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From the eternal and symbolical east the sun ever rises to bring to man the promise of fulfillment through embodied existence. This is the gift of the Constellations to humanity: that Man-the-Spirit may prove and fulfill himself in man-the-personality. It is the gift of birth on the green earth, birth within the rhythmic tides of the red blood: birth as a body, birth as an ego. And to this most wondrous and most total of all gifts every star in the heavens contributes. In this chorus of celebration every Constellation sings its part; for man-the-whole, man as the potential Living Person into whom Mastery eventually descends at some future Christmas and in whom the "Diamond Soul" radiates the fulfillment of the Christ-light — man thus realized is the living embodiment of the entire cosmos. Toward him all the powers of Space flow; toward him all galaxies radiate their cosmic light. He is the Son of the All . . . yet he knows it not.

To know it, to feel it, to act it — this is man's eternal task. Man is born of the All. Man must prove himself consciously the Whole. This is the great human ritual of development; the Path of Woe, which is ultimately known as the Path of Wholeness — when the goal is reached, at least in consciousness if not in deed. This Path leads from the pipes of Pan to the "Diamond Soul", from the toneful vibrancy of Nature to the crystalline ecstasy of the Christ-light.

Ancient symbolism began the cycle of the year with the birth of man in the kingdom of mighty Nature; because it was yet filled with the echoes of the song of Pan which flows westward from the realm of the rising sun. It followed human growth, thus, from vernal birth through estival fruition and autumnal transcendence or death, to the state beyond the human symbolized by winter and its Christ-light — or by the pure nirvana of a snow-white dream state in the Spirit. But this sequence refers to the realm of bodies born of the earth. It is indeed the cycle of nature and of earth-vegetation: the true cycle for men who begin their calendar year with the Spring equinox. It is no longer significant for men who celebrate beginnings under the ecstasy of the Christmas light, close to that other day recognized by occultists all over this globe as that consecrated to the Virgin Youth of Sixteen, Sanat Kumara.

We do not realize how significant such a change of calendar is. We do not realize what occurred about the time of the life of Jesus the Christ, and why since this approximate period most nations of the earth celebrate the birth of the year close to the winter solstice. Yet so much can be gathered from such an event! A new era has begun. Mankind is slowly rising from the realm of natural bodies to that of the light. Our vision soars toward the galaxy, while our bodies have grown wings and lost their former roots in the provincialism of soil and blood. Truly there is a grave danger in this state of rootlessness. Uprooted mankind is feverish with a sensing of spaces its mind can hardly grasp and its feelings are too weak to experience. And everywhere there is a clamor for solidity and a new anchorage. Everywhere men are eager to worship as an embodied god some leader or master. Blinded by galactic immensities and frightened by unthinkable atomic smallness, modern minds cling to the sense of body and personality, worshipful of Pan under many comforting forms.

Nevertheless the call of the light is strong, and none but those that belong to the common realms of the human masses can deny this summons. New symbols are arising. A new zodiac of light is being born in the consciousness of the few whose souls are light. Such a zodiac is not to begin with the actual birth of Pan in nature, but with the symbolical birth of Christ as Jesus: with the remembrance of a still more ancient event, far back in the dawn of time, when Mind descended upon man and the Promethean Spirit gave man the Fire from which civilization was engendered in its ceaseless ascent toward the light.

This gift of Mind can be seen symbolically as a lightning which as it struck the earth produced the first fire. Civilization was born with it, and from fire to light mankind is wending its arduous way, through cyclic ebbs and flows. At the Spring equinox civilization takes substantial embodiment and the dawn of culture manifests through races who worship the "Great Mother" and sit under "Bodhi trees", as Gautama the Buddha did, conquering at last all nature-born illusions. At the Summer solstice, men look with increasing awareness to the freedom of the light. They arise from earth-motherhood to the fatherhood of the individual Spirit — the Living God in every human soul. They sign the mystical Declaration of Independence, on the symbolical Fourth of July, which is the evolutionary counterpart of that day, early in January, consecrated to the descent of the Flame which brought to men Mind. The green earth is left behind. Man faces the "Desert" and the Sun — the Avatar in Leo.

Lastly, at the Fall equinox mankind, having passed through the "Desert" and communed through nights of glory with the stars, having grasped the secrets of the Sphinx and built its own inner Pyramids, reaches the "Sacred City" and beholds the "Golden Flower" within. Man the individual becomes Man the unanimous Host. The golden synthesis is reached. As it pales toward whiteness it arouses an answer from the center of the galaxy in Sagittarius; and as question and answer be come one, the "Diamond Soul" is revealed. This revelation is Christmas — the birth of the new cycle of light.

In Easter skies the sun rises with the fervor and flush of early adolescence. A rosy fire spreads, visibly or invisibly, throughout heaven and earth. It is that fire which, concentrated and focalized, will give color and warmth to the blood of the higher animals and of man. In answer to this rosy light the earth pushes upward millions of tender green sprouts. And with the deepening of the light, the pale green of the myriads of buds darkens into jade; until the emerald of Nature in Taurus fully answers to the ruby of late Aries light. Because our senses are attuned to the vibrations of the earth we do not catch easily the color of the hidden and inner light. Yet it flows in our innermost self; it conditions the tides of our blood — and astrological symbols are but gates to an understanding of realties so intimate that we fail to acknowledge their existence or significance.

With the realm of manifestation dualism arises. The unified crystal light of winter, one in essence yet multi-colored in its iridescent reflections, changes as Spring begins, flushed with the pale rosiness of earthly dawns. Its redness will turn to purple and blue as summer advances; reaching later to the wondrous quality of the mauve light as Fall begins to dream of the crystalline purity of winter skies. And while the light passes thus through its cycle of transubstantiation the things of the earth, following after the pageant of the light, reflect the polar opposites of its successive colorations. Green earth in Taurus becomes yellowing earth in Leo, and turns to gold and browns as the Fall equinox sounds the call for transcendence or eventual death in Scorpio.

. . . The ritual of Crucifixion, to which the Christian world has given such a haunting prominence, is the ageless symbol of the downpour of ruby light during the Aries period of the year. The pouring of the redeeming blood of Jesus is but another phase in the process which begins with the shedding of the blood of the "little children" by Herod as he heard it told that a newborn child of the Jews would rule over Palestine. This blood of the "little children" symbolizes the first rosy light of the Spring equinox, the Easter light, while the "blood of Jesus" which saves all mankind is the ruby light which, once incorporated by mankind, makes of every man an individualized soul, a self-reliant ego. This, because the seat of the ego is in the heart, and the emotional power of the ego flows according to the tides of individualized blood.

It is said also that, in ancient secret terminology, the Initiates were called "little children" — because man had to regain the purity and simplicity of a little child before he could be allowed in the presence of his own divinity. Thus the "massacre of the Innocents", among whom Herod hoped to have the newborn Jesus destroyed, is really to be interpreted as the cyclic destruction of those Initiates who pave the way for the Great One, and whose sacrificial deaths leaven the soil in whom His mission is to become rooted. These Initiates represent the John-the-Baptist phase of the avataric descent. They are heralds as well as martyrs. They close a cycle, and make the opening of another possible.

We find the same series of happenings in the Bahai traditions. The Bab and the thousands of his followers who underwent martyrdom leavened the soil trod by Baha'u'llah, the "Glory of God". And we may see the same process at work in other manifestations of the avataric descent, which is glorifying this and the two previous centuries beyond all recorded events of such a spiritual nature. The rose-colored blood of "innocent children" must be shed that the gates of Easter light may be opened wide for the coming of the cosmic Ruby of Splendor, He-who-leads-forth, the divine Ares or Arhat, the incarnate Manu, the cyclic Progenitor of all manifested beings throughout the cycle his coming opens. The symbol of such a coming is the letter R — from which, according to the system of language and the perception of this or that race, come all divine names beginning with either AR or RA.

A Manu, in Aryan spiritual philosophy, is the Progenitor of a race, or more generally, of a cycle. He is essentially the Seed-Idea of that cycle: God's Idea of what race and cycle are destined to represent. He is thus symbolically the "birth-chart" of that cycle, the Archetype or Pattern of Wholeness thereof. Yet he is not only archetype, but also prototype. He takes birth, that thereby he may be seen as the divine Exemplar of all that man should develop during the cycle, as the Image or Ideal set in concrete form in the memory (conscious, then unconscious) of the race. He becomes thus the great Father as well as the great Hero whose life will be recorded by bards and depicted by sculptors and painters, whose deeds will inspire countless generations.

This process of incarnation of the divine Seed-Idea through which a type is set for an entire cycle of human development takes place at various levels. As a result at least three basic interpretations of the yearly cycle are possible. Here, however, the plane of physical Nature is the only one considered. On this plane, which is that at which mankind as a whole still operates, the projection of the divine Seed-Idea occurs at the Spring equinox under the zodiacal sign Aries. On other planes, which transcend the normal possibility of human experience as we know man today, this projection occurs under the two other "fire signs" of the Zodiac; in which case physical Nature, being altogether transcended, can no longer give us symbols to record the events, and the light which is then to be described is no longer light in the ordinary sense of the term.

In Aries, therefore, the "blood of the lamb" having been shed for the redemption of the "sins" of the past cycle, and for the fecundation of the germinating substance of the new, the ruby light of the great Progenitor and Leader floods the virescent earth. This light is a song of fervor and of exuberance. It breaks through all inert things, stirring in them new life and new blood. It challenges the dark earth. It tears from trees and humus green sprouts as mates for its adolescent loving. It forces bulbs to swell and to throb with yearnings for seeds. It calls forth rose-white blossoms to transfigure orchards. It flushes virgin cheeks with the rapture of dreams. Everywhere it longs to become blood and sap. It summons future seed through the lure of flowers. It chants itself to the earth, the Great Mother of the yet unborn.

The descent of the Avatar occurs symbolically at the midpoint of Taurus: its symbol is the "Hymen". This symbol has literal as well as general and social meanings. The month of May has most often been associated with the idea of courtship and marriage. The sign Taurus is said to be ruled by Venus, goddess of love; and its symbolic stone is the green emerald-while that of Aries is the ruby. In the organic sense of the term, the "hymen" suggests by its shape the Moon, who is "exalted" in the sign Taurus. The "place of power" at the physiological level is the hymen — the point where the fecundative impact of spirit meets the resistant inertia of matter, yearning however to be fecundated.

In Taurus, therefore, the might of the active power of life, which is on every plane the positive aspect of the "Avatar", manifests as a fecundative energy overcoming the resistance of the earth's past. This past is symbolically the Moon, occultly considered to be the mother, and thus the ancestral-karmic inheritance of earth-born mankind. The type of avataric power which we find active through springtime is indeed different from that which was symbolized, in Aquarius, by the "Waterfall". It is no longer power flowing in pure self-sacrifice from a higher to a lower level or potential; but power released under the stress of desire, of the eternal urge for more life and for personal immortality — be it physiological or spiritual.

This great Taurean urge begins in Aries with the process through which the divine Seed-Idea or Archetype becomes incarnated in the person of the Manu or Leader. Under the magical power of the cosmic impulse toward manifestation in a body of earth, the divine Idea takes form within the Chosen One, the Manu — and within those who follow after him, the first Pioneers of the new cycle. At first this impulse is still closely connected with the realm of the Spirit. The light is rosy. The blood shed is that of the "sacrificial lamb". Soon however the rosy light grows brighter, stronger. And in Taurus ruby and emerald face each other with earth-passion. Theirs it is to redeem the earth's past by giving one more chance to the spirit of man to overcome in his body Earth and Moon, to overcome duality and the need for more birthing; for the body is the only path for overcoming. It is the alchemical vessel in which only man may transmute the earth substances into the gold of spiritual understanding. Thus overcoming, man becomes a buddha. . .

It is said of Gautama the Buddha that he was born, reached liberation and died at the full Moon of May. While this may be at least an approximate historical truth, the significance of the tradition lies in its profound symbolism. It is said also that the Buddha's mother was named Maia, which means the great Illusion, the eternal womb of Nature, ever-changing, ever-renewed, ever-deceiving with its hollow promises of happiness in fleeting bodies corrupted by the imminence of death.

Under these allegorical names and facts one may easily discern the ageless teaching which has been particularly close to the inspired minds of hot, passionate, teeming India. A teaching of overcoming; overcoming by understanding and by directed will; overcoming by the power of objective contemplation and of courageous confrontation. The full Moon symbolizes such a power. While it brings to some a peculiar madness well known in tropical Asia, it also leads the strong and integrated soul to self-conquest. At the full Moon the Sun and the Moon are located on either side of the Earth. Man-the-earth stands thus between their opposite pulls. He may be torn, disintegrated. He may face his objectivized past — the full Moon — with the power of the Sun hidden within, and having faced it without terror and without regret, he becomes free. Such a freedom is that of a buddha, who having accepted all there was on this earth — from the most beautiful to the most abject — transcends it all and is at peace, eternally.

But in order to reach this state of objectivity man must arise from the deepest experiences which the sign Gemini can give. He must have known all the recesses of mind, all the labyrinths of the intellect. In him the end of this Spring season — Gemini — must have met and been re-energized by its beginning — Aries — in the magic synthesis which alone may ever lead to full liberation. The mercurial nature of the Twins is of itself helpless to reach such a high goal. Only through that mysterious alchemy of end and beginning can the middle point of the cycle bear its most wondrous flower: the flower of buddhahood. The pure will of Aries, blending with the dualistic intelligence of Gemini, may overcome the earthly fatality of Taurus. Man, in the process, is brought to the gates of renunciation and of compassion in the mystic place in mid-Taurus where the Avataric Descent occurs, where the cosmic Wholeness blesses the all-encompassing One.

Under the Bodhi-Tree, which is the Tree of ever changing life and of fecundity, the tree of the "body", the Buddha sits and overcomes all passion and all pride. He conquers the resistance of the earth. He pierces through many a mental membrane. He pierces through the occult "Ring-Pass-Not" — the boundaries of Saturn — and emerges into the cosmic Womb of Light — the Galaxy.

Indeed the Buddha is a conqueror. In him the power of the Manu becomes spiritual might gained through that understanding which can only come through the full use of the discriminative faculties of the mind. The name of Mercury in India is Budha. Through Mercury, Venus is controlled and overcome — but only if Mars gives to Mercury the fire of the divine Will, the sacred Sword which cuts a path through the luxuriant growths of earth-nature, through the prolific jungle and the deep woods of human desire.

If the symbolism can be translated in so much that deals with sex, it is because Spring indeed is the domain of the mating instincts. But these instincts can be raised to a higher potency. The Bull can be dominated by Orion, the mighty Hunter. Betelgeuze points out the way of overcoming — and Sirius is nearby, shining as the goal and also as the Silent Watcher of-the conflict. Today Betelgeuze, the great orange star of Buddha-light, is very close to the summer solstice — and Sirius, the blue-white diamond, has just passed beyond the position of the Sun on the symbolical Day of Independence. When Betelgeuze actually reaches the solstitial point — next century — a world may overcome and Man may become fecundated by the wisdom and the strength of the buddhas . . .

Intoxicating is the light of the Eastern gate. It is a potent drink that sets blood and ego aflame with a surge of passionate desire. It calls with compelling fervor for more and more bodies to be born, for more and more future to redeem the heavy-past. Spurred by the inner sense of unexhausted karma, it goads men and trees, plants and insects, to prolific hymen. Yet men should never forget that the source of this light is a pure rose fire that wells up from the cyclic holocaust of the "little children", from the crucifixion of the Lamb of God. They should remember that the bearing forth of life is on high a sacrament performed in compassion for the karma-laden sons of the earth; that the first love is the love of love — and the last love is the love of the whole.

Easter light is the light of love. But of love there are many degrees. And that which forces its passionate way as the mighty Bull is also that which transcends all fire and becomes one, as Buddha, with the universal light. The rose light of love is a song of chastity and renunciation. The Vestal in the temple balances the great Mother bent over the sod to tear fruits from the arid earth, and to the marriage that binds helpless children of the soil in threads of blood-fulfillment answers the mystic hymen of the Enlightened One and the Light.

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

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