Twelve Phases of Human Experience
VIRGO - Page 3 of 3
The lion is king of the desert because he is able, symbolically, to absorb or lord it over all lesser creatures. As he does this, he finds himself alone in the desert. The ego also is alone, because he can only see himself in relation to others as a master of slaves, or as a virtuoso performing for a receptive audience. He is thus alone on the stage, separated from all by the footlights of his pride, of his self-imposed mission — or by the pomp of his regal station. The Virgin is also alone, by definition; but it is a very different kind of aloneness. The Virgin is alone — and expectant. She expects the performance of a Mystery which will destroy both her aloneness and her virginity. She may be afraid of the Unknown. She may stare, Sphinxlike, into the night of the desert; but in her heart and in her womb she knows that He will come. That coming will make of the desert a fruitful valley. A people will be born. Libra will come: the communion of men, society, the promise of civilization, the "Mystic brotherhood" whose reality is revealed as a concrete fact in the deep chamber of the Pyramid.
When the virgin girl is fecundated by the beloved, it is not only that she mates with one particular man. She opens to human life as a whole. The entire past of the human race floods her expectancy, and she becomes a promise of the future civilization. Likewise, the Collective Unconscious rushes up to the threshold of the conscious in the man who is being "initiated." MAN enters a man. Libra enters Virgo. And Virgo is the expectancy of this advent, the long and arduous preparation for it.
First of all, however, this expectancy is to be aroused. It does not exist in Leo. The Sphinx is the symbolical expression of the crisis which must come at a certain stage of evolution if the creative, self-projective, dramatic alone-ness of the human ego (Leo) is to become the expectant, potentially fruitful alone-ness of the human soul (Virgo). This term "soul" is a rather unfortunate one because it has so many different and vague meanings. By it, we mean here the condition of the human psyche — of man's mind and feelings — when it begins to realize that the whole universe does not revolve around itself and that it is a participant in some vast wholeness of being whose seeming infinity is awe-inspiring, yet compelling.
The creative Fire which surges outward in whirling motions from the center of the individualized personality is Leo. Slowly, this Fire becomes aware of Space all around. It faces the cold of Space. It is compelled to slow down its vibratory intensity. Radiant atoms, in ionized states within the Suns, learn to operate as more steady chemical structures. Energy becomes substance. The power in the Lion's loins becomes reason and discrimination in the Virgin's head. Emotional and creative thought-dramas become reflective, analytical understanding. There is a constant process of cooling off. Space overcomes Fire. The Many overcome the One. Relationship triumphs over self-radiation. A sense of the greater Unknown makes all the known glories and all the emotional excitements of the ego-phantasms of questionable value. The expectation of That which would bring this Unknown into the soul is born. It does not matter how this mysterious That is conceived. Already the Lion has become the Virgin: the eternal question-mark.
Who is the eternal Unknown who will answer the "Why?" of the Virgin? It is he who, because He has no name, wields the power of Meaning and is the "bestower of names." He is the Initiator who ever answers the riddle of personality and conscious living; He who holds in His mind the secret of the "Measure of Man." But, to find Him, the individual ego must willingly become the neophyte. He must experience training and trial, emotional repolarization and the surrender of his tragic, yet cherished, alone-ness. He must welcome the past in understanding, in order that the future may be created in wisdom. He must face the silence in the King's Chamber of the Pyramid — and not be afraid. He must die, and be reborn.
Stillness always descends upon the soul that searches and silently gazes upon distant constellations through the glamorous night of the desert. The Sphinx today still gazes on, though disciples are no longer initiated in the desecrated Pyramid and bombs bring meaningless death to cities nearby. Yet the reality of the Sphinx lives on. Humanity has become the Sphinx. It is asking the eternal question. It is seeking through the global crisis of our days the path to the new Pyramid and the new Initiation — the path to the "Plenitude of Man."
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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