The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 2

What the zodiac and its twelve points symbolize.

The circle represents a whole, a oneness. It represents all there is, space, time, beings, events and all this as one, as a whole, as inseparable. No part of this whole can be dispensed with, any more than can a part of a circle. This whole has twelve aspects, behind which stand what are here called twelve abstract points, which when symbolized show relations and progression within the whole. And all are related to Consciousness.

Consciousness is not a being, or a thing, or a state, (Fig. VII-A). All beings, things and states which exist, exist because of the presence of Consciousness in them. It is not space, or time, or matter, or force, or any God. It is independent of all these, but they and everything else depend upon Consciousness. It cannot be changed, qualified, affected, divided, destroyed, improved, weighed or measured. There are no degrees of Consciousness. It has no attributes, no properties, no qualities, no states. It has no limitations, no beginning, no end. It is present everywhere and in everything. By its presence everything is conscious and everything changes from the degree in which the being or thing is conscious to the next higher degree in being conscious. Consciousness is ever unmanifested.

Taurus or Motion symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and the presence of which makes possible all departures from super-nature, and activity and movement in nature. The presence of Motion is the cause of movement in matter; it does not move things directly because it is not matter, but it is within or behind matter and its presence causes the impulse or drive in nature.

Gemini or Substance symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and by the presence of which Substance is as it is and has the potentiality of becoming matter. Substance is space, homogeneous, the same throughout. It has no dimension, no extension, no push, no pull. Yet it supports, contains, is in and through all matter as is the ocean in and through a sponge; in it all matter appears and vanishes, as a cloud does in the air. It is a point, a blank, no thing, to human perception. Out of it comes all matter. It has one potential attribute and that is duality. Through that potentiality it manifests and thereby issues as matter. This matter becomes part of the manifested and unmanifested states of the Universe.

Cancer or Breath symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and by the presence of which Substance becomes the units of fire and the element fire as a whole, and the unmanifested can become manifested. Breath or fire is activity as the beginning and the end of all matter. It is the pervasiveness in and the permanence of the Universe or macrocosm. It is the stage in which matter coming out of Substance first appears as a manifestation. With it super-nature ceases and manifestation of Substance as nature comes or continues, and nature manifests as fire units, as indivisible primordial units and through and beyond nature as units developed to ultimate completeness. The idea of oneness is with Breath; for all the units begin as fire and, as units, end as fire. Every being in the manifested Universe is born and borne by Breath, is maintained by Breath, and remains in Breath.

Leo or Life symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and which presence is behind the units of air and the element air as a whole. By its presence activity is turned into growth, throughout nature. Life or air is the principle of combination and growth. Its presence causes the active side of matter to energize and change the passive side and to combine and to grow. But it preserves nevertheless the pervasiveness and permanence of all-containing, all-pervasive Breath. By Life, the carrier of Breath, is kept up all life and activity.

Virgo or Form symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and which is behind the units of water and the element water as a whole. By its presence the units of water function as form. Form is the principle by which the activities of mass and life are held within definite bounds. Virgo or Form restricts combination and confines growth. Virgo or Form is the carrier of life, controls it, holds and circumscribes it. It causes the passive side of matter to bound, preserve and hold the active side.

Libra or Sex symbolizes a presence, the presence behind the units of earth and the element earth as a whole. Sex is not the sexes. Sex is not maleness and femaleness showing themselves in matter so that the active and passive sides of matter are different. Sex is balance, equality, undivided and indivisible, whereas maleness and femaleness are each the same in the other. Sex is the balancing and the balance. Sex is the aia, the outcome from the earth, which stimulates the breath of the breath-form, so that the form of the breath-form is revivified; and the form of the breath-form clothes itself in physical matter and reappears as a male body or as a female body. Sex as the aia is the means by which the sexes are separated, united, and adjusted and balanced. By the presence of the nameless point symbolized by Libra or Sex, the units of a human body now functioning as active or as passive can each have its active side and its passive side made equal to each other, so that a human body composed of such units will not be a male body or a female body. The sexes in such bodies will then have disappeared, they will have been changed into bodies of perfect equilibrium and balance, bodies in which change has given place to permanence as immortal physical bodies. A doer in such a body, while carrying on its own work, trains each of the nature units connected with it to function as perfect balance. Libra marks the limit of nature, that is, the limit of the progression of matter in nature. Matter cannot progress any further in nature. The laws applicable to nature-matter do not apply to matter that has passed the Libra point of balance, and has thus become intelligent-matter.

Scorpio or Desire symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and which presence is behind the desire of every doer and of every Intelligence. By its presence each embodied doer portion, as it wills, makes itself a slave to its body of nature and remains ignorant of its slavery; or, it may become conscious of its slavery and desire freedom, but still let nature rule it through other of its desires; or, it may decide to and actually engage in the work for freedom; and, it may continue in the work until it is conscious of itself as feeling and as desire and achieves union of its feeling-and-desire.

Sagittary or Thought symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence. By its presence law and justice are kept among all Triune Selves and among all Intelligences. By its presence each aspect of each doer has the Light it is entitled to by its thinking. By its presence reason administers to its embodied doer portion without hindrance what that human has made its destiny, and assists in bringing about the destiny of other embodied doer portions to which its own embodied doer portion is related. Its presence causes matter of the spheres to mingle and to combine with matter of the worlds, and causes this matter to be raised, lowered, accelerated, retarded, limited and extended. All this is done according to the capacities of the one, such as a human being, a Triune Self or an Intelligence, who operates the matter by thinking.

Capricorn or Self-knowledge symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence, and which presence is behind the identity and the knowledge of all Triune Selves and of all Intelligences. Its presence sets the sphere of earth as the limit of the knowledge of nature to which Triune Selves can go, and sets the sphere of fire as the limit of nature, to which Intelligences can go. Its presence is the link or relation between the intelligent-side and the super-intelligent-side of the Universe. By its presence the knowledge of every Triune Self is common to all Triune Selves, and the knowledge of every Intelligence is common to all Intelligences. Intelligence is that which gives indivisibility, permanence, distinctiveness, identity, responsibility and completeness to matter. Matter having these qualities has reached the stage of perfection as intelligent-matter. Such matter is ready to become Conscious Sameness.

Aquarius or Conscious Sameness symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence. Conscious Sameness is ever unmanifested. Like Substance, it is homogeneous; but Sameness is conscious throughout, which Substance is not. It is the unity through duality, diversity and separateness. By the presence of the nameless point which it symbolizes, Sameness is the all-conscious unity as a whole throughout the units of nature, of Triune Selves, and of Intelligences. By its presence, Intelligences, which pass beyond the highest development as units, cease being separate units without losing their identity as individuals. By its presence Intelligences can do this by extending their singleness and separateness into and as unity in the wholeness of Conscious Sameness.

Pisces or Abstract Will is Pure Intelligence and symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence. By its presence, Conscious Sameness becomes Abstract Will or Pure Intelligence, which is unmanifested, unattached and unattachable, and therefore free. It is next to the last step in the plan: by which super-nature becomes nature, as nature units; by which nature units become aia units; by which aia units become Triune Self units; by which these units become Intelligence units; by which Intelligence units become Conscious Sameness; by which Conscious Sameness becomes Pure Intelligence; and, by which Pure Intelligence becomes Consciousness, when it wills to be Consciousness. Will as Pure Intelligence is not power, but it is the source of power, according to the capacities and the abilities of Triune Selves and of Intelligences to use their power.

Aries or Consciousness symbolizes the nameless point which is a presence and which represents Consciousness. The nameless point as a presence is not Consciousness but it represents Consciousness. By its presence are made all beginnings and all ends, if the passage through states in the order of progression can be called beginnings and ends. By its presence super-nature and super-Intelligence are united and completed. By its presence as passage, in the last step of becoming, Pure Intelligence becomes Consciousness when it wills to be Consciousness.

Thus is carried out the purpose of the Universe: that everything continues to progress in being conscious in ever higher degrees; and, that this purpose is accomplished, step by step or stage by stage, according to the plan: the presences of the Twelve Nameless Points. The twelve may be called steps, causes, degrees, states, stages, or by other terms, but they are the presences in the circular ladder from super-nature to the nature unit, to the aia unit, to the Triune Self unit, to the Intelligence unit, to the Sameness of all, to the Intelligence of all, to the presence representing Consciousness, and finally to the one and ultimate reality:—CONSCIOUSNESS.

This figure of the circle with the twelve points is in itself nameless and is not treated at length, but the names given to symbolize the twelve nameless points indicate something of the meaning they have for human beings on the physical plane. The reason is that each of the twelve portions of the doer of a Triune Self corresponds to one of the Twelve Nameless Points on the Nameless Circle. Therefore it is possible for a doer portion in a human to become conscious of Consciousness and of all there is in and beyond the Universe.

In the Circle of the Twelve Nameless Points a horizontal diameter would divide the abstract circle into an upper and a lower part. In the lower part are the points which, if they had names, would be cancer, leo, virgo, libra, scorpio, sagittary and capricorn.

The origin of Substance, symbolizing one of the nameless points on the abstract circle, cannot be explained. Thinking may carry one to Substance, but no farther.

Substance issues as matter, that is, it becomes manifest, when taurus, Motion, and cancer, Breath, affect it. Consciousness does not act, but by the presence of Consciousness, taurus and cancer act on Substance. Then there is an issue from Substance, at cancer; this issue becomes units of the fire sphere; their number is equivalent to the number of nature units that become intelligent units, and of the Intelligence units that become Conscious Sameness. Thus is maintained the constant unit number, the Oneness, in the manifested Universe. This Universe is the sphere of fire, and is symbolized by the first zodiacal figure, (Fig. VII-B). This is a circle with the twelve points marked by the signs of the zodiac. This circle is so drawn in the lower half of the abstract circle, that its aries point is at the center of the abstract circle and its libra point coincides with the libra point of the abstract circle. This circle is itself symbolized by the point cancer. A horizontal line drawn in this circle from cancer to capricorn divides the circle into an unmanifested part in which are capricorn, aquarius, pisces, aries, taurus, gemini and cancer, and a manifested part in which are cancer, leo, virgo, libra, scorpio, sagittary and capricorn. Cancer and capricorn are connected both with the unmanifested and with the manifested, because they are the gates on the dividing line, where matter begins and where matter ends. When a unit of matter passes the capricorn gate and becomes unmanifested at aquarius, an equivalent of Substance, gemini, passes the cancer gate and becomes manifest as matter; compensation, something for something. A corresponding action takes place in all the spheres, worlds, planes and beings down to the lowest cell.

In the lower half of this zodiac of cancer is symbolized the zodiac of the sphere of air, which is itself a circle with the twelve points and is symbolized by the point leo. The leo zodiac, which is the second zodiacal figure, has its aries point at the center of the zodiac of the fire sphere and its libra point coinciding with the libra point of the zodiac of the fire sphere. In the lower half of the leo zodiac is the third zodiac, or sphere of water. It is symbolized by virgo and has its aries point at the center of the zodiac of the air sphere and its libra point coinciding with the libra point of the zodiac of the air sphere. Finally, in the lower half of the third or virgo zodiac is a fourth circle, the zodiac of the earth sphere symbolized by libra, with its aries point in the center of the third or virgo zodiac and its libra point coinciding with the libra point of the third zodiac and of the second and the first zodiacs.

The sphere of earth or of libra is the universe for Triune Selves. The highest conception of God as the Supreme Intelligence, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, relates to him as the Supreme Intelligence of the earth sphere. The portions of doers in human bodies do not in life or after death go beyond the human physical world. Doers in perfected bodies are limited to the worlds in the earth sphere. Only when as Triune Selves they become Intelligences can they go into the three other spheres of virgo, leo and cancer.

The sphere of earth, symbolized by the libra or fourth zodiac, has four worlds, the light, life, form and physical worlds. These worlds are symbolized by four further zodiacal figures within the libra zodiac which stands for the sphere of earth, arranged in such a manner that the aries point of the light world is at the center of the sphere of earth, the aries point of the life world is at the center of the light world, the aries point of the form world is at the center of the life world and the aries point of the physical world is at the center of the form world, and the libra points of all these worlds coincide with the libra points of the zodiacs of the spheres. All eight zodiacal figures are divided into an unmanifested and a manifested part, by a line drawn from cancer to capricorn of each. The manifested side of the physical world is divided by planes, which are lines from cancer to capricorn, the light plane; from leo to sagittary, the life plane; and from virgo to scorpio, the form plane, libra being the physical plane of all zodiacs.

In each of the four worlds of cancer, leo, virgo, and libra, of the earth sphere, are four planes of matter, and on each plane are states of matter. This holds good for the permanent physical world or Realm of Permanence, and as well for the human world of change, (Fig. V-B, a). It should be remembered that this book deals with the human, and that, when the physical world is spoken of, the temporal human world is meant, and not the permanent physical world or Realm of Permanence, unless it is so stated. The bodies, possessions and interests of the human are in the four subdivisions of the solid or libra state of matter on the libra plane of the libra world. Humans do not go beyond the fourth or last state of matter on that plane, that is, the geo-geogen, fluo-geogen, aero-geogen and pyro-geogen states.

Each sphere, world, plane and state of matter is four stages removed from that above it. The sphere of air is thus four stages away from the sphere of fire; the sphere of water is four stages from the sphere of air and the sphere of earth is four stages from the sphere of water. It is so with the worlds, planes, states of matter and their substates. The world in which human beings live, which is made up of the solid-solid, fluid-solid, airy-solid and radiant-solid substates of matter, is made up of matter, the substates of which are all four stages away from each other. Thus the solid-solid substate is separated by four unmanifested stages from the fluid-solid, and that by similar four unmanifested stages from the airy-solid, and that by four unmanifested stages from the radiant-solid, and that by four unmanifested stages from the fluid state.

The four stages are, in every case from the spheres, the worlds, the planes to the lowest subdivisions of the solid state on the physical plane, the unmanifested part or side of that which becomes the manifested part of the sphere, world, plane, state and substate. The four stages are always, as shown by the zodiacal symbol, stages represented by the signs aries, taurus-pisces, gemini-aquarius and cancer-capricorn. The unmanifested four stages are present throughout the manifested stages.

The circle symbolizing the sphere of libra or earth is divided by a line from aries to libra into two parts. On the cancer side is matter which is merely conscious, called nature-matter; on the capricorn side is matter that is conscious that it is conscious, and is called intelligent-matter. The human body is on the nature-side of this dividing line, where nature-matter meets intelligent-matter. The human body is the common ground for both. Nature-matter is by means of fire, cancer, in each of the worlds kept circulating through the worlds, and the human body is the libra point for all matter that circulates. The degrees of nature-matter outside of a human body are cancer, leo, virgo and libra units, here called fire, air, water and earth units of the physical plane, and inside of a human body, cancer, leo, virgo and libra units, here called breath, life, form and cell units.

When a unit of nature-matter becomes a unit of intelligent-matter, it is still a unit of matter but the laws of nature-matter are no longer applicable to it. It is a Triune Self in the Realm of Permanence. But the doer of a Triune Self in the world of change, lives periodically in human bodies. The human doer has its four senses, the sense of sight, cancer; of hearing, leo; of tasting, virgo; and of smelling, libra. The three parts of the Triune Self are, the doer, scorpio; the thinker, sagittary; and the knower, capricorn. The aia, represented by the breath-form, is the dividing line from aries to libra of the physical body, dividing the parts of the Triune Self from the senses, and is the libra of the Triune Self.

In this manner does the circle, which is in every thing from the greatest to the smallest, reveal its nature. The doer, the thinker and the knower, are shown in their true relation by the zodiacal figure. The superior One of the Triune Self is its Intelligence, within the sphere of which the Triune Self always is. The zodiac shows the Intelligence to be of three spheres, (Fig. V-C), just as the Triune Self is of three worlds. The zodiac further shows the relation of the three Orders of Intelligences, the Desirers, the Thinkers, and the Knowers. The nature gods which the embodied doer portions worship are likewise shown in their true relation as fire, air, water, and earth, or cancer, leo, virgo, and libra entities, called by different names, according to the language of the worshipers.

The zodiac reveals that every sphere, world, plane and being has an unmanifested and a manifested part. The unmanifested is that in which are the things which the manifested may become or which it may bring forth. There is that of the unmanifested which does not become manifested, but is always in and through and remains unmanifested. The manifested is that which has come out of the unmanifested. That of the unmanifested which is in the manifested is that by which the manifested may change from what it is into what it is to become. The unmanifested is that by which the manifested may again become unmanifested. It does not do anything with the manifested, but because it is in and through it the manifested works with itself and changes. The unmanifested contains potencies which become actual when the manifested liberates and makes them so. The manifested is manifested in two ways, one active as spirit or force and one passive as matter; and because of the unmanifested being in and through them it may be said that they act and react upon each other, and changes are brought about in the active and in the passive. Thus the manifested progresses until it becomes again the unmanifested, but conscious in a higher degree than when it ceased to be unmanifested. Pisces, aries and taurus are not manifested. This is true of all zodiacs. Gemini manifests in part through cancer; and aquarius is the means by which that which has passed through manifestation progresses into the unmanifested.