For more than two thousand years, humanity has been governed by the Sixth Ray of spiritual Devotion. This powerful ray came into influence at the time of Jesus, and if we look back we can see how religious ideals and reverence dominated human thinking and action in that long cycle, and for some people still does now despite its waning.
It is a strange ray, encompassing human characteristics ranging from sainthood to rigid fanaticism, intense spiritual commitment to gullibility, unshakeable faith to seeking martyrdom. It is a ray of extremes, testing of discernment and independence of thought and contributory to conflict and suffering in the name of religion. When misunderstood or misused it can cause great harm; when used proportionately it can accelerate the soul journey and help us connect with Spirit in extraordinary ways.
Each of the Seven Rays, in their highest form, exemplify an aspect of God, while in their lowest form they demonstrate how the divine quality can be debased through the frailty of being human: it is up to each of us as to how we apply a Ray in life, for better or for worse, maximising or wasting the opportunities given by the different Rays that are part of our profile. It applies to the human collective too, and history will reflect on how well or otherwise we have used the gifts of the Sixth Ray for pure spiritual expansion on Earth.
As the Ray recedes, its devotional intensity will be replaced by a more pragmatic spirituality: the “airy fairy” tendency in some people to talk and act in sometimes meaningless new-age speak will dissipate as the reality of a truly new world demands a different approach to spirituality, one where Spirit and matter come together in each of us so that our everyday lives are fully overshadowed by the soul, but unostentatiously. We live life to the full, and we live it well: for those who choose - meditation, prayer, stillness and silence will continue to have an important place in our lives, but one that is private.
This practical spirituality is the Seventh Ray in action, and it is this energy which more and more is starting to prevail as it replaces the Sixth Ray in terms of dominance. It is the Ray of Order and Ritual, encouraging us at our best to use common sense as much as possible as we develop our organisational skills and abilities to focus on detail as well as the bigger picture. It is about understanding the importance of rhythm, cycles and timing, of routine and ritual, creativity and working with the forces of nature; above all it encourages us to create order out of chaos, which will be very relevant for what is to come. Applying ourselves to making our human environment as orderly as possible with awareness of and respect for our planetary home is for many a new approach to being spiritual, while enhancing us as human beings.
Devotional Spirituality can be self-indulgent and an evasion of responsibility. It is easy to forget that it is through our humble human-ness that our greatest spiritual growth will come. It may serve us to remember this, at this special Solstice time.