A Spiritual Path of Astrology
by Jef Bartow
Astrology as a field of study has been around for a very long time. Like many theologians, astrologers have been revered as counselors throughout many civilizations. There have been both positive and negative uses and misuses of astrology over the eons.
Now in our Aquarian Age, we have the opportunity to make astrology both a science and powerful spiritual growth tool. As an energetic science, it will never quite meet the narrow confines of the scientific method. Similar to a theology or alchemy, it can be a systematic method for understanding many of the spiritual aspects of our universe. In addition, a number of powerful 20th-century insights can help us redefine astrology as a spiritual Path. Dane Rudhyar’s process oriented astrology takes significant steps toward integrating psychology, metaphysics and traditional astrology. His innovative and dynamic contribution to an Aquarian astrology sets the stage for an integrative astrology as a path to spiritual fulfillment. This spiritual Path of astrology begins by transforming the astrological mandala of houses into our cycle of life from birth to death or from birth to spiritual Mastery. The astrological planets become the various parts of our Personality and spiritual nature. The astrological signs provide the various energetic influences which condition our Personality, soul and spiritual potential. The movement of planets within the various signs (transits/progressions) creates various cycles by which our growth is stimulated and our Personality developed and transformed.
As a spiritual Path, Living Spirit’s Spiritual Path of Astrology is an esoteric Aquarian astrology transformed into a practical step-by-step process for spiritual attainment. The five sub-phases in this spiritualizing process are labeled: Self Development, Self Balancing, Reorientation, Transition and Destiny. Different than many spiritual processes, this spiritual Path does not require a guru/teacher/Master as our guide. The Path itself becomes our guide, with only the need for periodic mentoring to assist our self-initiation at times of difficulty and to help us navigate past pitfalls in our developing spiritual ego.
During Self Development while we grow our personal self, all of our personality parts (planets) are conditioned by the map of our soul or birth chart. The goal of Self Development is to build a new personal self for this life which prepares and motivates us to make our spiritual commitment. With the various parts of this personal self activated and functioning, we have the opportunity to begin separating ourselves from our collective and parental conditioning. As science is now concluding, this phase can begin as early as about 25, when our physical brain is fully developed. Earlier separation is possible for the rare individual who is already a spiritual initiate with an individualized spiritual nature before this life. Unfortunately, much of humanity never moves beyond this phase of growth during their lifetime. For those with past spiritual attainment, this phase is just a repeat of growth actualized over many past embodiments.
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From the moment of our birth, we begin to develop a personal self in addition to various form bodies from our physical to our highest mental. This personal self includes the various levels of consciousness that we actualize as we experience, learn and grow. The astrological planets from Mercury to Saturn, in addition to the Moon, Chiron and the Sun, represent energy nodes within the various parts of our personal self. Simply, the Moon represents our instinctual nature; Mars and Venus represent our emotional nature; Chiron our imaginative nature; Mercury and Saturn our intellect and higher mentality with Jupiter and the Sun as parts of our causal nature and individuality.
Until we begin developing our spiritual Self and self-conscious Soul, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto represent collective parts of the spiritual nature of Humanity. Later during our Reorientation phase of growth, these planets become our individualized spiritual intuition, wisdom and will.
Only certain parts of our soul connect to and condition our personal self in each life. Of the seven parts which can objectify from the subjective home of our soul, some parts become the specific work in this embodiment. Our Self Balancing phase of growth is what is called creating a “soul-infused personality” metaphysically. Psychologically, it is labeled “integrating the personality.” Simply, it is where our various planets astrologically begin to work in harmony within the potential defined by the aspect relationships of our birth chart. Beyond becoming aware of our personality functions operating within the conditioning of their natal signs and houses, our growth is learning to internalize these personality aspects rather than continuing to behave based on our conditioning. By the end of Self Balancing, we have internalized our instinctual nature (Moon), our intellect (Mercury) and our emotional nature (Venus and Mars).
The first half of the astrological mandala (1st through 6th houses) represents our activity-based form building part of life. Passing the descendant, we begin our true potential for evolution of consciousness and spiritual attainment. If we do not make this reorientation to growth, then we just begin our devolution toward death. The requirements of reorientation are immense.
By the end of the spiritualizing phase of Reorientation, we are at the precipice of Adepthood or first level Mastery. We have been through the trials of Job and the crucifixion of Christ and now have a personal self which is aligned, conditioned and directed by an objective spiritual Self and self-conscious Soul. Most initiates in the past leave embodiment in Matter before the end of this place in growth. Staying on the physical Plane and maintaining a personal self beyond this point will necessitate a specific commitment to serving Humanity and this earth evolution. Beyond the focus of Living Spirit’s Spiritual Path of Astrology, there is still another phase of growth in which we learn to live our Destiny as a spiritualized Being. The rare individual who attains this opportunity in physical embodiment will truly provide a service to Humanity. This phase of true spiritual Mastery is just as structured as our spiritual mandala is for our personal self spiritualization. The depth of self surrender, purity and fortitude required is proportionate to the level of service and destiny that has been committed to by our God Within on its path of spiritual destiny in Matter. Astrologically, there is a full reversal in the spiritual mandala and conditioning influences from Spirit. The characteristics of Spirit replace the astrological signs as the driving force in growth. Each personality function (Planet) takes on a whole new level of operation and focus. Effectively, we now must become a cosmic Being serving systemic evolution.
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This is what is meant by Transition. We transition our entire spiritual focus to what will become our spiritual job for the future. For some, this phase is about leaving Earth and/or our solar system for a new assignment. For others, we transition to a destiny that is all about assisting this local evolution and God's plan for it. In every case, it is about leaving Humanity and becoming a conscious part of the Spiritual Kingdom. By the end of this Transition phase of growth, we understand and begin to live our spiritual gift to Humanity (Chiron). Our fully functioning spiritual identity (Uranus) and spiritual wisdom (Neptune) have become the driving force in our life. In addition, whatever level of bringing spiritual energy into the matter of our bodies in this life has been determined. Obviously, we have purified the remaining parts of our personal self and instinctual nature through dealing with our sexual orientation, our remaining ties and influences from society and remaining soul issues from our past embodiments in this system. We continually live with justice for our life and life circumstances. The spiritual destiny of our Sun is becoming revealed to us. As difficult as it may seem, we now must learn fortitude in dealing with our own "God issues."
In essence, it requires dealing with our relationships and bringing about the death of the personal self and ego we have so carefully and passionately brought to fruition. With God’s grace, we fortunately have much support and assistance in now building our spiritual Self and self-conscious Soul. Biblically, we face the trials of Job in moving from a perfected Personality to a spiritualized Self. The latter part of this Reorientation phase of growth requires what Jesus experienced as the crucifixion. If this period of growth sounds horrendous, unfortunately it is. Astrologically, here is where we truly internalize both Jupiter and Saturn and face the major issues of our Chiron, or wounded psychological nature. We define and live our own spiritual standards of behavior and thought while completing our transition from outer authoritarian influences to an inner spiritual source of life. Also, what has been our greatest wound transforms into our greatest gift in life. Along this path of death and regeneration, we learn to qualify our life activities with spiritual energy. We transform our family and friends’ relationships until we realize our key soul relationships in this life. We learn what our service is to others as we gain a new internal meditative orientation to our psychological and physical life activities. Since our spiritual ego requires death, we learn to live with compassion and benevolence toward our fellow humans.
Here Uranus, Neptune and Pluto take on individual roles within our life. We find a sense of freedom and true identity in our Uranian individuality from the past. Surviving this phase of growth includes developing a spiritual faith and creative healing (Neptunian) required for spiritual Mastery. Fortunately, a new level of spiritual will becomes available (Pluto) which motivates our personal desire and love of life to fulfill our spiritual potential.
Internalizing our instinctual nature involves separating from the "herd instinct," facing the fears and security issues in our life and bringing about a level of sobriety through dealing with our angers, aggressions and selfishness. Our Moon then becomes the reflector of our integrated personal self, and later our true spiritual Self. Sobriety also extends to our emotional nature in dealing with our vanity, jealousy, sympathy and selfish desire nature. Additionally, we learn to appreciate life and the people and circumstances we encounter, while balancing our masculine and feminine nature. Our feeling nature (Venus) becomes the reflector of our soul into the outer world. Our desire nature (Mars) transforms from our attractive wanting to a willful passion to start and sustain spiritual life activities. Our intellect or lower mentality represented by Mercury naturally characterizes our habitual thinking and communicating based on conditioning. The way this habitually operates is determined by Mercury's sign, house and aspects within our birth chart. Internalizing our Mercury through right thinking and right speech transforms our intellect into a mind and communicator in service to our spiritualizing self. Although not ready for internalization, much work is accomplished during Self Balancing in transforming the core of our personal identity (Sun), our assumed ethical standards and beliefs (Jupiter) and our deepest psychological wound (Chiron). In addition, we begin to understand both our systems for finding security within society and our ability to shape and form our conscious ego (Saturn). Various ways of transforming these parts of ourselves are accomplished through learning joyous humility, generosity, gratitude and deep listening. In addition, by living based on our own individually defined values and principles, we begin to base our behaviors on proactive non-competition and seeking positive win-win solutions to our problems in life. A major milestone is passed before the end of this phase of growth. Our integrated Personality becomes “initiated” or infused with the spiritual nature of our soul. This is what "being saved" is meant by in the Holy Bible. Our higher feeling and thinking senses of passion, appreciation, analytical thinking and discrimination have become actualized. With a key part of our antakarana (conscious connection) now built to the Mind, powerful intuitions, insights and spiritual energy pour into our completed personal self. Within the spiritual initiatory process, we are now a spiritual initiate.