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The Planetaries
(Organization and Meaning of the Planetary Operators)
by Patrice Guinard, Ph.D.

-- translation Matyas Becvarov --

This text covers Chapters 24, 26, 43 and a part of Chapter 51 of my doctoral dissertation (1993).
The planetary operators embrace a logic that defines them each in relation to the others, hence they belong to an ensemble that I call the Planetaries. It is first of all a question of internal logic (for which neuro-physiology furnishes the vector of analogy) and not of a logic based on the supposed physical qualities of the planets, as with the Greeks or even the reformer Kepler. The planetary meanings participate in a systemic coherence and a functional anatomy that remove them from contingent and contradictory interpretations that result from mythological assimilation. If mythology precedes astrology in terms of chronology, even if it is also true that a certain form of "proto-astrological prescience" may have inspired the development of myths, it still does not follow that the interpretations derived from the names attributed to the trans-Saturnian planets necessarily correspond to their impressionals. I believe the modern astrologer is mistaken in the meaning he attributes to these planets, particularly to Uranus and to Neptune.



1. The biological integration of planetary rhythms
2. The Septenary in Greek thought and in Kepler's thought
3. The organization of the Planetaries
4. Planetary archetypology
5. The structure of the Planetaries

1. The Biological Integration of Planetary Rhythms

"In the world AEIOUy (Iolt) (Jold), 13 {CGEA} GM of MEAI of GMI AQQA to 31 takes ME and becomes alive on the Earth." (Étienne Guillé: Le langage vibratoire de la vie)

      There is a harmony between the macrocosm and the microcosm, a consonance between the cosmos and the biosphere, a permanent echo between the planetary rhythms and living matter. We know that Aristotle's hypothesis about the two types of matter, one "etheric," the other sublunar and composed of four elements, is erroneous both physically and metaphysically. There is nothing substantially antagonistic between a celestial world that is immutable and a sublunar world that is corruptible. But there is also sympathy within the interior of a single world.

      What are the repercussions for consciousness of the integration of planetary rhythms by living matter? How can one discern the specificity of the synergy between helio-planetary and neuro-physiological cycles? The hypothesis of an integration of planetary rhythms by living beings in general (at the level of the DNA molecule), and in particular by the nervous systems of higher organisms, does not imply ipso facto knowledge of what this astral incidence might be for organisms other than the human being, based on the assumption that astrological interpretations applicable to such incidence are co-extensible to the complexity of the human nervous system, which moreover is shaped by its social and cultural context.

      Astrological phenomena presuppose at least three things: the systemic unity of the solar system, the repercussion of planetary rhythms in neurological organization which is capable of bringing about a qualitative differentiation of the planetary impetuses, and the translation of these neurological variables into differentiated behaviors, since each individual belongs to a particular socio-cultural community which itself exhibits differentiations. To put it another way, the being with which astrology concerns itself is at the same time signal, impressional and symbol.

* The astronomical signal is integrated into the the neuro-psychological structure

* The astral impression is the psychic effect of that signal. It is "quasi-experienced."

* The astrological symbol is the psycho-mental and cultural translation of that impressional.

      The nervous system is the receptor and organizer of the impressionals, but the latter are only translated into qualities through a process of differentiation that takes place in the context of a given socio-cultural milieu. I only become Mercurial or Libran by virtue of my inapperception of Mercurial or Libran impressionals that others do not perceive and which translate themselves into my behavior, speech and gestures, themselves ignorant of the source of those impulses. Each person is unique because he is enveloped in a flux of specific impressionals. Each person is a "machine of desiring" [machine désirante] (Gilles Deleuze) guided by his impressionals.

      Planetary rhythms innervate lived experience without identifying itself with it. Astral energies inflect conscious experience but do not act directly at the conscious level. The effluences of planetary rhythms that wash over consciousness are not isomorphic for psycho-mental time, which does not receive impressions in a rhythmic sequence but rather remains dependent on more or less aleatory transformations, bringing into play an extremely variable number of factors. To put it in other terms, psychic states do not necessarily follow the periodic rhythms that manifest in the form of impressionals, because those states are continually mediated by a multiplicity of objects and mental representations that disturb, amplify, alter or themselves become the original impulses.

      "Not only do these cosmic rhythms call forth reactive activities, but also in a number of cases they engender a veritable periodicity that integrates itself in some way with the organism of living beings. (...) From a state of being exogenous, that periodicity becomes by process of induction endogenous." [1]  Consequently, it is inappropriate to speak of astral incidence in cybernetic terms (e.g., planetary emitter, organic receptor, message, communication ...) because the link is obligatory, inducted, necessarily integrated, whatever might be the reaction of the organism. A living cell possesses internal resonators that permit it to coordinate itself with planetary fluxes and to accommodate itself to variations in the helio-planetary environment.

      The research of the biologist Étienne Guillé on the rhythmic activity of living matter and the vibratory energy of cells (measured by means of radiesthesia) establishes a relationship between specific types of vibration and metals, particularly those attributed by alchemy to the planets of the Septenary, capable of opening the DNA molecule and thus of producing genetic mutations. What is more, the vibratory directions apparently correspond to the twelve Zodiacal signs, which enables the establishment of a correlation between the cellular complexes of DNA/metals and the astrological structures of Zodiac/Planetaries. [2]

      The integration by the organism of cyclical variations of planetary origin attests to the impressionability of living matter. The time that science uses - uniform, linear, extrinsic and common to all objects - finds its appropriate unit of measurement in the cesium-based atomic clock. The second is defined by the quantitative division of time - a time rendered spatial, as Bergson pointed, out following the idea of Plotinus - the ontological insignificance of which testifies to the arbitrariness of any attempt to divide duration.

      This obfuscation of the immediate experience of time is not so much the sign of the emergence of a pure temporal continuum as it is the mark of a rupture between organic and psychic rhythms and of an uprooting of the human being from his geo-cosmic environment. This dismissal of thinking about time in its most immediate aspect has the more or less immediate consequences of a loss of perception regarding the depth of reality and the abandonment of any spiritual horizon, since speech and action become aligned with the linearity of experienced time and lived experience conforms to the supposedly repetitive rhythm of inert matter.

      Living matter has its own ways of registering duration. Astral time flows into and through experienced time and structures psychic fluctuations. The interior sky of Paracelsus: that which is without is like that which is within. The immediate internal data, the "imperceptible" circulation of the impressionals, is an example of the integration by the organism of planetary frequencies and temporal rhythms. Taken as a whole, the organism is directed by the processes of periodicity, and Pavlovian reflexology has demonstrated the importance of periodicity for physiological functions. As the astrologer Nicola has pointed out, drawing on Pavlov's work, "living organisms have acquired a 'time function,' that is to say, an aptitude for combining external and internal durations which serves the best interests of adaptation." [3]

      Louis Lapicque in his studies of the temporal properties of the nervous system links the intensity of the initial impulse to its duration, according to a constant specific to each nerve: "Every neuron must have its chronaxis, its own time constant that regulates its excitability and its influx. And between one neuron and another, isochronism or heterochronism must condition the transmission of impulses." [4]  The notion of a "constitutive chronaxis" implies for each neuron a specific speed of reaction and duration of impulse. Moreover, these factors are susceptible to variation under the of action of the central nervous system, which Lapicque calls the "chronaxis of subordination."

      So the endogenous rhythms of living matter apparently result from an assimilation by the cells of exogenous rhythms. We know the importance of Circadian biological rhythms (with a periodicity of approximately 24 hours), and the temptation to relate them to astrology is so strong and "dangerous" that one finds among specialists in chronobiology some of the most savage and vehement adversaries of astrology. Higher organisms are apparently in possession of an "internal clock," a sort of resonator at the cellular level, which explains the fact that the organism registers planetary rhythms and the modulated alternation of the processes of excitation and inhibition.

2. The Septenary in the Thought of the Greeks and Kepler

"The fundamental meaning of a celestial body derives from the logic of its position in relation to the Earth and from its astronomical properties." (Dane Rudhyar)

      Greek astrology developed a system for the planets using three more or less independent criteria: the diurnal or nocturnal value of the planet, its gender (masculine or feminine), and its quality (benefic or malefic). Thus Jupiter, the Sun and Saturn are held to be diurnal, the Moon Mars and Venus nocturnal, and Mercury neuter. [5]  All the planets are classified as masculine, with the exception of the Moon and Venus as feminines, and Mercury once again as neuter. [6]  Heat is the masculine quality, and Wetness is the feminine. Moreover, the planets take on masculine or feminine qualities according to whether they rise before or after the sun. Likewise, all the planets are held to be benefic to various degrees with the exception of Saturn and Mars, the malefics, and the Sun and Mercury, which are held to be neutral. [7]

      This planetary taxonomy of the Septenary does not seem to me to be of Babylonian origin. In point of fact, it is in Greek mythology that Ares and Kronos take on negative connotations. If the Akkadian god Nergal (from the Sumerian NE.ERI.GAL), associated with Mars, was a malefic and feared divinity, his brother Ninurta, the protector of order and stability, was a benefic god and greatly venerated in the 3rd millenium BCE.

      Astrologers have never questioned deeply enough, in my opinion, the causes and origins of this threefold set of planetary characteristics. In the 3rd century BCE, the Stoics such as Epicurus divided philosophy into three branches: the canonical (the study of principles, rules and criteria that permit the mind to perform judgment about reality); the physical (the study of the environment, e.g. the theory of atoms with Epicurus, or the theory of cosmic harmony with Zeno or Cittium); and the ethical (the study of the consequences that occur regarding conduct adopted in society).

      One might well think when considering the close relationship uniting Stoic astrology and philosophy that this planetary division on a threefold plan was worked out among Stoic thinkers of the 3rd century BCE, and indeed, why not by Cleanthes of Assos (whose work is lost) or by his successor Chryssipus of Soli? In the end effect, the diurnal or nocturnal value of the planets is a type of canon applied to the Septenary, the determination of their gender on the basis of functions of elemental values is a physical application, and their benefic or malefic nature corresponds to the ethical branch of philosophy. This triple qualification of the planets appears to be the astrological application of a practice common to and active within the Stoic philosophical milieu, that practice namely being the division of philosophy into three areas. To put it another way, this systematization of the planets, supposedly "traditional," that astrologers have used for the past 2,000 years without asking themselves any questions regarding its origin, is in point of fact nothing more than a relatively artificial scheme tailored to fit the three branches of Stoic philosophy.

      An examination of the structure of planetary distribution according to the three criteria shows us that among the 9 [= (2 X 2 X 2) + 1] possibilities offered, only 5 are represented, and 4 others are left out of the picture: for example, for the Greeks there is no such thing as a planet at the same time diurnal and feminine. In the following table, Mercury should be added, considered to be neuter in all respects.

The Septenary in Greek Thought (250 BCE ?)

Diurnal Planets
Nocturnal Planets


      Kepler, in the year 1601, attempted to systematize the planetary group, still limited at that point to the "seven planets," through the use of a neo-meterological schema. Following Cardan, he retained only two active qualities, heat and wetness, which derive from the light of the Sun or the Moon respectively. [8]  Coldness is the absence of heat, and dryness the absence of wetness. [9]  The Sun warms and the Moon moistens. The ensemble of planets is distributed into a 3 X 3 grid according to their relationship to these two qualities. Kepler's hypothesis is that each quality has 3 degrees: excess, moderation and absence. [10]

      Among the planets classed as moderately warm, Jupiter is held to be temperate, Venus is too wet, and the Sun not wet enough. Among the excessively warm planets, Mercury is presumed to be moderately humid and Mars is too dry. Finally, among the cold planets (those not warm enough), the Moon is moderately wet and Saturn has the quality in overabundance. It is interesting to note that this qualification of Saturn as a cold and wet planet is in contradiction to the qualities generally ascribed to it by astrologers (cold and dry), whatever Kepler may say. [11]

      In this model the planets can be distributed into a 3 X 3 grid, even if Kepler organized his table somewhat differently. [12]  A look at the distribution of the planets according to their two qualities and three degrees shows that among the 9 possibilities, 2 are left empty: for Kepler there is no planet excessively hot and wet, just as there is none excessively cold and dry.


The Septenary According to Kepler (1601)

Excess of Heat Moderate Heat Absence of Heat
Excess of Wetness   VENUS SATURN
Absence of Wetness MARS SUN  


3. The Organization of the Planetaries

"The traditional set of symbols rested on an infrastructure that has yet to be made explicit." (Jean-Pierre Nicola)

      Since the discovery of the trans-Saturnian planets nearly 150 years ago, the planetary instrumentarium has been enriched by three new elements. The Septenary of the ancients is nowadays generally put aside for an ensemble of 10 "planets." I use the term Planetaries [planétaire] for the structured ensemble of these planetary operators, or rather for the general scheme of the circulation of psychic energy of astral origin.

      The Planetaries are a differentional structure: the function and power of each planet are relative to that of the others. The energy from the solar system is polarized by each organism relative to its terrestrial placement. The Sun, the dispenser of energy, redistributes it, as though through different skies [differen-ciel-lement] to each of the planets, which are its reflectors. In such a manner each autonomous planetary component of the solar system, each planetary operator, acquires an energetic function relative to the planetary body in question in terrestrial terms. The structural organization would be different for an organism living on Saturn or on a planet that changes orbit.

      The energy decreases going from its solar source to the Plutonian end of the system. The elements of the solar system are commonly distributed from a geocentric point of view into three groups:

* the inner planets, with short sidereal revolutions: SUN, MERCURY, VENUS
* the outer planets, with medium sidereal revolutions: MARS, JUPITER, SATURN
* the distant planets, with long sidereal revolutions: URANUS, NEPTUNE, PLUTO or PLUTO-CHARON

      These three groups of planets, accepted by numerous astrologers, have been named respectively planets of the conscious mind, planets of the subconscious (or in some cases of the personal unconscious, using Jung's terminology), and planets of the unconscious (or of the collective unconscious, again using Jungian terminology). They can also be described using Hegelian terminology: planets of Mind, of Nature, and of Being. They are the diverse declensions of the ontological triad brilliantly analyzed by Peirce: Thirdness, Secondness and Firstness. [13]

      The ontological ternary guides the nervous system [14] : three levels or registers of nerve impulse, diferentially integrated, govern all phenomena of imperception, perception or apperception. [15]  They appear to consciousness in their "pure" forms as imperceptible (impressionals), extants (concretals) or mental representations (reflectals). The ensemble of impressionals is intimately linked to the imprint of planetary rhythms on the psychic infrastructure; the concretals mark the resistance of the environment on the functioning of that infrastructure; the reflectals are linked to the organization of the brain, which is the result of the incessant mediations between the dynamic infrastructure and external reality, be it natural or cultural, and constitutes in a certain fashion the mental superstructure of the psyche.

      Thus all antagonism between subject and object disappears before the double presence of each to himself: in the life of the spirit and the activity of the mind. That which is internal is double: psychic and psycho-mental. Each being is twice implicated, twice present to itself.

      A planet is a type of energetic modulator that leads to a regulation or a transformation of excitability. Each planetary operator produces specific ruptures that induce in the neuro-physiological activity of higher organisms, and then at the psychic level, a transformation of excitability that subsequently transposes itself to the level of consciousness (in the larger sense of the word) through differences in perception of the immediate environment. Those persons influenced by the Sun and by Neptune perceive the world differently. Each planet brings in its train a specific model for the handling of signals, a specific mode of perceiving what exists, a manner of disassembling reality for consciousness.

      The conditionalist astrologer Nicola associates with each of these groups a state or level (strong, average or weak) of nervous excitability. The organization of the solar system is held to be globally integrated at the neurological level, and the nervous system is thought to be the receptor of the cyclical variations of planetary operators.

      The "strong" level of nervous excitability induces sense perception of the most evident, visible, best known elements, of the appearance of things, or to put it another way, to images, words, simple schemes, slogans. The "average" level of excitability brings perception of facts, of the concrete, of tangible reality, phenomena, cause and effect data, manifest events, patent forces, complex schemes. The "weak" level of nervous excitability brings perception of interior states, of the complex, of what passes through objects, what lies in the interstices between them, of the possibilities of things more than of things themselves, of the most subtle variations, shadows, of what seems to be indeterminate, imperceptible, evanescent, improbable, uncertain, irrational, fleeting, invisible, unknowable, or unusual.

      These three registers of excitability predispose individuals to privilege their domain of habit, experience or inspiration. There is no need to underline the fact that their chances are not equal in societies that are materialistic, pragmatic, destructive and based on commerce.

      From the Sun to Pluto/Charon the planets are organized in their functional integration with the nervous system according to these three levels of excitability, in the order of increasing complexity: from simple signals, unique, to complex signals, multiple in nature, passing through the range of average signals, dual in nature. For the conditionalist astrologer these three levels are organized on a ternary model called R.E.T. (Representation - Existence - Transcendence), terms that define the effects produced by the planetary operators on the psyche. As Nicola himself recognizes, "These terms, in the face of philosophical rigor, are open to discussion." [16]  In point of fact, they belong to different semantic registers, as is the case with the analyses I made of the Ternary on the basis of the works of Peirce [17] : the ternary Emanation (T) / Manifestation (E) / Representation (R) concerns the modes of appearance to consciousness of an entity; the ternary Essence (T) / Existence (E) / Appearance (R) deals with its modes of being; the ternary Transcendence (T) / Enjoyment (E) / Power (R) concerns the "feelings" attached to the manner in which one deals with it. Two other ternaries can also be taken into consideration: Possibility (T) / Actuality (E) / Necessity (R), and Potentialization (T) / Experimentation (E) / Determination (R).

     Thus for the conditionalist school strong excitability, associated with the rapid planets, is interpreted as "Representation," average excitability as "Existence," and weak excitability is attributed to the slow-moving planets as "Transcendence."

* SUN, VENUS, MERCURY ("R" planets)
* MARS, JUPITER, SATURN ("E" planets)
* URANUS, NEPTUNE, PLUTO ("T" planets)

      An empirical analysis [18]  allows a new distribution of the values R, E and T within each of the three groups: "Mercury would merit a T for its curiosity, its cerebral nature, its preoccupation with the uncertain. Venus would merit an E for its sensuality. (...) In the group E, experience leads us to give an R to Jupiter, a T to Saturn, rather than the inverse; the first way schematizes, the second goes contrary to evidence." [19]  Consideration of the apparent diameters of the planets within each of these three planetary groups - i.e., their geocentric visibility - seems to justify the redifferentiation of excitability and the redistribution of the three values R, E and T. [20]

* large visible diameters: SUN, JUPITER, URANUS ("r" planets)
* average visible diameters: VENUS, MARS, NEPTUNE ("e" planets)
* small visible diameters: MERCURY, SATURN, PLUTO ("t" planets)

An image of the Planetaries emerges that can be expressed in a 3 X 3 grid, as with Kepler's scheme.

The Planetaries According to Nicola (1965)



      Thus Mercury is defined in the conditionalist school by the formula, "transcendence of representations," Neptune by "existence of transcendence," Jupiter by "representation of existence," ... But one could equally well apply to them some other of the 24 possible formulas, in light of the semantic ternaries considered (cf. infra). So the formulas "transcendence of appearance," "potentialization of appearances," emanation of representations," or even "possibility of determination" could apply equally well to Mercury. Jakob Boehme wrote: "multiplication of essence." Likewise for Jupiter: "power of manifestation," "representation of enjoyment," or even "necessity of experimentation."

      Whatever might result from this semantic debate, I suggest the abandonment of these obscure connotations in favor of simple quantitative terminology (one, two, several, or perhaps unique, dual, multiple). [21]

      The values R, E and T are hermeneutic tools, practical "symbols" that illustrate energetic reality. [22]  It also seems to me more coherent to substitute for them values more directly in relationship to their energetic foundations. In such a schema, Mercury would be defined essentially by the transformation of the unique into the multiple, or in other words, the multiplication of unities, namely by dispersion, which corresponds to the neurological function of the planet (the passage of a strong state of excitability to a weak one, which is to say a drastic reduction in the quotient of excitability).

      What is more, there are problems with Nicola's model in regard to the function of the Moon and Mars, the latter because it locates itself at the center of balance of the distribution, the former because it finds itself in some way outside the scheme of the distribution. In point of fact, the planetary pairs (Sun/Pluto, Venus/Neptune, Mercury/Uranus and Jupiter/Saturn, identified by Nicola in other works of his [23] ) point to a center of symmetry involving Mars in this schematic of the Planetaries, while in point of fact the pair Mars/Moon finds itself edged off the chart. This phenomenon is also to be found in the formulas of the conditionalists, since R becomes a substitute for T (reciprocally) for the first four pairs, while Mars (which would be Ee) is opposite the Moon which would be globally RET. Other formulas for the Moon have been proposed on a number of occasions by Nicola since 1965 without managing successfully to remove the difficulty.

      In fact, the Moon and Mars have a privileged function: the Moon because is the the only satellite of Earth, and Mars because it is the twin planet of Earth. We must consider them both as a dialectical pair, the first as the center of inhibition within the Planetaries, the second as its center of excitation. The lunar formula admits of two solutions: one of an undifferentiated and affective global nature (the "Venusian" Moon), the other a total organization encompassing all perspectives (the "Saturnian" Moon). In like manner, the formula for Mars admits of two possibilities: the brute force of reality ("Jovian" Mars) and the power of integration and engagement vis-a-vis reality ("Neptunian" Mars).

The Planetaries according to Patrice Guinard (1993)

JUPITER Simplification URANUS
MOON (U-D) Indifferentiation & Potentialization
MARS (D-M) Confrontation & Integration
SATURN Complexification PLUTO


4. Planetary Archetypology

"Ten ineffable Sephiroth: they arise in a blaze of lightning; they operate eternally." (Sepher Yetzirah, I.6)

      The "ontological" planetary formulas, "transcendence of representations," or "transcendence of appearances," or "potentialization of appearances," or even "emanation of representations" for Mercury, are the result of an application of ontological ternaries to the planetary system. The neurological formulas, "drastic reduction of excitability (and dispersion to the periphery)" or "passage from a strong state of excitability to a weak one" or Mercury, result from neurological analogies and beg corroboration by scientific research. The planetary principles "transformation of the unique into the multiple," or dispersion by Mercury, results from a quantitative formalization of the registers of excitability.

Anatomy of the Planetary Functions

      Hence the Planetaries admit three levels of interpretation, inscribed on the ontological ternary (Firstness, Secondness, Thirdness). The real is no longer E any more than it is R or T, to use Nicola's terms. The ontological Triad admits of precisely three levels of reality. And there are three manners of taking that fact into account. This triple modeling can restore the "meanings," qualities and values generally attributed to the planets by astrologers.

SUN = Identification
  • principle: permanence of the unique
  • neurological formula: maintenance of a strong state of excitability
  • existential formula: radiating imagination
  • associated actions: outward radiating, vitalizing, exalting, dreaming, perpetuating, reproducing, imitating.

"Remain where you are and look at the world turning." (Henry Miller, Big Sur)

      The real is limpid and transparent. It is what it appears to be: a dream that perpetuates itself through the evidence of appearance. Things are what they are: it is useless and futile to attempt to transform them, to realize them, or to demonstrate them. An unshakeable faith directs action and animates consciousness. The Solar adheres to customs, conventions and collective patterns through respect for norms and social values, and also through an affective evaluation of appropriateness. It loves to play the role of the motive agent within a community and endorses the function of the radiating center without seeking to impose anything on anyone that would be contrary to his nature, for it instinctively recognizes the invariability of human nature.

VENUS = Dissociation
  • principle: transformation of the unique into the dual
  • neurological formula: reduction of the strong level of excitability
  • existential formula: affective preference
  • associated actions: loving (and hating), desiring (and fearing), attracting (and repelling), doubling the self, coupling, agreeing, sharing.

"Among objects and beings, certain ones are colored for me. Those I see. I believe in them." (Jean Giraudoux, La guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu)

      The unique doubles itself; the apparent takes on color; the visible becomes tangible. Images give life to the object of desire, which agrees with the feeling it calls forth. The real is a tableau of figures more or less conspicuous, bright or dark, luminous or sombre, limpid or opaque. The permanent presence of desire implies affective estimation of acceptance or refusal, pleasure or distaste, attraction or repulsion. Attachment is exclusive, visceral. The Venusian exists only through the regard of the other, of its double, of its complement, be it tangible, ideal or imaginary. It lives with that double in a confiding complicity. It gives of itself because it knows how to share itself.

MERCURY = Dispersion
  • principle: transformation of the unique into the multiple
  • neurological formula: drastic reduction of excitability (and diffusion to the periphery)
  • existential formula: intellectual mobility
  • associated actions: transmitting, communicating, translating, diversifying, diffusing, emitting, disseminating, informing.

"Neither the fields nor the trees have anything to teach me, but only the men who are in the city."
(Socrates, in the Phaedrus of Plato)

      The real manifests itself through the diverse implications of the most visible signals: the proliferation of effects, interpretation of data, diversification of consequences. The most divergent realities communicate with one another: combination of signs, exchange of data, diffusion of images and ideas, the play of language, multiplication of relations, transformation of perspectives, circulation, transcription, translation, transposition. Everything brings information. The world is the unlimited reflection of the mental, a game the mind plays with itself. The intellect is present to the bursting forth of consciousness: it is this consciousness as it has burst forth.

JUPITER = Simplification
  • principle: transformation of the dual into the unique
  • neurological formula: a raise in the average level of excitability
  • existential formula: practical efficacy
  • associated actions: spreading forth, observing, schematizing, normalizing, codifying, legislating, popularizing.

"Things do not pass for what they are, but rather for what they seem to be; rare are those who regard the interior of things, and many are those who satisfy themselves with appearances. It is not enough to be right with a face that is wrong." (Baltasar Gracián)

      The real presents itself in a mediated form: the object makes its sign and the word calls forth the act. The verbal efficacity and performance show themselves in disuasion and in the capacity to formulate laws and to codify the concrete. Existence demands an effective clarification: phenomena are schematized, events are analyzed, situations are reduced to their structural outlines. Significant choices give direction to an activity that inscribes itself on the rules of the social game one seeks to master. Experience orients itself toward diversified objectives that nonetheless converge, that favor and accumulate the power of action and the enjoyment of the things of this world. The Jovian presents itself as the guarantor of relations between human beings, of their proper functioning, such as in the necessary moral authority without which the road leads to mistrust, jealousy and suspicion that divide and break down the social fabric.

MOON = Absolute inhibition

"SUMMERTIME" MOON (image: full moon) = Indifferentiation
  • principle: permanence of the unique in the emergence of the dual
  • neurological formula: implication of the average and maintenance of the strong level of excitation
  • existential formula: informal gestation
  • associated actions: limiting, enfolding, confusing, bringing together, cohabiting, attending.
Lune (Indifferentiation)

"Why not raise ourselves, quite simply, to those heights? (...) That man will be the master of himself and his existence will be happy who can say each day: 'I have lived'. " (Horace, Odes)

      The real, perceived in a diffused manner, appears in its global nature and its internal homogeneity. Entities are confused one with the others, rather than demarcated. The world is a continuum. An informal balance is established through the lack of distinction between the levels, through the annexation of what is exterior, through the interpenetration of worlds, through the equivalence between realities of various tenors, through the ambivalence and the reciprocity of the "real" and the imaginary. Everything becomes intermingled and dissipated through this cohabitation. The Lunar lives in a fluid world, receptive to all manifestations, in permanent gestation, in a perpetual state of waiting for the actualization of its virtualities, for it carries this world within itself.

"WINTERTIME" MOON (image: new moon) = Potentialization
  • principle: permanence of the dual in the emergence of the multiple
  • neurological formula: implication of the weak level and maintenance of the average level of excitability
  • existential formula: logical formalization
  • associated actions: preserving, ordering, systematizing, pre-structuring, distributing.
Moon (Potentialization)

"The more a science is perfected, the less it has need of weighty volumes, for in so far as its elements are sufficiently established, one can find in them everything with the aid of general science or with the help of invention." (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz)

      The real is perceived globally, but rigorously. An apriorist logic guides reasoning and distributes entities while preserving their latent possibilities and their modes of articulation. The undifferentiated virtualities of the "summertime" Moon are now given boundaries and systematized. The elements compare within a pre-established structure that contains and directs them, or better: it is the structure that defines the elements. The skeleton no longer need be built, since it has been pre-constituted, pre-posited. The result is an "innate" consciousness, without need for apprenticeship. All manifestations are inducted by a pre-existing formal organization. Variations and nuances insert themselves into this definitive order. The "wintertime" Lunar has no need of waymarkers, because it has already incorporated them through the process of mastery.

MARS = Absolute excitation

"Springtime" Mars = Confrontation
  • principle: permanence of the dual in the emergence of the unique
  • neurological formula: implication of the strong level and maintenance of the average level of excitability
  • existential formula: vital dynamism
  • associated actions: acting, combating, undertaking, realizing, seizing, resisting, affirming.
Mars (Confrontation)

"I have visible and invisible enemies; but I know neither when, nor where, nor at what point, nor in what shapes they mean to attack me." (Cervantes, Don Quixote)

      The evidence of existence presses closely and imperatively. The real is born from a tangible, manifest resistance to consciousness. Spontaneously forms move, acts take shape, forces fluctuate. Existence rises up in all its apparent power, in its naked truth. The Martian affirms itself through affirming the world. It takes on the form of matter, but this union is tenuous, dynamic, shot through with conflict, because it brings together internal and external enemies. Every situation is a virtual field of confrontation, collision, telescoping, violent shocks, shouting antagonisms, and induces immediate, imminent, permanent conflict. Little matter what comes of it as a result!

"Autumnal" Mars = Integration
  • principle: permanence of the multiple in the emergence of the dual
  • neurological formula: implication of the average level and maintenance of the weak level of excitability
  • existential formula: moral necessity
  • associated actions: intervening, engaging, cooperating, organizing, adaptating, valuing.
Mars (Integration)

     "The time arrives, the day draws nigh. (...) I shall unleash my furor against you; I shall go to the ends of my wrath against you, and I shall judge you according to your acts and I shall charge you with all your abominations." (Ezekiel)

      The real resists consciousness by reason of its immanent complexity. It engages, it demands participation with a view to its transformation. The action is accomplished no longer in the immediacy and for the benefit of the agent ("Springtime" Mars), but rather due to a necessity that goes beyond. The imperative of accomplishing what is just, equitable, leaving aside consideration of any personal interests. The will becomes the obligatory support of sensibility, within the purpose of encouraging authenticity in all its forms.

SATURN = Complexification
  • principle: transformation of the dual into the multiple
  • neurological formula: reduction of the average level of excitability
  • existential formula: abstract investigation
  • associated actions: objectifying, purifying, detaching the self, renouncing, sanitizing, putting at distance, structuring, theorizing.

"After nothingness has departed, the castle of purity remains." (Stéphane Mallarmé, Igitur)

      The real, of an extreme complexity, demands the explanations - never definitive - that lie at the root of the postulates one has always interrogated. The analysis of the factual implies the capacity of anticipating the circumstantial and of structuring one's experience. From the muddle of the phenomenal world emerges in its outlines a skeleton, an underlying pattern, determined by abstract laws. Everything is articulated within a network of connections in which each entity tends to lose its individual characteristics. Investigation leads to greater and greater distance from the concrete. The rationality of the world is an octave below the indefinite complexity of the mind.

URANUS = Unification
  • principle: transformation of the multiple into the unique
  • neurological formula: a drastic rise of excitability (and depression at the periphery)
  • existential formula: individualized emergence
  • associated actions: centering, orienting, discovering, bursting forth, jutting forth, bowling over, radicalizing, surging forth.

     "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less. (...) The question is which is to be master - that's all."

(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass)

      The real appears as an ensemble of disperse elements that demand imperatively to be put into order. The phenomenal diversity is organized and focused under the aegis of an abstract principle. It is seized in its totality and reduced to its lines of force, to its essential nature. All concrete experience is subjected to the imperative of unification. Forces concentrate themselves and the resources of the will mobilize in view of an objective or a project that subsumes them. Egocentric consciousness gathers together the ensemble of its potentialities in a unilateral orientation, with a view toward radical transformation. The Uranian knows how to recognize and cultivate with single-mindedness that which properly belongs to it. Legitimate power belongs to the one who knows how to attract and regulate the indefinite variations that arise from the tendencies of the world.

NEPTUNE = Association
  • principle: transformation of the multiple into the dual
  • neurological formula: rise in the weak level of excitability
  • existential formula: contemplative participation
  • associated actions: communing, fusing, gathering together, sensitizing, dissolving, incarnating, precognizing, waiting, pacifying.

"O finders of reasons for going elsewhere, you do not traffic in a stronger salt when, at break of day, in an intimation of realms and dead waters suspended high above the smoke of the world, the drums of exile awaken at the frontiers of eternity that gape open-mouthed upon the sands."

(Saint-John Perse, Anabasis)

      The real is a field of correspondances, where things answer one another, resonate, communicate, interact sympathetically. Sensibility results from active contemplation, an opening to the multiplicity of life. What is barely perceptible is felt, what fluctuates imperceptibly is experienced, relished. There is a profundity that goes beyond the immediate data, a halo that envelops what is manifest, an atmosphere that interrelates the most dissimilar realities, an ambience beyond time that joins the here and the beyond. The indefinite presence of the world to itself shapes consciousness. Life is a promise, for the real is without limit.

PLUTO = Superdifferentiation
  • principle: permanence of the multiple
  • neurological formula: maintenance of a weak state of excitability
  • existential formula: intuitive irreducibility
  • associated actions: destabilizing, decompiling, demystifying, regenerating, criticizing, upsetting, subverting, relativizing.

"I shall make verses on pure nothingness,
Neither about myself nor about any other person,
Neither about love nor about youth
Nor about any other thing;
I have composed it while asleep
upon my horse."
(Guillaume d'Aquitaine)

      The extremes of complexity are maintained. The real is chaotic, secret, eternally mysterious, inaccessible, unfathomable, impenetrable. It manifests itself in the depths of consciousness through indefinite states, never really identifiable, pressing and ineffable. The Plutonian ferociously defends its integrity despite the reversability of its states of consciousness and the indeterminate state of its desire. It lives in the disorderly flux of inextricable realities. It perceives the evanescent, the ineffable, the improbable, what lies beyond appearances or trivialities. It maintains within itself a multiplicity of points of orientation in the infinite variability of Being and beings. Disorder is its law, its order, and until the final hour, everything is always possible.

5. The Structure of the Planetaries

"One time Yin, another time Yang: that is the Tao." (I Ching)

     The planets can be grouped into opposing pairs: Sun (Identification) and Pluto (Superdifferentiation), Mercury (Dispersion) and Uranus (Unification), Mars (Confrontation / Integration) and Moon (Potentialization / Indifferentiation), Jupiter (Simplification) and Saturn (Complexification), Neptune (Association) and Venus (Dissociation).

      It is also possible to represent the Planetaries by means of a circular schema, very close to the Chinese T'ai Ki [Yin/Yang symbol]: it brings to view a zone of excitation (Sun/Mercury/Jupiter/Neptune) and a zone of inhibition (Pluto/Uranus/Saturn/Venus), the Moon and Mars being the centers of inhibition and excitation that permit the Planetaries to regenerate themselves, as is the case with the T'ai Ki.

      Thus the maintenance of a strong excitability (Sun), the moderate rise in excitability (Jupiter, Neptune and Mars) and the creation of a generalized and diffuse excitability following the drastic reduction of Mercury are all factors of excitation, or of opening. Likewise, the maintenance of a weak excitability (Pluto), the moderate reduction of excitability (Saturn, Venus and the Moon) and the creation of a peripheric inhibition following the drastic rise of excitability (Uranus) form factors of inhibition or of closing.

      This distribution of the planets includes some differences from the Septenary of the Greeks, since in that scheme Saturn is considered a "masculine" planet and Mercury a neuter. On the other hand, it is more in alignment with the Septenary of Kepler, since the "positive" planets (Mercury, Mars, Sun), defined by an excess of heat and the absence of wetness, and the "negative" planets (Venus, Saturn and the Moon), defined by an excess of wetness and an absence of heat, are the same. Jupiter, however -- Kepler's "neuter" planet -- regains the "positive" status that it had in the Greek Septenary. As for the trans-Saturnian planets, a highly questionable mythological assimilation supports the interpretation of Uranus (Ouranos, the Greek sky god) as a "positive" or "diurnal" planet, and of Neptune (Poseidon, the lord of the seas) as a "negative" or nocturnal planet. I maintain that the semantics regarding these two planets -- put into place rather recently, notably by English astrologers of the 19th century, -- are strongly biased by mythological connotations that have no justification in reality. If the name of Neptune had been given to the planet discovered by Herschel, I wonder what consequences "astrologers" may have drawn from the fact!

      The schema of the Planetaries illustrates the lines of energetic circulation from a global point of view. It moves about an invisible center (the Earth) and describes a double curve (Mercury and Uranus), two peripheric centers (Sun and Pluto) that are the origin of two central curves (Venus/Saturn and Jupiter/Neptune), in addition to two internal centers (Mars and the Moon), absolute centers respectively of excitation and inhibition. In the T'ai Ki it is thanks to these two centers that the Yin can transform itself into the Yang, and vice versa, in such a way that the energetic scheme becomes reversed. Thus one can consider the emblem of the T'ai Ki as the archetype of one representation of the planetary energies, in spherical form.

The Planetaries

      Nicola places the planet Mars at the center of his schema and makes of the Moon a global planet. [24]  The result is an inconsistency with regard to the equilibrium of the planetary pairs: how can Mars, with a conditionalist formula of "E e," remain the complement of a Moon supposed to be globally "R E T"? [25]  It is logical that the central point of the structure remain unoccupied: it symbolizes the Earth, the point of perspective underpinning the perspective that lies at the origin of the differentiation. Moreover, in the framework of conditionalist terminology the formulas for the planetary pairs always oppose R to T and T to R through the center of symmetry E.

      Whether they were an ancient planet of which only the debris remains, or whether by the inverse they represent a potential planet that never formed, the asteroids can be brought into the Planetaries under the global form U M (Unity/Multiplicity), i.e. the simultaneous maintenance of a strong and weak state of excitability, or in other words, in another register, unity and multiplicity conjoint. The asteroidal entity resembles the Mercurial and Uranian characteristics of language, and without wishing to anticipate the correlations developed by Nicola concerning the Planetary Ages in relationship to the stages of maturation, it is obvious that the acquisition of language does not occur at the Mercurial stage, as the conditionalists would have one believe despite the facts, but rather in the asteroidal stage, between 2 and 3 years of age (cf. thesis meae sequentiam).

      Mars and the Moon are double planets, and represent absolute excitability and inhibition. Astronomically, each one plays a special role within the solar system and in relationship to the Earth. The Moon is Earth's sole satellite, and Mars is Earth's twin planet, with a cycle of night and day and a seasonal cycle comparable to those found on Earth.

      There is, then, a "Venusian" Moon, "affective" or "summertime" and a "Saturnian" Moon, "intellectual" or "wintertime," just as there is a "Jovian" Mars, "egocentric" or "springtime," and a "Neptunian" Mars, "allocentric" or "autumnal," for which confrontation is no longer an evidence but rather a duty, combat is no longer a reflex action but rather a moral exigency, and struggle becomes a vocation and not simply a personal engagement. [26]

      The planets are put into the state of psychic energy: they pre-structure the immediate data of consciousness. Each planetary operator establishes a specific caesura of the same continuum and orients a particular perspective of one's perception of reality. Given a "uniform" reality, the Saturnian and the Solar do not see the same object, because they are fitted with different lenses. Moreover, the "object" is not necessarily a given: it is the Saturnian or the Solar who calls forth its own object, who causes it to exist in its own consciousness, who creates it, because its consciousness discriminates with the aid of this "planetary lens a certain texture of reality to which it is sensitized. Of course education, culture and experience contribute to desensitization and to a pragmatic management of perception, but the planetary operators nonetheless continue to innervate consciousness. The planets are the elements that incite psychic functions. The physical signal is imperceptibly integrated into consciousness. The planetary operator is an internal force, an impressional, i.e. a daemon that presses from within.

[1] Paul Fraisse, Psychologie du temps, Paris, P.U.F., 1957, p. 19-20. « Text

[2]  Étienne Guillé, "De la matière à l'esprit," in: Troisième Millénaire 2, 1982, p. 61. « Text

[3]  Jean-Pierre Nicola, La condition solaire, Paris, Éditions Traditionnelles, 1965; 1976, p. 9. « Text

[4]  Louis Lapicque, L'excitabilité en fonction du temps, Paris, P.U.F., 1926, p. 358. « Text

[5]  Cf. Antiochus of Athen, The Thesaurus, 1.1. (English translation by Robert Schmidt, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, The Golden Hind Press, 1994, p. 3.) and Claudius Ptolemy, La Tétrabible, I.7 (French translation by Nicolas de Bourdin, 1640, revised by René Alleau, Paris, Denoël / Culture, Arts, Loisirs, 1974, p. 34). « Text

[6]  Cf. Antiochus of Athen, The Thesaurus, 1.1. (English translation by Robert Schmidt, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, The Golden Hind Press, 1994, p. 3.) and Claudius Ptolemy, La Tétrabible, I.7 (French translation by Nicolas de Bourdin, 1640, revised by René Alleau, Paris, Denoël / Culture, Arts, Loisirs, 1974, p. 32). « Text

[7] Cf. Claudius Ptolemy, La Tétrabible, I.5 (French translation by Nicolas de Bourdin, 1640, revised by René Alleau, Paris, Denoël / Culture, Arts, Loisirs, 1974, p. 32) and Hephaistios of Thebes, Apostelesmatics, 1.2 (English translation by Robert Schmidt, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, The Golden Hind Press, 1994, p. 25). The equivalent passage in Antiochus is not clear on this point. « Text

[8]  "Heat is the quality of light in and of itself, and wetness the quality of light when it is reflected." (Johannes Kepler, On the more certain fundamentals of astrology, 1601; transl. by Mary Ann Rossi, ed. Bruce Brackenridge, in: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 123: 2, Philadelphia, 1979, thesis 21, p. 93). « Text

[9]  "For old [sic] and dryness are not positive dispositions but ones deprived of light and related life." (Johannes Kepler, On the more certain fundamentals of astrology, 1601; transl. by Mary Ann Rossi, ed. Bruce Brackenridge, in: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 123: 2, Philadelphia, 1979, thesis 21, p. 93). « Text

[10] Cf. Tertius interveniens (1610), thesis 32, in Astronomi Opera Omnia, vol. 1, ed. Christianus Frisch, Frankfurt & Erlangen, Heyder & Zimmer, 1858, p. 573), and On the more certain fundamentals of astrology, thesis 24, p. 94. « Text

[11]  Cf. Johannes Kepler, On the more certain fundamentals of astrology, ed. Brackenridge, thesis 30, p. 95. « Text

[12]  Cf. Tertius interveniens (1610), ed. Frisch, thesis 32, p. 573, On the more certain fundamentals of astrology, ed. Brackenridge, thesis 30, p. 95, and also the analyses by Brackenridge, p. 110 « Text

[13]  Cf. my text, "Critical Analysis of Peirce's Semiotics and an Ontological Justification of the Concept of the Impressional", January 2000, English translation by Matyas Becvarov, « Text

[14]  The reality of the ternary could result from the "three fundamental functions of the nervous system," as Peirce suggested (in Collected Papers, ed. by Charles Hartshorne & Paul Weiss, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, vol. 1, 1931, I.393), or from the structure of the neuron (unipolar, bipolar or multipolar neurons: cf. Günther Vogel & Hartmut Angenmann, Atlas de biologie, 1967; French tr. by Stock, 1970; 1978, p. 75; or from the modes of transmission of nerve stimulus. « Text

[15]  Maine de Biran encompasses in the term "fact", i.e. reality "for us," the three general forms of the extant: states, objects and signs. "Everything that exists for us, everything we can perceive outside ourselves [objects], feel within ourselves [states], conceive in our ideas [signs], is only given to us in the form of facts." (Essai sur les fondements de la psychologie, in Oeuvres choisies, ed. by Henri Gouhier, Paris, Aubier Montaigne, 1942, p. 77). « Text

[16]  Jean-Pierre Nicola, Pour une astrologie moderne, Paris, Le Seuil, 1977, p. 175. « Text

[17]  Cf. my text, "From Semiotics to the Astral," March 2000, English trans. by Matyas Becvarov, I have, moreover, pointed out to Nicola on several occasions since 1980 the semantic incoherence of this terminology, but he has never been induced to take that into account. In other words: these designations, although "open to discussion," apparently cannot be discussed! « Text

[18]  "Astrological experience," "the knowledge of all [astrologers]" (Jean-Pierre Nicola, La condition solaire, Paris, Éditions Traditionnelles, 1965; 1976, p. 237. « Text

[19]  Cf. Jean-Pierre Nicola, op. cit., p. 238. « Text

[20]  Cf. Jean-Pierre Nicola, op. cit., p. 238-239. « Text

[21]  This terminology was outlined in La condition solaire in 1965 (cf. p. 253-255), but was largely obscured by "the R.E.T. system", in my opinion less rigorous and more arbitrary in usage. « Text

[22]  They can be used in interpretation so long as one does not lose sight of their nature or crystallize them into a dogmatic, absolute code. « Text

[23]  Cf. my text "The Solar System," English trans. by Matyas Becvarov, « Text

[24]  Jean-Pierre Nicola, La condition solaire, p. 254 and Pour une astrologie moderne, p. 181 and 183. « Text

[25]  Nicola has hesitated throughout his works about the status to be given to the Moon: "Its formula is R + E + T, i.e. the diminishing succession of the three fundmental values." ("Harmonie du monde" in Cahiers Astrologiques 108, Nice, 1964, p.30 ; La condition solaire, p. 252). On the other hand: "One can thus consider that the situation between the groups R and E necessitates using both letters, which would bring it closer to Venus and Jupiter (ER and RE)." (in: La condition solaire, p. 238). « Text

[26]  For the associations between signs and planets, cf. thesis meae sequentiam, "les Domiciles." « Text

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Patrice Guinard: The Planetaries (Organization and Meaning of the Planetary Operators)
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