the Archer. 2011
I see the goal. I reach the goal and see another.
Sagittarian Mantra ...
William Blake (1757-1827) had the Sun in Sagittarius and was one of the greatest visionary artists and romantic
poets that ever emerged from England, spanning the 18th and 19th centuries.
Blake was so far ahead of his time that he was considered mad by some of his
The literary work of the seventh ray man would be remarkable for its ultra-polished style, and such a writer would think far more of the manner than of the matter in his work, but would always be fluent both in writing and speech."
Blake has been characterised as a 'glorious luminary' and by modern critics as, "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced".
Sagittarius is the visionary, who through great devotion and aspiration, grasps the inner vision and wrestles it from the mind of God. We are told that the sixth ray is going out of incarnation, but in this particular cycle has its strongest expression through Sagittarius. Hence the high idealism and devotion of Sagittarius, even if the sixth ray is not present in a Sagittarian's ray make-up.
William Blake was part of a 'band of brothers', members of a group of creative advanced souls, sent into incarnation as an 'emergency measure' - to offset the dangerous effects of the fifth ray cycle that started during his life (1775).
This fifth ray of science
was a great stimulus for the Industrial Revolution but it also had its shadow
expression - mind separated from love, ignoring the by-products of European
industry: human degradation, pollution and greed; hence the phrase from one of
Blake's poems, 'dark satanic mills'.
The souls who were sent forth comprised the Romantic Poets of the era of Romanticism, a literary, artistic and philosophical era that began in the mid to late 1700's. Poets such as Blake, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Coleridge and Wordsworth were all part of this coterie. I mention this elsewhere in The Destiny of the Races and Nations:
Adam and Eve. Satan in his Original Glory.
"Hence the effort by the Hierarchy in the 1700-1800’s to balance the excesses of the Industrial Revolution via Romanticism in literature and the arts; the classical intellectual attitude that gave way to a wider outlook, which recognised the claims of passion and emotion, and in which the critical was replaced by the imaginative spirit, and wit by humour and pathos.
This initiative was regarded by the Masters as a failure because of Humanity’s lack of response. Hence the ongoing imbalance created, led to a withdrawal of the fifth ray force - “by special and unique arrangement” - because it was deemed that the impetus given to the human "spirit of discovery" has served its purpose."
The Romantics preferred a more passionate and imaginative expression (sixth ray), compared to the Age of Enlightenment - that was more about pragmatic reason (fifth ray). Blake was a 'visionary' as a result of having united certain factors within himself:
"Each state or field of the mind, each field of knowledge, so to speak, which is reached by mental and emotional energies, is a psychical state, just as the mind picture of a stage with the actors on it, is a psychical state or field.
When the pure vision, as of the poet, the philosopher, the saint, fills the whole field, all lesser views and visions are crowded out. This high consciousness displaces all lesser consciousness. Yet, in a certain sense, that which is viewed as part, even by the vision of a sage, has still an element of illusion, a thin psychical veil, however pure and luminous that veil may be. It is the last and highest psychic state."
This mystical vision and
'highest psychic state' is presided over esoterically by the planet Neptune. Blake
had Neptune-ruled Moon in Cancer and Cancer rising, a sign of great
emotional sensitivity, also connected to the consciousness of the masses.
Blake had many visions, as
his art and poetry attest, starting early in life:
At the age of eight or ten in Peckham Rye, London, Blake claimed to have seen "a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars." According to Blake's Victorian biographer Gilchrist, he returned home and reported this vision, and he only escaped being thrashed by his father for telling a lie through the intervention of his mother."
It is obvious from this description that Blake 'came in' awakened with etheric vision and higher clairvoyance. The factor in the horoscope that depicts this is his Cancer Moon (the past), in the twelfth house (the subtle realms). Most of his paintings unveil the activities of the inner human worlds, as well as their co-habitants, the deva or faery realm.
Whether Blake was a fourth or sixth ray soul, his astral body may also have been on the same ray, or ray line (2,4,6). This would have rendered his emotional body as the main receptor of the higher impressions that emanated from the buddhic plane.
There are plenty of factors
in Blake's horoscope that contribute to a strong expression of the second ray
line of love-wisdom. Sagittarius is ruled by second ray ruler, Jupiter. Jupiter
is in the first degree of Sagittarius conjunct his Sun, powerfully accentuating
his Sagittarian personality. Due to the nature of the consciousness-expansive
Jupiter here, Sagittarius might be called 'exaggitarius', especially given its
penchant for story-telling!
Blake's Sagittarian Sun rules the house where the chart soul ruler is placed, creating a potent link between personality (Sagittarius) and soul (Neptune). The Sun and Jupiter tenant the fifth house of the chart, known esoterically as the 'mansion of the soul'.
in Scorpio is another potent factor; says the Master DK,
Perhaps Blake had reached this exalted stage of consciousness, a 'brother of the third degree'? Mercury represents the way one thinks and communicates; in Scorpio, with great depth, insight and at times, very cutting and ruthless. With Mars ruling Scorpio, there is added passion, idealism and loyalty in Mercury's expression. Some of these factors come together in Blake's poem, now called Jerusalem, a much loved British anthem.
The poem was inspired by the story of a young Jesus who accompanied his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea to visit the Glastonbury of old. It is also connected to an ideal of establishing a 'New Jerusalem' in Britain:
did those feet in ancient time
me my bow of burning gold!
One can note in Blake's soulful, dreamy, ethereal paintings, similarities to the paintings (and poems) of Kahlil Gibran. Gibran was Sagittarius rising with Venus on his ascendant. Gibran had a grand trine between Mercury, Pluto and Uranus - the latter on the midheaven, like Blake:
"There is evidence
that Gibran was familiar with some of Blake’s poetry and drawings during his
early years in Boston. However, this knowledge of Blake was neither deep nor
complete. Kahlil Gibran was reintroduced to William Blake’s poetry and art in
Paris, perhaps in Auguste Rodin’s studio and by Rodin himself.
Interesting! One wonders about the thread of consciousness sometimes, whether these two emanated from the same ashram. There is a very strong devotional sixth ray element in Gibran and perhaps this connection affirms that they were both from the 6/4 ashram - that is, composed of sixth ray souls with a sub-ray colouring of the fourth ray.
Sagittarius the Centaur
"Sagittarius is sometimes depicted as an archer on a white horse and a study of the meaning of this symbolism will reveal a great deal of inner teaching. This is one of the later ways of portraying this constellation.
Earlier, in Atlantean days (from which period we have inherited what we know about astrology), the sign was frequently depicted by the Centaur—the fabulous animal which was half a man and half a horse. The horse symbolism dominated Atlantean myths and symbols, just as the ram and the lamb are prominently to be found in our modern presentations.
This earlier sign of the Centaur stood for the evolution and the development of the human soul, with its human objectives, its selfishness, its identification with form, its desire and its aspirations.
The Archer on the white horse, which is the more strictly Aryan [Fifth Rootrace] symbol for this sign, signifies the orientation of the man towards a definite goal. The man is then not part of the horse but is freed from identification with it and is the controlling factor.
The definite goal of the Centaur, which is the satisfaction of desire and animal incentives, becomes in the later stages the goal of initiation, which meets with satisfaction in Capricorn, after the preliminary work has been done in Sagittarius.
The keynote of the Centaur is ambition. The keynote of the Archer is aspiration and direction, and both are expressions of human goals but one is of the personality and the other of the soul.
From ambition to aspiration, from selfishness to an intense desire for selflessness, from individual one-pointed self-interest in Leo to the one-pointedness of the disciple in Sagittarius and thence to initiation in Capricorn.
It is interesting to note that the astrological symbol for this sign currently used is simply the arrow with a fragment of the bow depicted.
The Archer as well as the Centaur have dropped out of the picture and this is largely because the emphasis or focus of human living today is not based upon the objective outer facts of life upon the physical plane but upon some form of inner focus or emphasis, which varies from the many stages of astral and emotional ambition to spiritual aspiration, and from the activities of the lower mind bent upon selfish interest to the illumination of the same mind through focus upon the soul.
An ancient catechism which all disciples
have to master, asks the following questions and supplies the needed answers:
Fused into one, O Master of my Life. The two are one. But both have disappeared and naught remains but the deep fire of my desire.
Where is the horse, the white horse of the soul? Where is the rider of that horse, O Lanoo?
Gone towards the gate, O Master of my Life. But something speeds ahead between the pillars of an open door—something that I myself have loosed.
And what remains to thee, O wise Lanoo, now that the horses of two kinds have left thee and the rider, unattached, stands free? Now what remains?
Naught but my bow and arrow, O Master of my Life, but they suffice, and, when the right time comes, I, thy Lanoo, will follow fast upon the shaft I sent.
The horses I will leave upon this side of the door, for them I have no further need. I enter free, regain the arrow which I sent and speed upon my way, passing from door to door, and each time the arrow speeds ahead."
It is for this reason that the keynotes of Sagittarius are five in number.
1. Attached or fused duality—the Centaur.
2. Human ambition leading eventually to spiritual aspiration.
3. A clear shaft of light which is the intuitive and focussed attitude of the pledged disciple.
4. The "returning arrow of the intuition," as it is sometimes called. For it is the shaft of the arrow of aspiration which returns to the sender as the arrow of the intuition. Sagittarius is one of the intuitive signs, for only the intuition will suffice to carry a man to the foot of the mountain of initiation in Capricorn.
5. Idealism which is the power to see the vision and to direct one's course towards it. This is the work of Mars, the expression of the sixth ray."
"This poem is a moral critique of Christianity and a theological query into the motivations of Creation itself. It asks questions concerning the existence of evil, the malice of Creation, and the Judeo-Christian God’s apparent desire to punish that which he creates. Blake brings to light many problems that would be the philosophical and theological cornerstone of his Romantic artistry."
Author's Note: I had intended to include
astro-profiles of other Sagittarians, Kenneth Branagh and Winston Churchill in this newsletter, but
ran out of time and space! These may be forthcoming later in the month or at a future
Esoteric Psychology I, Alice A. Bailey. pp. 206, 208.
 The Light of the Soul, Alice A. Bailey.
Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.359.