So much favorable comment has come to us concerning the astrological articles by Elman Bacher which appeared in our Rays from the Rose Cross during past years that we feel sure this volume Will be cordially welcomed by all students of spiritual astrology.
Mr. Bacher's profound knowledge of and devotion to the stellar science, along with an uncanny understanding of human nature, made it possible for him to present material which undoubtedly places him among the best of modern esoteric astrologers. As the truth and value of astrology become more and more generally accepted, his presentations will serve increasingly to help people know themselves and fulfill their highest destiny.
Before his passing in 1951, Mr. Bacher expressed a keen desire to have us publish his articles in book form, and although we deeply regret that he is not here to see the culmination of his desire, we are happy in knowing that his wish is now being fulfilled.
To the Rosicrucian student astrology is a phase of religion, basically a spiritual science. More than any other study it reveals man to himself. No other science is so sublime, so profound, and so all- embracing. It portrays the relation between God, the macrocosm, and man, the microcosm, showing them to be fundamentally one.
Occult science, investigating the subtler forces that impinge upon man, the Spirit, and his vehicles, has charted their effects with no less definiteness than has academic science the reactions of sea and soil, plant and animal to the solar and lunar rays.
With this knowledge we may determine the astrological pattern of each individual and know the relative strength and weakness of the various forces operating in each life. To the degree that we are in possession of such knowledge we can begin systematic, scientific character building--and characterise destiny! We note times and seasons cosmically advantageous to unfolding undeveloped qualities, correcting faulty traits, and eliminating destructive propensities.
The divine science of astrology reveals the hidden causes at work in our lives. It counsels the adult in regard to vocation, the parent in the guidance of children, the teacher in management of pupils, the physician in diagnosing diseases, thus lending aid to each and all ill whatever position they may find themselves.
No other subject within the range of human knowledge appears to hold for this day and age the possibilities open to astrologers for helping people to their own dignity as gods-in-the-making, to a greater grasp of universal law, and to a realization that we are eternally secure within the caressing fold of Infinite Life and Boundless Being.
As the Sun symbolizes the creative center of things, so Mars stands for the energy which flows, like blood, through the life of manifestations and makes possible all forms of growth, sustainment, and progress. Mars may be called the Sun's "right-hand-man." The two together synthesize the masculine polarity and, in primitive or undeveloped types, who live in emotion and desire rather than in will, Mars takes the place of the Sun until certain stages of evolution have been transcended.
Mars is essentially egotistical, separative, frictional, and dynamic. His is the voice of I am, I want, I will get, I defend myself, I defeat my enemies, I must survive. It is through his vibration that we see other manifestations of life-people, experiences, things-as obstacles to be overcome. They, in our consciousness, stand as threats to our life, satisfactions, and progress.
Thus, Mars is seen, in the horoscope, as the center from which we struggle for self-sustainment--on all planes. He represents our degree of eagerness to live, our determination to keep going, our urge upward and onward; he is the steely eye, facing the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Mars, unregenerate, is I will have what I want--at whatever the cost to others; regenerate, is alchemicalized into the shining gold of courage--his cardinal virtue.
Thus, we see that Mars is the maker of karma, because he is our projection into life. He is the basis for action, but not its fulfillment. He is the objectification of consciousness because in what we do we reflect that which we are. Through Mars we live in, and for, ourselves, but when energy is expressed in terms of union with others (the Venus vibration) then Mars finds his regeneration.
Mars, as energy, is the principle of work. His degree of expression indicates how we bring zest, enthusiasm, force, and drive into that form of experience which represents our contribution to life and the channels through which we make a living. There is a universe of difference, in consciousness, between work and labor. In the first, we do the thing we want to do, as a form of self-expression and psychological release; in the second, we simply do something for the pay involved. To the first we bring an urge of the heart to do our best, in terms of action; in the second, material self-sustainment is the only concern--a routine, automatic doing in order to make money.
Mars, as the principle of work, does not necessarily mean a Mars type of work. A musician, poet, philosopher, teacher, nurse, lecturer, or what-not can bring to his line of activity this principle of work-as-fulfillment. Mars shows how strong is the urge to work, to self-expression, to effort, to development; any afflicted, or inhibitive, aspect to Mars in the chart shows a depletion of urge, a scattering of energy, a lack of courage, and a tendency to knuckle under rather than to carve out destiny.
We must not confuse the indications of a talent with the indications for a life work. A person may have all the indications of being a gifted artist of some kind, but if Mars is not connected with this pattern, the art expression cannot be taken as the vocational pattern, since his urge is not expressed through it. He may use it as a hobby or for creative release in some way, but his life-work pattern, to be authentic, must include some degree of the Mars vibration to insure success and fullest accomplishment. Anyone who follows, as a life work, some activity unconnected with his Mars potential, does not, and cannot, really work-he just labors and struggles and wonders why he can't seem to get ahead, and ultimately insuring unhappiness for himself. Mars, as a factor of the life-work-pattern, may show by direct aspect to other planets involved, by being strong himself, or by his dispositorship of others.
In line with present-day concepts of constructive psychology, we know that much internal disorder is due to the misdirections of Mars, because Mars is the prime symbol of the sex impulse, the creative motivation of all life. In the vibration of Mars, mankind finds one of its chief sources of Ego-expression through the accomplishment of sex exchange-- or, as undeveloped people express it, sex conquest. Mars, as conquest, in this reference is seen as an expression of utter selfishness, in which the satisfaction of the desire urge is the only objective. It is only when this urge is experienced in terms of mutuality that "exchange" takes place. In this case, Mars, through Venus, is gradually redeemed or regenerated into higher and higher expressions of love.
In primitive life, Mars finds its feminine counterpart in the Moon. One is the urge to initiate or project life, the other is the urge to bear and nurture it. The Mars-Moon pattern in the horoscope of either male or female may be described as the desire potential; Mars-Venus is the love potential, and the Sun must be taken into account in the analysis of the parenthood potential. Synthesis of the patterns of Mars, Moon, Sun, and Venus will indicate the possibilities of fulfillments, frustrations, predominant emotional tendencies, and polarity urges of the person's nature. Careful attention to the afflicted aspect that exists between any two of these planets that is most nearly exact by degree will indicate the pattern that contains the most deeply rooted potential for frustration or disharmony in the emotional nature.
Space does not permit a complete, detailed discussion of Mars all its patterns with all the other planets, but, because we are primarily concerned with psychological factors in astrology, we must, at this time, offer some material in reference to Mars and the sex urge. In recent years, the sexual factor of human nature has been the object of intensive study on the part of all people who seek to assist others in their development, and the astro-analyst has a big contribution to make in this connection. He sees in the horoscope a picture, like an X-ray, of the emotional potentialities, not just as static patterns of reaction, but, karmically, as expressions of the Law of Cause and Effect--from the past, through the present, and pointing to the future. We are now concerned with "afflicted" aspects.
Mars-Moon: The subconscious mind is charged with unfulfilled, disordered sex pictures; sexual reactions are easily aroused and, when expressed, are done so with intensity. Great wastage can result if scientific and spiritual sex instruction is neglected--the subconscious pictures must be cleansed and re-organized. Parents should allow sex awareness to come into the lives of such children without fear or "nasty-niceness" because these false attitudes only serve to make the problem more difficult. Naturally honest and honorable approaches should be made as soon as the child evinces sex interest. His energies should be given constructive and productive outlets, and, without undue strictness or harshness, the child's early life should contain a certain routine of activity that can serve as a mold for his energy outlets. Well balanced physical training is very beneficial, since the organism then has a chance to develop through energy output, and wholesome respect for the physical body can be inculcated. The child must be taught respect for his sex organism, and with such redirection of his subconscious, healthy attitudes may be absorbed. These factors become comparatively more important to the degree that Mars is strong by sign (Aries, and particularly Scorpio and Capricorn) and/or if the Moon is in Scorpio and the planetary occupancy of water signs is marked.
Mars-Venus: The fires of Mars (desire-passion), when distilled through the alchemy of Venus result in the flowering of human love because Venus is the result of energy expressed in terms of the other fellow. Venus in the chart may be strong by sign, aspects, etc., but if Mars is weak, then the love potential is slight. In this case, Venus would be identified as culture, artistic or social abilities, love of beauty, etc. The love potential is clearly shown as a possibility of fruition if Mars and Venus are in aspect to each other--the desire impulse then has a direct contact with its alchemical agency, but careful synthesis must be made regarding possible factors of frustration or inhibition of this process.
When Mars is strong and Venus weak, if the two aspect each other the pattern shows a possibility, in this incarnation, of developing the love nature. This pattern shows a predominance of the masculine impulse (initiative, conquest, etc.), which, for flowering, must be harmoniously cultivated. When Venus is the stronger, and Mars is debilitated, then the receptive, or feminine qualities, predominate and the person is sub- consciously attracted to a more positive or dynamic partner. Mars square Venus is a detriment to the expression of Venus, however well aspected she may be otherwise, because she does not, in this case, receive the dynamic impulse in constructive or fruitful form. The result of this aspect may show as: a deep urge to love, but the inability to express it; the tendency to express love in terms of ego assertion rather than heart expression; an over-predominance of the basic masculine qualities that creates an unresponsiveness to the feminine expressions of life--or a lack of understanding of them; the person may prefer to live his life in terms of work rather than love.
Mars-Uranus: This, on the emotional plane, is dynamite. The potential for passion is very great and, if Venus is connected, love may be developed to extraordinary degrees. Intensity is the keyword, whatever the expression. Since Uranus is the fusion of Mars-Venus into creativity, this aspect shows a tremendous urge to create or invent, in some way, and the aspect shows the need for much control and direction. Inhibited, the dynamic energies can be banked up and choked to such a degree that there is great danger of destructive outbursts, emotionally or physically.
The negative expressions of Mars-Uranus combinations show that energy may be wasted or dispersed in extreme degrees and, in the sexual expressions of life, this aspect indicates a pattern of unregenerate sex as protest or lawlessness. This is a symbol of possible libertinism-the person may scatter himself as the impulse moves him; he doesn't want to--or can't--be held down to what he calls "limitations" or "bondage of relationship." He is, in his terms, a "free soul;" so free is he that, emotionally, he can't keep his feet on the ground at all-but flits hither and thither. Such a person should be advised that unless love impulses are molded into constructive and fruitful forms, nothing but wastage is the result.
Other conditions allowing, Mars-Uranus can indicate the possibilities of powerful sublimations, if the energies are directed. A cause, an ideal, a lifework, any of these may be the channel through which the person redirects his sex potentials into impersonal expressions. This process presupposes a strong willpower, and if such is lacking in the chart, the scattering of this intense expression of Mars energy can result in very difficult and painful karma. Mars-Uranus also indicates a possibility of perverse expressions of sex through over-balance of the masculine polarity, and emotional balance and fulfillment difficult to attain. This pattern should be carefully compared with the feminine indications in order to ascertain the possibilities of emotional integration.
Mars-Neptune: In this afflicted pattern we have a symbol of many obscure and difficult-to-put-the-finger-on conditions that have been the object of re-search by psychiatrists and psychologists for many years. It is an indication of a high-strung and easily affected nervous system which, under certain types of stimuli, can result in serious deviations of the sex-impulse. We may describe this pattern as sex-illusion.
Attended by a pattern of frustration, this Neptune influence may cause the person to seek release through the "liberations" of drink and/or drugs. The organism is sensitive to these stimuli, and since--or if--the love potential is deficient, the person has the urge to find his sexual releases through false and illusionary forms. These releases are unhealthy, destructive and, because the lower astral vibrations are repeatedly contacted, very contaminating. The energy releases are diffused into "dreams" and emotional health retarded-in extreme cases, destroyed completely.
However, reactions to drink and drugs can be corrected by therapeutics; Mars-Neptune can indicate something even worse-- expressing the sexual nature and impulses through symbols. In this form of pathology, subconscious pictures have been brought over in which the person does not, or cannot, express his sex urges with another person at all--he can only be stimulated by some inanimate thing which symbolizes to him an object of desire. These perverse forms can only be uprooted by careful analysis and therapeutic or spiritual psychology. Something "devilish-way down deep" has become an emotional reality to the person which twists and deflects his urges out of all normal perspective. Check the chart carefully for every indication of possible healthy emotional expression, by which the person's sex impulses may be brought into alignment with the reality of human patterns.
The above pertains to extreme or complicated conditions involving Mars and Neptune, and of course other factors must contribute to indications of such perverse tendencies. However, Mars-Neptune does indicate some form of sex expressions that deviates from the norm. Let us consider a few possibilities of regenerating this pattern:
Energy may be sublimated through creative art, music, or drama; work may be found dealing with the healing professions; devotion to human welfare in some form could be a splendid corrective measure in redirecting the desire nature; knowledge and understanding of sex, physiologically, psychologically, and esoterically, would certainly serve to clarify the mental pictures so that the person could, to greater degree, understand his problem; establishment of cleanliness as a factor in his physical habits could bring his consciousness into attunement with the ideal of inner and outer purity; and, above all, establishing in the consciousness the goal of love by which all desire impulses find their regeneration.
Mars-Saturn: The essence of emotional frustration. To the degree that Mars is strong by sign and aspects, this frustrating pattern can create trouble and pain, and cause the person to develop all manner of complexes, inferiorities, self-deficiencies, and fears. Study the chart esoterically to determine the purpose of this frustration--why is the person being held back by Saturn? What must he fulfill through Saturn. Then, when fulfillment of the responsibility has been made, what avenues does Mars have for constructive, creative, and healthy living. This aspect serves a serious purpose, wherever found in the chart. Mars has been misused in the past, and now must by karma, be held in restraint, for his energies are needed to rebuild a distorted pattern. Appeal to the person's self-respect, honor, and courage--he must understand that the inhibitive force must be dealt with and so transcended.