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Leo

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This is a transcription of the audio lecture Astrology 05 Leo, which you can download for free.

The sign of Leo is represented by a lion.  The lion has a universal symbolic significance.  We find that the symbol of the lion is ubiquitous, being present in every major religion and mythology because of its grandeur, courage, strength, and beauty.  And it appears that we have a particular love or attraction for the great cats.  You might even say a kind of fascination.  The lion has always played a very significant and central role in mankind’s observations of nature, and in the persistent longing to understand how nature functions.

Within the context of astrology and the zodiac, Leo the lion also has this central role.  We know from studying Gnosis that Leo is the heart of the zodiac.  Leo is the sun of the zodiac, just as our physical sun gives life and provides the basis for existence to all the planets and life forms that exist within the terrestrial environment and in the environments of each of the planets.  So too does Leo radiate its effulgent life to all the zodiacal signs: on the physical level, on the energetic level, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; on every level.

Leo

Leo is like the sun of the mind, heart, and soul.  That’s why astrologists always say that Leo is in the house of the sun.  Of course, each astrologic sign is related to a planet and different stellar influences and stellar relationships.  But as the sun, of course, being the center of our solar system, an axle on which all of life rotates, Leo carries on that level of influence within our own psyche.

So we see that in the symbolism of the lion, this beautiful animal, who is well known and well regarded for his courage and his strength.  Leo as an astrological sign also transmits strength, force, and power.  This is obviously represented in the Arcanum Eleven of the sacred book of the Kabbalistic tarot.  And as you recall from a recent lecture, Arcanum Eleven depicts a beautiful woman who very serenely grasps the mouth of a lion with her hands.  Of course, this woman is our own inner Divine Mother, God.  She is the one who has the capacity to properly manage the tremendous energy of the lion Leo.

As an astrological influence, the sign of Leo is a channel through which a great deal of energy is transmitted.  Those forces descend along the pathways of the ray of creation as it descends down the tree of life.  And when those energies are modified through the vehicle of Leo, this particular astrological influence, they are impregnated or instilled with these very strong and very powerful energetic forces related to courage, strength, and honor.  Unfortunately, when any given creature has a mind that is trapped in pride, anger and fear, those values of Leo flip; they become filtered in the same way that light is changed in its course when it passes through a prism.  That light becomes sanguinary, inferior, and inverted.  So those qualities of Leo also become inverted.  They become negative and harmful.  And it is true of any sign, any stellar influence which we have been discussing.

In particular, these forces of Leo are harnessed by the desires of our own mind and by the desires of our own heart, and thereby become very dangerous.  This influence and this situation is not just unique to those born under the sign of Leo.  This is a situation that everyone who is incarnated in a physical body is experiencing.  The unique capacity of Leo is to have great courage, great strength, and have bravery to be able to take a stand to fight.  But unfortunately, when those energies and capacities are harnessed by the subjective nature of our mind, then we will fight for the wrong things.  We will have courage in the wrong way: Courage through pride and anger.  This is illustrated very beautifully by the master Jesus in Mathew 15:18 - and believe me those numbers are significant, as you know from studying Kabbalistic numerology.

17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

In Mathew 15:18, Jesus says that it is what comes out of the mouth of a man from his heart that defiles him.  You may have heard about this before: he says that it is not what you eat or take into your mouth that makes you impure, it is what comes out of you.  But if you read that passage carefully, he’s saying what comes through your mouth from your heart.  Now what’s important about this is that Leo governs the heart.  So when the influence of Leo is irradiating our own heart, it is providing an influence, it is providing an energy: Fuel and forces, which are harnessed by our will.  In that passage in the gospel, master Jesus is clearly saying that we have to manage consciously the outpouring of our own heart.  And this is directly related to the influence of Leo.

As I mentioned, the sun is the heart of our solar system.  But our own heart is the sun of our organism.  Our whole physiology and our whole psychology rotate around our heart.  The heart itself is a beautiful organ.  And it can create a great deal of astonishment when you study the heart.  Of course, biologically speaking it is about the size of your fist, and somewhat similar to the shape of a pear.  It rests in the cavity in the chest between the lungs.  The heart is a beautiful and very sophisticated device.

As part of our studies of esoteric physiology, we know that the heart is related to fire.  This is easy to understand when you understand something about emotion.  Emotion is a very energetic force whose manifestation can have attributes and qualities of fire.  In our heart there can be great warmth, blazing heat or even a deep cold, the opposite of fire in relation to emotions.

So if we understand that the heart is related to fire, we also know quite clearly that the lungs are related to air.  And here in the physiological level of our physical body we see this fascinating and vital interrelationship of the heart and lungs between fire and air.

If you’ve studied anything about the mechanism of the heart, you know that the heart is a double pump, which is constantly pulsing, and pushing blood in two different directions at the same time.  It is a vessel with chambers that receive, transmit, and manage the flow of blood in our organism.  The blood that the heart receives comes from all of the vessels of the veins throughout the body.  And that blood is filled with waste material released by all the cells and living organisms in the body.  The impure blood passes through the heart, and all of those toxins are transmitted through the lungs.  And as the blood passes through the capillaries within the lungs, the toxic materials are released into the lungs, which we exhale.  Then we breathe in, and the air is received by the lungs again.  That pure oxygen, all the gases and elements that we breathe in, are received by the blood and taken directly back to the heart, which receives all those positive forces and then transmits them throughout the body.  So we see this beautiful cycle how the heart receives all of the impure wastes, cycles them through the lungs, expels them, and then receives pure elements to transmit through the body once again.  This is a great, beautiful cycle.  So here we see the constant pulse of life, a giving and taking, projection and reception, a great interrelationship between fire and air.  Esoterically speaking, this is the very basis, the very heart, of initiation of the development of the soul.

When you examine this functionalism of the heart and lungs there are subtle and important elements related to our own psychological development that you need to understand.  The heart receives all the impurities and purifies them.  In the same manner, our own esoteric spiritual heart has all the capacity to receive and purify all those impure elements that we have within.  Esoterically speaking, that heart influence is called the Atom Nous.  Not because it is actually an atom physically, but because it is a level of intelligence or a kind of influence which is quite small.  It works on a subtle, atomic sort of level.

The Atom Nous is the exponent of the Christ.  It is the exponent of the master architect who built the body that you have, and who can construct the soul.  This vital intelligence already manages all of the marvelous functionalisms that you can observe in your physical body.  The processes of digestion, breathing, growth, and all of the life forms throughout all the organisms that live within us, the cell, organs, and atoms, are all guided by the Atom Nous.

The Atom Nous has as its ultimate job full development of the human being.  As we are now, we are just an embryo of a human being.  Jesus is a real human being.  Buddha is a real human being.  An angel is at the beginning of becoming a human being.  And an angel has many steps to go to become absolutely perfect.  The Atom Nous is the intelligence which builds that temple of the soul.  Leo is the channel through which that influence is propagated within us physically, energetically, and psychologically.

The elements of fire and air are of course related to tattwas, which are more subtle vibrations of these elements.  In Sanskrit, the tattwa of fire is called Tejas and the tattwa of air is called Vayu.  Tattwas are the more subtle level of any given element.  So when we have fire physically, that fire arises because in a subtler dimension there is Tejas, which is this root energy.  But Tejas itself is derived from even more subtle forces.  Next there’s Ether and then there’s Prana.

Prana is raw energy, and the raw force of life.  Everything that exists is really just a modification of Prana.  Prana, which descends, coagulates, and condenses, becomes ether, and condenses further and becomes the tattwas which are related in turn to the four elements.  Prana comes into being or into existence through our heart.  This is why when you study yoga there is a lot of discussion of Prana or energy.

One of the most common practices that is taught in any system of Hindu yoga is Pranayama.  Of course, this is a compound word.  Prana is root energy or life.  The Sanskrit term Yama has a couple of different subtle meanings.  Firstly, it can mean to use or to grasp, but in a deeper way it means to do or take action.  So you find in the word Yama this very potent, projective, and active force, which obviously relates closely to Leo.  So the term Pranayama is usually translated as “to harness the winds, to grasp the winds, or to grasp energy.” By the term “wind” we mean the forces of Prana.  But the way it is taught in the exoteric level is that that wind is the air in your lungs.  So the technique of Pranayama is a breathing practice.  There are many versions, but all of them in their essence have the same core intention: to breath consciously, to learn to consciously manage your breath.

Now as you observe yourself, you will discover that by the time you become an adult your breathing has become very shallow and very much in the upper portion of the lungs.  Part of this is due to tension, and that tension exists because we are distracted by all the different manifestations in our own mind, by the representations in our psyche, and the impressions from life.  So part of the original goal of the teacher of Yoga in teaching Pranayama was to guide the naive student, the beginner student, to start learning how to be conscious from moment to moment.  So these students would learn Pranayama.  They would sit for ten to fifteen minutes and breath consciously.  The purpose of this, although simple, has far reaching consequences.  When we are conscious, meaning fully aware of ourselves, we are saving energy.  We are starting to work directly with the consciousness, which is the basis of the path anyway.  The whole point of Gnosis and any religion is to awaken consciousness, and not to just gather theories.  So in learning to breath consciously, the student starts to learn how to be conscious.

This is also related closely to a practice in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions called Anapanna.  It is simply a practice of learning how to be mindful of the breath, all the time, to be watching the breath.  We obviously need to breath to remain alive, but we do it mechanically.  Most of the time we are not even aware of the process of breathing, and so we just go about our business not fully aware and cognizant that the breath is what keeps us alive.  So by becoming conscious of that, and learning to maintain an awareness of the process of breathing, we start to become more conscious of ourselves and to work with the force of the consciousness.

In relation to the breath, this is very important, because when you are breathing you are drawing in Prana.  Remember that all the air that is drawn in is then absorbed into the blood, which is cycled throughout the body to feed your organism, your physical body, and sustain it.  So when you start to breathe consciously, you breathe in better and more pure elements.  You start to bring in the influence of the consciousness, and the consciousness is a direct extension of God.  So learning to be conscious of breath can begin a very incipient level of self-awareness.  To harness the winds, however, is in reality far subtler.

The winds, in the context of Pranayama, are really allegorical.  “Wind” in Asian medicine is a symbol of energy.  So really, to harness Prana means to learn how to consciously take control of the energies with in.  All the energies.  So the beginning yogi will begin with the breath, but traditionally, little by little, that student is introduced to into more and more forms of energy.  Learning how to manage them.

We see this beautifully represented in a practice Samael Aun Weor teaches in relation to Leo, and this is a practice of meditation.  This practice is very beautiful and simple.  You lie down and relax.  You can either lie straight with your arms and legs close together, or in the form of a star.  You relax, close your eyes and begin to concentrate on the pulse, and on the movement of the blood through your body.  Now believe it or not, you can actually sense that and feel that.  This practice teaches how to move from point to point through the body.  Working with the tips of the fingers, toes, and nose, to become very attuned to feeling the movement of the pulse and the cycle of the pulse.  Little by little, the yogi that does this practice comes to the astonishing realization that you can control it.  It is possible to consciously control your pulse.  This has been scientifically demonstrated many times.  A yogi or a meditator can consciously slow down the pulse, and can even stop the pulse.  Why is this important?  This is not just a carnival act.  It is important because in the very nature of the pulse we find important elements related to the consciousness, but what you specifically observe is that the experience of Samadhi occurs when the pulse is very slow.

Samadhi is ecstasy.  Samadhi is the experience that the consciousness has when it is free of the ego.  In other words, bliss.  The consciousness is able to escape the cage of the ego, of suffering, and experiencing the truth, reality, without conditioning.  So meditators who sit and meditate, trying to develop the skill to enter Samadhi, can take advantage of this powerful tool to learn how to work with the heart, the heart beat or pulse.

Samadhi is important because it is in Samadhi that we reach comprehension.

Meditation is very widely discussed these days, but very poorly understood.  It is very sad to see how the western mind has formed its concept about meditation.  When you investigate this contemporary understanding, you often see images of people sitting in a posture with their legs crossed, hands on knees, and hands upturned.  They look very stiff and very uncomfortable.  They have their eyes closed with this sort of fake ecstasy on their expression.  This really has nothing to do with meditation.  To meditate is to extract the consciousness from the ego.  What that means is that the entire sense of self that we have has to be abandoned.  The “I,” in other words, has to be abandoned.  This takes courage.  This takes a lot of strength.  That is why Leo is so important.

The master Samael Aun Weor emphasized repeatedly that during the sign of Leo, during the period of time that Leo is so strong, meditate.  Take advantage of those energies because it takes tremendous strength and courage to abandon the cage of the “I.”

In the Gnostic tradition, we have truly a plethora of meditation techniques, hundreds of techniques, so it is very easy for the student to become confused, to know what to practice.  It is important to understand meditation very clearly.

Gnosis is the science of meditation.  When we begin to study Gnosis, we study it intellectually to get a grasp of its idea or theme.  Little by little, we may start to feel an emotional connection and feel the truth of it in our heart.  If we take that seriously, we may begin to practice, to work with it in the third brain: so we have the intellect, the heart, and then the third brain, the motor-instinctive-sexual brain.  In that case, we would need to start doing it, to try it, to experiment, to teach it, and to learn.

In the same way, when you are a child and you first see someone riding a bicycle, that idea is so shocking.  How are they riding a bicycle?  It does not make any sense when you see it.  But then the emotional urge comes.  “I want to learn that.  I want to know what that feels like.”  That longing is there.  But if we do not act on it, we will never understand.  It will always remain a mystery.  So then we have to practice.  We have to get a bicycle, or borrow one, and start trying to ride it. That is very difficult.  It is actually really scary, if you remember.  If you have had that experience, it is terrifying.  We fall down and we get hurt.  Some abandon it.  Some give up.  So they never have that experience, and the rest of their life they always have this little bitterness that they gave up and did not learn.  For those of us who persisted, we learned something quite enjoyable, and once you learn it becomes easy.  It becomes natural.  It becomes something you can do without even thinking about how to do it.  If you have learned how to ride a bicycle, you know what I am talking about.  You no longer have to think about how to do it.  You get on the bike and you ride: free.  There is no need to think.  There is no need to analyze.  There is no need to doubt or question.  You simply perform the action.  Meditation is exactly the same.

Meditation is actually a natural function of the consciousness.  It is part of who we are, but unfortunately, because we have made so many mistakes, and become so fascinated with desires and sensations, we have forgotten how.

So in Gnosis, we learn many techniques.  There is a desire that arises in some people to just make it all simpler: to have one meditation technique, and have everybody do the same one.  You see that in certain schools and movements where they focus exclusively on a single technique, and demand that that is the way.  Unfortunately, that approach is not really valid, and we can understand why when we look back to childhood again.

Observe how you grew up and what you ate.  When you are a child, you are born with certain values physically, and into a particular environment and with particular needs.  You are given food appropriate to your age and your needs.  If you are given the right food, you will grow.  The consciousness is the same.  In us, the consciousness is a baby, and it needs certain kinds of food.  So in Gnosis and in many traditions, you find many practices for that baby.  There is nothing wrong with being a baby.  There is nothing wrong with doing practices that are appropriate to your level of development.  But it is also important to grow.  So the practice that I described a moment ago of observing the pulse is a practice appropriate to a beginner.  It is a practice with which you can learn about your consciousness: how it works and how it can develop.  Anapanna, this practice of observing the breath, also qualifies as a good practice for a beginner, for someone who wants to learn how to be aware, how to be conscious, and how to concentrate.

The many ways that we look at meditation can also cause a little confusion.  But we can say in synthesis that there are three levels of meditation.  The first is perfect concentration.  To develop perfect concentration requires practice.  This is not something that is going to arise on its own.  It requires training.  So as I mentioned previously, there are practices we can utilize in order to develop concentration.  The observation of the breath is one, and to work with the pulse is another.  In many traditions, you see practitioners working with beads (Japa) where they repeat a mantra.  This is true in most religions.  They repeat a sacred phrase over and over.  Really, the intention of that is to develop concentration, and not to just do it mechanically over and over.  To really develop concentration properly, you have to be conscious of what you are doing and be aware.  If you are doing it mechanically, you are not doing much good, you are not really growing.

So in this particular scale that we are going to look at today, the first level of meditation is perfect concentration.  In the Buddhist tradition, there is a teaching given by Buddha Maitreya called the nine levels of Shamata.  In Tibetan, it is called Shi-ne.  These nine levels really describe grades, degrees, or levels of concentration.  Nine is the highest.  It is Shamata.  In other words, in Sanskrit, it is called Pratyahara.  This level of concentration is what we know of as “one pointed mind.”  What that means is that someone who has acquired or developed that skill can place their mind on any given thing and not be distracted away from it by anything: To have a silent mind, and have the attention perfectly focused on one thing.  Now you can test yourself, and find out what degree or level of concentration you have.  A simple way is to ask: how many times so far have you lost the continuity of my lecture today?  How many times have you become distracted?  How long are you able to remain focused and concentrated?  How often does your mind take you into associative thinking?  Someone who has developed some concentration is able to keep themselves focused for longer.

This is actually a huge problem in society.  Everyone has heard of ADD and disorders related to that.  It is called “attention deficient disorder.”  Most of the time, it is diagnosed in children, but the fact is that everyone suffers from ADD.  Did you know that there was a recent scientific study examining attention in adults?  Can you guess the average attention span of the modern adult?  Seven seconds.  That’s it.  And that’s average.  Some are worse.  It is easy to see in people who are very distracted, constantly shifting from one thing to other with no continuity.  This is a deep form of physiological sleep, and this is the cause of suffering.  Someone who has that level of concentration is constantly tossed about by the storm of their own mind, and they suffer intensely with no real willpower.  No staying power.

One of the qualities of Leo is the ability to stand firm.  Imagine that lion who is able to stay focused and not give up.  This is the quality of the conscious that we need.

So we perform practices.  We repeat mantras.  We observe the breath.  We learn to visualize.  There are a variety of techniques.  But what is important to understand is that there is not one right technique.  There are hundreds and hundreds of techniques, and each one is appropriate in its way, at its time.  Some students will benefit more from observing the breath.  Others will benefit more from concentrating on a mantra.  Other will grow more by learning to concentrate and visualize an image.  Some need to sit with the eyes open and observe an image of a sacred object or sacred being.  Everyone has a different need.  Moreover, those needs change, especially as the consciousness is growing.

In the beginning, the consciousness, like a baby, needs simple food, easy to digest.  But as it gathers more development, it needs more sophisticated food:  more rich, with more values, with more content, more depth.  This is why in Gnosis we have so many techniques, because everyone has a different need according to their level.

However, whatever practices we do, whatever techniques we are drawn towards, to proceed, to go ahead, requires concentration first.  Meditation is not possible if you cannot concentrate.  You have to be able to concentrate first to some degree.  If you are familiar with the levels of Shamata as taught by Maitreya, then you can see that you need to be somewhere in those middle levels (3-5 in terms of a degree of concentration) in order to understand what concentration really is.

The next level of our simple outline of meditation, level two, is perfect meditation.  So concentration practice, step one, we call “meditation,” but it is not. It is concentration.  To really meditate is to have the ability to observe something without distraction and to understand it: to get information.

Really, the one who meditates does so to gather information.  Concentration practice does not result in the acquisition of information.  When you learn to concentrate, you are simply learning to place the attention on something and make it consistent, to hold it there.  But when you start to really meditate, you learn to extract, to receive information and understanding.  To do that means you have to have the ability to maintain that observation, to maintain that attention continually without distraction.  If you are constantly distracted, how can you be there long enough for the information to come?  Even if it does, how will you know how to understand it, if you cannot yet differentiate between all the distractions in your mind?

So perfect meditation is that level which in Sanskrit is called Dhyana, in which you are able to observe something with one pointed concentration and get some information out of it.  But there is another level.

The third level is perfect Samadhi.  Samadhi is another word that is often misunderstood, but in the varying interpretations that are given to the term, really the synthesis of them is “ecstasy.”  Or what we would call “nirvana,” not as a place, but as a state of consciousness.  The Tibetan word for Samadhi means “to hold unwaveringly so that there is no movement.”  Obviously that requires concentration: to be able to fix something in your mind without having any movement whatsoever.  At this stage, the mind is still, like a lake.  But that meaning is only describing a doorway.

Samadhi is actually a doorway.  There are many levels of Samadhi, and all those levels are related to the tree of life, in other words the Kabbalah.  There are many forms of Samadhi and many levels of consciousness.  But in their essence, they all have the same essential quality, which is freedom from the ego.  So in synthesis, we learn to concentrate our consciousness perfectly, and extract it from the ego.  There are a lot of techniques to help us do that.  Many.

When that extraction happens, the consciousness escapes from its prison, our own mind, our karma, our ego.  In that escape, it experiences what is called Nirvana or Ecstasy or a beautiful experience.  It may be a vision; it may be any number of different qualities that can arise.  Different experiences can arise.

The beauty is that anyone can have this experience.  It is natural to the mind, but it cannot be forced.  You cannot force it.  It arises naturally on its own.  To the intellect, this appears to be a bit of a contradiction, because you have to make effort but you cannot exert.  You have to do the practice and you have to be active consciously, but your ego has to be passive.  Your personality has to be passive.  So there is a very delicate psychological balance that you have to achieve.

When you have developed a certain level of concentration, and you relax and are trying to do your practice, you can pass through these three levels in the course of an instant.  Do not assume these three levels are great plateaus that are going to extend over the course of a life, or that in a few years you will have established yourself in perfect meditation, and in a few years more in perfect Samadhi.  It does not work like that.  You can experience these three today, in one practice, if you apply yourself consciously in the right way.

No one can really teach you how to do it.  You have to teach yourself.  You must sit to meditate. You may work with a mantra, and have a very dispersed mind; very chaotic, but if the elements are in the right place you may suddenly realize that the mind has become quiet.  You are able to concentrate very well, and then suddenly you have some kind of an experience, some kind of understanding arises.  Then it goes away just as fast as it arises, and once again the mind is crazy.  How did that happen?  There are two factors.  The first is that you are practicing.  Samadhi can never arise if you do not practice.  In the same way if you do not eat, your body will die.  Meditation is a kind of food.  It is food for the consciousness.  It feeds the soul.  Meditation is facilitated through our practice of it, but it is empowered by the Atom Nous through Leo.  When you do your practice, you relax you concentrate, the Atom Nous, that intelligence related to the Christ, is able to provide guidance and assistance to help you, but only if you do the work.  If you do not practice, then you will have no benefit.

We have all these different ways of looking at meditation; we have this one, these three levels concentration, meditation, and Samadhi.  We also look at it sometimes from the point of view of yoga, which can break it into five or seven levels - or even more - depending on which particular tradition it is coming from.  You can also look at it from the point of view of Christian traditions or Buddhist traditions, all of which break down and analyze meditation in different ways.  But, they are all equally true.

You could say it is very much like standing outside of a building, and there are a lot of windows into the building.  You are a student walking around the outside.  Right now, you are looking in through one particular window that I am showing you.  And looking in from this window you see a laboratory.  And that laboratory, from your point of view, has a variety of items arranged in a particular order.  And I am explaining to you about that.  But you if go and read a book and listen to another lecture, the point of view may be different: the objects in the room will be arranged a little differently.  It might even sound contradictory.  In fact, you can start a conversation with someone about meditation and they can say, “No no no no no no its not like that.  This is before this, and this is before that.  What are you talking about?”  But what you need to realize is they may be on the other side of the building looking in at the same thing from another point of view.

The science of meditation is universal.  The consciousness is the same in all of us, and requires the same basic development.  We may need to use different tools at different times, and we may use them a little differently.  But only the one who has entered the room, and who practices, who goes into that room and begins to work with the tools that are there, will understand how the tools work together.  That understanding comes from experimenting.  If you just look at the tools, if you pick them up sometimes and say “That is interesting,” and you put it back down, you will not understand it.  You have to work with them with patience.

Work with the tools.  Work with the techniques.  The books of Samael Aun Weor are PACKED with techniques.  Believe me, you will never be able to try them all. There are too many: but start. Pick one and work with it.  Not just for one day.  Give it some time.  Give yourself an opportunity to really experiment with the different techniques within yourself.  They all work.  Every one of them works.  But you’ll find that certain ones vibrate more with you.  You relate more to it.  Somehow it feels right; it tastes good.  And that’s why there are so many techniques, but do go into the room, this room filled with tools, and begin to work with them.  You will start to see how all of these apparently complicated and very sophisticated ways of looking at meditation are actually quite simple.

The same is true of prayer.  To pray is to converse with God.  Leo in the house of the sun rules the heart, and the heart is developed through prayer and meditation.  Prayer and meditation provide the food that the heart needs in order for it to grow.  When you study any type of religion, the quality of the heart is always emphasized.  Usually the quality of the mind is as well.  That is because these two are actually one.  That is why we see such an important relationship between fire and air.  Fire related to the heart.  Air is related to the lungs but it is also related to the mind.  We learn to meditate in order to understand the mind and to change it.  We pray in order to develop the heart, to awaken the heart, and to open the heart.

In Buddhism there is a term called Bodhichitta.  This also is a compound word.  Usually it is translated as “compassion,” but the components are important.  Bodhi means wisdom.  Chitta means mind or intellect.  In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, Bodhichitta is the central focus, which is the development of compassion.  In fact, the most popular deity in the Mahayana tradition is the Goddess Tara.  Tara is said to have two primary aspects, which are represented by her feet and legs:  They are wisdom and compassion.  She is pictured as having one leg folded to support her, symbolizing wisdom, and one leg preparing to step out, symbolizing her compassion.

Wisdom is related to the mind and compassion to the heart.  What is very interesting is you read in the books of Master Samael Aun Weor he says the blue-colored hierarchies of the sun provide life.  The Master Litelantes, who was the wife of master Samael Aun Weor, stated that when you clairvoyantly observe the colors of a person, if you see someone who has a lot of blue it is because they have a lot of love.  So the color blue is closely related with the heart.  And when master Samael Aun Weor states that the blue hierarchies of the sun give rise to life, he is talking about compassion and the force of love, which of course is the Christ itself.  Christ is the light of the world.  The sun.  The Son of God.  That force around which all life spins.  That love and force of compassion is characterized as blue, which is one aspect of the Divine Mother, in terms of Tara.

The other side is wisdom.  The master Litelantes further stated that if you clairvoyantly see an aura with a lot of yellow, that is wisdom.  Yellow is related to the mind.  So you see Bodhichitta, wisdom-mind, which they translate as compassion.

What you are really seeing in Bodhichitta is the unification of the heart and mind.  And they state in Mahayana Buddhism that liberation is based upon two factors: wisdom and compassion.  Wisdom is having an awakened mind, the result of proper meditation.  Compassion is having an awakened heart.  Prayer is a practice we use to awaken the heart.  You may have also heard this phrase that “we need to learn to think with the heart and feel with the head.”  And this is an essential description of how to acquire equilibrium between the heart and mind.  This is made possible by the intelligence of the Atom Nous, if we meditate and we learn what prayer is.

The Master Samael indicated many times that prayer and meditation need to be unified.  They need to become one, but we have to understand what prayer means in this case.  He also says that the famous Prayer of the Lord, “Our father who art in heaven,” may be short, just a few lines, but it actually takes an hour to pray that properly.  That is because one has to combine it with meditation, and to pray that consciously, slowly, and in silence of the mind and heart: with devotion.  In this way we start to understand that through prayer and meditation we are trying to develop the consciousness and to awaken the consciousness.

What we really need to grasp is that consciousness can be awakened in two ways: in purity or in impurity.  In other words, within the ego or outside the ego.  There are many schools that teach how to meditate, how to pray, how to do practices, about the chakras, about Kabbalah, about all the bodies that we have, about God, about truth, about love, but they do not teach how to awaken the consciousness outside of the ego.  So there are many students who are learning how to work with the consciousness, but while remaining caged within pride and within lust.

To awaken the consciousness free of the ego, we need the Being.  If we ignore our own inner Being, we are trying to do these types of practices on our own.  We can make a grave mistake.  Gnosis teaches us that we have approximately 3% free consciousness.  We know of this as the “conscience,” that little voice that you hear sometimes that says, “Don’t do that.”  Usually we ignore it.  Usually we listen to the desires of the mind.  “Oh I’ll do it anyway.  Who cares, nobody is going to find out. Nobody knows.  I can get away with it.  I’m gonna do it cause I really want to.”

The conscience is very subtle.  To awaken the consciousness free of ego means that we have to extract the consciousness from desire.  Desire is a cage.  Desire is a prison.  Every desire we feed, we further encage ourselves to suffering.  This is the basis of every religion.  The bible says:

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. - John 8:34

When all the desires that surge in the heart
Are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal.
When all the knots that strangle the heart
Are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal,
Here in this very life.
- Hinduism.  Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.6-7

Through the abandonment of desire the Deathless state is realized. - Buddhism.  Samyutta Nikaya xlvii.37

To conquer desire is to conquer ones own self: the false self or ego.  This cannot be done with the ego itself.  A problem cannot solve a problem.  The only way to be saved, redeemed or to find freedom is with the help of God: the help of your own Being.  That is why prayer is so important to begin to develop that relationship.

Nowadays most people have no experience of God.  That is why there are so many who say God does not exist.  That is simply because they do not have that experience, and we cannot blame them for that.  Being trapped inside the sensual mind and only trusting the experience of the senses, how can they experience that which is beyond the senses?  This is why meditation is important.  Through meditation we activate the consciousness, which can experience that which is beyond the senses.  Through prayer we activate the heart, which creates that channel.

Prayer does not have to be anything complicated.  When you were a child and you needed something from your mother, you spoke in plain language.  You can appeal to your own inner God in the same way, from the purity of your own heart, crying out, from within your suffering, and within your fear, doubt and your despair.

You may have forgotten your God, and may not know him; you may not know your Divine Mother, but they have never forgotten you.  Your own Being is with you, inside, watching.  That is why he is called the divine witness because he is always there.  Unfortunately, however, there is another man there.

We find in the Bible in I Corinthians 14, Paul describes the Being as the heavenly man who is within us.  There is another man within us who is the animal man: the I.  And these two are in constant conflict.  Unfortunately, we think, we feel, and believe that the animal man is our real self.  We think, we feel, and we believe that our thoughts and our feelings are real.  We have forgotten how to listen to the Being, how to listen to the heavenly man, and how to recognize this animal man or terrestrial man for what he is.

Prayer can be based in conscious prayer or objective prayers like the Prayer of the Lord (Pater Noster), there are many like that.  There are many mantras, many prayers, such as the Apostles’ Creed, and the prayer of the Divine Mother.  These are all objective prayers.  They are each powerful and have good qualities that can help us, but the simple prayer of the heart also has power.  The prayer of a child can change the world.

Did you know that the human heart is the most sensitive organism that exists?  The human heart that you have inside your body is so sensitive that it can register seismic movements on the other side of the planet, and yet, we ignore it.  We have no real knowledge of the powers and the mysteries that are in our own heart, and yet, this heart is the doorway to God: to the Being.  The development of meditation, to have the experience of God, happens when the heart and mind are balanced, and the ego is not there.  The heart is a temple, and within that temple is our own Divine Mother.  There is a meditation practice to visualize that, to imagine that.  To allow our imagination to guide us into that temple to receive guidance, to receive help, and anyone of us can do that.  The heart temple of the human organism is the domain of our own Divine Mother.

What proceeds out of that heart is what defiles us: our lust our passion, our greed, our gluttony, our fear, our resentment, our self-hate, despair, feeling rejected, feeling forgotten, envy, and jealousy.  These all poison our heart, and with that flowing from our heart it poisons our actions.  From that results karma and terrible suffering.  Yet, the Divine Mother is there, waiting underneath all of our filthiness.  If we pray, if we meditate, and learn how to work with the energies we have within, we can give her the strength with the Arcanum 11 to control those forces of the lion: to dominate the heart temple and to make it a sacred place.  In that way we can start to comprehend the nature of God.

In relation to Leo, Samael Aun Weor wrote that there are three forces that descend from above.  These three we see on the top triangle on the tree of life.  These are the three akashic breaths: three energies, which are one, that descend into us as a form of energy or vitality.  Unfortunately, we waste it, because in our heart we are identified with lust, greed, and jealousy.  So those energies continue to flow downwards and are wasted in our wrong actions, in our wrong feelings, and in our wrong thoughts.  Those three forces are related to our three brains, related to our three nervous systems, but unfortunately we waste them.  Yet, if we learn how to take control of ourselves, consciously, to observe ourselves, to begin to control the outpouring of our own heart and mind, to take responsibility, and to try to change, we can change that process.  We can start to get the strength to control the lion.

The root of that change is in commanding our energies.  Of course, we know the sexual energies are the most potent and powerful energies that are within us, and we can control those forces.  With the help of God, those energies can be harnessed to create the soul, to fortify the consciousness, and to give strength of the lion of our own soul.  Rather than giving strength to our lust, to our anger and to our pride, we can utilize those forces to give strength to our Divine Mother.

In one particular tradition of tantrism, in India and Tibet, the science to harness those forces is called Tummo.  This word Tummo literally means “she who terrifies egotistic forces.”  Tummo yoga is known as “heat yoga” where a yogi can transmute his sexual forces and irradiate heat.  So you may have heard stories of yogis sitting naked up in the mountains in the Himalaya melting snow around them because they can generate so much heat.  That is sexual fire that they harness and save and are able to work with consciously through Pranayama.  But that energy itself is the Divine Mother: she who terrifies the ego.  She is Tara, the Goddess.  She is Durga, the Demon-killer.

When we learn to transform those forces, to yoke the prana, and to transmute those energies, we can awaken the Kundalini, which rises up the spinal column.  Leo commands the spinal column and the heart.  It takes the ferocious courage of the lion to raise the Kundalini, and the Kundalini awakens based on the merits of the heart.  There is no trick, there is no secret technique, and there is no amount of money that you can pay to raise the Kundalini, because the Kundalini, the Tummo, is the Divine Mother Herself.  It is God.  It is that intelligence, the fire of God, the Holy Spirit which guided the Israelites in the desert.  You cannot trick God, and you cannot pay for God with money.  You can only perform the commands of God and receive his blessings.

The Kundalini rises up the spinal column little by little in accordance to the development of our heart, based in chastity and transmutation.  It will only awaken if that energy is being saved, if those forces are being gathered in that church, and as a blessing from God.

This is a very deep and extensive science, but in synthesis we can say, working with the forces of Leo in relation to the heart and the sex, we purify the mind.  The Divine Mother kundalini is the very energy, the very force, that we take and harness in order to destroy the cage of the ego.  This is why we see images of Durga or Kali with a spear and sword slaying the demon.  The demon is our own mind.  She rides a great cat: Leo.  Of course her husband is Shiva, who also wears the skin of the cat, and has wrapped around him a serpent, which is the Kundalini itself.  Oftentimes you see a flow of amrita projected out of the top of his head.  That is transmuted sexual energy made pure.

When we harness those energies and forces, we really are working with another triangle in the earth, which is ourselves.  The master Samael writes there are three forces that descend from above and three that ascend from below.  Those two triangles meet in the heart and form the seal of Solomon.  Of course that seal, the six-pointed star, is those two triangles united, which has a deep significance on many levels; many meanings.  This is one.  That unity of the two triangles in the heart is equivalent to perfection as a soul.  To become a Mahatma, a great soul, is to have that.  But that does not come simply because you do a practice a lot, or you do a certain mantra a hundred thousand times or a million times.  Awakening has nothing to do with that.  The awakening of wisdom and compassion, bodhicitta, comes from purity of heart and mind.

The awakening of consciousness, the awakening of the kundalini, the awakening of the powers of the consciousness are all gifts from God.  God does not grant these gifts to murderers, adulterers, thieves, and liars, and we are all of that.  Every religion states the same.  Jesus in the bible states it very clearly:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. - Matthew 5:48

No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. - 1 John 3.9

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

and who shall stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false,
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord,
and vindication from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek Thee,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
- Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Psalm 24.3-6

Krishna (Christ): They live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them, who have renounced every selfish desire and sense craving tormenting the heart.Neither agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free from lust and fear and anger. Established in meditation, they are truly wise. Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are neither elated by good fortune nor depressed by bad. Such are the seers. Even as a tortoise draws in its limbs, the wise can draw in their senses at will. Aspirants abstain from sense pleasures, but they still crave for them. These cravings all disappear when they see the highest goal. Even of those who tread the path, the stormy senses can sweep off the mind. They live in wisdom who subdue their senses and keep their minds ever absorbed in Me. - Bhagavad Gita 2.54-61

Paul says it in the later books of the bible.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 6:8-10

Well that sounds pretty bleak.  So who gets to go, because we have all done those crimes?  Maybe we did not commit these crimes in this life, but we probably did in the last one or the one before that.  If you sincerely observe the contents of your heart and mind, and you see you have thoughts of violence, you have the urge to violence, then you have the potential to kill.  If you have the urge or the thought or the desire to commit adultery you can do it, physically too.  But doing it physically is only one level of the crime.  Also in the gospels Jesus said:

You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery."  But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. - Matthew 5.27-28

This means all of us are adulterers.  This is very sad, because those forms of crimes are not only against the other person, and crimes against ourselves, but they are crimes against our own God, our own Being.

It is better to learn how to behave properly with respect for ourselves and others.  We must learn to take control of the energy that arises in us constantly and use it for good things.  For example, you have to teach yourself how to look at other people, how to relate to them.  Your mind looks at other people in relation to its conditioning.  Fearfully, we are afraid of people, or lustfully we look always measuring other people against our own lust, our own taste.  “They don’t have this or that.”  Or, “They rank really high on my list.”  Constantly measuring.  This is the animal mind and this is a waste of energies and produces suffering, but instead we can learn to look at people and remember God.  If we are a man and see a woman, we should see in her our own Divine Mother, and remember our own Divine Mother.  You can do it.  If you had a mother physically, you can look at her that way.  You do not have to look at your own mother with lust, although you might, because the mind has that.  You can look at your own sister and appreciate her in a pure way, appreciating her good character and her good qualities; you can look at other women in the same way.  And the same applies for how women look at men.

Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, all in purity. - 1 Timothy 5.1-2

The Buddha said, "Regard old women the way you regard your mother.  Regard those who are older than you the way you regard your elder sisters; regard those who are younger than you as your younger sisters, and regard children as your own.  Bring forth thoughts to rescue them, and put an end to bad thoughts." - Buddhism.  Sutra of Forty-two Sections 29

We have to teach the consciousness to see in the right way.  This is part of the virtue of meditation.  When we learn to meditate, I’m talking about beyond mere concentration.  The real purpose of meditation is to gather information, to understand, and that understanding is so that we can break the cycle of suffering that we ourselves create.

You cannot destroy lust if it remains hidden in yourself.  You cannot destroy your anger if it remains hidden in yourself.  You have to see something in order to change it.  That is why your Being, your God, will give you ordeals, problems in life, so that your anger will arise and you’ll say, “Oh look at that.  Look at how mad I am.”  And you can understand that suffering, and then later you meditate and observe it and understand it.

But that understanding - this is very important - it is not enough to simply observe and analyze the defect.  Take the ego of anger in this example.  Many students understand very well that they need to meditate and they need to observe the different events where they suffer, and they need to look at that defect and understand that anger in this example.  But it is necessary to take the next step, which is to also look at what you should have done.  Not merely what you did wrong, what you felt wrong, what you thought wrong, but what should you have done.  And this is where God comes in.  Your Divine Mother is there to help you understand, to help you dissolve the problems and mistakes that exist in your mind.  But your Divine Mother, your Being, is also there to give you the virtue in relation to that mistake you made.

Trapped within that anger is love; did you know that?  Trapped within that defect, that psychological block, that mistake that was in your own mind, is a virtue.  But it is trapped inside a cage and is acting in the wrong way because of that conditioning.  You start to free the virtue when you understand that the harmful quality is a defect, it is karmic, and it needs to be changed, but real liberation comes when you understand the right way to act, the right way to behave.  You have to comprehend the defect and you have to comprehend the virtue.  These two go hand in hand.

By comprehending both the defect and virtue, the lotus of the heart will blossom, because in that way, little by little, as you meditate, as you understand your own experiences, you understand more and more of how to be a good person: how to act in accordance with the guidance of God.

You see, there are some Gnostics who meditate a lot on the ego, but they do not meditate on the virtues.  The result is that they do not understand the right way to behave.  This may appear subtle to you now, but the fact is that if you do not know the right way to behave, the cognizant, virtuous way, then you can be cheated by egos that appear “good.”  Really, this is what a Pharisee is: someone who is obsessed with fighting what he sees as wrong, defects, but without any knowledge of what is truly right.  The Pharisees who betrayed Christ thought they were doing good.  They did not realize they were betraying the Lord, because they did not comprehend the will of God.

Meditating on both good and bad, we arrive at equilibrium.  Comprehension leads us to understand and follow the heavenly man within, rather than the animal man, the desires of the mind.  And as you learn that and as your heart grows and gathers the strength of Leo, the Kundalini is also given the right to advance if you are practicing chastity with a spouse, while as a single person you simply become more and more pure.  Whether you are single or in a couple, by means of meditation you can make tremendous strides in this work.  So Leo has tremendous importance ruling the spine and the heart. It has direct bearing on the development of our own soul.  It is the house of the Divine Mother.

Questions and Answers

Question: You said forcing the mind to be silent is not a good practice?

Answer: You actually cannot force the mind to be silent.  You can try - and some people do - and you may have the impression that the mind is silent, but it is not.  There are certain approaches to meditation which truthfully are a form of violence: a form of violence in the mind, which tries to quite the mind by force of will.  And followers of such methods can produce a certain experience of calm or concentration, but unfortunately they are based in desire and based in violence.  It is the desire to have a quiet mind.  And it is a violence against ones psyche.   And the result is complication, because in that state, Samadhi cannot arise. So the practitioner who is working in that way will be disappointed and be frustrated and will have a great conflict.  They feel like, “Well here I am, I’ve got some concentration, why am I not having Samadhi,” and they will have a big conflict.  And it is simply a mistaken approach. A mistaken attitude.

The truth of meditation is arrived at with patience.  Let me explain this in way that I think may help you.  In the master’s writings related to Leo, he wrote this line:

The Kudalini is the laboratory where the heart works.

I think normally students think about this the other way around, thinking that the Kundalini works in the laboratory of the heart.  Think about it.  The Master is saying that the heart works through the Kundalini.  The mind works through Kundalini.

If you persist in developing chastity and transmutation and learn all the basis practices, you are in essence planting a tree.  This tree here: The Tree of Life. But the tree takes time to grow, and you cannot rush it.  The farmer plants the seeds and just makes sure that the seed is getting the elements it needs to grow.  Nowadays of course people are not so patient, so now we are planting seeds and forcing them to grow faster with chemicals and crossbreeding and all kinds of other things.  What is the result? Little monsters: plants that have no real vitality, plants that are dead energetically.  They may look nice, but they are tasteless.  Have you tried any of the tomatoes that you can buy in the store?  They have no taste.  They are empty because they are crossbred, and they are injected with all kinds of chemicals.  They have no real sustenance.  They are dead.  They look nice, but they have nothing in them.  The same is true in developing the consciousness.

Meditation is a science that has to be understood in practice, and it is developed slowly.  Do not rush.  Do your practice everyday, and inevitably if you experiment, and have patience, and practice, and do not have expectations, the seed will sprout and grow.  Expectations, desires for experiences, impatience, these will kill it.

It is really unfortunate to see those who have killed their own development in meditation.  And sometimes that happens because they are infected with the ambition of a teacher or another student or a school.  Let me tell you: ambition and meditation do not mix.  Be very careful with ambition.  We all have the longing to develop the soul, and we all have the longing to know God, and we all have the longing to understand the soul and how meditation works, and to have those experiences.  The longing is natural.  It is part of what is driving us to enter into these studies, and we need that.  But do not convert that longing into ambition, into goals like “I am going to reach Samadhi within six months,” or “I am going to reach this experience within this amount of time.”  That is a mistake.  You are setting yourself up for disappointment.  God does not answer to the ego.  If you start setting goals like that, believe me, God will not play that game with you.  He will not give you what you are trying to get from Him.  You will get what you deserve and nothing more.  You will get what you deserve and nothing less.

The best attitude you can have in relation to meditation is a calm indifference, and to be serene.  To do the practice because you need to do it.  You go to the bathroom because you have to.  Right?  You eat because you have to.  You breathe because you have to.  You eat because you have to.  In truth, to develop the soul, you have to meditate.  We just need to learn how, but we need to learn how in the same way we eat.  We eat to sustain ourselves, and we eat the best food we can get in order to develop the best health we can get.  But if you eat for desire, you eat because you want to feed gluttony or desire, you may be doing the same thing with meditation.  Many people approach meditation with gluttony, with greed, and with desire, and it is a mistake.

Q.    What is the relation between green and compassion?

A.    In some traditions, green has connotations related to compassion because we see Green Tara as one manifestation of Tara. But in Gnosis we generally talk about green in relation to hope.

Q.    What is the relation between Prana and Akasha, and what function does the Prana have in the transmutation of sexual energy.

A.    Akash is a condensation of Prana.  Prana is the primordial substance and Akash is the first manifestation.  In relation to the sexual energy, sexual energy itself is that energy but condensed.  So when you start working with the sexual energy, you are learning how to harness the forces all the way back to the Prana.  You work with it physically to control it, to manage it.  Then you start to work with it emotionally and mentally because those same energies are what fuel the heart and mind.  When you transmute those forces with the help of God you are learning how to control those energies in those levels, but then you have to go beyond that.

Q. This is about the Tejas fire… (illegible)

A. Absolutely, you may or may not have that experience.  From time to time the meditator, the practitioner, can experience a wide variety of sensations.  Sometimes you may feel heat.  Sometimes there are other types kinds of sensations.  Really there is an enormous variety.  Really, it is neither good nor bad.  Do not take sensations as a measure of progress.  Do not look for sensations as a guide, they may or may not come.  The best thing to do is to remain focused in the practice you are doing and not be distracted.

Q What were Maitreya’s nine levels of concentration?  Where do you read about that?

A.  Pretty much any book on Tibetan Buddhism.  The nine levels of Shamata are widely taught in Tibetan Buddhism so there are numerous texts about Shamata meditation or the combination of Shamata and Vipassanna, which are the two forms of meditation that give rise to Samadhi.  Those are commonly taught.  There is also a Meditation course which looks at those nine levels.

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