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Studies in Astrology
Neptune: Principle of Instrumentation

"The Drama of Life is reflected, microcosmically, by the drama of the theatre. Human problems, relationships, joys, loves, sufferings, defeats, and triumphs are all mirrored by the projection of the playwright and the instrumental interpretation of the actor. When we, as individuals, choose to make ourselves 'instruments of the Divine' we play a role on our own Stage of Life that is ennobling, inspiring, beautiful, and triumphant."

  Thy will be done. It is by this phrase, or one of its many equivalents, that the human being recognizes that he is an instrument in the hands of the Over-all Forces, either White or Black. In an attitude of adoration or consecration, he surrenders his personal will in order to serve his concept of the purposes of those Forces. Also, those who are qualified to act as agencies for the releasing of Power are driven by irresistible urges to do so, even though they may not be conscious of their instrumentality.

   Of the former group, Jeanne d'Arc, the warrior-saint of France, is a good example. Through her devotion to her "voices" she became an instrument in the hands of those spiritual agencies which were concerned with the development of the French nation. An extraordinary example of conscious instrumentation was Isadora Duncan, the American dancer; her inspirational responsiveness made possible a dynamic liberation to the concept of the art of Dance in modern times. Among the many people in recent years who demonstrated instrumentation we may consider Bernadette Soubirous, the French peasant girl, through whom the establishment of the healing-grotto at Lourdes was made possible; Max Heindel, the late Father Flannagan, and Mother Frances Cabrini were "instruments" for the establishment of institutions for instruction, human regeneration, and healing.

   Of the second group, humanitarians who work along the more secular lines of government, science, economics, etc., are good examples. Of these we might mention Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Albert Schweitzer.

   The exoteric symbol of Neptune is the "trident," or forked spear, of the ocean-god. Esoterically, however, the symbol represents the upturned cup, open to receive the inflow of inspirational or astral energies. Furthermore, we are told Neptune is not, really, a member of our solar system but is functioning as a "transmitter of galactic energies" to our system. In this function of galactic transmission, Neptune is seen to parallel, on a vast, transcendent scale, the functions of our Moon, which "works locally" between the Earth and the Sun.

   Combining the above factors, we see that Neptune is a feminine vibration, impressionable, sensitive, reflective, fluidic, and receptive. As the Moon is "mother" in a personal sense, with reference to relationship, home, and nation, so Neptune is "mother" in universal sense. "Mother Church," all-embracing, all-forgiving, all-redeeming, is Neptune; the ocean, harboring in its depths the evolution of millions of forms, is Neptune; the virtue of compassion, which is understanding-love, recognizes no barriers to its expression — it reaches all because it has experienced all — its universality is a perfect representation of Neptune. The magic of Art is Neptune; by attunement to this transcendent vibration Man gives expression to the highest impulses of his consciousness through poetry, drama, dance, music, painting, and sculpture. Through these agencies Man, from his beginnings, has sought to give "body" to his idealities through the direction of technique by Will, fired by inspiration. "Religion" and "Art" are two ways of saying "Man's expression, of his recognition of Divinity." Through these two forms of expression, Man proves himself to be "an instrument in the Divine Hands." Through the exercise of his Neptune potentials, he manifests as a microcosmic "transmitter of super-dimensional forces" in his capacities as artist, healer, teacher, and philanthropist.

   While Venus represents Man's faculty of "response to Beauty" through his inner sensitivities and cultivations, Neptune represents his faculty to "contrive Beauty" or "express Beauty" by means of exercising his artistic talents and abilities; he uses his materials as instruments to manifest his concepts, but he in turn, through response to inspiration, is an instrument through which great Intelligences speak to humanity. The two arts which most specifically represent the "instrumentation" of Neptune are Music and Drama.

   Neptune is the transcendent planet of the mental triad — Mercury and the Moon being the other two. Since the language, or "the word" of the inner plane is tone (rhythmic sound vibration), the musician "speaks to us in melody and tonal harmony." The interpretive musician acts as an instrument to manifest the concepts of the creative musician who, in turn, acts as an instrument for inner-plane voices. The trained improvisor, by his sensitive response to musical inspiration and the obedience with which his physical equipment reacts to that inspiration, is an immediate and direct channel for artistic utterance. In the exercise of his talent, his body, his musical instrument, his musical intelligence and responsiveness are all fused into one composite instrument through which the inner-plane voices speak to us.

   The actor, from his inner knowledge of human nature and experience, which is accumulated through many incarnations of intense emotional experience, symbolizes in each characterization a certain vibratory pattern, or level, of the soul body of mankind. Through his inspiration he transmits the playwright's concept of humanity and temporarily assumes the reality of a certain type of person. The greatest acting requires, of course, technique of timing, reading, and movement, but the quality of spiritual greatness that moves the members of an audience to rapture and exaltation is that which is derived from the actor's transmission of his own inner memory (the superconscious) of experience. He "out-pictures" a facet of the inner memory of each person moved by his performance.

   The Drama of Life is reflected, microcosmically, by the drama of the theatre. Human problems, relationships, joys, loves, sufferings, defeats, and triumphs are all mirrored by the projection of the playwright and the instrumental interpretation of the actor. When we, as individuals, choose to make ourselves "instruments of the Divine" we play a role on our own Stage of Life that is ennobling, inspiring, beautiful, and triumphant.

   "Instrumentation" is a focalized releasing of power. When used by persons centered by the higher dimensions of consciousness great service of beauty, healing, and realignment are made possible in all phases of life — human and sub-human. However, power is no respecter of persons or things; it just operates as it is directed. (Consequently, when it is released through an unregenerate or unspiritualized consciousness, instrumentation becomes a process by which indescribable negatives may be exposed. Egotism that is self-centered and self-glorifying makes of instrumentation a thing of evil because through it Power is released for the fulfillment of ends that are limiting and destructive. In this reference the vibratory effects of Neptune must be understood in the study of horoscopes of criminals, delinquents, and psychopaths. These sick people are disorganized, intensity of desire capacities over-balancing Will and/or intelligence, intensity of Purpose coupled with perversion of Ideality — and all maladjusted conditions tend to develop responsiveness to destructive astral forces. Putting these impulses into action is "black instrumentation." The person whose intense, but undirected, sexuality leads him to perpetrate murder and cruelty as an "outlet" is a tool of Blackness; the religious fanatic who, in the name of his gentle, loving Masters abuses, imprisons, tortures, and enslaves his fellow man "for the glory of God and his Church" may be perfectly sincere in his motives, but in such treatment of others he proves himself to be on a low vibratory rate.

   The Spanish Inquisition may be studied briefly at this point since the organization was an "instrument" of "Mother Church." There were, doubtless, many members of the Inquisition who zealously and sincerely perpetrated outrages against "heretics," being motivated by idealistic efforts to express "glory to God" as their church interpreted it. Acts of heroism, self-sacrifice and loyalty which they committed point to an unshakable faith in their concept of spiritual rightness. The means used will have to be answered for in subsequent incarnations, but there is no doubt that sincere devotion to an ideal builds in Whiteness in the inner planes.

   It is the ultimate perversion of the vibration of Neptune when a pretense of ideality is utilized deliberately for self-aggrandizement, self-glory, and domination over the mind and body of another person. This is illusion masking illusion, corruption of corruption, a lie lying to itself.

   When the regeneration has been commenced and the Neptune-patterns from the past are ready for redemption people are "pulled into the most impossible-to-control situations." They are subtly influenced into habits which destroy them; they ask for bread — they get stones; they lovingly assume a responsibility — it becomes a back-breaking burden from which they never find release in this life; they seek spiritual enlightenment — they get a species of black magic which wrecks them; they have intense creative urges and their efforts toward self-expression are frustrated at every turn; they are endowed with unusual physical attractions — they never find the fulfillment of love which they seek above all other things. In each of these cases, the realization of the Ideal forever eludes the suffering person with the >accompanying temptation to sink into negative levels of cynicism, rage, and hopeless fury against Life which they begin to think of as something they can no longer endure but must escape from. Negative Neptune is the "flight from reality" through drink, drugs, indolence, perversion, and suicide. The "flight from reality" is the attempt to escape the pressure of the Inner Voice, which is the person's Reality; he cannot face his past failures to live spiritually.

   Neptune afflicted in the horoscope should be studied as a karmic indication of Principle having been perverted in the past. People who attempt, in one way or another, to escape their problems do so only because they are not aware of the principle which is working for their development. They have, in the past, blinded themselves to "Principle-awareness" by deliberately masking their own truth. Objectively or subjectively in these instances Neptune walks hand-in-hand with Cause and Effect: clouding the lives of people with illusions because of Illusion having been perpetrated.

   Since everyone's Neptune is activated in some way periodically it is of value to the astro-analyst to learn something of the person's experience and reactions in those times. A person who, to a degree, "lives with his Neptune" will recall moments of intense inspiration and exaltation; he will refer to a highly developed, spiritually-minded person whose acquaintance he made or an experience of artistic illumination. Persons who are not well acquainted with Neptune may recall experiences that caused them considerable distress. They misplaced and lost things; material affairs appeared chaotic and confused; things happened and things were said, the sources of which could not be determined; relationships took on a bizarre aspect and unsuspected things were revealed. On the more subtle planes of experience strange, disturbing emotions were aroused, complex desires and peculiar ecstasies may have been felt; will power and purpose seemed to dissolve into unaccustomed feelings of lassitude and indifference; trancelike imaginings and weird dreams may have been experienced. Persons whose charts carry a heavy emphasis on the element of Earth or the vibration of Saturn can experience in their Neptune-activations something really frightening: the material expression of life seems to become fluidic and perspectives appear all out of focus. This is Neptune reminding them of impermanence of the physical plane; it may appear like a temporary aberration but it is really just a momentary shift of consciousness onto a more subtle plane.

   The quality of "hyper-passivity" clearly describes Neptune's "personality" and as such emphasizes in a pronounced manner the receptive, feminine potentials of the chart. The sign of Neptune's rulership, Pisces, is of the water element and the mutable cross — the most purely impressionable of the entire zodiac.

   Since Neptune's function is "channel-ship" we must give careful study to the unregenerate patterns of the planets which aspect Neptune in the chart even if Neptune itself is unafflicted. This is important because though the "channel" may be efficient in function we should understand the quality of "what comes through." A person naturally endowed with psychic sensitivity or a high potential for idealism and devotion can, in his unregenerate expressions, open up to all manner of perverse or destructive influences. Thus, inundated by waves of inflow from the astral planes he can submit his heart, mind, and consciousness to agencies which are neither worthy nor health-giving. Neptune itself unafflicted in the chart is a potential for transmutation through Ideality — i.e. through the exercise of prayer, living devotion to high ideals which are expressions of life-giving Principle, purification of the entire organism through regeneration of physical health and responsiveness to the therapeutic power of music or art in general.

   Neptune is the ruler of the twelfth house of the "natural" or "cosmic" horoscope; its vibrations convey a twelfth house condition of some sort or another to the house that has Pisces on the cusp — or is principally influenced by that sign. Planets in Pisces — disposited by Neptune — are "potentials for the unfoldment of Cosmic Consciousness through the redemption of karma by Idealism;" frictional aspects to Piscean planets indicate the required "soul adjustments."

   The house containing Neptune contains the secret of how you express cosmic consciousness and, particularly through which experience-patterns; toward what ends are you used by spiritual or astral forces; the source of your awareness of "heaven on earth;" the principal environmental source of your inspiration; the point where you most easily surrender to (your concept of) God's will; your transcendence of separateness and instrumentality for truth.

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