Chapter VII – Libra
Libra is an Air sign, of Cardinal Energy Quality, masculine and ruled by the feminine planet Venus. In the signs of the first half of the wheel, those masculine are ruled by masculine planets and feminine, by feminine planets. Now a reversal takes place and there is a greater interplay and exchange occurring, the meanings become more intricate, more subtle, the individual must make, he must strive to awaken his consciousness and seek his divine origin, no longer remaining a dumb pawn in the compelling play of Nature. Thus Libra, the second Air sign indicates an equilibrium: that which was divided in Gemini for the purpose of the Play is here balanced, rendered equal. It is the sign of Union, or Yoga, the Cosmic Sunset and the beginning of the soul’s emergence into Light. As yet the rays of the Sun are mellow, indirect and subdued, but they are cast onto Creation and illumine the inherent possibilities hidden until now.
Libra is the complement of Aries, the sign ruled by Mars that lies in its opposition. Always in the Zodiac signs in opposition present a sort of complement to one another, a lower and a higher octave. Venus and Mars, representing the female and male elements, are here joined. This counterpart deals with human manifestation, on that level indicating a union of the sexes. Further on in the wheel there is the true and complete inner union, accomplished when the solar-lunar poles are crystallised in matter. It is interesting to note that only here in the wheel the possibility of sexual interchange comes into play, and this does not involve procreation; in the Zodiac birth is not indicated as the outcome of intercourse but is seen to be directly connected to the solar-lunar currents experienced by man through the mechanics of in-coming and out-going breath. In the act, rather, man is recalling his origin, the Unity from which he sprang, a diluted taste of Divine Love Play. He seeks this sublime complement, but being still in ignorance the search is projected without. Since the spiral at this point pushes up into Light, the factor of Love (symbolized by Venus) is the necessary breath that will carry humanity through the subsequent stages and bring it back to the Origin: Love is the saviour.
There is indecision in the sign, as can be noted in the story. The individual continually faces the possibility of remaining in the lower sphere or moving to a higher level. Still too much importance is given to form. Frank and Felicity refuse to face the problems of the lower nature when they are revealed, which – in effect – have not yet forced themselves into evidence but remain hidden behind closed doors.
As an Air sign, Libra refers to the mental plane. Thus there is a mental awakening, a vague realization of the necessity to unify the elements, a thirst for the Companion and the impossibility to remain in a “solitary” condition. But all this is only an intellectual awareness and does not touch the profundities of the being: the soul still lies dormant, but the final chant, “Union, strive for Union,” remains with the children and accompanies them to the next land where they will face the problem of Life or Death.
Pom-pom, the masculine element, receives that which makes them as One, in spite of themselves: the Golden Sword, – the Power of Truth.
Chapter VIII – Scorpio
Scorpio is a Water sign, of Fixed Energy Quality. It is feminine and ruled by the masculine planet Mars, representative of the vital force. This combination seems to be a contradiction; that is, the Water element requires, it would appear, either a Cardinal energy flow or Mutable. Here it is Fixed, and coupled with the forceful, destructive power of Mars and its fiery character, one can almost feel the waters of Scorpio as stagnant, blocked, lacking the adequate movement, hence they become poisonous. Therefore Scorpio is the sign of self-destruction, being, in fact, the only animal in the Zodiac capable of causing its own end.
But what is the deeper meaning of the sign?
It has always been associated with death, and rightly so because here the individual faces spiritual death or liberation. At this point all the force of the lower nature is awakened, but in its most primitive form, that of pure sexual energy. Later on in the wheel the subtler plays of the awakened vital force must be dealt with, but they cannot be conquered unless the individual makes the first preliminary and basic step towards liberation. He must release the energies, look at them, reject the usual expenditure indulged in by most of humanity and thereby give birth to the soul. Thus this is the sign in which the kundalini is awakened, as seen in the hieroglyph. Scorpio is the second Water sign; what was gestated in Cancer and came forth in Virgo as yet dormant, is here liberated. The tail in the Scorpio hieroglyph juts out, in contrast to that of Virgo, but otherwise both symbols are identical. In Scorpio the tail ends with the head of an arrow, identified therefore with the symbol of Mars , ruler of the sign.
Scorpio represents Power, but for the integral development of the individual he must not be satisfied with Power for Power’s sake. Hence the children are allowed to partake in the ritual, are tempted to remain in the land and learn the secrets Hayala will reveal. She awakens the force which can signify degeneration or regeneration, tempts them by her magical and hypnotic power; if she succeeds it is spiritual death, as that of the prisoner of the previous year’s rituals. Therefore in either case, that is, if the individual expends the vital force by means of sexual indulgence or uses it for acquisition of Power as an end in itself, he drowns in the poisonous waters of Scorpio. This is the death as represented by the sign, and no other – for death on the material plane is not looked upon in astrology as it is usually done with a limited vision. Physical death is only a symbol.
It is the call of the soul that liberates the children. Val, the feminine element and hence more identified with the psyche, awakens to the call, springs forth moved by Love, urging Pom-pom to save Hayala. Thus, Love is the saviour, at one with the very essence of creation. And Pom-pom who carries the Power of Truth in his hands, as opposed to Hayala’s dower of darkness, swings it at that which the children feel will signify her own ruin, for the goal of Love is to transform obscurity and not destroy it. Truth being the very breath of life, “almost by itself it wizzes around and slices off the stinger.”
As the soul is victor over the ordeal, a response comes from the regions afar and the Centaur with his fiery arrows appears to save them. His fire casts light into darkness; spirit comes to gather up the soul and carry it to its destiny of unity.
Thus we see that the popular usage of destroying scorpions by fire, as also that of its use in nullifying the very effects of a scorpion bite, is another proof that what takes place in the realm of consciousness also has its physical counterpart.
The children are carried into the land by the Eagle, the symbol of the highest possibilities of the sign, the Power to conquer death. It remains veiled and appears to be only a vision not fully realized. Yet they were brought into the land by this creature, and not the Scorpion. This is important to note and a very meaningful image. Man’s rightful heritage is immortality and having cut away that which binds him to the lower nature, he is now free to unveil the divinity residing in the higher part of his being.
Chapter IX – Sagittarius
Sagittarius is a Fire sign, masculine, of Mutable Energy Quality and ruled by Jupiter, the planet of consciousness, the Guru, the Greater Benefic. This is the sign of philosophic-religious understanding, of prophecy, of vision, the planes above the mind (it lies in opposition to Gemini); but in prophetic vision the “mind and heart must work together”, as Heropodus Heronimus says.
The sign’s hieroglyph gives the indication that the vital force has been liberated; the diagonal line at the base of the arrow shows the energy awakened in Scorpio (the arrow forms the tail of the Scorpio hieroglyph) to be cut from that which binds it to the lower nature and is now free to carry the soul into the sphere which will signify the final purification: Sagittarius is the last of the Fire signs. In Aries we see the spark, in Leo the radiant, steady flame, and in Sagittarius the smouldering warmth, the journey nearing its end. It is a Mutable sign, therefore the difficulty – as portrayed in the story – to keep the energy channeled in the proper direction: the Centaur continuously escapes into other lands, as yet unable to control the precious force at his disposal. Sagittarius represents a penetration into far, unknown regions, therefore in the story only the Centaur has wandered into other lands, the rest of the characters have been confined to their own territory. And it is dual: in its pictograph we have a man, the Archer, with the body of a horse – it is the body with all its potent energies, the vital force which must be controlled by the higher faculties. An interesting fact to note is that there is a fragment of an ancient Babylonian sculpture of the Zodiac in which the Scorpion is depicted chasing after the Centaur and trying to grab his genitals with his pincers. This is almost precisely the last image in the story. The Scorpion refuses to let go of his hold, through the dominance of the lower nature, (that is of Fixed energy). But the spirit-soul is too powerful and with majestic, joyful ease it escapes the clutches of death.
Heropodus Heronimus represents the higher faculties, also the Teacher. He prepares the ground for the children’s entry into the last quarter of the Zodiac where unity is achieved. He opens the portals, indicates the way – but only that – for the next step must be taken alone. His contribution may appear somewhat superficial after such powerful experiences in Scorpio. But here a pause is necessary, a suspension, an intake of breath before the great plunge that is to follow. The higher knowledge that Heropodus Heronimus represents is passed onto the children and will serve them as support in their subsequent Initiation and the fulfillment of their Earthly mission. Thus they are released from the land, sent abroad into “the regions very few consciously reach”. For most the spiritual journey can be endlessly suspended here, the Kundalini is awakened and has brought its illumination. But the children have three more keys, ones larger than the former nine, and the last line of the chapter is most significant, “they are almost unaware of moving at all and seem to have entered a point right within themselves.” Now they are to plunge into the most profound recesses of being, they touch both hell and heaven, the way opens for a conscious union with the Divine and a total manifestation of the eternal Word.
– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Magical Carousel, 1970