SCENE TWENTY-ONE: CONTRIBUTION
(Aquarius 1° to Aquarius 15°)
FIRST LEVEL: ACTIONAL
PHASE 301 (AQUARIUS 1°): AN OLD ADOBE MISSION IN CALIFORNIA.
KEYNOTE: The power inherent in all great human works to endure far beyond the workers' life spans.
The works and spirit of the Spanish priests who directed the building of the California missions have had a lasting influence on the development of this land; these remain as a monument to the men who were able to make their mark upon this alien environment. While the zodiacal sign Capricorn begins with a symbol of socio-political power, Aquarius at its start presents a more spiritualized and idealistic or creative picture of the social forces at work. Moreover, it stresses the enduring character of human achievements ensouled by a great vision. At least within the frame of reference of our Western civilization, the symbol speaks of the projection of a noble ideal into concrete forms of beauty and significance, thus of the radiation of a "civilizing" power into an institution offering to primitive men the opportunity to reach a higher, more organized and productive, level of activity.
This is the first stage in the sixty-first five-fold sequence. It speaks to us of THE CONCRETIZATION OF AN IDEAL. This also implies the "immortalization" of an individual within a great collective and cultural enterprise.
PHASE 302 (AQUARIUS 2°): AN UNEXPECTED THUNDERSTORM.
KEYNOTE: The need to develop the inner security which will enable us to meet unexpected crises.
An interesting connection can be made between the symbols for Taurus 1° and 2° — "A clear mountain stream" and "An electrical storm" — and those for Aquarius 1° and 2°, two hundred and seventy degrees apart (a "waning" square, in terms of a cycle of relationship such as the lunation cycle). In the first case we deal with energies or activities that can be related to the natural development of the individual. But here we are primarily concerned with social, collective processes and the function of the individual within them. The symbol itself — "An unexpected thunderstorm" — could be given a very positive meaning in an arid environment, but the emphasis on "unexpected" tends to accent the sudden and dangerous character of the event. Such a thunderstorm in a region of dry hills can cause a devastating flood. At any rate, it refers to an event for which one is not prepared — a menace to men's works.
Seen as a second stage symbol — thus in contrast to the preceding one — this scene stresses the fact that nature may reduce to impermanence the seemingly most permanent endeavors and constructive activities of men. Under a downpour of rain, adobe brick can return to mud. All human institutions and their achievements can be washed away, even in their day of great glory. "Dust you were, dust you must become." This is NATURE'S CHALLENGE.
PHASE 303 (AQUARIUS 3°): A DESERTER FROM THE NAVY.
KEYNOTE: The individual's self-realization through a crucial repudiation of a collective status which has become unbearable.
This symbol recalls the one for Scorpio 21°, but the fact that actual "desertion" is emphasized and reference is made to "the Navy" suggests that the crisis symbolized here is one implying an irrevocable change of status. Man refuses to accept the type of cultural patterns derived from his society's specific approach to local circumstances and to the universe as a whole, and in another sense, from its particular relationship to the all-human collective Unconscious. (The Navy refers to the ocean, symbol of primordial and unconscious evolutionary forces.) He not only refuses to obey orders, he deliberately turns his back on his collective social status; he becomes an outcast, and through this decision he may definitely individualize his consciousness.
This is the third stage of the sixty-first five-fold sequence. Something with collective social value is being potentially destroyed, but nature is not the destroyer (as in the preceding symbol). Man, the individual, steps out of his bondage to collective patterns and ideals. He may thus "find himself' by means of a sharp renunciation of his social birthright, i.e. by a crucial process of DESOCIALIZATION.
PHASE 304 (AQUARIUS 4°): A HINDU YOGI DEMONSTRATES HIS HEALING POWERS.
KEYNOTE: The disciplined use of spiritual energies in restoring the natural harmony disturbed by man's inharmonic attempts to transcend nature through mind.
Civilization implies a process of transcending compulsive and rigid biological drives while making use, in a refined and mentalized way, of what it cannot control. The goal of a true civilization — Western civilization being to a large extent a caricature of it — is the development of a humanity composed of self-motivated and responsible individuals freely associating according to harmonic patterns in order to produce a vast spiritual chord of consciousness fully actualizing the potentialities inherent in the archetype, MAN. The process of individualization and civilization is full of dangers, and for a very long time it is obsessed by karmic shadows, the results of individual and collective deviations and perversions. Such results most often lead to disease. It is the spiritual duty of individuals who have been able to tap the vast reservoir of spiritual forces pervading our planet to use these energies for healing their less-fortunate comrades.
This fourth stage symbol refers to a technique which not only can be used for the healing of physical illnesses but for the "making whole" of whatever has lost its natural root integration and has not yet reached the holistic state of perfect harmony and identification with the "divine" whole. Self-discipline, purity of motive, compassion, faith in the divine order are required — and the FOCUSING OF SPIRITUAL ENERGY.
PHASE 305 (AQUARIUS 5°): A COUNCIL OF ANCESTORS IS SEEN IMPLEMENTING THE EFFORTS OF A YOUNG LEADER.
KEYNOTE: The Root foundation of past performances which power and sustain whatever decision is made in a crisis by an individual.
The whole past of mankind stands behind any individual effort, especially in times of critical decisions. The endeavor of the priests who built the California missions had behind it the whole past of Catholic proselytizing, i.e. the attempt to bring the "Good News" to all people of the Earth. Every individual is far more dependent upon the strength of their ancestors' achievements — or oppressed by their failures and lack of vision — than they usually believe. This can mean a hidden foundation of individual strength, or the inertia of a tradition unable to transcend its limited origins.
This is the last symbol in the sixty-first five-fold sequence. It suggests that in many situations RELIANCE UPON PRECEDENTS will enable the aspirant to greatness to tap the power of their deepest roots.
SECOND LEVEL: EMOTIONAL/CULTURAL
PHASE 306 (AQUARIUS 6°): A MASKED FIGURE PERFORMS RITUALISTIC ACTS IN A MYSTERY PLAY.
KEYNOTE: The individual's involvement in long-established patterns of activity aiming at the release of collective power.
The great Mysteries of the past were created by inspired Seers and Adepts for the purpose of transferring to a mentally conscious and humanly significant level of group operation what in the lower kingdoms of life we call instincts. Biological and cosmic energies can thus be used to ensure that social processes do not lose touch with the deeper realities of planetary and universal Life. Rituals are binding, and often the performers wear masks, for they do not act as human persons but as focal points for the release of transpersonal forces.
This first symbol of the sixty-second five-fold sequence presents to us social processes in their deepest occult aspect. The individual is seen having assumed a TRANSPERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
PHASE 307 (AQUARIUS 7°): A CHILD IS SEEN BEING BORN OUT OF AN EGG.
KEYNOTE: The emergence of new mutations according to the great rhythms of the cosmos.
The ancient symbolism of the Cosmic Egg (Hiranyagharba in Sanskrit) out of which a new universe is born can be interpreted at several levels. Here we see the appearance of a new type of human being who is not born from "Ancestors" and who therefore is free from the inertia of mankind's past. He is a new product of evolution, a mutant. He constitutes a fresh projection of the creative Spirit that emanates from the cosmic or planetary Whole, and not from any local culture and racial tradition.
This second stage symbol is in contrast with the preceding one. It can be said to announce the EMERGENCE OF GLOBAL MAN for the New Age. The power of the whole is focused within him in perfect freedom from ancient standards of value based on local conditions.
PHASE 308 (AQUARIUS 8°): BEAUTIFULLY GOWNED WAX FIGURES ON DISPLAY.
KEYNOTE: The inspiration one may derive from the appearance of Exemplars who present to us the archetypes of a new culture.
We are dealing here with the fixed symbols upon which a culture is based, with mental archetypes. They are kept and made available as patterns to imitate, or at least from which to draw new motives for inspiration. We are at the stage of vision: new forms are revealed to the consciousness, as well as new ways of meeting other people in social relationships.
This is the third stage in the sixty-second sequence of five symbols. In a sense the generic human past and the future are implied here. The wax figures are impersonal forms. The gowns constitute a static presentation of ideal patterns; yet they are the PREFORMATION of what will be experienced in the culture being born. They herald new collective developments.
PHASE 309 (AQUARIUS 9°): A FLAG IS SEEN TURNING INTO AN EAGLE.
KEYNOTE: The dynamic incorporation of new social values in individuals who exemplify the spiritual potential and greatest significance of these values.
This symbol nearly duplicates the one for Sagittarius 12°, but in this five-fold sequence it has a somewhat different meaning — especially since the last term of the mysterious transformation (i.e. the crowing of the eagle in chanticleer's fashion) is omitted.
All that is implied here is the vitalization of a powerful symbol, its embodiment in a living reality, i.e. in a person able to fly in consciousness to the highest spiritual realm. The archetype is given living substance and wings. The Image has become a Power.
This fourth stage symbol, as usual, gives us a technical suggestion. To "see" the new archetype, to perceive the new standard of value with one's mind is not enough. The seer must become the doer. The impersonal is dynamized and brought into focus. We have here the ACTING OUT of the vision.
PHASE 310 (AQUARIUS 10°): A MAN WHO HAD FOR A TIME BECOME THE EMBODIMENT OF A POPULAR IDEAL IS MADE TO REALIZE THAT AS A PERSON HE IS NOT THIS IDEAL.
KEYNOTE: The need to deal with human beings as persons rather than as screens upon which one projects one's dream and ideal.
Here we have a final statement on the relationship between mental-spiritual vision and living reality, between persons and the ideal they appear to incarnate, between the "great lover Image" and one's need for love — a love his presence stimulated and aroused. The "star" on the movie screen is not the actual person. The star's popularity fades away, the person remains. What has this episode of popularity actually done to the person? This is a question that can be applied to a great variety of circumstances.
This fifth symbol in the sixty-second sequence brings to our attention an issue that is basic and may confront us in various forms. Person versus archetype. This can mean a critical need for SELF-REVALUATION.
THIRD LEVEL: INDIVIDUAL/MENTAL
PHASE 311 (AQUARIUS 11°): DURING A SILENT HOUR, A MAN RECEIVES A NEW INSPIRATION WHICH MAY CHANGE HIS LIFE.
KEYNOTE: The need to rely upon inner inspiration and guidance at the start of new developments.
What is implied here is the essential value of keeping open to the descent of spiritual or Soul forces, especially when a new period of individual activity is about to begin. The individual should not depend mainly on outer circumstances and on traditional — and in a sense external, because collectively formulated — incentives. There is a creative power within, a power that can be tapped, or rather that should be allowed to flow into the brain-consciousness or the hands which write or fashion materials into original forms.
This is the first stage in the sixty-third sequence of five phases of activity. It refers to the OVERSHADOWING of the individual consciousness by an inner, yet transcendent, Power.
PHASE 312 (AQUARIUS 12°): ON A VAST STAIRCASE STAND PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT TYPES, GRADUATED UPWARD.
KEYNOTE: The necessity of recognizing differences of types and levels of development wherever human beings live and work together.
This symbol obviously refers to the ascending process of evolution of life forms and consciousness. It seems to apply especially to the fact that differences of levels exist among human beings. The ideal of equalitarianism has to be balanced by a realization that hierarchy of levels is a fact of nature. Each person should be aware of the level at which he (or she) stands, even as he strives to move toward a higher one. He should look up for inspiration and examples, while helping the human beings of the next lower level to reach up. This is the great give-and-take of evolution, and it applies to sociocultural evolution as well as to the progression of biological species.
At this second stage of the sixty-third sequence we find a symbol of "ascent," contrasting with the preceding one which implied a "descent" of spiritual forces. It warns us against sentimentally overstressing our Western equalitarianism which essentially applies to the spiritual core of all individual persons, considered "sons of God" or spiritual monads. Every human being is potentially divine as an individual person, but THE NATURAL PROGRESSION OF STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS is an unavoidable reality to accept at the social-mental level.
PHASE 313 (AQUARIUS 13°): A BAROMETER.
KEYNOTE: The ability to discover basic natural facts that allow us to plan in advance for action.
Here we are no longer dealing with ascent or descent, but with natural laws which involve causal relationships and the passage of one natural condition into another. The barometer registers air pressure, and a change of pressure today gives some indication of what the weather will be tomorrow. In a sense this is the modern scientific equivalent of archaic prognostication through omens. Likewise, animals grow a more or less thick fur in early autumn according to whether the winter will be more or less severe. Planning for the near future is a possibility because the potential (or seed) of the future is already operating at the core of the present.
This third symbol of the sixty-third sequence tells us that it is most important to seek — by whatever means and at whatever level of consciousness — a knowledge of causal progression. In the broadest sense this implies an awareness of cyclic processes, and this includes astrology. The Keyword is ANTICIPATION.
PHASE 314 (AQUARIUS 14°): A TRAIN ENTERING A
KEYNOTE: The ability to short-cut the process of natural evolution by the exercise of will, mental skill and physical self-discipline.
In this symbol we see a condensation of what is implied in the three preceding ones. Man must be inspired by a vision of what is possible for him to achieve; he has to organize a schedule of necessary activities if the work is to be done in terms of successive moves, each requiring a specialized type of skill and strength (i.e. a hierarchy of functions); he has to find a propitious time for beginning the work. The end result is an acceleration of the evolutionary process, whether at the psychobiological level (that of yoga and other similar disciplines) or at the social level, i.e. the level at which, in its external aspect, civilization proceeds.
This fourth stage symbol presents a picture of what can be achieved by a combination of social and cultural, and even personal, techniques. It implies the possibility of shortening the length of time needed for progress by cutting through obstacles and delays. The Keyword is PENETRATION.
PHASE 315 (AQUARIUS 15°): TWO LOVEBIRDS SITTING ON A FENCE AND SINGING HAPPILY.
KEYNOTE: The blessing bestowed upon personal achievements by the spiritually fulfilled consciousness of the Soul.
This symbol can be interpreted at various levels of significance, but it evidently suggests a state of being in which two complementary aspects of spiritual reality — however we may conceive them — are united; this union results in happiness or bliss (ananda). As the two birds are "sitting on a fence," and a fence separates two fields or gardens, the implication is that the separative consciousness of the ego can thus be blessed, perhaps as a spiritual reward for long-sustained and well-done work.
This is the last symbol of the sixty-third five-fold sequence which completes Scene Twenty-one. Inner happiness is seen to be the reward for all individuals who have made a valuable "contribution" to their community or to mankind as a whole. In its highest aspect this happiness is indeed BEATITUDE.
An Astrological Mandala