Some Thoughts on Capricorn

Descent from the summit

In the flow of energies expressed in the zodiac, striving towards the goal in Sagittarius prepares for the triumph of achievement in Capricorn. The writings of Alice Bailey say that Capricorn is the most mysterious sign of all. Its keynote—Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back—touches on this mystery, but perhaps another way of viewing this seeming paradox is to see it as a pivot point. Capricorn’s cycle spans the end of one calendar year and the beginning of another; more significantly, as its keynote suggests, it marks the shift of focus from striving towards spirit, “light supernal”, to matter, the world of form in need of illumination. This pivot point is evident also in the transition now underway from a 2000 year cycle in which the capacity for idealism and abstract thought was developed, to a new age which will foster the fusion of spirit and matter by working with the forces of nature, rather than trying to overcome them. How fitting that the energies streaming from Capricorn express in this way, for astrologically it’s an earth sign and at the same time it marks the highest achievement the human aspirant can aspire to: the mountain top of initiation.

Capricorn is said to govern the densest or lowest of the kingdoms that manifest on Earth—the mineral kingdom—and all that it represents: crystallization, hardness, calcification. Esoterically, this state offers a significant potential, for it’s said that when crystallization has reached a certain degree of density and hardness it is easily shattered and destroyed. When the implications of this are applied to the present state of the world and the growing polarization and intransigence so visible now in human affairs, it gives insight into the stress of the present times as well as the enormous potential for change. An esoteric perspective given in the writings of Alice Bailey encompasses a vast cycle of time as we humans experience it, but nevertheless the stark juxtaposition of her words strikes an acute chord of recognition: “Today the conflict is between the Lords of Materiality and the Forces of Light and Love.”

These powerful but conflicting energies underlie the experience affecting not only humanity but all the kingdoms that should be in humanity’s care—animal, vegetable and mineral. And no sign offers more insight into this conflict than Capricorn, which is related to the mineral kingdom and therefore to money—perhaps the supreme symbol of materialism but which we’re told should be “the medium of loving distribution” and the concrete expression of the spiritual Law of Supply. The conflict between the forces of materialism and of light may seem like a battleground, but esoterically they will be transmuted into a burning ground, fostering fusion and transformation, when Capricorn and its polar opposite Cancer form a completed whole. These signs are called the two “gates” of the zodiac, Cancer leading into the world of manifestation and Capricorn into the realm of spirit, of “light supernal”. Then the great dictum that matter is spirit at its lowest point and spirit is matter at its highest will be fulfilled. This, we’re told, is the clue to the Cancer-Capricorn relationship and to the incarnation of the soul in the three worlds of experience and human expression.

To understand the depth and heights of experience in the Capricorn-Cancer relationship, there may be no better symbol than the diamond. Formed over millennia by forces acting upon densest material substance buried deep within the earth, the diamond which emerges is both the densest substance in the mineral kingdom and the purest refractor of light that is presently known. The brilliance, radiance and strength achieved by the processes which create a diamond are a powerful depiction of the destiny of the human soul in the long journey towards liberation.



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