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Dane Rudhyar's Occult Preparations for a New Age. Image Copyright 2004 by Michael R. Meyer.

by Dane Rudhyar, 1975

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A Planetary Approach to Occultism amd Its Source

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To Michael R. Meyer
and Nancy Kleban
In warm appreciation
and friendship.

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This title was first published by Quest Books, 1975.

Cover for the online edition copyright © 2004
by Michael R. Meyer.

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Avatars and Seed Men for a New Civilization - 2

The realm of mind apparently unfolds its inherent potentialities in cycles whose common denominator is a 500-year period. A large cycle of 10,000 years is mentioned in The Mahatma Letters (p. 117) which is said to refer to the reappearance of the Buddha. As Buddha essentially symbolizes the power and wisdom of vibration 6, this 10,000 year cycle may refer to periodical attempts by him or by great beings related to him to focus a strong spiritual "Light" upon those whose work is attuned to the higher aspect of the Mind.

We have seen that conjunctions of Neptune and Pluto occur close to every five hundred years. I believe that these conjunctions, and the periods during which Pluto moves within Neptune's orbit, are very important indicators, clocking, as it were, the process of civilization in a global sense. There was such a conjunction in 1891-92 and in a very few years and until the end of the century, Pluto will be closer to the Sun, and thus move a little faster than Neptune. Fifty years — a tenth of the whole cycle — had elapsed since the Neptune-Pluto conjunction when the U.S. entered World War II and the atom bomb project was started; and the idea of atomic fission can be traced to the discovery by Roentgen of X-rays, a discovery soon followed by that of radium by the Curies. We can refer to these fifty years as the germinal period of transition of the 500-year cycle; the seed period of the cycle began fifty years before in the early forties of the nineteenth century. And this was also the time (1844 to 1848) when the seed-period of the Piscean Age began.

According to Hindu chronology, the Kali Yuga (or Iron Age) began in 3102 B.C. If we add five thousand years (ten 500-year periods) we come to the last years of last century. H.P. Blavatsky died in May 1891, and Baha'u'llah on May 29, 1892. William Q. Judge, who worked devotedly and in close spiritual contact with H.P.B. and was instrumental in starting the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society, died in 1896. A new phase in Western occultism seems to have begun with the new century.

This leads us to a consideration of the century which, by its very nature, refers to sociocultural processes, inasmuch as it depends for its start on the calendar adopted by a particular society and religion. A century constitutes one-fifth of the 500-year cycle of civilization and of the development of the mind — as a principle of activity at least relatively independent (or susceptible of becoming independent) from the vibration of nature in the Earth's biosphere. As a new 500-year cycle began in the 1890's, the preceding one started at the close of the fourteenth century. And a number of theosophists believe that this was the time when the trans-Himalayan Brotherhood (and perhaps other Brotherhoods as well) planned to attempt during the last quarter of every century to bring to the Western world as much of the ancient planetary and "Kumaric" knowledge as Western people could respond to and assimilate. It is said that the true Rosicrucian Movement began with Christian Rosenkrantz in the last quarter of the fourteenth century. This period was also the beginning of the Humanistic Movement which led to the Renaissance and the development of the modern mentality.

A very interesting fact is that, if we consider the five centuries which, broadly speaking, began in 1400, we can establish a very suggestive relation between the specific character of these centuries — at least at the level of the transformative Mind of Man — and the sequence of planets in the solar system.

We will start with the Earth, as the foundation of civilization, and relate it to the fourteenth century (1300 to 1400), when the need for a new vision and new social concepts was arising, leading to the formation of modern nations. Mars then corresponds to the fifteenth century which ended with the start of the great voyages that enabled at least a few men to circumnavigate the globe and thus to experience — the fundamental nature and shape of the Earth. The sixteenth century can be symbolized by Jupiter. It witnessed the Renaissance and the creative activities of visionaries and many-sided men who sought to expand man's cosmic vision and to build a new Europe. It also saw the birth of Protestantism.

Saturn solidifies what Jupiter has expanded; and with that planet we come to the seventeenth century, with its cruel religious wars, solidifying a division in the Western mind, and the triumph of Classical formalism and rigorous ritualism (the French king, Louis XIV and his Versailles Court). The seventeenth century also began with Francis Bacon's Novum Organum which established the principles of the scientific method and of objective, rationalistic thinking-principles which gained full control of the official Western mind after Descartes, Newton, and in sociopolitical matters, Locke.

The eighteenth century is the Uranian century, the century of the Enlightenment, of Free Masonry and of the Revolutionary Era. What had begun in the Mars century with Humanism, the birth of a national consciousness, the discovery of America and the first attempts at breaking the stranglehold of the "one and indivisible Medieval Catholic Order," reached a powerful new stage of manifestation after 1700, partly in opposition to the formalism and autocratic rigor of the Saturn century. The transformative operation of the vibration 5 associated with Uranus nevertheless was confined to the level of intellectual abstractions. Democracy, freedom, equality, fraternity were mainly ideals embodied in great slogans and declarations of individual or collective independence. They had to face the crucial test of how to meet and respond to the availability of the vast new powers released by the Industrial Revolution and by the need for the world expansion in order to obtain raw materials for industry.

The European and American nations failed quite miserably to meet that difficult test; and the nineteenth century is largely the story of that failure. It was the Neptune century; and as Neptune is the universal solvent of alchemical lore, so that century witnessed the dissolution of the old aristocratic and feudal traditions and the rise of both a mercantile materialistic bourgeoisie and an increasingly desperate proletariat, progeny of the new industrial order. But this was also the century of Romanticism and Christian socialism and humanitarianism, of Utopian communities and the Red Cross.

During the forties of the century, as Neptune was discovered, two great religious movements — one of which was atheistic —were started which envisioned a totally new and global society: the Bahai Faith in its initial form, and the Communist Movement as introduced by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles. Because these two movements have not been seen in a truly significant, not only historical but planetary perspective, and their very special polar relationship — spiritual and material — has never been understood or even less referred to the seed period between the Piscean and Aquarian Ages — I feel it is important for me here to discuss them at some length.

The Bahai Movement began in Persia in 1844 with the proclamation by an inspired and soon martyred youth (the Bab, a descendant of Mohammed), that the Islamic era had ended and that a new age was beginning, whose source would be a great "divine Manifestation." In 1863 one of the Bab's main disciples (the son of one of the ministers of the Shah of Persia), after experiencing harsh persecution and exile, proclaimed himself "He who was to come," taking the name of Baha'u'llah (the Glory of Allah). Soon after, while a prisoner in the pestilential Turkish town of Akka (in what is now Israel), in his "Letters to Kings" and in many Tablets, he set down basic principles for a new World-Order and a detailed body of directives for its practical social and political organization. The concept of unity (or integration) is basic in such an organization. Twelve basic principles are formulated: (1) the oneness of mankind, (2) the independent investigation of truth, (3) the foundation of all religions are one (4) religion must be a cause of unity, (5) religion must be in accord with science and reason, (7) prejudices of all kinds must be forgotten, (8) universal peace is the goal, (9) universal education must prevail, (10) a spiritual solution of the economic problem must be found,(11) a universal language, and (12) a universal tribunal must be established.(1)

These principles — let us not forget — were proclaimed by a prisoner of the Turkish government just after 1863 without any contact with Western society. Some of them are very idealistic, as was the Uranian slogan of the French revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity. But the Bahai's were first in Asia to demand and to practice the full liberation of women, their equal participation with men in all social and religious matters, a complete lack of race and color discrimination, and their Faith has no room for any kind of priesthood.

Marxian world-communism also aimed at establishing a planetary society free from conflicts and from what Marx and Engels considered to be the fundamental cause of international, interclass, and interpersonal warfare: but it believed in achieving ends by violent and (whenever necessary) deceitful and utterly ruthless means. It has sought to foster hatred between social classes and to induce in the proletariat and the oppressed people of the world total despair by denying them even the consolation of religious other-world beliefs, so that being desperate they would risk everything to achieve physical and materialistic social victory over the privileged and oppressing classes — an important point often forgotten.

In these two movements, the Bahai Faith and at least original Communism, the ideal end in view is a world-society in which all human beings would live in peace — thus one might say, Millennium, a New Age global world. But for the Bahai's this new world is seen as the outer manifestation on Earth, at a time dictated by the vast cyclic processes of a God-created universe, of a divinely appointed World-Order embodying the perfection of justice and moved by all-encompassing Love. In contrast, Communism thinks of human freedom and social equality only in terms of material power, wealth, and opportunity; and its philosophical and evolutionary philosophy was and still is determined by the concepts of a materialistic and godless nineteenth century science.

For the Bahais, the means to actualize the ideal vision and the Divine Plan can only be love and utter faith in the Divine Manifestation, Baha'u'llah, which implies total surrender to the will of God and social unanimity achieved through such a surrender. For the materialistic Communist, the only surrender is to a Cause that forces upon its adherents obedience and the use of violence and deceit in a prolonged ruthless conflict aiming at unanimity only through the brutal suppression of opponents and dissent in all its forms.

Communism has achieved great political victories during the twentieth century, dominating vast countries and populations. The Bahai Faith has spread to nearly all countries of the Earth with its small "local assemblies" and, since 1963, its international "House of Justice" in Haifa, Israel where its headquarters are located, close to the tombs where the bodies of the Bab and Baha'u'llah rest, protected from still violent Mohammedan fanaticism by the Israeli state.

In view of the expansion of the Bahai Faith, of its most remarkable history and its possible future, it may seem strange that so few people concerned with "spiritual" values and believing in a divine Plan gave any real attention to and study all that is implied in the Bahai phenomenon — certainly the most significant, dramatic and compelling religious event since the birth and spread of Islam in the seventh century; but there are several reasons for this. The most obvious one is the manner in which Baha'u'llah expressed himself, using the involved, metaphoric, and apocalyptic language of Persian and Sufi mysticism, and even now the way his followers present his teachings to a humanity conditioned by scientific rationalism and the practical down-to-earth demands and problems of our present society. People today, either are still very much depending upon the Western Christian tradition and its basic symbols and concepts, or else they seek to avoid any absolute commitment to any doctrine based on suprarational claims, unless these claims are made by living persons who can provide them with directly experienceable manifestations of their supernatural wisdom and power. Most Bahais today, passionately certain as they are of the divine character of Baha'u'llah's mission, can only radiate their often dogmatic fervor and the absoluteness of their beliefs. Moreover, the Bahai way of life makes certain demands on the individualistic men and women of our time which are not too easy to accept, for individual opinions not based on the revealed "Truth" are usually not favored in Bahai communities. Such opinions have been and are even less acceptable in doctrinarian Communist cells.

With the Bahai Faith (in a spiritual God-enthralled sense) as with the strict Communist Movement, (in a materialistic and destruction-oriented way), we deal with forms of totalitarianism — subtle yet powerful in the first case, and harsh and deadly in the second — because the compulsive pressure of the need to achieve unanimity requires monolithic features and policies. Mankind has been subjected to such pressures throughout the centuries and millennia, but the Uranian revolution of the eighteenth century, stressing the value of the individual and of "free" scientific inquiry, has brought to a focus in our society the individualizing process, and therefore also the inevitability of strong centrifugal forces. Even then, how free is scientific inquiry, and how devoid of compulsive pressures, financial or psychological, is our democracy? While democratic individualism is an attempt to give free expression to the character of the vibration 5 which has now great power, this power very often lacks a truly spiritual foundation, simply because the fundamental character of the stage of evolution at which the masses of mankind and Earth nature as a whole operate remains, as I have already stressed, the vibration 4. And both the Bahai Faith and World-Communism essentially are mass movements, as are all organized and institutionalized religions.

Nevertheless, there are many levels at which this vibration can and does operate. It is at least possible, and even probable, that at this time in human evolution the Bahai Faith represents the highest possibility of organizing mankind as a whole on a divinely inspired basis. On the other hand, Marxian communism, even in its most idealistic and "religious" (even if atheistic) form, represents a matter-bound, spirit-denying response to this mass vibration of the Earth and mankind. To the individualistic mind eager for freedom and self-determination, both movements are difficult to accept, at least in their entirety. Other paths are therefore provided for such minds to follow.

1. The only Westerner to see Baba'u'llah in his later years was Edward G. Browne, an Orientalist from Cambridge University. Browne had several audiences in 1890 near Haifa and his description of Baba'u'llah's features almost suggests those attributed by some Theosophists to the archetypal Manu of our Fifth Root-Race: "The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one's very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow; while the deep lines on the forehead and face implied an age which the jet-black hair and beard flowing down in indistinguishable luxuriance almost to the waist seemed to belie. No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before One who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might enjoy and emperors sigh for in vain!"  Return

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
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