Saturn transition

from “The Uranus Station”, by Dane Rudhyar


   The Transfiguration of Jesus.. has been interpreted as the record of one of Jesus' "Initiations"; and it may well have been the culiminating moment when Jesus, Son of Man, became fully identified or integrated with Christ, Son of God. But, as we seek to understand here as clearly as possible a spiritual process potentially experienceable by every individual having passed through a particular crisis of total reorientation, it is more significant to consider, not only what happened to Jesus, but the entire scene ”on the “Mount" and all the participitants in this mystical event.

   The key to its interpretation is provided by what the Synoptic Gospels record as previous to the Transfiguration. Jesus had asked of his disciples: "Whom say ye that I am?" and Peter had come forth impetuously with the answer: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). But when Jesus soon after spoke of his coming tribulations, the same Peter protested that this should not happen; and Jesus rebuked him in extremely strong language implying that Peter had, in this protest, been the very tool of the Tempter.

   This interplay of forces between Peter and Jesus is most significant, because Peter here represents the typical "disciple" with an intense urge toward the spiritual life, yet with a still strong mental dependence upon ordinary earthly values. And, in every individual following the Illumined Road there is a Peter as well as a Jesus. Peter, here, is the symbol of the ego-consciousness suddenly able to recognize at its innermost core the reality of the God-seed, but as yet unwilling to change the frame of reference within which this seed is to unfold its power. Peter is thus the aspirant at the Saturn stage of the Road -- Peter, the Rock. He is the first to utter the new "Name", to proclaim the new fact of the incorporation of God as Christ in the individual man, Jesus. Yet he can only visualize and inter ret this new fact with reference to the old kind of ego-structured consciousness. Yes, God has come lmong us; but God should behave as a man. "He is I", this disciple ldmits; but "I", to his mind, is still conditioning the ways of "Him".

   Jesus' answer to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan", suggests that Jesus himself may have been tempted to evade the destiny implied in the very fact of his being the Christ; but he rejects this fourth temptation, as strongly as he had rejected the three temptations in the desert following his Baptism. He accepts fully his Christhood, and with it the Crucifixion. The plant which bears the seed within the protective envelope of the fruit realizes that, once the seed is fully mature, the plant itself must disintegrate according to the seasonal rhythm. The seed, indeed, actually "kills" the ephemeral plant that bears it. Christ 's Ascension is predicated upon Jesus’ Crucifixion. Likewise, one stretch of the Illumined Road must be experienced as the Path to Golgotha.

   To realize this fully and to accept it irrevocably is the meaning of the transition from the Saturn to the Uranus stages of the journey Starward. He who makes this transition successfully passes symbolically from the Peter to the Jesus state of consciousness. He is then ready for the Transfiguration, which seals, at the same time, the glorious destiny of the God-seed (the Christ within) and the final surrender (Crucifixion) of the ego; a surrender necessary to the development, out of the God-seed, of the new organism of spirit, the immortal vehicle of the celestial Self, the "Risen Body of Christ"...

   This is the great mystery, or spiritual paradox, at the core of Uranus' activity. To ordinary egocentric man, Uranus is the revolutionist, the arouser, the peace-shattering power that destroys the attitude of unquestioned reliance upon the seemingly secure past. Then, Uranus appears to the freer mind as the inspirer, the revealer, the spiritual fecundator, the transfigurer. Finally one more function needs to be accomplished, Uranus must evoke the Adversary of the individual he has transfigured.

   There are always elements in any personality which cannot beome transfigured, which resist metamorphosis until the very last crisis. Even the "Peter" aspect of the individual's consciousness seeks forever to materialize and to organize what is of the spirit; even Peter will thrice deny his Master when to say "Yes" to his divinity menaces his personal security; and he will flee from persecution, in later days in Rome, until the vision of Christ shames him into returning to meet his own crucifixion.

   At the Saturn stage of the journey toward the Star, there often arises within the traveler's consciousness a sense of spiritual satisfaction with himself. Has not God been found to dwell like a seed of light within his soul? Has he not recognized the divine Presence, and given up many things to "follow" this Christ within? It is this sense of spiritual achievement and self-complacency which Uranus will shake and destroy -- and this is the work of the Adversary, whom Uranus evokes.

   To all Peters seemingly secure in their fervent discipleship to Christ must come the shattering of hope, the sense that they have devoted their all to one who has failed, the tragedy of denial of the most cherished Ideal. Their Saturnian inertia must once more be broken; now at the seemingly spiritual level. The power of the God within must overcome the fear and insecurity of whatever is left of the old ego dismayed at the prospect of seeing the structures of personality which it built crucified.

   Jesus says: "Nevertheless thy will be done, not mine!'. But Peter takes his puny physical sword (his ego will) and, even after the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, he fails to understand, and he fights against the inevitability of the Crucifixion. He has still to learn how to rely totally upon the power of the spirit -- how impossible it is for the immortal spiritual organism to be free to function, unless the body of earth-substance is completely purified and re-made of spirit substance. Peter might have understood, had he had the power not to fear on the Mount of Transfiguration. But his fear and his materialistic atttitude of traditional worship forced the entire Mount to be enveloped in a cloud; just as, in the Garden of Olives, his mortal weariness made him unable to stand, awake, by his divine Master, while Jesus made his ultimate prayer to the Father.


Dane Rudhyar, Triptych (Netherlands: Servire-Wassenarr, 1968)