The Twelve Foundation Stones and the Portals
THE MEANING OF THE MANDALA
"And the foundations of the wall of the City were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was Jasper, the second was Sapphire, the third was Chalcedony, the fourth was an Emerald, the fifth was Sardonyx, the sixth was Sardius, the seventh was Chrysolyte, the eighth was Beryl, the ninth was a Topaz, the tenth a Chrysoprasus, the eleventh was a Jacinth, the twelfth was an Amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve Pearls. Every gate was one pearl." - Revelation 21:19-21
Dear and beloved friends, if you are like me, you probably have never heard a sermon on the meaning of the precious stones that make up the foundations of the New Jerusalem. Yet, I am convinced that this passage is very important or there would not have been two chapters devoted to discussing New Jerusalem. To me this passage is composed of symbols that tell us about the future of Christ’s Church. In this series of articles, I hope to reveal the meaning behind these symbols and in so doing give my readers literally, the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. I do not know how many issues of my newsletter this study will consume but it will likely take several issues to do justice to the subject, so you may want to make sure your subscription is paid up, ha ha.
Let me begin by stating up front that this study will delve into great truths concerning God and Man. Some of these discussions will simply fly over the heads of those who cling to their notions of the ‘simple, old-time gospel’. Others may take offense at subjects which they deem to be ‘mystical’ but I would assure each of my readers that what we are about to undertake in these studies is vitally important, now more than ever.
THE MEANING OF THE MANDALA ON THE COVER
To begin this series of articles, permit me to explain the surface meaning of the mandala on the cover of this issue. Moving counter clock-wise, the outer ring of precious stones corresponds to the twelve foundations of New Jerusalem. I shall first list the Apostle and then the gem that represents him.
The reason Jesus choose twelve Apostles is because there are twelve Signs of the Zodiac. And likewise, in ancient Israel there were twelve Patriarchs representing the twelve Signs of the Zodiac. I will not take space at this point to explain the reasoning for the number twelve. I will merely state the proposition and ask my reader to bear with me for awhile.
In my Mandala can be seen the four arms of a gold cross, dividing the twelve gems in four sections. The wonderful truths about the cross will also be brought out in time. The center is composed of a bed of crystals on which is superimposed the Sri Yantra made of gold. As I have explained elsewhere, the Sri Yantra is created when sand is placed on a pane of glass and the Om is intoned properly.
THE SYMBOLIC MEANING OF THE PLANETS
During most of the Age of Pisces, we only knew of six Planets. Now that we are entering the Age of Aquarius and have been able to get close up pictures of the other three Planets, we must take these Planets into our reckoning, especially if we are speaking of gravitational pull and their effect upon us. Each Planet has been associated with certain meanings and even vices and virtues. I shall now list the Planets and what they represent to us, including the Sun and Moon.
OTHER SYMBOLS WE WILL USE IN THIS STUDY
One of the first things Jesus and Paul wanted their disciples to learn was Who we are. They taught that we are actually ‘asleep’ like the Fool above who seems to be sleep- walking and impervious to circumstances. Until we awakened we will not be able to use the resources that God gave us. Now, when George Gurdjieff came to Europe and began telling people that they were asleep and unaware, some were a little resentful toward him but the simple truth is, we are asleep in many areas of our life. Once we awaken and begin to develop our resources, we can become like the Magician in the 2nd picture. As I have pointed out in one of my books, Jesus was called a magician by the early Roman historian, Arnobius1 because he successfully demonstrated control over the four elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. The four implements lying on the table in front of the Magician correspond to each of these four elements.
JESUS THE PIONEER OF OUR SALVATION
There is an interesting word used of Jesus in the book of Hebrews. It reads in the Authorized Version: "And being made Perfect, he became the Author of eternal salvation unto all those that obey him."2 The word ‘author’ here is supposed to be a translation of the Greek word 'aitios' (aitios). The problem with this translation is that it makes it appear that Jesus sat down and wrote a book or something. A better translation for us moderns would have been ‘original cause’.
Another word that I prefer to use would be ‘pioneer’ and it is the proper translation of the Greek word 'archgos', (archgos) which is translated three different ways in the Authorized Version. In Acts 3:15 it is translated ‘Prince’, whereas in Hebrews 2:10 it is translated ‘Captain’ and in Hebrews 12:2 it is translated ‘Author’. A superior rendering of this word would be ‘pioneer’ if we can believe Thayer’s Greek -English Lexicon. It defines this word to mean "a leader; the first cause; one who takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example."3
What the writers in these passages were actually trying to say is that Jesus acted as a ‘pioneer’ in the same sense that an early American pioneer did. Daniel Boone not only told his fellow citizens of a Way to get through the mountains to Tennessee, he actually went ahead of them and carved a trail through the Cumberland Pass. In each of the above passages the emphasis is on the fact that Jesus was "made Perfect by the things he suffered" and having attained that plateau, he was able to instruct others in the Way.
JESUS’ FIRST AXIOM - KNOW YOURSELF
In the Gospel of Thomas, we see the disciples asking Jesus, "When will the Kingdom come? He answered them, The Kingdom is here but it is not recognized, for it is spread abroad over the whole earth. The Kingdom does not come by waiting for it, nor will they say, ‘It is there’ for it is within you." Jesus continued saying, "If those who lead you say, ‘See the Kingdom is in the sky’, then the birds of the air will
precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea’ then the fish will precede you. Know that the Kingdom is inside you and it is outside you. When you come to Know yourselves, then you will become known and you will realize that it is you who are the Sons of the Living Father. But if you will not Know yourselves, you live in poverty and it is you who are the poverty.4
On another occasion, Thomas asked him, "Tell me Lord, What is the beginning of the Way? Jesus answered him, Love and Goodness, for if either of these had existed among the Archons (Rulers) wickedness would never have come to be. Thomas, it has been said that you are my twin and my true companion. Therefore, examine yourself that you may
understand who you are, in what way you exist and how you came to be. Since you are called my brother, it is not fitting that you be Ignorant of yourself. And I know that you understand because you have already understood that I Am the Knowledge of the Truth. So, while you accompany me, although you are called ‘The One Who Knows Himself’. For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he
who has known himself has at the same time already achieved Knowledge about the Depth of the All. So then, you my brother Thomas have seen what is obscure to men, even that which they ignorantly stumble against. It is necessary for those who possess everything to know themselves. Indeed, if they do not know themselves, they will not enjoy what they possess. Those who have come to know themselves will enjoy their possessions. . ."5
THE FOUR ELEMENTS IN MAN & THE ZODIAC
Have you ever wondered why the Signs of the Zodiac are divided into four elements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water? I believe the answer lies in something Jesus said. "Since the day on which Jesus was explaining these things to his disciples was a Friday, he said to them, It was on this day that God created man. Let me show you God’s goodness, mercy and omnipotence. On that day, God took four things completely
contrary to each other and united them in one object - man. He took Earth, Air, Fire and Water and united them so that each element tempered its opposite. These four elements became the garment which is the body. . . . Into this garment of flesh, he placed the soul and the senses like two hands. He gave every part of the body to
the senses for a residence; the senses are diffused through it like oil. Then He placed the soul among these that it might rule all the others. As you well know, a stone will not float on water, yet water will extinguish fire and earth will separate from air. No one is able to unite Earth Air, Water and Fire in harmony, yet they perfectly united in man."6
On another occasion, he taught them, "Therefore, if one does not understand how the fire came to be, he will burn in it, because he does not know his root. If one does not understand the water, he doesn’t know anything, so why should he be baptized in it? If one does not understand how the wind which blows, came into being, he will run with
it. And if one does not understand how the body he wears came into existence, he will perish with it. . . . He who will not Know the root of all things, will discover that all things are hidden from him . . . He who does not understand how he came, will not understand how he will go. He who will not be a stranger to the world, will be humbled by it. If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a marvel, but if the spirit
came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how great wealth has made its home in this poverty. I tell you the truth, that which you have within you will save you, if you bring it forth from yourselves, but that which you do not have within you will kill you, if you do not have it within you."7
Last year in a series of articles dealing with The Sacred Mysteries and the Science of Initiation’, I spoke of the four divisions of the Zodiac and pointed out that each division has three Signs apiece. The first division corresponds to the physical development of an individual. The next three signs correspond to the emotional development and the third set deals with the mental development, while the forth set of three signs (Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) deals with the hoped-for spiritual development of a person.
Next, we must let each of three Signs correspond to an ideal period of Seven years years in the life of a human being. The first section will contain the Signs Aries (the Ram), Taurus (the Bull) and Gemini (the Twins) and will correspond to the first Twenty-one years of a person’s development - in particular - his physical development. This
does not mean that he will cease to grow in coming years, it just means that by his Twenty-first year, he should be in full control of the organs of his body - his arms, legs, muscles and bowels. I used to think each Sign covered three years or three Signs in nine years, but the words of Jesus rang in my ears. "Whoever seeks me will find me in children aged seven and older, for there I am manifested but am hidden in the fourteenth age (aeon)."8
The second section will consist of Cancer, Leo (the Lion) and Virgo (the Virgin), bringing the person to his Forty-second year, which should see his emotional development fairly well advance. The third section comprising Libra (the Balances, Scorpio (the Scorpion) and Sagittarius (the Archer) would bring a person to his Sixty-third year.
This section corresponds to his mental development, but again this does not mean that he will cease to mature mentally as he grows older, it just means that by age Sixty-three, the mental constructs that he will live with for the rest of his life, will be in place and for better or worse, will be difficult to change.
The fourth section of the Zodiac, containing Capricorn (the Goat), Aquarius (the Water pourer) and Pisces (the Fishes) brings a person to his Eighty-fourth year of life and corresponds to his hoped-for spiritual development. The sad fact of the matter is, the majority of
mankind fails to attain the spiritual levels of maturity represented by these last three Signs. However, if an individual has had the assistance of a gifted teacher or spiritual adviser, who understands the Mysteries and human nature, he will, in the final stages of Initiation have gained
Harmony and Health for his physical being; Peace and Order for his emotional self; Wisdom and Power for his intellectual self and Love and Joy for his spiritual man. If a person reaches age Eighty-four, he will have made one full circuit on the spiral of life.
THREE DIFFERENT KINDS OF FIRE, WATER, AIR & EARTH
As an individual moves through the Spiral of life, he will pass through three Fire Signs and three Water Signs etc. For instance, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are all fire signs but each represents a different kind of fire. Aries speaks to us of the force of life, combativeness and instinctive urges. Leo, in its higher forms symbolizes intellect governing ambition, while Sagittarius represents intuition guiding aspiration and soul consciousness. It is for this reason that Jesus taught different forms of cleansing.
VISIBLE ELEMENTS PURIFIED BY THE INVISIBLE ELEMENTS
"The soul and the spirit came into being from water and fire, and it is through water and fire that everything is purified - the visible by the visible element; the invisible by the invisible elements. There are things hidden by the visible things. For instance, there is water within water and there is a fire in the Anointing. It is through water and fire and light that the son of the Bridal Chamber comes into being.""9
THE CHARIOT VISION
In the 1st and the 10th chapters of Ezekiel, we find a description of the four Living Creatures (the Cherubim or Zoa) which Ezekiel saw in his vision of God. What is not so well known, is that several other Jewish mystics had the same vision but they did not come to this experience easily. They were generally trained by prophets or rabbis over several years. This experience was called the Merkabal (Chariot) Vision. These
four Zoa correspond to four Signs along the Zodiac. The Bull is Taurus, the Man is Aquarius, the Lion is Leo and the Eagle is the Constellation seen in the night sky above Scorpio and Sagittarius. Now, it is quite possible that Ezekiel actually saw the real living creatures
that are symbolized in these four signs of the Zodiac. With this, I would have no argument but my point in this is to show that the symbols known to us as the signs of the Zodiac speak to us of stages of growth and Self Realization.
The two Tarot cards displayed above clearly show the four Zoa shown in the Book of Revelation and Ezekiel’s prophecy.
May God bless you, Jeffrey Brackeen
1. See References, p. 58, Forbidden Truths Revealed, Jeffrey Brackeen,
2. Heb. 5:9
3. See P. 77, Thayers Greek English Lexicon
4. Gospel of Thomas, Chap. 7:334-341 The Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ,
Edited by Jeffrey Brackeen, Koinonia Communications
5. Ibid, Chap. 8: Vs. 94-103
6. Gospel of Barnabus, Chap. 8. Vs15-22, Ibid
7. Philip’s Dialogue of Savior and the Gospel of Thomas, Chap. 8:34-44,
8. Gospel of Thomas, Chap.14, 97 Ibid
9. Gospel of Philip Chap. 8:25-27 Ibid