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copyright 1983-1999 by Adele E. Barger [Wilson]

updated August 24, 2003

Book by Adele Barger Wilson:


NOTE: This article has been slightly revised from its original 1983 version.

The following Soul's Purpose Formula technique has been slightly modified
from that first developed by Dr. Douglas Baker and taught to me by Judi Laws and
Lynn Koiner of the Amethyst group in Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s. This
Formula is based on the principle set forth on page 17 of Alice Bailey's Esoteric
Astrology that the ascendant of a horoscope is the key to "the spiritual goal and
purpose of the immediate incarnation and of the immediate succeeding
incarnations." The second two elements of the Formula are based on the
astrological principle of house cusp rulership. In constructing the Soul's Purpose
Formula, only the esoteric rulerships, as given in Esoteric Astrology, are used:

Sign Ruler Sign Ruler

Aries Mercury Libra Uranus
Taurus Vulcan Scorpio Mars
Gemini Venus Sagittarius Earth
Cancer Neptune Capricorn Saturn
Leo Sun Aquarius Jupiter
Virgo Moon Pisces Pluto

The Formula is to be used only on charts calculated for exact birth times. Solar or
noon charts are meaningless when working with soul-level astrology.
Among the modifications that I have introduced to the Soul's Purpose
Formula are the following: (1) Planets in the first house are considered as part of
the Formula; and (2) a planet up to eight degrees behind a house cusp is considered
conjunct that cusp and affecting its house rather than the house in which it is
technically found. Modification number (2) can be applied with flexibility due to
the inaccuracy of most birth times and the use of different house systems, and may
thus be overridden by intuitive judgement.
Planets conjunct any of the "soul's purpose rulers" are included in the
Formula and considered as important as the rulers themselves. The suggested orb
for these conjunctions is about four degrees, but this orb may be decreased or
increased depending upon intuitive judgement and possible complications due to
the involvement of a planetary stellium.
There are three elements to the Soul's Purpose Formula, each being separated
by a large dot, which can be translated as "ruled by." Instructions for determining
each of these three elements are as follows:

First Element

Rising sign and "asc," followed by any planet in the first house, along with
the sign of this planet and "1" in parentheses. Example:

Capricorn ascendant with Mars in Capricorn in the first house

Second Element

Esoteric ruler of the rising sign, the sign of this esoteric ruler, and the house
of this esoteric ruler, followed by any planet(s) within orb of conjunction of this
esoteric ruler, preceded by the symbol for "conjunct", enclosed in parentheses. If
the sign on the cusp of this house is different from that of this second element
esoteric ruler, place the cuspal sign within a large "C". Example:

Saturn conjunct Mercury in Virgo in the seventh house with Cancer on its
Third Element

Esoteric ruler of the sign on the cusp of the house containing the rising sign
ruler. This will be either the esoteric ruler of the sign within the "C" or, in absence
of the "C", the esoteric ruler of the sign in which the ascendant ruler is found. As
with the second element, any planets conjunct this third element ruler should then
be placed in parentheses, preceded by the symbol for "conjunct," as explained
previously. Also as with the second element, if the sign on the cusp of this house
differs from that of the third element ruler, place it within a "C". Example:

Neptune in Pisces in the second house

For further clarity, these first-, second-, and third-element examples are
repeated in the following illustration:
*Time adjusted for Time Zone 5 from original LMT of 3:58 p.m.
(birth data from Profiles of Women by Lois M. Rodden)

Grandma Moses' Soul's Purpose Formula:

Capricorn ascendant with Mars in Capricorn in the first house, ruled by

Saturn conjunct Mercury in Virgo in the seventh house with Cancer on its
ruled by Neptune in Pisces in the second house

The Soul's Purpose Formula is intended only as a guideline, or skeleton, for

attempting to discern the soul-level purpose in a given incarnation. Its symbols
should be interpreted in the context of the totality of the birth chart and within the
realm of the intuitive perception of the astrologer. In the future, when the
psychology of the Seven Rays becomes blended with the art/science of astrology,
the interpretation of the Soul's Purpose Formula will also be qualified by the soul
(and Monadic?) Rays of the native of the horoscope.
The Soul's Purpose Formula, consisting of astrological glyphs, represents an
abstraction of energies characteristic of the planes/dimensions which transcend
normal human consciousness. Because words tend to limit, or even distort, the
abstract ideas which they attempt to convey, one verbal expression of a Formula is
at best only a partial picture of the soul's purpose of the native. For a more
wholistic perspective, it is recommended that at least two, and preferably three,
verbalizations of the astrological formula be rendered. The combination of these
two, three, or more interpretations will hopefully give a type of gestalt of the
astrologer's viewpoint of the native's soul purpose.
This astrological formula for describing a soul's purpose is (as is all of
astrology) a fusion of language and art. Differing from a mathematical formula in
which there is a concrete, one-to-one correspondence between the symbols and
what they signify, the Soul's Purpose Formula consists of symbols deriving from
the plane of Buddhi, or intuition, where verbal concepts are left behind in favor of
more refined, pervasive energies. The interpretation of the Soul's Purpose
Formula, then, perhaps represents astrology at its finest: a bold attempt to bridge
Buddhi with intellect by stepping down archetypal energies into verbal form.

For an example of the use and interpretation of the Soul's Purpose Formula, please see
How the Soul of William Blake Spoke through his Art.

Introduction to Esoteric Astrology

The Souls Purpose Triangle this represents what the Soul wants to accomplish in its
expression on the earth. The Triangle is determined by the Ascendant; the Esoteric Ruler of
the Ascendant; the Esoteric Ruler of the Sign on the House Cusp of that Ruler;

My theory is that the Ascendant and its esoteric ruler represents the core of the Souls
purpose and the esoteric ruler of its House placement is something that satisfies the
personality in working with the Soul.

Many of us are part of a major Soul Grouping. That Group usually has a grand plan, a gestalt,
with which it seeks to express itself. I use the following triangle to represent this

Betelgeuse (27 Gemini) Jupiter Uranus these positions represent both Heart Centered
and Group Consciousness

The House positions of Betelgeuse, Jupiter and Uranus indicate the Heart Centered activities
in which your Soul Group is working.
Water signs in the Water Houses often indicate that the individual is part of a Soul Group that
seeks to serve through the Transmutation of Energies. In the past, members of this Group
might have been burned at the stake for such miracles and they have learned that it is best
to modulate their energies in doing this work. They often manifest as Healers and Scientists


ARIES Mercury

TAURUS Vulcan (3 degrees from Mercury in direction of Sun)


CANCER Neptune



LIBRA Uranus


SAGITTARIUS Earth (180 degrees from the Sun)