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Dane Rudhyar
DANE RUDHYAR

March 23, 1895 to Sept. 13, 1985

the father of Karmic Astrology


Defining genius is never an easy task. So trying to define one of the giants of 20th Century astrology, who also was a genius, probably defies a few short words.

Born in Paris in the late 19th Century, Dane Rudhyar as a young man quickly developed a reputation for his sharp mind and literary bent in Parisian circles.

He turned his back on Continental culture and emigrated to the United States at age 21, and stayed there the rest of life. Biographers often comment that much of his life's work was an attempt to come to grips with the carnage of World War I, which he would have known about first-hand.

Over the years he explored philosophy, literature, mysticism, astrology and an eclectic mix of cerebral topics which caught the fancy of his extraordinary mind. To this day only a limited number of people completely understand everything he wrote. Nonetheless all of us who have sampled from his work are impressed with the breadth and depth of his understanding. We each take from his writing that which resonates to our personal lives.

My personal opinion is that Dane Rudhyar did more than any single other modern astrologer to drag astrology out of the cesspool of the Middle Ages fatalism and negativity to allow astrology to grow into the modern age. It was a mammoth and life-long task, which is not yet complete.

He wrote more than two dozen books, most of which are still in print. However his prose is dense, complex, and layered with so many subtleties of meaning that few have fully digested everything contained within. No mean feat for any writer, but even more remarkable given that English was his second language. The astrological community is still coming to grips with the enormous gift we were given by his incarnation.

Rudhyar turned out books faster than people could assimilate and comprehend his multi-faceted interests. While he wrote on a wide range of philosophical, literary, and astrological topics, it is his astrological corpus for which he is best remembered.

Two books are particularly well-known. His 1936 book, The Astrology of Personality, is still being digested by astrologers throughout the Western world. Most have bought it, a few have read it, and fewer still understand fully what Rudhyar was saying. His 1972 book, Person-Centered Astrology has met much the same response, lots of applause and little understanding.

Yet those books, as incompletely as they are integrated into astrological thinking, set the stage for a significant shift (dare I use the cliché, paradigm shift?) in the philosophical basis of modern astrology.

Rudhyar's over-riding message was a great departure from what was then the mainstream of astrology. His works say:


Here is what you are, and more importantly, here is what you can do about it with your free choice.


Suddenly Medieval determinism and fortune-telling bite the dust (at last). We are no longer enslaved by the stars, but instead are liberated by them. Sadly, not every Western astrologer has yet caught up with this.

Click here
to read the entire book
online for free.

His final book, The Astrology of Transformation (1980), was his pièce de résistance, which he called "my astrological testament, in the sense that it brings to a conclusion my attempt to reformulate and give a new direction to modern astrology."

Rudhyar was an old man by this point, well into his 80s, and he knew he wouldn't be around much longer, so he was leaving his vision of the future for a younger generation to pick up and work with. Unlike his earlier books, which often dealt at length with detailed points of philosophy and astrological analysis, he painted his vision with broad strokes giving a sweeping vision of what astrology could become for those willing to take the spiritual journey.

He called it transpersonal astrology, and while the prose sometimes bogged down (often the case in his books), the message again was a simple one:

The astrological chart is a person's roadmap to make the journey of matter ascending and spirit descending complete. In other words, anyone wishing to make the Great Spiritual Journey back to Source need only look at his/her astrological chart to see how it would best be done.

As is typical of Rudhyar's books, many astrologers have a copy of the book but very few astrologers have actually read it, and fewer still grasp his message. I am typical. Every time I open the book I either find something new, or see something old I understand in a new light. This is the signature of genius in writing.

At any rate, for reasons of public comprehension I call what I do Karmic Astrology (a rose by any other name smells just as sweet), but it's based on Rudhyar's last book. For me Dane Rudhyar is the father of Karmic Astrology.

I like to think of myself as a "way-shower", showing people the next step on their path. That's what Rudhyar was writing about. Astrology for the Seeker is the lamp which illuminates the darkness so that The Path may be seen.

Thank you, Dane Rudhyar, for handing us the lamp.











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