The Zodiac as a Dynamic Process - 7
The Nature of the Zodiac
All astrology is founded upon the Zodiac. Every factor used in astrology Sun, Moon, planets, cusps of Houses, nodes, fixed stars, etc. is referred to the Zodiac. But the Zodiac need not be considered as a thing mysterious, remote and occult. From the point of view above described, the Zodiac is simply the product of the realization by man that experience is a cyclic process; and first of all, that every manifestation of organic life obeys the law of rhythmic alternation at one time impelled to activity by one directive principle, at another by its polar opposite.
Man acquires first this sense of rhythmic alternation by reflecting upon his daily experience which presents him with a regular sequence of day-time and of night-time, of light and darkness. But human life is too close to such a sequence, and human consciousness too involved in it, for it to appear as anything save a kind of fatality. It does so, because man normally does not keep conscious through the whole day-and-night cycle. He is confronted by a dualism which seems to him absolute, because it is not only a dualism of light and darkness but one which, from the point of view of consciousness, opposes being to non-being. Thus man is led to use this day-and-night cycle as a symbol to interpret the even greater mystery of life and death. The concept of reincarnation is nothing but a symbolic extension of the original experience common to all men of a regular alternation of days and nights; and so is the ancient Hindu idea of the "Days and Nights of Brahma," of cosmic periods of manifestation followed by periods of nonmanifestation manvantaras and pralayas.
The cycle of the year, particularly manifest in the seasonal condition of vegetation in temperate climates, offers to man's consideration an altogether different kind of regular sequence. There is no longer any question of one half of the cycle being associated with the idea of absolute non-existence. Man remains active, as an experiencer, through the entire cycle. Indeed the year can be interpreted as a "cycle of experience" because the experiencer is experiencing through the whole of it whereas the day-and-night cycle is not normally susceptible of such an interpretation, because during a large portion of it man ceases to be an experiencer.
The Zodiac is the symbolization of the cycle of the year. It is so, essentially, in the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere where astrology was born. Zodiacal symbolism is the product of the experience of human races living in such regions: experience of the seasons, of the activities of nature and of man through the changing panorama of vegetation vegetation being the very foundation of animal and human life on earth. As such races have been, during the last millennia, the active factor in the evolution of human consciousness, their experience has come to acquire a universal validity in the determination of cosmic meaning and human purpose. Civilization, as we know it today, is therefore centered in a Northern-hemisphere and temperate-climate kind of consciousness. It may conceivably not remain so in the future, but for the time being it is; and our present astrology interprets thus accurately its cyclic evolution.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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