Welcome to this Festival of Sagittarius, which marks the final full moon of the Lower Interlude for the spiritual year. The Lower Interlude is the three month period opposite the Higher Interlude and marks the time when we process, digest and outwardly express the intense spiritual energies contacted at the Higher Interlude, and reflects the rhythm corresponding to the higher and lower interludes in meditation. We are marking the last full moon before the Winter Solstice, this year being especially important not only because it marks the culmination of this cycle of the Mayan calendar, so much on everyone's mind now, but also because in this year, December 21 begins the New Group of World Servers Festival Week, the celebration happening every seven years which focuses on the work of the New Group of World Servers, that important bridging group standing between Hierarchy and Humanity.
May the Power of the one Life pour through the group of all true servers
May the Love of the one Soul characterize the lives of all who seek to aid the Great Ones
May I fulfill my part in the one Work through self-forgetfulness, harmlessness, and right speech.
The NGWS is a completely subjective group with no outer organization whose purpose is to help channel and step down the energies streaming into humanity from the Spiritual Hierarchy. It is their (our) job to translate and communicate the principles of right human relations, inclusiveness and sharing to intelligent and thinking humanity so as to help manifest the divine Plan and prepare human thinking to receive the energies of the Christ, the World Teacher. The NGWS is also sensitive to the higher spiritual energies and so consequently functions in two directions; attentive and alert to the voice of the soul and simultaneously mindful and responsive to human need. Members of the NGWS come from every branch of life, every profession, are in every country and are characterized by a love of humanity and a dedication to solving the world's problems and improving the human condition.
There is a mantram used all over the world at 5 o'clock pm every day called the Mantram of the New Group of World Servers. It is 5 o'clock somewhere, so let us link together subjectively with this global group as we say the mantram together now.
Sagittarius guides the aspirant from stage to stage, or more accurately, through gate to gate throughout the journey of the spiritual Path. The state of desire for material comfort and things, of selfish grasping and personal acquisitiveness is natural in it's place and time, but once one steps onto the Path, this stage evolves into an attitude of one pointed spiritual aspiration marked by a compelling motivation to tread the upward Way and to be of service to others. The passage through each successive so called "gate" represents a series of victories for the eternal wanderer, as slowly and surely, from point to point, everything that satisfies the lower desires, every selfish thought, deed and harmful spoken word is left behind and replaced by a growing urgency for spiritual growth. As in any growth process, skin is shed, forms die and things are left behind. Harmfulness and selfishness give way to harmlessness and generosity. Wrong speech gives way to loving silence and separative thoughts become inclusive actions. This long series of little deaths involves a constant process of conscious and willing renunciation, as the aspirant leaves behind all things material and satisfying to the lower personal self.
So what are these "gates" exactly? The proverbial "pairs of opposites" representing the classic battle between form and soul, light and dark, separativeness and inclusiveness, individuality and group and so forth. Sagittarius is characterized by a sense of clear vision, by an ability to "see the goal" and to direct the intention to a point ahead with accuracy and precision. Hence the symbol of Sagittarius as the archer. In order for the arrows of aspiration to reach the goal and fly cleanly through the gateways of opposing forces, there must be skill in the aim, a clear eye, a steady hand and an unclouded visioning of the target, of the goal. This takes sensitivity; at first demonstrating through an alert and developing intellectual and mental capacity, by a mind which can discriminate right from wrong and tell selfishness from altruism. With each arrow successfully discharged, each goal passed and each little death completed, the Sagittarian native increasingly develops more and more sensitivity to the higher types of mental experience. The vision is of a distant goal, but not completely out of reach. The stage then comes, sporadically at first, which is beyond the purely mental, the stage of intuitive perception. The sometimes quick and illusive flashes of intuition arrive spontaneously, delivering a whole concept and an idea fully formed. As the flashes of intuition become more frequent and the glimpses of these distant visions grow more clear, the aspirant then "makes rapid progress and travels 'fast upon the Way'".
Sagittarius moves the disciple further away from concrete thought and continually toward the more abstract expressions of divinity and is therefore the sign of the intuition, because it is only after one is able to move beyond the limitations of one's own mental equipment into the world of the Triad that the true intuition can be perceived, used and appreciated for what it is. True spiritual intuition reveals ideas and concepts that are for the good of the group, that involve the larger whole and never the individual only. It is about being able to sense that "advancing point of light" and to see clearly from within outward, so as to be able to act from the inside out, in alignment with the soul's purpose.
The mature disciple uses the intuition to ascertain the next steps needed on the path to initiation and to vision the more expanded realms of consciousness lying just ahead. The only way Hercules was able to figure out how to destroy the Stymphalian birds, those fierce and raucous birds in the noxious marshes at Stymphalus, was in remembering the words of his teacher: "The flame that gleams beyond the mind reveals direction sure." This place beyond the mind is the realm of the intuition, where truth is known and the divine Plan is revealed. The Tibetan reminds us that, "When the intuition functions in any human being, he is enabled to take direct and correct action for he is in touch with the Plan, with pure and unadulterated fact and undistorted ideas - free from illusion and coming direct from the divine or universal Mind. The unfoldment of this faculty will bring about a world recognition of the Plan and this is the greatest achievement of the intuition in this present world cycle."
The keynote of the soul in Sagittarius is "I see the goal. I reach that goal and then I see another", so everything in Sagittarius is about goals; seeing them, reaching them and then identifying new and ever loftier ones, goals revealed by the intuition. It's a never ending process because as soon as one goal is reached, another one more spiritually alive appears in the distance and this process goes on through each successive initiation until we leave this planetary system altogether.
In the early stages of the Path, the goals that appear tend to be things we want to achieve for ourselves, our family or our neighborhood. Later, as the soul begins to control the personality, the advancing point of light reveals goals that further the divine Plan, that are of benefit to larger and larger groups, or in the case of a world disciple, to humanity as a whole. The process of attaining a spiritual goal stimulates the quality of aspiration, a central motivating factor for Sagittarius. Aspiration is a higher correspondence to desire, it is a fiery determination that drives one onward toward the sensed goal, burning away all hindrances and obstacles, within the self as well as on the path ahead. The Tibetan refers to aspiration as "that transmuted desire which makes the soul the fixed objective in the life of the man in incarnation." Sagittarius is of course a fire sign and governs the emergence of soul consciousness.
Everything we've been talking about in Sagittarius involves vision, clear sightedness, near or distant goals and a definite sense of direction. We tend to associate direction and moving forward with the eye, with seeing clearly. Where are we going? What do we see up ahead? Keep your eye on the road. Direction and seeing also involve light and the ability to "project a line of lighted energy". Everything in Sagittarius seems to imply straight lines. Keep on the straight and narrow describes the motion of an arrow. This quality of forward moving direction and clear seeing is needed by the aspirant on the difficult Path to liberation. In order to tread the razor edged Path, one must learn how to project the aspiration forward toward the higher goals, detaching from the distractions of material life that surround one. Once the ambition and desire for material satisfaction found in the earlier stages of Sagittarius have been transformed into spiritual aspiration, goal planning is then motivated by a burning desire to be of service; to humanity, the Hierarchy, and the sub human kingdoms. The disciple seeks to serve the Plan and to align his or her goals and goal planning with the higher purpose, with the soul's goals. This aspiration toward a higher alignment activates the will aspect and the will reveals the principles of Shamballa, the goals humanity is destined to reach of oneness, unity and synthesis.
Today, we as human beings are called to engage our political will to solve the many pressing problems facing us, one of the most compelling now being climate change. In recent months and years, we've seen devastating storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods, the once in a hundred years events happening at a rapid rate and in locations they don't normally occur. These events are affecting large groups of people, millions really. Climate change is an issue that involves humanity as a whole, and is rapidly awakening us to the fact of our single planet and our single human race. It is fairly well established now that humans have caused much of this crisis and it now requires serious human planning and goal setting by groups everywhere to stop it and reverse it. And we can see many efforts around us in every part of the world through countless organizations and groups of people working together. Paul Hawken has counted several millions of groups! Organizations like 350.ORG mobilize thousands of people through social media to take action and also to pressure their elected leaders to make viable and far reaching plans. People are changing their habits, their ways of living. These are groups, not individuals, and the spiritual will to act and reach a goal is evident.
In the book Discipleship in the New Age, Volume II, the Tibetan gives several hints for the student aspiring toward initiation. Hint 2 says, "Human planning today is one of the first indications of the emergence of the Will aspect." This is the initial statement, but he goes on to say that this opening statement is really only the synopsis of an ancient formula. The deeper meaning applies to much more than individuals. Continuing he says: "Results come not through the action of but one; they appear when the many respond on Earth to that which comes from the higher Centre through the One. This they do blindly, when at stage the first; later they move with care and right direction. Thus affairs are changed on Earth."
The Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the time, we are told, that the spiritual Hierarchy begins to lay its plans for the following Higher Interlude, the high point of the spiritual year at the full moon of Taurus, the Festival of Wesak. Human beings also tend to plan for the coming year at the time of the New Year, mirroring our Elder Brothers. This year, diverse groups all over the world in every spiritual tradition and masses of people everywhere are focusing their attention on the date December 21, 2012. This may not have happened in such a way ever before! All eyes are focused on what has popularly been called "the end of the world", the end of the current cycle of the Mayan Calendar, and for many, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future as well as fear generated by the media. There are many efforts on the positive side though, one of which is the Birth 2012 Movement led by Barbara Marx Hubbard. This group has been planning for quite some time to mobilize human thinking toward a positive future and to think of this time as a new birth and a potent opportunity to build a better world. There are events being planned all over the world between December 20th and 22nd called "hub events," and the idea is to encourage people to engage in unifying spiritual practices, to pledge to perform acts of love. Their goal is to engage 100 million people to help heal the planet, to repair the wounds we've inflicted on one another and to look at the crisis we're in as a new birth.
As we prepare ourselves for our act of group service in meditation in Sagittarius, let us seek to engage the intuition, along with countless others everywhere who are imagining and working toward a new world where the ideals of human unity, compassion and love are the driving principles.