Regardless of what the next few weeks bring, and whether or not we experience ‘2012’ in line with our interpretations and expectations (both of which are more narrowly subjective than our everyday consciousness permit us to see), the Western spiritual landscape has been changed for good. And the process of having to find out what our lives are worth to us, and what we are prepared to give up to keep them, has played its part in this.
We have been tested very thoroughly, and it is a test that has been conducted almost exclusively amongst those of us with spiritual awareness, because it is we who have picked up the message. For the past few years, we have lived daily life, not simply with the prospect of death before us, but with the knowingness that if the New Age was all about opening up to possibility, the process we are calling 2012 has been, so far, about finding out what is our true relationship with that possibility. Many have found out that, in truth, they are scared, helpless and impotent, paralysed by the prospect of leaving the familiar environment, their structures, properties and attachments - just like ordinary, materialistic people, in fact. This discovery has been like a douche of cold water on the psychic overheating which occurred as the New Age drew to its astrally-focused finale. We now have to live with the unremarkable selves we find ourselves to be.
One thing is certain, to borrow Philip Larkin’s famous words: Never such innocence again. Few appear to feel good about this or even want to look at it. Does it mean that the New Age ideas and their teachers, which promised so much, were a joke, or does it mean that we are the joke?
It means what we make it mean, and the wise will consider carefully the opportunity here. At this stage in our development, free will expresses itself as the ability to discriminate and choose from the options that exist for us. That is not the same thing as having the freedom to create options. That comes later. If we perceive that we were conned by New Age ideas, then we will surely make a negative relationship with them or with ourselves, and, perhaps, with both. But if we can accept that the difficulties of preparing for 2012, although they have shown us the unflattering truth of ourselves, do not require us to deny the possibilities, provided we will accept that we have to organise and dedicate ourselves to realising them. We would then go forward from a place of realism. Even if their findings are disappointing to us, tests that bring us to the truth of ourselves are expressions of grace. This has been the message of spirituality for aeons. It is only towards the close of the New Age that the unsupervised personality was advocating a ‘plug and go’ approach to Enlightenment. But then, Jupiter is big on everything except discipline and effort.
Jupiter and Saturn, as astrologers know, bring about change in different ways: the one through expansion and the letting in of the new; the other by contraction, which pares things back to reveal what is. They work together like a pair of knitting needles to fashion human consciousness. Madam Blavatsky tells us that the coming together of the two, in the conjunction aspect, in the sign Pisces, produces an Avatar: human potential in personality form, dedicated to service of humanity.
The New Age which was an experience in pushing away old structures, breathing out and letting in new awareness, expressed the Jupiter principle. According to Esoteric Astrology, Jupiter is the esoteric ruler of the sign Aquarius, and the orthodox ruler of the sign Pisces. It expressed itself through both these signs and on the two different levels of consciousness (soul & personality), and the New Age took its quality from this. As the esoteric ruler of Aquarius, Jupiter made an appeal to the soul, trying to decentralise spiritual thinking and make the aspirant aware of the cosmic context in which he took his place; as the orthodox ruler of Pisces, it excited and psychically over-heated the self-centred personality, which was able to feel unbounded, important and superior to others in its sense of spiritual specialness.
From the 1980s onwards, Pluto worked its way through Scorpio and Sagittarius, which mark the lowest point of the ecliptic, and there it churned up the substance of the psyche wherein is the yearning for the connectedness that the personality cannot yet feel. The psyche is also the place of those yearnings which reinforces separation: the ambitions to get somewhere, to be someone, to stand apart from others and to command their attention. Jupiter is the orthodox ruler of Sagittarius as well as Pisces, and for fourteen years, whilst Pluto was in Sagittarius, its expansive mark was on the spiritual ideas which personality consciousness was accessing.
Then Pluto moved into Capricorn, of which Saturn is the orthodox ruler. Saturn is also one of the orthodox rulers of Aquarius. Again, Pluto is reinforcing the appeal to the personality level of consciousness. For the past few years the theme has been intensely Saturnian, and we have become more grounded and faced the truth of ourselves. In such circumstances, if spiritual teachings have lost credibility, the ground is prepared for cynicism.
Our need for spirituality is as great as it ever was. But the old forms can no longer serve us because they were designed to do a different job.
‘As a man thinks in his heart so he is’. That was the point of it all: of Christianity, of the New Age, of the Externalisation of the Hierarchy. They all assisted the refinement of solar plexus energy and the opening of the heart centre. But, come 2012, they have done their work and the planet will decide how it is to move forward, and with what proportion of each kingdom in nature. ‘The last thrash of the fish’s tail’ is an expression which is familiar to those in the English-speaking world. The fish has ever been the symbol of Christianity and of the sign Pisces, of which Christianity has been the exemplary religious form. The last thrash marks the end of the death throes, and we have been told to expect great waves.
We need new tools for a new job. If we do not see this, we stand to lose faith with spirituality itself, because it will not serve our needs.
The biggest threat to human consciousness now comes from getting stuck in the cul-de- sac of the throat centre, which is the seat of the self-conscious personality. Through the throat centre, we learn how to extrapolate ourselves from the mass and strengthen our sense of individuality; but here the throat centre will keep us, spouting self-justification, confined to the solipsistic way we see and analyse the world around us, and calling it Truth. This truth is the truth of our personalities, in their state of separation, and no more than this. A person who gets stuck here will long remain isolated in a self-centred reality. Even death cannot dissolve all the crystalline structures of thought form. It is therefore a more dangerous stage of development than that which brings in the fluid glamours of the astral plane. We must expect this; the further we move on, the greater the tests faced by the personality; and we need our spirituality as much as we have ever done, to inspire us and remind us of the larger picture.
We have been tested very thoroughly, and many of our spiritual pretensions laid bare. If we look honestly at ourselves now, because we know the truth of where we really are, we know what we need to move on. We may not know what the way forward looks like in any detail, but we know it must take into account the things we have come to value, as the result of being tested: the relationships we could not leave and the routines that we realised were precious to us. Our spirituality does not require us to separate out as if materialism and those who are materialistic will contaminate us – that was a Piscean perspective that came to flatter the self-important personality; our spirituality needs to show us how to live in order to appreciate life, in order to love our own lives and the lives of those who light them up for us, and to learn to create opportunities, for ourselves and for the planet.
We need a new path.
DKF – Koruna