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Chapter 13
The Tree of Life
The Eternal Tie That Binds
--Virgo represents the Garden of Eden. The exercise of the critical faculty, which is
within its special province, is the way to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Yet information alone, no matter how comprehensive, is not sufficient to attain
everlasting life, as the Bible clearly implies in Genesis 3:22:
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and
evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and
live forever."
The Bible then abruptly changes the subject. Having indicated that there is a Tree of
Life, partaking of which man might live forever, it leaves man to his own ingenuity to
find where it is located. Yet to anyone conversant with the ancient stellar doctrine
that eternal progression depends upon both Love and Wisdom, and with the first
principles of astrology which reveals that Polar Opposites, such as Love and Wisdom
surely are, always occupy opposite stations in the zodiac, there could be no mystery
where the Tree of Life must be located in the sky. It must lie across the zodiac from
the Tree of Good and Evil.
Virgo holds a branch from the Tree of Good and Evil in one hand, and Hercules,
picturing the middle decanate of the sign, holds another branch from that tree, on
which the fruit yet hangs. The polar opposite of Virgo is Pisces. Pisces, because more
appropriately it pictures the process by which eternal life is gained, and because a
tree would not be a suitable emblem in the water where the Fishes swim, does not
show a tree; but two of its decanates do. The Pisces-decanate of the sign presents a
scepter made from the branch of a tree, held in a ruler's hand. That is, he is king over
life and death. And the last decanate of the sign is pictured by a queen, who holds a
branch of a palm tree in her hand, very much as does Virgo.
Furthermore, Pisces is the sign where the physical cycle of life ends. If there is to be
still further life, such as indicated by the new cycle commenced in Aries, those
processes which lead to revitalization should be commenced before the time of
transition thus indicated. These are the processes so clearly indicated by the ribbon
which binds the two Fishes of Pisces into an indissoluble union.
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Specialization of parts--mechanics, statesmen, agriculturists, writers, artists,
etc.--is familiar to us in that complex organization which we call our social system.
And we also are familiar with the fact that two elements united often produce a
chemical compound with possibilities tremendously more significant than the same
two chemical elements possess when not so united.
We may be sure, therefore, that the ancient masters who traced the constellations in
the sky did not unite the two Fishes of Pisces into a single system without having
information of profound import to convey. They are not united rigidly, as are the cells
of the physical body, but by a long ribbon which permits each Fish to move about
without undue restriction from the other. Each thus seems to be permitted the
exercise of its own initiative; but belongs to a system from which it can not separate.
Before attempting further to trace the significance of this universal symbol, let us see
what the Greeks had to say about the constellation Pisces. It is related to a watery
sign, and thus to the emotions. It is the exaltation of Venus, the goddess of love: that
is, love finds its highest expression through Pisces. And it is ruled by Neptune, the
upper-octave expression of Venus. Such expression, if it be true to the upper-octave
significance, relates to interior states which physical manifestations of love are
unable to penetrate. They have their significance chiefly where the astral body is
concerned.
The Greek legend is that Venus and her son Cupid one day were strolling along the
bank of the river Euphrates, when quite unexpectedly Typhon put in an appearance.
To escape this selfish monster, typical of Saturn, Cupid and Venus leaped into the
water and transformed themselves into the two Fishes. To commemorate this event
the Pisces Fishes were placed in the sky.
Venus and Cupid represent love. The Fishes into which they were transformed are
denizens of the water, and thus signify emotions. While love has a binding power, the
ribbon by which the two Fishes are united, to be true to the rulership of Neptune, must
represent an actual invisible energy which unites them, but which does not greatly
hamper the movements of either.
Love manifests on various planes or levels. But on the human plane, when there is
natural harmony between the inner natures--that is, vibratory affinity between the
finer bodies--and love has developed between the two persons of opposite sex, they
easily and rather constantly tune in on each other's vibratory rates. Depending
largely upon the activity of their inner forces and the state of their spiritual
development, a circuit, or endless belt of energy forms between them. That is, there is
a continuous current of astral energy circulating between them, much as there is a
circulation of blood through the physical body of the individual.
This circuit is indeed a current of life, possessing amazing potentialities. These
potentialities are commensurate to the height of the basic vibratory rates of the two
between whom the circuit flows, and to the amount of energy generated by their love,
each for the other. Not uncommonly those in love experience the blend of forces
which if unbroken develops into this current. Some also are aware that such a current
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is in existence. But, as it belongs chiefly to the inner plane of life, mental discords
tend to break it, and physical sensations tend to dissolve it.
It must be cultivated if it is to persist; and that cultivation must be along the line of
developing and maintaining intense and tender love, each for the other. Grosser
feelings and passion will effectually destroy this fine belt, or ribbon. It is sensitive to
all lower expressions, and thrives on feelings which relate more to spiritual states
than to those physical.
Selfishness, portrayed by the giant Typhon, is so restrictive in its influence that when
it is present even in minor degree, and even when not related to the object of
affection, it tends to destroy this endless belt of love. To maintain it those whose love
has reached a plane where it can form such a ribbon of spiritual potentiality must
expand their affections to embrace all creatures. The desire to destroy another, to
deprive another of that which is justly his, or to in any way cause suffering to any
living thing, tends to disrupt this fine ribbon by which the loving souls are joined.
The knot where the ribbons uniting the two Fishes are tied represents the Ego which
is common to both souls, and which is the eternal spark of Deity by, which they are
energized. Thus the two souls and their Ego form a distinct system, which when so
organized becomes a true spiritual cell in the cosmic body. Such a soul-mate system,
or spiritual cell, has a distinctive form on the inner planes; and when made permanent
is commonly referred to as an angel. It then no longer belongs to four dimensional
existence, but by virtue of its new capabilities is typical of the truly spiritual, or
five-dimensional plane.
The two souls comprising the angel do not lose their identity; no more so than Venus
and Mars lose their identity because they both belong to the solar system. Liberty of
action on the part of each soul is still retained; but before they are thus permanently
united in a single five-dimensional form--as the two Fishes with their ribbon have a
single form and yet each Fish has wide liberty of action--they must have come into a
realization of their Cosmic work.
As an angel they perform the function in the cosmic scheme for which they have been
specially educated by their experiences; and in this work they have complementary
abilities. That is, each supplies certain talents, those of both together enabling them
to do their Cosmic Work.
We may be sure, therefore, that those capable of uniting through the endless belt of
finer energies that ultimately will provide the form of such an angel, will not have
diverse or conflicting interests. Such divergent interests, through centering the mind
strongly on different things, tends to disrupt or dissipate the endless belt of energy
flowing between two people. Where the interests are, or an objective of attainment,
in that direction the finer energies tend to flow. That is, the energies flow wherever
the attention is directed. But when the interests of both are centered on the same
things there is no dividing of the energy stream, and the forces of both flow along a
single channel. This strengthens the bond between them.
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The conditions which are most favorable, when the natural requirements are present,
for strengthening the endless belt of finer energies between those who are deeply in
love, are the desire to be as helpful and beneficial to all creatures as possible, having a
common work by which this is chiefly accomplished, and the cultivation of
tenderness and sympathy one for the other.
Neptune, the upper-octave planet ruling Pisces, is idealistic in his expression.
Therefore, those who cultivate this highest expression of love on earth find it
advantageous to idealize all they do. Whatever they do which they feel to be worthy,
in the doing they keep the image of their loved one before them and feel that they are
doing that thing, not because of duty, but for the sake of the other one. All that is
accomplished is thus done for love. And the love motive becomes so powerful, under
such cultivation, that hardships are not recognized as such, all life is filled with joy,
and great accomplishment results.
The joy coincident with the establishment of the endless belt of love is only a small
feature of its advantage; for its power to accomplish, working from the
four-dimensional plane when loving and constructive thoughts are carried by it, is
truly amazing. Herein lies a force which makes Faith, even of the size of a mustard
seed, able to move mountains. The Sun is in the decanate pictured by the Fishes from
February 20 to March 21. Its Key-phrase is, I Believe, and the text is: Love is the
Tree of Life, and its Fruit is Universal Brotherhood
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The Two Keys of St. Peter
--Cepheus signifies a rock, and the constellation in the sky designated by this name
pictures the King of Ethiopia on his throne, with one foot upon the immovable Pole
Star, representing Truth. Both Sagittarius and Pisces are dual signs, and both through
Jupiter, which is the ruler of one and the co-ruler of the other, have some significance
in matters of religion. Joseph, whose, "Bow abode in strength," represents
Sagittarius, the duality of which is symbolized by his coat of many colors. It is this
coat which Cepheus, or Pharoah, whom Joseph served so well in the land of Egypt,
still holds in one of his hands.
Pisces, the decanates of which are pictured by the king, queen and princess of
Ethiopia, is the sign of imprisonment, deceit and secret enemies. It belongs to the
dark half of the year. Joseph, representing the sign of dreams and prophecy,
Sagittarius, told his dreams to his brethren, and these, in true 12th house fashion--for
it is through its natural rule of the 12th house of a birth-chart that Pisces signifies
these things--conspired secretly to destroy him. They took from him his coat of
many colors, with which to deceive his father, and threw him into a pit, representing
the sign Capricorn, lowest position of the Sun, into which this luminary moves
immediately after it leaves Sagittarius.
Sagittarius is the sign of long journeys, hence Joseph when removed from the pit was
taken to a far land. Pisces, through the 12th house, rules imprisonment and
involuntary servitude; and not only was Joseph sold into slavery, but due to the
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perfidy and deception of Potiphar's wife, while in Egypt he was thrown into prison.
And even, while still in Egypt, desiring to bestow a favor upon his brethren, he did it
through deception. He concealed the money they paid him in the sacks of grain sold
to them, and in addition concealed his cup in the sack of Benjamin, that he might have
an excuse for detaining him.
The Pharoahs of Egypt were not only the rulers of this land of darkness, but they also
were the religious potentates, some of whom had undergone initiation. It was the
common thing for them to consult with their high priests, even as Pharoah called
upon Joseph to give him council, in all important matters based upon conditions
which would arise in the future. The priests who thus advised the ruler were versed in
both astrology and in such divination as gained Joseph renown.
Peter, of New Testament mention, is a name which, like Cepheus, means rock. And it
was upon a rock that Peter was commanded to found his church. In the sky this is, of
course, the rock of ages, otherwise known as the Pole Star, which changeth not; the
symbol of eternal Truth. Cepheus thus not only represents Pharoah, but in a later
story pictures Peter, whose foot, or understanding--and Pisces rules the feet--must
rest on Truth; and who holds the keys to hell and heaven.
These keys, by which Understanding of the Truth may be gained, are not pictured in
Peter's hand, but adorn the crown Placed on his head. They are shown as seven little
spheres, representing the septenary of planets. They are placed on his head because
the head is the region representing intellect; and it is the comprehension of the
significance of these seven types of energy that opens the gate to an Understanding of
Truth, which in turn permits entrance to the higher realms of being.
Peter, as shown in the sky, in addition to Joseph's coat of many colors which he
grasps in one hand, also has an implement of power in the other. Understanding alone
does not open the heavenly gates. That understanding must be applied in action.
Therefore, he holds aloft a scepter, of a form symbolizing the virility and energy of
the Sun, a symbol of the same import as the Common Gavel of Ancient Masonry.
Thus does this ruler of life and death, of the external world and the astral kingdoms
which belong to the 12th house, indicate that he both knows the Truth, and that he
applies that knowledge in appropriate action. The scepter of power indicates creative
energy under control, and directed as the ruler wills. The control of energy such as the
scepter represents indicates that scepter to be one symbol of the Tree of Life.
Joseph and Pharoah are not only linked, as types of Sagittarius and Pisces influences,
in the Old Testament; but in addition to the Keys which Peter holds, the New
Testament in Revelation mentions a Book of Seven Seals. Sagittarius, as natural
ruler of the 9th house, the house of publishing, relates to books; and the seven seals
are the impress which the seven planets make upon the Book of Nature. Yet this
book, which rightfully belongs to Sagittarius and not to Pisces, when mentioned in
Revelation is associated with the constellation Cepheus: "And I saw in the right hand
of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with
seven seals."
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Cepheus, or Peter, pictures the Pisces-decanate of the sign which has rule over the
astral plane and its denizens. Sagittarius is the sign of religion, seeing clearly and
expressing benevolently. Pisces has a religious significance also; but it tends to rely
on blind belief; for it is the sign of secret things and of self-undoing. It is because the
denizens of the astral plane through the Pisces tendencies have been able to impress
their ideas upon the human race, causing it to place Faith in those things which are to
the advantage of these selfish astral entities, that the race during the Piscean Age was
so bound and fettered by its religious misconceptions.
To state the matter in another way, the unseen enemies of mankind belong to the 12th
house, ruled over by Pisces. Elementals and earth-bound discarnate human beings
are close to the vibratory level of the earth, and are best able to contact it through the
conditions represented by Pisces. Through the deception they are able to practice
they can in some measure control the trend of human events, and themselves gain a
satisfaction for their own desires. Obsession relates to this section of the zodiac, as do
mystical manias and religious fanaticism; these being extreme expressions of the
influence of such astral entities upon human life.
Pisces, however, is a dual sign; and in the higher expression of its attributes it founds
its beliefs upon the very Rock of Truth. The astral plane holds entities which practice
deception upon the people of the earth whenever they find those who are negative
enough to be impressed. But it also, on its higher levels, provides a dwelling place for
noble souls who have made extensive research on various planes of being. These,
when opportunity offers, transmit facts they have learned to their neophytes upon the
earth.
The knowledge and beliefs of those on earth are determined to a much greater extent
than most realize by the influence of the invisible world. Not only do invisible
entities impress their thoughts and desires upon those who unwittingly tune in upon
their vibratory rates; but planetary energies stimulate thought-cells within the
four-dimensional body of man, and these attract events and prompt to action. We can
not say, as some Orientals do, that the physical world is maya, or illusion; for its
energies also cause changes in the astral world; but we must acknowledge that most
physical events and conditions trace their immediate cause to happenings on the
astral plane.
We can not know the whole Truth if we ignore the physical world; but as the astral
persists after the dissolution of the physical; as its sensations, experiences and scope
are so much more vast than those of the physical; and as the immediate stimuli of
physical movement are chiefly astral in origin; we can perceive the reason that
prompted the ancients to place the constellation picturing Verity in that section of the
zodiac which more than any other relates to the astral plane. The Sun is in this
Pisces-decanate of Pisces from February 20 to March 1 each year.
Not only is the character of each life-form on the earth, that determines its destiny,
embraced by the organization of its astral form; but the character so organized is that
which persists beyond the dissolution of the physical. Man lives in his astral body, in
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fact, is chiefly an astral organization, while still in the flesh. And the same
organization continues to live on the four-dimensional plane beyond the tomb. Real
life and real death, therefore, such as Peter holds dominion over, relate to the
four-dimensional plane which is more closely associated with Pisces than with any
other sign.
Verity, which is the Key-word of the constellation, is an accurate comprehension of
the facts and their relations to each other. Such recognition of Truth permits actions
that make a successful adaptation of the life-form to the conditions by which it finds
itself surrounded. The keys which unlock the door of Truth also, therefore, unlock
the doors of heaven and hell; for action based on falsehood and deception, such as
one side of Pisces governs, leads to discord and destruction; while action based upon
Verity, which the other side of Pisces governs, leads to harmony and eternal life.
Because all things in nature in their essential vibratory rates correspond to
astrological influences, these astrological correspondences, such as are symbolized
by the seven little globes in Peter's crown, are the Positive Key to that knowledge,
which is essential to progress and to everlasting life. As a feminine complement to
this positive key, to assist in unlocking the mysteries of the universe there is also a
Receptive Key. This is embraced by the Tarot.
The golden key is the understanding of planetary law; for the character of each thing
contacted is completely mapped by its astrological vibrations. The silver key is a
duplicate of the one of gold, except that its action is feminine and passive, bearing the
same relations to the latter that woman bears to man. In fact, the Tarot is to Astrology
what the Moon is to the Sun. Astrology and the Tarot are known to initiates as the
Two Keys. They are the Keys to Verity, the real keys for which Peter is renowned.
The text therefore is the Hermetic Axiom: "As it is above so it is Below, and that
which is Below is Like unto that which is Above."
Prometheus Defies
Convention
--Paracelsus, according to all accounts, was the greatest physician of his day,
performing cures where all the other doctors failed. Jesus offered harm to none
except the cheating money-changers in the temple, healed the sick, and taught love
and kindness. If one were less versed in the power of convention to bind all to old
methods, and to persecute any who dare depart from what has been customary, it
might be supposed that these great benefactors had been praised by their
contemporaries. How Jesus fared need not be told; and Paracelsus was driven from
place to place, his life constantly in danger from the members of his own profession,
and was finally killed by ruffians believed to be in the pay of those whose outmoded
methods of healing were less successful than his own.
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On frequent occasions when machines have been introduced into some industry,
those engaged in it have staged riots and broken the labor-saving devices. They
believed that the machines would displace them; which was true if they were
unwilling to learn how to handle the machines. A more successful method of healing
also would take the livelihood from many members of the medical profession, as
with less illness their services would no longer be needed; yet if they were
progressive their energies could to advantage be turned into other equally valuable
channels of human service.
It is almost impossible to advance any new method by which the human race can be
benefited without this new method displacing the service, or at least affecting it, of
some whose livelihoods depend upon it. And it is equally impossible to advance any
new idea of importance by which the race can be benefited without it affecting the
prestige of a large group of people who pose as authorities, or who hold some
position of power which would be endangered if the new idea were to be generally
accepted.
Progress is thus always gained only through conflict. In fact, progress consists of
overcoming obstacles. And where human customs and human ideas are concerned
the obstacles which cause the most acute conflict are prejudice and self-interest.
A thousand patents have been registered from successful models, and yet the
labor-saving devices they represent, and the improvements in many lines which they
could bring, lie dormant. These patents have been purchased by those who have
money already invested in less useful things which would be displaced if better ones
were placed upon the market. And to an even greater extent are ideals of high value to
the human race suppressed by those with whose profits or prestige their adoption
would interfere.
We need not think that the ridicule heaped upon Louis Pasteur when he advanced
proof of the activities of bacteria in certain diseases, or the persecution of Galileo
when he revealed the discoveries of his telescope, are new expressions of the
antagonism of conservatives for those progressive. Even in a flock of birds, if one
bird begins to act in an unprecedented manner the other birds become annoyed, and if
the one departing from convention does not desist, the others birds set upon it, and
either kill it or drive it from their midst.
Whether in that ancient time when the constellations first were given outline in the
sky, or at the present day, if one were intrepid enough to break sharply with
conventions, the least that could be expected was imprisonment. Throughout the
ages those who have bestowed the greatest blessings on mankind have found
themselves chained to the stone walls of dungeons. To depart too markedly from
current practice or current belief, no matter how absurd it was, has always meant
courting punishment.
Because such Self-Sacrifice has commonly been prompted by that sense of
Universal Brotherhood which the higher side of Pisces promotes, and because
Pisces, through its 12th house affinity relates to imprisonment and crime, the
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ancients placed Andromeda, the Chained Lady, in such a position as to picture the
middle decanate of Pisces, where the Sun may be found each year from March 1 to
March 11.
The Key-word of the decanate, Self-Sacrifice, is set forth in the universal symbolism
not only of the story of Andromeda, but in that of Prometheus also. In the case of
Andromeda the coast of her native land was being ravaged by the Sea-monster,
Cetus. This was through no fault of the fair princess; but had been brought on by the
arrogance of Cassiopeia, her mother.
Cassiopeia had incurred the wrath of Neptune, who was quite justified in resenting
her claim to be more beautiful than the Nereides, nymphs of the sea; and Neptune,
ruler of Pisces, had sent the Sea. monster to bring destruction to her land. Jupiter,
planet of religion, was appealed to in an effort to save the country; and he decreed that
only through offering her daughter as a sacrifice to the Sea-monster could Cassiopeia
atone for her sin. Andromeda, therefore, not because she had transgressed, but to
save her fellow countrymen from death, was chained to a wave-washed rock in the
sea for Cetus to devour.
We who are interested in presenting The Religion of the Stars to the world, bringing,
as it were, the fire from heaven that all may benefit thereby, find the story of
Prometheus even more significant. Prometheus, in the first place, was out of favor
with the gods because he ridiculed some of their exaggerated pretensions. He was
very much in the position of some of us who have actually traveled on the astral plane
and had opportunity to observe the conditions there. He did not believe in the current
ideas; no more than we believe the materialists who say that when the body
disintegrates the soul exists no longer; nor the orthodox who say that a soul who
transgresses must suffer eternal torment in hell and that heaven is devoid of useful
occupation.
Those now who make actual demonstrations that the soul survives the dissolution of
the physical body, and those who make actual demonstrations that the planets affect
the life and destiny of man, are somewhat in peril of imprisonment. The materialist
says the soul of man does not exist after the physical is gone, and can not come back.
The orthodox says that it does exist somewhere. But if you stage a demonstration to
prove that the so-called dead still persist and have recognizable personalities, you
open yourself to persecution. A city ordinance--depending on the city--may
demand that if you do, or if you help some unfortunate person through giving
astrological advice, you must go to jail.
Prometheus, however, was not to be deterred through fear of gods or men from
actions which he felt convinced would benefit the human race. Like the valiant souls
of all ages who are responsible for the world's progress, he was willing to sacrifice
his own interests if thereby mankind might be benefited. So, with the assistance of
Minerva, he climbed the heavens and stole fire from the chariot of the Sun, and
brought it down to earth, that man might have its use.
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This so provoked Jupiter that he ordered Prometheus chained to a rock, even as
Andromeda may now be seen chained, where a vulture was to feed on his liver. His
liver thus consumed by day, grew again during the night, never entirely exhausted.
As the liver plays so significant a role in this story, it should be explained that the
ancients as well as we moderns place this organ of the body under the rule of Jupiter,
the planet which rules the 9th house in a natural birth-chart, and thus also religion and
public expression. The liver of Prometheus, on which not the fearless eagle fed, but
the carrion eating vultures who live from the profits of religious corruption,
represents that priceless heritage which alone permits a healthy race; the freedom to
publicly express philosophical and religious convictions.
Both in ancient and in modern times the favorite method by which enemies of the
public, such enemies as the 12th house rules, gain their ends and keep mankind in
slavery to their own selfish advantage, has been to persecute the apostles of Truth,
and to suppress the dissemination of correct information. It has been proclaimed that
truth crushed to earth shall rise again. So also the liver of Prometheus, preyed upon
by the human vultures who place a censorship on the dissemination of knowledge,
and who purposely distort all information given to the public, grew again.
Those who attempt to enlighten the world always find it a painful process.
Throughout the ages it has been the custom to imprison those who revealed the
corruption of those in high places. The inquisition flourished to prevent facts being
broadcast that would show the falsity of certain religious doctrines. Periodicals
thrive chiefly upon their advertising, and an article or story which reveals some
unpleasant truth about a product advertised in them can not get beyond the editorial
desk. Radio stations commonly will not permit facts to be broadcast which tend to
offend certain interests of power.
Yet Andromeda was not devoured by the Whale-monster. Instead she was rescued by
Perseus, her Prince Charming, and had a happiness she could not have hoped for had
she not endured Self-Sacrifice. And while Prometheus suffered for a time for gaining
fire by which those of earth might live in greater comfort, he too eventually was
released. Kind Chiron, representing the Higher Mind of Sagittarius, ruler of the 9th
and of public expression, volunteered to take his place. And still later Hercules killed
the vulture and he too was freed.
When the critical faculties of Hercules, picturing one decanate of Virgo, more widely
are brought to bear upon the suppression and distortion of information, we may be
sure that the vultures who misinform the public will no longer be tolerated.
Furthermore, even while Andromeda and Prometheus were persecuted for their
services to the public good they were being amply rewarded, as all who endure
misfortune for the benefit of the human race are always rewarded, through building
into themselves those qualities which ultimately would permit them far greater
freedom in celestial realms than those could have who permitted injustice to thrive
unmolested.
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Thus does the text become: He Who Sacrifices His Own Desires for the Welfare of
Others Draws Down the Divine Fire from Heaven and With It Kindles the
Highest Potencies of His Own Soul
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The Cloak of Death or the
Tree of Life
--The last decanate of the zodiac, where the Sun may be found each year from
March 11 to March 21, represents the end of the cycle of physical life. Among the
constellations this point from which the transition is made to a new cycle is pictured
by Cassiopeia, the Lady in the Chair, who with one hand removes the cloak which
represents the physical body, and with the other holds aloft a branch from the Tree of
Life.
Of all regions of the zodiac, the Scorpio-decanate of Pisces thus pictured has closest
affinity with both the higher and the lower astral spheres in relation to the condition
of existence immediately following physical death. It is here, as the soul leaves the
physical body, symbolized by the removal of the cloak, that it experiences in full
measure the effect of the astral circuit so well represented by the ribbon binding
together the two Fishes of Pisces. This circuit, depending upon its quality and
attachments, may become a shackle, such as that by which Andromeda is chained, or
it may in truth become the Tree of Life, such as Cassiopeia holds.
The alternative revealed by this decanate, the Key-word of which is Vicissitudes, is
well set forth in the stories relative to this woman. As one queen, her inordinate pride,
selfish ambition and attachment to worldly honors caused her daughter, Andromeda,
to be chained to the rock for Cetus to destroy. But in another story, she is the queen
who furnished her two children, Helle and Phryxus, with the Ram of the Golden
Fleece, which was to carry them from danger into safety.
The Bible also portrays this celestial constellation in alternate roles; in the Old
Testament as Potiphar's wife, whose Scorpio desires, and secret enmity when her
advances were repulsed, caused Joseph to be placed in prison; and in the New
Testament by Mary Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and whom Jesus
loved. John 11:5: "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus."
When the Sun moves across the celestial equator at the time of the vernal equinox, at
that moment it leaves the garment of winter darkness--that is, the longer nights than
days--in the hands of Cassiopeia, marking the decanate from which it thus takes
exit. This garment of winter symbolizes the physical body of man which is left
behind when he passes to the next life. And this episode is still further explained by
the cloak which Joseph left in the hands of Potiphar's wife when he fled her
importunities.
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As related in Genesis 38, Joseph had been given complete charge over Potiphar's
affairs. He was in a position of trust and responsibility, and as nearly always happens
to those who gain positions of power and influence, he was approached by one who
used great pressure to influence him to betray that trust. Joseph might have lived now
and had the same experience, so typical is it of present-day methods of disposing of
one whose integrity becomes annoying to the corrupt who are in power; Genesis 12:
"And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in
her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left
his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, that she called unto the men of her house,
and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us;
he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: And it came to pass,
when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me,
and fled, and got him out."
When Joseph was placed in jail, due to the false charges of this woman of 12th house
affinity it also suggests the circuit of energy pictured by Pisces by which those in love
are bound into a single soul-mate system; and that if such a circuit is to result in
greater freedom and power, rather than in greater bondage, it must have a vibratory
rate which is uplifting and spiritual in quality, such as tender love and unselfish
affection tend to generate. That is, if it is to provide the energy of the Tree of Life,
rather than bind to lower astral regions, the circuit must raise the lovers to new
heights of feeling, and stimulate new endeavors for the welfare of the race.
The circuit also can be formed between two people on a level that opens them to the
influence of the lower astral plane. This results in the generation of great force; but
the force so generated is confined in its effects to the things of a phenomenal nature,
being unable to affect the finer substance of the higher astral spheres. That is, the
ribbon of Pisces, unless generated by a fine and exalted type of love, tends toward
imprisonment rather than to greater freedom. As is always true, that which can be
used for good can also be used for evil. And this circuit, when built on a lower,
coarser level, while giving great magical ability, tends in the direction of Death rather
than in the direction of Life.
It then performs the same function as the circuit in a seance room when those present
take hold of hands and sing. It generates a circuit of astral energy of great force, and
also liberates etheric energy in volume. But the astral energy flow thus established, is
of a vibratory rate corresponding to the elementals and other entities of the astral
spheres closest to earth. These denizens of the realm signified by the house of
self-undoing in a birth-chart, find such a circuit of energy of their own plane a stream
that enables them to move into the astral bodies and in contact with the etheric
energies, of those through whom the current flows. They are carried by the current
wherever it goes, and as it goes through the bodies of those comprising the circle,
they are able to bring their influence to bear directly upon the etheric energies and
nervous systems of those thus contacted.
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With a contact so fully established, either through a seance circle or through a circuit
established between two lovers whose desires are on the level of those of Potipher's
wife, these 12th house astral entities are able to use both the etheric energies
generated and the astral energies present, to bring things to pass on the physical
plane. The energy may be used for healing, for influencing other persons to do as
those on the circuit desire, for demonstrations of phenomena, or for the purpose of
selfish magic.
On such a circuit, however, because it has affinity through its vibratory rate with
lower astral entities, whenever the attention of those generating the energy is relaxed,
this enables the denizens of the lower astral to take control and use the circuit for their
own purposes, of which those from whom the energy is drawn have no knowledge.
Gradually, as the circuit continues, and gains strength, those who furnish the energy
tend to lose control of it or even of its manufacture. The etheric component is felt by
them racing through their nervous system. And its too great withdrawal from the vital
reservoir of the body leaves them depleted and with an aching spleen. They still may
direct it occasionally to some purpose of their own; but for the most part, even while
they sleep, it is used by low astral entities to further their own ends in influencing the
trend of thought and events on earth.
These 12th house entities, enemies of the human race, use the force thus placed at
their command to impress upon sensitives wherever they can be contacted, ideas
which tend to prevent an understanding of true spirituality, and which tend
relentlessly to draw these sensitives into their power. And in time those who furnish
the current, through having it constantly directed by the astral denizens to that end,
lose all power to direct its flow, and are chained by it, and must do henceforth the
bidding of their astral jailers.
Yet the same principle, a circuit of energy such as the ribbon of Pisces represents,
when used upon a higher, unselfish plane, exalted by ecstatic feelings of tender love,
instead of imprisoning, becomes the Tree of Life. It is true that on this more spiritual
level it brings those on the circuit into contact with the intelligences of this higher
region. But these are too wise and too unselfish to desire to use the energies thus
made available to control either those on the circuit or to demonstrate amazing
phenomena on the physical plane.
Thus it is that the circuit lifts or lowers those on it to the level of the after-life world
corresponding to its vibratory rate. If that rate is low it brings intimate contact with
low astral intelligences; but if that rate is high, it brings equally close contact with
exalted intelligences of the higher astral planes. And these never take control. The
information they impart is given merely as advice, with full liberty on the part of
those receiving it to accept or reject.
Furthermore, when the energy of the circuit is that of an unselfish and spiritual love,
in which all animal qualities and desires have been sublimated and true regeneration
has taken place, it gives the ability not only here, but in the after life, to penetrate the
higher spheres and to there enter upon the Cosmic Work.
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It then becomes not such an influence as Mary Magdalene was under at first; for,
according to St. Luke 8:22, she had at one time been possessed of seven devils; just
such a condition as the lower circuit in connection with the 12th house influence
tends to attract. But Mary Magdalene was loved by Jesus, who cast the devils out of
her. After this she became one of those who ministered to him at the cross, and who
on going to the tomb which he had left, was told by the angel there to herald the
resurrection to all the world. Instead of the devils which once she had had, having
tuned in on a spiritual circuit in which unselfish love was dominant, she had partaken
of the fruit of the Tree of Life.
Such a spiritual circuit, among other things, permits of passing to the next life in full
consciousness. Thus the text with which the circle of constellations closes is: Man
May Pass from This Life to the Next, Even Through Death, With No Greater
Break in His Affairs than Would be Occasioned by Leaving His Acquaintances
in One City and Taking up His Activities in Another City Amid a Different
Group of Friends.