The eighth orb is known to Initiates of the highest interior degree as “the Dark Satellite” whose ruling spiritual hierophant is known by the name of Ob. From this name came that of Oberon, and so evil and infernal is the power of this sphere that all cases of demonia, enchantment or possession came to be termed Obsession. The buried cities of the Gobi desert belong to races who were the devotees of this Ob. (This was after the Gobi had become a portion of the continent of old India and does not refer to the “Golden isle” of the sea, when the Gobi was a tropical ocean.) Hence its name, Gobi, that is, the followers of Ob, or the country of Ob. This is the reason for the awful traditions mentioned in “Isis Unveiled” as to the hidden treasures being guarded by a legion of infernal spirits. It is from this evil orb that the powers possessed by the Black Magi are derived, and, in fact, it is the Spiritual correspondence of those brothers on Earth. For, remember, there is not a class of people, or a society devoted to any subject on Earth, but what has a spiritual correspondence in the realm of spirit. The Hermetic Law is one grand truth, viz., “As it is above, so it is below, as on the Earth, so in the Sky.” St. Paul mentions, or rather refers, to this “Dark Satellite” when he publicly declares: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, princes of the air“.
When we look about us with the physical senses, Nature seems to be in continual warfare with herself. In fact, it seems utterly impossible to find anything not in deadly conflict with something else, either visible or invisible. Observing this, mankind has unconsciously, from time immemorial, formulated the idea of two great powers, viz., “good” and “evil”. From this idea the grand dogma of theology—“God” and the “Devil” sprang into existence, and became the chief corner stone of every sacerdotalism which the world has witnessed. And while there is some basic truth in this idea, as in every popular conception, since mankind as a whole cannot formulate any idea that is wholly and absolutely false in every detail; yet, there is also much that is utterly false in it, owing to the fact that man, while existing upon the material plane, cannot grasp the divine idea of Absolute Truth, nor realize the logical absurdity of more than one Absolute. He, therefore, utterly fails to comprehend how that which is relative evil can be harmonized into absolute good. Accordingly, to the majority of mankind, this mighty problem of good and evil is still unsolved. Few, very few indeed, even of the profoundly learned students of Occult lore in the past, arrived at a true conception of the subject.
During the lapse of the ages, countless legends and allegories have been evolved, to embody the facts and the processes connected with this arcane mystery, but the metaphysics of these legends have never been revealed to the uninitiated. Especially has this been the case in regard to the Dark Satellite. However, the time has now come when certain facts in regard to this orb of evil are for the first time given out to the world “pro bono publico.”
In the first place, certain misconceptions in regard to the dark orb need to be corrected. Many earnest students have thought it to be “The Lost Orb” of the Grecian mysteries, hence similar to the Egyptian conception of the spiritual “fall”. But there is, in fact, no connection between the two. The lost orb, in its cosmological aspect, will be found noticed in the second part of this work. In its spiritual aspect it applies to the fallen human soul, not the lost soul. Herein consists the difference between the two orbs, the lost and the dark.
Another misconception has regarded the Moon, our Earth’s visible satellite, as identical with the dark orb. Many Theosophists assert, in a very mysterious manner, that the Moon is not only the eighth sphere, or the orb of death and dissolution, but that it is “the dust bin of the universe,” although Dr. Wyld, formerly president of the London T.S. fully exposed the absurdity of this mysterious Theosophical Secret in the columns of “Light.” This conception is radically false as regards the Moon, although it approaches the realms of truth in some respects regarding the nature of the mysterious dark satellite itself.
With these brief introductory remarks it now remains to point out how to form a perfectly correct conception of what the dark satellite is, and its fearful importance at the present crisis of the world’s history.
The Hermetic Constitution of Man
Man, as we behold him by means of our physical senses, appears to us a wonderful specimen of mechanical skill and architectural beauty. Each organic part is so exquisitely formed, and in such perfect unison one with another, and each with the whole. There is little wonder that the human organism has been taken as the finite type of the unknown infinite. If this be true upon the external plane, it is infinitely more so upon the internal plane. Here, bone, flesh, blood, and hair, the externals of the outward body, are seen to be nothing but the crystallizations of ethereal force, held together by mental being. Not held together as a matter of necessity, for the sake of its own especial evolution, but simply as the natural outcome, the physical reaction of its ethereal activities. In order to present a clear and definite picture of what man really is, we will formulate his Hermetic constitution, as follows;
- A physical form fourfold in its composition, consisting in a general sense, of bones, blood, flesh, and hair. This form, as a whole, is composed of an infinite number of separate organic cells, each cell constituting a minute system of its own, which in its turn has been formed by the crystallization of imponderable forces around a living spirit entity.
- An electro-vital body, seemingly composed of pale phosphorescent light, enclosing a glittering skeleton framework of electric fire. This is the purely electro-magnetic form, inseparable from the physical body during life, because this latter depends for its continued existence upon the active presence of the physical form. The pale phosphorescent light presents a very perfect outline portrait of the physical body, while the fiery skeleton shows the interior electro-nervous system of the organism. The branches of the nerve system, spreading out in every direction from the great trunk lines of the brain and spinal column, present to the trained spiritual sight the appearance of an infinitude of fine pencil rays of light darting in straight lines with inconceivable rapidity toward every point of the compass.
- An astral form, so called because it is composed of the magnetic light evolved by the planet. This astral light differs in quality and degree upon every orb in the universe. It is generated from the universal ether of space, and it may be said to be the ether under a change of form and capacity. It is the soul of the material planet, consequently, the cause world of that planet’s external phenomena. To give a better and truer idea of this almost unknown astral light we will illustrate. We say that water is the universal material fluid. This is a truth, but some water is salty, some brackish, some bitter, others sulphuric, sweet or fresh. This is exactly the case with the astral fluid. It differs upon every star. It is this difference that constitutes the strikingly different qualities of planetary influence. With this slight digression we resume. This astral form presents a perfect image of the external personality, even to style and condition of the clothing worn at the time. This form is easily separable from the physical organism, and constitutes the true or real personality. By personality we do not mean the individuality or identity of the person, but we mean the persona, or appearance assumed by the soul during its sojourn within the material vortices, or planes of cosmic force. This form is under the direct control of the mental being animating it, and, under suitable conditions, can be made to assume (temporarily) any ideal image or form within the grasp of the dominating mind. When the astral double is absent from the physical body, the latter, if awake, performs whatever it may be engaged in doing, in a purely automatic or mechanical manner. At the same time it is susceptible to any pain or injury which may befall the absent double. The astral is also specially susceptible to magical operations. Probably nine tenths of all black magical injury are operated by means of or upon this ethereal form.
- The animal soul is that section of the animating entity incarnated within the microcosm, which constitutes the lower arc of its universe. This animal soul is formless as regards its separate expression, and can be traced only in the lower lines and shadings of the human countenance. It is the seat of the selfish, brutal desires, which are, in themselves, lower than the human sphere but are evolving upward through it from the animal. Their activities are strictly confined to the astral and material planes.
- The spiritual body, per se, is a finely etherealized organism which in the majority of the present generation is either latent or embryonic. This body constitutes the human form divine in the higher sphere of the soul world where man becomes the angel. It is the white robe and golden crown given the elect in the Apocalypse of St. John. In other words, it is the soul’s expression of the heavenly raiment of the purified man.
- The divine soul is that section of the entity incarnated within the microcosm which constitutes the higher arc of its universe. This soul, like the lower one, is formless as to its separate expression, and can be traced only in the higher lines of the human countenance. It is the seat of the good, unselfish, noble aspirations, and of all those actions which spring forth spontaneously to aid the weak, the suffering and afflicted, unassociated with any interested motives of self.
- The pure spirit entity itself, called the divine Ego. This is the divine atom of life, the vital spark, the central controlling spiritual sun of the microcosm. It is never incarnated within the form until the seventh state or perfect manhood is attained.
The above are the exact divisions of the human constitution, as viewed from without and within.
The Dark Satellite
Now, that magnetic sphere of our planet which exactly corresponds to the animal soul of man, is what is Occultly termed “the Dark Satellite.” Therefore, in order to comprehend this dusky sphere, its nature and functions, it is absolutely necessary to understand the nature and function of the animal soul of man, together with its relations to the other six divisions; and also, to clearly grasp man’s relation to the planet of which he forms, as it were, an atomic part towards an organic whole.
When the above is understood, it will then be seen that this dark, magnetic orb constitutes the grand center or focus of the Earth’s animal force; in other words, it is the realm of the undeveloped good in Nature, whose terrible motto is embraced in the word SELF.
Diming the “Golden” and “Silver” periods of our Earth’s evolution, this dark satellite was in the aphelion portion of its orbit and its influence was scarcely felt; or else, its influence was seen and recognized only in its true relation of animal force and undeveloped good. As a factor of evil it was imperceptible. But during the Copper and Iron ages the dark satellite gradually approached the Earth, and its degrading forces became more and more bewildering and potent until the year 1881, when it passed its grand perihelion point. The year 1881 was to see the second coming of the Lord. Many sects expected Jesus to come in person, select their group as the chosen few, guide them to heaven and leave all others on earth to suffer their fate because of their sins and non-belief. This proved to be a real error. The ushering in of new spiritual thought and the new atomic age is actually the new dispensation, the second coming of Christ. Wars are necessary to bring about the change, the old must be uprooted before the new can take its place. The dark orb is now slowly but surely receding, and although the clouds are not lifted from the mental horizon; and though the fearful world-wide conflicts which occurred are not yet settled; and confusion and chaos seem more widespread and error more rampant than ever before in the world’s history, yet the crisis is past its darkest culminating point. As it is often darkest just before break of day, so even now the dawn of a brighter morn is at hand, when the faithful, resolute truth-seeker shall be able to solve for himself this awful problem of good and evil, of light and shadow. Therefore, sustained by the knowledge of the ultimate victory of order and equilibrium over chaos and opposing forces; even though all mankind are enveloped in the darkness of battle and involved in the vortices of the defeated legions of error; let us turn our attention more closely to the satellite itself, which has been such a disturbing factor to our planet’s mental equilibrium; and consider this sphere with special reference to the implications of responsibility forced upon every soul seeking light and immortality.
In the first place, this orb possesses a complete organization of its own; and is governed by well defined laws, the nature of which may be known only too well by patiently observing the merciless instincts of the lower animal nature as manifested in man; where the moral consciousness is absolutely wanting. Our daily news, continually, reports all sorts of vicious crimes against God and man. Throughout the whole of this loathsome sphere are numerous races of spiritual beings; many of them possessing the highest forms of cunning and intelligence possible to the animal plane. It is these creatures; who are neither elementals nor elementaries, but treacherous beings; who produce the greatest portion of the suffering and misery which afflicts humanity. They are the active Occult agents of that potent fraternity within the spiritual world which has its external expression and correspondence in the brotherhood known upon Earth as the “Black Magi,” or “Inversive Brethren.” These two fraternities, viz: the spiritual rulers and potentialities of the dark satellite upon the astral plane, and the schools of Black magic, vice and crime, upon the physical plane; constitute the two halves of the planet’s evil desire.
From within the dark center of the astral realms of the former, the spirit of lies, murder, crime, fraud and religious imposture is first formulated, and then projected to the earthly fraternity as the means of its continued existence. From these centers it is re-formulated to suit the spirit and temper of the times; and then its psychological influence is projected into the mental whirl of the race, where its silent, subtle influx poisons the dimensional spaces which constitute the magnetic planes of human life. From thence, these unseen Occult currents penetrate the innermost recesses of the human mind, and possess the soul to such an extent, that deep down in the heart of man; no matter how pure and disinterested he may appear; there lurks the slimy reptile of selfishness, yea, even when he least suspects it. It is this grim monster, SELF, that each aspirant to Occult truth seeks to conquer. When this Goliath of the soul is struck dead by the smooth white pebble of the spirit, slung with the neophyte’s will, the grand ordeal is over, the crown of immortality won. “To the victor belong the spoils.”
We have pointed out the fact that it is the dark satellite from whence proceeds the spirit of lies, murder and frauds. This was well known to the initiates of the greater Hermetic mysteries, for we find the idea very clearly defined in the mystical language of the ancients, as the following extract from one of the supposed lost magical works of Hermes Trismegistus will show. Speaking of the magical rulers of the dark satellite as they sit in council, creating delusion, we read:
“So they called forth a form From the deep dark abyss To embody their evil desire. Obedient it came From the realms of the dead. Arrayed in its magic attire. As it passed o’er the earth The fair flowers fell dead, From its breath of poisonous fire.”
Indeed, so thoroughly has this poisonous fire of self-interest permeated the world, that the fair flowers of disinterestedness have become an almost entirely extinct species, and should the real state of unselfish, unworldliness of a true mystic become known, he is either regarded with pity as non compos mentis, or else looked upon with suspicion as an imposter, acting from motives more subtle than govern the ordinary mortal.
The manner in which this poisonous magnetic energy is projected from the dark satellite to the earth is wholly inversive, and the rulers and magical hierophants make use of this inversive force to distort and corrupt Truth in every form wherein it struggles to become manifest upon earth. The powers and influences attributed to certain races of astrals, by the authors of “The Perfect Way,” belong in reality to the rulers and principalities of the dark satellite, who mercilessly distort every arcane truth into theological dogma, of partial error, causing it to assume to the human mind the delusive form of the externals of truth and logic. But the delusive form is, after all, only a very flimsy sophistry when subjected to the keen searching eye of the soul. Consequently, it is always those who are half informed of Nature’s mysteries; the half-initiated, so to say; who fall into the snare. Herein is seen the Occult truth in the proverb, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
Just as the dark satellite was at its perihelion, these inversive brethren achieved the greatest apparent theological and metaphysical success in the re-launching forth, throughout the world, of the doctrines of “Re-incarnation,” “Karma,” and “Disembodied Shells,” as formulated and taught by the decaying priesthoods of the dreamy Orient. Viewed in its true light, this gigantic movement of the inversive brethren was aimed as a death blow to the rapidly spreading spiritualism of the Occident; since, wherever accepted, these doctrines, as taught and interpreted by the Buddhist cult, destroy at once, all belief in the possibility of spirit communication between disembodied souls and external humanity. Such a movement, however, is doomed to ultimate failure, as there are certain absolute truths connected with spiritualism that will live, notwithstanding the ignorance of the expounders, its many errors and gross impostures. These truths can neither be suppressed by inversive magic, nor smothered by an oriental theory. Their misrepresentations are too patent to the candid mind, and reaction against the speculative mentality of the East, sooner or later, is sure to set in. The Western matter-of-fact mind, will tear the grim mask from these would-be brethren of the snow-clad Himalayas, and show to the world who are the denizens of the shadow, and who are the children of light.
At this point the question naturally arises, “of what personal or selfish benefit is the propagation of error to the inhabitants of the dark satellite?” The answer is simply this, it furnishes them with the means of prolonging their external existence while on earth, and supplies them with an additional lease of life in the world to come; as will be made manifest from the Hermetic laws of death given below. According to Hermetic laws, death is not what is known as physical dissolution, but is a failure on the part of the human being to polarize the atoms which constitute his soul so he may realize immortality. It is, therefore, a falling from the human plane to the animal plane, where conscious existence may be prolonged indefinitely by means of dark magical arts.
The following are an accurate rendering of the real ideas as taught by Hermes Trismegistus.
The Laws of Death
- “As it is below, so it is above; as on the earth, so in the sky.”
- “There are two states of being; one is mortal, the other is immortal.”
- “That which is mortal is dissolvable, and dissolvable bodies pass away like a mist in the morning.”
- “An immortal body is an essence which is eternal and incorruptible.”
- “But the twain, the mortal and the immortal, cannot exist together forever, but each returneth to the place from whence it came.”
- “The mortal body is sensible, but the immortal is reasonable.”
- “The former contains nothing that is perfect, the latter nothing that is imperfect; for the one is the essence of the matter, and the other the essence of spirit, and man, the microcosm, holds the balance of the twain.”
- “And there is a fierce warfare for the victory, between the lower and the upper, as they both desire to obtain the body as their prize; for the state of man is envied by the lower and glorified as a noble state by the higher.”
- “Now if the man inclines toward the lower nature which is mortal, he thereby aids the lower imperfect powers to oppose the higher which is immortal, and must suffer the pains of slavery for his disobedience to the Work-Man, his maker. But if he inclines to the higher, then he is truly wise and blest.”
- “Should man, after being attracted by the vanities of the world and then, after obtaining a knowledge of the things that are, return to the vanities of the world, he will be punished with torments and fire in the darkest states of disembodied souls.”
- “Should a man after knowing the things that are become rebellious of restraint to that part which is immortal, and return to the vanities of the world, the higher essence will straightway depart from him, and he will become the slave of the lower essence which will seize upon him and drive him to all sorts of wicked arts and evil ways.”
- “When man has thus impiously disobeyed his Creator and turned his face away from that which is immortal, behold, he is then disinherited from his birthright, and is no longer counted among the children of God, because he has become an evil, perverse thing, possessing only those things which are mortal, and he is punished with death.”
- “And so death is meted out to all those who rebel against their Creator impiously, because they know the things that are. But to those foolish souls who are ignorant, and who have not knowingly rejected their Creator, behold, they are purified after much suffering and are sent to the world again.”
The teachings involved in the above laws are so clear, so simple, and we may also add so divinely just, that to attempt in any way to explain or annotate them would only be to sow the first seeds of error and misunderstanding. We will, therefore, leave them with the reader as they are, pure and free from the mental bias of any mortal being.
In a previous chapter we have shown that all realms of life above the human are immortal, and that those below this plane are mortal, or, they only possess the possibilities of immortality in a rudimentary form. Man, alone, possesses the elements of both life and death. The laws of life have also been fully elucidated, and the soul which even only imperfectly obeys them will, “after it has been purified by much suffering,” ultimately reap the reward of eternal conscious existence. Consequently, the great majority of those souls who are really human beings, will inherit immortality as the natural consequence of their humanity. But there are exceptions, which though few in number, comparatively, require special notice. These exceptions may, for the sake of convenience, be divided into three distinct classes.
The first and most numerous class consists of imperfectly organized, sensitive, weak-natured individuals, with little or no mental bias, who possess strong mediumistic magnetisms. Individuals of this class, though perfectly human to begin with, soon lose the actual control of the external organism, and in consequence, the body becomes the obedient instrument for any and every class of disembodied earth bound spirits, or, what is still worse, it may become the slave of some vicious elementary. In this case there was no real or true individuality to start with, therefore, no one can assert truthfully that he was actually acquainted with the true personage; for, most probably the real soul had departed in the very early infancy of the organism’s physical existence, how, when, or where, none but the trained seer can tell. In every individual case the astral causes that produced the soul’s abortion will differ widely.
The second class are those who fall victims to premeditated obsession, and are by no means so numerous as the former. In this case the organism is generally very fine, so far as the magnetic temperament is concerned, but the soul is utterly wanting in spiritual volition or will. That is to say, the magnetic polarity is of such a nature that the spiritual will of the soul is almost powerless to act upon it. The absence of this essential element of human life may be the result of mental conditions of the mother during pregnancy, or of a mental coma, so to say, of both parents at the moment of conception. This mental coma externalizes itself in the offspring as a lack of vim, nerve and fire. Hence, we often see this condition manifested in the children of kings, noblemen, and those of great wealth, who have the means to pander to and gratify a fashionable, sentimental lassitude. In addition to this lack of spiritual volition, the magnetic constitution is always strongly mediumistic and the individual, if left quite free from the control of others, naturally would be good, highly sensitive, and in the true sense of spiritual parlance, “a spirit medium,” inspirational, physical, or clairvoyant, according to his peculiar magnetic grade. This is the reason why they often fall the victim of premeditated obsession. When obsession transpires it is generally found that some potent external mind, that of an evil sorceress, or black magician, (according to the sex,) requires the organism for the purpose of prolonging their own personal existence. When a suitable mediumistic body is found, they bring the whole of their powerful magnetic will to bear upon the almost willess brain of their victim, and slowly but surely eject the rightful occupant, and then, by virtue of their Occult powers and magic arts, inhabit the organism themselves, while the near friends and relatives of the victim are often surprised at the remarkable change which they notice has taken place, in temperament and disposition, but alas,—they seldom or never suspect the terrible truth which such a change implies, nor can they possibly be brought to fully understand that the individual moving among them as usual has nothing whatever in common with their silently departed friend.
The third and last, also the least in number, of these classes includes those who are born into the world under strangely conflicting conditions. They possess all the essential elements of manhood with a powerful current of the most potent and concentrated form of selfishness and pride. In addition to this undesirable quality they express the highest form of intellectuality combined with a powerful will and mediumistic temperament. These dominating conditions predispose them to the study of psychology and Occultism, hence they fall an easy prey to the members of the Black Magi and their inversive astral Brethren. Their selfishness, combined with their unbounded ambition and desire for power, precipitate them headlong into the most frightful practices, where, surrounded by the infernal rites of their diabolical seducers, they become the helpless slaves of the very powers they sought to control. Henceforward, they are lost. As the Hermetic law states, “They are punished with death,” and they know it, and consequently are compelled, for their own safety, to remain faithful to the order which entrapped them. Their only motto is self, their only desire is to live, and this they will do at any cost. For their own single lives they would sacrifice the balance of Gods creation, if such a thing were possible, simply because death to them is death in reality.
In the first and second classes of so-called lost souls, the true individual, as we have shown, does not become lost, he is “the foolish,” ignorant soul, “sent to the world again.” Not sent to the world again by means of re-incarnation in matter upon the outward planes of life, but by a sympathetic union with some kindred soul on earth, whose experiences they can experience, whose sorrows they can feel, and whose joys they can share. The writer has beheld numerous cases of this kind, where the soul of some unfortunate, mediumistic organism was sympathetically attached to the organism of a living individual, as a means of progress, and of completing this round of external experiences. In this class a person simply loses his physical organism. This personality, along with the animal and astral portion of it, becomes a lifeless shadow at death, and slowly disintegrates within the magnetic spaces of the astral light. It is a misty form, incapable of personating its original owner, or of being “galvanized into temporary life.” While the counterfeiting, obsessing forces, after loss of the physical body run the cycle of the magnetic existence within the electro-vital spaces of the planet, then become attached to the eighth sphere, the Dark Satellite or orb of death. This attraction is brought into force by virtue of their affinity with the realms of elemental being. They have sunk beneath the plane of humanity, and consequently are no longer human, and when once they become enclosed within the fatal magnetic whirl of death, they lose the polarity over the feeble atoms which constitute their only being, and gradually dissolve, atom by atom, like the poisonous miasmatic mists before the rising sun. While the Deific Atoms themselves, which these lost personalities failed to realize, imperishable as ever, enter upon a new cycle of involution and evolution, thus slowly building up new individualities for themselves. Not on this planet, the scene of their failure and suffering, but on a higher plane, in worlds more ethereal than ours.