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 becomes more and more generally accepted, his presentations will serve increasingly to help people know themselves and fulfill their highest destiny.
Before his passing in 1954, 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 character is 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 disease, thus lending aid to each and all in 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.
The astrologer belongs to one of those many groups of people who, motivated by impersonal love, seek to add to the betterment of human conditions. He has come to a point in his development when his inner resources, distilled from past incarnations, are of such quality and scope that they "must out;" in other words, a part of his consciousness can no longer find satisfaction in the purely personal--or biological--levels of experience. (Of course, his impersonal service is an expression of his development and experience as a human being, but its purposes are for the world of human beings at large.)
Let us consider the astrologer in the light of "astrological designs:"
In a blank circle draw the horizontal and vertical diameters. The cross made by these two lines symbolizes the human-beingness of the Astrologer: a man--or woman--incarnated for the purposes of development, dealing with problems, trials, and temptations as anyone else does; perhaps subject to one or many forms of testing-through-suffering. All this pertains to the personal part of him, but when we add the cusp of the ninth house to this "cross pattern" we see the astrologer emerge from the limitedness of a mere human. Placing the symbol for Jupiter in the ninth house of this design pictures his essential identity: he is "elder brother" and teacher.
In his human-beingness on this plane he is brother to all people who come to him for guidance. He recognizes that he walks the same essential paths that all people do, but the thing that differentiates him from others is the composite of his impersonal love quality, his range of understanding of human conditions and his abstract mental faculties. This composite lifts his consciousness to a level that transcends the basic biological motivations of thought and feeling, he sees through the concepts of race, group-religion, caste, family moldings, physical relationship patterns, and even of sex itself. His approach to his "younger brothers and sisters" is from the basis of studying and understanding their vibratory patterns--in other words, their consciousness.
His fundamental study is that of the vibratory nature of the entity we call humanity in its myriad expressions and variations, manifested by subconscious impressions and feelings, emotional tastes, physical attributes and conditions, and reaction patterns to all the departments of experience and relationship common to all human beings in their evolutionary progress. Mankind is not only one family--it is one thing, one particular pattern of life-expression.
The astrologer is, of course, a facet of the one thing; but, by perception and understanding, he is in relationship to most of the other facets of the one thing as a person on a mountaintop is to those who are climbing the same mountain or to those who have still remained in the valley below. He has, at his particular evolutionary level, already distilled something of what the climbers on the mountain slope and the people in the valley are in the process of distilling: awareness of universal principles and its expression through the processes of human life. He, in his turn, still has mountains ahead, and there are those who have attained "look-out points" that are higher than that which he now occupies. But the impersonal consciousness is the common denominator of them all. That is the essence of the fraternity which relates him to those still climbing and to those ahead of him. To the former he is elder brother; to those ahead he is younger brother. But all of them are elder brothers to those who remain in the valleys of purely biological and materialistic consciousness.
In our design, the ninth house symbolizes the knowledge or wisdom aspect of the astrologer; his love aspect is designated by the eleventh house. To our design let us add Aquarius on the cusp of the eleventh house and place the symbol for Uranus in that house; shade in the ninth and eleventh houses so that they stand out from the rest of the wheel; "ground" these two houses by adding the cusp lines of the third and fifth houses, thus designating a composite of two polarity-patterns: (1) knowledge raised to its transcendent expression of wisdom, distilled from experience; (2) personal love, as a creative expression, raised to its spiritualized level of boundless impersonal love for humanity--regardless of the latter's levels of manifestation or development.
The love aspect of the astrologer's consciousness-- designated by the eleventh house and the vibratory essence of Uranus--is the culmination of all the houses of relationship and the most spiritualized expression of the air signs. The eleventh house is Human Relationship in its most protean expression. It is the distillation of all relationship patterns-- the power of love in its expression as the "waters of Life," the panacea of all emotional experience, the ultimate goal of all human loving. We call this state "Friendship"--the essence of the best that may be derived from the togetherness of people, no matter who, or what, they may be as individuals.
This love aspect is, by its very nature, the fused essence of the love aspects of both sexes--or polarities. The astrologer, through his intensified experience in past incarnations, has distilled, to a degree, the understanding of the emotional characteristics pertaining to the masculine and feminine attributes. He must, to fulfill his service, be able to see into the problems of both men and women and to perceive the directions of regeneration and correction.
The consciousness of the astrologer, in reference to this love aspect, might be more clearly delineated by another design. (The one we have been considering refers more particularly to the evolutionary directions or paths that must be traversed by one who seeks to render service through astrological interpretation.) The flowering of the love consciousness of the astrologer is shown by a blank wheel in which the cusps of the third, seventh, and eleventh houses are connected by straight lines, forming an equilateral triangle. Interestingly enough, one point of this triangle--the third cusp--is in the lower, or ego consciousness, hemisphere; the seventh cusp marks a point of equilibrium, being opposite to the Ascendant; the eleventh cusp, representing the highest peak of relationship consciousness, is in the upper, or soul consciousness hemisphere. There is an element--a common denominator--of "fraternity," linking these three houses to each other. The third house, on biological levels, is "brothers and sisters;" on a more impersonal expression it is "kindred and neighbors;" still more impersonal it is "fellow students"--people of whatever age or condition who are learning from the same source of knowledge, or who are being spiritualized by the same religious or philosophical interpretation. The seventh house is the fraternal relationship of one person--or consciousness--to a complementary expression-- either sexual or vibrational. The "fraternity of marriage" might be described in this way: one man and one woman serves, in togetherness, the on-goingness of life in love experience and procreation. Husband and wife, in this life service, are truly brother and sister as an expression of the third house consciousness intensified by the composite powers of desire attraction and love releasement. The eleventh house, in the soul consciousness hemisphere, is the transcendence of the former two, since it is the love consciousness expressed toward the entire entity which we call humanity, and it is not limited in its expression by being confined to only one part--or selected parts--of that entity as its object.
So, the spiritually motivated astrologer must stand as a living symbol of that love which recognizes no barriers or limitations-- of any kind--to its expression.
We will now consider a design which could be taken to represent a symbolic portrait of the astrologer in his composite factors of human consciousness and spiritual consciousness. Using a wheel with houses on white paper fill in the first six houses with a dark color--brown or blue, etc.; fill in the seventh and eighth houses with red--symbolizing the "fires" of relationship and regeneration; the remaining four houses will remain white- -symbol of the spiritualized consciousness. The portrait which results is that of a human being whose vibratory and environmental elements are essentially those of any other person; he has experienced much development through transmutation of his lower vibrations by the spiritualizing powers of idealism, love, service, sacrifice, self-discipline, and responsibility fulfillment. He has been many things--as a worker; he has fulfilled most of the patterns of experience in love relationship--both as male and as female; he is--or has been--something of an artist because his mental perceptions include an understanding of the symbolic and of the abstract. He is aware of the drama of life and he is sensitive to the nuances of human thoughts and feelings as they are presented in the problems that he studies. He knows evil but his mind and heart are set on good. He studies problems to fulfill the purpose of finding solutions. His motivation being one of love, he radiates encouragement, neutralizes fear, illumines the consciousness of his brothers and sisters by alerting them to their strength and powers. He is--and realizes that he is--an "open door" through which all who so desire may walk from the darkness of their unregenerate patterns into the light of self-knowing. He neither approves nor disapproves of anything he sees in any chart--he keeps personal feeling out of the picture--because he recognizes that each chart is a picturing of good in its becoming.
In relationship to the client who requests his assistance we see him portrayed by this design: an otherwise blank wheel with the first six houses colored or shaded, the upper six houses remaining white. In this design, the lower shaded houses represent the client with his problem; the white houses represent the astrologer and his spiritualized consciousness. All human problems are rooted in unregenerate expressions of the first six houses; they are brought into their most intense focus throughout the composite action of the seventh and eighth houses and the solutions are found in the regenerating powers of the last four houses. In this design the astrologer reflects the regenerate potentials of the client. He is thus portrayed as the client's other, or higher, self. The magnetic action of love power attracted the client to the astrologer, who waits to assist all who need him, and by the distilled powers of his regenerate consciousness, he is able to study the client's chart and to throw a beam of light into the dark corners and perceive the needed spiritual corrective for the client's consciousness toward his problem.
The astrologer, in contact with the client, has the responsibility of putting aside all patterns of personal disturbance while he undertakes the task of reading the client's chart. He must be the white hemisphere, and in the event that he is dealing with a deep personal disturbance it would appear a better policy to defer the reading until he can establish his inner poise. In recognizing the impersonal quality of his service he knows that he is an instrument by which the client's good is brought out into the open and he has, really no right to impose on the already disturbed or apprehensive client his own inner frictions. His responsibility is to reflect light--clearly, strongly, and unwaveringly.
Since all forms of service entail certain characteristic patterns of testing for those who are aspiring, it might be well to consider a few of the principal tests which are, sooner or later, to be faced by all astrologers.
The great responsibility of the astrologer is to keep his viewpoint free from all false claims of pride and power-lust. These temptations are very subtle and can be very difficult to detect consciously. To be able to read a horoscope sensitively does place in the astrologer's hand a certain power over the mind or emotions of his client; the latter, being to a degree dependent on the astrologer, may tend to feel and express a certain reverence toward the astrologer, which can be very flattering to his human consciousness. The astrologer must keep a respect for his own instrumentation; if he does so he will not fall into the trap of letting his ability become a source of pandering to latent vanities; he will, instead, let it remain a "candle burning brightly on the altar of spiritual service."
The astrologer serves best if he can keep his service output free from all limiting claims of financial remuneration. If he can make his living in another way and do his astrological work as a creative expression he stands a much better chance of keeping his channels open and free-flowing. The client has a perfect right to make compensation if he wishes to--since he wants to establish equilibrium in relationship to the astrologer by what he considers right exchange and to express his appreciation. However, financial remuneration cannot be allowed to become a static factor to the astrologer if he is to keep himself a symbol of universal giving. The moment he establishes a policy of specific charge for his service he risks cutting himself off from many people who may need his assistance but who cannot ask for it because they cannot afford it. In short, the astrologer who keeps his service channels open and free is the one who serves best, most completely, most happily, and most spiritually.