There are many iterations of the enlightened state- cosmic consciousness, bliss consciousness, Christ consciousness, moksha, sattva- whatever the expression, all are linked by themes of infinite knowing, peace of mind, harmony in body, a loving spirit and the awareness of eternal being.
The inherent duality of manifest life proves to be the essential struggle of man. For every positive quality there exists its shadow in the opposing counterpart. For generosity, greed. For good, evil. And even more seemingly simple polarities prove challenging, such as when to engage in activity and when to rest. Much in life comes down to the decisions we make and to what degree they reflect a state of balance, as balance (the mastery of duality) identifies the divine state of enlightenment more than any other quality.
Astrology (along with many other mystical maps of life, such as the Kabbalah) presents manifest life in a series of archetypal principles, represented primarily by the planets, followed by the signs, which are under the rulership of the planets. Mercury, for example, is the archetypal source of conceptual thought, while Venus rests in the more elusive bed of beauty in image, or harmony of form and colour.
As man achieves self-knowledge (and through this the knowledge of true reality and the Divine within), he breaks free from the ignorance which has kept him bound to his emotional responses (the reactive Moon) and slowly moves into the mastery of his energies in order to achieve a balanced state of being in which he is empowered by understanding his nature as essentially one with the divine Creator. He may then make decisions from this central point of awareness and his life begins to change. This peaceful state is the ultimate goal of human incarnation; the arrival at enlightenment. In Vedic thought, the Divine was made manifest by way of flesh, space and time in order to understand itself. The role of astrology supports this central quest by providing self-knowledge to the individual.
Using astrology, we can look through each planetary lens in order to understand the nature of its ideal behaviour through the enlightened state. Remember that man contains within him the archetypal principles of each planet and expresses them through his level of awareness or consciousness. The enlightened state is the highest expression of consciousness.
Sun: Seeking self-knowledge
The Sun represents the soul of the individual and contains his life purpose, Higher Self, and true essence. We have all been incarnated for a specific purpose, and through the messages of our Higher Self, we are guided into the appropriate relationships, professions and circumstances that allow for the fruition of our soul's journey. This journey of self-discovery and self-realization takes courage in the face of adversity, requires that we nourish the connection to our deepest desires and that we allow ourselves to shine freely and comfortably in our present incarnation. The Sun is our ability to radiate, to be a source of influence and inspiration for others. The function of the other planets is to support this central expression of the Sun.
Moon: Healing the personality nature so that our emotional responses are based in the experience of love
The Moon is the personality nature of an individual. It contains the body of emotional responses that either support or negate the expression of the soul life (Sun). Awareness into the landscape of our habitual, learned and conditioned responses is the first step in shaping the expression of the personality so that it supports the journey of the spiritual Higher Self. Here it is necessary to understand that emotions are rooted in a reactive process that either honours the experience of love or expresses fear. When you are experiencing insecurity, self-doubt, lack of faith, loneliness, etc., you are perceiving a situation through the eyes of fear. Wisdom, compassion, and faith are all expressions of understanding situations through the eyes of love (and thus through connection to the Divine). Many of the conditioned emotional responses we carry with us that hinder the pure expression of our soul nature or true essence are the result of seeing life through the eyes of fear. This is why the healing journey is so important in relieving us from past experiences that are continuing to shape our understanding of the present. We must allow our feelings to pass through us without becoming attached to their message. Remaining objective and processing our responses with awareness allows us to discover when we are reacting through love or through fear. Love is the nature of true reality and will always guide the expression of our true essence.
Mercury: Maintaining no preference
Mercury is the ability to break down what we observe and interact with through the function of categorical thought and communication via mind, perception and understanding. One of the qualities of the enlightened mind is that it maintains no preference. This is an important aspect of breaking free from the cycles of suffering. Rather than promoting indecision, this allows us to state with confidence that whatever the circumstance, we will do our best and make decisions that reflect our connection to our true Self. The pain of our daily interactions and decisions comes from the attachment to outcome. To release the mind from the suffering of attachment is to empower the thought process. This in turn supports positive emotional reactions.
Venus: Approaching all people and situations with love
The resolution of the kinks in our personality nature and emotional responses invite the realm of Venus to be expressed freely. To embody love allows us to form positive, nurturing relationships and to receive love freely from the outside world. Thus, we allow the admiration and adoration that serves the healthy ego which is the radiance of our personal Sun or soul nature. We can then attract what we require in life, as we are vibrating to the frequency of love, which is true reality, and understand the strength of operating from a receptive state of being.
Mars: Maintaining balance in all actions
Mars is the expression of our personal will: the energy we put into achieving our goals and the intentions of our actions. We must act when is necessary and in a way that reflects our desired outcome. Not with too much haste or impulsiveness and not with procrastination or hesitancy. All actions ideally come from that place of inner connectivity to our soul nature and the work we have come here to do. The ideal balance of our projective force is the ability to enter the receptive state (Venus, attraction). The materialization of our goals rests in the balance of both processes; that is, active intention and open reception.
Jupiter: Having trust and faith in the timing of life
Jupiter is the planet of growth, joy, faith and opportunity. There is a reason why these themes are interconnected. Following our joy allows us to honour the deepest desires of the soul nature and to come upon circumstances that will allow for our personal growth. This growth honours the expression of our true self and our ability to radiate our purpose into the world. This radiation attracts followers and supports our positive influence in the human family, opening vistas of opportunity for continued growth and learning. The essential attitude of this process is trust and faith that our purpose will be supported and recognized by others and by the timing of our lives.
Saturn: Recognizing the illusion of material reality
Saturn is the planet of karma and the mother of the material realm. Matter inherently veils its divine origin, as form veils energy. Participating in life as though it were only material and void of spiritual essence invites the law of karma to bring painful lessons into one's life. Honour the meaning of actions, the power of intentions, the humility of earthly life and stay open and flexible in the flow of life. The energetic vibrations of your behaviours are just as relevant to your journey as the actions themselves.
Uranus: Accepting Divine guidance
Uranus is the planet of intuition and is the higher faculty of the perceptive mind. The Divine is always communicating with you, sending messages through your daily interactions with the outside world. Honour the inner voice that speaks in bursts of inspiration and in wonderment of the world. This is the magic of the intuition, and is the secret freedom you hold within the confines of material reality. All is not what it seems; leave room for curiosity and trust your inner vision.
Neptune: Surrendering control
Although we appear to exist as isolated entities, we are not so. The interconnected fabric of life means that we are not the only ones who will decide the fate of certain situations and relationships. Transcend the need to control circumstances and you find yourself supported by a greater divine power that reveals the spiritual core of your experiences. There is a greater orchestration in the happenings of life that supports spiritual purity and service to your fellow human beings. Your purpose is always connected to a means of serving the greater human family. Considering this aspect in your personal becoming will allow you to become more in line with what you desire to manifest.
Pluto: Understanding the nature of power
As the final planet of the solar system, Pluto represents a final frontier in the growing awareness of the human mind. Pluto is our sense of personal empowerment. When we believe that other people or outside circumstances have more power than we do over our lives, we feel threatened or afraid and make decisions that are emotionally charged and often destructive. No person or situation has any power over our ability to be happy and at peace with life. When we unite with our divine core and understand that the power of the Creator is within us, we no longer suffer with the feeling of powerlessness. This in turn affects all other aspects of life: our emotional reactions, our perception, our ability to love and to be loved, our ability to have faith, to pierce the illusions of the material world, to connect to our intuition and to our purposeful position as one part of the interconnected whole of life.