End of Term Report
During the Imbolc Term some key changes have occurred that establish Sabian Mysteries more clearly as a school and platform for studying the mysteries. We intend to attract 33 members and build an intimate circle rather than a large, less committed group, although there will also be guests joining some of the meetings.
All Sabian Mysteries activities - all the meetings, articles, videos, topics of discussion, etc. - involve careful planning and preparation. There is currently a team of four people who meet regularly to discuss it all: James, Richard, ShaRyn and Ana, with extra help from others from time to time.
The Newsletter, which was Ana’s initiative, started as an idea to strengthen the connection amongst Sabian Mysteries members by creating a space where we could share what we’ve been learning. We have decided to discontinue it and build a web page of articles, videos and a questionnaire around the Expression of the month instead. We will also be sharing links to these website articles on Slack.
Adding to an already significant archive, the ‘Sabian Insights’ series was launched with Aries 1, and we have seen various fine expositions from a range of presenters.
Topics - Zodiac Expressions
We now have a theme for each month, which we study in depth from many perspectives. By focusing on the topic, we not only gain insight but also develop that quality within us. These topics align with the Sabian Expressions we study as part of each zodiac sign.
Barely even begun, Astrodrama will doubtless be an important part of our future studies and can add a special depth of insight, since it moves our understanding beyond the conceptual level into felt, body experiences of the mysteries. Further exploration into theatre will possibly include a start on creating mystery plays next term.
Self-Mastery and Leadership
This group began with a deep study of our sense of self, “I am”, and also what motivates us, “I like”, and how we understand and experience love. We move next term into the 7 aspects of leadership.
Elven Star Masterclass
We began the term focusing on the Elven Star of our Sun position, incorporating Sabian Symbols, 7 words and our personal experience. We then introduced other planets, concentrating first on the Moon, contrasting this to how we experience our Sun.
During the term we introduced Astrodrama with some incredible sensory experiences as our planets and Elven Stars came to life. We then continued our exploration of Astrodrama with a ‘Circle of 8’, taking a real-life scenario from one of the group, and assigning 7 others to take the role of the Elven Star points allowing an experiential journey for all. Finally, we studied the 7 Planes of Consciousness by following a guided process of ‘Tanzuliat’ meditation.
We finished the term looking back to the beginning of our studies reminding ourselves of the meaning behind the words: Elven; Star; Seven; Sabian; Symbols; Astrology; and Sufism, in relation to Elven Consciousness.
Next term we will introduce Pathworking, which is perhaps the most powerful way of using and integrating Elven Star Consciousness. We will study the Path of Power, Path of Soul, Path of Joy, Path of Awareness, Path of Truth, Path of Magick, and the Path of Life.
In our Unicorn Circle on Thursday afternoons, we moved through the topics in James’ book Elven Star Magick bringing together the Yin (atmosphere) and Yang (teaching) of the subjects with a mix of tools and skills.
We opened the circle with an Earth ceremony, welcoming each member into the group along with the essence of the Unicorn and the Elven Star. We then moved through the other elements bringing in Altar Making; Numerology; The Way of the Leaf; The Power of Words; Languages of Trust and Connection; Mantra and Sound; The qualities of a Magician; Allies at the Round Table; Breath; Guided Meditation and Divination. We closed the circle for our mid-term break with gratitude for our explorations, development and growth - the continuous quest of the Magician.
To take us to the end of the Imbolc Term, we will look at Consciousness through the lens of Awakening, and Spell Making and the Foundations of Magickal Practice through the lens of Claiming.
Sabian Mysteries Studies
We began this term looking at individuals’ Sun and Moon Sabian Symbols and we moved on to consider other personal planetary positions and their Symbols. We experimented a little with Astrodrama. And we ended the term looking at some of the five Sabian Symbols in the Expression of Honour (the topic of the month) and a new Q21 created specifically to assist us to explore our relationship with Honour.
The group’s name has now been changed from ‘Sabian Symbols’ to ‘Sabian Mysteries Studies’ to reflect an intention that from now on this group will study not just Sabian Symbols but all Sabian Mysteries activities.
No details are yet agreed about the content of the event, yet we have a general plan to meet in Ireland during the first week of August, for a combination of formal study and a simple informal gathering at Emerald Cottage in Kerry.
All in all, in one term we have come a very long way and changed through learning about ourselves, each other and the material. The most rewarding aspect of it all is in the warmth of connection that has grown between us. Let us try to remember that love is the end result of all knowledge.
Ana, Richard, ShaRyn and James
Jupiter conjunct Neptune
by Heidi Wang
Jupiter is in conjunction with Neptune exact on the 12th April at Pisces 24: An Inhabited Island
DREAMS - Neptune in Pisces is a dreamer, and Jupiter amplifies the realm of soul. Our dreams will be likely more vivid. Some of us will practise lucid dreaming. More of us will astral travel and lucid dreams with more facility, more frequently. In Pisces, we deal with the ghosts of the past, because our new, bigger dreams desire to come to life on the canvas of Aries. In the light of the Age of Aquarius we are transiting into, Jupiter-Neptune in Pisces is an invitation to release –to consciously bury the archetypes of the past. Opportunities to end and transcend a karmic or mental-spiritual cycle were offered. The endings that feel processed at this time are blessings for our future.
The Aries Expression of Honour
Honour is a quality describing a person whose behaviour is consistently in alignment with a code of principles, which can be personal or communally-agreed.
So begins our study of this, the third Expression of Aries, which takes us on a journey from the very high-profile and strong-willed aspect of a president through shifts and changes to arrive at a highly spiritual attitude to life, signifying how we weave honour into our situations, as a profound spiritual principle.
We explain what honour is, and include videos of various people who also tell us in their own words what honour means for them There is a quick, yet very specific questionnaire to help you see whether this is a strong energy within you, or whether you have need of greater clarity and strength in this important area of life for a spiritual seeker.
There is an article about an encounter with a Sufi master in Istanbul, and ShaRyn Maatthews writes about the approach we have to elders. Heidi Wang makes a very strong argument to explain how the individual degrees combine together in order to underwrite this Expression, and shows us a different way to perceive the way of Aries is by no means always blunt and forceful as its reputation would sometimes lead us to believe, and yet in fact embraces a tantric approach to sexuality.
Honour, (Aries Expression)
Self-examination questionnaire on Honour
The Alchemy of Earth Magick
by ShaRyn Maatthews
“The leaf in its time falls to the dirt that nourishes the tree, and that tree in its time grows the leaf again. Nothing is ever lost, the wheel returns all” Tuatha-an in the Wheel of Time.
The Sabian Mysteries teaches us that the dimension of Earth magick revolves around the two concepts of Space and Time. Earth magick occurs when these two things come together in awareness – a sacred point in time held within a sacred space.
My own sacred points in time revolve around the wheel of the year, not only observing the old festivals but by observing nature herself. I began this a few years ago when I connected to a huge sweet chestnut tree directly outside my office French doors. I could see her in all her glory from earth to sky, she became my sacred space. As the wheel of time turned, so began my journey with the leaf.
My first insight came in meditation as I pondered the old adage, that to receive you must first purge and create space. You’ll see this in many teachings especially around de-cluttering or working with your unconscious, shadow self. The falling of the leaves on the trees are often used in this metaphor to demonstrate the need to release the old to make way for the new. The act of purging or transmuting parts of yourself that no longer serve you to make way for new life, new growth.
Intuitively, I felt uneasy about this. Certainly, there is a time and place for purging, but the absolute correlation – that to receive you must first experience the pain of letting go – felt like a reward system, patriarchal, controlling and outdated. I was guided to explore the process of the leaf falling.
I’m sure we all know of the photosynthesis principle from school days: the green leaves of a plant or tree receiving sunlight and carbon dioxide turning them into food for itself and oxygen for the atmosphere. Then, the turning of the seasons and the changing of the colours as summer turns to autumn; the stark imagery of bare branches as the tree rests in winter; the hope in new shoots as winter turns to spring. But did you know that each of the stages in this cycle occurs as a type of call and response, the tree responding primarily to the call of the light?
At each of the movements through the cycle, whether the tree is receiving the light that encourages the sap to rise or whether it is gathering in the harvest to store for the leaner winter months as the light begins the wane, the way of the leaf is to receive and prosper in call and response. The letting go is not a reactive, painful process. It is an easy and joyful one that naturally occurs as the harvest is celebrated – and the leaf, having played its part, gently falls away to next stage of its cycle. We too have no need to pull and tug at our ‘leaf’ armour to encourage new growth.
Indeed my second insight into the way of leaf is related to that new growth. There is a place for work and toil and, in the way of the leaf, this is the time the leaf bursts forth from the bud, with combustive fire-like energy. However, the rest of the growth is a call-and-response to light and water; it happens slowly and almost imperceptibly a little each hour, each day, each week, and is only truly noticeable as we reflect backwards. As it is for the trees, we simply need to receive the bounty of nature and the rest will happen with grace and ease. For a ‘recovering workaholic’, who finds it much easier to give than to receive, this challenged the very foundations of my world-view, yet at the same time demonstrated the alchemical nature of the Earth we inhabit.
In ancient times Alchemy was practiced by experienced magicians who were searching for the Philosophers Stone, defined as natural philosophy or the Magnum Opus (Great Work) – “the purification or maturation of base metals into noble metals or the perfection of the human body and soul” (Wiki). I see Alchemy as the intentional combination of 2 or more elements or states to create a third improved element or state. Cosmic Upcycling as the old becomes the new, the new becomes the old again This can be observed throughout our earthly existence let’s explore this in relation to The Way of the Leaf.
The Meaning of Life in 7 Words
NO: Experiencing the Authentic Self
The meaning of life is to experience yourself. It is that simple. That doesn’t make it easy however, because there are forces that pull us and push us away from the true centre of who we are, and these pressures are powerful, non-stop and immediate from the moment we take our first breath – and actually before even that! It is a huge task and a great achievement to find a place within ourselves that is authentic, reliable and incorruptible. When we have this, then we have a strong foundation upon which to build a meaningful life.
HELLO: Shaping and Being Shaped
Our life circumstances both mirror and contribute to the development of character. We express ourselves into the world, and this shapes the world, yet equally we are impressed upon by the world, and this shapes us. These interactions are perpetual and on-going as we let curiosity lead our attention, and our attention lead our involvements. Whatever gets our attention will surely have influence upon our character as it is shaped – although never outside of the range of possibility that is the horizon of our potential. Certainly potential is unlimited, yet it expands and moves in an orderly fashion, as does the horizon at sea.
THANKS: Love is the Feeling of Deep Belonging
We find that some of our interactions have a deeper quality than others. Firstly, the power of empathy generates in us such a feeling of belonging that we are awakened into a sense of something bigger. Intimate loving relationship tends towards family feelings, which tend toward clan-, tribe-, nation-, race- and even species-rapport. Thus we are able to reconnect with the depths of feeling that are associated with the heart.
GOODBYE: Establishing Firm Principles
Yet we are not defined uniquely by such a process, in fact we have to give away aspects of our uniqueness in order to belong. So, opposed to empathy, a second force is triggered inside us when the unique self feels its individuality at risk. This force refutes. The fiery, challenging, heroic aspect of our unique individuality decides to stand on principle. I AM ME! The seduction of comfort and the security of belonging are overpowered by the freedom-urge of spirit – and then individually we desire to travel onwards alone.
PLEASE: Vision and Sacredness
Away from the twin forces of seductive familiarity, and the glamour of the rebel, a more powerful sense of true self can emerge. This is felt in sacredness; this is the purpose of sacredness – to become aware of the bigger picture. We reach up to find the most glorious vision we can imagine where who we are, and who we are with, co-create a splendid reality that is rich in colour, opportunity and joy – free from the need either to conform to family values or to reject them.
SORRY: Learning From Another's Perspective
During this visionary process, the push of our personality is met by the push back of another’s. This is required if we are to learn to see our circumstances and our human potential from other perspectives. Through this refining stage, we come to know something of the deepest mystery that exists in all the worlds. It cannot really be explained in words. It has such a truth that can only be experienced when intuitively we trust the physical body to recognise and take on the actual state of being that reflects what the enlightened mind has merely understood.
YES: Surrendering to the Flow of Life
Resistance, ambition, self-proclamation, and morality are all then perceived as follies. Of course they have real worth as devices that show of our imperfection of understanding, and give us a palette for our artistry as we create our lives – yet the real mystery is not found there, it is found when we sink into it. We let all that comes and goes fascinate us for a moment then, perhaps with a smile as enigmatic as the Mona Lisa’s, we can let it all pass us by.
The Pisces Expression of Faith
Each zodiac sign can be sub-divided in its structure, not only into the 30 Sabian degrees, but also into 6 “Expressions” of 5 degrees. Pisces 26-30 is called the “Realisation of Faith” and is studied in some depth on the linked page Faith, Pisces Expression. There you will find a very clear description of what faith is, and a 5-minute questionnaire that will help you come to terms with your own sense of faith and how strongly it operates within you.
ShaRyn Maatthews writes about the intuitive languages that can unfold when we allow faith to guide our insights and understandings. There is also a short personal study about the associated risks of blind faith and several videos that include interviews with fascinating people who speak of their own relationship with faith. It may shift your perception of Pisces away from stereotypical imagery of a confused and ungrounded type of energy and personality.
Faith (Pisces Expression)
Questionnaire on Faith.
7 Words of Alchemy
by Richard Grey
The word alchemy is used as a metaphor for consciously creating dimensional shifts that psychologically and materially change our reality. Choosing not to change is equivalent to inertia; not changing, we are inert - some say ‘dead’. There is more to life than sticking with what is comfortable, and everyone has the ability to manifest dramatic change towards self-improvement. Moving from cautious uncertainty about change, towards intimacy and deepening of experience, occurs by appreciating possibilities and valuing potential more highly than the status quo.
Alchemy is all about root-level change. Having fully realised that change is necessary, or preferred, then the decision to change is instant. Acting on decision leads to freedom – to a fresh start. Such ‘Goodbye’ moments are powerful, especially those concerning major life decisions, like work, relationships, and where we live. These are often watershed moments.
We need a clear vision and the intention to do everything to manifest that change, including asking for help, expecting success, yet also taking responsibility for everything caused by our actions, having deep self-awareness and consciousness of others. Saying Yes to life is all about willingness to let go and take a quantum leap into the unknown, trusting the process and that all will be well, no matter what the outcome.
No: Reject the false
Hello: Expand your horizons
Thanks: Appreciate love and beauty
Goodbye: If it’s not right – then change it or move on
Please: Share your vision with others
Sorry: Respect everything and everyone
Yes: Surrender to the flow of life
Code for Living
No: Be on top of things and increasingly ecological
Hello: Be in active participation in communal life as a way to expand experience and understanding
Thanks: Be kind and gentle unless provoked
Goodbye: Be never stuck, ever more dynamic until the end
Please: Act assertively to align personal and communal hopes
Sorry: Be considerate finding fair balance between self and others
Yes: Enthusiastically accept everything that need not be refused