At the Threshold
We stand at the threshold of a new world order. The next step in human evolution lies before us. It leads humanity out of an era dominated by egoism, individualism and hedonism on the individual level and by cultural pride, nationalism and imperialism on the collective level. If all goes well, it will eventually lead humanity into a planetary society, an age of global harmony and fullness.
It is a most difficult step. And all might not go well. In the darkness of pride, ignorance and fear, we might stumble and fall half-conscious across the threshold, only to find ourselves in an oppressive, totalitarian new world order-a society of imposed unanimity, the sort of world many envisioned upon hearing the leader of a vast and powerful warrior nation pronounce the words "new world order" in the same breath as an announcement of war. Or we might simply go on as usual, hesitating at the threshold, searching for a comfortable escape while hoping the myriad of truly global problems facing us will somehow magically disappear whenever the twin gods of our modern era—empirical Science and high Technology—are invoked by their high priests.
We have already hesitated long at the threshold, clinging desperately to our prized sense of separateness, relying too much on atomistic and classical mindsets we should have by now outgrown, and engaging in comfortable and profitable ways and means. But if we hesitate too long, forces greater than the egos of men, higher than the obsolete sovereignty of nations, and more powerful than the economic influence of multi-national corporations will act.
Wholeness will act, and whatever and whoever stands against it will surely perish.
Now is the time for individuals, groups and nations to take a hard look at themselves. We need to ask ourselves difficult questions. We may talk glibly of a new age and avidly consume new age products, but are we actually making ourselves fit to live in the global society of a truly new age? Are we ready and willing to participate creatively in the transformation of our chaotic world-situation into a planetary society where plenitude will replace hunger in the face of conspicuous consumption, where cooperation will supersede competition, and where harmony will supplant exploitation and war. Or are we avoiding the challenge by holding tight to our sense of separate egohood and national sovereignty, and by attempting to force fit the needs of a new, global humanity into the inadequate mindsets and patterns of behavior that are responsible for our current social, economic and ecological crises.
To those ready and willing to participate in building a planetary society of harmony and fullness, astrology provides an abundance of symbols which can contribute to one's understanding of both where one stands as an individual and what is at stake for humanity as a whole during this crucial last decade of the 20th century.
In their efforts to provide symbols of transformation, astrologers have recently focused on the series of conjunctions of Uranus and Neptune that occurred in 1993. Now millennium fever rages. To grasp the real significance of any celestial or human event, however, we need view it against a larger background of which it is a moment.
The most significant constituents of the larger celestial picture of our time are listed below. They help place the challenges of our era within a vast historical and evolutionary context.
A so-called "long sextile" linking Neptune and Pluto. Given a ten degree orb, it spans about 90 years and is operative from the 1940s until the 2030s. The phenomenon is produced by Pluto's extremely elongated orbit.
The conjunction of Uranus and Pluto during 1965-66, and the Uranus-Neptune sextile (60° aspect) of 1968. They figure as a prelude of things to come at the close of the century and, in a different sense, past challenges inadequately met which undoubtedly exacerbates today's world-situation.
Pluto's penetration of Neptune's orbit from 1979 to 1999, and Pluto's perihelion on 4 September 1989 at 12°52' Scorpio.
The massing of five and six planets—especially Saturn, Uranus and Neptune—in Capricorn during late-1989 and early-1990, and their involvement during that time in a sextile with Pluto in Scorpio and an opposition with Jupiter.
During 1993, a series of three geocentric conjunctions of Uranus and Neptune in the nineteenth (18°33' and 18°48'R) and twentieth (19°34') degrees of Capricorn.
The 493-year cycle of Neptune and Pluto. The two planets last met in conjunction during 1891-92 in the ninth degree of Gemini.
The very long cycle of near triple conjunctions between the three trans-Saturnian planets—Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These planets last met in near
conjunction during 577-574 BC, when they were often within one to three zodiacal degrees, around 10°Taurus.
A 10,000-year cycle in which the cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto figure largely.
The approximately 25,920-year Sidereal Year, and the commencement around 1990 of the last degree (or 72-year period) of the Piscean Age. From another perspective, 1990 marks the beginning of the last of three steps leading
to the Aquarian Age, which many expect to begin around 2062. The first of the three steps began around 1846, the second around 1918.(1
Hindus and Theosophists would add that we are in the Indo-European Kali Yuga (dark cycle) that began in 3102 BC.
With the aid of this extensive set of astrological symbols, we'll attempt to outline the challenges and opportunities that shape the 1990s and the first decade of the new century. But first we'll need to take a closer look at the three trans-Saturnian planets that play principal roles in the unfolding drama of the late-20th century, and their special place in the heliocosm—the solar system as a whole.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
as Symbols of Transformation
The obvious feature of the three outer planets is that their orbits lie outside the range of human vision. We speak of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as trans-Saturnian planets, as planets beyond Saturn. They operate beyond the fortified mundane realm Saturn symbolizes. The trans-Saturnian planets represent revolutionary, transformative and transcendent forces which shatter Saturn's barriers . . . and our sense of separate egohood.
Saturn's orbit marks the outer reach the solar winds (the sun's electro-magnetic current), which provides a strong clue to the astrological symbology of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. A century ago H. P. Blavatsky wrote that Uranus and Neptune are in but not of the solar system. More recently, Rudhyar stressed that the outer planets, which he called Galactic Ambassadors, are subject to the pull of the galactic center.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto challenge us to shift our loyalties to a higher center, to realize a new, more inclusive sense of relationship to all that is. In a few words, the three outer planets represent the process of modulation to a higher octave of being, activity and consciousness. In spiritual or theosophical terms, such a process is called the Path. As we'll soon discuss, each of the three outer planets symbolizes a particular step along the path to the galactic center, and the sort of tests and teachers the aspirant is likely to encounter along the way.
Similarly, the three planets represent still mostly underdeveloped faculties latent within us all, evolutionary steps we are now trying to realize.
The trans-Saturnian planets are of relatively recent discovery—Uranus in the 18th century, Neptune in the 19th century and Pluto in the 20th century. The event of their discovery corresponds with the first widespread stirrings of the latent human faculties they symbolize.
Uranus is the first planet beyond the orbit of Saturn. It was discovered in 1781, and it carries the basic character of that century of invention and revolution. It has an 84-year orbit, which is three times the length of Saturn's orbit.
Uranus is the great Awakener, symbolizing the urge to go beyond. Because it challenges the authority of Saturn and its secure walls, Uranus represents inner and outer revolutions. In a negative sense, Uranus symbolizes directionless rebellion. The planet of technology and invention, Uranus represents the technocrat and technology for its own sake . . . and today we know all too well where that leads!
Uranus strikes Saturn's fortifications, whether they are the walls of the ego or national boundaries. It breaks down old patterns supporting the ego and social privilege. Uranus helps us realize that we can be more, that a next step in human evolution is possible, and it inspires us to take that step into the unknown. It opens up and keeps open the path to the galactic center, to the unanimous Community of the Stars, whose members are urging us to join them.
Neptune has a cycle of 165 years, twice that of Uranus. It was discovered in 1846 and symbolizes mass movements and glamour. Some of the mass movements founded around the time of its discovery include spiritualism, communism and scientism—the dogma that scientific materialism is the one and only true avenue to knowledge and that its discoveries alone constitute truth and reality.
Discovered when the Industrial Revolution and colonialism were the order of the day, Neptune also represents the wage slavery and exploitation of capitalism and imperialism. But Neptune also symbolizes the dissolution of the barriers Uranus broke up. Its keynotes are detachment, nonpossessiveness and universality.
On a higher octave, Neptune symbolizes universal companionship and the sense of "oneness." It is the planet most connected with mysticism and the mystic's drive toward the unitive state. But Neptune's negative side is seen in glamour, decadence, intoxication (whether with alcohol or television), sensationalism, the false nirvana of the private buddha, fear, sadism, bondage and fanaticism.
In a few words, Neptune offers us deconditioning and liberation from the past on one hand, and a dreamlike, glamorous escape on the other.
Plutowas first sighted in 1930, just as the Great Depression and fascism were making their impact. It is also linked to the atomic bomb and LSD. It has a cycle of 246 years, which is three times the length of the orbit of Uranus.
While Neptune is the planet of mysticism, Pluto is the planet of the true occultist and his or her work with unseen forces. Pluto is the great reducer, stripping away all that is unessential, leaving nothing but what simply is. Ruthlessly destroying all glamour, Pluto is the power enabling one to cast away all but one's essential dharma, one's fundamental truth of being. In so doing, it presents the possibility of rebirth, and it produces the conditions leading to reintegration around a new center of being.
In other words, after Uranus and Neptune have done their work, Pluto provides a new center of integration and the means to reach it.
On the negative side, Pluto represents chaos, dictators, totalitarianism and holocausts, as well as the drive toward ultimate power and control over others. When Uranus and Neptune have not been permitted to work constructively, Pluto assumes an ultimate, ruthless and destructive aspect.
One of the most potent symbols of astrology and our time is provided by the extreme elongation of Pluto's orbit, which allows it to spend 20 years of its 246 year orbit within the orbit Neptune, during which it is closer to the Sun than Neptune. We are today amid such a period of spiritual fecundation.
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
and the Path to the Galactic Center
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto may be viewed as three steps along the path of transformation, where they represent the sort of experiences and teachers the aspirant is likely to encounter along the path to the Galactic Community.
With the Uranian step the aspirant emerges from the safety of the cultural womb which until now has controlled and conditioned every facet of his or her life and mind. The neophyte is guided along the path of transformation by a growing faculty of visualization, a symbolic type of mind and a growing ability to see all situations as wholes.
Challenges may come in the form of an insatiable hunger for evermore intensely transformative experiences, and the aspirant may be drawn to teachers promising powerful techniques and a steady supply of occult tid-bits.
In a positive sense, the Uranian experience provides the aspirant with the urge and power to go on relentlessly. But the seeker may be led astray by seeking independence and intensely new experiences for their own sake.
With the Neptunian step the aspirant begins to realize the nature of true compassion, all-inclusiveness and universal companionship.
As positive Neptunian qualities grow stronger in the aspirant, so does the sense of Companionship and Unanimity; and this movement compensates for the strong sense of individualism one needs to emerge out of biopsychic and cultural matrices and to enter the Uranian phase.
In this stage challenges come in a multiplicity of forms. The first challenge often assumes the form of fear, confusion and insecurity, along with a surge of unconscious and repressed psychic material. These experiences may alternate with feelings of psychic elation and an illusive sense of oneness, which is illusive because it does not last.
What is needed at the Neptune stage is a more inclusive frame of reference through which the aspirant may reinterpret and reevaluate all that is essential and vital. A more inclusive frame of reference is needed to facilitate shifting one's orientation from atomism to holism, from the line to the cycle, from a sun to a galactic star, from a solar system to a galaxy.
But the tests along the way are numerous and difficult. The aspirant at this stage must always beware of glamour, psychism, misplaced devotion and self-delusion; of mistaking mere distorted reflections of metaphysical realities for the real thing; and of the difficult to recognize ego-desire to be so holy, so devout and so self-sacrificing.
At the Neptune phase the aspirant must guard against being seduced by the glamorous claims of gurus and bogus gurus, by psychism, glamour and sensationalism, by accepting a credo quia absurdum out of spiritual insecurity, and by glib talk of higher consciousness and oneness—all of which are dispensed as easy substitutes for authentic transformation.
At the Pluto stage the sincere and resolute aspirant may find him-or-herself at the ultimate threshold. There awaits the final test of purity which neutralizes all unnecessary emotions, thoughts and acts. At this stage the aspirant is called on to question everything.
With the culmination of the Pluto phase comes the faculty to resonate fully to the inner Star—the mark of true initiation into the Galactic Community. With it comes an ultimate concern for everything that is, and a concern for the ultimate principles underlying existence. With it comes true power: the right and responsibility to act as a lens bringing into existential focus some of the transcendent power of the Whole.
Pluto is the ultimate tester, for it demands abandoning forever even the thought of holding power and authority over others, and even the slightest desire to be a radiant sun to a group of dark planets. For this is the test of the true initiator, who is more a spiritual friend and older companion than a teacher in the conventional sense.
Because at the conclusion of the Pluto stage the initiate becomes a star in the company of stars, his or her duty toward younger companions is to help and encourage them toward self-reliance, toward the exercise of self-devised, self-induced effort leading to the realization of their inner starhood. Such a friend never asks, expects and demands submission or obedience, as do Neptunian gurus and teachers. A true spiritual friend at this stage will not act, cannot act, as a sun to a group of dark planets dependent on his radiance. Such friends want only for us to join them in the Community of Galactic Stars.
The trans-Saturnian Realm
Perhaps the first thing to realize when attempting to interpret the long cycles existing between the trans-Saturnian planets is that these cycles do not deal directly
with individuals living personal lives for their own sake.
They deal with collective, planetary and cosmic factors—with humanity, the earth, the solar system and the galaxy as wholes.
The outpouring of planetary and galactic forces these large cycles represent may impact our lives in three different ways.
The vast majority of human beings are unable or unwilling to respond to the call to transformation sounded by the outpouring of a new evolutionary impulse. Most, whether they realize it or not, want to be and can only imagine themselves as members or specimens of a particular culture.
They have not yet succeeded in emerging as true
individuals out of the cultural matrix that encloses them like a mother's womb. Their emotions and feeling-responses, personal attitudes and thoughts, behavior and preferences, belief-systems and political-religious affiliations are, though they would certainly deny it, almost entirely conditioned by their particular social-economic class, nation, and culture (or sub-culture or counter-culture) and its surface currents of fashion. Included in this majority, though gradually emerging out of it, are "pseudo-individuals" or "individuals in the making" reacting or rebelling against
the values and institutions of their culture. The large cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto deal with members of these two groups en masse
or through collective factors.
During certain phases of a culture's life-cycle, one may (though few earnestly and consistently choose to) act as a creative participant
in the flowering of a still vital culture. The transcendent forces symbolized by trans-Saturnian cycles often work through the "creative minority," but the creative person is usually more or less unconscious of the transcendent source of the new images and ideals flowing through him.
During the close of a culture's life-cycle, one may choose the way of the seed.
Seed-groups composed of true individuals who, having more or less separated themselves (in mind and spirit if not in body) from their disintegrating natal or adopted culture, represent the seed-harvest of a culture. Such seed-groups work to make it and its members fit to act as a translucent lens bringing into sharp concrete and existential focus a new variation on the theme of archetype Anthropos and a new, more inclusive aspect of the divine Wisdom of the universal Mind.(2
As discussed in A New Image of Cosmos and Anthropos,
humanity and civilization advances through a long series of cultures. Each culture provides the matrix for a new quality of personhood and a new, more inclusive embodiment of archetype Anthropos, and each contributes at its "autumnal" phase a transferable seed-harvest which eventually gives birth to a new culture.(3
The cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto correspond with the ebb and flow, the pulse-beats and turning-points, of human evolution .
transformation that represents the next step ahead in human evolution should not be confused with the sort of fashionable, surface change of personal attitudes masquerading under the labels "transformation" and "transformative." The type of authentic transformation comprising our next evolutionary step ahead involves a long and difficult process of repolarizing one's sense of identity and center of consciousness from the level of biopsychic conditioning and psychomental desires, reactions and complexes to the spiritual-mental level of all-inclusive Compassion, where individual selfhood and group unanimity interpenetrate.
Authentic transformation does not
necessarily involve techniques developed in the past
to meet the unique needs of a particular type of personhood engendered by a particular culture at a particular phase of its development. This does not mean that ancient techniques of meditation, shamanistic rituals, religious rites and cultural ceremonies do not have their place and purpose. But the many ancient techniques, rituals and practices were developed in the past-they are based largely on biopsychic foundations and developed to meet the needs of members of pre-individual
cultures. Humanity now needs to take the next step ahead;
not a return to a tribal or archaic past. The next step ahead for humanity is transpersonal and transindividual
— it features the development of humanity's still largely latent spiritual faculties and a mind of wholeness.(4
A mind of wholeness understands the place, purpose and function of humanity as a whole (said by Blavatsky and Rudhyar to be that of embodying the planetary Mind), as well as the relationship of everything within Earth's biosphere (and, by extension, within the solar system and galaxy) to everything else. In its fullness, a mind of wholeness is an eonic
mind encompassing the entire cycle, it holistically understands the meaning, purpose and inter-relatedness of everything that is, was and will be.
Ancient pre-individual, biopsychic practices and rituals, new age products, training seminars and life-styles, the self-indulgent and self-involved types of pop psychology and psychotherapy practiced today, and even a psychological type of astrology will not much help humanity meet the crises and challenges awaiting us at the threshold to the new millennium. They can do little to either promote an authentic repolarization of mind and sense of identity or to provide the clear and meaningful sense of direction and purpose humanity needs now.
Nor will endless debates, demonstrations and social-political-ecological activism really solve the issues they address. Something more is needed to "defuse the time-bombs at the end of the century."
What is needed is not a new suit of clothes tailored in a new style from natural textiles in a fresh and fashionable hue. Surface change, which comes and goes as swiftly as fashion, is not enough. What is needed is a transmutation into a new species, a metamorphosis characterized by the development of a mind of wholeness and a new quality of will, identity and being.
600 B.C. and Its Seed Message
To understand the true significance of today's crises and challenges, we need realize that every moment or event of the past 2,500 years is not merely an unrelated and essentially meaningless fragment on an equally purposeless historical landscape. We must see situations in a larger perspective, as integral and purposeful parts of the long and gradual assimilation of what Rudhyar calls "a new cosmic-galactic message" of universalization that was initiated by a "great moment of cosmic-galactic impregnation twenty-five centuries" ago.(5
) The new cosmic message of universalization
was sown during the sixth century BC by sages constituting the mutant seed-harvest of a vast cycle carrying the keynote cultivation.
According to current formulae, there was a near
triple conjunction of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto during 577-574 BC in mid-Taurus—a sign strongly related to Gautama the Buddha. Their next near conjunction will occur in 2874-2878.(6
The sixth century BC was the century of great sages and religious reform. It was the century of Gautama the Buddha and the founding of Jainism in India; of Pythagoras in Greece and the last of a long line of Zoroasters in Persia, of Confucius and Lao-Tze in China, and of the beginning of the Mayan civilization in Mexico. The sixth century BC was a century of invention—of the Vina (a stringed instrument held to be the body of a god) in India, of the sundial in China and Greece, of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the use of high precision astronomical calculations in India, Persia, Greece and Central America. It was also the century of Cyrus and Darius of Persia, who developed the administrative order adopted by Alexander the Great and copied by Rome.
According to esoteric tradition, the Archaic Ages closed in 602 BC and this date figures 2,500 years after the beginning of the Indo-European Kali Yuga (3102 BC)—the dark age of gestation preceding the birth of a new type of humanity.
The close of the Archaic Ages in 602 BC and the triple conjunction of 577-574 BC signaled the beginning of a 500-year period of transition. It links the archaic ages of cultivation (where the minds and sense of being and identity of human beings were molded entirely by a particular tribal culture and its animism and vitalism) with a new era carrying the potential
of a new sense of individual will and selfhood and a new quality of mind able to deal with universal
, archetypal principles—with pure number, ratio, form and proportion. The work of the great sages of the sixth century BC, especially of Gautama the Buddha and Pythagoras, focused on actualizing—at least among the few individuals constituting their spiritual communities—this new quality of mind and new sense of individual will and selfhood, and the new types of social organization such advances made possible.
At first mankind almost inevitably uses any new power, discovery or situation in a negative and eventually destructive manner. The message of Buddha was soon distorted and used as an excuse for spiritual selfishness (which was offset around 100 BC by the birth of the Mahayana philosophy and its Bodhisattva Ideal). And Pythagoras' use of the monochord to demonstrate the value and meaning of tone relationship was abused by a formalistic mind hypnotized by reason, exact measurement, quantitative analysis and abstract mathematics. Many of today's problems and challenges have roots in the narrow, formalistic and exclusively quantitative bent taken by the post-archaic Mediterranean mind.
The 10,000-Year Cycle
The 10,000-year cycle figures in our study because it carries the signature of the Uranus, Neptune and Pluto triad. Due to the 1:2:3 ratio of their orbits, on the archetypal
level 120 Uranus cycles, 60 Neptune cycles, and 40 Pluto cycles all equal 10,000 years. On the existential
level the length of 120 Uranus cycles is 10,050 years, 60 Neptune cycles totals 9,825 years, and 40 Pluto cycles spans 9,815 years. The current 10,000-year cycle began during the Uranus-Neptune-Pluto near conjunction of 577-574 BC. The teachers of Blavatsky state the 10,000-year cycle is related to the periodic manifestations of the universal Buddha principle.(7
The 10,000-year cycle operates on an archetypal
level. Such cycles and their subcycles deal not so much with existential events as with successive releases of the many aspects or variations in the theme of archetype Anthropos and divine Wisdom. Existential events are largely conditioned by individual and collective human response to new situations made possible by the release of a new aspect of Archetype. Additionally, existential and human factors color and, to a large or small degree, distort and pervert the archetypal potential released by the creative impulse.
Archetypal cycles, then, deal with principles of pure number, ratio, form and potential rather than with strictly concrete, measurable phenomena and existential situations. The great multiplicity of centrifugal factors operating at the existential level always introduces a vast number of variations and distortions into actual situations and relationships based on archetypal principles of relatedness and forms of organization existing in the creative universal Mind. This explains why the actual length of any celestial cycle or period always involves decimals and why our year equals 365.24 days rather than the archetypal 360.
See Dane Rudhyar's Astrological Timing: The Transition to the New Age
(New York: Harper & Row, 1972)—originally published under the title Birth Patterns for a New Humanity
(The Netherlands: Servire Publications, 1969)—for a study of the transition to the Aquarian Age. Return
According to the holistic-cyclocosmic worldview upon which this work is founded, Archetypes are "precosmic" principles of relatedness and forms of organization. They are formulated in the universal, divine Mind by "creative hierarchies" during the predominantly subjective half of the cycle of being. (cf. the companion booklet, A New Image of Cosmos and Anthropos
There is, however, really only one universal Archetype. It has many aspects, just as the one Creative Word (Logos)
is a unity of innumerable Letters. The universal Archetype is infused with a quantum of potency adequate for its actualization. After the dawn of the objective universe, archetypes (or successive aspects of the universal Archetype) are gradually released by the creative impulse, providing for the multiplicity of existential (cosmic, material, biological, cultural, social and so on) forms.
Archetypes are not fixed or rigid forms but interacting open systems or guiding fields. In the privately published paper, Beyond Personhood,
Rudhyar writes that spiritual Qualities (unique "Letters" of the Creative Word, each infused with a quantum of divine Compassion, intoned at the dawn of the manifest universe; Atma-Buddhi or spiritual Monad in the 19th century formulation of Theosophy) seek—
concrete, existential manifestation through archetypal forms. These forms are not rigid models to be imitated or reproduced exactly in material substances. They are rather guiding fields pervading all existential wholes, from atoms to human beings to galaxies. Every whole has a guiding field, a network of formative, form-maintaining, and form-expanding (or form-replicating) energies according to principles of relatedness. (p. 32)
It need be borne in mind that C.G. Jung ascribed to the word archetype a meaning differing greatly from that given by esotericism and the philosophy of Wholeness. Jung usually defined archetypes as accumulations or concentrates of experience produced by successive generations of human beings and existing in what he designated the "collective unconscious." The existence of such accumulations and their influence is not being disputed. But they are not Archetypes existing in the divine Mind. They are rather enduring psychic, emotional and mental patterns existing in what H. P. Blavatsky calls the "Astral Light."
In The Magic of Tone and Art of Music
(Boulder, Colorado: Shambhala Publications, 1982) Rudhyar writes—
for Pythagoras, Plato, and philosophers, mystics, and cosmologists of ancient eras, archetypes belonged to a realm superior to and (in terms of cyclic time) antedating human thinking. Archetypes were usually considered the results of the creative activity of the divine mind. They constituted the foundation on which all concrete forms or modes of existence were built; yet the term foundation is not quite right because one usually thinks of foundations as made of solid and resistant materials, while archetypes are more like seeds imbued with the latent power of life-the power to transform themselves into plants and trees through germination. Archetypes thus were not originally considered abstractions from a multitude of similar or analogous particulars. Each archetype was understood to be the seed-origin of a multitude of forms and modes of existence possessing identical characteristics. . .
an archetype is a concentrate of creative energy as well as an ideal structure establishing a definite set of relationships among its components. The word structure in its nonmaterial sense is a special arrangement or pattern of organization by which material entities constitute the many parts of an all-encompassing whole. (pp. 34-35)
Additionally, during the past two or three decades the word archetype
has been used promiscuously. It is often used to designate what is actually a prototype. A prototype is the first embodiment of a particular set of archetypal qualities. An Avatar, for instance, is the perfect prototype of a new variation on the theme of archetype Anthropos. Return
Cf. Rudhyar's Culture, Crises and Creativity
(Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Publishing House, 1977) for an explanation of cycles of culture and civilization. Return
In the philosophy of Wholeness, the term transpersonal is used in a very specific sense. The word is a neologism originated in the 1920s by Dane Rudhyar.
The word "transpersonal" is used here in the sense of "through and
beyond the person." It refers to a very specific quality of being, activity and consciousness. The radical repolarization of identity and consciousness from the biological and psychological to the spiritual-mental level provides the requisite foundation for transpersonal activity. Through a process of repolarization or modulation, one's personality is purified and one's mind is restructured and transformed into a mind of Wholeness. Together, personality and mind may then act as a translucent lens bringing into existential focus a downflow of transcendent power, activity and consciousness.
As Rudhyar states in Beyond Personhood,
transpersonal activity is essentially a gradual revelation of
archetypes and primarily those archetypes which it is the individual's destiny (dharma) to actualized in concrete form in the substance of everyday living. Today 'everyday living' usually means living in a society whose cultural paradigms have to be radically transformed because the present phase of the culture's cycle (or life-span) demands such a transformation. (pp. 37-38) Return
5. Culture, Crisis and Creativity,
p. 116. Return
The Neptune-Pluto cycle inaugurated in 575BC overlaps the last 500 years of the 2160-year Arian Age. It is important to realize the two—the cycle of Neptune and Pluto and the closing of the Arian Age-operate at different levels
The cycles of the three trans-Saturnian planets are concrete events in the solar system. The precession of the equinoxes, on the other hand, is a phenomena produced by one of the three cyclic movements of planet earth—the Great Polar Cycle created by the top-like wobble of our planet on its polar axis. Without entering into lengthy explanations, the following should be sufficient for our present needs.
The cycles of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto refer to the vast process of civilization.
On the other hand, the precession of the equinoxes—the length of which presumably varies greatly from one cycle to the next—deals with cycles of culture, the carrier-wave of civilization.
symbol produced of the gyration of earth's axis is provided by particular galactic stars to which the North Pole is periodically oriented. It is undoubtedly significant that soon after the beginning of the Aquarian Age, the North Pole will point as closely as it ever will during this Great Polar Year to the star Polaris. It is a symbol of perhaps greater power and significance than the much publicized opening of the Aquarian Age
The equatorial phenomena produced by the earth's gyration on its axis-the precession of the equinoxes—is therefore a secondary
and largely culture-conditioned symbol. The zodiacal constellations are products of a particular culture—they are "man-made" symbols. The constellational totems exist only in the human, culture-conditioned mind and the star groups (the constellations themselves), whose individual stars outline animal shapes, exist only from our particular perspective. In other words, from the point of view of some other planet in some other solar system in another part of our galaxy, the same stars composing our zodiacal constellations would comprise a much different gestalt or pattern.
As Rudhyar states in Culture, Crisis and Creativity
We are dealing with two processes: one vast planetary process of civilization, and the organic development of several culture-wholes occurring within more or less clearly defined geographical boundaries and organizing the collective life of more or less clearly differentiable racial stocks. Each of these processes obeys its own rhythm. Because the development of culture-wholes is fundamentally bound to and deeply conditioned (if not determined) by the telluric and climatic state of the biosphere at certain times, it obeys a kind of cycle essentially derived from one of the three basic motions of the Earth-globe: the precession of the equinoxes, the day cycle of axial rotation, and the annual revolution of the Earth around the Sun. On the other hand, the cycle of civilization, because it transcends the level of biology and physical determinants, can be significantly measured in terms of archetypal concepts essentially referring to number and ratios, yet also reflected in the cycle of relationship between the revolutions of the larger planets of the solar system. The cycle determined by the successive conjunctions of Neptune and Pluto occurring close to every 500 years is the most characteristic of these cycles. (p. 110) Return
cf. The Mahatma Letters
(Pasadena, California: Theosophical University Press; Second Edition, 1926), p. 117. Return
Copyright © 1992-1996 by Michael R. Meyer
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