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Dane Rudhyar (March 23, 1895, in Paris – September 13, 1985, in San Francisco), born Daniel Chennevière, was an author, modernist composer and humanistic astrologer. He was the pioneer of modern transpersonal astrology.
Dane Rudhyar was born in Paris on March 23, 1895. At the age of 12, a severe illness and surgery disabled him, and he turned to music and intellectual development to compensate for his lack of physical agility. He studied at the Sorbonne, University of Paris (graduating at the age of 16), and at the Paris Conservatoire. His early ventures into philosophy and his association with the artistic community in Paris led to his conviction that all existence is cyclical in character. Influenced by Nietzsche as a youth, Rudhyar visioned himself as a "seed man" of new age cultural evolution.
In November 1916, Rudhyar's music brought him to New York City, where his orchestral arrangements and original compositions were performed on April 4, 1917 at a performance of Métachorie by the New York Metropolitan Opera. This was one of the first polytonal pieces of music performed in the United States. He also met Sasaki Roshi, one of the early Japanese Zen teachers in America, who led him in the study of Oriental philosophy and occultism. During this period from 1917 to 1919, spent partly in New York City, partly in Canada, and partly in Philadelphia he adopted the name "Rudhyar" a cognate of several attractive Sanskrit words including the name of the god Rudra. His interest was further stimulated by his association with Theosophy, which began when he was asked to compose music for a production at the society's headquarters in Los Angeles in 1920. Rudhyar became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1926. He stayed in California (often commuting to New York) through the 1920s and in 1930 married Marla Contento, secretary to independent Theosophist Will Levington Comfort. Comfort introduced Rudhyar to Marc Edmund Jones, who in turn introduced him to astrology. Rudhyar received mimeographed lessons on astrology from Jones.
Rudhyar learned astrology during a period when he was also studying the psychological writings of Carl G. Jung, and he began to think in terms of bringing astrology and Jungian psychology together. Rudyar also cites Jan Smut's book Holism and Evolution as an influence. The marriage between astrology and depth-psychology overcame some basic problems, including astrology's deterministic approach to life and the trouble of designating an agreeable agent to produce the astrological effects. Rudhyar postulated that the stars did not cause the effects seen in human life but were pictures synchronistically aligned to human beings. They detailed psychological forces working in individuals, but did not override human freedom in responding to those forces, he said. At first he called his new interpretation "harmonic astrology" and as the ideas matured renamed it "humanistic astrology," the subject of his monumental volume, The Astrology of Personality, published in 1936. A friend, Theosophist Alice A. Bailey (the person who invented the term New Age), encouraged the development of his thought and published his book on her press, Lucis Publishing. His initial writings were regular articles in Paul Clancy's magazine American Astrology and Grant Lewi's Horoscope Magazine.
Over the next two decades Rudhyar continued to write and lecture on astrology, but while he was honored within the astrological community he was little known outside of it. It was not until the 1970s, as the New Age movement emerged, that major publishing houses discovered him and began to publish his writings: among the first was The Practice of Astrology, published in 1970 by Penguin Books.
In 1969 Rudhyar founded the International Committee for Humanistic Astrology, a small professional society that would work on the development of his perspective. He began one of the most fruitful periods of his life, turning out several books a year for the next decade. He began to absorb the insights of transpersonal astrology, which concentrated on exploring altered and exalted states of perception, and by the mid-1970s had moved beyond humanistic astrology to what he termed "transpersonal astrology." He also began to reflect upon the New Age movement and wrote several of the more sophisticated volumes on planetary consciousness and New Age philosophy.
Dane Rudhyar died September 13, 1985, in San Francisco, California.
Most of Rudhyar's more than forty books and hundreds of articles concern astrology and spirituality. The book that established his reputation in the astrological field was his first on the subject, The Astrology of Personality (1936). Arguing that astrology is not essentially predictive but rather productive of intuitive insights, The Astrology of Personality was one of the most influential tracts of "free-will" astrology, despite being written in the dense, circuitous style that characterizes much of Rudhyar's writing.
Rudhyar's astrological works were influential in the New Age movement of the 1960s and 1970s, especially among the hippies of San Francisco, where he lived and gave frequent lectures. Rudhyar regarded the 'true early hippies' as potential harbingers of a New Age. In 1967 the scene reached its peak in the…Summer of Love in San Francisco.” Most notably, Dane Rudhyar predicted in 1972 that the Age of Aquarius would begin in 2062.
Dane Rudhyar also wrote several novels:
When Cosmic Love Awakens – A Transpersonal Love Story, by Dane Rudhyar was written and published in 1952. Story synopsis: There was a conjunction of Venus and Mars on Valentine's Day 1951. On that day two men and a woman who worked at a New York City science fiction magazine office met a Mr. Ramar, who showed them how to travel to the planets within. When Cosmic Love Awakens:
Rania – An Epic Narrative, by Dane Rudhyar, was written in 1930 and first published in 1973. Story synopsis: It is the intense and dramatic story of the evolution of a woman's soul. Rania's tortuous search for spiritual growth sustains her in her final battle with the Powers of Darkness. Rania:
Return from No Return (subtitled 'A Paraphysical Novel'), by Dane Rudhyar, was also first published in 1973. Story synopsis: Set in a 22nd-century Earth with a unified world government intent on peaceful space exploration, a poetic astronaut agrees to undertake a physically perilous mission to travel beyond an outer-region threshold that has disintegrated all previous explorers. He intends to report back to Earth (to his wife on Earth) via telepathic communication methods that they have spent time scientifically preparing. As the book jacket says: "...Return from No Return weaves the drama of a global crisis, an intense love story, and profound esoteric truths into a powerful and suspenseful novel." 
Dane Rudhyar joined the Transcendental Painting Group in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1938 and 1939. The idea behind transcendental painting and drawing was to paint or draw images of Jungian archetypes. Transcendental painting may be considered a cousin of surrealist art and a precursor of the cosmic art of the 1950s, the psychedelic art of the 1960s, and the visionary art of the 1970s. Throughout his career, Dane Rudhyar continued to paint and draw new transcendental artwork, or use artwork he had previously painted, to illustrate his pamphlets and books about astrology.
An example of one of Rudhyar's transcendental art drawings: Black and white reproduction of the 1938 transcendental art painting "Storm Gods" by Dane Rudhyar: An example of one of Rudhyar's transcendental art paintings: Color transcendental art painting called "Creative Man" painted in 1947 by Dane Rudhyar (used by Rudhyar to illustrate the cover of his 1980 book The Astrology of Transformation): An overview of a large selection of color reproductions of Dane Rudhyar's transcendental art paintings, with the date each one was painted: A gallery of color reproductions of several transcendental art paintings by Dane Rudhyar (click on column at left of web page to view a larger image of each painting):
Dane Rudhyar wrote extensively on music as well, producing such books as Claude Debussy and His Work (1913), Dissonant Harmony (1928), Rebirth of Hindu Music (1928), The New Sense of Sound (1930), and The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music (1982).
Rudhyar's own compositions tend to employ dissonant harmony, emphatically not of a systematic variety such as Charles Seeger's—Rudhyar was philosophically opposed to such a rigid approach. His musical thought was influenced by Henri Bergson and theosophy, and he viewed composers as mediums, writing that "the new composer" was "no longer a 'composer,' but an evoker, a magician. His material is his musical instrument, a living thing, a mysterious entity endowed with vital laws of its own, sneering at formulas, fearfully alive." Rudhyar's most distinctive music is for piano, including his Tetragram (1920–67) and Pentagram (1924–26) series, Syntony (1919–24, rev. 1967), and Granites (1929). His works are almost all composed of brief movements—he felt that length and its attendant structural demands led to abstraction and away from the sensuous physicality of sound. He influenced several early-20th-century composers including Ruth Crawford and Carl Ruggles, as well as members of the group centered around Henry Cowell known as the "ultra-modernists." Cowell paid homage to him with a solo piano piece, A Rudhyar (1924).
1. Dissonant Harmony, A New Principle of Musical and Social Organization. 1928. 2. The New Sense of Space, A Reorientation of the Creative Faculty in Man. 3. The Cycle of Culture and Sacrifice. 4. Art of Gestures and Art of Patterns. 5. Art as Release of Power. 6. The Synthetic Drama as a Seed of Civilization. 7. The New Individual and the Work of Civilization