THE URANIAN INSTITUTE
[LAST UPDATED AUG.2003]
"... the (Hamburg) School has taken a positive turn to a psychological focus, illustrated essentially by the writings of Ruth Brummund, and especially by her major efforts to revise the authoritative Rulebook to include psychological insights."-- from "Wege der Astrologie" ("Astrological Methodologies") by Dr. Christoph Schubert-Weller, astrologer, linguist, educator, and historian.
As early as the 1970s American astrologers were dissatisfied with the interpretations in the old Rulebook of Planetary Pictures, and were suggesting more modern interpretations. When the innovative first German edition of my Brummund Rulebook (Regelwerk-Neufassung) appeared during that era, complemented by my German book on astro-psychological characteristics, there was criticism from astrologers who found it difficult to come to terms with or accommodate themselves to a revised sequencing of factors and reordering of combinations. (Ed.: This issue is addressed both in the Author's Introduction and the Translator's Foreword.)
At the beginning of the 1980s, Blake Finley began with the translation of the first edition. However, he had not finished when the second German edition, incorporating substantially more interpretations based on practice and application, appeared in 1990.
Misunderstandings and inopportune circumstances led to a situation where, after over 10 years of intermittent work, Mr Finley is nearing publication of the translation. I thank him sincerely, since he has not been dissuaded by the intrigues around me and has carried on with his efforts.
I recommend this book to you wholeheartedly. May it bring the assistance and knowledge to you that came to me indirectly and directly from Alfred Witte and Ludwig Rudolph.
Wishing you all joy and blessings,
Hamburg, October 1999
In the ten years following the appearance of the first edition of my Revised Rulebook in 1979, new understanding of the effect of the planetary vibrations arose. Contemporary intellectual currents, technical innovations, and personal development all have contributed to significant additions in this second expanded edition.
When the first Rulebook of Alfred Witte appeared in the 1920s, a welcome new methodology in Astrology made itself known. Alfred Witte found four Transneptunians and Friedrich Sieggrün found four more. Witte referred to the Earth Axis in his investigations as the Zero Point (Aries Point), a point from which the sign and house cusps in traditional astrology are gauged. Witte built his work on the axis-approach and included a study of the individual planets and the planetary midpoints (or "halfsums") which lay on the axes. Use of the movable dial has made possible the ready detection of midpoints, an astrological method which is today practiced worldwide.
While in the Middle Ages Guido Bonati employed "half-distances", these remained to Alfred Witte's benefit as he retrieved, hundreds of years later, the principle of midpoints for his work. In turn, we all benefit therefrom today.
As Hermann Lefeldt reconstructed the Rulebook after World War II, he added Pluto and the 4 Transneptunians of Sieggrün to the interpretations of Witte, and thus expanded the possible combinations of planetary pictures. He also brought essential changes to the arrangement of the planets. He deviated from earlier Rulebooks so that the Earth Axis (Aries Point), symbolizing impersonal contact with the general public, appeared first, so as not to interrupt the sequence of the Personal Points.
We thank Alfred Witte and Hermann Lefeldt for our historical interpretive rules, without whose foundations it might not have been possible to further evolve today.
Within the field of astrology, there are numerous systems in Europe. If one further adds systems from other continents to European traditions, one sees in astrology the same variety of methods as exists in other fields of knowledge.
Each system is a self-contained whole, and each is helpful in assessing any given astrological chart. Just as many roads lead to Rome, so many methods of analysis lead to a final synthesis. It is for each astrologer to choose her or his own working methodology, one consistent with his or her individual perspective, so as to give the best possible results.
For example, I am often asked why I do not include the zodiacal signs in interpretations. It is widely known that a planet may be assigned to any of 30 degrees in a given sign, and may be even further assigned to any of 10 degrees in a given decanate. Personally, I ask why would one take the roundabout way of assessing positions via zodiacal signs when it is both more precise and visually obvious, with the assistance of the midpoint dial, to locate the clusters and midpoints on a given axis?
All interpretations are subject to a symbolic language much like hieroglyphics. Paul Brunton in his book "Search in Secret Egypt" aptly wrote that, according to the ancients, there was threefold meaning to the hieroglyphics. The first was simply their ordinary phonetic value, which is requisite for spoken language, and which everyday people rarely look beyond. Secondly, there was a further meaning, which the scribes recorded on papyrus or stone, namely the written meaning or symbolic expression of the spoken word in a grammatical form. Finally, there was the esoteric meaning, which was known only to ordained priests, and was often kept secret by them.
The associations between astrological symbols and their meanings can be interpreted in various ways, and reflect the understanding of each astrologer, in parallel with the hieroglyphics analogy.
To critics of astrology we recommend the book Secret Knowledge by Lyall Watson, where he describes the relationship between the planets and their effect on us. Most interesting is his account of the research by Harold Burr of Yale on the existence of "life fields". Burr developed a voltage-meter that he placed next to both humans and animals. The meter verified oscillations typical of the negative/positive model of normal alternating current.
On an old maple tree he measured the records of 30-year-long currents. "The analysis of these records showed periodic deviations in the electrical currents due to thunderstorms and local fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic fields. They also showed that the tree responded to a solar rhythm of 24 hours and a lunar rhythm of 25 hours, as well as to an extended lunar cycle which peaked whenever the full moon stood exactly above the tree."
This shows that "living organisms have their own energy fields which are influenced by the Earth. ... We see a natural, measurable mechanism which serves to clarify the relationship between humans and the Cosmos. Supernatural phenomena presuppose the existence of a 'Supernature'."
Edward Russell built on the ideas of Burr, developing a thesis which recently appeared under the title "Design for Destiny". He sees within these fields an integrating mechanism which forms not only in the living organism, but also continues after life -- as spirit.
Astrology serves to account for the link between organic life and spirit. Once humanity as a whole recognizes spirit as reality, reconsideration of the more subtle elements of the material realm will be indispensable.
Medical doctors today understand the human body not only from the material standpoint. Current insights into human psychology directed one to deal with the more subtle and non-material aspects of the body. One has only to assess emotional, mental, and consciousness factors to establish that they are integral components of the human condition. These can be measured in reference to other persons, and norms established upon the experimental data. In medicine, one measures body functions in reference to data accumulated on relatively healthy people. Criteria drawn therefrom serve as a referential norm for further measurements to determine how healthy the functions of other participants are.
Astrology must use other criteria in its research to determine the degree of efficiency of various human functions. Important for work according to Witte's system of astrology is the conscious incorporation of reincarnation theory. In this way it is understood that each person created certain groundwork for this life in earlier lives. The many contradictory tendencies and various abilities of a person provide him or her with evolutionary tasks for this lifetime. Because we are free to choose our personal actions and activities, we are each responsible for what we do and what we neglect to do. "You will reap what you sow" holds true for all beings. Accordingly we should make ourselves continually conscious that we carry the responsibility for our own fate. The learning process extends throughout the entire lifetime and is not dependent on age. When it becomes integrated into everyone's consciousness that each and every seed planted will yield results, then there will be less detriment and loss for all people and things.
In reference to the historical evolution of midpoint Rulebooks, Hermann Lefeldt once differentiated between Hades and Admetos in stating that Hades referred to time and metaphysical factors, while Admetos referred to spatial and physical factors. Note that Witte had worked only with Hades, and he considered it to relate to both mysteries (obscurities) and the past. The past need not however be a mystery. Lefeldt used both Transneptunians for both concepts. Hades, however, has no sense of time. What occurred in 1812? This date as a question says nothing further and is therefore accounted for by Hades. History is an account of concretely manifest events, of what actually occurred. For both history and the mysteries of the past, we need Hades, Apollon, and Admetos. The metaphysical aspects of reality are subject to what might be described as mystical factors, which are not tangible and are not recognized by some people.
The energy polarities of
are again brought to our attention.
For an assessment of the tendencies and talents of a person, further distinctions are made in order to determine whether they are more thing-oriented (pragmatic, functionalistic) or people-oriented (gets personally involved with others). Both qualities can also co-exist in together in some personalities. Some people who are very socially adept can be equally facile in handling material matters. The terms "pragmatic" and "gets personally involved with others" are used in the planetary interpretations throughout the English translation to account for this polarity, as they more clearly describe the psychological disposition affected by these tendencies. The frequency of these terms appearing in a midpoint-interpretation listing may be used to assess whether a person is more suited to people-oriented or thing-oriented activities and work. Vocational astrology, where these issues are taken into consideration, might indeed come into greater acceptance in the future.
Next, note that the frequent mention of the concept of time serves to further qualify interpretations.
Traditional astrology recognizes Saturn as the planet of the past, and we further include Hades and Admetos as referring to the past. Uranus is generally accepted as the planet of progress and reform. Neptune, which is associated with the subconscious and the nebulous, also alludes to the future. Lefeldt repeatedly referred to Pluto as the new, and Zeus as beginnings. Whether what is begun evolves further depends not only on Pluto, but in some cases on additional planetary influences.
Repeatedly we see the terms instinctive, intuitive, and inspired. The distinction between these is sometimes subtle.
Intuition is difficult to define clearly. Many have occupied themselves with defining this concept, including Plato, Leibniz, and Wolff. All seem to suppose it is a perception which is somehow "spiritual" in nature, with an objective of comprehending objects and matters disclaimed by empirical scientific conventions (Wörterbuch der Philosophie by Georg Klaus und Manfred Buhr).
Inspiration comes from perceptions which may be experienced as revelations of a sort. In charts it is often indicated by configurations involving both Mercury and Poseidon, coupled with Neptune, Kronos, or Apollon.
It is difficult to make distinctions where boundaries are not static. While Neptune stands for the non-material, intuitions, and illusions; it also stands for water and air, which are among the more densified manifestations of Neptune. (ed: note that the Neptune.Admetos combination is associated with ice.) Thus we see that a single planet can manifest what we sometimes traditionally classify as polarized "opposites".
How might we explain the overall effects of planetary vibrations? I will attempt to clarify this. Regularities or laws of the universe are revealed through the movement of the planets, which not only follow certain orbital paths, but also rotate on their own axes just as the Earth does, continually in motion.
Who has not, while in the presence of a calm expanse of water, suddenly heard an interrupting noise? If you then directed your vision to the surface of the water, you might have seen small waves moving up onto the beach and then receding. You may have heard the faint sound of a motor from a passing boat in the distance and surmised from where these waves might have come.
The revolving propellor of a motor set the water into vibration which continued outward until it encountered an obstacle such as the shore or other solid objects.
We might compare the image of the circular vibrations in the water coming from the boat's rotor with the oscillations emanating from the revolving planets, vibrations which continue uninterrupted until they encounter another object, or planet. At the core of each planet, similar to the Earth, lie concentrated energies which emit vibrations out into the atmosphere.
The oscillations of a given planet vibrate further outward to encounter a number of oscillatory patterns of other planets, whereupon they produce continually new points of intersection with each other, and a resulting blending of planetary effects.
Let us now return to the example of the water, where many vessels travel in the same area. In some cases they meet each other closely; in other cases, they glide past each other at a distance. The waves produced by them meet up at one point or another and form a combinatory pattern of oscillations.
Thus might the effect and vibrations of the planets in the Cosmos be as they encounter each other. We designate the center point between the planets as "halfsums" or "midpoints". This is illustrated by the accompanying rough sketch of critical interrelationships (aspects, clusters) between the Sun and Moon via the Earth.
[Figure 1, illustrating planetary oscillations-- to be added]
At the conjunction, the oscillations from both planets flow concurrently toward the Earth. At the opposition, their vibrations come from opposite directions. At the midpoint of the opposition is the 90° angle known as the square. When the Sun and Moon stand in a square relationship through the Earth, their midpoint lies at 45° (semi-square) from each of them.
Thus such critical distances between planets yield combine oscillations which are further integrated into the intrepretation of midpoints. Their effect is so significant that 1° prior to their exact angular relationship, we consider a prognosis to have already begun to manifest. Once the faster-moving of the two planets has passed their mutual midpoint, the optimal effect has passed.
In consideration of the fact that these oscillations re-echo and mutate continually in space, their distance from the Earth is relatively insignificant. Planetary vibrations exist continuously, and the experienced astrologer interprets their influence into symbolic language.
Whether it be a dense material object, or a low-density or gaseous body, each planetary object is subject to axial rotation and contributes to atmospheric motion.
The case is otherwise with the Reference Points. These are points of intersection with positions calculated according to the longitude of the location of a given event, i.e. where the intersection cuts the ecliptic. The eclipitic is referenced to the proper motion of the Earth, which rotates some 361° in a 24-hour period.
The MC (the Medium Coeli, referred to by astrologers variously as the "Midheaven" or "Meridian") is calculated according to the geographic longitude of the location of a given event, where it cuts the ecliptic. In the analysis of an individual natal chart, the MC stands for the ego, the individual, and personal matters.
The calculation of the AS (Ascendant) is based on the geographic latitude of the location whose longitude we used for the calculation of the MC. The AS shows us conditions of, or relations to, the local environs; and one should not forget that the native is a component of others' environs.
Not dissimilar is the NO (Lunar North Node) in that it is not an independent planetary factor either. It is calculated as a point of intersection involving the Moon's orbit, so that it is in a sense a companion to the Moon. In astrology, it reveals connections, relationships, and contacts, yet has no vibratory impact due to its lack of independent motion or oscillations.
As the last Reference Point, the AR (Aries Point) has its own interpretation due to its relative fixity as the 0° point. Every circle must have a starting reference point in order to describe relationships within it, and the Aries Point serves this function in the zodiac. To Alfred Witte we are indebted for incorporation of this point, referring to the Earth's rotational axis (in alignment with 0° Aries) as a Reference Point, into the practical work of the Hamburg School. The four Reference Points also function as components of the midpoints to be found on any given axis.
The Reference Points have no independent existence. They are without direct effect and indicate only whether there is an effect in the relatively personal (MC, AS, NO) or impersonal (AR) sphere. This also applies to characteristics and work with the Mandala (also referred to as the Meditation Wheel). This reference system functions only in connection with active oscillations of the planetary bodies, i.e. only in connection with expression the planetary energies.
And now to clarify why the previously popular "sensitive points" have outlived their usefulness. Alfred Witte adopted this concept at one point, yet later considered many points derived from traditional astrology as unnecessary encumbrances and superfluous.
According to the formula A+B-C, the degree positions of any two planets or points are added together, and from this sum the position of a 3rd is then subtracted. This yields a "sensitive point".
In some cases, the position of a 4th planet or point is then included, which then essentially yields two halfsums (midpoints) in combination. In practical work, the results must often be marked on the wheel or dial for later reference. It is even possible that 2 related calculated points are thus marked on the dial, and the derivations might further move due to solar arc direction. The variations and possibilities are nearly limitless if one wishes to demonstrate his or her mathematical prowess.
What exactly is a sensitive point? Every point in the zodiac, occupied or unoccupied, is a potential "sensitive point". If any given transiting or progressed planet contacts any given mathematical relationship to a radix factor, an effect is possible.
Since the universe contains numerous planetary vibrations which intermingle with other vibrations, measuring them as we do in relation to the Earth's core, it is critical for the astrologer to establish priorities and determine which of these seemingly limitless relationships are truly significant.
If one starts with the mathematical formula A+B-C and calculates position X, the Reference Points (AR, MC, AS, NO) are normally excluded. Since none of them is an independent point with its own vibratory effect, they are not normally included in the calculation of the sensitive points. The beginner is particularly in danger of fascination with such details in a desire to confirm factors in his own chart. It is sometimes difficult to depart from a sentimentally favored method, and this applies to every habit in any given area of life.
In this book, each individual interpretation is ordered according to the principle of primary expression. Secondary and subsequent expressions will be presented only rarely, since there is a great abundance of possibilities which might distract us from essentials.
What exactly are primary expressions? Let us consider the planets Mars and Saturn. While Mars stands for activity, Saturn stands for for stoppage; together (MA.SA) they may in some cases manifest as a standstill of energies. We can see how this might manifest in some cases as death, a secondary expression derived from the fact that in death, activity is no more extant.
Yet other examples are the combination of Sun and Saturn (SU.SA), as well as of Sun and Admetos (SU.AD). The primary expression is "blockage of life force or vitality", and a secondary expression is "death".
Among other interpretations, Mercury and Saturn (ME.SA) show primary expressions of "thoughts of separation", "halted mobility". "Travel" is therefore a secondary expression. If one thinks of "rest during travel", this is already a tertiary expression. One has thoughts of separation before one travels, and sets oneself to rest in a vehicle. One follows from the other.
Ascendant together with Venus and Poseidon (AS.VE.PO) expresses in primary expression as locations where one enjoys ideological or metaphysical matters, and "religion at the place" is a secondary expression.
The sequences continue as you please. The choices for the beginner can seem extensive and challenging to choose from. Such risk is minimized by focus on primary expressions.
This new Rulebook is organized in the following manner: the fundamental keywords for each planet and point appear first, so that beginners can learn and understand their meaning within the combinations. Advanced astrologers will complement the written interpretations with their own, further derived expressions.
(ed: In the English edition, in the first segment of the interpretations of 2 and 3 factors, we find the foundations for positive (constructive) psychological character delineation, preceded by a + sign. In the second segment we find positive expressions of general manifestations in random order, including such categories as health, politics, or art, as they may be appropriate. These are followed by a third section with negative (non-constructive) psychological qualities, preceded by a - sign, and an optional fourth section with negative manifestations. Note that the negative manifestations often follow from non-constructive psychological approaches or attitudes.)
We should also consider whether a given chart under analysis is for an adult, a child, or an organization; and consider the filtering and modification of individual planetary energies as indicated in the specific chart. For example,
MO = MA/JU = AR/MA = AS/MA =JU/VU = AS/VU .
This might indicate an exceptionally active woman who carries on successful work out among the public.
If, however, the Sun axis contains such seemingly contradictory halfsums as AP/PO and ME/HA, one could say that ample intelligence (AP/PO) mitigates mental deficiencies, in which case we might actually be dealing with a person of average intelligence. With configurations involving 4, 5, or 6 factors, one can logically assemble interpretations from this book. Here we are dealing with an axis involving 5 factors; thus direct quotations will be modified by the other factors involved. One will be required to analyze and synthesize independently, and beginners may require assistance.
And introduction to pertinent strategies is described in The Brummund Technique Book, with which one can teach themselves methods of the Hamburg School.
by L Blake Finley, M A
The history of the English translations of the various Hamburg School Rulebooks was repeatedly plagued by broken translation and copyright agreements, poorly patched-together translations, insidious plagiarism, publishing piracy, underhanded power plays among interested parties, and more recently, software piracy and internet hacking where extensive files developed after months of spare-time work had to be reconstructed. This is how coveted this book has been. Older versions of the Rulebook appearing prior to those of Ruth Brummund were valid references in and of themselves, yet written from an early 20th-century perspective that has been surpassed for years now by new developments in western astrology that have taken it beyond the antiquated fatalistic, hypermaterialistic, and sometimes often lopsidedly negative perspective that permeated most astrology prior to the turn into the 21st century. The Brummund Rulebook is also the only reference of its nature that includes essential psychological factors, essential a well-rounded and non-fatalistic assessments, as interpretive components. This Rulebook also includes reference to subtle and metaphysical factors, in line with today's state-of-the art physics and scientific consciousness. While earlier handbooks for interpreting planetary combinations (midpoints or 'pictures') reflected valid early observations, they were also quite often limited in perspective, and sometimes took note of only the most glaring or problematic manifestations of combined planetary energies, leaving the less problematic and therefore more desirable manifestations unaccounted for.
As time passes, we continually move toward a new era. Today, wise and experienced astrologers recognize that there are many internal and external variables that affect the way astrological influences manifest. Among them are personal free will, personal consciousness (as compared to mindless passivity to external forces, or automatic reactions driven by unconscious compulsions and unresolved emotional complexes), cultural influences and biases, and physio-environmental influences (which can be altered by the native changing their environment). Thus from a more balanced and evolved perspective, our developmental paths are affected by a combination of many factors including contemporary social influences, historical cultural influences, genetics, personal philosophy, degree of conscious awareness, personal developmental history, and other internal and external factors. Astrology itself can account for and describe some of these, yet it cannot describe precisely how we apply our free will to utilize the planetary influences, as this is left to our power of choice, influenced as well to varying degrees by the aforementioned variables. While astrology amazes us with the accuracy of the many insights it gives us into human nature and social trends, we must continually remember that it is not omniscient, and does not reveal every single factor influencing any given situation. The most effective astrologer is conscious of and relays to the client an outline of options that are feasible. Ruth Brummund has worked conscientiously to bring Uranian Astrology in line with the developments of modern psychologically-conscious astrology, not to replace the astrology focused solely on physical manifestation, but to supplement and upgrade it with observations on human psychological nature that are so essential to understanding how we can best approach, utilize, adapt to, and transform the experiences we encounter in life, and realize the sometimes seemingly difficult-to-perceive or difficult-to-accept reality that we always have a degree of choice in our lives. Thus a more integrated, balanced, and objective perspective has been established and recorded for reference. Ms Brummund has been the key player in keeping Uranian Astrology in step with current astrological developments worldwide while the majority of English-speaking Uranian Astrologers had access to little more than derivations and translations of negative and fatalistic materials from the 1950s and earlier, translations of which led to even further misconceptions.
In 1979, when the much smaller first German edition of Ms Brummund's book appeared in Germany, there were criticisms of the new format, implying that the old tradition of listing each A±B±C combination in three separate places was essential; yet it has been verified by Ms Brummund's 45+ years of study and practice, my own 25+ years of study and practice, and the experience of numerous other seasoned midpoint astrologers, that for analysis in practice, the 3 variations of A±B±C orderings in the old Rulebooks and in the other midpoint interpretation books yielded interpretations that were very often interchangeable. In fact, in many cases, a given variant in ordering was more appropriate than the actual prescribed static A±B±C interpretation. This may be due to a number of factors, such as proximity to other personal points (which correlate with the Gauquelin observations about angularity of planets, and even the traditional observation that planets in close angle to the Sun or Moon are perhaps of greater significance than others), application/separation of the various factors, further influences due to other associated midpoints and cluster/aspect configurations, and, perhaps most significantly, free-will choice of emphasis, and familiarity and skill of the native in handling each of the individual planetary energies involved. The ultimate manifestation of any given planetary combination, be it cluster (i.e. traditional 'conjunction' or 'hard aspect'), or midpoint configuration, is shaped by all of the aforementioned external and internal variables, astrological and otherwise. This implies that it is the responsibility of the conscientious astrologer to strive to provide the widest possible range of possibilities in interpreting. In this way we prepare clients to recognize non-constructive pitfalls as well as optimal paths for utilizing planetary energies to their highest level of potential, and remind them that they have free choice in how they work with the planetary influences affecting their lives. For the mundane astrologer, one might also have to take into consideration local cultural, political, ideological, geographic, or climatic factors in order to cover the fullest possible range of potential manifestations.
In the case of directions and transits, i.e. dynamic factors, we are dealing with moving energies altering other static natal planets in a given temporary configuration (that will however effect lasting changes). Still, previous reference books had interchangeable interpretations for the triplicities that did not distinguish between them satisfactorily. This indicates that this is certainly a complex area in need of further analysis and investigation. Generally speaking, the energies of the dynamic directed or transiting factor would be acting upon natal planetary placements. For coverings (directed or transiting clusters or traditional 'aspects'), this is rather clearcut, since only two factors are normally involved, and the astrologer familiar with the nature of the planets involved should be able to deduce which responses and manifestations are most likely to occur -- as the dynamic factor acts upon the static natal factor. However, when midpoints or multi-planet clusters (tight-orbed natal 'hard aspect configurations' in traditional terminology) are triggered by the moving planets, determining the strength or degree of significance of the various natal planets involved is not always so clearcut or simple, due to the aforementioned personal and psycho-social factors, and a range of manifestations is possible depending on the prior development and concurrent attitude and circumstances of the native.
For the most part, the criticisms of the new unified format of the book came from people who wanted to believe the once oft-touted claims implying that midpoint astrology was a perfected source of pat answers, and that it was an omnipotent science that accounted for all life events in a pre-determined human fate, i.e. a source of easy answers, but accessible only to chosen initiates, and that the answers could be looked up in a "cookbook" of interpretations. Ludwig Rudolph warned repeatedly against falling into this trap, as early as his 1950 introduction to the 4th edition of the old Witte-Lefeldt Rulebook, as well as later on; however, his words of wisdom did not appear in the English translations, and American astrologers too often fell into the pattern of idolizing their reference books as though they were some sort of immutable "Bible" with fixed planetary pictures and orders. The deterministic philosophy of Hermann Lefeldt, as defined in his writings, had much to do with this.
Other critics of the newer developments and methods such as those utilized by Ruth Brummund even went so far as to imply that Alfred Witte was a pure empiricist and was not interested in metaphysics; these critics simply have not read Witte's works in any depth or at all. In fact, Witte makes appreciative references to such widely published metaphysicians as C.W. Leadbeater and Annie Besant; while he was proficient in scientific methods, he also took an interest in the frontiers of science. Those frontiers where what was yesterday called metaphysics, and are today or tomorrow part of the scientific realities of new physics, are the harbor of some of the greatest scientific minds of humanity, such as Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and Steven Hawking. Although certainly not as widely recognized or institutionally sanctioned as these men, Alfred Witte was of a similar spirit, unafraid to explore beyond the limitations of conventional thought.
This book, which further develops the ideas of Witte and his more sensible followers, is the product of a successful attempt to bring Uranian and Midpoint Astrology, including its offshoot Cosmobiology, further in line with developments in up-to-date astrology worldwide, and to search for the most significant interpretive factors which help one move through the forest without getting lost among the many trees. One of the biggest challenges of Midpoint Astrology is to determine core essentials and dispense with relatively insignificant tangential factors and techniques; and those who have worked with the Transneptunians recognize that they are among the most significant. Astronomical realities, as they are revealed to us at the beginning of the 21st century, no longer justify the scapegoating and bashing of those who work with Trasneptunian factors. The prioritization and streamlining of Uranian Astrology is accomplished by Ms Brummund through combining simplicity of technique with depth of insight, a path that she continually reminds us was lit ahead by Ludwig Rudolph, particularly as his teachings evolved in his later years.
One imporant concept to continually remind ourselves of, as astrologers, is that the most mathematically complex of techniques is worthless without effective, comprehensive, and insightful understanding of the individual planetary energies, and this requires the ability to think in the abstract and work skillfully with interpretive concepts to yield well-rounded and relatively objective analyses.
I feel confident that English-speaking Midpoint astrologers, whether Uranians or Cosmobiologists, will heave a big sigh of relief as this long-awaited translation makes its way into their hands. One of the book's many remarkable characteristics is that it is organized in a way so as to deliberately encourage independent thinking and investigation.
My profound gratitude goes to Ruth Brummund for her understanding and patience with me as I translated this book piecemeal during meager slots of spare time throughout my 6 years of graduate studies and subsequent consuming karmic and health challenges, and moreover for her sincerity, integrity, dedication, and keenness of insight, qualities that make both her work and astrology as a field of inquiry worthy of great respect.
I have added additional interpretations, noted in parentheses, for the various planetary combinations, after their review by Ms Brummund.
One change in the format of the English translation is the division of interpretations into positive and negative categories. The purpose of this is to present to the Anglophone mind the polarized possibilities of planetary combinations... to see how they can manifest at their worst, and manifest at their best. There are a few cases where some might want to shift a word or phrase to the opposite category; in those cases, remember that the division was made as a guideline, and the evaluation of characteristics and concepts may vary from individual to individual, depending on situation, priorities, and value system. Other words have been interpreted in a less-than-literal fashion, for two main reasons: 1) the English language is one of the most diverse and complex, and multicultural languages on the planet. Thus a single German word might translate as a number of possibilities in English; and 2) certain keywords and concepts in any language are culturally- or contextually-biased and needed further clarification in order for their essence to reach the reader. Two examples of the latter are "sachbezogen" and "personenbezogen", which might interpret as "thing-oriented" and "people-oriented" and be used in certain types of dipolar psychological assessments. In the English translation, these are instead interpreted in most cases as "pragmatic" and "gets personally involved with others", which more clearly describe, in English, the actual ascribed characteristics. It is also proposed that plus and minus division in the English translation allows the reader to more clearly distinguish, and more readily ponder, the various possible options often determined by how consciously aware a given personality is of her or his higher potential, as well as of his or her more primitive compulsive attitudes and behavior; and into what the lower instincts can be transmuted.
In closing, I would point out that, as my understanding of the history of Uranian Astrology has increased, I have come to realize that there were two distinct currents in the Hamburg School. The one, led by Hermann Lefeldt, emphasized retention of and regression toward traditional techniques and a belief that interpretations and astrological indicators are relatively fixed and heavily determinstic. The other current, led by Ludwig Rudolph, emphasized that our free will helps us choose from among the options the planets give to us, and that Rulebook interpretations themselves are not to be treated as isolated units removed from the rest of the chart; nor are the individual interpretation statements and keywords in the Rulebook to be taken to apply literally to all individual cases. Ruth describes the components of the chart as jigsaw puzzle or mosaic that must be assembled appropriately so that the overall picture becomes clear. There is a poem by Ludwig Rudolph that appeared in the preface to the Witte-Lefeldt and some of its English translations, which didn't seem to come through well to Anglophone astrologers of the past. Poems are difficult to translate while making them rhyme and still get the core message across. Following is my humble attempt to once again present Ludwig Rudolph's poem while stressing the points he seemed to be making as guiding principles for using and working with Rulebook interpretations:
In closing, for those interested in more longer textual descriptions of planetary combinations, two supplementary, current interpretive references are recommended: Sandbach, J & Ballard, R: Planets in Containment/Planetary Containments (highly pertinent for midpoint interpretation, and highly insightful); and Wescott/Lang-Wescott, M: The Orders of Light (very insightful into the Transneptunians). Note that only the Wescott book includes information on the Transneptunians... the other does not.
Also, Sherman, S & Frank, J: Symphony of the Planets, provides keyword listings for the Transneptunians.
San Francisco, January 2000, updated August 2003
THE URANIAN BEACON : ASTROLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY