awareness and power to attune to universal energies, but lack the identification with the spiritual power of Love. They therefore strive to pervert metaphysical and spiritual energies to the service of personal thoughts, desires and physical goals. As Alan Oken describes this danger in Soul-Centered Astrology,
“The stronger the ego in question, the greater the negative vortex, and more important, the greater the urge to create the universe in its own limited and exclusive image. All too often during the history of humanity, this has resulted in the attempt to dominate the will, intelligence and emotions of others. This is the intrinsic nature and structure of evil...
“Until each individual member of humanity recognizes his or her wholeness and at-one-ment with the Soul (and eventually , the unity of these individual Souls into the Soul of Humanity), such a polarization of so-called good and evil will continue to exist. It is the goal of this Aquarian Age to plant the seeds of this individualization so that the Soul focus of humanity may eventually exteriorize. The aim of esoteric, Soul-centered astrology is to provide a distinct tool to monitor the energies and cycles of this process at this critical, transitional time in human history.”
— Alan Oken, Soul-Centered Astrology

Source: http://consciousevolution.com/metamorphosis/0403/evolvastro0403.htm