Symbols

The symbols of the planets are given on page 24, and it will be noticed that they consist of a circle, a half circle and a cross variously grouped. The circle is the symbol of the spirit, the half-circle is the emblem of the soul, and the cross represents matter. Thus the elements of the human constitution, spirit, soul and body are enfolded in the component parts of the planetary symbols to show to the Mystic their mission with respect to humanity. These elementary parts are variously grouped to indicate the nature of the planet for which they stand, and its office in the Great School of Life where God has placed us under the Planetary Spirits who are endeavoring to educate us in the Divine Wisdom.

The Sun, as its symbol indicates is the centre of all spiritual faculties, the fountain of all life.

The Moon's symbol is a half-circle, showing that we have completed the arc of involution where bodies were built, and that now the essence of experience extracted from these vehicles must be transmuted into spiritual qualities by the alchemy of soul-growth, so that we may rise on the arc of evolution.

Mars' symbol is a cross above the circle, showing the unregenerate man, where the cross of personality is above the circle of spirit. But by trampling the higher nature under foot the martial character engenders war and strife, during which he necessarily suffers even when he is victorious. Thus, by rebuffs the nature is gradually softened.

Venus: When the martial nature has suffered sufficiently, the spirit circle gradually ascends above the cross of the personality and thus becomes the symbol of Venus, the planet of love.

Saturn and Jupiter have symbols which are similarly indicative of the manner in which soul-growth is fostered. In the symbol of Saturn the cross of personality is exalted above the signature of the soul, the half-circle. Soul-growth is attained by Service, but the symbol of Saturn shows plainly that the person under his rule is more ready to be served than to serve, and is selfish and obstructive of the common good. Naturally others resent this trait of character, and therefore Saturn brings sorrow, trouble, worry and disappointment in order to teach us that we can never really serve ourselves by selfishness, but only by sacrifice.

Jupiter: When it has gradually dawned upon us through much sorrow, that selfishness is as a shell around the soul which shuts us off from others, we begin slowly to cultivate the quality of benevolence, and gradually the half-circle of the soul rises above the cross of matter and becomes the symbol of Jupiter, the philanthropist and friend of man. It then signifies one who loves all and one who is equally the favorite of gods and men.

Mercury: Though the least in the Kingdom of God, the Solar System, it is nevertheless of the greatest importance, on account of its influence upon body, soul and spirit, which is shown by the fact that its symbol contains all the component parts of the planetary symbolism, namely, the circle, half-circle and cross. This is because in the mind all are linked together in one whole physico-spiritual organism called man. Without Mercury this could not be.

Mercury is neutral however, and it depends upon the indwelling Ego represented by the centrally placed circle whether it will use its divine attributes of choice and free-will to aspire heavenward for soul-growth as symbolized by the signature of the soul, the half-circle, placed above the circle of spirit, or whether it will stoop towards the cross of personality below the circle and wallow in the mire of worldliness. No creature has such divine possibilities as man, none many aspire higher, and conversely, none may fall lower. This struggle between the higher and the lower natures for mastery, symbolized by the half-circle and the cross which are placed above and below the circle in the symbol of Mercury, was well voiced by Goethe in the lines of his immortal "Faust" where the hero says:

"Thou by one sole impulse art posses'd, Unconscious of the other still remain. Two souls alas are housed within my breast, And struggle there for undivided reign. One to the earth with passionate desire, And closely clinging organs still adheres, Above the mists the other doth aspire, With sacred ardor unto purer spheres."

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