The esoteric philosophy of Helena Blavatsky and Alice A Bailey both advocated the idea of the seven rays. These mysterious rays have been described as “seven great divine Emanations, Aeons or Spirits”1 and “Seven Holy Ones, self-born from the inherent power in the Matrix of Mother Substance.”2 It is said that each ray holds a unique quality which manifests in the universe and throughout all of creation.
Earlier this year my organisation, Goddess Within, produced a ritual performance piece entitled “The Goddess and the Seven Rays”. The aim of the performance was to map the rays to well-documented Goddess archetypes and through their stories come to understand how these ray qualities manifest within human consciousness.
The following is an extract from that performance piece. As you read the text treat it like an invocation which aims to bring through the qualities of the seven rays into your consciousness through the corresponding Goddess.
The First Ray of Will and Power
“I am the Life principle and the destroyer Ray.”
Kali, the Goddess sacred to Hindus around the world is the Goddess of Creation. She dances in the starry heavens on the back of Lord Shiva, redeeming the universe.
Her dance made all the heavens and the earths, all the stars and moons and planets. All that is seen and unseen comes from Kali’s celestial dance.
Kali is worshiped as the Mother Creatrix by her followers. She holds the qualities of the First Ray, the Ray of Will/Power. Kali’s power is in every cell, atom and molecule of your being. She is the power of life and death, and the power behind all activity.
In humanity the First Ray can be seen in our determination and will, in our ability to be one-pointed with the precision of a laser beam.
Kali as the First Ray is found behind our will-to-good, our skilful will and our strong will. Kali is the power we use to make manifest and it is Kali who destroys our manifestations when we let go.
Kali is seen within us when we lose control or become punch drunk on power and the need to be right at all costs.
Kali is the first and the last because it is through the First Ray that all beginnings begin and all endings end.
And at the centre of the First Ray, Kali’s message to us is this:
“In every ending is a new beginning.”
The Second Ray of Love/Wisdom
Mother Mary, the Virgin Matter, the Immaculate Conception. These are the names given to the Christian Goddess who holds within her story the energy of the Second Ray.
Mary is the Virgin Mother of Jesus the Christ child. In her story she needs no activating principle from a human to give birth; her seed comes directly from Spirit.
Mary is worshiped as the Divine Mother of the Divine Child. She holds the qualities of the Second Ray, the Ray of Love/Wisdom as she endlessly gives birth to the spiritual principle in us all.
Mary is true love. She is beyond the emotional sentiment of love. Beyond the so-called love we cling to when we are attached to a person and happy with them only when they give us what we want. Mary is beyond this selfish love, she is the deep well of connection we have to one another, our true non-judgemental compassion.
Through the qualities of love and compassion Mary shows us the simple truth “love one another”. From the experience of that loving we grow in wisdom.
Lovingly gentle and kind as Mary is, she is also wisdom. She knows that it is the role of a mother to free the child when that child is ready to fly the nest. Knowing when to let go is the wisdom Mary brings.
Mary can be seen in our willingness to accept one another and in the compassion we feel when we see pain and suffering. She is present in our abilities to learn from that pain and suffering, just like the wisdom of the Second Ray.
And at the centre of the Second Ray Mary’s message is this:
“Grow wise on loving one another”.
The Third Ray of Activity & Intelligence
Brigid is the bright one, Goddess of the Celtic peoples, sacred to the British Isles. She is the Lady of the Smithy, the Healer and the Inspirer and she holds the Energy of the Third Ray of Activity and Intelligence.
Brigid holds the flame of truth within her stories. Her flaming, red fiery hair tells us she is not of this world. This gives us the clue to understanding her Third Ray aspects as the flames on her head represent the Goddesses knowledge and understanding.
Brigid is active in all our thoughts and learning; she is present in us when we use our mind and intelligence to create. Her energy is how we make our lives real through our thoughts.
Every day for us humans is a day of making. When we rise on a morning we are thinking from that moment to the next, our minds are busy creating our future reality. Brigid is present as the third ray when we consciously create our reality.
Brigid is the Goddess of poetry and inspiration. Through her flaming hair she links us to our soul, our true inspiration and intuition.
Brigid is alive in all our ideas and dreams and as the Third Ray of active intelligence makes our ideas and dreams reality. She is the alchemy of higher mind.
We cannot have only will and wisdom, power and love; we need the bridge that joins them together. This bridge is the Third Ray of active intelligence. The ray of Brigid the Bridge.
And at the centre of the Third Ray Brigid’s message to us is this….
“Bring together the elements, I will forge them in my smithy and make anew”
The Fourth Ray of Beauty and Harmony through Conflict
The Welsh Lover Goddess Rhiannon is present in all of our earthly love, in the beauty of our sentiment and in all that we learn when we are faced with conflict and suffering.
Like the Fourth Ray, Rhiannon holds the balance of life in her hands. Rhiannon is the Goddess who blesses the land with all the beauty of the flowers and fresh green growth in spring time.
Rhiannon fell in love with a mortal man. She was naive about the ways of humans and through their fear and malice she experienced untold conflict and suffering. And yet her story tells us that she triumphed and remembered she was not a mortal but a Goddess. Just as we are all reflections, seeds of the one divine life.
Rhiannon is also called Rigatona, the great Queen, and like all queens she has the ability to show strong affection and sympathy to her people. A Goddess Queen is physically courageous, generous and just. Like the Fourth Ray her intelligence and perceptions are quick.
Rhiannon makes life beautiful and when we know beauty is within us we can bring the qualities of this Ray into relationship within ourselves.
And at the centre of the Fourth Ray Rhiannon’s message to us is this:
“I am love, known only through the opposites”
The Fifth Ray of Science and Concrete Knowledge
The Roman Goddess Minerva, like her Greek representation Athena, wears an owl to represent the wisdom and knowledge she holds.
Like Minerva, our Fifth Ray qualities can be seen in our common-sense, uprightness, independence and keen intellects; when we need to know the truth and the reason for things.
Minerva is sacred to all thinkers and people of science. She is present whenever we learn anything through our desire to understand its constituent parts. She is the Goddess who helps us study, the patroness of medicine and all scientists who search for the truth of a thing.
Like the Fifth Ray, Minerva is a Goddess of justice (without mercy) and for this reason she is the patroness of War.
The Fifth Ray quality of Minerva is perseverance, yet this quality can also come across in narrowness and our human arrogance, in thinking we know it all and being closed to what is beyond our current world view.
Minerva comes to us through the Fifth Ray on the wings of her Owl, a creature with brilliant eyes. Like Minerva owl has learnt to see through the darkness of ignorance.
And at the centre of the Fifth Ray Minerva’s message to us is this….
“Learn the truth, through knowing the sum of the parts”
The Sixth Ray of Devotion
The Inuit Goddess Sedna holds within her story the qualities of the Sixth Ray. Sedna was a princess who through her fear of letting go became a sacrifice to the ancient ocean.
The oceans of the Inuit people had failed to provide food and fish and so Sedna’s father, the king, devoted as he was to his people, sacrificed his only daughter to the sea.
Sedna was of course scared to die and when it was time for her to be sacrificed she was pushed into the sea. In fear she clung to the side of her father’s boat. Her fingers were cut away so she could cling no more; she sank to the bottom.
As she was sinking, miraculously all the creatures of the sea began to spring from the wounds of her hands and re-populate the ocean.
Sedna had remembered her status as Goddess of the Oceans and reclaimed her rightful place as mother to all creatures.
Just as in Sedna’s story, when we show devotion, single-mindedness, love, tenderness, loyalty and reverence we can transform the sacrifices we make into life giving energy.
Through the Sixth Ray we can learn that true devotion to the soul can help us let go of self-deception, superstition and prejudice.
And at the centre of the Sixth Ray Sedna’s message to us is this….
“Devote yourself to the truth”
The Seventh Ray of Ceremonial Order and Magic
Auset is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess who used the magic she had gained to bring back together the scattered parts of her lover/brother, the God Osiris. Auset is patroness of all magic; it was she who used all of her skilful will to gain knowledge of magic from the God Ra. Through her magic she was able to resurrect Osiris so balance could be brought back to the Land of the Pharaoh’s.
During the times when our personalities and souls have been broken and scattered it is through Isis Auset that we come to know how to bring the pieces of ourselves back together.
Through the synthesising and binding effects of the Seventh Ray we see that each time we realise a truth about ourselves, each time we bring back a piece of ourselves that has been long forgotten we are working true magic.
Many people are searching to find freedom from suffering through reclaiming their missing pieces of soul and personality; just as Isis Auset searched for the missing pieces of Osiris to bring him back to life. It is said that the Seventh Ray is the ray of the new era, the ray that will bring humanity back together within spirit.
Through the Seventh Ray we learn that to be magical is about bringing order to our lives in a sacred way.
And at the centre of the Seventh Ray Auset’s message to us is this….
“Out of the chaos, order always comes.”
Images from www.sxc.hu royalty free