The Cross and the Fora

The Cross and the Fora

This shortened and altered article is from an old article on the internet, which I am keeping as a useful reference.


The Cross and the Fora

The cross by itself, as we have previously explained, depicts the Celestial Ray, or World-Axis (the vertical line), penetrating a particular level of material existence (we must bear in mind that matter strictly means “all that is not pure Spirit”, and that the physical is only one modality of matter). Now, since the forms of all things are Ideas in the mind of [replaced with:] Dea, it is not until the divine ray of Her form-bearing Light touches the material plane in question that the matter of that plane can take on forms, and any thing can exist. Once the ray strikes “the surface of the waters” (the term applied to a material plane in a state of non-differentiated formlessness) a world will develop. In the case of the physical plane, the world in question is the physical universe as we know it.

The fullest form of the cross is in fact a three dimensional figure with the three lines running north-south, east-west and up-down, all intersecting at the centre. In other words, we have a horizontal cross transfixed by a vertical line. In this three-dimensional figure, the horizontal cross corresponds to the full extension of the world in question in the four directions of matter (the four physical directions have their precise analogies on all non-physical planes), while the vertical line is the Celestial Ray or World-Axis. It is true that the cross is rarely modelled or pictured in this three-dimensional form; but every form of cross depicted in traditional usage is by implication either a “vertical” or a “horizontal” cross: although this categorisation is slightly complicated by the fact that just as everything “below” is a re­flection of something “above”, so the horizontal cross is a “shadow” of the vertical cross, with its north-south axis playing the part of the celestial ray in a limited and reflective mode.

The cross of the four seasons, which we have discussed elsewhere, is a good example of the horizontal cross: there the solstitial (winter-summer) axis plays the part of the Celestial Ray, although the most important part of this cross is the centre, corresponding to the fifth and “transcendent” season of Moura. This is important, because it is clear that the centre is precisely the point at which the vertical axis transfixes the horizontal cross. Another important point illustrated by the cross of the seasons is that the horizontal cross is a rotating cross, subject to movement and change in the flux of material existence, while the vertical axis remains motionless and Immutable, and is the “still point” about which the movements and mutations of the changing world take place, and is the “unmoved mover” which governs all these fluctuations. This corresponds to the Scriptural dictum: “Earth moves, but Heaven is still”.

The horizontal cross is eminently a symbol of quaternity, four being the number of matter and corresponding to the four elements of the physical world (which have their analogies on other levels of material manifestation). Here the centre of the cross corresponds to the fifth element of aethyr, which is actually the first-created, from which all the others proceed, and which contains in itself all the conflicting tendencies of the four in perfect equilibrium. It is for this reason that aethyr is non-differentiated and imperceptible, since the tangible manifestation of the elements is precisely due to their warring disequilibrium which maintains their continual flux and motion. Aethyr thus corresponds reflectively to the non-manifest point. It is for this reason that the fifth element is sometimes called spirit, and, in many contexts, symbolises the Spirit Herself.

Various geometrical symbols relate to the fundamental meaning of the horizontal cross. The cross enclosed within a circle shows the extension of the four directions within a given world-system, and thus relates the horizontal cross to the wheel (discussed elsewhere), the outer rim being the most consolidated point of manifestation — “the world”, or, better, “the mold”, a [removed] word designating “this material world”, as opposed to the cosmos. For this reason, this symbol has been used in astrology to represent the earth. The figure also implies the rotation of the horizontal cross, as does the swastika, which has half-lines tangential to the (undepicted) circumference, indicating directional motion — but in this latter case the reference is not to the movement of the world itself, but to the operation of the Principle upon it. The circle with a point at the centre, long used astrologically to represent the sun, corresponds to cyclic perfection — the integral realisation of all the possibilities inherent within a particular world-system: literally (or rather, pictorially) the alpha and the omega.

Lone Apple Tree at Walpole Hampshire by JeffAlysons Orchard Walpole, New Hampshire

Alysons Orchard Walpole, New Hampshire

The fora is often considered to be only another form of the earth sign, but this is not so. The true significance of the fora can best be understood by recalling the first explanation that young [Removed] children are given: that it is a picture of Avala. Avala, the paradise of the Daughter, has the Tree of Life at its centre, and from directly beneath this Tree flow four rivers, down the axial mountain, Caravalas, in the four cardinal directions. After the [replaced with:] exploration of everything furthest from Dea by the Children of Dea, a circular wall was placed about the orchard garden. Thus the cross of the fora represents the four rivers, the circle the wall, and the central point the world-Tree.

Now the tree is the World-Axis, and Avala itself, being [replaced with:] closest to the Good Realm of Dea, represents the realm of the Archetypes, where things are still perfect Forms, rather than the broken and imperfect reflections of them upon the world of matter (as such, it corresponds to the hub of the wheel, just as the Tree corresponds to the axle). The four rivers represent the extension of the Divine Ideas, first as perfect Forms in the Archetypal realm, and then out into the world of matter.


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