Happy Passover, Happy Easter!
Welcome to the April 9, 2009 weekly edition of the Satya Center newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.
There is a Full Moon in Libra today, the beginning of the Jewish feast of Passover, which lasts for seven days. Today is also the day of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he washed the feet of his disciples, a day for purification.
Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified, and Sunday is Easter. Lightworkers around the world celebrate the Aries Solar Festival, a time of rebirth and renewal.
“Thursday is the first Full moon Solar Festival of spring and the first of three Spring Festivals (Aries, Taurus, Gemini),” says Risa D'Angeles, Founder & Director of the Esoteric &Astrological Studies and Research Institute, a Wisdom School, in Santa Cruz, California, who has a marvelous website, NightLight News.”
“These festivals were instituted by the Tibetan [Dwaj Khul] and given to the New Group of World Servers (and humanity) in the middle of the 20th century (1940s),” Risa continues. “Forming the foundations of the Aquarian new world religion these festivals (full moons, solar festivals) are built upon the foundations of previous religions (Hindu, Jewish, Buddhism, Christian/Catholic) - forms through which the humanity’s hope, suffering, sacrifice, prayer, spirituality, progress and the flowering of evolution were fostered.”
“The great commonality for humanity worldwide is the sky with its patterns of stars and rhythms of the ever-moving planets, Sun & Moon,” Risa explains. “Following the timings of full and new moons, when great spiritual energies are released into the earth, three major spring festivals and nine minor festivals (all spiritual events) were created in order to ‘lead humanity into a prolonged united spiritual effort.’”
“The first of these festivals is the Aries/Libra Full Moon Festival, the great Western Christian festival of Easter/Resurrection,” says Risa. “This year the Aries (20 degrees) Festival occurs at 7:56 am (Pacific time), Thursday, April 9th (Holy Thursday, three days before Easter Sunday).”
“The Aries Festival, also called the Resurrection Festival, and forming part of the new world religion, is about the Love of God which is dispersed to all of humanity during this Festival time (the day of the full moon and three days thereafter),” Risa explains. “It was Christ’s love of the world, of humanity, of His Father and of all the Earth that allowed Him to be sacrificed. Again we remember that at the core of sacrifice (the first Law of the Soul)…. is Love. Thus we can begin to understand, in the midst of chaos and conflict occurring worldwide the esoteric meaning of the words ‘Love (that) underlies the happenings (sacrifices) of the times.’”
As we celebrate this multi-denominational global Spiritual Festival, the world is engulfed in worry, fear, anxiety and yes, anger.
The collective consciousness is well aware at the Soul level that we are approaching the end of industrial civilization, the end of the present World Order and the need to totally restructure our human civilization. Yet our world leaders are focused on one thing – maintaining their power and maintaining the status quo which has been so beneficial to them.
We are being asked to rise to the occasion, to ascend beyond our previous limits as individuals and as groups, to assist in the global transformation that is coming, and to guide our leaders toward a compassionate, equitable and sustainable future. We are learning that our leaders will not guide us into the New Aeon, instead in Aquarian fashion, it is the people who will show the way.
The Jewish Festival of the Passover, which begins today, is one of the three Festivals of the Pilgrim, or Shalosh Regalim, when devout Jewish people from all over the world traditionally make a pilogrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.
Passover of course is the festival commemorating the Exodus of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt. The Lord spared the Jewish people when he sent a plague that killed the first born of Egyptian families, and Pharaoh released the Jewish slaves soon thereafter. Although the Egyptian army followed the Jewish people on their path out of slavery, the Lord parted the Red Sea so the Jewish people could pass safely into their long 40 year exile in the desert, but when the Egyptian army entered the passage in hot pursuit, the waters closed upon them.
Our global civilization is currently in the same position as the Jewish people in bondage in Egypt. We are all in bondage to a rational materialist global culture of cruel hierarchy, greed and Imperial militarism that is threatening to destroy the livelihoods of billions of people enslaved to the financial and political manipulations of global elites even as it destroys the environment that sustains human life on Earth.
We are all poised to pass over into a new global civilization, so tonight we can all benefit from learning more about the Passover Festival, and from entering more deeply into the consciousness of the Jewish people at their time of Exodus.
The Passover Feast is traditionally a time when Jewish children are prompted to reflect upon their people's transit from one Age to another. At the Seder the Haggadah, the Book of Exodus, is read and celebrated with feasting, songs and prayers.
Children are asked four questions:
Why is this night different?
Why do we eat such unusual foods as Matzoh, the unleavened bread and Maror, the bitter herbs?
Why do we dip green herbs in salt water?
Why do we open doors?
Why do we reclline?
The youngest child at the table answers these questions:
We eat the Matzoh to remind us that when the time of liberation came we had no time to bake bread and took unleavened dough into the desert where the hot sun baked it into crackers.
We eat the bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of bondage under the Pharaohs.
We dip parsley into salt water to remind us of two things: green herbs remind us that spring is here and spring corresponds to the time of liberation, while the water reminds us of the bitter tears Jewish slaves shed in Egyptian captivity.
We open doors after the festival meal while chanting verses asking G-D to redeem us from oppression. This is done to show that tonight is the Night of Protection, the night when the Lord's angels slew the first-born of Egypt, the night when the Jewish children were protected by G-D's grace, and that we rely upon G-D to protect us so we have no need of closed doors.
We recline to show that we are no longer slaves. We are now free men and women with free will who can take our leisure as we will.
As all of us, of all spiritual paths, celebrate Passover today, let us all pray and meditate upon the fact that this global transition we are now entering, like the Exodus of the Jewish people, will in all likelihood be lengthy, difficult, and demanding.
We will all need Divine intervention to successfully navigate to the New Age and a new paradigm of compassionate community, equality, and enivronmental sustainability that puts the needs of people above the greed of financiers and politicians and the the ambitions of ruthless military leaders around the globe.
We know that the door is open, we are as ready as we need to be, and we are at the springtime of year.
We are being forced into a rushed passage into the New Age, but we know that with the Grace of the Divine, together the world's people will cast off the yoke of the modern day Pharaohs and, courageous as the Jewish people at the time of the Exodus, we stand ready to make the hazardous journey from this moment of fear and failure into a Promised Land that awaits us all -- a New Age and a new global civilization of peace, love and understanding.
The task if monumental. Can we succeed? Together. . .YES, WE CAN!
Today the Sun is at 20˚ Aries, the Sabian symbol for which reads: “A young girl feeding birds in winter.”
The winter is a difficult time for many all over the world. In the Northern Hemisphere, people who live by subsistence farming must rely upon stores of food set aside during the warm seasons, or butcher their animals for food.
In many ways the present world situation is like a very brutal winter for human civilization, a time of unpleasant, even harsh, environmental conditions, when survival depends upon foresight, upon community and upon the reserves we have set aside during sunnier times.
Many of us are finding we have lost much of what we set aside in those sunnier days, whether it’s savings in our 401(k)s or job security, or the value of our homes. And we can tell that this global “winter” is just beginning.
So our compassion is being directly challenged. Many people are preparing for a collapse of the global economy by stockpiling money, gold and silver, food and weapons, focused upon their own survival. Nations are becoming increasingly belligerent about maintaining their lifestyles at the expense of others if need be.
This Easter Festival, we are being provided with an infusion of loving wisdom directly from the Christ, intended to help us in the difficult task of opening our hearts to one another in these troubled times and supporting our will forces, with the goal of empowering us to help those least among us. When it is sub-zero temperatures outside with lots of snow and ice, and if we are low on food ourselves, it takes a certain type of spiritual courage and strong will to share with others, even with the birds of the field, who are in need during such extreme conditions.
We are being directly challenged to transform our own negativity into caring, to cast aside our egoistic concerns and our own petty individual goals as Christ cast aside his body at the time of the Crucifixion, for the greater good of all humanity. We are being asked by the Christ above to join with him in caring for his flock.
The symbol for the Moon for this Full Moon at 21˚ Libra goes along the same lines. It reads: “A rabbi performing his duties.”
This indicates the need for each of us to take steps to preserve the important traditions of wisdom and love we are each connected to, during this time of unprecedented global transformation.
“One of the common consequences of the fall of civilizations is that cultures get shredded, and many things of value that aren’t needed for immediate survival get lost,” explains John Michael Greer in this week’s Archdruid Report. “Arts, crafts, music, literature, sciences, technologies, religious and philosophical traditions – none of them are invulnerable. When they make it through the dark age that follows the breakdown of a civilization, nearly always it’s because someone cared enough to keep them going as living traditions. Between the immense cultural legacies of our present civilization, and the extreme vulnerability of most of those legacies to the effects of decline and fall, such people will be desperately needed in the years to come.”
“Choosing what you will save is easier than it might seem,” says Greer. “Sort through the cultural legacies that matter to you, then, until you can find something that satisfies two criteria: first, the idea that people in the future might have to do without it forever should be intolerable to you; second, you should be willing and able to do something significant to keep that from happening. What you do will depend on what you’re trying to save; the steps you’ll need to take to help keep amateur radio going will not be the same as those you’ll need to help preserve the Appalachian dulcimer and its distinctive music for the long term, and vice versa. Make your choice, and be ready to share what you’re doing with others who share your passion.”
“These are first steps, of course, and for some people they will doubtless be baby steps, though it’s by no means a given that they will always be,” Greer adds. “Any one of them done thoroughly will give you a significant advantage in facing the difficult future ahead of us. Other changes will follow in their own time, chosen willingly or imposed by events; the sooner you begin to deal with the need to embrace the necessary, to change your life, the less overwhelming the changes further on are likely to be. As another German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, said: ‘Whatever you can do, or believe you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and magic and power in it. Begin it now.’”
This is a very auspicious moment indeed for our meditation practice. Now is the time to celebrate the subordination of the ego in favor of the Higher Self. Now is the time to demonstrate our willed intent to connect with the Higher Self, Christ Consciousness, through meditation, prayer, ceremony and ritual. Now is the time to surrender and allow ourselves to be guided on the path of Spirit.
On Good Friday, as he hung dying on the cross of wood, Jesus the Christ attained a world-altering spiritual victory over the personal ego which opened for all of us a doorway to the Way, the Truth and Eternal Life.
The Hanged Man, that most daunting Tarot Trump, number 12, symbolizes the difficult process of re-orienting the life force from subservience to the egoistic personality to the service of the Higher Self, The Unity of the Web of Life, and the Universal Source of Creation.
This re-orientation is the goal of all spiritual practices, both East and West. Seekers have used techniques such as meditation, fasting, prayer, ceremonial magic, vision quest, and even martyrdom to subordinate the ego, purge the Self of the mind’s illusion of separation, and attain the unity consciousness that is the fruit of this Great Sacrifice.
The Hanged Man also depicts the crucifixion of the body. This is the card of surrender, the card of death by water.
Those who were crucified normally died a long, slow death from suffocation brought about by the collapse of lungs filling with water, as they found themselves unable to maintain an erect posture, sinking down with fatigue, increasingly unable to breathe.
Symbolically, it was through being filled with the element of water, which represents the emotional power of compassion manifest as unconditional love, that the ego of Jesus died on Good Friday.
Tarot Trump 13, called Death, refers both to physical death and to the death of the egoistic personality, which is an illusory death. For the personality remains after this death, but it is stripped of the illusion of control. The aspirant no longer lives to satisfy individual material desires at the expense of others, or without thought for the consequences of actions upon the larger Web of Life that comprises the great Karmic Wheel of Existence figured in Tarot Trump 10, The Wheel of Fortune.
This is the death by water that is the culmination of the spiritual exercise pictured in Trump 12, the Hanged Man. As at the moment of physical death, the ego is submerged completely in the collective consciousness of humanity and the evolutionary record of all sentient beings incarnating over time on planet Earth.
This is the true baptism of water, and this baptism leads to new life, to a true rebirth of the spirit, the flesh and the soul.
The death of the ego is long and slow, and our ability to remain constant during this process of suffering and ego-death is made possible only by a constant renewal of faith. Yet as Jesus the Christ experienced on his cross of wood, every aspirant reaches a point where he or she will cry “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
Each aspirant must rest assured that despite all feelings of despair and loss, the process is only purging us of the illusion of the separate self, the illusion that the egoistic personality is in control of our lives. Jesus the Christ remained Self-aware on the cross, in a spirit of total surrender.
In our spiritual practice, whatever it may be, we must also surrender to Universal forces far beyond the control of the egoistic mind, in a spirit of love, with a sincere desire that our sacrifice be offered for the salvation of the Whole, and thus we will achieve a great spiritual victory.
This rebirth, the Resurrection of Christ, is figured in Tarot Trump 14, Art or Temperance. In this card, an angel is pictured, balancing two cups with water flowing between them, or overshadowing lesser figures of the Divine Lovers in the background. This angel is the Higher Self, and the new life is a life lived in accordance with the dictates of the Higher Self.
Suddenly the aspirant discovers a new, vast creativity operating through him or through her, leading and directing the aspirant’s life in new directions. Through a series of miraculous synchronicities and felicitous encounters, this powerful force elicits flashes of loving wisdom, triggers acts of compassionate service, and fosters a continuous consciousness of the Unity that underlies the apparent dualities of material creation in this Universe.
Art or Temperance represents the infusion of spiritual energies of love and light into the material world, and their expression in acts of creativity, compassion and service that unify matter and spirit and bring to fruition the evolution of human consciousness in Self-directed acknowledgement of our true, angelic nature. In this initiation, the aspirant transcends rational humanity even as rational humanity transcended the existence of the Ape, and becomes primarily a spiritual creature living simultaneously in the two worlds, harmonizing them both through every thought, word and deed.
After his death, and a descent into the underworld, Jesus Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene on Easter Sunday in his immortal, etheric body. At the moment of his Death, Christ had unified his own Body of Light with the etheric body of the planet, permanently infusing the energy of transcendent Self into the Earth’s aura, according to clairvoyant and spiritual teacher Rudolf Steiner.
Thus the Resurrection of Christ, which we celebrate this Easter Sunday, is the Feast of the appearance of the Immortal Light Body of Christ walking upon the Earth.
Subsequent to this great spiritual victory of Jesus the Christ, on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the energy of Christ Consciousness is accessible to all aspirants through meditation upon the beautiful forms of nature, through immersion in the elements of nature, through communion with the sky, the sea, the rivers, mountains, trees, and flowers.
Sit quietly in your garden, walk slowly and thoughtfully through a park, meditate in a forest or by a running stream, and speak directly to Christ. Say his name, give thanks for his Blessing upon the Earth, and give thanks to the Earth for nurturing the spiritual evolution of human beings, and your own personal evolution.
Whether or not you are a Christian, if you have faith, if you quiet your mind, and if your intent is pure, you can hear Christ speaking directly to you, and experience a moment of Unity with the Risen Christ impulse.
Ask and it shall be made known to you, make a request and it shall be granted to you, open your heart and the chains of ego will fall away. Ask for your freedom and you shall be freed. This is Christ’s Easter promise.
If you would like to know more about the Mysteries of the Tarot, you can find much of this week’s Easter material and much, much more in my article Tarot, the Yoga of the West, which discusses the spiritual significance of all Twenty-One Trumps.
Jane and I offer you our blessings this Easter Festival weekend and we ask that your Guides and Teachers and the Cosmic Christ grant you the will to seek accelerated spiritual development during these times of vastly accelerated global change. We ask further that you be given the grace and guidance you need to be of maximum service in the world, and to fulfill your loftiest spiritual goals!
Meditation Moment: What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?
As I walk through
I ask myself
And each time I feel like this inside,
And as I walked on
'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
So where are the strong?
'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.