Dec 122013

SunSymbolWisdom is the that streams out from the interior of a being in many directions. It is what dwells, actively present, in the interior of the being itself, comprehending its surroundings not in a one-sided way, but many-sidedly. If we wish to represent this schematically, we draw a point – for wisdom is contained within the human being. Out of the point, wisdom issues forth in many-sided forms. Thus we have the sign of the Sun. This is the expression of wisdom – which is inner and, at all the same time, comprises everything. It radiates forth equally in all directions – it is universal. The life force is in fact this striving of the inner being outward towards universality.

And the struggle that wisdom, as well as life, must endure in existence consists precisely in the fact that a power must be developed out of wisdom that can put up a resistance to one-sidedness, to impact from without, from right and left. For wisdom is the condition of a being that is capable of relying upon itself, of not needing any point of support, whether from right or from left, of relying upon nothing save its own inner strength of being, and of not being drawn into one-sidedness.

This is the power that lives in the principle of wisdom. It was shown in the Gospels in deeply moving portrayal when Christ Jesus was scourged by his fellow human beings. The ability to be centred in oneself – to stand, out of the power of one’s own inner being, in spite of all assaults from without – this is the power that is developed through scourging. What constituted the essential heart of the old Sun, what caused the planet to shine forth, was the same power that manifests and endures in the scourging. The planet of the scourging was the old Sun.

And if we now move on to the old Moon, we find the astral element being poured out into existence through the Spirits of Movement. At the same time, this astral element was taken hold of by Lucifer, and a battle then took place in the the heavens. Human Karma began on the Earth, but cosmic karma began on the old Moon. We can also put it this way: If the human fall into sin took place on Earth, then the cosmic fall into sin took place on the old Moon. And as a guardian was placed on Earth to guard the threshold, so also – when the spirits fell – a guardian was placed on the old Moon, one who took karma onto himself. This guardian was the realiser of spiritual karma.

By remaining true to themselves, spirits received the dignity of the guardian of the divine intentions. The dignity of the guardian is what is expressed by the crown of thorns. The crown of thorns symbolises a dignity that indeed corresponds to a state of being crowned, but at the same time it wounds the one who is crowned. For the power that the guardian, the representative of karmic necessity, must unfold from within is the power of inexorableness. It is the principle of taking a oral stand so that the Truth and the Law will be fulfilled. Pity must be overcome by the being who assumes this guardian’s mission.

alchemyAnd so the spiritual beings who had to represent the karma of the worlds needed, on the one hand, to look upon the Luciferic being with the greatest pity, and on the other hand they had to repeatedly overcome this pity in order to stand unshakably on the cosmic threshold. The power that reveals itself in being crowned with thorns is that of being obliged to judge while experiencing an inward pity that must, however, be constantly controlled and overcome. Thus this crown pricks the wearer himself. And that is what happened in the cosmos during the time of the old Moon that during this time the crown of thorns came into being in the Cosmos.

If we now pass on further to the development of the Earth, we find earthly existence represented by the cross. The carrying of the cross is the fundamental note, the fundamental motif, of earthly existence, and every being connected with the Earth has to experience it in some form or other. During the development of the Earth, humanity must, on the whole, reach the stage of carrying the cross; again and again individuals will have to take the cross upon themselves and learn to bear it through the whole cycle the whole circle, of their experiences. The symbol of the Earth itself expresses bringing to fulfillment of the carrying of the cross.

Valentin Tomberg, Indian Yoga in Relation to the Christian-Rosicrucian Path


Jun 062012

Those who have troubled to measure in time and space such things as emotions insist that we can assess another person in a millisecond. Was this instant character-assessment the reason why we felt uneasy, in spite of all the other emotions which welled up from within? It was early in the second week in September, 1980, and we were sitting outside a cafe in the cathedral square in Chartres, talking to a girl we had just met.

In the cathedral, we had seen her walking down the south aisle towards the great floor-maze. The bright hues from the stained-glass windows had flooded upon her, like coloured celestial music. She had walked directly across the spiralling arcs of the maize-like dancing ground. When she reached the centre, she stood quite still. She did not appear to notice us.

We were in the shadows, leaning against a column, contemplating the maze. She looked down at her feet, as though to ensure that they were correctly placed, and raising her arms above her head, strained upwards on tiptoes. When she saw us, beyond the edge of the circle, she showed no embarrassment, but merely smiled. Perhaps she did not realise that when she had lifted her arms, we had seen the full sweep of her breast through the armholes of her loose blouse.

We had been contemplating the medieval dancing ground, and remained a short distance from the floor pattern while we studied its orientations to the details of the interior architecture. Strangely, although the cathedral had been crowded only minutes before, we two were now the only ones near the floor maze.

‘I am at the centre’, she said, with the soft accent of a Bostonian. She had lowered her arms and heels, but was still smiling towards us. Her voice was almost lost in the vastness of the cathedral space.

We laughed, but it was not in mockery. ‘There is no centre to a maze’. We had said this only to continue the conversation.

‘This is not a maze’. She sounded slightly upset as she corrected us. The tone of her voice insinuated that we had failed to understand. She was right, and we felt foolish. Of course it was not a maze: we had assumed that she had no knowledge of such things.

‘It is a six-petalled centre’, we offered, to prove that we were not really foolish.

‘Six petals. Yes, and a stalk because it is a flower.’ Then, as though to show she forgave us, she once again stretched her arms above her head, and balanced on her toes. ‘You see – I am Virgo standing on the Flower of the Virgin’.

We wondered if she could see the sexual implications in her words. We could not guess her personal horoscope, but she was right about the centre of the dancing ground being the flos Virginis. We were already fascinated by this girl who was, whether she knew it or not, dancing the secret Way.

She crossed the maze towards us, offering her hand.

Mark Hedsel, The Zelator

Dec 162011

The seventh day is blessed and sanctified, because it is the day not of the world and the movement of the world, but rather of the Father himself alone. It is the seventh part of the circle of movement of the world, when he withdraws and becomes immobile and silent.

Thus it was that the circle of movement of the world was not closed but remained open. And the seventh day was sanctified and blessed as the open part of the circle of movement of the world, in such a way that the beings of the world had access to the Father and the Father had access to them.

But the serpent said: “There is no freedom for the world, in so far as the circle of the world is not closed. Because freedom is to be in oneself, without interference from outside, especially from above, on the part of the Father. The world will always follow the will of the Father, and not its own, in so far as there is an opening in the circle of the world, in so far as the sabbath exists.

And the serpent took his tail in his mouth and thus formed a closed circle. He turned himself with great force and thus created in the world the great swirl which caught hold of Adam and Eve. And the other beings, upon which Adam had impressed the names that he gave them, followed them.

And the serpent said to the beings of the world moving on this side of the closed circle, that he formed by taking his tail in his mouth and setting himself in rotation: Here is your way – you will commence by my tail and you will arrive at my head. Then you will have traversed the length of the circle of my being and you will have within you the entire closed circle, and thus you will be free as I am free.

But woman guarded the memory of the world opened towards the Father and the holy sabbath. And she offered herself for the rending of the closed circle in herself in order to give birth to children issuing from the world beyond it, from the world where there is the sabbath. Thus originated the suffering of her pregnancy, and thus originated sorrow on this side of the world of the serpent.

And hostility came between the woman and the serpent, between the generations of woman, giving birth with pain, and the generations of the serpent, giving birth with pleasure. The former will crush the head of the serpent and the serpent will would the heel of the woman. For woman moves in contrary sense to the movement of the serpent, and her head reaches to the tail of the serpent, and her heels touch the head of the serpent.

This is because in the world (which is the current of the serpent)suffering is its counter-movement. It was through the counter-movement of suffeing that there originated the counter-current(of the sons of woman) which is the thought born from suffering and from memory of the world of the sabbath.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter X, Wheel of Fortune

Aug 192011

Dear Unknown Friend

The preceding Arcanum – ‘The Moon’ – confronted us with the task of human intelligence to liberate itself from the magical enchantment which separates it from spontaneous wisdom, and to unite itself with the latter, ie, to arrive at intuition. The nineteenth Arcanum – “The Sun” – is that of the accomplished union of intelligence and spontaneous wisdom: the Arcanum of intuition.


“The children who are fraternising under the sun correspond all the better to Gemini because this zodiacal constellation berings in the longest days to us” says Oswald Wirth (Le Tarot des imagiers du moyen age), thus locating the nineteenth Arcanum in the zodiacal circle of twelve cosmic mysteries or, speaking in the language of C J Jung, in the circle of twelve archetypal force-images of the collective unconscious which work in the depths of every human soul.

For the zodiac is that which the human soul knows unconsciously; it is the book which the soul “ate” and which is present and active only in his “bowels” – in the depths of his being – from whence it renders him strong or weak, fertile or arid, fervent or tepid, according to whether he is in harmony or not with its teaching-impulse.

Now, the teaching impulse called “Gemini” can be expressed by paraphrasing a little the first statement of the Emerald Table of Hermes:

May that which is below be as that which is above, and may that which is above be as that which is below to accomplish the miracles of one thing.

This is the principle of analogy put into practice, taking its point of departure from the principle of cooperation.


One of the highest aspects of the principle of Gemini, the principle of cooperation, is that which is present in intuition: that of the cooperation between spontaneous wisdom and intelligence. Here it is a matter of a state of consciousnes where  intelligence advances from formal knowledge to material knowledge, ie, from knowledge of the relationships of the things to knowledge of the things themselves.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XIX, The Sun



May 272011

Here is the circle of science: ascending from the visible to the invisible in theory, and descending from the invisible to the visible in practice. It is the ancient symbol of the serpent which bites its tail.

Because the circle is closed – not in the sense of the circle’s dimension, since it can grow indefinitely, but rather in the sense that it is always will be a circle without opening (in contrast to the spiral, which is an “open circle”).

The forces of warmth, magnetism, electricity and nuclear forces are thus discovered – and a series of other forces, more hidden and still more subtle, can be discovered – but only forces are discovered, ie, the causes of mechanical movement. It is in that this circle is closed that it is why – without intervention from outside of it, such as that of Teilhard de Chardin – it is a prison and captivity for the spirit.

What is true of natural science is also true of personal or arbitrary magic. The latter proceeds exactly as the former – ascending in theory and descending in practice. Modern authors on magic are perfectly right in advancing the thesis that magic is a science and that it has nothing to do with miracles as such:

Magic is the study and practice of the control of Nature’s secert forces. It is a science – pure, or dangerous – like all sciences….(Papus).

We have to add here only that this is true, and also that “Nature’s secret forces” are secret only for a limited time, notably until their discovery by natural science – which simply discovers and renders controllable the “secret forces” of Nature one after the other. It is therefore only a question of time until the pursuit of magic and that of natural science coincide and become identical.

But, on the other hand, it is also true that the closed circle of science, which is a prison and captivity for the spirit, applies also to personal magic. Magic, in so far as it is a science – and it is one – has the same fate as science, ie, captivity in a closed circle. And when Papus says further on in the introduction to his Traite methodique de magie practique that, “Magic, we could say, is the materialism of the future knights of Christ….”

He admits with this statement the fact of the captivity of magic as such – in a closed circle of a single aspect of the world, which he names “materialism”. And he gives expression to his hope that in the future there will be an intervention from beyond this closed circle by future magicians (“knights of Christ”)…in other words, that future Teilhard de Chardins will do for magic what he has done for science: that they will open the closed circle and transform it into a spiral.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter XVII, The Star

Apr 232011

‘From the swelling seas, un-silent,
Rising from the salt, through ether,
Neptune holds aloft his trident,
Cries: “The Spring has come; be patient!

As the centre of his offspring
Glows – outraged to so be lectured –
So much wisdom of the ages
Flows from father-ocean’s lectern:

‘“Take some good advice, Orion:
Watch and learn the way of heaven;
Time just moves around in circles,
From the fish becomes a turtle.”

“Onward then in time, a deluge
Caused a boar to swim the ocean;
Then the lion, Narasimha
Came before the dwarf Vamana.

“Then to life a noble hero
Sprang and rid the world of tyrants.
This made way for Rama’s charm,
Which came before the Bhagavad Gita.

“In this way the prince of paupers
Broke the wheel of earthly suffering;
Maybe, son, you’ll hear him teaching
In the realm of endless loving…”

‘“Thanks for nothing! Shouts Orion,
Show to me my loving mother.
She, at least, would save her scion.”
No; alas: She’s with his brother.’

‘Peering through the velvet darkness,
Seeks the Starman souls like-minded.
Souls who cry for freedom – ‘partners’ –
Ones to rend his endless bindings.

Apr 232011

‘‘Then the maidens – those with honour –
Artemis in love, Selene,
Keep thee near the world as Moon Queen,
Govern tides and turn. Athena

‘You shall take the name, Minerva,
Teach the legions with your learning;
Help the Romans conquer Hellas,
Thereby, still be known as Pallas.

‘Hestia, keep your honoured status,
May the Earth exalt your greatness.
You, Demeter, shall be Ceres
Governing over every season.

Zeus who radiates with lightening,
Thunderbolts so freely striking,
Then be Jove with circles binding –
Halos – rings of dust surrounding.

Though I shan’t recall the priestess,
She who kept the gold-leaf mystery,
Shroud the oracle of Delphi
With the endless veil of history.

Mar 122011

The sign of walking on the water culminates with the Christ walking on the waves during the night experience of the disciples saying, “It is I; be not afraid” (John 6.20). Thus the disciples find the strength and means to reach the shore. The words “It is I; be not afraid” contain a revelation of the true kingly nature of Christ.

It does not call the Christ to govern (as the five thousand wished), but bestows on human beings the spiritual force of self-determination. The kingly nature of the Christ is his capacity not only to give humankind freedom, but also to give the needed strength to assert that freedom. In the spiritual moral sense, it would be proper to say that the royal nature of Christ involves giving kingly dignity to human beings.

Because the disciples had that night experience of the I AM as the true kingly nature of the Christ, they could say the following day the words spoken by Peter, which were just the opposite of what the five thousand had wished. The words of Peter express an intention that is different from that of the multitude. Jesus confirmed it with these words: “Have not I chosen you twelve?” (John 6.70). Then he added, “and one of you is a devil”.

The added words point to the fact that within the circle of the twelve, there is one who will not follow the will expressed by Peter, but the will of the five thousand, which, at the critical moment, would make the Messiah an earthly king. Thus, the sign of the feeding of the five thousand contains both streams of Christian destiny as well as the seed of Judas’ tragic destiny.

That destiny of Judas arose (in that particular incarnation) because he was situated between two streams of will – that of the five thousand who wanted a king, and that of the disciples, who had experienced the “Son of the living God” as the I AM. Judas shared that night experience of the cosmic waves, but it had the opposite effect, leading him to become convinced that the “multitude” would never be able to withstand that trial.

He could no longer believe that the many would ever be able to hear the voice of the I AM within, and the destiny of the multitude aroused his pity. So he took the side of the many, who (it seemed to him) would be sacrificed for an elect few. And because he had taken the side of the many, he believed, for example, that it would have been better to give the beggars the money that Mary, the sister of Lazarus, had spent on the costly ointment with which to annoint the feet of Jesus Christ.

For Judas, it was not a matter of individual human relationship to the needs of others; rather, his criterion was formed by an abstract idea of humanity in keeping with the principle that the whole is greater than the part. And this is why the evangelist tells us that Judas did not oppose Mary’s action because he had the cause of the beggars at heart, but because he thought only in terms of the quantitative aspect: “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12.6).

Judas was a “thief” in the sense that, in reality, he deprived the community of what he aspired to receive for the community. This is exactly the tragedy of Judas: he did not wish to be a thief; he did not want to deprive the community (the many), yet it was this wish that made him a thief. Thus, in the beginning Judas was a thief in the cosmic sense of diabolos (a term used for Lucifer in the Gospels), then he became a murdering thief when Satan entered him – that is, when Ahriman appeared as the karma of Lucifer.

The destiny of Judas among the twelve was to fully bear the two crosses of human activity: the cross to the left and the cross to the right on Golgotha. His apostolic mission to humanity (what he proclaimed to humanity) was the bitter truth about the nature of human activity without Christ. The mission of the twelve apostles was to bring the message of Christ to humanity from twelve perspectives. Judas, however, had the terrible mission of imparting knowledge of what human activity becomes when it is without the Christ.

Judas represented one aspect of the Christ mystery – the negative side in the sign of the Scorpion. This is why he belonged to the circle of the twelve, although right after the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus Christ stated that, although he had chosen all twelve, nonetheless one among them in their circle had the mission that diabolos (Lucifer) has in the circle of the zodiac.

Christ and Sophia The Signs and Miracles in John’s Gospels

Oct 022010

Using only logic we lose contact with mystery,with the desire for the imaginary. That’s why I love the Oriental philosophy of paradox, which is not that of the straight line, but of the circle, where something can be and not be at the same time, because life is not robotic with prefabricated answers. It’s unpredictable and can change at any second.

I am very fond of the tradition of the dove and the snake. Sometimes we need physical symbols to understand ourselves better. The classic image, which I like so much, is that of the Immaculate Virgin with a snake at her feet. The tradition of the Spirit, which departs from the principle that, what is important is not accumulation but knowing how to read the language of the collective unconscious, what we call the anima mundi. That would be the language of the dove.

And then, on the other hand, the classical tradition of the snake, of the accumulation of wisdom. We cannot remain with one or the other exclusively, but must harmonise the two – logic and intuition….Jesus says he has come not to destroy law but to fulfill it in spirit. Because a time comes when respect and obedience to law keeps you from living, but you can’t just live with anarchy either.

Another example from the Gospels that I like very much is when Jesus tells his disciples that when they go among men they should be ‘wise as serpents and harmless as doves’. That’s why we have to be alert and keep our feet on the ground, being concrete and objective, but at the same time knowing how to watch the run of things, enjoy contemplating them, trying to discover that secret language that speaks more to our feminine side, than to our reason.

Paul Coelho, Confessions of a Pilgrim, Juan Arias

Jun 132010

I felt extremely alert, nervous in fact.

Up in the sky with the eagle all had been blue day, but here on the ground I could see it was black night and that the fire was only light visible in this entire place. I could just make out a number of men – between 5 and 9 – seated around the fire watching me intently. I took them to be tribesmen/shamans, largely because of their appearance. They seemed to be of Asian stock and were wearing woolen hats covering their ears woven of multi coloured threads.

They seemed to be dressed in a combination of wool and leather and were very watchful without seeming aggressive.

They spoke to and interacted with me (I couldn’t hear anything, I just sensed it) but seemed really quite cautious. They were not hostile but they did not smile. I experienced some doubt around this point and was suddenly aware that I’d been told not to ‘play with fire’ (bearing in mind I was pretty much standing in one) and warned especially against salamanders.

I hopped out of the fire and retreated very quickly to the edge of the camp, which I circled quite restlessly for a while. Worryingly, there was nowhere to go, the darkness was impenetrable beyond their circle and I have always been afraid of the dark.

I sat out there on the edge, on my own, for quite some time, but eventually the lack of light and concern for what might have been ‘out there’ drew me closer to the group around the fire again. It seemed there was no escape.

At that point, one of the shamans presented himself as a guide, possibly reluctantly; I’m not sure if being female helped me in this respect. Nevertheless, I was told to relax and not to fear the darkness or the situation. I had little choice but to acquiesce, this being their territory after all.

Very peculiar things then started to happen.

The camp-fire was mesmerising and I found myself continually insisting on getting into it, as if hypnotised or entranced. After indeterminate lengths of time in the fire I would then worry (quite irrationally, I suspect) about salamanders, whereupon I would somehow ‘whizz’ out of the fire at breakneck speed and jump straight into the mounds of soft snow surrounding us, as if to convince myself that I wasn’t burning up.

I did this several times at explosive speed for no reason whatsoever that I can discern. I’ve no idea ‘what’ I was doing or even what I ‘was’. The movement between fire and snow was incredibly forceful and I was totally absorbed in the elemental procedure.

At a certain point I stood looking up from the centre of the orange flame which seemed to encompass everything, and wondered whether – if the eagle had indeed been shot down – I might see a phoenix. The next time I leapt out I managed to ‘cocoon’ myself entirely in fiery/watery, spinning light.

Is this how a star is made, I wondered?