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MDR Commentary on AAB
DINA Studies of Individual Instructions
commentary by Michael D. Robbins

Consideration of the Life of Alice A. Bailey, from what is known through her Autobiography.Alice A. Bailey—Amanuensis to the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul: (1880-1949) June 16, 1880Manchester, England, 7:32 AM, GMT Sabian Symbols, and rectified by Dane Rudhyar). Died, December 15, 1949, New York, NY.

(Ascendant, Leo, with Mars rising in Leo from H12; MC, Aries with Jupiter in Aries conjunct the MC, H9, and Saturn also in Aries; Sun in Gemini with Venus in Gemini; Moon in Libra; Mercury in Cancer; Uranus in Virgo; Neptune and Pluto in Taurus; NN in Capricorn)

If any astrological chart should be given an esoteric interpretation, it should certainly be that of Alice A. Bailey who, as the amanuensis of the Master Djwhal Khul, was largely responsible for seeing that the book Esoteric Astrology reached humanity. Yet, we are faced with an unknown birth time. Alice Bailey, who knew little of ordinary, technical astrology, speculated that her Ascendant might be Pisces, as she was certainly a “mediator” between Hierarchy and humanity. She also thought Cancer might be a possibility. She was good friends with the progressive, humanistic astrologer Dane Rudhyar who, not only dedicated his monumental Astrology of Personality to her, but rectified, to his satisfaction, her astrological chart. That chart with a Leo Ascendant has gained a wide acceptance and is the one we will use here for this analysis. The eminent astrologer Marc Edmund Jones also agreed with this rectification.

The rays of Alice A. Bailey are known. Although not given in completeness in any book, they were related to the author by the disciple R.S.W. (a good friend of AAB’s and a member of the discipleship groups to which the Tibetan wrote the instructions found in Discipleship in the New Age, Vols. I and II). This ray assignment also appears in various unpublished papers to which the author has access. These rays are as follows: 

Soul: Ray II      
Personality: Ray 1        
Mind: Ray 1     
Astral Body: Ray 2       
Etheric Physical Body, Ray 7    

A careful reading of AAB’s Unfinished Autobiography, will reveal the presence of the sixth ray, probably as a “legacy ray” (self-inherited from a recent incarnation), or as the ray of the astral vehicle prior to its transformation into the second ray. In brief, it can be said that she used to preach rather than teach, and that her style involved a fair bit of “hellfire and damnation”—an odd beginning for one so identified, later, with the teaching of the expansive and luminous Ageless Wisdom. She was personally engaged in the elevation of the energies of the solar plexus center to the heart—a process which reinforces the idea that sixth ray energies were being transmuted into energies qualified by the second ray.   

As an added speculation (although it is certainly impossible to know with certainty), it is reasonable to think of the AAB’s monadic nature as focussed upon the second ray of Love-Wisdom, very much like that of her Master, K.H., a Chohan upon the second ray. At her stage of development, the monad (her own “Central Spiritual Sun”) would be influential, and, further, it is utterly clear that she is working in the Department of the Bodhisattva. Ascertaining the monadic ray of the Tibetan presents, perhaps, more controversy and uncertainty.        

The conduits for the second ray soul (or monad) are several—the Sun and one sign/constellation, and three planets in particular (Venus, Jupiter and Neptune). The Sun (itself considered to be a second ray source among other things) is placed in Gemini. The Tibetan is a Master upon the second ray of Love-Wisdom, and it seems He sought to work closely with those in whose energy system the sign Gemini (which distributes in this world period principally and, perhaps, only the second ray) was prominent. AAB’s second husband, Foster Bailey, had a Pisces Sun sign, and according to best estimates (including the estimate of a fellow astrologer disciple who knew him well), a Gemini Ascendant. Mary Bailey, the second wife of Foster Bailey, continued from the middle 1950’s as president of the Lucis Trust. Like Alice Bailey, Mary Bailey had a Gemini Sun sign and Leo Ascendant. The disciple R.S.W. (with whom, it is said, the Tibetan attempted some further transmissions of the teaching) had a Gemini Ascendant. From all this one wonders whether the Tibetan, Himself, as one of the key “Messengers” of the Hierarchy, was not distinguished by a powerful Gemini in His own, individual horoscope. (The Masters, like all human beings, do have astrological charts giving important clues about their individual energy systems.)   

When one thinks of the Tibetan’s Teaching, one can see how closely it is related to the sign Gemini, offering, as it does, a wide ranging explanation of atomic, individual, planetary, solar and constellational processes. Gemini represents the polarities of Love and Wisdom, and Gemini is the sign relating all the pairs of opposites. The second ray is peculiarly a ray of relationship. From a close study of the Tibetan’s books and a following of the Law of Correspondences and the Law of Analogy, one can begin to ascertain the relationships between all things. This comprehensive relational process is very much the domain of Gemini.           

Through AAB’s Gemini Sun, therefore, the Tibetan could easily work. This resonance was augmented by the planet Venus (dispensing the love and light of the soul) also placed in the sign, Gemini, which it esoterically rules. Gemini is a sign most related to duality and dualism, and to the techniques of building and utilizing the antahkarana by means of which a conscious relationship between the ‘unsheathed soul’ (i.e., the spiritual triad) and the soul-infused personality can be established. Thus Gemini links the two into a fluid synthesis. Venus, a planet especially related to the luminous, loving Solar Angel and its powers, facilitates the rapport between the spiritual triad and personality, and promotes, in general, the process of soul infusion.

In AAB’s case, Venus (a planet with a strong second ray component) symbolizes the facile rapport of soul and personality, and an easy access to the radiance of the Solar Angel (a member of the Fifth Creative Hierarchy, just as the human monads are members of the Fourth Creative Hierarchy). Through so much of AAB’s teaching, knowledge concerning the Solar Angel is articulated and expanded far beyond that which was earlier given by HPB.

The Sun and Venus both in Gemini can be considered to be in a fairly wide but, nevertheless, effective conjunction of about seven and a half degrees. Further, they are both found in the eleventh house of group work (also the eleventh arm of the astrological chart—as explained by the astrologers Stephen Pugh, Niklas Nihlen and others).

This is the house of group work and of the emergence of the group soul and group causal body, just as the fifth house of the chart signifies the emergence of the individual soul (if such a misnomer can be allowed) and the individual causal body (which does, in fact, exist). We must remember, “The macrocosmic Whole is all there is.  Let the group perceive that Whole and then no longer use the thought ‘My soul and thine’.” (Rule V for Disciples and Initiates, R&I  20)       

Further conduits for the second ray are Jupiter in Aries and Neptune in Taurus. Jupiter is the ruler of the heart center for all disciples. AAB was certainly a disciple of high degree, and, according to the estimation of the author (and from all available evidence) at least an initiate of the third degree (well into the process of renunciation—the fourth degree).

The soul ray of the planet Jupiter is very probably the second, and so it can be considered the principal planet of the second ray. It is placed closely conjunct AAB’s Midheaven on the ninth house side. This seems a perfect position for one who initiates (Aries) a second ray school of the Ageless Wisdom (Jupiter), namely the Arcane School. Jupiter in Aries, in this case, indicates the process of undertaking a piece of new work for the Hierarchy and on one’s own initiative.   

Neptune also is a conduit for the second ray, as the monadic ray of Neptune is very reasonably the second. (cf. EP I, 420) As well, Neptune is closely conjunct Chiron, a planetoid (comet or asteroid—its true nature is not definitely determined) with a strong second ray coloring (for Chiron is the teacher, guide, mentor and healer—all second ray functions).

Interestingly, these two planets are placed in the second sign, Taurus, which emphasizes the light and wisdom of the second ray, rather than its love nature, per se. This conjunction bestows the power to heal and guide with light and intuition. This combination of energies, when wielded by the initiate, provide a subtly deglamorizing potency, giving facility for redemptive work upon the astral plane as that plane is influenced by the intuition (i.e., by the buddhic faculty correlated, in part, with Neptune). The conjunction also confers the power to guide people (Chiron) through the astral miasmas through the intuitive use of the light.

From another perspective, the conjunction of Neptune and Chiron in illuminative Taurus confers buddhi-manas, the blending of intuition with the light of all levels of mind—especially the level of higher mind.

This combination was one of the factors (along with the Gemini capacities) which rendered AAB so telepathically sensitive. Taurus is associated with the ajna center, and so is Neptune(sixth ray) at a certain quite advanced point in the evolutionary process (i.e., beyond the third degree). Neptune in Taurus, rightly utilized, can help one see into the higher and more subtle worlds, and Chiron makes of one a leader and a guide for those who need the impartation of the light.   

On a lower turn of the spiral, in relation to this Neptune/Chiron conjunction, one has to be on guard against being hurt, damaged or wounded (Chiron) on the astral plane Neptune. The disciple R.S.W. told the author that “Alice was kicked around quite a bit on the astral”, presumably by those negative entities which sought to interfere with her work. The square from aggressive Mars in Leo would only emphasize this tendency. As well, some of the fear reactions which AAB acknowledged could also have had their origin in this Neptune/Chiron conjunction. Mars square Neptune would confer a strong idealism and a degree of astral agitation—probably more so in early life.   

Both the personality and the mind are on the first ray, giving a powerful point of connection for will and purpose. Two signs/constellations, in particular, act as modes of transmission for the first ray—Aries and Leo. Leo is ruled by the Sun on all three levels—exoteric, esoteric and hierarchical. Because of the initiate status of AAB, Neptune correlating with the energy of the “Heart of the Sun” (or soul) and Uranus correlating with the “Central Spiritual Sun (or monad) are both interpretively relevant. Neptune would be considered the more active ruler, perhaps, but Uranus (a planet with a deeply first ray nature) would also have its part to play, placing AAB strongly en rapport with the atmic aspect of divinity—that of the spiritual will.

In another respect, Uranus representing all that is archetypal, authentic and, hence, unusual from an ordinary perspective, is conjunct Juno (the asteroid of marriage and partnership) and both are either sextile or trine the nodal axis (indicating the formation and dissolution of life connections).

This conjunction, thus, manifests as one of the principal indications of AAB’s unusual telepathic (Uranus) ‘partnership’ or collaboration with the Tibetan Master—especially as Uranus is placed in the second house which, among other things, indicates the treasures of the Ageless Wisdom and the auditory function.           

The other first ray sign Aries, has for its orthodox ruler, the planet Mars (which, in itself, carries much of the first ray) and is placed in the first ray sign, Leo, prominently at the Ascendant. Mars in Leo is a strongly first ray indication, and gives the individual natural “push” and authority. It can represent the power to command, and from all first hand reports AAB (though filled with love and Geminian humor) “ran a tight ship”.

In many individuals Mars in Leo represents the assertiveness of the personality, but as Leo also represents the soul (and even the spirit), this combination can stand for the power to assert the authority of the energies resident within the two higher periodical vehicles.           

Within Aries are placed both Saturn (a planet with a significant first ray component) and also Jupiter. Whereas Jupiter in Aries bestows a ready initiative, Saturn in Aries indicates caution and restraint. Taken together, they are a mutually reinforcing pair, and indicate strong purpose. Jupiter in Aries will undertake much, but Saturn in Aries gives more prudence and discrimination, choosing more wisely that which is to be initiated.

Further we see that first ray/seventh ray Aries qualified the authoritative tenth house cusp (the MC), showing that the first ray is easily applied to AAB’s “calling” or vocation (ruled by the tenth house), especially since dharmic Saturn is very strong in the tenth house, just as visionary Jupiter is strong in the ninth. We can certainly see how the first ray power to initiate was available to AAB in the execution of her dharma.        

Pluto, found in the eleventh house of group work, is also a planet of the first ray. It has several aspects of interest. One is a quincunx (150°) to the fated vertex, and also a close quintile (72°) to the Ascendant. Interestingly, AAB was virtually expelled (Pluto) from the Theosophical Society (eleventh house), and later undertook important transformative and regenerative work for the Hierarchy (indicated esoterically at the eleventh house)—apparently doing much inner work in the transmutation of negative substance.

There is also a close parallel of declination between Pluto and the MC, only seven minutes of arc from exactitude, again showing the occult depth of AAB’s work for the Great Ones, and also certain subtle dangers to which she was exposed. One can well imagine that she was not ‘popular’ with the counterforce, and Hitler, himself, is said to have desired her elimination (Pluto). The first ray power of Pluto was certainly dharmically useful to her, given the extraordinarily rigorous and physically exhausting labor which she chose to undertake.

Perhaps it was no coincidence that she thought of her closest companions as members of a spiritual “suicide squad”—a band of esoteric workers who would voluntarily sacrifice themselves through extreme effort on behalf of Hierarchy and humanity until they “dropped”. Pluto parallel the MC and Pluto in the eleventh house predispose towards this self-sacrificial orientation.          

AAB’s Ascendant is in the first (or sub-Leo) decanate of the sign Leo. It reinforced her first ray personality and mind and gave her the strength to persist in her arduous Self-chosen task, and to centralize within herself the necessary spiritual authority to be (for thirty years) the very “life and heart of the project”.

AAB had the Leo dharma of becoming an example of the teaching she gave to the world; she executed this dharmic task admirably. The Leo Ascendant also combines with and reinforces the energy of her second ray soul. Of the three fire signs, Leo is the one most associated with consciousness, per se. It is the second of the fire signs indicating its numerical affinity with the second ray. Its peculiar type of light is the “Light of the Soul”; interestingly, AAB wrote a book with this title, commenting on translations of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali prepared for her by the Tibetan.

Leo is associated with two types of will: the Will to Illumine and the Will to Rule. The Will to Rule was focussed through her first ray personality and mind, and was applied through her role as spiritual executive. The Will to Illumine is clearly and potently related to her dharma as a teacher and author in the field of esotericism, and complements perfectly her Geminian abilities as a receiver and transmitter of occult knowledge and wisdom.          

The role of the Moon and Mercury must be examined. Like HPB’s, AAB’s moon was placed in the collaborative sign, Libra.  Both of these initiates formed a significant partnership with the Tibetan Master, Who wrote the great majority of the “Blue Books” and Who was responsible, we are told, for providing HPB with much of the material for her monumental Secret Doctrine. His collaboration with AAB was, it would seem, the more intimate, for in this latter instance, the major ray was the same (the second), HPB being upon the first ray in her soul.

Note that the Moon is found in the third house of communication, in this case telepathic communication and collaboration. With AAB, the mind (third house) was an extremely sensitive instrument of reception, and the rapport (Libra) which made possible this mental interplay between the Tibetan and herself, had been trained in earlier incarnations when she was an disciple under the Tibetan’s supervision.       

The presence of the Moon in the very first degree of Libra indicates the important choices which confronted AAB throughout her life (since one of the mantrams of Libra is “Let Choice be Made”). Perhaps her most important choice was whether or not to collaborate with the Tibetan when opportunity was presented. At first, fearing psychism, she did not want to do so. Shortly after the initial contact, she evaluated (Libra) the quality of material she was receiving from him and became convinced of His authenticity and the importance of the spiritual enterprise He suggested. There are many of us in the world today who must be extremely grateful that she decided as she did.   

The aspects made by Mercury (a planet of communication and, hence, on a higher turn of the spiral, of telepathy) are revealing. There is a sextile to Juno (partnership) and another sextile to the Neptune/Chiron conjunction (representing close contact with a subtle (Neptune) mentor/Master (Chiron). Mercury is also widely conjunct the South Node, indicating the telepathic faculty had been brought over from the past, and quite closely conjunct one of the “alternative Ascendants” (the Equatorial Ascendant), again emphasizing its importance.

Mercury, as well, is square to Jupiter representing the sheer quantity of transmitted material with which she had to deal and her role in externalizing (the square) the Wisdom Teaching. That Mercury is in the sign Cancer shows the receptive and retentive quality of her mind, and its sensitivity to impression. Esoterically, it signifies that the transmitted triadal teachings received via the “thread” from the Master and via the antahkarana were to be anchored deep in manifestation, within the lunar substance (the elemental worlds) represented by Cancer.

One more point in relation to Mercury may be of interest—its declination is the highest of all the planets. High declination is said to confer added power upon the planet. As the orthodox ruler of her Sun Sign, Gemini, Mercury naturally carries special importance. Mercury, as a planet, is the “Messenger”. The Tibetan, as a Master is, also, the “Messenger”. The connection of the Tibetan with the Mercurian vibration seems more than reasonable.    

Of note is the grand trine relating expansive second ray Jupiter in Aries, courageous Mars in Leo and dedicated Vesta in Sagittarius (the sign of higher mind, philosophy and seership). Something of the large scope of the great work undertaken on behalf of the Tibetan can be appreciated. She had the enthusiasm (Jupiter/Mars) to sustain this work, and the singleness of purpose and commitment (Vesta) to adhere to it.

From a certain perspective, Master D.K., pouring forth the abundance of the Ageless Wisdom into her receptive mind, is represented by second ray Jupiter at the tenth house cusp—a significant point of authority in the chart. (He can be considered Saturn, the “Task Master”, as well. The Tibetan once commented that His work with AAB had been, for Him, “a labor of love” and for her, “a labor”!)

This elevated Jupiter can also represent the benevolent supervision (Jupiterian keywords) of the Master K.H. (her Master, actually) Who had materialized for her during her teen-age years (telling her of future work she might do), and with Whom she had the closest inner rapport—about which, of course, little is said. The interplay between a disciple and his/her Master is a purely private matter.      

Several important parallels of declination have already been pointed out. Additionally there is a close parallel between the Sun and the South Node, indicating the personal authority which AAB had developed in the past (South Node), and also the personality (Sun) which she was leaving behind.

Venus finds itself on the other side, also parallel to the South Node, showing the soul contact established in former lives. There is another parallel (exact to the minute of arc) between Mars and Ceres, showing that all the assertion (Mars) which she had to bring forward, was for the sake of nurturing (Ceres) the spiritual potentials of the disciples for which she made herself responsible. Together, Mars and Ceres represent what might be called ‘forceful cultivation’.

Jupiter and the Moon are closely parallel, indicating her successful receptivity and why she was able to provide a psycho-mental vessel for the reception of so much knowledge and wisdom; her form (the Moon) had reached a sufficient point of unfoldment (Jupiter) for this to be possible. Juno and intelligent Pallas Athene are also parallel, further accentuating the mentoring to which she was subjected. Pallas Athene was always the astute advisor to various of the heroes of Greek Mythology.

The Juno Uranus conjunction and parallel is part of this complex. The Neptune/Chiron conjunction (indicator of subtle mentoring) is also reinforced by a parallel between them, adding to its strength. Finally, the Sun is closely parallel the Anti-Vertex, (hypothesized as a ‘point of free initiative’). This shows her able to put her integrated personality powers freely into the telepathic experiment with the Tibetan.          

In AAB’s case, the more prominent fixed stars do not contact the usual personal points of the chart. The Gemini Sun is conjunct two stars—Saiph and Wazn. Saiph is the “Sword Hilt of the Hunter” Orion, and is probably the seventh ray star among the seven first magnitude stars in that constellation. Wazn is translated at the “Weight” and, with Phact, is a star in the constellation of the “Dove” both considered to be good messengers or bringers of good news. This was certainly true in the case of AAB, whose collaborative teaching with the Tibetan brought the inspiring Ageless Wisdom to many thousands.     

We have already talked about the importance of Uranus in relation to Juno as an indicator of the transformative (Uranus) collaboration (Juno) AAB formed with the Tibetan. This conjunction is found in the second house (the house of wealth—whether physical, mental or spiritual). We find that Uranus and the star Thuban (the “Judge of Heaven” and the pole star more than four thousand years ago) are conjunct in the same house—the second. Thuban, according to Bernadette Brady, is the symbol of one who guards or produces a treasure.

Again the treasure can be spiritual or material. Thuban is said to indicate prospectors of gold or silver and ministers of money. Its connection with that which is highly valuable is only reinforced by its presence in the second house of the chart. We can easily see AAB guarding and producing the “Treasures of the Ageless Wisdom”—the ‘Treasures of Light’ (another and higher meaning of the second house).   

The Star Menkar, associated with Cetus the Sea Monster, is conjunct Neptune, indicating a strong relationship with the collective unconscious—the collective forces of the pan-human psyche. Reihnold Ebertin tells us that “this star has a Saturnine character, corresponding to impediments of many kinds, worries and tests of endurance”. It is associated with “unjustified enmities, hardening and toughening these people in some ways”. All of these interpretations apply to AAB’s life     .

One personal point, the Vertex or “point of fate” is very closely conjuncted to Acumen, a twin nebula to Aculeus in the sting of the Scorpion. Its meaning according to Brady is “enduring attacks which weaken”. Placed at the Vertex, Acumen indicates an inevitable confrontation with those who criticize and malign, and this was certainly the case in AAB’s life. The positive interpretation indicates a very sharp mind and a perception well above the average.          

When thinking of AAB’s spiritual achievements and status, one must conclude that not only was she, technically, a “Chela on the Thread”, empowered to seek and get the Master’s attention when the work demanded it, but also a “Chela with the Master’s Aura” (yet a further stage of disciplic development) indicating a still more intimate and trusted relationship with the Hierarchy. With her, the antahkarana, indicated by the sign Gemini, Venus in Gemini and Mercury in Cancer was built to a large degree, and she could journey at will to the Ashram on the inner planes for consultation and instruction.        

This is far from an exhaustive analysis of the main astrological features of AAB’s natal chart. Her conception and animation charts would also be of great interest and may be undertaken in further portions of this series of astrology books.  

Alice A. Bailey was (and is) a great disciple and initiate. Her accomplishments on behalf of students of the Ageless Wisdom are irreplaceable. Her life was a hard one, both inwardly and outwardly. She was, after all, being trained to work still more closely with Master K.H. in His future plans relating to the Reappearance of the Christ and the Re-establishment of the Mysteries of Initiation. Her last incarnation was a clear example of the principle that as disciple advances, the greater his/her inner freedom becomes, but the more restricted and outwardly bound becomes his/her life within the world of circumstances.

Gemini often gives either the tendency towards insomnia or the ability to get along on very little sleep; often, in the execution of her endless responsibilities, she was down to perhaps two hours of sleep per night. We see the elevated Saturn standing austerely in the tenth house of duty, and harmoniously sextiling the important Gemini Sun, but giving, in essence, no time for the personal self. The life of the initiate of the third degree is one of increasing pressure, internal intensity and self-sacrifice.    

Are we in any position to determine what AAB accomplished inwardly during her last incarnation? Probably not. The Tibetan once suggested that for all the fullness of outer work which AAB accomplished, her inner work was still more demanding. Here we see the two sides of the Geminian energy expressed through the life of a disciple/initiate who was certainly in the world, but, with equal certainty, not of it.

We might say of AAB that she (under the inspiration of the Tibetan Master) made the soul and the Solar Angel vivid spiritual realities in the lives of thousands. She was instrumental (literally) in offering the world an entirely new approach to discipleship and to the cultivation of group activity, group consciousness and group progress in the Aquarian age. The Aquarian Age will not be an Age focussed only upon the group (though that will be its primary focus). During this Age, powerful individualities will emerge who will take positions of leadership relative to group work.

Ashrams are always organized with a Master or Arhat at the central point. It can be clearly seen that AAB (through her work for the Tibetan and her own Self-initiated work with respect to the Arcane School and the Lucis Trust) was in the process of “gathering her Ashram”. Through the power of her Leo Ascendant, she was learning to be the ‘authoritative center’ of a future Ashram on the second ray. She stood at the nexus of a great array of subtle forces and they passed through her. The impairments of the “blood condition” which eventually arose were directly related to her position at the “heart of things”.

We know that both Leo and Aquarius condition the heart and circulatory system and the condition of the blood. In a way, and karmically, her time to pass had come before the thirty years work was completed, but with characteristic courage (bold Mars in courageous Leo, plus her double first ray emphasis), she “refused invalidism”, and pushed forward to complete the work. It is said that the Masters kept her in incarnation for several additional years so that this work for the Tibetan might reach its proper conclusion, but They never could have done this unless her own indomitable will (first ray, Leo and Aries) were invested in continuation.     

The greatest of all hierarchical projects in the current era are the Externalization of the Hierarchy and the Reappearance of the Christ. To facilitate this Reappearance, the Master K.H. and his Ashram (and Ashram, which in a broader way includes the Master D.K.) are committed. AAB, as a member of K.H.’s Ashram, was also thoroughly invested in this monumental project. If we wish to evaluate her work in collaboration with the Tibetan, we must think of what it has meant for informing the world (Gemini) about the true nature of the Spiritual Hierarchy, its impending Externalization, and the return of its great Director, the Christ. 

Certain lives serve as an inspirational example for us all; the last incarnation of Alice Bailey was one such. We are grateful that (like Yogananda) she drew upon the energies of her Leo Ascendant to write an autobiography which brings before the eyes of humanity an example (Leo) of a life entirely and courageously dedicated to discipleship service.