Sabian Symbols: A flag at half mast
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Virgo 25 (24° - 25°)
Spiritual seekers seek to reach such a high level of service that we earn the approval of the public for having met their needs
The measure of our attainment is so often the recognition of our community. Whatever imperfections of character we may have demonstrated in life these faults are not generally recorded in history; our social achievements are. We are remembered and celebrated beyond the span of our days according to how profoundly well we were able to serve the collective needs of our community.
A FLAG AT HALF-MAST IN FRONT OF A PUBLIC BUILDING
A flag at half mast in front of a public building
Any individual who, in service, transcends the ego, is rewarded above all by self-fulfilment
This is a symbol of the exceptional level of respect that is paid to an individual who has managed to transcend selfhood and achieve noteworthy success in service to their community. It is given as a reward for dedication, which has proved worthy through continued, sustained effort. Yet the deeper reward is experienced first and last by the individual as self-fulfilment.
For the common individual in public service, there is no higher recognition than such an honour. It shows they have achieved success and found a deep resonance with their life and times, adding a new level of breadth or depth to express and further some aspect of the community’s purposes.
The coin by which to measure the substance of personality is reputation. As any person is raised in repute, so the community grows in its wealth of values, since appreciation elevates both giver and receiver. It is in society’s best interests therefore to show recognition towards those who personify its values. In the everyday-and-ordinary sense this is most often measured in money and influence; yet when the person has done something very special indeed, then the country’s essence-emblem, its flag, is used to demonstrate honouring.
It is the ultimate justification of personality when it is celebrated immortally as having contributed to history. Then it is upheld as much in death as in life.
It is achievement that is rewarded, not qualities. Ideals alone are not enough to impress others, effectiveness is required too. A good idea or an impeccable lifestyle is of no general consequence until it is impactful upon the community, so the person of note is inspired and obliged to dedicate exceptional effort to overcome all the challenges that arise, and certainly they will also need to win the support of other key players in society in some way.
Inevitably, life throws up its own self-judgements – it can be hard, even harsh, on those whose attempts to serve history fail to become more than a rather superficial self-dramatisation. The weapons of ridicule and scapegoating are employed against any would-be celebrity who fails. Society’s judgements are ruthless, which is why it is no small thing to become profoundly and widely recognised for achievement.
The question in every exchange is whether respect is confidently demanded, or humbly earned. It would be folly to assume that either strategy is always appropriate. Sometimes very worthwhile people use the unlovely expedient of arrogance to insist upon proper treatment so that they can further the community’s purposes.