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Many Rainbows

Our tree of life is surrounded by multiple self-similar rainbow spectra at different scales that both enlighten and protect .

By John Townley

In earlier articles, we’ve touched on how scaling, and proportions within individual scales (see Windowpanes), may be the key to not just the physical basis of astrology but its understanding and interpretation by different cultures, generations, and shared language. We’ve also noted that the planet-to-person me-first links between the celestial bodies and ourselves may be a dreadful delusion getting the whole situation exactly backwards. Finally, we’ve personally had some real problems with several generations of astrologers trying to make astrology a subset of psychology (particularly the Jungian brand), which puts the cart before the horse. And, as a sidebar (but perhaps fundamental to much of the above), we’ve proposed that time (like space) has three dimensions and that living organisms already innately know, experience, and depend on that, something we need to consciously reacquaint ourselves with to better make use of in daily affairs. (See The Moon On Deck),

Some things come first. Before there were humans, or nearly-advanced life here, the planets were settled into their current orbits, and so their effects on us predated and thus caused any view of them or astrological interpretations we may now have. Any associations we have with them are the result of their specific affects upon our planet (and our environment) which then transfer down to us in ways that may appear to be specific to the minute but sometimes seem miss the mark entirely. The debunkers’ favorite inverse-square law quotation actually holds true – you’re not on a first-name basis with Saturn (or God by any other name), it comes through multiple joined intermediaries that surround you and may lock you in tighter than any imagined one-on-one Lutherian tete-a-tete with the Deity could do.

Nevertheless, we observe clear styles of apparent associations with planets, either because of their direct effect on the environment (and then upon us), or by the length of and associations with their cycle periods (significant sections of our lives) – or both combined, interacting together on our external and internal experience and development.

Since natal horoscopes are mostly what astrologers are concerned with, it’s important to define them, before going ahead with other speculations. Your moment of birth is the beginning of an independent system (yourself), reflecting a unique set of initial conditions that depict the overall state of planetary tensions (or relaxations) of the Earth (and particularly Gaia, which is the overall life system-set on the planet, which most affects you). That initial structure continues to be interlocked and resonates with everything that happens subsequently, simple but obvious. If Gaia was relaxing in a lot of comfortable Lagrange points when you were born, you’re a happy camper, but if she was tensed up the more unsettled ones, you’ve got some issues.

What You See, and What You Get

But you don’t see it that way as it happens. You see just what you see (and hear or read), one thing at a time, until you get to where you are now. In the process, most of what you learn so arduously early on (from sucking at a breast, to walking, to talking, toilet training, dressing yourself, driving a car, more) monopolizes your time when they happen and then are subsequently compressed to automated knowledge which you don’t address directly anymore but becomes the substructure of your every action and reaction in daily life.

In the process, you experience things that happen fast, happen occasionally, or only happen or repeat after a long time. That’s what cycles are about. From day and night (diurnal motion, you notice in the first days of life that sometimes it’s light and sometimes dark), to the swelling pull of the tides (diurnally and monthly, which shellfish feel and, undefended early, likely so do you), to the creaking of the Earth itself as it goes from season to season, is pulled, slowed, and speeded in its surprisingly variable orbit by the rest of the planets. All of these establish themselves, lock themselves away in your ever-compressed and constantly-overwritten levels of experience and memory, to be replaced ultimately with what you consider to be your conscious awareness now. In fact, you’re made up of layers of compressed memory and experience that are the main drivers of what you do, with a little lately-developed sophistication supposedly in control at the top. Sounds very Freudian, but in fact, it’s just your temporal experience, structured by what you’ve been through outlined by a combination of cyclical evolution and everyday happenstance. The cyclical part happens at a variety of sets of frequencies, some obvious to the senses, some only through effects via the environment, from the very long to the very short, from repeat periods of years or centuries to micro and nanoseconds. The happenstance part is uniquely your own, what makes you different from an identical twin, but the rest is residual and shared by the larger system from which your smaller system derives and to which it remains attached.

Rhythm, tone, harmony, and color -- and planetary cycles far below them -- are arranged and perceived the same way

Since we can’t possibly remember all the specifics or these endless layers that have made our inner and outer structure over our individual lives and the eons that have structured them, we have developed a wonderful set of abilities to approximate our gathered experiences and put them into both words and feelings, by which we daily run our lives. After being shown as children, for instance, that apples were red, blood was red, fall leaves were red, and our embarrassed faces were red, we come to know in approximate estimations and by association what red is. And, in overall life experiences, we tend to learn that lower colors (in the light frequency scale) are more compelling and threatening, while higher ones are more enticing and perhaps elevating. We find the same proportions in sound frequencies to have the same associations, lower being more driving and ominous, higher being more pleasant and enticing, without ever noticing the similarity between the two sets of color and sound. Even within sound frequencies, we don’t actively observe the fact that slower, more funereal beats compared with faster, fun, and playful tempos transpose directly upward into the same ratios, multiple octaves above, into dark bass notes and friendly treble notes and harmonies. The same principles, at different scales, are evened out across our various spectrums of sensory capabilities, whether in the single octave of light or the multiple octaves of sound and rhythm – or the much slower repetitive cycles of day and night, the tides, the seasons, and the ages of weather and geological change driven by the solar systems stresses on the planet itself.

Higher And Lower Windows Repeat Each Other

When we see a particular frequency of light, we name it according to its relative position of the highest and lowest limits we can see, from infrared to ultraviolet – ROYGBIV, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Similarly, we name musical notes and keys according to how relatively high or low they are (A, A#, Bb, B, C, etc.), and beats from slow and formal to quick and spirited (adagio, andante, presto). It is how we compromise and unify the massive amounts of input we have had from them, in order to make approximate selections and labels. So, accordlingly, at a much lower set of frequencies, do we name the diurnal sets of houses, the seasonal sets of signs, and the general nature of each of the planets according to their frequencies (cycles). Those things we associate with the Northern seasons (perhaps because Gaia has most of her land life in the northern hemisphere) become signs, and planets become associated with their frequency of recurrence from faster and more obvious (and lighter – the Lights and inner planets) to slower and darker (and more mysterious, the outer planets). It is their frequency and our experience of those frequencies that give the meaning we attribute to them. Diurnal motion and the Moon are associated with quickly-moving, short-term types of experience and thus carry those connotations of meaning, like inclusive super-concepts, whereas Jupiter and Saturn’s slower frequencies are associated with generalized concepts relating to our repetitive experience gleaned over their longer time periods. And, consistent with our other spectral windows of experience, like light and sound, the lower the frequency the weightier the association. And, we didn’t invent it as some sort of myth, it created us and we simply note the phenomenon, turn around and describe what we experience in the best words we have in the culture of our time. Their intrinsic meanings to us are directly proportional to the length of our own life spans.   

Lower frequencies are  felt as heavier and dangerous,  higher as easier and friendly, across all spectra, including planets

Organisms who live at shorter scales or have different spectra of observations may experience them totally differently. Certainly, a creature who lives only a few years doesn’t see Jupiter and Saturn as anything but far beyond their personal relevance. Sequoias, however, experience them as we may experience a month or a year.

The same may apply to longer-lived entities of which we as individuals are only cellular parts, like nations (see Adolescent America). Similarly, those who can see or hear things we can’t (like dogs, cats, or elephants, on high and low ends of the sound and light spectra), may have a different view as well. The recent reports of elephants fleeing inland (dragging their passengers with them) during the great tsunami may reflect such. Not that they heard something out of the blue and knew to go to higher land. Far from it – they constantly hear infrasound quadraphonically through their feet, and when large, extra-low and thus scary variations appeared, they simply moved in the opposite direction of where it was coming from, as any reasonably intelligent creature would. It’s all a matter of proportions, and how you place the specifics within the available, recognizable spectra at your command. We, biologically, manage with only a few (that we know of), but there are many other sets we might look at more closely for meaning and symbolism (see bottom illustration). Indeed, we seem to be surrounded by similar windows on the world at different scales like enveloping multiple rainbows around our tree of life.

Focal Points And Frequencies

Thus, in an astrological perspective, the planets as broad concepts that include all kinds of similarly classifiable ideas and feelings are defined and outlined by their frequency position in the overall spectrum of our individual and group experience. They are not amorphous “archetypes” (a previously-taken and more-specific word than what Jungian astrologers really mean), they are focal points in our spectra of general experience which we not only experience at their actual frequencies but then proportionately rescale to our other operative reduced scales of observation, from color, to pitch, to rhythm, and perhaps elsewhere – and thence to shared meaning and symbolism across all. The outer planets get the bottom of the scale, the middle and inner planets get the higher and friendlier spots. Life on Earth as we know it, call it Gaia or whatever else, responds to these multiple sets of self-similar (fractal, if you will) scaling at various frequencies, only some of which humans directly sense, while other life forms feel overlapping or entirely separate sets, all united in their repetitiousness and the ways in which life-forms whether flora or fauna, tiny or giant, use them to continue their survival. We are all surrounded by a set of universal, enveloping rainbow spectra within which we live and upon which we depend for our fundamental orientation and existence, and which in fact creates and determines it.

To the astrologer, it is useful and perhaps reassuring that the planets fit right into the greater picture, another scale and window on human existence that we can actually perceive and interpret, as we do the more obvious windows of sound and light. But to anyone it should offer a challenge to find out what other windows may be there which aren’t so obvious and we haven’t noticed because it hasn’t been recently necessary for our evolution and survival. Or, perhaps more intriguing, to relocate the spectral sets we have forgotten or buried because they are no longer on the front burner, so to speak. Some we have discovered quite recently and are making use of – mainly those in the middle frequencies we now use for radio and TV communications, which are expanding our evolution as a social super-organism. Others, in the highest (and physically most dangerous to us) frequencies we have been fortunately protected from by Earth and Gaia herself (through her magnetic shield and ozone production) and by the solar wind of the star that warms and enlivens us. We never before needed to know about them, fortunately for us, but now that we are venturing further abroad, it’s becoming a necessity.

What other windows in space or, just as likely, in time are we overlooking or utilizing without even being aware of it? Look around you – there are many more rainbows yet to be chased...

From the cycles of the galaxies to subatomic vibration, spectral windows repeat the proportions of those within and without

  ...for a wallchart size version of the spectrum chart go to the International Light Association

...for more of the marvellous rainbow tree photo series by Dan Bush, go to Rainbow At Elam Bend

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