"Child-hood" simply means "being in a state of involution"--on any octave of experience or unfoldment.
There is not much poetry but there is a great deal of truth in the statement that "the child is father to the man." The man is the result of all of the processes of involution which emanate, in sequence, from the time of conception to fullest incarnated maturity. All involutions are, of course, phases of the one life-direction: evolution. They are timings for organization and focus of faculties; they culminate at the "points" when the faculties can be consciously used and directed. "Conscious directive" is just another way of saying "Maturity."
Before we can undertake a technical approach to analyzing the charts of children, we must get a picture of what our various "childhoods" are; the structure of the Great Mandala will be used for illustration of the involution--and evolution--of human being-ness. The Law of Correspondence will be seen, here, to apply in this way: from Virgin Spirit through incarnations to liberation-from-form corresponds to from Virgin seed through incarnation to transition. From virginity--or innocence--on any Life- octave--we proceed through a succession of emanations, which we call "child- hoods," to cyclic maturities. A concrete example--the process of education: students on the first day of kindergarten, the first grade, the ninth grade, and freshmen in college are "virgin spirits" in relationship to the phase they are entering; the "most virgin" are, of course, the kindergarten students-- they have no educational experience in this life at all. All of these are "children" because they are still in the process of becoming educated. The "childhood of being educated" stops when the person first puts to use that which he has learned; on entering this phase, he enters into the "childhood" of his work-experience; as he applies that which he has learned, he "emanates toward" his maturity as a worker.
So, let us remember that "childhood" is the process between relative points of maturity on any--or all--octaves of Life- expression, as--let this be added--unfoldment of potentials is the process between relative points of happiness.
The start of your incarnation was the timing that determined the end of your necessary experience on the inner planes. From that point, qualified entirely by your karmic requirements, things began to happen that served the purpose of removing your consciousness from subjectivity to objectivity. The seed, nucleus of your vehicle-to-be, was matured within the maternal body; again, at the exact required timing, that seed received the effect of the paternal impregnation and the subjective phase of your incarnation was finished--the objective phase was begun. New childhood.
Now begins the involution, into the composite vehicle, called the pre-natal period. This is the first of your "objective childhoods." For illustration draw a large circle, add the horizontal and vertical diameters; place the symbols of the cardinal signs, as they are in the Great Mandala: 4th--Cancer, 7th--Libra, 10th--Capricorn, 1st--Aries. From a point on the Cancer-line, near the center, draw, through comparable points, a line up through Libra and Capricorn, then down to Aries--three-quarters of a circle. This is the "line of the gestation period"--nine months of time symbolized by nine astrological house-signs--three quadrants. This is the gathering and focalizing of generic consciousness into the etheric matrix and its physical condensation. The ending of this gestation (prenatal) line at Aries brings this particular "childhood" to an end by its "maturity" at birth. Now the composite vehicle is objectified as an individualized expression of the archetypal idea--"humanity." It is not a "new human being" but "a human being reappearing newly."
From the point on the Aries-line where the "gestation- line" ended, move your pencil-point outward--away from the center--a little. From that point draw a quarter-circle down to the comparable point on the Cancer-line. New octave--new dimension. This quadrant is the involution into conscious use of the physical vehicle--the individualized physical childhood. Astrologically, this period is represented by the "parallel voyages" of the progressed Moon and transiting Saturn (the formbuilders) from their natal positions to the first square. The last time that transiting Saturn, in direct motion, squares its natal position terminates this quadrant. More of this later.
Move your pencil-point down the Cancer-line a little and draw a quarter-circle to the comparable point on the Libra-line. This quadrant is the childhood of mental exercise--the training represents the schooling that is obtained by the child in the grades of grammar school. He takes his first steps in learning to understand the symbols we call letters and numbers which is for the (basic) purpose of coordinating and organizing his mental faculties. Then, a new and most vital "child-hood." This point on the Libra-line symbolizes the dawn of adolescence, the emanation of sex- consciousness and the awareness of polarity. On the gestation-line, this point represents the timing in the pre-natal period when the sex-characteristics of the incarnation to-be were objectified and those of the opposite sex were subjectified. At adolescence the physical body manifests the chemicalization of sex-consciousness; the subjective sex-consciousness is manifested by the vibratory response of the person to persons, for the most part, of opposite physical sex. (More of this in the following article.) This subconscious "emanation" of polarity-consciousness represents the "childhood of mate-love." The basic astrological pattern is: Progressed Moon opposition its natal position and Saturn transiting to the opposition of its natal position. Now move the pencil-point out a little on the Libra-line and draw a quarter-circle to the Capricorn line; three quadrants of the wheel and the second square of progressed Moon and transiting Saturn to their natal positions.
At this point--the second on the Capricorn-line--the first maturity after birth is reached. The person has evolved the use of his physical body, his conscious mentality and his erogenous, generative powers.
He is now qualified, as far as equipment is concerned, to leave the status of life-taker and emerge into the status of life-giver. In other words, he can now become a parent. He not only can provide body-substance for another's incarnation but he should be qualified to assume and fulfill the responsibilities attendant on that expression. Anyone with physical equipment, desire-power, and a partner can become a parent, but being a parent involves the exercise of love-power and wisdom-power, as well as desire-power. Therefore, in the fourth quadrant after birth, the person enters the childhood of culminating maturity. This "childhood" is pictured by moving the pencil-point upward a little on the Capricorn-line and drawing the remaining quarter-circle downward to the Aries-line, completing one circle from birth. This period is the psychological-spiritual "childhood"--fusion of all of the personality-elements--physical, generic, and mental. On the wheel it encloses the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth houses. Since the twelfth house abstractly symbolizes unfulfilled ideality, it symbolizes here the testing- time of the 28th, 29th, and 30th years. This period marks the end of the first cycle: progressed Moon and transiting Saturn (direct) conjunct their natal positions. During this "super-birth" time the essentials of the entire horoscope are brought into intense focus. On its octave, it is analogous to the struggle of the infant to emerge from the maternal body. Only this is emergence of consciousness from the gravitational pull of psychological (psychic-emotional-mental negatives, rather than the struggle of one physical body against another. The aspects made by the first solar-eclipse after the progressed Moon's conjunction of its own place are very important to indicate the focus of testing until Saturn has completed its cycle.
It is true that, from a standpoint of karmic conditionings, the gestation-period of a child's body may be attended by very difficult vibratory conditions due to the distresses, negative emotions, and tensions of the parents, particularly of the mother. However, since incarnation is made by vibratory attraction to specific parents and to specific environment, these conditions are outpicturings of vibratory patterns. The conditions are not "causes"--they are, in fact, specific effects of causes which the "child" himself has built from the way that he exercises his consciousness in the past. When we recognize that parentage and environment are effects, not causes, we recognize that we can redeem the quality of our relationship with our parents and the quality of our memory-pictures of our early environment by decrystallizing tension-thoughts and tension-feelings in substituting thought-patterns and feeling-patterns based on Love-Wisdom. Is this not, in essence, one of the principal meanings of the phrase "the Art of living"?
At the end of the period marked by the conjunction of the progressed Moon and transiting Saturn to their natal positions--which is coincidental to the trine, by direct transit, of Uranus to its natal position- -the man emerges from the "emanations" of his six "childhoods"--one subjective and five objective. To sum up: (subjective): preparation, on the inner planes, for incarnation; (objective): (1) The prenatal period, involution into physical and etheric vehicles, culminating at birth; (2) birth to seven years; involution into use of physical vehicle; (3) seven to fourteen years: involution of use of mental faculties; (4) fourteen to twenty-one years: involution of polarity-consciousness, sex-awareness and emergence of the erogenous nature; (5) twenty-one to twenty-eight years: completion of the first cycle of the progressed Moon, culminated by the transit--in last direct motion--of Saturn to the conjunction of its natal position and the trine of Uranus to its own natal position; the latter two take place in the twenty- ninth and thirtieth years. This period is "summing up" of total childhood of the incarnation, the testings which serve to solidify the consciousness for mature years, the inner struggles by which we prove how much has been learned of Life-Principles so far, and then the action of Uranus provides a measure of liberation for progressive emanation.
Since recapitulation is a principle in evolutionary emanations, the next period, ending with the third square of the progressed Moon and transiting Saturn to their natal positions (first square of the second cycle) in about the thirty-sixth year, is a recapitulative period in which life gives us the opportunity to learn from the results of the testing- time of the 28th to 30th years, and to redeem, at least in part, whatever needs to be redeemed. Life does not want us to go from one octave to another all slogged down by burdens of accumulated congestions--the vibration of Uranus is Nature's provision to insure some degree of inner freedom--and that freedom is a direct derivative from whatever we have learned by our testing. After all, the congestion we call "ignorance" is decrystallized only by wisdom "and the truth shall make ye free." This is the period to "fix what needs to be fixed" from the first thirty years and then we emerge, after the thirty- sixth year--having learned things we needed to learn--into the next phase (comparable to the erogenous-sexual period of adolescence), which is the period of greatest creativity so far. Our polarity-powers--higher octave of sexual powers--now dawn for a blaze of expression through the maturities of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual equipment.
At the end of this period, the sixth quadrant, we come to the modulation into the fullest maturity of the incarnation; a threefold vibratory action takes place from forty-two to about forty-five; progressed Moon and transiting Saturn make the second opposition to their natal positions and transiting Uranus opposes its natal position. This period is another "birth struggle"--of great occult significance: it is the struggle, in consciousness, between the "slowing-up crystallization" of Saturn and the "progressive decrystallization of Uranus--Dying vs. Living. It is a conviction of the author that this "struggle" and its outcome have much to say about the "psychological foundation" and the "evolutionary status" of the next incarnation. At this time we, by our reactions and expressions, prove whether we intend to become inertial or to remain dynamic. Whatever in our consciousness tends to congest and to impede progress is shaken to its roots at this time. If we--in fear--cling to the old and no-longer-needed we build in inertia; if we adjust to needed changes we build in progress which results in a radiant new birth of spiritual consciousness. After this period we climb to the summit of our life-mountain--the fullest maturity of our later years.
Now, a little technical study. Six sets of accurate calculations:
1. The months in which the progressed Moon makes its first square, first opposition, second square, conjunction, third square, and second opposition to its natal position.
2. Correlate to each of the above the timing of the solar eclipse which falls (after the progressed Moon aspect) conjunct square or opposition the natal Moon. (The succeeding solar eclipse "opens up" the Moon-patterns.)
3. The dates on which Saturn, by last direct transit, makes its first square, opposition, second square, conjunction, third square, and second opposition.
4. To each of the above (Number 3), correlate the lunation nearest the aspect-time which conjuncts, squares or opposes the natal Saturn. These lunations "ignite" the Saturn-aspects in correlation to the solar-eclipses in their relationship to the progressed-Moon aspects. (If your ephemeris provides.)
5. The period when Uranus, by first and last direct transit, opposes its natal position. Find the timing of the solar-eclipses that conjunct, square, or oppose the natal Uranus in this period. This is the apex of the "shaking up" time--Uranus rumbles and roars at everything he dislikes about Moon-Saturn.
6. A composite list of everything in the above- mentioned two-point period of Uranus-opposition-Uranus that ignites the natal Uranus by sextile or trine. That is, the progressed Moon itself, solar eclipses and their full-Moons, lunation-patterns and their full Moons, and majority planetary transits that represent stimulation of Uranus according to his powers for establishing inner liberations and progressiveness. Also, the study of the Uranus-opposition-Uranus requires a careful synthesis of the contrast of natal Uranus with natal Saturn to evaluate the relative powers of gravity and progress in the individual chart.
It is also suggested that special attention be given to the progressed Moon aspects in this way: Make a list of the months when progressed Moon, in sequence, makes aspect to every planet which makes legitimate aspect to the natal Moon in the horoscope. Each of the "quadrant turning points" is focalized by the aspects of progressed Moon and transiting Saturn to their natal positions, but Moon-aspects in the natal chart are personal specializations of the Moon-principles and all of these aspects have important bearing on the "turning-points."
When you are reading the chart of anyone, keep in mind what "childhood" he or she is in; analyze the chart for its basic values but keep in mind the "equipment" that is presented for the time of the experience you are studying.
In conclusion: the astrologer's "first quadrant" is in "learning the calculation"--the body of astrological study. All of his other "childhoods"--as an interpreter-artist--are coincidental with his various stages of spiritual unfoldment.