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The Cycle of the Year with Christ
Attuned To The Rhythm Of Twelve

   At the present time few persons have any conception of the spiritual significance of commonly observed ecclesiastical feasts. While the Church of Rome and the Church of England observe many of these festivals, their inner meaning has been largely lost. As has been stated before in the New Age Bible Interpretation series, the Christian Mystery Temple is located in the ethers above the City of Jerusalem. It was in this high and holy area that these feasts had their origin, and there they continue to be observed in their full splendor and majesty. During the observances a dynamic spiritual power is poured out upon earth. This is one of the many channels used by the Lord Christ for the spiritualization of the planet.

October — November — December

   When the Sun enters Libra, which heralds the coming of October, the golden Christ force passes into earthly realms as this sublime Being begins anew His annual sacrifice, an event termed the cosmic crucifixion. To it St. Paul referred in Romans 8:22: "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together until now." At this season of the Autumn Equinox a disciple should renew his dedication to walk in the way of the Lord despite any vicissitudes and hindrances that may beset his path.

   During November the Christ force permeates the desire realm of earth. Then a disciple should strive to purify his lower nature in order to aid the Great Ones in their work of cleansing earth's astral envelope. He must especially seek to become a more efficient channel for service, both as a visible and an invisible helper.

   In the early days of human manifestation a part of the work performed by the Scorpio Hierarchy, which presides over the zodiacal month of November, was to awaken man's ego, thus assisting him in achieving individualization. During the present stage of human evolution a disciple, working under the jurisdiction of the Lords of Individuality (Libra) and the Lords of Form (Scorpio), is learning to translate assertiveness into humility and to sacrifice the personal "I" for the impersonal "we"; in other words, to actually live the ideal of the greatest good for the greatest number.

   Advent Season extends through the month of December and is heralded as a Feast of Light. The spiritual impulses of the season prepare mankind for a downpouring of the heavenly forces accompanying the annual rebirth of the Cosmic Christ into our earthly sphere. Advent is followed by the Winter Solstice, occurring between December 21st and 24th, and culminating in the Christian Feast on December 25th. Christmas must always remain an external observance for an aspirant until the Christ is born within himself. To the degree that he has an awakening will he be able to participate in the high spiritual ecstasy of this most holy season.

January — February

   The twelve Holy Days begin on December 26th and come to a climax on January 6th, with the Feast of Epiphany. This feast commemorates the arrival of the three Wise Men and their rich gifts for the Babe in the manger. On the Path of Discipleship the Feast of Epiphany signifies a disciple's threefold dedication of spirit, soul and body, and their accompanying gifts of love, life and service, to the Christ Child. The spiritual influence of this feast extends through the month of January. During this time the disciple endeavors to cultivate these spiritual attributes and to evidence them by a deeper consecration of the Lord Christ.

   In February begins a special preparation for the Lenten Season, when an aspirant undergoes specific disciplines for making spirit paramount in his every thought, word and act. The noun February comes from the Latin Februarius, the name given to the Roman Feast of Purification that was held on the fifteenth day of the second month of the year. During the early days of February the Church likewise celebrates a Feast of Purification as the initial work of the Lenten Season. A mystic Christian disciple observes it as a time of threefold purification, endeavoring to cleanse his physical body by the purest of food; his desire body by virtuous deeds; his mental body by chaste thoughts and truthful words.

   These disciplines are by way of preparation for the great transmutation that is the highlight of each yearly observance. Both the mind and body of an aspirant must be sensitized if he is to participate in the ecstatic inpouring of this cosmic feast. Then it is that the Church blesses the candles that are to be used during the ensuing year. To a mystic Christian a candle symbolizes the "light of the world," the Blessed Lord Christ. At the Lenten Season he dedicates himself anew in service to the Christ and endeavors to become a bearer of the light which, according to St. Paul, is also in Christ Jesus.

March — April — May

   The cosmic resurrection occurs in March, when the Christ Spirit is liberated from the earthly sphere and passes into high spiritual realms. The Hierarchies of both Aries and Pisces join with Angels and Archangels in triumphant jubilation over this event. The rhythm of this cosmic hymn was inscribed by Handel in his Hallelujah Chorus. Pre-Christian ceremonials celebrating the return of spring and the victory of light over darkness were attuned to these same rhythms.

   The Spring Equinox is one of the high points of the year for a disciple. Its keynotes are the freedom and emancipation that lead to a larger life. It is also the time when the Cosmic Christ is freed from the terrestrial fetters that have held Him in bondage during the winter months. Hence, it is the most propitious time for an advanced disciple to break the bonds that bind him and to enter the joyous freedom of the spirit.

   The Church observes the ecclesiastical Feast of the Annunciation in March when nature commemorates the cosmic Feast of the Annunciation, for there is an intimate relationship between man and nature. Therefore one reflects the other. The most sacred rituals observed by man are in attunement with the seasonal transitions. Poets sing in praise of the holy spirit of spring, while nature's green-and-gold splendor gives evidence that returning life forces are responding in triumph to the cosmic resurrection impulse.

   An advanced follower of the Path understands that the time has come to merge the sorrow and tears of his personal life (Pisces) with the transforming fires of Aries. As he accomplishes this he joins the mighty chorusing which is echoed and re-echoed by Angels and Archangels: "The Christ is risen, for Christ has now risen within me."

   April has been designated the resurrection month. Then it is that the resurgent forces reach their culmination and nature becomes a glorious symphony of color and beauty.

   Good Friday is the year's holiest day for the mystic Christian. Orthodox Christians observe it with penitence and mourning because their thoughts are focused upon the suffering and the Crucifixion of the Saviour. Mystic Christians, however, observe it with a profound inner rejoicing and thanksgiving because it brings to a close the Lord's half-year period of incarceration within the physical limits of earth that He may now rise in triumph to higher realms. They understand that His sacrifice and Resurrection are a redemptive service to mankind, a service that will never cease until humanity as a whole stands spiritually free.

   When the Lord Christ ascends on his holy day, inner realms take on the appearance of a molten mass of shining gold. In the Holy Grail legend the Knights are told that on Good Friday a dove descends from heaven to replenish the water of life in the sacred Cup, and that they will be able to draw spiritual nourishment therefrom throughout the following year. So it is that the Risen Lord pours out His love and very Spirit to nourish every living thing upon the earth plane. Were it not for this annual replenishment wheat would not produce grain nor would vines bear fruit. In the light of this fact it can be seen that the Lord Christ uttered a profound and literal truth when he said to His Disciples at the Last Supper, "This (bread) is my body which is given for you: . . . This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

   In partaking of the sacred Rite of the Eucharist on Good Friday one is partaking of the spiritual body and blood of the Blessed Lord, for the rite channels potent spiritual energies. After having partaken, an aspirant should endeavor to awaken more fully the processes of transmutation within himself. He should strive to put off the old and put on the new, his ideal being to submerge the terrestrial in the celestial man. From this point on he must seek to demonstrate that, literally, he is made in the image and likeness of God.

June — July — August

   One of the most beautiful feasts of the year is that of the Ascension, occurring about the time the Sun passes from Taurus (May) into Gemini (June). It is then that phalanx after phalanx of celestial Beings kneel in adoration in the Christ's exalted presence, and the very stars unite in a symphony proclaiming His majesty and glory. During this holy feast His radiation permeates the earth with an effulgence past all describing, making bright both the physical and the spiritual realms. As nature is in perfect accord with the up-winging Christ currents during the forty days between the Resurrection and the Ascension, the period is of such spiritual significance that it is an auspicious time for a disciple to awaken within himself the powers of clairvoyance, clairaudience and other gifts of the spirit belonging to true discipleship.

   The octave Sunday of the Ascension commemorates the Feast of Pentecost, which synthesizes experiences of early disciples who lived in close communion with the Lord Christ during the period already mentioned. On the Day of Pentecost they stepped forth Christed men and women, adequately equipped for the work of establishing His kingdom on earth. The holy day commemorating this event is, in deed and in truth, the year's Whitsun, the white Sunday of the soul; and it marks the highest attainment possible upon this planet.

   In the esoteric Church the octave Sunday of Pentecost commemorates the threefold activity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It is known as Trinity Sunday and marks the end of spiritual feasts for the year. Other feasts are not observed until the beginning of Advent Season. Although the esoteric meaning of Trinity Sunday has been largely forgotten, so important is it still regarded by the Church that all Sundays from Trinity to Advent are counted as the first, second, third Sunday, and so on, "after Trinity."

   Esoteric Christians, however, understand something of the significance of the Trinity observance. They know that Trinity Sunday symbolizes, as it were, the supreme work of the Lord Christ in the cycle of the year. It is during the three midsummer months — June, July and August — that the Christ works in unison with the threefold Godhead and with the three Hierarchies of Gemini (Seraphim), Cancer (Cherubim) and Leo (Lords of Love) in replenishing, energizing and spiritualizing the earth and everything upon it.

   When the Sun enters Gemini in the month of June the Lord Christ passes into the third heaven which, in Rosicrucian terminology, is the World of Abstract Thought. This is the highest sphere in the reincarnational. cycle attained by humanity at its present stage of development. The first heaven is the World of Color; the second in the World of Tone; the third in the World of Abstract Ideas. The last is a world of pure white light where an illumined soul learns to listen to the Voice of the Silence.

   During the month of June the Christ becomes a channel for radiations sent forth by the Seraphim, the Hierarchy of Gemini. He contacts them by means of the Holy Spirit, the third aspect of the Trinity. One of the keynotes of Gemini is activity; it is also a keynote of the Holy Spirit. By means of this activity the Seraphim step down the mysteries of Holy Spirit to Gemini's opposite sign, Sagittarius, the Lords of Mind. Here they await man's development and illumination to the point where he is able to understand and apply the tremendous power of Holy Spirit in his daily life. As yet humanity in general is able to grasp but faintly the mysteries connected with the principle and powers of this third aspect of the Trinity.

   During the season that the Sun is transiting the sign Gemini a disciple will do well to spend as much time as possible in meditation upon the principle of polarity, for it is the most opportune month of the year for receiving esoteric revelation on this profound subject. If available, the Zohar — the Book of Light, as it was formerly known, is recommended for study in this connection.

   As the Sun enters Cancer in the month of July, the Lord Christ ascends to His own home world, the World of Life Spirit. This is the realm where unity and harmony reign supreme; also, the sphere of consciousness contacted by the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. It will be the attainment of advanced humanity at the end of the present Earth Period. It is here that through the operation of the Cosmic Christ, the Son or Word principle and the second aspect of the Trinity, our Blessed Lord contacts the Hierarchy of Cancer, the Cherubim. These celestial Beings are guardians of all holy places of heaven and earth, and they hold the great mystery of life itself. Under the guidance of the Lord Christ this sacred mystery is stepped down from Cancer to its opposite sign, Capricorn and given in charge to the Archangels. For this reason World Saviours who come to earth proclaiming the mystery of the Holy Birth are born under the sign Capricorn. The observance known ecclesiastically as the Feast of St. John, he who was the forerunner of the Christ, occurs during the Summer Solstice season.

   In July the soul of earth is steeped in sheer ecstasy. Heaven bends low while earth is lifted up. In the divine interchange of spiritual forces the Mystic Marriage between heaven and earth is consummated. For a four-day interval all desire currents are stilled so the spiritual forces can reign supreme, and the earth is filled with the pure white light of spirit. Every disciple who learns how to place himself in attunement with this mighty inflow will receive an undreamed-of accession of spiritual awareness. If the disciple spends much time in meditation during this season he will also discover a depth of new and profound meaning on the fundamental formula of creation as given by St. John:

   As the Sun reaches the highest point in its northernmost ascension, the Christ likewise ascends into the spiritual realm described biblically as the throne of the Father. This is known in Rosicrucian terminology as the World of Divine Spirit, the abode of the God of this solar system. God is Love and God is Light. Love and Light are keynotes of the Hierarchy of Leo, the Lords of Flame (Love). Under the supervision of the Lords of Flame, and united with the powers of the Father, the first aspect of the Trinity, the Lord Christ, works with the supreme power of love, the stabilizing force of the earth. Here He becomes the channel for that power whereby He rotates the earth on its axis and revolves it in its orbit around the Sun. This love power is stepped down by the Hierarchy of Leo to its opposite sign, Aquarius; hence, it will be the power animating the new Aquarian Age.

   In this season a disciple should endeavor to make love the dominant motivating force of his life. He should aspire to embellish his every word, thought and deed with its magic. The thirteenth chapter of II Corinthians, one of the soul's greatest love songs, is the perfect mantram for both meditation and emulation during the period that the Sun is transiting the royal sign Leo.

September

   In September the Blessed Lord turns from the glory of the highest heavens and begins His descent toward physical realms. Throughout this month the tender, yearning beauty of nature is like that of no other reason, for the Christ is brooding over the earth with the same gentle sorrow He felt as He wept over Jerusalem long ago. His tears were shed because He knew the long ages of pain and suffering through which humanity must pass, in having chosen darkness rather than light. His great heart grieved over the dark clouds that would encompass Jerusalem, the very heart of the planet to which He had dedicated Himself in service and upon which He was pouring out His great love.

   September is another month of preparation for a disciple. One of the keywords of Virgo is sacrifice. An earnest disciple, preparing himself by means of sacrifice and self-renunciation to take part in the coming winter feasts, meditates often upon the spiritual keynote of Virgo: "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and the servant of all." — Mark 9:35.

   With the Sun entering Libra, and the forces of October permeating the earth, comes the Feast of the Autumn Equinox. On the road to Damascus St. Paul was privileged to view, in the Memory of Nature, this Christ Cycle. As he came to understand the full import of this annual sacrifice of the Sun Spirit, he was transformed from an arch-persecutor of the Christ into one of His most illustrious messengers. In the light of this understanding of Christ's mission to earth, Paul made his supreme dedication in the words "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." These words should become the very crux of a disciple's dedication as he meditates ever more deeply upon the annual sacrifice of the Blessed Lord.

   An aspirant upon the Path of Attainment is sometimes lifted to the mountain top of exaltation that he may be renewed in strength for serving in the valleys below. One who faithfully follows this annual Christ Cycle each year learns to attune himself with the high glory of the three midsummer Feasts of the Holy Trinity, from which he is led to make a deeper dedication and acquires greater spiritual force wherewith to fulfill his tasks and responsibilities during the winter months that lie ahead. As he progresses spiritually in all that this period of preparation makes available, he will become conscious of a downpouring of blessings emanating from the Cosmic Madonna, the highest Initiate of the Hierarchy of Virgo, the Lords of Wisdom. During the course of the preparatory month a disciple so faithful will gain clearer insight into the significance of the beautiful prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, and this will make him more useful as a channel for the descending Christ force in the months to come:

   As one considers the cycle of the year in the light of the Lord Christ and His mission, he realizes that each month is a blessed sanctuary for him. Then, if month by month he endeavors to find the deep meanings of the Christ's life and work, the aspirant enters into such complete at-one-ment with his Lord that he can sing with Solomon, the illumined seer of the Old Testament, "My beloved is mine, and I am his." Eventually his dedication nears completion in that the Christ becomes so much a part of his personal life that his every thought, word and deed is a reflection of Him. Finally, he will reach a glorious consummation in that oneness with the Lord which St. Paul, seer of the New Testament, voiced in his exultant song, "In him we live, move, and have our being."

 — Corinne Heline


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