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Astrological Encyclopedia
Studies in Astrology
The Ascendant

"The environmental requirement for the unfoldment and fulfillment of your personality-potentials is shown by the house in which your planetary ruler is placed. The key-words of each house must be learned by the astrological student if he is to learn where his personal "essence" is to be progressively fulfilled. No matter where we go on this plane, we carry our entire horoscope with us, inside ourselves, for the simple reason that the horoscope is the picture of our consciousness and we can never get away from consciousness."

   Students, this is a discussion of you.

   The left horizontal of the horoscopical wheel, extending from the center to the circumference, is the emergence of you from the inner planes — as an expression of the idea we call Humanity — into objectification in incarnation; the Ascendant-point is your appearance on this plane at the time of your birth.

   When you emitted your first cry you were saying: "Look, World, here I am again!" That cry was your "dawning," the Light of you appearing in the world of other human Lights as it has appeared many times in the past. You came in to express a brighter, clearer quality of your Light than you ever did before, and those who welcomed you with Love did so, actually, because of the promise inherent in your Light for the betterment of human Life during the years of your incarnation. Every incarnation is an expression of Humanity's love for, and faith in, the Light which is its Source and its Habitation.

   Your incarnation was vibratorily key-noted by the zodiacal sign which covers the Ascendant-point of your horoscope. Each one of the twelve signs is one of the three (Being-ness, Love, Wisdom) aspects of the dimension of Polarity (Positive/Negative) in terms of Gender (Masculine/Feminine). And — a human being's principal vibratory purpose in incarnation is to fulfill, to the best of his/her ability, the potential of the Ascendant-sign through the experience-chapter and vibratory placement of the planet that rules the Ascendant-sign. (By "vibratory placement" is meant the sign in which that planet is placed; the quality of expression is indicated by the nature of the planet which disposits it; the ruler being in Taurus or Libra is disposited by Venus; in Aquarius, it is disposited by Uranus, etc.

   Create three mandalas, one each for the cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs. This is done by drawing three circles; each one has the symbols of one of these three classifications of signs as they appear in zodiacal sequence; the sign-points are connected by straight lines, giving us the three variations of a square.

   The cardinal signs are the turning points as we travel around the wheel from the Ascendant-point; they represent the four basic points of seasonal change throughout the year and they also represent the four basic points of human relationship-structure: the masculine-feminine of parentage (Capricorn/Cancer) and the masculine/feminine of that which is begotten by the parents (Aries/Libra). Persons who have a cardinal sign on the Ascendant (unless there are interceptions and the Ascendant-sign is also on the twelfth cusp) have come in at this time to take a "new direction" in their evolution — their Ascendant-sign opens up a new quadrant of the zodiac for the quadrant of the first three houses. (Those who have the cardinal Ascendant-sign also on the twelfth cusp are simply continuing that which was inaugurated as a turning point in the previous incarnation.)

   Each of the four cardinal signs is the "Being-ness" aspect of the element to which it belongs: Aries-Fire; Cancer-Water; Libra-Air and Capricorn-Earth. Aries and Capricorn are the "male signs" of which Aries is the masculine and Capricorn the feminine; Cancer and Libra are the "female signs," of which Libra is the masculine and Cancer the feminine.

   The fixed signs are the "Love aspect" of the elements — each being the fifth sign from the cardinal of its element. In parallel: Aries-Leo; Capricorn-Taurus; Cancer-Scorpio; and Libra-Aquarius. Since every horoscope is the result of the exercise of consciousness in the past incarnation and we really go "round and round the wheel" through our incarnations, we see that, from an evolutionary standpoint, Leo is the first fixed sign, Scorpio the second, Aquarius the third, and Taurus the fourth. On a mandala with the twelve signs in order — from Aries around the wheel — draw four straight lines as follows: (1) from Aries to Leo (cusp of first to cusp of fifth); (2) from Cancer to Scorpio (cusp of fourth to cusp of eighth); (3) Libra to Aquarius (cusp of seventh to cusp of eleventh); and (4) Capricorn to Taurus (cusp of tenth to cusp of second). In this way we see a "motion picturing" of the linkage between one incarnation and the next, since the line connecting Capricorn to Taurus "comes back" into the zodiacal cycle through the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and first houses. Actually, we do not "go around a circle," repeatedly; we unfold through a spiral process from one "octave" to the higher one; each "octave" brings us closer and closer to "return to the Center" which is our "lost Eden;" in effect, we are, in Consciousness, re-absorbed into our Source.

   The mutable signs are the Wisdom-aspect of the elements, because each mutable is the ninth sign from its initial cardinal. To the above mandala we will now draw four more straight lines as follows: (1) from Leo to Sagittarius, cusps of fifth and ninth; (2) Scorpio to Pisces, cusps of eighth and twelfth; (3) Aquarius to Gemini, cusps of eleventh and third; and (4)Taurus to Virgo, cusps of second and sixth. We now have the picturing of the four elements in their trine aspects, the Being-ness, Love, and Wisdom aspects of the two "expressions" of Polarity and the four "combinations" of Gender. Apply this formula to your Ascendant sign and get a clear picture of the "trine-quality" and the "gender-quality" of your sign.

   Your ruling planet is the significator of the focusing, and expressing the vibration of your Ascendant-sign and its Principle, represents a basic function that you are to fulfill in this incarnation. However, you have another ruler which is co-related to your planetary ruler: that is the planet that disposits your ruler; we might term this planet the "vibratory ruler" of your chart since its generic quality is the one through which your planetary ruler must express. (Unless, of course, the planetary ruler is in its own sign of dignity — in which case it is "two- fold" ruler.)

   The environmental requirement for the unfoldment and fulfillment of your personality-potentials is shown by the house in which your planetary ruler is placed. The key-words of each house must be learned by the astrological student if he is to learn where his personal "essence" is to be progressively fulfilled. No matter where we go on this plane, we carry our entire horoscope with us, inside ourselves, for the simple reason that the horoscope is the picture of our consciousness and we can never get away from consciousness. We can, however, keep ourselves established in the requirements of our planetary ruler if we will perceive that any place or association with any group of people contains possibilities for exercising the potentials of the planetary ruler. Man is to utilize the physical plane. He is not to be used by it, but he will become congested and limited in it if he does not establish his self-awareness represented by the combination of qualities of the Ascendant-sign, the planetary ruler qualified by its dispositor and its significance by placement in a certain house.

   The astrological design shows us a strange and wonderful thing — that which is known as the "psychological base:" the cusp of the fourth house of the natal chart. This cusp, from an occult standpoint, can be studied by the Law of Cause and Effect as the significator of a condition which links this incarnation to the one passed — thereby showing us how we can strengthen our sense of "continuance" from the past embodiment into the present one.

   First, let us remember that we come into incarnation with no conscious awareness of what we have come from; the superconscious carries all of our memories from the past and it is the "re-vivification" of these memories that makes it possible for us to "tie-in" consciously with a certain level of our vibratory being that is closely connected with our memories of progress made in the past incarnation. Now, let us see how this is pictured abstractly, as a Life-Principle:

   A mandala containing only the cusps of the twelfth and first houses; place the symbol for Pisces on the twelfth and the symbol for Aries on the first; connect the two points on the circumference by a straight line. This is the essential picture of the residue of unfulfilled ideals which made necessary the present incarnation. Now add the lower vertical — the cusp of the fourth house — and place the symbol for Cancer at the cusp-point; connect this point, by straight lines, to the cusps of the twelfth and first. The "Aries-line" is the involution in the present incarnation to the point where identity with family and vibratory heredity is established — the sense of "nest-occupancy" and relationship-identification with the vibratory quality of the parentage. (The fourth cusp is, of course, one-half of the complete line of parentage which is extended, for completion, into the upper vertical to the sign Capricorn, the cusp of the tenth house.)

   The Pisces line in the above mandala is the spiritualized matrix: one of three lines and two of three points of the Water- trine of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Therefore, since the first "up-turning" point in the cycle from the Ascendant is the cusp of the fourth house, we see that the spiritualized matrix, derived from the best of ourselves in the past is directly pictured in the best of our vibratory heritage. To know only the worst of our parents is, in human terms, to become most intensely aware of the worst in ourselves because we incarnated through them by the Laws of Cause and Effect and of Vibratory Sympathy. To remain established in our worst feelings about ourselves, as "expressions" of our parents, is to remain congested in the negative past. We cannot make spiritual and vibrational progress until we recognize our potentials for progress; to make such progress implies the need to become aware of our spiritualized resources.

   Now, translate this mandala into the terms of your natal chart — the signs on the cusps of your twelfth, first and fourth houses. Unless there is the complication of interceptions in certain arrangements, the signs on the twelfth and fourth houses will represent two aspects of one of the four elemental trines. A detailed analysis — by generic and spiritual value — of these two signs in relationship to the ruler of the chart gives us the picture of how the best of our past is to be continued in this incarnation as "pabulum" for progressive and upgoing expression of the planetary ruler.

   Turn your natal chart as it is so that the fourth cusp appears as the Ascendant — a quarter-turn to the right. The (apparent) twelfth house is actually the third house of the natal chart and it is the ninth house from the natal seventh — "ninth house" representing "Wisdom-aspect." This is the picturing of the wisdom resource from the last time you incarnated in the physical sex opposite to your present expression. The third house of the natal chart is the present intellectual unfoldment, but it is also, as seen in the above, a key to understanding something of the best of your complementary polarity because it reflects one of the "higher octaves" of yourself expressing the opposite sex. Your ability to learn now is conditioned by — and qualified by — your distillation of wisdom in past embodiments (learning is, for the most part, "reminding") and your past "learning from experience" (Wisdom) has a direct bearing on your mental abilities now.

   So, we see that the fourth house of the natal horoscope contains so much information concerning the best of ourselves translated from the past into the present. We hold ourselves back and down if we ignore this potential; we start the upward climb into psychological maturity if we use it.

   The above-described horoscopical conditions refer to the individualized chart — the "you-ness" of your vibratory portrait. But there is another way of learning how to say "I am" and it is found in consideration of the fact that no matter what the actual Ascendant and planetary ruler might be, every horoscope has the Aries-Libra diameter somewhere — and Aries, through its rulership by the dynamic, expressive Mars — is the abstraction of "I am." In primitive levels of consciousness, Humanity's "I am" is stated in terms of friction, resistance, contention, self-defense, and destruction of that which is feared because it is not understood. Man has fought for his survival — seemingly against the world, other people, and conditions. Actually, he has resisted the outpicturings of his own ignorance of Life-Principles — he has never fought other people but he has fought his fear of them since they, his "enemies," are never anything but the mirrors of his negatives. When he truly loves that which he really is, and his loving is an expression of that loving, then his "enemies" disappear and all people are recognized as his brother/sister/friends.

   Mars, through its rulership of Aries, is the abstract ruler of the horoscope Of humanity. Through this vibration we say not only "I am" but "I am determined to survive and perpetuate my existence." The Mars- potential in every horoscope is the "red blood" of consciousness, the vital sense of Being-ness, the essential masculinity of generic vibration, the capacity to vitalize, to stimulate, to impregnate (on whatever plane), to contend with inner and outer down-pullings, and finally, through its spiritual distillations, it is courage-born-of-faith — the aspiration of the Spirit to progress and to live on ever-ascending octaves of the consciousness of the One Life, the One Love, and the One Wisdom.

   The significance of the cusp carrying Aries in your chart shows, regardless of your physical sex, that experience-fulfillment demands the exercise of the most vital masculine generic quality; you must learn to exercise courage, you must develop self-confidence, you must face your fears, learn to understand their source in your consciousness and overcome them through transmutations and constructive expressions; you must develop and exercise the basic Mars-quality of initiative — referring to the "starting-ness" of Aries as the first sign of the Abstract Horoscope; at this point you must — and eventually will — learn what it means to propel yourself without waiting for suggestions, proddings or even encouragement from others; through the house carrying your Aries cusp you are the "birdling" who hops from the protective nest and exercises his strength to fly; once in the air and away from home-base he either flies or falls to the ground; no one and nothing can keep him in the air except his own strength and his acclimation to the element which is to be his natural field for living and moving.

   Since the Aries cusp may be anywhere on the wheel and the Mars-potential in any chart may be slight or great in scope, there is an infinite variety of "Marsiness" possible. To the degree that your Mars is "congested" by square or opposition aspects and to the degree that planets in Aries (disposited by Mars) are congested will you have to learn to exercise the virtue of courage as an expression of your inner Love-Wisdom; to fight, not by resistance to people you feel are "enemies" but non-resistantly by transmuted expressions of your consciousness; to stand by your convictions (if they are truthful ones) as an expression of your integrity; and above all things to respect the right of other people to express themselves according to their vibratory equipment. A healthy, integrated Mars never tries to congest, inhibit, limit, or imprison the fulfillment of another, but he seeks always to encourage by his Love-Wisdom the ignition of their best and finest potentials on all planes. The person who knows Love-Courage and Wisdom-Courage is the person who truly knows what "I am" means; we must all, sooner or later, come into an awareness of this spiritualized sense of identity with our Source — our Father-Mother God.

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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