Stars, Constellations and Signs of the Zodiac - 6
Stars Are Not "Fixed"
The stars are not fixed; they all have their proper motions. If they do not appear to move appreciably even during a thousand years, it is because they are so far away from us. We consider the zodiac of constellations as the "fixed zodiac" simply because we take it as our frame of reference — i. e. as a fixed background upon which we can project, plot and measure the motions of the sun, the moon and the planets. But why not reverse the procedure and, say that it is the equinoxes that are the fixed base-line and that it is the stars which move in relation to it in a 26,000 year period, called by some authors, the Great Sidereal Year? Actually astronomers operate in this manner, except that they measure the positions of the stars mainly in Right Ascension (i. e. with reference to the celestial equatorial plane) instead of in celestial longitude (i. e. with reference to the ecliptic).
Nothing is motion-less in the universe; and all motions should be related to the observer. This is astrological "relativity" — a definitely modern concept. Man is the observer; and normally his basic post of observation is his birthplace. The universe is as he sees it. The stars move in one day around his earth-location; they move through ideally defined twelve sections of space, above and below his horizon — and these sections are what the astrological Houses should be, but which in fact our zodiac-haunted astrology forbids them to be. These same stars move also during the Great Year across the ecliptic; that is, their celestial longitudes change from 0° (the beginning of the sign, Aries) to 360°.
These are the fact s relative to the human observer; and astrology should be today "person-centered" rather than geocentric. It deals with the relationship between a single individual person and the whole universe of which that person is the center. He is truly the center of the universe because he observes it consciously. Everyman, if he be truly a microcosm, is the center of his own universe. At least this must be so in "natal astrology". If we deal with global Man spread all around the globe, then a "geocentric" astrology is required. Everything changes according to the point of view, because each point of view produces its own frame of reference for measurements. Each man faces the world from his own individual station — or else he is only a non-differentiated unit in the collective whole constituted by his tribe, his culture, or today, his nation.
The whole world confronts the individual person at every moment. The one purpose of astrology is to help him to understand the meaning of this ever-renewed confrontation. If he understands well this meaning he can offer a valid, significant and therefore "creative" response to the universe. And that is the only thing that counts in human life: to be able to give at every moment a creative, thus significantly transforming response to whatever greater whole within which the individual person is operating — whether it be his community, his nation, humanity or the whole universe.
In order to be able to give consciously and definitely such a response, a man must realize what he really is as a person born at a certain time of human history and at a certain place within a society structured by a traditional culture — or trying to break away from such a culture and allowing a new one to arise. Moreover, a human being extends not only in space, but also in time. The individual person is not only what he is now, but the entire series of now's from birth to death. Man is not born an individual person. He becomes one in concrete fact from day to day. He is constantly in process of actualization. And it is this process — which is the true meaning of the word "destiny" — that astrology can help the individual person to understand. The Great Sidereal Year cycle can also, to some extent at least, help us also to understand the place which, collectively today as mankind, we are occupying — the phase of the process of mind development (which we call "civilization") through which our generation is now living and struggling.
It is the coming of the great stars to certain critical points within our basic frame of reference, the ecliptic, that may tell us the story. That is to say, if a particular brilliant star reaches longitude 0° it will find itself, symbolically speaking, fecundating with its radiations the spring season of the year. It will be in conjunction with the sun at the vernal equinox. If it has longitude 120° it will be conjunct the Sun when the latter enters the zodiacal sign, Leo.
There was a time — around 3000 BC — when according to the old Persian astrologers, "four Royal Stars" were pointing to the four directions of space, marked by the equinoxes and solstices. Aldebaran (constellation Taurus) was pointing to the East, pouring its radiations then upon the springs of our northern hemisphere. Regulus (constellation Leo) was pointing to the South, and the summer solstice. Antares (constellation Scorpio) was pointing to the West, and the fall equinox. Fomalhaut (constellation Pisces Australis) was pointing to the North, and the winter solstice.
Today Aldebaran is located in the zodiacal sign Gemini (about 9°); Antares, at about 9° Sagittarius; Fomalhaut, at about 3° Pisces; and Regulus at the very end of Leo — entering what I called the Sphynx degrees (Leo 30th degree and Virgo 1st degree), because the Sphynx, being half-lion and half-Virgin, obviously represents symbolically the transition between Leo and Virgo. Regulus was entering the sign Leo in 137 BC (according to the astronomer Hugh Rice), i. e. it had longitude 120°; and this may be another way of defining the beginning of the so-called "Piscean" Age. Regulus will reach longitude 150 degrees (the sign Virgo) around 2010 AD The great star Betelgeuze in the constellation Orion, will enter next century the sign Cancer (longitude 90°) — thus it will pour its energies upon the summers of our northern hemisphere; and this will be one of the factors pin-pointing the beginning of the so-called "Aquarian Age", as we shall see later on.
It is the position of the stars as well as of the planets and other astrological factors with relation to the equinoxes and solstices which should essentially be considered as the most significant indicators of what is taking place in the evolution of mankind; just as the positions of the sun, moon, planets (and, at least in some cases, of the stars) in relation to the actual horizon and the zenith-nadir vertical axis of the birth-chart are the most significant factors in defining the particular individuality and destiny of a human being. The planets' places in the zodiacal signs (i.e. their longitudes) and the aspects they make to each other refer more to the specific character of the energies of the person' s nature; that is, to the particular kind of human being he is.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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