In his book The Nature of Substance, Rudolf Hauschka presents a picture of Scorpio and the chemical element associated with it: Carbon. This is then placed in the context of the Atmospheric Cross of Elements. In bringing the forces of Scorpio to mind in this context, Hauschka says:
“Antiquity had another name for this constellation: the Eagle. This picture was an image of cosmic formative forces operative not in the crudely physical, but on the highest level, that of thinking. It depicted the eagle’s power to soar into the sun and survey the scene below from a great height. This symbolized the divine capacity given to man to reflect sublime facts in the thoughts he forms. Materialism was responsible for the eagle being forgotten and replaced by the symbol of death, the scorpion.
Carbon, the last manifestation of the scorpion-eagle forces, also appears in several modifications. The shining diamond is as high above the level of black coal as the soaring eagle is above the crawling scorpion. Indeed, the eagle—qualities noted above have, as it were, been materialized in the diamond’s substance. The constellation Eagle—Scorpion possesses a double nature: death in the scorpion, a soaring to loftiest heights in the eagle. We have here a sort of phoenix-motif. But natural death can be looked on in the Goethean sense as a return to essential being, to the disembodied state. When a plant dies and becomes a carbon skeleton, its being withdraws from the material condition into a world we cannot see.
So every death frees a being into higher life. When nature’s being remanifests in spring, there is already a seed of death in all its germinating sprouting growth, for without this seed there can be no such thing as shape or form. Involution and evolution, being and manifestation, death and resurrection: all these polarities, which are in turn but a single unity, belong to the nature of the Scorpion-Eagle, the cosmic home of the forces from which carbon issues.
Goethe expressed it:
Your soul will stay forlorn
Until you come to know:
To die and be re-born,
Is Spirit’s way to grow.
A study of these four cosmic principles which breed the material substances hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon shows hydrogen and oxygen to be polar opposites in nature, like the constellations Leo and Aquarius. Similarly, nitrogen (motility) and carbon (fixity) belong to the opposite cosmic poles, Taurus and Scorpio. The four together form a cross
It will be obvious from the above that the four substances described are reflected in the four Aristotelian elements, fire, water, air and earth. And we should notice the remarkable fact that all four substances are found in our atmosphere, and are indeed, the elements of all the organic kingdoms:
The cosmic cross: Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio, could thus be called the atmospheric cross, or the cross of the organic cosmos.
These considerations may suggest a possibility of explaining relationships between earth and universe, microcosm and macrocosm, in a way suited to modern consciousness. It is right to repudiate the old, unintelligible conceptions if one cannot arrive at comprehensible, reasonable new ones. New methods of investigation must work at this task… In the work of the great men of our past we find the germs of a new understanding of these interrelationships.
The four constellations chosen for mention in the [section] above always enjoyed a privileged position. It is they who give the essence of their being physical expression in hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon. Their harmonious interaction produces the substance protein, the basis of all the more highly organized forms of life.
The various properties of protein seem marvellous indeed as one considers how it is formed of these four elements. Each has its own well defined and extensive sphere of action, while together they form a matrix for the development of the three kingdoms, endowed with life (plants), soul (animals), and spirit (man). We came to know oxygen as the element that carries life into physical manifestation, nitrogen as the force that permeates life with feeling and motion, hydrogen as the strongest power of ascent from the material to the spiritual, carbon as the crystallizing agent that brings what is endowed with spirit, soul and life into physical manifestation.
These four substances in various combinations and permutations enable the Creative cosmos to become effective for the earth and to continue reproducing miniature likenesses of the universe in earthly matter. This capacity is most apparent in the seed. Its protein provides the material that brings the prototypal image of the plant into physical manifestation.”
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