[Cover photo: Hofats in the Algauer Alps (Photo by Eugen Dod.)]
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“The Theosophical Society was founded not only with the aid of our Masters, by their Chela and Servant, our beloved H. P. B., but was an event of historical, spiritual importance foreseen and prepared for through centuries previous to 1875 - foreseen and prepared for, I repeat, by Intelligences loftier, far loftier, even than those high human beings whom we call the Mahatmans.
“... the self-conscious spiritual Centers or Foci who brought about the founding of the T. S. because of the work it was intended to do in the world, are the Nirmanakayas - some of them Beings who at rare intervals only take an active and individual part in founding and inspiring organizations of this kind, and then only because the need is unusually great, and the work to be done in the future of equal magnitude and importance.
“... every member of the Theosophical Society whose mind is washed clean of personal desires and whose heart is true to eternal spiritual principles has the chance of becoming an individual, nay a personal, channel for receiving his portion, so to speak, of this mighty river of Spiritual Energy … but only so if he can make of himself an impersonal instrument in the hands of these Great Ones for the world’s high good, for the world’s spiritual and intellectual betterment ...
“My heart yearns to broadcast ... the sublime verity that anyone of you, my Brothers, may become a channel, if you only will to do so and train yourself so to become, for the reception of only the gods know how great an inrushing of the spiritual-psychic energies flowing from these Great Beings who, known or unknown, visible or invisible, presided over the founding of the T. S. and who will have it under their mighty protection and watchful care as long as we prove ourselves worthy and adequate instruments of their mighty strength and loving guidance.” - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, pp. 223 et seq. 2. 
There is a great deal more to the Ancient Wisdom and its teachings than appears at first glance; and after many years of serious study, a student becomes aware of the existence of far greater depths, unsuspected before, and, probably, beyond the reach of ordinary minds.
First of all, the Ancient Wisdom or Theosophy is of course a way of life, a system of living, a manner of conduct, an attitude of life, a reaction to that which life is. It is most decidedly not a set of creeds or beliefs, and therefore it is entirely impossible for anyone to be suddenly converted into Theosophy, and emerge as a full-fledged Theosophist from this transformation. The ethical precepts of the Ancient Wisdom have to be first understood, then related to life, then tried and tested for oneself in their practical application, and finally accepted as working tools and bases of conduct in all the different relations of life. This takes time and growth, and anything that is concerned with growth is fundamental and affects the very roots of one’s being; hence it has an enduring value which concerns character; hence again, it has to do with more than just one incarnation and its fleeting circumstances and changing stage-settings.
In addition to this living power that the Ancient Wisdom is, it is also a philosophy of life which, in its general outline, and in the minds of mere beginners, is a pleasant, constructive, optimistic, broadening and peaceful set of beliefs, even without any practical application of such beliefs to life’s immediate problems. It is far better to “believe” in some of the Theosophical ideas - such as the oneness of all life, universal brotherhood, the innate divinity of man, reincarnation and karma - than to be devoid of such beliefs and remain ignorant of them and therefore utterly confused about life as a whole and its possible meaning, if any. If such pleasant beliefs have become somewhat of a reality in the would-be student, and have begun to take root in a deeper understanding of their origin and nature, these beliefs will in due course of time transform themselves into a way of life, and be applied eventually to the relations and inter-relations of life.
But in addition to both beliefs in the right direction, and the actual living of the basic, ethical teachings of Theosophy, and their practical application, there is another level of thought and of knowledge which should not be ignored or relegated to the background, and it is the realization, to be gained sooner or later, that the Ancient Wisdom is also a Science, a system of thought which contains specific doctrines, well defined tenets and propositions concerning the structure of Nature and the operations of Cosmic Law. The Esoteric Philosophy, therefore, is as much a scientific discipline as any other, and its ethical precepts and suggested attitude to life can be shown to be scientifically valid, and to have a basis as intellectually sound as the doctrines of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology or astronomy. It is this fact that seems to have been overlooked by a great many students, with the obvious results that the great majority  of them in our Movement arc woefully ignorant of the basic intellectual postulates of the Esoteric Philosophy. They are unable to explain the nature and context of its specific doctrines, and only too often take refuge in the ethical aspect of the philosophy, the importance of which no one would deny.
Theosophy has no creeds and no dogmas; but it has doctrines and tenets, which are the formulation, partial to be sure, in human language, of the facts which underlie the causative relations in Nature, and the manner in which cosmic laws operate to bring about the obseJ1vable results. These facts remain unaltered, while their presentation in ordinary language must of necessity change with the change of languages, and the manner of presentation, as well with the growth of additional knowledge concerning the facts themselves. And whenever the fundamental facts are not strictly adhered to, the presentation of the teachings may become fanciful and eventuate instead in a lot of wishful thinking unrelated to the actual state of affairs in Nature. This line of thought is applicable to any scientific discipline whatsoever.
To arouse the interest of a beginner or aspiring soul in the existence of a deeper philosophy of life, it is certainly quite sufficient to bring to his attention some of the simplest ideas of Theosophy and to stimulate his thinking along lines of higher ethics. But in the case of a man or woman who is already a scholar of one or another scientific discipline, and is used to deep and concentrated thought on various subjects, mere ethical generalities will not do. You may have before you an individual who is no mystic, yet nevertheless whose intellectual capacities can be stimulated to a higher degree of awareness by profound ideas of a scientifico-philosophical nature, and whose intellectual abilities can grapple with such ideas. For his sake you, as a student of the Ancient Wisdom, have to be equipped with a working knowledge of some of the basic doctrines of the Esoteric Philosophy: the Hierarchical structure of Nature; Universal Periodicity or Cyclic Renewal; the doctrine of Svabhava or Self-Unfoldment; the Sevenfold Nature of the Manifested Universe; the doctrine of the Sphere in its several aspects; the doctrine of Rounds and Root-Races; the nature of the after-death states; Reimbodiment and Karma; the doctrine of the Two Paths; the Monadic Selfhood of man and of all beings, and others.
There is a great and urgent need throughout the Theosophical Movement of today for more profound and systematic study of these and related doctrines, and of their implications and deductions, in addition and parallel to the continuous effort at living the life. Unless students realize this need, and do something to meet it, we will continue to attract to the Movement mainly good-natured people in general sympathy with our ideals, instead of adding to them men and women of profound learning whose awakened minds are dimly aware of the existence of a far deeper knowledge to be had, a knowledge which defies their grasp, and the road to the treasure house of which they do not clearly discern. 
[Originally written for the New York World, on request, and later published in The Path, Vol. VIII, February, 1894, pp. 335-39.]
What is the hypnotic force or influence? What really happens when a hypnotic experiment is performed? What is, proved by it? What force is exerted that, after making a man sleep, rouses him to a false wakefulness, in which he obeys a suggestion, seems to lose his identity, becomes apparently another person, speaks a language he knows nothing of, sees imaginary pictures as real ones? How is it that in this state his physical body follows the operator’s suggestion, and becomes blistered by a piece of paper which possesses no blistering power, sneezes when there is no actual titillation of the olfactory nerves, shivers over a hot stove, and perspires if it be suggested that a block of ice is a mass of fire?
All this and very much more has been done in hypnotic experiments, just as it was done many years ago by mesmerizers, electro-biologists, and wandering fascinators of all sorts. Then it was outside the pale of science, but now since physicians re-named a part of it “hypnotism,” it is settled to stay among the branches of psychology, theoretical and applied. The new schools, of course, went further than the first did or could. They added a species of witchcraft to it by their latest claim to be able to externalize and localize the nerve-sensitiveness, and hence mental impressionability of the subject; to put it in his photograph or within a glass of water, so that if the former be scratched or the latter touched, the patient at once jumped or screamed. This is the old way of making a wax image of your form and sticking pins in it, whereupon you pined and died; men and women were burned for this once. This, while interesting and important, if true, possesses the interest of a nightmare, as it suggests how in the near future one’s picture may be for sale to be blistered and stabbed by an enemy, provided the extraneous localization of sensibility is first provided for. But the other experiments touch upon the great questions of identity, of consciousness, of soul, of personality. They raise an issue as to whether the world be physical and mechanical, as Descartes thought, or whether it is fleeting and a form of consciousness existing because of thought, and dominated by thought altogether, as the Theosophists modern and ancient always held.
Professor James, of Harvard, has published his conclusion that experiments in hypnotism convince him, as they have convinced many, of the existence of the hidden self in man; while the French schools dispute whether it is all due to one personality mimicking many, or many personalities wrapped up in one person, and showing one phase after another. Facts arc recorded and wonderful things done, but no reasonable and final explanation has been made by the modern schools. Except here and there they, being ignorant of man’s hidden real nature and powers, or denying the existence of such, see no cause for alarm in all these experiments, and no danger to either society or the individual. As  the true evolution of man’s inner powers, at the same rate and time concurrently with all other racial and planetary evolution is not admitted by these schools, they cannot perceive in the future any possibly devilish use of hypnotic powers. The Theosophist, however, suggests an explanation for the phenomena, points to similar occurences through history, and intimates a danger to come if the thinking world does not realize our true nature as a being of thought and consciousness, built in and on these, and destructible by them also, so far as his personality is concerned. The danger is not in knowing these things and processes, but in the lack of morality and ethics, in the use of them both now and in the future.
One theory for use in explaining and prosecuting research is about as follows: - Man is a soul who lives on thoughts and perceives only thoughts. Every object or subject comes to him as a thought, no matter what the channel or instrument, whether organ of sense or mental centre, by which it comes before him. These thoughts may be words, ideas, or pictures. The soul-man has to have an intermediary or connecting link with Nature, through and by which he may cognize and experience. This link is an ethereal double or counterpart of his physical body, dwelling in the latter: and the physical body is Nature so far as the soul-man is concerned. In this ethereal double (called astral body) are the sense-organs and centres of perception, the physical outer organs being only the external channels or means for concentrating the physical vibrations so as to transmit them to the astral organs and centres, where the soul perceives them as ideas or thoughts. This inner ethereal man is made of the ether which science is now admitting as a necessary part of Nature, but while it is etheric it is none the less substantial.
Speaking physically, all outer stimulus from nature is sent from without to within. But in the same way stimuli may be sent from the within to the without, and in the latter mode it is that our thoughts and desires propel us to act. Stimuli are sent from the astral man within to the periphery, and physical body, and may dominate the body so as to alter it or bring on a lesion, partial or total. Cases of the hair turning grey in a night are thus possible. And in this way a suggestion of a blister may make a physical swelling, secretion, inflammation, and sore on a subject who has submitted himself to the influence of the hypnotiser. The picture or idea of a blister is impressed on the astral body, and that controls all the physical nerves, sensations, currents, and secretions. It is done through the sympathetic nervous plexuses and ganglia. It was thus that ecstatic fanatical women and men, by brooding on the pictured idea of the wounds of Jesus, produced on their own bodies, by internal impression and stimulus project to the surface, all the marks of crown thorns and wounded side. It was self-hypnotisation, possible only in fanatical hysterical ecstasy. The constant brooding imprinted the picture deeply on the astral body; then the physical molecules, ever changing, became impressed from within, and the stigmata were the result. In hypnotising done by another the only difference is one of time, as in the latter instances the operator has simply to make the  image and impress it on the subject after the hypnotic process has been submitted to; whereas in the self- hypnotisation a long-continued ecstasy is necessary to make the impression complete.
When the hypnotic process - or subjugation, as I call it - is submitted to, a disjunction is made between the soul-man and the astral body, which then is for the time deprived of will, and is the sport of any suggestion coming in unopposed, and those may and do sometimes arise outside of the mind and intention of the operator. From this arises the sensitiveness to suggestion. The idea, or thought, or picture of an act is impressed, by suggesting it, on the astral body, and then the patient is waked. At the appointed time given by the suggestor, a secondary sleep or hypnotic state arises automatically, and then the disjunction between soul and astral body coming about of itself, the suggested act is performed unless - as happens rarely - the soul-man resists sufficiently to prevent it. Hence we point to an element of danger in the fact that at the suggested moment the hypnotic state comes on secondarily by association.
II do not know that hypnotisers have perceived this. It indicates that; although the subject be de-hypnotised, the influence of the operator once thrown on the subject will remain until the day of the operator’s death.
But how is it that the subject can see on a blank card the picture of an object which you have merely willed to be on it? This is because every thought of anyone makes a picture; and the thought of a definite image makes a definite form in the astral light in which the astral body exists and functions, inter-penetrating also every part of the physical body. Having thus imaged the picture on the card, it remains in the astral light or sphere surrounding the card, and is there objective to the astral sense of the hypnotised subject.
Body, soul, and astral man, properly in relation, give us a sane man; hypnotised, the relation is broken, and we have a person who is not for the time wholly sane. Acute maniacs are those in whom the disjunction between the astral man and soul is complete. When the hypnotised one remains for months in that state, the astral man has become the slave of the body and its recollections; but as the soul is not concerned, no real memory is present, and no recollection of the period is retained.
The varied personalities assumed by some subjects brings up the doctrine of a former life on earth for all men. The division between soul and astral man releases the latter from some of the limitations of brain memory; so that the inner memory may act, and we then have a case of a person re-enacting some part of his former life or lives. But a second possibility also exists - that by this process another and different entity may enter the body and brain and masquerade as the real person. Such entities do exist, and are the astral shells of men and women out of the body. If they enter, the person becomes insane; and many a maniac is simply a body inhabited by an entity that does not belong to it.
The process of hypnotising is as yet unknown in respect to what does happen to the molecules. We claim that those molecules are pressed from periphery  to centre, instead of being expanded from the inside to the surface. This contraction is one of the symptoms of death, and, therefore, hypnotising is a long step towards physical and moral death. The view expressed by Dr. Charcot that a subject is liable to fall under the influence at the hands of anyone should be admitted, as also that in the wake of the hypnotiser will be found a host of hysteriacs, and that it all should he regulated by law is unquestionable. I go still further, and say that many persons are already in a half- hypnotised state, easily influenced by the unprincipled or the immoral; that the power to hypnotise and to be sensitive to it are both progressive states of our racial evolution: that it can and will be used for selfish, wicked and degrading purposes unless the race, and especially the occidental portion of it, understands and practices true Ethics based on the brotherhood of man. Ethics of the purest are found in the words of Jesus, but are universally negatived by Church, State, and individual. The Theosophical doctrines of man and nature give a true and necessary basis and enforcement to Ethics, devoid of favoritism or illogical schemes of eternal damnation. And only through those doctrines can the dangers of hypnotism be averted, since legislation, while affixing penalties, will not alter or curtail private acts of selfishness and greed.
The three ages in the life of man each have a distinct function in every complete incarnation, so that to round out and bring to a satisfactory conclusion the period spent in living here on this Earth, there must be a balanced adjustment of and between the three ages or periods of man’s life.
During early youth the urge to expand the achievements attained in previous lives surges through the entire nature. There is generally little of self-conscious direction perceived by the mind, unless there has been active previously a higher range of self-consciousness than is normal in the average of the present humanity. But the inherent forces engendered in the past in all parts of our complex makeup become dynamically active whenever a suitable outlet is provided, and often surge through the channels available - to the detriment of normal and harmonious functions when not controlled or regulated.
The period of youth is that in which the reborn entity is endeavoring to adjust itself to its environment, but as its own Higher Mind rarely has been developed previously to enable it to guide the new conditions, it is necessary for youth to have preceptors to instruct and warn, in order not only to help develop latent qualities but also to prevent so far as may be possible the evil consequences of the use of  forces or currents in wrong directions.
The desire for movement and play is the urge of the unregulated forces inherent in all young things, and in the human group unless it is guided wisely in early life, and habits of self-direction with definite objectives are inculcated, this urge tends to dissipate energy and time which might otherwise be employed for the greater unfoldment of latent qualities.
In this period of adjustment to conditions the mental apparatus is free from the memories of its past life. It has the results of its actions and states of being of all previous existences indicated in the character and temperament. Logically, this character cannot be wholly good - a sublimation of all qualities in one direction only, but is the refinement into essences or bases of all the complex interactions and conditions engendered in past lives.
The innate character thus tends to exhibit its nature and forces in the new environment, very often in conflict with conventions and conditions to which it is with difficulty adjusted. Its instincts and desires may not be ready for immediate development - there may not be a suitable outlet for them.
The period of youth is also the period in which the mind absorbs new ideas, and picks up easily those with which it was previously acquainted, so that future achievement, development, and expansion depends greatly upon the kind and quality of the education and discipline provided by parents and preceptors.
Adult years are those in which the consolidation of information, of contacts, and skills are brought to practical fruition. The mind and energies are chiefly occupied in bringing about desired results, and of providing the necessary material means to support the social and economical obligations. The interest becomes concentrated upon fewer objectives, and as a rule there is little expansion after middle age. This stage of adulthood is that of the greatest volitional activity. Experience has brought more or less adjustment of the reincarnating entity - the Human Entity - to the environment, also the knowledge of the requirements necessary to attain in any desired direction.
In a general view of this period, it is seen that while some attention may be given to abstract thought and basic principles it is generally of an argumentative or didactic order, founded upon very superficial knowledge. The information obtained is chiefly from the reading of a heterogeneous mass of other people’s output, often of ill-formed and partially understood ideas by writers who rehash the words of more profound students of the facts of life. Yet when such an interest obtains it does have a valuable effect, for it does widen concepts and broadens the field of awareness of other states and conditions, beyond the narrow objective sphere of routine which occupies so much of our attention.
After middle age more consideration is apt to be given to the causes of many of the painful experiences which all meet from time to time, with the result that either a perception of the justice and inevitability of reactions following actions brings a greater faith and reliance upon Cosmic Law, or there gradually develops an apathy and a negation of effort - a laissez faire attitude with regard to everything which cannot be dealt with on material lines. 
Even in material and physical occurrences and situations this latter attitude of mind is frequently seen because of the complexity of modern life in which the individual has so little control over his circumstances. Few there are who retain or have developed a positive and robust faith which sustains them in all difficulties; and yet, if one reflects deeply enough, it should be apparent that an unknown influence has enabled each one of us to pass through crises time and again without a conscious or volitional act on our own part.
Thus we can define the time of youth as that in which there is an ex-hibition of energy; middle age, as that of the consolidation and concentration of energy. But beyond this, and running pari passu, there is a corresponding development of consciousness - another form of energy - which, as time goes on, tends first to equilibrate and then to supercede the grosser forms of physical life, so that, as old age draws near, the vital energy of consciousness exhibits itself in reflection rather than in the effort to be up and doing.
Now this latter period with its reflective attitude of mind is in many ways the most valuable in the whole life - the harvesting time. Logically, the harvest depends upon what has gone or been before, hut it is the time of the ripening of the fruits of the experiences of life and the preparation of the seeds of the future, and therefore is of immense importance. The summing up, the conclusions reached, the lessons learned, gradually cohere into the final synthesis which will be the basis for the after-death states, and also for the character of the succeeding life. Therefore, we should try to clarify our ideas with regard to such vital questions as: What is the object of living? What is the relationship between the various forms of life in the Cosmos? What are the processes by which Law and Order are maintained in Nature? How can we adjust ourselves more in harmony with the Cosmic Plan? Is it possible to know somewhat of the trend of all life? These and similar questions, as they occur to our minds, should not be put aside as unknowable or unsolvable, but should be pondered upon, for there is knowledge to be obtained and wisdom to be distilled from such inquiry and brooding.
To consider the first question: Can we, logically, get a definite and comprehensive idea of the object of living? I believe we can, even without delving into religious or philosophical systems. The one assumption necessary is the hypothesis that individual life is a fact, and continuous, though, obviously, not self-consciously so on this plane.
All natural phenomena are atomic in·structure, with an interchange of electrical polarities, yet each unitary aggregate maintains its essential characteristics, and, in the higher·orders, is observed to strain to reproduce itself. WHY?
Favorable environment and conditions permit an enhancement and expansion of characteristics, and also the unfoldment of latent qualities which only appear when stimulated into activity. Taking a broad view of the various orders in Nature it is seen that there are immense latent potentialities, therefore it is logical to assume that development and unfoldment from within is a natural process of life. 
Humans are an order in Nature, and are born with certain specific qualities which differentiate them from other orders; yet humans have not developed the obvious possibilities even of the physical senses, let alone those of the mind and its ruler. Each child is born with an individual character no matter how many there be from the same parentage, and will unfold that character in an individual manner. WHY?
Self-consciousness - the perception that I am I - is inherent in all humans. Where can this come from except from an immortal consciousness, stepped down to ultimates on any plane and reascending towards its source through gradual evolution and expansion?
From the foregoing observations and reasoning it seems evident that the object of living for every atom or aggregate is that of expanding the consciousness which is within itself, and of providing the forms necessary for this purpose.
If we humans could realize that there is no death - in the sense of annihilation - but only continuous change of energies of a higher and lower evolutionary status; that the trend of the whole of life is an enhancement of consciousness; that the power of permeating and radiating through us depends solely upon the obstacles we put in the way of its free circulation and of our volitional polarization; that we have a sufficient amount of free will so that we may adjust ourselves to prevailing conditions, then, I think, we might make a more positive effort at taking ourselves in hand, with the object of living more purposely in the HERE and NOW so that we might
“Do the deed and abide it
“Remember that desire demands the attainment of that of which you are desirous; and aversion demands the avoidance of that to which you are averse; that he who fails of the object of his desires is disappointed; and he who incurs the object of his aversion is wretched. If, then, you shun only those undesirable things which you cannot control, you will never incur anything which you shun; hut if you shun sickness, or death, or poverty, you will run the risk of wretchedness. Remove [the habit of] eversion, then, from all things that are not within our power, and apply it to things undesirable, which are within our power. But for the present altogether restrain desire; for if you desire any of the things not within our power, you must necessarily be disappointed; and you are not yet secure of those which are within our power, and so are legitimate objects of desire. Where it is practically necessary for you to pursue or avoid anything, do even this with discretion, and gentleness, and moderation.” - Epictetus in the Enchiridion or Manual. 
Astrologers would do well to remember H. P. Blavatsky’s words in Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, page 259: “Astrology is a science as infallible as astronomy itself, with the condition, however, that its interpreters must be equally infallible; and it is this condition, sine qua non, so very difficult of realization, that has always proved a stumbling-block to both. Astrology is to exact astronomy what psychology is to exact physiology. In astrology and psychology one has to step beyond the visible world of matter, and enter into the domain of transcendant spirit.”
Another great “stumbling-block” in the effort to use astrology effectively is that we are dealing with an incomplete science. The true astrology of the ancients is esoteric, and known only to the initiated. For instance, modern students and practitioners, with few exceptions, limit themselves to the Moon, Sun, and eight planets, disregarding the findings of Uranian Astrology.
On page 169 of the great Occult classic, The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, an Adept-writer states: “Not all of the Intra-Mercurial planets, nor yet those in the orbit of Neptune are yet discovered, though they are strongly suspected.” And on page 170, in referring to stellar bodies “... either non-luminous or so distant as to be beyond the reach of telescopic vision,” the Adept predicts that “Science will hear sounds from certain planets before she sees them.”
In 1932, Mr. K. C. Jansky of the Bell Telephone Company discovered that radiations of the frequency of radio waves were entering earth’s atmosphere from outer space. And in 1937 a Mr. Grote Reber, a radio operator, found that the cosmic rays originated in or near the Milky Way, coming, not from any recognized sidereal bodies, hut from unknown sources.
In our opinion the foregoing views scientifically support, if not confirm, the claims of Alfred Witte and Friedrich Sieggruen - the founders of the Uranian System - regarding the Trans-Neptunian planets which they discovered by studying lines of influence coming to earth from outer space. In other words, they found that invisible “point-sources” or “areas of stellar force” existed in the orbit of Neptune (as the Adept-writer had stated) from which various influences similar to those emanating from the known planets impinged upon earth.
Furthermore, these “force areas” were found to he in constant movement - transiting their own pathways in the heavens like the traditional planets. Many horoscopes tested during the research years proved to Witte’s and Sieggmen’s satisfaction that eight new bodies were responsible for many phenomena which could not be attributed to influences coming from the recognized planets.
The characteristics of these mysterious bodies or centers of force are unique. They have been given certain names from ancient mythology, for purposes of identification. The first of the “Trans-Neptunians” is Cupido, combining the natures of Venus and  Jupiter, and relating to Love (Marriage, Societies, and Art. Hades - a rather grim planet - combines the natures of Saturn and the Moon, representing Poverty, Disorder, and Loneliness. Zeus, which is something like an over-grown Mars, rules Creativity, Generation, and Power. Kronos - a benefic - combines the natures of Jupiter and the Moon, relating to Authority and Independence .
Apollon combines the natures of Jupiter and the sign Gemini, ruling Glory, Success, and Expansion. Admetos represents the combined natures of the sign Taurus and the Cross of Matter, and rules Primitive Substance, Suspension, and Separation. Vulcanus stands for the combined natures of Mars and the Moon, and represents Supreme Power, Strength, and Might. The last of the eight is Poseidon, a Water planet and the higher octave of Neptune . It is symbolic of Illumination, Revelation, and Enlightenment.
With all the foregoing in mind, we now approach the question of what will happen in 1962. February the 4th is the big day. A remarkable stellium of planets (a Panoply eclipse) will take place in Aquarius. Mars and Saturn will be conjunct in the early degrees of the New Age sign, while the Moon, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter will be grouped at 15 to 18 degrees. Opposing the latter will he the transiting North Node and Uranus in Leo, and squaring it will be Neptune at 13 degrees of Scorpio.
It is the sort of thing of which astrologers’ nightmares are made because it promises at once the very best (Moon, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter together), and the worst (Mars and Saturn in partnership). Venus and Jupiter are the “benefics” - traditionally associated with peace, happiness, and progress - while Mars and Saturn are the dread “malefics” which astrologers blame for practically all of the woes and calamities that beset mankind.
However, we would say, if cornered and pressed for a prognostication based on February 4th, 1962, that the “good” far outweighs the “bad” on that fateful day, because the five-body conjunction containing Venus and Jupiter is clearly a pattern of tremendous harmony which cannot fail to augur great good for the world - enough, anyway, to offset the worst that Mars and Saturn might indicate.
Regarding the latter, we have discovered, in our experience as a practicing astrologer for many years, that when the two malefics are together in a birth chart, or meet by transit, progression, etc., in a natal map, instead of an explosion, the savage fury of Mars is cooled and tempered by Saturn, while the latter’s cold, crystallizing influence is considerably ameliorated. So we do not think that the eclipse- stellium will prove to be bad at all; in fact, as said, we look upon it as a promise of substantial good.
Moreover, in getting back to the Trans-Neptunian planets we find that there is added testimony of a positive and encouraging nature when we consider the aspects they make with the stellium on February 4th. Cupido (a benefic) is close to 12 degrees of Libra, trining the Moon and Sun; Kronos ( Independence ), and Apollon (Glory and Success) are both trine to Mars; and Vulcanus (Supreme Power) is sextile to Uranus.
In any eclipse, the Moon, Sun, and  Earth are in line. Here the stellium is in a Fixed sign that modern astrologers have associated with major political and social crises involving the United States and the U.S.S.R. And this stellium, dynamized by the Total Solar Eclipse, will register its effects over a long period, due to the opposition of Uranus and Regulus in Leo, and the square of Neptune in Scorpio.
But this, we believe, does not mean actual shooting war between the above-mentioned powers. The Great Terreur, predicted by H.P. Blavatsky [see The Theosophical Glossary, art. on Saint-Germain], was most likely World Wars I and II, with Korea as an anti-climax. Armageddon lies behind us. The Kali Yuga, bad as it is, has brought mankind to the point where war on a global scale is unthinkable, and all the nations know it.
The May 1941 stellium in Taurus was noteworthy, due to the Saturn-Uranus conjunction in that sign, which followed on May 3rd, 1942 , to trigger the discovery of atomic fission and usher in a revolutionary cycle in science. Natives born in those two periods are now approaching maturity and already exerting upon the world the fixed, determined security-consciousness that may help to knit mankind together on economic and utilitarian levels.
Earth, the second of the astrological Elements, represents zodiacal substance as tangible form - self-realization and sustainment, objectivity, and fullness. Taurus, as the first of the Earth signs, symbolizes money, accumulation, and consolidation, providing a secure building-base for the material structures of experience. Practicality, efficiency, and thoroughness are its keynotes.
The egos born at the time of the May 1941 stellium were typical of the true Taurean temperament: slow, careful, steady, reserved, patient, and stubborn, and yet containing smoldering emotional fires inherited from Aries, the preceding sign. Their singleness of purpose, deep loyalty, and stick-to-itiveness, spring from one source - the need for security. Self-preservation is the foundation of life. Taurus sees to it that nothing interferes with the gratifying of its instinctive urge: self-preservation and self-fulfillment. It is basically acquisitive, ingestive, retentive, and commercial. It cannot accept coercion.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn on February 16th of the present year, plus the Total Solar Eclipse in Aquarius the day before, were harbingers of extraordinary developments that will mark the coming two years, as transiting Mars and the Sun activate the eclipse and conjunction points. Capricorn rules the Old, and Aquarius the New, so we can logically expect a clash between outworn world policies and those representative of the spirit of Tomorrow. The United States Executive, by the way, has been critically involved with the 20-year Jupiter-Saturn conjunction ever since 1840.
Aquarius rules circulation and distribution - of ideas as well as material values - together with the principle of supreme individualism, or the freedom and dignity of man as a spiritual unit of the whole. As its original, independent dynamic expands and gains force in the world, more and more of earth’s children will seek to throw off the shackles of the past and establish their sovereign self-identity.
The Aquarian temperament will  come powerfully into its own in the month of February, 1962, when, according to population statisticians, some 3,600,000 egos will be born. Dividing by the 30 days in the month, this means that some 120,000 will take incarnation on the day of the big eclipse- stellium!
People born at the time of heavy planetary concentrations usually have greater talents than the average run of mortals whose planets are scattered about the zodiac, but also have the inhibitions and other psychological features that accompany one-pointed, self-centered interests and fixations. They have all of their eggs in one basket, so to speak, and may be either super-egotists or universally minded prophets and philosophers.
Aquarius, the third of the Air elements, marks the transition of single union into group-identification, with a sundering of all personal bonds so that intellectualized Spirit may roam in freedom the highways of the Future. It finds familiar harmonies in the music of the spheres, and with illumined vision fixes its gaze upon Infinitude. It is quick in its likes and dislikes, associational, co-operative, co-ordinative, convivial, and interactive.
Its motivating power is always some form of the gregarious, or herd, instinct, and its best manifestation comes when it hitches its wagon to a star of social work or one of the social professions: invention, medicine, politics, science, or art with some social application.
The Aquarian person’s worst fault is going places and doing things with no particular purpose in mind. Some prime examples of wasted talents are found in this sign, as well as some of the greatest martyrs and benefactors of the race. Often misunderstood because of its pronounced individualism, Aquarius is the most humanitarian sign in the zodiac, eager for the New and Untried, and eager to give itself completely to the interests of progress.
The strongly Aquarian individual ranges from the erratic Bohemian who makes his own laws- - the non·conforming social deviate - to the brilliant, creative genius who makes his mark in Art, Science, or Government. He stands ahead of his time, if not of himself, to blaze new trails into the Future. He is, above all, the Awakener who would make the Man with the Hoe a Man with a Soul. The World of Tomorrow belongs to Aquarius, and 1962 will open the Door of Destiny for a troubled world that may find at last its True Savior, not in blind faith and allegory, but in the Heart of Man.
“Remember that it is not he who gives abuse or blows who affronts; but the view we take of these things as insulting. When, therefore, anyone provokes you, be assured that it is your own opinion which provokes you. Try, therefore, in the first place, not to be bewildered by appearances. For if you once gain time and respite, you will more easily command yourself.” - Epictetus in the Enchiridion or Manual. 
THE DIVINE PLAN
A major addition to standard Theosophical
textbooks, and a signal contribution to the Theosophical literature
in general, by a man of wide and thorough scholarship, as well as of
mature judgment, raised in the atmosphere of Theosophy, and experienced
in the presentation of its teachings. This work outlines an entirely
new approach to the study of H.P. Blavatsky’s magnum
opus. It should be available in every Lodge and Study-Class throughout
the length and breadth of the Theosophical Movement, and be translated
into such foreign languages as are most current in the Theosophical world