ALL things are produced by Nature and Destiny, nor is any place void of Providence. Providence is the Free Will of the Supreme God; whence two spontaneous forces, Necessity and Destiny. Destiny is subject to Providence and to Necessity; and to Destiny are subject the stars. Therefore, no man can escape from Destiny, nor arm himself against the action of the stars. For they are the instruments of Destiny; by their means the will of Destiny is accomplished throughout all Nature and in human existence.
142:1 I commend the above fragments to the careful consideration of Hermetists. Many persons find it difficult to reconcile belief in the "ruling of the stars" with belief in free will. At first sight it appears unjust and arbitrary that certain lines of life--even vicious ones--should be indicated by the "rulers of nativities" as the only lines in which the "native" will prosper; and they ask incredulously whether it can be rationally supposed that the "accident" of the day and hour of birth, is, by Divine Providence, permitted to direct and dominate the whole career of an intelligent and responsible being. But this objection is superficial, and the result of incomplete knowledge. For the difficulties of astrological science, if viewed in the light of Karmic Predestination or Fate, not only disappear, but give place to the unfoldment of a most lucid and admirable system of responsible causation. There is but one hypothesis capable of solving the enigma of Fate, and that hypothesis is a doctrine common to all the greater schools of thought--Vedic, Buddhist, Kabbalistic, Hermetic, Platonic,--the hypothesis, to wit, of multiple existences, or the doctrine of the Metempsychosis. Destiny, in the view of these philosophies, is not arbitrary, but acquired. Every man makes his own Fate; and nothing is truer than the saying that "Character is Destiny." For that which in one existence is Will, becomes in the next Fate. By the hands of men themselves, then, are their natal lines cast, whether in pleasant and virtuous, or in painful and p. 143 vicious paths. For in what manner soever an ego conducts itself in one existence, by that conduct, by that order of thought and habit it builds for itself its destiny in a future existence. And the ego is enchained by these pre-natal influences, and by them irresistibly compelled into a new nativity at the time of such conjunction of planets and signs as oblige it into certain courses, or incline it strongly thereto. Hence "Destiny," or Karma, is said by Hermes to "determine the position of the stars." And if the course so defined be evil, and the ruling such as to favour chiefly vicious propensities, the afflicted ego, even though assuredly reaping the just effects of its own demerit, is not left without a remedy. For the ego may oppose its will to the stellar ruling, and heroically adopt a course opposed to the direction of the natal influences. Thereby, indeed, the ego may bring itself under a curse for such period as those influences have power, for, as Hermes tells us, "no man can escape from Destiny, nor preserve himself from the action of the stars;" but at the same time, the will thus exerted will reverse the planetary affinities acquired, and give a new "set" to the current of the Karmic predestination, so that the ruling signs of the next nativity will be favourable to virtue and to a loftier state. But the "stars" and "stellar influences" which are thus the "instruments of Destiny" are immediately microcosmic, and only mediately macrocosmic. (For the full exposition and interpretation of this important subject, the reader is referred to "Astrology Theologized," now about to be republished in the present series of Occult Reprints, by ROBT. H. FRYAR, Bath.)
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