Reflections on the Stairway to Heaven (Part 5)

Today’s post in the installment; Reflections on the Stairway to Heaven brings us to the 5th step on the stairway, the 5th chakra, known as Visuddha or Throat Chakra. It is considered the first of the higher or spiritual chakras. It is associated with both Communication and introspection.

Yesterday, I asked you to establish your sense of wonder or curiosity as we move forward into this higher chakras as if you are unfamiliar with the chakras or energy centers, this may all sound quite farfetched to you, but if you can just use the symbols and correspondences to get to the final message, this sense of wonder will be rewarded with wisdom.

If you are new to the series, it is highly recommended that you return here, to the first in the installment and catch up. If you have been with me all 4 days so far, welcome back, let’s jump right in where we left off.

In the previous verses, 1-4, we looked at all the information available to us on the lower steps. We are invited to be present in the body, in the moment, in order to receive all the wisdom of the body that comes in the form of sensory perception. We are invited to ask our monkey brain to sit in the passenger seat, while we receive intuitive wisdom rather than force our own will outward. Remember the analogy of flipping the magnet, so that we become receptors rather than projectors. The mind is a necessary component to wisdom, it is through the mind that all wisdom and knowledge is integrated. But, while the mind thinks it is the driver, it is not, it is only a small part of the whole. It is the governing body, but not the execution arm, nor the laws themselves. The mind is the repository of all the information received on all planes, it is the statistician, the analyst, the banker. The mind however, is not the driver.

Once we reach the throat chakra, we are addressing these wisdoms that come from outside the monkey mind.

Let us review our verse first, to see what we are working with on step 5.

There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving

One again, we have 22 notes in the verse. We have seen this pattern repeat throughout the verse thus far.

Now, Robert plant is no longer reviewing to the lady, but he refers to a feeling he gets, when he looks to the west. He has personalized the experience at this point. I do not know if this is important or not, as I have not found any correspondences yet. If something comes to me however, I will certainly come back and mention it.

But, we have the mention of looking to the west. Let’s consult our trusty Gaskell’s again here

West- A symbol of the buddhic plane whereon commences the great cycle of life. It stands also for the obscuration of the Self (Sun) in the night of the underworld.

If the underworld causes you to conjure images of hell, perhaps you should keep reading, let us see what Gaskell’s tells us of the underworld

Underworld of Hades- A symbol of the lower nature. The four lower planes, usually reckoned as the lower mental, the astral, the etheric and the physical. These are the planes that are under the heaven-world of atma, buddhi and higher manas. “Darkness” i.e. ignorance prevails in the underworld from which the light of the higher self (sun) is withdrawn. In the underworld, through much sorrow and suffering and struggling soul gain experience and attain perfection and ultimate liberation, when they rise to the heaven world above. Whether incarnation or out of that state, the souls remain in the underworld throughout the cycle, the consciousness never rising above the lower mental levels

That is a lot to take in, but if we review once more, what we have already learned when we looked at the magician, we know that there are various tools and skills and knowledge and abilities the true magician must garner in order to achieve true magic.

In essence, we are saying the old adage “fake it till you make it” will not work for us when we reach the fifth step. To solidify the reflection I would like to reference Gaskell’s again for its definition of the word Magic

Magic, or Magical Powers – A symbol of the inner and unobserved process within the soul by which lower qualities are raised and transmuted into higher. These processes are the workings of Buddhi through the higher mind, in response to the aspirations of the personality.

We have seen this word Buddhi throughout Gaskell’s, let us reference it quickly for the definition

Buddhi- or the Wisdom Principle – A symbol of the fount of spiritual life on the buddhic plane, which transcends the highest intellect. It is the source of all the higher emotions and ideal qualities appertaining to Truth, Love, and Wisdom. It is described as outpouring these qualities in response to the aspirations and sacrifices of the lower consciousness

Buddhic Body – This is the vehicle of the soul on the buddhic plane, potential and latent as yet, but destined to become manifest and active when the consciousness of the perfected ego rises to its level and claims its inheritance-

Buddhic Plane-A symbol of the plane of manifestation above the higher mental plane. It is the highest of the four planes which constitute the arena of life in the present cycle of spiritual evolution. It is not outwardly manifest in the soul as are the three lower planes, and is only indirectly known through the higher emotions which are the “fruit of the sprit” It is the plane on which are the prototypes or patterns of things below in the phenomenal realm, things that are the result of any kind of growth, mineral, vegetal, animal. The buddhic plane is the first plane which the Higher Self descends in manifestation. It contains the higher causal-body which is the seat of the Self and of the higher qualities. On this plane is situated the heaven of the perfected human souls. It contains the state of consciousness from which souls have descended, and the state to which they ascend in glory at last.

Buddhic Function – The spiritual carrying-out of the lower means of transmuting the lower emotions into higher emotions, so that the indwelling Self shall evolve itself and the lower nature of the soul fall away. It is the Buddhi who directs the evolution of the true Self in the Human being. When the lower nature aspires, she sends down strong vibrations which assist in uplifting the mind. At first the nature of the upward aspiration is the vague almost unconscious, unrest and dissatisfaction of present conditions. The mind is allied with the desires and lower emotions and what is required is that the mind relinquish these inferior motives and accept the ideals and higher emotions in place of the lower attachments. The highest part of the subjective lower mind is on the fourth sub-plane of the mental plane. The vibrations of the Buddhi, enter the mind at this level, and there is then an impulse awakened in the lower self from this sub-plane, which causes a speedy upward movement and so accelerates the mind’s progress to a better condition of being. The lower nature has correspondences with the higher, and a perfect reciprocity is set up and established between two natures. The transmutations are the apparent changes in the soul from lower qualities to higher which are brought about by a spiritual process under immutable law. The ideals and higher emotions (buddhi manas) are the most powerful rulers of the mind when the will is in accord with them. It is these which lead the martyrs of all faiths to brave the external forces which are arrayed against their activities. It must be remembered that while forces are always restricted to their particular planes under the law of conservation of energy, guidance of the forces are connected with life comes from higher planes. The guidance is not a force but a ruling of forces, as when a man calls his horse to drag the cart, Forces on a lower plane respond to a “word” on a higher. This indicates the meaning of the Divine word which rules all forces on all planes

If you are still with me, that was a lot to digest in one reading, but if you let these words above percolate a little while inside monkey mind. Perhaps the symbols inside will awaken within you some recognition of truth, regardless of dogma or confines of any political, moral, religious or socio-economic affiliation.

Using these symbols and opening your mind with a sense of wonder, at what else is possible, perhaps beyond conceivable, we start thinking in the realms of life after death, spirit, God, immortality and a whole lot more of the big philosophical, not even mention scientific questions of our humanity.

I love words. I choose my words carefully, when operating of higher mind. I am still human and thus, these moments are fleeting but alas, part of my soul urge’s drive towards creativity.

My love of words all confounds me here, as I recognize the higher significance in the urge. Truly, I sit here confounded. Every love and perhaps time-wasting pleasure in my life, has led me here to this moment, exploring music and words and history and psychology and language and art. I am driven to do these things. My muse is getting stronger as I recognize she is the feather and not the drum.

This is an analogy I find myself using quite often of late, as I attempt to part my new found wisdom on my sons. “Listen to the feather, not the drum” The drum is the ego, it is the loudest of the voices inside of our heads. The judge, the jury, the executioner all reside here alongside public opinion, dogma and any of the array of voices that lie within you keeping you from your own potential. The drum is the ego. The feather is that fleeting yearning or perhaps calling that beckons you to take a journey outside of your comfort zone, stretch your ambitions, and face your fears. The feather is the light voice that just kisses your cheek in the morning when you first wake, before monkey brain is fully awake.

Music too assists us in distracting the monkey brain long enough to get a glimpse of the feathery whisper. Shamans know this, ecstatic dancers, Sufi, Kundalini dancers, Nada Yoga Practitioners. Sound can be a powerful ally in your quest for spiritual liberation. Sonic Catharsis offers you but a glimpse of all of the fantastic ways music can be your Religion. But let us get back to our stairway for now.

“The treasures in the heavens that faileth not… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”-Luke xxi. 33, 34


We have learned that the throat chakra is the first energetic center in touch with the higher plane. This fifth step is considered the first of the higher planes, its element is akasha, and for you batman fans, consider this, the throat chakra is the human plane, where the dark night of the soul ends.

This is because in the throat chakra, our little magnetic energy wheel is in touch with things of higher mind. I know this is perhaps the most difficult concept to grasp thus far. But if we consider that in the higher mind, we find heaven, the place where divine will happens on the highest plane.

It is here that we are invited to really reflect on all of the lessons of the previous steps once again. This truly is much to digest, but I believe self-reflection on everything I have written thus far is essential before moving on.

Coincidentally, do you recognize these?



If you recognize this from the album art, you would be correct. You would also be correct if you recognize him as the hermit of tarot tradition. Coincidence? I think not.

Allow me to add a few more comments here

In one of my favorite references regarding correlations between the bible and the occult, I use Meditations on the Tarot – A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, which was written anonymously and published posthumously.

Eliphas Levi certainly sensed the universal historical meaning of the Hermit with this admirable formula:

“The initiate is he who possess the lamp of Trismegistus, the mantle of Appolonius, and the staff of the patriarchs.”

In fact, the Hermit who haunts the imagination of “youth”, the hermit of legend and hermit of history was, is, and always will be the solitary man with the lamp, mantle and staff. For he possesses the gift of letting light shine in the darkness – This is his lamp; he has the faculty of separating himself from the collective moods, prejudices and desires of race, nation, class and family- him, in order to listen to and understand the hierarchical harmony of the spheres-this is his mantle; at the same time he possesses a sense of realism which is so developed that he stands in the domain of reality not on two feet but rather on three i.e. he advances only after having touched the ground through immediate experience and at first hand contact without intermediaries- this is his staff. He creates light, he creates silence and he creates certainty- conforming to the criterion of the Emerald Table, namely the triple concordance of that which is clear, of that which is in harmony with the totality of revealed truths and of that which is the oldest of immediate experience.


There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving


I have few words to elaborate on the texts I have quoted up to now. This is heavy stuff. It is deep and potentially daunting for the uninitiated. If you are still with me, you probably get it already and are eagerly awaiting more. If you don’t get it. It is okay too.

Mine is merely to plant the seeds and allow them to mingle with your own journey, in an attempt to enlighten some of the symbols history has left for us.

In order to grasp the lessons presented here, you must first grasp all of the lessons previously presented. It is deep stuff. I have been mulling these things over for years.

Remember the tree of Life, by the brook, with the songbird… where I mentioned the Tree of Life is often in occult story growing in the sea in the West?

As I leave behind the beliefs of my upbringing in the west to adopt many of the spiritual messages from the East. My spirit feels as though it has found a home. Through some of my referenced sources, I have also found integration with some of my Christian teachings. But I cannot help but reflect on Robert Plant’s words here as he reflects on how he feels when he looks to the west, his spirit cries for leaving. I used to feel this way as well, as my ego clinged to the teachings of my Western upbringing. Part of me deeply knew there was something missing here. When I looked to the Eastern Religions and the more esoteric traditions, I find what I am looking for. It was a difficult journey to accept. With an open mind, an open heart and a spirit of wonder, however, I now find myself even accepting my Western traditional teachings, because through words and symbols, I have come to recognize the synchronicity in all things.

If you are still with me, I would love to hear your thoughts on what I have presented. These texts have some very, very deep revelations for me personally, do these references I am using make you want to know more?

I will come back tomorrow, with what remains of this verse. If you want some more, while researching the initial installment of this post, I asked Google if anyone else had similar correlations to mine with this song. I came across this and this, good stuff if you are a fan and a worthy read if you are still intrigued with the topic.

In this series I have quoted a few of my very favorite references. If you are interested in researching more for yourself, I highly recommend you grab your own copy.
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