Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

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by Maya del Mar

The Astrological Houses by Dane Rudhyar. CRCS Publications, Sebastopol, CA. 1972.

A Dane Rudhyar book is impossible to review adequately. I often find more meaning packed into one of his paragraphs than in a whole chapter in most books, or even in the whole of most books.

Dane Rudhyar was one of the astrologers most instrumental in teaching and speaking for the present humanistic orientation of western astrologers. He wrote many books and articles over the years, and was still writing into his 80’s. He died in 1985 at 90 years old. I was fortunate that he was still teaching when I was studying astrology some thirty-plus years ago, and I was able to take some seminars from him. He was a wise, peaceful old man then. Once I saw him calmly demolish a famous Jungian who wanted to debate with him about the value of astrology.

Dane’s books are still my favorites. Though I must say that there are people who consider him too philosophical. Also, he sees everything in context, in wholes, and will often describe a pattern in order to place a specific in context. Some people resonate more to a mechanistic way of seeing.

What he says here about his "humanistic" approach is "(it) seeks to bring to individual persons a more conscious realization of the deeper meaning of their experiences, so that they may be able to fulfill both their essential individuality and their destiny, that is, their place and function in the universe. In this type of astrology the individual is not understood to be exterior to his/her birth chart; he or she is not supposed to rule it by repressing its "bad" features and seeking to profit from the "good" ones." The birth chart is a "complex cosmic symbol," "a set of instructions," a "mandala," a "means to achieve an all-inclusive integration of the personality."

In regard to houses, he sees the essential division of the earth-sky relation as four-parted, based practically on a horizon line and a meridian which divide the circle of which we are the center into four parts. He feels it is logical to split each quarter into three parts because learning, knowledge, discourse, growth, etc. are three-parted.

Dane discusses various house systems, and has this to say about horizon systems, and particularly the equal house system, which takes only the horizon into consideration and divides each half into six equal houses: "This system is, in my opinion, totally indefensible because it does not take into consideration the fact that both the vertical and the horizontal axes are absolutely necessary to the interpretation of human existence. Using only the horizon as a frame of reference today is the equivalent of considering lying down the only significant position for humans." Amen.

Most of this book is, in fact, about the twelve houses, described in deep and significant ways. Dane also talks about the houses as fields of experience, and the roles of different houses. He discusses specific house-sign patterns and their possibilities, and he has a brief, but excellent, discussion of the ten major planets in each of the twelve houses.

Dane Rudhyar is concerned about the deepest essence of life, and his books will give one a deep understanding of astrology. They can be read and reread, and at the same time provide endless material for meditation—for both beginners and advanced students.

I’m very grateful that I was guided again to this book, and I will keep it by my bedside.