the Key & 4th Fundamental

The Seven Ray Cycles

Occult Cosmology

Science of the Antahkarana & Ray Words of Power

Esoteric Astrology

Commentary on
Zodiacal Meditations

72 Faces of Man
Complete Text


The 72 Faces of Man
The Complete Sun Sign Guide
to the Path of Initiation

by Stephen D. Pugh




The Ordinary and Reversed Wheels

Practical Application

Formal Discussion
(table of contents continues)
Instructions to Each Decanate Stage


We are going to ponder upon three main approaches to the study of each one of the twelve Sun sign types and attempt to think with real clarity.

As you know, astrologers subdivide each one of the Sun signs into three equal ten-degree sections termed 'decanates' or 'decans'. These triplicities with their planetary rulers create a triangle of conditioning forces within each sign.

Under the Law of Analogy, the three decanates of a sign are to that sign what the three principle Aspects are to the individual human being.

Spirit, Soul and Body are the three Aspects of divinity within man and when the three-fold personality of man-with its physical, emotional and mental bodies-is fully developed, it is the outward reflection of the triple energy that constitutes the appearance of a human soul on Earth. This definition is important because a human being can be regarded as a personality in truth only when the body and the soul nature are at-one.

When the soul dominates the personality and pervades its three Aspects, then and only then, does the personality measure up to its true significance as the mask of the soul.

This indicates that the three decanates of a sign are to be viewed as three objective Aspects, stages or phases of one subjective Whole.

In other words, the combination of their triple forces within each Sun sign provides the appropriate conditions which correctly develop the three major Aspects of man such that they become true reflections of the three divine Aspects or energies in human manifestation.

Reflect on this.


Illustration courtesy of Lynda J. Vugler!


As an esoteric astrologer, my chief task in this book has been to describe the response of the individual soul to the zodiacal decanates of the twelve Sun signs.

My contribution to the subject has to do with the emphasis I have laid upon the dynamic nature of the integrating principle found within the human body and which although called by many names in various systems, I simply call 'the soul'.

I trust that this study of the human soul will appeal to the sincere reader of astrology as an illuminating and insightful work because it satisfies the yearning for further light and calls upon its general readers, uninitiated into the inner side of astrology, to approach the Way of Initiation.

I am well aware that in expounding upon the theme of the decanates I have, in my endeavor to shed new light on the Sun signs, temporarily increased the complexity of the subject. I am confident that time and observation will verify my preliminary postulates and the assignments of rulership that I ask you to accept now as working hypotheses, and will demonstrate the veracity of the astrological laws, rules and formulas which I have laid down as the foundation of this work.

As future research is undertaken and the forces and qualities of each Sun sign are studied in detail in connection with individual human beings, I remain confident that the instructions given here will find much corroboration and psychological usefulness.

In the interim it is my task to concentrate upon the clear enunciation and examination of the decanates of each sign of the zodiac and seek to tabulate, outline and indicate their rulers, along with their purpose, plan and program.

My readers are asked to constantly bear in mind that as this is an arcane text it consistently uses the language of the Ageless Wisdom tradition, but I have translated this language into modern astrological terms. As far as I can understand they are correct formulations and interpretations, but for you they should be regarded as significant hints as to the direction in which insight may be sought.

I ask you not to give blind adherence to this presentation. You are requested however, to maintain an open mind and seriously weigh and evaluate what appears here. I guarantee you though, held latent in my presentation is that instruction which can help lead you out of darkness into the light of knowledge, of experience, towards self-realization, and which will serve to put you in rapport with your soul.


NOTE: Every human being falls into the category of one or other of these successive stages, the six steps to the seventh or final step—rulership is not determined by your birth date, but the sun sign and its dual, triple expression: the 6 decanates of each zodiacal sign.

The Ordinary and Reversed Wheels

Throughout this work I refer to the fact that there are two ways for the human soul to travel around the Great Wheel of Life.

What I mean by this is that the decanates can be dealt with in two ways according to the direction in which the soul is traveling upon the Wheel and therefore (to speak in symbols) entering the Sun sign.

My readers are now invited to consider the effect of the passage of human souls around the zodiac both from the orthodox viewpoint, that is, traveling from east to west (right to left) following the apparent precession of the equinoxes backwards through the twelve signs of zodiac; and then from the perspective of the consciousness of the highly evolved individual, reorienting the direction traveled, moving now from west to east (left to right) and coming under the reverse order of decanate rulerships.

Ever keep in mind that the problem of the conscious human being is to live a dual life simultaneously, and this dual life consists of his apparent experiences and situations along with his inner awareness and consciousness of what is happening in reality.

The physical response apparatus of the personality always reacts to influences coming to it from the physical Sun based upon its apparent motion (causing the phenomena of the annual seasons and the cycles of day and night); but the motivated life activity and the subjective experience of the conscious inner man—in contrast—are conditioned by the energies coming to him based upon the Sun's true motion.

Both motions (the real and the unreal) are in potent opposition and cause great difficulty and the intensification of the life of conscious duality. The disciple is consequently the recipient of two cross-streams of force operating in contrary directions; hence the increased conflict, battle and struggle in his life and circumstances. These constitute the reason for the tests of initiation.

There definitely comes a life cycle wherein the man (again speaking in symbols) reverses himself upon the zodiacal Wheel and from progressing clockwise around the zodiac he now begins to move anticlockwise.

To be perfectly clear: it is the antagonistic motion of the Wheel turning upon itself that leads to the battleground of self-initiation.

Initiation, simply put, is essentially an expanding series of inclusive recognitions, and only the man whose sense of identity and sense of duality are beginning to expand can become initiate.

It is the process whereby the inner man within the outer personality becomes aware of himself as the soul, with soul powers, soul relationships and soul purpose. The moment a man realizes this even in a small manner, he becomes group conscious and aware of the greater Whole.

Every step upon the Path of Initiation increases group recognition and identification with the One Soul of humanity. This is accomplished through a series of difficult tests and progressive renunciations that involve the relinquishing of all separative personality reactions.

Our objective here is to primarily engage ourselves with the study of the purpose, plan and process of the decanates and the means whereby the consciousness Aspect of the human being is serially and sequentially unfolded and expanded, culminating in a definite series of subjective events that we term initiations.

When the initiatory rules—as delineated by the decanate rulers—are correctly followed, the sequence of events and the appearance of the desired results are inevitable and unavoidable. My intention and challenge is to present the process to you in such a manner that it will truly be helpful.

My principle concern shall be with the progress of an individualized human being and his reactions to zodiacal and planetary influences. I am most concerned with sentient reactions physical, emotional and mental to both the 'Great Illusion' and to 'Reality' as these two work out in an individual life, both objective and subjective.

Two-pronged, therefore, my commentary initially addresses the physical effects of the thirty-six decanates upon the ordinary or average person and then focuses on the processes and subjective psychological results of the self-applied tests of initiation which every human being undergoes after they reverse their direction upon the Great Wheel of Life.

At this latter stage it is the astrology of discipleship and the relation of the stars to the activities of the soul that we will regard as being of supreme importance; it is the astrology of initiation with which we will be most profoundly concerned, and what is written here will make clear to the awakening human being the way that they should go.


Practical Application

In attempting to explain this theme I intend to be very practical. One of the first things which should definitely clearly emerge in this study is the fact that it is possible—even for those who know very little of astrology—to be shown that it is the force of the Sun sign plus inherited karmic conditions, which create those environing states and circumstances which offer opportunity for growth, development and initiation.

It is important to recognize that the nature of the personality forces to be manipulated during a single lifetime are indicated to the soul by the month in which it is to be born. The significance of this statement will soon be apparent to you.

We begin each new life with personality vehicles of the same energetic quality with which we passed away, plus the gain of thought and conscious evolutionary experience. Because of this logical continuity in our life process, it will be obvious that the Sun sign directly points to the karmic nature of our immediately available personality equipment which is distinctively colored by the experiences of our past incarnations.

Accordingly, the comprehension of your life-path is best gained by a thorough study of the astrological indications of your birth month with its corresponding Sun sign. You will then have an accurate indication of your true place 'in the Sun' and in the general scheme of things, and much information concerning your soul purpose which governs your entire life, little as you may consciously know it.

My advice is to view your Sun sign as providing you with a summation of that which has been, and indicating the latent possibilities to be unfolded in this life, thus providing you with your proper karmic background information. In other words your Sun sign indicates your present major life problem, inherited tendencies, traits and the sum-total of the internecine personality forces that constitute your line of least resistance.

Your Sun sign reveals your active and recessive personality traits or features. A correct study of its indications will clarify your present state of personality integration, the present state of unfoldment of your soul qualities, your present available personality equipment and your immediately possible group relationships.

As progress is made in the understanding of the significance of your Sun sign, it will be possible for you to determine how to negate or abate certain of its forces where it is deemed desirable to control or direct your personal destiny, fate and reactions. When through its study, you can more truly gauge your opportunity, your capacities and your limitations, you will be in a position to more justly determine your vocation and true service, your assets and liabilities and your true strength and value. You will then have achieved the point of view necessary to gauge your particular life problem with sound judicious thought.

As the ages slip away the human being passes into and out of all of the signs, learning the needed lessons, broadening the personal horizon, working at personality integration, and is gradually fitted to respond to the soul. Constantly therefore, this great cycle of coming 'in' and going 'out' of incarnation goes on, demonstrating anew the essential synthesis underlying all human life.

I will give you much as to the details of the work of the soul and the process whereby it perfects itself under the influences of the decanates—far more than has ever been given before.

It is of the utmost value to point out that the subject of the decanates is a significant study because it sheds further light upon the role the planets play in relation to physiognomy, external life, physical environment, material circumstance and—even more importantly—subjective psychological development.

It stands to reason that the three decanates of each Sun sign should be separately diagnosed because only in this manner do the characteristic thoughts, feelings and actions of the cardinal sign type come to full light.

This is the case because it is the three decanates of a Sun sign which modify its expression in a triple manner; moreover, although these three major Aspects are separately represented they are joined together and cannot be divided from each other or from the overall process of the sign.

What is symbolized here are three propositions, or—by way of analogy—a sacred stool on three feet, each of them carrying their weight and each necessary to sit safely thereon. Nonetheless, whatever your decanate rulers, they never wholly outweigh the main type given to you by your Sun sign with its orthodox planetary ruler.

The constitution of our Sun is triple in nature. Our central Star is the supreme embodiment of the triple energies or fires which hypostatically animate our entire solar system.

The three Aspects of the Sun are known as the Physical Sun, the Heart of the Sun and the Central Spiritual Sun and correspond to the Spirit, Soul and Body of the great Solar Logos himself.

At the outset of this study it is well to be conscious that the human personality is likewise three-fold in nature. Its three major Aspects of body, emotions and mind constitute a single personality unit but are also distinctively separate in expression.

Utilizing the Law of Analogy, the Sun is viewed as the fundamental symbol of the soul, the orthodox planetary ruler of the Sun sign is the ruler of the entire personality as a unit, and the three decanates of the sign govern the three Aspects—mental, emotional and physical—of the personality.

My major consideration is that of the soul as a definite center of consciousness and of the mental, emotional and physical bodies as centers of experience. My reader is asked to accept the above statement as basic and fundamental because it takes its stand upon the self-evident truth in nature that the purpose of life on Earth for the human soul is the gaining of experience.

It is useful for students to observe the reaction of the incarnated soul and see its consequent enrichment through its response to the superimposition of the hierarchical forces of a Sun sign working out through its three decanate rulers. Using the three decanates in this manner allows for a more superbly crafted and truly detailed portrait of the principle physical, emotional and mental features of the main sign type.

It is thus possible in every case to work out with minute accuracy a complete examination of the positive and negative personality features, tendencies or traits, and this accuracy will be increased as we progress to a fuller understanding of the specific attributes of each decanate of the zodiac. I strongly suggest to you that one of the most valuable and practical parts of this study is its recognition of the peculiar gifts of each particular decanate.

It should be clear that an astrological examination of the three principle Aspects of any given person is an exact science, lending itself as it does to unquestionable personality display and physical exhibition. It is wise to know the determining Aspects of the personality, its physical reactions, emotional habits, and mental processes—normal and abnormal; or again, highly helpful to trace the true nature of the individual disposition and ascertain the real subjective causes of its varied reactions, complexes and inhibitions.

To put it simply, I have endeavored to shed light on the most vital and arresting problems associated with the science of astropsychology and astrophysiognomy. I have sought to make a fresh start to enable my readers to arrive at an accuracy of complete personality description that has until now been unknown.

This new teaching on the decanates will be proven as a result of an awakening intuition and the practical application of its rules. You are entering upon a course of study wherein the entire purpose will be to throw you back upon yourself and thus upon your soul which has only, in many cases, made its presence felt at infrequent intervals.

A great deal of research remains to be done on the decanates, but along the path of expanding astrological understanding the opportunity for that which is new has made its entrance. Whether you know it or not, I have successfully opened the door of adventure for you. The door now stands wide open and nothing can succeed in stopping you from passing through that door if your will is so aligned. Down the ages people have passed through its portal and have entered into new and richer realms of investigation, of discovery and of subsequent practical application.

In the meantime, behind that door your soul patiently and lovingly awaits you. It is your task to start considering the basic requirements that must be met so that you too can move forward along your life-path. Remember always, the best of which you are now capable is far short of your future capacities, so remain ready to ever change your point of view when a higher and a better way is presented to you.

Special Thanks to Barbara Mare' of WhiteStone Publishing, for her ever-exemplary editing work.





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