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Esoteric Astrology, page 2

Esoteric Astrology, page 1

ASTROLOGY BEYOND EGO - Tim Lyons, $24.95


Acknowledgments to the first edition
Preface to the second edition

1. Astrology & perennial wisdom

2. Images of change: Astrology as a symbol system; The solar impulse & the planets; Chiron as the teacher & transformer of ego

3. The twelve signs as stages in a process

4. The twelve houses & the cycle of outreach; Reversing the wheel; A complete picture

5. The outer planets & collective projection: Uranus - sudden insights; Neptune - enlightenment/delusion; Pluto - concentrated power; Chiron - bridging the gap; The present age - a seed period

6. The roots & leaves I: Emotion & relationship; Our common situation; Basic symbols; Emotion, earth & the 4th house; The center; Ascendant-descendant & partnership

7. The roots & leaves II: Technology & the living earth; A unified world; The nadir & the inner life

8. The illusory prison: Astrology, freedom & ego: Astrology, God & ego; Clearing away fault assumptions; The empowering nature of form; Empowerment through submission to transits; Freedom & ego; In step with the dance; Crossing Niagara on a tightrope

Appendix: Astrological correlations to the Buddhist Abhidharma


On the back cover, it says,
Seeing in the pattern of the astrological symbols both the development of the ego & the path beyond ego's restrictions, Tim Lyons discusses the relationship between astrology & perennial wisdom. The first three chapters present thought-provoking ideas about the development of awareness through the stages described by the planets, signs & houses. Succeeding chapters explore the role of relationships & emotion in our spiritual development, the evolutionary potential symbolized by the outer planets, and the importance of collective projections. The final chapter explores the relationship between our ideas about freedom & astrological time-analysis. Astrology Beyond Ego concludes with an appendix that explains some astrological correlations to the Buddhist Abhidharma.

Tim Lyons has been a practicing astrologer for more than 30 years. He has contributed to two of Llewellyn's New World Astrology series (How to Manage the Astrology of Crisis, 1993; Astrology Looks at History, 1995), been a columnist for American Astrology (now Your Daily Horoscope) since 1990, and contributed numerous astrology articles to Welcome to Planet Earth and The Mountain Astrologer. He has also contributed to The East-West Journal, The Liguorian, Chrysalis, The Vajradhatu Sun, Bodhi Magazine, ETC., The Vocabula Review, and various newspapers and given numerous lectures both in Colorado & elsewhere. He has a B.A. in English Literature from Occidental College in Los Angeles (1971) and an M.A. in Creative Writing from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (1974). He works as a writing instructor at the University of Colorado & maintains an active astrology practice.

For once, the writing is very fluent and easy on the eye. From chapter 1:
My conclusion is that astrological symbols do direct us beyond our ego-fixation. This does not necessarily mean that an astrologer should insist that a client direct all his or her energies toward self-transcendence. First of all, a client may not be at a stage in life where such a "transpersonal process" (to use Rudhyar's term) will make sense or take root. Secondly, the astrologer himself or herself may not be involved in the transpersonal process (at least not consciously), and so would not - perhaps should not - counsel it to others. (pg. 5)
Lyons continues,
The astrologer has one advantage over priests and other counsellors, however. The astrological symbols upon which he bases his counsel have obvious connection to both mundane and spiritual experience. Thus the astrologer is able to see the spiritual process embodied and embedded in apparently mundane events and difficulties. The priest may also intuit this connection, but it is not usually so precisely worked out through the symbols of his faith. (pg. 6)
This may give you enough of a sample. This book was first published in 1986 by Quest, which is the US Theosophical publishing house in Wheaton, IL. It had been out of print for about a dozen years before the AFA reprinted it. From the notes in the back, here are the astrologers, and their books, which Lyons has studied:
Alan Oken: Complete Astrology
Ermine Lantero: The Continuing Discovery of Chiron
Dane Rudhyar: Astrological Signs
Alice A. Bailey: Esoteric Astrology
Dane Rudhyar: The Astrology of Personality
Dane Rudhyar: The Astrological Houses
Alexander Ruperti: Cycles of Becoming
Dane Rudhyar: Form in Astrological Space & Time
Robert Hand: Horoscope Symbols
Dane Rudhyar: The Lunation Cycle
Liz Green: Relating
Liz Green: The Outer Planets
Liz Greene: The Astrology of Fate
Marc Edmund Jones: Astrology How & Why It Works
Stephen Arroyo: Astrology, Karma & Transformation
Dane Rudhyar: An Astrological Mandala
P.I.H. Naylor: Astrology: A Fascinating History
Charles E.O. Carter: The Principles of Astrology
Robert Hand: Planets in Transit
These were about the best astrology books you could get in the mid-1980's, as I've been in this biz that long. But I would like to think that a literate, highly educated man would be more widely read. There are, after all, other sources than what's in the stores this week. In the Notes there are at least as many books on spirituality, including some by Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Jung & others. Some of which, as I know from my own reading, are demanding.

AFA, 154 pages.

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A personal note from the author
Astrology & Enlightenment
The times they are a-changing
In the beginning

1. The Signs:
Enlightenment through the elements; The movement of light; Enlightenment through the qualities; Signs; Elementary combinations; Houses; As above, so below: Mc & IC; As within, so without: Ascendant & descendant; Signs in houses

2. The Planets:
The Sun; The Moon; Integration of Sun & Moon principles; Mercury & the union of Sun & Moon; Venus & attraction & repulsion; Mars & the path to enlightenment; Venua & Mars & how to get some satisfaction; The play of the inner orchestra; Jupiter, Saturn & our spiritual playpen; The outer planets & the endless sea of inner & outer space; Uranus & the free spirit; Neptune & the world of the soul; Pluto & the laws of eternal change

3. Aspects:
Individual aspects; Planetary groups; Aspect combinations; Retrograde planets

4. Astrology & Time

Comment: A pleasant, easy to read book. There seems little that is profound or challenging in it, but it might be that I've gotten jaded over the years. When I look about at the deepening misery in the world, I wonder about books that offer spiritual evolution as if it were a product for sale in a store.

The four elements, fire, earth, air & water, are prominent in this book. On pg. 18, Gullfoss says that Fire is joy, Earth is beauty, Air is wisdom, Water is love. On pg. 23, he further equates air with breath and breath with spirit. There's no hope of nipping this corruption in the bud, but it should be pointed out that breath is air that has been processed by a living entity of some sort, and is no longer air at all. Anyone who's ever shared a breath with a lover knows there's a whole lot of difference between breathing & kissing. Air is air, but breath is fire, and spirit even more so.

Llewellyn, 249 pages.

ELEMENTS AND ASTROLOGY: The spiritual landscape of astrology - Eric Meyers, $19.95



1. The four elements
2. Neutral & charged elements: Consensus & non-consensus realities, levels of intensity, the charged elements: water & fire, the neutral elements: earth & air, charged & neutral interactions, charged & neutral elements in astrology, regarding the planets, Venus as neutral, renewing the system.

Cyclical Evolution:

3. The evolutionary cycle: The modalities, the evolutionary cycle, sequence of the stages
4. Aspects & evolution part 1: Oppositions & trines; shadow trines
5. Aspects & evolution part 2: Squares & sextiles
6. Aspects & evolution part 3: Quincunxes; an interconnected system

Progressive Evolution:

7. The evolution of consciousness: Enter astrology, resolving the Moon, choosing the past, the end of separation, a spiritual view of the luminaries, spiritual fire
8. Elemental levels: Earth the physical level, water the emotional level, air the mental level, fire the soul level
9. Liberation & manifestation: Liberation, manifestation, inspiration into action, interlocking pyramids, our orientation, personal to transpersonal, the universality of symbolism
10. The spiral stairway: The spiritual path, climbing the stairway, managing the lessons, bridging worlds, elemental deficiencies, about time, fate & free will, the self-destruct mechanism, the spiritual landscape

Appendices: Complex aspect configurations:
An evolutionary technique
The grand trine
The T-square
The yod
Other complex configurations
The wedge
The square-trine-quincunx triangle
The square-sextile-quincunx triangle

Bibliography & further reading


The book opens with a quote by Meister Eckhard. Fifty words, of which five (one in ten) are "God". I've been debating for some years if I should have an astro-religion page.

The premise of the book is that human evolution equals spirituality (pg. 11). It's not that I disagree with this. I disagree only with the trivialized definitions of "evolution" and "spirituality" on offer. Meyers labels the generally accepted versions of evolution & spirituality as the consensus view & says he's here to help the process along. Before the first page of the Introduction is finished, Meyers has added Science to the mix. Religion follows on the second page, and astrology on the third.

In the first two chapters we learn that fire & water can be REALLY EXCITING!!, separately or together. Chapter 3 tells us that Pisces is Really Nice (and Aquarius is pretty good), if only we're mature enough to use them. (All of you of the other signs, better luck next time, I guess.) We then go on to aspects. Meyers delineates the full range of polarities (Aries-Libra, Taurus-Scorpio, etc.) and then the full range of trines, starting with fire trines. Here is a part of the Gemini to Aquarius air trine:

The integration of this trine is found in genius. Individuals tap into the larger intelligence through ingenuity & flashes of brilliance. Distortion in these channels of mental interconnectivity can lead to the shadow, which is erratic or chaotic cognition. At the extreme this would be some forms of mental illness. An imbalance in the Gemini direction is quite common. This occurs when we think that we are more advanced than the universe. We are then prone to assert a human agenda onto nature to control it. An excess of Aquarius is also quite common. We think that God is too advanced for us to fathom, leading to agnosticism, alienation, or apathy about a larger order in nature. Mutable air connected to fixed air downloads brilliance. (pg. 95)
Gee, I never knew that Gemini-Aquarius breeds mental illness. It's interesting to read these delineations closely to see which ones the author subtly favors, as hints to his own chart. The author continues with squares, sextiles & inconjunctions.

Chapters seven & eight ramble. In chapter 8 the author struggles to make his points:

The spiritual lessons of the earth element have to do with showing up in the realm of incarnation to perform tasks. There is an intention to work within consensus reality as a potent force. [Remember, from the Introduction? - Dave] Souls with an earth emphasis advance by manifesting their intentions tangibly. (pg. 167)
Chapter nine is a survey of world religions. Meyers does a fair job of delineating the Star of David, but misses the fact that the Latin Cross is not the intersection of horizontal & vertical per se (that would be the Equal Armed or Greek Cross), but the unfolding of a cube. There are all manner of meanings (and uses) you can get from that.

In Chapter 10, The Spiral Stairway, we close in on home truths, which is to say, we get closer to the author's ultimate destination:

This seeming contradiction is reconciled by seeing that the spiral stairway is climbed from the position of the separate self (Moon), which is primarily stationed at the water level. (pg. 192)
Chapter 10 introduces spirals, which in fact are an outgrowth of the interlocking (vertical) pyramids introduced earlier & which are horizontally represented by the hooked cross (and, yes, you should click on that. You will be surprised.) The contradiction the author alludes to is if there really is a "path" or not.

I regret I cannot find a clear conclusion to the book:

Ideally, we teach what we have learned. During the third Saturn cycle [58-87 years - Dave], leadership mentoring is appropriate. Showing patience for those less adept with this lesson can further our own self-acceptance for having been less seasoned at one point. We can review, accept, and ultimately feel gratitude for the process we went through.

By the end of the second Saturn cycle [58 - Dave], a continued absence of clear exercising of authority would likely lead to an exaggeration of the shadow - tyrannical behavior. The geezer who shakes his cane and yells at the kids to get off his yard is full of many years of mismanaged energy. Everywhere he looks he sees failure: in the government, a family member, or with his favorite sports team. And he has a limitless supply of venomous criticism for all of it. (pg. 196)

So, there is "evolution", yes, but what is it, exactly? What is our goal, presuming there really is one? To become "godlike"? What if we don't wanna? Does that make us primitives? The four elements - air, water, fire & earth - are said to be the essential keys, but keys to what, exactly? The two pyramids shown in chapter 9 - they both have fire at the top. Does that mean that only fire is spiritual, that only fire can "win"? Is earth, the "lowest" of the four, really just physical clay, to be abandoned at the earliest opportunity? Or could "earth" have correspondences on higher levels? Looking from the other end of things, is it not true that fire, the spiritual ultimate, can be found in bacteria & sloths & the earth itself? Why should we have all four elements in our chart, since to be come "spiritual" we must give up all but fire? (Fire: The Soul Level - pg. 165).

The book is missing houses, it is missing the angles, it is missing dispositors & rulerships & decans & individual degrees & much more. It has planets, but only barely. (There are no retrogrades, unless I missed them.) There are aspects, but they do not apply or separate, nor are there orbs. For that matter, there isn't a lot about signs. If astrology is a description of reality, then all forms of astrology are abbreviations, and this by definition. A skillful author can make the most of a limited palette (Linda Goodman comes to mind, and yes, I have read her), but for the most part, self-imposed limitations produce books limited in scope, which are the most difficult of all to write well.

In books like this, the Bibliography is where you should start. Meyers' runs nearly four pages & is presumably his personal library. It includes books by Stephen Arroyo, Donna Cunningham, Maurice Fernandez, Steven Forrest, Jeffrey Green, Liz Greene, Robert Hand, Meyers himself, Dane Rudhyar, Jan Spiller, Gary Zukhav & others. Mme. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine is included (1571 pages), but it's an abridged version from 2005 (341 pages), which means Meyers has made no more than a cursory study of it.

Astrology Sight Publishing, 267 pages.

Read the book? Want to tell the world? How many stars (1-5) would you give this book?

Contents: Astrology knowledge lecture; Elementary notes on astrology; Solar and sidereal time; Concerning the houses; How to erect an astrological figure. Appendices: Signs, planets, and houses; Later teachings received from Mathers. 44 pages. Holmes Publishing Group, paper.

MESSAGE OF THE STARS - Max Heindel, $30.00
Contents includes: Evolution as shown in the zodiac; Early, middle and later Atlantean epochs; Aryan epoch; Piscean age; Aquarian age; Amulets, birthstones and planetary colors; Reading the horoscope - houses, signs, four triplicities, sun, moon, ascendant; Influence of the 12 signs when rising; Planets in houses, signs, and aspects; Elevation, exaltation and critical degrees; Influence of ruling planets, well aspected and afflicted; Luck, health, social and financial fortunes, vocation; marriage and offspring; Progression of the horoscope; The adjusted calculation date; Progressed solar and lunar directions; Transits; Astro-diagnosis of disease; The law of correspondences; Pathogenic effects of the 12 signs and of the planets; The ductless glands; 36 example horoscopes; sex as a factor in disease; The planet Pluto; Planetary hours; diagram - serpentine path of sun,moon, and planets. 736 pages including information on the Rosicrucian Fellowship, and indices to natal and medical astrology. Rosicrucian Fellowship, paper.

Contents includes: Chemical and etheric regions of the physical world; The desire world; The world of thought; The four kingdoms; Memory and soul-growth; The constitution of the seven-fold man; Death and purgatory; Heaven; Preparations for rebirth; Birth of the dense, vital, and desire bodies, and of the mind; The blood - vehicle of the ego; Rebirth and the law of consequence; The relation of man to God; The scheme and the path of evolution; The work of evolution - Saturn, sun and moon periods; The Earth period; Genesis and the evolution of our solar system; Evolution on the Earth - Polarian-, Hyperborean-, Lemurian-, Atlantean-, and Aryan- epochs, separation of the sexes, the races and their leaders, the 16 paths to destruction; Occult analysis of Genesis; Christ and his mission; Future development and initiation; The method of acquiring first hand knowledge; The constitution of the Earth and volcanic eruptions; Christian Rosenkreuz and the Order of Rosicrucians. Addendum: Morning and evening exercises; What is truth; Reincarnation or rebirth?; Footnotes. 719 pages including indices. Rosicrucian Fellowship, paper.

ASTROLOGY FOR INITIATES, Astrological Secrets of the Western Mystery Tradition - Papus, translated by J. Lee Lehman, $15.95
From the back cover: "The French physician Papus (1865-1916)....lived during an exciting period when the mystery traditions and esoteric research were at an all time high in Europe....Lehman's introduction places Papus in an historical perspective and explains his influence in late 19th and early 20th century France. In translating this work from the French, Dr. Lehman has maintained the integrity of the original while adding explanatory notes and supplemental information...." Contents: The celestial sphere; The planets; The twelve signs; Applications of astrology. Appendix: Astrology and the calendar. Tables: Essential dignities and debilities; Triplicities from Ptolemy and Lilly; Accidental dignities and debilities. 136 pages including translator's references, index, and translator profile. Weiser, paper.

Contents: Introduction; Definitions;

Aries; Taurus; Gemini; Cancer; Leo; Virgo; Libra; Scorpio; Sagittarius; Capricorn; Aquarius; Pisces; Polarity; Wholeness; Bibliography.

Comment: From the back cover:

The interpretations given in this book are based mainly on the teaching of the Eastern sage, the Master Djhal Khul, as given to Alice A. Bailey, particularly the concepts set forth in her book, Esoteric Astrology, which defines the occult approach to astrology marking the distinction between exoteric and esoteric astrology.

Self-actualization and Self-realization are concerned with the "whole" man. Self-actualization is more easily understood for it relates to the "I" consciousness, while Self-realization refers to a happening not often experienced - a very high state of awareness of almost infinite variety. The author shows how the Zodiacal Signs, the Cosmic Rays and the Planetary Rulers of the signs contribute by the influence of their qualities to a growth in consciousness and an increasing identification with the Soul, the Higher or Transpersonal Self. Experience in each of the twelve celestial areas is shown as an adventure in growth where the expanding consciousness gradually leads to an expression of the "whole" man.

For each of the signs of the zodiac are introductory notes, cosmic rays & planetary rulers, and how the opposing goals of self-actualization & self-realization play out.

Published in 1980. Weiser, 115 pages.

Esoteric Astrology, page 1

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