The Zodiacal Earth-Field - 4
Can one find valid, or at least convincing geographical reasons to correlate a longitude-zone or degree of longitude with any particular region or locality on the surface of the globe?
Some authors have felt they could, and the locality selected has been the Great Pyramid in Egypt — which, according to their calculations, stands at the center of the land area of the globe and, according to a persistent occult tradition, was built by very ancient pre-Egyptian races, not as a tomb, but as a place of Initiation. This Great Pyramid (not the others) is supposed to be a monument built according to really cosmic proportions, and in a sense as a "meeting place" between Heaven and Earth. It is said to have been built a whole precessional cycle before the date usually given by modern Egyptologists.
I personally believe in this old tradition which has been stressed not only by H. P. Blavatsky, but by several independent researchers and archaeologists, including an old Bahai friend of mine, Dr. Getzinger, who claimed that he had proofs that the base of the Pyramid had been washed several times by the sea. The most noted student of the Pyramid was, late last century, Albert Ross Parsons who wrote a book The Great Pyramid: Its Divine Message, which has had a lasting influence on many serious minds, even if it has been used by less perspicacious and sound persons to back up various theories and "prophecies." What Mr. Parsons did, however, was to spread the constellations of stars -and not only the zodiacal ones — all over the globe. He spread the celestial map of stars over a planispheric map of the earth, using as an "anchorage" the Great Pyramid (that is, east longitude 31º08' and north latitude 29º59'). One needs such an anchorage, for the earth-globe is constantly rotating around its polar axis, and thus there is no reason why one should, as it were, stop the globe at one point and then project the star-contents of the sky upon its surface. For various reasons dealing with Pyramidal and occult data, the locality of the Pyramid was made to correspond to the middle point in the constellation Taurus.
Some fifty years later, an American astrologer, who wrote books and articles for the magazine "American Astrology," Edward Johndro, while retaining the basic concept of Parsons, came to believe that the correlation between the zodiac and the earth-globe was not a static one, because of the fact of the precession of the equinoxes. In other words, at one time certain regions of the globe correspond to, or are "ruled" by mid-Taurus; but the same regions 2160 years later correspond to mid-Gemini — for the whole zodiac has been moving westward. According to Mr. Johndro, 0º Aries corresponded around 1930 to 29º10' of geographical longitude west, and that first degree of the zodiac was moving westward at the precessional rate of 72 years per degree of longitude.
Another American astrologer, Paul Council, followed the same trend of ideas; but, though using the Great Pyramid as starting point, he came for various reasons, mainly related to the position of the star Aldebaran at a certain time, to assign around 1930 another geographical value to Aries 0º, i. e. west geographical longitude 36º42'.
In order to evaluate the significance of such theories one has to realize that two different sets of factors are actually being considered. If this is not clear, confusion is bound to reign. Albert Parsons' system of correspondence between the Sky-macrocosm and the Earth-microcosm was based on the old Hermetic (and indeed Chinese) cosmology, which has been succinctly formulated in the statement: As above, so below. The entire Chinese system of life was based on the concept that the order of the Sky had to be precipitated upon the chaotic earth-surface (or, socially speaking, the State) through the intermediary of a kind of focusing agent, the Emperor.
Such a type of thinking can be found everywhere, more or less developed, at the level of tribal organization — even when the tribe has become expanded into some kind of kingdom under a more or less theocratic system. It was strongly in evidence in Egypt, and we find it operating on a smaller scale in Black African cultures (in the region of the Sudan, for instance) as well as in the American Indian pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona. At such a stage of cultural and religious development one finds a deeply rooted belief that in the kingdom or the pueblo there is a sacred spot at which either a special connection between the Sky-gods and the kingdom is focused, or one can find the entrance to a secret path which leads to the center of the earth.
The old tradition is that the Great Pyramid was such a sacred place, a link between the celestial and the earthly realms. It was therefore the place at which sacred Initiations were performed. It was, in this sense at least, the "center" of the earth-surface, of Man's world. Through it, as through an engine, the energies of the cosmos were released upon this world. For the old Egyptians, Egypt was of course the central reality of Man's world — and so was China for the Chinese, India (the old Aryavarta) to the Hindus, Rome to the Romans. To the French people with roots in the past, Paris is la Ville-Lumiere (the City that is Light); and to the English claiming a special world-wide mission for sacred Albion, it is indeed logical to have geographical measurements keyed to the Greenwich meridian.
It would seem, however, that the pragmatic and practical English astrologer based his theory on the zodiac of signs, not on an attempt to discover which place on Earth corresponded to what celestial fixed star; or at least the astrologers who use his system in what is often called "location astrology" are concerned with the correspondence between geographical longitudes and celestial right ascension — right ascension being measured on the equatorial plane and not too different from celestial longitude, measured along the ecliptic. For instance, if the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus occurs at the right ascension corresponding to Libra 2º (or celestial longitude 182º, then the "influence" of this conjunction may be said to be focused upon regions located at the 178º longitude west (some of the Aleutian Islands, Midway Island, etc.) because the sign Libra extends from 180º to 150º west longitude, as Libra 0º corresponds to the International Date Line in mid-Pacific and the degrees of zodiacal longitude always progress westward on the globe. And I should add here that if one wants to make a "location chart" for any city, what the "geodetic equivalent" refers to is the Mid-Heaven of the place. The locality's Ascendant must be found in an ordinary Table of Houses for the geographical latitude of the city.
The practical value of the system is quite obvious. If the Mid-Heaven and Ascendant of a person's birth-place do not fit well with this person's birth-planets, he may find life more harmonious and easy in another geographical location; and if an "unfortunate" planetary conjunction hits the meridian or ascendant of the place at which the individual resides, and also affects his own chart, he may palliate greatly the unfortunate "influence" by moving to some other locality. He can in fact, in a sense, modify his own birth-chart by moving to another longitude and latitude.
Such at least is the rather popular belief in some astrological circles where the validity of Sepharial's system is not even questioned; and according to many people "it works." Perhaps it does to some extent, at this time and for people of our Western world, for the same reason that the English language may conceivably be accepted as an international language; but, every consistent astrological system seems to work for the astrologers who are thoroughly familiar with it and fully believe in its value. This is why I have always stated that astrology is a symbolic language and not an exact empirical science.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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