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Esoteric Astrology - The Nature of Esoteric Astrology - Spiritual Effects of the Zodiacal Constellations
In both their higher and their lower aspects these signs hold the secret of the "horns of strife and the horn of plenty subjected to and guarded by the horn of life." Again, an ancient proverb runs: "The Ram - when it has become the Scapegoat, has sought illumination as the Bull of God and has climbed the mountain top in the semblance of the Goat - changes its shape into the Unicorn. Great is the hidden key." If the symbolism is carried a little further, it might be stated that:
  1. The Ram leads us into the creative life of Earth and into the darkness of matter. This is the blue of midnight. [157]
  2. The Bull leads into the places of desire in search of "wrathful satisfaction." This is the red of greed and anger, changing eventually into the golden light of illumination.
  3. The Goat leads us into arid ways in search of food and water. This is the "need for green," but the Goat is equal also to climbing to the mountain top.

This is the experience of the Mutable Cross in connection with these three signs. Upon the Fixed Cross:

  1. Eventually the Ram becomes the Scapegoat and the will of God in love and salvage is demonstrated.
  2. The Bull becomes the bestower of light, and the darkness of the earlier cycle is lightened by the Bull.
  3. The Goat becomes the Unicorn, and leads to victory. The Crocodile, the Goat and the Unicorn depict three stages of man's unfoldment.

Aries, Taurus, and Capricorn are the great transformers under the great creative plan. They are in the nature of catalysts. Each of them opens a door into one of the three divine centers of expression which are the symbols in the body of the planetary Logos of the three higher centers in man: the head, the heart and the throat.

  • Aries opens the door into Shamballa, when the experience of Taurus and Capricorn has been undergone.
  • Taurus opens the door into the Hierarchy when the significance of Gemini and Leo is understood and the first two initiations can therefore be taken.
  • Capricorn opens the door into the Hierarchy in a higher aspect when the last three initiations can be undergone and the significance of Scorpio and of Virgo is understood. [158]

In these signs and their relationship upon the Fixed Cross lies hid the mystery of Makara and of the Crocodiles.

The keynotes of this sign are all indicative of a crystallization process. This concretizing faculty of Capricorn can be considered in several ways.

First of all, Capricorn is an earth sign, and in it we have expressed the densest point of concrete materialization of which the human soul is capable. Man is then "of the earth, earthy" and is what the New Testament calls "the first Adam." In this sense, Capricorn holds in itself the seeds of death and finality - the death which takes place finally and eventually in Pisces. Ponder on this. When crystallization has reached a certain degree of density and so-called "hardness," it is easily shattered and destroyed and man, born in Capricorn, then brings about his own destruction; this is due to his fundamentally materialistic nature, plus the "blows of fate" which are the enactments of the law of karma. Again and again, a certain measure of concreteness is achieved, only again to undergo destruction, prior to the release of the life and the rebuilding of the form.

Secondly, Capricorn is ever the sign of conclusion, and of this the mountain top is frequently (though not always) the symbol, for it marks the point beyond which further ascent in any particular life cycle is not possible. Capricorn is, therefore, the sign of what has been called esoterically "periodic arresting." Progress becomes impossible under the existing forms, and there has to be the descent into the valley of pain, despair and death before a fresh attempt to scale the heights takes place. The attempt today to climb Mount Everest is amazingly symbolic, and it is being watched with much interest by the Hierarchy, for in this effort we see the attempt of humanity to achieve the top of [159] the mountain whose height has hitherto defeated all efforts. But - and this is the matter of moment and of interest - when humanity  emerges into the light and relative glory of the new civilization, they will at the same time conquer this last remaining summit. That which is of the densest materiality and which is the consummation of earthly grandeur will remain - but it will be beneath the feet of humanity.

Thirdly, Capricorn is, as a consequence of all the above, the sign in which is inaugurated a new cycle of effort, whether this effort is in connection with the individual man or with the initiate. Effort, strain, struggle, the fight with the forces native to the underworld, or the strenuous conditions entailed by the tests of discipleship or initiation - these are distinctive of experience in Capricorn.

In ancient days, as you may perchance have heard, there were only ten signs, and - at that time - Capricorn marked the end of the zodiacal wheel, and not Pisces as is at this time the case. The two signs of Aquarius and Pisces were not incorporated in the signs for the simple and sufficient reason that humanity could not respond to their peculiar influences; the vehicles of contact and the mechanisms for responses were not adequately developed. Originally, there were eight signs; then there were ten and now twelve.

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