This approach to "abstracting" a horoscope is presented in the hope that it will help students to clarify and focus their understanding of the elements that comprise horoscope-structure and horoscope- delineation. We know that a horoscope is a symbolic picture of human consciousness as it expresses in the triune dimension of incarnation; it is also a picture of cosmic principles as they manifest through the entity called Humanity. These principles are, compositely, the Life of the Universe--they manifest on all worlds and on all planes.
Astrology depicts the "Brotherhood of Mankind" in a sense that all horoscopical elements are common to all human horoscopes; everyone has Sun, Moon, eight planets, and so on. Every horoscope is constructed by the same calculation patterns, which are essentially the sidereal and zodiacal elementals translated into reference to the place and time of incarnation. In other words, we are all made of the same vibratory stuff; we differ only in our individual particulars as variations of the great abstract horoscope, the basic horoscopical pattern.
The structure of this pattern is a circle activated by two diameters--one vertical, the other horizontal; these lines form compositely, two pairs of two semi-circles each and four quadrants. The quadrants, in turn, are activated by division of three equal parts; thus the "Life" of the circle is seen to be twelve-fold; these twelve houses of thirty degrees each are the departments of experience by which, and in which human evolution is generated. This structure design is static; it does not change because it is the frame-work in which--and through which--the vibratory life of the horoscope takes place.
The vibratory essence of the great abstract horoscope is found by placement of the zodiacal symbols outside the circle in such a way that zero of each sign falls on one of the twelve cusps; zero of Aries coincides with the cusps of the first house (the Ascendant), zero of Taurus on the second cusp, zero of Gemini on the third, and so on around the wheel. The sequence of signs is invariable--Leo always follows Cancer, Capricorn always follows Sagittarius, etc.
The magnitude of scope shown by this pattern is seen when we recognize the reason for placing the zodiacal sign symbols outside the wheel, they are cosmic--universal--the levels and realms that are not "just solar system" but which pertain to realizations of evolving life- expressions. They play on Humanity from the Great Without; we are their agencies or instruments for expression on this particular planetary status. To place the zodiacal symbols inside the wheel would imply that God-consciousness is not related to the Life Principles of the universe at large; the principles expressed would then represent something which pertained only to the human expression of Life.
The expression, in human terms, of these zodiacal signs is found in the placement of the planetary symbols inside the wheel. The interior life of the human consciousness is thus portrayed by the patterns of the planets in relationship to each other and the rhythmic cyclic activation of those patterns. The belt of zodiacal signs is analogous to the etheric bodies which form the matrix of our physical body; the house structure of the wheel is analogous to the dense physical body itself; the planets within the wheel in composite are analogous to the cellular and organic life of the body as a specific Life expression. Then if humanity (human entity) is a specific Life expression it is an archetype; we, as individual human entities, are expressions of "variation of the archetype." Our individual status as a variation of our archetype at a given moment in our evolution is a specific variation of the natal horoscope which archetypes this incarnation; our natal horoscope, in turn, is a momentary expression of the abstract elements which comprise the overall vibratory design--the Great Abstract Horoscope--which is the Horoscope of Humanity. It is made by a wheel with the houses numbered; the signs placed appropriately, starting with zero of Aries on the first cusp; the symbols of the planets placed in the houses and signs of their dignity.
The suggestion is made, here and now, to every Astro-Philosopher who reads this material to keep on hand a neat, well-done copy of the Great Abstract Horoscope for daily meditation. A continually renewed impression of the vibratory and evolutionary meanings of each factor in this design provides a continual reminder of the spiritual purposes of astro-philosophical study. This meditation impresses the mind with: pattern and form; sequence; archetype; unity-which-expresses-through-diversity; polarity; and vibrational sexuality. It also makes a deep impression on the heart consciousness because it pictures the brotherhood and sisterhood of all men and all women to each other. The meditation on this mandala is a devotional exercise of great power because it opens the consciousness of the Astro-Philosopher who follows it and practises it with a "lifting" that has great regenerating effect. The Great Abstract Horoscope makes no reference whatever to aspects--good, bad, or indifferent. It has nothing whatever to say about good or evil karma, lucky or unlucky days, males and females, enemies, open or secret, and so on. It is simply a symbolic vibrational portrait of Humanity revealing its Ideal Self in symbols. Evolution is depicted in the astrological wheel by tracing a line from the cusp of the first house--the Ascendant--counter-clockwise through the wheel and back to the Ascendant. Because we utilize a flat surface in horoscope design, this line appears as a circle--returning apparently to the same point from which it started. We must realize that if a life is evolving the picturing must represent upward, onward, forever; consequently we recognize that the flat surface of the wheel is, itself, an abstraction of a three-dimensional concept. The flat surface represented by an astrological wheel is really a cross-section of a sphere which has been sliced through the center; it represents space, not only north, south, east, and west from the birthplace on the earth's surface, but above and below the birthplace. This is the physical representation; the action of the wheel is depicted in abstract symbol by the spiral; this spiral does not show on the two-dimensional surface of the wheel, but Astro-Philosophers know that the line starting at the Ascendant, travelling through the wheel and back to the Ascendant, is really the journey through an evolutionary cycle in which spiritual unfoldment is made; when the circling line gets back to the Ascendant point it has reached a higher level and starts the next cycle from that point. The starting point of each cycle would have to be depicted above the surface of the paper on which the wheel is drawn in order to present the picturing of the three-dimensional concept of the cyclic rising into higher and higher levels. Since a flat, two-dimensional surface is our medium of symbolic picturing, we do not create a three-dimensional symbol; the three-dimensional symbol is portrayed, abstractly, by the continual circling through the two-dimensional wheel. A "plain astrologer" may be satisfied with thinking two-dimensionally; an Astro- Philosopher interprets a horoscope dynamically, in terms of life processes being represented by the horoscopical symbol. This "spiralling" will be strongly impressed on your mind if you try the following simple experiment: place the point of your pencil on the point where the Ascendant line conjuncts the circumference of the wheel; let the pencil point travel around the circumference of the wheel in such a way that at the cusps of the fourth, seventh and tenth houses it is raised a little, each time, above the surface of the paper; when it gets back to the Ascendant point after circling the wheel, the pencil-point will be, for example, about an inch above the paper; lift the paper so that the surface touches the pencil point. If it were possible to hold the paper steady, you could, a second time, circle the wheel in the same way and raise the wheel an inch or so again. This is a three- dimensional representation of the wheel and it presents to our minds the evolutionary process which is abstractly depicted by the two-dimensional wheel.
The spiralling around the wheel not only represents the travel of a human consciousness through the chapters of experience on different levels but it also represents the abstract pattern of each planet's travel from the sign of its dignity through the twelve zodiacal signs; the dignity sign of each planet--in relationship to the planet--is analogous to the Ascendant in its relationship to the wheel; each is a starting point for a cyclic journey in experience and in consciousness. The Ascendant (starting point) of the wheel is also analogous to the conjunction of the two planets which, as is indicated by this aspect, are starting a cycle of relationship patterns to each other. So we see that the circle of the wheel is, itself, an abstraction of the orbital movement that takes place within the wheel in the inter-relationships made by the planets to each other and to the structure of the wheel and to the zodiacal belt outside.
The first step in abstracting your natal horoscope is to create a wheel with thirty degrees of each sign for each house, starting with Aries on the Ascendant. (This is, of course, the sign placement of the Great Abstract Horoscope). Then, without using the degree number, place your Sun, Moon, and planets in the right sequence, according to their placement in your chart, in this wheel--all planets in Aries will be in the first house, all planets in Virgo in the sixth house, all planets in Aquarius in the eleventh house, etc. No aspects between planets are, as yet, indicated. Study this wheel in terms of how the planets are grouped in quadrants and triplicities; how they are related to the lower and upper semi-circles and the eastern and western semi-circles; how they are related to the signs of their dignity to determine how far they have travelled in their own journey through the signs. For example, the Moon in Libra is in its own fourth house sign-- its dignity, Cancer, is one, Leo is two, Virgo is three, and Libra is four. It has, in this position, a fourth house relationship to its own dignity. Venus in Capricorn is in its own fourth house sign from its dignity in Libra, and its own ninth house sign from its dignity in Taurus. Mercury in Aries is in its own eighth house sign from its dignity in Virgo, and its own eleventh house sign from its dignity in Gemini. Interpret these cyclic placements by key words according to the house sign represented. List all of your planets in this way--create order and pattern in your synthesizing always.
The next step is to create another similar wheel; but this one will include the numbers pertaining to the sign-degrees on the cusps and the degree and minute placement of the planets according to your chart. (In a horoscope with no intercepted signs, just turn the chart so that the Aries cusp becomes the Ascendant and you have the same picture; however, the second wheel permits you to write in your symbols and degrees so that they are easily readable). A horoscope with intercepted Signs simply has zero of those signs on the appropriate cusp. The point is that the sign placement of your abstract horoscope must coincide--in pattern--to the Great Abstract Horoscope; every house must be covered by its appropriate sign. The second wheel now represents:
Your horoscope divested of the complexities of incarnation; it is your vibratory consciousness--regardless of your physical sex and all the complications pertaining thereto. This abstraction of your natal horoscope tells the story of your vibratory perspective of the basic chapters of human experience and every house is interpreted by the basic keywords of the planet which rules it abstractly. Thus the second and seventh houses of all abstract horoscopes are ruled by Venus--the principle of equilibrium and perfect exchange; Mars as the ruler of Aries, is the ruler of all abstract horoscopes--the basic key-word of interpretation is self- awareness, the initiating point of all experience cycles. And so on with the others; Moon is the Mother, Saturn is the Father; Mars is the native, Venus is his (or her) complement; the Sun, as ruler of the fifth house through the sign Leo, is will power and love power; Uranus, as ruler of the eleventh through Aquarius, is impersonalized love and the principle of decrystallization-- analogous to the sextile aspect relationship between planets; Neptune, as ruler of the twelfth house, through Pisces, is the principle of redemption through incarnation; in the abstract horoscope its placement focalizes where we must learn to make attunement to spiritual powers and ideal pictures in order to release the images of selfishness accumulated through the previous incarnation; Jupiter is the teacher, the religious or philosophic consciousness, the principle of improvement through unfolding understanding; Pluto is the focalizing of the deep resources of the desire nature, the sex urge and the essential source of all regeneration to be made through constructive action by the redirecting of the Mars vibration; Mercury as ruler of the third house through Gemini is the essential symbol of basic, or elementary fraternity--also the conscious intellectual faculties; as ruler of the sixth it is fraternity extended into the level of fellow workers; it represents, through rulership of Virgo, your ability, or consciousness, to work and serve either as labor or as an expression of releasement of the fifth-house Leo vibration of creative love. The composite of the parentage pattern is shown, of course, by the relationship and positions of Moon-Saturn, the rulers of the fourth and tenth houses in the abstract chart--the two planets represent your essential parentage consciousness.
In applying the findings of the abstract chart to your natal chart you perceive the occult process of your consciousness being dipped into matter, and its patterns translated into your requirements for experience in incarnation. Your abstract chart shows what you express in incarnation; your natal chart shows how your consciousness interprets incarnation and through which agencies of relationship and experience this consciousness is to be unfolded and perfected.
"Planets Are People:" in cultivating your inner perceptions of the people in your life, apply the rulers of their natal charts to yours and see how they appear in your incarnation; then relate those points to your abstract chart and perceive your inner consciousness of those people. Any person, male or female, who is identified by your Saturn is a factor of your father picture, in your consciousness; other planets of theirs conjunct your Saturn show that they are, to a degree, sub-variations of your father picture. And so on, with the rulers and planets of other people conjunct your various planets. You will-or can-gain a remarkable elasticization of your astrological consciousness by study of, and meditation on, your abstract horoscope. It has a wonderfully impersonalizing effect on your mind and feelings, making you aware of vibrational patterns which the complexities of the natal chart, alone, obscure. You will, as a result of such study and meditation, unfold another remarkable realization: human life as an expression of esthetic principles of pattern, design, rhythm, color, line--in short, all the essential elements which are common to artistic representations. You will perceive yourself to be, essentially, a dynamic factor in the overall drama, dance, and song of life.