The esoteric teachings in Alice Bailey's writings suggest that Aries marks the start of a new spiritual year. The three festivals (marked by the full moons of Aries, Taurus and Gemini) set the note for the rest of the year. Students of the teachings are asked to give particular attention to these festivals - in other words to be especially mindful of the significance of the inner work we seek to do at this time.
This year, in 2009, humanity as a whole is going through a crisis of great depth with the collapse of financial institutions, the freezing up of trade and all the heartbreak represented when people lose their homes and jobs. In the wealthiest economy of the world, the US, when people lose their jobs they also often lose basic health insurance. In so many parts of the south where vast numbers of people already live a hand to mouth existence this financial crisis adds even further strain, raising the costs of essentials such as food and water; cutting back on a number of the initiatives underway to provide basic health care and education; and limiting opportunities to make even the slightest increase in a meager income.
Out of this crisis there is a terrific burst of transformational activity to bring a sense of trust into economic relations and restore a sense of human values to communities, business and banking. People everywhere are talking about the need to move beyond consumer-driven values towards values rooted in the substance of our shared humanity and our responsibilities towards the earth. Governments are engaged in reforming, not just financial systems, but also energy policies and stewardship of the environment, along with health care and education.
We have financial crisis, with all of its human levels of stress, vulnerability and pain; alongside a climate change crisis; and a huge moment of opportunity to plan anew for the future.
What this means is that we enter Aries and all of the energetic focus of a new spiritual year with the collective heart moved and stirred and aflame both with concern and with hope that at long last there will be an awakening of will commensurate with the demands created by our recently discovered sense of universality. One can almost feel the human spirit stirring. It is as if there is a miraculous stretching of the heart.
In the midst of this palpable stirring, let us imagine ourselves to be a group of spiritual warriors - assembled together in conclave, with representatives from all cultures and peoples, all faiths and spiritualities: our task is to attend to the hidden, esoteric, opportunities of the Aries festival.
We know, O Lord of Life and Love about the need;
Touch our hearts anew with love,
That we too may love and give.
At an outer level we know that Aries is the time of Easter and, in the Jewish tradition, of Passover. So apart from anything else a vast number of people are thinking deeply in a cosmological and mythological sense at this time. Ever year, during Aries, the field of human consciousness is more focused on the divine and the sacred than at any other time. As we build the image of a group of spiritual warriors, assembled together in conclave - we can place ourselves within this religious and devotional orientation - seeing it as an expression of a basic human call to the divine and as a yearning for relationship: a yearning for relationship with the mystery at the core of our being; a yearning for relationship with the holiest of holies we sense within.
In addition to our sense of this yearning spirit in the human heart, let the group of spiritual warriors pay attention to the current economic, environmental, social, psychological and political crisis - the stretching of the heart that this crisis represents as well as the fires of transformation accompanying it.
This forms the human base, the ground for our work.
And so to the hidden, esoteric viewpoint where consciousness is seen as a continuum, with realms of soul and spirit informing, infusing and overshadowing the outer surface of who we think we are when we identify in the separated personality. The whole wide world of time and space, the world where we live out our lives as separated personalities, is in process, through aeons of time, of becoming sacred. This is the great macrocosmic trajectory of evolution. Consider the idea of the Earth in process of becoming a sacred planet: the Earth, with humanity and all the expressions of life, as a place of light in the universe; the Earth as a planet with an inherent, timeless, natural reflection of goodness, beauty and truth that radiates through the entire universe.
And what of our role as a species in this process? As human beings we are learning to become the primary agents of creativity - expressing our divinity with a natural, uncontrived concern for the good of the whole - expressing our divinity in a multitude of ways through our human-ness. This is what we are becoming; it is what we are learning and it is the essence of human development. It only makes sense if we expand our sense of time into lifetimes of development - lifetimes during which small jewels of goodness are nurtured at a cellular level. Through the millennia, our creativity is birthing strings of DNA, which, through time, provide cellular memory and code of a future humanity naturally expressing itself through fresh, unique manifestations of beauty, goodness and truth.
This evolutionary process is historically measurable in so many ways as economists, sociologists, psychologists, and environmentalists trace the development from tribal consciousness of a responsible, caring global human community - in right relationship with Earth, with Soul and Spirit.
In the continuum of consciousness soul is both personal - where each one of us, each of the six billion humans alive on the planet, is an expression of the work of an incarnating soul, a solar angel - and soul is communal: the greater community of the One Soul where we find our spiritual home, and also where we find the Ancestors and Teachers- those who have passed through the lessons of human incarnation to become Guides and Masters of Wisdom and Compassion, charged, among other things, to mother the evolutionary process taking place in the outer worlds of incarnation.
It is in this context that we can ponder the new beginnings of Aries and the insight it might bring on the current crisis in human affairs. In the Bailey writings there is much material about the significance of Aries as the Festival of the Risen Christ. Our attention is directed to Forces of Restoration and an Angelic being Who, in 1945, when the peoples of the world were grief-stricken and exhausted after the end of the War, rose 'with healing in His wings'. This living spiritual Entity, known as the Spirit of Resurrection, irradiated the consciousness and the subtle energy fields of the human community with the 'resurrection life'. We are told that as people of goodwill began to think clearly about the future, demanding social structures and laws centred on human rights and recognition of the oneness of life - as the will to good began to find expression - then this energy of resurrection would be poured forth, in full measure.
This 2009 Aries festival, when humanity and the planet are in crisis, it is worth noting exactly how the Tibetan describes the healing impact of this flow of Resurrection energy. Imagine what a flow of energy from such a Being as this would bring to the human community now - imagine this as the wind behind the backs of Barack and Michelle Obama, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Ban Ki-Moon, Wangari Maathai, Desmond Tutu, Mohammed Yunnus - and all the multitude of citizens movements in our local and national environments. Imagine all these movements and leaders as representatives of the arising of the will within humanity. And in response to this arising will and to the depth of the crisis, imagine the Spirit of Resurrection standing now, with healing in His wings, pouring a tide of resurrection life through the human community. This is what DK writes about the effect of these energies:
It is this living spiritual Entity, working temporarily under the direction of the Christ, Who will restore livingness to [people's] spiritual aims and life to their planning; Who will engender anew the vitality needed to implement the trends of the New Age and Who will guide humanity out of the dark cave of death, isolation and selfishness into the light of the new day. [Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 457]
Livingness to our spiritual aims … life to our planning … the vitality needed to implement the trends of the New Age. This gives us an approach to the current crisis. In meditation - and in all of our thinking around the multitude of issues facing peoples in all parts of the world as economic and political choices are made - we can be looking for this livingness of the New - feeling it in our heart as well as sensing it intuitively in our mind - we can be giving attention to the arising of the new - attention to its vitality in ourselves as well as in our neighborhoods and communities.
Will and creativity in all fields of living - citizens' engagement; these are themes that can be seen to be expressing the vitality and livingness of the Resurrection Spirit now.
In a book published in 2001, Richard Falk makes a poignant comment about the anti-evolutionary forces that needs, I think, to be noted. We should struggle to achieve the positive future we desire not because we have calculated that it can be achieved, but simply because others with well-defined projects are becoming organized and dedicated to the promotion of a destructive vision of the future. Unless I act on behalf of my version, I make theirs that much more likely to happen. He follows on with this beautiful clear statement: I believe that the first calling of a citizen is engagement at points of interest and concern in improving the quality of life within the self, among family members, in the immediate community, in the wider social order, and in the global village. [Richard Falk, Religion and Humane Global Governance. NY, Palgrave, 2001, pp 159-160.]
Our keynote for meditation gives us a hint about the importance of paying full attention, being mindful, of the presence of the Resurrection Spirit alive now. The keynote is: I come forth and from the plane of mind I rule. In meditation let us take careful note of the livingness of the spiritual aims of our time - and let us ponder how planning for the future (in our own life as well as in our communities and nations) can reflect and is reflecting these spiritual aims.