The Piscean Age has been an age of idealistic and militant separatism, with a strong sense of nationalism and inevitable international and national political strife. Many nations have desired international power and economic supremacy with a greed for the natural resources in other lands and this has led to bloody conflicts, colonialism and more recently conflicts concerning the world's mineral and fuel reserves. Some of the greatest international and national conflicts have also been over deep religious divisions, expressing an irrational fear, intolerance leading to complete misunderstanding on both sides of the conflict. In contrast the New Age of Aquarius with the enlightened Logoic influences coming through the planets, through the seven rays and through a closer union of humanity with the planetary Hierarchy will bring right human relationships, international unity, inclusiveness, mutual understanding, sharing and the conservation of global resources of all kinds through a growing sense of the unity of all that breathes. Man's cultural and language differences will be seen as enriching the life of the planet and the religions will realise the common spiritual truth that they share at their hearts. The stimulation of the expansion of human consciousness that is already firmly established, with its growing vision of the One world is revealing the global group relationship and helping to lay aside individual and national self-centredness. In the words of Alice Bailey, "the age of synthesis, of inclusiveness and of understanding is upon us",1 she called Aquarius the age of light.
The 'New World Order' spoken of variously by world leaders and also by those who are truly motivated by the objective of global service, is being driven primarily through the life style that has been adopted in the first world and which the majority in the developing world aspire towards. The driving force behind that global change and our right and wrong responses to it are responsible for the crises that we now face spiritually, morally, ecologically, culturally, politically and economically. It is forcing even those ordinary citizens who have never before needed to seriously think beyond the needs of their families to take moral and philosophical decisions in order that they play their part in protecting the well being of our future world. The growing global challenges are demanding that everyone in the world recognises that we are all in this together and that our planetary home has finite resources. The freedom that is making the world accessible to all breaks down and dissolves national boards and challenges the most cherished spiritual, racial, cultural and national identities. It is increasingly presenting humanity with challenges in every area of life the like of which we have never faced before. Those challenges, which if faced with open mindedness, generosity and courage will lead towards a wonderful new integrated world. If they are not faced, then the present level of human suffering or suffering far worse will continue until they are. Political unrest will continue to grow until a significant part of the developing world is seen to be catching up with the first world. Racial and religious unrest will continue until people feel that their aspirations and needs are understood, respected and valued for what they are, and for what they believe. To my mind these conditions of change have been stimulated by the growth of Aquarian expression as we move more fully into that Age. Also to a less extent through the fear provoked in those who wish to cling to the qualities of rigid, inflexible socio-religious order and authoritarian political control that have been so much a part of the Age of Pisces during the last 2000 years. The rising qualities of the new age and those of the fading old age are producing a great point of crisis for the whole of mankind as initially the pre-eminent Aquarian qualities of global freedom and of universality are resisted, misdirected or misinterpreted by so many.
The sign under consideration this month, Leo, is the polar opposite of Aquarius upon the astrological wheel and for this reason there will be an interplay between them that will be far more potent than it has ever been and this unique alignment will demand that Leo personalities will need to respond in new ways to the current opportunities. This, as I have said before, led to the appearance of dictators during the last century and their attitudes, although immensely cruel, had some real value for the nations because it stimulated the synthesis of national life not only in their own nation but also in all those nations who opposed them. This was just the incentive needed to draw all the political parties in those nations together into national unity. This was the essential springboard for the nations to realise that they needed an international alliance, a community of nations and from this the United Nations was born. That concept of a community of nations is of course still very young and imperfect. We have seen the more powerful nations often attempted to use their power in order to control the international community but the smaller nations are growing in power and influence at the U.N. The None-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) are also a powerful lobby and aided by those powerful men and women who seek a genuine world unity and international equality, the U.N. organisation will one day become a far more powerful servant and protector of the nations. The crisis of our time reflects some Aquarian qualities of a low and undesirable nature, because its power and influence is yet rather weak and still in variance with the fading power of Pisces. This situation stimulated the qualities of the intensely self-aware Leo individuals during the last century in a negative way, producing those who desire complete power over all other lives and persuaded others who seek power indiscriminately to follow them.
The challenges and freedoms of this New Age will help to develop human consciousness as never before but Aquarius seeks particularly to stimulate mankind towards transmuting self-interest into a group consciousness and the development of the will to serve humanity as a whole. This is, of course, towards the expression of the qualities of the soul and through this will come the expression of the consciousness of the soul. As humanity has developed so far the keynote of Aquarius has already been transformed from that of the "face of man" to that of the symbol of a man carrying a water-pot from which he continuously pours the water of life for all men. This keynote, "Water of life am I, poured forth for thirsty men" sets the tone for the work that will surely be achieved through the New Age.
The influence that this age will have upon the Leo man is to change his self-consciousness towards the qualities of Cancer (the sign which follows Leo upon the ordinary, clockwise path around the signs) and these included those of group-consciousness and the service of the whole. These qualities will grow as the Leo interplay with Aquarius grows stronger but as yet they stand at a pivotal point at which they are comparatively undeveloped, so that near this transforming moment advanced and powerful people will respond to the incoming Aquarian force by using their power for either selfish or selfless ends. Such people are usually people of influence in the world so they will influence the shape of the lives of those around them either to their detriment or for their good. As the Age advances the powerful will choose more freely to work with selflessness.
The forces flowing through the constellation Leo have been responsible for the stimulation of the development of self-consciousness. Its influence has enabled a large proportion of humanity to stand free from mass-consciousness and to be recognised as individuals. Self-consciousness is that foundation upon which the fully integrated personality can be built and this prepares a man for the development of the expression of his divine nature and consciousness. When we understand the real purpose of the mission of the Cosmic Christ, when he manifested through the vehicle of the personality of the disciple Jesus we realise that it was to demonstrate the significance of the individual and how each personality could become perfected as a vehicle for the expression of the divine nature. His intention was to teach us how to sacrifice self-interest for the service of others and how to dedicate our lives for the well being of the whole, this of course describes the life of expression of the soul. This manifestation of the Cosmic Christ two thousand years ago, set the keynote of the Age of Pisces and this has prepared humanity sufficiently for the tasks of this New Age. The real task of Leo is to prepare a man to undergo the first initiation, this is the point at which he chooses in full consciousness to become the vehicle through which the soul can find expression and this draws him into the work of the Spiritual Hierarchy. It is the development of intelligence that enables a man or woman to begin to work powerfully upon the mental plane, to begin to confront the issues of the spiritual plane, the plane of the higher mind and this inclines them towards Shamballa. The Lord Buddha, who works as the go-between from Shamballa to the Spiritual Hierarchy, would appear to care for this bridge towards this centre where the Will of God is known.
As we travel around the ordinary wheel we are purified by water but upon the reverse wheel we are purified by fire and as we past through each sign a particular part of the work of purification is applied. So purification is a gradual process beginning in the watery world of the emotions and the astral plane until we can gain sufficient control by the mind. The step through this purification process brings an expansion of consciousness which increases the capacity of the mind to integrate the whole personality vehicle. A personality driven by the emotions or stimulated by desire alone is not truly aware; he must be driven by consciously directed purpose with an understanding of the processes of the growth of consciousness.
For those who are unsure of what purification by fire concerns, let me remind you that according to esoteric astrology fire in the cosmos is threefold. There is firstly Fire by Friction; this is the internal vitalising fire within every physical body, be it in man, a planet or a solar system. This is the systemic activity driven by the Solar Logos (God or Shiva), through his cosmic kundalini or hierarchical tree of energy channels throughout the cosmos. Then there is Solar Fire (the fire of Vishnu) this is the cosmic mental fire that animates the mental body of the Logos. Besides the extraordinary things that cannot yet be known by men about fire, this fire is the animating principle which drives the evolution of consciousness within the human race and in all beings. Then there is Electric Fire or what is described as the logoic Flame Divine of our Solar Logos, the fire of pure Spirit (this is Brahma), an aspect of the energy of God's Will and Purpose which drives divine purpose forward. Those who are constructing the antahkarana, that bridge of consciousness that connects a man to his source, the higher Spiritual Triad, learn to work with this threefold expression of the Monad. When the fire of pure Spirit can make union with matter (the mother) in this way, through the vehicle of the human soul, a man begins to live with all the qualities of expression of a Son of God; he becomes a true expression of the Cosmic Christ.
Leo is one of three fire signs but at this moment it has a special relationship with Aquarius making it the major fire sign of our time, whose creative qualities now come into prominence. This allows the Leo personality to more freely access the vertical life of the Fixed Cross, the Cross of the individual Christ in each one of us and to learn its lessons, allowing him to become decentralized, group conscious and prepare for service. Here he can more freely access the magnetic energy of Solar Fire to stimulate his mental body. Leos are driven by the will to illuminate; to gain knowledge of themselves and thus be intellectually positive but this must now, in conjunction with Aquarius, emphasise the knowledge gained a factor in service. It was Hercules' task in Leo to slay the Nemean Lion, this is the symbol of the separative personality who lives a life out of control. Hercules cornered the lion in a cave where he blocked the entrance that symbolised the emotions and left the entrance that symbolises the mind, open. At this point he must subdue the lion (the threefold personality) and gain control of its physical, emotional and mental bodies through the power of the higher mind. When he has done this he is in the position to say the Leo keynote which is, "I am That and That I am" but in the special relationship with Aquarius he must also learn to respond to its universal expression and pour forth the waters of life for thirsty men.
1. Alice A. Bailey, Education in the New Age, p. 3