Innocence, Characteristics of Spirit, Spiritual Growth through Spirit, Articles on Spirit and Spiritual Growth
by Jef Bartow

With the sun entering Pisces astrologically, we begin the last part of winter and a preparation for a new creativity of spring after the spring equinox. Outside, some of the trees and plants begin a forming of buds, almost as though they're jumping ahead into spring. The significance of this relates to a balancing as a precursor to the new growth of spring.

The astrological home of Pisces is the 12 House. Innocence represents the unifying 12 of wholeness related to the 12 characteristics of SPIRIT. Innocence encapsulates each and all pre-manifested essences of SPIRIT. Symbolically, Innocence represents the outer circle of the symbol of the Sun. The other 11 characteristics of SPIRIT are within this outer circle. 

Innocence is typically defined as a state of passivity or lack of activity. In this state innocence is the latent totality that will ultimately bring about the perfect expression of God's intent. This initial a priori innocence is the perfect balance of all potentialities before creative manifestation. 

Within our totality, we begin in a state of innocence and end in a state of manifested wholeness, which becomes our innocence for the next cycle beyond humanness. The Sun, astrologically, first expresses the innocence of the spirit that we are born with. When we finally live the Sun within us, we truly become the Innocence of our spirit, or God Within.
 Spiritualizing Exercises

From now until the spring equinox, we have a good opportunity to focus on ways of bringing us liberation and balance. First, use your daily reflection and meditation (mindfulness) to focus on the various institutions that you're involved in. Examples of institutions can be governmental authorities, workplace environment, your views on the institution of marriage and family and your educational and religious places a practice. Look for ways that these institutions put limitations and restrictions in your life, especially in how they might interfere with increasing your spiritual practices on a daily basis. Also look for ways that you behave unconsciously in response to either real or perceived restrictions that these institutions have on you. As your awareness increases, define specific steps that will bring you freedom and liberation from these real or perceived limitations.

Spiritually fundamental to Pisces, the 12 House and Innocence is the principle of sacrifice in order to bring balance and wholeness for a new cycle. Synchronistically, the Christian practice of Lent prior to Easter falls during this period. Lent can be a powerful yearly spiritual practice. Choose a behavior or part of yourself to sacrifice during this period. Most powerfully, begin it on Ash Wednesday and continue it until Easter. Different than the degradation of Lent over the centuries, choose some part of yourself or behavior which you already know limits your spiritual progress.

Thirdly, let's use the energy of balancing to assist us in embracing Innocence. Reflect upon until you can identify something within you or your life situations that remains unbalanced. Internally evaluate what within you contributes to this unbalance. Meditate until you can define what change in attitude, orientation or behavior you need to make to resolve this unbalance. Then take the difficult step to implement it.

Embracing Innocence is about utilizing sacrifice and death to bring a greater balance and wholeness of expression. I will assure you that implementing these spiritual exercises will bring about both a sense of sacrifice and death within you. On the other side and most probably not during, you will embrace a liberation and higher point of balance in your life.

At its highest expression, Pisces also represents final sacrifice or liberation. At this level, I have experienced Pisces as a full void. This void is not characterized by emptiness, like space, but is experienced as a full ocean with no substance. The energy of Pisces becomes the connecting link, liberation or release that takes us into a higher cosmic existence. Similarly, the 12 House in the astrological mandala also embodies our release preparatory to a new cycle of expression.

Within our double helix objective and subjective Spirit/Matter universe, Innocence is also linked with the subjective Realm of Balancing. This Balancing is an important adjustment just prior to physical incarnation. The drasticness of embodying in physical matter requires as much balance and wholeness as possible. If you try to roll a ball with major imperfections downhill, how difficult will it be to keep it in line with your intent? Further, remember Einstein's equation E = mc2. A very small amount of physical mass creates a tremendous amount of energy release. How easy would it be to control this energy in an unbalanced release (e.g. an atomic bomb within you)?

If some of this description of Innocence and its relationship to Spirit/Matter and us in physical incarnation seems difficult to comprehend, you're not alone. Innocence has been the most difficult characteristic of SPIRIT for me to embrace. Utilizing some of the above key words and symbols in spiritualizing exercises can be of major help in us getting in touch with this spiritual Innocence.

 Characteristics of Spirit

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This brings us to the fullness of Innocence. St. Aquinas regarded Adam’s state of innocence as an integrated state "of a soul which has preserved its natural way of existence unimpaired." The perfect expression of God's intent represents a return to Innocence, where all our potentialities become perfectly balanced in expression. This fullness of our expression becomes our innocence for the next cycle of creativity and manifestation.

Both Pisces and the 12 House astrologically help us understand what it means to complete our cycle of manifestation and create that final innocence for the next cycle. At its densest expression, Pisces represents "bondage or captivity; renunciation or attachment and sacrifice and death." This is similar to the 12 House astrologically which represents the end of our cycle of manifestation, death and a point of sacrifice in relationship to others.
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Innocence, Characteristics of Spirit, Spiritual Growth through Spirit, Articles on Spirit and Spiritual Growth