Swede – Niklas Nihlen
Member of the New Group of World Servers
Service Work of a Modern Day Disciple
- A Magical Story of Creation and the
Astrology of the New Age
An interview by Bente Maria Ostenfeld-Rosenthal - in conversation with Niklas.
This is an interview with Niklas Nihlén, one of the world’s most recognized esoteric astrologers. He is self-educated in both classical and esoteric astrology, as well as in astronomy. He has worked professionally with esoteric astrology since the beginning of the nineties, and has worked with, among others, Dr. Michael Robbins of the University of the Seven Rays. (USR). Niklas has an MSE in esoteric psychology, and a PhD in esoteric philosophy from the USR. Today, he is also a member of the academic faculty. Since the end of the nineties, Niklas has been teaching esoteric astrology in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the United States. He runs the "Hermes Astrology School" in Sweden, and is a licensed distributor of several astrological and astronomical software applications. Furthermore, Niklas offers astrology and ray-test sessions at home as well as and when travelling. At present, he is working on a three-volume treatise on Esoteric Astrology in cooperation with Michael Robbins.
The stars in the sky shine with enigmatic attraction. With an ancient and mysterious fascination telling the whole story of the Universe. They shine with a living magical-magnetic rhythm, which has spellbound all nations at all times – from the very beginning, veiled in the mists of oblivion, until the far distant future that ultimately will create a new beginning.
BMO: As I ask Niklas what esoteric astrology is, I see how the starry worlds display themselves as a living map behind his forehead – and as much more than that. Niklas responds…
NN: “Esoteric Astrology is an expression of the relationship between the small human being and the vast entirety. Esoteric astrology is the recognition of the fact that no separation exists; that everything is related. And of the fact that the Universe is one living being, one entity of which we are all part.”
This enigmatic attraction, the great drama unfolding on the celestial sphere is the drama of our own. It is our own story and our own Genesis. Esoteric astrology expresses and explains this continuing movement in time and space that we are all part of, and which we are all creating.
BMO: Niklas Nihlén comes from up North. From the land of the Polar Night. From Sweden, where the winters are dark and rich in flashing stars. But, recently he visited Aalborg in Denmark to teach another chapter in the tale of all things’ creation and coherence to a small but faithful flock of astrology students. In conjunction with this visit, Niklas allowed me to ask him some basic questions regarding this science of entirety. Thus, he sits in my home telling a tale that will leave you breathless if only you dare indulge yourself into it: The tale of the Soul.
The Dimension of the Soul
BMO: Will esoteric astrology replace the classical?
NN: No, it will not replace it, as classical astrology is part of the esoteric. But, esoteric astrology places both man and classical astrology in a wider context. The Tibetan also said that the future will hold two kinds of astrology: The classical that is concerned with matter/form, and the esoteric that is concerned with the deeper side of life; with the soul and its development.
BMO: I think of all the horoscopes I have seen myself, and of how esoteric interpretation time and again has illuminated and expanded the understanding of classical astrology.
NN: Esoteric astrology opens the classical astrology to a far deeper understanding, [Niklas says and explains how, for example], the Ascendant has another and much more essential meaning in esoteric astrology, as it shows the qualities the soul seeks to develop in the current incarnation. The rulers are also different: Where Mars is the classical ruler of Aries, Mercury is the esoteric. This makes Aries able to view the Plan clearly and, in an enlightened way, to act in alignment with this Plan. The classical rulers indicate the development of the personality, while the esoteric ones indicate the development of the soul. And, when we eventually reach the point in our evolutionary process, where the light of the soul begins to shine clearly in our personality, the esoteric rulers will obtain greater influence on our fulfilment of life's potential. This does not mean that the classical rulers will disappear, but that they to a larger extend will be subordinated to the esoteric ones, and thus will become the tools of the soul.
There is even a third category of rulers – the hierarchical rulers – that have to do with Monadic consciousness, but I decide not to ask him about it. The dimension of the soul alone is most breathtaking. On the other hand it calls for more knowledge and insight:
Closer to Light and Love
BMO: Can you say that an esoteric horoscope indicates the path of the soul?
NN: “You can say that it unveils the dimension of the soul. Thus, an esoteric horoscope clarifies the direction and orientation of the soul.”
BMO: Is it your experience that a person may easier be able to obtain and develop soul contact and consciousness after an esoteric astrology session?
NN: [Niklas thinks for a moment before he answers.] “Everything that is accepted with an open mind and consciousness guides you in the right direction. As such, the esoteric astrology and an esoteric horoscope is a possibility to get to know the deeper truth of your soul's direction and orientation. But the consequence of this knowledge is responsibility: If you obtain insight into the path of your soul, you cannot say anymore that you did not know which path to follow. Therefore, you have to pursue this insight. It requires patient and constant work to obtain and develop soul consciousness in order for you to take the responsibility for the orientation of your soul, and to follow the path of your soul.”
BMO: Some people might be deterred just by thinking about all this work?
NN: But, this work is also very encouraging.. because it constantly brings you closer to the source of Light and Love.
BMO: I light the five candles on my chandelier to brighten this thought.
Handling Your Heavenly Pattern
[Niklas Nihlén has always pondered upon "what kind of life is inside of us". Already as a child and a youngster he was interested in science fiction and tales from outer space. The struggle for Light in the distant and fictitious Star Wars Galaxy took up his mind and made space for topics like telepathy and how to use your mind to penetrate consciousnesses and dimensions. As a young man, Niklas got hold of one of the Tibetan's books and found out that the legends and the myths from the Universe didn't only exist on the screen. They existed - and exist - concretely among the stars above us. The real tales of the struggle for Light may not be as "colourful" as seen through the eyes of George Lucas. On the other hand, they were - and are - much more powerful and significant when you are able to read them in the development of Space, and thus also inside of us as human beings. Moving from these tales to esoteric astrology was a short distance, and at age twenty, Niklas already ventured into the splendid and grandiose work, ”Esoteric Astrology”, by the Tibetan/Alice A. Bailey. Actually, “Esoteric Astrology” was Niklas's preferred reading at the time he was in the army, which the copy in front of him clearly shows. Niklas has no doubt been reading this book in detail many times.]
NN: Even so, I keep discovering new truths in it.. the book describes astrology as “The purest presentation of occult truth in the world at this time, because it is the science which deals with those conditioning and governing energies and forces which play through and upon the whole field of space and all that is found within that field" (p.5). Therefore, ”Esoteric Astrology” is also about the energies that flow through us and our souls. As such, you can make great use of it when working towards development and achievement of soul consciousness.
BMO: Will an esoteric horoscope be able to indicate how far you have come in spiritual development?
NN: It shows a pattern indicating the challenges, crises and possibilities associated with the development of the soul. In the end, it is all about how the individual handles his or her horoscope.
The horoscope may provide energies that make high spiritual development possible. But, if you do not use these energies, the horoscope alone is not an indicator of this development. On the other hand, it can be most useful to discern your horoscope and identify the energies; there may be many connections you will not understand and are unable to use unless you see your heavenly pattern.
When Earth Becomes a Sacred Planet
BMO: It has become dark outside. But in here, in my home, the light from my chandelier shines ever more brightly:
BMO: In esoteric philosophy, you use the concept of initiation. What is initiation?
NN: Initiation is a series of progressive expansions of consciousness, which provide insight and understanding of the laws of space and the greater reality. Initiation increases your ability to serve the cosmic order and to express Light and Love on Earth. Initiation is the natural result when an individual during several incarnations has had a wish for helping others; when this individual for a long time has given priority to Light and to serve Entirety.
BMO: Now I need to be wary of what I ask you, but could one imagine that certain individuals would strive for the initiation, only because it may be desirable to be an initiate?
NN: Niklas ponders deeply before he answers: “It is essential to understand that initiation itself is not the purpose. In that case, initiation becomes some kind of a spiritual ambition or illusion with mainly a personal motive, and not a spiritual one. On the other hand, it is important to consider the concept of initiation. And, it is certainly very important to try, humbly, to attain initiation in order to be better able to serve the Light. If you are able to give up personal desires and spiritual ambitions, which are often related to a wish for power and control, it is very useful to work and aspire for initiation as if you were ambitious; initiation is an expression of great spiritual enlightenment and development – not only with regard to the individual, but also to Humanity, and eventually also to the planet Earth as well as to higher beings. When we, as human beings, work in alignment with the Plan for development of Life on Earth, initiation will accelerate the power of Humanity and the ability to raise Life on Earth.
With the initiation of Earth it becomes a sacred planet. In this process, we, as a highly developed Humanity, can be of great service. Through, for example, meditation and service we can help Earth in its transformation from being a non-sacred planet to becoming a sacred one. For this reason as well, aspiration for initiation – our own as well as that of the planet – is very important: It is the destiny of Earth to become a station of Light from where Light and Love will be spread out into the darker spheres of both our Solar System and other Solar Systems as well.”
BMO: For a moment I am deeply touched. This holy transformation of Earth truly forms a chapter in the Magical Story of Creation, which we as human beings – with all our Light and Love – take part in writing.
BMO: Can a horoscope indicate whether or not you have attained, or are on your way to attain, the first initiation?
NN: Well, yes. The first initiation of spiritual “Birth” is the result of a definite reorientation towards a new and spiritual life. It involves intense aspiration and struggle to be good, self-sacrificing and wise. It requires an organized mind and an open heart, and is based upon true character and an integrated personality, which evidence discipline and etheric control of form and physical desires. Soul and form are brought into contact with each other, and we achieve ”spiritual fixation upon the physical plane”. And these steps into the Light are absolutely indicated in the horoscope.
But again, it all depends on how you handle your horoscope and its energies, Niklas answers – and explains that the pattern and energies of the horoscope begin to make sense if you know the incarnated individual – and vice versa.
Swept Into Manifestation
BMO: The notion of "energies" draws my attention to one of the most fundamental phenomena within esoteric philosophy: The Seven Rays.
BMO: The Seven Rays are closely connected to esoteric astrology. What are The Seven Rays?
BMO: I ask these questions, knowing full well that an adequate answer can only be found by studying "A Treatise on The Seven Rays" thoroughly. But Niklas simplifies it to me:
NN: Everything in space is related to The Seven Rays. The "great life" we all belong to expresses itself through seven energy qualities; The Seven Rays. These seven rays are divine intelligences or energies that create and maintain all that exists in our Universe. Therefore, all human beings are also related to The Seven Rays. You can think of The Seven Rays as living flows of energy, Niklas says and uses his hand to illustrate an undulating river of energy.
All human beings are swept into manifestation on the impulse of one of The Seven Rays. And we are all coloured by the quality of that particular ray. It tells us who we are, brings us into incarnation, and also takes us back home again.
BMO: I dwell for a moment on the beauty and poetry in the living and streaming movement of energy, upon which our souls are brought into manifestation. But poetry will have to rest for a while, as the flow of The Seven Rays through all that exists bid me to think calmly and objectively.
BMO: [Thus] I ask Niklas to explain the organizational relationship between The Seven Rays and esoteric astrology, and to clarify the coherence between the rays, the constellations and the planets:
NN: In our local cosmos, the seven stars in the constellation Ursa Major – along with the stars in Ursa Minor, the Pleiades, and the Sirius system – provide The Seven Rays. From here, the rays stream through the twelve constellations of which a particular triangle of constellations transmits every single ray to our Solar Logos – the vast and intelligent being, who ensouls our Solar System. Since our Solar System – which is a second ray Solar System – constitutes the heart centre in a group of seven solar systems, the energy of every single ray is coloured by the quality of the second ray, Love and Wisdom, before they continue through the seven sacred planets and the five non-sacred planets. From here, they reach Earth, Humanity and every human being.
Finding Your Way Home
BMO: Does this mean that a horoscope can indicate the rays that influence and colour you?
NN: Well, certain methods and techniques exist and are able to indicate how the rays are expressing themselves through the horoscope, and the horoscope can help you understand your ray-o-logical make-up. We all have a soul ray, a personality ray, and a ray for each of our three vehicles; the mental, the astral, and the physical. And a horoscope is very helpful in localizing this particular make-up. But a proper analysis also involves use of intuition, meditation, observation and a special ray-test.
BMO: Why is it important to know your ray-o-logical make-up?
NN: Because life is all about getting to know yourself and finding your way home, Niklas says and looks into my eyes with deep seriousness.
BMO: I don't even have to ask my next question. Niklas knows it already and continues his explanation:
NN: The rays and astrology describe much of our identity. They describe our gifts and challenges and tell us how we can best serve entirety. They indicate the path to our karma and dharma – what brings us true joy in life. Therefore, you can obtain much if you consider astrology and your ray-o-logical make-up as life-long projects on which you ought to work on continuously. Certain ray meditations and ray techniques can help you along in this process. And by understanding and developing your ray-o-logical make-up – also through the horoscope – it becomes possible to work more meaningfully and appropriately with the qualities the soul intends to develop in this incarnation. Through this ray-o-logically adjusted – and hence more expedient work – you will find your way home, and prepare yourself for further development in your next incarnation as well.
Working with your rays is a process that never ends, but a process you can use actively on the journey of your soul through times, Niklas says and makes me ponder on the adventurous journey of the soul – or the Soul’s continuous and creative work for Light and Love in time and space.
BMO: Through the window I see the stars in the sky. They all shine clearly, even though I live in the middle of a big city where sleepless electric lights usually blur these glimpses of Eternity. I think of what brilliant signposts these heavenly patterns are, as we choose to walk the path of our soul and thus open ourselves to them.
BMO: Can you help people follow the path of their soul based on their esoteric horoscope and an analysis of their ray-o-logical make-up?
NN: Yes. But they need to take it in and live it.
BMO: Niklas deepens no further. Nor does he have to. Everything else he tells me this evening is answer enough to that question as well.
Astrology of the New Age
Niklas Nihlén is a traveller – in the starry sky as well as in the esoteric philosophy, and physically when he travels all over the World to teach esoteric astrology.
BMO: Do you experience that more people wish to understand and live esoteric astrology?
NN: Certainly yes! More and more people worldwide open themselves to the spiritual dimension. And more people who are interested in classical astrology evidently wish to learn to use esoteric astrology. So, the esoteric realms develop and widen. It happens naturally, because esoteric astrology is the astrology of the New Age.
BMO: What would you advise people to do if they want to learn to use esoteric astrology?
NN: To read "Esoteric Astrology", and to get a proper esoteric astrology session. To try to live esoteric astrology; to love life in all its various forms of expression, and – from the depths of our hearts and minds – to salute our brothers and sisters in the sky. This is the way we unite ourselves with the universal entirety, and through this we can get to know the different energies that flow through it. Furthermore, to develop soul contact via meditation and to participate in, for example, full moon meditations, which also provide an understanding of the planetary rhythm of life. To attend esoteric astrology-workshops, Internet groups and/or educational programs in order to get a possibility to discuss your insights with like-minded. And finally to realize that esoteric astrology and philosophy are time-consuming processes.
BMO: How do you work with esoteric astrology in your everyday life yourself?
NN: I try to live it consciously by trying to experience and focus the different energies of the planets, constellations, stars and rays. And besides meditation, studies, and teaching, I also attempt to develop methods and techniques, which will make it easier to use esoteric astrology in practice. I attempt to translate the abstract into something that is more useful for people on their path.
BMO: Is there anything you need to be cautious of, when entering esoteric astrology?
NN: Yes. We need to understand that we are much more than our horoscope. As such, the horoscope also constitutes a limitation to our true self. A horoscope can indicate what we ought to develop in this cycle of incarnations, but it can never reveal everything that we are. A horoscope is "only" a snapshot of a human being in the Eternal Now: the point we are on the path to identification with our absolute self.
BMO: Wow. These frames for understanding the development of our soul, which is slowly revealed in tiers as you dig into the depths of the esoteric principles of interpretation, are quite overwhelming alone. Even so there are still vast and boundless perspectives to explore. I ponder upon this for a moment before I ask my final question:
BMO: What is the most important quality to you in esoteric astrology?
NN: The most important quality to me is that esoteric astrology – the greatest and oldest of all sciences – reveals the fact that everything is related; as above so below. It is that esoteric astrology makes us aware that the whole field of Space is an expression of one Life; a Life of which we are all part.
I let silence speak – in the dim light around us and as well as in my innermost,
where I wordlessly recognize the truths in Niklas' tales. In there, where
these Ageless Wisdoms whisper, that All is One.
Facts: "The Tibetan", Djwhal Khul, is one of the masters of wisdom. From 1919 until 1949, the Tibetan wrote 19 books through Alice A. Bailey. These books constitute an altogether endless source of the profound wisdom that some designate Esoteric Philosophy or The Ageless Wisdoms. As one of the 19 books,”Esoteric Astrology” is in itself a monumental work and form the third volume of the five-volume work: ”A Treatise on the Seven Rays”. The Tibetan's/Alice A. Bailey's books have been translated into numerous languages.
Facts: The qualities of the Seven Rays are: 1st Ray: Will and Power. 2nd Ray: Love-Wisdom. 3rd Ray: Active Intelligence. 4th Ray: Harmony through Conflict. 5th Ray: Concrete Knowledge. 6th Ray: Devotion and Idealism. 7th Ray: Ceremonial Order.