One of 3 rays of Aspect
consciousness, reflection, primal polarities: distinction between self and other, inside/outside, male/female, inbreath/outbreath, magnetism.
|Second ray signs:
|Virgo (Gemini, Pisces). Second ray triangle: Gemini-Virgo-Pisces
|indigo with a hint of purple/pale blue
|the blue of water, the sky. The wave, the line and the oval, the vesica piscis.
|crisis/intensification Saturn in the chart, planets in Fixed signs
2.1 Group effect: Synthesis (Cardinal mode)
This ray is the fundamental energy of our solar system, and affects every life within it to the extent that we cannot separate its influence from our own lives. If the solar system were based, for instance, on the third ray our entire existence would have a different feel. It is essentially the ray of consciousness, because it enables us to distinguish the sense of self from everything else in the world around us. As such, it is the ray that causes the formation of the individual soul, or the source of the conscious self that pervades all our experience.
This principle of consciousness gives rise to dualities: self and not-self, inner and outer, movement and stillness, attraction and repulsion. These dualities occur everywhere, from the solar system to the sub atomic level. The process whereby simple life forms are able to distinguish between that which will harm them and that which will assist them, is apparent in human life when we make choices in our behaviour based on likes and dislikes, attraction and repulsion.
The predominant influence of this ray on our entire solar system means that our evolution is concerned primarily with the development of an increasingly inclusive consciousness.
2.1.1 Effect on groups of integrated beings (‘fifth kingdom’)
Our Solar system is one in which sensitivity to contact is the dominant quality; it is in process of becoming cosmically aware; it is driven by need and environing cosmic circumstance to develop love wisdom And both these words are descriptive and expressive of the consciousness aspect Love’s response to contact and this–in the human being–means understanding, inclusiveness and identification. —Esoteric Astrology p493-494
In everyday life, this is generally the ‘caring’ ray. It affects groups who are working for the betterment of conditions, the call for equality and tolerance, and in the various health professions. It motivates through compassion rather than sentiment, and through a benevolent approach that might be expressed as ‘caring from strength’. Groups on this ray receive and assimilate new ideas, then help gather together those who can respond to them, and thus carry the idea deeper into human consciousness. This ray permeates humanity through magnetic, attractive, sympathetic understanding, and the wise use of carefully considered action, based on dispassionate love.
The conditions of equality and balance the second ray stimulates ensure that other incoming energies do not destabilise that which has been established. In this way it builds new ways of relating where old ones have been swept aside. At present, one of the main second ray tasks is to build equality, and the task of adjusting the many injustices that have permeated human civilisation for too long is a purpose with which many second ray groups are occupied. Without the basis of real equality and justice, the growth of awareness can only highlight any remaining imbalances in the way we relate collectively; both as individuals and across cultural and national boundaries.
2.1.2 Effect on groups of self-aware, integrating individuals (‘soul groups’)
This is the energy that holds people together and attracts them to each other for whatever reason. A pure second ray group would incline towards the wise and measured application of their collective knowledge in some area human betterment, for instance eduction, healing (physical, emotional or mental), or the support of disadvantaged people. The pitfalls of a purely second ray group (without any other ray influences) might be their lack of initiative, or avoidance of the discomfort or conflict required in order to achieve some end or take a firm position on a contentious issue.
2.2 Personal effect: Intensification (Fixed mode)—role in the growth of human consciousness
The second ray is present in every choice we make, in every distinction between ourselves and others, in the quest for union of all kinds, and in the very process of conscious development.
2.2.1 In the process of alignment (Cardinal: integration of personality and soul—will)
The ability to love unconditionally—true ‘harmlessness’ born of wisdom about impact and outcomes—is a fundamental human expression of second ray qualities. Because of the broader perspective inherent in such an ability, it is free from the intensity of personal need; not through denial or sacrifice, but simply because such an ability can offer deep fulfilment. Part of this process is the transformation of knowledge into wisdom, realised through interaction with others and the empathy this stimulates. Calm strength, patience and endurance, love of truth, faithfulness, intuition, clear intelligence, and serene temper are the eventual outcome of the inclusiveness that the second ray encourages.
The yearning for union with the inner self—and the desire to become that self so that all behaviour is truly congruent with our deepest motivations—is another second ray gift. Once emotional life is reasonably balanced, this deep source of inner love and wisdom begins to filter through the stable personality and, like the Sun, affects everyone around us without favour. An essential prerequisite to this process is the ability to love ourselves; to accept what we are without judgement, aggrandisement or self-deprecation.
2.2.2 In the development of self-awareness (Fixed: emotional balance—love-wisdom)
The second ray is at its most potent in this area of human life, stimulating the polarities that encourage the development of wisdom from experience.
Emotionally, many people develop most intensely through their relationship with a partner. For some, this involves a search for their ‘soul-mate’, who they may or may not feel they have discovered. In the process, emotional life is broadened and deepened, until links with others in their soul group are sensed. Although they may enjoy a special bond with one particular individual, it is also possible that their love will expand to include a small but close-knit group within which they find mutual support in their journey. Such relationships can be very intimate, or marked by a timelessness that spans long gaps between encounters; we might say ‘it is as if no time has passed’.
The second ray presides over the coherence of these inner groups, which emerge because of a gradual development of mutual inclusiveness between the individuals involved. They may not all know each other personally, neither will they necessarily form any outer organisation. They may not all agree with each other. Instead, they are bonded by the sharing of a common inner ‘flavour’ or approach to the growth process, and will tend to undergo similar experiences, which they share either verbally, or unconsciously and inwardly via their collective experience or ‘group soul’.
2.2.3 In the need for experience (Mutable: physical refinement—intelligent activity)
The second ray cultivates the wisdom that enables us to make qualitative choices about our behaviour and its impact upon others and our environment. When the lure of immediate personal gratification palls and the longing for material well–being fails to satisfy, we begin to yearn for something deeper, and the seed is sown for a learning process that leads to long-term fulfilment over short-term gain.
Some second ray types mask dissatisfaction with themselves by focussing entirely on caring for others, or they may attempt to manage their relationships by trying to please everyone rather than being clear about their own needs. However (if they truly desire to develop) either exhaustion or the arrival of some suitable crisis will cause an awakening that breaks these behaviour patterns. They will then realise that they also need to include themselves in their care and compassion, and from that point on can begin a gradual process of liberation from the illusion of infinite personal resources, or even the element of ‘compassion pride’, that can drive such behaviour.
The more introverted second ray type can sometimes suffer from a lack of energy brought on by resistance to expansion or inclusiveness. They may become over–absorbed in study, cold and indifferent to others, or contemptuous of their mental limitations. Before consciousness can expand, there is a need to accept the fears behind such resistance, for in every second ray problem there is fear at some level.
2.3 General effect: Change (Mutable mode)
The second ray has an all-pervasive effect on humanity, and is present in every form of relating. Wherever people begin to understand the differing points of view that others hold, wherever there is a human need to be met, or when inclusiveness and acceptance is a priority, the second ray finds expression.
2.3.1 Effect on average individual
The growth of inclusiveness inherent in the second ray is demonstrated through all kinds of love: from elementary self-love, through love for a partner, family, or socio-cultural group. All personal bonds are based on the inclusion of another or others within the conscious periphery of the self, and this is the foundation of compassion. If this inclusiveness is not part of the personality, the second ray can lead those individuals who fear change to run the risk of stagnation by building themselves a sterile, comforting life for selfish (if harmless) ends.