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The sun lies low in the southern skies — a face that has seen death and now glows with the confidence and the ecstasy of rebirth. The light glides softly over the whitened earth, caressing trees that stand bare, abstracts of the life that was. This is Christmas. The shortened days vibrate the mystic tone of solstitial life. I stand facing the gates of light which rise toward the south.

. . . The song of the light! I would capture its elusive melody as it curves throughout the year, as it waxes and wanes with the pilgrim's errand of the sun through the skies; for the year is but a cycle of light, a poem of solar pulsations, now low, then high, carrying with their rhythm the message and meaning of that supreme Being, whose presence is light and whose name men stammer in many tongues.

Throughout the ages the mystery of time has baffled human minds. Poets and philosophers and scientists alike have brought their vacillating answers to the altar of human consciousness, overshadowed by this mystery. What is time, I ask, save the awareness in men of light and darkness, of changes in light and life, save the awareness of days and of years?

Because men are subject to the fatality of sleep, because therefore the cycle of day and night forces upon them and includes for them all the periodic states of being which range from full sense-awareness to the utter unconsciousness of dreamless sleep, this day-cycle must ever be understood as that of individual selfhood. Between the most lucid consciousness and the most profound unconsciousness the individual self balances its activity and its realization of itself as well as of all that is not itself. This is the cycle of the mansions of the self, the cycle of the days and the nights of consciousness, of the above and the below, of light and darkness.

But light itself must change. Life is not only an alternation of states of consciousness and unconsciousness. It includes many qualities of consciousness, many degrees of response to the supreme Source of Life. Because every living thing sees all there is from its own center of vision, it must needs interpret its varying response to this divine Source of Life as changes in the intensity or the quality of that which emanates therefrom. Thus men of old spoke of the waning and the waxing of the sunlight; unaware that it was only their position on the globe of the Earth which produced these apparent yearly changes in the sun's radiations.

Nevertheless, these men were profoundly right. For while we may know today, with intellectual knowing, that the cosmic sun does not move northward and southward, we have forgotten that this outer sun is only the symbol of that Source of Life which dwells within our innermost being as surely and potently as it shines in the distant spaces of the world. And when our illusioned eyes witness the slow swinging of the sun in celestial declination, our unerring intuition should know — and eternally knows beyond deceiving words — that this very same motion is occurring in our most intimate depths; that the inner Source of our Life actually swings in correlation to that outer rhythm.

It is this motion of the inner sun within man that the ancient hierophants and mystics described in glorious and revealing myths. The northward and southward pilgrimage of the sun from solstice to solstice brought to men meanings and realizations that brain-intoxicated man today has forgotten. Bound to sensorial data, and to the intellectual interpretation thereof born of rationalistic logic, man is hypnotized by the fact that the sun can be studied by instruments and formulas, its distance measured and its substance analyzed. And what if it can? Does it make the sun within less subjectively real? If there were no sun within man, who would there ever be to measure the outer sun? If the individual did not rise in consciousness and power out of the sea of mass-instincts, who would there ever be to produce a cultured society, and to create a civilization, objectively exteriorized for all?

Nevertheless every phase of thought through which mankind rises has meaning, correlating as it does to vast, cyclic modifications of universal Life. Intellectual and scientific materialism is a great conquest, in spite of the beauty it has torn to shreds in its naive contempt for all subjective values. And even today science is being repolarized toward a new kind of subjectivism. It is therefore for us to salvage from the memory of the past seeds that have lain dormant for centuries, and to warm them with the power of a more lucid and inclusive understanding, that they may give birth to a new vegetation of symbols potent with a new life, sources of a new vision for a new race of men. The new subjectivism — or shall I call it mysticism? — of science is founded upon three great mystery-ideas: space, time and light. The entire cosmology of the modern physicist rests upon an attempt to re-interpret, correlate and integrate these three concepts — or shall I say symbols? It is not without significance that a modern English philosopher, Alexander, gave a book the title Space, Time and Deity. He might as well have named it Space, Time and Light; for light is our only adequate symbol for Deity in operation. God is That which radiates light — all conceivable modes and qualities of light. And this is why science is at present entering the fields of a new mysticism; because it has destroyed all illusory objects; because it has left behind the realm of opaque and material things. It has entered boldly the realm of light.

The scientist's universe — ever since the dawn of the twentieth century and the discovery of radioactivity and the quantum theory — is a universe of light. It is measured by the velocity of light. Its atoms as well as its remotest galaxies are known to us solely by the radiations of light they emanate. All we know of the world is reflected or radiated light. Ours is no longer a world of objects, brilliant or dark. It is a world composed of radiated and of reflected light. We may infer and induce from our observations of light the existence of Sources of light. But we have no possible way of really and actually penetrating beyond the emanated or reflected light to the source of that light. We are lost in light. We know nothing but light; endless variations, combinations, blendings, conflicts, modifications of light.

Is this not indeed cosmic consciousness? Are we not reaching a direct or indirect awareness of the Glory of God, which is precisely "light"? Space-time is seen by modern thinkers as a mere structure. What fills this structure or framework is light: nothing but light. Indeed we have entered a realm of intellectual mysticism, a mysticism built painstakingly through rationalistic formulas which are nothing but gates leading to the incomprehensible and the unformulatable. There, reason admits of that which is beyond reason. The formulas of non-Euclidian geometries, of Einstein's cosmology, of intra-atomic physics, are but symbols of a mystical reality which will ever elude our sense-bound intellect. They are strained attempts by the intellect of light-reflecting entities — men — to grasp the mysterious behavior of light as it streams out of still more mysterious centers so utterly minute or so utterly remote that one may only postulate their existence from the observation of the escaping light — precisely as men of old postulated the existence of God from their observation of the magnificent order of universal Nature.

It is well therefore that we should re-polarize our interpretation of ancient world-symbols in terms of light, rather than force upon an unbelieving generation the concepts of unknowable entities that are the postulated Sources of this light. Let it be the seer's privilege to pierce through the light, through the Glory of God, and to stand in the presence of that emptiness and that silence, which the greatest of mystics have realized as being the very essence of God, "God's utter poverty". Let the most occult of scientists stand in uncommunicable understanding at the very core of the atom, before the innermost "Heart of the Sun".

As for us, as we try to reformulate the cosmic symbols of old in a modern tongue, let our vision be that of ever-changing, ever-fluctuating light. Let us understand the waxing and waning of that glory whose rhythm marks the yearly tides of our human time; nay, is the very essence and significance of time. Let us stand at the four great gates of light, at the four signposts of the year, solstices and equinoxes — that we may sense and perceive the qualities of the light which floods our seasons, which gives keynotes to vegetation and to human souls alike, which men once symbolized as the fourfold Zodiac and its twelve sub-divisions, the signs.

Such a Zodiac is a poem in four great cantos and twelve stanzas: a poem of light. It will not be our purpose to detail the words which flow through the stanzas — for our understanding of light and of its subtle modifications is very imprecise and we can only sense the significance of the greater moments of the poem. But standing at the four great gates of light we may watch with understanding the larger sweep of the cycle and commune in spirit with the essential qualities of the light at the crucial points of the year.

We begin at the southern gate, crowned with the majesty of Christmas. There the Sun enters upon its northward journey — a journey which has been described by seers and poets in beautiful symbolism, for it brings to men, and to all that lives, the great hope of rebirth and self-renewal, the glad tidings of Christ-birth. The sun lies low in the southern skies; but the miracle of winter light as it caresses the hills white with silence and with peace is hardly to be described. Only those who have lived where pale skies pour molten white gold over horizons glistening white under the robe of the snow can know the magic of a light reflected by an earth so pure that it actually seems the source of light drenching a darker sky.

It is that light which hides in truth the face of the cosmic Christ: a light which heralds a new day, as Christ announced a new humanity. The magic of the winter light is veiled deeply in the myth of the Virgin Youths, ascetic and pure as the snow, who came to the Earth from another cosmic realm to bring to man the tidings of the mystic rebirth. Though their names be many, they are mostly known as Kumaras, as pure Archangels who, in their love for struggling life on earth, bent low toward the human hills to touch them with the winged glory of their translucent light. They are the mystery hidden beyond the zodiacal sign Capricorn.

Some reflections of their light may be seen here and there in the purest of Capricorn types, in light, clear eyes which seem transparent and open as winter skies. Such eyes reveal the mystic type of the new Aquarian Age; they glow with a light that transcends the Aquarian sympathy and self-projection, a light that has known the snow and is rooted in the vast purity of white spaces. It is the light which will flow from the mighty urn carried by the Aquarian man. The Christ-light has yet to be shed upon the souls and minds of men. Its release so far has been mostly symbolic, irradiating only those who could respond to the mystic song of the winter's light, whose souls were neither bent earthward, charmed by the tunes of the pipes of Pan, nor hiding, frightened, in frozen repressions. We do not yet know the Christ-light. We have only heard the name of Christ; we have worshipped blindly at the shrine of a word. We have proclaimed loudly the incarnation of this "Word", yet have groped in the ugly darkness of wars and passions, confused by the noise of our proclamations of sanctity.

Man must ever climb slowly toward the light that flows earthward. His steps are symbolically revealed by the backward motion of the equinoxes. Man — earth-man — is the equinox, a point in the structure of his own world and his own need for above and below, rising and setting. Man-the-equinox moves toward the light which pours from the one Source; one Source which becomes four streams in order to fit into man's framework of consciousness. As man moves through Pisces toward the Christ-light, it seems to go forward to him, matching his every step. Where they meet, such a place has yet no name. It is the place of downpour of the Christ-light. It is the Avatar, the consummation of power for the winter. It is early February, the mid-point of Aquarius, the spirit of the waterfall — which today we harness as electric power to illumine the darkness of our cities. A day will come when that mystic "Waterfall" will bring illumination to myriads of human souls, when the Virgin Youths will become visible to all men, who then will no longer need to kneel before a crucifix, but will know in fact and with evident knowledge that quality of the light which men worship as the Christ.

It would have been so easy for men to have made Christ, the incarnate Son of God, take birth at the spring equinox, when all nature heaves with the yearning for birth and life takes visible form once more under the rosy-green light of adolescent dawns. But the birth of Christ is a birth of whiteness, in the cold of night, a birth in lowliness where there is no hope, and great darkness indeed. And no one may know it save those who are very pure or very wise, the most robust and the most frail.

The birth of the green earth is a miracle wrought by another stream of the light, whose culmination is reached at the height of the prolific power of Taurus, the ancient "Great Mother" — bestialized into the acme of procreative power since the advent of cultures based on male power. Here, may we ask of the reader that he forget the symbols of the realm of bodies and emerge with us into the new symbolism of the light — which is a symbolism of power. This world of power will reveal itself through an eightfold rhythm of alternated positives and negatives. Eight is the ancient number of the Sun; the number of the "Diamond Soul" and of its eightfold Path. It is the number of the Christ — the number of the light as man becomes aware of it in his world of number and form. The galaxy is a vast diamond-cell cut in an eightfold pattern, because it is for us the symbol of the universe of radiant light; whereas all bodily substance, which is but reflected light, presents itself in mystic symbolism under a twelvefold form encompassed by the sphere of divine love — as Pythagoras taught in the days of Greece.

The four gates of light are the points of positive release, the fountainheads of power. But midway between these gates there are four centers or culminations of power which are the cosmic places where the "marriage of Heaven and Earth" occurs. Through this union of light and form is born consciousness and might. As light becomes consciousness through form, so power becomes likewise might; that is, power that can demonstrate itself through effective and directed action — as consciousness is light made to act in terms of meaning. These four "places" are the four Avatars of Light, symbolized in the realm of earth bodies as Bull, Lion, Eagle and Angel; in the world of light bearing new names significant in terms of the "circulation of the light" — within the mystic's body as well as through the pageant of seasonal skies.

The light indeed is universal, but also individual. Its circuits are known to beholders of earth and sky, but no more than to those silent ones who have made of their own organisms a universe of light. These, by so doing, generate powers of an avataric or god-like nature; for in these men also the four gates of light and the four avatars are to be found along the serpentine path which simulates the number 8 at the very core of their bodily organisms. Light is everywhere. There is no place devoid of it utterly. Within our densest organs, there too is light. And this light may be-made to respond to the rhythm of the seasons; and as it flows throughout the whole of man's being there is gladness in his heart and reality to his soul. He knows himself whole: a cycle, an eon, a fullness of light and life, whence consciousness and might arise. Wherefore this zodiac of light is a song of consciousness and might — for whomsoever is able to pierce through the symbols and to catch the eyes of significance laughing bright under the mask of rhythmical words.

. . . Christ and the "Waterfall": source and consummation of that Power which is generated by the flow of pure, crystal-clear Being from the heights of Spirit-realization to the depths of Earth-foundation — from Neptune to Saturn. It is this flow from the higher potential of cosmic wholeness to the lower potential of earth-solidity which generates Power, that very Power which enables the solid Saturn-bound earth to glow into the likeness of the universe of light, which transfigures the dark carbon of our earth-nature into the resplendent diamond of our cosmic identity. Such a flow, under whatever name and condition, is the mystic "Waterfall". It is the descent of Uranian waters in Aquarius. This downpour occurs throughout the winter cycle. It occurs beyond time.

Would we truly understand these meditations, we must transcend our normal awareness of time as a succession of events. We are not dealing with three separate zodiacal signs following each other through one season, but rather with three essences or qualities which are synthetized in the reality of the light itself. The year of which we speak is a poem of light in four episodes, and each episode, as a season, is a whole, triple yet one; and the beginning and the end of each of these four chants of light are to be seen merged in a synthesis of opposites. Jesus said: I am the alpha and the omega. In this he spoke both as Jesus and as Christ. For Christ and Jesus are one, as Neptune and Saturn are one. They interpenetrate and flow into each other. Jesus is born of the Jews, the tribe of those whom Saturn-Jehovah chose as the incarnators of the solidity of the earthly ego, the tribe of men of carbon who through the purifying fire of world-wide suffering may glow into the diamond of planetary consciousness. Jesus is born under Saturn in Capricorn; but Neptune is the Presence of Christ. Yet the birth of Jesus is the "signature" of the Christ-light. The beginning and the end of the winter are one, as god and man are one. Where they meet, there is the place of downpour of the Waters of the Spirit, the Presence of the Holy Ghost, the mystic "Waterfall". Capricorn and Pisces are synthetized in Aquarius.

Through the Piscean age men worshipped an event. They made of the first flow of this Christ-light in a planetary sense a unique happening, an "only begotten Son". They lived on the memory of that event, which they placed in the past. They did not understand that Christ-birth is eternal, that it pervades the whole cycle. The Southern Gate of the light is never closed. Christmas is never in the past and the "Waterfall" never does dry up nor leave the earth barren. This is why the Kumaras of ancient Aryan lore are shown as Eternal Youths — foremost among these Holy Seven being Him Whose name has been given as Sanat, the Youth of Sixteen, the pure Diamond — for sixteen is the square of four; that is the earthly cube or stone in a condition of higher power.

From this condition of higher power the crystal-light of wholeness constantly flows upon the dark earth; Christ is born as Jesus, and Humanity in Pisces finds itself focalized as a whole in the few mystics in whom Capricorn is raised to the higher power, the Youth of Sixteen. But now the earth itself is fecundated and in travail of Christ. The sweep of the cycle is moving toward the moment of fulfillment, when the planet as a whole will become transfigured by the "Waterfall", by the Aquarian Avatar.

Today we foreshadow this transfiguration by releasing electric power and all types of Uranian energy. We harness the physical waterfalls and light cities and plains with the glow their power summons into magical existence. Deliberately we utilize all differences in physical level or potential to release the power produced by the flow from higher to lower. We are perhaps at the threshold of an era in which this same release will be sought in the realm of the psyche, when differences of spiritual level will be seen to make possible the generation of Power, just as differences of earth-level can be made to generate electric power.

Then we shall be indeed at the threshold of a conscious civilization of the Spirit, energized by the ever-flowing "Waterfall" of Christ-like sacrifice. Mankind will be understood as operating at two levels — symbolized by the Pentagram and the Square, the Five-pointed Star and the Cube; and men will know that civilization itself and all spiritual outpouring, be it through its Saviors, its Seers or its Geniuses, is a process of downflow from the higher to the lower of these levels. It is the ancient and eternal process of Sacrifice. And Light is the sacrificial bestowal — the crystal-light of the Southern Gate, light which white snow alone is pure enough to receive and to reflect in adoration back to its solar Source, the innermost reality of the Christ.

The sacrificial essence of light has been known in all antiquity. Hindu cosmogony spoke of Viswakarman, the First of all Sacrifices, the pouring of light out of the very Heart of the Sun through that God who was conceived as the Source of all light and life. This process of sacrificial outpouring — Yajna — was seen as the substance of all life-processes; and the Bhagavat Gita, the great Hindu scripture, speaks in vibrant terms of this wondrous and constant gift, not only of light, but also of rain, of soul, of intelligence, through which evolution is made possible. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine tells in beautiful words of the great One whose name has already been mentioned, the highest of the Kumaras, the one Initiator, the Great Sacrifice. Every fragment of spiritual thought known to the world joins in the reverent and grateful homage which the pure among men — the virgin snow — pay to that mighty Source of crystal- light, reflecting back to His sky-realm the wonder of His rays.

Today the thoughts of most men are very distant from such a contemplation; yet in a curiously intimate way we are playing every moment with that electric power which ceaselessly flows from higher to lower potential — a symbol, nay the very reality of a cosmic power the nature of which we are too immature even to consider. If these powers have come to men it is because the magic of their presence has been revealed by the sacrificial gifts of Great Souls. Our cities are vibrant with Aquarian energies, with streamlets of that mighty "Waterfall" which in due time will reveal its awsome power and shatter to the last the Bastilles built by our Saturnian egos.

The time is not yet. We can see it, alas! too well, by looking at the usual Capricornian types; by scanning the records of men who played politics instead of releasing the mighty power of collective sacrifice, who segregated nations in a world electricity has made one, who preached national aloofness, partisan politics and class privilege when masses have gone hungry and spiritually desolate. The only privilege of the higher is to flow into the lower. The privilege of all true aristocracy is to give of itself unstintingly, that civilization may be born through inexhaustible giving. If there need be a high level, it is only because the difference of level is an absolute requirement of the generation of that Power which is the very fountainhead of life and evolution. The true Capricornian is aristocratic only that he may sacrifice himself to the masses as civilizer and beacon of guidance. His politics is pure initiatic leadership. And the darkness of our world of men is well shown in the character of many of its Capricornians.

In Aquarius we find power in operation. Who has not witnessed the iridescent splendor of rainbows playing upon waterfalls? But who has not known also the senseless glitter of many an Aquarian ego? Here again we witness among present-day men the shadow of the light. And when, turning to history, we read of the crimes condoned or accomplished by Piscean churches which should have reflected in adoration the pure Christ-light as snow reflects the wintry splendor of the south-bent sun, our hearts are heavy with the despondency of a seeming failure.

Yet this failure is only that of youth and immaturity. When man left the realm of green and earthly things to move back to his Source, he ventured forth into a realm of Power which brought him face to face with abysses so deep that he recoiled in awe or sank to levels hardly recorded. What more pitiful sight than city streets filled with melting blackened snow! Yet what could be more glorious than fields of pure whiteness iridescent with the setting sun, or even meadows dripping with melting snows through which crocuses and yellow shoots of imprisoned sunlight dart with all the ecstasy of spring?

We are in an age of readjustment and repolarization. Men, for untold eons, have lived on the fruits of the great Sacrifice of ages ancient beyond reckoning. Now the time is come when Man himself must be the sacrifice. Wherefore he is advancing as a host toward the Aquarian place of sacrifice. Man himself must be the mystic "Waterfall". He is the Waters as well as the Water-bearer. In humanity, total and integrated, Christ meets forever Jesus, as the winter light meets the snow.

In this meeting is hidden the mystery of winter. Through the Southern Gates the crystal light flows. Oh, blessed is he who opens his heart to the inflow of that light, for in him shall be born even the Christ-child; and great will be his burden, but great also his overcoming. And his light will be poured upon all men that are barren and desolate; a promise of Spring, a song of "glad tidings", heralding the increase of life and the splendor of noons ever more vibrant with fertility.

This edition copyright © 2008 Michael R. Meyer
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