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The Labors of Hercules - Labor II
The Theme of Sex

From this extract and many others which could be adduced, it is apparent how closely linked with sex, in its lower and in its higher aspects, is this important constellation of Taurus. This is why it has been called in some books, the "sign of generation", both earthly and heavenly. We have seen that the power of the sign Taurus is that of attraction, or of bringing together. It exerts a steady and continuous pull and in both the symbolical and the astronomical sense it attracts. We have seen that in this sign are to be found the Pleiades, among them Alcyone, called the central sun of our universe, and around it circles our sun, with its attendant planets. The words of job when he said: "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion?" thus become clear. The Pleiades are the symbol of the soul around which the wheel of life revolves.

It is interesting to discover again, in Taurus, the triplicity which is so constantly recurrent in astronomical lore and in mythology: Taurus, representing form and the attractive pull of matter; the Pleiades, representing soul and the vast recurring cycle of experience; and, among the seven Pleiades, [Note the "seven Sisters" singing about Hercules, in the statement of the Myth] the Lost Pleiad (for only six are visible) a symbol of the obscuration of spirit, whilst soul, through desire, takes a body. Thus the idea of the relation of the Self and the not-Self, in order to produce the ultimate revelation of the spirit, underlies all mythological teaching and the scriptures and symbols of all time, and thus we have also the emergence of the idea of the great illusion and glamor. Spirit or God is "lost", or veiled, and disappears in the attractiveness of the outer form and in the glamor which the soul attracts around itself.

It should be remembered here that the opposite sign to Taurus is that of Scorpio, and these two signs constitute the [47] field of a stupendous effort on the part of Hercules; for in one he wrestles with the problem of sex, and in the other, he overcomes the great illusion.

Significance of the Constellations

The three constellations connected with this sign are Orion, Eridanus, Auriga; and the nature of the work in Taurus is beautifully foretold by the three pictures in the heavens which they present to us. The ancient name of Orion was "the three Kings", because of the three beautiful stars found in Orion's Belt. The Three Kings represent the three divine aspects of Will, Love and Intelligence, and Orion, therefore, symbolizes the spirit. The name Orion literally means "the breaking forth of light."

Again and again, as we circle around the zodiac, shall we find appearing what might be called "the spiritual prototype" of Hercules; Perseus, the Coming Prince, who slew the Medusa, symbol of the great illusion. He is found in Aries; Orion, whose name means "light", is found in Taurus; in Scorpio, Hercules himself, triumphant and victorious, appears. Then we have Sagittarius, the Archer on the Horse, going straight for his goal, and in Pisces we find the King. The more closely we study this heavenly picture book, the more we realize that ever before us is held the symbol of our divinity, the symbol of the soul in incarnation, and the story of matter, as it receives purification and glorification through the laborious work of the soul.

The second constellation connected with this sign is an immense river of stars, which streams forth from under the feet of Orion. It is called Eridanus, or the "River of the Judge", and is a symbol of the river of life, carrying souls into incarnation, where they learn the meaning of the words, "as a man sows, so shall he reap", and where they undertake the stupendous task of working out their own salvation. just as Orion [48] symbolizes the spirit aspect, so Eridanus concerns itself' with the form-taking aspect and holds before its the thought of incarnation; whilst the third constellation, Auriga, is the charioteer, leading forth to new lands and so symbolizing the soul.

Nature of the Tests

The broad lesson to be learned in this sign is to achieve right understanding of the law of attraction and right use and control of matter. In this way matter is raised up into heaven, figuratively speaking, and can enter upon its right function; which is, to constitute a medium of expression and a field of endeavor for the indwelling Christ or soul. The aspirant, therefore, is tested in two ways: first as to the caliber of his animal nature and the motives underlying its utilization; second, he is tested as to the attraction which the great illusion can exert over him. Maya, or the great illusion, and sex are but two aspects of the same force, that of attraction: one, as it manifests on the physical plane, and the other, as it expresses itself in the field of the emotional-desire nature.

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