Sabian Symbols: A battle between the swords and the torches
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
17th degree of Taurus (16°- 17°)
CONFRONTING INNER DUALITY
Life is a struggle between
external and internal opposing forces
In seeking further and further clarification of a newly-discovered truth, we are required to develop warrior qualities and fight the real forces of ignorance, domination and greed. Indecision is a fatal flaw for a warrior - who must reduce matters to good and evil, black and white, and choose definitively between this or that, necessity and desire.
A SYMBOLICAL BATTLE BETWEEN ‘SWORDS’ AND ‘TORCHES’
A symbolic battle between 'swords' and 'torches'
A battle between the swords and the torches
We must learn to discern between what ennobles us and what betrays spirit
Wants and needs are not always the same; necessity is rarely kind enough to indulge our pleasures much. Yet mind is a sword that cuts through to the nub of any matter and guides us to the right path. Yet there is often a contrary compulsion to follow what we hold a torch for and go against best strategy. Refusing to depend upon the past, the seeker turns warrior, battling against internal issues that can be seen as the soul versus the ego; we learn to face the need to choose – this or that; this degree is about the polarisation of values.
Distracted by things of secondary importance, we can lose self-competence. Yet distraction itself is needed if we are to learn how better to concentrate our attention on appropriate matters. We must learn discernment to know the difference between what is and what is not appropriate. The primary concern surely must always be to demonstrate and develop competence at being ourselves at the most profound level we can reach.
With care, we can learn how to look beneath the surface of the things that come and go, to find a centre deep and true. In every event or thing, however transient it may be, there is a central cause that speaks eloquently to us of its essence-nature. Whether we give our full enlightened attention to the heart of a matter has great consequence, because attention illuminates our path to the future, and shapes our very being.
Nobility of spirit
Life is a glorious struggle – a constant full-on battle between what we must do to survive, and the purposes we pursue in order to give our life a meaning beyond survival and comfort. On this battlefield we are raised or we fall. Nobility of spirit is the true reward that can be enjoyed to the end of our days on Earth – and beyond.
A more immediate and tangible benefit, as we extend our ability to distinguish the important aspects in a situation, is a growing mastery in organisational skills. Understanding how things work and how to make things work, is nothing short of magick. And what skill is of greater value to a magician than his ability to discern the key to a matter – and to know how and when to turn it?
However – a note of caution: our own personal power may well be comforting and impressive, especially when it is not rivalled. Yet it is neither omnipotent nor everlasting. So we learn, whether by example or bitter experience, that the wise respect the power of all others. True personal power is as much expressed in our ability to accept and adapt to the inevitable as it is to change the unacceptable.
Life requires us to choose between this and that; wisdom comes from finding the resolution of which to pursue. These choices actually define us, they create our identity. We must learn to discern between the trivial and the consequential, between wants and needs, between struggle and surrender, between that which ennobles, and that which betrays the spirit. As we do so, we gain mastery over our lives and become excellent at managing the changes to suit our preferences and principles.