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SATURN - Lord of Boundaries

Over the song of life rule two mighty powers. The pulls of their opposing forces sway the living tides hither and thither, and the motion they induce and regulate is cyclic and constant. Two currents of motion; ebb and flow of the great cosmic Sea that is life — systole and diastole of the universal Heart — from which are born the two great life-currents within every organism. Venous and arterial circulations at one level, become the nerve-flow of the afferent and efferent nerves at another; and still deeper currents could be mentioned.

Saturn is the symbol of all systolic — Jupiter, of all diastolic movements. The former contracts, the latter expands. The circulation of life is regulated by the interplay of these two universal and ubiquitous Powers.

In the fabric of European music this "circulation of life" is conditioned by the two great centers of tonal attraction and repulsion, concentration and modulation — the "tonic" and the "dominant". All melodic and harmonic movements, in classical tonality, sway around these two centers. Interestingly enough, in Europe, all classical melodies end on the Saturnian "tonic"; while in most Oriental types of music, they close with what is an approximate equivalent of the Jupiterian "dominant"; because Asia has always moved in devotion toward the greater Whole — while Europe has worked toward an emphasis of the personal, limited and materially focalized "I".

The graphic symbols used to picture the two universal Powers reveal the truth of their essential natures, as well as the relation they bear to the Moon, whose phases represent accurately the tidal ebb and flow of the ocean of Life. All New Moons are Jupiterian in ultimate meaning; all Full Moons, Saturnian. In the sign used to represent Jupiter the lunar crescent is above the horizontal line of the cross; with Saturn, it is attached to the lower end of the vertical. Moreover, in the Jupiter sign the curve of the Moon points outward to the open space, suggesting a counterclockwise rotation; while in the Saturn sign it closes in, as it were, upon the cross, suggesting a clockwise motion, thus:

The Moon-crescent here symbolizes the motion of the life-flow; its relation to the cross and the suggested direction of the rotation indicate the polarity of this flow, whether outward and diastolic, or inward and systolic. The cross is, as ever, the mystery-sign of the Incarnation; the quartering of spirit into manifested space; the crucifixion of the One, that is the "Heart of the Sun", into the ebb and flow of Life, into polarities, into sex, into within and without, "I" and "the Others". The highest of all Light-Rays — the first and most mysterious, the Sushumna Ray — becomes crucified into the two antagonistic Powers — vertical and horizontal, symbolically — which control the tides of life. The path of its descent, the Way to the Cross down from the Center of the Sun, is also the path of return for all the living individuals that arise from the Sea-depths. Saturn forces the Spirit down into polarity, into form and gender. Jupiter is the compensating Power that brings the incarnate ego to the realization of all there is in the world besides himself, and thus helps him to assimilate the non-ego, so that he may grow into universal awareness and, ultimately, into conscious participation in the life of ever larger Wholes.

Another way in which this dual process could be graphically represented would be by picturing, in the case of Saturn, a spiral whirlwind closing in upon a cross (involutionary process); in the case of Jupiter, a similar spiral moving away from the central cross (evolutionary process). But the lunar crescent shows us in a luminous manner that the whirling Power which draws toward or away from the cross is that same Power which, striking universal substance, aroused therein the great tidal "song of life".

This whirling Power is also symbolized by the svastika with its two possible directions, counterclockwise and clockwise. These two directions are represented by the two letters Z and S; the former symbolizing the outward expression of the spirit through "works", i.e. through action — the latter, the inward concentration or meditation of the incarnated soul reaching to its central Source. The counterclockwise motion in astrological symbolism is that of the Houses, while Planets rotate on the chart in clockwise direction. The Houses define the "works of the individual Self" as it expresses itself outwardly. The Planets are essent

ially the energies of life reflecting the outward rays of the light back to its Source, the "Heart of the Sun". Another interesting analogy can be established between, on one hand, the sign for Jupiter and the number 4, and on the other, the commonly made sign for Saturn and the number 5. The analogy is correct, for the number 4 symbolizes the incorporation of Deity into Personality, of macrocosm into microcosm. It is the number of avataric descent. This is shown also in the fact that the number 4 (Personality), by Kabbalistic analysis, gives the number 10(1+2 + 3 +4 = 10) or the number of Deity. 4 is the number of wholeness operating as an organism of substance. 10 represents the emanation of the universal whole, as Light: God projecting himself, focalizing himself into his own creation, man (4).

As man reaches back toward participation in the life of the divine Whole, as he returns to his celestial home, then he is seen as the pentagram or five-pointed star — whose mystical name is Sanat: the highest aspect of Saturn (5). He ceases to be overshadowed by God. He becomes active in God. From being a medium, or at a higher stage, a mediator (4) or hierophant — a Door into the Kingdom of God — he becomes an Adept: one who acts within the divine Whole — an atom of divinity. Saturn and Jupiter are the two aspects taken by the Power emanating from the core of the Sun, when it manifests as the ruler and controller of the universal motions of life. No one can reach the "Heart of the Sun" who fails to stand the tests of Saturn-Jupiter, the Two-in-One. These cosmic Twins are the great Lords of Life; and they are lords over the souls of all of us in whom the yearning to reach the "Heart of the Sun", our divine Home, is aroused. They are indeed the very symbols of the "individual soul" in every man: this soul that the old Vedic seers once named "Yami-Yama" — significant names indeed, which find curious phonetic equivalents in our modern "I am I" — to which we should add "I am That".

"I am I" — such is the great mantram of Saturn, Lord of Boundaries, Lord of Form. In the beginning, the Saturn-power proclaims through the spaces encompassed by the solar Rays, the command: Let there be Form! And as these great words resound, gonglike, through the spatial substance of the universe-to-be, behold! a cosmic ploughman traces a circular furrow round the fields that are to become, in distant eons, the new "City of God".

Thereafter the within is differentiated from the without.

There is that which stands within the pale, within the precincts of the light, and that which lies beyond the pale, beyond the gates: the eternal outcasts and barbarians of the then dawning cycle of life-manifestation.

Saturn traces the boundaries: the "Ring-Pass-Not". He traces a furrow, just as in olden times a furrow was ploughed around that space of earth which had been selected to be the site of a new settlement. This furrow is the "magic circle" traced by the medieval magician with the point of his sword. It is the "sacred enclosure" of all temples — even the temple of the human soul. Within this enclosure — the city-walls, the walls of the living cell — the law of Saturn rules supreme. And this law is rhythmed to the beats of the mantram: "I am I".

The rod of Saturn, symbol of his power — the rod of the Initiator also — is the magical axis of man's individual selfhood: man's polar axis — the spine. Saturn is said to rule from the occult center at the base of the spine, the "Root-center" of Hindu occultism. From this point the entire body-structure is balanced. This truth is being recovered today by some physicians who, instead of adjusting disarranged vertebrae, work with the muscles of the sacroiliac region, from which all the muscles holding the upper body in alignment are controlled. The lower regions of the spine and the coccyx constitute therefore the power center of the human organism, the mysterious place where kundalini is coiled. It is Root-power, and this Root-power, ascending upward under the urge of Self-renewal and spiritual rebirth, is that very power which gives existence to "flowers" (the Golden Flower in the head); the number and quality of the roots being shown in the number and quality of the flowers — a fact in horticulture.

The basis of the spine is the Dragon's Tail; because Saturn, like the latter, refers to the past; and the coccyx is the symbol of the past of the human animal, being a vestigial remains of the animal's tail. Why does Saturn refer to the past? Because the individual structure of the new manifestation is necessarily conditioned by the unfulfillment of the past; by the remains, the failures of the past — preserved in the Records of Nature, in the memory of universal substance: the "astral light" of the occultists.

The Moon is the song of the resurrected past, striving toward delayed fulfillment, struggling toward the "Heart of the Sun". The Moon-tides scan the cyclic efforts of the human soul, reawakened from its spirit-intoxicated dreams to fulfill the "pattern of redemption" which the Compassionate One provides, so that the unregenerate substance left over from the past universe may become integrated with Spirit. This "pattern of redemption" is the very "pattern of destiny" of the individual life. It is the form of the individual. And the Compassionate One . . . yes, indeed — it is Saturn, Lord of the Golden Age, in Greek mythology.

The Golden Age is the first period of any cycle; and it is called the "Age of Innocence", for throughout its duration men are completely dominated from within by instincts which, as instincts, are unfailing and absolutely true to the inherent nature of man. To be "innocent" is to be true to one's own nature, to be purely what one is — and nothing else. Pure water is water unmixed with anything that is not water. A man is pure who is entirely and solely that which he is originally and according to the law of his own nature. This law is the law of Saturn, the law of form and of purity — or integrity. He who fulfills completely his particular form and character, and never oversteps his own boundaries — in thought or feeling any more than in action — such a man is pure and innocent, whatever his destiny may be. Saturn therefore, the lord of destiny, is rightly the ruler over men who are inescapably true to their respective destinies.

Inescapably true. There is no escape from Saturn in the Golden Age; and no one wishes then to escape, any more than the animal and the tree wish to escape their own destinies, to be different from what they inherently are. The power of Saturn, in the Golden Age, is the power of instinct. It is life acting from within the organic being, with absolute control: life the autocrat — the benevolent and compassionate All-Father, the primordial image of whom is still the background for many of our modern concepts of God.

He is compassionate, just because he is an autocrat. At the beginning of any life-cycle the formative powers of Spirit face inchoate substance left over in a state of chemical disintegration (symbolically, of manure) or else the highly specialized substance "saved from the deluge" in the seed — the seed that is indeed an "ark of Noah". Leaving aside for the moment this seed-substance, we will easily realize that unless an absolutely dominating "will to formation" can be exerted upon the chaotic substance gathered within the "walls of the city-to-be", there can be no growth, because no order. Therefore every first phase of organic growth requires the absolute subservience of the chaotic elements to a ruling principle of organization and form. This principle is Saturn, the Autocrat. But this autocratic rule is benevolent and compassionate, because it is necessary; moreover, because acting from within, as instinct, it is not challenged; there being no principle of individual selfhood to challenge or to rebel against it.

Men of the Golden Age, generally speaking, are not individuals. They constitute a crowd, soon becoming a tribe by inter-marriage "within the pale". The tribal law is the law of Saturn. It is the law of the Father-God (or tribal God), who is a celestial and mythological transposition of the Great Ancestor of the tribe. This law is instinct. It is bred into the new generations as soon as the tribal unit is established within its "land of destiny", within the "sacred precincts" of its Holy Land.

At the psycho-mental level Saturn is the power of logical thinking through which the psycho-mental organism of man acquires a relatively permanent form: a spiritual skeleton: Real individual selfhood depends upon such a "skeleton". What occurred in the far distant past of mankind when, according to occult traditions, men acquired solid bones and began to operate as ever so little self-conscious beings on the physical plane, has been occurring at the higher psycho-mental level since the time of Gautama the Buddha, and particularly since the Greek period. Mankind has been learning intellectual logic, objective thinking and structural ideation to the exclusion of almost everything else, in Europe, and this focalization has given to the Western world its peculiar characteristics. The struggle between Persia and Greece was a struggle between Jupiter and Saturn. Magianism and Greek intellectualism are the two forces which underlie the entire development of European civilization. Ritualistic Christianity derives from the former; the Universities from the latter.

Saturn is the logician; because logic forces us to think objectively — to think straight. Logic sets up a type of thinking based on unanimously accepted processes of thought. It therefore provides a foundation necessary for the next stage of human development. Nevertheless, as its rule becomes tyrannical it must be overcome. Thus when the period of the physical-instinctual domination of the Saturn-principle has run its natural course, the complementary and compensating Jupiter-principle begins to wax in strength. Men begin to look "beyond the pale"; they begin to yearn for the open spaces. They begin to break the law of their tribal nature — because another urge is born within them. The urge to expand; to come in contact with other races, other horizons; to assimilate new materials, and to become broad and fluidic — such a Jupiterian urge slowly increases in power. Then the "confusion of castes" becomes a fact. Purity and innocence die with the Golden Age.

Then Saturn, the once compassionate and benevolent formator and fecundator of chaos, begins to take an altogether different meaning. Where men find themselves bound into an air-tight, age-old tradition, the law of Saturn becomes the enemy of progress. Saturn becomes Satan, in one of his aspects, as the symbol of racial pride. Yet transgressions against the law of Saturn cannot be ignored, as long as humanity still lives within the larger cycle, of which the Golden Age was the first phase. Saturn becomes known as fate. Man, as an individual, tries to turn his back against the tribal law and the passions generated by blood-relationship in all its aspects — which include sex, jealousy, greed, and so on. As he does that, he begins to raise himself to the station of the "second birth", to shift gears, to give up self-focalization at the physiological level. But before he completely refocalizes his energies and his consciousness at the psycho-mental level of true individual selfhood, the old physiological appetites haunt him — no longer as pure and innocent instincts, but as mentalized cravings. They take a fateful, perhaps sinister meaning. Saturn avenges himself. He becomes the tester, the "Dweller at the Threshold"; the symbol of the old, symbol of utter weariness of soul and body. And this is true at any level, even at those heights when, as occultists say, the body of individual selfhood — the "causal body" — has to be given up.

. . . Until the time when the individual, completely focalized at the higher level, becomes a seed-being. As such, he arises, at the last stage of the cycle — vast or small — as this cycle's ultimate fruition. And all together, these "seed-beings" gather as the vast collective Seed of the entire cycle; as that protected grouping of specialized cells whose destiny it is to bear witness to eternal life, even during the long fall and winter. Out of this Seed new life will be born; a new Fatherhood to project into being a new race. And upon the life of such seed-men Saturn once more holds sway; a glorified Saturn, not less severe and not less compassionate; a Saturn who is a poem of formative light. Of him it can be said that his symbol is the perfectly cut diamond: pure geometrical splendor, supremely formed radiance.

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

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