“To see a world in a grain of sand. And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour”
–William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
Astrology is based on the axiom that the microcosm and macrocosm mirror each other. You are a little miniature solar system. This principle is evident everywhere in nature and is not something unique to astrology.
I remember being almost overwhelmed with awe when I first encountered the astrological technique known as ‘progressions‘ which states that ‘a day corresponds to a year‘. I found it truly amazing that time cycles should mirror each other! Can you believe that during the first, say, 50 days of your life you are experiencing a condensed enactment of the story that will unfold during the first 50 years of your life? Astrologers who have used progressions know that this principle is real and true…
The Bible begins with the story of God creating in the world in seven days. God started this project on a Sunday, if you ask me (‘let there be light…‘). God rests on the last day; it was the first ‘sabbath day’ you might say. I would guess it was a Saturday. The days of the week are named after and ruled by the planets; read about it here.
I’ve encountered an uncommon application of this idea in a book entitled Self Mastery and Fate with the Cycles of Life by H. Spencer Lewis. The author presents a method for dividing the year cycle, beginning at your birthday, into seven periods of approximately 52 days each. He does not mention any link to planetary or astrological symbolism and simply numbers the periods. In his description of what each period is supposed to bring about and what it would be good for there is a clear correspondence to the planetary weekday scheme.
Regarding the first period, the first 52 days after your birthday, he says the following:
“… a person should utilize every personal power and ability to advance his own interests among persons of influence who have powers or privileges to grant or give… It is an especially good period to seek favors or honors, help or recognition, from persons who are in high power or high positions such as government officials, judges, mayors, governors, senators… This is also a good period for advancing one’s own personal self among the populace, or with the people of your city, state, or country… all of the Cosmic vibrations are in favor of boosting and helping you personally so far as your name, your reputation, your honor, and your integrity among high persons or the multitudes are concerned.”
All this talk of self-promotion and engaging with people of influence is clearly Solar; it’s the Sunday or the year cycle, the first weekday.
Regarding the second period we find:
“…strange to say, this period is also an excellent one for those who are dealing with liquids, chemicals, milk, water, water power, gasoline, or other things of a liquid nature… This period is also good for persons who are in businesses such as catering to transients, or to fluctuating business affairs, such as those who conduct hotels… or to begin any agricultural developments or planting…”
Some clearly Lunar themes in this second period, it’s Mo(o)nday.
Then the following for the third period:
“…this period fills the individual with an almost uncontrollable impulse to want to do great and important things, and the fiery energy that goes through the human system during this period wants to express itself in many ways…. accomplishment of those things that call for great physical energy, physical effort, endurance, vitality…. On the other hand, if the energy is misspent, or applied without discrimination and judgment, great tasks may be undertaken or started that will not be completed … It is an excellent period to begin anything that has to start with a bang and have a great impulse during the first month or two of its career. Certainly this is an excellent period for dealing with affairs of the army, the navy, military engineering, munitions, or with those persons or lines of business that deal with heavy muscular or extreme vital energy. It is likewise an excellent period for the building up of a business or interests dealing with iron, steel, cutlery, sharp instruments, or things connected with electrical machinery, furnaces, and fire… It is an excellent period for salesmen or lecturers or others who must depend upon very forceful oratory or fiery argument to convince…”
Lots of Martian fire talk there! It’s Tuesday; the weekday ruled by Mars.
The fourth period is described thus:
“…. an excellent period for the writing and mental creation of books, plays, plans, business schemes, and other matters requiring a fertile mind, quick thinking, smooth-flowing language, and an unusual ability to express the thoughts in the mind. In fact, the mind will seem to be highly charged with new thoughts, new ideas… It is a good period in which to deal with literary persons, reporters, messengers, to engage stenographers and writers, bookkeepers, engravers, artists, and persons whose work is primarily mental and rapid in expression…. a warning must be given here, however, that great deceptions can be practiced upon persons during this period; stories, reports, papers, documents, or other written or spoken matter that may come to your attention during his period must be carefully analyzed before being accepted… Many of the great losses in life through thievery, robbery, or deception occur during this period… quick and nimble mind and tongue…”
It’s clearly Mercury talk this.
I rest my case. Although the author is not revealing or rather explaining the fact, the 52 day periods after the birthday are clearly ruled by the planets in the weekday order starting with the Sun as ruler of the first period. Not surprisingly he says the following of the final period, which is the 52 days before your birthday, corresponding to Satur(n’s)day:
“This is the critical and disruptive period of life each year… the house is torn down, brick by brick, and leveled… each should be warned to take advantage of the natural tendency of this period and at the same time guard against these tendencies that they may not go too far… If a business or any other affair has been going poorly and has shown a tendency to fail, and go to pieces, this is the period when such a culmination is most apt to occur, and if this result is not wanted, care must be exercised not to do those things which will help to bring it about… If matters that are pending or ideas that suggest themselves can be postponed and held over until past the coming birthday, and put into the first period or the second period of this cycle, it will assure greater success… certainly it is the most unfavorable period in the whole year for starting anything new or launching a new business or giving a new impulse or new expenditure in business…”
The author explains in the book that a business or other organization will also be governed by this annual seven-stage process.
Around the time of the 21 December Solstice of 1997 I somewhat unwittingly triggered the founding of an organization that came to be known as the Sacred Earth Permaculture Association. This occured in the Knysna area of South Africa. The circumstances were quite exceptional, but elaborating would become a huge digression. I was elected the chairperson of this entity and at the end of the first year of its existence I just happened, fortuitously, to be perusing the book I’ve been quoting from, and I analysed the first year of our organization’s life through this week-in-a-year lens. I was quite astounded at the accuracy of it! The descriptions in the book of the various phases were often uncannily specifically correct about memorable events and developments that occurred in the respective periods. I did also note that significant events occurred close to the actual changeovers from one period to the next (and this is where astrologically speaking there would be septile or 52 degree multiple aspects formed between the transiting and the natal Sun).
Several months passed. Around end October/early November 1999 the 6th period of the second year of the organization’s life came to an end. This was the ‘Venus period’, and indeed it had been very productive in the sense that, by me attending gatherings in Cape Town and communicating our vision there, the organization had formed alliances and friendships and had become popular with many cultured and refined people. We literally had a new ‘branch’ that opened in Cape Town and achieving our grandest goal (to buy huge farms to begin large eco-villages) was finally within sight.
I arrived back in Knysna as the Saturn period began (early November 1999), and to my surprise the crew back home had found a farm to rent cheaply, which was wonderful, of course. There was great excitement about what could be done there. Money became available on loan to kick-start some of the projects feverishly envisioned for this little piece of land, and I felt I was seeing chaos in the making, since every person had their own pet project and agenda. Any objection to their plans was met with Saturnine subterfuge and conspiracy. I knew we were entering this Saturn period, and it confirmed my hunch that we would be wise to proceed with caution and consolidate past gains rather than allowing this unbridled and uncoordinated enthusiasm to run riot on a loan account. I’ll spare you the detail, but by its second birthday some 52 days later the Sacred Earth Permaculture Association had completely unraveled and I left the farm….
As astrologers we can be tempted to assume our toolbox is complete, but this is far from the case. We’ll always be absolute beginners, no matter how much we know about these things.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
– Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio