It is then the "Seven Sons of Light" — called after their planets and (by the rabble) often identified with them — namely Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus, and — presumably for the modern critic, who goes no deeper than the surface of old religions — the Sun and Moon, which are, according to the Occult teachings, our heavenly Parents, or "Father," synthetically. Hence, as already remarked, polytheism is really more philosophical and correct, as to fact and nature, than anthropomorphic monotheism. Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus, the four exoteric planets, and the three others, which must remain unnamed, were the heavenly bodies in direct astral and psychic communication with the Earth, its Guides, and Watchers — morally and physically; the visible orbs furnishing our Humanity with its outward and inward characteristics, and their "Regents" or Rectors with our Monads and spiritual faculties. In order to avoid creating new misconceptions, let it be stated that among the three secret orbs (or star-angels) neither Uranus nor Neptune entered; not only because they were unknown under these names to the ancient Sages, but because they, as all other planets, however many there may be, are the gods and guardians of other septenary chains of globes within our systems. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 575
Archaic occultism knew that our complete solar Egg of Brahma contains many more planets — i.e. planetary chains — than those which astronomers are acquainted with; and more suns than our own brilliant daystar. Hence in my earlier writings I have called our solar universe in its fullest occult sense the universal solar system; and used the term solar system for our own sun and the planetary chains which belong to its kingdom.
There are literally scores of planetary chains in the universal solar system, and others in our own solar system that we do not know of, some of which in either case are much higher than our earth chain, and some much lower. Likewise there are many planets belonging to our Raja sun, some of them inhabited, some man-bearing like earth, some bearing no men, and yet we do not see them because they exist on cosmic planes either superior or inferior to our own. There are planetary chains of which we do not see even the lowest globe, for the reason that it is above our cosmic plane; just as there are planetary chains so far beneath us that even the highest globe of these chains is below our cosmic plane. For instance, if a planetary chain has its fourth globe on the sixth cosmic plane, counting downwards, we cannot see that fourth globe because we are on the seventh cosmic plane — another plane of cosmic substance.
Yet all these many planetary chains are as fully component parts of the universal solar system as our earth is, or as are Venus, Mars, Jupiter, etc. Each such chain, however invisible it may be to us, is an integral part of the living cosmic organism of chains playing their respective roles on the various stages of the cosmic life; and they are, all of them, the habitats of sentient beings — some of them far higher in evolutionary development than we, some of them far inferior.
Now this large number of planetary chains is divided into septenary (or duodenary) aggregates consisting each one of seven (or twelve) planetary chains. Each such aggregate of chains composes therefore a cosmic family, the members of which are karmically united and closely bound together in a more or less identic future destiny when the universal solar system shall have reached its term of manvantaric existence.
In our solar system the seven planetary chains with which our earth chain is karmically most intimately linked were known among the ancients as the Seven Sacred Planets. (1) They have aided in building and therefore have subsequently influenced the evolutionary course of the earth from the time when it was a globe of ethereal light in space; and will continue to watch over it, astrologically speaking, until its final course is run, and it projects itself anew — all its life powers and forces — into the new laya-centers. Thus each one of these seven planets, as an individual, has acted very strongly on a corresponding globe of the seven globes which compose the manifested planetary chain of our earth.
These seven planets and our earth chain are much more closely connected among themselves than they are with the innumerable hosts of other celestial bodies (or chains), whether existing in the universal solar system or on the still larger scale of the kosmos. It is these sacred planets — or rather their spiritual rectors or governors — which are what certain Greek philosophers called the kosmokratores, world builders or world rulers; and their combined action, in connection with the supervising spiritual powers of the solar logoi, originally built our planetary chain. Each controlling spiritual planetary or rector is the mystical parent of one of the globes of our earth chain: not wholly its physical or even its spiritual parent, but its mystical parent by karma — otherwise its leader, guide or overseer.
As a matter of fact, there are not only seven but twelve sacred planets, although, because of the extremely difficult teachings connected with the five highest, only seven were commonly mentioned in the literatures and symbols of antiquity. However, reference is made in places to twelve spiritual planetaries or rectors, which were known as the Twelve Counsel Gods and called in the Etrusco-Roman language Consentes Dii — 'Consenting or Cooperating Gods.' (2) Thus it is that each one of the twelve globes of our earth chain has as its overseeing 'parent' one of these twelve planetary rectors. This shows clearly enough that the ancients, at least the initiates among them, knew of more planets in our solar system than the seven or five commonly spoken of.
The seven sacred planets are those which we know as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the sun (which stands as a substitute for a secret planet very near the sun and which we may perhaps call Vulcan), Venus, Mercury, and the moon (also reckoned as a substitute for a secret planetary chain). (3) Some astrologers are beginning to suspect the existence of such a planet near the moon, and one or two of them have even given to it the newfangled name of Lilith — taken from Rabbinical legend as signifying the quasi-animal and first 'wife' of Adam.
The moon, although intimately connected with human destiny and with the earth, as well as performing certain other very occult functions, is not one of the sacred planets mentioned by the ancients and recognized in archaic occultism, for the simple reason that — in addition to this lunar chain's being dead — it is the twelvefold Dweller on the Threshold of the earth chain. The importance, however, of the function that the lunar chain has in relation to our own chain cannot be overstressed.
We thus have the seven planetary chains, two of which are invisible, respectively Vulcan and the secret planet named in connection with the moon; and there are four other invisible planetary chains mentioned in The Mahatma Letters (p. 176) under the mere letters "A, B, and Y, Z." These four, with the seven enumerated, make eleven, to which we may add the solar chain, forming the full number of twelve. These planetary chains are those which especially recognize our sun as their ruler, and therefore they form the main members of its kingdom. It is the constant intercourse of various kinds carried on among the eleven or twelve celestial bodies of our solar system which brings about the rebuilding of the planetary chains when they, as individuals, pass out of imbodiment, undergo their pralayic rest and reimbody themselves as new chains, the offsprings of their former selves. The cosmic highways by which the intercourse is accomplished are the circulations of the cosmos.
These circulations are carried on, not by hap or by hazard, but from sphere to sphere, from world to world, from plane to plane, by and through individual consciousnesses, whether these be gods, monads, souls or atoms, working in and through and in fact composing the various elements. More particularly in our own solar system this is brought about through the intermediaries of the sun and its family of planets, especially by and through their respective worlds, the lokas and talas.
Thus the seven planets are sacred to us, because they are the transmitters from the sun of the seven primal spiritual and other forces of the solar cosmos to the globes of our chain. The seven principles and seven elements, whether of our own constitution or of the different globes of our chain, spring originally from this sevenfold inrushing and outrushing life flow. The seven planets which we call sacred are those which are, as it were, the upadhis (bearers, carriers) to us of the seven solar forces. They are all 'higher' in this one sense of the term than is the earth, although the earth chain performs the same functions of reciprocity to these other planetary chains. They provide the earth with spiritual, intellectual, psychical, astral and vital, and even physical powers, and thus in a certain way oversee our destiny; they are all most closely connected with the human race and with the development of all entities of whatever grade or class.
As expressed by H.P.B.:
The next step will be for the modern astronomers to discover that no mere change in atmospheric temperature accompanying the conjunctions of planets affects human destinies, but a far more important and occult power, the magnetic sympathy between the various planetary orbs. Astrology may have fallen into contempt under the influence of improved modern science, but undoubtedly the time is coming when it will again have the attention it deserves and recover its ancient dignity as a sublime science. — The Theosophist, February 1881, p. 104
The formative energies of these sacred planets work together with and are reinforced by the general field of forces and energies which the entire universe of the stars transmits to us. This does not mean, of course, that the earth planetary chain has no individuality of its own, for it has. But that individuality can imbody itself in the planet only through a laya-center, when it receives the help in building and in composition supplied by the various influences transmitted to it from the sacred planets, as well as from the ocean of energies and forces in which it is bathed and which ocean is the efflux or aggregative emanation of the starry host.
It is the same with the human body: it receives and incorporates into itself a certain amount of material through the emanations of other human beings, which it absorbs partly through endosmosis and partly through the intaking of food. Nevertheless it is built up or composed mainly of the substance-energy flowing forth from the reincarnating ego. Similarly does a planetary chain or a globe act. Its main substance or atoms, its main composition, comes from itself through the laya-center. But it draws into itself other energies and atoms flowing from its family of sacred planets, which are closely attuned to it in karmic destiny. It is precisely these particular planets of the many scores of planets (most of them invisible) within the universal solar system, which compose our solar family. This solar family forms a larger chain of planets around and through and in which the life-wave passes in its outer rounds. (The inner rounds take place through any one chain made up of its one physical globe and the other eleven globes.)
We do not refer here merely to the physical bodies of the seven sacred planets — doubtless each physical globe has its own so-called astronomical forces, such as gravitation and magnetism — but more especially to the inner powers and influences emanating from the ensouling divinities of these planetary chains. In the case of our earth: although of course the globe itself has life — the vital cohesive and indeed repulsive force which keeps it together and brings about its various phenomena of chemical and other action — nevertheless it is the pranic energies of its planetary spirit which ensoul it. Thus the life of any individual globe is the ultimate vital manifestation of its planetary spirit, which infills the globe because of the all-permeant life flow emanating from the planetary, and containing energies of spiritual, psychical and intellectual character also.
In her scholarly article entitled: "Star-Angel-Worship," H.P.B. says:
Every planet according to the esoteric doctrine is in its composition a Septenary like man, in its principles. That is to say, the visible planet is the physical body of the sidereal being the Atma or Spirit of which is the Angel, or Rishi, or Dhyan-Chohan, or Deva, or whatever we call it. This belief as the occultists will see . . . is thoroughly occult. It is a tenet of the Secret Doctrine — minus its idolatrous element — pure and simple. — Lucifer, July 1888, p. 364
One of the main reasons why the seven, or rather twelve, planets are called sacred is because they are, as individuals, the dwelling places of the twelve essentially spiritual forces emanating as minor logoi from the supreme logos of our sun. As pointed out in previous chapters, there are twelve chief rays or forces which make and inform our solar chain, their vehicle; and they are the twelve minor logoi of our solar system. Each one of these logoi, hence, is the rector, the spiritual genius, the archangel if you will, of one of the twelve sacred planets, and uses that planet as its principal 'nerve center.'
The following diagram illustrates the correspondences which exist between the sacred planetary chains and the signs of the zodiac on the one hand, and the twelve globes of our own planetary chain on their respective cosmic planes on the other hand. The reader will see for himself that the seven sacred planets — or rather five of them — are given both on the upper three cosmic planes and 'reflected' on the lower three. This manner of repeating these five planets is more or less a blind. Yet it is based on the occult fact that, while there are twelve individual cosmic or zodiacal magnetisms working in and through our solar system, they are more accurately viewed as being six fundamental magnetisms each having its positive and negative pole; so that every one is really dual, the six expressing themselves as the twelve 'manifested' magnetisms. Furthermore, as every one of the sacred planets is the house or principal nerve center of one of these fundamental magnetisms, otherwise called minor logoi, these sacred planets are reproducible in a diagram in double, i.e. the five positives reflecting their negatives, thus making ten, five above and five below the fourth manifested cosmic plane. Here we touch upon one of the reasons why the ancients regarded the sun and the moon as substitutes for two secret planets.
Just as the sacred planets are world builders with respect to our earth's planetary chain, in precisely the same way our planetary chain is a kosmokrator aiding particularly in the building and guidance of one of the other planetary chains; but also aiding generally in the building and guiding of all the other planetary chains of our solar system.
Action and interaction prevail everywhere throughout our solar cosmos; everything therein being interlocked and interworking. As an instance: the planet Mars is built by its particular group of seven or twelve planetary chains, itself being the eighth of its ogdoad; and our earth chain is one of these. There are other similar groups of sacred planets formed of visible and invisible planets belonging to our universal solar system; and in these groups of chains neither our earth nor any one of its family of sacred planets is a specific unit, although belonging of course in a general way to all the groups of twelves which compose the universal solar system. Our sun is but one of several other suns in our universal Egg of Brahma, and these other suns — each with its own family of planetary chains — are invisible to us because being on other planes of the universal solar system.
With regard to Uranus and Neptune: Uranus is a member of the universal solar system, but does not belong to our solar system, even though as a true planet it is closely linked with our sun both in origin and destiny. The only sense in which Uranus can be considered as a member of our solar system is the purely astronomical one, in that Uranus is under our system's influence so far as the revolutions of its physical globe around the sun are concerned.
Neptune, on the other hand, is not by right of origin in this solar manvantara a member either of our solar system or of the universal solar system. As I have explained in my Fundamentals, it is what is called a capture, which event changed in one sense the entire nature of the universal solar system, and will remain with us until the karmic time shall come for it to leave. (4) It has been captured in the same sense as some of the planets have captured moons. Suppose we were to say that in some past aeons of time a comet, approaching the truly planetary stage of evolution, passed sufficiently close to the gravitational attraction of the universal solar system on its own plane of being to be captured, and that due to the interplay of various forces it settled into an orbit around the sun, and then long aeons later our astronomers discovered it and named it Neptune! It would be correct to look upon Neptune as such a captured comet. Likewise, the planet Pluto is a capture.
Now comets, as discussed earlier, are merely the first stage in the evolutionary history of all planets, and of all suns too, for that matter; because there are planetary comets and solar comets and cosmic comets, i.e. comets which become planets around a sun, and comets which become suns.
Since Neptune is a capture, it has no direct connection with the twelve houses of our zodiac, after the manner of the true planets of our solar system. Nevertheless, Neptune does influence the system as a whole, and very strongly, and will continue to do so as long as it remains one of the bodies revolving around the sun. Not only does it change the entire polarity of the system, but also it affects everything within the solar cosmos by that fact alone, and therefore exercises an influence, astrologically speaking, upon all men, upon all beings and things on earth. Yet it is an 'outside' influence, although strictly karmic of course. Neptune is a septenary (or duodenary) living entity through whose veins there courses the same cosmic lifeblood that courses through ours. It is a planetary chain exactly as all other celestial bodies are, but we see only that one globe of its chain which is on the same plane of perception as we are.
Thus we see how all the planetary chains throughout the solar system, whether our own or the universal, work together, aid each other, and how those in a single sun's kingdom interbuild each other — all working out their common destiny. Our solar system is indeed alive throughout: a living organism, an organic entity.
For even great adepts (those initiated of course), trained seers though they are, can claim thorough acquaintance with the nature and appearance of planets and their inhabitants belonging to our solar system only. They know that almost all the planetary worlds are inhabited, but can have access to — even in spirit — only those of our system; and they are also aware how difficult it is, even for them, to put themselves into full rapport even with the planes of consciousness within our system, but differing from the states of consciousness possible on this globe; i.e., on the three planes of the chain of spheres beyond our earth. Such knowledge and intercourse are possible to them because they have learned how to penetrate the planes of consciousness which are closed to the perceptions of ordinary men; but were they to communicate their knowledge, the world would be no wiser, because it lacks that experience of other forms of perception which alone could enable them to grasp what was told them. — The Secret Doctrine, II, 701
Every planet intrinsically is in a different evolutionary stage and has a different spiritual characteristic from every other planet; it stands, at its root, on its own spiritual plane, and during its entire evolutionary course in its present pilgrimage that one spiritual plane will remain unaltered. In addition, one planet may be ahead of or behind another in evolutionary time; although it may be, essentially, higher or inferior spiritually.
Thus, there are two ways of considering evolutionary advancement: one, when referring to an older planet-hierarchy of larger cosmic experience; and the other, when referring to a planet, which though younger in cosmic experience, may be more advanced in its present imbodiment as regards number of rounds already passed through. For instance, we are told that Jupiter is in essence or in age of cosmic experience spiritually far more advanced than is the planetary spirit either of the earth or of Mars; and yet in this solar manvantara Jupiter in its present imbodiment is less advanced in its cycle of seven rounds than the earth is in its own cycle. Again, the earth as compared with Mars is, essentially, a grosser planet; and in evolution, also, it stands at a lower or more material point of its own planetary cycle than does Mars in its planetary cycle.
Venus is farther along in the number of rounds run through in this solar manvantara than the earth, and therefore is more advanced in this sense; but the planetary spirit of earth is nevertheless spiritually more advanced because older in number of cosmic manvantaras.
The basic rule is as follows: the nearer the sun, the more advanced is the planet in its evolution, and consequently the more evolved are its burden of living beings. The farther from the sun, the more ethereal and in one sense the more spiritual are the planets, but less evolved in their respective planetary manvantaras.
Therefore, Mars is more ethereal than the earth; Jupiter more so than Mars; Saturn more than Jupiter. But Jupiter is more evolved in its planetary evolution than is Saturn; Mars more than Jupiter; the earth more than Mars, and Venus more than the earth.
The reason is that the sun, while being the vehicle of a god, is also in its physical expression the very focus of the life force of the solar system, and consequently is the place where the life-pulse beats most strongly. We see this also in human beings: where health is physically most robust in the animal sense of the word, spirituality is usually recessive. The analogy is not exact but it will give the general idea. Therefore too close a neighborhood to the sun means being deluged with the physical vitality which the sun pours forth exhaustlessly from its lowest part.
The 'men' on Venus, for instance, are much more intelligent than are the men on earth, but they are not as spiritual nor as ethereal — and ethereality and spirituality do not necessarily mean the same thing. Venus is in its last round, and that is why, although nearer the sun than the earth, it is less dense because its substance has been slowly dematerializing as the planet advanced along the ascending arc of its evolution.
We discern the planet Venus, although it is in its seventh round while we are only in our fourth round, because the physical body of Venus is on our cosmic plane, albeit in the first subplane or highest state of matter belonging to our plane. Remember that each cosmic plane of substance is divided into seven subplanes. We are all on the seventh or lowest cosmic plane; but we of earth are on its fourth subplane.
When we of this earth globe D speak of Venus, we speak of course of globe D of the Venus chain — that globe which we can see. As Venus is near the end of its globe-manvantara and is already slightly self-luminous, the root-race at this time evolving on globe D of Venus is either the sixth or the seventh of its present seventh globe-round.
The statement that Venus is more material than the earth is to be taken in the sense of its being a younger planetary spirit, and not as signifying merely a difference between gross matter and ether — although of course the matter in which a planetary spirit enwraps itself corresponds to its state of evolution. Venus is grosser than the earth, yet its humanities are more evolved as regards the higher manasic qualities (cf. The Secret Doctrine, I, 602). On the other hand, because it is in its seventh round, and the earth is in its fourth round, even the matter of which globe D of the Venus chain is composed is more ethereal than is the matter of globe D of the earth chain. Essentially the earth is older than Venus; and therefore even the earth's grossest matter is now more ethereal than was the grossest matter of the Venus chain when Venus was in its fourth round.
While Venus is in its seventh round, that does not mean that the life-waves on all the globes of the Venus chain are in the seventh round. It so happens that the life-waves circling on globes A, B and C, and doubtless on one or two of the higher globes, are in their seventh round; nevertheless the life-waves of globes E, F and G of the Venus chain, as well as its highest globes, are not yet in their seventh round because the seventh-round life energies of the Venus chain have not completed the full round, having passed only through the globes of the descending arc and reached globe D of the Venus chain.
When the earth and its inhabitants shall have reached the seventh round, they will stand somewhat higher spiritually and ethereally than the planet Venus and its inhabitants today. But, relatively speaking, the men on earth of that far future time will be somewhat inferior in intelligence to the inhabitants of Venus as they are now. Intelligence is gained by the balanced union of spirit with matter; then manas the child is born out of the element latent and inhering in both spirit and matter.
A number of astronomers at different times have noticed spots of light on Venus, and they must have been most excellent observers. The statement has likewise been made by their critics that if such lights were actually seen, they could not be due to the sun, nor to reflected light, but must spring forth from some strange occurrence on or in the planet itself. And that is true for there are areas on Venus which will one day probably be discovered to be artificially illuminated.
Moreover, Venus, being in its last or seventh round, emanates an auric light which is visible to our eyes. Some astronomers have observed this; some have tried to deny its possibility because they cannot explain it. This light does not come, however, from its 'godlike' inhabitants — they could be called godlike only as a courteous expression — who intellectually are far more godlike than we are, although they are grosser. The 'phosphorescence' arises in the vital force of the planet itself. The earth towards the end of its seventh round will be probably somewhat more luminous than Venus is today.
Actually, every self-contained entity from atom to god, including all entities on earth and the other planets, and on and in the suns, is surrounded by an auric atmosphere which is seen as light by those who have developed the percipient faculty. The mere fact that we cannot see this light does not authorize us to deny its existence. The sun in its splendor is an example of one celestial body whose light we are very much aware of. Furthermore, every human being, had we the eyes to sense it, would seem like a globe of light — light spreading from every part of his body, flaming from his eyes, pouring forth from his mouth, from every inch of his skin. In the same way, every planet is encircled by an auric light. Even the moon, dead body as it is, is surrounded with its own phosphorescent light; just as decaying stuff is sometimes phosphorescent, although this is usually ascribed to some other cause. However that may be, every self-contained entity irradiates energy all the time, and light is but a form of energy; and could we perceive this energy visually, we would see light.
One is reminded here of the ancient Buddhist saying:
Shining Venus trembles afar,
Earth's Higher Self, and
With but one finger touches us.
Venus is a very interesting planet. It is perhaps the most closely connected with the earth in a number of ways; and it has been said that wherever Venus goes, there goes the earth also, and vice versa. As phrased in The Secret Doctrine (II,30-1):
Venus is the most occult, powerful, and mysterious of all the planets; the one whose influence upon, and relation to the Earth is most prominent. . . .
According to the Occult Doctrine, this planet is our Earth's primary, and its spiritual prototype. . . .
"Every sin committed on Earth is felt by Usanas-Sukra. The Guru of the Daityas is the Guardian Spirit of the Earth and Men. Every change on Sukra is felt on, and reflected by, the Earth."
In pondering upon the evolutionary status of planets, we should not confuse spirituality with ethereality. Things ethereal belong to matter; things spiritual belong to spirit. The inhabitants of earth are more spiritual than the inhabitants of Saturn and Jupiter, because they are more evolved, farther along the pathway, although the Saturnians and the Jovians are much more ethereal than we are. Our humanity and our earth are on the ascending cycle, beginning the luminous arc; therefore as we advance in spirituality both our earth and we shall likewise advance in the sense of becoming more ethereal.
These remarks are made from the standpoint of the different positions in evolution that the various planets occupy in the evolutionary scale. There is another way of looking at the matter of spirituality as appertaining to the planets, and this is what we might call their essential spirituality. Thus Saturn or Jupiter may be intrinsically of a more spiritual swabhava than are the planets closer to the sun, although the latter, as said, are evolutionally more advanced. It is somewhat like two men: the one whose swabhava is less spiritual may nevertheless in his own evolution be on a minor arc of ascent, while the more essentially spiritual man may be making a minor descent in his evolutionary course.
As pointed out, the general rule is that the nearer a planet is to our sun, the more gross and dense it is physically. If an inner planet is less dense than an outer planet, it means that the inner planet has reached a more advanced point in its planetary evolution. Furthermore, the planets as they advance in age draw nearer to the sun. Although the sun is the dwelling of a god, nevertheless, so far as matter is concerned, its vital magnetic and electric power is so enormous by comparison with the relatively tiny bodies of the planets, that its vital force alone on account of its sheer magnitude coarsens the planetary bodies.
Please remember that our physical sun is that globe of the solar chain of twelve globes which corresponds to our globe D of the earth chain. The substance of this physical or fourth-plane sun is the prakriti of this cosmic plane in its three highest subplanes or elements; that is to say, the heart of our visible sun is a portion of the mother-substance of this lowest cosmic plane, which heart is surrounded by its veil of substances, and this again is surrounded by its veil of substances — the third on the downward scale. And it is this last veil which is the dazzling auric stuff surrounding the sun. We can draw an analogy between the three solar substances and the three highest principles in man: thus, our sun's heart corresponds to our atman, its veil to our buddhi, and the next lower veil to our manas.
All planets go through their phase of material existence, have their temptation, just as we of earth have had and shall have. Of course, the higher a planet stands on the ladder of existence, the fewer are the deviations or winding pathways that the entities follow in their long pilgrimage. There have been planets, however, whose humanities have 'failed,' in the sense that such planets with their teeming humanities did not make the grade, and went backwards — it was karma, part of their evolutionary unfoldment so to do. But these are very rare cases.
Mercury is just emerging from obscuration, to begin its last or seventh round. This planet is even more mysterious than Venus, and in many nations of antiquity has been closely associated with the after-death teachings of the Mysteries. The Sanskrit name for Mercury is Budha (wisdom), which planet the Greeks called Hermes, the particular overseer of mystics and the "conductor of souls" to the Underworld (cf. Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, ch. XVIII).
The Secret Doctrine (II, 44-5) contains this illuminating passage:
The men of Budha (Mercury) are metaphorically immortal through their Wisdom. Such is the common belief of those who credit every star or planet with being inhabited. . . . The Moon being an inferior body to the Earth even, to say nothing of other planets, the terrestrial men produced by her sons — the lunar men or "ancestors" — from her shell or body, cannot be immortal. They cannot hope to become real, self-conscious and intelligent men, unless they are finished, so to say, by other creators. Thus in the Puranic legend, the son of the Moon (Soma) is Budha (Mercury), "the intelligent" and the Wise, because he is the offspring of Soma, the "regent" of the visible Moon, not of Indu, the physical Moon. Thus Mercury is the elder brother of the Earth, metaphorically — his stepbrother, so to say, the offspring of Spirit — while she (the Earth) is the progeny of the body.
The intramercurial planet Vulcan, as astronomers have named this to them hypothetical body, has its orbit between Mercury and the sun. According to the teachings of esotericism, it became practically invisible during the third root-race after the fall of man into physical generation. As we have now reached on the ascending arc the degree of plane-development corresponding to that of the third root-race, the planet Vulcan should begin to show itself again in a relatively short cyclic period. Even today, while it is generally invisible on account of what we may call its ethereality, if searched for by telescope it might be seen, under favorable conditions, crossing the solar disk.
On March 26, 1859, astronomers observed a dark body transiting the sun; however, that body has not been seen since. Still, there are other reasons, such as the perturbations in the orbital elements of Mercury, which have convinced some astronomers that there actually does exist an intramercurial planet. Vulcan is in a certain sense the highest psychologically of the seven sacred planets, even though not the least dense.
As for the planet Mars, its physical sphere is younger than the earth, but presently it is in obscuration. It is more than merely 'asleep,' for the great bulk of its living entities have moved on to higher globes of the planetary chain of Mars. However, certain beings were left there when its globe D went into obscuration. These are the sishtas, 'remainders,' i.e. those who serve as the seeds of life on any planet, until the returning life-wave in the next globe-manvantara shall find these bodies waiting and ready for their use. At present, the vital essences of the Mars planetary chain have left its physical globe D, having ended their third round thereon, and have gone to its other globes. There is a mystery with regard to Mars, and that is why H.P.B. in a certain passage on the seven sacred planets mentions only four (Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus), and merely hints at three more (The Secret Doctrine, I, 575). Like the sun and the moon which are substitutes for two secret planets, Mars — to a certain extent — is in the same category.
The subject often comes up as to whether there is life on the different planets of our solar system, i.e. various kingdoms corresponding to the kingdoms of the earth. How could there be such a thing as matter without life; how could the component elements of any entity or thing hold together if there were not a unifying and cohesive energy — and that energy is life. Matter itself is condensed life, concreted electricity, and electricity is but a form of life. There is no such thing as lifeless substance anywhere. It is not matter first and then life as a fragile fruit of it, but life comes first, life universal; and matter only occasionally appears as a mushroom growth.
On our little dust heap that we call earth, we see nothing but matter, which in reality is the most unsubstantial thing that the intellect cognizes. We give to it the primal place as the foundation of the universe, whereas in very truth matter is but a passing phase of life. Consider what matter is, mostly holes, vacancies, empty spaces, a mere play of cosmic energies, foam on the Waters of Space, as transient and as impermanent. Life-Consciousness-Substance, the cosmic triad, is one: not three things, not three essential entities, but one with three faces. (5)
On all the planets there are phases of life, just as there are on our own planet here, the parent of our physical bodies. On every one of them there is or will be a serial line of ascending degrees of entities: three elemental kingdoms, a mineral kingdom, something corresponding to our vegetable kingdom, and again to our animal kingdom, and on some of the planets a kingdom corresponding to the human. For life itself is everywhere because it is the very basis of things: it is gravitation, it is cohesion, thought, body, spirit, mind, ego — it is everything. As The Secret Doctrine (I, 133) has it:
The refusal to admit in the whole Solar system of any other reasonable and intellectual beings on the human plane, than ourselves, is the greatest conceit of our age. All that science has a right to affirm, is that there are no invisible Intelligences living under the same conditions as we do. It cannot deny point-blank the possibility of there being worlds within worlds, under totally different conditions to those that constitute the nature of our world; nor can it deny that there may be a certain limited communication between some of those worlds and our own.
And again in the second volume on page 702:
Since no single atom in the entire Kosmos is without life and consciousness, how much more then its mighty globes? — though they remain sealed books to us men who can hardly enter even into the consciousness of the forms of life nearest us?
People are far too prone to imagine that life on other planets (when it is recognized to exist) is exactly as on earth, so that the 'men' on Jupiter, for instance, would have bodies of human flesh and would breathe our particular kind of air. But a very little thought shows that such a conclusion is an absurdity. The inhabitants of the other planets — those which are inhabited at the present time — must have forms strictly related to and fitted by evolution for their particular planet. They would be very various indeed, and we might not easily accept those beings as intelligent, sensitive and conscious. Some may be flat, some spherical, and some long; the inhabitants of Mercury having, perhaps, the nearest resemblance to us, while those of Jupiter are probably the most diverse in form from us. The inhabitants of Venus, which is an inhabited planet at the present time, are doubles, ovoid in shape. Venus is superior to earth: both naturally and spiritually. The inhabitants of some of the planets move by floating, while those of other planets of our solar family do not move at all; they are fixtures somewhat as trees are with us, and yet are highly intelligent, conscious beings.
The inhabitants of other planets would look like monstrosities to us, simply because our understanding is too feeble to grasp their evolutionary history — and indeed, so far as that goes, we do not even know our own evolutionary history. On the other hand, we men of earth, for instance, would be like developed beasts to the inhabitants of Mercury, repulsive in shape and horrible in the uses to which we put our faculties.
Jupiter's inhabitants are much more ethereal in physical structure and texture than those of earth or Venus, but much less evolved than either. We could describe them as aeriform or igniform; huge entities, as perfectly at home on their own planet as we are on ours. Conditions on Jupiter are such as would prevail on a planet which is passing through an evolutionary stage which the ancients would have called the 'element of fire.' However, at the present time it has almost completed that stage and is very near to the critical line dividing that from the element of air. (6)
There are some wonderful mysteries connected with Jupiter. It is one of the least dense of the planets of our solar system, surpassed in physical ethereality only by Saturn. Physically speaking, many of its characteristics closely resemble those of the sun; in fact, Jupiter is an infant sun, in the sense of 'small' sun. There is liquid on Jupiter, but of a kind that would be unrecognized in our laboratories. We would need to study alchemy, and to know its principles well, in order to understand the properties of this Jovian liquid. Jupiter's atmosphere is very heavy and very dense, in comparison to that on earth. It has a relatively heavy core, but of a fluidic character.
The light that we receive from Jupiter is almost entirely reflected sunlight; but also, in a minor degree, results from the glowing nature of that planet. However, this glowing is not because of its highly progressed stage, but is due to its fiery character. In other words, its self-luminosity has a physical cause, whereas the self-luminosity of planets such as Venus is in a certain degree due to an auric light which they themselves radiate.
In one of his letters to A. P. Sinnett (7), K.H. speaks of the powerful influence of a Raja sun on Jupiter; and that this sun is not yet what astronomers would consider a physical body. Could they see it through their instruments, they would discover it as a practically dimensionless point — a laya-center so far as the physical plane of our solar system is concerned, and yet this Raja sun is vastly greater in volume than Jupiter. Their close relationship has a strong bearing upon the question of the so-called 'physical characteristics' of the surface of Jupiter, particularly the dense, concealing cloak of 'vapor' which, according to astronomers, is supposed to surround it.
It should be borne in mind that every globe of a planetary chain is surrounded during its globe manvantara with a thick veil of meteoric dust, most of it very fine, some of it, however, consisting of more or less large bodies. Take Venus, for instance, or Mercury: each is surrounded with its own meteoric veil which acts in one sense as a cushion, thus forming a protection to the planet. For that reason, we do not see the real face of Venus or Mercury. Globe D of Mars — which we see — has no such veil at present, because the vital essence of that planetary chain has left globe D for its superior globes.
The meteoric veil is the seat of very great electromagnetic forces continuously at work. It is this "meteoric continent" surrounding our own globe which is responsible for some seventy per cent of our heat. Forces emanate from the solar heart and reach the meteoric veil encircling the earth, and arouse electromagnetic currents, producing a part of our meteorological phenomena. Such things as storms are caused mostly by electromagnetic action and reaction between the innate prana or vital forces of the earth and its meteoric continent — a fact pointed out by K.H. in the same letter (p. 161) when he wrote that "every atmospheric change and disturbance was due to the combined magnetism of the two great masses between which our atmosphere is compressed."
There is a close analogy between the coils of a dynamo and the earth whirling within its surrounding continent of cosmic dust. As said, the great climatic changes of the earth, such as the glacial periods, are directly due to this continent of cosmic dust. Even such things as strong winds, electrical storms or heavy rains, the aurorae borealis and australis, and the changes in temperature, can ultimately be traced to the electromagnetic interchanges between the earth itself and this spherical continent or veil of meteoric dust.
The secrets concerning the true nature, structure, characteristics, and movements of the planets of our solar system have not yet been discovered. One of these days astronomers are going to find that those movements, as they are now understood, are largely mayavi, illusory, strange as this may sound.
Not all of the Intra-Mercurial planets, nor yet those in the orbit of Neptune are yet discovered, though they are strongly suspected. We know that such exist and where, they exist; and that there are innumerable planets "burnt out" they say, — in obscuration we say; — planets in formation and not yet luminous, etc. . . . Science will hear sounds from certain planets before she sees them. This is a prophecy. — The Mahatma Letters, pp. 169-70
What is the nature and destiny of the asteroids which revolve around the sun between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars? Briefly, they are the remnants of dead worlds, although it is perhaps nearer the truth to say the remnants of a dead world, a dead moon, the parent of a then future planetary chain. The great gap between Mars and Jupiter, which is now to a certain extent occupied by the asteroids, will be the locus of the orbit of a planet which even at the present time is on the descending arc, coming out of the more ethereal and therefore invisible realms on to this physical plane of our universe. This new planet, in the course of its materialization into a physical planet more or less resembling the other planets of our solar system, will gather into itself most of the asteroids as they now exist.
Of course, evolution in the solar system moves with what is to human beings great slowness. Millions of years will pass before this future planet will be first perceived in our physical universe as an ethereal translucent body somewhat resembling a comet. Prior to this stage, it will be a comet slowly settling into an elliptical orbit around the sun, in the ring now occupied by the asteroids.
Before our earth began its first round in this planetary chain, it too found its orbit (somewhat farther from the sun than now, however), which was then occupied by vast numbers of asteroidal bodies, tiny planets each one, some large and some small. In many cases these were the remnants of the earth in a former manvantara even before the moon was a living planet.
All meteorites, meteors — all intercosmic dust in other words — are but the debris, the residue, of old and dead worlds. They are all destined to some cosmic dust heap where they will be broken up and ground over in nature's wonderful laboratories.
Every mathematical point of being, therefore every atom of matter, every electron of every atom, is simply a monad passing through a temporary phase of its aeons-long evolutionary pilgrimage, this phase being a manifestation as a particle of material substance. In the far distant future every such monad will have become a full-blown god; but before it reaches the divine stage, of necessity it will have to pass through all intermediate stages, one of these being the mental. Every particle of substance, no matter how gross it may be at any one time, is on its way to becoming manasic substance (cf. The Ocean of Theosophy by W. Q. Judge, ch. VIII). Remember that matter and energy — spirit and substance — are fundamentally one; hence matter is but one phase of certain hosts of monads which are presently passing through the matter stage of their long evolutionary journey.
Meteorites are simply old matter in process of decomposing into cosmic dust, later to be used in building up other new worlds. But every atom which composes a meteorite will have its time, as evolution through the cosmic ages proceeds, to become a thinking entity.
Reverting to the nature and characteristics of the asteroids, it may be said that while the majority of them are fragments of a former planet which had its orbit between Jupiter and Mars, thousands of them have been drawn together by various attracting influences so that they now circle around the sun in the space occupied by the asteroid swarm.
Thus far the esoteric teaching is not essentially different from that of modern science, although indeed many astronomers are doubtful that the majority of these asteroids could be the fragments of an exploded or broken up planet, apparently because any such explosion would be inadequate to account for their present large number and the tangle of their orbits which differ so greatly from each other.
As a matter of fact, a great many of the asteroids are captures from the abysses of outward space, and really are fragments of worlds which formerly existed in solar systems other than our own; and these fragments, for almost innumerable ages, had been wandering through interstellar space until they happened to be captured by our sun and its family of planets.
Now when the planet-to-be shall have reached a sufficient degree of physicalization, it will slowly gather unto itself most of these erratic asteroidal wanderers around our sun, and they will thus help to build up its future physical body.
There is a certain analogy between the manner in which a planet attracts unto itself meteors from outer space (as our earth does by the millions daily) and the way in which the human body continuously draws to itself millions of life-atoms, giving them temporary harbor and then ejecting them when they have served their purpose, after which they are again attracted to some other body. Thus the life-atoms follow their peregrinations or transmigrations both through the different planes of being and along the spaces or fields of any one such plane.
These asteroids have been attracted to this zone of the solar system because of the already manifesting psycho-electromagnetic pull of the planet which is descending into manifestation and will have its orbit between Jupiter and Mars. This fact means a former karmic relationship between the planet-to-be and most or all of the present asteroidal swarm.
An intriguing passage in The Secret Doctrine (II, 700) bears, among other things, on the subject of asteroids:
Unconsciously, perhaps, in thinking of a plurality of inhabited "Worlds," we imagine them to be like the globe we inhabit and peopled by beings more or less resembling ourselves. And in so doing we are only following a natural instinct. Indeed, so long as the enquiry is confined to the life-history of this globe we can speculate on this question with some profit, and ask ourselves what were the "Worlds" spoken of in all the ancient scriptures of Humanity, with some hope of at least asking an intelligible question. But how do we know (a) what kind of Beings inhabit the globes in general; and (b) whether those who rule planets superior to our own, do not exercise the same influence on our earth consciously, that we may exercise unconsciously — say on the small planets (planetoids or asteroids) in the long run, by our cutting the Earth to pieces, opening canals, and thereby entirely changing our climates. Of course, like Caesar's wife, the planetoids cannot be affected by our suspicion. They are too far, etc., etc. Believing in esoteric astronomy, however, we are not so sure of that.
A good deal more could be said about these matters, but as they pertain to exceedingly difficult phases of the doctrine of the spheres, it will be sufficient to say here that there is no accident or chance happening anywhere in the universe, whether in the great or in the infinitesimal. Everything takes place according to strict rules or karmic courses of action, which must be understood as originating in intelligences guiding and directing the magnetic sympathies between beings and beings, and things and things.
When a planetary chain is in its last Round, its Globe 1 or A, before finally dying out, sends all its energy and "principles" into a neutral centre of latent force, a "laya centre," and thereby informs a new nucleus of undifferentiated substance or matter, i.e., calls it into activity or gives it life. Suppose such a process to have taken place in the lunar "planetary" chain; . . . And now it will be easy to imagine further Globe A of the lunar chain informing Globe A of the terrestrial chain, and — dying; Globe B of the former sending after that its energy into Globe B of the new chain; then Globe C of the lunar, creating its progeny sphere C of the terrene chain; then the Moon (our Satellite) pouring forth into the lowest globe of our planetary ring — Globe D, our Earth — all its life, energy and powers; and, having transferred them to a new centre becoming virtually a dead planet, in which rotation has almost ceased since the birth of our globe. The Moon is now the cold residual quantity, the shadow dragged after the new body, into which her living powers and "principles" are transfused. She now is doomed for long ages to be ever pursuing the Earth, to be attracted by and to attract her progeny. Constantly vampirised by her child, she revenges herself on it by soaking it through and through with the nefarious, invisible, and poisoned influence which emanates from the occult side of her nature. For she is a dead, yet a living body. The particles of her decaying corpse are full of active and destructive life, although the body which they had formed is soulless and lifeless. Therefore its emanations are at the same time beneficent and maleficent — this circumstance finding its parallel on earth in the fact that the grass and plants are nowhere more juicy and thriving than on the graves; while at the same time it is the graveyard or corpse-emanations, which kill. And like all ghouls or vampires, the moon is the friend of the sorcerers and the foe of the unwary. . . .
Such is the moon from the astronomical, geological, and physical standpoints. As to her metaphysical and psychic nature it must remain an occult secret in this work, . . . — The Secret Doctrine, I, 155-6
The moon has been called the Lord and Giver of Life; it likewise has been called a dead planet and the producer of death. Are these statements contradictions, or are they, more truly speaking, two sides of the same coin? It is a fact that some drugs can prolong life, and can even bring life back, but if improperly used can deal death and bring about disease. Food can kill, and yet food keeps us alive. Life is full of seeming contradictions which are in reality paradoxes.
As the giver of both physical and astral life, the moon is also the transmitter of the lower mental and psychical vitality. But it is full of all the energies of death as well. It is a decaying body. Every atom that leaves the moon rushes earthwards, impregnated with the lunar influences. The effect of the moon in these respects is deleterious and even death-dealing. And yet, if it were possible suddenly to remove the moon from the skies, annihilate it and its influence, within twenty-four hours we would see ninety-nine per cent of our plant and animal life, including man, wilt and die out. At the same time we would see weird and uncanny forms of growth coming into existence overnight. Love, for instance, gives life, and love also can give death. The lunar vitality not only stimulates the grosser forms of our physical existence, but can likewise by that very action cause decay and disease in other parts of the human constitution. (8)
Our moon has also been referred to as the Dweller on the Threshold of this earth, much as the kama-rupic phantom haunts the human being in certain unfortunate cases where the previous life (or lives) has been strongly influenced by evil thoughts and passions. Just as a Dweller, whose whole nature is corrupt and whose emanations are of death, is constantly, although automatically, suggesting thoughts of depravity, and urging the man to commit evil, so likewise our moon haunts our earth. It is a dead body, a decaying entity, and therefore filled with low life energies. The very life in it causes its decay; for a corpse decomposes on account of the life in it tearing it asunder. Decay itself is a manifestation of life in its disintegrating energy rather than in its composing and building energy. Hence, the moon is the Dweller on the Threshold of the earth. It was our former habitat, which through ages and ages of the lunar manvantara we filled with evil magnetism, and this magnetism still holds the moon together; and because it is attracted to the earth by reason of affinity it continues to haunt our globe and its inhabitants. It sends forth emanations night and day, which rush by magnetic attraction to their own kind on earth, permeating our globe through and through. Its effluvia are maleficent, so far as men are concerned, for they arise in a disintegrating body. The moon has all the psychomagnetic energy of a decaying corpse; and, being a cosmic body, its emanations and powers of radiation are therefore very great.
The crater-like markings of the moon are due to the processes of disintegration arising out of its core: pustules, so to say, freeing the inner gases and other things springing out of the moon and finding their vents through these so-called craters. Blessed will be the humanities of that future time when the moon is finally quite vanished through the dissociation of its atoms into blue ether.
What we see when we look up into the starry spaces is the astral body, the kama-rupa of the physical moon that was, aeons and aeons ago, which physical body is now disintegrated into impalpable cosmic dust. We perceive this kama-rupic phantom, because our physical earth is one subplane higher than that on which the physical body of the moon was. Were our scientists by some magic to be transported to the moon, even though they would be able to see it almost as clearly as they see our earth, I do not believe they would find it easy to walk about on its surface, for it is not quite hard enough for easy walking.
More specifically, we do not see the physical vehicle of the moon that was, when that moon lived as the fourth globe of its chain, but rather the kama-rupa of globe D of the lunar chain that was, because we now have senses built to cognize what takes place on a subplane one degree superior to the subplane on which the physical body of globe D of the lunar chain was aeons ago. In other words, the physical vehicle of our globe D is on the astral subplane of the globe D of the former lunar chain.
Remember, however, that there are seven (or twelve) moons, and every one of them is at present the kama-rupa of its corresponding globe which is now 'dead,' gone, disintegrated into its component elements; and the six (or eleven) other moons belong of course to the other and higher planes of the lunar chain that was, in the same way that our higher globes belong to the higher planes of our earth chain.
The moon ran its seven rounds just as our own planetary chain will, and at the end of its seventh round it died and left its physical body behind, which ages ago decayed into cosmic dust. But the moon chain was not a good chain of life; it was a vicious chain, and we humans are among those who made it so. The kama-rupa of the moon will have disintegrated into its component atoms and vanished before the earth will have attained the seventh round or the last stages of its evolutionary progress in this present planetary manvantara.
As said, the moon is the lord and giver of life, as well as the cause of the death of human beings and of all other organic entities on earth. The moon also has a marked effect on the processes of disease, being the origin of the influences under which all diseases begin and run their course, culminate and either kill the body or pass out of it. Its emanations furnish the field, so to say, in which diseases begin their work. Paradoxically, the moon is also the source of healing, and this part of its power it derives from the sun; but it may not be the best thing for the individual to have the moon heal, either. It is the sun which is the great physician of the earth and of the solar system. Yet the sun itself can likewise kill. An excess of sunlight is as bad in its way as no sunlight at all. And so it is with the moon: excess of lunar light will cause putrefaction, decay, ultimate death. But the lunar light likewise stimulates growth if the balance is otherwise preserved.
In ancient mythologies the moon is sometimes referred to as the Lord of Birth, or the Lord of Generation, and at other times as the Moon-Goddess who presides over conception and the birth of children. In some countries it has been considered to be a predominantly masculine influence, as among the ancient Latins who referred to the moon as Lunus; whereas in later times when the feminine aspect was emphasized it was called Luna. Whether the moon, as in the Hindu legend, be personified as Soma, a masculine deity, or as Artemis or Diana by the Greeks and Latins, matters not at all. This merely signifies that in one case the masculine influence has been more particularly stressed in the mythological stories about the moon; and in the other, the feminine.
Since the moon is the gate of both life and death, in practically all countries of the world and in all ages the conception and growth, not only of animals, but indeed of all entities on earth, were looked upon as being directly under the lunar influence, psychically as well as physically.
There are great mystical secrets connected with the influence of the moon on marriage and gestation, and H.P.B. tells us that it were better for the human race were this more fully understood (cf. The Secret Doctrine, I, 228-9). It may be said that no marriage should be consummated in the waning moon, but always between new and full moon towards the time of full moon. Furthermore, marriages should take place in the springtime, whether of the northern or of the southern hemisphere, the reason being that then the whole of nature is burgeoning with the new life running through all things. The ancient Attic Greeks even had a month which they called Gamelion, meaning the month of marriage, corresponding to our January-February.
The suggestions given above apply to all other spheres of man's activity. When the conditions are appropriate and you have time to choose it is always better to undertake anything of importance, such as the carrying out of a plan of high import, a journey, and so on, when the moon is waxing. Try to avoid the "dark fortnight," as the Hindus express it, which is the period of the waning moon. Begin your enterprises — commerce, study, professional work, farm work, it does not matter — after the moon is new and while it is growing towards full. Nature is then expanding and growing with you. It is a good rule to follow; but there are times when a man, a true man, should not wait but should act immediately, and act powerfully too, quite irrespective of what the moon's phases may be.
It is the moon that controls the initiatory cycle, and it is considered evil to do certain things when it stands in certain quarters of the sky, and holy to do them when it stands in other quarters. Only very great urgency will permit a violation of this rule, for it is based on operations of nature herself. As the sun gives light and inspiration to the spirit, so the moon — which in one very real sense is our evil genius, and in another very real sense an aid — governs the initiatory cycle; and the difference in these respects between the master of white magic and the master of black magic is that the former overmasters the conditions and controls them for an impersonal and holy end, and the other for a personal and evil end.
In regard to this dual influence of the moon, the one of darkness and decay, and the other of light and life, H.P.B. wrote:
A "soma-drinker" attains the power of placing himself in direct rapport with the bright side of the moon, thus deriving inspiration from the concentrated intellectual energy of the blessed ancestors. This "concentration," and the moon being a store-house of that Energy, is the secret, the meaning of which must not be revealed, beyond the mere fact of mentioning the continuous pouring out upon the earth from the bright side of the orb of a certain influence.
This which seems one stream (to the ignorant) is of a dual nature -- one giving life and wisdom, the other being lethal. He who can separate the former from the latter, as Kalahamsa separated the milk from the water, which was mixed with it, thus showing great wisdom — will have his reward. — "Thoughts on the Elementals,"Lucifer, May 1890, p. 187
These are mystical thoughts, and they explain in part why the greater initiations take place always, where possible, during the light half of the moon; this is a matter of natural law, of circumstances which rule the conditions. It is not only at full moon that they take place; they begin at the instant of new moon, and continue until the moon is full, when they cease. When the moon is full, it is on the side of the earth opposite to the sun. This means that both sun and earth are pulling on the moon, drawing from it the soma drink, the lunar nectar. To those who are not ready, who are not strong enough to drink this nectar of the gods, death ensues. To those who are prepared, the soma drink is no longer lethal but gives life.
The moon not only gives life, but it likewise looses the arrows of death (cf. The Secret Doctrine, I, 396-7). And he who can separate the life aspect of it from the death aspect is indeed a wise man. The moon is a reservoir of solar influences, what H.P.B. calls the "intellectual energy of the blessed ancestors," of the solar Lhas, as they are spoken of in Tibet. These influences the moon transmits to us, precisely as our brain-mind is the transmitter of the influences of our spirit. The inner spiritual sun of man sends forth its emanations, its rivers of rays, which are transmitted to the brain through the intermediate function of the soul. Thus the moon is the soul, the sun is the spirit, and the earth is their child, the body.
The relationship of moon and earth is so close, so far-reaching, that it affects every atom of the entire body of the earth: more, of every globe of the earth planetary chain as well as of the lunar chain.
1. In Cory's Ancient Fragments (p. 264, 2nd ed., London, 1832), we find the following three selections from the "Chaldaean Oracles of Zoroaster":
Hepta gar exonkose pater stereomata kosmon
Ton ouranon kyrto schemati perikleisas
"For the Father caused to swell seven cosmic firmaments,
And enclosed the heaven within a convex form."
Zoon kai planomenon hyphesteken eptada
"He elevated a septenary of roaming animals."
To atakton auton eutaktois avakremasas zonais
"Suspending their disorder in well-ordered belts."
To the ancients, 'animal' applies to the stellar, solar, and planetary bodies — in the sense of living things with a physical body, but nevertheless being animate or ensouled. (return to text)
2. They were also known as the 'Superior Deities.' Quintus Ennius, the father of Roman poetry, gave their names in these lines:
"Iuno, Vesta, Ceres, Diana, Minerva, Venus, Mars,
Mercurius, Iovi', Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo." (return to text)
3. Cf. The Secret Doctrine, I, 575, footnote:
"These are planets accepted for purposes of judicial astrology only. The astro-theogonical division differed from this one. The Sun, being a central star and no planet, stands in more occult and mysterious relations with its seven planets of our globe than is generally known. The Sun was, therefore, considered the great Father of all the Seven 'Fathers,' which accounts for the variations found between seven and eight great gods of the Chaldean and other countries. Neither the earth nor the moon — its satellite — nor yet stars, for another reason — were anything else than substitutes for esoteric purposes. Yet, even with the Sun and the Moon thrown out of the calculation, the ancients seem to have known of seven planets. How many more are known to us, so far, if we throw out the Earth and Moon? Seven, and no more: Seven primary or principal planets, the rest planetoids rather than planets." (return to text)
4. Cf. The Secret Doctrine, I, 102, footnote:
"The true Eastern Occultist will maintain that, whereas there are many yet undiscovered planets in our system, Neptune does not belong to it, his apparent connection with our sun and the influence of the latter upon Neptune notwithstanding. This connection is mayavic, imaginary, they say." (return to text)
5. In this idea is the basis of the Christian Trinity: not three gods, but one God, and yet verily three 'Persons' — a fact when properly understood, but a ludicrous collocation of words when not understood. (return to text)
6. Cf. The Mahatma Letters, p. 167:
"Your science has a theory, I believe, that if the earth were suddenly placed in extremely cold regions — for instance where it would exchange places with Jupiter — all our seas and rivers would be suddenly transformed into solid mountains; the air, — or rather a portion of the aeriform substances which compose it — would be metamorphosed from their state of invisible fluid owing to the absence of heat into liquids (which now exist on Jupiter, but of which men have no idea on earth). Realize, or try to imagine the reverse condition, and it will be that of Jupiter at the present moment." (return to text)
7. Cf. The Mahatma Letters, p. 167:
"The whole of our system is imperceptibly shifting its position in space. The relative distance between planets remaining ever the same, and being in no wise affected by the displacement of the whole system; and the distance between the latter and the stars and other suns being so incommensurable as to produce but little if any perceptible change for centuries and millenniums to come; — no astronomer will perceive it telescopically, until Jupiter and some other planets, whose little luminous points hide now from our sight millions upon millions of stars (all but some 5000 or 6000) — will suddenly let us have a peep at a few of the Raja-Suns they are now hiding. There is such a king-star right behind Jupiter, that no mortal physical eye has ever seen during this, our Round. Could it be so perceived it would appear, through the best telescope with a power of multiplying its diameter ten thousand times, — still a small dimensionless point, thrown into the shadow by the brightness of any planet; nevertheless — this world is thousands of times larger than Jupiter. The violent disturbance of its atmosphere and even its red spot that so intrigues science lately, are due — (1) to that shifting and (2) to the influence of that Raja-Star. In its present position in space imperceptibly small though it be — the metallic substances of which it is mainly composed are expanding and gradually transforming themselves into aeriform fluids — the state of our own earth and its six sister globes before the first Round — and becoming part of its atmosphere." (return to text)
8. Cf. The Secret Doctrine, I, 386-403; see also p. 537 where H.P.B. comments on the 'Nervous Ether' of Dr. Richardson:
"This 'Nervous Ether' is the lowest principle of the Primordial Essence which is Life. It is animal vitality diffused in all nature and acting according to the conditions it finds for its activity. It is not an 'animal product,' but the living animal, the living flower or plant are its products. The animal tissues only absorb it according to their more or less morbid or healthy state — as do physical materials and structures (in their primogenial State — nota bene) — and henceforward, from the moment of the birth of the Entity, are regulated, strengthened, and fed by it. It descends in a larger supply to vegetation in the Sushumna sun-ray which lights and feeds the moon, and it is through her beams that it pours its light upon, and penetrates man and animal, more during their sleep and rest, than when they are in full activity." (return to text)