The Esoteric Order.

An Astrological Guide to Relationships

First letter.
Perhaps one of the commonest problem areas of our lives is that of relationships. Relationships have been around for such a long time you would think that we would have got the hang of them by now. But no matter where we turn, we are confronted by problems that stem from relationships. Now there are many forms of relationship and many sub-forms within each of these. There are however two main forms of relationship which are probably at the top of everybody's list for problem areas:

The first of these are marital relationships, and by this I mean a relationship that has some form of commitment to it whether that be formal or informal.

The second are family relationships with perhaps a greater emphasis on the parent/child relationship.

Now immediately we come to a problem because I have to ask myself am I projecting my own individual psyche on to the world at large or am I making a valid observation. The answer has to be, a bit of both. For when I, or anyone else for that matter make an observation it is almost if not totally impossible not to include the observer. In any observation there is the object and the observer. The amount of distortion placed on the object by the observer is in direct ratio to the amount of impact the object has on the observer. This is well worth bearing in mind as we move through this discussion, the reason for this are two fold, one, we must accept that the observations are coloured by my own self and therefore will not be and cannot be the absolute truth, and two it has a direct relevance to the subject matter. I will just repeat it "The amount of distortion placed on the object by the observer is in direct ratio to the amount of impact the object has on the observer."

It is interesting to note that the two forms of relationship cited above as problem areas are or can be the two forms of relationship that have the most impact upon us. So it would be well to continue this discussion with a more in-depth study at the process but as this is a discussion on the astrological elements of a relationship I feel I should first introduce some further information with regard to the impact made by astrology.

Letter Two
To continue with our discussion, astrology can be of immense benefit in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in interpersonal relationships. That such mechanisms are incredibly complex need not deter us from exploring how such an understanding can be arrived at. First though we need to take a slight diversion into the realm of natal astrology, that is the understanding of individuals by reference to the birth moment. Based on the premis of 'that which is born of a moment takes on the qualities of that moment'. When an astrology erects the birth chart they study not only the sign and house placements of the planets they examine the relationships which exist between planets and planets, and planets and sensitive areas of the chart. To simplify our understanding of this process it would be well to view the planets as separate individuals with in an organisation, this organisation being the actual person concerned so the planets in a birth chart could be called or look on as sub-personalities. We all have a sub-personality that we could call 'The Messenger'or 'The Thinker' or Mercury. He takes care of our communications and learning. He will do this in the manner of the sign he is positioned in and will be most active in the area covered by the house he inhabits. If you do not understand these terms then it does not make a great deal of difference to the discusion in hand. We also have a sub-personality we can call 'The Warrior' or 'The Motivator' or Mars. It is his job to deal with any matters of conflict and drive, again this will be done in the manner of his sign and manifest more predominantly according to his house position.

Now what of the relationship between these two planets, there are several ways of establishing a relationship between planets or sub-personalities but mainly it is via aspects. The aspects represent the type of relationship that is established. If the relationship is a difficult one then we will be presented with an augmentative and quarrelsome individual. If the connection is a harmonious one then that may manifest in an individual that communicates with a positive drive and will probably be able to talk his way out of trouble. Its a bit like a press officer and a security guard together if they get along then each will help the other in there job, if they do not get along then they may well hinder each other. This may not only happen in the method of our charactor but can represents inner states of harmony or conflict. So you see we have relationships even when we are alone. We will look at another area of planetary relationships next, before looking into external relationships of separate individuals.

Letter Three.
The next step in our diversion into natal astrology is to look at a dynamic way of looking at a natal chart this is done by looking at what are termed transits. Transits are basically the planets as they are at any given time making aspects not only between themselves but to degrees that where occupied by planets at birth. Let us suppose that you had a planet in you birth chart in the sign of Gemini and more specifically at let us say 9 degrees of Gemini. At the time of writing Pluto is positioned at 9 degrees Sagittarius, this means that you would be experiencing what is known as a Pluto transit and within certain bounds you would experience that in your life at this time. It is in effect a relationship between you and the Universe that has an affect on your life just as any other relationship does.

'Man the Universe writ small'. This simple statement, likened to the biblical passage 'and God made man in His own image', is extremely profound and the basis of much occult wisdom. However, for our short discussion on relationships I shall endeavour to keep it simple and straightforward. If we simply say that the Universe can affect us in the manner of Transits that is the dynamic structure of the universe and Man is a miniature universe then also we can be effected by others in the same way. And this is exactly what happens when we meet someone or spend time with them, their birth moment planetary positions affect our birth moment planetary positions in the same way the current planetary positions do. So people are like transits, if you are with someone who has, say, Pluto on the same degree as your Sun, being with that person will be like having a permanent Pluto/Sun transit.

This is one way that an Astrologer can be of use in the field of relationships because just as he can explain the affects of transits, or the relationship between current planetary positions and birth moment planetary positions, he can explain the affects of other people on ourselves, or the relationship of the birth moment planetary positions of one and the birth moment planetary positions of the other. You know that at certain times in your life you feel differently you can have good days and bad days, the focus of your life can change from time to time. This is the unfoldment of your life or the passage of your journey through material existence. You know also that different people affect you in different ways, some you form an attachment to some you would rather stay clear of. Some people you instantly like others you instantly dislike and some have very little effect on you at all. By comparing your birth moment planetary positions with their birth moment planetary positions, hereinafter call the birth chart, you will be able to see why. Some people will have a strong affect on you, for good or bad, in this case the two birth charts are strongly linked with close connections. Some people have very little affect on you and here you will find, if you compare their birth chart to yours that there are very few or only weak connections. It is the connections that cause an interpersonal relationship, it is the type of connections that determine the type of relationship. These connections are unfailing in the authors experience, of many thousands of charts, if you feel connected in some way, to another individual that connections will be found in a comparison of birth charts.

Now that that has been established we can return to a more general exploration of interpersonal relationships and there impact on our lives.

Letter Four.
Building on what has gone before, why do relationships go wrong when the connections can be felt prior to the establishment of a relationship. I refer here to relationships that are of our own choosing of course and not to relationships such as parent/child but the mechanics of it apply to all relationships.

Way back in the 70s when I attended my first 'Astrology for Beginners' class, one of the first things I learnt was, that there is no way to distinguish between a male birth chart and a female birth chart! Now this is obviously great news for those who subscribe to the equality of men and women theory, which the author does wholeheartedly. However there is something else to be considered here, I wonder if you spotted it. And that is that no matter how equal men and women may be, men and women are different. Our bodies function differently our brains function differently and our minds function differently. I somehow think that our souls may not but that is a different subject. But like it or not there are differences between men and women, yet these differences are not displayed on the birth chart.

In a perfectly ordered Universe such as this, there must be some reason why a man or woman should have to operate within a hermaphroditic structure. To me it is because of the nature of the creator, that being asexual so perhaps rather than being an hermaphroditic (that is having both sexes) structure it will ultimately be an asexual (that is having no sex) structure. This of course leads us well ahead of ourselves, so to get back. What are the implications of a man or woman living in an hermaphroditic structure.

At this point I need to make it clear that there are people whose bodies are hermaphroditic. I have never met such a person, nor have I studied the condition in its physical reality. I am not here referring to these people and I in no way wish to offend them, if I do so in any way I will apologise publicly. Should however anyone feel they have something to offer I would be most grateful for their input.

One such implication has been researched by the psychologist C. G. Jung. In his work on the Anima and the Animus. His work was expanded on and placed in an astrological setting by Liz Greene and her book 'Relating' though now quite dated is well worth a read. We will take up this subject in our next letter.

Letter Five.
The theory behind the Anima and Animus is that a man has a female side hidden in his unconscious and a woman has a male side in her unconscious. So though, astrologically, there is no difference between male and female they are different in that there is a difference between the conscious and unconscious aspects of our minds. So a male will have a conscious hold on maleness and a female will have a conscious hold on femaleness. But the opposite function is hidden along with many other things in the unconscious. These attributes that are hidden do not however go away and they will appear in our projections. A projection occurs when we superimpose some attribute of our self onto some one else. They are many and varied the attributes we chose to project rather than accept as our own, but if you are a woman then masculine attributes are a strong candidate for projection and so with a man, his feminine attributes are very often projected on to someone else. The target of our projections need to have some resemblance to our projections so obviously feminine attributes are usually projected on to females. Whenever we meet a member of the opposite sex we feel attracted to this is a good opportunity to project the opposite sex attributes that we have and feel are worthy on to this person that stands before you, we can also and very often do, project negative attributes that we do not wish to accept as our own, consequently what we see is our own hidden image reflected back at us instead of the real image of the person in front of us. Latter on when the real image makes itself known this can come as quite a shock and we can feel let down by the other person for not being what we originally perceived them to be. This false image is, I believe, behind a great number of broken relationships and it is not only in marital or lover type relationships. We can project onto virtually anybody no matter what type of relationship we have with them. We can project on to mothers, fathers, brothers or sisters. We can project on to group members and even rival group members, this is behind a lot of bigotry and racism. Given the destructive nature of projection whether it be projection of positive or negative attributes, why do we do it? Well given that these projections nearly always come from the unconscious, from the things we have suppressed in ourselves, we do not have a lot of control over it. The only way to stop it happening is not to suppress our own attributes, that is to own up to and accept all facets of our nature and to get to know the other person for what they really are not just what we have projected on to them. This of course is where Astrology comes in, because with Astrology we are laid bare and a proper study of the birth chart will reveal the attributes that we do not accept. If there are certain attributes revealed in your chart that you feel reluctant to own up to then it is likely that you will find them in your projections. If the attributes that you feel are contained in the 'other' are not to be found in their charts then you are probably looking at your projections. Though this is an over simplification of a very complex, difficult and time consuming process, getting to know yourself and your projections will help you to relate to others more successfully.

Letter Six
A quote from Edgar Cayce from Secrets of the Universe and How to Use Them in Your Life.

"MIND IS THE BUILDER AND SPIRIT IS THE LIFE"

"Herein lies the secret to ending the battle between the sexes.The most loving women, spiritual-type females, feel particularly distressed by the battle, yet have a particular problem: the shortage of spiritual-type males to love - men who can embrace their feminine natures. It isn't enough that a man is a loving, monogamous heterosexual who earns his share of the living. WE want a mate who is conversant in the ethereal realm.

When women urge men to express the feminine, we don't expect of them painted fingernails and lace dresses, but we've been unable to articulate just what we do mean. We speak of preferring men who are gently sensitive, but that often gets translated into womanly, therefore, unmanly and weak. That isn't what we want. What we do want is a mate with whom to form a co-creative pairbonding.

Finding one man who fulfills all our expectations is not impossible, but it is difficult. The inner world has been primarily a woman's domain. We little girls were encouraged to actualize our dreams and to develop such "feminine" virtues as intuition, nurturing, serving others, and the ability to surrender. We look for a man worth surrendering to and expect him to exhibit strength, ambition, dependability, and to gain power and material sufficiency.

Little boys were encouraged to risk life and limb outwardly - athletically on the playing field, corporately in the board room - but not to claim their feminine side. When they risk venturing inward, as male novices in the inner life, often they find it necessary to shake off the trappings of the outer world and stalk Truth as they once stalked wild game - for survival.

Often their love relationships suffer, to say nothing of their work lives.For men and women alike, unifying purpose and profession into one gloriously cohesive life usually requires self-interrogation. Women generally are less resistant to this inner-discovery process, hence church and inner-journey organizations usually contain more women than men.

Men and women alike need role models for loving and being loved.Women today still often think that expressing the masculine and using our minds means competing in a 'man's world'. We don pants and pinstrips in an attempt to blur gender identity, spiritually asexualizing ourselves. We are confusing male and female with masculine and feminine. They are not one and the same.

Women - both oppressed and liberated - also need a role model for embracing their masculine nature.Nowadays women, still trying to shatter oppressing traditions - including the one of always supporting HIS work at the expense of hers - are winding up as utterly disgusted, confused, and angry females who feel the need to assert. Relationships with men who feel threatened, who won't by God, be trampled into submission, are vaporizing in the battle heat. That's not how it was meant to be.

Letter Seven
More from Cayce
Genesis indicates Mind is masculine and Spirit is feminine, and both exist in all creation, not only the plant and animal kingdoms, regardless which gender embodies. Mind is the builder and Spirit is the life. Men and women alike can be or become vessels of creation. Being chromosomal endowed with certain instincts does not negate the fact that in both sexes, masculine thrusts forth images.

In each of us Spirit serves by giving life to what mind creates, be it a child, a book, a painting, or a career. When two people join minds and spirits in serving one another' creations, arguments stimulated by traditional role-playing vaporise in the sense of wonderment and joy. Our task is to get a sense of our own as well as the other's mission, whatever that might be; to find something to support and nurture in one another. Mind needs Spirit to give life, but Spirit needs Mind in order to have something to give life to.

Traditionally, we marry before getting a sense of what our work is to be. Then, when one discovers it and the other hasn't, the other begins to feel neglected and leaves - or wants to. In loving, we must somehow comprehend this: As androgynous souls possessing both male and female, as well as both masculine and feminine characteristics, we were father by Mind and mothered by Spirit and given the Universal Mind with which to create. Some of us became chaotic miscreants, necessitating a human mind, which blocked the consciousness of the Universal Mind, with which we've been trying to reconnect ever since. Our souls impure the effort, though futile if we fail to connect with the integrity in one another.

As lovers, we require the courage of a Mary and a Joseph, in ourselves and in a partner, to surrender to and integrate both the masculine and the feminine natures and to recognise each other as CO-creative servants of one another.

This goes beyond equality. Of course, it is an error to believe the Creator intended there be a dominant sex, or colour. But merely being equal is sufficient. Perhaps when the battle ends we will lighten up on one another and rise from the ashes, equal to being in our Creator's presence.

Letter Eight
From what we have just seen it would certainly appear that relating is more than just a matter of having someone else around to do the washing or cut the grass. Relating has a high spiritual nature and is concerned with the evolution of each soul back to the source. A marriage is a symbol of the true inner marriage that we all must ultimately embark on.

In every culture there is some form of marriage ceremony, which gave me my first clue to the existence of some higher purpose to the relationship of a man and woman. If we look at the birth chart we will see that the ascendant which signifies the self and the descendent which signifies the other are on opposite sides of the chart however they are on the same chart. That is that they are both within.

Keith Hirst.
Astrologer and Spiritual Consultant
The Libra Centre


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