Sabian Symbols: An ancient pottery bowl filled with violets
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Aquarius 27 (26° - 27°)
DEVELOPING THE SOFTER FEELINGS
Our capacity to feel more sensitively is brought to expression
when we have beautiful and vulnerable things around us
Before the modern world diminished the contrast between what men do and what women do, the tendency had been to promote feminine values more clearly by having these qualities associated with women. The softer side of life was shown to us typically by the modesty of a cultured woman who could arrange flowers in a pretty, valuable vase, positioned to be especially vulnerable to breakage, so that brash behaviour was effectively discouraged. This allowed for the fuller expression of delicate feelings in both the sexes.
AN ANCIENT POTTERY BOWL FILLED WITH FRESH VIOLETS
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An ancient pottery bowl filled with fresh violets
The traditions that anchor community values give comfort and strength, but are not absolutes
It takes clear-minded strength of identity to avoid the loss of self in conventionality and its meaningless trappings. There may well be, within our culture, a tradition that explains why we should place violets in pottery – but there may not. Whichever we feel is true, it is for us to ascribe meaning to our activities, rather than to accept blindly that what was done before should be done again ad infinitum.
No matter the shifting forms life presents to us, there are always tokens of an enduring stability on which the ephemeral and the superficial are unable to make any significant, immediate impact. This is what tradition is.
Its meaning lies in its value as an ultimate assurance to the human heart. We take comfort, and strength, from the knowledge of what is expected of us, our rights and duties, the normal way to behave, and what we may expect of others.
When we are studying the permanence or changelessness of the real, we must not confuse the absolute with the relative. Tradition is held within a culture, and is an attempt to anchor the community to a set of values – yet these values are space/time dependent; they are not actually beyond challenge. Incontrovertible tradition is tyranny. The modern generation has the function of updating traditions to respond to new circumstances with new consciousness.
Whereas the stuff and diversity of our communal organisation are always being replaced, there is an over-all continuance of meaning in which these variables exist. It is this deeper reality which has truth as its essence.
The self may anchor itself in tradition – and this is both valid and empowering, like the roots of a plant. Yet the plant also has leaves – and actually exists in order to flower and fruit. Correspondingly, we must not think that the roots are all and everything – they serve, but should never rule.
There is sustenance and security to be found in rootedness, and this sponsors both our aspirations and achievements, and one who is well-anchored in truth attains a high realisation of values, and a real gift for using them – above and beyond the normal person’s spiritual or material reach. These people are candidates to become exemplars of the current mode of tradition, elders who carry with gravitas the voice of the past as it evolves to become the foundation of the future.