The images and texts published in these posts were created by Francis Donald. His wonderfully evocative images and inspiring writings help us to more fully understand the nature of astrological signs, and the esoteric concepts underlying their meaning and power.
We are grateful to Francis for this most significant contribution.
Francis Donald can be contacted at email@example.com
by Francis Donald
Crowned by the symbol of her sign, our Libran stands poised between the pairs of opposites. She holds the dorje, symbol of spirit, vertically in her right hand, and the bell, symbol of the force which initiates the manifested world– horizontally in her left. Her fingers form the mudra of balance. The poise she has attained is neither rigid nor static, but is, rather, an expression of her dynamic focus; a fluid state of perfected attention. She faces West, and her airy garment (Libra is an air sign) reflects her position on the western arm of the cardinal cross. Yet paradoxically she stands at the “midway point, where land, water, and air meet”- that central point where, freed from polarization in the “little self”, liberation becomes truly possible. Venus, Libra’s exoteric ruler, shines above the mountain-top of Capricorn. Watery Cancer swirls beneath her feet. Aries, her opposite in the East, holds the tightrope on the far shore. Saturn, among whose many names is “The Lord of Balance”, reigns as Hierarchical ruler in this sign, and thus takes His place as crown jewel proclaiming “God and His form are One”.
For the occultist/enthusiast, here are a few more quotes and tidbits about the Double Full Moon: During the aeons of rebirth that it takes to develop and perfect the personality, human beings incarnate through the zodiacal signs in an opposite direction to how those signs progress through the year. But, at a certain point of preparedness in the career of the soul, he or she reverses direction on the wheel of rebirth. This reversal is the mark of an accepted disciple. The opportunity to make that shift occurs on the Libra/Aries axis.
The two full moons, occurring as they did at the very beginning and very end of Libra in 2010, offered us a beautiful metaphor for this reversal. They can be seen as two great gates. One, on the Scorpio end of the sign, provides entry for most of humanity as it continues to perfect its personality expression; the other, opens the way into Libra for those few on the reversed Path entering from Virgo. It is the enlightened quality of this latter gate that I have attempted to portray in this image.
The geometry of the figure portrayed is based on the 3-4-5 Pythagorean triangle, used to construct many of Egypt’s ancient pyramids as the image below shows.
This triangle is a philosophical goldmine– much can be gained through a study of the relationship of the three, ever the number of the sacred and unmanifested; the four, the number of matter; and the five, the number of humankind who, through the 5th principle of mind, builds his bridge from 4 to 3, from the quaternary of the lower self to the “feet of the Master”, the spiritual Triad. In this image the 3-4-5 triangles form the dual axis of the cardinal cross. Notice that Capricorn in the North shares with Libra both Venus and Saturn as rulers, and Aries in the East shares Uranus, Libra’s esoteric ruler.
The dorje is a perfect Libran symbol with its pair of opposites and balance point. It also illustrates the dual 1st and 7th ray qualities of Uranus (you might just be able to make out the symbol of Uranus worked into the lines of the dorje). The central sphere represents the Unmanifest, the One. Upward grows the 3, the lotus bud of spirit which is then reflected downward into the quaternary of the manifested world; together they represent the septenary nature of the universe. Thus, as the Tibetan says: “Uranus embodies the principle of concretion.”
- “Called ‘the place of judgement’; here [in Libra] the die is cast: it separates the sheep (Aries) from the goats (Capricorn). This is the distinction between the ordinary and reversed wheel.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 229
- “The end of the century will see the influence of Libra rising as it rules the transition between the Piscean and Aquarianages.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 239
- Dane Rudhyar’s Gifts of the Spirit describes Libra as: “A totally accepted relatedness, be it with an object, a situation or a person… Natural growth of inherent potentialities, ease and logic of development, elegance of unfoldment; these are the jewels of the art of living; these are the tests of mastery.”
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When Athena burst forth fully formed from the head of Zeus, she gave us our most graphic example of the nature of Venus. Both brilliant and beautiful, she epitomizes the ideal feminine– the third aspect of divinity. “The Razor’s Edge” also depicts Venus at the instant of her emerging– the ‘fragments’ of her body still half in the darkness of the noumenal realm, and half bathed in the light of manifestation. By stepping onto the “narrow razor-edged Path which runs between the pairs of opposites”(Esoteric Astrology, p. 227) she at once exemplifies the lesson of Libra and reveals the gift of Venus: the ability to coordinate mind and heart– or as the Tibetan* tells us “…the power of mind transmuted into wisdom through the instrumentality of love.” Esoteric Astrology p. 126-7
* The Tibetan is Djwahl Khul, a Tibetan master who worked with the English author Alice Bailey to produce twenty-four books on esoteric philosophy. In these notes He is referred to as ‘DK’.
Just as Venus emerges from the radiant violet male figure, which in this image represents Uranus, so does the impetus to coordinate the mind and heart emerge from a more fundamental purpose: that of anchoring the realm of the soul in our world through the medium of the personality. This is the work of Uranus, which the Tibetan describes as “Occult consciousness or that intelligent, fusing condition which produces the scientific at-one-ment of the two factors, higher and lower self, through the intelligent use of the mind.”
Saturn, the planet of opportunity (depicted at the top of the image), completes the 3rd aspect trinity of influences on Libra. DK tells us: “Saturn is exalted in Libra for—at the point of balance—opportunity comes…” Esoteric Astrology, p. 249
Geometry and sacred number: If you look closely at this image, you can just make out an equilateral triangle originating in the Venusian head chakra, passing down through her arms and fingertips, and crossing at the bottom edge of her torso. This is both the Libran and the Saturnian geometrical figure par excellence, for it represents the pairs of opposites brought into balance by the higher mind (upper point). It is interesting to note that when the sides of the triangle are extended until the bottom horizontal crosses beneath Venus’ feet, it creates two additional equilateral triangles (barely visible here) that ‘hang’ from each of the Uranian figure’s hands thus providing the underlying geometry for the scales, Libra’s symbol. This extended triangle creates a tektraktys of inner triangles (ten triangles, the number of perfected man) whose positions in relation to the human form reveal some interesting correlations– for instance the central down-pointing triangle encompasses all the lower chakras whereas its higher up-turned corresponding triangle contains the higher chakras; notice also that the head is situated within the highest division of the tektraktys.
Deep in the violet shadows of this piece, you’ll find a pentagon. From this five-sided figure, which personifies man, manas, and the 5th ray, Venus (Libra’s exoteric ruler) emerges. She is overshadowed by Uranus who stands at the core of a platonic solid made up of twelve pentagons. I have used this dodecahedron here to represent a deeper octave within the noumenal realm (befitting the esoteric ruler). Numerologically, the dodecahedron’s thirty sides reduce to three, the number of 3rd ray Saturn (Libra’s hierarchical ruler). In fact, through its 3–7–5 descent, Libra is the quintessential exemplar of the 3rd aspect of divinity.
Dodecahedron, by Francis Donald
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Libra: “In Libra the first real vision of the Path appears.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 227
“Life of soul and form is balanced. Neither dominates. Equilibrium. An interlude wherein the soul organizes itself for battle and the personality waits. This is the probationary path. Duality known.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 228
Libra keywords: “I choose the Way that leads between the two great lines of force.”
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