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Charles Gilchrist Mandalas: Gallery 12:

Esoteric Astrology

1-2-3-4-12: Fine Art Print by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

A beautiful print on Fine Art paper is now available of this popular Gilchrist Mandala. Charles personally creates and signs these prints as Artist's Proofs. The heavy paper is 13 inches by apox. 16 inches. The price is $59.95, plus $14.00 insurance, shipping, and handling anywhere in the continental USA..

The low wholesale price is:
One print - only $59.95 - plus $14.00 I/S/H
This print is shipped flat
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Esoteric Astrology
An Interview with the Artist - Number 12
by Leslie Page - 2002

Dedicated To Pamela Gilchrist

L.P. Well Charles, here we are again and the tape is running. I want to talk to you about astrology but it must be a sensitive subject. I know your wife Pamela was a professional astrologer and....

C.G. No, it's all right, Leslie. I can handle it. She passed away on the seventh of April, 2000, and that was several years ago. I have recovered sufficiently. In fact I would love to talk about astrology. She was such an inspiration
(Fig. 1).

Fig 1.

Pamela Ann Petro Dickens Gilchrist (1953 - 2000)

Resistance To Astrology

L.P. Had you studied astrology before you met Pamela?

C.G. No I hadn't. Of course I knew a little bit because I was already very involved with Sacred Geometry and numerology but I had purposely evaded the astrological discipline for years. Of course, I knew I was a Gemini Sun; but that was about all. I had managed to avoid a study of the subject for over twenty years.

L.P. Really? That surprises me. How did that happens — I mean why? I would have thought the subject would have been a natural for you.

C. G. I didn't study Astrology because my Guru told me not to.

L.P. I don't understand — explain.

C.G. My greatest teacher and Guru came into my life in 1970. I was thirty years old and suddenly filled with the desire to understand everything.

L.P. Everything? Do you mean literally?

C.G. It was as if I had awakened from a foggy dream to discovered a totally new and spiritually intimate universe. Suddenly I was filled with a childlike enthusiasm to really learn. And there he was: someone who seemed to know ALL. It seemed miraculous, and shortly after we discovered one another he told me he had a very specific plan for my esoteric education which I was to follow explicitly. He was teaching me a method of study and convinced me his sequence of learning was imperative. Astrology was not part of that early teaching. I never thought of resisting him because he was my Guru and I trusted him completely. Years later, he told me I would eventually study Astrology and said I would know the appropriate moment. He was exactly right — as ever.

Meeting Pamela

L.P. That's fascinating. So evidently the time was right and you met Pamela.

C.G. "Yes, It was amazing — another miracle. By that time I had been studying Sacred Geometry for years and could clearly see its esoteric relationship to Astrology. I realized it was time to begin a dialog with a professional astrologer and a mutual friend introduced us. For me it was love at first sight — powerful chemistry. I found we were both doing essentially the same thing: meditating on Sacred Geometry. I was creating Mandalas and she was creating astrological charts for her clients — a different form of Mandala making.

One of the most profound aspects of Pamela's work was that she did not use a computer to create her charts. She did them all by hand. The time and focus it took to do that encouraged her to slip into very deep levels of open-eyed Meditation. That intense discipline was one of the things that made her so extraordinary, allowing her oracular talents to flower. I could relate. I was doing the same thing: spending hours and hours in deep meditation with the archetypes of geometry. We were made for one another— understood one another. We taught each other all kinds of things. But here we are, getting side tracked again. Let's talk about the esoteric nature of astrology."

How Does Astrology Work?

L.P. "Yes, good. I have a question, Charles. How dose it actually work? I mean modern science has no explanation. In fact, most scientists believe Astrology has no validity what so ever. But after all these thousands of years, astrology is more popular than ever. How does it work?"

C.G. "As ever Leslie, a great first question. Pamela was truly gifted. She totally blew my mind on a regular basis. Through her studies, experience, and her very deep astrological meditations, Pamela was able to see deep into the heart of her clients issues and energies. She gave wise and sensitive council. She also regularly made very accurate predictions which seemed magical and consistently stunned many of her clients. Pamela would brush her mysterious oracular powers aside, saying:

' I just read the maps — the rhythms and patterns. I see where the person was, and is, and where they're going — that's all. Anyone can do it.'

In her mind, this geometric language, she could so clearly read, was obvious; and she believed anyone, who really wanted to, could do the same thing."

L.P. "What do you think Charles, is it that easy? I mean, could anyone do it?"

C.G. "Yes and no. Astrology is an oracular system designed to turn us inward so that we my come to a clearer understanding of our truest nature and therefore the nature of humanity itself, and even how we all fit into this universe. You could say that astrology is a workable system of psychology, facilitating self understanding and mental well-being. That is the function of Astrology. But to be most effective, Astrology needs gifted practitioners like Pamela, teaching and guiding. That's what Pamela did day to day. She helped people through their dreams and troubles, giving them enlightened and wise council. She was dedicated to the relief of suffering and the expansion of human consciousness; a great teacher by example. Many of her clients, who were originally and primarily interested in their love life, became serious astrological and metaphysical students, suddenly walking the path of self discovery.

Astrology: A Metaphysical System Based On Sacred Geometry

But that is a natural process because Astrology is also a deeply esoteric metaphysical system which presses to the root nature of the universe; a philosophical system based on Sacred Geometry as the time/space map of universal rhythms. The perfections of Sacred Geometry are the transcendental doorways Pamela used in her quest for truth. Sacred Geometry is at the very heart of all astrological thinking and that is why it is so powerful."

L.P. "Of course I suspected that's where you where going, Charles; to make the connection to your personal specialty. Show me the relationship between the metaphysical system of Astrology and Sacred Geometry."

C.G. "It goes right to the first archetypes, Leslie. The astrological system springs directly from The Two Circles Of Common Radius and The Vesica Piscis
(Fig. 2)."

Fig 2

The Two Circles Of Common Radius
and The Vesica Piscis (Black Shape)

These same geometric archetypes are at the heart of our human concepts of measuring time. Our twelve hour clock is actually rooted in the astrological chart: the map of time in twelve houses. The circular chart with twelve house is a simple graphic form which can be created with a simple compass and straightedge. It naturally creates itself — automatically, and evolves from The Two Circles Of Common Radius and The Vesica Piscis. (Fig. 3)"

Fig. 3

The Graphic Roots Of The Astrological System

L.P. "It see what you are saying, Charles. In ancient times, way before the printing press, anyone would have been able to create a clock like division of the circle with only those simple tools: a compass and straightedge. That is extremely interesting, a great example of natural evolution — just simple logic.

C.G. "Simple is good, Leslie. Even a small child playing with a little divided twig (used as a compass) could create the first icons of Sacred Geometry in the soft earth. The perfections of Sacred Geometry are so simple and pure."

The Astrology Mandala

L.P." Lets talk about your large Mandala on Astrology, entitled 1-2-3-4-12 (Fig 4). Explain the numbers, Please? Knowing you, there must be some significance."

Fig. 4

1-2-3-4-12: Acrylic Mandala by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

C.G. "Simple, really. Astrology divides The Circle into various parts, one part, two parts, three parts, four parts and twelve parts: 1-2-3-4-12. I left out some of the sub divisions, but you get the idea."

L.P. "I think I see. Talk more about these parts. Tell me about this Mandala."

C.G. "You tell me, Leslie. What do YOU see?"

L.P. "OK, we can do it that way. Let me see: it's an acrylic Mandala on canvas, of course, and it seems to be relatively classical in the sense that it makes reference to the four traditional doorways at the four cardinal points. It's about three foot square and there is various overlapping geometry inside; squares and triangles and circles. Of course there are the twelve signs of the zodiac. The radiating aspect is also very strong. Those waving lines at the outside are very energetic
(Fig. 5)."

Fig. 5

1-2-3-4-12 (Degrees Detail) by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

C.G. "Yes, there are 360 of those vibrating lines, Leslie, each representing one degree. Astrology also divides the circle into 360 parts, one of the divisions I left out of the title."

L.P. "I see that, Charles — very precise. Let's talk about the various parts. What about the twelve parts, or houses as I believe the astrologers call them."

C.G. "The first two outside circles represent the astrological chart with the twelve houses. The horizontal line in the middle represents Earth's horizon extended into space with the first house (Aries) in its traditional place on the left and just below the horizon. Our planet Earth is in the center with daylight above and darkness below
(Fig. 4)."

Fig. 4

1-2-3-4-12 (Horizon) by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

L.P. "Let me interrupt a little Charles. Skeptics have always criticized Astrology because it places the Earth at the center of the universe. Comment on that point of contention, if you will."

C.G. "In the astrological sense, the Earth IS the center of the universe, as it relates to the mapping of the movements of the stars. If we lived on the Moon, and were mapping the heavenly bodies, the Moon would then become the center of the universe and the Earth would be that large multi colored world hanging in the black sky. And what a strange astrology that would be. If we lived on the so called dark side of the moon, we would never even see the Earth."

L.P. "So, you are saying this old criticism of Astrology somehow misses the point?"

C.G. "Exactly! Some people just will not even try to get it. It's not rocket science. If we lived on Phoebe (the first moon of Saturn) we would still be at the astrological center of the universe and the mapping of the heavenly bodies would be a very bazaar astrology indeed, that huge sphere with its fantastic rings dominating, the sun but a bright dot of light in a black sky and many times completely obscured buy mother Saturn."

L.P. "All right, let's get back to the astrological chart and its Twelve houses with our Earth as the center of the universe."

The Twelve Houses

C.G. "Each of the twelve houses is 30 degrees wide and, on our world, represents about two hours, plus or minus. It takes one day (24 hours) for our Earth to rotate through this map of time; and we human beings rotate with it. As pre-birth water creatures, it takes about 270 of these revolutions for us to fully develop in our mothers womb. The moment we draw our first breath we cease to be aquatic beings and are literally on our own as separate individual air breathing organisms. At that moment of first breath, and at that particular place on earth we are born, all the heavenly bodies occupy a very precise position in the astrological chart; and our personal map of life's rhythms begin. The astrological chart associated with our personal moment of birth is called our natal chart, and this is the first tool of the astrologer."

Three Squares

L.P. "All right, let's continue. What about the next circle of your Mandala. It contains three overlapping squares all touching the outer circle and marking the division of the twelve houses. Each is a different color: Yellow, Red, and Blue. What's that all about?

C.G. "The Metaphysical system of Astrology divides the universe into three major parts and contemplates these parts as a great mystery. All philosophical systems do the same and assign various theories to this natural Trinity — this Threeness. Of course the Christian tradition calls this cosmic Trinity: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost; but there are numerous points of view. For the Hindu vision of the Great Trinity, we could look to the wondrous caves of Elephanta, India, which holds a colossal bust with three faces; Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, The Preserver; and Siva the Destroyer. The three manifestations of the Ultimate Reality. Astrology defines the Trinity as: the Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable aspects, or the Spiritual, Material and Mental aspects respectively.

Three Squares fit perfectly within the twelve houses
(Fig. 4). The yellow square in this Mandala points to the Cardinal signs: the first house (Aries) the fourth house (Cancer) The seventh house (Libra) and the tenth house (Capricorn). The red square points to the Fixed, or material signs of the zodiac: the second house (Taurus) the fifth house (Leo) the eighth house (Scorpio) and the eleventh house (Aquarius). And the Blue square (the mutable or mental aspect) points to the third house (Gemini) the sixth house (Virgo) the ninth house (Sagittarius) and the twelfth house (Pieces)."

L.P. "I'm beginning To see, Charles. What about the triangles in the next Circle?"

Fig. 4

1-2-3-4-12 (Trines and Squares) by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

Four Triangles

C.G. "Esoteric astrology also sees the cosmos divided into four parts — Fourness, also known as the Four Elements. The ancient words defining the elements are: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, and four triangles fit perfectly into the twelve houses. The fire signs of the zodiac, in this case represented by the orange triangle, are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. The Earth signs are: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; the brown triangle. The Air signs are: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius; the sky blue triangle. And the Water signs are: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pieces; represented by the Aqua colored triangle."

L.P. "Interesting, Charles. I see what you are doing with the three squares and four triangles; but I could never quite figure out this elemental idea of Fire, Earth, Air, and, Water. It seems too simple, almost naive. Can you explain it in a more scientifically appropriate way? Is that possible?"

The Four Elements

C.G. "Of course. Leslie. No metaphysical system is valid unless its material aspects can comfortably interrelate with scientific realities. The ancient sages contemplated the Fourness of the universe and came to this scientifically valid conclusions: All manifestations of the universe must, by principle, be composed from at least one of these four elemental qualities: Fire, Earth, Air, or Water. The astrological word Fire, does not just mean the fire we see when a log burns. Elemental Fire really means all radiant energy, the entire spectrum of radiant energy. From this point of view, even radio waves would be considered Elemental Fire. Earth, means all solid forms; the quality of solidity. In this sense, Ice (frozen water) is no longer liquid and is therefore Elemental Earth. The Elemental Air, is not just hydrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide, etc., but all things gaseous or vaporous. Elemental Water is actually describing the universal quality of liquidity, all forms of liquidity. From this elemental point of view, the extremely cold liquid hydrogen would be considered Elemental Water, and very hot liquid gold would also be considered Elemental Water."

This system also points to the possibility, and indeed the probability, that a given thing will change its elemental nature from one form to another. A solid log on fire (Earth) is being transmuted into radiant energy (Elemental Fire) and various gasses (Elemental Air) and of course carbon ash (another form of Elemental Earth). A pool of Water (Elemental Water) changes its elemental nature becoming (Elemental Earth) or (Elemental Air) as it freezes or evaporates."

L.P. "Excellent, Charles. After all these years of confusion I finally understand that ancient concept of the Four Elements. I find it amazing that these ancient minds could have truly grasp these unchanging and very esoteric realities, especially without any scientific technology. It boggles my mind."

C.G. "Yes, they were truly brilliant — at least!"


L.P. "So far we have touched on the twelve parts, four parts, and three parts. What about the two parts?"

C.G. "Yes, Duality. Twoness! This archetypal quality of the universe is one of the great mysteries and the contemplation of duality occupies the minds of all philosophers. The perennial conclusion acknowledges an omnipresent and omnipotent duel force at the heart of all manifestation. In the East, this dual force is called Yin and Yang. The Hermetic philosophers call this duality Gender Energy, and in the Astrological system this polar force is called The Projective and The Receptive. This energy pulses around the astrological chart with six Projective signs and six Receptive signs. The Projective signs of the Zodiac are: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. The Receptive Signs are: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pieces. "

L.P. "Charles, I've also heard this duel force called The Masculine and The Feminine. Is this the energy behind the so called 'battle of the sexes?"

C.G. "Yes, of course. Everyone knows the dynamics of that relationship. Man and Woman is our ultimate lesson in duality; the Projective and the Receptive; Attraction and Repulsion. The popular contemporary concept of the so called Left and Right brains, is also defining this arcane duality. It literally makes the galaxies spin. Gender Energy is the omnipresent and omnipotent force at the heart of ALL. Maintaining relative balance within this dynamic is the ultimate goal."


L.P. "Yes, balance. I see the famous Yin/Yang at the center of your Mandala. Let's talk about the Center of this Mandala (Fig. 5)."

Fig. 5

1-2-3-4-12 (Center Detail) by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

C.G. "The center of this Mandala makes reference to the major divisional qualities of the Astrological system. At the precise center we find the Bindu, or single point. This is the symbol of unity, the ultimate expression of the holistic. The Bindu is The First archetype of Sacred Geometry, from which all form evolves. The circle which encloses the twelve houses is also an expression of unity or wholeness — Oneness. But our universe is created through the division of that unity and necessarily, all individual expressions of universal Oneness are based in duality; hence the Yin/Yang; The Projective and The Receptive — Unity into Duality.


Next comes The Trinity (The Equilateral Triangle: the Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable); and then The Square, representing Elemental Fourness (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water). At this point, the mandala begins to divide into its more subtle parts: first 12 and then 72. Those lines radiating from the edge of the dynamic square, represent five degrees each (72 parts). And of course, the Mandala eventually divides into 360 parts."


L. P. "This painting is really quit simple, Charles, when you take some time with it. But I'm still curious. I see another division of our circle we haven't talked about. What about those strange little shapes of bright color — the yellow, red and blue forms between the three squares and the four triangles (Fig. 6)"

Fig. 6

1-2-3-4-12 (Decants Detail) by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

C.G. "This is a fairly esoteric aspect of Astrology, Leslie, which I know Pamela contemplated in her meditations. Each of the 12 houses or signs in the Zodiac represents a 30 degree section of the heavens, and each of those houses are divided into 3 parts: 10 degrees each. These sections are called The Decants (36 parts of the circle) and they are associated with the Astrological trinity: the Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable. Each of the 36 decants are associated with one of those three qualities. It's kind of a sub rhythm of trinity within the larger rhythm of that same archetypal trinity. The 12 yellow decants are Cardinal (Spiritual); the 12 red decants are Fixed (Physical/Material); and the 12 blue decants are Mutable (Mental). This rhythm is very interesting to me. I'm still thinking about it; but Pamela understood the decants completely."

L.P. "What do you mean, Charles? What did Pamela do with these decants? How did she use them? What was her thinking?"

C.G. "When Pamela would construct an astrological chart she would look carefully and meditatively at the various geometric aspects; all of the relative positions of the planets as they relate to the Zodiac and to one another. As her meditation deepened she would begin to feel patterns and weights within these geometric relationships. As the larger patterns emerged she would begin to see the more subtle patterns like the decant patters. For instance; If a human's sun sign falls at say, 7 degrees Gemini, that Mutable or mental energy is magnified because the entire house of Gemini holds mental energy, as does the first decant of Gemini. But if the natal Sun would rest at 17 degrees Gemini, that would put it in the second decant of Gemini which is Cardinal, a spiritual energy decant. The sign of Gemini marks strong mental influences but this 17 degree Gemini would feel an additional spiritual influence. Pamela would process hundreds of details like this in her meditative mind and would somehow find a relatively accurate picture of anyone. Like I said, Pamela was tremendously gifted and . . . she had developed those talents."


L.P. "Another question just popped into my mind, Charles. What about this idea that the planets run backwards, planets in retrograde I think is the term? That one makes no sense to me."

C.G. "Of course not, Leslie. Planets can't suddenly stop and begin moving in the opposite direction, that's ridiculous. But that is what they occasionally appear do within the astrological map. For instance: As you know, the planet Mercury is our Sun's closest neighbor. Mercury is relatively close to the Sun (about 58 million kilometers) and orbits the Sun about three times faster than the Earth (every 88 days). In the astrological chart, Mercury is never very far from the Sun. When you see the Sun, Mercury can never be farther than 28 degrees away. Mercury moves with the rest of the planets as it crosses the Sun on the back side, but as it continues to revolve around the Sun, it appears to move backward as it swings around and moves in front of the Sun; backing up in the astrological map. That's Mercury in retrograde. As it reaches the lower part of its orbit and once more begins its swing behind the Sun, it appears to change direction again. This natural cycle repeats about three times per year."

L.P. "I get it Charles. Again, totally understandable when you really look at it. I have no idea what was blocking me on that one. I am sure we could go on and on but we need to bring this interview to an end. What do you think, Charles? What's the major point? Can you sum it up for me?"


C.G. "We could talk all night about Astrology, but this is a good place to rest. What is the main point? I suppose it is that Astrology remains a completely legitimate metaphysical system directly connected to the oracular powers of Sacred Geometry."

L.P. "What about the obvious hostility exhibited by the majority of the scientific community?"

C.G. "Personally, I see no conflict between astrology and modern science. Astrology works — a fact which, for many years, was proven to me on a daily basis by my very gifted wife. It (astrology) remains a vital system of self discovery. Pamela's life of growth and service was a testament to that reality. At the same time I must respect the official scientific resistance to Astrology because this metaphysical system is obviously mapping occult forces which science can not (at this time) measure. Of course that does not mean the currently unmeasurable ethereal realm of super fine vibrations is not a reality."

L.P. "I know you are using the word occult in the classical sense, but please help my scientific mind grasp the possibility of these mysterious unmeasurable forces."

C.G. "This is still a very mysterious universe, Leslie. We think of a loved one thousands of miles away or maybe just across the street — and they call. Or we dream of someone and they show up — and on and on. This kind of simple paranormal phenomena happens to millions of people all over the world and always has. My personal experience has proven beyond all doubt that we human beings are connected to one another on very mysterious levels indeed, those connections involving energies far beyond current scientific understanding. Apply this paranormal reality to astrology. The massive Sun, Planets, Moons, Asteroids, and Comets which make up our solar system are not just (as scientists would have us believe) dead balls and chunks of relatively heavy stuff. Gravity is not the only force involved."

"An astrologer/metaphysician sees the heavenly bodies as dense knots of God consciousness, alive with the vibrational potency of divine spirit. The human body and mind is the most subtly perceptive recording instrument known and we humans have been studying the heavens for multiple thousands of years. Our Earth, and all the beings on it, are forever connected to and effected by our huge neighbors. These gigantic balls of God Consciousness move us on levels which can be mentally sensed and physically felt by ordinary human beings. Astrology, this ongoing gathering of cosmic information relating to the rhythmic motions and forces of the heavenly bodies, was developed around and within the prefect principles of Sacred Geometry and will remain a priceless tool in the ongoing expansion of human consciousness."

Authors Note
Leslie Page - December, 2004

Since this interview was created, we have discovered this Gilchrist Mandala (1-2-3-4-12) was originally created as a wedding gift to his wife Pamela. It hung in her office for the rest of her life.

1-2-3-4-12: Fine Art Print by Charles Gilchrist © 1995

(Fig. 7) A beautiful print on fine watercolor paper is now available of this popular Gilchrist Mandala on Astrology. Charles personally creates and signs these prints as Artist's Proofs. The heavy paper is 13 inches by apox. 16 inches. The price is $59.95, plus $14.00 insurance, shipping, and handling anywhere in the continental USA..

The low wholesale price is:
One print - only $59.95 - plus $14.00 I/S/H
This print is shipped flat
See (Order Form)


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