Astrological Cycles by Dane Rudhyar

(Excerpts from American Astrology May 1954)

Astrology uses several cyclic series of symbols mainly, the 12-fold Zodiac, the Wheel of Houses, the Series of Planets, and, last but not least, the series of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac. It should be clear that no factor used in  astrology stands alone. Even the planet  would have no meaning unless seen as a  series of centers of force spreading from  the central sun to the outer space the  Galaxy) — or in archaic astrology, from  the Earth outward.

            No symbol indeed has any validity all by itself, just as no one human experience (be it birth, or death) is significant all by itself in our world of time and energy. Every experience had antecedents, and is compelled by these antecedents to have consequences in the future. What begins must “begin-again.” This is the tragedy, and at the same time the glory and ecstasy of life. 

            Series of symbols do not have complete meaning either, if considered  alone. Thus every cyclic series used in astrology should be seen in relation to every other. Out of this relatedness only can the true and vital significance of astrology emerge as a language of universal symbols — a language able to convey knowledge, understanding and wisdom. The basic key to the relationship between the four main series of astrological symbols is: experience.

1. The Houses define the twelve  basic fields of experience where man must  assert himself and win his battles.

2. The Zodiacal Signs represent  the life-energies needed for man, as a Self, to experience in these fields of activity.

3. The 360 Degrees represent  what might be called “seed-potentials” of experience. They constitute, when adequately symbolized, a cyclic series of characteristic challenges releasing opportunities for growth and self-development.

4. The Planets symbolize the  various modes of organic activity (or functions) which unfold and mature through experience. They constitute in their dynamic, ever changing interrelationship the “Chord of Personality.”  Only the whole solar system can represent man’s total personality, any and all types of activity.