Not Tithonus

VII Commentaries

My notes on Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s Commentaries. Please see footnote for information on the source of this essay or go to the source: The Magical Carousel.

Traveling through the signs in order brings us to the “other half.” We are introduced to the upper hemisphere, leaving the lower realms behind. As the first sign above the horizon in the normal progression, the individual gains a sense of being “above it all” in Libra. A superior sense of morality wafts and weaves its way into awareness. But this heightened experience is only an inkling of the elevation to come, a mere fleeting sense of awakening, because the ultimate Truth, the full promise and development for humanity, is a consciousness of unity that the mind is not yet prepared for in Libra. When evolution arrives at a more remarkable level of consciousness, concepts like up or down, and low, or high are proved false because these directions on the map are merely mental constructs. They are the result of relative language; we still need these ideas because they are nevertheless fundamental comparatives that work to build understanding. But there are shortcomings and limitations inherent in seeing everything as relative because the mind falls short of discovering resolutions, to disentangling the existential tensions that arise from relative outcomes that never feel completely satisfying. Reason alone cannot cure what ails us. So, the movement demands a new language, a new way of seeing, and that new language becomes paramount now. It becomes a necessity. Zero degrees Libra is a critical point reached on the circle. There is an establishment of poise and purpose here that is seeded and proves important later for when the Individual breaks through the barriers of the mind; “serving the purposes of a consciousness that perceives no longer linearly but spherically.”

Libra is the halfway point in the journey. The sign exactly opposite Aries, it represents the point-of-balance. The Magical Carousel depicts an extraordinary evolutionary scheme presented as a wondrous story that no astrologer has broached before or since Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet shared her work. The implicit becomes explicit within her commentaries. Her insights land with remarkable clarity and coherence. We learn from the discussion that the actions the children take, and the course that the narrative follows, suggests that the old rules no longer apply. That Mind has begun to make way for a new vision. But Libra, as it always does, represents a precarious point in the journey. There is a lot at stake, a “delicate balance,” requiring a pause in reaction to the ramming, explosive, energetic life-force initiated at the Aries Point, at the beginning of the journey. Libra marks a critical point in development, a decision point; a determination as to whether the journey is an individual one, or one belonging to the collective.

There are recondite meanings that are easily conveyed in Libra as the children scale the heights, ascending in the elevator up to the “precarious point” where it seems as though ALL hangs in the balance. Emphasis is placed on a sense of peril, that the continuation of the journey is at risk because the “point of balance” might tip the scales in any direction, and not necessarily the one desired. What began at the point of creation, Aries, is threatened if there is even the slightest misstep. The conversation in Libra becomes a little “heady” which seems appropriate given the signs polarity and complimentary energy. But the thrust of the whole story makes an important turn at this point as readers approach the gates of Hades, and what is at risk is “whether the rest of the progression will be for the experience of mortality or immortality.” Big philosophical themes emerge but no matter how accomplished a scholar or practitioner the mind won’t easily wrap around them, enormous concepts like immortality, or the consciousness of unity are slippery slope. What needs balancing at this point are the ascending and descending energies “which serves to aid the actual liberation process from the forces of inertia, of decay, of death.” This is not about analyzing synastry charts or evaluating Dejanira or Nessus (the victim and abuser asteroids) in natal astrology. No amount of reductionism will identify the root cause of humanity’s ills or provide a satisfactory holistic explanation. “My Venus“, or “My Mars for example, become rote narratives, emotional burps ahead of vapid explanations that attempt to justify a personality’s habits of behavior. We are here speaking about astrology at an entirely different level, a higher level.

As mentioned, Libra is the point where the descending and ascending movements meet on the wheel, where two universal principles JOIN, and why Libra is the sign corresponding to YOGA. But the caveat mentioned in the commentaries reminds us to consider that “yogic discipline is a process, not the actual realization,” and so the point of balance brings us to a preliminary stage, a preparatory point of harmonization. In the story, arrival in the second Air sign is accompanied by encouragement to “strive for union.” However, the admonition made in the remarks warns that “union is not unity.” Still, awareness of the goal is planted in Libra, even though there is division remaining, and separation looming. A distinction is made at this point between Gemini and Libra, where pairing in the second Air sign reveals couples who are differentiated, “because Libra comes into evolutionary being after passage through the signs epitomizing the passive and active poles or feminine and masculine principle, — namely, Cancer and Leo.

Air signs correspond to the mind. Gemini corresponds to the place on the wheel where divisions are sown. Libra identifies the place on the wheel where cooperation becomes complementary, a “saving grace” that in a sense rescues the “evolution of consciousness from complete dissolution into an uncontrollable play of the division of energies.” Whatever light is born at the Aries Point, finds itself at its furthest point of separation from the point of Origin at the Libra Point, and therefore extends to “the most remote reaches of Consciousness.” Furthermore “separation is experienced in its most desolate form,” and the urge for union becomes “almost desperate,” in compensation for a sense of remoteness that the dimming light of consciousness represents. What was contained within the Self, is now sought outside of the Self, within the other, a partner, or “a companion, — or the spark of Divine Consciousness,” in each case, an example of dependency on and through exogenous factors. The solitary wholeness of individuality is experienced as incomplete, as empty, and so the Self is compelled to look beyond itself.

It is too soon to seek resolution to the tension created by opposing elements, “it is only possible to bring about a strict balance of energies in order to weather the storm, so to speak, to sail through this region without creating disharmony that might harm the soul in gestation and interrupt its journey through Time.” This gnostic vision is not just about an evolutionary perspective, but also about individualized progress through each part of the circle. Libra corresponds to the Asteroid Belt, the area in the solar system where any lack of balance may cause the type of shattering experiences that result in and are reinforced by a fragmentary view of the whole. Consider the modern astronomical view of this region, crowded by up to two-million asteroids where collisions and shatterings are in a literal sense quite common. Astrologically, with over 23,000 asteroids to choose from, we’ll no doubt find something will “strike us” as “fitting.” But asteroids represent the smallest parts of ourselves, the broken bits, and shards of wholeness. Astrologically they coincide with the pebble in your shoe.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

~ Mohammed Ali

A holistic vision perceives how “the point is equal to the whole,” as opposed to a more fragmentary view which obsesses over the bits and pieces. When perception is disjointed, things are understood as being separate and disconnected from the whole. The danger at this stage, as in the asteroid belt, is mistaking a partial view for the whole, opening the self to such shattering experiences that obliteration threatens one’s sense of wholeness. But the formation of a Gnostic Being is the destination of the movement in Time, and according to Patrizia’s work, a certainty that is in accordance with our material inherent nature. Looking at the Gnostic Circle is at first disconcerting for students and seekers who are studying its form, and who are used to viewing the natural wheel of the zodiac with Aries on the Ascendant, and Capricorn at the top of the chart. What does it mean to have Libra occupying the “bottom” of the wheel, the Belly of the Best, instead of riding on the descendant of the natural wheel? The irony continues since the metaphorical message of Libra suggests breaking out into the upper hemisphere, as we said above, “being above it all.” However, Libra is also representative of a symbolic descent where “we plunge into tremendous depths in our analysis.” The allusion being made here is to certain religious views that arise in the conversation, and that have perforce “drained humanity of the precious energies needed for the establishment of a divine life upon the planet.” However, it is not just the spiritual worldview that has been exhausted, science too “collaborates to expound this theory — the illusory nature of Creation.

The Magical Carousel

There is a new science of consciousness being born in neuroscience that embraces the concept that the mind establishes reality through an iterative process of “hallucinations.” (See Being You by Anil Seth). Thea wrote her commentaries about Libra the day before the centennial celebration of the birth of Albert Einstein. In some respects, he laid the foundation for the new scientific perspective that “life is a simulation,” a new and growing mantra and social media meme. The overlap between religious perspectives and scientific perceptions were observed by Thea on March 13, 1979, when she wrote, “The world of modern physics, for example, most actively corroborates the Buddhist and Mayavadist experience of an illusory world.” Einstein’s Theory of Relativity upended the classical conception of Time and Space, disrupting the absolute laws of Newtonian physics and introducing an illusory “belief” of its own in that “reality” could only be understood in relative terms. In the story of The Magical Carousel, the children are described as experiencing and reacting to experience in completely innocent and spontaneous ways that “shatter” previous laws and dogmas, in ways not unlike Einstein’s experience of discovery for his own theories. The trouble with the Theory of Relativity, however, is that it doesn’t go deep enough. If it did go deep enough it would realize that “Truth, in its deepest and highest and widest sense, is a condition of Being which by its very nature harmonizes or integrates the questions of relativity and absolutism.” By this definition, then, life’s potential most certainly is not a hallucination.

… unraveling a knot in consciousness that has produced the concept of an illusory world, fortified by Einstein’s laws,” suggests that this knot has tightened, like pulling the string on a shoelace that instead of untying the shoe only creates a knot that seems impossible to undo, making removal of the shoe extremely difficult. Knots make removing previous understandings unlikely because they become stubborn things. Einstein’s real genius came from how his work disrupted previous paradigms and ushered in an avalanche of new understandings that changed the world, a paradigmatic shift precisely described by where the descending and ascending lines interweave, the Zero point of Libra.

The Magical Carousel

This sort of entanglement at the physical level of being relates to Death. At the cosmic level this is Pralaya and refers to the cosmic idea of dissolution. An astrologic analogy compares the Big Bang at the Aries Point, to “the point of complete dissolution” at the opposite end of creation, Libra, “the final obliteration of the material universe.” Fortunately, Libra doesn’t represent a final eradication. Instead, the revelation is about “the equilibrium of energy, the harmonization process whereby the manifestation is rendered eternal by means of a ceaseless balance between the forces of expansion and contraction, the truth in the ‘steady state’ universe of science.” Saturn’s exaltation in Libra suddenly gains clarity since one of its attributes is the power of contraction, the governing force that calibrates the process begun at the point of Origin, or the Big Bang, and the necessity for a power of containment that controls the expansionary pressures.

This “knot” then is a mental construct, a function of the mind’s seeing in linear terms. So, on the evolutionary map, the Circle to which this story pertains, Libra is the point of a critical reversal. The individual does not see itself connected to Aries through Time while in Libra. The curved belly of Time as a spherical structure is not yet perceived. The movement in Libra is experienced exogenously, as distinct from creative consciousness, as something other than Self, something separate from the process. An all-encompassing vision is not yet possible due to a lack of perception for deeper truths. Something must be added to balance the scales, and so the Golden Sword of Libra is given as a gift to PomPom, to even things out in a manner of speaking. The sword symbolizes a sacred instrument with the “power to vanquish death and decay of… — the physical body.” In Libra, the physical body is still under the rule of the mind. As the progression proceeds, however, the goal is for Spirit and Matter to rejoin as One, where the “divination of matter” is assumed.

Mental knots allude to a perception of an illusory world to help explain existence, as something separate and distinct from reality, or the opposite of reality, without any tangible evidence. Thea writes that this point on wheel corresponds to Nirvana, the Buddhist realization. Buddhism she writes is limited by the same limitations of the Mind that created the “realization,” but such luminous insight as is found in the Buddhist tradition is also in fact extremely refined in its physical expression, evidenced by some of the most extraordinary works of art ever created. Unfortunately, something else accompanied the realization, a fragmentary perception and partial view of life:

The Magical Carousel

Ancient Egyptian art suffered a similar limitation, but because Ancient Egyptian culture was at a different place in Time on the wheel, the expression was altogether different from Buddhism. At the height of their civilization in accordance with the Precession of the Equinoxes, the art created by Ancient Egyptians tended toward the sacred, and architecture which preserved what was created without obliterating it. During the Ancient Egyptian reign, the time hadn’t arrived for the collective to inherit the “experience of a state beyond mind.” However, at the time of the rise of Buddhism, “a breakthrough became a preeminent necessity” which quickened the split between Spirit and Matter, or philosophy, and science as Thea wrote in The Gnostic Circle. The concepts she realized in the telling the story of Val and PomPom, are expounded upon in Thea’s later works. She noted too that the break between philosophy and science occurred near the start of the Age of Pisces: 234 B.C.E.

The Magical Carousel

Sri Aurobindo pointed out in his supramental philosophy that the only thing faster than light is the “speed of consciousness.” But Nirvana, as a mental construct, can only be understood as being a small step along the way toward Truth. From this perspective, a deeper realization is needed, otherwise Jhana only serves to erase the realization by taking two steps back for every step forward. Nirvana then was construed as a revolutionary spiritual notion in the same way that the speed of light was conceived of by Einstein. The trouble is that both Nirvana and the speed of light remain within the regent of Mind, so there are limitations attached. Breaking the limitations of the Mind is what will create true liberation and enable the individual and collective to surpass the boundaries that open the way to the next frontier.

The key for properly comprehending the zodiacal wisdom in this regard divides the twelve-fold circle into four parts. The first quarter of the wheel corresponds with the Physical, initiated by Aries but associated with Earth. The next quarter aligns with the Emotional and is initiated by Cancer, whereas the third quarter corroborates the Mental and is initiated by Libra. In the first quarter, Gemini is the epitome of physical progress and therefore we find Mind in Matter. The second quarter epitomizes the Vital sheaths of the human body. The third quarter represents the Mental on its way to Supermind, exemplified by the sign Sagittarius when we reach that place on the wheel later in the story.

The Magical Carousel

In the story, readers meet Frank and Felicity Harmony. They are the embodiment of the differentiated energy of mind. In Libra, the energy is more refined compared to the previous Air sign, Gemini. Also in Libra, form takes on more significance in the second Air sign. Readers easily imagine this by the description of the homes, fine architecture, and gardens. However, it is odd that Frank and Felicity ignore the commotion on the top floor of their own home; the symbolic significance of this floor corresponds with the human mind and is an apt illustration for where “the falsification ensues.” At this level, the Mind ignores “impure” or “disharmonious” parts of being to avoid standing before the penetrating eye of conscious awareness and consequently no integral experience of harmony can come about because a substantial portion of the elements are overlooked. Later in the story, the scene at the courthouse emphasizes moral codes that form under the sign of the setting Sun. But no consideration is given to reaching above this level into higher realms. Community life is content enough with balance when it is achieved, and this is exemplified by the dancer’s extraordinary synchronization, aplomb, and equilibrium. The stage is set. It is time for the “weigh-in,” and to begin the process of measuring the contestants, to balance the powers of contraction and expansion:

The Magical Carousel

The children’s arrival in Libra was met with a pause precisely in between the rocking action of the elevator and the gentle breeze that follows. The breeze blows away the mist from everything but the feet, which Thea suggests is the subconscious. The work being done in Libra has not gained sufficient depth, and the “waves thrown up by the subconscious are simply ignored.” We could say that Librans are in full force denial about such things, to the point of disregard. But their indifference is cloaked in optimism. The swing of the elevator links the concept of Time to Saturn, like a pendulum on a clock, Saturn keeps pace and astrologers will recall that Saturn happens to be exalted in Libra. The story has moved to Cosmic Sunset, Libra, from Cosmic Midnight, Cancer. In Libra, the light is seen again but faintly, in complement to the Cosmic Dawn at Aries. Thea calls it hope renewed, the portal that opens the upper hemisphere to where the summit is reached at Cosmic Midday, or Capricorn. In Libra, gold encases the light as a substance, and becomes important to the story. Gold’s reward symbolizes attainment of excellence and good form. The winner of the Dance of the Setting Sun receives her “weight in gold” and Pom-pom’s weight is “balanced” out with that of his sister by giving him a Golden Sword. Thea writes that “This kind of metal is the symbol of the luminous seed at the heart of Matter, which must be redeemed or released from the core.” At this point in the discussion, the concept of Divine Grace is introduced as it relates to Venus. Of course, Venus rules Libra. But it is a little more complicated than that because “in the gnostic vision of the wheel the dispenser of grace is Jupiter” which is located at the “5-point,” in Libra, on the Gnostic Circle. An external aid in the form of a golden element joins the movement at this point in the process, a divine grace which assures the continuation of the journey. Then, instructions follow as to the importance of the concept of weighing and balancing the body, symbolic of the physical vessel.

The Magical Carousel

Worth mentioning again is that Saturn is exalted in Libra, marking a preliminary sense of Destiny within evolution. Our experience of Destiny rhymes with the rhythmic tic toc of the pendulum of the great clock of Time, but at this stage how the clock works is not understood. There is a faint and distant inkling of Destiny, for how things are and how they play out on the surface, but no deeper understanding for the complexities of the inner mechanism. There is desire, to know what Time is, but there is little interest in knowing how to build the watch. That time will come, because “the gold of the midday Sun is found at the core of Matter,” which in the continuation of this topic when the movement finally arrives in Capricorn, is realized. But it is too soon for that deeper analysis, and seekers in Libra must feel content with the touch of grace provided by external sources. Because the energy in Libra is composed of a complimentary nature all things are perceived externally. “The companion is the separate partner, not the inner pole of a harmonized two-fold essence.” Through our interdependence we discover that the human being cannot be left behind, hence the individual body is an essential part of the process of evolution. Conceptually, immortality is the phase that ushers in the discovery of the Absolute, not as perception but as a physical reality. The real Destiny of the human being is therefore not left to chance, not some roll of the dice, or a spin of the roulette wheel. Within the evolutionary process, Destiny is a witness to the unfolding of the consciousness-force. Destiny is found within the core of the cells of the human body, or the center of the solar system, or within the middle of the universe. The essence of whatever body is being explored has at its center, the discovery of “gold” waiting at the core, where the aim and purpose of that body is found.

The Magical Carousel

A casual observation of the body’s present substandard state, vulnerable to Disease and Death, may be misleading, giving the appearance of immortality as something of a fantasy. But the acceleration of health and medicine has been nothing short of miraculous since the 1970’s when The Magical Carousel was written. And the acceleration is speeding up to a point where the physical body can live, or last long enough to realize its dharma, which is to live its purpose (absolute law) consciously. But this is not yet the case for the collective, “And therefore, how can the art of prediction be a truly enlightened one under these conditions?” Only by making time an ally can one become enlightened and aware of “the purpose for the existence of a material universe.”

The Magical Carousel

When the children have their day in court, they are banished to the “unknown.” In typical fashion, the judge seems to not be able to make up his mind, but the children’s “contempt of court” seals the deal, forcing the issue. A winged horse is ordered to carry them away. They take their seats in the chariot. “The horse is the symbol of the power locked in matter and the physical and vital sheaths of the body.” According to the Isha Upanishad the universe is described as a horse, and “the breath of the animal is the all-pervading spirit of Time.” The Sun’s chariot is pulled by a horse, and the last avatar is supposed to arrive on a horse. “— Kalki, the tenth avatar, mounted on a white steed with sword in hand. It is this avatar who is destined to re-establish the eternal Law of Truth. He appears in the darkest night of mankind, at the brink of annihilation or salvation.” The fact that the horse is winged suggests some correspondence with mental constructs like justice, moralistic ideologies, and human codes of one sort or another. The horse of speed and power, the savior wrapped in ideology, Christos, comes later in the story, again when we reach Sagittarius. Making the “descent” from Libra, flying into the deeper depths of things, the Eagle snatches the children from the chariot. The Eagle represents “the mighty symbol of Immortality.” Finally, the movement has reached high enough to take the plunge, to enter a more profound level and dive “into the realm where the vital power is locked and must be liberated.

Norelli-Bachelet, P. (2017). The Magical Carousel and Commentaries: A Zodiacal Odyssey (2017th ed.). Notion Press, Inc.

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