The Principle of Inversion or Astrology Outside-In

The Principle of Inversion, as I like to call it, is a very useful intellectual tool. It quite often provides a means of expanding insight into any topic it is applied to. For example it is generally accepted that our nervous system responds to outer stimuli and that these are the cause of a chain reaction in the ‘electrical impulses’ between our nerves, which on reaching the brain are transformed into sensation. If we apply the Principle of Inversion, we might ask if the ‘electrical’ activity observed is the result of sensory activity and not its cause. This has far reaching implications. It would mean that any attempts to use neurochemistry to exclusively define sense perception must ultimately fail, as it would be focussing on the end product of a chain of causes and not the causal inception.

Let us now apply the Principle of Inversion to Astrology.

In the tradition, as it is now understood, it is generally accepted that planetary configurations are the cause of events. All levels of judiciary astrology are founded on this axiom. But what if it is the other way around? Or more carefully put, what understanding can we gain if we consider the inverse possibility?

The event would prefigure the planetary configuration. This would mean in a birth chart that the entelechy (Greek, entelekheia: complete) that is born has chosen the date, time and place of birth, that is, has chosen the planetary condition of the chart. This suggests that the entelechy has its origin before conception, an argument that favours reincarnation.

For a horary chart this would suggest that the question, in itself, is already complete before it is asked. The question chooses the time, so to speak. This may be one reason why a repeated question will usually have the same answer, in spite of differences in time and even planetary condition.

With electional astrology we might have to ask whether the election of the chart by the astrologer is already part of the event. The event in itself is complete, in order to happen its window of opportunity must be opened, and the astrologer may be instrumental to this.

This whole chain of questioning brings us back to the age old question of fate vs. free will. On the one side it would appear that we choose our birth time and place. In the case of a question or an event it would seem at first that both are generally predetermined, they exist before asked or before they take place. On closer examination however we may argue that both or placed in the human context. They are complete, but they require human beings, for the most part, to open their window of opportunity, to give them actuality.

Along with the Principle of Inversion there is another. It may be called the Principle of the Periphery, and functions more or less similar to that of inversion. Here we are required to ask whether we shouldn’t also pay attention to the periphery, the planetary spheres, and not only the planets themselves. Here the idea of a window of opportunity takes on another aspect. The planetary spheres contain all potential, as every possible position of a planet is contained by them. Any particular configuration of planets would then act as a filter that allows a particular set of potentials through. The window. The spheres represent completeness, in a plural sense and thus embody all completeness, that is entelechy in all its myriads of form and potential.


13 thoughts on “The Principle of Inversion or Astrology Outside-In

  1. Another stimuli-producing post, Thomas.

    “Here we are required to ask whether we shouldn’t also pay attention to the periphery, the planetary spheres, and not only the planets themselves.”

    I look forward to reading your expansion of this idea about inversion!

  2. Hello Thomas, 🙂

    What an interesting and thought provoking article!

    I subscribe to the Ouspensky view that time, as a dimension, only exists because human consciousness is limited by its ability to be aware of more than 3 dimensions at one and the same time (i.e. everything happens at once, but our consciousness only enables us to perceive events in sequence).

    Therefore a planet’s sphere or cycle around the ecliptic as seen from earth in Zodiacal Longitude, does indeed embody the full and perfect realization of its potentiality. As such, both the question and the answer to a horary chart would appear simultaneously within that same window of opportunity you speak of!

    No wonder horary works! 😉

    I too look forward to you waxing further on this.


  3. Dear Thomas,

    how very “You” to share these questionables in webspace!

    For what I grasp and understand of modern/actual society/community, whatever is not conrollable and measurable in laboratory-conditions, doesn’t exist. Awareness, feelings, aspirations, spiritual striving,…: it is all just a product of chemical/electronic reactions in our brain/nervous system/physiology. Even moral codes and ethics are by some perceived as produced by random reactions on a very materialistic level (the body, and its interaction with the environment).

    Are planetary positions the “cause” of events? Why not consider they just (synchronistically) reflect the “hic et nunc” of the observer…? Or IS our perception conditioned by those planetary culprits? Or (cfr “the Secret”) am I the Creator of these planetary alignments (I CREATE my OWN reality)???

    In my natal work, I heavily rely on A.T. Mann’s approach of the radix by the logarithmic timescale. This allows interpretation of prenatal influences (conception, and especially: mother’s realisation of being pregnant). After working for almost 30 yrs with this approach, I cannot but subscribe to the idea that the Soul chooses its “incarnational conditioning” (womb and time).
    (the Soul wishes to realise this or that during the prsent incarnaton, therefore it chooses those parents and that timing to incarnate / roles reversed with respect to Timaeus’ story, where incarnating conditions are put upon the soul, whether it likes it or not…).
    So: yes: We Choose Our Own Birthtime!
    And, at the same time: No, We Don’t Remember It!
    Please bear with me:
    Once the personality starts to develop, and self-awareness/consciousness develops, the original connection with the Soul-level gets disturbed and eventually lost. So we grow into conscious, autonomous beings (apparantly :-), but don’t understand why Life confronts us with This and That and Such and (alaaaaas!!!! ) not with So
    Let’s say we (as “conscious human beings) don’t remember the choices we ‘ve made for this incarnation, on the Soul-level.
    In my experience, chart-analysis (escpecially with these pre-natal influences) helps to restor the link to the Soul-level, so as to understanding and grasping (and – sigh (very deep – accepting the “conditions” Life is confronting us with.

    It is all part of a/the Scheme! (Soul’s intention/duty).

    Time nor Space does allow to expand on this subject, but as for Fate versus Free Will: I ‘d say “the more we yield to Fate, the more Free Will one can yield!” (now, how is that for some kind of oximorion/blasphemy?@?X&? LOL!).
    In other words: there IS something like Destiny. But/And this Destiny allows us some space, some playing ground; we CAN choose how we cope with it, how we approach it, etc.

    Talking about “opportunities”: it is my perception (which may be totally false!) that – indeed – Life at Relevant Times, “opens Windows”, “creates Opportunities”, for potential to be actualised, for wishes to be granted, for debts to be paid, for Fun to be Enjoyed ! Yay!

    Haaahaaa… I think I ‘ve been boring/bothering the lot of you long enough, so here I say:

    warm and respectfull regards,


  4. Hello Caroline!

    “everything happens at once, but our consciousness only enables us to perceive events in sequence”

    That is indeed one way of describing actuality.
    Our perception of it sees it as unfolding step by step. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂


  5. Hello Herman!

    Somehow your comment doubled itself.

    Wasn’t it Somelet who asked:

    “To question or not to question is to be?”

    “So: yes: We Choose Our Own Birthtime!
    And, at the same time: No, We Don’t Remember It!”

    Linking to Caroline’s comment. But we do remember, it unfolds itself before us with every breath! When we are born, we are a bundle of potential eagerly striving to meet our actuality.

    And yes we could look at it that way, that in yielding to the fate, that we have chosen? we harvest free will to choose our fate? 🙂

    also with warm and respectful regard,

  6. Hi Thomas,
    Sorry for a late response. . .

    The situation, according to Proclus, is The One Being, is in respect both one and many, whole and parts, finite and infinite in multitude. The principle of inversion therefore, must also contain within itself the opposite by virtue of its existence. The beginning would hold within itself “entelechy” as a center will reach toward its periphery simply because . . it is.

    Sir Arthyr the philosopher

  7. Hi Thomas,

    sorry for being even later than Sir Arthyr, but thanks for this thought provoking article.

    Yes , I have to totally agree with Sir Arthyr (and of course as well with Sir Proclus)here.

    If we put what has been said before in other words, one could say that in a circle with an infinite circumference the center is everywhere.

    Looking forward to reading more about this fascinating topic.


  8. Hi Caroline,

    I read your message with interest and wondered if you have come across Schwaller de Lubicz, and especially his book ‘A study of Numbers’?

    There he writes about the constant creation of the universe, which is rather similar to what you have written in your posting.


  9. Hello Arthyr,

    I think so too, the centre holds the periphery within itself just as the periphery holds the centre. Potentiality and actuality stand on the one hand in inverse relation to another but can also be seen as proportional, paradoxical as it seems.

    Don’t worry about a late comment. Better later said then never said! 🙂


  10. Hello Peter,

    Which I believe is how it is described in non-Euclidean geometry.

    The idea of inverting a planetary position is indeed thought provoking and certainly a means of putting ones intellectual habits to the test.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s