The Scheme of the Universe 
Astrologers are, by nature, vertical thinkers. Vertical thinking adds another dimension to the more familiar horizontal thinking which is so favoured in our western educational system and culture. It enables us to identify the sympathetic correspondences which exist between various different fields of resonance. Seemingly unrelated objects and events immediately fall into a living relationship with each other, making connections which often explain the way we have instinctively felt about the world.
Have a look at the table of Planetary Correspondences. Find the Plant World category on the left hand side of each page and read horizontally across the five pages. Now, most people will immediately see the connection between marigolds and cauliflowers, medicinal herbs, cultivated crops, nettles, onions, maple trees, hemlock and orchids, wouldn't they? They all belong to the Plant World category which is familiar to us. Equally, if you follow the Mineral World category horizontally, you will find gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin, lead, etc. The connection is obvious.
Now let's look at the same chart vertically. Now we are identifying the sympathetic correspondences which exist between the various different fields of resonance. Starting at the foot of the Sun column, the Sun resonates to the mineral gold and to the colour gold. Moving up to the plant world the solar plants are marigolds and sunflowers, which are heliotropic, following the Sun's path during the day. The orange is a solar fruit, and it follows that eating oranges will increase your vitality, or solar energy. These correspondences are central to the traditions of herbal medicine and healing, and if you can find an original copy of Culpeper's Herbal, you will find lists of herbs and plants relating to the various planets. In holistic healing practices these correspondences are real, and not just symbolic. In the animal world, the lion is a solar creature, the 'golden maned' lion, the 'pride' of lions. The regal nature of the lion corresponds to the solar principle. One level up again, we see that the Sun rules the heart, the back and the spinal column, which is also associated with pride and with holding one's head high, another solar correspondence.
Moving up another level, each planet rules groups or types of people. As the masculine principle, the Sun rules men in general, royalty, film stars and anyone at the centre of attention, a reflection of the fact that the Sun is at the centre of our solar system. The solar function is visibility, to shine boldly and brightly and to draw attention. Additionally, solar professions such as a goldsmith belong in this category. Each planet also rules a particular aspect of the mundane world - mundus meaning world. The Sun rules palaces and theatres, buildings which are designed to reflect the glory of the central players, whose function is to bask in the limelight.
One of the main goals of this term is to start building a planetary vocabulary, since there are many words and other associations for each of the planets right through the different levels. As we have seen, the solar principle describes lions, palaces, gold, Sunflowers and kings, but it also describes psychological qualities of confidence, enthusiasm and radiance. It is the symbol for spirit, it is about focus, daylight, clarity and authority. Exactly the same kinds of connections exist for all the planets, and as we explore each of the planets it is worth referring to this chart for the various associations at different levels, so that you can begin to build a rich and comprehensive vocabulary around each of them.
Audience: What should we read to prepare for next week?
Clare: Well, we have been doing the basics today, and I would really like you to learn the order of the planets, their orbit times, and the planetary symbols. Test yourself and write the planetary symbols whenever you have a few moments. This is a very good way to start making your own unique relationship with the planets.
Copyright ©2005 by Clare Martin.
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