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The Mysteries of Mary and Joseph
The Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys

   Both Mary and Joseph, the type-patterns of feminine and masculine attainment respectively, passed through certain experiences which were tabulated by the early Christians as the Path of the Seven Sorrows and the Seven joys.

   The Sorrows are the type-representation of the daily problems of human life; the Joys the type-representation of the essence, or extract, of those problems in terms of usable soul power, for each Sorrow has a counterpart in a joy.

   Both sorrows and joys are, therefore, a composite representation of the daily experiences of human life relative to the development of soul powers. The sorrows are such experiences as are disciplinary in nature, the joys such as belong wholly to the soul and the essence of which nourishes the soul to an independent existence even during its sojourn in a fleshly tabernacle.

   The Seven Sorrows of Joseph were: (1) Leaving Mary; (2) That there was no place for the Nativity but the Manger; (3) Sufferings of the Holy Child in circumcision; (4) Simeon's prophecy of sorrow for his beloved Mary; (5) The flight into Egypt; (6) Fear of Herod's son on the return to Nazareth; and (7) Loss of the young Jesus in Jerusalem.

   The Seven Joys of Joseph were: (1) Angelic communication of the Incarnation; (2) Adoration of the Shepherds; (3) The naming of Jesus; (4) Adoration of the Wise Men; (5) Simeon's pronouncement of the coming salvation through Jesus Christ; (6) The angelic summons to return from Egypt; and (7) Finding Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem.

   Mary signifies here as elsewhere,the redeemed feminine, the Love Power of the soul which is raised from bondage in matter to liberation in Spirit. Ordinarily, this redemption is accomplished through sorrow, for it is unfortunately true that mankind elects to achieve salvation the difficult way. Like Christ Jesus, Mary represents the subjective side of life; the perfect consummation of the work within, which awaits the realization of every individual of every race on earth. This process is outlined in the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which are: (1) The prophecy of Simeon; (2) The flight into Egypt; (3) The three days' loss at Jerusalem of the boy Jesus; (4) Meeting Jesus with the cross; (5) The Crucifixion; (6) The removal of her Son from the cross; and (7) the Holy Burial.

   The cross of discipleship gives way to the joys of the Initiate. These are evidenced in the Seven joys of Mary; (1) The Annunciation; (2) The Nativity; (3) The Purification; (4) Finding Jesus in the Temple after the three days loss; (5) The Resurrection; (6) Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost; and (7) The Assumption.

   Since each ego in its cyclic evolution incarnates in both male and female bodies, it partakes of a blend of these experiences which constitute, as it were, the major and minor chords of the symphony of life.

   The fourteen steps above outlined are fundamental to the seven primary initiatory Degrees. The seven degrees include all that each ego learns In earthly incarnations. For this reason, Initiation must always be a distinctly individual process. No two Initiates have an identical experience; one Initiation is never wholly like another. From its earliest beginnings life is a preparation for Initiation; life itself is the greatest Teacher of all, and evolution culminates in Initiation.

   Hence, each of the Seven Type-Sorrows and Seven Type-joys is part of the life experience of every neophyte and, in some degree, these same Sorrows and joys are known to the personal history of every living man and woman. Later, the essence of these experiences is built into the consciousness as spiritual awareness, producing certain occult rhythms within the body which eventuate in definite initiatory or superhuman powers.

Through the Year with Mary

   A high Initiate who dedicates a life in the service of humanity does not cease his chosen work merely because humanity at large will not accept it or is unaware of what is being done in its behalf.

   Mary of Bethlehem was chosen by the Masters who guide human evolution for the task of bringing to earth the holy Mysteries of the Immaculate Conception. She continues her beautiful ministry with mothers despite the fact that there are but few who are aware of her mission even though almost two millenia. have elapsed since she lived upon the earth. From her home in the angelic realms she labors unceasingly for the spiritual illumination of all women. With each month her work varies, but it is unending, and will continue until its object has been accomplished.

   In the Temple of the Christian Mysteries, the heavenly Jerusalem, there is observed each month a glorious ceremonial commemorative of important events in the life of the Holy Family, which in turn represent the ideal (and eventual attainment) of the new Christed humanity. A powerful spiritual force is engendered in these ceremonials which overflows upon the world. The privilege of being lifted up into the heavenly Jerusalem to witness these celestial glories has been the basis for celebrated visions of Christian mystics throughout the Piscean Age.

The Twelve Feasts

   January: Capricorn, The Feast of the Nativity: In the month of January is observed the re-enactment of the Holy Birth. Astronomically and religiously this Birth Drama correlates with the Winter Solstice, but in the inner realms it is celebrated continuously during the time that the Sun passes through the sign Capricorn. In the initiatory Mysteries it symbolizes the birth of the Higher Self when the manger of the lower or animal nature has been adequately cleansed. This Birth accomplished, the Christed man receives the visit of the Wise Men, and in their gifts he recognizes his own purified nature — body, mind and desire — which are the true treasures from the East, or place of light.

   February: Aquarius, Feast of Purification: In February occurs the beautiful ceremonial of Purification and Dedication to Temple service. The Temple here signifies the world and its humanity for whom the Initiate offers himself and all his powers. Purity, detachment and consecration to the higher life, all are pictured in this soul drama, and these, being reflected in the World Soul, shine into men's hearts everywhere, inspiring them to renewed efforts on the Path of Holiness. These are the powers which will dominate the world scene in the new Aquarian Age.

   March: Pisces, Feast of Annunciation: Hosts of ministering Angels attend and participate in this Rite, which is one of the most mystical, most mysterious and most beautiful of the year. It commemorates the soul powers of Faith, Humility, Obedience and Service, which are poured forth upon man through this Ceremonial. Astrologically, these are the principal spiritual keywords of Pisces.

   April: Aries, The Sunrise Ceremonial: All the earth is suffused with a floodtide of golden glory at this sacred time. The gates of heaven open and both earth and man receive the divine influx of a life made new in the glory of the "Mystic Sunrise."

   May: Taurus, The Feast of Transmutation: The ceremonials of the summer months, May through August, are the most exalted of the year. The work in May is concerned largely with blessings bestowed upon the nature forces, fairies and other minute beings belonging to, the sub-human kingdoms. Their life forces are revivified and accelerated, and their capacities and activities extended and perfected.

   June: Gemini, The Feast of Love: Love is a mighty, living, pulsating power. It is truly the greatest thing in the world. In this ceremonial, Seraphim and Cherubim together with Angels and Archangels focus their mighty love current upon the earth. St. Paul had witnessed this sublime spectacle before he wrote his supreme Love Song to the churches, as recorded in Hebrews.

   July: Cancer, The Feast of the Visitation: Feminine Initiates always take upon themselves the task of disseminating the sacred truths relating to the prenatal period. This is the most neglected phase of human education. The Visitation of the two Initiates of the New Testament, Mary and Elizabeth, in the hill country, is the perfect example of this. Under the benign ray of Cancer, the Star of Mothers, this event is dramatized in the Christian Mysteries, and will continue there until its lesson has been indelibly imprinted upon the human soul.

   August: Leo, The Feast of the Assumption: This month's ceremonial is the re-enactment of Mary's Translation into the highest of the heavens, there to be crowned by the Christ, the Lord of Love and supreme Initiate of the Archangels. It heralds the glad time when mankind shall know the celestial coronation on its own behalf. Man is a little lower than the Angels, and, as St. Paul has said, we cannot even imagine what he will one day become, for it surpasses human experience and is intimated only in the heavenly ceremonials.

   September: Virgo, The Feast of Mary's Nativity: September is the month of the Immaculate Madonna, the month that is dedicated to Peace. It is fitting that the blessed Lady of Peace, who was immaculately conceived and who knew a holy birth, should have chosen this as her birth month. The divine Mary, in this ceremonial, works to illumine and inspire all mothers of earth by means of Chastity and of Peace.

   October: Libra, The Feast of the Illumined Heart: Libra is a love month ruled by Venus. Those who follow the Love Ray may know a great transformation within the heart at this time, for to them it is given to experience the golden globe of the heart's aura, which is perceptible to the inner vision, and which illuminates the body. Profound and holy are the Mysteries connected with this transformation. This ceremonial depicts the culmination of the Love Work. The heart of Mary, symbolic of this transmutation, is seen encircled with flowers, its center a star which emits celestial flames of glory.

   November: Scorpio, The Feast of the Dead: Mary is not only the Mother of all who live in the outer world, but she ministers as lovingly in the realm of the so-called dead. She and her attendant Angels bestow a blessing upon every spirit as it descends from the heaven worlds to enter the mortal sphere. She and her ministering hosts also greet with a blessing each soul passing out of the body in death. The November ceremonial is a benediction upon the so-called dead, who have the promise of the World Mother that they shall indeed live again, and in bodies of flesh if they so desire.

   December: Sagittarius, Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Sagittarius is the sign of idealism and mystic knowledge. The exquisite December ceremonial deals with the holy of holies — the immaculately conceived. White and azure are the colors belonging to Mary, and these are the Temple colors during the December Feast. In the New Day not far from us, the Ideal of the Immaculate Conception which she taught and successfully demonstrated will be a reality to the race, and upon this reality will a mighty civilization be founded such as only the pure in heart can build. In foreknowledge of this tomorrow Mary declared, "Future generations shall arise to call me blessed!"

   In this December Observance, multitudes of Angels join with Mary in her triumphant hosannah: "I am the Immaculate Conception!"

Mary and Christ

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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