There is, encoded into the astronomical structure of our solar system, a map that describes the nature and development of life and consciousness as it evolves within and (eventually) beyond the existential confines of our local system towards more remote cosmic potentialities.
The cosmic map consists of the series of nine orbital rings that radiate concentrically from the centrally located sun and that are described by the nine major planetary bodies that inhabit our system. The sun at the centre provides our original starting point so in fact we derive a total of ten successive steps on our cosmic evolutionary journey from the Sun to Pluto.
In accordance with the 'Law of Three' the journey is esoterically divided into three main phases. These three phases correspond with the development and expression of the three main principles of 'being' - Form, Consciousness, and Spirit.
Below is a table that lists the planets in their natural order of remoteness from the Sun, and also delineates the basic threefold division mentioned above.
The life-forms expand
The life-forms become
In the table (left) we see that the creative life impulse originates within the sphere of the Sun. But this is in fact, only the first physical appearance of the influence of the Solar Logos as His energy descends into the rupa (or 'form') levels of this Cosmic Physical plane.
The Sun is symbolic of the Causal Body of the Solar Logos, and has an esoteric connection with the Buddhic plane - the Buddhic being the first of the four rupa levels of Cosmic Physical being.
The Causal body embodies the 'will aspect' of the soul and is responsible for the impulse to reincarnate within the physical planes. Thus is the Sun the natural symbolic starting point for the journey into the physical realm.
The three arupa ('formless') levels of the Cosmic Physical plane consist of what are known as the Atmic, Monadic, and Logoic (or Adic) planes - which are the three highest sub-planes of the Cosmic Physical plane. It is on these very remote (to us) 'planes of existence' that the three primary Cosmic Physical creative (and 'karmic') faculties of the Solar Logos are located.
Just as the Sun represents the Causal Body of our Divine Logos these higher faculties also have their physical counterparts in our physical solar system, but they are not revealed to human consciousness until a certain stage of evolution is met. And even then, their energy is not able to be consciously integrated by Humanity until an advanced stage of Initiation is reached.
Thus the process of physical manifestation (or re-incarnation) begins on the Buddhic/Causal levels of our solar system as represented by the appearance of the Sun in a burst of fiery light at the centre of our physical system. Then there is a further stepping down of the creative impulse of the Logos into materiality via three planets - born of the substance of the body of the Sun - until its densest point is reached on planet Earth.
The planets beyond Earth represent the return of the impulse, carried within microcosmic consciousness, towards its Creator and ultimately beyond the periphery of His physical consciousness - as symbolised by the outermost perimeter of our solar system.
The physical implantation of the 'creative life seed' of the Solar Logos is achieved in the first four steps of the journey from the centre of our solar system. These steps are symbolised by the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Earth/Moon.
Symbolically speaking, these planets represent the systematic embodiment of our Solar Logos on each of the four rupa levels of the Cosmic Physical plane - like so...
1. Sun - Causal Body (and Buddhic plane)
2. Mercury - Mental plane
3. Venus - Astral plane
4. Earth/Moon - Physical plane
Here it is in tabulated form...
The fact that these four faculties of consciousness - as represented by the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Earth/Moon - were developed prior to (or during) physical manifestation, suggests that they signify relatively subconscious psycho-physical attributes of the Solar Logos. What this also means (to Humanity) is that they correspond to important aspects of the autonomic mechanism of the natural world (or Nature).
If we now apply the above hypothesis to the astrological birth-chart of an individual human-being we might interpret the astrological Sun and the three innermost planets as being forces that actually began to be formulated prior to physical birth (i.e. 'birth' = Earth/Moon). It would then follow that they are the most deeply embedded in the human psyche. Because of this they may be thought of as expressing themselves 'automatically' - without volition, as we go through our lives. This makes sense when we consider the subconscious power of our desires (Venus) and the uncontrollability of our thoughts (Mercury) and emotions (Moon). Also, we do not have conscious control over many of the functions of the physical body (Earth). The creative individuality of the astrological Sun also permeates our whole lives without our conscious intent.
The idea that deepest physical manifestation occurs after four steps is well expressed by the Theosophical concept of seven chains and seven rounds. The notion is that the life of our Earth Logos is expressed in seven chains - a 'chain' being a unit of time measurement equivalent to probably billions of Earth-years. Chains one to four represent the descent into physical manifestation, while chains five to seven signify the return to the spiritual realm. It is somewhat akin to an out-breathing of creative energy followed by an in-breathing. The same can be said of the cycle of seven 'rounds' which are lesser time periods occurring within each 'chain'. One round is equal to seven 'world periods' (or approx. 616,896,000 years in average). [This figure is taken from: Studies in Occult Philosophy, G. de Purucker, TUP, 1945, pp 160-1.]
We are, apparently, now halfway into the 4th round of the 4th chain of our Earth Scheme, which indicates that we are precisely at the halfway point of the entire scheme of seven chains, and therefore at the deepest point of materiality that is possible in our scheme. (A 'scheme' = seven 'chains'.) If this is the case, then it is a remarkable place to be - with the way ahead consisting of greater and greater levels of enlightenment and spiritualisation (as opposed to a further descent into matter).
One important corollary that results from this theory is that Humanity is found to be a crucial component of the ultimate physical expression of the consciousness of the Solar Logos. This would particularly be so (I would guess) if our Earth Scheme was the 4th one. Some of the information I have to hand lists the schemes as follows:
1. ? (Sun)
2. Vulcan (Mercury)
5. ? (Mars)
10. ? (Pluto)
The above information is derived from a pamphlet reprinted in 1991 by the Theosophical Society. It is called Chains and Rounds by E. L. Gardner and is part of an appendix to the book called The Web of the Universe.
The sequence above is as it is given in the pamphlet, but I have numbered them according to their natural astronomical distances from the Sun. The question marks refer to un-named and presently unmanifested schemes, and the bracketed names are my suggested possibilities.
But to return to our main theme we can surmise that the next three planetary steps from the Earth (i.e. following 'birth') - namely, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, occur as the consciousness principle awakens, expands and further develops.
A principal difference between the planetary bodies from Mars to Saturn and those that are closer to the Sun is that Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn represent learned faculties as distinct from the originally inherent faculties of Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Earth/Moon. This is because Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn symbolise attributes of consciousness that are acquired as the result of subjective life-experience (or external stimulus impacting upon the subjective principle of consciousness).
The 'Path of Return' begins with the 5th step out from the Sun (counting the Sun as number one). Here we find the planet Mars. It can be seen from the diagram that Mars represents a faculty that is gradually established within the astral plane. It signifies the conscious intelligent use of our astral desires (and astral forces in general) and leads to the refinement and control of the subconscious astral nature that is indicated by Venus.
The next planet, Jupiter, symbolises a faculty that is formulated upon the mental plane. It represents the development of love-wisdom and the wise use of the mental energy signified by the planet Mercury.
The Saturnian faculty brings discipline and purpose to the otherwise child-like creative expression of the Sun. It represents a faculty that grows out of the buddhic plane.
Because our Earth Scheme has only progressed to the 4th round of the 4th chain it would seem logical to say that the Earth Logos has only recently awakened into physical manifestation. Humanity, it might be said, is in an evolutionary condition that parallels that of our Logos because in a sense we are His conscious physical expression. But of course much more of His consciousness exists on the inner planes than can be expressed by the immature vehicle called Humanity. Similarly, a baby cannot express very much of the consciousness of its soul while in its immature form. A fuller expression will come later after it grows to maturity.
The Earth Logos represents only one aspect of the greater Consciousness of the Solar Logos and so we cannot judge His present state of consciousness by referring to the evolutionary condition of the Earth Logos. The seven faculties of the Solar Logos are signified by the presently manifesting planetary schemes (known also as the seven sacred planets) that I have listed above and repeat below...
Note that this list differs from that given by Master Djwal Khul (in His books) in that here the Earth replaces Mercury as a sacred planet.
We come now to the three final planetary steps within our solar system - Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. They are referred to the spirit principle and its ability to be accessed by, and expressed in, consciousness. The ultimate aim, of course, of evolution is for these three energies to find their perfect expression in consciousness.
My feeling is that because these three planets correspond to faculties located on the arupa (i.e. formless) levels of our solar system they refer to creative faculties employed by the Solar Logos in His Great Work of Creation. In human terms these faculties are very remote to normal physical consciousness and therefore require a high level of Initiation in order to integrate them into our psychic being.
Here's how the information contained in the schematic above translates onto the Tree of Life diagram. Notice that the planetary attributions for the three highest sefiroth - Binah, Hockmah, and Kether - are different to correspondences used in other articles on this site. Both systems 'work' within their own frames of reference.
An important thing to notice about the image above is that the large 'Sun-face' icon is positioned within the first three planes of our solar system. What this Sun-face represents is the creative intelligence of the Solar Logos as He exists behind the 'veil of form' - the 'Sun behind the sun'. From here, within the three highest 'cosmic physical' sub-planes, He works to build a vehicle (for the Spirit principle) that perfectly interfaces with the Consciousness principle so that His divine intelligence can act upon and influence the lower four cosmic physical sub-planes.
But notice that it is not until the eighth step of the process - whence planet Uranus is reached - that His Creative Intelligence is finally able to begin to function as an integral component of His body of manifestation (i.e. the solar system).
What occurs during this eighth step (upon the path of solar manifestation) is that His Active Intelligence aspect is enabled to function directly (through the medium of Uranus) within His conscious physical vehicle. In other words, the energy of Uranus finally becomes accessible to microcosmic consciousness (i.e. Humanity) who in turn are able to express the Active Intelligence aspect of the consciousness of the Logos within the physical solar system.
On the ninth step His Love-Wisdom aspect becomes similarly operational (through the facility of Neptune). And on the tenth step His Will-Purpose aspect is finally able to be focussed consciously within the physical realm (via Humanity attuned to the energy of Pluto).
These three final steps of Solar manifestation correspond with the 5th, 6th, and 7th Human Initiations. Here is a table...
|Planet||# Plane||Development of...||# Initiation||Mastery of...|
|Sun||4 - Causal*||Higher Mental|
|Mercury||5 - Mental||Lower Mental|
|Venus||6 - Astral||Astral|
|Earth/Moon||7 - Physical||Physical||1 - Birth of Christ||Physical|
|Mars||6 - Astral||Love||2 - Baptism||Astral|
|Jupiter||5 - Mental||Intelligence||3 - Transfiguration||Mental|
|Saturn||4 - Causal*||Will||4 - Renunciation||Buddhic|
|Uranus||3 - Atma||FORM**||5 - Revelation||Intelligence|
|Neptune||2 - Monadic||CONSCIOUSNESS**||6 - Decision||Love|
|Pluto||1 - Adi||SPIRIT**||7 - Resurrection||Will|
* Please read 'Causal' in the above table to not only mean the 'causal body', but also to include the buddhic plane, and the lower atmic plane - in short, the 'monadic triad'.
** Understood in the 'cosmic' sense.
What this means is that when a human-being takes the 5th Initiation s/he effectively becomes a conscious exponent of the Active Intelligence principle of the Solar Logos. Similarly, an Initiate of the 6th degree is recognised as a conscious channel for the Love-Wisdom aspect of the Logos. And a 7th degree Initiate consciously embodies the Will-Purpose aspect of the Logos.
There are not (relatively speaking) many yet of these higher degree Initiates operating within our solar system because the Solar Logos is (apparently) at a relatively immature stage of His development. As He evolves to a greater level of maturity (during the next three chains) Initiates of the higher degrees will become more prevalent.
It is said that the goal for Humanity during this fourth chain (of our Earth Scheme) is the 5th Initiation. (We are presently half way through the fourth chain.) When Humanity collectively takes the 5th Initiation it will enable the Solar Logos to awaken His Active Intelligence aspect to a considerable extent - but only in relation to the chakra in His body that the Earth Scheme represents (His solar-plexus chakra ?).
At that remote time there will be many individual human-beings who will have undergone the 5th Initiation - thereby opening up the channels for a greater conscious influence of the Solar Logos within our solar system.
It is possible that Pluto bears a relation to the physical 'permanent atom' of the Solar Logos.
Notice in the image above that Pluto is symbolically positioned upon the logoic level of our solar system. This is also known as the atomic sub-plane of the Cosmic Physical plane. A 'permanent atom' exists upon the atomic (or first) subplane of every plane.
A 'permanent atom' is a particle that contains a 'magnetic imprint' of the personal tendencies (or 'skandhas') that are presently inherent in the nature of an entity. These inherent tendencies are those that were cultivated during the entity's previous incarnations, and which form the basis of his potential behavior now and in the future.
The tendencies imprinted into the substance of a permanent atom can be positive or negative, and therefore it can be thought of as an instrument of 'karma'. But it is possible to eliminate the negative 'skandhas' of a permanent atom by employing the personal will and resisting the temptation of the 'path of least resistance' - of the opportunities for negative expression - that they often present to an entity during his/her life. The negative tendencies will then fade from the permanent atom due to a lack of repetitive reinforcement. Hopefully then they are replaced by more positive qualities.
If Pluto is connected with the Cosmic Physical permanent atom of the Solar Logos then it could be considered as an agent of His physical plane karma - carried over from past incarnations. I am personally unsure as to the validity or the further ramifications of this hypothesis.
Thus our solar system, with its central sun and nine orbiting planets graphically represents a process of expansion of consciousness in a graded series of ten steps.
Like the Solar Logos, human-beings can also be represented as a (mini) solar system. And just such a representation is portrayed in an astrological birth-chart.
Symbolically speaking, as the consciousness of each human-being evolves it expands from the central Sun to embrace in turn the orbits of each of the planets until, after the 4th Initiation, we begin to consciously integrate the energy of the three outermost planets - thereby becoming living vehicles of the consciousness of the Solar Logos. Until that time we are (for the most part) limited to experiencing the forces of those three outer planets only unconsciously.
May each one of us make swift passage in consciousness to the outer limits of our solar system and return to Earth with the knowledge and wisdom and purpose of the Solar Logos.