Ostara, Easter. Painting by John Collier
Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born And not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn. The Cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain Unless within thyself it be set up again.
Easter is one of the primary days of the Christian calendar, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. In the West, Easter is celebrated on the Sunday following the full moon next after the vernal equinox (between March 22 and April 25).
This Holy Day is actually far older than Christianity. The name “Easter” is derived from the Old German name “Ostara,” and, in Anglo-Saxon, Eastre, or Eostre, the goddess of spring, fertility, and the rising sun. This name is a variation on the name of Ishtar, the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility.
Throughout Europe were celebrated rituals and sacrifices in recognition of the movement in nature from death (winter) to life (spring). These traditions were gradually absorbed by the evangelizing Christian movements. But the movement of the Sun, in its triumphant march toward the heavens, has been celebrated by people the world over. The spiritual value of Easter is reflected in the traditions and mythologies of many cultures and religions, all of which symbolize the esoteric or root meaning: the triumph of the Christ over the ego of the penitent seeker.
To understand this celebration, and the modern Holy Day of Easter, we must first understand something about the Christ.
The term Christ is derived from the Greek krestos, which esoterically means fire. Christ is an energy. This energy can incarnate within the human being. Those who earn this sacred gift can then be called “Christ.” The Christ is represented in many religions.
Christ is Ormus, Ahura-Mazda among the Persians, who is the antithesis of Ahriman (Satan).
Christ is Vishnu in the sacred land of the Vedas. He is the Second Logos, sublime emanation of Brahma, the First Logos.
The Avatar Krishna is the Hindustani Jesus. The gospel of this Master is similar to the gospel of the divine Rabbi of Galilee.
Fu-Ji is the Cosmic Christ among the ancient Chinese, the one who wrote the famous I-Ching, the book of laws, and who designated Dragon Ministers for the good of humanity
Osiris was in fact the Christ in the sunny country of Khem, in the land of the Pharaohs, and whosoever incarnated Him was an Osirified One.
Quetzalcoatl is the Mexican Christ, who is now dwelling in distant Tule. – Samael Aun Weor, The Three Mountains
In the West, Jesus of Nazareth, who was actually named Jeshua ben Pandira, incarnated the Christ. He became the Son of the Sun, the Light of the World. He taught the path to do as he had done. He synthesized the path in this way:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me (the Cosmic Christ), let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – Matthew 16:24
These three steps are the three factorsfor the revolution of the Consciousness.
To Deny Oneself is to go against the selfish, egotistical desires that fill the mind. These desires must die in order for the Christ to enter into us. So long as we remain imperfect, we remain separate from Him.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:48
This is a teaching given in all great religions, which emphasizes the need for psychological work on oneself in order to achieve purity of mind and heart.
To Take Up the Cross is to enter into the work of the sacred cross, which is the work of Holy Alchemy. The fantastically ancient and ubiquitous symbol of the cross represents the core teaching of real mysticism. The cross is formed when man and woman unite in the sacred sexual act, in accordance with the instructions given by Jehovah Elohim in the Garden of Eden.
To Follow Him is to sacrifice oneself on behalf of suffering humanity, to do as the Christified Ones always do: serve humanity with love, compassion, and great strength of will, and always in accordance with divine law.
To achieve this sublime honor of receiving the Christ inside, the human being must be properly prepared. This preparation is symbolized in the cosmic drama of initiation, that series of events which are displayed in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, as well as in the life of Quetzalcoatl, Krishna, Odin, and many others. In each of these stories, the cross plays a central role.
The Vernal Equinox
Equinox: either of two times of the year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator and day and night are of equal length
The Vernal Equinox
Equinox: either of two times of the year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator and day and night are of equal length
Equinox is a Latin word rooted in aequus, which means equal, and nox, night. Vernis is the Latin word for spring. The vernal equinox occurs around March 21st or 22nd when the length of daylight and night is exactly twelve hours each; that day is then the equinox of spring.
In the Vedic traditions, the “Chaitra Vishu day,” or the opening day of the first fortnight of the waxing moon, was the occasion chosen by Brahma (the Father, the First Logos) to create this world. This marks the beginning of the Vedic New Year. (That is why this day is also known as yugadhi or the beginning of a yuga).
The Babylonians began their new year on this day.
On the vernal equinox, at the El Castillo Pyramid, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, the shadow of a sacred serpent appears to slither down the stairs.
It is also on this day that Sri Ramachandra, the Solar Hero of the Ramayana, had his triumphal entry into Ayodhya after the destruction of the demonic forces, and was crowned there on this day. This is symbolic of the triumph of the initiate over his own ego, and in the Christian tradition this supreme triumph is represented in the psychological death of the initiate upon the holy cross.
Gnostics understand that the equinox or Holy Easter is related to the beginning of the Initiation by means of the cross or Sexual Magic, the true beginning of the development of Christ within our dense matter or physical body.
Psychologically speaking, the Solar Logos (through the vernal equinox) heralds the entrance of the light of Christ into the soul of any human being who understands the myth represented in the gospels and who, by means of Sexual Magic, returns within him as a Solar Hero.
Crucifixion can be understood as derived from the Latin cruce (cross) and the ancient Greek figure of Ixion, who was tied to a flaming wheel as a punishment for his sins.
The cross is amongst the oldest and most universal of religious symbols. It is always a symbol of sacrifice and repentance. Yet, the esoteric meaning of the cross has always remained hidden from the uninitiated.
The cross has four points. The cross of the initiation is phallic; the intersection of the vertical phallus in the feminine cteis forms the cross. It is the cross of initiation that we must carry upon our shoulders.
We must comprehend that the cross with its four points symbolizes the four cardinal points of the earth: north, south, east, and west; the four ages: gold, silver, copper and iron; the four seasons of the year; the four phases of the moon; the four ways of science, philosophy, art and religion.
When we speak about the four ways, we must comprehend that the four ways are really one way. This way is the narrow and straight way of the razor’s edge, the path of the revolution of the Consciousness.
The cross is a very ancient symbol that is continually utilized in all the religions of the world. One who considers it an exclusive emblem of a religious sect commits an error. When the Conquistadors of Spain arrived in the holy land of the Aztecs of Mexico, they found crosses upon all the altars.
The sign of the cross, as in the sublime monogram of our Lord the Christ, the cross of Saint Andrew and the miraculous keys of Saint Peter are all marvelous replicas of equal alchemical and kabbalistic value. It is therefore the sign capable of securing the victory for the laborers of the Great Work.
The sexual cross, the living symbol of the crossing of the lingam-yoni, has the unmistakable and marvelous print of the three nails that were used to immolate the Christ-matter. These nails are the image of the three purifications of iron and fire. Our Lord could not achieve the Resurrection without them.
The crucible is a vessel used to melt materials down in order to purify them. In Alchemy, these vessels are always made by combining masculine (Sun) and feminine (Moon). But this work cannot function without the presence of God (the Holy Spirit).
The cross is the ancient alchemical hieroglyph of the crucible (creuset), which in the past, in French, was called “cruzel,” or “croiset.” In Latin it was called “crucibulum,” or “crisol,” which had as its root “crux,” “crucis,” or “cross.” It is evident that all of this invites us to reflect.
It is in the crucible that the raw matter of the Great Work suffers the passion of the Lord with infinite patience. In the erotic crucible of Sexual Alchemy, the ego dies and the Phoenix bird is reborn within its own ashes: INRI, “In Necis Renascor Integer,” which means, “In death I am reborn intact and pure.”
The intersection of the vertical phallus within the horizontal uterus makes a cross. This is something that can be easily verified.
If we reflect very seriously on that intimate relationship that exists between the “S” and the Tao Cross, or “T,” we arrive at the logical conclusion that only through the crossing of the lingam-yoni, (phallus and uterus), with radical exclusion of the physiological orgasm, one can awaken the Kundalini, which is the igneous serpent of our magical powers.
In the Nahuatl and Mayan conception of the cross, the Nahuatl “Nahui-ollin,” sacred symbol of the cosmic movement, is the sacred swastika of the great mysteries, which was always defined as the cross in movement.
The two possible orientations of the swastika clearly represent the masculine and feminine, positive and negative principles of nature. Two swastikas placed exactly over each other, in opposite directions, undoubtedly form the Potenzada cross, and represent the erotic conjunction of the sexes in this sense.
According to the Aztec legend, a couple, a man and a woman, were the ones that invented fire. This is only possible with the cross in movement, INRI, “Ignis Natura Renovatur Integra,” meaning, “Fire Renews Nature Incessantly.” – Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
The initiate must rectify his sins through the suffering of the cross, the destruction of the animal soul through sexual transmutation.
Between the sixth hour (temptation) and the ninth hour (Sexual Magic) this Solar Hero (the Initiate) enters into the crucifixion and his spiritual night with the hope that light will increase with the death of his animal soul (our psychological defects).
Here the Initiate suffers between the underworld and the superior worlds, a process when the Initiate may renounce by means of death the rulers of the regions below (klipoth, hell) and to develop the necessary virtues in order to be admitted (through resurrection) into the heavens above.
Through this psychological death the spiritual resurrection occurs. Through this initiation, that which was animal and dark is reborn in newness. Every symbol of spiritual birth and alchemical transformation provides veracity to this image.
While the profane symbolically recognize the renewal of the earth through this natural ritual of spring, we Gnostics celebrate the union of our spiritual Consciousness with our Innermost through Christ our Solar Hero, or fire of Kundalini. With our transmuted sexual force we descend into the dark depths of our own underworld, our subconsciousness, infraconsciousness and unconsciousness, and by experiencing Easter within our physical, psychological and spiritual nature we return into the light realms of the Solar Logos or Cosmic Christ, but now possessing an awakened and Christified Consciousness. This is how we transfer our spiritual identity and unite it to the Christic Cosmic Consciousness.
By means of Initiation we personify the dramatic portrayal of the Easter cycle within ourselves and participate fully in the sacred drama.
The entering of the Initiate into the heavenly Jerusalem on Palm Sunday symbolizes the entry into the different degrees of the initiation through triumphant psychological death. So, the ordeals of initiation remind us that the praises of the world are really worthless. The world cries “Hosanna” one day and “Crucify him” the next. This example must illustrate that our highest achievements are not in the world of matter, or society, but within the internal worlds, where our sovereignty may grow into its full stature through initiation, where our Innermost, through Christ, will govern all of nature.
But all of this process must begin as all things begin: from the root force of all creation.
The Easter Egg
WHENCE this universal symbol? The Egg was incorporated as a sacred sign in the cosmogony of every people on the Earth, and was revered both on account of its form and its inner mystery. From the earliest mental conceptions of man, it was known as that which represented most successfully the origin and secret of being. The gradual development of the imperceptible germ within the closed shell; the inward working, without any apparent outward interference of force, which from a latent nothing produced an active something,needing nought save heat; and which, having gradually evolved into a concrete, living creature, broke its shell, appearing to the outward senses of all a self-generated, and self-created being — must have been a standing miracle from the beginning.
The secret teaching explains the reason for this reverence by the Symbolism of the prehistoric races. The “First Cause” had no name in the beginnings. Later it was pictured in the fancy of the thinkers as an ever invisible, mysterious Bird that dropped an Egg into Chaos, which Egg becomes the Universe. Hence Brahm was called Kalahansa, “the swan in (Space and) Time.” He became the “Swan of Eternity,” who lays at the beginning of each Mahamanvantara a “Golden Egg.” It typifies the great Circle, or O, itself a symbol for the universe and its spherical bodies.
The second reason for its having been chosen as the symbolical representation of the Universe, and of our earth, was its form. It was a Circle and a Sphere; and the ovi-form shape of our globe must have been known from the beginning of symbology, since it was so universally adopted. The first manifestation of the Kosmos in the form of an egg was the most widely diffused belief of antiquity. As Bryant shows (iii., 165), it was a symbol adopted among the Greeks, the Syrians, Persians, and Egyptians. In chap. liv. of the Egyptian Ritual, Seb, the god of Time and of the Earth, is spoken of as having laid an egg, or the Universe, “an egg conceived at the hour of the great one of the Dual Force” (Sec. V., 2, 3,etc.).
Ra is shown like Brahma gestating in the Egg of the Universe. The deceased is “resplendent in the Egg of the land of mysteries” (xxii., 1). For, this is “the Egg to which is given life among the gods” (xlii., 11). “It is the Egg of the great clucking Hen, the Egg of Seb, who issues from it like a hawk” (lxiv., 1, 2, 3; lxxvii., 1).
With the Greeks the Orphic Egg is described by Aristophanes, and was part of the Dionysiac and other mysteries, during which the Mundane Egg was consecrated and its significance explained; Porphyry showing it a representation of the world, [[Ermenenei de to oon kosmon]]. Faber and Bryant have tried to show that the egg typified the ark of Noah, which, unless the latter is accepted as purely allegorical and symbolical, is a wild belief. It can have typified the ark only as a synonym of the moon, the argha which carries the universal seed of life; but had surely nothing to do with the ark of the Bible. Anyhow, the belief that the universe existed in the beginning in the shape of an egg was general. And as Wilson has it: “A similar account of the first aggregation of the elements in the form of an egg is given in all the (Indian) Puranas, with the usual epithet Haima or Hiranya, ‘golden’ as it occurs in Manu.” Hiranya, however, means “resplendent,” “shining,” rather than “golden,” as proven by the great Indian scholar, the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, in his unpublished polemics with Professor Max Muller. As said in the Vishnu Purana: “Intellect (Mahat) . . . the (unmanifested) gross elements inclusive, formed an egg . . . and the lord of the Universe himself abided in it, in the character of Brahma. In that egg, O Brahman, were the continents, and seas and mountains, the planets and divisions of the universe, the gods, the demons and mankind.” (Book i., ch. 2.)Both in Greece and in India the first visible male being, who united in himself the nature of either sex, abode in the egg and issued from it. This “first born of the world” was Dionysius, with some Greeks; the god who sprang from the mundane egg, and from whom the mortals and immortals were derived. The god Ra is shown in the Ritual (Book of the Dead, xvii., 50) beaming in his egg (the Sun), and he starts off as soon as the god Shoo (the Solar energy) awakens and gives him the impulse. “He is in the Solar egg, the egg to which is given life among the gods” (Ibid.,xlii.,13). The Solar god exclaims: “I am the creative soul of the celestial abyss. None sees my nest, none can break my egg, I am the Lord!” (Ibid., LXXXV.). – H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (1888)
If the human being is the microcosm of the macrocosm, then the egg or sexual energy of the human being must contain within it the secrets contained within the sexual universal egg force.
Our Spirit or Innermost must be fecundated and intermixed with that sexual universal Cosmic Egg force through initiation.
The sexual energy of the human egg whirls around its center (Muladhara chakra) when fecundated by the fire of Kundalini as the sexual force of both man and woman is transmuted during the sexual act. The sperm and ovum are transformed into energy through the process of sexual transmutation, thus the astral egg (the sexual universal egg force of Hod) appears and penetrates the nucleus of our spiritual nature, the Innermost.
At this point the process of the first Initiation of Major Mysteries occurs. During this process of sexual transmutation where the first Initiation of Major Mysteries occurs, there is a recapitulation of our terrestrial cosmic manifestation.
Those who enter into the path of the Self-realization of the Being use the cross as a means to accelerate the development of the Soul; while the mechanical process of the evolution of humanity takes extended ages to develop the Soul, the Initiate does this work in a matter of a few years.
Each age of development processes in accordance with the levels of nature. Currently, humanity is developing in the terrestrial or material level, at the end of which the Divine Soul (Geburah) is unified with the Innermost (Chesed/Gedulah, the Spirit). In the Initiate, this same work is accomplished through the First Initiation of Major Mysteries, which corresponds to the Kundalini of the physical body.
Mysteries of the Gnostic Easter by Samael Aun Weor