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Gong-music, music of bells, In the eternal and symbolical west the sun ever sets, to bring to humanity the promise of transcendent life and of rebirth into the vastness of an always greater Whole. As the light of the flamboyant ego of the skies pales into the translucent ecstasy of autumnal dusk, out of the darkness, one by one, stars emerge. Through the gates of night is seen the pageant of the constellations. The one and only sun is forgotten in the wonder of the communion with myriads of stars. The one has died into the many — but such a death is a revelation. Wonders beyond imagining are open to the vision of the man who, having died in the death of the sun, rapturously arises with the stars. Unmeasurable vistas meet his eyes soothed by dusk, cured from the blindness of sun-seeing. Where before he felt oppressed by the intensity of the one implacable God, he now expands into an ineffable communion with the brotherhoods of Celestials. Where before he felt himself a slave tyrannized by the relentless power of the one light, he now senses his comradeship with the stars, and in his mind exultantly grows the certainty of his being one among the multitudes of radiant centers of light, the intuition of his place in the constellations welcoming gently his quest for the ultimate Whole.

This mysterious change from day to night, from the burden of solar light to the sense of companionship with the stars, is a symbol of that greater change which is experienced in what men have hidden under the name of "Initiation". Initiation is a word of so many meanings! Here, however, we are expressing through it first of all that tremendous step, taking which, men emerge from the realm of the solar Autocrat and into the company of the universal Brothers and Companions — revered under many names, yet distinguishable always by the freedom and the comradeship they proffer to those whose eyes have been cured of the emotional blindness of fervent devotion to the one Sun, the personal God.

God, the one Person — God, the Host of the "Companions of Space". God, the Autocrat — God, the Mystery. Two poles of the ultimate reality; as day and night, as the Individual and the Companions. Perhaps the greater cycle of consciousness makes their alternate emphases necessary, as the rotation of the earth forces upon men who live on its surface the alternation of day and night, of culture and civilization, of peasant and citizen, of farmhouse and skyscraper, of devotee and responsible thinker. True and cosmic Initiation is a passing away from dependence upon the sun, and the emergence into a state of interdependence with the stars. Between the two states the soul must endure, through seemingly endless moments of twilight, when light seems gone for ever, the chill of dusk settles, and no stars are yet to be seen.

In an earlier type of symbology such a transition period corresponded to the trials experienced by the neophyte while progressing through the dark passage-ways within the Pyramid, until the night of a mystically induced sleep opened to him the magical realm of archetypes and of stars in which he learned to recognize his own place and function within the cosmic whole, the City of Light, the mystic Shamballah — in truth the living wholeness of that Constellation which is the company of the Perfect, the Chord of harmonized "masteries". From this Chord issue forth the vibrant Tones which we call "Masters", and in it they that go forth find their strength, their relatedness and their place of power, where only they abide actually as Masters. For a Master is only a Master when unified with the "mastery" that is his Source and his Star.

This vision of the City of Light and of his own place therein indelibly impressed upon his soul, the Initiate of old awakened to earth-consciousness. The first thing he saw was the Star of Initiation shining before him through the long and narrow opening so accurately directed that that star — whatever it was — would at that precise moment of awakening be visible to him while yet lying in the sarcophagus. This was a symbol that now he had found his own star and could henceforth function as one in the midst of his own Constellation, as a sun among suns.

In the allegory of the year's cycle, this moment of Initiation is the Autumn equinox, the first point of that season during which all things fall to the ground: the leaves, to decay and become manure for future cycles of growth; the seed, to remain as receptacles of unconquerable life, as mothers of a new vegetation. All things fall to the ground, because the power of the sun has faded away, which held the products of the earth as mirrors and devotees of that central celestial will. The leaves will decay because they did not go beyond this magnetic binding power. The seeds, because they conquered the sun while fulfilling the purpose of the Life beyond the sun, will remain and will know that willing death of consecrated giving which is a warrant of immortality.

The magnetic power of the sun is that of emotional radiating light which is needed in order to gather together and integrate the remains of the past cycle. It is the power of Eros, which raises crops from the soil, and causes martyrs joyously to die for the embodied god they worship. It is the power of the great Artist of the heavens who radiates his magnetic personality to stir people into being more than they are, into transcending their little selves and surrendering them in utter love for him, the avatar, the divine mover of Souls. It is the power of heavenly emotion, which binds while it liberates.

He who overcomes that power and that divine glamor does not die the death of Eros and of ephemerals, because he has become free from the great White Serpent of the cycle. Having fulfilled the cycle, he has become free from it. He is now a seed; and the Fall, which comes amidst the reddening glory of those who are to die, which smiles upon the golden magic of chrysanthemums, and makes twilights sparkle with mauve ecstasies, is the herald of his entrance into a greater realm of wholeness. As he enters the gates of Initiation he must, however, pay the price to the keeper of the gates. And the price is the sacrifice of the seed. The personality is indeed to fall like a seed into the soil of the surging era. This fall is the ransom of Soul-immortality: a conscious, clear, unemotional centering of the total power of personality into a "work of destiny", after which the personality become seed will die that the new plant ultimately may be. But the immortal Individual, fulfilled thus in sacrifice, will have passed the gates of the City of Light, thence to shine as a star among his welcoming Brothers.

The realm of the sun is the realm of Eros and of emotional radiance. When a sun is considered as the one and only giver of light to planets entranced by the glamor of his all-powerful and all-dominating vibrations — rooted as they may be in compassionate love for the many craving to be redeemed and integrated; when a sun is not seen in a relation of inherent equality with his companion suns, thus as a star — then we are dealing with the realm of emotion. The realm of stars is that of the mind and of archetypal form. It is known through the night because it is only while the solar glamor is sunk below the threshold of consciousness that stars may be seen. And it is only when divine Personages are not walking among men that men may know that they themselves are gods.

Wherefore the great Powers of Mind, the mighty Asuras and Lucifers, the Flames and Kumaras, are shown in ancient mythologies to be Powers of the mystic and incomprehensible Darkness. And through that Darkness only can the Unknown God, the MYSTERY, be revealed. It may only be fully revealed through Initiation.

Following the ritual of the year, we find ourselves thus facing in Libra a great change. In the "night house" of Venus we may enter the communion of the Elect, and become ready for All-Saints Day — a festival which hints at the great reality of the spiritual Constellation of those who are stars in the skies of eternal humanity. And in Scorpio the mystic power may be given to us on the summit of the "Sacred Mountain" where earth meets heaven in the pure splendor of the snow.

The Sacred Mountain: a potent symbol of attainment and consecration. And in every land we find alive the tradition of the existence of one or more Sacred Mountains, the abode of the gods — from the Himavat of the Hindus, the Olympus of the Greeks, to the Fuji-Yama of Japan, still reverenced by an entire nation. There may be variations due to geographical factors, yet certain characteristics are almost inevitably associated with such sacred mountains. These are particularly well exemplified in Fuji-Yama, which stands as the almost perfect archetype of such mountains.

The sacred mountain should be, and most always is found to be, an extinct volcano, and its mass should rise in as perfect as possible a cone formation, from the surroundings. Moreover, eternal snow should be found on its summit, if the symbolism be perfect. The most significant point is the fact that it is an extinct volcano — which links it in a meaningful way with the zodiacal sign Scorpio. This, because it must be realized that without fire at the base of the crucible no alchemical operation is ever possible. Fire is the foundation. Earth-fire overcome, passion become wisdom, telluric strength kept within bounds and consecrated by pure snow — such are the requisites. The power that did not consume and tear through all restraint in the earlier stages of being is hardly power fit to enkindle the sacrificial offering of those who climb the slopes of the Sacred Mountain. But for power to flame forth is not enough. It should do so within perfection of form. Thus the archetypal cone formation, from the surroundings. Moreover, eternal snow should be found on its summit, if the symbolism be perfect. The most significant point is the fact that it is an extinct volcano — which links it in a meaningful way with the zodiacal sign Scorpio. This, because it must be realized that without fire at the base of the crucible no alchemical operation is ever possible. Fire is the foundation. Earth-fire overcome, passion become wisdom, telluric strength kept within bounds and consecrated by pure snow — such are the requisites. The power that did not consume and tear through all restraint in the earlier stages of being is hardly power fit to enkindle the sacrificial offering of those who climb the slopes of the Sacred Mountain. But for power to flame forth is not enough. It should do so within perfection of form. Thus the archetypal cone of those volcanoes which kept within the law of their being and built their own perfectly geometrical slopes out of the very fury of their eruptions. Another great lesson for the fiery soul who would spout its enthusiasm in irregular and formless ways!

Then the long period of quiescence. Wisdom sought and purity found. The consecration of the virgin snow that falls from heaven, blessing the brow that pierces through clouds and communes with eagles and with stars. Thus heaven meets earth, and angels abide. Great "breaths of life", shining Ones, devas, planetary Spirits, dwell upon the summits. Men who have overcome ascend the steep walls. Hermits and seers meditate, links between the brotherhoods of stars and the chaotic society groping through the plains.

The Sacred Mountain symbolizes the avatar, in Scorpio. Traditional symbolism tells in parables of the scorpion which becomes eagle. But this metamorphosis is implied also in the transformation which makes of the passionate volcano the snow-covered, perfectly shaped Sacred Mountain. It is a drama of the fire within, which ends in an apotheosis of light. Beyond this change however is the fact of the permanence of the Mountain, the stability of this magnified pyramid of earth which stands against time and change, a cosmic symbol to all that lives within sight of its splendor. Men become initiated in pyramids made by human hands. But a step further is reached when the cosmic forces of the earth itself raise a symbolic monument of universal natural mastery. Here is overcoming and perfection shown on a scale which involves the cosmos. Planetary mastery is implied.

The message that Scorpio delivers to man's consciousness has ordinarily been misunderstood. The obvious linking of this sign of the zodiac with sex has led many astray in the consideration of its essential nature. The urge which burns through Scorpio is fundamentally the urge to transcend the limits of individual selfhood. It is a power generated by the organism in order that the boundaries of this organism may be transcended, and its generation is therefore caused by something beyond the purely physiological level at which this organism normally operates. Scorpio is procreative power only insofar as through procreation the human being acts in terms of the vaster racial whole and thus, becoming an agent of the race, expands into the purpose of a greater life — transcending its petty limitations as a self.

In Taurus the avatar-force is sheer creative power; the urge of the self to project itself and to impregnate materials of the earth. It is an elemental urge to fecundate, almost indiscriminately, and for the mere purpose of stamping oneself upon substance and to see oneself mirrored and multiplied in a progeny. Taurus is the symbol of pure and spontaneous fruitfulness; of the inherent, natural, karmic, unavoidable projection of abstract consciousness into the concrete reality of the earth. There is no intelligence, no self, in the projection. It simply is: a force of nature, a compulsion of being. It is seasonal and animal sex-power, undifferentiated and undisturbed by thought.

Scorpio power is of an entirely different nature. It is power born of the personal self yearning to transcend or to transfigure itself. It is the result of a dissatisfaction with the narrow boundaries of self-centered personality; a search, often frantic, for means to forget self in some ecstasy, to forget one's burdens and one's complexes by participating in some transcendent vital activity. And because this search is often frantic and desperate, everything which hinders the apparent success thereof arouses the most violent feelings of frustration: thus jealousy, revenge and all the exacerbated passions into which Scorpio power transforms itself when repressed.

In its positive sense, this autumnal power is a fervent reaching out into a larger whole. At first, a family and a long line of progeny in which the individual expands his sense of personality and attains a kind of physiological immortality; then, a national whole, a planetary whole, an entire cycle or eon. In Scorpio life, become personality, reaches out for conscious immortality. The Scorpio avatar is therefore that power which makes of an individual man an immortal Self. It establishes the Initiate, who has seen in Libra — the Pyramid — the vision of the celestial Host to which he belongs by spiritual birthright, as an immortal participant in the life of that Host. It gathers around the "I am" axis of his being (the spine, at the physiological level; the "rod of power" of the Kumara at the psycho-mental level) all the peripheral energies of his being and concentrates them in the Sacred Mountain within the head, on the apex of which man, the individual, receives the consecration of celestial light and becomes established as a "star".

The token of this consecration is depicted symbolically as the golden halo surrounding the heads of saints and adepts. In other forms of symbolism it is known as the "Golden Flower", the glowing chrysanthemum, the thousand-petalled effulgence which shines under autumnal skies — for such a glory can be seen on earth only after the hot intensity of the sun has waned. Then the light of summer becomes a mauve golden radiance, whose intoxicating tints may be perceived after the fall of the sun beyond the horizon. Even the leaves of trees sing with golden tones an epithalamium with the beyond, and life moves inwardly toward the iridescent whiteness of the snow through dusks scented with autumnal magic.

Such is the highest significance of Scorpio, a power of vital synthesis gathering in all energies of the individual being and transmuting them into a flame leaping upward to the summit of the Sacred Mountain where transfigured earth meets the sky, where man made immortal is welcomed in the celestial Brotherhood of his peers in spirit. Such also is the highest meaning of kundalini, the serpentine Force, through which every energy of the physiological and psycho-mental nature is drawn and integrated into the "pillar of fire" of the "I am", to serve as the root of the immortal being of man-the-star.

The negative aspect of Scorpio is a desire for escape from the intolerable burden of individual selfhood, a yearning to elude the responsibility of one's own destiny by surrendering oneself to some larger being in which to relax in emotional ecstasy. This escape is sought first of all in sex; for in sex we may temporarily forget our personal selfhood and transcend its heaviness in the relative bliss of a surge of emotions or of power giving us the precious illusion that we are losing ourselves. Through another, who becomes merely an instrumentality for psychological escape, we may be able to find a way to the sea of undifferentiated and self-free life-forces. Some may call this great illusion of freedom "cosmic consciousness" — yet it remains an escape and a glamorous dream.

The more men become "individualized", in periods of intensified intellectual civilization and strong ego-centric individualism, the heavier their sense of self and the more tragic their craving for escape. Therefore the stronger the emphasis being laid upon sex without responsibility, unprocreative sex, sex as a means to reach an emotional nirvana. The only other way is to repress sex utterly, as the Puritans theoretically did, thus developing a masochistic emotional self-exaltation — the equally illusory ecstasy of the martyr.

Sex is a desire for progeny only in the sense that through having children — in old natural cultures — man reaches, in his progeny, the only possible merging into a Greater Whole: viz., the tribe. He thus transcends himself. Today, the tribal order of society having been largely forgotten, men do not feel so deeply this self-expansion in a progeny, so they care less for the body-generating result of sex, and yearn for that emotional release and escape from self found in ever-repeated and ever-deceiving unprocreative sex, sex bent toward emotional nirvana.

Likewise, in many present day women mother-love is perhaps more than ever an escape. What the woman cannot bear of and in herself she yearns to release into her child — "my own flesh and blood!" Thus natural, healthy motherhood becomes in so many cases a psychological complex. Just as the jealous passion of the male for his woman, the possessive love of the mother is a psychologically twisted yearning, no more noble than the yearning of the drug-addict for the chemicals which lead him to his particular nirvana or artificial paradise.

In order to free themselves from these negative aspects of the Scorpio power, men who have been drawn into the vortex of the artificial "city", its escapes and its lusts, may call upon the realizations which are symbolized under the zodiacal sign Sagittarius. Through the power of Sagittarius and its flaming arrows man may overcome "Sodom and Gomorrah" — the Satanic city — and wind his way toward Shamballah, the City of Light, in which is enthroned Sanat Kumara, the blazing five-pointed Star, the Spiritual Identity of our planet, that glorious center of cosmic being which links the Earth as a whole to the realm of stars.

In Libra the individual self becomes, at the lower level, a "social" being taken up by the company of his fellow-men; at the higher, a companion among those who represent the spiritual collectivity of Man, the Lodge of Free Men. This leads him in the first case to the town and metropolis, in the latter to the mystic City of Light. In Scorpio the power released by such associations is demonstrated: on one hand, sex as a social factor conditioned by the man-made artificialities of city-life, a pastime, a search for emotional escapes or for acute sensations; on the other, the great magical power of life-synthesis, the Kundalini shakti of Hindu occultism, born of the fulfillment and abstraction of intra-organic relationship, at the psychological as well as the physiological level.

Sagittarius balances Libra and helps man to conquer the pull of the negative Scorpio power. It is the faculty of generalization and abstraction, of synthesis and understanding. Through the use of it man surveys the new world opened to him in Libra, and gives value and significance to the multiplicity of impressions which assail him after he has passed through the gates of the city — be it that of matter or that of spirit. In order to produce intelligent valuations, man must learn to generalize, to deduce laws from multiple phenomena, to recognize simple types among the many individuals he meets, to understand human nature, or that higher nature of the realm of spirit.

It is only by the use of understanding, by ardently searching for the source of the many human phenomena encountered and the goal to which men aspire, that the individual may keep his balance when the power of the Scorpio avatar stirs his organism deprived of the elemental earth-stability of the tribal self-centered state. Understanding is mind brought to bear upon life-relationships, which encompass many factors and situations in which the self is only a part of a larger organic whole, social or spiritual. To understanding is added the ethical sense, a sense of the fitness of parts within the structural pattern of the whole. And it is this sense of structural or moral fitness alone which can overcome the tendency toward fallacious nirvanas and glamorous escapes from reality.

As December comes near and the sun is falling lower and lower toward the south, the glorious flaming quality of the autumnal light begins to vanish. Golds and scarlets turn to deep browns. Life seems to shrink inward, letting go of all things, to concentrate fully within the seed. Christmas is not far away, and a mysterious stirring is felt within the seed as every thread of life is drawn towards the center in preparation for the new birth.

The City of Light is soon to elect its new messenger, whom it shall send forth among men as a new sun, once more to gather and integrate the failures of the past, the ruins of the city of matter. Even now the cyclic Barbarians are invading its precincts, just as the fallen leaves turn into dark and pungent humus under the autumnal rain, soon to become snow. This messenger shall be endowed with the combined power of the Brotherhood. Upon him shall descend the "mantle of power", the "Robe of Light", which is the foundation of spiritual mastery.

Indeed, at yuletide the whole species is concentrating its life upon the seed. The synthesis of the end of the cycle be comes drawn to a single point, which is source and beginning: the new Logos, the Christ-to-be, the Word that is becoming flesh as the sun falls lower toward the south, toward that death in matter which is birth. A glorious birth, though hard be the path that leads away from the cradle toward an eventual Golgotha. For in that birth the power of the Constellation and the purpose of the Brotherhood are brought to a focus in that tiny seed within the head of the Christ-child.

This is the God-seed which is latent in every man of this earth since the ancient days of the Great Sacrifice, when He that is the planetary "I am", the Initiator, took His abode upon our shores. And in this seed is contained in potency the total glory of the Brotherhood; in this seed all the stars of the Constellation that is Man celestial and triumphant, weave patterns of light. It is indeed, this seed, a miniature of the City of Light. Every man, whether he is to grow heroic or dwell in the marshes of sin, contains his own Shamballah; Shamballah as he shall experience its glory on the day when, freed at last from the heavy burden of mankind's failures, risen out of the darkness of his own fears and frustrations, he shall look through the Western Gates and, his eyes aglow with the vision, shall tread the sacred grounds of his own immortality.

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

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