SCENE FOUR: CONFIRMATION
(Taurus 16° to Taurus 30°)
FIRST LEVEL: ACTIONAL
PHASE 46 (TAURUS 16°): AN OLD TEACHER FAILS TO INTEREST HIS PUPILS IN TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE.
KEYNOTE: The inadequacy of past knowledge in time of crisis.
During this Act One of the cyclic process the emergence of new developments is emphasized. In time of crisis — as, for example, the "storm" being braved by the man of the last symbol (Phase 45) — the type of wisdom learned from this past remains in the background to be revived later on in new forms; what is emphasized is change. Traditional concepts are not adequate to confirm the new conditions of existence. Thus whenever this symbol comes to a seeker's attention it indicates that even the most consecrated tradition does not have the real answer to the problem.
At this first stage of the tenth five-fold sequence of phases of the cyclic process a seemingly negative picture is shown. From the Zen point of view the mind facing trouble should not depend on past concepts but should repeat: "Not this! Not that!" — until the pure Void is reached. We might speak here of the principle of CREATIVE FRUSTRATION.
PHASE 47 (TAURUS 17°): A SYMBOLICAL BATTLE BETWEEN "SWORDS" AND "TORCHES."
KEYNOTE: Refusing to depend upon the past, the seeker turns warrior, fighting anew the eternal "Great War. "
When Gautama, having sought in vain for the answers to his questions among the teachers of tradition, sat under the Bodhi Tree, he had to fight his own battle in his own way, even though it is an eternal fight. The spiritual light within the greater Soul must struggle against the ego-will that only knows how to use the powers of this material and intellectual world. There is no possibility of escape; it is the energy that arises out of the present moment — the inescapable NOW — that the daring individual has to use in the struggle.
This second stage symbol suggests that salvation is attained through the emergent individual's readiness to face all issues as if there were only two opposed sides. So teaches the Bhagavad-Gita. This is the dharma of this stage of human evolution: a stage of POLARIZATION OF VALUES.
PHASE 48 (TAURUS 18°): A WOMAN AIRING AN OLD BAG THROUGH THE OPEN WINDOW OF HER ROOM.
KEYNOTE: The cleansing of the ego-consciousness.
In this third stage of the present sequence the first two stages should be considered background. The traditional teachings concerning man's nature are somehow reconciled with the youthful enthusiasm that sees in every problem of growth an issue between the "good" and the "bad." The symbol suggests that the real enemy is within the mind; it is the ego and its attachment to possessions. The mind is shown in the likeness of a "bag," now empty and needing to be aired in the sunlight. But the "window" must first be opened and the bag emptied. The phrase "cleansing the doors of perception" has become well known of late. But even more to be cleansed is the container of perceptual images — i.e. the ego mind. The Keyword is PURIFICATION.
PHASE 49 (TAURUS 19°): A NEW CONTINENT RISING OUT OF THE OCEAN.
KEYNOTE: The surge of new potentiality after the crisis.
The symbol need hardly be commented upon. When the mind has been emptied and light has been called upon to purify the consciousness freed from its attachment and contaminations, a new release of life can emerge out of the infinite Ocean of potentiality, the Virgin SPACE. What will it be used for?
Because this is a fourth stage symbol we find in it a suggestion of how to approach whatever new phase of life has been not only hoped for, but actually confirmed. The "technique" is simply to allow the infinite Potential to operate in unconstrained SPONTANEITY. This means to have reached a state in which the conscious, rational ego is no longer a controlling factor.
PHASE 50 (TAURUS 20°): WISPS OF WING-LIKE CLOUDS STREAMING ACROSS THE SKY.
KEYNOTE: The awareness of spiritual forces at work.
Any emergence of life potentialities from the depth of the vast Unconscious is answered by the spiritual activity of superconscious forces in a cosmic kind of antiphony. The individual who has taken a new step in their evolution should look for the "Signature" of divine Powers confirming their progress. It may reveal the meaning of what is to come next. The "wing-like clouds" may also symbolize the presence of celestial beings (devas, angels) blessing and subtly revealing the direction to take, the direction of "the wind" of destiny.
This is the fifth stage of the tenth five-fold sequence. It concludes a process, having experienced which the individual should find themselves more securely established in their own original nature, receiving the BLESSINGS of super-natural forces.
SECOND LEVEL: EMOTIONAL/CULTURAL
PHASE 51 (TAURUS 21°): A FINGER POINTING TO A LINE IN AN OPEN BOOK.
KEYNOTE: Learning to discern what in your culture and religion is meaningful to you personally.
This symbol evokes the traditional practice, when one is in need of guidance, of opening at random a Sacred Book (for Christians, the Bible) and spontaneously placing one's finger on a paragraph. We are parts of a cultural-religious whole, and every whole has a message for its many parts, if these are willing to submit their little wills to the great meaning and destiny of the whole. In an even broader sense, the open mind can learn to detect "signatures" in many events which he has allowed to occur. The too great reliance on repeated symbolizations can lead to a schizoid state of over-subjective dependence upon signs and omens.
This is the first stage of the eleventh five-fold sequence of symbolic phases in the general process of "Differentiation" (Act One). By relying on cultural guidance a person identifies himself with a differentiated type of collective response to a particular environment. It is a state of SUBSERVIENCE TO COLLECTIVE VALUES.
PHASE 52 (TAURUS 22°): WHITE DOVE FLYING OVER TROUBLED WATERS.
KEYNOTE: The spiritual inspiration that comes to the individual in the overcoming of crisis.
Here also we are confronted with a symbol of guidance, and the dove flying over troubled waters reminds one of the story of Noah and the Ark. Noah met his and mankind's crisis courageously and in complete obedience to God's promptings. The test completed, he received the dove's message. It is a message from the Holy Spirit announcing a new Dispensation. This symbolic scene can be applied to personal crises resulting from emotional upheavals or from the irruption of unconscious forces and impulses into the consciousness — if the crisis has been faced in the right spirit.
This second stage symbol is in contrast to the preceding one because here it is not the product of a culture, a "book," but instead the rhythm of cosmic, God-ordained cycles that reveals its conclusive beat through a living and concretely significant sign — a REWARD TO THE FAITHFUL.
PHASE 53 (TAURUS 23°): A JEWELRY SHOP FILLED WITH VALUABLE GEMS.
KEYNOTE: The social confirmation of natural excellence.
Two elements should be distinguished in this symbolic picture: the gems that result from natural processes, often induced by extreme volcanic heat and pressure, and the finished products of refined craftsmen. Both the gems themselves and the artistry are highly prized and bring prestige to the owner of the jewels. The symbol applies to any product in which culturally acquired skill has embellished or transformed the end results of a lengthy
and demanding natural process.
This is the third stage of the eleventh five-fold sequence of phases. At this stage we are concerned with the social process which brings about a CERTIFICATION OF PERSONAL WORTH.
PHASE 54 (TAURUS 24°): AN INDIAN WARRIOR RIDING FIERCELY, HUMAN SCALPS HANGING FROM HIS BELT.
KEYNOTE: The aggressiveness of human instincts when fighting for their earthly base of operation.
In the mythology of early America, the Indian represents the "savage," close to nature and led by primordial instincts. Alas, our present century has revealed that under far less imperative circumstances so-called civilized man is capable of far more cruel tortures and extermination. This symbol related to a fourth stage seems to imply that violence and aggressiveness are basic components of human nature at the level of the emotions and of a deep-seated identification with a particular culture which insists on regarding men of other cultures as potential enemies.
What is being confirmed here is the value of a group of men's differences from other groups. We are still in the period of "Differentiation" (Act One of the cyclic process) and the need for a differentiation of human behavior and collective values is still very strong. At the emotional level man apparently still has to believe in VIOLENCE FOR SURVIVAL.
PHASE: (TAURUS 25°): A VAST PUBLIC PARK.
KEYNOTE: The cultivation of natural energies for collective use and recreation.
At this final stage of the sequence of symbols focusing on emotional-cultural values, we witness the positive and impressive results of man's collective endeavor to live in peace and to enjoy moments of relaxation. The public park is designed and kept for the enjoyment of all the people of the city.
This is a symbol of COLLECTIVE ENJOYMENT. The individual finds in the products of his culture an emotional enhancement born of the feeling of "belonging" to a large, organized, peaceful whole.
THIRD LEVEL: INDIVIDUAL/MENTAL
PHASE 56 (TAURUS 26°): A SPANISH GALLANT SERENADES HIS BELOVED.
KEYNOTE: The ritualization of individual desires.
At this level we see the play of collective values as they affect the individual person and indeed confirm his individuality by giving it a solid basis in a tradition. The individual is still attached to these group-values; he "belongs." Nevertheless, this state is necessary for a safe and secure sense of differentiation within an enfolding whole. Music and the culturally acceptable rituals of love are cultural products, yet each person can use them for the spontaneous fulfillment of his very own desires.
This is the first symbol in the twelfth five-fold series. It reveals the individual human being making use of his personal status to find fulfillment and a sense of social identity. This is ROLE-PLAYING in its most enjoyable form.
PHASE 57 (TAURUS 27°): AN OLD INDIAN WOMAN SELLING THE ARTIFACTS OF HER TRIBE TO PASSERS-BY.
KEYNOTE: Peaceful adaptation to collective needs.
In contrast to the impetuosity of the Spanish serenader, we now see the quiet and smiling face of an old Indian woman offering for sale the traditional products of her tribal culture. She too is functioning within the culture which has been sustaining her activity through a long life, bringing to her personal peace and inner contentment. In old age, the power of the collectivity once more reasserts itself, overcoming the perhaps wearying effort man makes to assert his uniqueness and individual character.
At this second stage of the twelfth five-fold sequence the aging mind of the individual peacefully reintegrates itself into the psychic matrix of his group and culture, in serene ADJUSTMENT to the vital needs of the whole of which he sees himself as a fleeting part.
PHASE 58 (TAURUS 28°): A WOMAN, PAST HER "CHANGE OF LIFE," EXPERIENCES A NEW LOVE.
KEYNOTE: Man's capacity to rise in consciousness and feelings above biological limitations.
After having stated the youthful and the aged approach of the human individual to the use of what his culture has brought to him, the symbolism stresses man's capacity to rise above the limitations which both biological nature and the "normal" social pattern of behavior have tried to impose on him. As in many of the preceding symbols, a "woman" is pictured, because at this early stage of the cyclic process the individual consciousness still has a receptive or "feminine" polarity — as was indicated in the very first symbol of the entire cycle (Aries 1°).
Whenever this third stage of the twelfth sequence is brought to a person's consciousness, the indication is that he or she should freely open his or her mind to the possibility of always new REBEGINNINGS. Ideally, the new beginning should imply a more mature response to
the new possibility of experience.
PHASE 59 (TAURUS 29): TWO COBBLERS WORKING AT A TABLE.
KEYNOTE: The two-fold character of man's mature understanding.
In symbolism the feet are the symbol of understanding. Understanding differs from mere knowledge because it implies at least some degree of identification in depth with what is being understood. Moreover it is impossible fully to understand anything except when its opposite is taken into consideration. The mental process of understanding — and therefore of appreciation — implies confrontation between two points of view. Thus the mind
gains a sense of perspective. The way to dispel a shadow is to have the object illumined (on its own two-dimensional level) by two sources of light. True understanding dissipates any intellectual shadow. The "two cobblers" symbolize two contrasting ways of approaching the understanding of an experience — especially a new experience — and they provide concrete forms which may clothe and protect the understanding.
This is the fourth stage of this twelfth five-fold sequence. It reveals symbolically the way in which a mature individual mind works in an attempt to gain PERSPECTIVE; a true perspective becomes the foundation upon which to build a new approach to life.
PHASE 60 (TAURUS 30°): A PEACOCK PARADING ON THE TERRACE OF AN OLD CASTLE.
KEYNOTE: The personal display of inherited gifts.
A great person able to display a multitude of gifts is always, at one level or another, the consummation of a long past of efforts and victories. As a great occultist once wrote: "Adepts are the flowering of their races and cultures." The peacock is the bird consecrated to Venus; in occult tradition the Promethean Spirits who gave to animal mankind the divine gift of self-conscious intelligence had come from "Venus" — which may or may not refer to the physical planet we can observe in the sky.
This is the final symbol of the fourth scene, whose Keyword has been given as "Confirmation." This peacock symbol indeed confirms the social status of the owner of the ancestral estate. It indicates a CONSUMMATION of individual efforts; and it suggests that such a consummation is hardly possible except when a line of "ancestors" — biological or spiritual — forms its base.
An Astrological Mandala