There are three major spiritual Festivals which form the high point in the annual cycle. These are the Festival of Easter (at the Aries full moon), the Festival of Wesak (at the Taurus full moon), and the Festival of Goodwill (at the Gemini full moon). Through the steady, persistent meditation work of many individuals and groups in all parts of the world, these Festivals are now achieving a subjective anchorage in the consciousness of mankind. They represent a basic divine purpose, which will begin to establish its objectives as the various religious institutions simultaneously acknowledge and observe, each in its own way, the unique annual approach of man to God and of God to man. This simultaneous recognition is basic to the structure of the new world religion.
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Easter Festival – Aries
Easter is a time of energetic movement, as symbolised by nature where the forces of gravity are transcended by the upward growth of plant life. Each burst of greenery reveals the great struggle of all creative endeavour. Creativity is a raising process – an act of resurrection as the inertia of matter is overcome. This lends a powerful beauty to spiritual creativity as it surmounts, indeed requires, opposing forces to ply its craft. It is what the Christ was referring to when He proclaimed, “Behold, I make all things new.” The opportunity before us is to carry this spirit of renewal into our lives.
At Easter we rejoice in the spirit of the living, risen Christ and look forward to the future when the ‘resurrection principle’ will be invoked worldwide. An ancient scripture beautifully predicts that in the New Age, the eyes and thoughts of men will be fixed on life. Concepts of death and sacrifice, and of the vicarious at-one-ment will be superseded by the concepts of resurrection or of livingness, of spiritual unity and of service, so that a new note will enter into human life, bringing hope and joy and power and freedom. Religious teachings will focus upon the use of the will in bringing about the living transfiguration of the lower nature and this will lead to the resurrection of the spirit in mankind.
Today we see this resurrecting force in those who are actively responding to some aspect of human need. These people communicate a forward-looking attitude and a conviction to work towards a more equitable world. They represent the hope of the future – a hope that is powerfully vitalised at Easter.
Wesak Festival – Taurus
Wesak marks the highpoint of the spiritual year when forces of enlightenment associated with the Buddha pour into the planet.
The Wesak Festival is generally known as the Festival of the Buddha. In a legend, full of imagery, He is said to make an annual appearance in a secluded valley somewhere in the Himalayas at the exact time of the full moon of Taurus. He appears for a brief period and enacts a water ceremony before his great brother, the Christ, and an assembly of adepts and disciples.
The potency of the Buddha’s presence is such that it cannot be endured for long by the assembled group. The moment of His approach is characterized by a great Silence, said to be brimming with vitality and significance. The Buddha’s blessing, stepped down by the Christ, is radiated throughout the gathering and into the world.
During this highpoint of the year our greatest service is to prepare ourselves spiritually for the energy pouring into humanity, and to hold the inner connection in daily life, visualizing ourselves as a pure channel of light in alignment with the keynote of Taurus: I see, and when the eye is opened, all is Light. The goals of “clear seeing, pure joyful will and the death of personality desire” lie before us; and as these goals are progressively achieved, it becomes possible to live consciously within the aura of the spiritual group to which our soul naturally belongs.
The Wesak Festival is truly a group effort, an accumulated aspiration to be part of the chain of Hierarchy – one great cosmic magnet – through which the spiritual tide of energy from Taurus, and from the Buddha, can flow into human hearts and minds, unifying, lifting and revealing the fact of the kingdom of God.
Festival of Christ, Unification, World Invocation Day – Gemini
Often referred to as the Festival of Humanity or the Festival of the Christ, this culminating Festival honours the Christ and celebrates humanity’s potential for duality to be resolved, and for goodwill to flourish. On this day, the Christ represents the whole of humanity in a supreme act of invocation. He calls for the human spirit to be unified: soul and personality, lower and higher self, fused into “one new man” as the Bible puts it.
Christ’s striking achievement in the past was to synthesize the two selves. Today unification is more needed than ever, for as Alice Bailey notes, the entire human family is split on the rock of duality. Either the personality is dual and therefore unmanageable or groups and nations are divided into opposing camps, and again duality emerges in intense dynamic difficulty.
The Ageless Wisdom offers the inspiring thought that unification is the basic theme of our planet. “It is the aim of all things to unite. At-one-ment of the many separated parts is the keynote of our system”. The illusion that one stands alone, apart and independent from all else is the only true evil, the one real sin.
As men and women of goodwill become increasingly unified, the energy of the higher spiritual counterpart to goodwill, the will-to-good, makes itself felt. This follows the law that the lesser invokes the greater. Higher factors are evoked and respond according to the measure of understanding and dynamic tension displayed by those who invoke – and this, in a nutshell, is the esoteric impulse behind the Gemini Festival of Unification. It is one of the reasons why World Invocation Day, when we are encouraged to do all we can to promote the widest possible use of the Great Invocation, is celebrated on this day.