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Esoteric Astrology - The Zodiac and the Rays - The Great Wheel and Spiritual Unfoldment
A third point must here be made, following upon the two earlier emphasized. A great part of our study will be occupied with the relation of the six constellations in the upper half of the zodiacal wheel to the six which are found in the lower half; we shall consider the energy which is a human being (note that phrasing) as it travels clockwise from Aries to Taurus and then - reversing the process - travels from Aries to Pisces. We will consider the dualities provided by one of these constellations and its opposite; we will study, therefore, the great qualities provided by a constellation and its opposite sign. We will take up these points in the following manner:
  1. From the standpoint of commencement in Aries until the man - through many turnings of the wheel of life - reaches the point of reversal and reorientation. The man progresses from the point where, in Cancer, he forms a part of the mass with the mass consciousness, [61] inchoate and unfocused, and with no recognition of objective (except the satisfaction of instinctual desire) until in Scorpio he becomes the triumphant disciple, having found himself in Leo. Then comes the Crisis of Reorientation which may take a long time and constitute an interlude of many lives of struggle.
  2. From the standpoint of the man upon the probationary path, seeking the light, struggling through the signs (as the Old Commentary expresses it when considering this point):

    "He turns from right to left, and then again from left to right. He revolves in giddy fashion upon an axis of desire. He knows not where to go or what to do. The sky turns black."

    At this point, the sign Gemini begins potently to play its part in the life of the disciples, with Sagittarius gradually "piercing the heart with his arrows, and then upon the flight of the arrow, the man reaches Capricorn." Then comes the Crisis of Renunciation.

  3. From the standpoint of the pledged disciple and initiate who traverses again the Path of the Sun and finds that that which he has discovered himself to be in Leo finds its crown in Aquarius. The separate individual consciousness becomes the group consciousness in Aquarius, and he begins to comprehend the significance of that basic combination of signs, that "triangle in the consciousness" of humanity:

Cancer - Mass awareness - Instinctual consciousness.
Leo - Individual awareness - Intelligent consciousness.
Aquarius - Group awareness - Intuitive consciousness. [62]

Then, from the standpoint of achievement in Capricorn, he works for several lives around the zodiacal path, descending into the sea of the mass consciousness to become what is called in the ancient books "the Crab, who clears the ocean of matter which flows around the soul of man," and eventually to become a functioning world savior in Pisces. He descends into the world of men to save mankind and to further the plan. He is then "the fish who swims free in the ocean of matter."

The initiate has always to express, in each sign of the zodiac, the consummation and the spiritual fruit of earlier life experience, world experiment and soul achievement. Selfishness has ever to be translated into living active service, and desire has to demonstrate its transmutation. in the purity of spiritual aspiration for identification with the will of God.

There are one or two points which must be dealt with in order to enable you to study with certain definite ideas clearly formulated in your minds. I have hinted at them in some of my earlier books but it will be of service to refer to them again and to expand the ideas somewhat. I would have you carry them in your minds as you read and study.

I have frequently referred to the fact that the entire science of astrology is based upon a non-existent condition. It has no basis in material fact and yet is eternally based on truth. The zodiac is, as you well know, the imaginary path of the Sun in the heavens. It is therefore largely an illusion, from the exoteric point of view. But at the same time the constellations exist, and the streams of energy which pass and repass, intermingle and interlock throughout the body of space are by no means illusions but definitely express eternal relationships. It is the misuse of the [63] various energies which has created the illusion. This illusory path is consequently as much a reality to humanity today as are the personality illusions of any individual. These illusions are due to the polarization of the individual upon the astral plane.

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