Solstice, 21 June, 2022, IST
Entry of Earth into zodiacal Cancer (Adi), on 21 June, is considered ‘inauspicious’ in India, but in the light of the ancient knowledge, it is not. Rather, this is a special time in Earth’s annual journey around her sun in which our planet is the farthest away from the direct rays of the sun – ‘out on the edge of Time, the farthest reaches of the Southern rim’ (1) and (2). Thea calls this second quarter of the fourfold journey which Earth takes around her luminary, Cosmic Midnight.
Cosmic Midnight – ‘Cosmic Ignorance’
The annual revolution Earth takes around her Sun is balanced on four Cardinal Pillars. These unchanging landmarks, which herald the seasons of our year, provide stability on the journey and are deeply ingrained in our biological clocks. Thea describes the ‘cosmic year’ as divided into four periods of time, named according to Earth’s distance from and unique relationship to her luminary: Cosmic Dawn (Sunrise), Cosmic Midnight, Cosmic Sunset and Cosmic Midday.
The June Solstice (Cosmic Midnight – black in Calendar above) opens with the fourth sign of the zodiac, Cancer; it is the farthest extreme from the light of the Sun. Aphelion will be 4 July 2022. In the northern hemisphere; six months later, at the December Solstice (Cosmic Midday), which opens with the tenth zodiacal sign, Capricorn, earth is closest to the Light of the sun – perihelion will be 4 January, 2023 (see end note one).
The complimentary nature of the Earth’s entry into the months of Cancer and Capricorn was the focal point of the Vedic journey. Our ancient fathers called the southern orbital path which Earth traveled away from the rays of the sun, Dakshinayan. For them there was a correspondence between the Earth’s darkening of Light during the six months of Dakshinayan and the individual soul in transformation. As earth days began to get darker and grow shorter, so too the soul, that spark of the Divine within, was covered and hidden in darkness and ignorance. This time was not ‘inauspicious’ (3). Rather early civilisations considered this part of the journey as ‘gestational’, a time to prepare the soul to receive the full rays of sunlight, to be ‘fully born’ six months later in Uttarayan (opening with the 21 December Solstice, Cosmic Midday).
The Cancer (Cosmic Midnight) – Capricorn (Cosmic Midday) axis, as described above, is not just a cosmic earth alignment, it is also ‘a human alignment of consciousness’ (4). Thea explains that our consciousness or inner alignment can resemble either Cosmic Midnight, the darkness of the June Solstice at the southernmost reaches of the Sun, or the shadowless luminosity of the Sun at her December Solstice, Cosmic Midday:
‘It is simply a question of introducing a different alignment, one closer to the Capricorn midday position, and all that this signifies. In other words, a shift from the binary to the unitary system…’ (ibid, p. 31).
Thea’s cosmology of The New Way is fully concerned with this ‘shift’ from a binary to a unitary consciousness, with the evolution of consciousness from the mental to the next stage of development, the Supramental. It offers a vision of the new consciousness and the process by which this can come about here on Earth.
With our first breath our individual destiny (our life journey), begins to unfold. The soul plunges into material creation and takes on a physical, emotional and mental body. This soul is the spark of the spirit, referred to by the ancient seers as Agni, ‘psychic flame that is at the core of all material creation’ (5).
The process of growing into an individual is our first task because it is ‘through the human eye of consciousness the Creator is aware of his Creation, sees Himself, as it were’ (ibid, p. 141). But the descent of the soul into matter temporarily blinds ‘the Eye that Sees’ and we are immediately put into darkness. The soul that involves into material creation is hidden; as we grow (evolve) it is protected by the veils of our individual ego. For awhile it seems as if we forget the seed/soul, Agni, hidden within.
‘Cut off from the vast realm of the Divine’ (ibid, p. 156) we remain ignorant of our higher destiny on this Earth. In fact, we remain ignorant of the higher purpose of our planet herself. Involution of the soul into material creation is not a ‘fall from grace’, it does not make one sinful and in need of redemption; birth on earth begins a separation process to allow the ‘seed’ or soul to grow into a gnostic being, to unveil Agni evolving within.
As a result of this involutionary-evolutionary process, we become a ‘binary system’, explains Thea, with the two centres vying within us. The ego (the Cancer pole of the axis), which uses the body, emotions and mind, by its very nature feels and believes itself to be separate; it is limited in its outlook and in discord with its own being and all others.
The soul (the Capricorn pole), veiled and hidden, is the centre of our higher consciousness; it is the instrument which the Divine uses to unfold the Truth consciousness in our evolving world.
The birth of a higher consciousness is only now becoming possible on a collective level, Thea writes. At this stage of evolution, ‘most human beings do not, in fact, awaken from the slumber of Cancer… the world today is populated by a race that has not been fully born’(ibid, p. 159).
The ego-centricity which served well in the old creation keeps the human race in a binary system, in the ignorance of Cosmic Midnight, in the shadows of what it is to become (see end note two). We are destined to become a unitary centre: Cosmic Midday is the goal. It is attainable, but it is difficult: ‘the one recalcitrant knot’, Thea writes, ‘is that the human ego-centred being refuses to allow the divine Purpose to occupy, or be unveiled, as the true pivot of a new species and civilization’ (ibid).
Part Two: Unmasking the Cosmic Ignorance
The high spiritual realisation of the Vedic civilization went into decline as the ‘Vedic spirit’ came under attack; by the beginning of the Age of Pisces (234 BCE), a profound shift had occurred undermining the cosmic manifestation, driving the Vedic foundation underground. This could not fail to leave an imprint on the national psyche for a long time to come, Thea concluded: undeniably, over the past 2000 years, our Earth has been abandoned, her unique contribution to the Solar System ignored or rejected. She explains:
The separation between this world and that, this Earth and that Heaven beyond laid the basis for the rise and establishment of a secular divide. ‘This separation, this divide is what characterizes the Cosmic Ignorance.’ With the loss of our Earth and her cosmic harmonies, a void or sense of purposeless arose, which became filled with ‘the cosmic lie’ (6, bold added).
The idea that the human being is a separate person, isolated from the rest of the environment and no longer united and in harmony with its greater Self – is not only a falsehood, but is the source of all our ignorance and suffering in this world. The ‘cosmic lie’ is compounded by the denial or misunderstanding of the involutionary-evolutionary mechanism, which is the way in which the Truth-consciousness unfolds and finally expresses itself in higher forms of life on this Earth (ibid).
In 1926, with the opening of the Age of Aquarius, a turning point was reached (arrow: Thea’s Map of the Twelve Manifestations, left).
Sri Aurobindo took up the yoga of unmasking ‘the cosmic lie’ and doing the work of ‘rectification’.
That is, as the ‘evolutionary avatar’ of this 9th Manifestation (end note 3), he re-established the special purpose Earth occupies in our Solar System as the place where this transitional mental race will evolve into the Supramental. In his words:
‘The ascent of man into heaven is not the key…but rather the descent of the Spirit into his normal humanity and the transformation of his earthly nature. For that and not some post mortem salvation is the real new birth for which humanity awaits.’(7)
Sri Aurobindo’s ‘task’ was far more complex and all-encompassing than the yoga of those who came before him, Rama, the 7th Evolutionary Avatar and Sri Krishna, the 8th. In those earlier Manifestations, Thea reflects, there was no question of a ‘new birth’, (the Supramental); it was not until this 9th Manifestation (opening 234 BCE), that the ‘Time-spirit’ began to push humankind beyond the realm of Mind, and prepare for the spiritual transformation of the species (end note four).
The Mother of Pondicherry speaks of the complexity of this evolutionary process in a dialogue (8) with her disciples on 24 May 1962:
‘I do not think that a single individual (on the earth as it is now), however great he is, however eternal his consciousness and origin, can alone, by himself change and realise, – change the world, change the creation as it is and realise the Higher Truth that will be in a new world, a world more true, if not absolutely true…
That is to say, however great, however conscious, however powerful ONE Avatar may be, he cannot, all alone realise the supramental life on Earth. It is either a group in time, arranged in a line in time, or a group spread over space – or both – that are indispensable for this realisation. I am convinced of it.’
It was not the Mother’s task to define the yoga of this ‘line in time’ that would establish the higher realization of the Supramental on our Earth; rather it was for Thea to minutely record for humanity the four stage descent of Supermind, and the particular yoga of each member of what she called the Solar Line (9)
Thea refers to Sri Aurobindo by the number power of 9, the Transcendent Divine. It was imperative that his yoga reverse the direction of traditional paths of spirituality: to reach an experience of God, seekers turned away from this Earth to an otherworldly direction for salvation; their spiritual practices were based on visions and methods whose goal was to take them off this Earth, away from its suffering, and ultimately never to return again. As a result of these incomplete visions, our Earth has been ‘abandoned’; we see the results of this in the chaos and purposeless on all parts of the world. To reverse and counteract this great Undermining of our planet (ibid, p. 309), was the hard labour of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga.
The Mother is the Cosmic Divine, (the 6 number power), and the special yoga of the last 20 years of her life focused on the ‘body transformation’, that is, the Cosmic Body of our Earth. She brought an order to the cosmic planes by getting rid of the residues and the clutter left by all the incomplete systems of the past Ages (ibid, p. 311-12). The Mother drew down the vastness of the Transcendent Divine to the plane of the Supramental. When that descending Seed reached the plane of Earth, it was imperative that it ‘take birth here, root itself here’ and become part of the evolutionary consciousness of our planet.
Thea, the Individual Divine (the number power 3), completed the bridge: ‘a body was given to this Seed, thus respecting the biological, evolutionary laws of the planet…the Third Power materializing the Transcendent Father in the form of the Son with the collaboration of Time, – of the Earth, rooted in the Earth’ (ibid p. 313).
The 9th Avatar returned as the 10th in order to imprint the new evolutionary matrix into our Earth. His rebirth as the 4th member of the Solar Line assured that nothing can stand in the way of the new Supramental blueprint being fixed into the soil of our Earth. ‘The Om/Seed has to take birth on Earth’ (ibid).
‘… this is the true redemption of matter…’ (ibid, p. 319). This is the sublime purpose of our planet.
The science of human consciousness is in its very early stages, and in fact we know very little yet about the four broad planes of consciousness or the four stages of Cosmic Time which make up our yearly journey (10). It is only now that the fourth quarter is open and called the Supramental rather than spiritual (see graphic B above).
It is only now that Thea, third member of the Solar Line, can describe the details of this fourfold process of the Avataric descent which ‘fixed’ the seed (Agni) into the soil of our Earth, at the centre of each living thing.
It is only now that students (and seekers) ‘can and must make use of this knowledge to break through the barriers of ignorance and learn how to put the soul at the centre of their journey rather than fall back on the old and limited ways of the ego (11).
As a result of the yoga of the Solar Line, it is now that this mental species of humankind can evolve from the darkness and ignorance of Cosmic Midnight to the light and knowledge of Cosmic Midday. In Thea’s words:
‘The Solar Line’s primary objective has been to open the last quarter to the evolving species that until now has been limping along on three legs rather than four – that is, only now do we have all four (stages of consciousness) integrated to constitute wholeness and the stability of a complete process’ (12)
Our universe is ‘the womb of the Divine Mother’, she has within her ‘sons of both light and darkness’:
‘…she has luminous spheres of light, like the sun of our solar system, and she has ominous pools of darkness, the black holes science is now aware of… To discover the secrets of the material universe we inhabit is to know the Mother, for the cosmos is her consciousness-force at play and the galaxies and endless clusters of stars are but cells in her infinite body” (13).
Cosmic Midnight, (Cancer), shadow of Cosmic Midday (Capricorn), is a ‘gestational’ Time; it is the second quarter of Earth’s four-fold journey around her Sun – a time to prepare to receive a fuller light. The seeker must plunge into the core of his/her being and remove the veils that have covered the soul, the Sun of Truth Consciousness.
To be continued:
Cosmic Sunset – Equinox, 21 September, 2022
– The Gnostic Circle
End Note One
There are also other cosmic harmonies of note: In the northern hemisphere, on 21 June, 2022, earth’s tilt on her axis is such that the northern pole points toward the sun; it is the longest day of light, the start of the summer season in some parts of the world.
End Note Two
Just as each person is engaged in the process of discovery or unveiling the soul hidden within them, so too is our planet; i.e., Earth in this Solar System represents a particular potential and phase in the unfolding of the Divine Consciousness. Thea explains:
‘Earth is the centre not only of our Solar System, but of the whole universe; she stands at the centre of the circle of influences which form an original and unique combination that determine her destiny’. (The New Way, Volume 3, Chapter 16, ‘The Mother’s Temple, Our Guide’, p. 218).
It is this turbulence we now feel and experience in this 9th Manifestation as the whole earth actively lives the process of unveiling the soul of our Earth.
Earth has emerged from the 8th Manifestation, when a darkness enveloped our Earth, and she is poised to enter the 10th, the summit of Truth, but energies are needed for that evolutionary rise. Earth must accumulate power, just as the individual does, for her progressive evolution. Thea describes it thus: ‘She has her own yoga; she experiences the same acceleration.’ (ibid)
End Note Three
Thea differentiates the incarnations of Vishnu’s ‘Line of Ten’ from others whom we might call ‘avatars’ by calling them evolutionary avatars. She writes:
‘The Supreme Intelligence periodically sends beings to our planet to reveal certain keys to humanity, beings that live in a particular consciousness, with certain centres attuned or sensitive in a different way than the ordinary Earth being… they come from a realm that is close to the source of Light as messengers with a specific task.’ (The Gnostic Circle, 4th ed., Ch 5, ‘The Twelve Manifestations’, p 37)
These special appearances, coming every 6480 years, only during the four Ages of Preservation, are necessary for the evolutionary process; they do not start religious movements that would defeat the purpose of their coming. Each of the 12 Manifestations of the Earth reveals a greater aspect of the Divine Truth; the ‘evolutionary’ avatar shows the next step in the divine unfolding on Earth, ‘he is the seed of the movement’. (ibid, Ch. 6, ‘The Ninth Manifestation’, p 58)
Review Theme 2, Aeon Centre of Cosmology website: The Evolutionary Avatar – Backbone of the Sanatana Dharma, https://www.aeoncentre.com/theme-02-evolutionary-avatar-backbone-of-the-sanatana-dharma/
End Note Four
The image (of our ‘sacrifice’ or ‘self-giving’ to the Divine) is that of a ‘journey’ because one travels, ascends, and moves toward a goal. This is not an easy march; for long seasons it is a ‘fierce and relentless battle’ , writes Sri Aurobindo (Hymns to the Mystic Fire, SAA, Pondicherry,1946 p. 28).
The journey… is ‘a series of cosmic worlds… ordered states and ascending degrees in man’s consciousness from the mortal condition to the crowning immortality’ (ibid, p. 25).
‘The Godhead has built this universe in a complex system of worlds we find both within us and without… a rising tier of earths and heavens,…a stream of diverse waters, …a Light of seven rays, or of eight or nine or ten; it is a Hill of many plateaus… The seers often image it in a series of trios …’
— The Supreme Sat-Chit-Ananda – The Triple Divine Worlds
— The Link-world Supermind – The Truth, right, vast, manifested in Swar…
— The Triple Lower World – Mind, Life Force, Matter (ibid, pp. 22- 24)
- Review Part One of Earth Calendar 2022: Cosmic Dawn and Introduction: https://www.aeoncentre.com/the-earth-calendar-introduction-terms-definitions/
- Review Theme 12, One Journey – One Calendar, Aeon Centre of Cosmology Website: https://www.aeoncentre.com/theme-12-one-journey-one-calendar/
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. Guru Purnima, and other Cosmic Musings, 15 August, 2010
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 7, Number 4, October 1992
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Magical Carousel and Commentaries, 2nd Ed. , 2017, p. 159
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 8, no. 1, ‘Rise and Establishment of Separatism’, April, 1993, pp. 27 – 32.
- Sri Aurobindo, quoted in Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s Contribution to the Evolution of Consciousness, 15 August 2015
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 0, Number 3, February, 1986
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volume 3, 2005, Chapter 20, ‘The Birth That Fills the Void’, p. 313
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s Contribution to the Evolution of Consciousness, op cit
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volume 3, 2005, Ch.19, ‘Foundations of the Supramental Yoga: the Descent’, p. 293
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s Contribution to the Evolution of Consciousness, op cit
- The Magical Carousel & Commentaries, op cit. Chapter 10, ‘Capricorn’, pp. 235 – 236.
References: The Earth Calendar: Cosmic Midnight
Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s contribution to the evolution of consciousness on his 143rd birth anniversary, 15 August 2015
‘Some believe he (Sri Aurobindo) never stated he was an avatar. Well, if not him who then? Who else had even conceived of the supramental Truth-Consciousness? In his published Letters on Yoga, Section VII entitled ‘The Purpose of Avatarhood’, he explains not only avatarhood in general, but his own role, while clarifying many misgivings. And this draws me back to my seeing on August 11th. For the first time I really understood the imperative necessity of the Avatar heading the rest of his Line, and to bring about the conclusive victory all four stages have to have yogic representations with Earth time correspondences…’
‘…in order to dissolve the consciousness we call Vritra (covered in shadows), it is simply a question of introducing a different alignment, one closer to the Capricorn midday position, and all that this signifies. In other words, a shift from the binary to the unitary system. With this accomplished, Vritra dissolves simply because that off-centre condensation can no longer take place…’
‘…we are able to appreciate that something occurred right at the time I have pinpointed… This period was the time of Gautam the Buddha, as well as the rise of Jainism. But it was also the beginning of the Age of Pisces, or 234 BC. It is important to note for our study that this is considered to be the period, covering perhaps half a millennium…that the shift from the Earth-oriented measure of the solstice to the constellational sphere took place, in exclusion of all the rest. Thus, in the 6th century Varahamihira corrected the Hindu calendar, according to scholars, so that the precessional point would be more ‘accurate’.
(At that time) true and higher Knowledge … become the property of the Cosmic Ignorance – i.e., the undivine Maya, or the lower Prakriti divorced from Purush, or Form devoid of sense; and this ‘empty space’ is then usurped and becomes the habitat of the Cosmic Lie. This separation, this divide is what characterises the Cosmic Ignorance.’