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Once Upon a Time

Brad Berg
July 2007

More radiant than the Sun,
Purer than the snow,
Subtler than the ether,
Is the Self,
The spirit within my heart.
I am that Self,
That Self am I

Once upon a time, when humanity was a very young child, it was thought that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun, moon and stars revolved around it. As humanity began to mature and acquire more knowledge, we learned that the sun is the center of the solar system and the planets, and all life on them, not only revolve around the sun, but live and move and have their Being within the aura, or, ring pass not, of the great solar logos.

Once upon a time, when we were very young children, we sensed that we were the center of the universe, and mommy and daddy and all else revolved around us. Then, as we began to individuate and acquire more knowledge, and as the ego, or, that centralizing aspect of our personality we call ourselves developed, we came to actually believe that we were the center of our own little universe and that everything revolves around what we think and feel and do.

These are typical of the ways of Leo on a lower turn of the spiral, as the self conscious individual focuses on itself, and these are an example of the height of self centeredness.

The energies of Leo flow into this solar system via the sun and this is true on 3 different levels. On the physical plane, we have the star we call the sun, source of light, heat and vitality, which in the East is called prana, or Chi. A gaseous ball of seething fire, so hot that even 93 million miles away, it can burn our skin or blind us. Corresponding to the physical plane sun, we have the ego of the personality, and when integrated, it is so strong that it can burn others and by our identification with it, blind us to what is truly Real.

On the soul level, we have the Heart of the Sun, radiating out into our system the Solar Fire of Light and Consciousness, of Soul. The correspondence for the individual human being is direct and as our heart opens, as our mind becomes receptive to ideas emanating from abstract levels, and as we begin to become group conscious, our own apparently individual soul begins to manifest and live through our incarnated presence. We then radiate out into the environment of our life, the qualities of love and goodwill, expressing these aspects according to the Rays of our soul and personality and our astrological make up.

At the level of spirit, we have the Central Spiritual Sun, radiating out into the system Life itself, referred to in the Teachings, as Cosmic Fire. And within us, as the jewel in the Lotus, as that central spark of fiery divinity, is the Absolute, the Monad, The One. The Greek word for sun, Helios, meant "Most High." The correspondence between the human soul and the solar logos, is direct. As above, so below.

It is said in the Teachings that everything in the universe is, has been or will become human and that ultimately, in some stupendous and unfathomable way, one day we too will become a sun. Well, at least that road, on the Way of the Higher Evolution, is available to us. After all, if we accept that the true Life within us, not the evolving, temporary soul which ceases to exist after we complete the incarnational process, but the Life of ours which is the fiery spark of cosmic fire and universal spirit, that this Life truly burns within us, then isn't every thing in Cosmos possible for us? Aren't we ultimately, already, that which we aspire to? Accepting this, our task sounds easy, to simply touch and hold onto that fiery life within us and then cease our identification with all that is everything else but it. However, the eons of involution have resulted in our identification with that which is false, with the myriad minutiae of maya, and the demons of desire. Humanity has fallen asleep at the wheel and forgotten it's true nature.

When Michelangelo was asked how he created one of his masterpiece sculptures, he said "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free".

Fortunately, though it may appear dark and even darker to some, that central light, that second aspect, that Light of the Soul within us all, has remained an eternal flame, unextinguished and almost miraculously growing and glowing brighter at a time when humanity has encased itself in the shadows.

When desire is transmuted into aspiration and we are oriented to the soul, one is then responsive to the heart of the sun and this divine inner alignment makes us ready for the 2nd initiation of purification, which was symbolized by Jesus as the baptism.

The constellation of Leo brings to us the Light of the Soul. And as we make the effort to shift our awareness from the personality to the soul, we welcome the qualities emanating from Leo, which assist us in shifting our identification from the selfish ego of the personality, to the soul, which eventually uses the personality as its means of expression in the world. The soul is the musician, the personality is the instrument. The music is the creative Life that flows through. Can you hear it? Can you create it? If you can, please share it, in whatever way you can, and those ways are endless.

So, Leo expresses itself as self consciousness, or ego, on the personality level. On a higher level it is soul consciousness. Isn't it so sweetly ironic that the polar opposite of Leo is Aquarius, or group consciousness? On the reversed wheel, which we as disciples strive to tread, Leo comes before Aquarius and we see that we must become aware of ourselves as the soul, because it is the soul that truly connects us to the group. The Master DK has said that the soul knows only group consciousness.

We are told that the esoteric motto of Leo is "I am That and That Am I." On the one hand, it is a statement that sounds like a pronouncement of duality ~ I and That, God out there, and, God in here.

Thankfully, we are taught that God is both Transcendent and Immanent, that there is truly no duality. That which has caused creation also lives within the creation. So when the Leo subject truly realizes that "I am that and that am I", truly realizes him or herself to be not the soul but the Self or Spirit, we identify with All, as All. This is the nature of Self Realization, realization of the perfected Self.

Thousands of years ago, when Moses stood before the burning bush and accepted the task of going back to Egypt and convincing the Pharaoh to "let my people go", he asked God, when they ask who sent me what to do I tell them, and the response was "I am that I am." So, spoken as an affirmation, we see that it seems like a Leonian expression of self, yet is actually an expression of Self as God.

The universe works in mysterious and incredibly synchronous ways, so while the Leo quality of Self Consciousness gives us the ability to stand as the soul, as the self, it also has two subsidiary keynotes that help make this possible. Leo brings in the will to illumine, providing the driving urge toward self knowledge and self perception. This is the will to know how things really work, the will to gain knowledge of things spiritual, to illuminate our personality via the Light of the soul. And this will to illumine drives many Leo subjects onto the spiritual path, as this quest to illumine, to know and to reveal, drives us onward, initially as seekers, and then, as Becomers. Coupled so nicely with the will to illumine is the will to dominate. We can see in the exoteric world of the personality how many Leo types want to dominate others. But when the Leo type is coming under the influence of the soul, the will to dominate becomes the will of the soul to dominate the personality, and this can be seen as the fiery aspiration of many Leo types and it gives us the fuel to maintain a spiritual practice through which the higher aspect can dominate the lower nature. It is the will to rule which leads one to achieve self mastery. This is why a life in Leo dedicated to overcoming the lower nature is one of a battleground, as the selfish ego resists the new control of the soul. We then have Leo manifesting as the Lion of Self Assertion.

Leo is the predominant fire sign at this time and has the quality of burning, which can destroy and eradicate all that hinders spiritual and divine expression. There are two types of purification - one is via water and the story of Noah and the arc, at the time of the biblical flooding is an example. The other type of purification is via fire and it is fire that plays through the mind, while water plays through the emotions. Esoterically, fire carries forward that which water has begun. Human souls are referred to as Solar Angels, as sons of mind and as the sons of fire. Purification, leading to spiritual self awareness, allows for a divine sensitivity, and therefore it is sensitivity which is the real keynote of Leo. Throughout the universe it is the soul which is the conscious, sensitive theme of the divine plan. This is the development of divine sensitivity. Sensitivity to the will of God and sensitivity to the Plan of the Spiritual Hierarchy. Another mantra that is extremely useful for all of us, but especially those with Leo strongly influencing, is "Father, not my will but thine be done."

Two Rays are transmitted through Leo. The 1st Ray of Will provides the impulse for the soul to dominate the lower nature. The truly self conscious person is one who is aware of purpose, of a self directed life, and of a definite life plan. The 5th Ray of concrete knowledge, or science, brings in the quality of the Light that reveals the nature of things and it expresses itself via Leo as that will to illumine.

So, this soulful will to dominate, and this will to reveal and illumine, can result in the Leo person responding to these qualities and not only making great progress along the Path, but in so doing, becoming a useful human being. As we begin to really live as the soul, we are impelled to serve more and more, and as we transform ourselves, we are able to serve more and more. To again refer to the esoteric Teachings, it is said that the soul comes into incarnation to serve. And it is said that service is the lever of evolution.

The sun, our solar Logos, is itself said to be on the 2nd Ray of Love and Wisdom and that therefore all that exists within our solar system is colored by the quality of Love and that is why it is said that, for us, God is Love. However, we also learn that even the 7 Rays that express the quality of the seven aspects of Deity, of 7 great cosmic lives, are, for us, all subsidiaries of the Will aspect.

When we have imbued our nature with the Light of the soul, and as we aspire to serve, as our consciousness expands to include an awareness of purpose and plan greater than our own, the aspiration to fulfill our part in the one work comes ever into greater alignment with those great ones who have for endless eons, worked behind the scenes to bring to fruition the ever evolving Plan for the evolution of all life on this planet.

Another mysterious and incredibly synchronous way that the universe works, is that the full moon of Leo, or full moon of the Self realized soul, occurs (in the Northern Hemisphere) during the summer, when the sun is hottest and brightest. And not only that, but it is during this summer time peak of heat and light that the star Sirius is so bright in the night sky. It is another amazing wonder that Sirius, which is the brightest star in the sky and one of the very closest, is the home, on a higher level, to the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, and is another path along the Way of the Higher Evolution. It is said that the energies coming from Sirius are related to the Love aspect of Deity and that Sirius radiates cosmic soul energy.

Shortly down the road, when the so called new world religion is founded, the full moon of Leo will be dedicated to making contact with the forces from Sirius. We read that on a cosmic Level, Leo is ruled by Sirius. If you look up at the heavens, at night, we see the bright, orange star in the constellation of Leo called Regulus and we are taught that the influences of Leo are focused in Regulus, which is referred to as the "heart of the Lion." Taking a cue from the Master DK, who often urges people to act "as if" we can stand outside, on a summer evening, and, while gazing up at these Great Beings of Love and Fire, imaginatively breathe in and absorb their qualities, as they kindle the very life and soul within us.

Perhaps some of you may recall the words from the famous American cowboy song, Home on the Range: "How often at night, when the Heavens are bright, with the light of the glittering stars, I stand there amazed, and I ask as I gaze, does their glory exceed that of ours."

So, we again can see the incredulous interconnection of all these divine lives and qualities, forming a wondrous and synthesized tapestry of the Gods. As it says in the Agni Yoga books, the Beauty of Life is limitless.

Coming back down to earth, the evolutionary path of the souls and the process of Initiation transforms the self conscious individual into the group conscious Being. At this time, when the energies of Leo are cosmically blending with those of Aquarius, we have the producing of true leadership - the powerful Self Realized being who demonstrates group awareness.

Leo is ruled by the sun, both exoterically and esoterically. Since the basic purpose of this solar system is the unfoldment of consciousness, we can see how the sun must be the ruler of Leo, as the sun is the source of physical consciousness as well as soul consciousness, referred to above as solar fire. It is said that the objective of all astrological influence is the stimulation and development of consciousness. So, we can see the profoundly important role played by Leo, which gives us the relation of the self conscious individual in relation to its environment, or, in other words, the development of a sensitive response to the surrounding impacts. Therefore Leo is really about sensitivity - sensing the whole and then realizing and demonstrating one's part in the whole.

At this full moon time of soul awareness, of the radiance of the fires of the Sun, and of that energetic quality which reveals and illumines, let us imbue our souls with the Cosmic Fire flowing through the sun, and bring this new Life into expression and use for the good of All. And as more and more of us respond to the opportunity of the day, and work each in our own way as part of the new group of world servers, we will transform the world, together.

If this full moon group meditation of service were to be occurring in Darjeeling, or Calcutta, or Benares, or any town in India, perhaps our fellow meditators would be greeting each other with the salutation Namaste, meaning, I honor the light within you. Sounds so nice, and is said so easily, yet it has such profound connotation. The light within is the soul within, and to recognize that in another is to recognize God and to really recognize God in another we must be centered in the God within us, the soul. So we can accept it as a challenge, to be so deeply poised and centered, that the soul in us can honor the soul in others. A challenge, to remain so soulfully centered, as we move about our day and our life, that when we greet all others of our brothers and sisters (not to mention the other kingdoms in nature) that we look past the form and the personality, and from our heart, from our soul, honor the same living lighted essence in them.

So, let us now say together the Mantram of Fire:

I seek the way, I yearn to know.
Visions I see and fleeting deep impressions.
Behind the portal, on the other side, lies that which I call home.
For the circle has been well nigh trod and the end approaches the beginning.
I seek the way, all ways my feet have trod.

The way of fire calls me with fierce appeal.
Naught in me seeks the way of peace.
Naught in me yearns for earth,
Let the fire rage, the flames devour.
Let all the dross be burnt.
And let me enter through that gate and tread the way of fire