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The Labors of Hercules - Labor IX
The Chrysalis Symbol

Sagittarius, curiously enough, has been called the chrysalis stage; the man is neither one thing nor the other. In the chrysalis you have the strange triplicity of the caterpillar, the chrysalis and the butterfly. The caterpillar, we are told, reincarnates five times; it sloughs its skin five times, five is the number of man. Then there comes that curious happening in the life of the caterpillar where there is a complete change, and from a thing crawling about prompted by desire, eating all the time, there comes the stage of the chrysalis. What goes on in that chrysalis stage is a most mysterious happening. We are told that inside the hard shell of chrysalis which the caterpillar has constructed, there is nothing but a fluid. Every single thing has broken down and in that fluid are what are called three centers of life, and because of the interplay between those three local points of energy, a change goes on, a rebuilding, until there emerges out of the period of silence, a wonderful butterfly. It is almost as though in the chrysalis there were three aspects of divinity symbolized and working to a pattern, the Christ pattern.

Consider what goes on in the life of the individual aspirant in Sagittarius. There has been a complete breaking down of everything in Scorpio; everything has been reduced to fluid, for Scorpio is an astral sign and water is the symbol. In the life of the aspirant of today, I need not enlarge upon it, there has been a complete breaking down of everything. As one person said to me, there is nothing left to live for, there is nothing interesting enough to pull one through existence. Why? Because you are an aspirant, a disciple; it is the best indication you can have of your status on the ladder of evolution. Everything has broken down and you know it. But the three aspects of divinity are still there in the fluid; and they will work and the pattern is there. The chrysalis stage is Sagittarius. It is interesting to carry the sequence of thought or achievement from Scorpio into the power and success developed in Sagittarius, for it is a sign of power. [164]

The true Sagittarian is a very potent person; potent because it is the sign of silence; potent because it is the sign of one-pointedness and the goal is seen for the first time clearly; potent because it is the period immediately preceding the birth of the Christ.

The Spirit of Truth

Sagittarius, we are told, is the spirit of truth; it is the sum of all Truth growing out of individual revelation.

Now the usual happening when there is an individual revelation is sectarianism; an illustration of Sagittarius misused. I had a revelation; God has revealed this, that and the other to me. I immediately impose upon my fellow men my personal interpretation of truth. I see no truth but my truth. I am an aspirant, but all aspirants must interpret truth as I see it; if not, they are not aspirants. You must believe in reincarnation because it is the truth; you must believe in the Masters of Wisdom because they exist; you must believe this, that and the other.

One-pointed, yes. But a little bit of the truth. Just so much of the truth as your poor little brain can grasp, and yet such a tremendous revelation to you that you think it is all of the truth.

In Sagittarius, the first of the great universal signs, we see truth as the whole when we are using arrows of thought rightly. I will say, this is for me, my formulation of the truth, because it helps me to live. Other groups use other terminologies and only as I can grasp my brother's way of looking at the truth is it possible for me to have the vision.

All the various truths form one Truth; that is what is realized in Sagittarius, and you cannot go through the gate at the foot of the mountain until you have seen where your little bit of truth forms part of the group mosaic. That is all. [165]

The Spirit of Right

Sagittarius has been called the sign of the spirit of right, growing out of the contentions of the previous eight signs. When I am really functioning in Sagittarius, I will have learned to discriminate between right and wrong. I will know what is right for myself, but I will also have learned this lesson: that my right may be my brother's wrong, and my brother's wrong may be my right; that it is impossible for me to say what is right for you because we all have a different equipment, different heredity, different tradition and background, different racial tendencies. We are all so diverse, and carrying that thought on, we all come along different rays. We have different egoic rays and different personality rays, and the more you know about these things the less you can talk about them.

I know what is right for me and I will endeavor to live by my right, my idea of right. I do not know what is right for you, but I will give you the credit for doing the best you know. If we could assume that attitude towards each other, the spirit of harmlessness, control of thought and restraint of speech would emerge in the world and we would escape from our world problems. The world will never be put right by fighting, but by right thought, and it will be a soul process. Someone has said that in Scorpio we have conviction of sin; in Sagittarius we have conviction of right.

Three Gifts

We are told in some books on astrology that there are three signs of beneficent outpouring in the zodiac. One is Aries from which there is pouring out upon us the gift of existence. A quotation from a Hindu scripture tells us that there are three things which by the grace of God we have: the gift of being a human being, the longing for liberation, and coming under the guidance of a perfect sage, in your own heart.

The gift of existence in Aries is the wonder of being a human being. If you can think of yourself as a mineral, from such [166] limitations you will arrive at the wonder of being, because it means freedom from the standpoint of the mineral. Complete freedom.

In Leo, the gift of opportunity. I am an individual. I shall use life for myself, if I am a little Leo; or I shall use the opportunity to open the gates for other people.

In Sagittarius, the gift of power. Do you feel able to have power? One definition of an occultist is a human being who works in the world of powers and forces. I do not know anyone who can safely be trusted to wield power. Why? Because Sagittarius has not done its work. Restraint of speech has not yet been learned. Control of thought has not been mastered, and the soul is not potent enough. When we love enough we may have power. When we love enough and are harmless enough then the gates of heaven and hell will be put into our hands, but not before.

Let us begin to love, not sentimentally, but through beginning really to understand human beings, to identify ourselves with them and love them. You can know what a human being is, with all his faults, and you can love him; not from a superior standpoint of saving "poor thing, some day he will be where I am", but from the standpoint of saying, "I have been just like that", or "I am just like that".

The gift of existence, the gift of opportunity, and the gift of power; the three great gifts of the zodiac.

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