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Serial Lesson 81
From Course VII, Spiritual Astrology, Chapter 11
Original Copyright 1935, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light
Subheadings: AND JACOB Stole From Esau News From the Summerland The Dolphin Makes a Rescue When Venus Met Typhon
Illustrations: Capricorn - I USE Capricorn/Capricorn: Cygnus - Organization Capricorn/Taurus: Delphinus - Martyrdom Capricorn/Virgo: Pisces Australis - Idealism
News from the Summerland
AND JACOB Stole from Esau
The solstices are those points in the zodiacal circle where, for a short time, the Sun stands, or stops moving in declination, and soon turns back to move by declination in the opposite direction. That is, on June 22 the Sun has reached its highest northern declination and the days consequently are longest, and on December 22 the Sun has reached its lowest declination and the days are shortest.
These days are much more easily ascertained than are the equinoxes, where the days and nights are equal; for on the longest day of the year the shadow cast by a stake at noon is shortest, while on the shortest day of the year the shadow cast by a stake at noon is longest.
The difference in the angles cast by the shadow on the longest day and by the shadow cast on the shortest day is, of course, the angular distance the Sun moves from its farthest south declination to its farthest north declination; and this divided by two gives the inclination of the ecliptic, or Sun’s path, to the equator. By such shadows recorded at noon on the longest day and shortest day of the year the Chinese, in 1100 BC, ascertained the inclination of the equator to the ecliptic.
Slightly more than two hundred years before the Christian era, Eratosthenes, who had been brought from Upper Egypt to act as custodian of the Alexandrian Library, recorded similar measurements from the top of the library building at Alexandria. There he found the angle of the shadow at the summer solstice to be 7 degrees, 12 minutes. Six months later, at the winter solstice, the shadow showed an angle of 54 degrees, 54 minutes, 39 seconds. The difference, 47 degrees, 42 minutes, 39 seconds divided by two, gave the inclination of the ecliptic to the equator as 23 degrees, 51 minutes.
Then to the distance, 7 degrees, 12 minutes, that the Sun was south of Alexandria at the summer solstice, he added the distance thus found that the Sun was north of the equator at the solstice—23 degrees, 51 minutes, and some seconds which gave him the latitude of Alexandria as 31 degrees and a little more than 3 minutes. Present-day, refined instruments give it as 31 degrees, 12 minutes, which is a difference of less than 12 miles from that obtained by Eratosthenes through the use of shadows.
It was because the day of the solstice could so easily be ascertained merely by watching the shadow of a stake, that the Aztecs, and those who possessed the same calendar system, began their year, not at the equinox, but at the winter solstice. The winter solstice, rather than the solstice of summer, was chosen because it was then that the days commenced to lengthen, the Sun having reached its lowest station, and a new period of increasing light was born.
Capricorn, which the Sun enters at the winter solstice, is an earthy sign; and as the Sun is then lowest in declination, this position often is referred to symbolically as a tomb or cave. Thus it is that Mithra, the Persian god of light, is held to have been born in a cave; and Jesus remained three days in the tomb before the stone was rolled away and he emerged. Pawnbrokers, who follow the footsteps of Jacob in taking advantage of the weaknesses and misfortunes of others, also display the three golden suns as the emblem of their trade; pledges being entombed until redeemed.
When the Sun has remained three days at its lowest declination, it then starts climbing, and continues to climb during the next six months until it reaches the pinnacle. This persistent tendency to climb, the ambition to mount higher and higher, is one of the chief characteristics of people born while the Sun is in Capricorn, from December 22 to January 20; therefore, the ancients who traced the starry figures in the firmament, to portray this attribute of both Sun and people born in the sign, employed the picture of a Goat, an animal which customarily moves to the mountain tops.
In addition to vaunting ambition, however, the natives of Capricorn also possess a flair for diplomacy. They are able to employ whatever is at hand to the best advantage, which gives to the sign its Key phrase, I Use. And they are equally at home, and can adapt themselves to, any environment. Therefore, the ancient constellation represents not a common Goat, such as travels merely on the land; but one with the tail of a fish, which enables it, when occasion requires, also to live in the water.
The Greeks called the constellation Pan. And the legend is that one day Pan, with some other deities, was feasting near the bank of the Nile, when suddenly the dreadful giant Typhon came upon them. In order to escape they all were compelled to assume a different shape. In this camouflage Pan took the lead, Capricorn like, and plunged into the river, the part of his body under water becoming the tail of a fish and that part remaining in the air retaining the form of the Goat.
Typhon is the Egyptian conception of Saturn, the planet governing Capricorn. It is the planet of fear; and the fright which Pan experienced upon the appearance of Typhon, that is, the fright of Capricorn at Saturn, has been associated with a name which perpetuates the legend of the obsessing terror of those who fled a danger which was largely imaginary, on the bank of the Nile; for from this occurrence is derived the word Panic.
Astrologers hold that the best quality of Capricorn is Diplomacy, such as symbolized by the half fish half goat; but when this ability is abused it becomes the worst quality of the sign, which is Deceitfulness. This use of false pretense to aid the ambition to climb to wealth and power is set forth quite clearly in Genesis 27.
Already had Jacob taken advantage of his brother’s necessity to deprive him of his birthright; for in this story he represents the Capricorn influence and Esau represents the Sagittarius type: "And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger."
When the Sun is at the winter solstice the days of increasing darkness are thus separated from the days of increasing light, and Sagittarius is older than Capricorn in the sense that the Sun passes through it first; yet in worldly matters Capricorn is more shrewd and thus gains the advantage. Furthermore, "Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field," a typical outdoor Sagittarian; while, "Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents," with the Capricorn flair for trading and the desire to advance himself among people.
Isaac, the father of both young men, loved the generous spirit of his elder son, Esau, and when he was about to die called him: "And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: Now, therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out into the field, and take me some venison."
But word came to Jacob, the Capricorn brother, that his father was about to bestow his blessings upon Esau; and advised by his mother, he sought by some cunning means to gain the blessings that rightfully belonged to Esau, as he by other artifice had acquired his brother’s birthright. Instead of using venison, such as the Huntsman had gone to secure, he brought to his mother two good kids of Goats, ruled by Capricorn, from which to make the savory meat to please his father.
To still further deceive his parent, who was blind, when he brought the savory meat to him: "Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her youngest son: And she put skins of kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck.
"And he came unto his father, and said, My father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me. And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him."
When, therefore, Esau returned with the venison which he had been sent to get, his father was compelled to say: "Thy brother came with subtlety, and hath taken away thy blessing."
The sign of selfish Saturn is divided from the sign of benevolent Jupiter only by a thin line called the solstitial colure. The one sign relates to business and the acquisition of worldly goods and honor, the other to religion and the spread of useful information. We meet both types of people every day; the Esaus who are more than willing to work hard merely to please, who joy in the happiness of others; and the Jacobs, sly, cunning, scheming, caring nothing for the pleasure or welfare of others, but only by fair means or foul to gain an advantage and to further selfish ambition.
Such injustice will prevail so long as it is permitted. Therefore it is the task of those who have the interests of humanity at heart to devise means by which these selfish interests which grind down the poor and prey upon the helpless shall be prevented from their depredations. With such a significance the story ends with a prophecy concerning Esau: "And it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break the yoke from off thy neck."
Only at its worst does Capricorn relate to deceit. On its better side it relates to beneficial use. The text therefore, is: Every Environment Offers Opportunities for Spiritual Advancement, and He who Makes Good Use of His Present Circumstances for Spiritual Ends Will Attract New Opportunities.
News From the Summerland
If Jesus was born at Christmas, as popular tradition holds, the Sun in His birth chart was in the first decanate of Capricorn, pictured by the migrating Swan. It had then just passed the colure where the days are shortest, and having had the three days at its lowest declination, had started back north again, bringing, as does the Swan, the promise of a new cycle of light and warmth.
At the opposite end of the colure is the point where the Sun six months previously had entered the watery sign Cancer, turning back from its northward journey as it entered the water. This going down, or decrease of declination, into the water at the summer solstice is typical of the ministration of John the Baptist. According to Luke 1, John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus, and therefore must have been born in the Cancer sign.
Furthermore, from the birth sign Cancer on the length of daylight decreases, while from the birth sign Capricorn, where Jesus was born, the length of daylight increases; a condition recognized and made use of by John in the symbolism of his prophecy as recorded in John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease."
As the Nazarene brought the glad tidings, "Peace on earth, good will to men," so the graceful Swan is first of the migratory birds to return in spring, when its appearance indicates, to those who know the way of nature, that ere long the tender shoots of grass will thrust through the soil, that verdant leaves will adorn the trees, and scarcity which marked the winter cold will give place to a more abundant season.
Swans are reared from downy youngsters in the icy regions of the north. But grown to adult size, at the approach of winter they take their departure from that region which so well, with its bleak hardness and cruel perils, symbolizes the environment which we call the earth.
Like some friends we have known, loved ones who already have passed, they leave the scenes of their early hardships, and wing their way to sunnier skies. As the stone was rolled away from the sepulchre, or lowest point of the Sun’s descent, giving the promise of a future life, so also at their appointed time, do the Swans again return. Snow white in purity, the most graceful of all that fly, with wide expanse of wing, nothing so readily suggests angels. Message bearers, coming from a brighter realm than this, bringing news of loved ones, and telling something of the surroundings there, where we too will live before many cycles of the Sun.
After all, in basic essentials, the conditions of the after life, which are promised by Cygnus, the flying Swan, are similar to those of this. There we shall live and work and love, not just as we do here, but with added abilities and with vastly greater facilities of expression. To the properties of existence with which we have become familiar, there is added another dimension. And this immensely increases the range of movement, thought and feeling. Everything is speeded up, given an intensity not known on earth, and instead of the slow process of physical adjustment, by which things here are brought to pass, in that realm the dynamic force is thought.
To build anything on the physical plane we require the application of energy to slowly moving physical substance. It takes considerable time, usually, to collect the various materials and properly to assemble them in the desired form. But, due to the peculiarities of a four-dimensional plane, the substance of the astral world can instantly be molded into any desired shape through the application of the energy of thought. A house thus built on the astral plane through visualizing and imparting thought energy to it, is there quite as solid, perhaps more durable, and as useful for a home or office, as a similar building of concrete or brick on the three-dimensional plane.
The immediate responsiveness of the environment to the power of thought is probably the most striking feature of life in the realm where the soul finds itself immediately after it passes through the tomb.
By this same process can be built a private heaven or hell. Not that the wicked person can get away from the thought cells which he has built into himself, and which attract him to an environment corresponding to their nature. But if certain images are so energetically impressed on the individual in his life that they dominate his consciousness, these images will surround him after death until he awakens to a realization of their true nature and origin.
The reports of those who have been in the after life only a short time are seldom very enlightening. One must live on the physical plane many years to know much about it. Even in the course of a lifetime the ordinary individual is acquainted intimately with only a small section of the globe, with only a little scientific knowledge, and with only a few of the happenings here. And while on the astral plane the reports of the astral senses may be consulted, which have a wide range, yet the regions of that four-dimensional world are so immense and varied that any comprehensive, even though general, knowledge of them can be gained only at the expense of considerable time and energy.
Yet those who have been on the inner plane for many years, who are investigative by temperament, and who apply themselves diligently to obtaining precise information about conditions as they there exist, do occasionally, like the migrating swans, come back as messengers to enlighten us.
Their reports, and the investigations of those still attached to the flesh who have journeyed to that realm, advise us that money is of no value there. Neither is false pretense nor sham. Everyone is known and esteemed for his real character and abilities, not for their semblance. And the only currency of any value there is that of service to the common good. Those who by their efforts contribute to the welfare of others, by that token possess a wealth reserve which they can draw upon. This they display in their characters, and perceiving which, others are pleased to render them willing assistance.
Having pointed out the two conditions that seem most strange from an earthly standpoint—that thought does things directly, rather than merely acting as a guiding force, as here; and that money has no value—it should, perhaps, be indicated in what way the after life is most strikingly like the one with which we are most familiar.
On the earth plane action is always in the direction of the strongest desire. That is, what we do is determined by those desires which are stronger than the combined influence of other desires which tend to prevent it, or tend to move us in other directions. Furthermore, even while on earth, the thought cells of the astral body which have been built by experiences and thoughts, attract to us environmental conditions and events which have a corresponding nature and corresponding harmony or discord.
It is this power of desire, and the influence of the thought composition of the body, which seems to be the most striking similarity between life on earth and life in the four-dimensional world. In that world, of course, all action being speeded up, the result of desire is more quickly apparent.
On the physical, one desires strongly to go some place, and after considerable time spent with some physical form of transportation—walking or riding—one arrives at the designated spot. But on the astral one desires strongly to be in the place and one is instantly there, provided its vibratory rate is not without the range of that which one is able to develop within himself. That is, one can thus immediately move to any location or environment on the plane where he is able to function.
In the after life when an individual’s desires are too low to find expression on the plane or level where commonly he functions, if they are maintained, the individual drops to a lower world where such thoughts can find expression. If they are vicious and evil enough, he may find himself in the so-called astral hells. But if they are higher than the plane on which normally he functions, if they are maintained, they ultimately will raise him to a higher world, a heaven, as it were, where their full expression is possible.
Whether from the standpoint of the physical world, or from that of the afterlife worlds, the most important things of life are man’s thoughts, desires and ambitions; for here and hereafter they are the factors determining his destiny.
To many people the after life seems a vague and nebulous region. Not because it really is so; for it is more vivid and intense and real than earthly existence; but because that which we personally have had little contact with tends to seem less concrete than those things with which we are familiar.
Had you endeavored to describe to the people of 100 years ago the world as it appears today you would have been met both by incredulity and by a total inability to comprehend what you were talking about. Moving and talking pictures would have seemed as amazing to them as the thought-created environment of the astral world seems to those who have had no experience with it. Automobile and airplane travel would have startled them as greatly as the across the planes travel of those in the four-dimensional realm. The radio and television would have seemed as improbable as the thought-transference method which is common to the astral plane.
Far places and unusual conditions, even those of Mongolia or the South Sea Islands, always seem hazy and unreal to those who have never visited them. So also, to most, does the scenery of the astral region seem bizarre and unbelievable. Yet it is not a weird region. It is a place where, with certain marked improvements, life is lived very much as it is lived on earth.
The Swans, returning from the south, like messengers bringing information from this after life, do not fly in loose flocks, but in well defined V-formation. The Keyword for the decanate represented by the Swan, where the Sun may be found from December 22 to January 1, therefore, is Organization. And the text is: Under Certain Conditions the Stone is Rolled From the Entrance to the Tomb and Man Consciously Exchanges Ideas with Those Who Have Entered the Chamber of Death.
The Dolphin Makes a Rescue
Not only does Saturn, the planet of Capricorn, rule the grave, but it is when the Sun is in this earthy sign of Capricorn that it reaches its lowest point in the annual cycle, representative of the tomb. All three decanates, therefore, quite consistently, give some teaching in reference to the condition encountered after the stone has been rolled from the entrance of the tomb at the winter solstice, and the soul has left its tenement of clay and passed to more congenial realms. While, therefore, the constellation picturing the middle decanate of the sign, where the Sun may be found each year from January 1 to January 10, represents a Dolphin, it is not surprising that in various lands it is also known as a coffin. Among nations familiar with the Bible it is more commonly referred to as Job’s Coffin.
The Dolphin, which is the picture of the constellation in the sky, is always represented as a beneficent sea dweller which performs good deeds and rescues from death those who are persecuted, especially those who are martyrs to some just cause. It is due to these legends and to the observation that those born when the Sun is in this decanate often take up some worthy cause and work ardently for it in spite of its unpopularity, that the Keyword of the constellation is Martyrdom.
There are three Greek legends which give the outstanding teachings which the Dolphin was placed in the sky to reveal. One relates to the administration of strict justice in the after life; one pertains to the reunion of loved ones in that realm; and the other to the importance of harmonious thoughts as a means of attracting those who on the other side of life will assist the one who has passed from earth life to make a quick and satisfactory adjustment to the new conditions.
It is related that the famous poet Hesiod was slain and his assassins, in order to escape retribution, threw the body into the sea. They supposed this would be the end of the matter; but the Dolphins, who are the friends of poets and all who are benefactors to the human race, recovered the body and brought it to the shore, where it was found by Hesiod’s friends. These then gathered together, and using the poet’s own dogs trailed the murderers until they were captured; then threw them into the sea so that they should receive as punishment exactly the same kind of death they had caused the famous poet.
It is not always possible, in the after life, to make complete restitution to the person who has been wronged. But before much advancement can be made in that realm, injuries to others must be paid for, if not directly to them, at least by rendering some commensurate service to society. Unless we are willing to pay for our transgressions, their persistence as factors in our finer bodies weights us down, Saturn like, so that we drop to lower vibratory spheres. As progress consists in moving to higher levels, and such movement is accomplished through refinement, these self-centered, destructive, and therefore downward pulling vibrations must be sublimated into those which are constructive and uplifting.
Repentance, like most other activities, can be approached from either a negative or a positive direction. All make mistakes, all take actions which later they regret. Under these conditions the negative approach is to feel sad and despondent, to dwell on the effect of the mistake and to feel miserable because it was made. Yet this sackcloth and ashes method of repentance is disastrous to the individual, and because it unfits him for constructive work in the universal scheme, still further injures society. The discords he thus cultivates attract to him misfortunes, and these hamper him and make him less effective in that which he should do.
The true way of repentance, either here or hereafter, is the positive approach in which the error is acknowledged, but is not dwelt upon in thought, nor permitted to cause mental anguish. Instead, the individual recognizes he has injured someone, or retarded the progress of society. He therefore focuses his attention, desires and efforts on paying this debt to society through doing something for the individual injured, or at least for society, which will be of as much benefit as he has caused harm.
Another Greek legend narrates that Neptune was very much in love with the goddess Amphitrite and greatly desired to marry her. This goddess, however, had taken a vow of perpetual celibacy, and consequently refused his proposal. Neptune, after pursuing his courtship in vain, finally called to him the Dolphin and told him his difficulties. Acting as a mediator, the Dolphin succeeded in persuading the goddess to marry the Sea god, and as a reward was placed in the sky as one of the constellations.
Neptune in astrology is the octave expression of Venus, the planet of love. The love he rules is not the ordinary Venus type, but an expression which is devoid of the physical element; an ideal love which, rather than express in physical marriage turns to celibacy. Yet when those who thus love are able to sublimate their affections, so that they express as a complete circuit of energy which flows between the two, blending completely their thoughts and feelings, as pictured by the ribbon binding the two fish which Neptune rules, they are more truly married, in the inner sense, than those who enter merely physical matrimony.
Life in its various expressions tends to move from lower levels of expression to higher levels of expression. This is not merely true of the aims of action and the acquisition of ideas, but is equally true in emotional expression.
According to the findings of psychology the normal love life passes through well defined evolutionary stages, moving from an expression which is suited to the infant’s capacity, to such heights and complexity as the individual is capable. These successive levels are now so well recognized that they each have been given definite names by which they commonly are recognized in psychological literature.
The infant’s affectional interest, quite naturally, centers about himself. This level of the emotional life is called the Narcissus stage. As the infant develops there is a transference of his love from himself to a parent. This level is called the Oedipus stage. The third level is when the growing child transfers his affections from members of the family circle to some person of the same sex outside the family. This stage usually just precedes the change at the end of adolescence. The fourth transference, which normally occurs as the youth approaches maturity, is toward some member of the opposite sex. This stage is the level of marriage. The fifth transfer should not be from husband or wife, but merely a widening of the affectional interests to include the children, which normally are now a part of the family.
Neptune, however, when its influence is powerful in the birth chart, is never content with this fifth level, or state of affectional expression. Up to this point Venus has dominated the love life; but it is here, if progress is to continue, that Neptune exerts his power.
The children grow up, marry, and have homes of their own. Thus the sixth level of expression of the love life expands the affectional interest to embrace humanity at large, and causes the individual to work as if he were responsible for its welfare. And if the proper transference is made, husband and wife are not less in love, but more so. Yet the physical aspect of union has been left behind, and instead, an inner exchange of energies takes place. This is the regenerate union, which is excluded by physical union.
Therefore, when the Dolphin persuades the goddess who has taken a vow of perpetual celibacy to unite with Neptune, it is indicated that after man has passed through the tomb he can rejoin his mate; but that, unless he remains in the lower spheres of the astral world, his affectional expression will not be similar to physical marriage, but will be that complete blending of finer forces which is even more satisfying, and which when accomplished on earth is termed regenerate marriage.
It seems, according to still another Greek story, that Arion, the famous lyric poet and musician, who was a native of the island of Lesbos, went to Italy with Periander, tyrant of Corinth. There he attained both high honor and great riches through following his profession.
After making such a success, it was quite natural that he should desire to return to his old home for a visit, and he embarked on a ship to make the journey. The sailors on the ship, learning of his wealth, determined to murder him and get possession of it. But just before they put him to death they granted him a last request; that he might play on his lute. The music attracted a number of Dolphins, and as soon as he was sure these were present, Arion jumped from the vessel into the sea, and one of the Dolphins immediately took him upon its back and carried him safely to land.
Paralleling this, there are those of the invisible world who, if we will but tune our thoughts to them, will be ready to help us make the adjustment to the after death life. Those who die in terror, those who with no preparation meet sudden death, and those who are unduly attached to physical things, often are difficult to help for some time after their passing.
Commonly the individual after leaving the physical body falls asleep. This may be a long sleep, as in the case of an earth-bound soul, or it may be but a moment’s lapse of consciousness. But during it the individual moves in his astral form to the level and place where his new birth takes place. This is not the environment where later he will find himself, but a transitional region. It is here he awakens into a knowledge that he has entered a new life.
His home on the inner plane is the type of environment which he has built for himself by his thoughts and desires while on earth. It may be a place of great beauty and harmony. On the other hand, if his thoughts have been filthy, so will his astral home reflect filth. If he has been cold and heartless, squalor will mark his afterlife home, until he gets a more expansive attitude.
The text associated with Delphinus therefore is: Man, by His Thoughts, His Emotions, and His Actions on Earth, Builds for Himself a Home in a Higher Realm where He Will Dwell After Passing From the Physical Plane.
When Venus Met Typhon
In ancient Sumeria the plots of land on which produce was raised were laid out, much after the manner of farming land today, in rectangles. The corners of these areas, to provide means of identifying ownership, were marked with boundary stones. These boundary stones, among other things, commonly bore an astrological symbol.
Thus it was, following the still more ancient custom of regarding that which is on earth as a replica of that which is in the sky, that they also sought to plot the heavens in a somewhat similar manner. While recognizing its spherical shape, they established corners, each corner marked by a first magnitude star, so that it was laid out as a great rectangle. The spring corner of the sky was marked by Aldebaren, the summer corner by Regulus, the fall corner by Antares, and the winter corner by Fomalhaut, a lonesome star rising far to the southeast, to be seen only close to the southern horizon. These four markers were later known as the four Royal Stars.
Fomalhaut marks the head of the Fish, Pisces Australis, which is pictured drinking, and swimming in, the water which flows down from the urn of Aquarius. Aquarius is the Man of the sky. Not only does he pour down an influence upon the earth, which is eagerly absorbed by Pisces Australis, but with one hand he measures the place and power of the heavenly bodies. That is, he represents not only the intelligence of those who have passed beyond the tomb, but also the energies of the signs and planets which descend from above to influence the life and destiny of man on earth.
The joining of the sign of the one who Knows, Aquarius, to the stream of planetary energy pouring down upon man, indicates not only that, like the Fish, man on earth is subject to this invisible flood, but that he should use his intelligence to take advantage of it. How this may be done is set forth in the universal symbolism of the Greek legend of Typhon and Venus.
Typhon is the Egyptian portrayal of Saturn, the planet of selfishness which rules Capricorn, one decanate of which is pictured by the Southern Fish. Venus is the planet of love, the influence of which is the natural antidote for the influence of Saturn. According to the legend, Typhon made horrible advances to the beautiful goddess of love, and to escape him she transformed herself into a Fish which now may be seen in the southern autumn skies.
A fish lives in the water, symbol of the emotions, and love must have an emotional environment to thrive. There is but one manner in which we can escape the Typhon of selfishness, and that is through love. Whenever and wherever there is absence of love of someone other than the Self, to that extent does love of Self take charge, with all its terrible implications. If, therefore, we are to escape Selfishness it is imperative that we acquire love of others, such as is symbolized by the Fish immersed in the humanitarian stream.
Yet there is a still more technical significance to this transformation which took place when Saturn and Venus met. Thought trends and planetary vibrations both utilize astral vibrations, and are quite similar in their power to affect the finer body of man. That is, certain groups of thought-cells are given additional energy, and therefore can perform additional work, whether the energy supplied them comes from the planetary vibrations of Saturn or the thought-vibrations of Saturn quality. The same thing is true of the influence of all the other nine planets.
Astrologers find, therefore, that the most effective manner of counteracting the undesirable influence of any planet is to cultivate a type of thinking which forms a natural antidote to it, that is, the vibrations of which either cancel out the influence of the planet, or combine harmoniously with it to form beneficial thought-cells which attract favorable events instead of the misfortunes which would have been attracted if the planetary influence had gone unnoticed.
To be more specific, the ancient initiates, as well as modern astrologers of the more enlightened class, looked upon planetary influences not as indicating inevitable events in the life of the individual, but as astral weather conditions which if not recognized tended to cause the individual to be attracted to the indicated event. If the invisible environment, such as the Southern Fish is seen to be swimming in, was harmonious, a knowledge of the direction of its flow would enable the individual to move with the fortunate tide and attain a success that otherwise would be impossible. But if the stream were adverse, if it represented a period of stormy astral weather, proper preparation usually would enable the individual to pass through the period uninjured.
There were three methods advocated by which planetary energies could thus be brought under control. These embraced the use of Rallying Forces, the employment of Conversion, and the application of Mental Antidotes. It is this latter method, which has the widest range of application, and can be used by the untrained individual as well as by those of special skill, which is indicated in the story of Venus and Typhon.
When there is an adverse influence from the planet Saturn, the best thing that the individual can do to counteract it is to cultivate a line of thinking and activity which is ruled by Venus. The thought energies having the Venus vibratory rate are of such a nature that when they unite with the Saturn vibrations they tend to produce a compound within the thought-cells of the astral body which has no inimical influence. Furthermore, the Saturn thought-element and the Venus thought-element quite readily enter into a very beneficial mental compound if they are thought about in association in a pleasant manner.
Venus and Saturn are only one pair of Mental Antidotes; for each planet is naturally related to some other planet in such a way that the vibrations of the two, or the thoughts which they rule, tend to unite in a harmonious compound very readily. Neptune, the octave of Venus, is also a mental antidote of Saturn. That is, not only does harmonious thinking of the Venus or Neptune type overcome the inimical influence of Saturn; but when the planetary influences of Venus or Neptune are discordant, this discord, and the misfortune otherwise attracted, can most readily be counteracted through cultivating harmonious Saturn thinking.
In the same manner thoughts of the Mars type most readily enter into harmonious compounds with those of the Moon or Pluto type. The Jupiter discords may most readily be annulled by cultivating thinking of the Mercury or Uranus type. This signifies also that when the Moon is afflicted the best type of thinking is that of a harmonious but aggressive nature; and that when Mercury is afflicted the best antidote is to cultivate the hail-fellow-well-met attitude, and the benevolence of Jupiter.
There is also a Bible story which revolves around the Southern Fish. It relates that Peter at one time was hard pressed for money with which to pay taxes. Relying upon the higher powers, he cast a hook into the water and drew forth a Fish which held a piece of money in its mouth, of sufficient value to meet the urgent need.
Those who take up some worthy work, especially if it be of a type which is encouraged by the better individuals of the inner plane, always find that they are under a somewhat similar protective influence. This does not mean that they will always escape danger, for the conditions may be such at times that those on the inner plane cannot make their influence properly felt. This is not due to lack of desire on their part; but to the mental attitude of the one they wish to help, or to environmental conditions, which shut them off from him. It is then as if the Southern Fish were to desert the stream in which he normally lives, and for the time being is stranded.
Almost, or quite, every person who has become devoted to carrying out some noble work on the physical plane which has the support of invisible brethren, can relate experiences in which, when a crisis arose, he has been helped in a manner no less startling than was Peter when he so badly needed money. And it is significant that, as related in Matthew 17:27, the coin was not for the purchase of food, but for a purpose which comes under the same astrological rulership as friends on the inner plane; for both the dead and taxes are ruled by the eighth house of a birth chart.
Yet even when the conditions for exchanging ideas with such friends on the inner plane are perfect, the amount of information that can thus be acquired by one on earth is dependent upon his mental capacity. Should an equation in differential calculus, for instance, be given to an individual not well versed in mathematics, it would be so meaningless to him that he probably would pay no attention to it. To bring things from the unconscious, which is necessary in such communication, there must be a bond of association between them and things already known and in the objective consciousness.
Those on the inner plane who have advanced in character and in wisdom band together in societies and groups, formulate better methods of living and higher standards of conduct, and make the endeavor to project these ideals to people yet on earth. The ideals of earth are thus received by those who are advanced enough here to receive them, from minds on the inner planes. For this reason, and because those born from January 10 to January 20, while the Sun is in the third decanate of Capricorn, are particularly receptive to such exalted ideas, the Keyword of the Pisces Australis section of the zodiac is Idealism.
While such ideals, and valuable information, may be broadcast from the inner planes to all the earth for anyone who is receptive to pick them up; usually some one individual on the earth becomes the one through whom they are given to the world. This individual, through his basic character vibrations and intellectual interests, has an affinity for the ideals and knowledge given. His subsequent thinking about them and teaching them, keep him in the stream of vibratory influence flowing from those on higher levels, much as the Southern Fish lives in and absorbs the stream from the Aquarian urn. Thus the text becomes: From the Inner Planes it is Possible for Man to Attract Any Information Whatsoever He is Capable of Utilizing.