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Dane Rudhyar's Occult Preparations for a New Age. Image Copyright 2004 by Michael R. Meyer.

OCCULT PREPARATIONS
FOR A NEW AGE
by Dane Rudhyar, 1975




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CONTENTS


PART ONE:
A Planetary Approach to Occultism amd Its Source

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To Michael R. Meyer
and Nancy Kleban
In warm appreciation
and friendship.
D.R.

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This title was first published by Quest Books, 1975.

Cover for the online edition copyright © 2004
by Michael R. Meyer.

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CHAPTER SEVEN
Planetary and Social Cycles - 3

Mutations occur only in the seed — perhaps at the time of the symbolical Christmas, when the Sun begins to "move Northward" (in declination) and days gradually lengthen. Some mutations are the answer of the species-as-a-whole to new challenges of the environment and are constructive; others reflect the onslaught of destructive forces upon the integrity of the biosphere. The patterns of change are never exactly repeated, for forces are constantly at work produced by the essentially unpredictable results of various types of existential relationships; "vertical" relationships between lesser wholes that are organic parts of greater wholes — and "horizontal" relationships between wholes operating at the same level.

It is by establishing the distinction between the seed realm and the leaf-realm that we can gain a deeper understanding of why certain societies felt the urge to begin their year with the onset of spring, fall, or winter. Cultures which sought to attune themselves fully to the natural biospheric rhythm of annual transformation, and to glorify existential realities as direct reflections of a divine Power projecting itself and fecundating them, chose the symbolic time of germination — the beginning of spring — as their most sacred time for a celebration of life. Other cultures (for instance, the Hebrew) use the fall equinox as their approximate New Year because they sought deeply to respond to the occult potency of the seed in Man; and that seed is the mind and its power of symbolic self-multiplication in an ever increasing harvest of ideas and social forms. This seed-mind is the foundation of the sense of personal identity — thus, of the realization "I am" and of the process of individualization and intellectual analysis which has dominated our Western civilization since the days of Moses and ancient Greece.

Yet European culture, under the influence of Christianity, has used as the start of the year the days following the winter solstice — the time when the Promise of a future rebirth of life and vegetation is given by the rising arc of the Sun's motion across the sky; a Promise only and one which Christianity, invaded by the ghosts of the Roman empire and torn by the old Hebraic sense of guilt and sinfulness, actually was not able to fulfill. Christianity was intended to compensate for, balance and illumine the new evolutionary trend toward individualistic and intellectual self-assertion, and indeed autarchy; yet it was unable to significantly offset the fateful power of such a trend. Still, the attempt remains alive in the symbol of a New Year associated with the winter solstice and the symbolic birth of the solar Christ.

H.P. Blavatsky stated that January 4 should be considered the esotericist's New Year, and to my knowledge little has been added to this statement. It nevertheless seems probable that in some manner that day has a direct or indirect reference to the coming of the Kumaras and thus the beginning in man of "reflective consciousness" or the consciousness of being conscious — truly a momentous "mutation." It is, moreover, significant that the polar opposite of January 4 is July 4, celebrated as the birthday of the American nation. And, according to at least some of its true Founders, the United States of America was not to be merely another nation in the European style, but the beginning of a new kind of society exemplifying a new way of living — Novum Ordo Seclorum — a new order of the centuries(3).

Whether or not America has succeeded in being true to her essential or archetypal destiny is a highly disputable matter; but the cyclic connection between January 4 and July 4 is deeply significant and an unmet spiritual challenge. The two dates are related as the Ascendant of an astrological birth-chart is related to the principle of relatedness; this also means the beginning of a cycle is related to the mid-point (or "bottom") of the cycle. The occult solar promise in the zodiacal sign Capricorn is related to the building in Cancer of both the home and the concretely integrated personality. What is occultly envisioned within the "Christed" consciousness in darkness of winter (the "midnight Sun" of Masonry) should become fully actualized in early summer. Then within the small fruit developing at the center of what had been a beautiful flower the seed is being reconstituted. It could become the symbolical Child, the Body of Immortality — also called the Diamond Body or the Body of Resurrection — in whom man would experience his seed-victory over natural entropy and death.

The symbolism which has been attached to the yearly process of vegetation has had the most profound influence on the development of man's consciousness since the ancient days of what has been called the Vitalistic Age, when human society was completely polarized in everyday living by agriculture and/or cattle-raising, and the ritualistic worship of the two poles of the life-energy, male and female, gave collective forms to man's aspirations toward a creative state of total survival in self-multiplication and self-transcendence through attunement with biospheric and solar-lunar rhythms.

Astrology was, if not born, at least codified in its multiple forms during the millennia of such a vitalistic evolution — and evolution not yet completed in most places — and took from the dominant preoccupation of the epoch its basic tenets, including the starting point of the year cycle at the vernal equinox, "Nature's birthday." This became "the first Point in Aries," the beginning of the zodiac. Yet there seem to have been regions in which the time of the harvest and possibly the star Spica were given precedence, because of the climatic and harvest conditions prevailing in such regions less susceptible to the changes in seasons of the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere.

It is evident that a correct solution given to the problem of ascertaining the most significant starting point in a complete cyclic process — which in an archetypal sense has no beginning or end — is required for a correct evaluation of the phase of any cycle at which a particular event occurs or situation arises. Are we today at the beginning of a new cycle, or near the middle, or somewhere before the end of one started centuries ago? We have first of all to determine the length and the character of the cycle we are considering. But a situation of extreme complexity confronts us, for we must realize that small cycles occur within larger ones, and these within still vaster cosmic periods, and any cycle includes subcycles. What makes the situation more confusing is the fact that Occultism (as presented by H.P. Blavatsky who, more than any other writer dealt with cycles) not only keeps the secret of the exact lengths and actual beginnings of cosmic and planetary cycles well guarded, but uses "blinds." This may be required in order to test the student's intuition and the purity of his motive, but it makes the determination of any date difficult, if not impossible. Not only do the dates, or even centuries, remain uncertain, as sometimes several dates are given for one event, but also the level at which the cycle being mentioned operates is often not clearly stated; and this of course is of capital importance.

For instance, one may apparently refer quite precisely to the time of "birth"; but it may not always mean physical birth out of the mother's womb. This problem occurs in astrology, and astrologers sometimes feel that the birth chart should be calculated from the moment at which the male sperm penetrates the female ovum; thus "conception charts" are erected which are deduced from the actual physical birth-moment according to rhythmic patterns which may not always be correctly applied or even applicable. Some occultist-astrologers even claim that they can calculate a "solar epoch" preceding actual conception.

For similar reasons it is indeed difficult to state when the Great Cycle of the precession of the equinoxes actually began, or when one of its twelve subcycles, the Aquarian Age, will begin; or perhaps it has already begun at some level. As we have already seen, the first half of a cycle refers to a descent of power, or, we might also say, to the gradual actualization of a set of spiritual potentialities released by the divine or cosmic creative Act — the Biblical "Let there be Light!" But the originating release occurs at a cosmic level and in terms of energies, vibrations, or qualities of being whose nature far transcends those we can experience at our physical or even mental level of awareness. Even if a man's consciousness could in some way become reflectively aware of the creative release, the inertia of Earth matter and that of the collective mind of mankind would oppose an intense resistance to the new downflowing tide; and this means that it takes time for the new impulse to overcome the resistance and to become clearly manifest in mental, social, and physical changes. The time it takes represents the transition period between the old and the new (in Sanskrit, sandhya).

According to the Hindu tradition the transition between two cycles normally lasts one tenth of the length of the cycle at its close — I have called it the seed period — and a period of the same length after the start of the new cycle — the germinal period. If, then, a cycle lasts 2160 years, which is the average length of one of the twelve Ages (Arian, Piscean, Aquarian, etc.) dividing the Great Cycle of the precession of the equinoxes, the last 216 years of one of these Ages form its seed period, and the first 216 years of the next Age its germinal period. This means that one-fifth of the time, in a succession of cycles, is occupied by transitional activities.

It also means that the creative Impulse initiating a new precessional Age must have begun already to operate when, at the Earth-level to which these Ages apply, the upsetting effect of the seed-transition period can be felt. It is an upsetting effect because the new tide of energy is then exerting pressure upon all that the past has produced and that usually has become rigid and uncreative. Thus, when the last tenth of a cycle starts, the creative beginning of the next cycle has already occurred at a "high" spiritual-cosmic level. The two cycles, which can be said to succeed each other, if only one level of activity is considered, actually interpenetrate if several levels are considered. The downward trend of the closing cycle calls forth and polarizes the descent of the creative Impulse of the succeeding cycle. One may visualize such a process if one thinks of the way wind arises: as a region of low atmospheric pressure develops, air from surrounding regions of high pressure automatically flows, as wind, into it.

Wind, in Greek, is pneuma, which also means "spirit." When the spirituality of a society falls to a low level, a rush of a new spirit begins to be felt. This is an automatic action; yet because we live at the level of matter which displays both objectivity and solidity — and, in so far as human beings are concerned, personality — this automatic action of the creative Spirit has to be focused in and to radiate through a human Personage, an Avatar, and also through lesser avataric beings — as we shall see in the following chapter and Part Four of this book. It is for the same reason that we think of God as a person; "It" becomes "He" when in relation to a human person. Thus great philosopher seers such as Sri Aurobindo state that Brahman has both a personal and an impersonal aspect, and the Christian mystic, Eckhart, differentiates between "God," the divine Person, and an utterly transcendent "Godhead."



1. cf. my last book The Astrology of America's Destiny (Random House, N.Y. 1974).  Return



By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1975 by Dane Rudhyar
All Rights Reserved.






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