Australia, Greece, Brazil, Ireland, New Zealand are all nations with a special sensitivity to the Virgo energy flow. We would expect to find a response to the evolutionary potentials of the sign, and a vulnerability to all the illusions and glamours it can foster in each of these four countries.
- Australia and Greece - Virgo soul/ Capricorn personality;
- Brazil - Virgo personality/Leo soul;
- Ireland - Virgo soul/Pisces personality;
- New Zealand - Virgo personality - Gemini soul.
Together, we can think of these peoples as being part of the Virgo family. We are so used to thinking of nations in terms of regional blocs or groupings like the Commonwealth; it's good to begin to think also in terms of subtle groupings, and to be open to lines of relationship that link us with the stars and galaxies of the cosmos. In all of these countries there will be meditation groups, meeting around this time to invoke the higher lighted, loving energies of divinity and circulate these energies throughout the world. Imagine the linking of the groups in this Virgo family of nations at this full moon.
Now extend our identification beyond this small group of nations to humanity as a whole. Can we link in thought with those all over the world who are working with the energy flow of this full moon period; and can we see that our work together is to nourish and care for the Christ life as it grows and matures within the womb of space and time created by all peoples living on the face of the earth?
Think of the myriad human lives in incarnation at this time. Focus particularly on the fact of incarnation; of physicality, of emotions and desires, of animal instinct, thought, intelligence, and intuition; of relationships, families; of the tension between the voice of conscience and self-centred desires. Consider the pain, the joy, the challenge, the crisis, the opportunities for growth that make the energy centre, humanity, a rich, magical, creative body of substance. At this full moon we might visualise this field of consciousness as a womb - dark, quiet, warm - in which the Christ child, radiating a gentle inner light is deeply embedded. In each individual, and in humanity as a whole, the unborn, embryonic Christ child lives within - a potential - a seed in varying stages of germination. We can sense something of the energy of this germination process - we will all have seen time-lapse images on television of a plant seed germinating, or perhaps of human conception and an embryo magically emerging out of this process and coming to life within the womb.
Now look upwards, beyond humanity to the brooding Presences of light and wisdom, the Great Ones on the inner side of life, watching over this sacred birthing process. Try to catch something of the radiation of the Mother of the World that shines through every atom of substance, of physical and subtle substance. Imagine the radiations from Her shielded eyes, Her face, and Her heart. And sense too, the higher angelic presences that guard and watch over all the unseen dimensions of the maturing and ultimate birthing of the Christ within.
In the centre of all love I stand;
From that centre, I the soul will outward move;
From that centre, I the one who serves will work.
May the love of the divine Self be shed abroad in my heart, through my group and throughout the world.
There are three themes, related to Virgo, that I want to explore. First: the role of personality in the birthing of the Christ. The personal characteristics of our physical body, energy fields, emotion and mind creates the 'immediately present' world of our daily experience; and, most importantly, it provides the substance through which our higher Self, the Christ within us, can be expressed. Second I want to look at time. It is easy to dismiss time as an illusion of incarnation. In a certain sense this is true; from a higher perspective, outside of incarnation, reality is relatively timeless. But, in incarnation, time and timing are essential principles in the birthing of the Christ consciousness. Conception to birth, in the human species, takes nine months. It takes time for the embryo to mature and develop organically. Third I will be speaking a little of the feminine, the Mother principle.
The Wisdom teachings offer a hierarchical view of reality. Soul and personality is spoken of as higher and lower self. There can be a problem with this. There is a tendency to think about height and depth in judgemental, discriminatory ways. Hierarchy is a natural order. A mountain, for example, is a form of plains, foothills, uplands and peaks. Our eyes go naturally up to the peaks where we find inspiration. But the reality of the form is that it is a whole - without the foothills there would be no peak. The foothills and plains are not in some way inferior, or negative. They form the base, have their own distinctive qualities and are part of the whole.
So do we need to think of the lower self, the personality. It is the form, the incarnated presence created by the Divine Self. Why has it been created? It provides the soil, the substance, through which the 'love of the Divine Self' can radiate, take form and be expressed. Evolution is all about redemption and transformation of matter. And we always need to remind ourselves that the matter, and substance of incarnation includes physical, subtle physical, astral, and mental bodies. Because so much of life experience involves struggle, conflict and tension we can be deluded into viewing this personality garden of substance as our 'problem'. It is the Mother Goddess, Virgo, who reminds us that our atoms of substance provide the environment within which the seed of divinity can sprout and, in the darkness, become a vibrant presence, full of life, of potential and future promise. When gardeners plant seeds, it is often accompanied by an instinctive mothering dream of the beauties of the future plant. As the seed is placed in the ground there is the vision of the fully-grown plant, and of the fragrance and the colouring of the flower. The future is seen within the seed and, because of this, the seed and the newly sprouting plant is nurtured and cared for in practical, physical, earthy actions: watering, weeding, mulching.
Virgo speaks to us of the divinity which is to be expressed 'on the radiant surface of the earth', within and through our personal selves. The Christ, the Divine Self, is recognised as being a part of us, being within us, having vitality, and a radiatory presence which we can sense. In the darkness and quietness of our very substance we are reminded that the Soul is a living embryonic presence, nestled within the soil of our mind and emotions and very much a part of who we are in the world. 'I am the mother and the child, I God, I matter am'.
This sense of becoming conscious of the Divine Self as an embryonic aspect of who I am, marks an awakening of mind. It marks a shift from the way of thinking that sees God and the divine as outside of our selves, outside of our incarnated, fleshy personal selves; and that begins to awaken to a more complete vision of the self as body, soul, spirit. We begin to see the figurative mountain whole: foothills and peak as part of one Self. And with this realisation comes the mothering instinct: to feed the embryo, to care for it, take responsibility for its welfare, make sacrifices so that it can grow naturally and organically. This means practices, rhythms and rituals in the daily life that will stimulate and support this growing inner being. It means taking responsibility for our sense of the sacred, nourishing it with our reading, with our meditation, and allowing it to be present in our relationships with others.
Time. In the book Esoteric Astrology we read:
Virgo stands for the "womb of time" wherein God's plan (the mystery and the secret of the ages) is slowly matured and-with pain and discomfort and through struggle and conflict-brought into manifestation at the end of the appointed time. Today it would seem (curiously and convincingly) that we are entering into the eighth month of the gestation period ? [page260]
Don't you think that this a wonderful way to think about time, and also about space? Time in incarnation, in an almost endless round of incarnations, initially gives the soul the experiences of imprisonment and of denial by the personality. But as time does its work, crises and experiences lead the separated self to recognise that there is a Divine Self - a pure, lighted child within. Then time ceases to be a prison and becomes a womb in which the soul can slowly mature, find itself within form and become a factor in the personal life. The maturing process takes time and experience. It cannot be hurried.
In another passage from Esoteric Astrology, Alice Bailey writes of Virgo having:
a mysterious relation to Time, to process and to the sustaining life of the Mother (matter) which, throughout the gestation period, nourishes and cares for the rapidly developing Christ Child. The Moon has also a peculiar function which can only be expressed in the idea of death-the death of the relationships between the Mother and the Child because the moment comes when the Christ Child will emerge from the womb of time and of matter and stand free in the light. This will have been due, necessarily, to many inherent factors but primarily to the sustaining will of the Mother, plus the dynamic will of the Christ Child. Here ? is an aspect of the curious and mysterious relation between the first and the second rays. [page 627]
It is fascinating that, as humanity moves into the orbit of Aquarius, and as our societies experience the cut and thrust of our response to Aquarius, one of the primary areas in which culture is being transformed is the role of Woman, Mother and Feminine. Just think of the incredible transformation that has occurred in this area in the past ten or fifteen years. Every culture, from the simplest, agrarian, peasant based cultures through to the post-modern, sophisticated, materialistic cultures of the metropolis there are enormous tensions around the rise of the feminine energy. We see this in law, in economics, in education, in family relations - any area you care to mention.
As meditators we can see the deeper side of this, and particularly at this Virgo time, we can hold the image of the feminine will aspect of love: the sacrifice involved in care for a child; the long-term holding of support and nourishment for a growing child, particularly through difficult teenage years; the life-sustaining role the mother plays throughout the gestation process. There is purity and sacredness in the Mum's natural role as guardian of the child throughout life. It is these deep qualities of loving will, persistence, holding to the vision of future possibility, selfless concern and care for the welfare of child and family that we are reminded of in Virgo. Eve, Isis, Mary - these are strong feminine images.
Around the time of the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and the Autumn/Fall Equinox in the North, when there is a perfect balance between the hours of sunlight and darkness, people around the world are called to dedicate themselves anew to the vision of peace, and of cultures of peace. International Day of Peace is just 3 days away, on Wednesday, September 21st. As meditators we can make a real contribution to this Day, using the power of thought to strengthen humanity's resolve to create cultures of peace. Conflict resolution, peace-building and peace-making are key skills in all areas of relationship - personal; family; community; national and international. On International Day of Peace we can visualise these human skills being empowered, and becoming a more integral a part of all societies. Kofi Annan has again called on the people of the world to observe a minute of silence, total and absolute silence, at 12 noon on September 21st. Please consider linking with this silence. And please, in the spirit of this Virgo full moon, use the Great Invocation in the 24-hour global meditation Vigil co-ordinated by Intuition in Service - you can register a time when you will be using the Invocation on-line at: www.intuition-in-service.org .
In the Virgo family of nations, and in the human family as a whole, may the Christ child be nourished by our meditations and prayers during this full moon and during International Day of Peace on September 21st.