The Four Soul-Types
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Imagine an equal-armed cross, just like the one seen at the top of this page, stark black on a white background, like the ink on this page. Try it. See this icon of two intersecting poles.

Got it?

This is the simplest way to illustrate a principle that has confused humankind for ages. Through this icon we can understand the relationship of good and evil to the essences of light and dark.

Each of the poles in this simple cross represents a pair of misunderstood opposites. Just so we all see the diagram the same way, let's label it. We'll call the vertical pole good/evil, with good on top. The horizontal pair is light/dark, with light on the left. While these two pairs work together in a way we'll explore here, they are not the same.

The vertical pair represents our success or failure as human beings and immortal souls. We're all truly meant to accomplish good, and to become better individuals — to become, in essence, more like the Source that created us. This is the true purpose of most of the world's positive religions, including Wicca, where we perceive that the Source has both male and female aspects. We will explore later the concept of striving toward spiritual mastery, and introduce ways to access the energies of the Gods and Goddesses while we're still alive. For now, keep in mind that there is an ultimate reason for rising toward the good half of the pole on the vertical pair.

The horizontal pair determines the path we walk while advancing through a particular stage of our development. Not all of us are meant to surround ourselves with light and avoid the shadows. The ancients understood the concept of the nocturnal path well, which is why they identified and named more than just the light aspects of Divinity. As we'll get to in the next chapter, the various names given to Gods and Goddesses do not imply that there are thousands of such beings all struggling for power. Rather, they are each manifestations of a particular aspect, dark or light, of the primal energy from which we all came. We name these energies to better establish a link to the Source while we're still here. Some of us identify better with the dark ones among these deities.

Success or failure, and the path we walk to get there — keep these aspects of the cross icon in mind. Through an understanding of the symbol you'll master an occult truth. Don't take my word for it, however. See now how this truth applies to you.

The Four Soul-Types

If you focus for a moment on the white space surrounding our simple diagram, you'll see that it makes up four quadrants. It is in one of these four that a soul's particular lifetime can be mapped.

Remember plotting geometric points on a graph in high school? There you would mark a point by noting its X and Y coordinates, or how far away from center, up or down, and left or right it was. In much the same way, we can identify a soul-type by how good or evil, dark or light it may be. The closer to the center one is in either axis, the more neutral he or she is with respect to that axis's pair of energies.

In other words, we come to see that there are four categories of individuals possible, and that people in each type can possess varying degrees of the category's essence. Starting in the upper left corner of the cross's white space and moving counterclockwise, the four soul-types are: good-light, evil-light, evil-dark, and good-dark. Some of us are more good or evil than others, some more drawn to darkness or light, but we still fall somewhere within one of the four soul-types. We'll touch briefly on the first three, then focus more intensely on the last one.

Good-light is the soul-type that most people are really referring to when they mention or think of the concept of good. People in this category include many (but not all) Wiccans and so-called New Agers. But one doesn't need to walk a spiritual path to be in this category. Anyone who is moral, loves brightness, and spreads joy honestly is good-light. These are also often the people who feel uplifted, for instance, by major-key music and inspirational fiction or feel-good tales. As an extreme example, some of the world's religion founders, such as Christ and Buddha, were of this soul-type. Whether the followers of such masters and the infrastructures of their and other organized religions live up to the good-light label, however, is open for debate. Speaking of living up to a path, were someone to fail at being good-light there is a decent chance they'd end up evil-light.

An overlooked type, evil-light is the sinister companion to good-light and the trickiest of the four groups to identify. Those of this soul-type seem at a glance to be moral individuals. Evil-light people may gather around them all the trappings of asceticism and harmony, or just what the masses perceive as being bright and positive. But behind the facade, the evil-light have given up trying to be better individuals. Consider a corrupt televangelist (feel free to do some digging into your memories or your library's newspaper archives if you feel this is only a stereotype). Evil-light televangelists would surround themselves with light themes and choir song, yet bilk their followers of millions, claiming that the gathered cash is going toward something other than a new Mercedes or Tudor mansion. Other evil-light can include righteous activists who let the end justify the means (for example, pro-lifers who bomb abortion clinics). Evil-light can even encompass corrupt executives who give to charity (as a good tax write-off) and frequent merry parties and even church, but who cheat in their business and personal dealings without regard for others.

Evil-dark, the true opposite of good-light, is the category that most people simplistically label as evil. Remember, the four categories can manifest in people in varying degrees. In the realm of the occult, evil-dark individuals can be the often harmless devil worshipers who value material goods and fun over their souls and the welfare of others, or can be the more sadistic individuals who perform black magic and human sacrifice. In the everyday world, common criminals often fit this category, although they can just as easily be evil-light.

Remember, the two evil soul-types are ones of failure. Whether a fallen one was good-light or good-dark before his or her sour turn determines, usually, whether he or she will become evil-light or evil-dark.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the nature of soul-types and mistake good-dark ones as being "bad." This is not surprising, considering that evil-dark people like devil worshipers get the most public attention, being ever vigilant for opportunities to spread their sinister propaganda. Conversely, the good-dark who succeed at the ultimate goal of adepthood or spiritual mastery do not attract as much attention, being mostly silent about their accomplishments.

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