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The Song of Deborah

   In the days of the early Temple teachings, many of the Initiate teachers were women in a line of tradition extending back to Heva, for in the Clementine Homilies we read of Heva: "She, as a female ruling the present world as her like, was entrusted to be the first prophetess, announcing prophecy with all amongst those born of woman. But the other (Adam), as the son of man, being a,male, prophesies better things to the world to come as a male." This is in line with the occult teachings that in ancient Lemuria it was the women, led by the Lucifer Angels, who first sensed the material world and who therefore established the first culture, the first civilization, on our planet, "as a female ruling the present world."

   In Atlantis, the male cult of the world to come, i.e., the spiritual worlds, was established in Schools of Initiation designed to nourish and protect the now atrophying faculties of clairvoyance. After the nadir of materiality had been reached in Atlantis, the ascent toward Spirit began; and now the male and female roles were reversed: the female cults gravitated spiritward while the male cults dominated material evolution. On the inner planes there was a parallel of this development, for in early Atlantis, Lucifer ruled the outer objective world, while the Christ was visible only on the inner planes, to the spiritual vision of the Initiates. But after the nadir of materiality was reached and passed, Lucifer gradually retired to the interior consciousness of the race, while the Christ descended to the exterior consciousness and finally revealed Himself objectively to the world in Christ Jesus.

   The traditions which have come down to us from the early Church Fathers belong to the Atlantean Schools; hence the first prophetess is rejected as such, for under Christ a new regime is inaugurated in which it is the prophetess figured in Mary, who prophesies of the world to come, and it is the prophet, figured in Jesus, who prophesies of the present world, of which He is the destined ruler. His Name is above all Names, and to Him every knee shall bow, for He is the King of the World, the Heavenly Jerusalem of the next, or Sixth Aryan Epoch.

   The Bible is one of the few later Mystery books which take note of the feminine impulse in spiritual evolution, and it accords the proper honor and reverence due to women who have attained the illumined state of consciousness. Throughout the pages of both the Old and New Testaments there are concealed numerous kabbalistic keys which reveal evidence of the unusual attainment of many women Initiates among the Hebrews.

   Deborah means "the bee", a symbol of activity in high and holy works attributed to priestesses. The virgins who attended the Earth goddess Demeter were likewise called bees in Greece. One of the Grecian temple hymns sang of "myrrh and frankincense and libations from tawny bees." The priestesses of the temple of Diana at Ephesus were also called bees, probably because Virgo is the sixth sign of the Zodiac and the wax cells of the honeycomb are hexagonal or six-sided.

   Ramah means "a high place"; Bethel, "a house"; and the palm is a tree sacred in much of the Orient as the Tree of Life, just as in areas where the palm does not grow the evergreen trees are given special veneration. Barak is accompanied by men from the tribe of Naphtali whose sign is Capricorn, signifying the Christ consciousness; also by Zebulun, related to Pisces, the humanity of the Earth planet. Capricorn and Pisces, therefore, sound the astrological keynote of Deborah's soul song. When we read that Jael, a woman, slew Sisera, we understand this to be a way of telling us that only those who develop the universal Christ, or Love consciousness, can ever triumph over the carnal man. Truly it has been said that Love is the cure of lust. Love is the feminine principle of the universe, and transmutation always takes place through its agency.

   Bible scholars have estimated Deborah's ode of thanksgiving (the fifth chapter of Judges) as one of the most important historical documents which the Old Testament contains, and they affirm that no historical theory is inconsistent with the events described in it, which can be accepted as correct. This ode is the very essence of poetry in action, and has been acclaimed one of the finest psalms ever composed in any language.

   The occasion of this song was the slaying of Sisera, the Canaanite captain, representing evil in manifestation, by Jael, the feminine or heart power. "Perfect love casteth out-fear." We must realize that the Bible stories, like the best of the fairy tales of Europe, are written in terms of the spiritual consciousness in which there is no death, death being merely symbolic of a changing consciousness. From the standpoint of the spiritual consciousness where immortality is the ever-present fact, death on the material plane is no more serious than the pseudo-agonies of grand opera. Who can suffer at the death of a Carmen when we know that in a moment she will appear before the curtain to accept the plaudits of her audience?

   So in the Bible we must see a dramatization of spiritual experiences, in which death is always symbolic of a change in consciousness whereby evil is slain and good rises into a higher and more vital manifestation. In the story of Jael we read how she entered Sisera's tent and beguiled him until he fell asleep, when she drove a nail through his temple, murdering him while he slept. In spiritual symbology the tent is the mind, because the mental aura in the great majority of human beings does not completely enclose the body but surrounds its upper portions only in a luminous cloud, whose colors vary according to the mental development and mental activities. Thus the nail driven into Sisera's temple while he sleeps in the tent signifies the disappearance of the moTtal mind (matter-consciousness), the usurper of the spiritual consciousness which should by right inhabit that tent.

   Through the awakening of the great love power within herself — for, as we have said, the process of transmutation can only be accomplished through the power of love — Deborah sings her song of gladness, her song of regeneration, her song of spiritual ecstasy that only those may sing who have been born again. No longer does she move in byways of worldly interests and attainment; now she walks in The Way — the way of Initiation where she communes with those who sit in judgment, the Great Ones who guide evolution from the invisible planes.

   Every phase of spiritual Illumination is attuned to a certain rhythm that may be termed a "Song." It is for this reason that the greatest seers throughout the development of the human race have transcribed their superphysical experiences in song. Many of the most profound truths of Bible literature are found in its songs.

   The ancients knew the tremendous power of the cosmic rhythms. They observed the passing of the seasons in music and also the change from month to month as the Sun left one zodiacal sign and entered another. Such an esoteric Temple service is referred to in the Song of Deborah when alluding to the twelve sons of Jacob and their mystic attributes.

   Her song contains the keynote of the particular development attained at this time by the high woman Initiate or judge, Deborah, and bears the mystic impress of the degree which gives control of the elements and the ability to study the eternal Records of God's Universal Scroll.

   Ephraim, the son of Joseph, with its root against Amalek, represents the ultimate destiny of man to know the Christed or higher mind under the guidance of Sagittarius, as Amalek, the lower, is redeemed.

   One of the degrees of Illumination deals with the eradication of the root of evil, which is much more difficult than to refrain from its mere outer manifestation. It was Saurs failure in this degree which lost him his kingship and gave the throne to the shepherd lad David.

   Zebulun is the mystic Piscean, "they that handle the pen of the writer", the inspirational sign of the artist. Undreamed of flood tides A glory will flow to the waiting world through pen, music, painting and the spoken word, as the creative thinker becomes, by means of purification and Illumination (as evidenced in Deborah), a conscious and voluntary channel for the inflow and outflow of these great spiritual truths. Fbese will demonstrate the high note of the Song: "Speak ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment and walk by the way." They will apprehend the truths of inner or cosmic knowing, therefore their judgments can only be just and righteous as they walk in the way of the inner Temple light.

   Dan remained in ships, the soul body fashioned by high thoughts and noble living in the transmutations of Scorpio. Asher's place, by the seashore, and his sign Libra, which adjoins Scorpio, unites the personality with the spirit so that one is numbered with the wise. Until Sisera (force, of lust) has been slain, "the highways are unoccupied and the travellen walked through the byways," as the chaos and turmoil of the world today give evidence that the majority continue to do. The inhabitants of the villages of Israel (namely those who walked and talked with God or All Good) "ceased until Deborah arose a mother in Israel", bringing a new Godhood, new ideals of aspiration and attainment, new heights of spiritual awakening under the Aries-Libra Dispensation: teaching those who will receive it to bless the Lord (Law); that is, to live in harmony with Spiritual Law.

   The references to the different tribes allude as before to the spiritual meanings of the twelve celestial Hierrachies correlating to the twelve signs of the Zodiac, as they operate through the consciousness of the illumined.

   "Great searchings of heart" (Reuben-Aquarius) has reference to the attainments of the Aquarian Age, in a racial sense, or to the searchings of conscience by such as have the good of all mankind at heart in any age. Leo is the sign ruling the heart, and it lies opposite to Aquarius in the circle of the Zodiac, so that when Aquarius sets on the western horizon Leo rises in the east, and vice versa. They are thus constantly "searching", looking toward or facing, one another. The same is true of all the "opposite" signs of the Zodiac, but their activity is not the "searching of the heart", for the heart is ruled by Leo alone, and Aquarius rules the ideal of friendship. The great thoughts of the heart are the new psychic and spiritual discoveries soon to revolutionize the processes of human thought and methods of inner-realm investigation. The "princes of Issachar" refer to Taurus, the Lords of Karma and Service."

   Pisces (Zebulun) represents our humanity, not in a fleshly guise, but as virgin spirits in the consciousness of God. Capricorn is Naphtali, and represents as always the Christ consciousness, which is the ultimate revelation in God-wisdom and the sole purpose of man's evolution through his many Earth lives.

   This is the age-old battle between truth and error which must be waged until every man has awakened to the knowledge of his true identity as the Son of God, or, to express it esoterically, until he reaches the stage of conscious visible and invisible helpership.

   Verse twenty contains the statement so often quoted, "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera," which refers to the working of destiny. Upon the picture book of the heavens is inscribed the destiny of men and of nations, and the way of man's emancipation from the bondage of lust. Verily the heavens do declare the glory of God. The ultimate redemption of all humanity is the divine plan, and though for many lives man may enact the role of the prodigal son, there must come a time when he will "arise and return unto the father's house." There is no such thing as humanity being saved en masse. Each one must find his or her own individual path of salvation.

   Verses twenty-four to thirty contain a rhapsody of praise and thanksgiving for one who has found the blessed Way, the Way of Transmutation and who has learned how to overcome evil by the occult formula — not by destroying it but by transmuting its great energies into good. When this becomes the general accomplishment of mankind, we shall know the glory of the New Heaven and the New Earth, and the vision given on the Isle of Patmos will become an objective reality. There shall then be no more poverty, no more sorrow, no more pain, and no more death. The four archenemies of man will cease to exist, "for the former things shall pass away."

   "So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the Sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years." This "rest" is the great Peace of the Soul which passeth all understanding, achieved through the equilibrated spiritual forces of the twelvefold Zodiac, known only to such as have won emancipation from the thralldom of the sense life, like Deborah, and voiced in the ecstasy of her inspired song.

The Preparedness Test in the Life of Gideon

   One of the most interesting character studies in Judges is that of Gideon who was commissioned to destroy the statues of Baal, here symbolizing the worship of lust and the pleasures of the sense life, as indicated by the context.

   The hand of Midian had prevailed for seven years against the Israelites (the highest in man was in subjugation to the lower) and as always when this condition prevails, "Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites."

   In God's divine plan no nation or race or country is ever left without spiritual guidance. Each people receives a leader according to its deserts. Better and more spiritual national leadership requires a refining and lifting of the mass consciousness of the people.

   In their distress, Gideon was chosen to guide the destiny of the Israelites. He was chosen because he "threshed wheat by the wine press and hid it from the Midianites." His purity and nobility of character enabled him to come directly under the guiding ministrations of an Angel of the Lord-a hint of what lies in store for the leaders of the modern world as soon as they model their own lives upon Gideods.

   These words do not describe an external ceremonial, but represent the inner works of spiritualization. The unleavened cakes consumed by the fire are the last remnants of adherence to the human personality laid upon the altar fires of dedication to the life in Spirit. Such dedication always receives the promise given Gideon: "Surely I will be with thee and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man."

   The seventh chapter of Judges describes symbolically the test of worth: "Now therefore go and proclaim in the ears of the people, saying whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from Mt. Gilead."

   When a number had departed, in other words, turned back to the old ways of the personal life, the Lord (Law) said: "Bring the people down to the river and I will try them for thee there." The most important and fundamental of all tests must always be the purification and control of the emotional nature. This is symbolized by water. For those among Gideons band who passed this testing there began a definite teaching on the inner realms, which they were able to bring through into waking consciousness and which in the Bible is termed "dreams".

   Isis, the Egyptian Madonna of the Immaculate Conception, declares, "I bring to man the mystery of grain." This is the message of every religion's sacred Mother, the message of cleansing and healing through purity. This is also the highest meaning of the Virgin of the skies, the starry Madonna, Virgo, whose constellation resembles the cup of the lily in form. The sword of Gideon which became the power of redemption is symbolical of this truth, that purity must become the keynote of the aspirant who would know emancipation. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

   The Illumined always carry a pitcher and a lamp within. When deemed by the Master ready and fully qualified, the call for a high service comes, the light shines out and the hosts of evil flee.

   This is the light within every man, but the darkness conceals this light until one knows the experiences of spiritual awakening, such as Gideon's, which he now teaches to his disciples. The sword and the law of Gideon are the powers awakened by contact with spiritual forces. The darkness has the same meaning as the mantle that conceals the light in the ninth card of the Tarot. (Nine is the number of man.) The purpose of Initiation is to remove this mantle of darkness that the initiated may walk in the Light and enjoy continuously the fellowship of Angels.

   Oreb represents the power of Mars and the sins of commission; Zeeb, the power of Saturn and the sins of omission. These make up the sum total of karmic debts engendered under the Law of Causation which must be liquidated as the neophyte passes on to the other side of Jordan. "When free he then becomes a master, able to receive the master's wage and to travel in foreign countries."

   Gideon belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Sagittarius). He was torn between two contradictory traits of character — a towering ambition and a deep humility. An angelic presence guides and directs him and he aspires to become a redeemer of his people, yet at the same time he deplores his own unworthiness. Often the voice of his Angel counselor is lost amid the tumult of the voices of men, an experience true to the life of every aspirant, and the reason why world leaders of the present time do not experience this same angelic guidance.

   Here the fleece of wool symbolizes purity, as in the story of the Golden Fleece sought by Jason in the expedition of the Argonauts. "Dew" comes from the same Hebrew root as "rose" and has reference to the conservation of the creative force within the body. The bowl filled with water is symbolically identical with the Grail sought for by medieval knights. It is the cup of conservation that must be formed within the body of every neophyte before mastership is won. Eventually humanity as a whole will take up this great-work. Down through the ages there have been few who were ready for it; but in time, when all shall have eyes to see and ears to hear, the fleece will be dry, however much dew there shall be on all the ground.

   When Gideon destroyed the image of Baal the people flocked around his banner to the number of thirty-two thousand. Gideon's spiritual achievement at this point is represented in the work of the 32nd degree of the Masonic Lodge. He next reduces the army from thirty-two thousand to three hundred, indicative of mastership and completion: "Many are called, but few are chosen." The esoteric formulae for enlightenment are concealed within the Blue Lodge, or first three degrees of Masonry, wherein the neophyte becomes the Master; the remaining degrees, culminating in the 32nd, elaborate this original work.

   As previously observed again and again, the higher the spiritual attainment, the more subtle become the temptations. The eighth chapter of Judges deals with Gideon's battle with Zebah (false values) and Zalmunna (impure ideals). He asked aid of the men of Succoth, that is, men in high places or qualities of the higher mind.

   Gideon's words regarding the men of Succoth's refusal to provide bread for the army have reference to the causation engendered by evil thoughts; the statement concerning the men of Penuel (where God is met face to face), refers to the desecration of the mind after it has once been illumined by the power of. the spirit. This is the tower (mortal mind) that he will break down.

   Later we read, "The gold of the captors became a snare unto the house of Gideon." Power, position and worldly possessions are always the snare of the aspiring one. In the world, but not of it, must be the ideal and goal of the aspirant.

   Gideon represents the candidate who has met successfully the trials preparatory to Initiation. His life and attainment are summarized in these words:

   Complete renunciation and utter selflessness are requisite to spiritual attainment. "Of myself I do nothing," said the Christ, "The Father, He doeth the works," Only as one learns to walk in this consciousness is the higher realization permanently attained.

 — Corinne Heline

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