ANCIENT TWELVEFOLD WISDOM
1. Adjoining cosmoses
Plato says that God geometrizes and we say that he does so according to a twelvefold plan. The Law of Twelve introduces POLARITY into hierarchy of tenfoldness. Each hierarchy of ten is linked above to the higher plane with one pole and each hierarchy is linked below to the lower plane with one pole. Therefore, when one wants to consider relationships between successive planes or hierarchies, one must look above and below one level. This is what Gurdjieff means when he says,
"The conditions of the action of the laws on each plane, in each cosmos (hierarchy) are determined by the two adjoining cosmoses, the one above and the one below. Three cosmoses standing next to one another give a complete picture of the manifestation of the laws of the universe. One cosmos cannot give a complete picture. Thus, in order to know one cosmos, it is necessary to know the two adjoining cosmoses, the one above and the one below the first, one larger and one smaller. Taken together, these two cosmoses determine (the laws of) the one that lies between them."
Now, in speaking of the Law of Twelve, we are really speaking of an hierarchy (or cosmos as G. would say) of ten, with an upper link or pole binding it to the hierarchies above and the lower link or pole, binding it to the hierarchies below. The number twelve is not a principal in itself but a concept that links together the cosmoses both above and below. The importance of the Law of Twelve cannot be underestimated. It is both the end point and culmination of knowledge of the Laws of Three and Seven and as G. says the beginning point of science and philosophy, in the true meaning of these terms. P.D. Ouspensky also recognized the great importance of the teaching of the Law of Twelve which he expressed as his "period of dimensions."
The reason it is so important is that the study of the Law of Twelve has a synergetic effect in consciousness. As explained by G., typically a person is conscious of himself in only one cosmos or hierarchy and his spiritual or scientific investigation proceeds always in the direction of only one cosmos. However, if one proceeds in his investigation with the link to the upper and lower cosmoses, then one finds; first, a relation to itself in one cosmos; second, a relation to a higher or larger cosmos; and third, a relation to a lower or smaller cosmos. Thus, one investigates in a threefold synergetic way, effecting two other cosmoses simultaneously.
For example, I remember while in college the Voyager mission passing by the planet Jupiter. Now occultism and in particular a drawing by Robert Fludd relating the body of man to the planets, shows that Jupiter has rulership over, among other organs, the liver. At the same time that Voyager started transmitting back to earth pictures of Jupiter, an American scientist for the first time obtained an electron photograph of the liver or hepatitis virus and guess the correspondence! The electron photograph of the liver virus looked like the Voyager space craft and the Voyager space craft looked like the liver virus. Of course, since that time, electron photographs have shown that viruses resemble all sorts of space probe craft as well as the geodesic geometric structures discovered by B. Fuller. However this incident conclusively shows the synergetic principal that scientific investigation into the cosmos of the planets has a correspondence in the cosmos of the microbes. As above, so below, our isotropic principal operating simultaneously in three hierarchies.
2. Geocentric Astronomy
Nobody understood this principal of relating hierarchies both above and below better than the ancient occultists.
Besides the flat earth theory of the Middle Ages, no other hoax has been as successfully perpetrated upon the Christian peoples than the so-called Geocentric theory as depicted by Ptolemy. We are still taught in school that the ancients thought the planets revolved around the earth until the discovery by Copernicus of the heliocentric theory. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the earth centric diagrams of Ptolemy reflect the greatest wisdom of the ancients showing the earth and mankind in relation to (1.) a higher cosmos of the planets; (2.) an even higher cosmos of the zodiac and (3.) relation to the lower cosmos of the elements of fire, air, water and earth. The earth centric diagrams never intended to show the physical relationship of the planets but intended to show mankind's spiritual relationship with higher and lower the cosmos.
Plat No. shows the geocentric system of the ancients with the earth in the center of both the planetary cosmos and the zodiacal cosmos. The exoteric explanation given by the Church and modern science is that the ancients were really stupid! The esoteric explanation of the occultists is that of the path of the human soul during life after death! This is a foundation stone of western occultism, extending from Ancient Chaldea, Persia and Egypt, through Greece with Plato and Macrobius (exoterically), through the Christian mystery steams ending with the Rosicrucians and finally expressed in Masonic ritual as clearly explained by Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma. The geocentric spheres interpret as follows:
The galaxy crosses the zodiac in the two opposite points of Cancer and Capricorn. After death, the soul ascends through the planetary spheres in the order of Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. During this ascent, the soul is cleansed of its past sins and karma. A passage must be made between the planetary world and the zodiacal world. The ancients called Capricorn the 'gate of man' through which passage was made from Saturn to the zodiac on the souls ascent to heaven. One of the ancient purposes of burnt offerings, blood sacrifice and prayer was to establish a relationship with a planetary spirit, whom after death, would guide and help the sacrificer find this gate quickly and safely.
If the soul is fortunate enough to pass through to the spirit-land of the zodiac, it finds itself merged into the much higher spiritual beings of the cosmos of stars. The passage of the soul through the twelve houses of the zodiac is a preparation of the soul for descent back through the planetary spheres to the next earth life incarnation. While the seed for the physical body is down on earth subject to the passions of love making rituals, the spiritual counterpart is carefully weaving a future etheric and astral body, drawing from the fine matter and forces of the starry cosmoses.
The etheric body is the template of the physical body and during its composition and preparation for a new earth life, it draws certain forces from each of the zodiacal louses. The ancients represented this process in many ways, most often with the picture of a man impressed against the zodiac. While the soul is traveling through Aries, it draws the forces and starry matter necessary to construct the head and face template within the etheric body. For the other constellations, the general pattern is:
Taurus ----------Neck, throat
Gemini ----------Arms, shoulders
Cancer ----------Chest, lungs, ribs, breasts
Leo --------------Heart, diaphragm, back
Virgo ------------Belly, intestines
Libra ------------Navel, loins, kidneys, butt
Scorpio ----------Gonads, bladder
Sagittarius -------Hips , thighs
Aquarius ---------Legs, ankles
Pisces ------------Feet, toes.
When the preparation of the etheric body is complete, the forces of the moon draws the soul back on its descent through the planetary world. This passage from the zodiac is through the 'gate of the Gods' located in Cancer. The gate of Capricorn for the ascent and the gate of Cancer for the descent were called the "gates of the Sun" for two reasons. First, these constellations represented the tropical points in the suns travel along the plane of the ecliptic. Second, it was while the soul was in the sun that it found its spiritual helper (from the earthly sacrifices) who would travel with the soul as its guardian and helper in passage through the "gate of Men".
In the descent through the planetary spheres, the soul approaches each individual planet from the other side. What the soul experiences in these spiritual worlds is the reverse of what the soul would feel from earth with physical sight. In addition, the whole future earth life of the soul depends upon the relationship it establishes in these worlds in the course of its gradual descent to earth. For example, upon the planet Mercury, the soul makes its future connection with a particular nation or people with common language. On Venus, the soul makes its connection with a particular family. The last approach is to the moon sphere where the spiritual beings there are governed by that planetary spirit of the original Elohim of the Bible known as Jehovah. Here the soul decides its future sex. If the soul approaches the earth at the time of a full moon, it will become attracted to a female body. If the approach is at the time of a new moon, the attraction will be to a male body. The ancients have always known as expressed by a thousand variety of fertility symbols, that the moon forces control sex and generation.
This entire process has always been likened to the descent of spirit (from the zodiac or heaven) into matter (the moon and earth) and the corresponding ascent of matter into spirit. (See diagram on Page 70.) The soul made of pure and celestial substance descends into the various degrees of matter ending in an earth manifestation as mineral, plant, animal or man. Thereafter, the soul ascends to the primitive condition in the heavens after purging and cleansing itself by travel through the planetary worlds from the effects of its contact with the earth elements of fire, air, water and earth.
3. Chaldean Calander
The other drawing in THE CHALDEAN CALENDER , shows the Ancient Chaldean order of the planets in the zodiacal houses in relation to the ancient platonic elements of fire, air, water and earth.
From this table can be derived first, the order of the days of the week, based upon the occult principle that the first hour of the day is influenced by its planetary namesake. Thus,
Saturn = Saturday
Jupiter = Thursday
Mars = Tuesday
Sun = Sunday
Venus = Friday
Mercury = Wednesday
Moon = Monday
Beginning with Saturn on Saturday, the first hour is governed by Saturn, and the remaining hours are governed by each successive planet for one hour. Thus, 3 x 7 = 21 hours and in a twenty-four hour day, this divides out with three extra hours. Saturn would rule the lst, 8th, 15th and 22st hour, respectively. Then counting three hours extra as, 23 = Jupiter, 24 = Mars, the first hour of the next day would be the 25th hour or Sunday! Likewise, the 25th hour of the next consecutive planetary day would be (+3) the moon or Monday. The order and names as the days of the week are consistent throughout all cultures.
Secondly, from the Chaldean calendar can be derived the weeks of the year. An ancient tradition was preserved by Epiphanius (the Fourth Century Christian polemic historian) when he described the birthday of Christ as follows.
"The Savior was born in the forty-second year of Augustus, King of Rome...and on the 6th day of January after thirteen days of winter solstice and the increase of light and day...For it needs must have been that this should be a figure of our Lord, Jesus Christ Himself, and of his twelve disciples, who made up the number of the thirteen days of the increase of the light."
Epiphanius would count the first year of Augustus (Octavian) from the date of the death of Julius Caesar at 44 B.C. and thereby placing the birthdate of Christ in the year of 2 B.C. This birth date is in close accord with the Canonical date of Christ, which custom began with Dionysius Exiguus.
So why would this very orthodox Roman Canonical historian set Christmas on January 6th instead of December 25th, the traditional exoteric date? The reason was that he was attempting to preserve an ancient esoteric tradition that was lost with the Reformation of the Roman calendar!
That the ancient Jews knew the precise length of the solar year is demonstrated by the genera of the word Oriens (meaning spiritual east) as 0 = 6, R = 100, I = 10, E = 5, N = 50, and S = 200 equals 371 or 365 (days) plus 6 (hours). Now, approximately 47 B.C. a Babylonian Jew named Sosigenes sold this secret of the length of the solar year to Julius Caesar. At that time the exoteric calendar was so far deteriorated that January 1st would have fallen on October 13th. Caesar reformed the calendar to conform it with the seasons again by inserting two extra months, one of 33 days and one of 34 days between November and December of that year and adding a 23 day month to the preceding February. The extra 90 days would fix the next calendar year to 365 days and a leap year every fourth year. This arrangement has lasted to modern times, and is known as the Julian Calendar.
The problem came when trying to set the beginning of the solar Julian year after abolishing the old Lunar year of the Romans. The ancient esoteric sources would have begun the new year on either of the seasonal solstices or equinoxes that coincided with a new moon. For example, if Caesar desired to start the new year at the time of the winter solstice, then he would have waited until a new moon occurred on December 21st or 22nd and called that day the "Calends of January". However, either he did not know the esoteric wisdom or he couldn't wait. In that year, the solstice fell on December 24th and the new moon was seven days later. The full month of December at that time had thirty days so the calends of January was set seven days after December 24th or January 1st as we now know it. Thus, the new year begins on January 1st and not on the day of the winter solstice. In retrospect, Caesar got less than what he paid for, only some of the ancient wisdom, not all of it!
After the birth of Christ, early Christians wanted to preserve a tradition reflecting the true birthday of Christ in relation to the true esoteric calendar year. The ancient wisdom taught that a secret astronomical cycle begins with the first full moon or 14 days after the new moon falls coincident with a winter solstice. Since, in the first Julian year, winter solstice fell on December 24th and after the month was extended from 30 to 31 days, the full moon would have occurred on January 6th (actually 13 days in this particular cycle). For this reason Epiphanius and the early Christians set the esoteric birth date of Christ on January 6th, and celebrated what has come to be called the Feast of Epiphany.
The Chaldean calendar shows a third astronomical relationship, this one in relation to our "great Platonic Year" cycle of 25,920 years. (See page 58-59.) Each year as the sun passes on its yearly cycle of 365 days through each zodiacal house, it returns to its starting point, the vernal or spring equinox. As previously discussed, this point precesses one degree every seventy-two years and through one sign of the zodiac every 2,160 years. This is our familiar Messianic cycle. Thus, the vernal equinox stands in one zodiacal house for a period of 2,160 years.
The ancients called these periods an "age" of the zodiac and also called these periods a "religious age" because each age was accompanied by a particular Messiah. (See pages 53-54, for the ages of the Rishis, Zoroaster, Hermes, Christ, etc.) Hence, each religious age was derived from its zodiacal sign such as the Taurean Age, Piscean Age, Aryan Age, etc. Because of this relationship, the symbols of all religions have an astronomical basis, the key to which is the zodiacal house. For example, during the Taurean Age, the bull was sacred as depicted by the Egyptians as Apis, and the Persians as Mithras and to Aaron and the Jews in the desert as the golden calf. In the Piscean Age, the fish was the symbol of deity as described by St. Augustine, if you join the first letters of the Greek words for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior" they will form the word FISH, which the Fisher of Men fed the multitudes on Mount . There is no need to elaborate on the astronomical basis for religious symbolism here, but it is worthy to respect the incredible effort made by the 19th Century occult writers such as Godfrey Higgens in Anacalypis, Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma and the Madame H.P.B. in Isis Unveiled. They removed the veil of hypocrisy from the so-called mysteries of the Church and showed the true pagan mystery cult sources of all great religions.
The religious zodiacal ages are explained in as many different ways as there are different cultures. However, the Chaldean calendar is uniformly the astronomical source of all occult astrology. As only one example here is the Rosicrucian system.
In his lecture series entitled, Ancient Myths, R. Steiner described the relationship between the Chaldean calendar and the cultural epochs for the Post-Atlantean or Fifth (Aryan) root race as follows:
1. For the Ancient Indian or first sub-root race, the vernal (spring) equinox of the sun was in Cancer, and the corresponding planet was the moon. The three decants (not shown in the calendar) were Venus, Mercury and Moon.
2. For the Ancient Persian or second sub-root race, the vernal equinox was in Gemini and the corresponding planet was Mercury. The three decants were Jupiter, Mars and Sun.
3. For the Ancient Egyptian-Chaldean or third sub-race, the vernal equinox was in Taurus and the corresponding planet was Venus. The three decants were Mercury, Moon and Saturn.
4. For the Ancient Greek-Roman or fourth sub-race, the vernal equinox was in Aries and the corresponding planet was Mars. The three decants were Mars, Sun and Venus.
5. For the fifth and present sub-race, the vernal equinox is in Pisces and the corresponding planet is Jupiter. (sic, Saturn?) The three decants are Saturn, Jupiter and Mars.
Following the Chaldean calendar, the next cultural epoch or sub-race will stand in the house of Aquarius. As to the different characteristics the forces of the zodiacal houses, planetary houses and decants effect on cultural evolution, the subject is very confused and left to the speculations of astrology.
Finally, an interesting and maybe the most revealing correspondence of religious astronomical symbolism is found in the four Cardinal signs of the zodiac. Back in Chapter 1, page 19, reference is made to the twelve fold nature of the zodiac as a result of the efforts of the Cherubim. This effort was expressed through the four fixed signs or Cardinal signs as Taurus (Bull); Leo (Lion); Scorpio (Eagle); and Aquarius (Water-Man). The ancient wisdom of all cultures recognized their significance, from the vision of Ezekiel in the Old Testament to the Revelation of St. John in the New Testament. Because of their universal cultural significance, it is fair to conclude that the four cardinal signs of the zodiac hid the secret name of God, which name was known by all ancient cultures, not only the Jews. Taking the numbers from the Chaldean calendar for these four signs we have, 2 (Taurus) + 5 + 8 + 11 equals 26, the number of Jehovah!
4. The Twelve Degrees of Freedom
The ancient wisdom teaches that there are six primary forces in nature which in their unity is represented by the seventh or the Astral Light. The Quabbalists and Hermetic philosophers called the Astral Light the heavenly or celestial virgin. T. Subba Row in his article, The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, states that in the Brahman Esotericism, the sixth sign of the zodiac, Virgo represented the virgin and the six primary forces in nature which he terms: (1) Parasakti; (2) Jnanasakti; (3) Icchasakti; (4) Kriyasakti; (5) Kundalinisakti; and (6) Matrkasakti.
Our 20th Century spokesman for the geometry of the ancient wisdom is R. Buckminster Fuller. He also recognizes the occult law of the six primary forces in nature which he translates into six vectors of freedom as represented in the six edges of the tetrahedron. In Synergetics 2 he states,
"There are six basic motions in Universe. All of them are positive and negative; active and passive. The first five are individually experienceable and popularly familiar; the last - precession - is less popularly familiar:
-Spin: Spinning is horizontal or vertical axial rotation. Spinnability has to be totally independent of the system's local surface transformation.
-Orbit: No path of travel may be 180-degree linear in a multibodied, gravity-cohered, omnimotional Universe. The initial reality of all travel is orbital as a composite resultant of all tensive restraints. As the Sun's pull on the Earth produces orbiting, orbiting electrons produce directional field pulls. As 99.99 percent of the bodies in motion in physical Universe are operating orbitally, orbiting must be thought of as normal. (Spinning and orbiting together is dancing.) Orbits are regenerative feedback circuits.
-Inside-out: Anything with a hole in it turns inside-out. The tetrahedron turns inside-out through any of its four space-windows faces. Kissing humans turn partially inside-out as they "pucker" their lips.
-Expansion-contraction: Expansion is radiant divergence, and contraction is gravitational convergence.
-Torque: Torque and counter torque are local twists in which one pole spins right and the other pole spins left.
-Precession: Precession is the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion in interrelationship patterns of other than 180 degrees. Reactions and resultants are precessional, bringing about orbits and not straight lines. For instance, the effect of the Sun traveling around our galaxy center at 700,000 miles per hour upon the Earth cotraveling with the Sun; the precessional effect of gravity between the two is an effect at 90 degrees to the Sun pull, which makes the Earth both spin and orbit around the Sun."
Now these six basic motions as positive total six and as negative total six more, for a total of twelve motions or vectors of restraint. R.B.F. invented the term "twelve degrees of freedom" to describe these twelve exercises of the six motions. Together, they produce structure because they hold a thing or system together into one integral unit. There is no gray area here. If there is one less vector of restraint, the thing will change its shape.
These six systemic interrestraints (manifest in duality, forwards and backwards direction) produce structure and the minimum structure is the tetrahedron. Once we have this minimum system, then we have a thing that can rotate, orbit, torque, etc.
Now, any unity once produced is in itself a potential nucleus. But we now know that to become a prime nucleus, the system needs twelve similar units closed packed in equal distance from the center. This arrangement, as we saw on page in relation to the zodiac and central sun, locks the prime nucleus inside.