Two Hundred Years of Growth Through Crisis
In so-called secondary progressions,
what takes place in the sky each day after the birth of a person gives us an archetypal or symbolic picture of the conditions which develop during one year of that person's actual living. Astrologers often say that this equivalence between a year of life and one day in the sky is based on the fact that the two basic frames of reference used in astrology are the year and the day — that is, the revolution of the Earth around the Sun, and the daily rotation of the Earth around its polar axis. Thus a special relationship is said to exist between these two kinds of motion. It is a symbolic relationship, for there is no logical reason for establishing a causal relationship between the day following the birth, moment and the first year of life. Yet symbolic though it may be, the equivalence of day and year in astrological practice can be demonstrated to be valid.
It has occurred to me, however, that the length of the gestation period in the human species — nine months — may provide a significant clue to the problem of the validity of the secondary progressions. If the Sun in astrology represents the life-principle, and each month of solar motion releases a specific seasonal kind of life-energy, it seems logical to me to expect that the complete formation of man — who is thought to be a microcosmic condensation of the forces active in the macrocosm, or at least in the solar system — should take a whole year. As the embryonic development in the womb takes nine months, it would be natural to assume that the extra three months needed to complete the solar cycle would refer to the also embryonic
unfoldment of a psychic organism
. Such a psychic organism exists in man as the basis for the operation of emotional-mental faculties and the development of a "reflective" type of consciousness deeply anchored in social and cultural factors — a consciousness able to look upon itself, to question the motives and the value of instinctual behavior, and to think in terms of words, symbols and abstract concepts. Three months equal ninety to ninety-two days, and if we consider the period of ninety years as the normal maximum length of a human life at least in the present state of the solar system and according to the length of the Earth's revolution, which evidently are not necessarily constant — then the ninety days after birth would represent the time during which progressions are effective in terms of the life of a human being, the time for the release of all the kinds of solar energy needed for the full development of man's psychic and mental capacities. What happens in the solar system during the ninety days after birth would therefore present us with an archetypal blueprint for the growth of the individual's consciousness — or, if we use the term in its broadest and most precise sense, his intelligence. Intelligence in man essentially is the faculty which allows him to consciously adapt to his biological, social and psychic environment in such a way that he can obtain optimum conditions for his growth and fulfillment.(1
When we are no longer dealing with an individual person, but instead with a collective person such as a nation, the situation changes due to the necessarily much longer time span involved. We have to think of the secondary progressions as indications of a general process that refers to the gradual evolution of the nation's destiny and to changes in collective consciousness. If we do this, we obtain relevant, although general, indications, the main value of which is to identify fundamental phases in the growth of the collective psyche and to provide some clues to their meaning. These phases do not refer primarily to specific historic events. Some kinds of events will be associated to them, but these events actual have only secondary importance. It is the person that happens to an event, rather than the event happening to the person.
In the normal life of an individual human being, only the progressed Moon can make a complete circuit around the birth chart. It does this every twenty-seven or twenty-eight years, thus making three or four such revolutions in a lifetime. In the case of the U.S. birth chart, which covers a much longer period of time than the lifespan of an individual, the progressed, Sun has only recently reached the zodiacal point opposite where it was at birth; the same is true of Mercury. The progressed Moon, however, has returned to its natal place seven times, the last time during 1968-1969.
This is, needless to say, not the meaning given to the word
when one speaks of "intelligence tests." Return
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