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Ecclesiastes and the Stars
"In My Father's House are many Mansions"

   Ecclesiastes has been likened to the sphinx, and has in fact been called the Sphinx of the Old Testament. Esoterically considered, the title is apt, for it calls to mind the deathless question which looks out of the eyes of the Lion of the Egyptian desert with its woman's head. The story is recalled of Oedipus who visited the Sphinx and succeeded in answering the riddle of Man which she propounded to him.

   So in Ecclesiastes the Teacher propounds his riddle: What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visitest him? to use the words of job, an earlier questioner who also became a Knower.

   Writing in the name of Solomon the Initiate-King and his wonderful wisdom, the anonymous author has in this book given a brief synopsis of the spiritual meanings which the esotericist reads in the starry hieroglyphs of the Zodiac. Lacking the key of spiritual astrology, Ecclesiastes may well seem cynical, obscure, and uninteresting; with it, the book is discovered to be a treasure house of rare and antique jewels of the higher knowledge.

   When the books of the Old Testament were written, astrology was universally studied and practiced in the schools which then existed; it was taught as a sacred science and a phase of religion. The wise men of the Temples knew it as the mother science of occultism and as one of the keys to Initiation, and this it still is today. One of the most important exercises for occult Illumination is to "follow the Sun" in its annual circuit of the twelve signs of the Zodiac and realizing oneself as the Divine Attribute which each represents and which the Sun vivifies. Thus when the Sun transits the sign Aries, the aspirant identifies himself with the Divine Attribute of Creative Energy: "I ant that." And so with the other "mansions" of the Sun, which is the Christ Star of our solar system. In the ancient Mysteries, the Initiate was always identified with the "god", or as we would say, the Archangel of the Mystery. Thus in Egypt the Initiate identified himself with Osiris, or with Isis; in Syria and Palestine, with Adonis or Ishtar; in Greece, with Dionysus or Semele, or with Orpheus or Euridice, with Eros or Psyche; and in Christian times, the Initiate becomes "the Anointed," the Christed One. In Ecclesiastes the student can follow the Christ Star through the signs of the Zodiac, learning their mystical meanings, and identifying himself with them as Christ did, for as the Egyptian aspirants sang, "Thy Attributes are my attributes!" This is the greatest of all spiritual and metaphysical Mysteries.

Aries

   Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, symbolizes the two aspects of life, the manifest and the unmanifest, the seen and the unseen. It is pre-eminently the sign of the Christ for its ideograph is the Good Shepherd, familiar to all of ancient Greece, and consequently to the entire Hellenistic world, as one of the aspects of Orpheus, of Apollo and of the god Pan, the Love Universal. Aries both begins and closes the cycle of the twelve signs, in the sense that the seed opens and closes the life cycle of a plant. Paracelsus teaches that Aries rules the seed, Scorpio the blossom.

   Through the solar meditation of Aries, the aspirant attunes himself to the celestial Hierarchy that, in the spiritual world, functions in the Divine Attribute of which Aries is the mundane symbol, or "word," namely, Creative Energy. The "seeds of light" in the ethers of the head are activated under this spiritual impulse, and by identification with it while the Sun passes through Aries, the aspirant may also become "the Lamb of God" or "the Good Shepherd", depending upon the state of development. Of this quality of God, the Teacher says, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done, is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

   Blinded by materiality, the incarnate spirit has "no remembrance of former things," — no remembrance of his pre-existence in the heaven world prior to conception and no remembrance of former incarnations in earlier periods of history. Nor in the nature of things can there be any remembrance in the immediate future until the soul is nurtured. Observe the differentiation between "soul" and "ego", and between "ego" and "Virgin Spirit." The soul is a product of evolution; he who has much soul (one who is soulful) is rich in the garnered graces of the wisdom of the ages. He alone is able to acquire the cosmic consciousness awakened through Initiation, and in that consciousness have the remembrance of all former things and be able to link the things past with things present and to come. For such, life truly becomes a "Rosary of Remembrance."

   The keynote of this first, or Arian, chapter is found in the words: "All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing." (Ecclesiastes 1:8) Aries is governed by Mars, the planet of action, and our present Earth Period is not yet fully liberated from the necessity of labor which enslaves nor is it capable of entering into the creative activity which nourishes man and the world, appropriately described as "laborless activity". For the spiritual aspirant, "laborless activity" is the keynote of Aries, because it suggests the spontaneous joy of creation which characterizes the liberated consciousness. Paul said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard the wonders prepared for them that love Him". The physical senses alone cannot satisfy the aspirations of the spirit until they are spiritualized, a process accomplished under Aries, the sign of the great transmutation by Fire.

Taurus

   Venus is the ruler of Taurus, and her sweet and affectionate spirit is the very fountain of all social pleasures. Venusians are characterized by a sunny golden smile and playful, charming manners, which in the Libran are polished and mellow, and in the Taurean, rich and warm with the flavor of springtime. The Venus trial is the trial by love: will the affections be prostituted to base and selfish ends or will they be held high, sacred and selflessly radiant? The Hierophant or Teacher warns his disciple: I will prove thee with mirth and pleasure: remember, these playthings of the Earth are but emptiness. There is no everlastingness in them".

   Venus is the Fairy Queen — not the Nature Queen, but the queen of the fairy Hierarchies which are especially active in the flower kingdom. When the Sun passes through Taurus (in northern latitudes) the aspirant may enter the Kingdom of Faerie by meditation upon the meaning of the fresh young blossoms which bloom in this season.

   Every blossom which graces the vernal meadows and hills has its counterpart in the Garden of the Soul. Every flower and every tree has a springtime significance, which the eye of the soul learns to read as easily as the child learns to read a book. The language of Taurus is the language of flowers. And the Kingdom of Faerie is but the threshold of the spiritual kingdom of great Angels of Life in the higher spiritual worlds. This Taurean Mystery is continued in the fourth chapter where the WORD aspect is considered. This is the Word that was God, the Word that was with God in the beginning of creation, and without which was not made anything that was made. (Taurus rules the larynx and throat.) The keynote of this chapter is concealed within the mystic words: "I considered all the living which walk under the Sun, with the second Child that shall stand up in his stead." (Ecclesiastes 4:15) Properly speaking, of Taurus, too, are the words, "He hath made everything beautiful in his time;" but this verse will be considered in another place.

 — Corinne Heline


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