Aries 11 - 15
Honouring a Master
by James Burgess
I met Sheikh Abdullah in Turkey in a small, insignificant town, which we had both simultaneously visited on a whim, and, having met as if through the will of the gods, had together boarded a bus to Istanbul within a few hours – spending the 16-hour journey beginning my training in Sufism.
The time we spent in the harsh city was very difficult for me; he treated me more like an obedient dog than a friend, and gave me very little of what I had hoped for, until a couple of days before my departure, when he spent almost an hour instructing me in a very complex spiritual practice involving words, breath, visualisation and a considerable discipline of mind. Bizarrely, he sternly forbade me from even attempting this procedure again, and demanded that I gave him my word on the matter. I wandered off to my hotel frustrated, confused and even a little angry.
When I returned next day, he was very warm and friendly - "Now! you may do this practice. Do it every day and it will change things for you”. When he saw my quizzical look, he explained: "You have not tried the practice alone; you kept your word. Because you are a man of honour, you may progress in Sufism.
Subsequently, I did the practice for a long time, without fail, every day, and it did change me thoroughly and positively. What sticks in my mind is not his capacity to read my energy field accurately enough to see that I had not broken my word, (amazing!), but how deeply important it is to keep faithfully to what we have said we will do – as a matter of honour. In this case it was what opened up my whole life direction, yet even without such benefits, I cherish the aspect of my personality that demands of myself that I behave with honour at all times.
Aries & The Sabian Mystery of Honour
by Heidi Souffriau
“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”
Those are the words of Joan of Arc. “Joan the Maiden” was burnt at the stake at 19. She lives on a hero for God and country.
Her attitude capture the essence of the Code of the Warrior, as taught in the Bhagavad Gita. In this Hindu verse scripture, Krishna, the Supreme Godhead, conveys to Arjuna, a warrior torn about the why of war –and why would we kill our brothers and sisters? –that it’s indecisiveness and inaction which is dishonourful. Here, The Gita touches Aries at its core: we have the duty to engage with life. “We were born for this,” in the words of Joan of Arc.
In the days of war and true warriors, the concepts of Honour and heroism were closely knit together.
But where are the heroes today? Now that fighting for a king or a title has lost all sense, where lies the battlefield from which the soul harvests Honour?
Moving from an outer experience –The President Of The Country – to an inner experience – An Indian Weaving A Ceremonial Blanket —the 5 Sabian Symbols of Honour are on a journey of spiritualizing our movement in the world. This journey inwards evolves Honour from a personality expression to a quality of the soul: the awakening of the inner hero.
Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is traditionally ruled by Mars, the planet of action and fire, our yang principle. The esoteric school of astrology names Mars as the personality ruler of Aries, and Mercury, the planet of Mind, as its soul ruler. Until we decide to word our thoughts out loud, they are a private affair. Thinking is yin.
“To Be Impeccable with the Word,” the First Toltec Agreement, requires that Action (Mars) and our language or Word (Mercury) operate as one. In the first Labour of Hercules, the hero is to capture the wild horses devastating the countryside. The horses are symbol for our thoughts, the mind we learn to control and direct. A Noble Warrior mounts the right horse, for they remember the flame that sparked them into being. Ideally, The President of the Country is a man of his word, whose actions are aligned with his words and his thoughts. Yet in an era of accelerated dispelling of glamour, most political activity is but a television show.
The unmasking of the president as an actor and actors becoming politicians or vice versa are symptoms of our soul’s claim to sovereignty. The lack of Honour in the President or the people who carry titles in society also serves to re-write the definition of Honour in its yin-expression: honour as an inner experience. We no longer fight for country, we fight for Self. To complete the journey towards sovereignty, we have to learn to control our mind and use our Word, our sword, with precision.
Honour is the freedom to live our soul’s desire stripped from societal conditioning, says Aries 12° ‘A Flock Of Wild Geese’. The honour to be yourself. Hindu philosophy names this “longing for liberation” as one of the three gifts of existence. Every bird in flight is a freedom fighter and a symbol of liberation. The wisdom of the bird, however, lies not in the individual, but in the flock. When soaring the skies, birds seamlessly flow from a leadership position into that of follower. Flapping their wings synchronously one after the other, they move as one soul. Like the geese are in it together, we are all here to free the soul. When we express soul freedom, it has a ripple effect on all those around us and the totality of the human family. The frequency of the group soul is elevated. Aries 12° flies in the future of soul group consciousness. In Aries 12°, Honour is a grace extended to the those who feel honoured to be part of a community and to be participating in the human evolution of consciousness.
In Aries 13°, An Unsuccessful Bomb Explosion, we’ve got the fire and excitement of the beginning, but we lack the humility of the beginner’s mind. Humility is knowing one’s limits and the ability to ask for help. The aspiring hero who places a bomb represents the peak of adolescence: the need to overcome the mother. It’s important to challenge those in power, our Presidents and our parents alike, to grow into ourselves. Only to do so successfully, we need an honourable mind. Everyone can build a fire. Building a good fire however requires Devotion, the heart of Mars, and skill, the applied mind of Mercury. Together, Mars and Mercury attend the school of Patience, the virtue Aries comes to acquire.
The symbol suggests that we must not look for another battlefield, externalise another enemy to strategize against. Perhaps the most heroic thing to do is to look inwards and confront our thinking, the battlefield where all contradictions flow together, and remember our soul’s freedom. The soul knows no such things as ‘success’ and ‘failure’. These are labels we give to events of the illusionary world of duality. The soul’s wish is to evolve, and to do so, the soul wishes to travel through the entire rainbow of circumstances, conditions and identities, in its back pocket the permanent invitation to reveal the harmony underneath the binary. The failure of the bomb is a success: no harm was done, and, we are gifted the educational experience of failure. This provides the motivation to improve our skills, beautify our mind, and reset course.
A Serpent Coiling Near A Man And A Woman, Aries 14°, brings in the Tantra. Aries is fundamentally connected to our sexuality. Biologically, the yin of the egg awaits the yang of the sperm cell, and only one party has the honour to be the first. This Martian quality of Aries seeds our need for a battlefield to balance our polarity within and to learn to control our instinctual nature. Whether between gender or nations, war is a way to re-enact the unconscious cellular memory of creation. All creative energy is sexual energy. In A Serpent Coiling Near A Man And A Woman, we have landed in the repository of Honour: the honour to have a human body fuelled by Desire and participate in the pleasure of aliveness, free from the cultural prison where the concept of Honour is tied with control over female virginity, and thus used as a tool to maintain (gender) separation. In one word: the Tantra, Sanskrit for ‘essence’. In Aries 14°, the Way of Kundalini-Shakti, The Coiled Serpent, we no longer fall from grace, we rise in grace through tantric ritual.
The Tantra’s cause is a transcendental ideal in which Aries’ creative life force, our sexual power, is no longer used to selfish ends, but becomes an offering to the Divine. Lord Krishna tells Arjuna: “the commitment of the warrior is to action alone, not the fruits of the action.” Practising non-attachment to the outcome of our work gives way to the work, the process, itself becoming the fruit. We are not in it for the pleasure of the outcome. We come together in divine union to remember our essential wholeness, to celebrate the creative pleasure of the Divine Mother. Mantra, visualisation and specific touch help us reveal our divine, regenerative power as ‘A Man and A Woman’. From our willingness to be vulnerable, a new type of courage, the yin of courage, is born: the courage to be truly seen by another. Through sacred sexuality, Aries 14° represents the honour of soul union: the personality becomes a vehicle to express soul.
The word tantra is derived from the verb tantori, “to weave.” Tantra can also be translated as ‘the essence of that which is woven’, which is represented in the Ceremonial Blanket of Aries 15°. In An Indian Weaving A Blanket, Hercules has tamed the horses of mind and his devotion is growing. Aries’ passionate energy is directed towards divinity. In a state of meditation, the weaver lends his hands to the divine flame of creativity and has become God’s instrument –the weaving, the artwork and the weaver are one. In the deeply symbolical yet useful object of the Ceremonial Blanket, the weaver’s devotion materializes the metaphorical web of our interconnectedness, the fabric of life. Not only is the blanket he weaves a ceremonial one, the weaving itself is a ceremony. The everyday marries the transcendental. Honour is no longer confused with fame or power, nor with recognition by a force or person outside of ourselves. Honour is accomplished as an inner, sacred experience, a grace lived in a pure and peaceful mind.
 The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Sofyus on Honour
It is intuitively clear to those who know, and almost impossible to explain to those who do not, that our purpose throughout eternity is to beautify our robe of light. Thus do we sanctify all life and serve the glory of Existence. Sacredness arises when the in-breath and out-breath are consciously balanced whether as Kundalini sex or as the regulation of how we eat and shit.
We should not dwell upon our past failures to act against perceived injustices and imbalances, we all come from youth to age along a path of trial and error. There is great importance in freeing ourselves to be one with the soul rather than involved overmuch in worldly tasks and responsibilities, however noble might be the intentions.