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Chapter 8
The Marriage in Heaven
In the Judgment Day
-- Sacred literature from various lands makes us familiar with the idea of a day of
judgment on which the kindlier deeds are weighed against those harsh to determine
the rewards of the soul in the after-life. Almost every religion teaches that in
proportion to man's adherence to its moral code shall his future be free from
tribulation.
To picture in the sky this process of weighing the good against the evil, no more
easily recognized symbol could be found than the Scales. But in addition to the
purpose of their use, the Scales also present to view two dissimilar entities united by a
common purpose; two spirits, as it were, represented by the circular pans, each
dangling free to move in its independent orbit, yet both united by the beam to which
they are attached. The Scales, therefore, is also a most fitting universal symbol of
marriage. Those who so carefully traced the constellated glories in the sky to make
this universal symbolism still more obvious and complete, would also seek to place
the picture in such relation to the zodiac that the position of the Sun at the point so
designated, should both indicate a union representing marriage and a balance of two
nearly equal, but divergent forces.
The most familiar union, and the most familiar balance between contending forces,
are night and day. So common to our lives are they that they space and regulate the
hours of our endeavor. We awaken and we sleep at their behest. Light becomes a
symbol of life and activity, and darkness of sleep or death.
Those days in which the hours of darkness exceed the hours of light may well,
therefore, be placed in one pan of the annual scales, and those in which the hours of
light preponderate may fill the other. Thus day and night are weighed in Libra's
Scales; and the Autumnal Equinox marks the point where summer and winter signs
are married, one-half the zodiac balanced against the other.
The Sun thus moves out of the harvest sign where the grain was cut, into the place
where it shall be valued. The Produce of the fruitful period of the year is weighed, and
the wholesome kernels are separated from the chaff. Such estimating of its worth,
either of crops from the field or those from the span of life, most fittingly takes place
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when the vital forces, as symbolized by the Sun, have succumbed to those of cold and
darkness.
The Jewish people, retaining the old time significance of this period of the
year--although their calendar in modern times has been permitted somewhat to go
astray--still honor the passing of the Sun each year into the sign of the Scales. This
custom dates back to Leviticus 24, where it is commanded "Speak unto the Children
of Israel, saying, In the seventh month in the first day of the month, shall ye have a
Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, and holy convocation." The year, of
course, began with the Vernal Equinox, and Rosh-ha-Shanah is thus held the first of
Tishri, or Libra.
As the day is still religiously observed, a quotation from the Jewish Encyclopedia in
reference to its significance will not be amiss:
"Rosh-ha-Shanah is the most important judgment day, in which all the inhabitants of
the world pass for judgment before the creator as sheep pass for examination before
the shepherd. Three books of accounts are opened on Rosh-ha-Shanah wherein the
fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of the intermediate class are recorded.
The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed, and are sealed `to live.' The
middle class are allowed a respite of ten days till Yom Kippur to repent and become
righteous; the wicked are blotted out of the book of the living."
One of the most important qualities of the human mind is the ability to weigh
evidence and from a comparison of diverse factors to pass sound judgment. Every
day of our lives we are called upon to make minor decisions, if of no greater
importance than the amount and kind of food to be eaten, and on rare occasions to
pass judgment which affects the fate of human lives.
In racial tradition, one man above all others stands out as the symbol of unusual
wisdom. As wise as Solomon, has come to express the very essence of
discrimination; and while this Jewish king exhibited the keenness of his mind on
many another occasion, it was a certain decision he rendered which first proclaimed
that the wisdom of God was in him. It related to two contending women who stood
before him for judgment.
Without doubt this is the most famous trial in the whole of human history.
To understand its celestial significance it must be recalled that the sign of the harvest,
Virgo, pictures an unmarried woman, and that she stands in the sky immediately
before the Scales where judgment must be passed. Where the Sun passes from Virgo
into the sign of the Scales, as previously indicated, is where the wheat is separated
from the chaff and the value of the harvest ascertained.
Thus were there brought before Solomon two unmarried women, each of whom,
nevertheless, had had a child. Yet as in threshing there is both sound wheat and
worthless chaff, so was the harvest, or child, of one woman alive, and the child of the
other woman dead.
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According to the story related to Solomon, the two women lived together in one
house which certainly must have been the case if both were phases of Virgo--and a
child was born to each, the difference in the children's ages being but a matter of
three days. Through the carelessness of one woman, the life of her child was crushed
out in the darkness. This also is significant; for it is at this point that the Sun each year
dies through the increasing weight of night.
One woman claimed it was the other woman's child who died, and that the other
woman arose at midnight and finding her child dead, had stealthily removed the
living child from the first woman's bosom, and replaced it with the child that had
died. But when the light came in the morning, the woman who had remained asleep,
finding the child in her arms dead, also perceived that it was not her own, but the child
of her companion in the house.
This story and this accusation the other woman stoutly denied; and both women
loudly proclaimed the living harvest as her own. Thus stood they before King
Solomon, each disputing the right of the other to the infant.
Summer and winter are divided, one from the other, not only at Libra, but also at
Aries; an invisible line, called a colure, cutting the sky between the Vernal Equinox
and the Equinox of Fall. The first of Aries marks the place where days and nights are
equal in the spring, and the Scales marks where they are equal in the fall. And the
sword held in the hand of Perseus has its tip almost on the line right across the sky
from the judgment seat.
This militant sword of Aries often is used as the symbol of cutting asunder of the
celestial circle in spring, just as the cross as frequently is used to signify the waning
strength of the Sun in fall; and, after all, even as summer and winter are but inversions
of the relation of night to day, so also in its form does a sword present the inversion of
a cross.
Solomon, therefore, called for a sword to be brought to him and commanded, after
the manner in which the equinoctial colure divides the zodiac at the point marked by
the Scales, that the living child should be divided in two, one half to be given to one
woman and the other half to the other.
To this procedure one woman readily agreed, but the other would not consent. Virgo,
in human anatomy, rules the bowels, and the Bible states: "Then spake the woman
whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and
she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it."
When she had said this, Solomon at once perceived that she was the real mother of the
child, and the child was not slain, but awarded to her.
Libra is the home sign of Venus, the planet of love; and in his wisdom, Solomon
weighed the love of the women who came before him, and, convinced that love seeks
to preserve the object of its affection and not destroy, passed judgment accordingly.
A life was not sacrificed, but delivered to its rightful owner.
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It was this same doctrine that love lies at the foundation of life, here and hereafter,
and that the harvest of years must eventually be judged on the basis of kindness and
compassion, that in later days was set forth by the Nazarene as the commandment to
his followers to love one another.
Turning now from the teaching in reference to judgment, it should be noted that in the
marriage of summer and winter the forces are not exactly equal; for each year there
are seven more days of preponderating light than of preponderating darkness. Evil
certainly is present in the world, but if the celestial correspondence holds true, it is
not of equal strength with the good. Like summer and winter, they may be closely
balanced in power, but if we could look close enough we should find that in the long
run the good has a little advantage, and that consequently the world does make
spiritual progress.
And followed far enough, this doctrine set forth in the starry symbolism of the Scales,
where the Sun may be found each year from September 23 to October 23, reveals
the use of evil, as well as signifying the paramount importance of love in human life.
The Key-phrase of this section of the sky is, I Balance. Those then born find a
harmonious partnership especially important; and because in such a marriage
spiritual qualities are engendered it gives this text: Not By One Alone May the
Highest of All Be Reached, But By Two United Souls Who Are Exalted By the
Sweet Reverberations of Holy Love
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Wisdom and the Serpent
Fire
--At the side of Virgo, the celestial Eve, the wise men of the east pictured the serpent,
which is reputed to have tempted her. Virgo joins Libra, the sign of marriage, and
Serpens portrays the marriage-decanate of this marriage sign, through which the Sun
moves each year from September 23 to October 3. It therefore represents, with a
more precise significance. that point in the heavenly circle where summer and winter
signs are joined in marriage.
When positive and negative forces thus fuse and blend, yet at the same time their
opposite pull is not exactly balanced. action results which takes the spiral form.
Because such a spiral does not return upon itself, as does a circle, it is the typical
motion of evolution.
Thus it is that when the 179 days of winter darkness are married to the 186 days of
summer light, the result is not a perfect equilibrium between ignorance and
knowledge, but a spiral which ever rises, even though slowly, away from darkness
and toward more light, much as the front spiral formed by Serpens in the sky lifts its
head to a plane above its body.
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Because of its wave-like motion of travel, its coiling, and its phallic significance, the
snake has been used throughout the world as the symbol of virile power and creative
action. Hence it came to be the emblem of the Sun, the source of such creative energy.
Instead of using the head of a lion for the sign Leo, therefore, its accepted
astronomical hieroglyphic is simply a conventionalized snake.
This serpent of the first decanate of the marriage sign, however, expresses something
more than virility and desire; for near its head, and another near its tail, may be seen
loops which present to view the spiral. It is indicated, therefore, that the creative
powers have been used, or enter into a combination, to produce a form which tends to
progress, or is retrogressive.
At all times the surface of the earth presents a marriage of light and shadow, one half
being in the sunshine and the other half in night. Yet these areas of light and shadow
are not constant, but move as the earth turns on its axis. Furthermore, due to the
inclination of the earth's equator to the apparent path of the Sun, the lighted half of
the surface of the earth moves to the northward half the year, and to the southward the
other half, the perpendicular Sun tracing the outline of that spiral to which we owe the
seasons.
Sun and Moon among the orbs are typical of the Father and Mother principle. While
the Moon revolves around the earth, the earth revolves around the Sun, making the
Moon's path not a circle, but a wavy line in form like that of Serpens in the sky. At
New Moon the Sun and Moon are united, and from thence on things of earth expand
and grow, the united Solar-Lunar energies working in the direction of progress, as
indicated by the higher plane held by the Serpent's head. From Full Moon to New,
having reached the region of divorce, things diminish and weaken, as indicated by
the tail of the snake crossing a higher level than its body.
That which happens in the sky also must happen on the earth: and the two halves of
the Moon's cycle in reference to her spouse, the Sun, represent two things common in
marriage. The product of the union may be a force, or evolutionary movement. which
carries the pair higher and higher in their spiritual aspirations and practical
endeavors. Such is pictured in the constellation by the loop near the Serpent's head,
which lifts it well above the body, where it is adjacent to the signs of light, the signs
which mark the warmth of summer. Or it may result disintegratively, in a movement
which carries them ever down to lower depths, as clearly shown by the loop far down
in winter, which gives supremacy to the Serpent's tail.
The Far East brings us a doctrine of the serpent fire, and it is to be regretted that it has
so greatly permeated our West, as many have suffered damage in trying to follow it.
In reality, it is one of the questionable oriental temple practices. But when in
Numbers 21, reference it made to fiery serpents, the obvious inference to be drawn is
that the people Moses led likewise had contacted this serpent fire doctrine, which
then as now was a common portion of the perverse temple practices of oriental
priests.
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The Israelites had journeyed from Mount Hor by way of the Red Sea, to make a
detour around the land of Edom, and were bitterly discouraged. The manna on which
they fed while wandering in this wilderness, because it fell from heaven, is symbol of
spiritual nutriment. As such it well represents the spiritual food husband and wife
feed each other in the form of loving thoughts and high ideals. It is thus in direct
contrast to the selfish purposes for which the oriental priests arouse and use the
serpent fire.
It would seem, therefore, as the story is given in the Bible, those led by Moses turned
away from love and kindness and adopted the perverse notions of another race.
"And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought
us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any
water: and our soul loatheth this light bread.
"And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and
much people of Israel died.
"Then in their dire extremity, they turned once again to Moses and begged his help.
"And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if
a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
Because brass is a marriage, or fusion between copper, ruled by Venus, and another
metal, the universal symbolism of many ancient lands made use of it to signify a
union based on love. The brazen serpent, therefore, which Moses raised upon a pole,
has the same significance as that other more precise scriptural passage; "Be ye
therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
It denotes that Moses taught his followers true wisdom in the use of the energies
generated in marriage, and made them aware of the importance of love as the guiding
principle, even as both doves and copper are under Venus' rule.
So long as they sought to rouse and use the serpent fire for the attainment of selfish
ambitions, they tuned in on the spiral loop pictured near the Serpent's tail; and it
carried them down to destruction and death. But when in wisdom they learned to
utilize the powers engendered by holy love for the attainment of lofty aspirations and
human betterment, they tuned in on the spiral loop pictured near the Serpent's head,
and it lifted them up, higher and ever higher, into those regions of spiritual life
denoted by the adjacent signs of summer.
The utilization of this love principle for the advancement of the race was an
important part of the Stellar Religion handed down from Atlantis and Mu which
found its way to various peoples. But perhaps no others gave it the supreme
importance as did the Maya of Mexico and Central America. As a dominant note of
architecture, to be found on bas relief and balustrade wherever jungle permits the
unearthing of a temple, there is to be found some representation of the feathered
serpent.
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Because birds fly above the earth, their feathers became the symbol of that which
belonged to the spiritual plane. Therefore to portray the thought expressed in the sky
by the loop near Serpent's head. the Maya adorned a snake with feathers. In such a
manner, even as did the brazen serpent raised on a pole above the sordid earth of the
wilderness, did they symbolize that the energies of marriage were to be devoted to
the development of spiritual powers and nobler characters; to indicate, that is, that
the Serpent moves in a higher, more idealistic realm.
In any marriage which is real, the closeness of companionship adjusts the vibratory
rates of each quite completely to the other. A condition is maintained which
commonly is called rapport, each, that is, tuned in upon the other. Thus do the
thoughts and desires flow freely back and forth, each feeding the mate with spiritual
food or spiritual poison.
In any form of mental treatment, the image held in the mind of the person sending the
thought is impressed upon the person receiving, and tends to make changes in the
pattern of his life and actions according to its design. This is the fundamental
principle in all forms of absent or other mental healing.
If, therefore, the image held in the mind of the mate is an ideal, embodying nobler,
more spiritual attributes, and this image is constantly vitalized by the emotional
energy of a tender and adoring love, it becomes the most powerful influence known
to develop, in the one thus treated, the spiritual attributes of character. And when
each, in marriage, thus holds the image of the other in higher states than this, the
spiritual evolution of both is vastly hastened and a high development of character
assured. This was the teaching of the feathered serpent.
But on the other hand, when married partners live in an attitude of finding fault, each
with the other: when bitterness and strife creep in, and their thoughts go forth in
resentment and discord, the one receiving the image thus vitalized is powerfully
influenced toward developing the obnoxious traits thus mirrored, and the
inharmonious forces injected into his finer form tend to disrupt and lead to failure and
moral dissolution.
As picturing the balance-decanate of the sign of the balances, Serpens relates to
marriage of opinions as well as to the marriage of people. Usually in any vital issue
the views of opposite factions are extreme. Usually also, where there is strong
contention, a compromise is more satisfactory than the triumph of either. This gives
to the decanate its Key-word, Policy, and leads to the text: In Matters of Philosophy
and in Matters of Action the True Course Usually Lies Somewhere Between
Advocated Extremes
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The Battle With the Dragon
--Krishna of India, according to the legends of that land, sought out and slew a
noisome dragon whose poisonous breath withered the crops, bred famine, and whose
movements through the countryside left death and destruction in its wake. In
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legendary Christendom it was St. George who played the role of valiant hero, and
after long and violent battle, succeeded in leaping on the back of the scaly monster
and driving his great two-handed sword straight through its wicked heart.
As Draco, this vicious creature from out the vastness of the past still is pictured in the
northern sky, winding its slimy length with a turn about the Pole Star as if to strangle
Truth, and with another turn about the ecliptic pole, in a mighty endeavor, it would
seem, to wrench the Sun from its more accustomed path. So fearsome is it to the sight
that nothing else is needed to convince it symbolizes nothing good; and this first
impression is further verified by the explanation set forth in Revelation, 20.
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, and having the key of the bottomless
pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent,
which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the
bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the
nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be
loosed a little season."
This word, Satan, is derived from Saturn, the planet having special affinity for loss
and sorrow, for evil and selfishness, for despair and desolation. It has its exaltation in
the Libra sign, of which the middle decanate is pictured by the starry Dragon, and
olden people held that his home domain was the bottomless pit, where his victims
stewed amid the smoke and heat of a never-ceasing fire of smoldering brimstone.
As it is a decanate of the sign of marriage which the Dragon pictures, it is quite
obvious that universal symbolism points to some destructive union, both in the sky
and on the earth, as the influence which the pictured reptile thus explains. Nor is its
heavenly significance far to seek; as not only in ancient times, but at the present day,
the ephemeris gives the positions of the Nodes of the Moon, which still more
commonly are called, the Dragon's Head and the Dragon's Tail.
The Moon in its orbit around the earth does not follow the same path which
apparently is taken by the Sun. This apparent path of the Sun is called the ecliptic.
The orbit of the Moon is at an angle of a little more than 5 degrees to the ecliptic, so
that even when the Sun and Moon are exactly in the same zodiacal degree, the same
east-west position, they may still be several degrees apart in a north-south direction.
As the diameter of the Sun or Moon is only about half a degree, the effect, so far as a
shadow is concerned, is as if an object were slightly west of a house in the morning,
but ten times the width of the house to the north or south of it.
The two points, or nodes, where the orbit of the Moon cuts the apparent orbit of the
Sun are called the Dragon's Head and the Dragon's Tail. When the Sun in the zodiac
is farther from the Dragon's Head or the Dragon's Tail than 13 degrees at the time of
Full Moon, the Moon can not be eclipsed: but when it is within 9 degrees of either of
these two places, a Lunar Eclipse must take place.
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When the Sun at New Moon, that is, when Sun and Moon are married, is farther than
19 degrees from the Dragon's Head or the Dragon's Tail, no eclipse can take place;
but when this union of Sun and Moon occurs within 15 degrees of either of these
Nodes, a Solar Eclipse is always present.
Thus it is that the relation of the Sun to the Dragon's Head or Tail determines whether
or not an eclipse takes place. And an eclipse, particularly an eclipse of the Sun,
indicates some disaster in the region where it is visible. Symbolically, the Sun is then
being devoured by the Dragon, or in case of a partial Eclipse, the Dragon gnaws at the
disc of the Sun; a symbolism that is still taken literally by, and produces terror in, the
more ignorant peoples of eastern lands.
In China, where the populace spend far more energy in ceremonies to prevent
misfortune than in observances to attract the good, the most dramatic spectacle of the
year is the pageant and play wherein the Dragon is met and finally vanquished. This
oriental version of the St. George episode is a gorgeous affair, rich in setting,
artistically presented.
As a precedent for the most approved of western plots, a fair damsel in distress
arouses the sympathy of the gathered throng. This meek and virtuous maiden arrayed
in loveliest silk, wears also decorations which proclaim her to be the goddess of the
Moon, and as such the spectators give her welcome.
Not long is her lovely presence upon the stage, however, before disaster threatens.
From his lurking place within the shadows, a huge and scaly monster writhes out; a
Dragon, exhaling fire. The smell of burning sulphur fills the air. The Moon goddess
flees in terror, but finds her retreat cut off. She is hemmed in, crowded into a corner,
and the vile reptile's jaws have opened to seize her, when, with a shout and a rush, the
hero comes upon the scene.
In raiment resplendent with glittering gems, he is dressed to take the part of the
refulgent Sun. The Sun god dashes to the rescue, and the monster thus attacked turns
its attention to him. The fumes stifle the hero, the smoke from the creature's nostrils
blind him, the fire scorches his cheeks and the hair on his head. Terror grips the hearts
of the spectators; for if the monster wins, the world is lost.
This demon from the pits of hell almost gets the hero down. The Moon goddess, from
the corner where in dread she crouches, utters an awful scream. and holds her
out-turned hand before her eyes to shut the too terrifying spectacle from her gaze!
The fate of the universe is weighed in the balance!
But no! The hero only slipped, he is not completely down. He recovers himself, and
with a mighty sidestep avoids the crushing weight, then vaults upon the scaly back
and drives home his great two-handed sword.
The Dragon is dead. The Sun god is triumphant. He gathers to himself the lovely
goddess of the Moon, marries her then and there, and they live happily ever after.
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No less seriously do the Hopi Indians of Arizona consider the influence of the
celestial Dragon. In their legends also, an eclipse is attributed to the Dragon
devouring Sun or Moon. And their snake dance is the traditional ritual by which,
among other things, the effect of a possible eclipse upon their crops can be avoided.
They believe, as astrologers do, that where the shadow of a solar eclipse falls, is apt to
be a region visited by pestilence, by catastrophe or by famine. And as their most
frequent calamity is crop failure due to drought, their chief ceremony is staged
particularly to prevent this evil.
A picture of the Hopi snake dance reveals that the reptile carried in the dancers'
mouth is in form the same as the symbol commonly used for the Dragon's Head or
Dragon's Tail. He does not hold it in his mouth while he dances to prove his bravery;
but to symbolize the eating of the Sun or Moon by the Dragon.
The agriculture tribe who further south in Arizona built that famed house of many
rooms, the pueblo of Casa Grande, also had a careful respect for the Dragon in the
sky. The Sun is in the Independence-decanate of Libra, pictured by this monster,
from October 3 to October 13. And a hole was bored, by this people, through the
many walls to the interior of the vast dwelling, so aligned that the rising Sun on
October 7, when in the Draco decanate, and again on March 7, when in the
Andromeda decanate, would shine through and cast its beams upon the central
sanctuary.
The union of Sun and Moon to ancient peoples was the symbol of the union of the
Ego and the Soul, that is, of mind and spirit. The Moon has ever been the symbol of
the indwelling soul. The Dragon, on the other hand, represents the environmental
forces which tend to develop the reptilian traits of character, the cruel instincts and
ruthless selfishness which shut out the light of spirit, and thus eclipse the soul. To the
extent, therefore, an eclipse is total does it present a spectacle representing the soul or
spirit devoured and destroyed by the powers of darkness associated with the struggle
with physical environment.
We perceive now why Yom Kippur, which is ten days after Rosh-ha-Shanah, and
thus when the Sun enters the Draco-decanate, is the most sacred of Jewish
observances. Kippur means the atonement, the setting at one, the reconciliation of
two parties, just as Sun and Moon are reconciled and united as one at New Moon,
unless an eclipse is present. When there is an eclipse the light, or good, is devoured by
darkness, or evil. This signifies the destruction of the soul, unless the powers of
darkness and of evil, symbolized by the Dragon, are vanquished and the final
atonement made.
The whole purpose of evolution, up to the state of man, is through combat with
environmental conditions and the struggle for physical survival, to Develop the
selfish instincts and the animal qualities of the soul. Difficulties are not overcome by
weakness, nor is accomplishment made without aggression and courage. Those who
permit the competitors for food, for mate and for shelter to force them to one side are
not fulfilling the highest purpose of physical destiny.
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But when, and to such extent as, the abilities and possibilities developed in the fierce
struggle of its animal past are turned to purposes which have for interest the welfare
of all, does that soul cease to function on the plane of brute, and rise to something
which we term divine. It has thus triumphed over the Dragon, and its atonement is
complete.
When it thus has reunited with its Ego, and the dark peril is past, it can find no joy in
the pain or discomfort of any living thing. The text thus emerges: Deal Justly, Even
With Thy Enemies; For it is Better to Suffer Evil than to Retaliate With
Vengeance
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Little Red Ridinghood
--When the masters of an ancient day traced a wolf in the sky it is quite certain they
had in mind those qualities which then and now this creature most commonly is
known to express. A wolf is a cunning beast, using its mind, as the mental-decanate
of the partnership sign would indicate. It is aggressive and cruel, runs in packs when
that is an advantage, and hesitates not to kill and devour such a partner when it
becomes so weakened or crippled as to be unable to defend itself. Thus does a wolf
stand as the universal symbol of ruthlessness.
Picturing that section of the celestial circle where the Sun may be found each year
from October 13 to October 23, the Wolf, Lupus, is directly across the zodiac in
antagonism to the Ram. Sheep thus constitute its natural prey, and to stalk them the
predacious beast resorts to many a cunning device. At the time of year so designated
the days are shorter than the hours of darkness, and wolves chiefly do their
depredations under cover of the night. Although they are the terror of the shepherds,
seldom are they to be seen in light of day, or do their killing in the open. Instead, they
resort to subterfuge, which makes the passage of St. Matthew clear:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they
are ravening wolves."
The best commentary which has come down to us, perhaps, as to the full significance
of this Wolf of heaven, and what its teachings are, is to be found in the wide-spread
and symbolical story of Little Red Ridinghood.
From your nursery days you will remember, I am sure, that the grandmother of this
nice little girl was ill. As a dutiful granddaughter should, Little Red Ridinghood went
to pay the old lady a visit, taking with her some cookies which she felt her ill relative
would enjoy.
Little Red Ridinghood, quite unmistakably, as the hero of the tale, must represent the
human soul. The grandmother who was ill, and whose house was by the road at the
other side of the wood, represents those people in the world who suffer afflictions of
various sorts, and who are too weak and helpless to be able to defend themselves.
They thus are symbolized by a helpless woman because the Moon is the ruler of
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women and of the Domestic Urges, those impulses which incline not merely to the
care of home and children, but also to the care of the helpless old, and to ministering
to such others as misfortune makes it impossible for them to care for themselves.
The road along which Red Ridinghood went, with her basket of cookies on her arm,
ran through the forest of human contacts which flanks the path of every life. There
were flowers, and butterflies. and beautiful birds to give interest and pleasure to her
self-appointed task, and so full of joy was she with it all, that she sang a merry little
melody as she danced along toward her work of mercy.
Then all at once, out from behind the bole of a giant tree where he had been hiding,
stepped a wolf. Red Ridinghood was badly frightened, but she knew there was no use
to run, as the wolf could easily overtake her. So she said, "Good morning Mister
Wolf, what a fine day it is !"
And the Wolf, although very hungry, thought to himself: "Before I eat her, I will find
out where she is going and what she intends to do, as this may lead me to something
else I want."
So the Wolf said, "Good morning, and where are you going so happily, and what do
you carry in that fine basket on your arm ?"
He spoke so pleasantly, as people are wont to do when they seek to gain the
confidence of others, later to despoil them, that Red Ridinghood was quite disarmed,
and thought she had misjudged him in her first impression that he was intent on evil.
So she told the Wolf all about her grandmother, where she lived, and that there were
cookies in the basket, which she was taking in the hope to give the dear old lady a
better appetite.
The Wolf then thought to himself, as predatory people do, that it were better not to act
too hastily, but to lay a cunning plan by which he might gain for himself every
possible advantage, even though it meant more loss and misery to others.
The old lady, according to Red Ridinghood's account, was ill in bed and quite
helpless. It would be an easy matter to make a meal from her, in the manner
customary to his pack to kill and devour such members as became too weak to defend
themselves. After that, he could wait for the little girl, get the cookies, and devour her
too. In this manner, he would be able to gorge himself with food and more completely
satisfy his lust for blood.
He therefore smiled at Red Ridinghood, bade her good day pleasantly, and started
down the road in the opposite direction from which she was going, so that she should
have no suspicion he had any thought of her harm. But as soon as he was out of her
sight, he made a wide, swift detour through the forest back to the road ahead of her,
and ran swiftly to the house, where he made the expected meal from the ill old lady.
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It was not literally a case of a wolf in sheep's clothing, but figuratively it became so;
for no sooner did he finish with grandmother and lick his bloody chops, than he
donned her garments and climbed into bed to doze, all prepared to look as much like
the late departed as possible.
When Little Red Ridinghood came to her grandmother's house, she knocked lightly
on the door. This awakened the Wolf from his after dinner nap, and as soon as he had
adjusted the white cap as nicely as possible on his head, he called, "Come in."
Said Little Red Ridinghood, as she entered the room, "My! Grandma, what a deep
voice you have."
Replied the Wolf from the bed, "All the better to call you in."
Walking toward the bed, to deliver the basket of cookies, the little girl noticed how
unusual her grandmother appeared, and said, "But, Grandma, what bright eyes you
have."
Said the Wolf from where he lay, "All the better to see you with."
Then the child noticed the ears, where they stuck out from under the white nightcap,
"And, Grandma, what big ears you have!"
Answered the Wolf, growing quite excited by now, "All the better to hear you with."
In his excitement he had opened his mouth quite wide, displaying its red cruelty, and
Red Ridinghood, by now thoroughly alarmed, exclaimed, "Grandma, Grandma,
what great teeth you have !"
"All the better to eat you with," shouted the Wolf, as he threw off his disguise and
leaped from the bed.
In another bound he would have had the terror-stricken little girl by the throat; but
some passing woodsmen had overheard the hoarse voice of the Wolf, and had
stopped to listen further, and now dashed into the house, axes in hand.
Even as he made the leap for the child's white throat an axe cut the Wolf down, and
shortly nothing was left of him but the pieces.
Predatory interests, cruel and ruthless, still speak to the public through the press,
pulpit and radio, in a voice they endeavor to disguise as that of general welfare, but
which in reality has for its purpose the influencing of all who will listen to come
closer that they may more easily be despoiled.
Their eyes are bright with avarice and greed, quick to note the slightest opportunity
by which others can be placed at a disadvantage.
They listen with big wolfish ears to the trend of popular interest, that they may utilize
it for the benefit of their own self-seeking and human-destroying schemes.
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Their rapacious mouths are armed with teeth of war, pillage and destruction. Blood
lust is upon them, and the suffering of sweat-shop, of child labor, and of armed strife
brings forth no thought of sympathy.
But after a time the woodsman's axe always cuts them down. Those who live through
deceit and cunning, who exploit their fellowman, are inexorably doomed to final
expiation.
The Wolf as pictured in the sky no longer takes his toll of blood. No longer is he able
to hide his wickedness behind the cloak of lawful practice and social respectability.
He has met, not the woodsman's axe, but the spear thrust of Centaurus. His tail and
ears are drooped, his legs are crumpled under him, tongue protrudes, and the blood of
death drips from his mouth. He has reached the certain fate of those who prey on
others.
Little Red Ridinghood escaped destruction; for she was on an errand of mercy. She
was building thoughts of peace and joy, of good will, and of compassion for others,
into her finer self. The human soul thus fortified may be despoiled of earthly things,
but nothing can destroy its spiritual life, or filch its spiritual treasures.
It should not be thought that those who are born when the Sun is in the Lupus
decanate are more given to cunning exploitation of others in the interests of
themselves. But it does seem that those then born, when they do turn their energies to
such despoiling, more quickly are called upon to pay a dreadful penalty. It is the
observation of this that gives the decanate its Key-word, Expiation.
But aside from astrological considerations, anyone who cultivates within himself the
ruthless cunning and heartless cruelty of the Wolf, can not but attract disaster to
himself in time. The thought-cells of his finer body, given practice in cruelty and
despoliation, sooner or later receive such stimulation as is necessary to cause them to
work quite as energetically from the four dimensional realm, to attract similar
misfortunes into the life of the one who gave them birth.
Where the thoughts and desires find no sympathy and no consideration for the well
being of others, even though the intelligence and body are human the soul is that of
the Wolf. All should understand this text: It is Impossible for a Man to Injure
Another Without Himself Being Injured, or for a Man to Benefit Another
Without Himself Being Truly Benefited
.