Astro Elements

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There is a gap in modern Astrology, a striking inconsistency: the role assigned to the Moon.

The Sun and the Moon have visible discs of the same size. Their influence on life on our globe easily exceeds the influences of the planets, since the luminaries, as it were, regulate this life. (Are they not the basis of all calendars?) In the Astrology of the Far East, they are not part of the planetary hierarchy, because they are Yang, the White Dragon, the active principle, and Yin, the Black Dragon, the passive principle, which exist in each planetary element and represent the cosmic polarities (comparable to the division of humanity into two sexes).

Terrestrial life depends wholly on these two principles, since all germination, generation, development of seed and nutrition is merely the result of the reaction of a warm principle embodied in the Sun with a moist principle of the Moon, Astrologically speaking, the whole Universe exists only because of the combined action of these two principles of Yang and Yin; but we see no trace of this great law of cosmic equilibrium in the modern approach to astrology as it is practiced in Europe, That approach is profoundly Solar.

The influence of the Sun in Astrology is divided into three systems: planetary, zodiacal, and terrestrial. The twelve Houses of the horoscope and the twelve Signs of the zodiac are primarily of solar nature, since they are ultimately just the influence of the sun embodied (or reflected) in the orbit of the earth. If the signs of the zodiac were not solar by nature they would inevitably undergo constant changes in character due to the displacement of the constellations. That kind of solar influence would put the Sun on the same level as Mercury» Venus or Pluto.

And what about the Moon? Can it be reduced to the stature of a planet invisible to the naked eye such as Pluto or Mercury; although we perceive from moment to moment the Moon's astounding physical effects, such as her influence on tides and plant growth?

The Astrology of Antiquity recognized a Lunar Zodiac as well as Houses of Lunar substance, thus portioning out the influence of the Moon into three systems similar to those of Solar influence. Without this division, the place the Moon holds in the hierarchy of the planets is simply incomprehensible.

The Ancients possessed an entire Astrology based solely on the effects of the Sun and the Moon. A reasonable number of documents from every country have been passed down to us on the subject of the twenty-eight Lunar Houses and the twenty-eight Lunar Mansions, including documents from our Middle Ages. 1 prefer the expression Mansions, * taken from a manuscript of Magic1, to more common ones such as "stations," "signs1 or "courts" of the Moon, since it best translates the ancient nomenclature. In Chinese, for example, these divisions had the generic name of siut and the Chinese character designating them (also pronounced su), represents an inn for the night and can be translated by the verb to rest2. Our word Mansion comes much closer to the notion expressed by siu than all the other words used by various authors for this division of the Heavens into twenty-eight parts.

The antiquity of this system is incontestable, since the Indologists proved that the nakshatras existed in the India of the Vedic period, while the Chinese siu in all likelihood go back to the time of Yao, i.e., twenty-four centuries before our era. It is very probable that the Arabs got the system from the Chinese through intermediaries other than the Hindus. Lastly, the Bible knew the twenty eight divisions as mazzalotk or mazzaroth3, a word resembling manzaml of the Arabs, for which certain translations substitute the Signs of the Zodiac, probably for greater clarity.

"It seems likely to me,,v said L. de Saussure4, "that the origin of the Lunar Zodiac common to many different peoples of Asia goes back to a prehistoric era much earlier even than the mythical reign of Fu-Hst..."

Throughout Antiquity the importance of this division, which has been completely forgotten by modern astrologers5, was comparable to the twelve Houses and twelve Zodiacal Signs of solar substance. The Sacred or Royal Arm of Antiquity was divided into seven palms con-.ircratrd to the seven planets and into twenty-eight fingers which were related to the twenty eight Lunar Mansions and Houses. The twenty eight I zeds nl the Persian religion, the lunar god Soma accompanied

* Iti iltc hrriM U l>wmrutri it «m (Place of) rrairirncr. dwelling place, ataxic." FJ).

by his twenty-seven wives in Hindu mythology, and the twenty-eight letters of the Arab alphabet are evident correlatives of the universally accepted twenty-eight divisions. We find this number in sociology wherever social structure is influence by astrology: for example, the twenty-eight satrapies of the Persian Empire under Cyrus6 and the ancient feudal kingdoms of China narrowly tied to the twenty-eight siu. (Se-Ma Ts'ien, the greatest Chinese astrologer, says in his Historical Memoirs1: "The twenty-eight Houses preside over the twelve prov-ces: the Dipper [Great Bear] directs them all together . . .")

It could be assumed that the number of Masters in the Masonic legend who pursued the assassins of Hiram is equally inspired by the number of Lunar Houses, since these twenty-seven Masters, successors of Hiram, can be compared to the twenty-seven wives of Soma. But the Masons have forgotten this connection just as the Astrologers themselves have forgotten the existence of the twenty-eight Lunar di visions.

28 is the exemplary number of life; and since the same law of analogy governs the sidereal universe and the existence of each individual, the lunar rhythm is echoed in our organism: it takes twenty-eight heartbeats for a red corpuscle to make a complete circuit of our body. Doctor Lavezzari considers twenty-eight the characteristic number for our circulation8. He says that each breath is to the circulation of the red cell as the day is to the week; while the beating of our heart, in a ratio of one to twenty eight to the circulation of the red cell, repeats the ratio of the day to the month. Since the white cells move ten or twelve times more slowly than the red we find the ratio of the lunar month to the solar year in these two circulatory rates. The red cell must be associated with the Lunar Zodiac, while the white cell represents the Solar Zodiac in our body. It is unnecessary to insist on the symbolic import of the twenty-eight Mansions and Houses, (We must not forget that Antiquity and the Middle Ages did not dissociate the word symbol from the word reality; so they did not see in symbolism the arbitrary creations that are easily imagined in our day.) Our aim here is to make an Astrological study and to provide the practical means for using this forgotten method in day-to day horoscopic work, and not to examine its esoteric significance. We should note only incidentally that H. A. Curtiss9 says that the three principle grades of Initiation are presented mathematically as follows:

0 4-1 +2+3+4 —10 Cycle of Nature or of physical condi tions, whose symbol is the scepter.

(10)+ 5+6+7—28 = 10 Cycle of man or of the Christie force, whose symbol is the cloak or the priestly vestment.

(28)+8 + 9 + 10=55=10 Cycle of the Superman or Higher

Self, whose symbol is the lighted taper or the lantern of Hermes.

Thus, esoterically, the lunar cycle of twenty-eight Mansions and Houses is located between the primitive natural Zodiac of ten signs (whose traces are found in every tradition) and Divinity.

The twenty-eight Mansions are fixed, beginning with 0° Aries and superimposed, as it were, on the twelve signs of the Zodiac, They are much less complex than the Houses, just as the Solar Signs are more easy to examine than the twelve Houses of the horoscope.

In ancient China this Lunar Zodiac played a more important role than the Solar Zodiac. It must never be forgotten that the Chinese system is profoundly original and that it was formed in deepest antiquity, about twenty-five centuries B.C., independently of the Babylonian system (which is ours). The ancient Chinese linked their Solar Zodiac with the planet Jupiter who circles the heavens in twelve years, and the Lunar Zodiac with Saturn whose revolution takes twen-ty-eight years. Jupiter is more extroverted, more material than the pale star of Chronos; so we may assume that the Lunar Zodiac is more esoteric and more introverted than the Solar Zodiac10. This explains, for example, why the Zodiac, or more frequently the number twenty-eight, is often associated with initiation and the invisible world. The Annamese believed, for example, that the normal time between two incarnations was twenty-eight months.

Hindu Astrology —which seems to us much less original than is generally claimed, since it is nothing more than a combination of the Babylonian and the Chinese systems —believes that in intrauterine existence, the individual develops around two force centers or ckakras, the first of which — Pingala — is the cardiac Lotus of twelve petals, a type of microcosmic transposition of the Solar Zodiac; while the second—the Lunar Ida — is none other than the human center of the twenty-eight Mansion Zodiac. Just as the Sun and the Moon form the two eyes of Vaivasvata in the planetary system and the two Zodiacs, Solar and Lunar, perpetuate the same principle in the Zodiacal system, similarly Pingala and Ida are the force centers of the development of the human foetus — future microcosm.

In ancient Egypt the Lunar Zodiac symbolized by Osiris who was said to have lived, or rather reigned, twenty-eight years11; whose body was torn into fourteen pieces (number of houses of the Moon increasing or decreasing); and whom Typhon began to dismember at the timk: of the Full Moon. (This foreshadows the Moon losing a piece of herself on each of the fourteen days which make up the second half of the lunar month.)

It is unnecessary to continue these remarks, which show clearly that all traditions agree in assigning great importance to the Lunar system, almost always the same importance as to the Solar system — the only one we use today.

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