Vol. 18, No. 2, Fall-Winter 2016



The RADIANCE streams from the HEART of the Sun.

The LIFE FORCE within Matter is awakened.

A response from within the form is awaited.

Thought is propelled upward into the LIGHT.

Downward streams the LIGHT,

Reflected through the form,

Circular is the motion.


—— Nancy Maehl


New Laws Governing Soul or Group Life
by Kurt Abraham

There is a very interesting Seven Ray sequence of 4-2-6-1-7 found in relation to “the new laws governing soul life, which is group life” (Alice Bailey, Esoteric Psychology v. 2 p87).  The following paragraph identifies and succinctly summarizes the present day problem:

“Two sets of principles are to be found controlling human life—the selfish and the unselfish, the individual good and the group good, the objective goal and the subjective goal, the material incentive and the spiritual impulse, national patriotism and the world ideal, separative religious belief and the federation of religions, and all the many massed dualities which simply indicate the realism of people who are personalities (integrated and separative) or of souls (aligned and group-conscious).  Here is the major divergence in the world today; with the weight of the power on the side of separation, as it is the line of least resistance, and of critical differentiations.  A balancing of the two will gradually take place, with the weight of world idealism gradually shifting into the realm of soul unification, until eventually (but not for quite a while) the emphasis of world thought will be definitely and permanently on ‘the side of the angels.’  Note the occult truth of that familiar phrase.  Therefore we can look for the new laws, governing soul life, which is group life, to begin to function and make their presence felt.  This will at first increase the world difficulty; hence the need to make the meaning of these laws clear, their objectives simple and their potencies understandable.”  (Esoteric Psychology II, 86-7)

One can see how difficult the task is in that the individual good, the objective goal, the material incentive, fundamental religious beliefs, and national patriotism do not seem altogether that bad or that problematic to a large number of people.  Indeed, personality is a necessary stage in human development.  How can a virtue suddenly go awry?

At every stage of the game it is always necessary to go higher.  Sooner or later one must leave the “tomb of matter” (or the “tomb of materialism”) and be about the Father’s business, or respond to the next sensed step ahead, the next higher level.

“The emphasis in the Aquarian Age will be on life and freedom from the tomb of matter, and this is the note which will distinguish the new world religion from all that have preceded it.” (Destiny of Nations 151)  “The perfect outcome of the conflict will necessarily be lacking, for perfection is not yet possible to man; nevertheless, a situation can be brought about which will permit the return of the Christ into objective relation with mankind, and which will enable Him to set about His task of resurrecting the human spirit, out of the tomb of materialism into the clear light of spiritual perception.  For this, all men must work.”  (Rays & Initiation, p638)

In terms of the most important Laws of Soul or Group Life we have the following:

1. Law of Sacrifice … Ray 4 Harmony through Conflict

2. Law of Magnetic Impulse, also called Law of Polar Union … Ray 2 Love Wisdom

3. Law of Service … Ray 6 Idealism-Devotion

4. Law of Repulse … Ray 1 Will-Purpose

5. Law of Group Progress … Law of Elevation, Ray 7 Organization, Ceremonial Magic

(Little is said about the next two Laws, for “the enlightenment which is the result of initiation is necessary before one can touch the idea behind these expressions of purpose.”)

6. Law of Expansive Response … Ray 3 Intelligent Activity, adaptive energy

7. Law of the Lower Four … Law of Etheric Union, Ray 5 Scientific Knowledge


The sequence of Rays of the first five laws is 4-2-6-1-7.  Laws 6 and 7, Rays 3 and 5, can only be dimly sensed by the most advanced. (EP II p199)

The Laws of Nature have to do with the life aspect of the form (first solar system).

The Laws of Soul (consciousness, qualitative energies) have to do with the purpose of the present second solar system.

The Laws of Life “will finally supersede the Laws of the Soul and will completely offset and negate the Laws of Nature; these laws will be distinctive of the third solar system—the last personality expression of the solar Logos through the medium of the Seven Planetary Logoi with their varying forms and soul expressions.” (Esoteric Healing 522-3)


Law of Sacrifice  One moves from the preoccupation with the personal good (life of personality) to a heart-felt concern for the Greater Good (life of Soul or the Group Life). Something of this expansive attitude and greater inclusiveness can be seen and felt in the family life.  Many personal sacrifices are willingly made so that the new life has protection, nurture, right development and opportunity.  It is no wonder that the first law of soul or group life is the law of sacrifice.

The Fourth Ray is Harmony through Conflict.   Conflict has to do with the surfacing of differences. Conflict can be internal (within a person, group, or nation) or external (between persons, groups, nations, etc.). In order for conflict to be resolved something has to give. Where there is mutual giving, relinquishing, sacrificing, the collective life grows and glows.  The self-seeking, ambitious, covetous, competitive personality shifts to a cooperative, giving, sharing, contributing member of a group seeking the Greater Good, the Good of the Whole.

The significance of the law of sacrifice has to do with “the impulse of giving … and forgiveness.”  The fourth ray, when “rightly applied and understood, brings about harmony and at-one-ment. The result of this harmonizing activity is beauty, but it is a beauty that is achieved through struggle….  Harmony is achieved through strife, and Union is achieved through diversity and adversity. ”  (EP II 88-9, 90, 92)

“The moment a man identifies himself with his soul and not with his form, then he understands the meaning of the Law of Sacrifice; he is spontaneously governed by it; and he is one who will with deliberate intent choose to die.  But there is no pain, no sorrow, and no real death involved.”  (EP II p94)

“All this involves the death and sacrifice of a Son of God, a solar angel, for, from the angle of Deity, descent into matter, manifestation through form, the taking of a body, extension of consciousness through the process of incarnation, are all occultly considered to be death.  But the angels ‘chose to die, and in dying, lived.’  Through their sacrifice, matter is lifted up into Heaven.  It is this theme which fills the pages of The Secret Doctrine, and which is discussed in greater elaboration in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire.” (EP II p93)


Law of Magnetic Impulse   In order to avoid unnecessary conflict, or in order to move more rapidly to the healing, harmonizing energy of the heart chakra, the second law of soul is brought into play. This is the Law of Magnetic Impulse, also called the Law of Polar Union, which embodies-expresses the Second Ray of Love-Wisdom.

An impulse is a sudden urge, desire, or inclination to do something.  It is often thought of as an instinctual physiological nerve or muscle signal, or as an emotional urge, thus, something working from below upward. Here, however, we have something that works from above down (from soul to personality) or something that functions between souls.  “Magnetic” indicates that there is an energy drawing one to a higher, subtler level of awareness.  The gathering-collecting direction of personality is reversed to a giving-sharing of soul, which then brings in and circulates a radiatory energy. This has to do with an elevated group experience.

“This Law of Magnetic Impulse governs the relation, the interplay, the intercourse, and the interpenetration between the seven groups of souls on the higher levels of the mental plane which constitute the first of the major form differentiations.  These we can only study intelligently from the angle of the seven ray groups, as they compose the spiritual aspect of the human family.  This law governs also the relationships between souls, who, whilst in manifestation through form, are en rapport with each other.  It is a law, therefore, which concerns the inter-relation of all souls within the periphery of what the Christians call ‘the Kingdom of God.’  Through a right understanding of this law, the man arrives at a knowledge of his subjective life; he can wield power subjectively, and thus work consciously in form and with form, yet holding his polarization and his consciousness in another dimension, and functioning actively behind the scenes.”  (EP II 110)

The satisfaction of personality desires and wishes leads to happiness; being able to contribute to the group work of the soul life leads to joy. This work requires sacrifices, and then it also requires an attuning to the subtle new directions.

“This law is of major importance because of the fact that Deity itself is on the second ray; because this is a second ray solar system, and therefore all rays and the varying states or groupings of consciousness, and all forms, in or out of physical manifestation, are coloured and dominated by this ray, and therefore again finally controlled by this law.  The Law of Magnetic Impulse is in the soul realm what the Law of Attraction is in the world of phenomena.  It is, in reality, the subjective aspect of that Law.  It is the Law of Attraction as it functions in the kingdom of souls, but because it is functioning on those levels where the ‘great heresy of separateness’ is not to be found, it is difficult for us—with our active, discriminating minds—to understand its implications and its significance.”  (EP II 110)

Personality groups are fraught with competition, egoism, self-centeredness, gossip, ambition, and fear—thus the stress, struggle, and strain.  When soul and selflessness enter into the equation, then team work develops and the magic begins to happen.

“The aggregated aspiration, consecration and intelligent devotion of the group carries the individuals of which it is composed to greater heights than would be possible alone.  The group stimulation and the united effort sweep the entire group to an intensity of realization that would otherwise be impossible.  Just as the Law of Attraction, working on the physical plane, brought them together as men and women into one group effort, so the Law of Magnetic Impulse can begin to control them when, again as a group and only as a group, they unitedly constitute themselves channels for service in pure self-forgetfulness.” (EP II 112-113)

The “intensity of realization that would otherwise be impossible” is surely something that has to be experienced.  There is the realization that something higher is working through the group.  One has a profound sense of Purpose and Principle. One is able to see more and know more.  The gaze is broad and inclusive, upward and outward..  It is uncanny how certain things just seem to fall into place in an extraordinary way.  Little miracles happen, which are sometimes only realized in retrospect.  Telepathy is not uncommon.  Even physical feats can be performed that “normally” one would think would be impossible.

“If they work together as a group of souls, they can accomplish much…. There is no personal ambition implied, even of a spiritual nature and no personal union sought….. This union is a greater and more vital thing because it is a group union.”  (EP II 113)

“As the individual aspirants lose sight of self in service, and as they arrive at the stage of indifference to personality claims and happenings, they learn to cherish a spirit of confidence, of joy and of love, deep and lasting, for each other; they learn to work together whole-heartedly for the helping of the world and the assistance of the Hierarchy.”  (EP II 117)

Master Morya mentions three traits of character which will “help to cognize the potentiality of motive: The trait of honesty, the trait of self-abnegation, and the trait of service. The manifestation of each trait will give the spirit the sword against egotism.”  (Infinity para. 170)

These three traits line up with the three rays of aspect: Honesty (ray 1, motive), Self-Abnegation (or self-effacement, ray 2, a humble heart quality), and Service (activity aspect, ray 3, by their work you shall know them).  In group work the egoistical ones hide their motives.  They have their hidden agendas that are detrimental to group work and soul service. Being honest, humble, and service oriented, which always includes self-sacrifice, gives the spirit a “sword against egoism.”


The Law of Service   The Law of Service is governed by the Sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion.  The first three laws of soul or group life are governed by rays 4-2-6.  Since Soul, the consciousness, quality aspect, is the second aspect, perhaps it is no wonder that the 2-4-6 line of abstraction leads the way to Soul.

The third law “governs all soul activity.” Spiritual devotion and idealism (sixth ray) overshadow and inspire this activity.  It is also very much a creative activity, because the soul’s mission brings something new.  Soul service has to do with “a power to change conditions (through creative activity) which is the demonstration of something dynamically new.” (EP II 133)

“It is seldom realized how very difficult service essentially is.  It involves so much sacrifice of time and of interest and of one’s own ideas, it requires exceedingly hard work, because it necessitates deliberate effort, conscious wisdom, and the ability to work without attachment.” (EP II 120)

“Service can be briefly defined as the spontaneous effect of soul contact….  Service is a life demonstration.  It is a soul urge, and is as much an evolutionary impetus of the soul as the urge to self-preservation or to the reproduction of the species is a demonstration of the animal soul.,,, It is a soul instinct …innate and peculiar to soul unfoldment.  It is the outstanding characteristic of the soul, just as desire is the outstanding characteristic of the lower nature.  It is group desire, just as in the lower nature it is personality desire.  It is the urge to group good.  It cannot, therefore, be taught or imposed upon a person as a desirable evidence of aspiration, functioning from without and based upon a theory of service.  It is simply the first real effect, evidenced upon the physical plane, of the fact that the soul is beginning to express itself in outer manifestation.”   (EP II 124, 125)

DK implores us to “lay the emphasis upon soul contact and not upon the form side of service.  Activity of the form side lays stress upon personality ambition, veiling them with the glamour of service.  If care over the essential of service—soul contact—is taken, then the service rendered will flow with spontaneity along the right lines and bear much fruit.”  (EP II 126)

DK warns us that “the personality gets in the way.  Then service, as the Teachers on the inner side of life understand it, gets distorted and altered into busy-ness.  It becomes changed into ambition, into an effort to make others serve as we think service should be rendered, and into a love of power which hinders true service instead of into love of our fellow men.”  (EP II 129)

He also emphasizes harmlessness, joy, an increasing subtlety of discrimination, leaving other free to serve in their own spiritually sensed way.

Ray 1 has the task of “breaking up that which is old and hindering, and this is later followed by the clear shining forth of the new idea.” (EP II 140)

Servers on Ray 2 “ponder, meditate upon and assimilate the new ideas associated with the Plan, and by the power of their attractive love, they gather together those who are at that point in their evolution where they can respond to the measure and rhythm of that Plan.  (EP II 141)

Ray 3: “Ideas are taken by the third ray aspirant, as they emerge from the elevated consciousness of Those for whom the first ray works and are rendered attractive by the second ray worker (attractive in the esoteric sense) and adapted to the immediate need and rendered vocal by the force of the intellectual third ray types.” (EP II 142)

The Ray 4 aspirant “harmonizes the new ideas with the old…. They are engaged with the bridging process, for they are the true intuitives and have a capacity for the art of synthesis so that their work most definitely can help in bringing forward a true presentation of the divine picture.” (EP II 143)

Ray 5 “are those who investigate the form in order to find its hidden idea, its motivating power, and to this end they work with ideas, proving them either true or false…. They are, knowingly and unknowingly, leading men into the world of meaning, and their discoveries will eventually end the present era of unemployment, and their inventions and improvements, added to the steadily growing idea of group interdependence (which is the major message of the New Group of World Servers) will eventually ameliorate human conditions so that an era of peace and leisure can supervene.” (EP II 143)

Ray 6: “The effect of the activity of this ray … has been to train humanity in the art of recognizing ideals … train the world thinkers so ardently to desire the good, the true and the beautiful, that the idea which should materialize in some form on earth can shift from the plane of the mind and clothe itself in some form on earth.” (EP II 143-4)

Ray 7: “Their work lies naturally on the physical plane.  They can organize the evoked ideal which will embody as much of the idea of God as the period and humanity can evidence and produce in form upon the earth.  Their work is potent and necessary and calls for much skill in action…. The difference between the methods of the old age and that of the new can be seen expressed in the idea of leadership by one and leadership by a group.” (EP II 145)


The Law of Repulse    The Law of Repulse is governed by Ray 1.  It “rejects the undesirable in order to find that which the heart craves, and thus leads the weary pilgrim from one rejection to another, until with unerring choice he makes the Great Decision.” (EP II 149)

There is a link between atma (the spiritual will aspect of the Spiritual Triad) and the petals of sacrifice of the egoic lotus.  “This fourth Law of Repulse works through the first Law of Sacrifice and carries to the aspirant the quality, influence and tendency of the Spiritual Triad, the threefold expression of the Monad [Spirit].”  (EP II 150)

According to the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, the cause of suffering is desire, and the “cessation of suffering is attained by eradicating desire for phenomenal existence.” The demand of a person’s soul is for “release from the search for outer, material, tangible satisfaction, and from desire.  It has been this demand which indicated the soul’s need to incarnate and to function, for a needed period, under the Law of Rebirth.  As the work of purification proceeds upon the Path of Purification, this demand for release becomes stronger and clearer, and when the man steps out upon the Path of Discipleship, then the Law of Repulse can, for the first time, begin to control his reactions.  This takes place unconsciously at first, but it becomes more potent and more consciously appreciated as the disciple takes one initiation after another, with increasingly pointed understanding.”  (EP II 156)

In the transition out of the desire-wish life of instinct and intellect to the stage of illumination, one’s motive becomes service (awakening the heart chakra) and obedience (awakening the two head centers).  “Only the desire to serve is adequate to bring about the necessary reorientation and subjection to the new technique of living.  The other is his willingness, at all costs, to be obedient to the light which is in him and around him.  Service and obedience are the great methods of release, and constitute the underlying causes which will bring the Law of Repulse into play, thus aiding the aspirant to attain the longed-for liberation.  Service releases him from his own thought life and self-determination.  Obedience to his own soul integrates him into the larger whole, wherein his own desires and urges are negated in the interest of the wider life of humanity and of God Himself.” (EP II 157-8)


The Law of Group Progress, Ray 7   This important law is discussed at some length in Esoteric Psychology v. 2, pp. 174-198.  Two keywords here are Elevation and Discrimination.  Elevation occurs via the energy of the group process.  The group aura can align with, assimilate, and channel higher spiritual energies.  The person “in training for these higher realizations is urged to practice the faculty of discrimination”, which has to do with recognizing-identifying the

“following subtle contacts: 1. The vibration of the soul itself.

2. The vibration of the inner group with which he is, even if unconsciously, affiliated.

3. The vibration of the Master as the focal point of the group.

4. His ray vibration, as sensed via his soul and the Master.

5. The vibration resulting from the interplay between his soul and his personality.

6. The three different vibrations of his vital body, his emotional body and the mind.

7. The vibration of the groups or the group with which he must work upon the outer plane.

8. The soul vibration of other people whom he contacts.

9. The vibration of such a group as the New Group of World Servers.” (p175-6)

Along with elevation and discrimination comes decentralization. The task is to “ask nothing for the separated self”, which is the personality.  Personal motives can short- circuit group service. A truly selfless group is hard to find.  The personal desire motive can also lead to the problematic spiritual selfishness.

Today the new groups are slowly and gradually coming into being and being governed by these soul laws.  They will, therefore, strike a different note and produce groups which are welded together by a united aspiration and objective.  Yet they will be constituted of free souls, individual and developed, who recognize no authority but that of their own souls, and submerge their interests to the soul purpose of the group as a whole.  Just as the achievement of an individual has, down the ages, served to raise the race, so a paralleling achievement in group formation will tend to raise humanity still more rapidly.  Hence this law is called that of Elevation” (p179)

In this group process one learns to “transmit the quality of his soul ray to the group, stimulating his brothers to greater courage, clearer vision, finer purity of motive, and deeper love, and yet avoid the danger of vitalizing his personality characteristics.  This is the major difficulty.  To do this effectively and correctly, we must all learn to think of each other as souls, and not as human beings.” (p181)

Personalities have a tendency to think one thing and say another, as motives are hidden and desires are still personal. “The reason why Those on the Inner Side are now experimenting with this group idea is because it is definitely a New Age trend.  They are seeking to utilize the increasing bias of the human being towards coherence and integration.  It must be remembered, however, and with constancy, that unless there is a subjective coherence, all outer forms must eventually disintegrate or never cohere at all.  It is only the subjective links and the subjective work that determines success, and these must (particularly in the new group work) be based on egoic [soul] relations and not on personal attachments and predilections.  These help where there is at the same time a recognition of the egoic relation.  Where that exists, then something can be formed which is immortal and as lasting as the soul itself.” (Italics added, p186)


Astrology: Divine Curiosity
by Andrew Nellist

“Astrology is a science which must be restored to its original beauty and truth before the world can gain a truer perspective and a more just and accurate appreciation of the divine Plan, as it is expressed at this time through the Wisdom of the Ages.” (EA p5)

In Esoteric Astrology, DK presents an understanding of the Rays as they work in relation to the constellations and our solar system: “we are considering esoteric influences and not astrology, per se. Our subject is the seven rays and their relationship to the zodiacal constellations or – in other words – the interaction of the seven great Lives which inform our solar system with the twelve constellations which compose our zodiac” (EA pp26-7). The influences of the constellations are represented by the signs: “I would remind students again that when speaking of signs I am referring to the influences of the constellations as they are represented by the signs, calling to your attention that in the great evolutionary process and owing to certain shifts and astronomical-astrological discrepancies, the Sun is not in the constellation to which a particular sign refers at any given moment” (EA p410). The zodiac is a thoughtform anchored on mental levels by Hierarchy, and the signs work through spiritual alignment rather than through astronomical connection. DK explains that “the precession of the equinoxes is both a fact and an illusion”. Response to astrological influence is dependent upon spiritual development, and in terms of these influences: “From the standpoint of esoteric truth, they are simply embodied Lives and the expression of the life, the quality, the purpose and the intent of the Beings Who have brought them into manifestation” (EA pp256-7). The interplay of astrological energies works in terms of the Law of Affinity between the lives involved rather than in terms of astronomical alignment (EA pp266-7).

With regard to orthodox astrology, the zodiac as the imaginary path of the Sun is illusory, due to polarisation on the astral plane (EAp63). DK refers to the illusory nature of manifestation, and that as a man thinks, so is he (EA p58). Furthermore: “The correct interpretation therefore of a chart is largely psychometrical and dependent upon the thought-form of the constellation which has been built up for ages by the astrologers. Energy follows thought” (TWM p437). In terms of the illusory path, DK notes “in this connection” that the precession of the equinoxes is “a fourth type of force” which “is brought to bear upon the planet and man, but one which is seldom recognised and given due place in the horoscope”. Again, “starting with the basic fact of the Great Illusion”, accuracy of astrological interpretation will be based on three factors:

1. The potency of the thoughtforms built in connection with the twelve signs.

2. The intuition of the astrologer.

3. The capacity of the astrologer to respond to changes such as precession, study of the spiritual development of the subject, and study of the Rays as to quality, characteristics and life objectives (EA pp68-9).

The balance seems to be between working with the intuition or spiritual mind in relation to the Hierarchical zodiac, and working in terms of illusion or the astral-physical focus in terms of the orthodox zodiac (AN).

Esoteric astrology relates more to the soul and the Hierarchical zodiac, such that “When we state, for instance, that the Sun is “in Aries” it conveys an esoteric truth but not an exoteric fact” (EA p63). In his spiritual psychology, there is response to the soul through the Ascendant, working with the higher aspects of the zodiac and in terms of Ray influences. He seeks to give an understanding of astrological relationships which will enable us to live more scientifically: “It is this scientific living which it is the immediate purpose of astrology to bring about” (EA p5). He deals with universal relationships, the interplay of energies, subjective realities, the livingness of the sources and with that “all-pervading unity” and “underlying synthesis” of the inner reality and the greater whole (EA pp6-7). However, he is also concerned with the dissipation of the Great Illusion and the revelation of the Real

(EA p131). In this regard, astrology has fundamental value: we have all been affected by astrological influences, but it is “through the agency of human thought, reacting to zodiacal influences” that we will live more scientifically, blend the energies of the planetary centres, and “transform our Earth”, making it more spiritually developed (EA p481).

In esoteric astrology we are “dealing with the Life and Lives which inform the “points of light” within the universal Life” (EA p9). The energies of these Lives play through the field of space which is etheric in nature, and “there is a constant circulation of energies and forces and this constitutes the scientific basis of the astrological theories” (EA p11). According to DK, astrology “has no basis in material fact and yet is eternally based on truth. The zodiac is, as you well know, the imaginary path of the Sun in the heavens. It is therefore largely an illusion, from the exoteric point of view. But at the same time the constellations exist, and the streams of energy which pass and repass, intermingle and interlock throughout the body of space are by no means illusions but definitely express eternal relationships” (EA p62). He encourages us to treat his ideas as hypotheses, and to make scientific and analytical investigation. As a Treatise, Esoteric Astrology “is designed to instigate research and the power to delve and seek” (EA p561). Furthermore, he seeks to stimulate divine curiosity and the sense of spiritual adventure and aspiration for progress (EA p202). He also seeks to evoke the intuition, or spiritual insight, while his main theme is the unfoldment of consciousness, meaning and the response of conscious beings to the influences which they experience through being part of greater lives (EA p292).

The theme of the zodiac can be seen in terms of increasing radiance and unfolding light (EA p328). Spiritual light affects the form as evolution proceeds and produces sequentially the revelation of the form and of the nature of space-time as well as of the goal, involving the spiritual irradiation of matter and the growth of the body of light (EA pp329-30).  The zodiac itself serves to stimulate the soul within the form (EA p51), and its constellations transmute and refine incoming energies for the benefit of life within our system (EA p14). The twelve signs of the zodiac are primarily concerned with planetary stimulation, so involving those spirits (including ourselves) and devas who go to form their body of being. The signs of the zodiac are mainly concerned with the spiritual Life of the planet, and so influence the spiritual lives within it which work through Hierarchy, souls and the human kingdom. The objective is to become consciously aware of planetary influences and begin to use them for the carrying out of soul purpose. Further, to become aware of zodiacal influences emanating from outside the solar system (EA pp21-3). “Esoteric astrology concerns itself primarily with the unfoldment of consciousness, with the impacts which awaken it to the peculiar “gifts” of any particular sign and ray endowment and with the reaction of the man and his consequent enrichment through his response to the influence of a sign, working through the esoteric planets from the angle of humanitarian awareness, of discipleship and of initiation” (EA pp145-6).

Planets are focal points through which energy flows from the outer universe, and through our solar system (EP1 p152). The planets also act as channels for the Rays, and each Ray has a planet as its “body of manifestation”, passing its energy through all lives and forms which are coloured by it (EP1 p154). The planets are expressions of and transmitters of Ray influences (EA pp512-3). “In the last analysis, the planet is the result or the effect (should I say, resultant effect) of the ray influence, just as in the human being the physical body is the effect of the governing rays” (EA p363). The main function of the planets is as distributing agents for the energies of the zodiac, and the energies of the signs are attracted by the different planets according to their stage of development (EA p266). Planetary influences give outer life circumstances, but with soul awareness the influence of the planets, per se, weakens and “It is the force flowing through the planets and not the force of the planets themselves which then governs and controls. The man then becomes receptive to the subtler and higher energies of the solar system and of the twelve governing constellations” (EA p16).

A spiritual understanding is presented which somewhat transcends our present scientific world-view, including Vulcan as one of the planetary influences. DK treats of spiritual reality as a world which we do not yet see or know: Vulcan is not necessarily visible physically or astronomically observable. He talks of “the sensed power of Vulcan” (EA p166) as a constructive aspect of first Ray energy. There is more response to this subtle influence, which works in terms of constructive spiritual purpose, as we have become more aware and purposeful ourselves, thinking in terms of the good of the whole (EA p195). Vulcan is closely related to the energy of the Sun and its synthesis and radiance, and recalls the work of the god Vulcan and the forge and fire of transmutation. The energy of Vulcan “is potently making its presence felt”, as in the struggles between men of selfish will and those of good will (EA p264). As DK expresses it: “He it is who is forging the way for the coming Avatar Who will – at the right moment – come forth, embodying in Himself the Will of God which is the divine will-to-good, to peace through understanding, and to right relations between men and between nations” (EA p375). The building aspect of the first Ray is concerned with the service of the whole, and with the establishing of a world order of intelligent justice and fair economic distribution, and a worldwide humanitarianism. This would also include the well-being of Nature. In this way the power of Vulcan prepares the way for the second Ray energy of the Sun, with its inclusiveness and integration.

Vulcan is one of the “sacred” planets, or those which are more spiritually developed. Non-sacred planets influence more the form nature, while the sacred planets fuse the personality and make it the instrument of the soul (EA p510). As the various energies and forces circulate throughout the etheric body of our solar system, their reception and effect will depend upon the state of development of the planet and upon the point of unfoldment of the individual man (EA p65). This is why there are different sets of planetary rulers for the constellations, with the esoteric planets applying to the spiritually oriented, with the emphasis upon the conditioning Ray (EA p67). Thus the personality horoscope is ruled by the traditional, exoteric planets, while that of the spiritually directed is ruled by the esoteric planets. The Sun sign, with the exoteric planetary rulers, governs the ordinary horoscope, and is a summation of what has been, giving the background, and working in terms of the twelve houses. The Ascendant, with the esoteric or spiritual planetary rulers, indicates soul purpose and points to the future, offering opportunity. The horoscope thus built around the Ascendant, or Rising sign, with the esoteric planets, gives the spiritual destiny, working in terms of the influence of the Crosses. The Sun sign with exoteric rulers superimposed on this gives the problem of the spiritually oriented. The Sun sign governed by the esoteric planets and the Ascendant with esoteric planets can both be used for the spiritually focussed, giving the outer and the inner life (EA pp513-4).

The spiritually focussed will also be more responsive to the “inner group of solar systems” working in conjunction with the zodiacal signs (EA p24). It should also be noted that the signs themselves have higher aspects and influences, giving more spiritual meaning than the traditional personality interpretation. The Seven Rays are under the astrological influence of the twelve constellations, while they are also channels for energy from the seven solar systems of which grouping ours is a part. The result of all this psychological development is that we become more identified with the soul and the spiritual nature. As such, we come under the influence of the Soul Ray, and more in line with zodiacal influences from outside the solar system. We also become responsive through the Ray to the larger group of systemic influences, which are transmitted through zodiacal constellations to our solar system, and through the Sun to the seven sacred planets (TWM pp437-8).

Astrology is the “magnetic and magical interplay for the production or externalisation of the inner reality” (EA p336). This inner reality very much involves the Rays, and these blend with the energies of the twelve constellations, and in doing so “are responsible for the peculiar difficulties confronting humanity on the arc of evolutionary experience upon our planet” (EA p422). Astrology is the study of “the seven rays and their relationship to the zodiacal constellations” (EA pp26-7). This involves a context of energy, life and consciousness which is larger than our accepted scientific view. Indeed, astrology challenges our understanding of space and time, and in terms of Reincarnation: “It is in order eventually to negate the space-time concept and to prove it an illusion that the door in Cancer opens to the sacrificing, serving soul” (EA p324). What we are dealing with instead is evolving, serving life working through qualitative states of being and awareness. DK is concerned with showing how astrology is intimately related to the subject of the Rays, and to practical questions of psychological development. We are dealing with the Science of Energies, which involves their origin and methods of assimilation and transference or elimination. Without some method of comprehension, we can only work with hypotheses, but DK gives his Science of Astrology to provide a process of investigation, deduction and proof. He also encourages the use of the intuition, as the innate sense of synthesis, in order to touch the world of causes, with a view to externalising something more of that inner spiritual reality.

Reference Key and Bibliography for books by Alice Bailey:
TWM: A Treatise on White Magic.
EA: Esoteric Astrology.
EP1: Esoteric Psychology Vol.1