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The Lily-Work


Zane Maser

Of its own longing and free will, the soul descends again to earth to beautify and complete the divine temple of the Spirit.

The white lily of Easter is an emblem of purity and innocence. It is widely associated with both the Virgin Mary and the Resurrection, signifying the hope and promise of new life. Many paintings depict Mary receiving a white lily from the angel Gabriel when he told her she would give birth to the Christ child, the Son of God.

This sacred flower of Easter is used to celebrate the whole round of life from birth to re-birth, marking the commemoration of Jesus' resurrection from the tomb of physical matter. Some legends state that when Mary's tomb was visited three years after her burial it was empty—except for the holy white lilies. Could it be that the fragrant Easter lily is thus a reassuring symbol for the renewal of life and the constant outpouring of love from the heart of Christ? Eventually, when we reach the point of total surrender, this divine love liberates us from our earthly strivings into a state of harmony and wholeness, to return Home as a treasured child of God.

Early in his teachings, White Eagle makes an intriguing reference to the "lily-work." He speaks of the "soul as an incomplete building" and notes that, as our spiritual self—the Architect—detects any additional, specific requirements needed to complete the furnishing of our temple, we can return to work again on Earth. He goes on to say, │In this your day of life you each gather material for decoration and beauty, and some here perchance need but the 'lily-work' to complete their temple. . . ." In another context, he answered an astrological question thusly:  "The girders of the structure are put in [the natal horoscope], but the 'lily-work' is yours." The choice is always ours.

While we cannot know exactly what White Eagle meant by "lily-work," the symbolism may help us unravel his gist. It is safe to assume that the lily-work is likely the Spiritual Directive around which our life rotates. It is the quiet, measured work of our soul, which provides us with the necessary life experiences that gradually help us to empty our little self of its "me" concerns and so be receptive to and transformed by the golden light of the Sun.

Each soul anguish undergone with courage, each subtle test wisely met is yet another victory over the tug of material life. Even in times of greatest doubt and pain, when the cross of our life seems the heaviest, we are continually watched over and guided. If we but ask, the Master is by our side to confirm that all of our needs are well known and provided. Did not Jesus tell us in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, "Lift a stone and you will find me; cleave the wood and I am there."

White Eagle has taught much about another lily—the water lily (or lotus). Although Easter and water lilies have a slightly different nuance of meaning, still, they both speak of the on-going journey toward perfection, when the interior flower becomes fully open and illuminated. Then our full stature as a son or daughter of God shines as a bright and blessed Light, whereby the vibrations of all life are raised. In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha speaks of "Buddha nature," but in this context it could be just as accurately stated:  "All living beings have the capacity to become the Lily. The essential nature of living beings is the pure Lily nature."

Before the water lily becomes the stunningly beautiful flower, however, its roots grow in the mud and sun-less depths of the water. Its thrust is upwards toward the golden light so that the round leaves may spread upon the surface and the bud form. If the white lily represents the life of the spirit, then its holy imprint includes the eventual surrender and complete trust in the loving providence of God, without the fearful need to "toil or spin." Effortlessly relaxed and at peace, the lily lives each moment within the sanctified laws that govern all life. The lily's mission is to simply blossom and glorify its Creator. White Eagle would give us this encouragement:  "Live to become as the lily, the perfect expression of the true life of God."

It is clear that the lily and the crucifixion are both symbols of renunciation and hence of the ultimate realization of God's presence. Having thus experienced the in-dwelling splendor of Christ, the final lily-work seems to be the active embodiment of Love in our daily life through all our thoughts, words, and deeds. It is not enough to know with our minds. We must one day demonstrate on the earthly level, as did the Master Jesus, the tenderness, understanding, and spiritual fragrance that a perfected soul constantly exudes. Love, then, is not only the first foundation principle of life but also the final piece that completes the building of our soul temple. Love is the Master interior decorator! It is the Universal beautifier.

Arriving after the vernal equinox, Easter occurs during the time when the Sun passes through Aries. The Sun is exalted in this fiery sign of action, suggesting that the solar qualities are most powerfully and finely expressed here—the ultimate mastery over matter. Like its six-petaled floral symbol, the message of Easter is one of birth; of the soul rising triumphant over ignorance and death; no longer imprisoned by fears, clinging, and the separateness of the lower self. The sacred festival of Easter brings the eternal promise of the ever-present Light in the heart of each person, when we are transformed and united in God. And so, the mystical Lily-Work is accomplished.

"Let your roots go down deep into God's love," St. Paul reminds us, so that we may become the perfect flower, the son or daughter of our Lord.


© Zane Maser 2008.
This article was published in Drumbeat, Journal of the White Eagle Lodge (Canada), Volume 16, No. 1, pages 7-8 (2008).

Photographs from our garden by Chris

For information about the worldwide work, visit White Eagle Lodge

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