There is another triad to discuss, the one with its apex pointing down.
Now that I've made the case for the triad of Sun, Moon, and Mercury actually representing levels of consciousness, the Sun our highest aspiration, the next triangle also represents levels of consciousness, also symbolized by planets, yet these are the levels we must rise above in order to make our way towards the symbolic Sun.
The apex of our downward triangle is symbolic of Saturn. Saturn in the Cosmos corresponds to the outer realm of the physical and is called the "first born" because farthest in expression from the centre. Also he is called the guardian of the outer gate, the ruler of the world of Matter, standing with scythe and hour glass at that mystical point where cause and effect meet. He is seldom loved or welcomed because he is the law, the Reaper. Old, fixed, slow of movement, because first born, he is, in the individual, Destiny. He releases through the outer gate that initiate only who is strong enough to be at one with him and know his majesty.
In Freemasonry we can see him symbolized by the Tyler, who protects the outer door. The level of consciousness symbolized by Saturn is Materialism, at this level the individual is totally egocentric, his or her own little island, hence the reason the Tyler sits outside the door of the Lodge Room. Everything taken in by their senses is out there, separate, they are the subject, everything else is the object. Here we have the deepest of Buddhist samsara, ignorance, greed, and hatred, the three assassins.
Here's a rubber meets the road moment, if Saturn consciousness is not working for you, inside a switch is thrown. Sadly not all will hear the call, the world of the senses is very strong, and fortunate is the one who senses that which you seek is causing you to seek.
Allow me to make a very important point again before we continue, Freemasonry is a spiritual path, not religious, spiritual. If it was solely a moral tradition it would never discourage atheists from petitioning, it’s absurd to think atheists can't be moral, but because of its spiritual make-up it would be disrespectful to allow one to begin a path that is not in the person's interest. Freemasonry does not “save” souls; neither does the dummy downed religious dogma being promoted by ignorant literalistic thought.
One level up from the apex of Saturn is the angle representative of Jupiter, the planet of expansion, growth and cooperation.
The planets of conscience are Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter relates to the consciousness expanding principle; while Saturn relates to the consciousness limiting principle.
The Jupiter principle relates to the centrifugal or externalizing force of integration. Jupiter, by broadening the horizons, forces that self, now integrated, to acknowledge that there is still more, that there can be more awareness by reaching out from the center towards the universe. Together Jupiter and Saturn act as rival agents that affect a continued and steady growth process of consciousness, not too fast, but then not too slow either, by providing for the balancing awareness of a conscience. These two together represent the balancing agent of the self vs. others... the ability to balance the needs of the self with the needs of the other.
If find it interesting the Jupiter was also known as the God of lightening and the thunderbolt, the lightening bolt is symbolized on the electrician's apron in Freemasonry. Coincidence?
Our next position on the downward pointing triangle opposite of Jupiter is Mars.
This level of consciousness, symbolized by the planet Mars, is influential in illuminating our vision as to what is no longer serving us. This makes Mars symbolism relevant to cycles, and the natural rhythms of life and death, something understood by the warrior planet. On the one hand we have the driving force of new beginnings followed by a period of thoughtful retreat and a symbolic death to the things which no longer serve.
Working with the Mars symbol and Mars symbolism means being honest with ourselves. Mars energy forces us to confront our deepest, darkest secrets and drive a spike of active understanding in the heart of our shadows.
I have introduced you to two distinct triads, of triangles, the one with the apex up symbolic of the highest three levels of consciousness, and a second inferior triad, or triangle, with its apex point down representing the three lowest levels of consciousness.
What we are seeking here is Unity, the highest level of consciousness available, yet we have two distinct and separate triangles. If we think of the triad of Sun, Moon, and Mercury as the triad of Spirit, and the triad of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn as the triad of Matter, the only way Matter can raise to union with Spirit is Venus, love.
Venus, love, is the tie that binds. The attraction of Spirit to love draws Spirit to Matter, and the attraction of Matter to love pulls Matter to love, thus the two Spirit and Matter are harmonized by Venus, love. Only through love can our level of consciousness rise above the world of Matter. It doesn't matter what you think you know it doesn’t matter what you preach, without love you just ain’t getting it.
Now I know many within the esoteric traditions are familiar with the interlaced triangles with the Sun in the center, where as in mine I placed Venus, and with due cause.
In the hexagram we have created by the higher triad descending and the lower triad ascending can only make sense when we are discussing the raising of ones consciousness, symbolized in the raising of the Master Mason and all those who seek Enlightenment, Self Realization, Samadhi, etc.
Because of love the triangle of Spirit descends to Matter, and because of love Matter ascends to Spirit, forming the union that allows one continue the process of expansion of consciousness.