Cycles of Becoming by Alexander Ruperti is one of those books I need to revisit every seven years or so. Ruperti, heavily influenced by Dane Rudhyar, considers himself a “humanistic astrologer,” one who believes that we have the mandate to choose our fate from the options offered by the planetary energies. Rather than growing in a linear fashion from Point A to Point B, we evolve in cycles, returning to Point A to discover that it has now transformed to Point B. Our experience and growth brings us back to a point where we started with new awareness that drives us to begin the cycle again at a higher, more conscious level. Understanding these cycles helps us to live “a spiritually significant life,” as we “live in harmony with the laws which govern the universe and the planets.”
One of the most basic cycles we experience involves what Ruperti calls “The Age Factor.” All of us around the same age experience a waxing Saturn square, a Uranus opposition, or a nodal return. Each cycle of Saturn, for example, requires a different level of growth. A 21 year old client in a first Saturn cycle is still developing in the hereditary cycle. Experiencing a challenging Saturn aspect, this client could be guided by the astrologer to evaluation expectations placed on him by family or culture and measure them against his own sense of talents or destiny. In the second Saturn cycle as the individual develops as a contributing member of society, a client in this phase could be advised on how to confront challenges she faces in the work place or family life. In the third Saturn cycle, requiring us to grow spiritually as our bodies lose strength, a client could be counseled to let certain pressures and expectations go in order to pursue activities which feed the soul.
Ruperti also explores the cycle of the lunar nodes through our charts. His interpretation is that we must exert and concentrate our energies through the matter of the house containing the transiting North node. “There should be a conscious attempt to develop new faculties or some new facet of the personality through the life experiences of the House containing the transiting North node,” he writes. In the matters of the house containing the transiting South node, we should “allow things to happen according to the established habits built on previous efforts” when the North node was transiting this house.
Through studying the Venus-Mars cycles in our chart, Ruperti writes that we can understand the pull between desires and values, and the Sun-Venus cycle links the value nature of Venus to the spiritual journey symbolized by the Sun. The cycles of the Sun and Mars, or Mercury and the Sun also reveal the link between our desires and spiritual purpose or our intellect and spiritual journey. Whether these planets form an exact aspect in your chart, they were at some point in relation to each other when you were born, either applying to a conjunction or moving away from each other. Ruperti provides a detailed delineation of our life path at each point in these cycles.
Jupiter cycles teach us to channel our “solar purpose” rather than simply expand our awareness in all directions. A life span contains seven Jupiter cycles, challenging us at each return to use the gifts and energy of Jupiter in a new way. Saturn in conjunction, square, and opposition to itself creates turning points, when we are confronted with a particular challenge or difficulty we were born to explore. We gain the objectivity during these problematic times to develop the skills or coping mechanisms we need to grow past these challenges.
While Uranus cycles can bring crises, Uranus also can “act positively as the revealer of greater worlds and more inclusive truths,” Ruperti promises. While a Neptune transit may first indicate one is dissatisfied with life and the goals one is working towards, learning to let go of past ambitions or desires can lead one to a greater life of “inclusiveness and harmony.” Studying the cycle of Saturn and Neptune can help us understand how to blend the practical and the ideal, according to the houses they occupy.
Pluto, Ruperti tells us, “demands.” “Uranus inspires us from the outside, Neptune dissolves or absorbs, but Pluto demands rebirth, reintegration along new lines and deliberate self-sacrifice.” While we do not experience a full Neptune or Pluto cycle, their transit across house cusps and particularly across the angles of our chart create times when our lives enter a new reality.
Ruperti’s closing words include the admonition to astrologers to present clients with information from their charts which they can use to live a hopeful and self-aware life. Clients all have “a purpose to achieve and a maturity to attain.” While all lives contain crises, “individual freedom does not consist of trying to decide whether or not one will have a crisis, but in the meaning a person gives to it.” When exploring the cycles of the planets around our earth, astrologers are given a powerful loom in which to weave the nature of our human experience.