The series Puranic Cosmology Updated, written by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea), has been concluded. However, interested readers who wish to pursue the insights presented in the series are invited to comment or ask questions in the blog, which Thea will be happy to answer.


Puranic Cosmology Updated 21


I will close this series with mention of the position held by certain Sanskritists – namely, that there is no mention of the so-called ‘western zodiac’ in the Veda. This is a view also held by staunch nationalists for whom the zodiac is not Indian, much less Hindu, and far less Vedic. It was, they contend, brought into India by the Greeks in the latter part of the 8th Manifestation, while the Veda were of a much earlier date.
I do believe there was a period in the evolution of thought on the subcontinent when that Knowledge was lost; or better it went underground for its protection and survival. While earlier it was the foundation of Vedic society – the caste system taken from the cosmic harmony is one example – given the darkness setting in, the higher knowledge contained in the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc., with their pictographs and hieroglyphs) was necessarily reserved for an elite – the equivalent of our educated classes today.1
The same situation prevailed in Egypt in the pre-dynastic period, much earlier than is recognised by Egyptologists of the traditional school. As I have stated throughout this series, the method of preservation then was in stone, but those initiated into the knowledge the stone colossi contained have since vanished from the Earth. However, in India it has been through the human consciousness. One is curious to know which is the sturdier vessel? The immediate response would be stone because those monuments still stand even after thousands of years have passed; but more importantly, because they defy the tactic of the Asura which we do find in India: distortion. As noted, the latter is far more difficult to be rid of. It is, as Aurobindavatar wrote, like ‘a slow poison’ bringing in its wake unavoidable death. Time in such a circumstance is not the ally we know today, after the Supramental Manifestation; then he was only the Destroyer: Time was used negatively, against itself so to speak. The result is that the Vedic Knowledge was brought also to the point of a total obliteration.
Tradition informs us that when the night is darkest Vishnu sends his emanations to dispel that darkness. This has indeed been the case time and again. Now, Vedic Knowledge stands on the brink of the chasm. The measure is 23, the number played out in the partition of Bharat Mata; the number of days the Deluders have forced on the Hindu Samaj by the wrong calculation of the Solstice Makar Sankranti. There is, we must admit, a degree of consistency in the falsehood. Indeed there is because that is the hallmark of our times: the Positive and the Negative serve the purposes of the One.
Thus, while Time was experienced as the Destroyer, the arrival of the Supramental Avatar and his line has introduced the formulas that can make of Time the ally. This series has been an exercise in using the Negative, the distortion itself, to open the way forward and in the process to redeem all that is true of the Tradition and carry it forward divested of those disfiguring veils that have been obscuring the Light for so many centuries. The time has come for the new to triumph. And this, dear readers, is Mars transformed.

A question must now be asked of the naysayers, wherever they may be. If they are unable to recognise the zodiacal lore in the Veda, for whatever reason, how is it that every Hindu Temple is a hymn precisely to that lore? And this is done openly, as the examples I have given can prove. Not the Nakshatras which do not contain this Knowledge but the signs of the tropical zodiac. There is no mystery, not even the need for any higher capacity to recognise that most myths are telling the same tale, over and over again, from this angle or that, depending on the circumstances in the midst of which the Seer saw the story in the depths of his or her soul. My question to these Sanskritists and nationalists is simple: How did it come to pass that the so-called western zodiac so completely captured the spirit of the Puranic Sages that they saw fit to preserve that ‘western import’ at the heart of the culture, the magnificent Hindu Temple. And if these structures had nothing to do with the Veda and were born out of a much later spirit, why was their demolition necessary by invaders – one after another?
The answer necessarily would be that these structures were indeed preservers of the Tradition, a tradition that had to be obliterated at all costs to satisfy hegemonic tendencies.
It needs to be recalled that even in those times India was a lone survivor of the ancient way. And the tactic was not only to attack the repositories of Vedic Knowledge but to erase the ancient tradition from the hearts and minds of the people at whatever the cost. However, Vishnu had and has his own plan: the repository was not only the Temple; it was the soul of the peoples of the subcontinent. For when the time comes for the final veil to be lifted from Guha, that universal Soul of which ALL human beings are a portion, will respond and all barriers will be cast to the ground. That is the meaning of the ‘centre of the centre itself’. It is the only unifying factor in a world where diversity often obscures that One. The universal harmonies will be sung in unison once more and the Earth will be saved…just in the brink of time. For when the Measure of Falsehood reaches 23, ‘time is up’ for the Earth. It is either complete redemption or else complete destruction. That is the significance of the much-publicised Maya ‘end time’.

‘At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis
in which is concealed a choice of its destiny.’

This momentous ‘evolutionary crisis’ as Sri Aurobindo has called it, looms large before us. But also looming before us is that sacred Map that tells us exactly where we are in the continent of Time; and, more importantly, the way to successfully reach its other shore over and beyond the abyss. Many will fall into the chasm; much of our world is too riddled with falsehood to be redeemed. But what is important is that the soul of the perennial knowledge must not only survive – as it has somehow managed to do in India; it must be the foundation, the eternal foundation for the new world that is being born.

To conclude and to prove the point again, we may use the Vedic God Varuna as an example, one of the most important to have been transported to the Puranic lore and incorporated into its iconography and mythic tradition. We cannot doubt Varuna’s Vedic credentials. And now I will use this pre-eminently Vedic Godhead to demonstrate just how the deeper zodiacal knowledge, exactly as it exists even today in the so-called ‘western zodiac’, has been used to convey the same Knowledge. I end this series with the Vedic Varuna because of his ‘placement’ in the Map and his connection with India’s own ruling sign, Capricorn, the Golden Thread that connects the civilisation to its Vedic roots. With this accomplished, I believe the naysayers will finally be silenced.
In the zodiac the pictograph for Capricorn is the Goat – not the Ram, Agni’s vahana, but the Goat. Yet this Capricorn figure is one of the double images; that is, a composite form: the Goat sports the tail of a Fish.

In zodiacal tradition it is meant to indicate the most salient feature of Capricorn – the apex and the abyss, the mountain and the sea, combined in a single figure. Indeed, this is the key to the profoundest secrets of the sign. But in Puranic lore the goat becomes a crocodile. Nonetheless, the connection with the Goat-Fish is obvious: the amphibian nature of the figure which is conveyed in the Goat-Fish in a more pertinent and direct manner but which does not come across in the Crocodile – abyss and apex.
But this is where iconography comes to our aid, along with myth and the verses from the Veda regarding Varuna: he captures in his being the two, mountain and sea. Thus, the crocodile as his vahana conveys his Capricorn meaning. But there is more. For this we turn to the Veda itself.

Varuna’s vahana, similar to Ganga, is the Crocodile. Thus, Capricorn is the issue once again. And tradition allots to the Godhead the very significance conveyed in the Goat-Fish of both sea and mountain combined, abyss and apex. But of course there is much more contained in the symbolism (see The Magical Carousel and Commentaries, Chapter 10, PNB, Aeon Books). Here my point is to show how the perennial knowledge is moulded by the Indian psyche where Varuna is personalised, made intimate because he is drawn up from the most intimate part of the human consciousness-being, the soul. Thus he is, in a sense, made ‘approachable’ precisely because this Godhead, like all the others, is a facet of our innermost secret depths, and that is eternal. For as long as human incarnation takes place, the eternal, universal and individual soul lives on. We are thus justified in believing that this causes the Knowledge to be far more resilient and indestructible than stone colossi and temples. But the veils must be taken into account – i.e., the distortions of the Magic Deluder. Indeed, Kalki Avatar comes to remove those veils. And what, or rather who do we find beneath? Guha, the Hidden One, precisely Kalki the last Avatar.
Returning to Varuna, the personalisation of the Godhead adds to the Crocodile figure exactly what is contained in the Goat-Fish image: for Varuna is known as encompassing the mountain and the sea. Thus, it is in the God himself – which we do not find in the zodiac pictographs – that the Knowledge is conveyed in true Hindu/Vedic fashion. But that is why the zodiac is universal: it speaks to all humankind of all times.
Here are Sri Aurobindo’s translations from the Rig Veda, making the relationship abundantly clear. This example, I trust, will rend the final veil that has distorted the Veda to the point where indeed the words of the Avatar have been proven so true… ‘For the past two thousand years no Indian has understood the Veda’. Surely this is because of a refusal to see what IS, what sits right before our eyes. It is all there, in the Hindu Temple.
I quote from Chapter 10 of my book, The New Way, Vol. 2, ‘Integrality and the Return to the Source’, pages 389-399:2

Varuna is indeed the King of the etheric heavens, the vast upper oceans, as Sri Aurobindo explains…At the same time, in the more dense physical dimension Varuna becomes Uranus, the 7th power in the solar system; and when measured upon the globe by a golden rod that offers a gnostic vision of the unity of macrocosm and microcosm, this planet stands in the Circle at the point where the Ganges is measured, where she is seen to come into being upon Earth, the Mother of all rivers. ‘In the uprising of the rivers he is a brother of seven sisters, he is in their middle’ (VII. 41-2), the Rig Veda says,… ‘The Son of Infinity the wise upholder, has loosed them forth everywhere; the rivers journey to the truth of Varuna’ (II. 28-4). And if this is not sufficient, Indian tradition itself confirms the ‘position’ of Varuna in Capricorn, at the source of the Ganges, by revealing that Varuna’s carrier, or vahana, is makara – the Hindu zodiacal sign Capricorn. One of the most important Hindu festivals each year is the Makara Sankranti, the day the Sun enters Makara, or Capricorn. The Sun itself is considered to be Varuna’s eye. It is supremely auspicious in India and is celebrated throughout the country; for indeed it is then that the time/space source of Ganga is reached, where Varuna stands, along with his carrier Makara….
…The seeds of the Veda have undergone an obvious and clearly discernable development through the ages. Starting from Zero as the all-embracing womb of Indian spiritual thought, the same truth contained in this earliest of inspired writings has passed into and through a variety of further dimensions until it has reached…the point where the original sense is being unveiled, with the intermediate development having been incorporated in the new vision. The stories of the Veda are the basis of the Puranic myths; this is clear to anyone who studies the two bodies of sacred writings. The Upanishads have also sprung forth from this original Zero of thought, as well as other scriptures in the Vedanta, and they all represent a development of the first theme. Each stage, however, has been characteristic of a certain attitude with respect to the ultimate Truth…The Puranas explore an opposite line in their contents and help to densify that Truth, to bring it into the life of the nation, community and individual by a complex structuralisation of the system of thought in relation to Earth life and the cosmos. The result is that for the most part the yogi or philosopher who follows the Upanishadic teachings rejects the Puranic and considers them lesser scriptures, if at all even this. For those who find that the Puranic tales bring the Gods alive to a greater extent and that they can relate to them more easily on the basis of the Puranic method, the Upanishads are too obscure and difficult to grasp…
…Finally the time arrives when the seeker must look at the entire gamut and understand that the wealth of Scriptures India possesses comes originally from this high and sacred Source, as though one were to move upstream along the Ganges, from her mouth at 0˚ Capricorn to her source at 12˚ Capricorn. Along the way one touches all the sacred sites which have sprung up on her banks and which represent, as it were, the myriad aspects of the Truth that manifested first at the Source in seed form. When one reaches that high summit, the Eye of Shiva, the seat of Varuna, it is possible from there to survey the entire journey and digest all the experiences that have come to us on our sacred journey, backward in Space and up the stream of Time. This is the ‘sacrifice’ of the Veda, which Sri Aurobindo points out sometimes takes the image of a journey or voyage ‘for it travels, it ascends; it is the goal – the vastness, the true existence, the light, the felicity – and it is called upon to discover and keep the good, the straight and happy path to the goal, the arduous, yet joyful road of the Truth. It has to climb, led by the flaming strength of the divine Will, from plateau to plateau as of a mountain, it has to cross as in a ship the waters of existence, traverse its rivers, overcome their deep pits and rapid currents; its aim is to arrive at the far-off ocean of light and infinity.’3
…Varuna represents the consummation of this exercise….
…Thus throughout the ages we can witness this continual densification process, once we have attained the summit, once we have come to the source of Indian thought. There alone, from the stance of an integral vision which arrival at the true source brings, can we view the evolution of the sacred Word and make coherent sense out of all its divergent manifestations.
‘Great Varuna’, Sri Aurobindo writes, ‘is the continent and nodus of the world’s uplifted puissances no less than of its arising thoughts. The unconquered workings that fall not from the Truth are established in him as upon a mountain. Because he thus knows the things that are transcendent, he is able to cast his majestic eye of sovereignty upon our existence and see there “the things that are done and those that remain to be done” (I.25-11). The things that remain to be done – and also to be known. The wisdom of Varuna shapes in us the divine word which, inspired, intuitive, opens the doors to new knowledge. “We desire him,” cries the Rishi, “as finder of the Path because he unveils the thought by the heart; let new truth be born.” For this King is no whirler of a brute and stupid wheel; his are not the unfruitful cycles of a meaningless Law. There is a Path; there is a constant progress; there is a goal.’4

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Aeon Centre of Cosmology
22 June 2010

1.We complain that the Brahmins kept the other castes uneducated and oppressed. Surely there was a decline at a certain point, but this hit all castes, not just the Brahmin. This is a truth not easily accepted today in our democratic world. But the fact is that education per se was not as important then as now. Ability was not determined by the degrees listed after one’s name. Education of the higher class was a duty not a privilege, as we consider it to be today; especially since those letters after our name qualify us for higher pay: the more initials the higher the pay. In the Vedic Age this was not the case. But it is a conceit that has coloured relations between caste and classes for several centuries to divide and rule, unfortunately. The same may be said regarding the interpretations of certain scholars who still uphold the now defunct Aryan Invasion Theory. For them the Rig Veda is proof that the Aryans came into India in hordes from Central Asia presumably, overpowered the local population (Dravidians) and imposed their rule – and their language, Sanskrit, on the local population. This has fuelled a divide-and-rule policy between north and south for decades, notwithstanding that there is no mention of an immigration into the subcontinent from a a far-off land, as we would expect to find in such a collection.

2.Aeon Books, 1981.

3.Hymns to the Mystic Fire, CE, Volume 11, page 28.

4.Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, CE, Volume 10, page 448.

Puranic Cosmology Updated 20


Several thousand years ago science and astrology (or alchemy) were one. The sage was the scientist, the astrologer the astronomer. When the split occurred in the Dark Age it was the signal that the world was being prepared for a gigantic leap forward. At that point, as a reaction to this severance which threatened the foundations of the old world, a reaction sprung up in the form of organised belief – i.e. dogma. It was an imposition of a crystallised seeing, a freezing as it were of perception. This was an interim necessity, a means of holding civilisation together, so to speak, because the split brought about a collapse of the old, without introducing the new. The effect was a polarisation still in place today. We have religion and matters of the spirit on one end of the pole; and material pursuits and science on the other. The chasm between the two has deepened to the point where a harmony and integration seem impossible.
Simultaneously, beliefs have hardened and their imposition has even been forced on non-believers. Everything has become compact and mentalised. Today we view the ancient integration with mistrust. We call it superstition, ignorance, backwardness. The result is a world that has lost its sense of purpose. We cannot agree upon a meaning to our existence which would satisfy both positions – material and spiritual.
But a split of this nature is simply a clue to the impending expansion of human awareness. The ‘new order’ we seek is not political or economic. It is not even spiritual. The new order is precisely a new integration, a new harmony. A reconciliation of the two extremes.
We cannot retreat into the past insofar as the boundaries of our awareness individually and collectively have been expanded due to the compulsions of the Time-Spirit. This expansion is mirrored in the expansion of the solar system from 6 to 9 planets. It would be inconceivable to return to the old system once we have seen the 9. Similarly we cannot return to the ancient traditions and expect them to be the solution. Firstly because we do not know the true nature of those traditions; and secondly because they would not be able to accommodate this new expansion. When divisiveness set in and spirit and matter were seen as antagonists, it was the signal that the time had come for a new way, a new world order of integration and harmony. The underlying impulsion for this process is Time. What the zodiac does is simply to provide a map of this process in such a way as to be universally applicable by means of the calendar which provides us with the sacred measure of the Year.
Another indication, therefore, that we are approaching the point of reconciliation, of integration and harmony, is precisely the fact that the present system of time reckoning is universal. This indeed is the salient clue our Age provides. And an interesting factor in dealing with Time is that it cannot be arrested or reversed. We can only move forward.
To do so in a creative and not destructive manner, we must seek to expand our awareness in proportion to the expanded measure of our solar system. This expansion is a question of higher octaves, higher potentials of human awareness being allowed to manifest by providing a fertile terrain in which this new seed may flower…
(PNB, an unpublished note dated 1 February 1997)

I am presenting this note from 1997 for your consideration because it introduces a theme of great significance in this updating series, perhaps the most important of all. It is the discovery of the new triad of planets beyond Saturn. In Update 19, I stated that Saturn either bars the aspirant’s entry into the final quarter of the Circle, or else it facilitates passage: the choice is ours as to how we will relate to the sixth planet in the course of our journey to self-perfection.
In the old school of astrology Saturn stands for destiny and, by consequence, for karma – as it has come to be understood after passage through a dark age. In the new, the 6th position of Saturn is exactly what it is seen to be (in the solar system): Guardian at the gate either to a beyond, or to the experience of an ‘extension of the boundaries’ by a further triad of planets, permitting the manifestation of higher potentials. Until the discovery of the new triad there was actually nothing to ‘enter’ into! The diagram below makes the position clear. Most significant of all, as the following discussion will reveal, is that the ‘extension’ could not be seen or integrated as a part of the cosmic harmony until the measure was an addition of 3; this will be proven by the triadic harmony itself.

(click to enlarge)

The first wheel (A) consists of the 12 signs of the zodiac; the Sun and planets are entered on the circle’s periphery according to their true orbital positions in the solar system, 0 (Sun) to 9 (Pluto). In the next (B), we have the same circle divided into four quarters. Saturn’s location is in the third quarter which begins with Libra and extends to Capricorn. This is where we find Scorpio, the sign of Death. For the Initiate-Warrior it was the most dangerous passage of the Journey. Sri Aurobindo has noted the difficulty in the following passages:

‘The expression in the hymns, daso maso ataran, indicates that there was some difficulty in getting through the full period of ten months. It is during this period apparently that the sons of darkness had the power to assail the sacrifice; for it is indicated that it is only by the confirming of the thought which conquers Swar, the solar world, that the Rishis are able to get through the ten months…’(The Secret of the Veda)

From the perspective of Myth this 8th stage is Aditi’s 8th son, Martanda, progenitor of our mortal race. And yet the Rishis posited the victory in the tenth month, in Capricorn, two stages further on. Nothing is indicated by this arrangement that the Journey ends in death as we experience it – unless, of course, we follow the lead of religions and spiritual paths for which this third quarter is the final one on Earth. For them the remainder of the Circle is experienced in the Beyond, however it may be identified in these belief systems. But is this the final word?
As the introductory note highlights, the situation for our evolving species has been altered considerably with the discovery of the new triad of planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.1 Interestingly, given the fixation on the Beyond and the ‘illusion’ of material creation, this emphasis is reflected in the current perception of cosmic harmonies in India where we find a disconnect due to the adoption of the Nirayana system. To compound matters, astrologers in India refuse to incorporate the new triad in their horoscopy. For them the system remains what it was in the Middle Ages, the Sun plus 6. If anything, this refusal to grasp the significance of the system’s expansion by another triad is the clearest example of the wrong turn cosmology took in the Piscean Age: the new discoveries began in that Age with first Uranus (1781), and then Neptune (1846); the process of expansion was finally carried over into our Age with the discovery of Pluto (1930). They are the indicators of the stages opened before the species, making those ‘worlds’ a part of the process to be experienced on Earth, in a physical body, and not in a Beyond. The last quarter is now ours to discover.
Admittedly, it is difficult to relinquish a system that had worked so well for so long to provide a sense of order for society, especially when the new discoveries were made straddling three centuries. Finally, when the new Age set in (1926), Pluto completed the process. It then was time to incorporate the triad into the cosmic harmony. In this Update I will highlight the need to do so now, failing which India cannot utilise the most important feature of the Dharma: its renewal mechanism.
The system was a measure of 6 when the Earth was passing through the Dark Age. Human consciousness had never been so severely closed in the prison of Ignorance as then. But for our purposes this is the best proof we have of the accuracy of the Vedic Vision because that negation too was accounted for. However, this would not be apparent without the present updating; and, more precisely, without the remarkable pattern the latest planetary discoveries provide. In revealing the pattern, first presented in The Gnostic Circle in 1974, this updating will allow students of Puranic Cosmology to understand the need to incorporate the new triad insofar as it indicates the stage of evolution we are embarking on in this Aquarian Age. If we close our minds to these new revelations, we do indeed become imprisoned in a cage of ignorance and superstition because the new triad opens up a quarter of the Circle that was believed to be an experience after death. What this opening reveals is that the quarter designated as ‘swar’, given the evolutionary leap we are experiencing is not ‘heaven’ in another dimension but rather the victory sign of the Vedic Age which is now being opened to an extended human experience. In other words, the entire last quarter of three signs has been integrated and brought into the Journey as a consciously-lived process for all humanity; it is no longer a void, no longer reserved for an elite. And certainly the changes in the world over the last three centuries testify to the relevance and validity of the enhanced measure.
The following diagram makes the ‘location’ of Swar clear, beyond the third quarter and Scorpio, where the Initiate must conquer Death in full awareness in order to continue the Journey. That last quarter was closed to human experience and could be reached only after death – the unconscious sleep leading to an equally unconscious rebirth.

The cosmic Birth (Update 18) and the nature of the Child that is the product of this unique gestational process spanning thousands of years, is described by the new triad. I reproduce below the pattern from The Gnostic Circle2 which reveals that when the old order is to be surpassed, it will be arranged in such a way that no room is left for speculation, because in the spirit of true science the theory is supported by facts corroborating the original premise from different angles. There can be no doubt that the time has come to ‘extend the boundaries’, for this new addition indicates the enhancement in perception that Supermind is adding to the evolutionary experience in this 9th Manifestation, opening the quarter beyond the Mental. In our recorded history, this would be the first time such an integration of the four levels of existence had been achieved.

(click to enlarge)

From The Gnostic Circle, Chapter 12, ‘The New Planets,
the Significance of their Discovery and the Calendar Years,’
Aeon Books, 1975

Here is the arrangement. First the planets/numbers are given of the new orbits in descending order, 9, 8, and 7, followed by the years of their discovery with the centuries again highlighting 9, 8, and 7. In the last column we find the position of the planets in the tropical zodiac at the time of their discovery to again highlight 9, 8, 7 – results arrived at through the Mathematics of Unity (as in 1+8=9). Several elements are emphasized in this discovery. To begin, there is the importance of the Mathematics of Unity as a fundamental part of the manifestation of the Supermind.3 Next is the combination of the orbit numbers of lower and higher octaves (4/1/8). Without these elements the discovery of the harmony could not have occurred and this remarkable display of the Supermind’s controlling action could not have been deciphered. None of the discoveries would have made harmonic sense unless the ‘chord’ struck consisted of three ‘notes’ (planets); but no sooner had we entered the new Age than the final ‘note’ was added. The result is this superb Music of the Spheres we are now able to ‘hear’ – the voice of the Supreme in the harmonics of the new Age of Supermind.
The orbit numbers surface in the reduction of the years of discovery through the Mathematics of Unity; and also amazingly in relation to the lower and higher octave orbits combined, through the same simple mathematical reduction formula. So as to leave no doubt regarding the validity of the new cosmology, the emphasis is on the relationship between LOWER OCTAVES and HIGHER. That is the issue to be highlighted. These are added thus: Pluto (9) is the higher octave of Mars (4) together equalling 13 = 4; Neptune (8) combines with its lower octave Venus (2) equalling 10 = 1; Uranus (7) is the higher octave of Mercury (1) – together equalling 8. To perceive the cosmic harmony complicated mathematics only serve to complicate the issue! Because then the beauty of Oneness and Unity is lost.
What is revealed in this unusual pattern is the relationship of the new planets as higher octaves to their lower octave counterparts. It is an important discovery confirming the functioning of Supermind in this new Age because many astrologers in the West, while incorporating the new triad have misunderstood this aspect when seeking to insert the new planets into the zodiac by rulership, following the tradition. For example, they believe that Pluto is co-ruler­ of Scorpio, ruled by Mars in the old school. That is, they seek to fit the cosmic language of Supermind, of which the triadic pattern is a prime example, into the old system; whereas the new cosmology is indeed new, and the Gnostic Circle is Supermind’s updated astrology for the Aquarian Age.
Thus, in the new harmony Pluto is not related to Scorpio but to Capricorn, because that is where Mars is exalted, and Pluto is the higher octave of Mars in its Capricorn location of exaltation.4 The same for the other two: Neptune is the higher octave of Venus and therefore correctly seen in relation to Pisces where Venus is exalted. Mercury is exalted in Aquarius with Uranus as its higher octave, therefore related to Aquarius. This discovery provides proof of one of the basic premises of astrology: the perception of the exaltation of planets in particular signs. It is as if this new revelation had been ‘arranged’ by the Supramental Shakti to convey the correct position and eliminate speculation, guessing and approximation, while ever validating the Tradition. Again, we are simply updating the system but this time with the integrating power of Supermind.
The exaltations of planets has been a firm part of Indian cosmology for as long as we have memory. As an example, there is the Jupiter Temple in Tamil Nadu where the deity is known as Dakshinamurthy – the Lord of the South. Why the South? The astrological exaltation of planets provides the answer: Jupiter is EXALTED IN CANCER, the south Cardinal Pole. This reveals the importance of the astrology practiced throughout the world, but especially preserved in India in her temple culture. It is just a question of ‘extending the boundary’.
I will conclude this Update with another example from temple architecture of the Age of Pisces – that is, before the higher octave of Mars had been incorporated into the system of cosmic harmonies. Nonetheless, the example is pertinent because it involves exaltations similar to the Jupiter Temple in Tamil Nadu, but this time it involves the Sun. The Mars factor enters by way of the sign it rules, Aries, where the Sun is in exaltation. I refer to the 13th century Sun Temple at Konarak in Orissa.
This temple is famous for its voluptuous erotic sculptures, all of which adorn the exterior walls of the structure. It is an unusual temple because it is in the form of a chariot, replete with symbolism taken from the mythic description of the Sun’s chariot. The outer form displays a particular aspect of Mars, eroticism; consequently, Mars also rules Scorpio which refers to sex, death and regeneration, among other things. At Konarak the sign involved is Aries, however, because not only is the eroticism of Mars on display, but the Sun being in exaltation in Aries has also been conceptualised in this unusual temple. The variations can be many provided there is an underlying order and cosmic sense. This is provided by the zodiac.
The erotic sculptures have disturbed some visitors, and enthralled others, while causing embarrassment to many Indians who have been influenced by England of the Victorian period. How can such displays be permitted in what is held to be a sacred precinct? (Naturally this has given Christian missionaries grist for the mill!)
In the Konarak Temple we find an explicit message: all depictions of eroticism – the Mars factor – are carved on the outer symbol-forms of the chariot. But the inside is bare and that is where the sanctum sanctorum is found, the abode of the Sun God whose exaltation is the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, ruled by Mars. The two, Sun and Mars, are the basic ingredients of this temple; and the chariot form leaves no doubt as to its Vedic foundation because the Journey begins in this sign/month of the sacrificial year, Aries – or Agni of the sacred Fire, leader of the hosts and whose vahana is, precisely, the Ram. In Puranic iconography he is depicted with two heads, one turned to the left, the other to the right, indicating both movements: the Vedic months to one side counterclockwise; the clockwise movement in years of the precession to the other.
Eroticism has a legitimate place in the outer circle of life. But when the Initiate enters the innermost circle, those tendencies fall away and there he or she stands as if nude before the innermost deity in the sanctum sanctorum of the heart, in this case the Sun God Surya himself. Having shed the gross, in that condition of pure solar substance, the Journey can then begin.

…We stand on the brink of destruction or creation simply because we will not allow the new world order to establish itself due to dogmas which prevent the new way from organising our world. Our political systems are ‘protected’ – and rightfully so – from any intrusion by those dogmatic forces. In the process we have created a new dogma in the form of secularism and its demands of total exclusion of the sacred from our collective organisations of life. This has been a necessity because the dogmas imposed by religious minds are attempts at freezing time and by consequence they serve as encumbrances which burden us with dead weight in order to arrest the march forward into the new. It is because of this that religions are under such pressure of late. No religion in the world is free from the pressure to relax their hold on the faithful by an acceptance of the change the Time-Spirit is introducing. But time cannot be arrested. The seed planted will flower. The destruction we witness is simply the measure of our resistance to change in the dimension which determines the forms thrown up by these deeper impulsions – the dimension of pure consciousness which is the field of Time. (Ibid.)

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Solstice of June 2010

1.The dispute over the planethood of Pluto can be set aside for a later discussion..

2.Aeon Books, 1975.

3.This is made evident in the birthdates of the members of the Solar and Lunar Lines.

4.However, myth clarifies the issue because Capricorn is the sign of the Divine Mother’s victorious son, the War God – Mars exalted and enhanced.


Puranic Cosmology Updated 19


What is superstition? How is it born and how does it serve the individual caught in its grip? In my experience concerning the theme of this series, superstition is born when knowledge is lacking. There is a gradual decline as the original body of knowledge is watered down and the direct experience is replaced by belief alone without empirical support.
But this condition is not reserved for the spiritually-oriented. Science itself behaves in the same manner and leaves itself open to the same label, perhaps with even more alarming implications. For example, science makes emphatic statements which the public is forced to accept as the final word on any particular subject within its domain or those it has appropriated. But lately there have been space probes to other planets that have disproved those earlier statements, which were held so definitively by the establishment; yet none complain about these obvious errors which could be seen to have misled society, sometimes for decades and upon which basis entire schools of thought had arisen.
Our current updating would appear to be the same, but, in my opinion, is far more legitimate in its approach. We are simply probing deeper levels, incorporating newer insights into an already existing school without rejecting the former tradition though acknowledging its legitimate limitations. But certainly nothing of what is contained in this series would escape the tag of superstition by mainstream science, which demands an acceptance of its methodology and terminology, and no other, even when facts fly in the face of these denials. For example, here is a photograph by just one of those planetary probes available at www.dailygalaxy.com, titled ‘The mystery of Saturn’s massive hexagon deepens’.

Students of astrology, considered mere superstition by mainstream scientists, should not be surprised to see that at its crown Saturn holds a perfect hexagon since this is the geometric form ancient cosmology attributes to our sixth planet. The formation is especially remarkable in that it even bears a central point just as one would expect in the art of sacred geometry. Saturn’s deeper significance is known in traditional lore to be the act of crystallising, of congealing as in the common snowflake, also built around hexagonal shapes. The photographs below make clear the striking similarity between Saturn’s hexagon cap and the common snowflake. The fact that no two flakes are alike is one of the marvels of Nature. Also to be noted is the six-pointed star at the centre of some flakes.

B & W photos from the collection of Wilson Bentley

Indeed, genuine seekers would immediately demand to know how this can come to pass. For after all, astrology is known as the Mother of all Science and certainly to the unbiased observer this discovery would go a long way in proving that there is a valid reason to consider it the basis of everything that has followed. However, if we continue to dismiss the ancient lore as superstition simply because its premises are unfamiliar or unknown to contemporary science, we will never arrive at the truth.
As an example, the central role Saturn plays in cosmic harmonies is validated by the Mother’s original plan of a temple’s inner chamber. Hers was an act of seeing unparalleled in the annals of the sacred sciences. In her vision, which she accompanied by a detailed plan with precise measurements for each item, Saturn is indeed consolidated in the Harmony as the Time-Spirit (Chronos). I have often referred to her chamber as a Hymn to Saturn. As the Time-Spirit, Saturn is therefore the planet of destiny. Its prominence in the Mother’s vision highlights Saturn’s rulership of zodiacal Capricorn; and, by consequence, her plan integrates this rulership with the destiny of the subcontinent, together with the precise details of the Avataric descent for this Age of the Supermind. Most importantly, her new vision of the harmony of our solar system through sacred geometry unequivocally indicates which calendar must be used by the population of India if her destiny is to be fulfilled in the new Age. (For further details, readers interested in the sacred sciences may consult: www.matacom.com; The Gnostic Circle, Aeon Books; The New Way, Vols. 1, 2, &3, Aeon Books.)
Having stated the above, let us examine aspects of the Tradition’s decline that have finally led to a disfigurement of that Harmony. In doing so, we will also appreciate why belief in curses, for example, is so prevalent, and so many other forms of superstition afflicting perhaps a majority of the Earth’s population, acknowledged or not. In situations difficult to bear, it is hard not to throw the blame on an unknown external ‘something’. The human being seeks to know, he seeks order because this is the essence of the cosmos in which he lives. The hexagon crown of Saturn is an example of that Order; and interestingly, Saturn holds the key to, precisely, the Cosmic Order. If that Order with its inherent sense and purpose did not exist, the world as he perceives it would collapse. Similarly, he believes deep in his heart that order governs his own life. This deeply-grounded belief is what underscores his abiding thirst to know destiny, because order implies that formulae, patterns, methods must exist which continue to feed an irrepressible desire to know the why of his existence with both its felicities and troubling heartaches, especially those that Death brings. Indeed, his entire life is passed in the shadow of Death. If he could only make sense of it all, a greater sense, his pain would be greatly eased.
In near-death-experiences (NDE) this pain is lifted, not so much by seeing the greater sense but because one learns that ‘life goes on’ – and, above all, that there can be a reunion with one’s loved ones, separation from whom is perhaps the cause of one’s deepest anguish. The importance in NDEs is the inescapable conclusion that Death is not what we believe it to be – i.e., the end of it all. Consciousness goes on; there is continuity, at least for as long as the thread remains intact that keeps us linked to the body and that destiny. But we have no record of what transpires once the link is definitively broken; no one has returned to tell us. Indeed, once the thread is severed, referred to in occultism as the Silver Cord, there is no method to do so since the former consciousness of self conclusively ended its ‘time’ – which is irrevocably connected to the body. Without that physical vessel there is no Zero Point by which our ‘time’ begins to unfold. Time would have neither a beginning nor an end – it would be ‘endless’ because it had lost its periodicities that demand a starting point. And periodicities are the keystone of the body’s time. It starts in the womb where the rhythm of 9 is set in place in the embryo for its new experience of life in our particular solar system.
Yes, in these circumstances a curse would be the answer. But this belief bears collateral damage. It sets us upon a slothful and irrational way of life, but with a certain method to the madness that provides it with a sort of legitimacy.
This is the origin of superstition. Its definition according to the new cosmology is the perception of life from one of the lower rungs of the ascending ladder of existence, wherefrom vision is severely limited by the circumference that position on the ladder imposes. We cannot consider such a perception wrong and dismiss it outright without taking into consideration these facts of existence in a material universe and particularly on this third planet where evolution is its principal feature. This experience of life is simply limited – and within those limitations the only conclusion to explain Order’s disturbance is an interjection from outside the sphere of one’s life, beyond one’s circle of first-rung perception.
As an extension to the above, we find individuals on the lower rungs of the ladder saddled with the belief in an extraneous form of relief through either a Saviour or a Messiah which similarly forms a part of that externalisation. Compounding this is the belief held by many that one’s Saviour is the only way out of this prison of existence. Redemption is then seen as a resurrection after death, the escape open to us by the Redeemer himself, the door to which he alone holds the key. This belief has cemented in human consciousness a reliance on otherworldly solutions, none of which can lead to the truth of life’s purpose. Rather, these beliefs are constant denials of the Earth’s role in the cosmic harmony. And interestingly, it is precisely Saturn in the cosmic harmony that both holds us back and, at the same time, offers the key to passage into an area of experience that does not propose escape routes to cope with the reality Death imposes on our present mortal creation.
The answer comes when we mount the ladder and from its higher rungs we gain a wider and more complete perspective, which is the purpose of the evolutionary process. To that end, continuously improved instruments emerge with the capacity to engage in this ascension, undeterred in the face of a constant undermining that Death inflicts. Thus, we cannot condemn superstitious beliefs as in the practice of seeking to propitiate certain perhaps ill-conceived cosmic powers so as to gain the favour of the Gods in order to somehow change destiny, or at least to mitigate the pain and suffering a world in which Death is sovereign must necessarily bring. Nor can we dismiss lightly the attempts by compassionate souls to solve this legitimate human dilemma by various methods of escape, as when we embrace paths that strive to liberate us from ever taking birth again on this woeful planet, everlastingly under this dark lordship.
The problem lies in the fact that these methods or means of ‘liberation’ and ‘escape’ from the Snare in a sense have compounded the difficulty in finding a real solution. The fact remains that life continues to inflict blows for which we have no answer but to fall back on the quest for an outside source to blame, something or someone who has the power to disturb the Harmony in a senseless manner, a way that by definition stands outside the circle of the cosmic orderly pattern of life, that is incomprehensibly chaotic and random and that therefore does indeed make no sense. Because when sense is perceived, even suffering takes on a different meaning.

The zodiac reveals the position these postulations hold on the ascending scale of the evolution of consciousness. The ‘journey’ of the Ancients made this clear in the myths they handed down with the zodiac as a permanent background to guide humanity in the evolutionary ascent. At the same time, when great turning points are reached these ascents must be accompanied by descents. The aim in this arrangement is truly revealing of the role corresponding to Earth’s position in the cosmic harmony with its pre-eminence of the Soul. Certain stages are reached which require indeed an intervention, apparently from outside the System, like anticipation of a Saviour would seem to suggest; or else the arrival of aliens from another galaxy. However, the Descent I refer to is only apparently extraneous. Its sole purpose is to open the next ‘door’ at critical stages in the development in order to reach evolution’s culmination in the 10th stage/month of the Journey, by being responsive to laws and formulas which represent what the Earth is ultimately destined to achieve. The Soul is the channel through and by which these deeds are accomplished, given Earth’s position in the System. To do so, to have the ability to perform these acts, from birth the incarnations whose destinies lie in securing that passage must be governed by different laws. This is the meaning of their appearance seemingly from outside. The laws governing the evolution in ascension are one thing; another is a consciousness governed by laws appropriate for the descent with its task laid out accordingly. This is by no means a denial of life, of the Earth’s own processes, as interventions from other planetary systems would necessarily imply. Rather, such incarnations can be said to embody the deepest essence of our planet’s Being and Becoming. Descent and Ascent are, as it were, the double helix of existence within the cosmic harmony.
Our number system from 0 to 9 is another aid which, when combined with the zodiac and applied to the cosmic harmony can help us discover our position on the evolutionary scale of creation. In the Puranas these ‘creations’ are 9 in number, the last three of which are the most relevant: the 7th (mental), the 8th (overmental), and the 9th (supramental), according to Sri Aurobindo’s corresponding terminology in this new Age of the Supermind. These three final stages are cemented forever in the spirit of the peoples of the subcontinent through the Epics of the 7th and 8th Evolutionary Avatars. Further, they are sanctified by the Rig Veda in the verses describing Vishnu’s three strides to measure the universe, each step of which corresponds to the last three stages of the Puranic Creations. Given these different methods to stress the 7, 8, and 9, it is clear that their meaning is essential to uncover. To this end, I will discuss the importance of the 9 Puranic Creations and our number system in the next Update, and their relation to the newly discovered final triad of planets in our solar system, the 7th, the 8th and the 9th – one of the most astonishing displays of the cosmic harmonies yet to be unveiled.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Aeon Centre of Cosmology