Esoteric Astrology, simply stated, is spiritual astrology. The focus of Esoteric Astrology is less upon mundane material manifestations and outer effects, and more about soul evolution and spiritual causes. An important part of Esoteric Astrology is integrating astrology with the seven Rays, or the seven types of divine energy and universal motivation. Many Esoteric Astrologers study the work of Alice A. Bailey, especially her 1951 book "Esoteric Astrology", which is part of her series of 24 books of esoteric philosophy. The following quotes are relevant:
"Astrology is built upon the mystic and intimate connection between the heavenly bodies and mankind and is one of the great secrets of Initiation and the occult mysteries." - Secret Doctrine II, 525
"Astrolatry or the adoration of the Heavenly Host is the natural result of only half- revealed astrology... Hence, divine Astrology for the Initiates; superstitious astrolatry for the profane." - Secret Doctrine III, 337
The program Astrolog supports Esoteric Astrology in addition to classic mundane astrology. The following is a description of the Esoteric Astrology features in Astrolog:
D.K. ayanamsa: Related to the positions of planets, Astrolog has a sidereal astrology setting for the ayanamsa (zodiac degree offset) called the "Djwhal Khul" system, which is based on Master D.K.'s writings for the date of the first decanate of the Age of Aquarius. Esoteric Astrology primarily uses the tropical zodiac, however it also includes a sidereal ayanamsa with a relation to Esoteric Astrology that some sidereal astrologers use.
Esoteric Astrology features alternate rulership sets for more spiritual considerations of planets. Beyond the mundane set of rulerships, there are esoteric rulers which operate on a soul or spiritual level, and Hierarchical rulers which operate on a planetary or solar level. For example, the mundane exoteric ruler of Aries is Mars, representing forceful and aggressive action. However, the esoteric ruler of Aries is Mercury, to represent the mental cause and design of that initiating energy. Finally, the Hierarchical ruler of Aries is Uranus, to represent the growth and overall purpose of the influx of initiating energy in the first place.
Astrolog can list signs, list planets, and list Rays, showing how each component relates to the other two. What follows are three different tables, which display the same information, except that each is indexed by sign, planet, or Ray.
Below is a list of the 12 zodiac signs. Each sign is associated with 1 to 3 Rays. Each sign's exoteric, esoteric, and Hierarchical ruler(s) are listed. Exoterically, some signs are ruled by two planets: A classic planet visible to the naked eye, and an outer planet that was more recently discovered and which only plays a role when the personality is seeking personal growth. Esoterically and Hierarchically, sometimes the Sun or Moon acts as a veil for deeper energies.
|5||Leo||1, 5||Sun||Sun, Neptune||Sun, Uranus|
|6||Virgo||2, 6||Mercury||Moon, Vulcan||Jupiter|
|9||Sagittarius||4, 5, 6||Jupiter||Earth||Mars|
|10||Capricorn||1, 3, 7||Saturn||Saturn||Venus|
|11||Aquarius||5||Saturn, Uranus||Jupiter||Moon, Vulcan|
|12||Pisces||2, 6||Jupiter, Neptune||Pluto||Pluto|
Below is a list of the 12 main planets and related bodies. Each planet rules one or more signs exoterically, esoterically, and Hierarchically. Each planet is associated with one particular Ray.
|2||Vulcan||Vir||Tau, Vir||Tau, Aqu||1|
Below is a list of the seven Rays. Each Ray has a name, and represents a particular type of will. Each Ray is associated with three different signs, and one or two planets. Each Ray is associated with one sacred planet: When a Ray is associated with two planets, the first planet listed is the non-sacred planet, and the second is the sacred planet.
The "slice" value of a Ray is the number of signs associated with that Ray, each proportioned by the number of other Rays also associated with that sign. For example, Ray 5 is associated with Leo (along with Ray 1), Sagittarius (along with Rays 4 and 6), and Aquarius (only Ray 5). Therefore Ray 5's slice value is 1/2 + 1/3 + 1.0 = 1.83. Notice how Ray 4 has the largest slice value, because it's the only Ray associated with both Taurus and Scorpio (getting 2.0 from those two signs) however it only has a 1/3 slice of Sagittarius (along with Ray 5 and Ray 6 which are also associated with it).
|1||Will & Power||Initiate||Ari Leo Cap||1.33||Pluto, Vulcan|
|2||Love & Wisdom||Unify||Gem Vir Pis||2.00||Sun, Jupiter|
|3||Active Creative Intelligence||Evolve||Can Lib Cap||1.83||Earth, Saturn|
|4||Harmony Through Conflict||Harmonize||Tau Sco Sag||2.33||Moon, Mercury|
|5||Concrete Science||Act||Leo Sag Aqu||1.83||Venus|
|6||Idealism & Devotion||Cause||Vir Sag Pis||1.33||Mars, Neptune|
|7||Order & Ceremonial Magic||Express||Ari Can Cap||1.33||Uranus|
A "Ray rulership" is when a planet of a given Ray is positioned in a sign of the same Ray. For example, Sun (Ray 2 planet) in Gemini (Ray 2 sign) is a Ray rulership. Similarly, a "Ray debilitation" is when a Ray X planet is opposite a Ray X sign. For example Moon (Ray 4 planet) in Gemini, a sign which is opposite Sagittarius (a Ray 4 sign) is a Ray debilitation. The meaning of a Ray rulership is a pure and undiluted influx of Ray energy, because both the Cosmic sign and the systemic planet are channeling the same Ray energy to our world.
Note that for all Rays except Ray 1, there exists opposite signs are both the same Ray, so that Ray has only one possible Ray debilitation. For example, the three Ray 2 signs are Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces. That means there are three Ray rulerships positionings for Ray 2, such as Ray 2 Jupiter in Gemini, Virgo, or Pisces. However since Virgo and Pisces are opposite each other, the only Ray 2 debilitation is when a Ray 2 planet is in Sagittarius.
A "house Ray rulership" is when a planet of a given Ray is positioned in a house aligned with the same Ray. For example, Saturn (Ray 3 planet) in the 7th house (Ray 3 house, because it corresponds to the 7th sign Libra, a Ray 3 planet) is a house Ray rulership. The meaning of a house Ray rulership is similar to a Ray rulership, except the pure Ray energy is manifesting in the world, because both the systemic planet and the personality oriented house are bringing forth that Ray.
A "double Ray rulership" is both a Ray rulership and a house Ray rulership at the same time. For example, Venus in Sagittarius and 11th house is a double Ray rulership because it's a Ray 5 planet in a Ray 5 sign and a Ray 5 house. A double Ray rulership is very strong, because it's a pure and undiluted influx of Ray energy that's also manifesting in the world.
Astrolog indicates Ray rulerships and house Ray rulerships in its esoteric chart described below. Astrolog can also indicate Ray rulerships in its standard text mode list of planets, if esoteric rulerships are unrestricted in the Display Settings dialog.
Location Rulers House Rulers Power Rank Percent
Eart 3 Tau 4 _____ 4th ____Y 44.1 (10) / 6.2%
Sun 2 Sco 4 _____ 10th _____ 49.5 ( 9) / 6.9%
Moon 4 Sag 456 ____Y 11th __H__ 76.2 ( 4) / 10.7%
Merc 4 Sag 456 d___Y 11th _____ 49.8 ( 8) / 7.0%
Venu 5 Sag 456 _s__Y 11th ____Y 84.0 ( 2) / 11.8%
Mars 6 Pis 26 ____Y 2nd ds___ 17.9 (12) / 2.5%
Jupi 2 Sag 456 R___z 11th _S___ 85.6 ( 1) / 12.0%
Satu 3 Gem 2 _____ 4th ds__Y 82.0 ( 3) / 11.5%
Uran 7 Lib 3 _Sh_z 9th _____ 62.5 ( 6) / 8.8%
Nept 6 Sag 456 ____Y 10th _shf_ 52.7 ( 7) / 7.4%
Plut 1 Lib 3 ____z 8th R____ 74.1 ( 5) / 10.4%
Vulc 1 Sco 4 _sh__ 10th ___XY 35.7 (11) / 5.0%
Total RSHXY RSHXY 714.1 100.0%
Ray Count Power Rank Prcnt. | Slice Power Rank Prcnt.
1: 0 0.0 (6) / 0.0% | 0.00 0.0 (6) / 0.0%
2: 2 100.0 (5) / 7.0% | 1.50 91.0 (5) / 12.7%
3: 2 136.6 (4) / 9.6% | 2.00 136.6 (2) / 19.1%
4: 8 477.5 (1) / 33.4% | 4.67 245.4 (1) / 34.4%
5: 5 348.2 (3) / 24.4% | 1.67 116.1 (4) / 16.3%
6: 6 366.2 (2) / 25.6% | 2.17 125.0 (3) / 17.5%
7: 0 0.0 (7) / 0.0% | 0.00 0.0 (7) / 0.0%
Tot: 23 1428.5 100.0% | 12.00 714.1 100.0%
Astrolog provides an esoteric chart which displays Esoteric Astrology and Ray information for a given time. Display it with the "Chart / Esoteric" menu command, or the -7 switch on the command line. An example is seen above.
In the first section, this chart lists the planets, showing each planet's Ray, the planet's position and the Ray(s) of its zodiac sign, and rulership information about the planet's zodiac position and house position. That includes whether the planet exoterically rules or is debilitated in the sign (indicated with "R" or "d" characters), whether the planet esoterically rules or is debilitated in the sign ("S" or "s" characters), whether the planet Hierarchically rules or is debilitated in the sign ("H" or "h" characters), whether the planet exalts or falls in the sign ("X" or "f" characters), and finally whether the planet Ray rules or is Ray debilitated in the sign i.e. whether the planet's Ray is the same as one of its sign's Rays ("Y" or "z" characters). Finally the overall power of each planet is listed, based on its inherent strength, positioning, and aspects, which is computed in the same way as in Astrolog's influence chart (accessed with the -j command switch).
In the second section, the esoteric chart lists the seven Rays, showing the count of planetary sign positionings that are associated with that Ray, the total power of those planets, and the rank of each Ray's total power and the percentage covered by that Ray. This can be used to help see which Rays are most influential in a chart. The same counts and powers are repeated, however this time a sign associated with multiple Rays only contributes proportional slices of power. By default, each Ray is associated with three signs, so for balanced Ray coverage that gives each Ray an equal potential for power, the first "count" values are preferred. However, some signs are associated with one Ray, while others are with two or three, which means certain signs have triple potential to contribute power, so for balanced planet coverage that gives each sign an equal potential for power, the second "slice" values are preferred.
To describe the last part above in more detail, the "count" and "slice" values are two different ways to consider Ray influence:
Astrolog features a graphical version of the esoteric chart described above, which graphs Ray influences over time. It's effectively an ephemeris of the seven Rays, mapping each of their powers over time. An example picture can be seen above. This is a "count" based Ray centered graph (although "slice" based planet centered graphs, as well as graphs that cover just one month instead of the entire year, can be done as well). Each Ray has its own column, and each column is 600 power units wide (number customizable with the -Y7 command switch), with 0 power on the left edge and 600 power on the right.
Looking at the sample graph, some parts are readily apparent. Notice how Rays 2 and 6 both have relatively high power from late August to late September, which is when the Sun (and Vulcan, Mercury, and Venus which are always near it) are in Virgo (a Ray 2 and Ray 6 sign). Around the time the Sun enters Libra (a Ray 3 sign), the power of Ray 2 and Ray 6 drops, and Ray 3 increases. Much longer and therefore more subtle Ray power cycles are dependent upon the movements of outer planets.
There's one more column for the average power of all seven Rays. The average line is much smoother, because often when one Ray is being emphasized, other Rays are being ignored, which frequently averages out. However it's not perfectly smooth, because times of general intensity such as New and Full Moons give the planets themselves (and therefore the Rays they contribute to) extra power. Also, Ray focused "count" values may result in extra total power when many planets are in Sagittarius and Capricorn, because those signs are each associated with three Rays (e.g. notice the average line is slightly higher during December when the Sun and nearby planets are in those signs).
A Triple Sun chart is a special type of tri-wheel that some Esoteric Astrologers make use of. For background information and details about Triple Sun charts, see this article by Stephen Pugh and the Esoteric Astrology Facebook group. All three wheels in a Triple Sun chart are variations of the natal chart, superimposed in a particular manner:
Note it's important to remember that a Triple Sun “chart” is not the same as a Triple Sun “Horoscope”. The chart is just some objectively computed and drawn graphics, however the true Horoscope involves spiritual practices and meditations to properly use the chart. Below are some quotations which inspire superimposed charts:
“When the Sun sign, with the exoteric rulers, is worked out in a chart, the rising sign with the esoteric rulers is also worked out and the two are superimposed upon each other, the problem of the disciple in any one incarnation will appear.” (Esoteric Astrology p514)
“The Sun sign, governed by the ruling esoteric planets and the rising sign governed also by the esoteric planets, can both be used in casting the horoscope of the initiate; when superimposed upon each other, the outer life of the initiate in the three worlds and the inner life of subjective realization will appear. This mode of super-imposition will be a feature of the new astrology.” (Esoteric Astrology p514)
"I would call you attention to the fact that in any one incarnation 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." (Unpublished Zodiacal Meditations, 1943)
Astrolog can display Triple Sun charts. It doesn't have a direct or simple menu command to display them, however one can configure the program to automatically compose them given any natal chart. To do that, select a tri-wheel, and set the Whole house system. Load the natal chart into all three wheels, and configure the three wheels individually to rotate the planets appropriately. This can be done with the following command line. In the Windows version, first load or enter in your natal chart data, and then copy/paste the text below into the "Edit / Enter Command Line" menu command to switch to a Triple Sun chart of your natal data:
-M30 "-Y10 Sun Asc" "-Y10 Asc Asc" "-Y10 Ear Asc" "-Y1 Ear Ear" -M0 1 "-i2 __1 -i3 __1 -r3 -c Whole _R Vul" -M 1