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Meditation on the Ageless Mysteries in Virgo

Joann S. Bakula
August 2007

Mother-child is a meditation on both macrocosm-microcosm and on the polarity inherent in all formfull-formless life, spirit-matter. Using the astro-mythological circle, "It is in Virgo, after complete individualisation in Leo, that the first step toward the union of spirit and matter is made." (Bailey, The Labours of Hercules, p.121). A poet of another age wrote, "The child is father of the man," and, we would add, of the woman, the mother, and the father. The only thing separating the child from the adult is time, time during which we change and mature. It is the psycho-spiritual change that is crucial to Self-knowledge. When we collapse time between child and divine mother, we get a glimpse of the whole.

The seeds of character and destiny are there in the child, which is in us still, hidden now in the depths of being. If we were a magical child then, we are still magical in the core, with more empirical knowledge of what the innermost essence of self or soul is. Much of value has been written of late about the "Mystery of the Child" (Martin Marty) and the magical child, and as Freud pointed out, the personality is formed by the age of three. It is with a similar sense of openness to the future and possibility, expectation, wonder, awe, becoming, receptiveness, responsiveness, and willingness to explore the new, that we enter into this monthly opportunity to engage in deep meditative thought on world service using the full moon approach to God, Reality, and all of the spiritual planes of consciousness and beingness. Carl Jung sees myth as the necessary interlink between the human spirit and natural man. The deepest levels of awareness can only be discovered through myth and ritual. This meditation is our new ritual for a new age. Myth stretches out in timeless layers to earliest oral traditions before the ancient Greeks, from whose writings some of our deepest myths reach us. Even Aristotle, known more for science than theatrical myth, said that the friend of reason is also a friend of myth. Mysteries of the mythic kind don't have solutions; they have depth, range, and are ageless.

One of the most famous mother-child references primary to Virgo is the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was an immortal who dwelt on Mount Olympus with the dozen or so other immortal gods. Persephone, her daughter, lived down below for 3 seasons and was allowed to return to her mother to live one season with her every year. The mother had warned the child not to eat anything from the nether world or she would have to return there. She ate a pomegranate and was doomed to spending most of her time here below. This relationship signifies the heavenly parentage of an immortal and continued relationship with this 'divine mother' while the tasks of earth and imitation of creation by procreation occupy most of the time of a mortal. Food is an integral part of this Greek myth and a necessity for mortals from time of birth.

One of the oldest symbols of the sign of Virgo is the shaft of wheat. In some portrayals she is shown with a sheaf of wheat in one hand and 'seed wheat' in the other. And this makes such a good symbol for meditation that Roberto Assagioli suggests visualization of it as a technique for spiritual psychosynthesis in his book Psychosynthesis (p. 216), after an exercise visualizing the blossoming of the rose. He calls the wheat visualization exercise, the Cycle of Wheat, and describes the cycle "from the tiny seed all the way through the many processes which end in a loaf of bread; i.e., the tilling and fertilizing of the soil; the sowing of the seed; the action of sun and rain; the seed growing into a plant, maturing, flowering and the forming of the grain; the ripening, the harvesting, the storing and grinding of the grain; finally the making of bread which, eaten as food, is transformed into living organic substance fof maintaining the human body." The mystery of what grows from heaven and what grows from earth is an on-going meditation. In the initiation ritual into the Greek mysteries, it is thought that the miraculous maturation of a grain of wheat with supernatural suddenness, could be emblematic of exhilarated growth shown in the initiation process, or the vision of the complete cycle of 'upper world', lower world and underworld of death and burial in earth, all shown in one fast moving sequence. Demeter is also called mother of the dead.

Could the vision seen in the Eleusian Mysteries have been of the human seed being conceived, maturing and being harvested all with supernatural speed in the space of the initiation process? They were sworn to secrecy on pain of death or exile, so nothing is known save the reference to 'vision ' in the initiation process. Demeter commissioned a king to go all over the earth spreading grains, teaching agriculture and the making of cereals and to sow the whole inhabited earth. Is the ripening of the human grain food for God? In other words do we reunite in the body of God when we achieve maturation? Are we reunited with God only when the human God-seed ripens into knowing and being its full nature? Is this why the Roman Hippolytus refers to the symbol as "that great and marvellous mystery of perfect revelation...cut wheat"?

In the Buddhist tradition the center realm, the oldest, from which all else sprang forth, is called the 'seed realm'. That there is more to the human seed than the animal part is and always will be the faith of the majority. Just what is harvested as the unique contribution of humanity to the food of God or planet earth or the planetary Logos is also a theme for meditation. What is healing but remembering wholeness, Deepak Chapra reminds us, and what can heal earth faster than our remembrance of wholeness, of mankind not apart and separate, but one who is conscious, aware and a responsible agent of the One Life. What do we have to give that the other mammals do not? Can we actually identify that? In the cup shaped constellation Virgo, Spica, a 1st magnitude star, means 'seed wheat,' 'ear of wheat or corn.' Christ is born in the constellation Virgo in Bethlehem, which means house of bread. In another food group, we project our own image as nourisher: Who but a mammal would name the galaxy itself, the Milky Way?

In this meditation we can also see the primary duality as Mother Earth and Father God, with consciousness the third point and last to appear, bringing understanding, awareness and revelation as Christ consciousness or compassionate, intelligent love flowing out to all the world. The world is meditating like never before on our relationship to earth and our responsibility to preserve its beauty and life, which we love. Widespread awareness is growing of just how fragile Mother Earth really is. At the United Nations Climate Change Debate a few weeks ago (July 2007) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that climate change was his number one priority. Some of the meetings took place in the beautiful Trusteeship Council Chamber, where an extraordinary wooden sculpture of a girl with arms upraised, carved from a single teakwood trunk and its branches, seems to watch over proceedings, like a suppliant for that which is held in trust, like nature itself is in our trust. The Trusteeship was originally set up after WW II to help territories achieve independence, which now have, as Nigeria, Ghana, Somalia and other nations. The trust of peoples and now of nature itself requires our deepest level of sensitive awareness. On the Cycle of Conferences website are articles of interest on climate change. Other articles represent the hope of humanity for a just peace for Palestine and Israel, written by Daniel Levy, the framer of the Geneva Accords. These are of the utmost practical importance to the whole region and to humanity as a whole. The trust of a people is in our hands. And in our hearts especially during this world service meditation.

From the esoteric perspective, the spiritual teaching is entrusted to us. What we are able to do to make this teaching apparent in the world may be in direct relation to our entrance into the mysteries themselves. "These ancient Mysteries were originally given to humanity by the Hierarchy and contain the entire clue to the evolutionary process, hidden in numbers, in ritual, in words, and in symbology; these veil the secret of man's origin and destiny, picturing to him, in rite and ritual, the long, long path which he must tread, back into the light" (Alice Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ, p. 122). Indeed, Bailey and the Tibetan for whom she wrote, say that Christ enacted the ancient mysteries in his own life as 5 great events or stages made public for all to see. And for us to see and apply in terms of our own lives and unfolding stages of development. This, our new, world meditation ritual, is both the means for entering into the Mysteries within us, through meditation, and the means by which the world may participate in the ritual together in service of the whole.

Trusting the wisdom and compassion in you as divine nourisher, magical child, and participant in the Mysteries.