by Hand Week 23
week, among other things, I described the principle of
how in the higher worlds there is more freedom, and in the lowest world,
Cosmos, there is very little. Insofar as things are purely physical and
material, their movements are determined either by cause and effect within
the physical world or by causes originating in the higher world.
of this idea has been that many ancient astrologers believed that the
material planets themselves were astrological causes within the physical
world, and that as their motions are predetermined, so are the motions
that they induce within us. However, as I indicated last week, it is more
consistent with these teachings to believe that the movements of the physical
planets are results of movements in higher worlds in which there is freedom,
and that we participate in those worlds also, and therefore we have freedom.
I would like
to call attention to two points that contradict the idea that we have
no freedom. We have electional astrology, in which we pick times for taking
action. This would not be possible if we had no freedom. Without freedom,
we would neither need such an astrology, nor would we be able to use it.
The results of our actions would be predetermined. There would be no “electing.”
the situation is even more pronounced, because in magic the will of the
practitioner becomes a genuine cause, even to the extent in some cases
of affecting the physical world. But as the higher worlds are ones in
which consciousness is more developed than it is in the physical world,
so we can gain freedom only to the degree that we become more conscious
ourselves. The more we manifest Soul and Nous, and the more we act with
integrity (Oneness), the more we become free. This has practical astrological
consequences aside from electional astrology.
is an application of some of the principles that I have been talking about.
These concepts were first presented to me and others by Tim Smith in a
lecture in which he presented the ideas of his teacher, the late Anthony
Damiani. As presented, they are a combination of Damiani and Smith
with some additions of my own.
but not all, astrological signs, there are four planets with a significant
relationship to the sign. There is the sign ruler, as in “Mars rules Aries,”
the exaltation ruler as in “the Sun is exalted in Aries,” the planet in
detriment as in “Aries is the detriment of Venus,” and the planet in
fall as in “Saturn is in fall in Aries.” Two of these planets are “dignified”
or made better in some way, but two are “debilitated” or made weaker in
to the conclusion that these were related to the four worlds in some way.
He suggested that Mars represents the aspect of Aries as Oneness, the
Sun as Nous or consciousness, Venus as Soul and Saturn as the physical
universe, or Cosmos. In traditional occult philosophy, which is basically
Neoplatonic, the two higher worlds partake more of perfection, the two
lower worlds are more susceptible to corruption, especially Cosmos. But
all four are good and in some way divine, even though we do not handle
is quite simple. Detriment and fall do not really weaken a planet. It
is more our problem. We are more creative with these planets when we are
being conscious beings and less creative when we are less conscious. The
planet in fact is actually dignified. It is ourselves that create the
debility. This leads to a simple idea. Is there some way in which we can
change our orientation so that “weaknesses” become strengths? I began
to look at this and found not only that it is possible, but I had actually
been seeing it in my practice without realizing it.
Let me take
Mercury as an example. I have Mercury in Sagittarius, which is its detriment.
This is supposed to make my Mercury weak, in theory. Yet here I am, making
a living writing, lecturing and doing astrology which is traditionally
a Mercurial activity. But I do have some traditional
detrimented Mercury problems. My handwriting is terrible, my level of
manual and digital dexterity is quite low (according to tests) and I
have always had some problems keeping things organized. What is going
seems to be that my Mercury effects divide along the lines of whether
or not what I am doing requires my being fully present and conscious.
When I am being conscious and intentional, everything Mercurial not only
works, but works very well. I am actually known for doing things that
are very Mercurial indeed. And when I am not being conscious, the sloppier
effects of Mercury in Sagittarius become evident.
there is Mercury in Pisces, which is in both its detriment
and fall. I have seen many people with that placement who work well
with numbers, languages, philosophy, editing and all manner of things
that require a strong Mercury. I have also seen people with this placement
who have serious trouble communicating and whose thinking seems very fuzzy.
Usually, even with these, I have found that their logic only seems fuzzy.
There is usually something very potent about it once one understands it.
I believe that this is the same effect that I have noted with Mercury
More on this
next week as well as some conclusions on astrology and language.
complete teachings about astrology and philosophy are now available. Damiani,
Anthony. Astronoesis. Larsen Press, 2000.
astrology, Mercury rules astrology rather than Uranus.
This is based
on Mercury ruling and being exalted in Virgo. Some modern astrologers
make Mercury exalted in Aquarius. There is no traditional foundation for