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Esoteric Astrology - The Nature of Esoteric Astrology - Spiritual Effects of the Zodiacal Constellations
Cancer, the Crab

This sign is not an easy one for the average student to understand for it is the polar opposite - psychologically speaking - of the state of group consciousness towards which humanity is, at this time, tending. It is difficult for the casual student to distinguish accurately between mass consciousness and group consciousness. Human beings stand today at a midway point, generally speaking, between these two states of mind, though perhaps it might be more correct to say that a fairly large minority are becoming group conscious, whilst the majority are emerging out of the mass conscious stage and becoming self-conscious individuals. [312] This accounts for much of the present world difficulty and for the clash of idealisms. The two groups bring a different approach to the world problems as we now find them. We have, therefore, three signs which (from the angle of consciousness) are closely connected yet are widely separate and different in effect.

  1. Cancer - mass consciousness - instinctual awareness.
  2. Leo - self consciousness - intelligent awareness.
  3. Aquarius - group consciousness - intuitional awareness.

With much of this we have already dealt and there is no need for repetition as we study the polar opposites of the signs already considered. I do not intend to refer unduly and in detail to points with which you are already familiar, save to bring to your attention the beautiful and synthetic unfolding of the divine Plan.

This sign is, as you already know, one of the two gates of the zodiac because through it souls pass into outer manifestation and to the appropriation of form, and subsequent identification with it for many long cycles. It is "the gate which stands wide open, broad and easy to pass through and yet it leads unto the place of death and to that long imprisonment which precedes the final revolt." It is allied with material nature, and with the mother of forms, just as the other gate, Capricorn, is allied with spirit, the father of all that IS.

In this sign lies hid the whole problem of the Law of Rebirth. Reincarnation is implicit in the manifested universe and is a basic and fundamental theme underlying systemic pulsation. There are certain things which I would like to make clear in connection with reincarnation.

This sign, Cancer, being concerned primarily with the world of causes, has about its inner meaning much indefiniteness [313] and an apparently vague subtlety which proves most elusive to the ordinary thinker. This also is true of all the signs which go to the forming of the Cardinal Cross of the Heavens. In the last analysis, it is only the initiated disciple who can fathom the true meaning of these zodiacal influences as they pulsate throughout the manifested universe, because they are primarily the expression of spirit or life more than of soul or body. Therefore, until after the third initiation - as you have oft been told - there is little to be known or said about that "mysterious essence which is divinity in motion." When you, for instance, read that the keynotes of this sign can be expressed in the Biblical phrase "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" does it, in reality, mean anything specific to you? You might reply by saying that it means, God moved in substance and produced by moving the outer tangible forms. But does that truly convey to you an intelligible truth? In Cancer, God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. In these words, you have established the relation which exists in the mind of God between spirit (the breath of life) the soul (consciousness) and man (the form). However, does that statement convey an intelligible concept to your mind? I think not, because the synthesis of the final relation is beyond the average grasp and its 'linking' or essential unity (lying as it does outside of consciousness and known reality) takes place first of all in this sign - one of the most ancient of the signs and one of the first to be recognized and established as an influencing factor by ancient humanity.

I state a basic truth - vaguely acknowledged by you - that in Aries the essential substance of manifestation awoke to renewed activity under the impact of divine desire, impelled by the divine Breath, by divine Life or Spirit. [314] In Cancer this living substance assumed a triple differentiated relationship to which we give the names of Life (Aries) of Consciousness (Taurus, the next sign to Aries) and manifested duality (Gemini, the sign preceding Cancer) and these three, blended together, came into outer manifestation in Cancer, thus completing an esoteric quaternary of great importance. Here the first major fusion, inchoate and unrealized, took place. In Libra, these reach a point of balance and of a somewhat static equilibrium (later to be disturbed in Scorpio), so that this essential triplicity appears clearly in relation to each other. In Capricorn, the sign of initiation, this basic triplicity begins to return to the earlier state of the "breath of spirit" but, this time, with full awareness and properly fulfiled organization, so that form is a perfect expression of the soul and the soul is sensitive and responsive to the pulsations of the One Life, as that Life reveals, through its activity, the perfect will of the Logos.

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