Festival of Cancer Talk
The text which follows was an address given by a member of the Headquarters staff of Lucis Trust at one of our public meetings. The purpose of these brief talks is to prepare and seed the group mind for the real work to be done--group meditation. This talk can be used by individuals and groups who wish to cooperate with this service.
Welcome everyone. Thank you so much for coming to this full moon celebration of the Festival of Cancer. And thank all of you who are joining us through Blogtalk radio, all around the world, helping us to have a wider field of impression. We begin the meetings with a moment of silence in order to link up with the individuals and groups throughout the world who are linking together at this time, followed by a sounding of a mantram:
Lead us O Lord,
What we do each month--as groups large and small throughout the world--is attempt to pierce through the veils that normally separate our outer world from the inner world of reality. And, as we collectively pierce through these veils (which are really energy fields), the energy of the inner ashrams become available to us. And as we do this as a group, in concert with the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, we make contact with Aquarian energy. As you know, Aquarius is the energy of the constellation into which our planetary Life is rapidly moving. We’re not there yet but each month at the time of the full moon we can collectively appropriate some of this Aquarian energy. Aquarius, as we know, is related to the life aspect, the water of life; that’s the keynote for Aquarius: “Water of Life am I, poured forth for thirsty men.” So no matter what sign we’re working in--for example, this month we’re working in the sign of Cancer and we’re attempting to build into human consciousness the higher qualities or keynotes of that sign, but overriding and underlying that is this energy of life, which pours in freely to the Hierarchy and as we take our stand upon the periphery or outskirts of that Hierarchy, we too become able as a group to appropriate a touch of that life, that livingness. The Tibetan puts it this way in terms of working with these energies. He says, “If you can grasp somewhat its meaning, and understand how the law is but the adaptation of the form to some one or other of these great streams of force, you will illuminate your whole life and be carried on those streams of force, those magnetic currents, that vital fluid, those electrical rays (no matter what the terms used) right to the heart of the unknown (Letters on Occult Meditation, p. 180)”
What we’re trying to do in these full moon meetings is to plant the seeds of the coming new world religion, which we’re told will be based around the full moon work--so you could say we are forerunners working towards that future eventuality of a global ingathering of seekers coming together across many different traditions to contact, hold and distribute vital streams of energy.
I thought I would mention a particular planetary triangle that is coming into alignment at this particular full moon period and for the next four weeks or so. The Tibetan tells the coming Aquarian age, which from one perspective will be ruled by the fifth ray, will be decidedly a mental age. Perhaps we tend to think of Aquarius in somewhat mystical terms but we should not--it will be a scientific age, and the preeminent science will be the science of esotericism, the science of energy, which includes esoteric astrology and the rays. It is a very potent triangle between three planets, all placed within the water element. The triangular aspect is formed between Saturn, the planet on the third ray--the planet of karma, opportunity and discipleship (in Scorpio); Neptune, the sixth ray planet related to devotion, idealism, and mysticism (in Pisces--the sign of its rulership); and the great, beneficent Jupiter, the planet on the second ray--the planet which is perhaps the most powerful planet in relationship to the expansion of the heart center (just entering Cancer). The Tibetan gives us a chart showing the relationship between the planets and the centers within the human etheric body. In this chart Jupiter is related to the heart center, Neptune to the solar plexus and Saturn to the throat center. Since Neptune rules the solar plexus center and Jupiter rules the heart --it would seem we have an opportunity to bring about a lifting and raising of the energies of the solar plexus to the heart, which is one of the main energetic transfers that many of us are attempting to make at our particular stage of evolutionary development. We’re asked to lift the energies of that overly active emotional vehicle that conditions us all so strongly, to its higher correspondence which is the heart. So this alignment between Neptune (solar plexus), Jupiter (heart) and the third point Saturn (throat) is, I think, a beautiful opportunity for humanity to experience a type of healing on the astral plane. The Tibetan has given certain indicators in Esoteric Astrology that release upon the astral plane can occur when an alignment such as this takes place. So perhaps for humanity in this sign of the mass consciousness (following as it does the powerful inpouring of energy that occurs each year at the time of the higher interlude period) we have the opportunity for a potent release of the energy of love. It’s also interesting to note the relationship between this triangle and the World Teacher, the Christ. In The Secret Doctrine the coming of the Christ 2000 years ago was linked to the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. So the trine aspect between these two planets must certainly also have a relationship to the Christ energy, while the third point of the triangle, Neptune is also related to the Christ. In Esoteric Astrology, pp.219-20 DK writes, “In certain ancient formulas, the great Teacher of the West and the present world Initiator, Christ, is spoken of as Neptune…”
So perhaps this alignment is one of the indicators of the release of the Christ energy via the heart center and through the astral plane reaching out into the mass consciousness. It is decidedly within the heart that the energy of the Christ, the energy of the divinity within, can begin to be felt and experienced. We do know the masses of humanity are awakening on a large scale to the inequities of our world and to the many injustices on planet Earth. This sense of injustice is the impetus behind much of the uprising we see everywhere at this time. But we also know there are many seekers like ourselves whose hearts are opening to the fact of the oneness of humanity--this is the recognition that’s on the verge of precipitation for humanity as a whole, the oneness of all life. And Cancer, because of its particular planetary rulers, gives us an opportunity to really feel that oneness--to recognize and experience beyond the confines of the lower mind, that humanity is one.
Cancer, with its rulership by the moon and Neptune naturally has a close relationship to the astral-buddhic planes of consciousness--giving us this opportunity to actually feel the inflow of healing energy and to then pass those energies through our subtle vehicles and out into the mass of humanity. It is our challenge and our opportunity to work together to distribute these energies and to not stand as blocks or obstructions within the divine circulatory flow of energy.
So, as we said, on one level, this sign is related to the mass of humanity, but when we consider it from the perspective of discipleship, another picture emerges. All of the signs work out their energies on various levels of understanding and yet these various qualities are interpenetrating—wheels turning upon wheels. And so from the perspective of discipleship Cancer is related to the ashram. In traditional astrology, if you have any understanding of it, Cancer is related to the home, to the early life, to the importance of family. But on a subtle, more esoteric level we know that our true home is within the ashram--within those groups that exist upon the subtle planes of reality where we have our true home, our true family. The closest connections you will have in your spiritual life is with those brothers and sisters who are part of your inner, ashramic affiliation. And so perhaps when the sun is in Cancer there is a thinning of the veils in relationship to the inner ashrams that is more palpable than is ordinarily the case.
Those of you who are familiar with Alice Bailey’s book The Labours of Hercules will know that within each labour Hercules stands before the inner teacher and is given a test. In Cancer the test goes as follows: “The Great Presiding One said, provide a test which will evoke his wisest choice. Send him to labour in a field in which he must decide which voice, of all the many voices, will arouse the obedience of his heart. Provide likewise a test of great simplicity upon the outer planes and yet a test which will awaken on the inner side of life the fullness of his wisdom and the rightness of his power to choose. Let him proceed with the fourth test.” Those of you who are familiar somewhat with this labour will know that it concerns the capture of the elusive doe that ever evades Hercules’ grasp. Alice Bailey’s commentary elaborates on the relationship between the doe and the intuition and the need for us to learn how to capture those fleeting impressions that come upon us at unexpected moments. One might think that the intuition would most likely appear when we are sitting in meditation and attempting to contact our soul, but instead we often find it appears at random moments in the daily life. And so if you have ever have what seems to be a very deep impression coming through and you are certain you will remember it—think again. We often find that within a few minutes the impression is gone because it comes from a deeper level than the concrete mind and it is not so easy to recapture it. The impression eludes us—by hiding behind a tree or perhaps behind the busyness of our lower minds. In order to capture those fleeting deep impressions we have to create the right conditions in consciousness whereby we can do so. So it behooves us to try as much as possible to turn off the chatter of our lower concrete minds. This is a particularly difficult a challenge to keep the channel open because of the tremendous amount of data that are constantly bombarding and distracting us from the more subtle realities. This is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
If you consider your own intuitive impressions or if you read about the experience of others, you come to realize the intuition is concerned with larger wholes and possesses an overriding simplicity—with the ability to grasp large and seemingly complex concepts in a simple manner. Here are two quotes that I think describe the path to the intuition. The first is by William Blake, “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is--infinite. For man has closed himself off until he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.” Blake was obviously someone who--through his work and his art--was able to open the doors of perception to the more subtle realms of reality, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to write about it so eloquently. And the famous quote by St. Paul in Corinthians expresses a similar understanding, “For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part but then shall I know, even as also I am known.” Again, this is the testimony of someone who had these intuitive experiences -- at moments he was able to penetrate into a higher level of reality and bring down the impressions into his waking consciousness. Intuitive impressions must be shared with others.
The Tibetan gives us many indicators about what the intuition is and always it is related to something larger than your own personal affairs. Often you hear people state, “Oh, I had an intuition you would call me.” That is a telepathic occurrence not an intuitive impression—such impressions are related to something outside the bounds of the personality life which the individual is somehow charged with bringing down and concretizing on the physical-etheric plane--that’s white magic.
One of the first teachers who taught about intuitive impressions some 11,000 years ago was Patanjali, the great Indian sage. Many of these sutras concern the intuition and how to develop it. He called the intuition “straight knowledge” and those of you who are students of the Agni Yoga teachings will often have heard of this idea. There is a sense that intuitive impressions come in a flash--it’s not about reasoning our way into an intuitive understanding, the intuition is more often the result of our pondering over time and the turning over in our minds of an idea and then, at some unexpected moment, when we least expect it, the intuition drops in. So it is the result of pondering but we do not reason our way into it. It is straight knowledge--something that comes quickly and directly, undeterred by non-essential factors.
The Tibetan says the spiritual seeker has to “wrestle with the problem of simplicity with its penetrating potency and its swift comprehension of the basic truth, underlying the many truths. He learns finally to substitute the intuition with its swiftness and its infallibilities for the slow and laboriousness of the mind--with its deviousness, its illusions, its errors, its dogmatisms and its separative thinking and cultures.” So again, the intuition is related to swiftness, to infallibility, to a lack of guile.
If you read about people who have had powerful, intuitive impressions you find they are often accompanied by a sense of rightness—a sense that without a doubt they have found the solution. Old things have to fall away when a true intuitive impression comes. All of the deviousness of the lower mind and all the things that hold us enthralled and things fall away under the full impact of a true intuitive impression.
And since we are nearing the end of our time I wanted to close with a story from the life of the eighteenth century philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. His most famous phrase was, “Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains.” Rousseau’s life and work changed fundamentally as the result of a powerful intuitive impression. He was a struggling musician walking down a road in the French countryside on a summer day on his way to visit his friend Denis Diderot who was imprisoned for publishing ideas that were thought to be blasphemous by the French government at that time. So there was no real freedom of expression in those days and perhaps this parallels somewhat events occurring in our country at this time -- the inability to express ourselves freely with the full understanding that we will not be overheard. So Rousseau wrote about this fundamental right of freedom of expression and freedom from economic slavery--issues which are very much alive in our world three hundred years later. But all of his thought and all the changes in his life stemmed from a powerful experience he had walking down that country road. He wrote it down so we can share it.
“All at once I felt myself dazzled as if by a thousand sparkling lights. Crowds of ideas thronged my mind with a force and confusion that threw me into unspeakable agitation. I felt my head whirling in a giddiness like that of intoxication. A violent palpitation oppressed me. Unable to walk due to difficulty in breathing, I sank down under one of the trees by the road and passed half an hour there in such a condition of excitement that I rose and saw that the front of my waistcoat was thick with tears. Ah, if ever I could have written a quarter of what I saw and felt under that tree, with what clarity I could have brought about all the contradictions of our social system. With what simplicity I should have demonstrated that man is by nature good and that only his institutions have made him bad.” So Rousseau’s experience led to a simple recognition, which he then spent the rest of his life—over thirty years --trying to bring out in his writing. And, as a result of the experience he changed all aspects of his life—he went from being an unsuccessful musician into one whose life became riveted on his writing with the purpose of bringing forward this vision. That is the power of the intuition. And he knew he had to become a better person to realize his goal and so he changed his way of living as well--he had to become noble enough to bring through these new ideas. And the ideas he brought forward stood behind the French and American revolutions which were the seed movements of the coming Aquarian age.
THE FESTIVAL OF CANCER