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Esoteric Astrology - The Nature of Esoteric Astrology - Spiritual Effects of the Zodiacal Constellations
Aries, therefore, starts the process of the "most ancient initiation" which all the human family has already undergone [95] and will undergo. The first great cosmic initiation (as far as humanity is concerned) is initiation into incarnation - the initiation of individualization. This process culminates aeons later in the reversing of the wheel and the attaining of a definite goal in Capricorn. It culminates in the achievement of transference from off the Fixed Cross on to the Cardinal Cross, which is, in its turn, the logical sequence of the transference from off the Mutable or Common Cross on to the Fixed Cross. Therefore, in its lowest manifestation, Aries is the creator of those activities, conditions and processes which lead to the manifestation of soul through the medium of form, and later of those higher creative undertakings which lead in due time to the manifestation of spirit through the soul. These processes eventually demonstrate the true nature of the triplicity to which I introduced you in the earlier pages of this treatise: Life - Quality - Appearance.

Aries is also the purveyor to our solar system of Fire (Electric Fire) and of the dynamic nature of God which has in it the qualities of fostering and nourishing heat and also of the fire which burns and destroys. From the standpoint of esoteric astrology, there are three major signs in which the "three deaths" are undergone:

  1. Aries, which at different points along the Path of Life forces the soul on to the burning ground and subjects it to a purifying process during incarnation. Through the lesser fire of mind, the "jungles of experience are set on fire and dissolve in flames and then the Path stands clear and unobstructed vision is achieved." Old Commentary.
    Through the fiery processes of war and strife, brought to the individual through the influence of the planetary [96] ruler, Mars, the God of War, a needed purification takes place. The same purification, but this time through vision, comes to the developed man through the activity of the subjective ruler of the planet, Mercury, who is the illuminating principle which releases the mind, directs the way of man through life and enables him to become aware of the divine Plan which underlies all his fiery experience.
  2. Scorpio, which brings about eventually the death of the personality and with which we shall later deal when we come to consider that sign. Esoterically as well as exoterically, Scorpio is the sign of death and burial in the earth, of descent into the depths in order to be lifted again on to the heights (the mountain top in Capricorn). It is stated in some of the most ancient books that "the heat of the earth, the mother, and the sting of the scorpion are the beneficent gifts which the turning of the wheel gives to the man at the beginning and the end." These gifts, when accepted and used, bring a man to liberation and eventually from the control and pain of the Fixed Cross.
  3. Pisces sees the relinquishing or the death of all the influences which hold the man to the wheel of birth and his release from the control of the Common or Mutable Cross.

It is interesting to note that each of these three signs of death is to be found in a different cross:

  1. Aries - The cardinal cross
  2. Scorpio - The fixed cross
  3. Pisces - The mutable cross

It is the influence of these three which brings about the [97] "three needed and determined deaths" in the life of the human being. I am here referring to the signs, independently of their planetary rulers. There is something in the energy which pours in through these signs which predetermines a crystallizing process and the eventual destruction of some type of form control. The Old Commentary expresses these ideas in the following terms:

"The fire blazed forth and through that fire I died to life and so was born to death. And then again I died to form (Aries).
The heat of earth, the fiery temper of the mother, destroyed the form, released the soul and so the lesser self was killed (Scorpio).
The waters drowned the man. The fish was made to disappear. It then appeared again only to die or else to die and bring salvation" (Pisces.)

Thus there are symbolically the death through fire, the death through earth and the death through water - burning, suffocation and drowning - but, in this world cycle, the death through air is not either known or understood. There are not therefore four deaths, as the goal of our system during manifestation is "initiation or release into the air," so that the bird of life out of time and space can fly free. The concept which the Law of Correspondence brings of the final death is covered by the words liberation, relinquishment and final initiation, and means little to humanity, for it concerns the planetary Logos and His life cycle. The three deaths which do overtake man, the individual and the human family as a whole, release the soul into three great planetary centers:

  1. The death by drowning or by water in Pisces releases man again into that great center which we call Humanity, [98] and there experience is gained. Herein lies the mystery of the fish-goddesses of this sign "who spawn their young again and yet again."
  2. The death by suffocation in Scorpio releases man into the planetary center which we call the Hierarchy.
  3. The death by fire or burning in Aries releases man into another center to which we give the name Shamballa.

There is much to work out, is there not, in these ideas which I offer to you as suggestive considerations and as hints related to the Science of Triangles, which is the esoteric basis of astrology, just as the doctrine of the trinity (microcosmic and macrocosmic) is the esoteric basis of occultism. Death is, therefore, of three kinds. This Science of Divine Dying underlies the well-known phrase. "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," and when the relationship between Aries, Scorpio and Pisces is properly understood (as the linking and merging of the three crosses) a new light will be thrown upon all subsidiary sciences - exoteric and esoteric. The teaching in The Secret Doctrine about the reincarnating monads who are called the divine Sacrifices, Lords of Knowledge, Will and Sacrifice, will be clarified. These monads, who are ourselves, are Lords of Persevering Ceaseless Devotion - devotion even unto death.

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