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Jon Darrall-Rew
January 2011

Capricorn is one of the most occult signs of the zodiac, and it is closely related to initiation. In particular, Capricorn has relation to the third initiation, and this present piece will consider some of the deeper truths here involved.

Initiation is fundamentally a law of the soul-realm. An understanding of this truth dispels all false notions that initiation, in its true sense, has its basis in the world of personality. This is, though, how many understand the subject. For such persons, the word conjures up ideas of elitist and exclusivist secret societies; brutal tribal puberty rites; 'hazing', in naval and military initiations; or street gang initiations. All of these are materialised expressions, often very distorted, of the deep truths of initiation that are rooted in the world of souls, on the inner planes. In this respect, initiations are understood as great events of soul-growth, always occurring on the inner planes, where the normally gradual process of spiritual evolution is able to take a grand step forward. Such events relate to the soul's exit from one field of experience and its entry into a totally knew one. In all cases, initiation relates to the process of soul unfoldment, to the soul's progressive capacity to unfold its true spiritual being, and to express that being in qualities of enlightened mind, love, wisdom and will.

Initiation in its major sense relates to a series of great expansions of consciousness and energetic stabilisations in the form nature that occur as the soul treads the last stages of the journey through the human experience towards liberation. These occur on what is known in the esoteric literature as the Path of Initiation. The Path of Initiation is the last of three great paths a soul will tread over the many, many incarnations it takes in its journey through the human kingdom. These three paths correspond to three great halls in which the soul is said to find its place during these stages of the Way. These halls should be understood as spaces of soul-growth through which the soul passes as it attends class after class in the world if it's repeated incarnations, whist journeying through the Earth School for souls.

The first path is the Path of Evolution, and this involves the longest stretch of the Way, extending from the very beginning of a soul's human experience, and involving the building into the pure white soul body, of colours and qualities from experiences over a vast number of incarnations. During this time it is said that the soul is travelling through the Hall of Ignorance. When the soul has passed through its spiritual childhood and adolescence, it is able to develop the aspiration to more maturely unfold its skills, capacities and qualities of goodness in the world, and it passes onto the Path of Aspiration, Probation and eventual Discipleship. This stretch of the Way necessarily involves a large number of lifetimes also, though not as many as those entailed in treading the Path of Evolution. At this point there is the increasing unfoldment of some of the higher instincts toward what Plato called, the good, the beautiful and the true, and the increasing expression of the spiritual instinct. The word 'spiritual' in this respect refers to every tendency within the individual that stirs a wonder and deep appreciation for the planet, the cosmos, and for the other lives with whom it is sharing this journey. This spiritual instinct may be expressed in a variety of ways; scientific, political, social, environmental; indicating that said expression is not necessarily always conventionally 'spiritual' or 'religious'. At this stage, the soul has made its way into the Hall of Learning. This period of soul evolution involves the coordination and growth of the physical, emotional and mental faculties of the personality through which it is manifesting, and their eventual integration into a fully rounded whole. Eventually, the soul, over many lifetimes, passes into the higher grades of the Hall of Learning, and with the progressive unfoldment of its being through the increasingly responsive personality, it is able to step onto the Path of Discipleship. This is a profound triumph, and it involves the soul and personality coming into increasingly close relationship with each other in meditation, service, and a growing participation in the unfoldment of the Plan on Earth. Finally, the soul and its reflection, the personality, have been brought into such close relation, and the heart and mind have been so sufficiently opened, that the soul is able to step onto the Path of Initiation, and to reside within the Hall of Wisdom.

On the Path of Initiation the soul is finally able to fully open its awareness to the entire planetary, solar and galactic life. The Hall of Wisdom is known as such as it is wisdom concerning the nature of Reality and the Universe as a whole that is developed. Initiation allows the soul to progressively enter, and serve in cooperation with the Hierarchy of Awakened Ones, who collectively embody the planetary Heart chakra. These beings made the same journey in ages past, eventually finding their way into the vortex of planetary and cosmic love, wisdom and service that the Hierarchy embodies.

An archetypal symbol for Capricorn is the mountain goat. This symbol relates to the distinction between the sheep and the goats, or between those who are treading the Path of Evolution, and who wander within the heard, and those who have begun to find their own way, ascending the mountain of initiation. Most specifically, Capricorn relates to the third initiation, known in the esoteric literature as the Transfiguration.

It is important to note that on the Path of Initiation, there is a reciprocal effort made by both the personality and the soul towards the mastery of the vehicles used, and that the attained control of the physical nature that must occur at the first initiation, and of the emotional nature at the second, represent only the personality side of this effort to master progressively 'higher' aspects of itself. Simultaneously, there is a descending effort made by the soul to master progressively more material aspects of itself, and so while the effort of the personality at the first initiation is to bring the physical body, its lowest point, under control, the effort of the soul is to allow some of its light and wisdom, just faint glimpses as yet, into the highest point of the personality, the mental body and the mind. At the second degree, there is a meeting in the middle of the three aspects of the personality, as the effort of the personality and the soul are both focused on the mastery of the emotional body and its infusion with love. This requires the disciple to face their deepest emotional insecurities and knots, common to all human beings, and to move into such a position of non-contingent love, rooted in the soul, that they are accepted, integrated, transcended, and ultimately dissolved. With the third initiation, the ascending effort of the personality is toward the mastery of the lower mind, whilst the effort of the soul is toward the mastery of the personality's lowest point, the physical body and the energetic chakra system. Once this has occurred, though there may still remain points of limitation within the personality, the initiate is liberated from them, and transcends them in his or her new fullness of Being.

Movement through the second initiation entails the first brief touch of the energy of Spirit, in order to release the soul from the hold of the deeply rooted emotional shadow material just mentioned. This peak experience is no yet, though, sustainable, and it is not until the third initiation that the first deep and stable contact with Spirit, and its quality of divine Will and Power, occurs. This is the energy of Shamballa, the planetary crown chakra, and this energy is needed to fully anchor the soul in the most material point of the energetic chakra system, the base chakra. The soul does not have the power to master the most instinctual and basic survival-related levels of our being, and so it is necessary for the individual to penetrate into the reality of Spirit in order to offset them sufficiently anchor their spiritual being in the base chakra.

Paradoxically, it is this ascent into the very heights of our being, contingent upon having first brought the soul and personality into a state of deep fusion (this is an important point), that results in the awakening of the energy of spirit found in the most material point of our being: the energy of kundalini. This is owing to the fact that the energy of spiritual will that is encountered in the heights of Spirit and the energy of kundalini found in the depths of matter, the base chakra, are fundamentally the same energy. It is said that this energy, as it descended from the planes of absolute formless Spirit in the process of being birthed as a soul, split into two streams: one that remained identified with the more subtle levels of our being on the higher planes, and one that descended to the depths as kundalini. Like calls to like, however, and so as an individual is able to fully enter into the energy of Spirit that is their deepest and highest core, that energy calls forth to itself in matter. This results in the establishing of a stream of pure spiritual energy flowing all the way from the Spirit, through the soul, down the spine and into the base chakra. It is along this stream of energy that the kundalini energy stored in the base chakra raises over the course of the fourth and fifth initiations. This results eventually in the total destruction of all that hinders the full expression of one's non-dual divinity. The fact that the third initiation involves the descent of the energy of Spirit all the way down into the physical relates to Capricorn as an earth sign, and to the fact that it is the energies of the 1st, the 3rd and the 7th Rays that flow through it.

During the Age of Aquarius, which we are just now entering, it is said in the esoteric literature that there is the opportunity for large groups of humanity to step onto the Path of Discipleship, and to experience identification with humanity as a single divine being of cosmic origin. The beginnings of this can already be seen when one looks to the growth of non-dual forms of spirituality all around the globe; from the spread of Tibetan and Zen Buddhism to the West; the new forms of Advaita Vedanta in the East and those in the West that are increasingly adapted to the Western lifestyle; the modernised forms of mystical Judaic, Contemplative Christian, and Sufi spirituality; and the Integral spirituality movement with it's non-dual emphasis.

During the Age of Capricorn, which will be upon us after the Age of Aquarius in some 2,500 years hence, it is further prophesised that great numbers of humanity will be able to step onto the Path of Initiation. Within the overarching cosmic ecology in which the Earth embodies the base chakra of the great Being manifesting through the solar system, who is said to be approaching the third cosmic initiation, this necessarily involves the liberation of large portions of humanity as units of solar kundalini, into fuller cosmic service and life.

The ages to come, potentially, hold wondrous prospects for us all, as we collectively remember ourselves and enter into our cosmic inheritance. In order for us to do so, however, we must first successfully navigate the great challenges to our collective survival presently salient, economic, religious, political, social and environmental. Capricorn anchors, as a basic function. Whatever we together establish as the flavour of our global civilisation during the Age of Aquarius will be anchored, as a physical reality in the Age of Capricorn, be that an enlightened expression, or one centred in selfishness and greed. We are the drivers of our united destiny, and that destiny can be something of universal significance, or something that ended, or took an unfortunate course, far before its time.

It is thus in the evocation of the light, love and enlightened will in every human heart and mind, so that we may take the former of these two courses, that many groups around the world will be working at this time, empowered by the Hierarchy of Awakened Ones, and the energy of Shamballa. Blessings of the Capricorn full moon.

This piece first appeared in the North Wales monthly publication, Network News: a guide to inspiring events in north wales, and is reproduced here with grateful thanks to the publishers.