Self Effort: The Path to Salvation is inspired by Evolutionary Astrology as taught by Jeffrey Wolf Green. While the concept that self-effort is the path to salvation isn’t anything new, the Evolutionary Astrology paradigm allows us to see it in a new light. EA teaches us that in order to reach Pisces, Neptune and the 12th house, we need to go through Taurus, the inner side of Venus, and the 2nd house first. In layperson’s terms, this means that the attainment of unlimited happiness, freedom from suffering, transcendence, contact with Spirit/God/Goddess, and unconditional love for self and others, can only come through our own self-effort. This self-effort entails internalizing consciousness, self-analysis, and retreating into ourselves in meditation.
In Evolutionary Astrology, Venus is connected to 3 signs. Venus is the primary ruler of both Taurus and Libra; Venus is linked to Pisces as its ruler Neptune is the higher octave of Venus. The inner side of Venus rules Taurus and the 2nd house. This correlates to self love, self effort, core values and our own needs. The outer side of Venus rules Libra and the 7th house. This correlates to love for others and one’s values and needs in relationship to others. And Venus’ higher expression of Neptune/Pisces/12th house correlates to unconditional love, our ideals and dreams, what holds ultimate meaning within the consciousness, and relationship to Spirit/Source. A seeming byproduct of the modern era is the idealization (Pisces) of romantic relationships and the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams through relationship with another. (Pisces/Libra) Who has not witnessed oneself or another looking for fulfillment in relationship to another first before finding it within? There is a collective phenomena of seeking what holds most meaning for us (Pisces/Neptune/12th) from external relationships. (outer side of Venus/Libra/7th) In Evolutionary Astrology, this is a setup for crisis in relationships which eventually ends in disillusionment in relationship. This disillusionment is painful because one has projected their ideal (Pisces/Neptune/12th house) onto another (outer side of Venus/Libra/7th) and then has to face the reality that the other is not the person they wanted them to be; the other can not fill the emptiness they yearned to have fulfilled. Alas, our salvation is not achieved through another.
Jeffrey Wolf Green wrote extensively about this dynamic in Pluto II: The Soul’s Evolution Through Relationships. Looking at the 2nd house, 7th house, and 12th house we see there are inconjuncts between the 2nd and 7th, as well between the 7th and 12th houses. The latter is defined by the above type of crisis. Now, it is also possible one’s core needs (inner side of Venus/Taurus/2nd house) get projected onto external relationship; as if our partner can read our minds and emotions and help us get what we need when we need it. Again, there will be an eventual crisis (2nd/7th house inconjunct) as one seeks inner fulfillment. The sextile between the 2nd and 12th houses represents the opportunity we have for fulfillment of our ideals through the Taurean inner path; reaching Source (12th house) by internalizing. (2nd house)
I was reflecting on this recently while contemplating what I was taught when I was 13 years old and became a born-again Christian. I was taught that by accepting Jesus Christ into my heart as my personal savior all my sins would be washed away and I would be with him forever in heaven. I was saved! Although I was saved, I found I was not happy inside. In addition, I found that the choices I made led to challenges, consequences, and suffering for myself and others.
There is a saying that, “God helps those who help themselves.” This is a funny thing to consider in light of this idea that we are saved just by accepting Jesus Christ into our hearts. Why help ourselves when the battle is already won? Can another being save us? Can God save us?
Consider for a moment that you are in the presence of a great saint or spiritually enlightened being who has the power to clear all your past karma, remove all your suffering and completely wipe your slate clean. If such beings exist and have the power to heal all of our wounds for us, clear all our dissonances, put all of our soul fragments back together (a real humpty dumpty act of love) and leave us spinning in a state of bliss, why don’t such saints and healers do this?
From what I have been taught and understand through personal experience, if a great spiritual being provided this level of body, mind and soul healing, we would still continue to create a future for ourselves by repeating past habits. This would be a future based upon the same emotions and unfulfilled desires as before. It is not in the design of creation that God/Goddess is going to take away our free will and desires. The Divine awaits our (re)turn to the source from which we came. No-one else can turn us, we must choose for ourselves. From the Evolutionary Astrology point of view, this is saying that whatever we receive from another (7th) can help us, but cannot ultimately take us ‘there.’ It is by going within (2nd) that we arrive ‘there’ (12th).
We will never get there until we both choose it and make a continued effort. This is what I call the Taurus path ー the path of self-effort leading to our own salvation. A ‘savior’ is real only in a limited sense. Enlightened beings and great teachers can only point the way.
The great myth of Christianity is that Jesus Christ can save someone from themselves. Yogananda taught that the only thing we have to fear is ourselves! We have to meet God/Goddess half-way. If a hand is being offered, we must reach out and grab it. The Goddess helps those who help themselves. As long as we hold a belief that someone else should be freeing us and/or saving us, we will remain in the trappings of victim consciousness.
The water trinity is a core part of the Evolutionary Astrology paradigm. It correlates to the phenomena of incarnation, evolution, and Source. It also correlates to Ego (Cancer), Soul (Scorpio), and Spirit (Pisces).
When reflecting upon the necessary self-effort (Taurus) required to evolve (Scorpio), I had the realization that all three Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) point to the path of evolution. At the root is Taurus which correlates to internalizing the consciousness, self-effort, accessing inner resources, and finding what we truly need inside ourselves. The thought of going to Virgo next was inspired by reading a Yogananda passage where he was talking about the necessary self-analysis within the evolutionary process. In the process of overcoming and evolving beyond past emotional patterns, behaviors, habits, and desires, self-analysis is essential. How often do external events lead us to analyze others but not ourselves? Embracing this approach of self-effort and self-analysis are the first two steps.
Next we come to Capricorn which is our symbol of self-discipline. One’s capacity for self-discipline grows out of Virgo’s discernment and discrimination which is gained from self-analysis. From this place of deeply knowing oneself we see how to ‘manage’ our desires, urges, and impulses so that we hold the reins and act as director of our lives.
With self-effort, we begin to turn the tide and create new outcomes using our willpower. Shit, evolution is a lot of work! We fail, we try again. We give into the urge to eat the cookies and feel crappy later or whatever it is. But any time we are aware of our urge/impulse to act/desire and use our self-awareness and discernment to choose differently, we are making the effort to evolve, to choose differently and to control how we use our creative potential. This is the Earth trinity in action as a symbol of how evolution works in the manifested physical form, aka living in these bodies. As my Evolutionary Astrology teacher Jeffrey would say “the value is in the effort.”
special thanks to Catharine Anderson and Linda Johnson for editing help!
thanks to Deva Green for feedback to help improve the article.