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Sunrise over Sydney

By Malvin Artley
April 2005

Greetings Friends!

It was a quiet flight back from the US on a clear and crisp night out of San Francisco. We had just been served dinner and my mind was still buzzing over the events of my trip just ended. The world had lost a beloved Pope. I had just attended and presented at a conference that was in marked contrast to the gatherings of that group in the past.i I had made many new contacts and future friends. I had renewed contacts from over a decade of absence from that group. Though the world clattered on at its seemingly usual pace, it felt to me as though some new benchmarks had been put in place in the recesses of the human psyche. The Aries full moon just passed had been a strong one and the mark of transformation and new order was in some way its legacy. But, the one thing that stood out for me above all else in this period was that the heart of humanity had been touched in a big way and that the recent history of war and insecurity that has been the staple diet of the media in the past few years had been altered-if only initially-in favor of a more hopeful view of life. The throngs of people that flocked to Rome to wish the Pontiff well on his journey of greater service to God and humanity showed the power of love to move the human heart in a way that no other force can. Pope John Paul II will be missed and remembered as one of our recent Great Souls -and his will be a hard act to follow. Sleep was the order of the day now for me, though, and as scenes from Lemony Snicket danced across the movie screen, the Moon stood as a silent signpost and guide as the plane bore us swiftly westward to the shores of the wide brown land of Oz and home.

As we are now in the highest point of the spiritual year and the most powerful point of that year, it would pay us to reflect a bit on the life of John Paul II-not so much from the standpoint of the events of his life or his overall character, but from what Taurus represents to humanity and how much he exemplified that sort of life to us in many ways, especially because he was a Taurean. But, first we need to look a bit at Taurus as a sign and what it means to humanity. Taurus bestows "The penetrating Light of the Path", and John Paul II's life was certainly a beacon of hope and an example to many millions of people. In true Taurean fashion he faced down and moved through many obstacles to the filler expression of the Love of the Christ on the greater world stage. He lit the way for his followers, and the Light of his Soul penetrated deeply into and started to dissolve many of the prejudices, bigotries, hardened attitudes and national/religious divisions that are the legacies of centuries of war and religious short-sightedness. Hardly the "bull in the China shop" type, though, he showed a grace that only an old Soul can bring to bear on situations, and-though many astrologers would hardly address the point-he showed, through the quintile patterns in his chart, a true artistry in what he did and a genius for creative diplomacy that is but yet another example of the power those aspects can bring to the individual who knows how to properly use them.

In past Wesak letters I have focused upon the planets that rule Taurus (Venus and Vulcan). In this letter we need to take a look at the group of Lives upon which the psychology of the Taurean type is based. I refer to the 3rd Creative Hierarchy-the Lives that express the quality of "Light through Knowledge". In a curious sort of way this is a group of Lives that blends the qualities of desire and scientific mind. Esotericists will recognize the combination of desire and mind as kama-manas in strictly human terms. Indeed, this idea of "desire-mind" is the primary battlefield through which Taurean natives must pass and over which they must triumph. But, the blending to which I am referring in relation to this particular Hierarchy is, naturally, much more than desire-mind and refers to states of being far beyond human comprehension, for the Lives of this Hierarchy passed beyond human evolution many eons of time ago and are now tied up with the very life of the Lord of our entire solar system. They equate to a group of angelic Beings that are known in canonical terms as "The Thrones", whose task it is to "fulfill the divine justice of the Lord". They are known to be some of the most powerful of the angelic host, and they are said to ponder over the disposition of divine judgments. There are a lot of clues to Taurus in general and to the true actions of Venus and Vulcan in relation to Taurus in the preceding statements, and we will proceed to unravel some of these in due course. But, also in this, we see many indicators as to the life of any Taurean type and to the expression of John Paul II in particular.

Taurus is said to rule over this 3rd Hierarchy and that Hierarchy functions on the 5th sublevel of the cosmic astral plane. It is important to note that the number 5 in numerology always carries with it the idea of mentation and, more importantly, fixation. There is a great Law within our particular solar system called The Law of Fixation, and it governs on the mental plane and upon all 5th subplanes of each of the major planes. The word "plane" is probably not the most accurate term to use when describing states or dimensions of being. The words "density" and/or "dimension" probably come closer to describing the matter. As such, though, each plane or density of existence is governed by its respective all-pervading Law that governs both the material aspect of that plane and also its psyche. We should realize, too, that every plane is ensouled by a great angelic Life-the Lord of that plane-and thus each plane is, in effect, the body of manifestation for its respective great Angel, no matter how dense or rarified is the material nature of that plane. So, the Law of Fixation governs both the mental plane that we know as humanity and also the plane which is the expression of the 3rd Creative Hierarchy. I know these matters will mean little to some readers, but in coming to understand the concepts of fixation and also of five-ness, we can go a long way in understanding the basic causality and consciousness of the Taurean type and also one of the great Orders of the Heavenly Host about which very little has been written. Even more than that, we come to understand that mysterious construct of nature that is the human mind in its three compartments (lower/concrete, higher/causal and abstract).

What do we mean when we talk about fixation in relation to the mental plane or regarding the mind in general? The term fixation is chosen in relation to this Law for two reasons. Firstly, as a person thinks, so their desires and acts evolve. Thus results a person's future. In this way a person's karma is fixed or set. Basically, every person shapes their destiny by the way in which they think. That process links every human being with the greater archetypes because every human being is a concept in process of manifesting, as seen from an abstract perspective. The moment of conception (which marks the birth of the mental body) fixes the inner dynamic of the personal life. It sets the genetic heritage. It commences and governs the period of gestation. And, it maps the blueprint of any person's life. It does not, however, map physical events. Rather, it maps out the causative thoughts that eventually lead one to experience the outer events in life. In short, the conception chart is a map of the way in which the reasoning mind for any person works. It takes the mind-however great or feeble-to make human manifestation possible on the outer planes. Conception denotes a fixed pattern (blueprint) around which the entire personal life evolves. All other personal charts from that point onward are derived from it. The conception chart also says a lot about the immediate past lives that one has just lived, because one's present life is a resultant of past acts (karma), and it is said that one's present life is a continuation of the life just left. We are told as well that the time for this sort of astrology lies in the future for humanity, although some good approximations-if not the true charts-can be made at the present point in our history.

Secondly, fixation is used regarding the mind to describe the process whereby the lower nature is stabilized. The mind is ultimately the way in which the wild swings of the desire nature are moderated. Desires are largely settled through the steady application of the mind toward coherent processes of thought and through the construction of steady and viable thought-forms. Thoughts are things, after all. Though they may seem ethereal to us on this plane, thoughts on their own plane are as real and tangible as is life in any dimension or density. So, fixation is the law whereby the entire persona is actually guided and built over the many lifetimes we experience. Through all of our lives we gain in quality. As we raise our vibration, so are the higher qualities (virtues) built into the causal body-the body of the Soul. Our personal lives can be compared to the process of sculpture. We start out like a block of rough granite, with the Soul as the Sculptor gradually removing all that is not needed and slowly shaping that rough block into something that is eventually quite beautiful to behold. The sculptor is the Vulcan side of Taurus. The tools of its trade are forged through the steady application of the fires to the lower life via the fields of experience. Those ever-increasingly refined tools can then be used to hammer out forms that are suitable to be used in the temple of God that is our personal life-those bodies/forms eventually becoming the throne of the higher Self. The beauty of the form nature is the Venus side of Taurus, with the persona eventually becoming something akin to a Venus de Milo or a David in our example with regard to its beauty and the perfection of its form.

Taurus is well known as the most fixed of the 4 fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius). It is known for its tenacity, its determination, its unswerving purpose, stubbornness, and its power when aroused, rightly or wrongly. These are qualities that describe the 1st Ray of Will and Power along with the Law of Fixation (itself a 5th Ray Law), and Taurus is a sign that exemplifies that energy quite strongly, especially through its esoteric ruler (Vulcan). The power of a developed Taurean to be a great force in world affairs is beyond dispute. The lives of people such as Oliver Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth II, Sigmund Freud, Ulysses S. Grant, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx, Eva Peron, Maximilian Robespierre, Harry Truman, Orson Welles, Malcolm X and, of course, the Pope bear testament to the power and persistence of the 1st Ray in the life a Taurean, and this is not even looking at those people born with Taurus rising. There is another side to Taurus as well, though, which speaks to the more Venusian side of their natures. Venus gives the Taurus type their love of all things sensual and beautiful. It is probably the most sensual sign of the zodiac, and the passionate nature of the Taurean is renowned in astrological circles. In the blending of the influences of Venus and Vulcan we get the reason why the life of the Taurean on the spiritual path can be so difficult, for Taurus is also one sign of the zodiac that is sorely tested throughout life, as are all the fixed signs. The typical Taurean on the path (if there is such a thing as "typical" when one is on the path) can be somewhat a tortured soul. I spoke of this in last year's Wesak letter. The spiritual pull in such a person's life is powerful, but so is the life of the flesh, hence the conflict in their lives. I have digressed a bit here, but it will tie into the discussion a bit later.

The Taurean type is usually fixed upon one aspect of life or the other as outlined in the preceding paragraph, but one aspect will ultimately prevail over the other in life as a Taurean. Once the Taurean mind is made up, though, there is no turning back from the direction taken and the legendary determination and stubbornness of a Taurean with a mind fixated upon an idea then becomes either one of the most potent constructive forces for change in the world of human affairs or one of the most powerful destructive agents-the true bull in the china shop. Taurus is said to manifest the 5th Ray (Knowledge and Science) very strongly, and this fits with its association with the Law of Fixation and the 5th plane or subplane. Most of the Taureans I know are quite knowledgeable along their own line of work and they are some of the most effective at their work. With Taurus we get "the 90% effort along with the 10% of genius" that can lead to the heights of success because of their persistence with things. But, above all else, the Taurean type comes to know how to handle matter more intently than most any other sign. When I say "matter" here, I mean the material of any of the three realms of personal life-mind, desire and physical. Taurus is an earth sign and it rules the 2nd House of resources and personal finances. That house also rules self-esteem and it is often that case that the Taurean type is sorely tested as to their own self-worth along with how they manage their resources. Those are the major tests that befall that sign. Along those lines, one's bodies could also be seen as one's primary resource. Thus, tests for Taureans occur around the proper place of the lunar lords (as the occultist would state it) in the scheme of things. The lunar lords of one's nature-the bodies that make up the human persona-are the seat of the lower passions, and it is these that must be overcome as a controlling factor in life before the Soul can overshadow the lower nature and thus make the lower self "a lighted house".

Following upon the preceding we enter somewhat into the Lives that make up the 3rd Creative Hierarchy-those that bestow and/or express "Light through Knowledge". In many ways, those Lives are the prototypes for the process that guides the construction of the causal body. The Thrones (this 3rd Hierarchy, as I see it) are descriptive of the causal body itself which is, after all, the throne of the Soul. They are not the Hierarchy that produces the causal body. They are, however, an archetype for it-a guiding principle, if you will. It is the body wherein quality is measured. It is governed by Venus. It is the body wherein karma is determined. It is the body wherein the wisdom and knowledge of the ages is stored. It is the body wherein perfect justice is meted out. It is the body that is the true measure of our achievement as human beings. It is the body whereby the Light of the Soul is shone out through our lives once we are aligned with that Light. It is the body that links the Heaven Worlds to the lower realms. It is that which unites us with our Soul. It is Venus in action and it is the vehicle of the Master Mason as the sculptor of our lives-the tool forged by Vulcan in the fiery pit of earthly existence until it shines resplendently as a fit instrument for the construction of God's temple on earth. It is, in the last analysis, the body that makes us uniquely human.

Thus, we see that Taurus, through Venus, speaks of and works with the qualitative side of life. How do we value a thing except through its quality? How is one's life measured except through the quality (ethic) that one exhibits? And, is there a higher human ethic than the ability to love unconditionally and in a way such that the lives of all that we touch are enhanced and made more spiritual? We say that Venus represents love, which it does, but it also represents perfect justice, for what is divine justice except for the full expression of goodwill and right relations between all people? There is no justice without love. There is no goodwill without love. There is no quality of life without love. This is probably the chief lesson of the Taurean life-that there is no quality of life without true, spiritual love. In the end, every Taurean must fix their path, either toward the path of love or toward the path of materiality. There is no in-between, so strong is the pull from both sides for the Taurean. In the life of the Venus Taurean, love and quality of life points the way. In the life of the Vulcanian Taurus there is no other will than the Love of God toward all things and people. So, in the final analysis, human existence builds the throne of the Soul-the causal body, the Temple of Venus-and Taurus is one of the chief signs that shows the path of its building.

How would the preceding discussion manifest in the life of a Taurean on the Path? We have all heard of the life of the Buddha and the Noble Middle Path. We know of the privations he brought upon himself in that life in his search for knowledge and ultimate truth, the control he wrought over his lower nature and the shining Light of Knowledge he manifested as a result of his triumph that his life exemplified. But, we also have a more recent-though by no means perfect-example of such a person in the life of John Paul II. To start with, there is no doubt John Paul II was a very intelligent man and that he displayed very much the idea of "Light through Knowledge". He spoke 8 languages. He wrote 5 books and authored voluminous discourses on ethics, along with thousands of letters and official papers. He was a professor of ethics prior to his pontificate, and he also wrote poetry and plays. All of this is also a reflection of the quintiles in his chart besides the fact that he was a Taurean. In his youth he played soccer and enjoyed skiing and kayaking. He worked as a stone cutter and an actor prior to his seminary training. He was, in these regards, quite a cultured man. He also displayed quite a control over his lower nature, declaring "This world is not capable of making man happy." He certainly knew his trade/art/profession and he rose to the penultimate position in his work. The Venusian side of him was more or less completely given over to the manifestation of the beauty of God's word on earth.

The Vulcanian side of him was certainly strong as well. It was said that he ruled over the Holy See with an iron hand and an unwavering resolve. People within the Church who disagreed with him on matters of the Church and morals found out in no uncertain terms that he was a man not to be trifled with or swayed from his course. He could debate ethics and law with the best of them-and he always had his way, not simply because of his will, but because he knew his subject so intimately and thought and prayed upon it constantly. To him, truth was all. He was heard to say, "It is a mistake to apply American democratic procedures to faith and truth. You cannot take a vote on the truth." He regarded capitalism and communism as flip sides of the same coin. It is said that he was more given to self-discipline than to self-doubt. His visit to Poland upon his institution as pope was said to be the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. During the protests in Poland that his visit evoked, he stood for freedom and human rights with the quiet strength and dignity that exemplified the teachings of Jesus. At the height of the protests, when weaker wills were beginning to fail, he was heard to say, "You are men. You have dignity. Don't crawl on your bellies." We all know what happened in Poland then. Freedom prevailed without even a shot being fired. It was said that his great hope was to awaken the entire world to the dignity and responsibility of defending human rights.

His papacy was one of restoration for the Catholic Church. When he took the reins in 1978 the church was virtually on its knees. It had lost 1/3 of its priests and great numbers of nuns. Though there were many who disagreed with his methods, the results speak for themselves. His message did no go down well in the developed world. That would come as no surprise because he advocated lowering the standard of living in those countries and using the extra money to feed the poor and better conditions in the 3rd World. As a result, the Church gained many followers in 3rd World countries, while numbers dropped in the developed world. Despite any personal qualms people may have had about him, he was universally recognized as a man of integrity and prayer. In public he was said to generate an electricity unmatched by anyone on earth. It is said the Church is now stronger than it has been prior even to the Protestant division in the 16th century. His travels were legendary, with 38 official visits, travel to over 115 countries, 738 audiences with heads of state, 246 audiences with prime ministers and 170 general visits to countries all over the world. If all this isn't a testament to Taurean tenacity and resolve, I don't know what is. If it sounds as though I am gushing about the man here, I am only passing on what has been said about him in the media. I actually knew very little about him personally until his death. I knew his work, though. In all, the life of Pope John Paul II was an exemplary life for a developed Taurean type. Love them or not, they restore a sense of divine purpose to all that they touch. Taurus fixates God's love on earth in its highest expression through the Taurean type who displays true quality of life.

As one final thought about this great Taurean, the following quote pretty well sums up what it means to be a Taurean disciple and to manifest the best qualities that sign can bestow:

"It is doubtful there has ever been a pope who has translated his strength, determination and faith into such widespread respect and goodwill. In a world of shifting trends and leaders of questionable virtue, John Paul II has been a towering figure at the moral center of modern life."
"This is not a pope who looks at the public opinion polls..He says what he thinks is right and wrong from conviction. And that's why people admire him. He's a man of integrity and prayer, even if they don't agree with him."
From CNN and Father Thomas Reese

Not a bad epitaph.

This brings us to a discussion of the dynamics of the 2005 Wesak Moon. This year's Wesak Moon occurs at 8:07 PM AEST (10:07 AM GMT) on the 24th of April. If we remember, last year's Wesak Moon was an eclipse, as is this one, and it was quite a strong one. In fact, the full moons for the past three Wesak letters I have written have all been eclipses. But, this one stands out from the rest for a variety of reasons and it presents a rare opportunity to gain insight into the next steps ahead for the world and for divining aspects of our own natures that have remained hidden for some time. The reasons for this will be laid out as the discussion proceeds. I know I must sound like a broken record at times with my assertions that there are so many magical events going on in the heavens, but the plain fact of the matter is that there are many unusual things afoot in the world at this time and the heavens simply indicate what is going on at subjective levels. We are all extremely fortunate to live in these times and to have the opportunity to serve and to grow in this sea of amazing energies that are impinging upon us in this transition period between the great astrological Ages of Pisces and Aquarius.

This Wesak figure is special for several reasons:

1) The spiritual Hierarchy is meeting in conclave as we speak, and it does so every year at the time of the 3 main spiritual festivals. But, this one is even more eventful because this is also a 9th-yearly conclave to decide the next steps ahead for the unfolding of the divine Plan for Earth. Esotericists will note that this particular cycle is an esoteric cycle of Saturn, and it carries the theme of planning, of adjusting planetary karma, of adjusting group relations and of ending that which is no longer needed. The last such conclave was in 1996, and the seeds for the Shamballa impact in 2001 were put in place. The world now is quite different in many ways to what it was during the 2nd Clinton administration and many of us have felt ourselves to be "under the hammer", as it were, since that time. The effect of this conclave is thus intensified, because it is only those Masters of the rank of Chohan and higher who can sense what the great Plan is in any detail. The power invoked can be stupendous, if need be. There were such conclaves in 1915, 1942, 1951, 1960, and so on, and history shows clearly enough what happened just after those meetings. Thus, we are about to receive new "marching orders", if you will, and a new order is about to be instilled for the next 9-year period. It is therefore vitally important that we attune ourselves to the opportunities presented during this period.

2) As mentioned, this Wesak moon is an eclipse. It is what is known as a series 7 North eclipse in the Saros Series of eclipses. It is said to be very much an "in-your-face" sort of eclipse which can bring up a great deal of hidden sensuality that has lain dormant for years. It is, in short, a confronting eclipse wherein one's lower nature stands revealed, and in full living color. So, if there are things around one's personal passions that need redressing and which are holding one back from a fuller expression of a more selfless kind of love, expect them to be brought up for at least a thorough examination. With this eclipse and with the Hierarchical conclave in meeting at the moment (and I am not talking about the papal conclave), we thus have a very interesting dynamic-and I am certain that it will indeed make the lives of many people most interesting. In true Taurean fashion, we have the pull of the higher and of the lower in direct contrast at this full moon. Choices will have to be made by many. For those whose path is already chosen, certain testings will come up that will have the feeling of finality about them. There will be a parting of the ways in many life situations for people under the influence of this eclipse, but also many amazing opportunities for expanded consciousness as a result as well-which brings us to the next point.

3) There is another of the "benchmark triangles" that I described in the last letter in this full moon figure as well. But, there is much more. In addition to the benchmark triangle, we find two interlaced 7th-harmonic trapezoids in the chart, all on planetary points, and including the benchmark triangle. This is a rare configuration. One trapezoid is formed by the Moon, Pluto, Mercury and Saturn, while the other one is formed by Mercury, Neptune, the Moon and Saturn. The points common to both trapezoids are the Moon, Mercury and Saturn. To the esoteric astrologer it will be immediately apparent that the trio of planets just mentioned carries with it the implication of some sort of initiatory influence, since Mercury and Saturn govern the path of discipleship and the initiation known as the Crucifixion. These two planets bring tremendous illumination and opportunity with them when they act in concert, and since they are biseptile to each other, the possibilities for illumination through this Wesak experience are magnified. I will not have space here to cover what is indicated in such a septile configuration. I explained a lot of that in the Aries letter. Suffice it to say that-especially considering the planets involved-the effects for one whose chart is activated by this pattern could be nothing short of revelatory provided the proper alignment is maintained throughout this period.

There is one point that does need to be reiterated about septile-based (7th-harmonic) patterns, though. Along with the possibilities for penetrating "beyond the veil" that they represent, septiles also indicate that a new order will be put in place by such a strong 7th-harmonic pattern. Given that we have a Wesak Moon, an eclipse, a special conclave and such a series of septiles, one would expect to see changes to be wrought in the world and especially in the human psyche. Be assured that there will be new paradigms of thought introduced into the minds of people everywhere. It would be an amazing thing to be able to see the world of thought in a few years and to be able to trace it back to this eclipse period to see which lines of thought were seeded here. Our minds will be changed in some way by this Wesak period.

4) Speaking of change, there is also a standard yod in this figure formed by a base sextile between Venus and Uranus with Jupiter at the apex. Quincunxes bring change, but this particular yod speaks more of a "beneficent reorganization" than it does of catastrophic change. It is of interest to note that this yod is linked to the septile trapezoids by two quintiles-one between Venus and Saturn and the other between Jupiter and Pluto. These aspect patterns are an extraordinarily creative and dynamic linking and interplay between almost every planet in the chart. The only ones left out are Mars and the Sun, but even they figure in. The Sun rules the chart (since it is a full moon figure and the greatest of the solar Festivals) and Mars is in a wide conjunction with Neptune. There is so much here that I cannot even begin to go into it all. I will simply have to leave you with the implications and hope that we can all avail ourselves of the fantastic opportunity being presented to us.

5) Finally, the Sun is conjoined to Venus, which rules the chart by dignity and we have the two rulers of Taurus, orthodox and esoteric, conjunct the Sun. Additionally, Mars is sextile to Pluto, adding a very energetic dynamic to the figure and there is a T-square with Chiron at the apex squaring the Sun/Moon oppositional axis, indicating that close, personal relationships will come under fire during this period. In all, it is just another day in the life of one on the Path, but a truly memorable one, nonetheless.

I would be remiss if I didn't address the degree of the Sun in this figure, though. The symbol for that degree reads thus:

"A widow at an open grave." 5 Taurus

This is a clear call to lay the past to rest, to wish those departed on divergent paths well and to get down to the business of the future. This symbol harkens back to the quote by John Paul II, that human-kind does not find happiness in the things of this world. Affairs of the flesh eventually only leave one with an empty void to fill and a longing for something else to make life worth living. Despite the profound grief that this symbol can engender, though, we should also be mindful that death-whether of a loved one or of a situation-in not always a sad thing. It can be a joyous occasion and a celebration of life lived well. It is the quality of the life or the situation that must be remembered, and if we truly love, then there is no real need for sadness because we know that "the separation of the flesh" is but illusion and that we are all always together and linked on the inner planes. Endings bring freedom, both for the departed and for those left behind, and liberation is what Taurus ultimately brings, along with the recognition of the quality of life. Far from being a sad symbol, it is simply an indicator of the natural order of things and a recognition that all things on the outer planes are in a state of ceaseless change. The lesson of non-attachment is very poignantly borne out for us in this symbol, and the teaching about detachment was one of the great revelations of Guatama, the Buddha.

On the other side of the chart we have the degree of the Moon, which reads thus:

"A massive rocky shore resists the pounding of the sea." 5 Scorpio

This symbol speaks to the other side of Taurus-persistence, the permanence of the spiritual worlds, the strength of the will, the ability of a well-formed structure to withstand the ravages of time and the ceaseless cycles of nature as they unfold around us. The works wrought by Taurus endure, and they leave a legacy of beauty and stability for all who follow afterward. All we have to do is to take what is given to us in this period and, as much as possible, simply be ourselves while all around us goes through its usual permutations and gyrations. In the stillness of nature (with which Taurus strongly resonates) we find our repast and our rejuvenation. We also find there an example of how to reconnect with the heart of all things-through steadiness, steadfastness and silent communion with the forces that act through and around us.

I was blessed to have such an experience in nature just prior to my leaving the States a few days ago. On the last day in San Francisco two of my friends from the conference took me on a visit to the Muir Woods National Monument. I had no idea what was in store for me, but I thought a trip out in nature would be just the ticket given the heightened activity of the past two weeks. If you have not been and ever get the chance to, go. It is not to be missed. The place is a California redwood forest, with some of the tallest and oldest trees on earth. The area has never been logged, so all the nature spirits and the ecosystem is still intact, save for the intrusion of tourists like myself. I remember another friend of mine admonishing me to be very open to everything that came my way on my journey before I left. Her words rang in my head as I walked into the hushed darkness of the forest. I was immediately struck by the ancientness of the scene, the extraordinary beauty, the massiveness of the trees, the abundance of nature spirits (I could feel them all around.) and reverence for the majesty of nature. More than anything else, though, the one thing that washed over me that I shall never forget is a profound feeling of silence. The longer I was there, the more I wished to walk in silence. I found myself speaking in hushed tones, as if I was in a sacred space (which I was) and I was increasingly disinclined to speak at all. The noisy chattering and careless laughter of the other tourists felt as if it was a blasphemy to the space. I longed for them to be quiet. I had to be content with my own inner silence.

I recalled the words of a mentor while I was there. He told me once that if one wanted to experience what it is like to enter into the silence of the meditative state, that one should, as much as is possible, enter into the consciousness of a tree. I did that once with another redwood in Australia and it was like nothing I had ever felt. The thing is that the tree has to be an old-growth tree and fully matured. Silence is the nature of trees and it is what they impart to their surroundings. They beckon one to turn inward and reflect in one's own silence. They simply are. Yet, in that state, they give so much. It is the same with us. We give so much more through our centered sense of being than we do through our mad rushing about. It is the old Chinese idea of "by learning to do nothing, all things get done." True will is only known in silence. The forest gave a gift to me that day. I stayed in the reflective state that I experienced with my silent sentinels of the woods throughout my trip back, and I can always go back to that state easily now by simply tuning in to the ancient ones. So, to my two friends, I want to thank you again. You gave me a gift that day that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Please return there yourselves as often as you can.

I had been looking for something to spark this letter in my travels, but nothing had been coming. Something is always given when it is time. Over the years I have come increasingly to know the power of symbols and the symbolic life of the Soul as we contact it through our day-to-day experiences. By reading the signs and portents we can read the language of experience-soul-filled experience. I knew there was something new on the way. The whole of my trip indicated it. I heard it in people's talking. I saw it in their eyes. I felt it everywhere I went. The air is pregnant with something new. I felt that the Aries full moon had set a new tone. Now, with the Taurus moon, the quality of the tone will manifest and be fixed into place. Be watchful. The signs are all there. As you move through this most exalted state of the year, be silent within as much as possible. We cannot hear the inner voice if we chatter away in careless abandon. The Soul seeks alignment so the next dispensation can be given. Silence. Watchfulness. Expectancy. All things will come to those who make the necessary space.

It had been a long flight and sleep had been fitful. The last movie had played, breakfast had been served and everyone was ready to be off that plane. As I sat there and we neared my second homeland I could still feel the silence of the woods. The contacts made in the previous days filled my heart with joy and I knew that my own life in particular had been stepped up a notch. Light slowly began to chase away the darkness as the plane neared land and my mind began to turn to what was to be done over the next week. As we flew over the shore of Australia I saw the Sun rise at the rear of the plane. It was a glorious sight with the pinks and oranges suffusing the deep violet of the receding night sky. The clouds looked like mountain ranges and rocky shores on a silent, glassy sea. Then, as we got close to Sydney, almost with a sense of humor, nature provided me with the symbol for which I had been waiting. There before me was a massive bank of cloud with the Sun rising behind it. The rays of the Sun splayed out from behind the cloud bank and painted the sky with the most glorious shades if sunlight. No photograph could have captured it better. No computer could have generated a better sunrise. And as we were about to land, the Sun peeked out over the top of the clouds and welcomed the new day. There was my answer-my symbol for this letter. I had traveled far and met with kindred Souls. I had communed with nature and with the inner groups with whom my Soul associates. I had learned much and I had given much. Now I had to leave my old and new-found friends and go back to my life as it was before I left. But things will not be quite the same. A new era is dawning in my life, though the old life still goes on. And now it is time to share anew.

May it be the same for you as well.

Let the blessings of the Buddha enrich and empower you all.


  1. The conference was the 19th annual conference of the Seven Ray Institute/University of the Seven Rays. Their website is
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