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of Psychological Complexes

by Dane Rudhyar

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Chapter Six
The Astrological Basis of Social Complexes

The primary characteristic of Jupiter is that it presides over all processes of assimilation required for the maintenance of organic life; and we saw that assimilation can be considered not only at the physiological level (where it deals with foodstuffs) but as well at the psychological level, where what is to be assimilated is the culture of the society in which the child and youth grows to maturity. Jupiter symbolizes man's ability to satisfy his hunger for food, physical and mental or emotional. Through assimilation the organism reaches maturity at one or more levels; and only the mature organism shows forth to the full, and is able to maintain in relative security, the individual characteristics which the Saturn function defines and stabilizes increasingly during the process of personal development.
      Jupiter is the liver in the body, and the soul-alchemist in the psyche. With him works Mercury, distributor of the electrical energy which not only animates the nervous system, but also provides the substance (mind-stuff) for all mental activities. In its dynamic and positive aspect this mind-stuff is an as yet mysterious power, of which the body's electricity is but one aspect; in its retentive aspect Mercury is the faculty of memory, the ability to accumulate and associate sense-data, images, words and finally concepts.
      When, in the Jupiter-Mercury function, Jupiter becomes overactive at the expense of the Mercury polarity, the body or the mind tends to become loaded with unused food turning into psychical or intellectual fat. Mercury then acts merely as the servant or slave of Jupiter, as memorizer and classifier of data. The electrical potential of the body likewise becomes, in the man who lives only to eat, completely occupied by the digestive processes and unavailable for more creative activities.
      The Jupiter-Mercury function, however, does not deal only with assimilation and the maintenance of health or organic selfhood. No organism can be healthy without a constant ebb and flow of exchange with the entities and substances surrounding it. Even from the point of view of assimilation alone, an adequate supply of foodstuff (psychological as well as physical) can rarely be assured unless a give-and-take activity is established. In agriculture and cattle-breeding, man gives to nature while taking from it. Industry is profitable and expands only through commerce, and all forms of civilization depend on personal interchanges and on a multiplicity of social processes. Health and sanity are bound to commerce and the commingling of individuals; they require a sound sense of social relationship. Moreover, the development of the social sense and of the still deeper sense of sharing and compassion is interwoven with that of personality and "Soul" (in the Jupiterian sense of this term).
      In other words, personal integration is largely dependent upon, or at least deeply affected by, the capacity for social adaptation and participation; and it is to Jupiter that the development of the social sense, the sense of give-and-take and of participation in a human, and ultimately a cosmic, environment is related. Disturbance in the Jupiter function can manifest therefore in the great variety of typical social complexes and phobias. As always, the basic cause of these is fear and the feeling that one is a weak force surrounded by overwhelming ones; that one must, either in all cases or in a particular set of circumstances, find oneself "inferior to the occasion."
      A person's approach to the solution of his psychological problems in many instances, is based upon the need to overcome an early sense of social inferiority; and I am using here the term "social" to include also the experiences that a child meets in his relationship to his brothers and sisters, and (generally speaking) to his earliest family environment, all of which comes under the symbolism of the third house. And it is important to realize, in this connection that the family constitutes a realm of transition, in which the field of the purely biological-organic functions passes by hardly noticeable stages into that of the typical social functions.
      The family is based upon the procreative function and the parents-children relationship. Nevertheless the relationships child-to-child, brother-to-brother, brother-to-sister, children-to-servants, children-to-relatives, etc., contain in germ practically all the kinds of relationships later to be experienced in the wider sphere of society. This is indeed the reason why the family is usually considered as the unit-cell of society. It is a nursery in the social sense, and social functions are gradually developed, theoretically in an atmosphere of protective love, within a root-harmony which partakes still of the deeply instinctive and unconscious power of biological adjustment.
      We said "theoretically," because, as the fever of individualization at all cost burns through an entire society, as the sense of any real authority whatsoever and the instinct of organic harmony disappear from both the society at large and its component families, the inevitable result is that children become "individuals" soon after birth (it seems!) and that the theoretically protective nursery is transformed into training grounds for struggling wills-to-power. In such an atmosphere any child ever so little handicapped by some physical or psychical inferiority or over-sensitiveness is bound to develop either an inferiority complex or its compensation, an aggressive superiority complex. The precocious and biologically immature individualization of children is the curse of the modern family, and is responsible for endless neuroses; and the cause of it is largely the collective failure of modern parents to assume fully and significantly their vital-spiritual functions as the archetypal Father-Saturn and Mother-Moon as exemplars of structural-social integration (Saturn) and of the ever-vigilant and ever-effective power of adjustment to everyday situations and needs (Moon).
      Because parents are too busy or too careless to demonstrate the authority that comes from practically adequate and soul-satisfying example the only authority which compels a wholesome acceptance and a healthy devotional response from the child the modern family moulds precocious and disharmonious, egocentric and complex-ridden individualists who, when grown up, turn society into a battlefield and a jungle. The effect becomes cumulative after a few generations, especially as movies and radios fill the child's impressionable mentality with the very stuff out of which more virulent emotional complexes are made. Social and emotional glamor feeds the growing inferiority complexes. The maudlin sentimentalism or now the eroticism and violence filling so many movies and cheap popular books plus the "Superman" nonsense of cartoons make it almost impossible for children to develop normally and healthily their Mars-Venus function.
      The result is that social complexes, which were individual occurrences in the vast majority of old-time families, have now reached the collective stage of a permanent "epidemic." Social neuroses are today indeed endemic, i.e. constantly found everywhere in a global world in chaos. It is as a desperate psychological attempt to run away from these social neuroses that men and women have sought the rigid sense of unanimity provided by totalitarian political parties and by old or new, but strongly organized, religions.
      The need for authority is gnawing at the confused souls of modern individuals; but the only authority they are offered is that of techniques that supposedly work practical wonders, and of systems (economic, political or religious) made into fanaticism-compelling ideologies or causes. True authority, however, is always personal; in the sense that it can only be demonstrated by a person who acts as a living exemplar and whose actual and individual being incorporates a solution to the need of those surrounding him.
      As this occurs, this person acquires authority as an agent of the spirit, whose essential character it is to offer creative solutions to all vital needs. He ceases to be an individual person to those who recognize his spirit-revealing function, and he becomes a Personage that is, a man with authority which does not mean in official authority! Such a man becomes a social Image after his death and is likely to give rise to a "myth." These men are the true Fathers of civilization, the molders of society; and we should add to them women whose public example makes them Mothers of civilization and great symbols of personal response to a crucial need of the times.
      The exemplar with authority at the social level focuses in him the power of the Jupiter function in its highest meaning. He is "God's agent" the original High Priest; and in a more individual sense, he is the Hindu guru, or spiritual Teacher. He is also, in a general way, every teacher; for at any level, it is the function of the teacher to serve as a link between the accumulated harvest of the human past and the need of the future generations just as the parents, in a biological sense, are links between the hereditary past of the race and the "souls" seeking experiences and self-focusing in human organisms. The lowered social standing of teachers in the modern world is another index to, and cause of, our social chaos.
      The preservation of a society and a culture depends upon the Jupiter-Mercury function, as it is based on religion and education. The entrance of the power of religion and education into the biological sphere of the family means an intrusion of society into the home. When this entrance is of a negative character, the potential conflict between children and parents, brothers and brothers, etc., takes on an acute character and leads to the formation of social complexes. These are primarily based on fear, born of a sense of isolation and inferiority, and secondarily on the attempt to overcome fear and insecurity through acquisitiveness, lust, greed, aggressiveness and anger.
      I cannot here discuss in detail the extraordinarily varied ways in which these complexes manifest, from the many phobias to the multiple forms of sadism and oppression-mania, from avariciousness to the bitterest pangs of envy, from kleptomania to the aggressiveness of the great conquerors. These are all expressions of a thwarted, frustrated, perverted or exaggerated sense of social relationship. One type of complex, however, should be singled out because it involves not only the social and the religious realms, but reaches down to the very roots of individual existence the "guilt complex."
      The sense of guilt is based on a sense of personal isolation, even though it also fosters this sense of isolation. But it is as well a social-religious (Jupiterian) manifestation, because it is born of a feeling of disharmonious and ultimately destructive participation in the group-life. This feeling, in turn, makes the individual turn against and destroy himself subtly or violently. The two planetary functions basically involved are, thus, Jupiter's and Saturn's. Yet because the sense of guilt frustrates or hinders the individual's attempts at self-transformation and at reaching a higher or broader type of participation in the social or universal life, the Neptunian function and the natal house dealing with personal crises of growth (the sixth house) should be considered for basic clues.
      What people call the voice of conscience is the manifestation of a thwarted function of self-transformation. Any individual should be able to take the next evolutionary step ahead in his personal or group life, yet he is often impelled backward by inertia and by the memory-pull of ancient experiences, whether pleasurable or tragically haunting thus, the Uranus-Neptune power that would enable him to grow "from worm into butterfly" is frustrated, and in its defeat it hounds the unfortunate human being, reproaching him for his weakness. The result is a sense of guilt, which may be collective as well as individual the more collective, the stronger the sense of tribal or social participation.
      The sense of guilt leads to the craving for redemption; and just as a sense of inferiority may lead to an aggressive feeling of superiority, likewise the yearning for redemption may lead, on its active and forceful side, to a Messiah-complex and a poignant desire to redeem others, and unconsciously to escape the responsibility to transform oneself. However one should speak of a Messiah-complex only if the individual is escaping his responsibility for self-transformation. In the true Redeemer, it is the power of his inner metamorphosis which becomes so intense and radiant as to affect, by spirit-borne contagion, his community and perhaps humanity as a whole. He is a true Redeemer, because the spirit is able to use his individual redemption as an example. He acts as a healing force answering the need for redemption of a small or vast group of men. The individual Uranus-Neptune function is thus "hooked up," we might say, to the vast all-human and universal power of revolutionary growth. God transforms humanity through the individuals who transform themselves especially if this individual metamorphosis focuses, in its outstanding character and intensity, the basic need of humanity or of a portion of humanity at the time, and thereby gives it a symbolic and collectively valid meaning. Every act of God is symbolic and impregnated with a collectively valid meaning.
      From the preceding, it should be clear that social-religious complexes can be of so many types as to make their astrological representations equally varied and not to be reduced to a few standardized planetary configurations. In seeking to track down astrological indications which can be regarded as potential sources of social-religious complexes, Jupiter, Mercury and Neptune are the main factors to consider; but, as we already saw, these factors must always be studied in relation to the way in which the Saturn-Moon function operates, as social-religious complexes are, in many cases, the results of, and compensations for, an unbalanced or frustrated relationship to the parents. Moreover, much depends upon the contents and rulership of certain natal houses, especially the third and ninth (also upon the Part of Fortune, which is one of the strongest indications of the "social sense" together with the Parts of Jupiter and Saturn).
      These two planets have been called the "planets of the Soul," but obviously all depends upon what one exactly means by this confusing term "soul." According to the way a Jungian psychologist usually understands the word, the soul constitutes the polar opposite of the ego; as Jupiter, the polar opposite of Saturn. However, as the two factors are constantly interwoven and interdependent, it is entirely legitimate to say that the "Soul life" is the result of their inter-relatedness. This inter-relatedness finds its essential expression in the Father-image, i.e. in a person's relationship to his father and attitude toward everything that refers psychologically and socially to fatherhood including particularly all forms of religious and political authority. This is so because, as I already pointed out, the traditional father is both a part of the family circle and the active representative of the family in the outer world of society and of society in the inner world of family. In him, therefore, the biological and the social spheres, the primordial home and the community-life, interpenetrate.
      The distinction between these two spheres, and also between the mother (as symbol of home life) and the father (symbol of public social life), is no longer as sharp as it used to be. Therefore, modern astrology finds it very difficult to say which of the fourth and tenth houses corresponds to the father, and which to the mother. The fourth house is nevertheless the sphere of private and personal (thus, "soul") integration; while the tenth house is that in which the formed individual establishes his place and his function in the universe and in society-and this place is the foundation of the ego. It is ruled by Saturn.
      The astrological relationship between Jupiter and Saturn indicates thus the relationship between one's sense of "place" in society and one's sense of personal soul-integration the latter being fed by the Moon function, but established as a conscious psychological factor by the Jupiter function. When Jupiter forms a square (and semi-square) with Saturn, a state of dynamic tension is shown to exist in the personality. This state can be either destructive or regenerative. It reveals in any case a conflict within the individual between the traditional social sense of "place" and the drive toward inner personal integration. It indicates a strong spiritual dissatisfaction with accepted social and personal standards. The power of this potentially "divine" discontent can lead the individual to a transformation and broadening of his sense of selfhood, as well as of his participation in the world and in society; it may also produce very strong social complexes caused by an endemic state of rebellion against all forms of authority.
      On the other hand, a natal conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn indicates the probability of the emergence of a new sense of personal or social integration within the individual, a new type of alignment with the universal or social whole (Hermann Keyserling, F. D. Roosevelt, for instance); while the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn reveals a life most likely featuring a deep inner decision (as a rule somewhere during the thirties or forties) or a radical change in external social conditioning which will transform the root-implications of destiny.
      What happens essentially in these cases of focalized Jupiter-Saturn relationship is either that the preserving Jupiterian function finds itself altered by a radical transformation in the personal or social structure-conditioning Father-image (Saturn), or that the individual ego (Saturn) is compelled to experience some kind of reconstruction because of the breakdown of the preserving Jupiter function. A religious conversion or a sudden loss of wealth, prestige or health would be possible instances of such a breakdown.
      The 20-year transit cycle of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions is of capital importance in forecasting potential crises in the social sense of an individual and in his approach to personal integration. The passage of Jupiter over the natal "angles" (ascendant, midheaven, etc.) and through the houses during its approximate 12-year cycle is also of utmost importance; and this transit-cycle has been used extensively in the field of business.
      A retrograde Jupiter can be considered a significant indication, provided the astrologer is able to interpret this factor in terms of the entire chart-pattern and does not jump to standardized conclusions. A number of instances of retrograde Jupiter are found in the charts illustrating Marc Jones' book The Guide to Horoscope Interpretation, and listing them will show at once that no obvious conclusions as to the social or financial meaning of such a natal Jupiter should be reached: Theodore Roosevelt, Cecil Rhodes, Andrew Carnegie, Karl Marx, Prince Bismarck, Lord Byron, Francisco Franco, Mahatma Gandhi, Goethe, George Washington, Louis Pasteur. A strange collection of powerful and highly significant individuals!
      Let us look briefly at a few of these charts. Theodore Roosevelt and Cecil Rhodes (the great British empire-builder and diamond magnate) were both, in their youth, sick. The former has Jupiter retrograde in Gemini and the 6th house; the latter in Sagittarius and the 12th house. By overcoming or using this condition they developed their power. Theodore Roosevelt's Mars rising and culminating Scorpio Sun gave him the necessary drive; and the Mars-Moon opposition on the horizon, plus the perfect Cross made by the Jupiter-Venus opposition squaring Neptune and the Part of Fortune, tell a story of overcoming of a strong mother-complex and regenerative personal will. In Andrew Carnegie's chart Jupiter retrograde stands isolated, squared by Pluto, opposing the Part of Fortune; but the first house Sun-Mars conjunction gives also violent energy. Cecil Rhodes' Part of Fortune is conjunct Jupiter, square Neptune, and opposing Mars. Karl Marx's retrograde Jupiter opposes Mars, but is in sextile to a dominant Saturn-Pluto conjunction; and we find him the builder of a practical technique (sextile) of social rebellion.
      The fact that Jupiter is retrograde at birth certainly does not mean that the individual will be a weak or retiring social person, or an introvert. But it does mean usually that this individual will meet problems of self-preservation in his environment problems which, if overcome, will be the very foundations of his destiny and his strength. These may refer to health, or social status; or they may be focused by social sympathy and indignation at social abuses (as in the case of Gandhi, Marx, et al.). But they are problems causing the individual to question and challenge traditionally and socially accepted values. If the challenge is successful the individual may reach fame or wealth; otherwise he may go down as a criminal or a social wreck. The complex is there in either case.

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1966 and 1976 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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