Alice A. Bailey (1880 - 1949), born in England was a writer and lecturer on Neo-Theosophy. She lived in America since the year 1907. She was a prolific author on mysticism and founded an international esoteric movement. She has authored many a book on subjects concerning with spirituality, esoteric astrology and esoteric healing. The emergence of Esoteric astrology is based on Alice's soul-oriented wisdom teachings. Esoteric astrologers typically base their work on Bailey's five-volume series, Treatise on the Seven Rays. The third book in the series, Her book "Esoteric Astrology" is considered to be the foundation for this system, "Treatise on the Seven Rays" is the one that contains the basics of the subject.
Esoteric astrology is a branch of Astrology. While Mundane (or classical) astrology focuses on the personality (individual identity), Esoteric Astrology is concerned with the spiritual evolution of a person or groups of persons.Esoteric astrology focuses on the soul, or one's higher purpose. Development of the Soul component in the human being is the main focus of Esoteric astrology. Letting a deeper energy influence one's consciousness leads to transform him into a 'Soul Infused' human who would consider life as soul oriented and would give not credence to the influence of the collective unawareness. Even though Esoteric astrology works for the enlightenment of the spiritual quality in a person, the practice of esoteric astrology still takes a cue only from the Sun, Moon and Ascendant to determine the basic principles and the chart comes in handy in the same way as it does for exoteric astrology.
The soul qualities of a person are studied and by virtue of the happenings due to the transits, the concepts to do with Soul's purpose and development are evaluated. For this purposes, the Sun is considered as the personality that the soul needs to be developed into; The Moon represents the inherent emotional state that a human is born with and the Ascendant, the goals inherent in the Soul's purpose. Other specific aspects of the soul infusion are dealt with by other planets.
However planetary rulerships in esoteric astrology differ from that of conventional astrology. Instead of the house system, a system of crosses with highly individualized meanings and multiple levels of interpretation has been introduced.
The esoteric astrology employs a system of symbolic representation of pictogram and hieroglyphic with most of the mundane images to portray the complex inner realities. It believes nothing exists without being linked to images or concepts which lead, ultimately, to the divine. Mainly it traces an aspect from the horoscope to find out its divine origins. Aspect in esoteric astrology is not the angular relationship between the planets, but is a group of symbols combining the planets, signs, and houses. By exploring the aspect the personality could be led in a relevant and meaningful direction, according to the Soul's Purpose.
Esoteric astrology incorporates many layers of study, dovetailing into other levels of astrology and the Seven Rays.(the fundamental divine energies behind life in the universe). The seven Rishis represented by the seven stars of the Great Bear are the originating sources of the seven rays of our solar system. The Rishis express themselves through the seven planets. The planets are considered as their representatives. Each of these seven rays, coming from the Great Bear, are transmitted into our solar system through the medium of three constellations and their ruling planets.
The Seven Rays is one among the "septenaries (groups of seven such as 7 solar systems, 7 sacred planets, 7 colours, 7 endocrine glands etc.)", on the basis of which occultism has been built. As in the case of astrological practice Rays are ruled by the Planets, and hence the interface between Rays, planets & zodiac signs. It is believed that each individual human soul is an essential part of one of the Seven Rays, and by successive births the qualities of that soul are developed and refined, to advance the evolution of Humanity.
The important tables of 7 Rays that depict the relationship of human life to the septenary are given below:
1. Planets, Colours, Chakras & Jewels of the Seven Rays
2. Virtues and Vices of the Seven Rays Glamour's of the Seven Rays
3. Dual Expression of the Seven Rays
4. Seven Rays Miscellany
5. Vocations of the Seven Rays
6. The Seven Rays in Nations and Cities
7. The Seven Rays in Literature, Music and Art and
8. The Seven Rays of Historical Figures
Alice Bailey herself has drawn a distinction between the exoteric and esoteric astrology in her book Esoteric a Astrology: "The human being in his eventual recognized group relationships is of more importance than appears in his individual life, which the orthodox horoscope seeks to elucidate. It only determines his little destiny and unimportant fate. Esoteric astrology indicates his group usefulness and the scope of his potential consciousness".