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Esoteric Astrology – Sacred and Non-Sacred Planets and Veils

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to understanding just what are the Astrological Veils and why certain non-sacred planets veil. We are told that the following planets are non-sacred: Earth, Moon, Mars, Pluto and the Sun, and veil the three sacred planets: Uranus, Neptune and Vulcan. See the full discussion in Esoteric Astrology by Alice Bailey, page 506-510. A few key excerpts are here:

The effect of the influences of a sacred planet or a non-sacred one are very different, for one will affect primarily the life in the three worlds whilst a sacred planet will aid in the processes of affecting the fusion of soul and body, of consciousness and form; it will also produce the quickening of the intuition (the spiritual soul) which is the lower aspect of the Monad….

The sacred planets are: Vulcan, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus

The non-sacred planets rule the: 1st, 4th, 5th and 8th houses and these correspond to the four aspects of the “lower man” or human personality and his 4 lower bodies: Physical, Etheric, Astral and Mental bodies plus a 5th which is a fusion called the Personality.

In order to properly understand veils, one must have a good understanding of the esoteric constitution of man and realize that the vehicles or subtle bodies of the personality are made up of substance governed by the lesser lives and so for example we see on pg. 35 of Esoteric Astrology that the Moon governs the elemental lives (the baskets of nourishment on the Physical/Etheric plane and Mars governs the Lunar Lords on the Astral plane and in a Treatise On White Magic (pg. 439)we find:

… Pluto has always been revolving around our sun and producing its effects. It governs however the death or cessation of old ideas and emotions, and its influence is therefore largely cerebral and in that you have the clue to its late discovery. Mankind is only on the verge of becoming mental. Its effects are felt first in the mental body. The names of the planets are not the result of arbitrary choice but the planets name themselves.

Therefore, Pluto’s effects are upon the mental body and eventually bring about the death of the separative aspect of the ahamkara principle (I-ness or little personal ego self). In various places it is stated that the ahamkara principle is rooted in lower mind and that the soul shoots the arrow of Pluto to finally destroy the nature of separative mind.

In this one can see just what these veils are. A consciousness that is still identified with the lower vehicles and not yet on the Path of Initiation is essentially imprisoned in matter of a kind whose activities are responsive to and governed by the aforementioned non-sacred planets. Such a consciousness is identified with its lower nature and the activities of that substance and is not yet capable of responding to the higher, triple light of the soul and which is a lower reflection of the triple light of the triad. These higher lights are related to Vulcan, Neptune and Uranus and a consciousness still imprisoned and identified with the lower vehicles cannot respond to the energies of Vulcan, Neptune or Uranus. The substance of the lower vehicles veil or are impervious to those energies. And the activities of these lower vehicles, which are lives in themselves, are influenced by the energies of the non-sacred planets.

In various Eastern Traditions these lower lives are referred to as aggregates or elementals or lunar pitris. The evolving human life uses these for the substance of its lower forms and then has the task of organizing and unifying them first into a highly coordinated unit called an integrated personality and then eventually making that personality illumined and enlightened and fusing it with the vehicles of the true man, the higher triad and the monad. So for long ages the human unit is first disentangling itself from identification with and control by the activities of these lower lives and then over time making them divine and causing them to conform to divine will. The process involves the overcoming of the tendencies of these lesser lives and which do have an activity of their own. We all know this as the inner process whereby one fights with the inner voices which suggest doing this or that which one knows one really shouldn’t … like having that piece of cake … and eventually once consciously stepping onto the Spiritual Path or the Path of Initiation, making the overall behavior and consciousness conform to whatever image of enlightenment one is seeking to become like.

It is these lower vehicles and the substance and lives of which they are made up (Physical/Etheric, Astral/Emotional and Mental/mind) which are responsive to the non-sacred planets. And as long as a consciousness is identified with any aspect of them, then they are in effect governed by the lesser lives and the energies and forces which affect them. They will be governed by the non-sacred planets. So for example, as long as the consciousness is entangled with its emotions and the substance and activities of the Astral or Emotional Body and the various dualities of like/dislike and good/bad wherein one effectively says I like this, I don’t like that, then the consciousness is associating with the range of phenomena of that vehicle and it and its activities are effectively acting as veils to the higher lights and consciousness.

It is not until a person steps onto the Spiritual Path and consciously undertakes the task, as a Soul, to transmute the selfish, self-centered Leo nature (the highly developed personality) known in the eastern traditions as the ahamkara principle that the veils begin to drop. That highly developed personality and its strong sense of self is governed by another non-sacred planet, the Sun. It too is a veil whose dualistic sense of being separate from the whole is what veils or prevents the consciousness from recognizing its identity with the all or the whole, or the group. But on the spiritual path, the soul successively take possession of and transmute the substance of each of the lower vehicles (at this point really aspects of the personality) and the veils (in sequence) begin to drop and then response is possible to the higher energies of Vulcan, Neptune and Uranus. The consciousness becomes less and less identified with the lower form nature and more and more attenuated and responsive to the higher energies of which the lower are a reflection. This is why the various veiling planets are veils to that which they are the lower octave of. They activate that lower substance and as long as that substance is responsive to the lower and not the higher, then they act as veil.

This then explains why when a person is On the Spiritual Path one must substitute the planets of the higher octave: Uranus, Neptune, Vulcan. The reason being that the person is in process of transmuting the lower vehicles into substance of a kind that is responsive to the higher octave and fusing them with the higher. They fuse with, and become responsive to, the energies that govern the Triad and their triple reflection in the 3 tiers of petals in the Soul or Causal body. The Soul brings about a fusion and transmutation via the agency of Uranus, Neptune and Vulcan and as the antahkarana is built, lower mind begins to respond to higher mind via the agency of Uranus. The highest aspect of the astral/emotional (the creative imagination) becomes responsive to buddhi and the Intuition develops via the agency of Neptune; Neptune is no longer veiled. And finally Vulcan does its works in breaking down the barriers and veils.

It is interesting to consider in this light that all these outer planets have only become known to humanity and astrologers in the period of the last 250 years. Prior to that astrology was concerned mostly with the non-sacred planets and a few of the sacred ones which are active in the process of aiding humanity and people onto the early phases of the spiritual path. In this we have beautifully illustrated for us the nature of the veils in that these outer entities and whose energies we were not capable of responding to (and still mostly don’t, except as groups and nations) were not even known to human consciousness. Such is the nature of a veil.