February 13, 2006 at 9:43 pm #10565
Another one for Michael… about Saturn. Going by your analogy of using space to slice up time, would you say that it is correct that the point at which time starts to be sliced is the sphere of Saturn? Or anyway that is the name I know.
I do not know exactly how to say how I feel about this. I am not even vaguely ready to understand but I also love to hear about it! Especially to compare what people say when they come from different traditions. I have the image of Saturn as a ‘slicer’. It slices up eternity into a set of potentials. Does this make sense to you.
Also what do Taoists mean by earlier and later heaven and do they have a concept of Saturn? Magicians often say there is an Abyss you must cross before you can reach the timeless realm – one person memorably said to me, it is an Abyss you cross by becoming it. Do the Taoists talk about that also?
Best NNFebruary 13, 2006 at 11:32 pm #10566
I think you would find Rudolf Steiner’s ‘An Outline of Occult Science’ interesting in this regard.
SimonFebruary 14, 2006 at 4:43 am #10568
Re: Saturn as the slicer that starts up time?
>Another one for Michael… about Saturn. Going by your analogy of using space to slice up time, would you say that it is correct that the point at which time starts to be sliced is the sphere of Saturn? Or anyway that is the name I know.
Yes. For humanity. The planets define the archetypal sphere of human soul’s embodiment into physicality, and Saturn rules the process. So the “timing” of planetary cycles and the shen of the planets define human awareness of the five phase cyclicity of time.
>I do not know exactly how to say how I feel about this. I am not even vaguely ready to understand but I also love to hear about it! Especially to compare what people say when they come from different traditions. I have the image of Saturn as a ‘slicer’. It slices up eternity into a set of potentials. Does this make sense to you.
Also what do Taoists mean by earlier and later heaven and do they have a concept of Saturn?
Saturn is the ruler of earth; the Chinese metaphor for this is the Yellow Emperor, that rules the Earth and allows us, when aligned properly, to control the forces here.
Saturn is the yellow planet, and its rings are the cosmic equivalent to the dai mai, or belt channel, in human beings (taught in fusion of five elements level 2 & 3). This belt in effect slices time by creating a boundary around the embodied mind, keeping it focused in a narrow band of consciousness.
The chinese bagua (see “about symbol” on my homepage beneath my logo in top left corner)
is the symbol for Saturn, as the bagua is ruled by Saturn/Number 5 in the center.
In western kaballah this number diagram is also taken to be the diagram of saturn (a three by three grid of nine prime numbers, known as the magic square). All of this is ultimately musical theory, as the numbers represent tones/chords of creation. However, these western diagrams of the magic square and Saturn in kaballistic circles do not appear until the 15th cen, raising speculation that the ideas originated in China, where the diagrams have been around for 5,000 to 8,000 years, and are the basis for the I Ching.
See my lengthy downloadable article (written for scholarly conference, but useful for practitioners) on articles page on Daoist Energy Body as Musical Instrument. It details a lot about these number patterns (known as River Chart and Turtle chart, hetu and luoshu).
re: simon’s comments on Steiner, I think he talks of an “old saturn”and a “new” saturn to clarify its role in embodying human consciousness and stepping it down through the spheres to earth.
Perhaps simon could add more to this?
>Magicians often say there is an Abyss you must cross before you can reach the timeless realm – one person memorably said to me, it is an Abyss you cross by becoming it. Do the Taoists talk about that also?
This is languaged as 2 levels of “kong” (post-natal or later heaven emptiness) and “hsu”, (xu), or pre-natal or Early Heaven emptiness, which are really just spaces defining the boudaries between the different levels of consciousness. There lead up to the “wu”, or wuji, the supreme mystery or Supreme Unknown, from which the yuan chi, or Original Breath pulsates.February 14, 2006 at 6:24 am #10570
That’s very interesting. Thanks. Yes I’ve often thought that the magic square was an import. Didn’t it appear on the back of a turtle that came from a river?
Perhaps Steiner’s Old and New Saturns are very much like Earlier and Later Heavens? Saturn in magic is often said to have two faces. From our physical perspective, the dictates of the sphere can seem austere and limiting. From above (I’m told) Saturn has a feminine appearance that shines brightly. But everyone puts it slightly differently…
best NNFebruary 14, 2006 at 7:22 am #10572
>>There lead up to the “wu”, or wuji, the supreme mystery or Supreme Unknown, from which the yuan chi, or Original Breath pulsates.<< In some Kabbalistic Hermetics I have seen reference to the Hebrew definitions of this Supreme Unknown. They said it had three levels - Ain, Ain Sof, and Ain Sof Aur, if I remember correctly. These translate as No Thing, No Limit, and Light With No Limit or something of that kind. Question: is the yuan chi the same as the Light Without Limit? And does Taoism make this threefold idea at the beginning there? I've been meaning to read Steiner, so thanks Simon. best NNFebruary 15, 2006 at 5:34 am #10574
Steiner says a lot about Saturn, and I couldn’t pretend to summarise it.
But certainly he initially presents it as a kind of beginning of a primal differentiation, primal movement, which he characterises as ‘heat’, which seems similar to the buddhist idea of the initial ‘skandha’ of ‘situatedness’–but yes, then ‘Saturn’ becomes something else (more and more manifest), proceeding along a cyclic evolutionary process. He is borrowing words from tradition to fit what he sees in seership.February 15, 2006 at 11:46 am #10576
… right about using the past tense for the androgynes. I’m suddenly realising it sets you up better, puts you back in the driving seat. The time thing is strange because even though it runs differently in other places, we still do get to determine here where is the future ahead in terms of actual manifestation. That is our job. I think subconsciously I had a Buddhist in me somewhere!
I also think I hung around alot with Hermetics and they always refer to what is less dense as being ‘higher’ – but it smacks a bit to me of ‘God Above’! Not going *there*…. even the tree of life puts things in that order and I was influenced by it although I rejected it for myself. I thought to speak of a ‘Heaven’ as ‘Earlier’ or ‘Later’ was nonsense… but now I’m not so sure. So Michael you are right I *did* run that risk.
Then as I am thinking this I am just reading for the first time Austin Osman Spare – ‘Ethos’. He is a magician but NOT a Hermetic, very eclectic the way I like to be. And look what I find! –
“Know the sub-consciousness to be an epitome of all experience and wisdom, past incarnations as men, animals, birds, vegetable life, etc., etc., everything that exists, has and ever will exist. Each being a stratum in the order of evolution. Naturally then, the LOWER we probe into these strata, the EARLIER will be the forms of life we arrive at; the last is the Almighty Simplicity.” [my capitals]
So I’m changing my view a little bit here… it seems to make things even more interesting. Thankyou Taoists, also for your patience.
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