Unless one practices sidereal astrology, the Earth itself is hardly, if ever considered in standard astrological posts and literature. But it leaves an obvious question, as well as a hole in our interpretations. The Earth is a planet. It orbits the Sun. It interacts with the other planets. Why do we not consider it to be a viable or even important factor in astrological interpretation? Well in fact, the Earth does factor into astrology. We just don’t recognize it as such.
There is a so-called ‘Earth point’ in the geocentric horoscope, which is what the great majority of Western astrologers use. As to where it is, it is always directly opposite the Sun in any horoscope, and also by transit, and by direction. So here is something for us to wrap our heads around: the Sun never makes transits in a chart. Let that percolate for a moment.
The Sun is the center of our solar system. All the planets and planetary bodies orbit the Sun. What we actually see as the Sun making transits is instead the Earth mirroring the Sun as we transit the zodiac in our geocentric universe. It is we, on the Earth, who transit the Sun, not the other way around. This is readily apparent if we use the sidereal zodiac, wherein the Sun disappears from consideration. Solar transits and directions are illusions in a geocentric chart (tropical zodiac), a point which will be important later in this discussion.
However, the thing one notices whether using the tropical or sidereal zodiac is that the position of the Earth is always opposite the Sun, regardless. In other words, the Earth is always in opposition to the Sun. That has more than a little symbolic meaning, and will also be important later. When we see the sign the Sun is ‘transiting’ at any given moment, the Earth is always in the opposite sign, which is the sign we should also be considering. There are thus a couple of important considerations. Firstly, consider the following, from Alice Bailey’s Esoteric Astrology:
“There is one aspect of energy for which the modern astrologer makes very little allowance, and yet it is of paramount importance. This is the energy which emanates from or radiates from the Earth itself. Living as all human beings do upon the surface of the Earth and being, therefore, projected into the etheric body of the planet (for the reason that “man stands erect”) man’s body is at all times bathed in the emanations and the radiations of our Earth…” (p.13)
Then, there is this, from the same book:
“[The study of the centres (chakras)]…is an intricate occult study and is concerned with the response of the etheric body to the incoming energies. It relates finally the lowest centre at the base of the spine to the highest centre, the head centre. This is a correspondence to the relation of the Earth to the Sun. Think this out.” (p. 26)
From these two quotes alone, we see that the ‘Earth point’ is a substantive point – i.e., it points to our relationship with our immediate environment, and points as well to the very substance of the body, especially the more energetic components of it, which are by far the most important anyway. Does the Earth rule anything in astrology, then, since it is a major planet? Yes – Gemini at its most occult level (Hierarchical) and Sagittarius esoterically – two opposing signs, interestingly. The Earth is also connected with the sacral and spleen chakras as well (p. 81).
Going further, the “…Earth stands for the sphere of experience.” (p. 27) We do live on the Earth, after all. It is where we live out our experiences. This might seem to be common sense, but again, the statement means something more when we dig a bit below the surface. That leads to the next passage:
Regarding experience, that relates to, “…the influence of planetary experience (which is different to individual experience) in order to transmute [one’s] personal consciousness into group awareness.” (p. 128) And there you have it, the importance of the Earth in astrology.
The Earth is never used as a ruler of a sign except esoterically, for the very reason thus stated. It is a point that specifically speaks to the development of ‘awareness of the other’, which only makes sense. If the Sun represents the personal ego and the aspect called the opposition fosters greater awareness, then the ‘Earth point’ will be one that takes us out of our own self-interest and introduces the element of ‘experience’ in our lives – in other words, having to interact with others, not simply one’s environment. The Earth can thus be called, “the place of the perfecting process”. This brings us to what the ‘Earth point’ really entails.
The sign opposing the Sun sign has been called the “sign of consummation” (p. 143), or “the place of personality perfection”. It represents an energy whereby we can very effectively round out our development. But it takes willpower to be able to do so. It takes us ‘out of our comfort zone’, which the Sun sign – the sign with which we are most acquainted – represents. Leos, for example, like being the center of attention. Librans are most comfortable in relationships. Taureans crave a comfortable environment, and so forth. Since the sign opposite the Sun sign requires a certain amount of willpower to be realized, it has been called a point of ‘monadic emphasis’. This aspect of being taken away from one’s comfort zone is most easily seen when the so-called ‘malefic’ planets (Mars and Saturn) and the outer planets (past Saturn) transit over the ‘Earth point’. From standard interpretations:
- Mars: often a period of strife and quarrels, along with an increased but jumpy energy. A good time to lay low and not push issues too hard.
- Saturn: One of the most difficult periods in life, and also one of the most fruitful in terms of personal development if the opportunity can be realized. The world appears to be harsh, unyielding, antagonistic and so forth. The personal life is held in check. Reality feels harsh and undeserved, yet the causes for those feelings are internal. Therein is the opportunity, to learn to let go of personal ambitions that are no longer valid. A good time for a ‘psychic spring clean’.
- Uranus: A period of great desire for independence and freedom of expression. Often indicated in affairs or new relationships. The key here is reorganization. There is a call from within to take a fresh look at life, but at the same time to not ‘throw out the baby with the bath water’. In other words, keep what is still of value, but do find new means of expression.
- Neptune: Confusion, bewilderment, nothing seems to work the way it used to, circumstances and people are difficult to understand. The problem here is that one is not seeing oneself clearly. It is a process of ‘positive disillusionment’ and the dawning of a new sensitivity to conditions, inner and outer. This requires a true sense of humility to realize the gifts being presented.
- Pluto: This is the classic transit for psychic projection. The whole world is out to get you. Power games are in the air. Instead, the call is to go inward and examine carefully one’s subconscious promptings, which is where the real element of sabotage is. It can be one of the most trying transits in a person’s life, if one lives long enough to see it (same with Neptune). A complete overhaul of the personality is possible with this transit, if that is what is needed.
What we see in the preceding is the need to bring the soul to bear on one’s outer expression. Each of those transits is difficult in its own way, They call for forgetfulness of self (pride, ambition, self-interest), looking deeply inward and recognizing what is really our own ‘stuff’ and what is the other person’s. It is when people hold up the mirror to us and say, “Hey! Look at what you are doing here! We have value, too!” In that way, we gain in experience in planetary life, i.e., learning to work with others and eventually in larger and larger groups.
The ‘Earth point’ is thus quite an important consideration as it transits the zodiac and when there are transits and directions to it and from it. People often (more often than not) come to astrologers because something in their lives is unfulfilled or they experience difficulty in a particular area. The Earth can be a valuable consideration in presenting solutions to such quandaries. We are told there will eventually be meditations that incorporate the sign opposite the Sun sign as a means for advancing the building of the bridge between the soul and the personality, between our lower self and higher Self. In that way, we grow spiritually, and much quicker.
To make this practical, then, what would it mean for each of the Sun signs, using everyday language?
Aries, incorporating Libra: Yes, you’re the great pioneer. But there is a key to real success — putting others first, realizing that partnerships are of great value, realizing that your idea is not necessarily the next best and greatest (it might be, but consider the other person’s as well). Turn down the volume and learn to consider carefully, weighing the options, before acting (take careful aim before you fire, and maybe even not fire at all).
Taurus, incorporating Scorpio: Remember the song line, “You can’t always get what you want?” Life is not all about comfort and stability. Your desire for ease of living holds you prisoner. Search for freedom within. Material things rust and decay. People are only around for a short time. None of that stays with you when you go. Only you remain. Victory over, not fulfillment of, desires is where your true contentment awaits.
Gemini, incorporating Sagittarius: Learn to focus on one thing at a time, please. A well-defined goal, pointedly and single-mindedly sought can lead to great accomplishments. And we aren’t so much always interested in the trivial little knick-knacks and details of life. Being focused on fewer things is not necessarily boring. Spaciousness can be quite enjoyable. It’s the goal, not the factors, that matter!
Cancer, incorporating Capricorn: Get past your fear of heights, learn to open up more and leave the kids to learn for themselves, so long as they don’t wreck the house. And you do need to rock the boat every so often. People aren’t going to abandon you if your opinion is different from theirs. If they do, you’re better off. Don’t hide in your shell – be the mountain!
Leo, incorporating Aquarius: No, the world does not revolve around you, and people do not come to you so you can hold court. Get over yourself. Get out more. Meet people at their own level, if you can measure up. If not, you may learn something. It will be good for you. Friends are actually really important and add a lot to people’s lives. Move out from the center of your world and see the importance of others.
Virgo, incorporating Pisces: Sorry, but the world is not perfect. Fretting over it won’t help. And that little thing you forgot to do last night can wait. Really. Ever heard of ‘going with the flow’? Try it sometime. Let all the little things go and move out in the crowd. Experience the noise, the clash of colors, see the beauty in the great mismatch, and then realize they are all your fellow siblings. There really is good in diversity, even if it doesn’t seem to match on the surface.
Libra, incorporating Aries: You don’t always have to ask your partner first what they would like to do. It’s actually annoying. Be self-starting. Take the initiative. Act on your own ideas. Be first for once, or twice. Even better, spend some time alone and come up with something original. People close to you may even like it. And if they don’t, well nothing is lost. There are always others who might appreciate what you do. Living your life for someone else means you don’t live your own.
Scorpio, incorporating Taurus: You know, the world could care less if you are upset about anything. Actually, very few people, if any, are out to get you, either. And sex…well, it’s nice but often overrated. You won’t die without it. Chill. Instead, stop fighting with everything and practice steady patience. A little compassion goes a long way, too. Slow, determined progress will take you quite far. Learn to see the light of your own intuition, once you have tamed your own demons. Other people need you to light their path, not constantly kick up the dust in their faces.
Sagittarius, incorporating Gemini: You missed one little detail there, bud. In fact, several. It pays to take advice sometimes. Not everything comes from books and travel. And don’t be so judgmental when someone offers a suggestion. Your way is not always the best, and sometimes that highway you recommend to others when they don’t see things your way may instead be good for you. That devilish detail can bring the best-laid plans to naught. It pays to listen to all opinions before setting off. It’s often the journey and the tangential paths that are important, not the final outcome.
Capricorn, incorporating Cancer: It’s lonely at the top. Never heard that before, we’ll bet. Well, it is. There is a whole world below, and you need to nurture others the same way you have cared for yourself. We know you have achieved a lot, so how about showing us how you got there. But hey, we don’t need your high horse, nor your charity. You’re one of us, remember?
Aquarius, incorporating Leo: That’s quite a social circle you have. Always the networker. But where do you really shine? How much of what you share is really yours? Show us your medals, your awards, better yet, your example. A huge address book is worthless if you lose it. What are you left with then? Where are you? We know it is in there…somewhere. Go ahead – dazzle us!
Pisces, incorporating Virgo: You’re the kindest of hearts, the shirt off your back and all that. There’s not a soul you wouldn’t help. But why do you carry everyone else’s old baggage? Isn’t it heavy? It would pay you to take time away from everyone, especially their cares, and carefully analyze who and what really needs fixing, especially in you. Learn to be more discriminating. You can’t help everybody, and it’s better at times just to let people be.
Perhaps we get the idea. The Earth in a chart gives us another perspective, causing us to take a different look at the way we perceive life and circumstances, maybe overcoming our previous conditioning (Sun sign). More than that, it gives us pause to look inward, and also to connect with something ‘outside’ ourselves, that ‘something’ ultimately being our own higher Self, which has always actually been there as a part of us, yet unrecognized.
The Earth is therefore a catalyzing point. It is not so much a gateway to the monad, our ultimate state of being, as it is the developmental tool that allows us to attain that state – our own use of willpower. Will power is that which destroys the obstacles to our higher attainments and recognitions. It is different from determination, which is focused effort. Willpower is more akin to the lightning bolt or the earthquake that sets determination in motion. We overcome our fears more so by an act of will than we do by determination.
Thus, when planets transit or make directions to the Earth, we could say that we are shown where we are lacking in will, and where we need to put in a concerted effort to express our souls with greater fullness. It is really rather strange that we don’t take our little world into account astrologically. It certainly is worth another look.
Featured pic from Victoria University, Wellington