Our NCGR Group Insights:

by Robin Armstrong

An interesting development occurred at our eighth meeting on July 4, 1993. We were commenting on the fourth set of degree symbols that we had studied.

            The first system was Charubel’s which seemed ominous, excessively negative, and dark! The second system was Sepharial’s which was much easier to identify with  and strangely appropriate. The third system was Alan Leo’s which again seemed rather positive in comparison to the other two. It had mixed reviews, some very affirmative. Ada Muir’s degree symbol’s were our fourth set and it was generally concluded that she basically used Alan Leo’s symbols with a few additions appropriate to the sign association, and the odd independent degree symbol of her own. All four systems, especially Leo’s seemed to develop from a distinct  belief system and were used to instill relatively appropriate spiritual ideas with regards to personal development and spiritual growth.

            After studying Muir’s system with out anyone’s being very impressed, a new impression of Charubel and Sepharial emerged. It terms of relating to symbols and gaining insight from them, Leo’s and Muir’s began to feel limp and lack-lustre. The radical contrast and distinctly good or bad interpretations of Charubel and Sepharial suddenly were appreciated in new light. They were risky and confronting, but as symbols they were alive. They challenged you. They were less intellectual and more vivid. Even the darker images developed into deeper understandings over a period of time. Perhaps it is because they seem so dark and blatant that they stayed in our consciousness longer to force a deeper resolution of whether it was so or not. At first glance we were ready to toss out Charubel, but now he has a reprieve. It will be interesting indeed to see if this perception maintains itself after the study of the Sabian Symbols by Marc Edmond Jones, which we will begin in the fall.

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