ARCHANGEL MICHAEL AND THE INNER PLANETS
Michael, a fire of life
The traditional effigies present him to us fully armed, bright, invincible, with a very specific role: to fight evil on all fronts. But who is this Being, really?
Archangel Michael – not to be confused with the birth angel that bears the same name – is a fire of life. The fire is a divine energy that instills passion and ardor, the will to survive, determination, strength of mind and character, and therefore also physical strength. The weapons with which Michael is depicted symbolize the power of action, but also of words. Michael’s words, as they provide us with direction, but also our own words, when we use them correctly. Michael’s words are words of fire. When they touch us and become ours, actions soon follow.
One of Michael’s attributes is the sword, a weapon that cuts and splits and therefore represents the power of discernment, the ability to distinguish between good and evil. But it also indicates the ability to cut a bond that oppresses, to loosen shackles: from a vice, from a bad habit, from an addiction, from something that causes damage or stops you from getting what you want. Symbolically the sword is connected to the mental plane; and discernment is a sign of reason and healthy intellect. It is no coincidence that Michael is an archangel, who belongs to that "array" of divine thoughts that embody the Light of Reason.
The dragon cannot be killed
Michael is a warrior because he instills the power and will be necessary to face all forms of injustice and prevarication, manifest or hidden. You can't fight if you're not determined, concrete, passionate. Therefore, he primarily teaches us to overcome fear, which curbs and paralyzes.
The dragon that usually accompanies Michael is clearly a symbol of evil, and Michael triumphs over this. Some argue that Michael depicts the devil, which is shown as something poisonous, slimy, monstrous and above all... Unknown. This is because the evil that we should be aware of always seems to come from the outside.
However, the dragon that Michael stabs is mainly nestled within us. The dragon dwells in the depths of our subconscious or in the labyrinth of our minds. It is the "beast" that we raise and feed in darkness, before leaving it free to go out into the world. Once evil is carried out, it always returns in some way, so our own personal Minotaur’s rampages do not occur without consequences.
Naturally, it is not possible to kill our dragon, because the grain of evil that we carry inside is a necessary part of evolution. It cannot be eliminated. The only thing we can do is recognise it and keep it at bay. The needless claim to eliminate it leads to serious imbalances.
Michele is a leader, his energy tries to jolt us from a state of inertia, inviting us to take charge of situations that call for us to defend ourselves. When the dragon’s breath is hanging in the air, we inevitably get affected by injustice and harmed, even if it seems we will be safe. The biggest mistake we can make is convincing ourselves that these things don’t concern us. When we act with indifference, we contribute to the growth of evil that will sooner or later reach us too.
A miniature solar system
Michael’s energy, however, is not just warrior energy. He also acts at the cosmic level: he coordinates and synchronizes the movements of the planets of the Solar System. An essential function to our existence, because without a perfect balance between the planetary forces in which we are immersed we would lack stability, and it would be impossible to survive. And here we explain another one of Michael’s attributes: a set of scales. Michele does not use it to ‘weigh’ souls, as is sometimes said. Judging human beings and their souls is not the responsibility of angels. The scales merely symbolize the balance that Michael's forces maintain in our small portion of the universe.
Michael’s work is reflected on a lower plane: there are subtle relationships between each planet and the various instincts in the human spirit. So, Michael also synchronizes the movements of our inner planets.
Humankind can be considered a miniature solar system. Ancient practitioners taught us that physical planets are embodiments of spiritual forces, but above all symbols of the aptitudes and temperaments of human nature. «The Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury and the Sun, they are all inside us...» said Hermete Trismegisto said. And Paracelso: «Saturn torments us not from above, but from within».
Thus, the Sun symbolizes our inner centre, whilst also influencing our innermost movements and structure. Our personal sun is our deepest identity, the creative power and the spirit that informs our personality. It determines characteristics such as authority, dignity, self-awareness and values, ambition, the ability not to be influenced by prejudice and conformity.
This potential, when mismanaged, can all degenerate into a desire for power, self-centredness, unbridled pride, recklessness, intolerance towards the rules of common living, inability to accept the ideas of others; it can even lead to a weak character and lack of will.
In the same way, the Moon represents and influences forces of incarnation, fertility and gestation (also of ideas and plans), imagination, dreams, memory of experiences and capacity for reflection, dominant instincts, the ability to correctly perceive reality and make changes in oneself and to one's own existence, contact with the deepest part of oneself and with inspirations from higher planes.
When our personal moon deviates, we become excessively materialistic, we lose the ability to control our instincts, we come up with defective plans and ideas, we show a tendency to become deluded, unstable and create a false perception of reality.
Mercury – Messenger of the Gods – symbolizes and governs our intellect: not only the logical, practical and experimental aspects, but also the ability to maximise our consciousness to discern and correctly interpret reality. The inner Mercury is the aptitude for communication, openness to the surrounding world, impartiality, ingenuity, practical spirit and adaptability, the ability to do many things together; it is all that promotes the union between personality and the spiritual plane. From this last aspect comes the definition of Mercury as a messenger.
When this planet is poorly experienced it leads to excessive rationality, to a perverted intellect that interprets reality arbitrarily. We start to produce abstract and dogmatic concepts, far from the real world. This leads to loss of deep contact with other creatures and therefore an inability to communicate, generating a lack of objectivity, tendency to deception and betrayal, mental rigidity, search for sterile and useless knowledge, difficulty conceiving original ideas, falsehoods.
Venus, the very warm planet, holds the balance between the spiritual and the material plane, and therefore harmony and beauty. Inner Venus is the ability to feel and arouse love, charm and eroticism; it guides artistic sense and aesthetic experience, instinctive attraction, openness and receptivity, trust, the fusion with each other and with the Whole, a sense of wonder, the ability to adapt and to make things beautiful through love.
If not managed properly, this potential can turn vulgar and beastly, turpitude, poor choices in love, tendency to commit adultery, unmotivated jealousy, a lack of openness, inner emptiness, a predilection for luxury and appearances, narcissism, hypocrisy and cynicism, tendency to denigrate or abuse, inability to see beauty, disharmony, artforms which are ugly and devoid of meaning.
Mars represents a commitment to self-improvement, the ability to break down obstacles and fears that keep us stuck in an undesired state. It can dissolve everything that stagnates inside and stops us from evolving. It brings rapid changes, the desire to work for one's own realization, the ability to grasp the present moment and to live every experience with intensity, the courage to witness truth, the ability to build one's own psychic identity.
A poorly governed Mars brings lack of discipline, carelessness, apathy, inactivity, inability to act constructively, a lack of ideals, hostility, bitterness, an aggressive and violent temperament, propensity to argue unnecessarily, tendency to give up, self-destruction.
Jupiter symbolizes our sense of inner royalty, the presence of God within ourselves and within everything. Jupiter supports the exercise of self-control and leads us to respect the laws that govern the cosmos, generating wealth and prosperity. It is the expansion and expression of one's own potential, trust in destiny and in oneself, the ability to succeed in life. It helps to realize the abundance of the universe, fostering generosity, joy, friendliness, a sense of order and civilization, and future aspirations.
On the contrary, an evil Jupiter leads us to trust only in ourselves and our own skills (true or presumed), closing off the universe’s benevolent forces. This attitude of closure generates mediocrity, vanity and pretension, excessive indulgence towards one another, ostentation, tendency to squander or be overly attached to wealth, exploitation, intransigence, dogmatic and destructive application of laws.
Saturn is called "the Lord of Time", because it determines how we manage the present, but especially the past, learning to accept the consequences of our actions. The inner Saturn is the ability to recognize the cause of one’s own difficulties, to take responsibility for it and to learn from experience; it is the ability to find one's inner teacher, to transform and mature, to develop patience, perseverance, a spirit of endurance, avoiding harm, fidelity, prudence, sobriety, practicality.
If misjudged, Saturn can generate excessive attachment to the earthly world and contempt for higher realities, thirst for possession, a tendency to deny one’s origins, to blame others when things go wrong, to reject life’s opportunities by hindering evolution and progress, pessimism, resentment, spiritual death.
As above, so below
It is therefore no wonder that the angel Michael’s intelligent Energy deals with both the solar system and our inner system. «Man carries within him heaven and earth», said Ildegard of Bingen; and in this sense he finds proper explanation for one of the most well-known axioms of hermeticism, part of the Our Father: «As above, so below» or «on earth as it is in heaven».
Turning to Michael means asking for the strength necessary to balance internal movements, to strengthen weaknesses and tone down excess. Calling upon Michael opens yourself to his energy, allowing him in, emotionally, mentally and physically.
Praying to Michael means getting help to find the centre, the focal point of one’s being. For this reason, Michael is a solar archangel: because he works to ensure that everything rotates harmoniously around the Sun and, in the same way, around the nucleus that shines inside of us.
This is how Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, called it:
Lend me your sword,
so that I’m armed
to vanquish the dragon within me.
Fill me with your strength,
so that I sow confusion
among the spirits who wish to lame me.
Work in me,
so that the light of my I shine out,
so that I can be guided to
deeds worth of you,
(Maria Antonietta Pirrigheddu
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