THE SUN - BEING
Filtered through the Personality (ego) or Expressing the Soul (Ego)
. • . The Sun sign is said to represent 'constitution' rather than 'function' or 'process' (the Moon). . Yet, from the point of view of spiritual or ethical self-cultivation, it can be seen as a function. . The Sun sign represents both Ego / ego and the function of 'ego-structure' to admit or filter out identifiable (or nameable) factors in our circumstances, both human and environmental. . The Sun includes the entire threefold personality (ego) including physical, emotional and intelligible factors. . The focus and stage of consciousness which the Sun represents allows us to perceive the factors of our circumstances only so far as our personality conditioning permits - that is, until we begin to live as souls (Ego).
. . For ethical and spiritual students, the Sun basically represents our problem in looking at life as souls - our spiritual susceptibility, as well as our intelligent resistance to unreflective and automatic personality responses to the conditions of daily life. . For example, this is not to say that Leos (ruled by the Sun) or strong solar types are not generous or benevolent if they are not polarized as souls - only that their conditioning, stage of consciousness, conditioned motivations, and preoccupations can determine or limit the purpose or object of benevolence. . This is true of all of us. . We are all composed of both Ego (soul) and ego (personality), and often take many lifetimes of effort to distinguish between the two.
. . Most astrologers associate the Sun with spiritual Being or human identity itself, rather than an ongoing process of identity formation and reconstruction (as a personality), or identity persistence through 'continuity of consciousness' (as a soul). . Continuity of consciousness is only maintained through Vision, Purpose, or Plan. . There remains the academic philosophical question of just what constitutes human identity. . This 'identity' is usually seen through the filter of materialistic, unconscious, relativist, "positivist" and reductionist assumptions. . In other words, most significant human spiritual factors are left out of consideration by the public at large, particularly the principle of consciousness, on its own terms. . And so, much time is wasted.
. . On a standard psychological level, the Sun represents the mix of personality and soul-contact factors that work as a kind of prismatic filter, allowing us to perceive certain aspects of naturally (and neutrally) unfolding life and nature, and shutting other perceptions and observations out, for instance the spiritual or divine. . In this way, the slowly developing and integrating personality "protects itself" from energetic and lived contacts that it does not yet have the capacity to handle. . Humanity as a collective whole does seem somewhat paraplegic, spiritually or religiously, as the medieval song from Innsbruck observed (mundi paralytici). . As another writer mentioned, "the miscreants are ceaselessly reborn in the Hall of Ignorance until the price of self interest is learned." . These Three Halls (Ignorance, Learning, Wisdom) are built in consciousness.
. . On a strictly energetic level, the personality can be assessed in many ways by its response to (comparatively) high spiritual contact - in a descending order of spiritual capacity:
. . • . . recognition, inspiration, self-resurrection, initiation,
. . • . . recognition and cooperation,
. . • . . stimulation and reflection,
. . • . . reaction and unthinking self-insulation,
. . • . . or brute reaction and unconscious instinctive defensiveness.
In truth, most of us are immersed daily in this latter low-grade delusional and murky state of human reactionary thinking - the tendency of humanity to use mentally formulaic and emotionally enforced 'attitudes' in place of true thinking. . For this reason, it is said in some quarters that the Third Department of Civilization is ruled by masters of tact, so to speak.
. • . For the spiritual student on the path of discipleship, this truth presents an interesting dilemma and creates a lived duality. . The energies of the sidereal Constellations, which the tropical Signs veil, are beginning to have a stimulating and vivifying affect which can be somewhat associated with the stage of achieving freedom of movement and expression in the dual life of the soul. . This takes place in the five-fold constitutional nature of both inner and outer worlds. . To be more explicit, a transition of focus is taking place at this stage from life in the Three Worlds to that in the Five Worlds. . This process involves triadal unfoldment and the reorientation of consciousness through polarization as a soul, utilizing the personality mechanism. . For the Christian, this signifies seeing the Love of God at the basis of all creation, and the recognition that the 5th Kingdom in Nature, that of Souls, is quite distinct from unregenerate Humanity, the 4th kingdom in nature. . This is quite clearly illustrated in the polarization presently taking place in US social and political consciousness. . For the Buddhist, the significance and centrality of the transformative nature of bodhicitta or compassion is fairly clear in the voluminous literature. . For spiritual students, the present planetary situation is providing a clear challenge.
. • . For the spiritual student the personality represents a definite problem in its capacity as a temporary construct (from the soul's point of view), interfacing with a planetary set of circumstances demonstrably conditioned by strictly transient (or temporizing) human social construction trends. . (Later, from the point of view of the spiritual Monad, the soul is equally seen as temporary and transient in nature.) . From the esoteric point of view, these obstructions built by ignorance implicate both individual and planetary Dwellers on the Threshold of initiation. . Facing these dwellers, one is forced to face one's own shadow, a kind of subject factotum representing but a limited grade of awareness and necessarily part of an unwitting cohort. . Hence the Neoplatonic characterization of humans as 'prisoners of the planet,' or prison cells of consciousness in the body of deity. . The human world is not always run by wise idealists or by enlightened elites - it often seems but a makeshift affair. . Some South Indian religions have characterized world actors as demonic, some Christian churches have represented them as an almost infernal hierarchy (and some would say projected). . This realization of unregenerate human society can aggravate the sense of depression, alienation, existential angst, etc., that the probationer (2nd degree) already feels. . Speaking generally, this is one of the causes for the experience of the glamours of fear, and fear of failure to achieve idealistic goals, of which the probationer is vividly aware in his own experience, but semi-conscious of insofar as self-mastery, and which factors the disciple (3rd degree) is beginning to address consciously and to master constructively (by mastering oneself).
. . In this regard, I would encourage astrologers to examine the positions of Mercury, Venus and Mars, which are the three planets whose heliocentric placement in relation to the geocentric chart is most altered. . These can provide, through examination of their tabulated aspects and correspondences, the basis for a cursory analysis of the lower aspects of soul expression. . In other words, the relative strength and direction of the three aspects of the human mind and personality represented by Mars, Venus, and Mercury - all veiled by the physical Sun - can provide insight into both stage and focus of consciousness.
. • . MARS . . Generally speaking, the solar plexus, ruled by Mars and associated with the lower or concrete mind, represents and rules the distinctly human transmutation of animal instinct into intelligence. . In other words it represents the animal brain (the 'gut-brain'), which most of humanity attempts to use as a human brain (reason). . The concrete mind is meant to act strictly as a light-bearer for Venus, the human soul. . This has been expressed in innumerable myths and in literature east and west.
. . This Mars can accomplish only through the processes of alignment and constant reorientation of the lower personality nature toward the purposes and insight of the soul, the flower of human nature and universal humanism. . This is accomplished by aspiration, hence the term `aspirant.' . Esoterically, the arrow of aspiration (transmuted desire) directed upward in Taurus returns to the aspirant as the arrow of intuition or insight of the developed Sagittarian. . (See Venus and Taurus, below.) . This transmutation process is aided by science and the logical imperative (many logics), which Mars rules. . Spiritual science is ruled by Venus and Mercury. . As is sometimes said, faith is lost in sight.
. . Strictly on the level of personality, the concrete mind of Mars provides the `sense of commonality' through which all the human factors generally confused with human thought are actualized - such as role-playing, attitude expression, pure brute reaction, and the 'seat-of-the-pants' habit of waiting for a crisis or conflict to truly think things through or take constructive action. . (Of course, if there is no mind present, constructive action is somewhat limited.) . Mars also rules mobilization of the instinctual nature, such as the drive to retain 'popularity' at all costs, to fit in with the herd or mainstream, the clan or subculture, to maintain status through spin - ultimately to pursue self-interest until the price of that self-interest is recognized as intolerable and is paid. . This stock group is basically 'the sporting type' found among the professional classes and the masses at large, addicted to excitement and flash appearances, and devoted to bread and circuses (which are meant to pacify and victimize them). . It represents the self-victimization of the public through politics as a kind of junior high school popularity contest, which is taken advantage of by more intelligent or predatory elites. . They don't have the self-education to know the meaning of "social cybernetics" scrawled over the covers of many university books. . I sometimes call this stock type the "gut-brained" herd, as in the 12th Labor of Hercules.
. . The solar Labors of Hercules are ruled by Capricorn, with Venus and Mercury. . The planetary Tests are governed by Scorpio (Pluto/Mars, Mars, Mercury), which progress through Scorpio's Nine Tests, meant to master and overcome the Taurean "cattle-consciousness" of average humanity. . Of course the higher aspect of Taurus, the light within, is ruled by Venus and Mercury, guardians of humanity's Soul along with intra-mercurial Vulcan, the ruler of Taurus. . Such are the apparent paradoxes of astrological interpretation.
. . Mars rules the basic ignorance of the animal kingdom, reliant upon physical instinct untransmuted into human intelligence. . On a positive note, it is important to remember that ignorance itself can be the cause of realizing Buddha nature (or the Christ within). . From teachings on the Jewel Net of Indra and on emptiness, it is said that Ignorance is perfectly pure and sentient beings are perfectly pure. . All phenomena is recognized, through the alchemy of pure philosophy, to be essentially a Buddha field in nature, or the 5th Kingdom of Souls, as you will.
. • . VENUS . . represents the soul and its mechanism, the causal body. . It represents an identity based upon the universal (and humanist) values of the Soul. . Venus rules science in its higher and benevolent aspects, which are demonstrated by a balance of mind and heart, of technological expertise wedded with humanitarian values. . It has been characterized as heart-reason, to express its type of mentality. . It represents the accumulation of human knowledge, as well as ethics-, knowledge- and wisdom-values. . It also rules the spiritual science of the soul, and technical work with the causal bodies of humanity, which accepted disciples and initiates undertake. . Ethics is the highest form of intelligence, besides philosophy, and guards the gate to the courtyards of this spiritual science.
. . With regard to questions of "faith," Venus generally represents the difficult transition from faith in humanity to faith in God or the Universal Life within Whom we live, move and have our being (St. Paul). . Paradoxically, for the spiritual student this usually means that the problem switches from difficulties with faith in God (upon Whom we can importunately project all that is dear to us, and understandable by us), to the more painful difficulties entailed with faith in humanity - humanity now 'mystically' seen as the literal embodiment of this Universal Life. . Just what is it within humanity and in each human being that warrants religious or spiritual faith? . Direct perception of the human soul and spirit, the spark and flame of God within each created unit.
. . Venus, in turn, serves as light-bearer to Mercury, the divine principle embedded in the human mind and constitution through the spiritual triad of atma-buddhi-manas. . It is in this higher sense that the human soul is said to be the vehicle of the spiritual triad ruled by Mercury. . Venus, the soul consciousness, brings the light necessary to illumine the higher triadic constitution of each created human, to disclose the first lessons in spiritual science. . It ultimately becomes the basis for a higher state of awareness that subsumes consciousness.
. • . MERCURY. . rules buddhi (bodhicitta) or 'pure reason,' as well as the capacity for abstract thought and intelligent synthesis. . It rules science in the sense of major breakthroughs achieved through pure mentation as, for example, through spiritual illumination, philosophical reflection or abstract mathematical reasoning. . Mercury represents the mind which has the capacity to know the Mind of God - the triangle of Nous, Anima Mundi, and Demiurge of the Neoplatonic/gnostic philosophical systems.
. . Mercury is said to be a substitute for, or to be one with, the Sun. . This may be understood in its capacity as the spiritual triad "engineering" the circumstances necessary for the Monad to manifest through worldly and human lived experience. . This signifies the evolution, or revelation rather, of the awareness (since consciousness normally understood is superceded) of the spiritual triad itself, as it expresses on its own three, or five phenomenological planes. . With the help of Jupiter, it enables the state of monadic awareness.
. . Mercury rules Yoga, the science of reintegration with deity, and participation in the divine Life. . Specifically, Mercury represents samyama, or direct perception (straight knowledge in some schools). . This leads to the possibility of omniscience, of knowledge without intermediary. . In other words, Mercury and the Sun are One.