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.
The Festival of Redemption [part two]In part two of this article, Malvin looks more deeply at the role of the Sign Virgo, its relationship with the Mother/Father Spirit and the expression of the feminine. Virgo has a direct rulership over the evolution of all material substance upon our world and this is expressed through the occult Law of Analogy. The sublime purity of spirit calls us through the need for love and service.
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Pisces
It might rightly be pointed out here that I seem to be contradicting myself with all I have described about Virgo so far. How can Father/Spirit and Mother/Matter be one and the same? Again, it all depends upon one's perspective, and it is here that we begin to touch upon the very mystery of Life itself. From this point we begin to launch into what, to me, is one of the most fascinating aspects of occultism because this next discussion will enable us to understand the purposes and evolutions other worlds and solar systems and the purpose that underlies all of manifestation — and Virgo is intimately connected with all of it. And we thought Virgo was such a fussy, prudish and lackluster sign!
The Occult Law of Analogy
There is a Law in occultism and it is said to be absolute. It is called the Law of Analogy and Correspondence, and it is this Law that “explains the mind of God to man” and the workings of the universe. Essentially, it is the old adage of “As above, so below”, but it is a bit more involved and it is more elegant than that. What it really comes down to is this: Anything we can comprehend about ourselves can be predicated of a greater system, whether a larger group, a planet, a solar system, etc, and onwards, and this can be known by having knowledge of certain number systems and how to use them to “multiply the lesser by magnitudes”.
As an example and as a case in point, the seven planes or densities we know as human beings can be extended by magnitudes. The end result is that since we know that there are seven planes in human evolution, we know there must also be seven in planetary/solar evolution. Our seven planes thus become the seven subplanes or divisions of an even vaster cosmic plane. Our seven planes thus become the seven subplanes of the cosmic physical plane through the Law of Correspondence. This was alluded to in a previous paragraph. So, let's hash a few things out, given that we are now armed with the proper key to understanding these concepts.
Specks of Light
Our bodies are composed of countless cells at a physical level, each going about its appointed work and doing its allotted task, with its own life-span, gifts to the body, requirements and quota of energy to give and to receive. All these cells supposedly work in unison and thus form a cohesive, coherent unit that functions as a unit in and of itself and therefore functions as a cell in a greater organism (group). If we take this up a magnitude, we then see our planet as a sort of “cosmic human” — a “heavenly Man” (genderless, of course). But, instead of His cells being composed of what we know as physical matter, they are composed of cosmic physical matter, which encompasses every part of our being. Yet, it is the lowest of matter to that great planetary Being. We, as individual Spirits, are only as specks of light within the grand order of things and are thus invisible to the planetary Lord. All monads are thus the cells of our planetary Logos — all 180 billion of us, and it matters not whether the individual Spirit is on the human or angelic line of evolution. We each have our role to play, our energy to contribute and distribute and our life-cycle. So, from one perspective we are conscious of our own divinity and fully Self-conscious, but in another respect we are simply the material aspect of a great Being, of little or no consequence at all in the grand scheme of things and largely unconscious of the plans or intentions of this great Life in Whom we live and move and have our being. We have no more consciousness of what plans the Lord of our planet has than a muscle cell in our arm has of what we even plan to do for the day, for example. It all kind of puts the importance we place on our lives in a different perspective.
And there we have it — the resolution of our apparent contradiction from the beginning of our discussion. We are both God and matter. We are divine in our essence — a spark differentiated from the great Flame that is God but still integral with It. But, we are all also cells in a greater Being and we are thus seen as matter from a larger perspective. The key statement for Virgo is “I am the mother and the child. I, God, matter am.” Virgo governs the evolution of matter. It is the great Mother aspect which hides the Christ Light and nurtures it in gestation until it is ready to come forth and live as a fully developed and Self-conscious Son of God, which is really what is being described when I use the term “Christ”. This applies to a planet as well as a human being. So, finally we must define this term “Son”. Esoterically, the Son is that which is formed from the interaction between Spirit and Matter. It is our consciousness — our Soul. That Soul is the middle principle of a human being, standing juxtaposed between Mother and Father, clinging to both initially and eventually becoming the intermediary and channel between the two when full Self-consciousness is realized.
Esoteric Lore Misconstrued
In esoteric lore it is said that the Mother serves the Son and the Father. Unfortunately, this allegorical statement has been misconstrued or deliberately distorted by fundamentalist religious authorities over the centuries to mean that women should be subservient to men. The travesty that is our current state of gender relations in the world is due in large part to that very misconception. Let us be clear—all humans, no matter what their gender, are Sons of God. We are all conceived of Spirit, wend our way through the material worlds (have our gestation and development in matter) and grow in consciousness (become full of Light) as a result of that interaction. Throughout our long series of lives we are born in each life as male or female, the number of times as each being dependent upon a large number of factors. We first cling close to the Mother and lead strictly material existences, but at some point we begin to realize there is more to life than that. We come to recognize the call of Spirit and slowly begin to make our way back to the Father, full of the richness of experience we have gained along the way. All this time both “parents” have nurtured us along, helping us to realize ourselves and to see the unique gifts we have and are. And, eventually on the way we begin to lift up the matter with which we come in contact instead of simply using it for our own ends. In that way we become Fathers ourselves eventually. We use these anthropomorphic descriptors because it makes all this easier to understand, but it is really beyond all question of gender in human terms.
This idea of the Mother serving the Son and Father is the esoteric reason behind Virgo being associated with work, servants and service, especially involuntary service. This type of service is the individual daily grind, in distinction to the Aquarian ideal of service, which is always group-related. It relates to the responsibilities we take on board in the service to our immediate family and job responsibilities. It is more often connected with one's job, but it can mean any sort of service that is very personal and which relates to nurturing something or someone. It is the astrological house of duty. It is the duty of matter to provide the vehicle through which the Soul can unfold and through which the essential purposes of Spirit will eventually work out. But that duty is not recognized as such by matter. It simply responds to the call put out from the higher levels and does its work automatically and without true consciousness.
Body of Manifestation
There is a bit more to the puzzle here that may shed a little more light on Virgo. Our planetary Lord is said to form His body of manifestation from the totality of all the monads of this planet. But, what does that really mean? It means simply this — that were it not for the eternal Spirits (monads) of our globe, there would be no Earth as we know it. This globe would simply be an inert rock in space with no life — that is to say, no conscious life upon it. Our Earth would be like the Moon, which is a dead body, slowly decaying over the eons of time. It takes the monads of a world to imbue a planet with life and thus to enable the evolution and purpose of a planetary or solar Lord to work out. Without this conscious intelligent substance, seen from the greater perspective, life is not possible. The monad (Spirit) is Life or Being itself. Each monad, under impress from the Lord of the world, appropriates its own quota of matter from the lesser subplanes and begins work in its own small way to make of our world an eventual Garden of Eden. Through humanity and the greater devas (angels) the plans of our planetary Lord work out, and all this via the Spirit.
The preceding is the occultism behind the old saying that “Virgo is the work horse of the zodiac”. The monad knows its part of the Will of God and nothing will stand in the way of its eventual execution. The monad is the way-station between God and the lesser lives, in the same way that the Soul is the way-station between one's eternal Spirit and the persona. By virtue of the fact that the monad is the purest expression of Will as we can know it, the Plan of God is executed ceaselessly and inexorably toward its eventual conclusion. The Work goes on unabated. Every Virgo type carries this recognition of the value and necessity of ceaseless work deep within their psyche, whether they care to admit it or not.
I will not go into the intricacies of this relationship between the monad, matter and the divine, except to say that Virgo has a direct rulership over the evolution of all material substance upon our world (and upon many others, as it turns out), whether it is through the monadic lives as they form the material body of a great Heavenly Personage, or whether it is through the materiality with which we work every day as human beings. To put it another way, Virgo adapts materiality to divine purpose. It is for this very reason, along with the preceding thoughts, that Virgo has also been so closely associated with purity. Purity is but the perfect attunement and attainment of matter with divine Will, from the standpoint of the occultist. So, in a sense, Virgo relates form to Spirit from the perspective of purpose similarly to the way that Venus relates the higher Self to the persona. Just as the Soul guides the development of the persona through the long series of incarnations on this world and shapes it eventually into a perfect vehicle of expression in the lower worlds for the Word of God, so Virgo shapes the material that forms all worlds in our local universe and eventually reveals the Love and Life that has been gestating within. “A woman's work is never done!”
In part three of this article, Malvin argues that we are all travelling our own version of the Yellow Brick Road, and the evolution of the divine spark within each of us is the very purpose of incarnation. This is the concealed meaning of our sometimes painful journey towards wholeness and liberation.
Read part three of The Festival of Redemption
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