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Chapter 2
The Fountain of Youth
Passover:
Ancient and Modern
—Only in spring occurs that significant astronomical phenomenon which anciently
was celebrated by the feast of the Passover.
This festival, in its essential elements, although called by different names in other
lands, was not unique to the Jews. Nor was its observance confined to the Old World;
for we find the American Indians also celebrating in quite as appropriate a fashion the
passing of the Sun from darkness into light.
The Hopis, for instance, eagerly watch for the time in spring when the Sun shall rise
exactly behind a certain peak of the San Francisco range. For generations they have
recognized that when the Sun thus climbs the mountain, to balance a fiery globe atop
its lofty spire, that days and nights are equal; and thence forward the day in length
will exceed the night.
Because at this time the nights are thus equal to the days, we moderns call it the
equinox.
It is, in truth, the passing over to the summer half of the year, from the dreary months
of winter darkness.
When we think of the privation endured by primitive people, and even by our
American pioneers, as their stored supplies became exhausted at the end of the
season of snow and cold, we can have no surprise that they universally celebrated the
passing of the Sun over the celestial equator from south to north, heralding, as it does,
the commencement of the growing period with its new supply of food and its relief
from the icy blasts that make demands for special clothes and shelter.
The less provident people of our state of Michigan are wont to say as winter draws to
an end that if they can only hold out until the leeks come that their troubles will be
over. The leek is an edible plant closely related to the onion. It grows abundantly in
the Michigan woods, affords considerable nourishment, and is one of the very first of
the "bitter herbs" to show green above the ground.
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Why astronomers, both ancient and modern, considered the Vernal Equinox, or 0
degrees Aries, as the best starting point for both time and for measuring the east-west
position of a star or planet in the sky, has fully been explained in Chapter 2, as
also was there set forth the method followed in selecting the pictograph symbols that
they traced in the heavens, and about which they told stories and established customs
by way of further explanation.
In this language of universal symbols which they employed the winter half of the
circle, in which the darkness exceeds the light, is representative of our physical world
and its obscuring clouds of misconceptions. The spiritual world, and the spiritual life,
are referred to the summer half of the celestial circle.
Even as a week had seven days, one ruled over by each planet, so the life of man had
seven corresponding phases of activity. The Sun, of course, was then as now,
recognized as the source of virile power.
Among the Jews, who had acquired some of the ancient Stellar Wisdom, it was
desired that each boy should be consecrated to a spiritual life of constructive effort.
That each planet should have opportunity to impress its influence upon the child
before this consecration, and that thus all seven phases of activity should be
impressed by the ceremony, seven full days were allowed to elapse after birth.
When the Sun had circled the zodiac and passed over the Vernal Equinox into Aries,
a new year began. to many ancient peoples as well as the Jews, symbolized the
transition from the physical world to the spiritual plane of life. To signify that the
child, while still on earth, was consecrated to a life of spiritual endeavor, a ceremony
was instituted which should represent the circling of the Sun and its annual transition.
On the eighth day the boy was circumcised.
As the section of the zodiac pictured by the Ram, into which the Sun moves as it
completes its transition, embraces 30 degrees, at its very commencement it could
hardly be considered a full grown sheep. Not only among the Jews, but among other
ancient people, the first entrance of the Sun into the sign was associated with the
beginning of a ram, that is, it was considered to signify a Lamb.
Using the blood of a Lamb as a token that a new and spiritual life had been entered
upon was not a custom confined to Christian and Jew; it was part of that universal
symbolism employed by all peoples who had inherited traditions based upon stellar
correspondences.
The land of Egypt was referred to by the Jews as the land of darkness, corresponding
to the dark signs of the zodiac, in which the Sun is prisoner before it passes over into
the summer signs. The last of these signs, Pisces, has astrological rule over slavery
and imprisonment, and the Israelites were captive in Egypt. The three constellations
picturing its decanates are Cepheus, the king of Ethiopia, who sits on a throne;
Cassiopeia, the queen of Ethiopia; and Andromeda, their daughter, who is chained to
a rock.
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The day anciently, as at present, commenced at midnight. When the Sun reaches the
Vernal Equinox and first touches the Lamb it requires about six hours after midnight
before it rises. Those sections of the zodiac through which it already has passed are of
the old order, the old cycle, and are thus among the first born. Also on that day before
the Sun appears, and after midnight, there are first born, rising through the house of
birth to appear above the horizon ahead of the Sun, Capricorn, the goat; Equuleus, the
horse; Pegasus, the winged horse; the king; the queen; and their captive daughter. Yet
these all belong to that part of the celestial circle cut off by the passover into Aries.
Aries is a militant sign, and thus the Bible relates, "And it came to pass that at
midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of
Pharaoh that sat on the throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the
dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle."
Exodus gives the rules to be observed during the passover ceremonies. No leaven
bread was permitted in the house for a period of seven days, leaven being the symbol
of impurity and pollution. At the feast the Lamb could not be eaten raw, nor sodden
with water, but must be roasted; for Aries is a fiery sign. And it must be eaten with
bitter herbs, to indicate the new growth and that the transition from physical life is not
without discomfort. To show that the transition should be complete, avoiding
earthbound conditions, any that remained in the morning must be cremated.
The Lamb to be used at the passover ceremony must be without blemish, in the first
year of its life, and when slain, its blood was to be daubed on the lintel and two side
posts of the door to the house. Thousands of doorways, formed of huge stones, where
no houses have been, remain in various parts of the world where erected by
prehistoric people. On top of two or more upright pillars, there is placed a huge slab
of rock to indicate a plane above the earth, that is, a plane of life where people
consciously dwell and perform their activities after they have passed through that
doorway which commonly we call death.
The feast was to be attended, "with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and
your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste."
The Jews who attended as thus instructed were plainly prepared to go places and do
things. The daubing of the lintels with the blood of a Lamb portrays in universal
symbolism the belief of those who originated the ceremony that we enter physical
life through a doorway of pain and suffering, and that we take our departure to the
next life through another doorway no less difficult. Yet because the blood used is that
of the animal by which birth and happier days are represented, it also expresses the
conviction that the new life will be an improvement over the one from which the
passover has been made.
In a still broader sense the passover of the year has its counterpart in the precessional
cycle. But instead of the Sun passing over the Vernal Equinox, the boundary between
sections of the stellar circle does the passing. Thus have we now passed over into the
Aquarian Age.
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Pisces, the sign from which the world is passing, rules not merely imprisonment and
restrictions, but crime and its punishment. It gave us a heaven which to most would
be nothing more than a prison, and it taught us the doctrine of everlasting torment in
hell.
With one hand Aquarius measures the influence of the stars, and with the other pours
down his blessings. Right now the world is enduring the pangs of its birth into a
heaven of new knowledge. The blood on the doorposts are but the incidents of this
passing.
Many truths this new Aquarian Age will unfold. But none perhaps, of greater import
to the human race that a detailed knowledge of conditions in the after life, of the best
training here to fit the individual for his eventual responsibilities there, and the
establishment of a non-restricted system of communication between those who live
and function on the different planes.
Aries has been given the Key-phrase, I Am, on account of those
born under this influence, more than other people, viewing things
from the standpoint of Individual survival and expression. Because
of this, because they are pioneers who venture into new lands, and
because it is here that the transition symbolically takes place, it is
eminently fitting that the ancients associated the Ram with their
teachings of survival. The text they sought to convey by Aries has
been expressed by the poet:
"There is no death! What seems so is transition:
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian
Whose portal we call death."
The Drama of the Triangle
—If one has ever watched an old ram lead his flock, the use of the Ram to head the
procession of constellations will call for no further explanation. The section covered
by Aries, however, embraces a full 30 degrees, and is divided into three sub-sections,
called decanates, of 10 degrees, each having a distinct influence, which calls for a
distinct spiritual teaching, or text, of its own. And until a little thought is given to the
matter it is not so obvious why the very first 10 degrees of the zodiac should be
represented, not by some heroic figure like Perseus or Hercules, but by something as
prosaic and unromantic as the diagram of a triangle.
Figure 2-1
First Decanate of Aries
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Yet as each of the other constellations of the 48 was carefully chosen and given its
particular place where best it would convey specific information, we must conclude
that the placing of a triangle at the beginning of the circle of decanates was not due to
lack of more glamorous figures, but was prompted by the necessity of conveying
some profound meaning.
Universal symbolism, a language which does not change with age nor race nor clime,
is based upon common human experience. And as human nature in its essentials
changes but little with the ages, our first response to the word triangle is probably that
of bygone times. The domestic triangle is a favorite plot of stage and story, and a
never-ending source of news headlines and neighborhood gossip. But in its more
universal application just what does such a triangle imply?
Essentially, even as the green coloring matter in leaves in the presence of sunlight
exerts so strong an attraction for the atoms of carbon in the air that they desert the
oxygen atoms, with which they have been united as carbon dioxide, to enter a new
partnership with atoms of the leafy structure; so does a domestic triangle embrace
two forces acting upon a single center, yet pulling in a different direction.
The three sides of the constellated triangle express, better than anything of which I
can think, two energies of different polarity, that is, with a different type of motion,
united, and the result of that union.
While such a domestic triangle as has been mentioned, suggested by its drama quite
as much as by the frequency of its occurrence, is indicated by the starry trine, there is
another domestic triangle of still more common occurrence. Father, mother, child,
are portrayed in the heavens, have positions of honor on both the tarot and the
common playing cards, and represent the means by which nature reproduces and
perpetuates the species.
Thus the domestic triangle, suggested by the trine of heaven, upon reflection reveals
to us that the interaction of two forces, the diverse pull of polarity, has a potency in
either of two directions: It may either build up or tear down, be devoted to creation
and construction, or turned into channels which disrupt and destroy.
Although our physical lives are entirely dependent upon such constructive use of
carbon taken from the air by leaves, all food coming to us either directly from the
vegetable world or indirectly through other animals that have so obtained it, I believe
we should seek in antiquity for the reason that the triangle, thus revealed as
all-important, should have been placed at the very beginning of the zodiac.
Let us, then, take the story which has come down to us from the remote past which
serves as commentary to the first pictograph in the decanate circle. We might well
suppose that the start of the starry circle would find explanation at the
commencement of some sacred work. Let me, therefore, quote the first three verses
of the Bible:
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"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without
form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters. And God said. Let there be light: and there was
light."
Great scientific learning is possessed at the present day. But with it all no better nor
more scientific description of the bringing into existence of the material universe has
ever offered. Out in the infinite spaces, Millikan believes matter is being created, and
Jeans believes matter is being destroyed; as revealed by the terrific energy released in
the formation of the cosmic ray.
Many scientists hold that stresses in the ether shear out right-hand and left-hand
spirals of motion which are positive and negative charges of electricity such as,
according to Millikan and Jeans, form the protons and electrons of matter which out
in space is being created or destroyed. It is the same kind of matter of which our world
is composed.
Substituting the ether of science for heaven and the matter sheared out of it for the
earth, and we possess two sides of the constellated triangle, and a Bible description of
the beginning of physical existence which at every point is parallel to that offered by
material science.
Until there was the stress of two forces, strains pulling the ether in diverse direction,
our men of science say that existence was without form and void; and as light is a
particular motion in the ether, there was darkness everywhere.
Cosmic rays, resulting from the creation or destruction of matter, are invisible, as are
many other waves in the ether, and thus even when ether and matter, as heaven and
earth, were given existence, darkness may still have accompanied these waves;
moving upon the face of the deep.
Nevertheless, this interaction, or polarity, generates movement; in fact, no
movement, physical, mental or spiritual, ever takes place apart from the union of
positive and negative potencies. Thus whether visible or not, when heaven and earth,
positive and negative, ether and matter are present, there is action, which, as it is
chiefly wave-like and not understood as to its exact nature, is well described as the
Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters and the third side of the universal
triangle.
When, however, this energy reaches an intensity that causes the electrons revolving
in given orbits about the nucleus of an atom, to make big jumps from their
accustomed orbits to other paths, there is a spilling out of energy into the surrounding
ether which sets up those wave-frequencies that we see, and call light. Light,
therefore, while not the only product of the first interaction of positive and negative
forces that divided ether from matter, heaven from earth, was a product that is of
paramount importance to human life. As previously indicated, all the food we eat is
manufactured by the green leaves of plants, and only in the presence of light.
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To trace the universal application of this creative principle would be to encompass
the entire realm of science, philosophy and the innumerable relations of life; for the
first factor leading to every result is the union of the other two sides of the triangle.
As we are interested in the signs, decanates and constellations, let us consider how
they are located and measured; by triangles, of course. Distances along the zodiacal
circle from the Vernal Equinox, and distances north and south of the celestial
equator, in fact, all distances considered in astrology, are measured and expressed in
degrees of arc.
Such an arc is really one side of a triangle, the other two sides being the lines
extending from its ends and meeting at the point of observation. The number of
degrees east or west, north or south, either in the sky or on the surface of the earth, is
merely an expression of the angle between the two lines which extend to the
extremities of the third side of the triangle, which is an arc.
The science of spherical geometry and the science of trigonometry were both
developed in olden times, and made skilled use of by Hipparchus before the Christian
era, to plot the stars and constellations and measure the relations of the planets, each
to the other.
The first measurements of time, and also of the positions of the Sun, were made by
shadows cast by a stake upon the ground. By such shadows recorded at noon on the
longest day and the shortest day of the year, the Chinese, in 1100 B.C. ascertained the
inclination of the earth to the ecliptic. The stake and the shadow on the ground
formed the sides of a right-angled triangle, the hypotenuse being the line from the top
of the stake to the end of the shadow. Measuring this angle at the two specified dates,
and dividing by two, gave them the angular distance north and south of the equator of
the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn.
The astrolabe was invented to measure the angular elevation of stars and other bodies
which do not cast a shadow which can be measured. And as an astrolable was a
clumsy thing to use aboard a rolling ship, in rather modern times the sextant was
developed from it as chief aid to navigation.
Thus it is that triangulation enters now into all surveying on the earth, and all plotting
of the heavens; and any mariner who would venture far from land without an
instrument by which through the use of triangulation based on his observation of Sun
or Moon or stars he can locate his latitude, would be deemed mad.
The measurement of angles—triangulation—is not merely the first step in
astronomical knowledge and astrological practice, but the importance of the trinity at
the beginning of everything has been recognized by all the great religions of the
world: Father, Son and Holy Ghost of Christendom; Brahma Vishnu and Siva of the
Hindus; Osiris, Isis and Horus of ancient Egypt.
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Creation involves a trinity, as also does destruction. It is only when the union of
contending or divergent factions is properly directed that we attain true progress.
Either in our mental conceptions or in our political systems, there must be some
destruction of the old, worn tissues, to give place for the sound and new. Yet if the old
is destroyed too swiftly and completely, there is insufficient power for recovery.
Those who are born from March 21 to March 31, while the Sun is in the decanate
pictured by Triangulum, are distinguished for their Activity. And the starry triangle
itself sets forth in its own symbolical language the text: All Life, Thought and
Action Are the Product of the Union of Positive and Negative Potencies.
The Fountain of Eternal
Youth
—As the first 30 degrees of the zodiac are pictured by a Ram to denote that they relate
to creative energies, we may be sure, as already we have found in relation to the
domestic trine, that the other two decanates also have to do with the creative trinity.
We find the Leo-decanate to be pictured by a river; the significance of which. I
believe, is clearly set forth in the second verse of the Bible; for as the land can bring
forth only when united to water, so in the story of creation, as soon as heaven and
earth were manifest, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. That is,
water is used immediately, even while the earth was without form and void, to
symbolize the medium, or agent, through which the Spirit of God accomplished His
purpose.
Now what is this thing in human life having a wave-like motion which is essential, as
water is to parched earth, to its production ? The zodiac quickly gives us the clue; for
the starry river pictures a decanate having a sub-influence of Leo, which in a natural
birth-chart rules pleasures, love-affairs, entertainment and children. Probably,
therefore, the river is affected by all of these things.
The most characteristic factor common to enjoyment, love, and the production and
care of children is emotion. The Key-word for the watery signs of the zodiac is
emotion, and water, from time immemorial, has been used as the universal symbol of
those mental states which cause a ripple of the nervous system, as the surface of a
pond is stirred by a summer breeze. Our river Eridanus, however, in which the bestial
Cetus dabbles his paws, and on the bank of which brave Orion struggles with the
mighty Bull, is a particular kind of water. It is not just any pond, nor is it a raging
torrent. It is emotion, but not of the Passive, sluggish kind; nor yet is it torrid passion.
This river is deep, strong of current, and ample wide. For more details concerning it,
let us turn to the rivers of tradition.
Across the black waters of the river Styx, the Greeks were wont to have Charon ferry
the souls of their dead; while in Egypt the boat of the Sun transported them to the
judgment seat of Osiris. Thus is the river quite definitely associated in one of its
functions with the passing over so aptly symbolized by the beginning of Aries.
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Just what part this river—picturing the decanate where the Sun, in whose boat the
soul is said to depart, has its highest influence plays in that after life, and how it
determines the plane of man's earthly endeavors, sacred literature reveals quite fully
in either of two stories; one from the Bible and the other from the Greeks. But as
already, with no aid from these, it has become apparent that our river relates to the
emotions, let us first consider their chief influence upon human life.
Ponce de Leon might have saved himself much travel in search of this same fountain
of eternal youth, so aptly pictured by the river in the sky, had he but known about his
endocrine glands, and the varied response of their secretions to the emotions. Minute
chemical messengers, secreted into the blood, burn up the life in fits of rage, starve
the organs in fear and melancholy, and add youth and vigor at the behest, not of
passion, but of unselfish lore.
Endocrinology has made it plain just how gross desires and ignoble delights add
poison to the system; just how, also, the tender feeling of a mother for her babe, or the
compassion which prompts the aid of those in distress, tones up the structure of the
physical cells, conferring beauty, strength, and years of life. Here, however, even
more than with the welfare of the body, are we intent upon discovering those laws
which rule the fortune and the station of the individual, now and hereafter.
That finer body of man, his astral form, the energies of which, as may be proved by
progressed aspects and his birth-chart, determine not only his abilities but also each
event that comes into his life, is thought-built. His character is composed of thought.
cells derived from his experiences, and these thought-cells have been compounded
of such grades of four-dimensional substance as correspond to the feelings and
desires coincident with their formation. They have been compounded also in
association with pleasure or pain, and to the extent they feel discord do they attract
misfortune into the life, and to the extent they feel pleasure do they work to bring
good fortune.
Nor is this Law of Affinity confined in its operation to the physical plane. The
thought-built body is the one that persists beyond the tomb. The basic vibratory rate
of the character, in that after life, determines the plane, or level, to which it moves. In
fact, here or hereafter, it; can neither rise above nor go below its basic vibratory level
except as some finer emotional state temporarily raises its vibrations, or as through
baser inclinations it lowers them to inferior strata.
In that after life, even more than here, the environment to which an individual is
attracted is determined by his strong desires. Emotion not only expresses, but
nourishes and fattens, kindred inclinations.
Man's etheric body, and the currents which flow over his nerves, as well as his astral
form, are receptive to vibratory rates of similar tone coming from without. Thoughts
of sufficient potency to engender feeling tune the etheric forces in on planetary
energies of similar kind. Thus, not only is man a radio receiving set, but his emotions
turn the dial to the program which he receives.
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Furthermore, again considering the domestic triangle with which we started on our
tour of the decanates, when man and woman are joined in the pure affection of family
life, there is a blend of mental and etheric forces, a stream of energy, flowing from
each to the other. A complete circuit is formed between them, an invisible river,
which transfers without need of speech, the thoughts and inward aspirations.
Those thus united by the astral and etheric flow pictured as Eridanus are said to be in
rapport. And their ability to pick up invisible energies of corresponding quality in
volume is immeasurably increased. It becomes a potent means, therefore, of lifting
them to greater heights, or misused, is equally powerful in their own destruction.
The Greeks relate that Phryxus and Helle were the children of Nephele, queen of
Thebes. As the only queen in the sky is Cassiopeia, picturing the last decanate of the
emotional sign Pisces, these children must be represented, not by Andromeda
chained to a rock, but by two fish. This is further borne out by the ribbon of love
uniting them, as the etheric river Eridanus binds together through affectional power.
These children were persecuted by their stepmother Ino, pictured directly across the
zodiac as Virgo, the critical woman. To escape her faultfinding and more serious
intentions, the queen provided the youngsters with a Ram which was to transport
them through the sky to Colchis.
The Ram rose high in the air, bearing on its back, even as can be seen now on any
winter evening, the two children; for Pisces rises just above Aries. Phryxus kept his
seat and reached his destination in safety. But so high did Aries soar, and so swiftly
did he move, that Helle became giddy and fell off, to meet a tragic death in that stream
now called the Dardanelles, but renowned in song and story, thus named because of
the event just related, as the Hellespont.
The Ram, universal symbol of creative energy, carries those in safety who are
level-headed enough not to meddle with rousing the kundalini, or with any one of the
abnormal methods by which energies are engendered that once set in motion, more
frequently than not, get beyond control. Nor does it offer any menace to those who
truly live in chastity. But to those who stimulate and then repress, in monastic life or
out of it, desires which normally find expression in founding a family, as there is now
a vast psychoanalytic literature to prove, the fate of Helle offers warning.
Of similar purport, and also indicating the survival values in the after-life, of
properly cultivated emotions, is a story of passing over the Jordan as retained in the
twelfth chapter of the Book of Judges.
There had been a fight, and the Gileadites had taken possession of the river crossings.
Survivors of their vanquished foes, the Ephraimites, sought to escape through
fording the river; and to do so claimed to be men of their own troops. Whereupon, to
determine if this were so, they were required to pronounce the word Shibboleth. This
they could not do if they were Ephraimites, as they were unable to sound the H,
speaking it Sibboleth.
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This H, inability to pronounce which doomed the Ephraimites to be slain, is the
second syllable in the divine word, and its omission denoted to those familiar with its
significance, that the feminine principle, which constitutes one important factor m
the trinity when its action is constructive, was missing. In the language of symbolism
it was the lack of the softer, finer, kinder, and sympathetic emotional qualities which
betrayed the Ephraimites, and prevented their crossing the river in safety.
In practical astrology it is found that the Sun exerts its finest power from April 1 to
April 11
, while in the Leo-decanate of Aries, long recognized as the region of its
exaltation. And it was to portray that quality in human life which more than any other
is able to lift the soul to lofty heights, give youth to the body, and assure immortality
in the realms of the beyond, that the ancients sought a fitting symbol.
The Key-word of the decanate is Exaltation; and it would be difficult to find a symbol
which so clearly indicates the means to attain this end as does the celestial river.
Eridanus, to those who read its purport, sets forth this text: The Fountain of
Immortal Life Springs From Man's Emotional Nature; the Vibrations of
Exalted Love Having a Rate Sufficiently Frequent to Affect Spiritual Substance
and Build a Spiritual Body.
Knight Errant of the
Zodiac
—Only since the World War, when bureaus were established to create a public
opinion favorable to certain ends regardless of their merit, has the term Propaganda,
which is the Key-word for the last decanate of Aries, fallen into some disrepute. Its
original meaning was that of an organization by which some doctrine or system of
principles could be disseminated.
People born from April 11 to April 21 are observed to have a spontaneous
enthusiasm for ideas and plans which interest them, and a special ability to impart
similar enthusiasm to others. It is not enough for them to believe some doctrine to be
worth while; they must also broadcast it to the ends of the earth. And they are as quick
to attack falsehood and corruption as they are to strive for world-wide recognition of
such truths as they have found.
The ninth house of a birth-chart, over which Sagittarius has natural rule, governs long
journeys and air travel; also teaching, lecturing, preaching, publishing, radio
broadcasting, and all other means by which opinions are expressed to others. The
Sagittarius decanate of Aries, therefore, relates somewhat to such things. Thought,
which is thus expressed, is so swift that speeding on the wings of thought has become
a current literary phrase, conveying the same idea that the ancients did when they
placed wings on the feet of Mercury and Perseus.
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In addition to wings on his feet, which Greek legend says were furnished by Mercury,
the ruler of thought, Perseus is equipped with a sword, the tip of which is as close to
the line which cuts off the old circle and starts the new as it can be and yet follow
Triangulum and Eridanus where their outlines are farthest west in longitude. You
will remember that David of the Bible had no sword, but that he used one in victory to
sever the head—which is ruled by Aries— from the body of the fallen Goliath.
The severed head which constellated Perseus holds is not that of the biblical
personification of greed and selfishness, but that of the Gorgon Medusa. In the Bible
story it was Goliath who wore the helmet, now seen on the champion of truth and
righteousness. Also a famous shield went before Goliath; but in the Greek story is
used by heroic Perseus, and is not pictured in the heavens.
To understand these stories of David and Perseus it must be recognized that the
ancients knew what modern astrologers grant, that people born with the last
Decanate of Aries dominant are natural champions in the cause of truth and ever
fighting to destroy greed, licentiousness, and those materialistic trends which fasten
shackles on the soul.
In both stories a stone appears, one the smooth white pebble of scientific truth, of
material knowledge completely understood, which vanquishes selfishness through
the realization that its crystallizing power so narrows the field of accomplishment
that its own ends are defeated. The gross, the bestial, the greediness which seeks its
own pleasure and welfare only, as typified by Goliath, when seen in the light of
careful reflection, are not the way even to the highest material pleasures. Enjoyment
of life, even physical enjoyment, is dependent upon appreciation of quality. It is
dependent upon a responsiveness to the aspirations of others, and a progress toward
refinement, both of which are denied by impervious selfishness.
This aspect of the matter, and that of the influence of licentious thought to coarsen
and harden, is made quite plain in the legend of the Medusa, whose hair was serpents,
so awful in appearance that whosoever looked upon her was immediately turned to
stone.
Perseus, picturing the Jupiter-decanate of Aries, was the favorite of Minerva, a
goddess who, as personifying the mental rather than the sporting side of Jupiter's
dual sign, sprang without a mother, full-armored, from the brow of this Sagittarian
ruler.
Minerva is mentioned only because, when Perseus decided to rid the world of the
wicked Medusa, she furnished him with a shield so highly polished that he could
approach the lascivious monster without actually looking at her. Had he glanced
directly at her dread countenance, he, as had so many others, should have been turned
to stone. But the shield of Minerva, the mirror of the higher mind, gave him the
reflection of this seducer of men, so that, while she slept he was able to make a
stealthy approach and sever the terrifying head from her body.
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No greater wisdom was ever uttered in reference to character building than is thus
dramatically presented. Impure thoughts and unworthy desires not only harden the
individual, but they thrive and prosper to the extent attention is paid to them.
There is but one way to destroy them, the way employed by Perseus; and that is to
become so interested in something else that the attention is riveted to it—as his gaze
was fixed on the mirror of his shield —so persistently that there is no room for the
image of the undesirable to find its way into the field of vision.
When we think about a thing we create it in the astral world. Way back in Bible times
it was said, that which we fear shall come upon us, and modern psychology is in full
agreement with this view. To fear a thing is to keep its image before the mind and, by
the accompanying emotion, to nourish it.
But whether the image is vicious or beneficial, destructive or constructive, the
energy added to it by whatever emotion is present—fear, anger, hatred, joy,
happiness, affection—sets the thought cells within the astral body related to this
department of life to working from the four-dimensional plane to attract that thing
into the life. If, therefore, the thing be detrimental, find other occupation for the
vision of the mind.
This same principle also must be followed if there is to be success in building better
habit-systems, if there is to be success in avoiding the inimical thoughts of others,
and in combating undesirable psychic forces. The more a habit is thought about, and
the greater the emotion felt when so thinking, the more strongly does it become
impressed upon the unconscious mind. Bad habits can be cured only through the
substitution of beneficial ones which crowd them from the life.
Not all of this Medusa story has been told; only that which relates to mental images
and the desires of physical life. She was one of three Gorgon sisters, and when she
was slain there was danger of reprisal. Perseus was able to escape them, however, by
the use of the helmet shown in the constellation, which made him invisible.
This helmet had been provided by Pluto, ruler of the underworld; the planet now
assigned to govern the eighth house of a natural birth-chart, the house which rules all
influences from, and relations to, the dead. More than any other planet its influence is
such as to enable the individual to tune his vibrations, radio fashion, to influences
from the invisible world.
Those who have difficulties of a psychic nature, who have tampered unwisely with
the invisible world, are here instructed by the wisdom of the past, as handed down
through universal symbolism, in the best method of escaping from these remaining
Gorgon sisters.
When through strong desire, we tune ourselves quite completely to one frequency of
vibratory rates, this automatically cuts off others. When the dial of a radio set is tuned
to pick up the program broadcast by one station, this eliminates the reception of
programs which are broadcast over frequencies quite dissimilar. Thus it is, as proved
by the experience of many people, that the best way to escape an undesirable psychic
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influence is not to fight it, which tunes the finer body to receive its rates, but to wear
the helmet of Pluto, and become invisible and unaffected by its power, through
completely and persistently tuning in on some dissimilar and constructive interest.
True to the Key-word of the pictured decanate, Perseus was a glamorous hero who
felt it necessary to help the world along. Escaping from the remaining Gorgon sisters,
and triumphantly bearing the severed Medusa's head, he flew high through the air; an
aviation exploit which led him to the discovery of a princess in distress.
Like many mothers now Cassiopeia was a slave to pride and station. She wished to be
the envy of all the other women in the world. And in her desire to outdo them she
boasts of her beauty, claiming to be of greater charm than Juno and the Nereides,
nymphs of the sea. This so angers Neptune—who rules the sign in which the
decanates pictured by Cassiopeia and Andromeda are found—that he has her
daughter, Andromeda, chained to a rock in the sea for the monster Cetus to devour.
But before this fearsome human sacrifice is completed, Perseus, flying high
overhead after his conquest of the Medusa, spies the fair maiden in distress, dashes to
the rescue, vanquishes the monster of the sea, releases her, and carries her off in
happy marriage.
We will not here dwell upon the release of the human soul from the blind beliefs of
the Piscean Age through the dissemination of correct information. Nor is it necessary
to comment upon the power of undue attachment to any material thing to bind the
soul to earth, and prevent its progress, both here and immediately after death.
But again it should be pointed out that the character of the individual is the sum total
of his experiences stored in the thought-cells of his finer body. No one can change
these for him; no one, therefore, except himself, can slay the beast within nor
overcome the noxious influence of creeping slimy thought, nor release the soul from
other bondage.
The exploits of Perseus each, in symbolical language, conveys an important
message; but most important of all, he accomplished the work himself. The leading
text thus portrayed, therefore is: There is No Vicarious Atonement. Each Soul is a
Responsible Being, Working Out its Own Deliverance from the Thralldom
Inherited from Ancestry and Forced Upon It by Environment
.