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Studies in Astrology

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by

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Elman Bacher

Volume IX

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Chapter III

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Diameter, Quadrant, and Decanate

For the pursuance of this material, a brief
review of the Generic Spectrum will be necessary.

The zodiac is not just a ''belt;" it is an
emanation of vibratory qualities starting at the first degree of the cardinal
fire-sign Aries; this point is, abstractly, the initiation of the
circumference of the vibratory wheel of astrological science. This point is
the objectification-incarnation--of the potentials inherent in the central
point of the circle. The Ascendant-radius--the left horizontal--is the
"projection of potentials from subjectivity to objectivity." In any given
circle, the same radius is used to manifest the circle; hence all of the
house-cusps in the wheel are emanations of the Ascendant-radius and they
picture the unfoldment of generic Consciousness in experience and realization
of the ideal through spiritualized transmutations and expressions.

The mandala which pictures the structure of
generic quality is the twelve-housed wheel with the signs Aries, Cancer,
Libra, and Capricorn on the cusps of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth
houses, respectively. The horizontal and vertical diameters, intersecting at
the center, form the cross of incarnation; the straight lines which connect
the cardinal cusps form the evolutionary field by which humanity has
experience in relationship with each other. In this mandala, we see the two-
field bisection of the circle; two diameters creating two pairs of semi-
circles. These diameters represent the two-fold expression of Polarity; that
which generates (Capricorn-Cancer: the diameter of parentage), and that which
is generated (Aries-Libra: the Ascendant and its complement). This mandala
illustrates, in astrological symbol the Master-number twenty-two. Two is the
only digit which gives the same result (four) when added to itself and when
multiplied by itself. Twenty-two is the number of mastery expressing in form-
-it is the higher octave of complementation and it is significant that every
human being must fulfill evolutionary experience by incarnation in both
physical sexes. The four cardinal signs pictured in this mandala comprise the
incarnated way by which the manhood-womanhood of every human being evolves
through relationship-experience and distills its spiritualizations from which
the Ideal is manifested. All human relationships--either biological or
otherwise--are derived from this archetypal foundation: the bi-polar generator
and the bi-polar generated.

Since the elemental trines symbolize the
spiritualization of the generic qualities, we derive our generic spectrum from
the relationship of exaltation-signs of the rulers of these four signs. Mars
(male begotten and ruler of Aries) is exalted--matured-in Capricorn, ruled by
Saturn, the father-symbol; Saturn is exalted in Libra ruled by Venus and
complement of Mars's sign Aries; Venus is exalted in Pisces, third octave of
the water-trine, the last sign in the zodiacal sequence, and this trine is
initiated by the cardinal sign Cancer, ruled by the Moon--symbol of Mother--
and complement of Saturn 's Capricorn.

Hence the fire and earth signs, since they are"
initiated " by male symbols, are the male signs; the air and water signs,
initiated by female symbols, are the female signs. Since every human being,
as male or as female, is bipolar, we recognize a two-fold division of the male
signs and the female signs into masculine and feminine. The fire-signs form
the first half of the male half of the zodiac so they are the masculine male
signs; the earth-signs follow, in sequence (Taurus follows Aries), so they are
the feminine male signs. The air signs, initiated by the cardinal sign Libra,
ruled by Venus, represent the masculine half of the female signs; the water-
signs, initiated by Cancer, comprise the feminine female signs. Thus we see
the entire zodiac representing a two-fold expression of two-fold polarity;
from the first degree of Aries, the most masculine point, to the thirtieth
degree of Pisces, the most feminine point. List the signs in this sequence
and learn for future reference.

The lower half (below the horizontal diameter) of
the wheel is initiated by Aries: the upper half is initiated by Libra, as
"reflection" of the lower half. The occult key-note of the first degree of
Aries--the Ascendant-point of the great Mandala--is I AM. In this Ascendant-
line is implied all the potentials shown in the zodiacal unfoldment and the
contents of the astrological wheel. Therefore, it naturally follows that in
the thirty degrees of Aries is implied the "contents" of the upper half of the
wheel. This "content" is symbolically implied by the last fifteen degrees of
the sign. The "cusp" of the sixteenth degree of the sign is the potential of
the completed horizontal diameter of the wheel. When the left horizontal
radius is "unfolded" to form a completed diameter, the "extension" results in
what we call the cusp of the seventh house--the initiating point of the upper
half of the circle. Since any degree of any sign can appear as the Ascendant
of a horoscope, we recognize that the division of any sign into two halves of
fifteen degrees each represents a symbolic picture of the polarity of that
sign in embryo, and though the author, at this point, has not reached any
specific conclusion as to the significant difference of planets placed in the
first fifteen degrees of a sign and those placed in the last fifteen degrees,
the picture is suggested that planets placed in the second half of the thirty
degrees, if expressed unregeneratively, are potentials for much more
"effective" negative karma--in the sense that being in the "polarity-half" of
the sign, their negative expressions imply a possibility of being reflected in
future incarnations by other people with whom the subject will have
relationship. In other words, the second fifteen degrees, by analogy, might
be termed the "feminine half" of the sign. "Feminine" means "reflective."
Hence if we wish to avoid future suffering through painful reaction to others,
we owe it to ourselves to regenerate planets so placed, the implication being
that in future (unfoldment in Time-Space) those planetary vibrations will
focalize our complementary relationship patterns and we will much more
definitely "get back from others what we've dished out this time." Divide
each house of a Great Mandala in two equal parts; place your natal planetary
positions in this wheel and see in which half of their signs the planets fall.
Perhaps you, as an inquiring student, can reach a conclusion in this matter.
If you have squares or oppositions between planets placed in the latter
fifteen degrees of their signs, do you feel more responsive to people who
express negative qualities represented by those planets than you do to those
who negatively reflect your "first fifteen-degree " planets? Do you feel
that, with careful analysis, you can determine whether your first fifteen-
degree planets give you greater freedom of direct expression than do the
latter fifteen-degree planets? Analyze your planetary squares and oppositions
from this standpoint and see if the polarity-pattern implied helps to clarify
your reaction-capacities and expression-capacities.

QUADRANTS: In the Great Mandala, the sub-division
of the first house--and the sign Aries--into four quadrants of 71/2 degrees
each pictures the "embryonic state" of the cardinal cross. Applying the Law
of Correspondence we relate this division of one sign to the four-fold
division of the entire wheel. Starting with Aries and "unfolding" the wheel
counter-clockwise, we find that each succeeding quadrant is initiated
respectively by Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.

The subdivision of a sign into two sections of
fifteen degrees each is particularly applicable to the study of the opposition
aspects and all complementary patterns generally. The subdivision of a sign
into quadrants, however, applies to the analysis of the square aspects, since
every square aspect is, allowing for orb, a pattern of 90-degree relationship
and each quadrant of the wheel is a 90-degree division. The division into
quadrants (by degrees and minutes) represents zero to seven degrees, thirty
minutes; seven degrees, thirty-one minutes to fifteen degrees; fifteen
degrees, one minute to twenty-two degrees, thirty minutes; twenty-two degrees,
thirty-one minutes to twenty-nine degrees, fifty-nine minutes. The next
"step" brings us to zero of the next sign.

There are three "crosses" implied in the structure
of the twelve signs: cardinal, fixed, and mutable. In cycle unfoldment from
the ascendant of the Great Mandala, the three crosses appear four times, in
the four quadrants of the wheel: Aries, Taurus, Gemini; Cancer, Leo, Virgo,
Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius; Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each cardinal
"initiation" is a new way of saying I AM--as extensions of the basic I AM of
Aries; each cross represents a pattern of growth and unfoldment through
experience in the two-fold expression of two-fold polarity; we evolve through
phases of male and female Life-takers and Life-givers. The "crosses" simply
represent the processes by which we distill wisdom from our experiences and
unfold the inner resources of love toward the attainment of realization of the
ideal. Since, in a correctly calculated horoscope, every planet is placed
where it is by due process of Law, there must be a valuable key in the
placement of planets by quadrant. Each individual sign of the zodiac has its
particular planetary ruler, as basic focalizer of the generic quality of the
sign. But since thirty degrees represents a sequence of sign quality and
because the Law of Correspondence applies to astrological structure as it does
to any other manifestation, let us consider the placement of planets by
quadrant in terms of secondary rulerships. The first quadrant of a mutable
sign is ruled by the planetary ruler of the sign; the second quadrant is
secondarily ruled by the planet that rules the next sign of that cross; the
third quadrant is secondarily ruled by the planet that rules the next cross-
sign and the fourth quadrant is secondarily ruled by the next. For example:

Capricorn: Primary ruler: Saturn.

Capricorn is the cardinal sign.

First quadrant.....secondary ruler--Saturn

Second quadrant....Mars--ruler of Aries

Third quadrant....Moon--ruler of Cancer

Fourth quadrant....Venus--ruler of Libra

Leo: Primary ruler: the Sun.

Leo is a fixed sign.

First quadrant....the Sun--ruler of Leo

Second quadrant....Pluto--ruler of Scorpio

Third quadrant....Uranus--ruler of Aquarius

Fourth quadrant....Venus--ruler of Taurus

Pisces: Primary ruler: Neptune.

Pisces is a mutable sign.

First quadrant....Neptune--ruler of Pisces

Second quadrant....Mercury--ruler of Gemini

Third quadrant....Mercury--ruler of Virgo

Fourth quadrant....Jupiter--ruler of Sagittarius

Note that the extension of the first and third
quadrants and the second and fourth quadrants would picture two aspects of
polarity; this composite of polarity is pictured in the horoscopical wheel as
the two diameters of each cross. Give careful consideration to your square
aspects and the planets involved with reference to the secondary rulerships;
the secondary rulers act as "hand-maidens" or "right-hand-men" to the primary
rulers and their influence is effective in analysis of the planetary
expression-qualities.

DECANATES: In the study of decanates, we come to
an analysis of each sign from the standpoint of its spiritual potentials.
Just as the three crosses of four signs each are "unfolded" from the Ascendant
of the Great Mandala, so the four generic trines of three signs each are
"unfolded" from the Ascendant. The fifteen-degree and seven and a half degree
divisions proceed--as "experience-unfoldment" through the zodiac counter-
clockwise from the Ascendant; the picture shown is that of Humanity moving
through its experience-patterns on the "on-ward-and-upward" path--from level
to level, ever ascending through evolutionary processes. However, in the cycle
of generic trines, the path is clockwise--and this is not a "cyclic" motion.
It is an evaluation of the zodiacal powers from the standpoint of the
spiritual potential. As we saw earlier in this discussion, it is based on the
exaltation-points of the planets ruling the signs of structure--the cardinal
signs.

The spiritual potential of the generic quality of
each zodiacal sign is three-fold; the archetypal key-words are (1) Power; (2)
Love and (3) Wisdom. The second and third of these octaves are the emotional
and mental perfections by which the essential power of each cardinal sign is
released, in transmuted expression. The decanates of each sign are the
division of the sign into three groups of ten degrees each. The second and
third decanates of a sign symbolize the embryonic stage of the Love-Wisdom
potentials; these potentials are expressed in the wheel by the two signs which
correspond to the decanate; they are the two other signs of the same element
as the particular cardinal. In the fixed and mutable signs, we see the Law of
Correspondence and the Principle of Recapitulation at work and thus we can
attribute to each decanate its appropriate co-ruler--as follows:

Fire signs: First decanate: Aries-Mars; second:
Leo-Sun; third: Sagittarius-Jupiter.

Earth signs: First: Capricorn-Saturn; second:
Taurus-Venus; third: Virgo-Mercury.

Air signs: First: Libra-Venus; second: Aquarius-
Uranus; third: Gemini-Mercury.

Water signs: First: Cancer-Moon; second: Scorpio-
Pluto; third: Pisces-Neptune.

The Hermetic Law of Correspondence is beautifully
evidenced, particularly, by one example of this decanate-analysis. The second
decanate of each element is the "Fixed-sign" decanate. When we extend the
three decanates of each element into the twelve signed wheel, we see that the
fixed-sign decanates become the midpoint of each quadrant of the wheel.
"Middle of sign" becomes, by correspondence, "middle of quadrant of the
circle." The midpoint of each fixed sign-house (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio,
Aquarius) (second, fifth, eighth, eleventh) when connected by straight lines
becomes the symbol of the square aspect--the arch-symbol of congestion; since
the fixed decanate of each sign is the love decanate we see how the
astrological mandala points clearly to the spiritualized releasement of
emotional congestions: that of expression of the love-consciousness. Each sign
(regardless of its generic quality) reaches its apex of compression at the
midpoint--the jointure of the fifteenth and sixteenth degrees. This jointure
is exactly in the middle of the second decanate. The cardinal decanate--the
first ten degrees of any sign--carries out, by the Law of correspondence, the
"beginningness" attribute of the cardinal signs as they represent the basic
"turning-points" in the progress through the wheel. The third decanates (the
last ten degrees) carry out the "transitional quality" of the mutable signs
since, after the midpoint of the sign has been passed the "energies" begin to
"recede" from the basic quality of the sign and approach the "modulation" into
the next sign. So the mutable signs of the Zodiac form the transitional
points from one ninety-degree quadrant into the next quadrant.

Of what practical value is all this, you ask; and
you have a right to ask. When we remember that "every problem contains its
own cure" we can study afflicted and congested planets from the standpoint of
their placement by sign-quadrant and sign-decanate and extract from that
information a great deal that tells us about the inherent possibilities for
regenerating the expression of that planet. For example: a congested planet
is in the twenty-sixth degree of Capricorn; this is in the Libra quadrant,
secondarily ruled by Venus; it is in the Virgo decanate, secondarily ruled by
Mercury. Its placement in the Libra quadrant (Capricorn 's fourth quadrant)
is analogous to the relationship between Capricorn and Aries in the Great
Mandala--Capricorn being Aries' fourth quadrant; the key-word is
responsibility-fulfillment; the Libra sub-vibration conveys "relationship-
harmonization" through balance and right exchange. The Virgo decanate (the
third octave--Wisdom) of the earth-trine tells us that the spiritual purpose
of the experiences represented by the congested planet is the unfoldment of
greater understanding; the person must be willing to learn from his experience
in this matter; to the degree that he seeks to learn, keeps an open mind
receptive to instruction and guidance will he utilize his spiritual resource
for decrystallizing the congestion. If he, through false pride, stubbornness,
etc., closes his mind to guidance he closes the door to his unfoldments;
relationship-harmonization cannot be established and the congestion
intensifies.

Example: a congested planet in the ninth degree
of Leo (fixed Fire--ruled by the Sun). This degree is in the Scorpio quadrant
of Leo (second division of seven and a half degrees) and in the Aries decanate
(first ten degrees). Since the planet is referred to as "congested" and it is
in a fixed sign, we recognize that the congestion is intense--being in a fixed
sign and in the Scorpio quadrants Scorpio, in relationship to Leo, is
analogous to Cancer in relationship to Aries in the great Mandala; this
relationship is "congestion in family-relationship," "adherence to the nest,"
''parental complex" and (possibly) congestion of the Love resource by the
exigencies of the sexual desire-nature. However, this point is in the Aries
decanate--first decanate of a fire sign--and the spiritualization of the Mars
vibration is courage. Such a person will find that subjective enterprise and
awareness of his individual rights will serve as a power-releasement to
decrystallize the congestions to the Leo-planet. The primary rulership of Leo
by the Sun makes a positive attitude a "must" in dealing with these problems.

And so on--with other congested patterns. Relate
the decanate and quadrant to the abstract picturing of the Great Mandala and
you will find that every variation of "problems" to be found in the charts of
human-beings contain, by their placement, a direct clue to the vibratory
solutions. Expressions of planetary powers through the spiritualized
implications of the signs is the "go ahead" signal for evolutionary progress
and harmonious unfoldment of potentials.