Sabian Symbols: An old adobe mission
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Aquarius 1 (0° - 1°)
Some aspects of life are more important than others and we build lasting forms for those that we want to outlive us
Major works require group endeavour and so we know that such works are emblematic of their times. Thousands of years ago, Stone Age man created features that were very difficult to make – stone circles and Stonehenge for example – that were clearly used for worship and ceremony, and they show that that aspect of life was very important indeed to them. Adobe missions similarly took great effort to place in the wild territory of California’s early period, and collectively they took on the dual function of survival and worship. We might ask of ourselves, ‘Does our own set of values motivate us powerfully enough to create something sufficiently lasting that it outlives us?’
AN OLD ADOBE MISSION IN CALIFORNIA
An old adobe mission in California
Standing up for our lifestyle deepens our character and inspires in us a faith that we belong
An old adobe mission is a traditional image of a real, robust answer to the problems of how to survive and make a living – which is required because we live within a testing environment. What helps to ensure our physical survival as a species is the durability of what protects us as individuals – and, to offer such shelter, these missions were constructed to be strong and permanent. They were more than resources to support settlers materially; the spiritual side was also central to their purpose.
There is an unbroken continuity between the certainty of our material needs and the depth of our psychological needs – simply because we are at risk physically, we are vulnerable emotionally. So, as we invest our loyalties into a certain approach to coping with the physicality of life, we inevitably align with shared emotional realities too – such as having faith that we belong.
How and where we build our home and place of worship not only speaks about our loyalties, preferences, history and expectations – it determines a great deal of what we become. The heritage of our enduring ties stands as a reminder of what has continuing value to us, and which must be neither neglected nor underrated if we are to realise our individual potential.
A compelling depth of character arises from the respect we assign to our heritage. It is almost inevitable that we will, at some point, be called upon to defend and protect what we think of as home, family and community. If we have nowhere to stand, then we cannot really stand for anything.
This deeper approach to life’s established values actually also gives rise to an effective breadth of vision. The future needs to unfold within particular parameters in order to keep alive the tradition we have adopted, and which has adopted us. Our choices about direction are made with reference to the past since we understand that a rich and deep history can underpin a rich and deep future.
One thing we need to be careful of is that such a complete observance of old ways can easily lead to a total lack of ambition, and also a blind adherence to superficialities that have been crystallised into community values. This can be avoided if we are always aware of who we are, what we are doing, and why.
An aware person is tested to remember their own true spiritual state at all times; this is a necessity for both an overall orientation and an underlying stability in all personal existence. In a world of deceit and illusion, where nothing is ever completely fixed in time, this presents a prodigious challenge.
An old adobe mission
Commentary from Richard Grey
N - lasting forms | standing up for our lifestyle | physical survival | defence | choices
H - our psychological needs
T - lasting values | emotional vulnerability | loyalties | shared emotional realities
G - the act of building | the decision about what to build (based on values)
P - group endeavour (cooperation) | a testing environment | having faith
S - blind adherence | awareness | avoidance (of superficialities)
Y - respect | spiritual state
This is all about Thanks - our values. Those we choose and how we attempt to make them last or endure.