The Gnostic Circle


“The Gnostic Circle is the most effective method for understanding the transformation of human consciousness. It represents a vision of wholeness and has only one objective: it deals with the soul or seed of the divine in each created thing and reveals the process by which that seed is made to flower in its process of becoming.” – Thea

Thea first introduced this key or tool of Supramental Gnosis in her 1975 book, The Gnostic Circle – A Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos. This key offers the means by which an individual can center him or herself in Time, within the circumstances of both Individual and Collective evolution, and thereby develop an Integral and Supramental vision of the whole. The Gnostic Circle presents the unity-vision of the Vedic Rishis in which the division of the Earth’s 360° year into 12 months and our 0/9 number system/enneagram are seen to function simultaneously rather than as separate systems of measure and knowledge. With this simple vision of the oneness of the zodiac and enneagram, the Gnostic Circle invites viewers to consider how they can begin to outgrow the fragmented consciousness that is the foundation of our current civilisation. The image of the Gnostic Circle presents the supramental or solar consciousness by which all divisions of the circle and all divisions proper to the process of the creation of life, are eternally One.

Using this key, students can begin to restore in themselves and in the world, the eternal gnosis and unity consciousness that underlies many of the world’s ancient sacred texts. It functions in terms of the all-pervasive unity of creation and hence in terms of the self-similarity, self-symmetry and quantum entanglement of micro and macro cycles of time of which the Vedic Rishi were well aware. Thus the 24 hour day, the 360 degree year, the 25,920 year Precession of the Equinoxes and larger cycles of time, can be known and seen as ordered fields of the soul (individual and collective).

In The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo wrote:

‘Time is the remaining aid needed for the effectivity of the process. Time presents itself to human effort as an enemy or a friend, as a resistance, a medium or an instrument. But always it is really the instrument of the soul.’ (The Synthesis of Yoga, CWSA, Vol. 23-24, p. 68)‘The timeless Infinite holds in itself, in its eternal truth of being, beyond this manifestation, all that it manifests in Time. Its time consciousness too is itself infinite and maintains in itself at once in a vision of totalities and of particularities, of mobile succession or moment sight and of total stabilising vision or abiding whole sight what appears to us as the past of things, their present and their future.’ (Ibid, p. 885)

It is here [in the transition from mind to supermind] that a change begins to take place in the time-consciousness and time-knowledge which finds its base and complete reality and significance only on the supramental levels. (Ibid, p. 904)

The Gnostic Circle shows students the truth of Sri Aurobindo’s vision in that they can apply it as an aid or key which helps to shift consciousness (however gradually) from mental towards the supramental. Those who apply this key to their own lives and to world affairs begin to directly experience the supramental consciousness-force that coordinates the whole of our activity, ushering us towards the higher levels of manifestation and self-expression.

In very simple terms, the Gnostic Circle helps the user see and understand the evolutionary march or journey that we all share, regardless of however ignorant we are of this journey. As one learns to see the perfect order and harmony displayed in the smallest details of one’s existence, one begins to identify less with the ego and the mind, and more with the Supramental consciousness which has begun to emerge in our new day and age, just as the Mental consciousness once emerged from the Animal or Vital consciousness in our distant past.

How to Apply this Key of Gnosis

The application of this key for an individual is quite simple. The beginning or zero point of an individual’s life is birth, and from that zero point we journey in time and space. The Gnostic Circle can be used to map out and see the geometries and harmonies that emerge in 1 year cycles, 9 year cycles, 36 year cycles and 72 year cycles or, if one wishes to study larger collective evolutionary movements on our planet, the framework will be larger, such as 2,160 year astrological ages, the 25,920 year Precessional cycle and even vaster cycles of time. Usage of the Gnostic Circle is not limited to the birth of individuals. It can be used to understand the birth or emergence of anything … a country, a pivotal event, a discovery, a new endeavor, etc.

The birth date of the object of one’s study is placed at the zero point at the top of the circle and then, depending on what cycle of time one chooses to explore, we begin to map out pivotal dates according to the major divisions of the circle, identifying the dates associated with the cardinal points, the trinity, and the 12 months.

If looking at the Gnostic Circle in terms of the one year cycle, the outer circle (blue ring) is divided into 360° or segments and each degree represents a day. The last five days of the year are considered ‘out of the calendar’. The Zodiac or division of the year by 12 is seen in the midsection of the circle and each 30° segment is a month. The orange ring contains 36 segments of 10° each and these are decanates of the 12 signs of the zodiac. In the one year journey/cycle, each day we progress 1° of the circle (which in turn is a microcosm of the whole year as well as larger cycles of time, and of ALL TIME). Each 10 days we progress 10° or a decanate of one astrological sign. Each 30 days we progress one month or one astrological sign. Each 40 days we progress 1/9th of the year (corresponding to the 9 integers of the circle), each 90 days we progress a quarter of the year (i.e. a ’season’), and each 120 days we progress a third of the year.

It proves useful to map out and note the major geometries of one’s year, i.e. the dates associated with the cardinal points, the triangular points, the 12 months and the 9 integers. Using this map of one’s year, one can begin to see interesting patterns that arise concerning important events and people in one’s life which point towards a Supramental organisation of life rather than a senseless, random and chaotic creation.

The 9 year cycle tracks enneads of time. When applying this time frame to the Gnostic Circle, each degree is 9 days, each decanate is 90 days, each ‘month’ or sign is 9 months, each season or quarter of the circle is 2.25 years, and each corner of the triangle is 3 years.

In the 36 year cycle, each ennead is one season or quarter of the circle and corresponds sequentially to the phases of evolution on Earth: Physical, Vital(Animal), Mental, and Spiritual. In this cycle, each 12 years marks out the central triangle.

In order to fully understand how to navigate, apply and understand this key of Supramental Gnosis, it is necessary to read The Gnostic Circle and The Magical Carousel. These books are essential reading for those wishing to truly grasp the importance of time and its real measures by which we exist, grow and evolve. They will help students of Gnosis to realise that not only are we simultaneously Matter and Spirit, but that we are also Time as well as Timeless. For too long have we forgotten Time as an extension of our own being. The Vedic Rishis sung of the yoga or yajna by which one comes back to this realisation and hence to the portals of the unity consciousness which eludes our current mental-egoic consciousness, and the body and path of this yoga/yajna was the 360°, 12 month year. The Gnostic Circle if used correctly will reveal the eternal wisdom of the Rishis to be indeed eternal. This can be directly validated in one’s own experience and life laboratory. As individuals orient and centre themselves within their own personal Time on Earth and within ALL Time, they begin to shift from the mental towards the supramental consciousness and from the egoic to the universal self. One begins to shift from faith in a higher order and power of creation, to the direct experience of that higher order and power of creation.

Quotes regarding the Gnostic Circle

‘The Gnostic Circle is merely the combination of the zodiac – the occult circle which contains the knowledge of evolution – and the structural pattern of the solar system. The Circle of 12 is the zodiac, and the Circle of 9 is our actual solar system, each orbit representing one year of Earth life. The joint harmony of these two, superimposed or synthesised in one circle, is what constitutes our key to the evolution and flowering of the seed of the Spirit. In fact we can say that the Gnostic Circle is mainly for this purpose: it shows mankind the ultimate and ideal perfection that can be attained during this particular phase of the evolution, during this great transition point from animal-mental to the more divine mankind.’

– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet,
The Gnostic Circle, p. 159, 1975

‘The Gnostic Circle allows us to measure the progression of any event in time. And it provides the means of assessing an event’s relevance to time and place within a global and universal context. Above all, it permits us to appreciate the interconnectedness of events through a unified, spherical approach to Time. The Gnostic Circle is a yardstick which can be applied to any event and by which that event or object may be made to reveal its intrinsic nature and objective value. In ancient literature and tradition, such a tool was sometimes referred to as the Golden Rod, or the Philosopher’s Stone. Its value resided in the fact that because of its special relation to Time and Space, it could provide an objective means to assess the truth-conscious substance of any given situation or event or object. In a word, it could objectively reveal the element’s inner pulse and place within the greater harmony of life on Earth and within the solar system.’

– Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

‘… it is our purpose here to speak of some of the essential reasons why the knowledge has been contained and transmitted in the zodiac and the structure of the solar system … Moreover, it is our intention to give as clear a picture as possible of the true purpose of astrology, and in which way it can be an asset in the development of the spirit….’

‘Cosmic harmonies give us the understanding of the movement of progression within the eternal. The art in its totality is transmitted so that man may have a clear vision of the process of evolution, and above all, of its ultimate goal for any particular Age…’.

‘… in order to understand this play, we must first realise that the ultimate aim of creation is to be an ever more direct manifestation of the upholding and underlying spirit.

‘The zodiac gives us a picture of this outer movement of evolution which has as its support the inherent spirit. It represents the aspect of the unique Energy in a state of movement, as opposed to the aspect of the unique Energy in a state of rest. The purest example of the former is Matter, and the purest example of the latter is Spirit. These two poles represent two aspects, apparently contradictory and opposite, of the One Unique Energy, working itself out into its fullest manifestation.’

Thea, The Gnostic Circle, Chapter 1,
‘Essential Purpose of the Study of Cosmic Harmonies’, p.3

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