Today’s offering is an article on the nature of the Sun originally written and published March 9th 2002.
Brightness, Beauty, Healing & Life
An examination of Solar Consciousness
“Emulate the diamond in your dealings with people.
Brightly reflect the light of God’s love.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda
At some point we all look up at the night sky, and gaze at the stars.
We see them stretching from one side of the Universe to the other, and round and back again, and we know there are even more, an infinite number of them, beyond our sight. If we know something about time and space and light we also may ponder on the fact that the infinite diamonds of light out there are showing us different epochs in the history of the Universe, because some of them are so far away that their light has already died where they are. Yet, we see them all burning in a single moment. This one. And this one…
As absorbing for our spirit as some of these thoughts may be it rarely asks one question when it looks upstairs at night – what if the stars were looking back at us?
I don’t mean alien civilizations watching us from a distance (or up close, as the case may be); no, I mean the stars themselves.
Am I insane? Probably, depending on your individual definition of sanity. In my view, I am simply a magical animist – someone who believes that everything is alive and even shares in our being on some level of its being, including the Universe and the stars.
Our Sun is a star, of course. In my view it is a living being. Its physical form may not resemble ours but its essential meaning is at the heart of every one of us. This is an examination of that meaning, the meaning of the Sun in astrology. It is an exploration of our Solar Consciousness, also called the Christ or Cosmic Consciousness, Individuality, and ‘Equilibration’.
It is a journey both inwards to the centre of ones Self, and outwards to the infinite Universe.
It has no beginning, and no end. It simply IS, and it leads to a vision of Beauty at the heart of everything.
So say the stars in their eternal vigil.
The Sun is our individual Light in astrology, the centre around which all our individualised thoughts, feelings and other dimensions of Self orbit. It has been described as an inner radiance, the essence of consciousness, Being, a seed of Beauty. It is all this and infinitely more but these are good terms for coming to an individual understanding of it, which is all we need. Do we not all know ourselves to be distinct and unique individuals, a fact of existence and being which, though it may be devalued, belittled or forgotten, can never be taken away from us? And is that indeed true not just of us human beings, but of all things that come into existence? And is that not, indeed, an infinitely Beautiful and eternal law at the very heart of the Universe and every thing, including you?
Our individuality, our inner radiance, is what the Sun truly is for us on a macro-cosmic scale. It is the heart of our ‘solar system’; it is the giver of light, life, health and beauty on a larger scale. Sol, as our star, is our guide, our vitality, and our most direct point of contact with the rest of the galaxy, the Milky Way, and the Universe of other stars looking ever back at us.
Within each of us, this seed of Beauty radiates itself unconditionally at all times, just for the sheer heck of it, the ecstatic bliss of just being and existing, and it is the task of the magician to make this consciousness the very centre of their life for that is its proper place, the point in fact where real magic radiates continuously and without effort of any kind. It is the ever present now. This is symbolized in the astrological and magical symbol for the Sun, a circle with a dot in the exact centre. The circle is the eternal and perfect equilibrium of Spirit, the dot, its individual macro-cosmic focus, a depth point at the centre of a circle of infinity.
As I said above, the radiation of the individual level of self represented by the Sun is continuous and unending, for Sol is our true heart; but it does not imply that we will always be consciously aware of it, or that we will use its radiation in a way that befits or empowers us. Yet if its light is not to become dim and clouded by life we must learn to express it in only its pure light form, by transmuting our experiences into understanding and wisdom, and allowing ourselves to be that individual we are always in the process of being and becoming more of, just as the Sun must continue to shine in order to exist.
The Sun in our chart and in our life is our self expressive nature, our brightness or voltage. It describes the basic effect we have on our surroundings and on other people, just by being around. The greater the charge or voltage of the Elements at work in our total Self, the brighter and more dynamically and forcefully our individuality can shine forth. Fire signs are the brightest of the bunch, because they are attuned very directly with this universal life force, the vital energy. But this also makes them more prone to the dimming effect of negative Fire qualities like pride, boastful arrogance, vanity, the urge to be someone important, egotism and glory-seeking, which are distortions of the Fire signs essential awareness that there is something individual and unique in them that needs to be recognized and set free to shine forth.
Our individual beauty or uniqueness is never exclusive but always truly and completely inclusive, because it recognizes the equality of the Universe and of every individual.
We differentiate as individuals along an infinite number of lines – nationality, gender, hair and eye colour, etc. – and the sum effect of all these differentiations is that we are unlike anyone else who ever lived or ever will live. Yet, by virtue of sharing certain traits in common with others, we can relate to them. Thus we are “One in our separateness and separate in our Oneness” as a dear friend of mine said to me. We are all the same and paradoxically all different, like the stars.
One of these divisions we differentiate along, the primary symbol of astrology and the one most people who know about astrology are familiar with, is the Sun sign. The daily consumption of horoscopes addresses but does not fill a need in us to be recognized and understood, to feel part of a tribal or clan consciousness and many other things, but it has no true value as a tool for daily guidance. You might just as well write a daily column on the current prospects for, say, all Germans, Italians, Spaniards and Americans etc. Our nationality does describe something essential about us, and we can see that general statements about different nationalities are valid observations, for example, the French skill with cooking, and we could even say that ‘the French people were going through a rough economic time during such and such a period’, but since no-one is exactly the same as anyone else, to gain a true astrological forecast for the individual the entire chart must be examined. This requires great skill and experience to manage properly, but it has the effect not of limiting the individual or of dimming out the light of individuality (which is one of the effects such daily horoscope reading can have), but it increases the illumination that is cast upon the whole Path, bringing our birth vision – the reasons we are here – back into conscious focus, renewing our confidence and freeing us to express more of what we already are.
Learning to be more of what we already are is as much the Suns task as it is ours. Among those who shine brightest of all are those individuals who realize the Divinity within them, and all other things, as equal. Some become initiators of world religions, but many others do not. Each, however, shines as brightly as they can along their individual path. When we censor, veil, hide, or shroud our individuality, whether it is through shyness, hatred, secrecy or false pride, we also hide it from our own view. And when we attempt to throw a cloud of darkness over the light of another, it is our own light which is dimmed deepest. The desire to become someone special automatically blinds us to the fact that we are special, we always have been , and always will be, and that is why we are all each so loved and treasured by Divine Providence.
The light or brightness of the Sun is given equally and freely in all directions at once, it is non-directional or rather omni-directional, and its coming banishes shadow and darkness with the swiftness of thought. So too, should we shine the light of our individual viewpoint fearlessly and without doubt, so long as it does not exhaust us or suck energy out of others by trying to ‘beat’ or ‘outshine’ them, for such a path will only deprive us of the greater abundance of energy obtained just by being ourselves, an energy which always increases in quality and quantity as it is creatively poured forth from the heart of light.
Since this heart of light exists and shines in all of us and is without beginning or end, all that comes into being (or appears to) manifests through reflections of the perfect infinite light, as each one of us reflects the light of our individuality in unison with all the others, each also continuously changing, yet remaining essentially the same, like an infinite number of diamonds reflecting each and every other diamond in each of its carved facets, or an endless Universe of stars, shining refracted light in every direction at once, to all beings…
If that sounds like Heaven, it is. It is a metaphorical description of the state of reality, that is, the state we are all in, all the time, we just don’t realize it. Thus, ‘the Kingdom is within you’. The way to this brightness, this illumination, is the simplest and the hardest thing of all – being yourself, and allowing everything to just be along with you, in every moment. It’s a tremendous letting go which can feel like a crucifixion on the four Elements of life, but is in fact a resurrection to – surprise! – Eternal life.
Beauty is in everything. The Sun is rising and setting on the world somewhere all the time. Some things seem ugly only because they are viewed from a relative viewpoint. This is, literally, missing the point, the point being the central dot in the circle, the ‘I’. The value of life is this beauty, this individual distinctiveness at the heart of every flower, every death, and every experience – of everything! Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder but in their heart. I love monsters – I always have! I was terrible as a child because I loved monsters, and scaring people! I grew out of that (kinda!) but I still love monsters. To me, they are beautiful because they are monstrous, and the more monstrous they are, the more I love them!
However, that DOESN’T mean I want to meet one in real life, in case any are reading these words 😉 It was meant as an illustration that true beauty has nothing to do with cosmetic appearances, or with youth or age, man or woman, innocence or wisdom, it is in all these things, indeed it is at the centre of them, including you.
To touch a Universe of Beauty, consult your own heart.
The Sun not only brings light, it also warms us with good feelings, it brings us emotional (astral) and mental support, by recharging the vital energy within us. I will say more on the specifics of this later, for now, think back for a moment to the times you have spent enjoying the beauty of the sun, the warm feelings on your skin and face, the sense of being healthy and real, less ghostly and drained. Contact with the Sun within us has a similar effect – it vivifies, energizes and draws forth the inner essence of us, our own individual attunement to it. Many people are also touched in this way by the presence of newborns, because new life has not yet learned to shield its individual light behind layers of personality (a process which generally begins at the age of about 7 years) and so newborns and children can literally light up a house full of ‘know-it-all’ adults with their fascination with all the beauty and mystery around them. In fact, anything which reawakens our individual appreciation of beauty from the true energy of the rainbow to the spare auto part we’ve been searching for can open us to the Solar consciousness.
It is not an easy thing to do, to encapsulate in words, the infinite beauty of the Sun! Therefore, I would instead like to provide each of you with a set of guiding principles, to aid you in your own unique exploration of your beauty and the beauty of all things. Each of the 12 signs has its own heart, and its own beauty. These are the qualities that, in my view, make them so.
- Aries: The beauty of origin and new creation, the unfolding energy of the primal light into patterns.
- Taurus: The beauty of natural form and its security, green grass between the toes, the solid pleasures of the physical universe.
- Gemini: The beauty of curiosity and vivification, the infinite multiplicity of ideas ever blossoming from the pattern.
- Cancer: The beauty of nurturing and fertilization, the protective love of family and the story of ages past.
- Leo: The beauty of radiance and generosity, the vitalizing love of creativity, the recognition of individual majesty.
- Virgo: The beauty of difference, purity and humility, the greatness of small things given wholeheartedly and brought to harvest.
- Libra: The beauty of equality. harmony and balance, the essential fairness or legality of the entire creation as it continuously adjusts in equilibration.
- Scorpio: The beauty of intensity and penetration, the unfolding mysterium of creation into the unknown.
- Sagittarius: The beauty of optimism and truth, the cultivation of spiritual seeds, the adventure of the unending search for self knowledge.
- Capricorn: The beauty of crystallization and preservation, the universal Order or Lawful Hierarchy that governs material reality.
- Aquarius: The beauty of resonance, freedom and expectation, eccentricity and weirdness, the quantum leap of awakening through lightning consciousness, or ‘Eureka!’.
- Pisces: The beauty of the oneness of it all, of rebirth through empathic merging with devotion, the Love of the All.
Healing is wholeness. It is not about the search for the perfect body, or the total freedom from physical death – it is more than this. To be healed is to be made whole again, to have your consciousness returned to you fully, to be wholly and completely the being that you are, without blockages shields or filters. It is commonly known, at least these days, that the mind plays a primary role in the healing process of the physical body. What is less well known is the importance of the vital energy, although we have subconsciously at least assimilated it into our healing therapies, when for instance, patients are told by doctors to get plenty of sunshine and fresh air.
The Sun sign in astrology is an indicator of our basic type or quality of attunement to this vital energy, which we are continuously expending and burning and need to recharge either through sleep or other more conscious means. It is really no accident that we fall asleep when the Sun is no longer visible – a change in the ambient vital energy is also present at night (the Fluids shift towards Magnetic). Aside from sleep and meditation, and the practical course of instruction given by Franz Bardon in ‘Initiation into Hermetics’, there are other ways to connect with and recharge the flow of one’s vital energy.
Nature is one the greatest suppliers of natural vital energy, as any walk in the wilderness will prove. Even if we are physically exhausted by the activity, we can still observe there is a new kind of charge in our spirit, an invigoration. This is the vital energy. It’s the energy cultivated by many martial arts.
Language is always an interesting indicator of energies at work. We say we feel “out of our element” when we feel at a loss to understand or fit in, for example. Try observing without judgement the way you talk and think about yourself, the language you use. If we are stuck in a situation at work that is requiring lots of physical effort but little to no emotional contact and our Sun sign Element is Water, or Air, pretty soon we will be fried, and the same goes for Earth signs, only in reverse – if they are stuck in situations where no actual work is done, but endless conjecture, gossip and talk about work is going on, they will feel a drop in their vital energy.
There are a number of things that can be done about this, on several levels. The first and primary is to be aware – conscious – of the level of ones vital energy and its type. You don’t have to be a magician to do this, although it certainly helps. We can all learn to take notice of when we feel drained and exhausted and take appropriate steps. Because the cosmic influx of vital energy from Sol is seasonal and fluctuates rhythmically through the entire zodiac every year, predicting the level of an individuals vital energy can be done easily if you know the Sun sign and a few basic things about the zodiac, which I will leave for each of you to research individually. The height of the annual cycle of the vital energy is the month of your Sun sign; its polar opposite, six months later, is its nadir or lowest point.
We can always recharge the vital energy and boost our overall feeling of health and vitality by coming into contact with areas of nature that resonate with our Sun sign. Earth signs recharge by getting close to nature and breathing in the atmosphere of trees and plants, the power of growth and natural strength. Air signs gather vital energy from social gatherings, but they gain a purer source in nature from high electrically charged air, such as that above sea level where it is clear, dry, and crisp. Fire signs need space and physical activity to feel the vital energy and they gain the maximum benefit from being outside in the sunshine soaking up the stellar light. Water signs obviously draw their vital energy from being in contact with fresh water, flowing streams or rivers, lakes, sudden electrical rain showers or the wide open seas. These areas are the ideal places for us to live or be as this places them at the centre of our life and consciousness. These associations are only here as a springboard for your own individual meditations and correspondences. Look into astrological Sun signs, especially your own, and draw your own conclusions.
The magical equilibration of the Elements is another method of gaining absolute control of the vital energy. During initiation the magician equilibrates (makes harmonic) the workings of all 4 Elements and works directly with the vital energy. One famous astrologer and physician, Paracelsus, wrote on this matter explaining that salamanders were controlled through placidity, Undines through firmness, Sylphs through constancy, and Gnomes through cheerful generosity!
If you think about this in relation to the nature of each of the Elements that these spirits inhabit you will see that the excesses of these Elemental beings would indeed be controlled by these qualities.
Additionally, there is a group dimension to the flow of vital energy that needs explaining and addressing practically. We have all experienced being in a group of individuals that drains us of our individual energy. This happens because in human society there is a continuous ‘black’ economy of vital energy, as it is competed for on a regular basis. We can solve this dilemma as individuals and as a whole by focusing all our attention on whomever is speaking to us; by listening and giving them our energy freely we can lift them into a vitalised awareness and make the communication of their message and thus the flow of all group communication clearer. We do not have to compete for this energy if we know where it is always available to us. This model of group communication minimises noise effects and empowers all the users when performed properly. It enhances the frequency at which synchronous happenings can take place because the vital energy of the group is unified and connected to the continuously replenishing supply of vital energy. It is a magical model of communication which emulates that of the stars, and that is the heart of the matter of healing, and wholeness, to remind us of our cosmic origins and our immortal spirit.
The Sun is the bringer of life on Earth. It is likewise the symbolic bringer and the giver of consciousness in the individual birth chart. The Sun is the eternal now of conscious awareness, and so life is only truly lived in the now of the individual moment.
What motivates us to shine in life is a matter of the Elemental attunement to the Sun we receive when we are born – our Sun sign. This basic attunement of the spirit is what we just can’t switch off throughout life – it’s constantly in the ‘on’ position, because it is our life force.
In general, Fire signs are motivated in life by aspirations and inspirations, by the promise of something new and original, the chance to individually shine, or by the promise of an unexplored realm. When challenged, the behaviour is inclined to overcome the opposition through force, overpower it, or burn it up. Problems are preferably solved through direct action and impulse rather than with premeditated tact, which can often be the downfall.
Water signs are motivated by their feelings, by the unseen emotional world around us. That makes them psychically sensitive, but also leaves them with deep yearnings. Water signs do not attempt to overpower obstacles in any way, they take the opposite approach of flowing around, under, over – you name it, water can flow there, and if that doesn’t work, water can just patiently wear it down. Water signs feel that the self is likely to suffer and need protection through life but actually preserves and cleanses life by entering into the feelings of others while staying in control of their own feelings. It is a slippery path, however!
Air signs are motivated by ideas, the pure realm of thought being as real to them as the world of feelings or the physical world, if only in an abstract sense. For the Air signs life is built out of clouds with concepts at its centre – life is something to be understood, communicated, and learned from. When faced with a problem these people like to think about it, reason it out, ponder the consequences, and make diplomatic or fair decisions.
The Earth signs are pragmatists, practitioners and builders. They do things while the other signs think about them, enthuse about them, or feel about them. Material needs and physical requirements are their motivations in life, and they are usually prepared to get them with work. Problems or challenges are typically resisted, like the immovable object, or else they are undermined or uprooted, so that they have no foundation.
Our life essence or nature is no static thing, however, it is in a constant state of subtle change and this is reflected in astrology through transits and progressions. Transits compare the positions of planets as they are now with where they were when you were born to formulate predictions. A major transit to the Sun – such as activation of a Sun key by Pluto – can indicate a critical life event is ordained. Progressions are similar but they use symbolic movements rather than the actual ones, and tend to reveal inward states going through natural transmutations. In one commonly used system called Secondary Progression (and used in The 26 Keys) the Sun moves 1 degree per year of life. In this case every 30 years of your life guarantees that your Sun has symbolically progressed into the next sign, so that an Aries Sun progresses into Taurus by age 30, into Gemini by age 60, and so on with the other 11 signs. The exact timing of progression can only be done from a birth chart, but in respect of what this means for us, it shows that we are evolving individuals, naturally assimilating the qualities we need from the succeeding sign like plants drawing light from the Sun as we steadily acquire new life experience which lead to adjustments to our way of being and living.
These were just a few thoughts that came to me, from staring at the stars, both within and without, that I wanted to share with you.
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