I wrote this article for a recent issue of The Inner Light Journal and the general reception to it suggests that it would bear repetition here. GK
This year of 2009 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Arthur Chichester, the Warden (later known as Spiritual Director) who took over the reigns of the Society of the Inner Light from Dion Fortune in 1946. In the thirty three years of his stewardship he took it through various phases, that perhaps did not suit everyone, but which, in their totality, were of considerable importance.
To his nurturing of the Arthurian tradition, in which he had a close identification with Merlin, I owe a great deal of my early development that enabled me to branch off in other forms of service to the Mysteries. His later insistence on breaking down the elitist assumptions and structure of the Society in the 1960’s was also in keeping with modern developments in the esoteric world. And along with this was a re-emphasis upon Christian fundamentals of the Western Tradition that have tended to be overlooked from time to time by an overemphasis on oriental or pagan spirituality.
Allied to this however was a masterly comprehension of the fundamental tenets of The Cosmic Doctrine, not least of which was an appreciation of the significance of the Planetary Being. Most of the remaining twenty years of his life was devoted to emphasising the importance of this great “generating Elemental” (as he liked to describe it) along with an appreciation of the feminine spiritual principles generally subsumed in veneration for the Virgin Mary in orthodox Christian circles.
This was not so far distant from an appreciation of the principles espoused by Dion Fortune in her earlier Isis work. Indeed a communication from her that inspired an early ritual of mine was to the effect that there was a strong connection between a true appreciation of the mysteries of the Four-fold Isis and the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
With this in mind, it is perhaps worth our while to take the elements of this doctrine and apply it, not just to the Virgin but to the Planetary Being. For if the Incarnation of the Logos (as St John describes the mission of Jesus) was significant for the elevation of the human individual who bore it – it must also have been highly significant for the Planetary Being as a whole, who gave a vehicle of flesh and blood and earthly experience to the Most High.
And if the Blessed Virgin should be later exalted by it (by Assumption and Coronation in Heaven) then why not the Planetary Being – raised in the end from a traditionally dark to a celestially exalted planet?
So let us follow through some of the rubric of the Assumption legend and see how it may apply to the Planetary Being.
When the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ had hung upon the cross he saw standing beneath the cross his mother and John the evangelist, whom he especially loved of all the apostles. And he committed the charge of his mother to John, saying “Behold thy mother” and to her “Behold thy son”. And from that hour the holy mother of God continued in the especial care of John, and abode in the house of his parents beside the Mount of Olivet.
It seems not unreasonable to me to equate St John with the Hermetic tradition generally, which henceforth has the duty of “knowledge and conversation” with those forces and beings that sustain the Planetary Being. (In support of this association I might cite “Meditations on the Tarot” anonymously written by Alexander Tomberg, a mystically intelligent and therefore somewhat controversial follower of Rudolf Steiner).
In the second year after Christ, having overcome death, had ascended into heaven, Mary betook herself to her dwelling alone. And lo, an angel, shining, in a garment of great brightness, stood before her. Behold, said he, this branch. I have brought it to thee from a tree in paradise. And it shall be carried before thee when thou art taken up out of the body. For behold, thy son, with the thrones and the angels and all the powers of heaven awaiteth thee. Now the branch from the tree in paradise shone with exceeding brightness. And taking the branch, Mary went up into the Mount of Olivet to pray. And behold, the Lord Jesus came and spoke to her, saying “Come thou most precious pearl, enter into the treasure of eternal life. Come thou without fear, for the heavenly host awaiteth thee, to bring thee into the joy of paradise.
For the branch of the tree in paradise that shines with exceeding brightness we may well see the Tree of Life, the system of revealed wisdom that shows the way between Earth and Heaven. Place the promise to Mary in the context of the destiny of the Planetary Being and we see a glorious consummation of the great ark of creatures that our planetary globe really is.
And as the Lord had spoken, Mary returned to her dwelling, and laid herself down, and giving thanks to God, she gave up the ghost, which the Lord gave into the care of St Michael.
We see the taking up of the elemental into the angelic by the great guardian the archangel Michael, and the consequent result:
When they stripped the body of the Blessed Mary for burial, it shone with such brightness that it could not be looked upon, for the exceeding flashing of the light. A great splendour appeared in it, and a great sweetness and fragrance issued from it like the flowers of the lily.
And that which follows, follows a pattern that had been enacted before by the incarnation of the Logos.
The apostles carried the body of Mary into the Valley of Jehosaphat, and laid her in a new tomb which the Lord showed them, and shut the sepulchre. On the third day the Saviour came with a great multitude to angels, and light flashing with great brightness. He commanded Michael the archangel to roll away the stone. Then Jesus said: “Rise up my love and kinswoman. Thou that did not suffer corruption by original sin shalt not suffer dissolution of the body in the sepulchre”. And immediately Mary rose from the grave and blessed the Lord, saying: “Let thy name be blessed for ever, redeemer of the world, child of my body, and God of Israel.” And the Lord kissed her and delivered her to the angels.
And as it was, is, and will be (time is but an illusion in this context) for the Planetary Being, so by divine promise is it for her human children.
Jesus called to the apostles, saying: “Peace be unto you. As I have always been with you, so will I be, even unto the end of the world.” And when he had spoken, the Lord was lifted up in a cloud, and the angels with him, bearing Blessed Mary into paradise.
All this is perhaps a little beyond what is generally conceived in current concerns for the welfare of the planet, but nonetheless shows an interior reality that as initiates, and followers of the wisdom of St John, we should be fully aware. In fulfilment of which we might also see within the orthodox celebration of the Mysteries of Mary and of the Sacred Heart an extension of the Mysteries of the Planetary Being.
Who, as Holy Mother of God, gave form to the life giving Word, when Jesus the Christ was born into the world.
Who, as handmaid of the Lord, is the balance point of perfect equilibrium, of divine force and holy form.
Who is encountered through the loving heart of any man or woman.
Who is the intercessor, guide, friend and mother of all mankind.
Who is active in the process of the “becoming” of mankind, and through mankind, of the universe.
Who partakes in full measure of the aura of the divine. Into which aura must all mankind grow. For as any human being grows to maturity by grace, so do they begin to share this aura, of Earthly Paradise and of the Holy Trinity.
To share in this aura is to will and act in character with the divine. Freedom within this aura is absolute. For nothing that is initiated from within this aura is out of character with the divine.
The character of the divine aura shows in all who begin, however uncertainly, to enter it. Here the eternal life given to mankind begins to be truly lived. It is an abiding, forever, within the Sacred Heart. And this abiding within the Sacred Heart makes all unreal barriers, separations and limitations fade away.
Those who share in the divine aura, and abide in the Sacred Heart, are at one, and in close fellowship with the communion of saints, the holy angels and all the spirits of God. All the fellowship of heaven and earth is theirs.
This is the joy to which you are called.