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Author Topic: Thomas Merton's Mystic Rectangle  (Read 6496 times)
James Williams
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« on: November 20, 2010, 12:31:32 PM »

A Mystic Rectangle in a horoscope involves two sets of oppositions whose ends both trine and sextile each other, thus visually forming a large rectangular pattern across the chart.  Dane Rudyhar referred to it as "practical mysticism" since it involves "two potentially awareness-revealing, illuminating oppositions that can creatively reach ideal or inspired fruition (trine influence) thru intelligent, innovative utilization of energies (sextile influence). However, much depends upon the level at which the oppositions are experienced by the individual (since the opposition aspect can also express itself as disharmony, imbalance, separative forces, and irreconcilable tension). Normally, the challenges of the two oppositions are more effectively encountered than would be otherwise expected, due to the integrative influences of the linking trines and sextiles.  Conflict and discord determined here now have a stimulating, encouraging impetus for satisfying resolution, suggesting that such oppositions are less prone towards being paralyzed by impasses and stalemates.  Any perspective gained can here be more self-expressively utilized in a growth-producing manner.  Attempts toward productive activity in relationships are better able to be more objectively evaluated and balanced in their execution thru INSIGHT and INTUITION when this configuration is positively expressed" (from page 94 of "Dynamics of Aspect Analysis" by Bil Tierney, 1983).

Thomas Merton's chart (see link below) displays a Southern Hemisphere emphasis, suggesting being swept away by events, even victimized by them in many cases.  Parental tensions are highly significant, the need for love and the anxiety about being unlovable is marked, and anxiety over self-worth and self-value is salient.  Relational and sexual issues also predominate, and higher education most likely interrupted.  Intelligence and adaptability are located center stage, along with a sense of emotional drama.  A desire to be respected, loved and honored for innovation, intellectualization, and social significance is shown to others idealistically and impressionably.  

Merton's Mystic Rectangle is formed by the conjunction of Saturn (11) and AP Pluto [8] at the nadir, opposite his Venus (2,7) at the Midheaven, along with the opposition of his Leo 6th House South Node to the conjunction of the North Node, Mercury (4,7), and Jupiter (9,10).  The South Node trines Venus, while Saturn-Pluto trines Node-Mercury-Jupiter.  The South Node sextiles Saturn-Pluto, while Venus sextiles Node-Mercury-Jupiter.  

In 1948, with SA Ascendant = Neptune,  SA Midheaven = Mars, SA Mercury = Pluto, SA Venus = Neptune, SA Saturn = Mars, SA Uranus = Chiron, and SA Node = Pluto, Merton's famous book entitled "The Seven Story Mountain" was published!  Also please note that in October of 1948 when the book was first displayed, Merton had transiting Uranus partile conjunct natal AP Pluto, transiting Venus-Saturn was conjunct natal South Node, transiting Mars-Chiron was square natal South Node and natal North Node-Mercury-Jupiter, and transiting Jupiter was partile conjunct natal Venus!!!

If he had had an astrological consultation in 1947, he would have disclosed that he had finished writing the book the previous year, but would naturally also be curious and anxious about whether or not it would eventually be published, since it appears it was undergoing some kind of litigation process in 1946 and/or 1947.  Imagine being that astrologer, and then noting the aforementioned aspects soon to come to the forefront in 1948!!!

Eleven years later, in 1959, at the age of 44, on the heels of his transiting Saturn and Uranus oppositions, and upon the dawning of his year of solar arc semi-squares, he began a dialogue with noted Buddhist scholar D.T. Suzuki, on the similarities of Christian mysticism and Zen, which was later published as "Wisdom in Emptiness" in his book entitled "Zen and the Birds of Appetite."  At that time, transiting Uranus and transiting Pluto conjuncted natal South Node (Node = Uranus/Pluto...Untiring colleague; teamwork paying off...Tyl), transiting AP Saturn conjuncted natal Venus and the Midheaven, and transiting Chiron conjuncted natal Node-Mercury-Jupiter!

And, not surprisingly, on the afternoon that he discarded his body in December 1968, with the backdrop of SA Mars = Ascendant and SA Chiron = Sun, all four corners of his Mystic Rectangle were also strongly activated, with transiting Pluto squaring natal Saturn-Pluto and natal Venus, and transiting Neptune squaring natal South Node and natal North Node-Mercury-Jupiter...

"Practical mysticism" in deed...thanks to the productive and fruitful activity of Insight and Intuition...

http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Merton%2C_Thomas
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 02:01:51 PM by James Kenneth Williams » Logged

"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
Halina
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 01:40:35 PM »

     Merton's death was bizarre.  During a 6 month trip thru' Europe, on Dec 10, 1968, he stepped out of a shower in a cottage near Bangkok, reached for a fan with defective wiring and was instantly electrocuted.
(220 Volts).  This event is shown in his Precessed Lunar Return for this date.  Uranus ruling electricity, is
conjunct his natal Ascendant(physical body), conjunct Jupiter in Libra(he had a peaceful smile on his face).  Jupiter is always present in death, signifying the peaceful release of the soul, from the body.
    In a biwheel, (not shown), at the moment of death, transiting Pluto, ruling the 8th of death, exactly conjunct the natal Descendant (his light was out).
    In the Harmonic Age chart for the event, the closest aspect is Saturn (loss, death) Square Uranus (electricity).  Saturn rules 10th,fame, is in the electrical sign Aquarius, disposited by Uranus in the 8th of Death.
    Seems like he was destined to die at this exact date.  In Vedic, he was in a Moon/Venus dasha at the
time of death.  Moon rules this main period and was aspected by malefics Sun and Mars, ruler 2(maraka).
The subperiod was Venus, ruler 8th Death, receiving a malefic aspect from Saturn.    Moon in the Water
sign, Cancer(Shower).
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 03:18:44 PM by Halina » Logged
james m
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 08:16:33 PM »

hi james...
it is interesting that in order to get the mystic rectangle in mertons chart the nodal axis is necessary... i would suspect if one is going to use a few of the different axi - asc/desc, mid/i.c., vertex/anti-vertex and etc a lot of these chart patterns would show up.. using the asc/descendant axis in mertons chart one immediately gets a grand cross too! anyway, i enjoy reading about patterns that others see when looking at astro charts...  how about finger of god with neptune at the top? that would certainly seem to account for some of mertons mystical tendencies...

as for his sudden and bizarre death - saturn/pluto conj in 4th is being squared by t pluto... sun/saturn 135 exact in his chart means t pluto is also 135 sun at the time of his death... solar arc mars at 25 mutable ties into all of this... these things will probably always remain a mystery, but in retrospect it is an interesting question as to what is the astro around death... pluto is clearly involved here transiting the descendant, sun and saturn... this would suggest a potentially dangerous time regardless of the outcome...
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James Williams
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 06:00:47 AM »

Hi James,  I think Western astrologers could take a hint from Vedic astrologers on the importance of the Nodes; too many Western astrologers devalue them, and I sense that Merton's Mystic Rectangle is made even stronger with "just" the presence of the South Node at one corner, than some other planet....Grin

Thanks for pointing out the Yod with Neptune at the apex...perhaps too many Western astrologers have discarded the quincunx too quickly as well! Grin

Regarding this type of Yod, Tierney wrote, "Apex Neptune indicates an individual who begins his life pattern feeling out of touch with the ordinary mundane realities of his environment, and who inwardly longs to be elsewhere where life is more calm, peaceful, and beautiful upon all levels" (ibid., p. 165).

This certainly would be very important information to have as a consulting astrologer!  Which brings up that essential question in regards to chart preparation, "How much is too much, and how much is not enough?"  

As legendary coach John Wooden said, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 12:04:27 PM by James Kenneth Williams » Logged

"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
James Williams
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 07:32:16 AM »

Interestingly, Angelina Jolie's horoscope (see link below) also displays a Southern Hemisphere emphasis, suggesting being swept away by events, even victimized by them in many cases.  Parental tensions are highly significant, the need for love and the anxiety about being unlovable is marked, and anxiety over self-worth and self-value is salient.  Relational and sexual issues also predominate, and higher education most likely interrupted.  Her energy to diversify and communicate expresses itself through a desire to be important--to be numero uno--and is projected to others in a way that both maintains and protects her emotional and "home" security. 

And her chart also displays a Mystic Rectangle!

Her Mystic Rectangle is formed by Pluto's (5) opposition to the Mars (10) and Moon (1) conjunction near the Midheaven, along with Neptune's (9) opposition to the Sun (2).  Pluto sextiles Neptune, and the Sun sextiles Mars-Moon.  Pluto trines the Sun, while Neptune trines Mars-Moon.  Also please note that Neptune is nearly partile conjunct with her Vertex!

It appears that she first began becoming informed about worldwide humanitarian crises (her unique way of manifesting Rudyhar's "practical mysticism") sometime in 2000.  At that time, transiting Pluto-Chiron were conjuncting natal Neptune-Vertex, and transiting Jupiter was conjuncting natal Sun!

http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Jolie%2C_Angelina

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"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
james m
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 06:07:44 PM »

james - those pesky western astrologers! geez, if i didn't know better i'd of thought they might've come up with highfalutin words for geometrical patterns like 'mystic rectangle' or 'finger of god' and etc too, but alas maybe they didn't!~ 

i hear what you are saying about the significance of the moon's nodal axis in vedic/eastern astrology... it is exactly as you say in your own post - where does one draw the line with regard to what includes in their astro overview? moons nodes yes, but all the other planetary nodes no? ascendant/descendant yes, but vertex/anti vertex no? saturn and uranus yes, or maybe, but chiron no? it definitely gets complicated for a newbie to astrology, and then their is the idea that one could immerse themselves in vedic astrology for a number of years as well at which point they would have covered a larger area and either be very educated on a number of in and outs to astrology, or completely befuddled... i can only speak for myself while answering in the later after having tried the former to some extent..

anyway, back to the mystic rectangle as a pattern deserving of wider attention: i have a small file of religious types and thought i would share a few of the names and dates of those that have this pattern in their chart.. the one caveat is the number expands if one includes chiron as a planetary point.. before i get going i want to mention that yesterday when i read over this i had the thought of "prince" the purple rain fellow come into my mind and sure enough he has this pattern.. june 7 1958 6:17pm minneapolis, minn..

here are the religious type figures with this pattern if one includes chiron in the mix...
meher baba - feb 25 1894 5am pune, india - gotten with chirons position.
zijad delic - may 12 1965 12 noon serajevo, bosnia/herzegovina- this fellow is a canadian and leader with the canadian islamic congress.
thich nhat hanh - oct 11 1926 905am kwinhon, vietnam... one has to be a bit creative to get the specific pattern with this fellow as while he has two oppositions not all of the sides work out to sextiling one another and one has to include chiron in the mix..
ramana maharishi- dec 30 1879 1am madurai, india.. one needs to include the moons nodal axis to get this pattern here too..
hugh prather- jan 23 1938 12 noon dallas, texas..
echart tolle- feb 16 1948 12 noon dortmund (allemange)
yoganada - jan 5 1893 838pm gorakhper, india
rabbi ovadia yosef- sept 23 1920 12 noon basra, iraq


the 12 noon times are in the absence of a definitive time for these folks... it would be fun to have more data to examine... 
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James Williams
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 06:29:47 AM »

Thank you James, that's quite an impressive list there!  I bet they never thought they'd end up on the same list with Angelina Jolie!  May I ask, what is your source for Thich Nhat Hanh's birthtime?  I've been after that birthtime for a long time... Grin
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"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
james m
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 09:10:23 AM »

thanks james... i can't remember where i got the specific time for Thich Nhat Hanh.. you might want to consider it questionable as i am unable to provide a source.... it might have been in a book or in some of my reading somewhere, but i can't recall just where....

Angelina Jolie seems like an interesting person.. i don't know much about her as i tend to avoid all things hollywood infected...
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James Williams
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2010, 04:33:44 PM »

Thanks, James, Nhat Hanh's birthtime has been very elusive, and I'm not sure if anyone really has it...

BTW, I see that Prince also has a mighty Yod in his chart with AP co-final dispositor Mars (5,6) at the apex and the sextile between Neptune (4) and Pluto (1) at the MC...but unlike Merton and Jolie, Prince's Mystic Rectangle has not been as beneficial for him when transits have crossed it, e.g., 1998...am curious to see as he gets older whether or not he manifests, as Rudyhar called it, some "practical mysticism" as Merton and Jolie have done...
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 12:05:03 PM by James Kenneth Williams » Logged

"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
James Williams
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2010, 05:57:03 AM »

Yes, I agree, the orbs appear too wide for Yogananda to have a Mystic Rectangle, but he does have a very tight Yod with final dispositor 8th House Mars (9) at the apex, and Chiron and the South Node sextile...thanks for sharing this!  Now I'm wondering if the chart of Ramana Maharshi is also impressive in regards to the midpoint scenario?!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 12:05:29 PM by James Kenneth Williams » Logged

"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
James Williams
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2010, 06:27:20 AM »

It's also interesting that Bil Tierney in his book, "Dynamics of Aspect Analysis", lists Friedrich Nietzsche, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Carl Jung, George Bernard Shaw, and Richard Nixon--along with Prince and Yogananda--as having yods in their horoscope with Mars at the apex...
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"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
james m
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 09:46:19 AM »

the orb thing is a constant source of fascination... it seems when i view things from a distance i can see a particular shape but when the folks with the microscopes take a closer look they don't see the same shape... oh well.. i chalk this up to different views gotten via the distance one is viewing the subject from... those who prefer microscopes to binoculars are a different breed... wouldn't it be a crazy world if someone was able to work with both?

thanks for the 16H midpoint analysis of yoganada's chart ed..  maybe these esoteric patterns don't mean much... i see this like musicians playing different sounds on an instrument... different musician - different sounds... the instrument is the same...

james k - that is a great book that bil tierney put out..

i think the thing about mysticism is it's a bit mystical... maybe it's hard to know whether it has a lot of practical value or not.. i remain open minded about the idea of something manifesting in a way that i can categorize it as such...either i do or don't have one of these patterns myself, depending on the orb and whether oppositions must be between only 2 planets or nodal axi and etc... the mystery of a mystical rectangle might be getting more mysterious for me at this point....



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James Williams
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2010, 12:03:12 PM »

Tierney wrote the following about a Yod with Mars at the apex..."The method in which he asserts himself may often be in need of correction and alteration.  His active efforts may miss their mark for quite some time until he learns to bring his inner drive into clearer focus with his actual capacity to act upon situations with greater organizational intelligence...the individual may feel uncomfortable with his sexual tensions...Once he establishes a clearer view of matters here, this individual could become quite energized to work hard and become industriously busy...He is normally able to operate alone, unhampered by others to a great extent.   A mismanaged Yod with this apex planet, however, could result in fateful consequences of a crucial nature due to rash or disruptive actions on the individual's part" (ibid., pp. 159-160).

Certainly fits Nixon, Prince, Yogananda, etc. Grin
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"The message blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse man's will to escape from his universal thralldom. What he has done he can undo. None other than himself was the instigator of the causes of whatever effects are now prevalent in his life."
james m
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2010, 01:44:28 PM »

thanks for the additional comments james k...

hey check out the pattern in yoganada's chart with moon at the apex.. sun-mars 80 degrees, or novile apart, with moon at the opposite midpoint to this... sun-moon 140, and mars-moon 140.... 140+14+80=360.. it is very exact... of course it is a different pattern, but it also involves mars with sun/moon....
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james m
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2010, 02:33:50 PM »

this pattern in yoganada's chart would show up in the 9th harmonic or navamsha chart...
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