Thursday, 15 March 2018

Astrology: Spring Equinox, March 20 2018

Earth, Water, Fire

One striking thing about the Spring Equinox chart, coming just three days after the new moon, is that there are no planets in air signs; Venus and Mercury are in impulsive, blunt Aries, with Mercury going retrograde on March 22. Therefore, it could be that communication will be difficult or choppy (or minimal) in this period. Moreover, this chart has seven planets in two signs: four (Uranus, Venus, Mercury, Sun) in fiery Aries and three (Pluto, Saturn, Mars) in earthy Capricorn and all four Aries planets are in difficult (square) aspects to one of the three in Capricorn, which provides the tension in this chart.


Dark Aries-Capricorn Face-Off

Highly charged Mars is still on the energized cusp of Capricorn, having arrived on the New Moon of March 17 and is in exaltation, bringing some dynamic Spring energy, and its passage through Capricorn as it joins Saturn and Pluto should fire up that already well-furnished house. The Sun squares a wide Mars/Saturn conjunction, bringing depressive, frustrated, harsh, rigid tendencies with some volatile and impulsive energy as well. There is also a Venus/Mercury/Uranus conjunction squaring Mars/Saturn/Pluto in a powerful face-off. I see this as a rather frustrated, clouded, unstable, resentful, vengeful, conflictual impulse that basically serves to amplify the powerful long-standing Pluto/Uranus square. This is probably one of the last big rebellious, revolutionary Uranian offensives (bolstered by a Mars/Uranus trine) before Uranus moves into Taurus in May. According to Bill Herbst: The Uranus–Pluto alignment is far and away the most important astrological factor for the entire decade of the 2010s— .” He briefly describes it as:” the Uranian impulse toward sudden and revolutionary change is combined with the Plutonian tendency toward radical, ruthless, and extreme use of power.”


Bright Moon and Jupiter Sextiles

The Moon and Jupiter, situated in the Taurus-Scorpio axis respectively, bookends the other planets in a six-house hemisphere with some easy trines and sextiles. The sensitive, serene Moon earth trines to Mars and Saturn should help temper the fiery Aries/Capricorn squares and the confident, ambitious Jupiter/Pluto sextile should do the same. Moreover, there is a dreamy, imaginative Moon/Neptune sextile which should enhance the mystical Piscean energy.


Positive Jupiter Trines with Sun/Chiron/Neptune

A key aspect is the Sun/Chiron conjunction trine to Jupiter. Chiron’s lengthy stay near the equinoctial axis continues to provide intriguing Christ-on-the-cross, Easter death/resurrection connections. Sun conjunct Chiron can deepen one’s sense of identity and purpose. In general, Spring symbolizes the rebirth of nature and the beginning of the period of victory of light over darkness and so on a personal level overcoming one’s insecurities and healing the wounds that the spear-like Mars/Saturn-Chiron square is driving home, Mars here serving to briefly revive the Chiron/Saturn square covered in last year’s posts. Some themes of Chiron square Saturn are: “Avoiding responsibility, agonizing over old hurts, letting resentment brew, self-punishing behavior, over-sensitivity, escapism to avoid pain, martyrdom.“ Some themes of Jupiter trine Chiron are: “Recognizing the need to heal, no-nonsense attitudes toward self-care, letting go of the past, taking appropriate responsibility, taking an objective view of one’s challenges, volunteering, mentoring”(Dena DeCastro).


The Sun/Chiron - Jupiter trine should help cut through the dark clouds in Aries and Capricorn and galvanise the solar-powered spring renewal process. Robert Hand writes of the Sun/Jupiter trine:

This is one of the most positive transits. Unless there is some powerful negative influence operating at the same time, this transit assures a day of good feeling, peace and harmony with other. But you should try to use this energy to accomplish something good and useful for yourself… The enthusiasm, optimism and buoyancy associated with this transit will enable you to project energies into the environment that will help your affairs work out as you want… You should used this ability to see your life as a whole and to take stock of what you are doing and to see how it fits your real needs. Because you are in a positive frame of mind, you can make changes in any area of your life without feeling a great sense of loss. So often in our unhappiness, we cling to something we really don’t need because we feel insecure. (Planets in Transit 73-74)


Jupiter’s retrograde motion in Scorpio could help one to dig deeper to connect with one’s inner being setting up a strong archetypal configuration for a fruitful spiritual regeneration. As H. P. Blavatsky writes: “Christ — the true esoteric SAVIOR — is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the "sepulcher" of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him. The "Son of Man" is no child of the bond-woman — flesh, but verily of the free-woman — Spirit, the child of man's own deeds, and the fruit of his own spiritual labor. " (The Esoteric Character of the Gospels, part I, Lucifer, Nov. 1887)


As noted in the previous astrology post, the Winter Solstice ushered in a less conflictual planetary configuration but the winter season experienced it’s share of turmoil, especially with the two rather powerful eclipses, (January 31/ February 15 – a 5-planet conjunction in difficult aspects with 5 other planets) marked by the tragic February 14 Florida high-school shooting. This was possibly partially due to residual energies remaining from previous eclipses and consequences of many prior difficult aspects, so we should witness a certain stabilization after Uranus leaves Aries setting us up for a six-month period of fairly smooth sailing with the Jupiter/Pluto sextile and Jupiter/Neptune trine.  With Jupiter now in Scorpio, Jupiter and Scorpio are both ambitious and intense; this could give a deep, generous altruism with possible harsh reprisals and a certain freakiness, the most obvious manifestation being the recent and numerous revelations (Jupiter extraversion) of the plague that is sexual harassment (Scorpio passion). Jupiter sextile Pluto gives a very dynamic, ambitious, self-confident outlook (with domineering tendencies). Jupiter / Neptune trine, a water (emotion) aspect, brings good intuitive, optimistic, idealistic, humanitarian and spiritual energy (with a tendency for over-optimism and risky gambling). Saturn in Capricorn is all about realism, responsibility, hard work, and conventional, conservative values.


In the previous phase, I observed that it could be a good period to consolidate all the changes and upheavals that previous phases of dissolution brought and begin to roll up one’s sleeves and work at building new structures and projects for the new directions that have hopefully emerged. This cycle would then be a good period to solidify and clarify the rebuilding, renewal projects begun in the previous cycle and raise the sails for the new life directions that circumstances have indicated, which could flourish in a nicely productive summer period.


Robert Hand, Planets in Transit

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Introduction to Gnosticism: The Pistis Sophia, part 3

Next follows a description of the Light-powers which should be closely compared with the description of the 3 Vestures in the opening pages of the Codex. Then while SOPHIA pours forth hymns of joy, the Power becomes a Crown to her head, and her Hyle or material propensities begin to be purified, while the spiritual or Light-powers which she has still retained, join themselves with the “Vesture of Light” which has descended upon her. Then was the Statute fulfilled, and the First Mystery, in its turn, sent forth a great Power of Light, which joined with the first Power emanated by the “Light,” and became a great Stream of Light, this Power was the First Mystery itself Looking-without (Buddhi-Manas) on its own plane and the “glorified” Initiate in this terrestrial sphere.

It came forth from the First Mystery Looking-within (Atma-Buddhi) or “the Father.” When this is accomplished, PISTIS-SOPHIA, the Lower Manas, is purified again, and her Light-powers are strengthened and filled with Light, by their own co-partner of Light that Syzygy, without whom PISTIS-SOPHIA in the beginning thought she could reach the Light of Lights, and so fell into error. Still she is not even yet entirely freed from the bonds of Matter, for the higher she rises, the stronger are the Powers of Projections sent against her, who proceed to change their shapes, so that she now has to struggle against still greater foes which are emanated and directed by the strongest and subtlest Powers of Matter. Thereupon, PISTIS-SOPHIA is surrounded entirely with the Stream of Light and further supported on either hand by Michael and Gabriel, the “Sun” and “Moon.” The “Wings” of the “Great Bird” flutter, the “Winged Globe” unfolds its pinions, preparatory to its flight. For is not the Infinitude of Space “the Nest of the Eternal Bird, the flutter of whose wings produces life”? (S.D., II, 293).

Thus the last great battle commences. The First Mystery Looking-without, directs its attack against the “cruel crafty powers, passions incarnate” and causes PISTIS-SOPHIA to tread underfoot the Basilisk with the seven heads, destroying its Hyle, “So that no seed could arise from it henceforth,” and casting down the rest of the opposing host.* Thereupon PISTIS-SOPHIA sings Hymns of Praise on her being loosed from the bonds of Chaos. Thus was she set free and remembered. Yet the Great Self-willed One and Adamas, the Tyrant, were not yet entirely subdued, for the command had not yet come from the First Mystery, Looking-within, the Father.

Therefore does the First Mystery, Looking-without, seal their regions and those of their Rulers until 3 times are completed. That is until the completion of the 7th Round (for we are now in the 4th) when humanity will pass into the interplanetary Nirvana. This Nirvana however, is a state outside of space and time, as we know them, and therefore can be reached now and within, by very holy men; Naljors and Arhats, who can attain to the highest degree of the mystical contemplation, called in the East Samadhi. For then shall the “Gates of the Treasure of the Great Light” be opened, as described in our text, and the Nirvanic heights be crossed by the “Pilgrim.” (cf. pp. 169-181) (CW 60-62)

Though the careful student of this stupendous system may sense the unity of the scheme which underlies such manifold multiplicity, yet it is exceedingly difficult, without being excessively prolix, to point out all the correspondences. To all below it the Treasure of Light is a unity; and its Orders, Projections, etc., in other words its Hierarchies have but one influence. Therefore, when the contents of the Treasure are mentioned at an earlier period of instruction, as on page 18, they are simply stated without order. But now, a further veil is withdrawn, and the Treasure becomes the Inheritance of Light; this will be when the Evolution of Cosmos is completed, and by analogy at the end of a Round, or of seven Rounds, or again in Initiation when the plane of consciousness called the Treasure is reached by the neophyte. Then, just as Jesus in his passage to the Height, (pages 25 to 37) turned six of the Aeons to the Right and six to the Left, so will the Initiated enter into the Treasure and with their higher consciousness perceive its differences; thus will there be a Right and Left even in that which was previously supposed to be beyond such division. (Blavatsky, CW 13, p. 64)

[PS 239] “. . . And when they shall have brought him to the Virgin of Light (1), the Virgin of Light shall see the Sign of the Mystery of the Kingdom of the Ineffable, which is with him . . . . .”
1) The Virgin of Light. In the Chaldean cosmogony, Ana signifies the “invisible heaven”, the Heavenly Mother of the terrestrial sea: or esoterically, Akasa the mother of the Astral Light. Now Anaitis is one of the names of Kali, the female aspect. Sakti or Syzygy of Siva. She is also called the Annapãrna and Kanya, the Virgin. Her mystery name is Uma-Kanya, the “Virgin of Light.” (The Secret Doctrine I,91, 92.) In the Egyptian and other cosmogonies, the first septenary group of emanating potencies is called the “Virgins of Light” and is represented collectively by the six-pointed star; this star “refers to the six Forces or Powers of Nature. the six planes, principles, etc., etc., all synthesized by the seventh, or the central point in the Star.” (The Secret Doctrine, I, 125).

On reference to Table VI in the Commentary, it will be seen that there are seven Virgins of Light, all aspects of the one Virgin. Now there are, as of everything else, seven aspects, planes or principles of virgin matter, corresponding to the seven principles of man, from the pure, divine Akasa, to the terrestrial Astral Light, the sin-laden atmosphere of our earth. These are the septenary leaves of the Book of the Recording Angel, Le Livre de la Conscience, whither are instantly transferred the deeds, words and THOUGHTS of every minute of our lives, the Karmic record of each imprisoned soul. In the early portion of our text, we learned how the Initiate donned the spotless Vesture of Light containing the Five Words of Glory, and how they were potent to open all the portals and traverse all the Regions of the Rulers.
So also with every man. Each has his own vesture, reflecting his Karmic record, and “uttering the words” that will acquit or condemn him before the jealous guardians of nature’s inmost realms. Yes; each of us has a vesture woven by his own hands, but few are they who are clad in a “wedding garment” and fit to join in the Marriage Feast, when the King’s Son is united to his Heavenly Bride; in other words, to join that holy Brotherhood where each, to gain admittance, must be at one with the Christos within him. He who seeks admission in sin-soiled robes must, like the man in the parable (Matt., xxii) be cast forth into the “outer darkness” of earth-life, until he has learnt by the experience of suffering to weave for himself a garment worthy of the “Church (Assembly) of the Mystic Christ.”

Thus, then, the Souls of the Dead have to present, each severally, their Defences., Denials, and Tokens, as the text has it, and the nature of their after-death experiences and their subsequent return to earth-life will depend upon which of the seven Virgins they have to face in the “Hall of Judgment.” Thrice blessed is he who, clad in the Vesture of Glory, can pass by the Guardians of every threshold.

The above will throw much light on the Mysteries of the Osirified and the fate of the “defunct” that play so conspicuous a part in the “Wisdom of the Egyptians.” To give one instance out of a multitude: “In the book called by Champollion La Manifestation à la Lumière, there is a chapter on the Ritual which is full of mysterious dialogues, with addresses to various ‘Powers’ by the soul. Among these dialogues there is one which is more than expressive of the potentiality of the Word. The scene is laid in the ‘Hall of the Two Truths.’ The ‘Door,’ the ‘Hall of Truth,’ and even the various parts of the gate, address the soul which presents itself for admission. They all forbid it entrance unless it tells them their mystery, or mystic names.” (Isis Unveiled, II, 369.) (Blavatsky, CW 13, p. 76)

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Introduction to Gnosticism: The Pistis Sophia, part 2

The Name, which is no name, but a Sound or rather Motion. The mystery of the Logos, Verbum and Vâch has ever been concealed in the mystery of Names. These Names, in whatever tongue, or among whatever people, all represent permutations of the “Ineffable Name.”In this connection, the following passage from the Pistis-Sophia (page 378, 379) is of great interest. Jesus, in explaining the Mystery of the Light of his Father, the Baptisms of Smoke and of the Spirit of the Holy Light, and the Spiritual Anointing, to his Disciples, continues:

“Nothing, then, is more excellent than these Mysteries, into which ye inquire, unless it be the Mystery of the Seven Voices, and their Nine-and-forty Powers and Numberings (ps‘phôn), nor is any name more excellent than all of them, the Name, in which are all Names, and all Lights and all Powers. He therefore, who shall depart out of the Body of Hyle (Note: not necessarily at death only, but during Samâdhi, or mystic trance) knowing that Name, no Smoke (Note: i.e. no theological delusion) nor Authority, nor Ruler of the Sphere of Fate, nor Angel, nor Archangel, nor Power, shall be able to prevent that Soul; nay, if on quitting the World, a man shall speak that Name to the Fire, it shall be extinguished, and the Mist shall withdraw. And if he shall speak it to the Daemons and the Receivers of the Outer Mist (Darkness), and to its Rulers, Authorities, and Powers, all shall perish, so that their Flame is consumed, and they cry out, ‘Thou art hallowed, the sanctified one, thou blessed one, of all them who are holy.’ And if they shall speak that Name to the Receivers of Evil Condemnation, and their Authorities and all their powers, and also to Barbelo and the Invisible Deity, and the Three Triple-Powers, forthwith all will collapse in those regions, so that they shall be compelled to dissolve and perish, and cry out: ‘O Light of every Light, which is in the infinite Light, remember us also, and cleanse us’.”
With regard to this passage, it is remarked in The Secret Doctrine, II, 570: “It is easy to see who this Light and Name are: the light of Initiation and the name of the ‘Fire Self,’ which is no name, no action, but a Spiritual, ever-living Power, higher even than the ‘Invisible God, as this Power is ITSELF. (Blavatsky, Collected Writings, vol. 13, pp. 42)
The 13 Repentences of Pistis Sophia

With page 181 of the Codex [Schwartze’s transcription], we come to the conclusion of the incident of the repentant Sophia. The 139 pages which deal with the subject demand the closest attention of the student of Esotericism, for not only have we here a history of the “pilgrimage” of the Soul, but also a description of the degrees of Initiation which correspond both to the natural degrees or states of consciousness, and to the cycles of human evolution. We will now endeavour to review this Pilgrimage of PISTIS-SOPHIA, following the path of her “transgression” or desire for Light, through her 13 Repentances, or Changes of Mind (Metanoiae, changes of the Nous or Manas), until her restoration to the Thirteenth Aeon, her proper region or plane.
To attain to the knowledge of Light, or the Logos, the soul has to descend into Matter or Hyle. Hence PISTIS-SOPHIA, desiring the Light, descends towards its Reflection from the Thirteenth Aeon, through the Twelve Aeons, into the depths of Chaos, where she is in danger of entirely losing her own innate Light or Spirit, of which she is continually deprived by the Powers of Matter. Having descended to the lowest depths of Chaos, she at length reaches the limit, and the path of her pilgrimage begins to lead upward to Spirit again. Thus she reaches the Balance; and still yearning for the Light, rounds the turning-point of the cycle, and changing the tendency of her thought or mind, recites her penitential hymns or Repentances.
Her chief enemy who, with his false Light, has drawn her down into Chaos, is Ialdabaoth, the Power with the appearance of a Lion, the Kama “principle”, the false “Light`’ in Chaos, which is assisted by the 24 Hylic or Material Projections, or Emanations, the reflections of the 24 Supernal Projections, the co-partners of PISTIS-SOPHIA, 48 in all, which together with that power or aspect from which the whole may at any time be viewed, make 49.*
* Compare the list of 25 Tattvas (24 + 1 or from another aspect 5 x 5) in the article entitled “The Hindu Theory of Vibration as the Producer of Sounds, Forms and Colors,” The Theosophist, Vol. XII, October and November, 1880, written by C. Kotyya, F.T.S.

Thus then she first utters 7 Repentances. At the 4th of these, the turning-point of a sub-cycle, she prays that the Image of Light may not be turned from her, for the time was come when the Repentance of “those who turn in the Lowest Regions” should be regarded, “the mystery which is made the Type of the Race.” (4th Round.) At the 6th the Light (Upper Manas) remits her transgression, in that she quitted her own Region and fell into Chaos; but the command had not yet come from the First Mystery (Buddhi) to free her entirely from Chaos. Therefore at the conclusion of her 7th Repentance, where she pleads that she has done it in ignorance through her love for the Light, Jesus, the Initiate on the objective plane and the Light on the subjective plane, without the command of the First Mystery (i.e., the power of Manas alone without Buddhi), raises her up to a slightly less confined region in Chaos, but SOPHIA still knew not by whom it was done.
At the 9th Repentance the First Mystery partly accepted her prayer and sent Jesus, the Light, to help her secretly, that is, without the powers of the Aeons knowing it; then did PISTIS-SOPHIA recognize the Light. Her next 4 Hymns are sung knowingly to the Light, and are of the nature of thanksgiving, and of declaration that Karmic Justice shall shortly overtake her oppressors, while she prays to be delivered from her “transgression,” viz., the Kamic Power with the appearance of a Lion. After the 13th Repentance, Jesus again, of himself, without the First Mystery, emanated a brilliant Power of Light from himself, and sent it to aid SOPHIA, to rais her higher still in Chaos, until the command should come to free her entirely.†

† There are, therefore, 3 degrees of Chaos. (Blavatsky, Collected Writings, vol. 13, pp. 60-61)