Author Archives: Lori Tompkins

The Gnostic Circle


“The Gnostic Circle is the most effective method for understanding the transformation of human consciousness. It represents a vision of wholeness and has only one objective: it deals with the soul or seed of the divine in each created thing and reveals the process by which that seed is made to flower in its process of becoming.” – Thea

Thea first introduced this key or tool of Supramental Gnosis in her 1975 book, The Gnostic Circle – A Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos. This key offers the means by which an individual can center him or herself in Time, within the circumstances of both Individual and Collective evolution, and thereby develop an Integral and Supramental vision of the whole. The Gnostic Circle presents the unity-vision of the Vedic Rishis in which the division of the Earth’s 360° year into 12 months and our 0/9 number system/enneagram are seen to function simultaneously rather than as separate systems of measure and knowledge. With this simple vision of the oneness of the zodiac and enneagram, the Gnostic Circle invites viewers to consider how they can begin to outgrow the fragmented consciousness that is the foundation of our current civilisation. The image of the Gnostic Circle presents the supramental or solar consciousness by which all divisions of the circle and all divisions proper to the process of the creation of life, are eternally One.

Using this key, students can begin to restore in themselves and in the world, the eternal gnosis and unity consciousness that underlies many of the world’s ancient sacred texts. It functions in terms of the all-pervasive unity of creation and hence in terms of the self-similarity, self-symmetry and quantum entanglement of micro and macro cycles of time of which the Vedic Rishi were well aware. Thus the 24 hour day, the 360 degree year, the 25,920 year Precession of the Equinoxes and larger cycles of time, can be known and seen as ordered fields of the soul (individual and collective).

In The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo wrote:

‘Time is the remaining aid needed for the effectivity of the process. Time presents itself to human effort as an enemy or a friend, as a resistance, a medium or an instrument. But always it is really the instrument of the soul.’ (The Synthesis of Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 23-24, p. 68)‘The timeless Infinite holds in itself, in its eternal truth of being, beyond this manifestation, all that it manifests in Time. Its time consciousness too is itself infinite and maintains in itself at once in a vision of totalities and of particularities, of mobile succession or moment sight and of total stabilising vision or abiding whole sight what appears to us as the past of things, their present and their future.’ (Ibid, p. 885)

It is here [in the transition from mind to supermind] that a change begins to take place in the time-consciousness and time-knowledge which finds its base and complete reality and significance only on the supramental levels. (Ibid, p. 904)

The Gnostic Circle shows students the truth of Sri Aurobindo’s vision in that they can apply it as an aid or key which helps to shift consciousness (however gradually) from mental towards the supramental. Those who apply this key to their own lives and to world affairs begin to directly experience the supramental consciousness-force that coordinates the whole of our activity, ushering us towards the higher levels of manifestation and self-expression.

In very simple terms, the Gnostic Circle helps the user see and understand the evolutionary march or journey that we all share, regardless of however ignorant we are of this journey. As one learns to see the perfect order and harmony displayed in the smallest details of one’s existence, one begins to identify less with the ego and the mind, and more with the Supramental consciousness which has begun to emerge in our new day and age, just as the Mental consciousness once emerged from the Animal or Vital consciousness in our distant past.

How to Apply this Key of Gnosis

The application of this key for an individual is quite simple. The beginning or zero point of an individual’s life is birth, and from that zero point we journey in time and space. The Gnostic Circle can be used to map out and see the geometries and harmonies that emerge in 1 year cycles, 9 year cycles, 36 year cycles and 72 year cycles or, if one wishes to study larger collective evolutionary movements on our planet, the framework will be larger, such as 2,160 year astrological ages, the 25,920 year Precessional cycle and even vaster cycles of time. Usage of the Gnostic Circle is not limited to the birth of individuals. It can be used to understand the birth or emergence of anything … a country, a pivotal event, a discovery, a new endeavor, etc.

The birth date of the object of one’s study is placed at the zero point at the top of the circle and then, depending on what cycle of time one chooses to explore, we begin to map out pivotal dates according to the major divisions of the circle, identifying the dates associated with the cardinal points, the trinity, and the 12 months.

If looking at the Gnostic Circle in terms of the one year cycle, the outer circle (blue ring) is divided into 360° or segments and each degree represents a day. The last five days of the year are considered ‘out of the calendar’. The Zodiac or division of the year by 12 is seen in the midsection of the circle and each 30° segment is a month. The orange ring contains 36 segments of 10° each and these are decanates of the 12 signs of the zodiac. In the one year journey/cycle, each day we progress 1° of the circle (which in turn is a microcosm of the whole year as well as larger cycles of time, and of ALL TIME). Each 10 days we progress 10° or a decanate of one astrological sign. Each 30 days we progress one month or one astrological sign. Each 40 days we progress 1/9th of the year (corresponding to the 9 integers of the circle), each 90 days we progress a quarter of the year (i.e. a ’season’), and each 120 days we progress a third of the year.

It proves useful to map out and note the major geometries of one’s year, i.e. the dates associated with the cardinal points, the triangular points, the 12 months and the 9 integers. Using this map of one’s year, one can begin to see interesting patterns that arise concerning important events and people in one’s life which point towards a Supramental organisation of life rather than a senseless, random and chaotic creation.

The 9 year cycle tracks enneads of time. When applying this time frame to the Gnostic Circle, each degree is 9 days, each decanate is 90 days, each ‘month’ or sign is 9 months, each season or quarter of the circle is 2.25 years, and each corner of the triangle is 3 years.

In the 36 year cycle, each ennead is one season or quarter of the circle and corresponds sequentially to the phases of evolution on Earth: Physical, Vital(Animal), Mental, and Spiritual. In this cycle, each 12 years marks out the central triangle.

In order to fully understand how to navigate, apply and understand this key of Supramental Gnosis, it is necessary to read The Gnostic Circle and The Magical Carousel. These books are essential reading for those wishing to truly grasp the importance of time and its real measures by which we exist, grow and evolve. They will help students of Gnosis to realise that not only are we simultaneously Matter and Spirit, but that we are also Time as well as Timeless. For too long have we forgotten Time as an extension of our own being. The Vedic Rishis sung of the yoga or yajna by which one comes back to this realisation and hence to the portals of the unity consciousness which eludes our current mental-egoic consciousness, and the body and path of this yoga/yajna was the 360°, 12 month year. The Gnostic Circle if used correctly will reveal the eternal wisdom of the Rishis to be indeed eternal. This can be directly validated in one’s own experience and life laboratory. As individuals orient and centre themselves within their own personal Time on Earth and within ALL Time, they begin to shift from the mental towards the supramental consciousness and from the egoic to the universal self. One begins to shift from faith in a higher order and power of creation, to the direct experience of that higher order and power of creation.

Quotes regarding the Gnostic Circle

‘The Gnostic Circle is merely the combination of the zodiac – the occult circle which contains the knowledge of evolution – and the structural pattern of the solar system. The Circle of 12 is the zodiac, and the Circle of 9 is our actual solar system, each orbit representing one year of Earth life. The joint harmony of these two, superimposed or synthesised in one circle, is what constitutes our key to the evolution and flowering of the seed of the Spirit. In fact we can say that the Gnostic Circle is mainly for this purpose: it shows mankind the ultimate and ideal perfection that can be attained during this particular phase of the evolution, during this great transition point from animal-mental to the more divine mankind.’

– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet,
The Gnostic Circle, p. 159, 1975

‘The Gnostic Circle allows us to measure the progression of any event in time. And it provides the means of assessing an event’s relevance to time and place within a global and universal context. Above all, it permits us to appreciate the interconnectedness of events through a unified, spherical approach to Time. The Gnostic Circle is a yardstick which can be applied to any event and by which that event or object may be made to reveal its intrinsic nature and objective value. In ancient literature and tradition, such a tool was sometimes referred to as the Golden Rod, or the Philosopher’s Stone. Its value resided in the fact that because of its special relation to Time and Space, it could provide an objective means to assess the truth-conscious substance of any given situation or event or object. In a word, it could objectively reveal the element’s inner pulse and place within the greater harmony of life on Earth and within the solar system.’

– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

‘… it is our purpose here to speak of some of the essential reasons why the knowledge has been contained and transmitted in the zodiac and the structure of the solar system … Moreover, it is our intention to give as clear a picture as possible of the true purpose of astrology, and in which way it can be an asset in the development of the spirit….’

‘Cosmic harmonies give us the understanding of the movement of progression within the eternal. The art in its totality is transmitted so that man may have a clear vision of the process of evolution, and above all, of its ultimate goal for any particular Age…’.

‘… in order to understand this play, we must first realise that the ultimate aim of creation is to be an ever more direct manifestation of the upholding and underlying spirit.

‘The zodiac gives us a picture of this outer movement of evolution which has as its support the inherent spirit. It represents the aspect of the unique Energy in a state of movement, as opposed to the aspect of the unique Energy in a state of rest. The purest example of the former is Matter, and the purest example of the latter is Spirit. These two poles represent two aspects, apparently contradictory and opposite, of the One Unique Energy, working itself out into its fullest manifestation.’

Thea, The Gnostic Circle, Chapter 1,
‘Essential Purpose of the Study of Cosmic Harmonies’, p.3

Links to More Information on the Gnostic Circle

ENERGY! Crisis in the Middle East, or War in the New Way

 (The following text is a letter from Thea, dated 15.1.1991)

9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is they judgement come.

11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more…

16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, What city is like unto this great city!

19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. (Chapter 21)

The Revelation
taken from The Hidden Manna
Aeon Books, 1976

Your note was passed on questioning what astrology might reveal regarding the crisis the world faces, and whether I had written anything on the subject. No, I have not written anything specifically on the Iraqi situation, though for many months I have been featuring articles in VISHAAL which describe the process in cosmological terms – that is, the method to the madness within the framework of this applied cosmology. One of the earlier articles on this specific process was ‘Fission and Fusion’, which I think I gave you when you were here. (See, TVN, 4/2, June 1989)

At this point, what to say? You see, there is indeed a new world being born but to of dissolution or destruction as the method. The distinction is a fundamental part of the cosmological process. In fact, it is an ‘if’ already decided. It was a question mark up to the 1980s: destruction or dissolution.

In the former a lot of deadwood is eliminated but the operation is not centred. That is, it is not a part of an organic, organised process – a cosmos, quoi. At the same time there is an ACCELERATION OF TIME, as I call it. This means that these acts of destruction occur in a region of emptiness, so to speak, helter-skelter, here and there, stretched over time periods which may be long or short but which do not present any discernible connecting links. Time is not organised, not the ‘binding energy’ of the cosmos. Therefore we say that it is the ‘destroyer’ and not the creator – not an ally.

But in the 1980s a process was successfully undergone using precisely Time as multi-dimensional atmosphere gave it a privileged position. It was central. Indeed, it brought into being a centre.

The significance of such an occurrence is that events in the world are no longer disconnected. The interconnection of things, while true and irrefutable ever and always, entered into a decidedly new phase of expression: an acceleration in time and a containment of space. That is, a cosmos had come into being and all the events in the world on all levels formed a part of this cosmos. Things were DEFINED, put into their correct places. And it was rendered possible because this hidden ‘centre’ had emerged, – precisely the centre that was seen to be missing in Yeats’ apocalyptic vision.

So, the point is, the centre holds or began to hold on a global scale in the 1980s. This brought an entirely different equation about and the effects of this shift were discernible everywhere. However, on the surface the signals were confusing. To those ignorant of the process and its gains, while there were some obvious signs of a decisive shift there were others which seemed to indicate a worsening disintegration. This was ac companied worldwide by a sense of helplessness, as if the world were caught in a vortex, slipping down into some ominous Unknown; events were set in motions which no one seemed capable of analysing, much less of controlling. That phase of the process culminated at the very close of the decade of the 1980s.

I repeat nonetheless that there is a method to the madness, a process. It entails a shift from the tactic of destruction to that of dissolution. For a while, how long I cannot say just yet, the world must experience this painful situation. To all appearances it is no different than the old way. The casualties appear to be the same, the tolls no less severe and perhaps more than what we have experienced in past conflagrations and natural catastrophes. But this is not at all so. True, there continues to be war, death, bloodshed and human misery of all kinds. But what has to be understood is that this is the RESIDUE I referred to earlier. These are the trappings of the old order which is in the process of dying.

The question always asked of me is, How is the new to take its place centre stage when the ‘space’ is occupied by the old order and the play-out seems entirely in that court? You see, the point is that we are always dealing with ENERGY. This is something few can accept; and therefore only a very few can truly understand what is transpiring and participate in the establishment of the new order. Everyone is caught up in the periphery. According to the majority of human beings, that is solely where the real is found. And when we are dealing with war and devastation, it is very easy to lose sight of the energy level where the shifts actually occur which then may have a bearing on those externals. The horrors of the obvious are a very great distraction, so great that humanity has been imprisoned in these external dimensions for many thousands of years.

In terms of this APPLIED COSMOLOGY one cannot remain closeted in much deeper. One has to make contact with that Centre, or with the only dimension where we can come face to face with the Real. Only in that sacred ‘space’ can any true change be initiated. It is the space where change is born. But that ‘space’ is within the reach of anyone, anywhere in the world. However, I am not referring to a spiritual experience. It is something quite different, a THIRD thing beyond spirituality or science.

To return to the question, destruction or dissolution, in the latter there is a controlled dismantling. And Time is the agent in the process. The distinction is fundamental. Given the existence of a Centre now, it is entirely possible to predict the successful establishment of the new order. The ‘purpose’ or ‘seed’ of that order lies precisely in the centremost centre of the Centre! Therefore, knowing that this exists, one faces the future not with optimism but with CERTITUDE.

At the same time, one realises that the mechanism for the organic growth of that Seed to full maturity must be respected. To be precise, there are layers to be dealt with in the periphery of this ‘cosmos’. You see, when we are dealing with a collective, global order which perforce must be global at this stage of technological, scientific advance, then we mean that this order has to arise in that single Earth-field. But the field is overtaken by the old. This none can deny. So, where is the ‘space’ for the new? All the tools for reconstruction, for creating or bringing into being this new order are part and parcel of the old structure. What then are we to do?

The answer lies in this applied cosmology and the mechanism it reveals of purpose. The key is the control over happenings which appear to be destructive and appear to conform to the old senseless pattern, but in effect are quite different. The difference, I repeat, lies in a CENTRE which now exists because Time is the ally and creator and no longer the destroyer. Christian scripture hinted at this in The Revelation of St. John, Chapter 9, where the evil power is named Destroyer.

But what exactly is Time up to? The point is that ENERGY IS LOCKED IN Time. The Russian physicist, Nikolai Kozyrev, caught this point in his work with time as energy. Indeed, these peripheral sheaths enveloping the world consciousness are residues of energy. The field is one, so we intend to establish this new world order in that single field. But, pray tell, what are we to do when the space is already occupied by these sheaths, these layers of compacted energy? In other words, they have to be a part of the process in some way because of the oneness of the field. The order is to be established on earth, not in some subtle dimension or a heaven beyond or in some other galaxy. It is a practical problem and the solution is equally practical: the new makes use of the old, or rather, it makes use of the release of energy for the acceleration.

If Time contains that formidable reserve of energy which Kozyrev deduced would be more potent than any nuclear weapon in existence, how can we release it? And if it is not to be a repetition of the old way where new discoveries of energy sources served simply the old and the method of destruction, then what is the answer? More significantly, the turning point for the world, given the destructive power available, signals the end of our civilisation if it is put to use at this point. So, the end of the line was reached in this century: creation or destruction.

What occurred in the 1980s eliminated destruction as an ‘option and, what is more, it set on its way the new process, or the new power. That is, the emergence of a Centre, critically located in time and space, allowed for a release of the energy in those sheaths which would be the binding energy of the new cosmos and permit ACCELERATION of the process itself. Thus, what we see as destruction is merely dissolution of those layers and a global, controlled release of the compressed time-energy which constitutes this substance. In other words, in the 1980s a realignment was achieved (interestingly, it coincided with the rise of Gorbachev to power), a new AXIS came into being which shifted time, as it were. It created an entirely new equation whereby the Past was no longer a tomb.

I am using terms which appear symbolic or metaphoric. But this is not so. Please take this quite literally. The Past gives up its ‘dead’. That is, the realignment produces a harmonisation of Time whereby NO RESIDUE is captured by the ‘tomb’ (past), for it is the residue which creates crusts that resist pressure for change and therefore impose the old way of destruction upon the world: the pressure is exerted by the cosmic interaction of energies on these crusts, according to the evolutionary stage of a species and its civilisation, – that is, they undergo a hardening as ‘time moves on’ in the old way, without the new alignment, and turning points arrive in civilisation when this hardening can no longer be tolerated. An external symptom of the problem is the rise of fundamentalism, dogmatism, and a number of other isms – or also of cries of freedom, independence, and so forth. These are all responses to one thing: pressure exerted on the crusts.

Thus, when Time is the ally and no longer the destroyer, the Past ‘gives up its dead’, as The Revelation so wisely foretold in Chapter 20. This has been interpreted to mean the end of the world and the last judgement. But its real meaning is the above: no more old-time residue. What comes to an end is the old order. Indeed, the rise of the dead occurs but it is from the tomb of the past (referred to as ‘the sea’ in The Revelation) where this residue of energy has been accumulating and becoming an intolerable weight which can finally destroy the world.

However, when the cosmological process is known and its mechanism set in motion, then a controlled release of the energy in those layers (‘tombs’) MUST SERVE THE PURPOSES OF THE CENTRE because the shift has occurred, chaos has become cosmos. That is, for a time in the transitional phase, accompanying the release is a process of dissolution. I repeat, to the surface view these are no different from past acts of destruction. But to ‘one who sees’ it is an entirely different happening. The disintegration we witness and the minor and major events throughout the world which seem to confirm that the old is still entrenched and fully in command, are merely releases from those sheaths of ‘frozen time-energy’. The formula is precise and that energy then serves two purposes: to hasten the collapse or disintegration of the old and to accelerate the establishment of the new.

These happenings are recognisable by a particular time equation. There the earthquake in Armenia, then in California on 17 October 1989 at 5:04, as well as the collapse of the Berlin Wall, of communism, etc. And now the Iraqi crisis. The equation indicates the presence of the control, and, as you can see, it straddles many areas of existence and ideologies: right or left, black or white are not the issue. There is only one: CONTROL.

So you see, with this vision into the heart of things, it is not possible to vibrate to happenings in the old way, to get worked up, to interfere in the external dimension where the play-out of this release is being effectuated. One can only act upon these events in the Centre because that is where the course of events is determined.

The old creation is dying and in the process it is serving a noble purpose: accelerated rise of the New – a quicker pace. It is as if the old creation were something on the order of a compost pit wherein a rich manure is being concocted and which, when applied to the soil in the field, will accelerate growth of the new Time and Times – a new civilisation. It is not a question of indifference to human suffering; it is simply knowledge, and conservation of energy and its utilisation where and when it can have an impact in the Real.

As for the situation in the Middle East, I wish only to draw your attention to its unusual character. Has there ever been a process leading to war as measured and at the same time as exposed as this one? In the old way a key ingredient in conflicts has usually been surprise. This is entirely absent now. It is all hashed out in the open. But, more important, we witness a singular conglomeration of forces centred on one target. That is, in the higher vision, this is no LINEAR struggle, or a binary alignment. It is as if Iraq stood at the centre of a circle with a periphery moving in from all sides. This is indeed how it is in the more hidden dimension of the conflict. The colossal destructive power which constitutes a formidable aspect of the ‘residue’ is collected in a single field and the play-out (for the purpose of dissolution) is confined to that arena. A key feature, however, is the emptiness of the focus or the central target. This emptiness is determined by the absence of a ‘purpose’. Indeed, it is a circular operation but converging on a centre that is a void. Into that Void great chunks of the old sheath fall. The irrational behaviour we witness – that is, the obstinacy and self-destruct postures – can be understood when the instruments are seen as select, chosen tools to serve in the operation of a controlled, measured, concentration of energy collapsing into a void. In the process a ‘nectar’ is released, as Indian mythology describes in the churning of the great Ocean (of Time). This Nectar is indeed the release of Time.

Peace movements across the globe understandably cry: NO BLOOD FOR OIL. But the point is, How else to force a convergence of this sort? An element has to be used which will elicit this concerted response. It is not exactly a question of a perverse imbalance of priorities, a conflict for something so ignoble as oil. It is simply that oil is the tool to bring about this convergence, this collection in that great Middle-Eastern cauldron where the old must be made to give up its ghost/’dead’/energy.

And finally there is a most important feature in the affair: In this new cosmology ‘the symbol is the thing symbolised’. Thus, the process I am describing involves ENERGY. The Middle-Eastern conflict centres on ENERGY, from 1973 gaining momentum to the point where this energy issue seems to be causing a conflagration the likes of which may not be fully calculated. Yes, the symbol is the very thing symbolised, for the energy-symbol of the old and dying world is black gold. On the other hand, the ‘symbol’ of the energy released by the new Time is pure Gold, or the supramental Gnosis. India is where the latter is found. This too has been indicated in the Middle-Eastern scriptures: they speak of the location of the Tree of Life lying beyond the eastern gate of the Garden of Eden,

‘And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and live for ever;

‘Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

‘So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.’

                                                                        Genesis 3, 22-24

But this is only the beginning of the tale. The very last book of the New Testament, The Revelation, describes that Tree in its final Chapter. And it is the description of the zodiac, or the divine measure of the Year, the Divine Maya of the ancient Veda: Time’s sacred script and the revealer of its inscrutable processes:

‘And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

‘In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations.

‘And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

‘And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

‘And there shall be no more night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.’

The Revelation
Chapter 22, 1-5

15 January 1991

Aeon Centre of Cosmology

at Skambha


*   *

‘God drives us out of every Eden that we may
Be forced to travel through the desert to a

Diviner Paradise. If thou wonder why should

That parched and fierce transit be necessary,

Then art thou befooled by thy mind and hast

Not studied thy soul behind and its dim desires

And secret raptures.’

Sri Aurobindo
Thoughts and Aphorisms