The full moon of Sagittarius is this year accompanied by both the winter solstice and a total lunar eclipse. This confluence of astronomical and astrological conditions will embody itself in a powerful resonance established between the planetary, solar and galactic Life. It may further be revelatory of that which lies behind them: the non-dual universal Life that has no centre and yet is present in all. This piece will first consider the Sagittarian archetype astrologically; it will then review one of the main astronomical revelations that Sagittarius has recently allowed, and will finish by exploring some of the opportunities and implications of this triple event: the full moon, the solstice and a total lunar eclipse.
The Sagittarian Archetype
Astrologically, the symbol of Sagittarius is the archer, either in the form of the centaur, the half-man, half-horse, or the man on the back of the white horse. In this respect it is said that these two Sagittarian symbols each embody a particular stage in the development of consciousness. The centaur represents the human being who is still rooted in their animal nature, while the man on the white horse represents that necessary evolution of consciousness where the soul (symbolised by the man), and the highly developed personality (the white horse) have been clearly differentiated. This is an important distinction, as it is necessary for the difference between the intelligent personality and the wise and loving soul to become clear before these two aspects of our nature can be brought into right relationship.
Prior to its complete 'soularisation', the personality will always tend towards the sacrifice of soul-love, unconditional and impersonal, for survival, while the soul will always sacrifice its own survival for love. This was exemplified by the Christ, as he embodied the soul principle at work in the world. Often, spiritual teachers have suggested that these two aspects of our being are antagonistic to each other, and that the truly 'spiritual' path requires the choice of the 'higher' over the 'lower'. As the 7th Ray energy of the newly dawning Aquarian Age continues to break upon the human consciousness, however, a new approach to this duality is emerging. This is one that recognises the sacred in both, and which sees their interplay as providing a field in which an integrated and more embodied spirituality can be birthed in a manner that would never be possible if one attempted to choose one path over the other.
The tantric marriage and eventual fusion of these two aspects of our being is a profoundly beneficial and educational process for both. The personality, through its contact with the soul, is raised in its vibration, mental, emotional, energetic and physical, and is able to learn to release its attachments and subtle narcissism in the freedom and wisdom of love. The soul requires the personality too though, in order to learn the ways of the world, and in order to provide it with a fit partner in service on the physical, emotional and mental planes. It is this close and cooperative relationship between the soul and the highly developed personality that is embodied in the Sagittarian symbol of the archer astride the white horse.
The Black Hole
Sagittarius is also revealing some powerful new astronomical truths for humanity at the present time. Astronomically, the constellation of Sagittarius is made up of a collection of stars that the ancients deemed to embody the form of an archer, and what has been a particularly interesting development over the last decade is the recognition of where the archer's arrow is aimed. In the year 2000, the year of the Shamballa Impact when the powerful energies of the planetary crown chakra impact the human centre, it was postulated that very close to the star Sagittarius A exists a supermassive black hole that forms the centre of our galaxy. In the time since, this has been scientifically confirmed beyond reasonable doubt, and additionally, it is now proposed that a black hole is found at the centre of every galaxy.
It is fascinating to consider that this discovery unfolded at the same time as the Shamballa Impact, which occurs only once every 25 years and involves the flaming forth of the electric fire of Spirit into the heart of the human centre. While humanity is said in the esoteric literature to embody the throat chakra of the planetary Being, and the Hierarchy of enlightened and liberated souls the heart chakra of this great entity, Shamballa exists as the crown chakra. These three major chakras hold resonance with the three principle aspects of our being: personality, soul and spirit, respectively, and with the divine qualities of these aspects, creative intelligence, love-wisdom and divine will and power.
In the ancient mystery traditions, the use of different cosmological symbols for spiritual realities has influenced the type of spiritual approach made by such cultures. In the past, such symbols have involved the planets and suns, symbolising the personality and soul levels. When the emphasis has been on deities associated with the planets, as was the case in the ancient Greek, Roman and modern exoteric Hindu traditions, for example, the emphasis is on the different qualities of the personality, and such spiritual traditions have normally been pantheistic. When the emphasis has been on the Sun, such as in the ancient Egyptian, ancient Indian, Phoenician, Mesopotamian and Mayan Mystery Schools, for instance, a more monotheistic approach to spirituality has emerged, though still often with a pantheistic periphery. The Sun is the symbol of the self, either as the developed personality or the soul. Under the Sun we are able to declare, "I AM", and thus to assert the self. Which self we assert will vary from individual to individual, however, with those souls who are engaged in the development of the full and integrated personality working to assert "I AM" as such, and those souls who have already established such personality integration working towards the assertion of themselves and their lives in soul. With the emergence of the black hole at the centre of the galaxy, however, there is the physical plane out-picturing of a new aspect of Being in humanity's consciousness, the aspect of Spirit.
The darkness found in the black hole may hold quite negative connotations for some, and may even evoke fear. While Light is associated consciousness, with the soul, love, wisdom and 'enlightenment', darkness is often associated with pain, struggle, suffering and turmoil. This, though, is the darkness that is associated with the world of matter and personality. In the esoteric literature, there is also a higher, divine darkness associated with the reality of Spirit. Light is a symbol of consciousness, and of the lighted realm of the soul, the principle that stands as the mediator between spirit and form. In light, in soul, one can see. That is, one can see with clarity the contours of each form, how each relates to each, and the loving bases of relationship that exist between them. In darkness, however, symbolic non-dual Spirit and primordial Emptiness, there are no differences to be seen, and perhaps even no-'thing' to see. There is only vast openness, Being, electric Life and Energy. While the qualities of soul are Love, Wisdom, and Sacrifice, out-pictured in the Sun's radiation of light and warmth in all directions regardless of distinction, the qualities of Spirit are Will, Power, and a dynamic electric Fire that blasts away all that inhibits the full realisation of divine Being. Just as the Sun always stood in the Ancient Mystery traditions as the symbol of the soul, now the emerging aspect of Spirit has its physical plane symbol in the supermassive black hole at the centre of our, and indeed all galaxies, devouring the forms of great sun-souls and releasing them into fuller cosmic Being.
In the centre of the sun, just as at the heart of the soul, matter is consumed and transfigured into light. As the relationship between soul and personality becomes increasingly close, the material form is transfigured to the point where it holds no resistance to the full expression of soul-light through it. In the centre of the black hole, the singularity, both matter and light are consumed. This reflects the fact that as the reality of Spirit is revealed, subsequent to soul/personality fusion, it is the light of consciousness, and indeed the deepest and most fundamental roots of our sense of individuality that are consumed and devoured in the fiery bliss of non-dual Spirit. When this occurs, temporarily or on a more stable basis in some of the higher initiations, all traces of even the soul are dissolved. Here, there is only primordial Emptiness, what the Buddhists call Shunyata and Dharmakaya, bliss, and the recognition of the always-already perfection of the All.
These can be difficult issues to consider, especially in such a culture as ours where the cult of personality reigns strong and a premium is placed upon the special 'uniqueness' of each individual. When the soul approaches the black hole of Spirit that is found at its core, it is indeed devoured in the blissful furnace of Being. This is not its end though, for once the soul is able to recognise that its sense of individuality was sourced in the One Life all along, and that there is in fact no-'thing' found at the centre, it journeys back into the world, paradoxically stronger and with a new sense of play in its heart. When this is able to occur for humanity as a whole, then will we truly be born as a cosmic being at one with itself, and the sacred value of the Earth as a cosmic School for Souls, will be known.
The Present Opportunity
In terms of the stated triple confluence of astrological and astronomical events bound up with this time, that is, the full moon, the winter solstice and a total eclipse of the moon, a great opportunity presents itself. To give some idea of how rare such a combination of events is, the last time they occurred in union with each other was 456 years ago. The solstice involves a conjunction between the Sun and the Galactic Centre from the perspective of the Earth. As such, it can be understood as a physical plane out-picturing of an alignment occurring on the inner planes between the central monadic life of the Galaxy, the great Being manifesting through our Solar System, and the Being ensouling the Earth. The galactic, solar and planetary levels correspond to the aspects of spirit (1st aspect), soul (2nd aspect) and personality (third aspect) respectively. Thus, owing to the ontological resonance extant between the physical plane embodiments of these aspects, and the aspects themselves, the solstice necessarily entails the setting up of a harmonic vibration between all three in the human, planetary, solar and galactic being. This situation is augmented by the full moon, during which time the 2nd and the 3rd aspects, soul and form, Hierarchy as the planetary heart and Humanity as the planetary throat chakra, are able to come into alignment as is usually the opportunity, but with the whole situation being triply enhanced by the total lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse involves the alignment between the Sun, the Earth and the moon being so precise that the limiting tendencies of the latter, symbolic of the unconscious conflicts and resistant forces of the human or planetary personality, are subtracted from the cosmic equation. This leaves the alignment between the Galactic Centre, the Sun and the Earth unimpeded. When this occurs in the life of the individual human being, involving an established resonance between spirit, soul and personality, then a channel of energetic penetration is established from the highest to the lowest, the kundalini energy at the base of the spine is awakened, and the third initiation can be taken. In the planetary life, there arises an opportunity so powerful that the whole of humanity, and the entire planetary life may be affected.
Additionally, just as when the soul and personality are brought into a state of fusion there is the revelation of that which lies behind them as their core essence, Spirit, so also when all three aspects are brought into resonance, as is symbolised by the present full moon/solstice/total lunar eclipse confluence, there is the potential revelation of that which lies behind all three and yet stands as their energetic basis. In the esoteric literature, this is known as the energy of cosmic buddhi, or the lightning of universal Life that is the non-dual essence of Being. This is the Presence of Divinity that ultimately surrounds all, pervades all, lies at the core of all, and yet transcends all. In terms of a physical plane out-picturing, it corresponds to Space, the electrically vibrant infinity in which galaxies, solar systems and planets arise. The full moon/solstice/total lunar eclipse confluence thus stands as an awesome and rare opportunity for humanity, and the cosmic Being of the Earth, to identify with its cosmic origin. Though scientists increasingly believe that basic biological life may not be as rare in the universe as previously thought, the presence of a biologically embodied species that is self-conscious, intelligent and increasingly heart-awakened may be a rare jewel indeed. As such, the esoteric literature suggests that humanity has a profound role to play in the cosmos, one that involves not just it awakening to its own divinity and responsibility within the planetary life, but in terms of its ability to radiate the energetic resonance of that awakening cosmically. It is proposed that by doing so, humanity may render powerful service to the cosmic environment in which other evolutions, perhaps existing on planets many light-years away but yet still belonging to the same cosmic ashram, are beginning to find their way.
Much here must necessarily remain speculative, but such speculations are fundamentally important. They relate to our place in the universe, our understanding of our essential divinity as a single entity of cosmic origin, and the responsibility that is incumbent on this recognition. Such are some of the points of awakening that must surely lie in humanity's future, and such are also some of the recognitions that many around the world will be contemplating at this time.
Blessings of the full moon, the winter solstice, and the total lunar eclipse.
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.