Studies in Astrology

by

Elman Bacher


Chapter III

Planets Are People

   The identity of relationships through the study of a horoscope is one of the most subtle and difficult problems with which the psychological astrologer has to deal. The difficulty lies in the fact that the reality of a relationship between two people is not a thing of flesh or man- made law, but of the essence of feeling of the two people for each other. This "essence of mutual feeling," in the cases of intense attractions or enmities, is a holdover from contacts made in past incarnations and can manifest distinctly regardless of age, sex, or worldly relationship. The occultist knows that a deep bond between two people cannot spring into being at the very first contact of the persons concerned. The first contact was made in the past, and the relationship, whether of love or hatred, is being continued in this life as though there had never been an interruption.

   There is only one possible end for any relationship between two people--and that is fulfillment. No bond of hatred is ever left "hanging in the wind." Such a thing would refute the Law of Love. Hatred is "love in reverse"--it is consciousness of contact with the universe, through another person, turned in on "self." Until the consciousness reinterprets that expression of energy in terms of the higher self, it can only express that which is negative, destructive, and unredeemed.

   The following are some hypothetical examples of relationships and experiences, which from a karmic standpoint represent sources of hatred, fear, and envy. They are found in the lives of men and women the world over and in all ages.

   The creative original individualist, in any field of endeavor, represents a threat to the crystallized orthodox person. These prototypes may be described as, or symbolized by, Uranus and Saturn, respectively. Uranus may fear and hate Saturn because the latter stifles and frustrates his freedom; Saturn may fear Uranus as a threat to undermine the "status quo." Hatred results when Uranus loses freedom, or when the security of Saturn is destroyed. Until each can learn something of value from the other the conflict remains.

   The conflicting phases of feminine nature are illustrated by the "maternal woman" and the "sweetheart woman." The age-old tug of war, with the male of the species as the harried and bewildered object of conquest! Mrs. Moon-Jupiter-Saturn develops an implacable hatred for that hussy, Miss Venus-Uranus, and sees in her a threat to the peace of home and respectable living. The latter regards her hardworking, dowdy sister as a pitiful fuddy-duddy who has forgotten the meaning of romance.

   A tragic problem--and there are many such--is represented by parental interference. A person who, in the past, neglected his opportunities may be karmically drawn to a parent who is very egoistic and possessive. The parent, with no regard for the child's intrinsic urges, seeks to make him over into a replica of an admired relative--or himself. The child's whole life-experience then becomes a distortion which results in frustration. This, in turn, results in bitter hatred and resentment toward the parent. The possessive egoism of the parent feeds on himself to the degree that the child becomes enslaved; the parent's life becomes more and more "fixated" on its vicarious fulfillment through the child. Other sources of experience are ignored, friendships become more and more meaningless; spiritual, mental, and psychological atrophy result. Affection, companionship, and mutual understanding are experience and what could have been a source of inspiration, warmth, and fulfillment turns into a deadly horror. Both are wrong. The child is wrong in permitting another to live his life for him. The parent is wrong in using power with the urge to domination as the chief motive. As the negative and painful emotions take more and more hold of these people, they incapacitate themselves for good in every other expression in life. And--what they take with them into their next experience had better be left unsaid.

   In so far as the validity, reality, or importance of an experience depends on the reactions to the event of the person concerned, and since our experiences come to us as objectifications of what is indicated in our horoscopes through our "interchange" with other people, is it not logical to interpret the aspects of the chart as people? In the soul-vibration of another person is found a correspondence with something in your own nature which is indicated in your chart.

   If the aspect should be a negative one (square or opposition), your contact with that person stirs into being a negative or destructive reaction. You call that reaction "fear" or "jealousy" or "hatred." You say, "I fear that man," or "I envy that man," or "I hate that man." That is what you say, but in the light of astrology, that is not what you really mean. What you mean actually is: " That man served to remind me of something negative in my nature. I feel that he might do a wrong to me that I remember having done to another. My feeling is fear. I know that he has achieved something that I should have achieved, but did not. My feeling is envy. His wrong to another reminds me of my own past wrong-doing. My feeling is hatred."

   The man or woman you describe as your worst enemy is the person whose horoscope, in some way, corresponds with your worst aspect. That person might be anyone: father, mother, sister, brother, child, husband, wife, lover, or employer. As one tuning fork causes another of the same pitch to vibrate with it, so the negative state of your "enemy" stimulates your negative and brings it into your consciousness with pain. Use that painful reaction as a barometer of your own spiritual state. It is indicating to you a very important lesson. It serves to point out the need for you to undertake a very important step in development. Your "enemy" is not your enemy. He or she is your teacher. Learn through that person, of yourself.

   But don't stop there. In identifying your "enemies" by means of your reactions toward and experiences with them, you attain a detached perspective of yourself as a factor in your circle of relationships and see how you make of yourself an "enemy" to others by the expression of your own negatives. The next step is to make of yourself a "friend" to all people. As you, to a greater and greater degree express the positive possibilities indicated in your chart, you make of yourself a magnet to draw into expression the good that is latent in others.

   As you cause, by your constant efforts toward regeneration, the stimulation of the good in others they are automatically made aware of their own good. They like you. They admire you. They are comfortable and happy when in your company. They feel at their best: more courteous, more considerate, more courageous, stronger. They say that they love you, that you are their friend. That doesn't quite convey what they really mean. What they mean is that their higher self is brought to their consciousness through their contact with you. They do not really "love you." They are simply made more aware of their own God-Self, through which they express harmonious and constructive reactions.

   Your reactions to any person constitute the only factor that determines your relationship with him. Use your "positives," transmute your "negatives," and defeat your "enemies" by eliminating the "enemy" within yourself.

   The artist in man has, for ages past, sought to interpret in verse, songs, and pictures, his concept of life as a Great Battle. Every scripture has told the story, in symbol and allegory, of the onslaughts of the Forces of Darkness against the Stronghold of Light, the contention of the Devil with God for the soul of man, the ceaseless friction between Evil and Good, the Tempter eternally seeking to undermine that which is aspiring in the human heart.

   Sorties, skirmishes, and battles-to-the-death--all phases of this Conflict--are shown in each horoscope. The aspirant contains within himself the field upon which the claims of destiny contend with everything in his nature that urges him forward and upward. He must, if he would triumph, attain as clear an understanding as possible of the nature of the enemy that abides in his subconscious. This enemy has aides-de-camp in the form of the squares and oppositions, but his headquarters is the 12th house. It is there that the plans are made, the traps are set, the shackles are forged and the nets of illusion are woven. The light of day seldom penetrates to this cave, for the enemy and his minions prefer darkness for their labors. The aspirant can dispel the shadow only with the light of "self-knowledge."

   Since each experience represents a triumph or (temporary) defeat in the battle, and since each experience is brought about by contact with another person--or persons, those people whose planetary energies serve to stimulate the afflicted ruler or occupant of the aspirant's 12th house must be viewed and studied by him with the attitude that they objectify his innermost possibilities for self-defeat. And--those people can be anyone; a parent, a child, a friend, a love, wife, or husband can fulfill that pattern. The aspirant is such because he has taken steps toward the Impersonal, and in using his horoscope as a "map" on the Path of Life it behooves him to understand that he must study his relationships from the standpoint of his subconscious reaction to them, not from the worldly name they have. As he transmutes his reactions, so he improves the quality of his relationship.

   The following method is suggested: The aspirant makes a detailed study of his twelfth house conditions from the standpoint of malefic conjunctions, squares and oppositions. He then relates as far as possible the charts of those persons who have had a deleterious influence in his life. He studies particularly those charts which have any planet or ascendant conjunct the afflicted ruler or occupant of his twelfth house; he makes a mental summary of his experiences with these persons and thereby makes himself aware of the negatives in his nature which were stimulated by contact with them. Regardless of the severity and painfulness of the experiences, he will release all hatred. He will realize that each and every one of these persons served to objectify a phase of his own negative subconscious and he will no longer think of them as "perpetrators of evil" against him, but as object lessons for his instruction and enlightenment.

   Afflicted Sun rules 12th: Power is the key to this karmic lesson. The aspirant has misused power in the past, and in this incarnation he suffers abuse and injustice from those in authority. He has used his position and influence to enslave another, in some degree, and he must learn that power must be expressed in terms of justice and mercy. The father, or an older brother, may be the instrument used during the aspirant's childhood to reflect the past wrong. In later life the employers, since they exercise authority over him, may bring to his attention this needed lesson. Power as it expresses in physical vitality may be indicated, in reverse, in a weak and ineffectual body, karmically attracted to a father who is much subject to illness and physical debility.

   Afflicted Moon rules the 12th: Womanhood is the key to this karmic problem. It represents for this incarnation, a time for adjusting all unredeemed destiny that originated when the aspirant used a female body, unredeemed destiny that concerns domestic experience, the opportunity to develop, through feelings, an increased faculty of sympathy and tenderness. The Moon symbolizes the feminine polarity of the human psyche and whether the aspirant is male or female, this karmic aspect, indicates disorders and insufficiencies of this faculty. "Trouble through the mother" is the classic interpretation of afflictions to the Moon. In this sense, the aspirant's mother is seen as his "enemy." Such being the case, he will realize that her influence on his life parallels his own on someone else--in a past life. His heavy responsibility to her in this incarnation fulfills what he left undone--in the past. His affection for her is never adequately returned and he learns what the withholding of love means. He is tied to home conditions now, for he sought to escape them--in the past. Women baffle him, he never seems to gain a clear understanding of them. He never tried to be a "real-woman"--in the past. Or he treated women with indifference--in the past. The aspirant will realize that women are not his "enemies." He must, however, cultivate a deeper understanding of and sympathy for the basic elements of "woman-nature" if he is to redeem this karmic state.

   Afflicted Saturn rules the 12th: The karma is repression. The "enemy" is Crystallization. Persons who represent this position are a seeming blight on the life of the aspirant. They stimulate his feelings of insecurity; they lead him into paths of suppression and denial; they (apparently) block up the flow of Life. Through his relationships with them he receives his severest disciplining; through them he fulfills his deepest and longest-overdue responsibilities. They serve to remind him of everything in his nature that is impractical; they hold him to earth while he yearns for freedom.

   He is an individualist while they are hidebound; he is mystically inclined, they are orthodox and observant of forms; he attaches no particular significance to money, they interpret everything in life in financial terms. His instinctive tendency and desire is to free himself from them and escape the fetters of their influence. The tendency will remain until he realizes that he cannot escape his rightful responsibilities; that he must learn to utilize intelligently the things of earth; that money, though it has no power of its own, still is a medium of exchange among people, and he must learn its proper use. The philosophical aspirant will realize that he is not tied to difficult and disappointing relationships that are not of his own making, but will seek to give of his best to these conditions and learn whatever there is for him to learn from the others involved with him.

   Afflicted Neptune rules the 12th: The Enemy is deception. This "enemy," because of its subtlety, is a difficult one to defeat. Treachery, betrayal, mental confusion, and perversion, constitute its armor. The opponents of the aspirant who has this position are underhanded and sneaky--they "don't play fair." Well, the aspirant himself didn't play fair in the past, and now he must learn what it means to be the recipient of such treatment. He professed one thing and did another; he solicited the trust of others and betrayed that trust; he used spirituality--or a claim of it--as a smoke screen for power or gain; he trafficked--not wisely but too well--with astral forces; he misrepresented and misled. The aspects made to this afflicted Neptune represent the types of people through whom this karmic return will be made. One person may influence him into a destructive habit; another may share a wrong-doing with him--and leave him "holding the sack;" his faith and deepest love may be expressed toward someone who proves unworthy of anyone's high regard. The aspirant's two best weapons in dealing with this particular "enemy" are faith in spiritual principles and knowledge. With knowledge he can bring himself into a more perfect alignment with spiritual honesty--the finest corrective for that form of subconscious conditioning which results in illusion and deception.

   So it is with the other planets: Uranus (unbalance), Jupiter (extravagance and greed), Venus (possession), Mercury (thought), and Mars (manhood and sex.) Each one, as afflicted ruler or occupant of the twelfth, indicates a certain group of people who serve, however unconsciously, as one's most valued teachers.

   The mechanics of relationship provide the occult student with a perfect "field of research" for the study of alchemy. The interchange of reactions of two people who are "close to each other" is the pabulum which either one, or both, may utilize in the "weaving of the golden wedding garment." From the base metal of a subconscious mixture of attractions and repulsions, each person may distill, by his own transmutations, the essence which is called love. The Great Teacher has instructed us--"Love your enemies, and do good to those who persecute you." Why? Because He knew that a reaction of hatred or vengeance creates a bond between the recipient and the perpetrator of an evil deed, and only when that reaction is neutralized by good will the bondage be dissolved.

   How true it is that we so often, though unwittingly, cause pain to those we profess to love, mislead those we would help, and injure those toward whom we have the "best intentions!" There are so many relationships in which we can just as easily express our negative aspects as we can our positives. The relationships are, generally, our most intimate ones--those in which other people contact and stimulate various phases of our natures. The comparison-study of the horoscopes of two persons who are "close to each other" will reveal the significance of the relationship to each of the persons concerned--the mutual harmonies, the mutual problems, and the mutual agencies for alchemical transmutation. In this application the stellar science indeed offers a key for the unravelling of mysteries. No phase of life is more illusionary than relationship; nowhere is the keen eye of detachment more needed to "see through" the fogs of desire, fear, enmity, and conflict.

   In attaining a detached and impersonal viewpoint of a relationship, we realize that terms sued as "husband-wife," "parent-child," "brother-sister," and "lover-beloved" are as garments to be worn for identification on the physical plane. The essence of these relationships is found superphysically, on the mental, emotional, and spiritual planes.

   This essence, its purpose, and its reality are found in the mutual conjunctions of the two horoscopes. Two agencies of Spirit find their expression through the same degree (approximately) and the horoscopes are thereby riveted together like two boards--each mutual conjunction being a nail. A perfect classical example of "alchemy through relationship" is found when each planet so involved has one square and one sextile. Each person stimulates a latent disharmony in the other, but each person contains within himself the means of transmuting that disharmony. The house in which the conjunction falls in each chart will indicate, of course, the department of that person's life through which the relationship will be expressed and which will be most directly affected by it. The complete "picture of disharmony" is found by combining the square aspects in each chart with their position in the other person's chart. Then the effect of each person, for evil or unhappiness, on the other is seen in completion.

   The "alchemical picture" is found in the same way, with reference to the planets making the sextile aspects in each chart, and the position and effect in the chart of the other. When the sextile is "used," the square in each chart is transmuted to a degree, the sextile in the other chart is sympathetically stimulated, the houses involved are favorably stimulated; the relationship, as a whole, is improved in quality and the possibilities for mutual harm are thereby lessened. By continual application of this process, the relationship becomes, more and more, one of love--since each person concerned assists the other in attaining awareness of his Higher Self.

   An astro-alchemical function of a more difficult and intense nature is created when only one of the two persons "uses his sextile." When this happens, the "evil" that is continually expressed by the other, under stimulation of the mutual conjunction, is "met constructively" by the alchemist in his expression of his sextile aspect. The "evildoer" intensifies his negative tendency by the repeated expression of his square aspect and the result is depletion of the capacity to do good. To paraphrase a medical term, this condition might be described as "sextile-anemia." A tragedy--no less. It is tragic for the evil-doer and doom for the relationship. There will come a time when the negative person can no longer respond to his sextile possibilities and the relationship, as an exchange between two persons, can live no longer. The relationship is dissolved, each comes to a parting of the ways. The alchemist goes on to an upward expression of living--the other must face the results of his wrong-doing.

   To the degree that a relationship is complicated by a variety of mutual aspects will it be complicated in its expressions. There may be two or three mutual conjunctions, one of which may be afflicted, one benefic and one mixed. It is such relationships as these that go on for years and years--or lives and lives. Further, since no life contains only one significant relationship, each one of these aspects in one chart represents relationships with yet other people. The person who has to deal with a complex relationship with one person may, for greater understanding, study his "exchange" with the other people represented by his various aspects. He can learn from every one of them--and should--if he would make that one relationship a thing of fulfilled harmony. The people represented by benefic mutual conjunctions are those through whom he "tunes in" on his best self, and through them he understands more and more clearly what he can contribute to the relationship that contains many mixed conditions. His trines symbolize expressions of his Higher Self--the people who reflect his trines show him his best contribution to any relationship.

   It is interesting to note that the odd-numbered houses of the horoscope, culminating in the eleventh, are designated as the "houses of relationships," and the eleventh itself as the "house of friends." From the first house through the ninth we express the "personal," "fraternal," "parental," "marital," and "pedagogic" relationships. Then the cultivated, distilled essence of all relationships is shown by our capacities through expression of the eleventh.

   Love without passion, affection without possessiveness, intimacy without smothering, assistance and encouragement without over-indulgence, cooperation without domination and subservience, fruitful joys without pleasure-madness, sympathy without negative sentimentality, mutual exchange without any loss of mutual freedom of thought and action--such are the attributes of all harmoniously fulfilled relationships. The essence of these attributes we call Friendship, the urge toward universal Brotherhood.

   Because the eleventh house represents our most highly spiritualized impulses in reference to relationship, it may be studied as one of the "spiritual barometers" of the horoscope. To the degree that the eleventh house is "benefic" may every other relationship problem be assisted. Every brother-sister, parent-child, and husband-wife problem can be "unknotted," to a degree, by application of the harmoniously expressed urges of the eleventh house.

   Friendship, then, may be said to be the panacea for the "wounds of relationship."

   These "wounds" are the frustrations of those essential qualities that are peculiar to each type of relationship. The fraternal, or brother-sister, relationship is experienced during childhood and the formative years, and represents the first step toward the fulfillments of the eleventh house. In the intimacy of home life under the guidance of parents, boys and girls learn cooperation, sharing, and the enjoyment of group pleasures. The reactions of brothers and sisters to each other and to their parents constitute the basic elements of their relationship tendencies. Naturally, when the fraternal relationship is fraught with discord, fear, and hatred, the later fulfillments in mature life are often inhibited and distorted.

   Many a man or woman has experienced misery and inharmony in marriage due to subconscious negatives that are traceable to the fraternal relationships in childhood. Competition for the parents' favor, rivalry in talents and accomplishments, aversions, and resentments, and all other forms of conflict, if untransmuted, can very easily be, and usually are carried over into the marital and parental patterns and cause relationship- defeat in later life.

   Of course conditions vary as charts vary. A man may have a "difficult third house" and a "fortunate seventh house." In other words, his experiences in early life with brothers and/or sisters may contain much that is unhappy, and his marriage-partner may be the greatest blessing of his life. However, to the degree that he carries his dark reactions, into his marriage, later on, will he be unresponsive to the assistance that his wife can give to him.

   Another man may have companionship of the most harmonious and fruitful kind with his brothers and sisters and yet, through marriage, face his greatest tests. Nevertheless, because of the harmonious relationships during his childhood, he knows much more of the meaning of living. His relationship-pictures are painted with Joyfulness, Companionship, Give-and-Take, Mutual Trust, and the like, and through the expression of these spiritual powers he can deal with his marital problems.

   No student of astrology need endure pain and suffering for years and years because of an unhappy relationship with a brother or sister. The unhappiness is the result of only one thing--continual expression of a negative phase of the third house. As that negative phase is transmuted the relationship is improved and the pain neutralized. The fraternal relationship is, of all relationships, the one that can most directly be redirected into Friendship. Since it usually does not involve the possessive elements of parenthood, and never involves the sexual exchange of marriage, it contains much more of the element of freedom.

   In one respect, the fraternal relationship is particularly important, from a psychological standpoint. That is in reference to an experience of karmic responsibility of a person for a younger, or less- evolved, brother or sister. In this instance, on the inner planes the relationship becomes that of parent and child, and the negative reactions of the older person may be transmuted more effectively through the expression of his, or her, parental urges--rather than those of the eleventh house. In other words, the parental impulses constitute the "way of transcendence," or the "redemption of karma." A serious lesson in parenthood is indicated by such a condition--its fulfillment will free the person to a much more successful expression of actual parenthood. Because of its subtle and illusionary quality, this kind of "karmic parenthood" usually contains much that is painful in its working out, but its fulfillment brings a rich reward in wisdom and spiritual strength--all of which is to the person's advantage in his relationship with his own children.

   The downfall and failure of parent-child relationships, either actual or esoteric, is due more to the parent's egoism and possessiveness than to anything else, and in no relationship in life is the impersonal viewpoint more vitally necessary. No mother or father can be a "good parent"--in the spiritual sense--unless the attributes of friendship are expressed in the relationship. There must be recognition of the child's intrinsic worth and tendencies. There must be discipline and guidance--but in terms of the child's requirements. No mother or father is a good parent who makes the child's life a vicarious fulfillment of her or his own frustrations. The parent who is a friend guides his child into the best expression of the child's own pattern of life.

   Look to your eleventh house and find your "Friendship-key." This is the planet which is either the unafflicted ruler of the eleventh--or the planet that makes the best aspect to the ruler. Planets in the eleventh indicate conditions that are interpreted through friendship, but the ruler is the key to the expression of friendship and brotherhood.

   The ruler of the eleventh house may have several aspects, both harmonious and otherwise. However, if an unafflicted planet makes a benefic aspect to the ruler in this case, that planet represents a pure channel of "relationship-transmutation." It is the planet that can, if applied, unloose the snags and snarls of any relationship problem. It represents the best you have to offer in your spiritual exchange with other people.

   Combine the vibration of this planet with that of the sign on the eleventh house cusp and the vibration of the ruler itself. This is the foundation of your "house of Friendship." It shows a composite of how you love your friends, what you wish to do for them, what you can do for them, and the best that they see in you.

   Persons who are identified, by mutual aspects, with the trines in your eleventh house conditions are those who stimulate your deepest capacity for loving. It is through them that you contact your own best self and express your finest for all relationships. It is through them that you find your clearest recognition of Universal Brotherhood.

   Persons who are identified, by mutual aspects, with the squares to the eleventh house ruler are " enemies of utmost importance." They externalize or objectify your reactions that defeat or destroy friendship. Because of the transcendent urges of the eleventh house, the malefic aspects (representing frustrations and difficulties) can manifest as deep hatreds, fears, and conflicts. Every relationship in your life is tainted or warped to the degree that these afflictions remain untransmuted. No occult or astrological student can afford to ignore these "warnings" in the horoscope.

   In conclusion, here is presented an example that illustrates the inter-relationship of Astrodynamics with "Planets Are People." For clarity's sake, this example is in a simple form.

   Two persons meet in the mature years of life, and friendship is immediate, deep, and happy. Each has one square and one sextile to the ruler of the eleventh, and the contact is represented by progressed Moon trine one person's eleventh house ruler, which is conjunct any one planet in the other person's eleventh house "pattern." In other words, the relationship "flowers under the best of conditions."

   Each person has reacted, over a period of many years, to every phase of his eleventh house pattern, and the comparative strength, at that time of life, of the sextile and square influences have, in this friendship, a perfect testing. To the degree that the negative of one is expressed, will the other be given an opportunity to transmute; to the degree that both respond to the square, will the friendship be spoiled and disrupted; to the degree that each person transmutes, will the other be "lifted" spiritually.

   This type of relationship represents a perfect opportunity for the practice of alchemy. That which is negatively inclined in the relationship can be neutralized by the highest expressions of both persons who are lovingly united.

  What more perfect expression of friendship is there?

  



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