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The Wesak Festival [part two]
subtle meanings of the Full Moon in Scorpio 2005
Malvin Artley continues his exploration of Wesak, the most important festival in the Buddhist calendar. This, the Taurus Full Moon (due to the fact that the Full Moon always falls in the sign opposite the sign in which the Sun is found) is also a Lunar Eclipse. He looks at the esoteric implications and explains the hidden role of Venus in spiritual growth.
Taurus is well known as the most fixed of the 4 fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius). It is known for its tenacity, its determination, its unswerving purpose, stubbornness, and its power when aroused, rightly or wrongly. These are qualities that describe the 1st Ray of Will and Power along with the Law of Fixation (itself a 5th Ray Law), and Taurus is a sign that exemplifies that energy quite strongly, especially through its esoteric ruler (Vulcan). The power of a developed Taurean to be a great force in world affairs is beyond dispute. The lives of people such as Oliver Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth II, Sigmund Freud, Ulysses S. Grant, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx, Eva Peron, Maximilian Robespierre, Harry Truman, Orson Welles, Malcolm X and, of course, the Pope bear testament to the power and persistence of the 1st Ray in the life a Taurean, and this is not even looking at those people born with Taurus rising.
There is another side to Taurus as well, though, which speaks to the more Venusian side of their natures. Venus gives the Taurus type their love of all things sensual and beautiful. It is probably the most sensual sign of the zodiac, and the passionate nature of the Taurean is renowned in astrological circles. In the blending of the influences of Venus and Vulcan we get the reason why the life of the Taurean on the spiritual path can be so difficult, for Taurus is also one sign of the zodiac that is sorely tested throughout life, as are all the fixed signs. The typical Taurean on the path (if there is such a thing as “typical” when one is on the path) can be somewhat a tortured soul. I spoke of this in last year's Wesak article. The spiritual pull in such a person's life is powerful, but so is the life of the flesh, hence the conflict in their lives. I have digressed a bit here, but it will tie into the discussion a bit later.
The Taurean type is usually fixed upon one aspect of life or the other as outlined in the preceding paragraph, but one aspect will ultimately prevail over the other in life as a Taurean. Once the Taurean mind is made up, though, there is no turning back from the direction taken and the legendary determination and stubbornness of a Taurean with a mind fixated upon an idea then becomes either one of the most potent constructive forces for change in the world of human affairs or one of the most powerful destructive agents—the true bull in the china shop.
Taurus is said to manifest the 5th Ray (Knowledge and Science) very strongly, and this fits with its association with the Law of Fixation and the 5th plane or subplane. Most of the Taureans I know are quite knowledgeable along their own line of work and they are some of the most effective at their work. With Taurus we get “the 90% effort along with the 10% of genius” that can lead to the heights of success because of their persistence with things. But, above all else, the Taurean type comes to know how to handle matter more intently than most any other sign. When I say “matter” here, I mean the material of any of the three realms of personal life-mind, desire and physical.
Light Through Knowledge
Taurus is an earth sign and it rules the 2nd House of resources and personal finances. That house also rules self-esteem and it is often that case that the Taurean type is sorely tested as to their own self-worth along with how they manage their resources. Those are the major tests that befall that sign. Along those lines, one's bodies could also be seen as one's primary resource. Thus, tests for Taureans occur around the proper place of the lunar lords (as the occultist would state it) in the scheme of things. The lunar lords of one's nature-the bodies that make up the human persona-are the seat of the lower passions, and it is these that must be overcome as a controlling factor in life before the Soul can overshadow the lower nature and thus make the lower self “a lighted house”.
Following upon the preceding we enter somewhat into the Lives that make up the 3rd Creative Hierarchy—those that bestow and/or express “Light through Knowledge”. In many ways, those Lives are the prototypes for the process that guides the construction of the causal body. The Thrones (this 3rd Hierarchy, as I see it) are descriptive of the causal body itself which is, after all, the throne of the Soul. They are not the Hierarchy that produces the causal body. They are, however, an archetype for it—a guiding principle, if you will. It is the body wherein quality is measured. It is governed by Venus. It is the body wherein karma is determined. It is the body wherein the wisdom and knowledge of the ages is stored. It is the body wherein perfect justice is meted out. It is the body that is the true measure of our achievement as human beings. It is the body whereby the Light of the Soul is shone out through our lives once we are aligned with that Light. It is the body that links the Heaven Worlds to the lower realms. It is that which unites us with our Soul. It is Venus in action and it is the vehicle of the Master Mason as the sculptor of our lives-the tool forged by Vulcan in the fiery pit of earthly existence until it shines resplendently as a fit instrument for the construction of God's temple on earth. It is, in the last analysis, the body that makes us uniquely human.
Thus, we see that Taurus, through Venus, speaks of and works with the qualitative side of life. How do we value a thing except through its quality? How is one's life measured except through the quality (ethic) that one exhibits? And, is there a higher human ethic than the ability to love unconditionally and in a way such that the lives of all that we touch are enhanced and made more spiritual? We say that Venus represents love, which it does, but it also represents perfect justice, for what is divine justice except for the full expression of goodwill and right relations between all people? There is no justice without love. There is no goodwill without love. There is no quality of life without love. This is probably the chief lesson of the Taurean life—that there is no quality of life without true, spiritual love. In the end, every Taurean must fix their path, either toward the path of love or toward the path of materiality. There is no in-between, so strong is the pull from both sides for the Taurean. In the life of the Venus Taurean, love and quality of life points the way. In the life of the Vulcanian Taurus there is no other will than the Love of God toward all things and people. So, in the final analysis, human existence builds the throne of the Soul-the causal body, the Temple of Venus-and Taurus is one of the chief signs that shows the path of its building.
How would the preceding discussion manifest in the life of a Taurean on the Path? We have all heard of the life of the Buddha and the Noble Middle Path. We know of the privations he brought upon himself in that life in his search for knowledge and ultimate truth, the control he wrought over his lower nature and the shining Light of Knowledge he manifested as a result of his triumph that his life exemplified.
We also have a more recent—though by no means perfect—example of such a person in the life of John Paul II. To start with, there is no doubt John Paul II was a very intelligent man and that he displayed very much the idea of “Light through Knowledge”. He spoke 8 languages. He wrote 5 books and authored voluminous discourses on ethics, along with thousands of letters and official papers. He was a professor of ethics prior to his pontificate, and he also wrote poetry and plays. All of this is also a reflection of the quintiles in his chart besides the fact that he was a Taurean. In his youth he played soccer and enjoyed skiing and kayaking. He worked as a stone cutter and an actor prior to his seminary training. He was, in these regards, quite a cultured man. He also displayed quite a control over his lower nature, declaring “This world is not capable of making man happy.” He certainly knew his trade/art/profession and he rose to the penultimate position in his work. The Venusian side of him was more or less completely given over to the manifestation of the beauty of God's word on earth.
The Vulcanian side of him was certainly strong as well. It was said that he ruled over the Holy See with an iron hand and an unwavering resolve. People within the Church who disagreed with him on matters of the Church and morals found out in no uncertain terms that he was a man not to be trifled with or swayed from his course. He could debate ethics and law with the best of them—and he always had his way, not simply because of his will, but because he knew his subject so intimately and thought and prayed upon it constantly.
To him, truth was all. He was heard to say, “It is a mistake to apply American democratic procedures to faith and truth. You cannot take a vote on the truth.” He regarded capitalism and communism as flip sides of the same coin. It is said that he was more given to self-discipline than to self-doubt. His visit to Poland upon his institution as pope was said to be the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. During the protests in Poland that his visit evoked, he stood for freedom and human rights with the quiet strength and dignity that exemplified the teachings of Jesus. At the height of the protests, when weaker wills were beginning to fail, he was heard to say, “You are men. You have dignity. Don't crawl on your bellies.” We all know what happened in Poland then. Freedom prevailed without even a shot being fired. It was said that his great hope was to awaken the entire world to the dignity and responsibility of defending human rights.
His papacy was one of restoration for the Catholic Church. When he took the reins in 1978 the church was virtually on its knees. It had lost 1/3 of its priests and great numbers of nuns. Though there were many who disagreed with his methods, the results speak for themselves. His message did no go down well in the developed world. That would come as no surprise, because he advocated lowering the standard of living in those countries and using the extra money to feed the poor and better conditions in the 3rd World. As a result, the Church gained many followers in 3rd World countries, while numbers dropped in the developed world.
Despite any personal qualms people may have had about him, he was universally recognized as a man of integrity and prayer. In public he was said to generate an electricity unmatched by anyone on earth. It is said the Church is now stronger than it has been prior even to the Protestant division in the 16th century. His travels were legendary, with 38 official visits, travel to over 115 countries, 738 audiences with heads of state, 246 audiences with prime ministers and 170 general visits to countries all over the world. If all this isn't a testament to Taurean tenacity and resolve, I don't know what is. If it sounds as though I am gushing about the man here, I am only passing on what has been said about him in the media. I actually knew very little about him personally until his death. I knew his work, though. In all, the life of Pope John Paul II was an exemplary life for a developed Taurean type. Love them or not, they restore a sense of divine purpose to all that they touch. Taurus fixates God's love on earth in its highest expression through the Taurean type who displays true quality of life.
As one final thought about this great Taurean, the following quote pretty well sums up what it means to be a Taurean disciple and to manifest the best qualities that sign can bestow:“It is doubtful there has ever been a pope who has translated his strength, determination and faith into such widespread respect and goodwill. In a world of shifting trends and leaders of questionable virtue, John Paul II has been a towering figure at the moral center of modern life.” “This is not a pope who looks at the public opinion polls... He says what he thinks is right and wrong from conviction. And that's why people admire him. He's a man of integrity and prayer, even if they don't agree with him.”
Not a bad epitaph.
Malvin concludes his analysis of the esoteric aspects of the Full Moon in Scorpio, the Wesak Moon, in part three of this article. He examines in more detail the meaning of the degrees and the situation of the Moon, in the light of the conclave of the cosmic hierarchy.