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Preliminary Philosophy Course:
Lesson 1: The Visible and Invisible Worlds:
Lesson 1: The Creative Power of Thought
When the ego first entered into possession of its vehicles in the Lemurian Epoch, it possessed neither a brain nor a larynx. To supply this deficiency, one-half of the creative sex force, which formerly had been used solely for propagation, was then turned upward for the purpose of building these organs through which thought and reason might be produced and thought might be communicated to others. Thus we see that thought is creative, because it was derived through the instrumentality of the creative force. Likewise, the voice is creative; that is, the spoken word has the power to create for the same reason, namely, that it had its origin in the creative force.
Lesson 2: The Work of the Aspirant to the Higher Life
There are no special gifts bestowed upon anyone. All may know for themselves the truth concerning the pilgrimage of the spirit through matter, its method and its object. There is a method whereby this valuable knowledge may be acquired and by which, if persistently followed, God-like powers may be developed.
Lesson 3: The Mission of Christ and the Forgivenes of Sins
When the earth was yet a part of the sun, there was one common group spirit, composed of all the Creative Hierarchies which controlled the whole human family. But as it was intended that each body should be the temple and instrument of an indwelling spirit, it became necessary to have a division of rulership. Jehovah then came with his angels and archangels and made the first great division into races.
Lesson 4: Correct Diet for the Aspirant
That all oxen thrive on grass and all lions eat flesh, "while one man's meat is another man's poison," is an illustration of the influence of the group spirit as contrasted with that of the human ego, which latter makes the requirements of each human being differ more or less from those of others as regards kind and proportions of food.
From an occult standpoint it is desirable for the ego to live as long as possible in each dense body, particularly after a start has been made toward living a spiritual life, and to retain as long as possible a body that has become to some extent amenable to the spirit's promptings.
Lesson 5: Why We Should Avoid Mediumship, Hypnotism and the Ouija Board
In the early development of humanity all were involuntarily clairvoyant. This was caused by the loose connection between the vital and dense bodies. Since then these bodies have become much more firmly interwoven in the majority of people, but in all sensitives the connection is still loose. It is this looseness which constitutes the difference between the psychic and the ordinary person, the latter being unconscious of all but the vibrations perceived through the five senses.
Lesson 6: The Evolution of Religion
Man and his religions have evolved side by side and in equal degree. The earliest religion of any race is found to be as savage as the people governed by it and as they become more civilized, their religions become more and more humane and in harmony with higher ideals. The law for the body may be the survival of the fittest, but the law for the evolution of the spirit demands sacrifice. It is evident that whatever urges man to a higher standard of conduct toward his fellow men must come from within. That such a force exists, even though often not understood, no one will deny. Selfishness is being slowly but surely replaced by altruism. In the breast of every human being the Christ force of altruism works as a leaven. It will gradually transform the savage into the civilized man, and in time change the latter into a god.
Lesson 7: The Science of Dying
The term "death" refers only to the form. The spirit is deathless. Also birth and death are relative terms: what we call death is in reality a birth into the spiritual world, and what we call birth is temporarily dying to the spiritual world.
When we have exhausted the possibilities of any particular life, it becomes necessary to pass on to higher spheres through the medium of the mistakenly dreaded process of dying. In the heart there is located what is known as the seed atom of the physical body. This seed atom is spoken of in Rosicrucian parlance as "The Book of God," because all the experiences of our past lives are inscribed upon it. This particular atom is permanent, and it will be taken with us through all our future existences, forming the basis of our individuality throughout all eternity.
Lesson 8: The Beneficent Experiences of Purgatory
Let us not become alarmed by this word "purgatory," for although the experiences in this state may be painful, at the same time they are extremely beneficent, because they free the ego from the weights which would otherwise prevent it from rising into the higher regions. This is the reason why purgatory comes first after passing out in death. From our standpoint we might consider it desirable to have heaven first, particularly if we have had a hard earth life, but this is scientifically impossible; until our spiritual specific gravity is decreased, we cannot rise.
Lesson 9: The Realms of Bliss
Having reviewed the experiences encountered in the lower regions, we will now consider the so-called realms of bliss, namely, the various heaven worlds. But let us disabuse our minds of the idea that the sole function of these higher regions is to give us bliss. Bliss is only one of the products of the life that is led there. The more important functions of these regions are assimilative and educational. First, we assimilate and build into the consciousness the spiritual quality of the good actions which we performed during earth life. This gives us the quality of right feeling, which will be with us in future lives as an incentive to right action. Second, we are educated in the higher processes of life and body building.
Lesson 10: Rebirth and Consequence
The real object of life is not present happiness but experience whereby we may unfold our latent spiritual powers and develop them into faculties for greater service in God's plan of evolution. God is evolving through us. We are cells in the cosmic body of God. We are spiritualizing matter for Him so that it may be a vehicle in which He may function. We are as necessary to God as God is to us. It is our business, therefore, to develop our spiritual qualities and our latent talents to the utmost in order that we may co-operate with this great plan.
Lesson 11: The Soul, Soul Body, and Soul Growth
There is much confusion in the popular mind as to the distinctions between soul, soul body, and spirit. In Rosicrucian parlance these terms refer to separate and distinct realities, whereas in ordinary usage they are used more or less interchangeably. In the Rosicrucian literature the soul is spoken of as the quintessence of the three lower vehicles and the experiences obtained in those vehicles which involve right thought and right action. This essence is extracted by the spirit or ego and used as a pabulum by it. The soul builds up the powers of the spirit, adds to its consciousness, and enables it to extend its field of operation.
Lesson 12: The Soul, Soul Body, and Soul Growth
During the Great War many Invisible Helpers were developed to work on the battlefields with the wounded soldiers. At the beginning of the war, however, there were few available, because very few of humanity had attained to this development. As the war progressed, more and more Invisible Helpers were developed to meet the emergency, and at the end of it there were a great number at work.
The soul body continues to grow after it has been born, that is, after it has been separated by cleavage from the lower ethers--provided it is fed. Like any other body it must receive food in order to grow and remain in a condition of health and strength. But if we fail to provide suitable food for the soul body after its birth, we shall experience a great soul hunger, compared with which physical hunger is as nothing. The food which must be given to it consists in acts and thoughts of love and service to others and to humanity in general as opportunity permits. Self-forgetting, self-sacrificing service builds the soul body and attracts the golden soul ethers.
Lesson 13: The Path of Attainment, First-Hand Knowledge, and Spiritual Sight
The Path of Attainment is the path on which we develop our spiritual sight and spiritual powers. Spiritual sight is often spoken of as the sixth sense. Ordinary humanity has only five senses, but we all have the sixth sense dormant, and some of the pioneers have developed it. There was a time when we only had four senses fully developed; another, when we possessed three, and so on. In the period, for instance, when we only had four active senses, there were undoubtedly some who said that it was impossible to have a fifth sense; that those visionaries who told of a fifth sense were deluded. History repeats itself. Today the rank and file of humanity have five senses, but some report the existence of a sixth. They are often regarded by the others as being deluded. When these advanced individuals tell of realms and visions and powers of which we are not made aware by our five senses, there are always some to say that they are the product of imagination. Yet we know that they are not. We know that these higher regions and powers exist.
Lesson 14: The Path of Attainment, First-Hand Knowledge, and Spiritual Sight [continued]
Vanity over one's spiritual development admits elementals to his aura which often bring about his downfall. Therefore the Bible is scientifically correct when it warns us against pride. This is particularly dangerous after we have started on the Path of Attainment. The aspirant's vehicles are sensitized on his path by the pure living which he practices and by the exercises which he pursues. He must be much more careful, therefore, than the ordinary person to avoid sensuality in any form, because it will pull him down with greater rapidity than it will others.
Lesson 15: Prayer -- A Magic Invocation
God is Light, and not even the greatest of modern telescopes which reach many millions of miles into space have found the boundaries of light. But we know that unless we have eyes wherewith to perceive the light, and ears which register the vibrations of sound, we walk the earth in eternal darkness and silence; similarly, to perceive the Divine Light which alone can illuminate our spiritual darkness, and to hear the voice of the silence which alone can guide us, we must cultivate our spiritual eyes and ears; and prayer, true, scientific prayer, is one of the most powerful and efficacious methods of finding favor before the face of our Father, and receiving the immersion in spiritual light which alchemically transforms the sinner to the saint and places around him the golden wedding garment of Light, the luminous soul body.
Lesson 16: Initiation
To obtain a clear understanding of what constitutes Initiation and what the prerequisites are, let the student first fix firmly in his mind the fact that humanity as a whole is slowly progressing upon the path of evolution, and thus almost imperceptibly attaining higher and higher states of consciousness. The path of evolution is a spiral when we regard it from the physical side only, but is a lemniscate when viewed in both its physical and spiritual phase. In the lemniscate, or figure 8, there are two circles which converge to a central point, which circles may be taken to symbolize the immortal spirit, the evolving ego. One of the circles signifies its life in the physical world from birth to death. During this span of time it sows a seed by every act and should reap in return a certain amount of experience.
Lesson 17: The Philosopher's Stone
The creative force used by God to bring a solar system into manifestation, and the force used by the divine Hierarchies to form the physical vehicle of the lower kingdoms over which they rule as group spirits, expresses itself in a dual manner as Will and Imagination, and is the same as the united creative force of the male and the female which results in the creation of a human body. At one time man was bi-sexual, male-female, and therefore each was able to propagate his species without assistance from anyone else. But one-half of the creative force has been temporarily diverted upward to build a brain and larynx in order to enable him sometimes to create by his own mind, to form thoughts and speak the creative word of power that shall make his thoughts flesh. Three great creative Hierarchies were particularly concerned in bringing about this change: the Angels from the Moon, the Mercurians from Mercury, and the Lucifer Spirits from Mars.
Lesson 18: Parsifal
As we look about us in the material universe we see a myriad of forms and all these forms have a certain color and many of them emit a definite tone; in fact all do, for there is sound even in so-called inanimate Nature. The wind in the tree tops, the babbling of the brook, the swell of the ocean are all definite contributions to the harmony of nature.
Of these three attributes of nature, form, color, and tone, form is the most stable, tending to remain in statu quo for a considerable time and changing very slowly. Color on the other hand, changes more readily: it fades, and there are some colors that change their hue when held at different angles to the light; but tone is the most elusive of all three; it comes and goes like a will-o'-the-wisp, which none may catch or hold.
Lesson 19: Parsifal [continued]
They all recline beneath the tree, and Gurnemanz begins: "On the night when our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, ate the Last Supper with his disciples He drank the wine from a certain chalice, and that was later used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch the lifeblood which flowed from the wound in the Redeemer's side. He also kept the bloody lance wherewith the wound was inflicted, and carried these relics with him through many perils and persecutions. At last they were taken in charge by Angels, who guarded them until one night a mystic messenger sent from God appeared and bade Titurel, Amfortas' father, build a castle for the reception and safe-keeping of these relics. Thus the Castle of Mount Salvat was built on the high mountain, and the relics lodged there under the guardianship of Titurel with a band of holy and chaste knights whom he had drawn around him. It became a center whence mighty spiritual influences went forth to the outside world.
Lesson 20: Parsifal [continued]
At the Castle of the Grail, Amfortas is being importuned on all sides to perform the sacred rite of the Grail service, to uncover the holy chalice that the sight of it may renew the ardor of the knights and spur them on to deeds of spiritual service; but he shrinks, from fear of the pain the sight will cause him to feel. The wound in his side always starts to bleed afresh at the sight of the Grail, as the wound of remorse pains us all when we have sinned against our ideal. At last, however, he yields to the combined entreaties of his father and the knights. He performs the holy rite, though the while he suffers the most excruciating agony, and Parsifal, who stands in a corner, feels sympathetically the same pain, without realizing why, and when Gurnemanz eagerly asks him after the ceremony what he saw, he remains dumb and is thrust out of the castle by the angry, because disappointed, old knight.
Lesson 21: Spiritual Light; The New Element and the New Substance
The summer and winter solstices together with the vernal and fall equinoxes form turning points in the life of the great Earth Spirit, as conception marks the commencement of the human spirit's descent into the earthly body, resulting in birth, which inaugurates the period of growth until maturity is reached. At that point an epoch of mellowing and ripening has its inception, together with a decline of the physical energies which terminates in death. That event frees man from the trammels of matter and ushers in the season of spiritual metabolism whereby our harvest of earthly experiences is transmuted to soul powers, talents, and tendencies, to be put to usury in future lives, that we may grow more abundantly rich in such treasures, and be found worthy as "faithful stewards" to fill greater and greater posts among the servants in the Father's House.
Lesson 22: Faust
When the name Faust is mentioned, the majority of educated people at once think of Gounod's presentations upon the stage. Some admire the music, but the story itself does not seem to particularly impress them. As it appears there, it seems to be the unfortunately all too common story of a sensualist who betrays a young unsuspecting girl and then leaves her to expiate her folly and suffer for her trustfulness. The touch of magic and witchery which enters into the play is thought of by most people as only the fancies of an author who has used them to make the sordid, everyday conditions more interesting.
When Faust is taken by Mephistopheles to the underworld and Marguerite is borne to heaven upon angelic wings at the conclusion of the play, it appears to them to be just the ordinary moral to give the story a goody-goody ending.
Lesson 23: Faust [continued]
....Thus the plot is ready and Faust is about to become enmeshed in the snares which beset the path of every seeking soul. The following lines show the beneficent purpose and the necessity of temptation. The Spirit is an integral part of God; primarily innocent, but not virtuous. Virtue is a positive quality developed by taking a firm stand for the right in temptation, or by the suffering endured in consequence of wrongdoing. Thus the prologue in heaven gives to the Faust myth its highest value as a guide, and its encouragement to the seeking soul. It shows the eternal purpose behind the earthly conditions which cause pain and sorrow.
Lesson 24: Faust [continued]
In The Star of Bethlehem, a Mystic Fact, we endeavored to give students a glimpse of a certain phase of Initiation. Most of us walk about upon Earth and see only a seemingly dead mass, but one of the first facts revealed in our consciousness by Initiation is the living reality of the Earth Spirit. As the surface of our body is dead compared to the organs within, so the outer envelope of the Earth, being encrusted, gives no idea of the wonderful activity within. Upon the path of Initiation nine different layers are revealed, and in the center of this rolling sphere we meet the Spirit of the earth face to face. It is actually true that it is "groaning and travailing" in the Earth for the sake of all, working and anxiously waiting for our manifestation as Sons of God so that, as the seeking soul which aspires to liberation is released from its dense body, the Earth Spirit also may be liberated from its body of death in which it is now confined for us.
Lesson 25: Faust [continued]
The Faust myth presents a curious situation in the meeting of the hero, who is the seeking soul, with different classes of spirits. The spirit of Faust, inherently good, feels drawn to the higher orders; it feels akin to the benevolent Earth Spirit, and bemoans the inability to detain it and learn from it. Face to face with the Spirit of Negation, who is only too willing to teach and to serve, he finds himself master in a certain sense, because that spirit cannot leave, over the symbol of the five pointed star in the position it is placed upon the floor. But both his inability to detain the Earth Spirit and obtain tuition from that exalted Being, and his mastery over the Spirit of Negation, are due to the fact that he has come into contact with them by chance and not by soul power evolved from within.
Lesson 26: Faust [continued]
....By the interference of the Lucifer spirits in the scheme of evolution, the passions of mankind were aroused, intensified and led into a channel which has caused all the sorrow and sickness in the world. Nevertheless, it has awakened the individuality of man and freed him from the leading strings of the angels. Faust, also, by the help of Lucifer, is led out of the conventional paths and becomes thereby individualized. When the bargain has been concluded between Faust and Lucifer we have the replica of the Sons of Cain, who are the progeny and charges of the Lucifer Spirits as we have seen in "Freemasonry and Catholicism."
Lesson 27: Faust [continued]
"The wages of sin is death," says the Bible, and when we sow to the flesh we must expect to reap corruption. Neither should we be surprised that one who is negative of character, like the class described as the Sons of Seth, represented by Marguerite in the Faust myth, falls a prey to this law of nature at an early date after his measure of sin has been filled. The speedy apprehension of Marguerite for the crime of matricide is an illustration of how the law works. The holy horror of the church that was remiss in not guarding her while there was yet time, is an example of how society seeks to cover up its negligence, and holds up its hands, shocked by the crimes for which it is itself, in a great measure, responsible.
Lesson 28: The Ring of the Niebelung -- "The Rhine Maidens"
Repetition is the keynote of the vital body and the extract of the vital body is the intellectual soul, which is the pabulum of the life spirit, the true Christ principle in man. As it is the particular work of the western world to evolve this Christ principle, to form the Christ within that it may shine through the material darkness of the present time, reiteration of ideas is absolutely essential. Unconsciously the whole world is obeying this law.
When newspapers start out to inculcate certain ideas into the public mind, they do not expect to accomplish this by a single editorial, no matter how powerfully written, but by articles of daily recurrence they gradually create the desired sentiment in the public mind. The Bible has been preaching the principle of love for two thousand years, Sunday after Sunday, day by day, from hundreds of thousands of pulpits. War has not yet been abolished, but the sentiment in favor of universal peace is growing stronger as time passes. These sermons have had but a very slight effect so far as the world at large is concerned, no matter how powerfully a particular audience might be moved for the time being; for the desire body is that part of the composite man which was impressed at the time and was stirred thereby.
Lesson 29: The Ring of the Niebelung -- "The Ring of the Gods"
By appropriating a part of the Rhinegold, representing the Universal Spirit and forming it into a ring symbolical of the fact that it (the spirit) has neither beginning nor end, the ego came into existence as a separate entity. Within the confines of this auric ring it is supreme ruler, self-sufficient, and resents encroachment upon its domain. Thus, it placed itself beyond the pale of fellowship. Like the prodigal son, it wandered far from the Father, but even before it realized that it was feeding upon the husks of matter, religion stepped in to guide it back to its eternal home, to free it from the illusion and delusion incidental to material existence, to redeem it from the death incurred in this phase of the dense embodiment, and to show it the way to truth and life eternal.
Lesson 30: The Ring of the Neibelung -- "The Valkuerie"
"The Valkuerie" is the name of the second part of Wagner's great musical drama, founded upon the northern myth of the Niebelungs, and the bearers of the name were children of Wotan, as were also the Walsungs.
The appropriateness of this name will be at once apparent when we understand that the mission of the Valkuerie was to go to battles whether fought between two or more, take the slain upon their horses, and carry them to Valhal. Therefore, a battle field or a place of combat was called Valplads, the place where Wotan, the god, chose the valiant ones who died fighting the battle for truth (as they saw it), to be his companions in the realm of bliss (as they conceived it). Brunhilde, the spirit of truth, was therefore chief among the Valkueries, the leader of her sisters, the other virtues. She was the favorite daughter of the god Wotan.
Lesson 31: The Ring of the Niebelung -- "Siegfried, the Truth Seeker"
We have seen that it is necessary to set aside all limitations of religion, family, environment and whatever else hinders in order to be able to grasp truth, but there is still another great requirement or one which, perhaps, is comprehended in the first. We cling to our religion, our friends, and our families through fear of standing alone. We obey conventions because we fear to follow the dictates of the inner voice that urges us on toward the higher things which are incomprehensible to the majority; and therefore in reality, fear is the chief obstacle which prevents us from getting at truth and living it.
Lesson 32: The Ring of the Niebelung -- "The Battle of Truth and Error"
There are no words adequate to convey a conception of what the soul feels when it stands in that presence, far above this world (where the veil of flesh hides the living realities under a mask) also, beyond the world of desire and illusion where fantastic and illusory shapes mislead us into believing that they are something very different from what they are in reality. Only in the Region of Concrete Thought, where the archetypes of all things unite in that grand celestial choir which Pythagoras spoke of as "the harmony of the spheres," do we find truth revealed in all its beauty.
Lesson 33: The Ring of the Niebelung -- "Rebirth and the Lethal Drink"
....It is usually supposed that the doctrine of rebirth is taught only in the ancient religions of the Orient, but a study of the Scandinavian mythology will soon rout that misconception. Indeed, they believed in both rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect as applied to moral conduct, until Christianity clouded these doctrines, for reasons given in The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (p. 167). And it is curious to read of the confusion caused when the ancient religion of Wotan was being superseded by Christianity. Men believed in rebirth in their hearts, but repudiated it outwardly, as the following story told of Saint Olaf, King of Norway, one of the earliest and most zealous converts to Christianity, will show; when Asta, the Queen of King Harold, was in labor but could not bring birth, a man came to the court with some jewels, of which he gave the following account: King Olaf Geirstad, who had reigned in Norway many years before and was the direct ancestor of Harold, had appeared to him in a dream and directed him to open the great earth-mound in which his body lay, and having severed it from the head with a sword, to convey certain jewels, which he would find in the coffin, to the queen, whose pains would then cease.
Lesson 34: The Ring of the Niebelung -- "The Twilight of the Gods"
When Siegfried reaches the court of Gunther, Gutrune, the fair sister of the king hands him the magic cup of forgetfulness. Forthwith, he loses memory of the past and of Brunhilde, the spirit of truth, and stands a naked soul ready to fight the battle of life. But he is armed with the sublimated essence of former experience. The sword of Nothung, the courage of despair, wherewith he fought greed and creed symbolized by Fafner, the dragon, and Wotan the god, is still with him; also Tarncap, or the helmet of illusion, which is an apt symbol of what we in modern times call hypnotic power, for whoever put this magic cap on his head appeared to others in whatever shape he desired; and he has Brunhilde's horse Grane, discernment, whereby he, himself, might always perceive truth and distinguish it from error and illusion. He still has powers which he may use for good or evil according to choice.
Lesson 35: Tannhauser -- The Pendulum of Joy and Sorrow
In this drama we deal again with one of the ancient legends. It was given to humanity by the divine Hierarchies who guided us along the path of progress by pictorial terms so that mankind might subconsciously absorb their deals for which, in later lives, they were to strive.
In ancient times love was brutal; the bride was bought or stolen or taken as a prize in war. Possession of the body was all that was desired, therefore woman was a chattel, prized by man for the pleasure she afforded him, and for that only. The higher, finer faculties in her nature were not given a chance of expression. This condition had to be altered or human progress would have stopped. The apple always falls close to the tree. Anyone born from a union under such brutal conditions must be brutal; and, if mankind were to be elevated, the standard of love had to be raised. Tannhauser is an attempt in that direction.
Lesson 36: Tannhauser -- Minstrels, Initiates of Middle Ages
....Even to this day, unfortunately, the ancient idea is entertained that possession is the signature of love. Those who believe in rebirths in alternate sexes, should by this fact be sufficiently convinced that, as the soul is bisexual and our bodies contain rudimentary organs belonging to the opposite sex, so it is no more than proper and just that each human being regardless of the polarity of the present garb, should have the same privileges as the other.
Lesson 37: Tannhauser -- The Unpardonable Sin
During the contest the sublime and heavenly ideals of the companionship of soul with soul, is sung by the majority of the minstrels, and at each presentation there comes from Tannhauser a passionate retort defending the sensual phase of love. At last, enraged at their seeming insipidity, which he regards as sentimental nonsense, he cries, "Go to Venus. She will show you love."
With this remark his guilty secret is out. It is taken by everyone to mean that he has committed that which is the worst phase of the unpardonable sin, namely, intercourse with an etheric entity; and feeling that he is depraved beyond redemption, they rush at him sword in hand and would surely have killed him had not Elizabeth interceded, pleading that he be not cut off from life in his sins, but be given a chance to repent. Then a band of pilgrims is heard in the distance and the minstrels agree that if he will go and seek the pardon of the Holy See at Rome, they will spare his life.
Lesson 38: Tannhauser -- The Rod That Budded
....The story is told of how Lucifer, when he strove with the Archangel Michael over the body of Moses, lost the choicest gem in his crown. It was dislodged in the struggle. This beautiful gem, comparable to none, was an emerald named "Exilir." It was thrown into the abyss but was recovered by the Angels and from that the chalice or Holy Grail was made which later was used to hold the Cleansing Blood that flowed from the Savior's side when it had been pierced by the centurion's spear. Let us first note the fact that this jewel was an emerald: it was green, and green is a combination of blue and yellow, and is, therefore, the complementary color of the third primary color, red. In the Physical World red has the tendency to excite and energize, whereas green has a cooling and a soothing effect, but the opposite is true when we look at the matter from the viewpoint of the Desire World. There the complementary color is active, and has the effect upon our desires and emotions which we ascribe to the physical color. Thus the green color of the gem lost by Lucifer shows the nature and effect thereof. This stone is the antithesis of the Philosopher's Stone. It has the power to attract passion and generate love of sex for sex, which is the vice opposite to the chaste and pure love, symbolized by the apocalyptic white stone, which latter is the love of soul for soul. As this effect of the complementary colors is well know, though not consciously realized, we also speak of jealousy, which is engendered by impure love, as the green eyed monster.
Lesson 39: Lohengrin -- The Knight of the Swan -- Part I
....Among the operas of Wagner there is, perhaps, none which is so universally enjoyed by the large majority of people who see it, as Lohengrin. This is probably because the story seems, on cursory examination, to be very simple and beautiful. The music is of an unusually exquisite character, which appeals to all in a manner which is not equalled by the author's other operas founded upon myths such as Parsifal, the Ring of the Niebelung, or even Tannhauser.
Although these last named productions affect people who hear them powerfully for their spiritual good (whether they are aware of the fact or not), it is nevertheless, a fact that they are not enjoyed by the majority, particularly in America, where the spirit of mysticism is not so strong as it is in Europe.
It is different with Lohengrin. Here there is a story of the time when knighthood was in flower, and although there is an embellishment of magic in the advent of Lohengrin and the swan in response to the prayer of Elsa, this is only as a pretty poetical fancy without deeper meaning. In this myth is revealed one of the supreme requirements of Initiation--faith.
Lesson 40: Lohengrin -- The Knight of the Swan -- Part II
The swan is capable of moving in several elements. It may fly in the air with great swiftness; it also propels itself majestically upon the water; and by means of its long neck it may even explore the depths and investigate whatever may be found upon the bottom of a not too deep pond. It is, therefore, an apt symbol of the Initiate, who, on account of the power developed within him, is capable of elevating himself to higher realms, and moving in different worlds. As the swan flies through space, so may one who has developed the powers of his soul body travel in it over mountains and lakes; as the swan dive below the surface of the water, so may also the Initiate go underneath the surface of the deep in his soul body, which is not in danger from fire, earth, air, or water. In fact, that is one of the first things that the Invisible Helpers have to be taught: that they are immune from any danger which may befall them in the physical body, when they are invested with the Golden Wedding Garment of which we have spoken so much. Thus they may enter a burning building with immunity, there assisting those who are in danger, sometimes in a most miraculous manner; or they may be on board a sinking ship giving encouragement to those who are about to face the great change.
Lesson 1: Origin of the Scriptures
During modern times there has been much argument concerning the authenticity of the Bible. Material science has been taught in our high schools and colleges, and there has arisen in the minds of inquiring students a demand for some correlation between orthodox Biblical teachings and the discoveries of science. The casual observer can find no satisfactory harmonization, but to the deeper student, there is possible a logical correlation between the findings of science and the Holy Scriptures. This series of lessons presents such a correlation.
The lessons have been compiled from the writings of Max Heindel, a trained clairvoyant and investigator of the invisible worlds. He did not claim to give all of the truth concerning any of the subjects treated, it being generally accepted that there are seven valid interpretations for every universal truth. He simply offered certain explanations and interpretations which will stand the test of logic and unbiased investigation, as well as provide a basis for broader understanding and deeper appreciation of the Scriptures. It is our pleasure to present them to the public, believing that they will fill a real need in bridging the gap between science and religion.
Lesson 2: The Solar Myth
In the religion of Judaism we hear of a God making certain promises to a man by the name of Abraham. He promised that he would make Abraham's seed as numerous as the sands upon the seashore; and we are told how he dealt with Abraham's grandson Jacob, who was the husband of four wives, by whom he had twelve sons and one daughter. These are looked upon as forefathers of the Jewish nation.
This is an astronomical allegory dealing with the migration of the heavenly bodies, as will be evident from a careful perusal of the 49th Chapter of Genesis and the 33rd Chapter of Deuteronomy; where the blessings of Jacob upon his sons show how they are identified with the twelve signs of the zodiac; Simeon and Levi sharing the sign Gemini, the twins, and the feminine sign Virgo being allotted to Jacob's only daughter, Dinah. Gad represents the sign Aries; Issachar, Taurus; Benjamin, Cancer; Judah, Leo; Asher, Libra; Dan, Scorpio; Joseph, Sagittarius; Naphthali, Capricorn; Rueben, Aquarius; and Zebulun, Pisces. The four wives are the four phases of the Moon and Jacob is the Sun.
Lesson 3: The Solar Myth [continued]
As the material Sun is weak and has to flee from the powers of darkness, so all these divine light-bringers are searched for and forced to flee from the powers of the world; and like the Sun, they always escape. Jesus fled before King Herod. King Kansa* and King Maya are his counterparts in other religions. The Baptism occurs at the time when the Sun passes through the sign Aquarius, the waterman; and when he goes through the sign of the Fishes in March we have the fast of the Initiate, for Pisces is the last of the southern signs, and all the stores laid by from the bounteous gifts of the Sun of the previous year are nearly exhausted, and man's food is scarce. The fish-food of Lent which occurs at this time is a further corroboration of this solar origin of the fast.
Lesson 4: The Tabernacle in the Wilderness
We read in the Bible the story of how Noah and a remnant of his people with him were saved from the flood and formed the nucleus of the humanity of the Rainbow Age in which we now live. It is also stated that Moses led his people out of Egypt, the land of the Bull, Taurus, through waters which engulfed their enemies and set them free as a chosen people to worship the Lamb, Aries, into which sign the Sun had then entered by precession of the equinoxes. These two narratives relate to one and the same incident, namely, the mergence of infant humanity from the doomed continent of Atlantis* into the present age of alternating cycles where summer and winter, day and night, ebb and flow, follow each other. As humanity had then just become endowed with mind,** they began to realize the loss of the spiritual sight which they had hitherto possessed, and they developed a yearning for the spirit world and their divine guides which remains to this day, for humanity has never ceased to mourn their loss. Therefore, the ancient Atlantean Mystery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, was given to them that they might meet the Lord when they had qualified themselves by service and subjugation of the lower nature by the Higher Self. Being designed by Jehovah it was the embodiment of great cosmic truths hidden by a veil of symbolism which spoke to the inner or Higher Self.
Lesson 5: The Tabernacle in the Wilderness [continued]
The Brazen Laver was a large basin which was always kept full of water. It is said in the Bible that it was carried on the backs of twelve oxen, also made of brass, and we are told that their hind parts were toward the center of the vessel. It appears from the memory of nature, however, that these animals were not oxen but symbolical representations of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Humanity was at that time divided into twelve groups, one group for each zodiacal sign. Each symbolic animal attracted a particular ray, and as the holy water used in Catholic churches is magnetized by the priest during the ceremony of consecration, so also the water in this Laver was magnetized by the divine Hierarchies who guided humanity.
Lesson 6: The Tabernacle in the Wilderness [continued]
....The wand of the magician, the holy spear of Parsifal, the chalice of the Grail King, and the budding Rod of Aaron are emblems of the divine creative force, which works wonders of such a nature that we call them miracles. Let it be clearly understood, however, that no one who has evolved to the point in evolution where he is symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant in the West Room of the Tabernacle ever uses this power for selfish ends. When Parsifal, the hero of the soul myth by that name, had witnessed the temptation of Kundry and proved himself to be emancipated from the greatest sin of all, the sin of lust and unchastity, he recovered the sacred spear taken by the black magician, Klingsor, from the fallen and unchaste Grail King, Amfortas. Then for many years he traveled in the world, seeking again the Castle of the Grail, and he said, "Often was I sorely beset by enemies and tempted to use the spear in self-defense, but I knew that the sacred spear must never be used to hurt, only to heal."
Lesson 7: The Creation
The opening sentence of Genesis is a very good example of what was stated in the first lesson about the interpretation of the Hebrew text, which may be changed by differently placing the vowels and dividing the words in another way. There are two well recognized methods of reading this sentence. One is: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth"; the other is: "Out of every-existing essence (of space) the twofold energy formed the double heaven."
Much has been said and written as to which of these two interpretations is correct. The difficulty is that if a certain explanation is true, all others must be wrong. But, emphatically, this is not the way to get at truth, which is many-sided and multiplex. Each occult truth requires examination from many different points of view; each viewpoint presents a certain phase of truth, and all of them are necessary to get a complete, definite conception of whatever is under consideration.
Lesson 8: The Creation [continued]
Having satisfied ourselves that the beginning of our System and the work of the creative Hierarchies, as described by occult science, harmonize with the teachings of the Bible, we will now examine the Bible account of the different "Days of Creation" and see how they agree with the occult teachings relative to Saturn, Sun, and Moon Periods; the three and one half Revolutions of the Earth Period; and the Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, and Atlantean Epochs, which have preceded the present Aryan Epoch.*
Naturally, a detailed account could not be given in a few lines like the first chapter of Genesis, but the main points are there in orderly succession, very much like an algebraical formula for Creation.
Lesson 9: The Creation [continued]
There has been much learned discussion concerning the discrepancy between, and especially the authorship of, the creation story of the first chapter and that which starts at the fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis. It is asserted that the two accounts were written by different men, because the Being of Beings, the name of Whom the translators have rendered as "God" in both the first and second chapters of the English version are, in the Hebrew text, called "Elohim" in the first chapter, and "Jehovah" in the second chapter. It is argued that the same narrator would not have named God in two different ways.
Had he meant the same God in both cases, he probably would not, but he was not a monotheist. He knew better than to think of God as simply a superior Man, using the sky for a throne and the Earth for a footstool. When he wrote of Jehovah he meant the Leader Who had charge of the particular part of the work of creation which was then being described. Jehovah was and is one of the Elohim. He is the Leader of the Angels who were the humanity of the Moon Period, and he is Regent of our Moon.
Lesson 10: The Creation [continued]
In order that man may become an independent, original Creator, it is necessary that his training should include sufficient latitude for the exercise of the individual originality which distinguishes creation from imitation. So long as certain features of the old Form meet with the requirements of progression they are retained, but at each rebirth the evolving Life adds such original improvements as are necessary for its further expression.
Starting with the simplest organisms, the Life which is now Man built the Form to suit its necessities. In due time, as the entity progressed, it became evident that new improvements must be added which conflicted with the lines previously followed. A new start must be given it in a new species, where it could retrieve any previous mistakes which experience taught would preclude further development if the old lines were adhered to, and thus the evolving life would be enabled to progress farther in a new species. When later experience proved that the new form also was inadequate, inasmuch as it could not adapt itself to some improvement necessary to the progress of the evolving life, it too was discarded and still another departure made, in a form adaptable to the necessary improvement.
Lesson 11: The Creation [continued]
From our study of previous lessons we find that the two Creation stories harmonize very well. One deals with Form, which was built up through mineral, plant and animal and reached the human last. The other tells us that the Life which now ensouls human forms was manifested anterior to the Life which ensouls the forms of the other kingdoms.
One of these accounts of Creation would not have been sufficient. There are important particulars hidden behind the narrative of man's creation, in the second chapter; the seventh verse reads: "Then Jehovah formed man from the dust of the Earth, and blew into his nostrils the breath (nephesh), and man became a breathing creature (nephesh chayim)."
Lesson 12: Individualization of Man
Christ came to prepare the way for the emancipation of humanity from the guidance of the differentiating Race and Family Spirit, and to unite the whole human family in One Universal Brotherhood.
He taught that "Abraham's seed" referred to the bodies only, and called their attention to the fact that before Abraham lived (the) "I"--the Ego--was in existence. The threefold individual Spirit had its being before all Tribes and Races and it will remain when they have passed away and even the memory of them is no more, the threefold Spirit in man, the Ego, is the God within, whom the personal, bodily man must learn to follow. Therefore did Christ say that to be His disciple, a man must forsake all that he had. His teaching points to the emancipation of the God within. He calls upon man to exercise his prerogative as an individual and rise above family, tribe, and nation. Not that he is to disregard kin and country. He must fulfill all duties, but he is to cease identifying himself with part and must recognize an equal kinship with all the world. That is the ideal given to mankind by the Christ.
Lesson 13: The Fall of Man
The Lucifers were a part of humanity of the Moon Period; they are the stragglers of the life wave of the Angels, too far advanced to take a dense physical body, yet they needed an "inner" organ for the acquisition of knowledge. Moreover, they could work through a physical brain, which the Angels or Jehovah could not.
These spirits entered the spinal cord and brain and spoke to the woman, whose Imagination had been aroused by the training of the Lemurian Race. As her consciousness was principally internal, a picture-consciousness of them was received by her, and she saw them as serpents, for they had entered her brain by the serpentine spinal cord.
Lesson 14: Jesus and Christ Jesus
To understand the Mission of Christ as the Founder of the Universal Religion of the future, it is necessary that we first become familiar with His exact nature, and incidentally, with that of Jehovah, Who is the head of such Race religions as Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.; also with the identity of "The Father," to Whom Christ is to give up the Kingdom, in due time.
In the Christian creed occurs this sentence: "Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God." This is generally understood to mean that a certain person Who appeared in Palestine about 2,000 years ago, Who is spoken of as Jesus Christ--one separate individual--was the only begotten Son of God.
This is a great mistake. There are three distinct and widely different Beings characterized in this sentence. It is of the greatest importance that the student should clearly understand the exact nature of these Three Great and Exalted Beings--differing vastly in glory, yet each entitled to our deepest and most devout adoration.
Lesson 15: The Star of Bethlehem
At one time we dwelt upon the Sun; that is to say, that even in this Earth Period we were in that central fire mist, and we were there up to the time spoken of as the Hyperborean Epoch. There we crystallized until we could not respond to the high vibrations the other solar beings responded to. They could progress in solar vibrations, we could not; therefore we crystallized a part of that firemist to shield ourselves, and in consequence we had to be thrown off. Then when we had gone the proper distance away from the Sun we could crystallize again, and later we threw off that part which is now known as the Moon. Those beings who are now on the Moon were too far crystallized, they were behind us; therefore we had to thrown them off. From these two sources come two sets of vibrations that enables us to hold our bodies together.
Lesson 16: The Mystery of Golgotha
During the last 2,000 years much has been said about "the cleansing blood." The blood of Christ has been extolled from the pulpit as the sovereign remedy for sin; the only means of redemption and salvation.
But if the laws of Rebirth and Consequence work in such a way that evolving beings reap as they have sown, and if the evolutionary impulse is constantly bringing humanity higher and higher, ultimately to attain perfection--where then is the need for redemption and salvation? Even if the need existed, how can the death of one individual help the rest? Would it not be nobler to suffer the consequences of one's acts than to hide behind another? These are some of the objections to the doctrine of vicarious atonement and redemption by the blood of Christ Jesus. We will try to answer them before showing the logical harmony between the operation of the law of Consequence and the Atonement of Christ.
Lesson 17: The Lord's Prayer
Prayer may be said to be an opening up of a channel along which the divine Life and Light may flow into the Spirit, in the same way that the turning of a switch opens the way for the electric current to flow from the power-house into our house. Faith in Prayer is like the energy which turns the switch. Without muscular force we cannot turn the switch to obtain physical light, and without faith we cannot pray in such a manner as to secure spiritual illumination. If we pray for worldly ends, for that which is contrary to the law of love and universal good, our prayers will prove as unavailing as a glass switch in an electric circuit. Glass is a non-conductor, a bar to electric power, and selfish prayers are, likewise bars to divine purposes and must therefore remain unanswered. To pray to a purpose we must pray aright, and in the Lord's Prayer we have a most wonderful pattern, for it caters to the needs of man as no other formula could do. Within a few short sentences it encompasses all the complexities of the relationship of God to man.
Lesson 18: The Sacraments
The sacraments have to do with the transmission of the seed atoms, which form the nuclei of our various bodies. The germ for our earthly body must be properly placed in fruitful soil to grow a suitable dense vehicle, and for this reason as stated in Genesis 1:27, "Elohim created man male and female." The Hebrew words are Sacr va N'Cabah. These are the names of the sex organs. Literally translated, Sacr means bearer of the germ; and thus marriage is a sacrament, for it opens the way for the transmission of the physical seed atom from the father to the mother and tends to preserve the race against the ravages of death.
Baptism as a Sacrament signifies the germinal urge of the soul for the higher life, the planting of a Spiritual seed.
Communion is the Sacrament in which we partake of bread made from the seed of chaste plants, and in which the cup symbolizing the passionless seed pod points to the age to come, an age when marriage will be unnecessary to transmit the seed through a father and mother, but when we may feed directly upon cosmic life and thus conquer death.
Finally, Extreme Unction is the Sacrament which marks the loosing of the silver cord and the extraction of the sacred germ, until it shall again be planted in another N'Cabah, or mother .
Lesson 19: The Sacraments [continued]
The Sacrament of Communion (continued): "The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said Take eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself... For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." (I Cor. 11:23-30
Lesson 20: The Sacraments [continued]
The Sacrament of Baptism:As soon as the individual has entered upon the journey of life, the church admits him into its fold by the rite of Baptism which is conferred upon him at a time when he himself is irresponsible; later, when his mentality has been somewhat developed, he ratifies that contract and is admitted to Communion, where bread is broken and wine is sipped in memory of the Founder of our faith. Still farther upon life's journey comes the sacrament of Marriage; and at last when the race has been run and the Spirit again withdraws to God who gave it, the earth body is consigned to the dust, whence it was derived, accompanied by the blessings of the church.
Lesson 21: The Sacraments [continued]
The Sacrament of Marriage: When stripped of nonessentials the argument of the orthodox Christian religions may be said to be as follows: First, that tempted by the devil, our first parents sinned and were exiled from their previous state of celestial bliss, placed under the law, made subject to death, and became incapable of escaping by their own efforts.
Second, that God so loved the world that He gave Christ, His only begotten Son, for its redemption and to establish the kingdom of heaven. Thus death will finally be swallowed up in immortality.
This simple creed has provoked the smiles of atheists, and of the purely intellectual who have studied transcendental philosophies which employ logic and argument; and even of some among those who study the Western Mystery Teaching.
Lesson 22: The Immaculate Conception
The Doctrine of Immaculate Conception is one of the most sublime mysteries of the Christian Religion, and perhaps for that reason it has suffered more from being dragged down into materiality than any of the other mysteries. It has suffered alike from the interpretation of its clumsy supporters and the sneers of the skeptics.
The popular, but erroneous, idea is that about 2,000 years ago an individual named Jesus Christ was born of a mother without the cooperation of an earthly father, and this incident is regarded as unique in the history of the world. In reality it is not unparalleled; the immaculate conception has taken place many times in the history of the world and will become universal in the future.
Lesson 23: Miscellaneous Interpretations
The Forgiveness of Sins. - The inability to believe in the forgiveness of sins has caused many to believe exclusively in the Law of Cause and Effect, as taught in eastern countries under the name of Karma. There are also many who think that because eastern religions teach that law, and the Law of Rebirth more clearly than the western religion, Christianity, these eastern religions are better and more scientific than the western religion, which teaches, as popularly interpreted, that the Christ died for our sins and that, in consequence, belief in Him will bring us forgiveness.
As a matter of fact, however, the Christian teaching also enunciates the doctrine that "as we sow so shall we reap," and thus it teaches both the Law of Cause and Effect and the forgiveness of sins. Both of these laws are vitally operative in the unfoldment of humanity, and there are good reasons why the earlier eastern religions have only one part of the complete teaching which is found in the Christian religion.
Lesson 24: Miscellaneous Interpretations [continued]
Confession and Absolution. - If one thinks of confession and absolution as practised in the Catholic Church, it may be stated that the priest, certainly, has no power to forgive the sins of the penitent, and the practice of confession by order of a church is usually but an outward show of penitence, putting one in mind of the prayer of the Pharisee who went into the temple that he might be seen of men.
If, on the other hand, confession is made in the spirit of the publican, which is the spirit of true penitence, then there is a certain value, for as a little child who has committed a wrong feels conscience smitten and sorry, so may we feel extremely penitent for our sins of omission and commission.
It is a fact often noticed by kind parents that penitence in silence is sometimes insufficient to the child which feels the need of going to the parent and confessing its sin. When the forgiveness of the parent has been obtained its conscience is at rest. So also with the child of God. We sin and we are sorry for our sins; we determine not to commit this or that wrong again but if we confess to someone in whom we have faith, and get their sympathy and assurance that this wrong will not be held against us, we shall feel easier in conscience.
Lesson 25: Miscellaneous Interpretations [continued]
"Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise." - The New Testament was written in Greek, a language in which no punctuation marks are used. The punctuation marks in our Bible have been inserted by our later Bible translators, and punctuation often very radically changes the meaning of a sentence, as the following story will illustrate:
In a prayer meeting someone handed in a request which the pastor read thus: "A sailor going to sea, his mother-in-law desires the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child." The request was not punctuated at all, but would imply that the young man's mother-in-law was very solicitous to have him return safely to his wife and child and therefore desired the prayers of the congregation. Had the pastor read it without the comma, it would have implied that the sailor, going to see his mother-in-law desired the prayers of the congregation for his safe return to wife and child, and one would naturally think that the lady in question must be a Tartar when it was necessary for the young man to ask the prayers of the congregation before facing her.
Lesson 26: Miscellaneous Interpretations [continued]
"And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and a honeycomb." -- After the Resurrection the Christ at one time appeared among His disciples while they were in a locked room. They did not recognize Him at once and did not believe that His was a material body. But the vehicle in which He appeared was the vital body of Jesus, and it was possible for Him, as for anyone else capable of functioning in that vehicle, to draw matter of the chemical region around Himself and build a perfectly tangible, dense body in a moment. In order to convince them that He was as usual, He asked for something to eat and was given a piece of honeycomb and some fish. It was stated that He ate, but not that He ate the fish, and one who had been brought up among strict vegetarians like the Essenes would not have eaten the fish any more then he would have eaten flesh if it had been set before him.
Lesson 27: Miscellaneous Interpretations [Concluded]
The Christian Feasts. - The feasts of the year have a very deep occult significance. From the material point of view, the planets are but so many masses of matter revolving in their orbits in obedience to so-called blind laws, but to the occultist they appear as Great Spirits, moving about in space as we move in the world.
When a man is seen gesticulating, we attach a certain significance to his gestures. If he shakes his head, we know that he is negativing a certain proposition, but if he nods, we infer that he agrees. If he beckons, having the palms of his hands turned toward him, we know that he is motioning for someone to come to him, but if he turns the palms outward, we understand that he is warning someone to stay away. In the case of the universe, we usually do not think that there is any significance to the altered position of the planets, but to the occultist there is the very deepest meaning in all the varied phenomena of the heavens. They correspond to the gestures of man.
Lesson 28: Babylon and the New Jerusalem
As stated in previous lessons, the Lucifers are a class of Beings who attained to a stage of evolution far beyond that of humanity in the Moon Period, but fell short of the development of the Angels. They are demigods, and could not take a dense body like man. But neither could they gather experience as the Angels are doing. They needed a brain and spinal cord, and so, when man had built such an instrument, it was to their advantage to prompt him in the use of it.
At that time the opening consciousness of man was turned inwards, and he saw his inner organs and built them with the same force that he now turns outwards to build houses and ships, etc., and the outside muscles of his body; so the woman, who was most advanced in that direction because of having her Imagination trained, saw the intelligence embodied in her serpentine spinal cord, and at a later stage, when man came to record this experience, the serpent appealed to him as the nearest likeness to that which he wanted to tell about.
Lesson 1: Chart Erection
The hands of the clock show the time of events in daily life, but they would remain inert and motionless were they not propelled onward by a force in the hidden spring. Their stoppage might cause us to miss an appointment. The visible planets also mark events of life like the hands of a clock; they also are propelled in their courses by an unseen force analogous to the spring in a clock, except that the Great Spirits whose bodies they are never stop, and therefore we never miss an appointment registered upon the clock of destiny, although we may cancel it -- under certain circumstances -- as we do engagements in ordinary life.
Lesson 2: Chart Erection [continued]
In our journey from the cradle to the grave we carry the twelve houses with us in the auric atmosphere surrounding each one of us as the air envelops the flying earth. Each house mirrors part of the life; each holds some of our life lessons; each represents how we have worked or shirked before in that department of life's school. At the appropriate time of life we reap from each house what we have sown in past lives--that is, unless we forestall the harvest in time. Is our 11th house afflicted, do friends betray and forsake us, do they leave us heartsick, or nauseate us like the scent of jasmine and stagnant marsh water? Then let us examine the horoscope, for it reveals what is hidden in our auric atmosphere. The friends saw us and we them through the 11th angle, and something ill-smelling must be there. It may be that we long to be befriended more than to befriend others. Let us cease to be like the debilitating jasmine and seek to emulate the sturdy strength of the invigorating pine tree; then we shall find friends flocking around, admiring our strength. Not all have such sturdy natures, but we can attract equally by kindliness, as soothing to sorrowing hearts as perfume of new mown hay to the senses, and thus we may rid the house of friends of affliction.
Lesson 3: Chart Erection [continued]
You know that each house represents a certain department of life, and when you learn the intrinsic value of the planets you will be able to read a message from the stars independently of books and authorities. By exercising your own divine power of reason to combine the simple basic factors, you may become an astrologer (the name means reasoner concerning the stars); any brainless poll parrot can babble about what the books say. It is easy to read and recite; but it requires thought to reach an independent conclusion and give an adequate interpretation of the stellar script. That effort, however, is productive of wonderful soul growth, so I hope that you will read little but think much; then you will develop a deeper and more reliable knowledge than the most erudite authorities can impart and a soul-power of inestimable value, namely, intuition.
Lesson 4: Chart Erection [continued]
The intrinsic nature of Venus may be summed up in the ideas of Harmony and Rhythm; therefore, she has the tendency to draw together all who are in accord, to unite mankind in pleasant companionships of varying degrees which we call friendship and love. The department of our lives in which she will exercise her beneficent office is, of course, indicated by the house, and the quality or degree by her configurations with other planets. If well placed in the third house, which signifies brothers and sisters, we may conclude that we have earned the love of our relatives by devotion in a former life, and that their affection for us will brighten this earthly existence. From the angle of the 7th house she may draw to us a soul companion whose conjugal love would make this earth seem heaven-like, for true marriage, marriage of souls, is a song of ecstatic joy, a paean of praise by kindred spirits. It is taught by the angels in heaven to the tuneful accompaniment of the Song of the Spheres, and whoever succeeds in bringing even the faintest chord of that celestial harmony to earth has a song of joy in his heart, a source of gladness which no sorrow can diminish.
Lesson 5: Chart Erection [continued]
Mars is the exact opposite of Venus, and if we study him now while the characteristics of Venus are fresh in mind, we may learn more of his nature. The first great contrast I wish to point out is that the higher the status of a person in the scale of evolution, the better Venus is placed in the horoscope, and the younger the soul, the more it is dominated by the discordant martial ray. The animals are wholly under the sway of Mars, for as Venus nourishes the love nature, so Mars fosters the passions.
Lesson 6: Chart Erection [continued]
Proceeding with our comparison of Mars and Venus, let us not make the mistake of thinking that Venus is altogether lovely and Mars totally evil. Each has light and shadow, and ours is the privilege of living in best or the worst of their phases. The intrinsic nature of Mars is "dynamic energy"; from him comes ambition to accomplish; he furnishes the power for the world's work. Necessarily the hustle and bustle incident to the expression of this constructive energy cause friction between man and man. Thus anger and hate are engendered by the Mars energy in operation along various lines. Mars never generates this discordant element directly; it is produced by our method of using his energy, and it is as much a mistake to blame Mars for our temper as it is to blame well prepared food for causing indigestion when our stomach is out of order. In the latter case the stomach should be blamed for not performing its duty properly and for spoiling the good food instead of utilizing it in the economy of the system. Similarly, when the Mars ray works through us as passion, we are to blame for not better using this great constructive force.
Lesson 7: Chart Erection [continued]
The dynamic energy of Mars, which is the power that moves the world from the civil and industrial standpoints, under certain afflictions becomes recklessness and destructiveness, making the person so expressing it a dangerous man, a public enemy. When the Venus ray is afflicted, it curtails the sense of beauty and order; hence the person becomes slothful, disorderly, and lacking in proper self-respect. Incapable, because of the affliction, of feeling true love, such a person becomes perverted and licentious, and it is often said of him: "He is his own worst enemy." Such people do not harm others intentionally; yet they spread an immense amount of unhappiness among those whom they profess to love. One of these classes is dangerous to society because it has not the love ray of Venus to guide its exuberant energy; the other, because it lacks the dynamic energy necessary to carry its good intentions into execution.
Lesson 8: Chart Erection [continued]
The intrinsic nature of Mars is dynamic energy, that is to say, force in action, and people who have Mars strong at birth are people who make a stir in the world so far as their environment reaches. They are so full of life and ambition that they sweep all other people's rights aside and force their own views, ideas, and methods to the front regardless of whom it hurts or harms; they are impulsive and always ready to initiate novelties on the spur of the moment. They strongly resent objections to their plans, but usually lack sufficient persistence to carry their designs into execution. If obstacles of magnitude present themselves, they abandon their plans as suddenly as they conceived them, and commence to ride another hobbyhorse with the same ardor that marked their previous ventures, and with the same disregard of reason.
Lesson 9: Chart Erection [continued]
....Moses stood on no holier ground than the astrologer who holds in his hand a horoscope; and I feel that I cannot too often reiterate that there is a very grave responsibility connected with this wonderful privilege of the astrologer, and that it behooves him to live a holy life so that he may be worthy to stand in the sublime presence of the Human Spirit as it is revealed in the natal figure. Nor should the student deceive himself; spiritual secrets and the privilege of rendering spiritual help by spiritual interpretation of the message of the stars are not given to one who prostitutes this most sublime science for filthy lucre or uses it for low purposes. God is not mocked; we reap what we sow. If we betray our trust and abuse this great privilege, the day of retribution will dawn sometime and we shall eat the bread of sorrow for our sacrilege. To whom much is given, of him much is required. I pray God that you may live up to the highest possibilities of soul growth by helping others and that the knowledge of astrology which you are now acquiring may prove your most important aid, as it has been and is the greatest blessing in my life.
Lesson 10: Chart Interpretation
It is wonderful to contemplate how the planetary forces balance each other so perfectly that universal equilibrium is maintained despite the disturbances of the 1500 millions which inhabit the earth alone, not to speak of other spheres. Every moment of time, our actions, individually and collectively, interfere with terrestrial equipoise, and were not this instantly restored, the earth would leave its orbit, fly off at a tangent, and be destroyed. Nor are physical disturbances most potent in disturbing or restoring balance. It is a fallacy to confound solidity and rigidity with strength (as is most thoroughly explained in our Lecture No. 19, "The Coming Force"). A train has no strength itself, but must be solid because it is operated upon by an invisible gas called steam. There is no force in a rigid hammer, but when driven by a column of flexible liquid, like water, backed by an elastic cushion of compressed air, the force stored in the air drives the powerful hydraulic ram irresistibly through whatever comes before it. Likewise subtle, invisible stellar rays are the factors which maintain our ponderous planet in its path and spiritual disturbances generated by mankind are naturally the most subtle force which interfere with the earth's equipoise.
Lesson 11: The Fixed Signs - Part I
While the nature of the Cardinal signs is such that their rays stir our latent forces into action, and promote change, the most prominent quality of the Fixed signs is stability. But the student must beware of confounding stability and inertia. The action impelled by the rays of Cardinal signs may be changed into other channels with considerable facility; all they want is expression; the direction in which they express themselves is a secondary consideration. Not so with the Fixed signs. When their rays impel to action in a certain direction it is next to impossible to stay the force or change it. On the other hand, if they deny expression in certain lines, the obstruction is almost insurmountable. When Fixed signs are on the angles(the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth houses), they exert a well nigh irresistible force, impelling the individual along a certain line.
Lesson 12: The Fixed Signs - Part II
Contradiction is a fact which early impresses itself upon the minds of young astrologers, and the brighter the mind the keener the feeling of distress and helplessness arising from this source. Sometimes beginners become cynical and skeptical because unable to reconcile one influence tabulated in a horoscope with another of a diametrically opposite import. Suppose, for instance, that we find the Sun conjunct Venus in Leo and Saturn in the fifth house. According to the configuration of the Sun and Venus the person would have an ardent love nature and attract the affections of the opposite sex, but according to the placement of Saturn in the fifth house he would meet disappointment in courtship. At first sight this seems a bald contradiction. When Venus, fortified by a trine from Uranus, designates a person as an angel of purity, it is disconcerting to find that a square from Mars brands him as sensual to a degree. But philosophy shows us the reason of these contradictory omens and the art of Synthesis teaches us how to balance them and extract the kernel of truth from horoscopic symbolism.
Lesson 13: The Fixed Signs - Part III
In addition to the departments of life mentioned as being governed by the celestial sign Leo and its terrestrial counterpart, the fifth house, Leo also rules our children in general but particularly the first-born. The reason is readily apparent in view of what we have already said about the ardent love of Leo and the pleasures signified by the fifth house, for the very helplessness of those rays of sunlight from heaven, the children, constitutes an irresistible call upon our care, for which we are rewarded by joy unspeakable. The fixed nature of the sign gives stability to this emotion, and the ardent affection of parents for their children generally endures while life lasts.
The rays from the Cardinal sign Libra focus the master passion, the intense craving to possess another, which causes men and women to rush into wedlock imagining that heaven has descended to earth and bliss eternal is theirs. But when the Cardinal influence has spent itself, they are disillusioned, alas, too often. Then the union may be dissolved, and other attempts at happiness through possession of another may be made; but until the true marriage of soul to soul is consummated, the scales of Libra will continue alternately to swing from sunshine to sorrow.
Lesson 14: The Fixed Signs - Part IV
In the cosmic dawn when human physical form was in a very elementary stage, and the angels worked to make it a more complete vehicle of expression for the Virgin Spirits which had left the heavenly Father and unity, seeking concrete embodiment and separate existence, they turned the creative force from the generative organs ruled by Scorpio into a new center, which became the larynx and is ruled by the sign opposite Scorpio, Taurus. Then the purely animal instinct, which impels every creature to perpetuate its kind, was partially diverted into a higher channel; intercourse was not limited to a union of bodies, but communion of souls by the spoken word became a possibility. Thus the first step toward Atonement was taken when both arms of the fixed cross were energized.
Lesson 15: The Common Signs - Part I
Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, and Pisces are called the common signs; their intrinsic nature is best expressed by the keyword, Flexibility. The forces working through the cardinal signs impinge upon the dense body and stir it into action.
The influences of the fixed signs rouse the desire nature, giving stamina and persistence in action.
The power of the common signs is mental and spiritual; it gives purpose to action and incentive to nobility of life.
Lesson 16: The Common Signs - Part II
Gemini, the third sign, is the sign of the Twins, brothers. The third house is similarly concerned with our brothers and sisters. According to the position of Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, the aspects he receives, the house occupied by Gemini, the planets in that sign, and the planets in the third house, will be our attitude toward our brothers and sisters and their attitude toward us. Thus, if Mars is in the third house, he will give a tendency to quarrel with sisters and brothers, but if in the same horoscope Gemini occupies the 11th house, signifying friendship, and Venus is there, the effect of Mars in the third house would be counterbalanced, and friendship would prevail. Please bear this in mind that whatever department of a horoscope you may be studying, no single testimony will give a safe basis for judgment. To be sure of our ground it is absolutely necessary to examine all factors and see if the first configuration noted is corroborated or contradicted. Conflicting testimonies must then be balanced against each other. Thus only can we form a correct judgment which will be sustained by events.
Lesson 17: The Commons Signs - Part III
Like the other common signs, Sagittarius is dual. Gemini, the Twins, represents two; Virgo, has the mother and the babe; the sign of the fishes, Pisces, has two figures; and Sagittarius has both man and animal. The chief characteristic of these signs is vacillation, of which Sagittarius has less than any of other others, for it is a fiery sign. It is endued with a certain unquenchable ardor. Aided by good aspects the Sagittarian shows considerable zeal for the uplift of humanity, but when afflicted the other side of the picture is seen. Then he is apt to indulge the lower nature, the animal side, to an almost unbelievable degree. This is particularly true, strange as it may seem, if the affliction comes from Venus.
Lesson 18: The Common Signs - Part IV
Virgo is one of the Mercurial signs. Mercury was the messenger of the gods, and it is therefore little wonder that Virgo is the House of Service. It is also Mercury's exaltation sign where his influence is most pronounced.
On the longest and darkest night of the year, at the winter solstice, the Celestial Virgin stands upon the eastern horizon at midnight. At that time the Sun commences its new circuit and begins to mount upwards towards the vernal equinox, giving its life for the purpose of saving humanity from the hunger, darkness, and cold that would inevitably ensue were it to stay in southern latitude all the time. The Sun is said to be born of the Celestial Virgin, and the sign Virgo stands as the most sublime symbol of service as well as of divine motherhood, for the greatest service that can be rendered to humanity is the giving of birth to a new Sun each year to be the savior of the world.
Lesson 19: The Common Signs - Part V
Pisces is the last of the twelve signs, and the twelfth house is correspondent with it in the horoscope. The twelfth house is the house of sorrow and self-undoing, also the house denoting prisons, asylums, hospitals or other places where man may be confined either in the course of his ordinary vocation in life or else against his will.
The twelfth house also denotes karmic liabilities, hidden forces, repressions, neuroses, and destiny. In this house are indicated our involuntary responsibilities; those which demand our attention whether we want them or not. The responsibilities that we meet here are often those which we voluntarily took upon our selves in the past but failed to bring to a successful conclusion and which now clamor for fulfillment. The planets in the twelfth house will indicate such relation, and their aspects will show whether he is successful or the reverse in vocations through things denoted by this house.
Lesson 20: The Aspects and Properties of Planets and Signs
....The sextile and the trine are regarded as benefic or favorable aspects. They represent faculties which we have built up in past lives, and which enable us to do things easily in this life. Therefore they bring us a certain measure of success. They also represent destiny of a favorable character which has been created by us in past lives and which is now ready for our reaping. The square and the opposition represents lessons which we have not learned in previous lives for some reason or other, and faculties which are still in a partially developed state. Therefore the chief lesson which we have to learn in the present life comes through the square and the opposition. These aspects also represent destiny of an adverse character which we have created for ourselves in past lives by ill-advised or destructive action of some sort, and therefore this destiny is ready for our reaping in the present life. The conjunction sometimes falls in one class and sometimes in the other, depending upon the nature of the planets which are in conjunction. If the natures of the two planets harmonize with each other, the conjunction is benefic, but if the natures of the two planets do not harmonize, the conjunction is adverse in character. However, the detrimental effects of an adverse conjunction are much mitigated and may be very largely removed provided good aspects are brought to it from other planets in the chart.
Lesson 21: Reading the Horoscope
The ruler of this chart is Jupiter, because Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius, the sign on the Ascendant. Jupiter being dignified in Sagittarius is an additional reason why it is the ruler of the chart. For the effect of Jupiter as ruler we turn to page 424, from which we obtain the following: People with the "jovial, genial, and generous well aspected Jupiter as life ruler are ensouled by a great desire for honor, respect, and esteem in their community. They are cordial, genial people with a jovial smile and a hearty handshake. They are law abiding but inclined to temper their justice with mercy; and while they themselves live lives beyond reproach they are kind, forgiving, and lenient to those of a weaker morality. They are philanthropic and always ready to give to charity and benevolent work." The above gives us a little picture of this personality.
Lesson 22: Reading Aspects by the Use of Keywords
....The rank and file of humanity, however, may be relied upon to respond quite closely to astrological influence. In the main only those who have begun to consciously direct their evolution are able to set it aside and thus rule their stars. The student of astrology by his very study of the subject and the endeavor to apply his knowledge is beginning to direct his evolution, and therefore is becoming able to rule his stars. If astrology is made the subject of fatalism, that is, a belief in a fixed fate, it becomes a curse rather than a blessing. There is always a way out of the conditions brought about by any aspect; therefore we need not regard our fate as fixed at all. Moreover, astrology is a science of probabilities; any square is susceptible of several interpretations. Therefore it behooves us not to make any hard and fast, ironclad delineations of the horoscope, for if we do we are very likely some time to be mortified by their failure to materialize. Astrology is exceedingly valuable as an index to character, and since character is destiny, the horoscope gives us a general index of our destiny; but in general it has many possibilities of interpretation.
Lesson 23: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part I
It is a mystic maxim that the lower in the scale of evolution a being is placed, the more certainly he responds to the planetary rays, and conversely the higher we ascend in the scale of attainment the more man conquers and rules his stars, freeing himself from the leading strings of the Divine Hierarchies. This yoke, however, was not placed upon man in order to restrain him needlessly, but just as we in our ordinary life restrain a child from doing things in its ignorance which would hurt it and perhaps cripple it for life, so also are we restrained by the Divine Hierarchies through the planetary aspects in such a manner that we do not hurt ourselves beyond recovery in the experiences of life.
But coupled with this guidance there is of course a measure of free will, which grows as we evolve. The child in our midst has really very little free will; it is subject not only to its parents but to the servants, if such there be in the household, and to everybody with whom it is associated; all exercise control over it for its own good. As the child grows, this measure of restraint is by degrees relaxed; in the course of years the child will learn to exercise its free will.
Lesson 24: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part II
To primitive man, driven by the whiplash of saturnine necessity when not by the animal lust and passions of Mars and the Moon, the world looks gloomy. Fear is the keynote of his existence--fear of animals, fear of other men, fear of the nature forces, fear of everything around him. He must ever be watchful and on the alert; vigilance is eternally the price of safety. But when evolution makes him amenable to the influence of Venus and Mercury, they soften his emotions and brighten the mentality. He begins to feel love and reason as factors in life.
The Sun also begins to brighten his outlook upon life, and sunshine in the nature of man during this phase of his evolution partially dispels the cloud of Saturn. Thus, by degrees, as he evolves and becomes responsive to the music of the spheres, one string after another of the celestial harp strikes a kindred chord in the human soul and makes man amenable to its vibrations. Thus as a tuning fork which is struck awakens the music in other tuning forks of even pitch within reasonable distance, so the planets in our solar system have in evolutionary succession struck various chords that have found an echo in the human heart.
Lesson 25: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part III
....it behooves everyone who endeavors to live the higher life not to aspire to the Uranian ray until he first becomes thoroughly imbued with the altruistic vibrations of Jupiter; for more misery is brought into the world by those who have aspired too high and fallen low than by those who are not sufficiently aspiring. That pride goes before a fall is an ancient and very true proverb, which it behooves everyone of us to take to heart.
The Christ took part in the marriage at Cana. Marriage is a regular Christian institution and must exist until abolished in the kingdom to come; the bodies we will have then will not wear out and therefore there will be no need of marriage to generate new ones. Let it also be understood that the minister who marries people cannot really mate them. The finding of the true mate should be done before the marriage ceremony is performed and not after.
Lesson 26: The Measure of Amenability to Planetary Vibrations - Part IV
Neptune may be said to represent the invisible worlds in their more positive aspects, and those who come under the adverse aspects of this planet are, therefore, brought into touch with the most undesirable occupants of the invisible worlds. Actual obsession whereby the owner of a body is deprived of his vehicle takes place under the ray of Neptune, and no materializing seance could ever be held were it not for this stellar vibration. Magic, white or black, can never be put to practical use save under and because of this Neptunian vibration. Apart from this ray it would remain theory, speculation, and book learning. Therefore the Initiates of every Mystery School, spiritual seers who have full control of their clairvoyant faculty, and astrologers are amenable in varying degrees to the ray of Neptune. The black magician and the hypnotist, who is a twin brother to the former, are also dependent upon the power of this stellar ray for use in their nefarious practices.
Lesson 1: Some General Advice Regarding Attitude of Mind...
It is an excellent practice for young students to study their own figure and those of their nearest friends, because that gives them a good idea of how celestial aspects are the precursors of terrestrial events, with which they are already familiar. Thus they gain valuable knowledge and a confidence not to be obtained by mere book study, and all is well if they soon branch out and become interested in the horoscopes of others to such an extent that they almost forget their own.
Right at this point in their path, however, there is a death-trap and many, alas, all too many, fall by the wayside and allow personal interests to rule. They pore over their own figure every spare minute; they tabulate aspects daily; they cast a horary figure for every move, even to the smallest affairs of life. Thus they prostitute the most sublime science extant, and nip in the bud what might have become a wonderful factor in developing soul power; namely, the faculty of spiritual delineation. I hope and pray that you may escape that dreadful quagmire. Always remember your promise to help others according to your ability.
Lesson 2: Progressing the Ascendant and Midheaven
To read a horoscope correctly, it is essential to know whether material or spiritual advancement is intended for the soul during this embodiment, and to what extend one phase is expected to predominate. This is denoted by the progression of the angles. When the Midheaven moves faster, opportunities for intellectual and spiritual endeavor present themselves and bring success, if grasped. When the Ascendant moves faster, material affairs will claim expression.
Were this understood and acted upon, there would be fewer failures in life, for the right Opportunity knocks at every door. Satisfaction and success always result if we embrace it. If we miss our chance, there will be an undercurrent of regret despite any seeming success; the Soul feels the resulting lack.
Lesson 3: Progressing the Ascendant and Midheaven [continued]
....The rose does not yield its full fragrance till its petals have been crushed; the well of true sympathy springs only from a broken heart. All who really advance spiritually are men of sorrow and acquainted with grief. Paul mentions as the principal qualification of Christ Jesus that He had suffered as we suffer, hence is able to feel for all who are weak and heavy laden as no one could feel who had not thus suffered.
Lesson 4: Progressing the Ascendant and Midheaven [continued]
Have you ever met a mother anxiously seeking advice concerning a wayward girl or a drunken son? Would they mend? How could she best help them? Or was it a wife with a flock of little ones, suffering through the neglect of husband or father? Alas! The world is full of such cases, and any spiritually minded astrologer actuated by compassion for all concerned, must often have sorrowed when he searched vainly for an aspect of the planets that would give a ray of hope. Had he known the elevating potency of aspects to the radical and from the progressed Midheaven, had he known how these aspects produce opportunities to retrieve mistakes and make a new start in life, he might have pointed out the auspicious time when judicious persuasion would have been the most effective in turning the wayward child or weaning the father from the curse of drink; a time when they would have been more amenable to reason than usual. Opportunities must be caught on the wing or they are lost, and lack of astrological knowledge has wrecked many a life.
Lesson 5: Spiritual Benefits of the so-called Evil Aspects
....It is a fact that we learn more by adversity than by prosperity, that when an affliction is past and time has healed our bruises and mellowed recollections, we profit by the lessons contained in painful experiences; we bless the rod that smote us. Therefore the square and other so-called evil aspects produce more soul growth than good configurations; ecstasy of joy may fill our hearts under the latter; we may seem to soar to the very throne of heaven, and lave in an ocean of celestial delight; but when the stirring influence has left, when we wake to the cold, matter-of-fact conditions of the world, how dull and drear is the contrast, how we shrink from the contact. Evil aspects, on the other hand, may bow down our soul to the very depths of hell; a little while it may seem as if there were no hope, no succor; but when the scale has swung and we behold the silver lining of the cloud, the pain that seared our soul with an indelible mark will bring out by contrast the beauties of God's plan and spur onto greater efforts in His service.
Lesson 6: Neptune considered...
....Neptune really signifies what we may call "the gods," commencing with the supernormal beings we know as Elder Brothers, and compassing the innumerable hosts of spiritual entities -- good, bad, and indifferent, which influence our evolution. Its position and aspects denote our relation to them, if any; malefic aspects attract agencies of a nature inimical to our welfare, benefic configurations draw upon the good forces. Thus, if Neptune is placed in the 10th house, trine to the Ascendant, the person involved will have the opportunity to become a leader or prominent in a movement along mystical lines as denoted by the exalted position of Neptune. His body will be capable of receiving the finer vibrations and coming into touch with the spiritual world, as denoted by the trine of the Ascendant. On the other hand, when Neptune is placed in the 12th house, whose nature is passive and productive of suffering, it indicates that at some time, perhaps under a square from the Midheaven such as we are considering, the evil forces among whom are spirit-controls will be drawn to that person and endeavor to obtain possession of the body. The conjunction of Neptune with the Ascendant will make the body sensitive and usable for spiritual purposes as well as the trine. Given the opportunity afforded by the first aspect mentioned, the man may become a pupil of a Mystery School and a factor for great good in the uplift of mankind; placed under the affliction of the second aspect, he may become a helpless tool of spirit-controls, an irresponsible medium.
Lesson 7: Astrological Keywords considered...
If you meditate on each planet by itself or with its opposite or with its affinities for a few days or weeks at the time you devote to this study, you will gain a wonderful insight into their natures and effects; for instance: The Sun is life absolute, manifest or unmanifest; but Mars represents the dynamic energy which is manifestation of life. This, Saturn seeks to obstruct, and when he succeeds death ensues; the Sun gives the germ of life, the Moon furthers fecundation, and thus a body is produced; Jupiter gives the germinal idea, Mercury fecundates the mind so that ideas take definite form as thought, and the dynamic energy of Mars brings them into manifestation so that thoughts become things.
Lesson 8: Love and Altruism...
"Love" is a much hackneyed word, and the emotion thus miscalled is usually so tainted with passion and desire that it is Martian rather than Venusian in character. Coalition suggests a most intimate union, a blending of the very souls of two or more people who compose a family; but altruism, the keyword of Uranus, hints at such an all-embracing love as our Savior felt when He wept over Jerusalem and applied that wonderful simile of the hen which gathers its brood under its wings. Thus Uranus is the octave of Venus, and anyone ready to enter the Path of Preparation which leads to the Way of Initiation must gradually learn to outgrow the Venus love which makes the immediate family all in all and begin to cultivate the all-embracing Uranus altruism. The aspects of Mercury and Neptune to Uranus bring the tests which further our development, if passed, and delay us when we fail. The goal is high, and those who aim high often fall low. When we essay to transcend the Venus love and cultivate the Uranus altruism we are in great danger, and the most promising lives are sometimes wrecked by the pernicious theory of soul mates, clandestine love affairs, and perversion of the creative function.
Lesson 9: Mercury considered...
Mercury is usually associated with reason and intelligence; to him is ascribed rule over the nervous system, which is the medium of transmission between the embodied spirit and the world without. Thus, as Neptune signifies the subhuman and superhuman intelligences who live and move in the spiritual realms of the universe, but who work with and upon us, so Mercury indicates the human intelligence focused upon the terrestrial, physical world where we live from birth to death. Therefore it may be said that Neptune is the octave of Mercury, but there is a deeper sense than this:
Reference to a textbook of anatomy or physiology will show that lengthwise fissures in the spinal cord divide it into three parts which together enclose a hollow tube. Each of these columns is ruled by one of the Hierarchies in closest touch with us; the lunar, martial, and mercurial; one or another predominating according to the stage of evolution of the individual. In the spinal canal the rays of Neptune kindle the spiritual fire whereby the human spirit is enabled to pierce the veil of flesh and contact the worlds beyond. The resulting vision is colored according to the column of the cord most actively excited.
Lesson 10: "Applying" and "Separating" planets
In the majority of horoscopes Saturn appears as afflicted, and through him come most of our heartaches. His position in Taurus and the house of friends is unfortunate in the respects indicated in Letter No. 3, but his elevation and powerfully good aspect to the Sun, Venus, and Uranus bring out the best qualities of this planet. Mercury is in Virgo, the sign of its exaltation, in conjunction with the Sun, and separating from a trine of Saturn. When a planet having a certain orbital velocity comes into aspect with another heavenly body that is slower and more ponderous, the swifter planet is said to "apply" to the trine, square, or other aspect as the case may be, from the time it comes within "orb" until the aspect is exact. Then it begins to "separate" and though it is in aspect while within the orb of six degrees or a little more, its influence is not nearly so strong as while it is applying.
Lesson 11: Retrograde Planets
During a period in any horoscope when Saturn is direct and meets a retrograde Uranus by progression in a good aspect they bring out the very highest of their respective virtues potential in the native; but if they meet thus in an evil configuration, they inevitably force any hidden evil to the surface, for remember, the planets inaugurate neither good nor ill, they only stir into activity tendencies which are latent within.
Lesson 12: Astrology and Health
....Saturn is the planet of obstruction, no matter how he may be aspected. The point where his ray falls is always weak, susceptible in respect to cold, and consequently liable to contraction. In our horoscope, Saturn is placed in a fixed sign, Taurus: his elevation gives him great power, and we may judge that the boy will be liable to colds, also that the throat will at times seem to contract and produce a sense of strangulation. As a planet exercises a subsidiary effect in the opposite sign from that in which it is placed, we may judge that Jupiter in Scorpio will also exert an influence in the throat. The general nature of this planet tends to produce portliness wherever it has dominion, and we may look for enlargement of the tonsils from this configuration.
Lesson 1: Chart Delineation
The divine and sacred Science of Astrology has been sadly degraded into superstition by soothsayers and erectors of horoscopes all during the middle and modern ages up to the present period where the peak has been reached of misconception, misunderstanding and stupidity, by those least qualified to practice it.
Only in the ancient times was it practiced and treated as a divine attainment. Also remember, that at one can not be a true astrologer unless one has a thorough comprehension of the spiritual side of life, gleaned through an understanding of the Bible, as taught by those capable of correctly interpreting it. Study The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, therefore if you wish to become a true astrologer, because it will help you to understand this divine divine Book, besides explaining in a clarified manner the invisible workings of God and Nature.
Lesson 2: The Individuality; Spiritual Strength
It does not matter in what department of life you are placed, whether you are high or low, rich or poor. It is immaterial whether you are engaged in some menial task, or whether it is your privilege to lead and manage affairs in the world's work. It is absolutely unessential whether your hands are grimy with the lowest labor, perhaps digging a sewer to maintain the health of the community, or whether they are soft and white as required when nursing the sick.
The determining factor which decides whether any class of work is spiritual or material is our attitude in the matter.
The person who does the most menial labor may be far more spiritual than the leader in the world's work; far more sincere and devoted than a hypocritical teacher who pretends to spirituality, but is corrupt within.
A kind look, an expression of confidence, a sympathetic and loving helpfulness, can all be given regardless of wealth.
Lesson 3: The Personality
What we are, what we have, all our good qualities are the result of our own actions in the past. What we lack in physical, moral, or mental excellence may yet be ours in the future.
Exactly as we can not do otherwise than take up our lives each morning where we laid them down the preceding night, so by our work in previous lives have we made the conditions and the personality in which we now function, live and labor, and are at present creating the conditions and the personality of our future lives.
Instead of bemoaning the lack of this or that faculty which we covet, we must set to work to acquire it. (Ref., Page 154, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.)
And right here we wish to refer the student to the chapter on Rebirth and the Law of Consequence in the Cosmo-Conception. It is tremendously important to know and understand the law in order to comprehend and synthesize the differences between, and to interpret and differentiate the likenesses of, the Individuality and Personality.
Lesson 4: The Mentality
The Mind is the focusing point by means of which the Ego becomes aware of the material Universe.
Mind is the reflecting mirror, the instrument for the acquisition of knowledge, the meeting place of spirit and matter.
Man is a threefold spirit, possessing a mind by means of which he governs a threefold body, which he emanated from himself to gather experience. (Ref. Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.)
When you seek the mind of man, look to Mercury.
Mercury is the mental educator of men and its place and position in the horoscope shows the status of the person's mind for whom it is cast.
Lesson 5: Vocation and Finance
The purpose of all life is experience.
The Physical World is a school of experience, a sort of model school or experiment station which teaches man to work correctly in the invisible worlds.
But man must return many times before he can hope to master all the knowledge in the world of sense.
It is a demonstrable fact that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes and that the proper light in which to regard this Physical World is as a school of valuable education, experience, and tests in which we learn lessons of the utmost importance.
Lesson 6: Love -- Marriage -- Children
....There was a time when man-in-the-making was male-female and able to beget children without the assistance of another, but when one pole of the creative force was directed upward to build the brain and the larynx, mankind ceased to be bi-sexual and thenceforth each male or female had to seek its complement to accomplish the begetting of children.
Therefore marriage was instituted by the angels as a sacrament and the sacred rite of generation was performed under their supervision in great temples at certain times of the year when the interplanetary lines of force were propitious for propagation. The rest of the time all lived together in the paradisaical bliss of chase companionship. Therefore parturition was painless, and sickness and sorrow were unknown.
But when under the guidance of the fallen angels, the Lucifer spirits, mankind commenced to exercise the creative function for pleasure, regardless of the Stellar Ray, death entered and woman began to bring forth her children in sorrow and suffering.
Lesson 7: Delineation: Religion, Philosophy
....There are no special gifts bestowed upon anyone. All may know for themselves the truth concerning the pilgrimage of the spirit through matter; its method and its object. There is a method whereby this valuable knowledge may be acquired and by which, if persistently followed, God-like powers may be developed.
The Ego has several instruments which the Rosicrucians call the tools of the Spirit. The Dense body, Vital body, Desire body, and the Mind constitute these tools and they are good, bad or indifferent according to what we have learned through past experience in the building of them. As we work with these wonderful tools they improve and grow in power and efficiency.
The time required to achieve positive, spiritual development varies with each individual and depends upon his application, his stage in evolution and his ripe destiny to be liquidated in any particular life.
Lesson 8: Delineation: Friends and Enemies -- Brothers and Sisters....
Brothers and Sisters are Egos to which we are drawn, (or they drawn to us), but bonds of Karma generated in past lives. The manner in which we discharge this Karma, be it good or evil, constitutes our progression or retrogression on the Pathway of Spiritual development.
If brothers and sisters in a family fail to get along well together, it is for the enlightened one of the group to try to the utmost of his or her ability to promote love and harmony by self-renunciation, self-abnegation and cheerful, self-forgetting service. For "He that would be the greatest among you, let him be the servant of all."
In the ultimate, Fellow Student, the whole of humanity must be our brothers and sisters whom we love devotedly. We must be consumed by an all-embracing, altruistic love for all mankind. This is an absolute necessity before any real spiritual progress can be made.
Lesson 9: Health and Sickness
Health and happiness are to most people the prime objects of life, and whoever has them is rightly considered lucky, though, as we have endeavored to show in the Rosicrucian Philosophy, luck is very closely linked to merit. We have earned what we have, either in this life or in a former one, and what we lack in good health or physical well-being we may acquire in this or later lives by good use of our opportunities.
Disease is a manifestation of ignorance--the only sin; healing is a demonstration of applied knowledge--the only salvation. Christ is an embodiment of the Wisdom Principle, and in proportion as the Christ is formed in us, we attain health.
To the best of our ability, we should live spiritual lives, and endeavor to adhere to a system of high ideals so that we shall eventually learn to conform to God's laws and thus attain permanent health in the future as well as now.
Lesson 10: Hopes -- Wishes -- Aspirations; Sorrow and Self-Undoing....
We may love only a few around us, but there is a higher love that flows out to those not in our own circle which must be observed. Every duty must be fulfilled that we may thereby take advantage of the higher opportunities that are ever opening up before us.
And so we must learn our lessons in service: service to humanity, service to our younger brothers, service to animals, service everywhere. This, and this alone will bring us out of the "wilderness." It is said that those who were highest in the Temple in the Wilderness were those who served; and the Christ said, "He who would be the greatest among you, let him be the servant of all."
Lesson 11: Progression of the Horoscope
The horoscope or radical chart is a picture of the heavens at the moment of birth, showing the celestial bodies in their relation to each other and the zodiac, and indicating the path of life of the incoming Ego according to its self-generated destiny from past lives and experiences. The child is immersed in an atmosphere charged with the stellar vibrations peculiar to that moment; these are stamped upon each atom of its sensitive organism by the air inhaled with the first breath.
Time does not stand still, and the planets do not remain stationary. While the birth chart indicates the tendencies, traits, and potential character of the infant, the "progressions" for the coming years indicate growth and change in the native and his environment.
Lesson 12: The Progressed Chart
....The Moon measures "the soul's passage from the shores of eternity, through the waters of the womb to the world of Time." The Moon is the time marker, the minute hand of the clock of destiny," while the Sun (and planets) may be considered as the hour hand. Therefore the Moon more than any other celestial body shows us the exact time when any direction culminates or becomes fruitful of events, indicating changes in the physical and material conditions, or reaction through soul-growth and character building, according to circumstances and environment. When that which is latent in the horoscope is brought to a focus--so to speak.
Lesson 13: Transits, Lunations, Eclipses
Transit means passing--the passage of a celestial body over the meridian over a place.
The progressed positions of planets are the principal significators of events, but the transitory position of the planets in space at the actual time of events strengthen or weaken effects of aspects in the progressed horoscope, according to whether they are akin in nature or not. These so-called transits are the planetary positions in the ephemeris for the actual or current year of events.
The major planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are more potent in their action than the minor planets for the reason of their slow motion in the heavens. Their vibrations are felt strongly when within 1 1/2 degree orb. They culminate when the aspect is exact, and last until 1 1/2 degree past. Their effects depend on the importance of the planet which they aspect, and the houses through which they are transiting (passing), bearing on such departments of life as the particular house indicates.