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MARS - He-Who-Goes-Forth

Mars is the first gesture of being; the first movement of organic life away from its own center of bodily equilibrium. It is the blind groping toward an outside something which might enhance and add to this equilibrium. And finally it is the urge to propagate, to reproduce the inherent character of the organic whole.

To move away, to go toward, to reproduce — such are the three great life-operations which Mars symbolizes. Each one is a poem of living which often turns into drama or tragedy. And Mars is the eternal Actor who never tires of going forth — away from the known, toward and into the unknown; the Warrior who ever leads the battle of existence and tends to equalize the inner and the outer pressures of life — until the dissolving power of Neptune does away with the partition separating the outer from the inner, and the difference between I and Not-I temporarily vanishes. Then Mars abdicates and, solemnly or wearily, delivers his sword to Pluto, the Conqueror and the Agent of a Greater Whole.

To move away. Why should organic life tend to move away from its bodily equilibrium? Because to live organically is to generate excess energy; and the loss of energy in passive bodily radiation — such as heat radiation — does not ordinarily suffice to compensate for the increase of potential. The interior pressure of the life-force becomes unbearable, and a definite release is needed. Mars conditions all mechanisms of release of energy from an organic whole that has become surcharged with life-power.

The reason for the increase in organic potential is due essentially to three factors, symbolized by the celestial bodies within the orbit of the Earth. Each of them represents a definite type of relationship — and all power comes from relationship. Every type of energy is born of a corresponding type of relationship established and fulfilled. The greater the fulfillment, the greater the energy generated.

First of all is the Sun and the primordial Will to manifest, which the magic command "Let there be light" sets in operation. This Will is in itself the expression of the awareness of a cosmic need. The One, become aware of the chaotic and scattered Many, wills to be related to them; and this relation is Light — the first type of energy. We now know the source of this Light under the name of "solar photosphere" — the outer Sun. But at the dawn of cosmic manifestation the power that draws this Light out of the "Heart of the Sun", out of the mystic Darkness that antedates all beginnings, is Mars: the great god Eros, Kama-deva, the original Rudra — He who tears the Dark and leads forth the Light.

Today Mars is an exile. In Tibetan astrology he is known as Migmar and his symbol is the "Eye" — because it is the Eye which calls forth the Light, in a symbology wherein all powers of Nature are created to serve the purpose of Consciousness. Mars is an exile, in the sense that He who was the First-born of all the gods must now fulfill his eternal function of releaser of energy at a more material level. As Consciousness is now-centered, for us, on the Earth — then Mars must take his place outside of the Earth's orbit; for he is always the "outside One", He-who-leads-outward, He-who-goes-forth.

After the Sun comes Mercury; after the Will to manifest substantially and so to "redeem" the scattered myriads of particles left over in a state of chaos from a previous cosmic cycle, comes the Will to integrate these particles now gathered within the Saturnian boundaries. Then the Jupiter-Mercury function begins, and Mercury weaves the many threads of relationship between cells and organs within the body — and later the psycho-mental nature. As he does so new internal energies are generated. The cup of organic life overflows. The excess of power produced demands to be used — and for what else could it be used, at first, save to enhance and add to the quality of the organic life? "There must be ways of living more abundantly by venturing forth into the unknown, by using the excess energy to bring more life and to increase the size and stature of my organism" — thus says the blindly groping life within; and communications begin to be established with the unknown world outside — through sensations, through reaching out for food, through commerce, through mental projections and intellectual exchange.

Once more Mars leads the way out. The Conquistador and Adventurer traces the pathways along which commerce will flow. Who would there be to blaze the trail save the red Pioneer, He-who-goes-forth, who tears the outer Dark to make way for sensations, for all that the organism may perceive and gather to itself in its will to expansion, its will to grow by assimilating the outer?

And here again Mars is fittingly to be seen as the single "Eye" of the earliest evolutionary days, the Eye which visualizes immediate rapports of being, which instinctively perceives the sense of life-situations and leads the organs of action directly to their goals. Mars is then the one-eyed Cyclops of ancient mythology, the Giant whose prototype is to be seen in the constellation Orion. He is the symbol of Desire. However, no longer the compassionate Desire-to-be which led the One to gather the Many to Itself, but now the Desire-to-maintain-oneself and to grow, which is a correlate of the Jupiter-Mercury function. He will experience a further transformation and become the Desire-to-reproduce-oneself, in association with Venus — his polar opposite and his mate.

This Desire-to-reproduce-oneself is merely an extension, at the level of organic life, of the original and monadic Desire-to-be. In fact this latest manifestation is really the most characteristic, because the original Desire of the Solar One to be related to the myriads of material units scattered through space is after all a desire to project His attributes upon those units. It may be a compassionate desire, yet compassion is desire in its noblest aspect — as is also pure spiritual devotion. The compassion which urges the Great Ones to teach and to love the poor stumbling egos of men is still desire. It is the desire to be the All, to leave nothing separate. It is the will to wholeness, all-inclusive, all-encompassing. To this will the scattered units answer, or may answer, by the pure flame of devotional aspiration — the desire to become one with the One.

These desires are great life-movements which lead the unit of consciousness (or the energy thereof) away from its particular center and into identification with the consciousness or being of other, lesser or greater, units. And Mars is always and at every stage the symbol of such life-movements. But when he operates at the level of human personality, problems arise which disturb the purity of his action.

What is usually meant by human love and its passion of desire is a complex movement of the life-energies — an emotion, a moving-out — which acquires its complexity from the fact that humankind is at present in a transitory stage and is functioning half-way between the physiological and the psycho-mental plane, and actually functioning fully on neither one plane nor the other. Thus the strange emotional confusion which obsesses men, has obsessed them more or less since the time of the Greek civilization, and will obsess them until our so-called morals — the result of a confusion between levels of being and behavior — are repolarized, and human nature is understood in its twofold essence and learns to operate polyphonically.

Originally, the male desire for the female was of the nature of the primordial urge to be and to impress upon chaotic and unorganized substance the integrating will of the One. It was not desire in terms of consciousness, but as a flowing out of will from the symbolical Sun to the symbolical Moon. The solar rhythm was thus impressed upon the lunar inchoate substance; and this rhythm was primordially Light — for Light also is a rhythmic vibration which thrills through passive substance and stirs it into an integrating response. Integration is demonstrated as the child, which is a certain amount of female substance integrated by the rhythm of the male power; nay more — which is (originally and essentially) the living symbol of the integration of the woman as a whole.

Thus it has been said that childbirth is for a woman spiritual "initiation"; and all the ancient and mystic processes of Initiation were patterned after the cycles and occurrences of fecundation, gestation and delivery. This was, of course, at a time when spirituality was in no way separated from the physiological level of being, but rather was seen as the supreme vitalization and integration of body and personality; at a time when the term "spirit" was identical with the term "breath", and "soul" was merely the subtle or essential form of the vital energies. Then woman was substance, and man spirit; and their union had all the characteristics of the relationship between spirit and substance. Woman was "initiated" by man, and integrated through motherhood. Motherhood and the care of the home were the culmination of the woman's nature.

A man's life, on the other hand, was divided potentially into two periods. During the first, he acted as a sun, and established his little solar system — his family — in terms of participation in the life of the greater Whole — the village-community or the state. Then, the children being more or less grown up and provided for, the man could begin to live in terms of a transcendental order, which in most countries meant he could then prepare himself for the great "initiation" that is death. In death was his "initiation".

There were cases however which were super-normal. Some young men were prepared from childhood or adulthood to become "initiated" while alive. They had to pass through a process which at a psychic level made of them a woman, being "initiated" by a superior Power that entered into them, spiritually possessed and integrated them. In them the "Christ-child" was born. No woman however could become initiated in these psycho-spiritual Mysteries; for woman was seen operating essentially upon the physiological-genetic plane.

But things have changed. With the psycho-mental revolution of the Greek times, with the influence of women like the great Aspasia and later Hypatia, woman began her repolarization at the new level of human consciousness. The result has been a psychic, mental and emotional chaos; a mixing-up of planes, the extreme manifestation of which is now everywhere to be seen as homosexuality.

Later on, when the cycle of strictly individual selfhood is ended and man becomes truly a universal being, a microcosm, Mars gives up his rulership of Aries to Pluto, god of rebirth. Pluto acts then as the representative of the Galaxy — the Universal Being. The initiation he bestows is again that of death, but a death which is only the death of limitations and is the birthing of a universal consciousness. Such a consciousness has still an individual center, but it can participate in the consciousness of all things. It has a "home", but this "home" can be taken and established everywhere, for it has the power of universal adaptability.

Mars, unless he has turned destructive, is the captain of the Sun's armies. His essential characteristic is to release energies, to lead any and all outgoings. Therefore he is never a servant of the universal order. His work is always with the particular. He deals always with a "one" — be it a spiritual monad, an intellectual ego, or a body-bound personality. When the stage of Plutonian rebirth is reached, Mars must take a protean character. He must adapt himself to many types of energies. But his place is still at the side of the individual, now become a radiant sun. He is at the fountain-head of all activities. He is the unit of action, the cosmic quantum. No atom moves in our universe that Mars did not start upon its circuits.

If we see him close to our Earth, watching outside her gates, it is because our consciousness is now centered upon the Earth. Mars is always the next thing to see outside one's gates. Midway between Mars and Venus, there stands one's consciousness, the individual center of being, the conscious ego; because all forms of personalized life are to be found midway between action and reaction. Mars is centrifugal; Venus centripetal. Mars rules all out-goings; Venus all in-comings. All desires return to their sources, charged with experience. Venus is the path of return and the fruitage of all experience. But within the fruit a new seed will be formed. This seed is the earth-child of the Sun. It too will fall in compassion for the soil, for the chemical elements of the soil which it needs to integrate once more into a plant-organism. Mars will see that the seed falls in its own time.

In this function Mars becomes the captain of all earth-bent desires. Wherever a seed falls in desire, there is to be seen the sword of Mars, cutting loose the seed. All desire is sacrifice — or suicide. Within Venus — the fruition — the seed matures. This seed it is which has grown on earth for ages as the Tree of Wisdom. This is the "Great Sacrifice" of archaic traditions, the Being incomparable, whose seed is seen at the close of every great cycle in the persons of Great Spiritual Teachers, Masters of Wisdom.

But all seeds falling upon the ground do not fall in solar encompassment or sacrifice. Many die of immature desire for the soil. Many experiences do not come to maturity. Many a time Venus longs for Mars, before the time has come for the sword to strike. The seed falls, unripe. It will add its substance to the dark humus of decaying leaves. Such a fall is a suicide indeed. Man cannot hold back long enough the pull of the gravitational forces. There is a haste, a rush of energies. Mars does not properly control the release. It may be that his action is unfocalized by Neptune, or made spasmodic by Saturn. Perhaps Jupiter makes him blind with a glamor of expansion; or Uranus intoxicates him with the scent of the beyond. He may be awed by Pluto, confused by his occult Mysteries. In other cases Mars and Venus may be seen in too close an embrace. Where there is no proper spacing between action and reaction, the seed cannot fall. It remains within the drying-up fruit — either useless or to be garnered and kept in granaries for higher purposes than those of physiological nature.

These are all symbols — and every symbol is a seed. Mars must let it fall within the consciousness, there to germinate in the appointed time and to demonstrate its worth and its significance. One can hardly speak of Mars without mentioning Venus, for how could there be a without and no within, or a within and no without? When Mars is releaser of solar Light, Venus is hidden within the "Heart of the Sun". She is then the Seed of a previous cosmic cycle. And it is this Seed-Host of Beings that falls under the urge of the Desire once more to create order out of chaos. We know that fall as Light — the radiation from the mystic "Heart of the Sun".

Each ray of Light therefore carries something of the "Heart of the Sun" — a quality, a rhythm, a principle of formation. Consider this at the physiological level, and we understand the action of the male seed. All fecundation depends upon the interaction of Mars and Venus in terms of the cycles of the Moon; for it is the Moon which, half of the time inside and half of the time outside of the Earth's orbit, provides the place of meeting for Mars and Venus. The lunar orbit — the sub-lunar realm of the ancients — is the womb, the place of meeting.

But humanity develops its psycho-mental nature, attempts to center its energies therein. The individual as an individual may succeed; but what of the couple constituted by an individual man and an individual woman? Will there be fecundation, or mental-spiritual comradeship? Will the place of meeting be within the womb — or outside of the lunar realm? Will a "higher Moon" offer her hollow chamber, will a Pyramid give hospitality to the King's and the Queen's Chambers?

These are all problems, the sharp and often tragic problems of our new humanity. Mars, Venus, the Moon are the symbols of such vital matters of human relationship and of desire; the keys which may open dark rooms within the subconscious, and set the emotional energies of men and women, at last, free.

This edition copyright © 2008 Michael R. Meyer
All Rights Reserved.

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