Excerpted from: Prometheus the Awakener
Spring Publications, Woodstock, CT
The Sidereal Frame
The current Astrological chart is an Earth based view of the solar system for a given point on the Earth at a given time. The Ascendent, Midheaven and houses represent the daily turning of the Earth. The signs represent the annual motion of the Earth around the Sun. The planets move through the signs at different rates and as such represent those aspects of life that operate on a similar timescale.
The Ascendent traverses the whole of the Zodiac in 24 hours, about two hours in each sign. It is the clock on our day and as such governs those functions of the body and mind that operate on a similar timescale - body functions and associated feelings, impressions, attention. (Two hours is about the limit for most entertainments - films, concerts, spectator sports).
The Moon takes twenty eight days to go once around the Zodiac, spending only two days in each sign. It governs those aspects of life that change from day to day, the many faces of our everyday personality that may seem consistent to ourselves but may seem to wax and wane to others.
Mercury takes about three months to circle the Sun but because it is so close to the Sun it follows it around the Zodiac, moving backwards and forwards around the Solar position on a three monthly cycle. At its fastest it passes through a zodiacal sign in a fortnight and covers affairs of this nature - our pattern of work, our weekly routine, our immediate plans. In the course of a year Mercury marks out the seasons.
Venus takes about eight months, 18 and 2/3 days in each sign. On this timescale we see a curious relationship with the Moon with its 18 and 2/3 year eclipse cycle or Saros. Venus covers the rise and fall of feelings, the span of desire. In the sky it is moon-like in that it can be seen in the evening or morning, and it waxes and wanes. In the way that the moon is the reactive feelings, externally stimulated, Venus is those feelings that are internally generated over time. Advertising campaigns usually run for about three weeks before their impact can be assessed.
Venus, Mercury and Moon are the three planets that lie between the Earth and the Sun - the Inner Planets - and as such govern our mundane existence of thinking, feeling and acting. They cover activities of less than a year - short terms goals and aspirations.
Mars takes two years to traverse the Zodiac. It is the last of the local planets - there is quite a leap to Jupiter - and as such sets the limits of our practical existence. Mars covers our strategies for life, our perceivable building blocks. Most educational courses are based around two years. Most martial arts require two years to attain Black Belt. It is the cycle of skill acquisition. One theory of learning is that understanding lags learning by two years.
Jupiter takes 12 years to traverse the Zodiac, about a year in each sign. Now we have a marker on life itself. The seven ages of man would give a lifespan of 84 years, which some astrologers take as the natural span of human life. Jupiter then rules those events that take years to unfold, a timescale beyond the perception of the inner planets.
Saturn takes 29 years on its journey through the Zodiac. This is the span of a single generation. Based on our 84 year life, humans just about cover three generations. This is supported in fact; child, parent and grandparent are usually co-existent. Great grandparents are usually near the very end of their span. Saturn therefore rules the generations and acts on a scale of this magnitude.
With Uranus and its 84 year journey we complete the full cycle of life. This is the level to which Uranus applies - the life's work, the changes that echo down three generations, the wisdom passed from the very old to the very young. The inspiration of Uranus may not be recognised in a lifetime - it may require death to give the perspective.
Neptune's cycle of 165 years goes beyond a single life to cover two lifetimes. It is the maximum extent of living memory - your grandfather's flickering memory of his great grandfather - six generations of Saturn on the limit of human recall. So all that you were in life collapses to just a handful of memories that will be all that is left of you in living memory. And with the years that too fades. Neptune cares not for individuals.
Pluto takes 248 years on its journey around the Zodiac. Three lifetimes, nine generations, the period of total renewal. This is the timescales on which nations rise or fall, over which enemies become friends, over which profound change works through all society. 248 years ago the industrial revolution was just gaining momentum. Now we enter the completion of that cycle with its consequences.
These are the cycles of Sidereal Astrology - the astrology of the world and the cycles of change that drive human affairs.