PHASE 271 (CAPRICORN 1°): AN INDIAN CHIEF CLAIMS POWER FROM THE ASSEMBLED TRIBE.
KEYNOTE: The power and responsibility implied in any claim for leadership.
The religious ideal implied in the preceding symbol has now materialized or crystallized into sheer power — the power to lead the community and to ensure its welfare or even its physical survival. The energies released through group cooperation (Libra), deepened and emotionally experienced as forces of great potency (Scorpio), and given meaning and conscious purpose (Sagittarius) are now stabilized and hierarchized. The power of the group is turned into a measurable and carefully managed “capital.” The words “chief” and “capital” come from the same Latin word, caput, meaning “head.” A time comes in many lives when the individual finds himself placed in a situation that allows him to assume power over his comrades, however limited this power may be. Is he ready to do this effectively and responsibly? This is the supreme test of man in society. It complements its polar opposite (summer solstice degree), which refers to the acceptance by the individual of a new kind of allegiance as a foundation for the integration of his mature personality. Such a foundation may, but need not, refer to establishing a home.
This represents the first stage in a five-fold process — the fifty-fifth sequence of five symbols. It refers to the capacity latent in every individual to claim and assume AUTHORITY in a vital group-situation.
PHASE 272 (CAPRICORN 2°): THREE ROSE WINDOWS IN A GOTHIC CHURCH, ONE DAMAGED BY WAR.
KEYNOTE: The necessary realization by any individual making a violent use of collective power that it will lead to the inevitable destruction of some of the values ensuring group-integration.
It seems obvious that the interpretation of this symbol should refer to the disruptive consequences of war. The “chief” who claimed power from his tribe in order to lead or save it must reckon with the consequences of a too-impulsive use of this power in terms of violence. The integration he seeks to maintain or enhance may be partially destroyed if in his ambition he yearns to be the victorious war leader glorified by his people. A “rose window” is not absolutely essential to a cathedral, yet it symbolizes that through which the “light of the Spirit” enters into the edifice. Man’s soul is said to be three-fold. Which part of man’s inner trinity of principles tends to be destroyed by the use of violence? Evidently the principle of love and compassion.
This second stage symbol is in contrast to the preceding one because it opposes the power to destroy to the power to build. The “capital” of group-energies is partially squandered in armaments and death. WASTE is the opposite of group-integration.
PHASE 273 (CAPRICORN 3°): A HUMAN SOUL, IN ITS EAGERNESS FOR NEW EXPERIENCES, SEEKS EMBODIMENT.
KEYNOTE: A powerful yearning for whatever will increase the scope and depth of one’s contacts with other living beings.
One wonders what the clairvoyant “saw” and said to the recorder of this symbol. How did she visualize a “human soul” or, as Marc Edmund Jones recorded it, its being “receptive to growth and understanding”? What is implied in the position of this symbol seems to be the strong drive in every human consciousness or will toward new experiences, whether they are constructive or destructive. Man may grow and gain understanding and wisdom through both types. Yet the yearning needs to be tempered by an instinctive evaluation of the end results of the experience.
This is the third phase of the fifty-fifth five-fold process. It shows us what is behind all uses of power, anabolic or catabolic: a strong DESIRE TO PROVE ONESELF.
PHASE 274 (CAPRICORN 4°): A GROUP OF PEOPLE OUTFITTING A LARGE CANOE AT THE START OF A JOURNEY BY WATER.
KEYNOTE: The ability to use natural resources and basic skills in order to achieve a group-purpose.
As this scene was recorded in the original version only in imprecise terms, it seems merely to indicate the start of a journey undertaken by a cohesive group of people, who perhaps together have built this large canoe. Thus we see here a common enterprise which may be an answer to the need for a change of locality. A social group more strongly than ever reveals its homogeneity and common will when it decides to move away from its familiar habitat. The zodiacal sign Capricorn brings this common will to a focus in concrete actions. It does so in terms of socio-political expediency and under a definite type of executive direction, even though the decisions are arrived at by common consent.
As this is the fourth symbol in the fifty-fifth five-fold sequence, we find in it a hint of how to do something concrete. The “canoe” may also have a special technical meaning, as it uses water in order to move. A common feeling-response to a specific situation may be implied. The main emphasis is nevertheless on GROUP-ACTIVITY in circumstances implying a need for change.
PHASE 275 (CAPRICORN 5°): INDIANS ON THE WARPATH, WHILE SOME MEN ROW A WELL-FILLED CANOE, OTHERS IN IT PERFORM A WAR DANCE.
KEYNOTE: The mobilization of physical and emotional energies in a spirit of conquest.
War is often undertaken mainly to mobilize the common will and avoid individualistic disintegration. The “Indian chief” in the symbol for Capricorn 1° may find it convenient or necessary to arouse the war spirit — perhaps under a very slight provocation — in order to more firmly establish his authority. The scene presents an extremely dynamic situation. The group (or the nation) affirms its solidarity and unity of purpose by taking the offensive. The group-life demands constant activity and challenges in order to remain healthy.
This is the last symbol of the fifty-fifth sequence. It suggests that AGGRESSIVENESS may be a necessary ingredient in the activation of the potential of growth inherent in any social group.
PHASE 276 (CAPRICORN 6°): TEN LOGS LIE UNDER AN ARCHWAY LEADING TO DARKER WOODS.
KEYNOTE: The need to complete any undertaking before seeking entrance to whatever is to be found beyond.
Number 10 is a symbol of completion; it symbolizes even more the revelation of a new series of activities just ahead. Yet unless the concluded series is brought to some degree of fulfillment, nothing truly significant is likely to be accomplished by a restless reaching out toward the as-yet-unknown. Number 10 is a symbol of germination, but the seed (Number 9) must have matured well. No natural process can be accelerated safely beyond certain limits.
This represents the first stage in the fifty-sixth five-fold sequence. It establishes a foundation for what will follow. Here man reaches a THRESHOLD in which he may have to pause in order to safeguard his further advance.
PHASE 277 (CAPRICORN 7°): A VEILED PROPHET SPEAKS, SEIZED BY THE POWER OF A GOD.
KEYNOTE: The ability to act as a mouthpiece for the revelation of a transcendent will and truth determining future action.
Here we witness the deepest manifestation of that Power which operates within all relatively permanent social units, especially at the level of tribal organization. A tribe is a bio-psychic whole (or organism) integrated by a collective superphysical Power, the god of the tribe. In the Hebrew tradition this god is YHWH (Yahweh-Jehovah); in earlier tribes it may have been a deified more or less mythical “Great Ancestor.” All these tribal gods are local manifestations of the very power of “Life” within the earth’s biosphere. It is this deified Power which psychically “seized” especially sensitive or religiously trained men or women, who became Its mouthpiece — prophets, seers, oracles. That Power operates in our days as well, but in different ways because of the individualization and intellectualization of modern man’s consciousness. It binds together and helps to maintain the integration of organized social collectivities. It guides their development by releasing and focusing through especially open persons the visionary expectation of developments about to occur.
At this second stage of the fifty-sixth sub-cycle the future interacts with the present to release it from the inertial power of the past. Thus this symbol stands in contrast to the preceding one. At the threshold of tomorrow man is allowed to have a vision or revelation of the essential elements of the as-yet-unknown next step in evolution. The key word is MEDIATORSHIP.
PHASE 278 (CAPRICORN 8°): IN A SUN-LIT HOME DOMESTICATED BIRDS SING JOYOUSLY.
KEYNOTE: The wholesome happiness which subservience to the ideals and patterns of a well-established culture brings to those who accept them unreservedly.
In various ways this section of the cyclic process brings to us images glorifying the power and benefits which a steady and well-integrated society brings to its members. Saturn rules Capricorn; Saturn was the ruler of the Golden Age before he became a symbol of binding limitations. He who accepts willingly or — even better — takes for granted the value of these limitations can lead a serene and happy existence, whatever his social status.
The third stage of this five-fold sequence suggests to us how we can enjoy our life condition by allowing the spiritual values it embodies to fill our consciousness. In every condition provided by a healthy culture — which hardly refers to our present chaotic world — human beings can find ENJOYMENT in the roles they are born to play.
PHASE 279 (CAPRICORN 9°): AN ANGEL CARRYING A HARP.
KEYNOTE: The revelation of the spiritual meaning and purpose at the core of any life situation.
This picture simply says that “heaven is within us.” All we have to do is to be open and listen to the total harmony of life, a harmony in which we play a part that is necessary to the completeness and meaning of the whole. In order to do this we have to surrender our separative ego- consciousness and flow with the universal current which, to the religiously minded person, is the Will of God.
This is the fourth symbol of the series. The technique it implies is that of ATTUNEMENT to the rhythm of universal life. Angels are to be considered personalizations of various aspects of this life, and totally subservient to its rhythms and purposes.
PHASE 280 (CAPRICORN 10°): AN ALBATROSS FEEDING FROM THE HAND OF A SAILOR.
KEYNOTE: The overcoming of fear and its rewards.
The man who radiates perfect harmlessness can call the wildest creatures to him and can establish with them a partnership based on mutual respect and understanding. Every living entity plays a role in the world’s ritual of existence; beyond these specific roles, which too often separate one entity from another, the communion of love and compassion can bring together the most disparate lives.
At this last stage of the fifty-sixth sequence we are presented with a picture extending the ideal of peace and happiness through culture so it now includes all living organisms on this planet. The power of such a culture of harmlessness and compassion generates TRUST everywhere.
PHASE 281 (CAPRICORN 11°): A LARGE GROUP OF PHEASANT ON A PRIVATE ESTATE.
KEYNOTE: The refinement and propagation of aristocratic values by means of which man participates in the evolution of life toward ever more per feet forms of existence.
All life implies a hierarchy of values, from the crude to the subtle, from the rough and the ugly to the beautiful. By the use of biological techniques, man is able to develop new species, or at least to greatly improve those found in the wild. This ability is at the root of all cultural processes. Wilderness is turned into the gardens of an aristocracy having the leisure, taste and money to produce or encourage the creation of beautiful forms. This is what the social process produces in its highest aspect. The first symbol of the fifty-seventh five-fold sequence shows us how man can cooperate with nature in creating beauty and elegance by capitalizing on skill and opportunity. The Keyword is ARISTOCRACY.
PHASE 282 (CAPRICORN 12°): AN ILLUSTRATED LECTURE ON NATURAL SCIENCE REVEALS LITTLE-KNOWN ASPECTS OF LIFE.
KEYNOTE: The ability to explore unfamiliar realms and discover the laws underlying the complex processes of nature.
The aristocratic garden of the preceding phase has become the laboratory and lecture hall of a modern college. The emphasis here is on the acquisition of extensive knowledge, the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity. Nevertheless, there is also an aristocracy of science: this is the modern type. Its use of acquired knowledge can pose as many problems as the use of hereditary aristocratic wealth. But it is man’s essential function to become fully conscious of all life forms and processes on this earth. Mankind is the conscious mind of the planet.
At this second stage the intellectual search for empirical knowledge contrasts with the display attendant to the wealth and culture of an elite. Civilization is founded on an ever-extended capitalization on knowledge and use of technology. It features EXPLOITATION preeminently at all levels.
PHASE 283 (CAPRICORN 13°): A FIRE WORSHIPER MEDITATES ON THE ULTIMATE REALITIES OF EXISTENCE.
KEYNOTE: The subjective quest for ultimates beyond the interplay of life and death processes.
Beyond cultural enjoyment and the passion for accumulation of often-unusable data of sense knowledge stands the willful and determined “adventure in consciousness” of the occultist, the yogi, the mystic. The mystery of fire has always captured man’s imagination because it is the mystery of all transformations wrapped in the enigma of death. In times when collective, perhaps total, death could be in store for mankind, the process of subjective meditation is fascinating an ever-greater number of people.
This is the third symbol in the fifty-seventh sequence. It brings us to a stage beyond life itself. Are we ready to take this step which the masters of yoga claim to have taken: to experience death and return to the same body? Are we ready to demonstrate man’s WILL TO TRANSCENDENCE?
PHASE 284 (CAPRICORN 14): AN ANCIENT BAS-RELIEF CARVED IN GRANITE REMAINS A WITNESS TO A LONG-FORGOTTEN CULTURE.
KEYNOTE: The will to unearth, in our culture as well as in any culture, what has permanent value, and to let go of nonessentials.
At a time when in nearly every land men are questioning and challenging the validity of traditional beliefs and customary attitudes, it becomes necessary to separate permanent values and great principles or symbols from the many individual habits and the socio-political developments which more often than not have perverted or even negated the original ideals of the culture. We must strive to free these ideals from the wild growth of personal and class selfishness, from the greed and ambition so prevalent in human nature, and learn to appreciate the excellence of what is the immortal seed-foundation, as well as the spiritual harvest, of any culture — and by extension of every sustained and complete work produced by a man’s indomitable effort to achieve creative perfection.
In this fourth stage symbol we are shown the procedure which enables us to gain a deep and thorough appreciation of socio-cultural processes in their most enduring forms. What is needed is a penetrating and courageous insight founded upon a valid HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. This applies to the past of an individual’s life as well as to the history of a nation or a group.
PHASE 285 (CAPRICORN 15°): IN A HOSPITAL, THE CHILDREN’S WARD IS FILLED WITH TOYS.
KEYNOTE: The responsibility of society to ensure the welfare and total health of the new generation.
The socio-cultural process must look to the future as well as to the past. It has created conditions which may harm the children who will carry forward its work, and it must try to repair these negative conditions through love as well as through physical care. In personal life, the individual should take great care of his fresh intuitions and his dreams of future growth. They are often fragile developments which the pressures of everyday life can easily distort or destroy.
This is the last stage of Scene Nineteen, which began with a powerful claim for socio-political power. The exercise of such a power can indeed produce social conditions which endanger the healthy and spiritual unfoldment of a community, and especially of its children. There is therefore constant need for TENDER CAREas well as skill to neutralize the destructive tensions of social living.
PHASE 286 (CAPRICORN 16°): SCHOOL GROUNDS FILLED WITH BOYS AND GIRLS IN GYMNASIUM SUITS.
KEYNOTE: The need for physical activity and play, especially in adolescence.
Society has learned that a balanced combination of intellectual study and physical activity is necessary for the harmonious development of the human personality. Adults often forget this under the pressure of money-making and other duties, and this symbol reminds us of it.
This is the first stage of the fifty-eighth five-fold sequence which begins Scene Twenty of the cyclic ritual. It shows how we normally depend upon physical stimulation and EXERCISE for the maintenance of our health, and therefore of an equally healthy society.
PHASE 287 (CAPRICORN 17°): A REPRESSED WOMAN FINDS A PSYCHOLOGICAL RELEASE IN NUDISM.
KEYNOTE: The escape from bondage to social inhibitions and a reliance upon the wisdom of the body.
Under the pressure of religions that have created a sharp and unwholesome division between soul and body, society has produced strict codes of values regarding the play of natural instincts, and has glorified them under the name of “decency” and “modesty.” The growing trend toward nudism — which of course has nothing to do with the “pornographic” display of one’s body — is a welcome protest against the depressing and neurosis-generating puritanism of the past. Men and women are demanding a psychologically as well as physically healthful freedom of the body as a means of overcoming the hypocrisy and constrictions of social behavior.
In this second stage symbol we see how our society has been able to repress and distort the natural activity of the human body and its sensitivity to the elements. Thus a contrast is established between healthy youth at play and the neurotic subservience to a socio-religious tradition. The symbol is a call for RELEASE FROM INHIBITIONS.
PHASE 288 (CAPRICORN 18°): THE UNION JACK FLAG FLIES FROM A BRITISH WARSHIP.
KEYNOTE: The protection afforded to individuals and groups by powerful institutions in charge of maintaining order.
This symbol reflects conditions prevailing in the past when Great Britain’s fleet was policing the seas under the international principle of the freedom of the seas. Times have changed, but the concept remains valid. Power is required to maintain social order and relatively peaceful interpersonal as well as international relationships. Alas, this power can easily be misused under the pretext of preserving “law and order.” Justice and compassion must balance social power, and especially the power of privileged groups. Where this symbol appears, the need for protection may be in evidence — or it may be a warning against using power for selfish advantage.
This is the third symbol in the fifty-eighth five-fold sequence. It brings to us a realization of the ambivalence of POLITICAL POWER, its value and its dangers.
PHASE 289 (CAPRICORN 19°): A FIVE-YEAR-OLD CHILD CARRYING A BAG FILLED WITH GROCERIES.
KEYNOTE: Rising to the occasion when asked to assume social responsibilities ahead of one’s normal development.
What seems to be implied at this stage of the cyclic process is the value of early conditioning in teaching one how to fulfill the responsibilities of everyday life in our modern society. This twentieth scene of the complete process has been entitled “Group performance,” and today it is evident that Children at an early age are expected to assume a family role which at times will strain their natural capacities. This is part of the accelerating pace of our technological society.
This fourth stage symbol evokes the possibility of meeting a certain type of social opportunity which normally may seem premature. A pattern of ACCELERATED GROWTH can thus be established, with both positive and negative aspects. Rushing ahead of one’s natural development may be damaging; yet we are living in a particularly dynamic period of man’s evolution.
PHASE 290 (CAPRICORN 20°): A HIDDEN CHOIR IS SINGING DURING A RELIGIOUS SERVICE.
KEYNOTE: The fulfillment of the individual’s creative function through his participation in a group performance consecrated to a transcendent realization of unity.
In great cathedrals and other religious edifices the choir is normally hidden behind the altar or above the nave. It symbolizes thus more perfectly the supernal harmony of “heaven” — or the music of the spheres. The ideal of social participation is exalted to its highest manifestation, for the choir also represents the multifaceted and polyphonic unity of the community in its transcendent state of perfect harmony. Within this harmony the individual who has overcome his egocentric separativeness and developed his higher consciousness finds fulfillment in super-personal togetherness.
This is the fifth and last symbol of this fifty-eighth sequence. It presents us with the purest form of group-harmony, the most basic yet most difficult fulfillment of the social state. At the level of the individual person this “hidden choir” would refer to the polyphonic integration of all faculties in their most spiritual manifestations: the ideal of PLENITUDE of being.
PHASE 291 (CAPRICORN 21°): A RELAY RACE.
KEYNOTE: The value of competition in developing group-consciousness.
Here we are no longer dealing with competition between individuals, but with competition between groups of individuals who take turns successively in order to maximize the group effort and the possibility of outstanding results. The whole of civilization is a vast kind of relay race in which groups of people and generations carry the torch of what we call “progress.” Major achievements result from the sum total of human strivings.
This first symbol of the fifty-ninth sequence stresses one especially dynamic aspect of “group performance.” Wherever this symbol appears, it emphasizes the value of group cooperation and of necessary give-and-take. One must seek to relate and adjust one’s strength to the challenge presented by competitors in DYNAMIC INTERCHANGE.
PHASE 292 (CAPRICORN 22°): BY ACCEPTING DEFEAT GRACEFULLY, A GENERAL REVEALS NOBILITY OF CHARACTER.
KEYNOTE: The realization that one may grow through defeat as well as, and perhaps more than, through success.
While the preceding symbol referred to the drive toward success in culturally organized collective endeavors, this one presents us with the possibility of turning apparent external defeat into an inner spiritual achievement. We have recently seen how totally vanquished nations (Germany and Japan) have leaped forward and achieved great economic success. Much depends on the quality of the will and the inner integrity of the person.
At this second stage we find what seems to be a paradox, but the spiritual life is always paradoxical. The great sinner can become the most renowned saint, and a medieval Pope a criminal. What matters most always is INNER STRENGTH.
PHASE 293 (CAPRICORN 23°): A SOLDIER RECEIVING TWO AWARDS FOR BRAVERY IN COMBAT.
KEYNOTE: The reward offered by society for the fulfillment of individual responsibility.
The fact that “two” awards are emphasized makes us believe that this may refer subtly to the recognition by the community that, whether he succeeded or failed, an individual who discharged his duty nobly under unusual circumstances is entitled to the respect and appreciation of the collectivity he served so well. What is implied here is a constant give-and-take between society and the individual person. Each one should be able to trust the other.
This third symbol of the fifty-ninth five-fold sequence extracts, as it were, a common element from the two preceding scenes. The Keyword here is RECOMPENSE, i.e. a compensation for a well-done performance — a balancing of accounts.
PHASE 294 (CAPRICORN 24°): A WOMAN ENTERING A CONVENT.
KEYNOTE: Total commitment to a transcendent goal.
A convent is a place made available by a community which believes in the possibility of reaching a world-transcending state of consciousness. It is made available to individuals who may be variously motivated. To some it is an escape from the intolerable pressures of family and society; to others it represents the possibility of pursuing in peace a spiritual ideal to which the whole being aspires and is totally dedicated. The important point, in this phase of the cyclic process, is that the existence of a convent expresses another aspect of the relationship between the society (its religion and culture) and the individual. In the preceding symbol society rewarded the individual for a noble performance in its service; here society accepts the fact that beyond its daily normal patterns of behavior and commitments, another way of life exists which, in a higher sense, also has social value. In the old Hindu society dominated by a rigid caste system, the ideal embodied in the sannyasi — the wandering holy man or yogi meditating in a forest or a cave, who had entirely given up all that caste implied — was seen to be the very culmination of the social process.
In this fourth stage symbol we see the paradoxical nature of the social process operating more strongly than ever. This derives from the fact that man’s nature contains in seed the possibility of overcoming and transcending itself in acts of complete denials and of surrender to a “higher” Law or quality of being. All spiritual techniques are indeed paradoxical. Rigid discipline conditions pure inner freedom. The final goal is the attainment of TRANSCENDENT SECURITY.
PHASE 295 (CAPRICORN 25°): A STORE FILLED WITH PRECIOUS ORIENTAL RUGS.
KEYNOTE: The use of cultural and artistic processes as means to enhance personal comfort and appreciation.
Corning after the preceding symbol this one brings us back to the material, yet esthetic, aspect of the benefits a society can bring its members. A “rug” always implied to some extent something on which a person stands or sits. It is a foundation for cultural “under-standing,” and as such it can have a magical or sacred meaning, as in the case of prayer rugs. The “woman in a convent” probably knows only the bare floor, because her goal is one of transcendence, of surrendering comfort as well as cultural patterns. But to the social elite, or even to the oriental devotee praying to his god, society offers the relative comfort of beautiful rugs so he may meet the universe, not merely in terms of the support the natural soil gives, but protected by and securely established on the mental-spiritual as well as manual achievements of those who keep the cultural symbols alive.
This is the last symbol in the fifty-ninth five-fold sequence. It shows the beautiful products of dedicated and inspired group performance at the level of tradition. It emphasizes the value of RELIANCE ON TRADITION.
PHASE 296 (CAPRICORN 26°): A NATURE SPIRIT DANCING IN THE IRIDESCENT MIST OF A WATERFALL.
KEYNOTE: The ability to perceive the hidden and creative spirit of natural phenomena.
The Sabian symbols make several references to nature spirits Here we are dealing with the revelation of the spiritual or psychic forces related to the element water. Water binds all living cells in a wholesome interplay. It symbolizes the constant flow of vital energies, the fluidity of a consciousness which finds itself stimulated by change. The great cycle of water within the earth’s biosphere (oceans, clouds, rain, river) symbolizes the basic phases of universal life processes, the ascent and descent of emotional energies and of love. We can personify these phases and speak of “the soul of nature,” and at a cosmic level of “the World-Soul,” anima mundi. Water is the substance of the telluric manifestations of this soul. It is a magical substance, and modern chemists are rediscovering in their study of its unusual behavior in certain situations what old Alchemists in their own way no doubt understood.
This is the first stage of the sixtieth subcycle, and it presents us with a deep intuition of super-physical energies which at the end of this five-fold sequence we will see fully mastered (Phase 300). The consciousness here becomes sensitized to the downward flow of OCCULT ENERGY in its bountiful natural aspect.
PHASE 297 (CAPRICORN 27°): PILGRIMS CLIMBING THE STEEP STEPS LEADING TO A MOUNTAIN SHRINE.
KEYNOTE: The ascent of the individualized consciousness to the highest realizations reached by the spiritual leaders of its culture.
We hear a great deal now about “peak experiences,” but this symbol tells us that they depend to a very great extent upon following a path that many have trod before, under the inspiration of the great Teachers and Sages of our race. The shrine is built by the unceasing dedication of perhaps generations of men. The pilgrimage is hallowed by the devotion of many, even though each person finds on their own mountaintop what to them seems a unique and transcendent revelation.
In this second stage symbol we witness the rise of the human consciousness; the preceding symbol spoke of what one may picture as the “descent” of the energies of nature which, like water, flow down toward a lower level of intensity. It is man’s supreme task to rise like fire, impelled by a vision they share with their companions. The Keyword: UPREACHING.
PHASE 108 (CAPRICORN 28°): A LARGE AVIARY.
KEYNOTE: The enjoyment of spiritual values by the soul able to familiarize itself with their implications.
Birds symbolize spiritual forces, and the aviary presents us with a picture of these forces or desires contained within a mind open to the light of psychic or Soul realities, and bringing joy and harmony to the consciousness. The strenuous ascent represented by the preceding scene changes into a picture of familiarity with inspiring experiences. Yet this familiarity may also suggest a lack of spontaneity and of the thrill of discovery. To use modern terms, the peak experiences have become those of a high plateau, at which level one may lose one’s sense of direction at times.
This is the third stage in the sixtieth sequence of phases which lead to group mastery of cosmic energies. The youthful effort to reach the summits of cultural and spiritual attainment has settled down into a complex state of inspiration — a state which at times may bring confusion because of the multiplicity of the voices to which one has become open. One may speak here of CLAIRAUDIENCE, meaning a capacity for being responsive to many inner voices.
PHASE 209 (CAPRICORN 29°): A WOMAN READING TEA LEAVES.
KEYNOTE: The ability to see the Signature of hidden meaning in every occurrence drawing one’s attention.
Man has always sought to interpret the meaning of events or situations which baffle him in terms of specific omens or “Signatures.” The reading of tea leaves is only a commonplace modern version of a certain type of procedure used by priests of all ancient religions. The practice is based on a realization of “the relation of everything to everything else” — a definition of astrology given by Marc Jones. Dream interpretation in depth psychology belongs to the same category, as it is based upon the establishment of a close connection between the unconscious and the conscious. But in dream analysis the individual unconscious, at least at first, is mainly referred to, while in omens (or modern fortune-telling at its best) one relies upon the power of occult forces or entities to convey the information that will clarify confusing situations.
This fourth stage symbol can be referred to a specific “technique” of understanding or evaluation. What is implied is the ability not only to perceive the facts of everyday existence, but to see through these facts and discover how they are related to the realm of basic meanings or archetypal processes. This is essentially what is meant by true CLAIRVOYANCE, the capacity to see in everything the Signature of deeper realities.
PHASE 300 (CAPRICORN 30°): A SECRET MEETING OF MEN RESPONSIBLE FOR EXECUTIVE DECISIONS IN WORLD AFFAIRS.
KEYNOTE: The power to assume responsibility for crucial choices arrived at after mature discussions with those who share this power.
We are all aware now of the work of secret committees in the White House and at all levels of the government. The student of esoteric philosophy believes in the existence of what has been called an “inner Government” which has the power to direct or guide the evolution of our planet and of mankind. Some people speak of “occult Hierarchy,” or of the “White Lodge.” Here again what is at stake is a “seeing through” the facts of telluric processes and human history — assuming that these facts are at least in part the outcome of the decisions of a supreme Council of quasi-divine Beings. Obviously the symbol can also refer to what occurs at the more ordinary level of business and politics. At any level, it refers to the highest form of social interaction.
This is the last symbol belonging to Scene Twenty and related to the zodiacal sign Capricorn. We see in it the culmination of social responsibility and a reference to EXECUTIVE POWER.