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3. Spiritual Effects of the Zodiacal Constellations. - Part 3

2. In Leo—The self-centred man becomes eventually the soul in life expression and focussed on the achievement of the spiritual goal of selflessness. In this sign, he undergoes preparation for the first initiation and takes it also in this sign, or under this sign when it is the rising sign, becoming "the Lion who seeks his prey," that is the personality who becomes the captive of the soul.

3. In Scorpio—In this sign, the disciple undergoes those tests which will enable him to take the second initiation and demonstrate that the desire nature is subdued and conquered and that the lower nature is (by being lifted up in the air, i.e. into heaven) capable of reaching the goal for this world period, and that from the earthy foundations of Scorpio the personality can be so tested that it shows fitness for the world service demanded in Aquarius. This is beautifully expressed for us in the [144] legend of Hercules, the Sun-God who overcomes the nine-headed Hydra or serpent of desire by being forced to his knees and from that position of humility lifts up the serpent into the air, and then deliverance comes.

4. In Aquarius—In this sign, the long effort of the soul is consummated and concludes the experience of the disciple upon the Fixed Cross. The man then takes the third initiation and becomes free from personality control, taking the next two initiations upon the Cardinal Cross.

I might here give you the following names for the three crosses taken from the ancient archives and therefore difficult to translate:

1. The Mutable Cross—The Cross of changing and absorbed Experience. This is the place of action and of reaction, of karmic control and of response to impacts leading to the awakening of consciousness to the nature of the goal ahead.

2. The Fixed Cross—The Cross of Transmutation. Desire becomes aspiration, and selfishness is transformed into selflessness.

3. The Cardinal Cross—The Cross of Transcendence. Personality life and form life and planetary life no longer control. The man stands free.

Substance, the ocean of life, water, the symbol of desire and the impulse to incarnate are transmuted into soul light and light substance and the urge to tread consciously the path of return, plus the longing to serve. Desire is developed and focussed in Taurus when the man is upon the Mutable Cross and progressing around the zodiac. It is reoriented and repolarised in Taurus when the man has mounted the [145] Fixed Cross and is eventually relinquished in that sign. In the polar opposite of Taurus, Scorpio, the personality is humbled and brought to grips with the soul; in that sign the personality is "occultly killed and then resurrected into air and light," in order to become from that moment the servant of the soul. In Leo, the individual awakens to his own identity, concentrates his purpose, learns the lessons and uses of selfishness (for that is one of the best ways to learn and to discover that it is contrary to the laws of the soul) and is eventually so cornered by the life processes that he becomes aware of the futility of self- interest. In Aquarius, the man awakens to the beauty of group life, group interest and his individual responsibility towards the group and begins to live his life and to spend himself in the service of humanity.

In connection with the question of consciousness, students would find it illuminating to study the subject along the following lines:

 

1. Subjective latent consciousness

In Aries

2. The consciousness of duality

In Gemini

3. Mass consciousness

In Cancer

4. Individual self-consciousness

In Leo

5. Equilibrised consciousness

In Libra

6. Group consciousness

In Aquarius

 

The distinction between exoteric and esoteric astrology lies in just such recognitions as listed above. Exoteric astrology deals with the characteristics and qualities of the personality and of the form aspects, and also with the events, happenings, circumstances and the conditioning environment which appear in the personal horoscope, indicative of planetary control and not of solar control. Esoteric astrology concerns itself primarily with the unfoldment of consciousness, [146] with the impacts which awaken it to the peculiar "gifts" of any particular sign and ray endowment and with the reaction of the man and his consequent enrichment through his response to the influence of a sign, working through the esoteric planets from the angle of humanitarian awareness, of discipleship and of initiation. This deals basically with his experiences from the angle of the three Crosses, which involves first, mutation, then direction, and finally initiation. Increasingly, these three Crosses will take a prominent place in astrological delineation.

We come now to a very interesting point in connection with Aquarius. There is apparently no planet which is either exalted or "falls" in this sign. The only planet affected is the Sun, whose power is lessened. What is the symbolic significance of this? It consists in the relation of Aquarius to Capricorn and of the Fixed Cross to the Cardinal Cross and of the third initiation to those succeeding it, of the point of balance reached between Pisces and Capricorn, which focus in Aquarius. I am not here considering the orthodox mathematical or astronomical reasons, for they are, in reality, dependent upon the subjective and spiritual reasons, and it is with these that we are concerned. One of the facts which will emerge in our consciousness as we study along these esoteric lines is that all the outer indications do not indicate truth but only point the way to the subjective realities of which the outer facts are but the illusory symbols. Ponder upon this and keep an open mind.

No planet is exalted in Aquarius and no planet falls in this sign because the true Aquarian—after due experience upon the Mutable Cross and the Fixed Cross—has reached a point of balance. He is held by none of the pairs of opposites but uses them both for spiritual ends. He is hindered neither by earth nor water (Capricorn and Pisces); [147] he has surmounted the tests of both the processes of incarnation and initiation and so stands free, distributing energy and life, symbolised by the two wavy lines. It is interesting to bear in mind that in the progress of the soul, as far as humanity is concerned, one of the four signs of each Cross is of more importance than the others. Each sign of each of the three Crosses is related to one of the four kingdoms in nature and the preponderance of the ray influence pours through the sign to the kingdom under consideration. In connection with humanity, the sign of importance on the three Crosses is as follows:

 

1. The Mutable Cross

Pisces

2. The Fixed Cross

Scorpio

3. The Cardinal Cross

Capricorn

 

In Aquarius, the initiate consummates all that has been achieved in Leo through the influence of the Sun, for in Leo there is an almost unique condition where humanity is concerned as the Sun governs all expressions—exoteric, esoteric and hierarchical. It rules the personality, the soul and the fourth Creative Hierarchy. Hence the Sun (the physical Sun) is lessened in its power in Aquarius. The third initiation has been undergone and the light of the personality has been "put out" or dimmed by the light of the subjective Sun, influencing the soul. There is much to think out here but little more can be directly indicated, as the curious fact of this triple control by a planet constitutes one of the mysteries of initiation. It is tied up with the relation between Leo and Aquarius, for Leo is unusual in having all its ruling influences concentrated through the medium of one planet. Leo indicates the height of achievement of the human soul. We are apt to think that initiation and liberation are the achievement of the human kingdom [148] and the attainment of humanity. This is not the case. Initiation is an achievement and an attained success of the soul which has at last succeeded in dominating the personality and in manifesting its true nature and character, in spite of the personality and the antagonism of the human being intent upon his own purposes. It is literally the attainment of certain desired objectives, towards which the units of the fifth kingdom in nature have been working for aeons, and expresses the end of the enforced task and sacrifice and planetary service. This achievement reaches its goal at the third initiation and from that time on man, liberated and free, serves from free choice and as a soul, conscious of intent and purpose upon the physical plane.

The decanates in Aquarius are governed (according to Alan Leo) by Saturn, Mercury and Venus, and the effect that they will produce upon human affairs and world conditions is already beginning to appear. Saturn is the planet of discipleship and of opportunity; it is exceedingly active today, presenting to the world disciple those difficult situations and crises which will involve free choice, discriminative pioneering, wise response and correct decision, thus bringing about the destruction of that which hinders without the relinquishing of any true values of which humanity may be aware. The individual disciple has always been faced with these conditioning and releasing circumstances, and today humanity itself is in the same position. We stand at the gateway of the new world, of the new age and its new civilizations, ideals and culture.

Saturn, having offered opportunity and proffered us a choice to bring about the needed changes and to destroy that which holds back the free expression of the soul, eventually stands aside in order to let His great Brother, Mercury, spread the light of the soul—intuitive and illuminating—[149] upon the situation, to interpret for us, through our own illumined minds, the significance of events and to relate the old and the new, the past and the future through the light of the present.

Hence, the subjective usefulness of the present general trend towards meditation processes which bring about the capacity to be "impressed from on high" (technically understood) and to be illumined by the light of the soul.

When the task of Saturn and of Mercury has been accomplished, then during the third decanate, Venus, which is the union of heart and mind, will usher in the long hoped for era of love-wisdom, of brotherhood and of expressed brotherly relationships. Opportunity— Illumination—Brotherhood: these are the gifts that Shamballa is planning to confer upon mankind during the Aquarian Age, if man will but prepare for them, accept them, and use them. Only the future will make clear man's reaction.

According to other astrologers, the three decanates are governed by Venus, Mercury and the Moon. You can here see the relation of astrology to the normal or to the reversed wheel of life. The Moon which here takes the place of Saturn hides the planet Uranus. In this case Uranus, the occult planet, stands for exoteric science which penetrates into the hidden side of form life, and thus we have the period wherein man is not alert enough or conscious enough to seize upon opportunity and turn it to esoteric or soul ends, but can identify himself with the more advanced aspects of form. The energy which produces opportunity, illumination, and brotherly love as expressed and attained upon the Fixed Cross, demonstrates upon the Mutable or Common Cross as difficulty, the versatile and volatile mind (unstable and dark) and as sex.

This appears clearly in the words spoken to the man [150] upon the Mutable Cross as he passes through an Aquarian cycle. The words are: "And the Word said, Let desire in form be ruler," for desire becomes gained knowledge and the knowledge of that which is hidden at any stage upon the path of evolution relates the individual to Uranus. When the man is upon the Fixed Cross, the words come forth: "Water of life am I, poured forth for thirsty men." The implications are so clear that there is no need for me to be more explicit or to elaborate the theme.

We shall next consider Capricorn at some length. These three studies of Pisces, Aquarius and Capricorn will be slightly longer than the succeeding ones as I have been laying the foundation of what I have to say under our fifth point: The Three Crosses. We shall have brought out certain considerations in connection with them that will be of value; Pisces is part of the Mutable Cross, Aquarius of the Fixed Cross, and Capricorn of the Cardinal Cross, and there will, therefore, be no need to repeat in such detail what I have here said when we are dealing with the other signs. These three signs are beginning signs or final signs, according to the state of the wheel of life. They also sum up or initiate the activities of the other nine signs which are fundamentally strictly human signs and synthesise the results of experience upon the three Crosses.

We shall be able now to cover our present thesis anent the philosophical implications of the Great Wheel of the Zodiac far more rapidly, as I can now leave what else remains to be said in connection with the three Crosses until I come to that part of our Section VI.  There I shall have much of interest to point out. I have dealt with these three Crosses at some length whilst we were covering these first three signs of the zodiacal wheel as it revolves from Aries, through Pisces, to Taurus. Each of these three is found on [151] one of the Crosses and thus in themselves and in their relationship they constitute a complete unit. It is interesting to note how these three signs are either those of commencement (upon the Mutable Cross) or of consummation (upon the Fixed Cross). In the case where they stand for beginning we have:

 

1. Aries

. . . . . . 1st Aspect
        latent.

. . . . . . . . . . Movement outward into incarnation. The Will to manifest. Experience upon the Cardinal Cross

2. Pisces

. . . . . .2nd Aspect
       latent.

. . . . . . . . . . Desire for form existence. The Love or desire for material things. Constant mutation. Experience upon the Mutable or Common Cross.

3. Aquarius

. . . . 3rd Aspect.
     latent.

 . . . . . . . . .Consecration to the service of the lower self.  Selfishness. Experience upon the fixed Cross.

 

 

 

When these three signs form the end of the cycle of expression upon the reversed wheel, then you have:

 

 

 

1. Aquarius

. . . .3rd Aspect
     expressed.

. . . . . . . . . Consecration to the service of the Whole. The
death or negation of all personality selfishness. Culmination of experience upon the Fixed Cross

2. Pisces

. . . . . .2nd Aspect
       expressed.

. . . . . . . . . Emergence of a world saviour. Death of all separative desire and love, even spiritual longing and aspiration. Culmination of experience upon the Mutable Cross.

3. Aries

. . . . . . 1st Aspect
        expressed.

. . . . . . . . . . Appearance of the will to cooperate with the Plan. The death of Self-will. Culmination of experience upon the Cardinal Cross.

 

The same basic mode of considering the three Crosses can be carried out with Gemini, Taurus, Aries or the reverse: Aries, Taurus and Gemini, remembering always that the Mutable Cross governs the wheel in ordinary progress and the Fixed Cross governs it on the reversed progress during discipleship. The Cardinal Cross in reality governs [152] both processes but this is only understood when initiation has taken place.

1. Aries—Governs the Path of Discipleship. The Will to return to the Source. Determination to achieve liberation. The emanating cause of the changes upon the Mutable and Fixed Crosses.

2. Taurus—The desire to overcome desire. The longing for liberation. Transmutation of desire into Love.

3. Gemini—The fusion of the opposites; the intelligent work of at-one-ment; synthesis.

Upon the ordinary wheel, these signs bring about:

1. Gemini—Experience of the pairs of opposites. Pronounced and separative duality. The interplay between the Twins: Soul and form natures.

2. Taurus—The refocussing of the lower desires prior to another circling of the Great Wheel in search of personality satisfaction. The Prodigal Son journeys into a far country.

3. Aries—Again the beginning as well as the end.

It should be remembered that Aries is definitely that divine manifestation to which Christ referred when He said "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end." The significance of this can, however, only be grasped when the experiences of the Mutable Cross and of the Fixed Cross have been transcended and the Cardinal Cross has been consciously mounted after the third initiation. This is the "wheel which turns upon itself and rolls from north to south and then from east to west as it progresses onward and, in one moment of time, this it does." This is a symbolic way of expressing the united activity of all the states of consciousness, achieved upon the first two wheels, and which [153] life experience, in many rounds of the zodiac, has brought to the initiate; it means likewise that type of awareness which transcends even that of the Christ Himself and for which He and the Buddha are undergoing preparation. The experience of the Cardinal Cross (concerning as it does cosmic unfoldment) transcends all possible awareness, gained upon the other two Crosses and for which they have prepared the initiate. It might be stated that

1. The Mutable Cross, in due time and when its lessons are assimilated, brings about planetary awareness.

2. The Fixed Cross brings about systemic awareness.

3. The Cardinal Cross brings about cosmic awareness.

CAPRICORN, THE GOAT

This is one of the most difficult signs about which to write, for it, as you know, is the most mysterious sign of all the twelve. It is the sign of the Goat which seeks its sustenance in the most rocky and arid of the world's places and it, therefore, relates man to the mineral kingdom; it is also the sign of the Crocodiles which live half in the water and half on dry land; it is spiritually the sign of the Unicorn which is the "fighting and triumphant creature" of the ancient myths. Under the symbolism of the above creatures, this sign gives us a rather complete picture of man with his feet upon the earth, yet running free and climbing to the heights of worldly ambition or of spiritual aspiration in search of what he realises (at any particular time) to be his major need. As the Goat, he is man, the earthly, human, greedy seeker after the satisfaction of desire, or man, the equally selfish aspirant hunting for the satisfaction of his aspiration. This sign portrays to us man, an ambitious animal in two senses of the word: in the early stage upon [154] the Mutable Cross, man, the blend of desire (water) and the animal nature (earth), and upon the reversed wheel, man, the blend of soul and form. It gives us the picture also of the triumphant initiate, the "unicorn of God," the symbol of the unicorn, with its one horn out-thrust like a single spear upon his brow instead of the two horns of the scavenging goat.

It is interesting to study the three signs in which the animals have horns: Aries, the downturned horns of the ram, signifying the coming into manifestation, the involutionary cycle and the experience of the Cardinal Cross as it expresses the Will-to-manifest of God. Taurus, the up-turned horns of the Bull with the circle below, depicting the push of man, the Bull of God, towards the goal of illumination and the emergence of the soul from bondage with the two horns (duality) protecting the "eye of light" in the centre of the Bull's forehead; this is "the single eye" of the New Testament which makes the "whole body to be full of light." Then Capricorn, the Goat, related particularly and closely to Aries, but hiding (as an esoteric blind) the symbolism of the Unicorn in which the two horns and the single eye are blended and depicted by the long straight horn of the unicorn in the centre of the forehead.

Behind all the above lies the dual mystery of Leo, for Leo is—as far as humanity is concerned—the key or clue to the entire zodiac and around the constellation Leo two great mysteries are found:

1. The mystery of the Sphinx, connected with the relation of Leo and Virgo, and tied up with the secret of the solar Angels. This is not the mystery of soul and form, but the mystery of the higher and the lower mind and their relation to each other.

[155]

2. The Mystery of the Lion and the Unicorn. This secret is preserved for us in the ancient nursery rhyme about the "lion and the unicorn going up to town," and contains in a peculiar way the secret of initiation and the "going up" of the human being to the portal of admittance into the Hierarchy as well as the "mystic raising" of which Masonry holds the key. This deals with the emergence of the consciousness of the initiate (white and one-pointed) and the defeat of the king of beasts (the personality) leading to the triumph of group and world consciousness, of selflessness and illumination over self-consciousness and selfishness. In the true rendition of this ancient myth the king of beasts is blinded and killed by the piercing of his eye and heart by the long horn of the unicorn.

The symbol of this sign is indecipherable and intentionally so. It is sometimes called the "signature of God." I must not attempt to interpret it for you, partly because it has never yet been correctly drawn and partly because its correct delineation and the ability of the initiate to depict it produces an inflow of force which would not be desirable, except after due preparation and understanding. It is far more potent than the pentagon and leaves the initiate "unprotected."

In an ancient astrological treatise which has never yet seen the light of day but which will be some day discovered when the right time has arrived, the relation between the horned animals of the zodiac is thus described:

"The Ram, the Scapegoat and the sacred Goat are Three in One and One in Three. The Ram becomes the second and the second is the third. The Ram that breeds and fertilises all; the Scapegoat, in [156] the wilderness, redeems that all; the sacred Goat that merges in the Unicorn and lifts impaled upon his golden horn the vanquished form—in these the mystery lies hid."

It here becomes apparent that three mysteries are hidden in the three horned signs:

 

1. The mystery of God the Father

Creation

2. The mystery of God the Son

Redemption

3. The mystery of God the Holy Spirit

Liberation

 

It might also be pointed out here that it is the will of the Father aspect, manifesting through Aries, that governs Shamballa; the loving desire of the Son which attracts to the Hierarchy; and the permeating, intelligent activity of the Holy Spirit which animates that centre of divine life which we call humanity. Therefore we have:

 

Shamballa

Hierarchy

Humanity

Will

Love

Intelligence

Aries

Taurus

Capricorn

 

In both their higher and their lower aspects these signs hold the secret of the "horns of strife and the horn of plenty subjected to and guarded by the horn of life." Again, an ancient proverb runs: "The Ram—when it has become the Scapegoat, has sought illumination as the Bull of God and has climbed the mountain top in the semblance of the Goat—changes its shape into the Unicorn. Great is the hidden key." If the symbolism is carried a little further, it might be stated that:

1. The Ram leads us into the creative life of Earth and into the darkness of matter. This is the blue of midnight.

[157]

2. The Bull leads into the places of desire in search of "wrathful satisfaction." This is the red of greed and anger, changing eventually into the golden light of illumination.

3. The Goat leads us into arid ways in search of food and water. This is the "need for green," but the Goat is equal also to climbing to the mountain top.

This is the experience of the Mutable Cross in connection with these three signs. Upon the Fixed Cross:

1. Eventually the Ram becomes the Scapegoat and the will of God in love and salvage is demonstrated.

2. The Bull becomes the bestower of light, and the darkness of the earlier cycle is lightened by the Bull.

3. The Goat becomes the Unicorn, and leads to victory. The Crocodile, the Goat and the Unicorn depict three stages of man's unfoldment.

Aries, Taurus, and Capricorn are the great transformers under the great creative plan. They are in the nature of catalysts. Each of them opens a door into one of the three divine centres of expression which are the symbols in the body of the planetary Logos of the three higher centres in man: the head, the heart and the throat.

Aries opens the door into Shamballa, when the experience of Taurus and Capricorn has been undergone.

Taurus opens the door into the Hierarchy when the significance of Gemini and Leo is understood and the first two initiations can therefore he taken.

Capricorn opens the door into the Hierarchy in a higher aspect when the last three initiations can be undergone and the significance of Scorpio and of Virgo is understood.

[158]

In these signs and their relationship upon the Fixed Cross lies hid the mystery of Makara and of the Crocodiles.

The keynotes of this sign are all indicative of a crystallisation process. This concretising faculty of Capricorn can be considered in several ways.

First of all, Capricorn is an earth sign, and in it we have expressed the densest point of concrete materialisation of which the human soul is capable. Man is then "of the earth, earthy" and is what the New Testament calls "the first Adam." In this sense, Capricorn holds in itself the seeds of death and finality—the death which takes place finally and eventually in Pisces. Ponder on this. When crystallisation has reached a certain degree of density and so-called "hardness," it is easily shattered and destroyed and man, born in Capricorn, then brings about his own destruction; this is due to his fundamentally materialistic nature, plus the "blows of fate" which are the enactments of the law of karma. Again and again, a certain measure of concreteness is achieved, only again to undergo destruction, prior to the release of the life and the rebuilding of the form.

Secondly, Capricorn is ever the sign of conclusion, and of this the mountain top is frequently (though not always) the symbol, for it marks the point beyond which further ascent in any particular life cycle is not possible. Capricorn is, therefore, the sign of what has been called esoterically "periodic arresting." Progress becomes impossible under the existing forms, and there has to be the descent into the valley of pain, despair and death before a fresh attempt to scale the heights takes place. The attempt today to climb Mount Everest is amazingly symbolic, and it is being watched with much interest by the Hierarchy, for in this effort we see the attempt of humanity to achieve the top of [159] the mountain whose height has hitherto defeated all efforts. But—and this is the matter of moment and of interest—when humanity emerges into the light and relative glory of the new civilisation, they will at the same time conquer this last remaining summit. That which is of the densest materiality and which is the consummation of earthly grandeur will remain—but it will be beneath the feet of humanity.

Thirdly, Capricorn is, as a consequence of all the above, the sign in which is inaugurated a new cycle of effort, whether this effort is in connection with the individual man or with the initiate. Effort, strain, struggle, the fight with the forces native to the underworld, or the strenuous conditions entailed by the tests of discipleship or initiation—these are distinctive of experience in Capricorn.

In ancient days, as you may perchance have heard, there were only ten signs, and—at that time—Capricorn marked the end of the zodiacal wheel, and not Pisces as is at this time the case. The two signs of Aquarius and Pisces were not incorporated in the signs for the simple and sufficient reason that humanity could not respond to their peculiar influences; the vehicles of contact and the mechanisms for responses were not adequately developed. Originally, there were eight signs; then there were ten and now twelve.

1. In Lemurian days, during the early period of animal man and before humanity appeared on earth, in the interim period of development, eight signs influenced the planet and the kingdoms of nature found upon it. There was no response to the influences of Leo and Virgo. The mystery of the Sphinx did not exist and these two signs were not then part of the zodiacal wheel. Then individualisation took place and the seed of Christhood [160] was planted in man and these two signs began to influence humanity, and gradually that influence was recognised and the zodiac was then known to have ten signs. The Mutable Cross dominated, but it was then the Tau, for Pisces was lacking and only Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius were evidenced. Aries to Capricorn marked the circle of experience.

2. In Atlantean days, man had become so responsive to the planetary and solar influence that the door of initiation into hierarchical experience was opened and two more signs were added. These two signs were the higher correspondences of Leo and Virgo and were the polar opposites of these two: Aquarius and Pisces. Their influence became active and effective and thus they formed part of the zodiacal wheel because man began to respond to their potencies. It then became possible for the Fixed Cross to function esoterically in the life of humanity, and the first reversals of the wheel in the life of the advanced men of the period took place. It was this reversal which was the true cause of the great contest or battle between the Lords of the Dark Face (as they are called in The Secret Doctrine) and the Lords of Light—a contest which is today persisting. Certain men then reached the stage of discipleship wherein they could consciously mount the Fixed Cross and be prepared for a major initiation. This the Forces of Materiality and of Obstruction (as they are sometimes called) fought and the battle was fought out and conditioned in the sign Scorpio.

3. Today, in Aryan times, a similar conflict upon a higher turn of the spiral is taking place. The reason is that certain world disciples and initiates have reached the point in their unfoldment wherein they are ready to [161] mount the Cardinal Cross and take some of the higher initiations. So the conflict is on between humanity (under the control of the Lords of Materiality) and the Hierarchy (under the control of the Forces of Light and Love), and right before our eyes the battle is being waged. The influences of the twelve signs of the zodiac (particularly of seven of the signs) are being engaged, for today men of all types and rays are responsive to their influences and are implicated in some form or another in the affair.

You will note, therefore, that if the concentrated forces of the Cardinal Cross are definitely potent at this time (as they are) the battle is terrific, because,

1. Humanity, as a whole, is in a state of turmoil, prior to a great step forward in self-conscious unfoldment, and in the expression of the sense of responsibility which is the first flower and fruit of self-conscious awareness. This fact is responsible for sweeping into the conflict in a peculiar and pronounced manner, the forces of Cancer (involutionary in nature), of Leo (concerned with individualisation), and of Gemini (expressive of man's essential duality). You find, therefore, today, the activity of the mass consciousness of Cancer which is indicative of the activity of the Cardinal Cross in the involutionary stage; the self-consciousness of man as indicated by Leo, the most human sign of all, and indicative of the Fixed Cross; and Gemini, which gives the sense of the dual nature of man —human and divine—which is the goal of the consciousness of experience upon the Mutable Cross. You consequently have a sign in each of the three Crosses particularly active today in influencing the masses of men everywhere. A little [162] study of world conditions, as far as man is concerned, will prove this.

2. The disciples of the world today and advanced humanity are equally in a state of turmoil. They are being tested and tried, prior to taking a major step forward—in some cases this will be the taking of the first initiation and in others the second. This is brought about by, and brings in, the forces of Taurus, Leo and Scorpio, plus a general pervasive influence coming from Gemini. You have here three signs found in the Fixed Cross and one in the Mutable Cross conditioning and affecting the world disciples, and all of them of terrific importance and potency today, owing to the stage of development and the sensitivity of the disciples and world initiates.

3. The initiates, in their turn, are being subjected to the impact of energies from Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces—an inflow of force from each of the three Crosses. These three forces enable the initiates to take the third initiation.

It will interest you to note that average humanity is, therefore, subjected to the influences of three major signs at this time and conditioned by potencies coming from each of the three Crosses. These present men with the responsibility of choice, evoking their free will, their trend towards self-determination and their established decision at this time of world crisis. You will note that the world disciples are related to the mass of men through their responsiveness to influences emanating from Gemini, and to each other through Scorpio. This produces in them the capacity to respond to test, to a sense of the vision (through the illumined eye of Taurus) and to use their power of individuality [163] through a developed personality and through the potency of Leo. Initiates are brought into relation to the world disciples through the constellation Scorpio, to the hierarchical centre through Capricorn, and to the mass through Pisces, the sign of all world saviours.

Seven constellations are, therefore, predominantly brought into a close combination at the present moment of crisis and are responsible for world affairs as they are found today:

 

Cancer

|

 

 

| The Cardinal Cross.

"Both Gates stand wide."

Capricorn

|

 

 

 

 

Taurus

|

 

Leo

| The Fixed Cross.

"The Disciples dominate the world."

Scorpio

|

 

 

 

 

Gemini

|

 

 

| The Mutable Cross.

"World salvation is possible today."

Pisces

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The exoteric and the esoteric planetary rulers of Capricorn are the same, and Saturn rules the career of the man in this sign, no matter whether he is on the ordinary or the reversed wheel, or whether he is on the Mutable or the Fixed Cross. When he has taken the third initiation and can consciously mount the Cardinal Cross, he is then released from the ruling of Saturn and comes under the influence of Venus, who is governor or ruler of the Hierarchy which is that of the Crocodiles. A reference to the tabulation heretofore given will show this. It is only when a man is upon the Cardinal Cross that the significance, purpose and potencies of the Creative Hierarchies become clear to [164] him and the "doors of entrance" into all of them stand wide open. On the Mutable Cross and on the Fixed Cross we have the so-called green ray, controlling not only the daily life of karmic liability upon the path of evolution, but also controlling the experiences and processes of evolution. The reason for this is that Capricorn is an earth sign and because the third and fifth rays work pre-eminently through this sign, embodying the third major aspect of divinity, active intelligence plus that of its subsidiary power, the fifth Ray of Mind. These pour through Capricorn to Saturn and to Venus and so reach our planet, the Earth. Saturn is one of the most potent of the four Lords of Karma and forces man to face up to the past, and in the present to prepare for the future. Such is the intention and purpose of karmic opportunity. From certain angles, Saturn can be regarded as the planetary Dweller on the Threshold, for humanity as a whole has to face that Dweller as well as the Angel of the Presence, and in so doing discover that both the Dweller and the Angel are that complex duality which is the human family. Saturn, in a peculiar relation to the sign Gemini, makes this possible. Individual man makes this discovery and faces the two extremes whilst in the sign Capricorn; the fourth and fifth Creative Hierarchies do the same thing in Libra.

Through Saturn and Venus, therefore, Capricorn is connected with Libra and also with Gemini and Taurus, and these four constellations—Taurus, Gemini, Libra and Capricorn—constitute a potent quaternary of energies and between them produce those conditions and situations which will enable the initiate to demonstrate his readiness and capacity for initiation. They are called the "Guardians of the Four Secrets."

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Taurus—Guards the secret of light and confers illumination upon the initiate.

Gemini—Guards the mystery or secret of duality and presents the initiate with a word which leads to the fusion of the greater pairs of opposite.

Libra—Guards the secret of balance, of equilibrium and finally speaks the word which releases the initiate from the power of the Lords of Karma.