Some Thoughts on Capricorn

The Revelation of the Mystery:

The transition into Capricorn coincides with the sun’s movement northward (in the northern hemisphere), as well as the beginning of a new calendar year. For many inquirers, this is a moment for reassessment and review of the past before formulating the next step. Thus, both endings and beginnings are associated with entrance into the cycle of Capricorn, the “most mysterious of all the signs”, according to the writings of Alice Bailey.

Capricorn is a sign of conclusion but also of renewal. Building upon the vision of the goal achieved in Sagittarius, a new cycle of striving is launched in Capricorn symbolized by the mountain top. Effort, strain, and struggle characterize the strenuous tests of spiritual development in Capricorn which lead to initiation. Success in reaching the mountain top of initiation is never assured, for the tests are manifold and the possibilities for failure are always close at hand. This may be why Alice Bailey wrote that Capricorn can express all the worst of which a human being is capable as well as all the best, for it’s a sign of extremes. The Way is very long and achievement is never guaranteed, for the path to the summit of initiation tests the commitment of the aspirant at every stage.

Perhaps, instead of viewing initiation as an advancing linear path “up and away” from the outer world, a more useful visual image of initiation is that of an ever-widening arc of inclusive identity. “Each initiation leads to the realization of an increasing unity with all that lives and the essential oneness of the self with all selves”, Alice Bailey wrote. It results in a horizon that continuously enlarges until it includes the whole sphere of creation. Yet, all too typical, we’re told, is the delay created by the new aspirant who has turned his or her back upon the outer world of human experience, the gaze fixed upon the inner goal and the Master, rather than upon the realm of outer service and planetary need. The challenge to avoid this pitfall is posed in the keynote for Capricorn: Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that Light I turn my back. The esoteric teaching commands servers everywhere to gain a fresh and clear grasp of the work to be done, so that they become “relaying channels and not delaying points of selfish interest” in the divine flow of spiritual energy into the world.

Has there ever been a time more demanding of this obligation than the present? It’s so understandable that many sensitive, thoughtful spiritual seekers prefer to turn away from the ugliness, selfishness, and relentlessly depressing tenor of so much that’s happening in the world today. But this would be the choice of an easy, selfish escape rather than the expression of a spiritually refined temperament. The world is what it is because we all have participated in its creation, knowingly or unknowingly, with conscious deliberation or simply because of self-absorption, now and/or in some distant past.

Yet, renewal and the power to reverse one’s course is the promise of Capricorn. The ascent to the mountain top of initiation is, most essentially, the process of undergoing an expansion of consciousness leading from one turn of the spiral to the next. Humanity now faces an opportunity unparalleled in past experience. Esoteric teaching tells us that this is a time of an enormous Expansion on every plane of our planet’s life which is testing humanity in an entirely new way. Everything is being called to the surface for recognition and redemption, offering an unprecedented opportunity to be of service at this time of profound change.

Perhaps there is no more insightful recognition of the unfolding vision before us than that given us by St. Augustine, who wrote, “Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tide of rivers, the vast compass of the ocean, the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.” This mystery is the revelation of the path of initiation.



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