The Theosophist Alice Bailey (aka the Tibetan) is one of the most respected sources of esoteric wisdom. She recounts a very interesting story in relation to the planetary shadows, that has given me a lot of food for thought.
In EH (the Externalization of the Hierarchy – I believe it is this book but have not looked up the exact reference) she recounts how the White Brotherhood (the ascended masters and their disciples on the inner planes) meets in a great conclave every 49’th year. One such conclave took place in the year 1903. On this occasion a group of initiates facing the initiation of the decision, decided that it was time for mankind to face the ancient evil precipitated on Atlantis. This evil had since that time (for many thousands of years) been held at bay by a wall of light erected by the hierarchy at the time of Atlantis. This group of initiates (in 1903) judged that mankind had reached a level of mental illumination that enabled it as a race to face this old madness. They also judged that mankind could not progress any further without confronting this ancient menace.
The ancient madness was ostensibly fallout from a great war between the white and black brotherhood on Atlantis – a war won by the black brotherhood. To prevent the madness to engulf the entire planet the civilization of Atlantis was subsequently sunk into the ocean. Following this the masters of wisdom retreated from the physical plane and have since then only taught from the inner planes. Finally a wall of light was erected to contain the cosmic evil released – or so goes the story. (BTW: This account has some interesting parallels to the Lord of the Rings, which I will not get into here).
Thus in the year 1903, this ancient evil was ostensibly liberated from its ancient cage and released unto the shores of mankind. In this narrative, the senior disciples entrusted with this decision was given the privilege to make a decision on behalf of humanity, because they would never again incarnate in human form, having completed their human sojourn earned their spiritual freedom. Liberating this ancient energy, the Tibetan said, was the subjective cause of the world wars. Looking at what else transpired in the years following this release, I wonder myself, if the great strides made in science in the first 3 decades of the 20th century might also be related hereto.
The book (EH) contains a running commentary on the state of world affairs from 1919-1949 (where Alice Bailey passed) and thus represents a unique glimpse into the occult workings of the world. Some chapters on WWII are particularly interesting because they sheds light in some possible deeper causes of the war. Causes that may still be very relevant to understanding what is happening in the world today.
One thing I find particularly interesting in relation to the discussions on the sacred masculine discussion, is a comment concerning the ending of the war. The Tibetan says that because the allied powers, in the late 40ies in many ways betrayed the ideals for which they fought the war, the allied victory “closed the door to evil, but did not seal it.” Because the idealistic and universalistic note struck with the creation of the UN etc. at that time did not prevail over the cynical power politics, it would therefore only be a matter of time before the ancient evil would rear its ugly face again.