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HIGH CALLING OF THE SIGNS—PART TWO

by

Zane Maser

The Gemini-Sagittarius Polarity

Gemini

My dilemma is to force the two poles of life together, To transcribe the dual voices into life's melody.

Herman Hesse

The Sun enters the air sign of Gemini on May 21-22 when the first blush of flowers and leaves have reached their peak. During this time, growing life is still fresh, vital, and captivating, but the season is on the cusp of change and in transition from spring to summer. For Gemini, life is constantly new, fun, and fascinating to explore. Their nature gives them a love of excitement, travel, and learning. The Heavenly Twins are often described in these ways:  'The light changeable breeze of early summer. Here today and gone tomorrow,' and as 'the eternal butterfly of the zodiac.' Gemini is fascinated momentarily by just about everything, but can be as changeable and unpredictable as quicksilver.

Gemini, ruled by Mercury, the planet of consciousness and communication, is one of the four mutable signs that exemplify the Wisdom aspect of the Trinity. Mutable energy gives the soul a certain pliability, which matches an easy-going, adaptable, and tolerant temperament, combined with an urgent need to accumulate wisdom through a broad sampling of experiences. The mutable quality is also oriented towards relationships and all avenues of communication. These four signs and their ruling planets all have to do with acquiring knowledge and, at best, with a desire to serve.

Gemini is the lively, eternal child of the zodiac where there is great need for freedom of movement to roam physically and mentally, for this native, like all air signs, needs plenty of space and air. Gemini has an inquiring spirit, the ability to pick up new ideas and skills rapidly, and a fertile, adept mind that spins at rapid speeds—sometimes even in their sleep! Gemini is the one who is swiftly exploring all the fascinating passing scenery and trails in life before settling on one to follow to reach maturity and wisdom. This sign is the 'youth' (in the stages of human development) who is beginning to develop rational thought processes but who is equipped with a special instinct for and verbal gracefulness with words.

According to Isabel Hickey, Gemini is the most important of the twelve signs, both in the evolutionary cycle and from the standpoint of universal laws. She says, 'everyone comes under the influence of Gemini. It represents the dual forces, the opposition of the human and the divine in all of us. …Until the two are harmonized the law of opposites will continue to operate.' Thus the mortal nature must be blended with and transmuted by the immortal nature. Ultimately, Gemini's highest potential lies in unifying his or her considerable talents and vigor and in transcending the turbulent frontal mind so that it serves rather than possesses and dissipates.

Grappling with duality seems to be the central life issue for agile-minded Gemini who is continually pulled in opposite ways by both inner Twins, whether it is between good or evil; dark or light; feminine or masculine; the structured, analytical mind or intuitive flashes from the spiritual realm; and the human or divine natures. Even the areas within the physical body that Gemini has rulership over are paired: the lungs, arms, hands, shoulders, brain and nervous system. When, however, the Twins can solidly stand in the middle of two quarrelling opposites, inner conflicts and tension soften and disappear. Then, rather than opposites being mutually exclusive, they blend in a complementary way; together they support and help each other use energy wisely.

Gemini is depicted mythologically by the most famous twins, Castor and Pollux-one human, one divine. One twin is consciously oriented to the intellectual trance of this world, whereas the other can touch the transpersonal realm to link with intuition and attune with the Divine self. In the myth both twins are never in the same place at the same time; thus is born their dilemma and the often-violent clash between the two. When finally in harmonious accord, their considerable gifts are freely revealed. The Zend Avesta sums up their struggle, 'Now the two primal spirits, who reveal themselves in visions as Twins, are the Better and the Bad in thought, word, and action. And, between the two, the wise ones choose aright, the foolish not so.'

Gemini symbolizes the great cosmic forces of positive and negative, which constantly weave through the fabric of life. Its glyph represents the two pillars—one light, one dark—and they support the gateway into the inner Temple of Wisdom. (The gateway is the conscious mind with its powers to synthesize, but not the Temple itself, which is found in Sagittarius, whose domain is the super-conscious mind. The mind, with its ability to command matter is, nonetheless, the creator of the temple of the soul.) These two forces each serve a vital purpose. In order to live with an inner rapport, Gemini must learn within itself to balance the forces of its lower, egocentric desires with its divine spirit. A crucial part of Gemini's high path in life is to hold the bridge between the transpersonal and material realms by gaining control of the over-active conscious mind. In so doing, Gemini is capable of being the messenger and interpreter of universal ideas and higher wisdom through its innate talents and intellectual dexterity.

Within the dualism of Gemini are a number of paradoxes that unlock this sign's high calling. The time of year when Gemini reigns has already been noted as the light, skimming-the-surface breezes of early summer, but it is also the time of the most powerful festival of the year—the Christ Festival—when the moon is full in its opposite sign, Sagittarius. From the inner realms comes a glorious outpouring of spiritual light and those who have stilled the busy frontal mind through peaceful, calm breathing and focused thought can partake of the heavenly manna. Mercury, as the winged messenger of the gods and the intermediary between realms, is the bearer of the Christ Light to the human consciousness. Thus, the opportunity within Gemini is the foundation on which a greater capacity for sensitivity is accessed once the mental faculty is consciously brought under control. The restless flitting of the mind does serve an important function in the evolution of youthful Gemini, because it provides the Twins with finely prepared, exceptional gifts of verbal and written expression. Who then than the Twins could be a more skilled messenger of Divine wisdom?

Sagittarius

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things.
…There is an inmost center in us all
Where truth abides in fullness.
.

Robert Browning

When the days become short and the nights longer, with winter's restful sleep fast approaching, we enter the mutable fire sign of Sagittarius on November 21-22. He is the dual natured Centaur, half man and half horse, with his strong mental and physical powers. He has been described as the wandering gypsy of the zodiac because of his great love of eternal movement and travel. The Sagittarian, with his or her dynamic drive and prodigious energy, wants to get as big a slice of life on all levels as is humanly possible, often in the early stages to the point of overindulgence. Benevolent Jupiter, the largest planet, rules Sagittarius and is renown for doing things on a grand scale!

It is the far horizons that tantalize the ever-questing Archer. With arrows (representing restless enthusiasm, optimism, and unquenchable hopes for the future) shot in multiple directions, this generous soul craves free exploration and a broad understanding of life. To arrive at some given, pre-determined destination is not the Archer's aspiring motive, but rather the burning drive behind is to have grown and expanded in the process of the adventure. Boredom and confinement, as well as commitments that limit motion, are repugnant to the Archer's high spirits. His or her philosophy is that it is better to take bold, courageous risks—to aim upwards, to shoot for the stars in open wonder and discovery than to have aimed low and hit the prosaic and steady.

At the heart of this mentally oriented dual sign lies the mystery of its Centaur nature, wherein a battle is waged between the mortal, animal side and that which is immortal and divine. In the formative course of development, the multi-talented Sagittarian is drawn to many outlets, such as sports and other physical activities, in an ardent attempt to keep moving and quickly grasp more of what he or she already has. It is fitting, therefore, that Sagittarius governs the 'seat of locomotion in the body,' where moving legs propel the individual toward a chosen objective. The Archer, being an idealist, has a remarkable intuition for opportunity, possibility, and potential. His sport is actually a full engagement in the art of living, where the journey is as varied, alluring, informative, and expansive as imaginable. Self-control and concentrated discipline are, at best, a low priority. The personal self—the 'unlit self'—is the part with the reins at this stage. Relationships are kept friendly and mentally stimulating but not of any real depth, for Sagittarius is not a particularly personal or romantic sign. Eventually, after spending the self in restless travel and constant change, the Sagittarian begins to lose interest in the ephemeral delights of limited human life with all of its imperfections.

Although unwise living takes its toll when the soul is enslaved by passions rather than mastering them, somewhere in the Archer's being is the faint call to reorient inward. The purpose of this interior journey is to pursue the light and truth of understanding and to begin to exercise some control over impulse and thought in order to access the wisdom and illumination of the Higher mind. In her poetic style, Isabel Hickey describes this crossroads:  'The far horizons beckon him. In the first part of life, it is the physical horizons that call him. In the later part of life, the spiritual horizons of the super-conscious mind beckon him to the highlands of spiritual understanding.' When the lower self becomes trained to use self-restraint and patience in obedience to higher attainment, the Archer consciously begins to respond to its arrow of aspiration that was always pointed toward the Divine, toward the fire signs' soul lesson of love through Divine wisdom. All fire signs need to be in love because fire tends to weaken without some belief in love.

The true quest of the Sagittarian soul is that of a perfect blending of the Universal Self with that of the ordinary human self through development of the Higher mind and its faculties. Thus is born the prophetic ability of this gifted, fluid sign. The high calling of the Archer is to be the 'sign of the prophet' as a 'cosmic mouthpiece.' In this sacred place also comes the perfect expression of Divine love exquisitely permeating human love. The flame deep in the heart burns with controlled, clear brightness for all and the Sagittarian attains that which he or she always unconsciously sought: true liberation of the spirit, for real freedom lies in the kingdom within, not in the world of appearances and duality.

Sagittarius is a deeply religious, intuitive sign. The Archer wants to reconnect with the roots of life, with their Source, and with some genuine sense of meaning, which draws them to religion, which in its original sense meant to reconnect, to link back with a permanent awareness of God. They are likely to pursue the laws governing life through study of the more profound levels of science, philosophy, law, psychology, religion, and metaphysics. They are often drawn to explore the unknown, the unexplained hidden domains and occult subjects to uncover the secrets of the universe. Their lively search for Truth makes them ideal teachers, philosophers, wise counselors and spiritual advisors who are readily able to share the divine magic of love's generous outpouring. Sagittarians, born during the sign of luck, seem to be blessed with divine fortune many times over by the 'God of Jacob' in Genesis. Jacob's son, Joseph, symbolizes Sagittarius, and his fortunate hand turned Egypt's devastating famine to the survival for all. When their natural dualism is united in wholeness, this biggest of the signs opens up inviting horizons for those who would share in the Archer's stellar gaze.

There are some interesting contrasts in the Gemini-Sagittarius continuum that help illuminate the unique energy of each sign. On all planes of being, both these extremely mental signs are connected with the furtherance of knowledge. Both signs have an emphatic need to communicate, usually in a friendly and open way. Both have inquisitive minds capable of high intelligence and in need of constant stimulation, but Sagittarius has the ability to travel over a wider territory geographically, mentally, and emotionally than does Gemini. Sagittarius is intuitive; Gemini excels in the rational and empirical. The scope of Sagittarius' journeys and studies are more profound, often tapping into the spiritual stratum. Gemini, who much prefers the concrete to the abstract, is prone to intellectually analyzing the huge number of data bits that continually come into his or her head with microscopic intensity. But Sagittarius, with a speculative mind, is more interested in his or her intuitive abilities to interrelate overlapping fields of knowledge rather than dissecting them.

Gemini tends to have more verbal dexterity, tactfulness, charm, and detached poise than Sagittarius. The Archer tends to have his or her vision absorbed with the well-being and moral foundation of humanity, while the Twins are more involved with the individual in relationship to his or her immediate social milieu. Archers search for the Absolute Truth underlying all causation; Twins want to know the best methodology for their individual encounters. Both of these signs, in their special talents and unique approaches to life, are as necessary to the evolutionary growth of each individual as are the elements of air and fire for the continuance of life. Opposite signs are complementary in numerous ways and share similarities, but are also essentially opposing in characteristic ways. In the light of day, though, each sign is covertly its opposite.

Mercury and Jupiter

The vision of Gemini is normal, that of Virgo microscopic; but Jupiter is telescopic, scanning distant horizons. Mercury studies local maps; he is usually an authority on tubes and bus routes. But Jupiter asks for atlases and maps of continents.

Exactly the same qualities appear in the intellectual life. Jupiter seeks general principles and universal ideas, whilst Mercury is a critic and commentator, an annotator of margins.

Charles Carter from his Essays

Mercury is the child of Jupiter and astrologically its polar opposite. Myth tells us that Mercury, who rules the reasoning mind, came forth from the head of his father, Jupiter. Mercury, with its transcendental quality, governs the ray of wisdom and his talents are numerous, all of which have to do with the various aspects of expression, such as speaking and writing. It is said that another of his many attributes is as the giver of the healing arts, and it is easy to see how Mercury brings a vital awareness to how physical and mental health are connected to the breath, thought control, and aspiration.

As the winged messenger of the gods, Mercury travels swiftly, carrying communications between the limited personality of earth and the greater Self of heaven. Mercury is the smallest and fastest planet in our solar system and so it is the recipient of a greater flooding of light than any other planet. This planet is ideally suited to carry out the duties as the 'Divine Herald' and as the bridge builder between the lower and higher states of being. Mercury has a key function in both the mundane and higher spheres.

Mercury is considered an androgynous planet, neither distinctly male nor female, that is able to bridge opposites and mirror in subtle ways what comes within its field. In medieval alchemy, it was once known as Mercurius, the Great Transformer and translator who aids the holy process of integration. The central task of the 'Great Work' was to reconcile and balance the female and male aspects so there would be the transformation of earthly substance into pure spiritual gold. Mercury's purpose is to facilitate the soul's attainment of Divine wisdom through perfect inner harmony. In essence, Mercury is the s/he planet! Mercury's symbol of the magic cauduceus or wand also reveals this same harmonizing function of balancing the negative and positive life streams.

Jupiter, in contrast, is the largest planet and tends to do things on a Homeric scale. The central principle of Jupiter is growth and expansion. At his best, he symbolizes successful living and inner integration. According to myth, Jupiter is the King of the Gods and in stature is an imposing figure with all his great nobility, dignity, and majesty. Jesus is one such King of Kings, for he is the head of the 6th ray of religious aspiration and healing, the ray linked with Jupiter. Prophecy and priesthoods of various religions come within Jupiter's far-reaching influence. He functions as the way shower for future plans and directions.

Known as the planet of the Higher mind who governs the celestial body, Jupiter is associated with a charmed life, bountiful increase, fulfillment, benevolence, protection, higher truth, and in whose influence the soul is awakened and strengthened in its need for the Divine. Conscious awareness of the inner worlds begins to enlarge once the personality rises above the cross of physical and mental matters, as exemplified in Jupiter's glyph. Part of Jupiter's providence relates to those heavenly bursts of insight and inspiration, as well as wonderful moments of ecstasy and epiphany when the little self soars on wings of spirit.

Charles Carter illuminates the interplay between Jupiter and Mercury when he wrote, 'Jupiter is a constructive and progressive Mercury' and 'Jupiter manifests on a far broader canvas than Mercury.' Because both planets rule the four mutable, mental signs and signify the wisdom principle, they have much to do with the constant fluctuation of consciousness between matter and spirit. Both planets are also exalted in the signs related to the positive feminine principle: Mercury in Virgo (also its ruler and where it is exalted), sign of the blessed Virgin, and Jupiter in Cancer, sign of Divine Mother.

Both planets rule areas of the body that relate to expression, movement, and the freedom to travel on various planes of being. Mercury represents the means, while Jupiter is associated with the ends. Jupiter tends to be open to the abstract, the unknown, faraway hopes of the future and of wholeness. In contrast, Mercury wants to separate and analyze in logical detail the diverse pieces of accepted knowledge in the present moment. Dane Rudhyar suggests that Jupiter and Mercury must be in balance for physical and psychological health, for ease of communication and fulfilling social relationships.

The gifts of Mercury and Jupiter are indeed plentiful, and they offer them through an increased realization of the powers of light and dark. These powers can be melded into perfect harmony through controlled breathing and thought and by turning the gaze heavenward to catch the brightest Star.

The Cancer-Capricorn Polarity

Cancer

The greatest field of victory is in your own home. If you are an angel at home, you can be an angel everywhere. The sweetness of your voice, the peace of your behavior, is needed in your own household more than anywhere else.

Paramahansa Yogananda

In the watery, reflective sign of Cancer the Crab, at the arrival of the Summer Solstice on June 22, life has reached a fertile peak of growth. The Great Mother's tender sustaining of all life is everywhere apparent. The long, lazy days, when the sun has reached its northernmost point at midsummer, are meant to be restful and enjoyable. During Cancer's ascendancy, outer activity in the life of plants and animals seems less evident, but much activity is happening in ways indirect and less overt. For Cancer, the protective, caring cardinal sign, tremendous activity is generated on the emotional level, where the constant urge is for emotional security. Affection and reassurance do much to quell the gentle Cancerian heart. Cancer, ruled by the silvery Moon, is considered the most personal sign with all its many complexities; this plays out in the Crab's devotion to the roots of its origin, home, the womb of the family, and the past. These issues of life fall within the 4th house (Cancer's natural domicile), which relates to one's basic psychological foundation as a firm base of operations for negotiating both on land (the material plane) and in the ocean (the emotional plane). Cancer, though often innately shy, quiet, and unassuming, is an extremely powerful sign and is known for being practical, cautious, and economical, but also a sign of great depth with a high capacity for imagination and creativity.

Cancer's domain relates to the mysterious surging and ebbing of the sea and the cycles of the moon. Cancers are, by nature, highly secretive and often non-direct about what they are doing. As a sign in the fluid element of water, Cancer functions mainly from the emotional, sympathetic level, where its impressionability to feelings and sensations is like a 'psychic sponge.' Cancers often feel what a person is thinking because they are so absorbent and receptive. They frequently also have difficulty separating what are their own intense feelings from those around them because they tend to take on psychic impressions from their surroundings. They react instinctively from their highly developed, emotional perceptions, rather than from reason or the intellect, so they often don't know whether they have thought it or felt it. The soul lesson for a person with Sun in Cancer is divine peace in an active, outgoing manner. In the spirit of the cardinal quality, Cancer must extend its feelings with an open hand and heart.

One of the greatest needs and potential gifts of Cancer is to reach the quiet place where the still, living waters of the soul are calm—without the constant pummel by internal tides or the tides of others. (The Moon rules at night, when the outer world is the most still and quiet and much activity ceases; symbolically this helps to calm the tides). This inner tranquil place in the heart is the actual home and sanctuary that Cancers seek. Here the true Supply and Supplier can be known, for this is the key that unlocks various facets of the high calling of Cancer. Here the Crab is able, through the safety of quiet privacy, to learn to nurture himself or herself, to discover lasting self-worth, and to realize his or her own needs for emotional fulfillment because water signs are renowned for their tendency to live through their loved ones.

The parts of the body that Cancer rule all have to do with feeding and nourishment, but the Crab can be so busy giving comfort to others that what nourishes her or his own soul lies latent somewhere in the unfathomed depths. Cancers must learn that the mark of an inwardly, well-nourished, and recharged soul is the ability to give selflessly, both wisely to one's self and to others. It is the person who is 'willing to be the least who is the greatest of all,' for hidden in the secret mysteries of Cancer is the law that to give without thought of self is to simultaneously receive and that one is never diminished by unconditional giving. This dynamic is clearly shown by the Moon: she absorbs/receives the light from the Sun and then reflects/gives her own pearly light to the whole human family.

Cancer is the sign of the Cosmic Mother, who is the source of spiritual sustenance, for which there are no earthly substitutes. Together with the Sun, they are the positive and negative life streams of this principle of Divine Supply. Our World Mother, who provides the forms of life, nourishes all humanity equally at Her breast, without a hint of favoritism towards kinsfolk. She gives unconditionally not for what she may receive but for what she can give. She provides all our needs, as the archetypal conduit of Love, when we eat of those from the divine level of life, for emotional cravings and hunger are only ultimately satisfied here. The tremendous egalitarian outpouring of Her heavenly blessings at the magical time of the Summer Solstice especially gives Cancer a spiritual infusion.

The advanced Cancer is able to personify this bountiful expression of the Divine Mother and to distribute the maternal gifts of enfoldment and sympathy to those who are drawn to their soft, comforting nature. Cancers have an inborn, profound understanding of human nature and human suffering, and they also have a great love of people and life. (This sign governs the public and mass consciousness, which gives Cancer a depth of acuity to what is publicly appealing.) They have the capability to internally embody the Mother archetype in all its compassion (what Einstein called the 'widening circle of compassion'), richness, and wisdom. Sophia is one of the graceful faces of the Mother, whose name in Greek means 'wisdom.' When Cancer rests within the private sanctuary of its heart, the Crab is able to absorb inner wisdom.

The Moon and the Sun are known as the 'lights,' and it is this complementary pair that present humanity with so many opportunities for growth. This relates to one aspect of the high calling for Cancer, that of actually taking on a lunar glow all their own, secure in their own right. Emotional security, at root of which is the lack of fear, can only be gained through an enduring contact with the Source of Love in one's own heart. The everyday personality, ruled by the Moon, must unite with the Solar self. By tapping into the abundant interior supply, the Cancer soul becomes self-contained, for it is flooded with divine light and love. The ancient Chinese 'yin-yang' symbol illustrates this cosmic principle of Luna and Sol clearly:  within the dark portion or yin (female) half is a small circle of the light or yang (male) energy available and vice versa. Carl Jung described this same relationship as the 'animus,' a psychological structure within a female's psyche, and the 'anima' within the male's psyche.

Finally, the advanced Cancer has made the shift from being a natural born hoarder of what's known and safe to an inward trust in the Divine Parents, thus storing up its treasures where there is eternal, lasting value. All the water signs have a deep longing for trust. Cancers are known for having a fierce tenacity for holding on, but the true accomplishment comes when the Crab can exercise the inward tenacity of trust and faith that all needs are well known and will be provided for to those who surrender to the Source. This represents an unconditional acceptance of Divine Mother's ever-present care and an opening to receive God's divine bounty in the here and now. This shift from the illusion of outer stability and permanence to the reality of inner stability and permanence is the precursor to attainment of a lasting comfort and security. The Cancer soul has truly arrived at the doorway of its heavenly Home.

Capricorn

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

On December 22, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the final earth sign, Capricorn the mountain Goat, is born at the time of the Winter Solstice. Saturn, the planet of the adept and of perfection in form, is the 'lord of the winter solstice,' when we celebrate the birth of the Christ light in the newborn babe lying in the manger. At this time of year, when the life pulse appears at its lowest, the outer landscape is chilled and often frozen as it quietly bides its time and patiently gathers strength within, awaiting with certainty spring's germination and the return of the sun's warmth. 'In the midst of winter,' wrote Albert Camus, 'I found within me an invincible summer.'

Since ancient times, Capricorn has been considered both a sign of testing and one that is deeply sacred, for it is the birth sign of the Christ consciousness. Sun-gods, who come as Redeemers for humanity, are always born during Capricorn. It has been described as the greatest mystery sign of the zodiac. The highest attributes of this sign are revealed in the Priest-Initiate who has mastered all levels and elements of his or her being, in addition to the physical elements of outer life, and as Liz Greene notes, 'mastery' is a keyword for Capricorn's life journey.

Hard-working Capricorn is one of the cardinal signs that exemplifies the Will aspect of the Trinity, so it manifests with bundles of energy and vigor, with high capabilities for leadership, and exceptional organizational genius. Capricorn, known as a diligent preparer, has great strength of purpose as the soul sets his or her serious, premeditated ambitions on the high places of worldly attainment. As a sign whose place is meant to be 'out on the world's stage,' the 10th house, ruled by the Goat, gives much insight into the inner meaning of Capricorn's highest functions and obligations. This angular house represents how a person expresses himself or herself in the outer world, the limelight, and honor before the public; it has been called the most important house from a material point of view. Isabel Hickey describes the 10th house as one of 'deep significance to the soul on its journey to the highlands of the spirit.'

This cusp is the powerful culmination point or Midheaven, thus it stands as the prestigious zenith of the chart—an apt symbol for the high attainment of Capricorn. It reveals important clues to the purpose of the life, and Edgar Cayce said that the planet nearest to the 10th house cusp is the clue as to which planet is a person's 'real home.' The 10th house also has the practical purpose of helping a soul to unfold its earthy, sensible self by how one takes care of everyday, concrete responsibilities and duties. And Saturn looks over the soul's shoulder to make sure one keeps to the straight and narrow!

As a cautious earth sign, Capricorn is entirely pragmatic and at home with its roots deeply, securely planted in all matters related to the material plane. 'Realism' is the hallmark of all the earth signs; but for the Goat, his natural home is the heights, first on the mundane level and then onto the spiritual, because the same Saturnian principles for realization apply on the outer and inner levels. The native of Capricorn, with a compelling need to succeed in tangible terms, will slowly but surely build a solid foundation and life structuring upon which to achieve long-range ambitions and worldly acclaim. Prudent and economical, methodical and painstaking, Capricorn will focus all its immense drive, with the sure-footedness of the Goat, on accomplishing its steady ascent. Undeterred by setbacks, the Goat is wisely able to reframe adversities into golden opportunities. St. Teresa's words could well be the motto for Capricorn: 'patient endurance attaineth to all things.' Though often a late-bloomer, Capricorn comes into its own full flowering as its ages, for the Goat views time as its obliging, welcome friend.

Having climbed the High mountain, through patient perseverance, first in the absolutely necessary ways of the material world, gaining formidable skills and self-discipline in earthly living, the advanced soul learns that matter and the quest for power are only temporary signposts along a certain stage of growth. White Eagle concurs when he says that 'the materialist has his or her place in the grand scheme of evolution.' Nevertheless, this entrenchment in outer accomplishments and acclaim has no lasting value nor does it bring inner contentment or security in the long run. Worldly position can quickly turn to shadows and dust. The soul begins to have mastery over the many temptations of matter when once the realm of personal ego is transcended. The Capricorn native, with his or her clear focus on the steep climb upwards, finally reaches the door of Initiation, fully prepared through the final and most rigorous testing of all the elements, that of earth, and the exacting discipline of Saturn. Thus, Capricorn, with its exquisite timing, is not known to rush things due to its honed instincts to avoid the premature. Having reached the door, this soul is ready to humbly bend and kneel before the only real Power and wealth. True humility is letting a Higher Power have its way, while relinquishing all need to be a broker of power on the personality level.

By taking the ego less seriously, the soul meets life with lightness and humor. The festival of Saturn, the 'Saturnalia,' was once a time for fun, gaiety, and spontaneity. When released from the bondage to achieve the pinnacle of outward success, life flows into its proper perspective, and the advanced soul of Capricorn is then able to allow his or her great love of beauty, art, music, and Nature to express itself, for Saturn is exalted in Libra, the sign of perfect balance, harmony, and beauty.

Values for soul and spirit—those centered on selfless service—are the motives emanating from the magnificent heart of the Initiate. The server thus recedes to the background and the Service comes to the fore. The Initiate has crossed the bridge of Saturn from selfish interests and motives to the world service long awaiting him or her, because Capricorn's soul lesson is active service through its tremendous talents and capabilities. Elie Wiesal captures well the far side of the bridge:  'We are alone, yes, but inside this solitude we are brothers, helping each other to go forward without stumbling.' In the pristine heights of self-mastery, the graceful Goat, with all its surety, stands as a noble wayshower.

Capricorn and Cancer share the common thread of love for tradition, home, parents, family, and the past. Joan Hodgson tells us that when Cancer, Capricorn, or their rulers are emphasized, there are generally profound lessons to be learned due to family responsibilities and duties. Both of these practical signs have rulership over the darkest times: Cancer reigns at midnight, the darkest time of the 24-hour-cycle, while Capricorn rules during the darkest part of the winter. At the darkest point comes the pivotal moment when there is the greatest opportunity for the expression of the Light.

It is also notable that while Capricorn rules the knees and the skeleton or outer structure (including the skin), Cancer relates to the deep 'interior lining.' Cancer has been described as the most personal of the signs, with a tendency towards self-indulgence, but Capricorn is known to be the most reserved and serious of the signs, also highly disciplined. Cancer is the sign of the Cosmic Mother, and Capricorn is closely tied to all the mythology and mystery of the Father. The Priest-Initiate is one of the guises of the archetypal Father. Capricorn, in its highest nature, exemplifies the qualities of the positive father who readily provides stability, support, and guidance in the ways of the world from his vast experience. These inner qualities are only developed by conscientious, hard-won effort over the course of time. One of the highest tasks of those born under Capricorn is to become psychologically mature and thereby internalize one's own Father, standing tall in one's own right, who is then able to give in a caring fatherly way the insight, wisdom, and compassion gained on his or her journey to the Summit.

Moon and Saturn

Just as the Sun and Moon are known as the lights, so Saturn represents the darkness of matter, the material on which the spirit has to work to build its soul temple.

Joan Hodgson

So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see, for so, in truth, it is.

Book of Mirdad

As has already been noted, the Moon and Cancer relate to the Mother Principle, whereas Saturn and Capricorn the Father Principle. Both of these parental facets of life have to be fully developed and balanced within each person. The Moon stands at the head of the negative life stream (side by side with the Sun at the head of the positive life stream) and is in polarity with Saturn, who opens to us not only the depths of our lower, dragon self and worldliness but also shows us, as the venerable teacher, how to rise above the restrictions of the earth plane to transcend imprisonment in matter through concentrated, focused, positive thought.

As the great Mother, who builds and governs the form side of life, the Moon's half-circle symbolizes the outer, limited personality of daily living. The half circle reveals the unfinished form of one's Soul Temple, which is completed and perfected with the Moon's exaltation in Taurus, the sign of the master builder.

The lunar influence shows how we are recognized and appear to others with all our unique gifts and shortcomings (in combination with our Ascendant), and it shows our feelings, receptivity and instinctive behaviors, and reactions. Karmic and subconscious thought patterns/habits, created in past incarnations, are those that reside in the dark lunar part of our nature. The Moon also represents the psyche and the inner, hidden soul life of the individual, as well as the invisible side of life behind the every-changing patterns of practical everyday living. The Moon is said to be the significant factor in the chart that relates to what is operating under the surface in the dark, interior, subconscious realms of one's being. Everything to do with the mothering influence, with the caring, vulnerable, sensitive, protecting, and perceptive side of our nature falls within the Moon and Cancer's purview.

Saturn, whose influence is slow and steady, is often referred to as the stern taskmaster who constricts and inhibits, causing feelings of isolation, coldness, and oppression. His purpose is indeed to concentrate and focus energy in order that all matter may be purified and perfected into more beautiful, adaptable forms. Saturn erects the restraints and limitations by giving the soul a temporary containment field (actually self-created by the individual from his or her karmic ledger) in which to grow strong, wise, and pure enough to enable the soul to break free from the selfishness and separateness of the lower self. He, as the Lord of Karma, is the planet associated with cosmic justice and is known to keep a perfect set of records in minuscule detail. This shows that every soul must pass all lessons and attain a perfect balance in the scales of Libra, where Saturn is exalted.

Saturn's valuable mission of disciplined testing, if rightly understood, is to provide a 'chastening process' through sorrow, delay, disappointment, and privation. By so doing, the outworn, useless, and crystallized forms created through past thoughts, words, and actions are destroyed, for Saturn relentlessly brings back and reflects to us what is actually within us and what we ourselves have created in the past. Saturn's highly positive function is to be the cosmic boomerang, because no one can break cosmic law without suffering a like bonk as a needful awakener to work diligently inwardly at the most powerful causal level—the plane of creative thought. As the planet of necessity and steadfastness, Saturn's realm is directly responsible for first purging all that is counterproductive in our personality and then rebuilding character on a higher level so that the spiritual Self can manifest its perfection in matter. Though Saturn's influence may feel like the way of the cross in matter, it is the great Initiator that leads us to the gates of illumination and liberation.

© Zane Maser 2002.

This article originally appeared in Altair, The Journal of The White Eagle School of Astrology: Volume X, No.1, pages 15-31, February 2002.

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