Given by Charles Harvey to the Astrological Association Annual Conference 1991.
(Transcript edited by Mike Harding on behalf of the Urania Trust)
The Carter Memorial Lecture was instituted on the death of Charles Carter in 1968 to remember Carter and all that he stood for in the astrological community. If you know your astrological history, if you are a Cancerian or even if you aren't a Cancerian, you will know that in the 20th century Charles Carter played a central role in helping to organise and focus astrology in this country, in particular his work in founding and editing the Astrological Quarterly, which is now, I'm glad to say, back with us. It had a slight hiatus for a couple of years, but is now going to continue under the fine hand of Nick Campion as editor, and will be coming out four times a year. The Astrology Quarterly, founded by Charles Carter in 1926, and edited by him for some 35 years, started life the previous year as a magazine called Urania.
Through the Quarterly, and through his inspiring work as a teacher, as a philosopher, and as the author of many books - one of which I'll be referring to in a minute - Charles Carter achieved an enormous amount. When he died it was if the hub had gone out of British astrology, and the Carter Memorial Lecture is dedicated to his memory. It's also to address issues that the speaker who's chosen - one year by the Lodge, and the next by the Astrological Association - because Charles Carter was for many years the president of the Lodge and also the patron of the Astrological Association, and so we take it in turns to nominate people each year. This year it has fallen to me to give the lecture. I'm very happy and privileged to be able to give this talk. The convention of this lecture is to share some seed ideas for you to go away and think about, and that there normally aren't any questions at the end. I don't intend on this occasion to break with that tradition. So if I say very provocative things I'm going to give you a get out straightaway. You have the right to raise questions at any times, and I hope there will be some provocative points.
I'll start by putting up the chart for the moment we were supposed to begin1. This is the chart of the Carter Memorial Lecture. Why should I put up a chart for this lecture? Why, alternatively, should we put up a chart for the conference, of which this lecture is a part? In a sense, when we started this conference we enrolled as a group. We have come together here as an organism, I believe it's like a slime mould, but I couldn't quite understand the word. This slime mould, when all the cells come together when there's a drought and whatever. A beautiful image. We, like these cells, have come together to form this plant for the weekend, here it is, the weekend plant, and afterwards we will disperse again. Now this slime mould for the weekend is its birth chart. This was the moment we inaugurated it, with the Mars on the Midheaven and so on. Now in this scheme of things, this particular slime mould, just as Darby Costello was telling us earlier, has got different organs and cells and so on, and this particular spot is one of the cells within the organism, and so this is, as it were, the chart of this particular cell.
Where does this chart fit in with the Inauguration chart, because this will tell us something about the kinds of things that I may be talking about? The conference chart has Mercury conjunct Jupiter exactly conjunct the 9th house cusp, and, as we see, while I'm talking, the Midheaven is coming to the 9th house cusp. It's going to be over the next 40 minutes it will be coming over this, and over the next hour it will be here, coming up to the beginning of this a Balsamic Moon, which is, as Dane Rudhyar says, a time of sowing seed ideas. So that is where my lecture fits into this scheme. And, of course, I am here supposed to be talking about the future of astrology or Astrology 2001. Now, of course, Astrology 2001 is a little local, parochial event in relation to the whole history of astrology, which is in itself a tiny blip on the map of evolution if we take it back in terms of the beginnings of life. So, in a sense, this chart, of course, should be subsumed under the chart of astrology. This is an astrology conference. It should be subsumed under the chart of astrology, but obviously we don't have a chart of astrology. We have clues about the sort of things that relate to astrology, and we'll go into that in a moment.
Now a very important point is that this particular Carter Memorial Lecture is being given by a particular person who happens to be me. So, at this time, place and condition, a particular person is giving you a very particular point of view about where astrology's going. Now this is my chart2. It's very important that you look at it, not because it's me but because it's me who's going to be saying what I'm saying, and you can only really evaluate what I'm saying by looking at that chart and seeing how it relates to yours. For many years, I've seen what I consider a very ugly word, a trendy, ugly word in the upmarket Sunday papers, and it's called deconstruction. I certainly wouldn't ever want to have anything to do with deconstruction, and you can see all my Cancerian prejudices coming out there, and my Mercury conjunct Mars in Cancer.
Deconstruction, what on earth is that? Now I don't know whether there are some people here who have spent their whole life in deconstruction, but it's essentially a philosophical approach to anything, particularly to literature, philosophy, politics or whatever. It says that in order to understand what somebody is saying, you have to take away the construct through which they are saying it. In other words, we all come to life, to society, to individual, to collective, through a series of constructs. Now astrology, of course, depicts these constructs very vividly in terms of the chart. These are my constructs. In other words, putting it less politely, these are my prejudices. This is where I'm coming from, but it won't be where any of you are coming from because, as far as I know, you've all got different charts.
And one of the great messages of astrology, of course, is exactly this point. Whilst the deconstructionalists say if somebody comes forward with a social panacea and they happen to be a white, middle class academic male, and somebody else comes forward with a social panacea and they happen to be a black, female ghetto dweller, that the two social panaceas will have to be deconstructed before we can find out what is actually valuable in them and what is real, because unless we look at the time, place and condition, the person who's saying it, we don't know what is local and parochial and what is long term. So this chart tells me that this person is coming from this particular perspective.
Now a particular feature of my chart is that this person has Jupiter on the Midheaven, exactly sesquiquadrate to the minute, born within a matter of hours of an exact Jupiter/Neptune sesquiquadrate. Now, of course, if you will look at the chart for the Carter Memorial Lecture, and for this conference, you will see there's Jupiter at 28° 58' of Leo, sesquiquadrate Neptune at 14° 05' of Capricorn. In other words, it is only seven minutes from an exact sesquiquadrate Jupiter/Neptune. And therefore to deconstruct what I'm going to say, you have to at least take that factor into consideration, that here is a very Jupiter/Neptune person who's talking at the moment of an exact reflection of Jupiter/Neptune in the sky, and therefore what he says may be, say, rather pie in the sky, rather up there. Darby started us off this morning by saying because she tends to be always three feet off the ground she's constantly having to get down there, right, and she also talked about the missionary that she has to keep under control. Well, I have similar problems. Jupiter/Neptune tends to have similar problems. One of the meanings of Jupiter/Neptune is undoubtedly that of ideal philosophy, and I hope I've given sufficient excuse if a lot of what I'm going to talk about will be very much related to ideal philosophy.
What is ideal philosophy? Now before I go any further, just one quip to put in there is how my own prejudices shielded me from when, a long time ago. I could have looked up deconstruction and found it, but, like Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, I found, to my astonishment, that I had been talking deconstruction for most of my life, like he'd been talking prose without knowing it. So as an astrologer I would say - at least coming from my chart - that astrologers are by definition deconstructionists, because to be an astrologer is to recognise immediately that you're one of the cells that makes up the slime mould, you're an equal cell, you are not the slime mould itself, you're one of them and you'll have a particular function to fulfil. As such, we have to see where we are coming from, and that is an impossible task because we're constantly seeing it through the filter of ourselves. But the great paradox about astrology, and I'll deal with some of that enormous paradox in a minute, is that astrology is the language of universals. It is the language which tells us about all the different viewpoints. And if I sense Dennis Elwell is getting restless over there, it may be because he might also be dealing with similar issues in his own talk.
The question here is that as astrologers, as Dennis has so eloquently stated in that wonderful and seminal book, The Cosmic Loom - another of astrology's seed moments - where he draws attention, as Rudhyar and others have before, to the fact that each psychology is a projection onto the world of the psychologist who enunciates it. In other words, Freud has Scorpio rising with Sun setting in Taurus, and he's got Moon in Gemini. What is he concerned about? He's concerned about the life principle, the death principle, the pleasure principle, and he talks about the talking cure. What better for a Moon in Gemini than talking about it? At a very simple zodiacal level, Freud and Freudian psychology returns to his chart. Now this doesn't mean, of course, that there's nothing true in Freudian psychology, but it does mean that when we read Freud, when we rejoice in Freud or when we reject Freud or when we feel uncomfortable with Freud or whatever it is, Freud is telling us he's making the world in his image, he's making psychology in his image.
We can go to Jung. Jung has Sun in Leo, and he's got Aquarius rising, and so what kind of person might astrologers suggest? It's all about individuation. Adler, Sun in Aquarius; he's concerned with creating a just society. We take the person who tries to put it all together, Assagioli, what is he into? He's into psycho-synthesis. He started out as a Freudian analyst, and then he wanted to synthesise it. So what has he got in his chart? He's got Moon in Virgo for the analysis, and he's got Sun on the Midheaven in Pisces for the synthesis, so that even the man who tries to synthesise it all is simply doing what his cell is all about. And, as I mentioned, Dennis may have much more to say. In the case of Assagioli, Dennis may talk about the particular kind of will that Assagioli talks about, and may show that this is very much related to the kind of will that Assagioli himself expressed. How could it be otherwise? The phrase that springs to mind, when you or I say something would be: “But he would say that, wouldn't he?”3. For example, Robert Hand starts his book with his own chart as the frontispiece. Now he doesn't overtly say why he's done this. Carter does the same in one of his books. Bruno Huber, and I'm not sure whether he knew what he was doing, also includes his chart in his latest book on astrology and psycho synthesis. Indeed, he puts his chart in no less than three times. Now that should remind us where he's coming from. No, it was not meant as a dig but at least it's there.
It seems to me that deconstruction - that ugly word again – and maybe we'll have to think of something else. Perhaps we could call it astrology instead but it wouldn't be quite the same, would it? Astrosociology? We have a sociologist here in the front row, and maybe he'll be able to coin a good word for us. But it does seem to me that this is so essential to astrology that we should remember this and, of course, the moment we know this, it appears to solve this problem. Of course, it doesn't solve it at all because it's not as simple as that. But it does solve this problem of the individual and the collective, because if you know that the only Carter Memorial Lecture you can give is the one that's coming from you, and that somebody else will give another one and it's coming from them, then you're going to be relatively comfortable with the group. But if you feel, well, I've got to give a, oh, so, oh, that, oh, yes, gosh, oh, isn't that marvellous, somebody else's, now we can all learn from other people but eventually we can only come from ourselves.
The great message of astrology is that, again to quote from the maestro, Dennis Elwell, the picture on the seed packet4. We may be a very snail eaten and mud spattered lettuce but we are aiming for this entelechy, this is the perfected one that we could become, but each one of us can become our own picture on the seed packet. I would suggest that this is important, but on with the paradox. It is this: astrology deals with universals, and that we, as astrologers, can learn these principles, and I'm sure Dennis is going to be Dennis when he's talking, and though I just conjecture, I do see the one true astrology, the one true psychology, and I do suggest that he's going to be talking about these universals. He may call them holons, and I may call them archetypes, and he may say they're not the same words, but we're talking about the same thing I say, but he will possibly say different. And so these universals, these archetypes, these principles, and I would also like to say these divinities and angels, are ideas that as astrologers we learn about and also learn to recognise in the world around us. We learn to recognise them in other people and things, and we see people as expressions of their chart. And as Darby so vividly evoked earlier, we learn to recognise them in the mirror of the planets. We learn to recognise the ideas of the time as they are beginning to manifest in the world.
Now I'm not perfectly familiar with Darby's chart, so I don't know where she's coming from. I'm coming from a very definite place. I've already alerted you to that. I'm coming from a place of ideal philosophy, and that is essentially Platonic, and at this point I must draw in Diane Binnington, who gave us a talk earlier. Those of you who were there will know that she looks with grave suspicion on the Greeks, and that's fair enough. They intellectualised things, and she was being suitably Mars rising in Virgo, and stirring it - I think that would be her phrase. She was stirring it, because probably she knew intuitively that I might be talking about the wretched Greeks who removed us from the uroboric5 oneness in which early man lived, in a wonderful communion with nature. Now I don't in any way reject the delights of uroboric oneness with nature. But it does seem to me that life is meaningful, that it's purposeful and that it's heading somewhere, and that if there is something we call evolution, and that consciousness is evolving - and that's the next key word I want to touch upon - if consciousness is evolving then we can actually see this in cycles of the planets. Now Diane was very keen that we shouldn't talk about cycles but I'm afraid I'm going to. The cycles of the planets are predictable and therefore seem to be bringing in an element of fatalism. If these predictable cycles, so vividly illustrated by Darby, are actually showing us what we should be paying attention to, what we should be looking at, not what we should be but what we're inevitably going to be either unconsciously or consciously dealing with, then if that is the case then hankering after a uroboric oneness of the Golden Age that was has to be taken in a different sense. I don't deny it. I think it's very real. The return of the Golden Age is something real, but it has to come at another level.
If you remember the many myths about God and why He created all that's going on, the usual philosophical view - and it's probably from our dear friends the Greeks, via the Egyptians before them, but principally the Greeks from which we know it - is so that God can know Himself. He creates the Cosmos and He creates man, so man is the returning principle who can rise from the primeval slime, if you like, as a body, and this consciousness can come back so that man can know himself, that God can know Himself. Thus archetypal man can know himself, God can know Himself, and all that which is unknowable to us was sent out so that He Himself can see Himself in the mirror of His creation. But however you look at it, we've got some kind of a process going on here where consciousness is rising.
There are several books by Ken Wilber on the subject of the perennial philosophy. The one that I recommend specifically on this subject is Up from Eden: a Transpersonal View of Human Evolution. There is also his Eye to Eye, the Quest for the New Paradigm. Now what Ken Wilber does very succinctly is to address the whole issue of levels of consciousness. Basically he shows it from that uroboric oneness right up to total enlightenment. According to the perennial philosophy, as he puts it, one's real self or Buddha nature is not everlasting and death defying, it is rather timeless and transcendent. Liberation does not mean going on for ever and for ever in some sort of gold embossed heaven, it means a direct and immediate apprehension of the spaceless and timeless ground of being, this apprehension does not show a person that he is immortal, which plainly he is not, rather it shows him where his psyche touches and intersects the timeless source he ultimately is: all of a piece with the universe. It does seem to me that this is one of the central grounds of astrology - and again I might say it because of my chart - one of the central grounds of astrology is that we are all a piece with the universe.
Ken Wilber, in enunciating the perennial philosophy, talks of the great chain of being which stretches from the one down into the many and from the many back to the one. Evolution is moving from matter back to spirit. Spirit has gone down into matter and is returning back to spirit. This process of consciousness evolving can get ahead of itself, and again as Darby so rightly says, and this is a sort of government health warning to some of the things I'm going to be saying in a minute, in Jupiter/Neptune fashion, this government health warning says clearly if we start opening ourselves to the transcendent, which is what I'm going to advocate at one level, we have to be aware of inflatus, hubris, the whole area of becoming infused and simply blowing all our circuits. There are a lot of people who have simply gone over the edge by touching the borders of eternity without any preparation, like raising kundalini or any of the other wonderful things which are supposed to lead to enlightenment, but also get you too near the gods.
Now let us get to the gods. The ideal philosophy, in the model given out by Plato and the Platonists, is very simple. Some of you will have heard it before but it needs to be really thought about. This is the philosophy I subscribe to. As far as I'm concerned it is the one that underpins the whole of astrology and in which astrologers have grown and flourished for 2,500 years. Essentially God is subjectively contained within Himself. As He expresses Himself, as He moves out from subjective wholeness and oneness into multiplicity, He moves into a first phase, which is still totally unknowable from our point of view, which is this unific duality, that you've got the God and all of His aspects, which we would describe as the high gods or the great gods. And then from that we get a relative coming into manifestation into what is traditionally called the Triple Logos, of being, life and intelligence. That is still a subjective wholeness. It's still not manifested. That then manifests, through soul into nature and matter. Now to the timeless and spaceless eternal, because eternal just doesn't mean going on, as Ken Wilber very eloquently put it, it is not a going on for ever, it is not infinite space, the eternal is timeless and spaceless and it's here now and it can be touched now. It's not something that's going on and on for ever out there in space and time. It is here now within us. It is our self, though it may take a very long time to discover it.
Here we have the paradox. All is in the eternal in this model. All is. It simply is, spaceless, timeless. And that isness is in us as well, at every moment of time. In that isness you have the knower and the known and the knowing, and they're all interlocked. They're all at one with each other, perfect knowledge. As it comes forth, the divine mind starts thinking thoughts, logi, thoughts, and those ideas, according to the Platonists and Plato, the first thoughts of God are the heavenly bodies. The heavenly bodies, for Platonists, were the firstborn thoughts of God. Now again, in a sense, in God's mind they're not born, they're not manifested, they're there. Those firstborn thoughts, the heavenly bodies, Plato then goes on to say, are the instruments of time. The heavenly bodies are the instruments of time. The eternal and the temporal, from Plato's point of view, time, the temporal, is the flowing image of the eternal. Time as we experience it - space time as Einstein has defined it - this space time is the flowing image of what is in the mind of God, and it is being unfolded, according to Plato, through the heavenly bodies and their cycles.
Again, as Plato says in the Republic, what others see as soulless lumps of rock - and it's very interesting that he could say that in about 500BC - those heavenly bodies out there are in fact the sources of the world order. They are what is unfolding, the eternal into the temporal. And so from this perspective when we are studying the movements of the planets within our local space time area. Within the solar system, we are, as it were, looking at the movements of the ideas of God. We're looking at what is unfolding those ideas that actually abide in the eternal. These are being unfolded by the planets. And I love Darby's phrase there about, I don't know whether she used the word wavicle but she implied it. Particles and waves. It's in physics, it's in everything. We are a particle. Here I am, a particle addressing you as particles, but I'm also addressing you wave, the individual and the collective, that that is symbolised superbly. It is real. It's in the solar system., Mars is at a particular point at the moment, but Mars is also its orbit. It's also that principle which is within us, that is telling us it's particular, it's focused. Again, Dennis, in his illuminating Cosmic Loom, quotes Iamblichus on this, that the planet is an idea.
With regard to the ideal philosophy, what is an ideal? An ideal is an idea to be realised, and, according to Plato, the whole Cosmos is a living body of ideas. The ideas in the mind of God are being unfolded by the cycles of the planets. Each planet, each body in the Cosmos is an idea. It is ensouled. And the next thing that we have to thank Plato for, which is an idea that is coming back, and I'll talk a bit more about that in a moment, is the idea of the anima mundi. Anima, the soul, mundi, of the world. Now the anima mundi, of course, is not the soul just of this Earth. It's the idea of the whole Cosmos as ensouled. When we started our conference at a particular time, or this particular part of the conference at a particular time, we are, as it were, ensouling that moment. It is giving it a unity. It is the slime mould that's coming together for that moment, and it's a picture of that slime mould. Why is it a picture? Because the planets, as ideas, are showing the relationship they have with each other, the dialogue that these gods are having with each other. It's the cosmic score, isn't it? It's the picture of the music of the moment and how it relates to this particular time and place. And, of course, this is being mediated by me, and if it was one of you up here at this moment you would be giving a different interpretation. That would be coming through a different lens and a different filter. This moment is the being of these ideas, so ideal philosophy is about the Cosmos as a living body of ideas, seeing and seeding consciousness as prior to matter.
In what was probably the first speech that Vaclav Havel made when he became president of Czechoslovakia, he said that, contrary to all that the Marxists taught, consciousness is prior to matter, it is consciousness which informs matter. Now this isn't just a woolly idea. We're doing it all the time. At the very simplest level - well, perhaps it's not so simple. Those who organised this conference - and it wasn't me - had an idea of a particular conference. Now that idea was really actually more real than this conference. That idea was what they turned to in order to make this conference happen. If by some reason this conference had had to be cancelled the idea of the conference would still inform another conference, wouldn't it? Ideas at every level are actually informing matter. When we are creative we have an idea, and we look for the words in which it can be expressed. If we say that the divine ideas are outside words, we recognise that they are quite beyond words. These archetypes, these principles, these gods which work through us, are beyond any words we can clothe them in.
So here let us look at another chart, because what I'm now getting at is the fact that if astrology is about the unfolding of divine ideas as the great ground of everything that is happening, then the study of astrology requires us to develop certain things. In other words, the future of astrology requires us to look at philosophy at its very profoundest level. It requires us to look at psychology, the study of soul, at the very deepest level. It requires us to look at society and our understanding of it at the very deepest level. There's no point in projecting the future of astrology unless we understand what astrology is. Again I prefaced all this with my own chart. My view of astrology is that it is a talking and a listening to the gods. It is a working with the gods. It is very much a participation mystique, to come back to Diane's lecture yesterday, the idea that, in fact, we do contact and consciously work with them. But if we are ‘realistic', not in a conventional sense but in a relative sense, I have got Jupiter conjunct Saturn, we also have to recognise that we do not live in a society that in any way recognises this dimension of the world.
I have several times quipped that if a mysterious virus - and it seemed to be working fairly actively this year - but if a mysterious virus were to home in on astrologers and that tomorrow morning we all woke up and found that we were no longer here, there would be no notice in The Times, unless it were to say that a mysterious plague had wiped out some people who talked about astrology and maybe that was a good idea. Though there would be a lot of politicians and big businessmen and others who would be rapidly wondering where on earth they could find out what they could think about and plan and so on. But the world as a whole simply does not know about astrology. It certainly does not know that astrology is about something as profound as this, and I would suggest to you that if what I'm saying is true, it's not just a nice, local, happy pastime -although it certainly can be, it can be a wonderful, fun thing - but astrology goes right to the root of what Uranus conjunct Neptune's about, which is awakening our consciousness to the numenal. It is awakening our consciousness to the transcendent. And I will again put in that government health warning, this does not mean that if we get some tune on, turn on, tune in, space out, that we are suddenly going to be all wonderfully enlightened by this. I'm not in any way suggesting that. It's going to be an uphill battle, and I suggest it's a jolly good job that it should be, because, as astrologers, have we got our acts together? I rather doubt it. Or if it is, I haven't seen it. We are getting our acts together, and this friction between, if you like, the believers and the unbelievers, is actually honing up that sort of truth, isn't it? It's telling us where we're really talking sense and where we're actually waffling off into nonsense. Now I would like to think that as an observer (Moon in Aquarius has a handle to my chart. I have Uranus up there on the top) so as an observer who's been around in astrology for some time, I am looking at something which is important for the future of astrology. You, of course, will all be with your swords of truth yeaing and naying what I'm saying, and perhaps asking ‘why doesn't this bloke get down to astrology and economics or why doesn't he get down to what's going to happen with astrology, computers and astrology or astrology in society or education' and so on, and I might even get to some of that.
But first, what is the experience of astrology, and what should we be studying? I've already suggested some of the things we should be studying. And one of the things that I am particularly interested in studying - and this is again total inflatus to even begin to think about it - but there is a subject called theology and there's another subject which may not be so familiar to you, which is the study of the gods, the Greek word being theogony, the science of the gods, the high gods. And I like to talk with friends who think on these lines because if what's happening, what's unfolding around us is the work of the gods, as the ancients call it, or if we sanitise it and we talk about principles or universals and life principles, which might make people happier, these life principles are actually real, living principles. They are real. If the Cosmos is a living body of ideas, then these ideas are alive, and when we touch those ideas we're impelled to action. Somebody who's seen a truth, who's really seen it, who's really touched even a fragment of a truth about something, will work 24 hours a day because they've seen that truth and they will go after it.
If this is the subject then the particular thing that I'm beginning to really try to wrap my mind around, which so many other people are also doing, is the nature of the gods, and trying to understand them better. And to do this we need to engage with the last people who really talked about the gods; the Greeks. The Greeks and Plato and the Platonic tradition; they not only wrote about the gods, they really thought about them. In a moment we shall look at the chart of one of their major thinkers, but first I would like to say more about the gods. I was talking with somebody about the gods, and saying that if we actually look historically at the gods, and the celestial hierarchy, then we see there are high gods and there are mundane gods, there are liberated gods and there are angels and the daemons and so on. There's an enormous panoply. If we go into the Hindu tradition we find something similar. Now these aren't things that have been made up by people. These are real, actual ideas. What is the relationship between these? And so we, talking about it, we're talking loosely, we have this idea of a hierarchy of ideas, a hierarchy of gods that are coming into manifestation, and we started playing around with the idea, were angels actually gods as a sort of step down transformer? In the Christian tradition there are nine choirs of angels, and Pythagoras said there were nine numbers. This is an idea, very important idea that numbers are formative principles which shaped the Cosmos and could be related to the nine choirs of angels, but where did the gods come in? Are the angels, the choirs of angels, related to the gods? So my friend and I had a very good midnight discussion about this.
The next day he rang up from London and he said he had just found something which would really surprise me. Proclus says that Mercury is the god of invention and that he is the son of Jupiter, and, as such, is the angel or messenger of Jupiter. So at that moment my attention was drawn to Proclus's Theology of Plato, and at the precise moment when he phoned me the Ascendant/ Midheaven midpoint [at this time and place] Mercury was exactly on that midpoint. Now this is a very tiny fragment of astrology, but this comes immediately after this discussion of gods and angels. Here, as it were, the angel god Mercury is exactly on the Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint. In other words, his consciousness is drawn by this. He's got home and he's opened this Theology of Plato by Proclus, and he's opened it and here his eye immediately alights upon it, and he gets on the phone and he rings me up and says Mercury is described as a god and an angel and here - at the moment that he's having this insight and he's phoning me up - is Mercury, the messenger of the gods, on this time and place, as Alfred Witte would say6.
So obviously the next thing to do is to say what do we know about Proclus. Now Proclus was one of the great and one of the latter, the heads of the Platonic Academy, and, luckily, thanks to the great Neugebauer, in Greek Horoscopes he gives us Proclus's horoscope. Proclus was very much a theologist, a theogonist, an astrologer. He was totally enmeshed with the ideas of the gods, God and the gods, and he wanted to study them. And here is Proclus's horoscope. The moment that he rang up excited about Proclus's Theology of Plato, we have 12° Aries rising, Midheaven 4° Capricorn, Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint with Mercury. When we look here, Proclus's chart, he has 8° Aries rising, 6° Capricorn in the Midheaven, and Venus exactly on that same point that we had for the Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint7. And Proclus, as the head of the Platonic Academy, an ideal philosophy if ever there was one, what does he have? He not only has Jupiter with Neptune but with Pluto and with Saturn all square Uranus. And where are these planets? But they are, of course, squaring this mysterious degree around about 26°/28° of Leo/Aquarius, which I believe, and I haven't had chance to check with Dennis, but Charles Carter gives, and I must come to Charles Carter in a moment, as a degree area very much to do with astrology; Dennis, I think, suggests human nature. The Cosmos. The Cosmos, understanding the Cosmos. And here, if anyone was ever concerned about understanding the Cosmos and its relationship with the gods, is Proclus born at this very rare quadruple conjunction of Neptune with Pluto with Jupiter with Saturn squared by Uranus, a momentous line up, with his Sun and his Venus and his Uranus, and, of course, not only is this with the chart of this Uranus sits on the 3rd house cusp of the conference, square this, but the Sun is right on the IC of this Carter Memorial Lecture.
Thus while I was preparing the Carter Memorial Lecture, these maps, these charts, these ideas, are drawn to me at a particular time. Now when we start being alert and listening to the gods, we find, in effect, that they are actually telling us, as they are messengers, they are giving us messages about the nature of things through that moment. I was, as it were, right outside of space and time, linked straight back to Proclus's Theology of Plato, which I now intend to study in great detail, needless to say. At that moment in time, Mercury is there linking right in with this Mercury, all of this Proclus, and, it's like a cosmic switchboard. It's plugging me in Here we have a call for you here from Proclus via your friend Peter. That is what is happening, and in my book that is astrology. And you will hear this expressed by other astrologers, and, of course, please remember you all have different ideas. Let us, have your ideas about what astrology is, for they are equally important because it's all part of the great sphere of truth. Every idea that we can have is a part of this wholeness, that each one of us approaches and penetrates from a particular radius. We go along a particular radius of that sphere of truth, which is very much depicted by our particular constructs.
Now if I go back to some of the notes which I wrote a long time ago, I have a quote from Charles Carter where he tells us about astrology, and here I'm talking about the future of astrology. He says, and maybe I can just paraphrase it - I've have written this lecture about 110 times, and, of course, I'm not following any of it - but Carter draws particular attention to both Saturn and Uranus as related to astrology. He says that the particular degree areas related to astrology are 27° Leo/Aquarius and 11° Virgo/Pisces, to which I would add 18° of Gemini/Sagittarius. John Addey would suggest some others but I won't go into that too much. Now Charles Carter references many fine astrologers to testify to the importance of degree areas, which Dennis also feels have to do with the Cosmos. Carter, in his modesty, does not mention the fact that he himself had Venus at 26° 05' of Aquarius, and a node at 28° 57' of Leo, and they're squared by Neptune at 25° 02' in Taurus. Dennis Elwell, who I've quoted a great deal in this talk, has his Sun at 27° Aquarius. Two of the greatest astrologers of this century, Alfred Witte and Reinhold Ebertin, have this area. Reinhold Ebertin is also 16th February with his Sun at 27° of Aquarius, and Alfred Witte had Mercury and Venus and Jupiter and Uranus all on that 27° Leo/Aquarius axis. Therefore I consider that to be of predominant importance if we are considering astrology and man's understanding of the Cosmos. I've got a chart which summarises some of the degree areas related to astrology, and if we're to think about the future of astrology, the one I haven't added in there, we've got 27° Leo Aquarius, to some extent the points and square to it. Carter says 11° Virgo Pisces. Now I don't know about that degree. Those of you who have got 11° Virgo/Pisces will say yeah, great, fantastic. Those of you who haven't will say, well, no. Looking at the charts of 20th century astrologers, I have not seen that quite as strong, but it obviously is related. If Carter tells us this, then it is probable that it is related.
Another very fine empirical astrologer -and it's worth reflecting just for a moment on Carter's chart8 - the great virtue of Carter was that he was quite capable of floating off into these wonderful speculations of the divine and its relation to the Cosmos, but he was also wonderfully pragmatic, and what a superb combination that is. Sun conjunct Mercury in Aquarius square the Moon in Taurus with a Libra rising to give it all balance. His book The Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology, which is more about character traits and particular abilities then how we might think of psychology nowadays, is nevertheless a real goldmine of empirical information. It's definitely one of those books that has to be on your shelves as the first reference point. In it Carter brings up 27° Leo/ Aquarius and 11° Virgo/ Pisces as related to astrology. Maurice Wemyss, the pen name of Duncan McNaughton, a fine Scottish astrologer and astronomer, said 22° Cancer/Capricorn was also involved, in that it had to do with foretelling the future9. Dennis has also explored degrees around 21° Cancer/Capricorn in The Cosmic Loom, where he shows how you can have philosophers and sadistic murderers both showing 21°/ 22° Cancer/Capricorn together, and I address you to Cosmic Loom to find out more about this. But Maurice Wemyss says very definitely Cancer/Capricorn 22° for foretelling the future, which just happens to be Carter's Midheaven/ IC axis. However, the degree that's come up over and over again in relation to astrology is 18° Gemini/Sagittarius. John Addey who is, of course, a seminal figure in British astrology had his Venus at 18° 47' of Gemini. There's something going on here, which is not just something to do with John, but seems to be extremely important in contemporary astrology. That may be why the Astrological Association has 18° Sag rising, not because he chose it, but it's the sort of affinity that has tended to constellate the meaning of that particular degree. For example, Michel Gauquelin has his Saturn at 18° Sag, and, of course, Gauquelin was earthing whatever's associated with this degree. I'm merely throwing out seeds here. What exactly 18° Sag/Gemini has to do with astrology I'm not sure, but it's constantly coming up. That same area is the midpoint of the Sun and Moon, the most important midpoint in the chart, which is found in the chart of the Faculty for Astrological Studies, so that there is a very interesting symbiosis at times between the Faculty and the Astrological Association. They're brother and sister organisations. When I was first asked to do the Carter Memorial Lecture I wanted to do it on degree areas, and then I realised that I simply hadn't got the time to do the research. It's such a vast area. Dennis has done a lot of work which leads him to believe that 27° Leo/Aquarius has to do with the Cosmos and our understanding of the Cosmos. Also I think it has something to do with human nature. Carter also says that 11° Virgo/Pisces is to do with theatrical matters, whether that's the theatrical side of astrology, maybe as an entertainment? I don't know. This is pure conjecture. 18° Gemini/Sag certainly has something to do with astrology as an organisation. It may have nothing to do with astrology per se, but clearly when we get major transits over these areas, they are going to be important for some aspects of astrology.
Now we don't have to look very far to see that we've got a Uranus conjunct Neptune occurring, and it's going to be very fast approaching 22° Cancer/Capricorn, which has a great deal to do with foretelling the future, and if I could just for one moment foretell something, it would be to earth us a little bit, and that would be to look at the remarkable forecast, very, very simple and factual, of Gerhard Lenz, who put this together, and some of you have seen this before, and this is just simply the Jupiter/Saturn cycle. This is the Jupiter Saturn cycle in relationship to the major phases of industrialisation and growth and develop of the capitalist economy, which in terms of world terms has been the only real economy for the last two hundred years, showing, and this was printed at least fifteen years ago, in which he showed, triple Jupiter/Saturn cycle moving from every third, because Saturn's a thirty cycle, and Jupiter is a twelve year cycle, so every sixty years two Saturn cycles are back to the same place, and five Jupiter cycles are back to the same place, so every sixty years you get a Jupiter in Cancer opposition Saturn in Capricorn, and every sixty years you get a major world economic crisis. That's just very, very simple. 1813-17, 1872-78, 1931-32, 1989-90, but, of course, this last Jupiter Saturn opposition was '91. Those mark the troughs of major Jupiter growth, opportunism, seeing the possibilities, Saturn holding back and pressing things down. Now on that basis it was possible 15 years ago to say there will be a major economic crisis in the world in 1989-1990, a major, major economic crisis maybe of the magnitude of 1931-32. We can now see it all manifesting around us. It didn't happen to the Western economy as yet, but in terms of the Soviet bloc its economy has totally collapsed. The whole of that structure, that Jupiter/Saturn structure, has collapsed for them.
It so happens that one of my clients owns a company, and he happens to live near Huntingdon, and that happens to be John Major's constituency, so about two and a half years ago I was giving advice to my client about the coming recession, and I was saying, look, you're all tooled up for expansion, you're going to have all these wonderful schemes and everything, but the one thing you must do - and he got me to address his company board on this subject - is that there is going to be an economic crisis coming up 1989-1991, which will have a major impact on business. I showed them a graph and it so happened that there was also a similar thing on the Kondratieff wave, which was all the rage two or three years away, showing a very similar thing, and in the Daily Telegraph it said that a professor at Reading University who was part of a government think tank on economics was making the same sort of forecast. And I said, look, one alone, fair enough, you might want to ignore it but the other one, I think, these are confirmatory. So he said, well, my local MP is John Major. He works at the Treasury and I know him quite well, you should write to John Major. I said, well, I'm not writing to John Major, I don't know anything about him. And he said, he's an up and coming lad, you know. Anyway, I wrote a letter laying out these facts, which I imagine went into John Major's wastepaper basket. Thus a letter was sent to John Major in 1988 alerting him to the fact that whatever the Treasury did and whatever they said about what was happening, unless things were suddenly radically different, we were heading for a point of economic crisis, and therefore it would be very foolish indeed to pretend otherwise. In other words, you've got to do something about it. Now I give you this as a very simple thing. I never got a reply, or, rather, my client didn't get a reply because he submitted, as it were, on my behalf, or I submitted on his behalf, whatever way you want to look at it. No answer was forthcoming except maybe a thank you for your interesting letter. Let's face it, he probably gets 110 letters a week from cranks. Yes, we are seen as cranks.
Now the point I want to make about this is if we talk about forecasting the future, it so happens that another non astrologer, by the name of Hamish Watson, has come up, as another astronomer did before him, another economist did before him, showing that when you start analysing the Stock Market there's this mysterious ten year rhythm, and in this ten year rhythm, because from our point of view the Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions always, they occur at the beginning of each decade, the last one was in 1981, the one before was that in 1960, the one before that was in 1940 and the one before that was in 1900, and so on, they come every twenty years almost with exact regularity, because of this factor, you can look at the decades and you can forecast where, just from that simple basis, where the next trough is going to be and where the next peak is going to be. Now Dr Hamish Watson, who's at Cambridge, did this and he found this pattern, and he asked what could possibly be causing it, and he, not an astrologer at all, discovered the Jupiter/Saturn cycle for himself. And he found that because the Jupiter/Saturn cycle is not exactly 20 years, because it slightly ebbs and flows, that it actually synchronised with his own graphs. So here we have an independent economist, as we had with another one, I won't show you the other one as I'm running short of time, but other non astrology economists had found this same picture before.
Now from the point of view of social consciousness, which you remember is one of the key words we're talking about, and as Ken Wilber talks about so elegantly, we're talking about the evolution not just of the body but of the consciousness. We're coming out of the uroboric oneness of primeval man where he was at one with nature. We're becoming aware of the processes of nature. One of the very first uses of astrology and the study of the heavens was to uncover the planetary cycles in relation to climate, and particularly the flooding of the Nile and things of this kind. An agricultural society needed to know that there were seasons to the year. Equally we need to know that there are these kind of cycles. In other words, if you know that we're heading towards winter, have you checked your central heating system, if you're heading towards summer have you checked your air conditioning. These are at a very simple level. If you say as a given that there are these cycles, then they're just as real. You may not want to buy the thesis that it's Jupiter/Saturn, but if you want to buy the picture you're actually saying, look, this is a given, I don't know what causes it but it's a given, like the seasons. And you've got to do something about it.
At that level this question of Uranus and Neptune coming over the 22° Cancer/Capricorn, which if we take Maurice Weymss's research at its word, it's somehow to do with forecasting the future, whether you're a meteorologist or an astrologer or whoever, then this, to my mind, is the thin end of a wedge that we can knock into place. In other words, wouldn't you think a farmer was totally out of his head if he didn't take into account of the seasons of the year? As astrologers, indeed as some economists who have independently working on this, other cycles are also taking place. As far as Jupiter and Saturn are concerned, this has something to do with the ebb and flow of optimism and pessimism. It has to do with growth and change within societies. That tells us, if we take on board all of this then we have to set up research into saying what's going on? Now Hamish Watson has got as far as a ten year, a decennial cycle. We're right back with Gann10 in 1912, we've got to the fact that it's the Jupiter/ Saturn cycle. That is crucial. But, so, quote, unquote, they're already out there; those who don't believe in astrology have started to research this and found that such cycles are out there and working.
We, as astrologers, need to know what's going on. We, as astrologers, can simply hand over this and leave them to get on with it, but the truth to tell is that the people who get hold of this, like the Hamish Watsons of this world, who's certainly doing his job as his cell of consciousness, he's doing it perfectly well, I'm not objecting to him, but they haven't a clue, because if my first thesis is correct then this is only the very tip of the iceberg, isn't it? Now we all know it's the tip of the iceberg because we know that this is just one cycle amongst countless cycles which are unfolding the Cosmos, aren't they? If we go back to the original Platonic model, we know that each of the planets in their cycles is unfolding a separate idea, that all of the planets collectively are unfolding ideas. We could say they're almost creating our consciousness.
I gave you that trivial, little example of insights about Mercury. At the moment Mercury's on the Ascendant/Midheaven midpoint, with Proclus's chart. I didn't show it how it related to my chart but it's exactly with my Mercury/Neptune with Uranus, of a power moment, of an absolute flash. It was one of those connections that are always going on. We know, as astrologers, that this is the tip of the iceberg; a vast subterranean process that we actually have some knowledge about. They, quote, unquote, are coming from a totally different viewpoint. Our consciousness is essentially, whether we overtly recognise it or not, is essentially working with the gods and is trying to contact the gods, these processes, that I use is the best word rather than universals or life principles, which are actually unfolding the Cosmos. If this is the case, if we know something and we don't all get together and start developing that, and, as you will see if you cast ahead, and we've already had the first, the second half of this lecture in the first half, we've got Uranus/Neptune there. As Darby says, coming up into 2009 and 2016, where we get a Jupiter/Neptune ideal philosophy conjunction right on that 27°, and we will see Dennis producing his work on neoplatonic astrology then, as Jupiter/Neptune comes conjunction on his Sun, as Pluto comes up to 18° Sag, these planetary gods are going to be zapping us. They're going to be plugging in to these areas, and you can look up the details. I did have some charts I could have shown you for 2002 and 2003. There's a beautiful full moon with Uranus at 27° Leo Aquarius, and Uranus is trine Saturn in coming up to 27° of Gemini, so you've got Saturn trine Uranus in 2002 and 2003, then this may mean something for you. These are all signs that astrology, in some sense, are creeping through economic cycles, creeping through psychological cycles, and will begin to become an overt model, because what we have to do is to take this covert model that we know about it and clarify and articulate it and take it out there into the world.
At this point there are two things I want to say. I am at the moment studying Proclus's Theology of Plato, but there is a much more direct route if you are living in the 20th century. There are writers at the present time writing about archetypical psychology. There are people, particularly I would draw attention to. For example, James Hillman's, Re-visioning Psychology, and another book, Blue Fire, Chester's got that on his bookstall. That is an anthology of Hillman's writing. And Hillman, as a past head of the Jungian institute in Zurich, talks directly about the gods as archetypal processes. Jean Shinoda Bolen, The Gods in Everyman, the Goddesses in Everywoman, James Hillman again writing on Facing the Gods; these ideas are being approached by archetypal psychologists, but they're being approached as processes that are recognisable within the psyche of each one of us. At the moment, although they're nibbling at the edges, people like Hillman and Shinoda Bolen and so on, aren't actually dovetailing this with astrology. There's also Woolger, who has written books on reincarnation. We're seeing them all emerging, the gods and goddesses emerging, as it were, over there in the archetypal psychological camp, and some of them are wrinkling their noses up at the astrologers. And some groups of astrologers are saying that they don't really want to know about psychology, but these two threads are merging. We know that there are astrologers who are dovetailing these two, but I would suggest that the future, the next ten years, the next twenty years, have to be very strongly focused on developing our understanding of the way in which archetypal psychology and astrology can develop. We can begin to show that these are signs of the same, that we're coming to the same thing from different angles, and that they underline the profound importance of the astrological dimension, which brings me to my next point.
If we're looking ahead, these are things where I see we have to be going, and if I have anything to do it that's where I will be going. I'll be pursuing these. Others will be pursuing different lines. For example, at the Oxford Faculty summer school, I came into a coffee break and somebody was talking about how they'd visited the Astrology Study Centre, and they said, oh, what a disappointment it was, and they must have been very embarrassed when I walk in the room. What a disappointment. I had this vision of a wonderful centre where you could get everything on astrology and there will be lecture rooms and so on and everything will be singing and dancing, and I had this wonderful image. And my first reaction, of course, as a good Cancerian was to wince and feel, ah, all that effort and that's what they think of it. Help! My next reaction was to say, well, how absolutely and utterly true, and what I've said myself, this is a starter home. If astrology is all that I think it is then astrology doesn't deserve a study centre. It deserves a university department in every university, but, more than that, it actually deserves its own university, where it has departments of mundane astrology. I haven't touched at all on Mundane Astrology, but in Mundane Astrology, in 1981 or 1982, Michael Baigent originally wrote his piece on the future of the Soviet Union, and in 1984 that came out as part of Mundane Astrology, and in that same book I did a piece on the Saturn/Neptune conjunction, poaching material from André Barbault. In Mundane Astrology, which came out in 1984 at a time when the existing social structure was absolutely rigid. There was no possibility of anyone even dreaming of the break up of the Soviet Union. We were saying categorically, that the Soviet Union will crumble back into its component republics between January 1989 and November 1991. Now that was not a very difficult forecast or prediction to make. It was fairly self evident. The only claim we have is that we actually made it and we put it in print and gave chapter and verse for our reasons. The implications of that are momentous.
At the moment, coming back to our economics diagram, we can conjecture that there must be many tens of thousands of economists working in possibly thousands of economic institutes, and do they know anything about economic cycles? Very little, and they've been working for a very long time. I know that people are spending globally each year billions of pounds on their projects, we have globally every year tens of thousands of so called psychologists, who no longer deal with the soul at all, in thousands of psychology departments around the world with huge budgets. Now I would suggest to you that over the next ten and twenty years, we actually have to look at astrology and we have to say, not what can this do for me but what can I do for it. We have, as it were, in that slime mould, we have to come together as equals, as individuals contributing to all of this, and actually begin to see a vision. I'm giving you one vision of astrology but others will give you other visions. Put them all together and you get a vision of a science and art which is, as I see it - and was often said in the '60s, that astrology was going to be the language of the new age - and I have absolutely no doubt about that. I have doubts about the new age as any kind of one-off transition from Pisces to Aquarius, but I have no doubt at all that if we're talking about each major cycle as a new age, that the Uranus/Neptune cycle has an enormous amount to do with the revival of ideal philosophy, and it has an enormous amount to do, particularly when Jupiter contacts that conjunction later on. It has an enormous amount to do with the emergence of the transcendent perspective into consciousness. And I think it will come through the study of astrology in relation to economics, astrology in relation to nations.
Michael Baigent, Nick Campion and I, we all tried to start an Institute for the Study of Cycles in World Affairs. It's still limping along but it's produced two major books, the Book of World Horoscopes and Mundane Astrology, which I'm glad to say will come out in a fully revised edition next January. So, I think that the schools of astrology have to get their act together about the interface between astrology and computers. That would have been another whole lecture. I think that computers are utterly fundamental to the way astrology is going in. We cannot conceive of astrology at 2001 without a marriage between computers and astrology, because computer assisted analysis will be then as self evident as the computer. Any architect knows that you have a great idea and you do it on the back of an envelope. You now go straight in and you put that idea on the back of the envelope into a computer assisted design programme and it tells you what will happen and what it will look like from the different dimensions, and you manipulate it on the screen, and you see it. Exactly the same thing will happen. I had glorious examples to show you of the possible lines, but it can all be summed up by astrology and computers, two Uranian things in my perspective must come together, and the Faculty and all of the schools must be really seeing what they can do to pursue that.
That's a very self evident note to end on, so I won't end on that note. I'd like to end on two quotes from Proclus, who lived with the gods, who studied the gods, and who expressed them in a way that astrologers aren't yet expressing them. "The essence of God flows through the gods, permeating all creation everywhere; in every thing, and at every when. The whole universe shares in the providential energising of the gods. Nothing can escape it, for it is the support of the Cosmos." And then again from his commentary on the Theology of Plato; "the gods lead and perfect all things in a silent path, and by their very being fill them with good." So contact them.
(This lecture was given at the annual Summer Conference of the Astrological Association of Great Britain in 1991 by Charles Harvey and is reproduced here with the agreement of the committee of the Astrological Association of Great Britain. )
- The Carter Memorial lecture was scheduled to begin at 11:30 am on 7th September 1991, York, UK
- Charles Harvey's birth data is 22nd June 1940 at 8:15 am GMT. Bookham, UK
- This phrase - he would say that, wouldn't he?- is one of Charles' many contributions to the astrological lexicon, in that it draws attention to the manner in which our opinions tend to reflect what is in our birth chart.
- Dennis Elwell often referred to the birth chart as akin to the picture on a packet of seeds: it shows the potential of a nativity.
- A symbol in the form of a circle, typically that of a snake eating its own tail.
- Alfred Witte (1878-1941) was a German astrologer who developed the theory of Midpoints, which was later expanded by Reinhardt Ebertin.
- Greek Horoscopes gives the following positions that Charles used: Sun 16 Aries, Moon 17 Gemini, Mercury 4 Aquarius, Venus 23 Pisces, Mars 29 Sagittarius, Jupiter 25 Taurus, and Saturn at 24 Taurus. A current computer calculation gives slightly different degrees. Proclus: 8th Feb 412 AD JC at 9:07 am, LMT-1:53. Rhodes, Greece.
- Charles Carter was born on 31st January 1887 at 10:55 pm in Parkstone, Dorset, UK.
- Maurice Wemyss made an extensive study of degree areas, relating them to professions, occupations, personal characteristics and appearance. His three volume study, The Wheel of Life was published by Fowlers in 1935/1936. London.
- W.D. Gann (1878-1955) was a stock market analyst and trader, many of whose forecasting techniques were based on the rhythms and sub-rhythms of planetary cycles.
Author: Charles Harvey
Charles Harvey was a British astrologer, teacher, organizer, author, researcher and counselor, and an integral part of British astrology for more than 30 years. He started working as a full-time professional in 1966 at which time he earned his diploma in the Faculty of Astrological Studies. From 1973 to 1994 he served as President of the British Astrological Association, overseeing its growth to 1,500 members. He co-authored Mundane Astrology and Working With Astrology. He also directed the Center for Psychological Astrology in London with Liz Greene.