Some Thoughts on Leo

The truest thing about us

The sun’s progress around the zodiac can be analyzed from multiple perspectives, but its esoteric significance lies in its charting of the unfoldment of consciousness.  In this progression, the transition from the mass consciousness in Cancer to the development of individual consciousness in Leo is a particularly important spiritual stage.  Leo is the “birthplace of the individual” in Alice Bailey’s words.  It marks the emergence of the self-conscious individual who arises out of the mass herd in Cancer and begins to demonstrate self-awareness.  While this development in its earliest phase expresses as absorption in the separated existence of the form, inevitably and increasingly it stimulates the growing realization that the self isn’t completely independent nor is it utterly alone in the universe.  Out of the self-centered focus and often highly emotional sensitivity of the personality, an awareness of the universality of human experience begins to dawn, bringing in its wake a growing compassion and sense of responsibility not only towards other human beings but for all living beings. 

The spiritual significance of this development is summarized in the writings of Alice Bailey as follows:  “The outstanding theme of Leo is the activity of the self-conscious unit in relation to its environment or the development of sensitive response to surrounding impacts by the one who stands—as the Sun stands—at the centre of its little universe.”

Perhaps this capacity for sensitivity gives some insight into a truly startling statement in esoteric teaching:  that every living being or manifested life—from the planetary Logos down to the tiniest atom—either has been, is, or will be human.  The profundity of this realization shouldn’t imply that the human stage is the omega point of evolution—far from it, for it only marks the midway point in the attainment of spiritual mastery.  But somehow, for reasons beyond our understanding, the stage of human experience is profoundly consequential and transitional in the evolutionary continuum. 

The affirmation of being—that I AM—is deeply anchored in human consciousness, for it can be traced back thousands of years to the recognition of the Aryans of ancient India.  In the words of the scholar of religions Karen Armstrong, the Aryans’ ground-breaking realization was that Brahman, the pervasive, infinite, eternal foundation of all existence, of cause of being itself, “was also the ground of the human psyche.  The transcendent was neither external nor alien to humanity, but the two were inextricably connected”, she wrote.  The identity of the atman in us with the atman of the universe, expressed as tat tvam asi in the Chandogya Upanishad, is “the truest thing about us” in Karen Armstrong’s words.

Esoterically, the human stage in evolution develops the capacity of the self to take its place within a great Hierarchy of Being.  This hierarchy is defined in Alice Bailey’s writings as “that chain of life in which the smallest link is of importance, and the greatest link is related to the smallest through the electrical interplay of spiritual energy.”  To the soul on its highest level there is naught but being and relationship.  Throughout the evolutionary progression in consciousness, the major keynote, even to the very highest level, is RELATIONSHIP.  The capacity to perceive relationship is preparation for unity and, ultimately, mergence with the Whole, and it begins with the awakening that, at the core of the self is essential divinity, the truest thing about us.  This is the gift of Leo. 



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