It is a big job to find the rays of a person. When I was writing my Tapestry book on the rays, I closely analyzed the rays of seven important people, (an more superficially, many others) and did so with practically no reference to their astrological charts. I did not want to be biased.
But I think it important take out the chart before proceeding too far with ray analysis. Some of what one thinks are rays, may have an obvious explanation in the chart configuration.
When I think of the rays of the vehicles I put on my “generalizer”. I try not to be too taken in by specifics, and look instead for global impressions. As I suggested in my last email on this subject, the many rays combine to make the one principal ray of the vehicle. I think if one looks closely enough and finely enough at any vehicle, one can find moments when the individual may be using any of the rays. We all have our fifth ray, fourth ray, first ray, etc. moments. But what is the “overall impression”? It is a question of seeing the forest and not worrying too much about the trees. The trees are, of course, there, and can be examined, but to do so prematurely may become “be-wilder-ing” (the “Wild” in German is the forest, and to be be-wild-ered is to be lost in that forest.)
Before doing extensive writing work in astrology, I spent years just dealing with rays and ray assessment. We have the PIP and PIP II (of some “jump off” utility), and we have the Seven Ray Seminars–with three days of close scrutiny, including drawing, moving, physiognomy and even a little palmistry, which I found indicative. Also James Davis’ thought the study of faces is very important and in his Seven Faces of Man has given valuable tips which we cannot ignore.
It is labor intensive to assess the rays. So many of DK’s early students were sure they were upon a particular ray, when in fact they were upon another — often reversing soul and personality, or thinking the ray of the present life was thus and so, when in fact it had been the personality ray of the last life.
I guess, in assessing the rays:
1. I like to use myself as an instrument, trying to be accurately impressionable.
2. I like to study the life, the character, the mannerisms, the expressions,etc.
3. I like to study the face, body and hands (which are *not* just about the physical ray), and, of course, the *eyes*–the windows to the soul. (If you look at Billy Graham’s eyes, and Hitler’s–there is no question about the sixth ray, although it may be differently placed). There were/are both fanatical.
4. I like to study the chart *while* (or shortly after) I open myself to impression.
I think we need a lot of biographical work and to begin collecting it. I think we need to practice on ourselves and on each other–to sharpen or sensitize our impressionability. I think we need to give reasons why we think a ray is present, and try to be as precise as possible about those reasons.
And again–a few things to bear in mind:
1. For some, clear rays have not emerged. This may apply to personality or soul or both. They are not yet at that point of development and it is no use trying to push the case and find some quality which is just not emerging.
2. Rays may be present but weakly expressed. Thus they may be hard to detect.
3. Rays may be present and strongly or sharply expressed.
4. The rays of one vehicle may be expressing strongly and the rays of another vehicle less strongly–but both are “there”, and it simply takes real skill to overcome the uncertainty.
5. Everyone is a unique case, and the amount of fluctuation and change within an energy system is considerable. In all this flux, some abiding impressions have to be extracted.
6. Rays may be in process of changing–so some of the former ray may be manifesting, and some of the ray in process of being newly established. DK cited a number of instances in which this was happening or should be happening.
7. There is probably no way yet to confirm one’s opinions about ray structure, even if they are good opinions. Therefore, whatever we say about the rays of ourselves or others, should be backed up by very concrete reasons, so if someone wishes to dispute us, they have something to cite. This way we sharpen the debate.
8. We cannot overburden the general public. The real story is complex and in flux. They just need a few things to hold on to, a few “over-alls”, and to see how these principal ray factors *interface* with the astrological chart. Shall we think of the rays as *interfacing* with the chart or as being *generated by* the chart. I try to keep the rays of the vehicles (decided upon by the soul long before birth occurred or a birth chart existed) as distinct from the ray potentials of the chart itself. I like to think of the rays in my right hand and the chart in my left. I do know that ray potentials exist in the chart. Do these potentials reinforce or work against the already established rays of the vehicles? This is how I try to think. Sometimes, when the rays of the vehicles and the rays of the astrological factors in the chart coincide, then it is difficult to understand what is coming from where!
For instance, I think Billy Graham would have been a sixth ray soul no matter what his astrological chart might be, but since his chart shows a Mars/Moon conjunction in Sagittarius with Aries rising, there is a tremendous mutual reinforcement of these sixth ray factors–one inherent and the other generated by the chart. Thus, I am, when I remember, careful to think of interplay and try to keep separate the rays generated within the chart and the rays of the vehicles.
Well, just a few more thoughts. I do think our intuition is stimulated when we hold what we know about the individual in one hand, and the astrological chart in the other. Given a knowledge of the individual and a hypothetical ray chart based on that knowledge, every astrological chart speaks differently–different combinations will jump out and mean different things depending how sound may be our knowledge of the individual.
Unlike the approach of many astrologers who try to learn everything about an individual from a chart–I think the more I know about a person, the better and deeper I can read a chart. So probably, we should really get to know all about our clients before going into the chart. The skeptics will say we are cheating, but we know the game we are trying to play, and the more we know the farther we can go.