Snakes and Ladders
Estimated Reading Time: 2-3 minutes
Post by Jane Lewis
Sun in Gemini
The glyph for Gemini depicts the gateway into the Temple of the Soul, showing right and left pillars with doorstep below and portico overhead. The mutable air sign teaches us about the need to balance opposites within us and so step between the two pillars and follow the middle way of Harmony and Beauty. The soul lesson is about wisdom. It concerns the dual aspect of mind and is about raising the lower to the higher, and this raising aspect is suggested by the fact that the glyph can also be seen to represent a section of a ladder with a lower an upper rung. As in the old children’s game of Snakes and Ladders, the human soul learns, grows and evolves by alternating steps some rungs up the ladder followed by a few back down again when our lower, animal nature lures us back down again into a pit of snakes. The game contains wise teaching about the nature of human life over a single lifespan and over the whole course of the soul’s many incarnations. Gemini is the sign associated with youth, the time when the child is naturally driven by instinct, impulse and the desire nature which it has to learn to subdue and master.
In the body, Gemini rules the hands, mouth and lungs and this sign is about language, manual dexterity and communication, infancy being the time when the child learns to talk, express itself and relate with others through speech and interact with the physical world. As one of the few non-animal signs, Gemini relates to the mind that distinguishes the human stream of evolution from the lower forms of mineral, vegetable and animal. The mind gives us the ability to think for ourselves as separate individuals as we evolve from the group soul consciousness of animals, and by developing our lower ego and separate individuality we become self-aware, self-conscious and from there evolve into God-consciousness. Through the love we show to animals and particularly to our domestic pets we can give their souls a helping hand to climb up onto the bottom rung of the human ladder and so begin their individual journey up towards eventual full conscious union with God. Not only is a dog ‘man’s best friend’ but something in them instinctively recognises that we too can potentially be theirs in a very special way.
In an Inner Teaching (040) White Eagle explains how life evolves from the mineral up to the angelic: “from the trees, the life stream passes into the mammals, the animal form, from the lower types into the domestic animal, from the domestic animal into the lowest human stratum, and upward, as you know, from the primitive to the ordinary, to the developed man, the disciple, the adept”. In the life streams there are points at which life may change over. White Eagle tells us that although this is a rare occurrence it does happen : “the life stream which has produced a beloved and beautiful tree can in the next manifestation take form as a loved animal—a dog perhaps. Those of you who have as a friend a dog and see the intelligence and love in his eyes, can well feel this may be true.” Likewise, the human adept who has climbed to the very top of the ladder over many lifetimes can cross over to the angelic life stream.
Gemini is about education (e-ducare coming from Latin where e means movement and ducare means to develop and progress) and ultimately evolution to the next higher life stream. Gemini is also about friends, sociability and the love of being surrounded by people with a hubbub of chatter and everyday goings-on. Gemini is about ordinary, daily human experiences and interactions. Although in the White Eagle tradition the soul lessons of the fire signs are about Love, in truth all twelve are about Love: Service, Wisdom and Brotherhood being variants. It is through the indispensable daily round of experience in all its little ordinariness that we learn about human love through our interactions with our sisters and brothers on earth: Brotherhood through Wisdom is the soul lesson of Gemini. The School of Love starts with learning to love our brothers, sisters and cousins and the people and creatures we come across every day at school, in the playground, on the street and in the market place, learning to love not just those we naturally share common ground with but also those who we discover to be our opposite. At school we start the slow climb up the ladder towards truth, over our lifetime learning to put love into action in daily life. Over the years we learn about the many different kinds of love and with the right education we can be guided how to balance human and divine love and navigate the middle path that leads to Truth and full Illumination. It is the humdrum day-to-day experiences arising from our every thought and action that provide us with knowledge. The entrance door into the Temple leads us into a vast space, just as the ladder takes us up to unimaginable heights as yet beyond the imagining of our little human brain.
“Do not think that the life evolving in the mineral, in the seed, in the vegetable is for manifestation on this earth. Rather that life is being prepared for a globe too far distant for us even to contemplate, even as the life today results from a globe of countless millions of years ago. The whole process is so slow and so grand it is impossible at this stage to get a comprehensive view. All we can do is to appreciate that behind all physical form is this wonderful and beautiful invisible etheric life.”