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Anna Kingsford-The Seven Planetary States

Drawing of the Planetary Gods, in the work Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. I, p. 89.


This sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA is an excerpt from Edward Maitland, ‘Anna Kingsford – Her Life, Letters, Diary and Work.’ Two volumes. 3rd Edition, edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart. John M. Watkins, London, 1913. Vol. II. From the Chapter XXVII, MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERIES. This is the main biography of Anna Kingsford. It is written in two big volumes. The 1st Edition is from January 1896; the “2nd Edition”, actually a reprint, was done in the same year of 1896; the 3rd Edition, edited by Samuel Hopgood Hart is from 1913. 


March 20 [1884].

‘There are Seven Planetary States – not planets, as certain Theosophists so-called vainly imagine – through which the Ego must pass. This truth is typified by the Seven Circuits of the river Styx around Hades. Hades is the underworld of the inner microcosmic Adytum, and a river – as says Olympiodorus – is a figure of Life. Life, then, passes seven times around the Hadean sphere, and is the Mother of four children, Zeal, Victory, Strength, and Power. Styx, the river of Life, or Hadean Life – that is, Existence – is called in Greek the Hateful, because this earthly existence is indeed hateful in comparison with that eternal and serene ocean from whence it flows and into which it returns. So Styx is said to be the daughter of Oceanus, the great Water of Eternity surrounding the earth – that is, the world of emanation. She flows, it is said, from the tenth source of this ocean – that is, from Malkuth, the tenth Sephirah or Power. Malkuth is that which makes visible, Actuality or Fate, the dual-faced Moon. For this reason Hecate, who is the evil aspect of the Moon (Leah), was regarded as the dominant power of Hades, and sacrifices were offered to propitiate her by all who had reason to fear the vengeance of the Erinyes, or who desired to invoke the powers of evil. And for this reason also Hecate is introduced in the Mysteries informing Demeter (Intelligence) what had become of Persephone (the Soul). For by the descent of the Soul into the lower world, she fell under the power of the tenth Sephirah, and this is the power of the Moon.

Styx as Existence united to the Elements (Pallas the Giant) brings forth four successive results of spiritual development, and these she presents to Zeus (Adonai) to assist Heaven against the Titans. The Titans are figures of the Powers of Nature, which are deified by those who know not God, and who thus become the rivals of and rebellers against Zeus. It is a picture of the contest between Materialism and Idealism, the Titans representing the irresponsible blind Forces at war with the moral and spiritual attributes of Man. The strife rages in the Hadean world as well as in the upper Macrocosmal region. The war of the Gods and the Titans reproduces the Eastern allegory of the strife between Ormuzd and Ahriman, and between the devils and the angels. But the Titans are not evil, and must not be confounded with the Devil. The Devil is void and negation, the Not-God, Nihilism and outer darkness. The greatest of the twelve Titans is Chronos (Time), identical with Satan. For Satan is Time, a Power, and that the mightiest of the natural world, the beginner of the Dynasty of Creation. For Creation is in Time, and Chronos is the Lord thereof. He is the Prince of the Power of this world, the Avenger and Destroyer. But he is a Son of Heaven (Uranus), and Father of the Gods, because the Soul, whose function it is to cognise the Gods and Principles, springs out of Mind, and has her birth, therefore, from that vehicle which only cognises the Powers of Nature.

The whole story of the successive despoliation of Uranus, of Chronos, and the wars of their respective armies are parables of the succession of circles in the Evolution of the Styx (Life). In fact, the Titans are figures of the world of Generation, and Styx herself is said to be a Titan, wife of a giant. Oceanus, the father of Styx, is the oldest of the Titans, and signifies therefore the link between the worlds of Emanation (Heaven) and of Earth (Gê). Each time the River of Hades completes a circle of the worlds of Generation she takes a higher plane. The first spiral is the Etheric world, a condition immergent in Matter and Time, but in which the transition is chaotic. Malkuth is the tenth source of the extra-mundane Ocean, and the sphere she dominates is the eighth. This eighth sphere is no other than the caldron of Hecate and of Medea. In it are the débris of the dying and ancient worlds; out of it springs the New World. It is Chaos. The world which arises immediately out of this caldron is called the Etheric. It is the first in the planetary chain. Consider that this word “Planet” signifies “Wanderer.” All the worlds of Generation are scenes of Pilgrimage or of Wandering; and as they reappear again and again in successive rounds, they are themselves “Wanderers.” A planet, in occult phrase, is therefore nothing more nor less than a station. The Soul passes from one to the other through the whole chain of seven worlds (or stations) in order. Of these “worlds,” four are subtle, three are gross. Three of the subtle are on the downward path, one on the upward. But when the last is reached, then the whole circle is begun over again on a higher spiral. The first world, going outward, is the Etheric. This is subtle. The next is the Elemental, also subtle, but less so than the Etheric. The third is the Gaseous, less subtle still. These three are the fluidic worlds. Then comes the first world of dense matter – the Mineral. Therein the lowermost and outermost of the worlds is reached, and the spiral turns.

The next world is on the upper and reverting line; it is the Vegetable, the first organic station, and less material than the last. Then comes the Animal, the last of the material or gross worlds; and the next is subtle again – Man. But this last is on the spiritual spiral, for the turn is taken between the Animal and Man. This is the first cycle of the Styx. The next is Spiritual or interior, and the whole operation is again repeated. The outcome of this last spiral is Christ. Then a third time the spiral is run through on the plane of the personal and transcendent state, with the result of Transmutation as the seventh station. During these rounds, four Powers are begotten in the Soul, and these finally overcome the Titans, and dwell for ever with Zeus (Adonai). They are Ardour, or striving Zeal, belonging to the purified passionate nature; Triumph, or Victory, belonging to the volitional nature; Strength, or Fortitude, belonging to the intelligent nature; and Power, belonging to the psychic nature. These are saved and redeemed principles, surviving the wrack and wreck of the dross which is destined to be swept into Hecate’s caldron, for the building up of new worlds. These principles are the offspring of Styx, and are caught up to the Throne of God.’

These seven worlds compose the Lower Triangle of the sacred hexagram. When a man begins the life of Thought, he goes all round the seven stations again, and ends at the state of Christhood. Every man must attain this state potentially before he can enter the Heavens. The man who realises it actively is a Jesus. It is necessary in one’s own heart to be willing and able to be a Jesus; but to carry the will into actual deeds is to attain to the third and highest circle, ending in transmutation. There are many subordinate rounds in the chain. You may number them until seventy times seven if you will. Or if you find it clearer, instead of arranging your seven planetary stations as a triangle, which, of course, is only arbitrary, you may arrange them as a succession of islands with a stream – the river of Life – flowing around each. But remember always that all numbers are arbitrary symbols. All these seven worlds are included and intended in the phrase, “Worlds of Form.”

Anna Kingsford-The Seven Planetary States

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