Ad Astra Per Aspera
You yourself are even another little world and have within you the sun and the moon and also the stars - Origen
Tarot Arcanum number 17 is called the Star and it relates to Aquarius, the Fixed Air sign in astrology. It corresponds to the planet-archetypes Uranus and Venus, and to Pluto, which is "exalted" in Aquarius.* This is one of the most picturesque and aesthetically pleasing cards of the Tarot. The figure depicted reminds us of the Grecian Aphrodite, Pandora or Psyche, or of the Celtic Boann or even of the Lady of Shallot. However, there is nothing tragic or foreboding here. Instead there is something tranquil and pristine about the image which is definitely a refreshing change from the darker style and ambience of the two ominous looking previous cards (Devil and Tower). Some scholars have equated the "Lady of the Urns" with Eostre (or Astarte) the goddess of Easter (Eastern Star) who represented regeneration, and with Urania, goddess of the heavens. Falling in late January and most of February on the solar calendar, the sign of Aquarius demarcates the depths of winter and of the Alchemical "Underworld Cycle." The nakedness of the female personage has been likened to the winter season when the foliage has fallen to earth and nature enters her putrefactive cycle. Alchemically, this card (along with the next) relates to the stage known as Dissolutio (Dissolution). Certainly, the imagery on the card implies transition from one state to another. One of the Lady's feet is on land, the other on water which is gently moving. This particular artistic device simply makes us aware that Aquarius, as a sign of the zodiac, is between the Cardinal Earth sign of Capricorn and the Mutable Water sign of Pisces.
Certain signs of the zodiac suffered at the hands of chauvinistic scholars who masculanized the iconography that was once either feminine or androgynous. The benefit of the Tarot is that its imagery is relatively original. This Aquarian card, therefore, depicts a woman with water pitchers and not a man, as we find in common exoteric astrology and fable. The reason for these transpositions has to do with the supplanting of the ecocentric Stellar and Lunar Cults by the anthrocentric Solar and Saturnian Cults.
In their desire to appear highly intellectual, scientific and mathematical, the Greeks, probably about the time of Alexander the Great, adopted the solar nomenclature, thereby turning ancient zodiacal symbolism topsy-turvy and making it sheer nonsense - Cyril Fagan (Astrological Origins)
The travesty made of iconographics affecting the Divination arts and Gnostic canon extended to the orthodox corpus where, as in the case of "John the Baptist," we not only find masculanization but, as in the case of Salome (his temptress and beheader), we find flagrant and gratuitous misogyny. In the New Testament circumstances are marginally improved when we find the "Lady with the Urn" in the person of Mary Magdalene who, it is written, lovingly anointed Jesus with the costly spikenard in front of the other disgruntled male disciples. The cunning mythographers of Judeo-Christianity, the desecrators of the Stellar and Lunar Cult's Gnosis, took pains to rescript Mary for their Gospels, and presented her as the Harlot. However, the original term, of which this word is a bad translation, was the Greek Hierodulai which actually means the "sacred," or "beloved" one.
In relation to the Egyptian pantheon, the card features the primordial mother goddess Ta'urt (or Tarut) always seen with child or in the running "swastika" asana (posture). It is from this goddess that we derive the very words Tarot and Star. It is one of the earliest epithets for the goddess of creation who would be later called by a plethora of names and titles. As the cults and dynasties changed, this original Madonna became known as Maat, Nuith, Isis, Hathor, Sophia, Mara and Mary. The name of the card, Star, refers to Sirius (Sihor or Sothis) which is depicted above the Lady's head. Sirius (the so called "Dog Star") was of supreme importance to the ancient Egyptians and Siderealists. When Sirius was seen in the Egyptian morning it signified that the waters of the Nile were soon to rise and inundate the parched land. This event, called Akhet, happened around July 25th on the ancient calendar, during the period of Leo. When the constellations of Aquarius were seen in the month corresponding to Leo the ancients said that the goddess of the Nile (Taurt or Nuith) was about to empty her great urns on the land and allow their land to be reborn.
The urn was a symbol of the inundation - Gerald Massey (Egypt: Light of the World)
…the Egyptians...noticed that the beginning of the inundation seemed to tally with the heliacal rising of the brightest fixed star in the heavens, namely Sirius…this fact is beautifully commemorated in the 17th card of the Egyptian Tarot - Cyril Fagan (Astrological Origins)
From this antique uranographic phenomenon we derive nursery rhymes like Jack and Jill as well as architectural curiosities such as lions (Leo) with water (Aquarius) pouring from their mouths or in the proximity of fountains and baths, etc,. It is also the reason why certain modern cities have the designs they do. For instance, scholars such as David Ovason have discovered that Paris, London, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, are laid out according to the pattern of the heavens. The designers of these cities employed the very same archaeo-astronomical and geomantic principles of the early "pagan" civilizations. In his masterpiece, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capitol, David Ovason describes how the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic for the star Sirius is made from an obelisk, a five-pointed star, and an oval. And, curiously, these are exactly what we find, in gargantuan dimensions, in the layout of the cityscape of Washington DC - the Washington Monument (obelisk), the US Pentagon (pentagram), and the Oval Office (oval). Scholars are discovering from private memoirs, letters, and other documents in the Library of Congress, that the ancients were not the only ones interested in the ordinances of heaven. It appears that the leading Masonic patriarchs of America, France, and other western countries, were also more than enamored by the stars and their astromantic significance.
The extraordinary truth is that the very existence of the Washington Monument is intimately linked with the Egyptian star Sirius, the Sihor, that the ancients represented in their sacred hieroglyphics as an obelisk as well as a star. How is it possible that this most important star of the ancient world should find itself, as it were, resurrected in the architecture of the United States - David Ovason (Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capitol)
In the years following the Revolution, the Masonic fraternities held ceremonial layings for such new enterprises as bridges, locks, universities, government buildings, statehouses, memorials, and even churches. Such buildings were aligned with the stars, and with the spiritual beings who ruled the stars - ibid
It is known that Elias Ashmole was frequently asked by King Charles II to ‘cast horoscopes’ for various stately functions and, more particularly, after the Great Fire of 1666, to select favorable dates for the laying of the cornerstones of important buildings…Indeed, the tradition of casting horoscopes or selecting propitious astrological dates for the laying of cornerstones of important buildings and monuments was then, and remains today, a common practice in Freemasonry - Graham Hancock & Robert Bauval (Talisman)
It appears that Aquarian iconography also inspired certain great poets and writers, especially those with a penchant for encapsulating esoteric and celestial archetypes in their terrestrial fictions:
From those most holy water, born anew, I came, like trees by change of calendars, Renewed with new sprung foliage through and through, Pure and prepared to leap up to the stars - Dante (Puragtorio)
When this card falls for us in a typical divination style reading, or when it is one of our Significators, it deals with rejuvenation, healing, empowerment and new found physical or emotional freedom. For women, this is a Arcanum of accented importance. It often signals a return to the "dark waters," to the private, celibate space in which one cleanses the past, dreams, meditates, creates and rekindles passion for existence. It suggests retreat and aloneness, contemplation, shedding and re-orientation toward ideals and hopes. With card 17 we are to find again our own guiding star, our beacon through the sundry predicaments of daily living. When it appears for us in a reading, it asks us to free ourselves from outer oppressions and inner inhibitions, for this is the card of personal uniqueness, originality and free expression. It often denotes the arrival of new friends and allies, of associations which open doors into new exciting areas. Astronomically, the card signifies the Precessional "Age of Aquarius," said to begin in a few hundred years from now. This forthcoming astrological epoch is predicted to be a time when women, specifically, transcend their lower social and domestic roles to rediscover their own spiritual sovereignty and power as world healers, initiators and teachers. Suggestively, in this regard, we find the card's fine imagery to be somewhat reminiscent of the line in Dante's Purgatorio:
A lady all alone, who wandered there, Singing and plucking flowers on floweret gay, With which her path was painted everywhere.
On a more familiar worldly level, the Star is assigned to discovery, invention, humanity, progressive science and holistic arts. Its ruler Uranus is the planet-Archetype of music. Under the influence of this trump we feel inspired and close to the muse. We often develop the need to perform, paint or play music. And in our enhanced appreciation and communion with color, shape and sound we develop greater levels of awareness allowing us to be less reliant on the discursive, linear modalities of thought and expression which are less conducive for real immersive participation in the mystery of life. On the spiritual role of sound Barbara Marciniak wrote:
When you create harmonics of sound, it reminds your body of something. It reminds your body of light, of deep, cosmic love, and of other worlds…It seeks and accesses a frequency that it has been longing for, which the sound has reminded it of…This frequency is connected to the evolution of the helixes within your body. Sound is a vehicle or conduit to connect you to the higher chakras outside of your body because you do not have a way of accessing them logically.
Those who really know my music, can never again know unhappiness - Ludwig Van Beethoven
The negative aspects of the Star (Aquarius/Uranus) have to do with impulsive, reckless behavior and experience for its own sake. It deals with eccentricity, narcissism, inauthenticity, feigned intelligence and false spirituality. It also connotes lax morals and a flippant disregard for rules and conventions. It can relate to sudden upset, wastage and changes over which we have little control. Occasionally, the card's presence even indicates criminality, perversion, mania and insanity.
Since the seventeenth card's planetary archetype is Uranus, the card symbolizes freedom and independence. Nowhere are these virtues more needed, and less found, than in human relationships. Indeed, for most of the world, the idea that love equals freedom is very incongruent. And even though people believe themselves to free agents within their relationships, close observation tells a very different tale. Though there are rare exceptions, most individuals enter into relationships because they subconsciously loathe freedom, and are avidly seeking mental and emotional enslavement. The law of dependency operates unseen throughout the human domain. We either become dependent on others, or we seek to make others dependent upon us. The latter is the more pernicious vice, but both are ultimately lethal. Like leaning towers of Pisas we use others to, emotionally and psychologically, prop ourselves up, and we generally loathe and condemn the men or women who stand erect and rely primarily on their own creative abilities. We adroitly disguise our dependence with hyperbole about freedom, independence and sovereignty, which works supremely well to cover our duplicity and sustain our inauthentic lifestyles. In the present "Piscean Age," however, true existential freedom is a fearful concept, for we prefer our attachments and covet our dependence dearly. We are not aware that our so-called "love" is nothing more than well disguised attachment, and is based upon control, manipulation, duplicity and all manner of irrational power dynamics. We do not observe the sadism and masochism inherent in our so-called "loving" interactions. And though innumerable hearts are broken, and children violated, and though animals are enslaved and tortured, and nature plundered, we blithely carry on with our mockery, our veneration of pseudo-love, which bears not a trace of unaffected freedom or virtue.
There is no word in our language which has been so much misused and prostituted as the word love. It has been preached by those who were ready to condone every cruelty if it served their purposes it has been used as a disguise under which to force people into sacrificing their own happiness, into submitting their whole self to those who profited from this surrender - Erich Fromm (Love, Sexuality and Matriarchy)
...love cannot be separated from freedom and independence...the basic premise of love is freedom and equality. Its premise is the strength, independence, integrity of the self, which can stand alone and bear solitude - Erich Fromm (Love, Sexuality and Matriarchy)
Presently, the Star card's planetary ruler Uranus is moving slowly through Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. Pisces is the sign connected with the soul, with the deepest recesses of the unconscious, with secrets, warnings, and self-undoing. It is also associated with deception, in all its permutations. The presence of Uranus serves to expose and bring to the surface that which is concealed. It allows secrets to be revealed, and catharsis to occur. Uranus is also connected with friendships, and with all that holds people together socially. By entering Pisces we find the ties that bind beginning to loosen. What may have been considered "close" associations and friendships can dissolve with this transit. Close-knit friendships can give way to ones which are deeper yet shorter, more fleeting but yet more intense. The conjunction can make us more conscious of the roles we assume in society, and also make us more aware of the suffering that goes on around us, which is endemic to the poor, handicapped or incarcerated. However, the downside of the presence of Uranus in Pisces means that the masks of the false will not be so secure. In fact, those so-called "love" relations, or friendships, which are actually based on deception and hypocrisy, are sure to be compromised, causing shock to both protagonist and antagonist alike. Socially, we can also expect a certain quota of shocking revelations, concerning the rich, famous, and powerful, while domestically, we can expect surprising revelations about those we thought we "knew." As the masks of the persona begin to come down, we will be compelled to read, as it were, some very black chapters from the book of human crime and immorality.
Human life is thus only an endless illusion. Men deceive and flatter each other. No one speaks of us in our presence as he does when we are gone. Society is based on mutual hypocrisy – Blaise Pascal
In its most negative mode, the movement of Uranus through Pisces makes for insanity and psychosis. Those who do not have a strong center, firm convictions in truth, and a firm grasp of reality are sure to become very disassociated, alienated and disturbed. Those who have abused their bodies with drugs, or with food, and those who lack morals, will soon find their options reduced significantly. Those who have tried to lose themselves in fantasy, who have deluded others and themselves about their true natures, and who have been living a lie, will find themselves called to account. All that has been repressed, or introjected wthin, and all that is toxic in the psyche will be shaken up considerably by the onset of strong Uranian energy. As the repressed content moves toward the "light" it will have to be dealt with. This can be done constructively or dysfunctionally. However, as the human ego feels these dark repressions surfacing, it is sure to grow very uncomfortable and anxious. Psychologists know that the ego does not like to face or integrate this nebulous content from the unconscious. The ego has a thousand-and-one ways to deny, censor, canalize, displace, sublimate and project the protean content that it does not wish to functionally integrate. It employs various placations and exit-strategies to ensure that its autonomy is not compromised or permanently threatened. In extreme cases, when its muscle is not sufficient to keep the unconscious forces at bay, it can become overwhelmed and can, as a final solution, choose to self-destruct. If the ego takes this extreme route neurosis, psychosis and schizophrenia are likely results. Many egos would rather "auto-destruct," so to speak, than have its own shadows (repressions) come back to haunt it. And, sadly, what goes for the schizoid human, goes for the schizogenic culture. As Sigmund Freud, and his contemporaries Carl Jung and Wilhelm Reich learned and taught, man and culture can only be "healthy" when all that is contaminated within the self is brought, functionally, to the surface for conscious inspection and clearing. As psychologists, they knew that what we do not bring into the "light" will inevitably become our fate in any case, and will corner and confront us sooner or later. Our repressions do not remain permanently buried beyond the reach of conscious memory, but slowly rise into consciousness through our dreams, our creative endeavors, our interactions and through our ever-changing interests. It also emerges through our beliefs, opinions and vices.
Man has developed consciousness slowly and laboriously, in a process that took untold ages to reach the civilized state…And this evolution is far from complete, for large areas of the human mind are still shrouded in darkness. What we call the “psyche” is by no means identical with our consciousness and its contents - Carl Gustav Jung (Approaching the Unconscious)
The imagery of the Star card represents the unique individual who has successfully dealt with their "Shadow" side or, in Freudian terms, with their "id," and who has acquired the mental, emotional and moral hygiene to affect great changes within themselves and, subsequently, within the world at large. The Aquarian androgyne shown, is he or she who has faced the darkness within themselves, exorcised their own demons, initiated themselves into divinity, and who enjoys direct communion with the holarchic intelligence that most will call "Nature." Such a person is emotionally and psychologically sovereign. They have passed through the Alchemical stages of Calcinatio, Coagulatio, and Sublimatio, etc., and risen from the sepulchers of ignorance and superstition. They are, in psychological parlance, the "Individuated" ones.
The universal hero myth…always refers to a powerful man or god-man who vanquishes evil in the form of dragons, serpents, monsters, demons and so on, and who liberates his people from destruction and death - Carl Jung (Approaching the Unconscious)
...a sense of completeness is achieved through a union of the consciousness with the unconscious content of the mind. Out of this union arises what Jung called “the transcendent function of the psyche,” by which a man can achieve his highest goal - Joseph L. Henderson (Ancient Myths and Modern Man)
The man who adamantly remains on the surface of himself, however, and who continues to repress and deny the dark content of his psyche, condemns himself (and many of those he come into contact with) to being poisoned from within, and to a meaningless, vapid, conformist life. Such a man may certainly seek constant distraction in the carnal labyrinths of the world, and may long remain on the level of the persona. He may live narcissistically, and consider sensual fulfillment to be his sole preoccupation. He may seek the company of others of the same caliber, and even be showered with honors by such fellows. But regardless of what time and world bestow upon his name, he will remain spiritually and morally naked, and will know nothing of the real fragrance of life. He will be the superfluous one, existentially wretched and degenerate, a curse to himself and to the world that birthed and housed him. Eventually, he will drown in the sea of his own depravity which overflows his reason, dragging him gradually down into its churning and unhallowed depths.
A man likes to believe that he is the master of his soul. But as long as he is unable to control his moods and emotions, or to be conscious of the myriad secret ways in which unconscious factors insinuate themselves into his arrangements and decisions, he is certainly not his own master - Carl Gustav Jung (Approaching the Unconscious)
Today, we find very few people who are psychically hygienic. The very subject of the unconscious, and its effect on life, is carefully and completely avoided by the mainstream "Pied-Piper" media, and even by most intellectuals within the medical and psychiatric communities. Medicines and drugs are purveyed ad nauseum to help narcotize the affliction, and all manner of trite and sensationalistic activities are fabricated and promoted to enable the vicarious processing of our unconscious drives. Such artificial devices only condemn man and society to further psychic unrest. They may give the surface of the psyche an occasional polish so that appearances may be maintained, but they do not erase the deeper emotive patterns that boil and seethe like magma just beneath the pretty porcelain personas. The few who are brave enough to warn mankind of their fate, who seek to offer the true antidote, or who can mirror back the Shadows projected upon them, will see as much success as would an Evangelist in hell. Theirs' is surely a fate worse than death, since by taking on the projections of the sick and unholy, they are doomed to endure worse horrors than a mere crown of thorns or a stint in Purgatory. Ridiculed, shamed and deeply despised for even daring to draw attention to that which must remain out of sight, out of mind, they alone know what it means to bleed from the soul.
If you have gained this within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have this in you, what you do not have in you will kill you - Jesus Christ (The Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas)
When you see your likeness, you rejoice. But when you see your images which came into existence before you, which neither die nor are made manifest, how much will you bear? - ibid
When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty - ibid
Troubling I sit, day and night. My friends are astonished at me: They forgive my wanderings. I rest not from my great task: To open the eternal worlds! To open the immortal eyes of man inward: into the worlds of thought: into eternity. Ever expanding in the bosom of God, the human imagination - William Blake
Aquarius, to which the Star card refers, is the astrological "age" into which the sun will pass after it moves out of the last few degrees of the present sign of Pisces. This movement backwards through the 12 signs of the zodiac is very gradual, and takes a long time to complete. To pass through just one sign of the zodiac, 2,160 years must elapse. Therefore, to traverse all 12 signs, 25,920 years must pass. This great round is referred to by astronomer and astrologers as the "Platonic Year." It was calibrated in ancient times and was considered a very sacred phenomenon, particularly by the Egyptians. The Egyptians, the Phoenicians, Hindus, Celts and Tuetons, and other sidereally literate civilizations saw to it that the harmonics (numbers) associated with this "Precessional Movement," were ritualistically encoded into the majority of their megalithic earth temples and sites. Under the later Solar and Saturnian Cults they were also incorporated into the design of churches and cathedrals of the world. Now, to move just one single degree of zodiacal arc takes 72 years, the average age of a man. Therefore, a man's life was, figuratively, connected to the Precessional movement of the sun. The Hindus considered the human breath, and the heart-beat, to also be intimately connected to the zodiac and to the movement of the sun and heavenly bodies.
Our sun is presently in the final degrees of the sign of Pisces, and will soon enter into the following sign of Aquarius. When this astrological transition occurs, we will be in the so-called "Age of Aquarius." Many researchers are concerned with the psychological and social changes that this change will precipitate. After all, as astrologers know, Pisces is a Mutable Water sign which relates to the emotions, and Aquarius a Fixed Air sign which relates to the intellect and higher mental capacities. Whatever way one looks at it, some profound changes are likely which cannot be fully estimated before hand, especially by those with only an exoteric grasp of these ancient Hermetic Arts. Some believe that certain "enlightened" ones, certain prophets and masters, come to humanity to hearken in the future age, to prepare and initiate the ready. Some also believe that the power elites, of religion and politics, seek to rescript the "myths," the customs and idioms we take for granted, to suit their own anti-human agendas. It is also recognized that the 22 cards of the esoteric Tarot are encapsulations of each Precessional Age. Each card contains imagery and symbolism which cryptically and connotatively illustrates those 12 periods of 2,160 years. Moreover, the ancient Magi, the elect of the Stellar Cult, who created the Tarot and the other arts of Divination, knew a great deal of what was to come in future ages. They understood that there is nothing new under the sun, and that what was will be again.
…the Egyptians were the first to discover the solar year, and to portion out its course into twelve parts, both the space of time and the seasons which they delimit. It was observation of the course of the stars which led them to adopt this division…It is also the Egyptians who first bought into use the names of the twelve gods, which the Greeks adopted from them - Herodotus
On the Eastern or Great Pyramid, built by the ancients, the celestial spheres were inscribed, likewise the positions of the stars and their circles, together with the history and chronicles of past times, of that which is to come, and of every future event. Also one may find there the fixed stars and what comes about in their progression from one epoch to another - Masoudi (Tenth Century Arabian author and historian)
Remains of the original Tarot designs can be seen today in ruins of the temples of Thebes, capital of Egypt in 2000 BC, particularly on ancient ceilings in the halls of the palace of Medinet-Abou. Moreover, the 22 major cards are also found paralleled in the Book of the Dead, etched into stone crypts as vignettes or world sketches thousands of years ago - Tony Bushby (The Secret in the Bible)
There are many references in the Bible to this Precessional Movement, and even to the coming "Age of Aquarius." In this following passage, Jesus is being asked by his disciples where they will meet him, the Son (Sun) of God, in the time to come. Jesus answers them in language which is patently astrological:
And he said unto them: Behold, when you enter into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water, follow him into the house where he entereth in - Luke 22:10
The man bearing the "pitcher of water" is a clear reference to the sign of Aquarius, into which the "Sun" of God will indeed be found, by the "Twelve."
The ancient astrologers did not worship the sun as god, only as one of many symbols for god, or for divinity. They were not "idol-worshippers," and knew more than the mere language of words. Moreover, unlike today, no ancient astrologer asserted that man's fate, destiny or consciousness was "affected" by the stars and luminaries. The astrology, and astrologers, who assert such nonsense, or whose systems are based on such a fallacy are of the exoteric variety. Though they may refer to their work as "Psychological," or as "Archetypal," their systems remain based on the concocted and preposterous notion that some variety of "magic rays," from rocks floating in space, affect and influence man's life. Nothing could be further from the truth, and nothing of the sort was taught in the mystery schools of old. This travesty follows the subtle and elaborate subversion of the original stellar canon, by the Solar Cult, and by its descendants, namely, the elites of the Judeo-Christian religion.
In science the Greeks were pygmies. What would they have known of science if their Platos and Pythagorases had not traveled into the East! In science and real learning they were inferior to the Orientals...and were the greatest liars upon earth. They willfully mis-stated everything or they foolishly confounded everything - Godfrey Higgins (Celtic Druids)
Nowadays, a bewildering plethora of unnecessary paraphernalia seems to be required to construct a so-called "horoscope." Those who believe that the priests and priestesses of Carthage, Samothrace, Tibet, Egypt or Ireland were in the habit of using compasses, protractors, atlases, ephemerides, tables of houses, and complex trigonometry, to comprehend what was going on within the human psyche, are laboring under a major delusion. One does not look outward, to the ever-changing phenomenal dimension, to measure the eternal. One does not look into an imperfect and inconstant mirror to know certainty and perfection. Those who are so preoccupied, who do not understand the difference between the absolute and the relative, between archetype and stereotype, will know little of truth or wisdom and will, from their "Newtonian Sleep" never penetrate the mysteries of Being.
It is an erroneous interpretation of astrology to opine that special forces emanate from the planets and the stars - R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz (Sacred Science)
Know that the philosopher has power over the stars, and not the stars over him - Paracelsus
As we all know science began with the stars, and mankind discovered in them the dominants of the unconscious, the “gods,” as well as the curious psychological qualities of the Zodiac: a complete projected theory of human character – Carl Jung
The idea is to demonstrate that the zodiac is an archetype, not only within the collective unconscious, but within the fabric of reality itself...as a ground plan of creation. This archetype has not been invented. It exists, and knowledge of it has been developed in step with evolving human consciousness - Denis Elwell
The actuality is that consciousness and matter are intimately related. There are subtle connections between psychic and physical energy, between microcosm and macrocosm. Therefore, that which we call the "zodiac," gets to be "out there" by way of consciousness. The ancient astrologers, alchemists and Magi knew that the zodiac is an internal mental apparatus. Man casts his own inner omni-directional mental template onto matter (the night sky), by way of the mind's inherent capacities of inflation and projection. In short, man houses within himself a "Living Zodiac." Astrology is the study of this phenomenon, and its affects and permutations. Astromancy, and Divination, was the manner in which men and women were to open communication with the Universal Intelligence, of which they are but one facet. It was the manner by which humans initiated themselves into their true roles, as custodians of the planet, and as priests and priestesses in charge of their own ascent on the serpentine paths of self-realization.
Do you deny me the entrance to heaven, I who have at last learned the mystery of myself? – Egyptian legend
We find stars on almost all the flags of the world. We find them on products and businesses, on the institutions of learning and on the edifices of government and law. Whether it was during the dynasties of ancient Babylon, or a more modern setting stars, as symbols, signify status, prestige and competence. It was also a certain star that led the Biblical Magi to the birthplace of the son of god. So, in our own lives, our fate lies in the stars. Those which illuminate the external darkness also lead the way to our personal palaces and thrones. For some the goal is enlightenment in the spiritual or yogic sense. For others it is accomplishment and mastery artistically or physically. For most, it is mere continued existence, with each sensual experience following on relentlessly in the myriad happenings of our fleeting years. For some the stars that guide and inspire are absolutes, archetypes which exist independently of mundane terrestrial happenings and changes, being resplendent and everlasting. For others they are distant and insubstantial, relative and contingent upon time and change, perspective and mood, nothing more than remote pin-pricks in an unnervingly vast sky, nice to look at and handy when we're lost. They are not beacons of certainty but reminders of how transitory and finite we are down here on our own perplexing orb.
So they are, and will be, to many. But as President Kennedy asked - can we dream of the impossible? Can we let our imagination run away with us at least once a day? Our bodies are weak, our minds fallible, but our imaginations make us each really unique. So, what if the stars were the embryos of archangels about to be born? What if they were sperm in the dark womb of Nuith who conceives the universes, galaxies, suns and moons? What if they were portals to the eternal realm of the gods? To the stars such imaginings are as real and valid as our rational, scientific musings. Imagination is, as the great poets and musicians knew and know, the secret to the rapport between microcosm and macrocosm, between psychic and physical energy. In the sea of space no way is up and no way is down. There is no towards or backwards, no center or periphery. So it is within ourselves. In our internal universe there are stars and suns, gods and goddesses, days and nights, depths and heights. Our great telescopes help us peer out into the void a long way. But have we pointed them the right direction? Perhaps, as long as our very act of looking is exclusionary and partial there will always be the unseen and uncontainable, something beyond our sight and grasp. The sages and scientists like to name this elusive essence and they seek for it endlessly. Like a butterfly they’d prefer it pinned to a board and on display than be out of the reach of their words and data bases. Their desire for its capture has become infatuation and they now exhaust themselves and the world with their convoluted stratagems and burning expectation. But the one who knows from whence she comes stands alone by fountain and well, by forest and lake and communes with her at leisure. He has learned to hear her scintillating laughter even amongst the clamorous throng, for it is always there, amid the loud pumping of hearts, horns and machines, echoing perpetually though the labyrinthine streets and arteries of our cities and our minds.
In the past we were mind created spiritual
beings, nourished by joy.
We soared through space, self-luminous and in imperishable beauty.
* "Exalted" - an
astrological term, meaning of greatest power.
Subtitle translation - "Through hardship to the stars"
Title Quote - Origen (Leviticum Homiliae)
End passage - from Agganna Sutta of the Digha-Nikaya
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