The verb to assign is defined as "to mark out," "to point out specifically," "to set apart, as for a special person or purpose." These definitions imply that "to assign" is an action of selectivity by which a "something" is indicated to be appropriate or necessary for someone to undertake, to work with, to work on, or to fulfill. The act of assignment is made by someone for someone else or it is self-assumed; in either case, that which is to be dealt with is cognized or recognized to be a legitimate factor of endeavor or experience, a necessary part of an over-all plan or objective.
Whether imposed or assumed, the acceptance of assignment is always a decision to move from a state of relative inertia or relative equilibrium. This acceptance proceeds from a cognition or a recognition that something more or something new, actual or recapitulative, is to be done. All action or "doing" is an extension from that which already has been done or achieved. The evolution of a human during the span of an incarnation is externalized as a sequence of actions proceeding from decisions qualified by reactions to the effects of previous decisions and consequent actions. The regeneration of residual reaction brought into the present life from the past is the basic assignment of any human for any life. The archetypal assignment for all individualized beings through the entire span of sequential incarnations is the conscious reattainment of perfect equilibrium, the state from which we were sent forth, or creatively projected, as innocent Spirits. This projection was made possible by a creative decision of God--in Him we move and have our Being, through us He moves and has Externalization; we are filled-full of Him. He fulfills through us.
Macrocosm is externalized by myriads of microcosms which have correspondent similarity to it. This truth of creativity and manifestation is conveyed by the Hermetic axiom "as above, so below; as below, so above." In geometry this axiom is illustrated by such figures as circles, squares, and equilateral triangles. The size of corresponding figures may very infinitely but their nature, general appearance, and plan of construction are identical. Circles, squares, and equilateral triangles are graphic microcosms of the macrocosmic structural ideas circle, square, and equilateral triangle, respectively.
All assignments are microcosms of the essential, or macrocosmic, idea assignment, which refers basically to the acceptance, by cognition or recognition, of that which is necessary to be done for complete fulfillment. Human life-assignments are revealed and perceived in an infinite variety of relative significance, in terms of immediate need, immediate objective, relationship-factors, ideals, etc. However, there is a two-fold equation which applies to all: degree of difficulty in fulfillment is directly proportionate to degree of needed regeneracy; degree of ease in fulfillment is directly proportionate to degree of consciously- attained equilibrium. To the degree that a human is removed from equilibrium is he removed from the consciousness of capacity to fulfill his assignments with efficiency, inspiration, and enjoyment; to the degree that he is aware of equilibrium within himself is he able to enforce or recharge his endeavors with the powers of his Spirit. The re-charging by Spirit-power brings about the revealment of equilibrium in body, mind, emotion, relationship, and endeavors. Since a human is a composite of many faculties, bodies, inclinations, abilities, and objectives it is necessary, through a given incarnation, that he or she specialize on that phase, or on those phases, of unfoldment that are most directly consistent with karmic requirements; incarnation is made by vibratory law in terms of time, place, parentage, and environment that are appropriate to the inception of self-imposed, self-assumed assignments.
Planetary aspects alone do not picture "life- assignment." Each aspect pictures an inter-relationship between basic qualities and powers of consciousness and thus portrays a mode by which assignments are to be fulfilled. The tabulation of aspects in a given chart gives a summary of how the person has used the powers of consciousness in the past, how he tends to use them in this life and how he may tend to use them in future. The fulfillment of an assignment necessitates equipment as well as objective and, in the incarnated state, environment is as inevitable and as important a factor of equipment as is consciousness. All environmental and relationship factors correspond to individual human experience as the Earth itself corresponds to the evolution of Humanity. Therefore, the co-relation of the house-position of aspects with the vibratory factors represented by the planets and signs is necessary to the evaluation of life-activities as "assignments."
Since there are twelve houses which indicate the environmental patterning for the aspects made by the ten planetary points (Sun, Moon, and planets) there will be, in every chart, some unoccupied houses. The houses symbolize the externalization of the signs, just as the planetary points represent the focalization of the signs as expressive powers. Those houses which do contain the planetary points represent the exterior patterning in terms of relationships and places of the life-activities. Part of the "over-all evolutionary assignment" of all humans is to learn to relate the self wisely to environment so that environment be rightly understood and rightly used as a "tool," but is never allowed to become a bondage to the person or an impediment to unfoldment. Each relationship and environment externalizes particular principles of consciousness and spiritual responsibility and the objective to be gained by experience in a relationship or environment is the apperception of a Truth of Life. All factors of Principle, Powers, and Externalization must be co-related for evaluation.
Since regenerative transcendence of the past is the assignment assumed by each human for each incarnation, it is a practical idea to begin your study of the planetary aspect of a chart by relative evaluation. This is done by tabulating the various types of aspects and computing the orb of each, starting with the one that is closest to ninety degrees by orb. Avoid concentrating on this aspect as being "the most evil aspect in the chart." Rather, study it from the standpoint of what it tells about the person's consciousness and tendencies: it is the pattern that indicates the greatest need for regeneration of consciousness, it indicates the point of minimum internal equilibrium and maximum tendency to resist evolution. Therefore, it pictures those experiences--or that general type of experience--in which the person will have to make his maximum internal effort to learn his spiritual and evolutionary lesson.
Your enlightening the person regarding the meaning and significance of his closest-to-exact square aspect is a paramount service, because to the degree that he understands how to handle the stimulations to the aspect will he realize power and wisdom to handle the other "less constricted" aspects in his chart. Your study of the aspect requires concentrated meditation because it is necessary for you to realize the evolutionary implications of it as representing phases of power, love, and truth yet-to-be-admitted into the person's consciousness. A square or opposition of wider orb will be activated for a relatively longer time, but the timing of the wider orb permits alleviating conditions (trines and sextiles to the natal made by transits, new Moons, etc.) to act at the same time. The timing of stimulus to a close-to-exact square focalizes and concentrates the "pain-potential" as well as the timing element. The pain we experience through stimulus of our squares is proportionate to an inherent tendency to resist evolutionary requirements. Remember always that a square aspect in a horoscope is evidence of the person's consciousness being grounded in a specialized way in this life in order to learn an urgent lesson; it is evidence of neglect of that lesson, or mis-used opportunity, in the past and it pictures the present opportunity to remedy that neglect in this life.
All manifestation is projected from ordered plan or pattern and since all human life-assignments, in degree of fulfillment, manifest evolution of consciousness and refinement of nature it is necessary to give special attention to certain other factors that have many important things to tell the reader and the subject of the chart. One of these is the Moon, symbol of the instinctual nature. The Moon-aspects and position in a chart give us the most direct clues to that which, in consciousness, is brought into this life from the past experiences. It indicates the most pronounced habit- tendencies from the past which, when emphasized in the present life, externalize chaotic conditions. The faculty of feeling-reaction (which represents an aspect of the feminine polarity of consciousness) is forever seeking to deliver to our conscious awareness those modes and qualities of thought which we have planted in it. In this way the instinctual mind is recognized to be a production mechanism and a reproduction mechanism. If, by recognition, we do not like what the instinctual mind produces through our faculty of feeling-reaction-- to events, environments, and people--then we have to change the quality of our reaction-faculty; this can be done only by improving and refining the quality of our reactions. This process makes use of the regenerative or spiritual essences of all the planetary points, and especially those which are "unregeneratively" aspected to the Moon in the natal chart. As we regenerate those "planetary essences" we plant in the instinctual mind an improved vibratory quality, more ordered and refined.
Those factors of the life-assignment which concern the Saturn-vibration are those which have as their evolutionary goal the consciousness of true security. Saturn is the principle of responsibility-fulfillment and it is only by the fulfillment of all assigned assignments and responsibilities that the form of equilibrium we identify as "security" is realized. It is very important, due to the influence which the astrologer's words and interpretations have on the client's consciousness, that a constructive philosophical-psychological understanding of Saturn be attained. Saturn is the symbol of dense form which serves as the vehicle for evolving consciousness; it is the tendency by which humans identify "security" as being a certain kind of material state--without which the human experiences what he identifies as "fear," "insecurity," and "uncertainty." If Saturn--in the cosmic sense-- symbolizes dense form, then its correspondence in evolving human consciousness is either "trouble and sorrow from having wrongly used form in the past" or "the realization of true inner security from having rightly and fulfillingly used form as a tool or vehicle of the Spirit." Saturn is the cosmic Principle of Gravity; its vibration in our consciousness tends to "bring us down to the root and essence of our as-yet-unfulfilled states" in order that our evolutionary ascent may be made thorough and complete. Some charts register Saturn in several square and opposition aspects--what some readers call "terribly afflicted charts." If there is, in truth, any "affliction" represented it is only by the indication that the person in this life needs to recapitulate a great deal from the past, redeem, and fulfill it with Love and Intelligence before he can progress. The aspects themselves are not "evil"--they are simply astrological indications of a certain kind of evolutionary need. The Spirit-ual qualities implied by the Saturn vibration are thoroughness, accuracy, patience (the use of Time as a building-substance), and concentrated devotion to right action (Saturn's sign Capricorn is the exaltation-sign of Mars, the principle of energy and action).
It is becoming increasingly evident that the life- assignments of progressively-minded, aspiring people include degrees of participation in those measures having to do with the establishment of the New Age. As a humanity, we are being synthesized in this age more than ever before in our history, and those persons who are welcoming opportunities in study, activity, work, and recreation to expand their fraternal recognition of fellow-humans are signifying their spiritual and evolutionary alignment with the principles of the New Age. This evolutionary tendency is astrologically indicated by the planet Uranus, ruler of Aquarius and planetary polarization of the Sun's sign Leo. The establishment of the New Age is an inevitable result of spiritual progression in Human-- individual or collective-- consciousness; the study and intuitive realization of the Uranus-factor in charts has become a vital portion of the astrological reader's service. Many people in this age are finding their greatest difficulties in adjusting to the rapid expansion of thought, knowledge, and understanding which is now being promulgated. The internal resistance to that which is new or as-yet-not-understood can be an indication of much residual fear, inflexibility of mind, prejudice, or tendency-to-inertia. Some people cannot seem to "forgive Life" for"shaking them up," "taking things away from them," "upsetting their routines," or "making them so uncertain" and the astrological reader is often called upon to help these persons by spiritual and philosophical enlightenment. Regeneration of consciousness is made possible only through decrystallization and redistribution of internal energies, and adjustability of mind is the key to all expanding comprehension. As a reader, you will seek to understand the Uranus-factor in a chart to help the person concerned make a better fulfillment of his this-life's assignments through clearer understanding of the great evolutionary currents now prevailing and their reason for being. Uranus acts always to shatter and decrystallize the no- longer-needed so that the fullness of progress on all planes may be revealed and realized.
Every living thing is composed of a hierarchy of parts and functions by which the organic experience of the thing is perpetuated. A human horoscope is a picture of a living consciousness, and all of its parts (signs, planetary points, houses, positions, aspects, activations by transit and progression) comprise a hierarchy of indications pertaining to the life-assignment. If one factor is to be designated as the most important in any chart or in all charts, that factor is certainly the Sun and its co-relative sign Leo. We are told that the Sun, by precession, was in Leo at the time of the inception of the present manifestation; as a planetary point the Sun represents pure creativity and pure apperception of the divine will, to which the "personal will" of the individual must eventually be brought in alignment. Therefore, any and all "separate life-assignments" are parts of a Hierarchy of evolutionary assignments, the apex of which, indicated by the Sun, is the conscious attainment of realization of divine will, love, and wisdom, conscious attainment of complete equilibrium, and conscious attainment of realized unity with divine source.
In the study of any horoscope regarding "determining the life-assignment" remember that "know thy self" is the inherent objective throughout. The Sun as a planetary factor can be squared or opposed by all other points, except Mercury and Venus; but, as a planetary factor, the Sun represents the individual's relative non-attainment or relative attainment of realized spiritual identity, purpose, and function. Aspects involving the planetary Sun indicate relative inability or ability to externalize autonomy (self-rule); in the fullest sense, and as the apex of hierarchy of evolutionary assignments, the Sun represents, by conscious alignment with and realization of the Divine, the "rule of self by self." The self of a human is his divine essence and it is by ascending degrees, through evolution, of exercising the realization of divine nature that most effectively fulfills each "life-assignment" and the life assignment.