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3. Spiritual Effects of the Zodiacal Constellations. - Part 1

I am now going to outline to you the spiritual effect of the passage of a soul around the wheel of experience. We will attempt to consider, in the case of each constellation, the general effect upon a soul—undergoing the experience—from the orthodox angle as he travels from Aries to Taurus, via Pisces, and then—as the disciple, coming under other influences—travels from Aries to Pisces, via Taurus. Thus the usual process is reversed and the man reorients himself and "faces the East," as it is esoterically called. He expresses [91] then in the highest possible manner the qualities of his soul ray as, in the first case, he expressed the quality of the personality ray.

It is not possible for me to be more specific. I seek only to give certain spiritual implications and hints and to convey a general idea of the effect of the great illusion upon resultant conditions and, secondly, the result of the great tests which every disciple eventually undergoes as he reverses the wheel of life.

ARIES, THE RAM

Strictly speaking, what I have to say now concerns the pure first ray type because Aries is the zodiacal sign through which the first Ray of Will or Power reaches our planetary life. Such pure types are rare indeed and at this period of evolution well-nigh unknown. Most people are governed by their personality ray and as the present first ray types are expressing themselves through personalities which are on all the rays, I would simply ask you to consider what I have to say from the angle of character effects, of problems presented and of quality unfolded. It is well-nigh impossible to be more explicit until such time as the Science of the Rays has been further developed; the astrologer must ascertain the ray type before he will be able to cast the adequate horoscope of the soul. My remarks are therefore general and not specific and are universal and not particular. I impose no doctrine. I indicate phases of speculation which might prove illuminating and fruitful.

Aries is one of the constellations of the Cardinal Cross of the heavens. This is the cross of God, the Father, and, therefore, of the incarnating monad. It is the expression of will or power as it expresses itself through the great creative process. When the initiate (as we shall later [92] see) transfers himself on to the Cardinal Cross from which he descended when coming into incarnation and mounted in its place the Common or Mutable Cross, he no longer identifies himself with form or even with soul, but with the will of divinity and with the eternal plan and purpose. It becomes his plan and purpose. He knows no other in a sense which is unknown even to an initiate of the third degree. He then enters into the council chamber of God; he becomes a part of the conclave at Shamballa; he functions no longer simply as a member of the Hierarchy upon the mental plane. He can now function through all the three world centres—Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa.

Aries initiates the cycle of manifestation. All souls, as individual entities, come into human incarnation for the first time in the sign of Cancer, emerging as mental entities in the sign Aries, as emotional-desire entities in the sign Taurus and as vital entities in the sign Gemini, taking then physical form in Cancer. This is an involutionary, subjective cycle. Thus they emerge into the ocean of physical plane existence, into the world of matter. Yet the first impulse is awakened in Aries, for Aries is the place where the initial idea to institute activity takes form. It is the birthplace of ideas, and a true idea is in reality a spiritual impulse taking form—subjective and objective. There originates the response of the soul to the highest aspect or quality of deity because there appears the "will to incarnate." The first ray aspect of the Monad, responding to the first aspect of deity, evokes response from the first ray aspect of the soul and the first step towards incarnation is taken on that plane in the system which is the mental plane. Aries "awakens the will to reach the lowest and there control, to know the uttermost and thus to face all experience"—thus runs an ancient statement.

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The keynotes of the sign Aries are four in number, all conveying the same idea. They can be expressed in the following four injunctions which are given, symbolically, to the incarnating soul:

1. Express the will to be and do.

2. Unfold the power to manifest.

3. Enter into battle for the Lord.

4. Arrive at unity through effort.

Creation—Being—Activity—Strife—Synthesis, these are the nature of the Lord of the first constellation and enable Him to influence our planet to these results.

And thus the great cycle of struggle towards expression starts and the foundational words of The Secret Doctrine, with which you are all so familiar, expresses the goal and the purpose of the first sign of the Cardinal Cross:

"Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these three are a trinity synthesised by life which pervades them all."—S.D. I. 80.

What appears in Aries as spiritual energy enters into the soul stage in Cancer, in which sign the soul incarnates for the first time in form, reaches a point of equilibrium in Libra, in which sign soul and personality achieve a balance of cooperation and, in Capricorn, the will nature arrives at fulfilment and a visioned goal is reached. In Capricorn, the man reaches either the height of personal ambition or he becomes the initiate, attaining his spiritual objective. The difference between these two goals depends upon the mode of progression around the wheel of life. It should be remembered—generalising again and speaking symbolically—that the Crosses also turn, being the spokes of the great [94] wheel. The undeveloped man goes from Aries to Capricorn and to Libra and Cancer, whilst the developed man reverses the process. We could, for the sake of clarity, consider the great experience of life as taking place upon the three wheels within the wheel of Life, viewing it from three angles:

 

 

| 1. The Wheel of Incarnation.

 

| 2. The cycle of ordinary evolution.

 

| 3. The period of captivity, wherein the man is bound upon the wheel.

  I.

| 4. The fourfold influence of the Common Cross.

 

| 5. Life in the three worlds.

 

| 6. The development of personality.

 

 

 

| 1. The Wheel adjusted or reversed.

 

| 2. The cycle of discipleship.

 

| 3. The period of emergence, wherein the man alters the revolution of the wheel.

 II.

| 4. The fourfold influence of the Fixed Cross.

 

| 5. Life in the five worlds of superhuman evolution.

 

| 6. The unfoldment of soul through the personality.

 

 

 

| 1. The wheel controlled or dominated.

 

| 2. The cycle of initiation.

 

| 3. The period of liberation from the work of the Great Wheel.

III.

| 4. The fourfold influence of the Cardinal Cross.

 

| 5. Life in the seven worlds of our seven planes.

 

| 6. Fusion of spirit, soul and personality.

 

Aries, therefore, starts the process of the "most ancient initiation" which all the human family has already undergone [95] and will undergo. The first great cosmic initiation (as far as humanity is concerned) is initiation into incarnation—the initiation of individualisation. This process culminates aeons later in the reversing of the wheel and the attaining of a definite goal in Capricorn. It culminates in the achievement of transference from off the Fixed Cross on to the Cardinal Cross, which is, in its turn, the logical sequence of the transference from off the Mutable or Common Cross on to the Fixed Cross. Therefore, in its lowest manifestation, Aries is the creator of those activities, conditions and processes which lead to the manifestation of soul through the medium of form, and later of those higher creative undertakings which lead in due time to the manifestation of spirit through the soul. These processes eventually demonstrate the true nature of the triplicity to which I introduced you in the earlier pages of this treatise: Life—Quality—Appearance.

Aries is also the purveyor to our solar system of Fire (Electric Fire) and of the dynamic nature of God which has in it the qualities of fostering and nourishing heat and also of the fire which burns and destroys. From the standpoint of esoteric astrology, there are three major signs in which the "three deaths" are undergone:

1. Aries, which at different points along the Path of Life forces the soul on to the burning ground and subjects it to a purifying process during incarnation. Through the lesser fire of mind, the "jungles of experience are set on fire and dissolve in flames and then the Path stands clear and unobstructed vision is achieved." — Old Commentary

Through the fiery processes of war and strife, brought to the individual through the influence of the planetary [96] ruler, Mars, the God of War, a needed purification takes place. The same purification, but this time through vision, comes to the developed man through the activity of the subjective ruler of the planet, Mercury, who is the illuminating principle which releases the mind, directs the way of man through life and enables him to become aware of the divine Plan which underlies all his fiery experience.

2. Scorpio, which brings about eventually the death of the personality and with which we shall later deal when we come to consider that sign. Esoterically as well as exoterically, Scorpio is the sign of death and burial in the earth, of descent into the depths in order to be lifted again on to the heights (the mountain top in Capricorn). It is stated in some of the most ancient books that "the heat of the earth, the mother, and the sting of the scorpion are the beneficent gifts which the turning of the wheel gives to the man at the beginning and the end." These gifts, when accepted and used, bring a man to liberation and eventually from the control and pain of the Fixed Cross.

3. Pisces sees the relinquishing or the death of all the influences which hold the man to the wheel of birth and his release from the control of the Common or Mutable Cross.

It is interesting to note that each of these three signs of death is to be found in a different cross:

1. Aries . . . . . The cardinal cross

2. Scorpio . . . The fixed cross

3. Pisces . . . .  The mutable cross

It is the influence of these three which brings about the [97] "three needed and determined deaths" in the life of the human being. I am here referring to the signs, independently of their planetary rulers. There is something in the energy which pours in through these signs which predetermines a crystallising process and the eventual destruction of some type of form control. The Old Commentary expresses these ideas in the following terms:

"The fire blazed forth and through that fire I died to life and so was born to death. And then again I died to form (Aries).

The heat of earth, the fiery temper of the mother, destroyed the form, released the soul and so the lesser self was killed (Scorpio).

The waters drowned the man. The fish was made to disappear. It then appeared again only to die or else to die and bring salvation" (Pisces).

Thus there are symbolically the death through fire, the death through earth and the death through water—burning, suffocation and drowning—but, in this world cycle, the death through air is not either known or understood. There are not therefore four deaths, as the goal of our system during manifestation is "initiation or release into the air," so that the bird of life out of time and space can fly free. The concept which the Law of Correspondence brings of the final death is covered by the words liberation, relinquishment and final initiation, and means little to humanity, for it concerns the planetary Logos and His life cycle. The three deaths which do overtake man, the individual and the human family as a whole, release the soul into three great planetary centres:

1. The death by drowning or by water in Pisces releases man again into that great centre which we call Humanity, [98] and there experience is gained. Herein lies the mystery of the fish-goddesses of this sign "who spawn their young again and yet again."

2. The death by suffocation in Scorpio releases man into the planetary centre which we call the Hierarchy.

3. The death by fire or burning in Aries releases man into another centre to which we give the name Shamballa.

There is much to work out, is there not, in these ideas which I offer to you as suggestive considerations and as hints related to the Science of Triangles, which is the esoteric basis of astrology, just as the doctrine of the trinity (microcosmic and macrocosmic) is the esoteric basis of occultism. Death is, therefore, of three kinds. This Science of Divine Dying underlies the well-known phrase "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," and when the relationship between Aries, Scorpio and Pisces is properly understood (as the linking and merging of the three crosses) a new light will be thrown upon all subsidiary sciences—exoteric and esoteric. The teaching in The Secret Doctrine about the reincarnating monads who are called the divine Sacrifices, Lords of Knowledge, Will and Sacrifice, will be clarified. These monads, who are ourselves, are Lords of Persevering Ceaseless Devotion —devotion even unto death.

It is interesting here to note also that through the ruling planet, Mars, the average man born in this sign is related to Scorpio, and thus the Cardinal Cross is related to the Fixed Cross. Points of crisis can thus be noted when the horoscope is considered from this angle. At the same time, Aries is related to birth, through Mercury who rules Aries esoterically, and also Virgo, of which Mercury is the exoteric ruler. Through Uranus also, Aries is related to Aquarius, [99] the sign of world service, leading to death and liberation in Pisces. Uranus is the planet through which zodiacal energy flows, in connection with the Creative Hierarchies upon our planet, from one of the stars of the Great Bear. It is these relationships with which esoteric astrology deals, and from them the universal can be grasped and the particular understood. The human being in his eventual recognised group relationships is of more importance than appears in his individual life, which the orthodox horoscope seeks to elucidate. It only determines his little destiny and unimportant fate. Esoteric astrology indicates his group usefulness and the scope of his potential consciousness.

I would remind you here that frequently when the ruler of a sign is given as the Sun or the Moon I shall speak of one of the hidden planets, Uranus or Vulcan. These are interchangeable in their use and it is difficult to tell to which the esoteric planet refers unless you have been told. Hence my above reference to Uranus.

In connection with Aries, which expresses or is the agent primarily of the first Ray of Will or Power, the ray of the destroyer, it should be stated that first ray energy comes from the divine Prototype in the Great Bear, that it becomes transmuted into the force and activity of the planetary Logos of the first ray, and works out as His triple activity under the guidance of the three ruling planets—Mars, Mercury and Uranus.

Mars embodies sixth ray force which leads to idealism, destructive fanaticism frequently, struggle, strife, war, effort and evolution. God's idea in Aries becomes the concrete plan in Capricorn whether that objective is the full flower of the planetary life in all its forms, the ambition of a personality working out its own ideas and ambitious worldly projects or the spiritual aspiration (worldly ambition [100] transmuted into its higher aspect) of the initiate, who seeks to work out God's plans and make them his own. In every case, Mars leads to the battle ground of Scorpio.

Mercury, embodying the energy of the fourth ray, eventually carries the man around the wheel of life and through the medium of conflict enables him to achieve harmony. Mercury illumines the mind and mediates between the soul and the personality, being the Messenger of the Gods. This mediatorship, in the first instance, produces an inevitable opposition between the pairs of opposites and a long drawn out conflict. This conflict finally works out into victory and the dispelling of illusion through the illumination of the lower mind. Mercury and the Sun are one, we are frequently told in the occult literature. The Sun is the symbol of the Son of God, Who is the mediator between Father-Spirit and Mother-Matter. Mercury, therefore, leads Aries to Virgo (again speaking symbolically) where the idea or Word of God begins to take form, and consequently the latent life in Aries comes to the "crisis of the birth hour," prior to the birth of the Christ, cosmically considered, though the birth of the individual Christ takes place in Capricorn, at the close of the needed gestation period.

Uranus embodies the energy of the seventh ray and its work is analogous to that of Mercury, for the seventh ray is the ray which relates spirit and matter and brings together electric fire and fire by friction, thus producing manifestation. Uranus leads the soul to the burning ground during the final stages of the Path, when the fire of Aries and the fires engendered through the potency of Uranus produce the flaming heat of the final burning ground. Through this burning ground, the initiate has finally to pass. Uranus rules the occult Way and is, in an esoteric sense, connected with the Hierophant of the Mysteries of Initiation.

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Therefore, we have in relation to Aries and the life of the soul, which there comes into subjective manifestation, certain related signs wherein the soul, in objective manifestation, passes through peculiar and definite crises:

1. The crises of the battle field, leading to the culminating battle in Scorpio and the liberation into life in Capricorn, the place of the higher initiations, after the reversal of the wheel.

2. The crisis of the birth place in Virgo, brought about through the activity of Mercury, leading through Leo to the birth of the Christ in Capricorn. The self-conscious individual in Leo becomes the Christ-conscious Initiate in Capricorn.

3. The crisis of the burning ground, which is brought about through the activity of Uranus. This is entered through the free choice of the initiate who makes his choice in Libra, the point of balance where—usually—the moment for the reversal of the wheel takes place. There the man has to decide whether to proceed as usual and according to custom or, reversing the wheel, to pass through the burning ground to liberation. Libra is the polar opposite to Aries and therefore closely related.

You will note that the rays which are related to or expressing themselves through Aries are curiously balanced, Rays 1 and 7 are the highest and the lowest, and therefore demand a point of balance upon the wheel which is provided in Libra. Rays 6 and 4 bring to this balancing process the energy of the second ray, the major building ray which enables the man to build anew and provide himself with a spiritual body of manifestation.

I would also call your attention to the fact that through Uranus, Aries is related to Aquarius. The vague beginnings [102] in Aries, the faint emergence of the latent embodied ideas have—after the turning of the wheel in two directions—brought release in Capricorn and produced the world server in Aquarius, who voluntarily stays upon the great wheel (using the Cardinal Cross as his conditioning signs) and thus staying within the sphere of influence in order to help humanity to find liberation from the Fixed Cross.

In the sweep of the zodiac there are four signs which are signs of birth, of beginning and of renewed cyclic realisation.

1. Aries, the "birthplace of divine Ideas," whether these ideas are souls brought into incarnation and controlled by Mars until they reach the point of reorientation and become sensitive to the influence of Mercury, or whether they are the birth of the ideas of God in the form of the hierarchical plans to which the initiate becomes sensitive.

2. Cancer, the "birthplace into the life of form," the door into physical incarnation. This is the sign in which humanity, as a whole integrated unit, is born, the scene of the emergence of the fourth kingdom in nature. Humanity has "emerged from rock and water and brings its habitation with it" (as the Old Commentary expresses it) and mass instinctual consciousness comes into being. Note that phrase.

3. Leo, the "birthplace of the individual," the coming into form of individual self-conscious man who emerges out of the mass and herd in Cancer, substituting, for instinctual consciousness, self-awareness and a sense of responsibility of an individual kind.

4. Capricorn, the "birthplace of the Christ," the place of the "second birth" and the scene for the emergence of [103] the fifth kingdom in nature when the right time comes. In this sign, the initiate comes into a spiritual awareness which demonstrates later in Aquarius and in Pisces as man, the world worker, and man, the world saviour—both of them with a universal mission.

It is from hints such as these that the astrologer of the future will determine the type of horoscope which should be cast. Two questions will then arise, requiring reasoned answers:

1. Is the subject a personality, progressing around and around the wheel, perfecting self-consciousness and developing a rounded out personality through experience and the working of the Law of Karma, subject to the Great Illusion and arriving eventually at the height of personality ambition in Capricorn?

2. Or, is this person beginning to manifest as a soul, pouring light through dense fogs of illusion, and preparing for the major tests in Scorpio, to be followed by initiation in Capricorn?

Subsidiary questions would, for instance be: For which death is the man preparing? Is there an imminent crisis at hand which indicates a birth into some new state of consciousness? The crucial question, however, to be determined in every case, is the direction in which the man is progressing around the wheel of life. The orthodox horoscope concerns the personality life and the form is bound upon the "wheel of life as it turns from right to left" (from Aries to Taurus via Pisces). But the soul is bound to the wheel as it turns from left to right, going from Aries to Pisces, via Taurus. It is this antagonistic movement of the wheel "turning upon itself" (as it is expressed in the Bible) [104] which leads to the conflict carried on in the individual life, in the life of humanity and in the life of the planet. In the early stages of evolution and upon the Mutable Cross, the consciousness is entirely identified with life in form and with the life of self-consciousness, self-preservation and self-enrichment. Then comes an interlude wherein the consciousness begins to shift into that of the group and becomes identified with the soul and with soul purpose. The experience of the Fixed Cross covers this period. It might here be noted that the experience of the three crosses has a Masonic significance and can be connected with the Blue Lodge:

1. The Common Cross . . . The E\ A\ Degree

2. The Fixed Cross . . . . . . The F\ C\ Degree

3. The Cardinal Cross . . . . The M\ M\ Degree

Much will come to light in Masonry when its astrological implications are studied and understood. Much also will be revealed anent individual life and purpose when the fate of certain planets (when in the various zodiacal signs) is properly investigated and grasped and their symbolic significances interpreted. For instance, it is well known theoretically and mathematically that,

1. The Sun is exalted in Aries. Here the Sun stands for the life of the spirit which comes to full expression as the result of the great evolutionary process, initiated in Aries. The life of God which in this sign is "swung into activity" eventually achieves consummation. Latency becomes potency and midnight merges into midday. God, the Father, rules.

2. The power of Venus is lessened in this sign. It is a detrimental sign to Venus. The reason for this is that when the Sun is exalted and blazes forth in all its glory, [105] the other lesser luminaries fade out. Just as the personality is lost sight of in the light of the soul, the solar Angel, so the soul itself disappears and its power and radiance fade out when the Presence, which it has hitherto veiled, appears and dominates the scene at the end of the greater world cycle. We are told that the incarnating Minds, human beings, the solar Angels, came originally from Venus, but they in turn give place to the monad, the One. Mind gives place to intuition and reason to pure perception.

3. Saturn "falls" in Aries. This has two meanings, for this is a dual sign. First: Saturn is the Lord of Karma, the imposer of retribution and the one who demands full payment of all debts and who therefore condemns us to the struggle for existence, both from the form side and from the soul side. Saturn, therefore, "fell" when man fell into generation. He "followed the sons of men down into their low place." Second: Saturn's power is completely ended and his work accomplished when man (the spiritual man) has freed himself from Karma and from the power of the two Crosses—the Common and the Fixed. Esoterically, Saturn cannot follow man on to the Cardinal Cross.

There is much that could be elaborated along this line but the above will give a hint as to the esoteric significance of these three happenings within every sign. They can also indicate much concerning the man whose horoscope is under consideration.

The decanates can also be dealt with in two ways, according to the direction in which man is travelling upon the wheel and therefore entering the sign, speaking in symbols. [106] If he enters Aries when on the Common Cross he will come under the influence of Mars, the Sun and Jupiter, according to Sepharial. This means conflict, revelation and the successful satisfaction of desire and ambition as the aeons pass away. When he reorients himself and mounts the Fixed Cross, he comes under the influence of Jupiter, the Sun and Mars, for the initiate and the disciple culminates his career in any of the signs with a final and dominant struggle and fight. I would remark here that Alan Leo had a glimpse of the inner significance of the decanates when he assigned Mars, the Sun and Venus to the three decanates. He touched the truth of the inner subjective reversal upon the wheel which brings in other energies and influences when he substituted Venus for Jupiter. Mind and heart must be coordinated and brought into play when the great reversal takes place.

We have seen that Aries is the sign of beginnings—the beginning of the creative process, the first step of the soul (the microcosm of the already initiated Macrocosm) towards incarnation, the beginning of recurring and constant cycles of experience, the beginning of the period wherein the soul changes its direction, its purpose and its method, and finally enters upon that definitely defined process which we call spiritual regeneration and initiation. There are four words of vital importance upon which we shall ring the changes, as we study the path of evolution, or the progress of the soul around the great wheel, both as a personality and as a disciple, headed towards the final liberating process. These four words express the subjective impulses and motives and, in reality, introduce four different cycles of progress upon the Path in its various stages of individualisation to initiation. They are:

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1. Re-creation in which the influence of Cancer, combined with that of Aries, produces the pull into incarnation upon the physical plane.

2. Regeneration in which the growing influence of the Fixed Cross, playing upon the Mutable Cross, produces those interior changes which eventually lead to

3. Reorientation or the great cycle of repolarisation which takes place through the influence of Libra (the Cardinal Cross) and the "swerving of the Bull in mid-career," as it is called in the ancient books. This process of reorientation leads to a passage around the wheel in which, steadily and persistently, the inner subjective man comes into outer manifested expression and the personality recedes into the background. Finally, there come twelve lives wherein the final stage of

4. Renunciation is experienced and the disciple or initiate renounces all for the love of humanity and its service, and lays himself upon the altar of sacrifice. He achieves, as a result, the final liberation.

This liberation is, in reality, twelve-fold in nature, for liberation, victory and triumph have to be experienced in every sign, just as captivity, defeat and failure have been experienced in all the signs of the zodiac, whilst the man is functioning as a personality. It is these four words and their significance which will underlie all that I have to say to you anent the dual experience upon the great wheel of life. I would ask you to bear this definitely in mind.

Going through the great cycle from Aries to Taurus, the man reenters the sign Aries again under the potent impression of Taurus, which at this stage of development feeds his ardent desire for the many material advantages of physical incarnation and of constant worldly undertakings; thus [108] after a period of re-creation, he passes out into incarnation in Pisces and begins again the great round of manifested life, for Pisces is the ocean wherein he is "the fish," controlled by the laws of substance or material existence. In the second great stage, he passes from Aries to Taurus, because desire has at last been transmuted into aspiration. After proving his steadfastness to the ideal of the spiritual life in the intervening signs, he passes again into Pisces, from the opposite direction to his usual procedure, having earned the right to mount the Cardinal Cross of the Heavens, the power to take a final planetary initiation and the privilege of passing on to one of the seven paths to which I have made reference in my other books; these eventually give him "the freedom of the seven solar systems," as it is called in contradistinction to "the freedom of the seven planetary spheres," which the experience of initiation has guaranteed him, after a process of intensive training in one or other of the planetary schools (according to his ray type) and the path of service chosen.

You will see, therefore, the significance of the two keywords of the sign Aries:

1. "And the Word said: Let form again be sought"

The Man

2. "I come forth and from the plane of mind, I rule"

The Initiate

Experience leads to rulership and in this sign the man who is embodied first ray force develops the power of organisation, of control over forces, particularly over the energy of death, over the power of destruction applied with love, of dominance over multitudes, of cooperation with the plan and the practice of the Will in rightly and correctly guiding and directing planetary affairs.

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Before we take up the remaining eleven signs of the zodiac, and in order to give you a clear framework upon which to build the new astrology by means of which you can grasp the dual procedure of the soul around the great wheel, I would point out that what I have given you on Aries will be dealt with also as we consider the other signs. You will find that I have indicated significances and pointed out some of the truths which can be found in connection with:

1. The keynote of the signs. These express the underlying effect upon the man as he progresses in one of two directions.

2. The Nature of the Cross upon which the man is crucified at any one time.

3. The influence of the planetary Rulers—orthodox or esoteric.

4. The Rays which primarily express themselves through a particular sign; the clue to which sign it may be is found in the orthodox planetary ruler where the personality ray is concerned and the esoteric planetary ruler where the soul is concerned.

5. The Qualities of the sign and of the man who has come forth in a particular sign.

6. The interplay between a sign and its polar opposite.

7. The planets which are exalted, in detriment, or which fall in any particular sign, for a study of these will indicate the three phases of the Path—with its involutionary cycle of becoming increasingly involved in matter, or life upon the Mutable Cross, the interlude of readjustment or struggle for liberation which leads to the mounting of the Fixed Cross, and the period of liberation with the final mounting of the Cardinal Cross.

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8. The significance of the key words for the modes of progress through the signs.

9. The underlying theme of any specific zodiacal sign, covered by the ideas of re-creation, regeneration, reorientation and renunciation.

Before taking up these matters in connection with Pisces, there are one or two points upon which I would like to touch. I have to take up certain problems as they may arise in the consciousness of the enquirers and the students, because it is impossible to handle them all at once in the introductory remarks. The confusion would then be well nigh insuperable in the mind of the enquirer. Little by little, we will deal with the various debatable points, and if you will have patience and hold back partisan conclusions, the picture of the new astrology will begin to emerge more clearly in your minds. At present, the readjustment of your ideas leads to inevitable temporary bewilderment.

One of the questions which normally arises might be expressed as follows, and was so expressed by an interested astrological student. It involved the following inquiry: Granted the inevitability of a man eventually reversing the mode of his passage through the twelve signs, at what time and in which sign does the Sun reverse? At what point in the swing of the zodiac can this reversal in the Sun itself be seen taking place?

Unless you have some grasp of the nature of the great illusion of the constitution of the Sun, it will be hard for you to understand the significance of my reply. The sun to which you are referring is the physical Sun and its apparent path in the heavens. This "appearance" will not outwardly change and—here is the statement of importance—the real Sun under which our planetary life will eventually function [111] and to which response will be made is the Heart of the Sun. When that is controlling, the spiritual man will then live a dual life simultaneously (which is ever the problem of the man who is illumined by the soul as well as by the light of day) and this dual life will consist of our apparent experience and situations and our inner spiritual soul awareness. The personality will still respond to influences coming to it from the physical Sun but the motivated life activity and the subjective experience of the inner man will be conditioned by energies coming to him from the "Heart of the Sun." I would here recall to your minds the teaching of the Ageless Wisdom as given in The Secret Doctrine and elaborated by me in my later books, that the Sun has to be discovered and known in its triple nature which is threefold as is the Trinity. The tabulation below may serve to make this idea somewhat clearer:

 

1. Physical Sun

Form . . . . . . Personality . . .

Influencing Mutable Cross.

2. Heart of the Sun

Soul Consciousness. . . . . ..

Influencing Fixed Cross

3. Central spiritual Sun

Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Influencing Cardinal Cross

 

By the word "influencing" I here refer to the energies pouring from these three aspects of the Sun through the three Crosses to our planet. Ponder on this and remember also that our Sun is travelling through space (carrying our solar system along in its sphere of influence) around our own central and conditioning star which it has been rightly presumed exists in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, being found in the Pleiades. At the same time it appears, from the standpoint of our planet, to be passing through the twelve signs of the zodiac; this is a symbol macrocosmically considered, of the dramatic centralised point of view of the individual human being, the microcosm. It is interesting to [112] compare the symbolism and the underlying truth connected with the lesser and the greater zodiacs and with their twelve month and their 25,000 year cycles. They bear out much that I have given you anent the soul, influenced by the esoteric planets eventually, and the personality, influenced by the orthodox planets. The greater zodiac is symbolic of the soul and the lesser of the personality. In the personality cycle, the lesser zodiac conditions the personality career and the twelve planetary houses are of dominant importance. Later the influence of the twelve signs supersedes the influence of the planets.

I would like also to emphasise—perhaps unnecessarily—that Sirius, the Great Bear and the Pleiades work through the medium of the twelve constellations, pouring their influences through nine of them in particular, but that these major constellations are not part of the zodiac with which we are concerned. They, with the seven solar systems of which ours is one, are the ten constellations connected with a still greater zodiac which is not conditioned by the numerical significance of the number twelve. Hence ten is regarded as the number of perfection. There is confusion in the minds of some of the less learned students (astrologically considered) on this point.

It is rather difficult for you also to grasp that the involutionary process for all the kingdoms of nature is related to the passage of the soul (this time the anima mundi or world soul) from Aries to Pisces, via Taurus and not vice versa. The anima mundi on the involutionary arc proceeds this way and not as the personality proceeds. The anima mundi passes to Pisces at the close of every great cycle and not to Taurus. It emerges into outer manifestation in Cancer, the sign of mass or group life, of mass or [113] group activity; its diffused consciousness has not yet been individualised as has the consciousness of man. When the world soul after having progressed around the Great Wheel, reached Cancer and the time came for the fourth Creative Hierarchy to manifest through the fourth kingdom in nature, a reversal took place and then proceeded as now. It should be remembered with emphatic care that it is only man, individualised man whose progress we are studying, plus his reactions to zodiacal and planetary influences; we are dealing with his reactions, mental and emotional, to the great illusion and to spiritual reality as these two work in his life, objective and subjective. We have, in the larger issue, to consider the influence of the zodiac and the planets upon:

1. The spirit of the Earth, the embodiment of the physical planet and the sum total of the form life in all the kingdoms of nature. These are the expression of the anima mundi or of the world soul.

2. Humanity, the individualised and finally initiated man. This is the embodiment of the human soul or ego, a differentiation of the world soul, which expresses itself as a personality (a correspondence to the spirit of the planet) and finally as a spiritual soul (a correspondence to the planetary Logos).

3. The Lord of the Planet, one of the great Lives or Sons of God, at present regarded as "an imperfect God" as far as our planet is concerned and yet, from the angle of humanity, perfect indeed.

The above triple division expresses the three major aspects of the ancient and esoteric science of astrology and its three divisions as the Hierarchy today studies them. Humanity, [114] having lost the consciousness which permits contact with the spirit of the planet (sub-human consciousness, and which was the basis of animism) and having not yet developed the consciousness which permits him to enter into the Life and Mind of the planetary Logos, has dealt only with the second division and that in its lowest aspect.

Two other points might here be touched upon, and for their understanding you will have to accept my statements as temporary hypotheses at least, for you are in no position to know them as truth for yourselves. Exoteric astrology has said and it is widely accepted that Vulcan, Uranus, Pluto and Neptune do not govern signs but only have affinity with them. I am touching upon this here because we are going to consider the planet Pluto in relation to Pisces. This affinity has only stated a partial truth and is only temporarily true from the standpoint of the modern astrologer. Their existence has only been inferred or discovered within the last two or three centuries though it has always been known to the Hierarchy. I have indicated to you the signs of which they are the rulers and the astrology of the future will accept my statement and work with these planets. Much earlier in human history, they had to accept the fact of Mars and Mercury as rulers of zodiacal signs in a hypothetical manner, and then start to prove the accuracy of the hypothesis. Ancient astrology was obviously incomplete but until man became patently responsive to the influences which come to him from Uranus or Pluto, for instance, which affect the soul life far more than they do the personality life, they remained undiscovered except by trained esotericists. Today, humanity is rapidly responding to the higher spiritual influences and, therefore, we can look for the discovery of increasingly subtle forces.

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