The twelve gifts
Everything around us is permeated by an organizing force, by pure spirit. This “Divine Spirit” brings all parts of space together into one great unity. In case of an ant, we may have the impression that it is only a tiny animal: quite intelligently organized, but ultimately not really intelligent. In comparison, a human being is much more intelligent.
But how big is the Earth compared to us and how big is our solar system compared to the Earth? Just because Just because an ant cannot comprehend our intelligence, it doesn’t mean we don’t have intelligence. Then why should we reject the fact that Earth or even Sun has intelligence? How much greater might their intelligence be compared to ours? Not without reason turned the Greeks in their mythology the Earth, the planets and the Sun into Gods, the starry sky into an all-encompassing divine power and the entire cosmos into a space of divine order.
Mother Earth is our physical home. She has given each one of us a body. She supplies us with liquid, food and air. But neither the Earth nor we would exist without the Sun. The essential energies for our life come from the Sun. Sun is in the centre. Sun gives everything. His mode is to give energy. The Sun is not interested how a living being uses his gift of energy. He simply offers his energy and gives life in this way. Whatever a person does, it is done by virtue of his energy.
Sun is the creator. With each of his rays, he transmits his essence and his energy. This gives us the chance to become a solar being ourselves, a radiant solar hero.
Greek mythology tells of one of the greatest solar heroes: Heracles. He got his spirit from his father Zeus, the mighty Godfather, and from Hera, the Godmother, his supernatural powers. Hera suckled little Heracles out of pity because his mother had abandoned him. But he sucked so hard on her breast that she pushed him away with pain. Her milk splashed across the sky and formed the Milky Way. However, mythology should not always be taken literally. The Milky Way did not really form anew at this moment, rather the world of the stars opened up to the little hero for the first time. He got access to the sky and the zodiac, because if he were to become a solar hero, he would eventually have to gain access to all the powers available there.
Seen from the Earth, the Sun travels through the signs of the zodiac once a year. Each of these signs is allocated to a special task and Heracles mastered them all. Not without mistakes, that should be noted, because he too was “only” a mortal. But he mastered them. In the end, he was the hero who controlled the power of every sun sign. This makes Heracles a solar hero. It is also important for us to make full use of the potential of our sun sign and to overcome all the difficulties associated with it.
Each sign of the zodiac has its own character and gifts, but also its pitfalls and trials. To use the former and to learn to deal with the latter is what the gifts and trials are all about. Every human being has access to the whole zodiac, regardless whether he is born in Aries, Taurus or Pisces. He participates in everything that exists in nature. At the same time, certain modes of reaction are most familiar and most effective to him. They constitute, so to speak, his “type” and thus his natural inclination to act. He is driven by the power of the Sun, which flows through one of the twelve zodiacal signs. This force necessarily specializes his reactions, his thinking, feeling and acting. Hence, he becomes an independent individual with his own patterns of behaviour and ideas.
The active, all-pervading power of wholeness, the Divine Spirit, encompasses all parts of creation and has a spiritual effect on them. Where man detaches himself from wholeness and exaggerates the behaviour patterns of his type, the Divine Spirit offers an antidote: the gift of the respective sign of the zodiac. It leads man back to wholeness and harmonizes what has necessarily made the specialization disharmonious. The Divine Spirit satisfies both the needs of the individual human being and those of his environment.
Aries, for example, has the gift of adaptability. It should give new ideas, arising from the paralysis of the old, the necessary connecting power to the community. In the case of Taurus, the gift of detachment is intended to soften his powers to hold on and to stick to things, so that new life can flow through him and his surroundings, again and again.
The gifts can help us to integrate ourselves better into the comprehensive nature, so we can fulfil our task better within the whole. These are the “gifts of the Divine Spirit”. We do not need to laboriously work for them. It is enough to recognize and accept them. They are similar to a healing serum, which unfolds its full effect almost by itself. If we open up to them, we experience within ourselves the wholeness in which we are always integrated. Then everything falls in line by virtue of the gifts of the Divine Spirit.
For us personally, the gifts are especially applicable to the sun sign, but also to the ascendant, the rising sun.
The twelve trials
Nature forms innumerable forms such as plants, animals and humans. Everything is constantly in motion and changes. Every living being relies on the development of its ancestors and every human being – as long as one believes in the doctrine of rebirth – relies on the progress of his past lives. Either way, there is further development.
Life continues and develops within nature. It is the essence that organizes matter. If life disappears, the dead organism disintegrates into its natural components and dissolves. Life holds the organism together. It penetrates every single cell and forms what we can call the “inner nature” of the organism, the essence that constitutes it.
Life by itself is invisible. It only manifests itself by organizing material components around itself and moving the “outer nature”: the body. Whatever is born out of nature must one day perish. What remains is the unorganized, which no longer is held together and is getting dispersed. For this, there is the concept of entropy. In physics, entropy means the measure of irreversibility, in chemistry it is the measure of disorder. The entropy of the outer nature is constantly increasing and is irreversibly striving for the state of complete dissolution. This applies to the entire universe as well as to the human body.
External nature follows the path of least resistance. It is inert, reacts instinctively and reveals itself through predictable, repetitive actions. We know it in man as the so-called “inner weakness” as he prefers it comfortable and pleasant. The inner nature, on the other hand, wants to create, create and work, to experience through the outer nature.
What connects inner and outer nature is consciousness. If man lets himself go, he lets the outer nature run its course. It then runs off in him and towards decay. He himself lives largely unconsciously and loses energy. Changes only take place when something more pleasant can move him or something unpleasant can be averted. Otherwise, everything remains as it is – just the same as before. Creative activity, on the other hand, demonstrates conscious activity, for which one spends more energy than necessary for the immediate well-being of the body. Inner nature leaves the path of least resistance. It wants to express its liveliness and fully exploit its potential.
To live in tune with nature means to bring the outer and inner nature into harmony. Beyond our efforts to survive, we seek to realize our inner nature, what we really are. To grow beyond oneself corresponds exactly to the effort to be more than just an unconscious animal that merely follows the laws of outer nature and wins the battle of the fittest for survival. We also want to be human, to connect with each other, to share our knowledge, our experience and our love in order to experience and recognize our true being in all its facets.
We were all born from Mother Earth and live in her kingdom. No one can just bypassing her, everyone has to pass with her through her. In Greek mythology, Mother Earth is called Gaia. She always challenged her children and grandchildren. At first, she motivated her son Kronos to separate from his all-embracing father Uranos and to become an independent individual. In human life, this corresponds to the phase of individualization. Once this phase has been completed and one’s own ego – just like the mighty Kronos – has developed strong enough, the next big step follows.
Now Gaia wanted Zeus, the son of Kronos, to take power. For a human being this means unfolding his inner nature and strengthening Zeus, the wise part in oneself. In the beginning, Zeus was still small and grew up with Pan, the nature God, in a cave. The “Pan within” stands for the inner nature of the heart. Zeus was to make this power visible. When he was big and strong enough, Zeus subdued the egoistic personality of his father Kronos. He did not kill him, but sent him to the island of the blessed, as the personality is needed to realize the intentions of the inner being here on earth.
Then Zeus had to fight against the giants. When they were also defeated, Gaia brought forth Typhon, the greatest being, greater than anything else before. Even the great Gods of Olympus were afraid of Typhon. Due to the grace of Mother Earth, and of nature, the creatures developing within her are given the necessary strength and the corresponding potential. This applies especially for us, children upon Earth. The Earth always presents us with almost insurmountable challenges. But we can cope with every single one of them. These challenges are like trials. Above all, the unfoldment of our potential, our progress is being tested.
In this sense, a test is not something to be specially prepared for, because life itself constantly provides the necessary material. It is only a matter of absorbing and integrating these new impulses into one’s own life. If we don’t succeed immediately, we always get new opportunities. This is also one of the graces of Mother Earth. However, as a rule it doesn’t get easier, but more difficult. Because in the end, a test is making you aware of where you stand and whether you are ready to progress. If this decision is not yet clear to you, life becomes more selective and sometimes also sharper in tone. One day you make this decision yourself or the dice fall by themselves. Life simply goes on. It does not wait for us. Further development requires continuation. Those who stagnate too long are pushed by nature to take the next step. Usually this step is taken unconsciously or out of pressure or need. But everyone had the choice beforehand.
If we are ready and willing to develop, we will regard every test full of curiosity as a challenge to a broader, more open and more powerful life and master it. One of the great Greek heroes showed it to us: the solar hero Heracles, a mortal like us! He mastered all the trials imposed on him by his mother and hence found his way back to his creative solar power. This power is available to all of us – as a potential to unfold.
From birth, every human being has been assigned to a sun sign, his so-called sign of the zodiac. This is connected with both a gift of the Divine Spirit and a special test by Mother Earth. Dane Rudhyar described the tests in his book “An Astrological Triptych / Esoteric Astrology” as cosmic tests. But they all show themselves in their terrestrial forms and this every day.
The checking of the zodiacal sign is also effective for our ascendant. It pervades our entire life, even if we are not always aware of it. Wherever we may be, new challenges arise of the same original form in ever new manifestations. Every test has a negative as well as a positive aspect of solution, a fall as well as a rise. Which way we choose is up to us. This is our divine natural right.
Not only astrologers are indebted to Dane Rudhyar. On the one hand, he has taken the gifts partly from the books of Alice Bailey. He completely developed the tests for each individual sun sign and described them in his own special way. He obtained a broad overview of how things are interrelated. His descriptions are all great, but not always easy to read. In this booklet, the gifts and trials are reinterpreted and hopefully conveyed in an easily understandable manner. The essence, however, is taken from Rudhyar’s work.
Where it seemed appropriate, new ideas and thoughts were added.
New in this booklet is the idea of synthesis. The gift and test of a sun sign are not separated from each other. They come together within us. A person born in the sun sign Aries has access both to the gift of adaptability and to the test of isolation. Both aspects are present within him at the same time. This applies to every birth sign. Therefore, it made sense to combine the essence of both aspects into a whole – short and to the point.
The gifts in this form appeared for the first time in the Sun-Moon Calendar 2016 in the Hier und Jetzt Verlag, the test in the corresponding subsequent edition for 2017. Consequently, both the gifts and the tests had to be readable independently of each other. In some places, this required repetitions of the content. The benefit for the reader, however, is that a special gift or test can be completed in a single chapter and viewed without resorting to other chapters.
…will be continued