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Astro-Tarot Series

Part 7: Sagittarius and the Conqueror

Elbert Benjamine

One or more thirty-degree section of the orbit of the Sun among the stars bears a close affinity to the influence of each planet. Thus does Jupiter, the planet of religion, have an influence most similar to the Sagittarius sign, which in turn is natural ruler of the ninth house of the chart of birth, where the individual more publicly expresses his views, and airs his philosophy of life. That philosophy, to him, is a most important thing, for it determines what he will do when confronted by various exigencies.

When the ancient masters of wisdom, therefore, wished to explain how the individual could live to his highest — for the longing thus spiritually to live is most strongly associated with Sagittarius — they drew a rather complex design in pictograph. Instead of placing a red man and a white man at the feet of a religious potentate, as they did when explaining the significance of Jupiter, thus pointing to more general moral principles, they presented a conquering hero riding in a square-formed car.

Sagittarius is an executive sign, and the broader principles of spirituality which its ruling planet advocates, in this picture are shown to have been carried out in action; and complete explanation is given in the design as to the methods the conqueror has used in the victory which so plainly he has gained. True to his sign, he has carried into action the precepts he has learned.

The square car, in which he travels, of course, is the physical world over which each person seeks dominion. The sphere sustained by the two outspread wings on the front of the chariot, is the symbol of the flight of his soul through the infinitude of space and time, of which the present moment is but a single cross-section. This war chariot of the physical world wherein he travels is surmounted by a starry canopy sustained by four columns. These columns represent the four quadrants of heaven, and the canopy is so conspicuously marked with stars that it is obvious it is intended to convey the thought that the stellar bodies above are the powerful influences in his life.

Upon his breast are traced a T-square and two trying squares to indicate the aspects which, forming among the orbs above, make their impress upon his behavior, upon his thoughts, and upon the events that are attracted to him. And in front, drawing the chariot of his physical existence, are two sphinxes, one white and the other black. A sphinx, as composed of the four emblems of the zodiacal quadrants — lion, eagle, man, bull — indicates the passage of time. The white sphinx thus signifies fortunate periods, such as tend to be attracted when progressed aspects are favorable; the black one denotes periods of adversity, such as tend to be attracted when the progressed aspects are discordant; yet both of which, according to the picture, have been harnessed by the conqueror, and compelled to do his will.

Because they believed the highest function of religion was to enable the individual to master his destiny, rather than submitting limply to what the stars seemed to foretell, when the sages of old designed the explanation of the function of Sagittarius on Major Arcanum 7, called The Conqueror they sought to give practical information on how the individual could utilize the planetary energies to enable him to live the kind of life he sought to lead, and to attract to himself not those conditions which would cause him to do less for others, but which through being fortunate for him, also could be used to the benefit of all. Unwittingly to attract misfortune is to lose that much of power to benefit the race. It may even cause others terrible suffering. But to be able to rule one's destiny, in spite of the stars, is to gain a power by which the highest ends of religion can be attained.

For man to rule his stars and thus determine his own destiny, which the initiates of old considered to be essential to the highest type of religious life, for only by so doing could he lend most spirituality to his behavior, his intelligence must be directed to solving three different types of problems; therefore, as a five-point star indicates dominion of matter by intellect, they crowned the Conqueror with three such stars. Their proximity to his brain reveals that they relate to thought.

The first of these problems is signified by the square form of the car in which the Conqueror moves; the square is the emblem of the physical, and thus as one great aid to ruling the stars, man can use his intelligence in the proper selection of his environment. That is, he can do this if he is conversant with astrology, as the Conqueror is shown to be; for conspicuous immediately above his head are pictured the stars.

The earth is subject to different weather conditions simultaneously in different regions. As the energy of the thought-cells in a certain compartment of the astral body, and therefore influencing that department of life, is in the nature of an astral condition affecting one region strongly and perhaps another region not at all. That is, either a birth chart aspect between the planets, or an aspect by progression, may affect money, yet have no influence over the health or affections.

Thus may one take heed of storm warnings in a particular department of life to prepare the external conditions so little damage will result, and turn the attention to some other region where the sun is shining. Or to state the astral storm indications in terms of energy and work: the activities of the stellar-cells from the four-dimensional plane can only bring such events into the life as the physical environment makes possible. If the physical environment is so arranged that a certain type of event cannot happen, it will not happen, no matter what the birth chart and progressed aspects are. That is, the thought-cells can only do as much work from the astral plane as they have energy to accomplish. And if the environmental resistance to a particular event is sufficiently high, they do not acquire enough energy, and an event that they otherwise would attract does not happen.

The positions in a birth chart which indicate a predisposition toward a given condition or event are called the Birth chart Constant. Each Birth chart Constant really maps the thought-compounds and their relations in the astral body at birth, which if later given additional thought energy brings the condition or event into the life. That is, a Birth chart Constant is the thought organization of the astral body at birth, which gives the predisposition toward some particular misfortune or toward some particular fortunate event.

The events themselves, as there is ample statistical evidence to prove, to the extent they are noticeably either more fortunate or less fortunate than the normal trend of life, are attracted only at such times as the thought-cells relating to the department of life affected receive new energy. This new energy gives the stellar cells thus involved additional power to work from the four-dimensional plane, to stimulate objective thoughts of a similar nature, and to influence the physical conduct.

The more common sources of such additional energy supplies are mapped by the progressed aspects of the planets. Planetary energy picked up, radio fashion, by the aerial developed across the astral body when a progressed aspect is formed, is made available for the use of the thought-cells and stellar structures at the terminals of the aerial. But the event is not attracted by the new supply of planetary energy thus made available; it is attracted by the thought activities then stimulated. The stellar cells work with such intelligence as they possess, and with the energy supply thus made available, to bring events of a certain nature into the life.

In addition to Birth chart Constants, which reveal the predisposition — due to the thought compounds in the astral body at birth — toward certain conditions, the Progressed Constants for a great number of events have been worked out statistically. These represent the type of thinking which when given additional energy through a specific progressed aspect, brings the event into the life toward which the birth chart shows a predisposition.

Events, apart from the normal trend of life, are attracted only at those times when thoughts of a particular type become unusually active. During the time when an important event is thus attracted through additional thought-cell activity, a close acquaintance usually can notice the change in the individual's habitual attitude. But, because these more than normal thought activities have been worked out in close detail for many varieties of events, it is more convenient to acquire this information from the Progressed Constant in its relation to the birth chart The Brotherhood of Light Astrological Research Department has worked out a great many astrological constants.

The individual, therefore, who is conversant with his own birth chart and progressed aspects, and who is familiar with the Birth chart Constants and Progressed Constants for various conditions and events, is in a position to know just about what will be attracted into his life at any given time if he does nothing special to counteract the planetary influences. And being apprised of about what thus will happen, if he desires to encourage it, and give it emphasis, he can manipulate his environment so that the thought-cells working from the four-dimensional plane will find little resistance to their endeavors. But if the event is such as he deems to be detrimental, he can select such an environment that it will offer so much resistance to the operation of the thought-cells from the four-dimensional plane that it is impossible for them to bring the event to pass.

The events which come into the life are attracted through the four-dimensional activities of the thought-cells within the unconscious mind. These thought-cells, or stellar-cells, as they also are called, can move the physical environment either in the direction of fortune or misfortune only to the extent they possess or acquire energy. And with the same amount of energy at their command the degrees in which they can move the physical environment depends upon the weakness of its resistance. The environment may be such that no amount of energy the thought-cells can muster can overcome its resistance and bring into the life some particular event. And it is such an environment that the individual should select when his progressed aspects threaten an event which would mean misfortune.

On the other hand, the environment may be such that almost no effort must be spent by the thought-cells from the four-dimensional plane to bring the event to pass. What happens on the physical plane is never dependent upon the four-dimensional energies alone, nor upon the physical environment alone; but upon the resistance or its lack, of three-dimensional factors to four-dimensional energies. Therefore, when the progressed aspects indicate the approach of some special fortunate event, the individual should select his environment so that the thought-cells will have a minimum of work to do to bring it to pass, and will encounter conditions that will assist them to bring it in more abundant measure than they otherwise could.

It should not be lost to sight, however, that what takes place in an individual's life is due to the action of his character upon environment. The second five-point star in the Conqueror's crown, instead of designating the use of intelligence to select an environment suitable to the ends sought, indicates that the most effective of all ways to rule the stars and handle destiny is to make intelligent changes in the character itself.

The lines through the astral body, such as the birth chart and progressed aspects map, are not due to planetary positions, but are due to associations between different groups of thought organizations within the astral body. Such associations are not merely energy relations between groups, but these energy relations have caused the mental elements at each terminal to enter into a type of compound characteristic of the association. The aspect thus points infallibly to the type of compound in the stellar cells, unless something special since birth has been done to change it.

As the line across the astral body mapped by an aspect is not due to planetary positions but to the thought-cell composition and the thought- cell organization, if the thought-cell composition of the stellar cells is changed, and a different organization effected, the line across the astral body which is the outgrowth of the original compounds and relationships also will be changed. Through rearranging the thought-elements a compound such as is mapped by a square aspect between planets, can thus be transformed into a luck compound, such as is mapped by a trine aspect between planets.

The sword presents the appearance of two lines crossed, and therefore, like the cross, has been used extensively as a symbol of change and of union, except that it has a more aggressive and militant significance in the changes thus signified than does the cross. And thus in the Arcanum picturing Sagittarius, the Conqueror holds aloft in his positive right hand the weapon of change. To change the composition of the thought-cells within the unconscious mind, so that whatever energy they receive through progressed aspects, they will nevertheless work from the four-dimensional plane in a more harmonious manner, is the positive method of mastering destiny as taught by ancient initiates.

Whether the compound within the unconscious mind is mapped by a square or by a trine, the same thought-elements are present in each in about the same proportion. But they have been conditioned at the time of the formation of the obstacle (square) compound so that they have arranged themselves in a manner to express a type of desire which works energetically to attract obstacles into the life. Yet when they are reconditioned, as indicated by the Conqueror's lifted sword, through giving the thought-cells at either terminal of the aerial harmonious associations of greater volume and intensity of energy than was given to them discordantly in their building, the thought-elements become rearranged in the thought-cells, and the old line across the astral body is dissolved. In its stead there is gradually built as an outgrowth of the new compound, another line, not mapped in the birth chart, but which acts quite as effectively in its capacity as an aerial to pick up planetary energy as the old one did.

This new, deliberately built, stellar aerial picks up the energies broadcast from the same two planets that the old one did. But it picks them up only in harmonious vibratory rates, such as when delivered to the thought-cells at the terminals intensifies their desires to work from their four-dimensional plane to attract fortunate events into the life. That is, it gives them the additional energy they need, and in the harmony they require, to enable them to perform on the astral plane work of the character they represent which is beneficial to the individual.

In spite of the kind of energy reaching them through progressed aspects, as the nature of the work done from the four-dimensional plane by the thought-cells and thought organizations within the astral body is determined chiefly by the thought compounds of which the thought-cells are formed, changing these compounds gives them a different type of activity. When the attempt is made chiefly thus to rearrange the thought- elements already present within these compounds, the process is called Conversion.

Yet there is another type of change which also is designated by the Conqueror's uplifted and curved sword. For even as when certain chemical elements are added to a chemical compound already formed, they unite harmoniously and readily with one or more of the elements present, converting what was before a dangerous compound into one highly beneficial; so there are mental elements, called Mental Antidotes, that when added to a compound containing another specific mental element, unite with it and quickly change the compound into one harmless or even beneficial. The thought-cells then act differently when they receive energy either from the aerial mapped by a birth chart aspect, or from a temporary aerial mapped by a progressed aspect, because they have changed their substance into a very different psychoplasmic compound.

The third star above the Conqueror's brow relates to the use of intelligence, not in changing the thought compounds within the astral body which react to the energy received by them, but, as signified by the peculiar scepter which he holds up among the stars, to tuning in on the type of energy which will give the thought-cells those activities which will attract more fortunate events.

The nervous system of man, through the electric currents flowing over it, is tuned by his thoughts to pick up, radio fashion, the type of planetary program corresponding in harmony or discord and in type to these thoughts. That is, the individual can tune himself and feel rather intensely in a certain way, and the etheric currents flowing over his nerves then pick up energy of this quality radiated from one or more of the planets.

Such electric currents also serve as conductors carrying the astral energy thus received to all the stellar aerials of the astral body. So long as a particular state of feeling is maintained, the chief astral energy received by the stellar cells at the terminals of all the aerials is of this particular planetary type, and of this harmony or discord.

Thus can be controlled, to the extent the individual can direct his feelings, the type of planetary energy, and the harmony or discord of that energy, which is transmitted to the stellar cells in his astral body. As it is easier thus to keep the consciousness tuned to some aerial already present in the astral body, mapped either in the birth chart, or by progression, than merely to develop and hold a certain feeling, birth chart aspects and progressed aspects, as indicated by the circle, trine and square of the scepter held among the stars by the Conqueror, may be used to indicate the Rallying Forces, as they are called, which are easiest of cultivation.

As inharmonious birth chart and progressed aspects also map aerials that may tune the consciousness in on discordant Rallying Forces, these indicate clearly what feelings should be avoided to prevent discordant energy being delivered to the thought-cells.

A certain feeling developed and maintained tunes the person in so completely on a specific wavelength and program, that other wavelengths and programs are not strong enough to make their influence felt at the receiving sets. This does not to any extent change the composition, and therefore the basic desires of the thought-cells, but it does temporarily cause them to feel either better or worse than usual, and gives them energy with which to do more than the usual amount of work.

Furthermore, not only our human associates by their thoughts, but all objects and conditions of our environment, are radiating astral vibrations which are similar to those that reach us from the planets. Such astral vibrations not those of thought and not those from the planets are called Character Vibrations. And any such invisible energy reaching the astral body of the individual stimulates into additional activity the thought-cells of the astral body having the same vibratory tone. Names, numbers, tones, colors, types of environment, etc., radiate definite vibratory rates and thus influence those with whom closely associated. They may, therefore, as well as Rallying Forces, be selected for the specific effect they will have in furnishing a definite kind of energy to the thought-cells.

According to the Sagittarius Arcanum of the tarot, man has three broad avenues through which to rule his stars: As indicated by the square shaped car, he can manipulate his physical environment; as indicated by the uplifted sword, he can change the basic desires of thought-cells which constitute his character, and thus planetary energy reaching them will cause their activity from the four-dimensional plane to be of the kind he selects; and he can determine the kind of planetary or other invisible energy which is permitted to reach the thought-cells which constitute his character, and thus influence them to work to attract such events as he desires into his life.

(This concludes part 8 of 23)

To purchase The Sacred Tarot by C. C. Zain (student format, hardbound)

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