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The Prophet of Ecstatic Vision

   Ezekiel is referred to as the Prophet of vision and ecstasy. His Book is concerned with the splendor and glory of higher spiritual realms.

   He lived with fellow captives in a colony located in the village of Telabib (Hill of Refuge) beside the river Chebar, part of an extensive network of Babylonian canals. Here, at the season of the Summer Solstice in the month of Tammuz (July), he beheld the wondrous vision which resulted in his dedication to his life work.

   It is profoundly significant that Ezekiel's vision coincided with the month of Tammaz (Adonis), whose Mysteries were celebrated in the pre-Hebrew Temple at Jerusalem, continued to be celebrated throughout the Kingdom period and, during the Exile, flourished anew in the absence of prophets and priests. Many times Ezekiel refers to this fact in his writings.

   The keynote of Ezekiel's message is "Holiness to the Lord" (Law). These words encircle the splendid crown shining over his head as he exhorts fellow laborers and companions to follow the Path of Chastity that leads to Illumination.

   The name Ezekiel means God strengthens. By exile this young priest was bereft of family, friends, profession and influence, and was forced to support himself by the labor of his hands. In the little community of exile's he married a woman whom he loved so deeply that he refers to her as the desire of his eyes. One morning his beloved was smitten with a fatal disease, and when night came she was no more of this world. From the depth of his sorrow the prophet was lifted to the gates of heaven, for the very next day he beheld the glorious vision of his mission. "So I spake unto the people in the morning; and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded" (Ezekiel 24:18).

Ezekiel's Vision of the Four Recording Angels

   Concerning his first great revelation it is written that "in the fifth day of the month, which was the year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him" (Ezekiel 1:2-3).

   This vision is characteristic of Chaldean Mysteries. It has occasioned much perplexity among the orthodox because they have failed to use the astrological key that unlocks its meaning. The four symbolic creatures with the "likeness of a man" plainly and obviously represent the four fixed signs of the Zodiac: Taurus the Bull, Scorpio the Eagle, Aquarius the Man, and Leo the Lion. They are the Four Recording Angels of Christian esotericism; or, as they are also called, the Lords of Destiny. The vision of Ezekiel reveals that these four divine Beings are a collective entity; they work as a unit. In addition to its own special quality, each Being possesses the qualities of the other three. Their intelligence permeates the entire universe: "Whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went."

   The vision is an art form created by spirit. The Beings do not have a body in the sense of a human body in which a human soul dwells as in a house, but they have a symbolic appearance representing the divine consciousness of the Lords of Destiny. Symbolical images of this type are common in oriental art. It was never meant they should be worshipped as idols — that is, as literal embodiments of Gods or Angels.

   The color of a beryl stone is green. Similarly, in the Revelation of St. John the appearance of the rainbow about the throne is likened to an emerald. Green is the color of Nature, the soul-color of the creative work of evolution. Green is also the earth color of the Summer Solstice, the season in which Ezekiel received this vision.

   The wheels are the circling hosts of stars; particularly the constellations of the Zodiac. The wheel therefore signifies the great precessional movement of the Equinoxes and Solstices, while the wheels within wheels are the lesser annual and centennial cycles that take place within the rotation of the larger cycles or ages. Roughly, an age is of two thousand years duration; Half of an age is one thousand years; that is, a millennium. In addition to these larger cycles are the "workings" of planetary cycles, of which the Jupiter-Saturn cycle is of great importance. Modern astrology adds the transit of slow-moving Pluto through the constellations, and also that of Uranus and Neptune.

   In the Christian religion the Four Sacred Elements, designated alchemically as Fire, Air, Water and Earth, are revered as the Father (Fire), Son (Air), Holy Ghost (Water) and Mary, Bride of the Holy Ghost, (Earth).

   Among the ruins of Nineveh archeologists have discovered images of the four protecting Genii: Sed-Olap, a bull with a human face; Nirzul, a lion with the head of a man; Nathga, an eagle's head; and Oustour, a human figure. These Elemental Four are the foundation stones of the universe; from them come the Twelve of the Zodiac.

   Hierarchies of Angels, represented objectively by the constellations of the Zodiac, have assisted in the work of human and earthly evolution from their earliest beginnings. The five Hierarchies of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and Leo labored during the cosmic dawn of our solar evolution. Aries incorporated the initial impulse of motion (life) into archetypes of the four evolutionary life-streams: mineral, vegetable, animal and human. Taurus added the impulse of formativeness — that is, the power inherent within the evolving spirit that makes it desire to create forms and to live and function therein. Gemini (Seraphim) bestowed the power to so blend life and form that in future aeons the evolving creatures might enter into an independent, self-conscious existence. The Hierarchy of Cancer (Cherubim) gave the impress of imagination and emotion (water, femininity). The Lords of Flame of the constellation Leo contributed to the evolving spirit the initial impress of the masculine pole or principle (Fire).

   All of these principles were necessary for manifestation after the Divine Pattern or Archetype created by God in the beginning — a Pattern divinely beautiful, its perfection obscured but not destroyed by man's "Fall."

   This Fall is represented astrologically by the Sign of the Balance, Libra, being placed between Virgo and Scorpio, thus separating them. During the Arian Age the Autumnal Equinox has fallen in Libra; hence, the Fall of the Sun is associated with Libra in many liturgies and legends of this Age. In the Taurean Age, however, the Fall of the Sun took place in Scorpio; hence, the Taurean Sun-hero was bitten by a serpent and went down into Hades.

   From earliest times Chaldean astrology enumerates twelve signs of the Zodiac. But in Greece Libra was long associated with Virgo — on the one hand and Scorpio on the other, being designated as the Scales of the Virgin or the Claws of the Scorpion. Gradually, however, the essential individuality of the sign won recognition, although it is still true that an ego under Libra possesses an impulse drawing him toward both the cool sweetness of Virgo and the glowing intensity of Scorpio. Only when the Scales cease to swing in the human soul, only when perfect equilibrium has been attained, can true concord between these three signs be established.

   From Virgo and Libra come the white and red of celestial alchemists: white for the purity of the Virgin; ruby-red, color of the divine Rose Garden, for the purified love of Libra. The Hierarchy correlated with Virgo is that of the Lords of Wisdom; with Libra, that of the Lords of Individuality; with Scorpio, that of the Lords of Form.

   At the dawn of the Earth Period the Hierarchy of Scorpio was given charge over evolving form; from it came all the factors essential to physical evolution.

   The Lords of Mind are correlated with the constellation of Sagittarius. They confine their activities to the human life wave only. From their own auras they emanated the germ of mind so all-important to human evolution. Theirs is the Path to the Gods.

   Archangels belong to Capricorn. They work with the desire nature of men and animals. They oversee the activities of animal Group Spirits and of human tribes and races.

   Angels make up the Hierarchy of Aquarius. They work with the etheric or vital sheaths of plants, animals and humans. They are the agencies of birth in kingdoms that perpetuate their kind.

   The twelfth Hierarchy is Pisces, a collective Entity of our own life wave. As Virgin Spirits we are the Hierarchy of Pisces, and it is our task to blend the Four Divine Elements into a superhuman or celestial Man.

   To summarize: Five Hierarchies work with the spiritual impulses focused through the eternal cosmic Patterns of the World of God. Seven Hierarchies assist in the time-space evolution of the four life streams now progressing through earth-plane experiences: the mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms. The four fundamentals of God's Power manifest equally through the celestial Hierarchies grouped into four Triplicities as follows:

Fire: Air: Water: Earth:
Aries Gemini Cancer Taurus
Leo Libra Scorpio Virgo
Sagittarius Aquarius Pisces Capricorn

   "All honor be forever more to the Elemental Four," writes the Initiate-poet, Goethe. In Ezekiel's vision of the wheel we find the great evolutionary Plan in relation to the universe (macrocosm) and to men (microcosm). "As above, so below."

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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