Insights into the cosmic ground of philosophical Imagination
MONIQUE POMMIER © 2009
INTRODUCTION: THE TWELVEFOLD ARCHETYPE OF THE SOUL
- Twelve—The mysterious “fullness” of Time and Space ………………….14
- The “Twelvehood” of heart and soul ………………………….22
- Each of the Twelve: a particular marriage of matter and spirit …………….25
- Twelve in One: “The first flower on the human plant”………………………26
- The flowering force of the soul: creative imagination ……………………32
- Soul of the zodiac, zodiac of the soul…………………………….33
THE IMAGINATION OF THE SOUL IN TAURUS
- Taurus—Solarization of Matter and Embodiment of Being
- The second of the Twelve……………….37
- Holding and sounding being: body, neck, throat …………..37
- Universal garden and gardener—Venus and Vulcan—Cow and Bull …..39
- Taurus: Love x Matter………………………..41
- The early path of Taurus…………………..43
- The cosmic labor of Taurus—the forging fire of Hephaistos-Vulcan …………..44
- The cosmic process of Taurus—the eye of the Cow………………………..51
- The path of Taurus from Venus to Vulcan………………………52
- The path of Taurus in the life of the Buddha …………….54
- The Taurus Christ …………………………………… 58
II—The Archetype of Taurus in the life and works of Teilhard de Chardin
- “My divine Matter”—love of matter and search for consistence ………….68
- Through the eye of Taurus: the vision of a converging universe……………71
- The early path of Taurus: temptation of matter and distress of finitude…..73
- Stepping-stones on the path: Pain and Desire ……………………..75
- Vehicles of Taurus: the senses An archetypal sense organ: the causal body Epitome of the senses and consummation of Taurus: the EYE……….76
- From Venus to Vulcan—fashioning the cosmic eye……………………………..79
- Vulcan according to Teilhard …………………………..82
- Vulcan’s mythology revisited: birth of Venus, birth of Athena…………………….88
- Vulcan’s energy—subtle steadfastness and violence of irreversible destruction….92
- Vulcan—the heart of the sun. Omega— the heart of the Christ……………….94
- The Alpha and Omega of Taurus: heartening the cosmic milieu …………99
- Taurus, astronomical and spiritual attractor of the universe……………………100
- From the carriage of the sun to the body of Christ: Vulcan’s masterpieces…..101
- The voice of the divine Cow: the voice of cosmic becoming…………..106
- The essential Feminine—the inner side of things: a reality, a quality, a way of experience, a divine milieu………………….109
- The becoming of matter in man ……………………116
- Hominization of matter through the universalization of man ……….117
- The becoming EYE and BODY of the universe: monadic consciousness……….118
- The body of light: pleiad and monad …………………….121
- Conclusion …………………………………..123
THE IMAGINATION OF THE SOUL IN LIBRA
- Libra— The Art of Wedding and the Imaginative Force of the Mind
- The signature of Libra: the horizon between the Two …………127
- The essence of Libra: the wedding force of Mind ……………….129
- The function of the Scales—to ensure correspondence……………………130
- The three rulers of Libra – engineers and custodians of the nuptial door…………134
- The seven-weighted scales in the heavens—the logo of the earth……………..135
- The embrace of the Two at the pole of life……………………………..140
- The royal way to the pole: the alchemical Science of Balance…………….142
- The Science of the Balance—system of measurement and operation of harmonization..144
- “Extrahere cogitationem”— The force of mind is the alchemist who distills soul by balancing nature………………………………146
- The path of Libra: alchemical union and integration…………………….148
- “Balances” of cosmos and psyche: the Seven and the Twelve…………..149
- The mind and its vehicles—the nuptial chamber of the worlds……………..151
- Astrology, a science of Balance ……………………………………………152
- Balance: the cosmological, spiritual, philosophical and social pole of the universe….153
- Three Agents of Balance: Time, Hermeneutics, Relationships…………………155 Saturn—Time, the balance of the world being……………………155 Uranus—Hermeneutics, the balance of consciousness ……..157 Venus—relationship, the laboratory of balance ……………………159
- The journey of Libra: relational (c) realignments (g) to universal order (f) ………161
- Poetic alchemy—the path of Arthur Rimbaud……………………………………163
II—The archetype of Libra in the life and works of Heidegger and Eisenhower
- Martin Heidegger
- A controversial figure: ambiguities and imbalances………………167
- A conceptual imagination of Libra in the philosophical sky: Man as “clearing-concealing” space between Being and being…………….179
- Turn in man and turning of the age—the Libra spirit of a philosophy and a time…..186
- Humanity, the true balance of being…………………………………..189
- The risk of the human balance: wrong rapport to life …………..190
- The necessity to turn away from objectification and draw near subjective Being…191
- The necessity to turn from uniformity to universality ………………….192 And from Far to Near……………………………………..192
- The creative force of the mind “walks” being toward Being across the “bridge, threshold, rift, pain, measure and dimension” of the human …….193
- Bridge, threshold and clearing: “betrothals” of being and Being…………..200
- The intimacy of the middle: truth, beauty, and the art of letting beings Be…..202
- To free beings into Being: the essence of therapeutic relating……………..205
- Thinking is to “co-respond” with Being— to walk in Being…………………..206
- Thinking lends a hand to Being. Thinking is handwork …………………….208
- Thinking is a way —the preeminent way between the two great lines of force…..211
- Right relation to Being means right relation to things—proper use………………214
- Stillness at the center: the poetic essence of language, thinking and art………215
- The stillness of Saturn: Assignment and Authenticity ………….218
- The Holy—the land of Tula …………………………………………………222
2. Dwight Eisenhower ………………………………….224
- The Libra–Venusian commander…………………………225
- The Uranian “middle way”……………………229
- The Saturn core of Libra: building a peaceful world………………………..235
3. The Evolutionary Drama of the World Wars ……………..242
- The Libra alignment of 1942-1943: the turn of the tide…………………………….242
- The drama of a global birth ……………………………247
III—The Libra Christ
- Pause and reversal of time—the life of the Christ as a balancing event
- Pause and reversal of consciousness—the balanced nature of Jesus-Christ ….255
- The balancing force of the Christ principle …………………..258
- “I am the Door”—Christ as the passage between Being and beings…………………259
- “What is there between you and I”: the magic wine of the wedding………………….261
- The Libra Christ— way, bridge, rent, rift………………………………………..264
- The life releasing power of harmonization ……………………………………….266
- The Christ as messenger of Saturn ………………………………….266
- The Christ as messenger of Uranus …………………………………….270
- Christ, the alchemist …………………………………………….273
CONCLUSION: Venus, the keystone ………………………………..275
EPILOGUE I —The birth of Venus-humankind and the Venus occultations of 2004 and 2012 ………..279
EPILOGUE II—Imagination of a soulful planetary order: The European Union……. 285
- Zodiacal and planetary glyphs
- Astrological rulerships
- The Seven Rays and their astrological associations
- The twelve Creative Hierarchies
- Twelve zodiacal signs: twelve types of soul experience
This book is a meditative journey into the inner sky of the psyche that the zodiac portrays symbolically. Even though it examines philosophical works, it is not a philosophy book. Nor is it an esoteric study, however grounded it may be in theosophical traditions of East and West. And it is not an astrology book intent on offering practical knowledge. It is rather an adventure of archetypal discovery—a discovery of soul in cosmos and cosmos in the soul through the “single eye” of the twelvefold structure which organizes both the external world of time and space and the internal world of soul. The enigma of this central twelvefold lens is what inspired this work. The attempt to probe it opens a fresh access not only to the zodiac as a whole but to each zodiacal sign as a specific landscape of consciousness and path of soul unfolding.
As the zodiac reveals soul, the soul eventually reveals the zodiac. As the mind expands into wider-than-personal spheres, it uncovers, in the form of universal intuitions, the deeper, “constellational” structures shimmering in our common ground. Such an inner zodiac is what this book sets out to discover in the conceptual tapestries of an existentialist philosopher, Heidegger, a scientist and mystical philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin, and a military and political leader, Eisenhower. The association of such different individuals eventually discloses its significance in the light it brings on the last hundred years of global developments.
Guided by the reflections of zodiacal and planetary archetypes in the imagination of man and nature, this meditative study activates a space where cosmology and astronomy shed light on soul psychology, and alchemy and mythology on spiritual history. Holding to a unitive scope what the intellect apprehends as separate—self and world, facts of nature and processes of consciousness—the twelvefold archetype of soul and zodiac illuminates from two sides the one reality carried out in the subjective world of mind and the objective world of cosmos and history.
This work is an attempt to peer into the universal vault of the human soul through the lens of the zodiac which, while it encompasses the outermost peripheries of our universe, is wide open in our core as the template of the soul. It is an invitation to discover the world psyche in the facts of cosmos, and to sight zodiacal constellations in the philosophical imagination of humankind.
EXCERPT – Part One — p. 54-63
The path of Taurus in the life of the Buddha
The life of Gautama the Buddha offers archetypal insights into the Taurean journey of the soul. From the time Gautama was born—tradition says, in Taurus—his father the king Siddharta created for his son a life of comfort and refined culture. Care was taken to shelter him from the sight of anything that might suggest the struggle, fragility, pain and finitude of earthly existence. When he married “a bride possessed of beauty, modesty and gentle bearing,” his father prepared a palace furnished with all delights. The king (whom, if the story be read symbolically, one may regard as the “personality”) feared that if he didn’t distract his “son” (the soul) by providing him with new sources of sensuous gratification, the prince might hear the call of spirit and depart for the forest— turn to the inner side of life.
A disquietude similar to that displayed by the king can be sensed in the early Taurean attachment to material possessions and sensory gratification. At this stage,the soul’s eye is veiled by the lid of the personality (the king). The Venusian palace walls of prosperity and pleasure circumscribe the sphere of experience and mark the horizon of the self.
The prince, however, hears of the “beauty of the city groves beloved of women” and resolves to venture outside the palace. Still trying to protect the world of ego security and pleasure he has created for his son, the king orders that a party be prepared with great precautions, “that no afflicted person should appear along the way to unsettle his son’s protected mind.” But the gods, having recognized the moment, send forth an old man. Faced with old age, the future Buddha becomes agitated . . . “like a bull who has heard close by the crash of a thunderbolt” (the sound of Vulcan). On the second day, the gods send a man afflicted by disease . . . “and a second time, the prince, trembling, desired to be driven home” (back to the comfort of Venusian Taurus). On the third day, the deities send forth a dead man. Having learned from his charioteer “what that was, adorned but no longer breathing,” and that this is the final end of all living beings, the prince says: “How can a rational being, knowing these things, remain heedless here in the hour of calamity? Turn back our chariot, charioteer. This is no time or place for pleasure.”
This turning point in the Buddha’s life epitomizes a key step in human growth – referred to precisely, in spiritual teachings, as the “reversal of the wheel” – where the ego-centric orientation of the small self is challenged enough by the pull of the soul to reorient itself—from its focus on personal comforts and security, to a search for deeper sources of joy and stability; from external safe-keeping of self and own, to self-building from within; from concern for personal wellbeing to interest in others’ wellbeing. The self turns back, away from the pleasure-seeking landscape of the (exoteric) Venusian nature. The aspiration of the son – the soul principle – begins to overrule the instinct of the (ego) king.
When the king hears of his son’s desire to become an ascetic mendicant, he is “shaken like a tree struck by an elephant” (Vulcan’s hammer) and tries to hold the prince from leaving the “palace.” But the soul has ignited the self with Vulcan’s will: “Father, it is not right to lay hold of a person about to escape from a house that is on fire.” The prince leaves “by night” to escape the tyrannical protectiveness of the ego-king. He gallops forth to a forest hermitage for “his first adventure on the road of fire.”
For a while, he shares the life of the ascetics who “peck at seeds, gain their food from stones and eat grain ground with their own teeth.” As they teach him about pain as the root of merit and the way to bliss, the future Buddha thinks: “Since it is only by the mind that the body acts or acts not, what should be controlled is not the body, but thought.” The source of the pains that existence brings, he realizes, is the desire activated by the representation: “This am I, this is mine” (Taurus). This is what draws man to incarnate again and again.
Leaving the ascetics in search of a truer way of liberation, he visits sages who teach restraint of the senses and escape from the body through ecstasy. “Though the self purified may be termed free, he ponders, yet as long as that self remains, there is no real abandonment of egoity . . . I hold that the only absolute attainment is in absolute abandonment.”
He then joins five mendicants whose discipline, based on progressive fasting, reduces their bodies to skin and bones. Seeing that this “emaciating to no purpose” cannot be the way to liberation, he realizes that only by the “constant perfect satisfaction of the senses” can the mind’s self-possession be attained. When the mind is at rest, he thinks, “a supremely calm, undecaying state is eventually gained. All of which is based upon eating food.” The way to liberation cannot be suppression, but spiritualization. If food and flesh are denied for the sake of purity of spirit, the deprived nature will “eat” at the mind state, and the exclusion of the “corruptible” will corrupt the search for wholeness.
At this point, he is approached by the lovely daughter of a herdsman who, “moved and guided by the gods,” offers him a rich bowl of milk . . . by which, the story tells, the future Buddha’s body was restored . . . “And he rose and, alone, went to the Bodhi-tree, where he placed himself on the Immovable Spot.”
In the sacred filigree of this last episode of the Buddha’s journey and beyond the literal nourishment of his starved body, one reads a restoration of a more universal nature: the restoration of the “body” that matter provides for spirit—the “restoration” of matter itself. Staged in this event is the realization of the body as bowl of spirit and “gift of the gods,” and of matter as the essential partner of spirit on the path of evolution and illumination.
This episode occupies a remarkable place on the Buddha’s path—a few steps from the tree of illumination. His receiving the milk from the “herdsman’s daughter” heralds a re-embracing, by the ascetic pursuer of spirit, of body, earth, flesh and the feminine, a feminine now ensouled and universalized. In the figure of the daughter, the Venus archetype of the Buddha’s life story reappears on a next step of the spiral. She is a discreet emissary of the archetypal Cow, whose advent heralds the consummation of the road of Taurus, the end of the rush of the Bull in the “immovable spot” of unitive illumination.
The deep acceptance (the “drinking”) by the Buddha of the gift of the cow—a symbol of the cosmic sustenance provided by matter—immediately preceded his illumination. It was the last step to the wholeness of the “single eye” wherein the divine is known, and all is known as divine. “He placed himself on the Immovable spot” and was illumined. The eye of “illumination”—the translucent eye of embodied spiritual consciousness, the cosmic “cow” of illumined selfhood—crowns the journey of Taurus.
Indicated here is how illumination is the advent of the nondual way—the fruit of the joint way of cow and bull—flesh and spirit. As the physical eye is formed of the interpenetration of matter and sun, flesh and self, as the “I” of consciousness is born of the marriage of nature and spirit, the eye of illumined selfhood opens where the self and not-self aspects of reality are realized as one—in intuitive flashes of “buddhic” consciousness; and eventually made one—in the diamond soul of embodied spirit and spiritualized matter: Vulcan’s masterpiece. The path of enlightenment taught by the Buddha is a “noble middle path,” a path of nonduality paved with unitive steps through the perceived dualities of matter and spirit, pleasure and pain, illusion and reality, evil and good, decay and immortality.
“Upon the stream, between the two extremes, there floats the eye of vision.”
The eye of the Buddha opened when the split “between the extremes” of body denying spirituality and blind materiality was transcended. The teaching of com-passion typifies this noble middle path of a comprehensive embracing of all the passions of life, to liberate the mystery of totality held in their matters.
In the full moon of Taurus, the night during which the moon is full-filled with the light of the sun god, the Buddha “beheld the world as in a spotless mirror,” and the spiritual sun beheld itself in his diamond soul.
The Moon underlies the path of Taurus as an overall symbol of matter and form. It stands for the universal body of consciousness—the “bowl” of the evolving spirit of Life. The Moon is Taurus-like in that it represents the receptacle of spirit—the capacity of matter to contain life, and of body and instinct to ground being. An aggregate of past formations for the planet and old conditionings for the psyche, the Moon is the body of the present and the womb of what seeks to be. As the lunar nature undergoes its own metamorphosis and “clearing” in the light of the indwelling self, it becomes a mirror-like foundation for its sun.
The astrological exaltation of the Moon in Taurus suggests a special relation between the planet and the sign. The most matter-bound sign in its early days, Taurus is also the most propitious context for the “exaltation” of matter. Along the spectrum of Taurean consciousness, the “love of matter” moves from attachment to objects, to passionate work with matter as a medium of expression, to the “staying” power of love at work in matter: to “hold” spirit until spirit emerges from under the features of a self or a world.
From the yoke of the plowing ox of earth to the focused power of the Bull of God rushing forth the matter of a universe, the evolutionary road of Taurus takes consciousness from its dark moon stage of automatisms and attachments, to a full, illuminated space of dynamic being. The Buddha outlined the landmarks of such a path, an “eightfold path,” from the blindness of the instinctual nature to the open eye of spiritual illumination.
Steiner suggests that humankind continues to reflect the Buddha’s gift “as the moon reflects the rays of the sun.” The following considerations from Steiner’s Gospel of St Luke—the evangelist associated with the Bull—echo some of the relations explored between Taurus, the Buddha and the Moon:
“The cause of suffering in the world, the Buddha said, is the fact that in man something has survived which comes from his previous incarnations [“the Moon”], something he doesn’t know anything about. This residue from previous lives results in his ignorance about the world (for he sees, hears, contacts the world through that moon like screen of past conditioning, desires, needs, opinions), and in the suffering, pains and misery of men. But if man becomes conscious of the forces contained within his astral body and intervenes in them, he may gain a knowledge independent of the past.”
The Taurus Christ
The Buddha was enlightened during a Taurus full moon. The Christ consummated his passing through matter—and lighting of the earth—during an Aries full moon.
According to the Gospels, a three-hour period of daytime darkness occurred during Jesus’ crucifixion. The actual phenomenon of an “eclipse” of the sun during a full moon (Passover) is unnatural and remains unexplained as such. That the light of the physical sun would be eclipsed while a solarizing influence was descending into the earth speaks to spiritual, if not astronomical, logic. It points to the prophetic time of the soul rather than the logic of physical time: “On that day, says the Lord God, I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight” (Amos, 8:8-9). From the esoteric perspective, the gift of the Christ was not only to pervade with soul/sunlight the “moon” consciousness of humankind and “animate” the global psyche with the energy of love; it was also to penetrate into the matter of the global body, its mineral shell, to activate the Egoic principle of the planet he carried in his “self,” and by spirit-firing (“resurrecting”) his own body, initiate the solarizing of the planet—its “clothing with sun.” Vulcan is clearly at work in this Christ who trans-forms and renews the “face of the earth” and fires it with the heart of the sun, who crucifies in its “wood” the forces and features of its very soul, and kindles in the eye of the earth a first gleam of “sunhood.”
When the Christ died, the light of the sun was absorbed by darkness, showing in the heavens above the nature of the event below. Whereas the Buddha, having raised the fine “bowl” of his perfected nature and known the full light of Oneness, radiated this light and taught humankind the way to union (the “means of yoga”), the Christ “poured” his vessel of sunlife into the veins of the planet. One illumined the lunar consciousness with “noble truths,” the other warmed it with love, vivified the etheric nature with the life of the sun and traversed the mineral kingdom with resurrecting fire. One nurtured growth with the luminous milk of the sacred Cow, the other transfused consciousness with the fiery blood of the Bull. Love of the earth inspired both world-teachers.
The voice of Vulcan’s hammer resounded in the earthquakes that shook the earth at the time of Jesus-Christ’s death. “The earth shook and the rocks were split.” As he descended into his body at noon, the Taurus Christ went down into the physical matter of the earth with the life of the noon sun (“I will make the sun go down at noon”), entered the mineral kingdom and turned his body into a body of fire.
The being of the Christ, in many ways associated with the “heart of the sun,” reveals in this vulcanizing of the earth his Taurean power—the transmutative and transformative power of “Vulcan, the heart of the sun.” The solar vibration of the Christ principle, breaking through the bounds of the human condition (the gates of hell), charged it with the unifying principle of love and quickened in humankind the beat of its one heart. His descent into the hell of separate consciousness lifted up Adam, the first man (the “early” man of personal selfhood) into his greater self—the second Adam, the solar, “Christ-Man.”
The Arian, initiating, dimension of the resurrection event is followed by the Taurean moment of its revelation. Significantly, the first disciples to see the risen Christ are women—women who have come to tend his body with aromas. The moment is pregnant with the Taurean blend of Love and Matter. A feminine quality of embodied love meets and mirrors the risen Christ. Mary Magdalene had come with aromas, spices and ointments (Taurus) to embalm the corpse with “essences.” In the meantime, the physical nature of the Christ, “essentialized” and resurrected, had “anointed” the earth, embalmed and immortalized it—a cosmic act imbued with the Taurean dimension of being. Mary Magdalene coming to care for the body of the Christ mirrored what he had done for the body of the earth; her relation to his body reflected his relation to the earth: Love x Matter.
John tells how Mary Magdalene initially takes the man standing by the tomb for the gardener.81 Her intuition of what he has accomplished within the earth perceives him as the gardener (Taurus). The scene of the risen Christ reflected in her soul is bathed in the light of Taurus. The solarized Man walks through the “garden” of earth he has impregnated with sun life, and the first eyes to see him are those of the feminine, in archetypal resonance with the soul of the earth and its Venusian mode—embodied and embodying. What we see through Mary Magdalene’s eye is the illuminated state of matter fired by the heart of the Sun (Vulcan)—into the true form of man, the luminous form of Living Man.
The Taurus principle in the Christ values the love humming in the earthly substances that vehiculate the soul of humanity: the foods and perfumes, the bodies and their flesh. He exalts it silently for those who rationalize spirit and economize love in the name of altruism or higher moral values. John describes how “Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment” . . . to Judas’s total dismay: “Why was this ointment not sold and given to the poor?” This was six days before the Passing of the Christ through the “dead” of the earth, six days before the anointing of the planet with solar essence, and humankind with the fragrance of the soul— love.
A true appreciation of matter—the gift of Taurus—finds clear echoes in the Christ. By missing his deep embracing of the feminine pole of reality, one misses the real character of his admonition to sell possessions and look for treasures in heaven. Not with the earth and its matters must man do away with, but with the acquisitive and possessive relation to them—that, precisely, which blinds the eye.
To Simon the Pharisee who doubted the spiritual caliber of Jesus when he saw him let “a woman of the city who was a sinner” anoint and kiss his feet, Jesus said: “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears . . . you gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil . . . Therefore, I tell you, her sins which are many, are forgiven for she loved much.”
We also read in Luke: “And they said to him, the disciples of John fast often and offer prayers and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” Suggested here is the inclusive attitude of the Christ towards earthly needs and simple physical pleasures. His emphasis is on love more than discipline, on giving more than self-depriving, on kindling fire rather than removing ashes.
True liberation of and from matter stems from a full embrace, care and love of matter. This is a keynote of the wisdom that flows from the Taurus Christ. Even though the Church, following in Paul’s footsteps, thwarted the relation of Christ to matter, the flesh and the feminine, one cannot ignore the amazingly concrete presence and ongoing penetration of a solar flesh into masses and centuries of Christian humanity who continue to eat and drink of their “God”, partaking of his blood in the wine, of his flesh in the bread. So abstracted the ritual has become, that there is little of a Taurean appreciation for the love of matter that lives in this continuous descent of the god in the entrails of the earth and for the building of his Venusian mystical body out of humanity’s earthly experiences. Though the fire of Vulcan may have turned pale beyond recognition in the sanitized forge of the Church, and the white Host been bled of the glowing life of the risen Christ, something, nonetheless, of the ancient veneration of the Cow-deity and the Taurusness of God lives in it, however etherealized, or sterilized.
Body of the divine Cow. Voice of the divine Bull. To imagine the voice of the Christ is to imagine the uniquely penetrative and transformative power that would rush from the Taurus constellation through the “vulcanic” speech of a solar man. “Only speak the word, and my servant shall be healed.” If the Christ was to enter the foundations of the world, and free “Adam”—the earth-man (“Adama”)—from the “iron bars” of matter, his voice had to affect not only the mental and emotional nature of “human being,” but the vibration of his very cells—his mineral nature. This would not be the gentle voice of a mystical bodiless Jesus calling man to disengage from the earth, but rather the voice of a cosmic Bull, the shattering sound of a volcano bringing up the spiritual lava of a new face of the earth, the life more abundant that changes matters forever. The final entrance of the “Word” in the planetary matter did shake the earth, initiating its transfiguration-to-be, some day, into a Woman clothed with the sun. “Vulcan, says Bailey, embodies the energy of the first ray, that force which initiates or begins and that which also destroys, bringing about the death of the form in order that the soul may be set free.”
“Again the voice sounded—a loud voice like thunder: “lift up your gates” . . . the gates of brass were broken in pieces and the bars of iron were crushed, and all the dead who were bound were loosed from their chains. And the King of Glory entered in like a man, and all dark places of Hades were illumined.”
What was seeded by this Vulcanic intervention was the faculty of the human Ego to penetrate and transmute with its own divine forces its mineral consciousness. The first ray governs Vulcan, and first ray and first kingdom (the mineral) are bound together. This is a most dramatic aspect of the Christ event. What a son of man achieves ahead of his brothers forms the new paradigm of an era. With the transfiguration and resurrection achieved by the “Son of Man,” the way was paved for all to become blacksmiths and alchemists of their own nature, not only emotionally and mentally, but also physically.
Before this ultimate and radical solarization, the Vulcan man had struck at the materialistic mentality, most concretely perhaps in his “blow” at the moneychangers occupying “the house of God” (the reign of exoteric Venus in the self). In the well-known scene, the Christ entered the temple of Jerusalem one day, “overturned the tables of the moneychangers” and “drove out those who sold and those who bought, intent on converting “the den of robbers” back into “a house of prayer.” The Taurus Christ walks in the earth temple to dispel the enchantment of the blind activity of matter—to dispel the preserving instinct which buries the human spirit in material preoccupations and greed. If he chases the merchants, it is to free the praying trapped in the hustling and bustling of humanity, to release the voice of aspiration trapped in the gesture of acquisition, the quest for the precious and the beautiful locked in the instinct to possess the object of value or desire. The Taurus Christ seeks to awaken the love trapped in the attraction and pursuit of objects. He “overturns” the craving for more into the desire to “become more” and participate in the qualitative enrichment of the whole.
The Taurus Christ discreetly illuminates money itself by being made into an object of trade: “ ‘What will you give me if I deliver him to you?’ And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.” Turned into a money equivalent by Judas’ materialistic mind, he lets Judas’ later despair reveal the defeat of the attractive force of matter hidden in money: “Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple . . . he went and hanged himself.” The rising sun of Self has radically tarnished the outer shine of the coin.
Taurusness in man is puzzled by eternity, infinity, and intangibility. Blind to the real nature of the soul and frustrated with the lack of concretization of his master’s kingdom, Judas trades the sun of Self for a silver coin. While Judas’ money finds itself de-valued in his own eyes by the pricelessness of his teacher’s life, it is also made holy by the blood of life it has “paid for” or been exchanged with, thus becoming an agent of redemption. From then on, money, the most anonymous expression of human energy, carries in its flow the latent glow of the light of love. The Christ has “betrayed” money into the hands of the soul.
The two-sidedness of the coin offers a natural metaphor for the two “sides” of money and the two poles of selfhood (egotistic self and solar Ego) as they manifest in Taurus. Money holds the ambivalence of the presence of man in the world: taking and giving. Money serves grasping and money serves loving; money is lighted in Mary Magdalene’s costly perfume of love; money is darkened in Judas’s purse of blindness. Judas hangs himself while Mary Magdalene sees the resurrected with the eye of the soul kindled by love in the coin of the small self. The “head” side of money, the true face of Taurus, is matter lighted up with the labors of love it veils (love x earth); its purpose is to embody and vehiculate life. The “tail” side of the coin is the lid of “having and acquiring” which covers the eye of “Being”—the blind eye of early Taurus, groping for “things” and holding on to the material aspect of life, the envelope of the unborn soul. Opaque and unresponsive to soul values, it fails to see the life buried in all things and the attraction they generate.
The Taurus Christ prefigures the solar “face” of the earth-to-be, when Vulcan will have completed its firing work in the forges within. When the esoteric “gold” of the earth began to fill the cosmic “coin” of the planet with its solar radiance, the earth began to shine, Steiner says, and the blind planetary body became an embryonic eye in which the solar Logos could see itself lit in the “Christed” pupil of the earth.
When Taurusness in man acquires and accumulates, when it insists with obstinacy or resists with possessiveness, what it blindly searches for and seeks to own is an essence: the essence of what ensures the experience of tranquility and enjoyment. He may house it, clothe and beautify it, hold onto it or search for it in tangible forms. He may buy, build and adorn, groping for a pleasurable sensation of existential solidity and inalterability, and for the enjoyment that better objects and conditions might provide—until Vulcan lifts the eyelid of the son of the king, breaks through the palace walls or overturns the tables of current values. The spiritual intention trapped in the instinct to have and acquire bursts through the palace walls of the self. It fertilizes life with the will to create beauty hidden in the desire for beautiful objects, and awakens the power to “be” the stillness of Being. It frees the spirit of serenity locked in the forces of attachment, reveals the beauty of the physical world and lights up the soul spread in the body of all things.