Our condolences and love go to the victims of the tidal waves that have devastated the Indian Ocean area. May they and their families find strength and courage.
Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than a decade. He is an
accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. |
Malvin is the author of Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System. He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the University of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalayan tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others.
His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His
special interests are the human subtle energy system and all
the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all
aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese
astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great
Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
In the second part of this article, Malvin asks "What is it that draws us all to be together in a given place at a given time? What is it that brings us together in collective grief or joy?" We all incarnate in groups, whether family, community, spiritual or national. We come in together and we often go out together. These massive releases of Earth-energy and human karma are great occult events. The dead are now at peace or will soon attain it in the heart of God and are well looked after. The living are left to pick up the pieces and to make their world better than before. But the biggest thing to come from this is the call from the collective Soul of humanity and the rallying of the human Spirit and Will-to-Good, just as it is in any catastrophe.
Consider, for a moment, the main areas affected by the quake. There were 8 in all. In order of the worst affected, we have Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, Maldives and collective East Africa (Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania). Most of these areas have been through major periods of recent political unrest, civil war, factional in-fighting, ethnic cleansing or some combination of the above. In many of these areas the populace lives in abject poverty. More than a few of them are breeding grounds for despair and ill will among people. There are ancient hostilities and unresolved racial and cultural problems in many of those areas. In short, it has not been a well part of the world. I don't mean to paint a totally dark picture, but the backwardness of much of this part of the world is a problem that has needed to be addressed for some time and the rich countries have been laggard in their response to it. Interesting, too, is that fact that in the countries of Southeast Asia that were most affected, tourism is a major part of their economies and many citizens of the affluent countries of the West—particularly Europe and Australia—have many of their vacation playgrounds there, and mostly along the coastal areas. The contrast between the local populations and the tourists couldn't be more marked and shows the extent to which those countries have fallen behind even in terms of basic infrastructure. But, nature is not concerned with how much money a person has or not. It only seeks to maintain balance, and there are definitely imbalances to be redressed in that part of the world.
Also, we need to look at the basic geology of the Earth itself and ask ourselves some serious questions. This quake occurred in an area of the world that is highly prone to seismic activity. It occurred in a major active subduction zone (an area where a thin oceanic plate is pushed under a thicker continental plate). There have been two major quakes in this area previously (over 8 on the Richter scale) and there are several active volcanoes in that area. That particular zone stretches from Aceh to the eastern-most southern part of Indonesia. Probably the most famous seismic occurrence along that zone was the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883. The best-known subduction zone is the now-famous “Ring of Fire” that arches from the northern half of California, along the Aleutian Islands, down through Japan and finally ends at the north island of New Zealand. These subduction zones are where the many of the most powerful earthquakes occur and since most of it is under water, tsunamis are the inevitable outcome. There is a further extension of the Ring of Fire that starts in Central America and follows south the entire western coast of South America. Many readers of these letters live along some of the most active parts of these zones—Vancouver Island, California, Washington state, New Zealand, and parts of southern Europe.
The deadliest quakes on record, though, have occurred near the fault lines in between intercontinental plates. In those places there is not the safety valve of subduction and the pressures build up much higher before releasing. Although this last quake was deadly enough, it is not the deadliest by any means. China, for instance, has lost hundreds of thousands of people to quakes in the last 100 years alone. Italy has lost 210,000 in the past 250 years. Iran has lost 500,000 in its history. Japan lost virtually the same number in 1923 as the Sumatra quake. And, Syria lost 230,000 in the Aleppo quake of 1138. The deadliest quake on record was the Shansi Earthquake of China in 1556, with 830,000 dead. The only reason I put these figures in is to give some perspective on the numbers. It is in no way meant to negate the need and suffering caused by the current quake. But, we do need to realize that we live on a dynamic and, at times, unpredictable planet and we thus need to take due care and learn to recognize the signs if we find ourselves in one of those areas. We should note as well, if we are students of occult history, that in the areas where the deadliest quakes have occurred, there has often been a heavy karmic load that has needed to be released and that people who have congregated in those areas were there by karmic necessity to participate in those events, terrible though those were from the human perspective. Curiously, too, Australia and Africa seem to be particularly free of major seismic events.
Earth Energy and Human Karma
I mentioned that there were questions to be asked around the geology of the earth and these quake zones. Why is it that people tend to congregate in these areas? There are often heavy populations in those areas where the deadliest quakes have taken place. There have been no less than 60 major recorded quakes along the Ring of Fire alone, but most of those have not resulted in large numbers of fatalities. What is it that draws us all to be together in a given place at a given time? What is it that brings us together in collective grief or joy? It has been said that we all incarnate in groups, whether family, community, spiritual or national. We come in together and we often go out together. From the standpoint of the inner planes, then, these massive releases of Earth-energy and human karma are great occult events. There is release and healing that takes place on a world scale in these events and a “clearing of the slate” in terms of individual, national and racial karma. We should realize, too, that humanity is the kingdom of nature that mediates between the spiritual worlds and the “lower” kingdoms of nature, and where humanity fails to do its needed work, nature will make due adjustment.
Also to be kept firmly in mind is the fact that the people affected directly by these events are not the only ones who bear responsibility or who are directly called into action or account. With an event of this magnitude we are all called to action, and we all have responsibility for our fellow world citizens in some way. To ignore this fact is to create reactive energies for ourselves that will come back upon us in the future. We are all very blessed to live in the places in which we find ourselves and in the relative comfort we have. We have earned the right to that through our struggle over numerous lifetimes and the selfless sacrifices we have made in our long Soul history. But, greater privilege always carries the onus of greater spiritual responsibility to those less fortunate and particularly in times of crisis. Wealth is meant to be shared, albeit wisely, and if we are able to give in times of need, then we are duty-bound to do so. The governments of the world have thus far responded well in terms of financial aid and support and relief agencies are fairly pleased at the moment. But, so much more could be done. Let us put this in perspective.
On Boxing Day—the day of the quake—people knew well the magnitude of the event and the need thus engendered. The Australian government quickly pledged 60 million dollars to the relief effort—a good sum of money and very generous in relation to the rest of the world. Yes, it amounted to a contribution of about 3 dollars per person in Australia. Of course, there are many people in Oz who have contributed much more than that . Meanwhile, on that same day, people hit the streets and spent 145 million in the after-Christmas sales on that day alone and in South Australia alone. It was much the same in all the developed countries. Think what could be done if people in the West contributed just 20 dollars apiece to the relief effort. The mind boggles, both at what could be done and also at people's sense of priorities. The fact that so much has been given already by world governments is an indication of progress in the evolution of human consciousness, but the fact that many individuals have given so little points to the fact that much more needs to be done to make people more aware of their fellows. Of course, there are many who are not in a position to give much monetarily, but there are many ways to serve and to give and each of us should give bountifully according to our abilities.
These events are always multi-leveled with regard to their purposes and effects. The headlines in the papers go on about Nature's Fury and make out as if people are somehow being punished and how nature seems cruel in its methods. We are given to think that a great act of violence has been committed against us. But, in geologic terms, all that has happened is that there has been a gentle settling and release of pressure in a small area of the Earth's crust. It goes to show how insignificant we are as individuals in the larger scheme of things. We are also told that there was little or no warning for the tsunami that followed after the quake. Yet, the signs were all there for people who had the eyes to see. There had been a series of lesser quakes leading up to that one. There was thus known to be geologic instability in the region. Yet, people went on about their business, oblivious to what was going on beneath their feet.
One of the more curious things of note to come out after the fact is that very few wild animals were found among the wreckage or dead anywhere else for that matter. We, as a species, have lost the art of looking at the signs. Animals especially have a lot they can tell us about the environment, and they often begin to behave very oddly before an event such as this one. Further, we are all highly developed animals ourselves in our physical nature with a profound sensitivity, yet we flatly refuse to pay attention to the signals our body gives us, or we simply are not educated in the methods. For myself, I feel these sorts of things in my joints and general energy levels, but everyone's “barometer” is different. We simply have to re-educate ourselves and pay attention to energy impacts when they come.
Nature has come to a point of resolution around this quake, but the human toll has yet to be determined. As terrible as this is and as emotionally painful, there will eventually be a silver lining for those left behind with resultant better conditions—hopefully. The same scenario we had with 9/11 is being played out again on a much grander scale with regard to the opportunity being presented to us. The dead are now at peace or will soon attain it in the heart of God and are well looked after. The living are left to pick up the pieces and to make their world better than before, if possible. But the biggest thing to come from this is the call from the collective Soul of humanity and the rallying of the human Spirit and Will-to-Good, just as it is in any catastrophe. The possibilities are immense for this area of the world regarding future development, stability, infrastructure, common good and vastly improved relations with sister nations throughout the region and with the rest of the world, and great things can be realized with strong and forward-looking leadership in all countries. This is not a Utopian view. It is well within our means and would take surprisingly less than we think. The Guides of the human race on the inner planes are watching all this closely, especially with regard to the willingness of people everywhere to come forward and sacrifice a bit of themselves in service to those less fortunate.
All Things Come to a Point of Balance
We are told not to fear devastation, physical or otherwise. Life continues on and all things come to a point of balance. Devastation wipes away the blockages of the past, the accumulated baggage of past karma and renews the natural order as a result. Where there is a wiping away there is also profound possibility. That which has held us before is no longer a hindrance to our growth and the Soul moves upon the face of the waters anew, so-to-speak. The people of the affected regions should eventually come out of this much better off. Hopefully the countries of privilege will open their hearts and wallets wide. Hopefully, governments and factions will forget their petty differences and “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. Hopefully, all of us will do our part in the rebuilding of the devastated regions and lives and show what is possible in this most magical of times. Let us be vigilant, united, of wise and loving hearts and ingenious in the gifts our Souls present in this time of need. The real gifts will not come to those people until after things are stabilized and they can return to some sense of normalcy. In the interim, though, let us keep the inner pressure on and see to it that we influence those who can do the greatest good toward the greatest world healing.
In my time away over the holidays I have had time to reflect on what has transpired and I have spoken with many people about it. Some have felt a shared grief with the people who lost loved ones. We do have the right to grieve, and events such as these are catalysts for release of long-held grief even if we are not immediately affected. Some have expressed guilt that they live in luxury while others have suffered. Guilt is a luxury to which we have no right, especially on this occasion. Guilt should always be turned toward firm resolve and full action for the aid of those who suffer and for the setting right of injustice and imbalance. Many have given generously. Let us see to it that we all do. No matter what our lot is in life or what we feel about the event itself, let us see to it that proper and prompt aid is given. Once again, we are being roused from our slumber and called to account for that over which we have been given care. Let us see to it that we are wise stewards of the gifts we have been given and that all benefit from those gifts.
Once again, the Spirit of the Grace, Wisdom and Charity has moved upon the Earth in this Christmas season and has called followers in all faiths (for It knows no religious distinctions) to express the highest Good to which we are all capable. In the months that follow let us all watch the need of the world very closely and respond as best we can. My thoughts have been with you all in this season, as well as with the affected peoples of the quake. May we all seize this opportunity and strike a strong blow for the peace and stability of our wonderful little planet.
My most profound blessings go out to all the victims of the Sumatra Earthquake, alive and passed on.
In loving service,
4 Jan 2005
Please give generously!
Return to the start of Sumatra Earthquake 2004
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes