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The Twelve Solar Labors
The Sagittarian Labor

   The Ninth or Sagittarian Labor of Hercules was that of killing the man-eating birds of Stymphalos. Birds represent spiritualized thought. These birds had become vicious and destructive. Sagittarius is the sign of the higher mind. Hence the parallelism between the ninth sign and the ninth Labor is easily discernible.

   The biblical parallel of Samson is found in his going down to Gaza (the Winter Solstice). The sun in Sagittarius is the Advent month of the Church, the time of preparation for the supreme spiritual event of the year which occurs at the Winter Solstice.

   Sagittarius is represented pictorially by the centaur with bow and arrow pointed at the stars. This figure (half man and half horse) symbolizes the divine spirit in animal-man aspiring upward toward its potential godhood. In Sagittarius are linked the powers of Heaven and Earth which in the life of man are ever struggling for supremacy, the one over the other. The fire of desire tends toward the ways of the flesh while the pure spirit soars upward to the stars. Nine is the number of Sagittarius and nine is the number of man in his present stage of evolution and it is also the number of Initiation.

   Sagittarius is the sign of transition and of transmutation. The dragon, or scorpion power of Scorpio, its preceding sign, must become the Christed Sun force of Capricorn, its succeeding sign. Sagittarius is therefore the power center in which the Great Work is accomplished. Its biblical key is found in Paul's admonition: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Jesus Christ."

   The higher or spiritualized mind is the characteristic Sagittarian accomplishment. To this Christed mind all things are possible. As the forces of the lower man are lifted up and transmuted into spiritual power, the sense-loving rhythms of the unillumined Sagittarian are transformed into the pulsating glow of white spiritual light. Sense ecstasy, so familiar to the unawakened Sagittarian, becomes the impersonal cosmic ecstasy of Spirit.

   The Argonauts of Greek legend were spiritual pioneers and so typify Aries, the first sign of the fire triplicity. In the human body, Aries governs the head. Thither man must raise the kundalini or spiritual fire which is centered in the sacral plexus governed by Sagittarius. One of the meanings of the upward pointing bow and arrow of this sign is the raising of the spirit fire from the base of the spine to the second fire altar located in the heart and ruled by Leo, and thence to the head and the pineal gland, the uppermost fire altar of the human body-temple.

   It is by following this Sagittarian Path of Illumination that the aspirant achieves spiritual emancipation and that wonders of untold dimensions open before him. It is then he truly becomes a "star rover," a term aptly linked to the Sagittarian. When the Sun by precession again enters this sign, its pioneers will know the freedom of illimitable spaces and the adventuring into other solar systems. The open gates of cosmos will invite his entry. This is the high destiny and the exalted purpose of Sagittarian Illumination.

   Samson is a solar hero. His marriage with the woman of Timnath of the tribe of Judah (Leo) typifies the Summer Solstice and his death at Gaza (the goat, Capricorn) signifies the Winter Solstice. Samson "died" between the two columns of the temple in Gaza, as we shall see in our discussion of the Aquarian Labor.

   Hercules, the Grecian god, also "died" at the Winter Solstice season. The two massive pillars of rock in the strait of Gibraltar anciently termed the Pillars of Hercules, legend states, were set there to mark the end of his wanderings. Beautifully descriptive of the transmutative processes in Sagittarius under the influence of its planetary ruler, the benign Jupiter, is the following passage:

   "Hercules ascended Mt. Aetna and with calm demeanor as though he were about the festal board, he saw the torch applied to his funeral pyre. When the flame had consumed the human share of Hercules, the diviner part instead of being injured thereby seemed to start forth with new vigor, to assume a more lofty part, a more majestic dignity. Jupiter enveloped him in a cloud and took him up to dwell among the stars where he was united in marriage with Hebe, the Goddess of Eternal Youth."

   The two columns that figure so prominently in the life story of both Samson and Hercules represent polarity or Initiation, the conclusion of the Great Work. It is because of their mystic significance that the two columns form the most important and familiar symbol of the Masonic Fraternity.

   The principal steps leading to Illumination are fundamentally the same in all religions. Truth is eternal and universal.

The Capricorn Labor

   All religions have a solar hero whose life is built around a zodiacal pattern of twelve steps or degrees, revealing in his individual career the progression of the race as a whole. In the life story of Samson, the evolving Sun-man, is pictured the universal conflict waged between the inner or higher nature and the outer mortal or dust-man.

   Capricorn is a mystery sign possessing profound depths and unlimited powers. Its colors are black and white, for it represents the purity and whiteness of snow together with the mystery of the darkest night and the glory of the inner Light Supernal.

   The Sun's entrance into Capricorn marks the "wonder night" of the year. Few and highly favored are those who at this holy time are found worthy to cross the "bridge of darkness" and by virtue of the "Mighty Rite" to stand face to face with the glory of the new-born inner Light.

   The process preparatory to this ordeal is concerned with the Purification Ritual at the manger wherein the beasts feed, symbolized by Mars' exaltation in Capricorn. Here is found the esoteric reason for the Waters of Eternal Life being correlated with the earthy sign Capricorn.

   In the Herculean Labor of Capricorn a celestial ram brings him strange waters with which to quench his thirst. For Samson this water springs miraculously from the jawbone of an ass. In both instances there is the partaking of the "living waters," to which the Master referred His disciples so frequently. This is the force which vitalizes and regenerates, the Christed power that makes all things new in mind, body and environment.

   The ass is a symbol of intuitive wisdom, a faculty of the Christed mind and belonging to the highest phases of Capricorn and its ruler Saturn. The number one thousand (1000) amplifies the power of ten (10) (Capricorn number) and means the masculine-feminine principles working together toward emancipation. Ramath-lehi was a city of Judah (love) and means "holy place," equating to Bethlehem of Jesus, the Christed one, the holy place where the inner Light is born. The biblical keyword of Capricorn is: "Let the Christ be born in you."

   This incident cannot possibly be accepted literally; however, in the symbolic reading of the text, it is found to indicate certain steps on the Path familiar to those who have passed that way. En-hakkore means "Fountain of the Crier." An ancient Temple maxim says: "To him who knocketh it shall be opened and he who seeks shall find." Lehi, as noted, is a city (center) of love.

   The walls of "new waters" must ever spring for the illumined Capricorn, the cycle of the "hind who giveth goodly words."

The Twelve Solar Labors
The Aquarian Labor

   The two columns in this Labor of Samson hold the mystic key to the powers of Aquarius and the coming Aquarian Age. The keyword of Aquarius is Equilibrium which means the "Analogy of Contraries," or to express it simply, perfect equality. The masculine and feminine forces must. be so balanced as to function efficiently — and therefore operate rhythmically — on every plane of manifestation. The beautiful symbol of Aquarius, an androgynous figure (half male and half female) pouring the contents from a golden urn into a silver one without wasting a drop of the precious essence, denotes the perfecting of this relationship.

   With the realization of this New Age concept men will no longer be subject to the present extreme reactions of plenty and poverty, health and disease, hope and fear. The first evidence of this new equality is the closer collaboration between man and woman in all fields of endeavor, spiritual, educational, political and economic.

   Within the individual the two great power centers, head and heart, under this new impulse will co-ordinate their activities more perfectly. As the age-old spectres of fear and want are dissipated, gradually a new consciousness of well-being will pervade the entire bodily organism, health will become the prevailing condition instead of disease as at the present time.

   The two Aquarian columns upon which Samson leaned are the two columns of Strength and Beauty, those two important "articles of furniture" in the Masonic Lodge, as previously noted.

   When Samson (the Law) tested the strength of the two pillars they fell, demolishing the entire structure and engulfing in destruction all the people therein, an analogue of the downfall of our present Piscean civilization. The code of the New Age will be the Golden Rule and its ethics will be based upon the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount. It is only upon the two New Age columns of justice and Equality for men and nations that a permanent civilization can be sustained. Those Saturnian voices raised to uphold and perpetuate the injustices and inequalities of the present passing Age, will meet the fate biblically described as "The house that fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein."

   Aquarius has two planetary rulers, Saturn (the voice of the old) and Uranus (the clarion call of the new). In the upheaval incident to transition from the old into the new, there must necessarily be much destruction among the Philistines and the "dead slain at his death" (passing of the age) will be "more than they which he slew in his life" (the contemporary period).

   Until polarity is effected, not only in the state but also within the body temple, the two columns, or masculine-feminine poles of Spirit, cannot adequately support the organic structure, and so decay and death become its inevitable portion.

   The great work of the Aquarian pioneer is to build the body-temple celestial. The coming New Age of Polarity or Aquaria will be an age of conscious immortality and of eternal life.

The Piscean Labor

   Pisces is a deeply mystic sign. It is a portent of that which is to be rather than of that which has already come to pass. Profound and unutterable dreams and aspirations abide in its heart, which are most often awakened into activity through pain and sorrow.

   In ancient Hebrew a phrase descriptive of Pisces was the "Time to Catch Fish," and in Christian terminology this sign is known as "The Servant of Man."

   Samson was the thirteenth judge of Israel. The highest attainment of this number is that of one who masters the twelve labors (signs) and becomes by so doing a power center emanating the life and light of Wisdom to all mankind.

   Pisces is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the twelve zodiacal signs for the reason that in its innermost depths lie concealed an unsuspected strength and tenacity of purpose which is generally revealed only when the soul has been purified and refined in the crucible of sorrow.

   Among the significant land areas which are ruled by Pisces are the Sahara Desert and the Garden of Gethsemane.

   Pisces being the twelfth and last of the zodiacal signs has to do with the recapitulation and the settlement of old karmic debts; therefore it has been termed the sign of tears. Its biblical keyword is: "Not my will but thine be done." And in the correlation of the twelve signs with the twelve principal events in the life of Christ Jesus, Pisces is associated with the Garden of Agony. Here is to be found the mystic significance of the Venus exaltation in Pisces. Personal love (Venus) must be purified in the cauldron of affliction until it no longer knows boundaries or limitation. The two Planetary rulers of Pisces, Jupiter and Neptune, are harbingers of this new and broader concept of life. Jupiter typifies the universality of love or the spirit of Brotherhood, and Neptune the opening horizons of a new and better day.

   The following lines of the poet may well be applied to the mystic significance of Pisces:

 — Corinne Heline

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Contemporary Mystic Christianity

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