The Seven Year Cycles on the Tree of Life

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Extracts from “Manishya – on Being Human”  by Jane Adams and Paul Taylor, published in 2010 privately.  This includes some thoughts on Kundalini Shakti.

Yoga in the Eastern traditions, and Kabbalah in our Western traditions, help us to realise our human potential to unite our physical and spiritual being.  Yoga means in Sanskrit “to join, to bridge” or Union.  Kabbalah in Aramaic is “to receive“.  Through Kabbalah – the Tree of Life – we learn about the creation of our soul and its descent through the Four Worlds towards our parents making love.  This gives us an understanding of why we incarnate to those parents;  and the unfolding of the father’s seed in the womb of the mother, on the line of the spine.  The way this happens colours all our life and responses.  So we discover the nature of the mind and our creative destiny;  the pattern of our ancestral genetic conditioning.  We intuit the primal force behind our sexuality, the human relationship to the elementals and life on earth.

Having made this descent through the pathways of the Tree, we discover the return  journey to our Source, through the body, personality and soul. We learn through the seven-year-cycles.

In our first seven years (under Aries – birth and initiation) – we are energetically attached to mother.  In the second, (7 – 14)  identifying more with father and the external world, we go out to learn and to imitate.  We begin to establish our ego base (Taurus), relating to our own peer group.

The third cycle (age 14 – 21) awakens puberty and discovery of our sexual urges.  We twin, as in Gemini – I love you, do you love me?  Through adolescent initiation, the mood swings dark and light –  the labyrinth, as we encounter our extremes.   And we upset the applecart and leave home.

During the fourth and Cancerian cycle (age 21 – 28) through rebellion and personality growth, we seek a home of our own.  We try to navigate the split between our conditioned self (Yesod) and our true Self (Tifareth):  the “I” and the “Am”.

At the end of this cycle, with the Saturn return at 28 years, our unconscious patterns come to a head.  There is some constructive movement and evaluation towards being who we really are.  This tends to be a decisive time;  and many of us settle into a marriage, a profession, or some formative crisis.

The fifth seven year cycle (28 – 35, Leo) develops our qualifications, adult authority and responsibility – the learning curve of authority with, not over others.  This matures us from the co-dependent lion-cub towards interdependent adult relationships.

The sixth cycle (age 35 – 42, Virgo) is about our life’s operation.  What am I really meant to be doing here?  Am I to be pushed around by fate, or to discover my destiny?  This period covers our Uranus Opposition.  Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the Sun, and as we near 40, he is half way round.  Our creative and physical powers blossom.  At their peak, we seize or lose our vocation.  For some of us, these very powerful feelings generate another 7 year itch.   The boat rocks – we learn to navigate our own Atlantic.

Age 42 -49 (Libra), we seek a greater sense of balance and awareness of Karma – life’s cause and effect.  By age 49 – the midlife crisis – we are vulnerable again.  Women start to develop more testosterone, the male hormone, and men more oestrogen, the female hormone.  Each cycle brings up what we still need to know about life.  Like it or not, we all go through this sexually challenging process:  being human.

49 – 56 (Scorpio) is as powerful as puberty.  A parent may die and we start to become aware of mortality:  sex, death and transformation.  Some unavoidable and crucial issue, may tip us into the deep end, as this period covers the Cheiron Return in our life cycle – Cheiron the wounded healer.   Many hard working persons face redundancy.   Growth is inward.

56 – 63 (Sagittarius) At 56, our second Saturn Return begins to take shape.  Wisdom and understanding expand into awareness of our physical limitations.  We have a human priority to conserve our energy – to simplify and unburden.  In this ninth cycle governed by Sagittarius, we need to perceive our life holistically.  We gather the threads together,  examine our physical security and prepare for old age.  The doors open for some souls to travel forth, as the family have grown up or left home.  If we are awake, we put into practice our philosophy of life.

63 – 70 (Capricorn) is like a new birth.  We re-evaluate and sum up our life’s experiences.  With some of our edges eroded by the Sculptor, we become better managers.   Perhaps we are grandparents and rediscovering youth.

70 – 77 (Aquarius)  – As physical vitality begins to decline,  a need for human fellowship expands: to further our wisdom and understanding.

77 – 84 (Pisces) – where will I put my head down to die?   How do I complete my journey of return?

Continuing through these cycles, illness may make our learning curve more problematic, if we resist it;  or we may roll with it and gain brownie points.  In some cultures, 84 years old when the twelfth cycle culminates, is seen as a “complete life”.  Additional years are “icing on the ‘ache”.

Jacobs Ladder – Four Worlds in nature

Kabbalah teaches that we are a reflection of the Universe; a form and structure for our lives which resonates through background, culture, creed or gender.  We have a choice:  to remain outside our humanity, as a conditioned shell alienated by past religious persecutions and repressions;  or to embrace our innate potential as we develop our odyssey in consciousness, truth and love.

The living Kabbalah is not theory, and only pointers are to be found in books.  It walks forth in practice and by word of mouth:  keep practicing.

So we continue to: “Part the waves … Kiss the lips … Turn the wheel … Place fingers on the numbers of the clock … Enter the cave … Find the jewel … Climb the mountain … Through the rainbow.  Be happy, do service and die consciously.”  

The Tifareth eight-fold path

The bridging of Yoga and Kabbalah traditions is a work of unification.  It integrates a structured spiritual journey.  To enquire into essence, follow the conscious breath.  We are children of the Holy One, and the caste is Manishya – being human.

May the Star of David, the Cross of Christ and the Crescent of Islam combine and merge in peace, the One Great Circle:  the point, the primordial Sound.

"And the children in the apple tree   
not known, because not looked for   
but heard, half heard, in the stillness   
between two waves of the sea. 
Quick now: here, now, always -   
a condition of complete simplicity    
(costing not less than everything) 
and all shall be well and   
all manner of things shall be well   
when the tongues of flame are in-folded   
into the crowned knot of fire   
and the Rose and the Fire are one."

T.S.Eliot

apple pentacle

A wild rose has five petals – nature’s five point Star.  An apple has 10 pips, five in each half.  The rose … apple … desire Eve … symbolise the quintessence of human desire in the Tree.  Our feet, hands and head are the five points of a Vitruvian Star:  Yeshua – JAH LIBERATES:  the five fold sensory field – sound, touch, sight, smell, taste.  The cosmic Law liberates when it is embodied.  The lightning flash must reach earth.

The rose is cultivated by humankind to grow multiples of five on five, furled, opening and perfumed – the flower of Venus.  This diagram from Keith Critchlow’s new book The Hidden Geometry of Flowers shows “the continuous linear diagram of the relationship between earth and the planet Venus.  How could one not see a flower in this time diagram?”

On the geo-physical plane, the planet Venus appears to our measurement, unbearably hot and dense. Her high frequency is one which our biosphere spectrum cannot tolerate.  However, on the plane of archetypes, Venus is something quite other; the magnetic correspondence of our emotional life.

Consider eros, rose, the rosy cross of everything which happens in life:  the crux.  Like is treating like!  The rose is the heart of human desire and personal love.  Locate the rose where we feel the thorns!  Within every energy level, touch the rose, smell and know it well.  From this we grow our Tree.

A Rosy Cross to Bear 

Meeting life is a rose. 
Do not, in pleasure or pain, close the door.  
Enter the petal'd vortex of 
each motive, every tear 
through rosy scent to liberate. 

The canvas stretched upon my frame 
with each event recalls 
my rose to meet: 
so walk into this world of mine 
right through the mind. 

If I some doors close, and others open, 
I drift, I err in the bas-relief 
that separates day and night - the habit  
of pain, of time and of 
avoidance.   

If I entering each event, 
smell its rose, 
the voyage into vibrant void is space. 
My widening concentric ripple floats.  

Every sound, each atom of the house   
is garlanded.  
My fury is the key to enter a rose:  
visitor invited in. 

Petals bloom and die: my eye  
in the field opens, 
and deep in flower ere  
the flower began, I 
the bride in lotus space undress.  

Thou shalt separate  
from the sensual, the radiant,   
gently and with wisdom.  

Thou shalt let its essence soar  
into heaven's heart   
then re-enter the earthy art.   

Then thou shalt have the power 
above as below   
in root potency of things.

A poem from my book The Masters’ Eye 1992-2010

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A Madonna from my early childhood …

… after Botticelli, 1956

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A Note on Alchemy and Kundalini shakti

Alchemy is western Yoga:  the crucible is the breath.  Yoga is “Union”.

Alchemy applies steady warmth and air, like a pan on a low heat, or a hen’s breast brooding her eggs.  When the ocean tide – the breath –  is clear and quiet, we see and dive for gold:  khumbaka.

Water sinks into the earth; a flame combusts with air and rises.  The prana Fire triangle rising through the apana Water triangle receives – like a lens – the Lotus (Kether, crown) into Tifareth, the heart.

The OM figure in this drawing has a small eye, under the uraeus serpent head.  The eye is in the shape of a D for Daat.  Daat in the Tree of Life is the Sefira of “unknown cognition”.  This factor is our Union with all life.   The little arrows indicate a conscious breath to link third-eye and heart (Tifareth), in Paul Taylor’s practice.

See also “Parvati Waters Trees“, below – her posture.

The Kundalini Shakti coiled in the earth rises up through the personal reservoir, picking up vital energy, but she doesn’t draw water from it.  If we used only the reservoir which is collected in our Yesod sphere, it would put out the secret fire and be depleted.  The serpent glides up through the Water of Life, to awaken as fire through the alchemists’ bellows, the breath.   In the solar plexus furnace, she separates from the water and penetrates the heart, alchemical fire with air.  The Great Work in essence sustains the Divine thread.

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An Afterthought

Last week I woke from a dream, that I was trying to resolve a subtle equation of Venus and Mars.  It surfaced visually with this picture in the Sacred India Tarot Minor Arcana, of Parvati saluting Siva’s Messenger  …

Together with a poem “to the Veena”, it all made sense, and rapidly faded. Mars bowing to Venus, needed her to do the same, to balance the scales.  It was quite witty.

It fits well enough into today’s post.  Siva’s countenance in the background encircles eternally the action.  Siva is auspiciously formless:  only the forms are worshipped.

Kundalini Shakti awakes to  Purusha the Moveless One, and rises.  To these rare moments of recognition, outflow the offerings of our life.   Some enter a vocation:  others  hear their destiny in a private way.   Throughout nature, the roles of mars and venus are relative.   Whatever the gift bestowed, the receiver is  “feminine” to the giver, Yin to the prevailing Yang, like water to reflect the Sun.  This applies in principle, to the lightning-flash up and down the Tree of Life.  “Above” is feminine to the ascending power of the “Below”, and vice versa.  The opposites in full expression, are interdependent.

As our endochrynes grow older, we  comprehend a little more, our opposites.    The Daughter of the Mountain watering trees as she waits for Siva, is in her “posture of prayer.”   Ignatius Loyola said “Put yourself in the posture of prayer, and you will soon feel like praying.”   The same applies to imaging what we desire our life to be.

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Parvati waters Trees:  from The Sacred India Tarot, suit of Lotuses.  This and the 2 of Lotuses above, are copyright 2011 Sacred India Tarot by Rohit Arya & Jane Adams, Yogi Impressions Books, Mumbai 

How can I resist at this point  – my little daughter in the garden?

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My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

14 thoughts on “The Seven Year Cycles on the Tree of Life

  1. This is is a most interesting depiction of the cycles of Life . The Chinese have something similar but it focuses on the physical aspects of the seven year cycles . I was drawn to the depiction of the roses , having picked out a cluster of wild roses in my meditaion class recently . I was trying to figure out why I had picked the roses, out of a vast array of flowers . What was the meaning ? Your depiction answered my question . The picture of your daughter is really touching .
    This work is highly recommendable .

  2. The Chinese are an ancient Capricorn race – very pragmatic in medicine and in the Tao landscape. NB, later – not they are not Capricorn – they are Aquarius! But still ruled by Saturn.

  3. Thank you for the knowledge shared. I like the logic of the description and the artwork gave life to your thoughts. This is a amazing journey of life and possibilities.

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  7. Beautiful images, beautiful words. It’s amazing to me how closely my life has mirrored the 7 year cycles. I just entered the Capricorn cycle in November (Scorpio with sun squaring Pluto on the i.c.) and I’m definitely ready for a re-birth! I hear the voices saying “Pay Attention!”. Thank you for your enlightening and encouraging words.
    Peace,
    Steve

    • Thank you Steve, for visiting and reading. It is wonderful when we find how our lives really are these cyclic patterns, like the rings of Saturn and around the stems of the trees in your garden … and connected with and as everything. No other way for this, but living it as the human race we are ! – and er, growing older gracefully.

      As we’ve just been discussing, there are labels, and there are Names for conditions and weathers and aches and pains (which change) which are Sounds of Life, and spoken, written and sung. Such is Tao.
      Peace to you also,
      Jane

  8. The religions of the world are of the old tower of Babel – man striving to achieve heaven. The same with all of this, it is a spirit of anti-Christ. God’s final word to man was His son Jesus Christ. He has accomplished on our behalf the forgiveness of sin and the resurrection. No one will reach the father apart from Him alone. No flesh will glory in God’s presence. Christ is returning soon to be revealed – the apocalypse. Do you want to follow the glory of man, or do you want to serve the truth and the life? New age is a darkness that never reveals itself, it is from the liar.

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  10. dear jane,
    thanks for your lessons last year.
    Im still going through hard times.

    Thanks for everything. Best Regards.

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