Transpersonal Theory & the Astrological Mandala: An Evolutionary Model by Gerry Goddard
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An Astrological Narrative of Western Cultural History
Part I: The Ancients to the Advent of the Modern


The Transitional Period: Greek Rationalism:
Beyond Greek Rationalism—From the 3rd/9th Axis to the 4th/10th Axis:
Elaine Pagels and the Gnostics: The Roman Period and the Middle Ages


The Transitional Period

The long transformation from what Gebser calls the 'magical structure' of consciousness of the paleolithic era (approx. 40,000 years ago) to the advent of the 'mythical structure' in the late paleolithic culture of the early Cro-Magnons (note-Feuerstein p.76) is symbolized in our model by the transition from the 1st/7th to the 2nd/8th phase. The evolution from the chthonic Great Mother to the mythic-rational Great Goddess of the neolithic cultures unfolded through the 2nd/8th phase until a more devastating and far reaching cultural change took place. The historical transition from the 2nd/8th to the 3rd/9th phase—from mythic consciousness to rational consciousness, from sacred and cyclic time to linear history, from village to city state, from the worship of the Great Goddess to the establishment of the patriarchal gods, and eventually to the one male God— did not occur peacefully and naturally, but was propelled through its transformations by a violent encounter of peoples whose cultures had been shaped by different geophysical conditions. Drawing on the archeological research of James Mellaart, Nicolas Platon, and others, Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone and Riane Eisler inform us that from the fifth to the third millenium BCE the essentially peaceful agricultural and Goddess-worshipping societies of Old Europe during the neolithic suffered a series of catastrophic and periodic invasions by semi-nomadic horse-riding pastoralists from the Asiatic and European northeast.

These "Kurgan" or Indo-European invaders "glorified the magical swiftness of arrow and javelin and the sharpness of the blade." (Gimbutus in Spretnak, p31). They brought with them their heroic patriarchal sky gods who would come to suppress the myths "centered around the moon, water, and the female" and displace the rich symbolism depicting the Goddess on the shrines and pottery of a matrifocal culture, symbolism notably devoid of any warfare scenes of violence and oppression. And as Eisler points out, nomadic invaders from the deserts of the south came also, invading Canaan. Like the Indo-Europeans, the Hebrews "brought with them a fierce and angry god of war and mountains (Jehovah or Yahweh)." (p.44). A cultural blending of the Northern male and conquering sky gods with the matriarchal goddesses resulted, giving rise to the Greek pantheon of male and female gods and goddesses and the literary heritage of Homer's Illiad and Odyssey.

The mythic societies of old Europe included a highly advanced and generally egalitarian Minoan culture which flourished on Crete. But this peaceful society— possibly the source for Plato's lost continent of Atlantis—would eventually collapse under the force of the Dorian invasions and a series of natural cataclysms. Minoan society was a highly advanced culture, properly characterized as having firmly reached the 3/9 phase, which is possible evidence that patriarchy and centralist hierarchy were not essential for further cultural and technological developments beyond farming and village society. As the most advanced of the matrifocal farming cultures, not only does Minoan Crete appear to demonstrate that male dominance and hierarchical social order is not necessary for higher rational and technological development, Riane Eisler in her Chalice and the Blade cites this culture as evidence that human beings—both males and females—are not inherently violent or aggressive.

Eisler rather idealistically interprets the destruction of these early and evolving civilizations by violent and 'regressive' invaders as a serious setback for the evolution of society. For her, there are two models of society, the good partnership model and the bad dominator model, the latter being the model of society under the patriarchy of the last four millenia and that now we need to 'get back on track', back to the time just prior to these unfortunate invasions. But in so reasoning, Eisler overlooks a developmental dialectical truth of history, a powerful conflict growing (at least in part) out of the global diversity of natural environmental conditions of early humans. It is at this phase of the differentiation of consciousness (the later 2/8 phase) that the fundamental contraries of existence would come to play out most dramatically and on the largest of scales. Eisler apparently fails to see that the direction of development is toward the global and universal, and that it inevitably involves the encounter of diversities. And such diversity points ultimately to a fundamental division: a distinction between societies organized primarily around either the first quadrant or the third quadrant principles. Just as the first and third quadrants constitute a dialectic within the individual and also between individuals characterizing the foundational gender dimorphism of society, the first and seventh principles need also to be seen as characterizing collectives and the historical interactivity of collectives. (For shorthand, I'll refer here to the 1st/7th dialectic as the Mars and Venus polarity because these mythic archetypes reflect most literally and visually the different organizing principles— peace and war, male and female-based social organization).

Such societies with either a dominantly Venusian or Martian character can be understood quite naturalistically—given the biologically protean nature of the human brain—as originally having formed in response to friendly or to hostile natural environments, a foundationally formative condition of the world of nature. Since Mars, at the primal physical level of evolution, mobilizes most decisively under adversity—fight or flight—the unfriendly natural addresses of some societies (the steppes of northeast Europe and Asia and the deserts of the near East) 'brought out' the dominant Mars principle. In answer to those who would Romantically venerate the Great Mother or the Great Goddess, she would have to be seen as responsible for birthing the destructive warrior societies as much as for birthing the peace-loving agricultural societies. Contrary to Eisler, evolution was never truncated, but entered another, albeit most 'difficult' (and often horrendous) phase. It makes no sense to speak of the last 4000 years as a 'setback' or 'detour' because evolution ultimately wants to integrate Mars and Venus—that is, after they have become dynamically differentiated through Stage I and early Stage II. In Eisler's view, 'connection' is exemplified by the early agricultural societies and she takes these societies as the prototype of optimum development. But 'connection' in the way that Eisler uses the term, is not the higher integration of Mars and Venus. True holism is not solely Venusian 'linking'—it is Martian agency plus Venusian communion.

From the point of view of a dialectically driven process of history where the development of a particular culture or society (or person) proceeds for any length of time constellated around one of the dialectical poles, sooner or later there will be a confrontation, from either without or within, with the other pole. When we are dealing with archetypal polarities like Mars and Venus, if one is over-emphasized, sooner or later the pendulum has to shift to the other pole (Jung's Heraclitean ‘enantiodromia’). Venusian societies which had grown up within the natural protective 'fortifications' of distance from more warlike tribes could not last forever. Venusian dominance (i.e. in the sense of emphasis, not as blatent 'power-over' as Eisler makes clear—communion does not overtly repress agency) will eventually swing over to Mars dominance, then given enough time, gradually swing back again, at best, to a middle ground of integration. The earlier farming and 'connective' societies were not integrations of agency and communion—they were largely communion based.

Through the 3/9 phase the dialectical process was no longer unfolding through a dynamic interactivity of men and women, of male and female principles, either enacted between or within cultures and societies; the field was increasingly taken over by the male principle. The feminine had been repressed and the power of that repression manifested as the drive and archetypal necessity of the self to repress itself, of the male now exclusively as the later third quadrant Night force to repress (or at least control) the male as first quadrant Day force. At the level of the ninth principle, the Night force operating as patriarchal suppression first attained hegemony through the establishment of the male God of the Hebrews who transcended all other Gods. The transmutation of the female matrix and the Great Goddess into the monothestic male form became absolutely and reactively suppressive. The female person along with the connective cultural mythos was decisively marginalized from the dynamic picture. Just as the peaceful societies of the Great Goddess were powerless to stand against the aggressive and destructive might of the invaders, the female principle could no longer 'hold' or control the now powerfully emerging first quadrant male principle. No longer could the feminine provide the container for male assertions and the increasing complexity and sheer size of social groupings. The male took on both archetypal roles to hold himself in a cosmic game which had become dangerously disconnected from the original living ground.

Against the background of this momentous historical confrontation which compelled the movement from the mythic eighth to the increasingly conceptual and inclusive ninth principle, several developments stand out as marking the transformation of the collective psyche: A movement from the experience of the numinous nature of natural events to a sense of the deeper significance of historical events; a break with original cyclic time and the establishment of linear time with a beginning point of creation; the idea of a fall and a future redemption; the root idea of progress; a still thoroughly collective cohesion yet a decisive break with tribal animistic 'participation' and totemism; and an awakening of an awesome responsibility (original sin) with a deepening sense of the personal which took absolute, universal and nature/transcendent form in Yahweh. In this complex movement was the ground of justice in the Western psyche—a ninth principle combination of power and ethical goodness which was yet still grounded in the previous organic and earthy 2/8 phase. Through such a groundedness Judaism experienced the earth as God's creation, not as something evil to be transcended as in later Manichaeism and certain aspects of Platonic philosophy. "God is found within the limitations of the world of change and struggle...and reveals himself in events which are unique, particular, and unrepeatable. For the Bible, history is neither maya nor a circular process of nature; it is the arena of God's purposive activity." (Smith, 1991, 283 - ref to B. Anderson.)

Such concreteness which is characteristic of Judaism is the concreteness of the primal stages while its historical and monotheistic concepts are vast and rational abstractions unfolding through the early ninth principle. (With the advent of the 3rd/9th phase, the idea of concreteness becomes identified with the Day force of the first quadrant—the realm of the 'many', of concrete particulars—while the Night force at the ninth principle level is seen as a transcendent and spiritual objectivity). There was by now a decisive break with the 'participation mystique' of the polytheistic and animistic tribal religions which is captured by Owen Barfield:

[T]he devotee in the presence of the totem feels himself and the totem to be filled with the same 'mana'. They are both of them stopping places for 'mana.' It was this state of affairs which Israel consciously arose to destroy. The idols, their Psalmist insisted, were not filled with anything. They were the hollow pretences of life. They had no 'within'. (p.111)

Withdrawn from the eighth principle, this 'mana' would later arise through the individual's fourth principle interiority in relation to the transcendent, but now institutionalized, tenth principle.

It is precisely the movement from the 2nd/8th to the 3rd/9th axis initiated by the Hebrews to which Julian Jaynes refers when he describes the entire succession of works constituting the Old Testament as nothing other than "the birth pangs of our subjective consciousness," (p312) or more contentiously as "the breakdown of the bicameral mind." According to Jaynes, through the period of the evolution of language prior to our modern sense of subjective self consciousness, the 'gods' spoke to people as voices, voices which were literally heard as instructions coming from outside—perhaps similar to the hallucinated externally heard voices of today's schizophrenics who may actually be regressing to that structure-level. Such instructions ranged from the mundane everyday to more critical actional instructions occurring during a crisis of decision. This developmental structure which he calls 'bicameral' allegedly evolved along with language and the complexification of social groupings beyond the small hunter/gatherer tribes. Jaynes explains this development as an evolutionary device for social control; the way of establishing a cohesive structure in these larger groupings where the chief (social hierarchy rooted in animal society) could no longer communicate directly with each individual. (Unlike the intimate tribal groupings, individuals in village cultures may not even know each other). Gradually, humans developed the capacity to hear the chief's instructions in the absence of the chief and then to base more complex reasonings on these instructions, but the reasoning was still not internalized or experienced as one's own.

As yet, the subjective space of interiority of an individual truly capable of volition, will, and decision had not yet evolved. The necessary structures for even simple individual decision making and sustained actions were not yet in place. The individual's brain was certainly capable of this complex thought evidenced by the complexities of the outer voices which originate in the schizophrenics brain rather than from outside. But they were not yet containable in an interior space of consciousness; that would come only with the first glimmerings of the fourth principle which had not yet emerged. By the more advanced level of the 2/8 phase and its awakening duality, consciousness had developed through the first and third quadrants and was about to split—it needed integration, but the integrative stucture at N/M would not clearly become fully established until after the developments of Greek rational culture.

The bi-cameral phenomenon clearly pictures the transition from the mythic (2/8) to the mythic-rational (3/9). Jaynes traces these developments through the Old Testament and through the obvious differences we find in the earlier Illiad where the Gods spoke to men (1st-2nd principle heroes did not make their own decisions—they were told what to do by the 7th-8th voices of the gods) and the later Odyssey where from the space of subjective consciousness, action issued from will and volition. Our bi-polar model captures this critical step from simple consciousness to self consciousness, most pictorially and revealingly. It pictures an increasing bi-furcation through stage I, a possible pre-selfreflexive division between inner and outer, self and other, which is precisely that which dawns at this later 2nd/8th and early 3rd/9th stage. The Night force of the third quadrant and the Day force of the first quadrant have both developed to higher and more complexified levels where consciousness, originally grounded equally in both quadrants, is now awakening to, and awakening through this increasingly dualistic and dynamic dialectic. As Jaynes points out: "In the bicameral era, the bicameral mind was the social control, not fear or repression or even law. There were no private ambitions, no private grudges, no private frustrations, no private anything, since bicameral men had no internal 'space' in which to be private, and no analog 'I' to be private with. All initiative was in the voices of gods. And the gods needed to be assisted by their divinely dictated laws only in the late federations of states in the second millenium B.C." (p.205)

An integrative structure is needed which is large enough to contain both the first and third quadrant psyche or mind. As the bi-cameral structure becomes ineffective for maintaining social and psychological cohesion and order, the need for a larger and more adequate integrative structure points ahead to the unfolding psychological interioriority— the fourth principle psyche. A larger and all-containing collective structure in the second hemisphere must evolve over against the subjective depths and conceptually integrated space of the fourth principle. This is nothing other than the supremacy of the power of abstraction to posit the Absolute, to define the Absolute in relationship to and distinct from nature, the physical, the concrete particular, the relative. Here in the archetypal ninth principle is the God of the Jews. It will later inform the Archetypal Ideas of Plato, the 'One' of Plotinus, the Lord of the Christians. In the first stages of the formation of the mental-ego, the Law was the cohesive structure of society and came directly from the Authority of the 'One' or 'God'.

Prior to the gradual establishment of Greek reason from the preSocratics to Aristotle, Homeric Greek culture was still immersed in the numinous world of the mythic gods (8th principle). Unlike the transcendent heaven in subsequent Christendom, the Greeks' concept of survival beyond death was a shadowy concept where the after-death state was passed in the underworld—clearly an imagined process of the disembodied soul's journey which was shaped by the psyche's still powerful tendency to regress back to the eighth principle dimension. Eventually, through the incorporation of the Platonic perspective cleansed of it polytheistic elements, the after-death state became envisioned as a transcendent heaven. At the 3/9 phase, immortality is clearly ninth principle with a devaluation, condemnation and repression of everything pertaining to the eighth including the underworld itself. This archetypal domain (8th) would subsequently receive the negative projection of the Christian hell through a "singleness of vision of monotheistic consciousness, so that Persephone's deepenings and Pluto's riches, Proteus' diversity and Pan's all-of-nature, merged into a single monster figure, the Devil." (Hillman, p.225) But prior to this occurence, the shadowy existence in the underworld does not simply pertain to the darkness of the eighth principle realm of Hades, but to the fact that the individual soul or self is still a largely undifferentiated concept at stage 2/8. Not until the individual firmly exists as a mental-self can the afterlife of the soul take on a firmer boundaried definition.

Greek Rationalism

The development of reason from the fifth century BCE marked a movement away from the mythic, the narrative and the religious toward the purely philosophical. Greek thought became chiefly concerned with the nature of unity and diversity, the one and the many, the human and the divine, the earthly and the celestial, being and becoming—polarities quintessentially expressed through the achetypal relations of the third and ninth principles, to be understood and reconciled in conceptual rather than narrative and mythic terms. With the birth of rational conceptual mind at the 3rd/9th phase, there is a mounting sense of duality and distinction and an increasingly compelling need to find answers to the endless questions which now arise concerning the nature of human life and the cosmos. This increasingly felt distinction and separation between the human and the divine, between the concrete natural world and the world of the gods and goddesses, drove the ancient thinkers, armed with the new tool of logic and reason, to seek a unifying synthesis.

As the first and third quadrants became increasingly differentiated, symbolized by the simultaneous increase of the dimensionality and power of both the Q1 Day and the Q3 Night forces, each archetypal bi-polar principle became amplified. The mind which turns toward this world as the primary reality—the immediate concrete world of the second and third principles—is in dynamic tension with the mind which seeks intellectually to articulate the eternal world of ninth principle absolutes, a world for which Plato, especially, claimed ontological and ethical priority over the ever changing third principle world of concrete particulars. Where Plato constructed an ontological hierarchy, the astrological archetypal picture demonstrates an epistemological polarity.

Richard Tarnas explicates the dynamic counterpoint present in the Greek mind—a dialectical interplay of two fundamentally different intellectual approaches to the world and humankind's relationship to it. One, rationalist and idealist, conceives an intelligently ordered cosmos, an underlying timeless order which is the substratum of concrete and temporal manifestation, an order knowable by the human mind and offering redemption to the soul. The other regards knowledge as possible only through reason linked with empirical observation of an immanent world completely expunged of mythological or supernatural elements. To this latter approach, knowledge is relative and fallible while the causes of phenomena are impersonal and physical. The Platonic and later the Neoplatonic synthesis embodies the first approach. The second is present in the developments of naturalistic empiricism and mechanistic materialism from Thales to Parmenides to Democritus as well as in the "skepticism, individualism, and secular humanism" of the Sophists. The interplay between these partly complementary and partly antithetical principles, the metaphysical idealism of the one and the secular skepticism of the other would, according to Tarnas, significantly inform the Western mind for two and half millennia. "An often problematic yet immensely productive polarization thereby emerged in the Western mind's understanding of reality, a division of allegiance between two radically different kinds of world view: on the one hand, to a sovereignly ordered cosmos; on the other, to an unpredictably open universe."(1991, 72)

The bi-furcation which Tarnas articulates occurs against the background of the developmental emergence of reason (3/9 axis) from the magical and mythic level (2/8 axis). But more significantly, the intellectual dialectic to which Tarnas refers is the manifestation of the increasingly experienced polarity of the third and ninth principles. Here is the idealist and cosmological rationalism of Plato, quintessentially ninth principle, emerging from, yet still in many ways still connected to the imaginative potency of the religious and mythic eighth principle—a synthesising and visionary rationalism distinct from the proto 'rational-empiricism' of the Greek naturalistic tradition, an objective, particularized and atomized second principle and a logical-conceptual third principle cleansed of all numinosity. In Pythagorus we see either the somewhat earlier process of emergence where the rational and the mathematical are still soaked in the numinous, or more intentionally, as a bringing together of the mythic tradition and the mystery religions with the rational thus synthesizing the 8th and 9th principles rather than the 9th largely superseding the 8th. Despite the powerful imaginative and mythical visions and speculations of such dialogues as the Symposium and the Timaeus, in Platonism and later in Neoplatonism, there is a clearer break, yet these cosmologies still embody the collectivizing and universalizing third quadrant principle though they are now operating at the level of reflexive mind. In fact Eliade, through his concept of the exemplary paradigm or primordial archetype, even describes Plato as "the oustanding philosopher of 'primitive mentality'...a thinker who succeeded in giving philosophic currency and validity to the modes of life and behaviour of archaic humanity." Nevertheless, our model places Plato clearly within the 3/9 dimension beyond the 2/8 structure.

The common concern of Greek reason was the discovery of a unifying principle behind the manifold of particulars, unity behind the diversity, 'Being' as the ground of 'Becoming'. But in their particular approach to this question, the Greek thinkers can be arranged, as does Tarnas, into these broad and dialectically related camps. Each camp approaches the problem from a different fundamental perspective. Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenedes, Zeno, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, and Democritus—the Pre-Socratics—took their stand fully within the material realm. Going beyond the previous mythic imaginative interpretations, they were concerned with understanding the nature of the material cosmos in terms of some underlying principle. Frederick Copleston writes:

Since they were concerned with the ultimate nature of the world, their theories rank as philosophical; but since they had not yet formed any clear distinction between spirit and matter, and since their question was largely prompted by the fact of material change, their answer was couched for the most part in terms and concepts taken from matter. They found the ultimate 'stuff' of the universe to be some kind of matter...whether the water of Thales, the Indeterminate of Anaximander, the air of Anaximenes, the fire of Heraclitus, or the atoms of Leucippus (p.78)...In the atomism of Leucippus and Democritus we may see an anticipation of later materialistic and mechanistic philosophies which would endeavour to explain all quality by quantity and to reduce everything in the universe to matter and its products. (vol. 1, p.79)

The first quadrant does not denote the individual self in the sense that we of the modernist second quadrant now know it to be. These early cosmologists who we are situating in the first quadrant "were concerned with the nature of the Cosmos, the object of our knowledge" where "man himself is considered in this objective aspect, as one item in the Cosmos, rather than in his subjective aspect, as the subject of knowledge or as the morally willing and acting subject." (Copleston, vol 1, p.78) It was not until the sophists, partly in reaction to the obvious limits of the early cosmologies, that the interest within the first quadrant progression would shift from the particular object (2nd) toward the subject (3rd).

The natural philosophers seemed to have been constructing their theories about the external world without adequately taking into account the human observer, the subjective element. By contrast, the sophists recognized that each person had his own experience, and therefore his own reality. (Tarnas 1991, 27)

Yet it was precisely the emergence of reason—the differentiation of mind from body—which generated the ability to stand back from the perceived phenomenal world and trust in reason over the senses (3rd beyond 2nd) corresponding to the trust in reason over mythic belief (9th beyond 8th). But this first quadrant movement would eventually lead to skepticism, a doubt as to the validity of sense perception and the capacity of third principle intellect to discover truth. This position clearly embodies the third principle stand over against the ninth. The Sophists turned to practical and pragmatic considerations, very much a third principle application of thought operating as distinct from the ninth principle quest for universal knowledge.

So over against the third quadrant (more specifically, over against the 9th principle) we see in the materialist atomism of Thales to Democritus and in the later sophistry, the embodiment of the first quadrant principle of particularity, immanence, differentiation, and heroic cosmocentricity. Astrologically, it is the synthesis of the 2nd and 3rd principles which clearly reflects preSocratic science while third principle logic divorced from ninth principle higher 'Truth' aptly symbolizes the development of sophistry. In apparent agreement with the skeptics, Plato argued that knowledge derived from the senses is indeed unreliable. But over against the first quadrant affirmation of scientism and/or skepticism he affirmed a powerful third quadrant perspective. In Plato's view, such a first quadrant perspective is lost in a realm of becoming, in a cave of shadows; but shadows cast by the greater light of Truth, the realm of pure and transcendent Being, the universal and timeless Archetypes or Absolute Ideas. All particulars have their existence only by participating in these timeless Essences or Forms, such that, for example, any beautiful thing is beautiful by virtue of the fact that it manifests, or participates in the eternal Form of Beauty. The Being and Becoming issue which challenged the minds of Parmenides and Heraclitus in particular, received a purely abstract and immaterial transcendent treatment by Plato: a profoundly different ontology and epistemology was constructed. As Tarnas (1991) describes Plato:

What for Homer and the archaic mind had been an inseparable connection between the empirical and the archetypal, a connection that was increasingly challenged in the naturalism of the Ionian physicists and the rationalism of the Eleatics, and eliminated altogether in the materialism of the atomists and the skepticism of the Sophists, was now reformulated and restored on a new level by Socrates and Plato. In contrast to the undifferentiated archaic vision, the perceived relation between the archetypal [our 8:9] and the empirical [our 2:3] had now become more problematic, dichotomized, and dualistic. This step was a crucial one. But the underlying, rediscovered commonality with the primordial mythic vision was equally crucial. In the Platonic understanding, the world was again illuminated by universal themes and figures. Its governing principles were again knowable by the human mind. Divine absolutes once more ruled the cosmos and provided a foundation for human conduct. Existence was again endowed with transcendent purpose. Intellectual rigor and Olympian inspiration no longer stood opposed. Human values were again rooted in nature's order, both of which were informed by divine intelligence. (p.38)

But rather than accomplishing a synthesis of the first and third quadrant perspectives, Plato emphasized and perpetuated the 3/9 dualism. Plato's pupil Aristotle, was uncomfortable with the dualistic implications of Plato's metaphysics; that unbridgeable distinction between the eternal and transcendent Forms and concrete changing things. Without rejecting the teleological and non-mechanistic essence of Plato's philosophy, he "brought the Forms down to earth" embedding them within concrete particular things. He formulated a more biological organic notion of process and development unfolding from potentiality to actuality, as well as a notion of substance and matter which was teleological. But his viewpoint was thoroughly empirical (i.e. knowledge is derived from experience, not from a priori reasoning) with forms having no existence apart from substances. While substances strive to realize their perfect form which is their inherent potential, 'matter' is that which informs the process from potentia to acta.

More comfortable in the realm of Heraclitean Becoming than the Parmenidian Plato, yet implanting a sense of Being within the particulars, Aristotle came closer to incorporating both the first and third quadrant perspectives. He gave a more mature form to the earlier reasonings of the pre-Socratics by explicating all sorts of third principle logical concepts; the syllogism, the four sorts of 'causes' (efficient, material, formal & final), the categories such as substance, quality, and relation, deduction/induction, universal/particular and so on. In his ethics, although he gave supreme value to contemplation (9th), Aristotle defined values within the practical and situational context of life rather than appealing to transcendent principles. His notion of balance and moderation, clearly a first quadrant orientation, implied a personal and situational, yet not a nihilistic relativity. Aristotle's rather remote God, as the telos or aim of earthly development rather than the Creator (or the highest principle from which all things emanate), and his notion of the divine intellect (nous) which allowed man to grasp the transcendent even though the soul was necessarily only the form of the body, establishes his philosophy not exclusively as the third principle in dialectical opposition to the ninth but also as possessing ninth principle elements.

Beyond Greek Rationalism—From the 3rd/9th axis to the 4th/10th axis

But the astrological framework clearly shows that the structure of Greek reason (3/9) is not yet the self reflexive mental-ego (4/10) of the Christian and Modern periods. That the rational 3/9 phase precedes the radically reflexive interiority of the fourth principle is affirmed by Charles Taylor's assertion concerning the nature of Plato's dualisms, namely, that Plato does not use the inside/outside dichotomy. Rather:

The oppositions which are crucial to Plato are those of soul as against body, of the immaterial as against the bodily, and of the eternal as against the changing...they obviously say more and better what he wanted to convey than inner/outer could. For Plato the key issue is what the soul is directed toward. That is why he wants to formulate his position in terms of the oppositions bodily/material, changing/eternal, for these define the possible directions of our awareness and desire. Not only is the inner/outer dichotomy not useful for our purpose, but it actually tends to obscure that fact that the crucial issue is what objects the soul attends to and feeds on....Not what happens within it but where it is facing in the metaphysical landscape is what matters. (pp 121,124)

In this manner, the polarity of the first and third quadrants maps contrary directions but does not yet map the inside/outside, for it is the inside/outside distinction which is the foundation of the mental-ego. Although the mental-egoic deep structure had began to take form among leading edge individuals as the necessary condition for the Greek philosophical advances, it was not until Augustine that the inner/outer division and radical self-reflexive interiority took root. (Actually this structure would not really become established as the collective norm until much later.) Richard Tarnas writes:

Augustine's self-consciousness as a volitional, responsible moral agent was acute, as was his awareness of the burdens of human freedom—error and guilt, darkness and suffering, severance form God. In a sense, Augustine was the most modern of the ancients: he possessed an existentialist's self-awareness with his highly developed capacity for introspection and self-confrontation, his concern with memory and consciousness and time, his psychological perspicacity, his doubt and remorse, his sense of the solitary alienation of the human self without God, his intensity of inner conflict, his intellectual skepticism and sophistication. It was Augustine who first wrote that he could doubt everything, but no the fact of the soul's own experience of doubting, of knowing, willing, and existing—thereby affirming the certain existence of the human ego in the soul. (p.143-144)

Point N marks not only the arising of self awareness and interiority, but also the point where individual choice and volition become possible. In terms of astrological symbolism, the power of active assertion and enaction of the will is of course the higher level of the first principle. But before the level of the volitional self is reached at point N, the first principle operates more instinctually than intentionally like the organically immersed and automatic heroes of the Illiad. As cultural exemplar for the decisive establishment of the N/M structure, Augustine makes an important break with the dualistic Manichaean and even the Neoplatonist view that evil lies in matter by locating evil in the misuse of the human will, man's deliberate rejection of God. Though in a sense not intended by Augustine, this primal rejection is of course psycho-historically accurate in that, in effect, it refers to the original act of the separation of the self from the Great Mother. It is precisely the birth of autonomous will and volition which we will expect to find at that point in history where the mental-egoic structure first became established: the accounts of both Tarnas and Taylor attest to this point. Although Augustine was deeply influenced by Platonism, for him the path from the lower to the higher lay through attending to the inner.

God is not just the transcendent object...God is also...the basic support and underlying principle of our knowing activity. God is not just what we long to see, but what powers the eye which sees. So the light of God is not just 'out there' illuminating the order of being, as it is for Plato; it is also an 'inner' light." Augustine shifts the focus from the field of objects known to the activity itself of knowing...In our normal dealings with things, we disregard this dimension of experience and focus on the things experienced. But we can turn and make this our object of attention, become aware of our awareness...focus on the way the world is for us. This is what I call taking a stance of radical reflexivity or adopting the first person standpoint....Augustine's turn to the self was a turn to radical reflexivity...It is hardly an exaggeration to say that it was Augustine who introduced the inwardness of radical reflexivity and bequeathed it to the Western tradition of thought. (Taylor, 1989, 129)

Augustine goes beyond Plato's emphasis on pure knowledge (where men do the good when they see what is good) to include love and will. Taylor:

The singling out of this power of choice or assent is one source of the developing notion of will, and there is already an important change in moral outlook in making this the central human faculty. What is morally crucial about us is not just the universal nature or rational principle which we share with others, as with Plato and Aristotle, but now also this power of assent....Western Christian moral sensibility took up and accentuated this side of Stoic thought. From this, the idea can grow that moral perfection requires a personal adhesion to the good, a full commitment of the will. (p.137)

As consciousness unfolds from the 2nd/8th to the 3rd/9th phase, we have seen that the interplay of the two fundamental archetypal polarities maps the developments from the ancient polytheistic and matriarchal mythologies to patriarchally conceived Judaic monotheism. Although Greek culture included foundationally formative developments in both these archetypal domains (2:3 and 8:9), it was the philosophies of the Second hemispheric Night force world which would remain dominant through the Middle Ages. But such a broad and cohesive world would, and could, occur only in dialectical relation to individuals who had to some degree established subjective interiority. Yet despite the hegemony of the Night force through the Catholic Middle Ages, it was the Day force, from its roots in Greek scientific reason (the Ionian and Eliatic schools and much of Aristotle) through the Rennaisance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, which would eventually, though somewhat ambiguously, attain hegemony over the Night force.

So by stage N/M, at the later levels of the 3/9 bifurcation, the self which has been developing through the first hemisphere begins to take on the form of an individual, subjective, and increasingly autonomous second quadrant self. This is the self-conscious individual capable of independent action and thought manifesting the capacity for will, volition, and choice. The second hemisphere takes the form of a grand cosmic transcendent abstraction imbued with the highest authority. The Law issues from this transcendent source; the king, the philosopher king, or later, the pope (point M) is given earthly authority as an embodiment of this Higher Reality—the universal substratum of all relative and fleeting things. With the earliest emergence of the N/M structure, and possible only because the N/M structure had began to differentiate, we see the 3/9 stage at its highest levels denoting the development of Greek reason in its two fundamental aspects, embodied in the interplay of empiricism and rationalism, the immediate object world and the transcendent.

Judaeo/Christianity evolved both as a monolithic socially controlling second hemispheric Night force embodied at point M and as an awakening of a radically new structure of individual selfhood at point N. So Tarnas could say "that the pluralism of classical culture, with its multiplicity of philosophies, its diversity of polytheistic mythologies, and its plethora of mystery religions, gave way to an emphatically monolithic system [M]—one God, one Church, one Truth." (p119) At the same time, "Christianity encouraged the growth of the individual conscience, self-responsibility, and personal autonomy [N] relative to temporal powers—all decisive traits for the formation of the Western character." (p.116,117) So Christianity became the manifest form of N/M (4/10) as an integration of an awakening subjectivity and interiority in relationship to a unifying transcendent deity given historical form. That is, it established the fundamental structure of N/M, the infrastructure of mental-egoic society with its linear progressive time and its individual will and responsibility, which would evolve up to the modern, and then to our postmodern situation.

Elaine Pagels and the Gnostics

In The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels maintains that the doctrines of the virgin birth and of a literal and physical resurrection adopted by the orthodox in opposition to the more symbolic and transcendent interpretations of the Gnostics, served primarily a social and political function legitimating the apostolic succession of bishops back to the apostle Peter. The discovery at Nag Hammadi of the Gnostic gospels upset the traditional picture of a simple unified early Christianity which only later, with the reformation, became divided. In the first two centuries, the orthodoxy of Irenaeus and Tertullian asserted exoteric doctrine and repressed the Gnostics' esoteric interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus, affirming a 'universalism' which nevertheless denied the equality of woman and required a strict accordance with the established canon. God could be approached only through the established hierarchy and not through personal gnosis or the subjective revelations of the individual. The wholly 'other' nature of God necessitated a mediated relation to God through the religious hierarchy—the "guardians of the only 'true faith'" (Pagels, p xxiii). As such, orthodoxy provided the form for an historical continuity through a concrete and codified structure without which the church would have eventually fragmented into a formless diversity. The Greek duality of body and spirit was further affirmed by the Gnostics interpretation of body as merely a lesser vehicle and Christ as pure transcendent spirit while the Resurrection, rather than literal, was symbolic of a rebirth in spirit. Such a metaphysical duality of body and spirit (3 & 9) implied an actual separation of a spiritual elite from the many, but these divisions were to be overcome through orthodoxy's affirmation of the fully human embodied nature of Christ, his suffering on the cross and his physical resurrection. "When gnostic and orthodox Christians discussed the nature of God, they were at the same time debating the issue of spiritual authority" (Pagels, p.40)—clearly the domain of the Capricornian tenth principle. I have argued that the stage-structure 4/10 is a response to the extreme dualism of the 3/9 stage. In this way, it was orthodoxy's institutionalized Christianity which fulfilled the 'deep structure' that was then unfolding; namely the institutional Saturnian tenth principle over the Jupiterian intellectual and inspirational ninth principle. Thus we see the triumph of large social cohesion over interior esotericism and spiritual 'elitism'. As Pagels describes:

Although major themes of gnostic teaching, such as the discovery of the divine within, appealed to so many that they constituted a major threat to catholic doctrine, the religious perspectives and methods of gnosticism did not lend themselves to mass religion. In this respect, it was no match for the highly effective system of organization of the catholic church, which expressed a unified religious perspective based on the New Testament canon, offered a creed requiring the initiate to confess only the simplest essentials of faith, and celebrated rituals as simple and profound as baptism and the eucharist. The same basic framework of doctrine, ritual, and organization sustains nearly all Christian churches today...Without these elements, one can scarcely imagine how the Christian faith could have survived and attracted so many millions of adherents all over the world, throughout twenty centuries. For ideas alone do not make a religion powerful, although it cannot succeed without them; equally important are social and political structures that identify and unite people into a common affiliation. (p 169)

Interestingly, the power of orthodox Christendom was further amplified through the willingness, in the face of Roman persecution, of orthodox Christians armed with the power of their exoteric beliefs to literally, and perhaps fanatically, follow the example of Christ and give themselves up willingly for sacrifice and martyrdom. This victory of the persecuted became decisive under the Christian emperor Constantine.

In some ways, the spiritually and intellectually sophisticated Gnostics who spoke of illusion and enlightenment rather than sin and repentance, were ahead of their time (pointing to the 6/12 phase (Virgo/Pisces) or even to level III). "To know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God"; such higher level insights were at that stage in history nothing other than heresy. The gnostics could not have formed the basis for what was needed at that time in history; or more exactly, could not fulfill the needs of the people who constituted the deep structure which was that time in history. The cultural historian Morris Berman (1989) sets forth a "typology of heresy" through history linking the Gnostics, the Cathars, and the occult movements of the late Middle ages (plus, accurately or not, the nazi phenomenon as a degenerate and pathological instance) through their assertion of the direct experience of the bodily, the somatic dimension which opens up 'vertically' to access the 'five bodies'—the physical, the auric or etheric, the unconscious or astral, the magical, and the spiritual. "The attempt to restore body cognition to the center of human consciousness is a central feature of most heretical movements in the history of the Christian West. Much of the argument of heresy vs. orthodoxy revolves around belief in God vs. the actual experience of God, something that can be brought about by somatic practices, ascetic or otherwise." (Berman, p138) Such historic movements of the 'resurrection of the body' and of direct experience, repressed through orthodoxy, comprise the ever present countercurrent of the repressed third quadrant feminine, anticipating the transpersonal developments which lie beyond stage-level II.

From the classical period—especially the political, pragmatic, and militaristic Roman State (10th) grounded upon Greek culture (9th)—through the Judaeo/Christian Middle Ages, tenth principle society embodied the transcendent and synthesizing cosmologies, while the fourth principle individual found, despite a localized and atomistic political structure of kingdoms and fiefdoms, a belonging and shape within the essentially static monolithic structure of 'Mother Church'—the earthly form of the one transcendent order. What began as first quadrant heroic and individualistic male assertion, became both shaped and contained by a patriarchally conditioned Night-force. But the attempt to unite man and cosmos through Plato and Christianity was a failure because, as pictured in our model, these attempts represented only one side of the archetypal picture, namely, the integrative dimension (Night force), but not yet the synthesis of integration and differentiation.

The Roman Period and the Middle Ages

Point M (10th principle) clearly marks the centralization of power under the patriarchy of the Roman state which partly due to the eventual failure of mythic polytheism (the Greco-Roman pantheon) to provide a sufficient cultural/spiritual matrix for the empire, was superseded by the power of the Catholic Church through the Middle Ages. This occurred through a particular meshing of certain complementary elements in Roman and Judaeo/Christian culture articulated by Tarnas (1991):

The Church's conception of humanity's relationship to God as a judicial one strictly defined by moral law was partly derived from Roman law, which the Catholic Church, based in Rome, inherited and integrated...Similarly, the Judaic imperative of subordinating the highly developed but refractory human will to that of divine authority found supporting cultural patterns in the political subordination demanded by the immense authoritarian structure of the Roman Empire." (p. 158)

Further capturing the archetypal meaning of the tenth principle as the embodiment of the Roman and Stoical influence through the Middle Ages as carried by the Western Church are these words of Whitehead (1967):

[T]his legal impress upon medieval civilization was not in the form of a few wise precepts which should permeate conduct. It was the conception of a definite articulated system which defines the legality of the detailed way in which it should function....It was not a question of admirable maxims, but of definite procedure to put things right and to keep them there. The Middle Ages formed one long training of the intellect of Western Europe in the sense of order. (p.11)

Corresponding to the Freudian super-ego, socially and politically, point M is the maximization of the Night-force at the hands of males who dominate and control first hemispheric individual factors establishing a centralized control over the ‘hinterlands’ of the unconscious. Psychologically, here is the point in the development of the ego where the self represses itself (self control, 'will over wish'—May, 1969) gaining individual strength precisely in service to the superego. Consequently, the fact of historical suppression of N by M is, paradoxically, that which effects further developments in the second quadrant individualizing process. Such dominance of tenth principle collective structures over fourth principle individual factors in the form of Christian orthodoxy's "massive attack on the human soul" (p.177) is illustrated by a revealing observation of Morris Berman (1989) who traces the history of mirrors and their suppression during the Middle Ages, a history which ran parallel to changes in the nature of consciousness— specifically, the development of 'self' and 'other' recognition:

Periods of strong self-awareness are curiously accompanied by sharp increases in the use, distribution, or manufacture of mirrors, with the heaviest emphasis occurring in the modern period...It is...from the sixth century B.C., when one sees the growing appearance of ego-consciousness in Greece, that Greek mirror production realy took off...after Saint Augustine's development of the mirror as a metaphor for the soul, the mind, Holy Scripture...little more was heard about mirrors until the twelfth century. This dormancy coincided roughly with a loss of interiority, or self-consciousness, during the Middle Ages. (p 45,46)

As Christianity suppressed paganism, it nevertheless remained grounded in it, not only as ninth principle 'pagan' Greek idealism but as a continued rooting in the mythic and magical eighth principle. To a great extent, the Middle Ages (4th/10th) preserves the first/third quadrant dialectic in the form of the faith/reason dichotomy; faith (9) over reason (3)—the Night-force trying to suppress the rising Day-force. The tenth principle Catholic matrix embodies eighth principle 'soul' filtered through and shaped by transcendental rationalist ninth principle structures. The Christ archetype is the personalized, magical/mythic, male projection upon, and concretization of the abstract and universal ninth principle, the process by which the male principle comes to take charge of the Night-force. These elements, and not the idealist/naturalist dialectic of the Greeks alone, determined the ensuing 4th/10th stage-structure. As long as the 'Divine' remained rooted in the third quadrant Night-force, the tenth principle would dominate the fourth. But eventually, such domination would provide the very impetus for further autonomous individual development.

As the depth psychologists and existentialists assert (from Kierkegaard to May, Becker and Brown) the price of this original awakening to self consciousness is guilt. Here, still being played out, is the dynamic of the Good and the Terrible Mother, loving unity versus distinction, also, the separation through which the Good Mother becomes the punitive Terrible Mother (largely in reaction to, and as perceived by, the separating and rejecting self). The original fusion with the Great Mother is repudiated. These are the roots of primitive Christianity before the establishment of the N/M structure. The contraries within Christianity cited by Tarnas; namely, its optimism or 'exultant' form and its deep sense of sin and guilt; its relationship to God as a 'divine romance' versus its 'punitive antagonism and juridical condemnation,' attest to the fundamental awakening of consciousness through Stage I which would culminate in the N/M individual/society, man/God structure. Original exultant Christianity was inevitably replaced by the juridical form as the N/M structure became more firmly established. Having gathered such momentum, the heroic thrust of Stage I carries well into stage II, yet from N/M onward an emerging urge for relationship and connection reveals a different telos drawing second quadrant developments. Though the second quadrant connection lies in the future (Libra, 7th), unity with God lies neither in the present nor in the past through recapturing original fusion, but through a great struggle and overcoming, in a future higher level to be attained.

The fundamental polarity pervading Western culture between 'this worldliness' and 'other worldliness' is archetypally informed by the division between the first and second hemispheres, with the church (at M) mediating the individual's connection with the Divine. It is the Renaissance which would begin to break the static, oppressive and entrenched Medieval structure of the 4th/10th axis. Further individual developments within the second quadrant would challenge the dominant authority of the tenth principle. Also a rising Day force through the fourth quadrant would challenge the hegemony of the patriarchal Night force at point M. The gradual rise of science during the later Middle Ages would reconnect with the first quadrant developments of Greek science, most noticeably, through picking up the thread of the 'this worldly' aspect of Aristotle. But later on, Rennaisance science would rekindle the spirit of Greek materialist atomism through a more decisive reconnection with the first quadrant archetype, emphasizing the original dialectical opposition to the Platonic and Neoplatonic ninth principle universal perspective.

In the Greek context, Plato and Plotinus are clearly mapped as ninth principle (or more fully, 8th-9th) over against the empiricists and atomists which are properly mapped as the third—or more fully, as the second and third principles. In so far as Aristotle brought things down to earth with his concepts of substance and the immanence of the archetypes he is clearly in the science camp (2nd-3rd). Yet because of its organic and teleological cosmology, Aristotelianism as well as Platonism would be appropriately symbolized by the ninth principle as distinct from the Greek naturalistic empiricism and rationalism of the second and third principles. However, as the embodiment of the first quadrant perspective most friendly to the Augustinian/Platonic synthesis, Aristotle would first be integrated into the Augustinian/Platonic Christian framework by Aquinas.

Eventually, among the scholastics and going beyond Aristotle, William of Ockham (early 14th century) would come to deny the reality of universals all together, thus laying the 'nominalist' basis (the doctrine that universals are only names, not transcendent Forms) for the modern rational/empirical world view. He thus created a radical split between the religious and scientific viewpoints which would eventually allow the scientific and humanist perspective a foot in the door which ultimately lead to the complete marginalization of the universal and transcendent Platonic, Neoplatonic and Christian perspectives. As Tarnas's narrative explains, principally through the pivotal figure of Petrarch a rebirth of classical humanism from the high Middle Ages through the Rennaisance then took place, a rediscovery of classical culture, particularly of Plato prior to his Christianization, thus further undermining the collective power of the Christian Church. Astrologically speaking, from the standpoint of the emerging eleventh principle, there was a reaching back into the ninth principle prior to tenth principle Christendom. With the expanding world of the Renaissance, "The medieval Christian ideal in which personal identity was largely absorbed in the collective Christian body of souls faded in favor of the more pagan heroic mode—the individual man as adventurer, genius, and rebel" (Tarnas 1991, 227).

Petrarch, whose experience on ascending Mount Ventoux in 1336 was recorded in a letter to his confessor, a letter most significant for its degree of self reflexivity, was in the words of Gebser, "the first European to step out of the transcendental gilt ground of the Siena masters, the first to emerge from a space dormant in time and soul, into 'real' space where he discovers landscape." (p. 13) Of particular interest is that at the precise moment of encountering the vistas which opened up at the summit, an overwhelmed Petrarch, seeking guidance in his copy of Augustine, opens to a passage whose words remarkably reflect the character and full power of his current experience while admonishing the worldly adventurer to return back into the interior of soul1. This recorded event would come to be seen as the epochal moment of the birth of the Rennaisance mind, giving rise to different interpretations, each claiming to capture the essence of the emerging consciousness of the period. For Gebser it is the experiential comprehension of space and lansdscape, previously unencountered in its perspectival grandeur by the medieval eye, which is central to the emerging Renaissance spirit. For Hillman, most significant is the return to soul, reaching down into the polytheistic psyche, contacting and releasing the deep inner sources of imagination. According to Hillman the emphasis on humanism, on man and self which is generally thought as characterizing the Renaissance mind is misguided, the Renaissance having more to do with the inner sources of imagination.

Yet it is precisely as the vastness of exterior space opens up (the 10th principle becoming more intensified) through a perspectivally deepened encounter with the existent force of this world that there is, operating through the deep polarity of the psyche, an intensified awareness of the vastness of inner space (the 4th principle as increased self consciousness). Indeed, interiority, imagination, the deep sources of soul greater than “man” rooted in the polytheistic eighth principle (level I) gave birth to the Renaissance as claimed by Hillman. But it was as both fifth principle self (Leo) and as eleventh principle ‘man’, humanitas (Aquarius), that the modern period was born at the Renaissance. The second quadrant Night force (Hillman’s ‘soul’) would be both awakened and overlayed, even eclipsed, by eleventh principle humanism and fifth principle ego, the dominant voice of the modern period. After addressing a number of scholarly interpretations of this event (including that of Gebser and Hillman) which tend to place their interpretive stress on different factors—the ascent or descent, soul or nature, inward or outward—Tarnas expresses it thusly:

The event was a great complexio oppositorum, a complex interplay and synthesis of opposites: at once reflecting and questing, looking both to the past and to the future, both outward and inward, both ascending and descending. It is precisely this divergent multiplicity of values, this tension of many conflicting impulses, by which Petrarch heralds the new sensibility of the Rennaisance and the emergence of the modern self with its unprecedentedly multiform character.(2006, 497)

Although modern complex interiority was anticipated by the single figure of Petrarch, the larger historical process that would decisively drive the soul inward began with the Reformation's incubation within the 4th/10th matrix. Within the tenth principle religious matrix and precisely because of the suppressive dynamic, we see in the person of Martin Luther, a maturing fourth principle individualistic capacity different from first quadrant individualism; a capacity to internalize conscience, to become responsible as an individual—to face the emerging Night-force within. After the hiatus of the Middle Ages, it was this awakening autonomous individuality which commandeered the power to take a stand against tenth principle traditional collective dogma. The process that drives the 'soul' inward, in the fourth principle sense, means that this new capacity arises from within, that one establishes one's own relationship to the divine ground—or goes on repressing it as the intrapsychic division between the personal conscious and the personal unconscious.

As Tarnas puts it:

The Reformation was a new and decisive assertion of rebellious individualism—of personal conscience, of "Christian liberty," of critical private judgment against the monolithic authority of the institutional Church—and as such further propelled the Renaissance's movement out of the medieval Church and medieval character....Luther's appeal to the primacy of the individual's religious response would lead gradually but inevitably to the modern mind's sense of the interiority of religious reality, the final individualism of truth, and the pervasive role in determining truth played by the personal subject. (pp239, 243)


1. The passage by Augustine that Petrarch encountered reads: ‘And men go about to wonder at the heights of mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of the stars, but themselves they consider not.’ “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux”. (Medieval Sourcebook: online).

Continue to Chapter 14