Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than 10 years. He is an
accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers.
Malvin is the author of Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System. He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the University of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalayan tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others.
His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His
special interests are the human subtle energy system and all
the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all
aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese
astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great
Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
New Moon Matters:
Chinese Interpretations of the New Moon
Malvin Artley's new move!
Chinese astrology is a lunar-based system. In other words, the bulk of their astrological practice is set up around the lunar month, the commencement of which is always at each new moon. The lunation figure for each new moon describes what will be happening throughout that month, outlining for us the ‘psyche of the month’. Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator, has decided to give us each month an analysis of the energies expressed by the New Moon, but in a new twist: from the viewpoint of Chinese Astrology!
Some time ago in one of my full moon missives I made the statement that I was going to begin including more Chinese astrology in my letters. As many of you know, I have been involved in a concerted study of the subject now for about the past 10 years. It has never failed to amaze me in that time and it has consistently shown itself to be an astrological system that shows the subjective side of things and people, more so than the Western chart does. So, after a lot of prompting, both inwardly and outwardly, I have decided to begin a series of new moon letters, and the focus of those will be solely Chinese. These letters will come out over a period of the next 5 years, roughly, because the Chinese have a cycle of 60 that is one of their bases for the unfolding of the inner life. Therefore, it will take 60 lunar months to go through the entire series. In that period, too, it is my intention to put out a book on the psychology of the Four Pillars of Destiny that should help the western audience with an understanding of the subject.
Why new moon letters, you might ask? Chinese astrology is a lunar-based system. In other words, the bulk of their astrological practice is set up around the lunar month, the commencement of which is always at each new moon. As such, the lunation figure for each new moon thus describes what will be happening throughout that month. It describes for us the ‘psyche of the month’. It describes as well a commencement, with the culmination of the month coming at the full moon. Therefore, with the inception of this series of letters and in concert with the normal full moon letters to follow a couple of weeks after, we shall have a full view of the intention and the final playing out of the energies for each month – one view Eastern, the other Western. Hopefully, after a time we shall begin to get a feel for how the two systems can effectively interface and compliment each other. In many of the monasteries of the East the two systems are used side-by-side and they form a sort of ‘master template’ through which the entirety of a person’s life unfoldment can be seen and gauged, both objectively and subjectively.
What is the Difference between Western and Chinese Astrology?
What is the difference between Western astrology and Chinese astrology, then, and why use the two systems together when the Western one has served us so well for all this time here in the West? The answer to that question lies in the following facts. To the casual observer, Chinese astrology does not really look like astrology as we know it at all. There is no chart wheel per se in many of its permutations, nor is there is anything that even resembles stars or planets. The only similarity between the two systems is that each one is based upon the same data: the date of birth, birth place and time of day for the birth. The two systems diverge from there – yet, they do not. Whereas Western and Vedic (Hindu) astrology use the actual orbital positions of the planets in the constellations as their guide and measure, the great bulk of Chinese astrology is actually a complex system of numerology based upon many cycles and sets of numbers. The key to why it works is based upon one little-known fact: The numbers upon which Chinese astrology is based have their foundation in the subjective cycles of the planets. Those cycles can best be described as a sort of ‘biorhythm’ or ‘psychic pulsation’ of each planet, and every planet has its own unique sort and set of such rhythms. These are quite outside the orbital cycles of the planets. They are valid and very potent cycles, nonetheless.
Therefore, in the Chinese system we see the subjective impulse of the planets working out and in the Western astrology we see the objective cycles of the planets having their sway. The interesting thing about it is that each system has its objective and subjective manifestations, each one describes the fate and fortunes of the individual and each one describes how one might best fulfill their destiny. And, each astrology compliments and confirms the other. Why would they not? Every astrological construct is based upon planetary cycles. It is just that the subjective ones are not known in any great measure to the world at large. The occultist knows such cycles as ‘Ray Cycles’ (from the Trans-Himalayan Wisdom tradition), or Life-Stream cycles. The main ones in use in Chinese occultism are the cycles of Jupiter (the main one), Pluto/Vulcan, Uranus and Saturn – 5, 1, 7 and 9, respectively. There is also a cycle of 12 that is used quite extensively throughout Chinese occultism, and that is the orbital (objective) cycle of Jupiter, for those familiar with such matters.
I will not go into the technicalities of Chinese astrology in these letters. What I have mentioned here is enough to give us a basis for proceeding. I want to have a bit of fun with them and to share some of the richness I have found in this vast study which – by the way – interlocks and interweaves with every other facet of Chinese philosophy – Feng Shui, medicine, I Ching (which has its basis in a cycle of Venus, by the way), astronomy, physiognomy, etc., etc. The letters will have a consistent structure. They will begin with the general information concerning the month (the Chinese numbers, etc.), followed by a sort of Koan – a meditative phrase which comes from a little-known work called the Tai Hsüan Ching. The Koan is what you make of it, but it applies to the energy of the month. That will be followed by a little story about the basic energy and cyclic manifestation of the month (the animal sign and its character), and then completed by an analysis of the Four Pillars for that month. These will be short letters, being only a couple of pages at the most. I look forward to doing them, though, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I will enjoy writing them!
Now read Malvin's comments on the Virgo New Moon, Month of the Fire Monkey.
Or go to The Leo Solar Festival, 2006.