The Theosophical Society and the New Age 神智學會與新時代
一般認為新時代運動（New Age movement）的發起人是一八七五年神智學會的創始人之一：H.P.布拉瓦茨基夫人（H.P. Blavatsky，西元一八三一至一八九一年）。該學會的影響力遍及全球，成員包括著名的占星家，比如：艾倫．里奧（Alan Leo）、薇薇安．羅布森（Vivien Robson）、馬克．埃德蒙．瓊斯（Marc Edmund Jones）、H.S.格林（H.S. Green）、愛德華．林度（Edward Lyndoe）以及查爾斯．卡特（Charles Carter）。里奧是最多產的作家，透過學會自營的出版社，出版了許多受到大眾喜愛的占星書籍，因此，他在本研究中非常重要。
Vibrations and Octave expressions 「振動」和「八度表達」
我們有幾顆行星繞著太陽轉，第一顆尚未被天文學家發現的是祝融星。……有趣的是，根據某種神祕教義，這顆星球註定要成為我們多數人類在現實世界的家園，隸屬於我們自己的世界之鏈(chain of worlds) 38。
往後幾頁的判斷通則，即使不是最好，但已經是嘗試到目前為止較好的解釋方法。我急於向學生們分享的並沒有抄襲其他書籍（這是大多數占星家採用的方法），而是經過深思熟慮且實踐多次的結果；對於和我一樣全神貫注於此的人，希望這個學習的片段能幫助他們更正確地判斷星盤，因為這表達出新式占星學（New Astrology）的概念。《現代占星學》（Modern Astrology，里奧的月刊）的創立已奠定新式占星學的基礎，期望能淨化與重建古老的占星科學，…42
Leo’s magazine and Astrological Society 里奧的出版社和占星學會
前面的引述突顯了已經持續多年的辯論。占星學會是在里奧的雜誌—《現代占星學》（Modern Astrology）的贊助下成立，因此兩者皆可視為帶有神智學的偏好。學會在西元一九一二年舉辦了第一次的研討會「會報一」（Transaction 1），辯論神智學說在占星學中的重要性，而在大會議程手冊的標題：「密義或顯義？座談會」（Esoteric or Exoteric? A Symposium）便已確立了這場辯論的範圍。神智學被視為「密義」占星學，其他不相信輪迴與業力的，則是「顯義」占星學；後者可與「唯物主義」（materialist）互換詞。因此，打從一開始，神智學者就操縱著這場辯論，且事實上，會報祕書（負責編輯大會手冊的人員）透過在那些頁面上添加尾註的方式，繼續辯論並反對所謂的唯物主義，以確保密教主義者不會發生矛盾的風險。
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto:
An Investigation into the Sources of their Symbolism Part 02
Sue Ward (Written 2002)
The Theosophical Society and the New Age
It is difficult to overestimate the influence that New Age ideals and philosophies have had on astrological symbolism and practice. The accretion of various mixtures of Eastern and Western mysticism and esoterica has impressed itself indelibly on modern astrological thought. When the psychological model was also included into the new system, astrology became almost unrecognizable when compared to its former system, methods, and techniques.
Responsibility for the origins of the New Age movement is generally attributed to Madame H.P. Blavatsky (1831– 1891).23 She was one of the founder members of the Theosophical Society inaugurated in 1875. Its influence extended worldwide and its membership included such prominent astrologers as Alan Leo, Vivien Robson, Marc Edmund Jones, H.S. Green, Edward Lyndoe, and Charles Carter. Leo was the most prolific writer and through the good offices of the Society’s own publishing house produced many popular books on astrology. He is, therefore, important for our purposes here.
What Leo began, his fellows continued after his death in 1917, with revised editions of his books continuing to be published under his name. He and his wife, Bessie, were enthusiastic activists and their efforts were important in the revivification of interest in astrology. Few astrologers can claim to have had such a far-reaching influence as Leo had, and that influence was one of a Theosophical bent as is evidenced by his published works. Thus we see the ideals of Madame Blavatsky’s New Age being mixed into the much older astrological system because by this time astrology’s principles were considerably more pliable.
The astrology of William Lilly, his contemporaries, and predecessors was of the western predictive tradition. Even with the reforming zeal of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, much of that tradition had remained intact. The Theosophist input was part Eastern mysticism and religious principles, part Spiritualism, and part Freemasonry. Together they produced an ideology embracing, among other things, reincarnation (the principle of successive lives) and karma (the notion of reincarnating expressly to correct mistakes made in previous lifetimes).
Theosophy also held to the notion of the perfection of humanity, in that successive generations would become increasingly enlightened (in a Theosophical sense through reincarnation and karma). These they named as ‘advanced’ and acknowledged that but few ‘advanced souls’ had incarnated in the early part of the twentieth century. Similarly, the planets were used to denote humanity’s stage of advancement, or spiritual evolution, hence:
We learn, from those more advanced in knowledge than ourselves, that she [Venus] is inhabited and that her humanity has reached a very high stage. For each planet, as we shall learn later, is a physical world for the purpose of evolution.24
There were approximately three ‘classes’ of people and each class responded to astrological predictions (made via their horoscopes) differently:
In the lowest class stand undeveloped and untrained souls, those who are yet young in evolution; in the highest, those who are older and more experienced souls, practising self-control and using reason and reflection both in thought and action. Between these two stand by far the largest class, in which are found the majority of souls of our present stage wherein the will has not yet full power, while on the other hand it is not entirely plastic: there is sufficient receptivity to respond to certain vibrations and not to others.25
It became common currency to allocate various groups of people to one or other of these classes. It comes as no surprise to note that the ‘lowest class’ contains the ‘criminal classes’, and that section of society that breeds them. Later we shall see that those who failed to understand or agree with the Theosophist doctrine, particularly as it pertained to astrology, were considered not to be of the more advanced levels of humanity. In fact, those who did not believe in reincarnation were “wasting their time in endeavouring to follow our reasons in astrological thought.“26
This is more clearly stated thus: “Those of our readers who hold to the doctrine of reincarnation, or metempsychosis, will follow us more intelligently than others.“27 And, “…I am convinced that no careful and sincere student of the venerable science of the stars can really progress without a thorough knowledge of Theosophy and its bearing upon Astrology. Not that esoteric astrology lies open to the eye of every casual reader of Theosophy.“28
These comments are important because it is likely that their readers and students would be embarrassed into accepting their tenets, fearing that they would be judged unintelligent, or lacking in spiritual advancement and, thus, belonging to the lower class of humanity. In a time when the class system in England was still firmly in place, the implications of such statements would not be missed. It is interesting also that ‘the largest class’ mentioned by Leo, would be termed the middle class with it social implications.
Theosophists also believed in free will, although this was conditional. If you were one of the advanced or middle classes, your ability to overcome your destiny through self-control was greatly enhanced. Those of the lower order were not so advantaged and were at the mercy of their horoscopes. Thus was the astrology of their predecessors disparaged as being ‘fatalistic’.29 It was ‘”far too inclined to regard all events foreshadowed in the horoscope as if they were a necessary and unavoidable fate.” This might be considered a reasonable point to raise for an adherent to the philosophy of free will, but Leo continues with: “The Great Architect of the Universe can bring events to pass through a man’s own actions as well as through those occurrences which he cannot control.” 30 He has overlooked the fact that if God can cause events through and to humanity, then that is an argument for the philosophy of destiny, rather than against it.
Freewill provided yet another reason for the astrologer’s inability to delineate the horoscope correctly. The following reasons were given for the failure in identifying the marriage partner from the nativity:
Now it is a fact that many whose nativities have passed through our hands have married the exact opposite description of individual to that described by the application of the solar or lunar orb, and to our mind this bears out the axiom that ‘the stars incline but do not compel’, … had they [the native] allowed matters to take their course their union with the persons so signified in the nativity would naturally have followed, but in these cases where they exercised ‘free will’ they married to a far different description of individual…31
Nothing daunted, such illogicality is to be found throughout the writings of the Theosophist astrologers, providing a ready excuse for the failure of their techniques and methods. So, while the lives of some were subject to Fate, the lives of others were not, at least, not to such a degree. The trick lay in recognizing who belonged to which group. Retrospective identification thus becomes a desirable method of approaching the nativity. Once an incorrect prediction has been made, as in the preceding example, the native can then be identified as belonging to one of the two higher classes of evolution.
Thus prediction becomes impossible because the native wilfully behaves outside of his or her astrological parameters. Such actions cannot be predicted because they are not described by the symbolism produced by the horoscope. The astrologer cannot predict the unpredictable and so cannot be blamed for error. This ultimately raises questions about the purpose of the horoscope; if certain individuals act independently of their nativities, what is the horoscope describing?
It is noticeable, too, from the writings of Leo that God is being supplanted along with divination:
For Astrology is the most comprehensive study conceivable, a science which no mortal mind could invent, being the direct work of immortals who came from other worlds to instruct our infant humanity.32
Astrology had always been accepted as divine science, the means by which humanity might glimpse the Will of God. Leo proposed that astrology was obtained from unnamed immortals, introducing an indirect line of communication; astrology is no longer a means to access the Divine Mind; it is no longer a representation of Divine Will. Furthermore, if the astrologers of previous ages had been fooled by superstition and corrupted by excess, it would be unthinkable that they should have had a hand in its construction or development. Thus, astrology can come from “no mortal mind“. 33
Vibrations and Octave expressions
Another principle of Theosophist doctrine needing explanation in order to understand the development of astrology in recent times is the notion of ‘vibrations’ and ‘octave expressions’:
A few students, looking more deeply into the esoteric side of the study, have discovered that there are higher vibrations than those generally attributed to the influence of the planets, but the failure of those coming under any particular planet to respond to these higher vibrations has caused this side of the study to be neglected.34
Again, the student must accept that it is the failure of the native to show signs of these vibrations, not the failure of the principle, which has caused the study to be laid aside; neither the principle nor the astrologer was rejected as flawed. The concept of ‘vibrations’ is repeated many times throughout the work of those authors who discuss the actions of the new planets. It continues to the present day, although often without using the word, and discusses the native’s capacity to respond to the various planetary energies. Such capacity was judged through the concept of the three classes of humanity. What this presents is a catch-all for the errors made by astrologers in their delineations of horoscopes: if the native did not recognize the interpretation, or did not experience the prediction, he or she had failed to respond properly because of his or her lack of spiritual development, or because of an excess of it. It was, of course, necessary for the astrologer to be able to recognize members of the three classes if they were to make accurate delineations and predictions. The method of doing so is not explained, but there are hints about obtaining such information intuitively.
Such theories will be encountered when the symbolism of the trans-Saturnian planets is compared, in which the Theosophist astrologers describe their actions in terms of ‘octave expressions’. In a musical sense, they explain a planet’s operation as a ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ octave expression of another planet, as will be demonstrated later.
Along with this admixture of philosophies and ideologies was their lack of understanding of astrological principles and its Western philosophical origins, resulting in, what can be described as, a self-righteousness defensiveness that required little in the way of logic. According to Leo, astrology had to be recovered from ‘wise Chaldea’ and rescued from those who had come after (the Greeks, the Romans, the ‘Arabs’, and the Jews). It produced such statements as:
For the first time since the glorious days of wise Chaldea an attempt is made in the present series [his Astrology For All titles] to place before the world the true Chaldean system of Astrology. That truth has been preserved in its symbology, and so plain are its symbols that he who runs may read. The time has come to again reveal the hidden meaning concealed so long in circle, cross, and star. We shall commence the task by removing some of the débris that has fallen around the title during the past ages. One desire only prompts our writing, the desire to serve humanity and to give to those who possess an eager intellect and a pure love for truth some of the crumbs of wisdom that have fallen from the table of those whom the author is truly grateful to know as his teachers.35
As far as can be ascertained from his books, no evidence of the above was ever offered. His sources for the ‘true Chaldean system’ are, like Leo’s teachers, unnamed, but the reader is led to believe that Leo has access to some definitive source of astrological wisdom. The following quote leaves little doubt about his confidence in his own rectitude and that of his Theosophist ideology.
“since the first Edition of this work was published, in 1903, the scientific basis of Astrology has been definitely laid down.“36
Such certainty was a feature of the period, particularly with regard to the sciences, and astrology was regarded as an experimental science, potentially having the capacity to be successfully tested through the rigours of scientific method. It was suggested that its name presented an obstacle for interested scientists because of its connection to the so-called excesses of the past, hence: ‘Doubtless it will have to be rendered respectable under some other name, such as Cosmic Psychology; or, … Cosmecology – the Ecology of the Cosmos.’37
In some instances, it is apparent that those writers were attempting to steal a march on astronomers by pre-empting their discoveries:
Revolving around the Sun then, we have several planets. The first, not yet discovered by astronomers, is called Vulcan. … It is interesting to note that according to a certain body of occult teaching, this planet is destined to become the future physical home for the majority of our humanity, and also that he belongs to our own chain of worlds.38
Statements such as this have been taken as predicting the discovery of Pluto, but astronomers, too, were predicting such discoveries, both correctly and incorrectly.
Here is provided a glimpse of the proceedings for attaching certain symbolism to the new planets. As explained earlier, such anticipation resulted not from science, but from the Theosophist ideology of the ‘chain of worlds’. In this, each planet represented a stage in human spiritual evolution; becoming increasingly advanced the further outward in the solar system humanity progressed.
The Moon may be called the mother of the earth; for all life that once existed there, together with its water and atmosphere, has been drawn off by the earth, the Moon being the physical globe in a past chain of worlds connected with our evolution.39
“…[Jupiter] is in course of preparation for its humanity, being at present uninhabited.“40
From this it is clear that they also believed that each planet was, or would be, inhabited by humanity. This was not intended to be, or become, an astrological principle, evidenced by Leo’s instruction regarding the naming of Pluto mentioned previously. These were doctrinal statements, being absorbed by astrology later:
In this sense, Uranus can have no sign of exaltation, and its correspondence with Aquarius can only be considered as connected with the ‘spiral’ of superhuman evolution which commences with Aquarius and having no relation to the ordinary circle of signs which commence with Aries. The same remarks apply to Neptune…41
These remarks imply that the Theosophist view of the solar system was not intended to replace that of astrology’s tradition, or, at least, it was to serve another purpose. It is observable in the frequent allusions to the exoteric nature of the astrology of tradition, as opposed to Theosophy’s esoteric drive, that a new system was being constructed. A system that, at first, was intended to be separate from that already in place, but came to merge with it, and eventually, to subsume it.
In dealing with the general rules for judgment in the following pages, an attempt is made to strike a higher note than has hitherto been struck, and although it is not the highest, it is quite high enough for the present. What is here written has not been copied from other books, a practice which seems to have been adopted by the majority of writers on Astrology, but is the result of deep thought and practical experience, which I am anxious to share with my fellow students; and to those who like myself have become absorbed in its study this fragment of learning is offered in the hope that it will help them to judge a horoscope more correctly than would otherwise be the case. For it strikes the note of the New Astrology, the foundation of which has been already laid by the establishment of Modern Astrology [Leo’s monthly magazine], the desire of which is to purify and re-establish the ancient science of Astrology, …42
For all that they harked back to “wise Chaldea” as the “ancient science”, telling their readers that the techniques and methods they are promoting derived from the Chaldeans, their sources are never divulged. When these techniques are questioned, they quote their own creed of its being necessary to be a Theosophist (implying an individual of a more ‘advanced’ type) in order to understand these astrological principles. If the techniques are still not producing the expected results then a common suggestion was that to be successful the student needed to develop their intuitive sense.43
A contributor to Leo’s magazine clarifies the point thus, “Some may say the old method was good enough for our predecessors, and should satisfy us, but this is the age of evolution, the world does not stand still, neither do the planets…”44
The notions set down here are repeated many times throughout Leo’s own work and that of his fellows. Their influence on astrological development having been extensive and durable, it is proper that their works should be used for the purposes of discovering the derivation of the symbolism of the trans-Saturnians.
The Theosophist view of astrology was challenged from time to time, for example, “There is too great a tendency nowadays to float about in a comfortable haze of so-called esotericism. The first need of Astrology is accuracy and definition, not pseudo-religious speculation, and it is only by concentrating on the practical and scientific side that we can really make Astrology of service, and obtain for it the recognition it deserves.“45 The author of this statement continues to follow the astrological model of the Theosophists, though.
Leo’s magazine and Astrological Society
The preceding quote highlights the debate that had been continuing for some years. The Astrological Society was formed under the auspices of Leo’s magazine, Modern Astrology. Both could thus be seen to have a Theosophical bias and in 1912, in London, the Society held its first symposium, ‘Transaction 1’, to debate the emphasis of Theosophical doctrine in astrology. The resulting booklet is entitled, ‘Esoteric or Exoteric? A Symposium’ and at once sets down the parameters of the debate. The astrology of Theosophy is deigned ‘esoteric’, while that of everyone else, particularly those who do not believe in reincarnation or karma, as ‘exoteric’. The latter is used interchangeably with ‘materialist’. So, from the outset, the Theosophists are controlling the debate. In fact, the transactions secretary (responsible for editing the booklet) continues the debate within those pages, by adding endnotes, which argue against the so-called materialists and for the esotericists without risk of contradiction.
Those who argued against the inclusion of Theosophical doctrine, like Robson, argued for the scientific examination of astrology, which was as much a sign of the times as was the doctrine of Theosophy:
“…by not keeping them [astrology and Theosophy] distinct … we run the risk of losing many students, and of prejudicing our common cause in the eyes of the intellectual world.“46
The transaction secretary in his or her endnotes, states the case succinctly: “the onus remains on those who reject the theosophical interpretation of the facts of Astrology, not to argue that there may be some other explanation, but to produce it and submit it for examination. So far, it would seem, that obligation has not been recognised.“47
The reader might infer that the Theosophical interpretation of astrology was not the newcomer and had an ancient lineage for such a challenge to be made. The debate ended without a division, reflecting a general state of affairs that has persisted since that time.
23 Nicholas Campion, The Great Year (London 1994), p. 15.
24 Leo, Astrology For All, p. 3.
25 Alan Leo, The Progressed Horoscope, (London, 1929), p. xi; Isabelle M. Pagan, From Pioneer to Poet or the Twelve Great Gates,
(London, 2nd ed. 1926 of 1911) where she speaks of the ‘evolved’ and ‘primitive’ types in relation to the zodiacal signs.
26 Leo, The Progressed Horoscope. p. xi.
27 Sepharial (William Gorn Old, 1864-1929), The Manual of Astrology (London, revised 1962). p. 75.
28 Leo, ‘The Seven Planets’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, p. 514.
29 Leo, The Progressed Horoscope, p. 32.
30 Leo, The Progressed Horoscope, p. 32.
31 ‘A Bone of Contention’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, vol. 1, no. 8 (March 1891), pp. 171-172.
32 Alan Leo, How to Judge a Nativity (London, 1935), p. v.
33 Whilst it is possible that the term ‘immortals’ corresponds with the ‘angels’ in other philosophies and religions, and ‘other worlds’ to ‘heavens’, the change of language indicates a change of emphasis. Indeed, these ‘other worlds’ were nominated as the planets of our solar system.
34 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 28.
35 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p.iv
36 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, note p. 29.
37 Nicholas de Vore, The Encyclopedia of Astrology, (New York, 1980), p. vii.
38 Leo, Astrology For All: Part I, p. 3.
39 Leo, Astrology For All: Part I, p. 4.
40 Leo, Astrology For All: Part I, p. 5.
41 Leo, Astrology For All: Part I, p. 145.
42 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. vi.
43 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 67.
44 ‘Aphorel’, ‘The Signs of the Zodiac and their “Rulers”’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, vol. 1. no.3. (October 1890), p. 67.
45 Vivian Robson, A Beginner’s Guide to Practical Astrology
(London, 1933), p.
46 Arthur Mee, ‘Avoid Religion’, Esoteric or Exoteric: a Symposium, The Astrological Society (London, 1912), p. 28.
翻譯：Hueimin Lin/Julie Ho｜編審：Maki S. Zhai
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