Recently, a potential client asked me whether I believed in free will. I replied that we have as much free will as we have mastery over ourselves, and for most of us that is not much. The Astrology of the Individual has been formulated around this uncomfortable fact, in order to encourage an alignment with the design of our lives that will identify an undertaking to give structure, focus and consistency to personality life, and encourage a conscious use of life and time. Until then, with our fluctuating energy levels, inconsistent moods and fears about the consequences of making changes, we stand to turn on the spot whilst the time of our active lives passes.
In general, people do not like this kind of talk; and indeed I lost my client, but, if in your heart, you know this describes you, please read on.
Western Spirituality: My Soul, Your Soul and the Soul
Since Christianity, the focus of Western spirituality has been the development of the Human Soul by means of emotional regeneration and development. For most Westerners, this approach defines spirituality, a perception that the New Age did not fundamentally challenge.
Although we may not have a clear idea what it is, we Westerners, religiously inclined or not, will assume that we have a Soul that we must, at the very least, protect from contamination, and that we may also develop, by means of correct intent and actions so that it becomes our reliable guide in the choppy waters of everyday life. We will consider that in some way, the Soul holds the truth of who we are, and will call it ‘My Soul’. Generally, because of the Christian emphasis upon emotional regeneration in its development, we will locate it in the area of the heart.
Possession of a Soul and responsibility for its health are the two pillars upon which Western spirituality is built. It is a focus that finds only an adversary’s role for the physical aspect of man. It took the New Age to restore an intelligent awareness of ‘my body’, and an understanding of energy management.
All human beings are born with a recognisable physical form, and at least three centres open in the energy body that interpenetrates the dense physical vehicle that we call ‘my body’.
If we refer to it at all, we Westerners will refer to the energy body as the Vital Body or Etheric Double, that receives and gives out through seven major centres or chakras, connecting us, directly or indirectly, to the energy bodies of all that is in existence. With three centres open in all human beings, there are four that are available to be opened during the incarnating experience. It is the task of spirituality to keep alive this awareness.
The human energy body originates on a higher plane (the Monadic) as life force carrying within it the human essence. The incarnating system steps down to the vibration of the Soul or Buddhic plane where it awaits the formation in a physical womb, of its dense physical counterpart, ordered up by the Spiritual Soul, and designed to express in the material world the qualities selected by the Solar Angels to realise the possibility invested by Spirit in this particular human being. Then the system steps the life force down once more, to the vibration of the Etheric plane to function as the energy body or transmission centre of the dense physical vehicle.
If we are familiar with the often-quoted expression that we are Ideas in the Mind of God, then this is exactly what is described here. Our lives originate on the Monadic plane (Life); are designed on the Buddhic plane (Quality), and are lived out on the Material plane (Appearance).
In some cultures the energy body on the Etheric plane is considered to be the Soul. In the Western tradition, however, the Human Soul is the product of experience in incarnation, made possible by the life-giving energy body. The Human Soul is of the same substance as the energy body, but different from it because it is of a higher vibration.
The Human Soul is the Fourth Body (First = Physical/Etheric Body; Second = Emotional Body; Third = Mental Body) constructed around three permanent atoms on the upper mental plane. These permanent atoms function as ‘collecting bins’ for the positive fruit of our lifetimes generated from the three lower bodies. The Emotional Body provides the richest fruit because it supports the opening of the higher centres: the Heart and the Brow, which in turn, greatly assist the growth of the Human Soul. In this way, disciplining the lower bodies and regenerating personality life, the Human Soul, ‘My Soul’ develops.
Once the formation of the Causal Body has turned a personality into an Individual, the contents of the Causal Body retain their coherence after death and may be stored with the Spiritual Soul awaiting a new personality form and new opportunity in incarnation to continue its development, and the building of this particular unit of consciousness can continue for as long as it is required.
Over lifetimes, the Human Soul, or Fourth Body, stands to gain an increasing degree of control over the personality in incarnation and gives it a greater cohesion, which makes the Individual functional and able to recognise and respond to the definable purpose built into the design of the lifetime that will assist the on-going task of Soul development.
It can be assumed that the majority of those in the West, seeking answers to existential questions at this time have, at least, the foundations of individuality in place.
Later on, as the physical, emotional and mental bodies come fully under its supervisory control (in a process called Alignment), the Fourth Body, the Human Soul, functions as the body of Will, because it is in full control of the life of the individual, until such time as it is absorbed by the Spiritual Soul that will then deal directly with the Individual who is now equipped to handle its vibration. What manifests in our world then is an agent of the Spirit who, although still in human form, is subject to fewer laws and has greater freedom within our Solar System.
What we call Soul may not mean the same thing in other cultures, and the Fourth Body, the body of Will, by whatever name it is known, may be developed through methods, which are very different from those of Christianity. But, ultimately, all spiritual and religious activity is concerned with specific aspects of energy management.
Religious people may not approve of this kind of talk, and prefer the Soul to remain an experience and a mystery, a choice, which is not without wisdom. The Soul gives experiences that we do not need to understand rationally, but its building is an energetic matter that benefits from good management, and those of us concerned with intelligent energy management want to know what we are doing and why; what to bring forth and what to contain within ourselves.
It is not belief that develops the Human Soul; this is achieved by work on self, but belief may inspire and direct that effort.
When Western spiritual literature refers to the Soul, generally it is referring to the developing Human Soul within us, growing in its envelope of mental essence (the Causal Body), that is able to act as a mediator between the personality in incarnation and the Spiritual Soul that does not incarnate, but on its own plane holds the plan of the life and receives from and communicates to the Human Soul, the building of which it is supervising through its agents, the Solar Angels.
Of the Spiritual Soul and its connection to the personality in incarnation, Western spiritual literature, in general, is quiet. When it does refer to it, it calls it Spirit to denote that it is of a higher substance than the Human Soul, and to differentiate the Spiritual Soul from ‘My Soul’.
Christianity, which has placed our attention on the mediation principle, the Human Soul, makes Spirit the unknowable: Our Father in Heaven. We are not encouraged to consider the resource that a link with Spirit represents, because we have become fearful of strengthening the undisciplined, non-aligned personality and increasing its power. This is a very real danger: black magicians exist; but to the esotericist aware of energetic facts, there are other considerations, equally real, connected to the consequences of denying personal empowerment and the provision of creative scope for the Individual.
In the West, we observe that what Christianity has helped to evolve, in the form of people with a degree of self-awareness and self-restraint, it eventually alienates with its negative and repressive attitude to the personality. Those who have individuated will not be contained in this way because they have a job to do in this world, and would sooner learn from getting it wrong than being told what to do. This is what it means to be a Westerner now. From the angle of spirituality, this self-determining mentality has advantages and disadvantages; and good energy management requires us to be able to distinguish one from the other.
The esoteric astrologer can see the connection that an individual has to the Spirit and how it identifies the function of that Individual. There are a total of seven Spiritual Functions that assist human evolution, and we will consider them later in this study. The more developed the higher bodies (i.e., the Mental, the Emotional and the Causal), the better the Spirit is able to express itself through the Individual.
The path of physical restraint and emotional regeneration remains the Western way.
We can come off this path, if we choose, but there are probably more advantages in staying on it because the people we are now are the product of generations of Christian-influenced thinking.
We can reject the Christian tradition and put on other garments or no garment at all, but we will not so easily remove its conditioning influence upon our consciences and expectations. Westerners who are out and about in the world and unable to call upon the values inspired by Christianity: mercy, compassion and free-will are, demonstrably, lost and helpless.
Better than new garments may be knowledge that enables us to engage with Spirit whilst working in the physical body on Soul development connecting thereby the three aspects of the human experience.
The New Age found more room for manoeuvre for the creative individual. Whilst remaining committed to building the Human Soul through emotional regeneration and being aware of the dangers of separation and self-centredness, it spoke freely of human possibility and how it was to be accessed from within ourselves.
It remains for us to organise ourselves to work to realise that possibility. Until we do it is simply an idea.
Awareness That It Supports
Effective in Dimensions
Kind of Astrology Perceived as Meaningful
Undeveloped Human Being
In the Theosophical tradition, Individuation is the stage of development brought into being by the formation of the Casual Body within which the Human Soul will grow surviving the death of the personality and returning in new personality forms to continue its development.
It is in this sense that we use it here, but without a heavy reliance upon Theosophical terminology. The term Ego, used in connection with the consciousness of the individuated being causes nothing but confusion now, and is best avoided.
The presence of the Human Soul turns a personality into an Individual, and begins the process of linking together two aspects of human experience, the Personality in incarnation and the Soul on a higher plane of consciousness.
The Individual, therefore, has capacities that the Personality does not yet have, namely a control over the use of the sexual energy so that there is energy available for activity other than biological reproduction; access to the Spiritual Soul through the mediation of the Human Soul; and, of course, the benefit of experiences stored in the Causal Body from other incarnations.
The more awareness that we have of ourselves as Individuals, and the more autonomy we have in our lives, the more freedom we have from the collective mind that through a process involving time, critical mass and agreement, structures and exclusion, we create what we recognise and call our world.
At a talk, I once heard the Canadian teacher, John de Ruiter say: There is nothing in your minds, but what you have put there.
I would add to this that there is nothing in our lives that our minds have not put there.
A sense of self–responsibility is the Individual’s greatest ally, because if we want change in our lives, we know it is down to us to change the way we understand life and deal with it, i.e., change our relationship with life in our minds, and do so regardless of what is going on around us.
The majority of Westerners now have the Human Soul in formation, and so can be considered Individuals. There is, therefore, creative capacity available to use, whether or not there is awareness or interest in how to deploy it constructively.
Achieving individuality does not create a spiritually-aware person; it creates a person capable of picking up on a higher, non-material vibration that will change the experience of life from mere physical survival to a creative opportunity.
Many of the cancers, prostate problems and hair loss experienced by Western men at this time are the price at which Soul development, in its earlier stages comes when the sexuality is being suppressed and no adequately compensating form of creative expression has been found. The situation is similar for women who do not have children.
Where there is less etheric substance going into the creation of children, there is a stronger energy body available to use in other creative ways. Producing children is weakening for the energy bodies of both genders.
From the point of view of raising vibration, the retained etheric substance can be used well or badly.
Spiritual identity is formed through conscious choice as a result of the experiencing, or being able to accept the existence of a world of a higher vibration, always experienced as, or perceived to be, a better place containing better people and less suffering. Once it has formed, the identity acts as a filter and enables a more purposeful expression of time and energy.
Raising awareness of human potential and learning how to repair damage done to the three bodies of the personality, were the achievements of the New Age, which in general did not tackle in any meaningful way, the arduous practical task of escaping from the enclosure of the conditioned mind.
The New Age spoke to the conditioned mind to raise awareness, flattering us with what we could achieve. It did not challenge us. That task remains within the established traditions, and is available only to those who consciously commit to this undertaking in their lives.
There is nothing inevitable about this escape. The evolutionary path does not lead to this place. On the contrary, it has to be the subject of a conscious and sustainable strategy in which the Astrology of the Individual finds a place for itself with its aim to encourage the organisation of life and time around a specific function, in a way that strengthens and orients the creative individual, and engaging with Spirit where this is possible. This develops enough Will to make choice meaningful and action purposeful in the context of everyday life.
Then we can seek out, if we wish, spirituality’s more advanced stages, knowing what we are doing, why we would make this choice, and follow through. Or we can choose to stay with our familiar lives knowing that we are making a conscious contribution and doing justice to who we are.
The People We Are Now
The self-conscious human experience comprises three aspects:
- Material plane life in Personality form – survival and self-advancement
- The personality with the Human Soul in formation – Soul awareness
- The Individual receiving from Spirit – access to Spiritual Will
The forces at work in our planetary energy field will determine how encouraging or otherwise are the circumstances of the integration of the Personality with the higher dimensions of human experience. We will call these forces the ‘Spirit of the Times’ or something similar,
What occurred in 2012 had the effect of sealing us into the Personality aspect, and increased the intellectual structures around it, which keep out the other, higher dimensions.
Why was this?
Energy that facilitated the communication between the Personality and the higher dimensions was withdrawn from us. Let us say it was needed elsewhere within the planetary energy field, and was reallocated, and as a consequence of this, the assemblage point of the human personality moved and now we see the world differently. That is all we know and really all we need to know about what happened.
What is happening now needs our attention more urgently.
Our world is now that seen from a lower level, through a smaller window, yet so detailed, analysed, and the detail so extensively communicated, that we are sure we know all there is to know. So much of our time is taken up with that detail that we have less and less opportunity to question what is happening to us; what is happening to time; or where, other than feeling that we are going round and round on the material treadmill, which is shredding time as it turns and as our lives move on.
When a sense of purpose comes from inclusiveness and an ability to see how the separate pieces fit into the whole, this restricted view through the small window discourages, if not actively disallows, a more holistic view. We may know there is a different view, but do we see any evidence of it? What is to keep the knowledge alive? Are we equipped to engage with it?
We all look the same as we did, but do we still see life as once we did? Do we have the same sense of possibility and opportunity? Do we have the same amount of time? How do we explain this to ourselves? How do we explain it to a generation who has no sense of possibility?
We know that we suffer, but mostly we do not understand why, because the Personality’s self-centred perspective makes us see the cause of our suffering as being outside ourselves, and we are largely helpless. It is a long journey to get that perception reversed and see that the problem is in ourselves and that we are wholly responsible. All we meet with on the outside are circumstances that are more or less supportive of our aims and expectations. If spirituality does not keep this knowledge alive, we will not be aware of the need to challenge the way we see our lives.
According to Esoteric Astrology, Capricorn is the sign governing the human Personality, i.e., that dimension of ourselves, self-aware and rational, and in incarnation to experience materiality so that the inner reality is brought into outer manifestation in the form of our lives. We live out what we are and face the consequences of this.
Pluto in Capricorn is changing the way the human family is capable of thinking about ourselves, understanding ourselves, and organising ourselves. It is one of the major forces at work in our lives now.
As Pluto moves through each of the three decanates of the sign, it will challenge us to bring about changes in ideas about our physicality, and our emotional and mental being.
In 2018, Saturn will join Pluto, which by then will be preparing to enter the last decanate, the one that is specifically concerned with the mind.
The rethinking will start in earnest then, in response to physical plane developments that we will perceive as new experiences.
Any astrologer with an understanding of the sign Capricorn, which is an Earth sign, is able to come up with ideas about what these developments might include. One thing is certain and that is that more structures will be breached, physically, emotionally and mentally. We can make this breaching principle work for us, individually and collectively, but if we do, it will not be a happy accident, because Capricorn seeks safety in structures and exclusion. What will replace those that fall apart? They will not, for sure, be more liberal or less dedicated to upholding material reality, and it will not be long before they are in place.
Provided our spirituality is presenting ideas that help us reorganise our inner realities to make a better life for ourselves, individually and collectively, we can find a way on.
This is the role of spiritual teachers, and the intent of the Astrology of the Individual.
It is for such as we are in the West now that Astrology of the Individual has been formulated: people with creative energy to spare, and a connection to the level of Soul that tells us through our sense of being unfulfilled that how we are living is not good enough.
Orthodox Astrology tells us who we are; the Astrology of the Individual serves as a Surveyor’s report, and tells us what we are designed to do on behalf of our own on-going development as people with the spiritual aspect in formation. It neither challenges nor refutes anything connected to orthodox horoscopy and Esoteric Astrology. Rather, it draws from both to create an approach to natal chart interpretation, which is entirely practical, having as its focus the contribution that each Individual is able to make to his or her world through the use of the creative capacity and a more effective management of time and energy
Through the natal chart, the Astrology of the Individual identifies:
- The energy principles that are the special focus of the Individual’s Soul-building activity. Individuals with such a planet or planets in their natal charts will have a less material focus because through these planets, they are making a payment to the Human Soul. They may not have formally committed to a spiritual path, but they will be aware of the conflict between materialism and quality of life, especially in the area of life activated by the Soul-connected planets.
- The Personalities in incarnation who are directly connected to Spirit. They may not have any formal knowledge or training, status or recognised role; but they know that they will never accept defeat. Again and again, they will create new forms to put out into the world what they know they have to give. The energy that prevails is Spiritual Will, and they express it in our world. It is helpful to us, individually and collectively, to get those with these connections to become consciously active within their respective functions because they are a planetary resource.
- The seven Spiritual Functions.
For those who take on creative roles and projects, there is a further resource available in the form of Stellar Astrology that assists us to draw on and direct Spiritual Will.
With these tools we aim to use our time in a way that serves our own development and that of our planet.
The concepts pertaining to the Astrology of the Individual will be given in the Member’s Area of this website over the summer.