The second universal idea that this book is rooted in comes from religion and the world's wisdom traditions. Although there has been a plethora of divergent spiritual views expressed throughout history, there has in fact been some significant agreement. There is a central idea held in common that God or Spirit (call it what you will) divides from oneness into separateness and then gradually learns to reconnect the separateness back into Oneness. Furthermore, this process of division and subsequent re-unification involves movement through the distinct levels of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Spirit descends through progressively denser levels and then ascends and evolves back through increasingly lighter levels on its journey back to unity. This idea is found in all of the major religions and within many other spiritual paradigms. It has been termed the "Perennial Philosophy" and has been commented upon by numerous philosophers and religious authorities for centuries.
Correlating the physical with earth, the emotional with water, the mental with air, and the spiritual with fire is a framework that's well-known by most astrology students. However, conceptualizing each of the elements as a level of reality is not a part of the usual discourse. Astrology has been widely understood as a symbolic system, which is within the mental (air) domain. This book expands on this traditional understanding and offers a multi-leveled philosophy which addresses these four levels of reality.
The charged-neutral division can be thought of as adding to the breadth of our philosophical understanding of astrology, and the levels of reality can be seen as adding to the depth. Both of these new ideas feature the elements as the central players. Earth, water, air, and fire interact in dynamic and fascinating ways. We will examine how they structure and catalyze both cyclical and progressive evolution.
The first half of this book addresses cyclical evolution. There is a procession from Aries to Pisces (thematically consistent with the motion through the twelve houses), which conveys an evolutionary path for each of us to travel. The various aspects (opposition, trine, etc.) connect the twelve stages and thereby provide specific evolutionary lessons.
The second half of the book concerns progressive evolution-the development of consciousness through the elemental levels. From the inspiration of fire (soul), to the understanding of air (mind), to the embodiment of water (emotion), to the materialization of earth (physical), Spirit manifests in our everyday world. And as part of evolution, we develop from matter (earth), to life (water), to advanced cognition (air), to spiritual realization (fire), as we liberate Spirit from separateness and realize Oneness. These manifesting and liberating channels inhale and exhale in a continual rhythm of evolution.
The elements are everywhere, all around us as well as within us. They are the building blocks of life. They dance with each other, support, challenge, synthesize, and transform, never leaving us for an instant. The four elements similarly permeate the astrological system, giving articulation and meaning to all of the planets, signs, and houses. The elements encompass all facets of our experience by creating, and partaking in, our evolutionary circumstance. Together, they combine to illuminate the spiritual landscape of astrology. Back »