I never refer back to my previous full moon commentaries when thinking about a current one because I want to approach each commentary with a fresh mind. Even so, I do remember starting my December commentary last year (which was for the Capricorn full moon) observing how quickly the year had gone. When one reflects on the year that is almost over, it is sometimes hard to understand how we could take in all the events. Just on an international level we saw the continuation of terrorist activities, including female and child suicide bombers, the first free parliamentary elections in Iraq, the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the horror and devastation of Hurricanes Katrina, Stan, and Rita, the Sumatran earthquake, the usual knife edge developments in the Middle East, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" at the World Without Zionism conference, and so on. We saw Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Africa legalising same sex marriages, the Kyoto Treaty coming into effect, yet another Harry Potter book (one cannot help but be relieved he is growing up), Prince Charles and Camilla finally getting married, and in a few day's time the cinematic event of the year for some, Peter Jackson's King Kong. Then, on a more personal level, many of us have had to deal with major change and adjustment which is to be expected for disciples these days but which sometimes makes finding the point of balance and holding our minds in the light a challenge.
Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of our goals in the seeming chaos of life, not only on an individual level but also on a planetary level. "Is anyone in control?!" we may ask ourselves. "Isn't God supposed to have a Plan? What is He doing about all this chaos and suffering?"
Perhaps we can take comfort in the fact that we are told that the Divine Plan of God is always in manifestation, even if outer appearances seem to suggest otherwise and the goal of existence is the evolution of consciousness. Alice Bailey in The Consciousness of the Atom i quoted Browning's idea of the Plan of God for us, "Mankind, made up of all the single men; in such a synthesis the story ends." Bailey went on to say, that Browning holds up before us the concept of the Ideal Man, a Man who is the synthesis or sumtotal of all the lesser units. She suggests that self-consciousness is the goal for all the sub-human forms of life, and group consciousness, or the consciousness of the Heavenly Man, our planetary logos, is the goal for the human being. On a higher level, the goal of the planetary logos is the development of the consciousness of the solar Logos. The overall synthesis of all this is referred to as God so it is true to say that we are becoming the God we already are by growing in consciousness of the fact. It is also true to say that as we become conscious of the fact that we are one being, we will experience the Reality of it.
So as we move out of the battlefield of Scorpio into Sagittarius, we get a glimpse of this far distant goal, fix our attention on it, become poised and focussed and aim for it with our arrow of aspiration and fixed intention. The ability to keep our focus on a far distant goal enables us to deal with the short term difficulties involved in reaching it. Just as we consider seemingly chaotic world events and look for the manifestation of the evolving Plan of God in them, so too, can we look at our personality issues, daily struggles and times where our aim goes askew, and gain a sense of perspective when comparing them against our long term goal of achieving "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" ii ie becoming divine beings. Certainly we need to deal with immediate matters but that must always be in context of the long range goal and as disciples we must develop a balance between having a critical and a visionary perspective. The long range goal that we aspire to is life as it should be; it is our God inspired vision for ourselves and humanity. But this vision cannot be separated from the fundamental relationship to our existing condition. So the vision of hope, promise and lofty aspiration we glimpse in Sagittarius is rooted and grounded in the suffering that we experienced in Scorpio and the recognition that we need to change.
For aeons humanity seemed to forget the vision and we were on our way to self destruction. As Solomon said in the bible, "without a vision, the people perish". In recent times, this loss of memory has been represented by the Sagittarian archer shooting his arrow at the stars being reduced to the image of Cupid, the God of Love, shooting his arrow into the human heart, representing an image of romantic love. Originally Cupid's arrow was aimed at the pineal gland but as humanity gradually lost consciousness of its higher spiritual goal, and we became more interested in the needs of the personality, Cupid's arrow dropped to the heart instead of the head centre ruling the higher mind. But humanity is regaining its vision of a glorious future and all those who have caught sight of the Ideal and have directed their arrows of aspiration towards it, are working under the influence of Mars, the Hierarchical ruler of Sagittarius and Jupiter, its esoteric ruler which "blesses" the work.
A less well known symbol of Sagittarius is a picture of a series of seven lighted lamps which represents the higher mind (as well as the seven chakras), the mind that is capable of the abstract reasoning that the sign rules. This is the mind we all aspire to develop, "the mind of Christ", and the mind that is born within us during Capricorn.
In the Greek myth of Ariadne's Thread, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos of Crete. Minos had Daedalus build a Labyrinth, a house of winding passages, to house the bull-man, the Minotaur, the beast that his wife Pasiphae bore after having intercourse with a bull. Minos required tribute from Athens in the form of young men and women to be sacrificed to the Minotaur.
Theseus, an Athenian, volunteered to accompany one of these groups of victims to deliver his country from the tribute to Minos. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him a thread which he let unwind through the labyrinth so that he was able to kill the Minotaur and find his way back out again.
We, too, enter the dark maze and kill the Bull at the centre (our lower self) during our many lifetimes in Scorpio and Ariadne's Thread which represents the higher intuition, pure reason and vision of Sagittarius leads us back from the darkness to the light. It marks the victory of the spiritual over the material, the eternal over the ephemeral, reason over instinct, and straight knowledge over blind ignorance.
Further, as we look at the world, we see that never before has the need for Ariadne's Thread been greater, for never before has disorientation been greater. People recognize more and more clearly the fictitious and illusory, the arbitrary constructions of ignorance in traditional concepts and historical views and it is up to disciples, serving under the influence of Sagittarius, to give them a glimpse of the Ideal - the Divine Blueprint for humanity - and a vision of the future. As they do this, the finest threads will be twined together with new threads until indestructible cables are fashioned. And these cables will weave together into a web of causal chains to direct the course of events that will hasten the perfect manifestation of the Plan of God for humanity.
In her book the Mystery of the Christos, iv Corinne Heline, says that the biblical story of the Great Dinner speaks of Sagittarius.
He said to him, A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.'
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.'
Another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.'
Another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'
And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'
And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
'For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.' iii
Heline says, "Sagittarius is the sign of high idealism, of inspiration and aspiration; also of priests and poets, prophets and seers, Under its influence an illumined and awakened mind strives to soar amid the stars. It is also the sign of preparation for the holy Christ Feast just ahead. Hence the correlating parable is that of The Great Supper (Luke 14:16-24). This feast symbolizes the opportunities for a spiritual life that are so bountifully spread before us. Guests who are bidden to partake typify average humanity-these for whom the Christ made His supreme sacrifice, and for whom He opened the way of illumination by His invitation: "Come; for all things are now ready."
The keynote of this parable is not discovered by an aspirant until he learns to live an impersonal life. In this connection the words of the Christ are simple and direct: "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and his very life too, he cannot be a disciple of mine". By 'hate" is meant undue attachment. Christ thus declares that excessive attachment in all relationships must be renounced before at-one-ment with the Most High is possible. While a true disciple may be in the world, he must not be of it.
Every negative or destructive emotion has to be overcome by its opposite. Good will is a paramount reconciler. Not until we have made complete renunciation of our baser selves have we became worthy to hear the Christ say "Come; for all things are now ready." Then we are privileged to sit beside Him and partake of the Great Supper; in other words, partake of celestial joys."
During Sagittarius we look ahead and see that plans are being made for a Great Dinner, and we begin to prepare ourselves to attend. We do not mind so much how we will get there because we know through the power of our one pointed aspiration and focus that we will. We shoot our arrow in the direction of the Dinner and rush to where it landed, neither looking to the right nor the left as we travel. Then we aim again and do the same until at last we reach our destination to joyously find that our place name is already there, for we put it there ourselves before we commenced our journey.
Our task as disciples is to maintain our one pointed focus, keep our eyes fixed on the goal and vision set before us and not allow ourselves to be side-tracked by the daily difficulties in achieving it. All of the great achievers of the world have been visionaries; people who projected into the future. They saw what could be, rather than what already was, and then they moved themselves into action to bring these things to fruition. If we just looked at present day events, we would perhaps see limitation only. But when we harness the power of Sagittarius, we soar to the stars with the arrow we shoot and see the sacred vision for humanity. Our gift and our service is to share that vision with others until every human being is a visionary.
We are asked to be like the slave in the parable and go hither and yonder to gather people to attend the Great Dinner. Sometimes we will be rejected but we must try again and again with all our Sagittarian resolve. And if we are tempted to become complacent, let us remember the other message of the parable - those who we think will be at the supper did not make it. They were too busy.
James Allen said, "the vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart - this you will build your life by, and this you will become". May we capture the vision that burns in the Heart of God and is revealed to us as the Plan of God for humanity, and let it burn in our own hearts until it is fulfilled!
Finally, I do not usually make any personal comments in my commentaries but as I started with one, I will continue to take liberties and end with one. We are approaching Christmas after all - the birth of the Christ in our hearts - and one cannot get more personal than that. So I would like to use this opportunity to note my deep appreciation of all of you who read and benefit from these commentaries and use this website. Of course, I do not know the vast majority of you but it feels as if I do as I remember you daily in my meditations. I often think of you as we move from one full moon to the next and, in particular, as I start to think about what I'm going to write, as in a sense, my commentaries are my love letters to you. I hope you sense that as you read them - that they are written with love and a heartfelt wish that they will be of some use to you. That is my goal and it will continue to be my goal as long as I am able to write them.
As we approach that Big Day, I am reminded of Agnes M. Pharo's thoughts on Christmas:
What is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past,
courage for the present,
hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal,
and that every path may lead to peace.
Tenderness, courage, hope, blessings and above all, peace - these are my fervent Christmas wishes for you.
Bless you - and a very Joyous Christmas to you all!