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“The keynote of the Archer is aspiration and direction, and both are expressions of human goals but one is of the personality and the other of the soul. From ambition to aspiration, from selfishness to an intense desire for selflessness, from individual one-pointed self-interest in Leo to the one-pointedness of the disciple in Sagittarius and thence to initiation in Capricorn. It is interesting to note that the astrological symbol for this sign currently used is simply the arrow with a fragment of the bow depicted. The Archer as well as the Centaur have dropped out of the picture and this is largely because the emphasis or focus of human living today is not based upon the objective outer facts of life upon the physical plane but upon some form of inner focus or emphasis, which varies from the many stages of astral and emotional ambition to spiritual aspiration, and from the activities of the lower mind bent upon selfish interest to the illumination of the same mind through focus upon the soul. An ancient catechism which all disciples have to master, asks the following questions and supplies the needed answers:
"Where is the animal, O Lanoo? and where the Man?
Fused into one, O Master of my Life. The two are one. But both have disappeared and naught remains but the deep fire of my desire.
Where is the horse, the white horse of the soul? Where is the rider of that horse, O Lanoo?
Gone towards the gate, O Master of my Life. But something speeds ahead between the pillars of an open door—something that I myself have loosed.
And what remains to thee, O wise Lanoo, now that the horses of two kinds have left thee and the rider, unattached, stands free? Now what remains?
Naught but my bow and arrow, O Master of my Life, but they suffice, and, when the right time comes, I, thy Lanoo, will follow fast upon the shaft I sent. The horses I will leave upon this side of the door, for them I have no further need. I enter free, regain the arrow which I sent and speed upon my way, passing from door to door, and each time the arrow speeds ahead."
It is for this reason that the keynotes of Sagittarius are five in number.
1. Attached or fused duality—the Centaur.
Unattached duality—the Archer.
Freedom or one-pointedness—the Bow and Arrow.
2. Human ambition leading eventually to spiritual aspiration.
3. A clear shaft of light which is the intuitive and focused attitude of the pledged disciple.
4. The "returning arrow of the intuition," as it is sometimes called. For it is the shaft of the arrow of aspiration which returns to the sender as the arrow of the intuition. Sagittarius is one of the intuitive signs, for only the intuition will suffice to carry a man to the foot of the mountain of initiation in Capricorn.
5. Idealism which is the power to see the vision and to direct one's course towards it. This is the work of Mars, the expression of the sixth ray.
A study of the charts of the human family at all the different stages, from the time of the Mutable Cross experience wherein the personality is built up, constructed, developed and integrated, to the final crucifixion of the personality [Page 178] upon the Fixed Cross of the Heavens, will reveal that every time the man finds himself under the influence of Sagittarius it is with the objective of orienting himself to some new and higher objective, with the task of refocusing himself towards a higher goal and with the unfoldment of some basic and directing purpose. These developing purposes may range all the way from purely animal desire, through selfish human ambition, to the struggle of the aspiring disciple or initiate in order to achieve the needed liberation towards which the entire evolutionary process has impelled him. It is interesting, in this connection, to trace the unfolding of the human consciousness through the influence of the energies let loose through the various zodiacal signs:
1. Instinct, governing desire—Cancer. Mass unevolved consciousness.
2. Intellect, governing ambition—Leo. Individual consciousness.
3. Intuition, governing aspiration—Sagittarius. Soul consciousness in early stages.
Initiation 1 and 2.
4. Illumination, governing intuition—Capricorn. Soul consciousness in later stages.
5. Inspiration, governing service—Aquarius. Group consciousness.
I go forth
6. Identification, governing liberation—Pisces. Divine consciousness.
I and the Father are one
In these signs—Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces—you have the six signs which constitute the six pointed star of the human or fourth Creative Hierarchy; Cancer and Pisces marking the two extremes. The Crab symbolises imprisonment (the hard shell and the rocks under which the Crab ever takes shelter), and the Fish signifies freedom. In between—in Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius—come the four stages of personality development, struggle with the pairs of opposites, and finally release into full spiritual service. In connection with the development of the intellect into the intuition and its consummation as the divine aspiration of the personality ("inspired from on high," as this stage is technically called), the following ideas may be found useful; I am simply hinting at them and am leaving the student to work out the various implications for himself.
We have seen that Cancer is the sign of instinctual life, and that in Leo the intellect or mind became part of the individual man's equipment. This intellectual awareness is the result of a slow evolution of the instinctual nature which, when it has reached a certain stage of development, came under the direct influence of the Hierarchy of the planet in a new way, and then—under the stimulation of energies from the planet Venus—a fusion took place which resulted in the emergence of individual self-conscious man. Gradually, as the aeons have slipped away, the instinctual nature has receded steadily into the background or below the threshold of consciousness, whilst the intellect has become more and more dominant and an increasingly potent factor. In [Page 180] Scorpio the mind is released into full governing activity. This release takes place in two stages:
Stage 1—Wherein the intellect becomes dominant and powerful and controls eventually the emotional nature.
Stage 2— Wherein the intellect is illumined by the light of the soul.
In dealing with probationary disciples and with ordinary humanity, the servers of humanity would do well to remember these two stages and not confuse them as they attempt to aid those who are in one or other of them. The emphasis is laid upon the struggle of the personality to release itself from the grip of lower desire in the first case, and in the second to release itself from surrounding world glamour which is revealed when soul light is thrown into it, via the reflecting and illumined mind. In stage 1, the power of the trained reasoning and rationalising mind is called into activity by the soul; in the other, the illumination of the soul must pour into the mind and is then reflected, like a searchlight, onto the astral plane.
This takes place upon the Probationary Path and is called the experience of the disciple in the depths or the valleys.
In Sagittarius, the intellect which has been developed, used and finally illumined, becomes sensitive to a still higher type of mental experience and to this we give the name of intuitive perception. There come flashes of light upon problems; a distant yet possible vision of attainment is seen; the man begins to climb out of the depths to which he has descended in Scorpio and sees ahead of him the mountain in Capricorn which he knows he must eventually climb. He walks no longer in the dark, for he sees what he has to do and he therefore makes rapid progress and travels "fast [Page 181] upon the Way." He "flies from point to point, searching for the arrows which he has discharged." He has, figuratively speaking, to dismount constantly from his white horse (the developed and purified personality) and find where the arrows of intuitional aspiration will take him; he travels upon the "wings of the soul" (note the relationship to the winged feet of Mercury, the messenger of the Gods) and becomes, in his own personality, himself the winged God: Mercury, as you know, governs Gemini, the polar opposite of Sagittarius. This he does until he has established a balanced relationship between the personality and the soul and can function as either at any desired moment with equal facility.
This takes place upon the Path of Discipleship and is called the experience of the disciple upon the plains of Earth, for the path between the pairs of opposites runs straight and level, leaving the depths of personality experience and the heights of soul experience (at this point of development) on either side.
In Capricorn, the initiate learns to realise the meaning of the growing light which greets his progress as he climbs upward to the mountain top. The flashes of intuition with which he is becoming familiar change into the blazing and constant light of the soul, irradiating the mind and providing that point of fusion which must ever be the "fusion of the two lights, the greater and the lesser light" to which I referred in A Treatise on White Magic. The light of the personality and the light of the soul blend. Upon this I need not enlarge, as nothing I could say would be more than it now is—the theory of initiation. This takes place upon the Path of Initiation and is called the experience of the mountain top. All are needed—the depths, the plains and the mountain top.”
Esoteric Astrology, 176/9 by Alice Bailey, Lucis Trust