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
‘Chrysalis’: “In the first cycle of experience upon the wheel, the soul itself is in captivity to substance; it has come down into the prison house of matter and linked itself to form.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 116
A disciple finds himself between the night of the form-world and the dawn of soul contact. Through the crisis of death– “death of desire, death of the personality and of all which holds him between the pairs of opposites” Esoteric Astrology, p. 127. Pluto (shown in this image midway between the moon and the dawn light) has shifted this disciple’s focus away from the world of form to a place of deep introspection, yet still the radiance of the higher realms are hidden from his inner sight.
As he has throughout the long ages of his existence– and will many times again in the aeons that lie before him– our Piscean native prepares for death. He retreats deep within himself– to a place that stands between the night of the form-world and the dawn of that which will follow. He is swayed in turn by both, and as he struggles against fear, the moon’s troubled waters fill him with doubt: form ever clings to the past, while the inner spark leaps towards its Source. In the midst of his struggle, unseen and unheard, a Lord of Will spirals from the inner realms into this outer place. His Presence fills our seeker with peace. In this moment of profound calm, the gateway into ‘life more abundant’ flashes across the disciple’s inner vision– and he realizes that death, as he has learned to view it, is an illusion born of fear. He releases his grip on the past, and the form-world loses its hold on him. He shifts his ‘point of tension’ beyond the chrysalis– which now appears to him as a binding sheath– and following his sutratma, the silver thread that has anchored him in his body, passes through the narrow passage.
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Geometry: As a metaphor for passage between planes of consciousness, this Piscean image uses the double helix (without the lateral connecting lines). Here, the energy of this double spiral surrounds the 1st ray Master who is presiding over the death of our seeker. Through focused intent He opens a passage into the higher realms. Another almost invisible double helix embraces Pluto, whose work of separating form from formless can be seen unfolding above and below this deeply mysterious planet.
The Portal is an opening into another state of consciousness. This image depicts two related but radically different such gateways. Our seeker must pass through the narrow neck of the chrysalis, whereas the 1st ray Lord can move at will between the planes that separate form from the formless realms. Sounding forth a note of dissolution, He raises his arms, and through His focused intent a wide flame-like opening appears, imbued with the Presence of the ‘Silent Watcher.’
“The first ray is the controller of the death drama in all kingdoms—a destruction of forms which brings about release of power and permits ‘entrance into Light through the gateway of Death.’” Esoteric Psychology I, p. 64
Pluto: Our Piscean disciple has moved beyond the expansive control of Jupiter, Pisces’ exoteric ruler. Its influence has passed to Pluto (Pisces’ esoteric and hierarchical ruler), where it functions as the ‘Opener of the Door’ and the ‘Liberator from Form.’ You can see Pluto’s influence in action here– the ‘Lord of Death’ compels form, which is under the rule of the Moon, to return to Earth (‘dust to dust’), while that which survives this dissolution is released into the dawn of life beyond the realm of physical form.
“[The disciple] comes through Pluto—under the destroying power of death—death of desire, death of the personality and of all which holds him between the pairs of opposites, in order to achieve the final liberation. Pluto or death never destroys the consciousness aspect.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 127
Pisces: “It is the interplay of these dual potencies (1st and 2nd ray) which precipitates the process of transmutation and eventual escape through death.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 125
“Pisces governs the feet and hence the whole thought of progress, of attaining the goal, and the treading of the Path of Return has been the underlying spiritual revelation of the great cycle through which we are passing.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 128
The 1st Ray Master: “The Lords of Will and Sacrifice come down into manifestation to redeem matter and raise the lives by which it is informed. This is the subjective purpose, underlying the sacrifice of these divine Lives Who are qualified by knowledge, love and will, and animated by ceaseless persevering devotion. They seek to bring about the death of the form in its occult significance and the consequent release of the indwelling lives into a higher state of consciousness.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 116-7
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‘Eye of the Soul’: “…upon the reversal of the wheel, [the soul] proceeds to detach itself from the personality and re-attach itself in consciousness to the One Who sent it forth. Such is the climaxing story of Pisces.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 116.
‘Eye of the Soul’ depicts the next stage of the Piscean process. A fish (representing the vehicle of personality consciousness) and its rider (the captive soul) have together navigated the waters of the lower quaternary for countless æons. Inexorably drawn by his monad, the ‘little one’ urges his Piscean vehicle to lift itself beyond its own watery element. Together they emerge from the dark waters of substance. But in the rare atmosphere of soul contact, the fish, which is the personality aspect, occultly ‘dies’. If you look closely you’ll see the night sky filled with those ‘fish’ who have gone before. This represents the transformative agency of Pluto, for as Djwhal Khul (DK) says, “Pluto never destroys the consciousness aspect.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 127
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The Geometry for this Pisces cycle is the point within the triangle, which, DK tells us, represents the Christ Himself. Take a look at the image and you’ll see that it is this point– the ‘solar eye’– with which the ‘eye of the fish’, or personality consciousness, aligns itself.
The following quote describes the work of the Christ (whose eyes can be seen in this image near the top of the circle of geometrical forms), “As Dispenser of the Water of Life and as Nourisher of the Little Ones, He enters upon His duties in the Aquarian Age, whilst at the centre of the Triangle, He influences, enlightens, and produces right relations in the masses of men. In the coming era, He will, therefore, be known as:
- The Point within the Triangle.
- The Dispenser of the Water of Life.
- The Nourisher of the Little Ones.
…As the Point within the Triangle, Christ becomes the awakener of the hearts of men.
… As Nourisher of the Little Ones, we are dealing with an aspect of Christ’s work which involves the stimulation of the consciousnesses of His disciples… The result of His work in the Triangle with the masses of men will be the presentation of the first initiation” The Reappearance of the Christ, p. 83, 86
But the point within the triangle also stands at the center of all geometrical forms, and thus at the center of the entire form-world– for spirit substands matter in all its permutations. Again to the image: Drawn by the light of higher mind (represented by the light issuing from the top triangle of the pentagon), the ‘little one’ passes up through the denser layers of the form-world becoming ever more transparent as he ascends.
A different but related perspective on this point within the triangle is given in Discipleship in the New Age, Volume II, “…the initiate, standing upon the point within the triangle and not upon the square, sees (in a flash of time) the great aligning procedure which will carry him from the immediate point of revelation on to the final glory…” Discipleship in the New Age, II, p. 399
The Astrological Symbols: The solar ‘point within the circle’ rises triumphant from the substanding lunar realm, while Neptune, which was conjunct the luminaries at the time of the Piscean new moon (for the first time since 1849), represents the Christ. “Neptune is known esoterically as the Initiator. In certain ancient formulas, the great Teacher of the West and the present world Initiator, Christ, is spoken of as Neptune, Who rules the ocean…” Esoteric Astrology, p. 219. For the personality (fish), the ‘eye’, formed by these three planets conjunct the point within the triangle, represents, the ‘eye of vision’, or intuition, which opens, DK tells us, “when duality is being overcome.” Discipleship in the New Age, II, p. 51. The interplay between these four conjunct symbols tells the story of the entire image.
The 1st and 2nd Rays: “…part of the work of [1st ray] Pluto is to ‘cut the thread which binds the two opposing lives together’.” Through Jupiter, Pisces is also ruled by the 2nd ray. “It is the activity consequently of the second ray force which relates soul and form and brings the two together, and this magnetic potency is peculiarly descriptive of the activity of Pisces.”
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