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Dane Rudhyar and Humanistic Astrology

Dane Rudhyar (1895 - 1985) created a sensation with another generation of astrologers in the late 1970's. They were my immediate predecessors. They published the last of his books - which are all we have now. Rudhyar died the year before I got seriously involved in astrology.

Dane Rudhyar matured in the hell of the First World War, which marked him & his entire generation. One need only read Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August, or any of the novels by Erich-Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front, The Road Back etc.) to realize how deeply scarred these men were.

Rudhyar pioneered an new approach to astrology (holistic, psychological/spiritual) in reaction to the horror of the trenches. And though the trauma of the war affected all areas of society, Rudhyar was one of the few astrologers/spiritual leaders to show any reaction to the war at all.

Rudhyar was a friend of Alice Bailey, who was herself the heir to H.P. Blavatsky & the Theosophists. It is difficult to fully understand Rudhyar's writings without some Theosphical knowledge. Since we've read a lot of Bailey's books, we can attest to their great difficulty (among contemporary astrologers, Alan Oken is almost alone in his efforts to seriously comprehend Bailey's material). Since Rudhyar's passing, his ideas have been copied by a number of lesser writers with generally unsatisfying results. As time passes and his imitators fade, Rudhyar continues to grow in stature & influence.

Indicates a book on our Top Ten list. If you would like to find more books like it, click on the star.

THE GALACTIC DIMENSION OF ASTROLOGY: The Sun is Also a Star - Dane Rudhyar, $17.95
Contents: Part 1: 1. Introduction to the galactic level of consciousness; 2. When the Sun is seen as a star: a) A galactic approach to the solar system, b) Planets of organic functioning, c) Planets of transformation & transcendence; 3. The Uranus/Neptune polarity; 4. Pluto & the experience of depth, void & recentering.
Part 2: 5. The trans-Saturnian planets in zodiacal signs; 6. The interpenetrating cycles of Uranus, Neptune & Pluto.
Part 3: 7. A transphysical approach to the galaxy; 8. Transpersonal relationships & the galactic community; 9. The challenge of galacticity in humanistic astrology.
Epilogue, index.

Comment: From the introduction: ...It does mean nevertheless that the breach between man & the universe has to be healed - for it was truly a "dis-ease", intended as it may have been to rouse man to a feverish pitch & force him to overcome the inertia of the old tribal forms of social existence. Communication must be reestablished between the universe & man.

This can only happen when man feels himself a fuctional part of the universe & no longer a stranger in it; when man's experience of, first, life - then, consciousness, and intelligence - is understood to be not merely a chance accident in a meaningless universe in which material masses speed aimlessly at inconceivable speeds, but a basic constituent of the cosmos. In this cosmos matter, life, mind, and a supermental substance-energy which we vaguely call spirit, are to be considered and (eventually) directly experienced as different "levels of organization" of reality. (From pg. 16. Emphasis in original.)

Earlier he made the remark that materialism started when heliocentric astronomy dethroned the central place of the earth. Rudhyar remarks that a sun-centered universe reduced the world to big lumps of rock flying through empty space at unimaginable speeds. In the beginning of the book, the publisher has inserted a page with a long list of Rudhyar titles, most of which are out of print. As the publisher was one of his last associates, it may be that she plans to reprint a number of them.

Aurora Press, 217 pages.

Six essays covering: Astrology in new age guidance; Astrology as karma yoga; Planetary & lunar nodes; The moment of interpretation; Event vs: Person centered; Planetary patterns; Aspect patterns; Birth charts as wholes. Case histories show Rudhyar's holistic approach. 384 pages. Aurora Press, paper.

THE ASTROLOGY OF PERSONALITY: A Re-formulation of Astrological Concepts & Ideals, in Terms of Contemporary Psychology & Philosophy - Dane Rudhyar, $24.95

Prelude to a history of astrology

First section:
1. Astrology faces modern thought
2. Astrology & analytical psychology
3. Individual, collective, creative & the cyclic process
4. A key to astrological symbolism
5. A classification of astrological viewpoints.

Second section:
6. The dial of houses
7. The signs of the zodiac
8. Planets & personality
9. Planetary interweavings
10. Degrees of the zodiac & the Sabian Symbols (Astrological Mandala)
11. Form & the pattern of planetary aspects
12. The birth chart & the progressions
13. The technique of progressions, directions & transits
14. Principles of astrological interpretations

Epilogue: The use of astrology in the process of individuation & civilization.

Comment: In this famous guidebook for the advanced humanist astrologer, Rudhyar speaks of a crisis in astrology caused by the vast growth of interest in this ancient science. Astrology is not about predicting events, but to bring order out of chaos. As a bonus, those looking for his Astrological Mandala will find an abbreviated version of his take on the Sabian Symbols in chapter 10.

341 pages including author profile. Aurora Press, paper.

AN ASTROLOGICAL TRIPTYCH: The Illumined Road - Dane Rudhyar, $14.00
Contains Gifts of the Spirit (12 gifts); The Way Through (12 tests) & The Illumined Road (Planetary stations on the way to the Star). Originally published in American Astrology between 1945-49, revised 1978. 296 pages. Aurora Press, paper.

THE LUNATION CYCLE: A Key to the Understanding of Personality - Dane Rudhyar, $17.95
Introduction, by Barbara Somerfield

1. Astrology, time and cycles
2. The lunation cycle, as a dynamic pattern of relationship
3. The eight lunation types of personality
4. The Part of Fortune
5. The Part of Fortune and the Part of Spirit
6. The planets in relation to the lunation cycle
7. The progressed lunation cycle


The lunation cycle in astrological guidance, by Leyla Rael Rudhyar


Here, Rudhyar formulates & describes 8 Soli-Lunar types of personalities & the importance of the new moon before birth & the progressed new moon chart. Includes the Part of Fortune, as an index of personality, through the signs & houses & in relation to planets. Also includes The Lunation Process in Astrological Guidance, by Leyla Rael Rudhyar, his last wife.

Aurora Press, 196 pages.

TAPESTRY OF THE PLANETARY PHASES: Weaving the threads of purpose and meaning in your life - Christian Rose, $46.00



Part 1: The lunation cycle:
1. The rhythmic dance of sun and moon
2. The cycle into action
3. The role of the Moon
4. Aspects within the phases
5. Planets and pairings

Part 2: Planetary phases in the individual birth chart:
6. Sun and Moon
7. Saturn and Moon
8. Jupiter and Mercury
9. Mars and Venus
10. Saturn and Jupiter

Part 3: Further dimensions and progressions:
11. Further dimensions for planetary phases
12. Progressed lunation cycle

Copyright permissions
Bibliography and recommended reading
General index


This book was inspired by Dane Rudhyar's, above, which is why I placed it here. The author also gives credit to Busteed and Wergin, Martin Goldsmith, and William Butler Yeats.

As with all books in this field, the astrology is different, and for the usual reasons. Here is Rose's explanation:

When Dane Rudhyar first set down astrological meanings for the Lunation Cycle in his 1967 book of that title (although he had been writing on the subject for quite some years prior to this), its impact upon me, as a new emerging astrologer at the time, was one of relief. Up until then I had felt dissatisfied with what I experienced as a rather wooden and linear approach to astrology in terms of interpretations of planets in certain positions 'up there' doing something to me 'down here' and my life as running from past to future in a straight predictable line. . . .

In this respect Rudhyar's work provided the focus for three key realizations: one was to give recognition to the celestial space itself as reflective of a deeper (or higher) sense of Being; the second was to give conscious attention to the interconnectedness of everything within that space, whether or not any relationship between them was obvious; the third was to discern more consciously the ongoing cycle of creation-to-dissolution which underpins all that we experience and which is depicted so markedly in the passage of the Moon in the night sky. In other words, working with the phases was to 'enter' the astrological heavens in awareness of unfolding life reflected in its perpetual cycles. (pgs ii, iii)

Which is to say that, finding the astrology of the 1960's to be simplistic and dull, Rose opted for astro-philosophy instead. (Rudhyar, by contrast, was consciously moving away from the work of Leo, Robson and Carter, three astrologers which I doubt Rose has studied.)

This books invites the reader to study the grand sweep of life. Here is another excerpt, from Chapter 8, Jupiter and Mercury:

David Icke is a former English footballer and sports journalist who, in 1990, experienced a deep personal interior transformation. He emerged as a prophetic speaker and conspiracy-theory writer on hidden global agendas, networked societies, the nature of perceptual reality and changing states of consciousness. On the one hand he has collected a degree of public humiliation that would crush a person of less determination to stand his ground and on the other increasing vindication for his pronouncements. An articulate man, in his chart Mercury and Jupiter rule the 9th and 3rd houses emphasizing communication skills as well as the 11th/5th axis emphasizing the need to develop personal and social creativity in order to apply his insights. The Mercury part of the phase is particularly strong by dint of its link to the Grand Cross formation involving a crusading Moon/Uranus conjunction in the 9th (speaking out one's own insights and philosophies) in opposition to Chiron, in the 3rd (battling against the odds to get himself across and be heard) squaring Saturn and Neptune in the 12th. Libra Air (uncovering the unseen and concretizing it through insight/communication arising from depths which may be seen as strange or unusual). This overall pattern carries a sense of clarity to be fought for and indeed a radical audacity to speak out for a liberation of that which he perceives as limited, boxed-in, held down. (pgs. 226-7)
David Icke, born April 29, 1952, at 7:15 pm in Leicester, UK, has Mercury in Aries in the 6th, Jupiter in Taurus in the 7th, with Aries on the cusp of the 7th. His Sun is in Taurus in the 7th, the Moon is conjunct Uranus in Aquarius in the 9th, the ascendant is Libra, chart ruler Venus is in Aries late in the 6th. The midheaven is Leo. Jupiter and Mercury will, of course, always rule opposite houses in a chart, as well as those in square to them, which in this chart are 9 and 3, as well as 5 and 11 (not 6 and 12, as would be expected with Aries or Libra rising). - This is offered for general orientation.

This is a book that develops lunation theory. The publisher tells me it is an outgrowth of the author's classes.

Wessex Astrologer, 384 pages.

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Dane Rudhyar, a seed man

Life giving zodiac and its twelve gifts
The Yin-Yang polarities
The signs of the zodiac

Zodiacal signatures

Twelve qualities required for the spiritual life and their zodiacal correspondences
Intellectual honesty
Equanimity in love
Non-competitive efficiency
Creative visualization
A sense of humor
Faith in the future

The twelve qualities in relation to your birth-chart
Astrological themes for meditation
On meditation
"Who am I?"
Your celestial identity
The interplay of consciousness and power
The individual's word of power
Selfhood is destiny
You are never alone
What are possessions for?
Your environment and you
The ecological approach to knowledge
What is education for?
The foundations of personality
"Express yourself": What self?
"My children": Really?
Learning through crisis
I and thou - but not alone
Rituals of social togetherness
Sex and rites of passage
Problems raised by expansion
The way to achievement
Ideals and escapes
The emptiness of abundance
One can always begin again


These are four sets of essays, the first two of them on the signs of the zodiac. The first set is mundane, the second has lots of fancy metaphysics. Aries in the first set, for example, springs into action. In the second set, Aries germinates, is similar to a Doric column, and has passion, etc. The second set also has the fancy drawings, one of which (Capricorn) is used for the front cover.

Following these are twelve more essays concerning qualities required for the spiritual life. As you can see, these are based on the twelve signs of the zodiac: Courage being Aires, non-possessiveness being Taurus, intellectual honesty being Gemini, etc.

The final set of essays are subjects for meditation. As there are 22 essays in this set, they would not seem to be directly tied to the signs of the zodiac, though one can find various zodiacal energies in them.

This book dates from 1978 and was first published in 1979.

Aurora Press, 150 pages.

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NEW MANSIONS FOR NEW MEN - Dane Rudhyar, $7.95
Mansions of the Self: To Breathe; To Own; To Know; To Establish; To Release; To Improve; To Relate; To Renew; To Understand; To Achieve; To Transfigure; To Transcend.
Music of the Spheres: The Song of Light; The Song of Life; Saturn: Lord of Boundaries; Jupiter: Organizer of Functions; Mercury: Weaver of the Threads of Life; Mars: He-who-goes-forth; Venus: Queen of the Celestial Bees; Uranus: Master of Transformation; Neptune: Master of Ecstasy; Pluto: Sower of Celestial Seed; Asteroids & Comets; Constellations & the Milky Way.
Meditations at the Gates of Light: At the Southern Gate; At the Eastern Gate; At the Northern Gate; At the Western Gate; The City of Light.
273 pages. Hunter House, paper.

Contents: The release of seed-ideas; Man's primary experience of existence and time; The experience of "I": self and ego; Selfhood and relatedness; Foundations for a metaphysics of wholeness; The cyclic process: from beginning to end to rebeginning; Soul-field, mind and reincarnation; Knowledge through cosmic attunement; Symbols and values; The ethics of wholeness and the plenary society; Planetarization and plenitude. 312 pages. Aurora Press, paper.

THE ASTROLOGY OF TRANSFORMATION: A Multilevel Approach - Dane Rudhyar, $14.00
Contents: The two basic ways of meeting life's confrontations - yin and yang; The two faces of astrology - information and understanding/meaning; Four levels of interpreting human experience and astrological data - biological, sociocultural, individual, transpersonal; The planets' meanings at the sociocultural level; Nodes, eclipses and the trans-Saturnian planets; The birthchart and the planets in a mandala-type of interpretation; The practice of astrology at the transpersonal level; The birthchart as a symbol of individual karma; The transmutation of karma into dharma; A transpersonal interpretation of sun, moon and planets; Aspects and gestalt; Angles: root-factors in personality and their transformation; Personality as an unfolding process; "solar" progressions; Progressed lunation cycle; The transits of the planets. 205 pages including index. Quest Books/Aurora Press, paper.

ASTROLOGICAL ASPECTS: A Process Oriented Approach - Leyla Rael & Dane Rudhyar, $18.95
Contents: Preface;

1. A process-oriented approach to astrology, chart interpretation & aspects

2. Familiar aspects: involution/devolution. I. Growth through spontaneous activity. II. Growth through letting go.

3. Less familiar aspects: Evolution. Growth through meaning & conscious process. The opposition & the quincunx, the trine, the square, the quintile, the sextile, the septile, the octile or the semi-square & the sesquiquadrate, the sesquiquadrate or tri-octile, the novile, the decile or semi-quintile, the semi-sextile, the smaller angular values

4. Special conjunctions& oppositions: retrogradation, a time for reorientation

5. Rectangular & triangular patterns in the horoscope

6. Intuition & interpretation: On putting it all together & "how to"

Appendices: 1. Example horoscopes; 2. Suggested reading by subject. Index.

Comment: From the preface:

I have always taken the approach that no aspect between two celestial bodies moving at different speeds - as they all do - could be truly understood unless it was considered as particular phase of the cyclic process established by successive conjunctions of the two bodies. The prototype of such cycles of relationship is the lunation cycle extending from new moon to new moon; but any two planets considered as a pair produce such a kind of cycle. The actual meaning of the cyclic series of aspects, from conjunction to conjunction, depends on the character of the two related planets, but the basic pattern of all such cycles has the same abstract, or rather 'archetypal' character. If we understand the archetypal pattern of the cycle - that is, of any cycle of relationship between two interacting entities - we have in mind an instrument of universal validity. (pgs. i-ii)

Aurora Press, 244 pages.

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