The Zodiacal Earth-Field - 2
Zodiacal Man and Geodetic Equivalents
If I bring out such matters here, it is because it is essential for us to put in its true perspective the concept of the "Heavenly Man" which has played a very important part in astrology. Everyone who has read even the most popular astrology writings should be aware of the astrological connection which is generally made between the signs of the zodiac and the various parts of the human body. Aries is said to "rule" the head; Taurus, the neck; Gemini, the shoulders, arms and lungs; Cancer, the stomach and some phases of metabolism; Leo, the heart and the spine; Virgo, the upper abdomen with the liver, pancreas and small intestines; Libra, the kidney region; Scorpio, the large intestines and generative organs; Sagittarius, the thighs and sciatic nerves; Capricorn, the knees and the process of forward movement; Aquarius, the legs; Pisces, the feet.
Figures have been printed in which we see a man bent backward in a circle, and inscribed in a circle divided into zodiacal signs. On the other hand, we find in the Kabbalist tradition mention of the Great Heavenly Man, to whom various holy names are given, Whose body extends over the constellations. Here again we can see the confusion between the signs and the constellations of the zodiac. The idea that man was "made in the image of God" is a rather naive religious idea related to the concept of a personal God Who is the Heavenly Father with Whom man can hold a reassuring "dialogue." It may be largely a Hebraic concept, because the Hindu doctrine of Avatars featured in the Bhagavat Gita is actually quite different and closer to the Christian concept of an incarnation of God when philosophically or occultly understood.
If God is envisioned as Cosmic Man, such a majestic divine Form should be understood as the inner structure of the entire cosmos; galaxies may be considered as cells and single stars as atoms of this divine Body. What can be logically deduced from this anthropomorphic picture is that where ever there are planets inhabited by intelligent beings, these beings are also "sons" of the Cosmic Being and also made in His image — so that we can expect to find people very much like us if we ever come in contact with such "space brothers."
On the other hand, when we establish correspondences between Aries, Taurus, etc. and sections of the human body we do not need to assume such a cosmic picture, because what we are referring to may be simply a correspondence between the twelve seasonal phases of the Sun-Earth relationship throughout the year (i.e. the signs of the zodiac) and these sections of the body. A zodiacal sign refers to one of twelve basic modes of solar energy. The tropical zodiac of signs measures the quality or character of solar energy striking the earth on any day of the year, and (symbolically at least) being distributed by the moon from new moon to new moon — i. e. through a complete lunation cycle, of which there are (archetypally, but not exactly) twelve during an entire year. The fact that there are twelve
such lunations during the year may very well have been the experiential foundation for dividing the "yearly path of the sun" into twelve zodiacal signs of thirty degrees each — there being thirty days in a lunation cycle.
Why a corresponding division of the human body into the twelve regions above-mentioned has turned out to be valid insofar as astrological practice is concerned, this of course is a difficult question to answer. It may seem that too little importance is given to the winter signs of the zodiac; but then during winter the life-forces are more or less dormant. Vital energies are within the seed or the roots, and the human legs and feet might be considered symbolically as the roots of the human "tree" — a tree which, however, can walk. Indeed this human walk is a most characteristic symbol of the human kingdom of life — which may be why the Zen master, asked to define Zen, answered "Walk on!"; and why the ancient symbolic picture of "walking with God" (or with the Master) is found in many religious traditions.
Whatever was the manner in which the bio-zodiacal concepts originated, I firmly believe that these correspondences between Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. and twelve regions of the human body have nothing to do with constellations of stars. They deal with twelve centers of vital energies (prana, we might say) in the human body, centers normally vitalized successively through the year during twelve basic phases of the relationship between the sun and the earth — which phases are represented by the twelve signs of the zodiac.
This has to be well understood by the reader in order that he or she be able to grasp the meaning of what is now to follow; that is, of attempts that have been made to project the zodiac upon the earth-globe, thus dividing the latter into twelve geodetic zones.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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