“The zodiac is the horoscope of the Earth. All the details of our collective and individual journeys are contained in its twelve sacred symbols. This is the gift provided to humanity to serve as an anchor as we move across turbulent waters to reach the shores of the new world of Unity and Truth. In The Magical Carousel, the new myth for the new age, the corresponding attributes of the Diti/Aditi axis… are clearly explained.’’ (‘Contours of a Binary Creation’, Thea’s Messages, www.aeoncentre.com, May 2015).
In this key we explore The Magical Carousel as ’the new myth for the new age’. It all starts with the Mother saying to her disciple:
“…But were I ever to write a book on Sri Aurobindo, that’s the book I would write, something like a fairy tale… just imagine…you see life, you see how it is, you are used to this sort of existence; and its dreary and it’s sad… well behind it all there is a fairy tale. Something in the making, something that’s going to be beautiful, beautiful, inexpressibly beautiful. And we shall take part in it…
“And with pictures, mon petit! Pictures of all the outer activities like a movie…a lovely magazine full of pictures. This seems to me the only thing that could really be said, because that’s all that can be seen. So you show all this, saying: ’Yes…but someone is trying to do something with all this. Look behind it, look at the lovely image, the lovely story behind…’
“And he was trying to draw that story down to earth, and it is sure to come. And if you like, you too can help make that story come down to earth… What I see is almost a children’s book, for a whole generation aged ten to eighteen, thousands of children…with lovely pictures.
“Just imagine yourself talking to children and telling them the most beautiful story in the world. And it’s true! It is the most beautiful fairy tale in the world. There’s none more beautiful.
“I am going to tell you the most beautiful story in the world…”. (The Mother’s Agenda, III, (29 May,1962) Institute de Recherches Evolutives, Paris and Mira Aditi, Mysore, 1979, pp 170-174)
Students of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother know that the lovely image, the lovely story behind it all that is being drawn down to earth, (from the quote above)refers to the yoga undertaken by them to bring the supramental Truth Consciousness into the physical Earth plane. This is why they took birth. The place where this most beautiful story in the world unfolds, where the transformation of mental to supramental man takes place, is here, on our own planet, not after death in a heaven beyond or a state afterlife.
The yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother was successful: on 29 February, 1956 The Mother gathered a group of ashramites together in the playground and told them ‘’The Time has Come’’ – the descent of Supermind had taken place.
At that time, not all the characters were in place for the full story to be told. The Mother planted the seeds but it was not until March of 1970 that Thea, Third in the Solar Line(see EndNote 1) was flooded with inspiration to write a book on astrology – as she says, of a totally new order. She was living in Rome and drawing up horoscopes of famous and sundry people. But she knew there was something far more important about the zodiac than simply a tool for prediction. She saw each sign as part of a connected story – a script that had been in the heavens since the beginning of time; viewed together in one grand circle they described a cosmic journey in 12 stages. The story she envisioned would be a way to introduce young people to the wisdom which has been known through the ages as ‘the perennial knowledge’ or in India, as the Sanatana Dharma.
Describing her creative experiences, she wrote “Images began to take shape before my mind’s eye of a fantastic journey through the zodiac. The vision I had developed of the zodiac in my first book was now to be presented to children in allegorical form, where all the symbolic meanings of the signs would be personified in figures in a land of fable in the manner of a fairy tale. I was totally overtaken by this flood of inspiration which took hold of me … the story was as if projected on a screen in my forehead betweenmy eyebrows. All I had to do was to follow this projection and record what I saw…I was constantly under the impression that I was receiving this work from ‘someone’, some plane other than the human, something above and beyond myself. I was merely a tool, an instrument used at that particular moment… never had I experienced such a joy in creating…”. (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea), The Tenth Day of Victory, Vol.1, Aeon Books, 2003, p27)
The details of taking the book in 1971 to The Mother of Pondicherry India (to ‘the place of its origin’) and its publication on 18 February, 1973 – three days before the Mother’s 95th Birthday – is described by Thea in volume 1 of The Tenth Day of Victory. During this same time she was teaching in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and she referred to her classes on astrology as the study of cosmic harmonies because of the combination of both number power and the script of the zodiac (TMC) in her teaching. By that time Thea writes that she was convinced she could not get to the core of the wisdom of the zodiac without also embracing a study of number: “I saw the 9 as matter… I saw the 0 as spirit. But my seeing allowed me to realize the unity of the two and this was what so revolutionised my consciousness and later provided me with an entirely new basis on which to build a new cosmological synthesis.”(Ibid, p 208). The outcome of these revelations emerged as The Gnostic Circle.(see‘The Gnostic Circle’, ACC Keys of Gnosis)
FOLLOW THE SUN
It was after Thea met The Mother that she began to realize the prophetic nature of all that she had written in 1970, prior to coming to Pondicherry. In fact the book is her own biography beginning in 1956, her 18th year. Told in allegorical form, it is the story of the unveiling of her soul, her purpose for being on earth.Thea, third person in the Solar Line or the daughter principle, is Val; Pom-pom is the 4th member of the Solar line/the son. (see End Notes2)
The Prologue sets the stage:it is the twenty-first day of March, beginning of the new cosmic year, and two young children are on route to visit their grandparents – living on Saturn – in a rocketship named Fritz. On the ninth day of the journey mayhem on board allows Fritz to take over the controls and following his dream he changes course and heads toward the Sun
No longer afraid, and out of the space ship, they hear a voice (as if coming from within themselves): “Welcome (to Zodiacland)! I am deeply honoured to welcome you and to have been chosen for this special occasion… You are about to begin a journey grander than any Earth being has ever known, and on this journey you will discover for yourselves what this land is. Many believe it to be imaginary, but it isvery real… there is just one thing you must remember: follow the Sun as it leaves each land and stay not a day longer, for it is the Sun who gives you your light and it is he you must follow.”
“And down a long passage they go; with a little door ahead of them. Lying at their feet they find a ring of twelve keys, three large ones and nine smaller, each with a symbol and number on it.
“They walk toward the door with the number 1 on it, use their first key and enter Ariesland.
The light of the Sun is the central figure of the story and just as the earth continuously turns to face the sun through its annual revolution the children must keep moving if they are to obey the admonition,‘follow the sun’. As one could expect, there were big hurdles to surpass: Malamulapaga, the enormous and lovable queen of Taurusland wants to put the kids into her favorite cage to admire them.They have to be thoroughly scrubbed in Virgoland before they can go on; they are under Hyala’s spell in Scorpioland and almost forget to leave. And the Centaur refuses to budge from Sagittariusland without his arrows. There is always some kind of inertia threatening their exit-entry to each land!
Val, the older child, seems particularly alert about getting out on time and what could happen if the light goes out. O dear, what to do, where to go. Their time in Leoland is almost up and the lion and the king are madly chasing them. They jump into a chimney stack and plunge down and down and down, into the bowels of the earth. The keys, find the keys, it’s a new land, we’re here. Where? Virgoland, of course. (see End Note 3).With a kind of innocent excitement the children charm (and often outwit)their hosts and helpers in each land and are given the necessary aid along the way to complete the journey.
COSMIC MIDDAY: THE LAST QUARTER
The last three keys are larger than the others, and indicate the special quality of this stage of the journey.(see End Note 4). As they are about to depart Sagittariusland Professor Heropidus Heronimus whispers to them: ‘’You are about to discover the last three realms, the regions very few consciously reach…good bye, my little ones. They gallop off at great speed, crossing the violet and fuschia coloured land, for the Centaur makes every effort to fulfil his mission properly and to bring the children to their destination on time. He travels so swiftly they seem to go even faster than sound and light and at a certain moment the very space round them disappears, they are almost unaware of moving at all and seem to have entered a point right within themselves.’’(Ibid, p. 102)
‘’A woman sits before them. She is clothed in robes that blend in colour with the mountain, In fact she herself appears to be a continuation of the mountain itself. Her face is not old but rather ancient, And her half closed eyes reveal an understanding that is of the nature of the mountain over which she presides.Omanisol is cloaked in an aura of serenity and strength,of timelessness and intensity, which become a part of the children merely by being in her presence. (Ibid, p. 112)
Omanisol of the mountains in Capricorn land (the 10th sign of the zodiac) has a very different level of consciousness than the Queen of Night in Cancer land, her opposite on the zodiacal wheel. Like the possessive Mother she is, the Queen flatters and entertains the children endlessly in hopes of diverting their departure(‘Little ones, you must tell us of all the adventures you have been through.But remember, here in Cancerland you have found a mother and I shall take care of you always, as if you were one of my own. Poor Val/Pom-pom you must be afraid no longer…”, Ibid, p38).
Here in this early fourth stage of the journey, the focus is on development of the ego, a necessary protection in the evolution of the human being. The giggling girls of Cancerland are centered on the small and personal aspects of life with no real identification with the universal principles of existence. In theCommentaries, Thea writes that the ego protects by separating and isolating us from one another, whereas in Capricorn, a much later stage in development, the protection is different. Omanisol initiates the children into“the most profound secrets of her being…
“. . . (She) forges in their consciousness the elements that serve as their protection. The knowledge they acquire in the process of initiation is the power that protects the children… reflective of the conversion of mass into energy for higher knowledge is a material substance and in the human consciousness the transmutation brought about in this process of initiation results in a power… no harm can come to them because all the elements in creation, even those that would be harmful, are part of Omanisol herself.”
And when this initiation is complete Val and Pom-pom are thrown into the middle of a furious tornado which is whipping about at a tremendous speed and producing earth shattering sound. In the words of the author, Omanisol throws the children right into the ’very drive of evolution’, for there are two more lands to go and they must be prepared for the momentous task ahead.
THE MAGICAL CAROUSEL: THE NEW MYTH FOR THE NEW AGE
“But shortly after coming to the Mother I discovered that TMC was actually a prophetic autobiography. And why shouldn’t it be so: it is the contemporary myth of the Supramental Manifestation – written from below, as it were. We have Savitri of course, but that arose in the Old Creation – that is, on the other side of the borderline between the Old and the New. When it was crossed as the Third entered active yoga, everything had to arise from this side, into the New Creation proper. Therefore TMC is not based on older myths, as Savitri was; it arises in the new creation and voices the Soul’s aspiration and light where it stands today;it answers those questions or conditions which we encounter today.”
‘The New Myth of the New Age – The Magical Carousel’, June 2015)
Characters in myth are usually larger than life and those in Ariesland – the first stop on the zodiacal path – are no exception. Great Hunter with his fiery eyes and the impulsive bashing Ram symbolise the first stages or stirrings of consciousness. Hunter’s distress at losing his way results in a flood of tears putting out the light; they can no longer see; they lose their way – and their hope. After a long period of pondering what to do, Val and Pom-pom jump in, take up the reins and the movement continues.Thea explains that this action of the children, the descent of the Transcendent Divine into time, is an act of supreme love, by which the Creator not only ensures that the journey continues, but instills it with a sense of harmony and purpose:
“…The children are necessary elements in the manifestation,because of their individualised souls which receive the charge from the ‘Driver of the chariot’, the Supreme Consciousness, and they guide the carriage forward in discovery of the path of evolution, of the Eye that Sees. They take up the reins and spontaneously, effortlessly break open the next dimension of evolutionary being. In this manner they have the first intimation of their purpose in creation, their purpose for existence”(The Magical Carousel, Commentaries, Ibid, pp 7-8).
So many themes emerge as we examine The Magical Carousel. It is a path breaking myth, a warrior myth and an initiation myth, and certainly a creation myth for the new age. In the beginning there is fire, water, wilderness, an endless landscape of unknown. There is no God separate in his Heaven, nor a hell or the usual references to morality (good, bad, sin or virtue) and spirituality (redemption). Instead the Divine presence comes from within the children; they are the necessary ingredients for evolution to continue. Here, myth is much more than a story; it becomes a sacred tale giving us a new way to explain our relationship with the Divine, and to understand the purpose of the Earth. The Zodiac is a living being; each of the signs is a different aspect of the Divine in evolution and it is the source of all myth. (See End Note 7).
Val and Pom-pom are part of the New Creation – their journey to Saturn is dramatically interrupted as rocketship Fritz heads directly to the Sun. In esoteric circles of ancient times Saturn was the end of the journey (see End Note 4). Three more planets have been discovered – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. So in some sense, this new myth will most likely appeal to students and seekers who are of this new creation either in spirit or age. It comes to us with its own language, its own science and tools for seeing and measuring.
The 9th Age is the critical turning point in the evolutionary scheme; the leap from mental to supramental transformation in the human species takes place here on this third planet from the Sun. And it is here, during this 9th manifestation, Thea recently communicated via the ACC Forum, that the ‘’riddle must be solved’’, that the void in the centre of the human being must be filled. For over 2000 years, during the Age of Pisces (234 BCE – 1926 ACE), the earth was abandoned; the goal of most spiritual quests was union with the Divine in an afterlife in heaven, elsewhere. Thea calls this the great escape: all our energies are/were directed away from the planet. With the coming of the evolutionary avatars of this Manifestation, the goal of the quest is reversed – the full twelve stages of the evolutionary journey takes place here, on Earth.
The myth of The Magical Carousel is the universal journey of all people who seek to fulfill their divine potential.We can be the children swimming in the great cosmic sea(as in Piscesland); we can learn to centre ourselves in the point of the circle and see the whole of evolution – past, present and future.We can travel consciously through the last three lands/signs and learn to stand under the midday sun without faltering. In summary, we can begin to see as the Divine would see. This is the joy of both The Magical Carousel and The Gnostic Circle: through the key of time, we can see the unfolding of the Divine in evolution and find our place. And as our own initiation deepens and progresses, we can offer ourselves, our services to this new creation evolving on Earth.
And last but not least – Consider the myths that have influenced your life; the myths that have influenced this culture over the last centuries. What will it be like when a whole generation of children, of adults, emerges from living the new myth of this 9th Manifestation?
1 The Mother made it clear how she viewed the evolutionary avataric descent when she talked with her disciple on 24 May 1962: “I don’t think any single individual on earth (as it is now) no matter how great he may be, no matter how eternal his consciousness and origin, can all by himself change and realize…change the world, change the creation as it is and realize that higher Truth, the Truth that will be a new world…In other words, no matter how great he may be, no matter how conscious, how powerful, ONE avatar all alone cannot realize the supramental life on earth. Either a group in time, a number of individuals staggered over a certain period of time or a group spread out over a certain space – or maybe both – is indispensable for this Realization. I am convinced of it.”
The individual can give the initial impulse, point out the path, WALK the path himself (I mean show the path by realizing it)… but he can’t bring the work to fulfillment. The fulfillment of the work depends on certain collective laws that are the expression of a particular aspect of the Eternal and Infinite – naturally, it’s all one and the same being! There aren’t different individuals and personalities, it’s all one and the same Being. But the same Being expressing itself in a particular way that for us translates as a group or a collectivity.” <em>The Mother’s Agenda, III, (24 May, 1962),Institute de Recherches Evolutives, Paris and Mira Aditi, Mysore, 1979, p. 158.
2 “The Solar Line, or the Line of Supramental Avatars, is known and recognized by the fact that the birth and lives of these Incarnations bear a most unique relationship with Time… Because of this these beings are able to act as a force of unification on Earth. But this is not enough. Such a relationship with the Time-Spirit allows the Solar Line to join the evolution on Earth to the higher laws that govern the entire Cosmic Manifestation. It must be understood that such Incarnations do not develop into what they are after birth. They are that eternally, and their births on Earth at specific moments in Time, are, in fact, for the purpose of accelerating the evolution of the involved truth-consciousness seed…
But the avatar, or to be more specific, the ‘evolutionary avatar’ – as Rama and Krishna were – appears on Earth only at intervals of approximately 6000 years. This line of Evolutionary avatars is the same as the Puranic Line of Ten avatars, the last of which is Kalki. However, as we have stated in other work – the avatars are nine because the tenth is the ninth returned. Moreover, the 9th is accompanied by two others who in terms of numbers are the 6 and 3, because there can be no 9 without the powers of 6 and 3 to grant that stability; and these three united become the supramental avataric womb that allows for the birth of the 10th, or the 1, from this very womb, for the last is the first reborn. The 10 is the same 9 who once having appeared as the Father Transcendent, returns as the Son-Conqueror, the 10th avatar: Kalki. (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet ,The New Way, Vol 1, Aeon Books, 1981, pp 122-3).
3 At the end of The Magical Carousel a short synopsis of each astrological sign is presented along with its esoteric meanings. In the summary titled ‘Virgo – Ch. VI’, Thea writes that Virgo is an Earth sign, feminine and of mutable energy quality. It completes the first half of the wheel…(The Magical Carousel, Ibid, pp 137-8)
4 Aries, on 21-22 March, opens the zodiacal year, it is the first sign of the triad, called Cosmic Sunrise, comprising Aries, Taurus and Gemini. And it is to our annual revolution round the Sun that The Magical Carousel pays homage: ‘’…the Vedic year-long sacrifice is a reality of the remote past as well as of today, because the year is today the same as yesterday, the same as the cosmic year of The Magical Carousel, divided into four periods: Cosmic Sunrise, Cosmic Midnight, Cosmic Sunset and Cosmic Midday. The latter is the Aryan’s ‘northern’ or ‘uppermost’ home because it is the region of swar where immortality is secured. And this victory is open to all.“ (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Magical Carousel Commentaries, Ibid, viii).
5 Read more about this in The Gnostic Circle, Ch. 12: The New Planets, the Significance of their Discovery and the Calendar years.
6 From the article in The Vishaal Newsletter,(vol 4, no 5,December 1989, p. 10), Thea writes about her memories of the carousel:
“ I, for one, hold no other memory from childhood closer to my heart, till today tinged with a psychic sweetness, than that of the merry-go-round or the carousel, which gave us so much delight as children as we sat perched atop those utterly magical carved horses of such fine craftsmanship and invention. There is a distinct soul element in those memories, for indeed the Carousel is a cosmic design, thoroughly faithful to the symbol and the cosmic truth. We see this in the movement of the horses, as well as the entire Carousel itself, and we realize that the carousels of our youth provided us in every ride with the lived experience of the cosmic harmony,of the truth of the Earth’s being in space and in this planetary Kingdom of the Sun.
The carousel horse, like the Earth in her 24-hour day, turns on its axis; at the same time, it moves up and down or tilts, making us recall the movement like a spinning top which the Earth makes in order to trace the precession of the equinoxes’25,920-year round; and then the horse/Earth moves around the carousel’s central axis, as the year of 365 days is marked. All the planetary harmonies are incorporated in the simple invention of the Carousel. And all of us, at one time or another, have experienced this simple, graceful truth of cosmic harmony. Like the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of thousands of years ago, which described the cosmic truth in the symbol/figure of a Horse, so too the creator of our childhood carousel remained faithful to the symbol and gave us this magical mount whose essence is the universal expanse, ever in movement, ever tracing the lines ofthis exquisite Harmony.”
7 A quote from the Aeon Centre of Cosmology Forum on the theme of The Magical Carousel, written by Lori Tompkins explains this well:
“Thea writes that we entered the Age of Mitra/Aquarius in 1926. It makes much sense to me that the ‘new myth’ of this age would simply be a fully un-veiled account of the Zodiacal journey as a whole … not broken into bits and parts. When is the last time anyone has understood and presented the Zodiac in this way? For many many ages, all that was understood of the Zodiac and its symbols has been pieces and parts, aspects and angles … fragments of its whole body of gnosis. Mythologies and symbols of the past have thus arrived at our doorstep ‘unassembled’, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. In Mitra’s Age, the Age of Unity Consciousness, the MYTH must be made not only whole, but it must be revealed as the central (FIXED) pillar of our individual and collective movements. It must be revealed as the central hub from which one can see, understand, appreciate and embody the Supramental Consciousness-Force as it manifests on Earth. There is no other vantage point (fixed pillar) that opens up this view and experience of the New Age. “(‘The Magical Carousel’, ACC Forum, May 2015).
Aeon Centre of Cosmology