The member Lodges of AUM perform an annual cycle of ceremonies pertaining to the solstice and equinox periods (forming the Cardinal Cross) to which visiting Masons and non-Masons are invited. These ceremonies are not the ‘degree ceremonies’ of Masonry but are ceremonies particular to AUM as performed by trained ritualists. They mark important annual events in the time / space sequence of the cosmic ‘ritual in the heavens’ that enable us to participate in and cooperate with the universal ‘religion’ of Deity.
Thus it is that since there is an increasing interest in ceremonial ritual, and there will increasingly be so with the inflowing energies of the seventh ray pertaining to this new era that is upon us, then in order to help reinforce a greater understanding in the consciousness of those who are interested in ceremonial ritual and its truer meaning, we open our Temples at these special occasions to invite all who would like to attend. The details of these ceremonies may be found by following the hyperlinks in this site to each of the Lodges.
These ceremonies mark the ‘angular points’ of the zodiacal Cardinal Cross and are signified by the signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These points also define the equinox and solstice events. Symbolically (and factually esoterically speaking) these events indicate an ‘open doorway’ in consciousness where ‘time and space meet.’ Extremities of ‘time’ (symbolised by the length of daylight hours) distinguish solstices, and equanimities of ‘time’ (equal night and day) distinguish equinoxes. But of course, all is relative pertaining to time according to the perceiving consciousness. In our workings, time is an event. The event pertains to the opportunities presented to our inner Self, the soul within, and its relationship to the Most High—symbolised by the great fiery ball in the heavens through which pours the Light and Life and life-giving heat of our Solar Lord.
The great circle on the celestial sphere that lies in the plane of the earth’s orbit is called the plane of the ecliptic. In the annual ritual of the heavens, because of the earth’s annual revolution around the sun, the sun appears to move in an annual journey through the heavens with the ecliptic as its path, but of course, it is the former which ‘journeys,’ whilst the Sun revolves around a great Body. Thus there is the appearance of motion of wheels within wheels. The ecliptic thus symbolises time in this instance, for it designates the path of a spiral-cyclic, forward-motion procession of the heavenly bodies. The ecliptic is the principal axis in the ecliptic coordinate system.
The two points at which the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator are the equinoxes. The obliquity of the ecliptic is the inclination of the plane of the ecliptic to the plane of the celestial equator, an angle of about 23.5°. The constellations through which the ecliptic passes are the twelve constellations of the zodiac. The equinoxes are either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. The Vernal Equinox, the first or 0 degree of Aries, is the point at which the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north. This occurs around March 21, marking the beginning of spring in the northern Hemisphere. At the Autumnal Equinox, around September 23, the sun again appears to ‘cross’ the celestial equator (at the first degree, or rather, 0 degrees of Libra, this time from north to south. This marks the beginning of autumn in the northern Hemisphere. (Of course, in the southern Hemisphere the equinoxes mark the opposite seasons.) On the date of either equinox, night and day are of equal length (12 hours each) in all parts of the world, north and south. The equinoxes are not fixed points on the celestial sphere but move westward along the ecliptic, passing through all the constellations of the zodiac in 25,868 years. This motion is called the precession of the equinoxes.
There is perhaps no precise definition or meaning given to these annual cycles as they pertain to the equinoxes and solstices in astrological circles, but only speculation; and neither do we profess any special knowledge about them. What is known at least is that they have always been commemorated and observed in the rituals of ancient and long past cultures and civilisations, and that temples were built, whether primitive or sophisticated, to mark them; some few of which still remain. The ancient deeper meanings of the former rituals have also been ‘lost to sight’ as far as exoteric knowledge goes, perhaps in the absence of worthy heirs. But an esoteric knowledge will eventually arise again and these events will be observed in the coming world religion of the New Aquarian Era as part of the annual cycle of spiritual events.
But since these equinoxes and solstices are determined by astrological (and astronomical) points of the zodiacal Cardinal Cross then they obviously have an astrological significance pertaining to the deeper meanings of the signs of that Cross, and since it is the Cardinal Cross then the significances will pertain to spiritual opportunities along the lines of purpose, will, direction, and being. Thus, our AUM set of Cardinal Cross ceremonies portray, through symbolic dramatic enactment, certain spiritual opportunities in terms of soul purpose and direction, and indicate opportunities for soul-personality fusion, cooperation and achievement.
The ‘extremities’ of time in space, the solstices, are symbolic of an ‘entrance into something’ and thus present an opportunity for a spiritual emergence to pass through an ‘open door’ into an expanded awareness or consciousness of spiritual realisation. The door is open to potential higher states of conscious realisation, permitting a momentary transcendence of the time-space illusion, or conceptual limitation, whereby greater modes of spiritual realisation, existence and being may be cognised and cooperated with. These events also indicate the open door to admit the passing and re-passing of certain Beings and Existences.
The ‘equanimities’ of time occur at the points of intersection between the ecliptic and celestial equator, facilitating the directive electrical charge in the interchange between that spiritual impulse which is to manifest through time and space. One ignites the initiating energies; the other brings these energies to a point of balance and consequent manifestation.
The powerful influences pouring through this cardinal Cross of Light transmit certain decisive and determining energies to the spiritual awareness of the person upon the path of returning consciousness. This path of return eventually leads through the portals of initiation.
As the wheel turns, so likewise do our ceremonies, relating the East and the West to their interdependent spiritual significances as essentially One Teaching deriving from the Ageless Wisdom. The two Equinox ceremonies are decidedly ‘eastern’ in style, and the two Solstice ceremonies are more particularly ‘western.’ But both sets of ceremonies together complete a whole, a fourfold picture and dramatization of the revealing and unfolding spiritual consciousness through the auspices of this cyclic opportunity, and the essence of the Teaching is universally one and the same.