The Psychology of the Soul

Introduction to the Psychology of the seven Rays

Gunda Scholdt

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The Seven Individual Rays
Esotericism teaches that we live in a world of multiple energies and forces forming our characteristics, type and behaviour. And these are the astrological energies, but also the Seven Rays which shape man on an even deeper level.
Spiritual psychology, therefore, aims at becoming aware of the sevenfold nature of the world and of man. Only when we have gained knowledge of the fundamental driving forces of life, can we understand who we really are.
The human kingdom is governed by the fourth ray (soul) and the fifth ray (personality).
Man as an individual is part of the seven soul groups forming the background of spiritual life. There are seven types of souls in this world according to the Seven Rays:

Ray I

Ray II


Ray IV

Ray V

Ray VI


The will type

The love type

The active-intelligent type

The creative-artistic type

The scientific type

The idealistic-devotional type

The organisational-magical type

These seven types of souls seek their expression in the world through the form nature of man.

The form nature of man consists of three bodies, each of which is also determined by a ray. The etheric body has no specific ray. It is the light body with the seven chakras which are in relation with the Seven Rays.

In the course of soul development the three bodies are fused into an integrated personality, and at this point in evolution a fourth type of energy comes into play: the personality ray.

Man destined to develop a "thinking soul" is a fivefold being: Soul, personality, mental body, astral body, physical body. And each of these five aspects has the quality and imprint of a ray.

Hence, the individuality of man can be seen in his fivefold ray structure combined with the two dominant astrological signs, the sun sign and the rising sign.


The fivefold ray formula:

Ray of the soul

Ray of the personality

Ray of the mental body

Ray of the astral body

Ray of the physical body 

These five rays gradually develop and are only fully expressed in the human being at the end of soul development.

In the following, the seven ray types are described in their basic characteristics as they appear in the individual. But no distinction is yet made between the soul ray and personality ray. This distinction is very subtle and can only be made by self-observation and self-analysis.

The First Ray Type

The most important characteristic of the first ray type is the will to power. "Where there is a will, there is a way" is the declared motto, and there is hardly anything this type does not dare to do. Dynamic, purposeful, quick and decisive in his actions, he pursues his goals and ambitious desires. He wants to conquer the world by storm, and this applies to the physical as well as to the spiritual aspect of life because the primary impulse is the will to dominate others or one's own physical nature, which is destined to obey the spirit.

This emphasis on will, the basic characteristic of the first ray, generally leads to a pronounced self-centredness, pride and selfishness which rarely makes him doubt that he is right. His empathy for others is rather low, and he takes little account of the feelings and sensitivities of his fellow men when it comes to asserting himself. Dynamically acting and full of verve he tries to reach the top, to conquer his environment and to dominate and control other people. In negative expression, he tends towards complacency, stubbornness and aloofness, and at times he seems arrogant and unscrupulous when it comes to achieving his own goals.

On the physical plane, the first ray type is "a person who stands alone", for he feels separated from others or rises above them. He would not ask anyone for advice or help when it comes to making decisions. As a man of "lonely decisions", he always arranges his life in such a way that he is not dependent on others. He only trusts himself and will always claim individual freedom and independence.

On the emotional plane, the inner isolation creates a natural distance to others. He tends to underestimate or suppress feelings because he wants to maintain his independence at any cost. He will preferably look for partners that he feels superior to, who would like to lean on him or look up to him, because they are not seen as competitors, but rather need his guidance.

On the mental plane, the first ray type is clear-minded and unconventional. Once he has made a decision, he will enforce it without any ifs or buts. He doesn't need any difficult, time-consuming processes of self-discovery, he doesn't waver between the pros and cons of an opinion; his thinking is focused on essential principles which he wants to grasp and immediately put into action. He utters his opinion bluntly, as a quick and final statement, which he will vehemently defend even if it is not increasing his popularity.

The personality of the first ray has leadership qualities and a pronounced will to power. He is ambitious and self-assertive and wants to set the tone and to play a central role on the stage of life. For the qualities of a first ray personality are domination, independence, endurance, perseverance and an iron will that is applied to any life situations.

If it is power alone, without wisdom and love, it results in a destructive and disintegrating force. The first ray personalities will always come to the front and will use the strong will power for good or bad. If the power is used for good, they are the born leaders in any public career, one to trust and lean on, one to defend the weak, fearless of consequences and utterly indifferent to comment. If used in a negative way, it might be expressed in unrelenting cruelty and in a tyrannic way.

All great rulers and conquerors of history, such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon and many commanders, but also dictators, were upon the first ray.

Professional ability:
The first ray type is suitable for all professions which guarantee independence, a leading position and power. And dependent on the maturity of the soul, the leadership will either be arbitrary, autocratic or authoritarian, without leaving others any freedom of choice, or helpful and assisting others without disregarding their own free will.

Soul-conscious personalities of the first ray are ready to submit their personal will to a higher spiritual goal. Now this type recognises that he must not misuse his will for selfish purposes, but rather focus on his own imperfections in order to grow spiritually. He will use his initiative, dynamic power, courage, self-confidence, perseverance and independence to destroy the evil in the world and help to enhance the welfare of humanity. His nature is straightforward, and he is willing to take responsibility, to stand up to dangers of all kinds and to risk his own well-being, reputation and in extreme cases life, in order to achieve a higher goal worth the effort.

An example could be Gandhi, who went on hunger strike several times to force the reconciliation of the different religions. But also Martin Luther's unbending attitude: "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise ..." refers to the quality of the first ray.

The Spiritual Path of the First Ray

In order to develop a soul consciousness, the traits of the first ray type have to undergo a complete transformation.


  • Dynamic one-pointedness and ambition
  • Arrogance
  • Power realised selfishly
  • Lovelessness, pride and isolation
  • Use of strong willpower in a destructive way
  • A longing for power and authority
  • Desire to dominate others
  • Obstinacy and anger

The glamour:
The glamour of the first ray type is the isolation from others, the ego-emphasis and arrogance arising from personal power and physical strength. He destroys what stands in the way of his goals, and forces his will upon others and groups. This authoritarian, autocratic style of leadership can manifest itself in the professional work as well as in private life, in the family as in raising children, but also in partnership and friendly relationships.


  • Dynamic use of energy for the furtherance of the Divine Plan
  • The use of willpower in a constructive way
  • A sense of responsibility and steadfastness
  • Power of love and courage
  • Identification with the rhythm of the Whole
  • Fearlessness and large-mindedness

The goal of the first ray type is to use his willpower in a compassionate way by giving up his own isolation and developing love for his fellow human beings. As he has the ability to grasp great questions in a large-minded way, he needs a picture of the whole to transform his egoistic, separating will into a will-to-good through the identification with the Divine Plan.

The life motto could be the saying of Jesus: "Not my will, but thy will be done"

The Key to Transformation

Power is the main characteristic of the first ray. But if it were power alone, without love and wisdom, a destructive and disintegrating force would result. Hence, the first ray type has to learn love! He needs traits of the second ray to balance the hardness and relentlessness of his will. He should strive to develop tender feelings, humility, compassion, tolerance, patience and a loving understanding for the weaker and needy who lack strength and dynamic.

Keyword: The Power of Love

Service to Mankind

Servers of the first ray work by imposing the "Will of God" or the ideas of the Plan – if they are able to grasp them – upon the minds of men. This will bring about two developments: They first initiate a period of destruction of the old and hindering ideas followed by the shining forth of the new ideas which embody the great principles of the New Age. These servers are called "God's destroying Angels", destroying the old forms on the basis of love.

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