As Above So Below


“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” – Hermes Trismegistus

Hermes Trismegistus is believed to be a fusion of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Both are associated with wisdom, writing and magic. What we know is that writings attributed to him have come down to us. They were written by unknown authors in Egypt sometime before the end of the third century C.E

One of the basic premises of astrology is the idea that human consciousness and the heavens mirror each other. They are thought to be governed by the same laws and organized around the same principals. It is believed that we can understand the human mind by observing our solar system. These ideas come down to us from Hermes Trismegistus. So, let’s take a look at the sky with this philosophical backdrop.

If you were in an imaginary spaceship hovering far above our star in the milky way galaxy, what would you see?

Our star, the sun, is a brilliant light. The first four orbiting bodies are like tiny pebbles, rock worlds – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Earth is bigger than the other three and our Moon is big in comparison to the size of Earth. From a distance, it might look like a double planet. Next, we would see the asteroid belt – it’s sort of like thick soup or a dust storm of stone. If you could squeeze it all together you would still have only a small fraction of the mass of a planet.

Next comes the gas giants. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They are all big, gaudy, gassy balloons, averaging approximately thirty times Earth’s diameter – remember Earth is the biggest of the rocky planets. Notice that these four gas planets are very different from the four rocky planets.

So, what’s out beyond the gas giants? We see another haze of icy stones extending out into the infinity of space. On the inner edge of this band is the planet Pluto. It is truly a very small body – about two-thirds the diameter of our Moon. We are now discovering Pluto is one of hundreds of such bodies. Undoubtedly, we will discover many more as our ability to see is enhanced. These bodies are sometimes referred to as trans-Neptunian or as the Kuiper Belt.

As most of you know, with the discovery of many bodies in the Kuiper Belt, Pluto was demoted and is no longer an “official” planet.

One more scientific fact, then I’ll get to my point. Pluto weaves in and out of Neptune’s orbit. Sometimes it’s closer to the Sun and sometimes Neptune is closer to the Sun. They seem to be doing a cosmic dance.

Ancient wisdom was “as above, so below.” Observe the sky to understand yourself. As an astrologer, I know that to be very sound wisdom.

We humans are evolving – changing. Think back to thousands of years ago. Humans were very different than us. Their challenges and lessons were different. Astrological symbolism for the Sun and those four rocky planets speaks of basic human issues. The ancients could see the first two gas planets, Jupiter and Saturn. They, too, reflect basic, in this world phenomena.

Consider as our knowledge of the cosmos has deepened, so has our knowledge of the human mind. Many books have been written on tracing the discovery of planets and the events in our modern world coincident with those discoveries.

Here we are. The year 2017. What are our challenges and lessons now? How are they reflected back to us as we look up to the night sky? Symbolically, Neptune (discovered in 1846) is associated with spirituality and Pluto (discovered in 1930) with depth psychology. As symbols, they have other meanings. To keep my point simple, I’ll stick with those two.

Can you feel the dance between spirituality and psychology in our modern times? Not that many years ago – and, maybe still in some people’s minds – if you talked about seeing a therapist or psychologist, you were thought to be crazy. If you spoke of being a spiritual person as opposed to a religious one, you were killed or ostracized. Can you see and feel how that has and is different now? Neptune and Pluto, working together, are reflecting back to us our discovery of our own human depth of meaning.

As we now look more deeply into the vastness of space beyond the Kuiper Belt, we humans will look more deeply into the vastness of who we are as luminous beings. As other discoveries are made out there – we will also make new discoveries in here.

As above, so below.


Note: Parts of this post were excerpted from The Book of Neptune by Steven Forrest.

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