the Key & 4th Fundamental

The Seven Ray Cycles

Occult Cosmology

Science of the Antahkarana & Ray Words of Power

Esoteric Astrology

Commentary on
Zodiacal Meditations

72 Faces of Man
Complete Text


On the Ordinary Wheel

August 22nd to September 21st

And the Word said:
Let matter reign


First decan           Venus             August 22nd to September 1st

Second decan      Saturn             September 1st to 10th

Third decan         Mercury          September 10th to 21st

Please read the prefatory material before investigating your own Decanate Stage, as proper assignment is required. i.e., your birth date does not indicate the stage of development, rather, you must employ a subjective recognition of the state of consciousness (point of advance along the Path of Initiation) which you, or another, has achieved.


Step One: Physical Man

August 22nd to September 1st


Treading the way of the Ordinary Wheel the sign of Virgo is entered clockwise from right to left via Venus in the first decan, Saturn in the central decan and Mercury in the third.

The characteristic stature of the active Venusian physical body is small, well formed, well proportioned and closely knit. Even however, in the large Venusian type there is a basic smallness of feature, such as in hands, fingers, feet and toes, nose and ears, and overall an inherent feminine delicacy. Facial lines are delicately shaped, appearing small and regular. The eyes tend to be small with a characteristic expression of frankness, simplicity and inquisitiveness.

The physical beauty of the Virgin depends upon the regularity of features and fineness of form. If well endowed there is an appearance of a real gentleness, plastic beauty and physical charm. Evolved Venusian types are always refined, immaculately presented, handsome, tasteful and suitably dressed. Under recessive Venusian influence the eyes appear decidedly cold, cunning and unsympathetic. In the active type in sharp contrast, the eyes express a clear, keen sympathy and open intelligence. Hazel or gray eyes are common but sometimes blue, as we should naturally expect under Venus. The mouth and nose tend to be regular, small and straight. Characteristically the hair, light, dark or indeterminate appears wavy, with unusual shade and contrast in the light, standing up and away from the forehead in a striking manner.

As the inevitable working out of the Law of Cause and Effect—or Karma—in the sign of health, we observe manifold types of physical deformities, lameness, speech impediments, sterility and obscure degenerative diseases.

In the recessive type the head is broad-skulled and unduly large for the body, while the face is homely, rather aggressive, sometimes even overbearing in appearance. The eyes have a characteristically unintelligent expression, are generally deep-set and often beady. The very gross mouth or lips occasionally observed are also a physiognomic trait seen in other Venus-ruled decans.

The skin of the face looks stretched, thin, tight, wrinkled and dry—decidedly lacking in moisture in contrast to the opposite sign Pisces. The overall appearance has a hardness, gauntness, sparseness; somewhat—to use a metaphor—like a barren harvest or famine.

Under the rulership of Venus it often seems that the mundane subject is doomed to hard work without reward or appreciation, shining best as a frugal and profitless servant carrying on their activities with strict attention to rules and duty.

Consecration to service and duty on any level is the Virgin's hallmark. Concentration and energy is expended in obediently carrying out the dictates of the patron or employer in the proper and appropriate manner with clean hands, pure heart, sound health and good works.

The Venusian type here does not seek to receive blessings, praise or thanks, and neither is inclined to give them out to others, but solely attempts to diligently fulfil his or her contracts faithfully and earnestly through application of honest workmanship. Under Venus though, success will eventually come after many lifetimes of experience, notably in the creative arts—especially literature, drama or painting which are governed by Venus.

In the early stages of physical development the Virgin does not have a strong tendency to abuse pleasure and so lives a quiet, regular and active life. The usual lure of the physical senses under Venus is modified so that the sensate world often has no great appeal.

The soul is just beginning the work of developing a discriminative faculty, a responsive sensory apparatus; one might say a refined palate. The incarnated soul is developing creative intelligence, which grants mastery of a minute perfectionism, meticulous precision, careful measurement and attention to details. It is the intensity of the soul's thought behind the perfection of the form which must be appreciated and noted. The Virgoan ever dedicatedly strives, albeit unconsciously to begin with, for the perfection and beauty of the form.

Venus is ever connected in our minds with fertility and sexual potency, but in the sign of the fall harvest it often produces a sterility. Venusians have an innate instinct for purity and chastity, and are naturally repelled for instance by literature dealing with explicit, morbid or unwholesome sexual relations. The rulership of the physical decan by Venus accounts for the Virgin's acceptance of celibacy, and also the fruitfulness of the Virgoan in carrying out many good works. They care little for prosperity or posterity so long as they can serve 'here and now', focusing on those around them in their immediate environment.

Venus here representing the incarnated soul, during the first stage is hidden in the form—symbolically the womb of the Virgin—which is the nurturing force of substance itself. It is hidden and protected by the Mother, the nurturer and shield. The life of the Mother at this stage is more important than the life of the Son. Virgin Matter has attracted the soul and the life of the soul is hidden.

During the first stage therefore, the materialistic aspect of the Mother dominates and the individual life expression is characterized by the selfish personality nature. Aeons later on the Reverse Wheel, the physical form will reveal and release the indwelling soul. Then Venus, the savior of the world, appears and nurtures the hidden souls in Virgo. Although every fact of nature provides a worthy basis for investigation, nature itself must be appreciated from inside out and can never be fully comprehended if only observed from the outside. From the deeply subjective point of view, Venus stimulates the inner germinating energy of mind, the eventual creative force behind consciousness itself.

Ultimately, in the due course of time, in Virgo the inner beauty of the soul is discovered and its secrets laid bare. The pure Virgoan type is a true child of the spirit whose sense of purity, peace and beauty is profound, and eventually becomes transformed into the radiant form of a god or goddess glowing with all the splendors of the soul.


Step Two: Emotional Man

September 1st to 10th


Saturn produces difficult and painful circumstances which force the Virgoan to make a choice in matters of love, work, relations and friendships.

The undeveloped emotional type is characterized by chronic discontent, all manner of indecencies and ill humor. They really are quite cantankerousness, and capable of rebuffing the kindest remonstrance from a well-meaning person with complete denial or defiance.

Initially the astral Virgin is prone to see the dark side of everything. Suffering, resisting and quarreling with every imposed condition or small limitation is the norm. Adverse circumstances are invariably blamed for loneliness or failures.

Saturn does produce stability and can and does aid in the creation of intimate and enduring friendships, but these continue only so long as there is a community of shared values. Divergent points of view are not tolerated by the immature emotional type and lead to separation. Disagreeable, ill-tempered and certainly prone to snap and growl, they cannot adapt to changes which have emotional implications beyond their limited range of feelings.

Needless to say, it is not difficult to understand why an emotional temperament under Saturn lacks enthusiasm and dwells within a straightjacket of constrained feelings. Security is found in the grinding mill of placid routine and the schedule of dreary drudgery without enterprise. When it comes to the administration of duties, responsibilities and tasks at home or at work the negative emotionally polarized Virgin performs her functions with real resentment, disdain and lack of kindness. If you were sick, for instance, this is not the nurse that you would want to take care of you.

The Virgoan temperament can be the most denigrating, dry, rigid, cold, dark, acerbic, inhospitable, sterile, stifling, frustrated and repressive in the entire zodiac. The recessive type therefore can be decidedly unhappy, unduly harsh, grim, dark, morbid, troubled, rude, callous, unyielding, non-accepting, heavy, critical, inaccurate, caustic, stifling, puritanical, petty, insecure, fearful, passive and melancholic.

At the height of emotional selfishness the Virgin is manipulative, unable to let go, controlling, authoritarian, forcing, unforgiving, cutting, biting, gossiping, chattering, sarcastic, insensitive, misdirected, isolated and judgmental. Affection or simple kindness is not the line of least resistance, so inferiors, patients or clients are routinely treated with unkindness and lack of sympathy.

Perhaps ironically, Virgoans can also be insincerely lavish in affection. As irrational human passion is not known or understood there is no opportunity to be swept away or lost in the beloved. The concept of self-surrender is not grasped, but then neither is the notion of conquest.

As a consequence we find no great emotional arousal here. Love affairs are few and usually remain unsatisfying, embittered and unfortunate. When outward signs and tokens of appreciation, admiration and attention are not evidenced, the emotional type appears cold and indifferent.

Saturn's influence accounts for many unfortunate relations, bitter frustrations and resentful feelings. Living introverted lives like hermits or becoming recluses in their own workplace or home, these Virgoans are certainly not the frivolous or light-hearted members of our human family. As the causes are emotional not physical, internal abscesses, stomach problems and ulcerations are common forms of suffering and difficult to treat, cure or heal. Keep in mind though, Saturn's influence also accounts for the humble nature of the sign type. Possessing an unconscious sense of shortcomings or a given lot in life, they are always content to accept less.

On the positive or active side the emotionally mature Virgin is precise, gentle, caring, nurturing, soft, open, satisfied, poised, observant, investigative, thorough, unrestricted, accepting, aware, idealistic, convincing and adaptive. Capable of great self-denial for their loved-one, often however they choose to remain unmarried because no-one can measure up to the minimal standards of perfection they require.

They are known for being highly structured, unremitting, tireless, organized, reliable and conscientious. Rendering service and aid to those who they believe deserve it, they will not lift a finger to aid those who do not work or are lazy or in some other way do not measure up. They are fair, honest, simple, prudent, unpretentious, patient, methodical, capable, constructive, witty, sympathetic, accepting, tasteful and diligent. In the work place they are serious, determined, effective, efficient, shrewd, dynamic and honorable. In the home and family they are devoted, persevering, well-equipped and observant. In personal taste and manner they are aesthetic, elegant, tasteful and well directed.

A complete openness to all people, emotions and situations enables the mature Virgoan to earnestly begin to discern the true from the false. They have a heart of gold—not easily melted, but when the heart is open it glows with brilliant luminosity, warmth and heat. The pure golden flame of true Virgoan love and affection rivals anything else found in any other sign of the zodiac. They know how people suffer, have learned to open their hearts and gained a realization of the sweetness, fragility and preciousness of life. They create a healing influence helping and serving others, and their presence is felt like a panacea. A growing sense of the wondrous beauty of life enables them to transform ugliness and chaos into beauty and order. A basic goodness and immense gratitude for being alive leads to the production of fruitful work and the cultivation of a devotional attitude.


Step Three: Mental Man

September 10th to 21st


In the third decan the power of Mercury produces conflict and duality which ultimately results in the right use of the critical aspect of the mind as the interpretive faculty in life. In the early stages however the outlook is very petty—perhaps microscopic is a better word. After all, at the rudimentary mental stage a sense of proportion, balance and common sense are severely lacking.

Here the thinker is incapable of producing anything inspired by the genius of their inner essence or spirit. To speak in symbols: not yet impregnated they are unable to conceive, so can appear quite cold, materialistic, soulless and sterile. Industrious nonetheless, they adapt their limited resources to the demands and necessities of their tiny sphere of work, with their horizon bounded by the circle of duty. As a rule they are not a dominant people but are well organized and incredibly efficient.

In this decan Virgoans seem unable to overcome handicaps and limitations as they inwardly quarrel with every adverse situation and circumstance. Here we find unstable minds self-absorbed in suffering, lacking confidence and composure. Highly skeptical, the rudimentary mind is busy tearing things and people apart. They can be very worrisome people full of agitation and also quite impossible to please. Intolerance, imbalance, disharmony and lack of equilibrium remain lifelong problems.

On the recessive side also, it is vital to note that Mercury over-stimulates the expression of impatience, irritability, ill humor and chronic discontent, thus often affecting the health and restricting the activities of work and service. Frequent ill health, constant turmoil, mistakes and poor diet do take a great toll. Ironically in this sign of health, Virgoans do not really know how to care for themselves, and they are fully capable of toiling unremittingly and dying from overwork.

While the personality struggles for stability, the Mercurial mind develops through the advent of constant crisis. In time nerves of steel are developed without feelings of fear, timidity or doubt. When sufficiently evolved the mental apparatus is known for its quick reactions, its capacity to promptly and accurately express immediate responses to external stimuli. The combination of a highly developed and concentrated mind along with cool emotions is a real asset in the fields of sport, fashion or in social life.

Eventually an exceedingly articulate, rational and concrete mental faculty is produced. In time the thinker becomes ever more critical, concentrated, rational, observant and analytical. The advanced mental type attempts to cultivate the perfect mind for exact science, with marvelous powers of lucidity, discrimination, separation and classification.

Consequently the clear-headed Virgoan makes an excellent worker in the factory, garage, field, home, laboratory, library, clinic, business or research office. Minute observations are natural to them, as is the ability to make careful measurement. They are excellent communicators, researchers and expert commentators in all fields. They are continually making minute adjustments attempting to harmonize and blend all elements within a given situation. This is practically impossible to accomplish without the submergence of personal ambition, a steady preservation of an inner contact, inner sensitivity, a decided emphasis on essentials and the ability to overlook personality reactions.

Lacking in spontaneity, excitement or adequate appreciation of certain basic appetites or natural pleasures, the Virgoan thinker is definitely non-intuitive. Their lives are restricted by a small range of personal interests. Often they live a lonely, isolated life. Overcome at times with frustration and depression, they are easily discouraged by the smallness of the part they have to play. Endeavoring to fit themselves for the functions of their work they do succeed in developing a strong inner integrity. They develop many varied forms of inner creativity. Through the right direction and orientation of the thought processes the purpose of the thinker is fulfilled. As they ascend into the higher mental planes the pulsating inner life increases its rate of vibration. The greater the increase, the more consciously they work in a creative manner.

Virgoans have a strong inherent sense of beauty and the capacity to produce, create and express. As progress is made in the elevation of the thought processes the mind becomes increasingly potent, overcoming early impotence.

Thus, at the acme of the third rung, the evolved Mercurial type expresses real finesse and refinement. Artistic and aesthetic sensibilities are now sublimated to the highest possible levels. Mercury bestows many gifts, including a fighting or sporting spirit, musical ability, literary talents, spontaneity, improvisation and an ability to amuse, delight and entertain. Rapidly unfolding and struggling to develop a balanced perspective, whether or not scientifically or artistically inclined they learn to produce in some practical form through some creative or scientific medium.

As a general rule it is apparent that the Virgoan does not like strong contrasts of color, exaggeration or overly dramatic expression. Evolved types are known for their clear style, concise mastery of detail, keenness, judgment, moral criticism, strength and the polish of their writing. As they perfect their technique they truly excel in the mastery of details, and they can become prolific and quite capable of adapting their genius to the marketplace.

Some are caught in the crippling weakness of moral cowardice, tortured ambivalence, vacillation or indecisiveness, and all of these must be overcome. Here they eventually develop a real facility for bringing harmony out of conflict and grow psychologically through points of constant struggle and crisis. Dissonant crosscurrents of energy have an exaggerated effect on the temperamental, moody, over-sensitive Mercurial type. So as a result they must learn to master the ability to make peace, create reconciliation and demonstrate a mental facility for achieving compromise, mediation and the bridging of differences.

As evolutionary development becomes more rapid under Mercury the "star of conflict" (EA 357), their lives are characterized by constant movement, change, differentiation, continuous building and breaking. They make plans only to see those plans aborted, disrupted or destroyed. Their lives are filled with ceaseless suffering, frequent reaction to environing circumstances, numerous friendships begun and ended, and the agony of ceaseless mutation.

Through adaptability and a consciously cultivated pliability they learn to progress with less disruption and so overcome fixed and crystallized habits and routines. Dreams, visions and ideals are realized then discarded, and friends are left behind. All are transcended and then just seen as stations on the road. As they near the end of the material Path the cup is bitter indeed to drink and their lives seem utterly bereft. Unconscious of their innate soul, unconscious of the truth of their own being but realizing profoundly the ephemeral nature of the form—and of all forms—they stand utterly alone with naught else.

There is a true analogy here with the gestation period of an infant, the importance of its right placement in the womb, the breaking of the waters and the psychological release and expression of the Virgoan upon the physical plane. The key to the release of the burden of the Virgin comes about by cultivating responsiveness, aiming at mental expansion and emotional plasticity, in loving and continuous learning.

The conclusion of the third step is gained through the conscious effort to express the realization of the purpose of their creative life work. Through experience they have learned to center their forces on the mental plane and from there accomplish their purpose in generating those creative and imaginative thoughtforms which will mold and inspire the minds of others. According to the clarity of vision and the depth of inner realization, so will be the strength of the life given birth and its capacity to perform its intended function.

A growing conviction as to the existence of the soul which is the Self is evidenced at the apex of the third step. A structure of right living, conduct and thinking has been attained. The physical form that the soul is to occupy has been built and now the three-fold personality is to be vivified and consciously dwelled within. Evolution has carried forward the perfection of the physical mechanism to such an extent that it is now a coordinated, integrated organism, a structure ready for the use of the soul.

Through wrestling with matter over long aeons, the truth of their inner Self finally emerges into the light. Knowledge takes the place of theory and direct evidence takes the place of speculation. Conviction as to the life of the soul then takes place and direct investigation begins. An analysis of the nature, purpose and life of the soul receives full attention, for nothing can now arrest its birth upon the physical plane. The soul life enters the prepared personality and the inner germ which has lain dormant is fostered and brought to birth.





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