The personal points have an updated meaning in esoteric astrology. This is more of a shift in emphasis rather than a replacement of their conventional meaning
Often called “the big three” in current astrological terminology the Ascendant, Sun and Moon indicate the major focal points of an individual personality. While this holds true for everyday life, once we begin the process of conscious development, our relationship to the personal points undergoes a change as a result of our inner growth.
The esoteric meaning of Ascendant, Sun, Moon
In esoteric astrology, the Ascendant has a new role since, when considering spiritual development, while both the Sun and Moon reveal conditioning limitations. The Moon holds the legacy of past behaviour and instinct, while the Sun becomes a limiting influence later in life in development of more inclusive consciousness (see A Treatise on White Magic pp 60 and 436). Put simply:
- Ascendant: the future, what we need to experience in order to evolve
- Sun: the present, psychological inheritance, what and where we are
- Moon: the past, instinctive responses, established habit and familiarity
The more esoteric view sees these three parts of the horoscope in terms of ‘force’ and ‘energy’; terms with more specific meanings in esoteric astrology than the rather vague usage of the word “energy or energies” in current New Age terms:
- force: energy focussed and applied through mental, emotional or physical activity;
- energy: soul force that has not yet been applied, and is therefore still unfocussed ‘energy’ from the point of view of the personality.
So, in purely esoteric language, the three personal points are described thus:
- Ascendant: “the sun of possibility”
- “soul force”, the quality of energy to be applied, focused through the rays of the sign.
- Sun: “the potency of the sun of probability”
- the “Solar Pitri”, causal body or soul. ‘Force’ or applied energy.
- Moon: “The prison of the soul”
- the lunar bodies or form aspect through which these energies and forces must flow.
Regarding the Moon, it must be said that although we create our own “prisons” through rigidity and habit, we can also build productive habits and discerning instinctive responses. These become the mental, emotional and physical “bodies” that act as vehicles of expression for the inner self.
The sign opposite the Sun as monad
In work given after the publication of Esoteric Astrology there is information about the sign opposite the Sun sign being indicative of the Monad; the “spirit”:
the Monad works through the Opposing Sign, the soul through the Rising Sign and the personality through the Sun Sign, and these necessarily vary from life to life. (The Tibetan, quoted in Stephen Pugh, Triple Sign Meditations, “The Esoteric Quarterly, 2012”)
This offers another level to the personal points triangle of Ascendant-Sun-Moon, at a stage of development when the Ascendant and Sun have been integrated at the third initiation and the Moon no longer has the power to pull us into habitual and reactive behaviour. At this stage, the Sun also indicates personal limitations, while its complementary or opposite sign suggests the resolution of this “pair of opposites” into a blended whole. The 12 polar pairs of signs then become the “blended six” as we learn to own and contain our projections onto the world and others, realising that we alone are responsible for managing our circumstances and interrelations. This only occurs once the integrated personality becomes transparent to the inner self or soul. It might be said that the personality is then redundant and, superseded by the clarity of inner purpose or “soul awareness”, is no longer the focus of personal development. The initiate then concentrates on what service or tasks for the general good they are driven to offer to the world; covertly behind the scenes or overtly in public activity.
the twelve opposites must become the blended six, and this is brought about by the fusion in consciousness of the polar opposites. … The opposites eternally remain from the point of view of human reason, but to the initiate whose intuition is functioning they constitute but six great potencies, because [they have] achieved “the freedom of the two” (EA 347-8)
This passage in Esoteric Astrology is under Gemini, the sign that governs “all the pairs of opposites in the zodiac”. As every ray in our solar system is a subray of the Sun’s Ray 2, the resolution of dualities is an overarching theme of human development.
The opposite or complementary sign is also the placement of the Earth from a heliocentric viewpoint. We can surmise that this heliocentric “visitor” to the personal geocentric horoscope symbolises the Earth as the “field of activity” for those who have completed the synthesis outlined above. For others, the monadic spark may be hinted at in the individual’s greater (and perhaps super-conscious) role in the overall development of humanity on this planet. In any case, it will reveal the work required to resolve the “pairs of opposites”.