The Zodiacal Earth-Field - 9
What I wrote nearly twenty-five years ago
is as valid today as it was then. In spite of what has been happening since then in China, and of the more or less concerted rise of the "Third World," the basic fact remains, under all surface storms of international politics: the polarization between the Americas and Eurasiafrica. However when the Egyptian Great Pyramid was considered the center of the inhabitable world, the emphasis was placed on Eurasiafrica. The Nile delta occupied a very significant place within this vast landmass; and it seems quite likely — though impossible to prove today by our available scientific means — that a very ancient Egyptian civilization preceding our historical records was indeed directly related to the last island (Plato's Poseidonis) which is supposed to have disappeared under the Atlantic sea-surface around 8000 BC.
The Great Pyramid was not built alone. It was linked by a passage way to the lower part of the mysterious Sphinx; and, though I cannot of course "prove" the validity of this statement, the Sphinx and the Pyramid constituted a meaningful ritualistic whole. The Sphinx towered over the entrance of the gateway marking the entrance of a passageway which symbolized the "Path of Initiation" — and many other things besides. This passageway led to some perhaps as yet unobserved entrance to the Pyramid which, I repeat, was the sacred place of Initiation. The neophyte, after passing successfully through various testing ordeals, was put by the Initiator into a condition of trance for three days, during which he underwent further tests, experiences and a change of psychic polarity — to arise, if successful, "after the third day" as an Initiate of the Great Mysteries.(1
In the symbolism of the zodiac, I believe that while the Pyramid, as the place of Initiation, refers to Libra 0º(2
), the Sphinx is a symbol of the transition between the signs Leo and Virgo. This mythological creature has been interpreted in several ways; some authors have seen in it a symbolical composite of the "fixed signs," Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. This may be true of some sphinx-like entities, like the one which was defeated by Oedipus; but the Egyptian Sphinx does not belong to that category. It is simply a composite being which is half lion and half human virgin. It represents the cusp between Leo and Virgo; and that point of the zodiac symbolizes the struggle which man has to face as he decides to "enter the Path" that will lead him, if successful, to a new level of consciousness and a new type of life dedicated to humanity-as-a-whole (the "Great Orphan," symbolically speaking).
At the Leo-Virgo cusp man must accept the fact that he has now to learn to overcome his fierce pride, his sense of ego-centered isolation and his resulting love for self-dramatization — and to become a "Servant" of humanity as well as of his god-like inner selfhood. This gradual acceptance, which means a total repolarization of his nature and his consciousness comes only after having passed through many tests and crises; and this difficult process is represented in zodiacal symbolism by the sign, Virgo
. Now, Virgo, according to the traditional correspondence between zodiacal signs and parts of the human body, represents the region of the solar plexus and the organs of metabolism, the liver, the pancreas, the duodenum and all the small intestines. Metabolism is a process of assimilation
; and in Virgo, man is symbolically assimilating the contents of his experiences as an individualized person, and transmuting
his responses to these experiences — thus his emotional patterns, the quality of his feeling-reactions to life, his complexes.
It is over this entire biochemical, bio-psychic and spiritual process that the Sphinx stands guard. The ancient name for Egypt was Chem, from which we derived the term, chemistry. Indeed the essential meaning of the Egyptian culture and the great secret of its Lodge of Initiates — whose color was (and apparently still is) green
— is the process of meta-chemistry. it is most likely that the use of certain drugs was prevalent at least among some groups of seekers in later times; and perhaps in this (and the present use of LSD and other psychedelic substances in America) we see a confirmation of the idea, advanced by the great Theosophist, William Q. Judge, that the present-day United States constitutes a cyclic reappearance of the ancient Egyptian people — witness our practice of embalming corpses and many subtler correspondences, including a perhaps very significant link between Alexandria and New York.
However this may be, the meaning of the Sphinx is, in my opinion, a most important clue to a correspondence between signs of the zodiac and regions of the Earth-globe. If we say that the Sphinx stands at the geographical
longitude which corresponds to the degree of celestial
longitude marking the transition between the zodiacal signs Leo and Virgo, we establish thereby a geo-celestial parallelism which throws a very fascinating light on the geomorphic significance of the shape and character of continents and countries.
Such a process has been described in various ways by various authors. I might refer particularly to Edward Schure The Great Initiates
, and to a more recent and quite fascinating book Initiation
by Elizabeth Haich (Allen and Unwin Ltd., London, 1960) which is no doubt partly autobiographical. Return
The fall equinox is, in a deep sense, the most "spiritual" moment of the year — cf. the last chapter of my book The Pulse of Life
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