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Astrological Encyclopedia
Studies in Astrology
Diameter, Quadrant, and Decanate

"In the study of decanates, we come to an analysis of each sign from the standpoint of its spiritual potentials. Just as the three crosses of four signs each are 'unfolded' from the Ascendant of the Great Mandala, so the four generic trines of three signs each are 'unfolded' from the Ascendant."

   For the pursuance of this material, a brief review of the Generic Spectrum will be necessary.

   The zodiac is not just a "belt;" it is an emanation of vibratory qualities starting at the first degree of the cardinal fire-sign Aries; this point is, abstractly, the initiation of the circumference of the vibratory wheel of astrological science. This point is the objectification-incarnation — of the potentials inherent in the central point of the circle. The Ascendant-radius — the left horizontal — is the "projection of potentials from subjectivity to objectivity." In any given circle, the same radius is used to manifest the circle; hence all of the house-cusps in the wheel are emanations of the Ascendant-radius and they picture the unfoldment of generic Consciousness in experience and realization of the ideal through spiritualized transmutations and expressions.

   The mandala which pictures the structure of generic quality is the twelve-housed wheel with the signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn on the cusps of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth houses, respectively. The horizontal and vertical diameters, intersecting at the center, form the cross of incarnation; the straight lines which connect the cardinal cusps form the evolutionary field by which humanity has experience in relationship with each other. In this mandala, we see the two-field bisection of the circle; two diameters creating two pairs of semi-circles. These diameters represent the two-fold expression of Polarity; that which generates (Capricorn-Cancer: the diameter of parentage), and that which is generated (Aries-Libra: the Ascendant and its complement). This mandala illustrates, in astrological symbol the Master-number twenty-two. Two is the only digit which gives the same result (four) when added to itself and when multiplied by itself. Twenty-two is the number of mastery expressing in form — it is the higher octave of complementation and it is significant that every human being must fulfill evolutionary experience by incarnation in both physical sexes. The four cardinal signs pictured in this mandala comprise the incarnated way by which the manhood-womanhood of every human being evolves through relationship-experience and distills its spiritualizations from which the Ideal is manifested. All human relationships — either biological or otherwise — are derived from this archetypal foundation: the bi-polar generator and the bi-polar generated.

   Since the elemental trines symbolize the spiritualization of the generic qualities, we derive our generic spectrum from the relationship of exaltation-signs of the rulers of these four signs. Mars (male begotten and ruler of Aries) is exalted — matured-in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, the father-symbol; Saturn is exalted in Libra ruled by Venus and complement of Mars's sign Aries; Venus is exalted in Pisces, third octave of the water-trine, the last sign in the zodiacal sequence, and this trine is initiated by the cardinal sign Cancer, ruled by the Moon — symbol of Mother — and complement of Saturn 's Capricorn.

   Hence the fire and earth signs, since they are "initiated" by male symbols, are the male signs; the air and water signs, initiated by female symbols, are the female signs. Since every human being, as male or as female, is bipolar, we recognize a two-fold division of the male signs and the female signs into masculine and feminine. The fire-signs form the first half of the male half of the zodiac so they are the masculine male signs; the earth-signs follow, in sequence (Taurus follows Aries), so they are the feminine male signs. The air signs, initiated by the cardinal sign Libra, ruled by Venus, represent the masculine half of the female signs; the water-signs, initiated by Cancer, comprise the feminine female signs. Thus we see the entire zodiac representing a two-fold expression of two-fold polarity; from the first degree of Aries, the most masculine point, to the thirtieth degree of Pisces, the most feminine point. List the signs in this sequence and learn for future reference.

   The lower half (below the horizontal diameter) of the wheel is initiated by Aries: the upper half is initiated by Libra, as "reflection" of the lower half. The esoteric key-note of the first degree of Aries — the Ascendant-point of the great Mandala — is I am. In this Ascendant-line is implied all the potentials shown in the zodiacal unfoldment and the contents of the astrological wheel. Therefore, it naturally follows that in the thirty degrees of Aries is implied the "contents" of the upper half of the wheel. This "content" is symbolically implied by the last fifteen degrees of the sign. The "cusp" of the sixteenth degree of the sign is the potential of the completed horizontal diameter of the wheel. When the left horizontal radius is "unfolded" to form a completed diameter, the "extension" results in what we call the cusp of the seventh house — the initiating point of the upper half of the circle. Since any degree of any sign can appear as the Ascendant of a horoscope, we recognize that the division of any sign into two halves of fifteen degrees each represents a symbolic picture of the polarity of that sign in embryo, and though the author, at this point, has not reached any specific conclusion as to the significant difference of planets placed in the first fifteen degrees of a sign and those placed in the last fifteen degrees, the picture is suggested that planets placed in the second half of the thirty degrees, if expressed unregeneratively, are potentials for much more "effective" negative karma — in the sense that being in the "polarity-half" of the sign, their negative expressions imply a possibility of being reflected in future incarnations by other people with whom the subject will have relationship. In other words, the second fifteen degrees, by analogy, might be termed the "feminine half" of the sign. "Feminine" means "reflective." Hence if we wish to avoid future suffering through painful reaction to others, we owe it to ourselves to regenerate planets so placed, the implication being that in future (unfoldment in Time-Space) those planetary vibrations will focalize our complementary relationship patterns and we will much more definitely "get back from others what we've dished out this time." Divide each house of a Great Mandala in two equal parts; place your natal planetary positions in this wheel and see in which half of their signs the planets fall. Perhaps you, as an inquiring student, can reach a conclusion in this matter. If you have squares or oppositions between planets placed in the latter fifteen degrees of their signs, do you feel more responsive to people who express negative qualities represented by those planets than you do to those who negatively reflect your "first fifteen-degree" planets? Do you feel that, with careful analysis, you can determine whether your first fifteen- degree planets give you greater freedom of direct expression than do the latter fifteen-degree planets? Analyze your planetary squares and oppositions from this standpoint and see if the polarity-pattern implied helps to clarify your reaction-capacities and expression-capacities.

  Quadrants: In the Great Mandala, the sub-division of the first house — and the sign Aries — into four quadrants of 71/2 degrees each pictures the "embryonic state" of the cardinal cross. Applying the Law of Correspondence we relate this division of one sign to the four-fold division of the entire wheel. Starting with Aries and "unfolding" the wheel counter-clockwise, we find that each succeeding quadrant is initiated respectively by Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.

   The subdivision of a sign into two sections of fifteen degrees each is particularly applicable to the study of the opposition aspects and all complementary patterns generally. The subdivision of a sign into quadrants, however, applies to the analysis of the square aspects, since every square aspect is, allowing for orb, a pattern of 90-degree relationship and each quadrant of the wheel is a 90-degree division. The division into quadrants (by degrees and minutes) represents zero to seven degrees, thirty minutes; seven degrees, thirty-one minutes to fifteen degrees; fifteen degrees, one minute to twenty-two degrees, thirty minutes; twenty-two degrees, thirty-one minutes to twenty-nine degrees, fifty-nine minutes. The next "step" brings us to zero of the next sign.

   There are three "crosses" implied in the structure of the twelve signs: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. In cycle unfoldment from the ascendant of the Great Mandala, the three crosses appear four times, in the four quadrants of the wheel: Aries, Taurus, Gemini; Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius; Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each cardinal "initiation" is a new way of saying I am — as extensions of the basic I am of Aries; each cross represents a pattern of growth and unfoldment through experience in the two-fold expression of two-fold polarity; we evolve through phases of male and female Life-takers and Life-givers. The "crosses" simply represent the processes by which we distill wisdom from our experiences and unfold the inner resources of love toward the attainment of realization of the ideal. Since, in a correctly calculated horoscope, every planet is placed where it is by due process of Law, there must be a valuable key in the placement of planets by quadrant. Each individual sign of the zodiac has its particular planetary ruler, as basic focalizer of the generic quality of the sign. But since thirty degrees represents a sequence of sign quality and because the Law of Correspondence applies to astrological structure as it does to any other manifestation, let us consider the placement of planets by quadrant in terms of secondary rulerships. The first quadrant of a mutable sign is ruled by the planetary ruler of the sign; the second quadrant is secondarily ruled by the planet that rules the next sign of that cross; the third quadrant is secondarily ruled by the planet that rules the next cross-sign and the fourth quadrant is secondarily ruled by the next. For example:


   Note that the extension of the first and third quadrants and the second and fourth quadrants would picture two aspects of polarity; this composite of polarity is pictured in the horoscopical wheel as the two diameters of each cross. Give careful consideration to your square aspects and the planets involved with reference to the secondary rulerships; the secondary rulers act as "hand-maidens" or "right-hand-men" to the primary rulers and their influence is effective in analysis of the planetary expression-qualities.

  Decanates: In the study of decanates, we come to an analysis of each sign from the standpoint of its spiritual potentials. Just as the three crosses of four signs each are "unfolded" from the Ascendant of the Great Mandala, so the four generic trines of three signs each are "unfolded" from the Ascendant. The fifteen-degree and seven and a half degree divisions proceed — as "experience-unfoldment" through the zodiac counter-clockwise from the Ascendant; the picture shown is that of Humanity moving through its experience-patterns on the "on-ward-and-upward" path — from level to level, ever ascending through evolutionary processes. However, in the cycle of generic trines, the path is clockwise — and this is not a "cyclic" motion. It is an evaluation of the zodiacal powers from the standpoint of the spiritual potential. As we saw earlier in this discussion, it is based on the exaltation-points of the planets ruling the signs of structure — the cardinal signs.

   The spiritual potential of the generic quality of each zodiacal sign is three-fold; the archetypal key-words are (1) Power; (2) Love and (3) Wisdom. The second and third of these octaves are the emotional and mental perfections by which the essential power of each cardinal sign is released, in transmuted expression. The decanates of each sign are the division of the sign into three groups of ten degrees each. The second and third decanates of a sign symbolize the embryonic stage of the Love-Wisdom potentials; these potentials are expressed in the wheel by the two signs which correspond to the decanate; they are the two other signs of the same element as the particular cardinal. In the fixed and mutable signs, we see the Law of Correspondence and the Principle of Recapitulation at work and thus we can attribute to each decanate its appropriate co-ruler — as follows:

   Fire signs: First decanate: Aries-Mars; second: Leo-Sun; third: Sagittarius-Jupiter.

   Earth signs: First: Capricorn-Saturn; second: Taurus-Venus; third: Virgo-Mercury.

   Air signs: First: Libra-Venus; second: Aquarius-Uranus; third: Gemini-Mercury.

   Water signs: First: Cancer-Moon; second: Scorpio-Pluto; third: Pisces-Neptune.

   The Hermetic Law of Correspondence is beautifully evidenced, particularly, by one example of this decanate-analysis. The second decanate of each element is the "Fixed-sign" decanate. When we extend the three decanates of each element into the twelve signed wheel, we see that the fixed-sign decanates become the midpoint of each quadrant of the wheel. "Middle of sign" becomes, by correspondence, "middle of quadrant of the circle." The midpoint of each fixed sign-house (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) (second, fifth, eighth, eleventh) when connected by straight lines becomes the symbol of the square aspect — the arch-symbol of congestion; since the fixed decanate of each sign is the love decanate we see how the astrological mandala points clearly to the spiritualized releasement of emotional congestions: that of expression of the love-consciousness. Each sign (regardless of its generic quality) reaches its apex of compression at the midpoint — the jointure of the fifteenth and sixteenth degrees. This jointure is exactly in the middle of the second decanate. The cardinal decanate — the first ten degrees of any sign — carries out, by the Law of correspondence, the "beginningness" attribute of the cardinal signs as they represent the basic "turning-points" in the progress through the wheel. The third decanates (the last ten degrees) carry out the "transitional quality" of the mutable signs since, after the midpoint of the sign has been passed the "energies" begin to "recede" from the basic quality of the sign and approach the "modulation" into the next sign. So the mutable signs of the Zodiac form the transitional points from one ninety-degree quadrant into the next quadrant.

   Of what practical value is all this, you ask; and you have a right to ask. When we remember that "every problem contains its own cure" we can study afflicted and congested planets from the standpoint of their placement by sign-quadrant and sign-decanate and extract from that information a great deal that tells us about the inherent possibilities for regenerating the expression of that planet. For example: a congested planet is in the twenty-sixth degree of Capricorn; this is in the Libra quadrant, secondarily ruled by Venus; it is in the Virgo decanate, secondarily ruled by Mercury. Its placement in the Libra quadrant (Capricorn 's fourth quadrant) is analogous to the relationship between Capricorn and Aries in the Great Mandala — Capricorn being Aries' fourth quadrant; the key-word is responsibility-fulfillment; the Libra sub-vibration conveys "relationship-harmonization" through balance and right exchange. The Virgo decanate (the third octave — Wisdom) of the earth-trine tells us that the spiritual purpose of the experiences represented by the congested planet is the unfoldment of greater understanding; the person must be willing to learn from his experience in this matter; to the degree that he seeks to learn, keeps an open mind receptive to instruction and guidance will he utilize his spiritual resource for decrystallizing the congestion. If he, through false pride, stubbornness, etc., closes his mind to guidance he closes the door to his unfoldments; relationship-harmonization cannot be established and the congestion intensifies.

   Example: a congested planet in the ninth degree of Leo (fixed Fire — ruled by the Sun). This degree is in the Scorpio quadrant of Leo (second division of seven and a half degrees) and in the Aries decanate (first ten degrees). Since the planet is referred to as "congested" and it is in a fixed sign, we recognize that the congestion is intense — being in a fixed sign and in the Scorpio quadrants Scorpio, in relationship to Leo, is analogous to Cancer in relationship to Aries in the great Mandala; this relationship is "congestion in family-relationship," "adherence to the nest," "parental complex" and (possibly) congestion of the Love resource by the exigencies of the sexual desire-nature. However, this point is in the Aries decanate — first decanate of a fire sign — and the spiritualization of the Mars vibration is courage. Such a person will find that subjective enterprise and awareness of his individual rights will serve as a power-releasement to decrystallize the congestions to the Leo-planet. The primary rulership of Leo by the Sun makes a positive attitude a "must" in dealing with these problems.

   And so on — with other congested patterns. Relate the decanate and quadrant to the abstract picturing of the Great Mandala and you will find that every variation of "problems" to be found in the charts of human-beings contain, by their placement, a direct clue to the vibratory solutions. Expressions of planetary powers through the spiritualized implications of the signs is the "go ahead" signal for evolutionary progress and harmonious unfoldment of potentials.

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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