Unlocking the Mysteries
of Esoteric Astrology
by Mark Lerner
Ever since Welcome to Planet Earth began as a newsletter in the summer of 1981, we have presented a logo of the solar system as a spiritual key that can unlock many of the mysteries of esoteric astrology. [See color symbol attached to this feature.] When WTPE began, this logo contained the Sun and Moon (two lights) and five traditional planets -- with the Earth at the center. Over time, a cosmic triangle was added -- revealing Uranus above, Neptune on the left and Pluto on the right.
For the past few years, this cryptic image has been placed on the bottom portion of our front covers of the printed magazine. To probably most of you, this symbol is obscure, maybe not even recognized. Yet it is dynamic picture of our solar systemic life that can be deciphered as a kind of "Rosetta Stone," helping us decode the abstruse hieroglyphics of the language of esoteric astrology.
Origins of this Symbol
In the years before I began Welcome To Planet Earth, I steeped myself in the Ageless Wisdom teachings of many cultures. I read books by P.D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, H.P. Blavatsky, Alice A. Bailey (and the Tibetan Master D.K.), Edgar Cayce, Manly Palmer Hall, Alan Watts, Geoffrey Ashe and others in the esoteric, metaphysical field. I worked at the Lucis Publishing Company/Arcane School in New York City in 1974-1975 and was a member of the Findhorn Community in Northern Scotland (1976-1979).
Back in 1974, I read a fascinating book called The Secrets of Metals by Wilhelm Pelikan (Anthroposophic Press). This paperback explained the power of the 7 main metals within earthly life, humanity and the individual human being. These 7 metals are Iron, Copper, Silver, Tin, Gold, Mercury and Lead. And as anyone familiar with astrology (and medieval alchemy) knows, these 7 metals are linked to the 7 Ptolemaic planets: Iron-Mars; Copper-Venus; Silver-The Moon; Tin-Jupiter; Gold-The Sun; Mercury-Mercury; and Lead-Saturn.
While the entire book is a literal gold mine of esoteric wealth, pages 11-16 reveal a series of diagrams revealing amazing connections among and between these 7 celestial bodies and metals. It is too involved to give you all the diagrams here. Suffice it to say, there is a true and precise linkage of all 7 planets-metals, according to their atomic weights, how they are found in the natural world (in ores), how they influence the metabolic, nervous and respiratory systems in the human being, how they are aligned in space (via the traditional Ptolemaic system) and how they create our 7-day week (giving us a sense of order in time).
For example, if you move around the circle (see front cover) starting from the placement of Mars (lower right area), going to Venus (lower left area) and continuing clockwise (Moon, Jupiter, Sun, Mercury and Saturn), you have the precise order of atomic weights -- going from the lowest (Iron-Mars) to the highest (Lead-Saturn). Another example: You can create a seven-pointed star within the circle, beginning at the Sun (top) and drawing a line to the Moon, then to Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. With such a seven-pointed star, you create a harmonic design by "jumping over" one planetary placement with each line. You create an intricate, seven-pointed design, but you also are revealing the precise order of the days of the week. Sunday (Sun's day); Monday (Moon's day); Tuesday (Mars' day); Wednesday (Mercury's day); Thursday (Jupiter's or Thor's day); Friday (Venus day); and Saturday (Saturn's day).
As Wilhelm Pelikan states in his book: "With the names of the days, each day of our lives, we are reminded of the cosmic rhythms. The ancient wisdom named our units of time after the stars. The experience of every week reminds us of the evolution of the universe, of the secrets of cosmic becoming, and of the fact that the earth and all its creatures, at every moment, are in constant connection with the spatial configuration of the cosmos and laws of evolution in time."
He also makes another very important statement elsewhere: "The metals belong not to the earth, but to the entire cosmos. This is what our diagram demonstrates." Hopefully, in a future article, I would like to write more about the magic in this statement. It is very clear to me that when the Earth was formed, the metals relating to the 7 celestial bodies were in a sense "gifts" to our planet. They literally are active "powers" of these other solar systemic bodies in our world! Thus, when you "wear a silver bracelet or necklace," you are not simply wearing a metal that has some kind of hazy link to the Moon. You are dynamizing yourself with lunar energies and powers, for good or ill. And therefore much depends on when (the timing) you wear such an item of jewelry. This gets into the whole field of creating talismans and electional astrology.
When I first began my studies in astrology in 1972, my main mentor and teacher was one of the great astrologers of the 20th century, Dane Rudhyar. Thanks to reading all his main astrological masterworks, I was able to become an astrologer. In An Astrological Study of Psychological Complexes (Shambhala paperback, 1976), Dane Rudhyar has much to say about certain pairs of planets. In that book, he discusses several pairs of planets, three of which are: Mercury-Jupiter (Intellectual and Mental Pair); Moon-Saturn (Identity-Structure-Form of Ego and Self); Venus-Mars (Love-Creativity-Sexuality and Procreation). If you draw simple horizontal lines starting at Venus, the Moon and Jupiter on the left side of our symbol's circle, you will connect to Mars, Saturn and Mercury on the right side. Even in our logo, there is a revelation of levels of consciousness. Venus-Mars as a foundation of our desires, passions, urges, emotions and the fundamental need to procreate or re-create ourselves in new life. Moon-Saturn relating to who we are as a human ego, a unique entity in the world, the structure (Saturn) of our psyche-memories-instincts (Moon). Jupiter-Mercury as the essence of our thinking, ability to expand our consciousness and rise toward higher levels of spiritual awareness. And that source, power and center of energy? The Sun symbol which stands at the top of the circle and acts as a mediator between the pairs of planets around the circle.
Adding the Cosmic Triangle
Over a decade ago, I was meditating on the power of this symbol of the solar system and suddenly felt it was time to incorporate the three outer planets into the equation. Although this was never a part of the diagrams in The Secrets of Metals, I came up with a very easy solution -- to interlock the triangle of transcendental planets, in red (power) lines, with the circle of the 7 main celestial bodies.
Notice how simple the fit is here. Uranus stands above and beyond the Sun. Why? It is said in Esoteric Astrology (by Alice A. Bailey and the Tibetan Master D.K.) and throughout much of the literature in esoteric astrology, that Uranus channels the "7th Ray" within our solar system, to the Earth and within humanity. We have discussed the 7 main rays (also see Bonnie Wells' many features on this subject over the last few years in Welcome to Planet Earth printed magazine) and the 7th Ray is connected to synthesis, ceremonial order and the revealer of the New Age. This Ray is gaining in strength during the past 100-200 years, has much to do with the birthing of our industrial and high-tech society, and will continue to grow in power for many more centuries. It is supplanting the 6th Ray vibrations (linked to Neptune and Mars) -- connected to devotion, zeal, idealism and religious fanaticism.
Uranus is also the main ruler of Aquarius and we know we are moving into the 2,160-year Age of Aquarius. Note as well that the Sun rules Leo and Uranus rules Aquarius -- the opposite sign to Leo. In addition, Uranus (often considered a higher octave to Mercury) is shown as another mediator, beyond the Sun, of the Jupiter-Mercury pair. We know that Uranus has much to do with tapping into our intuition, accessing higher knowledge and wisdom. And the pair of Jupiter and Mercury has everything to do with our mental power, intelligence and the urge to expand our consciousness. So, the match of Uranus in this triangle above and beyond the Sun makes sense.
Anchoring the left side of the triangle is Neptune. And it is in a perfect position as it helps balance and inspire the left corner where Venus and the Moon are located on the circle. Venus and the Moon are feminine celestial bodies and Neptune is considered the higher octave to Venus. Neptune is also a planet linked to psychic sensitivity, dreams, imagination and visions -- all of which are clearly associated with the Moon as well. Neptune is considered a "sacred planet" channeling the 6th Ray of devotion and idealism. While the 6th Ray is said to be lessening in influence (as the 7th Ray becomes more prominent), the 6th Ray is strongly linked to the Love-Wisdom vibrations associated with the 2nd Ray, associated with the Christ Consciousness and World Teacher. America is born with Neptune overhead and we are definitely a nation founded on religious freedoms and the goal of being a melting pot of various cultures, ethnic groups and races. All of this conjures up the magic and mystery of Neptune.
Anchoring the right side of the triangle is Pluto. Again, this is a perfect match for our diagram. Notice how Pluto winds up mediating and balancing the right corner, shared by Mars and Saturn. Most astrologers consider Pluto as a higher octave to Mars. I don't know if "higher" is the best word here, but Pluto and Mars are connected in a potent manner. Dane Rudhyar felt that Pluto was more identified with Aries than Scorpio as an additional ruler with Mars. Most astrologers now simply say that Pluto rules Scorpio. I don't really agree with this as Pluto is so far away, that it transits through the zodiac very slowly. And you cannot have a planet "ruling" a sign when it may take 30 years (when Pluto transits through Taurus) to transit through that sign! Mars goes through the entire zodiac in two years and makes every aspect possible in that 2-year journey. In two years, Pluto may move 3-6 degrees -- depending on its speed. That cannot mean "rulership" in our ordinary sense of the term. If someone is born with Scorpio rising, what is that person's ruling planet? Pluto -- which may travel a few degrees in a year at most? Or Mars -- which may travel through half the zodiac in a year? Think about it!
Pluto in our diagram shows a strong affiliation with both Mars and Saturn. We now know that many of the meanings of Saturn in ancient and medieval times (before the discovery of Pluto) are really better suited to distant, cold, intense and awesome Pluto. Pluto is considered a non-sacred planet that -- along with sacred Vulcan (an intra-Mercurial planet, probably existing on etheric and higher levels rather than the physical plane) -- channels the 1st Ray of Power, Will, Government, the Creator and Destroyer.
To some extent, before any old age dies and a new age begins, the 1st Ray energies linked to Pluto have to be released. And they will often be "stepped down" by volatile, inflammatory, accident-causing Mars and restrictive, fearful, frustrating and weakening Saturn. Perhaps Mars and Saturn can be considered, at times, negative "agent provocateurs" sent by Pluto to do his "cosmic dirty work" of death, purging and rebirth. [Important Note: The recent and continuing Saturn-Pluto polarities are a case in point. Occurring last in 1931 (beginning of The Great Depression) and the mid-1960s (Vietnam War increasing in strength and major upheavals politically in America, Europe and around the world), Saturn and Pluto in counterpoint are wreaking havoc throughout the globe. Witness the WTC Disaster of September 11, 2001 just 5 weeks after the first of three Saturn-Pluto polarities beginning on Aug. 5, 2001. And now the horrendous events in Israel and the West Bank for many months at the start of 2002. The last Saturn-Pluto opposition occurs on May 25, 2002. Israel was born on May 14, 1948 with a Saturn-Pluto union in Leo within 4 degrees of the zodiac! Therefore, it is not surprising to see such bloodshed, anger and fear on all sides when the same two celestial bodies form a devastating polarity/tug-of-war across the zodiac and our planet.]
Meditation on This Image
While I recommend your reading Esoteric Astrology by Alice A. Bailey, Bonnie Wells' articles over the past few years in WTPE, and a book by Ruth Mierswa (one of our subscribers) entitled Who You Are and Why You Are Here (contact Ruth at 1092 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport, NY 14450) -- with a tremendous amount of information on soul and personality rays for each person based on their birthcharts -- I feel that by bringing our Planet Earth Magazine logo to life through this article, you can better grasp the wholeness, integration and synthesis of our solar system.
Like an eastern mandala, the Enneagram or the Kabbala's Tree of Life diagram, there is a magical process that can take place when you gaze at this pattern and research its many lines and inter-connections. By learning more about the 7 Rays, esoteric rulerships of the signs of the zodiac, the Science of Triangles and so much more -- mostly contained in Esoteric Astrology by Alice A. Bailey -- you may ferret out secrets about your own higher destiny and purpose on Earth in this lifetime.
Even with all the knowledge currently available regarding outer planets, the four main asteroids, Chiron, transits, progressions, solar arc directions, harmonics, relocation charting, the revolutionary Magi astrology work on declinations, Magi Quads and Midpoint Crossings which has appeared in their books and within these pages, working with esoteric astrology can lead you on a remarkable spiritual odyssey.
Over this new 20-year Jupiter-Saturn cycle (culminating with the next Jupiter-Saturn union at 0+ Aquarius on Dec. 21, 2020), it is important to see our solar system in a different manner than the astronomers want us to see it -- in the usual linear form on a poster, with the big Sun "on the left," then orbit of Mercury, then Venus, Earth, Mars and so on. That never really exists anyway. The solar system in which we live, move and have our being is a dance and movement on many planes simultaneously.
Work with this logo and image as a talisman, something that behaves like a charm or amulet, perhaps protecting you on higher levels, perhaps unlocking mysteries into your divine heritage. Let me know what you discover.
© 2000-2002 by Mark Lerner. All rights reserved.
[Mark Lerner is the publisher of Welcome to Planet Earth -- in print and online. Contact him by writing to PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440 or via e-mail atMarkgobear@aol.com ]