Abraham Maslow

Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005

Astro-Rayological Interpretation & Charts
Physiognomic Interpretation

to Volume 3 Table of Contents


Abraham Maslow
Father of Humanistic Psychology,
the Psychology of “Self-Actualization”

(April 1, 1908, New York City, time unknown.
Died, June 8, 1970, Menlo Park, California, of a heart attack).
A proposed rectification has been offered based upon a speculative time of 10:31:51 AM)

Whether or not this rectification is strictly accurate, much can be derived simply from the planetary positions independently of the Ascendant and the house cusps(Proposed Ascendant Cancer. Neptune and Vesta are rising in Cancer; proposed MC in Pisces, with Mercury in Pisces at the MC; Sun and Moon in Aries; Saturn also in Aries; Venus and Mars in Taurus; Jupiter in Leo; Uranus in Capricorn conjunct; Pluto in Gemini; Chiron in Aquarius)

Abraham Maslow was the “Father of Humanistic Psychology”. He introduced, first, the concept of the Third Force in psychology—Humanistic and Existential Psychology, and then, towards the end of his life, the concept of the Fourth Force in psychology—“Transpersonal Psychology”. Many of us involved with the Ageless Wisdom and the New Age Movement, owe a great debt of gratitude of Maslow’s creative thinking and to the unrelenting positivity which developed in his consciousness once he realized that possibilities connected with the “farther reaches of human nature”, the title of a collection of his writings published posthumously.

His early work in psychology was conventional enough; he was in a way a laboratory psychologist studying primate behavior (a good opportunity to use the fifth ray!). Later, after leaving the University of Wisconsin where he did all his undergraduate and graduate work, he became a member of the psychology faculty of Brooklyn College (where he served from 1937 – 1951). During this time he developed one of his key concepts—the “Hierarchy of Needs”.

Briefly, Maslow noticed (largely as a result of his studies with baby rhesus monkeys, that some needs were more pressing than others. Certain relatively basic needs are quickly forgotten if even more fundamental needs are unfulfilled. He transferred the concept to human behavior and elaborated it into a five-leveled construct. The following diagram illustrates these needs:

Maslow sought to understand human neurosis in terms of the non-fulfillment of needs. If, in childhood, a certain level of need was poorly met, the consciousness may “fixate” upon it and obsess over meeting such needs long after the needs have actually been met! For instance, those who have spent their childhood in a war situation without sufficient food and safety, may continue to worry about sufficiency of food and their personal safety long after they have enough food and are actually safe. He sought to help people understand and meet their lower-level needs so that they would be freer to pursue the fulfillment of progressively higher order needs. Those who have fulfilled the four lower categories of needs and are at work on the triangle which caps the pyramid are involved in the process of “self-actualization” (a process innately self-satisfying and virtually endless).

During the 1930’s Maslow met many illustrious people who were fleeing the Nazi regime. Some of these people were the “crème of European Jewry”. Maslow found in them special qualities which were not abnormal but ‘super-normal’. He admired such people and began studying them, noting the qualities which distinguished them from more ordinary individuals.

He noticed the following qualities in self-actualizing people:

a.       they were reality centered

b.       the were problem centered

c.       they had a different perception of means and ends

d.       they had a need for privacy

e.       they were relatively independent of culture and environment

f.        they resisted enculturation

g.       they had democratic values

h.       they had compassion

i.         they enjoyed intimate personal relationships

j.         they had an unhostile sense of humor

k.       they accepted themselves and others

l.         they had spontaneity and simplicity

m.     they had a certain freshness and appreciation of life

n.       they were creative

o.       they had more peak experiences than other people. (A peak experience is an experience of exaltation, union, great joy, happiness, profound compassion, etc. As esotericists we would say it is the result of a very full soul-infusion with even a touch of the spirit/monad)

Maslow found that self-actualizing people also had certain needs upon which their happiness depended. In order to be happy they needed the following:

a.       Truth, rather than dishonesty.

b.       Goodness, rather than evil.

c.        Beauty, not ugliness or vulgarity.

d.        Unity, wholeness, and transcendence of opposites, not arbitrariness or forced choices.

e.       Aliveness, not deadness or the mechanization of life.

f.        Uniqueness, not bland uniformity.

g.       Perfection and necessity, not sloppiness, inconsistency, or accident.

h.       Completion, rather than incompleteness.

i.         Justice and order, not injustice and lawlessness.

j.         Simplicity, not unnecessary complexity.

k.       Richness, not environmental impoverishment.

l.         Effortlessness, not strain.

m.     Playfulness, not grim, humorless, drudgery.

n.       Self-sufficiency, not dependency.

o.       Meaningfulness, rather than senselessness.

It was Maslow’s estimate that perhaps only two percent of the world’s population was truly self-actualizing.

With these thoughts in mind, we can undertake an astrological study of Abraham Maslow. First, there are justifications for using the chart here proposed, as certainly other charts are possible.

A strictly qualitative study of the chart (though useful) is often dangerous as astrologers can “read into the chart” qualities which they know to exist in the individual. A study of cycles is, therefore, indispensable. It is in relation to transits, progressions, directions and eclipses that a chart can be reasonably confirmed, and then the qualitative approach may be more confidently pursued. This is not to say that a qualitative analysis may not be useful and an indication of the correctness of a rectification even before there is relative certainty; only that the dynamic or cyclic factors in the chart should make sense, otherwise the chart may well be fallacious.

If we succeed to bring the angles of a chart to within a degree or two of correctness, we shall have succeeded in our rectification.


Perhaps the first thing we do is look at the picture of the client. In this case you can study the three pictures above. The face should reveal the signs. In Maslow’s case we notice a slightly diamond shaped face which is commonly found with strong Cancer and Capricorn. Both signs are represented in his chart even without the proposed Cancer Ascendant. We note the lips are large and the mouth wide; these are indications commonly (but not exclusively) found when Cancer is strong in the chart. We note the eyebrows are faint—a Cancerian indication. The nose is outstanding. It is very broad as in the case of those who have strong Taurus and sometimes strong Leo (the flattening of the Lion’s nose—not in all decanates). Mars is the ruling planet of his Aries Sun, and Mars is placed in Taurus, thus accounting, partially, for this feature. The Sun is also in the Lion decanate of Aries (the second decanate ruled by Leo), and thus the broadening influence is strengthened. Venus is there too. Venus rules Taurus and thus disposits Mars.

This strengthens the obvious Taurean features of the face, including the lowering of the forehead—a Taurus/Scorpio trait in many instances. But there is such an unusual emphasis upon the nose that one begins to suspect another influence—that of Cancer, which frequently enlarges the nose, especially the area around the nostrils. Maslow’s nose is unusual for its size and Cancer can often give the so-called bulbous nose. We notice also a cleft at the tip of the nose. This is Cancerian or Capricornian in nature. Either of those two signs will give this distinguishing feature, as will the influence of Capricorn or Cancer as zodiacal decanate rulers. Not only do planets rule decanates (ten degree sections of third degree signs), but whole signs rule decanates as well. In this case, Maslow has his exoterically ruling planet Mars (ruler of the Aries Sun-sign) in the Capricorn decanate of Taurus, and Venus is also there. This may be enough to give the cleft in the nose, but Cancer could also be involved—especially because of the size of the nose. We also notice that the chin is not strong. Whereas Capricorn does give a strong chin, Cancer weakens the chin generally. The chin associated with Aries is neither large nor small. So again, given all other factors, we suspect the Ascendant as Cancer.

A physiognomic analysis like the one above is a good place to start. Obviously it is only a beginning. A chart can be erected on the basis of appearance and then checked for conformity with the general life pattern.

The Cancer-rising chart seems neither necessary nor unnecessary in the life of an eminent psychologist, so by itself, it will not provide sufficient indication. There is, however, a great emphasis on professionalism (with the Sun/Moon conjunction in the tenth house and Saturn there as well. Also Mercury is on the MC, a good placement for an author and theorist. Interestingly, Neptune and Vesta rise. This must be significant if the chart is accurate and we shall see as we proceed why they may be so.

In the method of rectification chosen for Maslow, eclipses (especially solar eclipses) played a very important role.

We not that, for instance, in 1951, Maslow became head of the psychology department at Brandeis University, after some fourteen years of teaching at Brooklyn College. This would represent a significant elevation in status and authority. We first look for the eclipses which occurred around this period, granting them a possible year of influence after the event and with a noticeable effect occurring even six months before the eclipse. We find the following.

Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Sep 12 1950      12:38    18°Vi49' D       
Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Mar 8 1951       05:53    16°Pi29' D       

There is a solar eclipse in on the IC (home) on September 12, 1950 and an even more significant solar eclipse on the MC on Mar 8, 1951.

If we examine the chart above for the period, we shall notice that transiting Jupiter is at the MC and moving towards a conjunction with the Sun/Moon conjunction. Presumably by this time in March, he was notified of his new appointment at Brandeis. The eclipse on the MC puts a tremendous emphasis there and the transit of Jupiter only adds to the elevation.

As well, and it is startling, we see transiting Uranus crossing the Ascendant bringing a great change in life which would promote soul purpose. One could set the chart on the indications above and be relatively confident. But let us go further.

We will not consider the time of Maslow’s death, June 8th, 1970. It is just about one “draconic cycle” later. The Moons nodes have completed a cycle and therefore eclipses will be approximately the same as they were nineteen years earlier in 1951. We find the following:

Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Sep 12 1969      04:58    18°Vi54' D       
Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Mar 8 1970       02:37    16°Pi44' D       

Note that, indeed, the eclipses are very similar to the 1951 eclipses. They occur on the IC (the “end of life”, as it is called, about nine months before the death, and on the MC in Pisces about three months before Maslow’s final heart attack). Solar eclipses on important points in the chart will often be found before or shortly after important events. Towards the later part of life, solar eclipses on the angles or the “lights” (Sun/Moon) can signal death. It often works this way.


In addition to these two potent eclipses, we find transiting Saturn as 16° plus Taurus on the progressing MC at 17° plus Taurus. The Moon had entered Leo, the sign of the heart, and Maslow had been ailing for some time. Transiting Uranus is conjuncting SA directed Jupiter, the planet ruling the heart. But most importantly, and confirming the chart almost beyond any shadow of a doubt, we see SA directed Uranus exactly conjunct the proposed MC, bringing the career to a sudden end through death. Uranus is directly associated with the heart and is a planet implicated in heart attacks. Planets directed by solar arc do not retrograde. They simply move as the Sun moves, about one degree per year. The author’s astrology teacher, Charles Jayne, said of Uranus that it was an excellent timer and could be depended upon to be exact. One would be tempted to move the time of birth by almost exactly two minutes to make SAD Uranus coincide with the MC. This would have to be tested, but then the Sabian Symbol for the degree of the Ascendant would we less appropriate. As it stands “A Large Uncut Diamond” is the symbol for the 10th degree where as for the 9th degree the symbol is “A Tiny Nude Miss Bends Over a Pond Trying to Catch a Fish”. Clearly the 10th degree is most appropriate for one so interested in the refinement of character called “self-actualization”

We could stop here thinking that we had done enough, and probably we have done sufficient work to be quite confident in the chart we have. But the author tried one or two other things and was rewarded with direct confirmations. The solar eclipses were active again.

Maslow’s first major book was published in 1954, Motivation and Personality. His next very important book was published in 1962, Towards a Psychology of Being. Checking the solar eclipses for these two years we find the following.

Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Aug 10 1953     00:55    16°Le45' D      
Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Jan 5 1954        11:31    14°Cp13' D      
Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Jun 30 1954       21:32    08°Cn10' D      

The first eclipse in August of 1953 is within four degrees of his progressing Ascendant (the progressing soul-indicator). This is interesting and indicative but not conclusive. The next eclipse occurs within one degree of his natural Uranus. This is important, but not conclusive, because that eclipse would have occurred on Uranus no matter what the Ascendant had been. The last eclipse in 1954, however, occurred within less than a degree of his proposed Cancer Ascendant and even closer to it if we move the time of birth back two minutes to accommodate the “death transit” of Uranus. Note the chart below.



The next eclipses, along the same line, occur in 1961 and 1962 as follows. They coincided with the publication of Toward a Psychology of Being.

Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Aug 11 1961     19:46    18°Le31' D      
Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Feb 5 1962        09:11    15°Aq43' D      
Sun       SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Jul 31 1962        21:24    07°Le49' D      

In the August 1961 eclipse, we find it conjuncting the progressed Ascendant at 18° plus of Leo, and the progressing Ascendant is very time-sensitive. The next eclipse in February of 1962 is conjunct the progressing Descendant within three degrees. This conjunction is as good as a conjunction with the Ascendant, because the progressing Descendant is dependent upon the degree of progressing Ascendant. The third eclipse is important as it conjuncts progressing Jupiter, but progressing Jupiter is not time-sensitive. Nevertheless, we again have the necessary confirmation and can proceed with confidence with the interpretation of Maslow’s chart.

A Summary of Essential Points to Bear in Mind
when Interpreting the Astrological Chart Of Abraham Maslow

a.       The soul ray of Abraham Maslow is undoubtedly the second ray of Love-Wisdom. This ray advances through the “attainment of positivity” (R&I 507) and Maslow’s psychology was precisely that—the ‘psychology of positivity’, the study, not of abnormal and pathological cases, but of the very best human beings to find out what made them the best. Even in his list of qualities that characterized the self-actualizing person, one can see a slight bias towards second ray virtues (but, after all, we do live upon an essentially second ray planet in a second ray solar system!).

b.       The astrological conduits for the second ray are as follows. Two of the three signs which transmit the second are tenanted. Pluto is placed in Gemini (this in itself is not much of a second ray indicator) and Mercury, the esoteric ruler of the Aries Sun-sign is placed in second ray Pisces. This elevated Mercury is a very important placement.

c.       The Sun and Moon are conjuncted in Aries in which sign the second ray Sun is exalted. This could be an important and radiant transmitter in the chart of a soul focussed upon the second ray.

d.       Most importantly perhaps, Jupiter the primary second ray planet, what we might call the ‘planet of the soul’ because it is a sacred planet transmitting the soul ray is in Leo in the second house, esoterically the ‘house of wisdom’, and is found in Leo, the sign of the heart. In an advanced soul such as Maslow, this is a very positive second ray indicator and accounts significantly for his search for positivity through the Psychology of Self-Actualization.

e.       We cannot ignore the rising Neptune, esoteric ruler of the proposed Cancer Ascendant. It has a deep resonance with the second ray, even though in this instance it may be more connected with the undoubted idealism, reverence and veneration for “wonderful people” which stimulated Maslow’s search.

f.        We find Venus and Neptune within a degree in the parallels of declination. This is like a conjunction and sensitizes the love nature.

g.       As long as we are mentioning Neptune, we may well find that this rising planet of aspiration and transcendence, indicates a sixth ray personality, determined to ‘rise above’ the sickening perspective on human nature presented by abnormal psychology. If one looks closely at Maslow’s eyes (in the photographs provided) one can see both kindness and aspiration—veneration for those of noble character. Neptune confers the power to tune in on the really good things about the human being. This is the planet of “rose-colored glasses”, found in those who are naïve. It cannot be said that Maslow was naïve, however. He was, in his early years, a hard-headed scientist, focussed significantly, so it would seem, on the fifth ray. He also had enough Pluto expressing in his life (Pluto in the twelfth house of the subconscious mind) to understand the dangers of the Neptunian attitude—avoidance of the unpleasant. In fact later, after cataloguing the virtues of self-actualizers, he also catalogued their unexpected liabilities. So it was a realist. No, this Neptune was tuning in on something very real, present in the higher reaches of human nature. The place where bliss can be found.

h.       Maslow gave us the term “peak experience” to express the inexpressible happiness, joy and bliss of those who have transcended their lower nature (as we esotericists would say). Neptune is the plane of bliss and transcendence, and Vesta (another partially sixth ray indicator) conjuncting it only intensifies the search for transcendent states. The sixth ray wishes to rise into ideal states. In Maslow’s case, through hard study and much research, he paved the way for what we might call a ‘legitimate rise’.

i.         Other sixth ray indicators are devoted Vesta very highly elevated by declination, and a very close and enthusiastic Mars/Jupiter parallel of declination.

j.         The fifth ray seems prominent in his makeup—at least given the early research performed, and, in general, his interest in research, per se. The only fifth ray sign/constellation transmitting the fifth ray and holding one of the normal planets is Leo in which Jupiter is placed. This is hardly a fifth ray indication. However, Venus the planet of the fifth ray is in its own exoteric sign, Taurus, and is conjunct the partially fifth ray ruler exoteric ruler of Aries, Mars. Mars rules exoteric science and the five senses we are told. They are both placed in a very material though knowledge-oriented sign, Taurus. Interestingly, there is an aspect of 72° between the usual mental indicator, Mercury, in Pisces, and the Venus/Mars conjunction. This aspect, the “quintile” is formed by dividing the 360° circle by five. Thus, the aspect itself, containing three planets intimately associated with the mind—Venus, higher mind; Mars, lower mind; and Mercury all phases of mind (though more intuitive here)—is a strong indictor of the possible presence of the fifth ray. This aspect probably made possible Maslow’s work with primate research and his later researches into sexuality (as Taurus is one of the sexual signs, and sexual Mars is placed therein).

k.       Not having known Abraham Maslow personally, it is not easy to determine his possible astral ray. Aspects of both ray six and ray two are suggested. One can feel him moving ever closer to a second ray manifestation in the astral body as his life proceeded.

l.         The ray of the physical body cannot also be easily determined. In his photographs he does not appear fastidious, yet there are many indicators which involve seventh ray signs—Saturn in Aries, Cancer rising and holding Neptune and Vesta and seventh ray Uranus in the sign which most strongly expresses the seventh ray at this time—Capricorn.

m.     The ray chart, then, would look something like this: 26-5 6/2 7?

n.       The Sun/Moon conjunction (a new Moon conjunction, really) made of Maslow a pioneer—though hardly an offensive pioneer who ran over others as more first ray individuals might tend to do. Instead he eagerly advanced new and progressive ideas, founding two major psychological movements: Third and Fourth Force Psychology (i.e., Humanistic Psychology and Transpersonal Psychology). Can we say that the study of esoteric psychology based upon the seven rays, esoteric astrology and the chakra system, will constitute a Fifth Force in psychology? There is good reason to believe so.

o.       We can see in him the great enthusiast, driven in relation to his work. The Sun and Moon conjuncted in a sign which knows little restraint and in a house which relates to professionalism, tells of his dedication to his work.

p.       It is perhaps fortunate that serious, restraining Saturn is so elevated in the chart, checking impulsiveness with purposefulness, and “applying the brakes” when necessary. It would also confer ambition and point to the way in which Maslow sought to satisfy his parents by pursuing education so seriously and orienting himself at first towards lines of education which they promoted. When he discovered psychology, an indifferent student changed into an ardent student, as might be expected with so much Aries and a personality proposedly on the sixth ray.

q.       We do see an opposition to the Sun/Moon conjunction from caring, nurturing Ceres in Libra the sign of peace and right human relations. Maslow, it would seem, was not an offensive Aries, having so much second ray, and in general, so much of the soft line in his makeup. This Ceres position could only add the agreeableness of his nature and his hope for nurturing, cooperative relationships. It is placed in the fourth house which is a strong placement for a planet of its nature.

r.        The concept of the Hierarchy of Needs seems related to his two earth signs and the planets they contain. Taurus is ever aware of that which is missing and must be acquired. The orthodox ruler of the Sun, Mars is placed there, conjunct the natural ruler of Taurus, Venus. Maslow knew intimately, what man desired and the relative importance of those desires. Perhaps Uranus in Capricorn, really a very seventh ray combination, gave him the notion of Hierarchy. It was a very original concept (for twentieth century psychology) and yet very ancient.  It allowed him to conceive of this hierarchy as a transformational ascent towards the fulfillment of ever higher needs. He took it upon himself to teach people how to ascend that hierarchy by fulfilling lesser needs so that they could be liberated (Uranus) to fulfill greater.

s.       Uranus is closely square to the Sun/Moon conjunction showing Maslow to be a true agent of transformation. Aries people do not easily accept the status quo sometimes associated with Libra. They demand the new and change; we can see how Maslow’s Uranus position, focused in the house of relationships, would further this demand for the new.

t.        Interestingly, Maslow did an unconventional thing, against the wishes of his parents. He married his cousin (Uranus conjunct Juno—part ruler of the fourth house of family). They had two children and an apparently happy married life. As another confirmation of the Cancer Ascendant, those influenced by that sign are liable to seek for a partner someone who seems ‘familiar’, for instance a member of the family. Cancerian men often marry those who remind them of their mother.

u.       The elevated Mercury position in the sign of its fall but conjunct the proposed MC is very powerful. Mercury, already in an intuitive sign, Pisces, is trined by one of the rulers of Pisces—Neptune, the planet of intuition. Whatever may have been his concrete mental abilities (and the Mars/Venus conjunction in Taurus shows them a sufficient to academic psychology), his intuitive sense of the sublime must have been very refined. This aspect, Mercury/Neptune, involving the two signs in which Neptune rules (Cancer and Pisces), puts him directly en rapport with the buddhic plane, the plane of harmony and of unitive love. It would seem that he received great inspirations from that higher world and saw that some human beings had achieved a real access to that world. He wondered why more people could not touch it, and thus be happier, more fulfilled, more “self-actualized”.

v.       The healing potentials of Mercury, the ‘caducean god’ should not be ignored, as Mercury is placed in a healing sign, Pisces, and very closely parallel the planet of healing, Chiron. Maslow must have been possessed of what Master D.K. calls a very high psychic power—the ability to sense a brother’s need.

w.     The Jupiter position in Leo is also extremely important, as Jupiter is a ‘soul ray planet. The second house is the ‘treasure chest’ of the astrological chart. It speaks of gifts, talents and resources—in this case, spiritual resources. The accumulated contents of the causal body are found indicated in this house. Leo is the sign related to the expression of the causal body, and Jupiter indicates the fulness of the causal body and the full expression of that repository of garnered quality.

x.       So much of Maslow’s psychological philosophy can be seen in this Jupiter position. We all have gifts. Some can express these gifts. The more fully these gifts can be expressed, the more integrated and self-actualized, self-fulfilled the individual becomes. He was interested in seeing more people come to fulfillment through the full expression of their higher (and often hidden) abilities. We can see this position as a position of abundance. The abundance relates to quality. Maslow studied the spiritual qualities in the ‘treasuries’ of highly developed people. He studied the reason for their happiness, their joy, their occasional bliss. He sought to show less fulfilled people how they might become more fulfilled—just like the exemplary people he studied.

y.       He, himself, was in the process of becoming fulfilled. He must have realized his own deficiencies yet sensed that there was something “very good” within his own nature and in that of many people. Like a true second ray individual, he tried to draw that forth, creating, in fact, a psychology of joy rather than of pathology and despair.

z.       The fixed stars tell an unusual story with Venus conjunct the deadly star Algol and both nodes and the Ascendant parallel the forceful, even brutal, star Hamal. Perhaps these parallels conferred great independence of thought and the ability to go forward with one’s theories despite the disbelief and scorn of one’s colleagues. The Venus/Algol conjunction may have been involved in the study of sexuality which interested him, just as the Mars/Venus conjunction in sexual Taurus surely would be.

aa.   A very beautiful conjunction between Neptune and Sirius is prominent. Many people both near the date of Maslow’s birth would have had this indication, but let us remember that Neptune is Maslow’s rising planet and is also the esoteric ruler of his Ascendant—the point in the chart that is supposed to be oriented toward soul fulfillment.

bb.   Those who tread the Path to Sirius are known as “blissful dancing points of fanatical devotion”. They are possessed by “cosmic rapture” and “rhythmic bliss”. Could we not say that the “peak experiences” that Maslow saw as points of great inspiration, were reflections of these blissful Sirian qualities?

cc.   We can be sure that Abraham Maslow ‘saw’ some of the higher possibilities of human nature. He admired them, and the people who demonstrated them. We can see, in fact, that he sought to emulate them and to encourage more human beings to become as the best of human beings.

dd.   Maslow’s is a psychology of elevation—elevation to the “mountain top”. We can say that Abraham Maslow saw the mountain. Perhaps, like Martin Luther King (though on a different ray) he, too, had “been to the mountain”. Surely, as time progressed, the peak experienced induced by great love were not unfamiliar to him.

ee.   The title of one of his most famous books is of real interest here: “Toward a Psychology of Being”. True being is only met on the “mountain top” where peak experiences occur. True being is the prerogative of the monad and it is Aries that leads one into contact with that monad as an aspect of pure being. The Tibetan says the following:

“1. The secret of Aries is the secret of beginnings, of cycles and of emerging opportunity. At the third initiation, the initiate begins to understand the life of the spirit or the highest aspect; until that time, he has expressed first the life of the form and then the life of the soul within that form. This experience is of so high a nature that only those who have passed through it could in any way comprehend anything I might say”. (EA 387-388)

We can see that Maslow aspired towards being, which he knew he could meet upon the “mountain top”. This is definitely aspiration towards the third initiation.

ff.     It is not possible to tell whether he experienced the “mountain top” in any more permanent way, and thus became a true third degree initiate, but we can see that his mind and consciousness were oriented in this direction.

gg.   As well, he had the necessary astrological qualifications. Aries was powerfully present. Saturn, the esoteric ruler of the sign of initiation, was placed in Aries. Uranus (representing the Hierophant met as a “star” at the time of the third degree) is placed in Capricorn, the sign of initiation. And Cancer, the sign which represents the willingness to take the mountain-top revelation deep into the substance of humanity (and thus redeem) is also present as the Ascendant, directing toward soul fulfillment.

hh.   Certainly, Maslow had developed the emotional positivity required of the second degree. He valued all that was good and high about emotional expression. Buddhi had made its way into his astral body.

ii.       Maybe the “mountain top” remained a distant and flickering reality. Maybe he experienced it now and then and continued to aspire towards it. Or maybe, he achieved some stabilization at that high point of tension required of those who are capable of revealing unity.

jj.       In a way, he certainly did reveal the possibility of experienceable unity. He knew what peak experiences were; he justified them, placed them within an academically respectable context and popularized their nature and existence. He, thereby, brought people closer to the heights of their own human nature.

kk.   This is, after all the task of the Capricorn/Cancer individual who had see the “light supernal” and can say, from the mountain top, “The Whole is seen as One”.

ll.       We see that initiates of the threshold and true initiates are active in all disciplines and present their revelations along all rays. Abraham Maslow’s revelation was a second ray revelation. He was one of the leading proponents of what became the “Human Potential Movement” and what is this movement but a way of releasing the inner content of the soul—the “Christ Principle” within man.

mm.           Certainly his work can be understood as directly related to the Divine Plan—especially as its focus was in a country, the United States, which has a second ray soul and whose responsibility it is to express the mantram, “I Light the Way”

nn.   Maslow and others of his kind opened the way more wisely into the vision and experience of the soul. For that we owe him a debt of gratitude—probably one of the foremost qualities of a truly self-actualizing individual.

A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.
(Cancer Ascendant!)

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.
(Venus in Taurus.)

But behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.
(Mercury in Pisces conjunct MC.)

Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth.
(Neptune conjunct Ascendant opposition Uranus in Capricorn.)

If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I'd still swim. And I'd despise the one who gave up.
(Sun in Aries conjunct Saturn.)

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life.

If you love the truth, you'll trust it-that is, you will expect it to be good, beautiful, perfect, orderly, etc., in the long run, not necessarily in the short run.

One's only rival is one's own potentialities. One's only failure is failing to live up to one's own possibilities. In this sense, every man can be a king, and must therefore be treated like a king.
(Neptune conjunct Ascendant.)

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.

The fact is that people are good, Give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behavior.
(Venus in Taurus in 11th house.)

The neurosis in which the search for safety takes its clearest form is in the compulsive-obsessive neurosis. Compulsive-obsessive to frantically order and stabilize the world so that no unmanageable, unexpected or unfamiliar dangers will ever appear.

The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.
(Neptune in Cancer conjunct Ascendant.)

The way to recover the meaning of life and the worthwhileness of life is to recover the power of experience, to have impulse voices from within, and to be able to hear these impulse voices from within-and make the point: This can be done.
(Neptune in Cancer trine Mercury in Pisces.)

To the man who only has a hammer in the toolkit, every problem looks like a nail.

What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.

I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive

We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.
(Neptune conjunct Ascendant & North Node.)

You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.

Getting used to our blessings is one of the most important nonevil generators of human evil, tragedy and suffering."

Become aware of internal, subjective, subverbal experiences, so that these experiences can be brought into the world of abstraction, of conversation, of naming, etc. with the consequence that it immediately becomes possible for a certain amount of control to be exerted over these hitherto unconscious and uncontrollable processes.
(Neptune trine Mercury.)

Self-actualizing people have a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection for human beings in general. They feel kinship and connection, as if all people were members of a single family.
(Cancer Ascendant.)

Whereas the average individuals "often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are," self-actualizing individuals have "superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.

It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually."

There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers...even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering
(Pluto in 12th house.)

What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.

Only the flexibly creative person can really manage the future, Only the one who can face novelty with confidence and without fear.
(Uranus conjunct Descendant opposition Cancer Ascendant.)

Human nature is not nearly as bad as it has been thought to be.

I was awfully curious to find out why I didn't go insane.

Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was a psychologist. He is mostly noted today for his proposal of a hierarchy of human needs.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Maslow was the first of seven children of Jewish Russian immigrants to the United States. His parents were uneducated, but they insisted that he study law. At first, Abraham acceded to their wishes and enrolled in the City College of New York. However, after three semesters, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin, where he received his B.A. (1930), his M.A. (1931), and his Ph.D. (1934) in psychology. He studied with Harry Harlow, who was famous for his studies of rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior. A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia.

Maslow first taught at Brooklyn College. During this time he met many leading European psychologists, including Alfred Adler and Erich Fromm. In 1951, Maslow became the chairman of the psychology department at Brandeis University, where he began his theoretical work. There, he met Kurt Goldstein, who introduced him to the idea of self-actualization.

He retired to California, where he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.

Hierarchy of Human Needs
Maslow's primary contribution to psychology is his Hierarchy of Human Needs, which he often presented as a pyramid, with self-actualization at the top as the highest of those needs. The base of the pyramid is the physiological needs, which are necessary for survival. Once these are taken care of, an individual can concentrate on the second layer, the need for safety and security. The third layer is the need for love and belonging, followed by the need for esteem. Finally, self-actualization forms the apex of the pyramid.

In this scheme, the first four layers are what Maslow called deficiency needs or D-needs. If they are not filled, you feel anxiety and attempt to fill them. If they are filled, you feel nothing; you feel only the lack. Each layer also takes precedence over the layer above it; you do not feel the lack of safety and security until your physiological needs are taken care of, for example. In Maslow's terminology, a need does not become salient until the needs below it are met.

Needs beyond the D-needs are "growth needs", "being values" or B-needs. When fulfilled, they do not go away, rather, they motivate further. He outlines about 14 of these values or B-needs, including beauty, meaning, truth, wholeness, justice, order, simplicity, richness, etc.


Abraham Harold Maslow

was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York.  He was the first of seven children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia.  His parents, hoping for the best for their children in the new world, pushed him hard for academic success.  Not surprisingly, he became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in books.
To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY).  After three semesters, he transferred to Cornell, and then back to CCNY.  He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his parents wishes.  Abe and Bertha went on to have two daughters.
He and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin.  Here, he became interested in psychology, and his school work began to improve dramatically. He spent time there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.
He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin.  A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality.
He began teaching full time at Brooklyn College.  During this period of his life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were immigrating to the US, and Brooklyn in particular, at that time -- people like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists.
In 1951, Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he met Kurt Goldstein (who introduced him to the idea of self-actualization) and began his own theoretical work.  It was also here that he began his crusade for a humanistic psychology -- something ultimately much more important to him than his own theorizing.
He spend his final years in semi-retirement in California, until, on June 8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.

One of the many interesting things Maslow noticed while he worked with monkeys early in his career, was that some needs take precedence over others.  For example, if you are hungry and thirsty, you will tend to try to take care of the thirst first.  After all, you can do without food for weeks, but you can only do without water for a couple of days!  Thirst is a “stronger” need than hunger.  Likewise, if you are very very thirsty, but someone has put a choke hold on you and you can’t breath, which is more important?  The need to breathe, of course.  On the other hand, sex is less powerful than any of these.  Let’s face it, you won’t die if you don’t get it!

Maslow took this idea and created his now famous hierarchy of needs. Beyond the details of air, water, food, and sex, he laid out five broader layers:  the physiological needs, the needs for safety and security, the needs for love and belonging, the needs for esteem, and the need to actualize the self, in that order.
1.  The physiological needs.  These include the needs we have for oxygen, water, protein, salt, sugar, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins.  They also include the need to maintain a pH balance (getting too acidic or base will kill you) and temperature (98.6 or near to it).  Also, there’s the needs to be active, to rest, to sleep, to get rid of wastes (CO2,  sweat, urine, and feces), to avoid pain, and to have sex.  Quite a collection!
Maslow believed, and research supports him, that these are in fact individual needs, and that a lack of, say, vitamin C, will lead to a very specific hunger for things which have in the past provided that vitamin C -- e.g. orange juice.  I guess the cravings that some pregnant women have, and the way in which babies eat the most foul tasting baby food, support the idea anecdotally.
2.  The safety and security needs.  When the physiological needs are largely taken care of, this second layer of needs comes into play.  You will become increasingly interested in finding safe circumstances, stability, protection.  You might develop a need for structure, for order, some limits.
Looking at it negatively, you become concerned, not with needs like hunger and thirst, but with your fears and anxieties.  In the ordinary American adult, this set of needs manifest themselves in the form of our urges to have a home in a safe neighborhood, a little job security and a nest egg, a good retirement plan and a bit of insurance, and so on.
3.  The love and belonging needs.  When physiological needs and safety needs are, by and large, taken care of, a third layer starts to show up.  You begin to feel the need for friends, a sweetheart, children, affectionate relationships in general, even a sense of community.  Looked at negatively, you become increasing susceptible to loneliness and social anxieties.
In our day-to-day life, we exhibit these needs in our desires to marry, have a family, be a part of a community, a member of a church, a brother in the fraternity, a part of a gang or a bowling club.  It is also a part of what we look for in a career.
4.  The esteem needs.  Next, we begin to look for a little self-esteem.  Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one.  The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, even dominance.  The higher form involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom.  Note that this is the “higher” form because, unlike the respect of others, once you have self-respect, it’s a lot harder to lose!
The negative version of these needs is low self-esteem and inferiority complexes.  Maslow felt that Adler was really onto something when he proposed that these were at the roots of many, if not most, of our psychological problems.  In modern countries, most of us have what we need in regard to our physiological and safety needs.  We, more often than not, have quite a bit of love and belonging, too.  It’s a little respect that often seems so very hard to get!
All of the preceding four levels he calls deficit needs, or D-needs.  If you don’t have enough of something -- i.e. you have a deficit -- you feel the need.  But if you get all you need, you feel nothing at all!  In other words, they cease to be motivating.  As the old blues song goes, “you don’t miss your water till your well runs dry!”

He also talks about these levels in terms of homeostasis.  Homeostasis is the principle by which your furnace thermostat operates:  When it gets too cold, it switches the heat on;  When it gets too hot, it switches the heat off.  In the same way, your body, when it lacks a certain substance, develops a hunger for it;  When it gets enough of it, then the hunger stops.  Maslow simply extends the homeostatic principle to needs, such as safety, belonging, and esteem, that we don’t ordinarily think of in these terms.
Maslow sees all these needs as essentially survival needs.  Even love and esteem are needed for the maintenance of health.  He says we all have these needs built in to us genetically, like instincts.  In fact, he calls them instinctoid -- instinct-like -- needs.
In terms of overall development, we move through these levels a bit like stages.  As newborns, our focus (if not our entire set of needs) is on the physiological.  Soon, we begin to recognize that we need to be safe.  Soon after that, we crave attention and affection.  A bit later, we look for self-esteem.  Mind you, this is in the first couple of years!
Under stressful conditions, or when survival is threatened, we can “regress” to a lower need level.  When you great career falls flat, you might seek out a little attention.  When your family ups and leaves you, it seems that love is again all you ever wanted.  When you face chapter eleven after a long and happy life, you suddenly can’t think of anything except money.
These things can occur on a society-wide basis as well:  When society suddenly flounders, people start clamoring for a strong leader to take over and make things right.  When the bombs start falling, they look for safety.  When the food stops coming into the stores, their needs become even more basic.
Maslow suggested that we can ask people for their “philosophy of the future” -- what would their ideal life or world be like -- and get significant information as to what needs they do or do not have covered.
If you have significant problems along your development -- a period of extreme insecurity or hunger as a child, or the loss of a family member through death or divorce, or significant neglect or abuse -- you may “fixate” on that set of needs for the rest of your life.

This is Maslow’s understanding of neurosis.  Perhaps you went through a war as a kid. Now you have everything your heart needs -- yet you still find yourself obsessing over having enough money and keeping the pantry well-stocked.  Or perhaps your parents divorced when you were young.  Now you have a wonderful spouse -- yet you get insanely jealous or worry constantly that they are going to leave you because you are not “good enough” for them.  You get the picture.
The last level is a bit different.  Maslow has used a variety of terms to refer to this level:  He has called it growth motivation (in contrast to deficit motivation), being needs (or B-needs, in contrast to D-needs), and self-actualization.
These are needs that do not involve balance or homeostasis.  Once engaged, they continue to be felt.  In fact, they are likely to become stronger as we “feed” them!  They involve the continuous desire to fulfill potentials, to “be all that you can be.”  They are a matter of becoming the most complete, the fullest, “you” -- hence the term, self-actualization.
Now, in keeping with his theory up to this point, if you want to be truly self-actualizing, you need to have your lower needs taken care of, at least to a considerable extent.  This makes sense:  If you are hungry, you are scrambling to get food;  If you are unsafe, you have to be continuously on guard;  If you are isolated and unloved, you have to satisfy that need;  If you have a low sense of self-esteem, you have to be defensive or compensate.  When lower needs are unmet, you can’t fully devote yourself to fulfilling your potentials.
It isn’t surprising, then, the world being as difficult as it is, that only a small percentage of the world’s population is truly, predominantly, self-actualizing.  Maslow at one point suggested only about two percent!
The question becomes, of course, what exactly does Maslow mean by self-actualization.  To answer that, we need to look at the kind of people he called self-actualizers.  Fortunately, he did this for us, using a qualitative method called biographical analysis.
He began by picking out a group of people, some historical figures, some people he knew, whom he felt clearly met the standard of self-actualization.  Included in this august group were Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Adams, William James, Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Spinoza, and Alduous Huxley, plus 12 unnamed people who were alive at the time Maslow did his research.  He then looked at their biographies, writings, the acts and words of those he knew personally, and so on.  From these sources, he developed a list of qualities that seemed characteristic of these people, as opposed to the great mass of us.
These people were reality-centered, which means they could differentiate what is fake and dishonest from what is real and genuine.  They were problem-centered, meaning they treated life’s difficulties as problems demanding solutions, not as personal troubles to be railed at or surrendered to.  And they had a different perception of means and ends.  They felt that the ends don’t necessarily justify the means, that the means could be ends themselves, and that the means -- the journey -- was often more important than the ends.
The self-actualizers also had a different way of relating to others.  First, they enjoyed solitude, and were comfortable being alone.    And they enjoyed deeper personal relations with a few close friends and family members, rather than more shallow relationships with many people.
They enjoyed autonomy, a relative independence from physical and social needs.  And they resisted enculturation, that is, they were not susceptible to social pressure to be "well adjusted" or to "fit in" -- they were, in fact, nonconformists in the best sense.
They had an unhostile sense of humor -- preferring to joke at their own expense, or at the human condition, and never directing their humor at others.  They had a quality he called acceptance of self and others, by which he meant that these people would be more likely to take you as you are than try to change you into what they thought you should be.  This same acceptance applied to their attitudes towards themselves:  If some quality of theirs wasn’t harmful, they let it be, even enjoying it as a personal quirk.  On the other hand, they were often strongly motivated to change negative qualities in themselves that could be changed.  Along with this comes spontaneity and simplicity:  They preferred being themselves rather than being pretentious or artificial.  In fact, for all their nonconformity, he found that they tended to be conventional on the surface, just where less self-actualizing nonconformists tend to be the most dramatic.
Further, they had a sense of humility and respect towards others -- something Maslow also called democratic values -- meaning that they were open to ethnic and individual variety, even treasuring it.  They had a quality Maslow called human kinship or Gemeinschaftsgefühl -- social interest, compassion, humanity.  And this was accompanied by a strong ethics, which was spiritual but seldom conventionally religious in nature.
And these people had a certain freshness of appreciation, an ability to see things, even ordinary things, with wonder.  Along with this comes their ability to be creative, inventive, and original.  And, finally, these people tended to have more peak experiences than the average person.  A peak experience is one that takes you out of yourself, that makes you feel very tiny, or very large, to some extent one with life or nature or God.  It gives you a feeling of being a part of the infinite and the eternal.  These experiences tend to leave their mark on a person, change them for the better, and many people actively seek them out.  They are also called mystical experiences, and are an important part of many religious and philosophical traditions.
Maslow doesn’t think that self-actualizers are perfect, of course.  There were several flaws or imperfections he discovered along the way as well:  First, they often suffered considerable anxiety and guilt -- but realistic anxiety and guilt, rather than misplaced or neurotic versions.  Some of them were absentminded and overly kind.  And finally, some of them had unexpected moments of ruthlessness, surgical coldness, and loss of humor.
Two other points he makes about these self-actualizers:  Their values were "natural" and seemed to flow effortlessly from their personalities.  And they appeared to transcend many of the dichotomies others accept as being undeniable, such as the differences between the spiritual and the physical, the selfish and the unselfish, and the masculine and the feminine.

He was born and raised in Brooklyn, the eldest of seven children. He was smart but shy, and remembered his childhood as lonely and rather unhappy. Maslow attended City College in New York. His father hoped he would pursue law, but he went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to study psychology. While there, he married his cousin Bertha, and found as his chief mentor Professor Harry Harlow. At Wisconsin he pursued an original line of research, investigating primate dominance behavior and sexuality. He went on to further research at Columbia University, continuing similar studies. He found another mentor in Alfred Adler, one of Freud's early followers.

From 1937 to 1951, Maslow was on the faculty of Brooklyn College. In New York he found two more mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, whom he admired both professionally and personally. These two were so accomplished in both realms, and such "wonderful human beings" as well, that Maslow began taking notes about them and their behavior. This would be the basis of his lifelong research and thinking about mental health and human potential. He wrote extensively on the subject, borrowing ideas from other psychologists but adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a heirarchy of needs, metaneeds, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences. Maslow became the leader of the humanistic school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, which he referred to as the "third force" -- beyond Freudian theory and behaviorism.

Maslow saw human beings' needs arranged like a ladder. The most basic needs, at the bottom, were physical -- air, water, food, sex. Then came safety needs -- security, stability -- followed by psychological, or social needs -- for belonging, love, acceptance. At the top of it all were the self-actualizing needs -- the need to fulfill oneself, to become all that one is capable of becoming. Maslow felt that unfulfilled needs lower on the ladder would inhibit the person from climbing to the next step. Someone dying of thirst quickly forgets their thirst when they have no oxygen, as he pointed out. People who dealt in managing the higher needs were what he called self-actualizing people. Benedict and Wertheimer were Maslow's models of self-actualization, from which he generalized that, among other characteristics, self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside of themselves, have a clear sense of what is true and what is phony, are spontaneous and creative, and are not bound too strictly by social conventions.

Peak experiences are profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, when a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient and yet a part of the world, more aware of truth, justice, harmony, goodness, and so on. Self-actualizing people have many such peak experiences.

Maslow's thinking was surprisingly original -- most psychology before him had been concerned with the abnormal and the ill. He wanted to know what constituted positive mental health. Humanistic psychology gave rise to several different therapies, all guided by the idea that people possess the inner resources for growth and healing and that the point of therapy is to help remove obstacles to individuals' achieving this. The most famous of these was client-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers.

Maslow was a professor at Brandeis University from 1951 to 1969, and then became a resident fellow of the Laughlin Institute in California. He died of a heart attack in 1970.



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