Studies in Astrology


Elman Bacher

Volume II

Chapter VIII

Pluto--Principle of Frozen Fire

   This material is presented in the hope that it will assist those astrological students who are sincerely interested in psychology to clarify their approach to patterns pertaining to the desire-aspects of human consciousness. We fail our task as "enlighteners" unless we make inner agreement to search for solutions to those complex and devious emotionalities that result from confusions and frustrations of the sexual consciousness of people. Evolution is generation and regeneration; phobia, psychosis, fixation, and the like are terms used to indicate levels of emotional consciousness which, because of lack of constructive releasement, have been permitted to stagnate, crystallize, congest, and "back track."

   In the application of astrological interpretations to the findings of modern psychology there is no single symbol more significant than the sign Scorpio in its placement as vibratory significator of the eighth house of the abstract wheel.

   As a fixed water sign, it may be likened to ice, compressed and immobile. As an emotional significator it is feeling in its most intense form. It is the great ocean of desire-power from which al1 humanity derives its emotional pabulum, to be transmuted through love for the regeneration of Life. (Physiologically, Scorpio represents all excretory functions of the body--the releasements of materials, in fluidic states, which for health must be "let out" so that the body's regenerative and transmutative processes may be carried on.)

   The above reference to Love might be better clarified if we use a design to illustrate. On a blank wheel put Aries on the cusp of the first house, Taurus on the cusp of the second house. This is the picture of "I AM"--the statement of conscious being--and "I HAVE"--the recognition of relationship with the things of Life through the consciousness of possession. Taurus--Venusian, earthy, and fruitful--symbolizes the maintenance and sustenance of physical life; it is our "roots in Earth" by which we, through the sense of having, maintain our hold in life-experience. In primitive levels the second house does not--nor need not--necessarily imply the consciousness of relationship with another person; but it is a state of "feeling" or "emotion" of ownership by which we carve our destiny according to our consciousness of "evaluating the things of Earth."

   To this design we now add Libra on the cusp of the seventh house. The "I AM" of first-house Aries now finds its fulfillment, or transcendence, in the "WE ARE" of partnership, marriage, or relationship of any kind. The isolative awareness of the first house is amplified through the mutuality of experience in "togetherness."

   The seventh house is the first house of the upper hemisphere, the initiation into soul-consciousness levels by the experience of love-recognition or love-distillation through the mechanics of relationship. The maintenance or sustenance of the seventh house is found in the eighth house, the "soul-consciousness polarity" of the second house. It is, as has been said, the "desire-resource," the "fires of polarity-exchange."

   We now place the symbol of Scorpio on the cusp of the eighth house, thus completing the picture of the individual thrust into the evolutionary levels of experience through the power of love for the transmutation and regeneration of his consciousness. (Suggest that all astrological students meditate on this design; it is the symbolic picture of the biblical account of the Garden of Eden, the birth of sex consciousness and the initiation of marriage. The perverted interpretation of this allegory, through ages of human experience, has been the cause of more tragedy and suffering than can be ascribed to any other one factor. "Eve" is the soul- consciousness, or the upper half of the wheel. "She" is derived from the need of each individual to transcend the states of the first house--isolative self- maintenance, innocence and/or ignorance. Each human being is a vibratory composite of "Adam and Eve;" physical sex is merely a specialization of polarity expressed in physical terms during a given incarnation for specific generative and evolutionary needs. There can be no such thing as superiority of the male over the female--we are all, in consciousness and subconsciousness, inherently both. Astrologers must understand this.)

   We will now create another design in our study of the sign Scorpio.

   In a blank wheel connect the mid-points of the fixed houses--second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh--by straight lines. The result is the perfect geometric form of a "static square" resting on its base. (This is the symbol we use for the "square aspect"--a relationship between two planets that are within orb of ninety degrees from each other.) Since the vibratory significators of these houses are all signs of emotional power we must study the polarity-relationship of these signs by pairs. We connect the midpoint of the second with the midpoint of the eighth and the midpoint of the fifth with the midpoint of the eleventh. The Leo-Aquarius polarity is the power of personal creative love, expressed in relationship of parent to child, being spiritually fulfilled in the Aquarian vibration of impersonal love-power which includes all relationship patterns as they are fulfilled in friendship or brotherhood. These two signs are love-power as radiations. The Taurus-Scorpio pattern represents resources of love-power through the evolutionary agencies of "desire for possession of things" and "desire for possession of love- experience."

   The "static square" here depicted gives us the clue to the real meaning of the "square aspect" that we use in astrology. Frictional patterns shown in a horoscope symbolize potentials for suffering-- "problems"--due to the frustrations and/or unspiritualized expressions of desire-power. To explain:

   Our problems are ignited in our consciousness--as pain--by the contact we make with other people and through our vibratory reaction to their patterns of consciousness. This can be possible only through the experiences delineated by the seventh and eighth house sector of the wheel, which is the sector of "vibrational exchange." Our states of unregenerate consciousness, unexpressed or unfulfilled desires, synchronize with a complementary pattern of the other person and our relationship- experience is objectified. Since this phase of life is brought to us through the other fellow, let us consider the design of the static square as starting with Scorpio.

   The wheel, as we know, is an abstract picturing of evolutionary processes through successive incarnations. Physical birth is symbolized in each incarnation by the ascendant, the cusp of the first house. However, in each incarnation, a "second birth" is initiated by the first reaction to sex-awareness: the recognition of one's complement, one's "other self," one's living symbol of desired and needed fulfillment. So, we may think of the wheel as having started its revolutions from the moment that humanity-- in the abstract (Adam and Eve)--became aware of the desire for fulfillment through the processes of polarity-exchange, starting with the vibratory exchange of physical sex experience on through all stages of development on mental and creative exchanges and in biological and unbiological relationships.

   Scorpio, then, is seen as the vibratory resource of desire-power for that entity we call humanity, and from which all living things derive their creative expression and perpetuation. Because we are backed up by many, many incarnations of having expressed this power in certain ways we may think of each human being as resembling, symbolically, an iceberg which shows above the surface only a small fraction of its entire bulk. Each one of us has a "great area" of submerged or unrecognized desire-potentials which stem directly from our affiliation to this resource. Thus mutual affiliation has been referred to by many thinkers as the "collective unconscious." Every human being, at any given moment of any stage of his evolution, vibrates to a certain level of this "elective desire body." (Similar--or shall we say analogous--to the relationship of any specific vibration of color to the entire spectrum, or to that of any tone to the "body of tonal vibration.")

   In terms of conventional, orthodox viewpoint we may say that Scorpio represents or symbolizes the "source of evil." The devil is the eternal tempter, the eternal push-in-the-wrong-direction, the eternal trap for the unwary, the arch-destroyer, the enemy of good, the foe of Man and a "stench in the nostrils of the Most High." We do not quarrel with orthodoxy but these phrases represent the attitudes of people who see life--and its chapters--as "black or white," "essentially good or essentially evil," the "high or the low," "day or night," and so on. These levels of concept have been--and still are--necessary because they serve as guideposts for the conduct of evolving humanity. There must be molds of some kind into which man pours his expressions of himself, else all evolving life would be chaotic and pointless. Desire, itself, would have no evolutionary purposes to assist beyond the satisfaction of the most primitive needs.

   However, an alchemical process works throughout the evolution of any individual or pair or group of individuals by the spiritualization of the love-consciousness and the development and expression of intelligence. Self-love becomes love of mate and progeny; self-protection becomes devotion to family, tribe, and state; the forces of sexuality are raised in vibratory quality to extend into levels of creativity and mental power. Through it all the consciousness of the individual ripens and matures into desire for improvement, expansion into wider and wider acquaintance with the universe of other people and, ultimately, for wisdom and realization of ideals. Thus Scorpio, through the eighth house patterns, makes possible the extension of experience into the transcendent expressions of the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth houses. Scorpio is evil only to the mind that sees evil as a "static entity." However, from the approaches made by dynamic realization, Scorpio is the source of all love, all aspiration, and, through the fulfillment of relationship-experience, the source of all wisdom.

   Since Scorpio is a fixed sign of great potential power, planetary placements or patterns involving its vibration may be interpreted as being backed up by intense resource, the result of a "long- time-compression" of desire force at that point. Scorpio patterns--and Scorpio types--are never superficial or insignificant. Give careful attention to any natal aspects pertaining to this sign because its potentials are very great for "great good or great ungood." Desire is concentrated there and its constructive releasement and expression is a "must" in this incarnation. Failing, painful destiny is assured for the future. No emotional inhibition can compare with Saturn in Scorpio for intensity of fear or fixation; no purpose-potential is more unwavering than Sun in Scorpio. Mars in Scorpio may represent sex desire at its most shrill need for expression. Mercury in Scorpio must watch its expressions--backed up by unregenerate impulses of jealousy, frustration, fear, etc. its words can have a devastating effect on the minds and feelings of other people. Moon and Venus in Scorpio intensify to a high degree those patterns which pertain specifically to the levels of feminine consciousness of anyone, male or female. There is, or can be, a certain implacability, ruthlessness, or tendencies to "express through domination" when these factors are not satisfactorily released. All of these planetary positions demand transmuted expression through releasements made possible by the love-consciousness of mutuality in relationship, satisfactory sex-exchange and fruitful generation or, on impersonal levels, in loving work- service or creativity of some kind. These are fires which cannot, indefinitely, remain in a state of suppressed shouldering; they must be allowed to "blaze with the Fires of Living."

   Since we are searching for understanding there is a psychological factor involved in the Scorpio vibration which we must consider, unpleasant though it is. That factor, and it is an individual and collective emotional state, is the essential result of the failure to release constructively those necessarily intense desire urges. Because the physical body is an outer expression of the inner let us consider how this problem manifests on the physical plane.

   As we said before, Scorpio represents all excretory functions of the physical body. Failure to make these needed releasements insures the condition of congestion with all its attendant possibilities of physical inharmony.

   In comparison then, how much more difficult it is to remedy the congestion of the desire nature. Any student can, by a few moments of reflection, recognize conditions of desire congestion in himself or in the natures of those he knows well. These congestions take very tragic forms sometimes and we must learn to recognize them.

   The essential basic tragedy of unreleased Scorpio is the frustration of the generative urge. From this particular congestion stems a myriad of emotional, nervous, and mental ills that may afflict humanity in almost every phase of development. True that there are a few persons in incarnation at any time who do not require this particular form of releasement but these people are few and far between. It is natural and healthy that people, generally speaking, experience the fulfillment of the mating urge in the companionship of love-relationship. Failing this fulfillment, when its need is deeply felt, there is presented a horrible picture of suffering and perpetuation of wrongs on others. Unfulfilled Scorpio--wherever it is placed in the chart--gives us a picture of possibility that the person may yield to expression of cruelty, dishonesty, murder, and all manner of destruction as a substitute satisfaction for this thing which, in his desire nature, screams for gratification.

   As the physical body may erupt with boils due to unreleased toxic conditions, so the consciousness may erupt with all kinds of black urges to get some form of releasement. The history of humanity's development as a sexual organism is riddled with chapters of fear, perversion, disease, and madness because so many human beings "agreed" to live, emotionally, by standards completely removed from the processes of natural experience and healthy, loving fulfillments.

   Marriage, which should be a natural response of two people to each other in terms of emotional rapport, has been made a tool to serve family interests, property acquisition, fortune, temporal power, dynasty, and heaven knows what else. An entire religious form was based on the attitude that man, being a worm and fit for nothing but eternal punishment, had no right to spontaneous enjoyment and fulfillment of his urges and his life. This "philosophy" has tainted the minds and emotions of millions of people for many hundreds of years. We are, in these times, beginning to get at the roots of these emotional diseases and, in studying them, we are forced to the conclusion that life cannot be well lived unless it is based on a philosophy of healthy, constructive, loving, and happy releasements.

   Some of the results of having been instrumental in deflecting the emotional life and happiness of others:

   People whose lives seem to be consecrated to suffering because of the lack of love experience; marriages which seem to be an eternal friction between the partners concerned--old enmity; children brought in who are sources of continual anxiety and care because of illness of mind or body--or deficient in essential character; women who are persuaded to marry men who keep them in continual enslavement to their desire urges without fruitful results; men who cannot free themselves from psycho-emotional bondage to their mothers; children who come in to parents who cannot--who will not-- treat them with reasonable affection or consideration; people who live an entire incarnation in fear of their own sexuality and shame at the thought of trying to "do anything about it."

   So it goes--the torment, pain, fear, inferiority feelings, cruelty, domination, enslavement, self-destruction, and madness-- evidences of the congestion of the desire nature. The remedy is found in enlightened, spiritualized education plus the vitalized determination to live healthily, expressively, beautifully, and lovingly in relationship with oneself and with other people. Thus the desire resource is transmuted and expressed in terms that make for evolution, as well as the redemption of karmic patterns into spiritualized consciousness.

   We find meditation on a sign or a planet as it relates to the "abstract horoscope" to be a reliable foundation for all study of interpretative astrological science. By "abstract horoscope" is meant a wheel with Aries on the cusp of the first house, Taurus on the second cusp, and so on around the wheel. This applies the thirty degrees of each sign to its related house. The placement of the planets in the signs and houses of their dignity complete the picture.

   In Part I of this series we considered the sign Scorpio in its "square relationship" to the other three fixed signs--the signs of "resource of emotional power," which are the sustenance of the cardinal signs preceding them.

   Now we must consider Scorpio in its relationship to the other two signs of its element--water. Our design will be a blank wheel with Cancer on the cusp of the fourth house, Scorpio on the cusp of the eighth, and Pisces on the cusp of the twelfth. These cusps are connected by straight lines forming an equilateral triangle. Of the three water signs and houses, one--the fourth--is in the lower, or "ego-consciousness," hemisphere; the other two are in the "soul-consciousness" hemisphere. To consider the fourth:

   This is the second aspect of cardinal "I AM" consciousness; it is the "I AM" in terms of the Ego's relationship with heritage, family background, racial consciousness, and identification with the streams of Life. Cancer, cardinal-water, is generative in the sense that it is our "home-building" consciousness; it is our base (the lowest point of the wheel) from which we rise up through the succeeding evolutionary patterns.

   Scorpio and the eighth house sustain the seventh house, which is our focal point of most intensified relationship consciousness in marriage (love) or in enmity (unfulfilled love). Consequently the intense, concentrated emotional power of Scorpio--through sex-impulse and its derivations--is needed here. Scorpio is generation and its spiritualizations through regeneration in love.

   Pisces and the twelfth house symbolize water as an enveloping agency. Abstractly considered it is the essence of the past brought over into the present. All the mutable signs and houses are "modulations" from one vibrational or environmental quadrant to the one following. The twelfth house is the modulation from one incarnation to the next--or, considered conversely, it is the essential key to understanding what, in the past, impelled the present incarnation. It symbolizes the emotionality of the water signs in its most transcendent and impersonal aspects of universality of Love, Sympathy, and Compassion-Understanding. Cancer is emotional identification with family; Scorpio is emotional identification in partnership; Pisces is emotional identification with world causes, universal welfare, and evolutionary progress as expressions of the most spiritualized faculties and consciousness.

   The water signs in composite, symbolize our faculties as "sounding-boards;" our "vibrational responsiveness to other people's vibrational patterns;" "subconscious instinctive family feelings;" "sub- conscious desire-impulses;" and "subconscious memories from past incarnations."

   Since the foundation of all astrological interpretation is "Know Thyself," suggest acquaintance with the water-sign pattern by turning the design we have created so that your Ascendant sign falls on the cusp of the first house. Even if your natal chart has intercepted signs, this turning of the wheel will give you a picture of how, in general, the water-sign consciousness applies to your individual astrological variation. Study it carefully, with emphasis on the cusp carrying Scorpio, for pursuance of this discussion. Approach it in this way: "Scorpio indicates the concentration of my desire-consciousness in such-and-such house in such-and- such quadrant of my chart." Meditate retrospectively on your past experiences pertaining to this pattern. Apply this technique by placing Scorpio on all cusps of an otherwise blank wheel. Elasticize your mental approach by applying the water-sign trine and the fixed-sign square to the twelve possible abstract positions.

   Our next consideration of the sign Scorpio will be in its relationship to Libra, the cardinal sign preceding it. On a blank wheel put Libra on the seventh cusp and Scorpio on the eighth. From the center of the wheel darken the lines representing the seventh and eight cusps and then shade in the seventh and eighth houses so that they stand out from the other houses. This is for the purpose of alerting you to the intense emotional signification of this two-house and two-sign sector of the wheel.

   Libra, cardinal-air, is the vibratory correspondence of the first house of the soul-consciousness hemisphere; it initiates the third sector of the wheel by the dynamic action of the magnetic attraction of two people to each other. The egotistic individualistic "I AM"--Adam--of the first house extended into "I am a unit in family relationship" of the fourth house, becomes, in the seventh, "I am one of the two complementary factors of an intensely focused emotional experience pattern." Venus, as ruler of Libra, is the abstract symbol of the " Eve-consciousness" of every human being, the agency of redemption for the isolative egoism inherent in all of us and the essential channel by which we all find the source of our cultivations and refinements through exchanges in mutuality--in all phases and levels.

   Scorpio, succeeding Libra, is the desire-food by which this redemptive experience is sustained and the eighth house is the process of generation, regeneration, renewal, and transmutation by which is distilled Understanding--leading from the eighth house into the transcendencies of the remaining four houses of the wheel. Add to our design a straight line from the ninth cusp to the Ascendant, enclosing the last four houses. This four-house sector is consciousness resulting from transmuted expressions of the desire nature; spiritualizations made possible by love. Apply this design to your own chart in meditation. Elasticize by studying it as it applies to the twelve possible positions in the abstract wheel. Utilize the basic key word approach to the sectors and to the individual houses, keeping in mind that Scorpio conveys the intensity of the desire nature; the focal point of sex consciousness; the chapter of experience which requires the utmost of your regenerative and transmutative powers; the levels of your emotional awareness that demand the improvement of vibratory quality by love; and the improvement of expression by constructive action.

   The viewpoint is maintained here that Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio; Mars is the co-ruler as the active expression of Pluto. And for these reasons:

   The essential qualities of a planet's "spiritual nature" must coincide with the essential qualities of the sign it rules. Mars is not only the Principle of Energy but it is the expression of that energy in action. Its sign is Aries--the initial step of the wheel, the " new life," the consciousness of Being and Doing. Its essence is dynamic in every way: thrusting, energizing, impregnating, stimulating, and vitalizing. It is the abstraction of individual selfhood contending with Life and its component parts as things to be overcome through the urges of self-maintenance and self- expression.

   Pluto, remote and slow moving, is the abstracted essence of the fixed, congealed, and compressed nature of Scorpio--the most rigid of all the signs (Leo, fixed-fire, glows with power and radiance; Taurus, fixed-earth, is fruitful and expressive; Aquarius, fixed-air, is a vibration of genius--transcendent and inventive; of the water signs, Cancer is responsive and moody; Pisces is extremely impressionable and subtle). Scorpio, smouldering with the compression of its inner fires of intense feelings, expresses its utmost infrequently, but then with great and telling effect. Volcano-like, these expressions are made when the urge to express exceeds the capacity to withhold and the energy-releases are made for far-reaching effects and results. Let us refer again to the design of Libra-Scorpio with the line drawn from the ninth cusp to the Ascendant. What does this design essentially convey?

   In periodic recurrence--revolution after revolution of the wheel--it symbolizes the need for reincarnation for the greater spiritualizations of the consciousness due to failures or unfulfillments of the partnership-regeneration patterns of the previous incarnation or cycle of incarnations. The Ascendant carries on its back the whole sector of four houses which include the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth. Pluto, as ruler of Scorpio, stands at the portal of spiritual life--on any phase--from relationship to relationship and--and this is significant--the relationship- essence of the past to the present and from the present into the future. The last four houses of the wheel represent the "Wine of Spirit" distilled from all fulfilled relationships.

   Now if, at the commencement of incarnation, the Ego is unable to say "I AM," of what use is incarnation? The fact that incarnation is made is proof that the Spark of eternal, indestructible Consciousness is seeking further spiritualizing, no matter how limited the capacity for self- expression may be. The congenitally crippled, the blind, the mentally deficient, and all such defective persons are personifications of the expression of the lower hemisphere of the wheel--consider this carefully-- loveless releasements of the generative and regenerative factors. The on-going of life is regeneration; those lives that seem to be back-going are themselves objects of devotion, sacrifice, and love for parents, or others, who need extreme measures to release their resources of knowledge, compassion, and sympathy; thus the processes of improvement and regeneration are maintained and perpetuated. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth houses not only represent people who live in spiritualized consciousness, but they also represent the patterns of work or service that are extended to those who personify evil destiny in their afflictions of suffering and ignorance. In other words, those who have learned the lessons of the eighth house distill, for service to all, those spiritualized powers by which afflictions and suffering can be, and are, redeemed. Therefore, enlightened people regard every incarnation as significant and of value; their viewpoint extends beyond the superficial and transitory; they perceive the Laws of Life in expressions and recognize that there is the possibility for the regeneration of any and all phases of human existence.

   The approach made by modern corrective psychology-- let us refer again to our design--is to help the person who is physically, emotionally, or mentally-psychically afflicted to re-establish his ability to say "I AM" in terms of (1) physical healing and improvement of the physical capacities; (2) the understanding of his emotional patterns of fixation, fear, frustrations, or inhibitions, so that the inner complexes and compressions may be released and an upsurgence of self-confidence, sexual-emotional health, relationship realignment, optimism, joy, and love be established; (3) disciplines and directives for stronger and more efficient mental awareness so that the person may bring himself into clearer alignment with things and people around him. All of these factors point directly to a higher level of "I AM" consciousness. There is no other basis for living life in constructive and fruitful terms.

   Now we must consider that from incarnation to incarnation an inner life starts with each emergence into sex awareness and the recognition of partnership experience. More destiny can be created from the pattern of one marital experience than from any other single factor in human development. All of the essential factors are involved: sexual exchange, rearing of children, economic problems, relationship entanglements, etc., making a composite of very complex emotional reaction patterns. Since we all are individuals, regardless of how close or bound we may feel to our partners, we cannot, ultimately, and should not try to, get away from the consciousness of "I AM." Even to try to effect this inner cleavage is to ensure, to a degree, the wreckage of integrity, the undermining of self-confidence, and the depletion of ability-expressions. The "I AM" of Mars-Aries should be--and eventually must be--a thing of honest self-awareness, integrity, and emotional health. Until this springboard is made the basis of our "leap into life" we risk floundering in swamps of indecision, falsity, and all manner of tragic complications. Pluto, as ruler of our intense desire-capacity, is released through Mars either as an agency of destruction, domination, greed, crime, perversion, and disease, or it is an expression of courage, self-reliance, constructive activity and work, the ardency of true love-impulse, the health of rewarding sexua1-mutuality, and the luminous spark by which life is expressed with warmth and light, joy, and progress.

   When your life seems to reach a point of stagnation and, through a feeling of inertia or depletion, you feel unaware of neW directions and new paths of growth, but you do want to continue progressively, look to your chart and point your attention at the cusp carrying Scorpio to alert yourself to your resources. Then by consideration of the house carrying Aries and the potential indicated by your Mars, find out how you can say "I AM" in bigger and better terms than ever before. This is the process on the inner planes:

   You are aware of a strong desire to move ahead with your life in some way. Desire, unreleased and unexpressed, banks up until congestion sets in; this congestion results in envies and jealousies of others, self-pities and a diminishing of self-respect and self-confidence. Futilities and superficialities are resorted to in order to fill up the "aching void" and your life goes wandering off into all kinds of (really unwanted) byways and detours.

   So--you know you must do something with yourself from your own center of awareness. Your start of anything is made with your Aries and/or first house consciousness; an enlarged or extended consciousness of your Aries-Mars potential is the key for greater releasement of your desire for on-going. Not what someone else thinks you might do, should or should not do, but what your horoscope says is your pattern for progress.

   Without reneging on legitimate responsibilities or trampling unjustly on anyone you will respond to the first opportunity that synchronizes with your progressive purpose. Your response will be in terms of "good Mars"--eagerly, enthusiastically, courageously, and positively. You say, in effect, "I wish to release something of the best that I have to offer to my own life and to my relations with other people--something from the deep, hidden resources of my consciousness and abilities. I am determined to make this a worthy and constructive contribution to be expressed and fulfilled with honesty, integrity, and courage."

   By such an attitude, and inner feeling, the resources of Pluto, the collective desire body, are released into life through you and serve to feed the spiritual vibrations and consciousness of all who contact you. This, in short, is the redemption of relationship, the essence of love- experience.


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