Chapter IV – Cancer
Cancer is a Water sign, an element that corresponds to the soul. It is feminine and of Cardinal energy. From Aries, Cosmic Dawn, we progress to Cancer which represents Cosmic Midnight, the evolutionary movement being therefore into darkness.
In this sign the “Fall” represents the divine spark being encased or imprisoned in the density of form or matter, and thus we speak of the gestation of the psychic being with regard to Cancer. In fact, Cancer is ruled by the Moon which is the Earth’s satellite, making it unique in the Zodiac and giving us the clue that the psychic being is a peculiarity of Earthly existence. The Moon refers to the personality and ego and its motion in orbit around the Earth is symbolic of the ego encasing the divine spark.
The element Water refers to the soul, as stated. It makes its first appearance in the wheel with the sign that signifies human gestation. From this point in evolution the individual begins working to uncover the soul that is enveloped in the protective veils of ego, much the same as the human being is gestated within the protective maternal womb or sack and after nine months birth takes place. From this point nine signs must be journeyed through before return to the Origin. Thus Cancer is a sign of individual gestation and maternity, but in the map of the entire human evolution it represents the fall of spirit into the confines of form, – matter itself being of the essence of divinity but this realization of essential oneness, or the uncovering of divinity in matter, is to take place only further on in the wheel, – in the sign that lies, in fact, in opposition to Cancer: Capricorn.
In all the chapters so far each image and situation have revealed a specific characteristic of the sign; thus, for example, the children enter a long dark stairway and find three doors, then after entering the middle one they find two doors, and so on. This is all symbolic of the feminine reproductive system, the clue to this is lying in the very hieroglyph of the sign . Further on they are enveloped in veils signifying the ego. The torches they carry with them represent the divine spark or spirit. At a certain point the boy (masculine principle) is hidden and falls asleep, and all is centred on the feminine part.
None of these images were mentally calculated and it was, in some instances, only after the book had been written that many of the choices became clear. One such case, the jasmine wreaths adorning the girls’ hair. Suddenly it was understood why jasmine had been the flower selected: Cancer is the sign of Midnight and the flowers’ perfume emanates at night. And so each line in the story is rich in symbolism, too numerous to detail at present.
The Queen of Night is the Personality, identifying herself completely with each role she plays. Constantly changing, of multiple and varied form, she moves with Cardinal energy, with direction, force and power. She is Prakriti.
Chapter V – Leo
Leo is a Fire sign, it is masculine and of Fixed Energy Quality. The same element which in Aries represented the Divine Spark is here the creative force of Spirit. Leo is that which sustains the Play, the active centre of light illuminating all; it is ruled by the Sun. As a sign of Fixed Energy flow we see how an accumulation of force is needed at this point, but only until this produces the seed which is to quicken the waters of Cancer, to wed the soul and bring about the next step on the spiral. The sign’s hieroglyphic symbol is an image of a single male sperm.
The King of Day has given out his seed to make the play of the Queen of Night possible; his light is made brighter by the very darkness which precedes it. He pursues the children and his urgency and fiery temperament hasten them to plunge into the tube that carries them “to the very bowels of the Earth”. (In fact, the next sign is an Earth sign and it rules – among other things – the bowels!) The children’s passage through the land provokes, in turn, the necessary shock for the seed to spread and the play to continue, this time centering on Pom-Pom, the masculine element. The tendency here is expansion, while in the previous sign it was contraction.
The King of Day is the Individual, the fixed centre of an ever-changing Power, the central pillar, the witness to the varied display of the Queen of Night (Personality), the cause behind even the most obscure of forms. Without him she is not fecundated; without her his seed remains sterile. He is the Purusha, one with Prakriti, and because of this marriage – which forms the root of Manifestation – the Divine blossoms forth from the very core of creation.
Chapter VI – Virgo
Virgo is an Earth sign, feminine and of Mutable Energy Quality. It completes the first half of the wheel and here we can review all the play of energy so far. In Aries and Cancer, the Cardinal signs, the children are willfully released from the lands. In Taurus and Leo, both signs of Fixed energy, they are held back by Malamulapaga and the King of Day, and after a powerful ordeal are involuntarily released. In the Mutable signs, Gemini and Virgo, they are sent out but without great conviction, hence the reluctant change so typical of the Mutable signs. The reader is once again reminded that each situation in the story corresponds to the intrinsic significance of the sign’s function and contribution to the whole.
In Virgo we are presented with the New-born; that which has gestated in Cancer is here brought forth, hence the symbolic position of the children in the chimney stack and their seeing 6’s and 9’s which form the hieroglyphic symbol of Cancer; in fact, the position they find themselves in in the beginning of this chapter is representative of the Cancer symbol which depicts the fetal position.
The hieroglyph of Virgo indicates the vital current in its dormant state, the unawakened kundalini, the unreleased energy, – this is the true meaning of the symbol of the virgin. The sign is governed by Mercury which happens to rule the spine in the human body, so here we are even given the location of the channel through which the current will pass; but as yet the current lies dormant and it is only through development of the higher faculties that the “rise” takes place further on. Thus Virgo is a sign of ablution and libation, the preliminary purification. The origin of the rights of baptism can be understood from this sign, as well as the Christian idea of original sin. The children come into the land in an unclean state because of the “fall” and are promptly dipped in water to wash away the soot, the impurities of the ego. This is only a preliminary preparation, indicating that the soul is now ready to pass into the upper half of the wheel, out of darkness, through light and back to the Origin.
– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Magical Carousel, 1970