The Value of the Heliocentric/Geocentric Comparison

- by Michael Erlewine

Astrology as practiced today is geocentric or earth centered. Geocentric astrology is a view or charting of our solar system as seen from the perspective of the earth. We could equally imagine a Mars- or Saturn-based perspective and viewpoint. There is an increasing awareness, in these times we are living, of the value of a holistic or whole-system approach, whether it be our ecological system or our solar system. Where we consider the entire solar system as a unit, we are speaking of a sun-centered or heliocentric perspective; equally inclusive of the particular viewpoints of all of the planets within that system.

As astrologers we will inquire as to the use and value of this heliocentric approach. We can cast a chart for a birth moment as viewed heliocentrically and have an additional perspective for use with our mundane or geocentric natal chart.

If you have not had the opportunity to investigate heliocentric astrology, then you are used to approaching your Self and the questions you may have concerning that Self through the geocentric natal chart. What you may not realize is how specialized the Earth perspective of the solar system is; that is, perfectly suited for some areas of investigate, but less flexible or well suited for others. An analogy would be the existence and use of various technical languages. For instance, we might find the language of mathematics most convenient to express the various operations involving numbers. It is not that we could not somehow work our everyday language to express these operations, but simply that the language of mathematics is more convenient for this purpose. The helio and geo systems represent two ways of talking or considering the same event. Each system is a perspective involving the very same planets, at the very same instant in time, yet each system is more properly suited for specific areas of discussion. If you have been using only the geocentric system of astrology for all of your needs, then you have before you a fascinating experience. You will discover that certain questions and areas of interest, over which you may have labored for some results, works for you quite naturally when heliocentrically considered. What are these areas—

Astrologers who have investigated heliocentric astrology are in general agreement as to the relationship between the geo and the helio natal chart. The geocentric chart, with its houses and ascendant, etc., is primarily a charting of the personality and circumstances in which the individual is involved and finds himself. The helio natal chart is more representative of the kind or type of individual working with and through a given personality. It is only in fairly recent times that we have been concerned and able to distinguish that one inner self, which we can agree we share, into basic kinds of archetypes of self.

Astrology has been primarily concerned with the description and understanding of our personality -- what is called person-centered or humanistic astrology. The inner self, an experience common to all men, was not experienced as consisting of kinds or archetypes until the rise of modern depth psychology. We were primarily able to measure and work with the outer personality and specific circumstances of the individual -- the Self, but in general, it had not occurred to us to distinguish within that self the various kinds or types of self. It is these kinds or archetypes of the individual for which heliocentric astrology is ideally suited. Astrologers had labored to represent the inner self through the geocentric approach. The result of this labor has largely been a very intellectual process of psychological description understood by the very few and leaving the main body of astrologers largely unmoved. Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of modern astrology has been the development and refinement of our technique by such schools of astrology as the cosmobiologists: John Addey, Charles Jayne, E. Johndro, etc. This same technique has brought about a crisis within the rank and file astrologers. On the one hand, it has directly contributed to the precipitation of astrology and its emergence, finally, as a formal discipline that will have to be accepted by the "scientific" modern world. This seems good.

On the other hand, this technique has driven a wedge between those astrologers of a more scientific persuasion and those who have not the ability or the interest in this form of approach. This advanced technique appears to promise a future only to those astrologers who can successfully make the transition to this more formal approach. The main body of astrologers contains a great number who will not, or who cannot, make this transition. What then is the future of this body of astrologers— It is my considered opinion, and I believe a true opinion, that heliocentric astrology is a vehicle by definition inclusive of the geocentric approach and able to contain and occupy those astrologers not interested in question of technique. Here is a very graphic form of astrology accessible both to the intuitive, as well as the reasonable astrologer.

The investigation of the heliocentric approach is a refreshing and broadening experience and one capable of bringing to the geocentric approach some relief. What is perhaps hard for those not initiated into heliocentric astrology is the understanding that here is not one more technique or method to learn and use in the manipulation of the geocentric chart, but rather simply a more inclusive view -- an overview of what the geocentric chart is representing. It cannot but help to increase our awareness to compare the two types of charts for a specific birthtime. At this time, when we are finally realizing our geocentric astrology through a workable or more precise technique, what more logical point in time for the emergence of a more inclusive or general approach. Is this not the way life works— Just about the time we finally master a subject . . . we graduate— There is a celebration now going on as all of the various technical approaches to astrology join hands and flow together. My message here is that a necessary correlation for this to happen is the emergence of a holistic and more inclusive form of astrology. The first step in this process would be an astrology of our entire solar system, and that is a heliocentric astrology: an astrological system that is by definition inclusive of our geocentric approach. If this is a dawning, it has to be the sun that is coming up.

The heliocentric chart when used with the geocentric chart is the obvious companion and describes clearly that information long sought for by modern geocentric astrology. Here is the general type of configuration, in effect, for the entire system at the time of birth. Heliocentric astrology is itself the picture or graph or archetype that many modern forms of descriptive psychology have attempted to put into words. Here is a picture of the inner self that can be absorbed and considered by all manner of astrologers. With an understanding of the basic pattern of our system, we can more usefully move to the geocentric chart for the particular circumstances of personality, in and through which this type of individuality will work. Pervious to this time, we have had to determine all of this using only the geocentric chart. A fine analogy to the difficulties involved in such an inquiry is that of making sense out of our personal life without going to the center and first learning to know of God and our deeper Self. Once we understand our center, what we are within our personality, we can take up the circumstances and difficulties inherent in personal existence with confidence and realization of this person we are. Helio astrology works for you and you do not work for it.

There is the opportunity for those of your who are technicians to investigate and develop the technique of geo/helio comparison. There is obviously a very precise relationship between these two perspectives. A relationship that can be measured and interpreted.

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