Part Two – The Hexagram and Heptagram
The hexagram symbolizes the union of the inner and outer worlds, the harmony of realizing we are beings that can experience physical and spiritual realities without having to choose one above the other – both are complements of the same whole. The upper triangle represents the active life energies of Fire while the lower triangle represents the passive form-creating energies of Water. The symbol is often inscribed within a circle formed out of the serpent Ouroboros (Greek: “tail biter”) indicating that the worlds of spirit and matter are both enclosed by the Infinite. The Ouroboros is found in ancient Egyptian temples and may be an expression of the god Mehen: the process of gestation before manifestation, and the “protector of the energies” of creation during the formation of the universe. As a chthonic being, it is identified with the invisible energies of the earth and the deepest and most powerful aspects of the unconscious mind. The symbols of the planets are often placed around the points of the triangles according to the flow of energy down the Tree of Life; however, in some alchemical schools Mercury is placed at the center with the Sun at the top and Mars in the lower right. In this manner Mercury represents the union of the worlds through initiation: the Triangle of Fire is the “red” metals and the Triangle of Water the “white” metals.
The heptagram illustrates the flow of energy of the seven ancient planets across the week and day, representing the harmony of the Seven Planetary Geniuses whose energies vivify and animate life on earth. These also follow the order of the Tree of Life, or the Days of Creation, and are experienced daily with the energy of each planet being predominant during one day of the week, even though all are present across the day, thereby assuring a harmonizing of the energies.
For our work we will use the hexagram, as it most completely illustrates the purpose we are working for, while the heptagram complements it by demonstrating how the energies we are using work harmoniously throughout our days and weeks via the doctrine of Planetary Hours.
Life Maps and Egyptian Hieroglyphs
The ancient Egyptians often portrayed the lives of important people on the walls of tombs, these being built either prior to or after their birth. The individual’s life would be depicted as being victorious in all things, and it was believed that this kind of written affirmation would act as a talisman creating the desired outcomes for the person for whom it was created. In modern New Age circles we are often told to do something similar, or to “map out” the life we want. This “map” is to be drawn, illustrated with images or even photographs taken from magazines, thereby allowing us to formulate a literal material representation of what we want to experience in life. For many this helps organize their thoughts and ideas, wherein previously there was only disorder. Such maps or collages are orderly and systematic representations of our inner desires made visible for us to see, touch, feel, and emotionally respond to. They help keep us on track when we would stray from our chosen path or become distracted by non-essentials or areas of activity that are none of our concern nor support our chosen goals. We quickly learn that if it is not on the map, or has nothing to do with the map, to ignore it.
The Cycles of Cosmic Energy and Our Becoming
* Saturn – real estate, retirement planning, and earthly legacy.
* Jupiter – career, charitable activities, and wealth immediately available for use.
* Mars – physical health and well-being.
* Sun – harmonization of earthly and spiritual functions of self.
* Venus – social and domestic relationships with others; artistic skills and expression of all kinds.
* Mercury – specialized skills and technical knowledge of a mundane or esoteric nature.
* Moon – subconscious integration, inner personal harmony resulting in psychic skill and the ability to make the subjective objective and the objective subjective at will.
All of these relate to the material world. In and through them and their realization we grow personally and as a Being in the universe, able to tap into increasingly powerful, abstract, and more cosmological ideas while remaining grounded in the material reality of our choosing, creation, and subsistence. To make use of them, however, we need to have a clear idea, an image which we can identify with and commit our energies to realizing in the material world.
Make a list of the most important things you need to accomplish under each of the subjects listed after the planetary signs. For example, if you are in your forties or fifties and have little money saved, then retirement planning will take precedence over your earthly legacy. If you rent rather than own your own home, real estate may, however, play an important part in your retirement planning, or on how you will fund your children’s college education.
After your list is made, even if you have more than one area of concern for each planet, organize them in order of importance. Pick the most important item from each list and imagine what its accomplished state will be like. What will it feel, look, and be like in all its material form? Find a picture that is either a concrete representation of this desire, or that easily, quickly, and without effort evokes the emotions you associate with your desire. For example, if you are saving for your children’s education, pictures of graduation caps may be all that is needed, whereas a specific amount of money may be used for retirement planning. If you want a new car but are unconcerned with the make or model, then use an image of a generic car, knowing however what particulars you may want in it, such as good gas mileage, two or four doors, etc. You can also use a single word to represent each idea, as long as you have thoroughly analyzed its meaning and effect on you and are committed to it directing the energies you desire to your intended effect.
Obtain a large piece of poster board, or better still a thin, fine piece of wood, and paint on it a large hexagram. Inside each of the vertices of the angles paint the planetary symbol for that point. The ideal is to use colors that are simple, concrete, and easily affect the psyche without effort. A black background with white lines and symbols represents light coming out of darkness, or the individuation of a force or idea, and is a good place to start. Surround the entire image with a circle or, better, a serpent biting its tail.
Starting on a Saturday, preferably in the first planetary hour of the day, place the small pictures, or words, on top of their respective planetary signs. During the week as you meditate on the symbols of the planet of the day, absorb its energy, feel it enter into you, and after several minutes, think of the desired objective you have created for yourself that corresponds to its energy.
That is it. Let the energies you have absorbed be linked and directed to your desire by your subconscious in a natural fashion. Allow your imagination to develop the theme, as long as you stay within the boundaries of the theme of the day and do not stray. Now, insights may come to you, showing how each of your objectives relate to the others, and how achieving one will assist in achieving the others. You may even find out that your priorities need to be rearranged. This is fine and is demonstrative of a maturing synthesis within your subconscious taking place.
This subconscious synthesis is the key to all successful magical, occult, or psychic activities, and has been discussed in-depth in Kabbalah for Health and Wellness, as well as Joseph Lisiewski’s Handbook for the Practicing Magician and in Hermetic Magic by Stephen Flowers.
If we are to make full use of our inherent subconscious powers we must bring them to the level of objective consciousness though careful selection of goals, direction of the energy towards those goals, and continued reinforcement of the chosen ideals. Across the day ask yourself if what you are doing at the moment is positively assisting you in achieving your dream, or if it is only distracting you. In most instances, you will probably find it is a distraction. Keep your life map where you and only you can see it. Talk to NO ONE about it, or of your objectives; learn to use the power of silence by keeping your thoughts to yourself and hermetically sealing your subconscious from negative suggestions. Know the meaning of the Hermetic axiom of the Sphinx: to Learn, to Will, to Do, to Remain Silent.
Next week, in our final installment, we will explore how these ideas relate to the ideal of the Hermetic adept.