137: Gnostic Magical Patterns in the Theosophical Rays: Notes on their Numbering, with some Corrections and Additions

Most modern Theosophical traditions tell us the infinite divine energy manifests like a cosmic prism into seven different Rays, each with its own color and characteristics. As mentioned in The One Monad and the Twelve Demiurges, these Rays or Radii are another way of viewing the various Demiurgic Spheres; the Radii or Rays are like spokes connecting the center of the cental Monadic sphere to the centers of its subordinate Atmic or Demiurgic spheres. While we disagree with the Theosophists’ fundamental correlations of Ray color and number, nonetheless the Theosophical system contains some fascinating magico-religious patterns of power, which we will elucidate below, along with some commentary, corrections, and additions. Again, the numbering given below is that of traditional Theosophy, and does not reflect or relate to the numbering we have given these various ray-colors elsewhere in the Rorian Tradition, and which we feel more accurately reflects their geometrical properties.

The first three Rays express the Triplicity of Fire.

The Theosophical FIRST RAY is RED, and expresses Will, Power, and Sovereignty. This equates to our Red Hunter (traditional Tarot’s Emperor), and is MARS in ARIES. (Alice Bailey channeling Djwal Khul says this first ray is administered by the Manu, and governs the body; we would add that it rules the navel chakra, which is the body of the soul.)

The Theosophists’ SECOND RAY is BLUE, and expresses Love-Wisdom, Expansion, and Generosity. This is our Blue Planter (traditional Tarot’s Justice) and therefore is BACCHUS or ASTEROIDS (traditionally Jupiter) in SAGITTARIUS, in trine to and four signs behind the First Ray’s Aries. (Alice Bailey/Djwal Khul says that this second ray is administered by the Bodhisattva, and governs the spirit; we add that it rules the sex chakra, which is the spirit of the body.)

Theosophy’s THIRD RAY is YELLOW, and manifests Active Intelligence and Mental Creativity. This ray is expressed by our Yellow Creator (traditional Tarot’s Strength) and thus is SUN in LEO, in trine to and four signs behind the Second Ray’s Sagittarius. (Alice Bailey/Djwal Khul says this third ray is administered by the Mahachohan and governs the soul; we add that it rules the third-eye chakra, which is the soul of the spirit.)

The next three Rays express the Triplicity of Air.

The Theosophical FOURTH RAY is GREEN, and synthesizes Harmony, Equilibrium, and Right Action. This is our Green Priest (traditional Tarot’s High Priest) and therefore is VENUS in LIBRA, in sextile to and two signs ahead of the Third Ray’s Leo. (This rules the heart chakra, the spirit of the soul.)

The Theosophists’ FIFTH RAY is ORANGE, and synthesizes Truth, Science and Concrete Intelligence. We would add that this is primarily the Science of Name and Form, Sound-Vibration, and Concrete Manifestation, also known as Magic. This is our Truth-Speaker, the Orange Mage (traditional Tarot’s Twins) and therefore is MERCURY in GEMINI, in trine to and four signs behind the Fourth Ray’s Libra. (This rules the throat chakra, body of the spirit.)

At this point we must part ways with traditional Theosophy: Its Sixth Ray is given as Indigo (Blue-Violet), but this is apparently incorrect, as the remaining Air Sign’s archetype is the Violet Smith or Alchemist (traditional Tarot’s Hermit); Jupiter (traditionally Uranus) in Aquarius. Since the Theosophical Seventh Ray is given as Violet, and comprises Ceremonial Magic and Alchemy, we may fairly assume that somewhere along the line the Theosophists switched the numbering of Rays Six and Seven. The (corrected) VIOLET SIXTH RAY is therefore our Violet Smith or Alchemist, JUPITER (traditionally Uranus) in AQUARIUS, in trine to and four signs behind the Fifth Ray’s Gemini. Alternatively one might make a case for our Violet Sixth Ray to be the standard Theosophic Sixth Ray of Idealism, Devotion, and True Religion, as these are indeed traditionally ruled by Jupiter. But intuitively we feel that the Violet Ray is indeed the Ray of Alchemical Transmutation. (This rules the base chakra, the soul of the body.)

Now we may return to the start by moving in sextile and two signs ahead to the First Ray in Aries.

Tracing this Ray sequence (1-2-3-4-5-6-1) through the zodiac (Aries-Sagittarius-Leo-Libra-Gemini-Aquarius-Aries) yields a stunning pattern aligned along the (mutable masculine) Gemini-Sagittarius axis: essentially a central lozenge or diamond flanked by two triangles — which comprises an intertwined A M or A V M, often explained as the sigil hailing Mary (Ave Maria) or the Magdalen (Ave Magdalena) or the New Millennium (Ave Millenium). The Freemasons use a simpler variant of this sigil with the interlaced square and compasses. Given the ancient equivalence of V and U, this sigil is also the A U M or mantra that resounds when one ascends into the Council of Masters, and it seems that the original Masons may well have been aware of this. Please see Initiation 5: Mastery, Part II for further details of this Process and its possible Masonic resonances.

Assuming that we have uncovered the correct ray-pattern intended by the original Theosophists or their predecessors, we must ask: Who destroyed the pattern by switching the colors for the Sixth and Seventh Rays, and why? It may have been a simple error on the part of a student channeling and transcribing a Master’s wisdom. Perhaps the student was influenced by Isaac Newton’s division of the spectrum into seven colors, beginning firstly with red and ending sixthly with indigo and seventhly with violet. But would such a fundamental error as this have gone uncorrected? It seems perhaps more likely that the original Theosophists felt the A V M pattern had immense power, and so inserted a simple “garbling” to prevent its misuse by the uninitiated. A similar garbling apparently transposed the Archangels of the West (actually Aurael, but given as Gabriel) and North (actually Gabriel, but given as Aurael) in most Western magical traditions, probably for the same reasons of secrecy. Another such transposition appears to have disconnected the energy behind the dasha sequence in Jyotish, outlined in The Dasha Sequence in Jyotish or Vedic Astrology: Notes and Corrections.

But we are as yet only half done; let us follow the logic of this pattern to include the remaining (“feminine”) six signs.

The next three Rays express the Triplicity of Earth.

The Theosophists’ Sixth Ray (now understood to be actually the Seventh) is given as Indigo or Blue-Violet, and relates to Devotion and Religion. This (new) INDIGO SEVENTH RAY is apparently our Indigo Mason (traditional Tarot’s Wheel of Fortune) — SATURN in CAPRICORN — and so we find that perhaps genuine Religion is equated with Masonry, or Freemasonry. Recently-rediscovered evidence unequivocally derives the Freemasons from the Templars, who (it is thought) recovered the Ark of the Covenant as well as much esoteric knowledge hidden beneath the Temple of Jerusalem, including the sacred geometry behind Gothic architecture, and possibly other secrets of Gnostic Judaeo-Christianity like certain Ark-related technologies of high-spin ascension. Alternatively one might identify our Indigo Seventh Ray with the traditional Theosophic Seventh Ray of Alchemy, as Alchemy is indeed traditionally ruled by Saturn. However, the prominent role Saturn evidently plays in Ascension argues for the Indigo Ray as the correct Ray of True Religion. (This rules the base chakra, the soul of the body.)

Traditional Theosophy gives only these first seven Rays, but we need not stop here. Applying the same logical pattern as in the first six rays, we find the EIGHTH RAY, governing Innocence and Music, to be CHARTREUSE, the Yellow-Green Enchantress (traditional Tarot’s Magician); ISIS or SOUTH NODE in VIRGO, in trine to and four signs behind the Seventh Ray’s Capricorn. (This rules the throat chakra, the body of the spirit.)

The NINTH RAY, ruling Divine Prosperity, will now be the RED-ORANGE Abbess (traditional Tarot’s High Priestess); PROSERPINA or NORTH NODE in TAURUS, in trine to and four signs behind the Eighth Ray’s Virgo. (This rules the heart chakra, the spirit of the soul.)

The final three Rays express the Triplicity of Water.

Following the same pattern as before, the TENTH RAY — overseeing Divine Knowledge — will now be AMBER, the Orange-Yellow Sage or Scholar (traditional Tarot’s Chariot); MOON in CANCER, in sextile to and two signs ahead of the Ninth Ray’s Taurus. (This rules the brow chakra, the soul of the spirit.)

The ELEVENTH RAY, manifesting Divine Forgiveness and Communion, will now be MAGENTA, equating with the Violet-Red Forestress (traditional Tarot’s Temperance); URANUS (traditionally Neptune) in PISCES, in trine to and four signs behind the Tenth Ray’s Cancer. (This rules the sex chakra, the spirit of the body.)

The TWELFTH RAY, demonstrating Divine Regeneration, will now be TURQUOISE, the Green-Blue Fowler (traditional Tarot’s Empress); NEPTUNE (traditionally Pluto) in SCORPIO, in trine to and four signs behind the Eleventh Ray’s Pisces. (This rules the navel chakra, the body of the soul.)

Now again we may return to the start of this second pattern by moving in sextile and two signs ahead to the Seventh Ray’s Capricorn.

Tracing this second sequence (7-8-9-10-11-12-7) through the zodiac (Capricorn-Virgo-Taurus-Cancer-Pisces-Scorpio-Capricorn) yields a pattern identical to the first: another A V M sigil, this one aligned along the (mutable feminine) Virgo-Pisces axis.

Now if we superimpose these two interlocking patterns (1-2-3-4-5-6-1 and 7-8-9-10-11-12-7), we find a whole new pattern, of four interlocking pentacles (five-pointed stars)! Unlike the intertwined four pentacles of the Rorian Holy Year (which align to the equinoxes and solstices, the fixed points of the Taurean-Equinox or T-E Calendar), these pentacles align to the X or mutable cross; the cross-quarters of the Taurean-Equinox or T-E Calendar, marking Mid-May (T-E Gemini), Mid-Lammas (T-E Virgo), Mid-Hallows (T-E Sagittarius), and Mid-Imbolc (T-E Pisces). And instead of being completely intertwined with the others, each pentacle is essentially separate, resmbling a human figure extending its arms to claim one of the traditional quarters of the year for itself; only its feet touch the neighboring pentacles’ feet along the equinox and solstice lines. The “Mid-May pentacle” with head in T-E Gemini extends its arms to T-E Taurus and T-E Cancer, and its feet stand midway out from the circle’s center along the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice lines, thus claiming traditional Spring; the “Mid-Lammas pentacle” with head in T-E Virgo extends its arms to T-E Leo and T-E Libra, and its feet stand midway out on the Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox lines, thus claiming traditional Summer. The “Mid-Hallows pentacle” with head in T-E Sagittarius extends its arms to T-E Scorpio and T-E Capricorn, and its feet stand on the Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice lines, thus claiming traditional Autumn, and the “Mid-Imbolc pentacle” with head in T-E Pisces extends its arms to T-E Aquarius and T-E Aries, and its feet stand on the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox lines, thus claiming traditional Winter.

While acknowledging the upright Equinox-Solstice Cross of the seasons and of orthodox Christians, these pentacles touch this traditional upright cross only with their feet; as the Templars admitted (under torture) to doing, they “tread upon the Christian cross!” The cross they truly embody is the X of the cross-quarters. Many esoteric scholars feel that this X was the secret symbol of the Gnostic Christians, who acknowledged the divine partnership of Joshua the Christ and Miriam the Magdalene, and the pentacle or pentalpha is traditionally the symbol of Venus and the Goddess, the “Higher Selves” of the Magdalene. Perhaps the original Templar ritual or teaching innocently traced the cross-quarter pentacles dancing or treading on the traditional cross, and was only distorted by orthodox minions of the Pope and King who wished to destroy them and claim their vast material wealth.

Finally we may, if we wish, retrace the entire sequence as a single unicursal pattern (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-1) around the zodiac (Aries-Sagittarius-Leo-Libra-Gemini-Aquarius-Capricorn-Virgo-Taurus-Cancer-Pisces-Scorpio-Aries); this destroys the A V M sigils of Mastery and the lower two interlocking Goddess pentacles, but creates a new pattern symmetrical only left-right across the solstice line, and worthy of study in its own right, as it directly connects the complementary signs of the navel or power center (Aries and Scorpio) as well as those of the base chakra (Capricorn and Aquarius), and indirectly comments on the division of the lower three chakras from the upper three, which still retain the Goddess pentacles in “Heaven” above the equinox line. This pattern apparently describes the mechanics of the Fall, or Loss of the Grail, brought about by “incorrectly” linking the Male (“masculine” signs of Fire and Air) and the Female (“feminine” signs of Earth and Water) in the base chakra, bringing a forg etting or denial of Mastery on Earth and causing the Goddess or Shekina to flee the Earth-realms and retreat to Heaven.

NEXT: Color Theory and the Theosophical Rays: Some Notes on their Generation

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