December 23 through January 19

Passwords = " I USE " and " I SERVE
Message = "The serving of humanity is the service of the Gods."

Key Word = DUTY
Element = Earth
Quality = Cardinal Sign

Ruling Planet = Saturn
The command of Saturn = " Stop and think before you act. "

The Magic of Pan

Just as we begin to celebrate the holidays we also slip into the month of the ol' Sea Goat. Capricorn begins with the ancient Roman feast of the Saturnalia, known by the Celtic tribes as Yule. The Christian traditions have adapted this festival into the modern happy feast called Christmas. This persistent festival commemorates the time when Father Sun peers so shortly every day, sometimes from behind the banks of snow clouds. This is the time of Capricorn. The winter stars remind us that hope keeps growing in us but the fruits of our hopes are awhile yet in coming.

Capricorn is one of the months which yield two Divine Passwords. So closely allied that they must be considered together. They are: "I USE "and "I SERVE". It should be apparent that one without the other will produce an abuse.

"I Use" arose as the attribute of Capricorn because it is in the age of Capricorn that the new era of humans -- the Seal People -- arose. In that beginning, this new race of people lived in savagery until the Gods taught them TO USE tools and the things of his environment for survival.

However, our current environmental crises illustrate the necessity that as we use, we also see the need to Serve. TO USE without SERVING is to USE UP. To take without giving is to one day find that we have taken it all and there is no more. After all, how wise is it to build a house without a tolerable planet to put it on? The unity of the two Capricorn passwords should be very clear; as we use, let us also know the need for us to serve. The welfare of our blessed Mother Goddess, our Earth, must be served by us -- her children -- if She is to continue to nurture us.

The Key Word for Capricorn is Duty. Our foregoing observations on service must obviously lead to consideration of this concept of duty. Duty is often confused with obligations imposed on us by outsiders' authority, such as "your duty as a good citizen" or "your duty as a soldier", and so on. In this connection, it has come to have a distasteful ring to most people.

The dictionary defines duty as: (1) conduct owed to one's parents, older people, etc.; respect. (2) any action necessary in one's occupation or position. (3) conduct resulting from a sense of justice, morality, etc. (4) A sense of obligation. It is in this last definition that the Craft almost always uses the word.

This Sense of Obligation on the other hand, in the Craft comes about in two ways. First, we have the imperial duty to do what we say we will do! This is the most sacred duty of magicians: The Ma'Kheru. Without this law and compliance with this law, we would be powerless. If we as a priesthood are acting for the Gods, then we must act as They would act. Can you conceive of a God who promised one thing and then failed to deliver? Of course not. And neither can we wield their power, and break this law.

Be slow to give your word; but be prompt in making your word good. To be really effective in Craft work, DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO! If there is any doubt about your being able to do it. DON'T SAY IT!

Secondly, there is a duty imposed on US -- who work with the law of love -- to fulfill the Obligations of Love. These are: (1) to relieve pain, and (2) to bring happiness. WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION OR DUTY TO ACT IN LOVE TOWARD ALL PEOPLE AROUND US!

The astrology of the Craft divides each sign into three equal sections called "Decans". Each of these 10 day cycles is named with a Codeword which further defines the nature of the influence we feel during the astrological month.

First Decan Codeword: THOUGHTFULNESS

The Craft definition of this word is "consideration of others". We cannot fulfill our sense of duty toward others -- which was imposed on us by love -- without the consideration of those toward whom our love is directed. Without thoughtfulness, duty becomes a routine thing devoid of the spirit which should animate all persons professing to love.

Second Decan Codeword: FAITHFULNESS

This, too, is an amplification of the idea of duty and its attendant thoughtfulness. This word has to do with the character of FAITH -- and faith is simply knowing that you can do a thing. Faithful then means that you have performed your duty so many times in the past that others have come to rely on you to do just that. They have come to know that you WILL perform your duty. They know that any duty you have, either imposed on you by Love, or accepted by you verbally, will be performed by you. This then is really that higher word: TRUST. It is a ruling character attribute of the Witchdoctor, and must be developed prior to rising very far in the Craft.

Third Decan Codeword: SELF-SACRIFICE

Duty, thoughtfulness and faithfulness naturally call for SELF-SACRIFICE. Any time you do something for someone else, you are sacrificing a part of your time or money (remember the two are synonymous). The dictionary meaning of the word "Sacrifice" shows that it comes from the Latin words "Sacer" - sacred, and "Facere" - to make. Thus it means to make sacred. When you do your duty with thoughtfulness and faithfulness, you will be performing self-sacrifice (making yourself sacred through the giving of your time or money) as given in the first definition in the dictionary: (1) an offering of the life of a person in homage to a deity. This leads us naturally into the Message of Capricorn, which is "The serving of Humanity is the Service of the Gods."

Our benevolent Celestial Parents seek to see their children serving and assisting one another as they struggle for growth, maturity and Wisdom. An old scripture says "Those who love can do no more, than to help those behind, as they have been helped by those who who have gone before." The main way in which we can show our love for the Father, Mother, and Elder Children is through expressing our love for the children here on earth. This love MUST be expressed by ACTIONS, not by mere philosophical ideas. Words are ACTIONS - tell those you love that you love them. You can't do it too often. Then make the rest of your actions tell the same story. After all, if you do not love your brothers and sisters, whom you have seen, how can you say that you love our Celestial Parents, whom you have not seen? Again, the Gods already have everything. There is nothing else YOU can give Them but your SERVICE.

The Sign Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the Karma Master; the Dour Law Giver. He is the Teacher. The purpose of the Law of Consequence is NOT to punish; but to TEACH. Saturn does not desire to punish just to be punishing. He is merely doing his part for the perfecting of humankind. The reason that application of the rod prevents spoiling the child is not that the teacher revels in cruelty but that from it, the child learns not to do that again. Karma, and its lessons, are sometimes hard, but we ;know that its only purpose is to teach us a lesson we needed to learn.

Saturn's Message to our Capricorn friends, as they leap goat-like from pinnacle to pinnacle, surefootedly as they are wont to do, is one we all can treasure: "Stop and think before you do anything!" Or phrased in Wisdom language, "Look before you leap!"

STOP AND THINK. Thinking is the one thing which sets people apart from the lower animals. It is sensible to realize that if we do not stop and think about the possible consequences of our actions, we are then like the lower beasts, shorn of our birthright as the senior creatures upon this earth. STOP AND THINK! Only by thinking, and then acting upon our decisions, will we learn and evolve toward perfection.

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Diogenes' Lantern

The Mental Science Institute

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