Breathe, breathe, breathe deeply And I was seething, breathing deeply Spitting sentry, horned and tailed Waiting for you.”
D. Bowie – The Width of a Circle
Dear Friends of the Healing Circle of the Breath
Tonight’s Full Moon will be in the star of unfolding destiny. This is Svhati Nakshatra. It is a single star known commonly as Arcturus.
This Star is far North of ecliptic belt and is an outsider star that is not really part of a team. We see this principle of the outsider expressed when we consider another name of this Nakshatra which is Nishtya. Nishtya means outsider and very much expresses the energy that this star brings to us.
The energy of Svhati awakens the thinker outside-the-box and teaches us how to get along with the radical forces that blow around and rustle the leaves in the garden of our soul.
This further brings us to the word Svhati.Svh translates as ‘the self’ and Ati relates to ‘a high amount’. So, quite literally Svhati means ‘the star of much self’. This star is often called the hyper-individual star, it is an outsider star that raises themes of individual drive and destiny.
This star is ruled by the Rahu who is the Northern Node of the Moon. Rahu is the ever-hungry head without a body that is responsible for eclipsing the sun. The energy of Rahu keeps us following the taste of our karmic involvements. The energy of Rahu does not distinguish between good or ill effect, just in the same way it is possible to follow a destructive path with great conviction and energy.
Rahu is a very hungry concentrated energy that goes into areas of addiction and obsession. If the forces of Rahu are made conscious, he breeds focus and power of determined will, that can be channelled into the unfolding of our destiny.
The Answer is Blowing in the Wind
When the full Moon is in the lunar house of Svhati, it transfers its teaching to us most generously. Under the star of Svhati we are given a blessing to gaze into the ways we are using our life-breath. Upon the psychic plane, under the auspices of Svhati – by the concentration of our life-force – we are fully given a glimpse into our unique individual and independent expression of life.
Our breath is the link to our individuality, the patterns of breathing that we have are at the essence of individual expressions and responses to life. By opening the doorways of Prana, constraints of the self are literally released into the wind.
We see that a new born baby exerts its independence from the mother’s womb by the taking of its first breath. We come to this world upon the inbreath and leave upon the outbreath, Vayu is the one who takes us through our destiny with every breath.
The Musical God of Breath
The ruling god of this star is Vayu who is the god of the wind element. Vayu is the deity who brings us the energy of Prana, which is the life giving principle in the air element. Prana is distilled from the air as awareness is made more subtle, rhythmical and tender. The air element is also the element that transfers sound. Vayu happens to be the god of the celestial musicians who transfer the wisdom of sound through the air element.
The symbol of Svhati is a tiny sapling trembling in the breeze. Svhati Nakshatra awakens those parts of us that rebel against constraints upon our tendencies of individualism. Those parts of us do not seem to fit into the constraining circumstances that destiny puts us into, are the special teaching that the star of Svhati brings to our awareness.
Svhati transmits the teaching of how to work within restraints and keep a dignified sense of empowerment. The power of this Star is independent of circumstances and conditions. We are talking about the deep internal power of Prana.
The Sword of Force
Svhati’s lesson is very much about how we deal with restraints. Another symbol of Svhati is the sword, in fact Svhati also means sword. The doubled-edged sword of exerting our individuality is what Svhati makes us aware of.
When we intelligently identify the things that constrain life, then we might gain insight into the opposite. This way we learn to move through our destiny. Svhati Nakshatra is the energy that seeks to move through constraints by finding a solution. We could say that Svhati welcomes the challenge of restraints.
This is the energy of forbearance, patience and strategy. Such a standing takes a rhythmical steady involvement of the breath. If we consider the opposite of this, then we can see the malfunctioning expression of Svhati.
When the energy of Svhati malfunctions, we lose the awareness of strategy and we can start going off course in the use of our power. This is the energy that is not able to hold its power, regulate itself and compromise cleverly while it considers the strategy out of its predicament. Such a stance is ultimately defeating and deflating. It either sets one up against things at one’s own expense of breath, or at the opposite pole, causes resignation in declining the strategic, regulated use of life force.
What then is the panacea for the malfunctioning of the energy of Svhati? The answer lays with the god of this star. We have seen how Vayu is the lord of wind and breath. When we work with the breath, then we bring Vayu into his full power. When Vayu is in his full power, then we have a healthy unfolding of our individual capacities without having to brandish the sword to prove ourselves. Remember that the sword is one of the symbols of Svhati Nakshatra.
A Single Breath
All battles that we envisage are battles within our very own breath. By guarding the power of our breath, we strengthen the true power of our individual life expression. Though it might blow like a single sapling in the wind (another symbol for Svhati), it can maintain its unique power because it does not waste its breath against the many winds that blow.
On a practical level, wind (Prana) is strengthened through working with the breath, all introverting and focussed activities strengthen the Prana. Moving slowly and steadily with awareness of every breath is the surest way to the power of Prana.
On this Full Moon night of Ritual we shall gather to work with Prana to unfold the layers that connect Vayu, Svhati and Hanuman, the Monkey God who masters and teaches the art of breathing (see blog).
“On a gathering storm comes A tall handsome man In a dusty black coat with A red right hand. He’s a god, he’s a man, He’s a ghost, he’s a guru.“
N. Cave – Red Right Hand
Hanuman is an incarnation of the howling storm-god Rudra. Hanuman is the Guru who unfolds the secrets of Prana (pronounced Praan). The secrets between the masculine and feminine are bridged by him.
Hanuman is often seen as red. In temples one sees statures of Hanuman painted red or smeared with Sindoor. In rituals of Hanuman, he is offered the red powder. Hanuman gains strength by the Sindoor that he is offered. He is often offered flowers and items that express the fiery solar spectrum of colours.
Sindoor is a reddish powder that was originally contained a special mixture of herbs. Nowadays Sindoor is widely sold in chemical variants. In Indian custom, the married woman applies Sindoor to her head at the point where the hair is parted in the centre. At marriage the first Sindoor is applied by the husband and, upon widowhood, the Sindoor is wiped off by the mother-in-law or another living elder of the family.
The middle line at the top of the head is significant in that it relates to the energy line reflected at the opposite pole of the body at the Yoni in the woman. When a specific mixture of herbs is applied on the central hairline then it activates the Nadi (energy line) and activates the woman’s sexual chakra as makes it receptive to receive sexual currents of energy. This in turn awakens the desire of the masculine, and a mutual exchange of attraction strengthens both feminine and masculine in a circuit of exchange. Both the genders contain the active and receptive currents, so this can be said to apply outside of conventional models. There are some rituals in Tantra for instance, when a man applies Sindoor to become receptive to the Shakti of the goddess.
The story tells that Hanuman once questioned Sita as to why she was applying Sindoor to her head. Sita gave Hanuman the simple answer, that by so doing, it makes Raam into a strong man. Hanuman who loved Raam as infinitely as one could love, started to think about this. Hanuman concluded that if a mere stripe of Sindoor would make his best friend into a strong man, then if he covered his whole body, it would make Raam invincible. And so Hanuman took the Sindoor and smeared every inch of his body with it. When Raam saw Hanuman and asked him what he had done, Hanuman grew nervous and said ”Nothing”. Raam knew all to well what Hanuman had done by this symbolic gesture and the devotion between friends was strengthened to levels beyond comprehension.
Hanuman the Mighty Guardian
“Two worlds apart two together Into that good night kiss away One takes the hard, one the other Kiss away Are you living for love? Are you living for love? When the road gets too tough Is your love strong enough?“
Sisters of Mecy – Under the Gun
This story begins with a flower falling at the feet of Draupadi. Draupadi was the most beautiful woman imaginable, her name translates as she who likes to make necklaces of flowers. So when the breeze brought an enchanting flower to her feet, she was so taken by its fragrant beauty that she had to have more so she could weave a garland from it. She had never seen such a flower before and had no idea from whence it came. Draupadi asked her beloved Bheema to find her more of such flowers. Bheema’s name means the terrifying one. He was a fierce warrior up for any challenge and so he took to the quest for the flower that his beloved wished for. His quest for the flower took him to the very edges of the universe.
Bheema went so far that he got lost and had no sense of orientation. He seemed to catch the scent of the flower to the North and went on in that direction. He saw a mountain in the distance through the trees and determined to leave the forest. At the edge of the forest he came across a giant elderly monkey who was lying sprawled out upon the floor. The monkeys tail was blocking Bheema’s path out of the forest. Bheema asked the monkey to move his tail, but the Monkey said it is not possible to cross over as the path takes one into the realm of the celestials.
Bheema was getting angry as his warrior-like nature had never ever before been restrained, and now an old monkey was blocking his way onward. Bheema said to the monkey that he would murder him, if he would not immediately move his tail. The monkey replied that he was very old and weak and could not move, but said that Bheema may move his tail, if it was not too heavy for him to lift. Bheema laughed uproariously, he who was a mighty warrior would have no trouble flinging a monkeys tail aside.
Bheema prepared to fling the monkey into the next world, but found that he could not even move the tail an inch, he huffed and he puffed but was defeated. Bheema started to realise who he was dealing with and bowed in reverence and apology to Hanuman who is the mightiest of all warriors.
We see in the art of Indian wrestling that Hanuman is the patron deity of those who devote their lives to strength and power. There are ashrams in India where wrestlers make a spiritual devotional art of wrestling under the auspices of Hanuman. Hanuman told Bheema that no one can cross the path and live in this world again. It was the path into the celestial realms. He reminded Bheema that to cross over would have kept a lady waiting even longer than she already had. Hanuman pointed to where the flower that Draupadi waited for could be found, but that’s another story.
Hanuman is the Guardian of the middle realm and bars the way to the celestial spheres. In the body the middle realm represents the middle of the torso at the diaphragm area, known to Tantrics as Kala Bhand. Hunuman guards the path of Prana that can only cross the dark bridge with his blessing, it can’t be crossed with force alone. Those who gain Hanuman’s blessing may discover the magical flowers of mystical scent that please the goddess.
Hanuman the Hungry Child
“Give me more Than one caress Satisfy this Hungriness Let the wind Blow through your heart For wild is the wind.”
Washington / Tiomkin – Wild is the Wind
As a child Hanuman easily became ravenously hungry. He is after all, an incarnation of the fiery martian force of Rudra. Rudra is nothing but a name of Shiva in his raw wild state. Rudra is different to all the gods because he stands outside of the normal ideas of what is godly and holy. Rudra is an individual amongst the gods. He is a raw Tantric god who spews in the face of propriety. He is dirty, often naked, mingling with untoward ghosts and ghouls.
The old stories recount time and again that Rudra is not invited to their gatherings as he upsets the order of everywhere he puts his fiery foot. Every step of Rudra causes a quivering of stormy thunderous howls. Rudra literally means the screaming howler. He was said to be born androgynous and Indigo coloured, screaming in such a rage that the order of creation was fractured beyond repair.
Half of him is always wild. His potent wilderness is what makes him the master of Tantra. Rudra channels his thunderous Shakti into the Yogic arts that he at the same time creates. Shiva is his name in the form where he contains the Rudra power. Ever an outsider, Rudra can go places where the usual gods fear to tread.
The story goes that Hanuman was so hungry with the appetite of Rudra beginning to roar in his belly that he looked up and mistook the sun for a Mango. He flew with the force of Prana (wind power) and started feasting on the Sun in the hope of appeasing his hunger. Just at that very moment Rahu (the North Node of the Moon) was approaching the sun in order to eclipse it. Rahu is the planetary force that causes solar eclipses. Eclipses occur when the Sun and Moon are positioned in the node points. Rahu Dosh is the ‘curse of Rahu’ and causes an eclipsing of one’s solar force.
Rituals of Hunuman are undergone when one has an affliction of their solar force. If the Rahu within us becomes pronounced it causes maladies such as depression and anxiety.
Hanuman is a potent force who is worked with when considering the shadowing of Solar force. There is a well-known Mantra called of Hanuman known as the Hanuman Chalisa. It is composed of 40 verses and contains the sounds and syllables that awaken the solar force. It is understood as a Tantric remedy to help with afflictions of Rahu.
Rahu is the head without a body, ever hungry but never satisfied or nourished, this sums up the afflictions of Rahu.
When Hanuman was busy feasting upon the sun, he happened to divert Rahu from causing an eclipse. Indra, the king of the celestial spheres saw this and knew it would upset the planetary order and so he sent a vajra beam (thunderbolt) that hit Hunuman in the face and sent him whirling to earth. The full brunt of the Vajra beam was taken by Hanuman’s jaw. This gives him the name Hanuman which means ‘of heavy jaw’.
Hanuman was left for dead and his father, Vayu, the god of the wind, in his mourning went far away and left the 3 worlds completely devoid of breath. Everything started to wither and die. Only when Shiva brought Hanuman back to life did Vayu return to fill creation with the breath-of-life once again. Spring is a time when we find the greatest abundance of Prana in the atmosphere, which is what brings things to life.
Hanuman was in turn blessed by the gods and received powers untold, even Indra humbly bowed and gave Hanuman the power of Vajra Shakti. In being stuck by Indra’s Vajra, Hanuman had lost his memory from the jolt, and with that, had forgotten the full extent of his powers old and new. So Hanuman, in his amnesia, could not get up to any further cosmic mischief… for a while at least!
The story presents multiple layers of meaning, which are worthy of meditation.
It tells of the effects of working with raising heat through working with the breath. The jaw being instrumental in advanced breath practices. The story also points to the cosmological event of the eclipse and points to how Hanuman can divert the eclipsing effects of Rahu. Hanuman is the mighty lord of breath who opens the repressed, oppressed eclipsed parts of active expression in the constellation of our Soul.
Hanuman the Devoted
Sita Raam, Hanuman, Pranayam Pranaam
“I’m not a holy man I’m too lowly for that I’m not a praying man I’m not ready for that. Keymon Keymon”
Bunnymen – Monkeys
The Mudra of Hanuman actively draws the chest apart with the action of the hands. By placing pressure on particular energy points, the physical and psychic heart is opened. This Mudra is effective in working with the energies of the Heart Chakra.
Hunuman is always chanting the Mantra of the goddess and the god of the sacred heart. The Mantra comes not only from his lips, but from his very heart.
Sita Raam, Sita Raam, Sita Raam.
One tale of Hanuman that highlights the devotion of his heart goes thus… Hanuman once received the gift of a Mala. A Mala is a necklace of sacred beads that the Yogin makes use of in Tantric practices. Within the lines of Tantra, a Yogin may receive a Mala as an honorary gift of devotion from an elder.
Hanuman did not really know what to do with the necklace he received and viewed it as an unnecessary superfluous item that he had no need for. After a while he had an idea and began biting down one by one on each and every bead. Monkeys are known for their strong bite! Cracking each bead in half with a pop he would meticulously inspect it and then throw it on the gathering pile of other broken beads. Those present watched the spectacle with mockery and astonishment until the necklace was nothing but a pile of broken beads.
Ridiculed and laughed at for his apparently primitive behaviour, Hanuman was asked why he had destroyed such a precious necklace. Hanuman replied that the necklace was worthless because it did not have Sita Raam within it. He said he could confirm it as he had carefully checked each and every bead. A voice retaliated… “And you must be equally worthless for such a silly act, surely if we split you in half, we would not find Sita Raam”. Hanuman’s love had never been questioned before and instinctually, he sank his claws into his chest and tore it open to reveal his heart that beat out the Mantra:
Sita Raam, Sita Raam, Sita Raam.
His best friend Raam embraced Hanuman immediately and the love that transpired between them healed the gaping would in Hanuman’s chest. Hanuman was sometimes taken for a fool because he had no self-importance. All that he was, was:
Sita Raam, Sita Raam, Sita Raam.
The Naughty Little Monkeys of the Mind
Rama and the Monkeys are well known for building a bridge over the sea. The Raam-Setu is the Bridge that Raam built with the Monkeys. It represents the crossing of the waters of the second Chakra. Raam and the Monkeys carried massive rocks into the sea to build the crossing to traverse the sea. The strenuous work seemed never-ending and required great strength and focus of all involved.
While the Monkeys worked the boulders into the crossing, there was a tiny little squirrel who had joined in. The squirrel was carrying little stones and dropping them into the sea to help with the formation of the bridge. The little squirrel accidentally crossed the path of a giant ape who was carrying a mountainous boulder upon his shoulder.
The Monkey was shocked by the sudden appearanceof the tiny squirrel that he almost stepped on. The monkey went into a rage and began to roar in anger at the tiny helpless creature. The tiny squirrel apologised and asked the monkey to watch his step. The Squirrel said that he too was doing the great work of building the bridge.
The Monkey started to laugh and ridicule the squirrel. But the squirrel said that he was using all his strength to help in building the bridge. A few of the other monkeys started laughing at the squirrel who thought that he could do anything to help. One monkey picked up the squirrel by the tail and flung him into the distance like a useless piece of trash.
The squirrel started to squeal out in pain, which made a few of the monkeys laugh even more. Raam saw what was going on and lifted the tiny creature to his heart, who luckily was not injured.
Raam reprimanded the arrogant cruel and heartless monkeys for making fun of and abusing a helpless little creature. Raam told them that though they have strength of muscle, they are weaker than the little squirrel by far, as they have no strength of Love in their Hearts. The monkeys took the teaching and hung their heads in deep shame.
Raam told the monkeys of the importance of the squirrel. He told them that if it were not for the tiny pebbles between the cracks, the whole structure would not hold together and would crumble apart into the waters.
Every effort no matter how tiny is of importance, the smallest acts done with the greatest amount of love are the most potent.
Raam gently stroked the back of the squirrel with his three fingers. Three white stripes appeared where Raam stroked the squirrel and they remain there to this very day.
Hanuman the Healer
“O, solitude of longing Where love has been confined Come healing of the body Come healing of the mind.”
L.Cohen – Come Healing
One inspiring tale amongst Hanuman’s many adventures, tells of him addressing a dire emergency. The casualty was already more than half-way into the next world and seemed fated to die unless a very rare herb – that only grew on one particular mountain – was located. Hanuman, ever one for a heroic quest of power, went to task.
After much searching, Hanuman was having little luck, desperately flying around like a red-arsed-monkey, he was shot-down at the pinnacle of his despair. As he fell from the skies in which he flew, the flashing oppression of failure tortured his soul. Fate appeared to have taken a bad turn as he hit the ground.
The arrow that shot Hanuman down was shot in the name of Raam. A devotee thought that he was protecting Raam. He saw Hanuman and thought he was some kind of giant flying monkey with a demonic intention to harm Raam. The arrow that was sent in the name of Hanuman’s most beloved friend could cause no harm, for as Hanuman flew around on his heroic quest, the name of his friend Raam, was reverberating in his very heart. The psychic web of radiance that emanated from Hanuman’s heart caught the frequency that it was beating with. The one who fired the arrow proved to be a most valuable ally that told Hanuman where the exact mountain that the herb grew on was located.
On charged Hanuman in the pursuit against death! Hanuman came upon the mountain after a further flight, but he realised he had lost too much valuable time to go looking for the herb, and so Hanuman decided to take the whole mountain with him. The famous image of Hanuman flying with the mountain, is a much loved picture that tells of the many subtle wisdoms inherent in this story…
When we go at something with Love in our heart, even a seeming foe becomes a friend. Just in the nick-of-time, Hanuman reached the casualty who had almost crossed over to the land of death. The herb was administered and life went on.
The Sanjeevani herb is an Elixiral remedy that can revive the dead. Many have searched to find it and failed, for the Sanjeevani can only be found in Love.
Hanuman the Wind
“The wind is whistling, The wind is whistling Through the house. The wind, it blows, The wind, it blows the door closed.“
K. Bush – King of the Mountain
Hanuman is the child of the wind. He is famous for his epic flight. It was Hanuman who crossed the sea and rescued Sita when she was abducted and separated from Raam and himself.
Hanuman crossed the waters of the second chakra in one-fell-swoop of a leap and eventually got her back home. As Hanuman leapt over the waters, his legs started to part into the splits, which is the position named after him as Hanumanasan – this physical Mudra causes the out-breath to double in length and generates great Prana in the system. But that’s not the full story, the Prana flew across the river but it also had to come back. Hanuman needed assistance once he reached the other side where the goddess Sita was trapped by asuras in an enchanted forest. The building of the Raam-Setu bridge was undertaken by all creatures great and small. This story gives form to the Settubhandasan position in Yogic practice. This position is commonly called the bridge position and is an important Hatha Yog Mudra that spreads out the Pranic breath power across the sea of the second Chakra and brings the entrapped goddess back from across the waters of the second Chakra and its Karmic entrapments.
Initially Hanuman did not believe that he could make the leap across the sea to rescue the Goddess Sita. Hanuman had still not recovered the full awareness of his powers after the thunderbolt of Indra had struck him in the face. That shot in the face had caused Hanuman an amnesia where he forgot the full extent of his true power. It was Jambavan, the immortal ancient bear god who brought Hanuman back to the awareness that he was no ordinary Monkey. Hanuman woke from his trance as Jambavan gave him a teaching of eternities. Without further ado, Hanuman took the great leap of Pranic force towards the entrapped Goddess.
Another story that highlights Hanuman’s connection to the breath takes form when Hanuman was separated from the goddess and the god in the form of Sita and Raam. The story tells that one day Sita asked Hanuman if he would disappear for a little while because she needed to attend to some secret matters with Raam. Hanuman who was always with them did not understand and said nothing is secret for us. Sita insisted that certain matters required privacy. Hanuman honoured the request and let the Lovers disappear into their chamber without him.
In the absence of Hanuman, the love between Sita and Raam grew frail and Raam started to struggled for breath. A physician was called who could not understand what had happened. Sita worked it out and asked for Hanuman to be brought in. As soon as he appeared, colour, breath and love returned in full glory.
When Hanuman – who is breath and Prana – is separated from Sita and Raam, then disaster ensues. Sita is the Cooling receptive lunar breath and Raam is the Heating active solar expression of the breath. Fire can’t live without air and so in the absence of Hanuman, Raam became cold and powerless and found himself suffocated until all 3 of them were reunited. The Tantric brings the two polar aspects of cooling Moon and heating Solar force into balance through the wind of Prana… that is, Hanuman.
The Death of Hanuman
“A bridge of sighs Solitude sails In a wave of forgiveness On angels’ wings. How in the world Can I wish for this? Never to be torn apart Close to you ‘Til the last beat Of my heart.”
Siouxsie & the Banshees – Last beat of my Heart
Hanuman is considered the greatest Bhakta (devotee) of all time. His every breath is devotion to Sita Raam. Raam was his very best friend. His beginning, his middle and his end. One day Raam himself had to order Hanuman’s execution.
The tragedy happened when Hanuman inadvertently caused offense to Raam’s Guru. Raam followed the custom of devotion and never crossing the instructions of one’s Guru. The three worlds shuddered as Raam raised his bow. The greatest master of the bow and arrow that he was. Raam had to order the death of his best friend by arrows. With tears in his eyes, Raam raised the first arrow, took aim and released it towards Hanuman who never stopped chanting Raam’s name… even as the arrow flew.
If you would like to learn more about Hanuman and join our Hanuman Full Moon Ritual
I got a better way I discovered a Star I got a better way Ready, set, go.
D. Bowie – New Killer Star
This rising Half Moon on Wednesday will be in the Nakshatra (lunar house) of Pushya – which means, quite literally the nourisher. Brhaspati (Jupiter) is Guru to the gods and is the deity of this lunar house. He is connected to wisdom, expansion and subtle thought.
Pushya is an auspicious star, that shines nourishment, prosperity and growth to us on earth. The Motherly Pushya Nakshatra is contained within the constellation of Cancer and has 3 stars. Pushya Nakshatra occurring on an ascending Half Moon is a powerful and auspicious placement that helps us to see into the consequences of the decisions we make. Pushya offers us the energy conducive to nourish new beginnings, decisions and opportunities.
The Star Goddess Tara has her Jayanti (annual commemoration) upon this night of nourishment. Tara appears only at night, just as her name which means Star implies.
Tara has the wisdom of converting poison into nourishing medicine. She feeds us with the healing blue twilight milk of her celestially starry breast. Hers is the twilight milk that dissolves the sharp definitions between dark and light, safety and fear, seen and unseen.
The story tells us that when the mighty Shiva suffered great turmoil for drinking the Halahala poison. Out of maternal compassion, Tara fed Shiva from her breast with a generous helping of healing Starry Moon Milk.
The Mirror of Nourishment
Brhaspati is the planet Jupiter. He is the Guru to the gods. He is the deity of this lunar house and is connected to wisdom, expansion and subtle thought.
Pushya is the amplifier, Pushya as an adjective indicates someone who is well nourished, healthy and rosey-cheeked like a well fed baby.
Brhaspati knows which things give nourishment and which things do not. Brhaspati sees into the subtle underlying forces of the phenomenal universe and knows and shows exactly which things are magically reflected back by the decisions that we take. When we look at the meaning of his name we see this principle at play, Brhas means that which nourishes and magnifies, Pati means master. So literally Brhaspati is the master of that which nourishes, magnifies and increases.
In this Nakshatra, Brhaspati brings us this very teaching, giving us the vision of the mirror of nourishment.
The mirror of nourishing force might be smeared, if so, it won’t fully reflect things back to us. If the mirror is pristine then it reciprocates that which is given into it. Nourishment is like this. We could just as well say, if the soil is well tilled and receptive, then it will give back of the seed that we sow there. If the soil is hardened and strewn with rocks then the seeds will fall into a barren death.
We sometimes put our energy into things where nothing comes back to us. If we focus our concentration and go into the subtle underlying forces of the phenomena of our lives, we might get closer to the vision of what we are actually feeding. The reasons we might be feeding some things that do not nourish us is a lesson of the highest magic, this is the investigation of the Tantric. Nourishing dead soil naturally leads us into a life of malnutrition. If the soil fertilizes the seed then we have harvest. Harvest starts on the subtle planes and manifests into the tangible.
A Time to Decide
Pushya is the magical milk of nourishment. The lunar vessel on the night of Pushya is half full with the illumination of Moonlight. The Moon will be beaming the rays of Pushya to us on earth on this coming half Moon. As it is the rising Moon, it will continue to expand the psychic action and decision we take upon this night.
This is a most favourable position to give an impetus of growth to our visions and decisions.
The half rising Pushya Moon brings an impetus of nourishment that can profoundly support our human undertakings. This Nakshatra is aptly symbolised by a milk-filled fortifying cows udder and a lotus flower in the height of bloom.
The Pushya Half Moon is a good time for new undertakings and making clear resolutions of the stray and fraying edges of the psychic fabric of our being. The lunar energy on the half rising Pushya Moon, reveals, two roads of our destiny in stark distinction. It is a time of thinking soberly about where we are going and perhaps even seeing into… what the outcome of our endeavours could really be.
Pushya pours milk-like nourishment and fulfilment into the infancies of our visions upon earth, it is a mothering star for this reason, who like a mother, gives flesh, form and nourishment to the infancy of any vision and undertaking. Those new ventures undertaken on a Pushya full Moon can bear great fruit and success if one continues the ever attentive work of nourishment.
Living off the Fat of the Land
The lesson of Pushya Nakshatra is all about developing the awareness of nourishing the opportunities we receive. There might be opportunities around us that we don’t always see. There might be openings that we are not able to recognise as doorways to power.
There is an old Indian teaching story of a person wandering in a dark labyrinth-like place. They went round and round, ever and always looking for the doorway out of their prison, but each and every time they actually reached the door to their freedom, the draft that came in, caused a moment of distraction in which they scratched their head, and so they ever missed the way out and continued in eternal circles.
It is perhaps easy to take our health, successes and opportunities for granted.
Even if our receivings are generous, they dwindle away if the law of nourishment is forgotten. What is that law? Perhaps the work of a good earning is never to be taken for granted and one must remember that the soil must be eternally nourished and tilled. Perhaps we are brought to question our notions of wealth by the Pushya star constellation.
If we realise that there is no resignation or retirement in magical matters of growth, then we might be spared from psychic death. Living off the fat of the land and laying down one’s tools is perhaps the biggest and most crippling of all fallacies.
The Lotus in Bloom
Pushya also carries another law of nourishment to us by its rulership over the lotus flower. The law of nourishing by halves is implicit in our lives. A period of exertion is naturally followed by respite. Living by the sun is replaced by the nightly retirement into the darkness.
This law of dualisms is starkly reflected in the being of the lotus flower. A flower held in high esteem by the Yogins. The Lotus is a flower with far-reaching roots that gains her nourishment from deep dark of marshy subterranean places. The lesson and law of nourishment by the way of polarity is inherent in the Lotus. This flower is greatly prized for its beauty and honest and generous teaching of the laws of reality. The Lotus flower spreads magnificence and emanates an aura of an almost otherworldly beauty. This mystical bloom shows us how it’s beauty and nourishment comes from the underground of dark, womb-deep places. The precious Lotus flower that spreads her colour and scent in the visible world obeys – perhaps like no other – the law of nourishing by polarity. The Yogins tell us time and again to be like the Lotus flower.
Pushya is the deep introspective study of the Lotus flower… so magical and so natural.
The Psychic Web of Karma.
Pushya is regarded as the lucky star, but luck is dependent upon the actions that we take. What is luck exactly? The luck that Pushya offers us is conditional upon the choices that we make and the energies that we nourish. A bloom is a thing of beauty. Throwing seed upon wintery granite grave and hoping for luck to bring us the beauty of a blossom growth is obviously an act of absurdity. The same seed cast upon fertile moist soil in spring is far more likely to result in growth. We see in this way that what we might term as luck, is dependent on choices of wise vision.
Karmic effect is the manifestation of a resonant energy field that lives in the psychic hemisphere of our being.
When something involves us and touches all the aspects of our being then it becomes a web that catches the phenomena of our lives. Tantric ritual practices work with the principle of the psychic web of energy, by attempting to engage the full range of our being, both the unrevealed and revealed parts of ourselves.
The law of Karma is often summed up as ‘what you sow you reap’. Karma is not as simple a matter as to reduce actions to a moral code of obedience, that is punished or rewarded according to the degree of abidance or deviation.
Karma lives in the very psychic realities that we align ourselves to. Some of what we align to might be out of sight and invisible to us. The Tantric process of making the invisible become visible, then becomes a way to navigate beyond the psychic webs of Karma. What lays beyond the webs of Karma is unknowable while we are within the web, we are dealing with a great mystical voyage.
The psychic karmic realities that are we aligning to, become the investigation of Pushya.
Karma could aptly be described as a magnetic psychic web.
What kind of web are we weaving?
Perhaps we are the spider and the fly?
Are we catching life of death?
Or perhaps a little bit of both?
Smears on the Psychic Mirror
What are the reasons why we might be feeding dead soil and therefore reaping a desolate harvest? Might it be based on the illusions that we have taken in? These illusions are called the Granthis by the Tantrics. Granthis are like smears on the psychic mirror of the self. It is these smears that cause the reflection of life to be reduced to obscure knotted forms.
Brhaspati (Jupiter) is the Guru of the gods and he is a strict discriminatory force. He is most generous indeed but he only gives to those who meet his subtle psychic standards.
Shukracharia (Venus) is the opposite of Brhaspati. Venus is the Guru who gives generously and indiscriminately of his riches. This is why he is the chosen Guru of the Asuras.
The Asuras are the beings of dualistic destruction. Very often we see that the Asuras are described as demons, but this does not at all translate correctly what the Asuras really are and carries too many foreign connotations to be accurate. Venus gives us prosperity, joy and pleasure in an earthly sense (Shukra in his name literally means the essence and seed). Venus spreads out and down and is received by laying down. Jupiter on the other hand moves up and out and takes the opposite action to gravity. In other words…
…to reach the levels of Jupiter, it takes a psychic climb through the winding labyrinths and stairways of the mind.
Polishing the Mirror
Brhaspati (Jupiter) is reached through psychic Tapasya (effort). Tapasya could be called the polishing of the Psychic Mirror of the self.This is the effort to go beyond the frontiers of consciousness and towards the ultra-terrestrial potentials of the psyche.
Brhaspati is the master of magical ritual formulae. It is he who leads us beyond the limits of consciousness through his penetrating force within magical ritual. He is the Jupitarian high-priest with the magical wisdom that transforms the subtle layers of reality… which in turn change the experience of reality itself. He is the doorway keeper to the mysteries beyond the known, his conditions take the work of undoing and outdoing oneself. Unlike Venus who gives it for free.
Pushya brings a blessing of vision to us on earth. That blessing is the ability to make the right decisions. There are other Nakshatra’s that bring us different lessons pertaining to nourishment. The Yogin studies the lessons written in the stars, by tuning into the celestial forces through ritualistic formulae and devotion.
In conclusion, Pushya’s particular lesson, as we have seen, is very much concerned with finding the distinction between that which nourishes and that which does not. One of the symbols of this Star is the cow’s udder. This is the naturally most nourishing place for the baby. The soul that finds the nourishing breast in all arenas of life, becomes the baby, nourished by Mother Nature.
If you would like to join us in ritual on Wendesday’s Ascending Half Moon for Tara Jayanti
“Tara, you whose name means Star. Goddess of twilight blue complexion. You who nursed Shiva with your healing milk when he suffered for drinking too much poison. You are the twilight sanctuary that heals the most poisonous places.”
Tara is a frightening Goddess to behold, she appears only at night, like her name which means Star. Tara has the wisdom of converting poison into medicine, just as the story tells when the mighty Shiva suffered great turmoil for drinking the Halahala poison. Out of maternal compassion, which she offers to the courageous, she fed Shiva from her breast. She fed him the healing blue twilight milk of her starry breast – the twilight milk that dissolves the sharp definitions of dark and light, of pleasure and pain. Tara’s annual Puja takes place upon the April half Moon, in the rising place where opposites meet.
She is the power between light and dark. Her Jayanti (birthday) upon the half Moon that is half dark and half illuminated and calls the soul to a tantalizing voyage of discovery within the mysterious cleavage between opposites. Her Puja (ritualistic worship) works with the star portals that shine between the known and the unknown.
The Astral Star plane
“Tara grants us the vision of the invisible world. She who’s name means Star, is the doorkeeper to the astral world.”
Tara means Star. She is the doorkeeper to the astral world of spiritual energies and insight. Working with Tara grants us the vision of the invisible world. We can see many Star goddesses across cultures.
Sometimes we find striking similarities to the Mahavidya Goddess Tara when we look at the cross-cultural goddesses of the Stars. We find the Greek goddess Astraea, for instance, she is the Virgin star girl who gives her name to the Astraea asteroid of the asteroid belt. She is daughter to the astrological god Astraeus who fathers her along with the planets as his sons. We also find Asteria. She is the Ancient Greek Goddess of the stars, her daughter is Hecate, who is the goddess of the dark side of the Moon. Hecate is a grand witch who shares many similarities with Tara – both are connected with ghostly occult matters, both dwell in far-off liminal places, both are connected to poisons and dogs, just to name a few…
We can continuously find Star configurations of goddesses and gods across cultures, if we keep looking. It appears that the ancients read the stars and had a comprehensive language which we might term mythology nowadays.
& the Hidden view of the Witch
“Mistress of the starlight and the natural dark. Tara is fear inducing and exciting because she is a leap of faith.“
Tara is the grand witch who looks into the unseen view. Her Mudras are many and involve some of the most challenging aspects of Hatha Yog, where the body is twisted and the gaze taken to the most unusual and unfamiliar places. By looking into physically unfamiliar places the psychic levels of our being, by the law of reflection and correspondence, is also able to access the hidden view of the Witch.
Working with Tara is very much an investigation into pleasure and pain but, twisting past the limits of comfort and familiarity is a painful yet magically rewarding pursuit. In Tantric practice, there are many variants of Tarasan… this is the star position of Tara, that makes a star-like-shape of the body. Kamal-Tara-Asan is the Love Star, Padma-Tara-Asan is the Star Flower, Vajra-Tara-Asan is the electric star, to name a few variants. Each star position has different effects and activates different astral forces. The Mudras of Tara are a form of invocation, for they open us up to the celestial forces by exposing the astral body to the starry world and its healing astral beams.
The stars are located in the human astral body in a mirror-like replica. The energy junctions and places where they intersect in the body are the points of power which, when opened up, start to receive the celestial forces from the macrocosm.
The Tantric on the starry path of Tara dissolves the veil between the microcosm and macrocosm. Drinking the dark blue milk of the breast of Tara is the healing Elixir that melts the borders that divide. These borders are known as the Granthis (psychophysical knots). The Goddess Tara helps in melting the most tenacious of Granthis, but she requires us to tread into unfamiliar, forgotten and even unknown places. Remember that the very action of the Mudras of Tara involve twisting the physical gaze into places we don’t usually look. By doing so we take the energy body into the secret places of starry treasure.
SHE LIVES OUTSIDE
“She dwells on the outskirts, like a star in the sky, always there but only seen fully in the natural and unpolluted dark.“
Mistress of the starlight and of the natural dark. Tara is fear inducing & exciting because she requires a leap of faith. When we know the path, there is a sense of safety and grounding, but when we are not even sure whether the next step will be on solid ground or a gaping abyss, then it’s fear wrenching to venture forth. Tara’s path is seldom trodden, and as a result many of her treasures are never found.
The path of Tara takes courage. Her route is not for the sailor who navigates the sea with a compass and auto pilot on a satellite navigation system, no! Rather she stands for the pirate soul who sails out ruthlessly into a dark, howling night, not knowing what awaits, but called by a strange mystery, that whispers as it licks its red lips with the saliva of a luscious gamble.”
There is no guarantee of safety with Tara and that’s what makes the soul who follows the way of the Star a courageous soul of power. Without the unknown, creativity runs dry. When we ‘live’ in life that has no room for the unknown, it won’t feel like life at all. Many aspects of life involve predictability as an indispensable component, but the unknown and the unpredictable is equally indispensable!
SHE HOLDS THE MYSTICAL BLUE FLOWER
“Tara holds the blue flower of the hidden wisdom of Twilight. Drinking the dark blue milk of the breast of Tara is the healing Elixir that melts the borders that divide.”
Tara holds the mystical blue flower called Neelkamal, a flower which, when prepared in a specific way and imbibed, gives admittance to secret places, both in a terrestrial and in an ultra-terrestrial plane. Tara is known as Neel Saraswati, the blue Goddess of the hidden wisdom of Twilight. The Blue flower is the Star flower, around which the healing ritual of Tara revolves. Tara is the Mistresses of the Blue flower that guards the secrets of twilight. Hers are the secrets, where Elixir is tasted and divisions are melted.
Where Kali wears a necklace of freshly severed heads, Tara wears a necklace of skulls. This is a deep subject for meditation and will be covered in the ritual and the lessons that follow. In appearance Tara looks like Kali Ma, but there are a few differences that can be discovered by looking closely into her mysteries.
We look forward to welcoming you into the circle ritual on the upcoming Half Moon.
“Well, they lay down beside me I made my confession to them They touched both my eyes And I touched the dew on their hem If your life is a leaf That the seasons tear off and condemn They will bind you with love That is graceful and green as a stem.”
L. Cohen – Sisters of Mercy
The Dark Moon of Soma on Monday will be in the lunar house of Revati. The Revati Stars are located is in the constellation of Pisces. The two fish are in-fact one of the symbols of Revati. Revati is ruled by Budha (planet Mercury). Revati is a star that communicates the lessons of nourishing vitality and psychic wealth to us on Earth. At the Dark Moon the lunar vortex in the lunar house of Revati, draws out our deepest themes and ‘thought-forms’ pertaining to nourishment.
A Friend of Heart
The god of the star of Revati is Pushan. He is the nourisher that cares for all creatures, whether they be bright or dark in their beauty. His name means ‘the one who brings prosperity to all creatures’. Pushan is kindly nurturing god with a generous bent of nature. He is always able to provide to all creatures that are in need. Pushan is generous on all levels, he is the friend that gives the heart what is needed, both emotionally as well as practically. He is a cow-herder and holds the Gohdanda, which is the Cow-stick-of-power.
Whenever Pushan is invoked he infuses the atmosphere with compassion, love and beauty. The strike of his cow stick penetrates the shadows of selfishness that encase the sacred heart. Pushan lives from milk and liquid foods and creates the wealth of Soma. Pushan’s wealth is love and in this he is rich beyond measure, he has no enemies or adversaries as his mere presence is enough to warm the coldest and most self-focussed of hearts. Pushan comes to heal the self-focussed obsession that destroys love. He is Maha-Parush (a great abundant soul). He is a guide that comes out when called and can help the heart recover its lost fragments of power.
Revati Nakshatra translates as ‘the star that is full and wealthy with nourishing force’. Revati is beauty. It is often translated as the Star of riches and wealth. The special wealth of Revati is an inner quality of beauty that is possessed by a being who is able to nourish others. Revati can bring this quality to us. The lesson of Revati is all about nourishment.
This star show us that only those who are themselves nourished are able to nourish others.
The Secret of Soma
We might sometimes find ourselves giving without having any reserves to give from. If we track such actions of giving with honest reflection, then we will find that such giving is an empty powerless screech in the dark that carries no power. We might sometimes hit a one-hit-wonder with such actions, but it is not anything that will endure for very long. The power that Revati brings us is very much connected to the hidden teaching of the Elixir of Soma. This teaching shows us that:
Giving from an unnourished place is essentially an action of little consequence that will deplete our reserves.
Revati is a steady swimming star that gradually warms the stove and is ever aware of the reserve store of firewood that must see one over for a whole season. Revati star shines down an integrity of awareness that is not fuelled by emotional tides and impulses, but by a deeper awareness that moves with a panoramic vision. The first impulse of Revati is to nourish one’s home before bringing fires further afield.
Revati is very much the energy of Motherhood. The infant is to be fed before all matters can commence. If we ignore the teaching of Revati, then we live a life fuelled by the fires of emotion and one day find that we have frozen in the home of our own heart. Revati is very much the star of the teacher. A teacher of any subject can only teach if they have learned something themselves. A teacher who has not learned something cannot nourish the students and will waste precious time in indulging in superficialities. Revati is the cycle of flowing nourishment. The Mother who has a nourishing force with her, has the possibility to nourish and therefore can attract the child that requires nourishment. This applies in all fields of life and sums up the lesson of this star.
In the opposite way, we could say that the empty and depleted are vampirised by something and in turn are only good themselves to vampirise something. Revati is the star that breaks the cycle of psychic vampirism.
Revati is a parental force. Revati is a force of devotional nourishment.
This applies to taking care of anything that requires life blood, a project of any kind requires us to nourish it. Sometimes we might find ourselves more on the tail end of receiving nourishment and ready to lap it up and not give into the enterprise. But this goes hand in hand with a thought form of poverty that itself feels empty and keeps the stove of the heart cold. We might take the back-seat of the receiver and never step into the driving force of the giver. The driving seat is a wealthy nourished seat that knows it has to load the tank with fuel after the drive of power. The one who waits that the tank is loaded for them, steps into the arena of the vampire and lives themselves a half-life where blood is scarce.
We could say that Revati is connected to feeling Mothered. One who feels they don’t have enough mothering themselves naturally will not be a mother. Revati is a star that gives its magic if we are able to heal our relation to motherhood.
To feel that we are nourished from life represents a massive step.
We might be striving under the thought form that we have not quite made it yet, or that we are yet to receive the milk of life that awaits us just around a corner that never comes. Revati is indeed the astral investigation of the energies of the Mother. We are not able to give what we don’t ourselves have. This is the cold fact.
Motherhood is a quality that might never appear from the outside, but a quality that we ourselves may have to instigate deep in our own hearts for the very sake of the sacred heart itself. Ideally, the first part of life ought to be the time when we receive nourishment. But, ideals may sometimes be far from reality though.
The second half is the time when we are ourselves the nourisher. If we did not receive in the first half then the second half may be a time of inner and outer war. We have to learn the wisdom of halves sometimes and realize that the fire must be built, if it is to radiate warmth. This shows us that Revati is very much a star that shines on us to help us break the patterns of childhood lack.
“We may not be able to give what we don’t have, but we may be able to learn to heal our wounds and patterns and find the opening to nourish what was never nourished in us.“
If you would like to join our ritual on Monday’s Somavati Moon,
“Soma is the sacred and Healing Moon fluid. Once or twice a year the dark Moon falls on a Monday. This night is named Somavati in the Tantric calendar and is a night of working with the inner subtle psycho/physical compound of lunar essence called Soma.“
Soma gives strength to softness and simplicity, it is cultivated in simplifying our lives and softening our edges of the heart. When Soma is abundant in the system, we have spiritual vision and physical fluidity. Soma is a cooling fluid that heals the inner fires that consume power, it softens the heart and draws one into the spiritual womb of compassion.
Soma is ritualised with the 3 fluids of wine, milk & water, which represent blood, sex & death.
The Life is in the Blood
Kali Ma is the blood. It has been said that the life is in the blood. The blood is ritualised as wine and pertains to the urge of life. Kali Ma is the great Mother Nature. She is the ruthless force of nature that drinks blood. She is at once the blood of creation and is she who drinks it.
Kali Ma is the stream of nature and she is mother to the innocent.
The innocent are those who trust in the wisdom and the way of nature. There may be some things in our lives that we can’t trust, but nature never lies. She may be ruthless and destructive in her bloody laws, but she is ever honest. In Somavati ritual, a glass of wine is placed on the altar and becomes a doorway to the mysteries of Kali Ma. It stands on the left as a reminder of Kali being the overseer of the left hand path of Tantra.
The Milk of Desire
Kamakhya is the Goddess of desire, she is the sexual impulse that heats the blood. She moves the blood and creates the milk of love through her friction. She presides over Ovulation and Menstruation and is the keeper of the secrets of the sexual doorway.
Kamakhya is the desire to merge with one’s opposite and voyage into intimate involvement with what is essentially a mystery to us.
A vessel filled with milk is placed upon the Somavati altar in honour of Kamakhya. The milk becomes a psychic medium to make connection with the forces of desire. Desire is the friction that is created when the blood of life rubs with the water of death. It is the milk between the meeting of opposites and for this reason sits in the middle of the Somavati altar.
The Watery Death
Kala is the lord of time and death, he is the lover of Kali Ma. Where Kali Ma is the force behind and beyond time and death – Kala is the time and death. He is the rhythmic ticking of the clock of Time, standing in every direction with the Kankala Danda (skeleton stick) that measures our lives.
Death is ever there, but like water in a glass, it can’t be seen.
The old custom of dumping the dead body into the sacred river has been an integral part of the customs of death in Indian culture. The places where rivers ran North were often favored as the doorway out of the realm of Kala… who awaits in the North. We place a wessel of water on the right. The solar circle moves to the right and its heat consumes life. Kala is the wisdom to approach the circle of life from a cool seat.
The Fluidic Friend
Shiva is Somanath, the friend of the Moon.
Shiva wears the moon ever in his crown and carries the soft wisdom of the feminine lunar energies in his heart. Somanath is the eternal Yogin who balances the fluids and becomes as receptive as the Moon to the Elixiral floods of Soma.
We shall evoke the Somanath in our heart by calling his Mantra. His Mantra cools the fires and allows the cooling Soma fluid to wash over us in healing waves of splendour.
Somanath is the eternal Yogi crowned by Moonlight. Somanath lives in the spirit of all souls who tread the path of Magical Lunar glow in the dark, giving honour to the feminine night forces of nourishment. By his honour the touch of the Goddess is given. Soma is the Heart softening, feminine path of Magic Moonlight. Like the Moon that shines brightly in the night sky, the Soma of Somanath is cultivated in the dark.
Tejas is the cool fire of psychic and spiritual power. The opposite of Tejas is the hot fire of Agni. Tantra is concerned with bringing both the cooling and the heating fires into a balanced dance with each other. Soma vivifies and creates, whereas Agni consumes and destroys. Both of these fires are needed in the correct proportions in the constituents of our body and spirit.
A balance of these forces is required to open the subtle portals of awareness. An abundance of Agni fire in our psycho/physical mechanism is the ill of modern times.
The overemphasis of Agni not only consumes the finer currents of awareness but creates stress in the system and ages the body.
Soma on the other hand is the juice of eternal youth.
Some forms of activity consume Soma and some forms of activity vivify the Soma fluid of the Moon within us. Heating pursuits and emotions, extroversion and over activity consume Soma, above all rushing depletes Soma. Introversion, rest and slowing down the currents of being nurture Soma. Somavati is the ritual day held in esteem by Tantrics to give strength and honour to the softness and simplicity that Soma is.
Soma is cultivated in simplifying our lives.
Somanath (friend of Soma) is one of the names which Shiva goes by in his liquid lunar mode. His is the cool, soft and simple one. The overemphasis of Agni not only consumes the finer currents of awareness but creates stress in the system and ages the body.
Soma on the other hand is the Elixir of life – you will find more about Soma in a previous text, The Forgotten Jewel of Tantra, which goes in more details about the qualities of Soma.http://healinginthewillows.com/soma/
Passivity and the receptive quality might have disappeared from our lives. It may even be considered a sign of weakness to be avoided at all costs, allowing the solar action to dominate.
Somavati comes rarely, and comes to remind us of the rare jewel of Soma.
Passivity is a secret Moon-type state of consciousness that the Yogis venture to know in the midst of the fires and actions of life. The Yogis prize Soma and are cautious and careful to nurture, cultivate and preserve it. Soma is psychic power. Soma is the cool healing fire that melts the obstructions in the way of our Shakti life energy.
The cool fire of Soma is not as obvious as the active expression of Agni. Soma lives internally and signifies and is experienced as a magical inner life… perhaps even independent of external factors.
This independence is the quality of Nirambala. Nirambala is a name of Shiva that implies the independent self-nourishing and self-supporting one, inspired and vitalised by the Soma Moon Fluid.
The introverted fire of Soma is an internal glow that gives one strength of focus & ‘awake-ness’ upon the astral planes.
Soma opens the physical and astral body. Bending back and melting the psychic and physical spine pours Soma into the chakras. The falling softly into death and surrender is Soma.
The Ritual of Somavati
In this ritual we will work with darkness & silvery lunar light. Taking a journey through Blood, Sex & Death:
Blood is Kali Ma Sex is Kamakya Kala is Death
These are the three Tantric forces that sit in the deep underworld within us. They are the forces at the root of our power, ‘or lack of it‘. This is a psychic and physical Tantra, Mudra, Mantra ritual, that is about addressing and healing the flow of the primal powers in us.
When the 3 fluids are in balance the Kundalini awakens. Tantrics depict Kundalini Shakti as the Queen Snake. Living beyond the boundaries of time and space. Beyond our known conventions. Where the hidden and out-of-sight is given a welcome into the arms of Life and Death on Earth
Kundalini Shakti requires the right ‘psychic temperature’ to unfold. Somavati is a time when celestial forces can assist us in the balance of the Soma fluid.
Somavati is a night when the veil between the spirit world and the physical world is thin. It is for this reason, a ritual time to give homage to the deceased ancestors. To bless and heal the spirits that we are connected with.
We can resolve and release the earth bound elements that can effect us in the Astral-World through inner prayers of blessing and release. Sometimes we are not even conscious of what we need to forgive and release. Somavati is a time of discovering and healing the psychic ties that bind us.
Tantrics call the effect of unresolved ancestral issues the Pitru Dosha. Somavati is a sacred ritual time of liberating Pitru Dosha.
The Ritual Positions of the Moon
Moon positions and invocations are known as Chandra Parampara in Tantra. On Somavati the Yogins practice this subtle and powerful form of Tantric Moon invocation. The practices we will do on this ritual night are powerful in arousing unresolved shadow themes pertaining to the archetypal Goddesses and Gods of the Night-forces. The new Moon sequence of Chandra Parampara supports us in ritual of the Somavatri Moon junction, to soften to the lunar currents being beamed to earth.
Chandra Parampara is a sequence of practice that, among all the practices of Tantra, creates the greatest softening & flexibility in the organism, both psychically & physically.
The introverted fire of Soma is cultivated in Chandra Parampara Moon practices. The Moon fluid is an internal glow that gives one strength of focus and ‘awake-ness’ upon the astral levels. Prayer and ritual under the Soma Moon is a time of opening body and soul towards the deepest levels of softness.
Simplification is the way to Soma. Soma is the way of bringing softness to rigidities. The 3 liquids of Blood, Sex and Death make up Soma. When they are balanced then Soma flows. An excess or depletion of any one of these energies blocks the flow of Soma. We could say that Somavati is the time of balancing.
Wine, Milk and Water shall lay upon the altar on this a Dark Moon night. By the Moon Practices of Chandra Parampara, we will delve deep into these fluids into the realm of Blood, Sex and Death
BLOOD, SEX & DEATH
The Tabooed Forces
Wine, Milk and Water shall lay upon the altar on this Dark Moon night.
These are the archetypal forces that we all face. They can indeed be infused with patterns and Shadows that spin us into webs of suffering. But in this ritual, like a ruthless spider we will traverse the web of Blood, Sex and Death.
‘Dark’ areas of life can become places where things are feared & denied.
Tantric ritual concentrates our powers and brings us to face ourselves, and our essential patterns and blocks that are getting in the way of the freedom of the life force. The Tantric vision experientially shows us that, that which we deny, has power over us, and reduces our potential in Life, Love and Death.All forms of relation to ourselves and to others form the biggest playground where the forces of Blood, Sex and Death are made most apparent.
Participants of this ritual are asked to bring 3 glasses to the altar. One filled with wine or any form of alcohol, one filled with milk, plant milk may be used but it ought to be cream coloured, no milkshakes. And finally a glass of water.
In that order from left to right.
We will work Tantricly in a manner with these fluids that can potentially be life changing. This is a powerful yet simple contemplative ritual of a rather secret Tantric practice with far reaching effects. Once you’ve learned the formula of these 3 fluids then you can work with them in your everyday and everynight life. Follow up notes and practices will be sent the next day in written form to clarify the points of this practice.
Wine represents the blood of Kali, Goddess of the consuming force of life. Milk is the juice of Kamakhya, Goddess of Desire Water represents Kaal Bhairav who is the river of time that sails us unto death
Each of the themes of Blood, Sex and Death can be summarized as below.
Kali – the giving of ourselves and the reception that is reflected back. Kamakya – the yearning to see beyond and further Kaala – the parts that restrict and don’t fit expectations and plans.
It is with these sacred forces of blood, sex and death that we shall work on Monday’s Dark Moon healing ritual. Studying our relationship to Blood, Sex and Death. Life, Desire and Surrender.
Soma is Kechari Vidya. (Wisdom of Walking in space). The practice of Kechari Mudra has several preparatory steps. It is often first initiated and practiced under the blessings of the Soma Moon.
Kechari is a secret science of Mudra that activates points of energy in the system that releases Soma in the form of a hormonal substance that creates profound softness & healing trance.
Kechari Mudra can be translated as the mystical woman who walks in space. This Mudra works with the tongue and has far reaching energetic effects upon both the physical and energy bodies. The ritual of Somavati works with Ketchari Mudra and the 3 sacred fluids that make up Soma.
Congealed blood, curdled milk and ice cubes.
A balance of cooling and heating forces (fires) is required to open the subtle energies and undo the Granthi’s (knots) that seal the subtle portals of awareness.
An abundance of Agni fire in our psycho/physical mechanism is the ill of modern times. By becoming aware and awake on the astral layers of our inner life, we are able to undo knots of Karma and its unconscious shadows in the Granthis.
Granthi’s are the psychic and physical energy knots that the Yogis open by the science of a Tantra. The Granthis hold our Karmic themes and are tightened by Agni but loosened by Soma. That is why Soma is known as the soft fluid.
Cultivating Soma creates liquid softness, in both the body and the psyche. Over-stretching Agni creates heat and dryness. It goes without saying, that an overemphasis on heating practices of yoga consumes Soma. The yoga practices for a woman are radically different than those for a man, as the constitutions are different energetically. The man has a different relationship to Agni and Soma than the relationship a woman has to these two fires. The old Tantra practices address this subject profoundly.
In present times Agni burns strong & stands in a predominant place. This is most visible in the magnitude of destruction on a planetary scale, through wars, violence towards all forms of life, and even in the warming of the atmosphere. There is literally too much heat ‘in the system’
This calls for the cultivation of Soma, which must become a priority both individually and collectively if we wish to shift the balance back to a state of nature.
This Somavati Amvasya will fall under the Revati Nakshatra, the star constellation of Revati, the great nourisher. To read about Revati, click here.
Jupiter in Aquarious The Grand Shift of the Unconscious
“Moonlight, starlight Insight, out of sight Something’s certain Draw the curtains, draw them!”
Echo and the Bunnymen – Satellite
Brhaspati (Jupiter) transits into Kumbh (Aquarius) on tonight’s darkening Bhairav Astami (Half Descending Moon). Jupiter will leave its debilitation point in Capricorn as it moves through its 12 year cycle across the zodiac. Jupiter is on its way to moving into Aquarius where it is said to be exulted. This represents a major shift.
Jupiter takes 12 years to complete a cycle through the zodiac. If you think back to the last time that Jupiter transitioned into Aquarius 12 years ago and what was happening within you in that year of your life, then you might get a sense of this energy constellation.
Jupiter in Aquarius brings great outburst and pouring forth of emotion from the human vessel that we are.
The unconscious part of the mind is what erupts from the vessel carried by Aquarius when Jupiter enters. Jupiter is the grand expansive mind. It is to be remembered that he is the Guru of the celestial Deva’s. He is known as Brhaspati, or simply Guru. This astrological movement of Brhaspati into the pot – Kumbh means pot and is Aquarius – brings a radical energy that brings destruction by the eruption of emotional force.
Energies that have been brewing unconsciously leave the inner mirror and start to reflect outwards when Jupiter transitions into Aquarius. If we follow the map of the stars and look back on the book of history then we will see the destructive explosions of emotional force in action when Jupiter enters Aquarius. The beginning of World-War-2 synchronised with Jupiter transiting into Aquarius.
Festival of the Pot
The Kumbh Meela is the biggest gathering on Earth and it occurs every 12 years, precisely when Jupiter enters Aquarius. This is a very big astrological affair for Tantrics. Endless numbers of Yogins and devotees gather at the time when these planetary forces are at their peak and immerse themselves in the river Ganga. The water acts as a medium of the astral energies and transmits them to the human system.
This planetary transition turns water to Amrit (Elixir). The old story tells that the drops of Amrit that fell upon the Earth became the sacred rivers when Brhaspati (Jupiter) moved into Kumbh (Aquarius) at the Dawn of Creation.
Keeping vessels of water on the window to become imbued with the energy of this planetary shift turns the water into a potent Elixir that can assist in healing many psychical and psychic conditions. If you have a river accessible then taking a dip or a splash can help too.
The roots and origins of our conditions become revealed at this time.
Working with water is an essential part of Tantric ritual when Brhaspati moves into Kumbh. Unconscious forces are made conscious by drinking and washing with water imbued with this planetary energy of Jupiter entering Aquarius. Kumbh Meela is going on presently, Kumbh, as said before, means pot. Meela means festival.
Kumbh Meela celebrates the Shift of Jupiter into Aquarius. This is a deep subject that is merely etched here. Essentially it has to do with exposing and studying the dividing curtain in the mind between the seen and the unseen, between dark and light, between unconscious and conscious. This curtain is known as the Rudra Granthi – ‘the knot of Shiva’ – that when untied… opens the third eye of vision.
Kumbh Meela in this astrological junction is a 12-yearly time of opportunity to open the third eye.
The Amrit (Elixir) that flows from the third eye is strongest in this transition that occurs only every 12 years. The Amrit is synonymous with the sacred Soma fluid that is a psycho-physical compound that awakens subtle vision. When both the physical and psychic fires are balanced in the system then Soma awakens.
The yogin is ever watchful of the supplies of Soma within themselves. Tantric practices certainly awaken Soma, but there are many actions that deplete it. Rushing is the great sickness to the Yogins that creates an over-abundance of Agni (fire) that consumes Soma.
Life may offer many opportunities to rush, but when we do so, we don’t live.
To say it plainly: Soma is spiritual power and the absence of Soma is the opposite of spiritual power. The time we are in now auspicious for slowing down and working with Soma. The flowers are erupting into colour, seemingly overnight, but it is to be remembered that they have been on a slow underground journey before being revealed.
We can work with Soma by collecting it in a pot. Water that has been left outside in a pot becomes infused with power at this once in a 12 yearly point. Rubbing it onto the third eye is a secret Tantric rite that will speak for itself, if done at this time.
India has celebrated this 12 yearly shift of Jupiter into Aquarius since the beginning of days. India is the Home of Tantric science; but what is Tantric science really? Nowadays the word Tantra is carelessly thrown around in the West. Tantra has been made cheap by the modern machine in the eye of the western mind that exploits the sacred art with no honour of its depth.
Tantra is the making of the unconscious conscious. Tantra is Jupiter moving into Aquarius. The unconscious can explode and express into consciousness in a way that possesses and wrecks sobriety. But the unconscious can also express itself in deepest sobriety and vision. It is a question of ‘to see or not to see the mirror’. The Tantric is ever watchful of the two expressions of unconscious force – both the ‘reflected and unreflected’. Soma is the fluid of Vision, guard it well, say the Yogins!
This planetary movement is a revealer of subjective unconscious forces of the mass unconscious. When we become aware of our own unconscious impulses then we step out of the tides of time and space. To the Tantrics, Kaal Bhairav is the great benefactor who reveals the unconscious constructs of Time & Space.
Bhairav Astami is the monthly lunar half descent, that this time will usher Jupiter into Aquarius. Bhairav is evoked ritualistically on the Astami 8th lunar descent. He gives a glimpse of the unconscious world within at the exact point when the moon is split in half.
Tantrics say ‘Bhairav Astami Puja Karoo’ at this time. It means ‘remember to look into the mirror when the moon is perfectly split’, on that day hidden things are seen that no other moon day can show.
Truth Be Told
“Satellite’s gone up to the skies Things like that drive me out of my mind I watched it for a little while I like to watch things on TV”
L. Reed – Satellite of Love
Jupiter moving into Aquarius is the time of ‘truth be told’. It is worth pondering on the nature of truth. How many of our truths are subjective? How many of our truths can only stand up in the motion of a structure that we take for truth? What is that structure really founded on? Whether that structure is cultural, ancestral or capitalistic, etc., if we study the nature and reality or unreality of the structure, it can reveal deep truths to the eye of the soul.
Absolute truth is a heavy subject matter, but nature is heavy and she herself reveals absolute truth. The uniforms and costumes we wear may fade with the seasons, but nature endures. The Tantric is s/he who strips themselves naked in the wilderness and feels the natural winds of absolute truth.
The Tantric might literally retreat to the forest and that is indeed a part of Tantric Sadhana (training) but the two truths of subjective and objective will follow us even into the cave. When the subjective structures of illusory truth crumble under their own weight, then we are truly in the wilderness, even when we are riding in the neon contraptions of modernity.
Kali Ma is nature unveiled.
Kali Ma is there, everywhere, when we remember her. She is an easy-to-forget old witch because her glare hurts. She is in fact the oldest witch. Her glare burns the subjective truths that we hold. Our subjective truths may indeed be absolute illusions. Is it easier sometimes to look away?
“By the Power of the unstoppable urge Now you can drink it or you can nurse it, It don’t matter how you worship As long as you’re Down on your knees. So I knelt there at the delta, At the alpha and the omega, At the cradle of the river and the seas. And like a blessing come from heaven For something like a second I was healed and my heart Was at ease.”
L. Cohen – Light as a Breeze
Purva Ashada Nakshatra is in the constellation of Sagittarius and brings clearing, cleansing purification. The deity of this Nakshatra is Apa, she is the cosmological river Goddess of fresh water and the lover of Varuna the god of the seas.
Losing one’s individuality and merging into the greater sea of being, is the energy that this Star brings to us. This is a Shukracharia (Venus) ruled Nakshatra and rules conception. The river wishing to rush to meet the ocean is relatable to the urge of the sperm moving to meet the ovum.
“Purva Ashada Nakshatra brings fluidic transitions just as the inherent symbolism of the river Delta… where one water body loses its identity for another.”
Transition from individual states of being to awareness of more expansive states of being comes from a losing of established identities. By purification of the subconscious sediment that we carry, we rush into the vaster ocean of reality. It is interesting to note that a river delta is also a place where underwater sediment in most pronounced.
Our subconscious sediment colours and expresses itself in the rivers of our being. Transition to new states of being come as things are resolved and purified from the underground. This is the lesson that Purva Ashada Nakshatra brings to us – That we have to leave some things behind if we are to come into more fluid states of being. Figuratively speaking – surface skiing upon the water does nothing to really resolve ones Karmic themes, though it certainly gives the feeling of moving.
On the path of a Tantra, the Yogin is careful to not exchange superficial surface maneuvers for the introspective healing work of facing the deep dark depths.
The science of lunar houses is very detailed and subtle because it is dependent upon which Moon phase transports the energy to earth. Uttara Ashada Nakshatra occurring upon
“The Bhairav Astami of half descending Moon brings a movement of unconscious sediment and offers a transition out of individual unconscious patterns into a new sea of being.”
Bhairav is the deity who makes us face that which we fear, that which we turn away from and do not wish to face becomes our unconscious shadow that lives in the depths, and just like the undercurrent, it informs all the maneuvers of our consciousness.
Bhairav Astami has been ritualized by Yogins since time immemorial as a Moon day for accessing the unseen and unconscious shadow elements of our reality.
The occurrence upon Bhairav Astami of Purva Ashada Nakshatra is a time of working ritualistically with water. There are many inner and outer practices in Tantra that work with the healing powers of water.
The Gurus of Creation
Purva Ashada is under the rule of the 2 Gurus. Venus is Shukracharia, the Guru of the Asuras, and Brhaspati (Jupiter) is the Guru of the Devas. The Asuras are the dualised creative energies of the egg that splits upon fertilisation. The spermatozoa is the Devic singular force. We see that Purva Ashada is ruled by the Venusian Guru Shukracharia and is in the constellation of Sagittarius.
The stories tell that Shukracharia has in his possession a magical power that puts him in the possession of abilities that make him superior. It is the power of Sanjeevani Vidya that he possesses. This is the wisdom and power of bringing the dead to life. Shukracharia it is who brings life to the soul in an eternal circle of life and death.
“The seed holds the spirit, but the egg is the doorway of Sanjeevani that permits incarnation.”
Purva Ashada Nakshatra is an auspicious time for the conception of a child, as power is given to the ovum and the spermatozoa. This Nakshatra brings the energies of Venus and Jupiter together, these planets are dualistic forces that if brought together result in creation.
Mythology & the Watery World
When Venus and Water Meet we get the mermaid, hence the star of Purva Ashada being connected to the Yakshinis, who are the elemental spirits connected to the water element in the unconscious. The Yakshinis stir in their depths when this Nakshatra is present.
The Yakshinis are the sexual elemental spirits of the second water ruled Shakti Chakra.
“Some aspects of Tantra work with summoning & evoking these sexual beings.”
The picture above is called Hylas and the Nymphs by the British painter John William Waterhouse. The Naiads are the water nymphs of Greek mythology. This story presents many poignant themes of Purva Ashada Nakshatra. The story tells how Hylas was on a search for fresh drinking water when came to an enchanting pond where the Naidas lured him in with their beauty.
The Naidas are similar to the Yakshinis of the unconscious watery worlds. They are energies that can lure us in by the promise of something wonderful.
The Yakshinis in the Indian mysteries offer treasure, pleasures and powers untold by those who find them, but like the story of Hylas, they can submerge us in an elemental world and keep us from fulfilling our karmic tasks. Hylas was looking for fresh water for the team of Argonauts but he never returned. We see him holding a jug of water in his left hand, the pond abounds with water lillies which interestingly are called Nymphaeaceae in Latin.
The tree of Purva Ashada Nakshatra is called the Sita Askhoka tree. The stories tell us that the Ashoka forest was where Sita was kept captive by Ravan when he kidnapped her. The Expansive urge of Ravan was enticed by the Venusian caverns of Sita. Sita literally means a cavernous incline and is suggestive of the female Yoni. The Venusian ovum draws the expanse Jupitarian force, Ravan was so overcome that he stole her away. This is the theme of the Epic Ramayana.
The Ashoka is the tree that is sacred to the sensual water nymphs known as the Yakshinis. The Yakshins dwell in the deep unconscious levels of the inner world. Tantrics who make the unconscious conscious are able to see into the world of the Yakshins. Some Tantric magicians work primarily through Siddhis (powers) they gain from these elemental beings. Tantrics consider it a dangerous practice to enter into union with the elemental world for magical powers. It carries many dangers and karmic consequences for the soul.
We see in many fairy stories that humans become submerged in the fairy realm to their detriment. The story of the Fisherman and his Soul by Oscar Wilde hi-lights this allure of the elemental world wonderfully. The occult novel of the Sea priestess by Dion Fortune also covers the theme of elemental possession. The well known story of the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson reverses the polarities and tells of a Mermaid who comes to the human world as opposed to the other way round.
This Star brings a strong sense of Tapasya – this is quality of ruthlessness and fearless voyage towards the unseen. A yogin is for this reason called a Tapasyin. The word Asha in Ashada means hope and urge. This watery lunar house brings a battle like rush of water. It is activates the urge of the spermatozoa to merge with the ovum.
“The Ovum is Shukracharia (Venus) and the Spermatozoa is Brhaspati (Jupiter).”
The urge to rush into the realms of life can become dispersing to our Shakti if we are focused on barren pursuits. Whether physically or psychically… we become aware of the nourishing or vampiric quality of our pursuits as the unconscious becomes conscious. When we gain insight into the motivation behind our urges, we come to see the mechanism of how they express into the fabric of our lives and the resultant effect thereof upon the Shakti we carry.
Brhaspati (Jupiter) is the biggest planet in our solar system. He abounds with an abundance of boundless energy. Purva Ashada is a time to study the focus of our urges. As this star is in the Brhaspati (Jupiter) ruled constellation of Sagittarius, the tendency to shoot out is pronounced. Under this star in concentrated ritual – Tantrics make a pronounced focus upon reversing the outward tendency of motion known as Privritti to the inward energy known as Nirvritti.
Brhaspati (Jupiter) is the ruler of Sagittarius. Brhaspati is the expansive energy of subtle wisdom, that is why he is the Guru of the Deva’s. The energy of Brhaspati is to expand and subtlety penetrate things. But the state of the fields of life that we are penetrating is to be taken into account, they will produce either barren or fruitful produce. The Tantric honours Shakti by discerning whether they are watering the field of death, or the field of life.
“The merging of the river with the sea symbolism of this Nakshatra is very much about the unconscious becoming conscious.”
Remember the deity of this star is Apa, the goddess of the river. In the symbolism, she merges with the lover Varuna the god of the ocean through the releasing of parts of her identity that are born of unconscious imprints.
On the upcoming Astami we will meet in ritual to work with these forces as part of our second gathering dedicated to Kaal Bhairav. All levels of Yogic ability and experience are welcomed into the Healing Circle on this ritual night. An introduction for new students, where questions and queries can be addressed is also offered.