Assembling A Cosmos

Season Three

Consider for a moment, assembling a piece of furniture from Ikea, which doesn’t really compare to building a cosmos, but when the pieces arrive, and once all the necessary connections are made, we might end up with something that looks like the picture on the front of the box. We might feel satisfied, even smug about the accomplishment. But such an assembly is NOT SYNTHESIS.

Synthesis doesn’t come about piecemeal. But still, we can’t seem to do anything other than puzzle the pieces together, fill in the gaps, and fashion a “thing” until it is serviceable. Sometimes to our own amazement we have something that “works.” Isn’t that the point? “Things that work?” What else is there to know? If we can sit on it! Sleep on it! Tuck things in the draws! Then we can put it to good use or even SELL it to make money. Yet, despite this functionality, one problem remains within our present understanding of how we assemble ‘things,’ which is that our minds conceive of the parts and pieces as separate, as unattached to the whole, because our understanding is fragmentary.

In considering building a cosmos, what comes to mind when surveying the popular approaches within the current zeitgeist is a driver who is looking for their car keys everywhere, except for the place where they left them. There is an old Zen kōan that sheds some light on this idea in a muse about where we might look for the “keys to the universe,” a humorous suggestion for your own “a-muse-meant,” that even the most enlightened seekers among us may still be groping in the dark.

Perhaps a quest in search of the “keys to the universe” is impractical in the face of a gigantic to-do list and bills to pay, and not the sort of activity that too many people can afford. The pressure of modern economic life we might say is all-consuming. Most of us are too busy with our lives to stop and consider what it is that swings the pendulum back and forth from relative calm to chaos, in the rise and fall of empires. But this is not true for Ray Dalio, an expert on money who recently published a new book called The Changing World Order. Some of life’s most vexing questions are discussed, at least from Ray’s perspective, as questions revolving around money and power, how to get it, how to make it grow, and how to keep it. Ray makes a big deal about his study of cycles over the last 500 years which takes us back to the renaissance. He identifies a pattern that reveals when and how the pendulum swings. But the time frame only covers the last decanate (750 years) of the previous age, merely 1/5th of the entire age (2,160 years). Mulling over the anticipated changes that lie ahead for the world, and only applying a small fraction of time to the historical analysis, has certainly served him, and his clients well over the years. Dalio has pieced together a system that “works” and has fully embrace a practical materiality, that under his rubric is explained in terms of cause and effect. His main argument is that a sense of cycles is important in the sense that cycles tend to repeat, and we can use this knowledge to anticipate change in order to better prepare ourselves. Sage advice.

He consulted many experts and parlayed various opinion from many fields into his work, and has produced an impressive array of studies on his economicprinciples.org site. The next big thing seems to be a contribution to the personal development (aka, self-help) space. Dalio’s latest project, PrinciplesYou makes available a state of the art personality tool that is free. This work seems to aim at the same star Ariana Huffington is shooting for with the launch of her new company called ThriveGlobal. The wellness and self-improvement business is going institutional, at the same time that inequality appears poised to reach new peaks, a trend that promises to get much worse before it gets better. Ray goes into all this in great detail, and soft sells a counter solution if you download his Principles: Life & Work for free, and sign up for the app, which guides readers through Ray’s mind shaping philosophy, complete with exercises and case studies. One question remains, however. Can Mr. Dalio’s wisdom help answer your personal questions? Is his philosophy broad enough, and yet specific enough to answer your unique and individual questions? Or, are we in this case, still looking under the lamppost?

Ray had both the time and resources to ruminate deeply over the riddle concerning the Time-Space Monster we discussed in the previous post. “I decided to immerse myself in studying with my research team, digging through archives, speaking with the world’s best scholars and practitioners who each had in-depth understandings of bits and pieces of the puzzle, reading relevant great books by insightful authors, and reflecting on the prior research I’ve done and the experiences that I’ve had from investing globally for nearly 50 years.” 1 The humanistic astrologer in me appreciates this work because Ray quickly moves toward a holistic view of creation that suggests we are more than the sum of our parts, but the skeptic in me is suspicious that Ray, while highlighting some brilliant observations identified from his lived experience, may not be too far from the lamppost.

Broadly speaking, the consciousness of even our most revered saints of the past, achieved a transcendent state perhaps in their own time, but somehow that level of consciousness might be lacking today. The historical record only gets us so far. For example, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are an essential part of the schema, realizations that were not yet imagined in antiquity. The outer planets were only discovered beginning with Uranus in 1781.2 What the outer planets represent is a certain progress within the unfoldment of evolution. Ray Dalio identifies evolution in his book as progress. Obviously, Ray is an investor and not an astrologer, but the outer planets represent much more than progress. They are transmitters, essential for our understanding, and for seeing certain keys. Let’s look there and not to antiquity, not under the lamppost, but toward the outer triad, to SEE where we stand on the Circle.

Neptune was discovered on September 23rd, 1864, on the autumnal equinox at 26 degrees Aquarius. Still under the spell of the old order, astrologers assigned among other things, sleep, fantasy, altered states, inebriation, drugs, being under the influence, and poison to Neptune, but as well deceit, betrayal, and corruption. Investors see Neptune’s correspondence with oil and perhaps mania’s in its various expressions. We can also see how madness and delusion, byproducts of too little or too much of what Neptune represents, corresponds to the Great Dissolver. But the essential message of the age is that Neptune represents a New Vision being born, and one incapable of being seen by the old order because consciousness was not yet prepared to SEE. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) presents a fascinating correspondence between the outer triad of planets on page 152 of her book, The Gnostic Circle.

At the time of Neptune’s discovery, its position in the Zodiac in combination with its orbit, corresponds with the orbit of its lower octave, Venus (in the 2nd orbit), and this correspondence is echoed by similar observations relating to the discovery of Uranus (7) with Mercury (1) and the discovery of Pluto (9) with Mars (4). Clearly, the discovery of the outer triad of planets represents a coordinated message announcing the opening of a New Age. The number attached to the century digit coincides “with the orbit numbers and the degrees of the zodiac of each of the planets when discovered.”6 This correspondence is easier to SEE in the table reproduced below from Thea’s book and taken from the same page just mentioned. She revealed a new visionary capacity to SEE. In this example, the subtitle of her book captures her accomplishment well: Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos.

The significance of the capacity to SEE in this way represents a vision of an all-encompassing transformation involving the individual and planet Earth. Changes occurring at the CORE of creation are highlighted, and an important shift within the individual’s “instrument” is being experienced, affecting how a person’s natal Moon, Venus, and Mars, express these higher vibrations. These changes are being influenced by Neptune. For example, Neptune transits in my experience, reliably operate in terms of wiping out an individual’s sense of self, their ego projection to the world. There can be overwhelming emotional upset that floods and saturates a person’s life situation at a soul level. On the collective scale, traumatic experiences can be witnessed, and assimilated as shared grief. Vicarious trauma, as seen in natural disasters, mass casualties, or even in certain untimely deaths of notable figures, seems to be creating the capacity for mass empathy within the collective, in a way that was previously impossible, as we witness certain poignant tragedies together like never before, in our hyper connected world. What these shared social events might possibly mean for the soul of the Earth, according to Thea, is that there is a stirring of a new capacity within the Individual to realize the emanations of a Greater Divine Love.

A further capacity to SEE, in terms that are truly illuminated is illustrated on page 144 of The Gnostic Circle. A diagram similar to the one in the book is reproduced below. The picture conveys the CORE issue at present blocking a more universal expression for Unity and a capacity to act and relate to one another with a more enlightened sensibility. An inability to SEE, without a sense of higher purpose, and with interference from a blinding Ignorance remains the Core issue because ego powers, which are only meant to protect the instrument until the domination of ego is dissolved, are “pervasive, persistent and permanent ” constructs of an excessive mentallization reflected within our current consciousness. Until our capacity to SEE becomes realized, the elusive “keys to the universe,” and the answers we seek, will stay hidden from us and out of reach. Thea describes her drawing this way:

“The area which Venus rules can be situated at the solar plexus in the old order, closely bound to the sex centre which is the domain of Mars. We could picture it in this way: both planets locked in orbit around the navel, the Earth, and veiling the rays emanating from the two would be the Moon, spinning in orbit around the Earth and creating the ego that protects man until he is able to receive the purer force without danger to his instrument. Thus, Neptune comes into the scheme and represents the finer vibrations of the emotional nature, the purer energies of a love removed from that taint of animality, of lust, of the coarse and more violent vibrations of Mars; and by this intensely fine quality of Love, the veils of the Moon begin to loosen. Neptune is the planet which has the full power to rid man of his ego. Its subtle action in the pattern of transformation is to give mankind the means by which it can become freed of the ego through Divine Love.”5

We just ‘celebrated’ the Fall Equinox, the time of year when night and day come into balance, when the Earth reaches a point of equilibrium between light and dark. It is the time of year, that represents a shift in energy where the movement begins from a point of poise and composure, but quickly moves into a phase of dramatic change, preparing for a culmination at the next Cardinal Point. There is a taking in of all that has transpired Year-to-Date at the Fall Equinox, an assimilation, as the Earth journeys around the Sun. But simultaneously there is a “letting go” of what’s no longer necessary for the journey ahead, in preparation for consolidation at the Winter Solstice. But the movement is not just an annual journey, it can also be seen within a larger framework, or what “Thea” called the “Cosmic Year.” The [missing] “keys” now at our disposal reliably point to the Winter Solstice* as perhaps the most significant part of the journey, and a time ancient civilization knew and revered as important, as the point of the Earth’s fulfillment. This is the perihelion point in Capricorn when we are nearest the Sun, where the light works hardest, in the dark, but begins to grow again.  

The Solstice therefore has always been connected to the Zodiac, and without this understanding we are unable to appreciate a way of SEEING that illuminates the difference between The New Way and the old order, the difference for example, between “two zodiacs,” the Tropical Zodiac and the Sidereal, which are now about 23 degrees apart on average. This difference in degrees translates to about 25 days of separation, which means that some birth Signs will be altogether different under one system versus the other. A tiresome and age-old debate that finds resolution only in The New Way of seeing. The adjustment, in the “post-Vedic” case, relies on a heaven bound view that is in keeping with the perspective of ALL the great religions, which were also born at the time of the “split.” The common thread amongst all major religions being an exaggerated hope for a life in “the great beyond,” or in the “hereafter.” A distortion that began with the previous age and grew as the Cosmic Year staggered under the influence of the Piscean Age. The “purer energies of love” to guide creation, powers that are part and parcel with Truth and Neptunian realizations, were not yet present, nor could they be.

Astrologically, the firmament is a backdrop, and thus sidereal Astrology artificially affixes the zodiac to the stars. A sidereal view flattens our perception and misses 3 dimensions that deepen our perspective, an observation discussed in my previous post, Tripled Bodied. The issue at hand is that a heaven bound view lacks sufficient width, depth, and height and cannot SEE beyond itself, precisely what is required for SEEING the multi-dimensional shape of existence and to transcend the “Time Space Monster.” Not knowing where we are on the circle, cannot stand. One practical concern, especially for the devout, is that when considering these truths from a calendar perspective we understand that certain festivals and sacred rituals are held and celebrated on the “wrong day,” at the “wrong time.” Most important perhaps is the entirety of The Age of Aquarius is “thought” to be off by a magnitude of some thousand years under the old order, even though it has been proved to have begun in 1926.7

Rancor around the issue of “two zodiacs” creates a cacophony that makes it difficult for practitioners to know which way to turn. The ensuing noise enables chaos and confusion that impedes cooperation, this despite the good intentions of some scholars who pursue a mix of the disparate approaches found in the East and West, or someone like Ray Dalio who intellectualizes the ripples on the ocean as cause and effect, from which he surmises China’s ascendency but not realizing or SEEING that China is merely a pawn in the play. Contemporary astrologers too have joined the fray, having turned to discuss other issues, like which house system to use in Astrology. The significance of considering which house system may be very important in the sense that whatever system we settle on should operate any and everywhere in the world, equally. Clearly this is a problem for some of the quadrature systems, and a strong argument for using some Equal House approach, but staunch defense of one House system or another seems to distract from Astrology’s purpose.

One solution proposed to resolve the problem that various house systems present, especially in the case of systems that generate disproportionate houses, is the resurrection of “whole sign houses,” which on the face of it appears to be a plausible approach. The schema simplifies calculations considerably, and veers toward an appropriation of Sidereal planetary periods, an aspect of “post-Vedic” Astrology. Interestingly, whole sign houses maintain a Tropical orientation similar to the Astrology practiced in Tamil, India. By far the consideration of which zodiac to use is of much greater concern to us than how a practitioner orients themselves to a particular house system. But it is interesting that both post-Vedic and whole sign house practitioners claim superior predictive powers as their most attractive attribute. Unfortunately, these claims are anecdotal and subjective, astrologers as a whole confuse anecdotal evidence for empirical evidence all the time, and post-Vedic as well as whole sign house astrologers do not appear to be exempt from this rule. At the end of the day the difference between one house system and the next may not be much different from the way a Tarot card reader views the different “spreads” in use for Tarot readings, each reader has their preference, especially when the focus is prediction. But we are really “straining at a gnat” here if we allow ourselves to be subsumed in the house debate. It’s really not that important. Bernadette Brady’s audacious provocation to eliminate houses altogether and use no-house system at all comes closest to The Gnostic Circle. “The stars don’t lie,” Ray Merriman wrote, closing the chapter called The Cosmic Hope for Humanity from his forthcoming forecast book. Bernadette is suggesting we lean into asterisms more than we do to sectionalizing the local space we occupy, but my concern with this approach is that it too is heaven bound. That such obsessions really project a superficial understanding of Astrology when seen in the light of what the Seer of our present Age has revealed. (Audacious of me to critique an astrologer of Brady’s credentials.) In terms of Thea’s work, I’ve only shared a very small glimpse of what her revelations entail in this essay. Perhaps other more astute readers of her work can, and will, glean far more than I ever could, but we are merely at the very beginning of the Age, and her story is only now getting out to a broader audience. Below is a quote at length from Thea that Patricia Heidt shared with me in a recent email. How succinct, beautiful, and incomparable her description of the zodiac is. My hope is that these two paragraphs alone motivate readers to pick-up a copy of The Magical Carousel and read the story aloud with their children, or grandchildren.

“I, for one, hold no other memory from childhood closer to my heart, still 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 of this exquisite Harmony.”8

Saugerties, N.Y. is right up the road from me here in the Hudson Valley and was home to a Allan Herschell Company carousel for 9 years. The owner recovered the merry-go-round from a scrap yard in Connecticut and restored it. In 1998 he placed the ride back in service, in a building he had owned for 12 years.9 After no buyers raised their hand for purchase of the whole carousel, he was forced to auction off the local landmark, piece by piece. A similar fate befell Astrology at the start of the previous age, we are only now beginning to appreciate the efforts of researchers to reassemble the pieces of scrap. Fragments pulled together and pawned off as a body of whole knowledge despite it being a piecemeal exposition, a demonstration of a “piece by piece” mentality at work, hopelessly replicating a jumble of ideas and beliefs that distort the mosaic, and that cannot stand on their own merits. A collapse ensues. Things fall apart, to paraphrase Yeats, the center will not hold when the assembly of a cosmos is approached piecemeal.

The Magical Carousel is one of Patrizia’s earliest works and demonstrates the recovery of Knowledge not from a scrap heap in Connecticut, but clearly a creation that is Connected to The Source itself, to help us make sense of the map, to make sense of the zodiac. The essence of this Truth becomes clear from the experience of reading the story and realizing that the level of coherence and comprehension is vibrating at a Divine level of material organization. In another work called The New Way, Thea’s description of the construction of Matrimindar, emphasizes a profound Knowledge for temple building, a lost sacred art of sages whose task was to replicate the cosmos for the entire community. The task called for supramental precision, and in the case involving Matrimindar, Thea’s critique of the builders signals a type of SEEING that is intentional, objective, and for the specific purpose for correcting and initiating a New Way of SEEING: “Nor was I ever satisfied with that one date or one piece of the mosaic and with that to formulate or fashion by deduction the whole design. This was a body of knowledge with its own science. Truthful assessment of certain conclusions could be made only on the basis of scrutiny of the entire corpus because bearing a foundation of unity, each piece joins with others to finally convey the complete design; each supports the other and removing one the entire structure might collapse.” (TTDV p 325)

Astrologers must think of the division of the circle by four as a guide to our understanding of material life, how life is structured. We have the seasons of the year, and when we allow our perception to expand, we see this map in terms of the “Cosmic Year,” a measure that enables us to perceive the evolution of life on Earth. The Cardinal Points and the Zodiac are the most significant points for this purpose. We can measure the day, the year, and the ages. Astrology’s significance and purpose, helps seekers gain insight, understanding, and awareness of this journey we share together. All other efforts seem dim by comparison.

To paraphrase a lesson from The Gnostic Circle, the square is a derivation of the cross and can be seen in the division of the Circle by four. This “new symbol” represents Earth, the circle with the cross embedded within it, or Matter, and we note that 360 degrees divided by 4 equals 90 degrees which corresponds to “9” using Theosophical addition. The conception of the “square” can baffle Astrology students, but symbolically the “square” is merely a reference to the angle of the “square,” reflected in the arc of separation between two points on the circle, or 90 degrees. However, a more comprehensive understanding “sees” the reference made to the cross. The natural wheel of the horoscope illustrates this where all the “angles” align with the zero-point, 0 degrees Aries. These angles are the points most relevant to our study of seasons. In every case creation, at its root, is related to the power of 9. The function of the other two “crosses,” one in the Fixed Signs and the other in the Mutable Signs, are more about first, sustaining the action begun at the angle, at “creation,” (Cardinal Signs) and then, by surrendering to “creation,” the movement which leads into the next season where the process begins again. We are now firmly in the sustaining Fixed Sign and Element of Aquarius, The Changing World Order, or as the other Ray, Ray Merriman (who is an astrologer) called it: The Cosmic Hope for Humanity. People are beginning to SEE what Thea saw more than 5 decades ago. A New Way indeed, in preparation for the realization and fulfilment to come at the Cosmic Solstice. We call them Seers for a purpose I suppose, and that purpose is become clearer by the day.

1.Dalio, R. (2021b). Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail (1st ed.). Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster.

2 The same year Immanuel Kant published Critique of Pure Reason.

3.Norelli-Bachelet, P. (2020). The Gnostic Circle: A Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos. White Falcon Publishing.

4.. Norelli-Bachelet, P. (2020). The Gnostic Circle: A Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos. White Falcon Publishing. p. 144

5. Norelli-Bachelet, P. (2020). The Gnostic Circle: A Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos. White Falcon Publishing.

* The Winter Solstice occurs precisely when the Sun reaches 00 Capricorn 00, this is 0 degrees and 0 minutes of Capricorn, and normally occurs on December 20, 21, 22, or 23rd. The Earth is closest to the Sun (perhilion) sometime between January 2 and January 6. On January 5th, one day before the U.S. Capitol was stormed by rioters/insurrectionists, the Earth reached its perihelion. Thea was born January 5th, 1938.

8.The Vishaal Newslettter (vol 4, no5, December 1989, p10)

9 Students of The New Way will recognize the significance of the numbers 9 and 12, and especially as to how they relate the zodiac to the calendar. The year 1998 is significant as well, marking the second degree of the Age of Aquarius, a year mentioned numerous times in this series.

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