The Path, March, 1894
The whole mystic fraternity of Astrologers is now engaged in showing how the heavens portend great changes on this our earth. They agree with H.P.B., who said that her Eastern friends told her of coming cyclic changes now very near at hand. Beyond doubt there is some truth in all these sayings, although here and there the astrologers definitely prognosticating are not supported by fact. Sepharial, for instance, staked his reputation on the death of the Prince of Wales, which did not come off, and now where is the reputation? Just as good as ever, for astrologers know that either the judgment of the astrologer may be at fault from sundry causes, or that the birth-hour may be wrong, or that some saving aspect of the stars has been overlooked. Great earthquakes like that of Zante or the one in Kuchan come up, and the astrologers, while they regularly in those years foresaw earthquakes, did not seem able to locate them for any spot. They were afraid to say Persia for fear it might be in London. But earth quakes were foretold. A steady prognostication of disturbance has been indulged in, and this general outlook would seem right. The disturbances were expected in the realm of mind, morals, and religion by those true astrologers who seldom speak, and the increase of crime like that of bomb-throwing justifies each month the general prediction. Seismic disturbance is the physical sign of disturbance in the moral, psyhic, and mental fields. This is an old axiom in the East. In the record of the earthquake said to have taken place when Jesus died we have the Christian reflection of the same idea.
That earthquakes, floods, and great social changes would go on increasing has been known to Theosophists since the day Tom Paine saw psychically “a new order of things for the human race opening in the affairs of America,” before the revolution. And ever since the increment of disaster has been great. The motto adopted by the makers of the Union—”A new order of ages”—was an echo from the realm of soul to the ears of men on earth. It marked a point in the cycle. The record of the disasters during the years since then would be found appalling. It takes in Asia and Europe, and would show millions of sudden deaths by violent earth-convulsions. And now in 1894 even Herbert Spencer, looking at the mental and social fields of human life, says in a magazine article:
A nation of which the legislators vote as they were bid and of which the workers surrender their rights of selling their labor where they please has neither the ideas nor the sentiments needed for the maintenance of liberty. . . . We are on the way back to the rule of the strong hand in the shape of the bureaucratic despotism of a socialistic organization and then of the military despotism which must follow it; if, indeed, some social crash does not bring the latter upon us more quickly.
Evidently this deeply philosophical and statistical writer feels the pressure in the atmosphere of social and material life. There is much unconscious prophecy in what he says. Earthquakes and deaths from them are dreadful, but they can be avoided when their probable place is known. But social earthquakes, moral pestilence, mental change belong to man, go with him where he goes, and cannot be averted by any alteration of place.
In the Illustrated American a writer on astrology gives definite prophecy of disaster. He erects a figure of the heavens for noon of November 12, 1894, showing a conjunction of Sun, Uranus, Venus, and Mercury in Scorpio, with Saturn only fifteen degrees away. Astrologically this is very bad. With the moon at the full in Taurus—the bull—it is ominous of floods and earthquakes. But we may add that in the psychic Zodiac it shows floods and heaving in the moral and social structure of the poor orphan man. Uranus and Saturn are bad planets anyway; they are erratic and heavy, subtle, dark, and menacing. This writer predicts ominously, but remains indefinite as to place. We will add that dying nations like those of Persia and China will feel most whatever effects shall be due; and in Europe, while there will be physical disturbance, the greater trouble will be in the social and governmental structures.
The astrologer then runs forward to December 30, 1901, when he says six planets will be in one sign and in a line, with a seventh opposite on the same line projected. This, it is said by such an ancient sage as Berosus, will bring a flood when it takes place in the zodiacal sign Capricornus, as is to be the case in 1901.
Many Theosophists believe these prognostications, others deride them. The former ask what shall we do? Nothing. Stay where you are. If you remove, it is more than likely you will run into the jaws of a blacker fate. Do your duty where you find yourself, and if from your goodness you are a favorite of the gods you will escape, while if you are not their favorite it is better for you to die and take another chance at bettering your character. Death will come when it will, and why should we fear, since it is “a necessary end.” Theosophists too often occupy themselves with these woful lookings into the future, to the detriment of their present work. They should try to discover the fine line of duty and endeavor, leaving the astrologers of today, who are more at sea than any other mystics, to con over a zodiac that is out of place and calculate with tables which delude with the subtle power that figures have to lie when the basis of calculation is wrong.