Mars is the first planet that can move independently of the Sun, which is integral to her meaning. Mars is the planet that is the most deeply associated with Free Will, or the power to choose between the Light and the Dark. As such, she is heavily enmeshed in materiality. Mars’ influence in manifestation is usually harmful, and she is known as the Lesser Malefic.
The Janya of Mars: Sai Vikhë
The Great Angel, or Janya, that governs Mars in the Filianic Tradition is Sai Vikhë. Sai Vikhë is associated with the element of Fire.
In many Traditions, there is a Fall, when our Souls became separated from the Divine. In the Judeo-Christian Tradition, this was when we were driven out of Eden after the disobedience of Adam and Eve. In the Filianic Tradition, it was when the First Maid was tempted by the Snake to call Darkness upon the world in order to experience rest. In a sense, this can be viewed as something bad, but in another sense, manifestation as we know it would be impossible if this did not happen. We could not be Axial Beings without the Fall, because the power to choose is also the power to disobey.
After the Fall, the Great Vikhail, or War between Light and Dark, began. It is deeply embedded in our lives and the way we view the world. For example, conflict is a necessary part of any story. Indeed, a story without at least some conflict would be boring. No one would read a tale in which the protagonist was happy every day and nothing bad ever happened.
Truly, the world is a field of conflict between the powers of good and the legions of the Dark One. In the cycles of civilizations is the conflict manifest, and in the soul of every maid.
For the servants of the Dark One fasten upon the false self like to the bindweed upon a growing plant. And the radiant Janyati of heaven stand ready to defend the soul when she shall cry upon them.
The Gospel of Our Mother God, Thoughts of the Mind, 25-26
Sai Vikhë is our protector in the Great Vikhail, which always starts within ourselves. Each one of us has a True Self who is turned to the Light, and a False Self who is facing the Dark. In most cultures, Sai Vikhë is depicted as masculine; however, one very powerful feminine image for Her that has survived into the modern era is Sri Durga in the Vedic Tradition.
Mars and Gender
In the Modern West, Mars is associated with the masculine gender. Does this make Mars masculine? I tend to think not. There are many other things that Mars is associated with, such as the metal iron. This does not make Mars itself iron.
In the Western astrological tradition, as it has been passed down to us, the planets are said to have gender. The Moon and Venus are said to be feminine, Mercury is said to be neuter or androgynous, and the rest of the planets are said to be masculine. There has been some interesting work by the astrologer Charlie Obert that suggests that originally Saturn was feminine.
While I find the research into Saturn fascinating, in practice, I believe that the gender classification of the planets is no longer useful, if it ever was, and it may even be harmful. This classification comes to us through the Hellenistic tradition, which was highly patriarchal. There seems to be a strong impulse towards gender classification in the Indo-European tradition as a whole. For example, most Indo-European languages assign gender to nouns. This has been dropped in the English language, but it is still very much a part of other Indo-European languages such as Spanish, French, and German.
At one time, the gender classification of nouns may have had deep metaphysical meaning, but whatever that may have been, it is lost in the present era. For example, in German, a fork is feminine and a maiden is masculine. Mostly, this just serves as a headache for foreign learners of the language.
In astrology, by contrast, the meaning of the gender classification of the planets has become so solidified and taken so literally that many people, including experienced astrologers, believe that femininity is defined by and restricted to the Lunar and the Venusian and that masculinity is defined by the absence of these planetary principles. As both men and women clearly have all the planetary principles, this has morphed into the strange notion in Modern psychology that we all have a masculine side and a feminine side.
As astrology is a language, and like all languages, change and adaption are sometimes necessary. I think that it is perfectly legitimate to use either masculine or feminine imagery and language for all of the planets. There is nothing wrong with using masculine imagery and language for Venus or feminine imagery and language for Mars. On the other hand, I do think that there is a strong tendency to take these classifications literally, and for that reason, it seems best to use one gender or the other for all of the planetary principles. I use feminine imagery out of aesthetic preference and because part of my work is trying to restore the Divine Feminine. On the other hand, when I am working with the chart of a man, I use all masculine imagery.
The symbol for Sai Vikhë is the Cross on top of Spirit. The Spirit is burdened by the Material World, but the Cross is turned 45°. This is because it is impossible for the Material World to dominate Spirit.
The glyph for the planet Mars has evolved to the point that the Cross has become a Spear. At this time, near the end of the Iron Age, the Vikhelic principle has become much harder and stronger. It could be that the patriarchal revolution came about because of the overbalanced state of the Vikhelic principle that is a defining feature of this Age.
Each of the non-luminary Janyati has a spiritual path, which if followed, will lead to the Divine. The Path associated with Sai Vikhë is that of the Warrior. In the modern age, this Path can be seen in the various Martial Arts, all of which teach mastery of self in addition to the skills needed to fight an opponent.
A while back, I wrote an article about a theory that the Outer Planets represented the three poisons of the modern world, atomization, deracination, and deformation. This article can be found here.
I have recently had the occasion to further consider the Outer Planets, and some of the pseudomythos that has arisen surrounding them. In many ways, the pseudomythos* surrounding the Outer Planets is an outgrowth of the pseudomythos of Evolution. Indeed, in New Age astrology, the Outer Planets seem to be almost the agents of evolution, with the belief that the Outer Planets are the “higher octaves” of traditional planets and that they bring about “transcendence,” which is, according to this pseudomythos, a better or higher state of being.
While there are many variations of the “higher octave” theory, the most common one is that Uranus is the “higher octave” of Mercury, Neptune is the “higher octave” of Venus, and Pluto is the “higher octave” of Mars. The first and foremost problem with this theory is that all of the traditional planets are representatives of the Janyati, or aspects of the Divine. The existence of a planet that is a “higher octave” robs these planets of their status as one of the Seven Great Planetary Janyati. Indeed, the associations given to the Outer Planets have been robbed from the traditional planets. For example, the association of genius with Uranus usurps Mercury’s place as the representative of Divine Intelligence. Similarly, the association of Sacrificial Love to Neptune usurps Venus’ place as the representative of Divine Love, which includes Sacrificial Love. Indeed, the associations for both Mercury and Venus have been severely watered down in Modern Astrology.
Interestingly, the associations for Pluto have not seemed to really take anything away from Mars, except of course, the rulership of Scorpio. The associations for Pluto seem to be a combination of the worst Tamasic qualities of Mars and Saturn. Actually, the associations of Pluto seem to be the most honest, in that they are about as malefic as one can get. Yet, there is a strange notion that Pluto is “transformational,” but as Prof. Clark stated in his article, Into the Outer Darkness, “let’s just say that if Pluto is ‘transformational’ so is nuclear war and high levels of toxic radiation.”
Actually, assigning rulerships to the Outer Planets is problematic in and of itself. In the article, Into the Outer Darkness, Prof. Clark explains the traditional system of rulership of the planets to the signs. In this system, each of the non-luminary planets rules two signs, with a day sign and a night sign. The malefics, Mars and Saturn are thought to be better in the signs that are the opposite of their nature. Mars benefits by the coolness of night, and Saturn benefits by the warmth of day. The night sign of Mars is Scorpio, and the day sign of Saturn is Aquarius. In assigning the rulership of Scorpio to Pluto and Aquarius to Uranus, the malefics are stripped of the signs they are the strongest in. There is much more to say about these rulership assignments, but that could be an article in and of itself.
The other main pseudomythos that has arisen surrounding the Outer Planets is the notion of “transcendence.” The notion that transcendence is positive is a Tamasic notion. Transcending means to go beyond the normal boundaries. Yet, in Filianism, and I think in traditional thought in general, boundaries are positive. As it states in the Clew of Love in the feminine Scripture,
And for the existence that has fallen from perfection; truly it is the music of Divine harmony that sustains it in the motion of its wholeness.
It is Love that holds the drop of dew pendent upon the blade of grass, neither flowing forth in watery profusion, but swelling within the unseen urn of its brief harmony.
It is love that holds the stars within their courses, and all of 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.
To go higher is to ascend. In the Filianic Mythos of the Daughter, the Daughter ascends to Heaven. Similarly, in the Christian narrative, Jesus ascends to heaven. To go below is to descend. To transcend is to go beyond the boundaries of Love, or to fly away into “black eternal chaos.”
I think that this concept of “transcendence” is similar to the modern assertion of being “spiritual, but not religious.” I do understand the frustration people experience with the overly literal and overly systematized state of modern religion, particularly Christianity. I also understand that the separation of the religious and the secular is rather artificial. On the other hand, what I have found that often when people say they are “spiritual, but not religious,” it is really a form of katte ni suru. Katte ni suru is a Japanese phrase roughly meaning, do what you want, or do your own thing. In Western thought, this is seen as positive, but in Japan, this is quite a scathing insult. This implies that one no longer is a part of the group or the community.
We are also cautioned against this in The Sermon of the Apple Seed, “Dissonant and jarring with eternal Harmony, the little sphere is severed from the great.”
The Outer Planets are also at times called “transpersonal,” meaning that they are beyond or outside of the personal.** Yet, the traditional and Filianic teaching is that maid in a microcosm of the entire Cosmos. As it states in The Secret of the World, “And this is the secret of the world which the world would hide from you: that all things lie within the souls of maid, and only High Dea is without.” Now, one could argue that the “transpersonal” planets are a part of High Dea. The difficulty with that is that High Dea, or the Dark Mother, is by definition beyond anything we can understand from an un-Enlightened state. If we have reached a level of Enlightenment whereby we could understand the Dark Mother, we would have no need of astrology to guide us in our lives.
The Luminaries and the Filianic Trinity
I think that the modern fascination with the Outer Planets and with “transcendence” is part of the phenomenon of Tamasic Dialectic Miss Alice Lucy Trent described in The Feminine Universe. Tamasic (downward) forms take on a resemblance to Sattwic (upward) forms, in part because they both move away from the Rajastic (outward) forms.
I believe that there is a Sattwic form that the notions of “higher octaves” and “transcendence” invert. To explain this, I think an understanding of the Filianic Trinity is helpful. These concepts are certainly not unique to Filianism, and I believe that they are universal in Traditional thought; however, Filianism has a useful Mythos and vocabulary to explain the concept.
In the Filianic Creation Mythos, the Mistress of all Things created all of manifestation in joy and laughter. During this time, Primodial Maid danced and laughed with the Mother and all was golden. Each Maid and all of Creation “became the image of a golden fragment of Her Spirit.” In the cosmos, this is loosely associated with Sai Raya, the Sun, or our Solar Spirit.
After a time that can not be counted, because there “were neither days nor nights, nor moons to tell the month,” Maid was tempted by the Snake, who “had not been shaped by Her, and that was not Her daughter, nor a creature of spirit. But this was the space between the fragments and the nothingness that had been before things were. It had not energy nor delight, but only weight. It had not shape, but could only coil and uncoil itself about the things that were.” The Snake was “not golden, but black.”
In this Mythos, Maid was tempted to embrace rest and created Darkness. Then the Snake tried to destroy Creation with a Flood, but Creation was rescued by the Mother. The aftermath of this turning and Flood is described as follows:
1. And as the rain fell, the light came again, and a rainbow appeared in the sky, shedding its light upon all things. 2. And whereas all things had been golden, now they took on every hue and colour, and the world was beautiful; but it was not so beautiful as it had formerly been.
3. And She set Her seven Powers in the firmament, giving one to rule each colour of the earth.
4 And She said to Her daughter: what you have done may not be undone, for you have acted with My Spirit, and henceforth shall time be divided into day and night that you may rest. 4 But I shall keep watch in the heavens by night, and there shall be silver light that there may never be complete darkness. 6. By this shall I govern the movements of the waters, that the earth may never again be flooded. 7. The golden light of day will bring all goodness, but it will be too bright for your eyes. The silver light of night, that you may look upon.
8. The Snake shall keep the form that you have given it, and you shall be set in governance over it; but remember that it will ever attempt to beguile and destroy you as it has this night.
9. I shall not live as close to you as before, but still I shall pour blessings upon you, and you may give Me gifts — not in every moment as before, for you have learned to tire, but My light shall give you signs in this matter.
10. And the Mistress of All Things withdrew Herself into the sky, until She seemed but a slender crescent of light. 11. And the first daughter of creation fell to her knees and wept. And these were the first tears shed upon the whole of the earth.
As I stated before, in the Filianic Trinity, the Mother is loosely associated with Sai Raya, the Sun, or Solar principle. That which was before and beyond the Mother Creatrix is the Dark Mother, who is the “Darkness beyond the Light, and the Light beyond the Darkness,” but who is also completely beyond our understanding. The Dark Mother is loosely associated with Sai Rhavë, whose planetary representative is Saturn.
The bridge between the Mother and Creation, who has turned from the Mother, is the Daughter, who is loosely associated with Sai Candre, the Moon, or the Lunar principle. She is the “silver light of night, that you may look upon.” The Daughter is also the aspect of the Filianic Trinity that sustains all of Creation.
Interestingly enough, in contemplating the Traditional Model of the Cosmos, one can see that the spheres between the Solar and the Lunar are the Spheres of Sai Mati/Mercury and Sai Sushuri/Venus. These respectively represent the spiritual Way of Light and Way of Love. Both the Matic and the Sushuric principles are seen in a lower form in the Lunar principle and in a higher form in the Solar Principle. The lower form of the Matic principle is Lunar Reason, and the higher form is Solar Intellect. See Mummies and Lunimaries. Sadly, this article has already gotten quite long and involved, so I will have to leave the explanation of how this works with the Sushuric principle for another day. The Way of Love and the Way of Light are intertwined, however. As it says in Scripture, “perfect love is perfect knowledge and perfect knowledge is perfect love.”
Contemplating the Traditional Model of the Cosmos further, one can see that the Sun is in the center. Just beyond the Solar Sphere is the Sphere of Sai Vikhë or Mars. The highest form of the Vikhelic Principle is that of protection and rescue. In the Filianic Mythos, it is the Mother that rescues and defends Creation from the Snake. So, in some ways, I think that one can consider the Solar Principle as the highest form of the Vikhelic principle as well.
Interestingly enough, you can see the Solar Circle in the glyphs for Sai Mati/Mercury, Sai Sushuri/Venus, and Sai Vikhë/Mars.**
So, as you can see, there is no need to reach into “the Outer Darkness” with the Outer Planets for “transcendence.”
*a pseudomyth is a story-picture that falsely replaces traditional myth as the fundamental story of “how things are”
In the first place, let us be clear that the Janyati are not “forces” or “energies” conceived after the model of Newtonian physics (and dearly beloved of New Age movements). They are Intelligences. They are not people like us, it is true. But they are something more than people, not less than people. The greatest force in the universe is less than a person. It cannot think. We are speaking here of Intelligences immeasurably greater than ourselves. They have everything we people have, magnified a thousand times, and they have many qualities we cannot even conceive of. To picture them as something akin to people may not do them justice, but to picture them as something impersonal, like a force of nature, would do them infinitely less justice. They are everything we are and much more.
***if one truly contemplates the glyphs associated with the Outer Planets using the tradition meaning for the symbols of the Circle, the Crescent, and the Cross, the meanings for them are chillingly demonic. One can clearly see how they can not be “higher octaves” of anything!
Exploring tradition from a feminine perspective can be quite a challenge because most of the material that has been handed down to us is highly patriarchal. This can lead to the belief that patriarchy and tradition go hand in hand.
While this belief is understandable, it is not entirely accurate. This is because, historically, patriarchy itself was a revolt against the early feminine tradition. I am assuming that anyone who has followed this weblog so far should understand that patriarchy and the masculine does not refer to biological males, nor does feminine refer to biological females. Masculine and feminine are metaphysical principles in and of themselves, but they are not completely separate from biological gender. Indeed, biological gender does find its roots in the metaphysical, as does everything else on the material plane. On the other hand, just as everything on the material plane is an imperfect reflection of Perfect Form, so biological gender is an imperfect reflection of the higher principles.
The Primordial Tradition is indeed feminine. We can find all over the world images of Dea, or the Feminine God, in Her various forms. It was not until the Age of Iron that we see the Divine reflected in Masculine form. At first, the Feminine God obtained Masculine Consorts, and in the West, there was a violent revolution in which the Masculine overtook and attempted to obliterate the Feminine. The Masculine also took over in the East; however, the Divine Feminine survived in such traditions as the Japanese tradition and the Indian traditions.
What was the world like prior to the Patriarchal Revolution? It is hard to know. Most of our historical, written records are from the Patriarchal period, and in the West, the Patriarchal Revolution was quite violent. The Judeo-Christian written tradition chronicles the stamping out of the worship of Asharah and the Queen of Heaven. Mundane archaeology has uncovered physical evidence to suggest that prior to around 500 B.C., Yahweh and Asharah were worshiped alongside each other as consorts. It seems that the Canaanite Baal was also a consort to Asharah. Interestingly enough traditions, such as Judaism, that can not be traced to a specific “founder” such as Jesus or Mohammed, tend to be the most fiercely Patriarchal. This makes a great deal of sense if one understands that there was a revolt against the Feminine Tradition, and the unfounded traditions were reacting in keeping with this revolt. Still one can see elements of the Primordial Feminine Tradition in Judaism, in such practices as the Mother of the House lighting the Shabbat candles and giving the Shabbat blessing.
The Masculine Principle on a metaphysical level is associated with Mars, or Sai Vikhë in the Filianist tradition. At its highest level, the Martial/Vikhelic Principle governs the Divine Conflict between Good and Evil, and is a protection against the Forces of Darkness. In its lower form, the Martial/Vikhelic Principle is associated with conflicts of all kinds. It is interesting that in cultures, such as Ancient Minos, which had a primarily Feminine spirituality, there does not appear to be evidence of weapons of war or a standing army. Ancient Minos seems to have been a rather gentle culture in comparison with many other Ancient cultures that we know of.
Were women the dominant gender prior to the Patriarchal Revolution? Perhaps, perhaps not. Again, we have few if any written records to refer to. It is likely that women governed, because in Traditional cultures, societies tended to conform with their spirituality. There is certainly no reason to presuppose that men were suppressed or oppressed during these times. It is much more likely to presuppose that relations between women and men were rather harmonious, and that without the predominance of the Martial/Vikhelic Principle, there was little in the way of cruelty or oppression in general.
Why did the Patriarchal Revolution happen? Again, there is no way to know the specifics from a fact based perspective. Likely, it happened gradually over time. As I discussed previously, in the natural unfolding of the Ages. We are in the Age of Iron, which, aside from being the Age most consolidated in matter, is also the harshest and most violent Age. Iron is the metal of Mars/Sai Vikhë, so it stands to reason that the Age of Iron would be the most Martial/Vikhelic, and it would become more so as the Age progressed. It is possible that as the Age progressed, the Martial/Vikhelic nature of patriarchy seemed to offer better protection. It is likely that this was at least partially the impetus in the Hebrew tradition, with the pressure of the neighboring warlike states intent on conquest. The Roman period was a particularly Martial/Vikhelic period in the West, and many of our current customs and cultures derive from the Roman period. Indeed, Christianity, the dominant spiritual tradition of the West, has been transmitted to us through the Roman Empire.
As I stated earlier in this article, the Masculine and Feminine Principles are related to, but not synonymous with, biological males and females. As evidence of that, one can see in our current times that the Masculine Principle has all but completely overtaken the Feminine Principle, particularly in the West. Certainly, women have more “rights” than they ever had; however, these “rights” are bound up in the Masculine Principle. Femininity itself became more and more devalued as the Feminist Movement progressed. Lately, there seems to have been a resurgence of value given to the Feminine Principle; however, compared to sixty years ago, the Feminine Principle has been largely trampled.
One may ask what this has to do with a weblog devoted to philosophy, metaphysics, traditional science, and astrology? A lot more than one might think. To begin with, this weblog does not equate Tradition with patriarchy or the cruelties that have occurred during the Patriarchal Age. Quite the contrary. Patriarchy and the over-balanced Martial/Vikhelic influences that accompany it are seen as deviations from an earlier, gentler, and Feminine Tradition. Also, one may notice that I rarely, if ever, quote from Classical, Medieval, or Renaissance philosophers or astrologers in this weblog. I most certainly have studied many of these authors, and the astrology that I practice derives from the principles taught by these authors. On the other hand, almost all written material that is available to us is from after and is colored by the Patriarchal period.
Part of the work of this weblog is to dig a bit deeper and retrieve the ideas and the principles from the older Feminine Tradition. Many of these principles did and do survive even to this day. Indeed, Classical Astrology is one of the few disciplines in the Modern West where these principles have been preserved, albeit in a masculinized and patriarchal form. Classical Astrology is also one of the few disciplines that still functions as a true traditional science to a large extent, in that metaphysical principles are studied and applied to solve practical problems in the material world.
I am attempting to do the work of digging deeper, and replanting traditional metaphysics and practical astrology in its earlier Feminine Essentialist roots. I am also making a humble attempt at working out how traditional Patriarchal metaphysics and Classical Astrology fit within the older Feminine Tradition. Luckily, I am blessed with the able and kind assistance and teaching of friends and mentors.