The Luminescence Of Dawn In The Eastern Sky; Illumination
This symbol represents a new beginning, whether that is the start of a new day in which we are all given another opportunity to grow or the beginning of a new season in our lives. This is the the moment before dawn breaks- the last moment of stillness and peace before activity begins again. Rudhyar writes that we should all welcome this moment and every new day with a pure heart and a clear mind. A worthy goal, indeed, but there is something more to discover here.
In this predawn moment there is enough light to see but the sun has not yet broken over the horizon. The surrounding landscape is visible and the eastern sky is illuminated. We have a revelation available to us that wasn’t clear or obvious in the dark of night, and we are receiving this revelation just as we begin a new period of activity. This symbol represents the ability to update our strategy to account for new information with the benefit of Divine timing.
After The Heavy Storm, A Rainbow; Revelation of Worth
Today’s symbol is a direct reference to the covenant of Noah. The rainbow is a reminder of the covenant God made with people not to destroy the earth again. It gives us faith that whatever is destroyed in the storm was removed for our good and better days are ahead. The rainbow represents the link between our Divine and earthly selves.
God will do God’s part if we in turn do ours, which we cannot do without accepting the revelation of our worth and serving our role in the Divine design. Faith in God is not enough if we view ourselves as merely broken and fallible humans because this is only half of the story. We must trust that we are capable of rising to our calling under the guidance of His Spirit; that some level of Divine perfection exists within us when we fulfill His purpose for us in this life.
A Large Camel Is Seen Crossing A Vast And Forbidding Desert; Total Independence and Self Reliance
So the camel is completely self-contained- there is no water in the desert but it carries its own. Lack of water is symbolic of spiritual dryness. Throughout the Scriptures drought is portrayed as the silence of God. The camel is built to sustain himself, at least long enough to cross the forbidding desert. This symbol represents the necessary phase of manifestation when our sheer will and determination are tested.
What capacity do humans have that resembles the ability of the camel to retain water in its humps? Our memory. One of the Powers of the soul described in the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, the role of the memory is to sustain us through trials and hardships. If we have direct experience with God and we have seen His blessing on our lives we can use those memories to sustain us through the desert.
Totally Concentrated Upon Inner Spiritual Attainment, A Man Is Sitting In A State of Complete Neglect Of Bodily Appearance and Cleanliness; Total Concentration
As unpleasant as it sounds, this is a necessary phase of spiritual development described at a symbolic level. The man represents the ego and in this symbol his neglect of his appearance represents his disregard for his reputation. He cannot be bothered to clean himself up for the approval and comfort of others- all of his energy is focused on the union of his ego and his soul. This is an inward process and his energy is concentrated on inner processes at the expense of outward routines.
Of course we do not have to literally forgo personal hygiene for spiritual attainment, but we do have to direct our focus inward rather than serving the societal norms that keep the ego out of alignment with the soul.
In the Circus A Bareback Rider Displays Her Dangerous Skill; Virtuosity
The rider in this symbol is a woman and horses represent the instincts, yang energy and forward motion. Here the soul is in control of the ego and is riding without a saddle. How does she manage this feat? What is meant by virtuosity?
We are called to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and the fruit of this love is that we find ourselves loving virtue and rejecting vice regardless of persons. This is virtuosity: to direct our love towards that which is good and away from that which is not. This is a difficult stage to attain because it requires us to discard our personal love for people when they are not virtuous and to embrace our enemy when they are displaying virtue.
So this is how the soul rides the ego without a saddle: by using the vital energy in service to the Divine and not the ego’s personal agenda.
A Carrier Pigeon Fulfilling His Mission; World Server
Yesterday’s symbol was a drunk chicken. Here we have a trained pigeon. This form of consciousness is disposed to receive wisdom and prophecy through ecstatic experiences in the spiritual realms; it brings back messages and delivers them with trained efficiency. It fulfills its role in Divine design and accomplishes its purpose. Pigeons are closely related to doves, which symbolize the Holy Spirit, and we see that today’s bird is closer in likeness than yesterday’s drunk chicken.
In my personal practice this symbol represents a message delivered in its highest form: when what we pray for, speak over and walk towards are all in alignment. It sounds easy but resolving these differences is the basis of spiritual growth. Twenty two is a master builder number, and in Leo this represents the mastery of the will in order to build in service to the collective.
Intoxicated Chickens Dizzily Flap Their Wings Trying To Fly; Premature Expansion of Consciousness
This symbol shows us a domesticated bird trying to fly under the influence. Birds represent spiritual forces, and flying symbolizes transcendence. Intoxication refers to ecstatic experiences. So here we have a consciousness exposed to an experience it does not yet have the wisdom and discernment to integrate. Is the mystical experience lost on those not yet prepared to fully receive it?
More likely, it will produce ambition and growth in the seeker. Exposure to what lies beyond material reality proves that there is indeed something worth seeking, and that a certain degree of preparedness is necessary to fully receive it. Without this experience, there is little reason to seek or evolve.
Zuni Natives Perform A Ritual To The Sun; Identification Through Worship
This symbol represents ritualized contact with the Divine. Every seeker on the path has his idea of nirvana and his way of worshiping the Higher Power that bestows this blessing. The Sun is symbolic of this edifying force. For Christians this force is the Trinity and other traditions follow their own beliefs in the form of God and also the formlessness behind the recognized form.
We tend to glorify detachment and the ability to reject labels and traditions in our search for Divine Truth. But identification through worship is a necessary step- we can only rest in the formlessness of God. Traditions and rituals can and should be personalized; we must never lose awareness of the limitations personification creates in the psyche. Still, in order to move in faith and take grounded action we must give God enough form in our minds to function in relationship.
A Houseboat Party; Freedom from Social Rigidity
The lawn party from Leo 12 was a sophisticated gathering for gaining and exercising social power; this symbol is a reprieve from the rules and norms of social class and station. The gathering takes place on a boat in the water and we see the emotional body at play. Here, influenced by the unconscious and beyond the boundaries of ritualized behavior, we find the freedom for a release of energies normally constrained.
In my personal practice this symbol represents an opportunity to violate the rules of my own subconscious and the constraints of the Christian path. Within this window of opportunity I am free to express my will without the perceived or actual consequences of acting out of turn. What would you pray for if there were no rules?
A Chemist Conducts An Experiment For His Students; Alchemy
This symbol shows a man using natural law for his own purposes- to test a theory and give instruction to the next generation. The ego is referenced in the masculine (and the soul in the feminine) and the man is in his laboratory- a closed environment. This is the Divine masculine in action: co-creating in harmony with Divine law, providing an example, practicing alchemy.
Our potential on the spiritual path and in practicing the esoteric arts is limited if we are not willing to test a theory. Attempting to use natural law to our own end is the basis of all progress and we cannot use what we do not comprehend. This symbol emphasizes the scientific method: controlled variables, procedures that students can replicate, an expected outcome. Even if the experiment fails we’ve learned something about what doesn’t work.