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General Unfoldment
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Martial Arts and the Art of Reading Transits

By A. Leo, Jr.

What do you do once you’ve discovered that your natal chart is surprisingly accurate?

Hopefully, you are not like one Virgo schoolteacher that I met. This singular, and single, lady was the only client whose fee I have ever had to refund. She complained bitterly that my interpretation of her chart did not describe her at all. Her chart contained a Virgo stellium that I read to be detail - oriented and demanding.

The reading took place at a setting similar to a psychic fair, and, after she left in a huff, several of her friends started laughing. They quickly informed me that I had described her perfectly, and they thought that she probably couldn’t stand what she had heard….

A natal chart tells us who we are. But don’t we already know that?

Can astrology be of any benefit beyond the most obvious?

Of course it can.

J. P. Morgan is reputed to have used astrology in a fashion that can only be described as “strategic” and “tactical.” How can astrology be used to benefit one’s day-to-day affairs?

The system described in this series of articles has been in development since December 1987. At that time a mentor of mine introduced me to transits, (the current placement of the planets in the sky and how they are affecting your individual birth chart), with Jim Maynard’s Astrologer’s Datebook.

Up to that point, I had only been familiar with natal charts. I was visiting my teacher in Nashville, and I asked how to use the date book. He said I needed to read it every day and analyze each aspect carefully. And as I lived the aspect, to observe what has happening around me and make notes. He indicated that, over time, the aspects would teach me their meanings. I kept my interest to myself, but did as my friend had recommended. And I learned.

(At the Cosmic Path web site, these daily aspects can be quickly and easily located on the Weekly Weather Report page.)

Many books and many charts later, I’ve learned that the analysis of aspects can be remarkably and powerfully educational in terms of daily tactics and overall strategies. I am an avid fan of martial arts (as well as a tepid practitioner), and I’ve learned a model that applies to astrology as well. I would like to share it with you.

Martial Arts as a Model for Interpretation: The Four Ranges of Combat

In the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee speaks of four ranges of combat. I’ve modified, slightly, his original descriptions to these: kicking & weapons, punching (traditional karate style), punching & trapping (wing chun style), and grappling.

The Outermost Range: Kicking and Some Weapons

At the level of kicking and most weapons other than knives, the action tends to be relatively slow. Some kickers might object to that, but relatively speaking, it is true.

The Range of the Chambered Punch

At the next range, a karate master may “chamber” his punch to develop power that can, for example, shatter hundreds of pounds of ice. Although most karate masters will say, “speed is the essence of karate,” chambered punches often can be seen, anticipated, and blocked.

The Blinding Speed of Trapping Range

Much faster than either of those two levels is trapping range. Here, almost all experts describe the technique as an “energy” that one feels rather than sees. This is the range of Tai Chi’s “push hands” and Wing Chun’s “sticky hands.” Miss a beat here, and a punch you never see will deck you.

Grappling Range: Operating by "Feel"

Even faster is grappling range: the range of wrestling, Judo, and jujitsu. Movements here are virtually entirely by “feel” and are totally different from the other levels. Here, punches and kicks simply don’t happen; throws, sweeps, locks, and pressure points predominate.

The Four Ranges of Strategic Astrology

The use of astrology for strategy and tactics parallels the four ranges of Jeet Kune Do.  The four ranges of strategic astrology are:

  • General Unfolding

  • Personal Unfolding

  • The Annual Cycle

  • SUMO (Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles)

General Unfolding

The outermost range is that of a “general unfolding.” Much like the first level of Jeet Kune Do, the general unfolding is a way of watching the planetary cycles that take place over the course of a lifetime.

Personal Unfolding

The next range is that of a “personal unfolding,” which deals with generational cycles and the placements of the outer planets in the birth chart. This second level is akin to the punching range of the karate master.

Annual Cycle

Just like the trapping range, the third range, that of the annual cycle, happens much faster and requires the capacity to ‘feel’ the daily movements of the planets and how they are affecting your chart.

SUMO (Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles)

And the fourth range, similar to grappling, is loosely based on the monthly cycle of the moon as seen from the vantage point of days and weeks. It also can oncorporate the use of daily oracles. More specifically, my method of analysis for this fourth range is called the Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles (or SUMO).

Next:  General Unfoldment.

© A. Leo, Jr., 2003


Copyright © 2004 Grand Trines
Last modified: 08/18/05