Rays and Hierarchies

A Graphic Exposition of the Cosmic Rays

By Helena Folkening (Mercury, June 1927-copyright S.R.I.A.)


Agassiz, the great naturalist, has said in the “Principles of Zoology”: “All things had their origin in Spirit – evolution having originally begun from above and proceeding downward, instead of the reverse, as taught in the Darwinian theory.” Occultists heartily agree with Professor Agassiz, using however, the term involution for the “Dip” of Spirit into Matter, and evolution for all development that takes place after the first half of the cycle is completed, and the Spirit returning to its original state.

In considering the subject of “Rays,” we must remember that every ray of light contains the seven colors of the spectrum, with their intermediate colors. Just as there are seven tones in the major scale of music with the five intermediate steps to form the “chromatic” scale (from chromo, meaning a “many colored picture”), just so are there five intermediate colors of the spectrum, yet so closely interblended as to be rarely dissociated from the seven well-known colors.

The Ray of Spiritual Light emanating from the Logos, when reaching our Solar System, is divisible into the seven principals and five subordinate colors, each containing Hierarchies, or Spiritual Beings, whose office is that of causing the creative power of the color they represent to manifest.

Each color or Ray of Light is governed by Great Souls, or Masters, called the Rishis by the Easterners, the Elohim of the Bible. To avoid confusion through a multiplicity of terms, the word Hierarchy will be used throughout this article to designate the Intelligence and the word Ray to designate the color emanating from that Intelligence, and in which that Intelligence is functioning.

A Hierarchy therefore, is a Being who, throughout long periods of activity in previous worlds, has obtained sufficient knowledge to render him not only Master over himself, but over entire planets, and chains of planets. As every person has an odor peculiar to himself, a tone to which he vibrates more harmoniously than another, so does he also have an emanation of light with a predominating color, which is particularly his own.

These odors, sounds and colors are more pronounced the higher the individual ascends in the scale of evolution, since such progress has been because of the refining of the entire nature, a leaving behind the grosser things and an assimilation of the finer forces of nature. Color, Sound and Odor are among the finest; and Hierarchies or Great Intelligences have these three emanations most pronounced. A Hierarchy finds itself a Ruling Power in the Ray whose color predominates in its own being.

For instance, the Hierarchy of the Violet Ray, is in the Violet Ray because Violet is the most pronounced color in its own aura, its aura being emanations from the Inner Man.

Our Universe, as astronomy teaches, consists of seven planets; Mercury, Venus, The Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn. Occultists have learned of five others, called secret planets, corresponding to the five extra tones in the chromatic scale, and to the five intermediate colors of the spectrum.

The Earth is known as the darkest, because it is said to be the lowest in development of the planets in our universe. This planet was formed by the Hierarchies of Will and Wisdom, for the purpose of a greater experience for humanity. At first, our Earth being an inert mass of matter produced from the thought forms of this group of Hierarchies, was later said to have been projected into the laya-center or core of its darkness, the astral body of its progenitors or Creative Hierarchy.

These Astral bodies are starry Rays of Light, thrown off from the parent Hierarchy, for the purpose of spiritualizing masses of matter or planets, less spiritual than themselves. As Spiritual Teachers are sent from time to time to enlighten Humanity, so are Hierarchies sent, on their Ray of Light, through space, from the Great Central Sun to universes (group of planets) and to individual planets. As all evolution or enlightenment proceeds “From the Center,” so must all Hierarchies, project their Rays of Wisdom into the center of universe, planets or man.

The inert matter of a planet is that which is left unspiritualized during a previous manifestation, and which must necessarily remain inert until the next effort towards spiritualization is made. The time required for the transmutation of all material atoms in a planet or individual is of immense duration. Therefore, much is left undone during one cycle of manifestation for the next cycle.

“Those Who Know” have said that it requires two Cycles of Activity (called day-periods) for the Hierarchies to pass “through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed chain (universes).”

Every teacher of academic science must have a general knowledge of many sciences, but has a greater knowledge of the science in which he is specializing and teaching. So the Hierarchies, being Rays of Intelligences, contain a certain amount of knowledge of every Ray, yet each has a greater amount of knowledge of the subject matter which is peculiar to his own Ray, i.e., the Ray in which he is Ruler and Teacher.

To illustrate this, we will take a Celestial Being, Father of the Red Ray, belonging to that Hierarchy of Masters, known as the Masters of the Red Ray. It is found that under this Hierarchy of the Red Ray are the Souls who are attaining to Mastership, among whom are some of the most advanced ones of the races of Earth. These Masters are functioning on the sub-ray of the Red Ray. So it is in every Ray, making in all forty-nine Hierarchies, seven of whom are Chief Rulers of their own particular Ray, and five of whom are their co-workers. It must be remembered that these Seven Hierarchies are those best known to people in general, as seven tones of the major scale of music, and the seven colors of the spectrum. As a matter of fact the vast majority of people do not know of the existence of any additional tones or colors beyond the seven mentioned. However, the five subordinate tones of the scale have their counterpart in the Spiritual World, and much less is known concerning these Five, than is known of the Seven.

To be sure very little information is given out concerning any of these Great Hierarchies, yet it is a known fact among Occultists, that One is diligently working on the Earth today, ruling over and directing the spiritual leaders of all organizations and religions.

Much has been said and written about the “Great White Lodge,” some misinformed ones making the statement of themselves being members of the same. Occultism assuredly recognizes the existence of the Great White Lodge, but makes the assertion that the Hierarchies constitute its membership. Since the color white must contain every color of the spectrum, blending in harmony, so must the White Lodge contain Hierarchies of every Ray, who are functioning in such harmonious vibrations as to produce the color white, therefore its name, White Lodge.

Masters of the lower grade of development, are human beings living on the Earth at various times, in physical bodies, devoting their lives to the spiritual advancement of humanity, although rarely known, even to those who are nearest them, to be Masters. It is frequently the case that those who are in closest touch with these Great Souls, are the last to recognize it. This is due to two facts, – first, too close proximity to anything renders it less recognizable; and second, the impossibility of detecting a quality in another, that we ourselves do not possess.

The progenitors of the Higher Rays are those beings who have perfected themselves during long periods of time, functioning on other planes of experience, and whose cells of their various bodies are now in the process of evolution among humanity. Because of this fact, each Ray is the Father or Progenitor of certain races of human beings on earth today and is responsible for their guidance. Every cell of our bodies, physical, mental and spiritual, has been a certain center of consciousness of our Parent Ray, just as every cell of our physical bodies is an outgrowth of the cells of our physical parents.

From whence came these Rays of Colors, and whither do they go? Their origin lies within the Cosmic Word of the Logos, or as previously stated, the “Rays are the first manifestation of the Word.” They are tending towards the various planets and persons, the Hierarchies of the various Rays being attracted to a person by means of the Spiritual Light within that person’s heart.

One who has undergone a Spiritual Initiation has within him the “Light That Shines,” that all men may know him to be such as he is. To be “Initiated” means to have passed through much experience, learning the lessons that life has to teach; thus expanding Consciousness to such an extent, that through Meditation and Service to Humanity, one is able to reach to a higher plane of Spirituality. Ceremonial Initiations as practiced in some Lodges and Religious Organizations are but supposedly outward representations of the workings of the Inner Man, which may mean much or nothing. Real Initiation takes place Within, and in Silence, and as a result of much effort towards Right Living and Deep Thinking.

A Hierarchy is one who has the Creative Faculty so developed, that it can be used constructively on many planes. As it is the office of rays of light to penetrate and illumine the dark places, so it is the office of those Great Beings known as Hierarchies to penetrate and illumine the Inner Nature of mankind. Humanity can hasten these efforts through Meditation and Aspiration.

In the Illustration, we have circles, which represent the Seven Hierarchies, or Spirits before the Throne, the Seven Rulers of the Seven Rays of the Logos, governing the Seven Sacred Planets of our own particular system. The black square in the illustration (background) may represent the Absolute, for out of Darkness (the Absolute) came Light. The White Triangle containing ALL COLORS within Itself, is the representation of the Triune God. Psalm xviii-11 states:- “He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the sky.” 2 Chron. vi-1, states:- “The Lord hath said that He would dwell in the thick darkness.” The Hymn of Egyptian Papyrus states:- “The Gods adore Thee; they greet Thee, O The One Dark Truth.”

Ezek.-v, 3rd verse through the 21st should be read while studying the Illustration. Verse 10 has an astrological significance, while verse 16 has reference to the colored wheels, and “as it were, a wheel in the middle of the wheel.” The wheels of the illustration represent the principles of man, and their color. Ezekiel’s vision of a colored wheel within a wheel was a vision of man and his many colored constitutions.

Here we are reminded of the Hermetic Axiom; “As Above So Below,” for the Primary and Secondary Rays of the Logos correspond to the Primary and Secondary colors of the Spectrum and to the Primary and Secondary Principles of Man. The threefold constitution of man; Spirit, Soul and Body has its correspondence in the three primary colors, – blue, yellow and red. The sevenfold constitution of man has its correspondence to the seven colors of the spectrum. Red at the lowest is the color of man’s low animal nature. Next to Red is Orange, the color of the Etheric Body in man, the color of the sun, from whence man obtains his physical as well as his spiritual life. It is for this spiritual significance that the Buddhist Priests wear Orange-hued Robes. Yellow is the color of the Divine Ray, or the most Spiritual Principle of Man, that Ray which hovers over the head of man, and in cases of the more spiritually advanced men, touches the top of the head. It is to this Golden Ray that man is admonished to bring all the other Rays or colors of his constitution. In the words of the Alchemist, “the transmutation of the baser metals into gold.”

Green is the color, capable of absorbing Red, much stronger and often called the complimentary of Red. It is the color of mind in its lower aspect, and is Nature’s Master Ray on our Earth, which accounts for the reason that the majority of Earth’s vegetation is green. This is the Ray upon which the majority of the Earth’s humanity is functioning, with the Hierarchy of the Green Ray presiding.

Blue, the color of the sky, or aura of the Earth, is also the color of man’s aura, – and like the Absolute, Blue contains and radiates ALL. Indigo, is the Ray of the Higher Aspect of Mind and man and Nature. Violet, the extreme opposite to Red, in the spectrum in Nature and man, is sometimes called the astral-double.

Each Ray of the Logos, containing within itself a portion of every other Ray, derives its name from its predominating color. For instance, the Red Ray contains sufficient amount of Red to entitle it to the name, yet in a much minor degree are present, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. In the Red Ray would be the Hierarchies of that Ray, with the six minor rulers, presiding over the minor colors of that Ray.

It may be of interest to know that good authorities have asserted that the Eastern World is said to be in the Orange Ray, and the Western World in the Red Ray. Each individual may determine for himself just what Ray is most pronounced in his own life, by analyzing his nature and taking particular note of the quality of thought which has a prominent place in his life. For instance, one whose time, thought, and attention is directed to the astral plane is functioning in the Violet Ray. Those, whose attention is directed constantly to higher mental development, such as art and music, are functioning to a great extent in the Indigo Ray. Those, whose mental activities are on a lower plane of activity, and yet are mental, are in the Green Ray. Thoughts of the physical body and material things place one in the Red Ray. We change the Ray in which we function, whenever we change our mental activities, thus we are responsible for the places we occupy, the Ray in which we are working and consequently for the Hierarchy (teacher) of our lives.

We, being the makers of our own destiny, are the ones choosing our Hierarchy and Ray, – the vast majority of people working without the consciousness of so doing. After having obtained consciousness of these finer vibrations, one realizes the great responsibility of having knowledge, not only a responsibility to one’s self, but to every other living creature.

All things seen and unseen are manifestations of the One Great God, the Absolute, that Unit Ray in which all colors are concealed. It is this knowledge that brings to the consciousness of the saintly man, the realization of his own god-ship, the realization of his ability to “Become Perfect, Even As Your Father In Heaven Is Perfect;” the realization of the Truth of the saying: “Greater Things Than I Do, Can Ye Do.” It is this knowledge that brings to the consciousness of the saintly man, the realization of the phrase: “I AM IN THEE, O GOD, AND THOU ART IN ME.”


The above article was written as a result of the Meditation on the teachings of the “Bible,” “The Secret Doctrine” of H.P.B. and “Rosicrucian Fundamentals” by Khei.