Conclusion: The Eighth Day
In the Epistle of Barnabbas, written with reference to the words spoken by the Lord to Moses on Mount Sinai, we read: “Finally He saith to them: ‘Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with.’ Ye see what in His meaning; it is not your present Sabbaths which I have made, in the which, when I have set all things at rest, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world. Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into the heavens.”
Saturday, the Sabbath, was “the religious day” of the Jews, but Sunday became “the religious day” of the Christians. In a way Sunday and Saturday represent the same period, but with reference to the Old Testament conception of the spiritual path, the Sunday can only be a Day of rejoicing, because it symbolizes the state of Rest. The Sunday of the Christian tradition, however, represents the next period, in which the Sun “rises”. It is clear that only the second division of the Sunday — in the terminology of Genesis, “the evening”, and in the terminology of astrology, the Fire-Sign of Aries, ruled on the Day-throne by Mars — can symbolize the Resurrection truly.
It is known from the Gospels and from the Creed that Jesus “rose on the third day”. Elsewhere I have sown at length that the Drama on the Cross terminates in the symbolic scheme of Zodiac on the Sixth Day, consisting of the stages of Scorpio and Sagittarius. Jesus died on “Good Friday”. Friday is “the sixth day”. The “third day”. Counting from the killing of Jesus in the period of the Sixth Day, is the Eighth Day, during the second division of which the Lord is resurrected.
In St. Mark we read: “And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first of the week they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.” The “rising of the sun”, besides having reference to the resurrection on his spiritual path of an individual human being, also symbolizes the dawn of “a new world” in the Light of Resurrection, for humanity at large. St. Matthew has written: “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” It should be noted that in all four Gospels the word “day” is omitted in this sentence, as it has also been left out in : “When Jesus was risen early the first of the week.” This is the case, because there is no question here of the First Day of Genesis. In the scheme of Genesis, Aries forms the period of the Morning of the Second Day. Elsewhere the word “day” has not been omitted. St. Mark, St. Matthew and St. Luke state that “the first of the week” follows on the Sabbath. Thus the Christian Sunday symbolically stands for the period of the Resurrection. In astrology the stage of the Seventh Day consists of Capricorn and Aquarius which are both ruled by Saturn. It is “Saturday”. “Sunday” is the Day in which the Sun rises on a new world. While in the Old Testament Sunday and Saturday represent two aspects of one world, in the New Testament this is the case with Monday and Sunday.
The “eighth day”, mentioned in the Epistle of Barnabbas, represents a “later” form of the Second Day, in which comes the Sunrise or Resurrection of Spring. The idea is to stress the coming of a new Cycle for humanity at large and the “revelation” of a new Dispensation. This is, actually, an “unveiling” or “disclosure” of the Old Dispensation, by the help of “the key of knowledge” which had been stolen by the “lawyers”.
“The eighth day” is mentioned in the Old Testament only in one connection and that is, or was, a very important one. For it is associated with a symbol of the covenant between God and man: the circumcision. The Covenant is the Dispensation, wrongly rendered by “Testament”. It is the Tradition in its esoteric form, for that alone forms the link between the Divine and the Deep, symbolically represented by the states of respectively the Seventh and the First Days of Genesis. In the course of time it becomes crystallized in sets of creeds and dogmas held by various sects. Therefore from time to time it needs “revelation” or “unveiling”, and “resurrection”.
In this book and in the works to follow the word “tradition” is used in rather a wide sense as denoting (1) any of the old religions and faiths of the world and (2) the theological and psychological teachings, rituals and customs (including the sociological ones which are based upon them) which have been handed down from olden times in these religions and faiths. The word is only used for profane customs of modern times if this is specially mentioned (as in “traditions of parliament”, etc.,). Reverence for and the upholding of tradition should be clearly distinguished from “traditionalism”, by which is generally implied no more than an (often senseless) conservatism of outer forms of tradition and of its “letter”, or of profane customs. When the word Tradition is written with a capital letter it denotes the Spirit or inner life of the traditional treasures of old, which is universal and imperishable. The Tradition is not “handed down” in the world but lives (to use a modern term) in the collective unconscious and enters consciousness from there. It is the inner mirror on which the light of meaning, bringing insight, is reflected. It is the esoteric which forms the life and spirit of the exoteric. In the mythological traditions of old the gate between the inner meaning and the surface-meaning of Tradition, or, in other words, the door of the revelation and resurrection of the true meaning of tradition, and therefore of life itself, is either in Pisces or in Aries, forming the Signs of the (Second or) Eighth Day.
Jesus came to bring back the stolen “key of knowledge” to enable people “to enter within themselves”, to find the meaning of the symbolism of the Tradition, and by its help attain inner peace and joy.
The Resurrection of the Eighth Day was not only a resurrection of the Lord, in the more commonly accepted sense; it formed also a resurrection of the Tradition. The “sepulchres of the prophets” symbolize the sectarian structures of the “lawyers” or “scribes”, that is, literalists — “the sect is the mausoleum of the Guru”.
In the light hereof we can understand some of the main symbolic implications of the Resurrection. Let us consider it in the version of St. Luke.
“Now upon the first of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.” The sepulchre symbolizes the literalistic structure in which the Tradition was imprisoned. A stone is a symbol of materialism. Only “the key of knowledge” can remove that stone and free the living spirit “within” from the bondage of literalistic “death”.
The next verse is: “And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” When the soul is in very great trouble, it is inclined, first of all, to search for the commonly taught and accepted meaning of tradition and take refuge in the bosom of the organization of sect of which it was a member. But the commonly accepted meaning is often found to be “empty” and the structure cannot always continue to give shelter and support.
The next verse is: “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.” The two angels represent the two aspects of the Resurrection: of the Lord and of the Tradition. These are symbolized respectively by the Sun and the Moon. The angels “in shining garments” are called the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. St. John says: “two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.” Elsewhere I have substantiated the symbolic connection of the Sun with the head, and the Moon with the feet.
“And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
The symbolism of the Resurrection is worked out more fully in the Gospel of St. Luke than in the Gospel of St. Matthew and St. Mark, because St. Luke is specially connected with the stage of the spiritual path of Aries, Taurus and Gemini, in which the Resurrection occurs. The very mystical Gospel of St. John also has an elaborated account, because it is specially connected with the stage in which the Resurrection is prepared “within”, represented in the Zodiac by Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
The importance of the above can be gathered from the fact that it is the basic symbolic factor of the “New Testament”, actually, the New Dispensation, implying the resurrected Tradition. The New Dispensation came into the place of the old, because the true meaning of the Tradition — “the key of knowledge” — had been lost or hidden, or, as Jesus said, “stolen”, by the literalists representing “established religion” in his time.
The resurrection of the Tradition is described in Genesis 1:7–8 by: “And God made the firmament, and…called the firmament Heaven.”
I have shown elsewhere that Moses’ Commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above”, is aimed against the idolatrous tendency of literalism, and traditionally meant for the stage of the spiritual path of Aries, the Sign of the resurrection of the Tradition. The “things of heaven above” should be explained spiritually, that is, symbolically, and not materialistically as image graven in stone or characters written in ink — or, as letters printed in a book.
It is clear that “in the light” of the symbolic interpretation of the scheme of Genesis and of the meaning of “the eighth day”, many traditions and ritual observances, both Jewish and Christian, assume a meaning which is vastly different from that which has been commonly attributed to them, — meaning, at once more practical, more appealing, more intelligent, more inspiring, more profound and more true.