Rays: 1—power or will, dynamic purpose

Ray 1 triangle

One of 3 rays of Aspect

Existence, being, homogeneous formless energy, singularity, ‘is-ness’, beginnings and endings, creation and destruction, life and death, power and energy.

Quality:power or will, dynamic purpose
Originating Source:Great Bear
First ray signs:Aries (Leo, Capricorn). First ray triangle: Aries-Leo-Capricorn
Planets (inner/outer):Vulcan/Pluto
Colours (inner/outer):red/orange–gold
Symbols:Red; fire, the Sun. ‘The circle whose circumference is nowhere and whose centre is everywhere’.
Expression:synthesis/integration Jupiter in the chart, planets in Cardinal signs

1.1 Group effect: Synthesis (Cardinal mode)

The first ray is primarily the source of the principle of ‘spirit’ or the urge to exist, demonstrated in every living entity as a primal ‘will-to-be’. The principle of will not only creates the energy needed to bring life into form, but also enables the same life to withdraw from the form it has created, often destroying what has been built so that the inner life is set free. This applies to a galaxy, a planet, an individual life or an idea.

The era when this ray comes into full expression is many millennia away, and any present manifestation of its power is stepped down by the love-wisdom of our second ray solar system before having any impact on the human world. The will to power in order to co-operate enables that power to serve as the primary agent of love and bring about the cessation of human isolation. ‘Love is the law, love under will’ is a fitting axiom for this process, since undiluted first ray power without the tempering energy of love would have only destructive effects on the world at this time.

Because Aries, Leo and Capricorn are currently all active (until the end of the Aquarian age cycle),the influence of ray one is particularly potent. (EA 490)

1.1.1 Effect on groups of integrated beings (‘fifth kingdom’)

This ray is concerned with the process of government, political power and the primary sources of change behind the broader sweep of civilisations. It also comes into play at decisive points in the decline of cultures, breaking up any outgrown patterns that may be hindering the process of change. Groups of souls who work with this ray step down its power so that changes can be made with the minimum degree of trauma. The wise use of destructive forces thus prepares the way for renewed life.

As well as working in a dramatic way at crucial turning points, it also the will for life to remain within a form or structure over long periods of time, a quality originally acknowledged by the Theosophical idea of ‘seed atoms’, held to carry the essential qualities of an individual from life to life.

1.1.2 Effect on groups of self-aware, integrating individuals (‘soul groups’)

This ray comes into its own is when it is energising the ideas behind any powerful campaign designed to force a change in attitudes towards a given issue. The idea of human rights—and all kinds of political or environmental direct action—are good examples of the kind of ‘people power’ the first ray stimulates. Groups who work in this way require input from other influences to retain their stability, otherwise the very energy they embody can eventually break them apart. In groups of individuals who have not learned to co-operate with others the first ray can have a disruptive effect, causing leadership struggles and disputes on policy, despite everyone’s best attempts to work together.

1.2 Personal effect: Intensification (Fixed mode)—role in the growth of human consciousness

This ray brings about those peak experiences and decisive moments that shift the course of our lives. These are significant occasions when we need to tap into our deepest resources; to feel that we are genuinely being ourselves, as we really are.

1.2.1 In the process of alignment (Cardinal: integration of personality and soul—will)

A great drive to unite the often contrary forces of the personal self so that the inner self can find adequate means of expression for its enduring deeper purpose. This can involve a certain degree of resolve and the will to remain steady in the face of conflicting demands. Holding a particular goal or ideal steadily in mind without resorting to fanaticism or rigidity, no matter what obstacles, distractions or opposition may arise, is a first ray quality.

The process of alignment allows the more creative traits of the first ray to emerge: strength, courage, steadfastness, truthfulness arising from absolute fearlessness, decisive power and dispassionate leadership, and the capacity to grasp key issues in a broad–minded way.

1.2.2 In the development of self-awareness (Fixed: emotional balance—love-wisdom)

The first ray has a rather dramatic and often disruptive effect on our emotional lives. It can bring loss, sudden gain or radical changes, revelations and surprises. It strips away our defences through disillusion, enabling us to see through the veil of romanticism and experience the genuine power of emotion.

Sexually, where this is not driven by isolation and a fearful distancing, the first ray can highlight issues of dominance and submission. This might either be willingly expressed, or acted out unconsciously as a culturally-fuelled power struggle between sexual stereotypes.

1.2.3 In the need for experience (Mutable: physical refinement—intelligent activity)

The main effect of the first ray is to motivate radical departures from former life patterns and habits. This may come through serious illness, natural disaster, difficult life circumstances or—less traumatically—a singular volcanic outburst of an inner life formerly imprisoned within an outgrown lifestyle. Sometimes it can bring about a positive about-face in those living a self-destructive, or merely chronically repressed, life.

Once the initial revalatory awakening has occurred, a first ray individual lacking in wisdom often attempts to impose their way and ideas on others and, longing for power and authority, may even gather around them a group of compliant individuals who they can—directly or indirectly—control. No matter how confident they may appear, there is often a lovelessness and fear of isolation at the heart of this desperate activity, and many individuals who follow this course—some of them so-called ‘gurus’ or other kinds of ‘spiritual leaders’—are shaken from their pedestal when the empire they have built collapses, often due to their own personal failings. First ray energy will always seek out weaknesses in order to shatter forms that limit growth, thus liberating the imprisoned life, sometimes through dissilusion, other times through dramatic dissolution.

Those influenced by the first ray at the personal level can be fairly detached and even cold towards others, considering the greater picture to such an extent that they avoid the vulnerability of intimacy and can remain aloof or at least reserved. They tend to carry others along with them by the sheer power of their own sense of direction, presuming a similar level of commitment in everyone else. To counter these faults they require a measure of tenderness, humility, sympathy, tolerance and patience.

1.3 General effect: Change (Mutable mode)

The first ray has a minimal effect on general human life, with its indirect influence being received primarily through the cultural changes and tides that sweep us all along in their wake. Wherever a first ray personality is in a position of power, there is a danger of political rigidity, dictatorship, fascism or just plain arrogance and indifference to suffering. But it is also apparent at times of great change, and in those capable of initiating those significant acts that bring about change. Just as the first ray—through powerful individuals—has contributed to the hierarchical power structures on which most industrialised cultures are based (based on the ‘top-down’ desire of the few to control the many), it is now bringing about the rapid destruction of those same structures as their usefulness declines in favour of coordinated, decentralised networks.

1.3.1 Effect on average individual

Most people are unaware of the influence of the first ray, for they have little need of its power. They may experience turning points in life inspired by its energy, but it has no permanent place in the individual consciousness of the majority of people.

Those in positions of power, or anyone who is particularly successful, may through their ruthlessness or obsession with positions of influence utilise first ray energy for their own ends, but will not experience the liberating possibilities of its subtler effects.