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|The Labors of Hercules - Labor XI|
|Hallmarks of the Initiate
Hercules being the initiate is pledged to do three things, which can be summed up as the outstanding characteristics of all true initiates. If they are not present in some measure the man is not an initiate.
1. Unselfish service. This is not the service that we render because we are told that service is a way to liberation, but service rendered because our consciousness is no longer self centered. We are no longer interested in ourselves but our consciousness being universal there is nothing for us to do but to assimilate the troubles of our fellowmen and help them. It is no effort for the true Aquarian master to do so.
2. Group work. This is something that we know little about as yet. The world is full of organizations and societies, brotherhoods that are happy training grounds for ambitious people. I do not mean to be unkind, but my experience with the average group is that it is a hotbed of jealousies, people trying to impress the others with the amount of their knowledge and the wonder of their self-sacrificing lives. This is not group work. 
Group work is standing alone spiritually in the handling of one's own affairs with complete forgetting of one's own self and affairs in the welfare of the particular section of humanity with which we are associated. It negates ambition; it negates the progress upward in any lodge or organization; it negates all assuming of official prerogatives. I do not think the new groups will have any officials but will work automatically because of the intuitional spiritual interplay between the minds of the units in the groups. We do not know anything about it yet.
Can you think of a group so united on spiritual levels that letters, pamphlets, books, etc., can be done away with; that the inter-communication between the minds of the members of the group is perfect? That is the Aquarian group and it is not with us yet.
3. Self-sacrifice. The meaning of self-sacrifice is making the self holy. That deals with the self of the group and the self of the individual; that is the work of the initiate.
From the top of the mountain in Capricorn, Hercules has to come down literally into material filth and clean the Augean stables. I want to give you an idea of his psychology. He had climbed up to the top of the mountain. He had passed all the great tests, passed from Capricorn into the spiritual kingdom and knew somewhat the significance of mystical ecstasy, and in that highly spiritual state he received word to go down and clean the stables. What an anti-climax. No great world work, but to clean stables.
The object of the test can be summed up in this way: Hercules had to aid in the cleansing of the world by the right direction of the forces of life through it. You appreciate that we are entering into the Aquarian age where materialism, as we know it, will have completely died out at the close and when the whole life will be interpreted in terms of energies. We are dealing entirely with forces. We shall probably have a new language, the symbolic language of energy itself. We shall all be practical occultists, the occultist who lives and works in a  world of forces and who begins with the forces within himself. You will get a little understanding of what is meant by the wielding of forces if you watch your speech. Why do you raise your voice when emoting? Because the energy sweeping through you has an effect upon your vocal apparatus. You are dealing with energies and you are misusing energies. Watch yourself and begin to work in the world of forces within yourself.
This sign inaugurates the school of world saviors. It is almost a "John the Baptist" sign, a sign of preparation for what the next Piscean age is going to bring in.
Aquarius is depicted as a man holding an inverted vase. The man inverts the vase and out of it come two streams of water, the river of life and the river of love, and those two words, life and love, are the two words that embody the technique of the Aquarian age; not form, not mind, but life and love. Two words we use constantly but which, back of them, do not bear any adequate concept.
Decanates, Rulers and Constellations
Aquarius, like other signs, is divided into three decanates. We are now entering the first decanate governed by Saturn, hence our present difficulties, our political upheaval, the dividing of the world stage into great groups, with people who are national, patriotic, and those who are beginning to vision the international spirit. In the churches, in the religious field, division again, between those who are getting a picture of the universality of the love of God, and those who bow to authority and dogma.
In the field of economics a tremendous turmoil is brought about by Saturn, between those who bow to material things and those who are letting them go in order to get the better things; between those who grab possessions for themselves, those who hoard and keep, and those who let go in order to acquire what Christ calls "treasures in heaven". In almost any field of thought we find these two compelling forces because of  the impact of Piscean and Aquarian energies. There are two diverse groups: those who are tied to the past and to the material aspect, and those who are getting the vision and are seeing the life, the consciousness, the purpose and the plan emerging through the medium of them all.
The wonderful thing, if you study the world intuitively, if you keep apace with what is going on in this and other sections of humanity, is that you will see that, in spite of superficial disturbances and dire happenings, the spirit of man is sound and pure, is rising to the occasion and we are coming through, but don't think it will be in a week or a year! We may get better conditions, improvements here, there and everywhere. It is up to us how fast we learn the lesson of how to let go, in order that the Piscean age of materialism and of authority, possession and mentality can be superseded by the age of spirituality, of intuition, and of universal consciousness.
The second decanate of Aquarius is governed by Mercury, and out of the present time will come illumination. The illumination that came in Leo, the opposite of Aquarius, was "I am the self", the illumination we call self consciousness. Illumination coming, in Aquarius is "I am That", I am group conscious. My self consciousness has dropped away, my individuality is of no importance, my personality is only a mechanism, and my consciousness is one with all that is.
In the third decanate, governed by Venus, we have the emergence of inclusive love. About two thousand years from now we may really express brotherly love. It will be, must be, a manifested fact before humanity as a whole can pass into Capricorn. They will enter that sign in a loving spirit. The individual aspirant cannot take initiation until he has learned to love disinterestedly, to love not only those who think as he does and act as he desires.
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