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Articles from 1937

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The Modern Mystic and Science Review


Article by Willi Sucher, October 1937


THE PRENATAL HOROSCOPE - (continued from Astrology III)


The events in the planetary spheres during the human being's embryonic development, as we have seen, picture the ether-body or body of cosmic forces which is to permeate and vitalize the physical. On the one hand we have the manifold variety of cosmic phenomena, the coming together and going apart again of the different planets, their conjunctions, oppositions and so on. During this time the planetary world undergoes a certain evolution. Constellations take place which can only happen once in the course of a great Platonic year. All this is happening between the prenatal epoch, which is on the average 273 days before birth, and the moment of birth itself. On the other hand, through the cycles of the Moon, this whole planetary drama is brought into a definite relation to the temporal course and rhythm of the human being's coming life on Earth. The living, flowing movement of the planetary system is, as it were, recorded in the approximately ten prenatal lunar cycles, much as an earthly course of events might be recorded on a film. The individualized starry organization, which is thus formed in the prenatal period, has real and lasting significance for the entire life of a human being. Separated, in a manner of speaking, from its cosmic origin, it becomes in us an independent organization, a body in time we call it the etheric body.

The etheric body takes hold of the physical body at an initial moment, brings it into a definite course of organic development in time, and directs it toward a certain goal. It wrests the material substance away from its natural tendency to disintegration and brings it into a stream of development, metamorphosis, and progress. By virtue of these living forces that form our body, we have a near relationship to the forces of life and growth in the plant kingdom, for a like principle is at work in the plant. In its own essence, invisible, supersensible, and recognizable to the physical senses only by its effects, it is alive in the plant-seed and causes the plant to take root and grow in harmony with the cosmic rhythms of the seasons. It urges on the development of the plant toward a certain goal through flowering into a new seed-formation.

This supersensible etheric body of the plant calls forth from the material world a certain unfolding and development in time and brings about a certain balance between the thriving, growing and the decaying, fading process. Yet there is also an essential difference as compared to the human being. Wonderful as is the rhythm of its development, the plant is never liberated from the perpetual cycle which begins with seed-formation and leads again to seed-formation as before. The time-course of a human earthly life, on the other hand, is unique, individual, and never to be repeated. This is because the human etheric body is constantly being influenced out of the sphere of the soul the so-called astral and the I or Ego. These higher members the astral body and the Ego are absent from the plant. Yet the plant presents a pure and beautiful picture of the working of the etheric body, which establishes the bond between the cosmic rhythms and the inertness of earthly matter. The etheric body brings cosmic life and movement into the rigidity of the earthly and mineral world.

Between the forces of the wider cosmos and those of the Earth, the etheric principle is the essential mediator. But the same picture results when we return to our starting-point, the prenatal constellations. The planetary realm, which is a picture of the etheric body, is intermediate between the cosmos of fixed stars concentrated above all in the Zodiac, and the Earth as the place of birth.

One aspect of this has been shown to us in the example of Richard Wagner's prenatal horoscope. The constellations of Cancer a and Sagittarius f or give inner spiritual content to the planetary conjunctions which take place before them. It is like the course of a drama on the stage; the actors are the planets, the signs of the Zodiac are like the scenery the wings in time and space. The drama, however, also requires an audience; its ethical effect shall be impressed upon the hearts of those who witness it. Where is this latter element to be found in all the cosmic constellations? It is within the earthly sphere that we must look for it. The earthly realm is the real counterpart to the world of the fixed stars. The ethereal realm of the planets mediates between the two. Already in the prenatal period the physical development of the embryo is tending toward this earthly realm, yet in its proper form as earthly space, the Earth-element only begins to be present at the moment of birth. How then does it reveal itself? The birth takes place at a particular place upon the Earth and at a certain hour of the day or night. This gives the earthly space a precise and definite relation to the starry heavens, for at this moment a certain constellation is rising above the Eastern horizon, another constellation is setting in the West, another again is passing across the meridian and so on. Thereby the planets, too, have a fixed relation to the earthly space. If birth takes place in the morning, for example, the Sun will be rising in the East; if it takes place in the evening the Sun will be in the West. The earthly space its characteristic configuration by the planes of the horizon and the meridian will, therefore, be related to the cosmos in a different way in every moment. This earthly space is the third element in regard to which we have to judge the prenatal constellations. Though it is not yet actually there during the prenatal time but only from birth onward, nevertheless the whole of the prenatal development is tending toward it.

The planes of the horizon and the meridian give us a natural division of the earthly space at the moment of birth into four quadrants. Astrology, in course of time, has adopted a further division of these quadrants into three sectors each, giving four times three, i.e. twelve parts of space, arranged about the North-South axis of the earthly space like the sections of an orange. Into the space thus formed, the cosmos above all the Zodiac will work in very different ways according to the hour of the day and the geographical latitude.

In the accompanying drawing we have tried to represent how the Zodiac and the planetary world rayed into the earthly space at the time of Richard Wagner's birth, remembering that it is not easy to represent a three-dimensional happening in two dimensions. Richard Wagner was born at sunrise, therefore we see the Sun upon the line of the Eastern horizon (the astrological ascendant), but it is fairly far to the North-East. The Zodiac rises through a fairly lengthy arc to the line of the meridian represented by MC or medium coeli and thence descends in a comparatively short arc to the South-West. Corresponding relationships, only in reverse order, will be found in the spatial hemisphere beneath the horizon.

In the inner circle we obtain something like the conventional picture of a horoscope of birth. The Sun is in the ascendant, in other words is rising. Venus and Mercury have already risen; Moon, Mars, and Saturn are near the meridian; Jupiter is beneath the horizon. From the place of birth (represented by O) the surrounding space is divided into twelve parts (four quadrants of three sectors each, as described above) that can be numbered 1 to 12 the well-known astrological Houses.

Familiar though they are in present-day astrology, people often find the greatest difficulty in translating these diagrammatic horoscopes into a real and true imagination of the cosmic facts at the moment of birth of a human being. Yet this is what is needed. We may then supplement the above picture by a more three-dimensional drawing which will help to create an understanding.

The drawing is seen as though from a place outside the cosmos being the place of birth. From there we see the horizontal plane with its directions: East, West, North, and South. The large vertical circle is the line of the meridian, while the oblique circle cutting it at the point MC represents the Zodiac. The horizon-plane meets the Zodiac in the ascendant and divides it into two portions, the visible portion shown in the fully drawn-out line and the invisible represented by the dotted line beneath the horizon. The Sun is rising. The arc of the Zodiac from the ascendant to MC is larger than from there to the descendant the point where it sets in the South-West. These and other circumstances are made clear by such a drawing.

The phenomena, therefore, are threefold: in the first place there is the Zodiac, secondly there are the planets which arrive at their several places at the instant of birth from their prenatal wanderings, and thirdly there is the earthly space, divided into four or twelve parts. In our second drawing it would have been too complicated to represent the twelve, but we can recognize, at any rate, the four quadrants. The plane of the horizon divides the space into an upper and a lower hemisphere; the plane of the meridian divides it into an Eastern and a Western half. Thus there arise the quadrants I to IV, each of which divided into three parts once again would give us twelve.

In the preceding article it was shown how the relations between the planets and the constellations of the Zodiac may be read, even as a cosmic script. For example, Saturn's movement in Sagittarius, seen in conjunction with Mercury, Venus, and Mars in their turn, was found to be full of significance for Wagner's life. The question now will be, how is the cosmic writing further enriched by the inclusion of the earthly-spatial aspect in the moment of birth?

These constellations took place with Saturn in a part of the Zodiac which at the moment of birth is raying into the space of the 8th and 9th Houses, and from the opposite side into the 2nd and 3rd Houses too. This fact is indicated in the outer circle in the first diagram. But to begin with we must try to gain some insight into the meaning of these so-called Houses, specifying and dividing the Earth-space into twelve parts.

Whereas the planets are a picture of the etheric body and receive into themselves, as it were, the intentions of the astral world of the fixed stars, the earthly space is like the tablet into which these cosmic entries will be made. It is a picture of the purely physical, namely the physical body of a human being. Just as a written tablet tells of the work of a human being, so does the physical body of a human being, with all its visible peculiarities, tell of the deeds done by the Gods by means of the starry universe. The earthly space at birth will be a cosmic picture of the physical body, for the twelve Houses represent the twelvefold nature of the body as known to occultism. The twelve Houses, in effect, are the twelvefold Zodiac turned inward into the earthly realm. The Zodiac rays down onto the Earth, whereas the twelvefold earthly space opens receptively to the surrounding cosmos.

It is not without significance that in astrology the twelve Houses are traditionally indicated by the symbols of the Zodiac. We must only remember that the Houses relate to the human body. Thus we can represent the first house by the symbol ^ the second house by _, the third by C and so on, until the twelfth house, which would correspond to i.

In this way we obtain the following relations of the twelve Houses to the physical human being:

1st House = ^ This is related to the erectly carried head, emphasizing the vertical line in the human being by contrast to the horizontal posture of the animal.

2nd House = _ This is a picture of the larynx and all that aspect of the body which is connected with the forming of speech and sound.

3rd House = C Gemini is connected with the symmetry of the human form, the two arms especially; also the relative symmetry of the two halves of the face, the two lungs, etc.

4th House = a The very symbol indicates the enclosing gesture of the thorax, ribs, etc.

5th House = b This symbol too is a true picture, revealing Leo in relation to the circulatory system, with its center in the heart.

6th House = c Related to the internal parts of the body situated beneath the diaphragm.

7th House = d This is connected with the region of the hips, the point of balance between the upper and more inwardly directed [impulses], and on the other hand the lower [nature], by which the organs of movement come more in contact with the outer world.

8th House = e This has to do with the sphere of the reproductive organs.

9th House = f Here we address ourselves to the region of the thighs, showing quite clearly the outward tendency, the human being entering into relation to the environment of Earth.

10thHouse = g This is related to the knees, but in a wider sense to all the joints, giving the body its mechanics and mobility.

11thHouse = h The region of the calves finds expression here; also the lower arms, giving the power of harmonious and beautiful movement.

12thHouse = i This is associated with the feet and hands, touching and working and treading upon the things of the physical outer world.

In the example of Richard Wagner, the significant thing is that the prenatal conjunctions with Saturn took place in a region of the cosmos where at birth the 8th and 9th Houses, or again from the other side the 2nd and 3rd Houses, open out. The trilogy of the cosmic script appears then in this way: 1- Constellation of the Zodiac: Sagittarius; 2- Saturn in successive conjunction with the other planets; 3- 8th and 9th (2nd and 3rd) Houses.

All the events that were pre-figured in the etheric body of Richard Wagner through the prenatal passage of Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars before Saturn in Sagittarius, enter at last into the Houses; into the bodily spheres of _ and C. These prenatal happenings belong to the events in Richard Wagner's destiny of the years 1849, 1853, 1857, and 1876-7 (considered in some detail in former articles), whereby Richard Wagner rose through all the storms and trials of his experiences to the eventual height of his historic greatness as an epoch-making artist and composer of our time. The cosmic forces, predisposed in the etheric realm, are incarnated into the spheres of the speech-organism and of the arms reaching out to action, that is to say into the sphere which enables one to experience and to fashion word and sound. One has the impression that all this is first born in a germinal way in the inner organs of the ear and larynx and thence flows into the poems, compositions, and dramatic scenes achieved by Richard Wagner with his arms and hands.



All this had to be attained in an arduous and difficult path of life. It is indeed an impressive fact that not till the age of 63 was Wagner able, in the Theater of Bayreuth, to set forth his art in a way that answered to his ideal. We see herein the tendency of Sagittarius wherein we found the picture of a difficult and arduous ascent. Saturn receives into itself this cosmic tendency and carries it into the formation of the ether-body through all its encounters with the other planets in the time before birth.

All this was brought into the physical body in the way that has now been indicated, and the eternal individuality of Richard Wagner took and made from it the wonderful achievement which he gave us by his actual biography the path of his earthly life.


©Astrosophy Research Center 2012 ‒ ISBN 1-888686-13-8
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