The Claregate Method – Early Years
I had the great good fortune of being literally immersed into the Claregate Method of Astrology! This was in 1978 during Claregate College’s 3-week-long summer school session. At that time, I was part of the group living and working at the College. Each morning throughout those three weeks, while eating breakfast with the student body, Dr Baker conducted astrology classes introducing an entirely new method of analysis and interpretation, soon to become known as the Claregate Method. During the previous day and night, Dr Baker would posit aspects in his Spiritual (Soul) Diary from a selected horoscope, which he called ‘propositioning an aspect’, and record the feedback he got during meditative states, while dreaming, and in synchronistic events in full waking consciousness. In addition, he researched the major events or life situations of the individual whose chart he was propositioning. This was in the days before the internet, and he used an in-house set of encyclopedias and sent members of the group off to the local libraries scouring the shelves for relevant biographies and historical data!
Dr Baker would begin the class by calling out the aspect he’d worked on, which I’d write down at the top of a large pad of paper affixed to the front wall so we could all see it. Then he’d deliver the first of several ‘permutations’ of the aspect–phrases or sentences describing the dreams, images, vrittis, research items and synchronicities he’d received from this aspect during the previous 24 hours. Line by line, he’d go through each word in the permutation and assign its corresponding astrological symbol from the aspect, which I’d write above the word in a red marker so they’d stand out. This, he told us, is called ‘parsing’, and it proved the validity of the method because it was scientific, accurately matching up words with their corresponding astrological symbols, and not simply fabricated or manipulated to fit.
To say this was a new approach would be a colossal understatement! Many of the permutations seemed nonsensical, but DB kept reminding us not to worry about what it all meant, the meaning would come in time, and what was important in the beginning was to equip ourselves with a vocabulary and technique that would be useful for communicating with the abstract spiritual realm of our Soul. It worked–with each class the method became easier to use and understand. It led me–and continues to lead me–from lower-manas intellect to higher Manas abstract thought more quickly and profoundly than any other discipline, and I use it in some form or another every day of my life.
To get an idea of what those first classes were like, some of the horoscopes Dr Baker used, complete with the aspects and parsed permutations, have been reproduced in Volume Three of his Esoteric Astrology series.