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The Twelve Labors of Samson
Samson, the Sun Child

   The history of the life of Samson as given in Judges has always been a source of confusion and contention among Bible commentators. Studied exoterically, Samson's life appears to be devoid of plan or purpose, and his interests seem to be centered in the pleasures of the senses or the cruel joy of baffling and destroying his enemies. It is only as the Bible is studied esoterically that a really intelligible meaning is found within this familiar and yet generally misunderstood legend of the Way of Attainment.

   According to the thirteenth chapter of judges, the father of Samson was Manoah of the tribe of Danites (Scorpio). An Angel appears to his mother and instructs her to eat only pure food and to live a holy life in preparation for the incoming ego whose mission it will be to assist in the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines. The work of Samson is thus early defined: it is the work of transmutation, and all the varied events in his life lead toward this consummation. The work of Samson is the work of Scorpio.

   Samson, the Sun-child, represents the select few who find the straight and narrow way of Initiation. Such are veritable Sun-men, for they have found the interior Light which is eventually to become the Light of all mankind.

   In the Mystery Schools of ancient Greece the neophytes were taught the very same truths that are embodied in the story of Samson in the allegory of the twelve labors of Hercules, who, like Samson, was also a solar god. Hercules means "a prince of the Sun". The famous Twelve Labors of Hercules mark the passage of the Sun through the Zodiac, representing at the same time the way of attainment for the aspirant who seeks to become a Sun-man. The one who succeeds in awakening within himself the power of divinity (Hercules was worshipped as a demigod), is emancipated from material law and its causation. Thus liberated, he becomes a conscious and intelligent co-worker with the angelic Hierarchies under the supervision of the Lords of Destiny in the evolution of the Earth. Each one who thus emancipates himself, hastens the freedom of the entire race and its ascension into the glorious splendor of pure Spirit. The higher spiritual meanings of the twelve signs of the Zodiac are portrayed both in the Labors of Hercules and the corresponding biblical Labors of Samson. The time is rapidly approaching when all will realize how closely the events of their lives are influenced by the starry hosts. The Bible reveals this fact in many ways.

   There are numerous women connected prominently with the adventures of Samson and Hercules. These women represent certain faculties or attributes within man, some to be discarded and others cultivated.

   "And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not". Here is introduced the mother of Samson, Manoah's wife, "who was barren", like Hannah. The word "wife" in mystic literature refers to the inner or feminine attributes of man. The name, Manoah, means "rest", or the ideal of attainment, which in India is known as Nirvana. The spiritual aspects of astrology and the path to spiritual consciousness (termed Initiation) are here closely interwoven, and it is impossible to study one without considering the other. The same is true of all great Teachers and Leaders, so that even in the instance of such historic characters as the Buddha, it is possible to trace a spiritual allegory applicable to all men.

   In this study of the life of Samson, the Grecian myth of Hercules is frequently referred to in order to show the parallelism between the two great Sun-heroes and their meaning in terms of Initiation.

The Twelve Solar Labors
The Arian Labor

   The fox, like the lion, has been used generally as a symbol of summer heat because of its color and the long-haired tail. In ancient Roman festivals a ceremony was held during April in which red dogs were offered to Mars as a sacrifice for protection. An old, old maxim states: "It is divine fox-fire that burns up corn." The fox was also used by early astrologers as one of the symbols of Aries.

   In the pre-Christian Mysteries there were ceremonials concerned with the red or fiery fox which survived in Rome even after the beginning of the Christian Dispensation. This ceremonial was observed each year at the time of the Spring Equinox, as the Sun entered the sign Aries. The people celebrated with great rejoicing the new red fire of life which was then becoming active again in all nature. Corn and olives are alike symbols of healing and regeneration.

   The primal nature of Aries is activity; on higher planes this activity manifests as idealism. Its attributes may be described as purity, transmutation, sacrifice and the whiteness of snow. (The I has been merged into the great All.)

   On the lower plane the activity of Aries manifests as ambition, aggressiveness, self-seeking and a disregard for the welfare of others. The All has been lost sight of in the self-centeredness of the I.

   Permanent peace can be established upon Earth only as the masses of people are educated to a recognition of their essential unity and to a feeling of kinship with all peoples so strong and vital that it will no longer be each for self alone but each for all and all for each. Only as this comes to pass will it be possible to usher in the New Age wherein "Swords will be beaten into plough shares and sabres into pruning hooks." Only those who learn to sacrifice personal advantage to the universal good (the I for the All) can establish the New Order. In this New Era cooperation will succeed competition and internationalism replace isolationism. As these attributes become living, working principles in the daily lives of men, the lower phases of Aries, which operate through the dynamic power of Mars, will be nullified, and the destructive currents that flow through the red blood of man, ruled by Aries, will be replaced by the building forces of the White Light of the Sun (which is exalted in Aries). Samson, the biblical character, and Hercules, the Grecian hero, are both harbingers of the great spiritual Messenger who was waiting to come to Earth when man had made himself ready to receive Him. The Twelve Labors of both Samson and Hercules constitute the preparatory way whereby humanity is fitted to receive the "Sun of Righteousness that shall arise with healing in His Wings".

The Taurean Labor

   Taurus is closely correlated with the Earth and with life upon this planet. The unawakened Taurean is generally in closest attunement with the physical plane and finds easy access to its enjoyments and successes.

   Being a fixed sign, Taurus is a reservoir of power made up of its own energies together with additional powers drawn from its opposite sign Scorpio. Deep wells of desire sleep within the Taurean personality which can and often do lead to excesses belonging to the "earth earthy," but which when lifted through regeneration overpass every barrier until transcendent heights have been reached.

   In the Taurean allegory of Samson and Hercules, the sacrificial object is concealed in one instance in a cave and in the other within a chamber. The deepest work under Taurus is always the secret or hidden work.

   The "younger and fairer" sister in the Samson allegory refers to the subtle temptation to substitute the false for the true, the unreal for the real, or to sacrifice the Sacred Bull to the king of this world instead of lifting its forces in dedication to Christ, the King of Heaven. It also typifies the characteristic weakness of Taurus.

   Humanity was caught in the throes of this wrong choice together with the consequent darkness of materialism which spread across the world when the Sun last by precession passed through Taurus.

   The harvest of blood, tears and death which the world is now reaping is the result of ages of concentration on the outer world of "things" begun in that far-off day, and the neglect to cultivate spiritual values which alone are steadfast and enduring and which alone can form a foundation of permanent peace among the nations of the Earth.

   "My peace is not of this world — my peace I leave with you." This is the sacred ideal that mankind has all but forgotten and which must become re-established in man's consciousness as the Corner Stone of the New Order.

   The keyword of Taurus is "I possess;" of Venus, her planetary ruler, "I love." It is for man to awaken this love power within himself and to translate its force into humanitarian service

   Taurus is the burden bearer; also the reaper. Venus (love) is the medium by which the feet of a re-awakened humanity, washed in the blood of the heart, may be prepared to walk in "the highway of the King."

 — Corinne Heline


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