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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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Planetary and Social Cycles - 4

The creative Power acts through human persons when the time for a new release of power has struck on the cosmic clock of evolution. It also starts into operation a multitude of less focalized transforming activities. The seed period of transition has then begun; but at the material and sociocultural level, the New Age has not really dawned. It is "conceived," yet not yet "born." The Avatar is the Logos Spermatikos known to the Greek philosophers. He impregnates the planetary ovum within the placental biosphere; and it is such an Act that the fecundation by the Holy Spirit of Mary, the immaculately conceived Virgin, symbolizes. Gautama's mother was also called Maya — a term which designates the personifying power of existence in the world of "name and form" (nama and rupa), a world which to the purely spiritual consciousness must appear as an illusion, an imaginative daydream.

These general remarks were necessary to establish what, to me, is a sound approach to the study of all cyclic processes. It is impossible here to deal with the many cycles considered significant by both the Occultist and the astrologer concerned with planetary changes, the growth of nations and the various periods marking the development of human civilizations. In my book Astrological Timing: The Transition to a New Age (Harper and Row, N.Y., paperback) the cycle of the precession of the equinoxes (with its twelve Ages) and the cycles of relationship established by the successive conjunctions of the larger planets (beginning with Jupiter and Saturn, and stressing more particularly the complex interplay between the revolutions of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) have been studied with their historical correlations. The interested reader has to be referred to this book, as the subject is much too vast to be discussed here.

It seems valuable nevertheless to point out that the precessional cycle (lasting around 25,900 years — a length that presumably varies slightly with each cycle) constitutes the third of the main cyclic motions of our globe — the two others being its daily rotation around the polar axis, and its yearly revolution around the Sun. This precessional cycle, as usually described in astrology, refers to the retrograde displacement of the equinoxes with reference to zodiacal constellations, which are supposed to be "fixed" (the fixed stars) but actually change shape very slowly. As the equinoxes represent the two moments during the year when the Sun sets exactly west and when days and nights are of equal length, this means that, at the spring equinox, the Sun today has moved away from a star with which it was in exact conjunction several centuries ago.

Actually, however, this movement of the equinoxes in relation to the fixed stars is only the secondary result of a cyclic motion of the polar axis of the Earth, a gyrating motion, because of which the North pole points successively to stars forming a cosmic circle. In other words, the orientation of the polar axis slowly changes during a period approximating that of the cycle of precession of the equinoxes; it is also a cyclic change, and evidently a very significant one because it is along the line of a prolonged polar axis that galactic forces are said to enter the electromagnetic field of our planet's organism. This polar axis may be compared to the erect spine of man; and any student of esoteric philosophy and yoga has heard of the importance of this spinal axis in the occult process of development of consciousness, called in India Kundalini Yoga. The North and South poles of the Earth can thus be compared to the ends of the human spine, the Root Chakra in the region of the coccyx and the center at the top of the cranium, while the Earth's equator refers to the diaphragm and the region of the solar plexus.

Changes in the orientation of the polar axis bring this spinal column of our globe in direct alignment with a succession of "pole stars," and thus with a specific region of the galaxy — which, for man, represents at least symbolically the Spiritual World, the world of divine Hierarchies(4). As I stated in my first book on astrology, The Astrology of Personality (first edition, 1936: A Key to Astrological Symbolism pp. 179 and 191 et seq.) it may be that the Great Polar cycle is most significantly divided into 7 periods of close to 3700 years each. Another possible division is also suggested in The Secret Doctrine (first edition, I:505): a division of the Great Cycle (often referred to as "the great Tropical Year") into 370 "Days," each lasting seventy normal years. However, as astrology, at least in its popular aspect, deals primarily with the vital forces represented by the Sun, and as the zodiac — a creation of the apparent motion of the Sun — is the basis for most astrological measurements, the gyration of the polar axis has remained mostly unnoticed, even though it is the most basic movement. And not only has the whole attention of the people been focused on the precession of the equinoxes, but the peculiar idea that, as a new Age opens, the Sun successively "enters" Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, etc. has become popularized, though if stated in such a simplistic and inaccurate manner, it makes no sense whatever.

There are other less important or secondary motions of the globe; moreover the shape of the orbit of the Earth undergoes some very slow periodical alterations. But these periods are very large and are not used because it is not possible to experience them, or even their subdivisions. A celestial phenomenon which cannot be measured in terms of an easily available frame of reference, whose recurrence is too rare to be a collective human experience, cannot serve a useful purpose as a "word" in the symbolic "language" of astrology. Yet to the Occultist it could be a most meaningful indication of a cosmic or planetary process, if it has been so regarded in the accumulated group-wisdom of an occult Brotherhood existing for millennia.

As I see it, a Great Cycle for the precession of the equinoxes began around 100 B.C., and as it lasts some 2160 years it will end in less than a century around 2060 A.D. Its seed period, being a tenth of the cycle, began around 1844. That was the year in which a young Persian Prophet announced the end of the Islamic era and the beginning of a New Age of which the Avatar (or "Divine Manifestation") was about to reveal himself — a revelation which came nineteen years later when one of his original followers proclaimed himself Baha'u'llah (meaning the Glory of God), the Expected One. In 1846 Neptune was discovered and in 1848 the Communist manifesto began the movement that has changed human history; American Spiritualism also began, and the Industrial Revolution, through the spread of the railroads and the invention of the telegraph, reached a more concrete and world transforming stage.

Thus the transition that at the existential level will eventually lead to the new Aquarian Age has begun. Yet, referring to what has already been stated, this means that at the spiritual-archetypal level the new cycle itself has already started with a release of cosmic power and archetypal Images. That release of power is slowly making its way "downward," producing a radical upheaval in all institutions and cultural forms which had been developing during the Piscean Age, especially since the mid-point of that Age, around 980 A.D. and after the great crisis of the year 1000.(5)

We shall once more consider the character of this "descent" of creative, transforming power in the chapter concluding this book, but now we have briefly to discuss another kind of cycle, a cycle whose origin is no longer based on a motion of the Earth, but on a socio-cultural-religious factor, the calendar: the Century Cycle.

4. According to some occult traditions the galaxy is the cosmic Womb of Souls, and each human Soul has its cosmic-divine counterpart in a particular star — its "Father in heaven."  Return

5. As the cycle of precession of the equinoxes derives from the retrograde movement of not only the spring equinox but of both equinoctial points, the Piscean Age should actually be called the "Pisces-Virgo Age." The Pisces polarity dominates during approximately the first half of the cycle, but thereafter the Virgo polarity and the qualities it characterizes (particularly the faculty of intellectual analysis and critical objectivity) gain an increasing power. It dominates the sociocultural stage during the last fourth of the cycle, thus after 1520 — the Renaissance period and, with Francis Bacon, the rise of the modern scientific spirit. Much that today is considered an expression of the Aquarian Age is rather the manifestation of a protest against this Virgo influence and a nostalgic return to the Piscean spirit of early Christianity — and also, in political Fascism, to the ideal of the Roman Empire and its Administrators who foreshadowed some of our modern "technocrats" at the centers of political power.  Return

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.

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