Pluto: Its Discovery, History, and Meaning

2020 promises to be a year of big changes astrologically, culminating with a Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction, also known as a Great Conjunction, in Aquarius at the Winter Solstice. This will mark the end of a two-century era in which the Great Conjunctions fell in Earth Signs and the beginning of a new two-century era in which they will occur in Air Signs.

As if this were not enough, before Jupiter and Saturn can come together, they will both have had to cross the path of Pluto. Saturn closed in on Pluto on January 12, 2020, and Jupiter will meet with Pluto three times, on April 4, June 30, and November 12.

For a detailed discussion of the Transits of 2020, see 2020 – An Earth-Shattering Year.

While all astrologers agree that the Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction has great significance, what about the meaning of the conjunctions of both of these planets with Pluto?

Answers to this question will vary widely by who you talk to. A Modern Psychological Astrologer or an Evolutionary Astrologer will attach deep meaning to these transits, while a strict Traditional Astrologer might say that they have no meaning at all.

In order to examine this subject, it might be helpful to take a closer look at Pluto, its history, and the significance that has been given to it by astrologers.

The History of Pluto

Before we delve into the astrological and metaphysical meanings of Pluto, let us step back and look at what we know about the discovery of this planet, its demotion, and its current place in modern astronomy.

Clyde_W._Tombaugh
Clyde Tombaugh

Pluto’s Discovery

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh when he was 23 years old. He worked at the Lowell Observatory, and his job was to search for Planet X. A century had not yet gone by since the discovery of Neptune in the mid-1840s.

Apparently, in the late 19th century, some astronomers believed that the orbits of Uranus and Neptune were not what they were supposed to be and speculated that there was another planet causing the anomaly. This undiscovered planet was called Planet X.

Percival Lowell was a wealthy Bostonian and scholar who was interested in a variety of subjects, including mathematics and astronomy. He founded the Lowell Observatory, and searching for Planet X was one of his pet projects.

Percival Lowell did not live to see his dream become a reality, but one of the glyphs that is commonly used for Pluto has a combined P and L, which in addition to being the first letters for the name of the planet, were also the initials of his name.

Pluto’s Demotion

Beginning in the early 1990s, barely 60 years into its discovery, Pluto’s status as a planet was beginning to be called into question. Part of the reason for this is that astronomers were finding out just how small Pluto really is. It is about two-thirds of the size of the Earth’s Moon.

Pluto,_Earth_&_Moon_size_comparison
Pluto, compared to the Earth and Moon

Another difficulty is that Pluto’s orbit is quite messy. Like the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Pluto’s orbit is filled with other space objects and is now known to be a part of a region that has been named the Kuiper Belt.

Pluto’s final fall from grace happened when another body larger than it was found to be further out into the Kuiper Belt. This body eventually became known as Eris, after the Greek goddess of strife and discord.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially determined the definition of a planet to be a celestial body that 1) is in orbit around the Sun; 2) has enough mass to be round; 3) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.

Celestial bodies that have only met the first two criteria are now known as dwarf planets, and there are now 5 bodies that belong in this classification, among them, Pluto, Eris, and Ceres.

Pluto’s demotion was highly controversial. In his book, The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium and one of the key players in Pluto’s reclassification, tells the story of the popular outcry. Apparently, Dr. Tyson received quite a bit of mail complaining about the demotion, which included letters from elementary school children. One letter even included a picture of Pluto crying.

pluto-1315109_640

Pluto’s Heart

It turns out that the elementary school children discussed above may have been right to be concerned about Pluto’s feelings. Unbeknownst to anyone, Pluto apparently has a heart.

In 2006, the space probe, New Horizons, was launched to explore the outer Solar System. This probe arrived at Pluto in 2015 and mapped this celestial body along with its largest moon, Charon. Charon is so large in comparison with Pluto that Charon does not actually orbit Pluto. Instead, these bodies orbit a point between them.

New Horizons sent back a great deal of data about Pluto. Some of the most interesting discoveries were that the most prominent feature of Pluto’s landscape is a large heart-shaped region and that there may be water beneath its surface.

Pluto in Astrology

Pluto’s role in astrology has also taken many twists and turns. At the present time, Pluto is just as controversial in the astrological community as it is in the scientific one. For the most part, Indian astrology does not incorporate Pluto or any of the modern planets, but for such a small celestial body, it has become a very big bone of contention among Western astrologers.

Below are some of the views of Pluto based on three of the main branches of Western Astrology.

Traditional/Classical

Strict Traditional or Classical Astrologers ignore Pluto altogether. They also ignore Uranus, Neptune, and all of the asteroids. They primarily use the Seven Traditional Planets and see no need to make room for any of the planets discovered in modern times. This is, in part, because of the doctrine of visibility, which is that only the bodies that are visible have meaning to our lives.

Yet, there are many astrologers, some of them quite well-known, that use mostly traditional methodology and still incorporate Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in their readings.

In general, though, these astrologers do not assign the planets the rulerships of any signs, and instead, stick to the traditional rulership scheme.

Modern Psychological Astrology

The most common branch of astrology that is practiced in the West can be loosely described as Modern Psychological. Actually, this is far from a unified or organized school of thought, but there are some common themes.

The reason it is often termed psychological astrology is that its primary purpose is to describe people’s personality traits and internal psychological dynamics. Often, practitioners do not try to predict events that will happen in people’s lives but instead focus on a person’s Free Will.

Planets and celestial bodies are often incorporated into the system shortly after they are discovered. Innovation is welcome and even encouraged by practitioners.

In Modern Psychological Astrology, Pluto governs deep internal psychological forces. The associations for Pluto are often quite dark, although, it is also termed the planet of “transformation.” Pluto is assigned the rulership of Scorpio, sometimes alongside Mars, the traditional ruler, and sometimes in place of Mars. Areas assigned to Pluto are the areas of the psyche are ugly, violent, and that most people try to keep buried.

On a global level, it has been noted that Pluto was discovered as we were discovering atomic power, and the element named for it, plutonium, was used in the first atomic bomb detonated in war.

Pluto’s demotion has not changed its usage by most Modern Psychological Astrologers, although some have included other dwarf planets, such as Ceres and Eris, into their readings.

pluto-2677026_640

Evolutionary Astrology

Evolutionary Astrology takes Pluto even further, teaching that it is central to a person’s soul. Indeed, it points to the soul’s karma and its intentions in this present life. One of the major schools of Evolutionary Astrology is known as The Pluto School.

This branch of astrology also combines a sign, its ruler, and the house whose number corresponds to that sign, and gives them all a synonymous meaning. In this system, Scorpio, Pluto, and the 8th House all mean approximately the same thing.

Interestingly enough, this system places a heavy emphasis on Free Will. The chart is just a reflection of your past up until the point that you were born, and you can decide what to do with it in this life.

Even so, in many cases, Evolutionary Astrology often takes a close look at the traumas and unpleasant experiences that one has encountered in this and previous lives.

Further Discussion and Research

Last spring, on the Astrology Podcast, hosted by Chris Brennan, there was an interesting episode titled How Did Pluto and the Outer Planets Get Their Meanings. The panelists were Chris Brennan, Kenneth Miller, Sam Reynolds, and Lisa Schaim.

You can watch this episode on YouTube here.

This was a very good discussion, and I highly recommend it.

One of the more interesting parts of this video was a discussion by Kenneth Miller about a study he conducted regarding the views of astrologers concerning Pluto since its discovery.

According to his research, for the first few decades, most astrologers were unsure of whether Pluto did have meaning and if so, what that meaning was. Sometimes it seemed to impact people and sometimes it did not.

In most cases, astrologers from the early decades of Pluto’s discovery seemed to think that Pluto was only relevant in a birth chart if it impacted other planets or chart points in the chart.

In modern times, however, Kenneth Miller observed that astrologers who use Pluto are convinced that it does have meaning, are confident of that meaning, and see evidence of its influence whether or not it is connected with the more personal planets.

In the episode, he pondered what that might mean, assuming that both the astrologers of the past and present astrologers were faithfully reporting their professional observations. Could it be that Pluto actually is more influential now than it was in the past?

Also discussed in this video was the practice of ascribing meaning to Pluto and other celestial bodies based on the name given to them by astronomers as well as by what was going on in the world during their discovery. The basis for this practice is the doctrine of synchronicity. One of the observations made, however, that there did not seem to be any discussion of the significance of Pluto’s demotion according to synchronicity.

Pluto and Free Will

One of the central controversies in astrology concerns the roles of Fate and Free Will in our lives. This is not just an abstract philosophical discussion. For astrologers, it has profound practical implications. Our position on this issue governs how much we think that a person’s astrological chart can tell us and what we believe that we are able to predict by the movements of the planets.

Ultimately, every astrologer must come to terms with this question for themselves, but the different branches of Western Astrology tend to have different beliefs the interplay between Fate and Free Will.

Modern practitioners of Traditional/Classical Astrology tend to fall heavily on the side of Fate. There are a few who go so far as to think that our entire lives can be predicted with mathematical precision from our charts. This is an extreme view and is not held by many practicing astrologers, however.

Astrologers in the Hellenistic Age seemed to have a more nuanced view and in general, believed that some things were fated and some were subject to Free Will. I have found that most modern Traditional and Classical Astrologers would agree with this. Yet, I think that almost all would say that Fate plays at least some role in what happens to us and that we can predict our present and our future to a certain extent from our birth charts.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are Evolutionary Astrologers who do not believe in Fate, but ascribe everything to Free Will. As discussed before, in this branch, our birth chart only reflects the choices that we have made in past lives. Our present and future paths are up to us.

Most Modern Psychological Astrologers fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

For my own thoughts on the subject, I refer the reader to the article below:

Fate, Free Will, the Cross, and Wa

One of the things that I have noticed is that it seems that there is a correlation between how much astrologers believe Pluto and the Outer Planets impact us and how great of a role Free Will plays in our lives.

I do not think that this is a coincidence.

Thoughts and Reflections

When I first read, The Feminist Universe, by Miss Alice Trent, I learned about the modern poisons of atomization, deracination, and deformation. Atomization separates us from each other, deracination separates us from our Source, and deformation twists and inverts that which is good and beautiful, making it an ugly parody.

If you are interested, you can purchase a copy of The Feminine Universe here.

When I was reading about these poisons, I was struck with how similar they were to the accepted meanings of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

Pluto

I wrote about my thoughts in the article below:

The Outer Planets – A Theory

In a later article, I discussed my thoughts on the notion that the Outer Planets were “Higher Octaves” of the Traditional Planets. The article is linked below:

The Outer Planets: the Pseudomythos of “Higher Octaves” and “Transcendence”

Based on these reflections, and in monitoring my own chart as the charts of my clients and others I know, I have developed my own practice as to how I use Pluto and the Outers.

I do believe that they can have an impact on people, but that this impact is almost entirely the result of Free Will.

 

I believe that the Traditional Planets, which we can see with the naked eye, cannot be avoided. We do have some Free Will with respect to how we interact with the principles they represent, but we are fated to deal with them as Axial Beings in the material world. For example, a mortal cannot avoid Saturn. We will all face the ravages of time and will eventually die.

We can, however, avoid delving into the depths of Pluto. In order to see it, we must go to substantial lengths and effort to do so. I think that is a metaphor for the Pluto principle as well.

On the other hand, no one is an island, and if our society has embraced Pluto, we will be impacted by it at some level whether we want to be or not. I find it interesting that there has been an outcry against the demotion of Pluto, and that many astrologers have ignored it completely.

If synchronicity was involved in its discovery, surely its demotion was meaningful as well. I think that, perhaps, we have been given the choice to reject the principles that have been associated with it. Maybe, over time, our society will be able to make that choice.

NH-PlutoCharon-Color-NewHorizons-20150711

Perhaps, we can use this year of changes to stop employing Pluto as a symbol for the principle which encourages us to dig up parts of our psyche better left buried or to take apart the building blocks of matter giving the power to destroy ourselves. Instead, we can let it alone to be a teeny world at the edge of our Solar System. We can enjoy its dance with its partner, Charon, let it have its heart, and speculate about what might be in the oceans beneath its surface.

I think that we have that choice if we want it.

Being Without a Living Tradition

One of the biggest challenges as a Filianist is that there is no living tradition to draw upon. As I have been thinking of this, it has occurred to me that this is also a challenge for Western astrologers who are trying to work in a more traditional manner.  I would like to share some of my thoughts and ideas about this.

What is a Living Tradition?

Before I begin, it might help if I explained what I mean by a living tradition. A living tradition is one that has been passed down in an unbroken line from teacher to student from either a time that cannot be counted or from a genuine source of revealed knowledge. With respect to Filianism, such a living tradition no longer exists. We believe that there was a time that there was a feminine living tradition, but any line between teacher and student has long been broken.

hieroglyphs-541146_640There are remnants of the feminine tradition in the patriarchal traditions practiced today, and there is archeological evidence that there was a feminine tradition that existed in the past. While these things are to be valued and treasured, they are a poor substitute for having a true living tradition.

In Orthodox Filianism, this is dealt with by keeping to very simple devotional practices and by not allowing for priestesses or anything of that nature. This is in the Orthodox version only, however. Many independent Filianist groups do allow for priestesses.

The lack of a living tradition is also dealt with by being honest and humble in what we profess, exercising a great deal of caution.  We use the remnants of the feminine tradition that can be found in various cultures today, in the East and in the West, and supplement this with some of our own materials and practices.

Reconstructed Traditions

The problem of a lack of a living tradition is faced many who are not Filianists as well. In the West, Christianity was ruthless in rooting out “pagan” religions and traditions, so those who wish to explore these forms of wisdom and spirituality are in a similar position.

One of the other ways to deal with this problem is to try to reconstruct these traditions from the written and archeological evidence that we have available to us. An example of a reconstructed tradition is the modern Druid movement. It could also be said that the modern practice of Traditional/Classical Astrology is a reconstructed tradition.

Uncertainty of Interpretation

The difficulty with a reconstructed tradition is that there is very little certainty that one is interpreting the material that we have accurately.  In many cases, we do not have written records. If we do have written records, they often must be translated. Furthermore, we have to deal with the problem of texts. The printing press was not invented in the West until the 15th Century, even though it was developed in China about 600 years earlier.

Before that texts had to be copied by hand. Of course, the scribes in those days were surely more accurate than someone completing such a task today would be. On the other hand, we are still dealing with uncertainty that increases the further the text is in time from when it was written.

The other big problem is that even when we have written materials and even when we have original texts, not everything was written down. Of course, some information was probably deemed too important to reduce to writing, but even more of an issue is that writing was a major project. Just as secret matters would not be written, neither would things that were common knowledge. It would be far too much of a waste of time and resources.

hieroglyphics-315121_640

Adaptation to Modern Times

Even if we did have perfect information about broken or destroyed traditions in order to revive them, we would still have the problem of how to adapt them to modern times. I do not believe in evolutionist ideas about “progress,” nor do I think that we are more advanced than our forebears. However, we are not the same as them either. Our physical, mental, and spiritual capacities are greatly reduced. At the same time, we have more technology which artificially enhances our computational abilities.

Because of this, any revival of spiritual traditions, or any revival of traditional sciences such as astrology, needs to take into account our reduced abilities to understand and to implement its doctrines or teachings.

In a living tradition, this adaptation would have taken place over time, as spiritual leaders or masters of the craft would have made small adjustments from generation to generation. Every now and then, there would have been major changes as a leader emerged. In the present, we tend to think of these leaders as innovators. Within a true living tradition, however, these leaders are not innovating but are making large-scale changes to adapt a tradition to the present age.

This idea is reflected in the Christian tradition in the Gospel According to Matthew when Jesus says:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Matthew 5.17 New Revised Standard Edition

Without that organic adaptation over time, modern scholars and practitioners are in a very difficult position. This often leads to one of two extremes. On one extreme, scholars can decide to bend and shape the tradition to fit the modern world until it bears little resemblance to the original. On the other extreme, scholars can rigidly hold on to the letter of what was written to the point that it is unworkable in the modern world.

In Traditional/Classical Astrological circles, there are those who go to both extremes, and sometimes the same person will do both at the same time. For example, there are Traditional/Classical Astrologers who will insist that any technique or practice must be attested to by a traditional, pre-Enlightenment source, while at the same time also insist that astrology is purely mechanical, denying any spiritual or Divine powers that may be at work….a position that would have been considered absurd by pre-Enlightenment thinkers.

Modern Revelations

Now that we have looked at the problems with reviving broken traditions, what about modern revelations? There are many who have claimed to have received revelations about spiritual matters. In modern astrology, one of the most influential sources of alleged “received wisdom” comes from the Theosophical Society. One of the early leaders of this Society was Madame Blavatsky, who claimed to have received revelations from a brotherhood of Great Masters. On a smaller scale, the founder of one of the main branches of Evolutionary Astrology claims to have received some of the major tenets in a dream.

The problem with modern revelations is very similar to the problem in reconstructing or reviving broken traditions. The issue of continuing revelation is a subject of great controversy within a number of religious denominations. Those religions that do accept continuing revelation usually have some means by which to test and evaluate them.

Without a living tradition, it would seem that evaluating such revelations would be extremely difficult. How do you know where the revelation is coming from without a tradition to use as a standard?

So What Can We Do?

From all of the problems that I have raised, it would seem that the situation is impossible. How can one know anything or be sure of anything, especially in the West? There are some who turn to Eastern forms of spirituality as a solution. Within astrology, the Vedic tradition is one of the few surviving astrological forms that still has a living tradition to draw upon. The problem with that is similar to the problems with reviving historical traditions, however. As a Westerner, is it really possible to understand the Vedic tradition and get it right, especially without a guru?

Despite the broken tradition and despite all of the problems, I do think that there is value in the Western system, particularly for Westerners. This is the reason that I am slowly working to develop what I am calling Essentialist Astrology.

On the other hand, I think it is important to be aware that we are dealing with a broken tradition. As such, it is necessary to proceed with caution and humility, and to be cognizant and honest about what we do not and can not know.

10 Magical Things About the Natural World

This world is a magical place. It is filled with wonder and beauty. In many ways, it seems like modern scientists try their best to make us believe that the universe is dry, mechanical, and sterile. Yet, many of the things that they find are truly marvelous and mysterious. So, in that light, here are 10 magical things about the natural world that are often presented in a boring way.

1) The Big Bang

color-3762543_640

If we are talking about magical and mysterious things, it seems logical to begin at the beginning. Scientists are pretty confident that the entire observable universe comes from something infinitesimally tiny approximately 13.8 billion years ago. While we often learn about this in dry, technical language, it is truly wondrous to contemplate. What makes this even more mysterious is that no one knows what caused the Big Bang. There are lots of speculations and theories, but that is all they are.

Another interesting thing is that for those of us old enough to remember analog television, the static that we would sometimes get was actually residue from the Big Bang!

2) The Speed of Light

kuala-1090749_640

Light is an important concept on a spiritual level, but on a purely physical level, light is incredibly magical and mysterious as well. In our science classes in school, most of us have learned about the equation E=mc2. We also learn that this has something to do with the fact that the speed of light is the absolute speed limit of the universe. It is also fairly common knowledge that the closer to the speed of light we get, the slower we age.

Yet, take a moment to think about this and what this means. To begin with, it means that when we see the stars, we are actually seeing them as they were in the past. The further away the stars are from us, the deeper into the past we are looking.  For example, it is now thought that the North Star Polaris is about 323 light-years away from us. This means that what we see is the star as it was 323 years ago. The furthest single star that we can see with the naked eye is Cassiopeia, which is 16,308 light-years away, and on a dark night, we can see the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2.5 million light-years away.

As amazing as it is that we can see 2.5 million years into the past without even needing a telescope, there is something about this that is even more magical. The closer we get to the speed of light, the slower time gets, but at the speed of light, time stops altogether. So, from the perspective of the light beam that started 2.5 million light years away, the trip to Earth was instantaneous.

3) Rainbows

british-columbia-3785254_640

Intuitively, we all know that rainbows are magical. Yet, our science classes teach us that they are “just” light that has been bent and separated into separate colors by going through the water in the air, which acts as a prism.

When you look beyond the boring explanation and stop to think about it, this means that all white light has the colors of the rainbow in it, just waiting to be seen. That is pretty wondrous and mysterious.

4) Life

penguins-429134_640

Life itself is extremely magic and mysterious. While scientists believe that life came from some primordial soup by chemical processes, they really have no idea how or why that happened. Actually, scientists do not even fully understand what life is!

What is truly fascinating is how abundant and resilient life is, at least here on this planet. There is life in every nook and cranny on the Earth, even in the most hostile of environments. There are organisms that live in ice, volcanic springs, areas flooded with radiation, and any other environment that you can imagine.

Also, it is now believed that life began on Earth almost as soon as it was fully formed!

5) Stardust

cassiopeia-a-11180_640

It is now believed that all of the elements that make up our Solar System, our planet, and even our bodies come from the residue of stars that exploded at the end of their life cycles. This means that we are quite literally made out of stardust.

6) Gravity

earth-1388003_640

Gravity is one of the most mysterious forces in the universe. It is what holds us to the ground, keeps us orbiting around the Sun, and keeps the Moon orbiting around us. Yet, no one really knows what it is. The mechanics of gravity have been well known for a few centuries now, or at least the mechanics when things are not too big, too small, or too close to the Sun.

According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, gravity occurs because somehow objects bend spacetime by their mere existence. Even this, however, merely explains the mechanics of how it works. It does not explain what it is or where it came from.

Yet, without gravity, we could not exist.

7) Snowflakes

snowflake-554635_640

Almost everyone knows that no two snowflakes are alike. It is such common knowledge, in fact, that it is easy to forget just how magical and wondrous that this is. Even if it snows so much that it accumulates to 12 feet or more, each tiny snowflake in that pile is absolutely unique.

8) Flowers

spring-flowers-110671_640

Flowers are truly amazing. They are so beautiful and diverse. Yet, what is the purpose of their beauty? It is said that it is to attract bees and insects to pollinate them. However, bees and insects are just as happy with soda in the garbage. In the Deanist/Filianist tradition, flowers are said to be love letters from Dea.

9) Geodes

pierre-1190156_640

Geodes are truly amazing. Plain on the outside, and magnificent on the inside, they are full of magic and wonder. Also, just like snowflakes, there are no two geodes that are exactly alike.

10) π

water-38389_640

For every circle in the world, if you multiply the diameter by the mysterious, irrational number π, you will get the circumference. If you multiply π by the radius squared, you will get the area.  π is also used in calculating the volume and the surface area of a sphere. Spheres are ubiquitous in the universe, by the way. The reason that there are so many spheres is due to gravity. Apparently, any object large enough will eventually turn into a sphere.

The Illusion of “Thinking for Yourself”

In the 1960’s, the world changed drastically, at least in the West.  For the most part, I believe that this change has been downhill.  In the The Feminine Universe, Miss Alice Lucy Trent calls this change “the Eclipse.”  I can imagine that at least some readers will protest and talk about all the horrors of cruelty, unkindness, violence, and oppression from the past.  I am not denying that this was so.  The past of this world has been violent and cruel for at least as long as we have recorded history.  This is one of the more compelling arguments for the changes in society since the Eclipse. Despite this, I think that much more has been lost than has been gained.

One of the things that has been lost is any sense that authority can be trusted, or really that anyone can be trusted.  We are taught to “think for ourselves” and engage in “critical thinking” of everything.  Instead of being a contributing part of a community, or seeking a higher purpose, people see it as their (and everyone else’s) duty to keep “informed,” which really means to keep track of all of the bad things that everyone is doing or may do.

The reality is that none of us truly “think for ourselves.”  We all rely on other people.  For example, when choosing a service or a product, we look up “reviews,” which are the thoughts of other people.  When deciding our opinions on “issues,” we rely on others to tell us what these “issues” are and how we should think about them.  We are shaped by others in almost everything we do, and often when we think we are “thinking for ourselves,” we are really just choosing between ideas that have we been told.

The same is true of “critical thinking.”  I think that there is a place for that; however, it is often the case that the “critical” part is overemphasized.  People criticize everything, all of the time.  It is almost impossible to discuss any public figure without hearing about something the terrible the person has done. Yes, I understand that there are times when truly terrible things ought to be exposed, but most of the time, the matters are rather superficial and petty.

The reality is that it is hard to truly engage in “critical thinking” in this day and age, because we have lost the idea of an objective right or wrong.  One of the big differences between pre-Eclipse and post-Eclipse movies is the idea that there are things that are right and things that are wrong.  Yes, there is plenty of immorality shown in pre-Eclipse media, but it is not justified like it is in post-Eclipse media.  Good was good and bad was bad.  Shows might depict people being bad, but they, and everyone else, knew they were being bad.  These days, good and bad are so muddled and twisted that no one really knows what they are anymore.

One may ask, well what about circumstances?  An example of which would be the case of a person who steals or engages in criminal business ventures because she can not afford the basic necessities of life for herself and her family.  My answer to that is that none of us are perfect, and there are times people make compromises out of necessity in a difficult, and often rather harsh, world.  That does not change the fact that what they may be doing is wrong.

It is a funny society where one is supposed to “think for yourself” and “think critically,” but one is also supposed to be non-judgmental.  So, upon what does one base one’s critical thinking?  Well, in practice, I think that people tend to become part of a group and accept that group’s judgments, often without question.  In the United States, there is a liberal “team” and a conservative “team” that is fueled by a 24-hour news cycle.  People will support ideas and positions proposed by their “team” no matter how absurd and outrageous they may be, and they will oppose ideas and positions proposed by the other “team” no matter how reasonable and sensible they are.

The Metamorph 2So, what can one do?  I am a long time Star Trek fan, and I think that for the most part Star Trek is rather wholesome, at least to the extent of the Original Series and the Next Generation.  One of my favorite episodes in Star Trek: the Next Generation is the episode, “the Perfect Mate.”  In this episode, there is a woman who is a metamorph, which means she naturally becomes the person that perfectly suits her mate.  In this show, she makes the choice to bond with Captain Picard, even though she is promised to marry someone else in an arranged political marriage.  She does this because she likes who she is when she is with Captain Picard.  In molding to Captain Picard, she understands the importance of duty, and she goes through with the arranged marriage to fulfill her duty.

I think this is a rather good metaphor for us.  All of us are influenced and molded by our social groups, the media we watch, and to what we expose ourselves.  None of us really thinks for ourselves.  What we can do is to decide who we are going to listen to and who we are going to trust.  We can decide who is it who will mold and shape our opinions.  We can also make that choice consciously, bearing in mind that this will largely determine the type of person that we will become.

The Sacred Mountain and a Jealous God

Every Sacred Mountain is THE Sacred Mountain.

Mount FujiThis is an important principle in any form of Traditionalist philosophy. This can be a difficult concept to grasp, but how could it be otherwise? The Sacred Mountain is the place where Heaven and Earth meet. Whether one climbs Mount Sinai or Mount Fuji, one has climbed The Sacred Mountain. There is no need to climb a different Sacred Mountain, and if one did, it would be climbing The Sacred Mountain again, only in a different location. How could it be possible to climb the wrong Sacred Mountain? The idea seems almost absurd from this perspective.

One of the difficulties with the Abrahamic Traditions is the notion of a “Jealous God.” The “Jealous God” is a religious aberration and is not really found anywhere else. Of course, for the serious devotee of any religion, it is important to see her religion as The Only Truth, which on one level is absolutely correct. In Abrahamic Traditions, however, this belief has become exclusionary, denying the Truth of other religions. Just because one’s religion is The Only Truth does not mean that other religions are not also True; and indeed The Only Truth as well.

Every Sacred Mountain is THE Sacred Mountain.

While I am not here to tell anyone how to conduct their religious affairs, the pervading belief in a Jealous God creates a difficulty and barrier to discussions of a spiritual or religious nature, and is especially problematic when it comes to the exploration of Feminine Tradition or the Feminine Divine. One of the criticisms of Deanism and Filianism is that this form of spirituality sees the Divine as Feminine and does not include Masculine imagery in its devotional practices. Its Fundamental Mythos is also entirely Feminine.  I find it interesting because one rarely hears that type of criticism with respect to the all Masculine imagery for the Divine of the Abrahamic religions, with the possible exception of Mary. Although, even in Roman Catholicism, Mary is not officially given Divine status.

Unlike the Abrahamic Traditions, Deaism/Filianism does not believe that Dea is a Jealous God, nor does Deaism/Filianism see its Creation Mythos in terms of literal, historical facts. Indeed, if our Mythos were based on literal, historical facts, then by definition, they could not represent Universal Truth. From an un-Enlightened state, we, as humans, are not truly capable of understanding the Divine, and as beings bound in time and space, we can not understand matters beyond time and space. “The Tao that can be spoken is not the true Tao.”

To bridge the gap between Heaven and Earth and between the Divine and mere mortals, we are given devotional imagery and Mythos told to us as if they were stories set in time and space.  Of course, the images are not the Divine themselves, nor are the stories about literal, historical events that happened in space and time. They are given to us for understanding, nothing more.

In a certain respect, God or Dea is so far above us that imagery for the Divine in human form with biological gender is a poor reflection of the reality. There are religions that forbid imagery for God for this very reason. Deanistic practice does include imagery, because we feel it helps us form a closer connection with Dea and to feel Her presence in our lives.

We do not feel that worship of a Masculine God is wrong, and there are no shortage of faiths in the world that do. We do not feel that worship of God/Dea as both Masculine and Feminine is wrong either, and there are faiths in the world that do that as well. We, however, as Deanists, worship Dea in an exclusively Feminine form. Do we think that ours is the only way? Of course not. To us, all orthodox religions can be seen as a form of the Sacred Mountain. Dea is not a Jealous God.

See also:

God as Mother: Some basic questions about Feminine Monotheism

Telling Time, Astrology, and Japanese Kanji

Recently, I have been studying the Japanese language.  There are several reasons for this, but one of them is very much related to the work of this weblog.  The purpose of this weblog has been to explore, learn, and discuss the Ancient Wisdom that is the true foundation for Traditional Sciences, such as astrology once was.  Much of the material currently available to astrologers is post-Aristotelian.  As I discussed in previous articles, Aristotle taught a subtle, but quite significant, deviation from Traditional Wisdom with respect to the nature of Perfect Form and its relationship to physical manifestation.

I have observed that this deviation is embedded in all of Western thought, science, and philosophy.  Such a deviation did not occur in the East until the East was exposed to Western thought.  One can find information and clues with respect to Traditional Wisdom in Japanese kanji.  Recently, I have been studying time expressions, and the kanji for them are quite fascinating.

In order to fully understand why these kanji are so fascinating, it is important to understand the original and primordial purpose behind astrology.  As our ancestors became more consolidated into the material world, it was important to them to ensure that their earthly activities were still in harmony with the Divine Music of the Spheres.  They looked to the heavens and studied the movements of the heavenly bodies to determine the time that their endeavors were in accord with this Divine Music.

Music of the Spheres

The Feminine Scriptures contain references relevant to this:

It is Love that holds the stars within their courses, and all the worlds of the immeasurable cosmos within the harmony of the celestial music.

Truly, all the cycles of the times and the seasons; all the rhythms of the soul and of the mind and of the flesh; truly all these flow from the love of Our Lady, the Maid, that creation may not decompose, each several member flying away into black eternal chaos.

The Clew of Love

For there are ways and rhythms in the course of life, of day and night, of seasons and the moon, by which all life, all thought, all work are governed and these movements are the breath of the Divine, reflected in the highest spheres and every living thing.

All nature is a vast and subtle movement to which the innocent soul is close attuned.

The profane assay to sever themselves from this music, fixing new laws of gain and self-advantage against the law of universal love.

Honor in all things the times and the seasons, keeping fast in the times of fast with diligence and care; rejoicing in times of feast with generous outpouring.

No tree may blossom out of season, nor any flower greet springtime with austerity, but a maid lacking in inward control is broken from the rhythm.

The Way of Simplicity

Starry SkyFor readers of the Judeo-Christian tradition, these concepts can be found in the Hebrew written tradition as well:

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.”  And it was so.

Genesis 1:14-15 (NRSV)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)

These are the traditions I am most familiar with; however, I would imagine that this is a Universal concept, and that it can be found in all traditions.

To my joy and delight, I discovered that this concept seems to be embedded in the Japanese kanji for time expressions.

TokiOn the left is the kanji for time, toki, and also, ji, the marker for hour expressions, the Japanese equivalent of “o’clock.”  This kanji is made up of two other kanji.  The element on the right is the kanji for “temple.”  The element on the left is the kanji for “Sun.”  Quite simply, the hours are marked by the temple watching the Sun.

JikanThe Japanese word for time in the abstract sense and the word used to mark a number of hours is jikan.  The kanji for jikan is to the right.  As you can see, this kanji incorporates the kanji for time with a second kanji.  This second kanji also includes the element for Sun, but it is inside an element that symbolizes a gate.  The Sun is contained inside a gate!

Another interesting kanji is found in the word, matsu, “to wait,” 待つ.  The kanji is the first character in this word.  The temple is in this kanji as well. The other element of this kanji, is labeled “going man,” by Rikaichan, a wonderful translation aid/kanji analyzer that works with Firefox.  That element, or radical, is also found in the kanji included in the word, iku, “to go,” 行く.  I think one could speculate that the kanji contained in the word for wait may indicate that human endeavors are being directed by the temple; in other words, people are waiting for the proper time for action!

See also:

The Days of the Week and Japanese Kanji

For even more information about the metaphysics behind Japanese kanji, I refer the reader to the following excellent articles on the subject:

Japanese Kanji for Left and Right: Why They Are What They Are

Kanji Symbols – Fire, Movement and Humanity

Learn Japanese Kanji through Symbolism

 

Who Am I? Spirit and Soul

Who am I?  This is an age old question that has dominated philosophy and spiritual thought for millenia.  In the Enlightenment, René Descartes made the well-known statement, “Cogito ergo sum,” or “I think, therefore, I am.”  This idea has dominated Western thought since that time, and it is the Rationalist approach to this question.

Traditional thought has a much different answer to this question, and this answer can be seen in the symbols of the glyphs for the Janyati and their planets.  Each of the Janyati/planetary glyphs are made up of three symbols, the circle, the crescent, and the cross.  In a recent article, I included a very humble drawing that I made showing the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, and I used the glyphs in that drawing.  If you look at the glyphs, you will see that each of these glyphs is made up of one, two, or three of these symbols in various combinations.

The cross is the symbol of the material world.  It is also the symbol of humans as Axial Beings with the capacity for Free Will.  I have spoken at length about the symbol of the cross in previous articles.  An introductory article regarding the symbol of the cross can be found here.  As you can see, the symbol of the cross is found in all of the non-luminary planetary glyphs.

The luminaries, the Sun (Sai Raya) and the Moon (Sai Candre), are the only glyphs that contain only one symbol.  The cross is  not contained in either of these glyphs.  This is because the principles that they represent are beyond and independent of the material world.  These are the pure solar and lunar principles, and these principles are the answer to the question, “Who am I?”

Sai RayaAt the very deepest level, we are One with the Divine and with all of existence.  This is stated in many places in feminine Scripture:

“For the Spirit is One, and I am the Spirit, and you are the Spirit also, in the innermost temple of your heart.” – The Temple of the Heart

“Raise not thy voice above a gentle tone except it be in song, nor seek to place thyself above another, for the spirit in each is a ray of the Spirit My Mother, and as thou render service unto them, so servest thou also Her.” – The Heart of Water

“If thou wouldst find union with our Mother, know that thou has never left Her.” – Cry Marya

This Mystery is not only found in the Deanic/Filianic tradition, but is found deep in the teachings of all legitimate traditions.  This is the Mystery of the Atman and the Spirit.  The circle is the symbol of this Mystery.  The glyph for the Sun is a point* surrounded by a large circle, which is the Mystery of the Spirit that is both deep within us and far outside of us.  The Mystery is explained (as well as it can be explained in words), in the Temple of the Heart:

Know your own heart and make examination thereof; for if you know not your own heart, there can be no true knowledge of anything.  But within the innermost temple of your heart shall you find the seas and the heavens and all the illimitable cosmos; For the space within this temple is as vast as the manifest universe.

The ignorant eye shall not see this temple from without, For it is smaller than the seed of an apple, and the seventh part of a seventh part divided again until what part remains can be seen nor touched nor tasted.

The ignorant eye shall not see this temple from within, for it is vast as the manifest universe.

Beyond life, beyond death is the temple, for it is a temple of the Spirit.

SAMSUNG

Within this Mystery is a paradox.  We are One with the Divine, yet we are also separate from the Divine.  The Deanic/Filianic Mythos, as well as the Mythos of many religions, teach of our turning from the Divine, or our choosing separation from the Divine.  In the Temple of the Heart, it says, “About this temple and encompassing it round grows a garden rank with thorns, which are the thorns of khear.”  In the Deanic/Filianic tradition khear is that which keeps us separate from the Divine.  Khear is similar to sin in the Christian tradition, but it has slightly different connotations.  In the Creation Mythos of the Deanic/Filianic tradition, after Axial Beings choose separation, the Light of the Mother became too bright to look upon, and needed to be mediated by the softer reflected Lunar Light of the Daughter.

Our-Lady-of-GraceThe symbol of the crescent is the symbol of the softer Lunar Light.  This symbol is also the symbol for our individual souls, seen in the crescent within a crescent in the symbol for the Moon.  Our souls are the lesser reflection of the Solar Spirit within, and they are the part of us that is both eternal, but also experiences death and rebirth.  The Mystery of our soul is complex, and I have been told that one Eastern meditation exercise is to contemplate one’s own soul and the boundaries of one’s soul.  Any astrologer who has studied Nativity charts knows how complicated and intricate each individual is, filled with contradictions and twists and turns.  Even Modern psychology, as limited as it is, recognizes concepts such as our Inner Child.  Many of us function with multiple personae, such as our work persona, our parent persona (for those with children), and our persona with friends.  Do these personae represent who we are, are they functional, are they something in between?  The answers to these questions are not always all that clear, are they?

As stated before, the non-luminary planetary glyphs are symbolic of the way that each of these Janyatic/planetary principles mediate the Light of the Solar Spirit and the Lunar Crescent in the material world.

See also:

Mummies and Luminaries

—————————–

*Below is an excerpt from a comment from Cure Tadashiku regarding the point in the center of the Solar Glyph:

The center of the Solar glyph is…….the Point without extension:

2. Yet from the still point all movement comes; and Earth is the shadow of Heaven. 3. Space doth extend without limit, nor is there any boundary to the worlds, but the Point is without extension; yet from the Point alone all space proceedeth. 4. All manifest things are bound to the three times; of that which is, which was, which is to come; but the Moment is without time. It neither is nor was, nor ever will be.

……..

The Solar glyph is precisely the extension of manifestation with the non-extended, unmanifest Point at its Center.

Thank you for the information, Cure Tadashiku.

 

Bonds of Friendship, Love, and Community

One of the saddest things that has happened in our atomized society is that we have been cut off from the ties that used to be so important in life.   We are separated from our families, often by great distances, and few of us have deep friendships or ties to a community.

In the United States, a ruling just came down from the IRS that marriages of same-sex couples would now be recognized for tax purposes.  This is quite convenient on a personal level, and for many of my readers, it is happy news.  There is a rather sad backdrop, though.  This backdrop is that the only bonds of family that are recognized for non-dependent and non-disabled adults are marital ones.  This is true on a social level as well as a legal one.

Andy Griffith Choir EpisodeHow many times have we heard the phrase, “Oh, we are just friends.”  Friendship has been relegated to a “just,” and is seen as inferior to marital or romantic relationships.  This is a strange concept of an atomized society.  In more traditional societies, one would often have much stronger bonds with one’s friends than with one’s spouse.  Marriage was not primarily a romantic relationship, and romantic love was seen as rather incidental.  Men and women occupied very different social spheres, and a woman’s closest relationships would be with her other female relatives and with her female friends.  I would imagine it was the same for men, but to be honest, (apologizing to my male readers), I have never really understood the dynamics of male friendships.

Before the mid 1960’s, individual families were all part of larger communities, and harmony between friends and within communities was seen to be as important as marital harmony, if not more so.  As I mentioned in previous articles, I have been watching the Andy Griffith Show.  I am quite impressed the portrayal of community in this show.  A disruption of harmony in the community was a major problem that needed to be solved.  Given that this was a sitcom, it was generally solved by the end of the show.  Still, it seems a marked contrast from the way society views these things today.  Over a decade ago, Miss Hilary Clinton stated, “it takes a village to raise a child.”  She was mocked for this, but it was probably one of the wisest things anyone has said in modern times.

Deep friendships and relationships are often viewed with suspicion.  Modern psychology has coined terms like “enmeshment” and “co-dependence,” and people are wary if others get too close, or if they feel like they are getting too close to others.  This being said, I do think that co-dependency exists and can be quite problematic.  Yet, it is something very specific, being addicted to the drama and feeling of importance that comes from caretaking and enabling someone else’s addictive or otherwise harmful behavior.  It is not the same as a deep and intimate relationship that is sometimes difficult and painful because we are imperfect human beings.

Yuri-san CrushIt is seen as a cause for suspicion and jealousy if a married person has deep friendships outside of her marriage.  If two people are close friends in general, there is a view that there might be something inappropriate happening.  I was recently watching Episode 42 of a Japanese Anime show, Heartcatch Precure.   One of the characters in this show is Yuri-san, or Cure Moonlight.  On a personal level, I confess that watching this show is quite emotional, because Yuri-san’s story matches my own to an extent that can be eerily uncomfortable.  Yuri-san is a bit older than the other Precures, and she becomes restored to her powers late in the series.  In any case, there is a little boy who has a crush on Yuri-san.  They had known each other since they were much younger, and Yuri-san thought of him as her little brother.

In a Western story with the same theme, this crush would be treated as something that was to be stopped.  In most shows, the older person would generally try to stop the crush in as gentle a manner as possible.  Still, it was definitely something that needed to be stopped as quickly as possible.  Often in these shows, the younger person would get carried away with the crush and push the issue beyond the point of propriety.  In this story, the crush was treated in a much different manner.  The little boy said that he knew that he needed to grow up and did not expect Yuri-san to reciprocate.  He did want to give her a love letter that she would take seriously, though.  At this point in the story, Yuri-san was smiling for the first time in a long time, and the little boy wanted to protect her smile.  He thought that her knowing that someone loved her would do that.  At the end of the episode, Yuri-san held the love letter to her heart, while her and the little boy stood together.

There was nothing improper about this.  It was just a sweet story about people caring for one another.  It was so different and so much more innocent than what we would see in a Western show.

On this same topic, I have been greatly enjoying the Precure series, but I have been a bit disturbed by the reaction of Western fans at times.  For those who are not familiar with these shows, they are in the Magic Girl genre of Anime, and an article describing the premise of the genre is here.  One of the other features of the Precure series is that the girls have very strong and deep bonds of friendship and love between them.  The disturbing and sad part is the innuendo that the girls must be lesbians or have s*xual feelings for each other.  When looking up images from the series on the Internet, there are some rather rude images of the girls implying this.  I think that this is a sad commentary on Western society.

Why is it so hard to believe that there could exist strong and deep innocent bonds of love between friends?  Why do we assume that something less innocent must be happening?  I think that the answer to this is the overall atomization and cynicism that we are fed from earliest childhood.  I think it is also part and parcel of the phenomenon that Western society seems to believe that the only “real” intimate relationships are s*xual or marital ones.

This all being said, I think that the most wonderful part of my journey has been the development of very deep and intimate bonds of friendship with some very wonderful people.  While at first, my spouse was a bit threatened by this, we worked things through.  One of the strange things that I discovered was not only do these friendships not threaten my feelings for my spouse, but I have found myself feeling even closer to my spouse because of them.   I have been very blessed by this.

The Image Sphere

One of the fallacies of the Modern Era is the belief that the images and ideas that we expose ourselves to do not matter.  In a previous article, I talked about speech and thought.  The ideas addressed in this article relate to the broader subject of our Image Sphere.

fantasia-gardensOur Image Sphere consists of the things we are exposed to.  What we see, what we read, what we hear, what we think, what we dream, what we imagine, all of these become a part of our Image Sphere.

In the West, we are taught that the only things that are “real” are those things that we can experience with our senses, with instruments that enhance our senses, or things that can be logically derived or inferred from sense data through reason.  This belief is an aberration of the post Enlightenment period in the West.  Metaphysically, the world we can experience with our senses is only a small portion of the entire cosmos, or the sublunary sphere.  Above that sphere is the Lunar Sphere.  For a more detailed explanation of the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, you can see a previous article I wrote on this subject here.

Our personal Image Spheres are part of the larger Lunary Sphere.  Also in the Lunary Sphere are all of the images that are created everywhere in the world.  When you think about all of the material that is currently on television and the Internet, it is a rather frightening thought.  Ever since the mid-1960s, starting with the West and spreading Eastward, society has entered into a downward spiral, or a Tamasic Guna.  In some Deanic and Filianic groups, this is known as the Eclipse.  In the Eclipse, the collective Image Sphere we are exposed to has become poisonous.  The three main poisons, atomization, deracination, and deformation are discussed in detail here.  Atomization is the severing from the community and other people, or rampant individualism.  Deracination is severing from tradition or our roots.  Deformation is the inversion of values or the creation of deliberately ugly or disturbing images.  The term deracination can also be used to refer to all three poisons collectively.  We are exposed to these poisons on a constant basis all of the time, in the clothing people wear, in what we watch on television, in what we are exposed to on the Internet, and in almost everything we do.

In The Feminine Universe, Miss Alice Lucy Trent writes:

Modern people are generally very careful about what they put into their mouths.  They will not normally pick up any interesting edible thing from the street and swallow it; but no similar caution is exercised over what they put into their minds, and indeed, the concept of mental hygiene is one that takes a considerable adjustment in our whole way of thinking.  Everything in a Tamasic world is strongly against it.  Everything encourages us to think that we can see, hear, and mentally ingest anything without any particular consequences; and that we should, therefore, make a practice of mentally ingesting whatever comes our way.

The reader may think that I am talking about the usual complaints about the media, too much violence, swearing, or s*xual content.  Those are problems to be sure, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.  Just as problematic, if not more so, are the clothing, manners, and general demeanor shown.  We live in a world of 24-hour news cycles, with stations like Fox News and MSNBC poisoning us with and fueling the constant political conflict in the United States.  Even those shows that seem wholesome, like children’s media, portray a world that is dangerous, where innocence is punished and where those in authority are not to be trusted.  Indeed, media is criticized if it too nice, lacks conflict, or does not show enough moral ambiguity.   There is a very interesting article on this subject, Guilty Pleasures and Conscience Inversion.

The reader may be thinking that the solution is to do political action to change the media.  Indeed, there are many groups from the Far Right to the Far Left, and every group in between, working to influence the media.  As an aside, the attention paid to the media by these groups belies the idea that what we see does not matter.  If it did not matter, there would not be so much strife and political action surrounding the subject.  The problem with political action though, is that political action is in itself poisonous.  It embroils us in the world of overbalanced conflict and strife.  Nothing in this article or in my philosophy would dispute with those who feel moved or called in the direction of social change; however, this is not necessary to clean up our own Image Spheres and is likely counter-productive to our goal.

Aunt BeeCleaning our own Image Spheres does make a difference.  Every person is a microcosm of the cosmos, and our own personal Image Spheres impact the larger Lunary Sphere.  A simple way of cleaning our Image Spheres is to carefully consider the media we ingest, what we read, what we watch, and what we link to on the Internet.   In The Feminine Universe, Miss Trent suggests both avoiding poisonous media and purposefully ingesting positive media.  Miss Trent suggests media from the Rajastic Period immediately preceding the Eclipse, or prior to the mid-1960s.  Another more recent place to find good, healthy media is from Japan.  One still must be careful, particularly with modern Japanese media, in that there is heavy Tamasic Western infiltration into Japanese media; however, there is still wonderful media to be found, if one is careful.

One of the advantages of recent times is the availability of the Internet, which gives us access to wonderful, good, healthy media if we take the time to find it.  With Netflix and online streaming, one can have relative freedom from the shows that are currently made on television and cable.

Miss Trent warns though, that it is not enough to ingest good media and to avoid bad media to cleanse our Image Spheres.  We must do so with understanding.  For example, one can watch a 1950’s show and think of it as an “old movie,” which has nothing to do with our modern world.  One can watch Anime in the Magic Girls genre and think that it is all just fluff.  In either case, these shows will do little to change our Image Spheres.  It is necessary to watch them with understanding and with an intent to absorb the wonderful examples of femininity, beauty, innocence, and a clear sense of right and wrong.  We can also watch them for the way people dress, behave, and look at the world.

When I was first taking the journey of cleansing my personal Image Sphere, I lamented at giving up favorite television shows.  A wise person suggested not worrying about giving up anything, but to start with ingesting healthier media.  I found as I began ingesting healthier media, my taste for unhealthy media started to fade.  I still occasionally watch a modern cooking show or two with my spouse, but I have found that there is very little in modern media that I can tolerate anymore.

In addition to cleansing our personal Image Spheres, we can also pay attention to what we are putting out in the communal Image Sphere.  With the many available forms of social media, including blogging, the Image Sphere has become democratized to a large extent.  While we may not be able to control what others put on the Internet, we can be careful of what we put on it.  We can avoid foul language and ugly and disturbing images and instead write with polite language and share beautiful and lovely images.

For further mediation on this subject, I will end this article with words from feminine Scripture:

Thoughts of the mind pass not away, nor vanish into air.

For every thought is a builder in the subtle world that lies about you.

Thoughts of beauty and of things of the Spirit refine and purify the soul, making her fair to look upon and graceful in her movements,

Uniting her with the universal music of eternity and gathering about her the servants of the Janyati.

But harsh thoughts harden the soul; coarse thoughts coarsen the soul; thoughts bound only to the tings of clay burden the soul with heavy chains.

My children, I speak not in pictures, for truly these things are; and to be seen by all whose eyes may pierce the veil of illusion.

What maiden, receiving of her mother a fine and well made house of well-wrought oak and stone and furnished by the skilful hand of love, will break the walls and furnishings, pour filthy waters into every place and bring swine to dwell in the most splendid chambers?

Will she not rather bring new things of beauty and precious works of love to add to those that lie already there?

Will she not keep away all dirt and defilement and protect it from all harm?

Pleasant Speech

Many of us have heard the phrase from our mothers and grandmothers, “If you can not say anything nice, do not say anything at all.”  I think that this is a time honored statement of good manners that has been largely forgotten in this day and age.

A couple of months ago, I took a trip to Mexico to visit a dear friend.  There were many things that struck me about Mexico in comparison to the United States.  One of the things that struck me was how little people complained in Mexico.  Of course, it could be that people were really complaining, and I did not catch it because I do not speak Spanish, but I rarely got the impression from people’s facial expressions or tone of voice that they were complaining.  In contrast, when I came back to the States, I was shocked by how much complaining I saw, even on my the first day back.

Another bad habit I have noticed all around me is the habit of swearing.  People nowadays seem to use swear words as if they were ordinary nouns and adjectives.  I will admit that there was a time in which I too had that bad habit, but I think that I have mostly stopped that now.  It is particularly disturbing to see how much swearing there is on the Internet in social media.  It is one thing to shout an expletive in a moment of emotion such as shock, pain, or anger.  It is still not good, but it seems like a more forgivable indiscretion.  Yet, when one posts in the Internet, one has the opportunity for reflection and thoughtful consideration before hitting the “post” or “send” button, and of course, anything we put on the Internet is available to be viewed forever by anyone in the world.  Why would one want to show oneself to be foulmouthed in this context?

As a contrast, I was thinking of a video education series I watched a few years ago, The Story of Human Language.  It seems that many traditional cultures have a High and a Low Language, and some even have a Middle Language.  According to the professor, it is a huge challenge for linguists to capture the Low Language, because the minute traditional people know that they are being recorded for study, they are too embarrassed to use Low Language, and they will switch to speaking in the High Language.

I think that some of the reason for the prevalence of complaining and swearing in the Modern West is part of a larger decline in civilization and because people have forgotten their nature as spiritual beings.  Very few people go to church or are involved in any spiritual community, and even the leaders of spiritual communities do not really understand the power of speech anymore.

In the New Age movement, and in modern psychology, there is the concept of “Positive Thinking,” which is basically using our thoughts to bring to us what we want out of life.  Despite this, there are many who subscribe to these notions, yet are still sloppy with their speech in terms of complaining and swearing.

As a Filianist, I do believe that our speech does matter.  Metaphysically, everything that we say, think, and imagine is real in the Lunary Sphere of existence.  While I think that the notion of “Positive Thinking” is rather oversimplistic, what we do in the Lunary Sphere can and does impact the physical world.  When we swear and complain, we are polluting the Lunary Sphere.  The pollution of the Lunary Sphere is far, far more damaging to our souls than the pollution of the physical air is to our bodies.

This concept is better expressed in the feminine Scriptures, in the Sutra, Thoughts of the Mind,

20.  Forget not the power of words, for a word has all the power of a thought and a thought has power to move the earth and the heavens.

21.  Therefore speak not evil in idleness, nor fall into the custom of ill speaking; but govern your words even as your actions.

22.  Speak words of love and innocence, of mildness and of hope, and you shall weave a raiment of peace about your soul, and a veil of gentle light.

There are those who might read this and think to themselves that this is all well and good, but should not one be honest about negative feelings and thoughts?  Is it not wrong to speak polite words, if one is thinking negative thoughts?  I think the answer to this is that I believe that our thoughts are more complicated than we think they are.  I know, for myself, I often have negative thoughts, but I do not know that these negative thoughts always represent my true thoughts and feelings.

In the Modern West, there is a culture that teaches that the negative parts of ourselves and of others are what is “real,” and that when people are being nice and good, they are hiding something.  My own belief is that this is reversed.  The Real part of us is the part that is good and kind, and the False part of us is the ugly part.  For more discussion of this, you can refer to a previous article, True and False Selves Through the Zodiac.

When I go through a day, many thoughts go through my head, like little birds.  Both negative and positive thoughts about situations and people flit past, sometimes at the same time about the same person or situation.  If I subscribe to the cultural belief that the negative thoughts are my “real feelings,” and the positive ones are “making excuses” or “holding back,” I will hold on to the negative thoughts and feelings and dismiss the positive ones.  Yet, why would my negative thoughts be any more “real” than my positive ones?  If I understand that often my negative thoughts and feelings are that of my False Self, and the positive, loving thoughts and feelings are those of my True Self, I can let the negative thoughts and feelings flit away, and I can hold on to the positive thoughts and feelings.  In doing so, I am being very honest when I speak kind and loving words to others, even as I am ignoring the whispers and complaints from my False Self.

Proud HorseAs I say this, I know that I am far from perfect.  As in the other areas of my life where I am making changes, I have a long way to go.  In another Sutra, The Clew of the Horse, it says:

58. Hard to govern is the mind, like to a proud horse that drinketh of the wind, filled with its own desires. 59. Fain would it draw the rain from thy hand and carry you where it will; fain will it take the body for its mistress. 60.  Like to a bird that doth hop from twig to twig, turning first to one fruit, then to another, without control or constancy.

Even so, I believe that it is a worthwhile endeavor to strive to control our words and our speech, or to follow the time honored quote I mentioned above, “if you can not say anything nice, do not say anything at all.”  If my thoughts are kind and loving, I can move them out into the world with my words.  If my thoughts are not kind and loving, I can let them pass as a flitting bird, without giving them more substance through my words.