The Esoteric Significance of Eclipses
Dr. Douglas Baker
Transcribed from a live lecture by Dr. Baker at the Claregate Summer School 1999
All text © D.M Baker & Douglas Baker Foundation.
‘I was shocked watching television this morning and the big opportunity for astrology. The astrologer who was interviewed, was asked, “what portents do you see in this eclipse?”
“Oh” she said. “I think my interviewer is going to have a very expanded time in the next few years”. And that was it! That shows you the depths that some astrology can reach. You may have heard some of this material, but I’m not going to ask you to stop me.
I think it is very indicative of circumstances when we talk about the moon. For the pressure that the moon places upon the Earth. That pressure has left its mark on womankind, indicating that somehow the Moon played a profound part in human evolution. We know the Moon was very much closer to the Earth in the earliest days of life evolving here. We know that the women of our species, developed a whole new organ, very sensitive to the Moon. You know what I’m referring to, I’m referring to that very delicate structure, which we call the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. An organ that is built and discarded every twenty-eight days, an extraordinary phenomenon. One that seems to have meant to be transient, in other words, perhaps just a step in evolution of Mankind. But very, very related to lunar mechanics. We have to remember the endometrium rises and falls in a twenty-eight-day cycle, more or less. The cycle of a lunar month. Produces its own fibulas, its own physiology, its own hormones from glands all built and withdrawn in that period. Therefore, the changes that might be implied by any moon mechanism, such as an eclipse, implies very rapid procedures and the whole circumstances of this lunar eclipse seems to be implying that there is a rush of the population, to the narrowest part of the land, and that this somehow or the other excites the whole land. And we can gather the kind of tempo, that the eclipse of the Sun produces. It has been said, that the Moon is like a two-pound weight of the end of a thirty-foot rope, which is being swung by a man. The two pound being the relationship of the mass of the Moon to the man and the length of the rope being the distance from the Earth to the Moon. And this goes on continuously of course, exerting great pressure on the person swinging. And that is again, and indication of the kind of stress that is applied to the Earth.
Luther Burbank, the biologist, working in Burbank, California, did some famous experimental work on the effect of stress on plants. The effect of stress on plants. Fortunately, that work has been added to by beings working on animals in put under stress. But in regard to plants, Burbank found that when a plant is under most (the?) stress, it produced most mutations. So we should be prepared to discover that to have an interest in eclipses. The eclipse of the Sun and the Moon, of course are watched more avidly in the future, we might well find mutations of the human organism and I would say, especially in structures that are sensitive, like the endometrium will develop. We hope so, it seems so certain the evolution of the endometrium is not over and it may well be, guided mutation that will make that period of time easier for women. We haven’t had much chance to analyse the effect of an eclipse, but there was an increase in atmospheric pressure which pushed the barometer down. As we saw on television this morning. That implies stress, there was also the episode of darkness in an ordinary lit Day, which was created by the eclipse and these two factors, may add to stress and point to the kind of mutation that we can expect from eclipses. Eclipses of course, have been observed as I said this morning, for thousands of years in Babylon. Babylon was itself, a port on the great confluence of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. And the Babylonian astrologers were meticulous in their readings, and we wonder what the mutation has been of humans since the time of Babylon. There is something else the Moon does, and Rodney Collins, in his book ‘The Theory of Celestial Influence’. A book well worth getting and putting on your shelves for reference. The man himself, terribly sensitive. A student, a pupil of Ouspensky, who introduced lots of new ideas into esoteric metaphysics. And who himself, mysteriously fell from a high tower. But whether suicide or not, a very strange tale indicated with it. Make a note to look up the books by Rodney Collins, there are only a few of them. And especially this one, ‘A Theory of Celestial Influence’.
The Sun of course, exerts a direct flow of energy from itself to the Earth. We don’t make any bones about it. Esoteric people call the Sun, the source of light, heat and magnetism and they have helped our Earth flourish. The effect of these energies is to maintain a luxurious growth of vegetation on the Earth, and it is a direct current which is applied to the Earth, which is itself rotating on a diurnal rhythm. Night day, night day, night day; but that is more or less direct, the light, the heat, the magnetism falls constantly on the earth. The effect; here’s the Earth here with its proper symbol. Very important symbol that one, as we shall see in a moment. And the moon of course, has this effect of breaking this direct current of light, heat and magnetism. When the Moon is placed in a position to exactly fit over, by virtue of its distance and its size seems to fit exactly over the Sun, then that means there is a break in the direct current. And at every eclipse, the break is created by the Moon and the result is we get an alternating current. Not a direct current, when you look at it in electrical terms, but a break in the flow of these three important energies. The effect of having an alternating current on the Earth, is of course that the forces involved which allow life to prosper on the Earth seems to keep all the effects of the alternating current, the light heat and magnetism tend to be concentrated on the Earth’s surface rather than slowly infiltrating and saturating the whole earth through, the forces which we’re talking about, encourage life are concentrated on the surface of the Earth and therefore, in this sense will tend to favour the rapidity of which the surface of the Earth is unfolding and growing, and so on. When I think on that analogy, I think also in great measure of the continent of Australia. Australia, as we know has developed so quickly and it reminds me of a tree trunk. A tree trunk which has growth of course on the surface, and growth is usually confined to the edges of Australia. And the great hinterland of Australia is in the main, vacant. A desert waiting development and so on. And this here suggests that a twenty-ton tree has got life concentrated on its surface all the way round, and that is a happy arrangement for the Earth too. And I think this make and break effect of the Moon, interfering with the direct current from the Sun can have very important effects. And you will hear at our school, of course constant references to ancient maxims which are contained within our esoteric philosophy, and the maxim of ‘ as above, so below. As above so below’. We constantly emphasise this. We say that the Earth is a tiny little microcosm to the gigantic macrocosm of the heavens. We are a reflection of the heavens and a microcosm of the heavens. A microcosm of the heavens. And Mankind is a microcosm of his planet, in whom we move and live and have our being. It will be discovered that James Lovelock who wrote the book ‘Gaia’, a book we can ask someone to rescue from the floor of my bedroom, yes, thank you Paul. And Gaia is another book you should have on your shelves by the eminent scientist, James Lovelock. It sees the Earth in Aristotelian terms. It sees the Earth as being alive, a sentient living thing. For Hylozoism, a proposition of Aristotle 2,500 years ago, is ‘that all things live!’ From the tiniest atom to the greatest galaxy implies that all of these structures live. They live within us; my cells, my atoms, my molecules, yours live within you in whom, they live and move and have their being. And my consciousness is shared by them and that is what is impending, in Quantum, Quantum Mechanics, the behaviour of Quantum Fields. This the discovery that is about to be made, there is a link in consciousness. The rush is to find out what that consciousness is based upon, what energy, where is this energy located. Now in the book Gaia, beautifully illustrated, Lovelock suggests that if we take the Earth as living being, and he calls Earth, Gaia. She is female, she is symbolised by Gaia one of the goddesses of mythology, we symbolise the emergence of life from the sea. And in my book Anthropogony, the Anthropogenesis, the beginnings of Man we have a picture written twenty years before Lovelock, suggesting the same thing that the Earth is a living creature. And once we go to this consideration all sorts of things emerge. Lovelock said, if can accept that, then you will feel easier if you are a part of the Green Party, if you are an environmentalist you will feel easier about it because he says, if Earth is a living thing, Earth has got an immune system. And if Earth has got an immune system, then that immune system would come into action every time the earth is threatened. And if we threaten the Earth, or if volcanoes threaten the Earth with destruction, or if the Earth was destroyed like the Moon was destroyed by barrages of meteorites pounding its surface to bits. Then, the Earth has mechanisms built into it to react of its own volition. The Earth will do it itself and that is a comforting thought. Don’t worry too much about the ‘greenhouse effect’, the summers we are having now may be innocent, they may be the result of debris being thrust into the range of the Sun, falling into the furnace of the Sun. Just as good as any other explanation given. We’ve had hot periods in England, who knows these fields around here which are struggling to survive economically, may be covered in vines. Then we could grow our own wine, wouldn’t that be nice, having your own plonk on tap? And not everything adverse is connected with change. So we see there is this lovely thought, that the planet is as the ancients have said, a living thing. In Esoteric Science, we call it a Logos. There is the spirit of the Earth, made up of course of Deva forces, but there is of course the Logos of the Earth. A great being using the body of the Earth as a vehicle of expression. You’re all in training for that. Having to grow up on this planet, again and again and again, through reincarnation, it helps us to sustain an affinity with the forces of the planet which sustain life. And I strongly believe in reincarnation, it goes hand in hand with such a factor as experience. And reincarnation gives us the experience to manage our own moon, our own planet as a kind of Logos. What better experience than growing up on the Earth many, many times?
But we have to say then, that if this planet Earth is our Lord in the sense that I have described it, in whom we live and move and have our being, what does the eclipse effect in us? We who are the microcosm of this planet. We are the microcosm of this planet, and indeed Paracelsus said, we are Suns in miniature. We are Suns in miniature. With the substance of the stars wrought into us, as the substance of the stars is wrought into the Sun. Well I have looked at this very carefully and have come to a certain conclusion. That the mechanism of make and break, that the eclipse mechanisms imposed on us as cyclic and rhythmic cycles upon the Earth. Of course it is. What part of our anatomy can possibly be aligned, be compared with the mechanism of the Moon coming between us and the Sun? The answer is of course, in the astrology of the situation. Because the Sun is Ruled by Leo and Leo rules the heart and the mechanisms that compare the human heart in an eclipse are the Valvular System. The system of valves opening, coming shut. Opening, shut, blub dub, blub dub, blub dub with the flow of blood de-oxygenated, therefore blue blood, if you like. Into the lungs, regenerated back into the heart, regenerated bright red ready to be used again. And the muscular valves of the heart shoots the blood around the body into the pulmonary system around the body, and the eclipses can be likened to the pulmonary part of the heart for Solar circulation or Solar radiation. So, in watching the effects of the eclipse it might be worthwhile for esoteric physiologists to consider this factor. That first of all, the eclipse may affect those who have risky or sensitive valves, mitral valve, trichuspin valve, the aortic valve and the pulmonary valve. Four delicate organisms, embedded within the heart, very sensitive to some conditions. When I was a boy, the first thing we learnt when we went camping was don’t sleep on the wet ground. Always put down a groundsheet, always have a covering over the earth before you lay your blankets down in a tent. Because the kind of organism that attacked the valves was related to rheumatism, the organs of rheumatism and rheumatic heart valve conditions were quite frequent then. I’m saying here, that if anything the valvular system of the heart may be affected adversely. If you have got a very afflicted Leo, a very afflicted Sun in your horoscope. But that also draws in what we were just talking about, and that is the hidden qualities of the Sun. The hidden qualities of the Sun relate to the thymus gland, the thymus gland being the endocrine gland related to the heart and the heart chakra. And the thymus gland is the home of the immune system. It is also a part of our awareness that is not yet fully developed, that is the intuition. The intuition, the heart, the heart chakra, the thymus gland, all these are related. Now what it really boils down to is, the recognition of the body, the capacity of the body to recognise NOT SELF. To recognise NOT SELF. And that of course exists at all levels of our consciousness. The NOT SELF of the virus, the Not Self of the attacking bacteria. The NOT SELF of toxins. Of poisons and our reaction, the immune system reacting to NOT SELF. But we know Spiritually that we too must recognise that which is not in us. The we learn to build up our Spiritual immune system, highly, we build it up and we learn to apply it psychologically to behavioural attitudes. “This is not me; I’ll have no part of this. This not the immortal part of me, I will not accept it. I will not accept slavery, I will not accept this or that. And we have to work at it very hard, and the eclipse placed as it is, is a structure, a process which affects Discrimination, Discrimination. We must be aware if we have an afflicted eclipse, we must be aware of not being discriminating enough. Now you know what lack of discrimination leads to in the Disciple’s life. Lack of discrimination leads to problems, troubles, pains, unnecessary pain, very much affecting the 12th House of Self-undoing. It was my fault, mea culpa (we’re not Italian are we?), mea culpa. My fault, I am to blame. Self-undoing, 12th House as well as the 5th House, the house of the heart. And many of us need to live by the heart, when we are far too wilful, our lives are dominated by volition, by our determination, our meeting of timed schedules to be in places by appointment. Hammer, hammer, hammer. Fist, the external part which is will in action, we need to temper it with the heart, temper it with love. And I would say that an afflicted eclipse, and some people here today have to me pointed out that they have this very much in their horoscopes. I have 17 degrees of Neptune Retrograde in Leo, right in the middle of the eclipse. Sheila here has a rising sign, I understand. Others of you relate your horoscopes to the eclipse of today, very wisely. What I’m saying here is that lack of discrimination, albeit temporally, may be one of the problems of the eclipse in its microcosm. It’s happening in our Macrocosm and we are the Microcosm, as above so below. But then of course as Jung would say, would point out, here is this relationship between the Sun and Moon and Alchemy. Sun and Moon and Alchemy. When you look at the illustrations of Alchemy in Jung and elsewhere, this is what you find superbly illustrated. The Sun and Moon coming together in conjunction, that’s what is was a conjunction. The Sun and Moon representing the forces of alchemy. Looking around your own life, where there are the forces of alchemy at play. The Moon rules illness anyway, the Moon rules the horizon. The Moons rules the most delicate, coordinated, fragmented part of life. If you look at the way that fronds of a tree divide and produce ultimately the stalks of leaves. If you look in the anastomoses of tiny blood vessels in the ear, especially in the ear of a rabbit, many kinds of anastomoses, like filigree work, like jewellery. This is Lunar, and the Sun of course has it’s own rulership in gold, the filigree work of silver and the metal gold. Worth perhaps wearing, some women to bring back wearing cameos. Cameos with a nice filigree work of gold as a border to the cameo. The cameo being a picture of a fair lady or fair one, perhaps your own mother, perhaps yourself. But these are the kinds of work of alchemical jewellery that would encourage the benign forces of the eclipse.
We don’t know where alchemy’s going. Technically speaking should already be in motion on the Earth, we should be producing gold in great quantities. If you bring tin and copper together, if you put these atoms in a cyclotron in Germany perhaps or Switzerland. These huge cyclotrons which race atoms around at extraordinary speeds and then collide them, then tin and copper should collide and produce gold. Because their atomic weights together of copper and tin add up to Gold 79 in atomic weight. Gold is always a fine structure to meditate upon, to place in the space between thoughts. Meditation, the secret of meditation is to slow the rate of thinking down and flatten your thoughts by controlling the senses, called pratya-ana, by flattening the senses, slowing the rate of thinking down and stopping the flow of thoughts before they start again. And in the space between thoughts, to create, put something there. The space between thoughts, pause, pause before they start again. In the space between thoughts, there’s the nose, there’s the eyes, eyelids, here’s the mouth and in the space between thoughts between the eyebrows, to be able to put an object into meditation there. And its then, that an object in gold may be an appropriate structure to put there. An object of mediation created in mental substance, if you like. Meditation begins in the space between thoughts, meditation begins in the space between thoughts, and the height of achievement in meditation is Spiritual Alchemy. The ability to create the INNER factor of gold, that which maintains a resplendence within you as a spiritual being that radiates outwards. Today’s eclipse was marked by a constant reference to the radiation of the surface of the Sun, which is markedly shown when the Moon fits exactly over the disc of the Sun. in itself, probably a period that will last only a million years out of the Earth’s thousands of millions of years, this short period when the two will do that. This brings us of course to Madame Blavatsky’s observation of the corona of the Sun, corona meaning a crown, the crown surrounding the Sun’s disc. And Ahkenaton the Pharaoh in Egypt that dared to do that and say to the priests, “take your animal gods, get rid of them, there is a secret behind the disc of the Sun far more important. The disc of the Sun contains behind it, the true God!” By that of course he means the source of Prana, the source of the ‘Life-Force’. Madame Blavatsky said the corona of the Sun was the macrocosm’s aura, that it was electro-magnetic and that it was (is) the aura of the Solar Logos. And that aura impinged upon every part of all the life activities within the solar system. Today we had the opportunity to see something of the Logos’s aura. We of course have an aura, we are microcosms of that macrocosm, we have an aura of our own and that aura is best indicated when it is golden. Golden aura, Aura means gold. There you have it at the back of the room, it’d have been nice to have it on the table, the vase of Sunflowers, which was gifted to us by this young lady seated in the front row. The Aura, and I believe that the solar mechanism for the development of the human aura, especially the clairvoyant capacity of humans to observe the aura, is a solar phenomenon. The eclipse is almost certainly related the development of clairvoyant perception of the aura. One of the most disappointing fields in human psychic development, perception of the aura. It has not happened, we have not been able chemically, scientifically locate the aura in terms of energy fields of particles or even wavicles. Mainly because people have been so anxious to have something of the aura in their consciousness, they have experimented by wrongly by creating cold electron emissions. By shocking the body into producing cold electronic emissions and photographing this at festivals and so on. The aura remains unexplored. This morning I mentioned the holographic effect of shafts of light during the eclipse the willow tree, leaves, branches outside here and throwing onto the lightly damp cement surface images of the eclipse as is was proceeding in tiny little discs on the sidewalk. Little miniature eclipses that we were able to observe. What a wonderful world we live in, and many of us unaware of our potentials. Those millions of us who watched the eclipse today, and those going down to Cornwall. Of course there’ll be all the razzmatazz, oh come on we’ve got a camper, we’ve got a mobile home, let’s go down and see the eclipse, and all the razzmatazz that goes with that, not dreaming that there could be such factors as have been in this talk today, such esoteric factors that you and I know concerning the eclipse .
You and I know as esoteric students that there is a sacred word that we use, it’s featured in ‘Inscape’ number 3, and it is the sound of the AUM, meant to be the whole range of the human voice, from AaUuMm closing off with the M and the sealing of the lips. AUM AUM AUM. And when we sound the OM (AUM) it has in a group a unifying effect, it tends to muzzle out any discord in a group. You always get discords within a group, you can’t expand anything without hearing any creaks and groans and minor arguments and so on, it’s all part and parcel of growth. The sounding of the OM is very good, it’s very good for the group. I think that some of the Yogis could be accused of sounding the OM when their bellies were rumbling in order to hide it, and other things. But nevertheless, there we are, the OM. We find now, today of course that within the disc of the Sun there is a constant reverberating sound, as some mechanism or the other operates and we get the reverberating sound within the disc of the sun. Reverberating, ricocheting inside if you like an we like to think of this as the sound of the OM which was the sound which was to stem from the Solar Logos, a constant reverberating of the OM. Eclipses of course effects macrocosms. The nation is a macrocosm of a society, and there are nations which have gone into eclipse. In fact, it is the esoteric contention that a nation will be created with Initiates being incarnated into it by the hundreds, initiating the build-up of national awareness, with attainments in science, in the arts before the Initiates pull out and the nation collapses. Civilisations come and go.
Eclipses of course affect macrocosms. The nation is the macrocosm of a society, and there are nations which have gone into eclipse. In fact, it is the esoteric contention that a nation will build up with Initiates incarnating in it in their hundreds, producing the build-up of national awareness with attainments in science, and arts before the Initiates pull out and the nation collapses. Civilisations come and go. And the best way it seems for them to come and go, is for them to be built up by a concentration of the awareness of the Initiates. It will cause the arts to flourish, cause the standard of living, the quality of life to raise. Then the Initiates are withdrawn under cyclic law, mark this for the eclipse, it’s just the same. This is an eclipse which affected Cornwall, parts of France, the Ruhr in Germany, Pakistan, Indonesia. Part of the Earth is stimulated. When we talk about the rise of a civilisation we’re talking about a pathway, a cycle of effect, and the effect is produced by the incarnation of Initiates. These Initiates at the moment are supposed to be concentrating in the Anglo-Saxon sub-race, Britain and North America. But there will be a change of note which is being sounded; note the words, change of note, maybe a change of note of the Sun sounded also at this time in far flung Australia. Where a sixth sub-race is beginning, or that which will produce the sixth sub-race, not the fifth which is thriving on the planet at the moment, the Anglo-Saxon, but a sixth sub-race, muted now in Australia. With changing in form and a very, very profound effect of the Sun, in Australia. The Sun acting on the fair skins of the Australian Anglo-Saxons, doing something to the skin. There is hardly one of us who is not affected by this thickening process of the skin, which is required is required in the future. We’ve all got a little bit of cancer somewhere, I’ve got a little bit here from sticking my arm out of the car window driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. And if I remember that particular day, we hit a 120 miles an hour because we had to have a meeting that night in Los Angeles/ Well, well, well, memory goes a long way with us here. We’re all subjected to the Sun and we need to eclipse the Sun by having coverings. I remember as a child in South Africa, five years old, six years old being blistered by the Sun, huge yellow blimps all over the shoulders and having to wear vests in the Sun. I’m stressing this now to show you that the Sun’s effect is always there.
The thick-skinned races of the tropics and the very thin skinned races of the cavemen of Europe, the cave dwellers of Europe and the necessity to eclipse the Sun whenever it gets threatening to the skin. And of course the nation that comes to mind as being effected by an eclipse of nations, is Egypt. The Egypt of today is in eclipse, there’s no way we can say that the present occupants produced the pyramids. They certainly did not, and they know it. Nevertheless, it is this eclipse of nations and then eventually our own nations will go into eclipse as well, and we must therefore see it as a sign of progress. I hardly know a spiritual person in all the world who has continued to thrive, economically, financially if you like who has gone on and on from one material success to another and retained his spirituality or expanded it. We all have to accept eclipse of personality, that doesn’t mean that we throw our personalities away. It means that you integrate them, you psychosynthesise them so that the personality understands that there is a far more important role than establishing the personality or aggrandising it, making it shinier and polished, brassy than it need be. We all recognise this as part of pyschosynthesis and we have to withdraw a little bit, and we must allow the personality to go into eclipse. We all need to have that, and sometime when we’ve got a bit of time I can show you how this affected the pyramids. The pyramid is so old that by the time they had got halfway up building it, they had forgotten what was underneath it, and by the time they had got the capstone on they had forgotten what was in the middle of it. And you get that happening in the world, structures become so old. We love to look at a tree and goodness me, not far from here there is a stately home which has trees growing in it, used to grow in them, in the main hall. They were the pillars of the hall, and they were old trees, a thousand years old and they’re dead now but they stand there still. And trees are the Initiates symbols, the symbols of Initiation.