The Planets Involvement
In the Astro-Chakra System
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Now that we have laid out the basic groundwork, we can begin to approach the question of the day. How can we use astrology in conjunction with the chakra system to track the soul? Since the planets in any chart represent the focal points through which consciousness is directed, I want to begin by talking about planets in relation to the chakras. Most discussions of the relationship between chakras and planets are based upon the teachings of the Theosophical Society, started at the turn of the 19th century by people like Alice Bailey, Annie Besant, and Charles Ledbetter. The Theosophical view is that the planets can be assigned to the chakras according by Chaldean order. According to this idea, Saturn governs the 1st chakra; Jupiter governs the 2nd; Mars the 3rd; Earth or Moon, the 4th; Venus, the 5th; Mercury the 6th; and the Sun, the 7th. You see how this works – moving from the outermost planet (before the discovery of the transpersonal planets), you simply assign each successive planet to each successive chakra, moving from lowest to highest.
While this system makes some logical sense, I feel it is far too limiting. I prefer instead to assume that any planet can function at the level of consciousness referred to by any chakra, and that spiritual growth is largely a matter of expanding the repertoire of each planet to be able to function at all seven chakras.
Saturn, for example, is not just a 1st chakra planet, but also potentially capable of functioning at each chakra. Certainly at the level of the 1st chakra, Saturn serves an important function in helping to secure a safe and protected space in which the soul can evolve. At the 2nd chakra, Saturn allows discrimination and moderation in the pursuit of pleasure. At the 3rd, Saturn fosters a growing sense of competence and confidence, responsibility and effectiveness in one’s ability to function within the world. At the 4th, Saturn makes possible commitment both to one’s own path and to an intimate relationship. At the 5th, Saturn greatly contributes to the possibility of a personal sense of integrity, and one’s ability to teach by example. At the 6th, Saturn allows us to harvest the wisdom of our experience and contribute in a measured way to the collective without losing our most basic sense of self. In the 7th, Saturn is embodied as the sense of mastery of time and space, a very high achievement possible only when all of Saturn’s other lessons have been learned.
Each planet then encompasses an entire range of possibilities, which in turn can be mapped to the chakras. In her book, Astrology and Spiritual Development, Donna Cunningham refers to the concept of planetary scale. Within the astrochakra system, each planet can be understood to function on a planetary scale of seven notes, each note related to one of the seven chakras.
What I described in relation to Saturn was the planetary scale according to an idealized scenario in which the challenges posed by Saturn at each chakra were successfully met. Obviously, when these challenges are not successfully met, or often until they are, problems and issues can also arise. When Saturn doesn’t function clearly at the level of the 1st chakra, for example, one’s most basic sense of safety and protection is compromised by fear. At the 2nd chakra, Saturn can manifest a host of problems ranging from sexual dysfunction to a life that is devoid of pleasure or enjoyment. At the 3rd, a compromised Saturn can be associated with feelings of incompetence, inefficiency, inability to hold a job, or to relate well to authority figures. And so on.
Whether or not Saturn is problematic or manifests as an aid to the tasks associated with a given chakra will depend in part upon astrological context, and in part on the consciousness brought to bear upon its planetary placement. The same will be true for each of the other planets. Each planet can function through any chakra, and each can either function clearly or problematically or through some combination of the two.
The Theosopical model for assigning planets to chakras does not include the transpersonal planets – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The astrochakra system does. In fact, the involvement of one or more of these planets in an astrological pattern associated with a given chakra is generally what will add a sense of urgency to the pattern, as these planets are the most potent catalysts to change and growth within the system. I also include Chiron in the system, although it is not technically a planet. I think the asteroids, particularly the four main asteroids – Ceres, Juno, Vesta, and Pallas – can be relevant players, especially at the level of the 4th chakra – and Ceres, which has recently attained planetary status can be an important player in her own right, particularly in the 1st chakra. The same may be true for newly discovered Transneptunians like Sedna. Eris, and the 800 other or so new heavenly bodies yet to be astrologically dissected, but I have not yet developed enough of a feel for these planets to know how they fit. I think we all need more time to observe what is actually true in our experiences and draw conclusions in which we can feel confident.
The astrochakra system does not preclude having to observe how something is actually manifesting in real life. It just provides a more complete framework in which to explore real life within the context of the soul’s actual life experience. So, as we extend the system to include the expanding solar system, this basic principle should be paramount.
The next post in this series is The Chakra Signatures.
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