By: Joseph Crane
Exploring Alice Bailey’s life and work was one of the happy surprises of the “Soul” series (from E520C The Recurring and Evolving Soul), and she was the highlight of my presentation “Soul in the Twentieth Century”. She was one of the first modern astrologers who used channeling as a major method of acquiring information.
Even if you are not familiar with her, you may have heard of 7-rays astrology, which she founded. For those who explore “New Age” ideas, and to the extent that modern astrology is intertwined with New Age ideas and inclinations, one must acknowledge the influence of Alice Bailey.
What do we mean by “New Age”? Alice Bailey was quite serious about the human race evolving toward a spiritualized planetary existence. The life purpose of those attuned to this destiny is to help pave the way for it, with help from many nonphysical guides. And yes, the New Age was also the incoming Age of Aquarius that she felt would begin in the 1990’s.
Bailey was a second-generation luminary in the syncretic tradition of theosophy that endeavored to blend Eastern and Western spirituality and science as it was then understood – current interest in vibrations, auras, chakras, and energy places on the planet and in the human body, is derived from this synthesis. Alice Bailey’s religious leanings were Christian, her works included a much reconstituted astrology, and her system is intricate, difficult to master, and insightful. Her writings, and undoubtedly her presence, were in a strongly prophetic manner. Even if you do not share her premises I don’t share, her work and those who take it seriously deserve respect. Alan Oken is one of the preeminent modern astrologers who use her system.
Bailey was born on June 16 1880 in Manchester, England at 7:42 AM to an upper middle class family and received a good education oriented toward religion and service. At the age of 15, however, she received the first of many visions of disembodied spiritual adepts, and was then told that she was to do important work in her lifetime.
As a young adult she became a missionary, went to India, and met her first husband who was also a missionary. They moved to California and she became a preacher’s wife, mother, and Sunday school teacher. After she and her husband separated, she worked in a factory to support herself and her three children. It was at this time, in 1915, that she began to attend Theosophy Society meetings.
She took to this material like a fish to water and soon became notable. She married Forster Bailey who had a prominent position in the Society. She also asserted that she too was visited by spiritual beings who gave teachings to her and who communicated telepathically to her – most particularly “the Tibetan”, Djwhal Khul. This sparked much incredulity among many stalwarts within the theosophical movement. She had gathered with her a strong following, and by 1920 she and the Theosophical Society parted ways She and her husband moved to New York City and established the Arcane School and the Lucis Trust in 1922.
For the rest of her life she would write and teach independently. Most of her writings, however, were telepathically communicated and they have a style that seems strongly inspired. She always was somewhat controversial, because of the radical nature of her visionary writings.
Now we look at her natal chart – is this the chart of a prophet?
It is certainly the chart of a powerful person.
We first notice Mars rising in Leo; would she not have a strong personal presence? We note expressive nature of Leo rising, especially when it is governed by Sun in Gemini happily situated in the Eleventh Place. Mars conjunct the Ascendant adds decisiveness and power, and the Sun in Gemini has a strongly intellectual and experiential component. (We also find these features of her natal chart in that of Donald Trump.)
When we look at Bailey’s Ninth Place we find Jupiter and Saturn and the Midheaven degree are all governed by Mars. Saturn is in fall in Aries and this may have made her more vulnerable to being overbearing and dictatorial. Jupiter is in better condition. Both planets of collective consciousness are in sect in her diurnal chart and are oriental to the Sun. There is a grandeur to this woman, with an Mars-like edge.
In ancient astrology there were two houses or places dealing with religion, spirituality, and prophecy – the Ninth (of course) and also the Third, the Place of the “Moon Goddess.” The Moon is in its “joy” in the Third in Libra. This is ironic because Bailey’s religious and prophetic leanings had a more patriarchal feel than is currently in style in the New Age community today. Moon is in Libra, governed by Venus in Gemini, but also applies to … take a guess – Mars in the First!
Mercury in the Twelfth Place does not appear to be in good condition, although it is helped by Jupiter to some degree. Mercury’s next aspect to an inner planet is the square to Jupiter. Mercury is also in the exaltation and bounds of Jupiter. This would give Alice Bailey the courage of her convictions, her sense that she had an important message to the world.
Mercury also has an applying close sextile to Neptune and this correlated to the prophetic and allegedly telepathic source of her work. Neptune is also in the Tenth Place of career and this should come as no surprise.
We understand the pair of Jupiter/Uranus to have sudden revelations, quick strokes of good luck, and an enterprising nature unfazed by notions of conventionality. But there is more: note the distances from Jupiter and Uranus from the Sun: very close to 70° on each side. At first this might appear insignificant but then we notice that these arcs yield powerful 9th Harmonic Aspects. This harmonic that is formed by a trine aspect times three that gives us indications of personal fulfillment and carries with it a strong metaphysical or mystical tone.
To the left is Alice Bailey’s Ninth Harmonic natal chart. Click on the image to see a large version.
Sign and House placements do not count; in harmonic charts we are only concerned with aspects. Here is the Sun with squares to both Uranus and Jupiter that are very close in degree, reflecting the natal situation but easier to see.
Although Alice Bailey had a very conventional religious upbringing, she definitely deviated from expectations. Beginning with her first visitation at the age of 15, her later introduction to the Theosophical Society and her position as an apostate even from that organization, she forged an independent and visionary path that has is still influential in astrology today as well as to the New Age movement in the second part of the twentieth century.
These are strong manifestations of this Jupiter/Uranus combination.
We also note that Moon and Mercury, 80° separate in her natal chart (that is two times nine), are in a conjunction in her Ninth Harmonic, again pointing to the inspired or perhaps transmitted quality of her writing.