Re: Thoughts about the Festivals (Sveinn)
May 26, 1997 12:31 PM
by Jim Meier
Hi Sveinn --
Regarding your post of 15 May on the Festivals:
The two points you questioned (of my earlier posting on the Festivals, part
of a thread on Wesak) were
1) > and the lesser festivals of the other nine moons, and
2) > "orthodox" theosophy
Taking the 2nd point first,
I don't disagree with you, but I was trying to write in a style acceptable
to the group readers of theos-l. Many long-time readers of this listserver
have seen discussions/arguments on "small t. vs. large T,
theosophy/Theosophy," and t/Theosophy when compared/contrasted with
"orthodox, non-orthodox, and neo- theosophy." That is why I put quotation
maarks around the word. Some theosophists are so strict on this that they
do not accept anything after HPB's death; I suspect they are a very small
minority of overall TSA membership, but there have been periods in the last
few years when they had a disproportionate voice on theos-l. A large group
of our Society does not accept CWLeadbeater's writings, a subset of that
group lumps Annie Besant together with CWL, the split over Krishnamurti
continues . . . and so on. The teachings on the Festivals are predominantly
from the Bailey writings, and so I chose the wording I did in an attempt to
head off any repeat of some earlier and agitated threads. But you are
right, imo -- there is only one Ageless Wisdom, even though "the paths to
God are as many as the ways of men," as the Gita says.
Regarding the lesser festivals:
You wrote that the meditation cycles following the moon periods are well
known among theosophists -- I'm not so sure about that. Ours is such a
diverse group that it naturally segments into folks drawn to study of the
SD, or astrology, or tarot, or "New Age" or . . . whatever, but I haven't
noticed any real emphasis here in the USA about the cycles of the moon among
the rank and file membership. Is it different in your country?
You also asked about references in the Bailey works about the Winter Solstice:
There is an independently-published book entitled MASTER INDEX OF THE
TIBETAN AND ALICE A. BAILEY BOOKS which does not mention any listing of the
Winter Solstice, per se. There are *many* references to the significance of
the Cardinal points, etc. in the book ESOTERIC ASTROLOGY, but the Festivals
in context of the Bailey work refers to the creative meditation periods
associated with each full moon and, especially, the three major periods of
Easter, Wesak, and Christ's Festival/World Invocation Day associated with
Aries, Taurus and Gemini. The remaining nine full moon periods are referred
to as "lesser" only in deference to these three, the spiritual "highpoint"
of the year. The Winter Solstice is six month's from now, and (again, in
the Bailey works) is associated with the expression and manifestation of the
forces contacted during the period of the three major festivals. That is
also important as the "horizontal" or physical aspect of the annual work
matching up with the vertical aspect of spiritual contact occurring now.
You ended your post with a comment that "since there are a number of
different teachings, not all can be right." I agree; that is why we are
called upon to exercise both discrimination and tolerance, recognizing that
what we know is right *for us* may not be universally applicable.
>Attention to: Jim Meier
>>Date: Sun, 04 May 1997 06:35:58 EST
>>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Meier)
>>From: THEOS-L digest 1007
>>According to Bailey, the Wesak Festival is the 2nd of three full moon
>>festivals that make up the Higher Interlude cycle of the spiritual year.
>>The 1st is Easter (Aries) and the 3rd is this month's full moon of Gemini on
>>May 22nd. The 3rd Festival is also known as World Invocation Day, and the
>>idea of the three Spiritual Festivals (and the lesser festivals at the other
>>nine moons) is one of the main differences between the Bailey teachings and
>I wondered about some sentences in your letter, and stumbled over two.
>Those two sentences are:
>>(and the lesser festivals at the other nine moons)
>Commenting on your text about the Festivals I can now see that I made a
>mistake by using the word "moved." I was thinking in Icelandic and the
>selected English word is not accurate for what I had in mind.
>I had in mind to remind us about the Cardinal Signs Festivals, and
>especially about The Winter Solstice Festival. The theory about the Cardinal
>Signs Festivals is well known to many students of Theosophy. And also; the
>theory of the full moon periods is well known.
>By my understanding, the greater Festivals do not depend on the cycles of
>Let us look at this again, and I will try to explain my mind.
>By The Ancient Northern Cosmogony, the Winter Solstice Festival is believed
>to be the most spiritual of all the Great Festivals. It is believed to be
>the Great Event when The Sun God - The Solar Logos - looks into the lives
>men. Looks into the life of every man, wherever in the worlds that man may
>be. That is a blessing. That is the Holy gift, given to us every year at
>This great Festival of Love and Brotherhood is not connected with the period
>of full moon.
>At the Winter Solstice Festival, the other spiritual Festivals of the year,
>About the other sentence: >"orthodox" Theosophy.
>There is no >"orthodox" Theosophy -- it does not exist.
>Our understanding and presentation of Theosophy can be "orthodox."
>Persons and groups can be "orthodox."
>But Theosophy can not be limited by our limited understanding.
>Theosophy is a Way. It is a Pillar.
>Regarding the Festivals and the writings of Bailey.
>Are you certain that the Winter Solstice Festival is not introduced in those
>Can you look into this?
>One must have in mind that the writings of Bailey are of different quality.
>I recall, that at one time when I was looking into one of those books, I
>noticed the sentence: "notice that my first books are different." I am
>quotating to this sentence, from my memory.
>You see; A. Bailey wrote for a group - not only for one single person.
>Other Ashrams have presented "Teaching" in this century, through a number of
>books. On certain ideas there is a basic difference. Not can all be right.
>Let us therefore be careful when we decide on what is true.
>It is necessary to make a comparative study, free from biasness.
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