These writings are from John Jocelyn 'Meditations on the Signs of the Zodiac' a Rudolf Steiner publication 1970.
These meditations on the signs of the Zodiac have been written under the Aquarian impulse as a direct and distinct service to all who seek to cooperate with their angel, the higher self, within them. They will prove of value to all who sek to know themselves as soul and spirit as well as body. They have been written in the hope that studying and meditating upon them will induce people to live a life that will be generative of those soul forces essential to the weaving of the 'wedding garment', the robe which the Son of Man provides. Aquarius is the sign of the Son of Man, which is the soul of man refined and purified in virtue of work done through many lives in all the twelve signs of the Zodiac. As man cleanses his astral body and denerates soul essences through action in Christ-altruism and truth, the Son of Man is created and calls down and connects with the Son of God, 'the Lord from Heaven'.
Mankind is now being awakened to the truth of Spirit and the wisdom of love, and growing numbers will concern themselves with their 'Father's business', which is not to get more personal power for themselves, but to grow in soul. This spiritual science of the stars is then the true psychology, science of the soul, for it educes the soul of man to give birth to the Christ within, as man raises and refines himself through the spiritual life of the Christ everywhere extant and accessible to man as he wills to live the true, the beautiful, and the good.
The Divinity of the Zodiac and the Magnitude of Man
In an age when humanity has become conscious of cosmic space, the traditional and conventional religious views are inadequate to fit the changed conception of our universe. As larger clothes are needed for the growing child when it has outgrown its old ones, so enlarged spiritual concepts are needed for evolving humanity. This principle was recognised by Christ Jesus when he said, 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now' (St. John 16:12). What can thus be known about the man's life processes, his animation, his willed action, feeling, and thinking, and his Ego-nature? The physical body soon disintegrates after the soul and spirit have departed from it. Why do not the solar system and starry worlds fall apart? Many people consider the cosmos a machine, but even a machine cannot operate endlessly without some direction by a thought-endowed being. According to Einstein (The World as I See It, 1939) 'the scientist's religious feelings take the form of a raptorous amazement at the harmony of natural law which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that compared with it, all the systematic thinking of human minds is seen as an utterly insignificant reflection'. Man's directing Ego is single and undivided, whereas the world of stars is sustained by a great multiplicity of spiritual beings, the Divine Creative Hierarchies. These supersensible beings are invisible to physical sight, yet a part of their creative activity is revealed to sense perception in the grouping of the stars, in the orderly motion of the planets, and in the light streaming from the heavens.
Although the physical earthly forces of nature provide man with food for the body, his soul and spirit are maintained by their relation to all the plurality of spirituality living in the stars. To physical sense perception, man appears to be enclosed within the boundary of his skin. In reality, he is, in his entirety, a being of body, soul, and spirit, born out of the cosmos and sustained by the cosmos as well as by the substances of the earth. He is not, as some say, just a grain of sand on a cosmic beach, the Earth. He is himself a cosmic being. He is a little world, a microcosm, the vast realm of Spirit, including the majestic Zodiac, the Great Cosmic Man. Cosmic conquest does not require a journey into space; it involves a heightened, intensified, and expanded consciousness. Highly evolved Egos can be conscious of the spiritual forces and beings of Venus, for example, or of the Sun, or Saturn. These influences are not localised to the shining stars we see in the sky. They fill entire spheres bounded by the orbital paths of the respective planets. We are perpetually immersed in them and also in all that streams to us from the Zodiac, which is as a womb in which our entire solar system is evolving. We are inseparably united with them all - each individual in a unique way - in our waking consciousness and in sleep, throughout all our earth-life, and also during the 'sphere-life' between death and a new birth. Everyone is at least vaguely aware that, without any visible external reason, the mood of one day differes from that of another, one hour from another, and often even one minute from another, but few can, in full Ego-consciousness, know of the influence broadcast from the cosmos.
In ancient times the consciousness of all mankind was orientated to the spiritual world and its beings, far more than to the physical world. In order to become conscious of himself as an independent Ego or 'I', and to become a free being, inwardly free to make his own decisions and use his own creative powers, it was necessary that gradually, throughout ages of time, he awaken fully to the physical world and be asleep and oblivious to spiritual reality. Not all humanity, but most of Western mankind, do regard themselves as independent Egos, and have developed the intellect in working creatively with the physical resources of the earth. Thereby material progress has been promoted, but we have been blined to the Spirit and led to believe that we are one-earth-life beings. Having become free in the sphere of the Ego, there is a great danger that we be enslaved to material existence and remain in spiritual night. It is the time now to awaken to a clear consciousness of our own soul and spirit nature, and to a clear consciousness of our own soul and spirit nature, and to the spirtuality of the cosmos, while still retaining our complete Ego-consciousness and control, and without withdrawing from practical earthly life. If humanity is to progress, acquaintance with the spiritual side of existence is imperative.
The viewpoint of the author of this book is: 'Ever do we disclose larger vistas of truth as we reach higher levels in spirals of ascent. Our attitudes are determined by the altitude we have attained. Without elevation, no view is whole; and without an approach to a cosmic view, we must perforce live -grope rather- in illusion and error'. We must find a conscious connection with the spiritual cosmos. Every phase of human existence can be enriched and enlivened by such a cosmic, spiritual impulse, for example, education, psychology, astronomy, art, healing, and religion. It will dispel fear and insecurity in our personal life and enable us to face our destiny with equanimity. To promote inner peace and world understanding, we need to know how man is placed in the whole universal order. A clue as to how to being is found in the injunction that was given to the pupils in the Mysteries: 'If you want to understand the center, investigate the circumference, for it contains the key'. To know man, we enter upon holy ground and must approach this domain of infinitely sublime spiritual beings with humility and reverence.
In order to comprehend to some degree our relation to these exceedingly lofty beings, let us first direct our gaze downward to the kingdoms below us. Through the fact that we bear mineral substances within our physical body, we have something in common with the mineral kingdom. The plant, too, contains mineral elements, but it has something more, namely, life and the power of inner growth. Its physical body is interpenetrated by a body of life forces, termed the etheric body. The animal shares both the physical body and the etheric body with the plant and has, in addition, the capacity for sensation and movement from within its own being. This is because the animal has a third member, known as the astral body, desire body, or soul body. Man is not the highest animal as many people think. Man has a fourth principle which the animals lacks. It is the Ego, which enables him to say, 'I am', 'I think', 'I speak'. There are three latent higher members which will be referred to later.
Think of the vast difference between man and mineral! Yet man is only three stages above the mineral. Try to conceive of the sublimity of beings who are nine, eight, or even seven stages above man. These supersensible beings, the highest of the Spiritual Hierarchies, are called the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones – the First Hierarchy.
It is they who comprise the twelve differentiated groupings which we call the Zodiac, which forms as it were, the womb of our solar system. As a teacher was once a student and as a mother was once a child, so these exalted divine beings came from an earlier solar system in which they passed through their lower stages, until they were so advanced that their solar system could be transformed into our Zodiac and they could rise to mighty, creative, cosmic deeds and make the great sacrifice which gave birth to our solar system. Beyond them is the Divine Trinity, the Threefold Unity, the Godhead, who gave the ideas and aims for the new solar system to the Seraphim. The Seraphim inspired the Cherubim to apply their highest wisdom in making the plans workable, so that the Thrones, in turn, could transform into active reality by pouring out their own being.
From the twelve directions of space, they organised the warmth and laid the foundation for the twelvefold differentiated warmth we bear in our twelve-membered physical body today, from Aries-head to Pisces-feet.
There is no chance or accidental coincidence in the recurrent reflection of the heavenly pattern in earthly life. We find it in the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve disciples of Christ Jesus and the twelve Knights of the Round Table.
And with same principle mankind, with Earth at the midway station, is evolving the three spirit principles: the spirit-self, life-spirit and spirit-man. All mankind will evolve them somewhat in the course of their future incarnations, and fully in the future planetary existences, called the Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan Periods, through which the Earth will pass in the future, before the beings of our solar system reach the stage of creativity when they can participate in the birth of a new Zodiac and solar system. For man is becoming the Fourth Hierarchy, named the Spirits of Freedom and Love. At the end of the Earth Period, love should be part of everything, as wisdom is now.
For an approach to this consciousness, we need an enlarged- a cosmic –concept of the Christ, the sublime Sun Spirit who incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth from the Baptism till the Mystery of Golgotha, when he become the Spirit of the Earth and ‘The Lord of all the heavenly forces upon Earth.’ Christ is the being who in the Sun Period selflessly gave himself up in devotion to the Twelve Voices of the Word of Worlds, which kindled in him such Light that he can say, ‘I am the light of the world.’ He belongs to our cosmos as a whole and spreads life throughout our entire universe. For those who direct their thought to him during waking life, he becomes their guide through the cosmos during sleep and between death and rebirth. The Midnight Sun; The Spiritual Sun.