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 firstname.lastname@example.org
by Francis Donald
Here is a brief tour through this month’s Virgo Full Moon image entitled “The Weaver”: The archetypal Virgin Mother-goddess sits at her loom in her cave-like workroom with the morning sunlight streaming in (Virgo is the eastern-most sign). She is just finishing her weaving: a design representing the causal body, the vehicle of the soul. Embracing this whirling nine-petalled lotus she has woven a nine-pointed star which carries the influence of nine “cosmic potencies” (astrological constellations) that are needed to prepare the personality for the yoke of the soul.
This weaver, (who is you and I) has been weaving this soul vehicle through lifetimes of conscious effort, gestating the Christ-life within through aeons of incarnations, and thus painstakingly opening each petal of the egoic lotus, one after another. In this image, the divine spark glows with life in our pregnant weaver. Her work is near completion; she has drawn from the warp of light-wisdom which has come to her through the woof of her countless experiences and, guided by her soul, has fashioned, with each pass of the shuttle, and through each effort made, that consecrated womb wherein the Christ-life may be “shielded, nurtured, and finally revealed”.
The Weaver’s jewelry (and part of her clothing) represent Virgo’s ruling planets. As esoteric ruler, the Moon, queen of form, shines in its glory. Mercury crowns its caduceus which “rules the bridge”, or antahkarana, between mind and intuition (here marking the passage between solar plexus and heart). The symbol for Jupiter, Virgo’s hierarchical ruler, (disguised as a hairpin) rules from her head center. She indicates the symbol of Virgo with her open left hand. A beam to quicken the divine spark shoots between her fingers and the symbol of Virgo. Her closed right hand (the ring, a talisman of her intent) symbolizes the gestating divine spark: “Christ in you, the hope of Glory”.
“Virgo symbolizes the whole goal of the evolutionary process which is to shield, nurture and finally reveal the hidden spiritual reality.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 279
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For the occultist/enthusiast, here are a few more quotes (some paraphrased):
On Virgo: “Virgo symbolizes depths, darkness, quiet and warmth; the valley of deep experience where secrets are discovered and brought to light…[It] stands for the ‘womb of time’ where God’s plan (the mystery and secret of the ages) is with struggle brought into manifestation at the appointed time.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 260
“Eve, Isis, and Mary [our weaver] embody the threefold form nature, the 3rd aspect of Divinity, that of God the Holy Spirit, or the active intelligence and nurturing principle… [These] three Virgins– the three mothers of the Christ principle– are the three aspects of the personality through which Christ must find expression.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 253
On the nine zodiacal signs or constellations: All nine energies are required to prepare the personality and bring forth the “hidden man of the heart,” the soul, the group conscious man. Esoteric Astrology, p. 279
On the 9 petalled lotus: “this egoic lotus is as truly substance of a particular vibration as is the physical body, [which] produces (upon the third sub-plane of the mental plane) a nine-fold vibration or whorl in the gaseous matter of the plane which, after a certain period of persistence, assumes the form of a nine-petalled lotus.”
On The Planetary Rulers: “Mercury, the orthodox ruler signifies the versatile energy of the Son of Mind or the soul. Interchangeable with the Sun, it acts as intermediary between Father and Mother, spirit and matter, and yet it is a result of their union. The Moon, which in Virgo veils Vulcan, here expresses God’s will to manifest in form…These rulers express 4th ray energy, mind through Mercury, form through the Moon.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 263
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Virgo’s roots go back to a time long before the Greeks knew her as the virgin goddess Artemis– even before ancient Egyptians worshipped her as Hathor, the “Habitation of the Holy Light”. ‘Virgo’ comes to us, according to the Tibetan*, “…from an ancient Atlantean root name, which was applied to the mother principle in those far off times.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 252.
* 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’.
But even if we could stand in that long-submerged temple of Lilith at the zenith of the Atlantean civilization, our penetration into Virgo’s hoary past would have barely begun. Going deeper into her origins would take us back into the night of time– back to Lemuria, through the time of the ‘egg-born’, then across worlds to the moon-chain; and on back through schemes, through chains of world cycles– back even through the pralaya that separates this solar system from the last. Finally, in the darkest depths of the past– before the Sons of God were known– in a time when the Mother, matter, and Holy Spirit reigned supreme– we may begin to find the source of Virgo.
In this image Virgo sits within the lunar ark, her ancient home and symbol, revealing to us the Light of the World. From the source of non-being, represented here by the vase, she has taken the seed of that light into herself (this is the meaning of the Moon veiling Vulcan), and for countless aeons has nourished it in the womb of substance. On our world and in our era she is Eve, Isis, and Mary, the triple integrated form nature, the 3rd aspect of divinity, whose sole purpose “…is to shield, nurture and finally reveal the hidden spiritual reality.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 251-2
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The visual metaphors:
Virgo’s form: The figure portrayed here represents the Moon as esoteric ruler of Virgo. The poise and grace of her moon-faced appearance suggest form in its most radiant and evolved state, for she is revealing a light hidden for aeons and is thus expressing her highest and final purpose. The sweeping lines of her clothing mirror the primordial sea over which she reigns. Echoing these curves mudra-like, the yin-yang position of her hands implies the nature of her revelatory gesture. The brilliant blue light of devotion radiates from her core. From her necklace hang three pendants indicating that she exemplifies the 3rd aspect of divinity.
The vase here represents the womb of the Virgin, which is both the womb of time, and of substance itself. It is the inner root of outer space: the Great Bear, the starry prototypes of our planetary logoi. All manifestation is a function of the Virgin. It is through her nurture and sustenance that light emerges from darkness– whether it is the spark of light (“Christ in you, the hope of glory”) nurtured in the womb of the threefold personality, or a cosmic entity nurtured in the womb of the three lower cosmic planes. Here, revelation bursts forth on the systemic stage; a planetary logoic prototype has emerged from out of the causal womb as Mercury, the exoteric ruler of Virgo, and “the perpetual companion of the Sun of Wisdom.” Secret Doctrine, Volume II, p. 31
The revelation this image strives to illustrate can be found in these lines from DK: “Mercury stands for the Mediator or intermediary between the Father and the Mother, between Spirit and Matter, and yet is the result of the union of these two… When the disciple becomes aware that he is himself Mercury, the Son of Mind, and therefore one with the universal Christ, the ‘Sun and yet the Son of God’, he is then an initiate.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 263, 284
In this image, the ‘Son of Mind,’ or solar consciousness, has stimulated the highest expression of the integrated personality, and thus lights the inner landscape of the substantive world. When this triumph of consciousness sweeps through humanity– when, through the 4th ray mediation of Mercury, the 4th kingdom of nature redeems the 4th ray lunar substance of personality in this 4th world period, the ranks of the Hierarchy, which is the 4th chakra of the planetary logos, will swell, thus moving that Great Being, whose terrestrial form is here shown in pre-dawn shadow, one step closer to becoming a sacred planet.
The Lunar Ark: E. Valentia Straiton tells us: “The symbols [of the feminine principle] are typified by the oval: as a cup, a boat, or a moon… She is the Ark– that ancient argha that floated over the celestial waters of the Abyss– that place of spiritual birth and rebirth– of emergence into immortality.” The Celestial Ship of the North, by E. Valentia Straiton, p. 1-2
Edward Kenealy adds: “…the Holy Spirit was the Ship of Life which bore over the vast Ocean of the Infinite the germ of all being… And the Moon in her crescent or boat-like shape became one of her emblems.” The Book of God: the Apocalypse of Adam–Oannes, by Edward Kenealy, p. 3
Finally from Alan Leo: “She [the Moon] is more potent when below the horizontal line than when above; her influence below the earth being more in keeping with her mission to shine by night as a reflector of the Sun than by day when the Sun is visible.” Symbolism and Astrology, by Alan Leo, p.12-13
Geometry: The disc with a central point within this figure’s headdress represents Virgo’s esoteric ruler, which is Vulcan, veiled by the Moon. Light and dark are here reversed from the way this symbol is usually depicted, thus emphasizing that Vulcan is one with the Sun, veiled by the darkened lunar disk, or substantive realm. This symbol illustrates the metaphor of mother and child with the greatest possible economy; and since it marks both the genesis and expression of the will to incarnate, it aptly symbolizes this entire image. From above the head of the goddess, this symbol fixes the lunar arc’s point of origin in her highest chakra. Radiating out from the mountaintop of Capricorn, it marks both source and goal: “the light of knowledge of which Taurus is the custodian [and which Vulcan rules] gives place to the light of wisdom of which Virgo is the guardian, and yields finally to the light of initiation in Capricorn.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 260
Virgo: “Virgo symbolizes depths, darkness, quiet and warmth; it is the valley of deep experience wherein secrets are discovered and eventually “brought to light”; it is the place of slow, gentle and yet powerful crises and periodic developments which take place in the dark and yet which lead to light.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 260
Virgo’s element is “‘the radiant surface of the earth’, the plane of form,” Esoteric Astrology, p. 260
I’d like to wrap up these notes with one of DK’s most beautiful concluding paragraphs, taken from his section on Virgo in Esoteric Astrology: “Ponder upon the beauty of this synthesis and teaching and know that you yourself have said the first word as the soul, descending into the womb of time and space in a far and distant past. The time has now come when you can, if you so choose, proclaim your identity with both divine aspects— matter and Spirit, the mother and the Christ.” Esoteric Astrology, p. 284-5
Virgo keywords: “I am the mother and the child. I, God, I, matter am.”
Thank you for sharing this work with me!
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