SCENE THREE: SUBSTANTIATION
(Taurus 1° to Taurus 15°)
FIRST LEVEL: ACTIONAL
PHASE 31 (TAURUS 1°): A CLEAR MOUNTAIN STREAM.
KEYNOTE: The pure, uncontaminated and spontaneous manifestation of one's own nature.
Here we see life substance in its original dynamic form and as it emerged from its spiritual source. This is true whatever the nature of the source may be. In a sense the mountain stream is conditioned by the nature of the soil and by all the forces which in the past have formed the mountain's rock strata: that is to say, by past history. Yet out of this past a new, pure (i.e. unadulterated) release of potentiality has emerged. It is ready to perform whatever work its dharma is to accomplish.
This is the first stage of the seventh five-fold sequence of phases. Matter is still imbued with great potential energy, energy being matter at its source. It is flowing irresistibly toward its own destiny. It is simply ITS OWN NATURE.
PHASE 32 (TAURUS 2°): AN ELECTRICAL STORM.
KEYNOTE: The cosmic power able to transform all the implications of natural existence.
At this second stage of the five-fold sequence we see a picture which contrasts with the one for the first stage: thus, a celestial display of power versus a clear, lovely-sounding little stream. Back of every natural self-expression stands the tremendous power of the "Soul-field," itself but one of the myriad aspects of the Creative Word that is the origin of this universe. At certain times, this power compels the natural earth-conditioned personality to accept, perhaps in awe, the spiritual potentialities of its "higher" celestial destiny. This experience of power can both illumine and shatter. The next symbol reveals its positive possibilities.
This is a stage of existence in which "revelation" is implied, at least as a potentiality. The consciousness may be deeply disturbed by THE VISITATION, but the substance of the individual being can be fecundated by the experience.
PHASE 33 (TAURUS 3°): NATURAL STEPS LEAD TO A LAWN OF CLOVER IN BLOOM.
KEYNOTE: The gradual expansion of the individual consciousness after a fecundating experience.
Having been "activated" by electrical energy, the pure water of the mountain stream is able to fertilize the soil which covers itself with small blossoms. "Clover" however, is normally a symbol of the Triad ("Trinity"), and thus of the often-mentioned "three natures" in man. To reach the Flowering garden of mind, the consciousness must proceed by steps. Effort is needed. What is reached is a flowering display of the simple, quite humble kind, yet bees are after it for honey. There is sweetness and energy latent in the blossoms.
This is the third stage of the seventh five-fold sequence of phases. It is a stage at which one should seek with diligence and determination, but in humility and faith, to reach NATURAL FULFILLMENT.
PHASE 34 (TAURUS 4°): THE POT OF GOLD AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW.
KEYNOTE: Riches that come from linking the celestial and the earthly nature.
In Genesis, the rainbow is the symbol of the Covenant of God with Noah. In all mythologies it expresses, in one way or another, a linking process — or the bridge used by divine beings to communicate with mortals. What the linking process brings to the individual consciousness is elusive, as the rainbow never ends where you are, yet it is the source of symbolic, universally valid wealth. All wealth, in a very real sense, comes from "commerce"; i.e. from the commingling of minds and from contracts, and thus is based on faith in the validity of a promise.
At this fourth stage of the five-fold process we are given a mode of operation, which reminds us of the symbol for the second stage, "an electrical storm." Man need not be overawed by the celestial display of power, for it leads to a fruitful contact with beings of light. This is a natural kind of COMMUNION, involving a transubstantiation of matter.
PHASE 35 (TAURUS 5°): A WIDOW AT AN OPEN GRAVE.
KEYNOTE: The impermanence of all material and social bonds.
"All natural compounds decay," said the Buddha. The most beautiful and most enjoyed substance loses its potential energy through continuous actualization and the principle of integration and form is withdrawn, leaving the Void — "the open grave" that ends all attachments. The Void is the great challenge: What next? One must begin anew, and if possible at a "higher," i.e. more inclusive and universal, less egocentric, level.
This fifth conclusive stage of the sequence which deals with root elements and basic actions and responses may seem negative, yet it opens the door to self-renewal. Beyond the personal attachment rises the possibility of participating in a larger sphere of existence. This possibility rarely manifests itself except as one is ready to DISCARD THE PAST.
SECOND LEVEL: EMOTIONAL/CULTURAL
PHASE 36 (TAURUS 6°): CANTILEVER BRIDGE ACROSS A DEEP GORGE.
KEYNOTE: The conquest of separativeness through group-cooperation.
The person who has suffered deprivation and loneliness can give new substance to his or her emotional life by participating in a collective project. All great evolutionary challenges imply the overcoming of basic difficulties. A step ahead must be taken, yet an abyss confronts evolving man. It is no longer a personal Void - an "open grave" - but a chasm that is an integral part of the "land" upon which man's evolution must proceed. A link must be built through the power of the collective mind of the group or of the community at large, on the basis of the legacy of the past, to make a bridge over the canyon.
This is the first stage of the eighth five-fold process of "Substantiation." The man-made bridge built with collective skill gives substance to and demonstrates man's capacity to CONQUER OBSTACLES and to achieve evolutionary continuity as well as expansion in space.
PHASE 37 (TAURUS 7°): THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA AT THE ANCESTRAL WELL.
KEYNOTE: The meeting of the traditional past and of the creative spirit pointing to the future.
The symbol refers to a most important, but usually narrowly interpreted (or interpreted away!) episode of the Christ mythos. Early in his ministry, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at an ancestral well. This woman belongs to a tribe despised by the Jews; moreover, she is unmarried and therefore on the fringe of even her own society. It is to just that kind of woman that Jesus reveals that he is the Messiah: "I am He," a revelation that he apparently will not bestow even upon his disciples, at least not in words. (Words in occultism are the creative factor.)
What does this mean? Jesus, as the Avatar incorporating the Christ-Impulse, came to replace the old tribal order with a new order based on universal Love. It is not to representatives of, or even to men still attached to, the old order that Jesus could reveal his spiritual, evolutionary and society-transforming status; they had instead to reach a point where they could discover his avatar-ship - as did Peter just before the Transfiguration scene. But to the woman of Samaria - who, in her openness to love's urgings, had already repudiated any narrow subservience to the old order - Jesus could reveal his function. The highest meets the lowest when this lowest is free from traditional bonds and open to love. The creative future descends first to that which has become chaos. An old order is never open to a new Revelation until it has accepted disorder in the name of that Power which subsumes all forms of order, i.e. Love.
In this second stage of the five-fold sequence, a contrasting element enters upon the scene. It is no longer a collective-cultural effort based on past knowledge — as in the preceding symbol — but a "meeting" that introduces into the collective situation a totally new factor which transcends it. A NEW QUALITY OF BEING is revealed which renders the old patterns obsolete.
PHASE 38 (TAURUS 8°): A SLEIGH ON LAND UNCOVERED BY SNOW.
KEYNOTE: The value of anticipating and preparing for expectable conditions.
Here we have a combination of two factors: "the sleigh," which is a product of traditional skill (cf. Taurus 6° symbol) and the ability man has to foresee and thus to prepare for a future situation. This ability relates this symbol to the one for Taurus 7°, because the woman from Samaria had 'the capacity to receive a revelation of the future state of human evolution, though in a different and subconscious sense. Man should be ready to use past knowledge and skill to meet the demands of a stage yet to come.
At this third stage of the eighth five-fold sequence we should realize the value of FUTURE-ORIENTED IMAGINATION but also of relying upon the natural order of unfoldment of all life processes.
PHASE 39 (TAURUS 9°): A FULLY DECORATED CHRISTMAS TREE.
KEYNOTE: The ability to create inner happiness in dark hours.
In northern or mountainous countries where the Christmas tree symbol took form, we find a contrast between the tree outside - bare and normally covered with snow - and the tree inside the home - loaded with decorations and gifts for the family. If we follow up the meaning of the preceding symbol, we see that snow has come outside; but the prepared and closely united group has created abundance, beauty and happiness within, overcoming the cold barrenness of the outside world — just as man had overcome, in a previous symbol (Phase 35), the natural obstacle to his progress. The Christ symbol is also included in the background — that is, the vivid faith in a transformed future.
This fourth stage symbol suggests the ever-present possibility open to man to transfigure the darkness and deprivation of the low point of a life cycle by incarnating in it an antiphonic response celebrating the ever remembered and always expected high moments of life. It evokes man's undying FAITH IN CYCLIC RENEWAL.
PHASE 40 (TAURUS 10°): A RED CROSS NURSE.
KEYNOTE: The compassionate linking of all men.
This symbol reveals the feeling of human cooperation at the stage of pure altruism and service to the social Whole. On that foundation of Christ love (agape, or true companionship), man can reach a still higher level of experience made possible by the refinement of the substance of his being, his consciousness and his will. This goes beyond imagination and faith in the future - beyond Christmas tree celebrations - for it implies going into the dark to bring life and love to the tormented and the deprived.
At this final stage of the five-fold sequence we see what is finally open as new potentiality to the "widow before an open grave" — the closing symbol of the preceding sequence. Personal attachment in love to a husband or wife has changed level becoming a CONSECRATION TO HUMANITY.
THIRD LEVEL: INDIVIDUAL/MENTAL
PHASE 41 (TAURUS 11°): A WOMAN WATERING FLOWERS IN HER GARDEN.
KEYNOTE: Development of the powers of the mind on which ego-consciousness is based.
The psycho-mental nature of a human being takes form out of the fulfillment and transcendence of biological functions and drives, much as the bud appears as the sap rises, and bursts forth into bloom. "As the roots, so the flowers" is an old axiom. The consciousness attaches itself to this wondrous efflorescence; it lavishes its attention upon it, its love — alas, usually a possessive kind of love ("This is my garden!"). Thus the ego develops. It may develop in a negative, resentful way if a belated frost destroys the buds. This is the first stage of the ninth sequence of phases, a sequence that basically refers to the overall situation related to the development of the ego. The Keyword here is CULTIVATION.
PHASE 42 (TAURUS 12°): A YOUNG COUPLE WINDOW-SHOPPING.
KEYNOTE: The fascination of the youthful ego with the products of its culture.
The woman waters flowers in her garden: this is the inward-turned attention of the mind reveling in its own flowering. But now we have a scene symbolizing the outward longing of the ego, which has polarized itself and become "man-woman." The "man" aspect is that part of the ego which craves direct participation with society and the world of other egos. Fully to participate requires a special kind of substantiation - and we are still in this third scene, the Keyword of which is "Substantiation." Clothes, goods of various types, adornment, and working tools are needed. The consciousness surveys possibilities; they are defined by organic nature (personal abilities) and by the ambition to succeed in society.
This second stage is defined in contrast to the first. The ego becomes aware of what society has to offer. Its attention is turned outward. An interplay takes place between the individual and his culture. He is being molded by what he sees and by prospects for growth in social prestige. It is a phase of SOCIALIZATION OF DESIRES.
PHASE 43 (TAURUS 13°): A PORTER CARRYING HEAVY BAGGAGE.
KEYNOTE: Self-mobilization for social advantage.
The "man" spoken of in the preceding symbol is now integrated in a social pattern. He has to carry a load — perhaps a load of debts following an ambitious buying spree, or some other social burden. He is the strong man, the man of ambition who has to take care of the inward-turned "woman" aspect of his consciousness, the aspect that seeks to grow a beautiful "garden" of individual selfhood.
At this third stage of the ninth five-fold sequence we see the outcome of the first two. The relationship of ego-man and society has taken the aspect of COMPULSION FOR GAIN.
PHASE 44 (TAURUS 14°): ON THE BEACH, CHILDREN PLAY WHILE SHELLFISH GROPE AT THE EDGE OF THE WATER.
KEYNOTE: Returning to simpler joys for revitalization.
This somewhat ambiguous picture suggests the way in which simultaneous activities of different natures can fill the individualizing mind. The consciousness of socialized man operates at two levels, in close parallelism with what goes on in the unconscious parts of the mind (i.e. the sea). Natural urges are half conscious, half unconscious. They exist in a borderland - the wet sands still partly covered by small waves. The children play a little further away, learning imaginative yet socio-cultural games. The hardworking porter loaded with baggage should remain a little child at times and allow himself to be close to subconscious but natural urges. At least he should do so for a while until he feels surer of himself.
This symbol suggests that it is better not to attempt at once more than one can achieve through conscious and ego-driven ambition. It refers to the value, at this stage, of close contact with natural energies and simple pleasures, of a LIVE AND LET LIVE attitude.
PHASE 45 (TAURUS 15°): HEAD COVERED WITH A RAKISH SILK HAT, MUFFLED AGAINST THE COLD, A MAN BRAVES A STORM.
KEYNOTE: The courage needed to meet the crises precipitated by social ambition.
The man with the silk hat has seen some of his ambitious efforts bring him social success; but he learns that often "nothing fails like success." The storm may be within him, or it may attack his social status. He is ready to face it daringly. This shows a willingness to accept crises and to go through them — and therefore great character, the soil upon which a higher kind of consciousness may develop.
This is the fifth and final stage of this ninth five-fold sequence of symbols. It implies a transition to a new level at which the individual who has learned from experience demonstrates a truly mature mind. What is revealed here is CHARACTER under adverse circumstances.
An Astrological Mandala