Welcome to the 2007 Virgo festival meditation for world service. At this time the moon is full, reflecting a maximum flow of sunlight onto the earth during the hours of darkness. Allegory tells us that this sunlight carries the benign radiations of the constellation Virgo into the subtle realms of mind and heart. It brings with it images of the Feminine, the Divine Mother, gestation and nurturing. These images, these potencies, reach into the unfolding story of the human creation - they condition our path towards what we are becoming as a species - and what our planet earth is in process of becoming.
The cycle of Festival Meditations leads us into work with the evolutionary pulse of life. A recent announcement of a meeting to be held by Andrew Cohen speaks clearly about this momentum towards the future in a way that is appropriate to our work. The announcement speaks of the 'authentic self' as that part of each one of us that cares only about creating the future. It is this part of our selves that we engage in the Festival meditations - directing the energy of our thinking into the future of humanity as a whole - of all the levels or cultural fields of the human race. Evolution involves the transformation and raising of all the variations of human identity: those who identify themselves primarily by tribal or family or community affiliations (strongly differentiating between self and other); those who are waking up to the wholeness principle (perhaps shaken by it and reacting against it); those who are setting their feet firmly on a path of independent personal growth, ambition and purification; and those who are in process of becoming engaged in the work of creating a future world which reflects their sense of wholeness and interdependence. All these groups of incarnated, individual human beings are being stirred at this time by the evolutionary momentum - so too are their cultures, their politics and economics. And it is with this stirring - this fanning of the flames of the future - that these monthly Festival meditations are concerned.
Our key role as a group of creative thinkers, a planetary group of thinkers, is to be invocative and magnetic to Illumined Beings on the inner side of life. Great Minds that are the beacons of the inner worlds are able to make use of the invocative field of mind and heart that we build as a planetary group. Figuratively speaking our task is to be magnetic towards the collective field of Great Loving, Lighted and Purposeful Minds - to attract their attention - and then to turn towards humanity - turn towards the field of consciousness that we know so well - and radiate those higher potencies outwards through the nadis and nets and fields of incarnated mind and heart - through the collectives of cultures and nations and racial and ethnic groupings.
So can we pause for a moment, recollecting that we are one with a global group of meditators - that together we form a station of light in the mind of humanity - at-one with all who seek to live a life of loving and inclusive service - and that as a group we draw upon the inspiration, insight and wisdom of the Christ, the Mother of the World and all the Immortals of the higher realms.
The constellation Virgo is said to be charged with an energy, best described by the keynote which we will be using in meditation: 'I am the mother and the child. I, God, I matter am'. The outer worlds of matter, of emotion, of our human thoughts, dreams and fantasies nourish, protect and nurture the hidden spiritual reality. We come to realise that we are both mother and child, spirit and matter. This is what it is to be human. This can be both our torment, the grit that forces growth - and it can be our delight, leading us to a place of harmony where we are free from the accumulated habits of thinking which is attached to form. The keynote reminds us that it is a natural part of the evolution of self - recognised down the ages by all faiths and spiritualities - for a time to come when Soul and personality begin to care for each other and about each other - for separation to end and for the stage of warfare between the two to wind down as the personal life begins to consciously mother and nurture the Christ child within.
From Esoteric Astrology:
The sign Virgo is one of the most significant in the zodiac for its symbology concerns the whole goal of the evolutionary process which is to shield, nurture and finally reveal the hidden spiritual reality. This every form veils, but the human form is equipped and fitted to manifest it in a manner different to any other expression of divinity and so make tangible and objective that for which the whole creative process was intended. [In Virgo soul and personality] are blended and of great and supreme importance to each other; the mother protects the germ of the Christ life; matter guards, cherishes and nurtures the hidden soul. The keynote which embodies the truth as to the mission of Virgo most accurately is 'Christ in you, the hope of glory'. There is no clearer or more adequate definition of this sign than that. [pages 251-2]
The image is of the mother, and it is of the birthing process. The mother provides the vehicle in which the new life takes form, grows, develops, is protected and nourished. The mother gives, cares, takes care and builds a loving rapport with the new life. This is the archetype - the image. It is no accident that our time is a time when the rights of the woman, and the rights of the child nourished by the woman, are key issues in every modern society. We are entering an age when Woman will stand with Man as equal partner.
There is no clearer sign of this than the Millennium Development Goals. When, on the cusp of a new millennium, the governments of the world, acting on a wave of aspiration for a positive future for all, drew up a set of eight goals that they pledged to achieve by the year 2015 - the role of Women was seen to be crucial. So, alongside Goal 1 reducing poverty and Goal 2 providing elementary education for all, the third of the eight goals is 'To Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women' while the fifth is 'To Improve Maternal Health' ensuring that basic health care is available for women when they are pregnant, giving birth and nursing small babies. Ten or twenty years earlier there is no way that the world's governments would have agreed that gender equality and women's issues should feature so high on a list of priorities.
From the writings of Helena Roerich:
In the hands of woman lies the salvation of humanity and of our planet. Woman must realize her significance, the great mission of the Mother of the World; she should be prepared to take responsibility for the destiny of humanity. Mother, the life-giver, has every right to direct the destiny of her children. The voice of woman, the mother, should be heard amongst the leaders of humanity. The mother suggests the first conscious thoughts to her child. She gives direction and quality to all his aspirations and abilities… [Letters, Volume I, page 6]
Virgo speaks to us of the birthing process - the birthing of a new humanity. The baby grows in the womb, in darkness, in quiet. It is a time when the mother provides the environment within which nature can do its magical work. The new life grows in the unseen, hidden spaces of the womb - the mother takes care, thinks of the new life with love - but essentially this is a time of slow and gentle growth which is hidden from the eyes of the outside world.
From Esoteric Astrology, again:
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. [page 260]
The outer world is full of crises, struggle, human tragedy pain and discomfort as a new and living consciousness quietly takes shape in the darkness. It sometimes seems as if the new child will never come, as if the forces that guide world events will forever resist the dream of eliminating poverty, of sustainable development, of a world of law which respects human rights and freedoms. But the new life is growing, is maturing, gaining savvy and nouse - and in time nothing will be able to stop the birth.
From A Treatise on White Magic:
All new manifestations in all kingdoms in all ages must come slowly, and therefore safely to their birthing. All new forms if they are ultimately to carry weight and gather adequate momentum to carry them through their life cycle, must be built in silent subjectivity, in order that the building may be strong and sure and the inner contact with the creator (human or divine) and true conformity to the pattern may be substantial and unbreakable. [page 278]
So Virgo reminds us about patience, and about the importance of not losing faith, of holding the vision of a new humanity with love and self-sacrifice. This could so easily be a cop out - we don't need to do anything because the birthing will take place in its own good time. As with everything else we need a balanced view. Signs of upheaval in an individual's life, or in the life of the wider community of the one humanity, need not be a source of depression or undue anxiety. A wise approach uses such upheavals to foster within ourselves an:
ardent desire that the transition may be made in due time and order and be neither too rapid hence destructive to all right ties and affiliations nor too prolonged and so strain beyond endurance the sorely tried fabric of humanity. [White Magic, page 277]
The new humanity that is in process of birthing will, Alice Bailey tells us, be new because it will be differently orientated. In a talk that my late wife, Jan, gave for a Virgo meeting in London in 1994, she explored this idea of a new orientation:
The word orientation is worthy of reflection in itself. As with any word, it depends on the context in which it is used for its meaning. A change in orientation need not mean a 'plus' for life. If selfish values gain ascendance, if the goals aimed for become less spiritual, then this will be reflected in a less enlightened orientation than before. Yet the root meaning of the word has spiritual connotations. It comes from the Latin orientem meaning rising sun or east as in the Oxford dictionary. To orient oneself means to turn to the east - to build, for instance, a church with the chańcel due east, or to bury the dead with feet eastward. The dictionary also, of course, gives the modern meaning, which is to turn in any specified direction. But originally the word had this meaning of turning to the east.
In the language of esoteric symbolism to turn to the east means to turn to the light. Seen in this context these four words of Alice Bailey - "new because differently oriented" -mean that humanity will choose a wiser co-operation with the forces of light.
In a few weeks time, on September 21st, close to the Equinox, we will be celebrating the International Day of Peace - and I hope you will consider taking part in the 24 hour Vigil organized by Intuition in Service. United Nations Peace Day calls all peoples to focus on the birthing of a culture of peace. This is not 'peace' as the absence of war, or peace as the absence of tension or conflict. It is peace as right relationships: cultures in which individuals, families, communities, nations and the world of nations are positively empowered to express goodwill in relationships.
Yet peace is also the inner peace which 'passeth understanding' - the silence of the presence - the harmony of balance. This is not a passive state - rather it is the stillness in which we become oriented towards the east: the stillness which leads to a new sense of identity, a new purpose. Peace as inner stillness leads to the active creative, evolutionary force of peace.
As a community of meditators we can help significantly in the creation of a mental and spiritual atmosphere in which a culture of peace can grow. Virgo presents us with a wonderful opportunity - the energies which nurture the Christ child also nurture the vision of a humanity which is creative and dynamic in its efforts to build right relationships. Cultures of peace are slowly maturing through the womb of time - with proper care, love and attention they will be brought into manifestation at the end of the appointed time.
Remember the Mother of the World, watching over her creation and pouring her love into the new life that is yet to be born.