Water triangle, also part of five signs on path of conscious development
Each of the four elemental triangles span all three crosses—Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable—the symbolism of which is crucial to an understanding of esoteric astrology. Each elemental triangle represents how the basic principles represented by each cross is reflected in human experience.
This triangle is an condensed picture of the entire process of human development that is the consequence of birth into material life (Cancer), experience through human conflict and emotional adjustment (Scorpio), leading to the eventual redundancy of and consequent withdrawal from (Pisces) the need for purely personal life in the mental, emotional and physical “three worlds of human endeavour”.
The three water signs give us… a brief and symbolic history of [humanity’s] growth and true personality development. It is a picture of the law of cause and effect.
The slow moving Crab, identified with its dwelling place and carrying its house upon its back, lives upon the land (physical plane life) and also in the sea (the life of the emotions)
- This describes the thoughtless, instinctive evolutionary process of development through the trial and error of successive incarnations, via corrections born of deeds repeated often enough so that the results of our actions gradually sink in. Our behaviour is accordingly modified in an attempts, initially to increase pleasure and minimise pain and, later, to achieve particular personal ends.
the Scorpion is rapid in movement, deadly in its effect upon [those] around it and is a creature of the land; it is also the symbol of the transformed Crab and the result of the evolutionary process, and indicates the dangerous nature of [those who are] not transformed and… therefore harmful and hurtful to others
- With experience, we learn how to utilise emotional experience to our advantage and, when these possibilities are exhausted, the same experience is transformed into wisdom. Our emotional life then respects the needs of others, and enables this experience to benefit those around us.
the Fishes indicate the [individual] from whom the symbol of materiality has been taken by the removal of half of the original symbol thus indicating freedom from matter.
- Pisces’ symbol was—according to Bailey—originally a mermaid-like figure, half goddess, half fish; the goddess half symbolising the natural world of physical matter (see Pisces). This suggests that ultimately, the human soul entirely exhausts the need for “immersion into the waters” of human experience; the consequences of every mental, emotional and physical action are apparent at all times, and there is no more need to learn through the purely personal human experience. We are
delivered from the womb of the Goddessand then begin another journey for which human life in the material world has been the ABC.
Connection with Virgo and Capricorn
Alice Bailey states that at a particular stage of development, five signs become prominent; the three water signs plus Virgo and Capricorn; and that consciously developing individuals will be born with one or other of these five as either their sun or rising sign. She goes on to explain:
One of the symbols of an initiate of a certain degree is that of the five-pointed star with a triangle in the centre; this is a reference to the energy of the watery triangle with which we have just been concerned and to the fivefold linking which has been established in the consciousness of the initiate.
This five-fold relationship is connected to the three great planetary centres of Humanity, the Hierarchy and Shamballa, or the expressions of the first three rays of aspect, or principles. It is outlined as follows, and adds a further dimension to the interpretation of this triangle:
- Ray three—Humanity
In Cancer, the influence of the human Hierarchy begins to make its presence felt and to include the dualism of man. This emerges clearly in Virgo. Soul and body are closely related and knit together in one form. Man is a conscious personality, and this is a result of the Cancer experience, consummated in Virgo.
- Such is the way of humanity. The human centre is active.
- Ray two—the Hierarchy
In Scorpio, the influence of the occult Hierarchy begins to set its seal on the human being, and their essential duality is put to the test. This is preparatory to a new and higher unity. He is at the miserable stage of being neither the soul or the form—the stage of transition.
- Such is the way of the disciple. The hierarchical centre affects them powerfully.
- Ray one—Shamballa
In Pisces, the influence of Shamballa claims the initiate as its field of activity and the dualism of soul and spirit emerges instead of that of soul and body which has hitherto been of major importance. The power of the form to hold the soul in captivity has been negated and tests and trials of the initiate up to the third initiation [in Capricorn] are directed to this end.
- Such is the way of the initiate.
Also see the other elemental triplicities:
- Fire: Aries-Leo-Sagittarius
- Air: Gemini-Libra-Aquarius
- Water: Cancer-Scorpio-Pisces
- Earth: Taurus-Virgo-Capricorn
Esoteric Astrology: 317-20