Twelve Phases of Human Experience
CAPRICORN - Page 1 of 3
The time of the winter solstice has now come, opening the Gates of Capricorn. The days have decreased in length as much as they ever will. Long winters nights absorb nature in their repose, as snow covers the ultimate disintegration of living things with its vast expanse of peace and quietude. Death seems to rule supreme over the visible universe. And yet, somewhere and forever, a new Christ is born. Life surges once more with the Sun from its southern decline. The Sun moves northward, its daily arc of light becomes slowly tauter and more radiant. The promise of spring spreads like a mystic fire over the earth to tell "men of good will" that the New Life has begun to win over arrested death.
What is this new life which men have symbolized in the beautiful Christ-story, whose roots go deeply into the soil of older mythologies? Who is the eternal Christos, whose significance remains everlastingly true and vital, whether or not men believe in the historical or religious Christ? It is the "Day-force"; that aspect of the bi-polar life-force which, as a personalizing energy, tends to transform the scattered and disintegrated remains of a previous cycle into a new organic whole, integral because defined by limitations, creative because conscious. That new organic whole in the realm of mankind is what will grow in time into the fulfilled personality: that is, the human individual, conscious of his relative uniqueness, centered in the sense of his "I-am-ness," in an ego. The Christos is that power in the universe which leads men to "individuation." It is the foundation upon which all concepts of equality and democracy, of the abstract value of the individual, of the dignity and intangibility of the human personality, are based. It is the foundation of the "self-evident truths" of the Declaration of Independence, the center of the "Rights of Man."
The Christos is the universal energy of the Day-force during its period of ascendancy through winter and spring. It is "born" at the winter solstice, because, from that day onward, it increases at the expense of its polar opposite, the Night-force, which thenceforth begins to decline. The Night-force is an in-gathering, collectivizing energy. It expands personality into society through the magic of human relationships. It begins with the building of the family, at the symbolical summer solstice, in Cancer, the sign of the home. It extends progressively the sphere of this family through the zodiacal phases of Virgo and Libra. It glorifies man's responsibility to his progeny and man's participation in all social groups. It impels the individual to seek an ever deeper identification with ever larger collectivities. It brings to man the generalizations and the discoveries of civilization, whose development binds together generation to generation, racial group to racial group, individual achievement to individual achievement — until personalities discover themselves to be but relatively insignificant cells in the vast organism of human society. Tribal groups and small nations ultimately disappear. The days of the empire have come. The State rules supreme; and its symbol of power, Caesar, multiplies itself in effigy through the ubiquitous and all-corrupting power of money.
Caesar and the Christos: both of them operate through the zodiacal field of Capricorn. Caesar is at the apex of his power; Christ is only a hunted baby. Yet Caesar's empire will soon collapse and the power of the Christos will wax ever stronger through Aquarius and Pisces, until it arises as an irresistible challenge of life and personality with the coming of spring and the ascendancy of the Day-force in Aries.
In Capricorn, the individual power of the human personality is seeking its way out, struggling from under the great weight of the State. The Night-force triumphs. Society is seen as an ultimate in that vast collective organism, the State, which dominates even its leaders. The great flights of civilization soaring through Sagittarius on the wings of the philosophical, scientific and social mind have now reached a point of crystallization. Perceivers of the beyond are superseded by organizers of empire. Ever shifting and remote boundaries must be watched and fortified by armies and administrators. The central authority must establish rigid patterns of government so as to hold under its impersonal rule many and diverse races, many trends of thought, many traditions.
The imperial Rome of the Caesars is no longer the original citadel of Roman citizens, the sturdy and vigorous Rome of earlier days. It is a sprawling metropolis, a universal city. Likewise, when a man has passed successfully through the evolutionary periods represented by Scorpio and Sagittarius, he is no longer the direct and aggressive ego hiding his social uncertainties under big dramatic gestures. The ego has expanded by becoming established in social groups, through partnerships of all kinds, through identification with the strange and wondrous powers which rise from all collectivities, from their ancient past, from that reservoir of unfathomable energy which has been called the Collective Unconscious.
This Collective Unconscious, time after time, has flooded the merely personal ego with intoxicating powers released by non-procreative sex and by civilization. Either the human person has become the tool of such powers, passively submitting to lust and the hectic rhythm of city-life; or else he has mastered these powers. He has become adept in Scorpio and philosopher in Sagittarius. His ego, then, instead of expanding into a power-greedy monstrosity ceaselessly avid for more lust, or more knowledge, or more money, has undergone a basic metamorpbosis. It has surrendered its energy to a greater center of organization and of consciousness, which is the Self — the center of both the conscious sphere and the vast Unconscious around it.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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