Around the world we come together to celebrate the full moon in the sign of Sagittarius, the sign best known for its symbology of the horse, the bow and the arrow. We have an opportunity as a global meditating group to be useful to the spiritual Hierarchy during the monthly rhythmic ritual of global meditation, the outpouring of love and light into the planet, in which at this time of the year in the northern hemisphere, we experience the darkest and longest night. Sagittarius culminates in the North at the winter solstice, when the sun is at its lowest point before beginning the long journey back into the light, the eternal cyclic journey. The solstice is also the time the Ageless Wisdom teachings tell us that the Hierarchy begins to plan and set its goals for the following high point of the spiritual year, the Festival of Wesak.
We tend to associate winter with the deep silence of the dark, sometimes when there is snow and all is sleeping and quiet. Falling snow has a curiously silent quality to it, one that seems soothing and peaceful. In Alice Bailey's book, The Labours of Hercules, we read:
Sagittarius is …called in some ancient books 'the sign of silence'. In ancient mysteries the newly admitted brother had to sit in silence, he was not allowed to walk or speak; he had to be, to work and to watch, because one cannot enter the fifth kingdom in nature, the spiritual kingdom, or climb the mountain of Capricorn, until there has been restraint of speech and control of thought. That is the lesson of Sagittarius: restraint of speech through control of thought.
Let us focus our minds together, preparing for the exact time of the full moon, and reach inward for a moment to the silent core of our being, the quiet place where the "peaceful silent Will" is known and heard.
In ancient Atlantean times, the sign of Sagittarius was depicted as the Centaur, that strange 2 legged beast with the hind legs of a horse and the torso of a man. This symbol represents the animal and human fused together into one being, the man identified with the lower personality and material form. Meeting the needs of the animal self is the goal at this stage and material satisfaction is the object of all desire. Life is dedicated to the pursuit of physical comfort; warmth, food and shelter. Sadly, many people in the world today are at this point, and having little resources, inadequate food, water and minimal shelter, must struggle to survive on a daily basis. They cannot think and dream of spiritual liberation, but must endlessly search for the next meal, to stay warm, or to comfort their sick and perhaps dying child. As a whole, perhaps we're not as advanced or as far along on the Path as we'd like to think. Perhaps our vision is clouded by our own selfish and noisy chatter and we have to reach a deeper silence before we can hear the cries of our brothers and sisters.
As time has passed, the Sagittarian symbol has evolved into the man (or person) as a separate entity from the horse, but riding upon it. This represents the stage in which the human being has succeeded in separating from the purely material expression and is now somewhat free from the pull of the lower self. He has mostly detached himself from a complete focus on the physical plane and has also acquired some tools in the form of the bow and arrow. Sagittarius is depicted now as an archer on a horse pointing his arrow at his chosen goal and characterized by a growing sense of vision and aspiration. Although he still exists in and makes use of the world of form, he has risen above it somewhat and controls it more than it controls him. He aspires to a wider scope and a loftier life, a life whose goals are now more oriented to matters of the soul, and to the realities of the mind. But how far are we as a single human race from this point? Are we ready to direct our collective aspiration to the goal of food, shelter and safe water for all? Can we, with mental clarity and vision, identify the next step ahead and harness the will to achieve it?
Today, the symbol for Sagittarius has lost both the rider and the horse and most often we see only the sign of the arrow. This again is another stage; that of the perfected human personality single mindedly focused on the life of the soul, freed from physical or emotional identification and directing its attention, via the illumined mind and with fiery spiritual aspiration, to the goal of full functioning of the intuition. The occasional flashes of insight and clear "knowing" must grow into the full expression of the light of the soul in incarnation and become the clear unimpeded vision of the initiated disciple climbing the mountaintop in Capricorn, undeterred and unfettered by physical limitation or restriction. This lofty goal, far ahead of ordinary humanity, has been achieved by the worlds' saints and illumined thinkers who have pointed the way forward, who have revealed the next steps for humanity. If only we could be quiet and listen!
But another symbolic interpretation of Sagittarius, and one which carries perhaps an even deeper meaning, is the "Archer on the White Horse". The archer is the rider, the free and independent self actualized individual moving toward the goal of complete spiritual illumination. With clear and unobstructed vision, he shoots his arrows in the direction of the revealing light. He "flies from point to point, searching for the arrows which he has discharged." These lighted arrows of thought, sent in the direction of the spiritual goal, embody in their highest form, the intention of the perfected spiritual will. Material desire has, through the successful meeting of goal after goal, initiation after initiation, been transformed into spiritual aspiration and the merging of the personal will with the Divine will has been accomplished.
The symbology of the Rider on the White Horse runs through many ancient teachings and there is a very interesting passage from the book Externalization of the Hierarchy by Alice Bailey about this ancient symbol. It says:
The point to bear in mind is that this Rider on the white horse is no extra-planetary Entity or Life, but is essentially One like unto ourselves-human and animal combined as are we all, but fused with divinity and inspired from on high, informed by some cosmic and divine Principle, as Christ was informed with the Love of God and carried the revelation of love to man. The Rider is one of our humanity Who has reached a predestined goal and Who-for very love and understanding of man-has remained for ages in the secret place of revelation (as it is esoterically called), waiting until His hour comes around again and He can then issue forth to lead His people to triumphant victory.
Let's for a moment, imagine together this "secret place of revelation". It can't possibly exist in physical form as its vibrations are far to refined, but is a place of indescribable beauty and power. Most likely, there is a great company of exalted Beings meeting together. Perhaps they are meeting about matters we cannot possibly know, but maybe also, they are considering how, without impinging on our free will, they can help and aid struggling humanity here on earth. Surely this is the place known as Shamballa, "where the will of God is known", the place where the highest Purpose is expressed. Next, let us imagine another group of souls, perhaps not quite as outer worldly or exalted as the first group, but related nonetheless and very involved with the affairs on earth. This group is the group of enlightened thinkers who have joined together out of love for humanity. They are largely out of incarnation, but stand together to guard and guide, to selflessly and eternally serve humanity by constantly emanating the energies of light and love onto a needy world. Together they are able to intuit the Purpose emanating from Shamballa and they formulate the Plans of God, step by step, year by year and century by century. They too meet in council, unitedly participate in the monthly rhythm of the full and new moons and meditate together channeling the energies from Shamballa and "stepping down" these potent and powerful forces into a blueprint or Plan for the benefit of humanity. Most likely, at the level of thought, they influence meetings and conferences here on earth. The United Nations for example, where civil servants from 191 countries are constantly meeting and formulating global programs and plans, would be the place this spiritual Hierarchy could work, an effort they could influence. All kinds of people gathering together in global or regional conferences for the purpose of service to humanity would be of interest to this group, this Hierarchy of serving and loving souls.
It should be clear by now that Sagittarius has much to do with the idea of direction, directed purpose, of will and of vision. The disciple has come through the strenuous tests and trials of Scorpio to orient himself irrevocably in the direction of the spiritual will. He looks toward the mountain of initiation represented by Capricorn with a clear vision and through his aligned and soul infused personality, the descending light stimulates the intuition and flashes of clarity and truth dawn on the prepared mind. He directs his gaze to the ever advancing goal and the keynote for Sagittarius, "I see the goal. I reach that goal and then I see another" becomes real in consciousness and action. The individual as a soul rides on the white horse, the symbol of the perfected and spiritualized personality, toward the mountaintop of initiation. The horse is white, representing the perfect blending and fusion of all colors, therefore clear and capable of channeling the energy of the soul.
Perhaps most importantly related to the idea of direction is the issue of the spiritual Will. Initially, we think of the will in terms of determination, fixed intention, of directed purpose and a focus on a goal, one not so easy to reach. We often hear the term, political will, or the will of the people, and this could be thought of as the group will or the group desire.
In September 2000 the Shamballa force made a direct impact on humanity stimulating our collective spiritual will and impelling us toward a recognition of the newer Aquarian ideas, and this impact continues today. Economic globalization, awareness of climate change, an emerging realization of a single human race, and an almost instantaneous knowledge of events as they happen because of the internet and satellite communications, are all signs of the growing synthesis of humanity. Coincidentally, or not, in September of the same year, 2000, the United Nations held the Millennium Summit, a gathering of world leaders who developed a plan called the Millennium Development Goals which voice a firm commitment to fight against some of humanity's most difficult problems such as extreme poverty, hunger, inadequate drinking water, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, women's rights and more. The 8 goals are to be met by the year 2015 through cooperation between local and regional governments and civil society, the NGO's already working "on the ground" on these issues.
It must be that this kind of goal, this 15 year global plan agreed to by world leaders that addresses the most pressing problems of humanity, is the type of action that is influenced by the spiritual Hierarchy of the planet, the group we seek to cooperate with as we meditate together during this full moon period. The Hierarchy receives impression from Shamballa, the place where the will of God is known, and distributes this impression to humanity. But our reception of this intuitive impression is useless unless we act on it, unless we implement this Plan at the physical level, and we must harness our collective will to do so. We have the tools, we see the goal and we can reach the goal. Mightn't we think of the MDG's as a blueprint for action, a goal we can help humanity reach by the set time?
The dawning Aquarian Age will eventually demonstrate global governance by groups with humanity as the world group, the emerging world disciple. Humanity itself is the archer seeing and reaching goal after goal. We must reach into the silent place, encourage the higher intuition and find the creative solutions to our self made problems. The light of the intuition will lead us to the next goal and together, our combined light will turn the darkness into day.
As we reflect together on the energies of Sagittarius, what is our purpose, our plan, our goal? We are here, subjectively linked with groups all over the world, in and out of physical bodies, to share in the work of bringing more light and love into the planet; to use our combined vision to see the next steps ahead and to go forward with the knowledge that on the plane of soul, we are one light, one love.