Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz: Philosopher, Metaphysician.

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz: Philosopher, Metaphysician, Scientist & Mathematician
July 1, 1646, NS, Leipzig, Germany, 6:15 PM, LMT. (Source: Ebertin’s book on Pluto. Various other times are given elsewhere, thus,  the data is conflicting. Also, Leibniz’s father.) Died, November 14, 1716, Hanover, Germany.

(Ascendant, Sagittarius and Neptune also in Sagittarius; MC in Libra; Sun conjunct Jupiter in Cancer; Moon square Mars conjunct Saturn in Taurus; Uranus in Scorpio)

We are forced to begin our inquiry with some degree of ambiguity. Reinhold Ebertin gives us a time of birth at 6:15 PM, local time, in Leipzig. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz’s father Johann Friedrich Leibniz entered the following notes in his family journal: “On Sunday 21 June [NS: 1 July] 1646, my son Gottfried Wilhelm is born into the world after six in the evening, ¼ to seven, Aquarius rising.” While we have no reason to dispute the time offered by the father (i.e., 6:45 PM), that time certainly does not yield Aquarius as the Ascendant, but rather the 20th degree of Sagittarius rather than the 14th (Ebertin’s presumably rectified time). Not until nearly 9:18 PM (about three hours after the Ebertin time, and some two hours and a half after the Johann Friedrich’s diary entry) would Aquarius reach the Ascendant. The course of wisdom in this regard would be to proceed with Ebertin’s rectified time, while paying some attention to the implications of the later time given by Johann Friedrich Leibniz. It is far more likely that Johann Friedrich would make a mistake regarding his son’s Ascendant than his time of birth. We, therefore, seem to have a Sagittarius Ascendant and a MC in Libra—in both cases. The esoteric significances will hold despite the discrepancy in proposed time, which, perhaps, can be satisfactorily resolved.

Gottfried Wilhelm von LeibnizGottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz was one of the great geniuses of the modern era. Wisdom Magazine estimated his I.Q. in the middle to high 180s. He was a genuine polymath (to a degree by necessity), extraordinarily capable in a diversity of areas of enquiry and application. He contributed significantly to the fields of metaphysics, theology, philosophy, mathematics, logic, philology, physics, geology, political theory, law, diplomacy and history. He is known especially for the discovery of the differential and integral calculus independently of (and some say prior to) a similar discovery by Sir Isaac Newton, and for his profound metaphysical theories, including the theory of the Monad. He upheld a consistently demanding career as a civil servant while, in his precious spare time, making an abundance of noteworthy contributions to the advancement of thought in many fields. No merely speculative thinker, he entered avidly into scientific research and practical invention.. While he had been offered an academic position in recognition of his considerable abilities, he refused it, perhaps because of the limitations it would have imposed upon his freedom of thought. That thought was extraordinary in its depth and scope, and contributed significantly to the illumination of his era.

The Ray of Leibniz’’s Soul: Given the tremendous depth, diversity and abstraction of Leibniz’’s contribution to human thought, there can be little doubt that his soul ray is the third ray of “Abstract Intelligence”, “Active Intelligence”, or “Creative Intelligence”. Leibniz was one of the great kings of thought produced by the historical period known as the “Age of Reason” or the “Enlightenment”. The philosophical mode of enquiry was predominantly Rationalism, —the rigorous use of reason in the quest for truth. Descartes and Spinoza were also products of this movement. Rationalism was a third ray method rather than the empiricism of the fifth ray. Above all Leibniz was a philosopher—, a metaphysician of the first rank. His thought process is at once comprehensive, holistic, subtle, intricate, ingenious and scrupulously rational (though, naturally, philosophers make it their business to find flaws in the arguments of other philosophers, and so Leibniz has had his fair share of detractors, most notably Voltaire who subjected him, albeit posthumously, to devastating satire for his dictum that God had created “the best of all possible worlds”).    The Tibetan Teacher has the following to say about the third ray metaphysician:       “

“This is the ray of the abstract thinker, of the philosopher and the metaphysician, of the man who delights in the higher mathematics but who, unless modified by some practical ray, would hardly be troubled to keep his accounts accurately. His imaginative faculty will be highly developed, i.e., he can by the power of his imagination grasp the essence of a truth; his idealism will often be strong; he is a dreamer and a theorist, and from his wide views and great caution he sees every side of a question equally clearly….In all walks of life he is full of ideas, but is too impractical to carry them out.”” (EP I 204-205)

Some of this description was eminently true of Leibniz, except that he was also a very practical man, a resourceful civil servant who was forced to become “jack of all trades” in order stay in the good graces (and employ) of his noble patrons. His delight was certainly in philosophy and the higher mathematics, but his many duties required that he participate in more mundane activities which could not have been much to his liking.

Of his approach to his work, he give the following revealing account—showing his third ray in conflict with the requirements of his various more mundane duties:

“It cannot be said how extraordinarily distracted I am.  I dig things out of the archives, I inspect old papers, I search for unknown manuscripts.  From these I try to throw light on the history of Brunswick. I send and receive a great number of letters.  I truly have so many new results in mathematics, so many philosophical ideas, so many other scholarly observations which I would not want to lose, that I often hesitate, wavering between tasks, and feel almost like that line from Ovid: Inopem me copia fecit …. Nevertheless, all these labors of mine, if you exclude the historical, are almost clandestine, for you know that at the Court something far different is sought and expected.”” Letter to Placcius, 5 September 1695 (Dutens VI.1, 59-60)

Let us look for astrological conduits for Leibniz’s very dominating third ray. Of the three signs/constellations which transmit this ray, only Cancer is tenanted, though Libra occupies the MC. In Cancer we find the Sun conjuncted, within six degrees to Jupiter (the planet of philosophy and broadened perspective). The Cancerian energy playing through Jupiter adds to the breadth of any inquiry, and tends towards the consideration of entirety. Chiron, a planetoid of ‘astute guidance’ is conjuncted to the Sun.    As Leibniz was an advanced soul (though Mme. Blavatsky, correctly or incorrectly, insists that he was not an initiate), it may be justifiable to consider the esoteric ruler of the Sun Sign which is Neptune, placed in Sagittarius, a sign over which Jupiter rules. This Sagittarian Neptune no doubt contributed to the generation of his transcendent metaphysical doctrines. Neptune, itself, (with its trident) can be reasonably related to the third ray. H.P.B. calls it the “god of reasoning”—though, in this case, it is probably “pure reason” which is meant.

The orthodox ruler of  Cancer is the Moon, which is placed in Aquarius. Aquarius is a sign associated with universality, eclecticism and a dispersion of interests and involvements. Aquarius is also associated with networks and ‘webs’ of relationships. From this is might be adduced that there is a third ray quality associated with Aquarius and this can be argued reasonably. Aquarius is the third sign on the clockwise wheel, and the Tibetan does relate it closely to the third ray (EA 138).

In Leibniz case, his proposed Sagittarian Ascendant contributes powerfully to the expansion of his abstract mind. In an advanced individual, the third ray expresses through wide views and a broadened perspective. This is also true of the manner in which Sagittarius works for the advanced type—especially for an individual in whom the third ray is already extremely pronounced. Although Sagittarius does not, constellationally, express the third ray, there would, nevertheless, be a strong mutual reinforcement between these two energies.

Interestingly, in Leibniz’s case, the esoteric ruler of the Ascendant, the Earth, will be seen to be of considerable importance. The Earth (at its present stage of development) must be considered a third ray planet—the ray of its personality (as it is not yet a fully sacred planet). The only way to place the Earth in a sign of the zodiac is by considering its heliocentric position, which happens to be Capricorn, since the Earth will always be seen, heliocentrically, in the sign opposite the Sun. Capricorn is a most practical earth sign, and transmits the first, third and seventh ray. In the case of disciples (and Leibniz was certainly a disciple—though he would not have used that terminology), Capricorn is the main transmitter of the third ray—not Cancer (his Sun Sign). We can begin to see another reason for the practicality and ‘earthiness’ of this great abstract thinker—his principal ruling planet is in an earth sign, and this planet is trine to earthy Saturn (another third ray planet) placed in the earth sign, Taurus, and conjunct Mars in Taurus as well as Venus in Taurus (by “translation of light”).

As well, the two other ‘Co-Ascendants’—the East Point and the Anti-Vertex are both placed in Capricorn, making third ray Saturn (their ruler) of importance as a subtone in the general harmony of the chart.

In pursuing conduits for the third ray, we cannot fail to mention the position of Mercury (whose personality ray is arguably the third), placed in the third sign of the zodiac, Gemini, at the cusp of the seventh house, generically associated with Libra, whose ray is the third. If one were to think of a planet which most described Leibniz’s principal quality, that planet would have to be Mercury (or, perhaps, Jupiter in combination with Mercury). Leibniz wrote voluminously, though by far the greater part of his writings have not been published or translated. We can see the easy flow of thoughts and words through the trine of Mercury to the spontaneous Moon, and the trine of both of them to the Libran MC. (This grand trine holds whether the MC is in the fifteenth degree of Libra or the twenty-third—actually tightening somewhat, overall, with the later time suggested by Leibniz’s father). It cannot be overlooked that the grand trine, as a figure, is based upon the number three (thus numerically resonant to the third ray), and that air signs (as usually considered) are related to the mind, the third principle counting from below. While at first we may have thought that the conduits for the third ray in the proposed chart for Leibniz were not many, further examination reveals a plentitude of possibilities for third ray access.

The Ray of the Monad: Although it is not possible for us to determine with accuracy the “unknown quantity” in Leibniz’s ray constitution, he seems to have been so supremely identified with the Principle of Intelligence, that the third ray seems to most felicitous choice for the primary or major ray of the monad, though subrays will qualify the life demonstration. Because, Leibniz, of all philosophers, thought most and wrote most on the Monad, determining its ray seems of vital importance.          The contrast of Leibniz’s metaphysics with that of Spinoza (discussed in the analysis of Spinoza’s chart) gives an important hint. Spinoza’s (whose monadic ray may very reasonably be construed to be the second) believed in only one universal Substance—God—with which all entities were identical. He was thus, with latter day occultists, a true philosophical pantheist. Leibniz, however is a ‘substantial pluralist’, believing in an infinitude of monads, ever distinct, “created” by God (Who is the highest of all possible Monads)—a God Who is other than the monads He creates. Leibniz, therefore, is not an emanationist, whereas Spinoza (though he did not use this term) might have no other choice than to embrace all things as God, and emanatorily derived from God, the One Substance. With Leibniz, the emphasis is upon an infinitude of distinct, immortal substances, rather than upon the One Substance. In this emphasis, Leibniz signals the essential presence of the third ray of Active Intelligence at the monadic level, the quality of which is discrimination with its inevitable result—distinction and individualism.

The Ray of the Personality: This is somewhat difficult to assess. Leibniz was a character so many-sided, that a number of ray qualities seem to be demonstrating through his personality.

The Case for the Seventh Ray: Leibniz was, by worldly profession, a professor of law, a counselor to royalty, a librarian, archivist, and a civil servant. He was also, at length, a gentleman of means. Given his flights of abstraction (rarefied in the extreme), he was surprisingly at home in the physical world, and had constantly to attend to mundane duties, a number of which included genealogical research (to reinforce the claims of his royal employers to further privileges). Genealogy, we know, is related to the seventh ray, as are all manner of duties associated with the civil service. Leibniz was also associated for a short time with an alchemical society, and alchemy is a seventh ray discipline. Further, he was circumspect, diplomatic and polite both in his manner and his writings, preferring to conciliate rather than criticize and attack.  His prose is polished and his tone, ever in good form and respectful. To stay in the good graces of his patrons, he would need all the appropriateness and discretion characteristic of the seventh ray. Unlike Voltaire, who fell out of favor with royal sponsors, Leibniz maintained his positions and the respect of his noble employers. It is said of him that he was an indefatigable worker. This corresponds well with one of the major virtues of the seventh ray—especially on the personality level.     Astrologically the seventh ray has a number of conduits. The Sun Sign Cancer distributes the seventh ray, as does Jupiter (exalted in Cancer and conjunct the Sun). Capricorn, the sign which heliocentrically holds the Earth, (the esoteric ruler of the proposed Ascendant, Sagittarius), is the major constellational conduit of the seventh ray during this World Period. The principal seventh ray planet, Uranus, is the esoteric ruler of the Libran MC. These facts, notwithstanding, the personality must convincingly demonstrate the presence of the seventh ray before we can judge it to be so.

The Case Against the Seventh Ray: Leibniz however, was not a man of regular habits. He was either sedentary at his writing desk for days at a time, or “on the road”, energetically traveling on various commissions ordered by his sponsors. A comment by a nobleman of the period, also gives us pause if we intend to assign the well-groomed seventh ray to the personality.  “It is rare to find learned men who are clean, do not stink and have a sense of humour.”[attributed variously to Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu and to the Duchess of Orléans]       Here we may wonder if the third ray (which like Dr. Samuel Johnson, is “no friend to clean linen”) was more in effect than the seventh. If the ray of the physical-etheric body was the third, the influence of the seventh ray upon the physical plane would be modified.

The Case for the Second Ray: In Leibniz’s chart we find a Sun/Jupiter conjunction (which though somewhat wide, is effective). Both of these are second ray ‘planets’. Jupiter is also the orthodox ruler of the Ascendant. Chiron (the second ray Mentor) is also conjunct the Sun. The prominent, angular Mercury of the proposed chart is in a second ray sign, Gemini. Leibniz was a great student, a collector of information. Not only was he eclectic (a quality of the third ray) but he found something to appreciate in a wide variety of views on a given subject, always finding a degree of value and usefulness in apparently contradictory approaches. He sought to unify the field of knowledge, and the word “reconcile” was a consistent part of his thought and speech. The principal reconciliation which he sought was between Protestantism and Catholicism, and to a lesser extent, between the different divisions within Protestantism. This urge could speak for the presence of the fourth ray as well as the second. His ability to be tactful and diplomatic (avoiding argument and controversy where possible) correlate with the second ray, and to a degree, with the seventh. His many relationships (via correspondence) would be well-supported by this major ray of relationship (as well as by his prominent air signs). Some quotations by Leibniz qualified by the second ray:   “I read books not to criticize them but to profit from them.  The result is that I find good everywhere, though not equally.” Letter to Morell, 10/20 December 1696 (A I.13, 398)

“Provided that something of importance is achieved, I am indifferent whether it is done in Germany or France, for I seek the good of mankind.  I am neither a phil-Hellene nor a philo-Roman but a phil-anthropos.”  Letter to Gilles des Billettes, 11/21 October 1697 (G VII 456/L 475)

The following quotation from the Catholic Encyclopedia demonstrates Leibniz’s tolerant attitude compared to that of Descartes, suggesting the importance of the second and fourth rays in his approach:        “His sympathies were broad, his convictions were eclectic, and his aim was not so much that of the synthetic thinker who would found a new system of philosophy, as that of a philosophic diplomatist who would reconcile all existing systems by demonstrating their essential harmony. Consequently, his starting-point is very different from that of Descartes. Descartes believed that his first duty was to doubt all the conclusions of all his predecessors; Leibniz was of the opinion that his duty was to show how near all his predecessors had come to the truth. Descartes was convinced, or at least assumed the conviction, that all the philosophers who went before him were in error, because they appeared to be involved in inextricable contradictions- Leibniz was equally well convinced that all the great systems agree fundamentally, and that their unanimity on essentials is a fair indication that they are in the right. Leibniz therefore resolved, not to isolate himself from the philosophical, scientific, and literary efforts of his predecessors and contemporaries, but, on the contrary, to utilize everything that the human mind had up to his time achieved, to discover agreement where discord and contradiction seemed to reign, and thus to establish a permanent peace among contending schools.”

The Case Against the Second Ray: While he could be sedentary (as both those upon the second and third ray can be) his activity level and indefatigability seem uncharacteristic of the second ray on the personality level. As well, there is something about the description of his appearance, which does not suggest the second ray, but, of course, various astrological factors have to be taken into consideration, among them the Capricornian sub-tone of his two alternative Ascendants, as well as his dominating third ray.          “Leibniz was a man of medium height with a stoop, broad-shouldered but bandy-legged, as capable of thinking for several days sitting in the same chair as of travelling the roads of Europe summer and winter. He was an indefatigable worker, a universal letter writer (he had more than 600 correspondents), a patriot and cosmopolitan, a great scientist, and one of the most powerful spirits of Western civilisation.”

The Case for the Fourth Ray: This ray is unquestionably present in Leibniz—at least astrologically and, if nowhere else in the ray chart, at least as a subray of the mental body. In the Catholic Encyclopedia we read:    “As a philosopher Leibniz exhibited that many-sidedness which characterized his mental activity in general. His sympathies were broad, his convictions were eclectic, and his aim was not so much that of the synthetic thinker who would found a new system of philosophy, as that of a philosophic diplomatist who would reconcile all existing systems by demonstrating their essential harmony.”  Pivotal to his philosophical system was the doctrine of “pre-existing harmony”, by means of which he sought to explain the manner in which God correlated the perceptions and action of all monads. The factor of reconciliation was essential to his thinking.   Astrologically, the three signs which transmit the fourth ray are all powerfully represented in his chart. Sagittarius rises; Taurus holds three planets (Saturn, Mars and Venus—the orthodox ruler of Taurus), and Scorpio (the most powerful of the fourth ray signs) holds Uranus, the esoteric ruler of the Libran MC. As well the fourth ray Moon is the orthodox ruler of his Cancer Sun Sign, and his prominent Mercury is a fourth ray planet in trine with the fourth ray Moon. Leibniz also wrote poetry—in Latin! Perhaps it has yet to be translated.  The design of the chart can be seen as a kind of “see-saw” pattern, the dynamics of which would express the oscillation of the fourth ray. But from another perspective, the chart form would appear as divided in three parts, with the majority of planets lying to the west, and Uranus and Neptune, relatively together, and the Moon—all governing their own areas. This, in the terminology of Marc Edmund Jones, has been called the “splay pattern”, and indicates a “creative disjunction” more characteristic of the third ray. If the heliocentric Earth is included, however, (as esoterically it must be), then the design is more the “seesaw” than the “splay”.

The Case Against the Fourth Ray: While the fourth ray is unquestionably present, it can be doubted that the fourth ray is the personality ray. A fourth ray personality would be too inconsistent and full of fluctuation to carry on the type of life Leibniz chose to lead and, indeed, was required to lead. We do not find him to be an especially colorful character, nor dramatic. His life seems devoid of those conflicts (sometimes followed by harmonization) which plague the life of the usual fourth ray personality types. The following quotation on the nature of music may caution us from assigning too quickly the fourth ray as the personality ray:    “The pleasure we obtain from music comes from counting, but counting unconsciously. Music is nothing but unconscious arithmetic.” Quoted in O Sacks, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat.

This is hardly the statement of a man who is moved in his soul by the beauty of music, though it is difficult to judge accurately from one statement.         We will for the moment suspend judgment concerning the personality ray. If two rays were to be chosen, the seventh and second would be the most likely candidates (in the opinion of the author). While Leibniz’s many scientific interests and pursuits suggest the presence of the fifth ray, the note of specialization which it so often sounds when qualifying the personality was not characteristic of his eclectic approach. It is far more likely to see an individual on the seventh ray handling a diversity of contrasting duties on the physical plane than it would be to see the fifth ray individual doing so. The fifth ray insists upon patient focus and seeks to limit the field for the sake of clarity. Leibniz did not have that privilege—nor, perhaps, the predilection.

The Choice of the Ray of the Lower Mind: Leibniz was a many-sided, eclectic individual, and his thought life was rich and diverse. At his stage of evolution, which one can argue was close to the third degree, the influence of the soul ray (the third) and of the higher or abstract mind (colored by the same ray—as all the triadal vehicles would necessarily be) would fuse and blend with the concrete mind, coloring it accordingly. Nevertheless, the at least partial presence of the fifth “Ray of Concrete Knowledge” must be argued—perhaps as the predominant ray of the lower mind, but at least as the subray.

Leibniz was surely a scientist as well as a metaphysician, and his thought was precise, analytical and practically inventive. He did love to “count”. He was at home with all manner of calculation. Just as we cannot imagine Sir Isaac Newton (one of the discoverer’s of the calculus and the formulator of an approach to the science of physics which held undisputed sway for over two centuries) without the fifth ray in his ray formula, so the same should be true for Leibniz—equally a mathematician of the first rank and the co-discoverer of the calculus. With the decline of interest in metaphysics, Leibniz is today remembered even more for his contributions to science than to philosophy and metaphysics (his deeper callings), but his scientific work was significant. It is perhaps not realized that Leibniz contributed much to the science of geology, and proposed that the Earth, at some stage of its development, must necessarily have been in a molten state. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica,   “

“He worked on hydraulic presses, windmills, lamps, submarines, clocks, and a wide variety of mechanical devices; he devised a means of perfecting carriages and experimented with phosphorus. He also developed a water pump run by windmills, which ameliorated the exploitation of the mines of the Harz Mountains, and he worked in these mines as an engineer frequently from 1680 to 1685.””

These are all clearly pursuits necessitating a prominent fifth ray.  The following is a notable fifth ray statement, surprising coming from one who was so much conditioned by the third ray:

““I prefer, a Leeuwenhoek who tells me what he sees to a Cartesian who tells me what he thinks.””

Leibniz was named a foreign member by the French Academy of Sciences in 1700, and in that same year, with the help of royal patronage, he engineered the founding of the German Academy of Sciences (of which he became the first president).

Astrologically, two of the three signs transmitting the fifth ray are powerful—Sagittarius, his Ascendant, and Aquarius, the sign in which his Moon is placed. As well, the North Node is placed in fifth ray Leo and the South, of course, in fifth ray Aquarius. Also, we find Uranus, opposing Saturn, Mars and fifth ray Venus. Uranus, Saturn and Mars can, all of them, be reasonably associated with the fifth ray—Saturn as ruler of the concrete mind, Mars as the ruler of the five senses and the material sciences, and Uranus as the ruler of orthodox science. Thus, this grouping of four planets offer conduits for the fifth ray.  This opposition takes places between the fifth and eleventh houses, which are resonant to Leo and Aquarius—two signs distributing the fifth ray.

Leibniz’s lower mind, however, seems to carry a certain fourth ray quality as well, for he was fluid and diplomatic in his writings, and rather more interested in the commonalties between philosophies than in their differences. A mind colored, at least in part by the fourth ray, would be an excellent instrument of reconciliation both in philosophy and theology. One area to which the reconciling fourth ray was applied was to create a bridge between mind and matter, spanning the gulf created by Cartesian philosophy.

The prominence of Mercury (a planet resonant, justifiably, with the fourth, third and fifth rays) would give great diversity to his lower mind, making it possible for him to use, skillfully, any of these rays in his thought process. A study of his writings demonstrates, however, very little use of the first ray in the mind. For the most part his writings do not transmit the quality of simple assertion, as we might expect to find when the first ray colors the lower mind; rather, his writings are logically reasoned and eminently reasonable, polished, polite, fluid. One remembers that the Tibetan has said that a combination of the third and fifth rays makes one a “master of the pen”. This was true in the case of Leibniz. The “bridging” quality is, however, noticeably present, and hence the probable presence of the bridging, reconciling fourth ray of harmony. Harmony was such a dominating thought in his philosophical system; without recourse to the doctrine of “pre-existent harmony” Leibniz could not have created his Monadology.

The Ray of the Emotional Nature: Leibniz was one of those who had conquered his passions. Emotion did not interfere with the clarity of thought, and so the second ray may well have been conditioning the astral nature. His sympathies were broad. For a pronouncedly third ray type, he was not critical. Sagittarius, however, is the primary sixth ray sign, and its orthodox ruler, Jupiter, is placed in the water sign, Cancer, ruled by sixth ray Neptune. Further, Neptune is found is sixth ray Sagittarius—a very idealistic position. So Leibniz certainly had access to the sixth ray if he chose. His level of activity suggests a certain drivenness characteristic of that ray, and on more than one occasion he was called upon to write patriotic tracts for political purposes. One feels that he could do almost anything by design. He had no great sympathy for Louis XIV, and on one occasion wrote a “violent” pamphlet against that king and his policies. One suspects, however, a kind of ‘violence-by-design’—simply because his duties required a violent pamphlet. Such a passionate approach was uncharacteristic of his usual writings.

The Ray of the Physical Nature: Judging from his activity level, his constant travels, his diverse and incessant occupations and preoccupations, his ability to endure long hours of labor without fatigue—even the fact that he often slept in his chair and resumed writing as soon as he awoke—all these point to the presence of the third ray etheric-physical body. The third ray conduits have already been described and may be applied to the manner in which that ray could reach the physical nature—astrologically.

Certain Astrological Features of Leibniz’s Chart

1.     Leibniz Sun Sign is Cancer. Exoterically, we find him working for royal households and having many duties concerned with the upholding of the status and image of the household. Cancer is a sign of protection, and he was certainly was under the protectorship of his royal patrons.

From a pragmatic perspective, we find three planets, and asteroid and Chiron in the seventh house, the house of the law. Leibniz received a doctor of law degree in 1666, and was utilized as a diplomat and political advisor. He thought and wrote extensively in the fields of law and politics.

Cancer, especially with a powerful third ray emphasis, represents, in this case, a deep interest in history. Exoterically, Leibniz’s duties required creating and managing libraries (collecting many old books), supervising archives, researching the records of the past to justify the political and property claims of his patrons. Esoterically, he was fascinated with the history of the Earth (geologically considered) and with the racial, ethnic, social and political development of the human race. Still more deeply, he sought to understand history from a sacred perspective, never losing sight of the interdependence of all factors within a whole. His universal history was never written but his original perspectives served as a stimulus to other thinkers. In relation to this historical approach we find the mantram “The Whole is Seen as One” significant. Leibniz’s eclecticism (under a highly stimulated Mercury in Gemini) was remarkable, but he never lost sight of the whole context in which all disparate factors had their proper place and function. We find Cancer promoting universality of mind.

The influence of the sign Cancer is also noteworthy when considering one of his foremost doctrines—the existence of an infinitude of individual “substances” known as Monads. These monads exist insulated from one another, each in its own world and incapable of interactivity with other monads. The notable insularity of the monad is a Cancerian concept. “

“Monads have no windows, through which anything could enter or leave.  Accidents cannot be separated from substances or go about outside of them, as the sensible species of the Scholastics used to do.  Thus neither substance nor accident can enter a monad from without.””  Monadology, sec. 7.

This is a remarkable doctrine with unforeseen metaphysical consequences.

2.     Jupiter is conjunct the Sun and also in Cancer. That Jupiter is exalted in this position (and is, as well, the exoteric ruler of the Sagittarian Ascendant) further promotes his desire to grasp and understand wholes. We should note that Jupiter is placed in the Scorpio decanate of Cancer, and so this Scorpionic coloring (conferring added psychological intensity and a willingness to go deeply into matters, as well as registering physically in his physiognomy) is a significant qualitative strand to his character. The sign placement and decanate placement within that sign of a ruling planet is usually influential as regards both character and appearance.

Jupiter, in advanced persons, is a philosophical planet representing a philosophical, speculative sign, Sagittarius. Philosophy is, literally, the “love of wisdom”. We have a strong second ray conjunction here, contributing to Leibniz desire for a completed, rounded-out perspective. This conjunction certainly contributes to the second ray component of his nature.

Jupiter is also a planet of protection, placed in a protective sign. This position is one of those factors which contributed to Leibniz’s conviction of the benevolence of God and of the infallibility of Divine Providence. In his writings, he strikes a high tone of morality and piety—the gifts of Jupiter. Moreover, he is renowned (and ridiculed) for his philosophical optimism, also a Jupiterian quality.

3.     Practical Saturn, working through a sign of materiality, Taurus, is closely sextile Jupiter, conferring a much needed strand of earthy realism to his hopeful, Jupiterian nature. Leibniz, beset by unavoidable mundane duties, would have considered himself a realist about the world, despite his essentially sanguine view. Depending upon which chart is used, Saturn is operating from the fifth or perhaps late fourth house. Saturn in Taurus works for the acquisition (Taurus) of knowledge (Taurus), and in the fifth house related to one’s inner talents, forces the individual to use in a practical manner all the accumulations of the causal body.

4.     Jupiter, the orthodoxly ruling planet of the Sagittarius Ascendant, is conjunct the collection of stars knows as “Castor”. Castor is linked to writers, and speaks of a creativity which flows easily and relatively devoid of struggle. Leibniz had a remarkably fluid pen, and was able to write with ease on all manner of subjects. Jupiter and Castor together promoted these abilities, and contributed to the sheer volume (Jupiter) of his output.

5.     Chiron is closely conjunct Sun. Although this planet has only recently been discovered, its influence has certainly been present in our planetary system. Chiron is closely connected to the Sagittarian Rising Sign, just as is Jupiter. Mythologically, Chiron represents many things, but mentorship and advisorship are significant in Leibniz’s case. With all tact and diplomacy, his function was to be a voice of influence in the lives and affairs of his patrons, and to steer them into channels of intelligent and useful action—for the sake of their household and in relation to the welfare of the larger socio-political context. Of this, Leibniz was eminently capable, and he practiced it constantly.         Chiron is closely connected with guidance and a sense of direction. It also represents the individual who is notably self-directing. Leibniz had two agendas—the agenda of necessity (required by his position as civil servant) and the agenda of illumination. His was one of the most brilliant minds of Europe, and he certainly knew what he wanted to accomplish in his spare time.

6.     The Sun is conjunct both Canopus and Sirius (interestingly, as in the case of the Dalai Lama—but the major ray is different). Leibniz lived during the “Age of Reason” as it prepared the way for what has been known as the “Enlightenment”. Many regard him as the foremost thinker of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. The influence of these two luminous stars (the most visually luminous from the perspective of Earth) certainly contributed to the enlightening effect of his thought.

7.     The Sagittarian Ascendant (whether in the Aries decanate or early into the Leo decanate) spurred Leibniz on in his persistent search for understanding and a vision of reality. Three planets in Taurus (the sign of the “Greatest Light”) also assisted. Under the Sagittarian Ascendant, Leibniz was on a great quest for truth. This quest took him into extraordinarily diverse areas of inquiry (augmented by Mercury in Gemini), but, above all, it led him into the realm of metaphysics and theology. The essence of his philosophy is based upon sight—the major Sagittarian theme. Perception and apperception (for Leibniz, apperception is self-perception) hold the key to the nature of the primary substance—the monad. All the monad can really do is perceive or apperceive, sharpening its registration of reality until it sees clearly exactly what it is and what place it holds in the God-created universe.

In the Monadology, the influences of Sagittarius and Cancer are readily seen. The monad is insular (Cancer) and sheltered from (Cancer) the external impact of all other monads. Within the monad’s individual world, its one action is perception/apperception (Sagittarius) by means of which the totality of Creation is registered as a “representation” of ever-increasing accuracy. Leibniz also believed that he could demonstrate the ordering of all nature towards a final goal or cause. The energy of the sign Sagittarius is prominent in this thought.

8.     Pallas Athene rising, in both the earlier and later chart, speaks to the resourcefulness and strategy which were constantly required of him.

9.     Mercury in Gemini at the seventh house cusp, trine the Moon and MC is for Leibniz a profoundly important placement. Leibniz was an inveterate letter-writer. His correspondence was truly voluminous and his correspondents numbered over 600. One can only imagine the situation had he had access to today’s computer technology. His correspondence was his way of staying in touch with the best minds in Europe. With some correspondents he carried on a lengthy dialogue, looking deeply into the metaphysical (and mathematical) questions which concerned him most.. Several of these extended exchanges are books in themselves, and admirably reveal the subtlety, finesse and scope of his reasoning.

Like so many third ray individuals, Leibniz was most alive on the plane of mind and the physical plane. It would seem that the life of the emotions required less attention. (For this reason, third and fifth ray types more easily pass the second initiation with its emphasis upon emotional control.) Something of the considerable energy he invested in the process of meaningful correspondence can be seen by the sextile and semi-sextile configuration between Mercury and Jupiter, and the midpoint of the Saturn/Mars conjunction. Corresponding was a kind of compulsive duty—both an enjoyment (Jupiter) and a burden (Mars/Saturn). He met the world as an intelligent, communicative mind, and the field of energy which he most influenced was the mental field.

10. The asteroid Vesta in also in Gemini in the seventh house, and speaks to the intensity of his commitment to the process of exchanging thought. Although for much of his life physically isolated in Hanover, through his relentless correspondence (Mars semi-sextile Mercury), he became an intellectual presence throughout Europe.

11. Uranus is opposed Mars/Venus, involving Saturn by translation of light. The opposition of transformative Uranus to two planets which so often express as the relation between the sexes may indicate the transmutation of sexual energy into creative mentality in the search for light. Both Mars and Uranus are associated with the sacral center, and Venus (when in relation to Taurus) with sex. Saturn, of course, is a restraining and disciplining energy. Venus in Taurus (the orthodox ruler of the Libran MC) represents the quest for light.  In this case, it appears that Venus is the master of Mars, which is also subdued by is conjunction with Saturn. Mars in Taurus represents a considerable amount of instinctual power, placed (because of is position between Venus and Saturn) at the disposal of the higher creative process. Saturn represents the throat center in disciples; Venus is the ruler of Taurus which is always associated with the throat; for more advanced disciples, the seventh ray (distributed by Uranus) rules the throat center. One can see in this configuration, the transfer of sacral energies to the throat center, thus releasing a great deal of energy for personal creativity of the kind indicated by the fifth house. Such creativity need not always be artistic in the usual sense.

At the age of fifty, Leibniz proposed marriage to a woman, who said she needed time to contemplate her decision. While she was contemplating, he thought better on the idea, and was, apparently, never bothered by the matrimonial urge again. It is said, however, that Leibniz had the highest respect for women and, especially, for their mental abilities.

A Uranus/Mars opposition can be difficult to handle, as can an opposition of Uranus to Saturn or Venus. As stated, this opposition has much to do with the transmutation of energy from the sacral center (and in general from sub-diaphragmatic areas) to the throat. It would also give a high level tension to the life, and incline towards abruptness within the field of personal relations represented orthodoxly by Mars and Venus.  Probably these tendencies were moderated by the diplomatic Leibniz, and the effect of this opposition was used to intensify his labors.

12. We find transformational Uranus square to the Moon in Aquarius. Really, there is a kind of T-Square with the Moon on the short leg and the opposition between Uranus and the three planets—Saturn, Mars and Venus, representing the long arm of the T-Square. The Moon in Aquarius in the second house reveals the diversity of pursuits at which Leibniz had to labor to bring sufficient resources. He had to use all his ingenuity (Uranus) and simple hard labor (Saturn/Mars) as well as charm, and presumably, a well-spoken manner (so evident in his letters).

13. The Moon is the “prison of the soul”. In this case it contributed to a diffusion of energies which may have prevented the consolidation of his gains, making it necessary for others to gather up many threads of his life and present them favorably to the world.

The Moon, however, is also a point of transformation, and if we consider the planet which it veils, it is certainly scientific, innovative Uranus. Leibniz was always forced to use the ‘materials and hand’ to advance his ends. This position contributes to his resourcefulness. Uranus, transposed to this house of wisdom, light and prana (the second house), contributed to the ability to transform all materials into usefulness. Reading the chart in this way, we have a trine between Moon-as-Uranus, Mercury and the MC which is esoterically ruled by natal Uranus. The second house is the “occult treasury” where the contents of the causal body are represented, and Uranus is the planet of genius (square to its own natal position, if it is substituted for the Moon). If his personality did have strong elements of the seventh ray, this second house position would be one of the important places of application. He surely earned his living using the planet Uranus—a genius in a mundane setting, having to do all manner of things which geniuses usually do not do. We can also think of this position as indicating one who comes forth with a new form of enlightenment, to which his novel metaphysical theories attest. Leibniz’s Monadology is to this day strikingly original and fresh.

14. Neptune is in the twelfth house opposed to Pluto. Though diligently rational in his approach to metaphysical thought, one cannot help but suspect the presence of deep almost mystical intuitions underlying the tightly reasoned metaphysical systems which Leibniz proposed. Neptune in Sagittarius is the visionary mystic, the transcendentalist, seeking a vision of sublime heights beyond the earthly sphere. The twelfth house is a house of psychism and sensitivity. The position of Neptune here promotes the functioning of the intuition and promotes the essential idealism and pan-psychism of Leibniz philosophy.

The dramatic interplay between faith and reason which exercised so many of his contemporaries, was vividly alive in his thought process. Mercury (in relation to the other air signs) represents his rationality, offered voluminously to the world. Any sincere reader of his work will, however, quickly encounter the depth of faith, hope and optimism by which he was animated. Although the opposition between Mercury in Gemini and Neptune in Sagittarius is too wide to be judged effective under normal circumstances, it is an important polarity in the dynamics of his chart. Neptune is easily pulled into the opposition because of its wide conjunction with the earlier of the Sagittarian Ascendants.

Once Leibniz had a most impressive dream—a “philosophical dream”. It will be offered below, and the reader will see how the great Sagittarian quest for transcendental truth (Neptune) was foundational to his psychological dynamics.

15. Lion, Isis and Morya are among the hypothesized, yet undiscovered planets. Astrologers, as well as some mathematicians and astronomers believe they are ‘there’, but no unquestionably reliable orbits have yet been determined, because no true sightings have been achieved. However, those who study their effects in charts, judge them to be relatively well-located and effective even with circular rather than elliptical orbital elements.

The extremely remote planet Lion (with a period of approximately 1600 years) is conjunct with Leibniz’s Sun in Cancer within a little more than a degree. In principle, aspects with these undiscovered or unseen planets must be quite close (though in practice it may not always be so). In any case, 1º22’ is close enough. Lion (according to the astrologer Niklas Nihlen) represents all that distinguishes. It is closely associated with civilization, culture and refinement. Leibniz (it would seem) is at work within the Department of Civilization, under the Mahachohan. Further, it has much to do with learning, libraries, books, history and education. Leibniz was hired as a librarian and archivist and he was constantly surrounded by books (another hint for the prominence of the second ray energy).

The undiscovered planet Isis (there is also an asteroid called Isis) is even more closely conjunct the Sun. Nihlen writes of Isis as follows:        “

X-, New, Freshness, Pioneering, Trail-blazing, Aspiration, Unveiling, Seeing through the veils, Incandescent light, Reality, Restlessness,…”

We can see Leibniz, ever driven by divine discontent, blazing trails in the field of thought, unveiling that which obscures the truth.

The planet Morya is closely conjunct Leibniz’s all important Mercury in Gemini. Morya is a planet of power, emphasizing essence, being, purpose, and will. As a metaphysician Leibniz sought for the fundamental substance, essential being—in short, the monad. His thought was also powerful, impressive, a force with which to reckon.

16. The “Uranian” (or Trans-Neptunian) planets Kronos, Admetus, Hades, Cupido, Zeus, Transpluto are also prominent—some of them in the chart for the earlier time and some for the later.

Kronos, the planet of eminence, superiority, prestige, and “high places” is within a few degrees of the MC is both charts, and speaks of the influence with royalty, nobility and those positioned authoritatively played in Leibniz’s life.

Admetus, which represents rotary resistance and repetitive tasks, would only be effective in the later chart. Certainly, there was much in Leibniz’s career which called for repetitive actions—those which inhibited his sense of arriving at his own self-selected goals.

Hades is quite close to his Mercury, and would involve him with old books, antiques, and, in general, promote a respect for antiquity.

Cupido (a planet of union, amity, empathy, identification and reconciliation) would be exactly conjunct his Part of Fortune in the earlier chart. This position fits well with his desire to unite Catholicism and Protestantism, and, in general, to be a unitive thinker and an agent of reconciliation in the world of thought.   Transpluto would closely conjoin the Ascendant of the earlier chart, and Zeus the Ascendant of the later.

Transpluto has to do with the sudden release of transformative energy and Zeus with great control and with mechanism. Both would contribute to the high tension under which he undoubtedly worked, and Zeus to his experiments with various kinds of machinery.

Certain Philosophical Doctrines and their Ray and Astrological Correlations

Let us review a few of the principal thoughts which characterized Leibniz’s approach to philosophical thought, seeking to determine the ray and astrological constituents which contributed to the formulation of this thought.

1.     The Doctrine of the Monads: Leibniz believed in an infinitude of essential, simple substances called monads. Monads, each characterized by a greater or lesser degrees of perception (relatively developed monads, for instance, human monads, possessing apperception or self-perception), are harmoniously related by the will of God, are indivisible and devoid of extension. Substance (or that which stands beneath—‘sub-stance’) is defined in terms of action. To be is to act. The action of the monad is not to act upon an external world, but to represent or reflect the entirety of the world (the infinite aggregation of other monads) with ever-increasing degrees of clarity and accuracy.

Leibniz’s basic ontological thesis, appearing in a letter to de Volder, is as follows: “

“considering matters accurately, it must be said that there is nothing in things except simple substances, and, in them, nothing but perception and appetite. Moreover, matter and motion are not so much substances or things as they are the phenomena of percipient beings, the reality of which is located in the harmony of each percipient with itself (with respect to different times) and with other percipients.””

Each state of a created monad is a causal consequence of its preceding state, and each individual substance (or monad) is the cause of its own (internal) states. External or inter-substantial causality is impossible; intra-substantial causality governs the monad.

According to the Oxford Companion two principle theses lie at the heart of Leibniz’s philosophy:

““(1) the thesis that each created monad perceives every other monad with varying levels of distinctness; (2) the thesis that God so programmed the monads at creation that, although none causally interacts with any other, each has the perceptions we would expect it to have, were they to interact, and each has the perceptions we would expect it to have, were there extended material objects that are perceived. The first is the thesis of universal expression; the second, the thesis of the pre-established harmony”.”

Astro-rayologically, we can see the importance of the sign Sagittarius in this doctrine. All true beings (“actual existents” or monads), are principally “percipients”—perceivers. Their principal function is sight and appetite. The two mantrams of Sagittarius apply here. The first mantram emphasizes sight: “I see the goal. I reach the goal. Then I see another”. The second mantram emphasizes appetite: “Let food be sought”. “Food” here symbolizes that which fulfills any desire.

The following excerpt from Monadologie emphasizes the importance of perception and perspective in relation to the dynamics of monads:

““so through the infinite multitude of simple substances, it is as if there were so many different universes, which nevertheless are only perspectives on a single universe, according to the different point of view of each monad.”” (sec. 147)

The third ray is also powerfully emphasized, as reality is defined both in terms of perception/cognition and action—the two major qualities of the third ray. The doctrine of intra-substantial causality rather than inter-substantial causality is, as stated, promoted by the insular energy of Cancer.

2.     The Doctrine of Pre-Existent Harmony:  “”The soul follows its own laws, and the body has its laws. They are fitted to each other in virtue of the pre-established harmony among all substances, since they are all representations of one and the same universe.”” (Monadologie, thesis lxxviii)

All activity of the monad is immanent activity (occurring intra-substantially, within the monad itself). The essential action of substance is “representation” (universal perception at greater and lesser degrees of clarity and accuracy). Each monad is causally independent of every other monad, and represents the universe of monads independently of the influence of other monads. But if each monad is its own world, and proceeds with its activity as if within its own world, some (divinely) masterful correlation of monadic process would be needed if a monad is to faithfully (rather than chaotically) represent that which is occurring in or with respect to the other monads which it perceives. If this correlation does not occur, each monad will remain forever deluded concerning the true activities of the universe and the other members of the universe. For in a way, the monad is forever in its own world, ‘blind’ to the actual presence of other monads and incapable of registering the impacts of other monads. What then, will faithfully reveal the condition of those other monads if not the intervention of a God Who arranges that the revelation occur? For all practical purposes, according to Leibniz’s view, no monad actually ‘sees’ another monad, for this sight would be a kind of interaction with or communication from another monad, and would be causal in the life of the monad which ‘saw’. Instead, God, must arrange it so that the infinitude of other, ‘unseen’ monads (with whom no real or direct interaction is possible) are “represented” within the perception of any given monad—and represented accurately. Each monad thus keeps distinctly to its own world, aware of an infinitude of other monads but not registering them directly.

The Doctrine of Pre-Established Harmony is explained in the following manner:

““God so programmed the monads at creation that, although none causally interacts with any other, each has the perceptions we would expect it to have, were they to interact, and each has the perceptions we would expect it to have, were there extended material objects that are perceived.””

Critique of the Doctrine of Pre-Established Harmony

The concept of Pre-Established Harmony sounds innocuous enough, but it is a difficult concept which seems to fly in the face of common sense. From the Catholic Encyclopedia we read:

““We must, therefore, conceive that God at the beginning of creation so arranged things that the changes in one monad correspond perfectly to those in the other monads which belong to its system. In the case of the soul and body, for instance, neither has a real influence on the other: but, just as two clocks may be so perfectly constructed and so accurately adjusted that, though independent of each other, they keep exactly the same time, so it is arranged that the monads of the body put forth their activity in such a way that to each physical activity of the monads of the body there corresponds a psychical activity of the monad of the soul. This is the famous doctrine of pre-established harmony. ‘’According to this system’’, says Leibniz, ‘‘bodies act as if (to suppose the impossible) there were no souls at all, and souls act as if there were no bodies, and yet both body and soul act as if the one were influencing the other’’ ”.” (op. cit., thesis lxxxii)

By a ““monad which belongs to its system””, Leibniz may mean a lesser monad (incapable of apperception) which belongs to the body of a greater monad (capable of apperception). The cells and atoms of our body are presumably animated by such lesser monads. But, in a way, all monads perceived by any monad constitute its body. “Body” and “representation” are really identical. Something must coordinate these representations so they are relatively faithful to the condition of that which they represent—namely the host of other monads.

Any individual trained in occultism will immediately see problems with the Doctrine of Pre-Established Harmony as Leibniz conceives it. It seems to require too much intervention on the part of God. It abrogates the occult Doctrine of Identification and leaves “God” forever at a distance —ever transcendent; never immanent. Because Leibniz feels the necessity to assert both monadic isolation and a plurality of individual substances (rather than—as the occultist would insist—the One Substance of which all substances are an inherent part), his thesis demands a condition in which all created entities are eternally isolated from each other, a condition in which each monad is forever separated from communication or interaction with every other monad (at least in the usual worlds of interaction).

In the opinion of the author, the whole scheme proves labored, unwieldy, inelegant, unnatural and even ugly. It lacks simplicity and seems to require of God a kind of divine ‘trick’ whereby at the outset of Creation, He ‘so arranges things’, that each of His creations should forever live in its own world without any possibility of real communication, interchange or communion, yet, somehow, although no interaction is occurring, every change in the state ‘within’ each of an infinitude of monads is registered, reflected or represented (with greater or lesser clarity) within the perception of every other monad.  The means whereby God accomplishes this monumental supernatural feat cannot even be suggested, but is allowed as possible because man cannot possibly understand the greatness of God nor His abilities.

This doctrine impresses the author as the apotheosis of artificiality—created by a brilliant mind in which the principle of distinction dominates the principle of unity. Why should an Infinite God ‘wish’ to maintain such a system which guarantees the perpetually inviolate distinction of an infinitude of indivisible substances?

Astro-rayologically, the intricacy of third ray thought (abetted by fifth ray analysis) seems to be at work in conceiving this doctrine. The insularity of Cancer (which at the beginning of human evolution contributes to a condition in which “the blind unit is lost”) (EA 332) reappears on a much higher turn of the spiral as, shall we say, ‘the encapsulated unit (i.e., monad) is forever distinct and isolated’. Psychologically, Leibniz seems to fear the possibility of merging with God as leading to a loss of distinct identity. The Cancerian “shell” is maintained forever, with no possibility of dissolution (though the entirety of the universe is “reflected” or “represented” within it. One can forever be only the limited individual (however relatively glorious), reflecting an infinitude of other limited individuals, each reflecting each other. One can never actually be the Whole. Perhaps, in this condition of ‘self-contained universal perception’, it is possible that the “whole is seen as one’, but one never becomes the whole. One merely perceives it. If the Doctrine of Cyclically Recurring Universes had occurred to Leibniz and seemed acceptable, his metaphysical conception of the monad and its place in universe would probably have been altered considerably. Because, however, he did not consider the universe as cyclic, he embraced the idea of an infinite, God-created universe with an infinitude of  permanent substances —i.e., monads.

Though Leibniz was an extremely advanced thinker in every respect (some say the greatest thinker of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), his propagation of this psychologically separative doctrine suggests that he was, in this particular conception at least, subject to illusion. It is illusion which must be overcome before it is possible to take the third initiation. An initiate of the third degree is capable of revealing the reality of the “One”. Though it is inadvisable to oversimplify the situation or to underestimate the subtlety of Leibniz’s thought, Leibniz, in his deepest metaphysics, seems intent on revealing the eternally unchangeable existence of the “Many”—even though each of the “Many” is, he would say, a ‘One Alone’. It is apparently abhorrent to him to resolve the many into One, as the individual would be lost. He abhors the fact that Spinoza has done this, saying that he merely brought to explicit expression that which Descartes implied.

The Fundamental Principles of the Secret Doctrine simply do not enter into his thought. One cannot reasonably expect that they would, for they are primarily an Eastern Teaching and were not brought to the West until more than one hundred fifty years after his death (though Leibniz was aware of Chinese metaphysics and respected it). Had he taken these Three Fundamentals into consideration, they would have helped to resolve many of the difficulties present in his Doctrine of the Monad. It is likely, however, that even if Leibniz had known of these Principles, he would have rejected them as fundamentally flawed, illusory.

These principles are:

a.      The existence of a Boundless Immutable Principle

b.     The adherence of all entities to the Law of Periodicity

c.     The identity of every soul with the Oversoul.

These Fundamentals necessitate unity, fusion, merging and identification and do not permit of a permanent individuality. The individual becomes a temporary structure superceded inevitably by a Greater Identity—that of the Whole. Eternally encapsulated individualism has no place in the Ageless Wisdom Doctrine.

3.     The Doctrine of Continuity: “ “Nature Makes no Leaps””: Monads appear in an infinite continuum—the upper reach of which, at least, is infinite. The continuum ranges from the monads who are incapable of apperception (for instance, the monads associated with the lesser, unselfconscious lives), and proceeds towards those monads capable of apperception (the monads of human beings, capable of self-reflection). Presumably, monads more advanced than the human are capable of ever-increasing degrees of apperception. Leibniz would have had the problem of how to determine when God created this infinitude of monads—at a single “”Creation””, with man being the leading monadic type? Many metaphysical problems arise should this be the case.

If ““Creation”” had occurred as a single Event and a definite Time, it is inconceivable how there could presently exist an infinite continuum of monads existing in infinitudinous gradations of perceptions. But his is not the place to enter into possible discrepancies or inconsistencies in Leibniz’s metaphysics. Suffice it to say that, through his Doctrine of Continuity, he attempted to overcome the sharp Cartesian “split” between mind and matter, demonstrating, thereby, the presence of the softer or bridging rays such as the second and fourth, and the effectiveness of Mercurian linking and Jupiterian fusion in his thought process. As well, a vision of a distant, sublime (even infinite) goal is suggested, and this is promoted by indefinite Neptune in Sagittarius. Neptune is a planet which has much to do with the indefinite and, thus, with the concept of Infinity.

4.     Optimism: Leibniz’s view of God and the universe is optimistic. All monads are organized by God into a vast and harmonious system, over which God, the Infinite Monad and Creator, presides. The power, wisdom and goodness of God are infinite. The monads which God created are as good as they can possibly be and the world (or universe) is the “best of all possible worlds”. The law which governs this universe is, as well, the best possible law. While evil does exist in the world, it exists so that a greater good may be accomplished. God has so arranged the world that evil is made to serve the purpose of harmony, symmetry and beauty.  Because we are only related to a small portion of the universe, that portion makes the greatest demands upon our sympathies. We do not understand the larger context or the larger purpose, and so misjudge as evil that which serves to accomplish a greater good than we can conceive.

Leibniz’s Sagittarian/Jupiterian optimism emerges in his doctrine of “the best of all possible worlds”. His meticulous reasoning is based upon a profound faith in God’s transcendent Goodness. Mystical Neptune in optimistic Sagittarius placed in the twelfth house of faith contributes to his positivity concerning God and Creation. Under the influence of  Jupiter and the Sun in Cancer, Leibniz embraces wholeness, and under Sagittarius, Jupiter and Neptune he sees that wholeness, not only as good, but as good as it can possibly be—maximally good. A great subtlety of intellect (for instance, the pondering of the possibility of multiple universes—and such related questions as now occupy the speculations of quantum physicists) was at work behind Leibniz’s sanguine and apparently naive doctrine of “the best of all possible worlds”, which he understood as a philosophical necessity given a morally perfect God animated by the principle of “sufficient reason”. Out of all the infinitude of universes which God might choose to actuate, according to the principle of sufficient reason, a morally perfect God would have to have a “sufficient reason” for choosing exactly this universe, hence the superiority of this particular universe over every other possible universe. This universe, then, would be the best possible. A morally perfect God could choose to create no less than the best possible universe. This doctrine is absolutely positive—a supremely appreciative affirmation relating to the second ray even more than to the sixth.

Leibniz’s Philosophical Dream Translated by Donald Rutherford

There follows an account of a most revealing dream. We find in this dream super-conscious factors at work. Leibniz’s deeper motivations are revealed as well as numinous contacts with those higher aspects of his nature which served to guide him. This dream establishes him as a confirmed seeker of truth and enlightenment, longing for the “supernal light”. One cannot help but compare the substance of this dream to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. It is a dream which charts the course towards enlightenment and confirms Leibniz as a disciple intent on following the dictates of his Sagittarian Rising Sign and thus approaching more closely to the source of illumination.

I was satisfied with what I was among men, but I was not satisfied with human nature. I often considered with chagrin the hardships to which we are subjected, the shortness of our life, the vanity of glory, the improprieties that are born of sensual pleasure, the illnesses that overwhelm even our spirit; finally, the annihilation of all our greatness and all our perfections in the moment of death, which appears to reduce to nothing the fruits of our labors. These meditations left me full of melancholy. I naturally loved to act well and to know the truth. Yet it appeared that I punished myself unnecessarily, that a successful crime was worth more than an oppressed virtue, and that a madness that is content is preferable to an aggrieved reason. However, I resisted these objections and directed my spirit on the right course by thinking about the divinity who must have given a proper order to everything and who sustained my hopes with the expectation of a future capable of redressing everything. This conflict was renewed in me by the sight of some great disturbance, either among men, when I saw injustice triumph and innocence chastened, or in nature, when hurricanes or earthquakes destroyed cities and provinces and caused thousands to die without distinguishing the good from the wicked, as though nature cared no more for us than we trouble ourselves about ants or worms that we encounter in our path. I was greatly moved by these spectacles and could not stop myself pitying the condition of mortals.

One day, being fatigued from these thoughts, I fell asleep and found myself in a dark place which resembled an underground cavern. It was vast and very deep and everywhere there swarmed men who strangely rushed into the darkness in pursuit of luminous trifles they called “honors,” or glittering little flies they called “riches.” There were many who searched the ground for bright bits of rotten wood they called “sensual pleasures.” Each of these evil lights had its followers; there were some who had changed parties and others who had quit the chase altogether because of exhaustion or despair. Some of those who ran blindly and often believed they had reached their goal fell into crevasses, out of which only moans were heard. Some were bitten by scorpions and other venomous creatures that left them wretched and often mad. Yet neither these examples nor the arguments of persons better informed stopped others from chasing the same hazards and even entering into fights in order to forestall rivals or keep themselves from being forestalled.

In the vault of this huge cavern there were little holes and almost imperceptible cracks. Here a trace of daylight entered; yet it was so weak that it required careful attention to notice it. One frequently heard voices which said, “Stop you mortals, or run like the miserable beings you are.” Others said, “Raise your eyes to the sky.” But no one stopped and no one raised their eyes except in pursuit of these dangerous trinkets. I was one of those who was greatly struck by these voices. I began often to look above me and finally recognized the small light which demanded so much attention. It seemed to me to grow stronger the more I gazed steadily at it. My eyes were saturated with its rays, and when, immediately after, I relied on it to see where I was going, I could discern what was around me and what would suffice to secure me from dangers. A venerable old man who had wandered for a long time in the cave and who had had thoughts very similar to mine told me that this light was what is called “intelligence” or “reason” in us. I often changed position in order to test the different holes in the vault that furnished this small light, and when I was located in a spot where several beams could be seen at once from their true point of view, I found a collection of rays which greatly enlightened me. This technique was of great help to me and left me more capable of acting in the darkness.

After testing many positions, I was at last led by my good fortune to a place which was unique and the most advantageous in the cave, a place reserved for those whom the divinity wished to remove completely from this darkness. Hardly had I begun to look upward than I was surrounded by a bright light shining from all sides: the whole cave and its miseries were fully disclosed to my eyes. But a moment later a dazzling clarity surprised me. It soon expanded and I saw before me the image of a young man whose beauty enchanted my senses. There seemed a majesty about him, which produced a veneration mixed with apprehension; yet the gentleness of his gaze reassured me. I began, however, to be aware of myself weakening and was about to faint, when I felt myself touched by a bough imbued with a marvelous liquor. I could compare it to nothing I had ever felt before and it gave me the strength to endure the presence of this celestial messenger. He called me by name and spoke to me in a charming voice: “Give thanks to the divine goodness which releases you from this madness.” At the same time he touched me again and at that instant I felt myself rise. I was no longer in the cavern; I no longer saw the vault above me. I found myself on a high mountain, which revealed to me the face of the earth. I saw at a distance what I only wanted to consider in general; yet when I studied some spot in a determined way, it at once grew and I needed no other telescopic vision than my own attention to see it as though it were next to me. This gave me a marvelous pleasure and emboldened me to say to my guide: “Mighty spirit–for I cannot doubt that you are of the number of those celestial figures who make up the court surrounding the sovereign of the universe–since you have wanted to clarify to my eyes, will you do as much for my mind?”

It seemed to me that he smiled at this speech and took pleasure in hearing of my desire. “Your wish is granted,” he said to me, “since you hold wisdom above the pleasure of those vain spectacles the world presents to your eyes. However, you will lose nothing that is substantial in those same spectacles. You will see everything with eyes clarified in a completely different way. Your understanding being fortified from above, it will discover everywhere the brilliant illumination of the divine author of things. You will recognize only wisdom and happiness, wherever men are accustomed to find only vanity and bitterness. You will be content with your creator; you will be enraptured with the vision of his works. Your admiration will not be the effect of ignorance as it is with the vulgar. It will be the fruit of knowledge of the grandeur and marvels of God. Instead of scorning with men the unraveled secrets, which in earlier times they regarded with astonishment, you will find that when you are admitted into the interior of nature your raptures, you will go on growing the farther you advance.

For you will only be at the beginning of a chain of beauties and delights that go on growing into infinity. The pleasures that enchain your senses and that Circe of your legends who changes men into beasts will have no hold on you, so long as you attach yourself to the beauties of the soul, which never die and never disappoint. You will belong to our fold and will go with us from world to world, from discovery to discovery, from perfection to perfection. With us you will pay court to the supreme being, who is beyond all worlds and fills them without being divided. You will be at once before his throne and among those who are distant from it. For God will establish his siege in your soul and heaven follows him everywhere. Go, therefore, and raise your spirit above all that is mortal and perishable, and cleave only to the eternal truths of the light of God. You will not always live here below, this mortal life which sufficiently approaches that of beasts. There will come a time when you will be delivered entirely of the chains of this body. Use well, therefore, the time that providence gives you here, and seek that your perfections to come will be proportional to the cares you give yourself here in achieving them.”

Those who have studied the third initiation carefully will recognize that Leibniz is dealing with precisely those themes which indicate its achievement. He was certainly passionately concerned with exactly those recognitions which distinguish a third degree initiate.


Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz once said “He who knows me by my published works alone does not know me at all.”(Qui me non nisi editis novit, non novit). In 1903 there were discovered 15,000 letters and unedited fragments of his work. Many of these still have neither been published or translated. The fact that we know as much about Leibniz as we do is the result of the work of one of his followers, Christian Wolfe (1679-1754) who reduced the diffusion of a portion of Leibniz’s work into more compact and readable form. Perhaps for this reason alone, Leibniz’s influence was able to reach a wider public and was able to have an important impact on the Enlightenment—particularly in Germany where it influenced a movement known as “German Illumination”.

Even what we have of Leibniz’s work is so extensive, rich and varied that few minds can assay to understand it in its completeness. Perhaps some understand his mathematics; others perhaps are more attuned to his metaphysics or his theology. It is a rare individual whose philosophical-mathematical-spiritual-scientific embrace is sufficient for full comprehension. Such an individual would perhaps have to be a genuine polymath as Leibniz was.

From the occult perspective, we can view Leibniz as a member of the third ray Ashram under the direction of the Mahachohan. His driving purpose was to explain the nature of reality and man’s place in the universe. Only an advanced soul can undertake such a quest with any hope of success, and it must be judged that Leibniz was relatively successful.

Should he be considered an initiate? Surely, it could be said that he was at least an initiate of the second degree. As perhaps the greatest thinker of the sixteenth  and early seventeenth centuries, he would have to be. Far lesser thinkers than he judge themselves to have passed the Baptism Initiation. Surely, the quality of Leibniz’s emotional life was sufficiently serene, his idealism sufficiently strong, and his aspiration sufficiently keen to indicate that he had (however unconsciously) passed the test of purification.

As well it may be said that he passed the tests of temptation, encountered according to the esoteric doctrine, midway between the second and third degrees.. He worked within a worldly setting, amongst royalty and nobility, but he seems to have keep his motives pure and lofty. He was not compromised to any significant extent by “the world, the flesh and the devil”. His eyes were fastened upon the elevation of thought and the betterment of humanity, and there they remained.

It seems that he was speeding fast (Sagittarius) towards the Mountain of Illumination, and surely experienced the quality of that illumination from time to time—the “light supernal”.  His alternative Capricorn Rising Signs (the East Point and the Anti-Vertex) would indicate this possibility as would the heliocentric Earth (the esoteric ruler of his Sagittarian Ascendant) in Capricorn. His revelatory “Philosophical Dream” shows his motivation beyond question, as a committed, one-pointed seeker of truth, regardless of the diversity of fields in which he sought. In Leibniz, genius served both God and a lofty morality befitting his strong Sagittarian and Jupiterian influence.

His legacy certainly includes the calculus—an invaluable mathematical tool, but even more a metaphysics in which the essential nature of the human being (the monadic nature) was established as immortal and inviolate, and the goodness of an infinite God was held before the eyes of humanity as a philosophical certainty. In many respects, Leibniz’s philosophy solved, to his satisfaction, the problems of the nature of Time and Space, reducing them to phenomenological illusions—certainly the task of an initiate consciousness. The noblest thought of the great metaphysician, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, was a highly intelligent affirmation of God, man and the universe.

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