Many mistaken conceptions exist in the minds of Theosophists and others regarding who or what is the “Planetary Spirit” of our Earth.
Some of these ideas have come about as a result of certain Theosophists after the time of H.P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge having equated the Great Being – the Supreme Head of all the Adepts, who dwells at Shamballa (also written Shambhala) and is spoken of in the article titled The Great Sacrifice & The Mystery-Land of Shambhala – with the Planetary Spirit, calling him the “Planetary Logos.”
According to genuine Theosophy, i.e. Theosophy as presented by the Masters and the one they called their “Direct Agent” HPB, the Lord of Shamballa is not the Planetary Spirit. For one thing, the work of the two is extremely different. Also, neither the Lord of Shamballa nor the Planetary Spirit are ever referred to in genuine Theosophy as the “Planetary Logos.” This latter term appears nowhere in the voluminous writings of HPB, nor in the many hundreds of letters written by the Masters themselves. It was invented sometime in the early 1900s by the infamous C.W. Leadbeater when he was busily engaged in the entire rewriting of the teachings of Theosophy.
So what does actual Theosophy have to say about the Planetary Spirit? It can be condensed into these seven main points:
#1. All planets have their own Planetary Spirits, which are “primarily the rulers or governors of the planets. As our earth has its hierarchy of terrestrial planetary spirits, from the highest to the lowest plane, so has every other heavenly body.” (H.P. Blavatsky, “Theosophical Glossary” p. 255)
#2. “There is a marked difference, however, between the Rulers of the Sacred Planets and the Rulers of a small “chain” of worlds like our own. … Say what one may, our Earth was never numbered among the seven sacred planets of the ancients, though in exoteric, popular astrology it stood as a substitute for a secret planet now lost to astronomy, yet well known to initiated specialists. Nor were the Sun or the Moon in that number, though accepted in our day by modern astrology; for the Sun is a Central Star, and the Moon a dead planet.” (HPB, “Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge” p. 47)
The seven sacred planets as recognised in Theosophy are Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and two others, about which HPB says, “One is an intra-Mercurial planet, which is supposed to have been discovered, and named by anticipation Vulcan, and the other a planet with a retrograde motion, sometimes visible at a certain hour of night and apparently near the moon. The occult influence of this planet is transmitted by the moon.” (“Transactions” p. 48) What makes a planet sacred in esoteric terminology is the important degree of its connection with, and influence upon, our planet and our humanity.
#3. The Planetary Spirit of Earth is referred to by various names, including the Spirit of Earth, the Earth Spirit, the Terrestrial Spirit, the Planetary Spirit, and – as in Stanza 1:1 from the Secret Book of Dzyan in “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2 (“Anthropogenesis”) – “The Lha which turns the fourth [who] is subservient to the Lha of the Seven.”
#4. “The terrestrial spirit of the earth is not of a very high grade.” (“Transactions” p. 48) “Our earth, being as yet only in its fourth round, is far too young to have produced high planetary spirits.” (“Theosophical Glossary” p. 255)
#5. Although the Planetary Spirits of the sacred planets are of a far higher, more advanced, and more truly spiritual nature than our own, it is still nevertheless the case that “the planetary spirit has nothing to do with the spiritual man, but with things of matter and cosmic beings. … they form into shape and fashion cosmic matter, for which they were called Cosmocratores. They never had any concern with spirit; the Dhyani-Buddhas, belonging to quite a different hierarchy, are especially concerned with the latter.” (“Transactions” p. 48) “They have everything to do with matter, but not with spirit. … They have something to do with the fourth principle but with the three higher principles they have nothing to do whatever.” (HPB, “The Secret Doctrine Dialogues” p. 98-99)
The fourth of the Seven Principles of both man and Cosmos is Kama, the desire/passional principle. It may also be thought of in the sense of impulsion and instinctual activity. The three higher Principles, also called the Spiritual Triad or Upper Imperishable Triad, are Atma-Buddhi-Manas, which are defined and explained in more depth in the article The Sevenfold Nature of Man than can be gone into here.
“The “Builders” are a class called, as I already explained, Cosmocratores, or the invisible but intelligent Masons, who fashion matter according to the ideal plan ready for them in that which we call Divine and Cosmic Ideation.” (“Transactions” p. 49)
#6. No Planetary Spirit is actually an individual or personal Being or Entity. A Planetary Spirit exists and operates in the collective nature of a hierarchy. When asked whether the “Builders” of our Earth “act under the guidance of the Terrestrial Planetary Spirit,” HPB explains that they are “collectively that Spirit themselves. I wish you to understand that they are not an Entity, a kind of a personal God, but Forces of nature acting under one immutable Law, on the nature of which it is certainly useless for us to speculate.” (“Transactions” p. 49) The Gnostics recognised that there were seven Builders or Spirits of the Earth (see “Transactions” p. 96) and an esoteric Commentary quoted on p. 28 of “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2 refers to “The Spirit of the Earth and his six assistants.”
#7. The Planetary Spirits of the seven sacred planets “have everything to do with the earth, physically and morally. It is they who rule its destinies and the fate of men. They are Karmic agencies.” (“Transactions” p. 48) And the Commentary just referred to reveals that –
“The Globe, propelled onward by the Spirit of the Earth and his six assistants, gets all its vital forces, life, and powers through the medium of the seven planetary Dhyanis from the Spirit of the Sun. They are his messengers of Light and Life.”
“Like each of the seven regions of the Earth, each of the seven First-born (the primordial human groups) receives its light and life from its own especial Dhyani – spiritually, and from the palace (house, the planet) of that Dhyani physically; so with the seven great Races to be born on it. The first is born under the Sun; the second under Brihaspati (Jupiter); the third under Lohitanga (the “fiery-bodied,” Venus, or Sukra); the fourth, under Soma (the Moon, our Globe also, the Fourth Sphere, being born under and from the Moon) and Sani, Saturn, the Krura-lochana (evil-eyed) and the Asita (the dark); the fifth, under Budha (Mercury).”
“So also with man and every ‘man’ in man (every principle). Each gets its specific quality from its primary (the planetary spirit), therefore every man is a septenate (or a combination of principles, each having its origin in a quality of that special Dhyani). Every active power or force of the earth comes to her from one of the seven Lords. Light comes through Sukra (Venus), who receives a triple supply, and gives one-third of it to the Earth. Therefore the two are called ‘Twin-sisters,’ but the Spirit of the Earth is subservient to the ‘Lord’ of Sukra. Our wise men represent the two Globes, one over, the other under the double Sign (the primeval Svastica bereft of its four arms, or the cross +).” (HPB, “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 28-29)
The five Root Races enumerated above are the “Polarian,” the Hyperborean, the Lemurian, the Atlantean, and the Aryan or Indo-Caucasian, which is the fifth and our presently evolving Root Race. The sixth and seventh have not yet come into being.
“Venus is the most occult, powerful, and mysterious of all the planets; the one whose influence upon, and relation to the Earth is most prominent. … According to the Occult Doctrine, this planet is our Earth’s primary, and its spiritual prototype. … Venus, or Lucifer (also Sukra and Usanas) the planet, is the light-bearer of our Earth, in both its physical and mystic sense.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 30, 31, 32)
Another esoteric Commentary states that “Every sin committed on Earth is felt by Usanas-Sukra. The Guru of the Daityas is the Guardian Spirit of the Earth and Men. Every change on Sukra is felt on, and reflected by, the Earth,” whilst another informs us that –
“Every world has its parent star and sister planet. Thus Earth is the adopted child and younger brother of Venus, but its inhabitants are of their own kind. . . . All sentient complete beings (full septenary men or higher beings) are furnished, in their beginnings, with forms and organisms in full harmony with the nature and state of the sphere they inhabit.”
“The Spheres of Being, or centres of life, which are isolated nuclei breeding their men and their animals, are numberless; not one has any resemblance to its sister-companion or to any other in its own special progeny.”
“All have a double physical and spiritual nature.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 31, 33)
“The “Breath” of all the “seven” is said to be Bhaskara (light-making), because they (the planets) were all comets and suns in their origin. They evolve into Manvantaric life from primaeval Chaos (now the noumenon of irresolvable nebulae) by aggregation and accumulation of the primary differentiations of the eternal matter, according to the beautiful expression in the Commentary, “Thus the Sons of Light clothed themselves in the fabric of Darkness.” They are called allegorically “the Heavenly Snails,” on account of their (to us) formless INTELLIGENCES inhabiting unseen their starry and planetary homes, and, so to speak, carrying them as the snails do along with themselves in their revolution.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 103)
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We are also warned that “As to Mars, Mercury, and “the four other planets,” they bear a relation to Earth of which no master or high Occultist will ever speak, much less explain the nature.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 163-164)
Those esoteric students who find themselves feeling dissatisfied with what they perceive as the lack of clear and extensive information presented in the Theosophical teachings regarding the planets and their relations to one another, and who instead begin searching after anyone who promises to tell them “the whole truth” about such matters, should perhaps try to bear this in mind and be grateful for the relatively large amount of truths from the Sacred Science that the Masters have already deemed fit to give out to the world.
As HPB once remarked, it would take at least a further two huge volumes of “The Secret Doctrine” to outline and explain the details of the various Hierarchies of spiritual and divine beings and that would be almost entirely impossible to understand and of next to no use or value before the extant two volumes have been thoroughly studied, fully assimilated, and properly comprehended, something which would take even longer than one lifetime.
Hence the important words of the Master K.H., that “The Secret Doctrine” – being, as he described it, the “triple production” of himself and the Master M. with their “Brother” HPB – is the “epitome of occult truths that will make it a source of information and instruction for the earnest student for long years to come.”
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If Sun thou canst not be, then be the humble planet. Aye, if thou art debarred from flaming like the noon-day Sun upon the snow-capped mount of purity eternal, then choose, O Neophyte, a humbler course.
Point out the “Way” – however dimly, and lost among the host – as does the evening star to those who tread their path in darkness.
Behold Migmar, as in his crimson veils his “Eye” sweeps over slumbering Earth. Behold the fiery aura of the “Hand” of Lhagpa extended in protecting love over the heads of his ascetics. Both are now servants to Nyima [“The Sun. Nyima, the Sun in Tibetan Astrology. Migmar or Mars is symbolized by an “Eye,” and Lhagpa or Mercury by a “Hand”.”], left in his absence silent watchers in the night. Yet both in Kalpas past were bright Nyimas, and may in future “Days” again become two Suns. Such are the falls and rises of the Karmic Law in nature.
Be, O Lanoo, like them. Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and seek out him who knows still less than thou; who in his wretched desolation sits starving for the bread of Wisdom and the bread which feeds the shadow, without a Teacher, hope or consolation, and – let him hear the Law.
(“The Voice of the Silence” p. 39-40, translated by H.P. Blavatsky from The Book of the Golden Precepts)
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