The Zodiac as a Dynamic Process - 10
What the study of the Zodiac will teach us is,
first of all, that, while there are always two forces in operation in every situation and in every experience, understanding and decision are never a matter of "either-or," but of "more or less." There is dualism; but the dualism of a dynamic process in which both opposites constantly interpenetrate and transform each other. Because of this, no entity and no experience is either good or bad, constructive or destructive, light or dark. Everything is in everything. What changes is the proportion in which the combination occurs.
In order to understand what the combination is, and to be able to give it a valid meaning, the several components of every experience must be measured. They can be measured in terms of their relative place within the boundaries of the whole. They can be measured in terms of their relative intensity; and the intensity of any factor depends mostly upon the moment of its cycle at which it operates — whether it represents the "spring" or "winter" of that cycle, whether it is young or old, in its waxing or waning phase. etc.
By enthroning the "more or less" concept in the place of the either-or" man can completely renew his attitude to life. An experience which, in the mind of the experiencer, is good and is not bad leads only to conflict and to bondage. If understood as a combination of more light than darkness, the experience can be referred to the entire cycle in which the two forces, light and darkness, are constantly interacting. The whole cycle can thus be seen at the core of the partial experience; and man can operate as creator of meaning — for meaning resides in the whole, not in any single part.
Every phase of the zodiacal process — every Sign of the Zodiac — represents a state of human experience in which more or less of two basic forces are active. These forces, universal and protean as they are, can be given any number of names. Here, however, because of our attempt to reformulate astrology in terms of the simplest common denominator of human experience, we shall refer to these two cosmic forces in constant interplay throughout the year-cycle as the "Dayforce" and the "Night-force." Such names not only concur with the most ancient terminology of astrology, but they are natural and logical expressions of the fact that during one half of the year the length of the days increases and the length of the nights decreases correspondingly; the reverse process taking place during the other half of the year. It follows that when the days grow longer the Day-force, the positive tide of solar energy, is on the increase; whereas when the days grow shorter and the nights longer, the Night-force is becoming more powerful while the Day-force wanes in power.
Whenever there are two forces alternately waxing and waning in relative strength, four critical, basic moments must of necessity be found. Thus:
1. At the winter solstice (Christmas) the Day-force is at its weakest and the Night-force at its strongest level. This is the beginning of the zodiacal Sign: Capricorn.
2. At the spring equinox (around March 21) the Day-force which has increased in strength while the Night-force decreased, equals in power that Night-force. Zodiacal Sign: Aries.
3. At the summer solstice (around June 21) the Day-force reaches a maximum energy, the Night-force its lowest ebb. Zodiacal Sign: Cancer.
4. At the fall equinox (around September 21) the two forces are again equal, the Night-force having grown stronger ever since the beginning of the summer. Zodiacal Sign: Libra.
In studying a cyclic process the first difficulty encountered is that of determining the starting point of the cycle. In ultimate philosophical analysis there is no starting point, yet for practical purposes the mind must select a beginning in order to interpret significantly the process in terms of human experience. This selection of a starting point establishes a "frame of reference"; and it is not to be considered, in any sense, a haphazard selection. The selection is imposed upon the experiencer by the meaning which he gives to his experience of the cyclic process.
From the point of view of physical experience with nature — "human" or otherwise — and as long as the Zodiac is considered as a dynamic process of chance, it is clear that one of the four climactic points above defined should logically be selected as the beginning of the cycle. Moreover in a philosophy which does not give a basically higher valuation to any phase of experience at the detriment of the opposite and complementary phase, it is equally evident that it is more befitting to start the cycle at a time when the two forces alternately waxing and waning are of equal strength; thus at one of the equinoxes. The spring equinox has been selected as the beginning of the Zodiac because man naturally identifies his experience, first, with the realm of growing, things and sunlight, and only later with the more bidden realm of values which the seed and winter life symbolize. The spring equinox in the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere is what astrologers call the "first point of Aries" — and we have seen that the roots of our civilization are to be found in these regions which are the cradle of our astrology.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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