Month after month, year after year, we gather together for these rituals of inner service - symbolically standing in the light, the gentle, pervasive, healing light that shines off the face of the moon. The work of these full moon festivals is with and in light. Physically the source of that light is the Sun. Interiorly and spiritually it is the Fires of the Heart of the Sun and the Central Spirit of the Sun. Echoes and resonances of these powerful sources of spiritual Light are buried deep within us. In meditation and contemplation we recognize these in experiences of revelation and illumination, sweeping away illusions and glamours; and through this experience we come to know light as energy of enormous potency driving the evolution of consciousness.
Entering into the rhythm of the full moon festival work is a bit like entering into a sacred drama. We are called on to put aside for a moment our personal preoccupations and points of individual focus as we consider the process of the evolution of consciousness. This is a process watched over now by mythical beings, just as it always has been: the Mother of the World; the Rishis; the Pioneers of Wisdom and Compassion who exist in the inner worlds and are known by so many different names. Month after month as we sit together in circles of companionship and service - or as we enter into this ritual in the privacy of our own homes - we learn to step into a collective field of mind and heart. It is a field that has been built through the centuries by esotericists, ritualists, shamans and meditators from many different traditions who have honored the rhythm of the full moon as a time to work with and in Light as a way of service.
Our meditation is group meditation - the group of all who are meditating at this time with the good of humanity and the world in mind.
The purpose of the work is to invoke the light, purpose, love and fiery presence of the Great Ones on the inner side - think of the Mind that is in Christ - think of the radiations of the Buddhas - and to visualize those sacred energies as nurturing forces - supporting and nourishing all that is being done in our human world to express beauty, goodness and truth - all that is creatively expressing goodwill - all that is pushing human consciousness to approach and eventually realize the wholeness, joy and richness at the centre of our being.
And so we gather today, when the light of the sun is conditioned by the energies of the constellation Virgo. This is a sign of the Mother, the feminine, the incarnated world of time and space - a sign of our human feelings, desires, thoughts and physicality - of the personality. In the light of Virgo this experience we all have of emotions, thoughts, and relationships - all our personal identity that we think of as 'self' - is seen as a space within which the Divine Self (the light of wisdom) is buried as a seed. This personal self is the field of time and space - of circumstances and crises - in which the divine seed germinates, sprouts roots and becomes fixed in matter. Personal psyche provides the womb within which our divinity - the Christ in us - settles and quietly, slowly sends out shoots in preparation for birth.
Alice Bailey writes:
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. Gemini and Virgo are closely related but Gemini presents the pairs of opposites-soul and body-as two separate entities whereas in Virgo, they 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 … [Esoteric Astrology, p. 251-2]
To look at ourselves and the world in this light is to see events and time as a dark, quiet, warm, nurturing space within which the soul is quietly, secretly embedding itself. If we think about this it offers a startling way of rethinking identity. That I am this person, struggling to grow spiritually, doing practices to speed up the process and to make me more useful to Life - and that at the same time my Soul, the Spirit within me, is taking root - growing in me and through me.
This is also a way of thinking about the issues of our time - climate change, the empowerment of women, human rights and responsibilities. These issues are sweeping through every society on the planet - stirring emotions, awakening individuals to service, causing more and more people to think creatively about the world and the significance of their lives. Virgo gives us a lens to look at history, and especially at the present, as this process through which the higher principles of Wholeness and Synthesis are quietly seeping into human affairs. What matters in an evolutionary sense about, for example, the climate change conversation is that out of it we are changed - that we find new ways of relating to the environment - new in a personal sense but also new in a community sense, with a multitude of cultural expressions. The process of moving into this new orientation is inevitably fraught with conflict, a measure of pain, crises and muscular discussions. This is how we human beings grow! Our task, as esoteric workers, is to notice the deeper reverberations of the soul through human affairs - notice this in terms of emerging values, ethics, vision and responsibilities.
The keynote we will be using in meditation for Virgo is: I am the mother and the child, I God, I matter am. It is a keynote to hold before ourselves - that this is who I am, both Soul and personality bound together in a mutual relationship out of which a new enlightened, wise consciousness will be born. Aeons ago my soul and your soul descended for the first time into incarnation. The divine was lost, imprisoned in the world of matter. Now, time has done its work and now we can, in full consciousness recognize that I am both the mother and the child, the Christ, Krishna and the personality. As I grow into this relationship, nurturing it through my life practices and choices, so is the new fully Whole, radiant Me in process of being born.
The germination that is Virgo leads, inevitably to labor and, at the appropriate time, to birth. May we live our lives with this in mind.