Any inspiring visionary, like any inspiring piece of art, will mean a thousand different things to an audience. Sometimes the creator of a work of art receives feedback and finds out that a meaning has been given to his work which he never intended. This also corresponds of course with the feedback astrologers get when reading charts.
What we, as recipients of the Rudhyar legacy, receive from his work is largely if not wholly subjective, even if subjectivity equals objectivity on a deep inner level. With Rudhyar it is evident that he knew, that what he meant to convey to his readers was hardly ever seen for what it was meant to be.
In his "AN ASTROLOGICAL TRIPTYCH" he writes in the Preamble that he received many letters of appreciation and enthusiastic comments, mostly from many young people. "Nevertheless," he continues, "I very often had cause to wonder how much my so appreciative and obviously very moved readers understood of what I had tried to state. I wondered if they merely reacted to the inspirational style of presentation, yet largely failed to really grasp and thus respond to the intensely practical and potentially transformative contents of this book in terms of their everyday lives and the quality of their individual experiences and interpersonal relationships.
This, of course, is the danger inherent in a symbolic and poetic presentation of ideas and images which are pregnant with the potentiality for self-transformation. Such a presentation can arouse a great warmth of feelings which somehow seems to open psychic windows and let in a breath of spiritual air. It 'feels good' to breathe it."
The interesting thing for the readers of these appreciations of Rudhyar's work on the occasion of his centennial, is the fact that this particular appreciation is being written by someone who was well trained in European astrology: British, Dutch and German without any trace of Rudhyar's influence and because of that very reason has noticed the enormous difference in approach of the entire field of astrology between my American inspirers and colleagues and the Northern European influence. There is a world of difference, or at least there has been, and ever since I started to become acquainted with the frame of thought of Rudhyar's cyclic approach to astrology, I have seen how much his work has influenced the entire whole of American astrology today and how little we are versed in that approach here.
But one of the marked differences between the more classical and structured (mechanical) approach of Europe (rapidly shifting since 1988) and the more wholistic cyclic and sometimes, when holism is devalued into just a word, the then unstructured approach in America, is the difference in reaction to Rudhyar's work. In Holland you would find it hard to get appreciative reactions like Rudhyar painted, that are largely inspired by a spontaneous warmth of feeling. It may be the wonderful American characteristic to be open and encouraging from the feeling level. In Holland most people just don't understand Rudhyar's work at all and find it too difficult to read and I'm afraid that we are as a nation too crudely honest and just say so if we think that way.
The net result however of both sets of reactions is very similar. The appreciative reaction stemming from an open attitude towards inspiration on the feeling level on the one hand and the non-appreciative one, stemming from a closed attitude towards any sentimental (as such perceived) inspiration on the other, are both reactions which show a lack of appreciation of the true value of Rudhyar's work. However, I am not too sure that this article will appreciate Rudhyar's work any better, because my own path to Rudhyar is a little off-track and probably too subjective for words, but at any rate, here it is:
In the early hours of August 6, 1988, I was in a particular frame of mind, influenced by the very humid and heavy summer that had it's effect on all of us and I opened a book by Rudhyar, which had just been sent to me by a friend: "ASTROLOGICAL INSIGHTS INTO THE SPIRITUAL LIFE". I opened the book at random somewhere in the middle, read one sentence out of it and understood, by the grace of God, all of a sudden the entire contents of Rudhyar's work. In one single second I understood all of his books, which I had however never read and would not read for some years to come.'Understanding' in this particular frame of mind is in reality something entirely different from rationally analyzing sentence by sentence, applying it in the practice of one's own life and reaching a conclusion. Understanding Rudhyar's work as it happened to me - as it literally came over me, to be more exact - was a spiritual experience by itself. This understanding, however, led at the same time to a deep insight into the nature of astrology itself, an insight that I lacked completely before this time. I have heard people refer to Rudhyar as one of the very rare people who really understood Astrology. Today, at this point of my own development, I regret to say that I now agree with this.
It became evident to me, that Rudhyar's goal was not only the reformulation of astrology as it was known at that time, but that it possibly served an even higher purpose. The importance of his work lies mainly there where nobody expects it to be, namely to serve those astrologers who without help and without a "guru" go through a process of illumination or transformation, such as occurs already for thousands of years in the East under the clear guidance and instructions of a guru. Gurus are something specific of the East and are for us in these Aquarian times not that applicable. Yet, we could do with some help when we find ourselves in a true process of transformation, which nobody around us understands and whereby we no longer relate to our surroundings in the way we used to.
If, when going through such a process, you happen to be an astrologer and are trained in using astrology's symbols, then astrology has been your path to illumination and then the time has come to read Rudhyar. I believe that the written work of Rudhyar is in fact meant to be an impersonal (or transpersonal) instruction for those who 'walk the Path' along the road of astrology's symbolism - a path where illumination and insanity are difficult to distinguish as they meet at the highest point and in providing this sublime help that very few are able to give and apparently very few need (but more and more will since Uranus/Neptune), lies the hidden meaning of Rudhyar's work, as I perceive it anyway. I don't think that a life can be more valuable than this description of the Boddhisatva ideal.
For this very reason Rudhyar will never be entirely understood by astrologers before the point of no-return has been reached and help is suddenly needed where they never expected it. The fact that only few individuals at the time of the crowning of their evolution on Earth can truly profit by the insights of Rudhyar, would mean that perhaps it is not really necessary to publish his works extensively.
To make sure that those individuals who need it, have access to his work, the cosmos provided the means and saw to it that his work was published worldwide and because of this need, an 'incidental' result was that the entire world of astrology was transformed at the same time (I'll admit that I do have an upside down view of reality at times...). So not only the individual, but also the majority can profit from the Light that originated from one single Source and that descends into ever wider circles of activity and consciousness, until at the very last it merely faintly reflects in the largest circle of mundane existence.
The Path of astrology is a sacred path. This realization has for the main part been lost in a world where statistics and physical perception dictate our cultures. The Uranus/Neptune conjunction of 1993 will again try to change this material dictatorship in its exact opposite, because the cycle of material dictatorship has reached a peak and for that reason alone will turn around by itself. Astrology will slowly but surely reclaim its rightful heritage and this heritage is a spiritual one.
This particular avenue of astrology has very little to do with astrological commercial counseling practices or self-help books for psychological insights into what merely are our conditioning patterns. The astrological heritage is meant to walk a path beyond exactly these conditionings and rediscover and realize the Self and cosmic reality and Rudhyar actually was the one who saw this near the end of the last cycle. He thereby gave the world his insight in cycles and a new frame of reference to astrology, in the full consciousness that the years of 1988 - 1993 would be the turning point from where a new astrology would rise.
Each resurrection originates from a seed, an extraction from a previous cycle and as far as astrology is concerned, Rudhyar was the individual who understood the cosmic intent of astrology and who sowed that seed of understanding richly into the soil of the western world with the inclusion of much eastern wisdom.
The Uranus/Neptune conjunction of 1993 is a symbol for a transphysical union: a union between higher understanding and higher intuition and such a union between the upper two halves of our brains may create great illumination. If this sounds familiar to any reader, then know that Rudhyar has written his astrological work from exactly such a fusion of two brain halves, where Neptune and Uranus are in a continuous state of connection, with Saturn functioning at the same time on a level that could transmutate this fusion into something comprehensible.
The seeds of Rudhyar's work have been sown and are sprouting already. As trustees of the planet Earth, it is our job in astrology to tend to these young plants as proper gardeners, so after the Aries-phase of initiating the renewed cycle in astrology, the Taurus-phase of gardening is now called for, till the moment that Gemini will take over for yet another phase. It may well be that these phases coincide with Pluto's passage through the opposite signs, since the result of Rudhyar's work was Plutonic:
Joyce Hoen, DFAstrolS
7201 LJ Zutphen
Copyright © 1996 Joyce Hoen
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