A Journal of Inner Work and Therapeutic Arts
Immanence and Identity in Plural Personality

Studies Index...

Transiting Saturn Square Saturn:  At the third inception of a 30-year cycle.
Challenge, review and transformation of self-concept in the egoic function of plural personality.

14-27 January 2016

This study really begins with the previous brief, an exploration of the Chandra Kundali (Moon chart) and the resolution of various interpretive anomalies in the radix, including the placements of Rahu and Ketu. In that brief we examined several transits for this period, paying particular attention to the return of tSaturn to Sagittarius, marking the third instance of a cycle last begun in November 1985, during which tSaturn would spend about 15 months in Sagittarius, with two extended periods of retrograde, the first beginning at 9° in March 1986 and the second at 21° in March 1987, before entering Capricorn in February 1988. The initial entry in what would become my Journal over the next 12 years of retreat and study is dated 5 March 1986. tSaturn was trine Rahu and sextile Ketu about 15 June 1986; it was at its current locus (12°Sagittarius+) in December 1986, square Saturn, trine Venus and Pluto. Now, in January 2016, as tSaturn revisits the scene, I find myself engaged in review of internal developments, beliefs and organizational constructs generated over the past 30 years. Indeed, over the past 60 years. The first instance of this tSaturn cycle began in October 1956, when I entered elementary school, age 6.41y; tJupiter was also in Virgo at that time, just as it is today, and at the same locus, trine the solar stellium, sextile the AC, and square the Sagittarius complement. The progressed Sun had entered (whole signs) Gemini-12 on 16 May 1955 and would remain there through November 1985, coinciding with the second instance of this tSaturn cycle. Note that radical Saturn is in 10th from tSaturn Sagittarius.

Transiting Staurn square Saturn, and related aspects going to identity transition in early 2016.

In the previous brief we identified the Chandra Kundali in the context of a Lahiri sidereal whole signs chart and we use the same approach here but shift to tropical for ease of reference, continuing to work with sidereal Nakshatras where appropriate. We can study Chandra and Surya (Sun) charts, taking the sign of each as the respective first house. In sidereal whole signs we find Chandra-1Aries and Surya-1Taurus. But in tropical, since both Moon and Sun are in Taurus, the two charts may be treated as congruent. Chandra/Surya Kundali house numbers are indicated in yellow highlight in the circle of signs. Note, for example, that in this C/S context we have Rahu-12 and Ketu-6, Saturn-5 and Mars-5, with tJupiter in 5th, tSaturn in 8th, tPluto in 9th, tNeptune in 11th, and tUranus in 12th.

Part of Identity [PId] (AC+Sat-Moon) is treated as an indictor of interest, obviously not the personal identity in toto. Saturn and Saturn-Moon may be construed as egoic, and in relation to AC (AC+Saturn-Moon → PId) gives insight on presentment and performance. PId is conjunct Alphecca and Pallas in Swati Nakshatra, a zone in which Saturn is exalted, ruled by Rahu (found in C/S-12), Vayu deity, and Saraswati. In Scorpio-5 (art as healing), and C/S-7 (priest).

The astrological chart at right is a cognitive map developed to assess intrapsychic characteristics, dynamics, and psychophilosophical issues in light of current transits during a deeply felt but undefined core transformation.

The immediate motive is to identify and work through the root and dimension of anxiety, doubt and uncertainty affecting self-concept and confidence in egoic function among multiple principals and immanent presence in gestalt.

Certain core beliefs and organizational constructs are in review as we work to reveal, understand and remediate areas of dissonance, dysequilibrium, and directional skew.

Changes are made wherever due.

Immanence, plural personality, and egoic function in gestalt

We begin with the premise that I am an evolving egoic function arising in plurality, from and in relation with multiple principals apprehended as transpersonal agencies who have consciousness and capacity to act beyond the limits of personal identity and with whom I work to common purpose under aegis of immanence
in a developmental gestalt.

These familiar yet changeable principals present and communicate internally, by feeling, imagery, or speech. I recognize that I am of them, that I arise from them and immanent presence, and although I am able to communicate with them and engage in working through themes, I nonetheless perceive that they are 'beyond' me, possibly different expressions of immanence (e.g., as AMUN inheres in all neteru), or beings with unique qualities and awareness of this and other dimensions. They can present in any shape or form it seems, as me or parts of me, or even as beings who lived previously, with different histories, but they are otherwise unseen, an ineffability with agency.

So I regard this gestalt as a personal and transpersonal reality.
And from the personal perspective, as a plurality personality.

The identity transformation currently under way, as I've come to see in the course of this study, concerns core perceptions identified in the second of the previous three paragraphs — how I read the reality of the principals and their activity in terms of transpersonality.

The monk's pursuit, the hermit rede...

With regard to self-concept, it is not possible for me to separate a sense of 'self' from the reality of relationship with these internal principals and immanent presence. While there are certain states in which there is no suki, no gap between thought and action, a condition that might be described as no-mind, as when we paint or sculpt, communication with the principals is engaged in even the most mundane activity. It is commonly understood that I am of a plurality, that I am an evolving egoic function in response to developmental need, to problems presenting as anxiety, confusion, uncertainty and dysharmony arising from internal conflict, irruptions of thought, emotion and desire which must be addressed, identified, analyzed, and worked through in relation with the principals and in light of immanent presence.

By the term gestalt I mean the developmental matrix comprised of all three — immanent presence, the many principals, and me — working on developmental issues and themes of relevance to the plurality, continuously refining egoity as an instrument facilitating collective self-concept, understanding and harmony, transformation and transcendence.

But it must be asked:
Are the principals simply dissociated aspects of personality? Alters? Subpersonalities? Are they imaginative creations?

I said earlier that I am of the principals, that I arise from them and immanent presence, but a better phrasing might be in relation with them, retaining the of in the sense that we are in relationship and of the same stuf with respect to immanence. I said I perceive them as 'beyond' me, possibly as different expressions of immanence, as AMUN inheres in all neteru, or beings with unique qualities and awareness of this and other dimensions; that they can present in any shape or form it seems, be me or anything, even beings who lived previously, with different histories.

I conceive something of a trinity:
The gestalt is of immanence, the principals, and me, arising from both and not sensible in the absence of either.

But are immanence and the principals arisen from me? From fragmentation, discorporation, or imagination?
Are they building blocks maybe, the stacking and restacking of which results in me?

The Dawning...

Using developmental schemata

We've adapted many different schemata and created others for introspective work, sometimes applying theophoric or functional names or agnomina to identify the principals, but such schema and designations have proved provisional, often lasting no longer than the orbital period of our Scout planet, Mercury — about 3 months. That's the common cycle of shifts in identificatory role and self-concept. Though intimately familiar when they present, the principals are otherwise in the background, sensed if I direct my attention thus, but unseen. They may show personal characteristics when in a role or performance, but that tends to be very fleeting.

They remain unseen in true essence, ineffable. I do have thoughts that appear to be my own, but sometimes that's difficult to separate.

The principals are not correlated with deities; instead, when such identifications are approved by the principals and immanence, deities are construed as imagos, much in the manner of the Dhyani Buddhas, as focal exemplars apposite for introspective work.


The Enneagram proved most useful in studying egoic origin and place in relation with the principals. Numbers proved less a problem than names, but they became more of a personal characteristic and process-descriptive numerology than designations of the principals. Tarot Constellations were helpful too.

Tarot Constellations

Ancient China
Also useful was the feudal Chinese well-field system of land distribution, with 8 equal lots around a central well to which all had access.

Charles M. Nelson 2008.
This is the character for "well" [and] the symbol for the field-well system of land tenure that predominated in China in the Zhou and earlier dynasties.

This diagram of nine squares-within-a-square, and three simple concepts, form the basis for the traditional Chinese cosmos. It is used to represent a variety of systems including astrology, solar and lunar phases, and architectural, political, and religions geography and architecture. The Center is the subject of the system, the Inside space of eight squares represents the means through which the subject acts, and the Outside, consisting of the twelve outer edges of the eight inner squares, are amplifications of their qualities.

Ancient Egypt
Heliopolitan Ennead and others.1, 2
Hermopolitan Ogdoad.3

The planets have been taken as qualities and influences, used in description, yes, but also accepted in explication of internal processes and dynamic forces. They certainly facilitate identification of characteristics and phenomena in egoic function and personal experience. The principals remain ineffable, associable in various ways, but not definable.

We have not yet worked with this schema, but the worship installations of the Navagrahas (9 planets, 9 influencers, 9 realms), e.g. Agama and Vaidika Prathishtas, Surya at center,

It isn't yet clear whether we'll be able to work with the Navagraha, though the Agama Prathishta is interesting. And now, with what might be confirmed as the discovery of a "9th Planet"...

Is it possible to apprehend all of this from a more universal perspective, viewing through a third eye, as it were, seeing the overall developmental objective.

While conceived initially as personal deity, less in the sense of Ishta Devata than, say, the Kalabari conception of Tamuno relative to the Opu Tamuno (Great Spirit), or Sun to Galactic Center, immanent presence is nonetheless universal.

Individual. Collective. Another view?
All going to enlightenment.

To question the reality of internal experience is part of the process of living it, and the question as to their nature and reality, especially the matter of origin, most often arises in periods of identity crisis and cathartic breakdown — the 'death' — of organizational and identificatory structures, psychoemotional investments and attachments — before a leap in awareness, enlightenment. Experience of immanent presence is unequivocal but awareness of that relationship may be challenged in the depths of catharsis, yet it is never lost. At last, abandoning all attachment, I am dissolved into it. There is release, no-mind, no-one to note time...

The enlightenment constitutes a reformulation. A reframing of what it is and what there is to do. The reality of the principals is confirmed anew, by their very presence, the feeling, the words they use.

I observe and respond to irruptions apprehensible as unconscious material, its origin undetermined, and it's certainly true that I can be caught up in these irruptions, which very quickly generates some degree of internal dissonance and dysharmony in me, with feelings of urgency to understand and work-through, consonant with immanence, and the principals are instrumental in parsing the issue, acting out parts as actors do, eliciting egoic response as we do in the interest of understanding and harmony to common benefit among us, evolving ethos.

We've adapted many different schemata and created others for introspective work, sometimes applying theophoric or functional names or agnomina to identify the principals, but such schema and designations have proved provisional, often lasting no longer than the orbital period of our Scout planet, Mercury — about 3 months. That's the common cycle of shifts in identificatory role and self-concept. Though familiar when they present, the principals are otherwise unseen and ineffable. They may show personal characteristics, provide a glimpse of life lived previously, but that tends to be very fleeting.

I refer to them as transpersonal agencies, and the reality seems to be that they have capacity to receive and translate, to communicate what we need to read, or rede, as it were. That would not be inconsistent with the idea that immanence inheres in them. Transpersonal might also apply to interpersonal relations, where these involve deep receptivity and empathy, beyond the apprehension of separateness in egoic consciousness. Our point of true focus might be the deeper developmental matrix. And the principals afford that connection.

When we work with these various schemata, it is through extension of the principals that I become the model. In working with the Enneagram, for example, though early identification went to Ennea-types 4 and 5, Ennea-type 9 quickly became the focal point and all types were recognized as applicable inside, which is to say, I could apprehend all nine within gestalt. Not so unusual. Creating a typology necessitates understanding of its typal universe.

That's what happens with any schema we study. I become it.
But by what mechanism?
By investment of the principals.
Which is not under my control, but that of immanence.

So we're reading the principals as both receiving and becoming.
And the gestalt as agency, both personal and transpersonal.

That bears repeating, in completely different words.

While I'm accustomed to working with the principals on matters of internal concern in gestalt, emphasizing communication, inalienable rights and freedoms, cooperation and group expression in consonance with immanent presence, gestalt initiatives also include reception of and becoming the other in healing work. This is the focus of the Sagittarius arc in the radix — including Vertex, CeresR, ChironR, the Galactic Center and many additional points in that region of space.

The Singletons...
NeptuneR-4 C/S-6 is the radical AIR singleton, through which everything is focused in the 9th harmonic. And NeptuneR is proximal Ketu. There is always the possibility of illusion/delusion here.

NeptuneR (11th from tSaturn Sagittarius) is apex of the core kite formation focused at Venus (5th from), with wings at Pluto (8th from) and CeresR/ChironR (in tSaturn Sagittarius).

In the heliocentric chart we have another elemental singleton, Pluto (FIRE), with with three additional singleton type: Saturn (Mutable), Uranus (Personal Sign), and Jupiter (Universal Sign). Pluto, Chiron and Neptune form a minor grand trine in helio, with the Neptune/Pluto midpoint at Saturn, linked with Mercury and Uranus.

In tropical, Pluto (9th from tSaturn Sagittarius) is apex of a kite formation focused at Persephone (3rd from), wings at AMUN (7th from) and NeptuneR (11th from). There is a great need for solitude, and little emphasis on conventional interpersonal relationship or partnership except in specific contexts and limited periods of time. The 7th, ruled by Saturn, is untenanted, but here we find Nephthys, Lady of the House, trine NeptuneR (11th from tSaturn). The House and network is internally apprehended. Intrapersonal work precedes interpersonal connection. It may also be the way of connection.

Though not illustrated in the chart, radical Pluto-2 squares Moon, is binovile Sun and trine ChironR, CeresR and Vertex in Sagittarius (which tSaturn now conjuncts and tJupiter squares). Moon is inconjunct ChironR-6. There is a great desire to purify, to transmute negative to positive. If we extend the orbs and treat of Pluto as square the entire stellium, we have continuous buildup and breakdown in self-concept directly related to the metamorphosis of inner structures going to psychospiritual development and growth. Locus of the stellium in the 11th, in this case, goes to the experience of plurality in personality, rather than external networking.

In Planetary Octaves and Rulership Dane Rudhyar asserts that

Astrology is an attempt to bring order, consistency and meaning to the series of usually confused and conflicting happenings which constitute our life experience. [...] If the solar system is a definitely organized cosmic whole or organism, and if a human being on earth is also an organism, it is logical to expect that the principles of organization and cyclic growth of the cosmic system (the solar system) have some definite relationship with the principles, which determine the formation and development of a human person. The ancient astrologers started from such a premise and, deducing from it a series of consequences, formulated a system of interpretation of human experience which we know today as astrology. By using this system, we can discover the order and periodicity which is inherent in events of our life [...]

Rudhyar correlates Saturn with ego and defines "ego structure" as

everything that gives a particular and relatively unique shape to our inner life — to our feelings, thoughts and responses to everyday events [...] We are born in a particular environment and with a particular heredity (genes), at a particular time in history. We are subjected from birth (and indeed before birth) to incessant impacts and challenges. To these the newborn is forced to respond in some way — either in the way of a positive response or by refusing to react, which means a negative response. The sum total or synthesis of all these responses manifests as the "structure" of the consciousness — the Saturn-ego. Saturn represents the power that organizes or systematizes all these responses into traits of character, into complexes and personal idiosyncrasies.

We've taken the planets as qualities and influences, used in description, yes, but also accepted in explication of internal processes and dynamic forces. They certainly facilitate identification of characteristics and phenomena in egoic function — all of the planets, not just Saturn.

Even so, Saturn has always represented "ego" for me, a stabilizing force primarily. "A strong hand supplanting political hysteria" (Sabian 13°Virgo) is an egosyntonic descriptor for a vital characteristic in but not the whole of egoic function. Saturn is the analytic nexus in the radix, responding to the challenges in Sagittarius-6, C/S-8. I 'hear' and feel the presence of what I'd describe as the Saturn influence, presenting an apposite diagnosis of the situation and advisement which brings immediate order, control, and remedial focus — problems do not evaporate, but anxiety is relieved as force is marshaled to address the problem. All of the planets describe parts of this process. Venus, for example, as the harmonizing focus, enlightenment, transcendence.

The planets don't describe gestalt principals,
but aspects of egoic function.

The crux of it, on the surface...

Saturn-3 C/S-5 is trine Lilith-11 C/S-1 and Nephthys-7 C/S-9 (conjunct tPluto), so there's a deep-level transformation in the fundamentals of partnership, at this stage. tSaturn-6 C/S-8 squares Saturn, calling into question my sense of personal service to others. That's the crux of it.
Going to the issue of connectedness with others.

tPluto-7 C/S-9 is running a square to Vesta-10 C/S-12 and NeptuneR-4 C/S-6, the AIR singleton. The problem of relationship must be addressed. We're looking at C/S-12, and Barbara Pijan's description of Rahu in Vyaya Bhava-12 certainly applies in some respects. I realize that life in the monastery is perfectly acceptable, but am I in fact performing a service, and if so, of what description, by working on this project, doing this art?

Key points... Direct, retrograde, stationary

From Rudhyar's seminal book, The Astrology of Personality (1936; 1963), the chapter on Planets and Personality:

Direct, retrograde, stationary [...] The faster the speed, the more rapid the flow of psychic energy in and through the function considered. When the planet becomes stationary, the speed, of course, equals zero. The function symbolized is shown to have extreme stability. A peculiar kind of doggedness may well describe this condition. That particular factor in the conscious make-up of the person will not let go. It will resist change. It will offer a tremendous power of inertia. As it was in the beginning, so will it be ever after. Persons born with stationary planets will always present a characteristic of this nature. This of course will be emphasized if the stationary planet is also the ruler of the chart, or strongly placed. The corresponding psychological factor will quietly but stubbornly hold its own within the consciousness, whatever may happen. [...T]he difficulty is that usually the psychological characteristics depicted by a stationary planet are not obvious, except from the point of view of psychological analysis.

Stationary Saturn

Saturn is the only stationary planet in the radix and represents a key player in identity. Stationary Saturn indicates "strong egocentricity and [...] an equally strong sense of form" (idem). It isn't the ruler of the chart. In fact, by some reckonings, it's the least aspected planet. By other measures however, in sidereal Pushya-paksha for example, it rises to the position of Amatyakaraka, the Minister, planet of second-highest degree to Moon, the Atmakaraka ("soul significator"). Saturn and Moon are trine, regardless of the system we use. Though Moon is squared by Pluto, the Saturn-Moon trine affords it an indefatigability, an indomitability, a patience and depth that enables understanding of the structure of relationships.

Mercury Retrograde — Scout planet in the middle of the soli-lunar stellium

Mercury retrograde symbolizes a mind inwardly turned, either because of a mystical trend or because of a congenital slowness of perception and an inability to project thoughts outward. According to Marc Jones, the position of Mercury before and after the Sun represents respectively mental eagerness or deliberateness. "Mental chemistry" can be shown by linking these positions of Mercury together with the speed of the Moon's motion. Paul Clancy traced a parallelism between quickness of mind and the speed of Mercury's motion. Outwardly a retrograde Mercury may give a slow mind; but by no means necessarily so. It may just as well be a mind preoccupied mostly with the collective unconscious, the mind of a seer. — idem.

Planetary Octaves, chakras and hands...

In Planetary Octaves and Rulership Rudhyar discounts the idea that the transpersonal planets represent higher octaves of the personal.

[...T]the essential fact is that the activities of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto run counter to the normal functions of Mercury, Venus and Mars. The former are not just personal activities of a "higher" kind; they are activities meant to disturb and transform ― indeed, utterly to repolarize and reorient those of Mercury, Venus and Mars. The source of Uranus' power is basically different from that of Mercury's power.

You do not understand the meaning of the difference between "conscious" and "unconscious" if you say that the unconscious is a "higher" type of consciousness; yet this is what so much that passes for occultism or metaphysics seems to be saying these days. To use the word "super-conscious" does not answer the difficulty either! The galaxy is not "super" to the solar system, no more than a city is a "super citizen." The difference between the galaxy and the solar system refers to the fact, stated early in this article, that everything that exists is balanced between two pulls of opposite and complementary character. Collective and individual constitute the two polarities of all existence. One polar current always opposes the other; yet they meet. In the solar system, they meet in Saturn.

Saturn, from the point of view of the Sun force, is the limiting agent defining boundaries of individual existence in a particular life organism. But Saturn, from the point of view of the galactic power, is a "place of power" ― the shrine, the "Secret Place" of the Kabbalist, the Diamond Body also ― within which the two forces, galactic and solar, can be integrated. There, collective and individual may meet and interpenetrate in rhythmic "marriage." But this can take place only when Saturn-the-ego has surrendered its fortified walls, its exclusivism and its fears; when the "I" is transfigured by the light that streams forth from "the brotherhood of stars" (galaxy). Then the Sun force and the galactic power course through the total organism of personality.

I've cited Rudhyar's material somewhat extensively in this study, because in point of fact I appreciate much of it; yet I find the ascription of form rather restrictive in many instances, and prefer more more integrative categories, boundaries more fuzzy in nature. I have no difficulty correlating Uranus with Mercury, or with Saturn, because I can read both as expanding under than influence. Similarly with Neptune and Venus, or with Jupiter. And Pluto with Mars alone. I 'see' these and other combinations in my hands, as illustrated in the chart below.

Correlations with the chakras may also be made in this manner, as shown in the illustration after Ray Grasse, below. Rudhyar presents a similar illustration, but does not include the transpersonal planets. His arguments tire me out.

For some time now I've worked with the gorinto model on the right side of the chart (my arrangement of the Dhyani Buddhas is somewhat different, but there are many variations in practice). Here we see association of the transpersonal planets with Saturn (Uranus), Jupiter (Neptune), and Mars (Pluto), as in Kriya Yoga. But in practice, though it rather disrupts the elegance of the correlation, I am inclined to add Neptune to Venus (though Neptune doesn't have joint rulership over Taurus or Libra) and Uranus to Mercury (though Uranus doesn't have corulership over Gemini or Virgo). Does Neptune make sense with respect to Amoghasiddhi? Uranus, with respect to Vairochana? I am open...