Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

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Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (born January 5, 1938), also known as Thea, is a cosmologist, author and founder of the Aeon Centre of Cosmology who presents her work as a continuation of the Supramental and Integral Yogas of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

Often considered controversial, her writing has sparked heated discussions about Vedic astrology, sacred architecture, Supramental Yoga, the role of the Evolutionary Avatar, Cosmology and other issues. Her work as Director of the Aeon Centre of Cosmology has produced a body of applied cosmological knowledge both large in scope and highly specific.

In 1971, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet arrived at the Ashram of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in Pondicherry, India. She continued to live there until 1980, seven years after the Mother's death (1973) and then moved to the Palani Hills in South India where she established the Aeon Centre of Cosmology. While proceeding with her yoga and cosmological formulations in the Palani Hills, she maintained connection and correspondence with senior Trustee, Dyuman, until his death in the mid 1980s, as well as with a number of former Ashram colleagues. Details of her arrival in India, her time in Pondicherry and of the seeds of her later move to the Palani Hills can be found in the autobiography, 'The Tenth Day of Victory'.

The president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is the niece of Patrizia.[1]


In The Gnostic circle she offers a map by which individuals and our civilization can be begin to reorient within the flow of time. She writes specifically of the Precession of the Equinoxes and how one can see into the evolutionary drive or essence of each Age. She writes in detail in "The Gnostic Circle," and her opus "The New Way: A Study in the Rise and Establishment of Gnostic Society, Volumes 1-3"; of the evolutionary shift or massive leap from the mental consciousness, to the supramental consciousness, which is likened to the Vedic journey towards Recovering the Lost Sun or the Lost Truth of Being and Becoming (Sanatana Dharma). In "The Hidden Manna" Norelli-Bachelet writes that St. John's Apocalypse or Revelation was a prophecy of the evolutionary leap towards the supramental Consciousness which we are experiencing in our current times, initiated by Sri Aurobindo with his birth in 1872. In Norelli-Bachelet's view, it is time for mankind to recognize the Supramental consciousness in himself that coordinates all circumstances and levels of being and becoming. The mental consciousness, she writes, can take us no further and is in the process of self-destructing.

She writes in The Gnostic Circle that the first point of Aries alignment of the Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs occurred in 234 BCE. By that calculation, the Age of Aquarius began 2160 years later in 1926 AD, a year significant in terms of Sri Aurobindo's revelations and yoga.

The Enneagram is one system of knowledge which shows the correspondence between the 9 integers and the Circle. The 360 degrees of the circle, which can be trace back to the Rig Veda of ancient India, can also be seen to speak of the 9, via theosophical addition (3 + 6 + 0 = 9). [2] Cosmologist Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet contends that the 9-part (Enneagram) and the 12-part (Zodiac) divisions of the circle are not meant to be seen and studied as a synthesis, rather than as separate pursuits of knowledge.

She contends that the Hindu Line of Ten is a parable of evolution that is best understood with esoteric knowledge of astrology. She holds that Vishnu, the Preserver, corresponds to the fixed (preserving) signs of the Zodiac (Scorpio, Leo, Taurus and Aquarius), and that his 10 incarnations appear only during Astrological Ages ruled by fixed signs. To support this controversial claim, Norelli-Bachelet cites the famous three Steps of Vishnu mentioned in the Rig Veda (1.154) which likens Vishnu to the Lion [Leo], the Bull [Taurus] and the Man [Aquarius]. This view implies that an ancient zodiacal knowledge is embedded in the Ten Avatars of Vishnu. (see History of Astrology)

Supramental Yoga[edit]

In February of 1969 The Mother told her disciple Satprem that the Supramental Action in the world would involve a universal, cosmological and numbered expression and application to life (The Mother's Agenda, 1969). Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's yoga, in turn, is largely an account of how cosmological and numerological symbolism figure prominently in understanding the Descent of the Supramental Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's yoga raised the question of how the Supramental Consciousness would organize itself on the Earth, and Ms. Norelli-Bachelet claims that she answers that question.


Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet suggests that she adds a Supramental Vision of Time to the Integral Yoga, which is referred to in the last chapter of Sri Aurobindo's Synthesis of Yoga entitled "Toward a Supramental Vision of Time". She teaches that the Supramental Consciousness organizes both Time and Space and that this superior organization (of micro and macrocosm) can be seen when one has specific keys of knowledge. The ‘Gnostic circle' - the Zodiac superimposed on the Enneagram - is presented by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet as one such key of knowledge, the last such key passed on to her before the Mother left her body in 1973 (as told in The Tenth Day of Victory). Cycles of 9 – such as 9 days, 9 months, 9 years, 36 years, 72 years, 2160 years or 25,920 years – figure prominently in her teachings regarding Time.

The Two Zodiacs[edit]

Tropical and Sidereal (Sayana and Nirayana) Indian Cosmologists throughout the ages have recognized two zodiacal systems - the Nirayana or Sidereal and the Sayana or Tropical zodiac. The Nirayana uses the backdrop of the constellations as its reference point and the Sayana uses the ecliptic. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet refers to modern Indian astrologers as ‘post-Vedic' due to her position that the Vedic Seers of ancient India referred to the Sayana or Tropical zodiac in their hymns of the Earth's 12-rayed or 12 part journey around the Sun. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet holds that true Vedic Seers would not discard the Sayana zodiac and favor the Nirayana or Sidereal system to measure the Earth's entry into the signs of the zodiac or individual destinies of events or people. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet is firm in her position that, by using the Nirayana/Sidereal, 'post-vedic' astrologers are 23 days late in their measurements of entry into the 12 signs of the zodiac. She teaches that zero degrees Capricorn should always correspond directly to the December Solstice (when the days are shortest and the light begins to increase, and when Earth is at its closest distance to the Sun), and that it is erroneous to celebrate Makar Sankranti (entrance into Capricorn) 23 days after the Winter Solstice as is commonly practiced in India.

‘Astrology in India today,' according to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, ‘is no longer a repository of Knowledge. It is simply used as a predictive tool and nothing more ... it is impossible to locate the exact point in the constellations to designate as the Sidereal Zodiac's [zero degrees Aries] point. Hence there are dozens of different almanacs in India each offering a different Zero Point for these "corrections".'

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's interpretation of Vedic symbolism has been strongly criticized (Rajaram 2002). Modern Vedic astrologers and scholars (as well as Western Astrologers) do not find it credible that the authors of the Rig Veda referred to the Tropical Zodiac in their sacred hymns regarding the yearly journey of the Earth around the Sun, although Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet argues that the verses themselves prove her thesis (see History of astrology, 'Astrology in the Rig Veda').

The Astrological Ages[edit]

Ms. Norelli-Bachelet notes that the Zodiacal Ages are a function of the 25,920 year Precession of the Equinoxes, each of the 12 Ages being 2160 years. She asserts that the beginning of the Precessional cycle (which would have begun the Age of Pisces) started at 234 BCE and that the Age of Aquarius began precisely at 1926 AD. According to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, the verses describing Three Steps of Vishnu (see Trivikrama) in the Rig Veda are proof enough to demonstrate that the ancient Vedic civilization, or at least its priests, were aware of the precessional cycle and of the zodiac as a key to understanding large and small cycles of Time. She also holds that the zodiac used throughout the world today, and partially in India as well, originated in India, was exported from the subcontinent and then the knowledge was lost to India for some time. '[The] so called Western Zodiac....either originated in India thousands of years ago and was then transported beyond her borders in a westward direction, along with Sanskrit and other cultural expressions; or else, that India too inherited it from a now lost or submerged civilisation, perhaps the one located in the Indian Ocean of which the Tamil Sangam literature speaks.' - 'Kashmir and the Convergence of Time, Space, and Destiny', PNB

The Gnostic Circle[edit]

The Gnostic circle and time[edit]

The Gnostic Circle represents different cycles of time, and how things move, grow or evolve in time. It can represent the 360 degrees the Earth rotates in 24 hours of the day, or the 360 degree journey of the Earth around the Sun in 1 year, or the 360 degree movement of the Precession of the Equinoxes which takes 25,920 years to complete. When looking at Gnostic Circle in terms of the 25,920 year Precession, one 30 degree segment of the Gnostic Circle or Zodiac, is 2160 years - or one Astrological Age. The Gnostic Circle can also represent 9 year cycles of life and 36 year cycles of life. Students of the Gnostic Circle follow these various cycles in their own lives and also observe the cycles of current and historical events. Each degree, number and sign of the Gnostic Circle indicates a certain stage of growth and learning, or a certain degree of development of the true potential of the Individual.

Norelli-Bachelet proposes that by observing and living through the various cycles in time, and the stages therein, one can begin to understand the movement of the whole and the consciousness that drives the movement.

The basic structure of the Gnostic circle[edit]

The Circle (undivided): The Gnostic Circle is first an expression of Unity, the full circle with its point in the center. This is the ancient symbol of the sun. This unity is then divided in various ways as an expression of the Multiple expressions of life and consciousness. The Triangle: The central Triangle or Trinity of the Circle represents the division by 3. The Square: The formative Square or Cross of the Circle represents the division by 4. The Circle divided by the cross is the Astrological symbol for the Earth. The Enneagram: The Enneagram is the division of the Circle by 9 integers. The Enneagram is formed by the central Triangle of the numbers 3, 6, and 9. And the other numbers are connected in a continuous flow from the 1 to 4 to 2 to 8 to 5 to 7 and back to the 1. In mathematics this flow is represented by dividing 1 by 7, with the result being .142857 repeating. The Zodiac: The Zodiac is the division of the Circle by 12 signs. This division is replicated in the standard counting of 12 months in a year.

The larger divisions of the Gnostic circle[edit]

There are four colored layers of the Gnostic circle, which also represent different divisions of time. Norelli-Bachelet refers to these divisions by their Sanskrit name. Trimsamsa: The outer most layer of the Circle is divided into 360 segments, which in terms of the cycle of one Earth year, is associated with 360 days (plus 5 extra days). In terms of the Precession of the Equinoxes, each degree of the Circle is 72 years (360 degrees x 72 years = 25,920 years). In terms of a 9 year cycle, each degree equals 9 days. Dvadasima: The next layer is 144 segments or 2.5 degrees each (144 x 2.5 = 360). In this layer, each sign of the Zodiac is further divided into 12 signs (12 x 12 = 144). In Sanskrit this division of the circle is called a dvadasima. The moon's movement's through the signs of the zodiac can be tracked in this layer (the moon travels through one sign of the Zodiac in approximately 2.5 days). Navasima: The next layer is 108 segments or 3.333 degrees each (108 x 3.333 = 360). In this layer, each Integer of the Enneagram is further divided into 12 signs (12 x 9 = 108). In looking at a 9 year cycle, the navasima is equivalent to one month of time. Decanate: The next layer is 36 segments of 10 degrees each which, in terms of the year is 10 days. The decanate or decante is a common reference in Astrology and represents one of three flows of energy within each sign (creation, preservation or dissolution). In terms a 9 year cycle this is 3 months, or a Season. In terms of the Precession of the Equinoxes, this is 720 years (36 x 720 years = 25,920 years)

The Gnostic circle and the Kali Yuga[edit]

Norelli-Bachelet proposes that the Vedic Kali Yuga is 8640 years or 120 degrees (1/3rd) of the Circle, or four Astrological Ages, or exactly one third of the Precession of the Equinoxes. Most Modern or Post-Vedic Cosmologists do not agree with her in this contention.

The Gnostic circle and alchemy[edit]

The entire Circle is seen by Norelli-Bachelet as an alchemical journey by which an individual reconnects with their original source or original nature. This journey is also referred to in the occult symbol of the Ouroborus - the snake biting its own tail. And in the symbols of the Alpha and the Omega. In the Gnostic Circle the 0 is the Alpha and the 9 is the Omega, the 0 is the snakes tail and the 9 is the snake's head. Put in scientific terms, the 0 is Energy and 9 is Matter.

The Gnostic circle and the supramental or unity consciousness[edit]

Sri Aurobindo wrote (in The Life Divine) that just as life evolved from matter, and mind evolved in life, that a Supramental Consciousness would emerge from the Mental creation and create an entirely new order of being. In the book by the same title, "The Gnostic Circle" presents students with the means to observe the Supramental Consciousness at work in the world. Norelli-Bachelet intends to give her readers a heightened view by which they can observe the process by which the Mental Consciousness becomes obsolete as the Supramental Consciousness becomes an all-integrating force in the world.

The symbols and language of the Gnostic circle Norelli-Bachelet presents the Gnostic Circle as a New Language for a New Age. The Circle is written in terms of symbols -- the symbols of our number system and the symbols of the Zodiac. Comprehension of the Circle hinges on one's willingness to consider these symbols as the expression of a living consciousness. The goal of learning the significance of the symbols and flow Gnostic Circle is to cultivate a vision or perspective of Unity.

The Gnostic circle and integral yoga[edit]

Norelli-Bachelet invites readers and students to use the Gnostic Circle as a tool for guiding their process of Integral Yoga, as a tool to gain knowledge of the whole, and as a tool for understanding one's place within the whole, as well as the place of all other beings and events on the Earth, throughout the ages. This integral understanding, according to Bachelet, is the beginning of achieving a consciousness of Unity by which students can see a Truth-Consciousness at work in all details and circumstances of the whole.


Norelli-Bachelet teaches the Gnostic Circle as a way to develop a unified vision of time (past, present and future). A unified vision on time, in Vedic terminology is call Tri-Kala-Drishti or "view of three times, which suggests an integrated view of past present and future.

Recovery of the Lost Sun[edit]

The Rig Veda is largely concerned with the recovery or return of the "Lost Sun", also termed the Santatana Dharma or Eternal Truth of Being and Becoming. The recovery of the true nature of matter. Christians envision this recovery or return as the return of Christ - who for them, was the crucified son of God. Norelli-Bachlet, and her predecessor Sri Aurobindo have written of the "recovery of the Lost Sun" as the return or recovery of a lost consciousness of unity or the return of an unseen Supramental Consciousness. Norelli-Bachelet presents the Gnostic Circle, as a symbol of the recovery of the Sun or Unity or the return of the One, which has been lost in the Many.

The Gnostic circle and the Christian cross[edit]

Norelli-Bachelet writes in "The New Way, Volume 3" that the Christian Cross is the symbol that represents the collective consciousness of the last Age of Pisces, based on the experience of a crucified Christ or son of God. She writes that the Gnostic circle is the symbol of the collective consciousness of the "New Age" of Aquarius. This collective consciousness, Norelli-Bachelet teaches, will be based in the experience of a victorious Sun/Son, or as mentioned in the previous section, "the recovery of the Lost Sun" or consciousness of unity.

The Gnostic circle's 4.5 point and nirvana[edit]

The bottom of the Circle, which correspond to the beginning of the sign of Libra and is the 4.5 point in terms of numbers, is seen by Norelli-Bachelet to represent the stage of Nirvana or dissolution. She sees this point as a stage, not the final attainment of the spiritual path. In the early 20th Century, Sri Aurobindo questioned the Buddhist or Mayadavistic goal of transcending the pain of a material world through the state of nirvana, and losing respect for the Material, Cosmic, and Individual dimensions of Existence. Norelli-Bachelet equates the bottom of the Gnostic Circle or 4.5 point with the Asteroid Belt in our Solar System (between the 4th and 5th planets, Mars and Jupiter), and suggests that any passage over this point in a cycle of time necessitates a splitting apart, or a need to drop one's baggage for the upward movement of the cycle.

Linear versus circular perspective[edit]

The Gnostic circle challenges the linear experience of reality, supposing instead the cyclical, circular (or elliptical), spherical, spiral structure of both matter and time. The Circle speaks to both the microcosmic and macrocosmic dimensions of matter and time. In terms of matter, there are commonalities between the whirling structures of atoms and solar systems. Norelli-Bachelet reminds readers that there are also micro and macro cycles of time, and that Time, like Matter, has its own geometry that can be observed and appreciated. Obvious cycles of time include the 360 degree rotation of the Earth each day around its axis, and the Earth's 360 degree orbit around the Sun each 365 day year. Smaller cycles of time are recorded in hours, minutes, seconds and fractions of seconds. Larger cycles of time include the 25,920 year Precession of the Equinoxes (12 ages of 2160 years each).

Astrology as the Mother of All Sciences[edit]

Norelli-Bachelet suggests that her work with the Gnostic circle is instrumental in the revival of the true art of astrology which could bring the art back to its rightful place as the Mother of All Sciences. Norelli-Bachelet writes that the signs of the Zodiac and the Numbers describe the body and movement (or evolution) of the Unified Whole - a living system (the true meaning of the word Zodiac - or Living Wheel). Her work suggests that science without access to the knowledge/consciousness contained in these symbols, is like studying a corpse or like studying matter as if it were void of spirit or life. Norelli-Bachelet writes that by regaining access to the ancient knowledge contained in the symbols, Mankind can re-orient all scientific and materialistic interests toward a "Life Divine" on Earth Students of the Gnostic Circle are invited to use Astrology and the Zodiac and the Enneagram to embark on an integral approach or seeing of all disciplines, sciences, mathematics, cultures, events and spiritual practices.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet controversy[edit]

Norelli-Bachelet left the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Pondicherry, India) in 1980 and her contribution to the Supramental Descent is typically not recognized by members of the Ashram or Auroville. Norelli-Bachelet writes that these members are stuck in an old or preliminary stage of the Supramental Yoga as laid out by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and have yet to embark on the final or fulfilling stages of the Yoga. [edit] Quotes by Norelli-Bachelet about the Gnostic circle Norelli-Bachelet writes, "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."[1]


The Gnostic Circle by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet Aeon Books, 1975, ISBN 0-87728-411-3.


Trivikrama is one of the many names of the Hindu deity Vishnu meaning 'He who strides out three times'.

Vishnu's Threefold Steps in the Rig Veda[edit]

1. Of Vishnu now I declare the mighty works, who has measured out the earthly worlds and that higher seat of our self-accomplishing he supports, he the wide-moving, in the threefold steps of his universal movement. 2. That Vishnu affirms on high by his mightiness and he is like a terrible Lion [LEO] that ranges in the difficult places, yea, his lair is on the mountain-tops, he in whose three wide movements all the worlds find their dwelling-place. 3. Let our strength and our thought go forward to Vishnu the all-pervading, the wide-moving Bull [TAURUS] whose dwelling- place is on the mountain, he who being One has measured all this long and far-extending seat of our self-accomplishing by only three of his strides. 4. He whose three steps are full of the honey- wine and they perish not but have ecstasy by the self-harmony of their nature; yea, he being One holds the triple principle and earth and heaven also, even all the worlds. 5. May I attain to and enjoy that goal of his movement, the Delight, where souls that seek the godhead have the rapture; for there in that highest step of the wide-moving Vishnu is that Friend of men [AQUARIUS] who is the fount of the sweetness. 6. Those are the dwellings-places of ye twain which we desire as the goal of our journey, where the many-horned herds of Light go traveling; the highest step of wide-moving Vishnu shines down on us here in its manifold vastness. (RigVeda 1.154)


Cosmologist Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet holds that Vishnu's three strides are to be understood in terms of the movement of the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Astrological Ages corresponding to the fixed signs of the Zodiac. The Eagle is known to be Vishnu's 'Vahana' or Vehicle, and is also known to be one of the symbols for the fixed sign of Scorpio. In Ms. Norelli-Bachelet's cosmological view, the three strides of Vishnu begin from the starting point of the Age of Scorpio; and from there move in clockwise fashion following the Precession of the Equinoxes (which moves in reverse zodialogical order) through the other three fixed signs of the Zodiac (or Ages of the Precession): Leo, Taurus and Aquarius. PNB teaches that upon each of Vishnu's steps through the Ages of the fixed signs, an Evolutionary Avatar emerges to assist the evolution of consciousness on Earth. This is a controversial teaching implying that an ancient zodiacal knowledge is embedded in the Hindu myth of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu.

Integration of Astrology and the Enneagram[edit]

Vedic Astrologer Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet criticizes the modern approach to the Enneagram as lacking an understanding of time and lacking cosmological perspective. In her 1972 book "The Gnostic Circle", she superimposes the Zodiac on the Enneagram and uses both the 12 and 9 divisions of the circle as an Integral Yoga which she presents an approach to understanding the evolution of consciousness. Norelli-Bachelet suggests that there is more to the Enneagram than personality typing. She teaches an understanding of the Enneagram that includes the individual's journey in various cycles of time. In her work the Zero figures into the Enneagram, holding the same place as the 9 point at the top of the circle and she sets the numbers flowing in a counter-clockwise direction, following the direction of the planets around the sun and the astrological signs around the Zodiac. Each integer or point on the Enneagram of the Gnostic Circle corresponds to one of the planets, with the Sun as the Zero, Mercury as the One, and finally Pluto as the Nine.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's teachings on the yugas[edit]

According to Vedic Cosmologist Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, the numbers given for the yuga are to be understood as seconds of degrees of arc of precessional movement (precession of the equinoxes). Therefore, in her seeing of the yugas the Kali Yuga equals 432,000 seconds of arc, which equals 120 degrees of the 360 degrees of the 25,920 year procession (120*x 60'x 60 seconds of arc = 432,000"). Norelli-Bachelet notes in her work that 432,000 miles is the radius of the Sun. [1]

According to this formula for the yugas:

  • Kali Yuga = 8640 years (one third of the precession or 4 astrological ages)
  • Dwapar Yuga (Two Kali Yuga) = 17,280 years (two thirds of the precession or 8 astrological ages)
  • Treta Yuga (Three Kali Yuga) = 25,920 years (one precession of the equinoxes)
  • Satya Yuga (Four Kali Yuga) = 34,560 years (one and a third of the precession of the equinoxes)

Norelli-Bachelet's teachings on the yuga, presented in her book "The Gnostic Circle" in 1972 are not widely accepted by Modern Vedic scholars or astrologers.


  • Norelli-Bachelet, Patrizia (1975) The Gnostic Circle
  • ----- (1983) The New Way (Aeon Books)
  • ----- (2002) Cosmology in the Rigveda -The Third Premise The Hindu, July 9, 2002
  • Rajaram, N S (2002) Indology: Skeletons in the closet The Hindu October 13, 2002

Books by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet[edit]

  • The Magical Carousel and Commentaries (a fairy tale in which two children venture through all the lands of the *Zodiac accompanied by detailed explanation of the significance of the Zodiac and all the symbolism of the children's adventure).
  • The Gnostic Circle: A Synthesis in the Harmonies of the Cosmos (a study of the use of the Zodiac and the *Enneagram as a key to understanding the evolution of matter, life and consciousness)
  • The Hidden Manna (a study of the Revelation called Apocalypse of St. John in terms of the Zodiac and the Supramental Descent)
  • Symbols and the Question Of Unity ( and the Question of Unity.htm)
  • Time & Imperishability
  • The Tenth Day of Victory (autobiography 1971-74, a story of Initiation into her work)
  • The New Way: A Study in the Rise and Establishment of a Gnostic Society, Volumes 1 & 2 (PNB writes of the true dimensions of the Matrimandir and the significance of the dimensions in terms of the establishment of a New Age of Gnostic Being)
  • The New Way A Study in the Rise and Establishment of a Gnostic Society Volume 3 (PNB writes of the Biblical Genesis in terms of the creation of Mental man, and, in the same vein of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Individual consciousness is meant to evolve past the Mental, and the Individual is destined to be a full expression of the Divine on Earth.)
  • The Vishaal Newsletters

External links[edit]