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Articles from 1938

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The Modern Mystic and Science Review

   

Article by Willi Sucher, January 1938

   

THE GATEWAY OF THE MOON - 2 (continued)

   

The constellation of a person's cosmic philosophy is not always as simple or lacking in complexity as might appear from our first example, that of Richard Wagner. Often a human soul, owing to some one-sidedness of character, cannot altogether master the philosophic constellation which, none the less, belongs to it. It then becomes more difficult for us to read this cosmic horoscope. As an example of this kind we may consider Nietzsche.

Friedrich Nietzsche was born on 15 October, 1844 at ten o'clock in the morning. The constellation of the stars at the moment of his birth is indicated within the inner circle. The Moon is at 9 in the sign of Sagittarius. The lunar node is very near, and indeed, shortly before birth it passed exactly by this place of the Moon at birth. The philosophic horoscope, as we showed for Richard Wagner, may conceivably have been realized at this moment soon before birth. Yet in the constellation at this instant we find practically nothing that is in harmony with Nietzsche's disposition. Then we must look again throughout a wider range of time on either side of birth for the congenial relations in the cosmos. We find in May 1835 that the descending node had been at the place in the Zodiac where the Moon stood at birth, and this gives us another possibility.

In Nietzsche's case it is not very easy to make out what the dominant note of his philosophy was. He underwent considerable changes during the different phases of his life's work. We need a sensitive ear to apprehend how the different tendencies of Nietzsche's spirit were able to change, one into the other. Now as it happens, Rudolf Steiner spoke of this case in greater detail, and what he indicated based, as it is, on spiritual investigation as well as on his very close acquaintance with Nietzsche's work, will be no little help in unraveling the cosmic aspects.

From about 1868 to 1875, Nietzsche was in close contact with Richard Wagner. Entering with enthusiasm into Wagner's music, he sought the great composer's acquaintance and soon came to be on terms of friendship with him. From the close sympathy between them there arose such works as The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music, and Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. We may describe Nietzsche's philosophy during this period as mystical in tendency; moreover, creative ideas are represented in this Mysticism as the driving power of world-evolution. It is a mystical Idealism not unlike that of Wagner himself, described in our last installment.

The time came, however, when Nietzsche's link with Wagner was dissolved and broken. Very soon Nietzsche's development carried him from this kind of philosophy into a very different tendency and outlook. We come to the period of his life when he wrote Frhliche Wissenschaft (Human, All Too Human) and other writings of this kind. Nietzsche cooled down and turned away from the mystical world-outlook of his preceding phase. He became more of a scientist, intent on recognizing the logical, inexorable laws that prevail throughout the world and upon realizing all that can be known by outward empirical research and experience.

Once again about the year 1881 or 1882 a deep transformation came about in Nietzsche's outlook. He now conceived his most famous work, Thus Spake Zarathustra. In wonderful poetic language he describes the world he now experiences, all fired by the will to a higher, ethically more perfect humanity. In the world-picture he unfolds at this time, the superman Zarathustra is indeed the goal of evolution, and the way thither is an awe-inspiring battle, felt entirely as a thing of will between universal powers whose countenance lights forth in the ever-changing scenes of history. Yet beautiful as the words are and full of poetry the pictures of his fancy, one has the feeling that this universe of will with its titanic powers is without real spiritual background. Inasmuch as the spiritual world is non-existent for him, for he can find no access to it from the time in which he lives, he fails to show the real meaning of the cosmic process. His call and challenge so inspiring to youth, echoes and dies away in the infertile prospect of a perpetual, materialistic recurrence of the same.

Then came the awful tragedy of Nietzsche's end. In 1888 he fell ill and suffered a complete breakdown. His soul and spirit separated from the body, which went on for a long time vegetating without consciousness of the surrounding world.

Thus we have three distinct periods of philosophic development in Nietzsche's life:

   

1.       A period of Idealism in the mood of Mysticism in close relation to Richard Wagner.

2.       Thereafter a period of Empiricism, tinged with Rationalism.

3.       Finally Voluntarism, upon a background of Dynamism.

   

We should now have to relate these facts to the cosmic data. In the starry heavens in May, 1835 when the descending lunar node stood at the place where the Moon came to be at birth, we find, in effect:

   

1.       Venus entering into Aries Mysticism in Idealism.

2.       The Sun entering into Taurus Empiricism in Rationalism.

(Lastly, the rather strange and unexpected constellation)

3.       Mars in Gemini Voluntarism in Mathematism.

(See the figure above and the general indications given in our earlier article on The Gateway of the Moon.)

   

This third constellation does not seem to fit, yet looking deeply enough we shall find a very remarkable connection. Here once again Rudolf Steiner helps us. Nietzsche should really have developed a philosophy corresponding to Voluntarism in Mathematism it would have been most wonderful. Imagine the world-aspect of Thus Spake Zarathustra, translated into a mathematical world-outlook, a universe fired with will and yet with mathematical beauty and precision! Nietzsche, as is recognizable from his whole character, didnt have the predisposition for Mathematism. His evolution still had to go via Empiricism (Sun) into Voluntarism (Mars), and as this inner failing prevented his developing a mathematical philosophy, instead of passing on from Sun in Taurus (Empiricism in Rationalism) to Mars in Gemini (Voluntarism in Mathematism), he sprang across into the cosmic opposition to his former standpoint, into the constellation of Mars in Scorpio (Voluntarism in Dynamism) and in opposition to the Sun in Taurus.

Now the fact is that in November, 1835 Mars entered Scorpio and at the same time, being in conjunction with the lunar node, came into the immediate neighborhood of the situation of the Moon at birth. So in this round-about way the constellation of Mars in Scorpio (Voluntarism in Dynamism) was after all made possible for Nietzsche.

We are then faced with this remarkable fact: the purely spiritual researches of the seer are found confirmed in the external realities of the cosmos. In effect, the mood of Voluntarism in Dynamism corresponds very nearly to the last period in Nietzsche's philosophic life. But inasmuch as he could not find access to a real world of spiritual beings, he had to suffer shipwreck with this philosophy of will. Such, then, was Nietzsche's fatality, seen in the tragic ending of his life.

The philosophic horoscope is not by any means so simple as to enable us to read it abstractly or automatically from any given cosmic phenomena. Often it is the difficulties, nay, discrepancies which are most important in estimating a person's psychological and spiritual constitution. We must learn to look into the real facts of one's soul as it reveals itself on Earth and, from the tension between these and the cosmic data, understand all the struggles and conflicts of each individuality. Such is the lesson we may learn from the aforesaid dissonance in Nietzsche's philosophic horoscope.

The question now would be, how can we penetrate from a more spiritual point of view into the mathematical-astronomical data of the philosophic constellation so that it all becomes transparent to us? The astronomical foundation is the fact already mentioned, that at the moment of this constellation in the heavens, it may be either before or after birth, one or other of the lunar nodes is at the place in the Zodiac which the Moon occupied, or will occupy, at birth. Here, in effect, we find realized another aspect of the Hermetic Rule referred to in one of the earlier articles. We based the prenatal horoscope on the portion of this ancient rule which declares: At the beginning of the prenatal constellation, the Moon is either at the ascendant or at the descendant of the subsequent birth at the ascendant if the Moon at birth is waxing, at the descendant if it is waning. But the Hermetic Rule goes on to enunciate another fact, as follows: The place of the Moon in the Zodiac at the moment of birth indicates the ascendant or descendant of the prenatal constellation the ascendant if the Moon at birth is waxing, the descendant if it is waning.

It will be seen that this latter aspect of the Rule speaks of the ascendant or descendant, not of birth itself but of the prenatal constellation. In describing the prenatal constellation we were concerned in the first place with the ascendant or descendant of birth. It is the place in the cosmos from which the Moon, at the beginning of the prenatal constellation, took its start, returning time and again in the approximately ten prenatal lunar cycles. This place becomes the direction of the ascendant or descendant at birth East or West, as the case may be. In this direction, determined by the geographical locality of birth, the Moon stood at the essential moment of the prenatal epoch. This cosmic direction represents the path, the bridge that leads over from the Moon-sphere into the Earth-sphere. We find this fact confirmed inasmuch as this is at once a picture of the union of the etheric and physical bodies, as was described in previous installments. In the ascendant or descendant of birth we have a picture of the incorporation of the supersensible members of one's being, so far as the etheric body is concerned.

In like manner we can think of the ascendant or descendant of the prenatal constellation mentioned in the second part of the Hermetic Rule. It is a picture of the entry of the human soul from a sphere yet higher than the lunar sphere; namely, from the Sun-sphere and the cosmic realms beyond. This aspect of astrology is filled with spiritual meaning and thus made far more real.

The lunar node must somehow be related to this direction of the soul's entry from the Sun-sphere. This is what gives the requisite conditions for the constellation of the cosmic philosophy. Moreover this relation also must become spiritually clear and transparent.

The two lunar nodes are, mathematically speaking, the points of intersection of the lunar and the solar paths which, once again, are inclined at a certain angle to one another. What happens now when these points of intersection coincide with the cosmic way of entry of the soul from the Sun and higher spheres? A diagram may help us here.

When the condition in the cosmos on which we based the philosophic constellation is actually realized when, in effect, the points of intersection of the lunar and the solar orbits coincide with the direction of the soul's entry from higher spheres Nietzsche's case the direction of Scorpio) we have, as it were, a wide-open door. The cosmic space within the lunar orbit may be described as the

Moon-sphere; the space beyond the solar orbit as the Sun-sphere. Now the direction of the soul's entry from the cosmos is individually determined, indicated as it is by the Moon at birth. When the Moon-sphere brings its points of contact (the lunar nodes) with the Sun-sphere into this direction, a gateway is open through which the human soul in question can pass in its own individual direction from the one sphere into the other. At this moment the constellation is realized in the entire heavens, the importance of which has now been indicated the constellation, in effect, of ones philosophy or dominant world-outlook.

Emerging as it does in this way from the actually given cosmic facts and phenomena, this picture voices deep secrets concerning the spiritual path of the human soul before birth. Spiritual observation shows how the human soul passes upon a long and gradually ascending way into a purely spiritual form of being after death. We go on our way to the Gods and at long last entirely unit with Them. After a certain time the human soul conceives the will to a new Earth-existence. Slowly we take our leave of the higher spheres so we come forth from the lap of the Gods with whose help we have, over long periods of time, been preparing a new earthly body, a new web and woof of destiny on Earth. Slowly the vision of the spiritual Beings fades away and there remain only the memory-pictures of all that we have undergone, until at last when at the moment of birth the Earth-sphere is entered into, the last vestige of consciousness of former existences is blotted out.

This way of the soul's descent this ever growing inclination toward the weight of Earth is made real to us when we contemplate the philosophic constellation or philosophic horoscope. To begin with, there is the tendency to enter from a certain cosmic region the direction of the soul's entry the ascendant of the prenatal constellation, in the words, of the Hermetic Rule. If then for any individual human being we take this cosmic picture in a really deeper way, bearing it with us as a spiritual exercise, it will give valuable insight. There is also the other aspect, i.e., that at a certain moment the Sun- and the Moon-sphere are most intimately related to one another (through the lunar nodes) precisely in the individual direction of the soul's cosmic entry. The picture of a human soul's descent from higher spheres to Earth is, thereby, the more vividly painted. For in the Sun-sphere the life of a soul is still of such a kind that it experiences in mighty revelations the spiritual reality of the Gods. Then in the Moon-sphere a soul experiences a world wherein, in a manner of speaking, only the reflection of the Gods' activity is revealed. It is the cosmic ether, as it were, the garment of the creative Gods. The Moon-sphere has to do with the in-gathering and incorporation of the etheric organism above all, as was described in our study of the prenatal constellations. In the time-organism or etheric body which is formed from thence, there lives a spiritual texture, a woven garment, as it were, in which the Will of the Gods, regarding the destiny or fate of this individual human being, lies concealed.

Thus in the meeting of the solar and the lunar spheres, we have a picture of the union of the etheric body with the essential nature of the soul. In the soul-body of the human being the psychology, impulses and passions, sympathies and antipathies divine and cosmic beings are indeed wrestling with one another. This organism of the soul is the so-called astral body, and in it lives a hidden memory of what the human being experienced among the Gods when in the Sun-sphere.

This then is the conclusion we are led to: in the constellation or horoscope of the cosmic philosophy, we have a picture of the mutual relations between the etheric and the astral body. It brings to expression the character and configuration of a person's philosophy of life, because the Thinking of the Gods about this human being is in effect condensed here drawn together into a more human thinking nearer to the Earth. The Gods in the great universe Think, for example, Let there be Mysticism in Idealism, Empiricism in Rationalism, Voluntarism in Mathematism. And in this cosmic Thinking there lives a power of the Spirit, infinitely living and creative. The soul of Friedrich Nietzsche takes hold of these cosmic Thoughts and informs with them the hidden and mysterious depths of his bodily vehicle that is to be. Prenatal experience of the great strivings of cosmic evolution among the Gods is thus transmuted in the human soul, deeply implanted into its earthly destiny, to emerge in its life's unfoldment as the tendencies, the inner battles, and strivings of its philosophy.

Thus in a human being's philosophy and world-conception, Thoughts of the Gods are living, and if we penetrate the cosmic writing of the horoscope in question, we get a picture of the Divine Thoughts that lie hidden in the soul; memories deeply embedded in the one's physical and psychic organism, of one's life and passage through the Sun-sphere before birth.

An astrology guided by such points of view will penetrate to the spiritual reality that underlies the human being as a whole, discovering at the same time in this human microcosm the reflection of Divine events and spiritual forms of being.

   

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