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Astro-Tarot Series

Part 8: Capricorn and the Balance

Elbert Benjamine

capricorn seagoatThe science of astrology is based upon the Balance in Nature which provides that what is above has its equivalent on earth, and that the occurrences below have their equivalent in the sky. Therefore, to correctly judge that which is past, or that which will occur on earth in the future, requires that the astrologer weigh, one against another, the factors observed in the sky, and from them pass an unprejudiced judgment.

When the forces are equally balanced, one against the other, there is no movement. Such inertia, as well as the reflective powers to weigh such influences, is best expressed among the zodiacal signs by Capricorn, the sign which the sun enters when life's forces are lowest and the waters and vapors of earth crystallize into ice and snow. And thus when the masters of old sought to give a more complete explanation of the astrological significance of Capricorn, than that portrayed by the constellated goat which has a fish's tail, they designed Major Arcanum 8, which commonly is called The Balance.

The woman seated on a throne is blindfolded, and in her left hand she holds a balance, to indicate that those who weigh the influences of the stars to determine their effect upon life, should be absolutely impartial and free from prejudice. The sacred serpent thrusting its head from her brow shows that to be a capable astrologer, one must possess a high degree of intelligence. The sword, upraised in her right hand, reveals that what the stars foreshadow may be in the nature of an affliction, or as symbolized by the overshadowing protection seen above it, may be in the nature of a blessing. But whatever their nature, the lances of inflexibility which adorn the crown, demand that there be no warping of reason by desire when judgment shall be passed.

At her side is a lion, symbol of the power which can be used, once judgment is passed, to fit one's life to a higher destiny by taking full advantage of what the stars reveal. And at her side also is a sphinx, the symbol of the passage of time and its recording; as it is for the moment a child is born, or the moment a question becomes clear in the mind, that the heavens are mapped, which provides the factors that must be weighed, one against another, to obtain the sought for knowledge.

This proper timing of the birth of an idea, the birth of a proposition, or the birth of a question, depends upon the sympathetic relation of the human mind to the astral world. That this balance between the positions of the signs and planets in the sky, and the factors stimulated at the time within the mind of man is quite dependable is evidenced by the results obtained through the use of horary astrology. Because horary astrology depends upon this mental balance to a condition existing in the unseen world, it is essentially not so much an exact science as a method of divination. Yet what it lacks in positiveness of method, it more than compensates for in wealth of detail.

The thoughts that enter, or reside within, the unconscious mind of man, are not mere nothings. They are real organizations of astral substance. They obey the well-known Law of Association, which controls all mental processes. They combine to form a plan, a question, an enterprise or an ideal, through definite attractions. That is, to state it in another way: the power of any thought to influence other thoughts depends upon the amount of energy it possesses, and the completeness with which the lines of association have been formed between it and the other thoughts.

If we consider any given thought, then, and suppose that additional energy is supplied to it by a stream of force of like quality from some planet, it will be seen that its power, for the time being, is greatly increased. It, therefore, has greater ability to combine with other thoughts. And if several thoughts receive such additional energy from the planets at the same time, all will have additional combining power, and, due to their temporary strength, they will be likely to move together as a plan, a question, or an idea; that is, as Arcanum 8 portrays, there will be a perfect balance between forces below and forces above.

With so much energy at its command, this plan, question, or idea then probably will make itself prominent in the objective mind. But the important circumstance of this process, which the woman in the act of passing judgment explains in symbolical pictograph, is that by determining the quality and nature of the streams of force that give such a plan, question, or idea power enough to become a cause of serious consideration, we thereby determine the quality and nature of the thoughts so energized. And, in addition, by considering the relationship of these energies, that is, balancing one against another, we can also determine whether or not the plan, question, or idea is harmonious or discordant. In fact, the whole inner-plane relationship is laid bare.

Now while not all things in the four-dimensional world have physical counterparts, all thoughts, objects and conditions of the physical world have a duplicate in the four-dimensional realm. Furthermore, events and conditions that occur upon the four-dimensional plane, tend to reproduce themselves, in so far as the physical environment with which they are associated is capable of such reproduction, unless, before the physical environment has time fully to respond, other and contradictory changes take place in the four-dimensional environment which annuls the first influence.

Those who delve deeply in occult subjects, whatever their other beliefs, are unanimous, because they have observed it so often, in asserting that events transpire first on the inner plane, and later on the physical. Due to its refinement of substance there is freer and quicker interaction between thoughts and entities upon the inner plane. If a serious question, or a proposition, or an event, arises on the physical plane, we may be sure, therefore, that the same question, or proposition, or event has first arisen on the inner plane.

This, then, is the first underlying factor in understanding how horary astrology operates; for if the proposition or question has arisen seriously in the unconscious mind, this has already, before the matter has reached the objective consciousness, directed the unconscious mind to all the factors and conditions related to it. And the unconscious mind, because it occupies the four-dimensional plane, and uses the senses and superior conditions of that plane to apprehend the various conditions, mirrors these various factors in detail, and in their correct relations.

The desire of the unconscious mind to know about the matter has focused its attention on all the factors, as they exist in the four-dimensional realm, and they are present in the unconscious mind in relationships that are proper, much as the image of a future picture is reflected in the “finder” of a camera. They have been brought to a focus all in their proper relation, but they only shadow the future picture; for the picture may never be taken, the exposure never made, and the film never developed.

Thus when we earnestly ask a question, we may know that already the unconscious mind has imaged the picture in its “finder.” Unless there are compelling circumstances, if our inspection shows the light to be bad, the background poor, too much movement, or for any cause the composition to be unpleasing, we may decide not to make the exposure – not to do the thing which the horary chart has been erected about – because we recognize that the picture would be a poor one. How good it would be, or how bad, requires a careful weighing of the astrological factors in the chart, and the passing of judgment as to their relative value, as the woman in tarot Arcanum 8 is doing. If, however, the exposure is to be made in spite of the conditions, the “finder” of the unconscious mind, as accurately mirrored in the horary chart, shows just what the developed picture will look like; and the raised sword in the tarot woman's hand quite forcefully drives home the fact that no wish, no hoping it will be otherwise, can change the final picture, the actual event, if action is taken as contemplated when the matter was present in the mind.

The inexorable quality of a properly timed horary figure, explained here by the raised sword, which strikes without prejudice and with no consideration of station, and uninfluenced by sympathy, is still further emphasized by the winged turtle behind and above the seated woman. It is the emblem of repentance, and conveys the thought that those who fail to abide by the steel-cold judgment of the horary chart will live to rue their folly.

And this brings us to the yet remaining unexplained symbol, the crowned and winged being behind the woman; this is a Messenger of Light, a divine being, who represents the almost unlimited vision and the vast powers of the unconscious mind. It is because of its special abilities not only that the picture is properly seen in the “finder,” but also that the question relating to the matter was asked just at the time when the planets in the sky map what the unconscious mind “finder” sees.

When two or more thoughts receive, at the same time, strong stimulation from planets prominently situated, there may be enough energy present to amalgamate them into a plan. If the relation between the planets thus stimulating the thoughts is harmonious, as shown by their aspect, this would favor a harmonious alliance between the thoughts; and a plan that is harmonious in all its part would result. But if the relation between the two planets thus stimulating the thoughts is discordant, through their being in bad aspect, a discordant condition would be present between the thoughts; for the energy received would be inharmonious and disintegrative.

When sets of thoughts thus amalgamate into a plan, or into a definite desire for specific knowledge, if there is sufficient energy present, they rise from the unconscious mind into the objective mind. In the objective mind they generate electrical charges in the gray matter of the brain; but except when there is accessory energy of a similar nature from the planets to intensify the electrical charges which make for objective thinking, the plan is not clear and there is no deep desire for a correct answer to a question.

Thus we may feel quite certain that whenever a plan has been completely formulated, or there is a deep desire for a correct answer to some question about our affairs, that the state of mind so stimulated is due to additional energy, received by the mental factors then brought to our attention, from their corresponding planets. The fact that these mental elements have the power to intrude themselves into objective consciousness so disturbingly indicates that they have acquired, just at this time, an accessory energy supply.

And we may be sure of another and even more important thing: that the relation of the mental factors thus stimulated by planetary energy, is the relation of the planets thus stimulating them into activity. Consequently, by a study of the relationship between the planets at the time a question or proposition becomes clearly defined in the mind, we can learn the relation of the mental factors that are most active at the time.

To make this somewhat easier to understand, let me state the matter somewhat differently: A question, for instance, may be present in the mind in a hazy sort of way for days and weeks; but when the planets in the sky reach stations where they hold the same relation to each other that these mental factors do, these mental factors receive enough additional energy, each from its corresponding planet, to give it clear and precise form in the objective mind. If, therefore, a chart of the heavens be erected for the exact moment a serious question takes complete form, it pictures the relation of the various mental factors within the unconscious mind of the person asking the question. Such is the implication of the Messenger of Light standing behind the woman in the Arcanum of The Balance.

The first factor that gives reliability to horary astrology, therefore, is that an earnest desire to know something indicates that the unconscious mind – the Messenger of Light – or the person asking the question has been focused upon the problem, and has perceived the various images relating to it, as they exist in the four-dimensional realm. These images, which are apprehended by means of the superior senses of the astral body, are of astral records of the past, of present interrelations, of past and present relations moving toward combination in the future, or having already combined on the inner plane, but having as yet had insufficient time to externalize.

The problem, however, does not present itself to the objective mind when the unconscious mind first turns itself to it, because it does not have enough energy to link up with the images in objective consciousness. Anything to get objective recognition must conform to the Law of Association, and connect itself through either Resemblance or Contiguity, with something already before objective attention. Thus, just as a photographer awaits the appearance of the sun from behind a cloud before attempting to see how a picture appears in the “finder,” so likewise, the image of the factors shadowed in the unconscious mind at first lacks the power to make itself felt strongly in the unconscious mind. But when the sun shines rightly in the case of the photographer, and when the planets reach the proper positions in the case of one who unconsciously is pondering a question, energy of sufficient intensity then becomes available to give the image distinct objective form.

And thus do we come to the second factor which gives reliability to horary astrology; which is that a question or proposition that is present in the unconscious mind – that the Messenger of Light carries – does not rise clearly into objective consciousness until the planets and signs are so situated that they correspond to the various elements of the matter, and thus add sufficient energy to them that the Being of Light pictured in the Arcanum is able to deliver his message, and the matter is thrust into the objective mind. Therefore is it that a proposition or serious question is never born in the objective mind until the planets correspond to its various elements and relations; no more so than that a child will be born and live until the astral vibrations set up by the planets correspond to the astral vibrations within its astral form.

We can consider a horary chart, then, as a map of three distinct, but sympathetically related things: It is a map of the heavens at the time and place a question is clearly formulated; it is a map of the most active mental factors within the mind of the person asking the question at the time the question is asked, just as a birth chart is a map of the more permanent and powerful mental factors which constitute the character; and, because these mirror the various conditions relating to the question as perceived on the four-dimensional plane by the unconscious mind, it is a map of the various factors involved in the question.

But if the picture in the “finder,” that is, the horary chart, is to be the sought-for view, instead of mirroring something else, the time must be precisely ascertained. Properly, this is the moment when a question or proposition first is clearly present in the mind. If a proposition of any kind is presented, either personally or through the mail, the moment its import becomes clear – as explained by the sphinx at the side of the weighing woman – is the time for which the chart should be erected.

In case this time cannot be ascertained it is customary to use the time when the question first becomes clear to the astrologer. The experience of a host of astrologers indicates that this latter method is reliable in a general way; for at this time, also, the matter considered is supplied with energy sufficiently to make it manifest strongly. But when the time of its first clear formulation in the mind is known, this is the time that invariably should be used. It is the true birth of the question.

Thus precisely timed – for the sphinx contains within its complex form the lion, the eagle, the man and the bull, the quadrant constellations which mark time's passage – a horary chart becomes a map from which an astrologer, through a careful comparison of the harmony, discord and other relations, that exist between the factors, can discern the nature of the past, present and future developments of the matter asked about. This is what the woman in Arcanum 8 is doing; she is weighing each relation against the others.

As she holds the scales, so the astrologer has before him a map of the heavens; but this is also a map of certain related things as they exist on the four-dimensional plane. If he discerns, from this map, that several objects are moving toward a given point, he becomes aware from their rate of movement that in about so long a time they will meet. And from the properties of these things, their velocities, and the angle of their approach, he discerns whether they will meet harmoniously or discordantly. From this he can predict, with much certainty, the various results.

Now it may be that the one making the inquiry is under obligation to take and develop the picture, so to speak. It may be necessary for him to embark upon a certain enterprise whether it is pleasant or not. Or it may be that he has an option in the matter, and need not take the picture unless it is apt to prove pleasing. Therefore, the astrologer should be able to give him an accurate preview, that he may know in advance just what the finished picture, or venture, will be like.

Furthermore, in case he is so situated that he cannot avoid taking and developing the picture, even if in the preview it appears distressing, the astrologer should be able to show him all the details that will help him get the best results from a poor view. The astrologer has watched the taking and developing of so many pictures that have been mapped by planetary positions, that he should be able to advise whether or not the venture is worth the attempt, if attempted what the result will be, and how to get the best result if the attempt be made.

The lion, which also is at the weighing woman's side in the tarot of The Balance, is the emblem of Will, or, to state it astrologically, the key-phrase of the sign Leo is, I will. Placed as it is on this symbolic design, it signifies that some element of choice always is present, and that by using the will, rather than being blindly pushed about, an individual always in some respects can better his fortune. Not that he can warp the external circumstances which will develop, as revealed in a horary chart, if he persists in going ahead with some matter asked about. But usually, seeing what is ahead he can refuse to take a venture, or if he must take it, he can arrange his own affairs so that they will be less seriously damaged by such misfortune as is shown will befall the enterprise.

In other branches of astrology the same weighing of astrological positions, one against another, is required that is so essential to horary astrology. That is, the balances are needed just as much. But not so much dependence must be placed upon the Messenger of Light which, standing in the rear, spreads its wings until their tips enfold the weighing woman. For in horary astrology one must depend upon the prompting of the unconscious mind to get the proper timing of the matter to be studied.

In natal astrology, the birth of a child can be timed with a stop watch; and in mundane astrology, mathematics can be used with unerring precision to get the exact moment a heavenly conjunction takes place, or by declination a planet crosses from south to north of the celestial equator, thus starting a new cycle which will have its influence upon world affairs. But in horary astrology one must depend for timing upon so evanescent a thing as recognizing when a thought first became clear in consciousness.

Yet when a chart is properly timed, be it relative to natal, mundane or horary astrology, the factors are there mapped which reveal what will transpire. But to interpret these factors, the Capricorn faculty of reason must be brought into play. When errors are made, the fault is not that of astrology, but the fault of not recognizing the full import of some factor, of not giving it the proper weight, when it has been placed in the scales, such as the woman in Arcanum 8 holds in her left hand.

(This concludes part 8 of 23)

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