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"The horoscope, in its entirety, is a composite of the person's consciousness of cosmic principles — on his particular evolutionary level. Therefore it follows that two planets square to each other in a given chart are not 'bad planets;' it simply means that the person is in a consciousness stage of relative unawareness of principle."
The first three volumes of this series of astrological interpretations have been received with such a warm welcome by so many astrology students that we are pleased to present Volume IV.

Mr. Bacher's profound knowledge of and devotion to the stellar science, along with an uncanny understanding of human nature, made it possible for him to present material which undoubtedly places him among the best of modern esoteric astrologers. As the truth and value of his spiritual interpretation of astrology become more and more generally accepted, his presentations will serve increasingly to help people know themselves and fulfill their highest destiny.

Before passing in the early 1950's Mr. Bacher expressed a keen desire to have us publish his articles in book form, and although we deeply regret that he did not live to see his publications made available to the public, we are happy in knowing that his wish is being fulfilled.


To the Rosicrucian student astrology is a phase of religion, basically a spiritual science. More than any other study it reveals man to himself. No other science is so sublime, so profound, and so all- embracing. It portrays the relation between God, the macrocosm, and man, the microcosm, showing them to be fundamentally one.

Esoteric science, investigating the subtler forces that impinge upon man, the Spirit, and his vehicles, has charted their effects with no less definiteness than has academic science the reactions of sea and soil, plant and animal to the solar and lunar rays.

With this knowledge we may determine the astrological pattern of each individual and know the relative strength and weakness of the various forces operating in each life. To the degree that we are in possession of such knowledge we can begin systematic, scientific character building — and character is destiny! We note times and seasons cosmically advantageous to unfolding undeveloped qualities, correcting faulty traits, and eliminating destructive propensities.

The divine science of astrology reveals the hidden causes at work in our lives. It counsels the adult in regard to vocation, the parent in the guidance of children, the teacher in management of pupils, the physician in diagnosing disease, thus lending aid to each and all in whatever position they may find themselves.

No other subject within the range of human knowledge appears to hold for this day and age the possibilities open to astrologers for helping people to their own dignity as gods-in-the-making, to a greater grasp of universal law, and to a realization that we are eternally secure within the caressing fold of Infinite Life and Boundless Being.

The "Bad" Aspects

Time was when the writer shared with many astrological students the understanding that "square" and "opposition," being "bad" aspects meant the same thing; also that "good" aspects, the trine and sextile, were thought of as being the same. Time came when the writer realized that if "square" meant the same as "opposition," and "sextile" the same as "trine," the same symbol would be used for both pairs of aspects. It must be established in the minds of students that every symbol utilized in astrology has its own particular, unique significance and that no two symbols can really mean the same thing. There would be no point to such an approach. These symbols are picturings of profound spiritual realizations which were given to Humanity by the Great Ones ages ago.

If the progress through the wheel from Ascendant to the twelfth house pictures cyclic evolution, the placement of the planets by sign and house, the focalizations of consciousness for expression during incarnation, then the aspects picture the mechanism of the Spirit in action — the how of this endless expressing. The mechanical sciences require a knowledge of weights, leverages, balances and counterbalances, gravity, propulsion, and so on; in other words, the principles of how the mechanism functions to achieve a certain result. A horoscope, evolved from geometrical design, contains picturings of principles as they manifest in human incarnation as expressions of consciousness, and every symbol that is used in this particular science pictures an essence or a function of that essence.

The dynamic approach to human psychology has proved that a "switch in viewpoint" often makes possible an immediate clarification of the cause of a problem and reveals the needed directive. We, as astrological students, have tended to crystallize our viewpoint of the square and opposition aspects and to settle, mentally, into the picture that they are the bad aspects. The words "bad" and "evil" have been a part of our mental picturing ever since we were able to interpret anything; if we are going to evolve a constructive approach to psychological astrology we must switch our viewpoint of, and attitude toward, the meanings of these particular symbols of energy expressions.

It is a debatable point — this reference to "bad" aspects. Can people who are astrologically uninformed, and in the throes of a personal problem, really be helped, way down deep, if their minds and feelings are impressed by references to the "bad" aspects in their charts? There is no getting around it — we all have a sub-conscious, instinctive reaction to words like "bad;" they ignite our inner picturings — or memories — of ugly, distressing, frightful, and difficult experience patterns. The astrologer who says, "Oh, this is very serious — you have a bad aspect between your Saturn and Mars," risks putting his client down about five notches. There is something so ominous about such a statement that, in simple kindness and mercy, we cannot present such interpretations to people who have come to us for guidance.

Astrologers who have become fixated in the "badness" of the square and opposition aspects are those who have not inquired into the real meaning of these symbols. By "real meaning" is meant spiritual or philosophical significance. Since we must identify these symbols in some way in order to transmit our thoughts let us switch our word-approach into something toward which the client may react more favorably.

It is suggested that the word "frictional" be substituted for "bad." Everyone understands that "friction" means "resistance," but people are not so inclined to feel disturbed by that word. Also, as in the case of a match being frictionally rubbed, the result is an ignition which provides light and warmth. So it is with us, inside ourselves, and our square and opposition aspects. Certain levels of our consciousness "rub against" other levels; the result is an ignition of awareness through pain-reaction, which serves to point out a necessity for redirection of consciousness. Since all the planetary patterns of a horoscope are enclosed within the wheel, the picture is shown that mankind interprets experience from within — in consciousness — not from without. In other words, the source of our experience-interpretations is not in the experiences themselves but in our own center of awareness and reaction.

Let us consider the square and opposition aspect symbols in terms of their essential, abstract picturing. Use a blank, twelve-housed wheel for each. For the square, connect the midpoints of the fixed houses — second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh — by straight lines; the result is a square resting on a horizontal base which starts, cyclically, in the second house. This is the symbol we used for the "square aspect" between any two planets in a horoscope.

The houses involved in this picturing are the "houses of resource," the well-springs of intense desire, feeling, love, and capacity. These four houses — and their abstractly related signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) — include our deepest reaction-potentials. All astrological students know that there are two other squares; we call them the "cardinal" and "mutable" squares; but it is the fixed-house square that is used to portray this abstraction of "badness" — troubles and pains, sorrows, limitations, and all manner of negativism. This symbol tells us, when it relates any planets in any two signs or houses of a chart, that the present need for regeneration at those points is very great. Notice that in the square-design, when we come to the end of the lower horizontal — in the fifth house — we make a right angle, not diagonally to right or left but straight up, in order to progress further on the evolutionary path. So it is with other turnings — right angles at each corner. Thus the square aspect is seen to be uncompromising in its demands upon the consciousness; for this reason the square aspect is referred to as being the "most difficult," the "worst" or the "most evil" of planetary relationships. We are taxed most severely in our development at these points. Why?

The horoscope, in its entirety, is a composite of the person's consciousness of cosmic principles — on his particular evolutionary level. Therefore it follows that two planets square to each other in a given chart are not "bad planets;" it simply means that the person is in a consciousness stage of relative unawareness of principle. An individual's unawareness may be very varied and this variety is shown by multiple frictional aspects to any planet in his chart: the planet may be squared by Mars and opposed by Moon, but trined by Venus and sextiled by Pluto. We are destined to experience reaction-patterns to every planet in relationship to every other planet in order to fulfill our vibrational destiny as human beings. Anything less than that would not be fulfillment.

Because our experiences are, in the final analysis, ignited by our contacts with other people and because we project ourselves into relationships according to our consciousness it follows that unregenerate projection creates patterns of destiny that come back to us in the form of experiences of a painful or "bad" quality. We suffer through these alertings because we are made to perceive, by our reactions to other people and experiences, our own unregeneracy. The Higher Self "screams" at us: "Study this and learn from it; don't do this to another person, you've done it too often in the past; I insist that you redirect your reaction to this particular relationship or experience, because if you don't you will continue to misdirect your energy and darken your consciousness more than ever." So the pattern which registers in the horoscope as a square aspect between two planets pictures the necessity, in this incarnation, for a drastic revision of consciousness. The word "frictional" proves its value here because the fires of consciousness are ignited most intensely at these points and through pain-reaction — the brightest light is directed into the darkest corners. The Higher Self is seeking to re-establish harmonious synchronization within your consciousness by making it possible for you to realize undesirable results from the continued misdirections of your energies, and showing you the necessity for making a new turn on your path.

The square and opposition aspects have a fascinating "common denominator." Apply the opposition symbol to the second blank wheel by using the cusps of the second and eighth houses as diameters; draw circles around these diameters which, of course, will be tangent to each other at the wheel's center. The diameters of the two small circles form, together, a diameter of the wheel itself and this diameter connects the midpoints of the second and eighth; cyclically speaking, the starting point of this symbol is the same as the starting point of the fixed square. The desire-resource of the second and eighth houses is common to both symbols, and the fundamental spiritual or esoteric process implied is regeneration.

A peculiarity of the opposition aspect is that it "polarizes" the wheel. The lower point of the symbol is in the "individualistic" quadrant of the lower hemisphere; the higher point, in the eighth house, is the "extension" of the lower. The second house is "material on-going;" this is raised into its higher octave through transmutation of the desire-nature in relationship with people: the Power of Love to effect redemption of the consciousness. There must be some very important reason for the two small circles involved in this symbol to be connected by a forty-five degree diagonal rather than by a horizontal or a vertical. A horizontal is all right-and-left; a vertical is all up-and-down. However, the diagonal of this symbol is upward-and-onward — a composite of the vertical and the horizontal, the essential concept of all evolutionary processes and purposes.

The consensus of opinion is that the opposition aspect implies a need to select one thing or the other. Some astrologers interpret this to mean that we should choose one planet to work on, even at the expense of the other. Others say we should — or must — make the effort to utilize both of the planetary vibrations at once, as best we can. The first of these approaches is plainly untenable; we cannot drop any of our astrological factors — we live with, and express, all of them through the entire course of an incarnation. The second of these approaches comes much nearer to the actual requirements of the aspect because it instructs us to utilize both planetary factors. However, the Higher Self speaks to us through the very meaning of the aspect. Are you going to express these two planets unregeneratively or regeneratively? The point is not which of the two planets but which of the two octaves of consciousness are you going to express — that which you have been in, tend to remain in, and, by now, should be emerging from, or that to which you are evolving — that which is inturning or that which is outgoing? That which is self-keeping or that which is self-evolving? That which results in the cutting-off of realization or that which opens the doors of your consciousness to awareness of beauty, truth, and goodness? This is the esoteric meaning of the opposition aspect and by it we can understand why the key-word awareness is used to identify its purposes.

As above, so below. When the Sun and Moon come to the conjunction each 28 days a new "breath" is taken in the vibrational body of Humanity; two weeks later this "breath" is "exhaled" at the Full Moon. This action is the great rhythmic, tidal life of our esoteric existence and the pattern — conception and expression — is experienced by all of our vibrational organs in relationship not only to the other planets but — and this is important — also to the signs of their dignity. Just as every organ of our physical bodies has its oven pattern for growth, function, and fulfillment, so has each planet in relationship to the overall body of consciousness.

A planet in the sign of its dignity has "returned to home base" after a tour through the zodiac; its accumulated essence, distilled from your experiences through many past incarnations, is now in full force and it is ready to start another cycle from its — and your — present evolutionary base. A planet in what we call the sign of its "detriment" is not a "bad" planet; it is half way around its own evolutionary orbit and makes the opposition aspect to the sign of its dignity — as far away from "home" as it can get. A chart containing even one planet placed in the sign of its "detriment" reveals that the person, in consciousness, is on that one point in a critical step on his present evolutionary cycle, and any frictional planetary aspects to that planet represent a taxing to the utmost of regenerative potentialities. This incarnation, with planets in detriment, is very significant because the person is going to be made aware of his inner deficiencies in a very acute way.

If a planet in detriment registers in the present horoscope as the ruler of the chart (ruler of the sign on the Ascendant) then the criticalness of this incarnation is intensified. The ruler of the chart is our planetary symbol of I AM consciousness: in the sign of detriment — opposite to its own dignity — the chart can really tell a story of great spiritual conflict since the frictional aspects to a "detrimented" ruler can make it possible for the person to identify himself with darkness. He may tend to interpret his own personality-potentials through his unregenerate consciousness and living in that way, he can risk a marked "back-turning" in his evolution. The regenerate aspects made by the chart ruler so placed serve to make him unconsciously turn "toward the Light" and in living by those patterns he insures an upward turning in his development, not only for this incarnation but for all that follow.

Just as the physical birth is the result of conception and the Full Moon is the result of the lunation previous to it, so an opposition aspect between two planets is the awareness which results from a conjunction of these two planets at some time in the past incarnations of the person. There are no effects without causes and since Cosmic Pattern manifests on all planes we must realize in studying the opposition aspect that in this incarnation the person is being made aware of these two particular vibrational powers, or qualities, in his own nature in a very important and significant way. Recognize that inner tensions can be very great with even one opposition- aspect in the chart. The experience-patterns represented by the planets concerned — either by rulership or by occupancy — demand and urge the regenerate, spiritualized expression of the person's nature. Repeating the unregenerate frictional qualities will keep the person in "darkness" not only for this incarnation but perhaps for several "chapters" to come — and the testings will, in future be more and more severe.

The criticalness of this aspect is clearly demonstrated when the opposition aspect is ignited by eclipses, progressed Moon, or progressed planetary aspects making the simultaneous square to both planets. In such a stimulation of the aspect the unregenerate residue in the person's consciousness — whatever his age may be — "comes out of the woodwork" and he experiences a testing of his regenerate capacities that can be very severe. On the other hand, when the opposition is activated by one planet being trined and the other sextiled, then whatever of regeneracy has been established can be drawn on to deal with the experience that is manifested. A "favorable" activation of the opposition aspect always implies, to a degree, a testing but "more of the best of consciousness" is more immediately available.

In the foregoing is seen the reason why the opposition aspect is universally considered "not as bad" as the square because even if the two planets concerned have no other aspects, the pattern as a whole is activated four times by the combination of trine-sextile to the two times it is squared. Much more "elasticity" is enjoyed and the impulses to regenerate are much more numerous, in the long run.

A happy ending: even the square or opposition aspects can be "life-savers" of great benefit when they are made by an otherwise unaspected Saturn in a chart having nothing in earth. The person in such a chart needs ballast, he needs controlling and direction, he needs channelings for his outgoing energies. Such a Saturn simply says — and this proves that the square and opposition are not essentially bad — "I will see to it that you keep your feet on the ground so that your life may be lived purposefully and constructively; you will have responsibilities to fulfill, ambitions to achieve, and qualities to regenerate and redirect; my vibration, even though it may seem to hold you down at times, is really your greatest blessing because it will keep you aligned to the streams of unfolding experience."

Life does not punish us through our squares and oppositions; it teaches us our most needed lessons through them if we wish to learn to become aware of our needed regenerations.

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Reference: Studies In Astrology, by Elman Bacher

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