Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than a decade. 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.
Malvin concludes yet another illuminating article with a discussion of the esoteric rules of reincarnation, especially with regard to the way we are born in karmically related groups, such as the family. This is the focal point of Cancer and the light of salvation through the redemption of an ancient pledge.
Cancer marks both the beginning and the end of life, for the 4th house in any horoscope always shows such things (Cancer being the natural 4th house). In human terms we would know this as a marker for the process of reincarnation. Cancer also rules reincarnation, though you would not find that in most astrological textbooks. There has been a lot of pap written on the subject of reincarnation over the years and, though what has been written contains grains of truth, it is only true from a very limited perspective. It is generally believed that we have to reincarnate a) because we have not yet achieved perfection and b) because the Soul has certain work it desires to do on this earth plane. Neither concept is actually a very good definition of why we would need to come back time and again. The true reason for why we are continually reborn into ever-finer grades of human bodies and personas harks back to the story of the birth of humanity. We should always remember that a Soul is a being who has pledged itself in eons long past to serve and to save. What is it serving?—the greater Plan of God. What is it saving?—the “prisoners of the planet”—our lunar bodies, as they are called, the matter that composes them and thus the lesser angelic (deva) lives that contribute their lives toward the construction of all the forms that we know. Eventually, as a result and because of the example set for them by the Soul who incarnates through them, they achieve liberation and become solar Angels themselves—Souls, if you will.
Reincarnation is thus seen as a process of invocation from the lesser lives and evoked response from the greater Life, all according to a greater Plan. It is nothing more or less than that. The perfection that is aimed for in reincarnation is not the perfection of the Soul. It is already “perfect” from our limited perspective. A better word to use instead of “perfection” in this context would perhaps be “attainment”, or “liberation”, and that relates solely to the lower aspects of our being. As for desire, the Soul is beyond desire as we know it. Its only “desire” is to be of service to both poles of the spectrum—Spirit and persona, and to eventually achieve spiritually in its own right. It is all a matter of vibratory rate. By being influenced by a higher vibration, so ours is raised accordingly. Beauty begets beauty. The more we can exemplify the Soul in our own lives and thus express those qualities, so our vibration is raised. This is what is meant by “I am the Way, the Light and the Life.”
Group Incarnation and the Family
It should also be firmly held in mind that we always reincarnate in groups as a general rule. This is the occult basis behind family units and groups on the outer planes of any sort. Cancer rules all these in their beginning stages. The family unit and, later, the groups with which we affiliate ourselves in the greater world stage are where we learn to serve and emulate the Soul. They are the crucibles to our growth.
It is occult law that people achieve more rapidly when working in group fashion. A person alone has little to push against or to contribute, whether on the physical plane or on a higher plane. It has been ordained in our local universe that human units work together. In our groups and thus by our interactions with others we create both our karma and our similarity of vibration. We are linked by our interaction, like it or not, and we all grow and liberate ourselves and others whom we contact as a group, whether or not that works out on the outer planes. Be assured that any love and recognition for another, as well as the opposite polarity, is usually a pretty good indicator that the other person is in some way associated with the group with which you incarnated. The fact that we are together on the physical plane at all and have more than casual interaction should speak volumes to us in terms of the work we are here to do and to the fact that there must be some similarity of vibratory rate with the other person. Again, I speak in generalities and there are always exceptions. An ashram is a spiritual group—a group of souls—and it is for this reason, along with the reasons above, that I call the Cancer festival the “Festival of the Ashram”.
In the watery triplicity of the Zodiac—Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces—the theme of salvation and liberation always rings out. Put simply, salvation in Cancer is the salvation of matter—of the persona. In Scorpio it is the attainment of full self-consciousness through the struggles that characterize the Scorpio native. In Pisces the attainment is of full spiritual Being, and thus of salvation on a world scale.
In Cancer we come to know that we are “our brother’s keeper” if we are more spiritually aware. We come to know that we cannot progress effectively without our companions on the road of life, nor they with out us, and that we all do better together rather than separately. This is the first of the Zodiacal signs wherein this is known in practical terms. This is also one of the main underlying reasons behind such a strong emphasis on family and in the sanctity of the family bond. But, involvement in any group has its plusses and minuses. While it is good to work things out together it can also all go horribly wrong at times when people get stuck in their negativity or lack of vision. This brings us to the deeper significance of Saturn in Cancer and its conjunction with the Sun in this full moon figure.
Cancerian natives—those having either the Sun or Ascendant in Cancer—are known for their use of guilt and their ability to get trapped by guilt when they have erred from their path or someone close to them has crossed their path. Cancer is a symbolic place of imprisonment, as can be the other two watery signs, and it emphasizes to us the pains and the penalties of all our wrong decisions and orientations. It is difficult for the Cancerian native, at least in the early stages, to let go of a wrong, either of their own or done to them. These wrongs lead to karma that must be worked out later. Saturn, being the Lord of Karma in the Zodiac, brings about those struggles which are necessary for the resolution of such karma and which bring recognition of errors and subsequent correction. Saturn transiting through Cancer has brought out many such collective wrongs for examination and has touched very much upon national and personal feelings of guilt. These are the penalties of incarnation, but they bring opportunity for more Light as we work through our difficulties and hopefully not add more to the list as a result of our struggles.
Light of Salvation
So, when we see Cancer either as the Sun or Ascendant in a chart, we can be certain of two things: 1) there is something deep within the person’s or event’s psyche that is crying out for salvation and for light in dark corners, and 2) something is being born that has the potential to be a saving force, either in this life or a future one. To these two I would also add that there is always some sort of a push toward collective unity and for a reconnection with the source of a person’s being.
I have found there always to be a deep yearning with Cancer natives—a cry for salvation, if you will—that constantly prods and pushes the person forward until they achieve what they seek. Of course, all signs do this to a degree, but with Cancer it is primal and buried deep within the psyche. Watch world events very carefully this year, especially over the next 9 months, for there will be much that comes up for reckoning during that time, and expect to see much in the way of collective shame and guilt coming out. So long as Saturn is in Cancer as well, this sort of thing will continue, but it will be particularly strong with Venus Lucifer. Many people will feel as though they have been touched by the devil, though Venus is far removed from that. We have had a brilliant example of this with the prison scandal in Iraq, for instance.
This brings us to a consideration of the planetary dynamics of this full moon figure. In it, we find the Sun at the 11th degree of Cancer, the symbol for which reads thus:
“A clown caricaturing well-known personalities” 11° Cancer
This is a clear indication of the need for a sense of humor in every situation with which we are faced over the coming year. It will be interesting to see what cartoonists come up with in the papers around everything that happens. Humor is a great leveler and to realize that world leaders are generally no better or different than we are gives us a better sense of perspective on the world and empowers us to change things if need be. I will be interested to see if certain famous people come in for more than their fair share of lampooning. There are elections on in the world this year. The lunar degree is at the opposite point of this and the symbol for that reads thus:
“A large group of pheasant on a private estate.” 11° Capricorn
This is a call for elegance and refinement in all that we do and in how we approach solutions to our vexing problems. This symbol carries with it the energy of silence, repose, refinement, elegant good taste and the need for nature as a medium for reflection and leisure. Crudity will not help in this coming cycle, and when guilt and remorse over past actions come out—as they will—the onus is upon us to respond elegantly to that which is presented and to come from a point of inner repose rather than reacting strongly to things and adding to an already painful situation. This is further emphasized in this figure by the trine between Venus and Neptune, which brings with it a very high idealism and refinement. Saturn opposing the Moon might tend to dampen things at times, but it also gives a steely resolve to get things done and in proper order, especially with the Moon in Capricorn. It is perhaps one of the single most powerful aspects one can find in a chart and it gives the sort of resolve that nothing can dampen and no sentiment can sway. Venus is still on the degree of its station in this figure, the symbol for which reads thus:
“An airplane performing a nose dive.” 10° Gemini
This is an admonition regarding our re-formed connection with higher Self—to do that which is necessary regardless of whatever fear we may feel, to take command of our lives and our vehicles and to go out into life in the fullest. It is also a brilliant symbol for the Soul diving head-first, so-to-speak, into what has been invoked by the persona or the group of people involved. Expect large shifts in the way you see things this year, especially since Venus squares both Jupiter and Uranus, though the latter two are not in opposition (no T-square). Also be aware that the Soul will “move upon the face of the waters” in the process and that there will likely be some upsets in the process. You may feel as though your life is taking a nose dive, but this is a controlled thing and, unless you lose your cool, things will turn out as they need to and you will be left feeling exhilarated by the experiences (eventually).
The Moon is trine to Jupiter in this figure, which is always a good omen and portends of better times ahead. The Sun sextiles Jupiter and trines Uranus, which again presages great expansiveness and joviality—and a few surprises thrown in along the way, courtesy of Uranus. Jupiter sextiles Saturn in the chart, which is good for material increase and should help in the financial sector. But, one should be careful with speculation in that regard, for things are not always what they seem these days, especially considering that Neptune forms the apex of a yod configuration with this aspect. The finger of fate may indeed be very fickle this year, especially when it comes to money. In all, it promises to be a very productive year in terms of manifesting the Soul’s intent. There will be a lot of drive, enthusiasm and high idealism. As well, there will be times of dejection and depression. Do try to keep a sense of humor about things. The danger with Cancer lies in falling into depression too easily when things do not go according to plan, especially with Saturn conjoining the Sun.
In these coming days let us be mindful of the various groups in which we play our roles and evolve with other loved ones and not-so-loved ones, but always toward the same ends. As we serve and sacrifice for the greater good we grow in life and love until eventually we reach that fateful day when we say our final goodbyes to the Souls with which we have shared so much. It happens at the end of every life and finally at the culmination of our spiritual development in a time far in the future for most of us—but maybe not so far away as we think.
In recent days I have had the reminder that things can change in an instant and change one’s course for a greater or lesser period, sometimes indefinitely. So there is no time to lose. Our complete Presence is required in all that we do and for all whom we serve and with whom we cooperate. May we also broaden our vision and see the greater Plan in which we play a part. Our personal plans can change at a whim, but the Plan always remains. It is that to which our Souls resonate. And lastly, may you give birth to something new and vital in your nature this year and thus give the world a great gift from your being. It is not such a hard task. Just dive in and have a go! The only thing you will lose is your fear. Can that be so bad? May you be richly rewarded and blessed in all that you bring forth this year!
Much love to you all,
27 June 2004
This concludes Malvin's discussion of the Festival of the Ashram, the Full Moon Festival for Cancer.
Return to the start of The Festival of the Ashram
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes