esoteric astrology map Ray 7: organisation, manifestation

Ray 7 triangle

One of 3 rays of Attribute

‘As above, so below, as in the greater, so in the lesser’. Rhythm, cycles, a sense of timing, pattern and order, rituals and ceremonies, groups of individuals acting co-operatively as conscious organic wholes. Correspondences and inner sympathies between differing things, the encapsulation of complex information in symbolic forms.

Quality:organisation, manifestation
Seventh ray signs:Capricorn (Aries, Cancer). Seventh ray triangle: Aries-Cancer-Capricorn
Planets (inner/outer):Uranus/(none)
Colours (inner/outer):violet/white-silver
Technique:co-ordinating, symbolic, physical
Symbols:Six circles can be drawn around a seventh. The number seven and the heptagon. Symbols, cryptic signs, and emblems in general.
Ray 7 triangles:

7.1 Group effect: Synthesis (Cardinal mode)

In all kinds of ways, the seventh ray produces the ability of active, and tendency for passive, forms to organise themselves in coherent, useful ways. In human life this quality is demonstrated in the similar human capacity to seek order. Meaningful correspondences and connections between different forms are thus formed, and these create the physical counterpart to the corresponding inner network of meaning. This kind of activity provides the basis for magical rituals, as well as for the formation of information or organisational networks, because what holds both magical correspondences and human networks together is a common purpose.

Because of the above quality, the seventh ray is also responsible for the summarising of complex information into concise packages; synthetically focused summaries of the contributing whole parts. In order for anything to appear or manifest, a form must be built that reflects the inner purpose seeking manifestation. The material substance of forms is drawn from a variety of sources, and the seventh ray ensures that these cohere, and give expression to the inner purpose.

Forms are only sustained as long as there is life in them, so the seventh ray only functions if there is a purpose behind the forms it builds. As soon as that purpose becomes outmoded, or is withdrawn, the form dissolves or is destroyed. This initial purpose and final withdrawal is the work of the first ray, to which the seventh is closely allied.

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

The great strength of seventh ray groups is in their power for organisation. They take the best of the old and combine this with new incoming ideas in such a way that the essence of both is given form and is presented as a unified whole. ‘Their work lies naturally on the physical plane. They can organise the evoked ideal which will embody as much of the [inner] idea … as the period and humanity can evidence and produce in form upon the earth. Their work is potent and necessary and calls for much skill in action.’Esoteric Psychology II, p145–6

To bring about the above, these groups work inwardly, to manifest appropriate cultural forms that encapsulate the essence of what is seeking manifestation in the spiritual and parallel material life of humanity. The subtle magical power of carefully constructed phrases as they give form to ideas is an example of this kind of work (e.g., the ‘Great Invocation’ was given by Bailey as the inaugurating mantram of the incoming seventh ray, although its wording now seems dated).

Overall, the main power of the seventh ray lies at present in the formation of groups everywhere that unite the activities of their contributors so that the result is greater than that which could be achieved by its parts. These outer groups are stimulated and guided by the subjective activities of that inner group whose aim is to create co-operative group forms that embody the incoming energy.

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

‘The difference between the methods of the old age and that of the new can be seen expressed in the idea of leadership by one and leadership by a group. It is the difference between the imposition of an individual’s response to an idea upon [others] and the reaction of a group to an idea, producing group idealism and focalising it into definite form, carrying forward the emergence of the idea without the dominance of any one individual. This is the major task today of the seventh ray disciple, and to this end [they] must bend every energy… [and] embody the group aspiration in an organised movement, which… is quite distinct from an organisation.’Esoteric Psychology II, p145–6

Many outer organisations and inner groups are experiencing at present the shift from the sixth to the seventh ray, as evidenced by the contrast between the idea of leadership as represented by a single personality, and the almost organic development of various networks. The average group of self-aware individuals, whether unified by an outer organisation or not, is responding to this shift. There is a growing emphasis on inclusive networks threaded together by ‘nodes’ consisting of decentralised groups of aware individuals who share their ideas, aspirations and activities in an organised way, without the dominance of a ‘leader’, elected or otherwise. They are not followers or members of some individual or of a single organisation, they are independently skilled co-workers drawn from a variety of backgrounds. Collectively, they are able to formulate ideas, activities, phrases, standards, codes of behaviour and other forms of cultural expression that encapsulate the fundamental motivation behind their collective existence. A good example of this kind of group on the mental level is the think-tank, and such groups now exist for almost every human activity. Wherever several such groups are interconnected, we have an example of seventh ray activity.

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

Summed up, the outcome of the seventh ray influence might be stated as follows: precision and cyclic order, free from undue control, manipulation or inflexibility.

One of the main contributions of the seventh ray to the individual growth process is an appreciation of the cyclic nature of time. The whole idea of cycles liberates us from the sixth ray intensity of the present, by offering a wider context within which those moments of extreme pleasure or pain are seen as phases in a more inclusive span of time. It follows that the we are then able to better organise our activities in order to make a more informed use of personal qualities and experience.

Alice Bailey states that the seventh ray is also linked with the incoming Aquarian influence, detailing one of the personal qualities needed to work with this energy as a willingness to work in a group as an integral part of the group, …having no idea of personal ambition or any wish to be a leader.Esoteric Psychology II, p145–6

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

Integration comes about through a very practical understanding of the natural laws of matter on all three personal levels—really, an understanding of the ‘karmic’ implications of our thoughts, feelings and actions—and by applying this ‘how and why’, the need for trial-and-error learning becomes redundant because, as this process reaches its conclusion, the individual becomes unable to commit any action without being simultaneously aware of the consequences. Such an individual becomes an expert—sometimes in an instinctive way—on the human personality and its cyclic interaction with the three areas of personal environment, and is able to function confidently as an integrated being on all three levels, without causing or experiencing ‘ripples’ in the pool of human consciousness that reflects the inner self.

It is a quality of this path that a fine appreciation of form on all levels is acquired, and there is a breadth of experience that is not apparent in the other ray paths. Through the practice of extreme care in details, the seventh ray individual is able to move with facility on every level, although their emotional life may be marked by a certain coolness and detachment when seen personally. However, this is quite distinct from the defensive or fearful withdrawal most apparent in an unaware application of the even-numbered rays, since a dispassionate gentleness and love are present, free from personal manipulation and expectation.

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

Originally seen as the ray of ritual magic; the practice of creative visualisation, with its allied manifestation of an inner plan, is part of the same process. In A Treatise on White Magic Alice Bailey offers a contemporary approach to this kind of magical manifestation. In place of the traditional techniques, she details methods that are centred around the creative involvement of the whole inner person, focusing on the mind’s ability to formulate and hold the process steady. This seventh ray concern is with gaining understanding of each of the three human worlds—mental, emotional and physical—and their role in the materialisation of some spiritual principle. The essential idea here is that of manifestation. It is crucial that the desired inner plan sees the light of day, and does not remain sterile on the inner levels. Rather than aspiring upwards to an inner ideal, the seventh ray moves from the inner towards materialisation on the outer level, so that something formerly only accessible inwardly is given a usable form.

From the Cabala to Castañeda, there are many magical and shamanic traditions, each with their own history; the one thing they have in common is that, unlike mystical paths, they focus on forging—rather than dissolving—the link between the inner and the outer worlds, aiming to stabilise this link through personal development and practice. In this way, the individual not only moves through their own process, but also builds something tangible on each of the three human levels, actually changing the substance of those levels so that others can access and then contribute to the same process. Over time, this modifies the structure of the human world, and brings about changes that reflect in a tangible way the developing human psyche.

Eventually, there is no comforting idealised inner world on this path, just the bare and often awesome reality of the world of energy in which we have our being, just as it is. Without preconception, the world lacks the illusory structure of levels and planes, spirits and rays, and is apprehended in its raw form. Magical and shamanic practices both offer and deny such a structure, for when the formulas have been used, once the ritual path has been trodden, it becomes dead and redundant; the actual experience gained takes its place. The individual searching for a structure is thus led towards a realisation of the vastness and interconnectedness of everything, and moves beyond the confines of their own personal practice into what Alice Bailey describes as ‘the magical work of interpretation’ {EPII p43}.

Emotionally, these seventh ray processes build resilience and strength through their demands on perseverance, courage and self–reliance. From the inner confidence built from a place of strength, courtesy, tolerance, humility, and respect for the ways of others follows. One of the inevitable consequences of developing personal congruency between the inner and outer self is that our emotions are more readily apparent in our bodily expression, through posture, through the quality of light on and through the skin, and through facial expression; provided that the cells of the body have been vitalised through balanced material living. Such apparent vulnerability can only come from strength.

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

The archetypal magician seeks one thing above all else—control. Magician or no, the seventh ray individual learns through this process to manipulate and gain experience in the three human fields of endeavour: mental, emotional and physical. Motive is everything at this point, since the attempt to manipulate and control for personal ends inevitably returns to its source. It is no accident that one of the best methods of psychic defence, both magically and psychologically, is reflection—the neutral return of the controlling force back to its origin.

‘Black magic’ is simply an attempt—once again generated more often than not by fear—to control events and people so that they fall in line with one’s intent. The patience and attention to detail this involves develop personal qualities that remain in the psyche and can eventually be utilised for altruistic ends. However, while the motive remains self-centred, the result is often chaos and disorder, brought on through an incomplete appreciation of all the interlinked factors involved in whatever the individual is seeking to control. Because they fail to see the greater picture, their meddling often results in disarray, rather than in creative change. The danger is that they will then attempt to force control through speech, personal power, sexuality, money, through anything that appears to offer a way of regaining control.

In formalised ritual organisations, such as the Masonic orders or traditional magical schools, there is always the opportunity to abuse power, which is why the codes of conduct in such organisations are so strict and detailed. But where formalism, bigotry, pride, narrowness, superficial judgements, and self–opinion hold sway, such organisations can wreak inner havoc with the fabric of society, and the individuals involved pile up so much in the way of karmic consequence that they risk being submerged by it. The learning process here leads the individual who may have been in danger of resorting to manipulation to realise through an understanding of the whole picture that the only true magic they can practice involves their own psyche so intimately, that to harm anything else through coercion is to harm themselves.

7.3 General effect: Change (Mutable mode)

The seventh ray has a greater affinity with the etheric or ‘energy’ levels than it has with the dense atoms of the physical world. As a result, it is closely bound up with the current refinement of the physical so that it more closely mirrors the etheric’s ability to act as a transparent carrier of energy. It is this that lies behind the incoming holistic approaches to the health of the body and—on a wider scale—of the planet. The upsurge of interest in the ‘energy body’ as expressed (for instance) in the acupuncture meridians corresponds to a growing sensitivity to ‘earth energies’ as given form by the idea of ley-lines and geomantic practices such as Feng Shui. The body of the Earth, as well as that of the individuals who live here are, through this change, becoming more able to respond transparently to the inner forces that motivate the material of which it is built.

The seventh ray also works in a more mundane manner, and is behind the drive of various organisations to produce a ‘corporate image’, with logos and advertising that summarises, embodies and then presents the meaning of an organisation. For example, TV advertising summarises and encapsulates in mini-films the whole ‘feel’ of the product or organisation.

The actual structure behind the growing information networks—the organisation, programming and electronic communication, driven in part by this largely commercial process—are an allied manifestation of seventh ray energy, and demonstrate a sympathy with the energy of the third ray. The planning and organisational facets of modern business skills are essentially seventh ray in their methods.

The ritualistic ‘pomp and circumstance’ of national, religious and royal ceremonies is an older representation of seventh ray methods, more allied to the passing energy of the sixth ray.

7.3.1 Effect on average individual

The mundane organisation of activities so that they are reasonably manageable is a manifestation of the seventh ray skill for cyclic order. The average demands of ordinary life, including family experience, are a good forcing house for seventh ray qualities. The organisation necessary to a coherent functioning of everyday life calls on the kind of skills that can be transferred, in particular, to the integration of the differing demands of the individual personality into a functioning whole, and the integration of that functioning whole into a wider collective purpose.