The Doctrine of Signatures

Planetary Intersections

THE English word signature is derived from the Latin “signare,” meaning to sign. A signature, therefore, is a mark of identification. The Latin “docere,” from which the word doctrine is derived, signifies to teach. In occult science “The Doctrine of Signatures” relates to that which is taught about the marks placed upon all things by stellar influences. It is of these stellar marks of identification that I shall have considerable to say.

Turning for the moment from the stars, we find that the owner of livestock places a brand upon his cattle by which his property may be recognized. The manufacturer, that its source may be recognized, stamps a trademark upon his product. The public official places his seal upon legal documents to denote their importance and character; and correspondents sign their letters with their autographs that no doubt may arise in the mind of the recipient as to whom the sender may be. These are circumstances commonly recognized. But less commonly recognized is the fact that all things external have upon them the stamp of their origin in the cause world and that this relates them as definite kin to certain other things.

It is not surprising that one may fail to recognize the seal of the Emperor of China or the signature of an Indian prince. Yet to one familiar with the language, history, and customs of China and India such signs are evidence enough upon which to establish the source of a missive and determine the prestige of its sender. Likewise, the man in the street is ignorant of the signs by which the planets and zodiacal signs mark their progeny; but those familiar with celestial language recognize these marks and, in addition to deducing their common origin, quickly perceive the relationship of anything so sealed with other objects bearing the same impress.

Now to facilitate the study of the Doctrine of Signatures let us turn to that much misunderstood tradition the Jewish Kabbalah. Not that the Jews knew more about occult doctrine than other ancient peoples, perhaps much less than some; but because through their contact with the priesthood of both Egypt and Chaldea they became familiar with the Mysteries that in these countries were taught only to initiates. Moses, the great law giver of the Jews, according to the most authentic tradition, was saved from the waters of the Nile by Thergmuthus, the daughter of Pharaoh Amenophis. He was raised by the Magi, or Ancient Masons, and drew from their secret teachings the religious, political, and social ideas which were the basis of the legislation of the Hebrews after their exodus from Egypt. That Moses received initiation from the Egyptian Priesthood is made apparent in the Bible, Acts 7:22 “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” Thus did the laws and rites of Ancient Masonry pass in great measure into the theocracy which Moses founded.

The religious laws of antiquity in general and of Egypt and Chaldea in particular forbade that any part of the Mysteries should be committed to writing. These things, nevertheless, were evidently revealed by Moses to the Hebrew Elders and handed down by them until the second destruction of the Temple, because at that time it was placed in writing as the Kabbalah. A great deal of this traditional wisdom was also, from time to time before the advent of the written Kabbalah, but during and subsequent to the Babylonian captivity, concealed in the Bible. In these two Jewish books, the Bible and the Kabbalah, that all may read who can penetrate the veil, we have the esoteric doctrine of Chaldea and Egypt.

The Kabbalah describes creation as having been accomplished by means of ten emanations. Earlier than this all was without form and void.

Before proceeding with this Kabbalistical explanation it is advisable to explain that universally considered there is but One Principle, but One Law, but One Truth, and but One Agent. This thought is expressed beautifully by the four-fold sphinx. It has the paws of a lion, symbolizing the One Principle—energy; the wings of an eagle expressing the One Law—sex; the body of a bull signifying the One Agent—form; and the head of a man typifying the One Truth—reality.

The Kabbalists called the state prior to creation Ain Soph Aur, meaning the limitless light. It represents a condition when nothing existed but the all pervading non-atomic spirit, potential but unmanifest.

Then comes emanation, creation. The first of these emanations is Kether, or Crown. It is merely motion, vibration. Coincident with this a partnership is formed. The non-atomic, diffusive spirit is polarized into more active portions and less active portions. These are related to each other as positive and negative. Deity is no longer homogeneous, but has become male and female. Here we have the godhead of the Kabbalists, similar to the godhead of the world’s most popular religions. The Kabbalah calls it Kether, Chocmah, and Binah, rendered Crown, Wisdom, and Love, or in terms of Hermetic philosophy, Life, Light, and Love—the God Who is a trinity, yet is one.

This triune godhead, according to the ancient teaching, is the spiritual sun of the universe from which flows the so-called solar ray. The latter contains within it the potency of all that is, all that has been, and all that ever possibly can be. It is not to be confused with the rays of the physical sun, for it is spiritual and mental as well as physical. The more slowly moving portions of this ray, the negative portions, interact with one another to produce the grosser forms of substance such as the ether of space that cushions the sun and planets and those still less active forms with which we are more familiar as matter. The more active moving portions of the ray, the more active portions of this universal energy, we term spirit. This positive, finer, more subtle energy inheres in matter of every grade and order as the instigator of life and motion.

From the first trinity of the Sephiroth, known to western students as Life, Light, and Love, are evolved seven more specialized emanations which constitute the Seven Active Principles of Nature. This is brought about through the Solar Ray being refracted from seven sub-centers around the spiritual sun. These form the seven states of angelic life from which issue all the life entities of our universe. Each of these seven states corresponds to one of the seven planets. The Kabbalists hold that each is presided over by an archangel, or as modern astrologers state, each represents a family of planetary life. Thus the planetary family corresponding to the Sun is said to be ruled over by the archangel Michael, that corresponding to Mercury by Raphael, that corresponding to Venus by Anael, that corresponding to the Moon by Gabriel, that corresponding to Saturn by Cassiel, that corresponding to Jupiter by Zachariel, and the family corresponding to Mars by Samael.

Now the spiritual potencies that constitute the egos of all things never were created, never had a beginning, never can be destroyed. The law of conservation of energy forbids such beginning and such destruction. But they did have a point of differentiation from which they departed on their present cyclic journey, and this point of departure was within the spiritual vortex of one of the planetary families. Each ego, therefore, partakes of the attributes of one of the seven planetary families, and this may be said to constitute the character of its genius. That is, the internal nature, or individuality, of each human being corresponds to one of the planets, and this correspondence is never entirely effaced during the whole stretch of time that constitutes the soul’s cycle of experience.

The two souls which embrace all the states of consciousness of the ego, partake of the planetary quality of the ego. Not only so, but they carry with them the impress of their birthplace, or environment in which differentiation took place. Thus the universe is divided into four states of life—fire, air, water, and earth—and each soul proceeds from one of these four states which are represented by the fiery, airy, watery, and earthy signs of the zodiac. It is this affinity for a certain state of life that shapes the general trend of the soul’s impulses.

Furthermore, each state of life has three degrees of emanation. Thus Aries constitutes the first, Leo the second, and Sagittarius the third degree of emanation of the fiery state of life. Gemini is the first, Libra the second, and Aquarius the third degree of emanation of the airy state of life. Cancer is the first, Scorpio the second, and Pisces the third degree of emanation of the watery state of life. Taurus is the first, Virgo the second, and Capricorn the third degree of emanation of the earthy state of life. Each soul, therefore, by reason of the environment in which the differentiation of the ego occurred, also may be said to belong to a certain degree of emanation.

The motives and impulses of a soul belonging to the fiery state of life are found to be shaped largely by inspiration and enthusiasm; those belonging to the airy state of life by intellect and aspiration; those belonging to the watery state of life by sensation and emotion; and those belonging to the earthy state of life by application and practicality. If, at the same time a soul belongs to the first degree of emanation he will act from his own feelings, ideas, and inward yearnings; if he belongs to the second degree of emanation he will act to a greater extent from the motive of what other people think and advise; and if he belongs to the third degree of emanation his acts will be very largely determined by the ideas and admonitions received from others.

It is now apparent that the doctrine of signatures revolves around three chief factors which are termed Character of Genius, State of Life, and Degree of Emanation. Much as we indicate the parentage of a man by saying he belongs to Bourbon stock, so we may designate the lineage of a soul by saying it belongs to the planetary family of Mars. As we indicate the country of a man’s birth by saying he was born in England, so we may indicate the broad environment of a soul’s origin by saying he belongs to the Fiery state. And as the city of a person’s birth might be London, so the more local environment of a soul’s origin might be the First Degree of Emanation. London is in England, and the First Degree of Emanation of the Fiery State is Aries. By the use of such terms we are able to designate the parentage and birthplace of a soul just as we are able by other more familiar terms to designate a person’s physical parentage and place of birth.

When accurately determined the ancestry and place of birth of an individual gives considerable information as to what may be expected of him. Likewise the planetary family and celestial environment of a soul’s origin is some index to its abilities and possibilities. That is, while not complete data upon which to predict the actions of an individual or a soul, they have a real value as determining factors.

They are not complete data because after birth each individual and each soul undergoes a series of experiences. These greatly modify the qualities with which the individual or the soul is born. Subsequent environment is constantly changing the character, constantly adding new factors, constantly giving new viewpoints. Yet an Englishman born in London will not react to the same set of experiences in the same way that a North American Indian reacts to them. They will not modify the character in the same way, nor will the same viewpoint be developed from them. Ancestry and birth environment are not all to be considered in reference to character. Neither are later environment and experience to be considered all. Both the later environment and the ancestry together with the birth environment must be considered. The birth chart reveals the result of the interaction of both these factors up to the time the soul is born in human form. The Doctrine of Signatures, therefore, considers the influence of ancestry, birth environment, and subsequent experiences upon the soul, as revealed by the birth chart, and as indicating both Character and Fortune.

After its differentiation the soul monad in its cyclic journey passes through innumerable states and phases of existence, adding new characteristics and qualities, as a traveler acquires new customs and idioms of speech without effacing the marks of birthplace and parentage. One traveler, however, is attracted to certain customs while being repelled by usages that are attractive to other travelers. Likewise each soul on its long journey is attracted more strongly to certain forms of life, and finds more complete expression through them, while souls of different origin are attracted strongly to, and find more complete expression through, other life forms. The soul belonging to the planetary family of Mars, for instance, whenever it finds itself in a Saturnine environment expresses itself only with greatest difficulty, and the Venusian soul feels little affinity for the regal surroundings and majestic qualities of the sun.

The soul is a traveler, and as such is ever collecting and disbursing. Its baggage at any given time represents its original equipment and its collections, minus its disbursements. That is, the soul in its journey constantly attracts and repulses forms. By virtue of its original polarity it shuns some things and embraces others, the sum total of its experiences and original equipment constituting the quality of the soul at any given point in its journey.

It may be, and often is, so surrounded by baggage attracted en route that it is difficult to perceive its original characteristics, but these nonetheless exist. Such inherent attributes by which we recognize its degree of emanation, its state of life, and the character of its genius, in other words its attractive and repulsive power, we may call its original signature.

The Doctrine of Signatures, however, is not confined to entities; for species, genera, races, families, kingdoms, all have group signatures. This means that the members of a group all vibrate in some particular respect to a common vibratory rate or its multiple. They are sympathetically united to, and thus said to be ruled by, the energies of some planet or zodiacal sign. In this circumstance we find the greatest practical application of the Doctrine.

Yet when we are informed that peppers, mustard, nettle, thistle, onions, and horseradish are plants ruled by the sign Aries we are not to conclude that the individual entities of all onions, peppers, etc., had their origin in the fiery state of life, first degree of emanation; for the individual entities may have had widely varied origins in the celestial spaces. Some may have sprung from each of the several states, degrees, and families; for in its pilgrimage from mineral to man the entity traverses the whole ascending scale of life. The soul that now occupies the regal body of man was once incarnated in each of the progressive steps—some allowance being made for different requirements—from the lowly crystal atom through the various evolutionary forms up to his now exalted state. He has in turn occupied species ruled by all the various families, states, and degrees of emanation.

What is meant is that the species onion, as a whole, is ruled by, and vibrates to the keynote of, the fiery sign Aries. The impersonal soul’s temporary need for expression has attracted it to this group of plants, and its original signature is largely obscured by the general vibratory rate of the species as a whole. The original signature is there were we but acute enough to perceive it; for undoubtedly plants of any species possess differences and individuality. But in our relation to them the group vibration is far more marked than their differences one from another; and in the case of plants ruled by Aries we expect them to be hot and irritating.

Applying the same thought to peoples, when we say that the English are ruled by Aries, we know that as a rule an Englishman will violently resent injury. But the individuals comprising the English nation have their own birth charts which indicate the celestial origin, the temperament, the abilities, and fortunes of each. Turning to animals, wolves likewise are ruled by Aries, and while some are quite different from others, yet all display the martial temperament. And still lower in the evolutionary scale we find among minerals, and possessing the characteristic qualities, brimstone also ruled by Aries.

Thus we find in each kingdom of life groups of entities that vibrate to the keynote of each of the zodiacal signs. To illustrate further let us consider the sign Taurus: In the mineral kingdom Taurus rules white coral, alabaster, all common white opaque stones, and the gem agate. In the vegetable kingdom it rules flax, larkspur, lilies, moss, spinach, myrtle, gourds, dandelion, daisies, columbine, coltsfoot, plantain, and beets. In the animal kingdom Taurus rules those commonly known as bovine; the ox, cow, buffalo, yak, etc. Man, as a family, is ruled by Aquarius, but nations and towns have a distinct rulership. Thus the Irish people are ruled by Taurus, as are the cities of Dublin, Leipsic, St. Louis, Palermo, Parma, Mantua, and Rhodes. In like manner occupations, localities, physiological functions, anatomical parts, diseases, colors, tones, and various other classifications of things all have their signatures.

All nature, we find, is divided into seven distinct families, each family containing a membership on all planes and in each sphere of life. Further, the affinities of each family have a vibratory range that is not closely restricted, some members harmonizing more closely with the higher rates, and some members harmonizing more closely with the lower rates, of vibration within the range of the families affinities. Thus within the families groups are divided both by State of Life, and by Degree of Emanation. The planetary family of Mars, for instance, has affinities for two zodiacal signs. Aries belongs to the fiery state of life, first degree of emanation, while Scorpio belongs to the watery state of life, second degree of emanation.

Observation has shown that the influence of entities and groups upon each other very largely depends upon their vibratory rates, which in turn depend upon their signatures. Thus entities and groups belonging to the same planetary family have a vibratory quality similar to other members of the same family, although the plane occupied determines the octave from which the emanations proceed. In a similar manner there is a like vibratory quality between things ruled by the same zodiacal sign. Things ruled by the same planetary family, or by the same zodiacal sign, usually harmonize well. When the ruling signs are different but the celestial state is the same, as in the case of Taurus and Virgo, there is also pronounced harmony. Between things ruled by complementary states, that is, between fire and air, and between earth and water, there is a weak harmony. But between things ruled by contradictory states—between fire and water, and between air and earth—the vibrations are antagonistic and mutually destructive. These facts have an important bearing upon every phase of life.

Before indicating in detail just how everything we contact influences our lives for good or ill, and just how we have the power in great measure to control the influence of things over us by intelligently selecting our environment, let us for a moment consider that what is commonly called good and evil are but other names for harmony and discord.

Scarcely two people give these terms the same interpretation; for they are ever considered in relation to the ambitions and desires of the person using them, or are applied to other things the importance of which varies widely in the estimation of different people. Thus the thief, successful in his robbery, thinks this is good because it harmonizes with his desire for wealth. An honest man calls the act evil, because it is discordant to his idea of social responsibility. Again, a shower that is looked upon as good by agriculturists, may be called evil by the fashionable lady with whose house party it interferes. In the first instance it harmonized with the farmer’s interest, in the second it was discordant to the house party. The rain was the same, but the thing influenced by it was different. Good and evil are terms that imply a relation to some definite entity. Insofar as an influence is harmonious to the entity it is called good, and insofar as it is discordant to the entity it is called evil. There is no good or evil aside from harmony and discord.

These entities which are influenced in a manner said to be good or evil are infinite in number and compose the universe. That is, the universe is composed of an infinite number of entities and groups of entities. They are all interacting and interdependent; everything, great and small, near and distant, has some influence, powerful or weak, upon every other thing in the universe. Whether the influence exerted by one thing upon another is good or evil depends upon the mutual harmony or mutual discord.

Better to understand the influence of things upon each other we should bear in mind not only that the law of gravitation is active between all objects in the universe, but that modern science demonstrates that all things radiate energy. Radium is the classical example of such radiation, but in a like manner, though much less pronounced, all substance is sending forth vibratory waves that can be detected at considerable distance by delicate scientific instruments. Aside from the controversy of the part the subject plays in diagnosing by the Electronic Reactions of Abrams, the Abrams method demonstrates conclusively that everything has a vibration to which it is keyed, and that these vibrations are radiated and can be detected at a distance. A number of experimenters have made marked improvements upon the original Abrams method, and have produced machines of great delicacy and accuracy in intercepting and interpreting the vibratory rates that all things radiate.

Were it not for energy radiated by objects and persons which in some manner leaves an impress upon all things coming close to them it seems unlikely that psychometry would be possible. Even sight depends, not upon the vibrations radiated by objects, but upon vibrations reflected from them. Such vibrations have an influence upon the human eye, different objects having a different influence. This difference in influence is due to diversity both in intensity and in form.

This leads to a very important consideration; for the intensity of influence tends to increase with the proximity of the object radiating it. It is true that things having the same vibratory rate that chance to vibrate synchronously—that is, the crest of the wave of one set of vibrations coinciding in time with the crest of the wave of the other set—are capable of influencing each other at great distances. A person changing his rate of vibration by raising or lowering it through altering his mood can illustrate this principle. In this manner he can get in rapport with people or things exceedingly remote, and having tuned in on their vibrations these may have greater influence upon him than other things with as great vibratory intensity close at hand. But aside from this factor of rapport the vibratory rates of things close at hand have a greater influence than the vibratory rates of similar things more distant. Likewise, even when rapport is established, a weaker vibration close at hand has as much influence as a stronger one radiated at a greater distance. To make practical application of this simply means the recognition that man is more influenced by the vibratory rates of things in his immediate environment than by those of somewhat similar nature more remote.

The manner in which man is thus influenced by the objects in his immediate environment is easily understood as soon as the general organization and makeup of his astral body, and its relation to the physical body are known.

The astral body, which is the mold of the physical body, is composed of astral substance organized by states of consciousness. The original planetary family, state of celestial life, and degree of emanation of a soul endow it with certain attractive and repulsive qualities. In the course of its involution to the mineral state, and its evolution from the mineral state to man these attractive and repulsive qualities attract it to incarnate in a great number of forms, in which it has a wide variety of experiences. Each experience affects the consciousness and is recorded as a mode of motion in the astral body. Thus the total experiences of a soul in its pilgrimage are recorded in the astral body. Through the law of affinity these energies within the astral body tend to unite where there is likeness and tend to segregate where there is unlikeness. Thus definite centers of energy are formed, each corresponding in its general vibratory rate to planetary influences, and other more general areas of the astral body are organized having vibrations corresponding to the zodiacal signs. Birth into human form, then, does not take place until the positions of the planets and signs—within certain limits—correspond to the vibratory organization of the astral body of the child to be born.

At birth the centers of energy already formed in the past through states of consciousness accompanying experiences are but intensified and given greater fixity. A person’s character, as all must admit, is the sum total of all his past and present mental states. That is, they are the sum total of the states of consciousness organized as centers of energy within his astral form. These centers of energy are the mental factors both of the objective and the unconscious mind which determine the person’s conduct. As the positions of the planets in the birth chart map these centers of energy, they constitute an accurate map of the character.

This map indicates with great accuracy, as shown by planetary positions, the general types of experience of the soul in its past. It indicates, by the prominence of the planets, the amount of the acquaintance the soul has had with experiences of each of the general types. It shows, by the aspects between the planets, the extent to which experiences of one type have been associated in the past with experiences of other types; and the extent to which these associations were harmonious or discordant. Furthermore, as the kind and amount of experiences attracted depend upon the original polarity of the soul when it started on its cyclic pilgrimage, if the map can rightly be interpreted, it should show the original signature of the soul, that is, the planetary family, the state of celestial life, and the degree of emanation, to which it belongs.

In its practical application, however, I believe great caution should be used in making positive assertions as to this, because the soul in incarnating has a fairly wide margin of vibratory rates within which incarnation is possible. That is, even as we must allow orbs of influence when considering aspects, so we must allow orbs of influence when considering the relation of the origin of the soul to the positions of the planets at birth. Thus a soul having its origin in the fiery state would tend when born in human form to have the sun in the birth chart in a fiery sign. But we may suppose in certain cases instead of the sun being in a fiery sign that there would be several other planets in fiery signs, and these planets strong in the birth chart. A soul belonging to a certain planetary family would certainly have this planet unusually prominent in the birth chart, and usually it would readily be picked as the most powerful planet in the chart, and consequently as the ruling planet. But we may suppose in a certain chart that while this planet is very powerful that there are other planets that seem quite as powerful, one of which might mistakenly be chosen as the true ruler of the chart. The experiences of a soul since its differentiation have been adding energies to its finer forms, and furthermore, the varied and unique requirements in the development of some souls to fit them for their work in the cosmic scheme of things is such as often to obscure the original equipment with which they started on their great cyclic journey.

We are quite justified in saying of a person in whose chart Jupiter is the dominant planet that he belongs to the planetary family of Jupiter. At the same time, due to the limitations that govern incarnation, if another planet, or more than one other planet, seems almost as strong, we cannot be positive that the soul did not have its origin in the family of this other planet. If the sun in a person’s chart is in the sign Sagittarius we are quite justified in saying the individual belongs to the fiery state of life and the third degree of emanation. But if at the same time the moon, for instance, is rising in the sign Taurus, it might make it difficult to tell whether the soul had its origin in the fiery state, third degree, or in the earthy state and first degree of emanation ruled by Taurus.

This uncertainty which occasionally may arise need not seem discouraging; for in every known science, including physics, chemistry, and mathematics, we meet with problems no less disconcerting. Yet while the birth chart may not in our present state of knowledge tell us all about the parentage of the soul and its original environment in every instance, it does indicate infallibly the intensity, the kind, and the interrelations of the mental factors which comprise the character and determine the fortune.

It is these centers of energy within the astral form that give ability and that attract to the person the various events of his life. By the law of affinity like attracts like, and whatever vibrations and qualities reside, or are stimulated into activity, in the astral form attract corresponding conditions in the environment. A discordant vibratory center which in the past has been formed in association with procuring food and shelter will attract an environment that will make the procuring of these things, that is, the acquisition of wealth, most difficult. Such a center of energy would be indicated by Saturn afflicted in the Second House of the birth chart. Harmonious centers of energy as shown by the birth chart are actual forces within the astral body that attract an environment favorable to the department of life with which the center is shown to be associated. Thus fortune and misfortune, opportunity and lack of it, success and failure, are the results of centers of energy in the astral form which are infallibly shown in the birth chart. The birth chart gives the Astrological Signature in all its details.

It follows from these considerations that any modification of the centers of energy in the astral form make a corresponding change in the fortune. To the extent, then, that man can intelligently change the centers of energy within his astral form is he the master of his own destiny and free from blind fatality. These centers of energy with which he is born that are mapped by the birth chart are actually changed by three distinct factors.

As the planets move forward in the zodiac after a child’s birth they make new aspects to their original positions in the birth chart and new aspects among themselves. These aspects thus formed store up energy that later is released by the cyclic motion of the heavens. These progressed positions of the planets, as they are called, stimulate and release energies in the astral form in directions and at times shown by the progressed aspects. Such releases of energy can be modified by the other factors to be considered, and their influence controlled by the selection of an environment suitable to their working out as indicated or in which they cannot work out as indicated. One factor, then, that changes the centers of energy in the astral body is the influence of the planets. This factor is fully discussed in Course 10-2, Progressing the Horoscope.

Another factor that changes the centers of energy within the astral body is the factor that originally organized them. That is, states of consciousness, or thought. How thought may be used to recondition the thought cells of the astral body and thus bring about any desired change of fortune is explained in detail in Course 9, Mental Alchemy.

The third factor, and the one with which we here are more concerned, is the power of the objects in the environment to stimulate and modify by their radiations the centers of energy within the astral body and thus affect the life and destiny.

As previously explained each object and certain groups of objects, in fact, everything we contact from dense rock to human thought, is radiating energy. The type of energy radiated is determined by the astrological signature. In other words, everything vibrates in a key that corresponds to one of the celestial influences, and if this key is known its influence upon any other person or thing whose key is known can be predicted. The classical example of this power of vibration is the ability of a fiddler to fiddle a bridge down if he finds its key.

Now, within the astral body of man are centers of energy, some more prominent in some persons and some more prominent in other persons, that correspond to each of the various keys. When a person comes in contact with an object its vibrations stimulate a sympathetic response from the center of energy within the astral body that vibrates to its key. As everything we contact has a key of vibration, and radiates energy, each tends to stimulate centers of energy within the astral form. Every thing we contact gives additional activity to the center of energy mapped in the birth chart by the planet or sign ruling the object. If we know the astrological signature of things, then, we are aware of the particular center of energy in our astral forms that each stimulates into activity, and we may select such objects for our customary environment as will stimulate only those centers that we desire should become more active.

Some of these centers of energy are decidedly harmonious, and other centers are decidedly discordant, as shown by the aspects between the planets in the birth chart. Furthermore, some of them influence one department of life and others influence other departments of life, as shown by the house positions of the planets in the birth chart. To associate with the things that stimulate the discordant centers of energy gives these discordant centers additional power. The centers of energy within the astral form are modified in the direction of strengthening the discord, and the result is bound to be that added misfortune will enter the life. But to associate with the things that stimulate the harmonious centers of energy gives these harmonious centers additional power. Because the harmonious centers are so active they attract a more harmonious set of conditions into the life, which by their presence keep at a distance the events that the discordant centers otherwise would attract, and at the same time act positively to bring good fortune.

By selecting those centers of energy in the astral form that the birth chart shows are associated harmoniously with certain ambitions, and selecting the various objects and conditions of the environment that will add energy to these particular centers, it is possible to so change the power of these centers that they will act in a marked and positive manner to attract the object of the ambition. This is a practical application of the Law of Astrological Signatures the importance of which can hardly be over estimated.

Among the things that observation shows have a pronounced effect in changing the centers of energy within the astral form of persons closely associated with them are colors, tones, numbers, and names. Colors and tones have a vibration that in one case is visible and in the other case is audible. Names and numbers in themselves are abstract ideas, but when they enter the mind they give rise to definite images which radiate energy through thought waves. The thought waves vary with the name or number, and thus a name associated with a person, or a house number or telephone number repeatedly thought about in connection with him by other persons, keeps him bombarded with vibrations corresponding in rate to the astrological signature of the name or number. These vibrations change the centers of energy within his astral body in a definite way, and bring about a change in his thoughts and in his fortune. The influence of tones, colors, names, and numbers are treated in detail in Course 6, Sacred Tarot.

Localities also have their particular astrological signatures, their specific vibrations which have the power to change the centers of energy within the astral form and thus influence the life and destiny. The rulership of the various kinds of localities is given in Chapter 5 of Course 8, Horary Astrology. Even the flowers with which we associate have considerable influence, and gems which are worn have a great influence over the life. The signatures of certain typical flowers, the signatures of various gems, and the signature of letters, numbers, colors, and tones are briefly given in Chapter 6 of Course 10-1, Delineating the Horoscope.

A knowledge of astrological signatures is of utmost importance in healing; for a treatment that one responds to, or a medicine that is good for one person, may have an opposite effect when applied to another person suffering with the same complaint. Methods of treatment each have their own signature, and are especially effective when applied to patients of similar signature. Herbs and other remedies likewise each have a specific vibration, and the effect of their use depends upon the harmony or discord of corresponding centers of energy in the astral body of the person to whom administered. A remedy ruled by a sign or planet stimulates the section of the body corresponding to it in signature, and has a powerful effect when applied to it. But if this section of the body is shown in the birth chart to have a discordant vibration it but increases the discord. A disease may successfully be treated by fighting and overcoming its vibrations by the use of a remedy that is the vibratory antidote. This is on the principle that water quenches fire. Or it may be treated by applying to the afflicted part a remedy ruled by the celestial influence in the birth chart that makes the strongest harmonious aspect to the part afflicted. By thus strengthening the part where the affliction occurs with additional harmony the disease, which is an inharmonious condition, can no longer manifest. These, however, are considerations that are discussed in Course16, Stellar Healing.

Perhaps there is no department of life in which the doctrine of signatures plays a more important part than in our association with others. The centers of energy within the astral body of each person are radiating energy. Some of these centers radiate harmonious energy and some of them radiate discordant energy. Thus when we come in close contact with another person our astral bodies receive the impact of these vibrations, and our centers of energy are greatly stimulated. But the manner in which they are stimulated depends, in great measure, not merely upon the harmony of these centers considered separately, but upon the natural harmony or discord that obtains between the centers of energy in one person’s astral body as related to the centers of energy in the astral body of the other person. A comparison of birth charts indicates quickly just how one person will affect another if they become closely associated, and in just what department of life, and how, the harmony or discord will manifest.

For harmony in marriage the first consideration is that the etheric vibrations, as shown chiefly by the First House and the Moon should be similar. If markedly dissimilar their energies will not fuse, they will not get in complete rapport, and both will experience a constant feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction. The next consideration should be that both belong to the same planetary family, or at least that the mental trend should be enough alike that they have interests in common. Finally, if both belong to the same state of life, or to complementary states, as shown by the sun signs, it enables them to understand each other’s viewpoint, leading to compatibility. This subject is treated in detail in Chapters 6 and 7 of Course 10-1, Delineating the Horoscope.

Another department of life over which the doctrine of signatures has a profound influence is business and the acquisition of wealth. Each person has within his astral body a center of energy, as shown by his birth chart, that vibrates more strongly to some natural source of wealth than do the other centers. In other words, things of a certain type attract to him wealth that he could not hope to attract in association with other things. Therefore, to the extent he associates with things that correspond in nature to his most harmonious center of energy will he attract wealth, and to the extent he associates with the things that correspond to the most discordant center of energy in his astral body will he meet financial misfortune.

The astrological signature of a person indicates the type of ability he has. He should capitalize on this ability by following a business, trade, or profession where it is called into play. But if he would succeed to his utmost, in the use of this ability he should find an avenue of its expression in which he is constantly brought in contact with the things corresponding to the most harmonious center in his astral body; for they are his natural sources of wealth.

The doctrine of signatures in its practical application has a ramification as wide as the interests of man. It pervades, and has an important bearing in, the most unexpected quarters. The student of the occult will meet it at every step. Only through a knowledge of this doctrine, as here most briefly outlined, can man live to his highest, accomplish most for himself and for others, and become of utmost service to universal society.

The Study Halls of The Academy of Hermetic Arts