Esoteric Astrology

Astrolog esoteric wheel


Esoteric Astrology, simply stated, is spiritual astrology. The focus of Esoteric Astrology is less upon mundane material manifestations and outer effects, and more about soul evolution and spiritual causes. An important part of Esoteric Astrology is integrating astrology with the seven Rays, or the seven types of divine energy and universal motivation. Many Esoteric Astrologers study the work of Alice A. Bailey, especially her 1951 book "Esoteric Astrology", which is part of her series of 24 books of esoteric philosophy. The following quotes are relevant:

"Astrology is built upon the mystic and intimate connection between the heavenly bodies and mankind and is one of the great secrets of Initiation and the occult mysteries." - Secret Doctrine II, 525

"Astrolatry or the adoration of the Heavenly Host is the natural result of only half-revealed astrology... Hence, divine Astrology for the Initiates; superstitious astrolatry for the profane." - Secret Doctrine III, 337

The program Astrolog supports Esoteric Astrology in addition to classic mundane astrology. The following is a description of the Esoteric Astrology features in Astrolog:

Esoteric Astrology Bodies

Esoteric Astrology charts often include additional bodies beyond what's present in a mundane chart:

D.K. ayanamsa: Related to the positions of planets, Astrolog has a sidereal astrology setting for the ayanamsa (zodiac degree offset) called the "Djwhal Khul" system, which is based on Master D.K.'s writings for the date of the first decanate of the Age of Aquarius. Esoteric Astrology primarily uses the tropical zodiac, however it also includes a sidereal ayanamsa with a relation to Esoteric Astrology that some sidereal astrologers use.

The following video demonstrates some Esoteric Astrology features of Astrolog. It animates planetary orbits in 3D, including Vulcan. It features the "12 bodies" of Esoteric Astrology: Sun through Pluto, plus Vulcan next to the Sun and the Moon orbiting Earth. Positions are astronomically accurate, although on a logarithmic scale from the Sun so the planets can be evenly distributed from it. Planets are colored according to their Ray, e.g. Indigo Ray 2 Sun, Green Ray 3 Earth, Yellow Ray 4 Moon, etc:

Esoteric Rulerships

Esoteric Astrology features alternate rulership sets for more spiritual considerations of planets. Beyond the mundane set of rulerships, there are esoteric rulers which operate on a soul or spiritual level, and Hierarchical rulers which operate on a planetary or solar level. For example, the mundane exoteric ruler of Aries is Mars, representing forceful and aggressive action. However, the esoteric ruler of Aries is Mercury, to represent the mental cause and design of that initiating energy. Finally, the Hierarchical ruler of Aries is Uranus, to represent the growth and overall purpose of the influx of initiating energy in the first place.

Astrolog can list signs, list planets, and list Rays, showing how each component relates to the other two. What follows are three different tables, which display the same information, except that each is indexed by sign, planet, or Ray.

Below is a list of the 12 zodiac signs. Each sign is associated with 1 to 3 Rays. Each sign's exoteric, esoteric, and Hierarchical ruler(s) are listed. Exoterically, some signs are ruled by two planets: A classic planet visible to the naked eye, and an outer planet that was more recently discovered and which only plays a role when the personality is seeking personal growth. Esoterically and Hierarchically, sometimes the Sun or Moon acts as a veil for deeper energies.

# Sign Ray(s) Exoteric Esoteric Hierarchical
1 Aries 1, 7 Mars Mercury Uranus
2 Taurus 4 Venus Vulcan Vulcan
3 Gemini 2 Mercury Venus Earth
4 Cancer 3, 7 Moon Neptune Neptune
5 Leo 1, 5 Sun Sun, Neptune Sun, Uranus
6 Virgo 2, 6 Mercury Moon, Vulcan Jupiter
7 Libra 3 Venus Uranus Saturn
8 Scorpio 4 Mars, Pluto Mars Mercury
9 Sagittarius 4, 5, 6 Jupiter Earth Mars
10 Capricorn 1, 3, 7 Saturn Saturn Venus
11 Aquarius 5 Saturn, Uranus Jupiter Moon, Vulcan
12 Pisces 2, 6 Jupiter, Neptune Pluto Pluto

Below is a list of the 12 main planets and related bodies. Each planet rules one or more signs exoterically, esoterically, and Hierarchically. Each planet is associated with one particular Ray. Each planet is also considered either sacred or non-sacred.

# Planet Exoteric Esoteric Hierarchical Ray Sacred?
1 Sun Leo Leo Leo 2 no
2 Vulcan Vir Tau, Vir Tau, Aqu 1 YES
3 Mercury Gem, Vir Ari Sco 4 YES
4 Venus Lib, Tau Gem Cap 5 YES
5 Earth Sag Sag Gem 3 no
6 Moon Can Vir Aqu 4 no
7 Mars Ari, Sco Sco Sag 6 no
8 Jupiter Sag, Pis Aqu Vir 2 YES
9 Saturn Cap, Aqu Cap Lib 3 YES
10 Uranus Aqu Lib Ari, Leo 7 YES
11 Neptune Pis Can, Leo Can 6 YES
12 Pluto Sco Pis Pis 1 no

Below is a list of the seven Rays. Each Ray has a name, and represents a particular type of will. Each Ray is associated with three different signs, and one or two planets. Each Ray is associated with one sacred planet: When a Ray is associated with two planets, the first planet listed is the non-sacred planet, and the second is the sacred planet. Each Ray can also be associated with one of the seven largest bodies (Dwarf planets or Dwarf planet candidates) located beyond Pluto.

The "slice" value of a Ray is the number of signs associated with that Ray, each proportioned by the number of other Rays also associated with that sign. For example, Ray 5 is associated with Leo (along with Ray 1), Sagittarius (along with Rays 4 and 6), and Aquarius (only Ray 5). Therefore Ray 5's slice value is 1/2 + 1/3 + 1.0 = 1.83. Notice how Ray 4 has the largest slice value, because it's the only Ray associated with both Taurus and Scorpio (getting 2.0 from those two signs) however it only has a 1/3 slice of Sagittarius (along with Ray 5 and Ray 6 which are also associated with it).

Ray Name Will to... Signs Slice Planets Dwarf planet
1 Will & Power Initiate Ari Leo Cap 1.33 Pluto, Vulcan Makemake
2 Love & Wisdom Unify Gem Vir Pis 2.00 Sun, Jupiter Haumea
3 Active Creative Intelligence Evolve Can Lib Cap 1.83 Earth, Saturn Eris
4 Harmony Through Conflict Harmonize Tau Sco Sag 2.33 Moon, Mercury Gonggong
5 Concrete Science Act Leo Sag Aqu 1.83 Venus Orcus
6 Idealism & Devotion Cause Vir Sag Pis 1.33 Mars, Neptune Sedna
7 Order & Ceremonial Magic Express Ari Can Cap 1.33 Uranus Quaoar

Ray Rulerships

A "Ray rulership" is when a planet of a given Ray is positioned in a sign of the same Ray. For example, Sun (Ray 2 planet) in Gemini (Ray 2 sign) is a Ray rulership. Similarly, a "Ray debilitation" is when a Ray X planet is opposite a Ray X sign. For example Moon (Ray 4 planet) in Gemini, a sign which is opposite Sagittarius (a Ray 4 sign) is a Ray debilitation. The meaning of a Ray rulership is a pure and undiluted influx of Ray energy, because both the Cosmic sign and the systemic planet are channeling the same Ray energy to our world.

Note that for all Rays except Ray 1, there exist opposite signs are both the same Ray, so that Ray has only one possible Ray debilitation. For example, the three Ray 2 signs are Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces. That means there are three Ray rulership positionings for Ray 2, such as Ray 2 Jupiter in Gemini, Virgo, or Pisces. However since Virgo and Pisces are opposite each other, the only Ray 2 debilitation is when a Ray 2 planet is in Sagittarius.

A "house Ray rulership" is when a planet of a given Ray is positioned in a house aligned with the same Ray. For example, Saturn (Ray 3 planet) in the 7th house (Ray 3 house, because it corresponds to the 7th sign Libra, a Ray 3 planet) is a house Ray rulership. The meaning of a house Ray rulership is similar to a Ray rulership, except the pure Ray energy is manifesting in the world, because both the systemic planet and the personality oriented house are bringing forth that Ray.

A "double Ray rulership" is both a Ray rulership and a house Ray rulership at the same time. For example, Venus in Sagittarius and 11th house is a double Ray rulership because it's a Ray 5 planet in a Ray 5 sign and a Ray 5 house. A double Ray rulership is very strong, because it's a pure and undiluted influx of Ray energy that's also manifesting in the world.

Below is a table showing all Ray rulerships. Each Ray (and planets of that Ray) are on the vertical axis, and each sign/house is on the horizontal axis. If the planet in that sign is a Ray rulership it's indicated by a green "RUL", and if a Ray debilitation then by a red "deb". Note the non-equal distribution, in that nearly half of all planets are Ray rulerships if in Capricorn or the 10th house, and nearly half of all planets are Ray debilitations if in Gemini or the 3rd house.

Ray Planets 1Ari 2Tau 3Gem 4Can 5Leo 6Vir 7Lib 8Sco 9Sag 10Cap 11Aqu 12Pis
1 Vulcan, Pluto RUL     deb RUL   deb     RUL deb  
2 Sun, Jupiter     RUL     RUL     deb     RUL
3 Earth, Saturn deb     RUL     RUL     RUL    
4 Moon, Mercury   RUL deb         RUL RUL      
5 Venus     deb   RUL       RUL   RUL  
6 Mars, Neptune     deb     RUL     RUL     RUL
7 Uranus RUL     RUL     deb     RUL    

Astrolog indicates Ray rulerships and house Ray rulerships in its esoteric chart described below. Astrolog can also indicate Ray rulerships in its standard text mode list of planets, if Ray rulerships are unrestricted in the Display Settings dialog.

Esoteric Chart

Body    Location Rulers House Rulers Power Rank Percent
Eart 3  Tau 4    _____    4th ____Y   44.1 (10) /  6.2%
Sun  2  Sco 4    _____   10th _____   49.5 ( 9) /  6.9%
Moon 4  Sag 456  ____Y   11th __H__   76.2 ( 4) / 10.7%
Merc 4  Sag 456  d___Y   11th _____   49.8 ( 8) /  7.0%
 5  Sag 456  _s__Y2  11th ____Y2  84.0 ( 2) / 11.8%
Mars 6  Pis 26   ____Y    2nd ds___   17.9 (12) /  2.5%
 2  Sag 456  R___z   11th _S___   85.6 ( 1) / 12.0%
Satu 3  Gem 2    _____    4th ds__Y   82.0 ( 3) / 11.5%
Uran 7  Lib 3    _Sh_z    9th _____   62.5 ( 6) /  8.8%
Nept 6  Sag 456  ____Y   10th _shf_   52.7 ( 7) /  7.4%
 1  Lib 3    ____z    8th R____   74.1 ( 5) / 10.4%
Vulc 1  Sco 4    _sh__   10th ___XY   35.7 (11) /  5.0%
Total            RSHXY        RSHXY  714.1       100.0%

Ray Count  Power Rank Prcnt. | Slice  Power Rank Prcnt.
1:      0    0.0 (6) /  0.0% |  0.00    0.0 (6) /  0.0%
2:      2  100.0 (5) /  7.0% |  1.50   91.0 (5) / 12.7%
3:      2  136.6 (4) /  9.6% |  2.00  136.6 (2) / 19.1%
4:      8  477.5 (1) / 33.4% |  4.67  245.4 (1) / 34.4%
5:      5  348.2 (3) / 24.4% |  1.67  116.1 (4) / 16.3%
6:      6  366.2 (2) / 25.6% |  2.17  125.0 (3) / 17.5%
7:      0    0.0 (7) /  0.0% |  0.00    0.0 (7) /  0.0%
Tot:   23 1428.5      100.0% | 12.00  714.1      100.0%

Astrolog provides an esoteric chart which displays Esoteric Astrology and Ray information for a given time. Display it with the "Chart / Esoteric" menu command, or the -7 switch on the command line. An example is seen above, which is for this chart.

In the first section, this chart lists the planets, showing each planet's Ray, the planet's position and the Ray(s) of its zodiac sign, and rulership information about the planet's zodiac position and house position. That includes whether the planet exoterically rules or is debilitated in the sign (indicated with "R" or "d" characters), whether the planet esoterically rules or is debilitated in the sign ("S" or "s" characters), whether the planet Hierarchically rules or is debilitated in the sign ("H" or "h" characters), whether the planet exalts or falls in the sign ("X" or "f" characters), and finally whether the planet Ray rules or is Ray debilitated in the sign i.e. whether the planet's Ray is the same as one of its sign's Rays ("Y" or "z" characters). For a "double Ray rulership", or when a planet's Ray is the same as both the sign's and house's Ray, the "Y" will be "Y2" instead. Finally the overall power of each planet is listed, based on its inherent strength, positioning, and aspects, which is computed in the same way as in Astrolog's influence chart (accessed with the -j command switch).

In the second section, the esoteric chart lists the seven Rays, showing the count of planetary sign positionings that are associated with that Ray, the total power of those planets, and the rank of each Ray's total power and the percentage covered by that Ray. This can be used to help see which Rays are most influential in a chart. The same counts and powers are repeated, however this time a sign associated with multiple Rays only contributes proportional slices of power. By default, each Ray is associated with three signs, so for balanced Ray coverage that gives each Ray an equal potential for power, the first "count" values are preferred. However, some signs are associated with one Ray, while others are with two or three, which means certain signs have triple potential to contribute power, so for balanced planet coverage that gives each sign an equal potential for power, the second "slice" values are preferred.

To describe the last part above in more detail, the "count" and "slice" values are two different ways to consider Ray influence:

  1. The "count" value (shown in the left half of the Ray list above) is Ray focused, and treats each Ray equally. Any planet in a sign contributes its full power to each of the Rays associated with that sign. That is the simplest approach, since it's balanced with respect to Rays, because each Ray is associated with exactly three signs. It means that each Ray has an equal chance to be the most or least powerful Ray, so for questions of "which Ray is the most influential" in this type of analysis, the Ray focused "count" powers are recommended. However, it does mean certain signs contribute more power than others, e.g. a planet in Scorpio contributes only once to just Ray 4, while a planet in Sagittarius contributes to Rays 4, 5, and 6 (triple the amount).
  2. The "slice" value (shown in the right half of the Ray list above) is planet focused, and treats each planet equally regardless of what sign it's in. Any planet in a sign divides its power equally among each of the Rays associated with that sign. This is balanced with respect to planets, because each planet's total contribution to one or more Rays is the same regardless of its sign. Note that the total of all "slice" values is equal to the number of planets, and the total of all "slice" Ray powers is equal to the total of all planet powers in the first part (planet list) of the esoteric chart. However, this does mean that certain Rays tend to get emphasized more than others, based on how often they have to share with other Rays of a sign. Ray 4 which has the highest inherent "slice" value (because it's the sole Ray for both Taurus and Scorpio) tends to have the highest power in the "slice" part of an esoteric chart. For example, in my own chart above, Ray 4 has nearly twice the "slice" power of the Ray in 2nd place.

Astrolog Ray ephemeris

Graphic Ray Chart

Astrolog features a graphical version of the esoteric chart described above, which graphs Ray influences over time. It's effectively an ephemeris of the seven Rays, mapping each of their powers over time. An example picture can be seen above, which shows the month of this chart. This is a "count" based Ray centered graph (although "slice" based planet centered graphs, as well as graphs that cover just one month instead of the entire year, can be done as well). Each Ray has its own column, and each column is 600 power units wide (number customizable with the -Y7 command switch), with 0 power on the left edge and 600 power on the right.

Looking at the sample graph, some parts are readily apparent. Notice how Rays 2 and 6 both have relatively high power from late August to late September, which is when the Sun (and Vulcan, Mercury, and Venus which are always near it) are in Virgo (a Ray 2 and Ray 6 sign). Around the time the Sun enters Libra (a Ray 3 sign), the power of Ray 2 and Ray 6 drops, and Ray 3 increases. Much longer and therefore more subtle Ray power cycles are dependent upon the movements of outer planets.

There's one more column for the average power of all seven Rays. The average line is much smoother, because often when one Ray is being emphasized, other Rays are being ignored, which frequently averages out. However it's not perfectly smooth, because times of general intensity such as New and Full Moons give the planets themselves (and therefore the Rays they contribute to) extra power. Also, Ray focused "count" values may result in extra total power when many planets are in Sagittarius and Capricorn, because those signs are each associated with three Rays (e.g. notice the average line is slightly higher during December when the Sun and nearby planets are in those signs).

Esoteric Interpretation

Venus in Sagittarius and 11th house:
Venus esoteric meaning: Emerging love principle through the mind, right human relations, resolution of polarities.
Venus is Ray 5 (Concrete Science), the "Will to Act".
Sagittarius esoteric lesson: Refocusing and reorienting the personality to a higher goal through right thought, right speech and right actions, achieving one-pointed direction of the soul.
Sagittarius mundane mantram: "Let food be sought."
Sagittarius esoteric mantram: "I see the goal, I reach that goal, and then I see another."
Sagittarius Light is: "A beam of directed, focused Light."
Sagittarius Labor of Hercules: Killing the Stymphalian Birds.
Sagittarius is exoterically ruled by Jupiter. Sagittarius is esoterically ruled by the Earth.
Sagittarius is Ray 4 (Harmony Through Conflict), the "Will to Harmonize".
Sagittarius is Ray 5 (Concrete Science), the "Will to Act".
Sagittarius is Ray 6 (Idealism & Devotion), the "Will to Cause".
11th house characteristics: Friendships, teamwork. It's an environment of group service opportunities for the good of all Humanity.
11th house (Aquarius) is Ray 5 (Concrete Science), the "Will to Act".
Ray rulership! Both Venus and Sagittarius are Ray 5.
Esoteric debilitation! Venus is esoterically debilitated in Sagittarius.
House Ray rulership! Both Venus and 11th house (Aquarius) are Ray 5.

Astrolog can do interpretations of its Esoteric Astrology chart described in the "Esoteric Chart" section above. To show them, display the Esoteric chart with both text mode and interpretation mode on. For each planet in sign placement, Astrolog will display the esoteric meaning of the planet, the Ray of the planet and its meaning, the esoteric lesson of the sign, the mundane and esoteric mantras of the sign, the spiritual type of Light of the sign, the sign’s associated Labor of Hercules, the mundane/exoteric and esoteric ruler(s) of the sign, along with the sign’s Ray(s), and any standard, esoteric, or Ray rulerships. If the “text influence chart shows sign influences too” setting (-j0 command switch) is on, then house placement will be esoterically interpreted as well. Astrolog will display the esoteric meaning of the house, the Ray(s) of the sign corresponding to the house, and any house Ray rulerships. An example interpretation of Venus in Sagittarius and the 11th house can be seen above.

Also included in the interpretation is an esoteric “Ray chart” for the person or time in question. A true Ray chart can’t be determined objectively, but it’s possible to give clues or hints to a Ray chart based on astrological influences. Displayed will be the potential Rays for soul, personality, mental vehicle, astral vehicle, and physical vehicle. For each vehicle, each of the Seven Rays is given a score, and these Rays and their percentages are displayed in order. Each vehicle focuses upon two or three planets that align with it, which may include Earth and Vulcan, so for best results these objects should be unrestricted. For the planets in question, the Ray vehicle score calculating process looks at the Rays of the planet’s sign, along with the Rays of the exoteric and esoteric rulers of the sign (and the Rays of their dispositors or planets which rule those signs). Some signs have multiple or veiled exoteric or esoteric rulers, in which case both lines are considered. If the “standard radix chart shows decan positions” setting (-v3 switch) is on, then also considered will be the sign based decanates. (This means looking at four things: Standard sign placement and ruler, along with 1/3 score for the decanate placement of the sign ruler, 1/3 score for the sign of the ruler of the decanate, and 1/9 score for the decanate placement of the decanate ruler.) Finally, for the three vehicles, Rays are proportioned to align with the common distribution of Rays for those vehicles: Physical Ray is usually 7, 3, or 1. Astral Ray is usually 6, 2, or 1. Mental Ray is usually 5, 3, 4, or 1. An example Ray chart for this natal data can be seen below, for which the strongest astrological Ray influence percentages are: Ray 3 soul, Ray 6 personality, Ray 5 mental, Ray 6 astral, and Ray 3 physical.

The text used for the mantras, spiritual Light, and Herculean Labors is from the book “Esoteric Astrology” by Alice A. Bailey. The text used for esoteric planet meanings, esoteric sign lessons, and esoteric house meanings, along with the main design logic of the astrological influences Ray chart itself, is by Esoteric Astrologer BL Allison.

Ray chart clues based on astrological influences only:
Soul Ray: R3 (41%), R7 (23%), R1 (21%), R2 ( 7%), R5 ( 3%), R4 ( 1%), R6 ( 1%)
Pers Ray: R6 (30%), R4 (23%), R2 (21%), R5 (10%), R1 ( 6%), R3 ( 6%), R7 ( 0%)
Ment Ray: R5 (54%), R4 (27%), R6 ( 9%), R3 ( 6%), R2 ( 2%), R1 ( 0%), R7 ( 0%)
Astr Ray: R6 (64%), R2 (13%), R4 (10%), R5 (10%), R3 ( 1%), R1 ( 0%), R7 ( 0%)
Phys Ray: R3 (27%), R6 (24%), R4 (17%), R5 (17%), R2 (10%), R1 ( 3%), R7 ( 0%)


Astrolog can customize various settings associated with Esoteric Astrology:

Astrolog Triple Sun chart

Triple Sun Charts

A Triple Sun chart is a special type of tri-wheel that some Esoteric Astrologers make use of. For background information and details about Triple Sun charts, see this article by Stephen Pugh. All three wheels in a Triple Sun chart are variations of the natal chart, superimposed in a particular manner:

  1. Outer wheel - exoteric: The Sun is rotated to start of the Ascendant’s sign. (This is the same as a classic solar chart.) This wheel shows the birth Sun, and represents the personality. It's associated with activity and objective appearance.
  2. Middle wheel - esoteric: The Ascendant is rotated to start of its own sign. (This is closest to a standard chart, in that planets are never rotated over 30 degrees.) This wheel shows the rising Sun, and represents the soul. It's aligned with love-wisdom and subjective quality.
  3. Inner wheel - Hierarchical: The Earth is rotated to start of the Ascendant’s sign. (Note planet positions here are always 180 degrees opposite the exoteric wheel.) This wheel shows the opposite Sun, and represents the Monad. It reflects will and divine life.

Note it's important to remember that a Triple Sun “chart” is not the same as a Triple Sun “Horoscope”. The chart is just some objectively computed and drawn graphics, however the true Horoscope involves spiritual practices and meditations to properly use the chart. Below are some quotations which inspire superimposed charts:

“When the Sun sign, with the exoteric rulers, is worked out in a chart, the rising sign with the esoteric rulers is also worked out and the two are superimposed upon each other, the problem of the disciple in any one incarnation will appear.” (Esoteric Astrology p514)

“The Sun sign, governed by the ruling esoteric planets and the rising sign governed also by the esoteric planets, can both be used in casting the horoscope of the initiate; when superimposed upon each other, the outer life of the initiate in the three worlds and the inner life of subjective realization will appear. This mode of super-imposition will be a feature of the new astrology.” (Esoteric Astrology p514)

"I would call you attention to the fact that in any one incarnation the Monad works through the Opposing Sign, the Soul through the Rising Sign and the personality through the Sun Sign, and these necessarily vary from life to life." (Unpublished Zodiacal Meditations, 1943)

Astrolog can display Triple Sun charts. It doesn't have a direct or simple menu command to display them, however one can configure the program to automatically compose them given any natal chart. To do that, select a tri-wheel, and set the Whole house system. Load the natal chart into all three wheels, and configure the three wheels individually to rotate the planets appropriately. This can be done with the following command line. In the Windows version, first load or enter in your natal chart data, and then copy/paste the text below into the "Edit / Enter Command Line" menu command to switch to a Triple Sun chart of your natal data:

-M30 "-Y10 Sun Asc" "-Y10 Asc Asc" "-Y10 Ear Asc" "-Y1 Ear Ear" -M0 1 "-i2 __1 -i3 __1 -r3 -c Whole _R Vul" -M 1

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